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Posts from the ‘Everyday Life’ Category



My first trip to India with the most amazing, gracious souls I’ve ever encountered.   -Kaveri Vanita Seveshrama Orphanage

Every year on our anniversary I have tried to spread the love of a wonderful man by doing acts of  intentional love/kindness for strangers and family alike.

It has turned a day that for so many years was unbearable, into a day full of shared joy and excitement.

This year I’d like to ask your help in spreading the love! For the 12th Anniversary, having just 12 of you to help my mission of giving, would be the most amazing gift you can give to a day that personifies love.

Are you in????! Do you accept the mission? I know….what the heck is the mission, Taryn!?

Slow you roll, Tom Cruise….Here’s what I’m planning……..

It is no secret that my heart is deeply in love with India and the people who inhabit it.

It is in India that I have found the true meaning of surrender/letting go and trusting the unknown.

In India I learned the true meaning of happiness.

I learned how freaking lucky I am to have the things that so many of us take for granted each second (true story…I am kind of a master at not taking showers after not taking one for 20 something days there…I know…but really, it’s all about the baby wipes and Teen Spirit deodorant).

It is in India that I realized that Mother Theresa knew her shit(though I never doubted this saint)…because “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”


So this leads me to the goal I have to make this day that encompasses so much love, into one that spreads love…to India 😉

I have stayed in touch with folks in India and was recently contacted by Gokulananda (go ahead…..say it 5 times fast…) who heads the Widow Initiatives in the Keonjhar District…..but first, let me digress…

I’m not sure if you know what it’s like to be a widow in India…I didn’t know until I was in Vrindavan where the “Widow Home” was…and never have I ever been more grateful to be a widow in the United States….to have the rights to pursue life after loss…to have created the AWP….to have the choice to rebuild after the ruins of tragedy.

Take a quick second to watch this clip….it sums it up pretty well (or google “Widow in India”…it’s pretty much the same across the board) what these women face.


Digression done and back to my buddy Gokulananda….who for typing purposes and because I think we’re cool with each other, I’m going to now call Goku on this post 🙂

So Goku’s been keeping me updated on all the amazing things they’re doing to educate all in the district on the importance of supporting widows and their children, while also giving the widows in the region opportunities to have a purpose and a plan to thrive after loss (which is basically my favorite thing in the world). Here are some pics of the ladies, their education initiatives, the children of the widowed they’re serving and some more eye goodies of good deeds:


Goku rocking it….and rocking that plaid!

So Goku and I have been going back and forth, and having run a non-profit for 10 years myself, I know that donations are great, but I love when physical items/services can be given instead of money. So I emailed Goku to send me a list of what I ( or WE….if you’re in 😉 ) could physically send for them to use now….even more so, I want to go beyond that and if you decide to answer this call, you’ll send it directly to them in India (straight to the source!).


So my dude Goku wrote me this:

….Thank you so much for your mail and your concern for the Widows and their Orphan Children.
The materials you have mentioned are very useful and is a dire need for the stakeholders.As per your mail we need the following materials:
White Polo Shirts(For Kids Only)
School Supplies(Note Books,Pencil,Pen,Markers,ABC Books for Kids Only)
Sandals(For both Widows and their Kids )
Water Filter is a dire need for every Widow family.
For Sarees,if it is not possible to arrange it in US,we are trying to arrange it from India.
Thank you once again in advance for your concern for the helpless Widows and their Orphan
Children living in India and supporting IDP Team’s effort in Widow Welfare,Empowerment and
With Kindest Regards.
In Solidarity,


So there you have it! Everything that may seem small that could make a huge difference (cue Mother Theresa…).

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

These are items that you (or you and your kids/family) can go grab anywhere for very little moola (but make a huge impact with). I would also urge you to write letters of support to them, and as they learn english I have no doubt that those letters will be their aim to one day read. As you can see in the email, I had mentioned the difficulty in finding white sarees (mandatory widow garb in India…and maybe why I like to wear rainbows….we’re lucky!). If for some reason you know how to get some, that would be amazing!

