Tag Archives: depression

To Be or Not to Be the REAL YOU

That is the question to which we all oscillate between conflicting answers—”Yes,” in theory, “no,” in reality.

Can You Be Your REAL Self AND Do Amazing Things?

We want to do amazing things, but we know we fall short. So short, we might not have to duck under low branches (staying small keeps us “safe” from opposition), but we still can’t reach the fruit (the magic that comes from stretching to live our deepest, most fulfilling lives).

We are flawed beings who may function and even thrive, but won’t ever get to that truly amazing place, because our screw-ups and problems keep us from ever being good enough.

This is what we often say to ourselves, or what we hear in the messages shouted at us by others and by our harsh challenges in life.

It isn’t the truth, though. Well, half of it is true, but the conclusion is completely off base.

Here’s what’s true:

  • You’re not perfect.
  • You do have flaws.
  • There have indeed been some screw-ups, messes, and hardships along the way.

Yeah, sometimes your real self sucks.

But… here’s what’s also true that we tend to forget:

  • That is NORMAL
  • That is part of being HUMAN
  • It MEANS nothing
  • You are worthy just as you are
  • That is beautiful

YOU Can Do Amazing Things

I want to be really clear…

You do not have to be someone other than yourself to do amazing things.

You do not have to be someone you are not to do amazing things.

You do not have to change who you are to do amazing things

YOU can do amazing things.

How do I know?

I’m pretty open about having a history of depression, social anxiety, and self-loathing, being a DVSA (domestic violence & sexual assault) survivor, and the fact that up until last year (when I went through the worst hell and most significant breakthrough of my life, a whole other story), I still had a suicidal thought regularly, like every week. This was BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER:

  • Achieving my 1st through 5th degree black belt ranks.
  • Taking over my kung fu school to be the owner and head instructor.
  • Taking commissions for fine art portraits.
  • Becoming a freelance graphic designer with local, national, and internationally relevant clients.
  • Creating massive breakthroughs in my life including busting through income barriers and leaving my abusive marriage.
  • Using my unique insight and experience to coach clients through their own personal or business breakthroughs.

Here’s my secret—

I didn’t wait until I was “perfect” or “better” to move forward in my life. I moved forward in my life so I could improve and be better.

I did all of those things and more IN SPITE of my flaws, weaknesses, and struggles. I just did it anyway.

This is what my clients do too. This is what you can do too.

So can you be your real self AND do amazing things?

Hell yes you can.

Besides, it’s not even you that has to change!

It’s the protective facade you have around yourself that has to be shed in order to reveal the real you.

It’s the “facade you” that is running the show manifesting what you have now, while the real you is tucked away inside, wanting something more or different, but staying safe from whatever you fear.

It’s that fear that we’re discussing on this FREE call, Shine Without Fear!

Fear of the judgment of others is so unbelievably common, we’re focusing on it as the main theme, and there are so many other fears to which this content will apply as well.

Yes, you will transform. No you will not lose yourself, rather you will gain so much more of yourself you will wonder why you ever doubted in the first place!

I hope to see you on the call. Learn more and register here.

In the meantime, do what you love through the fear. Do what you love in spite of your real or perceived flaws and weaknesses. Just do it anyway.

You’ve Overcome a Lot, but Think Twice About Being an “Overcomer”

I am a survivor.

I am a survivor of emotional abuse in childhood, constant depression until I was 28, and in a marriage: domestic violence, infidelity, and sexual abuse and manipulation. However, I don’t identify with being a survivor or an overcomer.

I used to identify with being an overcomer, until a couple of years ago at a live event hosted by my favorite mentor. There were only maybe 30 of us in attendance at this laser-focused personal intensive. He was working with someone who also identified with great pride as being an overcomer. He brought to her attention that her attachment of value to all that she’s overcome will only lead to having more and more trauma to overcome.

