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Episode 161 Transcript: Women Who Work Too Much with Tamu ThomasEpisode 161 Transcript:

Tamu: It’s not that I deserve joy. I’m not Oliver Twist begging in a bowl, please, sir, can I have some more? I am entitled it is my God given right to be joyful, to be satisfied, to be pleasured. So I design my life as such.

Nancy: Welcome to the Nancy Levin Show. I’m Nancy Levin, Founder of Levin Life Coach Academy, best-selling author, master coach, and your host. I help overachieving people pleasers set boundaries that stick and own self-worth, anchored in empowered action, so you can feel free. Plus, if you’re an aspiring or current coach, you are in the right place. Join me each week for coaching and compelling conversations designed to support you in the spotlight, as you take center stage of your own life. Let’s dive in.

Nancy: Welcome back to another episode of the Nancy Levin Show. I am so genuinely delighted to have our guest here today, Tamu Thomas. She is a transformational life coach and former social worker who is dedicated to guiding women toward achieving work-life harmony. By focusing on nervous system alignment and healthy boundaries, she promotes holistic wellbeing, addressing the core of workplace stress and the imbalance in emotional and domestic labor. Her pivotal book, Women Who Work Too Much: Break Free from Toxic Productivity and Find Your Joy. This is a book everyone needs to read. I devoured it. This book unveils insights for women striving to escape the relentless demands of systemic pressures. This work reflects Tamus profound understanding of the issues rooted in her social work experience, offering a pathway to liberation from over-functioning in response to workplace stress. What I especially love about Tamu’s approach is that she integrates somatic coaching and polyvagal theory, fostering deep connections with self, establishing boundaries and nurturing self trust. 

So, Tamu, welcome. 

Tamu: Hello. Thank you for having me. 

Nancy: I mean, just the title of your book alone, I know that the first time I saw it, the first time I actually, when we met in the fall at the Hay House mastermind and you mentioned the name of your book as you were introducing yourself, I think the entire room, not even only the women, I think the entire room, there was like just a hush. There was a feeling of, wow, that’s me. And thank God you wrote this book. And I have to say that I think the subtitle holds as much weight as the title itself. You know, breaking free from toxic productivity and finding your joy. And so I am really looking forward to diving in to this conversation with you. As I was saying before we started recording, there’s so much synergy between our work, whether it’s around worthiness or boundaries or self trust and how that is at the core. So welcome. 

Tamu: Yeah, thank you for having me. And I’m really looking forward to our conversation, because the work you do around shadow work is so, like, I resonate when people say, you know, you’re a lightworker. Are you a shadow worker? I’m like, I’m just a worker because I believe that we can’t have light workers or shadow workers without the other. And what I know, especially coming from a social work background, is that us being able to look at the stuff we’ve put in the shadows and bringing that out into the light is how we’re able to do work that affects meaningful change within us that we’re then able to share with our local community that is then able to ripple out into further society.

Nancy: So let’s first, let’s begin with when you identified yourself as a woman who works too much. 

Tamu: It was in 2016. Like, I always knew it subconsciously, but in 2016, I started to feel like the way I was operating was not healthy. I realized that being chronically busy, doing things all the time, people starting conversations with “Tamu, I know you’re really busy, but…” was not normal. And I started delving into personal development and self help books in a meaningful way. And I came across a book called Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, and Marianne Williamson. 

Nancy:I know it well. 

Tamu: That book was a portal into my inner world and into understanding myself in a way that I had never understood myself before. And although some of it, I was like, no, I’m sorry, not all of this is my doing. Not everything is a projection of my shadow, like, systemic stuff I encounter as a black woman, etcetera, etcetera. But what that book taught me is the value of radical self responsibility. I realized how so much of my life was in turmoil because I was stuck in victim mode. I was a victim to what was going on around me and I was also making myself a victim even further, because the way I was blaming and shaming myself was awful. Awful. If I was listening to somebody speak to somebody like that, I would take a stand for that person. And I recognized that the things I was turning away from and making shadows were actually my most potent gifts and are the reasons why anything that is holy, beautiful, nourishing, true in my life exists, is because of those things. 

But my experience as a child, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD.So my experience as a neurodiverse person trying to fit into an education system that isn’t built for most human beings, there were so many things in my life, that made me wrong, and I tucked those things away, making them and by virtue of that, me wrong, that a lot of the pain I was experiencing was because I was holding back my true self and instead walking around with a version of myself that I thought would be accepted.

Nancy: You are speaking my language. I mean, I love hearing this from you, and I appreciate you sharing how that was really a turning point for you. 

Tamu: Yeah, I recognized I was chewing myself up, out, all the rest of it. And I didn’t know this then, but something within me knew that after a certain amount of time, when I stepped into my full adulthood, I was unconsciously choosing to replicate the patterns of my past.

Nancy: Absolutely.

Tamu:  What I knew to be true, even though I didn’t have the words to articulate it, was that if I chose to replicate the patterns of my past, I could choose to stop repeating those patterns. Where I went straight away to was, and I can create new patterns. But what I learned over time was that I needed to sit with those patterns for a little while and let them decompose so that that putrid stuff could become fertilizer that then nourished me, creating a new pattern based on nutrient dense information.

Nancy: That right there, mic drop. And so eloquently expressed around what happens when we package ourselves to be palatable to everyone else around us. And we also recognize my past choices have created my current reality. And I often will say, our present moment choices are our crystal ball. Our present moment choices predict our future. And so that shift. And as you, again, so beautifully said, I love what you said about let them decompose and become the fertilizer for what’s new.

Tamu: Yeah, yeah. And something I learned from Doctor Benjamin Hardy, who was also at that mastermind, is the power of using your past as a tool. So it’s something I did, but I wasn’t consciously aware of it. So what I would talk about is meeting yourself where you are, and I would, you know, coming from a social work background, I would talk about it through the lens of post traumatic growth. But I think there is something that we talk about, and I’m not against it so this isn’t about bypassing, but when we’re at a certain phase of our evolution, when we talk about post traumatic growth, there is something about us that is still hanging on to that trauma, to that traumatic title. Whereas listening to Doctor Ben Hardy talk about using your past as a tool, I was like, well, if I think about my past as a tool, all of that stuff, so if I talk about my multi passionate nature. Actually, what it means is that I can see the bigger picture, but that my multi passionate nature doubled with, when I get passionate about something, I call them my pofs, my passions, obsessions, and fascinations. It’s like I’m a fisherman person that has thrown my net out and then I bring all of that in and I can be really focused and very analytical about those things. And I just thought, well, if I think about all of those things as a tool, even things like, at the moment I’ve broken up with resilience. I think it’s something we use too much, and I don’t think it’s the flex we think it is because resilience is the act of bouncing back. I don’t want to keep creating a life that I have to bounce back from, but I was able to see how things like that resilience, if I use that consciously, creatively, it can be alchemized into something else. So that ability to bounce back is the ability to be steadfast, is the ability to back myself. It’s the ability to know that I fundamentally know what is right for me and what I need. 

Nancy: I love what you just said. So in my newest book, Embrace Your Shadow to Find Your Light, one of the alchemical stages of shadow work is resilience. But here’s the thing. It follows authenticity, that’s the stage before it. And the way I work with resilience is the resilience in bringing and expressing your authenticity to the world. It’s exactly what you just said in different words. I just got chills because it is, I’m backing myself. I’m standing in my truth and I’m standing for myself. And that’s the resilience. Not getting punched down and getting back up again and just, you know, like a robot moving forward and muscling through, but instead being able to really trust that I can bring forth the truth of who I am into the world.

Tamu: Exactly, exactly. 

Nancy: I love that. So let’s talk a little bit about toxic productivity because, you know, I had not really heard that phrase. We’ve of course heard of, like, toxic positivity, but toxic productivity, this whole wearing the badge of honor of busy. And I know for me personally, my toxic productivity was highly connected to the way I determined my sense of value and worth.

Tamu: Exactly, 

Nancy: Right. So the more I do for others, the more I achieve, the more I produce, the more gold stars I collect, the more valuable I am and the more worthy I am. Yeah, that was my life for decades. 

Tamu: Yeah. Yeah. And that was mine. And when I realized so, I had an existential crisis that lasted far too long because I was resisting what the truth was. And when I faced my truth, I looked around my life in my personal circle, so my family, my friendship group, my acquaintances, social media, the wider world, I just saw a disco ball of women engaging in similar behaviors reflected back at me. And I was like, ah, okay, so it’s not me, it’s “we”. And if it’s we, the roots are not within us, there is something pervasive going on that’s permeating society. It’s crossing class, gender, race, religion, the whole gambit. And we are all swimming in the sea of toxic productivity. And through doing my work, understanding what I had been tucking away in my shadow, I realized that toxic productivity, the obsessive compulsive need to be productive all the time, and that productivity, often looking like busyness, was my drug of choice to numb myself from the pervasive feeling of not enoughness. The moment I feel like I’m not enough, I’m not appreciated enough, I’m not seen, even when I feel tired, which means in my brain, it meant I was lazy, I wasn’t organized enough, etcetera because growing up with west african immigrant parents, children should not rest. Right? If you’re lying down and it’s not bedtime, something’s wrong. A cloth will come out of nowhere. There’s skirting boards and doors to wipe or read your book, do some kind of study. 

So I was able to recognize that toxic productivity is an addiction, and we use that to numb a lack of connection with ourselves and a lack of connection with others. And it is something we are rewarded for. Nancy. Oh, my goodness. The way that I could turn around and report overnight. I was commended for the way that I could not eat lunch, barely drink anything, and go and do loads and loads of home visits to families, I was commended for. The way that I could whip out resilience and I would often be allocated as a social worker, the most challenging families, whether it’s that they were violent and aggressive or they had very deep, very subtle, chronic issues such as neglect and emotional abuse, which are harder to identify, I was rewarded for that. My ability to arrange things really quickly, don’t worry, I’ll arrange some childcare. I’ll be able to go and do that visit. It doesn’t matter if I get home at night I was rewarded for that. Being able to work even though I was sick and my leg was hanging off, my friends praised me for that. I was a go getter. 

Nancy: Yeah. I mean, I’m looking in the mirror at you because when I was in my position at Hay House, my nickname was “queen of the impossible”. I was famous for responding to an email like, the second it came in, you know, answering the phone at 3:00a.m. doing whatever needed to be done, flying across the country for Wayne Dyer’s briefcase that he left, you know, whatever it took. But really at the heart of it was, I wasn’t doing it from a place, and again I didn’t know this in the moment, but now being able to reflect, I wasn’t doing it out of pure generosity. I was doing it to get someone else’s light on me. And of course, in the meantime, dimming my own and shoving it all in the shadow. And I know for me, and I know for so many people, listening, work has always been my drug of choice. Work is my avoidance strategy for whatever it was I don’t want to feel or deal with. And, you know, here’s the way I can numb out. Here’s the way I can feel good about myself. If I’m doing all the doing, then I don’t have to look at where the void is within me. And what it took me so long to understand is everything I’m seeking externally needs to be resolved internally first.

Nancy: Hi, it’s Nancy interrupting my own show. I’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up in 2024, including a brand new book plus a group coaching opportunity, unlike anything else I have ever offered before. To make sure you are in the know, pop on over to my website now and sign up for my free weekly newsletter at nancylevin.com/newsletter so you don’t miss a thing. Okay, back to the show. 

Tamu: So, with part of my work, I trained in the Non-Linear Movement Method in 2020, and I loved it so much, I went and did the part two in 2021 or 2022. And it is a really beautiful, somatic movement method developed by Michaela Bohm. And I describe it as having an honest conversation with yourself. It’s you, your body, spirit, and the ground, and it is one of the most profound methods of self communication I’ve ever experienced, and I would share that with my clients. And there’s nothing like writing a book to radicalize you because all of your stuff is in that one place. You’re reading it over and over again. You’re batting it backwards and forwards with your editor, so you’re reading it on deeper levels. Then you read the audiobook. And I was able to recognize that that was one of the ways I gave myself away. That was one of the ways I gave what I needed to others and tried to kind of almost, like, siphon their experience and hold it as my own. I haven’t been able to hold that space since I don’t know when. My body is literally point blank refusing to allow my mind to subdue me, to give away what I need. Like, gone are the days where I can give away the care I need for myself. I literally, and it got to a point where I was frequently canceling things, I was setting up something, then canceling it, or trying to will myself and then cancel it at the last minute. And I just thought, woman, if you can’t learn this now, literally,I’ve just got to this point where it’s not even that, I can’t pull from an empty cup. I can no longer entertain allowing my cup to get empty. 

Nancy: Yes, yes, yes, yes. You know, I have so many things popping off in my mind. One of them is, you know, and I love this about myself – the reclamation of the quality selfish. To really be able to stand in, I am selfish. I am also selfless. It’s not one or the other. It’s I am both of these qualities. And my selfishness is what gives me permission to set these boundaries for myself. To say no, instead of say yes. To not put something on the calendar that I’m just going to then say, how the hell am I going to get out of this? And really look at how very much like what you just said about I’m not, what’s most important is not even letting my cup get empty. Also looking at what are all the ways, historically, I have crossed my own boundaries in order to stay in relationship with whoever orr to stay in good favor of whoever. What are the ways I’ve betrayed myself? And then being able to come back to, aha I will not betray myself. Which then informs a “no” really easily. 

Tamu: I just need to take a moment to inhale and then exhale that, because that is so powerful. And for me, where my people-pleasing, as all people-pleasing is very relational. The process of reclaiming myself, the process of reclaiming oneself, requires radical letting go. That letting go is very painful because you’re letting go of your own systems and structures that have allowed you to cope with relationships that have been unable to see your true beauty. And then you are left with a choice, or some choices, to let go of that relationship completely, renegotiate that relationship or betray yourself and continue as it always has been. 

Now, number one, let go of that relationship. That comes with a lot of grief, but you’re radically honest with yourself, “This is harmful for me. I don’t feel safe in this relationship. Therefore it has to end. And I’m not talking about that nonsense.” People do it in the new year, I’m cutting off this person, this person isn’t coming into the new year. That’s just so immature. But it’s like a healthy boundary for yourself. And that letting go may mean that I’m just going to keep my distance. We’re just not going to operate the way we did previously, or you’re going to invite that person into conversation. You’re going to try and repair that rupture, because you’re hopeful. And what I have found very challenging about my own journey is that a relationship I was very hopeful for, felt like I was being punched in the gut because there was no hope there. And me trying to repair that rupture was met with such a visceral reaction. It literally felt like I was being punched in the gut. 

The shadow work and the radical responsibility means that whilst I’m tending to my grief, I know that the relationship and the person, it’s not that they don’t wish me well, it’s not that they don’t love me, they don’t like who I am because it activates who they’re not being. So all of their behavior was about them. It wasn’t about me. However, I am not playing down the fact that I’ve been utterly hurt and that there’s grief that needs to be tended to. So that is being tended to. And at the same time, there are no hard feelings towards the person in question. I wish that person well. I have so much love for that person, and I know that this may not be the end. But what I know is that I can’t afford to put myself in a situation where my nervous system is on high alert. I am constantly ready to fight, flight or freeze because it is not a safe relational environment for me. The forgiveness work is being done. All the love is still there. But I need to tend to my heart, which for me was shattered during the ongoing experiences and then the final experience in that relationship. And that’s how we do our work without bypassing and without making anybody the victim or the perpetrator. The situation is what it is. And I am responsible for tending to me and making sure that I am trying to approach that circumstance from a place of love, which also means healthy boundaries.  In my book, I quote Prentice Hemphill, and I can’t remember exactly the quote, but it’s something along the lines of boundaries is the space at which I can love you and me simultaneously.

Nancy: Yes. I love. I love that quote of theirs. Yes. Thank you for all you shared. I felt every word you said, and I felt your heart, and we are so aligned. 

Tamu: I know, right? It’s. I know. I feel like I just. I know. I’m, like, bursting. I’m bursting, I am. And I want to just return to something that you briefly named about the nervous system. And I mentioned when I brought you on about your somatic work and polyvagal theory. So for anyone who doesn’t know what polyvagal theory is, what’s the cliff note version you’ll give? 

Tamu: So, Deb,Dana describes polyvagal theory as, I think she says something along the lines of, the science of human connection. And it enables us to take the risk of truly living. So, polyvagal theory is all about how our autonomic nervous system works, essentially, and how us understanding our autonomic nervous system gives us,  Deb Dana I’ve mentioned her a lot because I love her. I love her. I love her. I describe her as the beyonce of the somatic world. She is just the best. And what she has done is she has taken a very dry scientific topic, and she has made it accessible for lay people. And her specialism is working with therapists and coaches, social workers, etcetera, to integrate polyvagal theory into their practice. So, polyvagal theory teaches us that our autonomic nervous system, its job is to constantly scan the world for signs of danger and signs of safety. And because of the way we’ve evolved and the fact that avoiding danger is partly what has made us the most dominant species on this planet, we are hardwired for scanning for danger, because scanning for danger keeps us alive way more than scanning for safety. And so an example would be, in our prehistoric times, if we heard a rustle in the bushes, it was much better for us to walk away than be optimistic and hope it was a bunny rabbit that we could cook for our dinner, because invariably it was a prey animal or an opposing tribe. So it helps to keep us safe.

 When I learned about polyvagal theory through my somatic coach training with a somatic school, shout out to the somatic school, I learned that a lot of the things I had been taught were not good, were bad, made me unproductive, made me lazy, and all the rest of it, they were natural biological states. And what I learned through, by, through polyvagal theory is that our psychology is informed by our biology. And if our biology detects danger, it doesn’t matter how much mindset work you do, you can yank yourself out of that freeze, out of that fawning, and you can get into your fight energy or your flight energy to overcome that thing, but it’s not long lasting. And over time, what you’re teaching your body is that you are not trustworthy because you are not going to listen to your body’s signs begging you to take yourself to safety. You’re going to override that, shut that down, and you’re going to continue to take risks. And that can look like work deadlines, deadlines upon deadlines upon deadlines, not resting, not eating properly, not hydrating yourself properly, which puts your body into an automatic state of survival. You’re going to override your needs, and you’re going to be constantly working to these deadlines in the one hope that you’re going to be successful. Like, don’t worry, buddy, I’m just going to do this one more thing, then I’m going to be successful. Then I’m going to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Then I’m going to be able to rest. But that day never comes. And then when that day finally does come, we’re so jacked, we’re so primed, we’re so entrenched in that pattern of go, go, go against your own innate wisdom you don’t know what to do with yourself. So retirement comes, for example, you don’t know how to rest. You don’t know how to enjoy yourself. I was chuckling to myself, I was watching some Gen Z content creator on TikTok, and they were talking about some statistics about during the pandemic, people in the boomer generation could not wait to get back into the office because they didn’t know how to be if they were not constantly working and in this hierarchical structure where people needed them and they needed to give people orders and direction. I don’t want that. Nancy, my goal in life is to be a well rested, wealthy woman, right? And I say that intentionally because we need that wealth to be able to be rested. All of our needs are met with money the way we live, well not all of them, the vast majority of our needs are met with money. And the needs that aren’t met with money, so our need for love and connection, you try loving and connecting with somebody when you’re worried about how you’re going to pay your bills? It is not possible. Money is one of the things that sends us huge signs of danger. I don’t want to work for the sake of working. Work is part of my self care. Work funds me living well. So I think it’s so important that every human being, part of our socialization, part of our education, is understanding the function of the autonomic nervous system. I think that all leaders in organizations, in businesses, wherever, should be taught at least about the autonomic nervous system so they can work with human beings in a way that’s going to support human thriving. And guess what? Human thriving is not nose to the ground grindstone all day and all night. Grind culture does not support human thriving. 

Nancy: I mean, this is the best. This is so good. So then looking at the thriving loops around to the other piece of your subtitle. 

Tamu: Yes,

Nancy: Joy. And, you know, for me, I spent decades of my life, including one to ten or zero to ten, decades of my life, believing happiness and fun was for other people. 

Tamu: Testimony. 

Nancy: And so being able to tap into joy and play was huge for me and I bristled at it. And, of course, as the shadow works, you know, because I had disowned joy and had doubled down on overcompensating with being a workaholic. Of course, I draw a now ex-husband, a now ex-boyfriend into my life who all they want to do is recreate and play and have fun and have a playmate. Because I needed the mirror held up to me about how to embrace my joy and my play and my fun. But it, it was not an easy, it was not an easy transition for me. And I think I would, I actually add rest in there with the Joy. So talk to me. 

Tamu: I don’t even know where to begin, Nancy. This is my work of a lifetime. I will never, and I’m not saying this so that it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, it is so baked in, it is so hardwired in, when I think about, like, even, oh, my goodness..speaking of boyfriends. So my boyfriend, he is really into clothes. He loves shopping. I like shopping online. He likes going into stores and trying things on and this and that and the other. And I have an event on Blue Monday in January. I have an event called Indigo Monday because I’m not buying into that. We can make the Monday we want to and start the year off the way we want to start the year off. And the year before, I had a cobalt blue suit on and I bought another cobalt blue suit. And he was like, Tamu, in pictures, those blues are so similar it’s going to look like you’re wearing, first of all, he had to like, say, what are you wearing? What are you going to buy? And for me, I was like, in my mind, I was like, “shoo go away. I was like, it’s not a big deal” because I wasn’t used to that kind of glee. Like, oh, my goodness, what you’re going to look like? How do you think you’re going to feel? And all of that. And so he said something to me. He said to me, Tamu, your book is coming out in March. You’ve declared that 2024 is the year that you’re going to take your speaking career seriously. You have said that now you want to be known. He said to me, you’ve got to imagine that every time you are somewhere where someone will be taking pictures, that’s a photo shoot. I was like, what? And he said, so just think about how you dress if it was a photo shoot? I was like, joyfully.So I did get, I wore a yellow suit instead. And I’ve been buying clothes that bring me joy. And the reason I’m sharing that with you is that my wardrobe was one of the places my scarcity programming and toxic productivity showed up the most. It was always, I don’t deserve that yet. When I’ve earned a certain amount, when I’ve launched this program, when I’ve done this, I will be able to. And then I would buy the things and they would sit in that wardrobe tags on and all because, well, there’s nowhere special. I’m not doing anything wonderful when my whole life is a special event. And so he has reintroduced me to the joy of wearing things that I enjoy. When I catch a glimpse of myself, it gives me joy. Like my nails, like I’m always, like, when I go into the shop, they say, oh, the lady who likes bright colors. Because I look down and I see these sky blue nails and it gives me joy, this yellow cardigan, it makes me feel joyful. And even in my flat apartment, I have, like, I’m looking there, I can see a beautiful pink chair that I sit and contemplate in. I’ve got things around in my like, everything I look at gives me joy. If it doesn’t give me joy, it has to serve a really strong purpose. If it doesn’t serve a strong purpose and it doesn’t give me joy. It’s not coming through my front door because my physical environment and my relational environment needs to demonstrate signs of safety so I feel safe enough to enjoy joy. So I feel safe enough to feel pleasure and satisfaction rather than the seriousness of I’ve got to earn it first. No, it’s my birthright. And if I don’t condition myself to appreciate it as my birthright, and this is a word that people don’t really like because of the connotations, it’s not that I deserve joy, I’m not Oliver Twist begging in a bowl. Please sir canI have some more. I am entitled it is my God given right to be joyful, to be satisfied, to be pleasured. So I design my life as such. 

Nancy: Yes. Oh my goodness, I just am drinking you in. I mean, I love everything you’re sharing joy as a sign of safety for really, for our nervous system. 

Tamu: . It’s one of the ultimate signs of safety

Nancy: Exactly. So if we look at again, the polyvagal theory of being, of our hyper alertness to what we need to fear or the negativity bias in our brain, essentially, if we really can understand that the antidote is joy. 

Tamu: Absolutely. 

Nancy: I mean..

Tamu: Build a positivity bias. 

Nancy: Exactly. We can build a positivity bias. 

Tamu: The father of positive psychology, he talks about learnt optimism. Our negativity bias primes us for learnt helplessness. And we have so many examples of learnt helplessness around us. And it’s like a muscle, if we can build that muscle, even if we default to that default mode network of negativity bias, oh my goodness, doom and gloom, having that imprint of a positivity bias, of learnt optimism, it gives us a choice. So we start walking down the road of negativity bias. Oh my goodness, this is a catastrophe, all the rest of it. And then we can pause, oh no, no, no, I forgot. I’ve got a choice. So we can u-turn up that road and we can start traveling down the road of learnt optimism, of a positivity bias. And it doesn’t mean oh my goodness, everything’s positive. We’re not talking about toxic positivity. It means that we can have catastrophe, but we’re able to approach it with a positive outlook. We’re able to be solutions focused. We’re able to be risk aware rather than risk averse. And that enabled, like we talk about self mastery, that is self mastery. Being able to work in partnership with your emotions and feelings, understanding them as messengers as opposed to dominant forces. One of the ways I remind myself is these come from me. Therefore, they can never be bigger than me. I need to give them an assignment. Anger. The assignment is, tell me what I’m upset about, because usually the anger is about something I’m upset about. So, envy, tell me what I’m not owning. Tell me what I’m seeing over there that I’m not owning for myself. So they become potent messengers that help us take that radical responsibility for ourselves. So the joy is still around. Like, Joy doesn’t disappear when you’re having those conversations with yourself and when you’re taking that radical responsibility. As that grows, the joy grows. Brene Brown taught us,we can’t selectively numb. When we numb pain, we numb joy. When we open up and we expand into joy, we open up and we expand our window of tolerance to be able to navigate the rest of life. And we can make it more complicated if we want to, but it’s not more complicated than that. 

Nancy: I am. I am just like overcome with you. 

Tamu: Just because we plugged in.

Nancy: I know. I’m just overcome with appreciating you and loving you and everything that you’ve shared here. And I do, I feel so connected in this with you. So thank you. Thank you for coming here. And, yes, big time, thank you. For everyone listening. What is the best way to stay in contact with you, follow you? All the things. 

Tamu: The best way are two ways. They are either instagram, which I refer to as my friendship bench, which I’m there as @tamu.thomas. I share all of my stuff there. And also substack. I am really trying to cultivate and nurture my substack so I’m not addicted to short form content posting, posting stuff that’s more enriching and, oh, gosh, I think my substac might be live360, but if you. I’ve named my substack, the liberated woman: break free from toxic productivity and find your joy. So if you put in Tamu Thomas, the liberated woman, you will find me on substack. But I will make sure you’ve got a link to add to the show notes. 

Nancy: Okay, Tammy. Oh, 

Tamu: and my book. And my book. 

Nancy: Well, of course, of course, of course. Let’s come back to your book, Women Who Work Too Much. 

Tamu: Yes, yes, yes. 

Nancy: Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for the wisdom and your just aliveness that you have shared with us here today. And I personally, I don’t want to even let you out of my sight. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And to everyone listening, I’ll be back with you again next week.

Nancy: Thanks so much for joining me today. I invite you to head on over to nancylevin.com to check out all the goodies I have there for you. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave a rating and a review. I’ll meet you back here next week.