Ashley’s Dream Report: Week Seven

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After my post went up last week, Jess and I started going back and forth emailing about how I was feeling. I wanted to share (with her permission) one of the emails she wrote back to me because I think there is so much goodness in it. So much goodness!! I know it will be helpful to you guys too.

Ashley,

I’m glad that my perspective seems to be helping. You will do a great job, but you have to start. If a baby waited until it was perfectly poised for velocity to walk, it would never get there. He starts with a dirty diaper, indigestion, and slobber all over his face. But he smiles the whole time and bumps his head – a lot. He cries. He takes naps. Then he rolls over, and tries again. I think this might be a stronger visual for you to think of as you get started. Sure, a foundation is awesome, especially one based on personal character (which is why I always bring up 7 Habits). But please don’t get too caught up in feeling perfect or even “good” to begin.

As you said, just do it! What is the one baby step that you can do today that will help get the  ball rolling? Do that one thing. Then ask the same question tomorrow. Repeat. That’s really all there is to it.

Here’s something else to consider about perfectionism. Sure, you are older than I was when I started, so you have a lot of experience and will be able to launch with a much better business than I did at 15 years-old. My business started with the name “Starlette Jewelry” and hot pink and black business cards – with stars all over them. This was my first piece of jewelry which began the business. The fact is: no matter where you begin, you will inevitably improve your business as you go along. So to expect any kind of perfection in your business this time around is impossible, and also distracting you. (If you have your “life” figured out, do ballet, paint, acupuncture, flossing, etc., etc. you won’t be left with time to work on the business!) You think it’s investing in you and your business, but it’s really taking you further away. The ego is a tricky thing; lots of plans, checklists, to-dos, must-dos, should-dos. All you need is just do!

What gets my hands dirty and out of the land of “one day/what if” is the vision I have for the business. It is so juicy, exciting, colorful, tantalizing, and aligned with my purpose that I feel any time that I’m not getting closer to that vision is a disservice to myself and to the world. (Please don’t think this means I don’t take time off, I certainly do quite a bit. But I spend my “working time” accomplishing this purpose and vision.) I know my business alone will not bring me happiness. My business is a vehicle for me to support myself and reach women and help them through my real purpose and message, MML. And that brings me a deep, penetrating sense of satisfaction. If I died tomorrow, I know I did everything I could to share the lessons I’ve learned (up to this point) via the blog. And that is an exceptional feeling. You want to improve peoples lives by creating beautiful experiences. Start creating those experiences now. You do not need to wait for your life to fall into place. As you fulfill your purpose, life unfolds on it’s own.

You have so much potential it is a shame to cover it with a host of things you “need to do.” I’d suggest making under those expectations in order to reveal the lasting satisfaction that your purpose alone will bring you. No amount of flossing, eating plans, workouts, meditation, de-cluttering will bring you the same sense of peace. And the longer you put it off, the more doubt and insecurity you will feel. Stop suffering and put one foot in front of the other.

Because I love you and want the best for you, I feel I can say this with concern and understanding to how you are feeling. I have been in your exact shoes four years ago. Right before I discovered my purpose about ‘making under.’ You owe it to yourself and the world to push past these barriers and move forward.

So be like a baby and learn to walk :).

Jess

Amazing, right?! She is so right on about this stuff. My favorite part is when she says that her business is a vehicle for her to support herself and reach people with her real purpose and message. Sometimes I get so caught up in believing that every single thing I do has to be profound and life changing. Well that is just crazy thinking on my part. Everything will not be profound…in fact, most things will probably be pretty normal and routine. But the normal and routine stuff can be the backbone of my real purpose. It can support my message as well as put food on my table.

So after all of this discussion with Jess I decided to make a change in lat week’s commitment to paint 30 minutes a day. I switched to working 30 minutes a day on my business. It was a good choice for me. Eventually I would like to go back to painting 30 minutes a day but this new practice was so effective for me that I am choosing to continue it this week. I was able to get a few things done that just felt overwhelming to me before. I purchased a new domain name and mapped it to my trial blog space. I designed a new blog header and installed a new blog template. Part of what I have decided to do for my new business is wedding invitation design…I spent some time working on new designs. And I have to admit that IT FEELS GOOD!


