Tara Sophia Mohr | wise living

Tara Sophia Mohr, Wise Living. Tools for finding more fulfillment, peace and everyday joy.

Two Self-Care Traps…and Live Call Thursday

Last week, I shared 5 reflection questions for the new year:

1. What have you always believed about yourself that life is showing you might not be true?

2. Where do you complicate life by turning outward for advice or information instead of trusting the answer within?

3. What’s scary and what’s thrilling about trusting yourself more immediately and more often?

4. What kinds of self-care truly feel like self-care to you (and not like a self-care to-do list)?

5. Where in your life might less (less effort, work, time, perfection, research, activity, etc.) actually be enough?

This Thursday, I’m hosting a free call. I’ll guide you in finding your answers to these questions, tell some juicy stories about how these topics are showing up in my life right now, and share what I’m learning along the way. You are invited! You can attend live or get the recording afterward by signing up HERE.

Today, I want to explore one of the questions: What kinds of self-care truly feel like self-care to you (and not like a self-care to-do list)?

I loved Ellen’s honesty when she posted on Facebook about this question: “People say ‘take care of yourself’ and I’m never sure what to do.”

No wonder. We’ve been left impoverished in our notion of self-care. Women’s magazines tell us self-care means getting a manicure, taking a bubble bath, or making time for exercise. Nothing wrong with any of those, but they constitute a rather narrow definition, one that doesn’t resonate for many of us.

This is the first self-care trap we can fall into: taking our cues from what the culture tells us self-care is supposed to look like. I’ve done this one. Several years ago, wondering why I felt so drained much of the time, I noticed that many of the things I’d slotted as rejuvenating down-time in my calendar weren’t really really rejuvenating for me: they were things the culture told me were supposed to be ”fun” or “nourishing.” Going to a party? That was supposed to be a good complement to a work day, something “for me” – but was it really? Well, it depended a lot on the nature of the party and who was there, but most of the time, the answer was no. Getting a manicure? Not really rejuvenating, in any way, shape or form for me.

I like psychologist Christine Meinecke‘s definition of self care as “behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors.”

What activities truly “balance the effects of the emotional and physical stressors” in your life?

Self-care might be listening to your favorite music on the way to work. It might be reclaiming  a lost love like cooking or painting or singing in a choir. It might be making a little more time for friends — the friends that actually make you feel de-stressed, happy, more like yourself. It might be talking with a therapist or coach to process what’s happening in your life. In response to Ellen’s post, one woman said that one of her favorite forms of self-care is taking five minutes to read the New York Times. To me, the core criteria is: does this thing leave me more relaxed, more refreshed, more rejuvenated, more joyful or connected to myself than I felt before?

The second trap of self-care is ending up with a self-care to do list. There are all those things we do to help build the lives we want for ourselves, but that aren’t stress relievers in themselves — things like tracking expenses, or getting mammograms, or or taking time to chop all those vegetables on sunday so we have nourishing food for the week.

If you want to make a career change and need to do a bunch of intensive night school classes in a subject that scares the heck out of you to do it, is taking those classes “self-care”? In some sense, yes, because you are prioritizing your goals and doing it “for yourself’” – but in the sense we’re talking about here, no – it’s a stressor not a balancer of stressors!

I encourage you to hold these kinds of “building the life I want for myself” activities in a separate category than self-care. Maybe come up with a separate name for them like “life-maintenance” or “life-care”  something — your ideas for good terms for this welcome in the comments, please!  These are things we do to set up the lives we want. The size of this list needs to stay manageable (strike off things that are coming from your inner perfectionist or inner critic) and make sure you balance this list with truly yummy self-care – things that change your state in the moments you do them.

Join the discussion in the comments: What do you think constitutes real self-care for you? What has your journey with self-care been like so far?

And sign up HERE to join me for the call on my 5 Questions for the New Year this Thursday!

Love,

Tara

 

 

 

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5 questions & a live call for the new year

Hey there,

For the past couple years, I’ve shared a set of questions for you to reflect on and journal about as you enter the new year. (Reflection, visioning, clarifying are WAY more helpful than New Year’s Resolutions, in my opinion!)

Today, I’m sharing a new set of questions for 2014. I’m inspired here by own growing edges this year:

1. What have you always believed about yourself that life is showing you might not be true?

2. Where do you complicate life by turning outward for advice or information instead of trusting the answer within?

3. What’s scary and what’s thrilling about trusting yourself more immediately and more often?

4. What kinds of self-care truly feel like self-care to you (and not like a self-care to-do list)?

5. Where in your life might less (less effort, work, time, perfection, research, activity, etc.) actually be enough?

Join me! I’m hosting a free call on Thursday January 9th at 4pm PST/7pm EST to guide you in exploring your answers to these questions. I’ll also be sharing some juicy stories about how these topics are showing up in my life right now, and what I’m learning along the way. To join us (live or via a recording) sign up HERE.

