Tamra is a relationship expert and the founder of Getting Naked Pty Ltd. I have been reading her blog for years and really enjoyed reading both of her books The Upside of Down and The Dating Game. She has been featured in numerous magazines and been interviewed on the Today Show, Morning Show and Sunrise to name a few. She kindly agreed to answer my questions and I resonate deeply with what she had to say!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what your life currently looks like?
I LOVE life, I LOVE growth and I am in LOVE with real life love stories! And this is what inspired me to become a Relationship and Self-Love Therapist, Author and Inspirational speaker, creating the online school Getting Naked, where I teach people how to strip off the layers of childhood conditioning so they can fall in love with themselves! While my work is my play, I also love classic old cars (actually all things vintage), knitting, sewing, swing dancing with my husband, playing drums, sipping tea and living in the gorgeous rainforests of the Dandenong Ranges. Right now I am also in the late stages of pregnancy, preparing for the birth of my first child.
What do you feel your mission is?
That’s a really interesting question because I feel I become clearer and clearer on my mission everyday. When I first began working with people I felt my mission was to help them become depression and pill free, as that had been my journey and I had developed a formula where I could help others cure their mental illness in just 10 sessions. In the ten years since, I have become much clearer on my mission and that is ‘To help people fall in love with themselves’. I realised many years back that if a person can strip off the layers of childhood conditioning that stop them loving themselves, then they have more confidence to pursue their goals and dreams, they’re happier, their body is far healthier (as a result of the joyful chemicals pumping around their body) and they’re able to find fulfilment and contentment in life. For that reason, every course, talk, book or workshop I offer is designed to help people fall in love with themselves; to foster deep self-love. That said, my mission extends far beyond my business. It seeps into every corner of my life. Smiling at strangers, striking up loving conversations with the check-out person at the super-market, stopping to help people in need – it really is amazing the hope we can bring to people’s lives just by be willing to share a little love with a stranger.
What led you to the path you are on now?
In my early 20s I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression and put on medication. I was told I was such a severe case I would always need antidepressants. What followed, was many ups and downs and struggles to fully accept myself, which led to numerous suicide attempts once I came off the medication. It was my own journey with depression and then learning how to overcome it – through much soul-searching, professional training in a range of healing modalities, and completely changing my lifestyle – that I finally cured myself of depression. I was so fascinated with all that I’d learnt, that I shared my journey in my first book The Upside of Down: A personal journey and toolkit for overcoming depression, which was then endorsed by Lifeline Australia. From there, I left my full-time job as a newsreader/journalist and started my own business, creating a 10-session program where I could help people become depression and pill free. To begin with I was mostly helping people overcome mental illnesses, but I soon learnt that these very techniques could help people overcome any of life’s woes, and so began expanding the business and creating the Getting Naked online school, which if you take a peek at the website, you can see, has gone far beyond helping heal mental health cases.
What has been your biggest challenge or rock bottom moment?
That would be in my early 20s when I was sat down and told, after my most recent suicide attempt, that I needed to either go into a mental home or go back on anti-depressants. As you can probably imagine, neither of which took my fancy! That was my big wake-up call. I made a decision in that moment, that I would commit to finding a cure for depression. At the time I had no idea how I could do that, but I made that commitment to myself none-the-less, and then made it my life mission to find that cure. So upon reflection, I really do feel it was that one moment where I was given that ultimatum, that completely changed the course of my life, and I am so very grateful for it, even though it was extremely challenging at the time.
How did you use that difficult period as a catalyst for positive change in your life?
As I mentioned earlier, I set out on a new path of exploring myself. The growth I experienced in my 20s was massive because it was either ‘figure this out, or go into a mental home’. So that’s a pretty good rocket up your booty! It was extremely challenging at times, as I’d feel like I’d take 1 step forward only to take 2 steps back, but it was that commitment to self, that allowed me to finally overcome the depression and then use that experience to help others do the same. And the best bit is, that because I came up with a formula for creating that change, the people who work with me now don’t have to do all the trial and error I did. They get to move through it at a much faster pace and know that what we’re doing actually works. That’s something I didn’t have when I was trying to figure it out on my own.
