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Have you ever wondered how authors live their messages—if writers who explore mindfulness are generally present and peaceful, or if others who research happiness are predominately upbeat and joyful?
This often goes through my mind when I read a book that inspires me. I didn’t have to wonder this as I read Cultivating Radiance: 5 Essential Elements for Holistic Self-Care. I’d recently met the book’s lovely author, Tamara Gerlach, who appears to glow from the inside out.
Owner of Encore Gymnastics, Dance, and Climbing, Tamara formerly served as a National Team Coach for USA gymnastics. Since 2001, she’s worked as a life and business coach, empowering people to change their lives and have fun doing it.
In her new book, Tamara offers a number of action-oriented suggestions for a positive attitude and a joyful life. With easily digestible chapters, each jam-packed with insight, Cultivating Radiance reminds us to nurture our inner beauty—and shows us how.
To win one of 5 free autographed copies:
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1. Your new book is titled Cultivating Radiance: 5 Essential Elements for Holistic Self Care. How do you define radiance?
Radiance is that inner light that we are all born with. We’ve all had that feeling of being totally “on” but we sometimes allow life’s challenges, disappointments, and unhealthy relationships to dim our light. So, Cultivating Radiance is really a collection of tools to turn your light back up…way up.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
Years ago I hit a personal low point and realized that I only needed to change one thing about my life: everything. The way I looked at my life and my attitude. I needed to awaken my passion, start taking care of myself, and create a vision for my life.
I had always been the “woman who could do it all herself,” but at that point, I felt broken. I reached out for help and found that I had surrounded myself with some truly inspiring people who had amazing gifts to teach me.
That started my journey to discovering what makes people truly radiant. After years of speaking and giving workshops on self-care, the book sort of birthed itself as a way to communicate the message of developing our inner light.
3. You’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, life and business coach, wife, mother, Buddhist, yogini, athlete, and world traveler. You certainly wear a lot of hats! What would you say is the most important practice for maintaining radiance during busy, and potentially stressful, times?
For me, it’s meditation. Some days I sit for 30 to 45 minutes, but I also practice being mindful throughout my day regardless of how busy I am. I find that when I am mindful of the energy around me I get hurt less, both physically and emotionally.
It is so easy to get caught up in “doing” daily life, but I try to stay connected, present, and practice “being” my full self. On days when my mind visits a less-than-radiant future and my life feels out of control (like about a week ago), I just stop, shut my eyes and take 10 deep breaths.
Then, I smile and remind myself that I am doing the best I can and everything will be okay. I also take regular “mental break days” where I schedule an entire day devoted to the things that recharge me. I always include time in nature, meditating, and oftentimes I will journal.
4. You end each section of your book with a discovery question, an activity, a gratitude suggestion, and a mantra. Why is gratitude integral to cultivating radiance?
I have always known how important gratitude is, and thought it would be one of the “elements,” but when I began interviewing people for the book, every one of them talked about gratitude, so it became part of every chapter.
It is the foundation of radiance. We can practice being grateful for everything in our lives; whether we see it as “good” or “bad,” everything is a lesson. The real question to ask is, “What can I learn from this?” Expressing our gratitude helps us to keep a positive attitude, connect with others, and to open our hearts.
The discovery question and activities come from my gymnastic background. No matter what level of athlete I was coaching, we could talk about a skill all day, but the gymnast couldn’t learn a skill until they were given the chance to physically try it.
5. Of the five sections in your book—Beliefs, Optimistic Attitude, Passion, Self-Care Alignment, and Vision—which do you feel we generally struggle with the most, and why?
The book starts with beliefs because they are the foundation that we build our radiance upon. Many of us have limiting beliefs that keep us from our light. We may have underlying beliefs that we are not enough, don’t matter, or don’t deserve to be happy.
I used to work myself like a rented mule, because no matter how hard I worked, I believed that it was never enough. Our limiting beliefs show up in so many aspects of our lives, and begin to feel so “normal” that we don’t even realize they are there.
Until we change our beliefs we will go from job to job, or relationship to relationship, not understanding why we are unfulfilled.
6. You’ve written, “As my outside ages, my intention is to become stunningly beautiful on the inside.” Do you think the aging process can challenge our radiance?
Yes—and it doesn’t have to be. I have a beautiful role model in my aunt Billye. She is almost 83 years old but still lights up a room when she enters. Sure, her body is shrinking, and her skin is wrinkly, but her spirit is vibrant and alive. She is truly radiant and she just keeps getting better!
7. What is the most important message you’d like readers to take away from your book?
YOU CAN be radiant any time you want. You don’t have to be young, attractive, and thin to be radiant. We are all born radiant.
YOU DO have time to take care of yourself and can have more energy to take care of the important people in your life.
YOU HAVE what it takes to light up the room, and inspire joy, freedom, and balance in every part of your life.
For more information about Cultivating Radiance, available on Wednesday, October 12th, visit cultivatingradiance.com. Tamara is offering a number of free bonus items with purchase, all listed on the site!
FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.