Home is Sacred: Meet Tahlia Pretty

“My sacred is being home and nourishing my internal world which creates my outer experience in every way.”

Tahlia is a mind and body trainer and mindfulness mentor on a mission to inspire women to fall in love with being themselves. She is an award winning personal trainer who saw too many women lacking confidence. With a passion for seeing people thrive, Tahlia created Soul Shine Retreats and Workshops - sacred spaces where women can embody their best self, then step into their lives renewed and ready to pursue their dreams.

Cacao has been a huge part of Tahlia’s journey and we’re so excited to share her story!

Before creating the sacred space Soul Shine, where women are empowered to realise their dreams, Tahlia served her community as an award winning personal trainer. Whilst working closely with women in the context of self-improvement, Tahlia recognised there were deep, unresolved issues within the feminine psyche she knew she had to address.

“Everyday I heard women saying they didn’t like their bodies.” Tahlia explains. “All I began to see was that women needed to love themselves. It created the idea within me, this passion to give more and to educate more around learning to trust our body and inner process.

“I didn't want to just help as a trainer. Clients were coming to me for confidence and clarity. The work we did was like giving them permission to enjoy life more. From that place they started to get the results their hearts wanted.”

Tahlia’s passion comes from never wanting anyone to feel the way she did, during a long period of depression at an early age. 

“I felt so alone. I felt so lost.” She remembers. “I was so in my head. That’s one of the reasons why I love cacao, it brings me into the present where I recognise everything I see is a reflection of the inside.

Cacao became part of Tahlia’s life on retreat five years ago.

“I was just amazed.” Tahlia laughs. “I remember feeling, ‘What is this medicine? How has it just cracked my heart open?’ Ever since that moment, I have been obsessed with the magic of cacao and what it can bring, particularly in opening the lower three chakras.”

I ask Tahlia how she works with cacao to balance the energy in the chakras.

“Journaling, definitely. Meditation and high frequency sound vibration.” Tahlia replies. “I love bringing all that into it. So many of us are blocked in these areas from trauma and generational patterns. Cacao helps us shift that energy, bringing love and acceptance to them and it gets us into our body.

“When we feel safe in our body, we feel safe to feel our passion.”

Long before Tahlia discovered the medicine of cacao, she walked the path of mindfulness for her own wellbeing.

“The turning point for me on my health and wellness journey was being diagnosed with depression at 16.” Tahlia tells us. “My dad held space for me. He told me, ‘You're not just going to pop a pill to feel better. You're going to collect the tools.’

“I'm so grateful for that moment.” She expresses. “I wanted the antidepressants. I wanted out, it was so painful. But my dad sent me to yoga. I committed to the practice three times a week and fell in love with it.”

Years on, Tahlia began to share her lifetime of lessons at Soul Shine Workshops which later expanded into retreats.

“Soul Shine workshops were three hours of meditation, mindfulness and women connecting about real problems, around depression, anxiety, relationships, our bodies. The community just grew and grew and it created a need for retreats.

“I've had the beautiful blessing of being guided by about five different energy healers in my life, who have supported me and taught me and have taken me under their wing. That was so life-changing for me from the age of 18. While my friends were partying, I was looking for excuses to not do that, which was my soul's rhythm and took me on this path.”

Retreats are amazing spaces for transformation and healing. Ever since she discovered its magic, Tahlia has been bringing Sacred Cacao to every Soul Shine Retreat.

“Tapping into passion and purpose resonates so deeply with what I do at Soul Shine Retreats.” She explains. “When people come on retreat, they feel lost. They’re grateful for everything in their life that is good, but there’s something missing. They’re asking, ‘Why don’t I feel okay?’

“They come on retreat for three days and they leave a whole new person. They have a vision for their life. Cacao is another beautiful tool to add to the toolkit, to tap into that heart energy every day. It helps us let go of the illusion of ‘I can’t do that, I’m not good enough.’ The confidence and clarity that shines through our dreams and flows through from cacao is phenomenal.”

