Monday, June 19, 2023

Getting to Know More About Tara Nylese and Mindfuness

Tara Nylese

Mindfulness in Everyday Life - A practical guide to make mindfulness work for you

Facebook: TenMinuteMindfulness

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I knew I wanted to be a scientist when I was a teen. I was fascinated by how our bodies work and even more interested in a deeper understanding of life. For example, how do we get the energy we need, and why do we behave the way we do? At the same time, I frequently thought about bigger-picture aspects of life, what makes us happy, and how we seek deeper fulfillment.

I’ve worked in various capacities as a professional scientist for over 25 years. I’ve been a senior global manager responsible for teams of scientists and laboratories around the world. This opportunity allowed me to travel and learn about many cultures, especially in the East, including India, China, Thailand, and Japan. I often took the chance to explore Eastern viewpoints and understand personal spiritual perspectives from my friends and coworkers overseas.

I remember one instance where a Japanese colleague told me they don’t like recognition because it creates unhealthy pride. Until then, I had never considered pride a negative personal characteristic. He was teaching me that we must monitor ourselves to prevent ego-motivated actions. I felt that was a very important lesson I’ve taken with me ever since. Accomplishments are just accomplishments. Don’t let them change you. Just feel confident and apply yourself to the next thing that will help others.
My formal education includes a Master of Science in Chemistry degree and experience as a senior business team member, where I gained much respect for business performance. At the same time, I’ve attained certifications in Applied Positive Psychology from UPenn, and Meditation Instruction through the American Institute of Healthcare Professionals. This combination gives me a fundamental understanding of the science behind behavior. Why does the way our brains work drive us to behave differently?

I also have been a speaker at many prestigious universities worldwide, including Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, and those in India and Asia. I’m driven by wanting to convey important learnings to other people.

What inspired you to author this book?

I am passionate about mindfulness and continually seek ways to make it more mainstream in our everyday personal and professional lives. I often say I want to bring mindfulness out of the yoga studio and into our everyday lives. I’m a long-time meditation practitioner and member of an internationally recognized community, and I attended an event with the Dali Lama about ten years ago. His teachings were so profound, simple, and true that I want to spread that sense of mental and emotional wellness we can all achieve, even if surrounded by difficulty and chaos.

Mediation practice can be hard, and I’m not so sure that it really is for everyone.


Meditation is a formal sitting practice where one spends dedicated time focusing the mind on an object, such as the breath or a phrase. Mindfulness is different. In my book, I describe “the meditation break,” which is all of the time that we’re not formally meditating. Any time, we can focus on the present moment, whether joyfully bonding with our kids or frustratingly stuck in our work commute. We can soak in the moment, keep our cool, or find inner peace in any situation. We deepen our experiences and grow when we focus on each rich moment. This present focus is mindfulness. It’s cliché, but mindfulness is “stopping to smell the roses” and deeply absorbing the beautiful richness of life when we do so.

My experience allows me to use my scientific knowledge and behavioral understanding to deliver clear insights about mindfulness to other people, especially those new to it. I use the scientific perspective to gain credibility towards meditation and mindfulness since many people still perceive it as “new-age” or “touchy-feely.” It’s not. There is ample concrete evidence showing that mindfulness benefits anyone’s daily life. I wear a suit or business casual rather than yoga pants 😊 I want everyone to know there is a place for mindfulness in our everyday personal and professional life, no matter who we are.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

The book cover is a combination of simplicity and a beachy vibe. I love the succulent plant because it's simple, clean, and pure. At the same time, it's also a plant that can survive in harsh conditions, whether in rocky soil or suffering from low water. Finding joy and happiness in life is similar; anyone can find joy, even in the face of difficulty. In some cases, you can only find joy through difficulty. The crisp green of the plant contrasts with the pure white container, and that's a reminder that we sometimes see things with too stark of an opinion. It's right, or it's wrong, it's good, or it's bad. When we let go of judgement, we can finally see the beauty of the plant without giving any special meaning or opinions to it.


