EPISODE 35: The Importance of Sleep with Tammy Hawkins Part 2

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Show Notes

Tammy Hawkins is a mom to two wonderful children, the owner of a successful tech business, TaskTeam, AND a children’s book author! She is driven by her passions and is embracing her confidence in this stage of life. Listen in as Lisane and Tammy discuss choosing joy and excitement, how tapping into what we loved as children can guide us as adults, and how removing two simple words from our vocabulary can reframe the way we see ourselves and our world. Watch your “justs” and your “buts”!

Tammy also walks us through the journey of creating Dream Rock Book. Her children struggled with sleep issues for years: night terrors, intrusive thoughts, general anxiety, and typical bedtime fears. Out of exhaustion and desperation, she had the idea that it might help to put her kids to bed with deliberately positive ideas that they came up with themselves. She grabbed one of her favorite gems and the Dream Rock method was born. Spoiler: It works for adults too!

You can follow Tammy on Instagram @dreamrockbook and learn more about the book at http://dreamrockbook.com. Dream Rock Book is available for pre-sale through August 27!

Learn more about Tammy’s tech business at https://www.taskteam.online/.


Did you all enjoy last week's conversation
with Tammy Hawkins, where we started to

talk about her fantastic book Dream Rock, and so this is part two where

we talk a little bit more about
the process. Okay, so, Tammy,

let's talk a little bit about the
process, right, and really for

the folks out there who have this
idea, who may have an idea about

writing a book, and a lot
of people do right and you're not.

This is your first time author,
and so I think it would be great

to share a little bit about,
you know, how you came up with

the idea and what you actually did. What were the steps for those you

know? I think it's a great
way to help those folks were thinking about

possibly doing the same thing. Sure, I really I wish I had a

really well laid out path for you
that I could tell everything. Really,

what it boils down to is one
foot in front of the other. When

you're new at anything, when you
want to try something new, kind of

like we talked about last time,
was just starting figuring out one step,

maybe one or two steps at a
time, and then you'll realize and then

you'll learn what comes next. Okay, so first I sit down and write

right out my text. A lot
of people feel like they have to know

everything, how to print, how
to publish, how to do all of

the you know, what do I
do for the Barcode on the back?

Was a big weird thing for me
for writing a book. I don't it's

still a little deep. You don't
need to know that until way later.

So I was like, okay,
first sit down, write out, write

it out, and then next figure
out, okay, how do I want

this to be laid out? And
then, of course, you know,

get the pictures to go with it
and then make sure you have the intro

in just one that. I guess
that's the entirety of the process. Was

One step at a time and knowing
there is an answer for every unknown that

you've got. That's great. You
know. One of the things, and

like we said earlier in this conversation, we share membership, you know,

in the heir hub community, and
so from the outside looking, and it

was really wonderful, is that you
I was really impressed with the way that

you kind of put a call out
along the way. So it's like hey,

guys, ladies, I'm writing this
book and this is what I'm doing,

and it just seemed like at every
step along the way you included your

community in what it was that you
were doing, which I personally admire very

much because I sometimes go quiet and
then I come popping up and it's probably

not the best way to to leverage
my community. So can you talk a

little bit about that? I absolutely
I think it's really, really important to

do that for a couple of reasons. I would say that's almost a three

part business use for doing that as
a I don't know the answer, but

I know my community probably does.
So, whether it was to my friends,

I even put out some asks to
neighborhood group that's got a bunch of

MOMS on it and I had them
vote on cover what. You know which

one spoke to them. Just asking
people along the way, because not assuming

that I'm the expert and then knowing
that someone else will step in and give

me some advice that will then lead
me toward the next step. And then

also along with that, is it
helps gain momentum for the project, as

in I'm in now accountable because I've
asked you for support, and I don't

ever want to be that friend that's
like hey, would you help me with

this project and then a year down
the road, how's the book coming?

To Am me and I'm like,
Oh, well, I haven't really done

anything. You know I don't.
I want to have more moment so I

purposefully tell people what I'm doing,
sometimes strategically to keep me accountable. And

then, third and and I mean
this as genuinely as possible, because you

know me and you know that I'm
a super genuine person, what's with everything

I say? It gathers interest and
momentum for the project as well. So

once you get to that point,
if your friends, family, community people

have seen you get there along the
way and known that they've been part of

the process, how much more exciting
is it for everyone to then have this

thing that they feel like they contributed
to? And that's exactly what I wanted

from this project. It was not
just mine, it was the whole process

and the momentum was really, really
fun. I love that and I really

appreciate hearing that and I really needed
to hear that today for other reasons that

we will talk about right now,
but I really appreciated hearing that and I

know that a lot of folks,
especially today with so many things that are

going on, it's almost like we've
stepped into this isolation way of being and

it takes a little extra effort in
this environment to really push and reach out

to our communities to say, Hey, this is what I'm up to,

even if I'm doing it like behind
zoom or whatever, however we're interacting.

