Tuesday, January 28, 2014

giveaway : Dream. Discover. Do. e-Course



"Dream. Discover. Do. is a program that helps to connect you with your dreams, to help you understand your strengths and values and passions and to start motivating and inspiring you to do the things you really love. It's also a chance for you to understand how you limit yourself; how you self-sabotage or how you have faulty thinking that holds you back from doing the things that you want to be doing in your life."  

Last week I answered some questions about motherhood, blogging and working from home for a popular women's magazine. I discussed the fact that mothers surrender and sacrifice (a lot) in order to raise babies. Whilst the act of conceiving, growing and birthing a baby is the ultimate creative process, in the blurry days of babyhood we just don't have the time or energy to embrace personal creative pursuits. I know this experience well and it was writing and photography that got me out of the fog and helped me create something tangible - thank goodness! 

However, a big part of the creative process is the questioning - am I good enough? Is my work worthy? I want to create but I don't know how to go about it? And perhaps it's more prevalent today than it ever has been as we are inundated with photos across a range of social mediums. But if I've learned one thing over the past few years it's this: we are living in an age where we can turn our creative pursuits into a career, it just takes determination and hard work. 

Life-coach and mindfulness teacher, Kate James from Total Balance has created an 8-week e-course that, I believe, is the perfect blend of guidance, inspiration and encouragement for those who want to embark on a new creative journey. Commencing 14 February 2014, Dream. Discover. Do. will help you reveal your unique strengths, reconnect with your passions and believe in yourself enough to pursue the things you love.

If giveaways aren't your thing Kate has offered Practising Simplicity readers a $50 discount by entering the code simplicity at checkout. 


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The winner of this giveaway will win the Dream. Discover. Do. e-course, valued at $249. It commences 14th February 2014 and can be done from the comfort of your own home. To enter just leave a comment explaining why you need to do this course - tell us a bit about your dreams and what's holding you back. Kate and I will choose a winner based on the story that most resonates with us.

The winner will be announced in this post at 8pm on February 4th. Open to international readers!

Kate and I were completely overwhelmed with your comments; your honest, raw, beautiful stories that you shared so generously. Because we couldn't choose one winner, Kate has decided to give the e-course to 2 deserving winners. Congratulations Andrea @ Hey Mama, Rock Me and LauraD. Can you please email me at jodiclairewilson @ yahoo.com.au and I'll put you in touch with Kate.

We want you all to have access to some of Kate's brilliant work so if you click here you'll be able to download her ebook titled: Create a Life You Love - it includes simple exercises to help get you started on chasing your dreams. 

Best of luck x


50 COMMENTS

  1. My brain is always full of new ideas of things I could try, things I want to do - but I lack the motivation and self-belief. I always come to a stand still and I'm not completely sure I understand what is stopping me. Unfortunately for me, my teaching degree does not bring me the satisfaction I was hoping it would. Casual teaching is as un-glorified as it sounds and I find myself a little stuck for where to turn to next. This course (which begins just in time for my 30th birthday!) could really help me to discover more about myself and what I want to do with my life, career wise. Thanks for the opportunity. x

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  2. I have been struggling lately with anxiety and not knowing my path in life. I know I was put on this earth to do great things, I want to inspire, help and live a life I am passionate about. I am currently feeling very lost and confused about my path in life, this seems like a perfect fit for me!!

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  3. This is such a wonderful giveaway. I am so thrilled to hear about an e-course like this. A few months before my maternity leave was due to end, I got made redundant. It came as a massive shock. Finances of course were an issue but the emotional shock of no longer having a job took me by surprise. Since December, I have been trying so hard to pull myself together. Instead of being sad about loosing my job, I seized the opportunity to finally start the creative business that I have been putting off for years. I am still a full-time mama and will be for the foreseeable future and so managing my time, my heart and my creativity is my biggest battle at the moment. Confidence that I am doing best by my son and for myself is something I am trying to muster daily. It is such a huge gamble for me. I hope that I am good enough to build the simple creative life I want for myself and my family. To be given some stepping stones and guidance as I begin this journey would be so very appreciated.

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  4. My word of the year is FEARLESS, fearless letting go of my current career, fearless of taking action to steer things in a new direction and fearless in entering a blog giveaway. It has been a lifelong calling of mine to be a healer, a guide, a life coach- some might call it, but with so many directions and avenues I am finding it difficult to choose the right path for me. My journey is only starting so this ecourse would give me some ideas of what to mark on my personal map and give me the direction I need to be successful on this new creative venture.

