Transformation Tuesday | You Are A Creator | My Take On The Stock Market

Friends:

I’m thinking a lot these days on our purpose and essential nature as human beings. We are in these bodies, on this planet for a brief moment in universal time. It strikes me that, while we are here, we have a unique ability to turn our thoughts and inspirations into things.

In other words, we are creators.

We create companies, cultures, books and music. We create families and relationships and tangible, physical things, products. We also create experiences and lives, sometimes intentionally and other times, accidentally. We create joy and connection.

And sometimes we create fear and drama, disconnection, for ourselves and for others.

I’m playing a game right now where I try to see every interaction with someone as an opportunity to create a deeper connection than was there before. It has caused me to insert many a pause before I speak and be very deliberate about how what I say to my son, my mother, my business partners and my sweetheart, even in seemingly mundane, everyday conversations.

This is related to the First Agreement of don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements. (I see these Agreements as responsible for a big chunk of the freedom and energy with which I live my life.) The First is to be impeccable with your word, which means to understand the profound power of our words to bless or curse and to commit to use your word in favor of love and life.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: we can create life with our words. Have you ever seen how your child or employee or even friend or a person on the street unfurls to life when you connect eye to eye, and speak even 3 words of life on them?

I was walking in New York the other day, and a gentleman with a cardboard sign, dirty face and tattered clothes was screaming vitriol at the flood of humanity that was coming out of the subway station. His rage was so pure it was almost visible. And he was just flooding it, washing it over every person who passed by.

I sort of steeled myself to walk past him. But a few paces before I reached him, I met his gaze and silently shot him a blessing.

IT WAS LIKE HE HEARD ME. He pointed at me, and screamed YOOOOOOOU!

I raised an eyebrow. I cocked my head a bit.

And—I kid you not—his next words came out calmly, clearly and in his indoor voice. They were: “have great energy.”

“YOOOOOOU have great energy,” this man said to me. I closed my eyes, smiled and nodded and walked on. He went back to his regularly scheduled program.

We create. We create connections and things and ideas and life. And we do this, first, with our minds and souls. Then we put our souls on deck, in the form of the things and relationships and businesses and communities we create.

I spend a lot of my time working with leaders and entrepreneurs and creators, helping them get unstuck. What I see many times in people who are stuck on a project or in an area of their life is this: they want to be or do or have or create one thing, but they are at a spiritual standstill because their actions, beliefs, words and energy are in total opposition to what they want, for various reasons.

We can talk about why this happens later, but for now, let’s understand the energy of creation and the other energies that are in opposition, in the interest of releasing any spiritual standstills.

Creating is about bringing to life. It’s about transformation. It’s about receiving inspiration, which is always trying to flow to and through us, and then marrying inspiration with action, immediately.

Creating is not just proactive, yang, domination, force energy. It is also about stillness, receptivity and trust that everything is always working out for you, which allows you to make bold moves and steps toward your creation without fear, which closes off, corrodes and shrinks the inspiration pipeline.

Creating is not about passive consumption. You cannot create while you are reacting. This is why outrage is so distracting, why the headlines and Facebook and Twitter pull so many people off their life’s course. That’s why it’s worthwhile to cultivate the ability to stay calm while everyone else around you loses their head (e.g., when the stock market does what it’s doing right now).

Click to watch on Instagram: What creators do when the stock market dives

And you cannot create while you are judging. This is true whether your judgment is being leveled at politicians, the system, the folks who voted for somebody, rich people, poor people, your mother or even yourself.

See, creating is what you do when you love someone or something enough to collaborate toward the end of their well-being, growth and expansion.

Creating is an energy of love. Judgment is an energy of disdain, of dislike, or worse: hate. Judgment creates turbulence in your system, regardless of who you are judging. It interrupts your ability to receive inspiration and turn it into inspired action. Creation and judgment do not coexist. They just can’t.

You are a creator. Not a consumer. Not a reactor. And not a judge.

Head up + heart out,

Altitude training is real | What happens when you write a book | My new program is now LIVE!

Last week, my sweetheart and I drove up and hiked a bit of the Tahoe Rim Trail. I’m pretty athletic and the hike wasn’t super difficult. So I was surprised to find myself out of breath until it dawned on me that we were about 7,000 feet higher than home.

“Oh yeah,” I thought. Huff puff. “The altitude.”

