A Halloween away from my kids

For the first time in 27 years, I am spending Halloween alone, just me, no kids, no candy, no trick or treating, no bonfires, no sticky messes, no crying or fighting over candy bags, no face paints, no mess to clean. Just me alone in my apartment. A friend called me to check on me, and I couldn’t even express to her how I was feeling. Honestly, this entire month I have been just floating. Not really sure how I feel being away from my kids this long. I spent the first part of this year in Alabama from February to April, but I went home every weekend, or they came to me. This is the first time I have not seen them consecutively for 30-plus days.

If I am honest, which I plan to be, part of me feels good knowing they aren’t stuck in this tiny apartment with restrictions and cannot be entirely free. Part of me feels a sense of relief knowing at the end of a long, and I mean long, work day, I don’t have to also worry about coming home and being a mom. I can just grab something quick to eat and crash. Part of me feels so much grief, Trice is finally starting to talk, and I am missing it. I miss them eating smores and being a sticky mess. Seeing Trice eat his first smores through a phone was very hard. Then there is this entire side of me filled with so much guilt! I am their mommy. I am not there to make sure they are eating vegetables, to make sure they are doing school work, to make sure they aren’t overdoing the screen time, to make sure they are going to bed at a decent time, to make sure they are brushing their teeth every day, combing my girl’s hair, making sure the boys are putting on clean underwear, to help with first periods, to hug them when they are crying. To create ants on logs or Frankensteins out of vegetable trays. The truth is my husband can do all these things except explain the first period, but he is capable of all these things. In fact, he is doing all these things, maybe not limiting screen time as much, but most of these things. So why do I feel guilty? They aren’t being neglected.

The reality is my husband traveled during the last 3 years of his corporate career and the first year of opening our second location. I don’t remember him feeling guilty or at least expressing these feelings of guilt or worry. Without a shadow of a doubt, he knew the kids were okay and that I was taking care of them. I don’t remember feeling like he should be home. It’s just what we did. No one questioned it. No one asked him if it was hard being away from his wife and kids, no one asked him how he did it all, and no one commented about him needing to be home more. No one asked him who was doing the boy’s hair, no one asked him how he felt about missing Halloween, not that he ever missed Halloween, but you get the gist.

So, why do I feel so guilty? If I had to cut myself into a pie, I would say 60% of the pie would be guilt. The other 40% would be split between grief and relief. Why is my pie so full of guilt? I spent 18 years at home with my kids. My daughter has never been with anyone but me. One could say, I served my time, so what’s one month away? I don’t know. I don’t know how it will affect them in the future, if at all.

What I do know is my kids are OK. They didn’t miss the daily Halloween snacks I make yearly as much as I envisioned they would. They were just as happy baking smores and watching scary movies with daddy this year as they would have been if I had been there creating this elaborate day of events. Do they miss me, of course, but are they ok, yes!

The things I think my kids need, they really don’t need. They don’t need me for the things I am guilting myself over. My kids need stability, security, unconditional love, and nourishment. They need to know, without a shadow of a doubt, no matter if it’s me traveling or daddy traveling, they are ok and safe. Kids need security.

We tell ourselves they need all these extra things and that all the events, toys, trips, and other things we fill their lives and our time with are what they need, but they really don’t. You ever wonder how I kid with very little is so happy and turns out to be a great person? They had stability, security, and unconditional love. It wasn’t all the art projects or baking I did with my kids that gave them what they needed to survive through this time away from me. It was the unconditional love, the time of being present with them and not on my phone or doing other things, the cosleeping nights of holding them even when people said they needed to be in their own beds. It was the moment I let them yell and scream because they were upset about something that seemed trivial to me but significant to them. While other people told me they were being disrespectful.

As I watched my kids navigate their first Holiday without me, I saw strong, stable, healthy, happy kids. Kids that don’t actually need me physically present to feel me present. What I know now is that when I hold my kids in my arms again, I will turn off my phone even more and get down on the floor and play with them for 30 more minutes. I will read one more book, I will cosleep for as long as Eleven says, can I hold you. I will bake cookies not for the experience of baking cookies but for the moment to hear their stories and go into their world. I will sit on my teenager’s bed, talk about all the teenage stuff, and listen to who said what and did what. I will build more moments and fill their cups of unconditional love, stability, security, and nourishment up so that they will runneth over for the moments they can’t have me with them physically.

Happy Halloween!

And just for fun, here are some pictures from over the years!


Regaining Desire

It’s me! I’ve been gone for so long. So many things have transpired in my life I don’t even know where to begin. If I should even try to start at the beginning. If you have been with me on my youtube channel, then you have been along for most of the journey. If not, welcome!

