My #1 Mistake

This is my cautionary tale for the mother, father, partner, and any individual who is busy. About 7 years ago I started my dream photo business and built it to success . . . but I did it all all wrong.

I lost the art of play. I didn't set boundaries. I didn't factor in what kind of lifestyle I wanted. I didn't really see my children and partner. Without me realizing - I was always in my to-do list, in my tomorrow, in the next project, in my worry, in my re-hashing a sent email, trapped in my mind and not living my life. I lost track of time. I did not understand the importance of being truly present and alive.

All the money in the world is not worth the years I missed of sleeping, proper eating, walks in the sunshine, laughter, and the memories I could have created with my family. I blinked and here we are, 7 years older. I finally shut my computer down a few months ago. When I did, it was as if I had been freed from a prison cell. I felt emotions more deeply. I saw color more vividly. I saw my family - I saw how truly beautiful they are. I saw the sunrise tip toe into my bedroom. I felt my furry companion purring at my side. I smelled the coffee beans before I ground them. I felt grass between my toes. I heard brilliant belly laughs. I took pleasure in pause and silence. When I awoke, I realized the deal I had made. A deal that took my breath away once I saw the terms. I traded time for pursuit. I squandered the most precious gift I had ever been gifted. I said goodbye to my children's childhood. I lost countless evenings spent wrapped in my lover's arms. I made a deal so painful that my only solace is in knowing I will never make that deal again, and that other's may learn from my mistake.

I rarely work in the evenings now. But if I must they tell me "it's okay, we're used to it." And then while holding back tears, all I want to do is rush to my children in the past, hold their smaller bodies in my arms that I didn’t take time to memorize, and tell them I’m so sorry. I want to mold my body in between his arms and and listen to every laugh that exits his body during late night tv. Then I’d turn to Jen 7 years ago and shake her. I'd wake her up. I'd tell her that everything you want is right in front of you. Be ambitious. Pursue your passions. Be a dreamer. Be a doer. But be balanced. Be a mother, a lover, a daughter, a friend first. Build everything with them at your side. Build it cautiously, without a single layer of regret. Build it differently.

Jennifer Lee Coaching

The Mother of All Mexican Casseroles

Every day could be Taco Tuesday at our house and I don't think anyone would complain. It's easily our favorite dinner, especially mine if guacamole is involved.  Instead of the usual hard shell taco, try this healthy Mexican casserole. (you could even use it for taco filling - that's delicious!) The first time I made this I remember dumping everything into my dutch oven and feeling like . . . that's it? I walked away with so much satisfaction knowing my part of dinner was done and all I had to do was wait to eat it! Wow is it a family-pleaser. It's requested nearly every week and I happily oblige. Keep scrolling for your new family favorite recipe - it's a keeper!!

Healthy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe
Healthy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe
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Healthy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe
Healthy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe
Healthy Mexican Quinoa Casserole Recipe

21 Day Fix Mexican Casserole

Why I closed my photography business . . .

I love the uncertainty of my life, and boy am I lucky that it doesn't drive Justin mad. This is big. Let me catch you up real quick, secrets divulged and all. . .

About 8 years ago, I almost quit photography before I began. Nobody knew who I was, my photos were garbage at the time, and I didn't have a single booked client. Justin (and my heart) said keep going. All logic pointed to waiting, but I'm glad I didn't listen. Instead, I opened my photography studio on Maine Street. Within a few months I had the beginnings of a successful photography business. I booked up with incredible clients and watched my little dream grow from nothing to my everything.

Then my path became uncertain. My heart wasn't completely fulfilled, and something more was calling me. I wrote a journal entry that simply said - "I want my job to be helping people."

5 years ago, my desire to create something new was stirring. I began designing a unique platform for creative professionals to run an organized business, online. It was projected to gross $1,645,000 by the end of the 2nd year. Except, we needed investors. I was in negotiation with a successful company in Portland who wanted to partner with me. The CEO was getting ready to fly us out to give me the floor to present the idea. Then at the last minute, they backed out. I stayed in bed the entire day, soaking my sheets in tears. The next day I picked up a book called “Onward,” and onward my soul went. About a month later I found out we were having June and honestly, I was too tired to start all over again. I wisely chose to focus on being a mother.

This is when my path stayed the same. My heart was less ignited, I started to feel mediocrity set in, and life became a waiting room. I wanted something more, but instead of believing I could have it, I continued waiting.

1 year ago, my many years of focusing on my business ventures instead of myself - compounded. I came across a fitness program that put me on a powerful path of inner and outer wellness. I believed this could give me an outlet to help others, so I became a fitness coach. It re-awakened my desire to build a business around helping others, but I wanted to help on a deeper level.

My path became uncertain again. My first dream was calling more clearly this time. "I want to show people their dreams are possible and that they can create lives they love living."

I have taken a leap into the thing that I've always known I was made to do:  So, here I am in this new role, ready to serve YOU. I'm having conversations daily with people who want more from life. I guide clients through powerful inner transformations so that they can become their highest self and make their impact on the world. I do this through individual coaching sessions and online courses I've created.

