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.


inspirational, Life strategies

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.

Life strategies

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!

Life strategies

My Intent is to be Intentional

Happy New Year!


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!


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.


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.

inspirational, Life strategies, Parenting

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!

Life strategies

Wheel of Happiness

Often times, life gets unbalanced and we feel an uneasiness about different areas of our lives. We may not feel as happy or drained. This is a clear signal that our wheel of life needs to be rotated and balanced. Here is a free tool for you to regain control over your life and happiness. Download and print off the wheel of happiness.

Choose 8 areas in you life that you want to be happier in. Then on a scale of 1-10 10 being 100% happy and satisfied score how happy you are with each area of your life.

After you have scored your wheel, it is time to take action! Use this worksheet to begin taking action on getting your happiness back.

Feeling stuck, enlightened, or want some encouragement to help you begin taking action. Setup an appointment today and let’s work together on getting back to your happy!

Life strategies

Take a MENET and Enjoy the Moment

Have you ever watched a baby learn how to walk? Have you ever watched how a baby seizes the day and every single moment? Have you ever marveled at how babies are able to continue on after the difficult times in their lives? Babies are a perfect example of how we are suppose to live our lives. What we are designed to be. Imagine if we immersed ourselves into every single new day focusing on what we were learning at that exact moment. Imagine if when we were blessed with a new day we never looked back at yesterday. Imagine if we focused only on today as though there was no other day.

It’s amazing to me how when babies begin to walk they don’t revert back to crawling. (well most times) No matter how many times they stumble or how wobbly they are,they continue to press forward with walking. They don’t fall and say, “to hell with this, I’m going back to crawling”. They pick themselves up and continue to wobble forward laughing and marveling at the new skill they have learned. They don’t think about the ‘good ole days’ or ‘when things were easier’ They don’t focus on running or what they will do next. They are simply focused on putting one foot in front of the next! Isn’t that simply amazing!

The problem with adults is, we get stuck in the past. We get stuck with the should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. We get stuck with the remember when. No matter where we move in life, the past somehow continues to creep up. Unable to not only forget the past, but also unable to move forward, we are frozen in what use to be. To add to this dilemma, adults are  delusional and have a false reality that they are getting a tomorrow. Adults just automatically assume the future is a promised thing. (entitled much) Post on entitlement of the future coming soon!

What is it about the past that is so enticing? My theory is it’s because we have the capability of looking back without futuristic vision. We are able to have an unobstructed view of the past. We are no longer in that moment only to be thinking about the future, so we are able to separate our feelings and really see it for what it was. But the funny thing is the past is happening right now. It’s unfolding taking place even as I type these words. The 1st paragraph of this topic is now in the past. Isn’t that amazing!

With this new found information, can you begin to grasp how important it is to embrace every single moment as it is happening and live it out to the fullest? Where are you right now in your life? Maybe not exactly where you want to be, and that is ok. Like a baby you may have just started walking, still wobbly, and not quite as fast as the other toddlers around you, but YOU ARE walking!! You did it, you stood up on your two feet and took steps! How amazing is that. Immerse  yourself in that feeling of goodness. Applaud yourself for your efforts. I guarantee you, when you start running, you are going to find yourself thinking about when times were simpler and you were just starting to walk. You are going to want to take yourself back to this moment of time, partly because you didn’t allow yourself to really and fully enjoy it when it was happening. While you were learning to walk, you were thinking about how hard it is, how you keep falling, how you should go back to crawling, how you can barely stand and you wish you could run like everyone else. The moment you start running, you will be tired and tired of running wishing you could go back to days of just starting to walk. See this vicious cycle?

The past wouldn’t be as glorified in the present if we actually were present in the past. And the present wouldn’t appear so unpleasant if we were fully present in the present.

