Two Key Components of Living Through Loss

Dear Friend,

Thank you for the outpouring of support over the last month. I’ve been blown away by the level of empathy, sympathy and compassion that has been shown me and my family during our time of grief.

I want to share some of the things that have helped me immensely in dealing with the loss of my mom.

But before I get into the specific resources available to support people in grief, I’d like to address two areas which are key to the process: self-care and the ability to receive.

Here’s the thing, at some point we will all experience great loss. If we are capable of human connection (which we are unless we’re sociopaths). {Please click the links. They contain super helpful information for FREE}…

Bottom line: we all face the loss of our most beloved people at some point. I don’t say that to be a downer, I am just trying to share what I’ve learned.

When my mom first had her stroke last January I reached out to my community and asked for help. Specifically I wanted to know what people who had been through aging parents caregiving did in order to take care of themselves.

The resounding response was that they didn’t take care of themselves – they ran themselves ragged, ate poorly, didn’t exercise, their sleep suffered, they gained weight, they were out of their mind with worry…

Every single one told me to did it differently then they had. These caregivers wished that they had taken better care of themselves because caregiving is hard and grieving is hard.

Every single person told me to really delve deep into my own self-care. Deep down I knew that was the answer, so I really took that advice to heart and now I am passing that on to you.

Let me be clear now:

self care is imperative

Your self-care is imperative to being able to really be there for the people you love most.

That whole put your oxygen mask on first thing is no joke.

We can kinda fake our self-care in the good times. We can kinda wing our our health, happiness and sanity.

But when shit goes down, if you don’t have a real self-care program in place, it ain’t gonna be pretty. Even with my plan in place, I still got bronchitis four times during that year of my mom’s stroke.

The second key part of the process is your ability to receive.

Sounds kinda bonkers, but I’m telling you grief is hard work. The kind of hard work that you can not do alone.

The first few days after my mom died, I was struck with how much I was going to need to rely on the kindness of others in order to get through this process.

The first order of business was feeding my family. I was pretty numb and not really worried about feeding myself, but I knew my people (and I) would need nourishment. As I sat in my chair in the livingroom I wondered how that was going to happen because truth be told, I couldn’t be bothered to leave that chair.
I was stuck.

So rather than make myself do something I wasn’t sure I was able to do (walk to the kitchen), I reached out to some wonderful local friends with little kids and asked them to please make some extra of whatever they were feeding their families and to bring us some.

Of course they did. They are part of my mama tribe, but the point is I had to know how to ask for what I needed and know who to ask. And then I had to be able to receive the gifts.

This last bit is crucial: you must be able to receive the kindness and support of others.

One of the things I did immediately when people started asking me what they could do to help my family was to make a list in my phone of who offered to do things and generally what they offered to do. I usually did this right in front of them because at that point concentration and memory were not my strong suit.

Every single one of my lovely people said they were glad I was taking their offer seriously enough to make note of it. I plan to take each and every one of them up on their offer to help. Grief takes way longer than one would hope.

In the months leading up to my mom’s death, I read a very powerful book on receiving called The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen. I HIGHLY recommend everyone read this as part of their grief bootcamp — preferably way before you need it!

So remember – grief is hard work and you don’t have to do it alone. Self-care and the ability to receive help are crucial in the grief process (and perhaps the secret to a healthy, happy sane life.

With lots of self-kindness and love,

Tami xox

PS – If something in this (or any post) resonates with you and you think someone you know might like it too, please forward it to a friend.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

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My Word of 2015
19 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of the People You Love (You Don’t Have to Do All of Them To Feel Better)

Life Lesson From My Mom

Grief and Coming Out of Hiding

Dear Friend,

Many of you already know, but I wanted to share some really tough news: on March 13th my mom died.

Exactly one month after she entered hospice.

January 2014 my mom had a massive stroke leaving her partially paralyzed and thus I began my long journey toward testing all this self-care business in the real world sense.

Since I got the news that Friday at noon, I have been experiencing many physical reactions to losing someone I love, taking exquisite care of myself and trying to still be a present parent for my 4 year old daughter.

