Time has been on my mind this week.
Sixteen years ago, Halloween 1999, I went into the hospital, a slow leak in my amniotic sac, and the doctors decided it was time for my baby girl to be born. 28 hours later, I gave up my birth plan, and Kaia was born via C-Section on Nov 2, 1999.
Tonight, I hosted her sweet 16. My 42nd birthday is in just a few weeks.
Time is on my mind.
Did I use these years well? Could I do better?
Yes and yes.
If I had it to do all over again, knowing what I know now, I would do a lot exactly the same.
What I would do differently is stress less about not enough time and learn sooner how to better manage it.
My ability to manage time (sometimes it almost seems like bending time given how many things I am often juggling at once) could seem like a superpower, unattainable to most.
But it’s not. I have created a system that is likely to quadruple your productivity while at the same time freeing up more space in your life for the things that truly nourish you.
In honor of my daughter’s 16th birthday and my BIRTHday 16 years ago, its my gift to share with you my system for how to manage your time like a single mom with two businesses, two teenagers, a relationship that requires dedicated attention, and a large extended community.
Are you ready to stop feeling as if you don’t have enough time and become a time ninja?
They key is a methodology I have learned called time blocking. And what it means is that EVERYTHING you need and want to go goes on your calendar.
If it’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t happen. Period. That includes kids activities, job duties or business tasks, massages and meals. Everything but sleep.
If someone else handles your calendar, their life is about to get way better because they’ll be able to see exactly when you have blocked to schedule specific types of meetings and events that are integral to your work and life.
We have found that what works best is to create a template calendar in google calendar and share it with everyone who schedules on your calendar.
Mine looks like this.
Then, I have a calendar where things are actually scheduled.
You can see that here:
And I also have one for the kids activities.
When you look at them altogether, it could look insanely full or overwhelming, but I have found that a small amount of complexity allows me to create so much more time that it’s worth it.
You are worth it.
And thanks to this time blocking I’ve implemented, I now typically only work from 10-6, with flexibility in the day when I need it, and time to spend with my kids, in my relationship and with my community. Plus, the ability to travel.
If you want more time, this is where you start.
I want to know what questions you have about time blocking and how you can manage your time like a ninja.
Then I’ll make a training as my gift to you to ensure you don’t just desire more time, but that you can actually have it.
It has been 16 years since my baby was born. And the time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, tickin’ into the future. Let’s harness that ticking and funnel it into the work you are here to do and the life you are really here to have.
What’s it going to take for you to take back your most valuable asset? Seriously, let me know! E-mail in at firstname.lastname@example.org
With so much love,
Before I get into why I walked away from the opportunity to be in documentary series with Brian Tracy and Neale Donald Walsch, I want to thank you.
I am feeling infinite gratitude for the amazing responses to last week’s Love Letter. Through your gorgeous messages to me sharing your own experiences of being called beyond your comfort zone, I felt heard, seen, understood and loved.
If you didn’t get to read it, we’ve posted it on the blog here.
I am also feeling infinite gratitude for the amazing response we have already had to our email calling for applications from those who want to be one of the next two people who join our Money Map Masters Founder’s Group to guide themselves and others into right relationship with (and freedom around) time, money and work.
If you want to know more about that and missed the application, use this link and we’ll send you the email I wrote about it.
Now: why I gave up the opportunity to work with my idols.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted about what at first glance appeared to be the best opportunity ever. Opportunity of my dreams!
A production crew wanted to feature me as the third leader in a documentary series that is filming groups on a “live your bucket list” type adventure.
They thought I’d be the ideal bridge between the two luminary men also featured in the series — Brian Tracy, the business/mindset guru, and Neale Donald Walsch, spiritual teacher — both of whom have been instrumental in my own awakening.
I was honored and excited. I loved the idea of being featured with these two men who have so influenced me.
And, I loved the idea of taking boomer parents and their millennial, gen-x and gen-y kids on a journey that would heal the inter-generational divide. I had already been thinking I wanted to create an event for these parents and kids and this seemed like the perfect possibility to make it happen. Plus, I’ve always wanted to film everything, so this seemed like the ideal chance to work with the people I desired AND have it filmed.
