a season for letting go

what you wanted may not have been what you needed

musings

Summer is favorite season. I live for the sun and heat — but there’s an appeal to autumn and winter (it’s not the pumpkin spice or snow though). And at the time of writing this, it’s currently raining and I’m sitting with the windows open listening…it’s bliss.

For me, the appeal of autumn and winter is the transition from all things living and lush to all things dead and barren. OK, that sounds a bit morbid, but hear me out…

It’s a time when things slow down and stand still. Nothing is growing. Animals go into hibernation. Persephone retreats to the Underworld and the earth sleeps.

Personally, I tend to enter a period of reflecting. I start by reflecting on my word of the year — how it shaped and impacted my year, whether or not I lived up to it.

This year, my word has been momentum. My mantra: keep moving forward. My tarot card: the chariot.

Earlier this year, I would have told you that momentum meant continuing to devote time to organizations and groups. I thought it was progress in networking. Progress in my fitness journey. Progress in making friends. Progress in my career.

Momentum meant that I kept pushing forward to hit all of my goals.

But as is the nature of moving forward, some things inevitably get been left behind.

Some by accident, some by necessity.

Regardless of how things (and people) have been left behind, it’s still hard to turn around and realize just how much I have let go. When I think about it, I feel sad. I feel lonely. Because even though am an independent introvert, it’s still hard to feel forgotten by those you once counted on for support.

I can recognize that part of my growth was the support from others. I can also recognize that in my growth, I have left much of that support behind.

There’s anger and bitterness there, but ultimately there is acceptance.

In the end, it was my choice to move forward. My choice not to look back. My choice to keep to myself.

It was my choice to let go and shift focus inward.

It’s a bittersweet feeling colored in relief and peace.

Relief at being able to stretch out in ways I felt I couldn’t before. Peace in knowing that ultimately, I am doing what is best for me. What is needed.

Keeping my momentum going has been difficult, but it has led to so much growth — professionally, emotionally and spiritually. And as I move forward into the final months of this year, I will take time to reflect on the things I’ve lost, the people I’ve let go and the myriad of ways I have grown and all the ways I want to continue to grow.

That is the nature of having momentum. You don’t stop.

magic

Deck: Wisdom of the Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid

The first thing that strikes me with these two cards are the different directions each woman is facing.

As we turn inward and begin to reflect on the past year, take time to look at your blessings. Accept that you cannot change the past. Open yourself up to the unknown of the future. Trust that if you honor yourself fully, the universe will provide what you need.

The woman in the “Blessed” card may be facing one way, but the wind is moving her in the opposite direction. We can only move forward and open ourselves up to the possibilities of future blessings. She isn’t looking at where she is going, but rather reflecting on where she has been. This is the perfect time of year for reflecting.

If you’ve never journaled, I would encourage you to write down some of the good things that have happened this year (there are plenty of bad, so let’s focus on the good for now).

There are still so many windows of opportunities open to us — as we end the year we should take a look at where we’ve been so we can determine where want to be and what we can do to get there.

The woman in “The Fates” card is taking a moment to rest in her journey. She has reflected on her past — the good and the bad — and is focused now on acceptance. Remember that we cannot control everything. If we are not ready for something, then we are simply not ready. We will have to wait until we are and in the mean time, continue to work on ourselves until we can be ready.

Remember that to be who you need to be, you have to let go of what you did. Change is needed, but cannot always be controlled.


Thank you for subscribing to musings & magic. The next issue will release during the first week of December. In the meantime, if want a personalized tarot reading, inquire by emailing me at: alice@alicejanell.com. Or, if you’re just curious about the muse behind the musings, you can find me on Instagram.

what do you want to be when you grow up?

because we're all multi-passionates

musings

If I’ve struggled with anything, it’s niching down.

When you’re a kid, people ask: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When you’re college, people ask: “What is your major?”

In business: “What do you specialize in?”

What do you want to be doing with your life? What’s your calling?

“What do you want to be when you grow up, Alice?”

Everything.

