Have you ever wondered how personal tragedy can spark a journey of healing and self-discovery? Anita and Henry, the heart and soul behind Bridge to Heaven, a thriving metaphysical store, open up about their journey from the deep grief of losing their son to establishing a business that aids in spiritual and emotional healing. This episode is a deep dive into their story of resilience, leadership, and relentless pursuit of purpose amidst adversity.
Anita and Henry recount their story of transformation, revealing how they channeled their pain into creating a space that offers metaphysical merchandise and services. They share their insights on staying attuned to personal needs and desires, and the power of living in the present to become the best version of yourself. Their entrepreneurial journey is not just about overcoming adversity, but also about understanding their customers' needs and continually striving to provide the right products and services.
In a touching tribute to their son, Christopher, Anita and Henry share how Bridge to Heaven is not just a store, but a space that embodies his spirit and mission to bring smiles to people’s faces. They also share their strategies to stay motivated in challenging times, emphasizing the vital role of an open mind and passion in driving resilience. So, if you're seeking inspiration to make a positive change in your life or spark a transformation, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in to get inspired by Anita and Henry's incredible journey and remember, purpose and a new path can be found even in the face of adversity.
Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.
If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.
My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.bazporter.com and schedule a coaching session.
This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!
Good afternoon, good morning, wherever you are, whoever you are and whatever time of day it is. Thank you once again for joining me here. From Rise to Me Ashes Podcast. I'm your host, lee Wananaly Banz Porter. Enough about me. I want to introduce some amazing people today who have gone through so much adversity in their lives and are in inspiration to so many. They've actually used it not just to empower themselves but to create a community of like-minded people and they're now scaling their businesses from six multiple six figures into seven Now. These people are a tribute to the word resilience and leadership in their own lives to overcome so much. I want to introduce you to my special guest this morning. Today I have a time. Time is on your own. Their names are Anita and Henry. I'm going to let them introduce themselves and tell them a bit everybody who they are. Anita, henry, please say hello to the world.Speaker 2:
Hi everyone. I'm Anita Currier and this is my husband, Henry, and we're owners of Bridge to Heaven, which is a metaphysical store, and we do have four stores. We sell metaphysical merchandise and provide the tools that everyone needs for their metaphysical businesses that they may have. We also have service providers in a lot of different modalities. As far as mediums, we have the shamans, we have Reiki Healers, Tarot Card Readers and Astrologists and a whole great lineup of metaphysical healing tools. With our business.Speaker 1:
I love what you do because it resonates with so many people. The word energy, in the olden terms of things, is to scare people, or psychics, or metaphysics or metaphysical. What was your take on it and how did you start the business, if you mind sharing with that?Speaker 2:
I will. That's a very interesting question. As far as getting started, it was due to the tragic death of my son, christopher. Through my grief, I was trying to understand how this all had happened and how to deal with it, because, after a year of walking around in the days and being very, very unhappy, I really just felt the need to make a change in my life so that I could move forward and not feel that overpowering sense of grief. I did learn. That which answers your question, baz, is that, yeah, a lot of people are really afraid of anything in the so-called metaphysical or energy world if it doesn't directly relate to their church. I found that to be amazing, because it's really all the same thing, but the fear-based behind people, including myself. I had that same fear until I really spent some time to learn just the beginning basics of it. I started with angels. I started with crystals, just learning a little bit about it. Now we know that angels have everything to do with God and the universe as a whole. Crystals are also earthbound, so therefore they have energies that were given to them so that we can absorb them and utilize them in our lifestyles to benefit our health, our peace of mind, how I really got started really was through that whole process of grieving and learning to understand and to just try to get through my day on a daily basis, just not feeling as miserable as I was before.Speaker 1:
I love the openness and honesty because it's important these sort of conversations now happen, because I know many other people are going through similar situations and the loss of a family member, a loss of a loved one, no matter what it is a situation. I think things transpire in life. When was the turning point for you? That really really was a business aspect of this. You said you're walking around in a daze of grief. I'm sure many people can relate to that. What was that the pivotal point moment for you to go? Actually, I've gone through enough here. How am I going to change this? Just this life I'm living right now is unacceptable. What was that change like?Speaker 2:
That change. Actually it was a process. So the I think the beginning of that process was the day that he died, before I knew that he had been in in an accident. I mean literally before it happened. I had just visited with him spontaneously and my way home from that quick little happy visit that we had, I drove by a covered bridge and I stopped and I took pictures and I literally got out and I was just feeling all warm and fuzzy in my happy place and I went home quite happy and in a moment of, in a matter of about oh, let's see a couple of hours, I got a phone call from my daughter stating that that we needed to come up to the hospital because Christopher had been in an accident. Take your time please. Okay, so. So I did that, and and while I'm, I'm going up there and I'm thinking, oh my goodness, I don't really know what's going on. I wasn't as nervous as I thought I should have been at the time, but I had a 45 minute drive and I'm I'm just fighting through what could be happening and what, what I don't, the unknown, and I literally was just trying to stay positive but also thinking, oh my God, if this is the worst of the worst, then how? I mean this can't be happening. I just I don't want to. I was worried that I might have to make a decision of some sort. I just I knew what this decision would be, because I would know what he would want in that case. But it was just a whole turmoil of different feelings. On the way to the hospital, we actually walked into the hospital, or I walked into the hospital by myself, through the emergency room, and I actually saw about 30 of his friends in the emergency waiting room waiting for results or trying to figure out what was happening with Christopher. And I mean, I'm walking through through not knowing, and a couple of them, you know, got up and gave me a hug and I, I mean I didn't know. At that point in time I didn't know what everybody else knew. I mean, I literally walked into the room that they guided me to and the minute I took a look at him I knew. I knew that he was gone, even though they kept him alive via, via, just the machines and morphine and keeping the pain away and that sort of thing. Yeah. So I literally knew. So I mean that that was a pivotal moment. But even through the whole part of the grief and that first year, that first six months, I went back to the bridge and I took another picture and I could see an orb the color of his eyes in this picture, which I thought it was. At that point in time I thought it was an orb, but I wasn't sure because I didn't really know what one looked like. So so a few months later, a woman that I met, you know, confirmed oh yes, she's a paranormal, metaphysical type person and she confirmed that it was. And I've had many people confirm it since then. But I think the biggest catalyst that turned me, even after I was starting to learn a lot about Reiki and and angels and crystals, was that daily trip to work and back and work and back and it would be nighttime. Coming home from work every night was my hardest. Some days would be okay, I'd keep myself distracted, and other days I would just break down crying all the way home. Well, one day I just literally started screaming and I just said God, I can't do this alone, I need help. And that, from that moment on, everything that I, everything that happened to me after that, changed. I I got done at my job that I had. I started working a little bit more in all of the like the Reiki. I started doing my Reiki trainings and planning my own business. I started buying crystals. I just started moving forward with anything that would put me forward as far as trying to just get over and feel useful and get, get a sense of I'm actually accomplishing something that I'm supposed to be accomplishing. So when we actually opened, when I opened my first door with the help of my neighbors and my husband, I literally for the first time in my life ever felt that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. At that moment in time it just relieved. All of the doubts were gone. All of the the fears that I'd had throughout my whole lifetime is like what am I supposed to be doing? It's not this, and I know a lot of people probably have those same thoughts and feelings. And once, once, I felt that I got myself into into the idea that there was life beyond the life here on earth and life life beyond what we know as the way we were brought up that we could, we could actually, or I could actually just do the best that I could every day. I could live from the heart and I would. I just felt more peaceful, and I think it's about feeling peaceful and in your own, in your own body and in your own mind, and then being able to present yourself to others in this universe and feel okay with. It's okay that I feel the way I feel and it's okay that they feel the way that they feel. And and it's and that's what I try to teach everybody If you, if you live from your heart more so than your brain, then you can actually, you'll actually feel better about yourself. Helping other people helps you just as much as it does help the other person.Speaker 1:
So I love that message of paying it forward and using your experiences, although them they can see very tragic in many many ways. I know I can imagine what you're going through to a certain extent, but having the awareness of changing that into not just an empowerment for yourself but for others. And it's important to realise and to recognise sorry, that where you've come from doesn't define you. What the, the act or the circumstance or something doesn't define where you're going. It's what you do with that experience, not just for yourself, but that's equally important but for other people, to build other people up going through similar situations. In business, we all of us know we entrepreneurs, business owners, operators it's a matter of how we pivot and what we do with it. But equally, it's about contributing to others. And, as Anita said very, very profoundly, you've got to live from your heart. And she's managed to do that and Henry has both of them has managed to do this in such a way and it's not been a selfish act. It's been serving others who are grieving, going through processes themselves, whether it be relationship breakdowns, whether it be people who are just lost, no purpose. But what they've done with this is found their own life purpose in a different way, when they didn't think there was hope. And if you listen to this now and you're thinking, holy shit, that's me. For whatever reason, you've lost hope, whatever reason you've lost direction, lost focus, or you're being pivoted or being called to pivot. What would be the one thing, the one major lesson that you learn in this? Looking back now, what's a repeated lesson in this for you and also Henry, you may have different perspectives on this.Speaker 3:
Number one, I guess, would be keeping our minds open about all the different types of people and all the different types of needs that all these different people have, and understanding that you haven't met everyone and you don't know everyone and you just wait. They'll come into the door and then you will, and you'll know, you'll hear their story because they can't wait to tell it. And one of the first days that I worked at the store, I had a nice young lady come in and she hadn't been there for a year. But she came at her sole purpose was to complete her 12 step program and pay back a rose quartz that she stole a year ago. And I got the message then that her and there are many more people out there just like her that are in recovery. And that's just one type of person that we see them all. We have people coming in all the time that are looking for something, that they have a friend that has cancer, they have a friend that's in the hospital, somebody just had a breakup, and just the list goes on and on and on.Speaker 1:
Well and for you, if you can ask me a question.Speaker 2:
I feel like that's the same thing. But looking back on, I just I think one of the biggest things is, if something's going on in a person's life, in your own life, don't beat yourself up over, over and over and over again. Get to a point where you can that you can just think about it and say, look, I can't do anything about what happened in the past. All I can do is do the best that I can today for tomorrow and live more in that moment and be the best person that you can be to lead you towards what needs to be done next.Speaker 1:
No, I agree with that, and I think that people get caught up in the thoughts of others and they forget to listen to who they are and what they truly want. One of the key influences in today's life, in business and in whatever we do within that realm, is knowing what we want, and I think you eloquently put into context of coming from a to from, from adversity into purpose, into focus and then to purpose. What were the main challenges for going through? I don't know if you own businesses before, or did you know? Did you just know about it or did you have to? What was the process and learning these things from going from way.Speaker 2:
I think in this particular case, it was a lot of education in like in because my store I opened primarily focused on on crystals and rocks and things like that. So I had to become more educated and and feel more confident in that area and that's really something that you just have to keep doing it persistently and working with, working with the physical elements of the store and just learning them as you go and just gain confidence. Do I know everything? No, will I ever know everything? No, you're never going to know everything because there is so much to know. But it's okay, you can do the best that you can, like I said earlier, and just move on from there and and not beat yourself up because there's so much that you may or may not know. I have customers that come in and they'll ask me a question and if I don't know the answer, I'll just say I'm not educated in that piece of it. Maybe I should be, but but I'm not right now. Well, and I'll look something up. You know, I'll use my phone and look something up for them and they're so appreciative that I took that moment to help them out to look something up that I wasn't totally enough familiar with to talk to them about it. Yeah, yeah. So they do appreciate the customer service, they appreciate the stores themselves. There's a lot to know about business. There's also a lot to know about the products. There's also there's also things. People come in every day. Even though we have a 4000 square foot store one of them, we don't have everything. There was so much there. You just I don't think one room, one store can hold all the possibilities of what people are looking for. But we're always trying to accommodate each and every person as much as we can, and that's important.Speaker 1:
I mean people say oh, you haven't got this and they haven't got that, but look at what you haven't got. How about what we have got?Speaker 2:
Right yeah.Speaker 1:
And one of my mentors always taught me, if I didn't know something. I would the phrase that the actual phrase was. I don't know. However, I will endeavor to find out.Speaker 2:
Yes, yeah.Speaker 1:
And it was a very like what? How do you mean you endeavor to find out? I mean, this day and age is Google it. But that's now transitioning to I'm going to look at AI and there's platforms and artificial intelligence that can tell you basically anything and I use them. So I go from I'll let me AI it instead of Google it now, because actually you have more informative and update information from AI, which is strange, right? Yeah, so the idea of business. What's the major business lesson that you actually learned, the hardest business lesson that you learned in? I mean, you went from zero creating crystals and I think it was a hobby to getting figures how, what was the hardest lesson you learned in that process?Speaker 2:
It was a lot of work. Yeah, it's very it's a lot of work. The lesson that I learned and I'm still learning lessons every day but I think the biggest lesson goes back to what we just talked about is, even though I want to be able to provide in the stores everything that everybody wants, it's not physically or even financially possible to do that. So that's I feel like that's the hardest lesson right there is that it's dealing with the difference between what we have and what we don't have, and always trying to get what it is that we don't have. But in balancing the need with the products and that sort of thing, yeah, it always goes back to the need. What is that true need gonna be?Speaker 1:
So one of the things that I always like to look at in my doing is what are the five main things your people want? What are the five emotional components that they're looking to solve? What are the five problems emotionally they're trying to solve? And that's a game changer with trying to provide everybody everything, which is completely impossible and insane because you can't please everybody and you never will To. These are the five main emotional problems that I'm solving and that's what we're gonna focus on. If something arises that is out of that scope, then we can direct them back into that scope with a different scenario. Right, you're not being stretched, and that process of understanding what you want and, in your lives, how you're showing up for others, but also, equally, the story of who you are. Henry, you weren't always a business owner.Speaker 3:
No, no retired postal. 32 years. I knew nothing about spiritual, metaphysical anything and I had to learn and I did.Speaker 1:
What was that process like? If you want to share it, Basically working in the stores.Speaker 3:
You get questions by customers. Do you have this, do you have that? Well, I don't know. Let me find out and let's look around and I can help. And we look stuff up in books. It's a lot of trying to figure out what the customers expect to see in the store. Yeah, just by ordering over and over again. I guess when you keep seeing the same things disappear off the shelf, you learn that that's what you need to keep on the shelf and keep more of it on the shelf.Speaker 1:
I love that, and you're catering to the people who are dictating what's going on in the shop, rather than you going. This is what the shop's completely about. Let's be flexible. How are we showing up? How are we serving?Speaker 3:
Well, the four stores. It's different in each store. The other one store for crystals, they go to another store for incense and candles. So the stores are different but they're all pretty much the same. But you have a different group of customers that they like their store and that's the one that they go to. Yeah, I love that.Speaker 1:
And it's interesting because you've got such a diverse group of people visiting you in different sectors of different stores. Now I know you've got something planned for next month. Do you wanna share a tiny bit about that?Speaker 2:
Well, we have a psychic fair coming and we'll be having our readers in. I know I have planned for that a psychic gallery event with one of our psychics, so that'll be fun. We've had them before in the past, but this is gonna be on actually an event weekend, which we have not done that before. We're gonna have a little bit of live entertainment that day. We've got a vendor coming in for bringing in a whole bunch of crystals that we don't carry in the store, and he comes pretty much on a quarterly basis and what else. We got a launch coming up. That's the surprise launch. So we're really looking forward to that and let's see. We'll have a couple of local book authors there as well. Am I forgetting anything, henry?Speaker 3:
That's about it.Speaker 2:
I think that's what's going on.Speaker 1:
Are the authors doing book signings there?Speaker 2:
They do, yep, they do.Speaker 1:
Do you know what they're just promoting at the moment?Speaker 3:
Do you know what we spoke? The spiritual awakening of the analytical mind is one of our best selves.Speaker 2:
It's one of our best sellers and I'm still working on the other two to see if they have the availability. But yeah, yeah, and my daughter, christie, is going to be going to be singing some really nice, beautiful music, so that'll be nice. And let's see, I've got Jennifer who's doing the actual psychic gallery, the gallery event, and Sandy will be doing a Cossack record readings that day, and I've got a couple of more readers that I'm going to be surprised with at the near the last end of them.Speaker 1:
Yeah, and how would you say you've risen from the ashes in the past few years in the transition?Speaker 2:
Well, if I were to describe ashes as being just that broken person that I was and getting through the loss of my son, I feel like now I can talk about him a lot easier, I can share my story with other people that I see face to face in the store and, without breaking down, I feel like day to day, I'm more put together than I would be if I didn't have this to look forward to every single day. And even though it's a huge, huge responsibility and it is a lot of work, it keeps me with making sure that I'm fulfilling my biggest fear that I had when Christopher first passed, and that was my fear of forgetting him, and that was huge for me. And I don't forget him because every day I wake up and I'm doing something in his memory every single day, so there's no space for me to forget. I think that's good I don't throw on it, but I don't forget.Speaker 1:
I think that's beautiful. It's a beautiful reminder to those people who have similarities. You didn't share one thing. I know this, but this is going to be a comical thing.Speaker 3:
What was he wearing?Speaker 2:
Oh, yes, okay. So I didn't go into the details of his accident but, christopher, the last day that I saw him he made plans, after I left, to go surprise his friends. He was going to a friend's giving and even though it was November 15th or 8 before Thanksgiving and it was pretty cold out that year, he decided it would be a good idea to get into his Batman costume and ride up through Main Street and drive through on his way to his friends. So he was trying to make a grand entrance into the friend's giving and have his cape be flying behind him.Speaker 1:
So, although this is a tragic event, if you're of my age group and also, you remember seeing Batman and Robin the original series that was on TV. You remember Batman and Robin flying through the neighborhood on a motorcycle with the cape flying in the background as you're saying this, and when I first heard this, I imagined this guy coming at like 50, 60 mile an hour on a road with the Batman theme tune blaring out somewhere with a cape in the background. So if you like me and you actually imagine that that's fucking awesome just to have that amount of awareness of service for other people and to make them smile.Speaker 2:
Right and that's what he lived for. He lived for making other people happy, his friends, his friends. He was always doing something to try to make them happy and having fun. And the unfortunate part of that piece of it was, while he was on his mission to have fun, another vehicle didn't see him and it was a pickup truck, and it said in the newspaper that this driver had been drinking and he hit him and yeah yeah.Speaker 1:
And he didn't have it all happened. Yeah so this is why I think your story is so powerful because you're taken. I said earlier something that is tragic, but Christopher will never, ever be forgotten, because what you're doing is living his memory through what you're doing, not just in your business and shop store, but you're reliving his memory of paying it forward and making other people smile. Don't ever. And for the people who're listening to this going, holy shit, really, this is a real life people. These aren't people who are on stages or have influence on the news or anything else. These are regular people in your own back garden and your own high street. The store serves so many people and it isn't just a store, it's a community and it's about growing that community of like-minded people who've had difficulties, and these stores need to be recognized. So if you're in the area of where are you main, isn't it?Speaker 3:
We're in Maine.Speaker 1:
Okay. So if you're in the area of Maine, firstly, share this podcast social media on your platform, whatever that is, and also, secondly, go and pop in to these stores. Bridge to Heaven is there for you and to empower your local communities. Go and say hello and say you've heard the podcast and maybe go and buy a crystal or seven For myself. Thank you very much you too. It's an honor and a privilege for you to be here today with me. Do you have any other last words for anybody listening to this?Speaker 2:
Just my thing is just don't give up, keep on keeping on. There's always something better coming, something better happening. There's always a way to pull yourself out of whatever down time that you're having and to pull yourself up. It's just never give up.Speaker 1:
Thank you, and I deeply appreciate both of you and respect your time. Thank you very much. Thank you, ben, and I'll speak to you very shortly. Ladies and gentlemen, as always, it's been a pleasure, it's been an honor. Please share this message, especially this message, because I think it's so powerful and so important and it gets out there on many different levels For myself and our guests. Have a wonderful day, be blessed and remember, live with purpose and inspire with legacy. See you soon.