Tory Dube is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, certified Life Coach and certified Hypnotherapist who shares her story with no BS and a whole lot of authenticity and soul. Tory talks about her journey from an unattainable quest for perfection to having real conversations with herself that turned into her passion for her soul's work.
What is your soul+work?
We have so much more say in our quality of life than we’re led to believe. We hold the power to be happy, healthy and wildly abundant.
How did your life prepare you for this work?
I was born a lover and a helper. For many years, I had this distorted idea that to be a lover, I had to appease everyone and everything. I also thought I should probably look pretty while doing it— that makes people happy too. As you can imagine, in this unattainable quest for perfection, I lost myself and experienced a lot of pain. There were many blips of beauty— this level of perfectionism sometimes ends in beautifully crafted, finished projects!— but they never seemed to satiate the hunger pains.
In 2012 I went to a meditation retreat with a heavy heart and loads of baggage I couldn’t put a name to, but felt unbearably heavy. In learning to meditate, I started having my first real conversations with myself. I found the conviction to stay honest, to genuinely listen. I heard the tiniest whisper of clarity and just ran with it.
I returned to New York City, stopped auditioning, immediately enrolled in school for Mind-Body Transformational Psychology, and just dug in. I had no idea what would happen on the other side, but I was ravenous for some personal evolution and this felt like the right answer.
In learning to meditate, I started having my first real conversations with myself. I found the conviction to stay honest, to genuinely listen. I heard the tiniest whisper of clarity and just ran with it.
Take us on the journey of how you transitioned from life before to the life you have now.
When I started school again my focus was mainly nutrition. I had had an eating disorder for 12 years, the physical aspect ebbed and flowed but the emotional torment always had a pulse. It took me 2.5 years of school and 6 months of coaching nutrition clients to finally realize I was STILL carrying around that damn body image suitcase. I also realized how you do anything is how you do everything. That’s where this holistic ecosystem philosophy took shape— If I am still toxic in my self-image, that toxicity is still infecting my whole Tory’s Life Ecosystem.
With this discovery, I shifted my coaching style with my clients. Instead of fear-based nutrition micro details, I started focusing on their self-esteem. Ah ha! Now we were reality-rocking epiphanies, not just shaping our physical bodies.
Something I advocate for in my own life an in the life of my clients are what I call Conscious Living Rituals. They’re little moments of intention— of saying, ‘I am going to do this thing right now because I know it’ll be good for me.’ ...Soon, once all of these tiny moments are strung together, you’re living a fully conscious life.
My philosophies are forever evolving and refining themselves, but I currently teach holistic health and empowerment. I help clients learn to first define their ecosystems, then to cleanse out the BS that no longer serves them. Once this space is made in their lives, they’re wiiiiideee open for the fun stuff. Some of the fun stuff has included: finding delicious soul mates and tribes, starting businesses, leading international retreats, implementing a holistic health program for a multi-million dollar chain of juice cafes. Ultimately, I am willing to swim in the deep end of the pool when clients are ready.
What got in the way of you fulfilling your calling or your life’s work?
We all have our daily battles that encourage us to play smaller, love less, build walls so we can be safe. I wrestle with the same stuff— whether it’s self-imposed, or people I love dearly just flat out not supporting or understanding me. I know it’s easy to get stuck in the muck— the ‘why am I fed, loved, and safe when other people, just like me, are fighting for their lives around the world?’ muck— but living in fear and shame will never move those mountains. The more I toss my love like birdseed, the more love there is in the world. The more you toss your love and authentic message out into the world, the more love there is.
What do you perceive to be one of the biggest issues in our wold and how can we address it to make the world a better place?
One day I hope to have millions of dollars to build schools, bring wells to communities, to adopt babies, to feed families. But just because I can’t accomplish those things now doesn’t mean I should feel guilty about what I have. A garden fertilized with fear and shame can only grow stinky, ugly weeds.
I made a vow— like, wrote it out and hung it up— that I wouldn’t give up on this world. So, I’m not letting the scary stuff win— even when it makes me feel small and helpless.
We all have our daily battles that encourage us to play smaller, love less, build walls so we can be safe. I wrestle with the same stuff... but living in fear and shame will never move those mountains. The more I toss my love like birdseed, the more love there is in the world. The more you toss your love and authentic message out into the world, the more love there is.
Share with us your most difficult moment and how you came out shining? Take us to that moment.
Oh hot dog, I am going through it now. I’m absolutely not ‘out shining’ but I’ve been able to taste the other side throughout the ride— I think I’m almost there.
Last November I co-hosted a yoga and wellness retreat in Tulum, Mexico. I had been living in New York City for 9 years, surviving on sheer adrenaline. Tulum rocked my reality. In the silence of the jungle, I distinctly heard my old friend— the same intuitive voice that led me to NYC, then led me to the meditation retreat— and it said, ‘Make some changes, like now.’ It probably had been trying for years but I couldn’t hear it over the constant ambulance sirens.
