Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon

Within 20 Seconds Her Entire Life Changed with Theresa Byrne

October 07, 2020 Theresa Byrne Season 1 Episode 24
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Within 20 Seconds Her Entire Life Changed with Theresa Byrne
Accident & Immediate Changes
Am I crazy?
Your Inner Bully
Reclaiming your power
Caddyshack & Princess Bride Influences
Collaboration on Life Unexpected to Life Inspired
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Within 20 Seconds Her Entire Life Changed with Theresa Byrne
Oct 07, 2020 Season 1 Episode 24
Theresa Byrne

What if one ride in the car changed everything?  What if, as she describes it, a 20 second car accident in your 40s alters your life path forever?  Could you handle all the change thrust upon you?  All the new healthcare diagnoses, professional opinions, appointments, treatment and rehabilitation?  All the personal setbacks, your career plan detours, effects on you, your family and friends?

Theresa Byrne is with me today and because of those 20 seconds, her life changed in ways she never expected and never could have predicted.  Join us as we dive in a bit deeper about how she dealt with such a difficult event and how she is now bravely sharing her story and although she continues teaching others today, her ability to influence and impact others is huge and she is now helping millions of women engage and unleash their own Inner Warrior.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if one ride in the car changed everything?  What if, as she describes it, a 20 second car accident in your 40s alters your life path forever?  Could you handle all the change thrust upon you?  All the new healthcare diagnoses, professional opinions, appointments, treatment and rehabilitation?  All the personal setbacks, your career plan detours, effects on you, your family and friends?

Theresa Byrne is with me today and because of those 20 seconds, her life changed in ways she never expected and never could have predicted.  Join us as we dive in a bit deeper about how she dealt with such a difficult event and how she is now bravely sharing her story and although she continues teaching others today, her ability to influence and impact others is huge and she is now helping millions of women engage and unleash their own Inner Warrior.

Wendy Deacon  0:00  
What if one ride in the car changed everything? What if as she describes it a 22nd car accident in your 40s alters your life path forever? Could you handle all the change thrust upon you? All the new healthcare appointments, all the new diagnoses? All the new I'm sure professional opinions, treatment and rehab.

Could you handle all the personal setbacks, your career plan, detours, or effects on you, your family and your friends? Teresa Byrne is with me today. And because of those 20 seconds, her life changed in ways not only she never expected, but maybe could never have even predicted. So join us as we dive in a bit deeper to hear how she dealt with such a difficult event, and how she is now bravely sharing her story. And although she continues teaching one of her passions, and teaching others today, her ability to influence and impact others now is huge. And she is helping millions of women engage and I love the statement unleash their own inner warrior. 

Welcome to life reimagined with Wendy, I believe those of us over 45 grew up at a unique time in our culture that helped us redefine what a 45 and 55 or 65 year old and true adventurer really looks like. We're carving out very different trails and our own Purpose Driven Life paths going forward. So join us for insights and interviews on how we survived life's detours and came out on the other side stronger and happier, and how you can reimagine your next. 

I love the statement unleash their own inner warrior. 

Theresa Byrne  1:43  
I love that too. I honestly think that every single one of us has a warrior within us. Yeah. And I'll hide a little bit about my accident. But at one point, I was so disassociated from my body, and I look down at my arm and the words Oh, her arm was like, what her arm like you don't look at your own body and think right external, like third party. And that's when I realized there was sort of something else running the show for me. So my higher self was helping me go to all these doctor's appointments and and change my life and make sure that I got fed mostly and showered sometimes and sleep but something else was kind of running me her arm I'll never forget that. And, and I really the inner warrior piece is truly when we talk about resilience that is the part of ourselves that is programmed from the factory to be able to make us not just survive, but thrive. So we're always looking for the best food sources, although now the best food sources filled with fat and sugar. And yeah, high calorie laden foods are not there to plentiful. But back in the days when we came out of the factory earlier, those were good sources of food. So the inner warrior is really the part of me that I tapped into, along with my higher self to get me through what was the most devastating time in my life. 

Wendy Deacon  3:16  
Yeah, so Okay, so Teresa Byrne, is a modern day revolutionists. I'm going to hit this play because I love I again, how you would have taken the straight off your webpage here. Alright, so Teresa is a modern day revolutionist in personal power. And I think as you've already experienced, she's a very low energy gal. Teresa's on emotion. She loves teaching, but is now teaching a more holistic approach to personal safety, power and confidence. And she has her own trademark system and an intuitive, intuitive methodology. Say that five times fast, called empower. And she teaches boundary setting techniques and what she loves watching the aha moment when somebody really gets it and makes the connection and shifts their thinking or changes their life in a way. And one more thing to quickly say is that you are the award winning author of five books, and that you've trained millions of people through your innovative approach. So thanks, Teresa. I'm so excited to have you here today. And we haven't even told people what what you've even come through. They only know there's a car accident so far. 

