dream report: week one

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Hi everybody! My name is Ashley Inzer and I have some big dreams. For as long as I can remember I have been a dreamer and not a do-er. I constantly get tons of ideas, get really excited about them and then quietly let them go without acting on them. There are a ton of things that I have allowed to hold me back…fear of failure, fear of success, insecurities, jealousy, fear of responsibility, money mindsets, debt, getting older….the list could go on forever. So here I am, at 32 years old, ready to kick some serious dream butt. When Jess asked me to be a “dream reporter” for her blog I felt some serious fear. What if I can’t do it? What if people think I am ridiculous? What if I am too lazy or unorganized or a terrible writer? But somewhere deep in my gut I know that this is exactly the thing I need to do to end the “dreaming only” cycle and start the doing process. First I want to mention that I am not “prepared” to be a dream reporter…I do not have my ducks in a row, I don’t have a specific plan, I am not a life coach or a self-improvement guru or a writer with a blog filled with amazing content that will help you on your way to your dreams. This whole thing is about the process. Its about the raw realities and authentic experiences. This is an experiment to document exactly what it looks like when a woman decides it is her birthright and responsibility to follow her dreams and live within her purpose.

To get a better understanding of where I am coming from here is a bit about me and my dreams….

I created a “personal statement” for myself a long time ago….”Creator of beautiful experiences”. Since I am a multi-talented person (I enjoy doing lots of different things), this can manifest in a variety of forms. Ultimately if someone encounters me on any level I hope that when they leave they have had a beautiful experience and are inspired to live authentically and with intention. My dream is to be an entrepreneur and to inspire people to dwell within the world of possibilities and to live creatively with intention. I feel my purpose is to inspire people to live authentically.

I have had an entrepreneur mindset since i was a kid. At 7 years old I was going door-to-door selling my own watercolor paintings (for 10 cents) and loom-weaved potholders (for 25 cents). There was never a weekend when I wasn’t selling something in my front yard or trying to explain to people why a certain office supply (that I happen to find in a drawer in my room) or a cup of my special recipe lemonade (that probably just had 2 extra cups of sugar added to it) would make their life so much better.

I have also always loved creating experiences for people. As a kid I would put on productions (fashion shows, carnivals with free prizes, cooking lessons, etc) and go around the neighborhood and pick up other kids in my wagon and bring them to the “event”. As an adult I have coordinated, produced and designed several special events as well.

I also happen to be a designer and artist. I love working in every medium possible. Painting, ceramics, sewing, embroidery, illustration, photography….I love it all. I currently make my living as an Art Director designing print materials mainly for women’s magazines like More, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Budget Travel, etc. Also recently I have been working with brides to create print materials and DIY decor to create a truly authentic wedding that is specific to the couple. I started a blog almost a year ago to document my crafty creations and to communicate what it looks and feels like to live an authentically creative life. Unfortunately when we moved, in September, to a new state I kind of lost my center and have been struggling personally (with being so unhappy at my job and wanting to follow my dreams so badly) that my blog has paid a price. I am ready to get back to it. I was never happier than when i was communicating and sharing my story and connecting with other like-minded peeps. I love stories. I want to tell stories because they really are what bring us all together. I love hearing other people’s stories and connecting on that level.

I am so ready to do this dream thing that I can hardly stand it. I have taken several steps to get me going in that direction (mainly personal steps like hiring a coach, a nutritionist and a boot camp physical trainer) though I am still on the edge about exactly what I want to launch. Starting Feb 1st I will be taking a business class (http://www.unconventionalguides.com/100biz.htm) with Chris Guillebeau and I will leave my 28 days with him with a business plan in place (the dream will sprout legs!).

So hopefully all of that makes some sort of sense. The most important thing for me is to be honest and authentic about where I am in this process. It is all very raw right now for me as I don’t have a definite course of action laid out….I only know what I want. I am very nervous about stepping fully into my dreams….I have major financial concerns (especially since I am the only one in my home generating income at this point – my partner is in school full time – and we have a good bit of debt) as well as issues with my confidence and trusting myself to make decisions from my heart. I believe that each person is different and each person has the ultimate power to create the life that they want to live. I don’t want to live re-actively, I want to live creatively (and I don’t mean only in the artistic sense) and with intention. I don’t want another year to go by where I am just wishing that I could be doing something else or being someone else. I want to inspire other people to live authentically as I am doing it myself. I like the idea of revealing the good and the bad…the true path to living my dreams.

