I’m not a writer

I was talking to my soul sister Suzanne Boothby who is a writer and book coach extraordinaire and I said to her these words: “I am not a writer.”

She looked me square in the eyes and lovingly said, “Yes you are. You write all the time. You have a blog, you’ve been published in the Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen and YOU WROTE A BOOK! Guess what? That makes you a writer.”

Isn’t it funny the stories we tell ourselves. I was never the best student. Actually, that’s not true. I was very good at all the classes that involved creativity or being active. Most of the time I got horrible grades in my English classes which is why I made up this story that I’m not a writer. I totally forgot that I got excellent grades whenever we were asked to do creative writing or any type of storytelling. Another reason I said that I wasn’t a writer was because if I admitted that I was, then it was real. If it was real then there was the possibility that I could fail. I hid behind pretending that it wasn’t real to protect myself from the pain of failure.

I am now admitting to the world what Suzanne saw in me and deep down I knew was true.

Hello. My name is Taraleigh and I’m a writer.

The awesome thing about the world today is that there are editors to fix my not so great grammar and there are book coaches out there like Suzanne that brought my book from a dream in my head to reality.

Just like any dream you may have, you weren’t meant to do it alone. Every dream requires a dream team. Michael Jordan is an extremely talented basketball player, but he wouldn’t have gone as far as he did without amazing coaches. As writers, artists, entrepreneurs, poets and musicians, why do so many of us think that we don’t need an amazing coach too? We do. At least I do and I’m so grateful that I hired Suzanne to bring my words out of my head and into the world.

Suz and I are up to something for writers that involves mountains, epic food and Ryan Montbleau that I’ll be sharing with you at the bottom of this post. If you can’t wait and want to know what it is, you can find out HERE.

It’s because of Suzanne that the Sweet Ass Self-Help Book is now a real book that will be released in the next few months. Here’s proof. You are the first people to see the Continue reading

The 5 Things You Need to Know to Manifest Anything You Want

When I experienced my first Vermont winter,  much to my surprise and dismay it was really freakin cold and it got really freakin dark really freakin early. I know, I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, but I was! Anyone who knew me thought that it was crazy that I would choose to live in a winter wonderland like Vermont. I was the girl who transferred from the University of South Carolina to Arizona State University for many reasons, but one was that I found the southeast to not be warm enough. So why did I move?

I fell in love and my man lived in Burlington, Vermont. I had always been intrigued by this magical city that Phish came from and was desiring a move so I thought, “Why not move there?” I mean, I’m an adult and if I end up not liking this dude and I realize that Vermont sucks, I don’t have to stay there. So I took the leap! That was over nine years ago and I ended up marrying that dude six years ago and never looked back.

But those damn winters. They were having a dramatic effect on my well-being and health. I was doing my best to embrace them and did a pretty good job, but I remember about four years ago saying to myself, “I love it here in Vermont, but wouldn’t it be cool if I could travel to warm tropical locations each winter? And you know what would be even cooler? If it was somehow a mix of business and pleasure.”

Shortly after making that declaration to the Universe, I saw that Jungle Jam (a music festival) was happening in Jaco, Costa Rica. Costa Rica was another one of those places that intrigued me and like Vermont, I thought of it as a magical land of wonder. A week before the festival, Ryan Montbleau posted about his excitement to be playing there that year and my intuition screamed at me to post a comment. I simply wrote, “I need to get my ass to Jungle Jam this year.”

The founder of the festival Eric, saw the comment and immediately sent me a private message saying that if I could get my ass to the San Jose Airport, everything else would be taken care of. Again, my intuition screamed, “Do it” so I did indeed get my ass there. When I arrived he told me to just be my magical self and experience the festie to it’s fullest to see what I personally would want to bring to it.

I saw that there were a few yoga classes offered, so I made it a priority to go to every single one. Even when I was extremely tired because I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning rocking out, my inner wisdom was pretty strong in letting me know that I should still go to yoga. A man I saw playing on stage the night before was in class next to me. I loved his energy so much. I mean the way he played his bass mixed with the smile on his face and his epic dance moves, I knew we were kindred spirits and needed to be in each other’s lives. That man turned out to be Oteil Burbridge and while in a lunge, I looked over at him and asked him if he wanted to be my friend. He said yes!

I saw how awesome these yoga classes were and how they really added to my personal experience at Jungle Jam. I felt really sad that there were only a couple of people in class each day. I realized that with the help of one of the teachers Andrea, that we could make Jungle Jam’s yoga program grow. I’ve been back every year since doing just that.

