Man, I feel a little silly when I write these intro’s. I’m pretty conscious of the fact that I’m always waxing lyrical about these ladies that I feature here. But, sheesh! I think I’ve just struck gold with some of our Bold-Hearted Babes. And this week is no exception, so without any apology for my glowing praise and big claims, meet Tara Bliss.
No other lady has prompted quite so many self-realisations for me as Ms Bliss. To be completely honest with you, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight when I stumbled across her blog (which at the time went by Such Different Skies)… It was a little unsettling and somewhat intimidating but I stuck around because she kept popping up on my radar and I had a feeling I’d need to keep an eye on her. Sure enough, within a couple of months I was hooked. A coach, author (of High: A Party Girl's Guide to Peace and collaborator on Spirited) and eff-bomb dropping yoga teacher… all kinds of wonderful.
The ability that Tara has to speak the truth so simply and brazenly is really quite astounding and leaves me with no doubt that this lady was put on this earth to write. I’m am left completely spell-bound by her words so I’m excited to be able to share some of them with you today. Over to Tara...
// The Big and Bountiful //
1. Share with us a short story of personal triumph (big or small) and what limiting beliefs you had to dismantle along the way.
Most recently, it was the morning of my very first writing workshop, and I was terrified. I’m talking: lying in the foetal position, under the covers, sobbing uncontrollably, totally and completely gripped by fear.
This often happens to me.
I’m an ‘Announce It Quickly Before You Get A Chance To Say No’ kinda gal, and I can thank that one trait of mine for the growth and expansion of not just my business, but my spiritual journey, too.
Say yes. Figure the details out later. Everything’s going to be okay.
That’s normally the dialogue after a creative thought lands in me, and I’ve come to translate that type of language as the voice of Grace inside me.
Problem is though, sooner or later the details need sorting, and once the details have been sorted, the time to launch is upon me, which is always a scary and prickly collection of moments for me.
It unnerves all my insecurities about worthiness and (lack of) experience and all those gremlins and creatures who would rather I believe that I’m simply not the girl for the job come to the surface and rear their ghastly heads.
This path I’ve been treading for years now – one of self-enquiry and Reaching For Higher Perspectives and plain old glorious faith – has taught me that that hideous brand of fear is not only normal in a process such as this, but – most importantly – that the fear is not who I am.
I’ll repeat that, and this time, for you.
The fear is not who you are.
So. I got out of bed. I had a shower. I ate. I arranged the flowers good and nice and proper. I gazed at my content one last time…
The moment those beautiful women started spilling into my living room, all that fear dissipated, and instead I realised what so many of us do when we finally acknowledge that we feel compelled to serve:
This isn’t even about me.
The workshop was a smashing success and a dozen women left my apartment with books in their bones that are ripe for harvesting.
2. What does it mean for you to live boldly from a place of love?
Such a beautiful, beautiful question. (Thank you)
Two things instantly spring to mind.
The first is to forgive fiercely and whole-heartedly, and often. Every day if you have to. Forgiveness transforms our relationships at an energetic level and frees us from the tension, resentment and exhaustion that comes with harbouring and hanging onto pain.
And the second is deciding to never withhold your love.
So many of us are under this ridiculous false pretence that our love, that our heart, is something that needs protecting. It’s bullshit. What are we protecting, exactly? Why do we withhold? Vulnerability asks us to put everything on the line for love. We must be quite literally willing to seemingly ‘lose everything’ (yet another illusion) in order to gain it all. With this type of openness and faith comes intimacy beyond our brightest and wildest dreams.
Forgive genuinely and often.
Do not withhold your love.
And then email me telling me how much your life has transformed!
[Fran: absolutely adore this answer. Spot on]
3. What makes your heart sing and lights you up?
Well, this very moment, I’m in the air, flying to Japan for three weeks of snowboarding. My very handsome husband is asleep next me and in a couple of hours we’ll be landing in Tokyo. Japan is our happy place. We love being in those mountains, riding that deep, delicious snow, indulging our senses in the food and the language and the culture. It brings us so alive, and simultaneously awakens both our inner children and our grown-up passion for one another. *Sigh
Apart from that though love, I’m all about the little things…
The day’s first light. The way my beautiful friend says ‘Hey babe!’ on the other end of the phone. The art and care my man puts into his cooking. Being in the ocean. Chanting kundalini mantras…
I’m a devout swooner of life; there is so much beauty and unlimited possibility to be lit up from within every single day.
4. What grinds your gears or leaves you less than lukewarm? (Everyone has something)
More than what some folks might realise, actually!
Some of my friends call me a Honey Badger because I’m known to have quite a short fuse at times.
I’m most triggered by blatant copy-catting, closed-mindedness (those that believe their way is the only way) and fear mongering…
… and if I’m triggered by those things, I know – that by Divine Paradox – they are the very things that I’m capable of doing, too. That’s one of the greatest gifts of being a spiritual teacher - knowing that there’s no excuse to hang out in a pissed place for long. I have too many tools within me to get away with that :
5. What identities have you shed recently?
Outgrowing or relinquishing over-used identities is something I’m really passionate about, and it’s a thread that’s woven heavily and intentionally throughout both High and my 1:1 coaching sessions.
I’ll preface this by saying that I don’t believe it’s necessary to shed all that we think we are, but rather, to acknowledge the labels, identities and even archetypes in our lives that we attach our sense of self to, and endeavour to see what’s beyond them.
So in that case, two major identities that I’ve consciously shed over the last few years include the Party Girl and the Tomboy.