This instantly brought back a memory of a trip I took to Boulder a few years back. I was training for a half marathon at the time, and my plan was to explore Boulder by running 7 or 8 miles a day, just like at home.

I checked into the old Boulderado Hotel, geared up, and set out. I got roughly three blocks before I was gasping for air. I realized in that moment exactly why the Olympians go up there to train: the altitude.

Altitude training is no joke. The higher you go, the less oxygen is in the air. The less oxygen is in the air, the harder your body has to work to get it, even when you’re at rest. When you work out at elevation, your body has to work much harder than normal to get the extra oxygen your workout requires out of the air and into your lungs.

When you first arrive and work out at high altitudes, it is very, very hard. Even if you’re very, very fit.

Back to Boulder. I ran every day as planned, though not for anywhere near the distances I was used to. After my weeklong trip, though, something wild happened. I got home, geared up and headed out on my normal training run. And I ran. And ran and ran. EFFORTLESSLY. I felt like Wonder Woman, for real. Seriously, I ran faster, freer and further than I had before and it felt like an easy breezy walk in the park.

My takeaway was this: altitude training gives you superpowers.

This is true in life, too. In life, as in sport, altitude training involves two parts. The altitude part involves elevation: the climb toward closer alignment with your higher self, which nearly always triggers some internal resistance. It just the way we’re wired. Altitude is also atmosphere: being immersed in or surrounded by new challenges or constraints.

But the second part is training: the intention, focus and movement and focus you use to follow inspiration, despite the resistance that may have come up inside.

Train at altitude and you’ll feel breathless, unequipped and overwhelmed—for a little while.

But the rewards of altitude training are also no joke. If you keep at it, you get the double-whammy of growing your capacity intentionally and being expanded by simply being in the challenging atmosphere itself. You don’t have to go all nose-to-grindstone. Simply answering the call to the adventure of training at elevations will pull new capacity out of you, if you let it.

This is true whether your personal altitude training is taking on a new leadership role, signing up for online dating, shifting a difficult habit or dysfunctional pattern or writing a book.

Keep this in mind: a newly challenging environment is not new forever. Either you return home, or you acclimate to the atmosphere and no longer find it challenging. Whenever you get out of the challenge, though, you’ll realize three things:

  • That you have new capacity, new superpowers. You have been changed by the process.
  • That you now know about capacity you might have always had, but never before needed to tap into, and
  • That you can turn your powers on when you need them, and you can exercise the discretion to rest and recharge them when you don’t.

You also learn that you can go back to the atmosphere and train some more, grow some more and expand your capacity some more anytime you want to.

This was my experience of writing each of my three books, and it is my experience writing the one I’m working on now. (!) You wade on into the void, stretch and challenge yourself. But at some point in my personal process of book writing, I acquired some new powers. I learned some new things about how to manage myself and my life skillfully when I want to create something.

For example: I learned that I am more creative, inspired and productive when I do things that still, clear and soothe my mind than when I try to be it’s disciplinarian or tough taskmaster. Stuff like that.

At some point, writing books shifted from an overwhelming grind into an adventure of personal expansion and spiritual connection. It’s an adventure into clarity and insight that I can take anytime I want to turn on my power to create anything.

This is precisely the process I’ll be sharing with the conscious creators and transformational leaders who heed the call to adventure of my newest program—One Quarter Book, aka 1QB.

I’ve been tucked away in Monk Mode creating this, and am so proud to share it with you and the rest of the world today:

Learn more: Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s One Quarter Book: The 90 Day Book Accelerator for Conscious Leaders.

Note: Registration is open, but I’m putting a cap on enrollment and closing registration next week before the first session on February 3rd..

I’ll share much more shortly but let me make one thing clear, for now: this program is not for writers. It’s for leaders and creators who have an approach or insight to share, or a personal story of resilience that gives them a unique worldview. It’s for people who are ready to write the book they have inside this year.

Here’s a quick video I made about the program:

Click here to watch

I’d be honored if you’d click through and learn more here, or share this link with anyone you know who should know about this Adventure!

Learn more or register here: Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s One Quarter Book: The 90 Day Book Accelerator for Conscious Leaders.

Head up + heart out,

~TNN

A Tara-Style Gift Guide: Gifts to Buy Yourself + My Stealth Announcement

This was the first year I’ve found myself actually using a bunch of gift guides. Bustle.com leveled up my whole gift-giving game. And it also inspired me to share a Tara-style gift guide with you as we round out the season.

gift guide

By Tara-style, I mean that this is a gift guide with a real twist: these are gifts you should give yourself. I can vouch for every single one of them personally, as these are the things I’ve given, received, created and received the most requests for this year. Spoiler alert: there’s a big one at the end.

