How to Gain Clarity and Move Toward Your Dreams

Do any of these phrases sound familiar?

  • I’d love to try to publish my knitting designs. 
  • I’ve always wanted to write a book.
  • I dream of moving to the beach/mountains/city and living a new life.

But …

  • I’m not good enough, don’t know enough, don’t have time right now.
  • I have kids, a job, a mortgage . . .
  • Who am I to sell my stuff, tell my story, follow a dream?

 

IMG_1449

I’ve been there. Hell, suppressing those negative inner voices is an almost daily task for me.  But I’ve gotten used to them, and I know they’re not telling me the truth.

So often we talk ourselves out of our dreams. We talk over and ignore them. We brush them off as silly or impractical. We delay them for some nebulous time in the future when we have more time or more money or better skills or more confidence.

I’m tired of putting dreams on hold. Secretly, most people are, but they don’t know what to do about it.

Gain Clarity and Move Toward Your Dreams

The first step in moving toward your dreams is acknowledging them. The second step is taking action.

Find your dreams.

Sometimes we’ve stuffed our juiciest, larger-than-life dreams deep down inside. We have responsibilities, after all!  Your job is to reconnect with your dreams. Here’s an ide:

Try meditating or taking a walk (no phones allowed) to clear your head. Take as long as you want for this step. Really let yourself imagine the possibilities or to shake off the limiting thoughts you’re so used to carrying. 

When you’re done, sit down with a journal and write for 5 minutes to the prompt I want or I dream about. Write down whatever comes to your head. Don’t judge or try to figure out practicalities. Let yourself dream. Big, small, whatever comes up for you, write it down.

Now look at what you wrote. What truths do you find there that you expected? What did you write that surprised you? 

Now comes the hard question: what are you going to do about it?

IMG_1395

Take one small step.

What is one thing you can do right now to move toward that dream? Schedule time to paint once a week, no matter what. Sign up for that writing class you’ve been dithering about. Email a friend who sells her handiwork to see if you can ask her some questions. Talk to your partner or somebody supportive about this dream and brainstorm what you could do.

Get support.

Going for your dreams can be scary—and exhilarating. It’s easy to fall back into old habits of shutting down the dream, throwing up your own roadblocks, or getting stuck in indecision.

A coach can help you see next step, call you on your bullshit, work with you on mindset issues. You still have to commit. You still have to do the work, but you’ve got somebody to hold you accountable, cheer you on, and give you fresh perspective.

Last year I had the bold idea to help other people realize their creative dreams. At the time I was running a brick and mortar business, parenting my two young kids, and living a full, sometimes stressful life. Who was I to add another big dream to my life?  I thought about putting this dream on hold until a better time.  But then I decided to just dive in. Live boldly.

I can help you move toward your creative dream.

So what is your crazy dream? The one you feel silly talking about or hide in your heart because you’re afraid others will think it’s silly and it’s really important to you. Even if you don’t talk about it.

What dream have you been ignoring or telling yourself you couldn’t really do that?

What if I told you that you could?

Find your dream. Act boldly. Live your dream.

I’d love to help.

Click here to learn more about my Creative Clarity Sessions

Creative Clarity Session image

Summer Bummer : Living Without All the Answers

“Are you having a good summer?” she asked with a hopeful smile.

I took a deep breath and felt just how tired I felt in my body.

I could see that she too was tired. A fellow mom and entrepreneur, she knows what it’s like to be juggling a very full life. And so I knew I could tell her the hard truth: No.

I was not having a good summer.

The intensity of that realization hit me like a tidal wave.

Summer is supposed to be a fun, carefree time, right?! I felt anything but carefree.

What was I doing wrong?

That afternoon on the way home from work, I cried. I had to pull over at a park and let the tears flow just to ease the tension and fear of all that had been going on.

Business had slowed down drastically in the spring at the shop. In an effort to cut down on some expenses, I was working more. I had been agonizing over some other business decisions for weeks, and I was having trouble turning off my brain. 

I am also launching my new side hustle: mentoring creatives. And hosting out of town family friends! With an already packed schedule, my self-care routine was out the window.  I was impatient with my children, I had hadn’t been making anything, and I hadn’t seen mu friends in weeks.

Which all adds up to less laid back summer fun with the family. I felt stretched thin and perpetually tired.

