when something huge doesn’t happen

WhenSomethingHugeDoesntHappenFor the last four days Mr. Lively and I were in Seattle, but I didn’t mention the reason for the trip.

We were there exploring a job opportunity for Mr. Lively.

It all started a few weeks ago when Seattle, a city I never really thought that much about, suddenly became a possible new home for our little family. Rather than dread the idea of leaving my beloved Chicago, I was energized by the idea of moving somewhere totally new.

Without any explanation I was instantly set on moving to the city. And once we explored the awesome haunts that you all mentioned this weekend, I was more convinced than ever that a life-changing move to the PNW was exactly what we needed.

However, last night we found out that will not be happening. Instead of moving, we will be staying in Chicago and Mr. Lively will work at an awesome web company locally.

Overall, this is great news. Mr. Lively will most likely enjoy the new Chicago position more than the Seattle opportunity, and we will avoid a ton of stress that comes with moving across the country during the holidays.

However, I’m honestly still coming to terms with the fact that we are staying.

During the weeks leading up to this trip, I took my unexplainable enthusiasm to move to Seattle as a sign that it was “meant to be.” So I began to mentally and emotionally remove myself from Chicago. I was scouring Craigslist for rental homes in Seattle and was figuring out how I would restructure my career with such a blank slate.

I reveled in the idea of cutting ties with all that I’m familiar with and start fresh. I wanted to make bold moves in my career that seemed daunting to make in my current life situation. Moving was the perfect opportunity excuse to make dramatic changes.

But today I find myself sitting in the exact same chair, in the exact same room, doing the exact same thing I did last week – when I thought I would be searching for a new place to live and writing this post as a moving announcement.

It is a surreal feeling to say the least. One which I am completely responsible for creating. I didn’t need to put that much weight on a possible move before I knew all the facts.

Now, I have two options. 1) Keep things as they were before. Or, 2)  Change the things in my life and career that I wanted to change in Seattle, here in Chicago.

Rather than lean on a dramatic move to spur changes, it is up to me to either keep the status quo, or make those shifts within my daily life (which feels infinitely harder).

We expect for things to be challenging and different when something dramatic happens. But what if it doesn’t?

What if we have to face the challenges and changes right where we are

I think this situation is one that many people can relate to. We might dream of big, bold changes to help us ascend to a new level personally. But there are many times (perhaps most times actually) when dramatic shifts must occur within a stable environment – when it might not be as simple or easy to cut free of what has been holding us back.

It is far less glamorous to “stay put” and change. It may even require us to disconnect or disappoint people in our lives.

But we always have the power to step outside of our comfort zone within a stable life situation.

Though it might be tempting to think otherwise, we don’t need to rely on external changes in order shift internally.

We can be bold right where we are.



May something wonderful happen to you today,



Thinking about doing a Life with Intention session with me?

Working with Jess has been a truly amazing experience. Having worked with her before at the Boston Life With Intention Workshop, I knew a one on one with Jess was going to be fantastic, but this truly exceeded my expectations.

She gave me the space to explore the areas of my life that needed attention, and took the time to really listen to everything I had to say. On top of that, her advice and suggestions all easily fit in to my every day life. She has given me so many invaluable tools to approach a life with intention.

If you’re thinking about working with Jess, I can’t recommend her highly enough!

Sheerley Z.



Reader Spotlight 

I run a Pilates business that I have taken online to train, coach and support women as they work toward their health and fitness goals. I run online programs that can be done from anywhere in the world and am passionate about changing the way women look at dieting and exercise.
Robin Long, The Balanced Life

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  1. jplatt27

    I love this post…it’s got some wheels turning in my head…
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. L.Marie

    I just went through the same exact situation in past week (faced an awesome job prospect in another city and got far in the interview process, but didn’t end up getting the job), and I while I actually tried to downplay the excitement I felt over the prospect of a big and welcome change, I still was incredibly upset that it didn’t work out as I had hoped. But I also learned that I can make big changes for myself where I am right now, and set myself up so that I can move when I want without waiting for a job to make me do so. Reading this helped me feel much better about everything, and I appreciate the reminder to be bold right where I am. 🙂

    1. As you know, I know exactly how you feel as we are both in the same place right now. I wish you the best and hope that you are able to find that boldness (like I’m trying to do) to make those changes you want to make where you are.