As we got into the details of it though, it just wasn’t clicking. I didn’t feel a soul connection to the activities the production team was proposing for the adventure. And, I began to consider the investment for the families to participate and found myself wondering whether it would be worth the cost and why they would want to pay to go on this kind of an adventure and then be filmed in the midst of the type of intimate experience I was imagining.
Even though I so wanted it to work, it wasn’t making sense in my heart.
In the past, I would have wanted it so badly that I would have ignored my truth and compromised to make it work. I would have twisted and contorted myself just enough to be a fit for what they wanted, sacrificing my own deeper knowing of what was true.
I could have made it work.
This time though, I didn’t. I let the opportunity go. With shocking ease.
A few years ago, letting go with so much ease would have been unimaginable. I was sure I had to pursue every opportunity, make it all happen, and, as Nike has been telling us for years, just do it.
Today, I am so clear that I’m complete with that energy. It’s not necessary for me anymore.
Now, if you are still in the “push” stage, and have the energy for it, I do not want this message to dissuade you from continuing to push. That’s really important. Because I so value all the pushing I did over the past fifteen years. That push is what got me here, to the point where it’s no longer necessary.
I see so many people who look at their parents or older friends who have already made the push and think, “they aren’t pushing, so I don’t need to” and while I am open to the possibility that maybe they truly don’t, only time will tell. And in the meantime, I am extremely grateful for every moment I’ve pushed.
And, I’m glad to know, it doesn’t last forever.
How do you know if you are ready to give up the push, yourself?
If you would have told me a year ago this time that I’d be ready to stop pushing, I’d have said no way. I didn’t even know what that meant.
I thought that giving up the push meant some version of getting into bed, turning on the TV and spending the next 60 years eating and watching Netflix. Or perhaps, working a 9-5 job as an executive in someone else’s company, bringing their work into the world.
And there was no way I wanted either of those realities. So I kept pushing. But, over the past year, I’ve begun to reconnect with a part of me that I referred to in last week’s Love Letter as Oneness.
In many ways over the past several years, Oneness has been quietly, gently, steadily suggesting I might be ready to question the pushing. Until this past year, I wasn’t really ready.
The personalities with the loudest voices have been keeping me going and drowning out the voice of Oneness, nearly completely (though not entirely, I have heard Her for years), until just recently.
When presented with the possibility of stopping, Alexis Neely’s voice would yell “no, we must keep pushing! There’s not enough yet”. Usually, that gets interpreted as there’s not enough financial security yet, we need more money; while the truth is that I have plenty of resources to have all the money I need at any moment.
While not financially free in the traditional sense (big 401k, paid off house, and plenty of savings to travel is how I think most people see it), I am financially liberated in the new economy sense (I know what I bring and can ask for what I need in exchange, in each moment, and I always have what I truly Desire).
But, like most people, I suffer from money dysmorphia (more on this in the future) and it shows up in the form of Alexis’ rally cry to not stop, ever.
Then, there is Ali Shanti who says “come on, we can do this! We need to do this thing because it will help us make the connections we need to do our work in the world”. Usually, that gets interpreted as we don’t know enough people yet, we need more contacts; while the truth is I am now 2-3 degrees of separation away from anyone I could or would want to meet.
When I dive deeper inside, beneath the loud voices of the personalities that have inhabited my being for so long, I find a much quieter voice. Quiet, but powerful. Clear. The voice of Oneness. She says no. She says we have enough. Money. Friends. Connections.
It’s time to stop now.
Alexis and Ali both yell out “but if we stop, it’ll all go away. We’ll disappear. No one will love us anymore.”
While I can find evidence for that story, I can also see the long string of stories that create that story and simply aren’t true.
I’ve been motivated by generations of lies. Passed down like treasured family heirlooms. Perfectly crafted for my own evolution.
It was these lies that have inspired me to get out there and push for so long. I’m am so grateful for them. They scared the shit out of me. And, they served me well.
I am in awe of what I created with the push of fear at my back. I can say for certain that the lies I told myself to create the fear was exactly what I needed to create exactly what I did.
Two businesses doing service work in the world and making enough money to support more than 20 people. Two kids who are turning out to be people I love spending time with. Multiple communities of friends who I sometimes have to pinch myself that I get to be friends with.
It’s time to shift. Being pushed by fear of loss no longer serves. Are you fully ready to be pulled by your desire instead of pushed by fear?
