Colorado Bucket List: Dinosaur Ridge and Triceratops Trail

10513803_680823318678471_223900357_n
photo2 (4)
915610_555712514552114_878173982_nphoto1 (7)

On a whim last Saturday afternoon, I decided to choose an item off my Colorado Bucket List.

After realizing many things were either not free (just spent a lot of money in Portland and feeling the frugal!), going to be crazy busy because of the weekend, or more than 3 hours away, I settled on Dinosaur Ridge!

My guy and I headed on down to just south of Golden and paid our $2 admission to a teeny tiny exhibit hall. It had a pretty awesome Triceratops skull, but was otherwise dated and lacking things to look at. But, it was only $2 and the admissions man was super sweet.

We then headed up the road and did the little 3mi out and back walk where we saw dinosaur footprints and bones in the sides of the mountain. Pretty cool and fascinating to see… we also had a good view of Bandimere Speedway and watched some cars duel it out on the track.

After the down and back walk, we drive to Golden to do another short 3mi down and back walk on Triceratops Trail! It was mostly indented dino tracks and butted right up to a golf course, but it was still a fun little jaunt.

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

I was broke, overweight, depressed, and… filled with joy.

Today I want to tell you another story…

A couple years after throwing everything into a tailspin while trying to “change my life” many years ago, I found myself having just moved to Hawaii with my then boyfriend and living at my parent’s house. I was working full time doing customer service and data entry (I don’t think I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this AT ALL, but just in case…I most certainly didn’t enjoy this at all!), trying to start a design business, completely broke, unhappy in my relationship, still overweight, still totally lost as to who I was or what I wanted, and still very depressed.

It wasn’t a fun time.

I was working at a job crammed into the home office of my boss. She had this impressive book collection on the shelves next to her that we were allowed to borrow at any time. One day when I was in the office alone and bored out of my mind, I started perusing the bookshelf. I’d never really read any self help or personal development books, but I was immediately drawn to Jack Canfield’s book Success Principles… it practically leapt off the shelf at me! I took it home and began reading immediately.

From there, I started listening to recorded trainings by Jack and other mentors, read more and more personal development books, and started reading blogs and articles with the same focus. This self help stuff was pretty awesome and I was hooked.

More importantly? I had begun putting a handful of the principles I was learning into practice, but I wasn’t really sure if anything was working because my life didn’t seem to be changing like I’d been hoping it would for the last two (very long) years.

Then one evening, after a long day at work, I came home to work on some design projects for my growing business, only to find that my computer was completely dead. My computer, with all my files, client projects, and personal photos and artwork, wasn’t starting up and was leaking some kind of important looking fluid.

Now, after a couple years of life being incredibly exhausting, tear inducing, stressful, chaotic, depressing, and completely out of balance, one would expect me to have a total meltdown. I even expected me to have a total meltdown. After all, that was my default when even the smallest thing went wrong those days.

Instead, I smiled and shrugged it off as just a little bump in the road.

I managed to not only make the situation work until I could scrounge up enough money for a new (very used) computer, but I did it peacefully and joyfully. Were there moments that were stressful? Absolutely, but I hadn’t handled a single thing with this much grace and joy in a long time, if ever.

While I was reading a lot of books and learning a lot of new tools and tricks, there was one simple mindset shift that allowed me to not only handle that situation like I did, but allowed me to shift into the joyful, positive, and totally in love with life person I am today.

Let me be clear, I’m not without problems! Things go wrong in my life just as often as anyone else’s. I’m hit with unexpected expenses, slow months in business, unhappy moments in relationships, and challenges left and right. In fact, last fall was one of the most stressful times of my life! But no matter what, I always come from a place of joy and peace. I’m always happy and grateful for every single moment and experience in my life, even the sucky ones.

I’m not special, and I certainly didn’t start off at an “easy” or “happy” place giving me a leg up on these kinds of experiences. I started from a place of confusion, depression, stress, and chaos, and yet…here I am today a happy and joyful person. Like I said in Monday’s email, it’s because I did the work. Really, truly did the work, and I continue to do it every single day.

Today I want to share that simple mindset shift with you so you can do the same in your life, regardless of what’s going on. This exercise is short and powerful, and can be applied to ANY area of your life where you’re feeling dissatisfied and will instantly raise your vibrational level so you can start attracting all of the amazing things you deeply desire.

Let’s dive in!

The Simple Mindset Tool That Will Instantly Bring More JOY Into Your Life

video2

After you watch the video, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, what came up for you, and how you’ll begin utilizing this powerful tool in your life!

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

My BIGGEST, most painful lesson in taking ownership, ever.

Every so often I become aware that another year of my life has passed. This isn’t because it’s my birthday, it’s just a moment where I’m reminded of where I was exactly a year ago. For many years, this realization was met with a pounding heart, deep sadness, and frustration that another year had passed where nothing in my life changed. Nothing at all. I was unhappy, lacking joy and fulfillment, depressed, overweight, completely lost as to who I was or what I wanted, always broke, and without depth and connection of any kind in my life. So realizing that I’d spent another entire year in this place was devastating.

