Masthead header
  • 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.

Inspiring Women Melodee Bosna

M elodee and I have been friends for many years now, though we have never met. I originally left a comment on her personal blog and then she left one on mine and from that moment on we stayed in touch through email, facebook, Instagram, and of course our respective blogs. She is someone that I admire greatly as she has fought for many things including her marriage and her current lifestyle. She now runs two businesses with two children; talk about inspirational!

Name: Mel Bosna
Occupation: Small business owner of two businesses.

My Story Redeemed, PLLC: I work as a clinical social worker two days a week in private practice. I’m passionate about joining young adults and women as they find healing, with specificity in working through issues that stem from trauma, relationship issues, eating disorders, and body image. I believe that healing is completely possible as I have lived both a broken and a redeemed story.

Owner Lulliloo Photography: While I enjoy many different types of photography, newborn portraiture is my specialty. Nothing reveals the wonder of life better than brand NEW life and therefore taking the time to capture all the little bits of newness is my artistic focus. Sessions require patience and teamwork and the outcome is completely worth it! You can see me in action here. I feel honored to have the opportunity to love on the world with my camera, to give back a little bit of the overwhelming beauty my clients share with me, to gaze on joy.

Website/Blog: http://lulliloophotography.com/blog/

Three of your favorite things to get you through the day (apps/drink/workout):

This varies day to day, since my week is split between my office, my on-location newborn work and my children. I would say that part of my daily survival kit involves the following three things: drinking club soda with mint (it’s my summer drink when it’s hot!), practicing deep breathing throughout both work and home tasks, and texting with my girlfriends throughout the day.

When life feels stressful I repeat a mantra that really helps me re-center: God goes before me, is behind me, is above me, around me. He works in all things, despite all things and will never leave me. I am not alone.

Who are you inspired by, and why?

I’m most inspired by the clients I work with…it takes immeasurable amounts of risk to change. It doesn’t happen all at once, in fact, most steps are so small they can’t be measured. Yet they are brave nonetheless and seeing their lives change and freedom come from brokenness reminds me to keep risking too.

To get where you are today, how did you ‘feel the fear and move through it’ anyway? Where there any moments you thought you’d just simply quit?

I feel like the short answer to how I got through it would be a combination of good therapy and good wine, however a more thoughtful response would highlight that practicing mindfulness was foundational to getting through the initial fear of living a different story. I liken it to childbirth—I had two really powerful birthing experiences, however the only way I navigated either one of them was by staying in the moment. As soon as I started wondering how much longer it was going to take, or much more it might hurt, the panic would set in and the pain would actually increase. My doula would remind me that all I had to do was one contraction at a time, and no matter how tired I felt or much labor hurt, I always knew I could do one contraction. That is how I worked through the fear of changing my career and marriage—one contraction at a time. The second I started thinking about everything I was risking was when the pain worsened. However if I could embrace the pain of what I was risking, literally exhaling out the fear then I knew in my core that I could get through that one moment of it. All the little inhales of hope and exhales of fear amounted to a radically different life than the one I had previously been living.

We always want to know how others balance it all, and I’m sure you feel like you don’t, but tell us some ways on how you stay on top of your game. What gets left behind, what gets top priority, and what helps you stay grounded?

I’m a recovering workaholic so setting boundaries (professionally, relationally and internally) has been a hard yet instrumental skill I’ve had to hone. (It does not come naturally). Several years ago I was the residential director of a nonprofit, working 60-70hr work weeks, pregnant and miserable for a cause. My marriage took a hit, and it was at that season that I knew, for me, no cause was worth sacrificing my family and heart’s well being for. Having my first child was the catalyst for a lot of reevaluation for me as I was no longer willing to work that much, I wanted a healthy marriage and a healthy heart and so taking a significant step BACKWARDS in my career was actually necessary. I resigned with a seven-week-old infant and for over a year neither my husband nor I had steady employment. That move was not logical to anybody and yet I knew intuitively that it was what I needed to be doing. I invested in my businesses and he found work as well, however we only work as much as we have to right now, as we’d rather be together and with our children. I could work a lot more, but choose not to. In this season we don’t travel much, we don’t buy expensive gifts or have a huge home—we do buy quality cheese though, drink champagne and have time to enjoy it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d love to see my career continue to grow, but only in ways that really motivate and inspire me enough to leave my home! I used to think that was a luxury, something only wealthy people could engage in, yet having been dirt poor that first year of self-employment and working my way into a different season I believe that its more about perspective than opportunities.

What are your must-have tools to keep on top of every day tasks as well as your busy life?

I rely on the reminders list on my i-phone like nobody’s business! I’m not a fan of sticky notes or day planners as they tend to get messy and/or become lost in my house. I also love the standard calendar on my mac and have it synced with my phone for easy organization!

