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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.

I am so excited to bring this interview series to you. I envisioned the Inspiring Women Series last year while enjoying a cup of tea and scrolling through my Instagram feed. I realized that in one tiny app, and in real life, I had surrounded myself with Inspiring Women and I wanted to know more about them. This past June I started reaching out to these women who inspired me and asked if they’d like to be featured as part of the series, and the response has blown me away.

One of the reasons why I was really motivated to introduce the Inspiring Women Series is because as a life coach and blogger it can be easy to write about life and say things like “if you live life like me, you can find happiness” but I don’t want to be that type of person. I’m passionate about women creating and living an intentional life that authentically reflects them and their dreams.

And because of that desire for women to live in a way that truly reflects them I want the interview series to showcase other women who are living intentional lives, dreaming big, and working hard to achieve their dreams. I want to showcase women from all different walks of life, who are living life the way they feel most lead to live it, and are happy – truly happy living life this way.

I honestly didn’t think that these women would say yes. I assumed their lives were too busy and that I was too little of a business for people to want to participate. I had big dreams in the Inspiring Women Series but didn’t actually believe in myself – that my vision had a purpose. I started small by reaching out to a few women who I knew in person and who I originally approached with the idea last year. The moment I received my first yes is when things started changing for me. I then saw that my mindset of playing small was limiting me and that if I allowed myself to let go of my own fear and restrictive mentality that I could reach further than I ever imagined.

I felt the fear of feeling small and insignificant and moved through it to reach out to inspiring women who had bigger audiences, who own successful businesses, who know what they want and desire, and who live life differently than I do but live it intentionally. I did all of this while thinking of you so that I would bring the best women who would inspire you to live your life in a way that truly reflects you.

I truly believe that there is a group of women who want to collaborate, inspire, and encourage one another. And I’m working to gather them together here for you to learn from and be inspired by the way they live their lives.

As I read through each response I myself am already inspired and implementing certain ways that they live their lives into my every day. Every time I read through the answers I am almost in tears because I am so thankful that each woman has taken the time to answer the questions in such detail so that we can feel supported and encouraged to live our lives intentionally and create the life we WANT to live.

I’m so incredibly excited and thrilled to bring you the Inspiring Women Series, which begins next Wednesday!

To be the first to know when the Inspiring Women Series launches and all subsequent features 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.

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The dream was there. I could envision every flavour, floral, lit candle, the music and the draped fabric before me and it was beautiful. I  knew I wanted to create a beautiful and luxurious event and have it focus on ‘pursuing the truth of who you are to create the life of your dreams’. All my senses were engaged in this dream and I so wanted it to happen, right then and there. I also knew that I didn’t have the skills to actually make it happen.

I’m a dreamer, a visionary. A creator and an artist. I can dream and see visions of smaller and larger scales. I can I work backwards and forwards and I circle around to see the full scale picture. I can see everything come to life.

When I envisioned these beautiful events where women gathered to gain inspiration and make changes in their life, I knew without a doubt that as much as I wanted to host them, I didn’t have it in me to actually make it happen to the full extent that I wanted them to be.

But I felt the fear and decided to do it anyway.

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My first group coaching soiree I did it all. I created the content, I designed and coordinated, I ran all over town to find the perfect flowers and the perfect cake and the perfect cake stand for it to sit upon. The night of the event I laid out all the food, lit all the candles, arranged the flowers just so, and pressed play to start the soft piano music. Before the evening had begun I was already feeling exhausted from pulling everything together. And yet, I wasn’t done giving.

The evening was beautiful and we all fully enjoyed the ambiance as well as the discussion. But I knew I wanted to deliver more, and that meant I needed to concentrate on what I was good at.

Dreaming and delivering engaging and evocative discussions that connect people - that fills me up and leaves me energized.

Coordinating and organizing, while running around town finding the best products (as much as an accomplishment I feel when I finally find it) leaves me drained and dry.

I knew I needed and wanted an event planner to help me pull the events together to allow me to fully step into my desires and live life to the fullest.

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It’s amazing how when you open yourself up to living a truly intentional and authentic way how life responds to you. When I first started dreaming of these events I knew I wanted someone to do all the coordination for me, but I didn’t think it would be possible until later in my career – perhaps when I was more established.

My first event a woman came and mentioned that she dreamed of being an event planner. I felt the stars align.

I got her on board to coordinate and design my events for me, and it’s been the best decision ever!

