In conversation with Tara Nash, by Clemmie Myers
You have described yourself as a seeker, writer, and healer. All of these gifts come from a place of compassion which is at the root of your work and teaching. Why do you believe compassion is such an important place to start on one’s journey to a happier and more fulfilling life?
Compassion leads to connection, community, and change, all of which are nourishing for the body and mind and are an essential part of our lives on earth. I want to teach people how to attend to their soul, how to walk through the world with self-compassion and compassion for others, how to forgive and live open-hearted and generous lives. Alignment between compassion for oneself and others is liberating and transcendent. It is at the heart of everything I offer as a coach, teacher, and facilitator of Grief Groups and Café Conscious.
Essentially, I believe that when our relationship with ourselves is loving and compassionate and the inner critic has softened, we outwardly express this and have more fulfilling outer experiences of life.
It is my great pleasure and daily joy (and I have come to believe my life’s work), to step forward as a guide and teacher, encouraging my clients in various ways to find the answers within. As a guide, I hold the space, offering stability and nonjudgement. I encourage my clients to let go and truly feel. I am an advocate for feeling the feelings, expressing them, letting them move out of the body, through talking, sharing in groups, and through the physical movement of yoga. Release is essential to wellbeing. Suppression is simply another word for illness. My journey has taught me this on many occasions.
What has led you to step forward as a Teacher and Guide at this specific time and from this specific standpoint?
The other night I had a dream. In the dream, an old boss from a long time ago clearly stated ‘Tara it’s time to get serious about your career now.’ It was such a vivid experience. I found myself thinking about it a lot the next day. The truth is, I have been getting serious about my career since I was 9 years old when my father dropped dead of a heart attack out of nowhere at 42. Everything I am and everything I have experienced has led me to this moment in 2020 as I launch my offerings officially into the world. It is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. But it IS time.
Part of my offering is Café Conscious something I have picked up and put down many times over the last 7 years. But in light of Covid19, now more than ever we need to build communities across borders and continents and reach out to the previously unreachable. We are living in a new age with new pain points, new anxieties, and new reasons for isolation.
Many people have found that Covid 19 has made them look at their lives differently, to feel more compassionate towards others who aren’t necessarily their immediate problem, to realize and accept that not everything in life is in our hands, that we aren’t invincible, that anything could happen and invariably does. Many people have begun to say to themselves – ‘life is short, I want change but how?’ It terrifies them. Some people have been sitting at home unable to busy themselves away from their pain, finally forced to address what is really going on and bubbling up in the quiet moments. It has been a traumatic time for many and has caused a lot of mental anxiety and anguish for people.
How did you get to this place of clarity and clear intention and how have you managed to stay aligned and centred and propelled your business forward during this difficult year?
Interestingly, pre Covid, I sent out emails in January inviting friends to participate in Café Conscious as I wanted to test the content. Everyone wrote back and said they could not commit to 11 weeks and that they were too busy. I felt deflated and questioned whether I would ever birth this concept.
I had always planned to spend Easter in the UK, I flew back a couple of weeks earlier when they started to threaten shutting all flights to Europe, I then ended up in Lock down in the UK. Everyone started frantic Zoom calls and House Party chats. I suggested the idea of Café Conscious to various other friends and everyone was very receptive to the idea. I ended up hosting 3 different groups over that time and got a fantastic response. The structure and routine were welcomed, and the content was new for the majority. Finally, the time was right!
When you live in LA and surround yourself with friends who studied Spiritual Psychology, you forget that the conversations we have and things we learnt and not familiar to everyone. That is why I felt so passionate to create and share this course, to introduce this way of thinking and doing to others. Maybe it always had to be birthed in my home country and I was divinely guided back here?
It certainly felt very grounding to be in the UK and having support of old friends to propel me forward,
I have had to make some difficult decisions in my personal life which I was not finding conducive to my creative growth. This has made 2020 particularly challenging and has definitely triggered more grief!
That brings me perfectly to my next question. I know in October you started beta testing your Grief Group’s, how has that been?
As you know, grief has been a large of my life. You do not have to have a close person to you die to know grief. In fact, we are grieving in so many ways, it’s quite fascinating, but we are not always consciously aware of it.
2020 has been a global year of grieving with this pandemic. I felt called to start an 11-week course, with a similar structure to Café Conscious, 1 hour Zoom call per week with small curated groups. Every week we discuss a different top related to grief. I have people grieving their health, divorce and death of loved ones. It’s a very beautiful process to witness people exploring this subject, their inner worlds and their healing.
What do you find are the main trigger points holding people back and affecting their wellbeing? How has this shaped your methodology?