Here goes:

1. Monogrammed Real Wood Laptop Cover by Toast

Here’s a picture of mine. This is the #1 thing people ask me to send them the link to.

It’s beautiful, durable and a great conversation starter. I’ve had people ask me about it in cities all around the world.

2. The Transformational Consumer: Fuel a Lifelong Love Affair with Your Customers by Helping Them Get Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser. by Me. 😀

This was by far the best book I wrote this year. Every time I read it I learn something. Har. But seriously, check the Amazon reviews. Five stars is no joke.

This one’s for you if you want to use your work to lift people up, regardless of what industry you work in. If you want to be a transformational leader. If you want to bring 100% of yourself to work. Or if you find my storytelling as hilarious as I do. 

3. Tara’s Healthy Hippie Kit. I’m a low-key hippie at heart, and I get asked all the time for links to the products that are part of my daily wellbeing regimens. Here are a few of my go-tos:

BLUE ICE Fermented Cod Liver Oil The reason I almost never get sick.

4th and Heart Himalayan Pink Salt Grass-Fed Ghee Butter Helps me live the Keto/Paleo/Intermittent Fasting life.

Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick, Lavender + Sage When we have a party, the whole room smells like this non-toxic, non-chemical, non-irritating, effective deodorant, because so many of my friends are now using it based on my rave reviews.

All Good Coconut Oil Skin Food Lemongrass I use a homemade version of this, but this one is, in the emoji-words of my friend Rebecca: 😙👌 (that’s the Italian chef kissing hand emoji, ICYMI).

Great Lakes Pasture-Raised Beef Collagen Peptides Anti-inflammatory pure collagen protein that boosts immune, healing, metabolism and even athletic recovery. It’s like drinking the best part of the bone broth without all the meat fat juice. And it’s only for the grown-and-sexy (GNS), by which I mean people who plan to age like fine wine.

Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters Honey Chipotle Peanut Butter Treat time: sounds crazy, but try it. This is not for sandwiches. This is GNS nut butter: it’s for apple slices or to be eaten by the spoon. Less than one gram of sugar, and it’s DELECTABLE.

4. Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner. Daily Planner | Weekly Planner

The most powerful shift I’ve had recently in my creative and business life happened when I started making moves based on what made me feel expansive, joyous, impactful or all of the above.

This planner shifts the way you look at your time: not as a series of to-do tasks, but a series of initiatives based on your intention to feel a certain way.

If you like the sounds of this planner, you might appreciate this note I wrote a few weeks back: What are You Intending for this Season?

5. My book accelerator: The One Quarter Book. I’ve written 3 books, but while I was writing this last one I experienced a major shift. There was a very distinct pivot, where the book creation process transformed from a big looming project on a deadline into an expansive, exuberant, transformational experience for myself and my readers.

Inspired by this shift, this January I’ll be launching the first session of my latest passion project. It’s called The One Quarter Book —1QB—and it’s a 90-day book accelerator. 1QB is specifically for conscious leaders and creators who have a purpose-driven book inside that they want to get out in 90 days. The course itself starts January 29, 2018.

1QB includes:

  • 6 LIVE Video Masterclasses with me and a couple of guest teachers coaching you through my FlowStorm Writing Sequence, in real time
  • 3 LIVE Zoom Group Coaching Calls, featuring Outline and Chapter Tutorials and Q+A with me
  • Weekly writing sprint assignments and Daily Imperfect Action prompts
  • The exact Purpose-Driven Book Outline Template, Action Plan and Chapter Guides I used to create my Amazon 5-star book, The Transformational Consumer!
  • Lifetime access to all materials
  • Post-Accelerator Writing Workshop opportunities for collaborating with other Accelerator members.
  • A hard copy of The Transformational Consumer book, which we’ll reference at various times for writing samples.

1QB is entirely focused on helping you get the first draft of your purpose-driven book DONE in 90 days. The course will eventually be priced at $1000 to the public, but I’m offering it to you, my personal VIPs, for $750, to make it that much easier to give yourself this incredible gift. (Note: A three-payment plan is also available.) Register here: 1QB Early VIP Registration.