Ok, Ok Tanyell I get it I need to focus on the present. This isn’t new information, I have heard this all before. You got me there! However, you still aren’t living in the present. Why is that? My theory, glorified partial past and glorified promised futures. See society has a way of making us think we are suppose to reminisce about the good ole days. Even the word reminisce definition is glorified.

Thesaurus definition: Reminisce – indulge in enjoyable recollection of the past.


My definition: Reminisce-  indulge in a filtered recollection of the past.

Yep filtered because we are able to filter out the bad or filter out the good to meet our needs. Don’t believe me? How was your day yesterday?

Why do people come together to talk about the good ole days, when they should be focused on the time they are spending together at that moment. Society has a way of making us think we are all promised a tomorrow. Save for the future, better days are coming, try again tomorrow, you will get it next time. All these little catch phrases that were designed to encourage us, however, they somehow prevent us from enjoying this day. Basically our today is never good enough until it’s our yesterday.

This same backwards thinking is often tried to be pushed onto to our innocent little babies.

Think about it. Your beautiful baby is born and you enjoy that first month, but then you start saying things like I can’t wait for them to sit up by themselves. You will even prop them up to sit up. The race is on for them to sit up at 3 months. But baby just wants to suck eat, drink, sleep, and poop. Baby isn’t in a hurry to sit up. Baby doesn’t even know that there is a such thing as tomorrow. Then the day comes they sit up, for like two seconds. The next day you are trying to get baby to sit up again, but baby forgot that it sat up yesterday. Yesterday is history. They are only concerned with the little piece of paper in front of them at the moment. Finally, finally baby sits up for like 2 mins and does it again and again! How awesome is this. Clap, clap, clap, clap! Your ecstatic. But a short three week later, you are pushing for them to crawl. They sit up, they clap their hands, they laugh, they smile, still excited about this new thing they are doing. You. Crawl baby crawl. Baby sits up, claps hands, laughs, still amazed at what it can do. You. Put baby on belly, crawl baby crawl. A few months later. The baby begins to crawl! Hallelujah! You rejoice, you post pictures, you call family members, you show everyone. Your baby is finally crawling. I mean they are only 4 months (they must be a baby genius) or It  took forever they are like 7 months. (what is wrong) Either way, they are finally, finally crawling and you are thrilled! Until you find out baby g down the street is walking. (gasp) Now you are pushing for baby to walk. Walk baby. When will my baby walk. All the other babies are walking! Then one fine Friday morning your baby finally walks! Everyone is soo  excited. The day has finally come! You have been waiting for this moment forever. Your baby is walking. (he is only 8 months baby genius) Your baby is finally walking (she is 15 months, something is wrong) But then suddenly and unexpectedly a sadness comes over you, and you remember the day that your now walker was first born and so tiny. Where did the time go? Those same people who were asking you if they were sitting up, crawling, walking are now saying to you, don’t blink time goes by fast, you better enjoy it they grow up fast, before you know it they will be grown. You now want THOSE days back. You wish you could slow down time. You know it’s only a matter of time that this now walker will be running. You long for the good ole days. You wish your walker would let you cuddle them. Now your filtered memory has forgotten the late nights, the colic crying, the spilled milk. What you have filtered through is all the good and you want it back.

Tell me, when were you ever fully present? At any of these moments did you get down on your knees and crawl with your baby? Did you marvel at how their little knees hit the floor? Did you see how their belly would drag along the floor as they slid across it? Did you wash their facial expression as they crawled day after day. Sure you have tons of pictures, but when you see those pictures can you recall the smells, the sounds, does the picture come to life? Sure you were excited, but did you feel your heart beating, did you feel your babies heart beat? Where you fully present? Did you ever fully enjoy that tiny milestone? Do you remember when your baby had you up all night crying and crying, what did your baby smell like? What did their cry sound like? What did their tears taste like as you tried to calm them and kiss their tiny cheeks? What did their skin feel like, their tiny heart beat, their hair on your lips? What did their face look like, what did their eyes say to you? Or do you just remember how miserable you were.