I am currently on a path to self-discovery and renewing my spirit. 2020 left me feeling angry, resentful, guilty, curious, hopeful, worried, anxious, thankful, and everything in between. I had so many emotions that I couldn’t figure out which one was guiding my life. I decided to take charge and regain control over my emotions by starting a journey to self-healing through therapy and other approaches. I am currently still on that journey, and one of the things I have been encouraged to do is start writing again. I wrote a book and self-published it in 2020, a major accomplishment for me. Something I have dreamed of doing, well, not the self-publishing part, but writing a book and having it for the world to purchase, that part. I think that journey, while totally rewarding, derailed me and sucked my desire to write out of me. It’s funny how the one thing we want can also be the one that tanks us.

The truth is I love to write. I love to do anything that is creatively expressive except draw. I cannot draw to save my life. So to bottle something up that I love to do so much has been strange and odd. While part of me felt like it was because I didn’t have time, you know, life. The other part of me didn’t really have a desire. Somewhere along the way, I lost the desire to do something that was a release and brought me joy. I have been so consumed with life that it felt like anything that wasn’t “important” I didn’t have time to do or shouldn’t have time to do. What I know now is that over the last 8 years, I have been in a constant battle with my ego, and in 2020 I didn’t have any more strength to fight, so I surrendered, and my ego has been driving this ship since. Until this past month. This month, I got back in the ring, put on my boxing gloves, and began to fight! Fight for control of my emotions, let go of things I can’t control, fight for peace, and regain desire.

So here I am, writing this first passage in a very long time. I don’t know which direction I want to take this blog or my writing, but what I do know is I will start writing again! That’s all I need to know for now. I hope you join me on the journey, but if not, that’s ok because I will write to myself this time. Maybe this will be an open diary. Who knows.

But here I am, taking the first step to regaining desire!


Plant Your Seeds of Dreams

My daughter recently took on growing a tomato plant. You know the ones you can grow indoors. Yes, she opted to take this project on in the start of fall. She happily did tons of research, went to the store to buy all the required materials, came home and planted her seeds. She planted 3 seeds, hoping they all would grow, but praying at least one of them does.

After she planted her seeds, she placed the soil in the sunniest place in our house. She said to me excitedly; I don’t know if I am going to be able to wait for the seeds to sprout. I might dig them up to see if they are actually growing. I explained to her she needed to be patient.

A week later, she proudly told me the seeds were sprouting. I happily asked her, “you are seeing them sprout through the dirt?” She replied, “nope I dug them up.” A few days later, a beautiful little seedling started peaking through the dirt.

This experience and exchange with my daughter spoke to me about faith. And how we are told to have the faith of a mustard seed. I have said this analogy so many times, but honestly, I never really thought much about what this commandment calls for us to do.

When we have a dream, desire, or hope. We make a plan, begin the preparations, and many of us start the work. We work intending to see our dream manifested. But this process doesn’t come easily. Often, we plant our seed, start the watering process, and when we don’t see any sprouting, we get impatient. We doubt the process. We want to dig and verify the roots of our labor are growing and sprouting.

We ask the questions, is there enough sunlight, enough water, is it too cold, not hot enough, did I buy the right soil, ect. Days, weeks, months, and sometimes years can go buy before we see any reaps of our labor, before our seed sprouts.

Like my daughter, our impatience can force us to do things that slow the process. Lacking faith that our diligence is working, we may dig in the soil searching for proof. This unnecessary digging can slow the process or worst damage it. We can’t dig up our progress, because we are impatient about the process.

We can’t dig up our progress, because we are impatient about the process.

No matter what your religious or non-religious beliefs are, we are told to believe without doubt. To have faith that whatever our heart desires, it shall come to flourish. That with hard work and faith, the seed will sprout. It is important for us to believe underneath the surface, work is happening. Things are taking place that we can’t see with our eyes, but must believe with our hearts are happening. Our job is to do the work!

Take your seed of dreams and plant it in a nourishing soil. A soil that isn’t full of doubt, negativity or fears. Place your pot somewhere safe, where it can flourish. Away from people with negative thoughts and their own personal fears. Place it where it will get plenty of sunlight. Rays of positivity, hope, love, and encouragement. Then water it with tenacity, dedication, hard work, and consistency. Then kick your feet up and watch your seed sprout into something fruitful and beautiful.


When God Says Jump, Jump!

Today I took my kids to the pool at the hotel we were staying at. It’ October, and we could still swim at the outdoor pool. I know that is a whole different subject. Anyway, it was a warm 88 degrees outside with a nice overcast, so you can imagine the pool water was slightly cold. The kids tried to ease their way into the water, but every time would run out yelling and screaming (happily), it’s so cold. I suggested they just jump in and get the initial shock over. There were tons of chatter and laughter about if they were going to jump in. Then finally they gathered together, I counted to three, and they jumped in. There was tons of laughter, excitement, and pure gratefulness that they were in the water swimming and floating. They were no longer concerned about the temperature or worried about having to ease into the water. They were simply enjoying the moment, the experience, the water.