      I also love that you are taking steps to be location independent with your career, too. Bravo!

  3. Ruthie

    What an amazing post!! I do the same thing, get totally excited and pumped for change because after a while routine bores me and scares me. Love your courage in facing this. Also when I saw that photo I immediately knew it was taken at Snoqualmie Falls – I grew up in Seattle so it made me smile and a little homesick 🙂

    1. Yep! Being on that walkway by the falls was when I really decided to move to Seattle… but obviously it didn’t turn out that way.

      I also like how you mention that routine can scare you as much as bore you. I never thought about it that way before.

  4. Andrea

    Oh, Jess….where were you when I was 19, 22, 25, 30, 32??? Though I’ve finally started to figure some things out at 36, there were some hard lessons learned by forcing a bold/unnecessary move just to get something going.
    In fact, the hubby is going through something similar. I guess it’s good to know that other people struggle with this as well, and can overcome those feelings.
    As always, wonderful insight, and thank you!

    1. Thanks for sharing your situation, Andrea. As you can imagine, I totally feel for your husband right now, too. Please let him know that we all struggle with this. And perhaps he boldest thing he can do is somehow take those steps he wants where he is. I don’t know that it will be easy (in fact, I think it’s a bit scarier), but we both deserve to make changes regardless of any external situations!

  5. GinaBriley

    Thanks for this post Jess. I faced a very similar situation with my ex-husband years ago. I desperately thought that moving to a new city would “fix” things. When he didn’t get the job, I had to look long and hard at what needed to be fixed, and I realized that moving wouldn’t have fixed the issues just put them into a new city. Fast forward to today where my personal life is great, but I’m struggling with a job search primarily because I’m having problems focusing on what I want to do or “be when I grow up.” I looked at a corporate downsizing as an opportunity to make an industry shift, but it’s a tough job market. After months of not even receiving calls about my resume, I got really depressed and lost focus on trying to make positive changes. Every day is a challenge to keep my chin up and keep going, and every day I feel like I’m refocusing. It still hasn’t clicked perfectly, but I’ll keep working on it. Thanks so much for your positive posts.

    1. You are most welcome! I don’t know if you saw this, but I tried to help those who might be facing unemployment to shift their perspective to an entrepreneurial mindset instead (that can hopefully feel more empowering). I am not sure if it will help, but you are welcome to check it out: http://theeverygirl.com/feature/living-well-how-to-stay-motivated-when-you-are-unemployed/.

      Or, if you ever need to talk to someone, you can always reach out to a professional. (And of course I would be happy to work with you! http://www.with-intention.com/life/#one-on-one).

  6. Kacia

    I’ve done this more times than I care to admit. Not just with big life changes, but even with small life occurrences. But you’re right! It’s always from within.

  7. Alison Kelley

    Great post Jess! My husband and I went through this 11 years ago, end result was in a move that changed our lives. We moved to Vancouver, WA only to move back home to California after just two years. Long story but we recently almost faced another move that didn’t happen and like you, I was looking forward to “forced” life change. I still have that urge to move somewhere for a fresh start, I just don’t know where to.

    1. I know exactly how you feel! I’m a bit jealous that you go to have your move to Vancouver, as you can imagine. And I get your urge to move again. I hope you find the right change for you – internally or externally. : )

  8. Carol Beck

    This is just a great post. I love reading you and this hits the spot today. Thank you for shsring your wise insights.

  9. emily_annadelores

    I’ve totally been in a similar position! Whenever I’d get bored or crave change in past jobs or cities, I’d just look for new jobs or new cities. The idea of moving somewhere totally new made me feel edgy and glamorous. But you’re right — if we want to make changes in our lives, careers, etc., it’s up to US to make those things happen. And I learned, too, that whatever it was I was trying to get away from in old jobs or old cities might follow me anyway if I didn’t resolve the issue personally.

