Heartmade Blog

Day 2 of The 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge: Clarify Your Vision

Part 2


Things rarely get stuck because lack of time or lack of talent. They get stuck because of lack of clarity.


Do you remember that scene from Alice in Wonderland where Alice comes to a fork in the road?


“Which road do I take?”, she asked.


“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.


“I don’t know”, Alice answered.


“Then”, said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”


If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Including the one with a stop at Azkaban.


Too often I see people complain about not being lucky enough or whining about the economy being at fault for all their troubles, when all along the real root of their misfortunes is a problem with their inner compass.


Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs. Of course, they’ve all wanted a lot of different things – everything from more time + more exposure + more money + more subscribers + more magazine features, but underneath it all, they all wanted the same thing: to be happy.


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It’s a universal desire + the real reason why I know you are here too. The good news is: I can help, not because I’m a magician or a unicorn (pfff I wish I was a unicorn), but because happiness is your birth right.


You are biologically + cognitively + physically + spiritually wired to be happy. But when you choose to blind fold yourself + navigate through life without a compass, winging every move, you break. You fall more times that you need to. You numb to take the edge off. You get sick. You hurt others. You hurt yourself. Everyone loses.


The way I see it is this, you have two options:

  • Option #1: You can either wait for the Illuminati to crown you worthy of love + belonging + a tight ass or,
  • Option #2: You can get a head start by picking yourself + creating a detailed vision of what you really really want. I’m taking about a vision board + an inspirational roadmap + a MEMO to yourself saying: “Look girlfriend, this is what I want my life + my business to be like.”


Quote - Napoleon Hill


Our intentions have the power to map out the course ahead either to lead our ship to treasure chest or to sink it. They choice is always within us.


Get Messy


So how do you create clear vision? A roadmap? A lighthouse that will guide you when it gets dark? Easy. First, ask yourself these key questions:

  • When you peek into the future, what do you see?
  • When you peek into the future, what do you want there?
  • When you peek into the future, what materializes in your imagination as the epitome of success?


Don’t worry about how you’re going to build it, just focus on describing what you see + what you want there + what utter bliss looks like to you.


Then, pretend you have a time machine that let’s you visit the you of 1 year from now, 3 years from now, 5 years from now…

  • What do you find?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What are people saying about you?
  • What pictures are you posting on Instagram?
  • Who are you sharing this dream with?
  • What have you stopped doing?
  • What’s your morning ritual like?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • How much money are you making?
  • How much are you giving away?
  • How are your core values being realized?


Sit down with pen + paper. Do a stream-of-consciousness riff. Concepts. Words. Feelings. Images. Fill in the gaps. Jot it all down.


This exercise isn’t meant to look pretty, it’s meant to evoke.




Having a Hard Time Clarifying Your Vision?

Need a hand? No problem!


Here are some troubleshooting ideas that might help:

  • Pretend you’re a movie director. Literarily script this as a film – each scene + each set + each plot + the costumes + even the soundtrack. The story has to come to life. Write the movie storyboard you want to be the protagonist for.
  • Play the “Wouldn’t It Be So Cool If…” Game. Take a deep breath. Let your mind run loose. Think about all the abundance that’s possible. Finish this sentence: Wouldn’t it be so cool if…
  • Don’t get caught up in the how of things. Instead, focus on the what + dream bigger. Leave the how to Google. Like my mentor Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figureoutable.” Now, having said that, keep your vision within the confines of space + time. Let your imagination + idealism unfurl, but save grossly impractical things, such as “I wanna win the lottery + be Beyonce,” for another time.
  • Get in the mood. When sitting down to write your roadmap, make yourself some tea + put on the Lord of The Rings score + light up some aromatherapy candles + take a hot shower + put on your comfiest pajamas (and your fluffy socks too, if you’d like) or whatever. Do what you must to free yourself of the day-to-day unproductive preoccupations + visualize your future masterpiece. If you’re still feeling  uninspired, get out of your sweatpants (how did I know you where wearing sweatpants you ask? I may or may not be a wizard who’s gonna buy herself a wand when I go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter + then I will go on a quest to take down the owl that forgot to give me my Hogwarts acceptance letter #accio). So, as I was saying, put on real clothes (sure yoga pants count) + leave the house. Go somewhere you can let your mind wander free. I wrote my vision for the future at the beach, in a hammock. Cheesy, but highly effective.
  • Close all your tabs + step away from the screens. For the love of all things holy, turn off your computer + all electronic gadgets while attempting this mission. No matter how much willpower you have, the temptation of e-mail-checking + web “researching” will be there.
  • No shrinking. This is no time for limiting beliefs + party-pooping or mind-numbing. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. Gosh, you’re writing your future autobiography. Anything less than outlandishly epic is plain silly.
  • Pinterest can help. Pinterest makes it easy to collect online research + ideas in one place on virtual bulletin boards, called pin boards, where you can “pin” images that you love for safe keeping. It’s a great resource to visually document, not only who you are, but what you want to be. You can even make your boards private if you want to. See how I do it right here.


