Oprah is My New BFF

I spent the day with Oprah last month. That may not be a big deal for you, but I am a huge fan of her show Super Soul Sunday and her magazine and her most current work.

As if spending the day with Oprah wasn’t already awesome enough, Brene Brown (of thebest TED talk in the history of life), Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and a whole bunch of other amazing speakers were going to be there too. It was set up to be kinda like a TED for personal development. In other words, I’m all over that biz.

This isn’t a humble brag (well, sort of… I mean how cool is that?), but more I want to share the story of how that day even came to be.

Have you always wondered how people end up doing cool things? I know I do! It always seemed so elusive. What are they doing differently?

How do people end up in the audience of their favorite shows?
How do people end up front row center at rock shows?
How do people make these things happen?

For me, spending the day with Oprah came to be because I kept saying YES to what I wanted – even though it would have been “easier” to say NO.

The first yes was very small: liking Super Soul Sunday on Facebook. Easy peezy.

The next yes was raising my hand when they called for audience members. <–You’d think this one would have been easy, but that’s when my NO button kept flashing. Say yes to this was surprisingly hard, guys.

Everything kept pointing to saying NO. Because saying YES meant suspending my current reality of full time caregiver to a preschooler who at that point hadn’t even returned to school, that I am a teacher spouse two weeks into the school year and living 378 miles from where the event would happen. Not to mention having a zero dollar budget for spontaneous events and who really does this kind of stuff anyway?

Even though NO seemed like the logical answer, I said YES anyway.

I figured if I kept saying yes it would either work out or it wouldn’t. The tickets to the event were free, so I’d only need lodging, transportation and the full cooperation of my entire family.

No biggie, right?

I decided to keep saying yes until I was forced to say NO.

I wanted to see what would happen when I took things one step at a time. What if I just kept saying yes?

The long and short of it, is I kept saying YES and asking for what I wanted.

On my personal Facebook, I asked for a place to stay in LA. Within 5 minutes of posting, a friend volunteered a guest room and parking spot within 15 minutes of the venue. – CHECK

I asked my friend (also a mama to littles under 5) to come with me and she offered to drive. – CHECK

I asked my husband to take one for the team and handle 36 hours of solo parenting during one of the busiest times of the year (which is a huge deal and I THANK YOU, sweetheart!) <– he said YES.– CHECK

i said yes

Here’s the thing I keep learning over and over:

When I ask for what I want, a lot of the time I get it.

If I don’t ask for what I want, I just get resentful.

What do you want to say yes to, but maybe a head full of noes is telling you can’t have it? What if you said YES and worked out the details later?

Sending you lots of compassion 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.

LIVE-WELL Women's Retreat

Live Well Women’s Retreat

You. + Us.
4 days + 3 nights
All the regular awesome retreat stuff + ONE on ONE personalized self-care coaching.

Hit reply on this message for questions and to register. A $400 non refundable deposit saves your place.

Only 2 spots left!
{1 spot in the dorm and 1 semi private room}

An Experiment in Vulnerability.

A while back I wrote a post about asking for what I want and how that small act has drastically improved my life with very little effort.

Little effort except the part about opening up some vulnerability in relationships. Asking for help puts us in the position of being real and not hiding behind the curated life we show in person and on social media.

It can feel a little scary to need help or to ask for something we really, really want. By asking for help, we expose the tender bits of ourselves.

And you know what? Sometimes we get hurt. And that sucks. Like whoa.

But sometimes people are so remarkably kind and generous and wonderful we end up wishing we would have asked for what really wanted and/or needed a long time ago.

This is a chance I am willing to take.

I am ready to be vulnerable.

I am ready to ask you for something because it is what I want and/or need.

Next month I am hosting my very first self-care retreat at a beautiful place with a really good friend.


I want to fill this retreat with awesome like-minded women.

What I mean by that is I want to go on vacation with other cool women:

  • who want to put their own self-care first (or at least on the list) or who want to learn how to do that!
  • who want to chill out and chick chat by the pool
  • who want to spend some time reading by the pool (I’m starting to notice a theme…)
  • who might want to go on an easy hike.
  • or take a nap.
  • who want to relax on purpose because there is no where to go and nothing to do (my favorite)
  • who want to be with other women who want to step off the treadmill of daily life to think about what they actually want in their life.

The good news is we already have some awesome women signed up and ready to go.

The best news is we have space for YOU to come too! 

The time to put our own self-care on the list is NOW. We have the place. We are gathering a community. All we need is YOU.

I really want you to come retreat with me.

Please click here for all the details and then shoot me an email if you have questions or want to set up a Skype to talk it through.

With lots of compassion 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.

Want to Retreat With Me?

