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A COMMUNITY OF WOMEN CREATING MORE MEANING & MOVENT IN THEIR LIVES.

Work and life are not like Yin and Yang. 

Ethereal cosmic forces that must be kept in perfect balance.

It's more like work is flour, and life is a cake.

It’s a key ingredient, but there’s so much more to it. 

And if your cake is all flour then, well, gross.

Blog

Creating Space for the meaningful things

kelsey murphy

I fell in love with the idea of living “simply” after traveling 6 months (through snow and hot sun) with one small carry-on bag. #hellowoolite

Let’s be honest… it was NOT a piece of cake. It was actually terrifying – and I fully expected to buy another bag while over there.

But I didn’t. 

Instead I found myself thinking less about my clothes, more about the people I met.

A simple uncluttered bag, lead to a simple uncluttered life.

One that was full of meaning and all the good, juicy stuff we crave.

Less rushing, more breathing.

I started to notice the simple things that made me happy.

A stranger opening my door or a smile from the local barista.

The less “stuff” I had, the more clarity I gained on what really made me happy.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hoffman

So this week I’ll be creating space in my mind, heart, and closet for the meaningful things.

Your task this morning?

Simplify.

Make room for the stuff that matters today.

Things I’m Loving

Un-fuck your habitat: killer app to simplify your home

15 De-cluttering Tips: From my Zen yogi fave, Leo

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Alyssa Rosenheck 

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Walk before you Run

kelsey murphy

My husband and I have been making big plans lately.

Camper van adventures, mindful budgets, and the ever-changing “fitness goal”.

You know what they say when you shoot for the stars?!?!

Sometimes it sucks, and you get overwhelmed and want to quit. #badlifecoach

Then one morning my husband looked at me (one extremely early morning) and said…

“You know what… we’ve got to learn to walk, before we can run.”

It reminded me how often we get scared or overwhelmed simply with the “idea” of something.

So overwhelmed that we never start.

The small steps, the small moments are the stuff that make up the big steps and the big moments in life.

So this week I’m learning to walk (in many different areas of my life), before I get overwhelmed about the run.

I’d love to give you a simple script that will get you closer to that thing you should REALLY be starting today.

 

I, ___________, will listen to my heart today.

It’s been nudging me for a while to __________________.

I’ve been a little scared to start this because ____________________.

But this week, I will act on my curiosity and make some movement.

I promise my heart, and myself to explore __________________.

This idea excites me because _________________ & ____________________.

One small thing I can do this week is _________________.

I hear you heart, and I’m grateful you’re speaking to me.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Alyssa Rosenheck

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

The 1 Person you need in your life

kelsey murphy

As cliche as it may be – I truly believe in Jim Rohn’s words… “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

After this weekend, my stock went up.

Based off the ladies who I was with I became smarter, kinder, a better table designer, an inspired entrepreneur, a stronger negotiator, a believer in myself, and a lover of others.

How has your stock risen lately?

This week we focus on the people in our lives.

Below are 2 people to think about in your morning routine this week.

1. The Inspirer

That person who always impresses you with the way they speak to their spouse, how they handle crazy situations at work, or the way they make time for their kids AND wine.

Schedule time to be around them today.

Spend more time with the people that inspire you. You’ll thank yourself, and they are bound to rub off 

2. Who can help this week?

On your to-do list, find a little spot to help someone out this week.

Someone may have just popped into your mind right now – write their name down… they need you.

And you need them.

Things I love

– Let us Roam. I love, love this 4 minute short.

– A new idea… 5 Minute phone calls to friends. Do it.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Alyssa Rosenheck

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Let go of your Goals

kelsey murphy

I will not confirm, nor deny, whether I have been caught with a scowl on my face at 6:00am {insert “I’m working on it” emoji}, but come 6:15 I have some serious love for my day already. #thankgurrrd

A while ago I set myself a goal to become a morning person. Because who doesn’t want to become a morning person.

Not only is it the most peaceful and lovely time of day, but every fancy-pants-successful-Oprah-Branson-esk person wakes up before 5:00.

People always say the best way to reach your goal is to focus focus focus on that goal.

Big Mistake.

Well, for me it was.

By focusing on that goal, I overwhelmed myself with all the reminders and memories I had of “never being a morning” person.

Seriously. This girl loved herself an 11am breakfast.

The one thing that changed for me?

Letting go of the goal, and falling in love with the process.

Focusing on the present baby moments of the process, instead of thinking about the giant results that I wanted.

Results will come, if we make it through the journey.

