The secret to manifesting: there is no secret.

The secret to manifesting: there is no secret.

Are you ready to manifest that shit?

I love words. Lately, my favorite word is “manifest.” It’s one of those weird little misunderstood words so many of us think is “woo-woo.” All the life coaches and energy healers use it so it gets put in the category of mystical. This word gets entangled with The Secret and positive thinking – when, by definition, manifesting goes way deeper. Most people think that manifesting is just another way of getting what you want. The faith-focused humans liken it to praying. Some call it “the laws of attraction” and still others don’t believe in manifesting at all. But it’s a thing. A real, concrete, fact-based thing. (read on for a free downloadable workbook)

My friend Amy got married a few weeks ago and I was the wedding officiant. Being the wedding officiant wasn’t just about running the ceremony, it also meant I was behind-the-scenes helping her get to that day with the least amount of carnage. The day before her wedding, Amy realized the dress she ordered for the rehearsal dinner didn’t fit. (Insert massive freak-out moment) I didn’t worry about it, I knew we’d find just what she needed. She couldn’t figure out how I wasn’t worried – I told her that I would manifest one for her. And it worked. We walked into the local mall, into the first dress shop, and the first dress we picked up – the first she tried on – was exactly the dress that made her feel like a million bucks. And her groom was blown away by her stunning look that evening. Much to her surprise, we hit the manifesting lotto. It wasn’t just because we wanted it, it was because we had a clear picture of what we wanted, made a plan, and did the work to find it. (isn't she gorgeous?!)



“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.” – David Rendall

6 months ago, I quit my business. I had just been in the magic land of Bali and realized how out-of-balance my life was between my purpose and running my business. For years, I had wondered if there was something bigger, but worried way more about what would happen since I had a team that relied on me. I kept standing in my way by hiring more people, taking on clients when they weren’t the right fit, and doing work I never intended to do. I couldn’t say no – everyone around me kept telling me that the only way to scale a business was by hiring more people and getting more clients. I told everyone around me to follow their dreams and do the hard things to make them a reality – but I was sitting in silence hoping it would show up instead.

As soon as I made the decision and released it to the world, I started a journey of manifestation. That journey led me to more success in 6 months than I had in the 8 years previous. I had a very clear picture of what I wanted – I knew what success would look like for me. I made a plan and worked the plan. I got rid of everything I didn’t want to do anymore (and yes, I’m still learning how to say no) and started doing the things that lit me up. I noticed how all of my limiting beliefs about success and business were slowly disappearing and being replaced by abundance. I worked on it every single day.

When I called my mentor to share my accomplishments, he reminded me that everything I was doing right now was exactly what I said I wanted to do 6 months ago. My bookkeeper even told me that we were at 27% higher gross income over last year and net profit increased by 657%. HOW?! Because I manifested that shit. I made the decision, put in the work, and made it a reality.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

I recently decided it was time to finally find my tribe. I’d felt for awhile as if I was on an island – working hard without much support. Supporting so many people without getting the support I needed to keep my cup overflowing. I had done the work on how I wanted to show up in the world and my business and it was time for me to find more people like me. I wrote down the qualities of the humans I wanted to surround myself with. Incredible humans who lifted me up as much as I lifted them up. Hardcore entrepreneurs doing big things in the world – not just for themselves but for others. And I found them! I knew them as soon as I saw them because I showed up fully as myself and they loved me just as I was.

As a group, we went to Vermont to do more personal and business development – only to find ourselves spelunking, rappelling, and running a mini Spartan race – while tied to other people. We also learned how to make shelter, build a fire, and survive a zombie apocalypse. By the end, I was able to visualize more of what I wanted for myself and even how we can help disabled kids stay more active and disenfranchised kids stay out of trouble. I know it all might sound random but it was the best leadership training I’ve ever attended. Because that’s the kind of tribe that fits me. We’re crazy, but we want nothing more than to be our best selves and give back to the world we live in.

(Maverick pics by Alex Kane)

And in that tribe, I found my person. Someone I didn't believe existed until a friend (who happens to be a dating coach) told me that I would have to come down to earth because the man I wanted was harder to find than winning the lotto. Guess what?! The best way to get me to do something is to tell me it can't be done. 

I found him. A man who is building a business in order to heal the world. A man who thinks bigger than himself – who does as much personal development as I do. A man who runs at my energy level and who envisions a life bigger than either of us can dream up. Because I finally figured out that I was attracting the wrong kind of humans – and I grew within myself to start attracting the right ones. I didn’t fix anything because I wasn’t broken. I did the work and he showed up.

He was obviously created just for me to the point that this past weekend, we sat down at a gorgeous little tea shop in DC (go try Calabash – it smells delightful and has the best chai ever made) to write out our life goals. We started by writing out the vision we have for our lives separately – and then read each other’s. After which we wrote out a list of our life goals, long and short term goals, and next steps to making them happen – while holding each other accountable. Can I even explain to you how long I’ve waited to find someone who would do this with me?! And he showed up up, not just out of nowhere, but because I knew what I wanted, made a plan, and showed up for myself.

“Every single one of your desires is attainable.” – Mama Gena

Mama Gena of the School of Womanly Arts (seriously, if you don’t know about her – fix that now) talks a lot about manifesting the life and love you deserve. Manifesting is deeply ingrained in who we are as humans. We are powerful beings and have the ability to bring to life whatever we desire. We can ask for what we want – and get it. We can call things to us. We can do the work and watch it show up. It’s really up to what we want and how we show up in this world.

But manifestation isn’t all about us. Just as our purpose on this planet isn’t a selfish one. We’re given the ability to make something from nothing – and as much as it feeds us, it also must feed those around us. When we are full, we can spill out on others. When we get the things we want (especially when they aren’t selfish), we are able to be a bigger presence on this planet – and make a bigger impact. It’s cyclical.

Let me put it simply – when we show up for ourselves, we show up for others.

And THAT is the key to manifestation. It’s not about sitting on the couch and thinking positive thoughts. It’s not about waiting for Prince Charming or that business idea to pop into our heads. It’s about knowing what we want, making a plan, showing up for ourselves, and doing the work to get it. That’s what I mean when I say “manifest that shit!”



[download here]

The word manifest is an adjective AND a verb. Let’s get super clear on what it means and put it into action so you can manifest the life/business/person you desire. Grab a coffee (or your drink of choice), download & print the workbook, grab your favorite pen – let’s do this thing!


Before it’s an action, manifest first means “clear or obvious to the eye or mind.” This means manifesting is not a secret. Amazingly enough, the antonym (opposite) of manifest is “secret” – which means it’s in front of our noses. And sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of our noses. From little things like getting a parking spot every time you go to the gym so you’ll be less likely to stay home to big things like the business you want to start or meeting the man/woman of your dreams, I want you to get super clear on everything you want for your life. You already know what you want, but sometimes we just need a little clarity.

Grab page 4 and:

  • In the first column, write a list of what you think you want.
  • In the second column, write down the reasons you want them.
  • In the third column, write down how they will make your life or others lives better.
  • Circle three things from the first column items you want to work on manifesting.


To manifest also means “be evidence of; prove.” That means you have to create a place to show evidence – proof – that you want it.  If you want something, you have to write it down. Put it on the wall, on your mirror, in a journal, or as a status on Facebook. Write it somewhere – pronounce it as the thing you want and then make it your mantra. Once you put words to it, you’ll continue the process of manifesting.

Grab page 5 and:

  • Label each of the columns with the three things you want to manifest.
  • Under each, write out a list of why these things are important to your life or others lives.
  • Then ask yourself why they matter.
  • Ask yourself why again.
  • Ok, one more time.
  • Check the sheet and make sure you are positively sure you have the right three. If so, move onto the next step. If not, fix it.



A manifest is “a document giving comprehensive details of a ship and its cargo and other contents, passengers, and crew for the use of customs officers.” A manifest is a detailed list of everything that’s included in a ship. Think of this as the detailed list of everything you need to get what you want. Writing all the little details down will help you hone in on the things you want. It will help you get super clear about the path it will take to get there. Without this plan, you’re just hoping. With this plan, you’ll start manifesting.

Grab page 6 and answer the following questions for each of the 3 items you want to manifest and create the plan for how these will manifest.

  • What am I manifesting?
  • What do I have in my life already that will help?
  • What do I need in my life to help?
  • Who is in my life already to help manifest this?
  • Who do I need to meet in order to manifest this?
  • Where do I need to go?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Who will hold me accountable?
  • What are my daily action items?
  • What are my next steps?



To manifest means to “display or show (a quality or feeling) by one's acts or appearance; demonstrate.” This means you have to DO the work. You have to show up and put some skin in the game. You have to MAKE a plan then WORK the plan. Mark Patterson, my pastor, likes to say “Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God.” Swap out the words however you need, but DO THE WORK. Sitting on the couch will never get you what you want.