As you might imagine, this is the hardest thing I have ever experienced.

At some point I will share some of the lessons I have learned from my grieving and how that relates to my teaching and offerings.

In the mean time, if you are curious about some of my thoughts on grief and how to be with people who are experiencing profound loss, I invite you to read Michelle’s post on coming Out of Hiding.

With lots of self-kindness and love,

Tami xox

PS – If something in this (or any post) resonates with you and you think someone you know might like it too, please forward it to a friend.

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

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My Word of 2015

19 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of the People You Love (You Don’t Have to Do All of Them To Feel Better)

Life Lesson From My Mom

Inspired Instagram Feeds

Dear Friend,

I hope this message finds you well and looking for inspiration in a new place.

Lately I’ve been spending most of my online time on Instagram. {You can find me here}

Why am I spending time on Instagram instead of Facebook you ask?

3 reasons I heart IG more than FB:

1. Instagram shows me everything I have signed up to see. I really do want see every post from the people I’ve chosen to follow {FB has been hiding the goods, friends. It is no bueno}.

2. Pretty pictures make me happy.

3. IGers tend to post insanely useful information there to go with their pretty pictures. Who knew?

If you’d like to see the pretty pictures I post (always with helpful self-care tips), please download Instagram on your smartphone and follow me at @tamihackbarth.

Keep reading below to see who are my favorite Instagram feeds to follow.
With lots of self-kindness and love,

Tami xox

PS – If something in this (or any post) resonates with you and you think someone you know might like it too, please forward it to a friend.

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

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Can Your Smartphone Improve Your Health? Mine is!

Inspiration for a Self-Acceptance Self-Study

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instagram

Let the inspiration begin!

1. Create As Folk – Laura Simms just started a simple hand lettered inspired and inspiring thoughts series. Totally worth a follow – simple and gorgeous, like everything she does.

2. The Tiffany Han – Brilliant mind behind the podcast Raise Your Hand Say Yes recently started a daily post it note with notes to herself/us from the universe. Simple and so inspiring.

3. Stasia Savasuk – The brilliant, wholehearted, dynamo behind Thrift Me Pretty. She is my personal stylist (yes, you read that correctly. I HAVE A PERSONAL STYLIST) and the brains behind the Inside Out Congruency in which your brilliant insides show on the outside. Her 7 year old daughter is her photographer, she lives in Maine and her smile and style can light up any feed.

4. Go Eat Your Beets — Trisha Hughes takes the most beautiful food photos in my feed. She is a mom to 4, lives in the Midwest and is mostly grain free meaning lots of Paleo cooking. In other words, lots of veggies and cooked meats and she is able to make her photos look incredible! I regularly invite myself over for dinner (and she always says yes!).

5. Tracyshutterbean — I have already established my serious girl crush on Tracy here andhere, but seriously people, SHE ROCKS. Her bio reads: Food, photography and pretty things. All true, AND she knocks it out of the park with every.single.photo. Living in the Bay Area there are lots of Golden Gate Bridge shots, glorious morning Marin light in her enviable kitchen, tons of funny shots of her adorable son + cat. Run, don’t walk to follow Tracy.

6. Minimalist Baker – Dana Shlutz – lots and lots of pretty, vegan deliciousness. I mean, really. And she’s funny too.

7. Jennifer E Snyder – Local writer, pod caster and storyteller, Jen tells stories through her inspired feed. I love taking trips with Jen and inviting myself along – she always says yes too!  (I’m starting to notice a theme, aren’t you?) Anyway, I love how Jen captures wherever she happens to be.

8.  Eat Play Grow – Bridget(a former local teacher) posts beautiful photos of the activities she and her preschool son are working on. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken an idea from Bridget’s feed and tried it with my own preschooler. She has saved my behind on many an afternoon. Gorgeous photos that are filled with love and present parenting. Worth a look even if you don’t have kids.

9.  I Love Lucy Design Studio – I LOVE a behind the scenes of pretty much anything and this particular feed is full of shots bringing Lucy Activewear from concept to product and then to market. You get to see the designers, their travel and inspiration as well as products you may have missed other places. LOVE those HELLA active shirts! East Bay represent!