You are the first to know about this. I won’t even be making registration available to the public until our big marketing launch in January. But since we were talking about gifts to give yourself, and since writing my books has been the single most powerful level-up to my career and my life and even my own spiritual practice, I couldn’t leave this off the list.

If you want to get your book written in 2018, join me. Here’s the registration link: 1QB Early VIP Registration.

Head up + Heart out,

~TNN

‘Into It’ and ‘Over It’

My coach and homegirl Monisha cracks entirely up during our conversations. This usually happens when she suggests something profoundly challenging to me, and then, after sitting with it, I say “I’m into it” or just “into it.” Always sotto voce.

‘Into It’ and ‘Over It’

I know why she laughs. Because she knows me well, and she knows that my “I’m into it” is shorthand for: “I understand what you’re suggesting, and it’s uncomfortable, or a challenge to the way I’ve been doing things. That said, after considering this seriously, from way down in my gut/soul, I’m saying YES.”

She knows that if I say I’m into it, dollars to doughnuts I’ll reprioritize, make the time and invest the energy to doing whatever it is I said I’m into, whether the commitment is minuscule or massive.

When we were invited to watch the 1931 Dracula on Halloween, with the Phillip Glass string quartet playing the score live, I said: “I’m into it.” (And it was the bomb.)

When Lightspeed asked if I’d work on a new startup to bring spiritual well-being to millions of people, I closed my eyes for a few heartbeats, lifted my head up and heart out and said: I’m into it.

These three words sound dry, but as I say them, there is an undertone of depth. If I say I’m into it, I mean it. There’s a connotation not just that “I’ll do it” but also that I deeply approve of it. I’m not just agreeing to complete a task or check a box. I’m assenting to inhabit it. More importantly, if I’m not into it, you won’t hear me say I am.

The countervailing phrase in my personal lexicon is this: Over it. I have an incredible threshold for withstanding discomfort and for thriving under non-ideal conditions. But I’ve also learned that (a) martyrdom is not a good look and (b) if you can thrive in dysfunction, you can create vastly more glorious things in a context of well-being. Oh yeah, and (c) life is actually supposed to be fun. So, when I know it’s time to prune, end, shed or transition out of anything, big or small, I’ll say to myself, my pages or whoever is involved: “I’m over it.”

When I’m “over it,” I frequently decide to metabolize whatever experience I’m over, just like our bodies do. This involves sorting through what portion of the experience or relationship nourishes me so that I should retain that memory or lesson, and what part I should release, like waste.

This final 30 Day Writing Challenge of 2017 for Conscious Leaders and Creators is dedicated to Envisioning 2018. This Challenge is not just for writers: it’s designed for anyone who wants to create something in the world; anyone who wants to put their soul on deck. After we downregulate our nervous systems for a few days so we can tune into our inner guidance, we’ll work on two things:

  1. Into it: We’ll figure out exactly what would float our boat if it happened next year. We will create a beautiful, inspired, compelling vision for 2018 not based on what we “should” be doing, but on what gives rise to an involuntary, soul-level “INTO IT.”
  2. Over it: By the time we’re done with this Challenge, we will have crystal clarity about what we’ll need and what we must leave behind, shed or prune as we move into the next season of our lives. What makes our souls say “OVER IT.”

If that sounds at all like what you need to make 2018 a soulful year, a year of miracles, join us. It’s free. Register here.

Give yourself permission. Don’t be afraid.

I once heard a famous zillionaire life coach say she makes her entire living giving people permission to do what they already know they want to do.

Give yourself permission. Don't be afraid.

They don’t pay her to help them find some unknown purpose. She doesn’t help them discover some completely hidden talent or gift they never knew they had before.

She just gives them permission.  I do this a lot, too, through the things I create.

I give people permission to be contrarians in any way that serves them. Permission to turn away from the chaos and depressive fodder in the headlines. Permission to open up and risk looking foolish in order to connect more deeply with someone.  Permission to make bold moves or create things just because you feel drawn to.

I’ve been giving myself and others permission to show our souls. Even if we work in tech, or run a gym, or practice acupuncture or market consumer goods for a living.

And I love little more than offering people permission to do things less than perfectly, or badly even. Permission to just start, and just try, and know that you’ll survive, even if someone criticizes what you’re doing or you don’t succeed the way you originally thought success might look.

Catch this principle: Permission and perfectionism cannot co-exist.