    1. That is a great point, Emily. Thank you for reminding me that the fears and things I face here may have followed me to some degree to Seattle, too.

  10. Kimberly Anne

    I can relate to this 100%. Sometimes I get an idea/notion and I just run with it. Many times, all of the factors do not come into place and I feel discouraged, but I love the thought you have about being great right where you are.

    Sidebar: I blogged about your conjuring post on Monday and created my own conjuring list. Let’s see what happens!

    1. Exactly, well said, Kimberly Anne! And yes, I totally saw that conjuring post you wrote, best wishes on the list!!

  11. Angee Robertson

    Great message Jess. I too recently had a major life shift happening. We found out we were pregnant. I was making all the plans and getting ready to make some major life shifts in my business to accommodate for this huge transition and then we lost the baby. It was devastating and I certainly went through the stages of grief. Now that I’m finally settling emotionally and I am still intending to make these shifts. I love they way you put it that sometimes we need a stable life situation so we can step out of our comfort zone. Very well put.

    1. I am so sorry about your baby, Angee. I cannot even really fathom what that shift meant to you and what it took in order to come to terms with how it all played out. I am also so honored that you shared this story. I hope that others who may face losing a baby may relate and know that on the other side you can still move forward in the direction you had planned.

      My best wishes for you and your family. I hope you find that this somehow makes a profoundly positive shift in your life over time. : )

      With love,

  12. Caitlin at Caitlin Creative

    I can so relate. I would have had that EXACT reaction, Jess. And I have been there before. When Trevor got offered his position in Baltimore, he also got offered a job in Chicago on the very same day. However, I had already mentally prepared myself to move to Baltimore, thrilled with the *excuse* to recreate and restructure a career that I was unhappy with. It’s worked out well for us to be back on the East Coast, but I do look back and think about how easy it was for me to jump on that bandwagon, (despite how much I *truly* loved Chicago itself) simply because a change of scenery *seemed* to bring about the sudden opportunity to change things. In reality, the opportunity for change is there no matter where we are. Just keep going! Best of luck to you and Mr. Lively. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Caitlin!

      As you know from this post, I can totally relate to what you are saying about the city/career shift. It feels pretty scary to just go ahead and make some major shifts that might mean cutting things off right where I am. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done anyways.

  13. LauraR

    Jess – thanks so much for this. Like many of the other commenters, this is something I’ve dealt with and then reconsidered trying again. I’m finally finding peace in staying where I am and building on my happiness right here. Cross country/international moves are so alluring because of the blank page you get. When I moved to the UK on a one way ticket, I discovered that my page had all the writing from life at home still on it. And I made that move alone, with a minmal support network. Looking back, I would’ve enjoyed the adventure more if I’d stayed home for a bit longer, and enjoyed my everyday life for what it was, and been brave enough to make the changes I needed to. It was coming back home that gave me the strength to bite the bullet and give myself the best possible chance at a happy life – by losing a huge amount of weight that had been weighing me down in more ways than one. This is just my experience, but we can make amazing changes in our lives, right where we are.

    1. Thank you for sharing the ‘other side of the coin,’ Laura. It feels great to know that in your experience the move didn’t really switch anything for you, and therefore may not have really given me what I desired in the first place. And you are right, I have to face it right where I am.

  14. Allison

    Jess this post totally resonates. I was just having a similar conversation with my friend about living abroad. I said I wanted to do it to experience something new but that was about my only good reason for doing it. After thinking about it for awhile I realized I like where I live now (San Francisco) perfectly well I just am really looking for something to change in my life. Like you said, now it’s time to search for those opportunities and face the challenge of change right now, at home.

    1. I can totally relate, Allison. I have noticed a lot of other people have mentioned the same thing about big moves. It’s interesting… not that long ago most people lived where they grew up, and now, these comments seem to show that we are all antsy to move to unknown places for fresh starts.

