Category: Think About It

OvercomingResistanceAbout six months ago I asked my gut - for the first time ever – what I should do next with my career as an open-ended question.

I expected to hear something like “more workshops,” “new consulting packages,” or something along those lines. But the answer I received was clear, concise and completely unexpected.

Though I am unable to share the answer right now, I do want to share what happened since that fateful day:

Nothing.

Well, not nothing. Actually, a lot of things happened.

At first, I dove headfirst into this project. But after failing twelve times to get the very first step of this journey right, I started to get distracted with other projects.

I focused on the Workshop At Home launch. I did a lot of client design work and I worked on the hotel branding project. I did dozens of business consults. I prepped for the podcast launch.

I got so busy with everything else that stalling on the gut-led project became “understandable.” And in turn, this created Resistance to the project as a whole.

Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time. While I was working on all of these different aspects of my career I told myself that I “didn’t have time” for the project my gut called me to do.

Meanwhile, as the prospect of moving cross-country became a possibility, I became obsessed with the idea of shifting gears there.

New city + new home = new career, right?

But as you know, Seattle didn’t happen.

Instead, I stayed in Chicago and implemented my “Seattle changes” here. I started eating healthier (no more TJ’s Mac and Cheese everyday for lunch), simplified my friendships, exfoliated unnecessary clutter, and lived like I wanted to in Seattle.

But I still didn’t make the project my number one career priority.

As I delayed my progress on the project last week, however, things started to unravel. It finally got to the point where I felt miserable.

Not exactly depressed… just very down. I could see myself making all of the superficial changes that I wanted to make with the Seattle move, but deep down they were meaningless if I continued to stall on the real issue: not doing what I am called to do.

So finally, I picked the project back up. Just a little each day. As long as I worked on it to some degree, I felt better.

But as I read Turning Pro this morning, Mr. Pressfield hit a nerve.

SometimesWeCanBeAmateursAtOurTrueCalling

Rather than make sure I spend a few hours a day on what I am meant to do, I center my days around business consulting sessions.

At first I told myself I needed to do this “for the income.” But really, that’s not the case. The Intention Sessions (which align with my project perfectly), hotel design work, and home design work provide ample income. And if necessary, we can tighten our budget for the time being.

I also feared that if I dropped the business consulting options I would be disappointing those who want to work with me. People I could help.

I wondered if people would think I was going off the deep end. I’ve learned over the last few months that people perceive me as a ‘business person who sometimes talks about life stuff’ — without the business advice, will they see what I do on the life side as valuable?

And the most insidious fear of all was that I might not be good enough at the thing my gut told me to do.

But today I’ve reached a breaking point. I know that if I delay on this project any further I will feel more miserable every day. I cannot keep caving to excuses and rationalizations any longer.

Going forward (but perhaps not forever), I will no longer offer business consulting sessions. Those who have reached out to me already or have sessions on the calendar are still welcome to work with me. For those who are new, the Workshop At Home serves as a powerful course with tons of information for new business owners, and Wish I Knew offers insights for small business owners on a variety of topics.

With the upcoming holidays, I am postponing the podcast launch until January, too.

In the meantime, I am shifting my focus to my project first and foremost. I have a self-selected deadline to have the first milestone of this project completed by January 1st.

Thank you so much for following me on this journey. Your continued support and encouragement on this winding road means a lot to me, and the minute I can share more details about this project, I will!

 

MustReadTheWarofArt

Though I may be one of the last people to read The War of Art, I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone else who may not have read it yet.

If I was rating it on Amazon’s reviews, I would give it eight stars. But since that’s impossible, I’ve decided to write a post here telling you how great it is instead.

If you have been putting off a deeply meaningful project or change in your life, I implore you to read this book. Don’t let the word “art” in the title fool you. This book will resonate if you have something meaningful you yearn to do but have difficulty taking steps in that direction.

It is a quick read and filled with so many truth-bombs that it is one of the most highlighted books on my Kindle account – despite being the shortest book in the bunch.

It’s also now my third favorite book of all time (behind The Seven Habits and The Slight Edge).

It is wise, witty, and incredibly relatable.

Thank you, Steven Pressfield. I am so grateful you overcame your own personal Resistance in order to bring this into the world for us to benefit from.

