I spent two and a half weeks with my family nestled deep in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado while my dad was dying. I rarely spend more than a weekend with my family. I love them and we often have a good time together but my visits are short.
Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. I’m Stephanie Shar and I’m a small business owner and entrepreneur. People are my passion. I believe that my purpose in life is to encourage and empower other women to follow their dreams. My mission is to make the world a more positive place by helping women serve boldly, live loudly, and love themselves. I recently moved back to the tiny Michigan farm town I was raised in after living…
The fact is, no one is perfect – but we’re all amazing in our own ways. We just need to be willing to see both sides in ourselves and other people.
In my challenge to find ways to be courageous this month, I realized that I had to reframe it or else I would spiral into the hole of shame that tells me I’m lame, lazy, boring and never going to have excitement in my life. That without taking big risks, I’m not a brave person. That unless I face fear head on, like a badass, with conviction, that I’m not a bold, courageous person.
If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. Life is too short to spend your time doing things that don’t fuel your fire.
Success is finding joy along the way. Success isn’t always a destination, sometimes it’s the lessons and people you meet along the way.
I’m Lauren Caselli, aka Mama M, the organizer and behind-the-scenes lady-with-a-clipboard for Stratejoy Summer Camp. I’m an event planner, marketer, strategist, sponsor guru, and all out event-lover.
I live in Bozeman, MT and work with clients all over the world. I rarely stay put, but when I do, I like to hike, bike around town, camp, and eat my weight in fancy Japanese ramen.
If you’ve been sliding into the land of distraction, numbness, excessive soothing at the expense of your values, there’s no point in beating yourself up.
Practice some self compassion and let today be the “reset” button. If the comfort has been gaining crazy momentum, make a different choice now. Today. Tonight.
I know you can do it.
I think by showing up and being who I am 100% of the time that it will help other people to do the same. I believe that if we can take off our masks and be vulnerable and real and share our authentic selves fully that the world would be a better place.
I’m learning how to let the past be the past while recognizing that it has shaped how I exist in the present. Having grace for the me I used to be. Forgiving myself for not knowing the things that I didn’t know when I didn’t know them.
I’ve started to realize that I’m an artist and a musician and that’s the kind of art that I make – the kind of art that pulls you open, or pulls you near, or brings you back to life with breath. Life pulls life and in order to find what I want, I’ve got to give everything I am.
I began the search by asking a simple question: What is security? Security is knowing that, no matter what, I am okay, I am loved, I am enough.
I love my childlike, playful nature – I am still so in awe of the beauty of the world, of the people who live in it and of their stories. My heart is full of compassion for others and I always look for ways to help. I have a passion for life and want to learn everything about everything and I can always find the humor in it all.
There are times when my worries are minor and probably like what most people have: that ticker tape running in the bottom of your head reminding you what not to forget at the grocery store; the voice that stresses over money and work frustrations.
I feel successful on a daily basis when I show up fully, keep my promises to myself and others, and try my hardest. I’m honestly happy with my life as it is and lit up by the future I’m working towards, and that feels very much like success to me.
I love my independence and my positive outlook on life. My independence is paramount to me…I have this deep need to be able to take care of myself. I even have my own set of power tools and I know how to use them! I know that no matter what life throws at me I can handle it and I love that about myself.
I chose Pleasure as my guiding word for the year because I was craving something that felt the opposite of hustle. The opposite of focus and drive and the pressure of shoulding myself to achieve more, more, more. As someone who doesn’t shy away from hard work, big ambition and buckling down to “get shit done” — pleasure felt a very soft and scary word to declare. I was nervous to share with the world that I wanted to explore ways…
In my personal heaven, I wake up every morning, in my comfy bed with a smile and look forward to getting out of bed and doing my job; which has become a complete focus on my artwork. I live with the man I love in our home that we own with our cat. I have my own art studio in the beautiful backyard that I work in every day creating my jewelry and other things. I create my own hours and am able to schedule time for wonderful vacations and gatherings with friends and family. Each day I am grateful for what I have.
I am reconnected to the truth that I don’t need anyone else to validate my dream. Just because it’s not possible for someone else doesn’t mean it’s not possible for me.
It’s time for me to get away. From the hectic and busy life that leaves me feeling like I hardly have time to breathe. From the day-to-day responsibilities of being a mother, wife and employee. To have a chance to get in touch with myself,for once in my life, away from family and distractions. And for the morning sessions. The quiet reflecting time. The morning runs. The high-ropes course. Diving into the lake. Happy hour, campfires and the freedom to be…
Success for me is measured in memories and relationships rather than things. I’m not a “things” person so I love my people, my tribe, and I love them hard. They are what matters. They are my success, so success is having a rock solid group of friends and family that we can call our tribe. And success to me is having someone to share my life with, a partner to support and be supported by.