Quote - Franz Kafka


Set Yourself Up For Success

Here are a few of my recommendations to help you bring your vision to reality through small, but mighty powerful changes:

  • As soon as you wake up, do something that makes you feel loved. Did you know that a good morning kiss can help prevent against stress-related illnesses + it triggers hormones that help a person deal with pressure? Well, David takes good care of me, I’ll say that much, which makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the planet. Start your day off on the right foot whether it’s cuddling + journaling, meditating or brewing yourself some coffee. You decide.
  • Buy the best food money can afford. If there is one area of your life you shouldn’t be cheap with is your food. I might not have the newest BMW parked in my garage, but I invest in organic strawberries + fresh figs + premium coffee + artesanal honey + gourmet jams. You can’t tell yourself that you deserve the best + then eat at McDonalds. If you can’t afford the best quality food across the board, pick one item or class or items where you’ll always but the best there is. Maybe you always buy organic eggs. Start sending your brain the message that it deserves + receives the best.
  • Cultivate an environment that feels aligned with your vision board.  A manifesting sanctuary if you will. Put up words + pictures that condition your mind to attract what you most desire. Place these keywords + visuals within your visual field so you can see them frequently, ideally someplace where you will be processing them continuously for many hours each day. Just be careful not to create too much visual clutter in such a way that could prime you for thoughts like clutter + confusion. Sure you have my permission to buy yourself an inspirational poster today (wink wink).
  • Clean the clutter. Chaos only attracts more chaos + confusion. Keep your spaces neat + tidy. It’s efficient. It’s a delight to work when there is space to breath + think. Give yourself room, the million dollar ideas will come next.
  • Hire freaking professionals. Last year, not so voluntarily, I ceased my need to control everything + do it all myself + micro-manage. I stopped hiring kids, which at the time I felt was all I could afford. But cheap, ladies + gentz, comes at a high price. You get sick. You end up having to babysit, a lot. You don’t get the job done right. You end up having to hire a pro to fix the damage. Makes sense to save yourself the messy middle + go straight to the best, doesn’t it?
  • Go on the Toxic People Diet. Have the courage to fire every whiny + pessimistic + energy sucking person in my life who is dimming your glittery eyes. They say you are the compendium of the 5 people you spend your most time with, so choose right my friend.
  • Dress the part. And by dressing the part I don’t mean wear a tiara to attract wealth. I mean thinking about the influence your clothes have on your mood. What makes you feel confident when you’re chatting with a client or having lunch with a colleague? I’m writing this while wearing stretchy pants + a cute yoga tank top. Could you tell? Does that make me feel unprofessional? No! It makes me feel comfortable + authentic + ready to do my pre-natal yoga as soon as I’m done with work. All I’m asking is for you to give your wardrobe some thought + attention. I know I feel invincible when I wear a double coat of mascara + my red Chanel lipstick. The only way to know for sure what works for you is to test.


I know that many of these changes may seem trivial. Are they actually worth doing? The answer is yes. But don’t just take my word for it. Try it for yourself. See what happens. These are such simple + easy changes to make that testing them is very low risk. I think you’ll be pleased, even surprised, with the result


So are you ready to not skip today’s challenge? This is single handedly the most powerful assignment you can do for the present + future + you deserve nothing less than fantastic.


DO THIS NOW: Create a vision that makes you excited to jump out of bed in the morning. Be sure to share your findings in the comment section below for a chance to win cool prizes.


When complete, this map will become your culture, your mantra. It will inform your decisions + help guide your team, even if your team is you + your little puppy Toto.


Heads up: You will be tempted to skim through this lesson because it’s almost too easy + too simple, and you think you already know what you want + how you want your future to look like. It’s probably in your head somewhere, you think. No wonder you’ve got mental constipation + sometimes you can’t put yourself to sleep.


But here’s the thing, too many people create a meaningful vision for what they want their life + business to look like, but very few really take the time to pause + consider the full picture.