TheIntentionSessions2

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been planning to roll out some new changes and this new offering marks a turning point in my career!

 

The Intention Sessions

 

Though many of us want to make positive changes and live with intention, what to do or how to do it is not always clear.

At the deepest level, what do we truly want?

What do we do next? 

How do we overcome the resistance we face on a daily basis? 

These three questions and their (sometimes surprising) answers contain the power to transform our lives in profoundly meaningful ways.

But we cannot simply address these questions in one area of our lives and expect to thrive overall.

When we are making forward progress in each area of our life – personal habits, possessions, relationships, and career – we are able to step out of our comfort zone and reach new levels of personally defined success.

Our quality of life rises.

Meanwhile, a barrier in one area may prevent our ability to move forward in another.

Our lack of personal care may erode our effectiveness in our careers.

Our struggle to maintain a healthy connection to our possessions may overshadow our desire to seek a fulfilling relationship. 

To truly live our best life, it is up to us to address each area.

We cannot expect to blossom without caring for all of the needs of the bud.

 

Details

 

The Intention Sessions are designed to provide intentions (why we want what we want), action steps (what we need to do next), and mindsets (the power to overcome the challenges that will come up along the way) aligned with what we want most deeply.

In The Intention Sessions, I will work with clients in each session on two of the following areas of their life:

-  Possessions/home/clutter/organization
-  Personal habits/me time/health/wellness/best living practices
-  Relationships
-  Career/small business

During our first 75-minute session together, we will do a deep dive into what you want, what your intentions for that area are, action steps to make them a reality, and methods to overcome the resistance you face when making those choices in your everyday life.

Later, in our 20-minute follow-up we discuss your progress, questions, and adjust any steps as needed.

 

What You Get

 

HolidayBonusJustKeepGoingPrint

-  Pre-session reflection/homework covering the two areas you want to discuss.
-  One 75-minute session by phone (US) or Skype (internationally).
-  One 20-minute follow-up by phone (US) or Skype (internationally).
-  Audio recordings of our sessions.
-  A clear understanding of your intention for both areas, your next actions, and tools to overcome the resistance to making those changes in your life.
-  Holiday Bonus: Between now and December 25, I am also offering a free 5″x7″ Just Keep Going print as a special gift for those who might be purchasing this package for themselves or a loved one for the holidays.

$250 

To sign up, please email jess(at)with-intention.com or purchase as a gift!

 

 

Thinking about doing The Intention Sessions with me?

In the midst of big life changes (transition from a career job to full-time entrepreneurship), I treated myself to an Intention Session with Jess. I knew I needed a roadmap that would guide me in this new space in my life.  Wow it delivered! 
 
After our session I have a clear big picture vision on how I wanted my life to look like in this new chapter. In our session, we identified my values and priorities, as well as brainstorm actions that would continue to support living my life with intention. Most importantly, I was able to see and celebrate the progress I have been able to make thus far and how easy and attainable the next steps could be.

Laura Yamin, Laura Yamin

 

Reader Spotlight
Visit Sheic Journals to ditch the boring brown or basic black writing journals and choose from a yummy assortment of colors. Use your journal as your new best friend to jot down your thoughts, to-dos or your wildest dreams! 

Angee Robertson, Sheic Journals

NewResourcesAddedAt long last, I finally crossed a lingering to-do off my list: adding more resources to the Inspiration Board.

I’ve added insightful new videos, books, and podcasts to the resource board and also included descriptions for each item explaining why I have added them to the list.

So if you are on the hunt for something new to lift your spirits or get you thinking, take a peek at the new items added to the board.

 

image by Joy Laforme for JessLively.com

ADreamComeTrueWritingForDailyLoveToday is a day of mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I am still regrouping after the Seattle situation. (Thanks to sharing with you and reading the touching stories you shared with me, I feel better knowing that I am not alone.)

And on the other, a life goal of mine was reached.

A few months ago, I read The Success Principles and it encouraged me to write a 100 Life Goals list. While adding some aspirations to my list, #27 included meeting Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love, and being a contributor for his amazing and inspirational site.

