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i said yes
May 31st, 2012     |    LifeOur Wedding

In case you were wondering,

The Luckiest Man on Earth
May 30th, 2012     |    LifeOur Wedding

Dear Jess,

If you are reading this you have made me luckiest man on earth. Everyday we have been together you have given me a radiant smile and unending enthusiasm that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and you have chosen to give it to me the rest of our lives. After our first brunch I told my friend you had ‘more energy than I knew what do with,’ but now I know exactly what to do.

I know to be as present as possible because it will allow me to cherish our time together. I know that learning about myself and growing into the world is exponentially more rewarding when I do it with you, and I know to stay committed to it. I know that your energy is meant to be given back to the world and together we can give more. Most of all I know your energy and enthusiasm is your greatest gift and it is something I will always protect, admire, and be thankful for.

Jessica Constable you are the love of my life and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.


-mr lively

be brave poster giveaway
May 30th, 2012     |    Life


Big news! The Things I’m Afraid to Tell You movement which started as a simple post and spread by Ez, has landed on the pages of The Huffington Post.

I’d like to applaud everyone who has pushed themselves to be more honest online. I hope that going forward people feel more comfortable being real outside of this series too.

In honor of the movement, I’m excited to give away a Jess LC Be Brave print. It seems fitting to honor the series with this intention since courage is definitely required to really push past boundaries and share our less-than-perfect sides.

Giveaway Details

To enter to win the print, please comment on this post sharing one thing that you have been afraid to tell people – which you haven’t shared online yet. And if you have done a Things I’m Afraid to Tell You post on your own blog, by all means, feel free to link to that as well!

Comments will close June 6th and a winner will be randomly selected on June 7th. 




Tomorrow a juicy Wish I Knew Wednesday email is going out. It’s all about when to drop a popular product. As usual, I’m going to use Jess LC as my case study.

I’ll be sharing my decision making process which led to my choice to stop producing new iPad covers, despite their popularity.

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming Workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)

Early Registration Deadline Approaching

Also, there are just three more days left to get the early registration discount for our New York Workshop! You can register here!

May 29th, 2012     |    LifeThink About It

To be honest, part of me feels like complaining to you today. Part of me wants to tell you about all the things I have on my plate, how much I have to do in such a little time, and how anxious I feel because of it.

I really do want to lay it all out there and have a pity party.

But the truth is that I work for myself and I am a proactive person. So I have therefore chosen everything on my plate and I don’t have much ground to stand on. I’ve created my schedule or said yes to things that are happening.

My schedule didn’t fill up at gun point.

I allowed it.

So as I am working to process all that I have to do in such little time, I’m turning to a few key things that have helped me in the past. And if anyone else is feeling similarly stressed, I highly recommend trying some of the same things.

First, I am going to do some worry flashcards. These are great to help me dump my brain out, shake out the dead stuff, pray about the stuff I don’t have control over, and get to work on the things I can do.

Then, I’m going to re-read Turning Want To’s into Have To’s. That’s the mindset I need to have going forward. No whining allowed.

After that, I will be crafting a prioritized to-do list to get my weekly and daily tasks in order.

Anything that doesn’t make it on these lists will be left up to Future Jess.


Phew. I feel (a little bit) better already. I hope you have a great day!


keeping it real: katie of gadanke
May 28th, 2012     |    Life


Happy Memorial Day! Today I have a new Keeping It Real post by Katie of Gadanke and Making This Home. Enjoy!

I’m building two dreams at once: a home and a business.

After a long day of hanging sheetrock or installing bamboo flooring at our future home in an old airplane hangar, I come home. I’m exhausted. I make dinner for my equally exhausted husband and myself, shower, and start my second responsibility – running my online business.

I like to think that my office (which is currently in our bedroom) is always organized and streamlined like the photo above.

But that’s not always the case.

One night, when organization was at its worst and a burst of journal orders were pouring in, our bedroom resembled an archaeological dig; I had stacks of artifacts surrounding the spot where I built some of my best selling writing prompt journals.

My husband entered the room with the camera.

“Don’t take a picture!” I pleaded. “Look at this place!”

“That’s exactly why I’m taking a picture,” he said, tweaking the camera’s settings. “Your journal business is all about helping women celebrate their stories. Wouldn’t it be good to capture this part of our story? You know… be true to yourself.”