Having spent time there I know that water filters are indispensable, and something as small as this $15 life straw will make a huge impact if that is an item you have the means to donate.

So there you have it! The mission! If you do decide to partake (THANK YOU in advance!) please take a picture of it about to be sent off or of y’all working on putting it together and attach it to the FB post or in the comments below! I’d love to meet the goal of 12 folks sending packages of love (and I promise, you’ll get soooo much out of giving it)… and the posts will let Goku know our little corner of the world is helping in a big love/small gesture kind of way (and maybe I’ll send him rad plaid or non-plaid pics of us coming together for them…I’m thinking plaid…yep).

I’ve included the address to the foundation/Goku below. Print it out and bring it to the post office in case of any confusion.

I am a widow because of December 23rd, 2005…the day I chose to follow my heart and marry Michael….

There is no better way for me to pay gratitude to him for choosing me to be his wife then to help those who are suffering because of their “I Do” ending too soon.

Thank you for taking this journey with me (Cue Mother Theresa…)….

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.
We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”




Some of my favorite souls during my time of teaching in Baljeet Nagar.







Tel:- +91 7377720394





5 months around the world.






So much that I don’t feel I will ever be able to put into words.

So much I’m still absorbing….embracing.

I can say, that more than anything, this trip was not about the tropical locations or adventures (yes…they played a part)…but this trip was about a widow who lost her soul mate over 8 years ago, who had never wanted to date or love or feel connected in that way again…learning how to be a “we” again.


How to trust.

How to rely.

How to let go.

How to have faith in the unknown.


I was not disappointed.

I struggled and fought and sometimes climbed into my mental cave of a security blanket, but not before Luke pulled it over my head and made me face it. Face myself. Face the obstacles of learning how to live in love after the one I loved was taken suddenly and tragically.

When times got toughest I’d find a “Michael” or “Charlie” show up in the form of a grocery bagger, a bungee coordinator, or a dog on a trail. I’d be sent warmth and hope in the form of a swallow or a white butterfly or a child’s smile.

More than anything, I saw the parts of me that I so easily ignored in the comfort of my solitude.

The fearless widow now saw the fears that still crippled her.

The go-with-flow girl saw that she still wanted to control the uncontrollable.

The peaceful warrior saw that she still had battles within herself to hand an olive branch to.

And so, here I sit, not swarmed by the impermanence I had become so acclimated to, but on the chair in the office in the home we live in.

I’m changed and am changing, but am still playing catch up to figure out in just what and all the ways.

And with that, I am learning to love all the crooks, cracks, crannies, jewels, dust, glitter and glow of this further unveiled soul of mine.

And I’m alive….and now, very fully aware of what that truly means….fully aware of where life exists.

It’s Time


Taking in the wonder that is the Grand Canyon- Oct. ’14

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”- Eleanor Roosevelt


It’s been well over 6 months since my last post.

Much has happened. I’ll highlight a few:

  • I’ve risen in love with an amazing human, best friend, spirit, lover and overall partner in (good) crime (not that that makes logical sense….but you get me 😉 ).
  • I began studying and practicing Peruvian Shamanism (and became a reiki practitioner).
  • I’ve flown over 46,000 miles this year….and it’s nothing compared to what’s ahead!
  • The AWP is rockin’ and rollin’ with features on Wall Street Journal, CNN, NPR and TODAY…this year alone!

So now that you’re kind of caught up, it leads me to what is coming…what has already begun…I am leaving to travel around the world for the next 5 months (to start)…

Austin -> Norway -> India -> Nepal -> Thailand -> Cambodia/Laos -> Indonesia -> New Zealand -> Australia -> Austin

To be more specific!