I feel like we’re conditioned from the time we are children to only have that one special thing. That one passion. It feels so limiting.

I struggled for years with making my “brand” fit the niche I thought I needed to be in. When I was focused on writing and publishing, everything was branded as “Alice the Author”.

Then I had to build a separate brand as “Alice the Tarot Reader”, because I was told over and over that I couldn’t do both in the same place. I needed separate websites. Separate socials.


Alice the Mommy Blogger
Alice the Public Relations Specialist.
Alice the Artist
Alice the Photographer
Alice the Clown (actually, it was Bamboo the Clown)

It wasn’t just having separate interests, it was having separate lives that weren’t allowed to touch or mingle.

It was (and is) exhausting.

Nowadays, more and more entrepreneurs are labeling themselves as multi-passionates (I’ve totally done this and probably still do) because it allows them the freedom to say: “I do this thing, but I also enjoy doing this totally unrelated thing, too! And I like to do them all in one place.”

It’s so freeing, honestly.

I’m no stranger to tearing down a business and building it up from scratch. I’m doing that right now, in fact. I enjoy working in branding and public relations, but I also enjoy making art. I enjoy reading tarot. I enjoy writing. Why shouldn’t I allow all of those things to make up my career?

My website is now going to be a reflection of me and all of the services I offer, whether it’s branding/public relations related or not.

(currently it’s just a pretty picture of a rainbow, but the rest is being built slowly but surely: www.alicejanell.com)

Who says I just have to be one thing?

If I want to be a creative brand strategist and an artist and a tarot reader and a clown, then I will be all of those things and more (and yes, I know that hobbies can just be hobbies, we don’t need to monetize everything).

If you want to be more than one thing, be more than one thing.

Don’t limit yourself or your potential.

Celebrate all the things that bring you joy and fill your cups (and your wallet).

So…what do you want to be when you grow up?

magic

Deck: The Muse Tarot by Chris-Anne

What’s missing from your life? Are you sure it’s actually missing or are you just so focused on it not being right in front of you that you don’t realize it’s there?

4 of Emotions (cups) is asking us to make sure we’re paying attention. She’s so focused on missing that fourth cup that she doesn’t realize she’s in it! When you count your blessings, make sure you include yourself — it’s not just about material things or what other people have, it’s about you and what you have to offer yourself and others. Look to yourself when you feel like you’re missing something.

Likewise, the Muse of Voices (king of swords) tells us to dance freely in our gifts. Share them with others. Lead with joy and freedom. Don’t try to be more than you are or more than you freely give (conserve some energy for yourself), just be honest, open and clear with your intentions and communications. Do what feels honest and authentic and aligned with your values.

You are the gift you’re seeking. You are the magic.


Thank you for subscribing to musings & magic. The next issue will release during the first week of November. In the meantime, if want a personalized tarot reading, inquire by emailing me at: alice@alicejanell.com. Or, if you’re just curious about the muse behind the musings, you can find me on Instagram.

this is for all my moms

i see you, mama. you are not alone.

musings

How are you holding up, mama? Like how are you really holding up?

Whether you are virtual learning or homeschooling — it’s just as hard on you as it is on the kids.

Everyone’s saying to have patience with the kids. It’s not easy. They miss their friends. Their teachers. We’re afraid they might fall behind. We’re wondering if schools will ever actually open up.

And while all of that is true, no one is talking about the moms (and some dads, but let’s be real, it’s mostly moms) who are also learning to cope with virtual learning or homeschooling.

Moms are quitting their jobs because someone has to stay home with the kids. And as if being a mom didn’t already encompass a myriad of roles, we’re now personal secretaries and tech support — managing zoom meetings, google classrooms and keeping curriculum organized.

It's a lot.

It’s not easy.

It’s stressful.

It’s frustrating.

And you are not alone.

I have to wonder if on some level, we as moms tend to shoulder all of our hardships in silence because if we admit to our failings, we’re admitting to being a bad mom.

You are not a bad mom.

I am not a bad mom.