As scary as it all seems, spending my life outside of my purpose for yet another year seems a lot more terrifying. When I step back and get that perspective it doesn’t seem so much scary as it seems necessary, important and responsible. (I wonder what the world would look like if every single person was dedicated to living within their true purpose?) So what do you think? Will you go on this journey with me?

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  1. Anna

    Ashley, what a beautiful post! I love that you are so honest and know yourself so well. I understand the path that you are on since I am on it too. I can’t wait to follow your blog postings and enjoy the journey with you.

  2. Jill

    Can’t wait to read more Ashley… this sounds like it will be an amazing journey!

  3. Amanda

    Ashley- go get um! I’m a new entrepreneur and really enjoyed reading this book at the beginning of my journey, Escape from Cubicle Nation: From corporate prisoner to thriving Entrepreneur, written by Pamela Slim. She is smart, funny, and creates an amazing foundation for you to identify your dreams and motivate you to act upon them. I look forward to reading your posts. I’ve been in business now for 4 months, and still need to write my business plan… it keeps getting pushed down my to do list. I look forward to watching your journey.

  4. Valerie

    Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to follow along. My dreams have recently woken out of a coma and I’m on a similar path of chasing them down. Like you, I’m not quite sure of the exact coordinates where I’m headed, but I know it’s somewhere and I’m not just drifting anymore. Looking forward to hearing more…

  5. Leana

    You bring up so many important points about living a life with intention and purpose, thanks for being so candid and open. I look forward to reading more about your journey!

  6. rose

    i can totally identify with the ‘drowning in dreams’ notion. can’t wait to read the next steps in your journey

  7. Jadyn

    Ashley, thanks for being willing to share your story! much like you, i love stories and i love how experiences that are so particular to us are at the same time so often universal and the way our personal story can resonate so deeply with someone else! anyway, i can really relate to what you said about being a ‘dreamer’ not a ‘do-er’ and while i have moved across the ocean and started a whole new life 5 years ago, i find myself also too far removed of that place of living authentically.
    i look forward to follow the unfolding of you story! you go girl!

  8. dee

    I just wanted to express my appreciation for the freshness and honesty of this post – I can’t wait to follow your development!

  9. Jillian

    Yay! I can’t wait to read more about your journey. And I’d love to hear more about how you define living “authentically.” It’s such a beautiful concept, but I think it can mean different things to different people 🙂

  10. Sharee

    Ashley, I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to work directly with you in a creative (well, we’ve had to force it to be creative) setting. I can’t wait to see where your journey leads you and I will be walking it with you as I try to jump out on my own as well. You have already touched more people than you will ever know and I think this blog will be a great way for you to keep reaching out. Ever since we met, you have inspired me to rediscover the creative part of myself that I have lost touch with. Keep pushing on and we’ll celebrate when we reach the top!

  11. my heart feels so full reading this post. like, whew, i am NORMAL, and whew, it’s OKAY to be in the process. thank you for cracking open and sharing all of this: the good and the bad. i am so excited to journey with you on saturdays, to find your super creative, inspirational self on MML. you have truly unlocked something within me with these words, something that reminds me we are not alone. we are works in progress. we are all in this together. we can all live our dreams. something so beautiful and authentic. amazing! thank you so much! xo stephanie

  12. Katie

    Ashley – I am so happy for you and find you to be one of the most courageous people I have met! I am so excited for you in your new journies and stand behind you 100%. I hope that many others find you as inspiring as I do!

  13. Lisa Rough

    WOOHOOOOO!!!!! YAY ASHLEY!!!!! I’m looking so forward to seeing how the journey unfolds….

  14. Magchunk

    Yay, this was inspiring already! I’m so in the same place. And, like Amanda above, I’ve been reading up – first with “Escape from Cubicle Nation” and Martha’s recent business book.

    Can’t wait to hear more. Best wishes on your journey!

    xoxo Maggie

  15. tiny twig

    are we twins? 🙂 no, we look nothing alike, but i could swear we share personality DNA. i do the same thing, over and over and over. professional-dreamer and schemer…doer of few things. but, i’ve purposed to do an adventure each week for the whole year of 2010…so by the end of the year, I’ll be a do-er by habit. 🙂

  16. aphrochic

    This is just wonderful! Thank you Ashley and Jess for this amazing and transformative series.

  17. honee

    I’m so excited for you. I’m on a similar path. Actually, I feel excited for both of us and all of the other dreamers.

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