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First, let me say I’m overwhelmed, thrilled, and so honored to get the support I got yesterday with the launch of Jess LC. Thank you all so very much.

Today’s post is written by life coach Heidi, of To Be Luminous. Her ideas on personal power are a perfect continuation of MakeunderMyMarch in the mental realm. She is also a  MML sponsor, and last week’s DYL participant. Enjoy!

(And remember to check out the bottom of the post for a sweet giveaway…)

Heidi on Personal Power

I love “Makeunder My Life” for too many reasons to list out here and since you all feel the same way, it would be redundant.  For the sake of time and space I’ll stick to the #1 reason I give MML stamp of approval:

This process paves the way to personal power.

Most people move through life tossed around on the waves while life happens to them and then wonder why their life isn’t going where they want it to go!  In designing your life you are taking your life back into your own hands and are daring to believe you know a better way.

Even after setting powerful intentions and moving forward in our dreams life keeps moving and I don’t know about you, but I still find myself listening to what someone else thinks I should do and doubting my deep desires and personal intentions – even just for a split second.  For many of my clients just as they begin breaking down barriers, throwing away parts of life that don’t suit them (everything from a bad skirt to a sketchy boyfriend), the world starts to scream “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” and sadly enough some step out of their new strength and retreat back into their former comfy world.  Think:  taking off the perfectly styled new outfit you’ve been dreaming of and slipping back into sweats.  It sounds comfy, but comfy doesn’t help us achieve our dreams, become the person we’d like to be, and share our authentic selves with the world that so desperately needs each and every one of us.

We have to strengthen our personal power and as we take the MML action steps, it’s equally important to reacquaint ourselves with our own personal voice, our spirit, our intuition . . whatever you want to call it.  It’s the little guy inside you that says what you really think.  Your intuition fills you up, gives you wisdom, dispels fear, and calms anxiety.  Your personal voice is full of love and joy- for you and for others exactly as you are now. Sometimes it’s even more of a feeling or a whisper, but the closer attention we pay to it, the stronger our personal power becomes and we come closer to our authentic selves and allow the people around us to do the same.  Isn’t it great?  By being our best selves we give our favorite people permission to do the same.

The best three ways to hone in on your own voice are to do the following.  WARNING:  This is a lengthy life long process.  Do not expect to master it overnight, but DO expect to feel amazing strength, energy and courage very, very quickly!

#1 – Toss your energy vampires.

This means do your best to rid yourself of not only your excess stuff (which is perfect place to start), but your excess personal baggage too.  Sit down and set the timer for 15 minutes.  Grab a pen and paper (so much better than a computer for a brain dump) and write down the parts of your life that pull you away from who you dream of being.  Your list might look like this:

  • Screaming boss
  • Critical “frenemy” Jill
  • Guilt over broken relationship with Greg
  • Hour long daily calls where my mom tells me what’s wrong in my life
  • All my excuses for not going to the gym (Grey’s Anatomy, Deep fudge chocolate cake, having one-too many the night before)
  • Vogue magazine (makes me want more stuff and to look model thin)

This list is different for everyone.  One person’s vice (deep fudge chocolate cake) maybe a fabulous motivational tool for someone else.  Keep it personal and remember it’s only about you!  One example from my list will sound silly, but I used to watch the Hills and after watching it I’d always feel frumpy, unstylish, like I need to shop, lose some weight, etc.  It wasn’t that I was actually saying these things out loud, but I never felt good after watching it.  I put it on my vampire list.  Anything that drags you down instead of lifting you up (including people) should be on the list.  For most people on the list, it will be a matter of changing the nature of the relationship.  For example:  if mom yells at you, rather than cut her off, you need to find a new way of relating to her.

Once the list is made, get ready to start cutting.  Some things are easy to cut, others will be difficult.  Go slow and do your best, just know that you are treating yourself with care and deserve to feel alive and amazing, so that you can help others to feel the same way.

#2- Fill up on the good stuff.

Nope, I don’t just mean the aforementioned chocolate cake . . . just like your list of vampires, it’s time to sit down and make a list of people, places, items, and influences that fill you with joy.  Set the timer and go!  This list might include:

  • My best friend Holly
  • Date night with my man
  • Cake batter batter ice cream from Coldstone
  • A long hard run on a Spring day
  • Girl’s night out dancing
  • Long conversations with my sister
  • A day on the beach
  • An invigorating project at work

You get the picture.  This is fun!  If it feels like work, you’re doing it wrong.  Put it down and try again later.  Making this list should bring you to life, quicken your step and start you laughing.

