We found Tiffany Wright and LivetheBeLife on twitter. Her consistent positive tweets were appealing and we started retweeting them. Then, we decided to check out the person and the company behind the tweets and here she is!
You’re very optimistic and happy. What was your childhood like?
In one word, dysfunctional, but I’ve come to learn many of us have dysfunctional childhoods in way or another because as humans, we’re dysfunctional…and if you’ve haven’t handled those dysfunctions, you raise children in the midst of them. My mother experienced a lot of trauma in my early years, so I was fortunate to be partly raised by my extended family. I got to experience different lifestyles, which kept me optimistic of things working out. Outside of normal dramas, my family nurtured me to be a kid and just have fun, be silly, and creative. I always was really dramatic so I loved playing dress up, being on cameras, making up little monologues, painting, and dancing. The biggest contributor to my optimism…was Disney. I’ve always been obsessed with Disney story lines and growing up as an only child it fueled my imagination for joy and possibility. I also spent a lot of time reading. My grandfather taught me to read by 3, and I read books monthly. He raised me to value education and critical thinking, so I was really a talkative child, and often just talked to my dolls and imaginary friends.
Was there something in your childhood or in your later years that helped you to discover self love?
Self love wasn’t a term I even came into terms with until 2 years ago, to be honest. I wanted to always study people because I wanted to learn about myself, “my crazy family” and why people do what they do. So I majored in Sociology and Psychology, and even though I learned about self image, self esteem, self concept, self fulfilling prophesy, and so many other ideas around the self, self love was never mentioned. After a pattern of unhealthy romantic relationships, and beginning a wellness journey to transform my mind and body, I discovered the notion of self love. I discovered that most decisions in your life are reflective of your sense of self love. Everything from your career, to what you eat, how often you read, what you watch and listen to, and the people you let in your life. I became obsessed mostly because on my wellness journey, I began to coach others, and realized that most people were in self-inflicted abusive relationships. It was a pivotal moment of consciousness for me. As I began to work on myself, everything started to come full circle. My decisions, and those of people around me, made sense. It helped me forgive others and myself. I was understanding where my models of self love came from, how they’ve impacted me, the decisions I make, and how I’ve shown up in the world, to myself and others. So adulthood helped me discover self love, but re-examining my childhood helped me understand the core of my being and the presence or lack thereof of self love I had.
Why are you so upbeat and happy? And, how do you stay grounded in terms of dealing with stress or emotions such as frustration and disappointment?
I’ve always been this way. I am blessed to have pretty positive family members, and to have always been nurtured with love from them. We all hide trauma and stress well, but believe in the power of just living your life no matter what’s going on. I didn’t realize that until literally right now, thanks Tomaca! The interesting thing is that even though I am this way, I go thru cyclical periods of depression, and I became aware of it when I was 22 (the pros of studying psychology and all diagnosable disorders) that it actually had been occurring since I was 7. When I was young I would usually watch something funny or go in some creative state when I felt “bad”. I guess it was my early defense mechanism that became a gateway of walking in gratitude, and taught me how to cope. As I’ve gotten older, and more aware of life, and my own cognitive processes, its now a psychological process. I understand that happiness is truly a choice, even though some of us are pre-disposed to have more upbeat dispositions. Mindfulness is very important, and its something that came with really being taught critical thinking skills. I’m more susceptible to stress vs. frustration/disappointment (it rarely occurs for me). I’m mindful that I can’t control other peoples emotions, nor can they control mine. My body is hypersensitive to stress, even if my mind seems relaxed. Deep breathing exercises are very helpful. Prayer, exercise, positive music, writing (which is why I started blogging), and dancing really help me. It just depends on the mood I’m in. I am most upbeat when mornings begin with gratitude’s, listening to spiritual messages and positive/spiritual music. Everyone has to find what works for them, but I say, whatever gives you the closest feeling of an out-of-body experience (minus drugs), or makes you feel warm and fuzzy, do those often!
You’ve done quite a few years of college. You obtained your master’s degree in social work. When you initially started college, was this your goal?
Not really. My goal ever since I was 7 was to be a child psychologist. Even as a child, I understood the emotional and mental sensitivity I experienced in relation to my family dynamic. I would always say, if my family is this crazy, I know there are other kids who feel like me, who have crazy families too. I had a family friend who was a psychologist; she told me if I had 8 years of school, I could help kids, so that’s what my intention was. I was too nervous to apply to phd programs right out of college, so I took the MSW route. Little did I know, it was more difficult then I thought…mentally and emotionally. One thing they didn’t emphasize was students going through their own counseling.
I had a psychologist in undergrad for 2 years but we never hit on the issues that I ended up facing while in graduate school, so I steered away from counseling due to my own challenges and decided to create amazing programs for individuals to receive services. I went to grad school at 21, so I had the understanding that I wanted to help the world, but had no concept of helping myself first. This revelation really bred the ground for BE! Even though I just launched the company, its been a vision of mine since 2010, and it was always intended to empower others to tap into the visions, and live powerful lives. So in the end, I didn’t take the route intended by me, but higher powers are often involved when we begin to walk in our purpose.
