Awesome Life TV™ Interview with J Deckert, Strategic Planning and Project Management Consultant

In this episode of Awesome Life TV™ I’m talking to my good friend and mastermind buddy J Deckert, a Strategic Planning and Project Management Consultant based in Boulder, CO. J shares his best tools and practices for better prioritizing your time and resources so you’re not wasting hours of energy “motivating yourself” to do the work and worrying about all the things you’re not doing while you’re trying to do the thing in front of you… so you have more time to actually DO your work. It’s not because you’re bad at stuff or lazy or don’t have the skills, it’s that you don’t know how to best break down your projects and to dos into actionable steps you can easily check off, every single day, which J addresses. We also talk about what you really mean when you say, “I don’t have enough time,” and how to shift the most common mentality that hold people back when trying to create lives and businesses they love. J also shares the importance of prioritizing self care in a very non-typical way, and how what we do every day is a great indicator of what the future will look like. Watch the video now!

1009026_10151757455320751_2145634153_o (1)J Deckert is a Strategic Planning and Project Management Consultant based in Boulder, CO. He partner with business owners to develop strong team working practices, plan strategically, and simplify then systematize procedures. Eliminate overhead and unnecessary work using cloud platforms and by building effective teams. Learn more about J and his services at www.jdeckert.com.

Do It For The Ones You Think Aren’t Listening

“You don’t know me…” was the subject line that appeared in my inbox. “But I want you to know that you really helped me.”

“Hey,” his message began. “I’m not sure how I found your blog, but I have to let you know that it may have saved my life.”

“I may not always ‘like’ or comment,” she shared through teary eyes, “but I read every single word you share.”

When I started writing about my grief, sharing more of my truth, and opening as wide as I knew how to open online… I got a bit of response. Sometimes there were a lot of likes and comments. Mostly there was just “some.” And often, it was the same handful of people.

But I kept sharing anyways, because it wasn’t about the likes or comments. It wasn’t about anything other than sharing what was true for me, simply because that’s what I needed to do. Simply because the words asked to be written, and my heart felt compelled to share them. I did it because I had to, because something inside me instinctually knew it was necessary to find healing.

There was no goal, no plan. There wasn’t a strategy or tactic. All I knew was that my heart was broken, my life and business were unraveling faster than I could even comprehend, and many friends were falling away as new ones emerged. I was walking through some of the most painful and challenging tasks, the most difficult and sad conversations. And when things hurt so much I wasn’t sure I could survive them, I wrote. I shared. And those little bursts of honest expression would relieve some of the painful pressure on my heart.

When I really hit rock bottom in the middle of the year… there was nothing left to do but open even wider. Share even more fully. Tell the truth even more transparently. I literally had nothing left to lose by being open and honest. So I was, because I needed to be, and I continue to do so as much as possible.

Sometimes our work feels like a thankless job.

That’s not a complaint, it’s simply a fact.

Especially when you’re trying to meet people in the darkest corners of their hardest chapters. When you talk about suicide and depression, grief and loss, and letting everything around you burn to the ground. These aren’t the most conversational of topics. They’re not the kinds of things people go “oh, me, me, me! I have something to say about this too!”

As a person who’s never been good at receiving praise or thanks without a bit of discomfort and my inner, bashful child coming out, I’ve always been okay with this. Sure, it’s nice to know that people care and are listening. That your words and work are having the impact you desire. I’m human, and I have an ego I wrestle with too. But for the most part, I’m okay with the silence. It doesn’t deter me.

Really what I’m trying to say in this post is this:
People are listening, especially when it seems like they’re not.

Just recently on a call with one of my very best friends, we were talking about her word for the year. A beautiful word that stood for showing up, for courage, and for not dimming her light any longer. How she wants to shine regardless of those who try to tell her she’s wrong or bad or needs to be different. And we talked about how hard and scary that is… because taking a stand for what you believe to be true can feel challenging and confrontational. It can feel vulnerable in the most terrifying way.

And she began to ask some of the age old questions. Questions like, “who am I to do this?” And, “who really cares?”

So I shared a truth with her.

For most of the year, I shared because I had to, not because I cared if I was right or if anyone was listening. Not for the likes or comments, and certainly not for any other reason than I felt something that needed to be expressed on a broader scale.

But as I began to complete a major healing cycle and really come back into my life and work in a way I wasn’t able to for the last year… ego returned with me, and ego began to wonder why less people liked this over that, and started trying to filter me so that I could “be better” at this online sharing thing.

Thankfully, I received all the guidance and clarity I needed over the course of just a few weeks. Out of nowhere, people I knew and total strangers started reaching out to thank me. Friends I assumed didn’t care or notice thanked me for my transparency over the last year, for telling the truth about what I went through. For being “real” in spaces where most hide behind carefully curated facades. Strangers and followers and subscribers reached out to thank me for specific posts that impacted their lives in the most profound ways. Posts from far earlier in the year. Family, mentors, and acquaintances who I didn’t realize where listening shared with me that they read every single word I write, and thanked me for putting into words what they couldn’t for themselves.

I was floored. Humbled. In tears.

And then I remembered all the books or videos or blog posts that had a deep impact on my life or a profound shaking of my soul. Messages where people just showed up and told the truth, letting me know I wasn’t alone and that things were going to be okay… maybe not right now, but eventually, simply because I could see they were surviving, or had survived, what I was walking through. Yet, I never once reached out to tell them just how powerful an effect their truth had on my life.

All of this, again, to say:
People are listening, especially when it seems like they’re not.

when-no-one-is-listening

If we want to truly show up and shine with all our bright, beautiful light… If we want to surrender in service of something greater than we may ever understand… If we want to take a stand for something or a group of someones that we deeply believe in… We have to remember this. No matter how big or small our platform or following or reach. No matter how many likes or comments or shares we’re getting. No matter the recognition or awards.

We remember the ones who are listening, who aren’t ready to step into the light and say, “I’m here too.” The ones who may not feed into any metrics that business and marketing strategies have deemed important, but who read every single word. Watch every single video. Who are there and real and struggling. Who need you to keep doing what you’re doing. To keep showing up and shining that light. To keep telling the truth with all the transparency you know.

Don’t filter for the critics, internal or external. Don’t dim your light for those that don’t agree or disapprove. Don’t alter your focus or change course from what rings true in your soul for those that praise and comment and fluff your ego. Don’t forget why you started showing up in the first place in exchange or fame or awards.

Do it for the ones you think aren’t listening.

The ones who are hurting and alone. The ones who desperately need you to stay real and true and purpose driven. The ones who don’t need or want you to be polished and pretty, they just want you to be honest.

Do it for them.

When I Get Lost, Again, I Do This…

I turn off the lights and close my eyes, only to jump out of bed moments later in search of a specific book. I grab the book, turn the light back on, and climb under the covers again. Three pages and a couple highlighted paragraphs later, I’m searching for my journal and scavenging for the right pen.

I crack it open and write a simple sentence… “I’m feeling sad and defeated.” I exhale and write a few more lines before rolling to my back and picking up my phone. I check Facebook. I snap a photo of the book and start Instagramming, but I never finish the caption, let alone actually post it. I’m staring at the ceiling, completely unsure if I want to scream or cry or maybe go to the gym.

I do none of these things.

I want to call my love and listen to him sing me sweet reassurances about life and business, but I don’t. I want to take a bath with lavender bubbles and maybe some of my favorite music, but I don’t. I want to give up on this day and go to bed, but I don’t. It’s only 6:30pm. I’m pretty sure I could sleep. I could cry until my eyes fail me… and then yes, I could sleep. I could make this day be over.

But I don’t do any of these things either.

Instead, I simply close my eyes and breathe deep.
I quiet my mind and allow myself to feel the agony inside.

And I feel it with my whole presence, because the years have taught me not to be frightened or anxious about the unsettling inside my soul. Not to be discouraged or doubtful of the boundless darkness that threatens to consume me. They have taught me not to turn and run from what I’m being asked to face.

The truth of the moment is simple: I’m lost, again.

Turned upside down and inside out. Restless. Aching at my core. Distracted by the deep discomfort that’s buzzing through every cell and bone and vein inside my body.

A decade of this work, and I still get lost.
A decade of the questions, and I still don’t always have the answers.
A decade of the lessons, and I still feel like a total beginner.
A decade of figuring it out, and I still get massively frustrated.