After being sick twice in under a month and suffering from insomnia, I decided it was time. Time to take matters into my own hands again instead of letting life run away with me. I’d like to say I created the opportunity for myself, but we happened to have plans to meet family for a weekend in the mountains. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect!

I decided to unplug from email and social media and say yes to all the fun opportunities that came my way that weekend.

We picnicked in the mountains. I waded in a lake with my kids. I cast on a new sweater project for fall. My sister, mom and I made a pie together. I went down a waterslide on a double inner tube with my wife. We let the kids eat all the treats and stay up past their bedtimes. And I did my best to clear my head of all things business related.

I came back not only refreshed, but a little bit lighter. I don’t have to have all the answers right now. I don’t know what my life and businesses will look like six months from now, and that’s okay.

Sometimes letting go of trying to hold all the pieces together and figure everything out opens you up to see new solutions or let the answer arrive in its own time.   As I get back into things it will be easy to slide back into worrying about what happens next.  But having taken this time to reset will help keep me moving forward with less stress.

For the rest of the summer, my decisions will be ruled by finding joy, being present with my kids, and reconnecting with myself. And just in case: I plan to have another unplugged weekend at the end of the summer!

Now I’m relieved to say that yes, I am having a good summer.

 

Are Priorities Holding You Back from the Life You Want?

img_0985

There was a time when I was very hard on myself for not living up to my own ideal of what motherhood should look like.

After years of infertility treatments, I finally got what I thought was my dream job: I was a stay-at-home mama! I kept up with my ideal almost obsessively. From cloth diapers and homemade play doh to long, media free afternoons of unstructured playtime, I had it all mapped out. And for a while, it worked. Sure, I lived for nap-time when I wasn’t needed so much and could tend to my own needs (a shower, please!). But eventually, about a year into the parenting gig, I realized I needed MORE.

I started a business when my daughter was just 20 months old. Writing a business plan, signing a lease, and ordering inventory with a toddler in tow was no easy feat! And I was still trying to hold myself to my previous standards. The ones I was able to achieve when I wasn’t starting a business.

It’s true what they say: you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.

I quickly realized that things would have to change; the way we were doing things just wasn’t sustainable. And I was being so hard on myself, giving to my business, my employees, my child, my partner, my friends. There was nothing left of me.

And then I had a second child and things got harder.

My priorities, the things that were supposed to drive the life I wanted, needed a major overhaul.

The days became so full I couldn’t keep up with washing poopy diapers. I was so tired that the thought of making dinner brought me to tears. There was no space in my mind for any more needs from anyone, let alone the needs of this ideal motherhood I wanted to have.

Because I couldn’t change the needs of my kids — they’re still quite small and their needs are totally age appropriate — I realized I had to change MY needs. My priorities had to shift into accomplishing what was truly important to me. I had to let go of unnecessary projects and busywork at the shop. I needed to stop fixating on all the things I used to enjoy that no longer served my day to day reality.

Sure, I used to make play clay; you can buy that. I used to use cloth diapers, but I chose more time reading with my kids over washing diapers. I had to let those things go because not living up to unrealistic expectations (my own) was breaking me down. I examined all of the things I felt I “should” be doing to decide which really mattered to me.

These days I choose to spend time on the things that resonate now. Baking. Practicing yoga. Picking up my kids from school each day. Focusing on the parts of work that make the biggest difference to my business and that light me up.  And if I want to make some play dough, I will because I want to, not because I feel like I should!

What are you doing because you feel like you should? Even if the should grew out of your own values and desires once? What are you doing because you once loved it that isn’t serving you right now? What, if you really stopped to think about it, is most important to do in your day?

Before you reflexively say “It’s all important,” let yourself admit what really resonates with you. It’s OK to stop doing something that was an important part of your life if it isn’t serving you right now. Priorities aren’t static. By taking time to re-examine them when things aren’t working, we can move closer to the life we really want to live.

What can you let go of? What can you embrace to move toward the bold life you dream of?

When you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to see where you can make change. Sometimes the “shoulds” are so ingrained we think they are “musts.” That’s where I come in. I can help you get past your own blocks to dare to live the life you dream of (even if you hide that dream from yourself). It starts with clarity.

Learn more about Clarity Sessions and book yours today.