You know, it's really very helpful
to hear this gentle acknowledgement and realization that

hey, you don't have to do
things in the silos, you don't have

to do it in isolation. Reach
Out, let people contribute and be part

of part of the process, because
I have to tell you, as it

felt like you were banging the drum
as we got closer and closer to this

kickstarter that you started to that we
were all really involved in it in some

way or another. So I really
commend you for that. Thank you.

It was fun. Yeah, yeah, so there are two parts to this

process. So one is you as
the author, authoring the text in this

book, and and then the other
is the illustration part, which is so

beautiful and wonderful for so many children's
books. You know, and I can

certainly say that for the process that
I went through today that I was telling

you about where it's all about,
like the visual. The visual supports the

story. So I'd love to hear
a little bit about your process around that.

And Yeah, like what was what
was that about? Yeah, it's

kind of a funny thing because becoming
a children's book author as a little bit

difficult right now in the traditional sense. A lot of traditional publishers are not

interested in writers who are not also
the illustrator. So it or unless you

are already a celebrity right. So
that will stop a lot of people in

their tracks. But I spoke with
somebody who has experience in the self publishing

industry and she said you should really
consider self publishing this. You do have

to put, you know, your
own money into the project up front,

more than you would otherwise, but
that if you are a writer that is

not also an illustrator, that is
the way that you would go about it.

So starting out, some Elf published. So I kind of then had

to launch and do it. Well, how do you self publish a book?

What do you what are all the
you know, the red tape that

you have to line up in order
to do that, and so I did.

I searched for illustrator who had also
done other self published authors through kind

of a similar channel and route that
I was thinking about going, and that

is ultimately how I found the people
who I wanted to work with, just

by looking for other good examples that
I admired. That's great. So and

I like the fact that you,
while it seems like it was really fast,

it's like you kind of methodically went
through this process of like I'm going

to ride and now I'm going to
find an figure out what this looks like

from a publishing perspective, and then, you know, on to the illustrations.

So your illustrations aren't beautiful? Absolutely
beautiful. I Love Them. I

love the way that the characters are
portrayed and all of that. Can you

talk a little bit about your decisions
around or how you how did you find

your illustrator? Like, what was
that? How did that happen? Absolutely

so, I found my illustrator on
through a book that had also launched on

kickstarter, and I looked around for
people who I knew would work that way,

because some that might turn off some
illustrators if they're like, do you

have the money to pay? So
when you hire it, illustrator usually do

it and installments and so you know, one at the beginning so that they

know you're good for it, one
in the middle when you see some progress,

and then one when you've gotten your
finished products. So I wanted to

make sure I work with somebody who
kind of knew what that process would look

like. For me, especially being
a first time person, I was really

nervous choosing somebody, but once I
saw the one, I knew it was.

She was the one. So,
like I mentioned, I looked all

over the world people, I had
finalists. You know that I was looking

at globally, and I found this
woman. Her Pen name is Sawyer cloud

and she lives in Madagascar. She
draws beautiful characters who, in the examples

that I had seen were kind of
a parent and child and these small at

home scenes and then some spreads that
are full to the edge, full color

descript you know, beautiful dreamlike scenes
that are just larger than life, larger

than imaginations, and that's when I
was like, she's this, is it?

Like? That's exactly what I needed
for my book, not to mention

her characters are adorable and beautiful and
and it just you know, when you

meet the one, it was like
now I needed to be her, so

I was so excited when she accepted
my my proposal. I sent her I

really I planned out how to send
it to her. I sent her the

script. I explained her why I
was writing this and who it was forced

and hopes that she would accept it
and take it on. So she did

and it was yeah, it's great, wonderful. So, since you said

it, why are you writing this
and who is it for? Why did

you write this? I'm sorry,
and who is it for? So I

wrote this while still still producing and
getting this out there. So people are

pre ordering now. Will be printed
soon and in people's hands before the holidays.

