Origins, Treks, Paths, Destinations
Dream in detail & dream well.
I will inspire you with prompts, examples and a clear path to capturing the big dream you have for your life. It is important we learn to capture that big dream for our life. It is where we can return to again and again when we get lost along the way.
This is about creating goals in 5 key areas. And in each of these key areas there are about 10 subtopics. So, we dive in and get very specific. In each of these categories. It’s not a quick thing - but it’s divided down into consumable chunks.
Once we get the goals identified, then we look at what habits we need to create to reach our goals. First, we have to assess where we are now. The goals are where we want to be and the habits are the path to get there. Then, the daily actions we need to take are the actual steps on the path to get us there.
So we take all of that and we make a plan.
The fastest way to get us into action is to initiate the Less/More Method. The Less/More Method is just making an overall list of what we want more of and what we want less of in our lives. We take a look at our big dream for our lives and then a realistic look at where we are now. And we make our list. I want more of this. I want less of this. I want more beauty. I want less binging on Netflix. I want more art. I want less fatigue. I want more choices that make me life better. I want less choices that make my life harder. You get the idea.
And with just that we can run with it while we are making our specific plans for specific goals. This way we can have wins every single day.
We develop our daily power plan and create our daily power sheets. This really will be the only planner you ever need. Everything else is just a calendar 😂
And we can create our Life Atlas - an actual book for us to hold and make notes in and proudly display on our desk if we are daring or let a friend see it that can hold us accountable to our dreams!
Live. Live it out loud!
We get to living our plan. One day at a time. One choice at a time. This part is entirely up to you. But I offer inspiration and tips along the way.
Celebrate. Celebrate everything.
This is the foundation of the Life Souvenirs brand. The storytelling. The celebrations. The tributes and memorials. The photo books. The time capsules. The milestone commemoration! I teach you my secret sauce to bringing meaning to celebrations and commemorations in a way that it doesn’t bore anyone!
Hello! I am MelAnn. Writer. Pathfinder. Sometimes, teacher. I’ve recently been on a journey of struggle and reflection and figuring-out-all-the-things.
It began with burn out from the constant messages of hustle, raising your prices as if it’s a reflection of your worth, etc. If I had heard or seen one more “sermon” on money mindset and pricing - I might have gone to prison for strangling someone. I was fed up enough I probably would have found a way to reach through the screen and destroy someone. It also created a loathing towards social media - Facebook in particular - that I just haven’t managed to get completely over.
This mantra began to develop in my brain:
I’m here to serve, not rob people.
When’s the last time you’ve priced coaching whether life coach or business coach - 1:1 for a month? A quarter? Let me guess - it’s probably 4 figures, right?
I have a story for you.
I stumbled across information about a doctor out of Houston who charged $695 a year. No insurance. Cash. And no per visit price. If you wanted his services, you paid the $695. This doctor was an experienced doctor. So- medical school plus tons and tons of specialized study and continuing education over the course of 20+ years after medical school. $695 for a year for 24/7 access to him via text/email. His only deal was he replied during office hours; though he often would reply outside of those hours if he had opportunity.
After reading that and hearing messaging from coaches justifying their high prices for their coaching etc… one coach who I knew personally who outright lied about her experience and twisted other parts of it and conveniently omits that she enjoys her lifestyle because of her husband’s job and not from her whole 6 months of being a brand new coach with zero experience other than a nice photo shoot. I didn’t want to be in this space anymore. Facebook seriously needs a vomit emoji. Am I right?
But it’s no wonder I burned out. I’m not a coach. I am really good at it. But, I don’t have the bandwidth for it in my life. Also, that’s not my calling. Yes, I want to help people. But I’m a writer; sometimes teacher. This launched me on a journey to really dig down and discover what I want to do. And in the last 3 months the messages received after prayer have been loud and clear:
“Get back to writing. Serve people your way on your terms. And just maybe… consider leaving the social media space except for a few strict boundaries for when you do need to be on social media.”
I had a blog of inconsistent posts and direction on Substack. Substack had dropped a lot of new features since I began! And when I realized they had added chat and I downloaded their app and experienced the simplicity of things as an end user - it clicked. This is my home - my hub. Where I can produce my newsletter, write on my blog and put my other content behind a paywall. And do it all while building community (which I had been trying to figure out how to do with Telegram).