Dear Friend,

A quick post today because tomorrow I take off to Portland for a grief retreat with my BFF. It’s part of my Summer of Intentionality and I’ll share more about that later.

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a retreat, but didn’t know who or where or what, I’d love to have you join me when I host a retreat.

would you like to retreat with me

Click the photo above or here and I will send you information about upcoming retreats. As someone who raises her hand for this information this insures that you have first access to early registration and in some cases really exclusive bonuses.

Here’s a post I wrote a few years ago called 5 Reasons to Go on a Yoga Retreat. I can think of about 36 more now that I am a mama and in my 40s:

— someone else cooking delicious healthy meals for me three times a day
— relaxing time with my girlfriends
–recharging my batteries
— learning how to live the life I want
–taking the time to discover how I want to feel in my life

I’d love for you to join me on retreat so be sure to sign up NOW because I’ve already got a pretty exclusive retreat in the works!

If you have questions, hit reply here and ask away.

If you know anyone else who you know would like to join YOU on a retreat, be sure to forward this message on to them.

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.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Summer of Intentionality 2015: What I am reading, learning and doing

Looking for something to read?

People Say the Nicest Things

The simplest thing

Dear Friend,

Popping in today to share my most recent startling discovery. Simple and life-changing.

First a confession: I haven’t been asking for what I want and need most. And not surprisingly, I haven’t been getting what I want and need most.
Until recently, I have been ignoring my needs and desires in order to get along with other people and to not to appear to be too much trouble. Turns out, I am a secret people pleaser (The HORROR!).

Because I haven’t been asking for or getting what I really need after lots of interactions with people, I felt exhausted and frazzled (serious introvert here) and sometimes resentful because why couldn’t my people see I was suffering?

Apparently, I have been a bit of a martyr as well despite how much I claim to hate that in others.

Well, I’m here to tell you I have changed my ways for the better. I’m hoping you can learn from my mistakes.

It all started when my mom died and I realized I couldn’t do this grief thing on my own. I need to accept the help that was being offered and to sit with myself and gently ask what I needed and then ask for help from those that had offered.
What an eye-opening experience!

People came through for me and helped me when I needed it most. So many people commented that they were so happy I was asking for help. They felt good for offering and having their offers accepted and I felt great knowing I was nurtured and nourished by those around me.

Since then I’ve been practicing asking for help on lots of things.

I say practice because that’s what it is for me, a practice.

You see, I have a really LOUD inner critic (think Merle Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) who thinks I should be able to do everything on my own. Even things I have never done before and have no interest in becoming proficient in… which means I have been wasting a ton of time on figuring things out instead of just asking someone else to help.

I’m not against hard work, but I am decidedly against wasting time. And wasting generosity!

This not asking for help has really gotten in the way of my work, my parenting, my life – so this year I’ve decided to be courageous and ask for what I want and need most.

Sometimes that looks like delegating a task to someone else, sometimes that looks like sending a clarifying email instead of frantically searching a website for an answer myself and sometimes that looks like accepting offers when presented.

For example: On a recent trip to visit my folks in Minnesota which involved solo travel with my four year old and driving across the state (all still in a bit of a grief fog) – I decided to try something different this time.

I decided to ask for help.

Sure, I probably could have handled every detail for the trip on my own, done all the child-minding, nighttime parenting, socializing etc. But I feared it would leave me in a state of exhausted, anxiety-filled hell with a generous helping of resentment.

This time, I wanted to see if I could do it differently – connect with my family and still take care of my body, mind and spirit.

So I asked for help.

Days before we left, I sent my folks a simple text asking for help finding a rental car.

Within hours, it was handled.

We were off to a great start!

A couple of days later, after I had spent some time thinking about what kind of time I would need in order to do my daily self-care, I sent another text asking if someone could watch my daughter so I could get things done.

Moments later a reply: YES!

you get in life what you have the courage to ask for

The practice of asking for what you want and most need starts with knowing what you want and most need. For me this required getting quiet and asking what would help make each situation better and then listening for the answer. Armed with that information, I could ask for and get the help I need.

Two books that have helped me better understand asking and receiving are:

The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

Oprah has it right when she said, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

What about you, friend? What will you ask for?

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.

Other posts you might enjoy:

Summer of Intentionality 2015: What I am reading, learning and doing

Looking for something to read?

People Say the Nicest Things

Summer of Intentionality: How To Make the Most of Your Summer

Dear Friend,

Summer is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some fun. So far, 2015 – WHOA.

Each year I write three lists I call my Summer of Intentionality. I totally stole this idea from Rosie. She explains the background of this awesome tradition here. If you have older kids definitely go read the background post because you can get them started on their own Summers of Intentionality and never hear how they are bored again.