He was right. I looked at the explosion around me and laughed. My gosh, I realized I was completely trapped! I exhaled. Then I really smiled. I could feel it filling my entire self.

The piles around me that night are a symbol of progress and good things to come. They are, after all, a part of my current story. I don’t have time to declutter and organize like I used to. My writing prompt journals have become so popular that I need a big studio in the hangar to handle them all. How could I complain?

Like Jess always says, you have to design a life with intention. It’s just that sometimes the process isn’t pretty!

this week i’m thankful for
May 25th, 2012     |    Life

Today myself, Mr. Lively, and friends are off to camping in Wisconsin! I haven’t been camping since my Girl Scout days, so this should be fun (and interesting).

This week had a lot of highlights. On Wednesday Mr. Lively and I were able to see a sample of the finishes for the new apartment we are moving into this fall. I was thrilled to find out that we have a beautiful seafoam countertops. So thankful!

We also decided on getting a boy dog (much to Mr. Lively’s delight) when we move. Though I won’t reveal the name just yet, I will say that he will be named after my favorite historical figure.

Have a great Memorial Weekend and thanks for reading MML!


closing ceremony
May 24th, 2012     |    LifeThink About It


Last week I shared about how ruminating on the same problems in my life kept me stuck for much longer than needed.

And in the comment section Jacqueline asked exactly what I had done to stop making the problems bother me.

Though I responded with a few things that helped me, I didn’t share the biggest one.

I had a closing ceremony.

If my memory serves me, I think got the idea to hold a closing ceremony from Eat, Pray, Love. From my foggy recollection of the book, I believe Elizabeth Gilbert at one point in India held a closing ritual for her newly ended marriage.

Her premise was that we celebrate so many beginnings in our lives, but endings of sad events beyond funerals aren’t often given much thought. We are expected to grieve and move on.

At the time when I was in college, I was going through counseling and really struggling to let go of a lot of fear, anger, and hurt. Over time those feelings regarding something private in my life became part of my identity and I couldn’t let them go. They just stuck around on my shoulders haunting me, keeping me “stuck.”

So one night years later I finally realized I didn’t want to be sitting with that same problem for the rest of my life. And in order to signify the healing that I had gone through by a lot of prayer, writing, and reflection, I held a closing ceremony.

One one side of a lined piece of paper I wrote down the story of the pain, feelings, and events that happened. I poured all the negative events and associations that I had with this aspect of my life.

And on the other side of the paper I wrote down one good thing that came out of the bad situation on each line of the paper. So by the end, there were about 40 good things written on the backside of the negative story.

Then, I cut the paper line by line, until I had the 40 things that were good on 40 thin strips of paper.

After that I read aloud each good thing that happened, keeping the pain from the negative story still in mind, and burned the paper strips in a candle. By reading the 40 things aloud and then burning them one by one I allowed myself to feel the pain of the situation but also remember the good things that came out of it as well. Though I’m not happy for the situation, I became stronger, more compassionate, more aware.

I found my purpose.

Though the situation was not good, many good things did come about. And by the end of my ceremony I knew that whenever my ego wanted to have a pity party about that part of my life again, I could stop myself from going around that mountain and remind myself that no matter what, 40 good things came out of that situation.

For that, I was thankful.

And so I encourage anyone struggling to lay down a skeleton, when they are ready, to hold a closing ceremony of their own.


Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing my life intentions. For me, this is one of the foundational aspects of designing a life with intention. When people ask me how to live intentionally, I usually go back to this core concept.

There is a good chance if we don’t consciously choose the direction we want our lives to head, life will end up taking us in a different direction. And if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves climbing a ladder leaning against one building; wishing we had climbed a different ladder on a different building (thanks, Mr. Covey).

Deciding what intentions I want to have for my life is the way I create the lifestyle I want to live. None of my intentions are extremely “big goal” oriented. Each one is focused on my daily habits, actions, and choices.

I leave my “big goal” thinking to my Future Letters.

In case you are interested in the first four intentions, can find them here:

Work in a balanced way

Am in a committed relationship

Listen to and honor my body

Connect to my spirit

Okay, now it’s time to wrap it up with how I’ve designed my life to help other people.

The urge to help other people is pretty self-explanatory. It’s part of the purpose equation and has a big place in my understanding of my own life’s meaning.

I am meant to help people design lives with intention. And this aspect of my principals highlights this aim.

