Tina Lifford’s onscreen poise has shined in over 100 film and television roles, including the Showtime biopic Mandela and de Klerk as Winnie Mandela, Mama Haze in the Temptations Story and currently stars as Renee Trussell on NBC’s hit series, Parenthood. Her longevity and success as an actress is impressive by any standard, but for nearly the last two decades, Lifford has been training for the role of a lifetime: living her best life and helping others to do the same. Lifford’s parallel career as a trailblazing life coach, motivational speaker, playwright and author is touching more lives than ever now with the launch of a new mission that lives her heart, The Inner Fitness Project.
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The same way physical fitness creates a great body, the inner fitness approach creates a great life by helping people to grow beyond the hurts, dramas, upsets and disappointments we all experience as part of the human experience.
“What I’m doing with The Inner Fitness Project is identifying tools and strategies that people can use to support them in that aim, in the aim of creating their fulfilling life no matter what circumstances confront them,” says Lifford.
One simple strategy that has been life changing for Lifford is a two-part phrase, “Up until now ____” and “From this point forward ___.” She’s says it’s very powerful because “It affirms that we can acknowledge how life has been up until now and then affirm that it can be better from this point forward. And I have never said that phrase without feeling some door open inside of my heart; feeling empowered and elevated to some degree.”
Lifford’s passion for living a life of well being is something that has lived inside of her ever since she was a little girl. “I’ve always been interested in how to live this life more completely. I’ve always been curious about well why is it that some people’s lives just work and other people struggle so much.”
In 2005, she graduated from the University of Santa Monica’s Master Program in Spiritual Psychology and the Coaches Training Institute in 2007. Following the death of her only brother from a drug overdose, Lifford was inspired to create self-care principles and inner fitness guidelines that could help anyone manage their everyday life. In 2012, Lifford released the e-book, and when asked what’s one of the biggest lies that most people believe about themselves she shared:
“Some version of I’m not good enough. Some version of I don’t matter. Some version of there is something wrong with me and I have to fix that thing before I have value. That’s a huge lie. The truth is that we are born, and I love this word, innately, that means it comes with being here on the planet…that gives you innate worth and value.”
“We keep looking for something to validate that we are valuable and worthy and when we don’t get that from the world in the way that we think we should or think is correct, we walk around with this little hole, constantly hoping to meet the person or the circumstance that is going to fill that hole and say that we are worthy and valuable. But the truth is, there is not a hole; the hole is in our thinking and we must from this point forward, affirm ourselves as whole and worthy because we exist.”
Like any great fitness trainer, Lifford is a student of her own teachings and her self-care toolkit includes following her 14 Practices of Inner Health and Wellness, hiking the mountains behind her California home with her three dogs and watching what she eats.
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