The next year, I decided that I wanted to travel and see more of Costa Rica after the festival. Jungle Jam hires the best fire dancers and I quickly became friends with them. They are called, Kiki and the Flaming Gypsies and they are some of the kindest, generous, passionate and talented people I’ve ever met. Ryan Montbleau and I followed them to a town called Santa Teresa. The second we arrived I was like, “Oh heck yes!!!!”

We had an epic time there where we played in the ocean, hula hooped and ate sushi as the sun went down, experienced Ryan playing at a open mic night with locals at a wine bar and ending with 20 of us all sleeping in a big cuddle puddle on mattresses set up on the beach. Before we left, Ryan put his hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “We need to find a reason to come back here.”

Flash forward to two years later, I hosted my first international retreat. It was with Ryan in Santa Teresa! I made a reason for us to come back and it was epic.

I thought back to the declaration I had made to the Universe years prior and cried because it had happened. Last year I went to Florida for Christmas to be with my in-laws, Florida again to be with my parents, Mexico to rage it to Phish, Colorado to co-lead Soul Dance (a workshop for aspiring teenage dancers) I traveled all through Costa Rica alone for ten days, organized yoga for Jungle Jam in Jaco, hosted Rock Your Life Retreat in Santa Teresa, flew on a private jet to Nicaragua to do a site visit for a future retreat and then went to Jazz Fest in New Orleans to teach a live music yoga class accompanied by Oteil and Kofi Burbridge. This year I’m traveling to Florida again the visit my in-laws and parents, hosting a plant medicine retreat for two weeks in Peru (if that speaks to you follow this link), traveling through new parts of Costa Rica alone, bringing more yoga magic to Jungle Jam in Jaco, hosting another retreat in Montezuma with Ryan (if that speaks to you click here), meeting my hubby in Santa Teresa for vacation and doing my thing at Jazz Fest in New Orleans again.

How did I take my declaration from a dream to reality? Let me show you the ways.

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How volunteering to be a merch girl changed my life

I knew that I wanted to somehow create a career in the music industry, but when I first started I had no idea what that looked like. My first gig was volunteering 16 hrs in exchange for a ticket at Gathering of the Vibes selling Merch. During that time I made some really great friends and connections who are part of what I do today. Because I did such a great job, I was recommended to do the same at Langerado Music Festival where because of Bryan Holroyd and Mike Polans I ended up backstage at the Disco Biscuits show where I met the amazing Jonathan Schwartz.

Meeting Jonathan was one of the biggest catalysts that whirled me into what I’m doing now. I had told him that I was a hippie. Not only was I a hippie, but I was a healthy hippie. I proceeded to ramble off a healthy hippie tip of the day to him. He held onto my shoulders and said something like, “This is a big deal. Don’t forget this and do more with it.”

When I returned home I started posting Healthy Hippie Tips everyday on my MySpace page and would then email the tips to Jonathan. Being the General of Jam on Sirius/XM Radio, he started announcing my tips on the air. He suggested I make a website so he could send people to it, so I did!

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I started a weekly online newsletter with my healthy hippie tips, recipes, band recommendations and more.

At Gathering of the Vibes one year, Jeff Rhodes took my online newsletter and out of the goodness of his heart he made it into a print version, made a thousand copies and gave them to me to hand out. After someone read it they said, “You should make this into a magazine.”

I said, “OK” and with the help of Britt Nemeth, Daniel Weathers and Dave Halchak, The Healthy Hippie Magazine was born.

There were so many things I loved about the magazine, but having to Continue reading

When everyday feels like a case of the Mondays

I used to think that I didn’t have time to have fun when I wasn’t at a festival or show. Festivals were Fun City and regular life was Lamesville Central. Life was happening all around me without me paying much attention to the present moments that were passing me by. I felt bored, trapped, tired, sick, in a haze and unmotivated because I forgot that fun could be had anywhere. I started by doing this one thing, that only takes 30 seconds and it changed everything. Maybe it will for you too?

The awesome in me sees the awesome in you,

Taraleigh

Why I was burned at the stake

Photo by Britt Nemeth Photography

Photo by Britt Nemeth Photography

When I go see live music it fills my life battery to the max. I know after a show or festival (after I’ve slept a lot)  I feel inspired and renewed from the experience.

If you love live music as much as I do then you know that going to shows is just as important for your health and well-being as eating a healthy diet, exercising and having a meditation practice.  
In the past I didn’t have a clue on how to bring that festival feeling that we all chase all over the country into my daily life. I know it’s not possible to feel as high as when the lights go down the moment before your favorite band plays their first note all the time. But, what if it was possible to feel even a small percentage of that way even for a moment on a daily basis? When I was home I couldn’t access that feeling and I felt sad, tired and out of alignment.
The real me was aching to come out and play and she couldn’t wait until the next show.

