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IS THIS COURSE RIGHT FOR ME?

This course is designed for any woman who is committed to realizing her full potential: as a mother, a small business owner . . . and a human being. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started or if you’ve been running a successful (or not so successful—deep breath, we’ll fix that) business for years—nor does it matter what industry you’re in (AKA: it is NOT just for photographers). It’s not important if you’re single, if you’ve been married for a decade or if you’re a recent divorcée. You may be newly pregnant with your first child, or you may have so many children that you’ve recently lost count. If you are passionate about living your best life—making your greatest impact on your family and the world—this course is for you. Get ready to turn those big picture dreams into balancedengagingpassion-filled, and profitable realities.

STILL NOT CERTAIN THIS COURSE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, The Breathe Intensive is definitely right for you.

Is there a gap between where you are now and where you truly want to be?

Are you unclear about where it is you truly want to be?

Are you overwhelmed by the constant balancing act of business and life?

Are you frustrated because you’re working your little heart out, but you just don’t seem to be achieving measurable or sustainable results?

Is your family suffering because they’re not receiving your best as you focus on keeping up with the never ending tasks of running a business?

Is your business suffering because you can’t seem to find the time or energy to devote to it while simultaneously giving your family everything they need/deserve?

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost sight of your TURE self among all the different roles you play?

Are you less happy with the state of your day to day life than you know you could/should be?

HOW LONG DOES THE CLASS RUN AND WHAT’S THE TIME COMMITMENT? 

The Breathe Intensive runs for 5 weeks.

Each monday, a new lesson will be delivered to our online classroom. Between lesson participation and homework assignments, and depending on the rhythm of each individual student, you can expect to spend approximately 3-4 hours per week “in class.”

CAN YOU GIVE ME MORE DETAILED PARTICIPATION INFORMATION SO I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT? 

All participation and interaction will take place in a private online forum. (Registered students will receive instructions on how to access the forum a few days before class begins.)

On the first Monday of class, I will share Lesson 1 in the forum as well as e-mail it directly to every student. Throughout the week, as you read the lesson and work through the homework assignments, feel free to post thoughts/questions in the forum space. I will be available to answer questions and facilitate discussions, and I invite and encourage all class members to collaborate and work together to offer feedback and facilitate discussion as well! (Note: I will be accessible via the forum M-F only.)

Each week will follow the same pattern.

WILL I RECEIVE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION AS IT RELATES TO MY SPECIFIC LIFE/GOALS?

Short answer, YES, ABSOLUTELY! 

I am PASSIONATE about real human to human connection. Not only will I be working to get to know each of you through online forum discussions throughout the duration of the class, I’ll also be sending out a questionnaire a few days before class begins to help me get acquainted with the specific challenges and needs each individual student enrolled in the course. Remember, anything you share in this questionnaire will be held in the strictest of confidence.

I’ll also be hosting four live question and answer calls throughout the duration of our 5 weeks together! Questions may be emailed in advance or asked during the live call. NOTE: calls will be recorded and links provided for those who are unable to participate live. Call-in information will be provided within the forum and via email.

Calls are scheduled as follows:

Friday, April 11 from 10-11am PST

Friday, April 18 from 10-11am PST

Friday, May 2 from 10-11am PST

Friday, May 9 from 10-11am PST.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU CAN TELL ME TO HELP ME MAKE THIS DECISION? 

Look, there are a million different “right” ways to “balance business and life,” but not every right way is the right way for you. I know, because I’ve been where you are. And in my desperation, I turned to mentors, I attended courses, I read books. . . all promising life changing results as it relates to living a balanced, successful, fulfilling life.  In the end, not a one delivered on their promises, because those cookie cutter systems and structures are NOT one size fits all!

Undeterred (in fact, more resolved than EVER to find a way to live the life of my dreams),  I turned inward. I turned down the volume on outside influences, got real, worked hard, and intentionally built—from the inside out—a BEAUTIFUL way of living, balancing and thriving that works perfectly for me (and my family too).

The Breathe Intensive was born of my desire to help guide others along as they do the work to build the intentional life of their dreams—on their own terms.

I am 100% committed to holding your hand and guiding you along as you go through the process of getting clear about what you want and developing a realistic, CUSTOMIZED map to get you from where you currently are, to where you are sincerely meant to be.

This course is designed to empower and guide you along as you build the life of your dreams—a life of intention, balance, meaning and success—in a way that is broad enough to include your loftiest of goals AND a concern for the ultimate (and most exquisite) well being of the people in your life who matter the very most!

WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT?

I can promise you that if you show up with your whole heart and really do the work, together we will define exactly what you’re looking for in terms of business and family life and determine exactly how the two can work together to create the very most powerful ends possible!

The results? A more clearly defined end in mind, increased marketability and profitability, enhanced connection and satisfaction in business, and greater order, happiness, connection, purpose and fulfillment at home!

NOTE: THIS COURSE ISN’T FOR EVERYONE.

If you’re looking for a lecture, this is not the class for you.

This course will require you to step in and do the hard work (read “smart work”) to get exactly what it is you really want (and more often than not, something even better). It will require you to get in touch with your core, the deepest parts of the guts that make you who you really are. This course will require you to answer some tough questions and face some tough facts, and it may require you to change deeply seeded and limiting thought patterns that could be holding you back from living your full potential–as a mother, a wife, an individual and a small business owner. If you’re not willing to grab your life  by the horns, with your entire heart and soul, then this class probably isn’t for you. 

WHERE DO I SIGN UP?

You can register for The Breathe Intensive here, or simply copy and paste the following url into your web browser: http://www.thedefineschool.com/learn/breathe/

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Add to Cart” to be directed to the registration and payment window.

I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU IN CLASS! 

This morning, as we drove the boys to school, Richie in the back seat right along with the rest of the crazies, everyone singing along to The Beatles (my absolute favorite band), reading family scriptures, having family prayer, and then shouting our “I love you’s” back and forth as the boys piled out of the van and bounced joyfully into the world. . . I was filled to overflowing with gratitude and joy.

We’ve worked so hard, Richie and I, to set up our lives intentionally. Early in our marriage, we sat down together and decided upon staunch priorities surrounding what we wanted our life together to look and feel like. (NOTE: It’s no surprise that the majority of those goals centered around the kind of life we hoped to be able to provide for our children).  I’m so happy to report (to myself more than anyone else) that despite pitfalls, roadblocks, discouragement, and outright failures (yes, plural), we’ve remained committed to the things we deemed (together) to matter the very most. Case in point the ability to drive the boys to school—together—in the mornings, and the luxury of picking them up—together—in the afternoons. This is a small example of a bigger picture reality we have worked so hard to achieve.

Not to say that we’ve got it all perfect. We still have SO (so so so so so SO) far to go, but we’re on the right path—the pathway toward our intentional life, and it is so absolutely energizing and fulfilling that my heart nearly bursts with joy just thinking about it.

Intentional living will look different for everyone, but friends, do the work to get clear (about what you want your life to look like) and then get busy (creating the life of your dreams). You CAN do it, and you’ll be so glad you did!

Allow me to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Ms Karen Lamb: ”A year from now, you’ll wish you started today.”

xx,

N

 

Good morning. Good night.

“You look awful!”

He steps in to get a better look.

“Like, (perplexed pause), you look like you are about to die!”

He leans in even closer.

But before he can find a way to further articulate his horror, we both burst into side-splitting laughter.

“This is what I need him for,” I think, as I look down and realize that I’m still in my pajamas at 7:30. . . PM.

There is a pile of wrappers that used to contain the canister full of dinner mints that have sustained me all day long.

This was . . . a day. Ya know? And if I’m being totally honest, I’ll say that I have a lot of days like this. I’m not the mom who wakes up and has her make-up on before she gets the kids out of bed in the morning. I’ll never be that mom. I wish I were that mom. But guess what? Reality: I’m lucky if I get my make up on before our semi-annual family photo session, forget the drop off line at school. And that’s ok with me. (Sort of. . . . Well, most of the time. OK. A good percentage of the time. Like say, 35%.)

On days when I’m feeling particularly spread thin and frazzled, I remind myself that I’m a part of something. Something that matters. In fact, I’m a part of a lot of somethings that matter, and I get to live them out every day, with my entire soul. That means something to me. It really does. So yes, I’m still in the stars and stripes that I put on at 10:30pm . . . yesterday. And no, I’m not ashamed (I’m a little ashamed) to be admitting that out loud. (Actually, you know what? I did it on purpose. It makes going to bed again a cinch.)

______________________________

Dear, sweet, strong, brave, bat-freaking-crazy, zombie face Natalie,

Every day, as you break up fist fights between your children, stop and look at them (but not for too long, or there will be blood). Stop and really look at them, and remember that they are yours. You made them. And you get to keep them, forever. That’s a something to be proud of. 

As you look at the pile of dishes that is stinking up not only the kitchen but is sneaking it’s way into your living space as well, remember, you survived on dinner mints today because you wanted to, not because you didn’t have enough food to eat. You have a kitchen full of dishes and a pantry full of food to put on them. Why you chose to subsist on dinner mints is a mystery of the free world. But every girl needs to keep a little mystery in her life. So, good on ya! This is all a something to feel very grateful for. 

When your husband tells you you look like the walking dead, wrap your arms tight around his neck, because if it weren’t for him, you would drive yourself right into the ground with how hard you work every day, and you know it. His love and hilarity are the solitary reasons you stay sane and keep your head square upon your shoulders. That is a something to cry tears of joy about.

When you are starting to doubt the wisdom of your 3 month long email strike as you see unanswered messages spilling out the front door and onto the neighbor’s lawn, remember— each one of those emails (except the stupid ones from Living Social and K-Mart) represents one of God’s children that you get the absolute honor of loving on for a few measly minutes of your big bad day. That is a something you need to appreciate as a gift. That is a something you need to remember to love.

When you are losing your mind trying to coordinate all the logistics of your crazy-beautiful life, just look around at all the SPECTACULAR people who are constantly rising up to help, to encourage, to support and to sustain your efforts. YOUR life is FILLED TO OVERFLOWING with not only somethings but someones who love you fiercely. . .far more than you deserve.

 

Above: Discussing Metta (loving kindness) Meditation with Mom after a particularly hard night.

 

 At the end of a long day of hustling like your life depended on it, when your 10 year old asks you to come and not only listen to him practice his drums, but sing vocals for him as well (WHAT?!), remember, migraines.are.awesome. (That’s not a something. It’s just torture, by the way. But it is evidence of a life full of love and belonging. . . and THAT is a something you could never live without.)

And when you didn’t get dinner on the table, and your house is nearing disaster status, and your laundry is taking over the bathroom, and said bathroom smells like number one, and you are exhausted on a cellular level, and despite going a million miles an hour—all.day.long—you really aren’t sure what you even accomplished . . . remember, you have opposable thumbs, and that is neat.

Hang in there, sister. Your life is beautiful.

xo,

Self

PS Want to join me in an upcoming something that I’m incredibly proud to be a part of? Come see me and two of my most treasured and respected friends (Tamara Lackey and Jen Bebb) in Brooklyn, Nashville or LA for a day of encouragement, straight talk and practical, sustainable application that is sure to get you from where you are now (10:45pm in yesterday’s pajamas?), to where you truly want to be (10:45 pm in yesterday’s pajamas, but eating ice cream too??).

All joking aside*, this event is not to be missed. Find (real) information here: What If Conference | The Day Camps.

*Note: this is my last scheduled speaking engagement of 2013.

Caping, Sedona, AZ. Watching the sunset at the lookout on Airport Road.

I have been thinking.

A lot, actually.

About life. About love. About what really matters.

Not what I’m TOLD matters, but what sincerely matters to me. . . at the very core of who I am.

You know, this image is it. Nothing beyond that, nothing beyond them (all of them, pictured or no) matters a lick.

As I rest there, in THAT reality? I find peace. I find clarity. I find perfect direction. In this world, spinning at a maddening pace, I am still.

I am still.

Will you regret it when you’re 80?

My husband, Richie, is a thousand times smarter than I am. When I’m up against a big decision and go to him seeking advice, he always turns things right back around on my own sense of intuition. He maintains that NO ONE knows what’s best for me better than I do. (PS. The same is true of each of you).  “Natalie, will you regret it when you’re 80?” he asks (with a wickedly obnoxious little grin).

Allow me to explain.

I recently found myself on a chartered boat in the middle of the Carribbean Sea. Knowing I might never be in this place again, knowing that this opportunity was likely once in a lifetime for me, knowing that were I NOT to jump, I WOULD look back and regret it when I was 80, I stood up, and I dove in.

Are you on the edge of the boat? Is opportunity knocking but you can’t seem to bring yourself to jump? Afraid the water’s cold? Afraid of what might be lurking beneath the surface? Afraid you might drown?!

I get it.

Jump anyway. Or. . .  be prepared to regret it when you’re 80.

I love the opportunity to look into people’s lives and provide heartfelt feedback and loving direction. I don’t have all the answers—not even close—but as I respond to your questions, I get the tremendous blessing of watching you soar, not to mention the treasured gift of self reflection and the beautiful byproduct of personal development. Because of this, I’m genuinely falling in love with Formspring. Here’s an example from today’s feed that illustrates this fear to JUMP. (Nope, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot.)

Question:

Ok, so WHY am I scared of success? Why am I nervous to be as awesome as I know I can be??? Why do people sabatoge amazing opportunities?? I have the potential to be great. Things are all lined up for awesomeness… I’m just afraid to take that step.

My response:

Not knowing your specific goals or challenges, I think it’s best for me to simply answer from my realm of experience.

I personally get really afraid of success because I know the amount of work it’s going to require. I crave simplicity, I crave clarity, I crave a calm, uneventful life. . . and I KNOW that the kind of success that is available to me (and to each of us) requires a lot of STINKING.HARD.WORK. Stretching, growing, risking: all things that success requires, come along with a fair amount of chaos, unpredictability, and confusion. It’s hard for me emotionally to knowingly opt in to all that is required for big change— big success.

I also fear failure. I really fear getting lazy and not being willing to consistently put in the hard work required to make big things happen in my life. It is possible to do and become ANYTHING. Even as a mother, I can have balance and success between my work and family life, but it takes A LOT of commitment, A LOT of consistency, and A.LOT.OF.EFFORT. The reality of everything can be vastly overwhelming to me (often to the point of damming me up completely).

A good way I’ve found to combat these feelings is to say to myself: “Will I regret it when I’m 80?” This material is 100% Richie’s. He’s so much smarter than I am. If I look at my goals and I say, “When I’m 80, looking back on my life, will I regret not putting in the hard work to achieve a, b or c?” If the answer is “yes” then I put on my hard hat and I get to work, no matter the cost. If the answer is “no,” then I reevaluate my goals.

The reality is, you have EVERYTHING you need to be successful. You have every resource, every ounce of strength, every minute of time you need. Each of us has EVERYTHING we need—right in this very moment. I really do believe that. We just have to have the complete confidence that we are on the right path. Once you’re sure, take courage, put on your hard hat, and have faith in yourself. You’re SO much greater, SO much more capable than you know!

Now, let me ask YOU:

Will YOU regret it when you’re 80?

Will you regret not following through on that nagging hunch? Will you regret not getting in touch with your authentic self? Will you regret not risking it all to go for that amazing dream? Will you regret spending your life in a job that doesn’t play to your unique strengths (a job you hate)? Will you regret not fighting hard for the success of the most important relationships in your life? Will you regret not giving your all to be genuinely HAPPY?

Will you regret not embracing your fears and jumping anyway?

JUMP! Your life is waiting.