Let me ask you. When was the last time you stopped and looked into your chid’s eyes. I mean literally looked into their soul. Your partners eyes. Your eyes. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and looked into your soul? When was the last time you had a conversation with someone and actually heard what their voice sounded like. The way they  pronounce certain words. When was the last time you tasted every single flavor in a food or a drink? When was the last time you felt someones skin and felt how soft or rough it was? When was the last time you felt the air on your face.  Being present, is more than just putting your phone down. It’s about taking in the moment with every single sense that God gave you. Think about the caveman days. They had to live in the present or the dangers of the world would have made humans extinct. They didn’t have time to reminisce about the yesterdays. They couldn’t worry about tomorrow because they were too busy trying to stay alive today. There is a reason we have five senses, but most of us only use one them. Can you guess which one?

Babies live in the very essence of the day. They use every single one of their senses every single day. When they look into your face they examine it intensely, they touch it, they smell you, they listen to your words with such intensity, and then they go in for the kill and taste you! (we call it kisses) They are fully immersed in you as a being and that exact moment with you. They aren’t distracted with anything else going on. You could have just let baby cry it out. (I hope not) Yet, baby isn’t mad or concerned with what just happened they are focused on the right now. They aren’t worried that in a few minutes you are going to put them down for a nap. They are only thinking about this moment. How incredibly beautiful is that.

If you haven’t figured out how to live in the now, after reading all of that. I’m going to tell you now. Every single day take a menet and be present with what you are doing. Umm you spelled minute wrong. Nope, not that kind of minute but a Mouth, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Touch menet! (if you don’t know by now, I’m cheesy) 😉 But you won’t forget it!

No matter what it is you are doing take some time and use your five senses! Sure you don’t want to walk around tasting every single thing, but you can take a moment and realize the taste you have in your mouth during that moment or the sensations in your mouth. Is your mouth dry or watery. However, when the opportunity fits, use your mouth and taste. I remember my now 13 year old daughter eating dirt one day as she was playing. She wasn’t a baby, but much older. I said to her why did you eat dirt. Her response, I wanted to know what the earth that I was playing on tasted like. How profound!

Now that we have went through all of that. I want you to go back and reread this, only this time take a menet while reading it!

Life strategies

Please Don’t Disturb My Peace

Define peace. The dictionary definition is freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. Seems pretty straightforward right? So, why do so many  people struggle with finding peace in their lives? Rewind back to the definition and you will find the answer. Still unsure? Ok, I will tell you. Freedom from disturbance. Well what’s a disturbance?

Disturbance: the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition.

Yep, that’s correct! Often times, people struggle with finding peace, because they have too many disturbances in their lives. I’m not talking about disturbances like your children, job, or other everyday responsbilities. I am talking about disturbances that show in up in the form of O.P.O (other peoples opinions) or O.P.T (other peoples thoughts). These little disturbances interrupt people from being able to achieve peace in their lives. How so, you ask? Well, let’s break it down with an example.

A soon to be mother, decides she wants to breastfeed her baby and not only does she want to breastfeed her baby, but she wants to breastfeed on demand, allow them to self ween, oh and she wants to breastfeed in public without a cover. Yes, she has determined this is exactly what she wants to do when her precious bundle arrives. She is at peace with this decision. And then she shares this decision with her sister, mother, friend, husband, coworker. They say, “breastfeed, on demand, until their 2, in public, without a cover!” “You are nuts.” “Breastfeeding, might be ok.” “But on demand, your baby will be spoiled, they are going to use you as a pacifier, you won’t be able to get anything done.” “Self ween, don’t you know that babies don’t need breast milk after the age of 6 months, and they surely should’t be breastfeeding with teeth, AND definitely not when they are walking or able to ask for it, that my dear is INSANE.” “And, what is this, you want to breastfeed in public without a cover, no one wants to see that.” “You need to be modest, that is so inappropriate, there is a time and place for everything.” As a new mother she takes all this information in. Their thoughts begin to interrupt her settled condition. She begins to self doubt her original plan. I mean these people are her loved ones, they wouldn’t steer her wrong, right?