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  5. Ah, I got a little shiver reading about this. Jodi, how you describe the "blurry days of babyhood" is spot-on for me. I have 16 month old twins and I am still in a fog. I see and read so many intriguing, inspiring things--from photography to art projects to do with your children--and yet I don't know how to make these things true in my own home...for my family or for myself. I have been blogging for about two years but I feel like I've hit a plateau of some sort. I'm a creative person with no true outlet and I'd love to pinpoint where my dreams and abilities intersect.

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  6. This year I want my dreams to become true... and even I know the direction I want to develop to I haven`t found my path yet, the clear frame in which I want to discover and build my future. I guess I just need a leap of faith but there are somany questions I need to answer yet to myself in which I could need some guidance...

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  7. This is a wonderful giveaway! I think the main reason I would feel so blessed to get a chance to do this e-course is because I am quite simply just utterly exhausted with so many feelings of being lost, and especially since for most of my life the one thing I have rooted myself to with determined fervency is my sense of creativity, I feel this course offers the chance to figure out once more who I am. I am currently studying to be a teacher and one of the things I feel most passionate about within teaching is instilling a sense of creativity and wonder within children, one that is strong enough to last them until they are all grown up - and beyond! With this e-course I could hopefully rediscover how to go about this passion and how to weave the beautiful reality of who I am throughout every aspect of my life.

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  8. Our family is taking a big leap this Spring. My husband is losing his job due to his company being sold and I am currently a stay at home mom with our daughters, one who is autistic, and teach yoga part time. We decided that we could no longer stay in California because it was too expensive and limiting in education for our children. We decided to take the risk and move back to Ohio. We will be near our family and there is a private autism school there that is perfect for our daughter. We are going without jobs lined up. I hope to teach yoga and volunteer at the autism school. My husband is hoping to finally start his own business, which would be a dream come true for him. I want this so much for him! We are tired of our lives being dictated by others and want to take life into our hands and see what we can make of it. We are terrified. But I feel deep down in my soul that we are doing the right thing. I think this e-course would help us immensely in our journey. "Life is what happens on the other side of fear"

    Warmly,

    Elizabeth

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  9. This is an amazing giveaway! I felt inspired just watching the short informational clip. I will be working toward taking this course whether or not I win, it's just what I need right now.
    There are three major reasons why I need this e-course. First, I just started my blog about 6 months ago, which took 2 years to summon the courage. I find myself hitting road bumps of self doubt just about every week. I ask "do people really want to know this?", "why would they care?", and "am I worth reading?". I would like to find the confidence to share with an open heart and be confident in my voice. I've also been struggling with weight loss over the last 4 years and tools to refrain my self-sabotage would be a god sent. I feel my sudden and rapid weight gain has suppressed my creativity and self image. The last reason I need this e-course is I have just found myself in a position where I can explore my passion for design. I need the confidence to take this opportunity and make it a life changing endeavor. This is a big year in my life and this course could be the catalyst for the best me yet.

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  10. I nearly cried just reading about this course Jodi. I am at my desk currently preparing (another) budget & working out what I can do to generate an income from home so that I can avoid sending my daughter to daycare to go to a job that makes me miserable. I am a qualified health coach but rather than teaching people about nutrition, I want to help women declutter and simplify their lives so they have time to live healthy, full, interesting lives. My problem lies in making sense of my ideas and turning them into anything tangible and marketable, and then finding the confidence to put myself out there & make it happen. I turn 29 on the 17th Feb & have been looking for something like this for the last couple of years. I've decided this year I will take the leap and be designing a meaningful career that compliments my family life before I turn 30. Xxx

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  11. I gave up my dreams 18 years ago when my eldest was born (I was 17), for me it became so important to prove to others that a teenager mother can be an exceptional mother that I lost myself. I worked hard to provide all the material things she and my subsequent children could want and in losing it all again when I got divorced my view began to shift on what being a good parent was. I realised just how silly it was to live my life to others' standards and values, that being said I'm again being torn between providing the material things and providing my children with a parent that lives the kind of fulfilled life that I want them to live.
    I think the course might be what I need in moving forward in my conviction to find that fulfillment and perhaps wear away at the self doubt.

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  12. This giveaway has come at such a perfect time for me! Just yesterday I was asking my husband if he thought there was a course or guide I could use to help myself become more proactive, to help me follow my dreams and aspirations (I have so many). I am a terrible procrastinator and really struggle with this in all aspects of my life (home, motherhood, creativity and career) and really want to try and change that this year. My youngest daughter is 1 this year and feel like it is my turn this year. I really want to turn my passions and creativity into my career (rather than having to return to a job I hate) and have been searching for the right stepping stones to get me there. This seems like it might just be it!

