Monday, October 31, 2011

What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?

After watching "Scream 4" (among many other horror movies this past weekend), I heard that line way too many times. But it was part of the scary fun....well, for the audience at least.

I have always loved Halloween and more specifically, horror movies. I was watching the scariest, goriest films out there by the time I was six. I have no idea why it fascinated me so much, but it did and never bothered me or gave me nightmares. I remember when I was twelve a neighbor had the Z Channel (anyone remember when there was only ONE cable movie channel?) so I went over and watched “The Exorcist” three nights in a row. I know - what's wrong with that 12 year old?

Later on I was more into the slasher movies because I wanted to be a make-up artist specializing in gore. I loved to see all the different scenarios and wondered how they made it look so real. I didn’t become a professional make-up artist, but I lived out that fantasy every Halloween, coming up with the grossest and scariest costumes I could think of – dead school girl, dead prom queen, dead saloon girl, (dead was a big theme, always the result of violence with lots of blood) vampire, victim of vampire, bad knife-thrower’s assistant…etc. I also brought all my make-up to work to give anyone who wanted a little gore a bullet wound, a slashed throat, a black eye or a spike in the head. So much fun!

My boss at that time, Adam, always let me do his costume and make-up. One year he went into his boss’ office for a meeting, forgetting about the make-up and nearly gave the guy a heart attack – he thought Adam had really been in a bloody accident. I love it!

I also used to frequent Knott’s Scary Farm with my friends – we went every year for 15 years. We always had a blast being scared out of our wits. But eventually I began to think, “Aaaah - too many teenagers everywhere!” Yikes – I used to be one of those teenagers! I knew my time with that tradition was done, but it was scary fun while it lasted.

Why do we love the creepiness of Halloween? Probably for the same reason we love rollercoasters – it’s a thrill, it scares us, but ultimately we know we are safe. It’s fun to explore our dark sides with no lasting effects – just finish watching the movie or take off the costume and wash off the make-up.

Or are there lasting effects?

A while ago I began noticing that these horrific images began lingering in my consciousness. I found myself dreaming about the most recent horror movie I had just watched. I began having dreams about the unearthly face from “The Exorcist” – silently watching me, menacing. That freaked me out.

So began the habit of the happy movie after the horror movie to even out my brain. Even this past weekend of having a horror movie marathon with my husband really messed up my energy and put me in a dark place emotionally. Thank goodness for Tivo'd episodes of Oprah's Lifeclass to significantly raise my vibration back up where it belongs. I've detoxed in the last few years so much from scary, disturbing movies that they greatly affect me now more than ever. I think next year I'll stick to "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!".

This negative eeriness all came to a head a few years ago one Halloween when I was going to attempt my greatest feat make-up wise – Regan of the unearthly face. My eye doctor does special effect contact lenses for movies and actually made the ones that Linda Blair wore in the movie. Since then he’s done just about every vampire movie and anything else requiring special effects with the eyes. So I got a pair of scary, yellow, red-rimmed contacts from him, (in the photo here) and began studying photos of the face online. I needed to know all the little details that you wouldn’t be aware of unless you really looked.

I began feeling uneasy and creeped out at night in my apartment – had I invited dark forces into my energy field with the planning of this costume? I couldn’t wait for Halloween to be over so I could take my attention off of the scary face.

Then one night I had a dream that shook me to my core. Now, I am a Christian, but not hard-core – I believe Jesus was one of the greatest spiritual teachers who ever lived and I aim to live a good life and follow his teachings. So when I had a dream where Jesus came to me and asked, “Why do you want to emulate something so evil?” I was so freaked out that I immediately abandoned the idea. When Jesus speaks to you so directly and clearly, you listen.

A friend at work then requested that I do it on her since she was an atheist. I did do the make-up on her and she won the costume contest at the office Halloween party. So mission accomplished, ultimately.