When I wrote this goal, it was pretty pie-in-the-sky thinking. Something to strive for and eventually achieve “one day.” (I’m sure you know the kind of goal I’m talking about.)

Well, I am surprised – and excited – to say, that this goal has been crossed off my list light years earlier than I expected.

As you may recall, I met Mastin at his Chicago Daily Love workshop in August. Which meant part one got crossed off the list quickly.

But part two to this goal seemed rather untouchable.

However, today I shared the story of how I overcame a lot of nasty habits (binge eating, smurgging, etc.), found my purpose, and designed my career, all through the power of intention on The Daily Love. You can read about my journey here.

If you had told me that I would see my story shared on The Daily Love just a few months after I wrote it on a Life Goal list, I would have never believed you.

Yet that is exactly what happened.

I think this shows that when we take the time to think about our Life Goals we give ourselves the chance to find out what might be possible.

Some goals may take time and others might lurk just around the corner.

 

Read The Power of Intention on The Daily Love.

 

the way you think about adulthood

October 24th, 2013   |   SpiritThink About It

Amen.

10HabitsToHelpYouBeMorePresentPart2Today I’d like to share the second set of habits I have found that can help us be more present.

 

Habit 6: Listen for silence.

 

In The Power of Now, Mr. Tolle suggests listening for moments of silence in-between sounds we hear or in-between words in conversations. By listening for the gaps in the sounds we hear day-to-day we need to be vigilant and focused… in other words, we need to be present.

Last week, I was curious to try this idea in New York, a place known to be loud.

I was shocked at how easy it was to find those moments of silence – even when there were many people around!

In particular, I found the quietness of the subway in the morning most interesting. Had I not paid attention to the silence, I never would have noticed how quiet the subway is in the morning in-between trains. Instead, my mind’s internal chatter would have covered up the silent pauses and I would never have believed that so much silence could exist in such a crowded place.

 

Habit 7: Exercise mindfully.

 

This habit is a powerful one. Much like mediation, mindful exercise like yoga, running, or walking can help us calm our internal dialogue and divert our attention to our body in the present moment.

By turning our attention our movements, we are more likely to experience presence.

 

 

Habit 8: Use the Calm.com app.

 

Calm.com is a great app that provides 2-20 minute meditations. You can use it on your phone or on your desktop, and the meditations can really help you connect back to the present moment when things feel stressful or you need to refocus.

And of course, other similar meditation tools or practices can be helpful, this one just happens to be my favorite.

 

 

Habit 9: Monitor your body.

 

This suggestion comes from The Power of Now. Mr. Tolle suggests checking in with how we feel internally in order to discover how present we are at any given moment.

When doing this practice, I’ve been surprised at how frequently I notice a slight sense of unease or discomfort. Mr. Tolle describes that uneasy feeling as the body’s reaction to non-present thinking.

By putting attention on the uneasy feeling inside, we are able to accept it and ultimately to breathe through it until it retreats.

 

 

Habit 10: Clean your home.

 

Last but not least, our external environments affect our internal environments. So if we want to feel calm, peaceful, and present in our lives, we can help increase that presence by decluttering our physical space.

Because I use the same space as an office, living room, dining room, and kitchen, I make sure to put away work supplies before dinner and I clean the kitchen before work (at least most of the time).

If you haven’t tried to declutter in order to gain presence in a multi-use workspace, I highly recommend it!

 

Though these habits have worked for me, they may not be ideal for everyone. On the other hand, we cannot assume that our current habits will maintain our focus forever.

As I mentioned in the first postno matter what we do, we cannot make one change and have presence forever. Over time, new interruptions or routines will pop up in our lives.

Distraction is a moving target. 

So our job, as presence-seeking beings, is not to find a “silver bullet” that dissolves our distractions forever, but to realize that we will need to remain aware of what interrupts our presence on a regular basis and make changes accordingly.

Part One – Habits 1-5 to Help You Be More Present

 

ask for what you wish for

October 21st, 2013   |   Think About ItVideo

Today I’d like to share two stories from the past 72 hours and have completely surprised me and demonstrated the power of conjuring (sharing your desires), which is an exercise from Mama Gena’s Guide to Womanly Arts.