A year ago, my fear of loss would have caused me to squish myself into the box that the production crew making the documentary series would have needed for me to participate in the series.
Now, I can confidently let it go because I know that I do not have to be afraid of losing anything, ever. That which is meant for me, will always be mine. And that which isn’t, can be seen, appreciated, valued, and let go.
Knowing my true Desire is the key. I truly only desire that which wants me as well. I never believed this before. I thought I only desired that which did NOT want me. A surefire recipe for unhappiness, if I’ve ever heard one. (I’d love to hear your experience with this. Come on over and share your experience with me.)
I find this awareness to be rippling through every area of my life. Relationship, parenting, business, clients, team members, friends, all of it. And, it is now shifting into right relationship with Desire, that results in a lot more letting go, a lot less pushing and a lot more allowing of what’s true.
I’m not in bed watching TV, nor compromising my life in any way. I’m simply not trying to make anything happen anymore that is not meant to and finding that there is so much more room for what is, which happens to be exactly what I really want, which (and here’s the kicker!), I didn’t even know.
If you are ready to stop pushing and starting allowing in what you really, really, really, REALLY want (which wants you too!), here’s what’s worked for me so far:
It began with me noticing where I am taking action from the push, from the fear. It can be hard to see it because it’s so deeply ingrained. I probably began this way of operating as a baby, learning to contort herself so as not to lose mommy and daddy’s love.
But over the months, I have gotten better and better at it. Now, I can see the push, I can see where I am desiring to move from the push of fear rather than from the pull of desire, but it’s really only just in these past few weeks that I’ve been able to actually stop the movement from the fear and wait and only move when I feel the true pull of desire.
Remember, I thought stopping the push meant getting in bed, pulling the covers up over my head and watching TV for the next 60 years. I thought it meant the end, giving up, throwing in the towel to some degree.
If that’s part of what’s keeping you in the push (and not a true experience of joyful pushing), I want you to know that’s not what it means to stop.
What it does mean is to go deeper inside and discover what you really, really, really, REALLY want. Beyond the surface voices. Beyond the generations of fears. Beyond, beyond, beyond. Until you can hear.
I am listening.
What I am hearing is the voice of my Desire. She is quiet. And sure. She doesn’t care much what others think. She knows what is true for Her. I can feel Her in my heart. Months ago, I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. I am now.
She says the push is complete. It’s time for the pull of presence.
She says “Do your work. Run your companies. Raise your kids. Write your book. Start your show. Serve your people. Serve yourSelf. There’s no more to get. You have it All. It’s time to give.”
“Give beyond what you ever imagined possible. Not because you want to or need to get anything, but because you love it. Because your Core Desired Feeling (from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map process) is Generosity.”
Yes. So this week, I invite you to begin to look deeply into where you are motivated by the push, where you give to get, where you say yes because you have to (not because you want to), where you act more from fear of loss than you do from joy of anticipation and just begin to make note of it.
Awareness is the first step.
Practicing this awareness over these past several months is the thing that has given me the ability to hear this deeper inner voice of Desire buried beneath the fears.
I Desire this for you too. This Knowing. This ability to let go of even the best opportunities rather than twist or contort yourself in anyway.
The ability to end even the “best” relationships rather than sacrifice any of your most true Desire.
The ability to know when to stay and when to go, in every moment. And to trust at the deepest level. To trust yourself.
And that my love, is it for today.
Love beyond the beyond,
PS: Last week, I shared a rant on Facebook about the frustration I feel hearing the bad advice business coaches are giving to creative and artists who have multiple interests. If you are someone with multiple interests yourself who has been trying to shove yourself into a box to create success, you’ll want to read the post.
In it, I shared that this advice often causes creatives and artists to get stuck — maybe you’ve seen that yourself in your own life of “much” — and that the answer isn’t single focus, but instead what I call “polyamorous business” — check out the post if you want to join the polyamorous business club. 😉
Then, if you want to hear me take my client through the process of creating this business model, finding the cohesion point among all her interests and then mapping out a model that incorporates all parts of her artistry into a single business with multiple revenue streams, you can join our Eyes Wide Open coaching membership and download the recording of all past coaching calls, including last week’s — and listen in as I coach Amy and learn how you two can combine all of your interests into one cohesive business model.
