Everyday Goddesses: Tashmere Ward

Tashmere is someone I greatly admire. Her vibrancy, love, and passion shines through her in everything she does, and when she entered the Just Be Yoga community, I knew I wanted to get to know who she was. I’m so grateful to have her share her story through “Everyday Goddesses,” and so grateful to be able to share this incredible human being with all of you. Without further ado; Tashmere in her own words.

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 “I am a woman, soft yet empowered, led by a knowing I can’t quite explain and walking to my own beat. “

Who are you? What is your story?

 Who am I? I’m honestly still trying to figure this one out. So far I’ve got, I am a woman, soft yet empowered, led by a knowing I can’t quite explain and walking to my own beat. I grew up in NY, a pretty stable life but never really following the rules. From high school to college years I was pretty lost. I hadn’t any goals, no real direction in life, I was just taking the steps put in place by society; go to school, then go to school some more and act like you’ve got it all figured out. During the lost years is when I met one of my truest loves, yoga. Jumping to the current I still consider myself a gypsy, wandering soul but now with much more passion and purpose. Lost, I am no longer.

How has yoga impacted your journey?

 Yoga, at 20 years old, was solely a physical practice. The studio was somewhere I could go for an hour and forget about all the chaos in my life. And even then there was something so amazing about it. Five years later and that physical practice has become so much more. Yoga is my life teacher, it reminds me to look within and reconnect with my heart, my breath, my energy; all of the things that allow me to BE rather than DO. The art of yoga, on and off of the mat, resonated with me so deeply that I decided to become an instructor and offer this gem to every and anyone willing to receive it. Yoga and all of its offerings have impacted my journey in the best of ways: it brought healing and is allowing me to be confident in my authentic self outside of the studio. 
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“Yoga is my life teacher, it reminds me to look within and reconnect with my heart, my breath, my energy; all of the things that allow me to BE rather than DO.”

Tell me the lowest or darkest point in your life. Tell me the happiest point in your life. Now tell me the connection between the two: how did “rock bottom” become a foundation for success?

This is a tough one because I’ve always tried to keep a pretty positive outlook so for me to think back and consider a time “rock bottom” or the “worst” is kind of hard. But I’ve definitely had low points. A few places in life that I would never want to revisit, for sure. One of them lasting a few years between high school and college. I partied pretty hard almost every night to the point where I was self medicating all day everyday. At the time it seemed normal, everyone around me was doing it and I could still make it to work, most days so I was “fine.” I compromised my health, my education, and my word. Now I look back and wonder what I was running from. 
The happiest point in my life is right now ! I am the healthiest I’ve ever been, I am committed to a daily practice that enforces reflection and growth and I am surrounded by the love of my fiancé and a community of people who lift me up and encourage me to be the best me there is.
Being at rock bottom showed me the place I never want to revisit and it motivates me to do everything I can to be as far away from that place as possible. I am grateful for that period in my life. I can now see all of the things I did that didn’t serve me or the people I loved and I can be aware of not allowing myself to fall back into such behavior. Without the dark, today wouldn’t be so bright. I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate every bit of progress and every ounce of love.
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“Without the dark, today wouldn’t be so bright. I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate every bit of progress and every ounce of love.”

What does it mean to you to be strong?

To be strong, to me, means being able to acknowledge what is going to best serve you and go out there and do it ! And it will look different on all of us. Opening your heart, standing up for yourself, breaking down the barriers you’ve built for yourself, putting your ego aside, taking a break. Strength comes in all forms and it only takes you to acknowledge it for it to be so. 
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“I am comfortable saying that I am constantly taking steps back and unplugging to check in with myself and notice if my beliefs or ideals are true to me.”

Describe the fearlessly authentic you.

 The fearlessly authentic me is slowly making its way to surface. I’ve got the fearless part down, the authenticity is what trips me up sometimes. It’s a bit of a struggle, I feel mostly for this generation and ones to come, to be able to be our true selves without the influence or judgement of everyone around us. I am so plugged in, sharing my experiences, viewing others’, comparing lifestyles and points of views that its easy for mine to get lost in the mix. I am comfortable saying that I am constantly taking steps back and unplugging to check in with myself and notice if my beliefs or ideals are true to me. This is a new practice for me so I guess today, the authentic me is constantly evolving.

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