So, here’s what’s great about this for you.
The Life Atlas intensive I had planned was $297. The memorial tribute course on how to create photo books and videos honoring loved ones without boring people to death was $497. Creating your own legacy story book $97. Creating a family yearbook $47. And so much more including Bible studies, etc.
I’m putting it all on my Substack for $5 a month. Or $47 annually. Or $97 for Founding Friends that will receive even more bonuses!
This rates will go up. But as long as your subscription doesn’t lapse, your rate will remain the same. But even if it goes up to $15 a month - when that includes a new Masterclass with workbook each month - it’s worth it! The Masterclass will be $27 minimum if I sell it outside the membership!
Right now, I’m offering a launch special for lifetime Founding Friends VIP - $153. Substack doesn’t offer an option to do that, so it’s handled through PayPal.
***Please note - this is manual - so it won’t be immediate. As soon as I can, I will go in manually and change your access. If we are friends on Facebook, you also have the option of paying me via fB Messenger - which is preferred.
So, below find the Main Categories & Subtopics that will be included on this blog. It will be divided out according to topic in the links menu so if you are only interested in binging one topic, you can easily find and access those posts.
Subtopics: Physical, mental, & emotional health, self-care, nutrition, sleep, hydration, stress / cortisol management, movement, intelligence & learning, and managing our environments. An introductory post to each of these topics will be available soon.
Subtopics include: Faith & Prayer, Rhythms & Rituals, Dreams, Setting Goals, Creating Habits so that you Achieve Goals, Daily Action Steps to get you to Goal, Gratitude, Letting Go, Integrity, Journaling & Reflection
This category is our people - the people we engage with while doing this thing we call life. Family, Friends, Neighbors, Community, Civid Organizations, Alumni Groups, Online People etc. The people in our space.
Merriment & Mischief
This is all about our fun. Our hobbies, travel, entertainment. How we savor life.
This is all about our mission and our financial life. How we give and the tools that enable us to give.
This is one of my favorite categories. I hope to produce a magazine for this category. The metamorphosis topic is all about how we “Radiate in Midlife’s Sacred Spaces” - Radiant Living is the intentional, strategic living out of our lives that create our stories. This is where our goals are often the stories of our best self. While this category is applicable for anyone at any time in their lives, my focus here is day to day life & midlife strategies for the Christian woman & her identity & self-awareness & riding the waves of change and loss. I chose the word “Radiate” because of a Biblical example from Moses whose face was radiant after his encounter with God.
Grief & Loss
There are all kinds of grief - not just what immediately comes to mind over the loss of someone you love. There is also loss of a pet, a career, a season of life you treasured, a dream, and so on. Burn Out - common in midlife - is also a form of grief. It’s often the loss of one or more of the following: motivation, momentum, direction, purpose, identity, dreams, beliefs and so on. I can’t adequately create an adequate space to support women in Midlife if I shy’d away from this topic. Luckily, this is something I thrive in. Weird, I know. But it’s given me a unique purpose on this planet.
Subtopics also include: Identity, Seasons of Transition, Aging, Personality, Cocoon: Personal Retreats, Post Traumatic Churchy People Syndrome, Self-Awareness & Assessment, Adoption: Birth Mom & Adoptee perspectives (I am both.)
Then, of course, what hasn’t changed is what Life Souvenirs was originally founded on. This is also why I didn’t change the brand name.
According to Star Trek, we are "mostly bags of water." However, I dare to add that we are stories. And our stories are our life's souvenirs as well as the construct of our legacy which we will someday leave behind.
DNA Stories - our ancestry (stories that have already played out), our family (our present, unfolding stories in our lifetime) and our descendants - the stories yet to come.
Nurture Stories - Stories influenced heavily by our environment & childhood stories. These play a huge part in roles of adoptees, like myself, who have been cut off from their dna ancestry. This is more about circumstances & less influenced by our choices. Sometimes, are communities come into play in this category as well because there are aspects about our communities that we don't get to choose once we expand beyond our immediate spheres. Childhood stories also straddle the Choice Stories category because we do have childhood experiences that were more about choices we made and less about the childhood environment.
Volition - Choice Stories - Stories of adult life experiences & our choices. Life lessons, travel, career paths, communities, sphere of influence through the roles that we play in life, etc.