It’s Saturday afternoon and I am sitting in the sun listening to the new Wildlight album, the Tide as I consider how I can share the chrysalis of this last week with you in a way that it can support you to take your next step into the thing you are most afraid to do.
Let’s start with fear.
The motto on my first blog was “being afraid and doing it anyway.” I have had a few advisor type people reach out to me and suggest that I can drop the fear and just come from my knowing now; that I no longer need the fear part.
And while that may be true when I am residing in my place of Oneness, in full observance of all my parts, but attached to none of them, I am not yet quite so enlightened to have moved from an intellectual awareness of that experience into a fully-embodied being. I know Oneness. And, I still live in the duality.
Maybe even more than some, given that I have two completely distinct and fully-developed beings living inside me (if you do too, message me and let me know — I always love hearing how many people are secretly living with multiple personalities like I have, but not talking about it).
I sense more Oneness coming, but for now, my personalities are right here – terrified.
This week, someone showed up that I’ve been seeking for years. And, when he did, I wanted to run.
Four times now I have gotten to the same place in my businesses — revenue between $900k-$1.5mm, great product/service, great results, but quite heavily dependent on me, not a lot of documented processes or systems that someone could just step into without significant training, a team asking for more leadership, and me not really knowing how to give it in a way that would support the next level of full empowerment.
A few times over the years, I have tried to get to the next level by bringing in a paid CEO who I hoped would just do it for me.
But at the beginning of this year, I finally got the massive hint from the Universe:
“Alexis, this is your path. You are the CEO. Stop trying to hand it off to someone else and lead, lady. Stop distracting yourself with so many relationships, and caretaking everyone, and getting more pets and traveling to events and be the CEO of your company and take it to the next level, so you can sell it, share the wealth with everyone who helped grow it and invest in land where you can have everyone you love live together and work on listening more closely to the Earth and living in alignment with Her guidance and less time on the computer and more time writing books and getting your show going, finally.”
Interestingly, at the exact same time, I was getting a similar message with respect to how I mother. As my daughter has entered her mid-teen years (she’ll be 16 in November), I have been confronted every which way possible with my own mis-matched beliefs, values, and desires for life.
I had raised a mainstream, high-maintenance girl. My inner earth mama was appalled at how I could have done this. And I’ve had to face all the parts of myself that were in conflict, because for an earth mama, I am quite high maintenance myself.
And I recognize now that more than anything I did, it’s more what I didn’t do.
I didn’t share enough with my daughter about my values and I let the media and school share its values with her instead.
I didn’t take her with me enough, to the events, to the land, to the places where my heart and soul most relax.
And it almost got to the point where instead of doing that, I was going to send her to a program, where she would live outside for 10 weeks and have no choice but to connect with the Earth.
Until the clear message was given to me,“Ali, this is your chance. You are her Mother. Say yes to pulling her closer; don’t send her away. Be there with her, show her, love her, accept her, be the Mother you always wanted.” (As you can see, this voice is much kinder than the ‘Alexis’ voice, but they both truly want the best for me.)
In both cases, the message was loud and clear. It was time for me to say yes to an entirely different level of leadership.
And over the past 6 months that’s exactly what was happened. Today, I am once again (and this time fully) the CEO of the companies that support my work. I am leading my teams, supporting them to grow the companies (and themselves), and growing right along with them. I am leading my family in ways that were not available to me before.
I thought I was leading. And to some degree I was, but it was stunted leadership. I didn’t know how I could be all of me, and lead. But I kept saying yes anyway, and I am being shown, each step of the way.
So, as I’ve stepped into this leadership, I’ve been praying for support, guidance and in my business, someone who could come in and guide me to be the leader I need to be, in the ways I still don’t know how to do it.
Not another CEO to replace me, but someone to mentor and guide me.
This past week, he showed up. After a fit of immense frustration a couple of weeks ago that I couldn’t get the metrics I know I need to be looking at daily to measure the health of my company, I posted in a mastermind group I am part of with a plea “Please connect me with anyone you know who is a metrics genius and can help me to get the metrics I need to run my company well.”
Immediately, a woman I’ve been getting to know online for a while posted back a name, I messaged him, sent him my website URLs and he got on a video with me and told me how many site visitors I was getting, how long people stayed on my site, and the type of person who comes to my site. I was impressed.