We just need a little help.

Completely by accident, I stumbled upon four elements that help me and my family handle homeschooling.

OOPS!

Yes, OOPS.

O - Over communicate: Tell your partner over and over that you need HELP. Let them handle the planning one week so they can really see how much work it is. If possible, let them teach! Sit with your kids each morning and outline the expectations of the day. We do a morning meeting where we talk about what our school day will look like.

O - Outsource: Listen, mama. You were doing a lot even before you became a teacher, personal assistant and tech support. Your kids are likely old enough for basic chores (my 8yo is in charge of the litter box, sweeping and the guest bathroom; my 5yo wipes down the table, kitchen cabinets and dusts the living room). And your partner is also capable of helping (I don’t care if your partner works 15hr days, they can help out with something, even if it’s just loading the dishwasher).

P - Plan Ahead: Try to plan out at least 2-3 days in advance. This is especially true of homeschooling. You’ll risk getting overwhelmed if you don’t have some idea of what you’re supposed to teach the kids. Virtual learning? Get a lesson plan from the teacher. Know what your kids are learning so you can fill in gaps if they struggle. Plan out meals. I pick 5 meals for the week and plan for 2 “easy” dinner nights (usually nachos, leftovers or pizza). Do more Instant Pot/Crock Pot meals. It’s fall…it’s time for all the stews.

S - Start Small: It’s tempting to do all the things right away and get Pinterest Perfect. Stop. Maybe just start with meal planning. Maybe introduce setting daily expectations before you add on chores. Maybe just one or two chores before adding more. Start small, then build. Start small — if something doesn’t work, you don’t have to knock it all down, you just have to replace that small piece before moving on. Also, stop comparing yourself to the mom down the street.

We cannot compare ourselves to one another. Celebrate what works for you. Celebrate what’s working for the mom down the street, even though it looks different from what you do.

Still feeling like you have nothing to celebrate?

There’s one more thing that really helped me: I asked for help.

You are not a bad mom if you break down, cry it out in the bathroom and ask for help.

My day might not be exactly what you need to do with your kids, but maybe there’s something I do you want to try. Maybe you want to put your own twist on something someone else is doing.

You know yourself and your kids best, but it’s okay to get help.

You want a detailed version of my school day with my kids? Email me — I’ll go into all the details. You want to watch a video of me setting up my Trello board with next week’s curriculum? Let me know!

magic

There’s always a lot of talk about going with the flow. It’s supposed to be good for us. In some ways, being adaptable is a godsend. As military spouses, many of us are highly familiar with the need to be adaptable.

But there’s magic in structure.

When we create a plan and establish boundaries, we can focus on meeting goals and building empires. We feel unstoppable!

Stepping outside of ourselves to look at the big picture makes going with the flow easier, because we have an idea of where our river is going.

When we step outside ourselves, we put ourselves in positions to help others.

The Emperor asks that we step into our role as leaders (whether that looks like a leader in your family, in your community or in your work is up to you) and empower others to live up to their potential and do their best work.

Similarly, the 10 of Materials is asking us to share our gifts with others.

Encourage your kids with their learning. Reach out to someone in your neighborhood and offer some help — are you running to the store? See if anyone could use a gallon of milk, some eggs or a loaf of bread. Maybe a friend could use a pick-me-up and you’re able to surprise them with a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Remember to keep your boundaries! We’re already busy — we don’t need to risk burnout because we’re trying to do too much in too small a time frame.

The Emperor knows that the magic of their authority lies in structure. Make a plan that includes space for the self. Working from home? Set work hours. Homeschooling? Set school hours. Maybe every Wednesday you meet up with a neighbor for an evening glass of wine or you set aside an hour every Thursday afternoon to indulge your creative, crafty side.

As you discover what structure looks like for you, remember to be gentle. You’ve already got so much on your plate, but I promise once you find this magic, it gets easier.


