Tereza Gomes

Expressive Arts as a reflection of one’s truth

Meet Tereza...

Mindfulness Instructor WHEAT

Two of the most essential aspects of being a therapist is being able to be present, and to be compassionate. These are also the foundations of the practice of mindfulness, or what is sometimes called awakening psychology. Together, we can come into presence. For me the practice of mindfulness is a direct experience of sitting and noticing what comes up for me. I don't make those thoughts come, I don't make them go, they come because they are there.”

-  Tereza Gomes, Mindfulness Instructor WHEAT

Wheat - spotlight - Tereza


Tereza’s journey to mindfulness began in 1997 during the year of the flood in Winnipeg. She had been practicing family therapy for twenty five years and made a decision to go back to India as a soul on a spiritual journey. The first retreat she attended was with a Tibetan Lama and it opened her mind to a completely new world. “I was so glad I had not read anything at that time about Tibetan Buddhism. I remember him guiding us in meditation. I started to notice all these emotions come up, fear, anger and jealousy and I thought, that's not what meditation is about. It’s supposed to be about being calm and at peace. Over the years, I've learned that when we start to drop inside, what comes out, is what is coming up for healing and is meant to be seen and embraced.”


From there Tereza carried on to Sri Lanka where she spent a month in mindfulness meditation and she knew, “this is what she (I) wanted to bring back.” Tereza was interested in incorporating spirutality into her work as a therapist. When she returned she started to integrate mindfulness into her therapeutic practice and in 2004 she began teach it in the community. “I started to see how helpful it was, and mindfulness can be practiced by anyone. I remember a young man in one of the groups I offered put his hand up after a year of working with me and he said: ‘Oh I get what mindfulness is. It’s about loving ourselves.’”


When we start to drop inside, what comes out is what is coming up for healing, and is to be seen and embraced.” 

- Tereza Gomes, Mindfulness Instructor WHEAT


Welcoming Wheat (1)

Tereza was there when WHEAT was born. “I was really excited for Darci when she decided to launch WHEAT. It takes a lot of courage. It takes alot of creativity and stamina, and Darci has all of that.”  Tereza teaches Mindfulness as part of the curriculum at WHEAT. 


“My hope is that graduates from WHEAT discover more of their potential and to value and appreciate who they are and what they're offering is to the world. Every mindfulness class is a journey to value the magnificence of our bodies which I think is very much connected

to the land. When we disconnect from the land, we disconnect from the body, I don’t know what came first. Through the practice of mindfulness, we are opening up all of our senses and really dropping into the body.”


Tereza shares with us one of her favourite moments:  “My favorite memory is actually being in retreat with a group of students out at Painted Sky Studio. We were outside and you could see the water in the distance. It was green and the trees were blowing in the wind. Some of us were standing in bare feet and you could feel the connection from the earth, to the wind, to the sun on our bodies. I just remember not doing anything. We were just taking it in, trying to simply allow the receiving of the prairie sky. It was vast, so infinite, so immense.”


Mindfulness is part of the curriculum at WHEAT. She offers us “to become a therapist, we really need to know ourselves, and we need to do our own work and there are different ways of doing that. Some people do self-reflective work which is more of a cognitive process, and for me it’s mindfulness and allowing us a direct experience of who we are and who we are becoming, because we are always shifting. We are never static.” 


When working in Expressive Arts, Tereza often works in movement and visual arts. “I love playing with color because it takes us out of the left brain which is usually what's known, and allows us access to the right brain which is what’s wanting to be expressed. What’s emerging is our potential which we don't know yet right? And it’s fun. It’s really play. Yes, that’s what I love about expressive arts. 


“When we engage in the arts, we are creating new neural pathways in the right brain. The left brain has its place. Its logic. It’s reasoning. It’s thinking. The right brain is intuition. It's the bigger picture and the two hemispheres can come more into balance.”


Tereza explains that “It's really a practice of presence because even in movement, when the music comes on we do our usual thing and get into the groove, right? It’s a habit and because it’s a habit, we’ve probably done it for years. When we invite mindfulness to come into the practice with an invitation to pause, we can notice which part of our body wants to start moving? It might just be the finger, and then the finger might invite the others, right? Or it might just be the elbow. Who would have thought that an elbow wants to dance?” 


“It’s a way of nourishing our joy, our brilliance, our sense of fun. As a therapist, when we talk about resourcing people, this is such a beautiful way to invite them to drop into their body and experience the joy of their feelings.”

‘It wasn't always easy. One of the questions I’ve asked for the longest times is: Who are your supports and are you part of any spiritual community? What are your resources? A long tme ago these questions were not acceptable, but to me, that's where we come from. We come from spirit and we are spirit, right? I think of mindfulness as divine work, as sacred Work” 

- Tereza Gomes, Mindfulness Instructor WHEAT


Tereza Gomes

Tereza’s blood ancestry is Indian. “I come from a small place on the West Coast of India called Goa. That’s where my ancestors are from on both my mom and dad’s side. We were colonized by the Portuguese for 400 years which is why I have a Portugese name.”  She was born in Tanzania, in East Africa, the same as her mom and she considers Tanzania her “heart place, where she feels the ‘most connected.” 

“I think my love and connection to the land comes from Tanzania. My sense of connection to the animals comes from there too.” 


Tereza moved to Winnipeg following her sister from Kenya. She currently resides on Treaty No. 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland.