Where do I even begin with this delightful human?! Now, I have to warn you, when you first meet her you will one hundred percent be taken aback by her striking natural beauty (don’t worry, this is completely normal, it happens to all of us) but then you will discover that her outer is nothing compared to the striking beauty of her heart and her spirit. She is goodness, plus some, add some more and then a whole lot more on top. And the best part is that she has no idea how much she brings to everyone’s life around her which makes her even more magical, because it’s just innately engrained in her. A lady that I am lucky enough to call a friend; she is the epitome of kindness, selflessness and quite honestly, she’s on the All Star team for all-round-amazingness. She is one of the hardest working people I know – seriously, she always has 10 projects on the go at once and still finds time to be an amazing mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend – and is a clever cookie who somehow defies the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ cliche because she actually is a master of everything. A mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, director, producer, writer, actress and creative genius, she is the wearer of many hats and actually does master them all (see, I told you – she’s magic this one). I am in awe of her, and inspired by her.
Tahyna is currently working on an incredibly important documentary: M.O.M; Misunderstandings of Miscarriage (*scroll down to the end of the interview for the trailer) to break the stigma, shame and taboo relating to miscarriage, open up the conversation and provide a platform for women to share their experiences. I am so proud of Tahyna for being brave enough to roll out this project and use her pain, grief and challenges to help other women. Just watching the trailer will make every single hair on the surface of your body stand up at lightning speed. It is incredible and I can’t wait for it to be released – watch this space.
I really struggle writing intros for friends, because how do I summarise their heart and soul in words. If I had to think of some words off the top of my head to describe Tahyna, I could come up with a list as long as my arm in a milli-second. Empathetic. Selfless. Strong. Hardworking. Resilient. Creative. Loyal. Inspiring. Kind. Trailblazer. Funny. Pure love. Real. Compassionate. Effervescent. Determined. Funny. Sweet tooth (haha, sorry T!) is just the tip of the ice-berg. She is all these things and more, she is the living, breathing definition of these words. She is a woman’s woman and one of the most supportive ladies you’ll ever come across. Tahyna is someone you want in your corner, always. She will back you with her bottom dollar, believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself and push you to be your best self. Funnily enough, Tahyna was one of my driving forces behind launching FSIY. I can still remember a conversation we had, walking through the botanical gardens, when I had told her about the idea I had been mulling over in my mind. And she didn’t just support me, but encouraged me, bounced ideas with me, pep talked me, pushed me to keep creating even when I was riddled with self-doubt and fear, and was overjoyed with genuine excitement when it finally launched. But that’s just her; Tahyna believes in women and the power of women and genuinely wants to see a world – and help the world get to the place – where women support one another fiercely, lift each other up rather than tear each other down, and propel each other to success.
Tahyna has such a beautiful attitude toward life, and takes everything in her stride – meanwhile I can see Tahyna reading this and shaking her head because she doesn’t believe me – but it’s the truth. No matter how many balls she has in the air, projects she’s juggling, things she’s dealing with, she just does it and it seems so effortless. She has a heart of pure gold, sometimes to a fault where she needs to say no. She has an incredible outlook on life and really, truly loves human stories and connection, which is why she’s so good at what she does – you can’t fake that shit. She views the world in such an evolved way, through kindness, compassion and equality – truly, if more people could learn from Tahyna, the world would be a better place. Tahyna truly cares about the world and holds many causes close to her heart that she’s an incredible advocate and champion for, and she is instilling all this in her daughter.
Mama to her beautiful daughter Echo… and when I say beautiful I mean she is one of the most absolutely beautiful children you will ever see (and it’s no wonder, I mean… have you seen her mum and dad?!) but she is so beautiful in spirit and she always has been, ever since she was a tiny little baby. Tahyna is doing a marvellous job of raising a conscious daughter that is aware of the world around her, is confident in who she is and is a kind, compassionate, strong, funny and sweet young lady … and that’s such a testament to the incredible mother Tahyna is. She is a natural and I cannot wait to watch her flourish as a mum of 2 when baby arrives later this year.
Ok…. I also have to get real for a second because well, that’s what this site is all about. All of these beautiful traits aside, one other thing I really love about T is she’s my dessert-eating-sweet-tooth-fiend-can-we-live-at-gelato-messina-forever-partner-in-crime and when I want to go on a chocolate binge or indulge in a dessert, she’s not just telling me to go for it, she’s right beside me joining in. Look, it’s our thing and we’re not sorry. We’ve been known to demolish a block of chocolate, packet of easter eggs, cakes, biscuits, tubs of ice-cream (we don’t discriminate at all when it comes to dessert) and then 30 seconds later look around for more.