10. Liz Elayne – Liz Lamoreux’s feed brings me calm. Each picture is diverse, but the one thing they all share is an awareness of the present moment. Whenever Liz posts, I am reminded to stop and take a breath. I love that.

11. Ybicoalition – Yoga and Body Image Coalition – their bio reads: A collective of teachers, educators and doctors working together to promote yoga for all ages, shapes, sizes, abilities & backgrounds. That about sums it up. I follow this feed because I love seeing every person in their “This is what a yogi looks like” shirts.

12. Shop Compliment – Clean lines, beautiful jewelry and other “gifts for the spirit”. Melissa Camilleri is on of my biz BFFs and TGBTS Featured Teacher and one of my teachers. I love this woman and I learn from her every day through her Instagram feed.

I hope you found some new people to inspire your life! I would love to hear from you.

Who do you love on Instagram?

Image Source: Death to Stock Pho

10 Things I Loved in January 2015

Dear Friend,

I started this month feeling a bit out of sorts because new starts and dark days work counter in my head and in nature. But, as always, when I looked for places that shined, I found them.

For the last few months I have taken a break from doing these 10 Things I Love reflection posts and truth be told, I didn’t like it. So I am back!

I started doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s posts. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.

I hope you find some useful tips, books to read and service providers to love in here. I would love to hear your favorites, so send me a message or leave me a comment and tell me all about what you loved in January.

With lots of self-kindness and love,

Tami xox

PS – If something in this (or any post) resonates with you and you think someone you know might like it too, please forward it to a friend.

PPS – If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

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Links To Love:

Books I Love: Edward Tulane and The Dirty Cowboy

Will Yoga Help With….

Downtime Is NOT Optional

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10 things jan 2015

Things I/We Did

1.     Restoration Not Resolutions and choose my word of the year. My absolute favorite way to start the new year: in deep relaxation, then reflecting and thinking about how I want to feel in the new year. I adore the people that come to this workshop each year – some repeats and others new. We always laugh, cry and find kindred spirits.

Save the date 1/1/16 –  if you want to do this workshop next year!

2.       Hosted a brunch for local friends. Trying to be social at the dinner hour just doesn’t work for our family. We are early birds and go to bed way early, so if we want to see friends, we do it during the day. So right after new year’s we hosted a brunch for some local friends. We served this and it was delicious (just add WAY more pumpkin spice than you think is necessary and then double it – I did like 3 tablespoons).

2B.      Attended a housewarming party – AT NIGHT. This is epic. Have I ever told you about my party aversion? What about my aversion to leaving the house at night? Well, I threw caution to the wind and got myself over to my friends’ housewarming/birthday party that included karaoke (stone cold sober for me <–badass) and Cards Against Humanity. Needless to say, my sides and cheeks hurt the next day from all the laughing.

3.      I taught restorative yoga to a whole lot of parents of two year olds AKA the people that are probably more tired than anyone else on Earth. Not going to lie, it was amazing to watch their tired faces rest.
The best quote from after the class:

DUDE, I can *totally* do that kind of yoga! I thought we were going to be stretching or something. I can LAY AROUND!

Exactly my thoughts!

I love my job!

4.      Family Field Trips: both my husband and I have a deep need for solitude, so we spend a lot of time one on one with our kid so the other parent can get in their solo time. That makes the time we spend together as a family is pretty special and our daughter LOVES it. This month we went to Aviators for breakfast to watch the airplanes, to look at art at the Crocker and we asked for and received babysitting time on Saturday afternoons which make all this togetherness possible!

5.      Connected in person by showing up for friends. January was full of loss for my friends and their loved ones. I used to think showing up for people had to be a dramatic event, but really sitting in someone’s backyard and quietly holding their hand can be just what is needed. I keep learning over and over again, showing up is important to connecting to your people.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.      Genius Bar at the Arden Fair Apple Store: long story short, my iPhone battery died. I made an appointment and walked out with a new phone no questions asked. Are Apple products mind-blowingly expensive? Yes, especially for this Depression era grandma. But with customer service like that, I can feel confident in my purchase.