Love,
Tara

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where have i been? an update

I haven’t been blogging so much these past months, and I’ve missed you.

Two big reasons I haven’t been writing here so much:
1. pregnancy, and all the nausea and napping that it entails
2. writing the Playing Big book

I’ve seen again and again how hard it is for bloggers to keep blogging when they are writing a book manuscript. I always thought I would find a way to do both at once, but it’s tough. Your mind is one creative sandbox or the other. Swimming in one ocean or the other. For the past few months, I’ve been in the book ocean.

Over this holiday, I took a few days off from working on the book. I love blogging so much that, to my own surprise, what came up inside of me almost immediately during that downtime was the desire to write to all of you. I wanted to see the WordPress canvas I compose blog posts on, and do the little jaunt of writing that is a blog post, a process that’s come to feel wonderfully familiar and magical for me.

So, a check-in post.

I’m — gosh — about halfway through my third trimester. This little guy kicks and moves all the time – tap-dancing and taekwandoe going on in there. I’m bigger than I could have ever imagined getting. Walking, yoga, water, stretching, napping, and some supplements are critical to my daily well-being.

Pregnancy has already taught me a lot about something I’m sure parenting will teach me more about: SIMPLIFYING. Picking your battles. Learning when to say no to the endless opportunities to gather more information in our information age.

Big picture, I feel blessed, in awe, and am trying to do what I’m sure is impossible, which is wrap my mind around what is about to happen in a a month or so.

On the second front, the Playing Big book. I think many of you know I’m working on a book, Playing Big: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Brilliance in a World that Needs Women’s Voices, coming out from Penguin next fall. The writing process is going beautifully–jeez feel like I need to knock on wood as I write that! I’ve been writing steadily, morning after morning after morning, and am turning in the first draft of the manuscript to the publisher in a few weeks.

There are two things I’m feeling particularly proud of about the creative process. At this point, these would be some of my “lessons learned” to share. The first is that I’ve managed to reserve judging my own work through most of the process. I just wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Then when I went back and edited out the parts that didn’t feel compelling, or powerful or helpful enough, I didn’t let that process of discernment translate into any inner critic condemnations or panicky feelings about the whole manuscript. I just saw it as part of a good writing process that there would be lots to edit out. This feels big: that even in seeing the weaker parts of whatever we create, we can stay present to the stage of the process we are in, and not let those weaker parts cause us to judge or panic about the whole work. (P.S. I think that principle holds up for evaluating our life decisions and transitions as well as our other creative works!)

The second thing I feel proud of is that I took risks with the material. I didn’t compromise what I really think in the name of what I think will be popular. And I didn’t go abstract or clinical, but did my best to be faithful to the tone I want the book to have: sisterly, honest, warm, as well as grounded and full of insights and practices that are truly helpful.

And the third part of my update is this. Right now, I’m writing in front of a fireplace in the woods, dog and my parenting copilot-to-be nearby. We’ve spent a lot of time “doing nothing” this week, allowing ourselves to be graced by empty space and empty time. Giving ourselves permission to sleep and laze about and sleep some more. So good.

Happy holidays, and sending love,

Tara

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A Conversation with Tara & Danielle LaPorte

Photo by Catherine Just

Photo by Catherine Just

I’m delighted to bring you a conversation with Danielle LaPorte today. If you are reading this over email click to watch the video.

I’ve long admired Danielle for her fidelity to her muse, her original work, and her poetic writing. Today she releases her new Desire Map collection. In the conversation below, we talk about all kinds of juicy topics – from her philosophy of how we should relate to our desires to how her work has impacted my spiritual life.

Enjoy!

Love,

Tara

Click below to check out all the fabulous resources that are part of Danielle’s new collection.

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weaving spirituality and business practice

Emerging Women live Photo

Recently, I had a great conversation with Chantal Pierrat, host and creator of the Emerging Women conference. In this interview, we talk about:

  • some of the very unique things about my childhood and how I was raised
  • what most businesses don’t get when it comes to women consumers
  • how I came to do this work supporting women to play bigger
  • why I don’t “teach women secular business tactics” – and what I hope to do instead…

and much more. Hope you enjoy it! You can check it out HERE.

Be well,

Tara

 

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Today Show Clip

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Last Friday I was on the Today Show. You can watch the clip below. (If you are on email, click over to my site here to watch.)

I always like to share a little of the inside scoop of how the national TV experience is for me, since people often ask about that, and because doing these things I learn something about my own process of playing bigger, something that perhaps will resonate for you too.

This was time #4 for me on the show. I had a major paradigm shift this time around. A ding-ding aha-moment kind of thing. The day before, I realized that even though I normally experience these TV days as totally stressful (feeling nervous, not having slept well, super early morning hair and makeup, rushed getting dressed, etc.) that actually these going-on-TV-days were not very demanding.

