What’s The Name?

It’s a boy!! What a good-looking guy he is! What’s his name?

This is usually the course of conversation after giving birth to a baby. One of the first questions you’re typically asked as a mom is what’s the name. This question is asked so leisurely and carefree. As a mother, we have probably spent the last 10 months (if not years)  pondering over a name for our baby. Rightfully so, I mean this will, more than likely, be their introduction to the world for the rest of their life. A name is important.

You would think with all the weight and judgement that comes with a name, we would get more time and less pressure about naming our babies.

I personally think you should have time to get to know your little bundle before slapping a name on them. We need to see them, hold them, watch them and then we can attach a name to the person. I have luckily been able to do this with all of my kids except 1 and 1/2. The 1/2 child we named at the hospital (out of force) and then 6 months later legally changed her name.

While some of our kids names do not have a significant definition meaning, they each have personal and spiritual meaning to us. I won’t bore you with the naming process of all of my children, but I want to share our latest.

Let me introduce you to Eleven Ellis!

I know, I know eleven is a number not a name, right?  Says who? Who is the person that came up with what defines a name of a person vs object, thing or number. How did we all decide this was ok and we would go along with it? Why is hard for us to challenge social norms?

I must admit I initially was thrown off when my husband suggested the name Eleven. He and my kids are currently obsessed with Stranger Things. I personally have never seen a single episode, but they love it. My husband had taken on special liking to the character dubbed Eleven in the movie. So when we found out we were having another baby (what would be our 11th child on earth) He quickly and excitedly said we should name the baby Eleven! We can call them Elle or El for short. I laughed thinking he was joking, but quickly realized he was serious. So for 10 months we lovingly and me jokingly called the baby Eleven. We had no idea the sex of the baby, but kinda was leaning towards girl. Imagine our surprise when our daughter said it’s a boy!

Could we really and would we really name our baby boy Eleven simply because my husband loves a t.v show and this would be baby number “11”? That wasn’t enough for me. I needed to do more research, I needed to spend time with this guy. So, that’s exactly what we did. For the next 6 days I researched eleven and other names. I paid attention to my feelings and emotions. I watched him and his mannerisms. I thought about what I wanted for his future and what kind of person I hoped he would grow to be. As we did this soul name searching process, we realized he was our 7th biological child together. He was our 7/11!! (we even tossed up the name Seven Eleven)

While researching Eleven we realized the number 11 has some significant meanings:

1. it’s an angel number representing spiritual awakening and enlightenment. It tells us to connect to our higher selves and life purpose. Number 11 is usually called the messenger or teacher. This was so powerful for me! I believe each one of my children were brought into my life for a purpose and to teach me something. Many of their names represent this. This child came during a time of testimony for me. A time where I was and still am going through some major life changes. I was feeling like there is no way I can have another child right now. Number 11 is a message from my angel saying watch my thoughts and remain positive to manifest my prayers! Wow! I felt like Eleven was sent to me as a representation to continue to strive to live my life purpose, to remain positive throughout the adversity, to continue to trust. He is breaking a cycle of constant doubt and familiarity.

2. Eleven’s (the very few) are inspirational, humanitarians, they care deeply about others and their family. They are giving and have strong intuition. They can be deep thinkers and hard workers. When they set their mind to something they do it! Traits I would love for my child to have.

3. We are not religious people by any stretch, however, I do consider myself to very spiritual, philosophical, and a believer in the universe, energy, and power. I believe in omens and messages. With that being said, Jesus had 12 disciples and when Judah betrayed him the remainder disciples were often called the 11. This screamed message to me. See, Eleven is technically our 12th child. We loss our 5th child. During that time, we felt betrayed by God, The Universe, and any other spiritual form. We felt empty and helpless. We were confused and lost. There were so many different emotions. I gave birth to him in December, I was due in April. In May we found out we were pregnant again and with another boy! We went through so many changes of ups and downs. What we realized was, had we not loss LJ there would be no Major and probably Eleven. The course of our lives would have been different without this “betrayal.” We had to loose 1 in order to manifest our life purpose. “The Eleven” will represent this.

