The Uplifters
The Uplifters
What Happens When an Uplifter Takes Care of Herself First

What Happens When an Uplifter Takes Care of Herself First

With Tamecka Murray

This Week on The Uplifters

“Everybody says you gotta fill up your cup so that you can pour into others. I decided this year I'm gonna fill the cup, I'm gonna drink from it, and then whatever spills over is what I will give to others. Instead of just giving to everyone else and saving the leftovers for me, this time I'm taking the cup for myself. I still wanna give, but I get to go first this time.”

When Tamecka Murray was 15 years old she had her first child. She has been taking care of other people every minute since.  When her youngest child turned 21 and the pandemic hit, she realized that she needed to know what it felt like to just take care of herself.  So, she left a happy home and loving relationship with her fiance and got her own apartment.  

From the moment she decided to leave, she made every decision with careful attention to her needs. She improved her credit, to give herself the financial freedom she needed first. She thought about what she’d do if she were free to live every day exactly as she wanted, and chose a home that was ideally suited to support her vision. She poured love into her body, mind, and spirit, just like she had for everyone else. 

“I walked in here with absolutely nothing. It was like, okay, I'm gonna be eating Oodles of noodles for a year. Almost three years later, this was one of the best gifts that I have given myself as an adult, I wouldn't change anything about it. Even the moments of being scared. But I allowed myself to feel each emotion. I processed the emotion when it came up, It was just me deciding to pour into myself because it was a desire that I had to just take care of Tamecka, not Tamecka and her three children, not Tamecka and her partner. It was a decision about Tamecka and Tamecka alone.”

Fueled by her newfound energy and the loss of a dear friend, Tamecka has started an events company called I am My Sista that brings women and girls together for transformative experiences.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • [00:9:00] How to be your best companion.

  • [00:10:00] How to find energy and motivation by celebrating life’s little wins and milestones - and how your words impact your perception of success.

  • [00:22:00] How to fill up your cup so you can pour into others.

  • [00:30:00] How to be a truly accepting friend.

Learn more about Tamecka on Instagram at IAmMySista_llc. 

Messy Transcript

Aransas: Welcome to the Uplifters Podcast. I'm your host, Aransas Sava, and today I'm joined by my friend Tamecka Murray. Tamecka [00:01:00] is the founder of I Am my sister. She also happens to be, I. One of my friendship role models. Watching the way she shows up and shows love for those in her circle inspires me constantly.

Tamecka, I'm so grateful that you joined me here. 

Temecka: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the invite. I'm excited to be here. You have been my inspiration, so for us to be inspiring each other it just means so much.

Aransas: I've gotten to watch the impact you've had on a lot of rooms, and I don't know how much you sense this because it's your life and your perspective, and it can be difficult to see the impact we make, but without even speaking, I have watched you bring [00:02:00] sunlight into gray rooms and there is just something about your pure Tamecka-ness that makes everything feel lighter and brighter. I know you've had a wild last three years. When did, and I'm gonna label this, the grand evolution, but what do you call it and when did it begin? 

Temecka: It started when the pandemic started.

Mm-hmm. It was when the world shut down and I was always into like just getting to know me. It just, I guess a brief history is I was, I was a teen mom, so I was a mom at 15. So my, I grew up raising my kids like, so they labeled it as a child, having a child. [00:03:00] So, and when the pandemic hit my son, he was turning 21.

So it was like, yes, I can finally like, just take care of me. Right. That doesn't mean that my kids go away, but it just means that now they're adults and now I get to finally give myself the attention that I needed. 

Aransas: Yeah. And that that was such a solitary focus for you for so many years. When you started to look at your life, what did you see?

Temecka: Now I see it's freedom, right? It's freedom to just. I get to just be, I get to just show up and the only person at this point of my life that I have to take care of and make sure is okay is me. Like I check for my children and everything. But for the first time it [00:04:00] was, how does Tamecka feel? I didn't have to go through a list of people in order to get to Tamecka.

Mm-hmm. So that's what actually, and you know, and I, and making a decision at the end of 2020 to move into my own apartment. It was scary, but it was also big because, and you'd been 

Aransas: living with a 

Temecka: partner, right? I was living with my fiance and I'm like, I need my, I need my own space. Not that because there was something wrong with us, but it was because at that moment, like I've always wanted to know what it felt like to just take care of me.

While I was living with him, he's an awesome provider. He, you know, he made sure everything was taken care of, but I'm like, what would it look like if I just took care of me and didn't have to lean on a comfort zone because I felt like he was the [00:05:00] security blanket. But for the first time, I just wanted to just take care of me.