This tiny moment was so symbolic to me. If you have been following me on Instagram, then you know I have a unique hashtag #whengodsaysjumpjump. This hashtag is a representation for me of my current journey of floating in the ocean with no raft and no life jacket. Because that is what being an entrepreneur and business owner feels like to me. Instructing my kids to jump into the pool of cold water and then counting to three and watching them do it was an aha moment for me.

God has once again instructed us to jump into the water. Right when we were getting cozy on our little raft. I have to admit I argued, begged, pleaded, asked a thousand times if he was serious, before finally jumping. There was no laughter, excitement, nor joy. There was only worry, doubt, confusion, and pure fear. Now I am in the ocean once again, I am still questioning the idea and his instructions on jumping. Was this a good idea, should we have really jumped, maybe he was joking, perhaps we missed understood. There is no swimming, giggling, laughter, or gratefulness for being in the water.

As my kids’ mother, I would never instruct them to do anything that would cause them harm or discomfort. I have their best interest and only want the best for them. Telling them to jump in the water, of course, was going to cause temporary discomfort, but I knew once the initial shock was over, they were going to have a great time, and that initial discomfort would be worth it. And they trusted me, trusted that I wouldn’t lead them in the wrong direction, trusted that I knew what I was talking about. So much so that all I had to do was count to three, and they jumped. NO questions or pushback.


Doesn’t The Universe want the best for us? Would The Universe ever cause us harm or unjustified discomfort when we are on our path of purpose? Some would have us believe the answer is yes. And honestly, if you grew up being with fear-based trust being shoved down your throat, then you probably answered yes to these. You can think of several examples from the bible showing just this. I know I was one of those that grew up with fear-based religion. And if we are speaking candid, this is why jumping when God said jump was so difficult for me. This is why I questioned the idea and notion of jumping. Can I really trust The Universe? Can I really trust that everything will be ok?


What would happen if you jump when you’re told to jump? Sure there will be a brief moment of fear, sure there will be a moment of discomfort, but once the fear, shock, and discomfort pass, there is excitement, joy, adventure, and, more importantly, freedom.

The thing is, God never intended for us to struggle with trust or fear. We have been given the ability to listen to the language of The Universe. Rather, we choose to listen and follow those instructions determines the outcome of our journey.  Deciding not to jump will prolong the reward. My kids could have opted not to jump and simply slowly ease their way into the water little by little. They would have eventually gotten the same joy and excitement in the end, but it would have taken a lot longer. The entry into the reward would have been a lot harder, as well. Trying to adjust slowly to the coldness could have taken away from the journey and the joy. It would have made them question the idea and ask is it really worth it. They would have gotten in and out in and out as they tried to force themselves mentally to get in. They wouldn’t have trusted the process that in the end, it would be worth it because they were still trying to jump unnecessary hurdles.


When God has instructed you to jump, jumping will elevate you to your goal a lot faster. You will bypass hurdles that you otherwise would have had to jump if you didn’t jump. I know it sounds crazy. I’ll give you an example. You’re floating on your raft, feeling semi-safe and secure. You know you are floating to your destination, and your perfectly fine with the estimated arrival time. God suddenly instructs you to jump. But you are overcome by fear, anxiety, distrust, and several other things, so you don’t jump. Several miles down the ocean, your raft begins to leak, there is a hole.

You panic and need to figure out a way to patch the hole. You stop at the little island you come across and spend days trying to repair your raft. While you’re there, several of your supplies are stolen. You are now short on food, water, and other significant supplies. You finally repair your raft and get back on it. Floating along, you come in contact with a storm that ultimately destroys your raft. You panic. You desperately grab on to one of the boxes of supplies and hold on to you get to another space onshore. You spend months trying to build a raft and restock your supplies. All the while, being attacked in different areas and faced with various obstacles to overcome. You question if it’s even worth it, maybe you should stay onshore and make this life work.

What you didn’t know is that God already foresaw the leak, the island, the attack, the storm, and this is why he instructed you to jump. Jumping wouldn’t have prevented discomfort, but it would have prevented additional obstacles.

Watching the fearlessness of my kids gives me hope and a renewed faith. They are fearless not because they are braver the next person, but because they trust everything will be ok. They believe in the end, it will all be great. They find joy in the unknown and discomfort. They trust my love. They are not concerned about what lies ahead; if they jump, they are only concerned with the present idea of jumping, and for them, that sounds like fun. They see it as an adventure to be conquered. They don’t have any reason to think otherwise.



Hardships Are Like Knots In A Rope

I was at my ropes end. I held the rope in my hand contemplated tieing one last knot at the end and ending it all. I had been through so much over the last few years. All the struggles all the heartache, all the problems I didn’t know if I could take any more. I didn’t see a way out of the hole, I felt, I had dug myself into.

It was a scary and solemn feeling to realize I had dug myself into a hole with my choices, and now I had made my very own rope to hang myself.

I felt knots in my stomach as I held the rope in my hands. “throw the rope” I heard a small whisper say. “Throw the rope” I threw the end of the rope.