As a personal trainer, Tahlia has witnessed so many people battle with their bodies and struggle with choosing foods that will nourish them inside and out.

“Chocolate is something our bodies crave.” Tahlia explains. “There's so many women who exercise, crave chocolate, grab Cadbury, then feel so guilty. There's nothing good in that kind of chocolate, it’s full of sugar. 

“When I met Cacao I fell in love. I finally felt I had full permission to indulge. I can let my body enjoy it and not feel guilty at all. That was a massive mental shift.”

Tahlia shares the medicine of cacao on retreats, where a lot of women are struggling with their relationship with food. 

“Bringing it in, explaining how it’s full of antioxidants and nutrients our bodies need, is such a gift.” Tahlia expresses. “Then we experience how expansive it feels, resonating with the body at a high frequency. It’s such a permission slip for people to transform that relationship mentally and physically.”

The sacral chakra, our centre of pleasure, creativity and flow, can be activated by cacao when combined with deep inner work and embodiment practices.

“On retreat, dance is a really big part of how we work with the cacao.” Tahlia says. “The movement through the body, as we encourage a nurturing aspect, shifts the hustle mentality into a softer, more receptive relationship with ourselves.”

I ask Tahlia a big question. What is the difference between the ego and our higher self? How do we discern which one’s doing the talking?

“I get asked that so often!” Tahlia laughs. “I call it the voice of love or the voice of fear. It takes away those two identities which can get confusing with all the skewed information out there around whether the ego is healthy or not healthy. I think a big practice is giving ourselves compassion for anything we did that was ego driven. We can say, ‘Actually, that's okay, because it taught me what didn't feel good.’

“I feel like if we follow the voice of love, then we are in for a really good time.” Tahlia adds. “Especially if we follow the feeling of love with a feeling that feels scary, yet exciting. That’s where growth happens.”

Tahlia is in an ever-evolving process of uncovering and discovering more parts of herself, and ultimately the world, to pour love into. She listens intimately to her heart and takes each step in total alignment with higher wisdom.

“My whole process has been asking, ‘What is my soul yearning for?’” Tahlia tells us. “I have felt like I don’t belong but now I see it all as a map of the soul, a surrender experiment, following the vision for the highest self and bringing her into a reality that feels sometimes unsafe to be seen in. The ultimate feeling of success to me is when I've overcome a challenge. If we jump a fear hurdle, we're going to be accelerated into more love. To receive more love is the real match of life.”

We go deeper into the process of how to sit with the discomfort of transformation.

“To be able to move forward, old parts need to die away which can be uncomfortable. We are constantly evolving, learning every day and letting old parts of us go and die away to create new seeds to bloom. We water them and watch them grow and it’s really beautiful to witness that.

“The truth of our medicine is to let our soul shine.”

We talk about meeting changes and challenges with an open heart.

“My consistent journey is welcoming and feeling safe in change.” Tahlia tells us. “My husband and I are learning to see every challenge in our life as an opportunity. The practice is opening the heart to opportunity, rather closing it off to the challenge. Cacao has been an amazing part of that process. 

“Change feels scary and vulnerable. But it is an opportunity for growth, love, pleasure and flow. Lean into the change.”

Sometimes things get weird before they get wonderful.

“Sometimes the universe sees we’re calling in a big manifestation, so it shows us where we need to let go. It's such a cool pattern yet it sucks, it's painful.” Tahlia admits. “And if someone doesn't have support to keep them accountable to grow, they keep running the same program of fear, rather than seeing the opportunity. The new pattern is, ‘This doesn’t feel good anymore, let's do something different.’

“Then we collect a new habit or ritual to replace the old. A cup of loving cacao, sound, yoga, meditation, writing, things like that.”

It takes practice, but the freedom to be our best selves is so worth it. Tahlia’s work is in helping women let go of generational trauma and conditioning that stands in the way of self-realisation. 