Let me give you some back story…

When I was 21 years old, I had everything I thought I ever wanted. I had just graduated from college at the top of my class, had an amazing job at a local graphic design firm, a brand new townhouse, a boyfriend of almost seven years (my “high school sweetheart”), and a shiny little car in my own name. On the outside it appeared that I was doing everything right for my age, and, honestly, a lot better than my peers. People were really proud of me and impressed by the life I’d worked so hard to create at such a young age.

But despite outward appearances, I was absolutely miserable.

Knowing that the guy I shared a home with was not “the one.” Finding that the great job, despite the excellent pay and awesome projects, wasn’t making me happy. Feeling trapped financially by the house, the car and the “perfect little life” I had created… basically feeling that nothing in my life was right, deeply unfulfilled, isolated and with absolutely no clue what to do about any of it!

I attempted to resolve the growing discomfort with several new jobs, all ridiculously fabulous and with increased salary and clout. I ended my relationship, jumped into a new one, and threw myself into a whirlwind of painful changes and serious stress. But no matter what I did, something deep inside me just wasn’t having any of it.

During this difficult period of my life, I truly believed I would never be happy. I believed that I simply wasn’t built for it and being a “happy person” just wasn’t in the cards for me. I believed that life would always be a struggle and it would pass by right before my eyes with absolutely no say on my part.

And yet, here I am today with a completely different life and perspective.

When I realized recently that another year had passed, I felt expansive, joyful, filled with gratitude, amazed, and absolutely in love with myself and my life. And the best part? I feel this way every single day.

How’s that for a change?

The reason I’m sharing this with you today is because I want to touch on something incredibly important that took me years to understand: creating the changes you want to see externally in your life starts with the changes you make internally. Despite all the job, location, income, business, and relationship changes I made during that difficult time, nothing actually changed for me. I was still unhappy, lacking fulfillment, completely lost, miserable, and depressed.

It wasn’t until I started doing the inner work, and I mean really doing the work, that I began to create amazing things in my life externally.

This week, I’m going to be sharing three videos with you that contain the most essential tools, mindset shifts, and exercises with you so you can begin creating an amazing life you absolutely LOVE, right now. When asked by my clients and Mastery members what was the ONE THING I did to really start making changes in my life, I tell them there are three simple things I did.

Each of these individual exercises are truly transformational on their own, but combined? They’re unbelievable. Spoiler! In this first video, you’re also going to hear about the biggest, most painful and slightly embarrassing lesson I’ve ever learned on taking ownership in my life. It’s a doozy.

Depending on how you connected with me originally, you may have already seen these videos, but I encourage you to take some time to really watch them again, AND work through the exercises. This isn’t the kind of work you do once and suddenly everything’s amazing. Nope, not even close. I still do the work in these three videos every single day. That’s how I created an amazing life and business I love, and it’s how I’ll continue to build on the beautiful foundation I’ve created.

So, let’s dive in shall we?

The Nine Words That Will Forever Transform Your Life

video1

After you watch the video, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts, what came up for you, and how you’ll begin utilizing this powerful shift in your life!

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

Around Here…

924429_655933214485102_1806826501_n
914763_753778497994891_1953104718_n
927994_550816851689496_1491077580_n
927354_494952090639153_734988952_n
10507925_589624821156013_368043149_n
10453939_318242885012095_927506200_n
10547185_663241353766481_1868586464_n
10547203_1650509005174232_1800528053_n
10544150_653080508093699_869276976_n
10561082_696853767018549_475419843_n

This past week was spent in my favorite city of all (and my soon to be — in a year or so — home), Portland, OR for an event and time with an amazing friend.

I absolutely adore Portland, as well as this particular event. My time here is always expansive, eye-opening, inspiring, growth inducing, overwhelming in the best ways, and filled with new creative energy. This trip was full, but amazing.

My friend and I attended a 5K Fun Run on Friday morning and had an awesome view of the Portland sign and river. Then we attended the Great Namaste, a world record attempt for the largest yoga chain. Super fun and super hot. :) After that, we hit up an amazing talk by Jonathan Fields about creating a revolution (best talk I’ve ever been to and worth the flight and event expense alone) and I was feeling beyond inspired. The weekend was filled with amazing talks and inspiring moments, many of which I’ll blog about soon (and already have here).

After the weekend, I had a day to play alone where I went to coffee shops and delicious vegan dining spots. I wrote, relaxed, and recovered. Tuesday I had the awesome opportunity to go trail running for the first time ever and absolutely loved it. I have energizer bunny lungs down here and it’s awesome. :) Wednesday we went to the coast, something I’ve wanted to do since my first trip in 2012. Amazing. I have never been so in love with mountains and forests like I am with Portland’s. They’re lush, flowering, full, and amazing. I felt like frolicking through the trees and rolling around in fields of wildflowers. For real.