It’s amazing how we can look at our problems and see failures, struggles, weights while those problems may really be lessons, growth, stairs.

“hardships from the past help you succeed in the future” ~Phillip Emeagwali

Every single time I was thrown a monkey wrench or stumbled, I felt knots in the pit of my stomach saying my situation was never going to get better. I would take that knot and build a rope. You know that feeling you get when there is a failure, that tightness in your stomach? Yeah, that feeling doesn’t actually dissipate and go away, it transforms into a rope. By rope, I don’t mean a physical rope, but a thought process, a course of action. We all are building ropes every single day. Our thought process determines our course of actions and our course of actions determines our fate.

When you get that knot in your stomach and start the beginning of your rope, pay attention to the feelings that come. Are the feelings hope and strength or are they hopeless and defeat. The difference determines the type of rope you are starting.

If you find yourself feeling hopeless and defeated, allow yourself space and time to feel those feelings. Really listening and analyzing those feelings. Letting your emotions be free without judgment. If you feel you need to cry, cry. If you feel you need to scream, scream. Allow yourself to release. Once you have provided yourself with space and time to release the emotions that come along with hopelessness and defeat, process and analyze them. Processing and analyzing isn’t judgment.

Judging is comparing a situation to a standard based on biases developed socially. An example would be, I am so stupid I should have known better not to quit my job to become an artist. What was I thinking? An artist doesn’t make any money, they struggle and now all I will ever be is a struggling artist.

Processing and analyzing a situation is looking at the circumstances, observing, and finding explanations for those observations. An example would be, I am sad because I thought quitting my job and pursuing my passion would be fun and make me so happy. But, now I am broke and struggling to pay my bills. This is a new venture for and I knew it was going to take courage and strength. I think I am really scared right now. Judging is usually consumed with an opinion that usually encompasses the outside. Processing is usually consumed with an understanding that encompasses the inside.

By paying attention to the knots, you can determine what type of rope you are constructing. When you are able to process your hardships and challenges, they become knots that lead you higher and higher. You begin to put together knots that are used for climbing. Hardships and struggles can propel us to our destiny when they are used correctly.

In what seemed like my darkest hour of despair, became my moment of freedom. As I climbed each knot, I reflected on that moment in time and how it lead me to this exact moment and I felt a sense of gratefulness. I thanked it for the courage and lift it provided me. I climbed higher and higher using each knot. Finally, there was sunshine, warmth against my face. I was free! While I knew I was not free from ever experiencing another hardship, I knew I was free from bondage. I knew at that moment nothing and everything could stop me from living my best life, the difference between the two was my choice. The ending of my story was mine to write.


What is an unskilled job? Is there really such a thing?

Is there really such a thing as an unskilled job? Are there jobs out there that require zero skills?

I would argue no. Every single job requires so form of skill, knowledge, and training.

When people start categorizing jobs and calling certain jobs unskilled, I believe this is another way we divide, judge, and make ourselves believe we are better than.

Can a low paying job provide someone with the lifestyle of their choice?

I say absolutely, depending on what the lifestyle of their choice is, the amount of debt they have, and their use of the money they earn. Let’s be honest, people spend their money on what they want or at least what they think they want. So, the amount of money a person makes doesn’t always dictate the lifestyle they live. You can take two people and put them in the same job and their lifestyles will look completely different.

Let’s go back to the idea of unskilled jobs. What classifies a skill? Is being a cook at a fast food restaurant a skill? Is being a cook at a 5-star restaurant a skill? Are they both chefs or is one a cook and one a chef? If you answered no to one and yes to other or defined them differently, ask yourself what makes one different from the other?

They both require a person to know how to do some form of cooking. You have to know how to use an oven, grill, fryer, utensil and other items. Knowledge and skill. They both require a person to be able to follow a sequence of steps. You have to be trained to know how to follow recipes and create masterpieces of food. Some would say a big mac is a work of art. There was a time when people marveled at the big mac.

One may have required formal training, but ultimately they both require some form of training and skill set. Everyone cannot cook. So, why do people look down on one and not the other? Is it the pay structure, the title, the business? Or, have we simply been programmed to find ways to make ourselves feel better and appear better than the next person? Have we been conditioned to think certain things make something better?

I imagine there was a time when being a blue-collar worker was considered hard and unpleasant work. People in those industries were sold a lie that they weren’t good enough, didn’t have enough, and weren’t living the dream because they weren’t smart enough. Most blue collar workers never wanted their children to be a blue-collar worker and no white-collar worker would ever allow their child to do the work of a blue-collar worker or worse the help. This was beneath them. Are you seeing the pattern?

Slowly, steadily and surely these jobs became frowned upon. They were considered a means to job. Work this job as a means to get to a better job. The pay structure increased, but not by much and minimum wage “unskilled” jobs continued to be frowned on.

What if these less desirable jobs paid more? Would that make them more desirable?