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  13. It's hard to explain why this course looks so amazing to me. I'm not a procrastinator, I'm not lost. I have a perfect two year old and am expecting again, I work two part time jobs and am in school full time. My husband is a clergy member, and the hours I spend helping people in our community probably equal up to that of another part time job. My life is beautifully full. Other comments talked about how this course would help them start moving faster, for me it would help me slow down. To focus, meditate, and learn to make fewer choices so that my time is of higher quality and I can learn to fill my life with new noises, and maybe a little silence too. Sometimes you lose your dream in the chaos of fulfilling it, and I'd like the chance to refocus on why I'm where I am today.

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  14. I've been a mum for almost 20 years, I've devoted my life to raising my kids and along the way lost me. The fact that just reading about this course scares me, tells me that it's time...time for me, time to find me, time to show my kids before it's too late that I matter too. I want to be a better role model for them, to show them that each of us is valuable and worthy just because we exist.

    Thanks for the chance

    cheers Kate

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  15. I want to be a writer, and the only thing holding me back is myself! I have imposter syndrome, and I worry about the "that's adorable" look people give me when I tell them I want to write (or is that just in my head?). So yeah, I could use a pep talk right about now.

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  16. I think I would benefit from this e-course,because I have finally admitted that I would like to turn my art practice into a career within the next four years!

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  17. What an amazing giveaway. I've spent my entire working life having to quash all of my creative instincts and I've decided that this is the year I spread my wings. There are so many creative outlets that I love and could really use the chance to learn how to focus that and turn my life around.

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  18. When I fell pregnant with my first daughter, I had to move back in with my parents on my childhood island, give up my job and friends. It took me eight years, during which I met and married the man who taught me to believe in myself again and having another daughter, to realise that my dream job, that which I've always wanted to do, was staring me in the face. I am a writer (and I still cringe whenever I write those four words) but don't feel worthy of the title. I keep postponing the launch of my writing career. There's always something else or someone else which takes precedence. I am starting to fear that I'll never make my dreams a reality and I will only have myself to blame.

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  19. I think this course strikes a cord with a lot of people and for that I wish there were 100 more gifted opportunities as all the comments above are real life stories seeking valuable information how to live their dreams. I am a single mum to two kids and sadly for me have an ex who happens to be a huge income earner who does not pay child support and for the past two years have spent hours, forms tears and phone calls to ensure that the child support dept try and collect any money for the benefit of my kids. I am currently a stay at home mother and need to be there for my kids in the mornings and afternoons and don't want to earn $20 to pay someone $20 to be with my kids. Family values and motherhood is important to me and I have been trying to think of ways to earn an income while fostering something creative during the days when they are at school. Doing something from home means I can pop the washing on, still grocery shop and keep the place clean while doing something I'm passionate about. It is tough being a single mum due to a not so good marriage that I had to get out of. I don't go out at all in the evenings as it's just me and the kids and I can live with that however I do want to do something for myself while supporting my kids that makes me happy. I love photography however that is a weekend/late afternoon or early morning thing which is when I have my kids so whilst I'm passionate about it, it doesn't suit my family's timetable. I am at a loss of where to go from here and a course like this would be just the thing I need to focus on working out a plan. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  20. My husband and I both grew up together (we were best friends in middle school) and we both grew up in dysfunctional, poor homes. I won't delve into the details, but we managed to rise above that together. We married at 19 and set out on a mission to leave the place we grew up and achieve both of our dreams. It has taken years for us to get where we are, but we are finally moving to the city of our dreams in a few short months. My husband is working odd jobs here and there to save up the money we need to accomplish this move, then he is starting college to get his degree as soon as we can afford it. I've been staying home with our two year old since she was born and have dreamt about and talked about starting a creative business of my own. I would love to be able to do what I love from home and help ease some of the financial stress for our family so that my husband doesn't have to work so hard. I have a love for so many things - writing, photography, sewing - and I have an idea for the business I would like to build, but I've found many out there that are similar. I'm undecided on whether to invest myself into a business where it seems like the competition is so strong. A course like this would really help me arrange my thoughts and motivate myself with a plan.

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  21. Wao, what an amazing giveaway, it makes me shiver, the way you shiver when something comes your way at just the right time. I have just sent an application to a job, a good job, an OK job, sure. But it is not what i want to do with my life.

    I want independance, I want to work at my very own pace, I want time with my so little so precious baby, i want to be at home the way i've been at home the past few years, working from this very desk with a cup of tea and no colleagues. I want to be a MOTHER. AND a WRITER. I want beauty around me, and beauty & light coming from me. I don't want long commutes again, and unconstructive stress and a life like it's not even mine to decide of.

    Can i afford this with 8 month old baby?
    On the other hand, can i afford anything BUT this now that i have the responsibility of this little being?
    Deep inside, I know I can. What i need is help and support to engage on this journey.

    With hope and gratitude,
    isabelle

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  22. I know that I am a very creative person with some real talents but have never found the right medium to fulfill my creative needs. This year I am very tentatively taking the step to explore where my creativity might lie. I plan to go back to work next year as my youngest babe goes to school and I know that I am going to be very emotionally drained from my work as a counsellor. My hope is that what I discover this year might help to feed me next year as I step back into my calling. Its all about balance and I think that this course will help me to find a key that is missing for me.

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  23. Hello Jodi and Kate, thanks for this opportunity! I'm lying in bed after another day of motherhood. About to turn out the light when I remember earlier today I was going to check this blog - it often grounds me and reminds me I'm not alone when I'm feeling flimsy. I'm the mother of two beautiful girls, aged 3 and 15 months. I've been coming to terms with the feeling that, although contented and blissfully happy in motherhood, I'm ready now to re-engage with myself... Only after growing, birthing and mothering two babes I am no longer sure who that person is? I know it's a familiar feeling, I'm just not quite sure how to navigate my way out. How to reconnect with my dreams and see them into reality. How to feel grounded again, how to find a balance between motherhood and me. Thanks for the chance to be a part of what sounds like a lovely opportunity x

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  24. I am on the cusp of trying to conceive again, and it scares me to death. I've gotten a taste of how hard this motherhood thing can get with my first beautiful boy, and yet I want to do it again. But, somehow, keep myself feeling amazing, and vibrant, and healthy, and creative, and connected to what I want at my core. I am a teacher and going from kids all day to kids at home is just too much. I want to focus my energy on being creative for myself and my family. I am thinking that ayurveda is my perfect outlet. I want to be trained as a practitioner while my babies are babies. I can use the wonderful wealth of knowledge to help my family feel their best, and when my children are off to school themselves and I can spend my time helping others and sharing ayurveda with them. Of course, I would love to blog my journey, and work on my photography during this time. Photographing my ayurveda therapies would allow me to bring creativity and beauty into the healing process. I can see this all coming together with a little more courage.

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  25. This course sounds quite beautiful, I feel there are many avenues I would love to pursue, but I just don't know where to begin. I love pregnancy, birth, yoga, graphic design. There are so many possibilities within these, but finding the right direction I am struggling with.

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  26. I may not be the right choice for this course but I am incredibly passionate about living creatively and helping others to do so. With a move to a new country (australia) and 2 children who have just started school and very little social networks here (none so far) I feel like this is a new invitation and season for me to engage more intentionally in my creative life. Like others I struggle to decide which avenue and how best to do that I am committed to doing this journey. It would be a thrill and a gift to be selected. Miriam

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  28. Firstly, there are many deserving people who have posted. Good luck everyone.
    I have 4 young children whom I love very much. My husband travels extensively for work-away for 3-4 weeks, home for 1-2 weeks and off again. It has been my choice to support him on this path. I don't regret that at all as I enjoy sharing in his happiness and knowing he is fulfilled. I also adore our children. They are happy, healthy and the world is their oyster. I work really hard to make sure that their life is not diminished or restricted while Daddy is away. I think I am lucky, and I get many well meaning compliments about "what a good job you do" - which makes me proud! But after nearly 7 years (and I still have a 4 month old) it is time for mummy to rediscover, refocus and rejuvenate!! Which, despite being a tad daunting is also really really exciting. Good luck everyone. :)

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  29. Our story is complex and lengthy...we married young. Just 17 & 20. We were full of dreams and ideals. Two months into our marriage we learned we expecting our first child. Emily came into our lives and forever changed us. She made us better people. People bigger than ourselves. We have gone on to add five more children to our home. Each with their own quirks and perks. Each with a personality generated from our own, which is both inspiring and frightening! In providing for and nurturing our growing brood, our dreams of the future were left on the shelf. Each dream and passion waiting to be taken done, dusted off, and allowed to blossom. I long to write and create...he longs to shape wood and lives. Sad thing is, with day to day life we are not sure how to reach up there to that shelf. We are scared to reach out our arm and embrace those dreams. Our hearts yearn for a return that now seems impossible. We are both so ready to return to our youthful optimism. We both yearn to lead our children to live lives of passion. To rediscover who we began this journey as and live that FULL life of love, learning, and passion. We are held back by a lack of knowledge and understanding...to be given tools to teach us and give us courage would be to us as water to the parched or food to the starving. Knowledge and courage...the handmaidens to a bright future.

