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Part 5: DRAW THE MAP & GET TO WORK | Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live

Once you can see the dream, you have to plan the route to get there.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to plot every last detail rightthisminute. That doesn’t work anyway. But you need to know what you want to move toward.

In order to move forward, we must take the actual steps. What those steps are will depend entirely on what your dream looks like.

Not one successful person woke up where they are now. They started from the beginning. So we’re going to work backwards here.

What is your dream?

What do you fantasize about doing?

What do you want to be known for?

What do you want to spend your life doing and would still do even if you had endless money? Can you see it?

Now, what steps do you need to take to get there?

What is the FIRST step? It doesn’t have to be huge! It can be one little thing that you can do RIGHT NOW to get even an inch closer to your goal.

And if you haven’t already, this means it’s time to…

get organized.

There are a ton out there, but I’m going to recommend my #1 favorite organizational tool of all time; the Passion Planner by Angelia Trinidad. (This is not an advertisement, I’m just deeply obsessed with the Passion Planner and the impact it has had on my life.)

 

This amazing, supple book, when used correctly, will turn you into a productivity powerhouse. For real.

You can plot your entire LIFE in this thing and you will get. shit. DONE.

Click here to explore the epicness that is the Passion Planner!

Until your planner arrives, (you can also print out the free PDFs while you wait!) …

What can you do RIGHT NOW that will move you one step closer to your goal than you were yesterday?

What are some things you can stop buying? (lattes, meals out, impulsive purchases, etc.)

What distracts you and wastes your time? (scrolling on social media, dramatic/negative friends/family, etc.)

What is your current morning routine? What is your IDEAL morning routine?

How about your ideal day? Write it down, from when you wake up until you go to bed.

Once you have a visual of your plan, it is time to get to work.

Visualization leads to manifestation. But not without putting in the work in the meantime.

WARNING:

The thing isn’t going to be easy.
The thing will require sacrificedisciplinesweat and tears.
The thing will require commitmentpassion and patience.
The thing will require focus & consistency.

The one and only way to get the thing is daily action.

You can’t just visualize and dream about the thing.

You have to work on moving toward the thing every single day.

If you miss a day, you check yourself and get back to it the next day.

All WHILE visualizing the thing, and thinking about how amazing you’re going to feel when you have the thing.

When you take consistent baby steps toward the thing, you cannot help but end up at the thing.

This means you have to SHOW UP. To the easel, to the table, to the desk. To wherever it is that you get the shit done that needs to get done to get closer to the thing.
It took me awhile to get a handle on this one.
As you creatives know, sometimes you feel the need to ‘wait for inspiration’ to create.
Try ignoring that, and just show up.
This requires discipline.

Self-discipline is hard.

Trust me, I know.
You want to know the trick to self-discipline?
A serious schedule.
Now, I’m not talking about a schedule that’s all packed with a bunch of the bullshit I was talking about purging in the last section.
I’m talking about a schedule that is written in accordance with your goals.

As in, you schedule your priorities FIRST and everything else either falls in line or falls OFF the schedule. No excuses.

CLICK HERE FOR AN EXAMPLE!

The Schedule to Get to the Thing is an epic level game changer. But it isn’t enough just to make the schedule.
You have to implement the schedule. You have to stick to it. You have to COMMIT.
Because committing to the schedule is committing to The Thing.

And committing to The Thing is committing to yourself, your dreams, your goals…to your ideal life.

 

You just read a sample of Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live. You can download the entire eBook for free below!

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Part 4: MAKE ROOM | Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live

So now that you know your thing – or at least know that you want to figure out your thing  – how bad do you want it?
How bad do you want to wake up every day EXCITED about what lies ahead?
How bad do you want to be living the dream?
YOUR dream?
Seriously, how bad?
Are you willing to give some shit up? To make some sacrifices? Take some risks?

Your dream won’t become reality overnight.
It won’t appear as a result of endless hoping.
It won’t become reality by talking about it.
It will take discipline and sacrifice.
It will take commitment and scheduling of your time.
It will take CONSISTENT effort and hard work.

And that means cutting some bullshit out of your current lifestyle and routine.
You must declutter your life and make ROOM for the awesomeness.
What that means will be specific to you.

We all have the same 24 hours to work with.

It could be that you need to remove some negative, angry, toxic or dramatic people from your life.
If you can’t remove them, minimize contact as much as you can to decrease the influence of their grey cloud of doom and chaos on your energy and life. And do not feel guilty about it.

It could be that you need to physically get organized. Time spent looking for shit is time wasted. If you don’t know how to go about that, I bet you know someone who is an organizational nerd – beg them to teach you the way. They love to organize shit for people. Trust me, I’m one of them.