      I wonder what has shifted over the years to cause this common reaction to leave a place in order to change…

  15. Change of Art

    Thanks for another insightful post. Reminds me that it’s OK to hit the refresh button – from anywhere, at any time.

    I’m disappointed for you that you didn’t get the thing you wanted. But for us Chicagoans, I’m awfully happy that we get to keep you a while longer. (Hope that’s not too selfish.) That aside, I’m certain good things will always find you – wherever you land.

    1. Thank you so much, my friend! It means a lot to hear this from you especially. I also appreciate your positivity about what’s next for me right where I am. : )

    1. Melissa

      Thanks, lady! You’re truly inspiring!

  16. So true, Jillian! I have thought about that. I have lived in my area for 6 years, so that might be part of this. But overall, I don’t think there is another area I would like beyond Evanston, perhaps. So for now, I think I gotta face my internal fears where I am and realize it’s not the spot in Chicago that needs to hold me back. It’s my own fear of taking the next steps.

  17. Wow, it sounds like we have totally had a similar situation! I’m happy to hear you guys aren’t taking a move like that off the table one day. I think for me, this has shown that I would like to do this in the future. And when the timing is right, it will happen if it is meant to be.

  18. Thanks for sharing, Jill. I didn’t know that you had thought about moving before, but I did know about the renovations you’ve been doing. Knowing the whole story, I can totally relate.

    Like you, I need to buckle down and do what I wanted right where I am. It may not be what I expected, but it doesn’t have to hold me back from having what I want.

  19. Thank you so much, Alli! I think I needed to hear that, “Congrats on the big ‘stay’ in Chicago.” That’s what I need to look at this as. A big new shift, within what is most familiar.

  20. Great post Jess! I often think of it in reverse too. When things seem hard where I am, I look at new options in new cities. But changing locations (running away) doesn’t mean the challenges won’t still be there. I have found it really satisfying to work through some career issues right here where I am. It’s harder in some ways, but it cuts to the heart of the problem and has served me well in the long run.

    1. That is great to hear, Maureen! Thank you for the encouragement to make these changes right where I am.

  21. Being bold now. Yes, definitely something I’m moving closer to. I waited about 4 years past my comfort zone to go back to school and now I’m really just having to dive in and work almost full time while taking classes. Bolder earlier would have been easier, but either way, I’m finally doing it!

  22. Jessica Campion

    What a timely message. I literally just got news of a big change that I was almost 100% sure would happen that isn’t anymore. There is a change occurring, just not as big. I love the way you wrote about this feeling though. Sometimes it’s just as important to make the big changes in the comforts of your life rather than something forcing you too.

    As always, great post Jess!

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your situation, Jessica. But as you know, I can totally relate at this very moment.

      We can both be bold right where we are. I wish you the best with your next steps!!

  23. Katie

    I have experienced this so many times. More than most people know. I have “not moved” to more places than I have moved. It’s a weird feeling, but do know that I know how you feel.

    1. Thank you, Katie. It has helped a ton knowing that other people have gone through this. It is almost amazing to see how universal this urge for dramatic change can be!

  24. Wow – what an insight Jess. A someone who has moved a lot in my life, a fresh start is always so appealing. You’ve hit the nail on the head with conscious decision of making those changes even without the dramatic external upheaval. I need to do this more as well.
    Wishing you and Mr Lively a fabulous ‘stay put fresh start’ in Chicago. xx

    1. Thank you, Serena! You hit the nail on the head, I need to look at this like a stay put fresh start. : )

  25. So true! I’ve survived 20+ moves (several of which were out of state) and it’s definitely affected my mindset in a similar way. I’ve grown so used to working with a blank slate that it’s hard for me to hit reset without the excuse of a move. It’s nice to have a reminder that such things are possible even without a big life change. And selfishly, I’m glad the neighborhood isn’t losing you! 🙂

    1. Wow, 20+ moves! I can imagine that you never really need to reset yourself in your current situation since the moves seem to happen so frequently. But yes, it is possible to do without a big change (it just might seem a little harder and less glamorous).