And so I applied for the apartment that I'm in now. And I believe in the law of attraction, so I put it out there that this is what I wanted and I wanted to get my own apartment, and within two weeks I was getting my keys and got approved for the apartment. So, you know, whereas for him, he kind of looked at it like, I probably was planning it forever because who really gets an apartment within two weeks.

But one of the other ways that I was taking care of myself is I was also making sure like my credit was good, right? Like, so everything was pretty much aligned in me taking care of myself where, you know, Prior to my credit was not something that I wanted to be proud of, but I did all of the work that I needed to do to make sure, like [00:06:00] when I was ready and I needed to do something, that my credit was gonna be fine.

So that was kind of like my first step of caring for myself while I was actually living with him. But I knew that there was gonna be a bigger picture in the care for myself. And it just aligned it where, because I did all of the work that I needed to do on fixing my credit, it allowed me the opportunity to be able to come apply for an apartment and not have to just take any apartment, but be intentional about where I wanted to live.

And so I live in between two parks, so I knew that this is where I wanted to live. So I'm like, okay. And like I said, and the next day she called me and she was like, oh, you got approved. So on New Year's day of 2021, I actually brought the new year in in my apartment and I was intentional. Also, that day is [00:07:00] I wanted to bring the I, I usually bring the new year in with family.

And that's my mom's birthday, Maisy rest in peace. So it was a tradition that we always celebrated New Year's together, but that New Year's Eve, I wanted to bring it in by myself. And not because I was lonely, but, but because I was actually full. I claimed what I wanted and I received it. So I had my mom's picture with me.

I had my mom's U with me. I had a candle. I ain't have nothing else in here but me, my mom and the candle. And that's how I bought, that's how I bought the new year in. And every day since I've been here, I've decided that one, my household was always going to be a place of peace. And not that I don't go through anything, but when I do, I'm intentional about getting up and going [00:08:00] for a walk.

Because I wanna make sure that my household stays 

Aransas: peaceful. What a radical idea that is to take the drama outside and not let it live with you. There's something else I hear in what you're saying, which sounds like being enough for yourself, which is maybe an even more radical idea for most women. What is it like to really be with your own company?

Temecka: I love it. I love it. Most of the time I'm, when I'm here, because I have big windows, I'm in here and I can be in my apartment. With the TV off. I do like listening to music, but there's times that I don't even turn the music on. When I come home, I shower and I can just lay in here still, like just relaxing in complete silence [00:09:00] because of just the way that I care for myself.

And it took work to get, get here where just being able to sit in silence and not have your, you know, your mind wandering. I consider myself sometimes like an overthinker. I can sit in here and I can be silent and be okay and not have my mind racing all over, but it took, it took some time to get here, but I'm happy that I arrived.

What was that work like? I did a few. I did a self-development workshop, so I invested in myself. I have a therapist, not only if something is bad or something went wrong, do I invest in myself. I also invest in myself when things are good. Because sometimes it's like, you know, we, I, you can get caught up with just saying, you know what?

I'm gonna do this work when I'm going through something. When you know, the anxiety attacks come right. All of those things take place. But [00:10:00] when I knew that this is what I wanted, I was like, what would it look like for me to also do the work when I am in my happy place, to where the work continues versus it just only showing up when.

I'm not having a good day or a good moment. 

Aransas: I think it's something that's really hard for a lot of women, but you and I have been in each other's lives for a lot of years, so I've gotten to witness how you are, and I see you more in social media now than in person. And one of the things that really jumps out to me is that you are more celebratory than most people.

You strike me as somebody who is constantly looking for. The winds and the beauty and the remarkable, even in the ordinary, you see it for its extraordinariness, and that to me is such a powerful strength of yours [00:11:00] to be able to name and identify and then shout joy for those little things that feel really big when you honor them.

Temecka: Being able to celebrate the small things with the community and the ladies that are in different groups that I'm a part of. And you know, I've been a consultant with the budget needs running her dream catcher groups as her national dream catcher leader. One of the things that I encourage with the ladies that.

I interact with on a monthly basis is to celebrate. 'cause we are so hard, especially as women because we are taught we gotta show up. Mm-hmm. Right? Like when everybody else is sick, we gotta take care of everybody else. But when we are sick, we still gotta show up. Mm-hmm. Right. And you know, it's exhausting and we so hard on ourselves.