So, you see for us, eleven is more than just a number, it’s symbolic, it’s the representation and name of our newest bundle of blessing! While some people will only be able to associate eleven with a number, we hope others will embrace and come to love it as a name!

Our Eleven is more than just a number, he is our SUN, our Ellis!

 

Stop or Keep Going

There is a quote by Gracie Allen that says “never place a period where God has placed a comma.”

I struggled with this quote for a long time. Trying to figure out when I should keep pushing forward vs when I should throw in the towel. Often times, we get confused on to quit or not to quit. You hear things like “nothing worth having comes easy” “you have to go through it to get to it” “Nobody every said it would it be easy.” These are the little motivating lines people will throw out to us when we find ourselves at the crossroads of wanting to give up.

The other side to that coin is “ask and you shall receive.” “when you really want something the universe conspires for you to have it” “nothing is to big for God” and so on. These seem to be conflicting messages.

Then there is the quote by Oprah “life always whispers first, but if you ignore the whisper sooner or later you will get the scream”

All of these quotes can leave any person confused. How do you know if this is a comma or period, a mountain you have to climb or a whisper you need to hear. But nothing is to big for God.

I believe all of these quotes are true. I believe when we are living our organic lives the Universe will give us exactly what we need to achieve our goals. I believe nothing is too big for God and God will use his power and strength to protect us from getting in the way of our organic selves. I believe sometimes we have to go through it to get to it and it’s not easy living an organic life in a world full of preservatives. I believe we have to listen to life whispers to know there is a period and the Universe is saying go the other way, God is saying stop.

But how Tanyell? How can I tell the difference?

The difference between a comma and period is challenge and struggle.

When God is saying not yet or the Universe is saying you’re going to have to go through it to get to it you may experience challenges. These challenges may throw you off, trip you up, cause you take a moment of pause. You may even question whether you should keep going and may second guess yourself. It’s going to feel hard, but not impossible. You may face one challenge and God opens a door of opportunity then face another challenge and the Universe gives you what you need to get through that one. Either way with hard work, determination, and tenacity you will get through those challenges. This is what a comma feels like!  It feels like pause, take a break, hold on, not yet, almost but a few more things. A comma lets you know you need to stop for a brief moment but more is to come if you keep going.

When God is saying no and the Universe is whispering stop, stop, stop it feels like a struggle. Struggles knock the wind out of you. No matter how much you push and pull there is resistance. You just can’t seem to get a break one thing after another. Rather than the Universe throwing you a bone, you have to make and create ways to try and move past the struggle. These ways may make the struggle even more difficult. If you are able to create a way beyond the struggle, immediately another struggle appears. It may be bigger and harder. A period let’s us know to stop this is over, something new is coming. It allows us to reset our thoughts and prepare for new information. A period says stop here but keep going in a different direction. This is the end of this.

See we look at these as road blocks as blocking us from our destination rather than, road blocks protecting us from danger. Road blocks are designed to protect us from accidents. These roadblocks may be inconvenient but they can set us on a path of beauty if we allow ourselves to be open to the new journey.

The thing about nothing being to big for God is true, which means God can place a period in our life at any given time. He can see us trucking along on our path and he may see a ditch up ahead.

So what happens?

Life whispers STOP. Some of us are so attuned with life that we hear this whisper and we are able to stop. Some of us aren’t as attuned and may continue to drive and then suddenly we hit a road block. From here some of us are able to realize this road block is a period we need to turnaround and figure out a new direction. While a few of us think this is simply is a comma. How can I get through this roadblock. What is a period now becomes a struggle because we refuse to stop and reset.

Suddenly,  you find yourself in a ditch trying to figure out how to get out.

