Let me be clear: Tamara Star is a total wonderwoman wrapped up into a gorgeous, tall, sometimes shy, fiercely feminine package. She is also my friend; I believe in her deeply, and she’s created a truly special 40-Day Personal Reboot program just in time for the swift-moving, productive energy waves of Fall. She’s put her heart and soul into it, and I wanted to share it with you through an exclusive interview with her.
Every day, Tamara shares her insights, personal stories and tips over at her Facebook page, Daily Transformations. She started it out of a genuine desire to share and help, not intending to turn it into a business—it now has 279,715 fans. In addition to her writing there, she now writes at her website and for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, MindBodyGreen, and many more.
Amy: Tamara, for those who don’t know you, what’s your meeting-someone-on-a-plane description of what you do and why you do it?
Tamara: I tell people that I’m a start-over strategist. I’ve been intuitive since birth and I spent 23 years in corporate America, so I act as a bridge between those two worlds. I help people see the blind spots that prevent them from living a life they love.
Tell me a little bit about how and why you created the 40-Day Personal Reboot.
Well, the 40-Day Reboot was developed in my own journal 7 years ago when my life blew up. I was at a point where it was either: completely give up or come up with a game plan. So this reboot is very near and dear to my heart.
It’s for people who want a fresh start, have gone through a major life change like a breakup, or who are really tired of doing the same thing day after day and getting the same results.
I believe that the way we do anything is the way we do everything. If we fall down in one area, the others suffer as well.
Being that I travel only slightly less often than a pilot, I’ve needed to find ways to be productive when I have little-to-no daily routine to count on.
I’ve tried plenty of online and offline tools for self-management. Sometimes they work for a while; sometimes they don’t get past the starting line. If trust is lost early (i.e., an app doesn’t cross-platform sync during the first five minutes of use), it’s dead to me.
What I found I wanted most was to trust myself: to not give over my power to one system, but to learn how to trust my internal compass to direct me to how I was meant to move, shift and create in the world each day.
In an effort to create space for this, I’ve been crafting my own personal day design system all year. They are experiments, but experiments of the highest purpose: in finding joy and freedom in discipline.
My method involves a yin, feminine approach to productivity. It involves giving the user a new way to look at a single day—as an expansive opportunity and palate for creation.
I’d love to give you a quick photo tour of some of these experiments. (I also wrote a more in-depth article on how I created my main pieces for Productivityist—and if you’re already in, you can buy them in a neat packet here for $10.)
I attended a Zen Buddhism class once in which the instructor said that yoga was “not a great form of meditation.” We were in a yoga studio.
But for me, yoga is embodied meditation.
Author and Conscious Lover Kathlyn Hendricks once told me:
We start by whatever door we come in.
For me, movement is not a distraction. It’s a vehicle for me to move in more deeply.
I’d been working on embracing my Athlete Archetype for a few months now. An archetype represents some aspect of what you are or identify with. In Jungian terms, archetypes are models of people’s behaviors or personality traits.
For example: Today I was at lunch reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, in which there are such amazing lines as this:
“Running seemed to be the fitness version of drunk driving: you could get away with it for a while, you might even have some fun, but catastrophe was waiting right around the corner.”
The server saw me reading it and asked excitedly if I was a runner.
“Well, I run,” I replied. “I don’t know that I’d call myself a runner.”
I’m a writer. I’m a traveler. I’m a dancer. I’m an editor. These are things I know and can say with confidence.
But one of the things I’ve most wanted to say lately (especially after witnessing the world’s largest Ironman race in Boulder last week, cuz damn) is: I am an athlete.
I’ve been reading some fabulous World Domination Summit 2014-afterglow blog posts (such as this by Jedd Chang, this from Erin Harding, and this by Derek Murphy). In synthesizing and processing what WDS meant to me, I decided to bring something different to the table based on the overarching theme I kept hearing at WDS, which is:
Always be asking questions.
Here are four questions I’m asking myself, inspired by the conference. Answering these is helping me to start making shifts in my business and life—maybe they’ll be of help to you, too.
