My month of experimenting
I know, I know, it's already April. But March was enormous for me, a huge experiment in life and work.
Growing pains. Overwhelming. Exciting. Terrifying. Uncomfortable. Exhilarating.
I want to process everything that happened before I get too far into the new month! When you work for yourself and create your own schedule and calendar, it's easy to lose track of the weeks and days because each one blends seamlessly into the next. It's hard for me to get out of my own head and extricate myself from the inner chaos and endless to-do's, to step back and look at my life from above, to appreciate everything I've accomplished and learned. To acknowledge that I don't have to keep hustling and striving and pushing forever...I can accept and embrace the fact that I have arrived. I am safe. I am doing this. I can simply BE.
Even though I'm trying to define entrepreneurial "success" from a place of fulfillment in the present moment (instead of letting my self worth be defined by things I've achieved or accomplished), it's still important to recognize and celebrate all the baby steps along the way.
So here's a snapshot of all the things I explored and learned last month!
I'm slowly realizing that after a lifetime of school, choices, opportunities taken, dead ends hit, more school, random jobs, unemployment, funemployment, part-time employment, experimentation, adventures, risks, and inner struggle, I have finally arrived at where I’m meant to be.
It's not a destination, but it's the right path and the journey that's unfolding is beautiful. I don’t have to search for my perfect job or purpose any longer. I just need to accept myself for who I am, and then find joy in sharing my life to inspire other women. Learning to trust myself is the hardest freaking thing I've ever done, and it's a daily process with constant ups and downs!
I'm experimenting with my limits and boundaries, when to push myself and when to back off, which sometimes results in pushing myself a liiiiiittle too far, but I'm learning that life is a continuous process of course correction. I'm learning how to slowly and patiently deal with my perfectionism and accept that "done" is usually better than perfect. How to TRY my best instead of trying to DO my best, how to balance goals with intentionality so I end the constant vicious cycle of "never enough."
I'm experimenting with my creativity, and starting to write and paint more. Writing and painting make me feel connected to myself, my purpose, the universe at large, and when I resist or block my creativity I feel resentful and frustrated.
I'm learning that inspiration is found in the real world, not online, and that getting out of the house is critical to my sanity and happiness, as well as a great reminder that I'm a functioning member of society, not a crazy hermit.
I'm also learning that even though I don't have to drive to work anymore, I can't forget I still own a car on street sweeping days. Oops!
Something major that's tying everything together is the weekly dose of community and spiritual grounded-ness Ben and I are gaining from attending church every single Sunday.
Work was craaaaazy this month. After spending January and February on personal growth and figuring out who I am and what the hell I'm doing, I'm starting to take action and make things happen. Cue ALL THE PROJECTS!
I've been mainly focusing on growing my coaching team and mentoring my coaches, as well as hosting monthly fitness challenges and supporting my amazing clients! My mission right now is to empower women to feel beautiful from the inside out by figuring out what "balance" means to them.
I'm learning how to run an online business through Marie Forleo's 8 week program B-School, which has been a perfect investment for where I'm at right now. I'm realizing that I've already come a long way, and I'm excited to start taking this website and blog more seriously and launch a newsletter (stay tuned!!)
Now that the weather is warming up it's easier to get out of the house so I'm on a mission to explore all the coffee shops in Chicago, which is a fun reminder that I'm so blessed to have the freedom to work from anywhere.
I have two personal fitness intentions right now.
1. Have fun!
2. Challenge myself.
I've been exploring new barre and yoga classes, playing with new at-home workouts through Beachbody On Demand and Tone It Up, running now that the days are longer and the ice is melted, and I gave the 21 Day Fix Extreme my best shot (more on that to come...)
Ben and I are going to Cancun this month for a mini-getaway that I actually earned for free through Beachbody last year...so right now I'm on full on bikini lockdown mode! You can follow along on Instagram, where I post my daily workouts and meals.
When it comes to fitness and weight loss, I highly recommend setting "intentions" instead of concrete goals, because it forces you to focus on daily ACTIONS and decisions that you can control, instead of letting your sense of self worth and success hinge on a random number on the scale. Take back control whenever and wherever you can!
I ATE ALL THE NOMS
Soooooo many epic salads this month.
Ben and I enjoyed a few date nights too. We love checking out new restaurants and bars around the city! Mythos and Bistro Dre are my current favorite date night places. They're both small, friendly, intimate, and BYOB so you can bring your own wine and spend your money on the incredible food.
I DRANK ALL THE SUPERFOODS
One of my secrets to staying healthy, energized, and in control of my sugar cravings (...80% of the time...) is making sure I drink Shakeology every single day, usually for a morning or afternoon energy boost. This stuff is amaaaaazing. It's an all natural protein/meal supplement smoothie that contains vitamins, probiotics, immune and digestive system boosters, and I literally haven't been sick in over a year !! Plus it tastes like froyo. Enough said.
Personal development has been a lifesaver and the #1 reason I've had the balls to even attempt this whole "live your dreams" thing.
I'm currently working my way through The Artist's Way, which is an INCREDIBLE book for re-connecting with your inner creativity and unblocking yourself from the inner doubt and resistance that holds us back from embracing ourselves and living wholeheartedly.
Other personal development books, courses, and podcasts that have deeply impacted me lately:
I'm learning how to live more intentionally and joyfully by recognizing and eliminating ego-driven distractions in my inner and outer worlds. I'm learning how to focus on my intuition and what's TRULY important so I can channel my energy in the most impactful and fulfilling ways. (Insert all the woo-woo Pinterest quotes here).
Deep stuff!! It's so fun.
Everyone keeps asking me "how's the Etsy shop?" Well, the answer is that it's going. I just added several absolutely gorgeous silky spring scarves that are all ready to ship. Check them out HERE!
I have lots of big plans and ideas for my creative business, but instead of beating myself up for not making ALL THE THINGS HAPPEN all at once and build two small business empires at the same time, I've decided to stop stressing myself out and keep the shop how it's always been: a fun creative side outlet for me to share my love of beautiful things, when I have extra time and energy to put into it.
The reality of operating an Etsy shop is that you can have the most amazing products and the most amazing photography and put so much energy and effort into the shop itself...but if you actually want to make SALES, you have to spend even more time marketing and promoting yourself. It's fun, but kind of exhausting, and on months where I simply don't have any extra energy to give, I'm not going to worry about it.
The secret to "doing it all" is accepting that there's a season for everything in life, and acknowledging that you can't do it all at once.
Right now in this winter-into-spring phase, I'm in a season of empowering women through my health and fitness coaching business, and I want to spend my energy on mentoring my coaches and building my team as well as building my own confidence and self esteem as an online entrepreneur.
I predict that this spring and summer might be a season for creative growth....but we will just have to wait and see :)