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Category Archives: Truthy Tuesday

Truthy Tuesday: One Creative’s path from starving to thriving

Truthy Tuesday with Luna Jaffe

{By Guest Maven, Luna Jaffe}

When I starting selling my hand painted silk I was 23 years old.

I remember the cycle well: use credit cards to buy silk and dye, paint for several weeks, sell at local craft fairs, pay off the credit cards, rinse and repeat. I don’t know how I had enough for food, rent, insurance and travel, but somehow I did. It certainly wasn’t because I planned it out and used a budget. I was a master of flying by the seat of my pants. Grand Master, in fact.

Then I became a “professional” dancer with Do Jump Movement Theater here in Portland. I was paid, but when I figured out my hourly rate it hovered around $3.50/hour. My “job” as a dancer was not any more helpful than my income from selling my artwork, yet I was living the life and as long as I lived in the moment, life was beautiful.

When I turned thirty I started to worry about money. My father died suddenly that year, and I lost some of my innocence and naiveté. My creative lifestyle was both carefree and stressful. I had no boss, and thought this was the definition of freedom. I could do want I wanted, when I wanted. Woohoo!

But a car repair, or injury would throw me into a tizzy, and my stress level would skyrocket. My therapist encouraged me to look at my resistance to money.

Gulp. I thought that ignoring it was working just fine, thank you. She said something that stuck with me:

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Truthy Tuesday: How Blogging is Creating Freedom For Me, Emotionally and Financially

Truthy Tuesday with Caylie Price

{By guest maven, Caylie Price}

Eighteen months ago my blog and business were effectively a hobby.

Twelve months ago I needed a new direction in life. Everything I’d known had been turned upside down, never to be the same again.

Through the unexpected breakup of my relationship I was left homeless, financially insecure and heartbroken. I’d seriously considered giving up my blog and business in an attempt to save the relationship but of course they weren’t the only factor.

I wanted to move away for a fresh start but through choices I had made financially, it wasn’t possible.

I vowed never to be in the same position again. I vowed to create my freedom, but at the time, through the emotion, wasn’t able to comprehend how I’d achieve it.

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Truthy Tuesday: A couple’s plan for play- visiting every darn town in Oregon

photo by Jolie Griffin

{by guest maven, Jolie Griffin}

What if we visit every town in Oregon?

Greg, my husband, and I played around with this thought for years and years. It was a fun daydream to indulge in while on road trips. We’d kick the concept around every once in awhile only to forget it when we returned home. Our normal life would resume and we’d get caught up in the day to day minutia of our busy lives.

Last summer, we found ourselves talking about the idea more and more. Instead of pushing the idea to a back burner for another time, we started planning and plotting how to pull this off. Slowly, the concept felt more tangible as we discussed the nuts and bolts. Our excitement grew as the idea grew. Greg built a website and we settled on the atlas that would act as our guide. It took a solid month to iron out the kinks and get a game plan. At the end of the month, we had a structure in place and Ending in Zigzag was born.

MC Ending in Zigzag

{editor’s note: all gorgeous photos- lots more below- by Jolie Griffin}

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Truthy Tuesday: Getting Unstuck by Letting Go

truthy tuesday with joanna platt

{By Guest Maven, Joanna Platt}

Two weeks ago I finished all of my requirements for my coach training program.

I am officially a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner. Not only do I have all the credentials I need to move my business full speed ahead, but I have the time to make it happen.

Throughout my training I’d been brainstorming ways to grow my business and was actively trying to get my name out there and let people know what I was up to. Though I’d had some leads here and there, not much was really happening.

I was so excited when a sorority sister reached out to me on Facebook to set up a meeting. We had a complimentary session and it went great. She wanted to get coaching around a career change, one of my favorite topics, and it seemed like a good fit. I was excited and she was excited. I sent over a coaching agreement and a list of next steps.

When she responded to my email saying she’d changed her mind, I was bummed. Super bummed. I cried quite a bit. But then, I realized I was kind of relieved. When I took her sessions off my calendar, I was happy. Happy because my weeknights were free.

Since graduating from college, my weeknights have always been packed. After realizing that my dream job of teacher was actually not for me, I started spinning my wheels trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. And in the process I packed my schedule to numb the pain of not knowing.

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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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Truthy Tuesday: A busy blogger on finding balance & her proverbial pruning shears

truthy tuesday with erin loechner

{By Guest Maven, Erin Loechner}

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editor’s note by Jena: I reached out to the insightful and delightful Erin of Design for Mankind, one of my favorite bloggers, to see if she could write a guest post for us on balance. She responded saying, “I’m wondering if I can submit something I’ve already written? My priority is with my family these days, so I haven’t been putting in a lot of time into guest posting or writing elsewhere…” and she sent a link along to a beautiful post she had recently written on slowing down.

I thought, dang. Not only is this post perfect to share with our readers, but seeing Erin actually walk the walk and define her priorities and make a decision from there was a truly great example of acting from a balanced place. So now, I think she’s even more awesome. And I’m so happy she’s agreed to let us share this post with you here, originally published on Design For Mankind.

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Whenever I find myself saying, “I don’t have time,” I mentally re-word the phrase into “That’s just not a high priority for me right now.”

Because I have the same 24 hours as you do and your neighbor does and the uncle who took you to your first movie growing up had. But our priorities are different.

My priority right now, this very second, is to maintain a healthy relationship with my husband, care for (and find enjoyment in) the early months of my daughter’s life and end the day feeling fulfilled, restful and at peace. (I have a theory that I, personally, can only juggle three priorities at once, but I know many folks who have plates that overfloweth and feel content in that state. I am not one of those folks.)

What this means is that I often check myself throughout the day to make sure I’m working toward those priorities. When I sit down at my desk to work, I stop and think about what I’m hungry for (not literally, although that answer will likely be some form of cheese). Today, I was hungry to write. To have a conversation with myself that might result in some sort of personal growth. To host a discussion about priorities and timing and work and balance and helping others and all things good and perfect, Amen. And by feeding this hunger, I know I’ll end my day feeling fulfilled (priority #3 for those keeping score at home).

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Truthy Tuesday: On finding your center of gravity & defining success on your own terms

truthy tuesday with bridget benton

{By guest maven, Bridget Benton}

Balance is dynamic. It’s an in-motion kind of a thing.

Imagine standing or walking over big, smooth, round river rocks. You’re tuned into a center of gravity, deep in your core, and every step moves from that place.You can feel tiny muscles all over your body twitching and flexing to keep you upright on the ever-so-slightly shifting stones.

Our bodies really do show us the way.

My body has been out of balance for a long time. I get cyclical bouts of deep fatigue and brain fog, and have for at least the past six years. Then, in the fall of 2011, I pushed hard to launch my self-published book, broke my foot, had surgery, and accepted the presidency of a non-profit board. Under the pressure, my already struggling immune system just crashed. I’ve always been an over-achiever, a go-getter, a make-things-happen kind of a gal, but after this incident, the fatigue really started to put a cramp in my style.

Of course, what I’ve been learning over the past 16 months is that “my style” really hasn’t really been working very well for me.

I was trying to run a small, all-volunteer non-profit; run my own business; teach part-time at a community college; and travel to teach and promote my newly published book while barely being able to stay awake and focused more than a few hours each day. The caffeine and sugar that I’d used for years to push through the fatigue were now only making things worse. I’d also gone through diagnoses and treatment for – to name a few – sleep apnea, anemia, depression, and intestinal parasites, with only minor improvements to the cycles of fatigue.

It was a radical notion that I had to adjust my life to fit what my body could do rather than ramp my body up so that I could do the things I thought I should.

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Truthy Tuesday: Jill Bliss on Finding Balance through Slowing Down

truthy tuesday with jill bliss

{By Guest Maven, Jill Bliss}

It’s always been a bit of an endeavor aligning the “simple” life I knew as a kid on a family farm and my “glamorous” adult life living in big cities.

In my lifetime I’ve experienced both modes of living, thinking I’d pretty much found the best of both in Portland. When I reached my life halfway point a few years ago I just couldn’t shake the memory of when I was four years old and an adult asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitation, I remember saying “When I grow up I’m going to be an artist, and live in a cabin in the woods near the ocean with a dog.” A simple life goal and plan.

How was I doing with that plan 40 years on? I wasn’t where I thought I’d be.

My dog had just died. And the rest of my life looked nothing like that simple 4 year old’s dream either. I realized that my life had been a series of small compromises to accommodate other people that had come into my life along the way. By this point all those other people were long gone, but I was left with a big compromise of a life.

As an artist and a teacher I advise students to be mindful of even the smallest details of their surroundings and the effect it has on them and their work. It was time to take my own advice. I needed to simplify, realign and redefine who I was, what I was doing, and why I was doing it. 

This past summer, I sold or gave away most of my belongings.

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Truthy Tuesday: Magic Happens in the Real World- Bringing Online Communities to Life

truthy tuesday with kelly rand

{By guest maven, Kelly Rand}

I’m running on pure adrenaline. Sleep is a frivolous thing long forgotten and pushed aside. More important and immediate tasks have taken its place.

The tables and chairs need to be arranged, decorations put up, the registration desk needs to be organized and the printer isn’t working. I’m rushing to accomplish a last minute to do list on the eve of the Summit of Awesome after months of planning, coordinating and stressing.

We were late to start planning and once we found the perfect location we were disheartened to learn of possible overlap with similar events and needed to reschedule so as to not step on the community’s toes.

We don’t know if this is an assumptive platitude or if others give us the same courtesy. But, we chose to forge ahead with our truncated timeline and rushed to get it all done.

With a tiny army consisting of six volunteers, we manage to cross off everything on our list, and the Summit of Awesome is ready for the early morning check in rush.

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Truthy Tuesday: How Sharing our Secret Fears can Strenghten our Sense of Community

truthy tuesday with Kim Werker

{By Guest Maven, Kim Werker}

A few years ago, I started a project called Mighty Ugly. It’s about making an ugly creature that’s ugly on purpose, not as an accident that makes us frustrated or ashamed.

It’s about forcing ourselves to make something we’d otherwise consider to be a total failure, and it’s about examining the experience in an effort to push through the roadblocks we set up for ourselves when it comes to taking creative risks.

Though I lead workshops and speak on topics related to this, one of the major effects the project has had on me is that it’s given me a very specific, new context through which to relate to my community of crafters, artists, writers and creative people of all sorts (and to people who mistakenly insist they’re not creative).

Since I was a teenager, people have told me their secrets.

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