The beachy vibe comes from the blue-shaded background, much like a clear open sky, which I often use to represent our clear minds during mindfulness practice. The bleached driftwood symbolizes how our bodies can weather a challenge and still come through as beautiful.

So, a lot of symbolism in the cover, clear, focused, peaceful, all of the things I want my readers to enjoy about mindfulness.

Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

This wasn't a notable factor in the writing of this book.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

I work full-time as a scientist in marketing for a large scientific company which I love. I work on a great team, and my company's culture supports wellness at work. I'm very fortunate to work from home. Nonetheless, my days are busy and filled with meetings, obligations, and deliverables, and since I have a high personal standard, I devote my day-to-day hours to my primary job. So, finding the time to stimulate creativity and commit to my passion was challenging.

One area that I aimed to improve upon was my writing skills. A great way to overcome this is by writing about something I know a lot about and am passionate about. I often worked late nights on my book, section by section. I also love my coffee times, and when the weather is nice, I would grab my laptop later in the afternoon and spend a few hours at a café working on my book. My boyfriend and family were also very supportive of my efforts, and I kept a watchful eye on keeping the right balance without letting the book add too much to tip my work-life balance into a stress zone.

It took several months, but I finally ended up with a draft that I was proud of. The next phase, review after review to ensure a quality result, was also tricky for me because I often fall into an easy-going "good enough" mindset. In this case, I felt strongly about creating the best result and being clear about helping lead others into a mindful life. Therefore, I devoted more attention to detail than I had initially anticipated. What was uncharacteristically difficult was stopping myself from making more changes! I didn't let perfection stand in the way of progress, but I was changing my book even after my professional editor edited it. Finally, once I had the printed proof, I only made minor adjustments and felt great about the result.


Tell your readers about your book.

Mindfulness in Everyday Life is an easy-to-understand book about elevating your mental and emotional well-being using the deliberate and purposeful thinking that comes from strengthening our minds. This book was created to normalize mindfulness for school teenagers, busy parents, corporate leaders, workers, and HR professionals. For example, busy parents might think they don’t have the time to add anything more to their obligations. In reality, when you find a way to gather your mind and thoughts with a few minutes in the morning, you’ll realize this time comes back to you by being more organized, calm, and intentional through the rest of your hectic day. Also, at work, we tend to think we must do it all, and multi-tasking will help us accomplish more. However, scientific studies show that our brains aren’t built for multi-tasking, and our results suffer when we juggle too much. This book teaches you small, practical, and effective ways to succeed by using clearer thinking accompanying mindfulness training.

This practical guide is written to be relatable and uses a coherent scientific approach to gain credibility. It’s not a spiritual guide about dogma but based on research and results that people will grasp. The goal is to motivate people to bring just a little more measured thinking into their routines. It’s surprising, but some people believe that angry or stressed thinking is effective. We now know through functional MRI brain scans that this kind of animalistic thinking comes from a different part of our brain and drives the fight-or-flight response. The area of our brains that differs from animals is highly developed for rational decision-making, and if we shift back to the animal brain, our logic and reasoning are discarded. Yes, this thinking will help you escape a lion if you’re being chased in the jungle, but not so effective in the board room.

Finally, at the end of each chapter is a quick ten-minute practice that is simple to do.

The reader can read this practice and incorporate it into their daily routine, or they can visit the link to the recorded version online at I believe these are the best part that facilitate a daily practice.

It is empowering to strengthen your brain through mindfulness practice. You don't need any special tools nor much time. You need to do it regularly and hold the belief that it is effective at improving your life. In a way, I suppose that's having faith in it working.

Who is your target audience, and why?

The target audience is anyone who has heard of mindfulness but isn't quite sure how to get started. Readers may be curious about what it is or how to incorporate it into their lives. They may still have old perceptions that you only do it in a yoga studio or if you're a hippie. I want people to consider mindfulness a higher form of thinking and behaving. That it is something of strength that we can all work on. Anyone who wants to create a better life for themselves should explore mindfulness.

