An Exploration of Ikigai: Uncover Your Calling And Find The Thing That Gives Your Life Meaning + Joy

What is your reason for being?

Ikigai (生き甲斐,) is a Japanese term for "a reason for being." Ikigai is your calling, it’s the source of your value, the thing you live for, and the reason you get up in the morning. It’s a deeper pull towards a way of being and serving that is fully aligned with your beliefs and values and reflective of your soul.

When you find yourself in a state of ease, flow, and grace - you are feeling ikigai.

And when you are fully rooted in, devoted to, and in service of this deeper calling, you tap into a deep sense of fulfillment and meaning.

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Jessie Kuehn
Transmuting overwhelm. A Practical Approach To Release The Clutter And Cultivate Spaciousness Within

One of the most common obstacles I’ve been seeing with highly intelligent and ambitious women is a feeling of overwhelm.

“I’ve just got too much going on.”

“I don’t know what to focus on.”

“Where do I even begin?? There’s just too much to do!”

“I don’t have space for that in my life right now, I’ve got enough on my plate already.”

And sister, let me tell you, I am no stranger to this place of overwhelm, swirling energy, and mental chaos. But over the years, I’ve gotten much more skilled at finding my way back to center with more ease, and I’d love to share the wisdom that has come from those moments.

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Jessie Kuehn
Is over-planning killing the creativity in your business? And 6 Practices to Rekindle the Purpose and Passion in Your Work

As a young girl, I was untamed, wild and free. Growing up in Alaska, I was always more comfortable and at home in the woods and mountains than I was in the city. You simply couldn’t take the wild woman out of me. I’d lift my dress up, squat, and pee on the trees in malls, I’d strip off my clothes and roll happily in the rain water that had collected in the ditch, I’d swing from trees, howl at the top of my lungs, and make potions in the woods from mud, mushed berries, twigs, and pine needles. And I was endlessly creative, always writing poetry, sketching, and escaping to imaginary worlds I had dreamed up in my mind.

When I started my business I could feel this unbridled creativity, unquenchable passion, and a deep desire to express my truth without reservation. And Life responded with a steady flow of clients, opportunities for connection and collaboration, and an inner sense of freedom and fulfillment that I’d never experienced before.

But somewhere along the way, I lost myself in all of the complex business strategies, the overwhelming lists of to-do’s and the incessant shoulding, striving, pushing and forcing my way to success. The more I tried to figure it all out from my head, the more I tried to strategize my way to success, the more I tried to get it all right and do it all the way I thought I “should” be doing it, the more the creative aliveness, unbridled joy, and passion that started it all dried up in my business.

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Is your attempt to recover from fatigue just driving you further into burnout?

Have you ever wondered why your attempts to heal your burnout or create more energy and inner balance are not working? You’re not alone. Many ambitious, purpose-driven women have a deep desire to serve and be on-purpose in their life but they’re postponing their dreams because of burn out, depletion, and fatigue.

Many clients come to me in this very predicament. They’ve put their lives on hold and have taken to their cozy beds with epic Netflix binges and social media scrolling to pass the time. Only problem is … they’re creating the wrong medicine and in the process, they’re driving themselves deeper into burnout with mental and electronic stimulation.

Because, let’s be honest, in this day in age we’re not burning ourselves out with too much physical exertion. More often than not, we’re  depleted because of mental exhaustion - overworking + overdoing, information inundation, ungrounded multitasking, and electronic stimulation.  And physical exercise is actually therapeutic in these situations as it provides an outlet for mental overexertion. 

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Feeling like a fraud? Why it's time to stop waiting on perfect to live your calling.

I remember when I was first beginning my healing business back in 2012, and I mentioned to my acupuncturist and mentor that I felt like a fraud starting my own business because I still didn’t have all of my own health issues figured out. Her reply was that I’d come so far in my own healing journey and had so much wisdom to share, that perhaps stepping into my role as a leader was the very next piece that was critical to my own personal healing.

She couldn’t have been more right. When we resist the call to step into the next phase of our soul’s evolution, we often experience a heightened inner experience of anxiety, dis-ease, symptom, and unwanted behavior. It’s in these moments that we must listen to the call and dive two feet in to the work where our soul’s journey meets our soul’s calling.

I once heard Hiro Boga, say, “There is a stage at which the work becomes your teacher. The work helps you grow into the person who can do the work and the work helps you grow into the person who can evolve with the evolving work.”  In a world in which we are often told we need to be “there” before we can step into the role of teacher, leader, and healer, I found this to be such a beautiful distinction.