It doesn’t mean that I still don’t have the essence of those patterns in me… not at all. It means that today, I have a more whole and integrated way of perceiving myself that transcends the limitations of a label, and that’s all kinds of kick ass empowering.
If I believe I’m nothing but a tomboy, it’s unlikely I’ll ever allow myself to feel beautiful, or lovely, or gracious.
If I believe I’m a Party Girl, I make it difficult for myself to experience serenity or spaciousness. (Party Girls have a habit of staying busy, of being balls-to-the-wall, of filling up their lives)
Relinquishing ‘Tomboy’ has opened me up to a world of such profound inner grace, softness, fierceness. That’s not to say I don’t still love wearing my husband’s jeans all weekend and swearing too much and watching sport on television (all things I’m privy too)… what’s different is that those things don’t define me anymore.
Can you dig the difference?
6. It has been over a year since you collaborated with Rachel MacDonald to bring your first eBook, Spirited, into the world. How does that experience compare to sharing your latest book, High: A Party Girl’s Guide to Peace?
The processes could not have been more different.
Each of us on the planet creates in a very unique way when we’re in our own space. Add another person to the equation and that uniqueness morphs and takes on yet another life, another dynamic. A group dynamic.
Writing Spirited with Rach was one of my business highlights so far; it really was a joy. Once the ball was rolling, and the two of us were locked into the process, it came together super swiftly. Two sets of eyes were on the project, ideas were being bounced around between us, and often we were both in our Google document, writing different chapters at the same time. There was quite literally a buffet of encouragement on hand at the click of a mouse, and that created a lot of momentum for us.
High was a whole ‘nother beast.
For one, it’s four times the size as our Spirited.
Also, it’s laden with intensely personal stories, which in my case meant that I really couldn’t be seen in the world all that much. At times, the book swallowed me whole, and in truth, it needed to. One of my mentors once told me ‘we self-actualise through our writing.’ Yep. What he said. That.
Spirited felt like a flat out celebration. High came carrying with it a deep, deep creative and personal awakening.
That’s the best way I can describe it.
7. High is built upon your own personal experiences and you get pretty vulnerable and up-front. What practices and people did you look to for support when bringing this passion project to life?
I can’t tell you how blessed I was to pen my first draft in Ubud, Bali. That meant, that while I was still writing between 6-9 hours a day, I had the Yoga Barn at my full disposal, as well as three prepared meals each day. I felt so very, very supported.
In the early days, support from my mentor, Belinda Davidson, was invaluable, too.
I tended to lean into my clients and the ex-Party Girls that I had worked with for support but also for inspiration. They’re the girls I was writing this book for so their feedback and input was worth gold to me.
Back in the ‘real world’ as I continued diving further into drafts two, three and down the line into the collaborative and promotional periods, I have Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to thank for keeping me grounded and elevated. Focused and surrendered. Wahe Guru!
Glen – my man, and my original editor (ha!) – held me tight when I wanted to give up.
On top of that, I’ll just add this:
+ Watching sunrises calls the creativity within me to rise up alongside it. I am certain of it.
+ Sweating is the solution to creative stagnation.
+ Mama Nature was my backbone.
+ Communicate openly and honestly with those you love. I remember sending a text to my girls saying ‘If I don’t answer your call, please understand why. I need some time with my book.’
And as far of the ‘vulnerability’ aspect of the book, well, I had to take lots of deep breaths and wipe away a lot of tears and a lot of snot, and just keep writing.
// & Other Pieces of the Puzzle //
1. Favourite quote: "Resistance is directly proportional to love […] The more you resist your project, the more love there is." - Steve Pressfield.
2. Current fascination: Teaching people how to write books (I’m touring my workshop Australia wide) and my husband. Five and a half years on and I still fall flat on my face for him every day.
3. I seek nourishment through… Mantra, Yoga, Breathing, Mama Nature.
4. I seek expression through… Writing, mostly. Journal entries, blog posts, book chapters, hand-written letters.
5. I seek growth through… Teaching, forgiving, practicing unconditional love.
Want more? Everything you need to know...
Tara's latest offerings:
- High: A Party Girl's Guide to Peace: I speak no word of a lie when I say that this book o’ words is laced with wisdom. It’s a deeply personal memoir-come-guidebook to help you pilot your journey to peace. Not a combination to be overlooked - just search #highpeace on social media and you’ll uncover a slew of glowing praise for this book.
- Tara is now stepping into her role as a teacher and sharing her well-earned wisdom on all things writing to help those with books brewing inside then to get them out in the word through her workshops.
- She'll also be touring Australia (and possibly the globe!) to meet her tribe and share High with even more party-girls and peace-seekers.
Where to find here:
As a former hair-dresser, bungee-jumping teacher and martini shaking bartender, Tara Bliss has always loved one thing: pushing herself and other people to go beyond what they think is appropriate.
These days, as a coach, author and yoga teacher (with swagger), she’s still deeply passionate about guiding women to stretch beyond what is reasonable, or what feels possible.
Named a ‘self-help guru’ by ELLE magazine, her teachings have been featured in Cleo, The Sunday Mail, The Daily Love and Mind Body Green.
When she’s not jamming with her clients or immersed in writing projects, you’ll find her making shapes on her yoga mat, planning a snowboarding trip with her man, hanging by the sea (channeling her inner mermaid), or thinking about Mexican food.
Ahhhhh... She's good, huh? Your turn: we want to hear of a little of how whole-hearted forgiveness and generous love have shaped your personal evolution. Share in the comments.
FYI: I am an affiliate for Spirited because its golden and good things are better shared.