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  30. Hi Kate and Jodi. This course sounds so exciting. I made the mistake(?) of reading all the comments and am now feeling very undeserving of a win but I have talked myself back into applying.

    I am a stay-at-home mother of a beautiful two year old boy. My husband and I are lucky enough that this is a path we can choose and in fact, we decided upon it years we even tried to conceive.

    In 2009, I moved to Australia from the UK. The relocation led to me really struggling with identity and belonging, both professionally and socially. I gave birth to my son one year and three months after arriving in Sydney to live. Becoming a mother gave me an ‘in’ into Australian society and I have been blessed to have met and befriended some wonderful women.

    Now that I am more settled in Australia, I realise that every relationship I have (apart from that with my husband) is based around my identity as a mother – including my relationship with myself. I would really appreciate a place on this course in order to rediscover myself (that sounds really, really cheesy, but not sure how else to put it). I have lots of ideas of things I would like to achieve and I do have a vague vision of what I would like my future to be, but I seem to either talk myself out of making any changes or begin and then lose focus.

    Thank you for the opportunity to apply for a place on this course and also for the chance to ‘write out’ what has been on my mind. It’s been very therapeutic and insightful ‘vocalising’ what’s been on my mind.

    All the best, Mary

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  31. Hi Kate and Jodi,
    I'm not one to want a fuss made of me or even think for a minute I could win but I think anything is worth a try and you never know unless you take a leap....
    I'm a wife and mother of one, almost 7 year old. I've spent 2013 with a chronic illness that causes fatigue/vertigo and constant pain. After 7 months of no real answers and almost going mad with boredom as being horizontal works wonders for the symtoms I started my own food blog and after questioning and researching got some great help from a neurologist 3 hours away. Almost another 7 months on, I am devistated to learn I will suffer from this for the rest of my life. I will not be detered and stay positive, it's the only option. I've had bouts of depression before but I'm keeping it all at bay. I am very lucky to have a wonderfully supportive husband and family and of course my sanity savour my blog. Through it I have met so many like minded people and have at just 40 years of age realised what I'm passionate about ~ food!! Even though there have been so many blessings that have come from this illness, living on one wage is hard but we are thriving and surviving. I would just love to complete this challenging course to help me further develop my dreams and new found passion. I'm so excited for what this year may hold and even if I don't win, I know that staying positive, counting my blessings, simplifying and calming down will lead me to true fulfillment.
    Thank you for the opportunity.
    Warm regards,
    Jan x

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  32. I was just telling my sister on the phone earlier that I need a life coach right now! Maybe you can slap me into shape! I'm a writer, a blogger, an artist, and I intend to open my own business in the next 22 months. I have great ideas and great luck (if there is such a thing) but I also have the problem that plagues so many women: crippling self doubt. New ventures are a risk! And I don't want to burden the people around when the going gets tough. And most of all, I don't want to find out that I'm a failure, and the world to see it. I'm a great cheerleader and motivator for others. If a friend said they feared failing, I'd tell them that people would only be impressed that they failed and yet had the perseverance to press on. I need that. I need someone to say those things to me. I sure as heck don't believe it when I say it to myself! Nothing bad is happening to me. If anything, great opportunities keep falling in my lap, the road rises up to meet. The universe must take pity on me because I self-sabotage, and fret and worry and run away from success. I'm woman enough to admit I don't know how to change on my own. I think this course and Kate could help to build my confidence and focus on my dreams!

    Hey, all of those who don't win could start a support group, and encourage one another! So often, all it takes it someone saying, "You can do this!"

    msmaryjenkins@gmail.com

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  33. oh I am ready for this! 8 years of becoming, reforming and rebuilding to get to this point and ready! 8 years ago I became a mother and lost myself in love, then a year later a second child followed but then an unexpected explosion rocked our world and stole our joy! I can only equate it to a bomb exploding in our home as my first baby was diagnosed with a very rare syndrome, SMITH MAGENIS SYNDROME and our dreams reigned down on top of us smashed into pieces! How rare a syndrome....only 600 cases in the entire world ever rare! Suddenly i was faced with the fact my 22 hour days and no sleep would be forever, the extreme behaviours were no phase, the self-harming extremes of her worst but daily moments were not going anywhere! As we padded our home and my beautiful child's bedroom I fell apart with grief....its taken years to find the strength to rebirth my own soul, my own joy, my own new dreams! The world was very black for a very long time but slowly I crawled out of my cave and realised my world had become bigger, the view amazing, my heart somehow bigger too! My world is a wonderful one, it has challenge and magic within it in extreme quantities and that balance keeps the circle rolling, holding me together through the tough times.....the magic always rolls round eventually, this is a fact! My rebirth led me to the Ukraine to help build happy homes for abandoned kids with special needs, forgotten inside remote institutions. My rebuilding saw many of these forgotten children adopted into loving families. My rebuilding world also held within it two sell out solo exhibitions of my art, charting the journey I was on! My nearer horizons have found their way back to sunshine once more! It's been one hell of a journey with valleys so dark I thought many times I could not take another step forward! With the birth of my third child my attention turned inward again, creativity is never far away when I search my dreams and I now I seek to go solo and work full time as an artist and writer......eeek! How? Where? When? I have already decided this is the year...but how? This year has felt so magic and new.... I know I am ready for the next leap! January has been awesome so far....winning this would make February match in a rather epic way! thank you for the opportunity and the inspiration you offer regardless of a giveaway win or not!

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  34. I've held a camera since I could remember, and it's so hard being a unique photographer this day in age. I have the potential, but not the thousands of dollars it takes to buy amazing equipment to upgrade from my low end DSLR. In the mean time I'm trying to put myself out there in the city and promote my work, but it becomes really discouraging after a while. I feel like giving up all the time, but still manage to keep shooting amazing pictures in the end. It's a constant circle jerk of a battle, and a little help to figure out what to do different could definitely brighten up my 2014.

    instagram.com/oolretaw

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  35. Getting a novel publish can be hard with literary agents accepting the few novelist and the publishing houses even fewer, sometimes I feel like my work is not good enough. But I believe in what I have to share with the world and I really want to get my novel published. I want to go indie but fear blocks me sometimes, but I want to do it this year!

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  36. I want to be a writer.

    I don't mean that I want to write a novel, or publish a novel, or even have a novel bring in a modest amount of money to support my endeavors. I mean, writing is my vocation, one I've run from for far too long, because I thought I wasn't good enough, because it was scary, because it would take a lot of hard work, risks, rejection, putting the deepest part of me on display to be picked over and stretched and broken and healed anew, like a bone in a splint. I don't know. I do know. I want it with the terrible longing of someone made to do some one thing and no other thing quite like it. I want it because it's what I am.

    I've come to this terrible-wonderful threshold in a painfully roundabout way. You know how you avoid something, shuffle around for a few months--years--end right back where you started, and think, "Well, I could have had this done and over with by now if I had just dealt with it from the beginning?" That's where I am. I'm frustrated (with myself) for all the time I've wasted. I'm frustrated that I knotted myself up so much in my cowardly attempts to twist out of the inevitable that now I have to go through the very real and unavoidable problems I've created for myself.

    Fighting depression throughout college meant that sometimes writing was like carving my name in my arm. It hurt, and it left me far too vulnerable. It almost killed me, emotionally. I cowered, and held off grad school. When I did attend, I chose a subject that, despite my deep affection for, was ultimately just another detour. I married a man I probably shouldn't have, because I wanted to hide in housewifery. That backfired, and through a difficult pregnancy, delivery, unknown and ongoing illness, and struggle to work two part-time, minimum wage jobs and raise a child, I'm picking up, packing up, and leaving--joining the husband who couldn't handle it and ran home to Wales. I'll be forced not to work; my husband receives just enough disability benefits to cover our needs. I won't feel guilty for not earning my keep, for letting him bring in someone else's money to feed and clothe and shelter, while I pursue this one thing, at last. I know it will mean bad days, when I feel like I'm worthless because I can't get a single satisfying thing on the page. That I will have to recover, maybe for weeks, after a well-meaning slight from a parent, from a friend. That the pain to form me through instruction and critique will sometimes tempt me to quit and take shelter in in my own private, internal panic room. That there will most likely be times when they say, as my Autistic husband did, "You know . . . it's very hard to make money writing poetry," and then blink in bewilderment when I cry and rage because how could you say such a thing? It's worth it.

    I've no excuse. It's time.

    I could use the tools, I really could. I could do with someone showing me how to smooth the way. Maybe I'm the one who needs this course, maybe not. But your invitation was too stimulating not to answer. xx

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    1. My goodness, what a writer you are Christie. How you described your inner-self as something to be 'picked over and stretched and broken and healed anew, like a bone in a splint' - just so raw and bare and beautiful . You are a poet indeed. Best of luck. And please, keep writing.

