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We are all looking for answers, a guidebook for existence, a roadmap. We want to follow measurable steps. Bottom line: we are all seeking peace and joy.

At times, I’ve felt confused, cluttered, disempowered and swallowed up by the world. I’ve allowed everyone but me to define my truth and tell me what I need to be. The turning point that revealed the power of choice to me came in my mid-30’s when I woke up one day and asked myself, “What is this life I am living? What do I want to be? What is valuable and important to me?” This was the moment that I realized that all was as it should be. Every single moment in my life up until this realization had led me here.

The world, inward and outward, is quite simply just as it is. When there is an acceptance without judgment, we are empowered to free ourselves from victimhood. Choice itself is the differentiator. Throughout my 45 years I have found that living a more peaceful life is about making choices to be present and to accept the world as it is, in the moment, with no shame. Amidst all of the intensity, pain, love, heartache and growth that every human being on this planet endures, I believe we each have an innate yearning for growth. For me, it all begins with presence, surrender and choice.

Have you ever caught yourself completely out of the moment that you were in? You can never get that moment back. More importantly, you can’t make effective choice when you are lost like this. Once we are aware of what truly is, we can begin to surrender to the experience we have created for ourselves. The Zen proverb, “Leap and the net will appear”, carried me through intense circumstances in my life as I developed a trust in humanity and began to understand the concept that all is truly is as it should be. Now with this understanding, I define how I want to be the best mom, friend, sister, wife, lover and person that I can be. Even though the concepts of presence and surrender are valuable, the true secret to my joy is making the conscious choice to ask the challenging questions of how I want to live my life.

I believe that self-responsibility is the main source of empowerment for our world. No one is going to save you but yourself. There is so much power in believing that the world is yours in the making and the taking. Be aware, accept what is and CHOOSE your circumstances to the best of your ability.

Ultimately its up to you. Find your unique steps towards presence, surrender and choice. The irony is that there really is no universal process, no “perfect 5-steps” to employ. The ones that have worked for me (and that are still changing) are to be present with myself, surrender to what is, and to make effective and conscious choices for my life. With these concepts in action, all is it should be.

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Kelly McNelis is the founder of Women for One, a destination for women ready and willing to make life happen. With over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit and small business consultant, Kelly empowers generations of women around the world to build the relationships, community, and confidence they need to achieve their wildest dreams. She travels the world as a speaker, teacher, and facilitator of workshops, helping others tap into lives powered by truth. Kelly’s dedication to truthtelling helps women and men share their powerful stories with the world. She recently finished writing her first book, Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman, due out in fall 2017 through Enrealment Press. She finds daily inspiration in spending time with her husband and children in her home outside of Seattle.

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This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing such brilliant words and inspiring me to realize what is RIGHT in my life today.

    1. Presence, truth and action… three most important traits to employ! Thank you Samantha.

  2. Well said! So beautifully simple and yet so difficult. But like many things, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

  3. This message of “accepting life as is” is essential to happiness. For the majority of my life I have had an idealized vision of how the world “should” be and it has caused me disappointment and pain. When clarity came to me I found that life is much more peaceful with acceptance.

    Kelly’s message of creating your own happiness could not be any more empowering. Thank you for your insights!!

  4. This morning I read this post first thing and it was a great reminder to stay present and accept was is!
    We do have a choice in how we act and react to life’s moments…stop and take a breath as all is well in this moment.
    Thank you for always sharing your authentic self with me and the world. My heart is open and I can feel the preciousness of LIFE itself!

  5. I love it! So often people are just willing to accept their lot in life. They choose to be victims of their circumstance and let that be the reason for not moving forward. The power is definitely in each of us to decide our own fate.
    I love the voice you have found and vehicle you have created to share great lessons!!

    1. Thank you Marisa. Each day facing something I do not like about myself is hard. But my commitment to awareness is greater. I love the intent – asking for my best self. I will use it!