Thank you for subscribing to musings & magic. The next issue will release during the first week of October. In the meantime, if want a personalized tarot reading, you can book a reading with me here. Or, if you’re just curious about the muse behind the musings, you can find me on Instagram.

you are not less than

even when the voice inside you says otherwise

musings

You ever have that voice in your head that calls you a fraud? The one that says you’re an imposter?

I do. And I hear it all. the. time.

Stepping into freelance this past year as a public relations and branding strategist, I hear it constantly. Like what am I even doing in this industry?

Never mind that I have a full on degree in public relations. Never mind the countless hours put in to obtain that degree. Never mind the internships and part-time jobs I’ve held in the industry.

My journey into public relations hasn’t been traditional. I have never worked in corporate PR. I have never worked in an agency.

But I have helped dozens of small businesses and entrepreneurs. I have helped entrepreneurs come up with courses for their audiences. I have set up email lists and designed lead gens (business speak for those freebie downloads you give your email for on websites). I have designed logos and websites that were perfect for small businesses just getting their start. I have created more content for social media and blogs than I can count. I have sat with businesses and helped them strategize their branding and marketing techniques.

So why am I still plagued with feelings of being an imposter? Why do I still feel like I’m not good enough? Like I’m less than.

I feel like that happens to moms and milspouses a lot, actually. Because we chose to stay home with our kids and create a huge gap in our employment history or a pause on our education, we are somehow less.

Many of us don’t hold traditional, corporate jobs. Many of us go years (decades, even) without holding a job of any kind. And those of us who do work, tend to fall into jobs that migrate with our lives easily: retail, service/food, or MLM.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these choices, btw. Nothing. Not a damn thing.

BUT

Is it just me or does it often feel like we pick these jobs because they feel like they’re the only options available?

When we moved to California, I was working with an MLM. I ended up quitting after discovering seven other vendors lived on my block. I went out in town and accepted the first job offered to me even though I hated the idea of working retail.

I worked in retail for two years before I called it quits.

For a little bit there, I was convinced I could climb the ladder and work in corporate by the time my husband retired. By the end, though, retail definitely wasn’t for me — besides, I really wanted to be doing something with my degree.

So when the opportunity to work as a virtual assistant and online business manager came my way, I jumped. I saw this as a way to segue into the marketing and public relations sector.

Now I am also freelancing officially as a public relations and branding strategist. I do not care that I don’t have corporate experience — I know what I’m doing. I’m a motherf*cking unicorn and your fairy godmother all rolled into one magical package.

I’m not a fraud, and mama, neither are you.

(PS: One of the things I’ll be working on in the coming months is a course on jumping into the VA work space. So if that’s something that interests you, reply to this email, cause I’ll be starting a separate email list for that group soon.)

magic

Once again using The Muse Tarot, because it’s just so pretty and it’s still currently my fav deck to play with.

So this 9 of Materials feels like it’s low-key haunting me. I’ve pulled it so many times when I use this deck.

This time around it feels like a calling. The muse here is asking us step into ourselves fully. And, for lack of a better analogy, she’s asking us to BLOOM. She’s telling us to stop hiding from who we are and to live our lives unapologetically.

The 7 of Inspiration mirrors this in a different way. This muse says, “Yes, let your inner light shine through, but keep your boundaries. Protect yourself.”

Because what happens any time we step out as ourselves (our true, This is ME, take it or leave it selves)? Those around us who aren’t at that level in their journey try to bring us down. It may not even be intentional, but because they’re not there yet (they can’t see it for themselves) it makes them petty and jealous.

The 7 of Inspiration is a reminder to protect yourself and keep those boundaries firm. It’s not on you if they’re not at your level yet. True friends? They don’t tear you down. They inspire and celebrate. They support.

So bloom to your fullest, but keep a few thorns on you just in case.


Thank you for subscribing to musings & magic. The next issue will release during the first week of September. In the meantime, if want a personalized tarot reading, you can book a reading with me here. Or, if you’re just curious about the muse behind the musings, you can find me on Instagram.

magic in the mundane

musings

You know that quote, “Grow through what you go through”?

So that’s definitely been my motto recently.