Her bundle is born and as she begins that most sacred and precious moment of breastfeeding, the opinions and thoughts of others begin to rush into her mind and she suddenly feels uneasy. The first time she breastfeeds on demand she feels tension and she wonders if her baby is just using her as a pacifier, she begins to think about the laundry she could be getting done if she wasn’t being a human pacifier. The first time she attempts to breastfeed in public she remembers to put her cover on first, but her little one is screaming. As she puts on her cover, and try to position it so she can get her little one latched on, people are looking at her, and suddenly the tension is back and she thinks, “maybe I should’ve made a bottle, breastfeeding in public isn’t right”. She is suddenly stressed! She is constantly thinking all she wants is a little peace in her life. She thinks peace would come from quiet and tranquility because her bundle is always crying, but she refuses to be a human pacifier as “they” called it. She thinks peace would come if she didn’t have the disturbance of this little one being so demanding and still wanting to breastfeed at 7 months when she is now trying to ween them, because they have teeth. All she wants is peace.

Pause. Peace is right there; lingering in her lost desires. Think back to the peace she felt when she made her decision. That is the peace she is yearning for. This example doesn’t only apply to being a mother and breastfeeding, it applies to every decision that a person makes, feels peace about, then changes their decision because of disturbances.

Disturbances show up frequently in our lives. They can show up when you are trying to decide on a career, which school to attend, or if you should attend school at all, what outfit you should wear, what house you should buy, if you should have kids, where you should live, if you should get married and so on and so on. The saying opinions are like butt holes is true, everyone has one. What we must do is use discernment on what we want to listen to. It’s ok to hear, but take caution in listening. Test everything and hold onto what is good.  Thessalonians 5:21 How do you use discernment? Simple, you have to be SNOB. You have to be nontraditional, organic, and bold. When you think of someone who is a “snob”, they aren’t concerned with what other people think of them. They are only concerned with themselves and their happiness. This could be looked upon as negative, but it can also be a great positive. Not being concerned with what others think of you gives you the opportunity to really listen to your heart, intuition, gut whatever you may call it and decipher what it is that YOU want. Chances are, your desires aren’t going to look like another persons desires this makes you nontraditional. When you begin to honor these desires, you are being organic. (Something is organic when it doesn’t have added artificial agents). These two things make you bold. So, when using discernment listen to yourself first, then hear other peoples thoughts and opinions, contemplate them and ask yourself does these thoughts nurture my organic self or are they adding artificial agents. You will know if they nurture you because you will feel peace. Sure there will be some rough days, but even in the thick of it you will feel peaceful. A flower planted in nurturing soil, continues to grow even in the storm. The flower doesn’t waiver or filter because this storm isn’t disturbing the flower, instead it is watering it’s soil and nurturing it; bringing the flower peace. If you are feeling restless, stressed, or simply do not feel at peace in your life check for disturbances, interruptions, artificial agents. If you find yourself in a storm decipher if the storm is disturbing or nurturing. Once you complete your checks, purge and balance. Purge the the disturbance and rid yourself of any interruptions. This may mean expressing concerns, setting firm boundaries, and/or ending relationships. Whichever direction you go, understand breaking down the walls isn’t easy, but life beyond the walls is beautiful and peaceful.

Life strategies

The purpose of Life is to….. LIVE!

Over the past few months, my life has been turned upside down. (yes that happens to all us) I have found myself having to take a step back and really reevaluate this thing called life. It’s amazing how we can be on the journey of life cruising along, thinking we are heading in the right direction, but suddenly, we look up and think, wait, where am I. Often times, we have to stop, pull over at a rest stop, take a break, and reassess our journey. This journey of life isn’t a short road trip, it’s a long journey.

