Archives For passion

But…HOW do I find my Purpose??

Alana —  February 4, 2014 — 9 Comments

In case you’re wondering what to do with your life, this is it. First, you start with something you love. If it’s singing, great. If it’s writing, awesome. If it’s playwriting or playing the trombone or developing video games, even better. Maybe for you it’s just hanging out with people, making them laugh or feel really good about themselves.

Terri Spaulding from Get Off Go inspiring hearts through a Vision Board workshop

Terri Spaulding from Get Off Go inspiring hearts through a recent Vision Board workshop

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A Day of Doubt & Dreaming

Alana —  January 15, 2014 — 6 Comments

The first step seems the hardest.

The Dream Machine

The Dream Machine

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I Found Something!

Alana —  July 16, 2013 — 4 Comments

I’ve been on this winding journey where I go in and out of knowing what I want to do “when I grow up.” In some moments, I excitedly jot down notes or frantically text Josh and my girlfriend Terri saying “I’ve got it! I know what I’m supposed to be doing with my life!” Sometimes that thrill lasts only a couple hours. Then I second guess myself and think “Now, why on earth did I ever feel that was the right direction for me to move?” As a result, I am finding myself at a standstill. And with this standstill, I have moments of intense fear, anxiety and depression. I fear I will always feel stuck. I fear no matter what choice I make, it is going to flop. I fear I may put a lot of effort into a certain move, only to realize it wasn’t a good fit. It is in the moments I feel desperate that I get really scared. I don’t know whether to move or to stay and if I’m supposed to move, I have no idea in what direction.

what-should-i-do-with-my-life Continue Reading…

A Ball Pit Made Me Cry

Alana —  March 1, 2013 — 2 Comments

When is the last time you saw something that triggered a strong reaction deep within you? I’m talking about an undeniable heart-racing, tear-forming, ear-to-ear smiling joy.

This happened to me yesterday.

My girlfriend Terri posted a video on her site that I’d never seen before. I clicked on the link, not really knowing what to expect.

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The Reunion

Alana —  October 12, 2012 — 7 Comments

Okay, I bet you have been just eagerly waiting since yesterday to find out what grabbed me in this new book I’m reading called Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job [affiliate link]

Author and Speaker, Jon Acuff

Here it is: People tend to assume that finding their dream job is an act of discovery. A wild revelation they happen upon some day that feels a bit like an orgasm. Continue Reading…

Your Story: Kimanzi Constable

Alana —  September 25, 2012 — 5 Comments

Note from Alana: My friend Joe Lalonde introduced me to Kimanzi at the WordCamp conference I attended in August. When Kimanzi shared his story, I was amazed, motivated and encouraged. So much so, that I just had to share it with you! Thank you for sharing your Story, Kimanzi. I heard it at a time I needed it most.

Existing Is Not Enough Anymore
shared by Kimanzi Constable

Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to scream, cry, and then go back to bed? For twelve years this is how I felt everyday! Ok, maybe not everyday but the last few years have become worse and worse.

Here’s the problem I faced: I have no college degree and special skills. So how could I move onto to something better? Continue Reading…

A Word from Max

Alana —  September 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

The below excerpt is taken from Max Lucado’s book: Let the Journey Begin.

The Fire of Your Heart
Want to know God’s will for your life? Then answer this question: Continue Reading…

The Speech

Alana —  August 2, 2012 — 7 Comments

“…And a last born will exhibit characteristics of charm, and a social and outgoing personality. They look for opportunities to have fun.”

I was on fire. It was 1999, and I was standing on stage, presenting my high school senior thesis on “Birth Order Psychology.” As I saw it, the parents and teachers were enthralled – hanging on my every word. Every few moments, a burst of laughter would erupt from the crowd in response to a witty comment I had woven into my speech. I was on cloud nine.

I had no idea then that thirteen years later, I would come full-circle and find myself passionately interested in a similar topic – personality styles and how our wiring affects our behavior and outlook.

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Man, the book Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham has been instrumental in helping me to tap into my passions and the things that energize me. I have been on a quest over the past 18 months to dig in deep and experience healing in my life and to learn more about my purpose. There was a section in Marcus’ book – actually many sections – that seemed to jump off the page, but I’d like to focus on one today.

As I share my journey of self-discovery with others, I am meeting so many people who are feeling unfulfilled with life and in particular, they feel unfulfilled in their work lives. Some have used the words “trapped”, “imprisoned”, “dying”, and “hopeless”, to describe how they feel when they are at work. Some have chosen their paths based on what friends or family recommended, or chose a profession that would be the most financially beneficial. Others seem to just fall into their work roles and never had the confidence, energy, encouragement or support to strive for more. When I say “more” I don’t specifically mean a more affluent position; Instead, I mean something with meat. I am describing a job that you are excited about going to, one that allows you to feel like you are making a difference, a job that makes you come alive just talking about it, one that comes naturally to you because you are able to use your talents. This is what I mean by “striving for more.”