This week, I’m headed to World Domination Summit in Portland, where I’ll meet 2,999 like-minded people—but, I’m flying sola, which is a thing I don’t do very often. My partner in crime is long distance (or what we like to call “medium distance,” since we’re blessed to see each other so often), and the reasons we have for 95% of our travel are intertwined with seeing each other.
This week, it’s just me. Especially today, before the conference starts, as I write this in a beautiful café in SE Portland—it’s really just me.
A different part of our brain is activated when we’re in a new place wandering around, finding our way by ourselves. It isn’t turned on so easily at home unless we’re highly intentional about it. So often when we’re home, we operate on autopilot.
Even though I appreciate my favorite roasters and restaurants, my watery routine flows purely in the trench etched by repetition—and it requires some swishing around to shift the current.
For the solopreneur, the inspired creative, and oh right everyone who’s coming to WDS—you might, like me, be wondering what to bring. Business cards? Obvious (actually, where are mine… ::opens moo.com::). Notebooks? Check. Pens? Yup.
But, what could you be forgetting? What object lying on your bedroom floor will haunt you on the airplane, personifying itself in your head and chastising you for your forgetfulness?
(No one else has an inner critic that intense? Ok, I digress.)
Let me help.
Here’s the heat I’m packin’—plus, I asked WDS alumni the #1 must-have they brought in prior years. Take it or leave it (but at least leave it intentionally).
What to bring to WDS:
Upper limiting has been called the “only problem we need to solve,” whether we’re talking about relationships, business or personal goals.
Some of our generation’s hardcore thought leaders have written about the Upper-Limit Problem, from Marie Forleo to Gay Hendricks to Mastin Kipp.
Basically, when we’ve pushed through to a higher threshold—which could be anything from an intimacy breakthrough with your partner to a raise at work—our inner alarm bells go off and we begin to sabotage our success. This could come in many forms, from starting an argument to getting sick to forgetting to do something you committed to.
But here’s the thing: we ebb and we flow. Sometimes we’re making progress and sometimes we’re at a healthy resting state, working to integrate the new levels we’ve unlocked. When we’re flowing and soaring higher and higher, we’re watchful for our subconscious to bring out our upper limiting behavior.
But—what can we do when we’re ebbing? When we’re stagnant and haven’t felt much push or drive in our lives for a day, a week, a month? We should start lower limiting.
My work involves helping people dig up their deep passions so they can express them in the world. When a client has just taken the leap from the corporate world, coworking spaces are the absolute first thing I recommend. They are a venue, a community and a culture—they are whatever you make them.
But even with the broad view that those of us immersed in the coworking world have, I think that when we talk about coworking, we often dance around the point—that at their deepest level, they can be containers and facilitators for our own self-realization.
While the specific community you choose is important, the space in which it’s contained is not what this revolution in work is about—it’s about the growing number of people who are able to live all of their passions and expression through their work and relationships.
There is sometimes a distancing that happens when it comes to work and work spaces in general—and even coworking spaces. We talk about their features: the wifi, the events, the coffee, and yes, the culture and communities.
Those things have varying levels of importance, but I think most important of all is that coworking is vital in supporting people who choose healthy, sustainable work they love. Coworking can help people truly come alive.
What if we looked at coworking this way—as an empowering space for growth, exploration and self-evolution?
I believe we need to shift the conversation from how much work we can get done in our space, to the kind of expansive, supportive, nourishing work we can do—the things that make us come alive, that represent our fullest expression—and use that awareness to catalyze soul-fulfilling projects within our coworking space.
Since I was a little girl, I’ve had a tendency to deny help and stay uncomfortable for no apparent reason.
“Do you want a pillow? How can you sit like that?” my mom would ask as I watched TV on her bedroom floor.
“I’m fine!” I’d squeal. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had returned from commercial break and I was not to be disturbed.
My mom would frown and walk away, only to ask me again 15 minutes later (“No! Go away!“).
You see, I was on the floor leaning against her bed. Except, not the normal sides of a bed that one typically leans on. I was propping my torso against the edge of the foot of the bed, the corner where metal mattress frames go to poke at spines and injure shins.
During the hour-long show (and later, during Angel, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity…), I would shift the metal edge from one side of my spine to the other, back and forth, left to right.