Laura So you are a mindset coach can you tell me what that all entails? How did you get to this place of wanting to do this with your life?
Taraji OK. So that actually came through life experience, you know? So Pappy's, I tell you what purpose and mindset is all about.
Taraji So a purpose is I strongly believe that everything that we do has to have some sort of meaning or purpose. Otherwise, we are no purpose. Then we're really going to struggle to be happy because there's something missing there. So I found my purpose, which is something that everybody struggles with, you know. And the thing is, sometimes you're 40 and you're still. Is what is it you need to do to give back, you know? And I found mine through a life experience. My mom had cancer.
Taraji You know, I had finished uni, come out of uni and I get a call and my auntie says, "oh, she's got cancer. You're going to have to come home." This was on the 24th of December and I said, OK, well, Christmas I was excited to go home, but then we've got this hiccup. So I go home and then obviously everything just moving so quickly. At the time it was just the three of us, my mom, my brother and myself. I was super excited because I had moved out of the home.
Taraji So a lot happened I had to quit my job to look after everyone. There were really cold nights because we didn't have twenty pounds to put into to top up the gas. There were times where now they do school free school dinners. By the time they didn't have free school dinners, you know. There was a day where I didn't even have two pounds to give him money for school dinner.
Taraji Coming from my culture, we never really believed that you could be depressed. So I'm not OK. This is extreme. This is not just sadness. You know, so I started to do a search, seek some help. I started to read books. The first book was The Alchemist.
Taraji So I always knew that I wanted to help people I just didn't know how to. And through that came me wanting to just encourage people. I started working with young people and I found my purpose and I started to feel happy. Although cancer and the situation, you know, at the time, I thought this is what caused my depression. But really, it truly is because I just wasn't fulfilled. I wasn't happy. I didn't know what I was. I had no purpose. Basically, my life, no meaning. And to go with that, I had to have the right mindset to want to go for everything, because you could have all the talent in the world. But if you don't have your power back, then it means absolutely nothing because everyone else has your power.
Taraji Now, what I do is I literally help people come out of their comfort zones and breakthroughs. I give them breakthroughs and break those barriers that are stopping them because there's not a lot of information out there as to how to do so. I do that from coaching workshops and mentoring. I love that.
Laura That's a beautiful thing. It's funny cause when you're talking to your story, I see so much kind of reflected in my life. I mean, those moments were like I was seriously depressed and I felt like I had no purpose. And then I kind of went on my own journey of self-discovery, traveling the world and just trying to figure out myself. And then I eventually found my purpose. And it really is. That's like the moment that changes your life. Where you can feel that fulfillment of like this is what I want to do with my life. And then you can make progress towards that. I think it's a beautiful thing. And the fact that you're helping people do that and get to that place and figure that out, super important.
Laura For mamas is there any mental blocks that you have found kind of consistent among mothers that.
Taraji Yeah. Yeah. No, definitely, because I went through them as well as a mom.
I've got an eight-week coaching program and one of them is talking about life-changing experiences that we go through. At birth we are all dealt a hand of cards, we have these socio-economic-cards. We have parent-cards. We have the race-card. You know, these are can't control because we've been given these at birth. Now, as life goes on, we given all these different cards. For example, Covid-19 card. Things will happen. Things like the breakup-cards, the being-bullied-at-school-card, you know, and all these things. They change your life. Having a baby-card.
Taraji So I work from home and I work around the kids. And luckily, I've got a family that can support me. And, you know, when I do need them, they're there for me. But when I had my daughter was when I really started to go for this. Now, at that time, I had one. And the thing is, the mental blocks were, I wanted to go set a pace, but I couldn't go at that same pace because obviously I've got a little one. I also remember that because the thing was was so hard on ourselves, we're like, I'm going to work and be able to do this and do that. But you also have to look after this little one. So you're feeling overwhelmed, you know. So what I'll do is work at nights after she's gone to bed. But the thing is, you'd well know as a mom, you're shattered by night.
Taraji I remember I was taken speaking to clients, taking calls when she was about four months. And at that time, obviously, she couldn't even crawl. She couldn't do anything. But as soon as she started to crawl, she was everywhere. So I had to switch things up, you know? I think the most important thing is understanding that where you are right now, the pace that you'll go in, that you are going at is the exact pace that you're meant to be going at.
