I first met Tara online in the early days of Twitter and we then became friends after she told me, “The Woman’s Comfort Book meant so much to me; I read it when I was 14.” After our first phone chat, I hung up and thought, “That gal is going places.” She sure has. What I love about Tara is how she embodies the “growth mindset” – she keeps tweaking and learning and serving. She doesn’t quit. And that has been a huge inspiration for me.
A great example of that is her upcoming book, Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. She took her acclaimed Playing Big leadership program, with more than 1000 graduates, and crafted a truly terrific book – trust me, it’s going to be a classic. What I loved about the birth of her book is that Tara waited and kept listening to what was true for her – even as publishers were coming to her and saying, “Write a book about this!” That makes me bow.
Read her popular blog at www.taramohr.com or watch her on the Today show or read her book when it arrives soon – you will be happy you did.
How Do I Choose the Life I Want
1. I write. It’s my spiritual practice, my passion, and the way grace gets delivered into my heart. It’s also the core of my work. So every day of the week, there is time blocked off on my calendar for it. It’s very, very rare that I let something interfere with that time.
2. I dance. For the joy, for the mental clarity that comes for the rest of the day, for the equilibrium it brings me into. I firmly believe God granted every human being at least one form of exercise they sincerely enjoy. It’s like part of our birthright. For me, it’s only one, and it’s dance. Let me tell you what it’s not: running.
3. I cuddle with my dog and when I am getting defensive or into over-thinking mode, I ask myself, “How would he (yes, the dog) view this situation?” That usually gets me some perspective, and moves me right back to love.
4. I don’t listen to the inner critic. I’ve come to believe that self-doubt is a problem for most women (me included), but confidence isn’t the antidote. The antidote is taking action in spite of self-doubt. I’ve become pretty good at continuing to put my work out there even when I’m convinced it’s horrible, a disaster, and so on.
Interesting to note: usually, the work I’m convinced is horrible is the work that gets the biggest positive response. I believe that’s because when I write those pieces, something in me knows that what I’m doing is going to make big waves, bring greater visibility, and therefore take me out of my comfort zone. That part of me gets scared, and comes up with a big scary lie (“This post is horrible! Don’t publish!”) to make me run the other direction.
5. I picture her. I loved the question Susan Hyatt shared in her post for this series, “What would the ULTIMATE me do?” I often ask myself a similar question. I picture my “inner mentor” – an much older, wiser, fully-expressed version of me. And I ask, “What would she do in this situation?” I’ve worked with over a thousand women in helping them access that older, wiser self, and let me tell you, all of has that wiser self within, and just need to learn to access her and to ask. (And there are several steps for doing that in the Playing Big book!)
6. I have check-ins with my husband, several times a week. In a check-in conversation, one person shares whatever is going on for them – what they are feeling, thinking about, wondering about, worrying about, and so on. And the other person listens and then reflects back what they heard. No questions, arguments, advice. Just sharing, attentive listening, and letting the other person know they were heard. Satisfies the soul.
7. I have a woman-tribe. I’ve got that inner circle of women friends who I think the world of, whose voices on the other end of the line are more comforting to me than warm chocolate chip cookies. We have those calls where at the end we say, “What? We’ve been on for an hour already? How can that be? It feels like ten minutes.” These relationships are my soft place to land. If you don’t have that in your life now, that’s okay. Set the intention and ask Life for a little help.
8. I pay attention to my callings. I believe we all get “assignments” about the particular kinds of light and love we are meant to bring into the world. When we listen to, trust and pursue our callings, everyday life becomes a thrilling adventure, and we find our rightful place in the world.
Thanks Tara – always learning from you. Grateful, my friend!
P.S. Have you seen the Pay-What-You-Like choice for The Life Navigation Course? We have a wonderful group of women joining us. Here’s what Anna Guest-Jelley, founder of Curvy Yoga, said about taking the course…
“I’m a yoga teacher, so I’d like to think I know how to choose the life I want. But the truth is that as wonderful as yoga and other mindfulness techniques are, they still often don’t give us the down-in-the-dirt, concrete techniques to truly decide: Facebook or focus? Connection with a loved one on the phone or checking out? Nourishing or numbing?
The Life Navigation Course gave me just those kinds of tools, as well as the ability to come back and choose again when I forget that’s possible. I truly believe what Jen offers in this course should be required for all humans; it provides exactly the resources and support we all need to make our lives our own.”