Get out your to do list, calendar, planner, whatever you use to keep track of everything you’re doing on the regular. Do one or all of the things on the following list and get working on the plan.

  • Break down the plan into small action items.
  • Add your daily items so you can check them off. (Set reminders)
  • Add weekly items so you can check them off. (Set reminders)
  • Schedule meetings with people who can help you.
  • Schedule time to send someone a love note (filling up other people’s buckets will only help your cause.)
  • Schedule time to help others.
  • Sign up for that networking event you keep putting off.
  • Say yes to the friend who invites you out.
  • Write sticky notes and put them on your mirror.
  • Smile at yourself & say “hi sexy” before you leave the house.
  • Be ready for anything. Because anything can happen.


“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn

Now, let me be clear. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. God, Spirit, The Universe, whatever you believe is out there giving you what you want – it might not be what they want for you. These things might not be the best thing – and you have to be ok with the fact that something better may show up – better, different, not-quite-exactly-as-you-planned. And that’s the fun of manifesting – we typically don’t know what we want because we can’t dream that big. Or we just aren’t dreaming big enough for the things we really deserve. But those will show up and we celebrate all of the loveliness that is manifested. And if bad things manifest – well, that’s a whole different blog post.

Get clear about what you want and then do the work to get what you want. Download the Manifest That Shit workbook and start manifesting that shit.

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The Art of Selling Genuine

The Art of Selling Genuine

“I want to build relationships and foster community – and I want to use stories to do that.” – Stuart Jones

This week, I’m talking to my good friend Stuart Jones – a people person, videographer and photographer from Raleigh, North Carolina, and the current producer of this podcast. In this episode, we take some interesting turns – creating your own opportunities, being unconventional in the way we apply for jobs (and the way we post for them too) #noresumes, roadtrips to see Rob Bell, and the importance of sharing your story.

We’ll also share about Stu’s uncanning resemblance to Chris Pratt.

And of course, I couldn’t leave you without posting the amazing video that landed Stuart a job with the mayor of Raleigh. As Stu told the lone guy and dog watching him dance in the middle of the park: “Enjoy the show!”



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In his words: 

Considerate, genuine, optimistic, charismatic, giving, passionate

Instagram: @stujonesphoto

Twitter: @stujonesphoto

Facebook: Stuart Jones Photography


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Turn your mess into your message.

Turn your mess into your message.

How positivity, faith, and a little bit of sassiness can turn any situation around.

“I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m somebody’s double vodka.”

– Wilma Jones

How often do we walk through life “dulling our shine” because we’re worried we’re too big of a personality? That we’re too loud or use too many swear words? How often do people tell us that we need to do less, be less, say less? Well you’ve heard me say it again and again: you are beautiful, you are loved, you are enough.

You are not too much.

When Wilma Jones walked into HQ, I knew she was a special person – she’s living her personal brand like nobody’s business. A mutual friend introduced us (Maritza Lizama, who will soon be coming to your ears in the next installment of HERadventures) and man, am I glad she did. This woman is such a funny, positive force of energy and I can’t wait to sit down with her again.

Wilma is not too much.

As you’ll hear in her own words, Wilma is a big proponent of “positive psychology” and that above all, positivity breeds positivity. She calls it a “virtuous cycle” – a phrase I’m TOTALLY using from now on. (Another term of hers that I love: “celestial bootcamp”, which you’ll hear about later in the episode.)

Wilma shared her incredible story with me – how she went from feeling stuck and miserable in her marriage to being an empowered single mother and author. We bond over a mutual search for positivity and self-improvement, and she shared with me the secret to her success: being happy and grateful for where you are.

I can’t wait for you to hear this episode – I had so much fun recording it and can’t wait to have her on the podcast again. Grab yourself a cup of tea (or double vodka) and get ready to be inspired!




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Wilma Jones, Author of Is it Monday Already?!

In her words: Wilma is bold and outspoken, wickedly funny and overly generous.  Persistently positive and mindfully focused she doesn't take or give a lotta shit. She loves love and is intent on spreading that energy all around her.

Facebook: WilmaJ

Mobile App: Wilma J App

Twitter: @ImWilmaJ


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Mentioned in this episode: God at the Speed of Light by T. Lee Baumann


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Baggage, Suitcases, and the Art of Letting Go

Baggage, Suitcases, and the Art of Letting Go

I Stand With You

"Hey you! That Sportsman Expandable suitcase looks like it may burst! I love your beautiful Tumi but that Samsonite seems like it’s been through a tornado. Hang on – is that a vintage Louis Vuitton? Can I ask why you’re carrying so many bags? How long have you been dragging those around with you? Why do you need so many?”

