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Hi there! I’m so delighted to be sharing this interview space with Tara Sophia Mohr. I personally have been touched by her words and sharing through herr blog, goals guide, and recent poetry collection, The Real Life: Poems for Wise Living. As a coach and personal growth teacher, she offers both individual and group coaching, and today is the registration deadline for her next women’s small group coaching circle. I’m honored to share with my readers a bit about her and her coaching style as a woman doing amazing work to help other women find and unleash their unique voices in this life journey!

Tell us a little about your start on this path of wise living and coaching other women:

Well, I got a very early start. I was hanging out in the new age bookstore as a kid, reading about all the spiritual traditions and about psychology. I grew up analyzing my dreams with my mom at the breakfast table every morning – over oatmeal! But at the same time I was immersed in very competitive, secular academic environments. My life has been about bridging those worlds.

I spent my 20’s playing small and avoiding my purpose. I worked in a career that looked just fine from the outside, but wasn’t what I was meant to do. When I turned 30, I got serious. I was scared of my adult life flying by, knowing I was being more loyal to fear than to my dreams. Even though it was very hard, I started articulating what wasn’t working, what I wanted for my life, the kind of impact I wanted to make. And that led me to this career path – of writing and working with people on living more fulfilling, joyful, wise lives.

Who participates in your coaching and coaching circles?

Fabulous women! Some are entrepreneurs and some work in organizations. They are doing business, nonprofit, and artistic work. There are coaches, therapists and social workers. Some women are balancing work and child-rearing, some are not. What they share is a desire to live more authentic lives, get their “juice” back, and overcome fears and insecurities that are holding them back. That’s what they get from the coaching circle.

What do you see as the most beneficial aspect of coaching, especially as it differs from therapy or counseling?

I love coaching’s focus on creating a fulfilling future – going beyond being “psychologically healthy” and looking at how to create a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life. Also, the experiential nature of coaching sessions –using writing, visualization, action steps, the body – going beyond the realm of language and left-brain based talk therapy.

How does your background as an MBA graduate focusing on leadership and innovation affect your coaching style and guidance?

I bring a strong practical, analytical side as well as a heart-centered, right-brain, mystical side. People love that fusion in my coaching. More and more I also offer some business and leadership guidance to woman entrepreneurs along with the life coaching work we are doing. I’m about how to bring the ideal into the real – how to bring revolutionary work and ideas into this world – as it is, now.

Recently you wrote a blog entry asking readers to consider what they would say when giving a TED talk. What would the theme of your TED talk be?

I have two. One is this: you have a brilliance – a unique, incredible, totally necessary-for-the-world brilliance. You’ve been measured on the wrong scales, told the wrong things, and as a result have ended up covering, even fearing, your brilliance. It’s time to start sharing it.

My other TED talk is about compassion. That committing an act of violence is a symptom of sickness, not of evil. We need to treat people for that sickness, rather than punish them for a moral failing. The “insanity defense” makes no sense because all violence is insane. We need to move to a very new understanding of crime, war, and violence.

What is your favorite part of being a coach? What keeps you doing this work with joy and gratitude?

My favorite part is launching brilliant women into the world to do important work. I love it when, in coaching a client, I get to see their brilliance and feel how much it is going to enrich the world once it’s unleashed.

Then we do the work so that they can see their own brilliance, get connected deeply to purpose – a sense of purpose that is bigger than fear – and go forward boldly sharing their voice and playing BIG. Yesterday I tweeted “Being yourself and playing big are the same thing” – that’s something I’ve learned from my own journey and from my clients.’

If you could suggest one thing that women can do to move forward in their personal journey with integrity and wholeness, what would that be?

Lean into your longings—the things you long to create in your work and in your life. We spend so much energy resisting, doubting, avoiding our dreams and longings – because often they require that we leave the comfort zone, leave the herd, and risk failure. When we trust the longings, give space for them, respect them – then we begin to find our way back to the life we are meant to live, the life that will bring us great fulfillment.

Anything else you would like to share?

And don’t believe the s**t your inner critic is telling you. It’s pure fiction.

If this sounds like it may be the next step in your journey, apply today for Tara’s upcoming women’s small group coaching circle. You will receive exercises and regular support throughout the five-month process, as well as participate in monthly conference calls. Find out more and how to apply here.

May your journey be blessed with teachers of all sorts to support and inspire you as you uncover your authentic, unique voice.