2014 Year in Review: My Year of Death and Rebirth

I started 2014 for a week in bed, sick, going through an intense healing process. I had co-created a New Year’s Eve party and ironically stayed home while the rest of my community enjoyed what I co-created. A lesson of letting go, taking care of myself, and trusting the leadership in others.

Now as I reflect on the entire year, I see that the beginning was appropriate for a year of Death and Rebirth and truly understanding The Miracle of Creation.

I needed to start in bed, to be resting, to be cleansing and purifying for what I consider to be a very powerful year where I birthed my book, Sistership Circle and become pregnant with my first baby. Her soul said, “Mama, I’m coming in during this year that you dedicate yourself to feminine leadership! I’m one of those new generation feminine leaders!”

I fully surrendered this year to the feminine and found myself having breakthrough after breakthrough in every area of my life.

Highlights from 2014:

  • Led two retreats to Peru in January and September.
    Had an Amazon Best Seller Campaign in March for my book Open Your Heart: How to be a New Generation Feminine Leader.
    Performed a 10 minute solo act on stage for Rational Lies, a show I produced with 4 other leaders.
    Got pregnant in June.
    Traveled to Alaska, Colorado and Burning Man this summer.
    Brent proposed at Burning Man.
    Moved to my first “home” in October.
    Launched the Sistership Circle Virtual Festival in November.

Here are my top 5 lessons from 2014:

MONEY … how I will never be anxious, tense, fearful or doubtful about money again.

Photo-2After putting all of my money into the launch of my book, my credit cards were tied up and I was at a negative balance in my bank account. I experienced so much shame; why would anyone trust me as a “leader” and buy my book if they knew I was broke? I caught myself and realized that many entrepreneurs and business owners invest everything into their business and are personally broke. There was nothing wrong with me. And people would trust me if I told the truth. Shame lives in the closet; it cannot live in the light.

So I gave it up to God. I was out on a hiking trail near my house and I yelled up at the sky: ‘God, if you want me to publish this book, I need $1000 TODAY! Tell me what to do. Show me what to do. I completely give myself up to you.”

I listened. And the answer I received was: “Tell them the truth.”

I knew exactly what that meant and I didn’t want to do it. So had three brainstorming sessions, figuring out that I could pre-sell my books for my local launch. I didn’t really need to tell the truth; I could just ask for people to pre-order so I could have the money upfront.

There was a part of me still holding on. I was still closed off and not in full surrender.

I finally worked up the courage to tell the truth, the whole truth, publicly. Not to a few close friends, but to my entire list and on Facebook. You can read the post here.

I was completely open. I had surrendered my humility, my ego, my pride. I let go.

The money started to pour in.

By the end of the day, I had totaled up a little over $1000 in my Paypal account. I was able to buy my books and have a successful launch. Since that day, I have not had any anxiety, tension, fear or doubt around money. It has literally been ingrained in me that I am ALWAYS supported and that I will receive everything that I need. Over and over again this year, I have found money to show up in miraculous ways. To let go of all the weight and significance I have put on money has been so freeing.

Lessons on money:

Feeling free around money then allows more money to flow in. Money does not buy you freedom.

Money is a resource, but not the only one. Our network is as valuable as the dollar amount in our bank account (if not more valuable).

Money does not actually make us who we are. It has no meaning except the one we give it.

Money can come exactly when we need it, if we are open to receive it.

Money does not define our self-worth.

Our happiness, success and satisfaction are not contingent on how much money we make.


RELATIONSHIP … how I felt like I fell into an arranged marriage and fell in love with it.

bandtIn less than 4 months of being in relationship with Brent, I found out I was pregnant. We had only experienced one season together, not a full year cycle with the light of summer and the darkness of winter. We barely knew each other.

Honeymoon was over. Big decisions had to be made. Everything moved really fast. I felt like I was suddenly in an arranged marriage.

At first, I felt suffocated and trapped. One day during my first trimester, I packed up my little suitcase and wheeled it out of his apartment, crying hysterically, telling him I was done. I sat in my car, bawling, realizing there was nowhere really to go.

So 15 minutes later, I wheeled my suitcase back into the apartment and Brent said something to me that changed my perspective on our relationship: “We’re in a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean together. You can’t swim to shore. There is nowhere to go. Yes, you are trapped! You are stuck with me. I’m all in, Tanya. I’m not going anywhere.”

In every other relationship I’ve been in, I had an OUT. I’ve never had someone fully committed to me, someone all in with me through thick and thin. This gave me a huge sense of relief. To feel trapped is an illusion, it is not the truth. To feel trapped is my attitude and my belief, which has nothing to do with the circumstance.

The truth is, relationships are roller coasters with ups and downs, highs and lows. By staying on the ride, a deeper level of trust develops. A deeper sense of love and admiration. And with that comes letting go of being right, relaxing, surrendering to the other person, acceptance of the relationship.

I turned the “trapped” feeling into “supported”. Brent is my rock. He is solid ground. He’s my flag pole. He’s got my back no matter what.

