Welcome to the journey of a girl
(aka Jenni, 41),
entrepreneur, mom, pilgrim of life, and
her beautiful, courageous, often feisty boys
(two lil guys 6 n’ 4 and one big guy –
daddy [aka Todd, 51]).
And here is a little of her story…
Hi Friends ~ I say friends because although we may not have met yet, this is undoubtedly where our adventure will lead – me sharing with you, you with me and then comes that familiar, soul-tingling, spark of kindred relationship. It may last a day, a month or 365 days and well beyond, but for now I simply thank you for wanting to read, walk with me a while and embark on this buzz-of-a-LifeShooling-exploration together 🙂
… My entire life I’ve been a passionate Worker Bee, even perhaps a Queen Bee for a time (if only within my own mind:). I landed my 1st job at 11, after delivering resumes door-to-door. I scored a babysitting gig that lasted 7 years with the same family, and worked a half dozen other eye-opening, oft rewarding, jobs.
I was HOOKED
the buzz of the work for the work itself,
kept me happily sleep-deprived and in the constant hum of “What’s next?”
and “How much can I learn and give before I flow on?”
I began to live for the Process and the End Result…
the scouting of new prospects & opps, setting goals, testing the Universe,
as it gracefully bowed to my heaven (vs hell)-bent will.
Except when it didn’t.
And then those Nos of life just fueled the desire to Shift n’ Achieve all the more.
This fury and flow took me:
~ thru a university psych degree
~ a 3-year romance with the Cayman Islands and the free-albeit-workaholic lifestyle of a nightclub GM (general manager)
~ back to public relations grad school in Toronto
~ to San Diego, landing a dream-driven job at a pr Agency that exhilarated my mind, stretched my capacity for the creative and sucked more life outta me, than one could imagine
~ on a quest to run a half & full marathon, and journey with heroic Hospice patients and their families that opened my eyes and heart to real challenges and true triumphs
~ home to gratefully care for a frail yet feisty mommy until she passed (all while living the vision of running a camp for kids with disabilities)
~ next, on a 30-day dream trip to Austria-turned near-a-year whirlwind romance
~ finally, after 8 years of country-hopping, gypsy-living later, it hit me…I’m a Canadian gal at heart…
I took the pilgrimage home (many serendipitous tales later) and took a vow of life-balance and a job running the communications dept of a non-profit in Toronto. For the first time, I signed myself up for an after-work sport… and like magic, like the Universe leaping up & down cheering-on my first truly centered life-choice, first day on the Beach Volleyball court, there he was… my soul-mate-come-hubby (of 10 years now).
We embarked on the next round of exploration together… we soared out west for a flight of fancy, lived in the mountains and I launched my biz n’ passion, Center of YES!, Inc. I worked with non-profits assisting them in inspiring and empowering their teams to communicate, dream and believe in the power of their YES! (& essential Nos to embrace those prioritized desires:)
I was speaker, writer, advocate, facilitator and was in constant shock n’ awe at my seeming direct-line to the Universe (or God if that’s your way) for Dream Manifestation.
Life was prime and I lived my joy and others desired the ‘how’ of it all.
It was a dream from which I never wanted to wake…
But that clock it was a-tickin’ and if we were to have a baby, NOW was the time.
One try later…
I was pregnant. I was high, higher than high.
I meditated two hours a day. I was at one with spirit. Nothing could have prepared me for the wholeness I felt. My Liam, our ‘devoted guardian’ changed our lives with his peace, giggles, coos and even cries. And this lingered, while I blissfully balanced workshops with feedings and CEO Daddy had a flexible-enough schedule to fill in the gaps.
And then a second baby. Hey, when you’re 37 & 47, time is a lil’ of the essence if you want another one:) Seventeen months into Liam, came our Nathaniel, our ‘gift from God’, our Tigger n’ Joy, and we were complete.
I felt blessed to be home, to take long walks and engage in creative play and see every step, kiss every boo boo…
a longing began to set in, slow and near-silent at first
and then clanging and unavoidable.
If I was to leave my business, Center of YES!, Inc. (evolved now to Project YES! Life), and my entrepreneurial pursuits behind, I had to embrace this motherhood full-on, with greater, conscious purpose.
