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  • Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?

    Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of.

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In the spring of 2013 I was dealing with reverse culture shock and burnout, and even though I was attending a prestigious university I felt like I still did not know what to do with my life. I felt like I did not have any sort of direction except for the ability to dream of the life I did want. I saw everything before me, I had written it out many times before and created a vision board for it.

On a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do Mister and I decided to attend an open house that was taking place across the street from our condo. We walked in and liked what we saw but we were not thrilled with the place. We were not considering purchasing a new home and it was all just fun and games, until the realtor took us to a different suite within the same complex. We walked in and it took our breath away. The view, the space, the monochromatic kitchen, the free standing tub, did I mention the view? It instantly felt like home to me.

We instantly knew we wanted to live there and drew up an offer the following weekend.

However, they rejected it and I was heartbroken.

Every day I would walk past the building looking up to the 32nd floor counting the balconies until I found the right suite and would envision myself living there. I pictured placing black and white photographs of our travels on the walls, I dreamed of the meals we would create in the kitchen, I saw myself curled up with a book and candles lit and piano music playing and the view before me, I even went as far to envision having a beautiful home birth in the free standing tub!

I couldn’t get over how much that space felt like home and how much I wanted to live there, even though they rejected our offer and there was no communication between us.

We decided to reach out to them one last time, just to see if they would be interested in negotiating with us. We drew up another offer and negotiations began to fly back and forth over a few stressful days.

Suddenly, to my amazement, we were signing the sales agreement for us to purchase the house of my dreams with the million dollar view overlooking the city!

As I stand in my kitchen, two years later, I am still in awe how smoothly everything came together. How the black and white photographs now hang on my wall, the countless meals we’ve created and enjoyed, how piano music is always playing, how Wednesday has turned into baking day, that I enjoy luxurious baths in my deep white free standing tub, and how the beautiful home birth I envisioned has now turned into two beautiful home births.

I truly believe that writing down the desires of your heart and creating vision boards work. It does not come together exactly how you envision it, or how you think it should, but it does. And it is beautiful.

Image by Melia at Lucida Photography

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It has been too quiet here, and I once again apologize for the silence. I now realize that when I am pregnant, I cannot function to the full capacity that I usually run at, and I had to give myself permission to let things slide while I grew another precious baby.

I am so amazed and impressed with those women who are able to work full time jobs, or run their own businesses, or even launch a business while pregnant. I am done by 10am!

Blogging, creating newsletters, group coaching, and individual coaching took a back seat.

If you are in a similar position where you feel like you need to continue doing anything and everything while pregnant or with a brand new baby, I give you permission to let things go. They will be exactly where you left them when you are ready to pick them up again. And it is okay if they collect dust because it has been years, and it is okay if you never look at them again.

Image by Melia at Lucida Photography

Lesley Stefanski, Vancouver
We wake up to the cool crisp December air and it instantly feels like Christmas. After travelling for over 28 hours we linger over breakfast and slowly put ourselves together before heading to our final destination, our downtown condo.

Once we’re packed, for the last time, and secured into the vehicle we make the trip West and as we descend the hill to our home I take in a long breath then sigh, a restorative sigh. We are home! And I am so happy.

After years of wondering where home was, and even though we knew earlier this year that we would be staying in Vancouver longer than the initial anticipated 3 years, we now know that Vancouver is home. And always will be home.

We walk into a home that smells of lemon and cleaning solution and a fridge stocked full of groceries from my mom. There are white flowers placed in a white milk jug to celebrate our return. And the view! We stand at the window taking it all in while memories of the past two and a half months flash in front of us. What a life we live!

Setting to work putting our belongings away and starting the laundry everything feels just right. We stop for a quick lunch at one of our favourite cafes before heading back home to a setting sun. There is piano music playing, as always, and when I dim the lights memories from last year come to mind. The anticipation of our baby and celebrating our last christmas alone. Then there was the memory of different piano music playing but the way the lights dimmed memories of Isla’s first days with us with the dark night sky and sleepless nights. Everything becomes a glittering memory with the cool crisp December air.

Lesley Stefanski, Porto, Lifestyle DesignLast few days in Porto-04Last few days in Porto-06Last few days in Porto-09Last few days in Porto-10Last few days in Porto-13Last few days in Porto-14Last few days in Porto-16Last few days in Porto-17Last few days in Porto-20Last few days in Porto-21Last few days in Porto-22
Our last few days in Porto flow easily into one another as we finish off with three different Port tours as well as a visit to the Bolsa Palace near the river bank. We take walks along the river’s edge in the sunlight taking in the city that we called home for a month in as much as possible. We visit our favourite restaurants for the last time to enjoy our favourite meals as well as to say goodbye to the ones who have served us. On one of our last evenings we venture to a new restaurant and the whole way Isla is awake and crying – we think it might be a horrible evening and consider cancelling our reservations. However we are greeted with smiles and helpful hands who whisk our baby away to entertain her while we enjoy a three course meal. It is one of the most relaxing meals we’ve had in awhile.

Our last night in Porto the city begins the Christmas celebrations with christmas lights, antique markets, marching bands, outdoor ice rinks, as well as beautifully displayed Christmas markets. We walk around one last time enjoying all the sights and sounds, walking one last time up the steep hills before stopping for one last family selfie in front of the lit up Christmas tree. It was the perfect send off.