The key to life is knowing and having faith that God wants us to live our organic lives he wants us to have the best, and when we are living our organic lives or on the path to our organic lives the Universe will conspire to give us everything we need. But when God sees we are setting out on a path that is not conducive with our organic lives he will do everything in his power to prevent us from moving forward.

The trouble is…. free will.

Help is on the Way

I was at my local grocery store and decided to use the self checkout lane. These lanes are designed to make our life easier and assist with us getting out of the store faster. However, like most things designed to make life easier, they don’t always do that. Sometimes you go through the self checkout and you find yourself thinking, I should’ve just stood in line.

Thats the thing about life there are no real shortcuts.

As I was checking myself out, I probably had way to many grocery for the self checkout, I heard the machine next to me saying “Help is on the way!” “Help is on the way” over and over. The lady using the machine was frantically looking around for said help. The cashier was busy assisting someone at that moment. The machine continue to sing out “help is on the way!” “help is on the way”. The lady tried to hit a few buttons, move her groceries around in the bagging area, but still nothing. She sighed a loud sigh and looked around again. I glanced at her and gave her a gentle smile and she shook her head in frustration, as she said “where is help when you need it. I can’t get this stupid machine to stop talking this is ridiculous.” I smiled a smile of it will be ok  and said “Yes these things can be frustating. I’m surprised at how busy it is today. I’m sure she will be here soon.” She sighed another heavy sigh, poked the machine a few more times, and then finally gathered up all her grocery, “I’m just going to go get in another line, this is ridiculous. I don’t have time to wait around.” And she sped off.

No Sooner than she sped off, help walked up!

The cashier looked around and said where did they go? “she went to another line, I responded” The cashier cleared the machine and moved on to the next person. This moment was so profound to me.

In the alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes about the universe testing everything we have learned right before we are about to reach our destiny. He says things will get really hard and this is usually when most people give up. They give up right before the thing they really wanted is about to come true.

In life things will get hard, the road to success will be a bumpy ride it is only those that continue the road who will reach the success.

The key to staying the course is being patient and having trust that help is on the way.

When we are in the midst of a storm, it’s easy to get agitated, irritated, frustrated. It becomes the norm to complain. in fact, people expect you to complain. They say things like I don’t know how you are dealing with that, that is crazy how do you do it, better you than me, I couldn’t imagine, maybe you should go back to doing what you use to do, that’s why you don’t do things like that and so on and so on. Often times, they will hop on the bandwagon of complaining and even lead the path. (steer clear of these people)

You have to trust that you are on the path that God has laid out for you, you have to listen to your heart and persevere, you have to be patient knowing that good things come to those who wait. You have to trust the universe and believe that the universe wants you to succeed. You have to trust the lessons you are learning and believe there is something to be learned in every situation. You have to trust help is on the way.

“one dies of thirst just as the palm trees appear on the horizon”-the alchemist

Believing these things will allow you to continue to forge on during the moments of difficulty. The lady in line was just a few moments away from being seen. Had she taken just a few more moments to be patient and maybe ask herself what can I learn in this moment as I wait, her journey may have been easier and in the end faster. On my way out of the store she was still standing in line. Although she may accomplish her goal (checking out) it took a lot longer because she wasn’t patient and she didn’t trust help was on the way. There are no shortcuts to life, we will be tested, we will struggle along the way, but if we are following our hearts the journey will be faster than if we derail from the path, try to turn around, or worse stop.

In the famous words of Dory…..

“just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming”

And believe help is on the way!

My Intent is to be Intentional

Happy New Year!

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What has your first week of 2017 looked like?

Has it started out in all the glory you envisioned in 2016?

Are you well on your way to a great year, a year of change?

Every year we make promises to ourselves that this year will be our year, every single goal we want to achieve we will achieve, we are going to make the changes we need to make. The first thing with these type of promises is that we wait until a new year to make these promises. If you know anything about me you know I believe in living now and if you don’t know then you need to head over to this post and read all about it!