Many times, I hear people ask what is my purpose, what is the purpose of life, what does it mean to live? We often think, that we have to have some grand purpose in this life and if we aren’t doing something majorly huge, then we aren’t living or our life serves no purpose. During my rest stop break, I started asking myself these same questions. I was confused, discombulated, and honestly I felt lost. I had to get off the road and recollect my thoughts. The funny thing about life is it doesn’t stop when we do. The season keep changing, the earth continues to spin, and people continue to drive right pass you. I realized that taking this rest stop was good for a short time, but I needed to get back on the road and continue on my journey, the longer I sat here the more time I wasted.

I got back in my car and began to drive. (I resumed life) But what was life, what was I resuming? Sure I was functioning, doing the basic things in life. I was driving, turning on my blinkers, stopping at stop lights, turning, checking my mirrors the basic things to get by and survive, but was I really living. This question alone snapped me out of my trance for a brief second. One day, I was on my way to do a mundane, basic life duty and I glanced out of my window to notice a tree that was losing all of it’s leaves. I thought to myself, wow that is such a beautiful sight. This got me to thinking. I started looking at all the trees, some had more leaves than others, some had lost all of their leaves, but no matter the amount of leaves they had they all stood tall and firm! The branches swayed with the wind and there was something majestic and moving about the way the trees lived. It was a heart stopping moment for me. Trees are not concerned with how many leaves they have, the amount of leaves does not define them. A tree with leaves is a tree and tree without leaves is STILL a tree. They are not concerned with the seasons or what will happen to them with each season. They aren’t concerned with the trees surrounding them. Each tree no matter how small or tall stands proud on it’s own. A trees only concern is to LIVE. WIth each season, with each mighty wind, the trees only concern is to blow in the wind and LIVE! How prophetic and profound is that? (i’ll wait while you meditate on it)

 Trees are not concerned with how many leaves they have, the amount of leaves does not define them. A tree with leaves is a tree and tree without leaves is STILL a (1)

Yeah, it’s pretty amazing! With a new sense of reality and thought process, I began to think about how we live our lives. I began to think about how we react when we lose things or people we get angry, sad, we fall over, we shrink, we slouch, sometimes we lose a little of our boldness, and with different seasons we are affected. Society has created this box and forced us into it, making us believe this is how we are supposed to respond, react, and live. In reality, society tried to do the same thing to trees. They try to define a trees purpose and decide when a tree is dead or alive. But despite society attempts trees refuse to succumb to these titles, definitions, and they certainly refuse to live in a box. A tree, society has said, purpose is to provide us shade, even when there is no one to provide shade for a tree still stands tall. We had a tree in our yard that was no longer growing leaves, and my husband declared it was dead. However, the tree still stood tall and strong, was it dead simply because it didn’t look the way society says it should look? I then began to realize, I have been lied to my whole life. The one and only purpose in life is to live, THAT’S IT. No matter what religious, spiritual, or belief system you come from every one of them talk about living. The only command given to Adam and Eve was to live. We taint our very existence with our own thoughts. But thoughts that were given to us by whom? Even Adam and Eve didn’t get the thought of eating the apple from themselves. If you listen to your core, authentic self, it is screaming let me free let me live.

I have been lied to my whole life. The one and only purpose in life is to live.