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5 Daily Practices to Create The Inner Radiance for Confident + Magnetic Leadership

If you’re anything like the rest of the women I work with you want to feel radiant, sexy and confident in your body AND experience a life of freedom, ease, and full self expression. You know nourishing your body is an important part of all of that, and yet you don’t quite know how to find that middle way between doing everything right and …. throwing it all to the wind.

If you’re not waking up early, moving through your morning ritual, nourishing your body with clean, wholesome foods, and showing up fully for your to-do list, then you're abandoning your body, checking out of the here and now, and recklessly burning it all to the ground. Consistent action gets thrown out the window. You hide. You become dim and small energetically, and you put your big dreams and intentions on hold. Until enough is enough and you go back to the drawing board yet again. New intention, fresh start, same old place you've been a million times before.

The key to finally breaking out of black and white, all or nothing thinking in order to create sustainable momentum and consistent visibility?


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Are You Struggling to Get Clear On Your Intention?

You know you need a vision, right?  But right now you just feel confused and lacking the clarity to move forward.  Even the next baby step feels uncertain, and you’re left either stuck in inaction or spinning your wheels in aimless action.

The majority of systems for transformation begin with getting clear on your vision for your body, for your life, for your business, for your relationship, or for whatever area you are trying to manifest in.  And then from that vision, we create a clear intention.

Unfortunately, too many of us are trying to create a vision from the mind, rather than generating a vision from feeling into the desires and yearnings in our body.  And we keep bumping into the limitations of the mind- stuck in a small box of our own making.

When we create a vision from the mind, it’s often influenced by external ideas of what we shouldbe doing, what would look good, or what seems logical.  And often when we create from this place, we may ultimately end up realizing that we aren’t actually aligned with that which we have created.  We end up feeling disappointed, unfulfilled, lost, and exhausted.  When we haven’t dropped into the body and surrendered to being first, then our goals and intentions tend to come from a place of needing to achieve in order to prove our worthiness to both ourselves and others.

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Why Self Care and Nourishment are the Keys for Client Attraction in Your Soul-Aligned Business

There are so many invisible and unseen and subtle factors that have an undeniable influence on our ability to attract success and abundance with ease.

One pattern that I see time and time again, is when myself and my clients take the time and space to truly nourish and replenish themselves, they experience business breakthroughs without the burnout, incessant striving, and push and force.


I’ve identified 6 invisible factors that powerfully shape our ability to manifest – all profoundly impacted by self-care and nourishment

1) Connection – when we aren’t deeply connected with self, it’s impossible to create deep connections with others. And a successful heart-centered business requires this all-important aspect of connection. When we abandon the seat of self, caught up in the endless dramas and activity of the monkey mind, we block our ability to create deep, meaningful connection with others. When we take the time and space to nourish, fill up, and connect with self, our business naturally becomes an expression of generosity, love and fullness. And that makes everyone feel good.

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3 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success

Before creating an intention and a plan to bring it into fruition, it's important to slow down, drop in, feel into desire, and create space for your intentions. It’s important that we honor all of the seasons of our creative process and respect the pauses as much as the bursts of momentum and action. If you’ve downloaded my 90-Day Success Blueprint (which I highly recommend), you may want to spend time lingering over the first three steps instead of launching into action - reestablishing a connection with the body and heart, feeling into desire and establishing right aim and clear intent from this place of deep knowing and receptivity. And finally, take the time to clear and create space for the intentions you’re calling in!

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Are Your Emotions Running the Show? Learn how to Reclaim Your Personal Power and Live Your Life Intentionally

For many years, I related to my body, my business, and my life like a controlling tyrant. I was always pushing myself intensely and without compassion. I was driven by an insatiable quest for perfection, and in the process, I only ended up feeling more and more inadequate, and more and more exhausted. Eventually I burnt out. And then I saw what it was like to live on the other side of the spectrum. Ruled by emotional states, always searching for the easiest, safest, and most comfortable route. Neither experience was empowering, and the feeling of freedom and flow continued to elude me. I wasn’t driven by vision in either experience but by fear.

So, naturally, I’m endlessly passionate about helping other women find this sweet spot where intention and embodiment meet. And a crucial part of that awakening is learning how to start listening to the body without being controlled by the emotional experience.

Learning to manage emotions and thoughts is a requirement for personal and spiritual evolution.