For workplace professionals, it’s about finding that intricate zone where you can achieve impactful overall success for yourself, your teammates, and your organization while prioritizing your personal satisfaction at work. It’s about transcending emotions and ego-driven goals to look for insightful ways to achieve the greater good. That takes real skill, not the knowledge you can get from traditional education.


Consider the senior citizen demographic. They are in a significant phase in their lives and face real challenges, like losing physical capabilities. These can be very weighty or troubling feelings. Yet nobody should want to spend their day lamenting about the things they no longer can do; rather, they should be inspired to find the best in their days. With an 83-year-old mother, I see her being less confident about things that used to come easy for her. While I can understand this, I can't fully relate. But I do have the faith that strengthening her mind through focused and clear thinking will build her ability to keep doing those enjoyable social activities.

Likewise, the teenage years also have unique situations where they're testing out their concept of self-identity while finding a comfortable position amidst social structure. These feelings can be unsettling and uncomfortable, filling their hormone-flushed bodies with anxiety. In fact, this is very common. But think about hormones. Our bodies control them; our brain regulates these chemicals. So, when teenagers practice directed and purposeful thinking, they put themselves in the driver's seat to manage their anxiety. It can be so simple when we think of this in scientific terms. Train your brain, reap the benefits, and improve your wellness.


Finally, using mindfulness will improve your physical health, too. It's known that over 80% of visits to doctor's offices and most diseases are rooted in stress. Again, when we manage that stress, we also manage our physical body wellness.

What do you consider your greatest success in life?

My greatest success in life so far has been learning that I can control my well-being. Early in life, I thought happiness was something that comes to you. You have it, or you don’t. Later in life, I faced challenges in my work and personal life that took away some of that happiness. Through meditation and then mindfulness, I realized that daily joy and, ultimately, fulfillment was something that I could attain through determined effort and intentional pursuit. The pursuit lay in mindfulness, the ability to rewire my brain to find the good in things. That’s not to say I ignore the bad. Instead, I look for the good in a situation and build upon that. When you encounter something terrible, you face it head-on, give it thought, control your emotions, and take action on the parts of it that you can solve. And then you must let go of what you can’t control. That brings a lot of liberation.

Mindfulness helps you focus on these aspects:

The ability to look for the good in a situation, even when the bad is easier to focus on. Then to build upon the good aspects.

To know that you can purposefully reign in your emotions and make decisions with a clear mind instead of an angry animalistic one.

To look at difficulty head-on rather than hiding from it, or worse, pretending to yourself that anger, ill-will, or hatred is the best way to deal with problems.

To focus on and act upon what you can control.

It is tough to acknowledge what you can’t control and then let go of it.

All of these aspects helped me create the wonderful life I have today. To make less-obvious professional decisions that ultimately increased my personal fulfillment. To transcend tough stuff and ill will, and to have patience for trying situations. And to know there is always something to learn in a challenge, even if it’s one I’d rather not encounter.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

This one is easy. I'm a scientist writing about something people think is more "out there." People tend to think of meditation and mindfulness as mysterious or non-structured. Philosophers or people with spiritual direction would typically write books in this genre. However, I take a more evidence-driven and rooted-in-science approach.

That brings a lot of acceptability to the work. People embrace a concept or practice more naturally when they clearly understand the proven benefits. My goal is to make it convincing to practice mindfulness for oneself. And then, once you experience the benefits first-hand, do more of it. Adjust a practice to suit your personal needs and stick to it to gain compounded and profound benefits.

My genre is also fascinating in that Mindfulness in Everyday Life is classified in Self Help on Amazon, and it's also classified in Business Culture, Health & Stress, and Work-Life Balance. Bringing the work component in the categorization means that we're normalizing a healthy work environment where people are mindful of their personal needs plus the needs of others and the business. It's where leaders say it's ok to take care of yourself and bring your best self to work so you can shoot for the stars. It's not saying that you zone out at your desk; it's saying that you take a mindful break to refocus your energy and then come back with original insights into your work.