Around Here…

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My life is very different these days.

I spent years as a very lost and unhappy person. Sometimes when I pause to look at where I am now, I’m amazed at the contrast, and grateful for where I’ve ended up.

I’m happier… like, full on want to laugh and cry about how amazing my life is, and how grateful I am to be living it. Even on the crappy days and when things are stressful, I am so happy. Life is good. Really, really good.

I’m home… I never, ever thought I would call Colorado home. Coloradans raise their eyebrows at that statement, but it’s true. In fact, I was planning to leave this summer, hence the bucket list. When I lived here before, I could take it or leave it, but I’ve fallen madly in love with the mountains and all the amazing people that live here. For now, it’s home. And it feels good to be home.

I’m more alive… there are so many reasons why I live life more fully these days, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m more at home in myself. I know who I am and I show up fully, which means I’ve attracted some pretty phenomenal people, opportunities, and experiences into my life. And so I do a ton of fun stuff. Just these last couple weeks I played laser tag, learned guitar with friend, went rock climbing and bouldering, got out on a trail run with two friends, had a pizza making party with a great group of people, saw an improv show a friend performed in, went mountain driving, laughed outside in the sunshine on the grass with a bloody mary and a favorite friend, and taught my second live workshop.

I’m healthier… I’ve started getting acupuncture for some health issues, am officially a runner (because running with a broken toe is kind of hard core runner stuff), I started rock climbing, and I eat healthier than I ever have before. I’m also surrounded by amazing friends, coaches, mentors, and guides, who help me grow personally and spiritually in ways that are making me feel so much more vibrant and alive from the inside out. And Acupressure… I can’t say enough about it. I have healed and cleared so much “stuff”, it’s the best tool I have.

Every single day I wake up incredibly grateful for my life.

I’ve worked really, really hard since I was 14. From the moment I could work, I did… and I worked my ass off. I graduated high school early working full time, taking my junior year at school, and doing my senior year via correspondence. I went to college and took a full load while working overtime and freelancing. I started multiple businesses over the years while working full time.

But now? I’ve settled into a space where I live so much more of my life, alongside hustling and building this business of mine. It’s an awesome spot to be in.

I Don’t Have the Words

I haven’t been able to write since late December.

At least not in the way I wrote before. While some things have flowed through, many things have not. I’ve been blocked and stuck and stagnant, and it’s been beyond frustrating. Mostly because I feel like I have so much to say.

At one point I started to wonder if maybe I’d finally run out of things to say. After all, I’ve been a content creation machine for the past few years… creating programs and blog posts and hundreds upon hundreds of Awesome Life Tips™.

The truth is, I just don’t have the words right now.

I don’t have the words to tell you how intense this last week was, as I dove deep into relationship issues that have plagued me for years. Uncovering beliefs and blocks and stories I didn’t even realize I had. I don’t have the words to tell you how truly life changing some of my conversations were… and how I’ve completely unraveled everything I thought I knew about myself and love and the people I’ve chosen. I don’t have the words to tell you how whole and healed I’ve become in a matter of days. What it’s like to suddenly start operating without the “stuff” that’s weighed me down for years.

I don’t have the words to tell you how hard it was to let go of someone who I cared a great deal for, but who no longer fit into my life in a healthy way. How hard it was to honor myself in that moment, and not take on responsibility for their feelings and experience. To trust in my intuitive no. More importantly, to honor my intuitive no in a way I haven’t been able to in the past.

I don’t have the words to tell you exactly how challenging life has been with grief. How the subtle ways it has infused into my life and work has caused stress and overwhelm and struggle. I don’t have the words to tell you how incredibly challenging it has been for me to do the day to day. To remember anything that’s not written down. To have a clear sense of time. To be in my life.

I don’t have the words to tell you how incredibly amazing my life has become in the last several months. How truly phenomenal the people in my life are, and how deeply I love them all. I don’t have the words to tell you how hard it’s been at times to love my life so much, and to know that someone I cared for deeply no longer has that ability. How crazy it feels to want to laugh and cry at the same time, because you’re just that in love with life.

I don’t have the words to tell you how much I’ve grown this year, and in such a short amount of time. I don’t have the words to tell you how choosing expansion as my guiding word has changed everything. Or how it feels to be expanding and growing and shifting at such a rapid rate. How beautiful and heart breaking and trying it feels.

I don’t have the words to tell you what it’s like to go from highly introverted and spending tons of time alone, to being the kind of person with a plethora of friends and play dates and interactions every single day. To love every moment of it, and not get exhausted. I don’t have the words to tell you what it’s like to be surrounded by so many people that just get you. I don’t have the words to tell you what it’s like to learn how easy it is to be open and vulnerable, and how deeply it’s possible to connect and love other human beings when we just get out of our own way.