For example, if you’re aiming to triple your income in 2015:

  • What will that look like?
  • How many people will you need on board?
  • Will you still be able to work from your home studio?
  • Will you need to travel more?
  • Will you be home in time for super?
  • Will you be able to leave the office early on Fridays?


By the way, being clear on your financial goals is not enough. Telling yourself “I’m attracting mucho dinero” will not work if you then go + fill your brain with loser thoughts of scarcity + lack + laziness by using your old toothbrush that should have been replaced months ago + checking a cluttered e-mail inbox on a frustratingly slow computer running pirated software + drinking cheap tea from an ugly hand-me-down mug.


Doesn’t work like that folks!


Your actions need to be coherent with your dreams. Do you give yourself the experience? Or do you deny yourself that experience? What associations do your choices trigger? Do you feel lucky + grateful + on your way to the top? Or do you feel cheap + frustrated + unworthy? Think about it.


Boda Mayi Carles


I confess I used to hate this exercise. B-O-R-I-N-G! I’m that girl who buys a $750 Breville Juicer, but has no time to read the instructions. I want to make a Banana Colada, IMMEDIATELY! But I learned to love this exercise when I had to plan my handmade wedding in just three months. Three months. I spent the first two weeks looking at wedding blogs + Pinterest boards + Martha Stewart magazines. Then, I played the “Wouldn’t It Be So Cool If…” Game. I stopped, looked at my budget + created a full color vision of what I wanted:

  • I want to wear a Spanish dress. I want to feel like a Flamenco dancer.
  • I want to skip the family tiara. I’ll look like Fiona. I want a big handmade flower on the side of my head instead.
  • I want the ballroom to feel like a garden, not a conference room. Plants + candles everywhere.
  • I want cupcakes. Lots + lots of cupcakes.
  • I don’t want sushi.
  • I want the YMCA song banned from the music list.
  • I want Michael Jackson .
  • I want lots of party props. Everyone.


I knew exactly what I wanted + what I didn’t want. That saved me time + energy + Bridezilla moments + helped me create the happiest memories of my life. And I didn’t fight with David one single day of the planning or with my mom or my mother in law + I am absolutely sure it was because we all had a map of what we were creating, TOGETHER.


And have you ever observed an athlete right before a competition? They use focus + visualization to manifest before their eyes their desired results. By imagining the journey + it’s obstacles before they unfold, they prepare themselves mentally + physically for the challenge.


Take note. Learn from the pros.


That’s it for today.


Tomorrow, I will show you how to transform your dreams into reality. Stay tuned!


Whether you decide to join us for an all new season of Life is Messy Bootcamp or not, I truly believe this 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge can transform your life + give you the basic framework you need to breakthrough + experience miracles this year + every single one after that.


If you have a friend, a loved one, looking to accomplish BIG things in 2015, it would mean the world if you could point them in this direction. THANK YOU for helping me spread the word with the fancy social media buttons below!


CLICK TO TWEET: Just clarified my vision for what I want + deserve! Clarify YOUR vision. A FREE workshop: http://bit.ly/1u2fZjB via @mayicarles


See you mañana.



Mayi Carles


Life is Messy Bootcamp 2015 Ad

Day 1 of The 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge: Discover Your Super Power

Part 1


Ever wonder why you’re captivated by some products and services + not by others? Why you recall some brands, yet forget the rest? Why you’re drawn to some people + others make you yawn?


In a noisy world where most people are yelling, “Hey, look at ME ME ME!”, it’s a must to find your fascination advantage, your secret sauce, your super power.


I know it’s tempting to get started on the productivity stuff + jump ahead, but in training + coaching hundreds of creative entrepreneurs, I have found that number one barrier to success isn’t necessarily a lack of organizational skills (though they themselves might think it is), the real problem is a lack confidence. These supernovas struggle with self-worth. They don’t understand why they are here + why it matters.


FIRST, we must talk about the inside, that burning fire you have within that’s calling your name. Once the inside is taken care of, the outside will fall into place. Trust me.


Your Super Power is the thing people often come to you for. It’s what makes your irresistible + unforgettable. It’s that in which you outshine everyone else. It’s something you excel at, in part because it’s a talent, but mostly because you enjoy doing it.


Super Power Convergence


Your Super Power is the convergence of three factors:

  • The things you love to do.
  • The things you’re praised for.
  • The things your clients will buy.


Let’s deconstruct.