I realized that an “arranged marriage” actually makes you work things out and be real with one another instead of run away. It creates a safe container. Anything and everything is accepted. Inside of this commitment, my love could grow. Our love could grow. And with that love, we can co-create a beautiful relationship where we support each other, contribute to one another and grow together.

While I cry almost daily with my hormones raging from the pregnancy, we have a pretty easy and simple relationship. We laugh more than I cry. We have fun. We get excited about ideas together. And we tell each other how much we love one another.

Lessons on relationship:

Commitment is the container for love to grow in a relationship.

With willingness, acceptance and commitment, anything can be worked out in a relationship.

Let go of making him wrong and then he’ll prove you right.

A relationship is only as strong as your commitment to go through anything and everything together.

The woman is the flag, waving beautifully. The man is her flag pole, keeping her anchored so she can let go and be one with the wind.


THE HUMAN BODY … is miraculous.

pregIt’s the most fascinating thing to watch my body transform in the span of a seven month period during pregnancy. My boobs getting bigger and fuller. My nipples changing color. My belly button popping out. My hips widening. My belly coming out.

And the kicks. It starts out feeling like my stomach is grumbling. Then a fluttering. Then full on movement. Then seeing it move!

When I drank Ayahuasca in Peru in January, I was outside on my hands and knees in the dirt, purging. I was so fascinated with the experience as I witnesssed the churning in my stomach, then feeling it come up to my chest, and then letting go as I allowed it to come up and out of my throat, my mouth and into the dirt, getting swallowed up by mother earth. The whole time, I thought: this is what giving birth must be like when we allow the body to do its thing. The body knows what to do. I am a witness, an observer, of its process.

And so when I feel scared about squeezing that baby through my vagina next year, I relax remembering that Ayahuasca ceremony.

Lessons on the body:

My body is a temple for my goddess within.

My body talks to me. My belly contracts when I’ve done too much, telling me to stop and soften. My back aches when I need to lay down. I feel nauseous when I haven’t given myself enough downtime.

My body is capable of anything, including squeezing an 8 lb. baby through a small hole that expands from 0 to 10 centimeters.

My body is a mini-universe.


MOTHERHOOD … how I overcame misconceptions and the negative portrayal of the mother archetype.

girlI have found reverence for the mother this year. A deep honoring. A devotion. I feel like I am in a tunnel right now, a true rite of passage, into motherhood. A foreign land, a secret society behind closed doors. It’s as if being in this tunnel a whole new world is opening up to me.

My biggest fear was the sacrifice a mother makes for her child. I didn’t want to give up my freedom, my independence, my purpose, my mission. I didn’t want to become “that stay-at-home mom” who loses herself in the sacrifice and no longer has a sense of self.

I’m seeing something else that’s possible. I’m seeing how it’s all one and the same. I’m seeing how my daughter is coming because of the work I do in the world and is yet another aspect of my mission and purpose. There is no “one or the other” but an integration of it all.

There is no coincidence that after birthing a book about feminine leadership and launching Sistership Circle, I am having a baby girl.

She chose me. She chose me as her universe at this particular moment in time. We have a soul contract where our purposes are intermingled, intertwined and symbiotic. I can let go of the belief that I have to sacrifice myself like the Virgin Mary for her because I am her and she is me, there is no separation.

And at the same time, I have been allowing myself to grief the death of myself, my old identity, the independent Tanya as I’ve known her for 34 years. She has served a huge purpose and now she is crossing the threshold into something new. I am very consciously aware that I am experiencing another death of myself and I will be reborn in March 2015 when she arrives. So this death is not a bad thing, but it is something to grieve and mourn so that I can be fully present when she arrives.

Lessons on motherhood:

The great mother is all powerful in her ability to create life.

Motherhood is the next level of spiritual growth for every woman who chooses to see it that way.


SISTERSHIP … how I let go of competition with other women.

sisLaunching Sistership Circle internationally this year taught me many lessons, most importantly what sisterhood is all about.

I’ve always had this tension around my female friendships, feeling left out and needing to compete for attention and not wanting to. But this year, as I came into circle with the intention of receiving love and contribution, standing in my truth of who I am and what I can contribute, I felt at ease. I felt loved. I let go of the scarcity that I had feared in the past (will they show up for me? will they stick around for me?) and trusted who showed up and was able to be fully present to who showed up.

One of the women in circle asked how to navigate friendship and business and I told her to value her contribution and not give it away in order to please. In the past, I thought that my girlfriends all needed to do business with me – either be part of Tribal Truth or be a collaborator. I associated my self-worth with whether or not they got value from my business. It was a tangled knot that constantly left my frustrated, confused, upset and disconnected. Untangling that knot allowed me access to a deeper level of self-worth. When I got who I am and that I am enough, I don’t need to do anything to get approval, love or attention, I was able to have a new sense of sisterhood free from competition.

Lessons on sistership:

True sistership accepts all parts of every woman in the circle.

You don’t need approval, you don’t need to compete for attention, you don’t need to prove yourself in the sistership.