Moving Forward

Every time I travel to a new city or country, I learn as much about myself as I do about the new place and culture I find myself in.

But even when I’m not off on an adventure, I find there are so many places to grow.

One of the things I love most about my business is that it has given me numerous opportunities to transform. I had to get to the bottom of money issues. I had to learn how to communicate my value to clients. I had to discover how I can set myself apart from others in this field.

It’s happened in relationships and in school…more and more chances to dig deeper, uncover what’s hidden, be the person you want to be.

We are always on an adventure.

Where are you adventuring most in your life right now?

I want to know. I’m looking for a few special people for a project I’ll be starting in 2015.

(And check out the comments on this post for a special question for all my readers. I would be immensely grateful if you would answer it for me. It’ll help me get to know you a little bit better — and that’s what this is all about for me.)


Looking For Your Singularity

There are many different theories about the origin of the universe, but the most popular among physicists is that the universe burst forth from a singularity.

I like to think we each contain such a singularity, the place where all of our genius and creativity bursts forth from. It’s always there, but discovering what unlocks it, what causes it to really open and swell can sometimes be a challenge.

I’m in the throes of looking for my key right now, of discovering what my big picture is and where I can help in a perfectly unique way.

I’ve been struggling and frustrated. I’m in the middle of a business e-course with over 200 other women who all seemingly have it figured out and I still don’t.

There may be some others out there who know this feeling, so I’ve put together this list of ways to cope. For me. For you.

1. Don’t push.

No matter how much you really freakin’ wish the Universe would finally send you a telegram and clue you in to what the BIG thing you’re supposed to do is, relax. Sit with it. Be where you are. This moment is your purpose and it will take you to your next moment and your next purpose. Over time, it will build.

2. Meditate.

Be in the space in between. Focus on your breath. Sometimes, when you relax your mind and stop searching, the answer comes.

3. Explore everything you love.

Include things you think you might love to do there too. You never know when a hobby may become a calling.

4. Write.

Write your story. We are so often meant to help people with the same challenges we have had in life.

Write in the mornings, when you’re still half asleep and not censoring yourself. Things emerge in those early hours.

5. Set out on an adventure.

Shaking yourself out of your normal routine can help remind you of all the other things you’re good at, besides what you may be doing for work at the moment. For me, traveling in particular has a way of peeling back the layers of who I am to show me all that’s hidden beneath.

6. Ask your friends what you’re good at.

Good friends always see things we don’t. Open up to them, share with them what you love most about them and discover what they love about you. Your genius may be shining incredibly brightly in their eyes.

7. Move.

Hike, run, bike, dance… Put your body in motion, put the intention in your mind, and see what rises up. Like meditation, moving frees the mind up and gets you out of the cobwebs you might feel stuck in.

I want to hear from you: If you’re still searching or if you know that familiar feeling from the past, what do you do? What have you done? When did the realization hit you?


Witching Water

Not far from where I live is a beautiful nature preserve. The trail follows the creek, leading you past small falls and incredibly serene pools where fishermen spend their time. Along the paths, you encounter great rocks that have been moved over time by the water. This is a landscape dominated by water and stone. Eventually, you reach the source, a great falls of incredibly cold, clear water. Beyond that, there is mystery.

I’ve hiked here several times in the past months, alone and with others. On my last trip, I tried my hand at witching water.

My first attempt at witching water last summer was entirely unsuccessful. I was told it was an innate talent — something that you either could do or couldn’t. I watched another do it with ease. The instructions were easy: find a Y-shaped branch from a tree, hold both ends, and walk up and down a path; when there is water, the branch will bend downwards. I took branch into my hands and waited to see if it would move for me as I passed over areas with water underground.

I felt nothing.

I was not one of the lucky ones gifted with this magic. It felt as if the universe had turned its back on me.

There, along the winding path towards the falls, I gave  it another try. There was part of me so desperate for the magic of witching water, and another part of me so sure I could do it, even though I had failed before. So I took another Y-shaped tree branch into my hands and began to walk.

There was nothing at first, not even passing over the tiny streams from rain runoff that made their way down to the creek.

Something then shifted: me.

As I walked, I connected to the water. I felt the water in my body, the water in all of my cells. I imagined a whirlpool of water circling down my right arm, through the branch I held, up my left arm, and across my chest, returning to its origin to repeat its path.

Suddenly, I was witching water.

The sensation was incredibly powerful. I held onto the branch tightly, wrists straight, and it kept bending, down, towards the earth, towards the unseen water underground.

It was then I understood the incredible power we have, and how easily a simple shift can unlock that potential.

And what amazing magic exists in this world.


Discover Your Real Value

Make the time to work on your business — not just work for it

On Friday, I set aside some time to work on my business. During my rebranding this summer, I realized how frequently I get caught up in the day-to-day business of what I do: the emails and estimates, the coding and styling, the phone calls and Skype sessions. I was rarely asking myself what the next evolution of my business might be. Now, I’m making that time to ask myself how I want to grow.

Know what sets you apart

The task last week was to create a document that detailed what good website development was. I often find myself explaining to clients how what I do is different from some other developers out there. What I discovered in the process of writing the document was what I really bring to the project — and after evaluation, I decided that it might just be time to raise my prices (or at least to be insistent on whatever estimates I send out).

If you’re considering starting your own business or changing your rates, I highly recommend you try this exercise.

Discover Your Real Value: An Exercise for Business Owners

1. Divide your page into two columns. At the top of the first column, write “what you’re getting” and list all of the items your client is obviously paying for. In mine, I had notes about my development style, my quick communication, and the little extras I often add into a package at no cost, like the addition of Google Analytics code to a client’s site.

2. At the top of the other column, write “what you’re really getting” and list all of the extras your client is getting and may not know about. For me, this was the way I work with designers, my general positivity, and the other unexpected bonuses of working with me. For a jewelry designer, this may be giving clients information about where materials were sourced or the story behind where the inspiration for a particular piece came from.

You may find that one column is shorter than the other; that’s totally OK. There’s no wrong or right here. But if you stumble when it comes to the second column, ask yourself what you want to be giving to clients that you aren’t at the moment. Decide if that’s something you want to incorporate going forward.

You do so much more than simply provide a service or sell a product. Knowing what your more is will let your business shine even more.


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