  26. Nicole

    Look at that gorgeous couple at the Falls! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip (and Ballard), but sorry to hear about the disappointment over the job/move not working out. It’s such a blow when we get our heart set on something and start setting even just our minds in motion. Yet as always, you dug deep and found the lesson – and not only are you putting it to good use in your life, but you’re sharing it here with others.

    I know that sometimes it almost “solidifies” big inner-world changes when I shift my “outside” as well (home, city, etc.), but those things certainly needn’t go hand-in-hand. And I know several people who have shifted the outside without a corresponding “inside” shift, and then felt disappointed when they find that they haven’t moved forward/evolved in the way they expected. So thank you for articulating that what matters is the inner shift. As you note, it may seem less glamorous because there’s no (or little) tangible representation to others in our lives but as you pointed out in your Daily Love post (congrats, BTW!!!!), looking outside ourselves is an empty, exhaustive, and fleeting search.

    I can’t wait to see the changes you bring forth from your lovely spot in fabulous Chicago – cheering you on, girl! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole. Seriously. I read your comment last night and it made me smile. I appreciate everything you said!

  27. Kaly Sullivan

    I’ve totally been there! Two years ago my husband was interviewing for a job in a different city and I went all in looking into real estate, school for our kids, finding Trader Joe’s….but it didn’t work out and I was crushed. I saw it as the perfect escape route from a job that I didn’t want anymore and a current geographic location that I was lukewarm to. When he didn’t get the job, I decided that I shouldn’t have to uproot my family to have the life I want. I quit my job. I re-prioritized everything and felt 100% better. In that same location. Then about a year later he got another invitation to interview for a different job in the same city. We promised each other NOT to get so emotionally invested – no internet research at all. And of course he got the job and, we decided it would be a huge improvement on quality of life – for all of us. So we moved and we’ve never been happier. We all needed a reset. But looking back I’m glad we didn’t move the first go around…it wasn’t the right time or opportunity.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! As you know, this is exactly what I’m facing and I love knowing that you were able to make those bigger changes at home.

      Did part of your ‘fresh start’ involve ending some friendships by any chance? I think that part is what is giving me the most difficulty as I imagine how to navigate that part which would have been much easier if we just moved away. Any recommendations you have on this side of things would be greatly appreciated!

      1. Kaly Sullivan

        Yes. And no. I wasn’t really in the position to end friendships because of other circumstances (kids, husband) that made it a little complicated. But, I was able to distance myself from relationships that did not serve me anymore. I had been through a significant life transition leaving my job and doing some really deep and intensive personal work. And that did not go over so well with some friends that wanted to keep me in the role I had always previously played. So I had to take a step back from those relationships so I could focus on my relationship with myself. There was never a confrontation or a sit down to discuss. It was more of an evolution over time. I would be lying if I said moving didn’t make that distance easier! It definitely did. Hope that helps. Feel free to email me directly kalysullivan@mac.com.

        1. Thank you so much, Kaly. I really appreciate you taking the time to share that with me. I think that the time factor might help, like you mentioned. It’s also nice to know you didn’t actually have to sit down and talk about it directly.

  28. Lesli Scott

    I could literally feel your energy go up, and then down, and then up again during your post! For me, I’m lucky because I change gears every few weeks between Toronto and NYC. I am a ‘change-craver’ as well, and the change in location helps me in many ways. It consistently sets imminent deadlines (get this done before I go back to NYC!). It creates natural opportunities to set up get togethers with friends/colleagues/business leads (I’m in the city, let’s meet up!”). If my situation ever changes, and I remain in one city full time, I think having the discipline to set deadlines and meetings will be much more challenging, because the sense of urgency with gone. Like you said though, the trick is to take ownership of your goals, and push yourself, without relying on external circumstances! Thanks for your honesty and insight, as always Jess 🙂

    1. Exactly! I think I am very similar to you and would like that kind of forced structure. Now that it won’t be happening in the way I thought it would… I gotta find a way to do it from within. (But I won’t say that I’m not a little envious of your moving schedule!)