I don’t have the words to tell you all this in a way that captures the intensity and beauty and rawness that is everything in my life right now.

There are no words for where I stand right now, because I’ve never been here… and rather than having it all unfold slowly and piece by piece like things have in the past, it’s all happening at once. Most of it in the span of just four to six months.

My life and loss and love and work… it’s left me speechless

And while there have been certain catalysts for this, such as the loss of someone very dear to me, it’s also a culmination point at the end of a decade long struggle. A decade where I stumbled around aimlessly trying to “find myself” and my passion. Trying to figure out what the point was to this life, and how I could make the difference I so deeply desired to make.

At 20 years old I started tearing my life apart, taking a sledgehammer to everything I’d built for myself. I tore it all down. I remember those days like they were yesterday, because they were equally as intense, messy, beautiful, and raw. Though I couldn’t see the beauty in it at the time… but it was.

It was a beautiful awakening.

I stand here ten years later in total awe of my life. In love with the depth, connection, openness, passion, and flow of it all. Equally in love with the struggle. Because the struggle? Well, that means things are shifting in a new and beautiful way, and I’ve learned to love and embrace the shifts.

The shifts let you release the stories and beliefs that have held you back, and the people that no longer fit. The shifts show you how amazing life can be if you’re willing to leave behind everything you thought you knew and believed to be true. The shifts teach you how to open up vulnerably, and allow people to see you for who you are, because you’ve learned to love yourself to your core. You’ve learned to show up fully.

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The shifts are where the magic happens.

And so I stand here in the middle of a massive shift, speechless, in tears, and absolutely in love with every moment of it.

And trusting, the words will come again. Because they always do.

Are you ready and willing to embrace the shifts in your life?

If so, I would be so honored to support you. I’m opening up two new Amp Your Awesome coaching spots today. I know how scary and challenging it can feel to create changes in your life, to start a business that you love, and to move in a new direction. But I also (as you can see) know how amazing and worth it it is to start the journey. And I know how to accelerate the process so you don’t have to fumble around for years like I did. :) Click here to learn more and schedule a free consultation!

Around Here (Hawaii Edition)

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I haven’t done an around here post in awhile, and it seems fitting to start with Hawaii as my first post of 2015.

I was in Hawaii at the end of last year, and my whole world fell apart with a single phone call on the first day. So being back was interesting, and hard, after three months of unraveling, picking up the pieces, and getting back to my life and work. “Surreal” has been a more accurate word for the way life feels when you’re grieving. Things are just surreal.

But the trip was wonderful despite the emotions.

I spent lots of time with my two younger sisters, mom and stepdad, and my baby nephew. I ate fresh pineapple and too much Thai food. I had red velvet pancakes and talks about life with my amazing Business Manager. Got totally roasted at my favorite beaches and surfed better than I ever have (despite breaking my toe). Hiked to a beautiful waterfall (also despite the broken toe) and climbed up into it with my baby sister. Went for a run with my Mama in the same spot I started running many years ago. And stockpiled my favorite brand of peanut butter.

It was a good trip. :)

There’s nothing quite as cleansing as throwing yourself into the ocean. Many of the most life changing and powerful moments of my life happened in Hawaii… near the ocean, and often with tears flowing for one reason or another. Hawaii called to me many years ago, and it was the first time I considered a place home. While I may never live there again, it holds such a special place in my heart, and I always feel refreshed and ready for what’s next after I visit.

The Truth About Perception

Perception is a funny thing.

When I talk to new clients or prospects, my business seems incredibly successful, wildly profitable, and completely out of reach based on what the other person sees and thinks. It makes me chuckle, because while my business has grown, I am successful, and I am profitable… my perception is completely different, because I’ve got my head down and am hustling hard behind the scenes.

I didn’t decide to start this business one day and BAM, here it is. With the list size, dialed in offerings, revenue, massive amounts of content, clients, and reach I have. This didn’t just happen because I’m lucky or have something that others don’t.

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The truth is, I did something that most people won’t.

I hustled. Hard. Every single day.

Maybe not every single day… because there were certainly days and times where I needed a break, was so overwhelmed by having my own business, or felt frustrated and defeated when something didn’t turn out as planned. Those days were usually spent in a ball on the couch with Netflix queued up.

But that’s it.

That’s the difference between standing at the beginning thinking, “wow, I want that” and actually having it. Hustle. Hard work. Action. Movement.