“So many women feel like they have to do and be everything.” Tahlia explains. “There’s so much guilt because we feel like we can never do enough. It goes back so far, we can hardly comprehend where all this guilt comes from or how it’s affecting us everyday.

“To release guilt, we have to pause and think, ‘Maybe this guilt isn’t me. Maybe it's a past version of me that I'm here to change.’” Tahlia continues. “If it's a low frequency that doesn't feel good, that's enough of an indicator for us to let it go. 

“A lot of my personal challenges have been healing generational trauma. My mum is Ukrainian, so with everything going on in Ukraine right now, it's really big for our family. I have a huge amount of gratitude and appreciation for the migration, and the sacrifices that my grandmother made for her and her seven kids to have a better life. 

“But it took me a long while to be able to receive pleasure, when life was just a hustle for my family. It feels really strange to call this in, but my intention this year is radically choosing my health in every area because I know that creates more energy for everyone and everything around me.” Tahlia tells us. “I've never done it this way before, it’s already letting epic changes shine through. You don't have to be everything for everyone and you don't have to be the yes man. If you get really clear with your intentions, the right opportunities will come in and you will know if it's the right thing. Wait for the full body ‘Yes!’”

To feel empowered, we need to nurture a pure connection to our inner guidance. I ask Tahlia how we cultivate and practice this.

“On retreat I guide a journaling process that gets everyone to work in alignment with their higher self. The higher self is the person that they love to be, who has no judgement and has no fear. 

“Journaling in response to prompts helps us let go of the monkey mind and trust the first voice, and not to over-analyse. If we trust that first voice, and have a clear intention on the manifestation we're working towards, we reach that goal really quickly. There's no fear. It's a higher self channelling.

“That voice will provide the answers.” Tahlia explains, adding. “Sometimes it seems too good to be true. But the results I get with clients on retreat and in my goal accelerator program are amazing. When they attune to this highest voice, they are on a rocket ship, absolutely flying, the dreams and goals they set, often they're achieving within the first month.”

The magic that Tahlia offers is a safe space for women to be seen and feel for themselves who they truly are, beneath the layers we sometimes wear for the world.

“It’s a space to feel safe to be all that you are. Then the real goal is to let her be the same out of that space. To keep practising, bringing more of the magic from that container, to let that part of ourselves shine around our partner and our friends. 

“Cacao is an anchor to the frequency of love. If we feel good within ourselves, and we are overflowing with love, we've got enough power to stay in our sovereignty and know who we are in any situation.”

Tahlia describes the moment she first tasted Sacred Cacao.

“When I tried Sacred I really felt it in my body.” She tells us. “I felt the difference. I've tried a lot of cacao but there’s something about the ethos of Sacred that really resonates with me. I particularly enjoy the flavour Love, it hits my heartstrings massively. The frequency of Love blended with Ceremony is so good.”

We agree!

“I feel like I’m feeding love into the root of my whole being. I have this vision, that if we're landing goals and dreams they're dropping in through the crown chakra, channelling from our highest self through the body. If we can ground that goal through the whole body into the earth, we are really going to be strong in our roots when challenges happen.

“I think cacao is such a beautiful vessel to remind ourselves of that connection.”

I ask Tahlia one final question. What is sacred?

“My sacred is being home within myself.” She answers. “Being at the very root of everything. If I feel safe in my womb space, I feel safe to birth creations of all kinds. 

“My intention this year is finding flow and being really process orientated, rather than results orientated. If we're focussed on enjoying the process, not fearing, we actually have so much more energy to give rather than getting stuck in the worry of how or when it’s all going to work out. Everything works out when we're in flow, and we're enjoying ourselves and opening our hearts more and being vulnerable.

“My sacred is being home and nourishing my internal world which creates my outer experience in every way.”

Thank you for sharing your sacred journey with us Tahlia! We are amazed by you and the work you do, shining your light and reminding others of the beauty within themselves.

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Interview and article by Laura Roberts
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