Live Your Bold, Creative Life: Intuition & an Ass Kicking


My alarm was set for 3:45 AM on Friday morning. But you know how it goes when your brain is both excited about the day to come and anxious that the body won’t wake up in time to make it happen. You either sleep terribly or you wake up super early. Luckily for me, I woke up just one minute before my alarm, and was able to let the anticipation of the weekend to come wash over me.

I was headed to the Radiance Retreat, a gathering of women that was part personal development, business seminar, and fitness training.  This last part was outside my comfort zone, but something told me I had to be there.

I was looking forward to disconnecting with my real life. Things had been rough on the sleep front with my littlest. The days toward the end of the school year had gotten so full and hectic. And then there was all the shit going on in my head.

You see, I have been contemplating a bold move of my own. A move that would result in me living a bigger, bolder, life and putting even more of myself out there in the world.

I want to help women connect with their own desires to live a bold, creative life.

I dream of doing this through one-on-one engagements where we can connect on a deeper level and get to the heart of your big dreams. We can move through your roadblocks, and I will help you get clear on the exact steps you need to take to get you moving in the direction of your dream.

My dream of becoming a Creative Coach feels audacious and exciting, and I love thinking about it! But this dream was also bringing up all my inner gremlins. I was stuck in a cycle of self-doubt that boils down to one thought:

Who am I to think I can help other people?

I’ve been wavering about whether or not to take the plunge for MONTHS. There are always a million excuses why you shouldn’t do the thing you’re dreaming of deep inside.

Here are some mindset roadblocks I’ve experienced:

  • I don’t have enough time.
  • I don’t have the money to invest.
  • I’m already doing so much.
  • No one wants to hear what I have to say.
  • There are already so many coaches out there doing it better than me.
  • What will happen to my existing business?

But the simple truth is it’s all bullshit. It’s all a way of holding yourself back, of playing small, of not living the life you desire.

These doubts and excuses create noise in your head, drowning out your inner voice. Your deeper intuition that knows exactly what you should do.

I’m just as guilty of falling into these traps as the next person. Ironically, I have a lot of tools for moving through those doubts and fears to get to the good stuff.

But in this case, I wasn’t able to use them on myself. I was allowing myself to fall victim to my tendency to people please, to put others’ needs and wants before my own, and to get so full of ideas and doubts that I couldn’t even hear my own voice anymore.


So back to this weekend…

I was in emotional pain when I arrived, desperately hoping to gain some clarity of purpose about all of this. If that didn’t happen, a couple of hours reading on the beach would do. I just needed a break from the cycle of relentless questioning I was in.

What I got from the experience was so much more.

Connection to new friends and time to connect with myself.

Acceptance as-is from other women

Motivation to stop wavering and move forward with swift and decisive action

Tears. There were tears within the first 30 minutes of this retreat. We cut through the surface and dove into why each of us was there and it got intense very quickly. Which was so good because it liberated us from the small talk and encouraged us all to connect openly and with integrity.

Laughter. When you’ve connected about the tough stuff in life, it feels really good to laugh with people.

Relaxation.  I gave myself permission to opt in only to those activities that really excited or challenged me. Looking at the schedule for the weekend ahead, I saw that the second afternoon included a 2.5 hour workout session. Instantly upon seeing that, my gut told me a big NO. Not because I was scared or nervous — I went to other exercise activities — but because I knew it would be the best opportunity to get some downtime at the beautiful beach. It was one of the best decisions I made all weekend! When I shared that I was choosing beach over barbells, it opened up that possibility for some other women who had been questioning.

A kick in the ass.  Jill Coleman is an incredible example of doing what you want with an unwavering certainty that what you have to offer is valuable and that you deserve success. Her business has evolved over time and she is now offering up her own brand of business coaching. I was riveted by her confident, unapologetic approach to business and the transformations hers has taken over the years..

At the end of her talk on the last day, she offered up a big challenge: Put up a buy button on your website by midnight that night. Cut through the excuses and doubts and just get it done.

So I did. What are you going to do?


Clarity Session image

Introducing the Live Your Bold Creative Life Clarity Sessions

You have big dreams, but they tend to stay in the idea phase. You’re afraid to move forward. You don’t have the time or money right now. You don’t know what step to take.

