Renee TarantowskiJan 28, 2018

How I Figured Out My Purpose

Hint: Every season of our lives has a common thread

I do what I love!

I’ve always been asked “How can you be so happy?” In a life that has been riddled with yucky situations, broken hearts, death, being abused, dishonored, disrespected . . . the list goes on and on.

You know what?

It doesn’t matter what happens to me, it matters how I respond and I choose love.

My response has always been to do what I love and be loving. Always.

The Seasons of My Life

The 20’s

In my 20’s I did it all. I graduated college, fell in love way too many times, had my own catering company, worked as a pastry chef, I had the honor to be a cancer researcher, hospital administrator, lived on a farm, became a freelance writer, ran 1/2 marathons for fun, cleaned houses, was homeless, worked 2nd shift in a nursing home, went back to school to get a MS in toxicology, worked at so many restaurants and delis in Ann Arbor . . . the common thread is I stepped into each role with unlimited energy, excitement and understood the potential of the moment. Each opportunity was teaching me what I needed to know for the next opportunity.

The 30's

In my 30’s I focused more on my writing — freelancing and working as a contract medical writer for several pharmaceutical companies (at the same time). Once again I went back to school, this time for Early Childhood Education and started working with kids with special needs. It felt right.

I settled down, got married and started a family. The time was right and a dream come true to be a Mom. I quit work, never looked back and enjoyed every moment with my babies. I adored being a Mom.

The 40's

In my 40’s I continued to have a few more kids. Being a full time mom was exactly how I wanted to “do” motherhood. Homemade baby food, cloth diapers, exploring the arts, culture, swimming, having daily adventures with my growing brood was my passion. I had never felt more alive and fulfilled.

I never once questioned what I was doing with my life. Sure people told me I was doing things wrong, that I needed to do this or that — but I ignored them because I was in my glory. I was doing what I loved. Everyday.

The late 40’s early 50's

During this time I did become restless. I stopped listening to my own voice that told me that motherhood was the perfect vocation for me. I fell into the trap of the internet, Social Media and the naysayers who thought I should try and monetize this life I loved. They said everyone would want the joy that I had. Foolishly I believed them.

Joy comes from within — you can’t buy, borrow or steal it. You can’t teach it. You feel it.

The Trap

I took a few online classes that insured that I would make money if I followed their guidelines . . . guess what. It didn’t work.

You know why?

My purpose can’t be monetized. My love of life, my wanting a beautiful looking table with fresh flowers from my garden, my desire to love and understand my children and husband with unconditional love, my loyalty to my friends . . . that is priceless.

I did try. I built the websites. I started the business. I worked tirelessly on getting followers and building my email lists. I hated every second of it. I was told I had to do more. Create the membership site, have a webinar, build a course. None of that is me.

I lost sight of my purpose, to live a life of love.

What now?

I’m living fully and writing again without expectations.

I’m published now in two books. I write about mindful living. I have plans for writing my own books.

I love my family and cook amazing meals. I grow my own food. I may actually complete a knitting project this year.

I create the most meaningful and beautiful jewelry I have ever seen — each piece is born of my imagination and my own hands.

I’m so happy. I’ve never been happier.

I create and love — that’s my purpose.

The Season of Now

This current season of my life is about living each moment in a mindful way. To meet each moment with love. To cast away worry about what I will do next because I know in my heart, the next right thing will present itself. An idea will come to me and I’ll write. A vision will flash before my eyes and I will create it in metal and gems. The seasonal harvest offers a culinary challenge.

I no longer listen to the people who tell me I need to monetize, membershipize, or get a zillion followers. What I need to do is placed before me and I will joyfully and lovingly create.

Full Time Mom

I love my job as full time Mom. It is what fuels my passion. I have no desire to be anywhere else. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is my kids mom.

Part Time Writer

Writing part time on my own terms is the perfect for this season of my life. I am free to write about mindfulness from the most mindful place — my loving home.

Part Time Jewelry Designer

Rubies, opals, the blow torch, hammers, saws, the smell of incense as I work. I am able to create works of art that help people on their own spiritual path. Does it get better than that?

My Common Thread

Creating, learning, growing (literally and figuratively), re-doing, starting over, seeing the beauty in everything my eyes gaze upon — these are my common threads that have woven a life of incredible opportunities and experiences. I love this life.

What about you?

I invite you to write out the common threads in your own seasons. I’m sure you will see what you love, what lights you up, when you feel your best — that my friend is your purpose.

Don’t Discount Anything

I had a friend, Ken. He was a taxi driver and the best one in the world. He love meeting new people. He loved driving. He loved his life. When Ken was put in a nursing home that didn’t stop him for connecting with people, he knew every name of every person who came into his room, their pets names, sibling and where they went on vacation. When you met Ken, you felt like you met your best friend. That was his gift.

He didn’t make a million dollars but he did change the life of everyone he met. What an extraordinary life he had.

I know another man, a teacher. He is gentle, loving, kind and humble. He changes the life of his students everyday. He loves history and shares that with his students in such a beautiful way they want to learn more. He turns on the learning button for kids, his ripple effect will never end.

The list of people that I know, and probably you know goes on and on. When you meet someone who is doing what they are supposed to do . . . love overflows.

I could go on and on with the many people who understand the common thread or purpose in their life. They let meeting new people, humbleness, or love permeate everything they did.

Take Your Time

Life is not a sprint. Be still. Quiet your mind. Take a walk outside. Whatever it takes for you to take a look at your life from your own lens. Sit with this idea of what you will do with this one miracle of a life.

I trust that you will be shown your purpose for this season of your life.

Be Blessed as you are a blessing.

Until we meet again.

Renee TarantowskiJan 21, 2018

Celebration Sunday

So much to be thankful for.

Great food.

A fun family.

Continuing to clean out what doesn't serve us.

Melting snow.

Finally having the outline for the book!!!  Now just writing. Making dreams come true between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Until we meet again.

Renee TarantowskiJan 19, 2018

Last on the List

I am last on every list.

How can this be?

I am the person who makes the lists:  grocery lists, trip planning, daily to-do lists and the lists go on and on, yet I can't seem to find time for me.  

And, it isn't finding time for something indulgent, just time to take a bath, read a book, do something that serves me rather than serves everyone else in this family. It is heartbreaking really. 

To live a life ignored. 


Until we meet again. 

Renee TarantowskiJan 13, 2018

Saturday Morning


College Campus Tour.

College ID camp.

Woke up to no creamer . . . 4 degrees outside.  Can I just drive to the store in my robe?

Crossants baked.

Now the chore of picking up after everyone and begging them to take care of their own stuff.  It angers me that I have allowed myself to live in a way that is out of alignment with my true north. My ideal is that we would have only what we need.

A week after the huge project that took months--my first bites were only 15 minutes a weekend, then daily 15 minute bites and then I knew I would have time over Christmas vacation.  In the last hours of that vacation is when I finished the enormous project.  I ate the elephant one bite at a time.

The basement project was life changing.  The same way death, divorce or a deadly diagnosis.  It was a journey inside of my Hero's Journey.  

Until we meet again.

Renee TarantowskiJan 10, 2018

Today's Mass

Mass at the High School today.  Always amazing to be around 1200 kids worshiping--even though some of them aren't . . . they are there and that is half of the equation to a spiritual journey.  Showing up.

Father Snow had a very simple homily.

To be good at anything, you must first learn to listen.







It reminded me of Stephen Covey's habit:  seek first to understand and then be understood.

That is my goal.  To step out of judgement and into pondering what is really going on, dig deep, seeing with a quiet heart not a busy mind.

Until we meet again.

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