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From Duty to Delight

Storytelling in a maze of art. A true story about love, duty and delight.
In a search for one’s Self.

All eight storytellers of The Courageous Messenger Collective were intended to gather at the Gary Marshall Theater in Burbank, CA. to speak to a live audience and be streamed on-line. Due to COVID we were asked to tape our talks and the interviews were organized on Zoom.

The show must go on, as they say!

 

Enjoy all the speakers and our host Jeffrey Van Dyk.
My contribution: From Duty to Delight can also be viewed HERE.

Second Chance at the Truth

Tammy on left; Bruno on right.

 

How do you keep internal peace under external pressure?

There are times that your mind analyzes a situation with clarity, yet you’re still triggered emotionally. You can feel trapped in your reaction and blind to a peaceful resolution.

Your mind and body are misaligned. The information your mind gathers and the story your body conveys seem to be on two different tracks, or different intensities of the same track.

The other night, sitting outside for dinner in the chill of winter (the only COVID option) I was met with this kind of mind body misalignment. My dinner date was sharing with me her newest business venture––herbal care. A healing art she had no education in.

I was stunned. My mind was clear that she was putting herself in liability danger and possibly endangering her customer’s well-being. As a 4-year herbal medicine graduate I tried to explain. The conversation was, to say the least, challenging for me.

Returning home with frozen feet and a chill that rose up my spine like a piercing icicle, I huddled in front of my space heater to thaw out. I was still reeling from the conversation and questioned my heightened emotions around the situation.

I felt mentally sound in my position, but emotionally triggered by my friend’s choice.

The next morning my head was nailed to the bed. There was a muscle spasm under my right shoulder blade that prevented me from lifting my head off the pillow! I felt like my body had been high-jacked by an incensed internal being. The aftermath of tension/stress overload!

So, I used a 3rd Eye Practice that allowed me to ask my body questions. It’s a practice that encourages my mind to take a backseat, while my body’s remembering can feel for the answer.

I place one finger lightly between my eyebrows. I let the sensation penetrate so deeply that the base of my skull widens back away from my neck, my eyes float upward and flutter under closed eyelids.

In this expanded position I asked my body, “what are you holding onto, what’s got you so triggered?”

After a quick filing of visuals, I settled on a childhood memory about my Saint Bernard Bruno. I thought, this can’t be the trigger! So, I asked again. And again, I landed on the Bruno story. So, I dug in and looked around to see what I could find.

At the age of 8 or so, I was letting Bruno out of his dog-pen to play in the yard. When exiting the pen his tail got caught in the gate’s hook lock. He pulled and all the fur and skin ripped off the end of his tail! As he wagged his tail blood was flying everywhere!

I screamed for my parents to come quick!

They came running and wrapped Bruno’s tail with paper and plastic. Then off to the vet we raced.

Bruno was fine. But I felt responsible for letting such a horrible thing happen. After all, I let him out of the pen. So, it must have been my fault that he got hurt in the doing. I decided, and formed a belief, that it’s very easy to hurt someone unintentionally.

BINGO! That “feeling state” was the very same “feeling state” I was having in regard to my friend practicing herbal medicine without a license. The guilt and protection my body held––my childhood trauma––was entangled in my clear-minded response to her.

It’s been a week of heating pads, epsom salt baths and resting on a foam roller, while feeling compassion for the little traumatized Tammy who loved her dog. I realized that I hadn’t unintentionally hurt my 4-legged friend, but rather, he’d had an accident. I wasn’t at fault.

In rewriting my old story’s belief, I’ve also soothed my emotional charge toward my friend. My mental position has not changed, but my emotional tolerance has. I can now extend out of my story into hers. And an ease, for her to be on her journey without judgment, has ensued.

I’ve gotten a second chance to align with my life and correct my skewed judgment of fault.

I can thank my friend for the opportunity to reframe this belief-forming story. As I look at it now, it’s been a constant undercurrent influencing my life. I have always looked at life through the lens of, “I could hurt someone!”

Self-aligned strength asks us to dig beneath the surface of our reactivity for a greater, more meaningful, self-aligned truth.