While she coordinated and planned I was able to spend time putting together the content and delivering in ways that I didn’t know was possible. I didn’t have to worry or stress out about last minute details, or worry that the candles weren’t lit. I was able to get ready and prepare myself mentally, emotionally, and physically in a way that allowed me to slow down and catch a breath. I was able to fully release myself into what I’m naturally good at and release myself from what I’m not.

For me, the second Group Coaching Soiree was even better than the first. I was able to be present and aware. I was able to connect and prepare myself for what I needed to bring to the table. I was able to stay filled and energized and be fully give to the women who came to pursue their truth and create the life of their dreams.

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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.

  • August 1, 2014 - 10:18 AM

    Nicole Calla - Thank you, Lesley, for giving me the opportunity to work with you. It was such a pleasure to design and coordinate the details of your second group coaching soiree!ReplyCancel

  • August 9, 2014 - 11:01 AM

    Jennifer - Things and persons come to our life for a reason. This story shows to wonderfully that everything is possible and we just have to follow our desires and everything else will be taken care of.ReplyCancel

    • August 12, 2014 - 9:43 AM

      Lesley - Exactly Jennifer!ReplyCancel

While writing emails back and forth with a friend, we were describing our days to one another. Writing the highlights and the lowlights of our journey through motherhood. As I read line after line of her day I felt so envious of her life. Ashamed to be dealing with envy in my friendship with her at first, I then wondered can envy be a positive feeling?

There I was feeling like my life wasn’t good enough, that something was missing. When the truth of the matter was that my life is pretty fabulous and I can’t complain about it. I’m living a life where I’m attracting people and experiences that inspire me. And since I feel like I’m living a positive and intentional life, dealing with envy in friendships can leave me confused. But I still envied her life and started assessing why this was coming up for me.

I wrote to her telling her of my envy and she confessed that she envied my life as well.

How is that even possible? There she was living this gorgeous and beautiful life and envying mine?

It allowed us to both be vulnerable with each other, to say ‘Hey, I think your life sounds perfect, I want it…or elements of it!’.

When I assessed where this feeling of envy was coming from, I realized it was because there was more to life I wanted to live than I already was. There were elements of her life that I wanted to sprinkle into mine. There were experiences and people that I wanted to introduce into my every day.

Dealing with envy in friendship can highlight the desires you want to infuse into your life. It can bring you in alignment to your authentic self in ways you never thought possible.

Moving away from negative energy that is typically associated with envy to a positive one, has allowed me to be open to what I want to create in my life. It has allowed me to feel okay being envious of someone else, because it’s highlighting desires that I didn’t know I wanted.

Having envy pop up for you doesn’t mean that you’re a horrible person or that you should shame yourself for feeling that way. Envy can just be pinpointing you in the direction of your dreams.

Next time you find envy coming up, assess where it’s coming from and why. Welcome it positively and you never know what will come out of it.

Envy might help you create the life you’ve been looking for.

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I walked down the sweeping stairs of a gorgeous modern home with my heart in my throat and a weight being lifted off my shoulders. It felt so right, but I wondered, why did I feel so sad and as if my future has just disappeared right in front of me? I walked into the room where my friends had gathered and I pulled the diamond ring off my left hand to place it on the desk in front of me. “It’s over, we broke up, I am no longer getting married” with no tears at all. They said they were sorry in the most comforting way possible, but what I couldn’t see at the time was how happy they were for me.

I had spent the past year and half dating and being engaged to a boy that I thought was good for me at the time, but a relationship I should have never entered into.

We had known each other for years, having attended the same bible camp as teens and having the same mutual friends, it seemed rather natural that we would start dating. However, we started dating with the intention of getting married and that was the worst way to begin our relationship. Before we had gone on an official date or even decided if we were a good fit together, we had committed ourselves to each other. This of course was a product of the community that we were brought up in and believed we were doing the right thing.

Our first year together went quite well. We laughed a lot, took road trips all over and spent many night talking under moonlit skies before jumping into the car to find a cliff to watch the sun rise from. He supported me emotionally while I attended college and I supported him through the roller coaster of his health. We dreamed together and made plans for our future, and most definitely discussed our wedding.

Almost a year to the day when we had the discussion that we’re in this for life we took a road trip to our favourite beach, and there under a cloudy warm summer day, he got down on his knee and proposed.

I remember the whole world fading away, except for one man just behind us smiling and my then boyfriend eagerly awaiting my response. In a split second my heart and head had a discussion. My heart was screaming “NO! No! No, don’t do this!” My head, however, responded very calmly “Of course you’ll say yes, you said you were starting this relationship to become married, of course it’s yes”.