Taraji The biggest thing is having the vision right now, imagine you go in this journey, say, hey, I lived in the US and I'm on my way to your house. If I don't know your postcode and your house number there is absolutely no way to get to where you are right now. I can make my way. But I still don't know where Laura lives. Your vision must be specific and give yourself a timeframe.
Taraji It helps you feel less overwhelmed because you know, this is what I need to do. So every day you are working with intention. I think that's what I started to realize was OK. I can't just go to random events because my time is invaluable. I've got to use it wisely. So I went into networking events that would benefit certain things, that would benefit the vision. But that only comes when you know exactly who you are, what it is that you want to do.
Another thing is you also have to remember that this nine-month-old will never be nine months ever again. That is it. I think I had to be self-aware. There are times when things will go by and, you know, she's doing some things. And I miss it because I'm really just focused on work. And I'm like, she's never gonna do this again. I'm never going to get this first opportunity. Why don't I just take a step back then? I don't put myself under pressure to do what I can every day, but being mindful that she will never be this age ever again, and that is priceless. Just being able to witness these little things that go on, you know, is priceless compared to anything else in the world.
Laura Are there any actions you take each maybe month or week that help you have that mindset?
Taraji Yes. For example, I make a list of 20 things I love. I wrote 20 things down and these things I had to do on a daily basis, maybe not all the 20 things, but as the littlest things like I absolutely love my hot. What's a lemon or like a hot chocolate or some simply breeze, you know, the little things. And it just made me feel fuzzy. Woman. Yeah. Oh, go for a walk or listening to music. I absolutely love to dance. So did you put music on? Listen to music. So these little things, although I couldn't do the big things like traveling at this time. But me doing these little things kept me fulfilled in a little way and it kept me going in terms of mindset. You never stop learning. So I had to be very aware of that. With our vision and our dreams, we will have to sacrifice. But it doesn't feel like work because I look forward to doing those things. But at the same time, I'm also aware that when I do get too tired, I need to take a step back and probably not do anything for the next two or three days if I have to.
Taraji Also, constantly upgrading my life software, which is my mindset and just being aware of myself, my whole being what I need by obviously knowing the 20 things I absolutely love to do and making sure I do those little things that keep me fulfilled and warm and fuzzy inside.
Laura Are there any lessons that you have learned as a mom that you wish you could teach other mothers right now?
Taraji I think I think the most important thing is don't forget to live in the moment because it's so easy to get caught up in everything else that we want to accomplish and everything else that we want to do. And obviously just life changes going on around us.
Taraji And when we're living in the moment, we're not so overwhelmed and stressing about not being a good mom, thinking that we're not doing it the right way. There is no right way is your way in how you look after your baby, what's best for your baby. Just be mindful that they will never be eight months old again. So really just enjoy every second of it. Life is way too short. And as long as you have a vision, you know what it is that you need to do. It's okay to pause and take a step back.
Laura My final question is, of course, Covid-19 related. Do you have any recommendations for mamas? What is something that you could recommend to them to help them through this time?
Taraji I think we're going to go back to gratitude and just being in the moment. The thing is, everything happens for a reason, right? We may not understand why this is happening right now, but trust me when I tell you it is for our greater good. You see how everyone's all locked in their homes, just because they don't want to pass it on to anyone else or they don't want to catch it either. That says a lot because we as humans, we are working as a community, as this worldwide community, who actually, in fact, do we do love each other, you know, and you see people doing nice things. They've all put rainbows on their windows just so they can count the rainbows and make it exciting and make the walk, you know, nice and fun and, you know, colorful rainbows.
Taraji The most important thing is knowing that everything happens for a reason. A lot of people are affected negatively, but there are some positives. You know, some people get to slow down. I think see it because I try and see the bright side in every situation. The thing with life is not so much the things that happen to you. It's how you respond to what happens.
Taraji Everything's perspective, I currently see as a blessing, because it's given us time to slow down and really taken everything you know and bring people together. Also, the seasons always changing. It will get better. This, too, will end. Look around you and see what you can be grateful for. One thing I do every day, I wake up and I say three things that I'm grateful for. What we have to do is be keep on moving on. That's the most important thing.