Savored Stories -Stories where we pause to soak life in. We savor the moment through our senses. We taste. We smell. We touch. We hear. We see. I call these the “spa experiences of life”! Our senses are proof that we showed up and they anchor our moments to memory.
Faith Stories - Stories as we partner our life with something bigger than ourselves. In my focus, this is God / Christianity. Kingdom identity, daily disciplines & spiritual practices.
Journal Stories - Our personal, internal stories. Often, these can be companion stories that run parallel to the stories that fall into other categories. These are also the stories of our personal preferences, personality traits, a day in the life, personal reflections, etc.
Celebration Stories - Stories that chronical our celebrations. Holidays, Life Events & other milestones including the flagship that Life Souvenirs began with, memorial tributes.
Our Legacy Story - the boldest, most life transforming, influential stories from our lifetime build our legacy story. This serves as the "highlight reel" from all of the categories.
Tangible Stories - the holdable. shareable, giftable keepsakes that honor and memorialize our stories. Books, biographies, photo books, legacy books, Audio, Video, Photos, time capsules, heirlooms passed from generations, our art, handwriting.etc. This is the living proof category - proof that we can see; proof that we were here. I provide the “how to” and resources; however, you can also hire me for story concierge services to
Subtopics: Family Traditions, Kids, Babies, Birthdays, Love Stories: Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Reunions, Family Yearbooks & Time Capsules, Writing Your Own Legacy Story Book, Creating Memorials / Tributes, Write Your Own Obituary, Write Your Farewell Message (for After Your Gone), Holidays
Rapture: experience intense joy or delight so magical that it transforms & transports you to sacred spaces that expand your Divine story.
Rapture is the word God gave me along with this definition. Rapture is this journey’s goal. We can recognize and create sacred spaces in our journey. But it is God who up-levels our experience as we reside in or travel through those spaces.
Story Concierge Services
In addition to offering all kinds of guidance for dreaming, planning, living and capturing and sharing your stories, I also offer story concierge services if you wish to hire someone to do it for you. (Creating your videos, photobooks, Life Atlas, etc) Founding Friends will also have the option to add my concierge on demand (via Telegram) as a Pathfinder/Guide for the self-guided masterclasses.
Why subscribe? Stay up-to-date
You won’t have to worry about missing anything. Every new edition of the newsletter goes directly to your inbox.
Join others like yourself in the chat…
Be part of a community of people who share your interests. Be inspired by prompts that help you and I connect, help you connect with others in the community and / or can serve as prompts for your personal journal. What you choose to share is always your choice.
Why the PAID Tier?
The PAID tier includes deeper dives, tools, printables, that guide you to a deeper connection with God, your people, & yourself. There will be one new Masterclass per month in addition to existing content. This keeps the membership fresh. To be fair, after a couple of months, it will be archived so incoming members won’t be able to go back and get a year’s worth of masterclasses etc.
Why become a Founding Friend (Tier 3)?
Founding Friends receive Tier 2 benefits + special founders-preferred pricing via Founders Only coupons throughout the year. You will also receive digital copies of my books I release, masterclass content and printables all put together - rather than divided out into separate pieces. So, you will have more options on how to consume the content. There will also be additional surprises along the way. And you will have access to archived content.
I might send out a post that will have content for that all subscribers can see. Even include a brief preview for public visitors to this Substack can see. But then, it will be cut off with a subscribers only beyond this point message at which time you can choose to click on to the next thing or you can manage your subscription and upgrade to access the content. You might even see a few that say only Founding Friends have access beyond this point. There will be value for everyone. Just how much will depend on subscriber level. Hope that makes sense.
A reminder: The rates will go up. Whatever you subscribe under will stay in effect as long as you don’t let is lapse. Once it lapses, if you choose to subscribe again, it will be at the new rate. So, something to keep in mind.
So, what are you waiting for?
I Still Don’t Understand - Do I Have to Pay?
Absolutely not. Each Sunday, I’ll write to you for free. You will also receive free previews to paid-subscriber content. If you’re intrigued and able to become a paying subscriber, please do! For a few dollars per month, you will receive more content each week and have access to deeper dives, masterclasses, printables, etc. You can cancel anytime. I also accept donations as well.