Theresa Byrne  4:24  
So you want me to tell my story. It's now a good time.

Wendy Deacon  4:27  
Absolutely. Now's a perfect time. So

Unknown Speaker  4:29  

Theresa Byrne  4:30  
I am. I am pleased to tell it and I love it. And I want to start with it's probably the most impactful and I don't mean that like because I got hit and run into a brick wall. Right. It just changed my life in a way that I can help many, many more people.


was a professional martial artist and self defense instructor and I was tooling along running errands and added nowhere some guy ran into my car. I lost control the vehicle I went into the other lane of traffic hit this not curb, but kind of a curb thing, and then a brick

wall. So you know, when you

tell the universe, I don't want to get by two by four,

or I was literally hit with a brick wall. So for me, I feel really blessed because I had a near death experience as I was headed toward the wall. So I got pulled out of my body. I don't remember hitting the wall at all, I was in some other happy place, learning and soaking up knowledge and wisdom. And when I came back, it turns out that I ended up with the equivalent of about six concussions. And typically a concussion would be like, you hit on one side, and then your brain sloshes to the other side. Well, I hit here and here and then here and here. And then I don't even know which way My head was facing when I hit the brick wall. So it's always one side and then the other side because your blink your brain gets slushy.

So I came back and ended up with a traumatic brain injury, like who needs to get their noggin knocked around, so they have no clue they are and I make light of all of this, because I gotta tell you, it is the only thing. Faith and lightheartedness are the two things that helped me carry through the crazy that I felt. And it came out an insane time. I can't even imagine. So now this happened a little bit over six years ago. 2014 2014. Okay, and then talk about even I mean, you you just described just kind of this outer body of it out of body experience during it. What about the first few weeks or months? Because I can't even imagine mentally what you are having to deal with, with this new reality.

Oh, so I don't know if any of you watching or you yourself, Wendy have been in a situation where you literally feel crazy, you know, but you don't know. Or you can you can't see what you know, or what am I started going sideways, I started stuttering. I would note like I have a water thing here, I would know that my water thing was in front of me, but I couldn't see it. It was like having dementia, and frontal lobe damage and issues with sensitivity. It was it was like having a bunch of different illnesses. At the same time. I've worked with kids with autism for many years. And all of a sudden I felt autistic like sounds had feelings to them. And and lights were too loud. And things that weren't soft, were painful, and sunshine was too loud. And it was a very odd feeling. But I'm very blessed because I had spent my career helping people kind of that were neuro diverse. And I ended up having to apply a lot of what I knew about neuroscience and learning, development and cognitive behavioral therapy, I apply it to my own self.

Wendy Deacon  8:11  

And, you know, I've interviewed others who have had life detours, either, you know, divorce or job change, but none as significant or as traumatic as what you've been through. And so I mean, it's not obviously it's not something you recover from in like 2.4 weeks, or three and a half months. I mean, and thankfully neuroplasticity thankfully, our science is changing and such, you know that we're learning so much more about the brain. But do you feel like you're still recovering or? And that's not even the right word still, like you're you're still rehabilitating and still learning from that experience? 

Theresa Byrne  8:49  
to answer your question, when I had my accident, neuroplasticity was sort of new neuroplasticity was about five or six years old. Up until that point, they thought brains became the brain that it was going to be and didn't change. Yeah. And even when I had my accident, the science was a little bit more limited. The healing there were I was put into what's called low stimulus concussion protocol timeout. No music, no lights, no sound, no interaction, no computer for almost two years. Oh, my Yeah, that's very different than though. I was on lockdown. Basically, as we've all experienced lockdown, but I didn't have any interaction. I wasn't supposed to have any stimulus into my brain because my brain was really really struggling to heal. I ended up with depression, which was really hard. My heart goes out to anybody who's dealt with depression, anxiety, panic, PTSD, ADHD, a neuro endocrine disorder. I couldn't feel my skin. I couldn't which actually is kind of funny. I remember being in the shower and I'm like, why is my shower not hot and I get out of the shower and not Am read like sunburn. Like, maybe it was hotter than I realized.

