Tamara is an Emotional Wellness Coach but she has worn many other hats before reaching this point in her journey. She moved to Israel from California after hearing The Exodus Song by Andy Williams on the radio. She like the hangers in her closet to match. She also wishes she could fly. She makes me laugh. Now you want to hear more about her don’t you? Ok then, here we go!
S: Hi Tamara! Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. My first question to you is this: what compelled you to become an emotional wellness coach?
T: Compelled is the right word. I noticed after my divorce that people were interested in my tips and observations on how to have a happier divorce. I wrote a book called Divorce Poetry: Breaking Free, A Soul-Healing Journey Through the Five Stages of Divorce. (https://www.amazon.com/Divorce-Poetry-Breaking-Tamara- Mendelson/dp/1514383810/ref=la_B01BUHZC6S_1_1? s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531234870&sr=1-1) And I started coaching. Then it branched out into all sorts of other life issues. I created a group on Facebook called This Way Forward https://www.facebook.com/ groups/ThisWayForward It is a safe place for people to come and talk about their divorce and relationship issues; to ask questions, get information and share their stories.
S: It’s a great group; a safe place of support with some really brilliant content and relationship advice. You’ve clearly been on quite a journey to get you to this point. If you could send a message to yourself 20 years ago, what would you tell the younger Tamara?
T: Try not to worry so much. You are doing fine and you are more than enough just the way you are. Also your children will grow up to be happy and healthy adults.
S: Aaaah I love that. Wouldn’t we all have loved to know that for sure. And to hear that we are more than enough.. Ok, we are heading in a new direction now. What is your favorite dish to order in a restaurant?
T: A glass of red wine. A tall pour and anything chocolate.
S: Haha! We basically just skipped dinner & went straight to dessert & wine. What is it about red wine? It’s universally adored, almost as much as chocolate.
Here’s my next one for you. What are the 3 most important qualities you think people should concentrate on in order to be a good friend?
T: Consistency as in being there, non-judgemental, honesty
S: I’m loving these answers and nodding my head a lot. Couldn’t have put it better myself. I have a feeling I will love this next answer too – what motto do you live by?
T: Be kind to yourself and other people it doesn’t cost a thing.
S: Yep, just as I thought, awesome response. Kindness is free; sprinkle that stuff EVERYWHERE! Tamara, you have a way with words; What’s your favourite word?
S: Can’t argue with that. Love is everything. Kinda a big deal. Tamara, what’s your secret super power?
T: Empathy – wish I could fly though
S: Wow, who knew, we have the same super power! (I wish I could be invisible on demand, could be so much fun..) Ok, now. What are you really bad at?
T: Remembering where I put my phone, keys and passwords
S: Haha! I have a husband with these exact issues… I know this next one is going to be hard because you only get to pick just one, but what’s your most favourite quote from a film or line from a song?
T: “I’m growing older but not up, my metabolic state is permanently stuck, let the winds of change blow over my head, I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead.” – Jimmy Buffett (Growing older but not up)
S: As a huge music maven, I am ashamed to say I had never heard of that song! It’s brilliant and so funny! (“that barnacle brain don’t bend!” Immediately looked it up on YouTube and added to my playlist on my phone.) We are halfway through and you are rocking this interview. Here’s one to contemplate – what do you want people to remember about you?
T: I laugh really loud and that I’m funny.
S: You are hilarious; I can attest to that. As for your laugh, I don’t think I noticed it being really loud, just very real. Ok, while we are getting deep, what do you think are the most important life lessons we can teach our kids?
T: Be who you are no matter what. Believe in yourself as a perfect but flawed human being. You are loved.
S: Beautiful answer! ( I feel like I need to give you a prize at the end of this for such awesome and truthful answers..) If we can teach our kids this, what a gift that would
be. So many people only begin to understand it in adulthood; some never learn these life lessons at all. Right, here’s a fun one. What is the best thing you’ve ever bought?
T: A tuxedo tee shirt for my Dad (seriously hard question) he loved it and still wears it ten years later.
S: Snorting with laughter. My mum bought one of those for my son when he was 2! I want to see a photo of your dad in said t-shirt! Ok, I have to include a typical, cliched interview question in here, so – what would you change if you could take a time machine back to your past?
T: There is only one moment I regret in my life. I would go back and not be unkind to make a joke.
S: That sounds like a painful memory. And yet I am amazed that you only have one moment you’d really want to go back and change. Speaks volumes about you. Who was your hero when you were a kid?
T: My mother and Golda Meir.
S: Ahh. I like the answer so much that I will ignore the fact that you picked 2 heroes (heroines, whatever). What do you think you would you do if you weren’t a Wellness Coach?
T: Write romance novels. Who can’t use a little more romance in their lives? Teach college. Publish another book.
S: I have no doubt you’ll be writing another book, in whatever form it may be… What was a major turning point in your life? How did it affect you?
T: I was sitting in my car in Northern California. I had just had a very good interview for a really good job but I wasn’t feeling good about it. I wanted to go back to Israel. On the radio came the song ‘Exodus’. I felt like it was a slap upside the head. I turned down the job and well.. I’m here!
S: That is such a brilliant story. My immigration story is so dull in comparison! Sounds to me like you learned to trust your gut a long time ago..Now, tell us something really bizarre or funny about you that we don’t know. (Sitting back in my chair, waiting, and already laughing..)
T: I like white tissues, white toilet paper and white napkins. I like the hangers in my closet to match.
S: I’ve read this at least 6 times and it is still making me laugh. I don’t even know what to say! How about this – what does your ideal day off look like?
T: Sleeping in. Coffee in bed. Nothing I have to do. Spending it with someone I love. Yummy food. Walk on the beach.
S: Oh YES PLEASE!!! (did you forget red wine though?) Gosh we are almost at the end. Tamara, describe what its like to do the work you do. What do you bring to the table that is special & unique?
T: I have had a lot of adversity in my life. Overcome things and bounced back. I can listen to people tell me about their problems and I can see a path or solution immediately. I want people to be happier and not in so much pain. We carry around so much baggage. It’s okay to let those feelings be felt and then let them go. And just because something has always been that way doesn’t mean it always has to be that way.
S: That answer hit me straight in the heart. Just perfect. For our finale, my favourite interview question: what question would you have liked me to ask? how would you answer?
T: What are the most important thing in life? Relationships. My children. The people I love.
Tamara thank you so much for this interview and all your wonderful insight, humour and advice. You can find Tamara on Facebook (link above) and Tamara is also offering a free 30- minute discovery call to anyone who is interested (link below)
(Photos courtesy of: ME!)