How did you become so interested in helping other women to uplift themselves?
Through my career, I’ve just connected to lack of opportunity out there for women to embrace themselves and be supported. Because of my studies, readings and traveling, I understand the state of women on a global level which is very different from a U.S. perspective. The female presence and energy is powerful to this world; it wouldn’t exist without her, but women don’t understand the full totality of their power, especially when coming together. We have made steps but have a long way to go, and I believe its through women loving themselves that a revolution will happen once again. You can only give what you have. When you love and understand what you need, you’re more empathic to what others need. As a millennial, I’m in the middle of this “selfie nation” and unhealthy sense of narcissism; and without judgment I can say that’s so opposite of me. That was me from 7-12; when I stayed looking in the mirror and always wanted to be in front of the camera. I always cared about me and what my family could do for me. “Self” for the sake of “Self” is not priority now. Building my Self to be a vessel, and live with purpose is a priority and I found a passion to help build other women on a similar journey. Social media is awesome, but often gives people the obligation of focusing on themselves, or what others think, so they can think and feel better about themselves. We are operating at extremes today; really forward moving women entrepreneurs, executives, philanthropists, and media figures who are all about promoting love and empowerment and then the other end of the women who primarily promote our body, clothing labels and sexual abilities and empower a woman to control her destiny with her body and looks. We are more than that. The sense of family has depleted. Our level for public decorum has been demolished, and I feel a priority to do what I can to impact some changes. We are all multifaceted beings, and everyone from the most conservative to the most sexually liberated should connect to that.
Obviously this fed your desire to start your own business to help women. Please tell us about what you do.
I run a life enhancement brand that promotes self love to inspire and empower women to live their best lives. I inspire thru my self love workshops and special events. I empower thru my blog, videos and social media. I teach wellness thru 1 on 1 coaching. BE! is all about women learning to unconditionally love themselves and operate at their highest capacity of BEing to live the life of their dreams, powerfully and passionately.
How long has your business been up and running?
I started wellness coaching in February 2013, and expanded to the blog www.livethebelife.com in November because I had so much to say in regards to love, life, transformation and wellness. In March 2014, I started hosting self love workshops and special events for women in Los Angeles that have different topics but are always rooted in self love.
How do your clients find you?
Most of my clients have found me via social media or by referral of other clients.
The need for these types of services is certainly great as a lot of us may become distraught or really sad about our lives. Give us an example – you would initially do an assessment of someone and then what type of program would you put in place for them?
Unless they are opposed to speaking on the phone, I do an initial assessment via phone or video chat, usually lasting 20 mins-30 mins, getting to know the individual, and what brought them to the point of contacting me. I really take a holistic approach and let them know, I mostly will focus on their mindset and spiritual journey (personal development), and from there, physical changes can be implemented (nutrition and fitness). Every client is different, but I customize programs according to their goals, budget, and lifestyle. I work with clients on major health and personal development goals (forgiveness, patience, understanding, etc.)
Once people sign up for coaching, do you find that they stay and if they do want to give up on themselves, what kinds of things to you say to keep them encouraged?
Most people give up on themselves. Which as time passed, I realized is the perfect explanation for why we as humans live unfulfilled lives. Fear, doubt, inability to be consistent are some common reasons we give up on ourselves. For the ones that stick through a coaching program, it’s because they listened to me about staying focused on their goal, their why, and personal development. The social worker in me truly believes in self determination and free will. The faith believer in me knows that if you plant seeds, and water them, they will bloom in due season. I am not the pressure type coach. I remind you of your why, but I don’t push. I believe people will truly give their all to something when they are ready. When I’m not actively working with someone, I continue to check on them, just say hi, or send a “you were on my mind” message. The greatest teachers never know their impact on students, and I feel the same way as a coach. I’d love to experience a transformation in front of my eyes, but that is not always the case. So in the end, I let them know, I am more than a coach. I am a friend and they can always reach out to me, no matter what.
What is your favorite saying? Is there just one that is your favorite and personally inspires you the most?
Fear defeats more people than anything else in this world- Ralph Waldo Emerson
It seems that what you do – coaching others and being available to others – is very time consuming. Do you put limits in place – for instance, do you have “office hours?” And, being a coach and a friend that someone can reach out to, is there anything that would prevent a 2:00 am emergency phone call?
Initially it was time consuming and I was coaching 20-30 clients a month. Now since I’ve expanded what I do, I have a 10 client cap a month. I am available to my clients 24/7, but make sure to designate specific follow up times which are agreed discussion and follow up to their routine. I have absolutely had 2am phone calls, and if I’m awake or alert, I answer them. I believe people want people to talk to; we don’t know all the answers to life, and to have someone who wants to go on a journey like that with us, is special.
Is this your full-time work?
Yes it is. It’s all rather new to me, so I’m constantly learning. I’m thankful I have a supportive family network while I’m building the brand.
What happens to your work, especially your accessibility when you eventually have children and other obligations?
If I am out of town or busy with family time, I tell my clients they can send me questions via text but I may be off the grid. Children…are not on my radar right now, haha. I live everyday as it comes, and right now I am free as a bird.