Even though it took me until the last minute to pull the trigger, and despite the bits that make me anxious, I am coming to camp because I need it. For myself. For my heart.
This is what I really want for you to know: you do not need to sacrifice yourself in order to make a difference. You can live a life that’s infused with joy, gratitude, community, and play. This does not make you less worthy.
I feel that I would be a different person entirely today if I had spent nearly half as much time loving myself for who I have always been instead of hating myself for it.
While happiness is dependent on external circumstances (and thus wildly out of our control in many ways), joy is a way of deliberately engaging with life.
Success to me isn’t something that can be measured in dollars, quantity or material possessions. Success is a feeling. It’s getting to a point in your life where you’re living for you, with your heart as your guide. Being able to follow your passions and do the things that make you happy. Living TRUE to yourself.
I clearly remember the day, walking home after middle school. I was rounding the rock that marked “smoker’s corner” where all the “bad kids” would gather and show their rebellion by smoking cigarettes. I was alone though, no one else was nearby when I had the strangest thought. It was a good day. I was happy.
I have learned (and am still learning) that sometimes the very things that you believe to be the “worst” parts of you are those facets that become what you love most. I have always been a sensitive dreamer. I would be affected by situations and lash out in negative ways and then beat myself for ‘Feeling’. I now know that all of this means that I am an empath who feels very deeply. So deeply, in fact, that it often equates to physical pain. And you know what? I LOVE THIS ABOUT MYSELF.
I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering if I’m defective. Wondering if I’m a selfish, miserable shrew. I feel like I know pure joy, pure love, but everyone keeps informing me that I’ll never know because I’m not a mom.
I never realized how much I was longing to take ownership of my life and how long I was waiting for permission to do so! It’s scary to assume responsibility for my career, my desires, my mistakes, my marriage, my body, and my decisions. But it’s a lot less stressful than being on the fence about every little thing. So I’m trying this new thing where, if my presence is required, I go all in. I’m still not a big fan of risk. But I’m not a big fan of stunting my own growth and maturity, either.
When you’re walking for six hours in a day, you’re granted the luxury of precious time to think. And I had a lot of thinkin’ to do – about my health as of late, about how I want my career to move forward, the habits in my life that contribute to my wellness (and lack thereof), about what I want the next steps to be in my relationship, about what I’m sorry for and who deserves an apology, about self-worth and confidence and integrity and motivation.
I found Stratejoy during a time of transition back in 2008 or so. I did the original, original Joy Equation course and when Molly was planning a fantastic and open-ended road trip around America, she and I worked together to host a workshop in Portland, Maine, where I was living. When she and Ken rolled up to my house in their Stratejoy-branded camper, well, it was a lovefest all around. We had a fab weekend making soup and doing yoga and I loved showing off Maine to a couple of newcomers. While I live halfway around the world now, I’m a tribe sister at heart spread Stratejoy’s message on this side of the pond!
I worried I was one of those people who always wanted what she didn’t have and that I would constantly be chasing something other than what I had in front of me.
One day I was sitting in my fancy corporate cubicle about to cry and googled “Life Coach Seattle.” Guess who popped up – Miss Molly Mahar of course! That was 2012, when I took one of Molly’s courses which led me into the personal development/online business world. Fast forward to today, I quit the corporate gig and do the work I love that fits into my ideal lifestyle. It gives me the opportunity to help people and gives me the flexibility that I craved for my life.
Who’s got your back? How do you learn, question, absorb, and teach all the inspiration and advice that flows through life? How do we narrow down the crazy influx of information we’re exposed to everyday? When it comes to enriching our lives, understanding who makes up our community and how their unique role supports us is so important. Understanding your own Ladder of Support Makes sure you’ve got the right people on your team Helps you identify the specific people…
For the last few years, every time I’ve gotten on a plane to fly away from my family, my heart aches. I am almost 30 years old, but I still find myself tearing up while I wait in the security line to fly back to California after Thanksgiving, Winter Break and Fourth of July weekend, knowing it will be months before the whole Brown clan is back together again and longing for just a few more days of drinking wine, playing cards, and watching TV with my favorite people. The truth is, I really love my family and desperately want to live closer to them.
So I have a note in Evernote called “life list” that I haven’t updated since 2011. Wow is it cool to look back at that. Some things are old hat now. Have a baby? Been there, done that. Three things that are still sparking as awesome must dos are: Own a home, develop a taste for wine and see the Northern Lights.