It could be that you’re spread too thin and need to learn to say no. If you’re spending any of your precious time doing something you don’t look forward to and it isn’t required for any reason, then quit that shit.

It could be that you need to get your finances organized. Quit being impulsive and buying useless shit for yourself and others.  Quit feeling like you have to buy every person you know birthday and Christmas presents every year if you can’t actually afford it. Just tell them you love them, make them dinner…it’ll be alright.

Figure out where your money is going and where it could stop going. Every dollar spent on frivolous shit could be funding your dream.

This book changed my life, and finally made me feel in control of my finances. Pick it up and implement the system, you’ll feel much better.

 

It could be that you need to get your health in order. It’s truly amazing how the simple acts of eating well and daily exercise will change your life.

Quality over quantity – this applies to most of the important things in life. Relationships, time, food…the list goes on.

Whatever it is in your life that’s sucking up your time and brain power in a negative way, work on getting rid of it. That is time and brain power that could be fueling your dream.

Are you a talker, a dreamer, a thinker, a visionary? Awesome.

But are you also a DOER?

Because no one else is going to do this shit for you.

You literally and figuratively cannot rely on anyone else to create the life you want or to bring you the happiness that would come with living your dream.

Other people contribute in many ways, but you are ultimately responsible for your life.  No one else.
No one is working to make your dreams come true, they are working on their own dreams.

You have to take the action. YOU.

There are many potential obstacles and just as many potential solutions to what could be blocking you from taking action.

DIG DEEPER

Some helpful questions to ask yourself, depending on your situation:

Can you work part-time?

How about if you make a strict budget and cut some of the afore-mentioned shit out? Then could you work part time?

If you’re a couple, can you make it on one income temporarily?

Can you move somewhere with a lower cost of living?

Can you share living expenses with a friend in a similar situation?

Can you hang with your parents or a sibling/family member for awhile?

Think about long term happiness and what kind of sacrifices are possible and worth it for you.

But remember, it is YOU that has to make the decisions and sacrifices necessary to create your ideal life.

YOU are responsible for your own happiness and life.

ONLY YOU.

 

 

You just read a sample of Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live. You can download the entire eBook for free below!

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Part 3: ACCEPTANCE | Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live

This is where we let go of the past.

We let go of what has already happened.
We let go of the shit we can’t do shit about.

Did you go to school for something completely unrelated to your dream and now struggle with the idea of wasting that hard-earned expensive-ass piece of paper or papers? So did I.

Or maybe you’ve spent the last however many years working for the man and the thought of starting over terrifies you. I understand. I truly do.

Take a deep breath.

You are never really starting from scratch.

Your surroundings and circumstances can always change of course, but think about all the knowledge and experience that you’ve collected in your arsenal of awesomeness.

By the time I finally took the leap and started my art business, I had worked at 17 different jobs, gotten a BA in Human Services, a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership, moved 8 times, lived overseas 3 times, got married, and all the other mental shit that happens before the age of 30 in female humans.

Of course I can’t help but think about where my work/career would be if I had truly committed to pursuing art from the beginning.

But it didn’t go that way for me, and I don’t believe in wasting time on regret. I have lifelong relationships with some of the people that I have worked and studied with, not to mention the experiences and knowledge I gained about a field that is very important to me and continues to be – and I wouldn’t trade it.

In addition, the knowledge and experience you gain has an immeasurable impact on how you view and run your business. My life wouldn’t look like it does if I hadn’t arrived here on the exact path that I ended up taking.

So don’t distress about your $100k in student loans or the degree(s) that you now questions, collecting dust in a drawer.

All knowledge is good knowledge, and it will benefit you in ways that you might not see yet.

TIP: If you have Federal student loans, take advantage of their Income-Based Repayment program if you’re struggling. And make sure you renew your tax information with them every year to keep your payment down going forward.

Other struggles?

They made you stronger, more experienced, resilient and all sorts of other badass things. Use them to your advantage.

All those psychotic assholes you came across along the way?

They will help you determine which characteristics to avoid when building YOUR dream team (if you choose to build a dream team) and remind you what kind of person or leader you DON’T want to be.

 

 

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Part 2: DEFINE THE DREAM | Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live

Before we go on, I’m going to ask an important question.

If you already have kids, then you can skip this next paragraph 😉 You already know about the sacrifices they require and you’re still here, nurturing that flame in your soul. I applaud you.

But if you don’t have children…do you want them? I mean REALLY want them? Because having them will cut down the time you’re able to invest in your dreams by a good 90%, for quite awhile. If you can afford help or your kids are already on the older side, this won’t be the case. I know plenty of moms that juggle it all like a boss, so obviously it’s possible.