Now. Sometimes I give others permission to do these things by trying to model what it looks like to live this kind of life: a life in which I’m constantly granting myself permission to take advantage of the great freedoms I have. (If you live in the US and have laptops and phones and email and social media accounts, you probably have much more freedom than you are leveraging).

Other times, I try to give this permission expressly, as in: “HERE IS A HALL PASS THAT GETS YOU FREE PASSAGE THROUGH LIFE. The force that created all worlds told me to give it to you. Now: go.”

But when a coach, or me, or anyone else “gives you permission” to do what you really want to do in this life, that’s still just a shadow of the truth. The truth is that you must learn to give yourself permission. Consistently is the goal, but frequently will do, to start. You’ve got to learn to move forward, boldly and do what’s on your heart to do without kissing the ring of someone or something outside of ourselves and waiting for approval.

We can’t wait on permission from society, from our teachers and gurus or from the people in our lives that they will fund us, or help us set aside the time, or still love us if we do whatever we feel called to do. If we do wait for this, we’ll just be waiting.

The path of giving yourself permission, the not waiting path, is just to start. Now. Without further ado. That doesn’t necessarily mean to blow up your day job and run off to join the circus. We can steal 30 minutes here, a Saturday morning there. Creators prioritize bringing the laptop along to the kids’ soccer games and piano lessons.

Or maybe just start sharing. Start writing. Start asking for what you need. Start saying what you think. Start small.

When we just start, the energy we are and the energy we radiate allows us to receive all the resources, all the funding, all the time, all the help we need to bring this creation to its fullest expression. We might even just receive the inspiration to go somewhere so that we’re in the perfect place at the perfect time.

This is true, no matter what we’re creating. It might be a conscious business, a novel or a purpose-driven book that shares your worldview and industry insight. It might be The Next Big Thing. It might even be a Meetup or youth group or a blog that signals out and brings in the others who need to know what we know. It might be better relationships or a more healthful lifestyle. It might be the side hustle you’ve wanted to start forever or a spiritual practice that elevates your day-to-day experience.

For me, this week is all about hibernating to recuperate from a month of intense travel and allowing the product vision, launch team and partnerships for SoulTour, my baby startup concept, to coalesce.

So this week, I’m giving myself permission to do things I know fuel my physical energy and creative resources. I spent Sunday and Monday turning on my flow and momentum switch by going deeper with my practices. Sunday, I spent the day at Spirit Rock Meditation Center with David Richo, soaking up both his teaching on the longings of the human soul and the peace and presence of the place itself.

Monday, I spent more time than normal in meditation and did some writing exercises that never fail to crank up my creativity and turn off my internal Resistance. I gave myself permission to prune my calendar for the next few weeks so I could have the space to think, the space to create. (Most of these exercises come from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, ICYWW).

Today, I’m turning that flow onto the projects that matter the most to me. I’m giving myself permission to be bold in how I talk about SoulTour, what we want to create and how we hope to lift people up, at scale, on a spiritual and psychological level.

I give myself permission to be bold and begin sharing this message of depth and soul, even (especially) with influencers and corporate partners. Even though it’s weird and personal. Even though no one else in this business talks like this. Even though some people won’t like it.

If the energy of soul and spirit we’re broadcasting freaks someone out or turns them off, GREAT. We avoid the dramas of a misaligned partnership and dodge the bullet of a later clash! At this stage of my career, I know for sure that when one thing doesn’t come together, it’s only because some much more spacious, aligned thing is anxiously waiting behind it, hoping we say no to Door A so we can get to the perfect-fit gloriousness behind Door B.

But that’s not what’s been happening. On the contrary, the purity of the intention behind this platform has been a massive magnet, attracting in the just-right dollars and partners and people to build this thing.

Whether you’re writing or just reflecting, consider this prompt:

  1. What do you give yourself permission to do this week? What does giving this permission look like?
  2. What have you been waiting for permission to do, say or be?
  3. Can you give yourself permission to do, say or be that, starting now?

P.S.: I’m speaking at Shiloh Church’s BOLD Conference next weekend. Details and registration here! http://shilohkingdombuilders.com

Why I Just Quit the Best Career I Ever Had

I realized recently that my whole career in Silicon Valley has been a fraud.

Why I Just Quit the Best Career I Ever Had Hero

It’s been a delightful fraud, from my point of view. I’ve worked on some of the biggest media, real estate, wellness and consumer technology brands in the world. I’ve worked with the best and brightest, the most conscious and thoughtful teams and CEOs in this Valley.