This Holiday Taught Me that Less is More

In these isolating times, we’re all asked as spiritual beings to have gratitude for our aloneness. Those alone for the holiday adjust to take delight in less or we’d crumble.

Creativity and kitchen traditions kept me on track as the holiday neared. But when the holiday countdown started, the absence of grounding human contact triggered my deepest wounds around belonging.

Shadows crept in. No holiday gatherings to distract my attention. Alone with my feelings, entrapped in long dark lonely nights, the winter solstice haunts my hopes with self-doubt.

I’m humored by Lao Tsu’s words:

“Less is More.”

In this moment it feels like he’s saying: less distractions lead to more unresolved emotions?
Great! *%!?^¥!
But I believe his sentiment was: do less and more will take care of itself.

My feelings and Lao Tzu’s sentiment were miles apart.

So, I did less.

Rather than distracting, convincing or devaluing my unpleasant feelings, I stop fighting them and let my haunting emotions express themselves. I allow hopelessness to surface. Experience the emotional upheaval and physical wail of disappointment to be amplified at the mic of my life.

O My God, I even broke down crying during a client session. In between tears I pleaded, “I just need some Christmas Magic!” Very unprofessional!

The beliefs that haunt me are given a voice. Beliefs that need my attention insist that they be witnessed. An under the surface posture that needs realigning feels like it’s resurrecting itself. Change is a choice that is starting to be visible on the horizon.

But really, did my haunting beliefs have to use my client’s time to amplify! I’m hired to amplify Relaxed Strength—yikes, my reputation is sunk!

Hopelessness was my over-riding emotion through five-days of tears. I might define this experience as believing in my deepest, most crippling, fears. But in an odd way, fully experiencing it felt like scratching an itch that had been there for as long as I could recall.

I don’t know how to feel differently in these days of decompression. Accumulated disappointments are unleashed and unharnessed. Yet, I continue to reflect on

“Less is More.”

I continue to non-do. Deliberately listening to my fears, and doing nothing to defend or embellish them. I just allow them to surface: words made me teary; silence or music made me cry out loud; flowers delivered made me wail.

Christmas Day was a Zooming whirlwind. Distractions filled with delight were the perfect respite. I’m bathed in gratitude.

The following morning I learn a client died Christmas Day. The outward spin of Christmas quickly returned to an inward reflection.

I wonder where the Christmas Magic really is?

A text came in from the client I cried uncontrollably with, “I just emailed you a special Christmas card!”

What followed was the Magic I pleaded for!

A video of loving sentiments from three generations, from three states, and the family dog, were edited together to give voice to their love for me. Not just what I do for them; but who I am and what I represent in the world as a being was seen, expressed and appreciated.

An ensemble of hope-filled messages challenge my haunting beliefs.

This wasn’t a card, this was Christmas Magic.

Magic that recalibrated my beliefs. Reminding me that I am lovable, I am relevant, and even in my times of need, I am respected.

I share this story to remind you to ride the turning tides of hope. Rest on rays of light, be they delightful distractions or gracious sentiment, as you let hopelessness teach you what your deepest fears are.

“Less is More.”

Stop fighting, relax and see your shadow clearly; feel it wholly. Without this clarity, creating the change you want to see in your life is like playing darts blindfolded.

Less should-be’s lead to More could-be’s!

I am grateful to be in a safe enough place to let my greatest fears surface, knowing that I have the support and tools to regain my sense of wellbeing. There are so many people who live in unsafe places, that have no freedom to dive deeper into their suffering, so they can learn to realign with and reclaim their own unique Magic.

I recognize how privileged I am to explore the shadow’s in my life. Privilege, however is, by no means, without struggle! But, I am delighted that my struggle is being lived out with the people I now surround myself with.

May we relax with Less to realize what More means.

Happy New Year ~ Tammy

Relaxed Strength Challenge

WATCH VIDEO!

Hello Shape-Shifter,

APPLY NOW:  Relaxed Strength Challenge 

The Challenge follows the BodyLogos Method. BodyLogos applies Tao principles to resistance training and is the how-to for living relaxed and strong. You’ll gain a comprehensive awareness of how energy optimally flows through the body and how tension obscures that flow.  BodyLogos practice offers an understanding of your unique blocks to living the power of your intention and a method to create positive change.

