by Tess

Do you know that amazing feeling when you fall in love with a blog you feel so blessed to discover? That's how I felt when I found Tara's Wise Living Blog. Because I wanted to share that feeling with everyone I immediately asked her if I could interview her for The Bold Life. If you want to watch a star being born I strongly suggest you sign up for her RSS feed, follow Tara on Twitter. I can guarantee the opportunity will be life changing if you allow it. 


Tara, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to blogging.

I’m a lover of writing, creativity, and personal growth.
I think that once our basic needs are met, the quality of our lives depends on the quality of our inner lives.
My work—writing, teaching, coaching–is about sharing tools for “wise living” – which just means managing our fears and mental chatter, learning how to hear our own truths, and steering our lives with as little suffering as possible.
Only in the past year did I make this my full-time career. I wanted to write (and specifically to write a book) but staring at the empty page in my living room telling myself “start the manuscript today” did not kick-start my creativity, as you might imagine! My friend Laura suggested blogging, and from day one, blogging got the words flowing, because of its speed and interactive quality: I could write for an hour, call something “done” and share it. That was a magical creative catalyst for me. It’s now turned into a beloved part of my work and life. 

The Bold Life: If you aren't satisfied with your life this is a good time to do a personal internal inventory. It's easy to allow our blogging stats, comments or sales (external) determine our mood or even self-worth. During those times remember the external says nothing about our worth at all.

How did you get so wise at such a young age?

First of all, thank you! I had an unusual upbringing. My mom was very interested in psychology and spirituality and integrated that into her parenting. I grew up analyzing my dreams every morning and talking about spirit and unconscious motivations and the ego, all from a very young age. I’ve been working with this stuff, reading about it, since about age ten.

The Bold Life: What a mom! I'm grateful Tara is so willing to share her gift with the blogging world (and beyond)!

Tell us about “The Great Love” you have for everyone.
The Great Love is non-selective, all encompassing love for all creation. It is a force of love that we can open to, or we can remain cut off from.
I was inspired to write about The Great Love after I had a poignant experience writing my bio for my blog. I wanted to conclude the bio with, “My heart is brimming full of love for you.”
In that moment, I felt my love for everyone on the planet, whether I or not I knew them. My mind battled between the longing to say that and the superego voice that said, “you cannot tell strangers on the Internet that you love them!”
I included the line. I started owning my love for everyone in lots of different ways. I had been shy about it for many years, because its considered naïve or odd in our culture. 

That essay is probably the piece of my writing I love most of anything I’ve written. I thought of it as the more non-mainstream side of my writing. Then this delightful thing happened and it was picked up on USA—busting the little story I had made up mainstream vs. not!

The Bold Life: If you haven't felt you own love for everyone on the planet I in my opinion a good practice to help get you there would be to learn the ancient healing technique  Ho'oponopono with Dr. Hew Len.
Your writing is very creative…what or who inspires your creativity.

The blank page is my inspiration. Sitting down and just starting (even when I don’t want to) is what makes the difference for me in generating creativity.
I recently went to a poetry workshop. The teachers had us write a poem in five minutes. Terrifying, but people produced amazing material. Then we wrote poems in three minutes. More amazing material.
This is the big secret! We complain about our lack of time to write/create/reflect, but the truth is, with structure and a little space, creations and insights happen, because there is so much waiting to be born from us. 
I don’t mean to make it sound easy. I lost my creativity for about ten years. I lost it in competitive, prestigious academic environments where a writing workshop was about who was “good” and who could best imitate T.S. Eliot. I also lost my creative self because of a vicious inner critic who gnawed away at the writer in me and chased her underground.
I got writing and creativity back because the pain of being blocked got so great. I had to figure out how to manage my inner critic so she didn’t get in my way. I did, and I now often work with coaching clients on that.
I could talk about this forever because I love creativity, and I don’t want what happened to me to happen to others. I’m very interested in how we can nurture creativity within ourselves, and how we create institutions that do that.