Once the list is made start filling up the holes left by the previous list.  If you go to lunch with Frenemy Jill three days a week and only see best friend Holly once every other week . . . there’s some obvious switching up to do.  You get the gist.  Have fun with it and just get started!

#3- Listen to your authentic voice every day.

The first two steps will get you started, but this last one will keep you going for the rest of your life.  You have got to make time to listen to yourself daily or you’ll never hear that important whisper that could lead you into the life you’ve dreamed of.  The more you listen, the stronger you become internally and all those vampires begin to lose their grip on you.  You will find that you second guess yourself far less and you’ll jump in and take risks at times you never would have before.

Listening means making time.  When I commuted, I’d turn off my iPod, not answer my cell and then I’d dream and talk to myself (out loud  . . . I know a little crazy, but no one could hear).   My car was a sacred place.  I kept it clean and I kept my heart open.  It was on one of these drives that I felt nudged to go live in Bulgaria for a year and a half.  These quiet nudges WILL change your life.

Another way to listen is by journaling.  I’m not talking about writing a discourse on the details of your day.  I mean, sitting down in a quiet calm place for 30 minutes and scratching out whatever comes into your mind.  The words won’t be pretty and often they’ll be grumpy, but half way through (for me it’s around the 15 minute mark) brilliance starts to shine through.  I have been doing this daily for a decade now and every bold, brave, amazing move I’ve made first began as a scratch in my journal, a seemingly silly momentary thought.

If you make no other change in your life than listening to (and acting upon) your authentic voice your life will unfold in beautiful and unexpected ways.  This is the process I work through with my clients weekly.  It’s empowering and frustrating, full of highs and lows, but so is life.  Our dreams need a soft, happy, joyful place to grow and if we start within ourselves, miracles will happen.

GIVEAWAY: Six Weeks of Life Coaching with Heidi

Wow, right?! Heidi has generously offered to do a giveaway for a six-week life coaching session for someone on MML! To enter, comment on this post and I’ll use the good old random number generator to choose a winner next Wednesday, April 7th.

[photos courtesy of Kate Powers]

off the chain: the NEW jesslc!

March 30th, 2010   |   LifeStyleWardrobe

Good morning, sunshine! I humbly submit the link to the brand new Jess LC.

If you’d like a quick tour, here’s some of the surprises you’ll find,

The New Division Collection

I’m super proud to debut my first-ever sterling silver cast pendant collection, Division. I am fortunate to have a friend from college whose family has a jewelry business that can do complicated processes like casting that I’m unable to do in my studio (my landlord doesn’t look kindly on kilns and blowtorches). Now I’m able to find inspiration from interior design and Chicago architecture, draw a sketch, and see that idea come to life! But don’t worry, we are still finishing the jewelry in our studio like normal, so if you want a necklace shortened or prefer a gold chain, just let me know and we’ll whip it up to your preference.

Oh, and there are also matching earrings for each style and an awesome bangle to boot!

The New Website

The oh-so-lovely redesign by Meghan Radke. SO much nicer than the old site I designed myself. We now have an integrated website, so you don’t have to leave www.jesslc.com to process your order. Yay for efficiency and professionalism.

The Best Day Ever Lookbook

A few scenes from the new lookbook featuring Tieka, of Selective Potential, as the new Jess LC model.

(Notice the AprhoChic pillow? Thanks, Jeanine!)

Off the Chain Update (email letter)

(If you’d like to get my monthly Off the Chain Updates, please add your address at the top of www.jesslc.com or comment on this post with the words “Off the Chain.”)

Please stay tuned, there will be much more about the new launch to come the rest of the week. I’ll share all about the awesome dream team that helped make my vision a reality.

After six months, blood, sweat, and (almost) tears, it’s such a great relief to share this with you. Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me without having a clue as to what I was talking about.

makeunder my march review

March 29th, 2010   |   Exfoliating

As March comes to a close this week, I thought it would be nice to recap the MakeunderMyMarch series. From the exfoliations and emails I’ve gotten this month, it seems as if many of us are in the spirit of spring cleaning and sprucing up. Here’s hoping that this review inspires a little exfoliation and organization for others as well!