I went for a walk today and I did an hour. Instead of saying, oh, I only did an hour. [00:12:00] Just change the way, take the only out of it. Mm-hmm. And celebrate that. You just, you did an hour period. Mm-hmm. The only doesn't need to be there because then it's like, did the walk mean anything? Right. So it's the language that I'm mindful.

Right. Did it 

Aransas: mean anything if we're calling it only. 

Temecka: Yes, it does mean something, right? And so leading the ladies through a debt elimination challenge and someone may have been able to pay off one of their credit cards, right? And it's like, celebrate that, right? Don't sit there and you know and downplay it, right?

It's an accomplishment. Getting to the next step of your financial journey. So just in everyday life, I was excited today 'cause I cooked dinner. I haven't cooked dinner and like today I was like, wow, I cooked dinner. I'm excited. It's something that I haven't done in a minute and I'm like, look at me [00:13:00] today.

I stayed home on purpose because of personal situation. I wasn't okay to go to work, and I made the decision when I got up this morning and I'm like, no, I'm gonna take time for myself and not force myself to just be. I wasn't Okay. 

Aransas: There is some woman listening to this right now who is thinking to herself.

It never would've occurred to me to take care of me in that moment because so many of us are so accountable to our commitments that we forget that the person who most needs our accountability and commitment is ourselves. I. 

Temecka: And it's like just looking in the mirror and saying, what do I need? Mm-hmm. And one of the questions that I asked, and I had to ask myself this last night, what does support look like to you right now?

Mm-hmm. What do you need? Mm-hmm. And I needed a moment. I needed to be able to get myself together. I pretty much sat in here most of the [00:14:00] day in silence because I just needed to process what it was, but I gave myself permission to do so. And not beating myself up, like, oh my gosh, you gotta go to work. Or you know, you should be doing this.

And it was like, no, 

Aransas: if you don't go, you're gonna get fired. If you don't go, you're not gonna get promoted. If you don't go, you're not gonna be valuable. If you don't go, other people's feelings are gonna be hurt or they're gonna have to work. Right? There's so many things we can pile onto ourselves that turn up as guilt and shame and so then we don't take care of ourselves.

And I wanna just point out something in your question. You said what, what kind of support do I need? What does it look like for me? Because we do get super generic about our ideas and our expectations of these things, right? Like it's like this is what support looks like. And it'd be easy for me to say, ah, worked for Tamecka, it's gonna work for me.

But that's not right. It's about honoring what's true for 

Temecka: us. We can't say we need support if we first don't know what support looks like to [00:15:00] ourselves. No. And my sister circle is the same thing where I ask the ladies all the time, how do you need us to support you? We are sister friends and we are here for each other, but each day, maybe each hour might be something different that you need from us.

So in order for me to really support you, I need, you need to first identify what the support look like to you first in order for you to be able to filter it down to anybody else, right? If you was to call me and say, well, Tamecka, what did you need? What do you need? But if I don't know, because I never even asked myself the question.

Then how do I tell you what I need support on? And then I can't be mad if you're not supporting me in the way that I need, 

Aransas: right? Because it's human nature to assume that other people need what we need, and to try to get it in and be really confused when it's not what they need. And so I describe you as being this masterful friend, and I think that's a [00:16:00] part of it because you are aware that everyone has different needs and you take that to a different level by asking people what those are.

And the beauty of that is, You know better how to show up for them. There's less frustration and friction in the relationship because you were being meaningful and intentional in that relationship. And what a beautiful act of love to trigger that self-reflection in others, because I feel like every time we ask a question like that, what kind of support do you need?

The response starts with, oh, good question. And to me, good question is really people saying, Oh, I hadn't thought of that, and I really wanna know the answer myself, 

Temecka: right? And it gives you an opportunity not to feel like you're forced to answer the question now, because you can pause and say, can I get back to you?

If I don't know the answer, why give a generic answer. Because then [00:17:00] when the support comes and that's not the support you need, you are not gonna use it anyway. So it's like pause. If you don't know the answer, it's okay. Give yourself permission to say, you know what, can I get back to you because I don't know.

And it's just honoring that I don't know what I need right now, but I can get back to you. 

Aransas: Yep. It started the conversation and most of the time it's not. About finding all the answers, it's about asking the questions and opening ourselves to the answers. You talk about the law of attraction for people who aren't familiar with that idea.

What do you mean by it? 