The thing about change is we have to be intentional.

I’ve heard people talk about having a word for the year. I personally have never had a word for a year- after thinking about change and what it takes to make true change- I realized intention is everything and being intentional about your intention is key.

My word for 2017 is intentional!

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Let’s talk about the word intentional. According to the oxford dictionary  intentional means done on purpose; deliberate. When we look at this definition and apply it to change, we realize we have to be deliberate about our actions, we have to do things on purpose.

We can want change, but do nothing to get it.

When we are intentional about our actions, we are thoughtful and focused. We aren’t simply going with the motions of life, we are putting deliberate motions into action. We have ambition.

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Intention is defined by the oxford dictionary as a thing intended; an aim or plan.

What is your intention? What do you have planned? What are you aiming for?

Whatever it is you have to be intentional on making it happen. You have to be deliberate with your actions to make your plans happen. If you don’t know your intentions and you aren’t intentional, you will find yourself floating through life and making the same promises Dec 31, 2017.

I  challenge you to be intentional this year with everything you do. Go through life with clear intentions. Know what it is you are aiming for and then move forward with purpose. Walk with a stride that is confident and full of ambition.

Children Do Not Require Much

“shhhhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhh, shhhhhh. Wait Charlie, It’s too hot!” I heard my little Major say to Charlie. I went to see what exactly was to hot and what I found was the two of them nicely playing with a box. “You want to take a bath?” Major asked her as he continue to make the running water sound. I decided to sit and watch them as they carried on with this pretend bath in this box. At that moment, I realized several things. In watching this innocent pretend play among my children, I had a moment of clarity and another brick from my wall came tumbling down!

Children do not require much.

Yep, you heard it here first! But just in case you didn’t catch it, Children do not require much. I have always known that quality time over quanity of things is more important for a healthy happy child; however, I sometimes find myself getting caught up in the societal ideas of things and the idea of things my children should have. Rather it is educational toys, board games, electronic games, and the list goes on, I find myself running to the store for birthdays and holidays to buy these things, when in reality my children would rather play with miscelanous things they find around the house. Children are really simple beings, it is us who make them complicated. They only require and honestly, desire the basic needs in life food, water, shelter, and love. We, as a society, begin to put these other wants and desires into their minds and change them into something else.

As the wonderful Holiday of Christmas quickly approaches- and I for the first time in my life haven’t run out to buy up the entire stores for my children-still find my self struggling with this idea.

The noise of society swishes around in my head, “your a bad mother””what’s wrong with you” “you’re not in the Christmas spirit” “you need to get it together” “no gifts, what are you going to do for Christmas” and the noise goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying zero gifts (that many bricks didn’t fall, YET) however, I am saying quality over quantity. I am saying a packed Christmas tree is no longer necessary. After losing my mom in 2014, we decided to take a family vacation for Christmas. (A) to celebrate  what would have been my moms 50 birthday. (B) to get away and do something different after a really rough time. We skipped gifts that year and took a trip instead. Although we didn’t get to have a nice good ole fashion Christmas dinner, we did have a fantastic time. Memories were made that can’t be trashed, replaced, set aside, or forgotten.

Every Holiday we are told to go out and buy an enormous amount of stuff only to replace that same stuff with new stuff on the next Holiday. Slowly we either replace old stuff or begin to collect stuff that has no real sentimental value.

I want you to think about a thing that has sentimental value to you …………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Got it? No? Need more time?—————————————————

Ok, if you don’t have it by now, these next few sentences won’t apply to you so feel free to skip over them. For those of us who have the thing in our mind that has sentimental value, what makes this thing special? Why is important to you? What is the story behind it? What do you remember about it? Can you tell me a story about it? Sticking with the holiday theme. One thing that is sentimental to me is this little elf  we have on our tree. img_2118

This little elf is special because he has been in our family since 1978. He is important to me because he was on my granny Christmas tree, then my mothers, and now mine. I remember putting this elf on the tree every single year! I always put him on last and I remember I would get into trouble when I was younger, because I would play with him like a barbie doll with the rest of my barbies during Christmas. My granny would get so mad at me, but I absolutely loved to play with him. It was something about him that made me happy, probably the fact he is an elf!