I believe we can learn and grow from every single job. With every job, comes the opportunity to learn a new skill, gain experience and knowledge. If we teach our kids to value people and the work they do no matter what it is that small change could result in big change.

For me, I see this work thing like a beehive, every single bee is important the job they are doing is crucial to the function of the hive. Every single bee is considered valuable. Worker bees have skills that are important to the hive as well. Because of this, I treat the janitor cleaning the doctor office with the same respect and value as the doctor. While their skills are different, they are both important to the function and health of the clinic.

Ultimately, I want my kids to do what makes them feel alive as long as it doesn’t cause harm to them or anyone else. I want them to live their passion and if that passion is cleaning toilets, then clean toilets and clean them well! I want them to live out their purpose and leave the world in a better place than it was before they lived out their purpose. I want them to know their value in whatever they choose to do is higher than a dollar amount. I want to teach them to be smart with their spending, budgeting, and debt so they are able to live out their purpose without being enslaved to the money. When money isn’t the motivating factor, you are more likely to find and live your purpose.

What do you guys think? Is there such a thing as an unskilled job? Are some skills more important than others? Does pay determine the value of a job? Let me know what you think.



Pain, Pain Go Away…

“Ouch, shit! I think I just freaking cut myself. I can’t see the back of my thigh” Turns around in the shower. “Oouch!! Yep! I cut my freaking thigh. How did I do that? I am acting like I have never shaved before. Yep, there goes the blood. Crap!”

This was the exact dialogue I had with myself in the shower the other day as I cut myself while shaving. It wasn’t an actual cut but a graze that hurt like hell, and I bled. I got out of the shower and asked my husband to bandage me up. Shortly after being bandage and going on about my day, I quickly forgot all about the pain I experienced earlier.

The wound was out of sight out of mind. I wasn’t beating myself up anymore, in fact, I forgot all about the band-aid until my husband asked me how long I planned on keeping it on. This short incident made me think about how we handle physical pain in comparison to mental pain.

Physical pain can be forgotten about with a band-aid and distraction. Mental pain almost never can be forgotten.

With mental pain, we carry it with us like a trophy. We talk about it every chance we get. We remind the person who caused it over and over. We use it as a crutch.

Think about it for a moment. What mental pain are you carrying around with you right now as you read this? It could be an argument you had with someone. Something your significant other said that you didn’t like. Something that happened in your childhood.   This thing, may have caused you real emotional pain, but what purpose is it serving right now in your life? When we hurt ourselves (like stub our toe) we don’t spend the next 20 years mad about stubbing our toe. You don’t walk by the corner of your bed saying “You stupid piece of crap, you remember that time you made me stub my toe in 2009.”  So why do we do this to people in our lives or even ourselves? Often times, people will remind the people in their lives of that one time. They carry the pain that person caused with them like a medal. They are quick to pull off the band-aid and be like you see this, you did this.

Carrying mental pain in your life prevents healing and growth. You can never truly heal and grow when you are cultivating a wound.

But, Tanyell, this person or that situation really hurt me? Understandable. Let’s talk about the healing process when you were hurt. How did you handle it at that moment? What things did you do to reduce the pain and begin to nurture the wound? When we experience physical pain, we immediately tend to the wound. We apply pressure to prevent further bleeding, we apply ointments and creams to prevent scarring or burning, we apply alcohol or peroxide to prevent infection, we apply bandages to ensure it heals properly. We do all these things so we don’t have to worry about a scar or this physical pain coming back to hunt us.

When we experience mental pain, we will sweep it under the rug. Hold in our emotions. Let the person get away with insulting us or saying something hurtful. We will hold in our thoughts or bite our tounges. We will process it over and over. We replay the moment and think about all the shoulda, woulda, coulda. We slap a band-aid on a huge wound and hope that it heals, only for the band-aid to fall off and we find ourselves furious with the scar left behind. Every time we see the person or experience a trigger we are reminded of the scar and seeing the scar pisses us off and then we address the issue sometimes passive-aggressively and other times head-on. But it’s too late.

But, Tanyell, isn’t it better to get things off our chest no matter when it is? Sure. I am not saying we shouldn’t sit down and address a person or situation that may have caused us pain in the past. However, we must understand we can never get that exact moment back. We must understand all the person can do is apologize (if they are willing) and once they have or haven’t we must be willing to move on. We can’t continue to bring up the situation over and over. This unhealthy cycle keeps us stuck.

Reliving hurtful moments propels us back to those times (it’s like a time machine) we are unable to see the blessings right in front us. We are unable to fully and completely enjoy the person today. The person today isn’t the same person who hurt you.

But Tanyell they are! Well, now we are talking about a whole new situation. If you continue to stub your toe on the same bed every single day, over and over, eventually you are going to get rid of that bed or make some necessary changes to prevent stubbing your toe. If a person continues to hurt you over and over, you need to remove that person from your life or make some necessary changes to prevent that person from hurting you.