My point is this:

Don’t have children just because society or anyone in your life has made you think you “should”…or because you think its the ‘next natural step’…or because you just want to see what they would look/be like…or because you think it will save your relationship.  If you feel like ‘something’s missing’ but you can’t quite figure out what it is…

It’s likely your connection with your Self. Listen to Her instead.

 

The world doesn’t need more people. The world needs YOU, in your destined role, as your highest Self, doing the thing that only you are capable of doing in the way that you are capable of doing it. 

 

Now that that’s out of the way…
Let’s get back to the Thing.
Do you know your thing?
Do you know you have a thing, but you haven’t figured out what it is yet?

Has your thing been living in your mind your entire life and you’re just grown accustomed to keeping her on a shelf for ‘someday’ or ‘when you have time’?

Or has your thing been desperately screaming to get out for years and for some reason you can’t bring yourself to open the door? (That’s what mine was doing. Good times.)

There are so many ways to learn about the Thing.

If, like me, you want to put a question like “what the eff am I supposed to be doing with my life?” into Google and have it produce an instant answer…I understand completely.

Since Buzzfeed quizzes don’t get too deep, let me make a few suggestions.

If you haven’t taken the full-form real Myers-Briggs assessment, I recommend doing it.

take the official myers-briggs test

I’ve come back to this test several times over the years, and it has been useful in many ways. I’ve even had potential employers request it. Also, your results change as you change, staying relevant.

I also recommend the Gallup Strengths Finder, 

 

and the Primary and Secondary Archetype tests by Cerries Mooney.

And of course, go ahead and do a bunch of shit that you don’t like doing and work for various assholes to get an idea of what ISN’T the thing.
Wanting to re-enact any scene from Office Space, yet refraining, is good for developing self-awareness, humility and patience.
Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to listen.

Yes, LISTEN.

To your Self, to your intuition, to your soul, whatever you’ve named her.

Art by Mae Chevrette, Quote by Steve Jobs

It’s true.
You came here with a purpose. But we forget what that purpose is sometimes, and the universe leaves us a trail of bread crumbs until we remember.
If you haven’t remembered yet, that is fine. Keep reading. Your thing will come to you when it is time.

 

6 HELPFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHILE DEFINING THE THING:

If money were no concern, what would my day look like?

What do I enjoy doing more than anything? When do I lose myself?

How do I best express myself? Through words? Through food? Through art? Through helping others?

What do other people tell me I’m good at?

When do I feel most confident?

Do I like to be around people or on my own?

You just read a sample of Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live. You can download the entire eBook for free below!

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Part 1: INTRO | Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live

Well hello!

Since you’re here, I’m assuming that you think life is awesome, and that its meant to be lived to its maximum potential.

I feel you.
You want to figure out what your Thing in life is, and then you want to do that Thing.
To me, that’s the real dream.
You know that you’re meant to do something epic.
You might even know exactly what that epic Thing is.
But maybe you think it’s not possible.
Like it’s some pie in the sky shit that could never be real.
Listen to me.

It IS possible. And it CAN be real.

Because YOU are in control of that pie in the sky. That is YOUR pie, YOUR sky. What flavor do you want? What kind of crust do you like? You want fluffy whip cream clouds all over that delicious pie?

Then get it.

Put your order in with the universe and get that shit served right up.

Imagine what your life would look like..feel like..be like. If you were doing that thing you love, that thing you think about every day, that thing that brings you joy.

I can tell you, it’s amazing.

I can’t believe that I get to hang out with my dogs all day pantsless painting nature and bringing people joy. It blows my mind daily that I get to do what I do.

You came here with an inclination, a talent, a role to fulfill.

What better way to reach maximum potential than by doing what you were put here to do?
So this is a little guide to get started.
I want you to use it on your path to Maximum Potential. 
You know that you have a purpose.
I know that you do too.
Are you ready to change the world with that purpose?
Of course you are.

Let’s do this.

 

You just read a sample of Permission Granted : How to Create the Life You Want to Live. You can download the entire eBook for free below!

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How to be a Career-Driven Military Spouse (& not lose your mind)

Marrying my husband was the best decision I’ve ever made.

But I had no idea what I was about to experience as a woman with my own career track already established making the transition to military wife life.

For the first year, he was still stationed in Arizona and I had no problem finding the type of job I wanted in my field. Then we got orders to England! Which of course we were ecstatic about, and I had grand fantasies of working for some rad nonprofit organization in London. But then we got there and realized the actual location and surroundings were much more remote than we had imagined.

