Lesson 16: I MATTER


Before I was my child’s mama, I was Tanika Monique. Before I was my husband’s wife, I was Tanika Monique. Before I was my students’ teacher I was Tanika Monique. As a new mom, I find myself thinking about my child constantly and less and less on myself. I felt like I lost myself in taking care of my child that I stopped taking care of myself. I had to pause the other day and remind myself that I MATTER too.

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Lesson #10: The Importance of Selectivity


As I mentioned in my Abundance Mentality and Veganism post,  I get a lot of questions, concerns, and criticism about what I choose to fuel my body.  This got me to thinking about why I choose to eat healthy.  Where I work people bring food all the time.  I’m often offered foods that I no longer eat such as chocolate, bread, and meat dishes.


I respectfully decline these offers.  Sometimes people may ask why I choose not to eat certain things.  Being in those situations and writing about veganism inspired me to write about the importance of selectivity.

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Create a New Normal by Tasha Richardson


Picture Change New NormalHave you ever wondered why it seems like you keep facing the same problems or struggles over and over again?  You managed to change your life, your outlook, or at least accomplish some goal that you’d wanted, and you were sure that this time–this umpteenth time–everything would stick, allowing you to move on to bigger and better successes.  This was until, with utter disappointment, dismay, and defeat, you found that those changes you made disappeared as quickly as roaches do when the lights are turned on.

The notion of change is so seductive and exciting, especially when you finally feel empowered enough to want to pursue it.  It tantalizes us into believing that once we capture it–it is ours forever.  How can we avoid the trappings of ‘change’s’ siren song?  How can we create true and lasting change?

Food for Thought

Realize that you (and everything else around you) are always in a state of evolution and flux. Accept the fact that the only change that is permanent is change itself.  Elizabeth Gilbert best describes the relationship between change and motion.  She states, Change is all about motion, motion is all about uncertainty and we are deeply uncomfortable with uncertainty.”  In addition to our discomfort with change, many of us become complacent after we do manage to ‘change’ and reach our vision of success.  For example, those of us who finally lose the weight we’ve been carrying around feel so good about that feat that we end up getting comfortable, thereby slipping back into the bad habits that allowed us to be overweight in the first place.

Create a New Normal. What is the new normal that you MUST accept in order to continue to have the quality of life that you’ve worked so hard to create?  Part of creating that new normal is shedding old defeating beliefs about yourself and the world around you.  Your new normal becomes your non-negotiable.  For example, in November 2011 Tanika and I became vegan, gluten-free, and caffeine-free.  In order for our change to have been sustainable over the last 3.5 years, we had to sever our connection and emotional affiliation to what it meant to eat meat, animal products, etc. and wholeheartedly create the new normal where meat, animal products, chocolate, and coffee no longer fit.  One way to do this is to actively replace those things you give up with something else that fits with your new vision of yourself, all the while realizing that this is something that you must do continually.  To do this requires making a series of adjustments.

Be grateful for all of your failures. It really is like Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Gratitude for failure allows you to appreciate process and have compassion toward life and the many lessons it seeks to teach you.

“Do the Next Right Thing.” One slip up does not have to define you.  You have the power to choose and to choose those things that will elevate you at any given moment.  For more information about this concept, check out Matthew Kelly’s great book called Perfectly Yourself and Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes and video summary.  Doing the next right thing allows you to be unbothered and to reframe failure as a temporary state.

Be Courageous. It takes courage and resilience to look at defeat and failure and still make those necessary changes toward embracing the life that you want to have.

What steps did it take for you to create a new normal?  What are some barriers you are facing now when it comes to living in the life you want?  We would love to hear from you.

Best wishes on your journey–and remember to do you!

Quit Holding Your Breath! By Tasha Richardson


Holding Your Breath“Now is just not a good time, I have so many other things to take care of first.”  “I just don’t know what happened!  I just woke up one day, and here I am…it would be too hard to change now.”  “It’s no use!  My life won’t get better until ______ happens.”

Do the above statements sound familiar?  These statements should be termed ‘holding your breath’ statements.  This is because the person who says them is holding his or her breath until the perfect moment occurs.  This perfect moment exists in the future or it is tethered to the nostalgia of the past, which the person wishes could be recreated.

Recognize the areas of your life where you run from the action that the present moment is calling you to.  Where is it that you have been reminiscing about the past, dreaming up the future, and remaining paralyzed in the present?  Identify one area where you have noticed this and take action today!  Your action can be big or small–just do something.  In the words of poet June Jordan, “We are the One’s We’ve been Waiting for.”  That moment, person, situation, or circumstance will never come–even when it seems like it has or will.  Your life is waiting for you to accept it as it is, embrace the present moment, and ACT in the way you see fit.  You can do it–you are so amazing and awesome!  Just try it–the worst you can do is fail and choose to go back to the way you’ve always done things.