Now, here I stand today, much like I stood at the beginning of my photography business. All signs point to wait before I take my next leap. This leap is my biggest yet. It is the business I have wanted my entire life but I never saw a way for it to exist. Now I do. Everything in my logical world is telling me to stop, go back, turn around to safety. But my heart is so brilliantly beating with calm courage, and a huge YES. Go for it. You are meant for this. Every leap I've ever taken has brought into my life more riches than I could ever experience staying comfortable. There is nothing worth experiencing in the waiting room of life. Exit it today, and every day, and start creating a life that lights you up. My coaching supports the entrepreneurial spirit, shows the dreamer how to take action, and helps the hopeless find purpose and courage to shine their light into the world. How will you boldly and creatively serve the world? If you're denying who you truly are and what you're meant to do, then the world is missing out on your light. I would love to guide you into a life and business you really, truly LOVE. There is magic that exists on the inside of you and I want to show you how to find it, that's what I'm in the business of. . .

It's official, my name is Jennifer and I'm a Life and Business Coach. Gosh, I’m overwhelmed with emotion at how good those words feel. I really want this kind of joy for you too. If you're ready to take the leap into your dreams, I'm ready to show you how. I’ve passionately created a 6 week course that can change EVERYTHING for you. Reach out to me! We start 2/18, let's leap together ❤️

ENROLL HERE!

Jennifer Lee Life & Business Coaching

Skinny Strawberry Kombucha Cocktail

Vodka is my jam. I'm always looking for different mixers that are low in calories without compromising on taste. Vodka / Soda gets a little boring, am I right? When I heard about Kombucha as a mixer - I'm thinking that totally cancels out the booze right?! I went straight to the store to pick up some strawberry Kombucha and play with a new cocktail recipe. I added one measured level shot of vodka, sliced strawberries, mint sprigs, ice, and filled an 8 oz glass with Synergy Strawberry Kombucha. If you need to sweeten it, you could make a simple syrup and add to taste. Cheers friends! 

Ingredients
1 Shot of Vodka
8oz Kombucha (flavor of your choice) 
Sliced Strawberries
1-2 mint sprigs
Ice
(optional: make a simple syrup using equal parts sugar and water, heating until dissolved, then pouring in once it is cool) 

Kombucha Cocktail Vodka Skinny Healthy Recipe
Kombucha Cocktail Vodka Skinny Healthy Recipe
Kombucha Cocktail Recipe

My Soulful Coffee Date

It's Saturday afternoon and I'm sitting cozied in the corner of my favorite coffee shop. I came here to work on my first online course I'm launching. I believe this course is life changing. It is everything I needed to get unstuck. It propelled me into the life and business I feel that I was truly created for and I believe it can do that for anyone. But back to my coffee date. . . I asked the Universe for this specific seat at the coffee shop to be open when I arrived. That's rare on a busy Saturday afternoon. It was busy, but it was open. ((smile)) I sit at the back, at the end of a long table I have to myself. I choose the chair next to the wall where I can plug in my laptop for hours of productivity. I've spent hours here in this very spot, always creating something over good conversation with friends, and lukewarm coffee in hand.

Today I sit alone. I'm really good company though, I don't mind. I'm feeling uncertainty over my new launch. What if no one comes? What if this beautiful gift I want to give everyone, is unwrapped by only a few? What if I fail? I hear my heart quote "Failing is not a problem you will face. Failing is how you will get there." (Rich Litvin) I am reminded that everything I go through will make me a more effective leader. I'll be able to help others move through fear when I master moving through my own. Plus, to fail means I am in action. You can never "fail" if you never act. "Those who are excellent at their work have learned to comfortably coexist with failure. The excellent fail more than the mediocre. They begin more. They attempt more. They attack more. Mastory lives atop a mountain of mistakes." (John Maxwell) I savor all of these thoughts for a moment, then without warning, my imagination takes hold and I see my future-self step into the coffee shop. She's so beautiful - the way she carries herself, her smile, her warmth, her open heart. She sees me sitting here in our spot; she smiles. I immediately feel her gratitude. She is thankful for the tears and doubt I experienced, and that I let none of those emotions stop me from leaping. She is thankful I was able to sit in my heaviest feelings and then step out of them into action. She is thankful that while having no life handbook at all, I kept going, even when nothing was clear and nothing looked possible. She is thankful that while everything in the physical world looked quiet, I chose to believe BIG things were happening in the unseen. My imagination drifts and I tell her "see you soon." How ironic that the first course I'm leading is called "Taking the Leap." I will always be a student first -  here I go, watch me leap.

If you are ready to move past your fears and leap into a life or business you love - it seems the Universe has brought you to the exact place you need to be. I'd be very honored to guide you. My 6 week course that I've passionately created for you is opening soon, you can get the info and enroll here: 

Taking the Leap | 6 Week Online Course

Jennifer Lee Life Coaching