Maybe you’ve been there. If you’re like me, you know you’re on the right track, you know you’re evolving and growing and moving towards that teeny light you can see at the end of the tunnel, but you also aren’t loving the journey.
Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. Hola! Im Sonia. I’m from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. I’m a pediatrician with 90 percent of my work in a private practice and the other 10 percent in the Pediatrics ER. I’m a daughter whose dad is my guardian angel and my tree of life. My mom is my “person” and I am her little butterfly. I am friend whose tribe is my support system both offline and online….
Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. Hi! I’m Leslie from Toronto, Ontario where I live with my other half of 16 years, Niall, in an awesome high-rise apartment with views of Riverdale Park, the CN Tower and Lake Ontario. In the real world I’m a professional organizer and owner of my revived company called Your Fairy Godmover, which is a full service professional organizing, move coordinating and positive change facilitation company. So, as well as literally packing…
Sometimes it’s still hard for me to unhook from the mistaken beliefs of “perfection” that once raged loudly inside my mind. Perfect weight… “If I lose these 30 pounds I gained in college, then I’ll be attractive again and thus, dateable. And then I’ll be happy.” Perfect job… “If I get a promotion to manager, then I’ll be respected at work. And then I’ll be happy.” Perfect lifestyle… “If I start my own business and make as much money as I did in my day job, then…
Practicing joy is a skill, a mindset, and a way of looking at the world that keeps me from getting lost in the hurt, fear, and ugliness that are so often shoved in my face in today’s media culture. It’s the anchor to not giving up.
I wasn’t able to respond, so I just sat there and let myself cry. I was embarrassed to be this emotional. I was relieved that he understood.
Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. I’m Gaia and I currently live in Copenhagen, Denmark with my two roomies. I’m an actor – I think I was born that way. I’ve always been an entertainer and a storyteller. Hell, my mom always says that when she would put baby Gaia down for a nap, I would spend a lot of time making noises, as if I was in a hurry to learn how to speak, so I could…
If your heart is set on making a living from your work, you owe it to yourself to discover what you’re most passionate about, and design your day-to-day experience to get as much of that as possible.
Oprah has said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” I believe practicing joy happens every single day by being grateful for what you have. When I express gratitude for a beautiful snowy day, a student who has had a huge success, or for little things like fuzzy blankets – I find myself in such a better mental headspace. I find myself in the spirit of joy. I also find joy by surrounding myself with those who life me higher. Practicing joy is an ever-evolving practice centered in celebrating what I already have.
Even though I’m not a “professional” dancer by vocation, and these days I don’t battle or train like before, I am a dancer and I always will be. Because dance is all about the journey.
Stratejoy Summer Camp is the kind of experience that you treasure forever. It will open you up to deeply joyful experiences, offer you the sense community that you’re probably craving, push your pre-conceived notions of what you’re capable of… And it will bring you closer to your most authentic self (promise). We could tell you all day long how much you can benefit from 5 days in the woods hitting refresh with women that you didn’t even know were your best…
I have no results, only fears and betrayals and a hope that dims like Tinkerbell’s light after she drinks poison. There are mysteries lurking in my body. My body is Pandora’s box.
This version of my dream has been 8 years in the making.
3 iterations of this website. Numerous failures and daily lessons learned. Tears and sweat and blood and gallons of wine. Vulnerable asks and scary times of scarcity. Learning and relearning to trust myself and my Tribe. 3 moves and 2 kids. Growing pains, internet judgment, imposter syndrome.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Because I have also made lifelong soul sister friends. Changed lives. Stepped up into my role as CEO. Made a difference. Shared truths that are important to me. Listened hard. Connected incredible women. Shared the message that we are enough, that we are worthy of joy, that life on our own terms is important. Took my big wild and crazy dreams seriously.
Need some encouragement to start building your own version of a dream career/legacy/business/life?
Let this be it.
Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. I’m Meg Cassidy! I’m a sports fan, dog lover, 2014 Elevate sister, runner and writer, among other things. I live on my own in Connecticut in an adorable apartment that I’m still in the process of decorating. I’m so lucky to have a job I love, working as an associate producer at ESPN on SportsCenter. If the following things were professional sports, I would be an All-Star: sleeping until 10am,…
Have you ever looked at the woman next to you and thought, “Why is her life better than mine?” There’s a reason for that. And no, it’s not: “You aren’t working hard enough.” In fact, your time is coming. We are all experiencing a different stage of the same life cycle. We have been here before and we will be here again. Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of women in transition, and over and over I watch them…