Because when we’re fiercely committed to living our highest truth with a profound connection to the divine… to loving and being loved by others more deeply than we knew was possible… to immersing ourselves in the work we’re called to do with our whole heart and soul… we’re never done. Never finished. Never complete.

when-you-get-stuck-lost

There’s never a point at which we stop growing.

And if there’s never a point at which we stop growing, there’s never a point at which we stop finding ourselves completely, utterly, frustratingly lost inside the many lanes that make up this life. Asking the questions we thought we’d already answered. Learning the lessons we thought we already knew. And doing the work more deeply and thoroughly than we ever realized was required.

While these moments still catch me off guard, I’ve learned to welcome them with love and a lot of trepidation. Because in these moments I’m simply recalibrating. Aligning more deeply. Shifting more fully. Growing more wholly.

I’m being asked to step it up.
To move to the next terrifying life level.

As soon as I remember this, I settle in and breathe more freely. My nervous system calms down and I’m able to think. Able to receive the direction and wisdom and answers I need to move forward. Able to take the actions I know I need to take.

And because I’ve been doing a decade of this work, the alignments and shifts and growth happens quickly. The clarity comes and I lean in, wholeheartedly and terrifyingly fast. I align. I shift. I grow.

I’m only ever stuck for what feels like a brief moment, because I’ve done this work for a decade. Because I’ve continually grown. Because I’ve worked with amazing mentors and coaches and healing modalities. Because I’ve never stopped learning… never given up. Because I continue to make the choice to do this work.

To rise up after each and every fall.

And I’ve put every single thing I’ve learned inside My Awesome Life Mastery™ so that you can align and grow and shift at a rapid pace too. So you can feel fulfilled, deeply connected, divinely guided, and fully supported. Mostly, so you can build a life and business around your passions with ease. Because the world needs more people who are willing to face what needs to happen to get unstuck.

We need you.

And if you’re ready, I’m so ready to support you. :)
Mastery doors are only open through this Friday, February 5th.
Click to learn more now.

You Have To Be Willing To Let It Burn

I was scrolling through Instagram one morning, half asleep and feeling all the feels, when this quote from Hiba Fatima Ahmad suddenly appeared before me:

“How can you rise, if you have not burned?”

Perfection. Because my work these past several months has really been about choosing to rise. Choosing to come back from the hardest year and loss of my life. Choosing to return with all the wisdom and truths and clarity I gained from those darkest, hardest pockets, so I can create real alignment in my life, relationships, and work. So I can show up and serve in all the ways I’m being called to serve.

Back in November, as I clearly began to see where I stood on this healing journey, I realized I had a choice to make if I ever wanted to come back better and wiser than before. And messages about rising began appearing all around me. Like this quote… this one shook me to my core with it’s raw, simple truth.

How can you rise, if you have not burned?

Never before in my life had there been a time when I was more willing to let it all burn to the ground. In the years past I would resist… retreat… numb out… hide… or try forcing things to go a certain way. All because I was afraid of the flames. I was afraid to let go and I had no concept of trust or faith. So I would latch onto whoever and whatever was in my life with a white knuckle grip, petrified of loss. Terrified of the unknown that would come once everything known was gone.

But not last year.
Last year I let it all burn.
Sometimes I even lit the match.

And you know what?
It was the most amazing experience of my life.

I learned there’s freedom that comes from loss and massive power in surrender. There’s beauty and a depth of connection we’ve never known inside the voids that remain when people and things burn away. I’ve found that there’s clarity and guidance inside the deepest, darkest pockets of the unknown. There’s peace and joy inside the stillness and the emptiness as the ash settles at your feet.

I learned that the more I’m willing to release my grip, the more things begin to fall into place with ease. The more I’m willing to surrender and stop fighting, the more support shows up to carry me through. The more I’m willing to let go of the people and things I held so dear, the more I find my footing and connect with those and that which are meant to stay. The more I listen to what’s being asked of me – what wants to move through me – instead of stubbornly and fearfully “sticking to the plan,“ the more aligned my work becomes. The more aligned I become.

The more willing I am to let it all burn to the ground, the higher I begin to rise.

That said, this willingness to let it all burn didn’t come easily.
Nor do I necessarily recommend metaphorically lighting your life on fire.