I quickly learned that job opportunities were slim, low-paying, and working in my actual field wasn’t even possible. I was super fortunate that a loosely-related to my experience position was available on base when we arrived, so I snatched that up and started building an Etsy shop in my spare time and running group painting parties and private painting lessons. With the low wages the base paid, I was soon making almost as much with my side art hustle.

So after a year, I put in my notice to give 100% to growing my art business.

The following 6 years has been a rollercoaster of development – deep dives into teaching myself online marketing, absorbing all things business and entrepreneurship, going within to battle the demons of self-doubt, self-worth, mindset blocks and fear. Physical and mental isolation, tears in the bathtub, in between points of such joy, excitement and the high of limitless possibility.

I’ve learned a ton, and I know I’m not the only woman out here that has sacrificed and is (still) navigating their own career and ambitions in order to be with the person they love.

So I wanted to give you all the things that might save you some time and help you on your own journey, and also create a little space to make sure you know you’re not alone!

This lil’ guide poured out of me in a tea room in England one day when I was waiting for a meeting to start. I had no idea it was going to turn into this 30-page eBook, and I’m so happy to share it with you!

Once you download the book (it’s free!), you’ll get the link to join the community too!

If you know anyone that might benefit from this, please share it with them too!

All women maximizing their potential = a beautiful world.

 

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The truth about entrepreneurship

It’s made me a terrible friend. I’ve spent the last six years pouring every waking moment into building this business, into learning as much as I possibly could about how to make it`grow and succeed. I’ve sacrificed sleep, sanity, questioned my self-worth and value, felt my self-esteem rollercoaster in accordance with the amount of money the business was bringing in, and swing back and forth between being sure that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and wondering what the fuck I was thinking in the first place.

This journey has taken me into the depths of myself personally and spiritually, which has only been exacerbated by the periods of geographical isolation. It’s been both very dark and very bright at times.

Back in college, I had hours of sitting in Seattle traffic to talk on the phone with friends and family every day. Once I made that first overseas move 9 time zones away with shitty internet and no phone access, that all changed. I got used to rarely being able to talk to anyone. When the next overseas move lasted 4 years, communication had to be scheduled or it pretty much never happened.

Combining this with the transition to working for myself from home, I lost the need to reach out, to touch base, to catch up. My mind was completely consumed with all things business; learning, developing, producing. All I cared about was moving forward, accomplishing, succeeding at this venture. There was so much swimming around in my brain I didn’t even know what I would talk about with anyone anyway.

While I think about all the people I love and care about literally daily, I know you aren’t psychic, and you don’t know that I think about you constantly. And while I don’t personally need regular communication with others, I know that isn’t necessarily true for you.

So if you’re one of those that I’ve fallen out of touch with over the years and you have sadness about it, please know that it’s nowhere near personal, and I think about you all the time. I care about you, I care how you’re doing, and I’m always sending you love. So much love. And while I might not make the call, I will always answer the call. Unless I’m on the other side of the planet and it’s sleepy time of course. 😉

I love you!

 

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On my way back.

I’ve been gone for awhile. Not gone gone, but definitely pulled inward. For like…the last 6 years or so.

What started as a time zone barrier in talking to my friends and family as much while I was overseas developed into a deep mental isolation that brought me through levels of myself that I didn’t know existed.

Sometimes it was dark and scary, but mostly it was beautiful and expansive.

Much of it was tied to my feelings of self-worth as they related to my sudden and unexpected dependence on my husband when his career took us to England and mine was stalled as a result.

Compound that with going into business as me, myself & I, after thinking I had my whole career lined out. Degrees. Commitments to service. Student loans out the ass.

I mean, who was I to ‘be an artist’ after so many years of work and dedication to helping others? It was who I was. How could I just start saying I was something else?

I was spinning.

The anxiety attacks had been ugly since Macedonia, and I finally recognized them as something I needed to ask for help with. Something I don’t do much.

My doc introduced me to Zoloft and the world changed. 10/10 highly recommend.

Anyway, now that we’ve been stateside for two years and the time zone barrier isn’t as much of a thing, my tendency to go inward versus touch base or catch up with a friend/family member still wins.

And I have guilt about it.

But I suppose my guilt about it doesn’t outweigh my super intense desire to create a successful business and be an example for other women who have such dreams they wish to fulfill.

I’m hoping to get better at balancing this in the coming years, but it could also be that I just don’t like to talk on the phone as much as I used to 🙂

Re-emerging after a lengthy period of isolation and inner exploration is bumpy, and can feel socially awkward at times.

But I’m working on it, and learning more about my Self constantly.

<3