Living the Dream with Tara Wagner

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing people about living simply, breaking through barriers, and living their Dream Life . Every Monday, you’ll find a new interview posted. If you missed it, last week I interviewed Tammy Strobel the creator of Rowdy Kittens.

Today I bring you Tara Wagner of The Organic Sister and Sustainable Baby Steps. Tara and her family are currently traveling the country – fueled by vegetable oil! With a passion for living an organic life – an alternative to conventional wisdom – and being true to herself Tara has found a way for her family to live their dream life.

This interview series is about people who live their dream life – which looks different for everyone and is always evolving – can you describe your current Dream Life?

My dream life revolves around experiencing the world in a way that I enjoy, not just doing what I love but choosing to enjoy what I do. Currently that looks like writing about my passions, traveling full-time with my son and my husband, connecting in ways deeper than the norm and embracing Who I Am.

How do you keep fear in check, so that you can follow your passions?

Oh man, this is a hard question. I guess it starts with acknowledging my fears. I can’t hope to move through something I refuse to really see.

I’ve been reading a lot about our traditional education system lately and what I see as many of its failures.  Can you explain unschooling and why you chose it for your family?

Unschooling is life learning, learning without school or traditional means. We learn through our passions and life being as rich and diverse as it is, we naturally learn all the “required” material. We’re less concerned with performance than we are with personal satisfaction; it’s less about knowing lots of things and more about feeling empowered in ourselves. Empowerment is a bigger ingredient of personal success than knowledge for the sake of knowledge.

Being unconventional often makes other people uncomfortable.  How do you handle doubters and naysayers?

Really, I don’t. I don’t feel the need to defend myself and I don’t feel it’s my place to assume they are wrong in their own lives. I trust they are exactly where they need to be, experiencing exactly what they need to experience. It’s not up to me to interfere, especially if it means causing discord or disconnection. But if a person wishes to have a real, respectful, open conversation, then I listen, I answer as best I can and I allow them to form their own opinions. There is no right or wrong, only right or wrong for you.

Where will your travels take you next?

We’re not sure! Maybe Arizona or Southern California until it warms up. We hope to be in the Pacific Northwest by spring. And Justin and Zeb are really wanting to attend a juggling conference in Minnesota! We’d also really like to travel the east coast this year; we’re especially interested in the Smithsonian and American history sites. But life has a funny way of changing directions on us, so I guess we’ll just wait and see!

Can you share some knowledge gain recommendations (blogs, books, documentaries, etc.)?

I have lists of books and documentaries on both of my sites! It’s hard to pull out just a few…I think Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn is amazing. I’m also riveted by the topics on Parenting for Social Change.

When it comes to authentic living, most of the books I read are spiritual in nature. I love everything by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I also love The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. And any book on working unconventionally gets my attention.

Any last words of inspiration for people looking to live their dream?

I’ve always loved this quote by Goethe: “What you can do, or dream, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Thank you, Tara!
Here are a couple posts to get you started with The Organic Sister:
Overachievers, Vilifying Interests and Owning It
Because conventional wisdom just isn’t natural…

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