Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

Tara Sophia Mohr, Playing Big. Find Your VOICE, Your MISSION, and Your MESSAGE.

a code for living

Last week, I read these words from Marianne Williamson

One theory of death is that, upon our passing, we experience our lives again backwards. Whatever I gave or did not give to others, I will experience what they experienced — times ten. That would mean that for every laugh — either a small chuckle or outright guffaw — every smile that Robin Williams caused to occur in others, he is now experiencing tenfold. That would amount to bliss unending. May it be so.

I was so struck by the beauty of this idea. Whether it’s true or not, it’s a potent code for living. What if you lived knowing every experience you gave to another person would be experienced by you – times ten – at the end of your life?

I have been asking myself that as regularly as I can remember to this week and it changes every interaction I bring it into.

The first day after I read these words, an acquaintance was coming home from a friend’s funeral out of town, and mentioned her trip to me. Because of Marianne’s words, I was thinking not my usual thoughts (“What is the right thing to say to her? How can a person ever say something good enough in these moments? How much should I ask about it or not ask about it?)

Instead of all that mental chatter, I was highly attuned to the fact during our conversation, she was going to experience something – a feeling. Was I giving her an experience that I would want returned to me, times ten?

I quietly turned inward and tried to sense what would provide a feeling a comfort and love in that moment. The answer I sensed clearly within myself was to listen, with great attention. And so I mostly listened, but in a more inviting, spacious, focused way than I otherwise would have.

Instead of the five minute conversation we could have had, she talked about her experience a lot. She unfolded it before a present witness. I could tell that because I’d paused to try to to intuit my way to the most loving response – though we can never know for sure what that will be for another human being – I’d done something more helpful than if I’d spoken from my shoulds, or from my patterns of how to respond.

The news these past weeks has been so horrible. This morning I couldn’t stop thinking how we’ve been given the instructions. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

May we begin to practice that simple task. A life’s worth of emotional growth, of spiritual development comes down to this. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Do not give anyone an experience that you are not eager to receive, tenfold, at the end of your journey.

Love,

Tara

Click to tweet: Do not give anyone an experience that you are not eager to receive tenfold.

stolen time

Two months ago, I read this quote from writer Elizabeth Gilbert:

Traditionally, women have always made their art out of stolen materials and stolen time.

Those words have made the biggest difference in my life.

You see, I thought it was a problem that I was writing in bits of stolen time. I thought that I had to somehow get back to that pre-motherhood existence when not only did I have hours of uninterrupted time to write, but more importantly, I had a alert mind (imagine that!) oriented mostly around writing and the preparation for it – observing the world and listening to the aha moments and emotional currents of my inner life.

And (forgive me) I thought my problem was somehow a new one. I forgot the real history of women’s lives and fell into that pumped-by-the-media version of the story: that women have only been trying to combine work and family life for a few decades, so it’s all so new, so complicated, so iffy whether it can work out…(Of course the truth is women have been doing the juggle in one way or another for millennia.)

Then I read “Traditionally, women have always made their art out of stolen materials and stolen time.

And suddenly I became part of a great legacy of women who had been stealing bits of time, writing at kitchen tables instead of desks, scribbling notes whenever they could, and most of all writing anyway.

Writing anyway.

Painting anyway. Composing music anyway. Dancing anyway. Working on their callings and dreams and labors of love anyway. Fill in the line for you. What is life asking you to attend to, in stolen bits of time?

For me, neither childcare, nor mornings for writing at the cafe, nor times of turning the music up so I don’t hear what is happening in the other parts of the house, changes what has fundamentally changed about my life, my focus, my new divided consciousness. But as I learn to do my art in the most “imperfect” of conditions (imperfect as defined by artist dudes with no childcare responsibilities) I remember millions of women who came before me doing the same, and I can exhale. I can remember, thanks to Liz, that what I am doing is more typical than unusual, more an age-old reality than a contemporary predicament. And that reframing changes everything.

What would change for you if you really embraced making your art or working on your dream during stolen time? If you embraced it could happen that way?

Click to tweet: Do your thing – even if in stolen time.

And important p.s. I have a request! I’m taking a poll on a women’s careers topic that’s been in the news a lot lately – I’d love your response to this one question. I’ll let you know what I find out in a future post! Here’s the poll.

really great resources [#2]

Last week I shared two fabulous reading lists. This week, I’m sharing two other resources I love. One has been a long time favorite – my favorite podcast in fact. And the other, I just discovered. Both are–in my opinion–not well known enough!!

1. You might know Elizabeth Lesser’s work from her books, Broken Open and The Seeker’s Guide. You might know her from her Oprah appearances, or her beautiful TED talk. If you don’t know her work now, I’m excited for you to discover it.

But even if you do know her work…you might not know, as I did not, that she has a fabulous “toolkit” on her website. It includes her favorite quotes, her meditation guidelines, and her “10 Signs of Progress on the Spiritual Path” – so worth a read. You can find the toolbox HERE.

2. Insights at the Edge Podcast. Whenever I am wavering between writing the braver thing or the safer thing, the more conventional thing or the less conventional thing, I ask myself, “Tara, what work would be worthy of a conversation with Tami Simon (the host) on Insights at the Edge?” Honestly. That is one of the guidepost questions that helps me do my best work. I guess you could say it’s my bar. And, cause that’s how the universe works, while I was writing this post, I was invited to be on the podcast. No kidding!

But back to the point: the archive is incredible and the interviews are rich.

A few of the episodes that most impacted me: Marion Woodman, Andrea Polard, Parker Palmer, and Jan Phillips.

Want to share these with others? Click to tweet: Words to love from Elizabeth Lesser & Sounds True!

Enjoy!

Love,

Tara

really great resources [#1]

Sign by Dustin Shelves

Sign by Dustin Shelves

I’m launching a book. A book that has my face on the cover. I’m about to enter into a period of speaking a lot, publicly, about my work and my ideas.

As in all things, balance is needed. Knowing that time is coming has made me eager to talk about other people and their work for now. So the next few posts are going to be some recommendations of fabulous resources for you.

I love Brene Brown’s work and I’m guessing you do too. (If you don’t know it, go here, quickly! and watch her now world famous TED talk to get started.)Perhaps what you don’t know is that she has this really great listing of her favorite books – the books that changed her life. I just discovered this treasure!

HERE IT IS. You can discover her most beloved reads on parenting, creativity — even cookbooks!

And, because one list of great books is never enough, I also want to point you to Lindsey Mead’s LIST OF HER FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR SO FAR. Lindsey is a beautiful beautiful writer, a gem of the blogosphere, so when you jump over to her site make sure to read some of her posts, too.

Happy summer reading!

Love to you –
Tara

join me in the big apple this Fall…

This October, I’m going to be speaking at a very special conference, Emerging Women Live.

I was also a speaker at their inaugural event last year so I can tell you with certainty it’s a fabulous, inspiring, thoughtfully-designed event.

And…register by July 31, and you’ll receive a copy of my new book, Playing Big, with your registration. How fabulous is that?

Other speakers this year include Eve Ensler, Arianna Huffington, Brene Brown and many other fabulous women.

I’ll also be teaching two workshops there so we’ll have a chance to work together in depth.

I would love to meet you there. Watch What Women Are Saying about the event. And click here for more information!

xox

Tara

grapihc for EW