Reminding a person who is continuously hurting you, about a time they hurt you 5 years ago serves zero purpose in your life. It isn’t beneficial.

Ok, so what do I do then? I am glad you asked! The best thing to do with mental pain is to face it head on when we experience it. The same way we do with physical pain. We must be willing to address the situation and give it the attention and nourishment it needs right then. We then have to make sure we apply the proper bandages to prevent pain and reduce any scarring. This may look like setting boundaries, changing dialogues, expressing expectations, and/or seeking counsel or coaching. Once we have taken the appropriate steps, if we experience this pain, again and again, we may need to remove the person or ourselves. Taking these steps helps ensure we heal properly and quickly. If we find ourselves triggered by something, we must assess what is causing this trigger and why. Sometimes triggers are healthy reminders and other times triggers are time machines. A healthy trigger might be you walk into a hotel room and see a bed in a corner (the same way your bed was when you would always stub your toe) and all of sudden you feel anxious or nervous. This is a trigger reminding you that you need to be careful because beds positioned this way may stub your toe. It’s a reminder a warning. An unhealthy trigger is every single time you walk into any room with any bed you find yourself frustrated and irritated. These triggers aren’t beneficial. They cause us to worry about things we don’t need to worry about. They cause anxiety and take away from enjoying the present moment.

When we experience mental or emotional pain face it head on and then let it go. Once you have nourished it and addressed it, move on from it. You may never forget it or forget what happened, but you must move on from it and let it go. Never forgetting doesn’t mean reliving it, it simply means you remember what happened and you know not to let the same thing happened again. I remember cutting myself in the shower and remember what I did to do it, I know not to do that again. However, I am not triggered by the shower or the razor. I addressed it and moved on.

Scarring from emotional pain isn’t the result of the action made, but the result of  action not taken.



Doggy Paddle Like You Mean it.

Last week I had a few business meetings I  needed to attend, however, I woke up one morning feeling inadequate and unprepared for them. I found myself feeling like I had no idea what I was doing. I recognized this wasn’t an uncommon feeling for me, there have been many times I have felt a sense of inadequacy. I was about to have meetings with people who were far more knowledgable about business than I was. They were going to eat me alive.

If you’ve heard my testimony, then you know I talk about being in the ocean during this time of my life. I often feel like there are moments I am floating, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery, then there are moments when I am swimming for my life trying not to drown. But what about those in-between moments?

I am doggy paddling.

What I have learned while being in the ocean is I am not a professional swimmer. I don’t know how to do any professional strokes, all I know how to do is doggy paddle.

If you were to swim by me in the ocean, on the top it would appear like I am perfectly fine, coasting along, but underneath the water you would see my legs kicking and kicking and my arms wailing, a complete struggle to stay afloat.

After attending my first meeting, I realized everyone in the ocean is doing the exact same, we are all simply doggy paddling trying to stay afloat.

The thing about living life beyond the walls and in the ocean is we don’t really know how to do it. None of us have been taught how to live a life free of conformity, free of boundaries, free of other people opinions. Most of us are trying to figure this thing called life out. We are all trying to learn how to become professional swimmers in the ocean. While it may appear that others around you have it all together, chances are they are doggy paddling too.

The difference between one persons doggy paddle and the next is the confidence they paddle with. Some people understand that doggy paddling is just as effective as swimming. It may take them a little bit longer, but they are making strides and movement through life just like the person doing butterfly strokes. Some people realize if they are going to doggy paddle, they have to paddle with a certain kind of effort. They have to paddle like they mean it, like they really want to get there. If you want something in life you feel totally unqualified for, you have to walk into like you want it and deserve it. You can’t go in feeling unqualified and unworthy. You see, most people feed off your vibes and energy. When they see you in the ocean, they aren’t looking at your strokes as much as they are looking at your energy and vibes. Someone can watch a person and not know anything about their lack of knowledge or skill level, but if what they are doing seems effortless, passionate, beautiful, and they bring a type of energy that makes them feel just as excited then what they are doing no longer matters, the person is  sucked into the energy force.

If I was capable of walking into my meetings with a level of confidence and excitement then people wouldn’t focus on the fact I was doggy paddling, in fact many time they wouldn’t even know I was doggy paddling. They would be focused on how quickly and efficiently I was moving and how great my energy was while doing it.

It’s all about the energy and vibes. I am less likely to jump into the water with someone who seems panicked, scared, and unsure even if they are a professional swimmer. However, if someone seems completely at ease, happy, confident, and have a positive vibe and energy I am more likely to jump into the water without even asking if they know anything about swimming.

I realized just because I am doggy paddling now doesn’t mean I will still be doggy paddling in a year. Every single person has a starting point. There will come a time when I would be able to back stroke through some parts of the ocean and then have to doggy paddle through other parts. The same way I am able to float. The key is to do it like I mean it, whole heartedly.