So it's still very much at our
are doing this now. But I

have kids who had difficulty falling asleep
when they were a little and I was

tired and determined to find a solution
for that issue. So it wasn't my

one of my children has nightmares,
or had nightmares, and that was what

their fear was going to bed.
Another one of my kids has a more

anxiety issue before bedtime and it was
worries and you know, your body gets

kind of wound up before bed.
A lot of adults experiences too, is

your brain won't turn off. You
think of things and then sometimes they can

spiral out of control also to worse
and worse things, and that causes a

lot of physical stress and kind of
raises that fight or flight response in your

body and then you extra have a
hard time going to sleep. So,

yeah, I invented this method with
my kids a couple of years ago where

I would sit with them and we
would calmly talk about things that we love

and things that we want to dream
about and just have this really positive,

loving where we're instead of allowing those
worry thoughts to come in, intentionally planting

these good thoughts and good ideas and
then talking in and go to sleep.

And it worked really well for my
kids and it was really awesome and really

fun to see it work for them. And then I had other people,

friends and siblings with kids who were
going through the same thing and I thought

I really need to get this to
them. So I wrote it out in

a letter to one of my nieces
actually, and that's how I needed it,

to write it toward a child.
So instead of how to book,

It came out as this story modeling
the method for you and and then I

had to find a beautiful illustrator to
go along with it. So that would

you be captivating. There's kind of
a funny question in the Children's book world

does is it the story or is
it the illustrations? If you have just

a story, will people like it? If you have just the the can

they stand on their own? And
people can debate about that all day long.

I've seen it online and author and
illustrator groups. What which is more

important? The Combo of this,
this story with these illustrations really gets to

kids to a good place by the
end of the book and then they do

the method themselves after seeing the characters
do it and it and it really invites

so it's more than just a story. It's this bedtime routine method, which

is why I knew I had to
get this two people, because it really

can be so helpful for people who
also have that struggle. One of the

things that I loved about this production, as you refer you know, you

referred to it as was just these
beautiful characters, and what I really appreciate

about this children's book, Tammy,
is how diverse a cast of characters you've

created, and so can you.
What was that about? I mean,

how did you and the illustrator come
to portraying these characters in the way that

you did. I think it's a
phenomenal way to really immerse children in just

beautiful characters. Can you talk a
little bit about that? Yeah, absolutely.

First of all, thank you for
asking because this is a really important

question and a conversation that people are
having right now, and so I'm glad

we get to chat about that.
The reason I wrote this book was to

help all children and their parents and
families who have of who might have difficulties

falling asleep. So I searched the
world when I was you know, I

say I searched the world, I
wasn't just looking for a local illustrators.

I searched everywhere to find somebody who
could represent kids all over the world,

who could live anywhere and who could
also do this method if they need help

at bedtime. And so that is
what this I really, really loved.

One of the many things I loved
about the illustrator, Sawyer cloud, when

I found her, was that her
characters are from all over the world and

she does this intentionally and it's and
they're really, really beautiful. So throughout

the book there are girls, Boys, men, women, Asian, black,

white, single parents, coupled parents, lgbt, plus characters and and

really it was. It was interesting. So I chose her, knowing that

this was her style and I told
her, you know, that I love

her, her dream like and diverse
style, and then gave her artistic liberty,

kind of knowing where, maybe,
but just giving you know, seeing

where what she would do with it. So I gave her the manuscript,

told her I loved her style and
over the next few months she really took

it from from just the text to
this full thing. When I saw what

she had in the first draft,
you get a sketches. She nailed it

like right off the bat. She
did such a great job. So it

took very little instruction for me,
but I knew, she knew, we

knew what each other were looking for
and she did a beautiful job. Yeah,

it's absolutely beautiful. And and again, you know, the story,

the method and the routine are wonderful, like just brilliant, especially for those

parents, you know. This is
for our children, absolutely, you know,

and it's also for parents, you
know, because it can be an

anxious time for parents as well,
who are trying very hard, when they

are themselves tired, to put their
children to bed and it's also just a

beautiful book of Art to be able
to flip through and share with your children.

Thank yeah. So I really love
what you've pulled together. I'm very

excited about it for you, cheering
you on just along with the rest of

both the herr hop community and your
community and the world. You know,

I'm loving that. I'm seeing you
everywhere talking about this project. And Yeah,

and can I share what I learned
to and and I was talking with

some publishers and some self publishers,
speaking of the diversity aspect. I met

with a publisher friend of mine and
I said, Hey, here's my illustrator.