For me to help people daily, I spend my time helping friends with difficult situations when they need it. I also try to help Mr. Lively (perhaps too much, at times). So I’m learning to keep this intention in check in our relationship.

I also of course, spend my time writing daily here on MML! It is the first thing beyond email reading that I usually do for work. I love coming here, hoping to serve.

In addition, I am now consulting and holding our BWI workshops which are immensely rewarding. I feel so “in the zone” when I’m helping people with their businesses. It’s a true blessing and gift I am so incredibly thankful for.

And even Jess LC helps people as well. I love that the prints we design inspire people to be brave. Or that our jewelry can be a part of a wedding for a new bride. What’s more, I love the ability to teach our interns how to run a small business.

So there you have it. People often ask me “how I do what I do” and the honest truth is that I think a lot about what I want my life to be like. And then I design my life around that vision or intention. 

It’s a slow, stumbling process. Sometimes changes take years to really sink in. Sometimes I question everything and go in a new direction. Sometimes I feel lost. But then I listen to my gut and do the best that I can.

It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.

the workshop video
May 22nd, 2012     |    Business With IntentionLife

During our first Chicago workshop we also were doing double duty by filming a video about the workshop. I’m beyond thrilled with the results brought to us by Dan Hale, Michael Lippert, and filmed by Derek Cox.

Also, the New York early registration discount is only good for one more week, so register soon to snag the extra savings!

Or, if you are interested in coming to a workshop but want to talk to me quickly on the phone first, please email me at hello@businesswithintention.com.

Today it’s time to announce the second Wish I Knew Wednesday topic: why I retracted my web design contest from last week one day after I launched it.

I know I’ve mentioned that this business advice series would have takeaways from all 13 years of business experience – including things that I may have learned “just last week.” But I didn’t think I’d be sharing such a recent business lesson already!

But hey, that’s beauty of practicing what you teach.

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming Workshops and other BWI updates.

(If you have signed up for the BWI newsletter, you will automatically get this series.)

Today I’d like to return to my intentions for my life. Over the past few weeks I’ve covered how I work in a balanced way, am in a committed relationship, and listen to and honor my body.

Now, it’s time to share my intention for connecting with my spirit in my everyday life.

To be honest, though I was raised Catholic, spirituality was never a big deal in my life. Sure, I had a lot of ‘religious’ beliefs back when I was younger. But after going through what  I can only call a quarter-life crisis (lame, but true) in college, I emerged without a religious affiliation, but rather a curiosity about what might be possible.

Once I started Jess LC full-time after college, I recognized quickly that there was absolutely no way of ‘knowing’ that my business was going to succeed week to week. Budgeting was a nauseating roller coaster of highs and lows for the first few years.

And the only thing that got me through that time was the faith that it was meant to work and that I was meant to help people design lives with intention.

My faith that it was possible to succeed in business over time became a spiritual journey.

There was no boss to tell me what the “right” thing to do with my business was at any given time. And there still isn’t someone in charge of me today calling the shots.

I’ve learned that by looking within and reflecting on my spiritual beliefs, I’ve found a sense of intuition and direction that always points north. It has helped me take detours, big risks, and persevere through tough times.

Then, a few years ago during a breakup with a boyfriend my spirituality took an even bigger role in my life. After living together for three years, we decided that we needed to go our separate ways… in six months once our shared lease ended.

Yep, I stayed in a relationship with someone while knowing that we were going to break up the day our lease ended, half a year later.

Being happy in that phase of my life involved an insane amount of prayer and self-reflection.

During that season spirituality wasn’t just something that I “thought” about sometimes.

It became my lifeline. 

Since that period of my life, I have grown an extreme appreciation for God/Life/the Universe/whatever you’d like to call it.

To help myself stay connected to my spirit daily now, I start my weekdays by reading some pages from a spiritual text (this can be Christian, Buddhist, you name it). Then, I spend five or ten minutes in a hybrid of meditation and prayer while sitting on the floor.

Later in the morning as I get dressed, I turn on Enjoying Everyday Life with Joyce Meyer. Though I am not Christian and I don’t believe in many of the same things as Joyce, I find a tremendous amount of wisdom from her teachings. I know that she has helped me be a better person. And for that, I am deeply thankful.

So there you have it. Now you are caught up on how spirituality has directed my life as well as what I do daily to continue to grow in this way.

I have to say, though all of my intentions for my life are important, I think this one enables me to succeed in the other intentions.














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