After realizing this reality, I decided to doggy paddle like I meant it. If I was going to doggy paddle anyway, I might as well doggy paddle with pride. I decided I would add some simple strokes to my doggy paddle.  Practice would eventually make perfect. I no longer was going to feel embarrassed or less than because I was doggy paddling. For the remainder of the week I doggy paddled into every meeting like a professional swimmer!

I doggy paddled into my meetings with confidence and energy. I held my head high above the water while my legs kicked and paddled and with all their might. And if my head happen to dip for a second under water, I would keep my eyes open and look around noticing everyone else doggy paddling too! We were all equals. All trying to get to our island of happiness.

Now that you have broke down the walls and jumped into the ocean of the unknown, doggy paddle with a purpose, doggy paddle to your island, doggy paddle like you mean it! And when you run into others who seem like more competent swimmers, remember everyone is and/or has doggy paddled. So be kind, give them a boost, show them a stroke or two that you have learned along the way, and speak life into them so they are able to continue their journey along the ocean with the same type of confidence.


Follow the Cart

Ikea is one of the best shopping places ever! If you’ve never been to one, may I suggest you make this happen. We love Ikea, but we don’t love their carts Ikea carts are designed to roll front, backwards, and side to side. This on first sight may seem awesome because you simply pull the cart along with you whichever way you go. What we quickly learned and based off our people watching, what others learned, is this is not the case.

The carts are actually cumbersome and easily become a nuisance. You find yourself trying to force the cart to go the way you want it to go, all while the wheels are turning and rolling in every direction. You’re going left and the cart is going backward and right. If you make this highly suggested visit to Ikea or on your next visit to Ikea, take a moment to watch those around you struggling, I mean strolling around with their carts. You will see many of them complaining and discussing their dislike for the carts, you will see them trying to forcefully correct the direction of the cart, but then you will see some people happily following along. Sounds familiar? Sounds like life?

Some people follow the cart rather than trying to force the cart to follow them. 

I never noticed this until one of our recent visits to Ikea. We were waiting for one of our purchases to arrive at the pickup station along with a couple of other people. Our items arrived at the same time as another person items. My husband got our cart of items and the guy got his cart of items. I watched as my husband struggled to get the buggy to go the way he wanted it to go while the guy strolled by us letting his buggy go whichever way it choose. He walked by with ease, confidence, and a type of control that isn’t quite control. It was almost as if he maintained control of the cart by releasing control. Allowing the cart to do what it was designed to do, but still staying in control. It was eye opening.

What this moment taught me was that Ikea carts are much like life. We walk into many moments of life with excitement knowing that the situation can go anyway. There is a feeling of freedom, believing we will have a stronger grasp on control in the situation. However, once in the moment we begin to feel frustrated, irritated, worried, concerned, upset, stressed, angry, and/or depressed when we realize the situation is trying to go one way when we want it to go another way.

What if, we followed the moment? What if we allowed the moment to swing right while we held on with a since of confidence knowing the situation wasn’t going to swing so far right that we would lose control. Allowing the moment to go right, with a faith in the design of the moment. A faith that the creator of this moment knew exactly how to design the situation to go exactly the way it needed to go.

Follow the moment and allow things to unfold the way they are designed to unfold all while holding on with faith and confidence in yourself and the maker.

The guy following the cart in front of us wasn’t pushing the cart, but more so guiding it. He held on with ease as the cart turned in circles. For him, he knew without a doubt the cart wouldn’t get out of hand, he trusted the design and he trusted himself.

To push something in life that wasn’t designed to be pushed can cause friction and frustration. 

When you are presented with free flowing moments in life, the idea is to allow that moment to, well, flow free. If we take a moment that was meant to be free flowing, and  try to push it in the direction we want it to go, the moment is no longer free flowing. You are literally going against the grain. These moments become so frustrating and put a strain on our peace and happiness. So, how do you know when you are forcing a free flowing moment? Do things seem difficult, virtually impossible, does it seem like no matter how hard you push or pull you’re getting nowhere and in fact it gets harder. Does it seem like you are making zero progress? All these feelings are tall tell signs that you are trying to control a free a flowing situation.

When you let go of control and follow the situation, you will quickly see a drastic change in the feeling. The important thing in this is faith and trust. Because the situation will feel like it is going to go out of control if you don’t steer it, you have to have trust and faith. In the beginning it will feel uncomfortable almost unnatural. You will feel like you need to do something or should be doing more. It will feel like things are getting out of control.


Soon you will start to feel a sense of ease, things will flow more naturally. You will be guiding the situation, but not controlling it which will allow things to flow more freely. This allows more opportunities to present itself.

The guy who followed his cart, got to his destination a lot faster and a lot happier.

When you follow and guide you arrive at your destination a lot faster and with fewer bumps and bruises. You are happier and less frustrated. You are able to see all the beauty in each moment presented because you aren’t tied up with pushing and pulling.

