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E72 Balance in the Boardroom with Tarin Calmeyer

Tagline

Fighting the good fight: A Black Malawian woman abducted at the age of 3 and adopted by a white South African couple shows how to put oneself first.

Bio for Tarin Calmeyer

Tarin Calmeyer is a Corporate Virtual Event Specialist and the CEO of Remote Team Wellness, the leading virtual wellness provider for several Fortune 500 companies like Facebook, L’Oreal, and Remote.com. Her company pioneered virtual live-taught, expert-led wellness classes at the start of the pandemic by bringing world-leading experts in virtually to teach wellness sessions covering mental health, fitness, nutrition, burnout, and more.

After breaking both her ankles put a stop to her dance journey in childhood, she took refuge in yoga and mindfulness for healing and rehabilitation and became a wellness advocate. Studying osteopathy led her to conduct seminars and classes, teaching different wellness modalities. She believes that moving from the reactive state to the gut responsive state helps us become more proactive in having C-level conversations on wellness, and not just in a global pandemic.

Episode highlight

Tarin Calmeyer was born to a Malawian mother, adopted by white South African parents, raised in the USA, went to university in Australia, lived in Morocco, Thailand, and Mexico, speaks English, Spanish, and Afrikaans and has a working knowledge of Zulu, French, and Arabic. Tune in to join her on the fascinating journey that is her life story.

Links

Quotes

  • “Any change starts with the individual.”
  • “There is otherism no matter where you look.”
  • “You take the pieces you would like, that you identify with, the things you resonate with, and anything that doesn’t necessarily make you feel good or doesn’t necessarily abide with who you are becoming, that’s okay.”
  • “I have a profound respect for the human journey. It has been an understanding of – everyone is on their own path, going through their own journey, and everyone is really doing the best they can with what they know.”

Takeaways

Childhood Incidents

Tarin was born to Mabel, an 18-year-old Malawian woman, who could not get an abortion on time. She decided to try being a mother instead of giving Tarin up for adoption. When Tarin was 3 months old, Mabel moved with her to South Africa to work for Linda, a white South African woman. At age 3, Tarin was abducted by Mabel’s acquaintance and found 8 days later. Stricken with guilt, Mabel asked Linda and her husband to care for Tarin, who was officially adopted by them at age 11.

These incidents led Tarin to believe, “there is a purpose to me being alive and there is a reason I am here.” It’s made her an advocate for others to take responsibility for themselves and their wellbeing, and she has profound respect and admiration for those who are prioritizing their wellness in the face of adversity. When everyone chooses to get better, grow, expand, learn and share that knowledge, it can help humans collectively move forward as a species, she believes.

Influential groups

Tarin was born and raised in the midst of “this very hateful bubble” of apartheid in South Africa, and she often felt othered, even though she had people in her life who loved her. Her parents were prosecuted for adopting her, which made her fiercely aware that she had to care for herself first. Her mother was a proponent of therapy. Dancing as a young girl taught her to work with her physical, mental and emotional health, shaping her into the wellness-focussed individual she is today.

Tarin felt a sense of belonging when she moved to the USA, because people looked like her and spoke only English, just like her. Even so, she has felt othered in the USA too, and has learnt to carve her own identity as a multicultural global citizen, taking joy in her privilege of accessing various contexts. She reflects on what it means to be fully South African, and shares that her adoptive parents always encouraged her to be true to herself.

Tarin was raised in Christianity, but has found yoga to be an all-encompassing practice which has helped her explore other spiritual practices and share information with others on bettering their health. Studying osteopathy helped her deepen her yoga practice and understand the relationship between physiology, spirituality and energetics.

Temperament and Personality Influences

Tarin believes she was born with a calm and patient temperament, “to have gone through what I went through and still be able to be who I am today.” She was also an introvert, and loved to be buried in books. As an adult, she has worked to be more extroverted, but takes time to recharge and replenish her energy by tailoring experiences to suit her needs. She now enjoys being spontaneous and exploring possibilities.

As the only child, Tarin claims she always wanted to prove her point, but has now learned with experience and by being in a marriage that “you can’t be right all the time”. Her mindfulness practices have made her resilient in uncomfortable situations. The multitudes of cultural influences in her life don’t let her fit into one box. She claims adaptability is her second name and has had to develop strength in the face of the situations she has lived through.

Cultural Epiphanies

Tarin didn’t fit in since she was the only Black girl in her ballet school, but has realized that she won’t necessarily fit in with those who look like her either. She also learned through teaching yoga that not everyone is focussed on self-care and wellness, and looks at her knowledge and perspective as a valuable tool to share with the world. Her mindfulness practices have helped her come to terms with her trauma and fears.

Advice to an Employer

Tarin loved to work with people from around the world and learn about their cultures and contexts, an opportunity afforded to her by her remote company. She thrives in learning about commonalities in shared experiences, and that “we’re all still running this race together on this planet”. Openness to change, to another person’s perspective and to growth are values that excite her in working with others, which help everyone move forward towards their goals.

More Great Insights!

If you are looking to “keep learning and keep growing”, visit Tarin’s website and discover ways to help your team care for themselves in a virtual or hybrid setting. With travel opening up, you can even sign up for one of Tarin’s retreats in Mexico, to help your team build deeper connections in a soul-nourishing location around like-minded people!

Extro

Tarin Calmeyer has shown great resilience throughout her life – in being abducted, adopted, ostracized, injured and wronged. She has learned on her own how to come out of these fires stronger, and now teaches others to care for themselves using her proven modalities for healing and self-care.

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