Things You Love To Do

My parents always knew what I wanted for Christmas because I’ve always been one of those obnoxious people who is very vocal about what she loves: Measuring cups + pajamas + coloring + bunting flags + minions + big sunglasses + labeling E-VE-RY-THING + anything from Anthropologie + nocciola gelato + notepads + tickets to Cirque Du Soleil. And I project these obsessions in what I do as well.


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When I was little, I remember I used to save my Halloween + ballet costumes so I could wear them all year long. Now that I’m my own CEO + sign my own checks, Why should I obey a dress code imposed by boring adults? I bring my onesie to work whenever I want to.


Connecting the Gaps 1

Connecting the Gaps 2


My business partner April Bowles-Olin + I even took it a step further when were putting together our program Connecting the Gaps. We brought back the superhero cape. And adult tutus, sure, why not?


Some people really struggle with this one, and I’ve noticed it’s due to one of two things: (1) Either they have been too preoccupied people pleasing + taking care of everyone but themselves, or (2) they feel that life is too messy + doing what they love seems selfish + unrealistic. It’s a shame because you are of greater service to others when you’re happy.


Do you remember what you were like as a kid? What was the 5 year old you like? Way before you god schooled on what to do + how to do it. Before rules like “No rollerblading inside the house” or “No elbows in the table”. What comes up? That’s your purest life force, your element, the thing that makes your heart beats faster, the reason why you get excited about Christmas, why you are here!


If you need help wrapping your finger around what it is you love to do, think about it this way: If tomorrow were your birthday, how would you like the day to roll out from start to finish? What would you have for breakfast? What would you wear? How would you like to spend your time? What would be the perfect present? What dessert did you pick to blow your candles? Who do you want to spend this special day with? Who would you rather not receive a “Happy Birthday” from?


I’ve played this little game many times before with friends + family + colleagues + clients (usually wine was involved, but anyhoo). The results have been extremely enlightening. Give it a try + see if it helps you pin point some of your genuine passions.


Quote Day 1 -2


Things You’re Praised For

I love it when my guest come into my kitchen + praise my spice cabinet, “Oh my! All your spices are perfectly alphabetized” or when they step into my studio + cannot believe everything is color coordinated. It makes me feel like Martha Stewart.


Could you identify the skills that make you fascinating to others?


Think about what your friends reach out to you for? Is it that you’re a great listener or maybe it’s that you give the best relationship advice? I joke around with my gal pals that I must have a tattoo in my forehead that reads: “Tell me your entire life’s story,” cuz when my girlfriends come up to me, they spill for hours. I have material for at least five operas + three novels, I assure you. I’m a great listener.


Consider your ninja moves at work + what you’re constantly applauded for: Is it your killer problem-solving chops or perhaps it’s your ability to connect people who need to meet? Moi? I have this thing with being smart. I think women who are eager learners + intelligent are the prettiest. Yet, in spite of my best intentions to get into the best school or win the most prestigious diplomas, I’m never called out for being the smartest or most talented of the bunch. It’s true. Oh but you should hear what people have to say about my whimsy illustrations. Those e-mails that make my heart melt. “Seriously Universe, that’s my thing?” Okay, if my people aren’t impressed with the gold stars but go head over heals for my little paintings, I’ll take it!


Things You're Praised For


And last, but not least, amongst your family, what do you excel at? My auntie Irene jokingly says, “Never show skill,” because once cousins + uncles + granny + company know what your great at, let’s say, drill walls, you will the the person they call every time they need to hang anything. Forever. You know how to change light bulbs? Your are the designated light bulb changer. You design business cards? Well, prepare to whip out cards for the entire freaking family.


Funny story: A couple of months back, my dad needed help buying a juicer on Amazon. Now EVERY TIME he needs to buy anything online you know who he calls? No not the Ghostbusters. He calls ME. Damn it! Well, it ain’t all bad. Dad always prepares the most delicious Italian fest when I come over to help. Yum!


So what is that je ne sais pas people come to you for? It might seems tedious to execute all those magic tricks for free, but what would happen if you could start charging premium prices for your ninja moves? Not so annoying anymore, am I right?


Jot it down. Everything.




Things Your Clients Will Buy

When I graduated from Kindergarden, my parent gave me a Paint Spinner, the little plastic machine with a spinning disc you squeeze paint into + all the sudden, voila, you’re Picasso. Right!


We lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the time. My mom had won a Fulbright Scholarship to attend University of Michigan. While she was at Law School, I did art stands, like lemonade stands, except instead of selling lemonade, I sold my masterpieces made, of course, with my little spinner.