I was. I did feel a little crazy a little. Yeah, all of us have these things that happen and take us out of our element or out of our comfort zone. I was in a whole nother hemisphere. Yeah. Yeah, not being able to use my words. It's funny the one at one point I got beamed. And I will say like this image of me standing and the doctors were not sure what was going to happen. They couldn't tell me if I would heal when I would heal, how I would heal. So part of me was having to stay positive and use that all my knowledge in I know that a negative brain mindset will produce more cortisol and adrenaline. I had to constantly learn how to shift and I remember, one image I got like, kind of beamed from the universe was me on a stage with a microphone, talking about my experience and laughing, laughing at how ludicrous it was. And in that moment, I found a sense of peace is one way of saying it, but okay, it's, it's going to be alright. I don't know how. But eventually, I'm going to talk about this eventually, and eventually turned into almost five years, maybe to be able to do it. 

And I did a TEDx talk on the inner bully, which was one of the pieces that showed up heavily for me. During the accident, I had a bully in my head that in my body that I could not I really struggled with. 

Wendy Deacon  11:33  
So expand on that. Because I think that one, not only first of all coming through this at all personally is, is an amazing piece of your story. But then how you've translated it and turned it into a very different career paths. But yet, you're still engaging, using some of the experiences that you've had the love for teaching. But like you said, you're reaching up a much larger audience and community and bringing a lot more people into your world than you probably could have before this happened. So talk about how you decided or how this organically shifted for you into something that becomes more of your passion going forward. 

Theresa Byrne  12:14  
It feels like some of the lessons that came through for me while I was healing, were just like, they were so big. They were so important like that I'm not special. But I'm unique, that each of us isn't we're not special, but we're unique.

We are unique as a snowflake as a thumbprint. And we get to shine that and prior to the accident, my mission and my goal was I will inspire and motivate 1 million people. Blah, blah, blah, like I had this huge goal. And now after the accident, I'll make a positive impact on one person today. Like, up in the other world or or wherever I visited during my near death experience, they can care less how many people a soul as a soul, if I can make a positive impact on one person. That's all that matters. And the odd thing is having that mindset I think has created this other way of me reaching out and finding other people. Me learning about depression, me having a suicidal voice in my head. And these are things other people have faced. I just, it might have been for them their whole lives. For me, it was from one day to the next. Like all of a sudden, I had ADHD I had depression. I had suicidal thoughts I had all of a sudden, like it was all of a sudden 80 years old. Yeah, like a switch that you know flicked. Yeah.

Wendy Deacon  13:42  
And and because you've also had you had your pre experience you knew kind of not normal, like what's normal, right? what's normal, but you had a Teresa normal first, before all this other all these other pieces and changes occurred. So you could identify with just how serious and how significant it impacts others. So, so your story, you know, not only people can identify with what you're sharing, but because you've come through it, again, relying on your faith, your positivity and your humor, you're modeling and inspiring others so so talk more about your your program. And again, how you see others get their aha moment and get rid of their inner bully or take it down. 

Theresa Byrne  14:33  
So I think that as kids, we're all these wide open, wonderful beings that approach the world with curiosity and wonder and then life happens. And we start making up all of these things. And one thing that happened after my accident was I started having all these limiting beliefs come up to the surface that I didn't know I believe because they were so buried, but there was nowhere to bury them anymore. My brain didn't change that. They just pop up and be like, I believe that I can't, I didn't even know I believe that. It's almost like those automated things that you believe about yourself in the world. And so for me, I didn't even have a self perception. After the accident, I didn't perceive myself.

Wendy Deacon  15:19  
Like you didn't have your own avatar of who you were.

Theresa Byrne  15:22  
Right? Oh, and then somebody told me, this is so funny. Somebody said, Well, you know, you were the first woman to earn her master instructor ranking in your martial arts system. And I'm like, is that a big deal? Is that important? That and they're like, yeah, the first woman ever? I'm like, Oh, I guess that seems important. Okay, cool. Okay,

Cool. All right. So a lot of things that I help people do is like, it's get all this stuff out of the way, the sabotaging thoughts, the limiting beliefs, the stuff that isn't you. So there's like this, you and then there's the anew. And then there's this sort of higher self that is your wisest, oldest friend that is connected to between you and all living things. And one of the issues that I had was I only had 2d perception after the accident. So I could only see, like, everything was very flat. And I didn't know the distancing on things. But what I also saw was, like, I don't know, lights and energy, I guess, and flickers and I would see other things, but I didn't see in 3d. So my brain was perceiving things much differently. And I saw where people would, it was almost like, if I taught somebody How to Punch, I would teach them how to punch straight, that's powerful. And I would teach them how to rotate their body. But in my new head, I would see like, where they angle their arm and they fix this and they punch like that. And it was almost all the places where people were out of their power. 