Then, this past Wednesday, he got on the phone with me and two team members for three hours and dove into the business. And as he did, I knew he had exactly the skills and experience I needed to guide me.
By the end, he said, “Yes, I’ll work with you. The arrangement will be a revenue share. There’s a lot here that’s really good. And the process is going to be a lot like being pregnant – you’ll be throwing up most of the first trimester, but you’ll love it at the end.” (paraphrase)
Dream. Come. True.
And then, the terror set in.
All of the parts of me that just want to be on the land now, hiking, and growing food, and swimming in the ocean or river, and working out/doing yoga, and reading and writing are impatient. And the gypsy parts of me that are screaming “you’ve been here already too long” even though I promised myself to be here for 5 years when I moved here.
They don’t want this kind of pregnancy. They want a baby, and family, and community, and Earth.
They were NOT ON BOARD.
Ali v. Alexis in a nutshell.
So I’ve been working with them, these terrified, warring parts. Deep in my Heroine’s Journey, which I am learning more and more about via Sara Avant Stover’s new book, the Book of She.
Deeply remembering. This is the time of integration. Find the both/and here.
My friend Paul gave me an assignment last night. He said, find the answer that gives them all what they want. (Interesting for me to notice that this world that works for everyone, I so want to see created, is on the micro level a world that works for all my parts.)
So, I am. I am saying yes to all of it.
Writing this love letter on the front porch, in the sun. Realizing that I have all the family, Earth and love I want right here.
Giving Ali, my Earth Mama, the nurturing family, home, community, right here in my home in Boulder. Big land in Costa Rica can come later.
Giving Alexis, my Lady Boss CEO, the parameters within which she can work (because without parameters, she would take over everything) and the space to focus during work hours.
And, giving my Creative one (she doesn’t have a name yet), the support to keep the dream of the show alive by moving it forward slowly.
All that points to one thing, be here. Sink in. Drop the idea of going to Mexico for the month of December. Or Costa Rica for the month of February. Or Summit at Sea for your birthday.
Traveling less, being here with my family, and my community. Nesting. Focusing. Coming in.
I hear Her speaking to me.
So, I am listening.
Thank you for witnessing this discovery process. Writing to you, my readers, has helped me to sort out and clarify some things that weren’t totally clear to me until I wrote them to you. Thank you.
I would love to hear back from you if any of this resonates in your own life, and how you are experiencing moving through it. I read everything you send and appreciate all perspectives.
Love beyond the beyond,
The average 4-year college degree is a $150,000 investment. That investment is either made by parents who are already terrified about not having enough saved for their own future (and they secretly know it’s not likely even going to be valuable) OR it’s made via loans taken on by the students who will leave college with limited job prospects, drowning in dischargeable debt.
Only 1 out of 5 college students leave with a job on graduation day. And only 48% of those jobs even require degrees. The other jobs are server, barista, and nanny type jobs that didn’t require a degree anyway.
College debt is the second largest source of debt in the country, to the tune of $2.1 trillion. We are saddling our future with obligations before they’ve even begun. 70% of all Americans who have gone to college have an on average debt of $35,000. Go to a private school or out of state and you can easily triple that.
We are facing a reality where investing in your child’s college education or persuading them to do it themselves could actually be the biggest detriment to your family’s overall wealth for generations to come.
We’ve known this for a while. I imagine it may even keep you up at night to some degree. And if it hasn’t, perhaps it will now because it’s actually something fairly easy (within the context of the major issues we are facing as a global family) to fix.
Until now, there have not been clear solutions. Fortunately, our youth are coming of age in a way that has them envisioning a new, sustainable future. They’re asking the right questions, and they have the right answers.
Now, what they need is us. And, finally, there is a solution you can say yes to easily, right now, that will begin to create another possibility and provide our next generation with the resources they need so we can all sustain.
When you get there, read about the initiative that my good friend, Jules Schroeder, is creating to provide an alternative path for higher education, a path that is critical for us to step into now so our youth generation stops wasting our resources on education that doesn’t pay off and shift our investments into an education that will create more for all of us.
If you have any questions, I’d love for you to ask them, send me a message at email@example.com. Or, if you see the critical importance of this issue, as I do, please share this post with anyone else who may be ready to shift the way we are supporting our youth to step into the future.
