There's a famous quote (sometimes attributed to Abraham Lincoln) that says, "After age 40, you're responsible for your face." I'm more than two decades past 40 now, and I've arrived at a place where I want to not only be responsible for the story told by my face, but to be utterly transparent and fearlessly revealed in the world. And I have lived in many worlds.
My 25-year career as a marketing consultant for corporate America enabled me to acquire the usual trophies, including clients with private jets, a glittering group of Hollywood friends, a massive mortgage and a couple of divorces. I was the quintessential upwardly-mobile Los Angeles yuppie.
Fast-forward through a hyperspeed panorama of identities, locations, relationships, losses and gifts, and things turned out to be anything but typical. Apparently my spirit guides, in partnership with the intention of my own soul, decided to gently but firmly lead me away from the world of matter toward the world of Spirit.
But there was one gift that stood out above the rest... my amazing son Danny, who spent half his life severely disabled from a rare metabolic disorder, and started communicating with me after his death at age 16. His guidance -- in this world and the next -- changed everything.
As Einstein said, it turns out that the Universe is friendly.
I could never have imagined the world I live in today. My life's work is focused on teaching people how to perceive death, grief and loss in a new way. Instead of schmoozing with the stars in L.A., I teach meditations based on breathing in the starlight from the cosmos. In the last ten years I've published three books, earned two academic degrees and helped hundreds of people learn to die and to grieve more consciously.
Nobody is more surprised than I am.
Terri Daniel, MA, CT, is an ordained interfaith minister, clinical chaplain and end-of-life educator certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. The focus of her work is to assist dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually-spacious understanding of death and beyond.
Terri conducts workshops throughout the U.S. to help the dying and the bereaved find healing through meditative, ritual and therapeutic processes that focus on inner transformation rather than external events. Her work is acclaimed by physicians, hospice workers, grief counselors, clergy and the bereaved for its pinpoint clarity on the process of dying and grieving, and its heartfelt depiction of consciousness beyond the physical body.
Terri's interest in the journey of the soul through birth and death began at age 12 when she began having mystical visions that sparked a lifelong interest in spirituality. But it wasn't until the death of her 16 year-old son in 2006 that she immersed herself in studying multi-cultural religious traditions and metaphysical practices that help the dying and the living find healing through meditative and ritual processes that open a conduit to other dimensions. Her unique form of "radical mysticism" incorporates elements of Buddhism, Shamanism, ancient pagan practices, gnostic Christianity and other spiritual traditions to break down limiting beliefs about forgiveness, divine judgment and negative experience. Terri replaces these beliefs with an empowering vision of a co-created universe where there are no victims or perpetrators, only souls seeking expansion and awareness.
Terri is the author of three books on death and the afterlife:
A Swan in Heaven: Conversations Between Two Worlds (2007)
Embracing Death: A New Look at Grief, Gratitude and God (2010)
Turning the Corner on Grief Street: Loss and Trauma as a Journey to Awakening (2014)
She is also the founder and president of the Afterlife Education Foundation
and producer of the annual Afterlife Awareness Conference. Her academic credentials
include a B.A. in Religious Studies from Marylhurst University, and an M.A. in Pastoral Care
from Fordham University. You can find a selection of her academic articles and papers at