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The Crap I Think…..

Am I Making The Right Decisions?

I have been thinking a lot lately about decision making. I’ve always wondered, how do you know if you make good decisions or even the right decision?

I’m not trying to brag here but I get many compliments on what I wear. At first, I would always look around me or behind me as if the person was talking to someone else. I just never was a trendy or even stylish person in general. Back in High School, I was a t-shirt, sweater, and jeans kind of girl. And even after that I would say I continued to stick with that attire mostly. It wasn’t until a few years ago I started to become more interested in looking more trendy. Now, I love to be styling!

Anyways, I am someone who always second guesses my decisions….when it comes to my life. This has been a struggle of mine for years and years…and more years. That is till the other day, after someone complimented me on my outfit again, that it clicked. I thought, if I can make good decisions about my clothes than I sure as heaven can make good decisions about my life. Boom. Just like that an epiphany was born.

I think lots of us struggle with thoughts and questions about making the right decisions. So how do we know if we are any good at it or not? I say look at the signs. Look at the clues that the Universe leaves you with. What do you get complimented on? What do you get asked about the most? What do people come to you for help with? In those things, you will find what you are good at and obviously then, maybe not so much, you must make right decisions! Because, if people are going TO you for something, then they therefore trust your opinion. Because, if people are TELLING you what you are good at, then they therefore must admire or like what it is they are complimenting you on. If you are wearing something nice and get complimented on it, you made a good decision. If you are getting good grades in school, you made a good decision. If you pay your bills on time, you made a good decision. You have always been making right decisions!

It is not always clear as water to know if we make the right decisions, but, if we can look back at the little things we have been recognized for, then I believe it is easy to find that we do actually make good decisions. You just gotta trust those.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

Passions & Purpose

She followed her passions. And because she followed them, she didn’t have to worry about taking the wrong path or the right path. All she had to focus on was taking the path that led her to her passions.

Her passions then led her to her purpose. So she never had to worry about finding her purpose or her calling or worry about missing it. It was always right in front of her. The more she followed her passions, the more she fulfilled her purpose.

And by fulfilling her purpose, she changed the world.

God gives us all specific passions. Inside these passions lies our purpose. I use to think I had to find my purpose but in all reality, I never had to find anything. It was never about finding something. God never said we would have to search high and low to find our purpose. It has always been right there. Right there in your heart. Right there in my heart.

You want to find your purpose? Follow your passions.

You find by following your passions.

Like I always say, you can’t force passion. Passion forces you.

Your purpose is in your passion.

Go follow it.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

The Mismatches

My four year old niece NEVER wears matching socks. She picks out her own clothes and she likes her socks to mismatch. She also likes to wear the same leggings for days at a time. I always find it interesting what my nieces will pick out to wear when they pick out their own clothes. They come walking in the house, throw off their jackets, and, “Surprise!”, it looks like they just came from a closet that had no lights on and lots of colorful clothes. It just amazes me. Girls love bright colors.

As I was watching my niece rock back and forth in her rocking chair with her mismatched colorful socks on, I just got to thinking…., why do I wear matching socks? Why don’t I mismatch them….on purpose….like her?

I thought about the socks I do have. I have mostly black and white socks. Some have holes in them. I have gym socks. Now those have some colors in them. That made me think even more, why do I have colorful gym socks versus plain everyday socks? Does this mean I enjoy life more when I am in the gym or working out? Who even said I have to wear matching socks to begin with? Is there a rule?

My mind was spinning. So many of us in life do things because this is the way we have been taught to do them or this is the way everyone else does them. Sometimes we look at those things we are doing and wonder, why am I doing it this way? I have a better way. Yet, even when we have found a better way, we continue to do it the other way because that’s the way everyone else does it.

I say, “Stop it!” If you want to wear mismatching socks, wear mismatching socks. If you have found a better way to do something, do it the better way. Even if no one else agrees with that way or likes that way or makes fun of you for doing it that way. The most interesting people to me are the people who are different. I love learning about others. Especially those who are doing things differently than the rest of the world. I am attracted to those people. I admire people like that. Don’t be afraid to be who you are. When you be who you truly are, trust me, you inspire others to be who they truly are. You create a ripple effect.

Children inspire me to be exactly who I am at just the right moments. So do other people. The rare birds. I say be a rare bird……on purpose. Be exactly who you want to be. Be exactly who you are…..on purpose.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

A Fight That Inspires

I love hanging out with little kids because they always ground me. They are living examples of truly living in the present. They are living examples of what it is to be excited about everything with no hold back. They just amaze me. One of my nieces recently gave me an envelope with a note inside that said, “I love you Tara.” And another recently gave my husband and I a drawing for Christmas. The drawing was of a Treasure Map with an “X” on it. Another one of my friend’s little one was looking at a book and pointed to one of the pictures and said, “Look Mom. It’s Tara.” The picture was of a boy soldier with curly hair. Those things just melt my heart every single time. I know I am in their thoughts. It is truly such a blessing.

