Do not look at your phone or computer for at least one hour when you first wake up. I suggest two hours, but one hour will do. Use this hour to have a coffee, do a 15-minute meditation, 15-minute workout or stretch, and then a 15-minute shower. If you give yourself another hour, you can actually spend time with your family before the workday, eat a decent breakfast, tidy up, etc… You would be surprised how much you can get done when you are not distracted by emails, texts, social media, and calls.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Beth Tiger. Beth has been a “Queen Maker” for over 15 years. Through her books, workshops, retreats, and Life Well Lived spiritual wellness brand, she has equipped women with the tools they need to reclaim their crown and step into the role of queen of their own life. She is also the co-founder and executive director of Durga Tree International, a nonprofit organization that empowers survivors of abuse and modern slavery to thrive through education, job training, and emotional healing. For more information, visit BethTiger.com and DurgaTreeInternational.org.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Inmy early 20’s I suffered from migraines and discovered massage therapy and aromatherapy. This was the early 90s: pre-spa days. Both of these modalities helped me so much that I decided to return to school and become a certified massage therapist as well as Aromatherapist. This journey led me to many wonderful new age shops, authors, etc… I was married a few years later and put my wellness career on hold but when I divorced in 2003, I picked up my wellness practice and returned to school to become a life coach. I have been working with people ever since to define and then create a LIFE WELL LIVED.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I have had many incredible experiences and have also had the honor of watching so many people step into their personal power and transform their lives. I had an angelic experience very early on in my massage practice. I was working on a new client and at the foot of the table stood a masculine angel. As a feminist, my first thought was “Why a male angel!!” And then I heard a voice in my head say “I am not here for you!” Talk about ego… Anyway, I thought I might be losing it, so I looked away and when I looked back up, the entity was gone. At the end of the treatment, I asked my client how she felt and she proceeded to explain how she had been suffering from debilitating arthritis in her feet and, although she had been doing massage therapy for many years to alleviate the discomfort, usually it was mild. She went on to tell me that she had the most amazing experience on the table and felt that when I was working on her legs and feet, the arthritis was actually being healed. She thanked me for helping her and left. At the time, I did not know her well enough to share the far out experience I’d had, so I didn’t say anything. Several sessions later,after complete remission of her arthritis, I did tell her what took place. She said she always felt her guardian was of a masculine nature, so she was delighted to hear this news and remained my client until I stopped doing bodywork in 2006.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
When I first started to work with oils, even though I knew a little went a long way, as an Aries and a force of nature, I was often heavy-handed when blending. One hot evening, I decided to make a blend and put it in this small kiddy pool my roommate and I had, so we could cool off and have an aromatherapy experience as well. We were two young gals living on a budget and it was HOT out that day, so I thought I was so smart using essential oils to add even more cooling power to the water. I added Peppermint and Petit Grain and we jumped in, excited for our homegrown treatment. Within a few minutes it began to feel like piranhas were nipping at my legs, then my butt, then… ALL OVER. My friend, trying to be polite, was trying not to say anything while she was having the same experience. Finally, I told her I had to get out of the water because of the discomfort; she was so relieved and we both jumped out — but here is the kicker: once oils go through the top layer of skin, you can’t wash off so easily, so we had to suffer with this discomfort for about 30 minutes until the oils were subdued. It was the most uncomfortable 30 minutes of my life — with the exception of childbirth. The takeaway: you can bet I have mad respect for essential oils, I have a vast knowledge of how much to use, and I spot test before using on skin. The experience was a humbling one. It reminded me of the power of mother nature.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
Physical and Spiritual Wellness has been my chosen vocations since the early 90s. I am not a dabbler in these fields; I went to school for all three of my wellness degrees at accredited schools and not only work within this chosen field, but I walk the walk. I have had to apply the tools I teach to my own life and continue to do so every day. I think what makes me unique is that I honestly don’t feel any person is broken and needs fixing. I don’t believe any person can be an expert for another life and I don’t believe anyone is a healer to another. I believe I am a co-facilitator, empowering those I work with to heal themselves, create lives they love, and — most importantly — remember their divinity. This gives all the power to my client but that also makes them responsible for the outcome created, which can be the most transformative medicine.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mother was a guiding light during my wellness journey. My mother is a deeply spiritual woman and although many times she did not understand my journey, the many spiritual paths I was studying, or my desire to not take a traditional career path, she always, always believed in my ability. She believed in me. When I was newly on my path of self-discovery, I was studying pagan witchcraft. My mother, a devout Catholic, was initially petrified that I was losing my way, but she remained open to hearing what I had to say about this earth-based, feminine tradition. I would leave books with highlighted passages for her to read and, in turn, she would leave Catholic pamphlets for me. One day, instead of a biblical passage, there on my bed was a broom, and next to it was a note that read “As your mother, it is my responsibility to provide you with your first broom to sweep away all negativity from your home, according to your tradition. Use it with love ~ Mom.” It was her way of letting me know she accepted whatever I believed and trusted I would always find my way. That broom is still by my back door to this day, 25 years later.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
1 — Time. We lead very busy, multifaceted lives. For many, it is just easier to grab a pre-made meal or stop and eat something out than it is to plan, prepare, and clean up a healthy meal — even though in the long run, doing this saves time, gives us more energy, and saves us money.
