Self-Love Series: Tara Sophia Mohr

September 26, 2012

Today I have the absolute honor of revealing a second secret interview series project: The Self-Love Series with yours truly and the phenomenal Margarita Tartakovsky from Psych Central’s blog Weightless. Side note: Margarita also has a fabulous personal blog that I recommend you checking out here.

Margarita and I are teaming up to bring you a monthly interview series around learning the beautiful and delicate art of self-love.

I am almost speechless at the prospect of presenting to you our very first interview, with one of our absolute self-love heroes: Tara Sophia Mohr. Tara can by found in a myriad of extremely impressive platforms, including: The Huffington Post, The Today Show, CNN, Whole Living, and many, many more.

Her signature program Playing Big is a six-month journey that teaches women how to follow their callings, overcome self-doubt, take big leaps and start playing bigger in pursuing their dreams. Playing Big takes an innovative approach combining inner work, practical training skills, and the huge benefit of a supportive and dynamic community. Find out more about Playing Big here.

How do you practice self-love?

I’m happy to say my answer to this question couldn’t fit on this page! These days, self-love is the space I move in, most of the time. I’m grateful for that.

Following my heart’s authentic longings all the way to creating this career of writing & helping women play bigger is one big way.

Honoring the longings around how our heart wants to express itself and contribute in the world is, I think, one of the best ways we can love ourselves. For me, it has been a huge act of self-love to go for my dreams – writing and publishing my poetry, helping women unleash their voices through the programs I lead, and being in the media – from The Today Show to Huffington Post. Each of those is an act of love toward my authentic dreams for my life.

These are manifestations of self-love, but the most important thing to say is that self-love is not a list of activities for me. It’s a spirit in which I try to consistently live. It’s a perspective from which I try to make decisions.

What book is a must-read for self-love, body image or a related topic?

Recently I’ve picked up an old favorite, Illuminata by Marianne Williamson, a book of beautiful contemporary prayers – morning and evening prayers, prayers related to work, the body, family. When I ask to be of service to a power greater than myself, I stop worrying about the trivial stuff, thighs included. More than I ever “recover” from body image issues, I find ways to lift myself up into something bigger and more important. And of course, I would recommend my free 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook!

What are your favorite ways to move your body?

As I write this, I’m in a week-long dance workshop. Dance gives me a physical vitality that I love, and moves me from stress to relaxation, from cranky moods to relaxed, loose, contented moods. And there’s a spiritual aspect to dance – somewhere in those two hours of dancing, I find communion with the sacred. It’s a pretty incredible list of benefits. In one activity I get physical exercise, emotional processing, community, and spiritual connection. Not to mention—a big libido boost too. For me, it’s not sustainable to do a form of exercise that is just about the physical. I want something that supports me emotionally and spiritually as well. I believe every person is granted at least one form of physical moment their heart and soul will truly enjoy – and it’s our job to find out what that form is and do it!

What’s one or two things you wish women knew about appreciating and loving themselves?

You are brilliant. You don’t need more training or more experience. You are more ready than you think you are. The voice of self-doubt chattering in your head is called your inner critic and it tells lies. Go for your dreams and find out just how ready you really are. We are never who we need to be to complete that which we feel called to do, but our callings grow us into the woman we need to be. So start, and let the calling grow you into that woman.

Who are your heroes?

I have many! Courageous innovators like these women:

  • Kiran Bedi, India’s highest ranking female police officer, who has pioneered a compassionate, enlightened approach to prison management in India. I bow to her.
  • Eve Ensler, playwright and creator of the V-day movement to end violence against women. Bow.
  • Anne Lamott, whose humor and honesty in her writing continually warm my heart and inspire me. Bow.
What do you think is your greatest obstacle in loving yourself?

I can get stuck in fear of making a change I’ll regret. I often realize that some change would constitute a beautiful way to love myself – but it can take me years to actually make the move. And that is why I do not currently have 2 golden retriever puppies.

How do you work to overcome it?

I use the same tools I teach. I only teach the stuff that has made a huge difference in my own life and in the lives of women I work with. I use my tools for quieting my own fear and inner critic. I anchor myself in the vision of the life I want. I call upon my inner wisdom to help guide me, and I set up supports and accountability structures in my life.

I’ll often just email a close friend and say, “Hey, I just want you to know my plan is to take x important step this month. Can you hold that lovingly in your heart? Let’s check in about it at the end of the month.” This really helps me. Writing it down, sending it off, knowing they are holding it with love, and knowing that deadline is coming – all helps.

Anything else you’d like readers to know?

That they are sacred and miraculous and genius and remarkable, by virtue of being human. That the idea that your body is not gorgeous as it is is a big lie. I wrote this in a recently note to my subscribers and I’d love for these women to know it too:

Your mind’s complaints about your body will distract you till the day of your death if you let them. Don’t. Call them out, boot them out, and then party with the gorgeous suit you got for this round. Be the woman who didn’t listen to the dominant lie of her time.

Tara Sophia Mohr is an expert on women’s well-being and leadership. The new session of her popular, in-depth Playing Big leadership program for women is now open for registration. Click here to learn more about the program. Click here to get Tara’s free guide, the 10 Rules for Brilliant Women Workbook.