I said yes and we hugged and kissed, laughing at the wonderfulness of our future together. He drove me home to the house on a hill that I shared with four other girls. I hid the news from from my roommates for days, and I honestly can’t remember when I called my parents. I do remember my parents not being surprised, since he had asked them for permission, but they had asked us to a wait another year before tying the knot. I don’t really remember them being overly happy about the news.

Within days of us getting engaged our relationship started to breakdown.

We fought constantly about our expectations of the other. He made endless comments about how I dressed, suggesting at one time that I dressed like Brittany Spears from the early 2000′s. I couldn’t understand this as I was constantly in jeans and a t-shirt, never wore shorts, and had just purchased my first bikini to wear on the hammock in my back yard – I couldn’t imagine wearing it in public. I was very self conscious of my body.

One evening in the dead of the night, parked in a dark lot at the edge of a beach, we were in the midst of another argument. We yelled, we screamed, we both threw tantrums feeling like the other wasn’t listening. Suddenly he tells me he can’t deal with it anymore, opens the car door and walks toward the beach till I can’t see his silhouette against the light from a beach home. I sit there, with tears streaming down my face wondering what I did to cause him such pain? I began thinking of ways to make him happy in an attempt to fix us. Then suddenly, I realized that he walked away and left me abandoned in his car alone without keys and with no cellphone coverage. I decided I didn’t deserve to be treated this way, and walked away from the car without a note.

I walked down a dark street until I knew I’d have cellphone coverage again and called my roommate who I knew would come get me without asking any questions and without judgement. Little did I know she would ask questions, and once I was home my roommates sat me down and tried ever so gently to tell me how the relationship I was in was toxic.

At the time I didn’t see how damaged I had become or the damage I was causing him by continuing in the relationship. I was depressed, I made excuses for his behaviour, I allowed myself to be emotionally and mentally abused because we had said we were in this relationship forever. To me it was a promise I couldn’t break. The community that I surrounded myself in, I believed that if I broke it off it would be like I was divorcing him and I’d be forever looked at as a sinner.

However, my roommates saw it and knew I couldn’t help myself, so one of them did something behind my back that forever changed the course of my life.

She called my mom.

She told my mom the whole story and everything that she saw going on between us, everything that I couldn’t see and wouldn’t see. She explained how much I had changed and how I was not the person I once was or should be. She told my mom that she needed to come and get me then take me home.

That day my roommate rescued me from a relationship that would have left me miserable and utterly unhappy.

Two months later, when I called to tell him I would be late arriving at his place, he told me to not bother coming. At first I thought he meant that weekend, as if me missing the ferry had upset him. And then he tells me that he doesn’t know who I am anymore and doesn’t believe we should get married. I ask why. I ask what can I do to fix it. I say everything you can imagine to stay together, believing I have to do everything to make him happy again. In the end nothing would do, and I say “okay”.

Surprisingly, there were no tears. Just a complete understanding. The tears, however, came days later when I realized how much of myself I had poured into our relationship, how much of I had given up and given away, how I felt like my future no longer existed because it only existed in him.

As I told my friends that is was over I remember my heart feeling so much joy, but not being able to explain it at the time. I was finally free to begin living a life full of happiness and that day, a broken engagement and leaving an unhealthy relationship, set me on the path to discovering what truly makes me happy.

  • July 18, 2014 - 3:49 PM

    Jenna - Gorgeously written. What a gift he gave you both to truely become who you both were meant to be.ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2014 - 5:18 PM

    grama - A break up is always sad for the persons involved an engagement is a little harder. We saw what was happening and could do nothing, you would have retaliated and maybe married him. I was so glad when I heard it was over. Sorry for the hurt many of us have been through this and understand.ReplyCancel

  • July 18, 2014 - 6:50 PM

    Jeffrey - In his defence the early 2000′s were super good to BritanyReplyCancel

  • July 25, 2014 - 10:43 AM

    Amy - As you can imagine, I relate to this very well. <3ReplyCancel

    • July 25, 2014 - 12:24 PM

      Lesley - Yes, I can only imagine what your experience was like.ReplyCancel

  • July 31, 2014 - 9:44 AM

    Halley - I get this. I tried dating a dude who was not right and thought if I put 110% into the relationship maybe it could work. Luckily my roommate and friend told me to walk away. Thank god I did.