The line of kids reached the end of the block. Not to brag, but I was a ROCKSTAR. Right then + there I knew I was born to be an artist.


Now the part of the story I always leave out is this (I’ll tell you if you promise me it stays here): as it turns out, the reason why my art pieces were selling like hot tamales for 50 cents a pop was because they came combined with a bag of Hershey’s kisses. “Mayita,” my mom smiled as she made the infamous confession, “the chocolates were a dollar at the store.”


Dang! Alright maybe my first business ideas wasn’t truly “profitable,” but I won my life. I discovered that there is nothing more grand than confidence + self-love + that invincible feeling of: “You know what, I’m pretty awesome!” All that was required was a duo of mom + dad that let me dream.


Do you remember your first business? Did you sell confetti to your classmates or was it brownies? Did you paint holiday cards or wash the neighbors cars? What was it? As irrelevant as these pioneer businesses might seem today, they carry with them hidden lessons in profit + worth.


If someone would have told me five years ago I would be making a living talking about the smelly gremlins that get in the way + making the world a happier place with my cute illustrations, gosh, I’d believed them. Partly because I’m naive, but most of all because I remember that line of kids who wanted to buy MY PAINTINGS. You know how powerful that is?


Get Messy


Now it’s time to put this into action.


Step 1:

You are made of microscopic super powerful particles. It’s time to brainstorm what you love to do + what people praise you for + what your clients have shown interest in purchasing for you. Think about it. Make a list.


Step 2:

Cross out the ones you consistently have trouble focusing on. If you can rarely devote more than a 90 minutes to this skill, it likely isn’t a Super Power. It’s might be a seasonal hubby, but not your thang, if ya’ know what I mean sistah. You’re looking for those actions that you regularly get into the zone doing.


I still remember the first product I ever created to stock my Etsy shop. It was a hair fascinator made out of eco-friendly felt. I made it with all my heart. I waited for that first sale, like how I waited for the Tooth Fairy to bring me my $5 bill. It came. I celebrated it with a shot of limoncello. Or maybe two. Who knows. And after that first order came in, others quickly followed. Once order a week, became one order a day. One a day because one every few hours. Wait a second! I didn’t sign up for this.


cute9 copy

cute11 copy


I began resenting my orders. I know it sounds insane, but I wasn’t sleeping + I wasn’t eating right + I wasn’t exercising. My lifestyle sucked. I canceled romantic date nights. I skipped lunch with friends. My hands, my goodness, they looked like monster claws. Soon enough, I fired my handmade hair accessories collection. Hasta la vista baby! Not even a moment of silence. I had it!


Like me, lots of people force themselves to do something they don’t actually want to do, maybe because they think they should or perhaps because they’re good at it + can make a lot of money with it.


I could have build a successful career as an artist that makes lovely hair pieces, but again, I remember that acid reflux sensation in the mouth of my stomach each time I had to say no to pizza night to cut felt instead. I could have even continued to build a profitable business as a coach, but I felt a slight resistance every time I had to sit down with a client one-on-one. I knew that if I wanted to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, I couldn’t feel like I was PMSing. For me, coaching didn’t make me feel super. So I fired that as well. Slowly, I’ve mapped out a more sensible business model for the type of lifestyle I want to live, one that makes me feel Mayi, not Mayi-zilla.


If you have to force yourself to do something, cross it off the list.


Step 3:

Highlight the things in your list you feel most passionate about. You are looking for those activities that make you feel like a goddess. The ones that make you forget time + space. The onces you can talk about for hours without ever getting bored. The onces you can’t seem to get off your mind. The onces that make you smile as if it were Friday, everyday.


Step 4:

Make a list of all the ways you could start using your Super Power, now. Even though it may take you time to transition into a more meaningful work situation, you can still incorporate the things you love into your life this second.


If what you want to do is help people, but you can’t publish a book tomorrow, start a blog. It could even be one small thing each week, like mailing a handmade “Thank You” Card to someone who has made a difference in your live.


My very talented friend + Life is Messy Bootcamp alum, Marbel Canseco got contacted my Sally Hogshead, as in THE Sally Hogshead because by being her quirky self + posting something about Sally’s up n’ coming book, she cared + shared + made a connection. You can move people, shake people everyday with the littlest things. You just gotta DO IT! Put yourself out there.