The goal with each moment is to let it be, let it flow, gently guiding the wheel and trusting you will end up exactly where you are suppose to!


inspirational, Life strategies

Live Dangerously

I have talked a lot about the purpose of life. My belief is and continues to be the purpose of life is to “live”. But what exactly does that mean? I have given examples with trees and other metaphors, but somehow this idea is still a hard one to grasp.

I was recently journaling in my “The Circle Maker  Prayer Journal”, ( I recommend this book to everyone, no matter your religious beliefs) and the quote for the day was

“stop living as though the purpose of life is to arrive safely to death”

How profound this? I had to really pause in that moment and allow this quote to sink into my spirit. You’ve read my post on stop waiting and start living, where I talk about the idea of dying and how we are all going to do it. Is the purpose to arrive at that moment safely? Is the goal of living to arrive on your death bed and say, “whew! Thank goodness I got here with no broken bones, no horror stories, no exotic memories, I got here safe and sound!” Will this safe arrival to the one place many of us fear make the arrival easier and better? I’m going to go out on a limb and say probably not.

My guess is many of us will think about all the chances we should’ve taken and how we would’ve taken those chances had we known this was the ultimate outcome (as if we don’t already know this). No one really wants to play it safe. When we play games, we take chances and go out on the limb, because we want to win and we think it’s just a game so I’m going to go for it. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but no matter the outcome at the end of the game we have a story to tell and memories to share. We learn valuable lessons for the next time we play the game and we go into the game more confident than the last time.

Isn’t life a game?


Who told you it wasn’t?

When you think back on this great philosopher that told you life isn’t a game and we need to take life seriously and proceed with caution, how was their life?

All the greats I know, played life as though it was a game, a game to be mastered and won. Many of these greats lost the game of life several times, but in the end they won. I can assure you they didn’t arrive at death safely. They had stories and war wounds to prove it. Us, too afraid to live folks, marvel in their stories and think how can we live freely like them? The question I ask is, what are you afraid to lose? Me, I am afraid of dying and never had lived. I am afraid of dying with regrets. I am afraid of dying while still living.

I am afraid of dying while still living

Many people play it safe in fear of loss and death. I don’t or can’t do that because I might lose my job, I don’t want to do that because I might die, I don’t want to go because I might die, I can’t buy that because I might lose my car. The script is different, but the plot is the same. The ultimate goal is to safely walk through life. It is only when we are faced with loss or death that we throw caution to the wind and truly begin to play the game of life. It is in these moments that we truly begin to live. The  problem with this narrative is it’s still fear driven. Fear prevents us from living while also making us live. Isn’t that amazing how one single emotion can determine the path we choose in life?  What would happen if we removed fear? It is even possible? Do we ultimately need fear to live?

Yes! We need fear to live! Fear is what drove many of the greats to be great. Fear is ultimately what forced me to jump ship. Fear is what motivate us to do the unthinkable and move into the unknown. Fear is what drives us to change.

Fear; freeing  emotions, abandoning reason.

When there is fear present we tend to either allow our emotions free or we free ourselves of emotion. If you are a person that holds onto emotions and do not allow your emotions to be known, when fear is present you may allow your emotions to flow. You may say I love you to a person you never allowed yourself to say I love you too. You may express the feelings of concern or worry. You may allow yourself to say all the things you wanted to say before but didn’t. If you are a person that is always thinking about your emotions and assessing a situation, when fear is present you may free yourself of these thoughts and emotions. If you were always worried about something or someone, when fear is present you throw those worries to the side and move pass whatever is driving the fear. Fear causes freedom.

With this freedom, there is an abandonment of reason. When you are faced with fear, you somehow no longer wrestle with reason, you simply react to move pass the situation that is causing fear. When fear is present, you somehow are no longer scared or afraid. You don’t have time to think about what if.  There is no time to reason in a “life or death” situation. If you ever been in a fearful situation, then you know the feeling of abandoning reason. We often find ourselves saying “I can’t believe I did that” It’s as though we would have never done whatever that was if fear wasn’t present. Unlike being scared fear causes action. Being scared causes you to be paralyzed. Scared is a state of being, while fear is a motivator. When you are scared you are thinking, analyzing, reasoning. When you are fearful you are doing, reacting, letting go of reason. Again there is freedom in fear.



So, how do you live in constant F.E.A.R? Ask yourself what emotion am I holding on to or hiding?  What negotiations and reasoning conversations am I having with myself? What am I scared of? Once you begin to ask yourself these core questions, you will begin to feel the fear emerge. Don’t run from it, that is scared rearing it’s ugly head trying to confuse you. Feel that fear and ask yourself what is my biggest fear? Once you allow yourself to feel the fear, you will without thought begin to take actions. Fear is jarring. One action will arise more fear and more fear will arise more action. All these tiny little actions will cause you to live! But not only live, but live in the present and live the life you want and deserve.

Remember being scared is being paralyzed, having fear is having action.