There is a Q & A section in Marcus’ book. In chapter 10, he is asked: How Do I Know If I’m on the Right Track?

How Do I Know If I’m on the Right Track?
I’m a great believer in your own inner wisdom, so my first answer is simply: You’ll know. Deep inside, you’ll know. But if you’re more of a checklist person, here are ten signs to watch out for. You’ll know you’re on the right track if:

o You surprise yourself by actually looking forward to going to work.
o You make detailed plans about how to do things better.
o You read books and magazines related to your work.
o You learn new skills quickly, as if you’ve done them before.
o You like socializing with your colleagues after work.
o You find yourself telling your non-work friends stories about what happened at work.
o You trust your boss.
o You’re invigorated, even at the end of a day of hard work.
o You feel a sense of contributing to something greater than yourself.
o You build back quickly from small setbacks.

Are these true for you in your current position? How would your outlook on life change and how would your relationships change if these were indeed true for you? WOW!

I am finding that as I career and life coach others, this list is quickly becoming true for me. I devour books about finding one’s passion, purpose and direction. I am quickly able to help others see problems from a new perspective that helps them to find solutions. I am energized after meeting with a client. And, just ask Josh or my friends how much passion spills out of me when I share new discoveries I have made! I want this same excitement for you.

If you are feeling stuck in your job, or unsure of what direction to go next, or can relate to feeling trapped and hopeless, I want to help you. Please connect with me at and we can discuss how I can help you get unstuck. In the meantime, check out a few reviews on how I have helped others here.

You don’t have to continue living like this. There is hope!

The Significance of Date Night

Alana —  November 29, 2011 — 26 Comments

MJ and her husband

I met MJ at a Vision Board class in October and immediately found myself drawn to her warm and inviting spirit. During our time together, the way she spoke of her husband caught my attention. She spoke of him with respect. Love. Endearment. I asked how many years she had been married and she replied, “19 years.” I was shocked! Unfortunately, it is more common to hear a woman complain about her husband, than it is to hear her praise him. Especially after that many years! I asked MJ to share her tips on keeping romance alive and she smiled and said, “Keep dating!”

It’s “date night!”

The hubbs & I schedule regular “date nights” and have since we met 20 years ago. You see, we became an instant family when we married (more here) so we’ve never have had time that was just “ours.” We’ve always been parents and that’s OK – that’s the life we chose and neither of us would change it. Our way to navigate some time together has been to schedule it, as a way to reconnect and reaffirm what we already know. Many times we didn’t have the money for a sitter or to go out; we still made time for each other. More here.

I’m glad we have prioritized this because:

Date nights mean “I hear you.”
Date nights mean “I love you.”
Date nights mean “I’m here for you.”
Date nights mean wearing something other than “Mom & Dad” clothes, a whiff of cologne, cleavage, a buttoned-down shirt, a swirly skirt and lipstick.
Date nights mean “You are still it for me.”
Date nights mean singing our songs, telling our work stories, and being in the moment.
Date nights mean comfort, warmth, passion and love.
Date nights mean “In spite of everything around us – jobs – kids – family – I still choose time with you over everything – and everyone – else.”

I love that he schedules tee times early enough so that he can come home, shower, change and spend the night with me. What girl wouldn’t love that in her man?

He loves that I use my time to do what interests me and, when he returns, he’s greeted by a warm and willing companion who looks nice, feeds him and wants to spend her night with him. What guy wouldn’t love that in his girl?

At the January “State of the Union” Presidential address, a rather large fuss was made about how “both sides of the aisle” abandoned their polar positions and sat together, effectively inter-mixing the powers that be.

It’s startling that this was news. Grown-ups acting civilly towards each other. Really?

I can’t speak for Congress but, for us, date nights have always been the buoy we swim to against the undertow of daily living.

How about you? How do you maintain the state of YOUR union?


Meet MJ…a country mouse living in the city; a Saskatchewan farm girl, MJ’s now a proud U.S. Citizen and, in Canada, holds dual citizenship. MJ is a writer and she’s also a wife, mom, nana, daughter, farm girl, cousin, sister, co-worker, friend and a million other things. (Mischievous imp? Tricky Minx?) She loves to cook and will admit to stirring the pot. Cheeky, practical, sentimental and romantic. And a lifelong Elvis fan. That’s MJ. Stop and visit her at

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