    Super glad that this worked out in the end for the best!ReplyCancel

    • July 31, 2014 - 10:35 AM

      Lesley - Isn’t it wonderful when our roommates and friends can tell you how it is and know they are doing it out of love?!ReplyCancel

How to be a mother 05
I hear the question repeated time and time again from women who may or may not have children, but all are wondering the same thing ‘can I be a mother in a way that feels good’, which always follows with ‘is it possible to to be attentive, warm, and nurturing to your babe(s) all while staying true to your femininity, grace, purpose, while also living a life?’

My simple answer, yes.

I am fully aware I am writing this with a fresh babe on my hip, and not with two or more children playing around my feet or years of mothering behind me, but I feel like I have found how to mother in a way that truly feels good to me. By following this process I’ve entered into motherhood with a foundation on which I will continue my practice in a truly feminine and elegant way.

And that is exactly what mothering is, a practice.

PRACTICE: perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

Being a mother isn’t supposed to be a way of living by a strict rule book of do’s and don’ts. It is supposed to be a growing role, day in and day out, where you are constantly navigating what feels good to you and your child(ren) while also living life in a way that reflects your values. Mothering, parenting for that matter, shouldn’t be a role full of fear of what other’s will think or where we pass judgement upon one another, it should be a full acceptance on how you have chosen to live your life, how you’ve chosen to mother.

Being a Mother, what that looks like and how it feels, is different for every single woman. Just like your child’s fingerprint, it is truly unique. I love how each of us as women have the ability to grow and can continue to practice how to live life with a growing babe, in a way that feels good to us.

I have been asked frequently about how I mother, how I’ve come into my mothering role with such elegance and ease. And in all honesty, I didn’t feel like I was adequate enough to give any sort of response. Who am I to give advice on how to mother in a way that feels good? But then I realized, if people were asking, it’s because apparently I do know.

I’m not saying I have it right and I’m also not saying this is the only answer. Because it’s not, but this is how I’ve chosen to mother, and it truly feels good to me, day in and day out.

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Put yourself first

Before I was pregnant my vision of motherhood looked like a constant cranky baby, long sleepless nights, our marriage fallen to pieces, and me day after day in yoga pants and 3 day old chips in my hair. This is what I fully expected to happen to me. So just hours after Isla was born I was showered, hair done, a soft layer of makeup applied, and a maxi dress on so that I felt comfortable yet still feminine. Setting that intention, or being completely afraid of my vision, and a quick recovery from labour set the foundation of making sure that every day I am showered and dressed in an outfit that is flattering and that I feel elegant and feminine in since the day she was born.

My morning routine takes about 30 minutes, and every day I make sure it happens. Usually this is when Isla takes her morning nap, sometimes it’s when Mister and her spend a few moments together playing before he heads to work. No matter what, I make it a priority that for 30 minutes a day I spend some time on me as it allows me to fully concentrate on the flow of the day instead of worrying that I’m losing myself.

This isn’t selfish, it’s priorities. Just like in an airplane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping your child, the same applies here. You cannot mother to your full capacity if you are feeling like you are losing yourself in the process. Perhaps that isn’t what you would do to put yourself as a priority, it might be taking a bath, doing your nails, getting a workout in, talking on the phone with a friend, but find out what it is then do it every day so you know you are putting yourself first.

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Set your intentions

Much of how I’ve decided to mother in a way that feels good to me, falls into this category. I set my intentions early on how I wanted mothering to look like for me.

My first intention is everything to be simple.

Our daily life is simple. Within a month of Isa’s birth I knew we needed to have a schedule because when I tried to do ‘on demand/with the flow’ I found myself frustrated and confused as to when she should be napping, when to make appointments, or when I would find time to have lunch to nurture myself. I quickly put us on a schedule , one that I now call a rhythm for our family. A rhythm, because some days the pace is fast like the momentum of a quick step or slow like the sway of a waltz. Because of my desire for simplicity, I only schedule one appointment/meet-up a day and always have one or two days a week where we don’t see anyone.  I’ve chosen not to attend any mommy-and-me groups so that I can keep close contact with the relationships I  forged before having a child – this has been extremely important to my wellbeing it has kept me grounded and feeling like I’m still in-tune with my pre-baby life. I’ve also allowed myself to say no when the day is too out of sync and I know I wouldn’t be able to give my full attention to the friend I am meeting with. Some days do go completely sideways, and I stay open and flexible so that each day has an overall sense of ease to it instead of stress. Because I’ve integrated a simple schedule into our lives it makes it easy to work around to meet with friends, plan date nights, or spend the whole day with her in a relaxed state.