I'm so excited that. You know, this was something I felt personally

interested and was important. I didn't
really know why at the time, that

was I felt right, like it
felt like this illustrator and this this representation

was the right way to go.
And one of my publishing friends, she

mentioned to me how diversity is still
so sorely lacking in the Children's book world

and I wasn't aware of it until
I started this project, you know,

because I had never been into the
I never intended to be an author until

this came out. And so she
shared with me some statistics that I double

checked and I was just surprised how
most children's books have white main characters or

and the statistics are it's almost fifty
percent. And then a lot of people

get around that by going with a, you know, animal characters or non

human characters, and that's about another
third, and so only less, you

know, less than twenty percent of
children's books have a diverse charactership, and

that is something that I really felt
was if my book can be a one

book and in the right direction of
being inclusive and and being a window where

kids can see kids from all around
the world that maybe don't look like them

or I felt it helped me know
that that was the right, right direction

that I wanted to go and I
really love how it turned out. Yeah,

me too, and I cannot tell
you, as a woman of color,

as a parent of color and now
a grandparent of color, I can't

tell you how or I'd like to
share with you. I can tell you

I'd like to share with you how
much I appreciate that right for a number

of reasons. Because number one,
you know that has been my experience as

a woman of color, is that
there are not a lot of books and

that represent or that are representative of
people and my children, you know,

their skin tone and and their experience, and so I really do applaud you

and appreciate you helping that world or
the genre to take a step in that

direction and and hopefully inspiring others to
do the same, because that really is,

you know, we really want these
books and these fantasies that we share

with our children and these methods and, you know, these solutions two problems

to be reflective of everyone and reflective
of the world that's around them. You

know, I remember a book that
I read, I used to read to

my children when they were younger.
It was a potty book, of book

on teaching them how to Potty,
and I love the book, I really

did. I loved the story and
the lesson and all of that, and

I literally had to blank out of
my head the fact that the character was

not a character of color, you
know. And so that's just the fact

that you've been able to and we're
willing to be free enough to not edit

yourself and really express from whatever it
was that was that was presented to you

as an idea and as a possibility, you know, and as a door.

I really appreciate, you know,
from one woman to the other,

that you were willing and able to
do that, because not everyone does,

you know, and you could have
made the decision to maybe have the idea

but go the other route. So
the fact that you were willing to free

your creativity and free your ideas just
really helps with the momentum we were talking

about earlier for everything that you do
in your life, you know, and

so you know, I really think
you and commend you for that. It

is a beutiful book, illustrated beautifully
and I love the characters and I love

what you did with this and I
love how generous you've been an are to

other parents and the fact that you
were able to leverage a solution that you

came up with for your own family
and then share that with the rest of

the world, you know, for
generations, you know, because the whole

getting your kids sleep thing, that's
a big do, is a universe as

a yeah, issue that so many
families deal with and and another point that

I get emotional talking about this because
it's so important. I actually that you're

not the first person to ask me
about this too. I had, I

said someone recently asked me because I've
started now sharing the images now that we're

watched. So I first only showed
it about a month ago and is part

of the final illustration spreads and someone
asked me. They said, Oh,

I thought the book was you and
your child, that it was supposed to

be me. And I am then
really glad that the characters don't look like

me because out of as a first
time and a self publishing author, this

book could be seen by so many
people as kind of a covid vanity project.

You know that I was bored at
home and I wanted to write a

book about me and my kids,
when the reality is this story has been

in the works for a lot longer
than that and these characters are not me.

This method is for all kids and
all families and I live in a

diverse community and I want this book
to reflect that. and and it was

really touching when I got the illustrations
from the final color illustrations, from my

ill from the illustrator, my family
came in here to my office and and

we were showing them and I asked
my daughter, I said, you know,

why, do you think it's the
illustrator? And I thought it was

important to show people who all look
different from each other and people that look

different from you. And you know, why is that? Why do you

think we did that? And she
my daughter, seven years old, and

she without missing a beat, she
said because this book is for everybody,

so that kids who read it feel
like it could be for them. And

I was so proud that kids get
it. They they really do, and

I was so happy that she got
it and and that I think people will

get it and I think, I
think it's it's important. And Yeah,

so thank you for your kind of
saying those things, because I'm so excited

that people see the mission behind the
method and appreciate the way it's being delivered

and as well. So it's you. It's good. I've known you for

a couple of years, Tammy,
and I know that you are not the

type of woman who would decide that
you're going to have a do a covid

vanity project. That's said. That
that said. Even if you did,

even if that was the path,
which I know it wasn't, but even

if it was the path, so
what? It's a beautiful project with incredibly

generous intention and it is a solution
to an issue that parents struggle with,

and if that is what you chose
to do with all of this bonker energy

that so many of us were processing
during the pandemic, then so be it,

because what you did was you chose
to express something. Now I know,

based on the conversation that we're having
here, that this was something that,

for you, started several years ago
and you've already laid out how.

