The What’s in Your Toolkit series is back! I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to some wonderful women for this series, such as Emma Svanberg The Mumologist, Suzy Reading, author of The Self Care Revolution (which I am always chuffed on Amazon that it often gets bought in tandem with The Supermum Myth so I feel like we’re kindred souls and so very happy to be in her company), Emma Cannon – fertility expert and women’s health goddess, Emine Rushton – This Conscious Being on Twitter and Instagram, author, and former Wellness Director at Psychologies Magazine, and Jody Shield, author of Self Care for the Soul. I love hearing how these strong women harmonise their lives, what tools they have gathered together to help to foster a healthy balance for body and mind.
Bringing the series back, I was super keen to bring you the Everyday Joy wisdom from Tamu Thomas, founder of Live Three Sixty and presenter of an award-winning podcast. Everyday joy…such a beautiful and simple concept. I’ve had the pleasure of being part of all of Tamu’s day Retreats and they have been such nourishing spaces, uncovering personal revelations and confidence in a gentle but powerful way. Check out Tamu’s Membership ecosystem to unlock your sparkle and find that joy you might be missing out on.
Tell me about yourself! Tell me more about Live Three Sixty, how you came to be doing what you do
My name is Tamu Thomas, I am a woman in transition, learning new things about myself all the time. I’m 42 and from an emotional standpoint this period of my life feels like an empowered 2nd puberty and I quite like it! This kaleidoscope of feelings has led me to a place where I prioritise being slow, looking for joy and having gentle fun. I have ambitions and dreams but am now realising that I can relax and stride rather than hustle and strive!
Live Three Sixty is the most nourishing entity I could have created! LTS is a wellness lifestyle brand aimed at women in their late 30s and 40s that are ready to expand beyond their current lives but feel held back by old habits and beliefs. I provide products and experiences that support busy women slow down, and connect with themselves so they can be more empathetically curious with themselves. I believe that connecting with yourself with empathetic curiosity allows you to develop tools that enable gentle and fulfilling expansion.
This LTS journey was initiated by me experiencing what I can only describe as an existential crisis. I was in a career that depleted me. I was desperately unhappy, my inner critic was a bully, I showed myself no empathy and self sabotage was an untrusted companion. I had an extended period of low mood that my GP referred to as severe moderate depression, I was anxious at times I had panic attacks and my immune system suffered. I was constantly ill and for approximately six years accepted that this was normal.
I felt totally disconnected to the biomedical model being pushed by my GP, not because I was ashamed but amongst all the inner chaos I could hear a little voice saying you’re too hard on yourself. I was forced to slow down and review my life. This process showed me that I had created my circumstance by autopiloting through life and centring my identity, fulfilment and worth in how much work I could do and how I was praised for it. I realised that my illness was psychosomatic AND I didn’t criticise myself for it. I felt compelled to parent myself to vitality but wasn’t sure how. I had some coaching with Nicola Rae Wickham and she helped me to explore where my beliefs came from and learn that I was judging myself.
I began to speak to other women my age and was hearing different versions of my experience and decided to combine my social work background with the things I was learning and my personality to create a holistic antidote.
I love your focus on everyday joy, encouraging women to become more aware of their life and mental health in a truly nourishing holistic way, Tell me more about how that came to be your mantra.
As my personal development journey widened and deepened I realised that what I thought would bring happiness was disposable. I also realised that for me joy and contentment is nourishing, grounding and peaceful where as happiness is fleeting.
When I stopped using rushing and busy to hide I could see that what really makes me feel connected, stop and draw deep breath were the everyday joys that are hidden in plain sight. On the surface it may sound philosophical and cheesy BUT I promise you clouds speed racing through the sky, leaves blowing in the wind, the sound of laughter can be heavenly.
This focus on everyday joy amplifies my gratitude creating a fertile abundant emotional base to return to. After achievement, success, loss, stress, disappointment I can now always come home to everyday joy.
What are your personal tools in your own wellbeing toolkit?
My personal mental health toolkit includes:
Journaling for catharsis, deciphering, dreaming and plotting my actions.
Podcasts, audiobooks, reading content that assists me to learn, feel inspired, become more curios.
Take action whether it’s dancing to the music of my childhood, lifting weights, doing something to progress my business. I know I have to be active everyday or I become stagnant and my inner critic cranks up the volume. Some days the action is tiny and some days it’s epic.
Track my cycle. I know my hormones have a huge impact on my energy levels. I don’t get so much of the moodiness but the 4 days before my period and the first two days of my period is a write off! I try to schedule light work and naps! I no longer feel bad as the rest of the month I’m ok and around ovulation I’m bionic!
Sleep and water. Seven hours is my optimum but only if I’m sleeping before 11pm. Water is life I need at least 2 litres for everything to move as it should!
Visualising, seeing myself living as I want to from my personal life and motherhood to my business dreams. Visualising is a fundamental part of my toolkit.
As a mother I’ve always known that I need to be me to be the best mother I can be. This usually means making sure I have time to myself each day and also weekends/ short holidays sans child. If I don’t I feel claustrophobic and snap at my daughter unnecessarily.
How do you balance work, mumming and life?
I don’t! It’s an ebb and flow and I’m cool with that. I work from home so I am around a lot, however sometimes my daughter / family / friends need more, sometimes it’s my business. My network know that I’ve just started this business and I’m a company of one so they are very supportive.
I think we set ourselves up by trying to achieve an equilibrium. Something will always need more, during that time other things will get less. The trick is to make sure that I am not constantly prioritising one area over an other. It goes without saying, until my daughter is old enough and skilled enough to make her own way in the world, her needs will always be prioritised, but on occasion the wants have to wait.
Sometimes my daughter needs me to drop everything for an emergency date and that’s what I do. We try to have date night on Wednesdays, during this time we make eye contact, talk, laugh and I embarrass her!
I don’t have a partner so I don’t have to invest the time and energy necessary to nurture and support a healthy connection. I must say I have found dating REALLY hard and didn’t really give it a chance. I wonder if it would be different now that my daughter is older and I’m releasing my addiction to being fiercely independent?