The Bold Life: What is waiting to be born in you? The next time you feel blocked I'd encourage you to sit with this question in silence. Write down in a journal everything that comes up for you. 

What used to block me was competition. When I found a blog I loved my ego would convince me to compare my writing and feel like I wasn't good enough. Now when I find a blog I love, I celebrate by sharing people like Tara and her wisdom with my readers. In truth there is no competition. 

What do you mean “compassion” is a form of wisdom?

I believe that compassion is the natural expression of wisdom. I believe that people who hurt are hurting, and the sane response is love, psychological help and tools that heal.
In the face of things that scare us, can harm us, we can choose fear or compassion. Fear perpetuates the cycle of harm; compassion can end it.
When someone commits an act of violence, for example, today our society points the finger, calls that person “bad” and prescribes a punishment. We should be calling that person sick not bad, and prescribe treatment.
And, on the internal level, when we have compassion for ourselves about our own limitations and flaws, we work with them more effectively. Compassion creates the space for us to see what’s true.

The Bold Life: When we can have passion for ourselves we can have compassion for others. Who needs your compassion today?
You mentioned public speaking, what topics do you speak about and to whom?
There are few things that are more fun for me than public speaking and leading group programs. I focus on topics core to my writing and coaching: Being You, The Art of Simplification, Leaving the B+ Life, Quieting the Inner Critic, Everyday Joy.
I believe in the power of spaces. Often what we need is the right space, tone, and questions to unearth the gifts within. Workshops are spaces for remembering who we are and what matters most. They are spaces for the heart to speak its truth. I love gently facilitating a space where people can connect to the truth-knowing parts of themselves.

I do more formal programs in organizations and more informal things in homes, and have offered an email-based course as well….if you have an interest, by all means email me. And my newsletter always lists upcoming group programs. 

The Bold Life: With the help Tara offers there isn't a reason in the world to become stagnant or stuck. The best thing we can do is fill our own body, mind and soul with the best so we can then offer it to offers. When is the last time you treated or blessed yourself with a retreat or workshop?
 What brings you everyday joy?
Engaging in the creative process…the amazing, “this idea/piece of writing didn’t exist before, and now it does” fact of creating. Listening to loud music with a great beat while walking through the city. Art. Rich conversations with my husband. Connecting with readers. Laughing with old friends. Approaching life with curiosity, feeling myself growing, paying attention.
Why would I want to hire you as a coach? How would you benefit me?
I believe that if you are on this planet, you have a glorious self to express and a particular contribution to make. Coaching with me is a way to remember and unearth the most powerful you, and figure out how he or she can come to greater expression in the world.
Often that work happens through the prism of a particular life issue: navigating transition, improving health, designing the next phase of our lives, etc. Those are the issues people come to coaching with. Often its just, life is not feeling so great, I’ve lost my way, I’ve lost myself, and I want the vitality and color and purpose and joy back.
I have an MBA from Stanford and worked in the nonprofit sector for several years before transitioning into coaching, so I also work with some professionals on leadership and professional issues.

The Bold Life: The more joy we allow ourselves to experience the more joy we have to share to others. Take action today if you lack joy, boldness or color in your world.
You’ve mentioned we have a habit of projecting perfection onto others. Where does that come from?  How does one stop?
We all grapple with a great deal of fear: fear of failure, rejection. We do all kinds of things to keep ourselves safe in the comfort zone.
Our minds do all kinds of things to keep us there, including the comparing thing. If so and so is smarter than me, now I have a good reason to not go start a business like she did. If all the other people fit in and I don’t, I have a reason to keep quiet at our gatherings
and not really share myself. It’s a way of staying safe.
Stopping this habit comes from noticing when we are projecting perfection onto others, and observing those thoughts rather than identifying with them.
I’ve also found it powerful to read about incredible people’s struggles with their inner critics. For example, in The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp, arguably the most successful American choreographer, explains that every time she begins a dance piece she’s quite certain this will be the end of her career and the people will literally laugh her off the stage. Examples like these make it quite clear to me that our inner critic chatter has no connection to reality.

