Tara Nicole Hughes is a professional dancer, choreographer and the creator of INsideOUT, a powerful and practical workshop using meditation, visualization and dance movement as a way to connect to the inner peace and wisdom within. With her highly successful, respected and integrated work as a professional dancer and choreographer, coupled with her Master’s Degree in Spiritual Psychology, her unique value lies in healing through movement. INsideOUT is an experience for the mind, body, soul.
What happened or inspired you to start your business?
The idea of my business started after I had my children and I felt a bit tied to the house at night. What was I to do with this time while they were asleep? I was used to taking dance classes, socializing with friends, having more “freedom”. Instead of feeling “stuck”, I decided to use this time as an opportunity to write, to share my stories of transformation; something I had been longing to do. I started a blog, which eventually grew to creating workshops/retreats/online courses, utilizing all my skills and passions: meditation, visualization and dance. My intention and goal was to bring more inner peace and happiness through these modalities. As I began this creative endeavor, things just flowed. It’s amazing what you can get done by yourself with a laptop and some inner drive. The discovery that I could do most of the leg work for my business from my bedroom, fueled me and I became obsessed. I designed my website, I wrote weekly blog posts, I became a contributing writer for Mind Body Green, I researched and booked retreat spaces, I created a 4-week online course, I networked, I set up my monthly newsletter and built my email list. The combination of doing meaningful work in the world coupled with using my natural skill set and my desire to run a business created a deeply satisfying experience for me! Even though it takes a lot of work, as it’s just me, myself, and I, its incredibly rewarding. After I do all the leg work at home, I’m able to take my mission/intentions into the studio or retreat and put it all into action. I get to feel the energy, the healing, the release, the power of the work.
How does spirituality impact your business?
Spirituality is at the center of my work, whether I’m working on the “business” side of things or the actual experiences that happen in my classes and workshops. I feel divinely led in my business. When I begin a blog post or lead a workshop, I ask for Divine Spirit’s assistance in helping me to bring more light and joy to the world. To me, that is a spiritual center. Every action I take is in communion with spirit. This focus and intention puts me in a space of trust, surrender and acceptance. I know that the people who are supposed to show up to my classes are there for a reason, so it doesn’t matter if there are 5 people or 35 people. When I reach out to possible collaborators, I know that my intentions are going to magnetize with others for the highest good. Working from this place of service and authenticity is the key for me to having a fulfilling and purpose-filled experience and life. Everything flows easily, and if it doesn’t, I’m able to accept that and find a new path.
How do you stay motivated through the ups and downs of owning your own business?
I’ve learned to accept the ebbs and flows of my own process. Sometimes I’ll have months, or actually years of incredible focus, staying power and energy to create, to express, to reach out, to show up, to provide. And other times, like recently, my energy is focused inward and I need to recharge and serve my own needs through self care and love. I just came off of a 9 month journey working on a feature film in London. Since I’ve been home, I haven’t written a single blog post or been inspired to set up my next workshop series. A part of me feels anxious about that and says “get going, get going”, but I’ve come to the realization that I need something different in this moment right now, and that’s ok. Being present to my own needs and callings is the most important thing. I’ve learned to listen to myself, to the inspirations, to the messages and I know, from experience, that it shifts and all has value. I will bring this time of self nurturing and slowing down to my work to come. I will have more to share when I am filled up with my own curiosity, discovery and presence. Honoring of self, honoring of self.
What would you tell the younger you just starting her business?
I would tell her to trust her instincts more. I think in the beginning I thought “I don’t know how to do this”, and I started modeling myself after other successful women who were running spiritual businesses. But as I really got into the work of it, I found my own voice and discovered that it’s all right there, within me. There were helpful classes I took in the beginning like Marie Forleo’s B School. That was very helpful and put me on a path with confidence, in a nuts and bolts way. But, once that was in motion, I eventually saw that everything I needed was inside ME; the direction, the clarity, the guidance. I wish I trusted that a little more in the beginning. How do you balance your clients, professional projects and personal commitments? To be honest, this was very challenging for me before my daughters started school. Now that they are in school all day, I have my calendar open to time manage as I need. In the beginning, I felt guilty when I had my work out while with my girls. I decided to keep my work for the morning and evening hours. That way, I could be totally present with them, and then dive in fully when I was on my own and feel good about those commitments and my role as a mama. With that window of focused time, I was amazed at how much I got done.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome?
I feel like my biggest challenge has been to stay the course, as there is no one driving this except me. It takes a lot of discipline and commitment. When I have bursts of creativity, it’s wonderfully exhilarating to let that energy and inspiration take over and lead the way. But we all have good days when we feel strong and equipped and bad days when life is a bit of a struggle. With that, I’ve learned to bank some of my content when things are easy and flowing, to lighten the load when I’m busy or overwhelmed. The other thing that has helped is to share from where I am in that moment, authentically and truthfully. Just showing up and trusting I am enough.
What project are you most excited about right now?
I am excited to start a special project I have been working on over the last month; #30daysofmeditation. I am inviting people to join me on this journey for 30 days as I hope to inspire a personal practice that helps to bring more calm, clarity and peace to one’s life. Meditation has been life changing for me and I am very happy to share it. We’ll be meditating every day for 30 days straight, starting Wednesday, November 1st. The holidays can be stressful and I think taking 20 minutes daily to center and calm will be very helpful. I’ll be sharing intentions, video meditations and direction every day on my Instagram page, so anyone is welcome to follow and join!