Also: bonus points for the wonderful people that work the store and manage to never make me feel like an idiot. Not one time. Those people are amazing!

7.     Crocker Art Museum: our preschool class was invited to do a docent led tour meant for little people. I was sceptical, but it was well done. The group size was tiny – just 3 kids and their caregivers – but man those tour guides worked their hearts out helping the kids connect to the pieces they were viewing. It was so well done, our family returned later that week. I highly recommend taking preschool age kids to the Crocker! Be sure to visit the TOT LAND – the kid’s playing space in the bottom floor. It is set up for fun!

Bonus: Sunshine Yoga and IKEA set me up for restorative props for 10 people. Now just to find some people who want to host a restorative retreat… is that YOU?

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

8.     Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. If nothing else, read the Justine Timberlake chapter and cry from laughing so hard.

9.   Yoga for Emotional Balance by Bo Forbes. Suffer from anxiety and depression? Mentally and physically exhausted? Bo’s got your back.

PS – she recommends restorative yoga and a lot of exhaling. Every.Damn.Day. Can I get a holla?

10.     Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I didn’t immediately love the characters and yet I was determined to find out what happened. Spending time with some flawed fictional people has helped me work on loving the flawed real people in my life. I love books.

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Let me know your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source: My Instagram!

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My Word of 2015

Dear Friend,

Each year I choose a word of the year. It started while I was teaching elementary school as a way to reflect upon and then change my teaching practice.

Back then I would return to school the Monday after the last day of school to clean my classroom and put the school year to rest. Filling the recycling bin with leftover assignments from the year and taking down bulletin boards kept my hands busy while my mind quietly reflected on the good, the bad and the ugly from the year.

Usually by the time my classroom was clean and put away for the summer, I would have decided where I wanted to focus my attention in the following year.

At the beginning of each year I would hold my word as a touchstone. Each day I would refer back to it and when situations came up where my word was relevant, I would act accordingly.

The year that everyone’s parents yelled at me, led me to not to take it personally the next year. That meant when I felt defensive about something I would exhale. A lot. And I would remember it wasn’t about me. Even when people blew sunshine up my skirt, I would remember it wasn’t about me.

The year where I was crippled by anxiety because I was unsure where I would be the following year. I decided to say yes in order to flow with the uncertainty. That looked a lot like faith and trust and letting go.

As I stepped away from the classroom to focus on raising my daughter and teaching yoga I continued choosing words to guide my years. I started using Rosie’s process to guide me to my words: connection and nurture being the most recent.

Beginning in 2013 I started teaching this word choosing process as part of The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher program and in my Restoration Not Resolutions New Year’s Day workshop.

If you’ve come to Restoration Not Resolutions, you’ve heard me talk about how part of my process in choosing my own word of the year involves thinking through the “shadow” aspect of my potential words. When I talk about the shadow I’m talking about the not so shiny, nice parts of a chosen word.

Take my word last year, nurture. Definition: care for and encourage the development of. Seems really positive, right? Who wouldn’t want encouragement and growth? Well, I’m here to let you know, that these words can really come to life and give you lots of practice with them in unexpected ways.

The year of nurture my mom had a paralyzing stroke. I love my mom, but our relationship is complicated and she lives 1200 miles away. Nurture took on an unexpected twist through this because it lead me to deeper self-care for myself, learning to accept help from friends and reaching out and leaning on family.

Nurture became a powerful force in my life last year. And I have to say when I look back at all the words I’ve chosen over the years, each and every one has played an important part of shaping who ultimately I have become.

In other words, I don’t choose my words lightly!

I jokingly refer to “auditioning words” in December and January these days. What I mean by that is throughout the year words come to me. I add them to a list of potential words for the next year and sort of meditate on them and how they could play out if I choose to take them on the following year.