I already shared this image on my own blog but I thought it was perfect for this weeks post too. This was a simple watercolor painting that I did during one of my 30 minute painting times. It’s true don’t you think??

Onward and upward!

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  1. Wow! This is an incredibly brilliant post in SO many ways! First of all–Jess, that email was amazing and SO insightful. I feel like you really distilled all of your knowledge, insight and amazing motivational powers all into one email and I’m blown away by it. So completely inspiring!

    Second of all–Ashley, I am in. love.! with your painting! It’s fantastic and includes one of my all-time favorite quotes! So great! You’re doing so well girl–just keep going!

  2. Jadyn

    Great post!! Jess’ advice was indeed spot-on for us over-thinkers. I have been finding too that when I’m sort of stuck in a loop and worry too much about something, taking simple action makes all the difference.

    And I really like the painting too! I like the whole feeling of optimism of it, even if you don’t read the text you can tell it’s something positive.
    Congrats on taking action to move forward, Ashley! I look forward to hearing more about your new business and blog. Don’t be too hard on yourself, nobody expects perfection of you and you shouldn’t either! I think you have everyone who reads these weekly posts rooting for you – hopefully some of that positive energy helps as you’re taking your baby steps. Good luck with everything!

  3. Jill

    Great post in so many ways! I have found that life as a “grown up” is very UN-profound every day… I think it’s easy to fantasize about what life will be like some day. But it never really seems to live up to the hype. Making each day count makes for a successful life, not just reaching specified goals or check points (not that those aren’t helpful!). Very insightful post and Jess I love your tough-love mentality that inspired Ashley!

  4. Jill

    ps, paint some more of those quotes (they are gorgeous!) and get them on etsy (if that is the path you are looking to take…) I would love to have one!

  5. Yay! I’m so glad you got through this moment…and I’m amazed again at how insightful Jess is. That e-mail is both hilarious and completely true.

  6. Andrea

    Thank you for posting this today…the last few days have been filled with much-needed messages like this one. I love those quotes at the top and am going to put them up so that I will see them all the time.

  7. rose

    Without a doubt the most inspiring and relevant dream report so far. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thanks so much to both of you. And once again, good luck on your journey Ashley…

  8. Anna

    Jess, You are wise beyond your years. Such an awe-inspiring post. Ashley, Love your watercolor painting. I look forward to seeing more and to reading more about your journey.

  9. Miriam

    Found this part-rant, part-pep talk and thought it was quite relevant to this post given Jess’s call to arms (or legs) to get things walking, even if it means falling over occasionally or taking baby steps.

    http://www.37days.com/2010/03/how-to-write-a-book-a-wee-rant.html

    I am also totally familiar with to the motivational cul-de-sac that perfectionism often is and the needless worry that is borne from not doing anything whilst thinking (not ACTING) about starting that business/blog/thesis/assignment/redecoration and just how overwhelming The Big Picture and its accompanying To Do list is. The great thing about Jess’s baby analogy is that the baby probably doesn’t worry or THINK about walking and its associated dangers (stairs! slipping! getting lost!). It just does it. In just DOING it manages to circumvent the whole over-thinking, worrying thing because it is actively (if somewhat fumblingly) moving towards its goal. So many thanks to you lovely ladies for sharing this snippet of sage wisdom and encouraging us all to ‘find our feet’ as it were.

  10. This is SO inspiring. Thank you both.

    I was totally inspired to move forward last Thursday and finally take ANY step forward… and promptly fell on my little baby behind. So Jess’s emphasis on it being ok to fall really resonates with me now. I spent most of the weekend feeling discouraged and stuck. But after reading this, I did identify a few teensy steps I can take now that will keep me inching forward – and already did one!

    It’s so easy to stay in that planning/researching/list-making mode forever. And while some of that needs to happen (to avoid my own tumble), some small things can get the ball rolling and keep you motivated and energized. Good luck Ashley! And I LOVE that painting. The colors are beautiful.

  11. I get excited when i receive wedding invitations. sometimes i also make customized wedding invitations.;,`

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