I was an early employee at two startups that went on to storybook exits: Trulia and, more recently, MyFitnessPal.

And I’ve had the great fortune to work in a way I consider to be “on purpose:” I only work with brands and products I consider transformational, products that help people live healthier, wealthier and wiser lives.

I actually wrote the book on this. It’s called The Transformational Consumer, after a framework, I created to help leaders and companies reach and, more importantly, engage hundreds of millions of customers through the lens of behavior change, the lens of the undying human aspirations of the customers we serve to live better lives and be better people.

All of this has led me to my latest move: joining Lightspeed Venture Partners as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Here, I’m envisioning new ways of helping millions of others through the deepest, most illuminating segments of their transformational journeys.

Why I Just Quit the Best Career I Ever Had

What I have come to realize is that I’ve spent virtually all of my career doing what Steve Jobs called “head fakes”. I’ve been using transformational brands and products as cover, as a strategy for secretly answering people’s deeper, spiritual SOS calls. You want to lose weight, eh? Ok, I’ll help with that. (Enter MyFitnessPal.) But while I was building out that marketing team, heading up our world-class content program, and serving an executive team that grew that business from 45 to 100 million customers and an acquisition by Under Armour in the 2 years I was there, my team and I were slipping our customers all these secret messages.

Secret messages about radical self-acceptance. Secret messages about how deeply worthy of love they are. How deeply worthy we all are.

My dialogue with our customers in my mind went like this: “Behavior change hacks only work for a moment, and you can power them by a desire to change. But you can’t hate yourself skinny. You’ve got to have your basic psychological needs for love and worthiness met for this to be a long-term thing. So, our secret messages, they WILL help you lose weight. But they’ll also lay groundwork for deep well-being. For your deepest peace and joy.”

The older I get, the bolder I get and the more committed I become to bringing 100% of myself to work.

Exhibit A: I’ve been introducing myself on various stages as who and what I really am, in a personal branding/Daenerys Targaryen sort of way: Tara-Nicholle Nelson, Sexy Black Church Lady, Disseminator of Upliftment, Mother of Pugs.

Exhibit B: As a passion project, I’ve been running a series of 30 Day Writing Challenges for Conscious Leaders and Creators, taking a small community of incredible leaders on a journey of transformation and creative flow. The first Challenge had about 100 people. We’re on Challenge #4 now, and we have over 1500 people in this one, all collaborating as they put their souls on deck in their lives and their work.

Exhibit C: Now, as an EiR with Lightspeed, I am devoting my full attention and spirit to working directly on the issue I care about the most: the well-being of our souls. I am on a mission to help others feel the grace, ease, flow and limitless possibilities that I experience every single day, at scale.

And I’m kickstarting this whole project by doing what I do best: immersing in the real-world journeys of the real people I aim to serve as they seek to care for their souls, unlock meaning and purpose and bring the sacred into their everyday lives. My code-name for this project is SoulTour, and I’m in the midst of connecting with regular, everyday people and caretakers of soul all over the country, talking to them and participating in their communities and everyday experiences in an effort to spot the places where I can use content, digital and product to unlock.

I won’t lie: as someone who identifies as a progressive Christian and practitioner of various New Thought modalities, I started this project with the premise that the institution of church was mostly broken, and that God has a PR problem I’d like to help resolve.

But my earliest finding from SoulTour has been quite the opposite: most people still deeply want a relationship with the Divine, with their Source. But they are crafting their own practice and belief systems that work for them, rather than accepting some out-of-the-box pre-packaged kit of beliefs handed down by people who they feel know nothing about their lives.

They are Spiritual, and they are Seekers. Some identify as members of the Religious Left; many others as Spiritual-but-not-Religious. But they are all seeking.

These are my people.

I’m hearing a lot about the incredible appetite for inspiration and guidance for soulful living, and the epidemic levels of anxiety and internal chaos people perceive digital as triggering. But I’m hearing just as much about what is working for people: how they are cobbling together all matter of teachings, wisdom, practices from all manner of content sources, and how they are integrating mobile, content and offline experiences that serve them in the moments, seasons and journeys of their souls.

I’ve been using this weird quote I found online as a poetic sort of framework for my new work in service of our souls. I shared it, and my Beginner’s Guide to the Human Soul, in a TEDx Talk a few weeks ago [Audio of Talk here]. It goes like this:

“You are a ghost, driving a meat-covered skeleton made of stardust, riding a rock hurtling through space. Fear nothing.”