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  37. If only I can find the right words.

    You asked for comments about why {I} need to do this course. You'd like to know a bit about {my} dreams and what's holding {me} back.

    I am a mother. A mother to 3 of the most beautiful girls ever. I have been a wife for nearly eight years and a mom for nearly 5. I love my life. I have been very blessed and I am able to spend my days at home with my children. I have witnessed many "firsts." I have laughed many laughs and cried many tears. I feel like I need this course because somewhere along this beautiful journey of motherhood I have lost my way. I seem to have forgotten who "I" am, what "I" love, what my passions are. I fear I have actually given up on dreams or stored them in a very deep box anyway.

    So when I read the words "connect you with your dreams...help you understand your strengths and values...start motivating and inspiring you to do the things you really love..." it scared me a bit. Could I love something besides my family? Am I even capable of creating or inspiring? And it actually made me think about those dreams I had. Something I haven't done in some time now.

    I guess what's been holding me back from going after any dreams I is fear of my life being unbalanced. I don't want to leave my family in the dust. I don't want to miss them. So, I have made them first priority. As fulfilling as my life is, just recently I have begun to notice something is missing. I believe it's that I have lost a bit of my identity...my motivation.

    I live for my family and children but I need to be more excited about living for myself. To have someone, or as it says on the video, several people, encourage me, motivate me, help me beat the evilness of self doubt and inspire me on a weekly basis...now that sounds like a dream come true. To rediscover the dreamer inside me and learn to balance "her" with being "mom," would be a gift from above. I know I have potential to do great things, I just need some guidance and a little cheering on.

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    1. Sandy, after posting below, I was drawn to read your comment....I can totally resonate with you! I'm a new mother to a beautiful 7mo boy, and have struggled with these same thoughts and fears. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone, and it's not a "new" mother thing, but that it's a challenge for many mothers to find that balance! I hope that you're able to face those fears and find yourself and rediscover those dreams that have been hiding for all these years!

      XO,
      Jess

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  38. New beginnings. In my former life, I was a teacher, and a good one at that! When we welcomed our son last June, I leapt head first into my new career of stay-at-home mama. It wasn't always my dream to stay home, like some women, I thought I'd be career driven and find satisfaction in providing the best possible life for my family through my work. But as the arrival of our baby boy drew nearer, I felt something in me begin to change. I couldn't imagine spending my days with other children, whilst sending my child to be raised by someone else all day - I wanted THAT job! So, after thoughtful {and tearful} discussions, we decided, at the last minute, that I would stay home with out little guy. I've loved every minute of the last 7 months, watching my boy grow and learn. BUT {there's always a "but"...} I feel as though I've lost a little bit of me in the process. I have always been a big dreamer, full of ideas and ready to jump on any adventure that comes my way, however with a little one in tow I find myself backing away from challenges and passing up some grand adventures. What I've found I'm lacking is a healthy balance. I love my boy and our time together, but know that in order to be the best mama for him, I need to find myself again! I would love to own my own business that allows me the freedom to adjust my schedule to meet the needs of my growing family, but still offers a creative outlet for me. I am full of ideas, but lack the confidence to jump in and pursue these dreams.

    This e-course would be a great jumping off point for me and I feel give me the education {which I crave} and confidence {which I lack} to take some steps toward pursuing these goals and dreams.

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    1. Posted this as it's own comment first, oops!

      Jessica, my kindred spirit. I don't know about you but I was in tears as I was trying to put my jumbled thoughts down the other night. I appreciate your comment, it is very nice to know there are other mothers out there that are looking for balance. I too worked till my first was born, and even for a short period after. Leaving my job to be at home was bitter-sweet. A decision, like you, that was not made lightly. I agree with you about being the best momma by finding yourself (myself). I truly feel that by finding my "creative outlet" and by becoming more confident in myself, I will be a better parent and spouse. I'm grateful to have read Jodi's post and even if I am not chosen for the e-course, reflecting and "writing" about this has already helped me a little. Your comments are also motivation. Comparing myself to others has created so much self doubt and it is nice to know that there are others who feel as I do.

      I wish you the best in pursuing your goals and dreams!

