The Tara Show returns!

At long last, we are back in production!

Episode #3 is entitled Piper’s Dad after the poem that our newest contributor, Chris Anderson, wrote and shared. The conversation is deep—about writing, poetry, prayer, death and dying, and, most importantly, love. I loaded the track yesterday morning and it’s already gotten over 100 listens! I am so grateful! If you would be so kind, please give it a listen, provide feedback or comments (online if you’re willing), and promote the episode to your networks as you feel appropriate.

My New Podcast!

I am over the moon to share with you my brand-new podcast! I’ve been dreaming for years and years about producing a show like this one. Now, at last, that dream is a reality.

The Tara Show is a talk show style podcast. My intention is that it sounds like the best programs you hear on NPR, yet it has its own unique flavor. I’ve brought together a stellar group of contributors to share their stories in conversation and audio essays. We will be talking about all sorts of topics but the themes of authenticity, vulnerability, and life of the spirit are central.

The first episode is called The Sound of the Genuine. The contributors are

  • Avrum Nadigel: Avrum is family and relationship therapist from Toronto, Canada. He is writing two books: the first, The Best Time To Work on Your Marriage is When You’re Single is part autobiography and part self-help manual, aimed at anyone who is anxious, or struggles with, committed relationships; the second will be a “how to” manual for therapists curious about Family Systems Therapy based on interviews with the late Dr. David Freeman. Avrum is also a talented musician and composer; he composed our theme music and one of the music segments in the first episode.
  • Heather King: Heather King is a Los-Angeles based writer, speaker, and Catholic convert with three memoirs—Parched; Redeemed; and Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Thérèse of Lisieux. A sober alcoholic and former lawyer, she appears monthly in Magnificat and blogs at Shirt of Flame. Her theme is everyday mysticism, and she believes one of the surest signs of the follower of Christ is a sense of humor.
  • James Lamkin: Like Tara, James is a native of Louisiana. He’s the senior pastor of Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, LA.
  • Evan Moffic: Evan is a rabbi and speaker dedicated to making the Old Testament and Judaism more accessible to Christians. Originally from Houston, Texas, Evan graduated from Stanford University in 2000, and after studying in Jerusalem and Cincinnati, he was ordained as a Rabbi in 2006. Since 2009, he served as the spiritual leader of Congregation Solel in suburban Chicago. He blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and Beliefnet, and speaks about the Old Testament and early Jewish life at churches, synagogues and interfaith institutions across the country. His newest book is Wisdom for People of All Faiths. Connect with Evan at his blog, Facebook or Twitter.
  • Otis Henderson: Otis is the Athletic Director as well as the Director of the Tutoring Program at Christian Cultural Center in Queens, New York. A former police officer with the New York City Police Department, Otis is an incredible leader, a basketball coach, and a lifelong learner.

The music credits for the first show can be found on SoundCloud.

Please give us a listen! I’d love to hear your feedback–and you can add comments right on the sound waveform in SoundCloud; just click on the point of the recording where you’d like to add your thoughts or ask a question. If you would leave a review on iTunes, that would mean so much–thanks!

What the Sexy + Soul-full Woman Knows: Core Strength is the Secret to Balance

This entry is the first in a series of posts exploring what it means to be Sexy + Soul-full. Enjoy!

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blue-badgeI’ve said for years that I don’t believe in work-life balance. That’s because in my book, there is only life and only balance. What the Sexy + Soul-full woman knows about productivity is that core strength is the secret to keeping (or regaining) her life balance.

If you’ve ever taken Pilates, yoga, or done any sort of physical exercise designed to strengthen the core muscles of your body (your abdominals and back, particularly), then you already know that core strength is much more than a flatter stomach. The core muscles aid in maintaining upright posture, keeping you balanced, and preventing falls when your equilibrium is disrupted. Because the mind and body are joined, and affect each other, this core stability extends to your mental state as well–improving your confidence when you’re descending stairs or traversing rough terrain, for example.

Understanding this principle of core strength, the Sexy + Soul-full woman extends it to her productivity and life balance, not just by cultivating her physical core, but also by nurturing two other key areas of core strength: spiritual and mental.

The Sexy + Soul-full woman attends to her spiritual core by seeking out what feeds her soul and partaking of that spiritual food regularly. She may find strength in prayer, meditation, reading scripture or wisdom literature. She may gain spiritual core strength in exercising her spiritual gifts [pdf download]. She may find that a regimen of long walks or yoga retreats bring her spiritual core into its best, most resilient, flexible, and purely strong state. Because she maintains this strong spiritual core, she is able to bring her highest and best self to her work. She has a spiritual resolve that supports her in making decisions, assessing possibilities, and carrying out her plans. Her goals are steeped in her spiritual nature and she has an integrity about her that is unmistakable. Her very presence is palpable from the moment she walks into a room. This presence emanates from her core, her spiritual core strength.

Mentally, the Sexy + Soul-full woman understands herself. She knows her own strengths, talents, weaknesses, foibles, flaws, and boundaries. She’s fully aware of what she considers non-negotiable and essential to her well being. While she’s capable of compromise, she uses her core mental strength to carefully weigh her options. She is never stuck leaning in or away; she knows how to maintain an upright posture, balanced on her own two feet. She has a confidence born not from the notion that everything will turn out well, but from her knowledge that even when she’s pushed off center, she can regain her balance. Adversity doesn’t frighten her because she knows she’s handled it before and can do so again. That courage is the result of her attention to building her mental core strength.

Integrated, the physical, spiritual, and mental core strengths are the secret to the Sexy + Soul-full woman’s life balance. She brings these aspects of herself together, in one tidy package, to everything she undertakes. It’s this cultivation of balance that protects her from falls (literally and figuratively), gives her stability, and provides the basis for her joyous participation in all the activities of her life. It’s is her core strength that gives her the inner power to allocate her time, maintain her attention and focus, create an orderly environment, keep her commitments–the building blocks of her productivity and the basis of her contributions to her world.

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