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Category Archives: Break-Through

Finding Freedom & Support With Kari Chapin & Eric Nixon – Maven Podcast

finding freedom

Last week we sat down with Kari Chapin and her husband Eric Nixon to talk about their lives, their freedoms and the ways in which they support one another.

Kari is the author of The Handmade Marketplace, Grow Your Handmade Business, and she has a felting book coming out this fall. In her free time (it’s hard to believe she has any) she helps other creatives write their own books and does other creative business consulting.

Eric is an author and poet. He has self-published his book, Emily Dickinson Superhero  Volume 1. Eric also helps his wife with her various business ventures.

Kari and Eric work together, from their home, balancing their personal and professional lives together. Both of them have a great deal of freedom in their day to day lives. In this podcast they share how they got there and the areas where they are still finding freedom.

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Finding Ultimate Freedom Takes Back-up

by Jena Coray, The Maven Circle

jena corayIn what may be one of the largest ironies in life, I think that finding true freedom requires lots of support.

So often we trap ourselves into a life that’s not exactly what we want because we don’t have the support to get us where we really want to go. And no matter how individualistic we can be, we are so affected by the people around us, whether it’s the ones we choose, like friends and partners, or the ones we don’t, like family, neighbors, coworkers- they all create the community of you and either aid to spur or inhibit your freedom.

I was reminded of this on a vacation I just returned from. My mister and I took a roadtrip down the coast of Oregon and California to meet up with my childhood best friend (and basically sister at the time) Megan, who now lives in New Zealand but was here in the states visiting a friend in the San Francisco area. We lost touch after high school and went our separate ways and hadn’t seen each other face to face in 13 years!

As we pulled up to her hotel to take her to dinner, I could feel the butterflies of excitement and anxiousness welling up in my whole being. Would we still connect? Would we still like each other? Would she still be the Megan I remember?

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How To Get More Of What You Want Out Of Everyday

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jen neitzelA friend of mine was telling a story recently about her husband and a house that they used to own together.

It was a fixer upper and my friend and her hubby were always working on the house. At some point they decided to sell the house, but they had a huge list of tasks that needed to be completed before they thought they’d be able to sell the house.

Then the house sold easily and quickly without completing all the items on the list.

My friend’s husband, who was the list maker, pulled out the many undone to-dos after the house sold and said, “What about the list? What should I do with the list?”

He was troubled by not completing all the tasks and didn’t want to just throw it away because this list had been an ever-present, all consuming reference for his time and his days. It directed him and kept him busy and all of a sudden it was totally irrelevant.

Sometimes to do lists, and the items on them, don’t really matter as much as we think they do.

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Truthy Tuesday: On Happiness, discomfort and the thrill of the Vantasy

Truthy Tuesday with Eva Darling

{By guest maven, Eva Darling}

Six years ago, I woke up with the same question that had been plaguing me for months: “Am I ever going to be happy again?”

I had recently split with my husband and I was dragging through life. I smiled and laughed sometimes, but I was not ever happy. I was a shell of a person, wondering always what the point of life was. Constantly asking, is this all there is?”

The thing that was different about that morning six years ago was that I finally had an answer. “What will bring you joy, Eva? What do you want to do?” And my answer was one simple word: TRAVEL.

That was the day that the Vantasy was born. I began saving my money and my life choices all started to point in a single direction toward a new life of exploration in a van with my dog. I aimed my energy to that end. One year later, Ralgh the dog and I left Portland. You cannot imagine how amazing that felt!

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Five Faves: Ways to Shift Out of Stuck by Moving the Energy in your Body

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A lot of times when we’re mentally or emotionally stuck, we sit there trapped in the feeling of it, letting it slump us further in our chairs, shorten our breaths, make our hearts beat a little faster with anxiety.

So, one of the best remedies we’ve discovered to getting unstuck is to get moving, in one way or another. If you can start to shift your physical energy, it immediately shifts your mental and emotional energy as well. So rather then staying stuck in that feeling of frustration or indecision, you can get up and literally, shake it off!

In today’s Maven Minutes we share our Five Fave ways to get unstuck by shifting the energy in your (bodacious) body:

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Maven Podcast :: Slap You In The Face Stuck

slap-you-in-the-face stuck - a maven podcast

“I realized I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing, but not ready to give it up yet either.”

Does that sound familiar? It’s a quote plucked from today’s podcast where we talk about BIG stuck. The kind of stuck that feels like a slap in the face because you don’t know what’s causing it, or how to resolve it, and you’re just not feeling ready to make any sort of move.

You’re not alone! The Mavens have been there too.

This week we share our personal journeys of being stuck in indecision. Jen shares her experience of realizing that the work she did for years wasn’t the work she wanted to do anymore. Jena shares about a time recently when she struggled with motivation and direction and how she’s moved forward.

If you’re struggling with stuckness, or at a crossroads in your life, this is the prefect podcast to get you thinking about the problem from some different, solution based perspectives:

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At a Crossroads, Stuck in Indecision…What to do?

jen and Jena

We got a question from a reader asking us how to handle being at a crossroads in your life. She’s built a business she’s not feeling stoked on any longer and wondering if she should start a new path in the direction of a new passion or whether to return to the 9-5 gig. Which path is right?

Many of us have been at a crossroads in our lives and sometimes when you’re good at a number of things it’s hard to choose which one is the right one. It’s really the dilemma of the multi-talented, which of my skills is best served in the world? What do I like to do the most? Can I make money doing that?

If you do something for awhile only to discover that it’s not for you after all, take heart in knowing, many of us have been there and found that we had to follow our dreams for our well-being, no matter our ages.

Everything you’re doing now is building a body of work and many of those skills are transferable to future work. You are building your skill set whether you’re in your career of choice right now, or not. All the work you do is not for no reason- it’s creating the foundation and room for you to grow into your future.

Our Maven Minutes episode below offers ideas on how to choose the path you’ll be happiest with when you reach a crossroads in life (transcript below):

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Truthy Tuesday: An Artist on Getting Unstuck & Following Her Creative Calling

alena hennessy truthy tuesday

{by guest maven, Alena Hennessy}

Often times in life we get comfortable to our own grooves.

Without even realizing it, years pass, and family, society, personal relationships influence us, often times on sub-conscious levels, and patterns within us are made. Our soul carries these experiences and we allow ourselves to become comfortable in what we know, acting out what life has revealed to us. That is why living an uncommon life, one that asks us to step out of our comfort zone, back into the realm of possibility and true purpose, is both exciting and pretty vulnerable.

It’s an interesting thing I have found about life- as young children we are often never stuck or without that pure zeal and passion for existence. We live in that flow, or moment to moment awareness of the magic that sits right in front of you. So the well of inspiration is rarely dry, and being yourself is not something to strive for, its just what you do.

Remember how that felt? Sure, there was sometimes fear but also, there was pure joy. It’s the process of becoming an adult: responsible, mature, accepted, liked, popular, cool, successful…that gets our minds a little fuzzy, or forgetful of our true nature. The outside world and what others think become incredibly important, and we may forget just what made us tick to begin with.

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On breaking out of the muck of STUCK

jena coray- on breaking through the stuck

jena floating headIt’s fitting that stuck rhymes with muck, because that’s exactly what we get stuck in- the swampy muck and mire of our own self-doubt and expectations.

We deny ourselves so many of our innate, deep desires because they seem too big. And hard. And scary. And so far away.

It seems selfish to go after what I really want, you convince yourself, as your heels start sinking into the mud below. It’s crazy to think I could even do that, anyway, you argue on, slipping ankle deep into the thick sludge.

Then the what ifs? begin, the likes of which you’re powerless against. What if I fall flat on my face and fail? What if I succeed and become rich and famous and I can never find a good man because dating famous guys totally sucks and normal guys are way threatened by powerful women? What if everyone looks at me funny? What if no one even looks at me at all? What if they see that I was never actually smart or pretty or talented enough to do any of this, and that I’m a total sham, and just who the hell do I think I am, anyway?

All the while you’re standing still, in the mud, slowly sinking further and further. You finally look down to see you’re now waist deep in relentless swamp goo and girl, you are stuck. (There’s another choice word that rhymes with stuck that’s perfect to use at this point of realization.)

I have found myself in this waist-deep stuckness too many times to count.

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Maven Minutes :: Trust your inner awesome, change the world!

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What’s a maven exactly, and why do we call ourselves that? Well, the dictionary definition is “expert”, and we believe that we’re ALL experts at something. That we’re ALL here for a purpose. That we ALL have a great path ahead of us to fulfill.

We believe we are all mavens in the act of becoming who we truly want to be!

We’ll be talking about community & connection around here all March long, and we think the greatest thing you can do to impact your community in a positive way is to move toward what makes you happy, to trust yourself, and share your true self with the world.

So we’re starting a movement, Mavens! A movement of people who are committed to follow our dreams, to break through fear and obstacles, to find more presence, balance and fulfillment in everyday.

But it can’t be a movement without YOU.

So in this Maven Minutes, we share what it means, to us, to be a MAVEN and remind you that by changing yourself, you can truly help change the world!

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