Words that made the list for potential 2015 words include:

  • Play – because let’s be honest I don’t need any help with work.
  • Vulnerable – because I spent a LOT of 2014 feeling vulnerable and it was decidedly uncomfortable. Clearly, I need more practice. My girl, Brene talks a lot about how vulnerability is the birth place of creativity and innovation. And connection.
  • Adventure – because our girl is growing up and I’ve got travel fever and I was thinking of this as being adventurous and trying new (scary) things.
  • Compassion – because it is how we really connect to each other and how we can forgive ourselves.
  • Value – because I underestimate mine.
  • Seen/visible – because I’ve been hiding parts of myself. From you, from me, from the world… and it’s time to stop.

word of 2015

Luminous
Adjective

Definition: full of or shedding light; bright or shining, especially in the dark.

Going through the whole 20 question process, I feel like this word chose me. The part that sealed the deal for me is especially in the dark. The ability to keep shining even when things are grim, sad and dark is calling to me this year with the uncertainty of my mom’s health and the recent deaths of many of my loved ones’ loved ones.

I can’t wait to see how luminous comes to life in 2015.

I would love to hear from you about your word of the year, about MY chosen word of the year or about anything else you’d like to connect with me about.

With much love and compassion,

Tami xoxo

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

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TGBTS Cooks: Favorite Vegan Winter Recipes

Dear Friend,

Today I’m sharing the recipes for what we’re eating this season. They are fresh, easy and packed full of vegetables.

I grew up in the convenience foods generation of the 70s. Meaning if it didn’t come from a box, bag, can or the freezer – we didn’t eat it. Even in California families were convinced that soup starters – dehydrated vegetables – from a box made more sense than a fresh onion, celery and carrots. It was a weird time for eating.

So even though we ate at home every night, I didn’t really learn how to cook real food and I wasn’t I wasn’t really excited about food.

That all changed when I was in my 20s living with a roommate who really knew his way around the kitchen. I used to sit on a stool in the corner asking questions about how this whole food from scratch thing worked.

I watched and learned and I’m so happy this fresh food thing has caught on!
In recent years I have found the process of cooking to be almost as pleasurable as actually sitting down with friends and family around the table.

We have a “mixed” family: meaning the husband is mostly a vegetarian, I am severely allergic to dairy and shellfish and we have a 4 year old. All of that is to say we don’t eat a lot of meat, never use cow milk and at least one of us is always yelling about what we’re not going to eat.Below are a few of my recent favorite plant-based recipes found in my newest cookbook:

chloe kitchenartichoke spinachWarm Spinach Artichoke Dip, anyone? Unbelievably delicious and completely dairy-free. Equally tasty with rice crackers, tortilla chips or baguette.

*photo credit: Smith’s Vegan Kitchen – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan alfredoVegan Alfredo over the pasta of your choice – no milk, no cream, no butter – NO COW. My 4 year old slurped three bowls of this pasta up on Christmas Eve.

*photo credit: Your Vegan Mom – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan avocado pestoAvocado pesto. I think you only need one avocado, but who am I to tell you what to do?

I realize now I’m sharing all super carb-licious pasta dishes, but that’s what this girl wants to eat in the winter. I’ll share my favorite new soup recipes in a later post.

*photo credit: Chef Chloe’s website – click the link for original photo and recipe

vegan apple pie with caramel sauceVegan Caramel Apple Pie – the only recipe not found in Chloe’s Kitchen. If you’ve got some apples just hanging around, I highly recommend this pie from The Healthy, Happy Life.

*photo credit: Kathy Patalsky of The Healthy, Happy Life – click the link for original photo and recipe

What are your favorite plant-based recipes?

I would love to hear from you, so let me know what you think.

With lots of love and compassion,
Tami xoxo

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

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at More Soup
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est Damn Granola EVER

Think Self-Care Has to Take A Lot of Time? Think Again. (video)

Dear Friend,

A quick video reminder that self-care doesn’t have to be an entire yoga class, require any money or take very much time. Either click here or on the photo for my quick tip on self-care.

Quick SelfCare Tip from Tami Hackbarth Teacher Goes Back to School/It's All YogaI would love to hear from you, so hit reply and let me know what you think!
With lots of love and compassion,

Tami xoxo

Did you like this? Please click the link here to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

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