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4 Steps To Get Unstuck And Feel Wildly Alive - And How To Know Whether Courageous Action or Deep Relaxation is Needed

A few weeks ago I headed west to celebrate my brothers marriage. It was a magical weekend, immersed in the mountains of Montana with family and friends all alive with love and joy. I felt nourished on a level that I haven’t in many, many years. I felt a sense of belonging and rootedness again in the company of my mom and brothers in the Montana Sunshine. And I felt my Dad alive and present in the mountain breeze, in the laughter, and in the loving words and big tears of gratitude shared in his memory.

Since returning back to the South, I’ve felt like I’m desperately trying to find my way back home in the darkness. At first I threw myself into work, catching up on everything that I had fallen behind on while I was away. After too many late nights, I came down with the flu spending the last 7 days lying horizontal. Each day I was sick with the flu, I would wake with the best of intentions, I’d get on my yoga mat, I’d identify what needed to be done, and then… nausea and immense fatigue would get the best of me. I feel my physical energy returning, but this mental haze hangs heavy. From this state of fatigue and haziness, I kept identifying with a story in my head about being "stuck.” But the truth was, I wasn’t actually stuck, I just wasn’t allowing myself to take the pause, surrender, and rest. And from this place moving into action was challenging because my body still needed the rest I wasn’t allowing for.

Lots of times we language our experience in terms of stuckness, but what I’ve come to see is that many times there is more of a dance of surrender and agency. Stuckness seems to result when we are resisting both the times of surrender and the times of action. And it’s the resistance that creates so much pain, struggle and suffering. It’s the judgment and the dissonance between how we believe things should be and how they actually are.

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WellbeingJessie Kuehn
Lessons From a Spider On Fear + Trust

Today, I began my day bright and early with a brisk walk to my neighborhood yoga studio to begin the day with a little heart and hip opening.  We began the yoga class by setting an intention. The teacher spoke about the vibration that we are creating in our lives and how important it is to be mindful about what and who we surround ourselves with.  I set my intention to focus my experience on the immense love, gratitude, abundance, and bliss that is available to me.  In order to fill my life with these positive vibrations, I would need to kick fear to the curb, choosing higher vibration thoughts instead.  I closed my eyes, brought my hands to hearts center and placed the seed of intention between my palms.

I gently opened my eyes gazing at my mat, and there between my two feet was a SPIDER. EEK!  Truth be told, I’m not very zen in my relationship with spiders and at home might consider taking a shoe to it, but here, in this space that practices the yogic principle of Ahimsa, or nonviolence, I could do no such thing.  So I watched it and laughed at the irony of the situation.  The universe has a hilarious sense of humor when we pay attention.   Here was the universe, “Saying, you think you’re ready to cast fear aside and choose love and peace instead?  Show me.”

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LeadershipJessie Kuehn
When Self Care Takes a Backseat - The Hidden Blessing in Times of "Falling Off The Wagon"

Sometimes, we go a month, or two or three where literally anything goes in the realms of self care because we are pouring all of our energy into a realm of our life that we deem more important at that given time: work, family, creativity, etc.  We forget that self care actually is the fuel and foundation for literally every other area of our life.

It’s during these times where we get to experience the dis-ease that results when we abandon self care – the burnout, the depletion, the fatigue, the creative blocks. We come to truly cherish and crave self care for the way it nourishes our soul so that we can show up strong, creative, and loving. Things like meditation and yoga feel less like tedious to-do’s and more like a gift, a luxury. AND, then we get to course correct. To come into congruency and alignment with our integrity. Wipe the slate clean and recommit to a path that honors our Truth, values, and intentions.

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WellbeingJessie Kuehn
My Four-Step Process To Move Through Resistance - And the Hidden Patterns That Are Keeping Your From Reaching Your Goals

Several years ago I had the opportunity to take a year and travel around South America.  While living there, I was deeply drawn to the summits and rough terrain of the Andes.  I sought out mountaineering trips in Patagonia and then, upon traveling north, set out to summit Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits of the world. I had chosen a trip that traversed the Guanacos Valley route, a lesser-travelled route to the summit.  Unlike the normal route, it was relatively untouched and much longer, taking about 19 days.

Reaching to 22,837 ft, this mountain was a sure to teach me a lesson or two on the art of perseverance, mental fortitude, and emotional endurance.  What I didn’t realize was that it would also teach me the art of surrendering to the journey.

Our highest camp was at 19,000 feet.  The air grew thin and breathing became a struggle.  Sleep was scarce with violent winds and disrupted breathing patterns due to a lack of oxygen.  At that altitude, each step is slow, methodical, and rhythmic.  Each foot placement is carefully chosen so as not to send scree and rubble falling back onto the person behind you.