After all, I only had to do something for three minutes the whole morning – the three minutes of the segment! The rest of the time is spent passively getting hair and makeup done, going to the studio, and waiting around. With that new concept in mind, I set the intention to experience the morning as relaxing, as requiring almost nothing of me until the segment itself. While I can’t say that went flawlessly, I was much, much more relaxed throughout once I made this mental shift.

I offer this idea to you: is there something that you normally experience as stressful that, in fact, if you took your mind off the stress-train, could in fact be super chill? Or at least, somewhat chill?

(Sidenote: It’s so fun to say “chill.” Iit’s been about 15 years since my California adolescence when that was part of my vocabulary. I’m taking it back.)

Okay, here’s the clip! Enjoy. If you have trouble watching it on my site, check it out on the NBC site here. Over at the Today Show site, you can also find my five step process for working through jealousy when you feel it.

Oh, and if you notice my pregnant belly (!), and missed Saturday’s post on that…you can read about that news here!

Love,
t

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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the baby in my belly

Yesterday I was on the Today Show talking about women and jealousy, and in a couple days I’ll be sending out the video clip.

If you watch it, you’ll catch a glimpse of my belly.

There’s a baby in there, and God/universe/force of life willing, the little guy in my stomach will be joining our family in a just few months.

This is our first child. Eric and I are incredibly excited and we feel very blessed.

I thought many times over the past several months about how and when to share the wonderful news with all of you.

The early months felt way too soon. Telling twenty five thousand people about something in an email feels like inviting A LOT of energy to come back at you. I keenly felt an intuitive sense that I can best put like this: I needed to keep the amount of energy coming toward me/the pregnancy/the baby/ in proportion, somehow, with the newness and fragility and smallness of the life itself at that stage.

Then, after those early months, it just felt personal, quiet, intimate. I’ve loved that part of mama-ing, already, feels to me like creating a protected space, and I’m happy that I listened to that call.

There is something in this idea for all of us. What is in you right now that deserves quiet, protected space? Is there something you’d conventionally announce or talk about, maybe something that others conventionally talk about, but that, if you listen deep within, doesn’t feel right or ripe to share it yet?

Sometimes we don’t share out of shame or out of wanting to save face or avoid real feedback. I’m not talking about that. You know the other thing I’m talking about: respecting what is growing in you enough to discern the right timeline for bring it out into visibility. Respecting the period of growing underground and waiting for something to tell you its ready to come up and out of the soil.

I think we, women in particular, possess a native intelligence for knowing what to protect in silence and incubate. Yet many of us have to rediscover and then learn to trust that intelligence, which is our natural inheritance.

I so appreciate all the support and congrats and connection I can already feel coming toward me from you as I write. Thank you.

Be well.

Love,

Tara

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A Chat with Kate Northrup

kate

Today I’m delighted to bring you an audio chat with Kate Northrup, the author of the new book Money A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes & Create the Life You Really Want.

In our candid conversation, Kate and I talk about a number of juicy topics including:

  • how to get out of that unconscious “waiting to be rescued” syndrome with money (and become your own rescuer)
  • how your early childhood experiences connect to your current money frustrations – and what to do about it
  • Kate’s journey to playing bigger – how she got the courage to share her story, write her book, and become more visible

Listen to the interview here:

Download as Mp3 Interview with Kate Northrup

The two exercises Kate talks about in our interview are on p. 20 and p. 8 of the workbook found HERE.

Check out the book HERE!

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Catch the video + 10 things not to say at work

I’m just returning from a fabulous trip to Boulder, Colorado, where I had the honor of speaking at the Emerging Women conference, alongside so many of my favorite women authors and thinkers — from Brene Brown to Eve Ensler to Ani Difranco to Elizabeth Gilbert.

Want to catch the video of my talk on women Playing Big? Sign up here for the free livestream and you’ll get access to on demand streaming of my talk from the conference as well as a bunch of other presentations. You can sign up HERE.

EW speech

Second, I want to welcome the hundreds of new readers joining today after my recent article on 10 Things Not to Say At Work at Refinery29. Glad you are here!

Last but not least, stay tuned for the next blog post coming up on Monday–my interview with Kate Northrup on *money* on what our relationship to money has to do with playing big.

Love,

Tara

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Emerging Women: Free Livestream & Boulder Event This Week

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EW 2
I’m honored to be a keynote speaker at this weekend’s Emerging Women Live conference.

You can sign up to watch the FREE LIVESTREAM of the event HERE. You don’t want to miss it! Such an incredible lineup of speakers from Brene Brown to Alanis Morisette to Elizabeth Gilbert to Eve Ensler! My talk is Friday October 11th at 9:30 am, MDT.

If you are attending the conference live, please stop by in the St. Julien lobby 4:30-5:30pm on Thursday October 10th to say hello. I’d love to meet you.

Love,

Tara

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