I cried and cried my last 3 days in Mexico (my students had left by then, don’t worry.)
When I got back to NYC after traveling for 2.5 weeks, my boyfriend wasn’t in our apartment waiting for me. I sat on the couch, wondering how the hell I was going to get the courage tell him that I needed out of NYC immediately. Two hours later he walked in the door, stopped in front of me, and said the *exact* speech I had gone through in my head numerous times.
I collected my stuff and moved within in the week. It felt like a decade of life just sunk into the center of the Earth. I moved home to New Hampshire feeling like I had lost literally everything. Even my health was hiding— I started having weird lumps and bumps and sicknesses. My friends, my business contacts, my boyfriend, my home, my NYer identity— fell into the big ol’ pit. My parents gave me a bedroom, let me use their car. I spent over a month fluctuating between lying on the ground in a crying heap and feeling immensely empowered that everything was exactly as it was supposed to be.
Skip ahead— a student from Tulum has since hired me to be the marketing director and in-house holistic nutrition specialist for his chain of 9 juice cafes. I met the other half of my soul at my ‘going away’ party at the end of January in NYC. (He’s since left NYC too and we’re in the process of putting a pin in the world— and living there, together!) I stumbled into a thriving, collaborating, love-fueled community of entrepreneurs here on the seacoast. I’ve reconnected with my greatest love— nature. I’m gonna be A-OK, people.
Tell us the fun bits about yourself. What fills your soul?
I live and work in New Hampshire. I run a women’s holistic health group called the Happy, Healthy Power Posse, and it’s my most nutrient-dense soul food. I have SO MUCH FUN exploring new themes and topics with these rockstars.
My weeks are partly-filled with office work for my Juicery job, mostly-filled with oceans, hiking, outdoor concerts, trekking back and forth to see my soulmate. I am madly in love with my gym and the people there, they are surely part of what fills my soul. As I mentioned, I am transitioning right now so I am just being conscious of filling up my days with as much indulgent, healthy happiness as I can. After leaving the stifle of NYC, I am still figuring out what I like to do!
What does soul+work mean to you now?
To me, my soul+work is refusing to indulge in the *other stuff* that creates a saccharin happiness. I’ve done that before— it doesn’t work. Hiding in food, hiding in my refusal to eat food, hiding in boys, hiding under my bed and ignoring everyone, hiding in social media, hiding in my people-pleasing perfectionism… they are all suck and don’t bring lasting results.
What are your daily practices for mindful business and your daily practices for inspired living?
I feel like I have a big, bad toolbox of *the good stuff* to lean on these days. Every morning before I start my day, and every evening before I go to bed, I make time for a moment alone. Usually I sit in my meditation corner, sometimes I don’t fully make it there. I like praying (my Marianne Williamson prayer book is my fav.), I like listening to Esther Hicks, I like reading inspiring books, I like journalling, I like sound healing, I like staring at a candle, I like giving myself oil massages. I just do what sounds like it’d feel nice in the moment. Sometimes I just stare at the wall— and that works too, as long as it feels centering.
Something I advocate for in my own life an in the life of my clients are what I call Conscious Living Rituals. They’re little moments of intention— of saying, ‘I am going to do this thing right now because I know it’ll be good for me.’ Some examples are: Making a healthy meal, saying a prayer, consciously changing a negative perspective to a positive one, doing something kind for someone else, doing something kind for yourself. You get the picture. The hope is that eventually these little rituals will build muscle and happen more and more often, become the default. Soon, once all of these tiny moments are strung together, you’re living a fully conscious life.
What are things that help you be a soul+worker?
So. many. things.
I am currently devouring Elizabeth Gilbert’s 'Big Magic’. I also lean on Illuminata by Marianne Williamson all the time too. As for free, listen to some Esther Hicks on Youtube. She has a way to smacking me back to life in 5 minutes or less.
What’s one thing you’ve learned recently ?
I made up this 'series' of tips called ‘What to do when you have no idea WTF to do’ and I walk around narrating my own life, adding ‘parts’ to the series as I implement them myself. It is as awkward as it sounds.
Part one of ‘What to do when you have no idea WTF to do’: Don’t succumb to entrepreneur overwhelm paralysis! Even if it has NOTHING to do with your business, move. Do the laundry, walk in the grass, hug a plant, drink some water, dance full-out to a whole song, do anything. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
When you get stuck again, repeat. Digestible, little chunks.
Words to live by?
Let’s love ourselves to change the world.
Tory Dube is a Holistic Nutrition Specialist, Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist through Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. She writes for several health publications, is a children's book author, hosts international wellness retreats, and works with clients around the world. Learn more at ToryDube.com