No one seems to know who originally said this. But I love this quote because it contains a through-line from soul and spirit, to our physical bodies, to the laws of the universe and back to us, to our emotions and actions.

No more head fakes. This is the next era of transformational business and leadership: to help people care for their brilliant, beautiful souls.

I’d love for you to join me. Here are a few ways you can get involved. 

1. Watch or listen to my Beginner’s Guide to the Human Soul.

Watch the VIDEO on YouTube: https://youtu.be/o4F3rQNJEPA

Download the AUDIO on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/tara-nicholle-nelson/beginners-guide-to-the-human-soul/s-UxtBf

2. Take the SoulTour survey to share what you do to care for your soul and spirit, and help me understand what would help you live a more soulful life: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZBTN5LN

3. Join my email list if you want to get updates as SoulTour turns into a movement: Get on Tara’s Email List.

4. Join my next 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders and Creators, which starts in November. It’s free and we’ll be setting Vision for 2018. Register here: taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge

Tonsillar Regrowth

A note from Tara: This post was originally a writing prompt I issued to participants in my September 2017 30 Day Writing Challenge. It was so breakthrough-inducing for those folks I had to share it here.

Tonsillar Regrowth

I invite you to join us in November for the next 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders and Creators. Space is limited; register now: taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge.

A little while back, I had to see a head and neck doctor for something or other. While he was in there, I remembered something weird I’d seen during my own DIY doctor stints in the mirror.

I asked him to please look at these weird little bumps I’d seen growing in my throat. I’d asked my own GP about them, and he had no idea what they were but said they looked like “healthy” tissue so not to mind them.

This specialist took one look, stepped back and asked: “When did you have your tonsils out?”

About 30 years ago, I replied.

“Well, what you have here is a pretty rare case of tonsillar regrowth,” he diagnosed. Tonsillar regrowth, I’d learn, is a completely harmless but completely bizarre phenomenon in which one’s tonsils can make little efforts to grow back after you’ve had them out. Physicians think this only happens when the original tonsil tissue was somehow not completely removed.

They don’t grow back all the way to full size; in fact, we’ve been calling my tonsil spots “tonsil buds” or “tonsil nubbins.” But think about this. Something that was natural and innate in my body was cut out (with good reason, at the time). And that thing so insistently demanded to have its rightful spot in my body that it is growing back, fresh and healthy, over three decades later.

Takeaway #1: Aren’t our bodies miraculous? Marvelous? Wondrous? Like, actual, literal wonder? We focus so often on our aches and pains and cellulite. But ever since that day last year, I cannot stop thinking of my body as this marvelous contraption that is so self-correcting in favor of its own well-being, of its own healing, that it will try to grow back what’s been cut out.

Takeaway #2: What is inborn in you, the innate gifts, talents, callings and destiny with which you came here, cannot be totally cut out. Not by failures, not by age, not by even discouragement, or doubt or fear, unless you allow that to happen. Not by a bad childhood. You might think you are too old or too traumatized or too something to do the dream that’s in your heart, but I ask you to please just humor me and try on the belief that these things have all been preparation.

They have honed you, burnished you and thicken your skin. They have tenderized your heart, but also strengthened it. They have helped you get clear. They have helped you become more wise. More loving. More you.

Now, the world needs you. You feel it. I know you do, or you wouldn’t be here.

POD #17: Tonsillar regrowth 

Do you have a dream or a calling that has been dormant, or has just not been an area of focus, for any reason?

What is it? Name it. Detail it. Describe who you would need to be in order to let it regrow, to give it fresh life.

Conditions for Happiness

A note from Tara: This post was originally a writing prompt I issued to participants in my September 2017 30 Day Writing Challenge. It was so breakthrough-inducing for those folks I had to share it here.

Conditions for Happiness

I invite you to join us in November for the next 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders and Creators. Space is limited; register now: taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge.

Hey, y’all:

About four or 12 lifetimes ago, I worked in real estate, selling homes. And I would never have had to work again if I only had a dollar for every home buyer who saw a gorgeous home in a struggling neighborhood and said:

“If only I could pick this house up and put it back down somewhere else. Then, it’d be *perfect*.”

Right. Except then, it would cost a million dollars more than this one. And except that in the neighborhood you love, the lots are half the size of this one. And the houses are twice the age. And have all manner of other things you don’t like.