My point is, even when you're just having fun, always be aware of what energy you are inviting into your experience and what images you are putting into your subconscious. Limit the safe scares to what is fun but will not leave a negative, lasting impression on your psyche. On a regular basis, make sure to fill your heart, mind and spirit with uplifting, happy, positive, inspirational images, information and people. You don’t want any underlying negativity to attract people or situations that you don’t want to invite into your experience.

That said, have a safe (in every aspect) and Happy Halloween!

With love,

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach. If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact:
To purchase your copy of Living Peacefully in a Big City, please visit
If you’d like to share this article with anyone you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome to! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Traffic Talk

I recently got a new license plate, which I love. (Pictued here) Let me tell you how I finally arrived at this message after many plate changes…

I have always had personalized plates – even before I started driving. When my parents bought a new car when I was 11, I asked if we could get personalized plates, so they got “4 Tanna”. I know – I’m spoiled. Of course, the plates were transferred to my first car when I was 16 – my dream car, a metallic blue ’75 superbeetle named “Elliott”. (I got him right after I’d seen E.T.) I even wrote a song about my love affair with Elliott when I had a singing duo with my friend Stacey in the early 1990’s.

I enjoyed having a personal plate and usually had a custom frame to send yet another message out to my fellow drivers. I think the first one I had read, “Have you hugged Tanna today?”

Eventually, I got tired of strangers calling out my name acting as if they knew me so I got new plates when I was going through my Doors phase. I was in my early twenties, exploring my spirituality and I became fascinated with Jim Morrison’s poetry and songwriting. So my next plate was both a tribute and a message to others – “BKNTHRU”. Translation, “Break On Through” as in, “…to the other side”. I wanted LUVME2X but it was taken. I actually passed that person on the road once.

People had a hard time understanding what my plate meant so soon after when I began doing energy healing and became a licensed massage therapist, immersed in the world of alternative health and healing, my new plate was “MJK TCH” (Magic Touch). I tried to be very phonetically descriptive but again, people didn’t always get it. Often they thought it meant “Magic Teacher”.

A few years later I became fully immersed in my lifelong love of the Beatles and a phrase that I have used for many occasions in my life – All You Need Is Love. At this time, there were new symbols we could have on our plates - a hand, a star, a plus sign or a heart – yay! This time my plate was ALLUND(heart). And just to clarify for others, I had a plate frame that plainly spelled out “All You Need Is Love”. Most people still didn’t get it. Some did, but not many. *Sigh*

Unfortunately, I had a bad car accident, totaling my car and those plates were smashed. Being so traumatized by the accident, I never picked up the new replacement plates. For the first time in my life, I had generic plates on my new car. In a way, it was nice to be a bit anonymous, but after a few years, I felt like a medium of communication was being wasted, especially on the road where people tend to get angry and frustrated and really need a bit of inspiration.

So I pondered many options – the DMV has a great resource on their website where you can see what your desired plate would actually look like and find out if it’s available. Check it out - it's fun!

I played with many versions of Living Peacefully, Inner Peace, Peaceful, etc…I wanted my message to relate to my business and my intention to serve the world by helping others reconnect with their inner peace. And I wanted it to be easy to understand.

I finally found the phrase that made me feel good and was a message I would be happy and proud to drive around displaying – “Relax – Ah”. And my frame now reads, “Thank You For Your Kindness”, affirming my expectation that I am always surrounded by kind, courteous drivers and as I aim to do the same for everyone around me. I always have a pleasant driving experience – you attract what you put out!

I love this message because just knowing that I have it on my car also reminds me, first of all, to breathe. Every time I look at it or even think about it, I find myself taking a deep, cleansing breath, and I hope it does the same for other drivers who see it. It also keeps me conscious to walk my talk and be an example of the thought I am sending out.

If you have a personalized license or frame, be mindful of the message and the energy you are sending out with your words. A lot of people will read it and it will affect their energy. So please use your powers for good instead of evil :) 

We all need a little kindness and words of encouragement, especially stuck in traffic or during a long commute. The most important thing you can do while driving is to relax. Be the best person you can be on the road. Don’t take things personally. Let it go. Understand that people who are in a hurry or cutting you off or not letting you in are going through their own stress, it's really not about you. So send them a good thought for a great day.