Destiny has been knocking at my door for some time, and this year I made the decision to answer…and oh what a glorious welcome she has given me.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a “once-in-a-lifetime-once-a-year” trip every year since Michael’s death… but after the next 5 months, I think I’ll be set for a while, allowing me more time to grow and expand my horizons and future (for myself, my passions and with the man destiny hooked me up with out of nowhere….well played, destiny…well played…).

I’ve been blogging a bit on the site where we will be sharing our stories, photos and revelations.

You can find it here.


My eyes are ready to be opened a bit wider.

My feet are ready to walk a bit farther.

My hands are ready to reach a little bit further.

My heart is ready to grow a bit larger.

My horizon is ready to become a bit broader…


It’s time.


I’ll see you along the way….


Today marks 7 years since Michael was killed in Iraq.

It could be thought of as a day of sorrow, but for me, today is a celebration of decisions.

Decisions that dictated a life that I’m blessed to have been a part of for 6 years.


You see, it’s hard to mourn on a day that is a true reflection of how we should live our lives.

Michael decided many things….

Things that some fear to try, commit to, or experience.


He decided to lead.

To serve.

To love fiercely.

To always say what he felt.

To teach.

To care.

To live each day like it was his last.

To sacrifice.


He decided.


These decisions are not ones that I can look back on with sadness….these are decisions that 7 years ago put me on a path that led me to decisions that have dictated/will dictate the life I decided to take back….just when I thought all had been taken from me.

Through his example and remembering the core of one’s soul path, Michael has allowed me to fearlessly make decisions that I know I will never regret.

Whether those decisions will affect 22 (or 100) years of the life I may live.


So if there is anything I can ask of y’all on a day like today, it is to decide.

Decide to live life.

To learn.

To love.

To forgive.

To be challenged.

To embrace the unknown.


For me, my wardrobe choice for today is my decision:


And I have a feeling that Michael couldn’t be happier.



It’s been said that once we have found the true path, destiny unfolds before us like a red carpet.


I’m a believer of that and the fact that much of destiny (if not all) is determined on our ability to self-propel ourselves into it.


Sometimes we don’t notice our forward trajectory and the red carpet unfolds at a slow speed, that years later is finally apparent to the naked eye and soul. And it shows us that not only has destiny rolled out the carpet, but shows us that we have walked across it.


But as I’ve most recently learned, sometimes, after many years of becoming mindful of who and what we are made of, we become aware of destiny when it shows its bare self, and decide to throw ourselves into it head first…no looking back…and just like that, at the speed of lightning, that red carpet is not only rolled out, but ready for you to strut yourself down.


Of course, on any red carpet, you’ll find a step and repeat. Those moments where you’re made to pause, see the light, gather yourself…but what’s most important is that you keep walking…because lord knows you can’t keep destiny waiting!



There are many things I’m certain of in and of myself:

I am strong.

I am resilient.

I am confident.

I am driven.

I am passionate.

I am a rebel.

I am a lover.

I am a giver.

I am a life embracer.

But I must be honest.

Last year, I found myself challenged.

Now, I must preface that with that fact that I live for challenges. I thrive off of them.

And yet, when I found myself challenged in a way I could have never predicted…expected…I realized that in the midst of being and living all of the truths earlier mentioned, that there was still a part within myself that I had stayed disconnected from.

It was not some bear simply hibernating, that I speak of….something that I expected to at some point unveil itself…

I’m talking bigfoot!

A part of me that I’ve never embraced, acknowledged, lived…simply because I had convinced myself it didn’t exist.

A part of me that I have no control over.

A part of me that left me with two choices…

Reconnect or stay in control of my little bubble.

It all took me back to a favorite saying, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”

I think my soul saw something before my mind could grasp it….and luckily, I made the choice to not ignore it…to reconnect….to plug back in…all of me.

I’d recommend it to all…

Pop the little bubble you may have unconsciously placed yourself in.

Though you can see though it.

Though you can still go places….

Until you do, there will still be a part of you encased in something that is too small to hold all of you and all you have to give.