I hope that my recent experiences inspire you to make a conjuring list or even fulfill a conjuring list for someone else!

 

PS – Does anyone know how to make my camera lens stop readjusting throughout the video? I got a new camera and can’t figure out how to make the zoom stay still during videos.

10HabitsToHelpYouBeMorePresentLately, especially within the last six months or so, it seems like people are having more and more difficulty staying present in the Now throughout their day. Just noticing the new situations where we spot people looking at their smart phones is enough to prove the point. (While talking to a bank teller? Crossing a busy intersection? Texting and driving?)

I too have faced many challenges while trying to stay present over the years, particularly as smart phones granted access to my career 24/7.

While seeking to combat presence-zapping distractions in my life, I have realized:

No matter what we do, we cannot make one change and have presence forever. Over time, new distractions or routines will pop up in our lives.

Distraction is a moving target. 

So our job, as presence-seeking beings, is not to find a “silver bullet” that dissolves our distractions forever, but to realize that we will need to remain aware of what interrupts our presence on a regular basis and make changes accordingly.

Here are ten habits that I have added to my life over the years which have allowed me to gain more presence. They may not all be ideal for your particular life situation, but some of them might be great experiments to try this week.

If they help you to gain any more peace and clarity moment-by-moment, they might be worth including permanently.

 

Habit 1: Don’t check (work) email on nights or weekends.

 

This one was huge for me. A few years ago, I “thought” that I was working about 40-50 hours per week on my business. But even so, I wasn’t ‘jumping out of bed’ to do my work each day like I expected.

Eventually, I realized that for my online business, checking email = working. So my habit of checking my phone the second I woke up to the second before I went to sleep left me working about 119 hours per week! 

No wonder I wasn’t “jumping out of bed” each morning. I was working in bed while staring at my phone!

This habit was the hardest to implement, but also the most profound.

Two years later, I actually feel nauseous at the thought of looking at my inbox on nights or weekends.

 

Habit 2: Don’t sleep with the phone in the bedroom.

 

This one is far more do-able than most people imagine. Unlike Mr. Lively, who needs to be near his phone because he works for a hospital and gets night pages occasionally, I have no nighttime phone emergencies.

Instead, I leave my phone on its charger in the kitchen all night and hate the idea of having it in the bedroom (but I’ll be honest, this feeling took a few weeks to settle in).

I have been doing this for the past year and not once has there been a time where a truly important or urgent call or text was made that I needed to attend to at night.

(If you are on the fence about this habit but think it might be nice, try it for a week.)

 

Habit 3: Don’t check blog stats.

 

This is my newest habit (which is obviously applicable to bloggers) and one that has made the most massive positive change in my life recently. I feel way more present working during the day while not checking my site traffic at all.

Though I may need to check in occasionally for sponsors rates (unless I decide to have my Chief, Jen, start doing it for me…), there is no real reason that I need to sit and evaluate my own traffic.

Instead, I’m left to simply “be” (on the having/doing/being success scale) the blogger I’d like to be in the present moment.

Blog stats keep us stuck on what happened yesterday, last month, etc. They don’t need to affect how I come to my blog each day to write to you. And they don’t need to affect my mood positively or negatively. Whether they are high, normal, or low, they are distracting me from the Now. Away from being.

I can still sense how my community is growing through other things like the social media and the level of engagement in the comment section. But these don’t steal my presence or hurt my “being” moment-to-moment.

So though this might not be something that every blogger needs to consider, I do think it is worth trying out for those who have a gut feeling it might help them be more present.

It’s fascinating (and liberating) to remove the quantification and simply live from a place of true presence online.

 

Habit 4: Do something for your spirit first thing in the morning.

 

This one has been huge! Now that I do my private victory in the morning, I am much more aware of how challenging my days are when I don’t start the morning off with something spiritual.

For me, the hardest time to do the spiritual PV in the morning is when I need to get up at 4:30-5am for an early flight. On those days, I wait to do the PV on the plane ride instead.

However, when I skip the spiritual work in the morning I have way more negative thoughts cross my mind.

In fact, on our trip to Boston, I didn’t get do anything spiritual before our super early flight and I counted seven negative thoughts cross my mind by the time I woke up and put my contacts in. And I promise you, none of those thoughts came from living in the present moment!