In addition to WorkOUTS, WorkINS, and Body Journeys you’ll get:
Weekly Mind Focus’ that ground everything your body’s learning in Tao philosophy and fitness physiology.
Weekly Group Coaching Calls to personalize your Relaxed Strength action plan.
Private FaceBook Community to ask questions and post video questions between Coaching Calls.
Six Months FREE Access to the BodyLogos App. 
Two FREE Dynabands to support your Challenge!
10 FREE Active Meditations for Everyday Living, to help customize a self-aligned lifestyle.
Surrender Tension in 8-Minutes Video to relax––down to the bone!
Neutral Alignment Video to experience strength as ease––on purpose!

The Relaxed Strength Challenge helps you take effective steps toward aligning your body’s strength with your mind’s ambition, so you stop chasing and can enjoy peace under pressure!

Schedule a 1:1 call with me to see if this is a Right-For-You Program.
Respond to this email with Relaxed Strength and I will personally send you the details to apply.

 “Tammy’s bright positivity and uplifting posts help me stretch as if I were opening the blinds of my body so that I may let the light inside out.”
John Bidwell – Kessler Rehabilitation Center

 

The Discipline of Delight

                        Watch Video!

Hello Shape-Shifter,

Strength is compromised when you’re bound in tension, uncertainty, and overwhelm.

You may ask yourself:
• How do I stop the chase and stay in the game?!
• Am I doing too much or doing too little?
• Is there some relaxation/strength training ratio to follow to live in the sweet spot?
• Is it possible to be relaxed and strong at the same time???

If any, or all, of the above questions run through your head… I can help.

I’ve helped 1,000’s of people in my 40-years in the fitness industry.

As a Broadway dancer turned Tao Minister, my mind-body strength method––BodyLogos––that unites principles from Eastern and Western philosophies, creates a bridge between fitness and wellness.  BodyLogos guides people to release pent-up chronic tension WHILE strength-training. They learn to recognize their strength and influence, so they experience “relaxed strength.”

• Time Out New York voted me and BodyLogos “Best of Fitness” twice!
• Dance Spirit Magazine called BodyLogos, “a zen workout;”
• Shape Magazine described it as, “body sculpting that uses weights to enlighten you;”
• NY Magazine named it, “Mindful Fitness.”

After publishing my book, “The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind,” I wanted to create something that could implement that foundation into a guided practice, and reach people everywhere.

So here I am building a BodyLogos Fitness App that kick-starts you with the Relaxed Strength Challenge––a step by step plan that shape shifts you from ‘worn out chaser’ to ‘relaxed strength’ in 5-weeks.

Watch for tomorrow’s email with all the details on how to apply for the Relaxed Strength Challenge!

PASS THIS MESSAGE ALONG to FIVE friends who you think want to SHAPE SHIFT too! And we’ll learn the discipline of delight all together!

Embody Success ~ Tammy

 

Dr. Ruth and me. Steve Friendman photo

How is Hutzpah Learned?

Dr. Ruth and me!

Where does your hutzpah come from?

Dr. Ruth made a documentary about her story last year. Here’s my short-story!

Years of childhood trauma taught me to be tough, and tension was its cohort. I believed strength was the capacity to endure hardship and pain––physical and emotional. And if I was tough enough the tension would subside.

I was wrong.

When the traumatic moments became greater than my capacity, I began spontaneously and unintentionally leaving my physical body. My experience of physical tension and self-denial would suddenly shape-shift. I’d experience my energy body as a flowing current precisely aligned between Earth and Sky. A posture steeped in self-regard that was tension-free and pain-free.

I experienced Relaxed Strength. A posture that is now my foundation for living strong––in my body.

My practice––the BodyLogos Method––is committed to Relaxed Strength. I know, first-hand, that self-acceptance and self-love––the gift of my childhood shape-shifting––inspired the current that aligned my strength with the life I wanted. And, that self-proving and self-betrayal are tensions that exhaust our strength.

Consciously aligning between Earth and Sky, and listening to my body’s tension-cry with interest, has offered me a bridge from fighting to healing, from being fit to being well, and from living tough to living strong.

It is my mission to pass on what I learned from Earth and Sky.