Make a point of filling your car with love and good vibes every time you get behind the wheel, and send that good energy out to everyone around you on the road. If you do this with the right attitude, I can assure you that you will always have an easy, pleasant drive.

Have a nice drive today!
Much love,

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach. If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact:
To purchase your copy of Living Peacefully in a Big City, please visit
If you’d like to share this article with people you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The View From the Hammock

OK obviously, I am in love with my hammock. We spend a lot of quality time together, mostly during warm weather, and if I don’t get outside for my special time, I feel it.

I love the view from my hammock – I always think that would be a nice title for a daily weather report. This is the actual view from my hammock today – it’s beautiful and clear in LA after a stormy day yesterday. It’s getting colder but the sun is still warm, so there will still be Hammocktime! (I always put this to MC Hammer’s “Hammertime” in my head)

I try to get out and spend some time, not only to relax, meditate, align with my spirit and reconnect with nature, but also for my daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun. There is something about relaxing in this particular spot – it could be that I’m surrounded by so much beautiful, lush greenery, a swaying palm tree, birds, butterflies and bees humming around doing their thing – or it could be my personal philosophy about why a hammock is so comfortable and conducive to total relaxation: I believe that being somewhat cocooned and totally supported while you rock back and forth may remind us of the same experience when we were babies. When we had no worries, no cares; everyone else took care of all of our wants and needs, we weren’t concerned about our body image or if we anyone liked us or if we were going to succeed…life was just simple and happy. For most. It may sound crazy but that’s my personal belief. Or it may be that we just associate it with a tropical beach and a Corona. Both make sense to me.

Sadly, it’s not so comfortable or relaxing to be outside when it’s cold, so we will have winter hiatus. I could get an indoor hammock, just as my brother has had for many years. Two hooks on either side of the family room are always on standby if they decide to bring out the hammock. But alas, mine is strictly the outdoor variety. Relaxing, meditating, aligning with spirit and reconnecting with nature will move indoors to my office with my spiritual alter and small coconut palm. Vitamin D will have to be supplemented.

As you will notice, there are a few not-so-relaxing elements in the area – a clothesline directly above me (which I use to drape vinyl over to shade myself when it gets too hot…handy!) or the other wires running diagonally across my view. That is actually an interesting story -

Those are telephone lines from the telephone pole in the corner of our backyard. When my parents first bought this house in 1949, (they looked at a model and put down $10 and moved in to their newly-built home two months later…hello…can we say “equity”??) the phone situation was much different than it is now. They had party lines (for those of you who are too young to know, everyone had to share a phone line in a neighborhood, much like extensions on a phone in one house, i.e. “Can you please hang up soon? I need to make a call”). And beyond that fact, some people didn’t even have a phone. I know…I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock.

However, my father was a policeman, so he had to have a phone. Hence, the telephone pole landed in our backyard and we were the first in the neighborhood to have a phone. So I actually don’t mind seeing the wires – it reminds me of the long history my family has in this house.

My special little meditation spot in our backyard is behind the garage and surrounded by tall ficus trees, giant bird of paradise and pink hibiscus so it’s very secluded and private. It’s is truly my little oasis. I’m a bit sad that I won’t be spending as much time out there as the weather gets colder, but believe me, I when the sun is out and warm enough, you can bet I will be out there enjoying my precious Hammocktime! I may have to put up some hooks in my office…hmmmmm....although, it's not quite the same without the clothesline and phone phone wires.

That said, I highly recommend to anyone who is seeking some quality relaxation -  Get a hammock! And enjoy your own view, wherever that may be.

Wishing you a beautiful, relaxing day…
With love,

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach. If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact:
To purchase your copy of "Living Peacefully in a Big City", please visit
If you’d like to share this article with people you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!