Actress stages steps to inner fitness
Sisterhood is danceable: Tina Lifford (center) and company perform in “The Circle.”
Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 and 26
$35 to $55
Show information: (323) 395-5793 or www.musicinst.org; more information about “Waking Up Fabulous” at www.wakingupfabulous.com
Updated: February 20, 2013 12:30PM
Tina Lifford, a featured performer on NBC’s “Parenthood,” says she has two abiding passions: acting and personal development.
And that she considers personal development to be the more exciting of the two.
That’s why the Evanston native, who starred in the Fox series “South Central” and has appeared in more than 80 TV shows and films opposite the likes of Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis and Steve Martin, will be bringing her play “The Circle” to the Music Institute of Chicago for performances Feb. 25 and 26. The drama is driven by the principles Lifford has developed for “Waking Up Fabulous,” her “internal-fitness training program,” which she hopes to make as commonly accepted as the need for physical fitness.
“Physical fitness creates a great body,” she said. “Inner fitness creates a great life. Just as the basics of physical fitness are diet and exercise, the basics of inner fitness are awareness and self-acceptance.”
Lifford wrote “The Circle” in 2010 after giving up on a frustrating attempt to codify the principles of Waking Up Fabulous in what she called a “pedantic” non-fiction book. Two weeks later, she woke up one morning with the idea for the play fully developed. Thanks to her experience as a life coach, mentor and trainer, she knew many people whose struggles could be used to dramatically demonstrate what WUF was all about. After approaching them for interviews, she created roles for seven diverse female characters, whose stories are told during a monthly empowerment meeting led by group leader Teri — played by Lifford herself.
All her life, Lifford said, she has been aware of herself as “an old soul” who has always been sought out by people she knew for advice.
“That made me seek out more information and grow myself,” she said. “So that when people came asking questions, I would have solid information to share. And to make sure I did no harm while counseling, I went out and got skills.”
While continuing her acting career, Lifford earned a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and became a licensed practitioner at the Agape Center of Truth in Los Angeles, in addition to qualifying for a number of other alternative health certificates and licenses. Then she began the counseling work that led to her development of “Waking Up Fabulous” and “The Circle” and her revised non-fiction book The Little Book of Big Lies, illustrating the 14 guiding principles of her program.
Lifford described the basic concept of “Waking Up Fabulous” as dividing ones life into two parts: Up until now and from this point forward. From this point forward then becomes the introductory phrase to be applied to all of the program’s 14 practices for developing inner fitness, such as: I embrace the idea that I am more than any challenge I face (#3), I release all people and things from the responsibility of making me happy (#7) and I practice the art of forgiveness with myself and others (#9).
“We get so bogged down by the burden of our past challenges that we forget we have the power to change things,” she said. “No matter how those things have been in our lives up until now, no matter how burdensome, no matter how painful, no matter what, from this point forward, we can change.”