And then my mission became to help them access that innate inherent, ever living ever existed infinite essence, within. And that's really where true power comes from. Anytime we put our power outside, when I get this job, I'll be happy if I, if I get if I have this relationship, then I'll be good. If I lose this weight, then it'll be fantastic. Anytime we do that we're putting our happiness and our power outside of ourselves. 

Wendy Deacon  17:25  
Yep, locus of control. I'm a firm believer. 

Theresa Byrne  17:28  
Absolutely. And that doesn't work. So my mission has really been teaching people, both from what I learned in being a master instructor martial arts and in self defense, and also taking it forward using the brain injury and healing my brain to where I'm, I still have executive functioning issues with like, Don't ask me steps for things and I'm not good at like, what comes first, and then comes next. If I go to clean my garage, my garage is just one thing, garage, and it's all overwhelming. I need help with system, the system of like strategy, strategy and steps, that is not something that I'm awesome at. Yeah, but I think you're also you're, without overtly stating it, you're tapping on another key piece of your journey, which is the acceptance that some things have changed. Like you said, cleaning the garage is just one thing, garage, right? And, and having patience, recognizing that knowing thyself huge again, in your journey, in being able to then thrive not only survive what you had to go through, but really thrive. So accepting some of these changes and knowing then how to work. I always say I love when I find out about some part of myself, because like I say, I hide things for myself, but then I find it in places. Well, I would look there first, this is great, right? So it's accepting some of these changes that we didn't think or that challenges who we think our norm or what we're supposed to be, is hate really.

And I think that, so what I know, and I teach about cortisol and I teach about adrenaline, okay. And the inner bully is really about the reaction that we have to our own thinking in our own selves. And we can create fight, flight or freeze in our bodies. And it isn't necessarily an external thing. Something isn't making me in danger, I just might feel in danger. And this has become really apparent. During the pandemic, people are feeling uncertain and that creates Fight, fight or freeze. People are feeling worried, anxious, fearful, and that's creating that same response. Well, in my experience, I had PTSD. A couple times a night, I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking someone was coming to kill me, and I had to create my own EMDR breathing through it. But what I also know is that our bodies thrive on love, and support and acceptance. So the more that I can accept, the more my cells grow, the more that I am here. The more that I can allow for myself, the greater I am, the more that I become rigid or demanding or criticizing, of myself or anyone else, the smaller I get, and the longer it takes for me to heal. And, and really that's, that's the case for anyone a cell does better in a certain environment, our bodies are made of cells, and we do better in what you just said acceptance. taking back the control, the locus of control, okay, control where you put that is in here. And to me, it's about mindfulness and consciousness and also resilience. And I love that you have to use the word silly to spell resilience. Ari s i l i, e, nce, silly.  So when I forget to have a spell resilience, silly, isn't that?

Wendy Deacon  20:54  
No, I like that. I hadn't thought about that. But you're right. That's good. I like it. But I think humor is critical, too. And and I think it's, it's one of the questions I have for you. And I don't know you're, you're also different guests that I've had on my podcast before looking at code your code yourself in your 20s embrace some of these concepts and live with them as peacefully and as optimistically net as you you know, could you envision this a 20? Or 25? Because I couldn't have at all? 

Theresa Byrne  21:30  
No, I would have thought my life was over, I would have probably played more of a victim. I would have enjoyed the blame game. Mm hmm. As it is the way that my brain injury happened. I lost emotional. I have emotional amnesia. So anything that's happened in my life, both positive and negative, I don't remember the emotions around it. So which is kind of freeing right?

I don't think of freeing right off the bat. As soon as you mentioned them. Like I didn't even know that was a thing. So but I wasn't. I never read about it. I had it. So I was I was sciencing the stuffing out of my brain injury. I was writing notes. Yeah. amnesia isn't an actual thing. It is a word that I words that I put together to describe what was happening. I don't remember emotions. I don't remember feelings of a certain thing. Even if I was mad at somebody. Well, I'd be like, I don't remember why. I felt Wow. 

Wendy Deacon  22:37  
I mean, but again, all these pieces that are just unexpected, but that you've been able to come through. So what, what if someone's listening today, so I am going to I'm going to come back to it in a minute because we're not done yet. But if someone wants to connect with you, I know we'll have links to your information on our website, but they can find you at

Theresa Byrne  22:57  
Right. It's just Theresa Byrne.

Wendy Deacon  23:00  
Okay, thank you. Okay. And I'll scroll that also on the video version of this. Thank you. Yeah. 

Theresa Byrne  23:06  
And in addition to empower, you've also got you can come in and present again on your inner bully and boundaries and all the, again, all the tools you've used to really heal and get to a new place that you never saw coming. Okay, all that and all that. 