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  40. Dear Jodi,
    first of all let me tell you I've been reading your blog for about 4 months and just love it. I love the light in your pictures of your kids, the gentleness of your phrasing, the serenity of it all...
    I'm writing to you from France, where I live. I'm French but I teach English. I fell in love with England when I was 17 and it's never stopped. That's why I've chosen (supported by the daddy!!!) to raise my children speaking to them in English! It's not an easy choice but I'm sticking to it. But it makes me doubt a lot - I'm losing my fluency and always wonder if I'm up to the challenge really. With 2 children, it's harder to listen to the radio/watch programmes/read books etc, to keep a good level.
    My Little Man is turning 3 at the end of the month and his sister, aka Little Fairy, is only 4 months old. I had gone part-time when my son was born and have now chosen to stay off work for 6 months, so until the summer vacation. But these last months (years) have been hard. Many things have been going on in my life and I've somehow lost faith. I don't sing, paint or play music as I used to. I hardly read a book. I'm super tired (I assume my choice of breastfeeding entirely but it doesn't mean it's easy to be waken up every 3 hours every night).
    To be honest I reduced my time at work because I wanted to spend time with my children but also because I thought it'd give me time to think about what to do with my life. I'm not happy at work any more - too much rules to follow, too many laws that don't give a damn about the children's needs. Too many stupid changes in the curriculum. I felt so useless every day... But what else can I do?
    My head is busing with ideas all the time but I never seem to be able to really DO anything.
    So the e-course would be perfect for me: some me-time, from home, to help me find myself, and in English... It sounds too good to be true!
    Thanks for the oppotunity anyway, and thanks for your blog which is my daily (or nearly) ray of sunshine!

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  42. Hello Jodi (and everyone) - thank-you for this lovely giveaway, and for taking the time to listen.
    For a long time now, I’ve been feeling disconnected from myself. I try to keep busy, to work hard, but seem to do so in a haphazard, unmotivated way that makes my work stressful, avoidant and joyless. I find it very difficult to relax, and cling to the need for control as a life-raft of sorts. This way of being is exhausting. My life raft is flimsy. It doesn’t get me far, but rather leaves me flailing about in a whirlpool of my own creation. No movement forward, backward or inward. Just a repeated pattern of wasted energy and stress, serving no one.
    Somehow, I seem to have long forgotten what it’s like to feel that buzz of working hard towards something you’re connected with. The wonderful and sometimes frightening adrenaline that comes from chasing challenges and really pushing yourself. Of being in control, but ready to let go of control too. The feeing deep inside that you’re capable of getting over the hurdles that face you, and that the hurdles are in fact a good thing and a part of what makes life valuable and interesting; rather than seeing them as something to avoid and be fearful of.
    As I’ve gotten older, I can see that this way of being is a form existence only. Exhausting, self-punishing and closed to joy. Over the Christmas break, instead of resting with my children, I needlessly paced and stressed about my work. I fought with my husband. I was not present or appreciative of what I have, and was closed to what really matters.
    Completing the questionnaire on Kate’s website was difficult for me. It’s not easy to confront the harder realities of your life, and how sad you’ve become. And yet here I am, hand up, nervously waving. Because I know that there is in fact so much happiness, love and promise around me. Two wonderful daughters (my sunshines!). A strong, kind and big-hearted husband. My family, my friends. And there is, importantly a brain in my head (as Dr Seuss said), a drive to make a difference and so many dreams and imaginings waiting to breathe again. All the things that I cherish in my children, and so easily see and celebrate in others.
    There are so many wonderful people here who have shared their stories, who would embrace and benefit from this opportunity as the beginning of something new. I am only just one of them. I do not see this as a golden key to a perfect new world. It is no panacea, but rather a first step towards taking responsibility again for my own happiness. A way of helping me to build confidence to set goals again, to reconnect with my values and strengths, and to rediscover some inspiration. A way of sharing joy with, nurturing and inspiring my children.
    Thank-you for the opportunity to tell you a bit about me. It’s encouraged me to stop, take a deep breath and acknowledge where I am, which I am most grateful for.
    Warmly, Laura

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    1. Apologies for the double post (oops)...the other was deleted :)

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  43. I KNEW I was going to win this giveaway and take this course. I was wrong! Too bad.
    I wish both lucky winners and amazing experience!
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    And Jodi, your blog is such an inspiration for me (your writing, your photos, your parenting...), thank you again and again.

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  44. I also want to say thank you for this lovely giveaway. I am grateful to have been introduced to Kate and her programs and have already been diving into her valuable information online and receiving uplifting and motivating emails. Congratulations to the winners and best wishes.

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  45. Oh gosh, what a lovely end to my week - thanks Jodi and Kate :) I promise to make the most of it, particularly given the number of other posters here who would have equally embraced the opportunity too (I feel like I should say sorry!). It's wonderful to read of the creative dreams and aspirations of others - what a wonderful group of women :)

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