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Inspiring Conversations with Tara Eddy of Feelings in Motion

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tara Eddy.

Hi Tara, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the human condition and how we build the internal strength to overcome challenges. I believe I officially declared I wanted to be a psychologist when I was 12. Life is more full of curved lines than straight ones, but this early interest eventually led me to my day job as an educational psychologist with a private practice in Sherman Oaks. Today, I have supported hundreds of kids, teens, and young adults through therapy, evaluation, and coaching. I believe that when we build comfort with ourselves, our emotions, our stories – we can do almost anything that we care about deeply. We are often our own enemies, and my daily work helps children and young adults to combat that. It has been a long road to where I am now. I explored variations on my current career path, studied a great deal, worked for free, had many long nights, pushed myself, and took risks. Much of my early years in this career were spent in the school district, which I loved and inevitably had to leave to pursue some of the larger goals I had in mind.

When I finally did and committed to making room in my life, I was able to complete a dear to my heart project and my second company, Feelings in Motion, was born. Feelings in Motion produces movement-based educational games focusing on the skills that underly confidence and resilience. For a somewhat comparable visual – think Twister or Life-Sized Chess meets social emotional learning. Feelings in Motion is now my night job once my 3 ½ years old and 9-month-old are asleep. The idea behind Feelings in Motion arose a long time ago, as a school psychologist, when I saw firsthand how movement and hands-on experience supported kids learning and development. I took careful note of the positive impact on those who learn in non-traditional ways. While I was not a non-traditional learner myself, I was a non-traditional kid and have always wanted my work to honor those kids feeling more supported and more seen. This is the work of Feelings in Motion. Stomp It Out, our first product was recently released on Amazon. The launch took place during the pandemic, a few months after the birth of my son.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Anything worthwhile has its challenges and most of the achievements in my life have echoed this. I dreamed of having my own practice for some time but leaving the stability of a full-time job felt like a risky move. Around the same time, I had been told that my odds of having a baby were low and was entering fertility treatment, so financial stability felt even more important. I started fertility treatment and after some difficulties and a very early miscarriage, I got pregnant with my daughter. With the news of her arrival and my husband’s support, I decided to bank on my own ability to manage whatever was ahead. Building my practice was rewarding and engaging and certainly one of the best decisions I’ve made. I worked “nights” on Stomp It Out for ages, collaborating with psychologists to test the game and gather feedback, working with the artist, Jerry Montoya, the graphic artist, Seth Ylitalo-Ward, and my production team at The Purple Cow.

Finally, a few YEARS later, it was ready. At the same moment, the pandemic hit. I was eight months pregnant and suddenly everything was on pause. I needed to mentally prepare to deliver my son and focus on my 3-year-old daughter. After watching first-hand what kids were going through, I added COVID related situations to Stomp It Out to help kids manage some of the change and loss of this time. After I had adjusted to our family of four and started getting a little sleep again, Stomp It Out was released in November of 2020. So, there were certainly struggles, but I am grateful for them. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have my own practice and to see the growth of Stomp It Out from an idea to a product used by schools, therapists, and parents across the country. I’m grateful to have believed in my own ability to create and to have seen this multi-year project through to its completion despite the challenges.

We’ve been impressed with Feelings in Motion, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What is unique about Feelings in Motion is that the educational games we create tap into and address the multiple ways children learn. The games use multi-sensory experiences (visual, auditory and movement) to help kids build the skills that they need to be successful. These are not traditional board games. Instead of sitting at a table, kids are dancing, hopping, jumping, skipping, crab walking or doing what their creative brains decide. The movement allows kids to share more willingly and learn more readily. Feelings in Motion is focused on inclusion – on supporting all learners. The skills taught through our products are life skills – skills that all kids need. If you’re visual, check out the video on my website to see Stomp It Out in action!

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I wouldn’t say I’m a pro-networker, but anyone who knows me personally knows that I am an authentic relationship builder. I care deeply about what I do and the people I do it for. When I build relationships at work, I bring into my circle people that I trust, respect and enjoy. It’s important to leverage your strengths in this arena. For instance, I am a bit better one-on-one than in a group unless I’m doing some sort of speaking engagement, which I love. Given that, when I’m meeting someone new, I meet on those terms when I can. I set up coffee, lunches or calls. I reconnect when I’m thinking of someone instead of letting the thought pass by. As for finding a mentor, that isn’t always easy, and I have also struggled with this at times, but here is what I know. If along your career path you find someone or multiple people that you respect and admire in some way, always make regular efforts to connect and collaborate. There is so much to learn from one another and you never know what may come from that relationship in the future. I have been reminded of this over and over in my life.

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