What has been the highest point in your life so far?
First thing that pops into my mind was my wedding day! I know that sounds a little superficial, but throughout my 20s I really struggled to make relationships work and started to believe that I just wasn’t cut out for them. Once I overcame the depression, my next mission in life, was to work out what I needed to clear and what I needed to change, in order to attract in a healthy relationship that would allow me to continue to grow and remain true to myself. Much like my research into mental illness, I did more study and more research (much of which ended up in my second book Getting Naked – The Dating Game), until I cleared the blocks I had around relationships and met the most beautiful, caring man. So to marry him, was more than just wearing a big white poufy dress. It was a symbol of all I had learnt about relationships and love, and a celebration of what my husband and I had created between us; a partnership where both of us are willing to look at our ‘stuff’, so we can continue to deepen our love for each other and ourselves, in order to be the best people we can possibly be.
What positive impact do you want to make in the world?
I hope to contribute to all the amazing work so many like-hearted healers are doing, in helping people get connected to their inner voice – their True Self – so they can fall in love with themselves and realise that love is all that really matters. For when we come from a loving place there is no struggle or pain. Love creates flow, happiness, joy and ease. And who doesn’t want more of that?
What is most important to you?
Nurturing my relationship with myself. For I know that if I’m full of love, then I have more love to give to others. Whenever things get a little out of whack with my husband or a family member, I realise that this conflict is showing me that there is something I need to clear within. If I’m willing to look at that, then the issue with the other person resolves. In that sense, I’m a big believer that the people around us – especially our nearest loved ones – are our greatest teachers. They reflect all our ‘stuff’ right back at us, so we have the opportunity to clear it, to grow, and thus fall that little bit more in love with ourself.
How do you handle low days?
Firstly, I give myself permission to feel whatever it is that I need to feel in that moment, knowing that this low has come up for a reason, and is giving me an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of myself. As humans we are taught to dislike the negative emotions and the days that don’t feel so good, but what we need to recognise, is that these low days are our catalysts for change. So once I have felt whatever needs to be felt, I meditate more. I do more yoga. I walk in nature. I get in the bath. I do LOTS of self-loving activities to help fill me up and provide the space for me to learn whatever the low day was trying to teach me.
What do you do stay in the flow and inspired?
I do a lot of self-loving, nurturing activities like I mentioned above. But the main one that keeps me in the flow and inspired is my tuning in practice. Every morning I tune into my True Self and clear any limiting beliefs that have popped up, and ask for internal guidance. That way, everything I do in my life is coming from an inner knowing, as opposed to allowing my childhood conditioning to rule my actions and behaviours. When you live from this space, life flows much more easily and you feel inspired by all that you do. It’s this tuning in practice that I teach people in my 3 month online course Remarkable Relationships.
Who or what are the people, blogs, podcasts, music or books that have helped you the most?
There have been many. I read a LOT (my lounge resembles that of a library). The books that have had the biggest impact on me are ‘A Return to Love’ by Marianne Williamson, ‘The Mastery of Love’ by Don Miguel Ruiz, ‘The Conscious Heart’ by Gay and Kathleen Hendricks and ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. I go through phases of following different inspirational peeps. But the one I rely on most these days in my own True Self, because I recognise that only I have the answers that are in my highest good.
What’s the best advice you would give in regards to your experiences?
Stop searching for love, contentment, happiness or success outside of yourself (in clothes, lovers, bigger houses or fancy cars) and instead look for that love within, for that is the only place you’ll find it. Make developing a relationship with yourself your one main priority in life. For how healthy you are, how well you do in your career or your relationships, how emotionally stable you are; all of this is simply a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself. When we make time to cultivate a yummy, healthy relationship with ourself, then all those other life areas transform as a result. It really all does come back to relationship with self.
One of Tamra’s fave songs is Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol