THE EXPANDING TARA-TOUR-Y!

If you’ve been following my recent journey, you know that I’ve embarked on an exciting new adventure in nomadic living and remote working. Together with my boyfriend and dog, we are on an open-ended road trip in our 20-foot RV/mobile tiny house.

Last week we were lakeside in northern North Carolina [enjoying sunsets, campfires, simplicity and peaceful serenity while we did our work and followed the rhythms of nature]. The week before, we were in Richmond, VA [went salsa dancing, went on a walking tour of the Liberty Trail, ate yummy falafel, and on Sunday tooled around an artsy little area called Carytown …with no cares about time or to-do’s – the way Sunday is supposed to feel but honestly hadn’t in years…]

And now we’re in the Raleigh/Wake Forest area staying with my step-sister Kellie and her delightful family. Well technically, we’re their driveway neighbors since we brought our house with us and hooked it up to their water and electric. And today, my friend, soul sister, and mastermind colleague, Marcy, had me over for a delicious homemade lunch. So good to see her!

If home is where the heart is, than my home spans continents. I chose this nomadic lifestyle, in part, because it means I can visit friends and family that I don’t get to see very often. It’s a real treat to be getting some in-person time with people I missed, and feeling right at home.

It’s part of what I’m calling ‘The Tara-tour-y’. Get it?

I’m on tour, and I’m my own agent. Our loose plan is to head south and then west.

Want to join the tour?

Want to meet for a bite, and maybe an interview? Want to host us in your driveway? Want to help me line up a book signing in your town? Or a workshop in your living room? Let me know! Let’s see what we can do to coordinate our paths crossing…

Here’s to the unfolding journey! 

Tara Sage Steeves
Master Coach, Possibility Queen, Gypsy Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Nomad, Salsera, Life Hack Pro, Owner of two location-independent companies: Create Your Life! & Nomadic Leaders 

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Amidst All The Chaos, Let’s Talk About Order

As a creative, and as an entrepreneur, I have never struggled to make a mess. 🙂 Since childhood, I’ve had a messy room. In part, it was a teenage rebellion and response to the high standards and OCD tendencies that tend to run in my maternal lineage. I judged them as intense and unnecessary.

A pile of papers, a pile of clothes, a pile of half-read books, numerous notebooks full of random ideas… It’s been a manageable level of chaos, nothing that would be deemed outside the “norm”, and historically I’ve embraced it, telling myself it’s the inevitable by-product of my “non-linear genius.” Ha!

Well, perhaps the familial OCD gene ramps up in your 40’s because since January of this year, my desire to have Less Stuff and More Order has really taken hold within me. One drawer, one notebook, one item of clothing at a time… I have been touching and sorting through every single thing I own. You might say I’m in Order Overdrive over here … and, you know what? … I’m absolutely loving it. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” said Leonardo Da Vinci. YES. I am now a believer, perhaps even a zealot-in-the-making because, while it’s admittedly daunting and rather time consuming to go through EVERY little thing you own and determine whether to keep it, sell it, donate it, recycle it, or trash it … my goodness, it ultimately feels so goooooood— so gratifying, so clarifying, so freeing.

With every car-full of things I pass along, with every drawer and shelf and closet I sort, and with every notebook page that either gets recycled because it’s no longer relevant or goes into a binder organized by category …. I am finding that the benefits go *far beyond* being able to find my stapler, or having a clean desk, or knowing exactly where that favorite pair of shoes or earrings are. The true benefits are … I have a clearer mind. I have terrifically streamlined approaches to move forward (in both business and personal). I have a deepened sense of inner peace and focus. I am no longer energetically burdened by stuff that I don’t need or love, or both.

While going through a trunk of memorabilia, I came across a $10 bill tucked into a card, addressed to me in Australia (I studied abroad my junior year of college). It was sent by my sweet grandmother for “ice cream with a friend”. It has been in that envelope since 1996. Grandma would be happy to know that, all these years later, “ice cream with a friend” is indeed how it will be spent.

So, today I am celebrating how profoundly and positively efforts to amp up ORDER is impacting my life, my business, my heart, my soul, my mind, and even my body. And this is only the beginning. Please stay tuned.

What about YOU? I want to hear from you. How does order support or inhibit YOU? Do you agree that less is more? Why or why not?

#minimalism #thegiftoforder #lessistrulymore #simplicity #thebeststuffoflifeisnotstuff #freedomthroughless…

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Define “Home”

Birds need a nest, and they still fly. ~ Gloria Steinem

In our digital age, more and more people work from home.  A few commonplace examples of this 21st century lifestyle are: corporate employees who log in from home, entrepreneurs with a virtual business, location-independent freelancers, and the growing number of students and teachers of online learning.

19129098724_901a5b89b9_bThis rapidly changing virtual landscape is creating changes in not only how we think about and do our work, but also how we think about and identify ‘home’.  How one defines home is, of course, very personal – and it’s also fluid – often changing along with changes in circumstances, relationships, and stages of life.

For me personally, home has been many things: It’s been a place I run away from. And it’s been a place I can’t wait to come home to.  It’s been a place I’ve identified as an address. Other times, as a town, or a city, or a state, or a country, a continent, a hemisphere. For reasons I don’t fully understand, the most sincere definition of home I’ve ever held, has been to identify home as Planet Earth.  Even that at times feels like it only tells part of the story.

I identify as a citizen of the world. But – I also really like my bed and having a home to come home to. I love ‘home’ being not only defined by location but by the people in my life. If my heart’s not there, my home is certainly not there.

But where’s the heart?  If home is where the heart is, and your heart spans across continents, how do YOU define home?

My most recent evolution around how I define ‘home,’ is to embrace that, for me home is untethered, it’s too complex and too big to be defined by one place.

In other words, I’ve stopped trying to answer that question.

And with this release, came a new question: Where is my home-base?

Home-base doesn’t get me confused, and it doesn’t cause me to feel flustered or confined by its definition.

Home-base is where my bed is. It’s where my clothes and toothbrush is. It’s where I return to after wandering and journeying based on my unapologetically expansive definition of ‘home’.

This works for me.  To know where my nest is, and still fly.

Join the conversation and follow the journey!  Please share your thoughts on these questions:

Where’s ‘home’ for you?  What does ‘home’ mean to YOU?  How do YOU define it?…

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Nomadic Packing & The Stuff of Life

Pack whatever you want, then take half.

Without question, my least favorite thing about travel is PACKING.  Maybe you relate?

One time, while stressing about what to pack for a 6 month stay in Australia, my uncle (a world traveler himself) gave me some great advice: “Tara, pack whatever you want – then take half.”

This was 20+ years ago, my junior year of college. Yeesh, hard to believe that math is right! Time marches on, and over the years, I’ve come to embrace and whole-heartedly believe that less truly is more.

casesweb_3079682a-largeThis didn’t happen overnight. My growing affection for minimalism has developed in stages, and most recently it reached a new height when I moved: from a spacious, high-ceiling, 2-bedroom, double-parlor home in Rhode Island with a back yard and a front porch … to a 600 square foot 1-bedroom with a little balcony just outside of Washington DC.

At first, the prospect of down-sizing felt incredibly daunting. What would I keep? What would I get rid of?  In moments, I even considered not moving so that I could hold on to “stuff” – my cherished dining room table in particular. It sounds pretty ridiculous to me now, but I loved that dining room table. It was large. It was wooden. I coveted it for many months before finally making the purchase and was thrilled when it arrived.

I loved so much about it. Aesthetically, it served as the central focus for one of my two parlors. Its functionality, with a leaf that I could insert when I wanted to make it even bigger, allowed me to fit many friends and family around it. It had symbolic meaning to me, representing a certain degree of success. This, plus the memories made at that table added up to a whole lot of sentimental value.

But – however much I cherished it, my dining room table could NOT come with me. Two stools and a ‘breakfast bar’ would be serving as its replacement.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering ….

“Tara, what the heck does your dining room table have to do with MY packing?”

** A lot. **

Packing for travel requires you to be discerning, thoughtful, and intentional about what you bring with you.  There will be those cherished how-can-I-possibly-live-without-(fill in the blank) items that tempt you to either stay put, or to lug them around with you. There will be things that you need to leave behind – both physically and metaphorically. By releasing what’s heavy, you’ll replace it with the freedom and wealth of mobility, the lightness of heart, and the gains that come with a shift in priorities. Similar in spirit to down-sizing a home, extended international travel requires you to be very selective about what you take with you. That’s why “pack what you want, then take half” is damn good advice.

You can find a plethora of packing lists for traveling light, but ultimately, we here at Nomadic Leaders believe that without a mindset shift those won’t be of much use to you.

Adopting a mindset that welcomes less “stuff” in lieu of experiencing more “stuff of life” is what makes all the difference.

Ultimately it’s about BEING more. It’s about defining wealth not just in terms of money but in terms of human capital and the everyday abundance of that which is truly priceless:

==> More freedom.epiclifechangingtrip_nomadicleaders
==> More timeless memories.
==> More growth opportunities.
==> More adventure.
==> More fulfillment.
==> More positive impact.
==> Expanded levels of understanding.
==> Boundless new possibilities.
==> And deeper levels of connection – to yourself, to others, and to the world.

More “stuff of life” experiences … experiences so valuable, they truly are priceless.

The memories and invaluable experiences that travel brings are yours forever.  They get infused into your soul, forever stamped on your heart. They exponentially expand your mind, thereby expanding your understanding of the world and your role in it: a value that is truly incalculable.

Put this alongside a dining room table, for example, and there’s no contest.

So, what is it for YOU?  What’s YOUR “dining room table”? Whatever it is that has you holding on, staying put, or weighed down … imagine: Letting It Go. Let it go and you may not even miss it. My bet is, you won’t.

All this said, it’s the extraordinary few who actually take the gamble to find out.  

Nomadic Leaders are examples of these extraordinary few. They rise to this challenge, and they understand that present “stuff” is a just mirror of who they’ve been. With a focus on living full out and being the fulfillment of their potentials, they make brave, bold decisions now. They take action, now, to support the quickening of who they are becoming.

Pack what you want, then take half – and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Blessings on your journey. Onward and upward!…

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What is the Opposite of Leadership?

I often think about, read about, talk, write – even speak – about leadership. It’s my work, my Masters degree, my curiosity, and my muse for so much of what I do and create.

Given how much there is to know, I also know how little I know. Good leaders are those who know that they don’t know everything and who, frankly, also know that they don’t need to. The best leaders are those with a sound sense of clarity about the inevitability of mis-takes.

1446464_1280x720Obama spoke to this in his 2016 DNC speech, pointing out that for those with the wherewithal to get “in the arena”, mistakes are “what happens when we try.” True words.

The opposite of leadership is not bad leadership.

There’s something called Servant Leadership (a great little book by that name was required reading in the Holistic Leadership Masters Degree program I graduated from. Robert K. Greenleaf is the author, and I encourage you to read it). ‘Servant Leadership’ is proof that leading from behind can be an extraordinarily powerful Model of Leadership, exemplifying the inter-dependent dynamics of leading and following.

The influence of servant leadership isn’t just evident in books and political arenas, it’s everywhere a lead-and-follow dynamic is. You can even, for example, see it on the dance floor of a salsa club. I say this as an admitted salsa dancing addict: Watch a couple dancing, a good lead and a good follow. Then, watch another salsa dance with a good leader but a poor follower; you can’t tell me that follower isn’t “leading”!

In any leadership “dance”, on or off a dance floor, the leader and the follower are inherently inter-dependent parties – not opposites. The opposite of leadership is not bad leadership, and the opposite of leadership is also not following, however good or bad. At Nomadic Leaders, we believe that the opposite of leadership is Spectatorship. The two are wholly incompatible. You simply cannot be a leader and always sit on the sidelines.

For all my faults and weaknesses, and however imperfectly I lead – and follow – on and off the dance floor … I make a point to live in the arena, not watch from the sidelines.

My qualifications on the subject of Leadership are growing and expanding rapidly and in real time. The recent launch of Nomadic Leaders is requiring me to step up, in the arena, and walk-my-bold-talk on an entirely new level. Rather than waiting to have every answer, Nomadic Leaders is a metaphorical plane that I am building while I fly it. I know from experience that this cart-before-horse approach is an immensely powerful and provocative force – one that propels visions and innovation and collaboration forward into manifestation.

Leadership roles aren’t new to me. As entrepreneur of a start-up for the last 12+ years, I’ve been the lead coach, mentor, and owner of my thriving first business, Create Your Life!  … and there’s my formal education and training … and, a fun fact for you astrology and birth-order buffs, I am a Leo and first-born child (for better or worse, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are too).

Since early in my childhood I was frequently told I am “a natural leader.” It is true that my instinct has always been to lead. I was Student Council President. I was cast in leading roles in school plays. I was president of the AFS Club, and captain of the soccer and softball teams. Perhaps years of bossing my little sister around counts for something too. It was a rarity that, when given the possibility of leading, that I was not leading in some way. (In full disclosure, I was co-captain of those sports teams. The other captain was the “natural athlete” 🙂 ).

But I digress. What I want to share is this:

It is so important to know that there are many Models of Leadership. I spent much of my Masters Degree studying them, across cultures, and what is so *glaring* to me about the 2016 presidential election is seeing the various models of leadership at play. For example, Trump has said that, as a leader, Putin gets an “A”. And truth be told, when looking through the lens of a hierarchical, military-style, top-down Model of Leadership … he’s right! So would Hitler for that matter. (I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention here too, that even the “A” to “F” grading system lives within this model.)

Thankfully, this model of leadership is NOT the only onedespite the fact that those who work solely within this top-down leadership model would tell you that it is.

They’re wrong.

Ask a Native American tribe leader who is looking through the lens of a Consensus Model of Leadership, for example, to ‘grade’ Putin or Trump or Hitler or Kim Jong as leaders… and you will get a very different assessment.

Our 2016 presidential election is about so much more than The Donald vs. Hillary. It’s about which Models of Leadership we are willing to subscribe to, vote for, participate in – and which ones we won’t.

It’s about refusing to be a spectator, summoning the audacity of hope, and getting in the arena.

This is what the Nomadic Leaders movement is about. At Nomadic Leaders we stand for people coming together to contribute to our world and to empower one another through collaborative leadership models.  We support and coach and nurture those who are willing to get in the arena and lead – from the front, the side, and at times from behind.

The opposite of leadership is spectatorship. And the opposite of spectatorship is engagement.

Engagement, contribution and participation is what makes YOU a leader. Anchored by action, together we are forming a movement that others are inspired to follow, engage with, participate in, and contribute to. We are joining forces and aligning the power, potential, and momentum to nudge our planet forward. Let us move together in the direction of love, collaboration, teamwork and care for our human race and our planet.

Nomadic Leaders is leading a growing movement, a dance, a lead and follow of Awakened People. Join us on this great journey together to see new places, in new ways. To make new discoveries, not only about the world, but about the intricate and expanding landscapes of your mind and heart.

YOU are a contributing part of this evolution and this awakening. Do not be a spectator. Do your part to engage and lead within our human family. Together we really are so much more.  Come and join forces with myself and other innovative leaders – alongside you, behind you, and in front of you.

==> How do YOU lead?
==> How do YOU follow?
==> Where in your life is it time for you to get off the bench and in the arena?

Please share your comments below, and if you haven’t already, opt-in to follow the Nomadic Leaders journey and be first to know when we’re accepting applications.…

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