Wendy Deacon  23:23  
Okay, so now, I'm going to take you back again, when we were younger, because I think one other one thing I've learned again, being over the 50 something year old mine just barely, is that I think we grew up in a unique time in our culture, where because television and MTV and things in the 80s really started to come out. We're carving paths and changing what over 40 and over 50 ever looked like, you know, I'm as a kid, my grandparents, when they were 55 My grandmother was going to a beauty parlor and you know, playing cards and they weren't forging the types of lives that we're creating right now. So when you look back, what's the either a television show or something movie, something culturally related from the 80s that you identify with? That was either one of your favorites or something that made you go home?

Theresa Byrne  24:19  
I personally love the line from Caddyshack.  And on my deathbed, I received total consciousness. So I say hey Dali, How about something for the effort?

Wendy Deacon  24:32  
yet on your deathbed, you will receive toward consciousness. Yes. So the fact I love Caddyshack and Bill Murray so perfect. Just absolutely. 

Theresa Byrne  24:42  
And I also want to say one of the ways I made it through my accident. So I was told I'd never teach martial arts again and I still don't teach martial arts. I do teach self defense and I teach boxing kickboxing. But I had this moment I like to call The Princess Bride affair. Yeah, yes, and There's a point in the movie where Wesley says, what do we have among our assets. And he'd been mostly dead all day.

And then you go or whatever is like, we have this cloak and we have a wheelbarrow. And that was what I felt like after my accident being told I was never going to do I mean, I own two martial arts and Fitness Studio for over 20 years. This has been my career. This has been my business. And Jake. Yeah, and basically being told it's over. I was like, What do I still have a lot of my assets. I'm funny. Ah, I see the humor and all of this. I'm getting downloads of wisdom and pieces of insight and ways of teaching it that are much more real world. I can use that I can still speak I can still engage an audience. I all of that was still a gift that I had. So it was definitely the Princess Bride effect. 

Wendy Deacon  25:56  
Well, I love Princess Bride. And I think I know a lot of quotes from that. But I mean, now that you've mentioned the wheelbarrow and the cake now I understand where it is in the movie, but I don't remember that part. I thought you were gonna say inconceivable. I don't think the word means what you think it means. You know, you're giving us a network. I don't think it means what you're thinking me. inconceivable. Yes. So now I gotta know. I gotta watch for that quote, because I don't remember what's wrong is right after he's been mostly dead all day.

Theresa Byrne  26:22  
Yes. Pulling up to the bridge. Yeah. Yeah. After Billy Crystal saved him with two blades. Instead of true love. Yes. Yes. 

Wendy Deacon  26:34  
Awesome. Well, okay, first of all, thank you, Teresa, for sharing your story. I'm also gonna tell others that you are joining me and eight other fabulous women who brought our stories of resilience together. And so this is coming out. Now we have a release date. So in early October, our new collaborative campaign and book titled "Life Unexpected to Life Inspired." And you can read more about Teresa's story there. And I really encourage you to follow up, and check out her website and learn more about how you can either take her, you know, get involved more with her program with empower. Like I said, She's very low energy. And so if you can ever bring her to a corporate speaking event, or bring her closer into your circle, I highly recommend it because her positivity is infectious. 

So thanks, Teresa. I really appreciate you being here. And I hope folks check your information out. I hope they go back to destination for some free resources. And I hope they come back and, and hear more about your story. 

Theresa Byrne  27:45  
Thank you. And I want to acknowledge you to Wendy it's, it's an uncommon woman who will find a group of inspiring other women not based on the norm. It's not based on your level of success. It's not based on how much money you earned. And there's nothing wrong with either of those two things. But you took a bunch of heart centered women inspirers. And you put them together in this collaborative effort. And I really, truly want to thank you for that. That is huge, and I'm honored to be a part of it. 

Wendy Deacon  28:17  
Well, I'm just thrilled with the outcome I was, you know, the timing of it worked out really nicely. I really hope others learn from it as well, because, like you said, there's a lot of people who need some inspiration right now. So check out the TEDx talk on the inner bully, look up inner bully on TEDx and you'll find my my talk. It's a little bit funny and a little bit rock and roll, which is just exactly what you shared with us today. So thanks, Teresa. Thanks, everybody. And we'll come back and talk with you soon. Thanks.

Transcribed by

Accident & Immediate Changes
Am I crazy?
Your Inner Bully
Reclaiming your power
Caddyshack & Princess Bride Influences
Collaboration on Life Unexpected to Life Inspired