Get ready to get a whole lotta #inspo from Tahyna’s interview. I think the biggest takeaway you will get is to be aware of the world around and always lead with heart – it’s evident that she leads with love and heart in everything she does. Everything. It’s who she is. And this sets a precedent for us all to do the same – she is living proof of how to be a good human, chase your dreams, not take no for an answer, help others, stand up for what you believe in, create your life. You will also get a hard hit of reality that you gotta believe in you girl, no one else can do it for you. Be your number one supporter, know that you got this and you’re capable of achieving your wildest dreams. The world is full of possibility and when you see someone else doing great things, instead of comparing, switch your mindset to ‘why can’t I’. I am excited for you to read her insights on self doubt, insecurity and fear because she so beautifully (and honestly) shares so many reminders that, we’re all just the same and our insecurities, self doubt, coping mechanisms etc really are all shared, they’re all common, and we’re not alone. I love that Tahyna gets real. It’s uncomfortable sometimes to show your true self, to divulge your self doubt and insecurities, but that’s where the good stuff lies. This is the real T on a plate and her ability to be vulnerable and brave and courageous, is what this platform is all about – real, stripped back, tell-it-like-it-is answers, because that’s what connects us. We’re all in it together. And Tahyna’s interview is further proof that the more we increase the narrative and get really honest and voice that honesty – the more we build each other up and remind each other that we really aren’t alone, we all face the same overarching struggles, they’re just cut a little differently for the individual. But we’re definitely not alone in our insecurities, in our self doubts, in our failures and successes, in our inner dialogue… because here it is, in black and white, proof that she is you. I know for a fact that reading her answers provided me with assurance and comfort that ‘Oh, I’m not alone in that way of thinking’ and I am pretty confident it will do the same for you. It’s fitting that her favourite quote is ‘Get On With It’, because that is exactly what Tahyna does… she gets on with it. No matter what hurdle, obstacle, adversity, frustrations or setbacks she faces… she just gets on with it. And ironically, ‘Let It Go’ – which is Tahyna’s motto when it comes to stress – happens to be one of her daughters favourite tunes and I feel like that says something in itself, but is also such a beautiful attitude to have, because what’s the point in holding onto things that stress us out or we have no control over.
Tahyna is a prime example that no matter what life throws at you, you can handle it. There’s no right or wrong, you can wear as many hats as you want and succeed at all of them, as long as you follow your passion, work hard, be a good human and always follow your morals and your heart – that’s all you can ask of yourself. Don’t settle for comfortable, it isn’t an option – lean into the discomfort and keep pushing yourself, because that’s where the magic lies. Tahyna is blazing her own trail and it is an honour to walk beside her and cheer her on from the sidelines as she does, and I hope her insights and thoughts remind you to keep going, be a go-getter and a trailblazer, work your butt off and know that you’ve got this.
For, She Is You.
And please keep scrolling after Tahyna’s interview because the incredible trailer to M.O.M is below and I’m so excited for you to see it.
TAHYNA MACMANUS // DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRODUCER, ACTRESS
One word you would use to describe yourself?
What would you tell your younger self?
I really struggled in my teens and I guess mid 20s. An age I really felt alone was 24, I felt I had failed to live up to expectations and I let a lot of opportunities pass me by because I was so swamped in self doubt. I wish I could go back and tell that girl… “It’s really fun out there, all of “this” doesn’t matter”.
What have you learnt about yourself from being in the industry you’re in from such a young age?
I’ve learnt that I am ever evolving. I’ve learnt that I’m damn resilient . I’ve learnt that I am supremely loyal to a fault. I have learnt that I am true to my moral beliefs in the way I conduct myself and treat others and that has never wavered, no amount of success or failure (if you will) has shifted my moral compass.
If you had a friend that spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, would you continue to allow that person to be your friend? How do you combat negative self talk?
Probably not, it’s a confronting realisation. I have a daughter who relies on me to guide her through this world. I don’t have time to be consumed in myself, with the current global climate it certainly isn’t in the best interest that I dwell in my own sob story – I am lucky and I know that. There are many men, women and children horrifically hurting and by comparison I am ashamed I even allow myself to think in a negative context. I now direct that energy in a proactive way and genuinely try to be a better person and be an example for not only my daughter but for anyone I may come in contact with.
‘You would be amazed what a little kindness will do.‘
Something you don’t tell yourself enough?
Just sit down and watch telly.
What triggers stress for you and what are some of your coping mechanisms?
Stress and me often go hand in hand. I have learnt to channel stress in the workplace, using it to keep my head in the game. The real stress at home and around my family is the one I struggle with the most. I haven’t quite worked out how to deal with that stress but to some degree I “let it go”. I cannot control the actions and consequences of those around me, I can influence yes…but control, no. As far as coping mechanisms, music is huge in my life and often my emotions and feelings can be controlled with what I listen to. I also like to exercise- walking, running and yoga. It is a day to day battle really.
Your thoughts on ‘fear’ and ‘comfortable’?
They compliment each other! Fear is a natural reaction for the human species and it pushes us to test boundaries. Comfortable (besides a Sunday in your PJ’s all day) is not really an option for me. Comfortable is a state where I need to throw fear into the mix.
How do you pull the cord on a pity party when you’ve had a bad day?
I play with my daughter Echo or I just hug my husband for an uncomfortably long time and realise how good I have it.
‘No one can believe in you FOR you.‘
Have you experienced challenges, failures and setbacks and what have they taught you?