For the longest time I kept blocking magazine features or TV spotlights because I kept saying, “I’m low profile” or “I don’t care about that sort of stuff”. Bullsh*t. If I was low profile, I would have picked something more modest as my profession, maybe envelop licker. If I didn’t care, then why couldn’t I stop dreaming about The Ellen Show? I’ve been too scared to admit out in the open that I actually light up when I’m acknowledged + recognized.


Ellas Coffee Break


True tale: The second I was brave enough to confess to the Universe, “You know what Miss Universe, I’m not ashamed anymore. I want it. The praise. The attention. The love. I want it ALL”, the doors started to open. I got the e-mail I’d been waiting A YEAR to get. I got the magazine cover I always dreamed of. I got the invitation I knew I deserved. It all happened last week, LAST WEEK PEOPLE, and all it took was a little bit of cojones + a New Years confession to the Universe.


Update: Less than an hour after publishing this workshop, my phone ran. I got a call from the biggest supermarket chain in the country. They want to sell my cookbook Life is Messy Kitchen as it comes out of the printers March 2, in stores all across the nation  Wait a second, WHAT? WHAAAAAT??? Holy guacamole. What is happening?


Is this all a coincidence? You tell me. All the events that have happened in the last couple of days have lead me to believe that we have the power to attract + repel. The choice is always ours.


It’s funny how opportunities have a way of evolving + surprising us when we find the courage to consistently take action. By using your Super Power, you very well may open yourself up to personal + professional opportunities. At the very least, you’ll make a positive difference in the world doing something that makes you feel fulfilled.


Quote Day 1 - 1


Recognizing what you love to do + acknowledging what you’re freaking-tastic at + getting honest about what your prospects are truly willing to spend money on, can take time, and the process of pursuing it can feel scary at times, but it all comes down to whether or not what you gain is more valuable to you than what you think you’re risking.


Weight it out. I’m hoping that you’ll soon acknowledge you really want it BAD ENOUGH, enough to push through the minor inconveniences that come with being super.




DO THIS NOW: Download + fill in your Super Power Finder. Be sure to share your findings in the comment section below for a chance to win cool prizes. 


Super Power Finder

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That’s it for today.


Tomorrow, I will show you how to clarify your vision. Stay tuned!


Whether you decide to join us for an all new season of Life is Messy Bootcamp or not, I truly believe this 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge can transform your life + give you the basic framework you need to breakthrough + experience miracles this year + every single one after that.


If you have a friend, a loved one, looking to accomplish BIG things in 2015, it would mean the world if you could point them in this direction. THANK YOU for helping me spread the word with the fancy social media buttons below!


CLICK TO TWEET: Today I discovered my SUPER POWER. Want to find out your SUPER POWER? Click here: http://bit.ly/1C9l7RZ … it’s FREE!!! @mayicarles


See you mañana.



Mayi Carles


Life is Messy Bootcamp 2015 Ad


Join the FREE 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge

Life is Messy Challenge Small


Recall the pure joy of riding a backyard swing? Easy. Effortless. I remember pumping my legs to drive me higher, thinking that if I just pushed a little bit more I could somehow touch the clouds. Know that feeling?


The thing with swings though is that we are not so much swinging as being swung. Gravity does most of the work. Our job is to simply work with the wind, to stop holding back with our need to control the pace. Trying too hard sabotages speed. Trying becomes striving + striving undoes itself.


If there is one thing I learned in 2014 is that striving doesn’t work. Striving leads to eating the entire fridge to take the edge off. We are not built for striving. We don’t strive, we have already arrived. We are already everything. Our job is simply to work with the wind, sing with it’s lines + nature, to stop holding ourselves back with our thrashing struggles to go faster, to be perfect, to outperform the swing to the right.


If you’re anything like me (and to a degree, I suspect we are cut with a similar star-shaped cookie cutter, you + I), you’re extremely pumped about the start of the year. January is the perfect time to pause + hit the reset button + make all sorts of to-do lists. You are prepared to be blown away by all that 2015 has to bring. You are invincible.


Simultaneously, you wanna pee in your pajama bottoms. Maybe you’re hunted by all those things that didn’t go according to plan in 2014 or perhaps you’re feeling like crap because you see yourself recycling the same shi*t you wrote in your 2015 New Years resolution.


Here’s my New Years message to you: Hey, it’s gonna be OKAY. I promise.




So, what does it take for transformation? For BIG breakthroughs? Cuz listen, I know you’re not messing around here. Not another year of “lessons” + “progress” + “slowly transitioning into…”. You want freaking abundance alright. The real deal! So what does it take? Let’s think about this for a second. What does it take to have the best year ever?