Oh yeah: and except for the part about how that’s not possible.

POD #12: Conditions for happiness

Scan your world. Is there any relationship or project or area of your life in which you have been imposing impossible conditions on your happiness?

Is there any place in your life where you are telling yourself the story that you would be totally happy if only everyone else did exactly what you wanted them to do and everything turned out exactly the way you would do it?

Are these conditions even possible? Is it an impossible demand to expect the whole entire world and everyone in it to comply with your desires? Are you conditioning your happiness on the impossible?

Now: what would it take for you to decide to be happy in that situation regardless of the conditions? Does thinking about this spark any level of fear? Who would you be if you dropped the conditions and decided to be happy, regardless? How would your conversations change? Your relationships?

Can you envision happiness without conditions? What would that be like, to live? Can you feel it, even for a minute?

Alternatively, have you already figured out how to be happy without conditions, even occasionally or intermittently? If so, describe a situation in which you are happy and satisfied even though someone is not doing what you want them to do, or the circumstances aren’t exactly what you’d pick. How’d you get there?

Use Your Words

A note from Tara: This post was originally a writing prompt I issued to participants in my September 2017 30 Day Writing Challenge. It was so breakthrough-inducing for those folks I had to share it here.

Use Your Words

I invite you to join us in November for the next 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders and Creators. Space is limited; register now: taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge.

Friends:

We tell kids this all the time, don’t we? Don’t hit. Don’t fuss. And whatever you do, use your words.

But we’re much less clear with them about precisely how to use their words. So human children model the words of those around them, creating mental storylines and ways of wielding our words, both toward others and toward ourselves, that last a lifetime.

Some of these are helpful and healthful, these ways we wield our words. But often times, they are totally unintentional. This is troubling, as words and the energy behind them are the most powerful instruments we have, as humans.

We *think* there’s no instruction manual for how to use our words. But in fact, there are a number of systems and sources of wisdom on this exact topic, from very different sources.

Examples:

  1. Non-Violent Communication: I walked into the house the other day and found my sweetheart having a deep conversation with my little black pug, Sumiko. “Sumiko, he said, looking her straight in the eye, “When you howl like that, I feel sad. I feel like I’m not taking care of you. And I need you to stop howling, because I really try very hard to make you feel cared for.” Scott was modeling Non-Violent Communication, a sort of philosophy and set of conversational templates for using your words to express yourself, have hard conversations and resolve conflict while minimizing defensive and unintended hurt feelings on the other side. NVC has an undercurrent I like, of requiring each speaker to own responsibility for their own happiness.
  2. Ancient spiritual authorities: One of the Bible verses I personally reference the most is Psalm 18:21, which I grew up on as “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” But I personally love the specific phrasing of The Message version, which goes like this: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”

I also like the fleshing out of this principle in Dwight Goddard’s translations of some Buddhist sutras: “As to purity by words. There are five pairs of words that cause much disturbance in the world:

  • words that are suitable on some occasions and wrong on other occasions
  • words that fit certain facts and that do not fit other facts
  • some words are quiet, some are wild
  • some words are beneficial, some harmful
  • some words are sympathetic, some are hateful.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them, for good or ill. If our minds are filled with sympathy and compassion, they will be resistant to the evil words we hear, and we must not let wild words pass our lips lest they arouse feelings of anger and hatred. The words we speak must always be words of sympathy and wisdom.”

3. The First of The Four Agreements. Those of you who know me know I am micro-obsessed with The Four Agreements, a set of principles laid down by don Miguel Ruiz for accessing incredible levels of freedom and energy. The First of the Four is to “be impeccable with your words,” which does not just mean to do what you say you’ll do. It means two things:

a) To understand the power of your words to bless or curse yourself and those around you, and

b) To only use your words in favor of love and light, both toward yourself and toward others.

dMR says this single Agreement, practiced consistently, creates a life that comes close to heaven right here on Earth.

POD #10: Use Your Words

Here’s the actual prompt. Use your ever-powerful words to speak, weave and write TWO blessings. The first one is a blessing I want you to write and speak over yourself, your life and/or your future. The second is a blessing you’ll write over/about someone else. The someone else might be your dog, your mate, your kidlets or your bestie. It might be our nation or our world.

Extra credit if you can toss in a bonus blessing over someone you don’t particularly ummmmmmm like.

Write a bit about how it feels to be the bestower of blessings.