You see the elf himself isn’t sentimental the memories around the elf are sentimental. The memory the elf brings back to my mind when I see him is what is important. Even without the elf himself, I would still have these sweet memories of putting him on the tree.

Is this resonating with you?

Are you getting this?

You see, the thing you thought of probably wasn’t opened in a sea of other things on a random Holiday full of gifts. The thing you thought of has a memory attached to it. I have bought my kids over a thousand items and many of those things they can’t remember. I believe this is because they were too busy opening the next gift and the next gift and the next gift. In a society were we are never satisfied and always saying give me more, give me more, Christmas has done nothing but to aide in this more, more, more attitude.

Think about how kids rip through gifts on Christmas, not having a moment to fully enjoy what it’s front of them, because they are looking forward to whats to come. Wow! Does that sound familiar. Sometimes as adults were are unable to enjoy what’s in front of us because we are looking for what’s next.

Learned behavior?

This Christmas we aren’t traveling, but we aren’t ripping through tons of gifts, we aren’t focusing on presents, but  we are going to focus on the present  and each others presence. I’m going to listen to my kids and give them exactly what their hearts and soul want and require connection, fully and wholeheartedly. I’m going to make memories with them that may become attached to an item they get this year, but it won’t be the item it will really be the memory! I’m listening with to my soul not to my society.

Someday, Major and Charlie will see a box and they will laugh and they will get a warm and fuzzy feeling. I imagine they will say, “I love boxes! I remember when we use to collect boxes and make up games to play with them. Now every time I see a box it makes me happy! Such great memories”

 

Live Inside Your Walls

After brushing my teeth, I begin to put the few things away that were straggled on my counter. As I cleared the things, I stumbled across a spiderman toothbrush cover. I picked it up held in my hand and begin to smile. It was covered in old, hard toothpaste. It must have fell behind my counter, because the kid that adored this toothbrush holder was now in college. I sat down on the edge of my bathtub and listened to the silence. The silence that was once bliss and desired more than anything in the world. Tears begin to stream down my eyes as I held this tiny toothbrush holder in my hand. I looked around my bathroom and it was spotless. Not a thing out of place. I had spent yesterday cleaning it which explains how this tiny treasure had surfaced. I had longed for so long the desire to have a spotless bathroom, you know the kind that you see in magazines. And finally the day had come, and I was sitting in my magazine worthy bathroom balling tears of sadness. Why was I so sad? I pulled myself up and got dressed. Life was so different now, my house stayed clean, I had ample amount of quiet time and I was never short on me time. My career was thriving, yet my heart wished for the ‘good ole’ days. The days when I had tiny feet running about. The days when I had people storming into my bedroom asking me for help. The days when I had tiny arms wrapping around my neck and pecking me with little kisses. The days when my days were full of joyful chaos. Why had I rushed those sweet days away? Why was I in such a hurry for things to be different? Sure, I loved my life now and I enjoyed how things were, but there was still those sweet memories of yesterday.

What is it that makes us rush our present, in hopes of a better tomorrow only to get to tomorrow and wish for another yesterday?

I find myself, as a mother of 9 children at home, hoping for better tomorrows. Hoping that one day I don’t have to fuss as much. Hoping that one day my house will stay clean. Hoping that one day I will have an hour to myself. Hoping that one day I will get a moment of peace and quiet. I find myself daydreaming of these tomorrows. The problem is while I am daydreaming of these tomorrows the today is a blur. As a mother of 1 child out of the house, I find myself wishing for yesterdays when he was tiny. I know all to well what is to come, wishing for yesterdays; however I still find myself hoping for better tomorrows.