My second intention is keeping a home that reflects us.

We have as little toys as possible and before it’s purchased we decide if it will fit into our home and lifestyle. Bold bright colours cause me a lot of anxiety so anything of that nature isn’t brought into our home – toys or clothing. We are made fun of because the three of us are constantly matching in our attire. We don’t do this on purpose, but everything we live with and in has been carefully considered making sure it suits us personally. We just seem to be attracted to neutral tones with classic elegant colours like black and white, navy and gray, soft pinks and nudes and that is showcased time and time again through the design of our home, our clothing, and the toys we select for Isla to develop with.

I’ve been told that Isla NEEDS to have colourful outfits or toys, things that light up and make noise. And when that is said to me I have moments of panic that perhaps I’m depriving her of developing properly, but then I realize she is perfectly happy with me and the calm peaceful surrounding we have created for her. Why would I surround myself with items that cause me to stress which then in turn would stress her out as well.

My third intention is to accept parenting advice with love.

This is much harder as it’s given to me in the most unlikeliest of places, like scrolling through facebook for example. You see people sharing posts about how not being on your phone is the best way to parent, how crying it out will cause serious damage and break the bonds of trust, how baby lead weaning is the best way to introduce solids, co-sleeping is best, no babe sleeping in her crib alone is best. Well intentioned friends and family give you guidance from their experience. Everything is well intended, but extremely overwhelming especially when navigating motherhood at the very beginning of your journey.  Knowing this, I didn’t want to get my back up and feel like I was being judged or told I need to change. I decided to accept every single piece of parenting advice as a welcoming hand for guidance, a source of experience, a circle of support to create my mothering role within.

When I’m given parenting advice, whether it’s from family, friends or a parenting book, I acknowledge it and then before putting that expectation or obligation upon myself to fulfill, I make sure it aligns with the above intentions and either implement and see how it works or decide it’s not for me with no hard feelings. It has been the most freeing experience, to fully accept unsolicited parenting advice, then continuing to mother in a way that feels good!

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Communicate, always

This is the most important component on how to mother in a way that feels good to you. You must communicate your priorities and your intentions to yourself and to those who are supporting you through your practice of motherhood. This role isn’t easy and it will quickly drain you of all energy and confidence if you don’t communicate your needs and expectations to others.

We told our family and friends that we didn’t want any toys or a baby shower prior and after Isla’s birth, and I know I crushed my mom’s dream of hosting one for me, but we really didn’t want to build a registry or receive gifts from people that may not fit with us, our home, or our lifestyle. This has greatly reduced the amount of toys, clothing, and baby accessories that we own and it feels so good!

Mister and I are constantly communicating with each other about our needs as a man and a woman, husband and wife, mother and father. We talk about our goals that we want to achieve individually and as a family. We set out plans and put important events in our schedule that we know we want to experience whether it’s a girls weekend for me, or golf day for him, or every saturday morning he hikes up the side of a mountain so he can have some time alone.

You have to be willing and able to communicate your needs, especially when it comes to how you’re feeling about mothering and being a mother. It hasn’t been easy for me, to transition from not wanting children to now having one, but when I’m open and honest with myself and with Mister on how I’m dealing with life it makes it easier to say ‘I need a day off at least once a month for me to be the wife and mother I want to be’ and then suddenly being gifted with two days off with no expectations to fulfill the role of wife and mother except to recharge and do what feels good.

There is so much more that I could go into, but this is just a start of how I mother in a way that feels good to me. I’ve chosen to embodied my mothering rolevwith femininity, elegance, ease, and lots of fun as well.

I would love to hear, whether you have children or not, how you mother or how you intend to mother in a way that feels good to you.

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  • July 9, 2014 - 8:41 AM

    Jenna - I totally agree with everything you’ve said. Even people posting how tired, horrible they feel, broken down relationships,how going to the grocery store is a vacation scares us potential future moms right out of it. Everyone has made it seem like a life sentence. Some realize what they’ve said has scared the “future moms” and follow up with something nice but the fear has already been set. great post!ReplyCancel

  • July 11, 2014 - 3:55 AM

    Jenny - I love this post. I can see you in it and I love that you put yourself first. This post actually applies not only to motherhood but I think to every woman. How often do we say “I don’t have time for my morning routine because…” even without children. And how often don’t we communicate with our husband about or wishes and goals for life. You have to be a woman first to be a great mother. And as far as I can see it you are a wonderful mother to Isla :-) ReplyCancel