The Bold Life: I mentioned above how I used to compare my blog to others. I didn't realize it at the time but I was projecting perfection when I felt that way. I've never heard it labeled that way and it Tara's word got to me on a deeper level.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Two published books on the market. A moving connection with a circle of readers. Sharing my message through many different media – video, online classes, retreats. Welcoming beloved friends to my home, walking them down the path of a bright, loosely tended garden.

The Bold Life: Yes, we're witnessing an Internet Star being born. I'm over-joyed to be sharing in her wisdom and process. Thank you Tara!

More Tara Connections…,,   

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    { 29 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jay Schryer April 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Hi Tess,

    Thank you for introducing me to such a wise and wonderful soul. I’ll be sure to check out Tara’s blog, because I can’t wait to find out more.

    Hi Tara,

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. You are truly an inspiration, and I’m very glad to meet you!
    .-= Jay Schryer´s last post…November Rain =-.


    Peggy April 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Tess!

    I think it’s time I got to know Tara!

    Tara – I read your most recent blog post thanks to Tess’ link and your interview with her. Awesome piece on getting unstuck!

    .-= Peggy´s last post…Your Moment of Bliss =-.


    Farnoosh April 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Tara, beautiful story. I love this line “With structure and a little space, creations and insights happen, because there is so much waiting to be born from us”….I enjoyed reading this immensely but I disagree on the violence bit. There are people out there who are indeed beyond hope and are parasites to society and need to be removed. Terrorists are one example. And to protect civilization and society, we need to protect the innocent, the people who do love and live compassionately – the very people you talk about – and everything we have built. There are criminals who commit acts of crime just so and there is nothing wrong with them and our laws of punishment are sadly quite relaxed as it is….Ok I am done now…honestly rules in my comments :) ! I guess it’s hard to know how we feel about crime until it has impacted us on a personal level too.


    suzen April 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Tess! I can see why you feel you found a treasure in Tara – indeed!!!

    Hi Tara! This interview was fabulous – I will be stopping by your blog. This has been a delightful introduction!
    Hugs to you both,
    .-= suzen´s last post…The One Word Self-Destroyer =-.


    Cheryl Paris April 21, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Hello Tess,

    Inspiring interview. Tara – I will be stopping by your blog.
    Once we find what we love the most and make it as career with a lovely family Life feels complete.
    I know jobs can sometimes kill creativity but I am glad to hear that you finally have it your own way.

    Bye for now,
    .-= Cheryl Paris´s last post…Don’t Be Sorry: Boost Your Attitude to Success =-.


    Lana-{Daring Clarity} April 21, 2010 at 6:43 am

    I LOVED this interview Tess! And I could so resonate with what what Tara said about saying I love you to strangers from the blog. I said that few times in my blog posts and always felt hesitant at first. But that’s exactly how feel, why should I hold back! Great interview, very inspiring!


    Tony Single April 21, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Great interview, and now my curiosity is piqued. Tess, your mission is accomplished. :)
    .-= Tony Single´s last post…A Dog Made Me =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord April 21, 2010 at 8:56 am

    I smiled throughout this interview, and was rather captivated by what Tara said. I’ve read her blog, and she’s a brilliant writer.

    Tara — you inspire me!
    Tess — as do you, with these phenomenal interviews. Always what I need to read!


    Tess The Bold LIfe April 21, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I think she has a lot to teach or remind us about. Thanks for supporting me and my blog.

    Yes I loved the unstuck article as well. Want to print it off and high light stuff. Put it in my journal for further reflection.

    I understand your point of view and I’m somewhere in the middle. I do believe there is a core of love inside all of us and for some it’s buried under their hurendous acts and impossible to find the light. I also know as a therapist there are some people who are sick and certain kinds of mental illness there is no cure for…unless it’s a lot of the proper help and desire to change.

    No matter what act someone commits I also believe forgiveness and love bestowed on them by us weather we know them or not is helpful. It heals our mind at the very least and helps us be less violent in our own thoughts, words and actions.