Makeunder My March Introduction

How to Makeunder

Step One, Create a Vision

Step Two, Exfoliate Stuff

Step Three, Identify Intentions

Step Four, Reflect and Evolve

Other Makeunder Ideas

Throw Out Fifty Things Challenge

Trash or Treasure? What to Do With Old “Stuff”

My Recent Makeunders

Under the Bed/Wardrobe

Kitchen Desk

end of the week exfoliation

March 28th, 2010   |   Exfoliating

So it seems these exfoliation posts are more and more often popping up on Sundays rather than Fridays or Saturdays. So much for the “end of the week” portion. At least we all get the idea.

I hope you are enjoying some time off with friends and family. I know I’ll be having fun and thinking of anything but work.

End of the Week Exfoliation

“We also gave this box of random stuff to the Brown Elephant. It contained kitchen stuff from old roommates, unnecessary wedding shower presents (including an awful smelling candle), an old camera, and other chotchkies.”

Cathy

I have a lot of extra gym equipment so I’m going to do away with them not sure to whom or how, but they need a new home.”

Sarah T.

“These are items that I have never or rarely worn.  My friend and I are going to be doing a bit of an exfoliation swap, but I am determined to get rid of more than I take in!”

Heather

“I decided to do some spring cleaning over the weekend in honor of the official arrival of spring and realized what an ridiculous amount of shoes I own that I don’t even wear!  These shoes are now bagged and sitting at m front door to be donated so someone else can enjoy them.”

Shenneth

“I love the pop of color that this spring coat adds to an outfit…but I don’t love the unflattering fit. It’s still in great condition, so I’m putting it in my “Clothes Swap” box for the next time my girls and I get together for some wine and clothing exchange action.”

Shanti

“Ten more out the door.  Most of them are size 7 1/2.  All but 5, 7, and 10 could use a new home. The aforementioned trio have had their day.”

S.E. Minegar

I found this old eye glass case/glasses case in my linen closet. At which point I realized it was for my old glasses and does not fit my new glasses or sunglasses. Which means this puppy doesn’t have a place in my life. Buh-bye.

ashley’s dream report: week eight

March 27th, 2010   |   Life

This is a week for celebration!

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the process of getting things done and to overlook the small successes that happen along the way, isn’t it? It’s so easy to just pass by the accomplishments when there is still so much to do before you get “there” – wherever there may be. This week I am going to pause for a moment and celebrate one of my successes.

One aspect of the new business that I am starting is to offer custom designed printable products for weddings and other special events. There are lots of invitation and stationary designers out there but there aren’t many that will create a design and then offer the digital file to the client to print on their own. This saves a lot of money as well as allows the client to have a hand in the creation process. I think of it as DIY meets high quality design. This is a photo of an invitation suite that I designed for a client and she printed and assembled herself (with the help of her fiance and family).


The wedding is next month so we are still working on various other paper pieces that will be incorporated into the day (programs, table signs, door hangers, favors, welcome kits, etc). But the invitation suite turned out great and the bride and groom are so thrilled with everything!

So back to celebrating. The thing is that I tend to be so hard on myself and expect so much perfection from myself that I completely overlook my successes. I’m not really sure why I do it but I know that it takes away from enjoying the process and the journey and the place I am in right NOW. Because really all we have is right now, this beautiful moment.


There is still a ton to do (as you can see from my mind-map wall above), but right now I want to focus on what is already done…beautifully and uniquely.

So I have a challenge for you this week…take a moment and actually pause and celebrate in your own little way when you accomplish something – no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Choose to celebrate what you want more of in your life!

nick dewar and the MML philosophy

March 26th, 2010   |   ExfoliatingLifeStyle

Normally I don’t post too much about art, but when I was shown this Nick Dewar print, I had to share!

Have a great weekend! (I’m excited to spend some time with Erwin after his busy work week.)

the moment of truth

March 26th, 2010   |   Business AdviceLife

Usually, I prefer to go through a difficult situation and learn the lesson from that experience. Then, I like to share it here on MML in the form of business advice, inspiration, and so forth. But today I’m making an exception.

As you are (very) well aware by now, Jess LC will look pretty different come next Tuesday. I have devoted six months to this project and invested personal savings to help get the re-branding off the ground. During the entire journey, I knew deep in my bones that these changes needed to be made. So excited by the new vision, I almost immediately separated myself from the “old” Jess LC (mossy green color, vintage logo, handmade website, PayPal shopping cart, even the font!). In came the new company color (coral), modern logo, professionally made website, integrated shopping cart, and cool new text. I loved every minute of it.

There were some potholes along the road, which I will share once the lessons have been learned. But by continuing to persevere during the rough patches,  I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel this March. How incredibly exciting, right?

