This is what I always tell my coaching clients when they ask me what to say for their first blog post. The first post always feels like this huge barrier that makes you want to run back and change blog theme colors one more time instead of posting. So here I am, JUST STARTING.
I guess I’ll start with our WHY for starting this endeavor.
Well first I should say….there will be two voices on this blog:
Me (AKA – Tessa Chittle, the Mrs., the Mama, the Happy Business coach, the shabby chic DIYer)
My husband (AKA – Ian Chittle, the Mr., the Daddy, the counselor/mindfulness coach, the woodworking experimenter)
Exactly 9 months ago we found out we were having a surprise baby and it completely shifted our lives. Yes, we were married and almost 30 so it didn’t seem that weird, but we had other plans for the moment. So the little pink indicators on the pee stick left us a little confused…..I even cried and not just happy tears of magical baby rainbows and unicorns.
We had no income. Ian was finishing his PhD and Tessa had just pulled back on her business coaching clients at The Revolutionary Living Institute in order to attend Bastry University to become a Naturopathic Doctor. We were planning on living on my loans, but with a new baby, that meant no school and no loans….therefore no income.
We had just moved into a 480 sq ft studio apartment. So our bed, office, dining room, closets, etc occupied the same space as our kitchen. Possible for 2 adults, a dog and a screaming infant…maybe. Not ideal.
We knew we just weren’t built for the status quo family life. 9-5 jobs, nope. Big debts, nope. Only getting family time on a once-a-year vacation, nope. Mom and Dad like passing ships in the night unless they were nagging each other, nope. Being a slave to our kids’ activity calendar, nope. The same old routines that make us dread getting up in the morning, no way! None of this felt like it was in alignment with our values or how we wanted to feel living our lives as a new family.
We didn’t want this new amazing, beautiful surprise to feel like something that made us feel stuck. We wanted her to be an opportunity and a motivation to DO LIFE DIFFERENTLY.
So we chose REVOLUTION.
We knew we needed to design a life that allowed us to align with our values of….
>>> Making money doing what we love and sharing our gift in the world.
>>> Having the majority of our day be spent together.
>>> Supporting our new baby’s needs and dreams.
>>> Having time freedom, location freedom (so we can live in costa rica part of the year and visit our family in the SF Bay Area!), and financial freedom.
>>> Living a low stress and mindful life that gives us space to be present, focus on what is most important, consciously choose how we raise our baby, deepen our love story every day as a couple, and leave flexibility and space for both of us to pursue our passions and curiosities as we both shift throughout life.
>>> Feeling EASE, FLOW, SLOWNESS in our day to day and making happiness non-negotiable.
What’s the BIG barrier most people cite as the reason for them not living the life that they want?
M-O-N-E-Y and how to make it……
So the first step for us was to figure out a way to live in a place that aligned with our dreams without a huge expense. We found the perfect property in Gig harbor Wa, about 1 hour south of Seattle, 30 minutes West of Tacoma, Wa. While accessible to everything we need, this area offers a much lower cost of living and we found that our mortgage, taxes, and all homeowners expenses for this 6 acre piece of land and 3 bedroom home turned out to be hundreds of dollars less than our studio apartment in Seattle.
The second step was to figure out how to make income doing what we love without working all the time. I had already been deep in this exploration through my work as a Revolutionary Living Coach & Happy Business Expert at The Revolutionary Living Institute, so now all I had to do was apply the Revolutionary Living Method to design my business around my new bundle of joy. My business partner and I went to work designing new programs, building an awesome Revolutionary Living Community, and dreaming big about the big impact we can make in the world…..even while I raise my baby girl! My husband decided to use the Masters in Counseling Psychology that he already had instead of spending 3 more years completing all the requirements of his doctorate. He found a job with a 10 minute commute that he works at 2 days a week so he can spend his other days being with his daughter while I see clients and pursuing his own entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors including Mindfulness Coaching and woodworking projects.
So here we are….9 months later…..exactly 1 week from the due date of our first baby girl, Azalee Florence Chittle.
We have a beautiful home and property that brings me peace every time I look out my window or snuggle up on my coach…and offers so much potential for our future dreams of hosting Revolutionary Retreats, farm dinners, bed&breakfast stays, campfire parties, and other events!
We both are pursuing our creative passions….
>>> Ian working in his woodworking shop, writing about mindfulness, roasting his own coffee, making great pizza, and investigating how to raise chickens and goats.
>>> Me creating Revolutionary programs to support folks in designing their businesses around how they want to live, planning home remodel and sewing projects, getting ready for gardening and DIY cooking/homesteading with my daughter, and dreaming about our future retreat center.
We are profoundly excited about our new baby and all the opportunities this journey will bring to think outside the box to have a Revolutionary love story as a couple and be Revolutionary parents.
We are supporting our family while knowing we will have ample time with each other and as a family to snuggle, explore, learn, play, and simply be present to all around us.
There are so many adventures ahead of us….happy and heartbreaking.
So many opportunities to grow as individuals, as a couple, as a family, as parents, as Revolutionaries.
We want to document this journey. We want to share this journey. We aren’t experts. We don’t have all the answers. Nothing we say is TRUTH.
On this blog, we’ll share our recipes, our DIY tutorials, our lessons in homesteading, our parenting experiments, the practices that help us stay mindful, and the exercises/resources that get us into action and allow us to feel the way we want to feel in our lives.
But most of all we will share our reflections, our mistakes, and even our moments of craziness because we know truth telling can be profound.
This space is for us to document our Revolutionary LIFE & hold ourselves accountable to making our happiness, presence, and LOVE non-negotiable no matter what life brings us.
We hope it also offers something to YOU and the world to see our authentic telling of being parents, entrepreneurs, homesteaders, REVOLUTIONARIES, and REAL people.
That’s what this blog is for. That’s our WHY (at least for this moment).