Conversations Magazine, Oct./Nov. 2021 (Click below to order yours today)

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Author/Speaker Tiffany James: Enjoying the Blessings From Walking In Purpose

by Cyrus Webb

Having been introduced to motivational speaker Tiffany James through her book LIVING IN THE LAND OF I AM it is clear that not only does she have an inspiring story, but she is committed to helping others find their own personal fulfillment and happiness. Enjoy our conversation.

Tiffany, a big part of your work has had to do with words. When did you first realize the power of words for yourself? 
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the beauty of words, however, I didn’t recognize the power they possessed until April of 2006 when one of my poems was entered in the International Poet Competition. After reciting a poem entitled “Life” that I wrote, several women came up to me afterwards expressing how my words encouraged them as they openly shared the trials they had been going through. I was beyond moved and although I did not win, I left Vegas with a greater prize-fulfillment!

When I returned to work and shared with my co-workers the poem I had chosen to recite, to my surprise I was asked if they could have a copy. That same night I printed copies of the poem out on a beautiful card stock and placed it in a very inexpensive frame. They next day I handed them out to those who requested a copy. It was humbling and to be honest it felt a little uncomfortable because they refused to take it without paying for it. This opened the eyes of my imagination to the possibility that my words had value and could change the world.

I love that in LIVING IN THE LAND OF I AM you are able to take us through the challenges or the valley all the way to the mountaintop of your journey. What was it like to reflect on where you started and where you are today? 
It was euphoric Cyrus!  It was also very liberating to finally be at a place in my life where I could tell my story while guilt and shame stood on the sidelines speechless because they no longer had the power to silence me. It also gave me the desire to share with others who may still be in the valley what I learned. 

I consider us all a work in progress, every day giving us the chance to become better. How has that outlook helped you to be forgiving of yourself? 
That’s a great question. In short, I would say understanding that I can’t change my past, but I have the power to choose to be a better version of myself with each new day.  The key is also learning from your past mistakes and not allow them to define you. I always say my mess has become my message for someone else who might be or have been where I was. 

Faith is a major aspect of your life. How has that kept you grounded as you have found success? 
Cyrus, my book, “Living in the Land of I Am,” is one version of my story, but there is another version of my story that has never been fully told in written form yet. With that being said, I know that what I’ve gone through nobody, but God could have brought me through those painful seasons of my life while transforming me into the woman I am today. I truly understand apart from Him I can’t do anything, nor do I want to. My faith reminds me that there is a purpose behind my passion. If I lose sight of that then I lose sight of who I am. My faith is the reason that I am fulfilled.

It’s one thing to know what is possible for yourself. Share with our audience what it’s been like to share it with others. It’s one thing for others to believe in you but it’s empowering and life changing when you realize and can embrace it for yourself.  Every time I share it with others it’s a confirmation that this is what I called to do. I am always in awe that when I step out and share with others how it empowers them to step out and own their truth of who they were created to be!

On social media you not only share your book but inspirational messages. How has social media helped you to spread the word about your work?
It has helped me encourage people that I know and those that I may never meet in person.  People from different states, race, pedigree, and beliefs. It is because of social media that my book release was such a huge success. It’s nothing like being able to send out a mass invite by the click of a button! Cyrus, social media has also been a great audition tool for me being a speaker/storyteller- many doors of opportunity have opened through people watching my video online.

Being unique is not always easy. You encourage readers of the book to rethink what they have been told about thinking outside the box and staying within boundaries. What has given you the courage to do what others haven’t been able to achieve?
Well, you mentioned it earlier: my Faith. Not only that, I surround myself around people who encourage me, as well as challenge me in my journey. Cyrus, I also challenge myself by constantly stepping out and trying new things. If a creative idea come to me, I try to move on it immediately (writing it down, talking about it with my inner circle, praying about, and moving on it in small ways with excitement even if I don’t have the big picture yet) before I start contemplating all the things I must do in order for it to be successful. When I begin contemplating & calculating that’s when I lose my creativity and if I’m not careful will talk myself out of it especially if it’s outside of the box.

Tiffany, I also mentioned your success earlier. When you look at the path, you’re on, how has your idea of success changed along the way?
I can be honest, like many people today, I thought being successful was all about who I was associated with or how much money I made. However, I learned that true success is truly about personal fulfillment. It’s about being true to who you are. There was a point in my life where I thought I had reached some level of success, but I was unfilled and unhappy. It was not until I started to embrace who I was created to be and the purpose that I was called to fulfill that I understood what success was. This truth started to spill over into every area of my life. Cyrus, I heard Oprah say in a speech that she was not special or better than anyone else, but that she simply answered the call of the dream. Again, we all have a dream and we must answer the call!

What should our readers be on the lookout for from you next? 
I have recently partnered with a Christian radio station – TruthFM to do a 1 to 2-minute encouraging word for the day every Friday.  You can find them at https://truthfmlive.com  or on Facebook TruthFM. The show airs at 6am-8am PST. They are recorded audio messages that I will also be sharing on my social media platform and website. There will be times that they will have me on during the show by phone to elaborate on the word I shared. I am also starting a live book reading of my new book, Living in the Land of I Am. It’s one of those new and creative ideas I mentioned earlier! Cyrus, I’m so open to the future and anything is possible.

Thanks again for the time. Excited about what 2020 has in store for you. How can our audience stay connected with you?
Thank you, Cyrus it has been an honor. My website is www.encouragingtouch.com , email : tiffany@encouragingtouch.com , Instagram : @ncouragetouch, Facebook: Tiffany James or Encouraging Touch Enterprises.

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