I started making Summer of Intentionality lists when I was still a classroom teacher because I found nothing feels worse than getting to the end of summer break and having nothing to show for it, except a lot of time having fallen down internet rabbit holes.

Spending my time in an intentional way helps me not only to be more productive than I ever thought possible, but puts fun and personal development right at the forefront of my life.

Plus who doesn’t want a To Do list full of things you actually want to do?

Without further ado, I present: The Summer of Intentionality aka How To Make the Most of Your Summer

summer of intentionality

2015 Summer of Intentionality

To Read:

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen

True Refuge by Tara Brach

The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte

Playing Big by Tara Mohr

Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

The Bright Side of Disaster: a novel by Katherine Center

Everyone is Beautiful: a novel by Katherine Center

Get Lucky: a novel by Katherine Center

The Lost Husband: a novel by Katherine Center

Editor’s note: I read a lot. I get my books from the library. I make time several times a day to read for a few minutes. I get most of my reading done in 15 minute increments. Yes, I schedule my reading time because if I didn’t, even though it is my absolute favorite thing to do and has been my favorite hobby since I was a young child, I wouldn’t do it.

To Learn:

Website redo.

Strength train (want to join me?)

To Do List of AWESOME:

Eat breakfast outside

Read in the hammock

Bake a pie

Make coconut milk ice cream

Picnic dinner in the park with other families

See Rhett Miller and Old97s

Stand up paddle boarding

Visit Bay Area grandparents

Visit Minnesota grandparents

Visit Mendocino County grandparents

Tahoe with college friends (x 2)

Hike in San Francisco

Hike in Oakland

Marin Headlands

Take a photo on or near the Golden Gate Bridge

Visit at least one new to me Bay Area beach

Beach days at Stinson

Ride steam train in Tilden Park

Grief Retreat in Portland (yes, a grief retreat…more on that later)

Hug huge redwood trees to celebrate our 20th anniversary

Take a restorative yoga class (or five) at It’s All Yoga.

What about you, friend? Want to have a summer of intentionality?

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).

Other posts you might enjoy:

Summer of Intentionality of the past

Minimalist Parenting (good ideas – NOT just for parents!)

People Say the Nicest Things

The Sassy Agnostic Girl’s Guide to Loss and Grief Resources

Dear Friend,

Recently I shared the two key components for living through loss – read about it here. {No, really please go read that post now. This information is for NOW not later.}.

Three months into the loss of my mom and I’ve found some resources that have helped me tremendously. The crazy thing about losing someone you love is that each loss is super personal – what helps one person, doesn’t help someone else.

As someone who doesn’t practice any organized religion, I was happy to find these practical and spiritual resources to help me through the first few months.

Here’s a list of what has really helped me the last few months:

sassy agnostic girls guide to loss and grief

Books I loved:

The Five Ways We Grieve by Susan Berger. I devoured this in the days following my mom’s death. I am an information seeker by nature and this book comforted my classifying and categorizing brain like no other.

Broken Open: How Difficult TImes Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser. Either we stay stuck in not wanting anything to change (like that is even possible) or we really let ourselves get down with our pain in order to let it change us. I love this book so much I want to marry it.

The Power of Receiving: A Revolutionary Approach to Giving Yourself the Life You Want and Deserve by Amanda Owen – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Grief is hard work and is best not done alone. It is so hard to accept help when we need it. This book can help.

Books I Haven’t Finished Yet But Came to Me HIGHLY Recommended and Will BE Finished By :

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach

True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart also by Tara Brach

In person support group

Here in Sacramento we are lucky to have free and religion-free drop in grief support. Check for hospice or grief resources in your area if you think you might want some support. — I am a fairly private introverted person, so I was surprised by how much I wanted to attend a support group.

Just 12 days after my mom died, I went to my first session. I was extremely comforted by being in the company of others who had also experienced loss. For the first few months, I only wanted to talk to people who had experienced loss. I plan to keep attending drop in sessions and I may also go to a parent loss group as well.

Most Helpful BLOG in the entire world:

What’s Your Grief 101 –  helpful posts include:

and about a gazillion more helpful posts (where you don’t find out you are crazy, just grieving…)

What’s Your Grief Podcast – grief support for those who want to listen

People, I am a READER. Sometimes it is way easier to listen instead of reading because you are simply too tired to be bothered to read. Did I mention how exhausting grief can be?

Which brings me to the self-care piece of grief.

Holy cow, grieving people, SLEEP.
And sleep some more.

Also practice calming things like meditation and restorative yoga.

Grief is hard work and you don’t have to do it alone. .

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).

Other posts you might enjoy:

Two Key Components of Living Through Loss

Minimalist Parenting (good ideas – NOT just for parents!)

People Say the Nicest Things

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).

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