Hold on—if my unbelievable overcoming created my self-esteem, then to keep my self-esteem up, I will have to keep overcoming extremely difficult circumstances over and over again?

A light bulb went off in me.

It’s NOT because I shouldn’t celebrate overcoming! I absolutely should honor myself and recognize my growth and success against great odds. That is wonderful!

It IS, however, about placing value and self-worth on “being an overcomer.” The coach was drawing to her attention that when she found her self-worth through “overcoming” and experienced validation as such, then she, of course, had to keep putting herself in a position to tolerate difficult situations until they were so awful she could overcome them too, thus perpetuating her self-worth.

I thought about this today when I noticed how much slimmer I was finally getting again. I have a fitness challenge starting on Monday, and I thought, Oh, no! I didn’t measure or weigh myself at the highest point, and I’m already shedding. Now I’ll never know for sure how many inches or pounds I dropped!

Suddenly, my self-coach kicked in. Pardon me, Tanisha, but is it really about how much you’re OVERCOMING or is it actually about the RESULT you want?

I heard myself with a new voice. Yes, it is definitely about the result I want.

The “overcoming” is awesome when recognized just for a moment (heck yeah you can celebrate and acknowledge you did a hard thing!), and then move on—I don’t need to feed all those pounds and inches any more attention than they already get. The real focus is in the results—in the physical tone, the energy, my favorite clothes fitting well, and on and on. It doesn’t actually matter if I shed a single pound or fifty, the only thing that matters is achieving the bottom line.

So, yes, I am a survivor, but I don’t attach value to merely surviving, and I don’t measure self-worth by the mounds I have overcome. My real joy is in loving myself at all times no matter what, and in the thrill of living outside of my comfort zone in the magical realm of everything I truly AM!


Why My Depression Gets to Win

I’ve Decided to Stop Fighting My Depression

Hi. My name is Tanisha and am a depress-a-holic.

I have said, and it’s true, I have largely overcome the depression and self-hatred that I somehow endured practically 24/7 from childhood until I was 28 years old. (I was told I had a chemical imbalance, ironically only a few short years after internally rolling my eyes at a high school classmate who said she had the same thing. Karma?)

Even though I have come a long way, I still have to watch myself daily, as it’s so easy for it to creep in and flatten me. My lows are just as low as in the past, with the wish that I could not only die, but stop existing in every way altogether. But my “normals” and highs are much higher and much more often.

In fact, my “normal” is indeed normal—it’s my general state of being, and it’s generally full of positivity, drive, and fun. That was a foreign concept when my “normal” meant depressed all the time.

Aren’t I too short for this ride?!

I generally claim that I’ve overcome depression because I have. But I thought that being an effective life coach and kung fu master and instructor meant that I could never be depressed and have such horrendous lows.

With that type of belief, you can imagine how much worse I felt about myself when I struggled with depression over the last two holiday weeks of 2014, when I had extra time off from kung fu classes, coaching appointment, or networking events. I planned to get a huge chunk of work done in my businesses, but instead spent most of my time crying in bed wasting time binge-watching Netflix. (Kind of like the Martha Stewart story I shared on a particularly hard day during this period, from which I rose up beautifully like a phoenix.)

Those two weeks were a massive roller coaster with some crazy awesome successes, but still littered with these intensely deep lows. Those successes included yet AGAIN breaking through my income ceiling in my belief system and in my literal results by topping both my biggest single day and week (in only 5 days!) of income generation. I did things that took me out of my comfort zone on some specific personal development areas I’ve been working on and had amazing experiences doing so. I made some health upgrades with so much ease, it was almost as simple as breathing. I mean things were (are still) really progressing well for me!

But the yo-yo back into the lows made me feel like “What the hell is wrong with me?!”

This is not normal for me. That down side is something from my past and the worst part about it was feeling like a hypocrite when I am all about empowerment, being happy, and living the live you love, but here I was hating myself again the next day.