Temecka: It's when you speak something, you just, you put it out there and the universe is gonna answer in some kind of way. And just one of the things that I'm mindful of now, 'cause sometimes I'm like, I asked for something and I sometimes I'm not ready. And I'm like, oh wait, so that [00:18:00] happened really fast.

I wasn't expecting that. Right? Like, you know, we're getting my apartment and when I started looking for apartments, this build, the, the where I'm living at came up and I'm like, Really. And then I got the call the very next day. So they say when you ask for something, you gotta be ready. Mm-hmm. Because you never know when it's coming.

It could be scary sometimes. I'm not saying it's not, because I was like, oh wait, I don't know if I really was ready. And I almost talked myself out of it and I was like, you know what? This is what you asked for. You Ha, you got it. 

Aransas: You're so brave to say yes. It had to be kind of scary. To go out on your 

Temecka: own.

I walked in here with absolutely nothing. So all of it was scary. It was like, okay, you know, what am I going to eat right? Like, I'm gonna be eating oodles and noodles [00:19:00] for like a year or something, and how long is it gonna take me to get a, you know, a bed? Like, so I was o that's when the overthinking started coming in, but it really came together really nicely.

And the support that I received was unmatched and just the way that I show up for people, my family and friends, they showed up for me. 

Aransas: I feel like there is somewhere in the world at this very second, some woman in the middle of folding a giant pile of laundry who was just stopped in her tracks and just dropped all that laundry on the floor with the realization

She could take care of herself and that she could be free and she could start over. So if you were talking to that woman right now, what would you say to her, Tamecka? 

Temecka: I would say trust yourself. Trust yourself, and [00:20:00] know that it's possible. It works out. As long as you do the work and you stay true to what it is that you wanna do, it's gonna happen.

And almost three years later, and this was one of the best gifts that I have given myself as an adult, I wouldn't change anything about it. Even the moments of being scared. But I allowed myself to feel each emotion. I processed the emotion when it came up, and again, it's not because the relationship was broken, it was actually just me deciding to pour into myself because it was a desire that I had.

To just take care of Tamecka, not Tamecka and her three children, not Tamecka and her partner. It was more the, the [00:21:00] decision was about Tamecka and Tamecka alone. 

Aransas: What an empowering and liberating decision. And when we talk about. Uplifters creating space to nurture and nourish their own dreams and their own goals.

So often it's, I wanna start a business, or I wanna write a book, or I want to travel the world. And yet I think too, there is this urge in so many women to just get intimately familiar with themselves, to have the freedom to just do things the way they wanna after a life of serving others. And certainly, You have not slowed down and loving on and caring for other people.

It's just that you've really added yourself to this mix in a consistent and prioritized 

Temecka: way. Everybody says you gotta fill up your [00:22:00] cup so that you can pour into others. And so I decided this year I'm gonna fill the cup, but this year I'm gonna drink from the cup. And then whatever spills over is what I would give to others.

So instead of just taking the whole cup right, and giving it to everyone else and just leaving everything else that was over for me. This time I'm taking the cup for me. And then I still wanna pour into other people. I still wanna give because I just love, you know, acts of service, but, I'm like, I get to go first this time.


Aransas: what have you noticed about your cup as a result? 

Temecka: It's fuller. Hmm. It's fuller and, and I still pour, but even when I'm pouring and I'm pouring into other people, I still first check in with Tamecka. [00:23:00] If it's something I, I don't make plans and to try to break them. But if I'm not okay at that moment, then even if I'm still going to show up, I still will take time out for myself and then still show up.

But before I used to show up and not be okay and then take care of Tamecka. So now it's the reverse where I take care of me first and then I show up. Yeah, 

Aransas: because when you wait, it's almost like the cup is almost broken by that point. So you have to like get a new cup. It's just a lot more work. 

Temecka: Like you gotta try to put crazy glue on it.

Like you gotta put all the pieces together and I'm like, I don't wanna operate that way anymore. And you know, and I love service, I love community, but I'm like, it's not serving me if I'm giving more to everyone else. Then I'm giving to myself. Let's 

Aransas: put that on a T-shirt. [00:24:00] So Tamecka, let's talk about, I am my sister.

How did that come to be? 

Temecka: A friend of mine passed away from having a stroke, and our last encounter was at the hospital when I was holding her hand. I said, you know, you're my sister, and she couldn't talk, but she wiggled her toes and then she passed away. What 

Aransas: does it mean to be my 

Temecka: sister? I am my sisters where I am taking care of me, but I'm also taking care of my sisters.