      1. Lesli Scott

        There’s also the option for you to create your own moving schedule, just cause. It may be crazy, but maybe NYC needs to see more of Jess Lively?? You could work out of grindspaces.com!!! Ok, I’m going to stop now. Getting a little too excited, lol.

        1. Lol! Thanks for the vote to move to NYC. : )

          With Mr. Lively’s new job, I don’t think that will be an option any time soon (though we do dream of working for a month in wine country one day).

  29. Anni

    Sometimes I think it’s just so romantic imagining a future self. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing, it’s nice to imagine our potential selves. But you hit the nail on the head that staying put shouldn’t mean not taking parts of those future selves now.

    I did a similar thing – we’re planning on moving away from Chicago at some point, but because I run a photography business, I need to be thinking a little over a year ahead. I realized at some point that I was living in the future, in where we would be, and then we put off the move a year for job reasons. It felt like a death sentence at first – like, another year living this way? – but then I realized that more than that, it’s permission to start really living in Chicago again. I’m still thinking ahead, but I’m also letting myself settle here a bit. The things I thought of as “too permanent” when we’re planning a move are so silly – redecorating the apartment? Adding business improvements? All things that travel well, staying put is no excuse for not investing in yourself.

    1. Great point, Anni. Yes, the power of visioning is really great, and you are right, this idea of a fresh start let me see the progress I’d really like to make and which pieces can be done here in Chicago, should be executed on.

      “All things that travel well, staying put is no excuse for not investing in yourself.” Well said!

  30. Sheerley

    What I think is so great about your situation (hear me out…) is that by fantasizing about what your “new” life would be like, you came face to face with hopes, dreams, and a desire to start fresh that you may not have realized or been willing to acknowledge you had. And now you have a huge opportunity to challenge yourself to, as you say, be bold, right where you are. By removing the “safety net” of being completely anonymous in a new city, you’re presented with the chance to not only make bold moves in Chicago, but also to consider how those changes seemed more doable by leaving your current situation. The answers to those questions could lead you to some amazing places, and might even help put a future move in perspective too. So exciting, and I know you’re completely up to the task!

    I also absolutely do this too, by the way. Every time I travel to a city that seems like a great place (hint: Chicago), I think to myself, “I could totally live here” and start researching apartments on craigslist (usually while I’m still on vacation!). It’s distressing in the moment to know that a move isn’t on the immediate horizon, but it helps to take a step back and think about why I like this new place, what I’m trying to escape about my current situation, and what my true reasons are behind wanting a change of scene.

    1. Perfectly summarized, Sheerley. That is exactly where I am at and what I am face to face with. After reading comments like yours and the rest that have come in, I am feeling more and more excited to start getting to work right where I am.

      : ) Thank you!

  31. Hi Jess – Selfishly, I wish you were moving to Seattle so we could meet up for coffee. 🙂 Gosh, I so get this post! I remember working in different full-time jobs that I wasn’t happy with and thinking, man, if I could just get laid off, then I could do this, this, or this. It’s so much easier to make big changes when we don’t have a choice. Good for you for making changes from where you are. xo

    1. Thanks, Melanie! I know, it is so tempting to want to just have the excuse to change, right? I suppose life has other plans for me. Thankfully, I’m getting more comfortable with making the changes here and seeing that the Seattle idea really just helped me recognize all of the changes I wanted to make in my life in general — which is a good thing. : )

  32. Lust Creative

    Oh what I wonderful post Jess! Thank you so much for sharing and being so honest. I can 110% relate to needing something to happen first; waiting for something ‘else’ to be the cause for me to take action or for change. I sometimes still do this and then other times I stop and think “No. I’m doing it. Now”. I loved reading this. Hearing what others are going through always inspires and reminds me to live in the now.
    Ashleigh xxoo

    1. Thank you for sharing, Ashleigh. It has been so helpful for me too, to find out that other people struggle with this as well.

      Right now I am starting to take the actions I planned to in Seattle. It is more difficult to change them than it might have been after moving. But now I am no longer waiting for a moving truck to pack things up in order to do something today that I am capable of doing.

      Here’s to change in the now!

