On Life: What’s your story? (in about 250 words)
(Who are you? Where did you grow up? What was life like for you growing up? What where some of your hopes and dreams? What challenges did you have face growing up?)
Background: I, Tameka A. Walker is a native of Virginia and currently reside in New Albany, Ohio. I retired as a Captain in the Army Nurse Corps and served in the military for over 20 years. As an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist, I have the privilege to mentor and educate hundreds of people on attaining and maintaining their personal wellness goals.
I am currently the founder and owner of Enhanced Wellness Massage and Holistic Services, LLC. My purpose and passion are to facilitate health and wellness holistically. I operationally define holistic as in the aim to manage and bring harmony to the mind, body and spirit with the use of natural modalities, such as counseling, massage therapy, meditation, acupressure, reflexology, aromatherapy and so much more. The aim is to empower every person through their journey of optimal well-being. I have learned, through my own personal experiences, that it’s not just about the physical aspect of wellness, but wellness balanced holistically.
Life for me was average, with some growing pains of course. I am the oldest of three and was very responsible at a young age in trying to look after everything while my single mother worked numerous hours as a Norfolk Police Officer. I did, however, place a lot of pressure on myself and battle self-esteem issues. Exteriorly I was very brave, sweet, outgoing and wanted to always be available for as many people as I could. Internally, I battled feelings like, “am I good enough, pretty enough, and smart enough”. At the same time, I felt a deep purpose to heal and service people. I also battled the feelings of abandonment after my father and mother divorced. It seemed like everything fell apart.
My hopes and dreams growing up was to work within the healthcare field, helping people to get well. After enlisting in the US military at age 18 years, right out of high school, I met so many people from all walks of life and cultures. Meeting different people allowed me to broaden my view of the world. I realized that people needed healing on a much deeper level and on so many levels. The journey has and will always be to first heal and maintain my own well-being. As I continued my own personal healing and transformation, I feel like my experiences and wisdom can be shared to help heal people on a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level; again, healing holistically.
On Success: What is your biggest accomplishment to date? My biggest accomplishment to date is successfully retiring honorably from the U.S. Army after over 20 years of service and starting my business, Enhanced Wellness Massage & Holistic Services, LLC.
On Leadership: Give advice to your younger self… (What do you think is the most significant barrier that is hinders girls from fulfilling their greatest potential and what advice would you give girls trying to get to find their voice?)
The advice that I would give my younger self is to “be perfect in your imperfection”. We have all heard the cliché, “no one is perfect”, yet we spend endless energy not forgiving ourselves for one thing or another. We strive to always be “ON” and get burnt out in the process of trying to fulfill every deadline and making everyone happy around us, while along neglecting ourselves in many aspects. Set goals, but don’t be so rigid accomplish them. At times we get hung up on timing and bang our heads because things don’t happen according to the process we outlined in our heads. We must realize that there is “our timing” and then there is “divine timing”. It could be that there are resources and people that would contribute to our process, if only we’d be patient and wait to be aligned.
Creating balance should be a hallmark in our lives; whether it be professionally or personally. Invest time in grounding and centering with meditation and prayer. Meditation is giving yourself the time to be aligned with your higher power. When this becomes a practice, we can face and overcome challenges with more patience and have accuracy in our decisions. It goes back to caring for one’s self, holistically and striving to be the best version of ourselves.
What motivates you daily?
Daily I start with meditation and prayer, and a heart of gratitude. This practice sets the intentions for my day. We can point out many things that may not be going according to our plan; however, there are just as many things to be thankful for. I aim to be the best version of myself every day. Being available to give someone an encouraging word or put a smile on their face, truly goes a long way for me. Everything else is an ebb and flow.
What is a lie society telling young girls? How can girls fight against this?
A major lie society tells young girls, is that you always must be thin and look like a supermodel. This of course dims the light of a young girl’s self-esteem. Current day, beauty is largely defined by what is seen in the movies and in magazines; a picture-perfect body, but as we all know, it is all a façade.
We can fight against this lie, by continuously being the example of what true beauty ism LOVE! Parents play a major role in how young girls look at themselves. Parents should always be the positive influence and dispel the myths that society portrays. Young ladies trust their parents, so teaching them at an early age, what true beauty and worth is it will resonate with them readily who they are at the core. When we teach them that true beauty lies within, knowing yourself, and having a great spirit, then they will not be defined by what the world has showed them.
On Being ‘Unstoppable’: What does be “unstoppable” mean to you?
Unstoppable to me is measuring up to the standard you set for yourself. Learn and know who you are first, so that no one or nothing else defines you. Setting intentions to be unabated in your dreams and aspirations, but don’t be so rigid in the journey. Your higher being is always orchestrating what is best for you. Be patient with yourself during times where you are expanding and growing. Remember, diamonds are made under pressure! Understanding that the only standard you should measure against, is within YOU. Dare to be different!