When I say I am my sister and I'm referencing other women, I'm also speaking to myself. Because I am also my sister. It was important for me to have the My in there because it included me. I curate different events for women to get together. My goal is to always [00:25:00] have women show up at anything that I do is for them to leave better than what they came.


Aransas: beautiful. What are your big dreams for this? 

Temecka: My big dreams for I am my sister, is to have it be inclusive to so many women. Because one thing that I, I constantly hear is, oh, women can't get together. Right? Once. It's too many women, and I'm like, but we are the women. We get to change that narrative about women can't get together and support each other.

Like we can even be supportive to each other even if our energy doesn't align. We can still coexist and still have respect and love for each other, even if we have differences, even in the circle. I am my sister. It's just for women to get together and create adult friendships and curate just the simple things that we take for granted and [00:26:00] just make them bigger.

Aransas: What do you believe is most important to. Being an adult female friend, 

Temecka: what's important for me is when I think of like just how I show up for my friends, it's checking in, right, knowing when my friend goes silent. Because I have a lot of strong friends, right? Like we get labeled as always, the strong women, but I'm like, sometimes I don't wanna be the strong woman.

I just wanna be a woman. I randomly send my friends text messages just because, just knowing when your friend may need you or when your friend needs you to back up. It's just knowing your friends and knowing that. You get at a friendship which you put into it, and knowing that if you choose to be disconnected, then people are gonna disconnect from you.

Mm-hmm. So you can still [00:27:00] disconnect when you need to, but it's your responsibility to reconnect. 

Aransas: So you have a big birthday coming up. 

Temecka: I'm super, super excited. It's my 50th birthday. 

Aransas: What do you want for this next decade for Tamecka? 

Temecka: I'm still processing it. I'm doing a 50 day countdown to 50. You're so 

Aransas: good at marking the moments you make everything so special.

Temecka: So each day I'm just speaking about how I'm feeling. It's been emotional because. Although I moved in here and it is still my very peaceful place, like I have some suitcases that I have to unpack. I have some things that I have to get rid of. I have some tough conversations that I'm gonna have to have that I can no longer keep putting off, so that as I go into being turning 50, I'm not going with all of this baggage.

So [00:28:00] like each day something new comes up. And I'm embracing it all. I'm actually, I'm really, really excited. And what 

Aransas: kind of questions are you asking yourself? I'm 

Temecka: like, what do you want? Right? What am I pretending? What are you pretending not to know? These are so 

Aransas: great and what I hear you doing is really this, 50 days to 50 is a challenge to reflect for 50 days and to ask yourself the questions that we can miss asking.

I. Ourselves. Ourselves. It's a really beautiful and inspiring concept, and so much of who you are as a person is asking the hard questions, facing the hard answers, and then celebrating every moment of progress, every learning, every opportunity, every bit of growth. [00:29:00] And that my friend, that is a recipe for a happy life.

And that is why when you walk into a room, we all feel lighter and brighter because you have put down so much of your baggage that your light can shine, and it makes all of us feel. That same sense of sunshine on our faces. Are there any other messages you wanna make sure that Uplifters hear in your story?

Temecka: Give yourself permission to not be okay. Give yourself permission that if you need to cry, it's okay. Sometimes don't even wipe the tears away because if you don't wipe 'em away when you are okay, the tears will stop automatically. Feel the feeling. Until you are feeling better, I promise you that the tears are gonna stop automatically [00:30:00] when we start wiping away the tears.

It's, it's kind of like telling ourself to stop 

Aransas: feeling. You are so special to me and I'm so grateful for this conversation and I am so excited that we recorded it so that we can share it with all the uplifters out there. Learn more about over on our ck that's where you'll find a beautiful community of women.

Who are also uplifters sharing their truth and their wisdom with one another. You also find lots of research ideas, tools, and understanding about what it means to be an uplifter in this beautiful world. Let's keep rising higher together. Thank you for listening to the Uplifters podcast. If you're getting a boost from these episodes, Please share them with the uplifters in your life and then join us in conversation[00:31:00] 

Head over to Spotify, apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast. And like, follow and rate our show. It'll really help us connect with more uplifters and it'll ensure you never miss one of these beautiful stories.

The Uplifters
The Uplifters
This podcast is dedicated to celebrating the Uplifters.
In every episode, we share the tools and strategies Uplifters use to take care of themselves.
You'll hear the deeply personal stories of inspiring women who have worked through challenges to create big, joyful lives; how blocks and barriers became tools for success; and powerful mindset techniques you can use to live up. 💫