I use to subscribe to the belief that I didn’t live to work, I worked to live. Meaning, I would tolerate my 9-5 gig because it put the dollars in my bank account that allowed me to do what I really loved in my spare time. Sound familiar?

But what happens when you meet a woman who completely changes how you perceive the idea of work. A woman who challenges you to look deeply at who you are, and think hard about how you really want to show up in the world?

This woman is Kiley Redhead, owner and facilitator at The New School for Inspired Work. I had the pleasure of meeting Kiley when she taught the business course in my Holistic Nutrition Program at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Kiley was an excellent business coach, but what really piqued my interest was her real work, her inspired work: her business The New School for Inspired Work.

Call it fate. Call it the Universe. Call it just being lost and scared to be out of school, but shortly after I graduated from CSNN, Kiley talked at a networking event about her upcoming session of her signature program the Vision Program, and what she was offering really resonated with me. The next enrolment timed perfectly with me being done school, and I knew that I had to sign-up.

I’ve talked about this in a previous post, but finishing nutrition school left me feeling exhausted, burnt out, and completely lost and confused about the last year I had just dedicated to learning about food and the body. Kiley’s Vision Program offered a glimmer of light in the confusion I was experiencing, in that she would help me find clarity around how I wanted to use my gifts.

I was lucky enough to get to take Kiley’s program at the nutrition school, which meant for 5 months I spent 3 hours every Wednesday night with 12 other incredibly inspiring women, and together with Kiley’s excellent facilitation and intuition, we stumbled our way through breakthroughs, ugly cries, inspired revelations, and even a dance party. The best, and most challenging part of this program was that it forced me to do real work to dig deep and find out who I am at my core. This work does not come easily or naturally to me, and I would be lying if I didn’t meet it with fierce resistance. But I persevered, and I’ve even gone back to many of the videos and exercises we did along the way, and I now have a better understanding of my strengths and my gifts, and how I want to show up in the world and offer them to you.

So yes, I still have a 9-5 job, but that’s just my job, it is not my work. My real work, my inspired work is what I do every-single day to fill up my own heart. It may mean I spend a day in bed reading fiction or personal development books. It may mean I enrol in an online marketing program to learn new skills to help me market myself online. It may mean going on vacation to decompress and give myself the space and time to re-energize. These things may not seem like real work to some people, but trust me, honouring who you are, doing what you really love, being creative and sharing your creations with the world is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your entire life.

But how the heck does filling yourself up with love first help others? This “selfish”, heart-centered approach to business was a completely new concept to me, but once you understand it, it truly is life-changing. Many businesses apply a service-based model to their offerings. They see their business as “Me & Them”; the business owner identifies problems that they perceive the “others” are having, and then they sell them solutions. This model is primarily driven by the ego as it assumes that “I am ok, therefore I must save them”, or as Kiley put it “Other-Centered Service”. Unfortunately this can be a very exhausting way of conducting business. For example, what if the solutions that you come up with for your customers involves tasks or philosophies that you don’t like doing, or you don’t believe in. Continuing to serve this customer group in this way can be severely draining, and ultimately unsustainable.

The alternative? In Kiley’s Vision Program we learned how our work needs to be for US first, or a concept she called “Self-Centered Service”. My work needs to satisfy my deepest needs first, and fill up my soul to the point that it is overflowing. At this point my work can start to trickle out and touch the people closest to me, such as my friends and family, and eventually spill out into a growing community of people who align with my business or work philosophies. This allows me to serve others because I am so full already, I have enough to give away. I’m not draining myself by doing activities or creating services/solutions because I feel I have to, but instead I am creating for myself first, and these solutions will naturally spill out and spread into the world to help others. This is the kind of work I’m excited about doing because I get to show up fully, 100% as myself – no ego, not perfect, just me, vulnerabilities and all!

This new approach and definition of work has changed my life in amazing ways, and I know it can change yours too. I have a greater understanding of my own strengths, and my gifts, and how to continue to cultivate them every day so that I can feel more fulfilled and challenged in my work. I’ve lost my fear of failure, in fact in an almost sick way I’m looking forward to falling flat on my face, because I now have the courage to continue forward on my path and see those challenges as growth opportunities. I no longer feel the pressure to write the perfect program, blog post or meal plan because I think I should. My stumbling through life, figuring shit out, creating and putting my stuff out into the world is for me, but I hope it inspires you as well.

If you feel stuck, or unfulfilled, or just a little flat in the life department, I would love for you to check out Kiley’s Vision Program. Kiley is now offering her program in an online format so you can complete it from wherever you are, and on your own schedule.

Full disclosure, in a world of affiliate marketing, I am NOT an affiliate for this program, and I don’t make a single dime for promoting this course. I am telling you about it because I love you, and because I believe 100% without a doubt that you will find clarity and inspiration from doing this work with Kiley.

Please Share With Me

What are you doing to live your inspired work? Are you choosing to drink green juices? Go to yoga? Go on a walk with a friend and their dog? How are you showing up in your life to fill yourself up with love, and how can you take your experiences and share them with the world to help others?

Aly, xo