  6. Kelly, I’ve said it once and I will continue to say it… You are inspirational!

    Your words beautifully teach the world from your own life experience and THAT resonates.

    Your actions in who you are as a person, at least how I know you as a friend keeps me grounded. Wisdom, with time and experience allows me to grow without self judgement and its an honor to see you as a mentor.

    One thing I would love to add, from what I have experienced is Living in AWARENESS. For example, I had a young woman say to me, “I post on Social Media to be dramatic. I exaggerate to get attention.” This came after I had read a post of hers claiming the world was coming to an end for her and so I reached out to see what I can do. After reaching out and talking to her I was surprised at how she was CHOOSING to BE because she WAS choosing. So I say, be aware of who you are and how you show it.

    Yourself is always enough!

  7. Kelly – nicely put. I love that you say there is “no “perfect 5-steps” to employ” because that is exactly true! Everyone does have their own steps to take and finding your own steps starts with, as you said, being present and surrendering to what is!

    Your inspiring WomenForOne movement reminds us that we are all in this together and we can find support to help us stay present and surrender to our own truth and beauty.

    Thank you for that and all you do. <3

    1. Thank you Tammy! And thank you for serving the world with your awareness and wisdom as well!

  8. Wow! Very well put. “Leap and the net shall appear”, really moved me. It does truly happen when you need it too, and I was unaware that it does happen until I read your blog. It’s so hard to be present and aware when you are in a life of work, young child, home, husband and trying to make time for yourself with friends. Being aware is your first step, steps beyond that are hard for me to keep in practice. Acknowledgement, intent, and not attaching. Your 30’s do truly change how you look at things, and I plan to keep trying. 🙂

    1. Love your comment! Thank you! Sometimes it is challenging – but it is all quite simple of we can detach! Thank you Holly!

  9. What resonated most for me is that YOU and only YOU are in charge of your own life. When you come from a place of conscious choices, life becomes clear and simple. All really is as it should be right where you are. Thank you Kelly for bringing this concept into focus so all of those who feel “swallowed up by the world” can start choosing differently.

  10. Thank you for sharing your truth Kelly! We all benefit greatly by both living our own truth and hearing others – what a beautiful symphony of voices when we still ourselves enough to really listen! This is why your work with Women For One is so important. Thank you for all you do!
    Love and Blessings,

    Karen Ullery

  11. You must know me. That is my story. I waited till the late 30s to get the ability to make a choice, and then choose the right ones to benefit my life. The best choice I made, was toddiscover who I wanted to be. Today im comfortable in my skin ,and growing each day.

    1. Thanks Patrick – it seems as many of us wait – but as you know – it happens when it is supposed to. Thank you for your post!

  12. Thank you, Kelly, for reminding me to be authentic and present, and inspiring me to also be the best mom, wife, sister, friend, and lover! I’m proud to be a part or your tribe!

  13. I love the proverb you uses 🙂 it inspires me and empowers me because I am always afraid to leap The Zen proverb, “Leap and the net will appear”. I admire your belief that ur words cn change the world and inspire some, you keep trying to listen to others because you decided to listen to ur conscience and follow your heart whatever it costs. I can understand you because I used to perceive myself as the person that people defined not the true me.

  14. Loved reading these heartfelt, wise words!! Thank you for sharing and reminding us to be authentic, be in the moment and accept!!

  15. What an excellent simple and to the point message. I have always believed in the power of choice. I love the way you have grouped it with presence and surrender. It is powerful and empowering.

  16. Thanks Kelly for reminding me to live in the moment… I think the older you get, it actually becomes easier to do (at least for me)…I do think the benefit of age is wisdom :-). Also, love the Zen proverb, “Leap and the net will appear”… this is something I need to remember more often. Recently, I have been working on something that is forcing me out of my comfort zone a bit … and this quote provided me with needed confidence. Thanks!

  17. Thank you very much, Kelly, for your inspired message. It helps us, readers, to stop for a while to look back our journey of life in order to live a more meaningfull life.
    Joseph Nguyen

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