My sister homeschooled & her boys are brilliantly creative, solid in their sense of self and ‘get’ their soulful power to choose their life-paths as they see fit. I might add that my other sister’s children (who were not homeschooled) are exceptional as well, because my sister stayed home and was completely passionate about her involvement in mentoring and guiding them alongside the teachers.
Me, I’m an all or nothing gal (as you may have guessed by now). Sure I have balance, but only because I focus and plan diligently to keep myself in check. I built a business that would KEEP me in check, as I believe to guide one must first follow IT authentically. This is what inspires people, truly, to the core. People know when it’s the real-deal. Were I to return to work, I do believe I may take it all on so fully, that I may just loose that balance with my boys and more importantly, the moments.
And so I looked to the biz I could make of family pursuits…
I read of homeschooling and I loved what it said
about having the ability to instill your family values within your children consistently,
to empower your children to learn in the ways that reflect their innate abilities and longings –
and the time and ability to allow them to explore
THEIR creativity, THEIR power, THEIR truth outside of what
the world tells them to be so.
AND SO… Here we are, back in Ontario and close to loving family and nature and choosing a simpler life that honours family-time over exhausting schedules and biz travel. Here I am, a mom of boys 6 and 4 1/2 and a life-altering decision needs to be made. I’ve informally taught at home for 2 years and have run a LifeSchool for kiddies (age 1-11), but this fall I needed to decide if I’d take it full-on or release it full-on. I actually considered re-embracing the successful career that beckons and sending my babes to the world. I tried it all on for size in my mind and almost bought the whole ensemble.
Would it be horrific? No. Would it scar my children? Probably not.
But when I looked at them, really looked into their eyes I stopped and thought…
I’ve spent the last 10+ years facilitating workshops for people who long for ‘something’ –
for a love of self they lack, an ability to honor their own truth and speak it, a greater understanding of who they are and what they WOULD do
if they knew and believed they could achieve it.
I could passionately continue to build programs, write books to inspire and ignite these people and LOVE IT!
But, if I do it for the whole world and not my boys, or God forbid at the expense of them
because I simply wasn’t there…
What of my life purpose then?
Not a choice for all because there are MANY successful way to make it work with our kids, but for me I KNEW…
Like Katherine Hepburn says, “One cannot be a smashing success in business and in motherhood, at the same time.”
As I said, I’m an all or nothing gal. This I know, and even love of me. And so, while I dabble 20 hours a month in Project YES! Life, helping clients build their dreams… my full-time, full-on dream is MY BOYS!
Do I know what I’m doing? Nope. Will I learn? You bet your peteuty I will!
Will I LifeSchool forever? I don’t know, but I do know that I will take it on for 365 days this year.
And if I am to do this, then how can I marry my passion for writing, for photography, for empowering others by setting an example of a life well-lived and honestly share how the pitfalls make us claw our way out and up for the better AND put this LifeSchooling thing in a system that I am pretty adept at?….
I will build a biz idea and a blog – LifeSchool Inc. … a biz n’ life adventure in LifeSchooling by CVO, Chief Visionary Officer & Owner, Mommy (aka Jennifer Maki).
Because Learning happens while we’re Living.
It happens everywhere, anywhere, all the time.
Why LifeSchool Inc.?
Because this business of mentor-hood should have
all the expansive, comprehensive, audacious visions,
all the strategic goals, respect for creative expression and
ability to blend structure with spontaneity, that a successful business does.
I long to take this journey, to do it well with a passionate YES! and along the way keep myself accountable to me, to my boys, to my husband. And I can do this here, by being accountable to YOU. I love to share this journey of life, on all levels, with my fellow beings.
And so it is…
A 365 Day Journey.
I vow to be authentic, informative,
(a lot more concise than this About section) and hopefully witty.
I will share ideas, anecdotes, pics and a the whole spectrum of learning that unfolds along the way.
Soooo Wanna Come Along for the Ride?
If you’ve made it to the end of this, I hope to God & the Universe, you say YES!, because I’ve bared my soul and you’ve endured it. The rest should be easy-peasy, right? Right!
I’d like us to walk, run, even fly. We may stumble, but hey picking up & cheering on is what friends do best isn’t it?! So let’s get at ‘er shall we? 🙂
In the spirit of the THRILL to BE,