We all lug around a bunch of shit – and we’re all pulling different sized suitcases. Big ones, little ones, duffel bags, wheelie ones, even backpacks. Some of us need luggage carts while others masochistically subject themselves to the pain and strain of pulling them by hand. Sometimes someone will walk up to us and hand us the suitcase they took long ago. And what do we do with it? Just toss it on the pile.

Recently a friend of mine mentioned she had been doing ‘talk therapy’. She’d gone through childhood trauma and hadn’t been able to deal with it. That trauma had started creeping into her life and was making her feel like she had dementia. She had been losing her memory and was struggling to keep her life and business together. She wasn’t looking for sympathy from me – she shared her story to let me know she stood next to me in my own struggles.

"I stand with you.”

Later in the day, I had a similar conversation with a different friend. She asked if I was willing to stay in my own lane and let go of anything that wasn’t adding value. Shortly after, I asked how she was doing – knowing she had been struggling to keep her marriage and her life together. Her response: “Staying in my lane and compartmentalizing.” I knew I couldn’t do anything for her so I told her I loved her and that I stood with her.

Last week was rough for many – the dreaded Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day). I was working through my own shit, and I posted on the social medias about how I felt about the day. I had no idea what I was going to say but I could feel something inside clawing to get out. I just started typing. I poured my whole heart out on the internet, knowing it would leave me vulnerable. I shared things many of my friends don’t even know. And that vulnerability taught me that I have the most loving community any human can imagine: They stand with me.

Here’s what I wrote:

A tiny heartfelt share today. I'm sitting at my desk in my office on the verge of tears – all dressed up for my day – and realizing my love tank is running on fumes. Today is the reminder of my first marriage (2004) as I cried REALLY hard down the entire aisle at our eloping ceremony in Lake Tahoe. The first marriage that lasted 9 whole months and ended because he cheated. I don't hate today but it is a hardcore reminder of failures, disappointments, regrets, and bad decisions. But at the same time, I learned SO much about myself, what I want, what I require, and who I am.

I KNOW a lot of other people have a hard time with Valentine's Day and I have to tell you – I'm standing firmly here with you trying not to cry my beautiful makeup off in a dress that makes me feel sexy while also trying not to sabotage another tough day that's supposed to be all smiles. I'm standing firmly here with you with all the love in my heart and tears running down my face knowing that we all deserve to leave our pasts where they are – in the past as learning experiences. I'm standing firmly here with you knowing how hard this is but how joyful it could be. To love yourself deeply, to know how beautiful you are, and to know that you are enough – not too much, not too little – perfectly enough.

I'm standing firmly with you on this beautiful, terrifying, hard, lovely, incredible day. Reminding you that you are right where you're supposed to be – feeling everything you're supposed to feel – because those feelings make you who you are. And it's time to let go and make room.

I love you. ❤️

Our past sticks to us in ways we can’t always see but definitely feel. We drag those bags along behind us and sometimes it feels like we’re pulling an 18-wheeler rig. Sometimes I wonder why the heck I’m still carrying this shit. I wonder why I allow myself to cry through the pain and keep on rolling those suitcases along the path of my life.

My muscles are tired. My eyes are puffy. I’m not perfect and I don’t have all my shit together, but I definitely don’t need to shoulder such a heavy load. So how do I shed some of the emotional pounds? It starts with letting go of the failures, disappointments, regrets, and bad decisions and sharing what I’ve learned from all of it.

"Keep what is adding value in your life and let go of the rest.” – @DailyOM

As a born-and-bred people pleaser, I find letting go of what doesn’t benefit me REALLY tough. Especially when the ‘what’ is a who.

Recently, I was accused of some really heinous things by the people closest to me. Suddenly I was transported 20 years in the past to my 15-year-old self. I was again being accused of terrible things and experiencing the same pain I did so many years ago. That’s when the anger crept in.

I was being unfairly accused. I had done something thoughtful and sweet for someone years ago and somehow it got twisted into a despicable act of spite. My accusers took the tact of “you were at the scene of the crime so obviously you did it”. And my being angry only fueled the fire. A really heavy, beat-up suitcase that didn’t belong to me was plopped on my luggage cart. But for the first time I decided to shove it back off my cart. I dropped it like a bad habit. It could not be a part of my life and would not stay in my collection.

