Renee TarantowskiFeb 7, 2018

The Price of Wisdom

Today this very vulnerable story was published on Writer Mom.  I am ready to be the person I've been growing into.  This is going to be fun!

The Price of Wisdom

And how I paid for it

This ebook. This cookbook. This nemesis that hangs around my neck weighing me down at each step. I’ve started and stopped writing it more times than I can remember. Why?

The Why question is my constant companion since menopause. It isn’t the accusatory why but instead a compassionate curiosity. Why am I doing what I do? Why am I where I am? Each day a never-ending stream of “whys”. Rarely do I find a satisfactory answer.

This time, an answer did come to me and it was about value, wisdom, worthiness.

The Final Draft

As I wrote the final draft of the mini “test” cookbook, I could not help but feel ill. I had my proofreaders lined up, I had begun the Amazon publishing process, I downloaded the software to help me publish a book with beautiful photos that I proudly took myself and now I sat with my words, a red pen, and a bucket in case I threw up.


Why is this so hard?

Is this worth $2.99? Am I ripping people off? Is this thing that I made worthy?


Is this “thing” worthy?


I could not even call it by its name.

It began with a sniffle

Adding to my need to puke, I now felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Then the grip on my throat made it even harder to breath. All of this tightness broke the levee to a flood of tears. Followed my memories, followed by feelings, . . . until everything was a jumble.

This wasn’t a test cookbook this was another way for me to fail and support the idea that I am not worthy. It was another opportunity for those around me to mock my efforts or ignore me.

My head began to fill with all the times that I had failed. Every single failure lived out in slow motion. I’m not sure how long I sat holding my throbbing head crying and gasping for air.

It’s not about a cookbook

I took a shower. A long hot shower and cried more, I cried until the water ran cold. Freezing, I wrapped myself in a towel and laid in my bed under an electric blanket. Water therapy followed by being wrapped naked in warmth. As I write about it vs living it, it makes me think of a womb. Protective, warm, watery, salty and safe.

This sequence of showering and swaddling myself in my bed was not new. Since I was a very little girl I’ve been performing this same ritual.

I circle back to my questions of why?

Before I was even born, I was an accident. My mother reminded me of this often. I lived with being unwanted. I learned early on to follow the directions, no matter how horribly wrong, and become invisible. To not matter. To pretend life was different. To fly under the radar.

Occasionally I foolishly tried to prove I wasn’t an accident, quickly I am reminded that being invisible was more tolerable for everyone. Except me.

I’m almost ready to go back and proof the final draft of my cookbook. I’m almost ready to have my words be worthy. I’m almost ready to not be invisible. I’m almost ready to step into being a writer. I almost believe I’m not a mistake.

Almost. I think I may need another shower . . .

As I stand in this truth and see all of these things at my feet: waiting to be honored, respected, healed, forgiven, I realize that this is not about writing a cookbook. It is about writing from a place of curiosity and compassion for all the women who share this experience.

I am the voice, the writer, the guide for those walking the journey with me. I am no longer invisible, instead, I am worthy.

In the end, I think the cookbook is easily worth $2.99 on Amazon but the wisdom of the journey to 2.99 is priceless.

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 TarantowskiDec 24, 2017

Christmas Eve

Living each moment as if it were the last.  

The food, the table setting, the gifts, the flowers, candles, cookies . . . everything has been carefully chosen and prepared with deep love and intention.

Renee TarantowskiDec 16, 2017

Asking for a Sign

Do you ever ask God or the Divine for a sign?

I do.  All.the.time. 

Once I asked for a sign if I should have another baby . . . and I was already pregnant.  Then I asked for a sign if this should be my last one and . . . I nearly died in childbirth!  That's a pretty good sign!

The past few years I keep asking for signs that don't require me to get last rights.  The Divine and I have a pretty good gig going right now.  

Tonight on my way to church I was thinking about things I started but didn't finish because I didn't believe in myself.  Naturally my thoughts came to this blog, how it started just by listening to the voice in my head, how it all seemed to work.  I love the idea of being the 5 Minute Mindfulness Momma but really . . . does anyone care?  Will it make a difference?

During the Homily he ended with suggesting that people take 5 minutes a day to be silent, to be still and just leave all the distractions behind.  I smiled and my eyes filled with tears.  And I thought--dang that was a quick response.

I'll see you Monday on Facebook for another 5 minutes!

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