Ok Tanyell, but how in the world do I live? What does it mean to live? You are doing all this talking about living, but I still don’t know what it means to live. Okay, Okay! To live, means to be free, to enjoy life no matter the season,  the ups and the downs. To live, means to see and marvel in the beauty given to us by Nature. To live, means to love someone and share love with those around you. To live, means to smile, laugh, feel joy. To live, is taking notice of your body and the miracle that it is. To live, is to do more of what makes you happy! To live, is fully grasping how massive the universe is and how small we really are. To live, is to know that you breathing alone and standing tall, is fulfilling a purpose in this universe you may never know nor understand. Do you think a tree knows that it is providing us with oxygen? Does a tree brag and marvel in the idea that without it, humans would die? A tree is simply content with being a tree, swaying in the wind, standing tall and strong, and living through another season. Living, is stepping outside the box and allowing the light to hit your eyes. Living, is seeing all there is to see right in front of you in the present moment. When you are truly living, walls begin to fall down and you begin to experience opportunities you never knew existed. You meet amazing people and hear amazing stories. You go to places and see things you never been or seen before. You gain an unlimited amount of knowledge. You find purpose and joy in things you never knew could bring you such emotion. You focus on each present moment and the beauty that lies within it. Your world opens up to endless possibilities and experiences.  You fully understand that life is an amazing adventure given to us as a gift. When you are living, you understand, truly believe, and feel with your heart there is no other greater purpose in life other than to live. This is our purpose in life.

*Want more ways to start living head over to stop waiting and start living and keep on reading!*

Life strategies

Life is a reflection of Choices

I use to think life was predetermined or that we all had a fate. I had the thought process of what’s meant to be will be what’s not won’t. And although I still believe this to be true, I don’t believe it is completely true. My thought’s on life are shaped and reshaped daily. I am forever growing, changing, and evolving. This, to me, is what leads to wisdom, enlightenment, and peace. I recently had a growth spurt, and my view on life shifted. I have come to believe that life is simply several choices being played out in reality. Each choice that I make leads to another set of choices, that ultimately leads to my reality. Think of it as a movie, choices is the script, life is the movie, and you are the director, The director writes the script and the script determines the movie. You make the choices and the choices determine your life.


I recently read the book The Other Wes Moore. It was a well written and fascinating story about two young men who share the same name, similar backgrounds, grew up in similar neighborhoods, yet one is serving a life sentence in prison while the other one was a Rhodes Scholar. While reading this book, it was interesting to see how each one of their choices lead them to their current realities. They were each faced with several life changing choices and their decisions shaped their fate. You often hear people say, “I was dealt a bad hand” this saying holds truth. There are many people who are simply dealt a bad hand in life, however how they play that hand can determine how the game ends. We don’t always get to choose our cards, but we get to choose how we play those cards.  What I took away from this book is that my current situation is an outcome of the choices I have made both good and bad. My life is a reflection of my choices. There are some choices I regret making and some that bring me joy, however, every single one of those choices lead me to this exact moment. To remove or change any of those choices would certainly change the movie. While this idea may explain why many people suffer from depression and have regrets do to their past choices, it also gives us hope in understanding that with every new day comes an opportunity to change our future. Understanding the power choices have on our lives makes me take pause. The good news is, if you don’t like where your life is going, you don’t like the script you can change it! With one little choice your entire life can be set on a new path.


When I look at my children, especially my babies, the joy, thrill, and new expectations they have for every single day, it becomes clear to me on what I could experience with every new day. Waking up every day with no regrets from yesterday, because today will bring new opportunities, new choices, new direction, and a chance to course correct can be liberating and freeing! There is freedom in knowing that life offers us new chances every single day to get it right. In order to fully enjoy this gift you must be mindful in your present moments. Taking each and every choice seriously and using great thought. To take a choice for granted can be detrimental, because that choice may ultimately be your last choice. Here is another analogy (for those that love analogies). It’s like a game of chess, you have many choices in the beginning of the game, but with each choice comes either more choices or fewer choices. As you continue to play, if you continue to make bad choices, one of those moves are going to be your last moves because you will have nowhere else to go. That one move became your fatal move your last choice. Knowing and understanding this, you must be direct in your choices. One more analogy! Life is a journey. We are going along for the ride and on the road we will come to lights, stop signs, crossroads, and many other traffic situations that require us to make a choice. How we choose, and what we decide to do will ultimately determine our destination. If you can make conscious choices while enjoying the journey, life will certainly be good.