By Amie Mignatti
Upon graduating from college I was quite unclear about the path my life would take, I had no five or ten year plans like many of my friends, nor did I want them. I felt that having plans hindered the magic that could happen by being open to what comes. I was very clear on several things though: NO office job, NO corporate job-ever!, NO desk job, NO high heels and business suits, NO 9-5.
So with these “rules” in mind, I set out into the world in search of what it is that I wanted to do with my life. I was more drawn to adventure, travel, being outdoors and having fun then money and security.
It didn’t take me long to find others like me. The more I traveled, the more I saw, the more people I met- the more I realized that life can be whatever you make and however you wish to create it.
Fast forward many years later and I am now a Mom (to a four year old girl who is the brightest star in my universe) with a German partner, living in Munich. My life still does not fall into the “normal” category, but its definitely more stable, grounded and focused.
I run my own business where I offer outdoor education classes and holiday camps in English to children ages 5-12, run women’s courses in nature focusing on creativity, self-development & improvement, meditation, and goal-setting, teach English, I am just starting my side project/business as a Nature Coach (launching in March!), teach yoga on a weekly basis, do voice overs for commericals and run a cooking business where I cook for seminars and retreats. At the same time, I am always in an Ausbildung of some sort. I find that it is so imperative to always be learning and growing, so I take courses each year for my own self development.
And…. I’m happy.
It took me years of trying all sorts of jobs out in order to get to this point. I wasn’t afraid of trying new things or of failing. I don’t believe in failing. I believe in trying and learning and trying again…this core principle has kept me moving forward and positively so. And..if it doesn’t work out, something else will.
What I have created for myself now is a mixture of everything that I love, that pushes me to grow and challenges me to try new things and ultimately, makes me happy.
Things happened gradually as well. I moved to Munich to work in a kindergarten (but really it was my way of being closer to the boyfriend I had in Denmark that I had met in Thailand…) and through a series of events that challenged the way I viewed my life, I ended up quitting my job and making the step to self-employment with yoga and the Englischfee (my nature classes for kids). Success happened quickly, thankfully, and within a year I was able to make a living doing what I love- being outdoors with children and teaching yoga.
There was a lot of thought and hard work put into the start of both of them, it forced me to ground down and not just run away if things got tough. I wrote a business plan (something I could never ever have imagined doing ten years before), I wrote a financial plan, I learned to use Excel (the most I did with a computer was check email), I got a website, etc….I started a business! I forced myself to look much more clearly into my patterns, and to put myself out into the world. It was a very liberating time for me.
From there, I gained an enormous amount of discipline. I made myself be in my home office every morning at 9, I created spreadsheets and “to do” lists and learned how to make myself successful. I did all of this intuitively. I realized later that I would have benefitted from a course, but it worked out with “learning by doing”.
And then came my child and things changed.
However, the change was not what I expected. I became so creative after birth that I felt the need to start a cooking business and deliver to new mom’s and working families. I began yet another business, Amie’s Sunshine Kitchen, this one was much easier because I had the background and knew what was needed, but I also had a child. I waited until she was 18 months old and in daycare and I launched.
The success of my Sunshine Kitchen was more than I could handle. I got to the point where I could either find investors and make it something really big and devote myself to that or change course and make it something different that I could actually handle. I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work and time it required and I saw myself becoming the mom, partner and woman that I didn’t want to be.
The Englischfee and yoga had been so easy because they weren’t daily…but the Sunshine Kitchen was a different story. It took every ounce of time I had, I was on the computer constantly, I had even gotten a Smart Phone (I swore I would never have one)…this was not me at all. There was no time left for anything else. I was working weekends, evenings and mornings.
No. This had to stop.
So I had a weekend alone in the forest and I prayed and I thought and I asked for answers and for help, I couldn’t continue in this way. I was happy to have built something that had a need and a purpose, but I couldn’t sacrifice myself and my family for it. I wasn’t even making money doing this yet…so there was really nothing left to lose.
The answer came on Monday when I returned. It said very clearly, “Cook for retreats and seminars. Find a morning job, flexible and without a contract, where you can bring in an income but still have time to devote yourself to your family, yoga and the Englischfee.” 2 days later I had a job teaching English- no contract, part time, a decent income, so much time with my child and my partner, weekends free and stability.
6 months later I was flown to Tenerife to cook for a yoga retreat, 9 months after that I was in France for a month cooking for yoga retreats and now I have a regular cooking job for a seminar house in the Bayerischer Wald. The Englischfee and yoga have been stable and running themselves for several years now and I’m at the point where I am adding new programs. Through all of my outdoor work, I’ve started coaching and leading women’s courses, so this is a natural evolution of my own learning process.
What I have realized is that if you get very clear with what you want, how you want to live and what you want to give and get out of a job, it’s there. You can find it or you can create it.
Clarity is power.
The clearer you are, the more likely you are to have whatever you want (or don’t want) in your life.