Kids just live. They get messy. And they have fun getting messy. They get wet. And they have fun getting wet. They take risks. And they have fun taking those risks. They ask questions. And they have fun asking those questions. They are naturally curious about life and others and they have so much joy in learning about life and others. The other thing they do that can really get under our skin is they fight. They fight for what they want. As a parent you can yell at them and tell them they have to share but when you turn your back, they may still fight for what they want. I admire that to a point. I appreciate that reminder. A reminder to fight for what you want in life.

So many of us give up easily on going after the life we desire. Why? Since when? Because of who? One person comes rushing in crushing our dreams and we throw up our hands. Not cool. Fighting for what we want in life is a sure way to get what we want in life. We may get annoyed at kids for fighting over their toys all the time but every time they fight, we should ask ourselves if we are still fighting for the life we desire. Are we still fighting for our marriage? Are we still fighting for that job? Are we still fighting for a friendship? Are we still fighting to finish school? Pay off debt? Be great people? Go on that trip? Get that promotion? Lose weight? Run a marathon? Whatever it is!

Don’t stop fighting for your dreams. And the next time your kids or nieces/nephews/grandkids or friend’s kids fight, be reminded of your dreams and the battle you are fighting to achieve them. Let their little fight inspire your big fight.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Stirrings of Love

We all think what we say or type matters. And it does. But you know what matters more? The GOOD things you say. The COMPLIMENTS you give. The ENCOURAGMENT you provide. The UPLIFTING you do. The INSPIRATION you fill someone up with.

It is not the BAD things you say. Bad seeds grow from that. It is not the CRITICISM you give. Bad seeds grow from that. It is not the DISCOURAGEMENT you provide. Bad seeds grow from that. It is not the bringing DOWN that you do. Bad seeds grow from that. It is not the life you SUCK out of others. Again, bad seeds grow from that.

What we say and type does matter. It matters a whole heck of a lot.

I always go back to that saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

In times where we feel attacked and mad and angry and SOOOO upset, it is easy to fire back with hate filled words, BUT this is also the quickest way to pour more gasoline on the fire. If what we ultimately want to do in this life is bring more peace and more happiness and more love and more help, than we have to learn to not fire back with more anger. Anger never ever wins ANYTHING.

You know what does win everything?

Love. Good ol homemade love. Love and compassion. They stir us. Love can stir the most hardened person into someone who is no longer so hard.

Good ol homemade love.

I love love.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Passion Forces You

Whenever I see others achieving dreams that are similar to the dreams I have, I get a little jealous. Ok. Maybe A LOT jealous. I see someone finally got their book published and I can’t help but have a gut reaction that screams sadness and jealousy. A gut reaction that in that second makes me want to give up on my dream because NO ONE likes what I have to say anyways. No one likes my writing. My audience would NEVER grow big enough to have the opportunity to publish a book. You know that voice….. That stupid little voice. Ugh. It sucks. And to get it to shut up is like a fricken water slide that you’re trying to climb UP. Who would even try to climb UP a water slide anyways?? Me. That’s who.

I won’t lie. It stings when others have achieved their dream and you are still out there working on yours. I’ve learned to allow myself to feel it, for a second, but then I punch that jealousy in the face. I SHARE someone’s writing I admire. I LIKE a post that I first read and got jealous that I didn’t write it because it was soooo good. I BUY that book they just published. It’s the only way I can think of to make that punch effin sting. And last. I LEARN to turn that jealousy into something beautiful. Because the truth is, that person has EARNED it. That person has worked HARD for it. And they downright effin DESERVE it.

The other thing I remind myself of is God’s timing. I HAVE to believe it is not the right time for my time yet. Because if you KNOW the dream in your heart and you are working hard on that dream and you keep getting back up every time you are pushed down, is the dream that was planted in you by the Universe, than it WILL happen. It HAS to. Otherwise it makes no gosh darn sense it is there, in you, pulling you, haunting you, using you, forcing you; to love what you love.

If I woke up tomorrow with nothing. NOTHING. No family, no friends, no pets; nothing. I believe I would find myself going to the nearest library. I believe the instant I would walk in that library I would find myself amazed and in awe of books. I believe I would grab a book and start reading it. I believe then I would HAVE to grab a pen and paper and start taking notes from my mind. I believe if all was taken from me, the ONE place I would turn to in an instant is this place. It wouldn’t be a church. It wouldn’t be working out. It would be in my writing. This is where I connect most with God. This is where I feel most spiritual. In my writing. The writing that comes from my heart. The heart that God made for me.

You can’t force passion. Passion forces you. It haunts you. It whispers to you. It breezes by you. It nudges you. It will trip you up. It is you.

Jealousy never wins with me. Don’t let it ever win with you. Let love always win instead.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Putting MY Spin On It

“Just because the masses are doing it doesn’t mean we have to do it.”

