Salle Merrill Redfield:
Holding a Vision, with Prayer
by Mary Grace McCord
Most of us are familiar with the quiet inner voice, informing
and periodically reminding us that life’s joys deepen when we decide to
serve others. A life of joyful service became Salle Merrill’s dream, while
earning her undergraduate degree in social sciences in the early ’80s.
Within the next decade, invigorated by certain seasons of life
while wishing to shield herself and others from the agitation of life’s
accompanying cold nights and rough edges, Salle’s ponderings led her to
realize that calm tranquility was right at her fingertips.
Realigning her energies as a massage therapist, she joined and
then led a women’s wisdom prayer circle. Seeing people’s tension melt,
right before her eyes, it was easy to envision that a higher-energy aura of inner
peace could send peace-waves into external situations—flowing into how we
interact with strangers as well as friends; how we move, intentionally, toward
a universal wave of loving service.
Inspired to the teachings of Unity by her mother’s growing
consciousness “and a loving spiritual nudge,” Salle soon met a psychotherapist
who was taming the final editing of a metaphysical epic novel, The Celestine
Prophecy. It’s no coincidence that this is when her awakening heart
met its match.
Salle and James Redfield’s
The Global Prayer Project is a twice-monthly
tele-circle of intentional meditation, to help heal the world and to enlighten
our personal situations. For schedules: www.celestinevision.com
Jim Redfield was a man on a mission, Salle recalls. Soon she
was, too, as their whirlwind courtship evolved into happily-ever-after. Their
creative collaboration birthed the self-publication and high-energy promotion
of the book’s early editions.
The newlyweds’ idea of honeymooning was to visit hundreds
of book stores, “covering our home state, then each surrounding state, back
and forth, radiating outward, ultimately from Atlantic to Pacific, and internationally.
Within a year we filled orders for more than 100,000 books…and wore out
a Honda Accord.”
Still smitten after more than a dozen years of Celestine globe-trotting,
over the years the Redfields have been honored with humanitarian awards and have
published 14 book titles and guided meditation CDs—plus a growing number
of international translations—through Time-Warner Books and its media spin-off
division. They transformed The Celestine Prophecy novel into a full-length
movie that premiered in 2006. It is now available on DVD.
Having lived on both coasts and amid the high energies of Sedona,
AZ, the Redfields’ far-flung adventures always lead them home—to a
family ranch or a beachside villa, a fluffy white pup and a long-haired cat. Twin
canvas director’s chairs remind Salle and James that every day can be a
In recent years Salle Merrill Redfield has learned and embraced
yet another way to be of service. She is a certified life coach who empowers clients
whose lives are in transition, often due to grief and loss.
Amid preparations to teach this spring and summer across the
U.S., alongside the Redfields’ twice-weekly teleconferencing of a Global
Prayer Project, Vibrations was delighted to catch up with Salle as she
feng-shuied her renovated coaching office. Here, the clear open spaces of mid-century
modern styling and the simplicity of white bead board have transformed a country
cabin that’s nestled just outside Birmingham, AL.
Vibrations: How did you
decide to focus your coaching efforts on people experiencing grief and loss?
SMR: We know that life is
always changing—families will feel lost after a divorce and even when the
split is inevitable, people feel stuck. There’s parental guilt and fear,
often financial difficulties, and kids who sense these threats may act out.
All my life I’ve been deeply touched by women who were
“going it alone.” I see (this) in the people who work most closely
Even when you somehow manage to “get all your plates spinning,”
the constant multi-tasking can leave adults without a moment’s pause to
re-create. That’s when mind-body imbalance can upset all that we work so
hard to create.
I should add that this isn’t just a woman’s issue
by any means, even though mothers are the more typical single-parent.
Through the lens,
As executive producer for The Celestine Prophecy’s film adaptation,
Salle Merrill Redfield is said to have graced the project with an Earth-Motherly
personification of Celestine mastery.
According to the film’s heroine, Annabeth Gish as Julia (who in 1988
met teenage fame with Mystic Pizza): “Salle and James give love
enough to rearrange the synapses of the heart. And that’s really (our) hope
for the movie’s audience, that we move the inner heart of their consciousness.”
Vibrations: And often the
nurturing force, at home and in the community. I imagine a lot of your coaching
is by phone…
SMR: Yes, and so I depend
on what people tell me about their environment and their situation. I may ask
people to honor their home life by making sure their surroundings serve them—and
also that they serve their surroundings.
It can feel so freeing, when we remove old objects that carry
sad or disappointing memories. It doesn’t cost money to do a self-inventory.
We can deep-clean our thoughts by removing whatever’s there that doesn’t
help or serve us.
Vibrations: Giving things
away can be elevated to ritual, and it may deeply serve somebody else. I remember
reading about rituals with your various film production offices, that you feng-shuied
several spaces during different phases of the production.
SMR: You know, there were
workers sometimes who at first found our rituals odd…but I think, eventually,
maybe they noticed that things flowed more smoothly when we stated intentions
that honor the energies of objects as well as people.
Vibrations: Alongside the
clearing rituals, how did you energetically bless each new beginning?
SMR: On the first day of
filming, we invited spiritual leaders of various faiths and stated our intention
to invite the highest energies to honor all spiritual paths. For Jim and me, our
touchstone was Unity minister Jerry Bartholow…
Vibrations: Yes! Rev. Bartholow
serves as an AIHT adjunct faculty member. We’re going to interview “Chef
Jerry” about his metaphorical recipes in Peace Soup.
SMR: Jerry “flavored”
the ceremony with a centering meditation and guided visualization that invited
each participant to interactively assess how they, as divine creations, could
authentically and effectively bring a life-changing parable to life.
Vibrations: One key to any
form of meditation is simply the discipline of practice—while waiting for
a traffic light, while putting the baby’s shoe back on for the third time,
ideally while taking a few deep breaths as well.
SMR: Deep-breathing is a
simple secret with awesomely powerful benefits. It slows us down and brings us
back to the current moment. On the movie sets, amid the cinematic retelling of
a sometimes dangerous treasure hunt, groups of us meditated daily, “holding
the center of all good intentions” to help cast members co-create their
own conscious reflections.
Vibrations: Over the years
I have found a lot of help and wisdom in your books, The Joy of Meditating
and Creating a Life of Joy. Your meditations and guided imagery CDs resonate
with me because, for one thing, each session reminds us that 10 minutes of just
quieting the mind is the great beginning of an effective meditation practice.
SMR: In the sacred appointment
that we make with meditative silence, we perceive the light of Divine energy.
Emanating from Source energy it enfolds us from within, and then outwardly protects
us. From this consciousness we magnify the flow by sending it to others. From
the strength of two, it grows again and again.
One element of Salle’s life-coaching is the expression
of gratitude through tithing. “Decide which activity or group feeds your
soul,” she says, “and make an offering of time, talent, or treasure.
The continuous flow of giving and receiving is powerfully healing.”
Salle’s tithe, through tele-coaching, includes the gift
of three free coaching sessions, to be awarded based on the winning applicant’s
two-paragraph description of their situation and their needs. Her summer offering
is intended for single-parents; her autumn offer is for women whose age is 35
and above. For guidelines: www.salleredfield.com