2 — Overwhelm. Today we are inundated with so many wellness tips and fixes that often we don’t know where to start, so we get stuck in analysis paralysis. We need to flirt with wellness and trust we know what feels right to us. We also don’t need to do something perfectly to do something. Start by starting and if you don’t do it the way you want one day, so what! You will the next day.
3 — Distraction. Culturally we are wasting so much time looking, listening to, and watching people live their lives, exercise, look, etc… the way we want. We need to tune out and turn within. When we are “logged off” we actually allow ourselves the time needed to make that healthy meal, spend time outdoors, take that aroma bath, get that message — and the list goes on.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Well-being”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
1 — Scent your home with essential oils. When I was divorced and living in a tiny cottage, folks would come over and tell me how wonderful my home was; I knew the secret was the scent. No artificial scents but real essential oils. Diffuse them and add a sense of joy, peace, and pleasure to your space.
2 — Do not look at your phone or computer for at least one hour when you first wake up. I suggest two hours, but one hour will do. Use this hour to have a coffee, do a 15-minute meditation, 15-minute workout or stretch, and then a 15-minute shower. If you give yourself another hour, you can actually spend time with your family before the workday, eat a decent breakfast, tidy up, etc… You would be surprised how much you can get done when you are not distracted by emails, texts, social media, and calls.
3 — Bring the outdoors in. Plants clean the air in our homes and offer a soothing environment; they are also something we can tend to without it feeling like a chore. They soothe the soul and are so good for us.
4 — Stretch in bed. Upon waking, take five minutes to center yourself, moving your entire body one area at a time; while doing this, give thanks to this body part. This exercise gets the blood flowing to your joints and raises your awareness. We are often so unaware of how beautifully our bodies serve us day in and day out. Nothing beats starting the day with gratitude for life.
5 — Play. A great way to get back into self-care is to return to doing activities you enjoyed as a child. If you loved being outside, start taking a daily walk with no rules on length of time. Maybe you loved to jump rope — get one and go for it! I personally LOVE roller skating and have recently gotten back into skating to dance tunes under a disco ball. When we were little we played and didn’t think of it as exercise, but it was. So find something you love to play at and go for it!
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
1 — Use it or lose it. Our bodies are built for movement, and all the sitting and sedentary living we are doing is adding to so many physical ailments.
2 — More energy. Since our bodies are built for movement, when we exercise, we are strengthening every muscle in our bodies. You actually have more energy when you exercise consistently, which gives you the ability to get more done and achieve more of your goals.
3 — A sassier, sexier self. When you feel good in your skin, it translates to others. When you have more energy and fewer aches and pains, you feel better, sexier, and sassier — and we can all benefit from more sass!
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
1 — Strength training — building muscle.
2 — A daily walk — the movement of any kind is so important for every organ in our bodies.
3 — Yoga or a form of stretching our muscles.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long-term injury?
1 — HYDRATE and get a massage. Massage helps to eliminate lactic acid in the body, which causes soreness. We think of bodywork as a treat, but it’s critical for long term self-care.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
I am not a nutritionist and don’t believe in telling my clients what to eat, as this is not my field of expertise. Personally, I am a strong proponent of whole food, organic diet. I believe in moderation and understanding your body type. I eat a diet heavy in whole foods like vegetables, beans, lentils, eggs, and fruit. Hydration is so important, so half of your body weight in ounces minimum in water each day; herbal teas are great, too. For the record, though, I love my coffee with a cube of sugar and cream each morning, and I also eat humanely raised meats and love a glass of champagne now and then. Set yourself up to succeed and enjoy each day. Food is such a gift from mother earth, those who farm, and the animals that give their lives to us, so treat it as such and be awake and aware of eating. If you do that, I don’t think you can go wrong.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
I am currently reading a wonderful book called “BRAIDING SWEETGRASS” written by Robin Wall Kimmerer. One of the chapters is called “The Good Harvest,” and it’s all about sustainable consumption, whether it be food or other items. In this chapter, she discussed the Native American philosophy of using only what you need, and how culturally we are so disconnected from where things come from, how much we need or use, and what impact this has on the earth and other people globally. This was a really powerful and aligned chapter for me as I am currently working hard to raise awareness around this movement.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I founded a nonprofit six years ago to support people who have been trafficked around the globe. One of the things I was surprised to learn was how each of us plays a part in modern slavery by our demand and consumption of slave-made goods. Of course, most of us have no idea, but that is exactly the point: we have no idea where and how things are made, where our foods come from, or how they are produced. This type of unconscious consumption has created a culture of unhealthy people and an exhausted planet. I know we can do better by simply “waking up to our divine connection” and then asking questions: “Where is this from? How is this made? Who is making this?” And then, if we get answers we don’t like, using our buying dollars to make a different choice.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
It is better to light one candle then forever curse the darkness.
This quote is a reminder that it only takes one light to chase the darkness away. We need only take one step to begin making a positive change in our lives BUT the choice is always ours. YOU are that light, so I urge each of you to shine because when you do, you give permission to others to do the same.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Liz Gilbert: I adore her candor and authenticity. Marianne Williamson: She has been a new thought and peace leader for decades. It was her book “A Return to Miracles” that began my journey as a student in the Course of Miracles.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
I can be reached via Instagram and Facebook through BETHTIGER and DURGATREEINTERNATIONAL
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!