Everything I teach comes from my own life experience and has been further shaped by the relationships I have built with soul searchers, teachers, and guides and through deeper mental and physical study and growth provided by a Spiritual Psychology Masters and Yoga teacher training. I find I tend to work mainly with clients who are experiencing the following points of struggle:
Those resistant or struggling with Change, change is not easy. I help my clients to tap into the courage they need to make changes big and small and get them into a place where they no longer require permission from others to do the things that they deeply deserve. I work on the emotional side of big transitions and act as a support and guide through these very delicate times. Breakups, breakdowns, divorce, job transitions, moves to new places are examples of some of the changes my clients are going through.
We live in a culture that reveres any discomfort and yet this is where so much creativity, knowledge, and transformation is birthed. I find many people I have met and worked with over the years haven’t had the success they had hoped for with therapy where they keep going over their childhood monologue and find themselves stuck. My coaching method is to work with pain, to respect it, not see it as something that should be ‘gotten over.’ It should be released and put to good use! In my work, I say that Pain is Power if you can create the right relationship with pain and work with physical and mental tools to use it for good you can flourish because of it NOT in spite of it.
I am a huge advocate of spending a generous amount of time working on Letting Go of the perceptions of others. How others see you or you think they see you is not as important as how you see yourself. Many of us forget this. I spent several years believing that how my mother saw me must be right. She said I was like my father and that I was closed but I am actually a very open person she was projecting her worry on to me and conveniently ignoring her own emotions in the process. I believe sharing is healing. It took me a long time to get to this place, a place I now call ‘Giving in to myself.’ Now I have arrived here and have found such freedom, I truly believe that we must all give in to the path we want, the path that best suits our needs, the path in which we are most likely to grow and be able to best serve others. We all need to let go in order to go forward, it’s give and take, there is no other way around it. The universe has its own algorithm, but we must be in the flow to receive its bounty, be who we are, be aligned, not hiding behind the perceptions of others, and held back by the fear that we will disappoint, damage or upset.
Time and again I see cases that support my belief that Suppression causes illness. My father dropped dead of a heart attack at 42, he always suppressed his emotions and it took a serious toll on his physical body. I personally went through a period of depression and my periods stopped for a year. No coincidence there! For too many years society has been focused on outward appearance. My mother had outward focus and was weight-conscious and restrictive; it did not give her a long life, she passed away from cancer at 57. I think throughout her life she suppressed her desires and was conflicted. Ultimately, I don’t think she really loved herself and was too dependent on outside validation. These are just a few examples of my personal experiences with suppression. It is why I always focus in on release with my clients. Release is like turning the lights on in a darkened room, when we have more beauty and radiance on the inside it will radiate up and out and give us the best chance of being well, it has come to be known as self-care but really I see it as survival.
Throughout my life, I have struggled with building a relationship between the Material and Spiritual Plain. That is because they are essentially conflicted. Most people identify with material earth-based issues, but we need to connect more with our soul, our consciousness, the part of us that is spiritual and build a compassionate relationship between the conflict. Compassion in conflict is extremely important and the tools I teach help with that in many areas of our complex lives. I can happily say that whilst it isn’t always perfect, I have definitely found a healthy balance and it brings me such joy to share the ways and practices that have contributed to my balance with others. It should be a great comfort to anyone reading this who resonates with this struggle, that you are not alone! It is one of the biggest struggles that is brought to me and one of the most wonderful feelings when the balance is achieved and yes, I encourage people to aim for balance not the elimination of the material. We are living in the real world here. Let’s be realistic and non-judgmental!
I have come to describe my way of living and practicing as The New Way. The New Way challenges patterned and historical learned thinking and behaviours and celebrates the crumbling of old paradigms that serve little purpose in the modern age. I have experienced many lives, made career changes, moved countries, been married, been a step mum, had breakups, and suffered great loss. But suffering has blossomed into freedom and I am compelled to share the wisdom I have acquired and give others the support and guidance they need to take the road less travelled, find power in their pain, offer my ear without judgment and encourage people to experiment with and seek out other parts of themselves. For what if we aren’t lost if we take a different less traditional path if it is the right path for us? What if that makes us a winner, not a loser? What if the old ways are dying out? What if living a compassion led, authentic life, is the healthiest and best life for all beings? What if a life led through the expectation and perceptions of others is not really a life at all? WHAT IF everything we think we know was turned on its head?
We need to nurture our whole self. We
need to listen to the quiet voice within. The
voice that has less to say but more to
gain. I believe that there is only one real
failure in this life, the failure to treat oneself
with compassion in thought and deed and
to go forward from this place of compassion in
Tara Nash July 2020