Of course I have. That is a given in life. They have taught me that in order to grow and evolve I need to experience challenges. You sometimes have to take the bad with the good. It is also a reminder that so much of life is a fleeting moment and you must relish the good when it comes along.
Why do you think it is important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone?
What happens if you don’t try? It goes back to the age old saying better to have tried and failed then to have never tried at all. It’s all about the journey and participation in life. Who knows what you could discover about yourself along the way. I never knew I was capable of writing until I pushed myself, it was terrifying but I learnt that deep inside myself was a huge pool of stories just waiting to be dived into. I never tapped into that because I was scared, but eventually I did and it opened my world.
What characteristics / values do you admire most in the women you choose to surround yourself with?
I have a huge circle of women around me. I think women in general are incredible. We are mothers, daughters, wives, girlfriends, fighters, teachers, carers, CEO’S – we are everything. I admire women in general. I can’t single out one significant characteristic because we are all equal.
Why do you believe in kindness?
You would be amazed what a little kindness will do. And the opposite is what? – To be mean? No thank you.
‘We’re all on the same team. I’ve always liked the saying ” I’m not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it” Imagine if we lived in a world where everyone felt they were loved and supported? It can be possible.‘
Why is it important to be kind to ourselves?
If we aren’t then who will be? It starts with you – every choice, feeling and thought – it’s the butterfly effect and it starts with you.
How can we cultivate more kindness as a collective?
Again, I think it starts with you.
What is the kindest thing you can do for someone experiencing unkindness?
Offer compassion and understanding. Perhaps even a voice? I got myself into trouble at school standing up to bullying behaviour and it hasn’t stopped. If someone needs my help, whether they are unkind to themselves or the victim of it I will not sit on the sidelines and watch it play out.
As a mama, what do you wish for your daughter growing up and hope to instil in her?
Funnily enough – Kindness. Compassion. Resilience.
I think its important for me to guide her in the reality of a strange world. I realise I have had a very blessed existence and to some degree have not felt worthy of say, this interview or being on the cover of magazines etc. Don’t get me wrong it’s incredibly flattering but I think in general as a society we are celebrating the wrong things. Our children are idolising celebrity and yes it is alluring, I was not immune to it. However, I recognised early on that deep down I felt undeserving (perhaps in some way it inhibited me in certain career choices) but ultimately I never understood why I was asked to voice my opinions publicly or have my photo taken yet a woman of the same age who perhaps graduated university with honors and is out there saving lives or someone beyond selfless for example Trishelle Sayuuni or Zainab Salbi . These women should be house hold names, especially for young women and girls. Women that are pioneering rights & freedom for this generation and beyond. They should be gracing our mainstream media non stop rather than the saturation of celebrity. I guess that’s my role as a mother , to educate. I don’t know, perhaps I’m all too consumed in this thought but I hope my daughter will be part of a new generation that is selfless and generous.
‘Fear is a natural reaction for the human species and it pushes us to test boundaries.‘
There are certain myths among women that are almost designed to make us feel bad about ourselves and feel less of a woman if we don’t ‘live up to them’, if you could debunk one myth, what would it be?
(For example, among others, the myth that you can either have a successful career OR a successful family life and not both)
This one is difficult. Because everything is a choice. You can have a family and a successful career but you must be willing to be flexible. The myth that you can’t have it “all” – is not entirely true. You can have it “all” – but let go of expectations. We have time – we are living well into our hundreds this generation so to have it all worked out by 30 is just not feasible. Like I said its a constant evolving flow.
Why is it integral for girls and women to support, celebrate, empower and build each other up rather than tear each other down?
We are all here trying our best. We are inhabiting this planet together and creating our paths. It is much more enjoyable to share that in a loving environment rather than negative. We are on the same team! Think of the younger generations, let’s set a benchmark of how we treat and respect women for their sake. I’ve always liked the saying ” I’m not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it” Imagine if we lived in a world where everyone felt they were loved and supported? It can be possible.
Real advice you can share on following your passion and turning it into a career?
Real advice? It’s not easy. You will face obstacles. But you must try. Don’t be rigid, be flexible and open to change. You never know what opportunities are just beyond that point where you think you have “failed”.
Why is it important to believe in yourself and how can you get better at doing so?
No one can believe in you FOR you. If that makes sense. Know that you are not the first to feel alone, scared, exhausted etc etc sometimes it is simply the act of participating.Practice makes perfect. Remind yourself that you are worthy and you are capable.
‘I felt I had failed to live up to expectations and I let a lot of opportunities pass me by because I was so swamped in self doubt. I wish I could go back and tell that girl… “It’s really fun out there, all of “this” doesn’t matter”.‘
If you had the opportunity to speak and be able to reach and inspire every young girl and woman around the world with your message, what would you say?
You are capable and you are worthy. Your greater calling in life can only be found through testing yourself. Life is not a race and there is no finish line. Be kind, be gracious and be forgiving of yourself. We all make mistakes, it is how you grow from them that really matters.
Your favourite motto that always inspires you?
There are so many…. I’ve always liked “Get on with it” 🙂
TRAILER FOR M.O.M (Misunderstandings Of Miscarriage)