Perfectionism Rears Its Ugly Wolf-in-Sheep’s-Clothing Head

Until I remembered that being a coach, kung fu master, and a person who loves herself and others never meant being perfect and never having lows. I remembered that my deep-feeling, analytical strengths come with the potential for hyper-sensitivity, over-self-evaluation, and heightened emotions most of the time. I would never give up those strengths that allow me to so effectively coach others and myself, and to bring people down to their wall-less core so they can communicate truth and needs to each other, and so many other benefits, for the freedom of never being depressed again.

And besides, I am not like I was my first 28 years—I can manage my depression. I normally do. I am normally everything I portray with my positive outlook and friendly and happy spirit. That is my normal. This is just a low I have to deal with sometimes (this one came with more consecutive days than usual), and it’s okay to be that way. In fact, it’s not just okay, it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because it means my dreams and goals are bigger than they’ve ever been and that scares the little girl inside who is still getting used to the idea that I matter. It’s beautiful because I can love ALL of me, the best and the worst parts of me.

But here comes the coolest thing ever.

I read an article somewhere about some guy’s battle with depression and how he still managed to go to school and get a job and create some good things in his life. There was nothing really spectacular about this article, but it showed me what I needed in that moment—it reminded me of this truth as a metaphor for life…

When it’s time to go on stage, we do it even if we’re scared. We don’t have to eliminate the fear in order to perform on stage, we just need to do it regardless of how much fear we feel.

Our lives are our one stage production with no dress rehearsal, and we are living it even if we are depressed. If it’s okay for the actor or speaker to perform with fear underneath, then it’s okay for me to live with depression underneath.

The INSTANT I realized it was okay for me to be depressed and I didn’t have to “fight” it or hate myself for it, I wasn’t depressed anymore.

The moment I realized it was okay if depression won me over once in a while, 90% of the depression got knocked out of me, and a song came on that hit me just right with its empowering base and touching harmony that knocked the last 10% out of me. (It wasn’t even a song of hope or motivation, it was just a regular song with the right tones, vibrations, beats, and harmonies for me in that moment.)

I returned to my normal self-honoring and self-respecting place with ease. There was no pain or hard effort, just pure acceptance of either choice, which led to my ability to make the better choice. I didn’t even have to actually make the choice, I merely set my subconscious (which makes 99% of our choices for us anyway) up for success through my realization, and it responded with the best choice, and that was it.

The pressure and negativity was simply cleared away and what was left was the real me.

I spent the rest of the evening listening to a new empowering playlist for 2015 while organizing areas of my home, dancing on the stairs and being me.

Whether or not depression is “bad,” makes no difference to me at this point because it’s far more important for me to love myself through whatever I go through than to tell myself to “stop being bad,” which only makes me feel worse about myself and pushes me lower.

Besides, going through lows and feeling terrible isn’t bad. It is just part of each of our cycles, and we all go through them differently. Of course I don’t want my life to waste away sinking into a depression I can’t get out of, but when most of those low moments are riddled with self-beratement for being depressed in the first place—when that stops, the depression is free to stop as well.

Then what?

Um, hello?! Live the life you love, of course! What all of this is about in the first place. Growing and embracing our best selves.

I have two 30-day programs to jump start our goals as well as health & fitness in 2015! You haven’t done anything quite like these, and they are affordable for everyone! Click the image or title of each to learn more. Save $10 when you register for both programs!

Love Your Life 2015 KICKOFF
Love Your Life 2015 KICKOFF


Master Tanisha's 2015 HEALTH & FITNESS CHALLENGE
Master Tanisha’s 2015 HEALTH & FITNESS CHALLENGE

I can’t wait to have you in one or both of the programs! We are going to have a blast!

Until then, enjoy the roller coaster!

Robin Williams Pushes Up Daisies—An Impetus For Living Happily Now

No matter what people tell you,
words and ideas can change the world.
~ John Keating,
Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams (Biography.com)I had a surprisingly emotional reaction when I heard tonight of Robin Williams’ passing, likely a suicide. I actually cried. Sobbed. And said a few words directly to him as if he were closer to me now, than he had ever actually been in life.

