Our readers know Ellen Wood thanks to her monthly column, where she writes about a wide range of topics, from practical antiaging tips to the law of attraction. Some may also know that she is an …
Our readers know Ellen Wood thanks to her monthly column, where she writes about a wide range of topics, from practical antiaging tips to the law of attraction. Some may also know that she is an inspirational speaker and the author of several books. But there is more to the Questa powerhouse, who agreed to share with Tempo her rejuvenation and creativity practices and the personal miracles that have paved her way to a wholesome, healthy life.
Wood was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, and lived in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, until she moved to El Rito in 2002. Her last corporate job was for Fairmont, a nationwide training and coaching company for banks.
"No employee ever leaves because it's the best company in the whole world," she said. "For my retirement, they had a formal party and roasted me, teasing me about levitating and oohming. My surprise gift was a round-trip plane ticket to Tibet! One of my jokester colleagues yelled out: 'I voted for one way.' "
Wood's humorous approach to life has inspired the two volumes of "The Secret Method for Growing Younger." She recently organized a group of Taos writers, 50 or older, whose writings and hers will be in a book entitled "Late Bloomers -- the Movement: Literary Gems by Taos Boomers in Their Prime," scheduled to be published in late spring or early summer. Her co-authors are Abigail McElhaney, Andres S. Vargas, Deborah Pender Hutchison, Gabrielle Herbertson, Jim Levy, Kika Vargas, Laurie Graham Lambert, Maria Teresa Garcia and Shelly Isom.
"I'm planning to donate funds to SOMOS and Questa Creative Council through this project," she said. "They are creative engines chugging us forward."
Wood's interest in all things metaphysical is no surprise: she grew up steeped in the mystical tradition of the Byzantine Catholic Church, along with a flavoring from her Gypsy ancestors.
"It seemed quite natural when my mother gave me my first Edgar Cayce book when I was nine," she said. "I got hooked."
Since then, the metaphysical and mystical spirituality have been a primary part of her life, which also includes meditation, Ho'oponopono (a Hawaiian practice) and a prayer to St. Joseph.
Currently, besides writing her books, she tours as an inspirational speaker, volunteers for the North Central Food Pantry and manages three vacation rentals. And she is the president of the local nonprofit Localogy.
Maybe her next book should be "The Secret Method for Finding Time to Do Everything."
Tempo: What attracted you to Taos after living so many years in the East?
Ellen Wood: My daughter, Summer Wood, now a novelist, was designing and building small houses and I came out here for the open house of one of her clients. I fell in love! The views were so awesome I wanted to live here and the client said there was land for sale down the road. I bought it and my architect husband, Jacques Duvoisin, now passed on, designed a beautiful, eight-pointed star house. I recently remodeled the first floor into a vacation rental apartment.
Tempo: You have often referred to the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation and the influence this practice had on you. How did you find out about it?
Wood: How I found out about The Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation was totally shocking for me. It was 2004 at a Remote Viewing Advanced Class that I got the message to "spin clockwise to become younger." I thought it was really silly but my friend Pintki Murray didn't laugh. She told me it's the first of the Five Tibetan Rites and later gave me the book with all the info. I have been practicing them ever since and have a Tibetan Rites video on the home page of my website. For me, that message was confirmation that I was definitely to pursue writing a book on how to grow younger, which was published in 2007. Today, 15 years later, I look back at that time and marvel at the miracle of that day.
Tempo: And then came your own personal miracle -- your brief encounter with Alzheimer's Disease, which led to another set of daily practices. How exactly did it happen?
Wood: It was five years after my mother died of Alzheimer's Disease that my own mind started deteriorating. I was in my early 60s then and it was intensely frightening as it became progressively worse. My energy level, too, dipped to new lows and my arthritic fingers hurt. Then in 2004 I had a wake-up call and developed a program of mind/body/spirit techniques that, within six months of daily practice, reversed the memory loss and gave me tons of energy and exuberance. And my fingers don't hurt anymore! Although I have the APO-e4 Alzheimer's gene, I plan to keep it from expressing again.
Tempo: After overcoming the threat of Alzheimer's and creating your own rejuvenating program, what's your focus right now?
Wood: My primary focus now at 82 years old is death. I'm not afraid of it because I expect it to be a grand adventure, but thinking about death helps me choose how to react to life's challenges and reminds me to live peacefully and joyfully while I'm here. I'd also like to participate in changing our country's perception of death as a taboo subject. My current reading includes The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying as well as any book by my favorite teacher, Taos County's own Gregg Braden.
Tempo: Do you have a favorite affirmation or motto?
Wood: My primary affirmation is, "I let go and allow the Divine to operate through me." In one way, it's extremely difficult, but in another, it's really easy to sit in the passenger seat and let God drive. And often good ideas come through.
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