So very much love,
PS — Please do not leave this page without reading the info from this link and making the choice to invest as much as you can into creating a new paradigm of higher education that truly serves us and our youth. We all thank you.
I’m Alexis Neely. Here at the festivals, I’m known as Ali Shanti.
What a great opportunity for our children to really experience something and learn something about “going to your edge” in a completely safe container.
I have both my kids here: my daughter is fourteen and my son is eleven.
My daughter is working. She’s babysitting for a family with four kids here under the age of seven. And my son is just playing.
It’s been a great learning experience for him, because he’s uncomfortable. This is not a hugely comfortable place for him.
It pushes his edges, as I think it does for all of us.
He’s gotten the opportunity to be with that discomfort, communicate it to me, and then, experience me being there with him while he feels it.
As parents (I don’t know if this goes for all parents, but certainly me), I get this feeling inside of me where I don’t want to be with his discomfort. I want to shut it down, and yet I know that the single most important teaching I can give him is how to be with what’s uncomfortable, how to communicate it, make requests, and be okay if things don’t go the way he wants.
Most of us don’t get to learn that through our parents. We learn it, if at all, later in life through fights with friends and partners. And my hope and belief is that bringing my son to situations like this and giving him a healthy outlet for his discomfort and then, letting him be angry at me when I don’t make things exactly the way he wants, and then me being with his anger.
I’m Hoola-Hooping and he’s shooting me with a Nerf Gun.
It’s an extremely healthy way for him to be with his anger, let it move through him, recognize that it’s okay, and me not have to change anything other than just to hear him and let him feel it all the way through.
So, that’s why I love taking my kids to experiences like this.
They’re learning way more than they would in school.
They’re learning how to live and be.
And ultimately, to create a world that works for everyone, these are the skills we have to learn.
This is the evolution, and we’re part of it.
To create a world that works for everyone, these are the skills we have to learn. Tweet it!
Do you have wealthy parents, friends or other loved ones who would be open to supporting your business if only you knew how to ask?
Would you love to feel like you are an amazing steward of wealth for the good of the world?
Watch this training call with Alexis Neely & Amrita Khalsa and discover:
- How to request financial support for your business from friends, family and other loved ones in a way that makes them want to say yes (and what to do if they say no or not right now)
- How to know how much to ask for and trust yourself that you’ll know what to do with it when you receive it
- How to invest the money that you do receive via gift, loan or inheritance so you feel phenomenal about stewarding wealth in a way that really benefits the world
- The single best structure for receiving wealth that incentivizes maximum wealth creation and decreases risk of lawsuits, loss to divorce or other creditors
This is for you if you have wealthy family, friends or loved ones & you want to make sure that when you ask them to support your business, and they say yes, or when they give you money, you understand how to receive it and steward it in the very best way possible.
By the way, love, I’d like to know… what else can we do to serve you? We’d love your input here (tell us what support you most need): http://tinyurl.com/stewardwealth
Thank you for your glowing feedback & questions on the live Hangout (please ask your questions & share comments at the bottom of this post, I would love to answer them for you)…
“Could you be any more brilliant, woman?!” – Brad Axelrad
“This is beautiful information, what a gift.” – Linda
“What if my Dad, the steward of my family’s wealth, has specifically already said he DOES NOT want to invest in a child’s business (mine) but underneath this wall – I know this is a good decision – how can i push back strongly without being pushy??” – E
“I’ve asked my family for financial support for my coaching business (e-courses) and they said yes! Now, I need to know an amount of money. I don’t have to pay it back- they just want me to use wisely. Any thoughts on how much to ask for? I’m thinking 10K.” – N
“How do I nurture and grow trust with my uncle who I’m just getting to know while at the same time approaching him for a financial gift?” – A
“Why is it that you think we (and lottery winners for example) sabotage our new influx of cash?” – B
“When I inherit money for the purpose of helping / giving others as the criteria, what is the best way to invest this money, tax wise, business entity wise as the executor of this wealth?” – H
Alexis Neely is a multiple million-dollar entrepreneurial strategist & “Lawyer You Love” who has created a unique way for you to ask for and receive the money you need to start, support or grow a business that really benefits the world.