He has touched so many people’s lives—I’m certain any of his adoring fans would have loved to attempt to lift his spirits, as he has done so beautifully for us time and time again.

I remember a time before I loved myself, when I was depressed and self-hating. All the times I felt I couldn’t go on and face my demons, and I contemplated suicide. I remember when a fellow kung fu student, a teenager, tragically killed herself and while I was sad, especially for her family left behind, my first thought was about how lucky she was to have been brave enough to go through with it, unlike me, who was too scared…

Then I remember when I was 28 and finally had something worth fighting for in my life and I experienced my first taste of what it was like to not be depressed.

I traveled a long way, came out the other side, and my life is completely different now. But there is always a subtle reminder… when it hits, it hits hard and for a little while I can go back to the place of ultimate despair. I always have to stay on my toes and keep moving forward in my purpose so I can live in growth, harmony, and love.

Hang onto your turban, kid—
we’re gonna make you a star!
~ Genie, Alladin

Life is a wild ride. Oscillating between the extremes of pain and joy can seem unbearable, but the alternative is living a mediocre life of mediocre activities, mediocre emotions, and mediocre fulfillment, which isn’t fulfillment at all.

When I started breaking through, I had no idea what I was in for. I left the comfortable blanket of the miserable familiar and ventured out into the unknown where my real dreams lived.

This path is harder in some ways because that damn comfort zone calls every time I try something new, make a decision to change a behavior that doesn’t serve me, and reach out to bless and help more people. It calls in the form of temptation, unexpected hardships, criticisms, failures, and attacks on the most vulnerable parts of me. And it’s VERY convincing. If I just went back there, I wouldn’t have to face so many fears. I also wouldn’t experience so much dang joy and awesomeness.

Once you really experience life in your dreams, out of the comfort zone, you can’t go back.

Our job is improving the quality of life, not just delaying death.
~ Hunter Patch Adams,
Patch Adams

As my life changed and I learned that I really was the determining factor in what I experienced in life and the actual results I had, I couldn’t help but think, “I know there are people like me out there who don’t know they matter. I know there are people who don’t know they have power in their own lives. And I’m not going to be the one who stands in the way of their hearing the message!”

And so I began empowering others to stand up and leave their false safety nets, and live their dreams, align with their purpose and passion, and bless others who are waiting to hear their messages.

You treat a disease, you win, you lose.You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.
~ Hunter Patch Adams,
Patch Adams

Mr. Williams’ death reminded me of that part of my journey, and there are so many who are still suffering. Some could benefit from quality therapy. Some just need to know they matter and get a boost forward in their life. Others fall somewhere in between.

We are not here to merely survive. Mr. Williams had a history of personal struggles, as we all do. We can live our passion AND move forward from or in spite of those challenges and truly love our lives.

Mr. Robin Williams, you will be truly missed. Be happy and thank you for everything you gave us. I know you will find the peace you are looking for, now that… well, I think you said it best…

Hunter Patch Adams: Death. To die. To expire. To pass on. To perish. To peg out. To push up daisies. To push up posies. To become extinct. Curtains, deceased, demised, departed, and defunct. Dead as a doornail. Dead as a herring. Dead as a mutton. Dead as nits. The last breath. Paying a debt to nature. The big sleep. God’s way of saying, “Slow down.”

Bill Davis: To check out.

HPA: To shuffle off this mortal coil.

BD: To head for the happy hunting ground.

HPA: To blink for an exceptionally long period of time.

BD: To find oneself without breath.

HPA: To be the incredible decaying man.

BD: Worm buffet.

HPA: Kick the bucket.

BD: Buy the farm.

HPA: Take the cab.

BD: Cash in your chips.

HPA: And if we bury you ass up, I have got a place to park my bike.