It’s almost as though society has arranged it for happiness to be impossible. The system has been setup to never be satisfied always wishing for something. It would have us believe we are incapable of living in the present. We have been programed to be living in the past or looking to the future rather eagerly or anxiously.

I have spent a lot time talking about kicking down walls and living outside the box. But for a moment I want us to live in the box. I want us to stop and look around our tiny little box and recognize the beauty of our box. Not concerned with what is going on outside the box, not wondering how we got into the box, but simply enjoying the box. For a moment we aren’t going to try to rip down the walls and get to a better place, instead we are going to say our box is our box and it’s enough! Can you make up your mind Tanyell….. I know, I know it can seem confusing. But, part of living beyond the walls is recognizing that our walls are our walls.

Let me explain. We take the time to build our perfect little four walls. For me my walls consist of my husband, 10 children, a dog, cat, a few small animals, my private practice, our inflatable business, our spirituality and view of the world, and a few other bricks. I have been careful with building these walls, being very strategic with each brick. However, inside these walls is chaos, craziness, madness, messiness, laughter, yelling, love, tears, laughter, and a plethora of other things. People will often come inside my four walls and begin to tell me what I need to change what I need to do different. I sometimes find myself comparing my four walls to other people four walls. And slowly, the beautiful bricks that I have strategically placed and the perfectly carved wood I have placed, I begin to chisel and hammer down. I find myself beating my bricks up and cutting my wood up with should and could. I find myself saying I can’t wait until this brick is gone or this wood is moved so I can_________ fill in the blank. My once perfect walls slowly get destroyed piece by piece by piece. The light shinning through isn’t a bright happy light of promises of freedom. The light shinning through is a blinding bright light that forces me to cover my eyes. My walls are crumbling and it doesn’t feel good.

In order to repair the holes in my walls, I must begin to plug them with memories and moments of the present. Take time to enjoy the tiny moments that are happening within them. The heftiness of life and all of it’s imperfections. It means allowing my littles to sleep in the middle one more night while my husband and I hold onto the edge of the bed. It means wiping tears and cleaning non existence booboos. It means stepping over toys and framing literal wall art. It means listening to the yelling and screaming and the details of who did it. It means putting the phone down to make eye contact and fully engage in a 20 min story about a teddy bear and barbie doll. It means reading one more bedtime story.  It means walking into a bathroom with tissue hanging off the roll and toothpaste spilled across the counter top from little hands brushing little teeth.

Sometimes life beyond the walls means remaining in our four walls. Sometimes it means not allowing others to come inside of our walls and try to tear them down with their ideals and opinions. Life beyond the walls can mean seeing beyond our walls to know that everyones four walls are different and the beauty inside of each of them is to be held by the person living inside. Before you begin to chisel down the walls in your life, make sure they aren’t your four walls that you built.

After brushing my teeth, I begin to look around at the toys in the bathtub from last night baths, the toothpaste splatters on the mirror from big spits, the clothes on the floor that lead into the closet were pajamas were kept, the tissue dangling from the roll from someone who needed a piece to clean their nose. I looked around at the beautiful mess of life, fun, and memories. I took a deep breath, put my toothbrush away, and walked out of the bathroom leaving the mess for another moment. I went out into the living room and embraced myself for all the mommies and feels that were going to flood me before I could make my way to the coffee pot. I took the time and hugged each and everyone of them looking deep into their tiny eyes and feeling their tiny arms try to wrap around me. I hugged my bigs and remembered their tiny arms. I took mental pictures of this moment and listened to all the dreams and the plans for the day. I didn’t think about the dishes, the work load, the better tomorrows. I held onto this moment and closed in the holes of my walls so no light could get in and I could focus my eyes on the beauty of what was happening inside of my walls. And at that moment I begin to live life beyond the walls within my walls!