Well, this week I’ve started to have some doubts pop up in my mind. Some had tiny voices and I quickly dismissed them, while other thoughts whispered more convincingly. The worries that surfaced asked me, “What if people like the old look better than the new look?” “What if people don’t like the new jewelry as much as the old jewelry?” “What if people can’t really see the differences between the old look and the new look… or worse, what if they just don’t care?”

The truth of the matter is, that these worries, though largely just figments of my imagination, might actually be true for some people. Odds are good that there will be a part of the population that doesn’t prefer the new look, new jewelry, or might not care about the changes. It’s inevitable. I’m just hoping that the majority of people do appreciate the evolution I’ve made and my business grows.

Now, just four days away from the debut, those worries have seemed to quiet down. Maybe they’re taking a nap, only to rear their ugly heads closer to Tuesday. But in their place has come a sense of excitement, adrenaline, and impatience. I feel like I’m about to run a marathon. The training has been done, the course has been set, now I just need to run and give it my best shot.

So thanks for sticking with me during this process, I feel like I have my own special cheering section along the racecourse come March, 30th.

Today I’d like to introduce you to one of MML’s new sponsors, Heidi of the blog, To Be Luminous. Heidi is a life coach from Florida living in Prague (how cool is that?). Next week I’ll share more about her life coaching (including an exciting giveaway) but today, the focus is on Heidi’s intentions and the life she has designed.

Here are the two things that struck me about Heidi’s DYL, a) I felt like I know her and b) I wish we could be friends “in real life.” Anyone who follows her intuition and believes that the unconditional love of a puppy is equivalent to surrounding herself with amazing people is golden in my book.

Enjoy!

DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Heidi of To Be Luminous

Be Authentic

We are all quirky and different.  I am a strange blend of an avid traveler, consummate home body, guilty-pleasure tv watching, spiritually minded life coach.  I love it!  When I was in the fourth grade there was a competition for the best handwriting and I looked at my chicken scratch and was positive I couldn’t win.  Lindsey (I still remember her name) had long red hair and perfect penmanship.  She won the fountain pen and I tried hard to write like her.  Fast forward to eighth grade, my best friend (also Heidi) had a lovely round bubbly handwriting.  It matched her “perfect” puffy bangs (I wish I had a picture of THAT to share). I tried and I tried to write just like her.  One day in college, I started writing naturally.  I wasn’t copying anyone, it felt fabulous!  My unique to me handwriting is now something I cherish because after twenty years of trying to be like everyone else, it represents a part of me that is uniquely mine.  It might take some of us longer than others to embrace who we are, but when we do it it gives permission to the people around us to do the same.  Everybody wins!

Flirt

Flirting makes people feel special and that’s always a good thing!  It brings out the best in someone and the fun in you.  My college roommates used to say that I’d flirt with a tree if I could and they were right.  For awhile I was ashamed of my inherent flirting, but as I watch the way it lights people up (men & women), I’m not willing to give it up.  We all have our own style.  One of my friends has a mega-watt smile that can stop anyone dead in their tracks.  She uses it on everyone and can warm even the frowniest heart.  I’m more of a teasing flirt.  I love to tease in a happy, loving, uplifting way.  But don’t lead any unsuspecting men on . . . that’s just mean.

Follow Your Intuition

We have this wonderful little guy inside each of us that somehow has it all figured out.  I love listening to him because whenever I do magic happens.  Not only do I avoid dangerous situations but my life opens up onto broad and beautiful paths.  My intuition led me to live in Prague, become a life coach, get my sweet puppy Harry and buy that red trench last spring (which I’ve now worn for 9 of the last 12 months).  I make time every day to listen.  For me, I use a combo of journal and my morning walk in the park with Harry.

Look For Beauty

I studied humanities in college and began my quest for beauty.  I love looking for the lovely even in the most unlikely moments.  I’ve learned that what I look for in life is what I find, so I make a point of finding the beautiful and dwelling on it.  This works in situations, on people, and all aspects of life- not just the visual.  When you meet a cranky person you can’t seem to connect with, try seeing what is beautiful about them and focusing on it.  It works!

Surround Yourself with Amazing People

I love to be with people who bring out the best in me and then I want to bring out the best in them too.  There are too many people in the world quick to cut us down and tear us apart, why voluntarily let them into my free time?  I also think having a dog is wonderful.  His smile melts my heart on even the toughest day and when I’m a bear and difficult to love, he still loves me.  It’s unconditional and don’t we all need that?