I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I will teach you how to ask the right questions.


Ponder for a moment how you would like 2015 to be like:

  • What are you most excited about?
  • What is your 2015 mantra?
  • What word will guide you in 2015?
  • What do you want to stand for in 2015?
  • What is your number ONE personal goal?
  • What is your number ONE business goal?
  • What do you want to be known for in 2015?
  • What books do you want to read in 2015?
  • What do you want to be know for in 2015?
  • When you Google your name, what do you want to see there?
  • How do I want to feel in 2015?


Create a vision that makes you excited to jump out of bed in the morning. Truly take some time to think this through. This is your story you are writing here. There are too many mediocre things in life, your life shouldn’t be one of them. Hint: I find it super helpful to do this exercise with your partner + family or your besties. Cook a great meal together + put some Bossa Nova in the background + set out to craft a more meaningful 2015 + get ready for magical new beginnings + awaken the possibility. Hercules. Herculezzzzz!!!


Be careful though, sometimes all this excitement to start fresh triggers loser tapes that remind us of all those times in the past it didn’t work out. It’s tempting to want to Google the answers, to sign our soul to The Solution that will tell us exactly what do to in 3 easy steps. Juice cleanse to fix your entire life in one swoop anyone? Not this year. Not this year my friend.


This year, I wish something grand for us. Something extraordinary.


This year, I’m choosing self-love over becoming superwoman. I will listen to my heart, it knows.


This year, I’m decluttering my hard drive, getting ride of everything I have somehow allowed into my world + no longer serves me. The remaining free space is reserved only for MY desired feelings.


This year, I want to live lighter + go further.


This year, I won’t let people I don’t even like rent premium real state space in my head even if that condemns me to perpetual reincarnation.


Oh yeah + this year, I have no intention of giving up pizza. Not gonna happen.




I believe a life worth living is an easy life. It’s not supposed to be hard, though we can make it that way with limiting scripts + people-pleasing + failing to see ourselves as we really are: infinitely powerful beings, capable of reaching far beyond our wildest dreams.


Next week, to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Life is Messy Bootcamp, I’m going to show you my down-to-earth process for mapping out what I truly believe will be THE year of miracles. No James Bond stunts or green smoothie potions. I’m talking about an honest peek inside my lifestyle design factory. And I’m doing it publicly for support + accountability + my own amusement, but mostly to inspire you to stop the glorification of over planning + start an honest quest to greatness. 




I invite you to interrupt self-imposed correctional facility-type New Year rituals with a more sensible + stress-free practice. There’s a gentler way people. Get ready, to make 2015 a year of steady acceleration, a year of radical happiness. Who’s with me?


If you’re looking for The Magic Formula that will fix all your problems with the flick of a wand, this would be a good place to stop reading. But if you’re tired of ku-ra-zy resolution setting that only leaves you feeling like a psycho killer, you will love what’s coming up next.


What To Expect Over The Next Couple of Days!

I’m kicking off 5 beautifully messy days of unlearning how to be RoboCop so you can be gorgeously human, flawed + fabulous. Just gimme ONE WEEK, I’ll give you a treasure map to be available for life’s magic!


Starting this Monday, January 12th + going until Friday, January 16th, I’m gonna be posting one workshop a day to help you go from New Year overachiever crazy pants mode (that we all know will only lead to eating the entire pint of Häagen-Dazs) to New Year happy like a hippo (a person who gets it done + even has time to watch a documentary on Netflix + close the office early on Fridays). Here’s the drill:


Applying the core Life is Messy Bootcamp principles, you will learn:

  • How powerful you really are + how far you can reach + why it matters.
  • How to design a life more suited for you.
  • How to make room for your BIG audacious ideas.
  • How to create an inventory of open loops + “incompletes”, so you can finally put an end to mental constipation.
  • How to go from lightbulb to done with a simple to use calendar system.


Whether you decide to join us for an all new season of Life is Messy Bootcamp or not, these daily exercises will give you the basic framework you need to KA-POW, kill it this year + every single one after that.


Join the 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge… it’s FREE!

I invite you… no, I challenge you to join me. Take ONE step a day for FIVE days, simple habits that can transform your life, because when you remove the emotional baggage + all those unrealistic expectations + the T-Rex pressure, you allow yourself to breakthrough, to experience miracles. 


