Renee TarantowskiFeb 22, 2018

Living Fearlessly

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”  Henry David Thoreau

Advance confidently.


Live life.





Start with one . . . 

I picked common--my life is common, ordinary and often boring, YET, I choose to dream big, live an amazing life, use my imagination leading to the unexpected. 

As I drop my ego and stop thinking about what life will give me . . . I flip that and wonder what I can give life.  It has made all the difference.

Renee TarantowskiJan 8, 2018

Mindfulness Hangover

Today I wrote, I think, one of my most insightful articles.  

A series of uneventful occurrences brought me to clean, watch and be moved emotionally.  

Here is a snippet:

It’s very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present. Edie Beale

The Basement Project

If you have been part of my on line life or my in person life you know I’ve been slightly obsessed with cleaning out my basement. We moved nearly 7 years ago and the basement became the place for memories, hopes, dreams, tragedy, lose, projects started, projects finished but homeless, projects in planning — which really amounts too “oh, wouldn’t that be fun to make a table top out of all my broken china!” What was I thinking?

I have started and stopped this project many, many times. Honestly, facing all that the basement represented was too much. Now, after I’ve been in therapy for a year . . . I could face the basement and all the lessons it had to teach me.

The Art of Learning

As a teacher and student, I understand both sides of learning. I’m a better teacher than I am a student . . . or maybe I should say my teacher needs to be a special person. I am teachable but not by just anyone — probably why I was a horrible student in school. Probably why only a few of my closest friends who “speak Renee” can explain things to me in a way that I will receive it. I am so lucky to have them in my life.

When it comes to lessons of life I am self taught. I graduated top of my class in the school of hard knocks and still in the graduate program.

I think of the basement as a huge lesson — not just in cleaning and organizing but in my true field of study: mindfulness.

The art of learning is taking an experience and finding the life lesson with in. The art of teaching is inviting you into my story and upon your departure you are enlightened.

The Final Day of Cleaning

On January 7, 2018 I finished the basement project.

I now have a Mindfulness Hangover. I have touched everything in that basement while asking myself:

  • does this bring me joy?
  • can I buy this again later if I need it?
  • will it bless someone else?
  • do I frigging need another ______?
  • what the hell was I thinking?
  • how do I feel when I’m holding this?

I cried. I was pissed. I went into the bathroom mirror and berated myself for being stupid. I took long deep breaths. I went back into the bathroom and apologized to myself. I loaded boxes, I emptied boxes. I put stuff in the good will box, then took it out, then returned it. I laughed. I was moved to tears when I found a certain photo of my husband guiding my daughter across a cold flowing stream. I was mad at myself for thinking that I could possibly do it all — no longer can I be the keeper of ALL the physical and emotional stuff. I am not a Super Woman.

You can read the whole post on Medium

Renee TarantowskiDec 29, 2017

2018 Planning

What's my plan for 2018?

Lots and lots of writing.  A few handmade prayer chords. Quiet time to honor each day.  

A year of to enter each moment with mindfulness.  This is my practice.

Renee TarantowskiDec 27, 2017

Visiting Home

Parts of Ann Arbor feel like home and some parts don't.

Kind of bittersweet.

When I moved away, the first time, I was single and had the world by the tail. I left a deal on the table to own a grocery store/deli.

When I moved back, I was married with an 8-week old baby--living outside of the "loop".

I didn't realize that I was a different person when I came back.  No longer single, no longer free to be.  

When I moved away, the second time, I had 4 kids . . . the city that I loved as a single woman looked very different during this season of my life.

Home is the place where you belong; single or married, sans kids/or many, fancy job/homemaker.  What matters is how you feel when you are there.

Renee TarantowskiDec 22, 2017

The Last Day of School in 2018

Yeah!  Finally on "vacation".  I still cook, clean, drive kids places but I can also sleep in, lunches are a more interesting, breakfast is more fun. Everything is dialed down.

I love when the kids are on break.  It is wonderful to be able to have a conversation at any time in the day--no rushing.  To take my beloved dog for long walks.  To ease into each day.  Reconnect.

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