Are you living your most illumined life? This past week marked illumine’s 6th birthday and I spent a lot of time reflecting my mission, my vision and my commitment to this personal and professional project which I created and brought into being with the help of a strong and talented, tiny but mighty team.
I share these 7 lessons for living your most illumined life because the learning has been mostly inner growth. While we’ve produced 12 print issues and at least 12 unique events. I believe you will find these lessonAll Postss applicable and actionable for living your most illumined life, even if you aren’t starting up a new business, because it’s about the process of creating a living, a life that’s worth living.
#1 Creating is really different energy
Just like buying a house requires very different energy from any other part of the process:
- your energy has to be big, receptive, searching, open, and willing to look at a lot of options
- the ability to see possibility (e.g. in spaces that aren’t designed for you or are undone/need repairs and upgrade)
- listening to your gut and able to make quick decisions without all the facts available
- You won’t always get what you want, but you know what you absolutely can’t live without
Whereas the energy or state of mind to sell your house takes really different energy than buying
- you have to always be ready for a showing at any moment
- it can take months longer to get one buyer
- your next step or dream house is dependent on when or whether that one buyer sees your home and takes action
I could come up with a million more metaphors, but you get the picture. Making something out of nothing takes work, vision, willingness to find and pull ingredients together. It’s creating, failing, learning, pivoting and moving forward again, again and again.
READ MORE on Creating
2. Make mistakes, learn, keep moving. Rinse and repeat
“Either I win or I learn, but I never lose.” Marie Forleo
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in this process of creating illumine. I don’t post them on social media, or share them publicly more because I’m busy reflecting, figuring things out, than out of pure shame and embarrassment. Regrounding and pivoting take a lot of energy and work.I spend time learning from my mistakes.
Bo Eason, in his book There’s No Plan B For Your A-Game, calls it “course correcting.” Pros do it all the time. Tiger Woods works on his swing at the advice of a coach the night before he won a big tournament. And even Siri on your iphone will suggestion a new route if she finds a faster way.
3. Create a life, not a list
More specifically for me, the learning is to create a business, not a job. And to be honest, I JUST learned this, like on August 21 to be exact, so I am including it in this list, but I’m still learning this one, still living out the learning. It’s changing how and what I do every day. I am so grateful for this one.
Here’s the thing: we are encouraged to make To-Do and Stop Doing lists, we are inspired to “Get Sh!#t Done,” and we spend time flipping through magazines and cutting out words and pictures for a vision board. I’m not against that, keep doing it if it helps. What I am learning to do is to look at our life as a whole, seeing from a macro perspective if what my micro actions are doing to lead me to that place I really want to go.
What this wisdom can mean for you: create a life, not a to-do list, or just goals. Are these things you’re doing getting you to a life that you will love?? Are these goals positioning you to the big values you want? Your big vision? Or just giving you something to do, to check off, to report to your boss or your accountability team/partner, without really looking at your life as a journey towards a destination.
4. It’s an inside job. Be the kind of person someone wants to date, be friends with, and work for, it’s all the same.
I’ve learned that I need to do the work: I’m the one I’m working on. Every relationship, job, opportunity or loss is an opportunity to work on me.
Back when I was single in my 20’s I seriously considered being a Catholic nun and imagined a life without a partner in marriage. What people don’t always realize is that even as a nun/priest/monk or single person, you’re still in relationship. I worked for a Catholic organization so I saw up-close and from the inside that religious life is not just happy people living together doing service cheerfully like the Flying Nun or Sister Act (which is what I wanted it to be and why I seriously considered it, at least as a young person).
So being the kind of person who someone wants to be around is still pretty crucial, and especially when you’re team building, dating, selling, or creating a service or product that you sell.
But more so when you are.
5. Experts hire experts
I could not have created illumine alone. I’ve always hired a managing editor, depend on writers, photographers and designers to make i all happen and on top of that, I hire coaches, consultants, and I attend conferences, web classes and masterminds, truly whatever I thing has value, opportunity to learn and move the needle on my business, and anything I can afford.
6. “Meditation will make you dangerous”
My new favorite quote by Molly Bloom in her interview with Tom Bilyeu.
I have been meditating for over 30 years (different techniques, but consistently) and prayed as long as I can remember. While I may not be an obvious ninja, I’m sometimes surprised by my optimistic nature, my willingness to learn, and my faithful friendships. Without these I would fall down/experience failure, convince myself that down is better than down and out, watch movies from bed, eat Doritos Cool Ranch, and be exactly where I was a year ago.
And one to grow on:
7. Grow strong, not fast, but the strong are fast
There were a lot of other businesses growing fast around me. And I have had my fair share of feeling jealous, inadequate even inept. But looking closely I saw how different those businesses are/were: serving a different demographic, a totally different technical setup, bigger risk takers willing to take on investors and debt, and very different kinds of leaders. Some of them are going strong, some have totally bombed, and some are
But knowing how fast to grow is a very personal experience, it takes really knowing when to move fast, when to move slow. And all if it will be very uncomfortable unless you’ve done it before, because it’s probably really unfamiliar. So grow strong in a pace that works for you. Get out of your comfort zone, but don’t get too far underwater, into debt, or burn bridges.
Thank you to anyone and everyone who has touched illumine, and most especially to our writers, editors, subscribers, advertisers.
The biggest thank you to my husband Jason, who set me up for success with his guidance on branding, his investment in my dream, and his design work on almost every aspect of illumine.
Thank you to Laura Fairman, owner of Blue Canvas, who has designed every website, including illuminechicago.com, and the soon to be released illumine life! Digital platform.
Thank you to Abby Hart for being my collaborator and friend through 9 issues and more!! Thank you for believing in the vision, for working with writers to shape, craft, refine and polish every single issue.
Thank you to the past editors of illumine: Lisa Thaler, Julia, Abby Hart, Katie O’Shaunessy, Wendy Wollenberg
Thank you to the writers, photographers, proofreaders.
Thank you to anyone who has helped me to distribute illumine, for spreading light and love and building connections beyond.
To anyone who has a dream, who has an idea, a creative itch, a desire, and passion, I’ll leave you with this one last quote, although someone said to me that “hope is when you have no say in the matter” so add another important ingredient love, add liberally.
Hope is blind. It’s naïve.
It’s also powerful. Positive.