But the only way we’ll make it through the journey is by having a damn good time journeying.

So I found a way to fall in love with all the things that had to do with becoming a morning person.

And boy did that include some failures and flops along the way.

So what effort have you made to fall in love with your journey?

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: weheartit.com

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Meditation for Real People

kelsey murphy

Meditation.

Oh the eye-rolls I gave to all the ya-ya’s that tried to talk me into this.

Meditating in theory sounds fantastic.

But in everyday life? Not so easy.

I mean… who’s got an extra 5-10 minutes to decrease their anxiety and increase their life span.

Not me! I’d rather just pay too much for a gym membership and wine.

Yea… I learned my lesson. Did some research, and figured this was a life habit worth giving a shot.

And wouldn’t you know it. This girl fell in love.

Meditation makes me happy, nicer, calmer… did I mention happier?

For me, it’s less about clearing my mind, more about focusing my mind.

Usually on the good stuff… like what I’m grateful for.

And yes, every now and then I see a video or an article that is just tooooo much (I can only be so zen, so often).

But then my faith in “real-ness” is restored by videos like this.

So enjoy this 2 1/2 minute guided meditation below: “F*CK THAT” {Headphones alert… colorful language}.

And check this out if you decide to give meditating a shot: 7 Meditation apps you need in your life

xx,

Kelsey

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Jan Halvarson - www.poppytalk.com

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Eternal Curiosity

kelsey murphy

If you can take away only 1 thing from our time together, I hope it’s this…

Be Eternally Curious

It’s the most valuable trait you can have.

It nurtures hope and optimism.

It inspires creative ways to love, to learn, to understand in a world where we are all so different.

It will nourish intelligence, and push you to grow.

Encourage it in yourself, and in those around you.

See the world through a different set of glasses today.

Let your curiosity lead you.

Ask questions you actually want to ask. Drench your mind in the things you really care about.

If you want real conversations, ask real questions.

“I have no special talents I am only passionately curious.” – Albert Einstein

Soak up the world today.

Things I’m loving

– 31 Bits, Fashion for Good. My favorite new (and beautiful) addition to client gifts. Made by women in Uganda, brought to the US by college gals turned dream makers.

– You. For reals, I adore all your emails, posts, and virtual high fives (from all over the world). If you want to send some love, or need anything from me – reach out here.

As always, the best conversations happen throughout the week, so share your pics & posts on Instagram or FB. #MorningGlories

Can’t wait to hear from everyone!

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: tommasoguerra.com

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Embarrassment & Failure (plus Michael Jordan)

kelsey murphy

Remember when Michael Jordan tried to play baseball?

Some called it a failure. Some a success.

But one thing is for sure. He went 0 for 3, and lost by 10 his first game (trivia to impress boyfriend with).

It was ugly, and the press tore him apart.

What he said after the game is why this guy is my hero.

When asked how he felt, he didn’t say “disappointed” or “embarrassed”, he said,

“Relieved.”

Relieved to get those moments out of the way.

It got me thinking…

How many times do we hold ourselves back for fear of looking dumb?

We hold back from striking up a convo with a cute stranger, asking for that promotion, or starting that blog?

Just the other day I sent out an email to hundreds of ya’ll referring to “Meditation” as “Mediation”. #damnyouautocorrect

I’ll wear that one like a badge of honor. My first (and probably not my last) misspelled email.

Not only did I survive, but I learned a little bit about my process. #lesswine

The struggle is part of our story.

Spelling a major word wrong to over 500 people could be really embarrassing, or a really funny story.

Let’s make more funny stories, and live life louder.

Anything you’re nervous to do, but know it would be AWESOME?

Be brave today.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: inspiredbythis.com

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Finding Balance (and Portland coffee)

kelsey murphy

Besides consuming way too much (amazing) caffeine, and being immersed in the best of Portland #foodporn – I’ve been spending my days working with brilliant writers, hoping that some of their genius might rub off on me.

Oh, and eating donuts. Lots of donuts.

I’m wrapping up my first tiny book on How to find work you REALLY love, without quitting your job and moving to Thailand.

Can’t wait to share.

While roaming the streets, the conversation has been flowing in all sorts of good direction… most recently about this crazy thing we call “balance”.

The trouble with it, the need for it, and the key to it.

So I thought I’d share what we think over at “Whiskey & Work” about balance:

“We believe work and life are not like Yin and Yang. Ethereal cosmic forces that must be kept in perfect balance. It’s more like work is flour, and life is a cake. It’s a key ingredient, but there’s so much more to it. And if your cake is all flour then, well, gross.”