    I do believe we need to protect innocent people from violent and dangerous people but in a humane way. Thanks for you input. It’s always appreciated and I love love love your honesty.

    Thanks for stopping by and checking out Tara’s blog as well.

    Yes friends, family and a purposeful career make anyone smile. Tara has gifts that will take her places;)

    I don’t think there’s ever a good time to hold back love. Never.

    Yeah, thanks for participating.

    I’m smiling too! Thank you.
    .-= Tess The Bold LIfe´s last post… =-.


    Tara Mohr April 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you so much, and thanks for leaving such a beautiful comment over at Wise Living!

    So glad you enjoyed the reflection on Getting Unstuck. It was fabulous to collaborate with other bloggers in this way.

    Thank you!!! I’ve been seeing your name around in various comments discussions and am looking forward to checking out your blog. So glad you enjoyed the interview.

    Yes, its true, there is so much joy in doing our “right work.”
    Thank you, and glad you’ll be stopping by Wise Living.


    Tara Mohr April 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    So glad this left you feeling inspired, and I’m happy to hear you can relate to that feeling of wanting to communicate love to readers and wondering…”is this okay?”

    Your comment really made me laugh. Glad your curiosity has been activated!

    Thanks so much for your kind words about my writing. Its been so fun to connect with you.
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Getting Unstuck =-.


    Tara Mohr April 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Farnoosh,
    Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m glad you enjoyed the interview.

    I appreciate your thoughts about violence and criminals – this is such an important discussion. I share your commitment to protecting the innocent, and I believe that often we need secure facilities that take violent and dangerous people out of reach of the innocent in order to do that. But if our focus is just on incarceratinon, we just get more crime – the data already shows us that.

    Ultimately, what really creates a secure society? I believe that a focus on rehabilitation and on promoting the wellbeing of members creates long-term, widespread safety for the innocent.

    I would also say that for me, there is no such thing as a violent criminal who has “nothing wrong with them.” In my mind, the decision to hurt an innocent human being is in itself evidence of something having gone deeply wrong.

    Thanks for engaging in this dialogue with me, Farnoosh, and sending you all the best!
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Getting Unstuck =-.


    Tara Mohr April 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    And…to Tess,

    I wanted to convey a heartfelt and huge thank you for all your kind words, your incredible support, and the opportunity to share my words and my work in this way. How incredible. How exciting.

    Thank you Tess, its an honor to be here!

    Love, Tara
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Getting Unstuck =-.


    Topi April 22, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Interview posts are my favourites, and as always I loved this one!

    Tess – I love the questions you ask, you always seem to get just that little bit more information to share with your readers.

    Tara – I found your blog a while back and have been enjoying it ever since, but I’ve loved learning more about you.

    .-= Topi´s last post…10 moments to savour during the day =-.


    Nea | Self Improvement Saga April 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

    This was an awesome introduction. I’ll definitely add Tara’s blog to my list of must-reads.
    .-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last post…45 Ways to Live a More Joyful Life =-.


    Tara Mohr April 22, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thank you! I always love reading your comments at Wise Living, and enjoy your presence there! And its been fun to be reading along with you at your blog over the past few weeks.

    And yes, I totally agree- Tess asks fabulous questions. It was so much fun to explore them for this interview.

    Nea, thank you! Look forward to seeing you over at Wise Living! I’ve enjoyed checking out your blog too!



    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now April 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    We need more people who love unconditionally. This love will help us all grow into a more connected and passionate society. I’ll go and check out her blog right now. Thanks Tess.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…Negotiate Your Way to Great Work =-.


    Mark April 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Tess thanks for a great interview with the loving soul who is Tara! Tara has a new fan in me.
    .-= Mark´s last post…Allowing Yourself to Be a Quitter =-.


    Wilma Ham April 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Oh Tess, sharing treasures like Tara shows your generous nature as well. What an awesome introduction and what a way to get confidence that the world is about to understand connectedness once again.
    Thank you both for making my heart sing, love Wilma
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Wilma on Martyrs need support =-.