The next few days will be so valuable you will think I lost my mind for not packaging this up in a cute bow + charging big bucks for it. I’m serious. This series is THAT good. And it will be entertaining as hell too. Translation: I’m going to embarrass myself with backstories like that one time I was convinced I gave up sugar + then stuffed my face with a frozen butterbeer from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


So, get ready for great value + a lot of fun. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it.


This 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge is FREE to you + it’s happening right here on the blog. If you sign up to my list + participate daily you will receive:

  • Exclusive access to download the daily playsheets that go with the workshops.
  • A chance to win two Life is Messy Planners, one for yourself + one to give away to anyone you’d like.
  • A chance to win a FREE pass to Life is Messy Bootcamp. 


To participate, you will need to do 3 things:


I’ve worked SO hard + creatively to make this 5-Day Life is Messy Challenge AMA-ZING for you + super informative + easy to implement no matter your busy schedule. I’m excited to spend a week helping you transform your life with love + compassion.


Do you know someone looking to accomplish BIG things in 2015 + make it the best year ever? Share this free series!


Are you ready? Sign up + I’ll see you on Monday!



Mayi Carles


Life is Messy Bootcamp 2015 Ad

Design Studio: Alexa Maia

Alexa Maia Illustration


Welcome to my column: Design Studio, a backstage pass to my whimsical illustration factory. Please excuse the mess, a tiny Panamanian artist with a T-Rex heart actually works here. Unfortunately for you, no minions to tuck away the chaos.


C’mon down. Sure you can wear that. Pull up a chair. I baked chocolate chip cookies. Take a peak at my latest creation: A personalized illustration for a very special little girl who loves water as much as I love cupcakes, Alexa Maia.


PicMonkey Collage


Do you have something super duper special in mind? I’m happy to work with you to make it happen. Maybe it’s a charming wedding invitation + a quirky thank you card + a personalized gift tag for your little one + or heck, your entires website brand identity. I love working with clients one-on-one to transform their crazy ideas into truly unique creations.


My quirky illustrations are 100% handmade + painted from start to finish with my 10 little fingers + scanned to perfection for a one of a kind look that feels like no other. My whimsical characters are super excited to make their debut in a variety of places including, but not limited to:

  • Personal Identity: Stationary + notepads + gift cards.
  • Custom Invitation Suites: Wedding + baby showers + birthdays.
  • Brand Identity: Logos + social sharing icons + business cards.
  • Designs for Licensing: Special illustrations for merchandising.


If you have a project not listed above, please don’t hesitate to hit me with it anyways. I might be able to pull some magic strings. I love a challenge.


play by play

  • E-mail me at mayicarles@gmail.com to share your crazy vision.
  • I’ll get back to you with availability + pricing + timelines.
  • If you decide to move forward, we do the happy dance + throw confetti.
  • The brainstorming phase kicks in for a fully customizable look.
  • I’ll send you a pencil sketch of your project for revision + approval.
  • My fingers do their coloring magic.
  • A high resolution file with your commission is sent, fully digitalized for lifetime use.
  • You smile from ear to ear + I blush.



My starting rate is $450 for personal illustrations + $550 for commercial projects. I offer special pricing for bulk requests.


kindly note

Due to demand + the amount of heart (and all-nighters) required to make these custom wonders, availability is extremely limited. So, as soon as you’re ready, send me an e-mail to talk about details. I promise to make my very best effort to accommodate you. Can’t wait to hear about your idea!



Mayi Carles

Happy 2015 Life is Messy Calendar!!!

Life is Messy Calendar 1


Mapping out my 2015 plan to RULE the world. Save, I mean SAVE the world.


Dear 2014,

Thanks for all the lessons.


Dear 2015,

I’m ready!


Life is Messy Calendar 4

Life is Messy Calendar 3

Life is Messy Calendar 2


Psst… the 2015 Life is Messy Calendar is now available for purchase here!


This cute calendar features a collection of my original hand-painted illustrations. The colors print BEA-u-tifully. Pin to your bulletin board or use as a bookmark. You can later frame it as a whimsical art print. Artsy fartsy.


Huge THANKS for supporting my teeny tiny empire, turning 5 soon, oh my! It’s been a bit of a whirlwind. We’ve grown so much + learned tons + put in an unhealthy amount hours to be able to create this company that we love so much. I’m extremely excited about all the new things to come. There are a lot.


In the meantime, the best way to keep up with happenings is via my Instagram + Facebook.



Mayi Carles


Photography Credit

Marcela Macias