Living intentionally takes action and dedication, is there a specific moment in your life where you made the decision to live intentionally? Or has it always been the way you’ve lived life?

I referenced this above—when I had my first child I was working insane hours at a non-profit. Everything in my life was out of balance, and my daughter’s birth was definitively my wake up call. I’ve always lived intentionally however it’s only been in the process of intentionality with my heart and well being that my life has been free!

How has your life changed since you’ve been living it intentionally?

I give myself freedom to say ‘no’ and the freedom to change my mind. I feel like living intentionally within my marriage has been one of the most adult steps I’ve ever taken. I do what’s intuitively right for my heart and family now, regardless of whether it pleases or disappoints anybody else. That usually isn’t easy, however having internal boundaries around what matters allows me to let others’ reactions and societal expectations go. It’s my life, the only one I get, and so I better well damn enjoy it in the way that matters to me.

Have your family/friends been supportive?

Overall those closest and healthiest are 110% behind how I’m living whether they understand it or not. There are plenty of other people disappointed that I’m not more available (both professionally and socially) however I’m really finding peace with that. Others’ emotions and expectations are not my property to manage. Accepting that people have a right to how they feel and what they want, without any pressure to do anything in response to it has been liberating! The healthy relationships I have remind me to hope, dream and persevere where it actually matters.

Do you have any rituals or friends you call upon when you need extra support or encouragement?

Yes…Prayer is huge for me! I believe in it, find my footing in it, relax in it—nothing comforts me more than prayer and the safety of my community. My life is messy still—I’m running two small businesses, I have a toddler and an infant, I don’t have a lot of time to spare and I work with a population in my practice who is recovering and yet often deeply in crisis. So prayer and community are where I run to, often. It is the difference between taking on the world (which didn’t work for me) and taking on hope (which always brings life to me).

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to live intentionally but doesn’t know where to start?

YOU matter. You have perfect, whole, absolute, permanent worth. You’ve been determined to be worth creating, worth showing up for, worth sticking around for, worth fighting for and dying for. You have nothing to prove, and it is because you matter that your story matters. So anytime you find yourself living a story that is not the one you want to be living, you CAN change it! You are an adult, and it is your responsibility to take care of your heart and live a good story. It is the very best thing you can offer the world, I promise.

Where do you look to draw from when you want inspiration, visual or narrative, for the life you intend to live?

I follow several people on instagram who inspire me (Natalie Norton, Donald Miller, Lesley Stefanski!)

I’m always inspired to hear what other people’s dreams are, what dream of yours are you currently working towards that you envision happening in the next year?

We’d like another adventure—perhaps moving to another state, trying on a new subculture. Professionally I’d like to open up a new studio or hone my skills with EMDR. However I’m living a dream right now that I didn’t think was possible, I’m protective of this season and unwilling to sacrifice it.

To be the first to know when the next Inspiring Women Series publishes, subscribe to the newsletter.

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 that you can start implementing immediately.

Last bit of London-11
After many years of stopping into antique stores and markets I finally find a set of antique tea cups that capture my attention as we wander through the Portobello Market on a Friday morning. Hand painted gold rim and a beautiful teal design, simple yet elegant in an art deco style. Mister sees my eyes sparkle at the thought of taking them home and has the woman at the stand wrap them up for me. We stroll through the rest of the stalls and I take everything in. The buildings, the locals, the stores off of Westbourne Grove, and the endless inspiration of fashion. As we make our way home Isla pulls on my sleeve and pulls me close, and then nestles her head into my shoulder. My heart melts.

Last bit of London-01Last bit of London-02Last bit of London-04Last bit of London-06Last bit of London-09

We spend a Saturday with the plans of seeing Buckingham Palace and although it takes us all day to get there, it is the most fabulous of days of walking through the centre of London enjoying the architecture as well as running into a fabulously dressed wedding party of guests. We stop into an Italian restaurant in Mayfair and we are proud of our daughter as she eats pasta along side us, completely content to enjoy her meal.

There are many meals shared with my small family, and we always walk away exclaiming how well mannered she is. How we anticipate when she will break down but also know how much she enjoys food that it can easily distract her.

An afternoon spent on our last weekend in London we take the train to Greenwich to the Royal Observatory and there we meet the beautiful Victorian structure of Greenwich Mean time. But even more breath taking is the view from the top of the hill and it quickly becomes my favourite view of London. The park grounds now filled with autumn colours, the Old Royal Naval Collage below and then the city scape ever flowing behind it. We linger for as long as we can before the chill starts to set into our bones.