Because even though business is booming and I’m loving being in a position to help my clients manifest some magic in their businesses, I’m learning (again — and this is an endless lesson for me) that I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew. Just gonna blame it on being an ambitious Slytherin/Capricorn.

But being interrupted 20 times in an hour for snacks and surprised comments on video games and lego creations (OMG THAT’S AMAZING — but please don’t tell me more right this very second, cause I’m about to hop on a Zoom call)…it’s not exactly conducive to a productive work environment.

Especially when you live in the every so lovely confines of military housing and your “office” is literally your dining room (and the dining room is now a corner of the living room).

Going from 1 part time client to 5 mostly full time clients has definitely been a challenging adjustment.

I’ve shamelessly given my kids so much extra electronics time and now I’m dealing with all the mom guilt. One of the things I worked out with my kids was less electronics and more hands-on stuff. More baking together in the kitchen. More outside play. More imaginative play. More family game nights.

I’ve declined invitations to the beach and the pool during the day, because I’ve been so focused on sitting at my desk churning out work. I don’t mind working hard — I like to think my dedication is a strength — but I have to remind myself that the biggest reason I shifted to work-from-home was to create my own schedule and be able to do more with the kids. Toward the end of June, I let go of client guilt (guilt that says I am not working enough) to spend days at the beach with my kids. I even had a day at the beach with friends…without my kids.

When I work at half capacity, I’m learning, I’m really working the max I need to be. So I scaled back. I let go of some of my clients. I’m taking on more one-time project clients and less long-term partnership clients.

Career opportunities will return. Opportunities to make memories with (and sometimes without) my kids will not.

If ever there was a time to slow down, this was it. I’m now enjoying a month-long visit from my mother, who I haven’t seen in more than 3 years. I’ve gotten to visit with a great uncle who was a POW in WW2 and is approaching 100 years old at the end of the month. I’ve spent more days at the beach. More days enjoying family. More days playing with my kids. More days with my fitness group. More time for reading!

(please tell me what you’re reading, cause I can always use recommendations — any and all genres welcome)

And on the work side? Less clients means devoting more time to personal projects I want to explore (like design and coaching).

I juggled too much in May/June, recognized it was too much and now I’m growing from it by setting some firmer boundaries and making space for balance.

What are you going through that you can grow from? Hit reply, let’s chat.

magic

Once again using The Muse Tarot, because it’s just so pretty and it’s still currently my fav deck to play with.

Even the cards are asking us to find balance and free ourselves from things that restrict and bind.

Nine of Materials (or 9 of Pentacles in your traditional deck) is a card of success and prosperity. Sure, most times it can be referring to material success and wealth, but I’m seeing a woman allowing her self to bloom. She is literally growing through whatever it is she’s going through!

And she looks free. Happy.

Like it can’t always be all work and no play. That hard work has to lead to moments of joy or else, what is it all for? You can do the work — the hard labor, the all-nighters, all of it — reap the rewards and enjoy them.

For me, that was realizing that I can work and find financial and professional success without giving up my creative practice, my spiritual practice, time with my husband, time with my kids, etc.

I can have my cake and eat it, too. So can you!

The Page of Emotions comes in to say, “Yes! Enjoy that mf cake! Have some ice cream on the side, too!”

The page brings playfulness and magic (her dress is an octopus with a hidden world). She reminds us that we need to keep our eyes open for it, though. There’s magic in the mundane for those willing to see it.

We can chase all the goals in the world, but more than being goal driven, we need to be heart centered.

Working from home was my goal because it allows me to spend time with my family while also pursuing all creative and crafty avenues, but when I focused too much on my work goals, I lost sight of my heart’s desires — more time for play and magic.

Together, these cards are a reminder that when we let go and free ourselves to play, magic happens.


Thank you for subscribing to musings & magic. The next issue will release during the first week of August. In the meantime, if want a personalized tarot reading, you can book a reading with me here. Or, if you’re just curious about the muse behind the musings, you can find me on Instagram.

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