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Jessie Kuehn
A Vulnerable Story About Hitting Rock Bottom & Finding My Purpose

I was called to step into leadership from a young age. As captain of my soccer and cross-country teams, I always loved exploring how to inspire and empower others to their greatest potential.  When my dad passed away when I was 17, however, I pulled back into a cocoon of safety and isolation. In an attempt to experience control over my life, I pushed away friends and community and fell deep into the grip of an eating disorder.  The more out of alignment I became with my life purpose and my potential, the more my health deteriorated.  I struggled with PCOS, adrenal fatigue, severe anxiety and depression and medicated myself into a numb state of apathy and acquiescence.  Without trust in the basic goodness of life, my strategy was to simply survive, control, and do my best to protect myself against uncertainty.

I was at home from college one weekend, alone in my mom’s home and in the darkest depths of my eating disorder.  I became incredibly aware that I no longer wanted to live.  Not like this.  I knew in that moment that something had to change.

Something shifted that day. I could feel the yearning to live again deep in my bones.  I was ready to break out of the small existence that I had crafted in fear.  I decided I would take a year off of college and travel to South America with the money I had saved up from summer work.  I researched volunteer opportunities, hostels, and the logistics around climbing Aconcagua – the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemisphere. And then I bought a one-way ticket.

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Leadership, PurposeJessie Kuehn
An Interview On Transforming Through Archetypal Work And Sparking The Light of Joy Within

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Carmela Garone, who I had the pleasure of speaking with for her Unleash Your Joy Now Summit.


  • My initiation into the healing arts

  • Blocks to joy - Upper Limits, Disconnection from the Body, Limiting Beliefs & Stories (2:30)

  • How to begin shifting your reality by tapping into archetypal energies (5:00)

  • How the collective and cultural ideas of the collective shape our experience (9:10)

  • What happens when we don't fit into the idea of what others think we should be (10:45)

  • The cost of not showing up as who you really are (11:50)

  • The Masculine and the Feminine Energies and how they show up in our life & work (15:15)

  • Conducting a coaching business from the feminine perspective (18:30)

  • Embodiment practices to get back into the body to feel into what is authentic and true for you (20:00)

  • What it means to lead with joy (23:00)

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How to Cultivate a Daily Meditation Practice & 6 Life-Changing Benefits That Make It Worth Your Time

You know those moments when you hear a song or see a movie and it wakes up some deeply stored cellular memory within you?

This happened to me the other day. I was watching the movie Enough Said and the main character was saying goodbye to her daughter as she boarded the flight to head off to college. Before I even realized it my eyes flooded with tears, and I started sobbing with this immense sense of grief.

About 13 years ago, I left for college in San Diego, 2,000 miles away from home, when my Dad was in the final month of his life. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer 3 months earlier. For the first month of school, I was in denial, unsure of how to fully assimilate my experience as it was happening.

A month later I came back for his funeral. I was admittedly anesthetized from compulsively overeating sticky buns that morning, and honestly remember very little. Bits and pieces.

What I remember with clarity was the moment I said goodbye to my mom that day in the Milwaukee Airport. My dad now gone, our family home and much loved land being sold to the highest bidder, and my mom doing her best to keep it all together after losing the love of her life. I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest.

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The Sneaky Thief of Fulfilling Work, Vitality & Joy - And How to Ditch Black and White Thinking and Embrace The Middle Way

The tireless and fruitless pursuit for perfection is a pattern that shows up in every area of life from business to relationships to health.  And if I was to pinpoint the top factor that holds my clients back from truly leading in the world in the way that sets their heart on fire, it’s perfection.

The search for the perfect business, perfect relationship, perfect body, perfect diet, perfect marketing strategy, perfect morning routine, the perfect YOU NAME IT, is an illusory and dead-end pattern that always, always, always leads to a feeling of failure, unworthiness, and “not quite good enough”.  Perfectionism is a major root of stuckness and stagnation.  And, if we don’t pay attention, we’ll put perfection so high up on a pedestal that the quest will begin to rob us of our vitality and joy, leading only to apathy, depression, exhaustion, and burnout.

We’ve been trained culturally to believe that the quest for perfection is virtuous.  How many times have you heard someone proudly announce that they are a self-professed perfectionist and wear it like a badge of honor.

With perfectionism, there is no middle way.  It’s either perfect or not.  So as with all things, we need to create right relationship to success and performance.  Yes, set the bar high. Yes, do your very best in each moment.  Act in integrity and challenge yourself to grow.

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