My husband and I went to get my wedding ring cleaned the other day. As I was looking at other rings I thought to myself, I would like a different wedding ring. I would like to have a variety of wedding rings to wear different days if I want to. I found one I liked. It was actually for a very reasonable price-nothing like the cost of my actual wedding ring. I didn’t get a new one….yet. But I am thinking for our 3 year wedding anniversary; why not get a new one?

I was talking with a co-worker the other day about teaching children about money. Out of nowhere I had a brilliant idea. I then shared this brilliant idea with my co-workers. I said, “When I have kids I am going to start charging them rent for $2 a month at the age of five. This $2 would come from an allowance they get from basic chores that are age appropriate.” I just thought how brilliant! And, what a great way to teach kids from an early start about money, contribution, and savings. I would keep the $2 a month for them in a separate account they would get back when they turn 18.

There is no instructional step by step book on how to live life. Some may argue the Bible is but I argue it’s not step by step. There is no book that says we must do this first, this next, this second, and this third. So, just because MOST people do things one way doesn’t mean we ALL have to do them the same way. I would even dare to say that life is much more fun and fulfilling when you put YOUR own spin on it.

Breakfast for dinner. Heck yeah!

A watch that says “NOW” instead showing the time on it. Why not?!

Allowing your kids to play in the muddy puddles because it’s fun. Who cares!?

Calling your husband your boyfriend after being married for 10+years. So what?!

Life is much more fun when you put your OWN spin on it.

I guess I’ll let you in on a little secret….the masses aren’t happy. So why are we all following each other again??

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Strangers & Stories

I have a friend who is single. She is thirty years old and even though she has put herself out there and has been on numerous dates, she just can’t find someone she clicks with. Last week she went on a blind date with someone one of her friend’s had set her up with. They met at a local restaurant. While they were there, an older man approached them. He introduced himself and just started conversating with them; asking questions and getting to know their story. At one point a group of people came into the restaurant and when they walked by their table, the old man asked if they would like to join them. The group politely denied the request. When the old man turned back to the table where my friend and her date sat, my friend asked him if he knew anyone in that group. The old man replied, “No but we’re all friends here.”

His response just got me thinking about life and how we all interact with each other. We can go into a grocery store and stand waiting in line for ten minutes surrounded by people yet no one or hardly anyone is talking with each other. It is as if it is more awkward to talk with strangers standing right next to us then not to. So we decide to just stare straight ahead or right through someone; a person; a human; a story. I have always said humans are stories into a whole other world. I believe this with my entire life yet I still find myself standing in line staring straight ahead or through someone.

Why do we do this?

Even though the masses are doing it, we don’t have to follow the masses!

I have been working on getting comfortable with being uncomfortable with talking with strangers. I have been working on inviting one and all people to join in on a conversation with me. Because really, this is life. Right now. I find this even in the work place. We spend more times scrolling through facebook, liking people’s posts, then when we walk to the bathroom and take the time to speak with a co-worker that we don’t know very well for a few minutes. Again, these people are humans and have stories. It is time we become more curious about people, especially strangers face to face. I just thought what a great man and example of how we should all be to have invited some random strangers to join my friends and him. It is a little strange and weird but that’s because we are not used to people being like that. What if we were the change? I mean what if we acted like everyone was a long lost acquaintance. What if we took the walls down and let others in? What if we unlocked our door and went outside of our comfort zone? What if we crossed the lines and broke loose from our own shackles? What if? Imagine a life where there are really no strangers; just stories.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

Make Life Better For Others

Life has it’s struggles. So many struggles.

I work with kids. Some days I am completely beside myself. Completely lost. Not sure what direction to go in next and not sure what the funk I am missing. The kids I work with are so angry. SO ANGRY. I try to gather is it the trauma they might have experienced, is it just a missing link in the brain, is it something medicine can fix, can more love fix it, can more compassion fix it; why are these kids so angry? So angry that they can’t simply function in life. Any way successfully.

We all want these kids to be successful. We all want these kids to knock our socks off in what they will end up doing in life-something great, something powerful, something outstanding. That’s what I want for these kids. And at the same time when I learn about their history of abuse, the horrible horrible things they did not deserve to endure, it somehow makes complete sense to how they are now. Some things that kids go through, adults couldn’t even survive it. And to think of a little precious child at the age of 2 going through a horrible circumstance that is well out of their control for years and years, depresses me. It makes me sad. It makes me cry.

I know we all have struggles. I know we all face the sadness of life. The uncertainty of life. The what if’s of life. I know life can be depressing and wear us down and make us want to quit what we are doing or what we want to do. I am here to say, Don’t. Don’t quit. You may be underappreciated at your job or in your home or wherever but believe it or not, people need you. And those people that you gave notice to and that you acknowledged, they will appreciate it. Even if you never get it said verbally by them.

When we make life better for others, it somehow makes life better for us.

Love & Blessings,

Tara

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