So here’s to finding the perfect mix of ingredients for your life “right now”.

Celebrating when you nail it, and experimenting again next week when it changes.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Inspired By This

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Time Management vs Life Management

kelsey murphy

Japan, Paris, New York, L.A., Seattle…all in one day.  It was 8 p.m. and I had just finished a conference call marathon with clients that spanned the globe. I pulled a disconcertingly hot iPhone away from my cheek, scanned my note-filled Moleskin, and shook my head.

How can I do so much in one day and still feel unaccomplished and empty?

But, like any normal person, I immediately shook off the thought, poured a glass of red wine, and let Jon Hamm and January Jones distract me for a delicious hour of debauchery.

I conveniently ignored the truth that what I wanted more than anything was to feel happiness, peace, and pride at the end of my day.

Was it too much to ask to impact someone’s life for the better, for my words to actually make a difference, for people to feel renewed and inspired after time with me????!!!  

Secretly, I feared that yes, that was entirely too much to ask.

Then that’s when it happened.  Darkness, all around me.  Power. Out.

There we were – just me, my wine, and a giant black TV screen.  It was then, and only then, that I had a quiet moment of realization.

I asked myself if this was what I really wanted.  And I was finally able to truly be honest – no – it was not what I wanted.

I wanted more.

And, just like that, my journey began.

Being your typical planner, I dutifully sat down and wrote out lists to guide me. Oh, the lists.

Then I looked at them and cringed. They were filled with oodles of have-tos and precious few want-tos. Wasn’t this exactly what I was trying to change?

I had to approach this differently. And then it hit me:

Prioritize the shit that really matters.

Listen to your intuition. Is it saying your soul really needs a new friend, an adventure, time to create something?

If you want more meaning…

Manage your life instead of your time. 

Pick one thing you really want in your life and put it at the top of your list.

Enjoy this part. It’s a gift for that side of you that you usually silence.

Small shifts can make big impacts.    

(Translation: Make it simple and doable.) Because, let’s be honest, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Make it easy, make it fun.

Now schedule that into your week. As in, on your actual calendar – for reals.

Let go of the mundane details calling for your attention. Leave the dishes and the laundry for now. They can wait.

Prioritize your dreams and desires so you can truly start living, and watch your days become more meaningful.

You know I’m all about being brave in small moments, so join me in being brave this week – adventures before dry cleaning!

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: CJ Thomas Photography

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

3 things I Learned from Jason Segel at Sundance

kelsey murphy

Police sirens flash and fur hats block my view as I’m pushed through a crowd that opens to the sight of some guy diving through the open window of a Range Rover driving up Main Street.

Sundance. A festival for the creative… the talented… and the crazies.

Main street is stunning, covered in white lights, mom & pop shops revamped into GreyGoose Lounges, and crowds of famous (and really unfamous) people roaming the streets.  Each stop starts with a plush red carpet, velvet rope, and a list which will either have your name on it or not.  Luckily we had a lovely friend who got us into a few places, but if you weren’t so lucky then your days at Sundance were most likely spent on the street people watching, scalping some film tickets, or finding the only empty bar in Park City – far, far away from it all.

While the scene on Main street is one to be remembered (as well as fully documented on Instagram), the magic really happens inside those high school auditoriums during the film screenings.

Brushing elbows in the theatre with celebs, while they settled in to support their friends and family exposing themselves on the big screen, ignited intrigue and excitement in the crowd – it was hard to ignore. You sit in a dark auditorium, not knowing whether you are next to a 65-year-old Park City ski-bum or Harvey Weinstein (both of whom were actually in the theatre with us).

And while the films themselves were great, the people who created the films were remarkable.

And Jason Segel… unparalleled.

I watched this guy goofily schlepp across the stage, sheepishly take the microphone, and prepare to answer questions about the brilliant performance we had just seen.

Instead of the slap-stick comedy you might expect to see Jason in (yes, we’re on a first name basis), he had moved the entire audience with a thoughtful, profound performance in The End of the Tour.

It was moving, unexpected, and everything you would hope for in a film.

 

Here are some of the things I loved and learned from Jason and that film.

1. People are crazy (just like me).  

In a way that makes me feel human and real.

Reminding myself that people struggle in different ways, quieter ways, ways we can’t even imagine – tells me that it’s okay to feel confused, overly contemplative and, at times, creatively tortured.  There’s a whole lot of ya’ in the same boat… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say that makes me feel good.

Truly understanding that everyone struggles makes us feel less alone, and more empathetic.  And that makes us better humans.

 

2. Inspiration needs a schedule.

No one said inspiration magically appears, and no screenwriter or director this week said that “it just came to them.” If anyone tells you that, they are short-changing you the whole front end of the story, which usually includes grueling hours of prep, second-guessing, and whole lot of ups and downs.

Inspiration, like motivation, needs some attention.  You’ve got to find time to inject it into your life more.

Inspiration is the game changer of all game changers. It excites your insides and flexes your confidence muscle.

It allows you to keep going, when you just don’t have anything left.

It can be fleeting and fickle – but give it some space on your iCal, and it will remind you what it’s like to feel.

Schedule some time to feel more.

 

3. Start SMALL & AWKWARD.

Most of the people we admire or look up to start small, and often awkward.  We don’tthink of that too much because they only get our attention when they’re doing cool shit – not boring, I don’t really care, uninteresting shit.

For example… anyone remember Jason Segel as “the watermelon guy”?  Me either, but it was his first big role, 17 years ago in Can’t Hardly Wait.  It wasn’t even untill a decade later that he made his big full-frontal-debut in Forgetting Sarah Marshall… a great flick but I wouldn’t say Oscar worthy.  And here he is today, starring in The End of the Tour, getting reviews like this:

“Tom Hanks had Philadelpha, Jim Carrey had The Truman Show and now Jason Segel has The End of the Tour. It’s a powerhouse movie announcing to the world that this comedic actor is a dramatic force too.”

Watermelon guy turned “dramatic force”.

Some of the most loved and well respected start small and awkward…
and the biggest mistake we can make is waiting one more second to begin.

Timid? Check this out for some much needed inspiration. 

I know that there is something your mind, heart or body is telling you to start doing. So…

Your Challenge:  Start that today.  

Forget perfection, start small.

And let me know how it goes.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Roger Ebert

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

1 Simple trick to following through on Goals

kelsey murphy

The beginning of this year magically appeared – albeit full of champagne, excitement, PAC-MAN and love – it still snuck up on me faster than Crayola could take down the boobs.

And from what I’ve heard – 2015 caught quite a few others by surprise as well.

I noticed while talking with clients, that many of us skipped a crucial step this year when setting our intentions, which resulted in defeat before we even began.

“Exhausted, lacking motivation, and completely un-inspired.”

This is what people were telling me they felt during Week 1 of the new year.  Not good.

And no rah-rah quote, cat poster or Shake It Off dash-cam vid was gonna pull them through.  They. Were. Over It.

Fair enough – I had also had enough of the resolution & goals talk for a while.  But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have dreams this year that I damn well plan on going after.

And some of my dreams are worth finding energy for… as are yours.

So I’ve got to ask…

Did you skip this crucial step?

The one step that if skipped could be the sure reason for failure (or at least make the process a hell of a lot more grueling).

Let’s call it a Closing Ceremony for 2014…. one that is meaningful and realistic, that sets you up to kill it in 2015.

If you forgot this step, feel free to “re-engage with your intentions” later tonight.

You have to start with T & A.  

The more T&A the better (I read that after it came out on the page – and it made me love it even more).

T = THANKFUL FOR

A = ACCOMPLISHED

You’ve got to write down, and cement all of the things you’ve accomplished + and were grateful for in 2014.  Every single major athlete, entrepreneur, and spiritual leader does this before taking on any big new hurdles.

They build their confidence in a way that only they can do.

We tend to ignore our accomplishments… and that makes all the difference.

If you’re like me – you probably tend to be a little hard on yourself, constantly seeing room for improvement, and there is no way in hell you are going to sit there all day reminding yourself how “awesome” you are.

But what if I told you that all you’re doing by ignoring your big (and small) accomplishments is strengthening your insecurity muscle and leaving your confidence muscle to deteriorate quietly and quickly.

“When you look to your past, you’ll realize that successes often outweigh failures. And, more importantly, that you survived through the failures and gleaned priceless lessons along the way. ” Even the Harvard Business Review agrees.

Time to face the facts – you’ve probably done some killer shit.

The day has come to celebrate that, write it down – acknowledge it – let it be your starting place for this year.

Accomplishments need to be celebrated… and blessings need our acknowledgment.

Besides the warm fuzzies you will get by writing these down – it gives you some much needed perspective. This practice will help you:

Clear out the clutter of the non-important, and focus on the meaningful.

It allows us to rise above all the nitty gritty – be human and brave and connected – and not over-consumed with our to-do list.

Plus… It’s science.

There are a lot of ongoing studies around gratitude and happiness – some great ones coming from Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., the leading gratitude researcher & the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (check out Marcus Mariota’s touching Heisman Trophyacceptance speech to remind you of the power of gratitude).

We are even told that grateful people are more likely to have lower blood pressure, stronger immune systems, more positive emotions – such as joy, optimism, happiness, and compassion as well as feeling less lonely and isolated.

So…

Ready to re-engage?

Think about those “intentions” or “resolutions” or “goals” that really mean something and are genuinely important to go after – even if you’ve already hit a speed bump in these first few weeks.

Picking yourself back up is proof you are trying.

Your Mission: Pour yourself a cup of tea, glass of wine – chocolate is a must, I also enjoy a good candle – and get after that T&A list today.  

Write it down somewhere you can access it when needed.  Try to hit 50 on each list.  Nothing is too big or too small.  Get specific.  My list is in Evernote so I can access it whenever I need a reminder, others like a journal, I even have clients who put it up on their walls and keep adding.

Whatever your pleasure – just make sure you set yourself up to kill it this year.

Good luck.  Keep me posted on how it goes!

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: Jenn Best Photography  

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

Top 10 things to ask yourself, BEFORE setting your next Goal

kelsey murphy

Resolutions and goals… oh the love-hate.  

We are hard enough on ourselves February through December… so adding another list of “to do’s” sounds pretty exhausting.

That said, there is something about the new year that creates a renewed sense of motivation worth taking advantage of.  So instead of writing down the same list of “goals” you’ve had the last 5 years (that will likely become more guilt than inspiration by Feb 1) – here is a new list of questions to consider which may help you get to the root of what you REALLY want.  A way to look for momentum and meaning by focusing less on the “what”, and more on the “how”.

It’s a helpful little exercise on getting unstuck and empowered to make the changes you want, not ones you feel like you “should”.

1. What bucket are you feeling stuck in?
Is it a role at work, a label you have put on yourself, maybe a relationship?

2. How is this “bucket” not aligned with who you are?
What is it about that bucket that doesn’t sit right, that drains your energy, makes you not feel like “you”? Why is this hard? What pisses you off about this?

3. What does your gut say about it?
Did you know, that we are the only species on this planet that does not listen to our instincts? What is your intuition telling you?

4. What are options for you to take a BABY step away from this bucket, towards something that is exciting and creates a physical sensation inside when you think about it?

5. What scares you about that baby step?
What is the absolute worst thing that could happen? What about the best thing?

6. How would you handle the worst-case scenario?
How have you gotten through tough times in the past?

7. If your friend were in your position, what would you tell them?
Sometimes its hard to take our own advice.

8. What resources do you have to take this step?
List 10, don’t stop till you have 10.

9. Who can you have coffee with to explore this option?
Schedule it, right now. Email, text – whatever.

10. Lastly, what was your favorite adventure this year?
Could this new option create a new adventure for you?

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: monikahibbs.com

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.

When things feel like they can’t get any worse

kelsey murphy

I looked over at my husband and said… Never. Ever. Will we do this again.

Just 8 hours earlier we had boarded a beautiful bus full of individual TV’s, vanilla ice cream cones, and a friendly bus attendant handing out hot towels. We snuggled in to enjoy the long ride from Istanbul to Bulgaria.

Bulgaria was never originally on the agenda, but so many people (mostly Brits) had told us along our travels that it was the “must see” place, so we decided it would be our wild-card location of choice and booked the bus tickets.

Within a few hours of leaving Turkey we had been re-routed to the winding mountain roads due to riots, and were shortly thereafter forced to get off the bus at the wee hours of 1am in order to flash our passports at the border, and then push our way through a crowd of grumpy, riot fueled citizens to grab a seat back on the bus before it left without us.  Just as we thought the worst of it was over the sweet doe eyed child in the back started wailing a cry louder than I knew was possible to come from a human body, which triggered a ripple effect of all the other children throughout the bus.  Then, that same adorable child endured one too many winding roads and tossed his cookies right in his moms lap, which of course then triggered every… single… kid, to do the same. They were throwing up everywhere, including in the seat next to us.  Did I mention there was no bathroom on the bus?

At 3:00am I turned to my husband, who was holding a bag for me just in case, and said… Never. Ever. Again.

When we finally arrived in Bulgaria I stepped off the bus, and looked around as the sun was rising around 4:00am.  I saw a beautiful harbor and a captivating beach, lit up by a stunning soft pink sky.  Immediately a kind cab driver who tried to speak his best English (which was way better that our Bulgarian), took us to our apartment for the week.

Well, that one week turned into five.  It ended up being our favorite spot on our 6 month world tour. We met the most kind, hospitable families who cared for us and loved us as their own.  The food rocked our world, and the hidden treasures of mountains and beaches were breathtaking.  Those amazing memories will be with me forever.

And I will also always remember that damn bus ride that took us there.  It turns out that the misery I felt on that bus made me appreciate what we arrived to that much more.

Sometimes we need the sour, to enjoy the sweet.

And I’ve been through a lot rougher times than a crappy bus ride.  I’ve had sleepless, tear-filled nights, lost family and friends to death and drugs, wrestled with loneliness, bad relationships, and insecurity.

But without those tough times, I would never have the appreciation andgratefulness for all the nights I go to bed feeling whole and loved – the family and friends who fuel my world today, the community I’m a part of, the amazing relationship I’m in, and the genuine happiness I feel every morning I wake up.

We need those tough times – they play an important role.  And in the midst of the dark days, sometimes it can be tough to see the other side.

So this is who I’m writing to today.  To those of you who are going through tough times, for those who see no light at the end of the tunnel.  Hang in there, be true to who you are and be strong.

Focus on the journey, focus on the ride – the small moments of laughter, the small moments of joy – let them carry you through.

Your light at the end of the tunnel is right around the corner.  And I believe it will feel like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

At least it was for me, and so I’m forever grateful for those dark times… and that damn bus ride.

Know someone who will appreciate this?  Share this article, and spread the hope.

xx,

Kelsey

IMAGE CREDIT: CJ Thomas Photography

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Why you should NOT quit your job to travel the world

kelsey murphy

I handed the hawk back to the guide, as he said, “Wow – you guys are so lucky”

The guy flies hawks for a living (really cool ones), in a stunning forest that surrounds an even more stunning castle in Ireland – and he’s calling us lucky?!?

My husband and I had just finished telling him about our last 6 months and I’ll never forget when he said, “I’d love to just quit my job and travel the world.  You two seem so happy.”

And he was right.  We were beaming from ear to ear.

I hadn’t really given it much thought, but it was in that moment that it dawned on me…
We were NOT full of happiness because we quit our jobs to travel the world.

Turns out “traveling” wasn’t what gave us the beaming smiles.  It was treating each day like there was an adventure waiting to be discovered – whether that was in a camper van in New Zealand, or a small suburb of Los Angeles.

The happiest people are not the ones traveling the world… they are the ones who can find happiness right where they are, no matter where that is.

I discovered that I was never looking for “a trip around the world” – I was looking for adventure, passion, simplicity, culture, and a challenging push.

And here is the kicker… I could have found all of that right around the corner, in my own backyard.

Literally.  I used to live next door to “the tiniest bar in San Francisco”, that was its claim to fame.  The Black Horse London Pub – http://www.blackhorselondon.com And yes, I went there once or twice – had a beer and then went home.  That’s it.

But why did I assume that this pub had less culture and demanded less of my excitement than some other pub on our journeys?

If I had treated that place like I would’ve if it were in Italy or Turkey, I would’ve asked about its history, got to know the bartender, met some of the people there. I would have listened to their stories, learned about their culture, families, struggles, and joys.

I would have savored my time there, thought about what it could teach me and how it might change my life one day.

But I didn’t because it was just the bar next door.

Too often we miss out on what’s right in front of us.

And usually, its because we are day dreaming about the happiness “we could have”… somewhere else… often half way across the globe.

So before you book your own round-the-world ticket, stop for a moment and make sure that what you are looking for isn’t right where you are.

Whether you are looking for the same things I was, or whether you have a whole different set of desires and dreams,  I want to propose a challenge.

A challenge to look around you, right where you are, right now and see all of the things in your life with a renewed sense of adventure and discovery.

Oh, and you can still travel the world if you want to, but instead of making the trip to find happiness, you will be able to go and spread the happiness you have already found.

Know someone who may appreciate this?  Share this article to spread the adventure.

xx, 

Kelsey

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From Britney Spears to Bulgaria … the Cure for a Mediocre Life

kelsey murphy

In front of me sat Britney’s latest commercial script waiting to be reviewed, next to it was an expense report from my four-week trip in Buenos Aires, and a personalized note from the president of Nintendo. I took a deep breath and looked up to watch the sail boats in the San Francisco bay from my sunny office window. What did I have to complain about, right? But in my head all I could think was, “I’ve got to get out of here.”

I was miserable; I had been for a while, and each day a feeling of guilt, confusion, and bitterness grew inside me, and it was starting to overflow.

I had started out loving advertising, but somewhere along the way I had changed, and what I wanted out of life had changed too. There was an internal force pushing me to do something different, something drastic and bold, but I was stuck.

I was paralyzed by the fear of not knowing what was next, fear of being stranded on the island of “wow – you made a giant, giant mistake you can’t take back.”

So one night after a long draining day at the office, and a few too many tears, I decided that standing still just couldn’t be an option for me anymore.

I had to find the courage to go after the life that I wanted.

And that’s exactly what I did.

I wish I could tell you I quit my job the very next day – but I didn’t. I started small, and I went from there. But oh how those small moments turned into big ones.

Before I knew it I was traveling the world … from London to Bulgaria and everywhere in-between. I started a new job that filled my need for connection, freedom, and success. I fell madly in love, and married a man who taught me how to trust and laugh again, and I did this all within one year. Pepper in some tears, laughter, mistakes, and memories – and you start to get an idea of where I am today.

From everyone, and everywhere, and everything I learned something new.

The biggest thing I learned?

Our lives are fuller when we’re brave.

And not just full of anything, I mean full of the really great stuff like love, opportunity, experiences, excitement, confidence, peace, and genuine happiness.

And it turns out that finding courage in the SMALL MOMENTS is what makes all the difference.

It’s not always the big giant leaps of faith that take us where we need to be, but often the small baby steps of bravery that show us the way.

It’s recognizing your intuition on those nights when your gut is telling you there is more for you out there.

So how will you be brave today?

xx,

Kelsey

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4 Tips to Create Meaningful, Authentic Connections Online

kelsey murphy

Originally seen on tinybuddha.com, written by Lori Deschene

How to Form Meaningful, Authentic Online Connections

The biggest obstacle to meaningful online connecting, I’ve found, is personal branding. Authenticity doesn’t have to mean complete transparency, but it does mean acknowledging what you really think and feel. Very rarely does a person think and feel only things that align with a polished online persona.

No one is a complete expert. No one has all the answers on any topic. No one is always happy and positive.

I’m by no means suggesting we should complain excessively or be insensitive or rude online. I’m merely suggesting that we recognize when we’re writing or portraying something that isn’t true to our actual experience, and then challenge that instinct.

This can be a little tricky because the reality is that personal branding is important if you’re establishing a business online. But it is possible to brand yourself while maintaining authenticity. To start:

1. Get comfortable saying, “I don’t know.”

When a customer walks into a store, they’d much rather hear, “I don’t know, but I’ll find someone who does” than waste their time with someone who’s too proud to ask for help. The same is true with online businesses and brands.

We trust people when they’re brave enough to acknowledge what they do and don’t know. You don’t need to feign omniscience to build authority. You just need to have a passion and commitment for what you do, backed up by consistency and hard work.

Go ahead and acknowledge your humanity. We connect and do business with humans, and all humans have room to grow.

2. Let yourself be vulnerable.

This is similar to acknowledging what you don’t know, but it encompasses more than that—it’s also about sharing what you actually think and feel.

Someone asked me recently what I do when I can’t answer the question, “How can I be inspiring today?” I told him it helps that I never ask myself that. I ask myself, “How can I be authentic today?”

If I’m feeling oversensitive, I write about dealing with criticism. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I write about dealing with stress. And right within those posts, I acknowledge my own struggles.

Not everyone has an outlet in which this type of radical honesty feels appropriate, but we can all get a little more open when it comes to sharing what’s really on our minds.

At the end of the day, we’re all just people, and it’s our nature to want to really connect with each other—not with personas and brands, but with other real people who can relate to the universal struggles we all face. If we want to experience that with other people, we have to be willing to show them how it’s done.

3. Ask for what you really want.

Conventional wisdom suggests we should network, build relationships, give freely, and then await reciprocal action. In a way, this is smart advice. When you give without expectation, oftentimes your own needs get met, but this type of connecting often does entail expectation, albeit an unspoken one.

I’ve found it’s far more effective to simply be upfront with people. In the end, most of us really do want to help each other. In fact, of all the bloggers I’ve encountered online, the vast majority say that their purpose is to help people.

So be direct. If you’re looking for guidance or advice, ask for it. If you’d like someone to review your book, instead of asking if you can send it—no strings attached—ask outright if they’ll consider reviewing it. If you’re hoping to create some type of mutually beneficial arrangement with another blogger, put it out there upfront.

We don’t need to hide that we want to promote ourselves and earn money. Life requires us all to do that. We just need to find the courage to ask for what we need, and remember to be there for people who may need something from us.

4. Treat the web like an actual crowd.

At last year’s Wisdom 2.0 Conference, one of the speakers commented that his father wanted more Twitter followers. He reminded his dad that in real life, 200 people would be a huge crowd—why did he feel the need to speak to thousands of people online? If that were real life, he’d likely feel overwhelmed and nervous with such a massive audience.

Sometimes it seems like a completely different experience to share ourselves behind the safety of a computer—as if there aren’t really that many people listening and our words somehow have a different impact than when we can actually hear their echo.

One thing I try to do when I connect with people online is visual them standing in front of me. If I tweet something on my personal account, I visualize that I’m actually saying it to more than 11,000 people. If I’m writing an email or commenting on someone’s blog, I imagine they’re sitting in a chair next to me, looking right into my eyes.

When I think about someone looking at me and me seeing them, suddenly it feels a lot easier to peel away pretense and speak directly from my heart. In visualizing the other person or people as flesh-and-blood human beings, it feels a lot more natural to strip away my ego and simply be me.

I read the other day that most people spend the majority of their time online using social networking sites. We’re increasingly plugged in these days with cell phones and other gadgets, and more often than not that involves connecting with each other.

Connecting is a basic human need. Whether or not we make those relationships authentic and meaningful is entirely up to us.

xx,

Kelsey


Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her new book, Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges, launches on October 6. Pre-order now and you'll instantly receive $300+ in free bonus gifts. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter & Facebook.

This post was republished with permission from tinybuddha.com. You can find the original post here.

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One of my biggest business secrets

kelsey murphy

“How did you get so many clients when you first started your business?!?!”

The question I get asked at least once a week.

Here’s my secret.

I was hustling my buns from day one, as most all small business owners do… the difference for me – a Bridge Job.

Bridge Job (n): something you do on the side or in-between quitting your crappy golden handcuffs job and taking on your own (terrifying, but exhilarating) small business. 

My Bridge Job afforded me 3 VERY important things that I’d like to share below:

CASH.

Let’s be honest, we all are in a better place when we don’t reek of desperation.

We can make decisions from a place of calm, thoughtfulness – and move forward with our business at the pace that it’s meant to go (not the pace our empty bank account is begging for).

Me – I’m not the type of person who likes to borrow money from a bank, nor do I want to live in a shoe-box eating Top Ramen.

This didn’t hold me back from taking a huge leap of faith and starting my own business, but it did tell me that I needed some sort of Bridge Job to help re-fill my bank account for the first few months of my new business.

CONFIDENCE.

Here is what entrepreneurship is like…

“It’s like a man riding a lion. People think, ‘This guy’s brave.’ And he’s thinking, ‘How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”

One of my favorite analogies from Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions.

Building a business is tough enough already – having some stability, some comfort, and something you know inside and out helps to re-build your confidence in those early months.

CLARITY.

The Bridge Job allows time for reflection.

It gives you time to dip your toes in your new business to see if it’s really all its cracked up to be.

Within 2 weeks of accepting my bridge job (freelancing) I knew I was meant to be coaching people.

I woke up at 4am every morning to work on my coaching business, because I was that pumped.
(And those who know me, know that mornings are NOT MY THING.)

But I will never forget that feeling of excitement and energy that got me out of bed at that god-for-saken hour.

It was the clear, distinct feeling of passion.

With some cash, confidence, and clarity on your side – you’re setting yourself up to enjoy the first few years of your business, so much more.

I am always surprised when people don’t shout this from the roof top more often.

It’s as if we think our story won’t be as sexy, if we say “yea I dabbled, did a little part time, saved some money then finally went full time with my own business.” People think the sexy story is, “I threw my hands in the air one day and just QUIT – and then my business became a success overnight!”

Riiiighhhht…

The real sexy thing?

Watching someone work hard, build something, while enjoying their friends, family, and life along the way – then beam with achievement and fulfillment.

So today, I’d like to bring some more awareness to the idea of Bridge Jobs… because they rock, and I’d love to hear if you’ve had one, or intend to have one.

Spread the word – Bridge Job Awareness Day!

xx,

Kelsey

 5 "IRL" Ways to Find Work You Love


Downloads include the exact tools + templates I use to pressure test new career directions in a quick, efficient, and (dare I say) enjoyable way.