This is the hutzpah that has influenced my NEW BodyLogos Fitness App. It will launch next month! I’m so excited to offer a private experience for BodyLogos teachings.

Keep your eyes open for the launch details and the start-up 5-week Relaxed Strength Challenge!

 

Steve Friedman Photo

Tammy in Motorcycle Gear

A Weird and Wonderful NYC Motorcycle Ride

Tammy in Motorcycle GearLong summer treks out of city congestion balance my need for the open road. I’ve lived on a motorcycle in NYC traffic for 25-years.

How unusual to have open road around me when riding through midtown Manhattan. A summer trek right here on Broadway!

CoronaVirus has completely changed the landscape.

It’s an infectious landscape of silence and sirens. Fear-filled vulnerability has seeped into our soft tissues. The streets are near empty. A world is hiding to stay alive.

This feels weird. I’m used to feeling afraid of the world, even hiding from it at times. But, in this moment, there’s no immediate world to be afraid of. It’s surreal. I actually feel safer riding my motorcycle up Broadway than ever before.

As I continue up Central Park West, I hear sirens. Suddenly, I’m whipped back into the landscape I’m familiar with in NYC—traffic. But this time, I embrace the scene. Instead of people being in my way, I felt in their company.

My body feels like it’s riding into a gathering. My body isn’t fearing or dreading its environment. It’s curious about being together with people—having a shared experience.

This feels wonderful. I want to be in relationship with—in communion with—something real.

This is definitely not how I typically approach a NYC traffic jam!
This is definitely not how we feel approaching each other, masked with eyes down, since hit by this pandemic.

But, I have all my motorcycle gear on. No surgical mask necessary when wearing a full-face helmet!

I rode through familiar neighborhoods that day. Visiting a client’s courtyard who passed away from COVID-19, checking on houses of people out of town, and waving to doormen I used to see regularly. But nothing felt the same.

Usually my gear protects me from the world. On this day, it united me with it.
Usually my fear separates me from the world. On this day, it connected me to it.

How weird and wonderful to separate from my habit to fear. And for a moment, be curios about its impermanence, illusiveness and trickery.

Practice Comfort

Doubts, about our future, tug at everyone’s nerves. But there is no room for self-doubt when so many of us need to create new avenues of income, and new avenues for connection.

Some of you may feel no purpose to guide you; some of you live with no human, animal or plant that affirms your value.

What were once low-grade self-doubts can become booming self-limiting judgments.

Self-doubt is where your resistance to self-care and personal comfort lie. Care and comfort, however, are day-to-day core conditions that maintain immune strength, emotional resilience and mental clarity.

Care and comfort are not luxuries, they are essentials, when facing the atmosphere that this viral pandemic has commanded––a sudden divorce from belonging in, and unexpected isolation from, the world.

Delight lifts you out of the self-doubt that interferes with self-care and comfort. But it’s very hard to be delighted by what you’re actively judging as limited.

So, we need to learn and practice self-acceptance to realize personal potential.

To delight in self-acceptance is to enjoy: yourself, your body, and your unique way of seeing life. This authentic experience of yourself is what makes you one of a kind and elevates you to realizing the Divine in you. This best-self experience keeps you inspired to develop and share your gifts in the world, even if it must be through a computer screen during these times.

So how do you recognize your best-self?

Start by identifying something you really like about yourself. Like for me, I really like that my hair turned white rather than gray. I can count on this being a feel-good statement about myself no matter what else is happening.

Practice staying in alignment with a feel-good statement of your own. Experience self-acceptance, rather than self-judgment, when thinking about your feel-good statement.

Once you can maintain this vibration of self-acceptance, you can respond mindfully, rather than react angrily when challenged, and be your best-self.

When triggered into self-doubt, rather than succumbing to your habitual tension template, think about that feel-good statement to flip your alignment back to self-acceptance. It may have nothing to do with what’s going on, but it snaps you out of engaging with the trigger’s self-damning attack. It snaps you back into being nice to yourself.

Self-acceptance starts at home with your habits, and in your body-mind awareness. Practice makes comfort!

 

1:1 FaceTime Personal Training Available. Exercise is an immune system builder––your first priority during a viral pandemic! mindthebody@bodylogos.com