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

my spring annoucement

March 24th, 2010   |   Life

Good afternoon! I made an announcement on Spring today that I’d like to share here on MML, too.

Feel free to watch the video. The decision I have made was certainly not easy. But Carolyn, Michelle, and Jess have been so amazing and understanding throughout my journey. I wish Spring loads and loads of successes in the future and hope you continue to watch their amazing conversations.

I’m also excited to take on the new role as Spring Ambassador!

A few weeks ago, Shenneth, a MML reader, told me about a book she thought I and other MML people would like called Happy For No Reason, by Marci Shimoff. After glancing at the table of contents on Amazon, I promptly went to Half.com (a great site for cheap used books) and bought a copy for about $3.50. It came in the mail two weeks ago and I’ve been working through the chapters pretty quickly.

Though much of the content is similar to a lot of other intentional books (like my favorite, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), there are a few gems throughout the text that I’m excited to share here in the THINK ABOUT IT series. The first fresh idea I came across is about how we as a society often try to accumulate happy experiences in order to create a happy life. If we can just get that next bag, apartment, house, puppy, job, smaller jean size, and boy then we will be happy. All of these happy events are like happy beads on our happy necklaces. If we have enough “happy beads” on our necklace than we have a happy life. But Marci points out that if you’ve watched any episodes of True Hollywood Story, this is not always the path to contentment. I’ve also recognized this reality during my desperate attempts to be perfect while in college, just before discovering the importance of making under.

But the brilliant point Marci shares is in the analogy’s conclusion. Rather than worrying about each new bead or event that comes onto our necklaces, we should focus on making the thread that is holding those beads, stronger. If we have a happy thread, then the good or bad events that come onto our necklaces have less of an impact on our overall sense of well-being. Sure, things can happen that can devastate, or delight us for a moment. But the longevity of our happiness is dependent ultimately on our threads, not our beads.

Though the message is essentially the same as Stephen Covey’s proactivity, I love the visual nature of the thread and beads. Jewelry designer or not, I can picture it in my head. And whenever I’m tempted to think a bunch of thoughts like,

  • I will be really unhappy if the re-branding doesn’t go well.
  • I’ll be so happy when I get a puppy.
  • I’m so bloated, I feel like I could float without treading water.

I ask myself, do I want to be dependent on events to be happy or sad at the end of my life? Hell no! I want to be a happy old woman who found a deep sense of peace regardless of what her life was like.

And that’s when I realize that I better start strengthening my thread today.

Goooood morning! I am excited to announce that barring any national disaster, UPS delay, or internet malfunction, I will be launching the new version of Jess LC next Tuesday, March 30th! I kept saying I’d launch in April to buy myself some extra time, but so far the outlook for next Tuesday is promising. As you know, I’ve been devoting what seems to be my entire life to this project using very mysterious words like “re-branding” “re-launching” etc. Which all just basically mean that I’m taking Jess LC to a whole new level and besides the great styles from Chicago Collection and Soc Chic, everything else is brand new. Those of you who have been getting my Preview List emails know all about (some) of these changes. By the way, it’s not too late to sign up for the preview emails if you want to see them (there are three emails total).

Anyways, I can’t keep this a secret much longer. I think I might just explode with excitement. So here’s a peek at the inspiration board which inspired the newbie Chicago collection, Division.

Hint: if you look really closely at the last pattern you’ll see the new Jess LC logo!

makeunder my kitchen desk

March 22nd, 2010   |   Exfoliating

I’ve got another makeunder to share for MakeunderMyMarch! Besides the storage under my bed, the kitchen desk area is the least intentional area of my apartment. As with the bed storage, a lot of what I have in the desk is actually needed; it’s just not organized in a way that shows I respect the items. This carelessness results in a nagging annoyance whenever I open these cupboards. I know they can look better. I just haven’t taken the time to make the changes.

Take a look below to see the makeunder reveal. So much nicer, no?


Reach Out

Want to learn how to live from Values-based intentions?

I run an online course, Life With Intention Online, to share exactly how to do just that. Sign up for updates and special bonuses here. (The next class will most likely begin in late 2015.)


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Guest post + blog advertising policy.

Due to the format of my work, I do not accept guest posts or blog advertising (sponsorship is only available for The Lively Show podcast and you can get more info by submitting here).


Have a question about your Intention Tattoo order?

Have a question about your intention tattoo order? Please email Ashley at jess(at)jesslc(dot)com directly.

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