I’ll help you:

  • Gain clarity on the big dream you can’t stop thinking about
  • Create an action plan to get you moving forward
  • Get unstuck and release some of the beliefs that have been holding you back

Putting something out into the world and offering yourself up to others who need what you have to offer is more important than holding on to your old beliefs. It’s bigger than your to-do list and your lack of tech knowledge, or the numbers in your bank account. The thing that you do or make or say has value beyond all the other self-doubt and negativity in your head.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and moving forward in my dreams. You can too. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Click the link below to grab your spot and start living your dream life.

I’m ready to live bold!

Creativity, Self-Care & The Mama Advantage

themamaadvantage-episode2

I recently had the honor of joining my business coach Megan Flatt and fellow Mama CEO and writer Parrish Wilson on a new podcast: The Mama Advantage.  Megan’s premise for the podcast is that as women, mothers, and entrepreneurs, we bring added value to all of our roles. She’s exploring this idea alongside some very rich topics. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Listen in to Episode 2 to hear each of our stories of rising up and starting our own businesses while also having young kids. Parrish and I share what creativity and self-care mean to us, and we even share our own Mama Advantages.  I dive into my views on the role of creativity and the value of self care in my life; and I enjoyed hearing the other women’s views as well.

I’d love for you to give it a listen and let me know what you think!

Click here to listen to the podcast. 

Ask Yourself: How can this be Unconventional?

bmf-headline

One of the reasons I started my own business was because I couldn’t picture myself chasing someone else’s dream.

I had jobs working for everyone from small business owners to a major corporate bookseller, and I had seen it all. It felt good to learn from people hustling their creative ideas and putting out into the world. And it was valuable learning how the corporate retail world was structured.

But at the end of the day, I had to get out there and do my own thing.

And in the beginning it was thrilling!  I was also terrified every single day.  It takes guts to put yourself on the line, and I felt so uncertain and vulnerable in those early days.

I had a lot of experience working for other people, but putting your own ideas out into the world is an entirely different beast. It was exciting!  I was in control and could do whatever the hell I wanted to create the business of my dreams. But at the same time I was often nauseous and anxious, paralyzed by all I didn’t know.

I quickly found support in the form of an online mentor and a local group of women running their own businesses. The idea that other people had walked this path before me and were walking it alongside me was hugely reassuring.

Aside from the practical advice (WordPress Plugins, POS software, and Inventory Management), I gained a huge amount of confidence and support from just being around other dreamers and doers.  This support emboldened me to try new things, blaze new trails, and stay playful with my ideas.

These people weren’t just talking about all their great ideas. No, they were creating them and sharing them with the world.

buymyfuture-simple

One person I have found immense inspiration and support from is Jason Zook.  He’s done some zany things to build businesses, earn money, and connect to his creativity. I admire anyone who has the guts to take the path less travelled, and that path is where Jason lives.

Last year when Jason launched his biggest project ever, Buy My Future, I didn’t have to think twice. Jason has proven himself to be not only a person with big, unconventional ideas, but a person who takes action. He is a collaborator and a maker.  He is someone I want to work with, and I didn’t hesitate to plunk down the cash to buy his future.

Ask yourself: How can this be unconventional? How can this be unique ~JZ

This has become a guiding question for me as I contemplate any new project or idea. Sometimes it feels as if the rest of the world is operating on the assumption that the way it’s always been done is the only way.  I don’t believe that’s true, and I want to align myself with others who are striving to be unconvetional.  Like JZ here!

So what are some of the things Jason has created?  What is he working on next?  I’m so glad you asked, because it’s a lot!

bmf_share_vertical

What a deal!

I’ve personally taken advantage of several of his past projects and have plans to dive into a couple more this fall.  I find Jason entertaining, inspiring, and motivating, and cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!  It’s a thrill to be along for the ride.

I’d like to invite you to take a leap of faith, invest in yourself, and purchase Jason Zook’s future.

It’s okay if you don’t know exactly how you’ll use the many benefits of buying Jason’s future… myself and the BuyMyFuture community are here to help and support you.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can also buy Jason’s future, check out all the details here. *  Act fast, though: there are only 200 new spaces available this time around and sales end October 4th 2016.

*Here’s some fine print where I’m supposed to tell you that this ibecerra_photography-2s an affiliate link.  That’s how much I believe in investing in yourself and in people who are doing great things in the world. So when you click this link, you are doing just that!  Oh, and I’ll benefit from the sale. This is cool because it will help pay for my own spot in Buy My Future!