Then there was the ocean. The ocean is my home and I’m happy simply to be in it’s presence. It was much colder than we expected (three former Hawaiian residents obviously dressed for the beach… not the Portland coast), but it was so much fun and I stilled managed to get a good solid sunburn.

I’m so grateful for this trip and for the adventures, inspiration and clarity it’s brought me. I also can’t wait to move here in a year! :)

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

How to Take Brave, Bold and Imperfect Action

I spent last weekend at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit Event in Portland, OR and it was, as always, absolutely amazing. What I love about attending events with multiple speakers is that we all receive the individual messages we need to hear through ideas interwoven into each talk. Our minds are amazing that way, so even though each talk is unique, we hear what we so need to hear in the moment while someone else hears something totally different.

There were two things that came up for me repeatedly… things “I already knew”. While I’m not generally one who goes into experiences thinking I know everything and there’s nothing I can learn, I was very surprised to get these messages over and over because I’d been reminding my clients and members about one for the last three months repeatedly.

The first thing I was hearing repeatedly was to just start, and continue taking imperfect action.

This is something I feel really awesome at, and is definitely something I’ve been doing for some time now. I started this business before I knew what kind of business it was going to be by throwing up a website and starting to blog. I put Your Passion-Based Business on my Mastery sales page with a general idea, but no real plan of what I would deliver in the program until I had to get started. I pushed out my new website before it was done. I take imperfect action all the time, and I’m always telling my clients and members to do the same.

The second thing is that life is really, really short.

One amazing speaker named Michael Hyatt shared some startling statistics with us. Out of the 2,500+ people in the theatre that day, two of us would be dead within 30 days. He followed it up with a joke, saying “I know what you’re thinking… it’s the guy next to me.” But when I heard that number I stopped breathing. I’m a person who lives with a strong sense of urgency, and have for as long as I can remember. I have the very distinct belief that “I’m running out of time to do the work I’m here to do.” This can be stressful at times, but it’s something I’m incredibly grateful for, because I don’t take my time and life for granted. Instead, I feel the constant pull to do the work I’m here to do.

So why was I hearing these messages?

And then, like a dramatic and cliche bolt of lightening from the heavens, it hit me.

Three years ago I discovered my passion for personal responsibility and started this blog. Two years ago, I had an idea for a passion project that would teach personal responsibility to the world.

For two long years, I’ve been clear that my life’s work is to teach and inspire personal responsibility. And yet, I’ve done hardly anything around this passion project but think about starting it “soon” (though, points for me, I designed a logo at one point!). I realized I’ve been using every excuse in the book, and every excuse I’ve coached my clients around to put it off.

That’s two years I could have leaned deeper into my calling, purpose, passion project, and life’s work but haven’t. And you know what, life is really, really short and I may be one of the two people to die in the next month… do I really want to die without bringing my life’s work to the world?

So, my dear friend and I headed off to a coffee shop during Sunday’s lunch break with the intention of taking brave, bold and imperfect action towards our big scary dreams. She started writing her first book, and I threw up an imperfect website and blog post for my “For Purpose” website in just two hours. I took my own advice that I’ve been handing out for months, and the advise of the amazing speakers, and I started.

It was scary, felt oh so amazing, and is something you can do too.

WhatWouldYouDo

How to take brave, bold and imperfect action:

1) Decide what’s really important to you right now.

If you only had 30 days to live, what would you pour your heart and soul into? What’s your passion project or life’s work that’s being neglected or pushed to the side? What’s a goal or dream you’ve deferred for far too long? Decide on one thing that’s really important to you right now… not your family or friends, or your boss or co-workers, just you.

2) Take brave, bold, and imperfect action around it. Today.

Choose one way you’ll take brave, bold, and imperfect action around this thing that’s so important to you. Do something to move it forward, no matter how small, huge, incremental, or scary. Be brave, be bold, and let go of your perfectionism. As I always say (and now always do), you just have to get started. You’ll build momentum from there, but just start. Take the first step and register the domain, call the person, write the first words, throw the first colors onto canvas… just start somewhere and build from there.

3) Create momentum by continuing to take imperfect action.

It’s not enough to start, you have to keep moving. Even if it’s something tiny every day or once a week, keep building the momentum by continuing to take imperfect action. I put up my passion project’s website yesterday and today I made some tweaks and published another blog post. Every single day I will do one thing, including post something relevant to the conversation on the blog, to build momentum and start bringing it to life. What can you do every single day? It doesn’t have to be massive, it just has to be something. Brave, bold, imperfect action.

I don’t think I have to say it, but…

Take action now.

You know what to do, so go do it. Then tell me about it in the comments below. :)

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE A COMMENT

If you asked me two months ago what topic I wanted to base my business on, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. With her guidance and support, my business is up and running and I have created my Individual Coaching Package and two Transformational Quick-Guides. I’m currently coaching my own clients and there are several other products and packages in the making. The best part is that, by working with Stephenie, I have been able to overcome my own mental blocks so that I now feel so much more in-tune with my own creative flow. — Jennifer Twardowski