And again, I commend you for
your courage, I commend you for your

generosity and I commend you for your
willingness and desire to contribute forward something that

you have discovered that works for you
and for your family, because, again,

a happy bedtime is as much for
the parent as it is for the

kid. I'm just going to say
it right like. We want our kids

to sleep peacefully and all that,
and you know, it's at the end

of a long day for us to
write and so I read. I'm just

that's those only sons words. Dam
We didn't say that. I try not

to go there too much in my
marketing of the book, but it's absolutely

that. I'm just so I can
say that here, and this is it.

This is exactly, you know,
honestly, this and you know I

really appreciate you and again, one
of the things that one of the reasons

for this podcast is to provide platform
to people who have these ideas and,

with generosity and with love and with
contribution, push through and have the courage

to share a little part of themselves, and so I really thank you for

that. And Beautiful Book, you
know, and it's a book for everybody

and a wonderful addition to moving that
twenty percent needle in the right direction.

You know, it's for anyone who
you know is listening to this and who,

I think this is a great way
to be inspired to go and create

more and more stories, whoever you
are, whether you're a person of color

or not. You know, let's
make this world of fantasy that we create

for our children, that's sometimes is
cloaking a solution, you know, let's

make that world really reflect the world
that we live in today and the world

that were wanting to move toward,
which is a world of inclusion and love

and generosity and contribution. One of
the things that I do intentionally for myself,

not to myself but for myself,
is I tell people my plans.

More accountability, I think, like
you said, a year more now probably

about a year ago I mentioned that
I want to write this book. I

remember we were on a zoom yes
and I here remember that day. I've

been and then I intentionally check in
with people along the way of like,

okay, well, now I guess
I really am doing this. And because

I want to make sure I stick
to my word, I give myself these

little deadlines. I give myself these
if I if I don't, if I

don't really mean it, I'm not
going to say it. So I better

think real fast. Do I really
want to start this other business? Do

I really want to start this?
And so many people have ideas and I

said I want to do this out
and then they never get around to it,

with that' what's that's fine, it's
there's nothing wrong with throwing out ideas.

I just think it's such a gift
to myself and when other people do

talking about ideas that they hope to
someday get to of. Okay, tell

someone for accountability, make your plans
and just start. HMM. So along

those lines of I had kind of
been saying, we'll see how this first

dream rock book goes and then I'm
going to give myself a little time to

ramp up this and it's going great. I'm already it's been one week.

I had a four week presale plan
and I'm already at a past eighty percent.

Wow, one week of that goal
time. So this last twenty percent

is the challenge. I'm excited to
get through there, but I know we'll

get through it. And then,
if how, depending on how this goes,

and I'm saying this out loud because
my next project will be Dream Rock

for women and it's still going to
be thank you. It's still going to

be an illustrated story, because I
want a sweet, beautiful bedtime book for

myself as a woman. I want
to have and so I see it,

and I don't know exactly yet,
but I see it a different pages with

different beautiful illustrations of women of all
ages and, you know, just a

diverse group of women with beautiful surroundings
and having these it's almost like mantras or

affirmations or walking through this bedtime routine
as an adult, because we need those

things too. We need the sort, especially if we didn't learn it at

a young age. We might need
help with that now. And so that's

the next project, and so I'm
telling Myself Two thousand and twenty three is

giving a little time to ramp up
this first Dream Rock Book and then just

going from there. So I'm really
excited and it's been so interesting to learn

all of this along the way,
and so thank you for for bringing that

up. That it's not just kids, it's adults too. We all struggle

with finding this is you know,
it all circles back to decreasing the stress

in our lives so that we can
show up more powerfully and more confidently in

our skin. And that is about
sleep and it's about hydration and it's about

moving your body. It's about all
the things and I commend and thank you

for bringing sleep into the conversation.
Dammy, I'm so happy for you.

I'm thank so inspired by you,
really inspired by you. I have loved

this conversation and I'm hoping that you
will come back once the book is out

there and you have somewhere data on
it. I love it if you would

come back so that we can talk
a little bit more about this topic of

sleep for children and definitely talk about
the topic of sleep for other groups of

people as well, because it's so
important. Thank you, thank you,

thank coming by really appreciate it.
Thank you very much, list and we'll

talk to you absolutely
Shaping Freedom With Lisane Basquiat
Welcome to Shaping Freedom where we teach you how to create the change you want so you are empowered to author a life story you love to read. I am your host, Lisane B... View More




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