  33. aabakes

    I’ve never commented on your blog before but I’ve been following it for a while. This post stuck home with me because I’m about to be a Navy wife. In the military, there are many times where you get your hopes up only to bet let down, or you get ideas of where you might be going, what you might be doing, etc, only to have something completely different happen. You’ll find out where your spouse might be stationed, research the crap out of it, find out stores, restaurants, find potential houses to live in, neighborhoods, look into jobs, and you start envisioning your lives there. Of course always knowing that it may or may not happen. Then the military tells you that you’re going somewhere completely different from where you just invested countless google searches and map street views. This is something I’m still working on how to handle- but your post summed it up really well. What to do when something big doesn’t happen…your dream location taken away, a new change in your life isn’t quite what you thought it would be. And then feelings about the new location or in your case, not moving, start to feel different, and might be messy and blurry just because of all the excitement surrounding the thoughts of the other move. Anyway, thank you for this post! And as I wrap my head around how military wives keep it together, I will be referring to your blog as inspiration and a source of calm.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story! I can only imagine how hard this sort of thing must be as a part of a military couple. I hope that this perspective might be helpful for you and that you are able to find support from other military wives in this area, too.

      I think you might enjoy the book, The Power of Now. I was reading it during this whole Seattle thing and though I still had my hopes up, it did help me to keep the bigger picture in focus.

  34. I’m trying to make some big changes in my own personal life while staying in the same spot, but I agree that it’s much easier to do so when you make a physical move. It takes a lot more INTENTION to change when your surroundings stay the same. I hope you can purpose to make the changes that you want in your life a reality.
    <3 Anna

    1. Totally agreed, Anna! I have been working on the changes I wanted to make and it feels kind of like turning a freighter. I think it is much harder to shift our habits in our environment rather than letting our environment shift our habits.

      Today I made the biggest shift and already I feel much lighter – though getting there was tough. http://jesslively.com///overcoming-resistance/

  35. taren

    This is a beautiful post, Jess.
    I am challenged and a bit unnerved. I have been looking toward making a big move in my life that is in the direction of my dreams and whatnot but I am constantly thinking about this side of the coin as well.
    I don’t want to spend my life running. I’m so good at starting starting starting but I’m not so good at the follow through, which is unfortunate.
    This post challenges me to reassess my current ventures and ask myself how I can better persevere in the long run.


    1. I’m happy to hear this post hit home for you, Taren! I can say that I have managed to make the changes that I wanted to change in Seattle here in Chicago.

      It wasn’t easy. It kind of felt like I was trying to swim upstream – all of my habits, connections, and surroundings had been going in one direction, and now I’m going in another. It didn’t feel good, it didn’t feel easy. It wasn’t liberating like I thought it would feel in a totally new and unfamiliar place.

      But I did it.

      And you know what? I don’t have the rush that a new place might have provided, but it feels kinda awesome to know that I can overcome the Resistance I felt towards staying here and making the changes.

      Now, if/when we end up moving in the future, I know that the new place didn’t need to happen in order for me to change.

      And that feels pretty darn good.

      I wish the same for you. It kinda sucks at first, but you CAN do it.

  36. Ashley Laabs

    Hey Jess,

    I hopped over from your post today since I’m a little behind on your blog. Sorry to hear about the whole ordeal. I know the feeling you speak of — since, as I’ve mentioned before, Brian and I are working toward that move ourselves. It’s a city that surprises you! Anyway, whether Chicago reveals some unexpected blessings or you end up in Seattle down the road, I know everything will work out. Seems like you’re already on your feet!

    PS: If you happen to be in your hometown for the holidays and have a moment to spare for a fan, I’d love to meet up for coffee! Dessert Oasis on me! 🙂

    1. Thanks, for the sweet words, Ashley! I appreciate the encouragement and I too am excited to see what comes after all of this Chicago vs. Seattle stuff. : )

      And thanks for the coffee invite! We are hosting Thanksgiving this year – in fact, it starts today! Happy Thanksgiving, hun!

      1. Ashley Laabs

        No problem! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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