When I started this business, I’d never coached before in my life. I’d never created a program or a package. I’d been blogging and designing for years, but I wasn’t a “writer”. No one knew who I was, and no one really cared.

I started with a list size of 0.
I started with no followers, fans, or likes.
I started with revenue at $0.
I started with no experience coaching.
I started with no idea what I was doing.
I started with zero understanding of online marketing.
I started with indecision and experimentation.

But I also started with passion and devotion.

I wanted this business. I wanted to work for myself being of service to others. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a coach. I wanted to speak and teach. I wanted this business, so I worked towards it.

One step at a time.
One lesson at a time.
One new skill at a time.
One mentor, coach, or program at a time.
One failure at a time.
One success at a time.

That’s the difference between standing at square one, wondering how the heck I could ever have something like I have today, and actually having it. Better yet, continuing to grow it. Continuing to serve more people, create more content, get invited to more opportunities, grow my revenue, grow my team, etc.

I do the work.

And let me tell you, I’ve learned a TON over the years. From getting my bachelor’s degree in design, to working multiple marketing and design jobs, to learning from the top marketing experts in the industry, to reading books, to taking programs, to having mentors and coaches, to experimenting and failing until I succeeded… I’ve learned a massive amount over the years.

And I’ve packaged it all into an easy to follow and understand 12-week program so you can do the same. With Your Passion-Based Business™, you can (and WILL) build an online business around your passion, just like I have. Click here to learn more about the program.

All you have to know to start is what you’re passionate about. You just have to have a sense of what that is, and I’ll walk you through the rest. Seriously, you don’t have to know anything else! And if you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, no problem, check out my FREE Pinpoint Your Passion video training series now:

Get yourself signed up for  Your Passion-Based Business. We start next Monday April 6th, and I’d love to have you.

It’s just a matter of when…

Here’s the truth about your big dreams and visions:
It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of when.

We’re not gifted with big, sometimes crazy scary dreams and visions unless we have everything we need inside of us to make it happen. Yes, sometimes there are things to learn, experience, fail at, or do before they can happen… but they’re ours to bring to life, and we don’t have to be anyone else, or anywhere other than where we are right now.

The thing about this truth that many people don’t realize, we’re in control of the when. It’s not out of our hands, divinely timed fate, or coming down to other people taking action on our behalf.

It’s up to us.

It’s up to us to take the actions necessary.
It’s up to us to get out of our own heads and way.
It’s up to us to clear limiting beliefs and blocks.
It’s up to us to be willing to make big shifts.
It’s up to us to be okay with possible failures on the way.
It’s up to us to try as hard as we can.
It’s up to us to be willing to get vulnerable.
It’s up to us to invest in ourselves and our future.
It’s up to us to become a beginner and learn.

It’s up to us to stop making excuses… because there will always be a reason why the time isn’t right, someone is in our way or trying to bring us down, we don’t have enough of something, etc. Always.

So it’s up to us to decide when we want our dreams to come to life. And often we hide behind the reasons and excuses, because that’s easier than owning up to the fact that we’re the creator of our own lives, and that means we have to get to work if we want amazing things to happen. And the work? Well, sometimes it’s really hard and scary and uncomfortable. So we sit around and wait for a “better time”, because schedules and money and blah blah blah.

I started working towards this business when I had no time and no money. I had no one who understood and “got” what I wanted to do. No one who understood or “got” me for that matter. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew what I was called to create, so I just started moving. I decided that my “when” was going to be as soon as possible… and while there were certainly days that I threw my hands up in the air and parked it on the couch for hours of mindless TV, I always got back up and back to work. I never gave up. I never stopped hustling and committing, every day, to making it happen.

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There’s absolutely no question that you can create what you want to create… not one.

I have hugely unshakeable faith in you and your dreams. That’s not the problem. Whatever your dream is, it’s not unrealistic. Whatever your vision is, it’s not crazy. Whatever your hopes and goals are, they’re absolutely possible for you. I know that.

Stop waiting for someone to tell you that you can.
Stop waiting for someone else to do it first before you believe.
Stop waiting for the “right time” or a less crazy calendar.
Stop telling yourself you don’t have enough of something.
Stop listening to negative people with no sense of possibility.
Stop letting time slip by without taking any action.

You decide when. You and only you

So when are you going to choose?

If you’re ready to build a business around your passions, I hope you’ll join me on April 6th for Your Passion-Based Business™.

People around me have noticed how “happy” I’ve been lately and I can 100% say that I have never felt more happy, authentic, confident, and healthy as I do now. I am so grateful to Stephenie for helping me begin this journey of self discovery. — Jennifer McAleese