I am NOT perfect. My personal brand is one that is beautiful in the broken places. I’m an Approachable Badass – a walking contradiction. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I’ve never done anything out of spite. I’ve never done anything viciously, and I’d never wish harm on anyone. To be accused of something so outside my character brought back a flood of suitcases and a whole host of bad memories. But this time I wasn’t going to take them back. I had left them behind for a reason.

“When they go low, we go high.” – FLOTUS Michelle Obama

It’s like at an airport where they say “Don’t accept a package or luggage from someone you don’t know.” The suitcases we drag behind us are the ones we choose to pull. No one can make us hold onto them, and no one but us can drop them. Our muscles, no matter how strong, will get fatigued and we’ll crumble from the weight. We have to do the work to let go. We have to CHOOSE to drop the weight and walk away. No matter how comfortable we are dragging that shit behind us, it’s a lot more comfortable to let go and find peace.

I used to be terrified of sharing my story – my baggage. Of being vulnerable or allowing someone to peek into all my suitcases. Until I started Adventures in Branding – the podcast for kickass humans. I started by sharing my failures. My running away. About finding myself. Finding my purpose. And wow – the response was overwhelming. One woman said: “I may be nobody to most, but this podcast made me somebody to me.” I was finally letting go of my luggage and standing with people. And they were standing with me.

The more we drop the luggage, the more upright we can stand. When we stand together, we are stronger than ever. When we learn to let go of the things holding us back, we start stepping into our purpose. And when we fully embrace the reason we’re here on earth, the rest of the world benefits.

Gary Vaynerchuk posted a video that said, “If that’s your purpose, why don’t you do it for free? Purpose… is your purpose. If it’s free, you’ll have more people. Now show me in your actions that it’s actually your purpose.”

My purpose? To be a lighthouse. To shine light for others who haven’t been able to find their own light. To give them a place to shine it. And I wrote a talk called Rock Your Life that does exactly that. It creates light for others to see what they need to do to pull themselves out of beige existence and into a space where they can see all the colors and reflect those for others. And thanks to the wise Gary Vee, I’ve decided that this is the talk I want to give freely (and free!) to anyone who will listen. Because…

I stand with you.

I stand on a stage – with you. I stand hand-in-hand with you. Call me. Ask me questions. Listen to the podcast. Or bring me to your team, your audience – wherever there’s a need. I am still learning to let go of all of my own suitcases – one at a time. But in the meantime, I’m standing taller and shining my light brighter. With you.

Your suitcases tell a story. It’s the story of your life and where you’ve been so far. Once you start telling those stories, the weight starts disappearing. Like magic. I promise.

Book the Rock Your Life talk – FREE! 

Help me fulfill my purpose and bring me to you & your audience. Book my Rock Your Life talk and un-beige the lives of the humans around you. You pay to get me there, you get the people, and I'm all yours for a kickass keynote. It's easy – the contact form is in the footer.  CODEWORD: Suitcase


Are you living life or just trudging through?

Are you living life or just trudging through?

On taking big steps & walking the path

How many people don’t start really living until something bad happens? They get cancer, a hard diagnosis, lose a parent or child, get a big scare. What if we learned from those who have dealt with all of that and started really living instead of waiting for something to happen? What if the people who have to deal with these hardships can teach us something bigger about living? Oh man, do I have a fun one for you.

My little brother – an almost-30 6’5” youngest sibling – honored me with his life story this week. Ok, yes, I asked Cheney to email him and she sent him the most HILARIOUS formal email telling him I would blackmail him if he didn’t accept our request – but despite the threats, he happily showed up before work one morning and sat for a chat with me at my office.

Melanie & Andrew – winter 1988

Andrew Harris shares his story of how he’s dealt with a life-changing diagnosis, huge transitions, and finding his path. He moved into Sisarina HQ early last year and lived on my fold-down couch while figuring out what he wanted to do with his life. In that time, he learned more about himself than he expected and I got a chance to watch my brother grow up in front of my eyes.

If you are struggling through a transition, wondering what steps to take, or finding your way in life, listen in – but grab a tissue box. This little (yet super tall) brother of mine made me tear up after he admitted how he was able to break through his toughest walls. SO proud, Andrew Harris. I’m SO proud of you. Xoxo, your big sister, Melanie


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Andrew Harris, The Thoughtful Carpenter

IN HIS WORDS: Driven, motivated, excitable, happy, goofy, outgoing

Facebook: Andrew Harris

Instagram: @andrewdharris87


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