NORTH RIVER – For Charlene Thomas, practicing what she preaches is an essential part of her life.
Especially because some of those practices are helping others, thanks to her first published book, Achieving Personal Power and Inner Calm.
“The whole society teaches us to look externally for happiness, but with some spiritual and mental health exercises, you can really change how you operate in this world,” said Thomas, a North River resident who owns and operates Complete Counselling Services on Inglis Place. “If we practice them enough, they’ll eventually become part of how we deal with stress. As with most things, when things are going well, they are easier to practice, and they are harder when things are more difficult.”
Originally from Dominion, Cape Breton, Thomas has been writing for most of her life, whether it be it songs, poetry or short stories. She has an educational background in mental health therapy and nursing, and started seeing some connections between spiritual and mental health practices.
Her book, which will soon be available locally but is already available online, is a collection of those principles and practices.
“When you have that power, you can be calm no matter how stressed you are,” she said.
It took about two years for Thomas to put her book together, and it was published last February. She was chosen to attend a book signing in Boston during a health fair, and she has a local book signing scheduled for Truro next month.
Since publishing her book, Thomas said she’s received some positive feedback, including a phone call from an 80-year-old woman.
“Her story really stuck with me,” said Thomas.
“She said she was going to be making some changes. She said she was going to go to the end of each chapter to the regrounding exercises, and that she was going to be doing all of those. I thought, ‘how good is that?’”
Working on her post-graduate studies in Halifax, it was there that Thomas met the man who would become her husband. The couple decided to move to North River in the mid 1980s and Thomas was hired to open a psychiatric hospital at the time. It will be 20 years this September that she opened her business, which offers individual and relationship counselling, as well as workshops and organizational training.
Her book-signing event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wink Day Spa on Inglis Place on Aug. 23.
Thomas hopes her book will be available in stores this fall.