So I did what any responsible adult would do. I let the real me

Continue reading

Walk of shame!

a“You are a star in an otherwise bleak world.”

I just received a check in the mail from a speaking engagement and workshop I presented and these were the words I found handwritten in the “for” section.

I leaked a little awesome from my eyes because if I told the Tara from even 10 years ago that I would be getting paid to basically just be the wildest authentic expression of myself, I would have hoped it was true, but I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

I’m not any luckier or special or braver than anyone else. Honestly I’m just reflecting all of your lights. Thank you for supporting me to shine so brightly. Without my community I would be hiding in the dark.

I love you.

I used to find it to be challenging to be the real me in every situation. I was a professional mask wearer. I would interchange which one I put on depending what present circumstance I was in. Some of my most used masks were my work mask, my going on an interview mask, my trying to impress people mask, my going on a date mask, my going out to a club mask…I could go on and on.

One of the only places I wouldn’t wear my mask was at a music festival. I felt safe to Continue reading

Grateful Dead, Phish or Twiddle?

I’m active on a couple of live music inspired Facebook Groups and I find there are often fights amongst the members about which band is number one in the scene. Moe., Umphrey’s McGee, The Allman Brother’s Band and The Disco Biscuits are no strangers to these types of attacks, but lately the main targets of these arguments usually revolve around the Grateful Dead, Phish and up and comers Twiddle.  The die hard Dead Heads feel like the band Phish is copying the Grateful Dead and the die hard Phish fans feel like the band Twiddle is copying Phish. I’m sure there are people out there that think the Grateful Dead are copying someone too.

These arguments escalate very quickly and people start attacking each other personally, wishing death upon someone they don’t even know because they aren’t as big of a Dead/Phish/Twiddle fan as they are. They are usually between a bunch of people that are in their homes or at work sitting behind the safe place of their keyboards. Many of the people doing the trolling have never even seen the band play live that they are bashing. Being a huge live music fan and I can’t imagine having that strong of an opinion of a band until I’ve witnessed them live a couple of times. It’s like when you go Continue reading

She Ruined My Phish Show!

Last week while I was in Portland, Maine to see Phish I was in a difficult situation that had me questioning if I was a good person. During the show I was having a really hard time getting into it. I know that the trick is to surrender to the flow, and I was doing my best, but I kept on going over the scenario in my head thinking about how I could have done things differently.

And then the band played the song Blaze On.

“You got your nice shades on, and the worst days are gone
so now the band plays on, you got one life, blaze on.”

I realized that I was letting this situation that happened hours earlier ruin my good time. I knew in my heart that I did the best that I could do with the interaction and I acted from a place of love and compassion. I’m not responsible for how people react to me. It’s their experience and who am I to think that I have any control over it? How do I know that it wasn’t of highest good for her to react that way towards me? Maybe that interaction healed her in someway. Maybe not. It’s none of my business either way. However what is my business and what I do have control over Continue reading

Dear Taraleigh, I Hate You. Signed, Anonymous

“Not everyone can leave there job and f*ck rock stars until they get things for free, you get what you want and get to be a stupid hippy because you write and s*ck d*ck. not everyone can do that and we need doctors and people doing real work not just being groupies. some people need to return to save the world unlike you, what do you REALLY contribute?”

Those words were delivered to me in the form of an email responding to the interview I did with Mihali from the band Twiddle for the Huffington Post. It was my first true piece of hate mail. I’ve been ripped a part and made fun of many times on message boards, in Facebook groups, on my own Facebook wall and in the comments section of my blogs and videos. Things have been written such as,

“She would be much hotter if she Continue reading

My Birthday Gift to the World

Happy Thursday everyone! Today is my birthday and I want to give a shout of to the Universe for keeping me alive for 39 years. To express my gratitude I would like to raise the vibration of the planet by hanging out with as many of you as possible for fifteen minutes at a time next Wednesday June 22nd.

Follow this link to donate any amount that you wish and then I’ll reply with an email to schedule our time together. During the hang we can dance together, I can do a card reading with you, we can do a mini coaching session or we can just talk.

I will be taking 50 percent of the donations and I’ll be giving them to Sangha Studio’s service programs. Sangha Studio is a non-profit studio in Burlington, VT. They bring yoga out into the world in the form of offering free yoga to women going thru breast cancer treatments, people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, kids in schools and so much more.

It’s a win win!!