Helpful Readings:

  1. Time Warrior by Steve Chandler
  2. How to rid yourself of analysis paralysis
  3. The Secret to Defeating Analysis Paralysis (and Why You Don’t Do It)
  4. 11 Ways to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
  5. You Have To Start Somewhere: 4 Steps to Eliminating Decision Paralysis

Best of luck on your journey!  May you live a whole life and greet the world with your light, no apologies necessary!

Lesson #5: Get Off the Bus–Knowing When to Let Go and Move On



A few months ago, I was waiting for the bus by my house.  I was on my way to an offsite workshop for work and so had to take the bus to the last stop.  While I was waiting, a bus that would only take me half way to my destination arrived.  I got on the bus since I was familiar with the driver, since I often rode his bus in the bus in the mornings.  Once I got on the bus, I checked my bus tracker app and noticed that the bus I needed was only two minutes away.  So I got off the bus after only traveling two stops.

This experience inspired me to write this lesson.  Sometimes in life, we may be comfortable and familiar with a relationship we have with someone or something.  When that person or thing can no longer support us on our journeys, then it’s time to get off the bus.  I was familiar with that bus driver. We would greet each other every time I took his bus.  But he couldn’t take me where I needed to go.  I had to let go of the familiar in order to reach my destination.

Another important caveat that I took away from this ordeal was that it is better to let go immediately when you notice that a relationship is no longer serving you.  If I had gotten off the bus much later or at the halfway point, I would have had to wait much longer for the bus I needed and potentially arrived late to my training.

Once I realized that the driver was nice to me but couldn’t take me where I needed to go, it was time to abort.  I am by no means suggesting that you drop someone out of your life immediately because you are going through a trying time.  However, I do advise you to assess the situation.


Ask yourself:

Can this relationship contribute to my growth?

Will this habit help guide me to where I want to go?

If the answer is no, then it’s time for you to “get off that bus!”


When have you realized that it is time to let go of a thought pattern, person, or habit?  How did you handle the situation?  Let us know in the comment section.


Love always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever

Forever & Always

A Metaphorical Suicide- Lessons Learned from the Death and Life of Robin Williams by Tasha Richardson


On Monday, August 11th, the world lost a gem in Robin Williams.  Preliminary reports reveal that he may have committed suicide.  His death caused a ripple effect of pain to travel across the world. Williams has touched the world with his gifts and talents, and we were made all the better for it.  We thank Robin Williams for all of the humour, authenticity, and light that he offered to us and send condolences to his friends and family.

While the world no longer has Robin with us, the question that remains is what will we do with our own light and lives?  Many of us commit a metaphorical suicide every day.  What does this look like?  This looks like us showing up half there or not there at all.  This means us being silent when it comes to voicing our truths.  It means us agreeing to arrangements and situations that fail to acknowledge our authentic self.  Suicide is defined as the act of intentionally taking one’s own life.  Are you able to identify those areas in your life where you intentionally kill your power, presence, voice, and all that is uniquely you?  Once you do so. what are you willing to do about it?  Unlike those who we have physically lost to suicide, we are still here.  Own your light, beauty, wisdom, and power and “dance and embrace the musicality of life” so that when you really leave this earth, those around you can truly lament your homegoing and benefit from all that you’ve left behind.  What legacy do you choose to have and create–beginning this very moment?  Wake up and live!  Be the YOU who you were created to be!  Grant us the awesome occasion of being surrounded by the you who makes yourself known, no apologies and no excuses!  Change begins now!

For inspiration and life lessons taught by Robin Williams, check out the following articles:

  1. 11 Important Life Lessons Robin Williams Taught
  2. 20 Lessons Robin Williams taught us about life and love
  3. 15 Lessons From Robin Williams Films to Make You a Better Human
  4. Robin Williams: Life Lessons He Left Us With

What lessons have you learned from the life of Robin Williams?  What ways have you been committing suicide in your own life?  Comment below!

When…? by Tasha Richardson


“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry our their dream.” Les Brown

When will you give yourself permission to step into the life and the greatness that exists within?  It is time to let go of excuses–enough is enough.  Today, what is the song, dream, or desire that is burning in your heart that you’ve postponed or stifled because you have been waiting for someone or something to give you a yes?  We’ve been given this gift called life so that our unique gifts and talents could live.  There is no time like now to act…begin where you are!  If you need some tips on how to begin to live boidly, unabashedly, and unapologetically see the links below:

  1. How to Stop Waiting for Permission
  2. Live Your Life Outloud: 30 Ways to Get Started
  3. How to Live an Apology Free Life

You can start living now and gracing us all with your gifts and talents because you are worth it!  In the comment box below, let us know what actions you are currently taking to  have the life you want!  Let us know the moment you stopped asking yourself when or why and seized the opportunity to take immediate action.  Best of luck on your journey today!  Let the words of Marianne Williamson touch you where you need to be touched:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”