This post isn’t about destruction. It’s not about making messes of things that are meant to be a part of your journey out of fear. It’s about recognizing when we’re resisting the natural flow of death and rebirth… big and small and everything in between. When we’re fighting the need for something to fall away so that another, more aligned something has the space to arrive. Which, when we let it flow as it naturally will, happens more frequently than we generally allow it to.

For most of last year, I didn’t have a choice.

Loss sucker punched me hard over the head and began stealing pieces of me, my life, and my business before I knew what was happening. It cracked me open at my core, and that void acted like a massive black hole where things and beliefs and ways of being just vanished inside of, never to be seen again. Poof, gone.

There were some things I embraced fully and completely, because I simply didn’t know how to be who I was before anymore. I was just… different. Changed. Altered at my core, and because it happened so instantly, it was easy to let it be.

But my work, my business, and what I was creating?
These I resisted, and I resisted hard.

I tried to stay the course. I tried to write how I wrote before. I tried to stick to the plan. And as everything slowly and painfully died no matter what I did, I realized I had to let it go. I had to let it burn, there was no other way to move forward.

So I released my grip, and in that single energetic act, I lit a match.

I lit a match and I stood there, feet firmly planted in the ground despite how absolutely terrified I was, and watched as everything began to burn. I stood there, holding steady despite how much I wanted to run over and undo what I’d begun, willing to let go of everyone and everything that needed to fall away.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. And while fully committing to my choice of surrender eased a lot of my resistance and stress, I was by no means graceful inside this act. There were many tears, several emotional breakdowns, a lot of anxiety, and more meltdowns than I can count along the way.

As I stand here today on the other side of total surrender, rising back up more quickly than I knew I could, I can see it clearly. The more willing I am to let it burn, the higher I rise. In life, love, and work. It’s the only way.

You can’t rise if you haven’t burned.

to-rise-you-must-burn

You can’t come back if you never fall. You can’t succeed without failing or floundering or flailing around a bit. You can’t truly heal if you never let yourself break all the way through. You can’t become whole and happy and healthy without a “rock bottom” from which to leave behind.

And just remember that your “burning” doesn’t have to mean full surrender while risking everything you’ve worked so hard for in your life… it can be as simple as getting a little uncomfortable and declaring that you want something more, something different. By leaning in and starting to do the work necessary to “rise” into what’s next for you and your life. Whatever it is, it’s time.

How will you choose to surrender so you can begin to rise?

Awesome Life TV™ Interview with Karen Christensen, Actress, Speaker, Coach, and Founder of Dreamcatcher’s District

In this episode, the fabulous Karen Christensen shares her story about attracting and choosing the wrong people in all areas of her life, including show business and love, and how she pulled herself out of toxic situations, as well as the lessons she learned about support, self worth, and attracting the right people. We talk about what it means to really, truly do the work required to create positive shifts in ourselves and our lives, whether we’ve experienced trauma, abuse, grief, loss, or other hard chapters. We also chat about what it really takes to get our lives and businesses to where we have them today, and how it’s not as easy as it seems. I had the best time chatting with Karen before and during our interview, and I’m so excited to share her with you today. Watch the video below!

unnamedKaren Christensen has earned press and praise on and off camera as a multi-passionate, creative entrepreneur, thought leader and activist. A celebrant of slash careers, Karen has garnered success as an Actor, Photographer, Producer, Speaker, Coach and founder of Dreamcatcher’s District. She shares her lessons learned, strategic systems, maximizer mindset and insatiable curiosity via live events and virtual communities. Leading transformational talks, interviews, meditations, coachings and trainings — Karen activates your visions into realities with humor and honesty.  Having first hacked it out on her own in Hollywood at 19 — briefly acting in roles for MTV, NBC, CBS, FOX Searchlight — before securing more creative control behind the lens — Karen understands the pressures and the wonders of the freelancer, artist, lifelong learner. Karen Christensen is the Co-Producer and Photographer for Showtime’s acclaimed documentary film, “The Other Shore: The Diana Nyad Story.” Her consumer, celebrity, and commercial images are seen in: Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, The Ellen Show, Good Morning America, Showtime, SXSW, Success Magazine, ESPN, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, Mastercard, HGTV, YouTube, KCRW, Gibson, The Wedding Chicks and more.

Since starting this program I am on my way to obtaining my bachelors degree, I have reinvested in my own business, and started really focusing on my fitness. I am much happier and much more productive; laziness is a thing of the past!