ASK JESSIE PEPPER: How to know if you're on the right track...

I’m back! And I come bearing gifts!

You may have noticed that Pepper Letters took a bit of a breather since the first of the year, but after Twenty Fourteen's 52 love notes in a row, I had a feeling you’d forgive me. ;)

The good (GREAT!) news is that I’ve got a little something that I’ve been excited to send your way for weeks, and I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and permission from a few of YOU, my sweet Pepper Girls...

A few months ago, I curiously tossed this question at you in the close of a letter: “If you could sit down with a mentor, older sister or trusted friend right this very instant, what would you ask her?"

The heartfelt replies that I received were honest, scary and beautiful all at once.

Even though it gave me a glimpse at how vast our oceans of hurt can be, just knowing that you are comfortable enough to share some of your stormiest struggles was a total gift, in my eyes.

It felt so important to respond with more than just a few clickety-clacks on the keyboard, so I decided to record special videos messages to each one of you who reached out with a personal prompt. The earnest chats that followed have been confirmation that we are more than just ships passing in the night… Many of us fill our sails with the same spirit, experience the same title waves of emotion and like to enjoy the same bouts of swimming and splashing whenever we can.

When we share both the bleak and bright parts of our lives in community (alongside women we trust), it can truly wash up some of the most glittery treasures this magpie has ever seen.

Today, I’m sharing (with express permission!) one of the special videos that I recorded, and my hope is that you’ll continue to share your heart with me here so that I can do my best to be the sister I was created to be.

A quick recap:

What does YOUR version of the right life look like? I'm guessing that you're seeing glittery glimpses in the stories of those around you, but I'm here to say that YOU, my Dear, are destined to shine your own kind of bright. [Click to tweet.]

Set your timer for 25 minutes. (Extra points if you've got a hot cup of tea handy.) On a crisp-clean piece of paper, write down what the daydream version of your brightest life looks like.

+ Whose hearts will you touch?
+ How will you make a difference?
+ What will you create?
+ What does the perfect day look like?
+ How do you go about feeling healthy & happy?

The best version of yourself will start to surface, and knowing what this looks like can be so handy in guiding you toward the actionable items needed to follow that "right track" that you're seeking. (Which is only spot-on because you've drawn it on the map yourself.)

Have faith, listen to your heart, and I can't wait to hear about your incredible adventure of getting there. :) 

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

(Looking for extra help with navigation? You know I'm always standing by when you need me!)

Vulnerability allows us to start the work of shining light into dark places, and I am infinitely blessed by this bright little garden of growth we’ve created... Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, and let's see what might flourish by exploring life with new friends! 

On Leaving Behind a Trail of Sprinkles...

Quick question for you today, My Dear...

What do you spend most of your days doing, exactly?

Are you a baker?  A plumber?  A radio host?  A ballerina?  A frozen-yogurt taste-taster?  

(If you said yes to that last one, I would like to hereby invite you to be my very. best. friend. Seriously... When’s our next date?)

The concept of making an impact has been on my mind a lot lately, and after recently hearing from a handful of friends about the ways that they try to bless others, I've seen a recurring theme start to emerge… Maybe you can relate?  

There is a silver-handled struggle around how to swirl our vocation and our purpose together, and it seems to be especially sticky for folks who feel like their day job might be less than meaningful.  

(Yet, it's quite obvious that your meaning blows the roof off of this ice cream stand, Darling.)

I used to assume that the two ingredients should be kept separate in order to stand out on their own, but I'm delighted to find that they’re even more delicious when liberally mixed together like your favorite combination of artfully layered flavors. 

*Insert tummy-rumble here.*

Adopting this blended mindset has completely shifted the way that I approach my career, and it started simply with the smallest tweaks to the details of each work-day...

The customer service rep on the phone at Apple?  Believe that she genuinely wants to help you, and tell her that even the sound of her smile through the phone line is beginning to brighten up your darkened screen.

The barista who makes your latte each day?  He’ll happily add an extra flourish to the foam, and your words of praise will crowd out the complaints from crummy customers about his overly-careful (but delicious!) cappuccinos.

The needy client stressing about a deadline?  Patiently holding her hand through a new process teaches her to trust your efforts, and she’ll be grateful for your kindness that provides a bright spot between her boss’s rants during a busy week.

Instead of constantly trying to think bigger, move farther, and achieve more in my businesses, I’m working toward the following approach:  

Sprinkle even the simplest day-to-day interactions with extra helpings of goodness, and watching the delight trickle in at every turn.

I've seen how the effects of weaving my purpose in to my career path can impact more people than I would have thought, and I’m excited to keep mixing up creative combinations that one might never expect!

Now take a minute to tell me:  Do you make a conscious effort to pair your purpose with your paying job?  Does the pull of impactful work outside the office or home keep you craving the connections that come from serving your community?

Sincerely hoping your week has felt both short and sweet, and that this weekend you’ll indulge yourself in an impeccably icy treat. ;)

XOXO - Jessie Pepper

Ps. - My friend Jess writes a lot of (very well-strung) words about this week’s topic, and I love her take on whipping up JUST the right mixture with something she calls a purpose equation.  Check it out for a little extra reading, and be sure to let me know what you think!