    Kalvin Chinyere April 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm


    Listening to your interview felt like a breathe of fresh air. Coaches are underutilized in all aspects of society. We can used them in our personal lives, professional lives, and in improving our health. Keep up the great work.
    .-= Kalvin Chinyere´s last post…Acupuncture For Weight Loss =-.


    Farnoosh ~ Prolific Living April 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Tess, thank you for indulging me and my thoughts and for sharing your opinion especially as a therapist. What a wonderful community when we can disagree without being disagreeable and where we value what each of us thinks without pretense …… thank you !


    Farnoosh ~ Prolific Living April 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Tara, thank you so much for indulging me like Tess and answering the question. I actually have read statistics where when the punishment for a crime is severe, the crime disappears. For instance, look at what Rudy Guiliani did for the crime-ridden NYC. He raised the punishment. Look at Singapore where littering is highly punished. People refrain from it. And look at the spoiled brats of children out there where their parents never punished their poor behavior. They become rotten. I guess I will make one tough Mommy! I do believe in just punishment which makes people accountable for their action and perhaps have less compassion for those who hurt others and more, infinitely more, for the innocent victims who are lost forever.


    Phil - Less Ordinary Llving April 23, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Tara –

    What a lovely surprise on a Friday afternoon to stumble on this interview. I really enjoyed learning a little about you and I’ll certainly be following your blog from now on.

    Tess – appreciate the introduction – keep up the bold work!

    .-= Phil – Less Ordinary Llving´s last post…The Five Secrets to Finding Work that Matters =-.


    vered April 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Fascinating ideas. I’ll be honest and say that I don’t always agree that “people who hurt are hurting, and the sane response is love, psychological help and tools that heal” – I often do respond with fear.
    .-= vered´s last post…Can We Save Planet Earth? =-.


    Tara Mohr April 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Karl – Thank you! I’m with you…more love and more of a fundamental basis of love has the power to transform our society. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Wise Living.

    Mark – Thank you! I’m touched.

    Wilma – I know, Tess has been such an amazing support and champion of me – it’s been so moving for me and says so much about her.
    Thanks for your kind words and so glad to hear you found this interview inspiring!
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Are You Getting The #1 Happiness Vitamin? =-.


    Tara Mohr April 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Phil – thanks so much, glad this could add something to your Friday afternoon. Look forward to seeing you over at wise living!

    Vered – thank you for reading and taking this all in….I know my ideas about compassion can seem radical – and I appreciate you simmering on them! Warmly, Tara
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Are You Getting The #1 Happiness Vitamin? =-.


    Tara Mohr April 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Hi there.
    Well….I agree that human beings absolutely avoid doing all kinds of things out of fear of pain and suffering – including, in some case, crime. Punishment and reward are certainly levers we can use to impact human behavior.

    That being said, its worth noting that the actual scientific research on punishment as a deterrent has shown very mixed results….and many studies have pointed out that national crime rates fell overall as NYC’s did.

    In general, while it might be somewhat effective, I don’t think a world that deters crime primarily through punishment is the best we can do as a society. It’s certainly not all we can do.

    We know from the research, for example, that ~70% of male felons suffered child abuse before age 12, and 35% suffered “very severe violence” at home under age 12. Investing in preventing and addressing child abuse seems at least as important as investing in enhancing punishment.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this topic, and all the best -Tara
    .-= Tara Mohr´s last post…Are You Getting The #1 Happiness Vitamin? =-.


    Jannie Funster April 24, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Tara!! Tess!! You are both do amazingly wonderful! Birds of a feather…

    I am now following Tata on Twitter. And am looking forward to immersing myself in the Great Love of her blog.



    Greg Blencoe April 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Tess!

    Thanks so much for letting me know about Tara. And I really enjoyed your interview with her. As I mentioned before, I LOVE the format where you also include your comments.

    It was also interesting that you mentioned Ho’oponopono. I heard really good things about it a couple of years ago and meant to learn more about it. But I never did. I might have to look into it.
    .-= Greg Blencoe´s last post…Relationships as mirrors =-.


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