 

Habit 5: Go to sleep earlier.

 

Being present requires us to observe our thoughts and to recognize when we are living from our ego’s point of view – which is always leaning towards the past or future, never the present moment.

In order to do this, we need to give our thought-life our complete attention. As we get less rest, this focused attention becomes a struggle.

Sleep therefore is essential to not only our wellbeing, but also to the presence that supports our ability to do things that enhance our wellbeing.

On the other hand, the habit of more sleep involves removing a night-time habit that is currently in our lives.

For Mr. Lively and I, we needed to exfoliate TV past 9 or 10, in order to include the habit of getting more sleep.

 

I hope you enjoyed these first five habits and consider trying a few of them out this week to see how they help you gain more presence in your life!

Part 2 – 10 Habits to Help You Be More Present


Yesterday, I had a few of life’s “lemons” handed to me all at once. Not fun.

Today, I am sharing the way I chose to react to the situation so that it didn’t ruin my day, and also made me more capable of handling larger issues in the future.

Also, for those who want to see one of the rugs I mentioned in the video… here’s an image of the rug that I ordered online.

bb393924c7ce4f9465e6f1e14759401b

Beautiful, right?

Well, here is what it looked like in real life.

ActualRugBlah.

Back to the drawing board. We are looking at new options – in person this time – later today.

Fingers crossed we find the perfect one!

LinchpinHabitsKeysToMakingGoalsStickAs we set our intentions for our lives, more often than not, we desire quality habits more than static goals like running a personal best at the marathon. We want to have an active lifestyle, we want to continue to challenge ourselves in our careers, we want to foster deeper levels of intimacy with our partners.

These intentions are ongoing habits that require care and continuous attention in order to prosper.

However, we can get so caught up in the measuring and executing of the specific habit we are trying to achieve, that we lose sight of the linchpin habit beneath the habit in question.

For example, this summer Mr. Lively and I developed a consistent habit of doing our private victory each morning. In doing so, we naturally started to go to bed earlier in order to have the energy needed to get up earlier.

As we continued to dedicate ourselves to this private victory, other positive things like watching more wholesome television and budgeting wisely came into our lives as a result. One good habit birthed other good habits.

However, for the past week or two, we worked later than normal. As we worked until 8-11 pm, it became harder to go to bed early. It was easier to unwind from the long day of work by watching tv after we were done working, than to go to bed immediately.

Going to bed closer to 11 or 12 made it much more difficult to wake up at 6am and complete our private victory. It lessened our commitment to quality reading and exercise. Things started to get delayed, pushed aside, and phoned in.

We started to do the bare minimum. And as a result, we got bare minimum results.

Though the habit and intention in focus was the daily private victory, the habit of going to bed early was the linchpin that allowed it all to happen.

Instead of focusing our attention exclusively on the private victory, we could have been more diligent about the linchpin habit of going to bed around 10pm. 

I believe that this linchpin habit concept also applies to other intentions we have in our lives. For example, if we want to increase our intimacy with our partner, the linchpin habit that might make that possible could be more honest communication, or maybe it is about having more one-on-one time.

If we want to lower our debt or increase our savings, the linchpin habit more be tracking where our money is going on a daily basis.

If we strive to complain less at work, maybe we need to recognize that the linchpin habit of spending time with specific co-workers enables us to complain more.

Perhaps we need to focus more on the linchpin habits that allow our intentional habits to thrive.

wanting what we have

September 30th, 2013   |   LifeThink About It

SurrenderToWhatYouHaveToday I found myself kinda irked by my packed schedule. I have a lot of projects that I want to work on, and not enough time to make a much forward motion on any of them.

But this morning’s passage in Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts was just the thought-changing perspective I needed. Rather than think about how my day as “too busy,” I can choose to see it as something that I want.

Looking at the bigger picture of my week, after today I have two completely open days to work on my projects before heading to Boston and New Hampshire for a quick little vacation with Mr. Lively (his belated birthday present). And that is a pretty nice way to wrap up a short work-week.

Do you have something in your life at the moment which you are resisting, too?

Is there a way that you can look at it as exactly what you want right now?

 


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