Last bit of London-13Last bit of London-14
I have a morning to myself and schedule a viewing at 18 Stafford Terrace and quickly become swept away into the old Victorian home. I become inspired by the welcoming atmosphere, the endless paintings and drawings on the wall – leaving a story and mark, the silver tray, the ornate handwriting of social engagements and dinner menus, the William Morris wall paper, staff to tend to housekeeping and cooking and taking care of the children, of horseback riding in Hyde Park. All of it surrounds me in a beautiful portrayal of life in the late 1800′s and I’m captivated. Later I walk around the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea completely at peace to linger at street corners imagining what it would have been like to be born in the same year as the first World Expo and then to pass away before the start of World War I, what an exciting and elegant time in history.

As our time in London came to an end I become completely enchanted and captivated with the city – more than I ever have before. And throughout it all there is an energy, an inspiration bursting from me and I find myself writing and blogging like never before. I feel moved to dream bigger while continuing to soak up the dream we are living.

Last bit of London-15Last bit of London-10

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 that you can start implementing immediately.

What a newsletter looks like
Have you thought about adding your name to my newsletter but concerned it might just be another spam email in your inbox to contend with? It has never been my intention to send spam emails or to send words that do not inspire or fulfill you.

I thought, just perhaps, if you were interested I would show you what I do send. And I only send emails when I feel like I have something to say. This is what I sent last week to my newsletter subscribers, who I refer to as my secret society of supporters.

Dearest,

In a world where we are forever moving as fast as we possibly can to get to the next task, to make sure we are there for the next event, to make sure we anticipate the next breakdown it can be difficult to live.

To truly live, in the moment. Eyes wide open.

To fully realize that we are living a dream that was once exactly that, a dream…a vision of what life could be like. A ‘wouldn’t it be nice?’.

It is too easy to strike the task ‘complete’ and move onto to the next without realizing that we should breathe and take it all in. You accomplished something that a moment ago was something that you didn’t know would actually come true.

Whether that be:
washing the dishes.
getting yourself dressed in the morning.
cuddling your little babe in dark of the night.
starting your business.
getting that first sale.
owning your dream home.
starting your retirement fund.
going on that long desired trip.
moving across the world.

It can be so easy to just move onto what’s next instead of letting yourself live in your dream, and soak up every moment of it.

There have been moments of this for me, while living here in London. There are times when I want to start planning and dreaming of our next season abroad and even moments when I dream of my big tub back home.

But I have to remind myself, live the dream now. Soak this up, enjoy the moment, etch it into your memory. Because, this too shall pass.

I want to encourage you to also breathe deep, soak in your surroundings, and enjoy the moment. No matter what it is, you have accomplished something today!

always,
lesley

If you’d like to sign up for the newsletter, you can do that here (or below) and you receive my Workbook as a gift! I would love to have you along, my newsletter feels like an extension of my blog where I share my heart with you.

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 that you can start implementing immediately.

On our way to Porto-02
Our time in London has sadly come to an end, but our time in Europe as not. We are on our way to a new adventure to spend another month in the sunny riverside city of Porto, Portugal.

We have never been to Porto let alone Portugal so we are very much looking forward to exploring a new city as well as some of the country on weekends. If you have any recommendations, I would love to hear them!

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 that you can start implementing immediately.

A London WeekendALondon Weekend-03London Weekend-03
Friday we venture towards Bank and I take him to Leadenhall Market, a place that was used as Diagon Alley for the Harry Potter films. He is an avid fan of the novels and production and when we arrive he takes in the architecture and the stalls, all with Isla by his side. It is the sweetest thing to watch. Him and her cuddled closely together against the London wind as we experience new sights together.

The weekend is spent in total relaxation with us all in loungewear and it passes by quickly. Mister and Isla take walks in the crisp autumn air while I stay home in the warmth of our flat. There are soaks in the bath and time spent reading novels and magazines. I finally feel recharged and replenished after almost a month of travel and giving of myself to my family.

On Monday we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with friends from Vancouver over a simple dinner but always lively conversation. When the evening is over and we’ve said goodbye to our guests we fall to sleep quickly yet thankful for all we have.

By Tuesday we are ready to explore London some more and make our way towards the Natural History Museum in Kensington and he is completely in his element, and soon I am as well, as it brings us back to our primary school days of learning all about the earth and the animals that once ruled it. As we pass by exhibits soon I am completely taken with the architecture of the building and a gasp escapes me. It is so grand and beautiful I can hardly contain my excitement. One of the reasons I adore and love Europe is for all it’s architecture and design it has developed over the centuries, and having citizens who want to preserve it.

There is a moment on Thursday when she goes down for her afternoon nap and he looks at me and says ‘go out on your own, I’ll watch her’. I almost don’t know what to do with myself but am elated at the freedom. I wander in and out of stores hitting all my favourites: Jo Malone, The White Company, Paperchase, LK Bennett all the while completely at ease with myself. I stop in at Fortnum & Mason and pick up a tin of Countess Grey. I wish to have time to sit and enjoy an afternoon tea but instead to return home happy with my purchase.

A weekend in LondonLondon Weekend-06London Weekend-07London Weekend-08