We begin our journey home with a happy smiling babe, who everyone calls the most happiest well behaved baby they have ever met. We are asked time and time again if she is always like this and we answer with pride “yes”. We are calm and relaxed, knowing there will be moments of tears and cries from her. When we are standing still in a lineup for over two hours she is awake and somehow happy, always looking for the next person to smile at, to spread some cheer and make their day.

Then finally, after many many hours of travelling, we crawl it into a familiar bed and we all fall asleep together. When we wake up at 7am the following morning on December 1 we realize our European adventure has finally come to an end, but our life as a family is still beginning.

Lesley Stefanski, blogging, authentically
When I first started blogging it was more like an online journal entry filled with quick little snippets of my thoughts from that day, or even events and outings. There was nothing significant except for the outrageous spelling mistakes and horrendous grammatical errors. But I wrote for me and me alone. It was the perfect introduction for me to write authentically and honestly.

Then I started writing as an extension of my business everything changed. I started looking to see how other people were writing or expressing themselves and quickly got lost in the world of writing without a voice. I was in constant turmoil because I felt like I couldn’t write or express myself the way that other bloggers could. I felt that I had to use inspiration from their blog topics or categories and write similarly to gain any sort of readership. I became so clouded with everyone else’s words that it took me awhile to realize how lost I was from my own true voice and writing style.

I have been asked on numerous occasions how I have been able to find my own writing style, how to write authentically and honestly in a way that resonates with readers and allows yourself to be set a part.

I feel inadequate to be teaching on how to write authentically since I still feel like I’m on the journey myself, but I will share what I have learned and what I know to be true for me.

 

The guide to Writing and Blogging Authentically:

 

1) What style are you attracted to?

I researched and kept track of the style of writing that appealed to me. This was everything from magazines, blogs, novels, and books. I learned that I enjoyed reading detailed, feminine and sometimes called floral style of writing. It moved me in ways that typically only classical writing has in the past.

I began experimenting with this style of writing and found that although there were a few bumps to overcome, I began to look forward to writing and expressing myself in a more feminine and detailed way.

This style of writing has been called too elaborate for business writing, and though I agree when writing sales pages or contracts, it is completely different for a blog.

2) What topics resonate with you?

This time I took to researching what made my heart skip a beat or flutter a little bit faster when speaking with others. This one took more time as I have lots of interests and passions, but I slowly started to narrow it down to which topics made me the most excited to speak about. I absolutely love to talk about dreams and visions, business and creative industries, and creating a lifestyle that resonates deeply with you.

I then began to experiment with these topics on my blog and took note as to which ones I was having difficulty writing about, which ones came easily, and which ones I was resisting all together.

Typically what I was resisting was the topic that I was going through at the moment or what I needed to write about the most. When I realized I was having difficultly on another topic I assessed whether it was something I truly enjoyed writing about or was forcing myself to write about it because I felt that it complimented the rest of my writing or was ‘expected’ of me because others in my industry wrote about it.

Every topic I wrote about would be assessed with whether I enjoyed writing about it or not and once enough research was gathered I would decide whether it was something I wanted to continue writing about or not.

3) What topics resonate with your readers?

After you have done the research as to what you enjoy writing about now you can start researching what your readers enjoy reading! This one is the most time consuming as the research never ends.

I assess what resonates with my readers through the following avenues:

  • comments and likes on the post, Facebook, or Instagram
  • google analytics and how many click throughs I received through Facebook or Instagram
  • google analytics to view the most popular posts
  • google analytics to view the topics that my readers are most attracted to

Once you have a writing style that you enjoy, topics that you can’t stop writing about, and a list of posts/topics that resonate with your readers you begin to build a strong platform to continue building upon while your tastes and life experiences expand and grow.

Even though you have done all this research you will most likely still have days where you feel like what your writing about has already been written about. You will have days where you feel like you are forcing yourself to write even when you have no desire to press another key on the keyboard. You will wonder if anyone cares if you write another word. You will wonder if you are lost in the sea of all the other bloggers and writers in the world.

I can only say is yes, it probably has already been transcribed by someone else. You are another blog amongst the billions out there. But no matter what, your voice, your thoughts, your views are needed and wanted and even if there is only one reader – write to that one reader.

  • December 10, 2014 - 3:09 AM

    Jenny - Thank you so much for this post Lesley. I love your ability to adapt your love for literature and styles of writing to your own writing. Great post!ReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2014 - 10:01 AM

      Lesley - You are welcome Jenny!ReplyCancel

  • December 11, 2014 - 3:32 PM

    Scarlett - This is a great reminder of remember to really look at others writing and keep practicing to refine your own style!ReplyCancel

    • December 12, 2014 - 10:01 AM

      Lesley - Writing and refining is a never ending process for sure!ReplyCancel

  • December 12, 2014 - 2:47 PM

    Natalia Chouklina - I love this article so much Lesley. When I transitioned from hobby writing to professional writing, it took me a long time to find my voice. I felt like I had to write a certain way and ‘be professional’. These days I really don’t care anymore, I write about what I want and it feels amazing! Great jobReplyCancel