How Self Coaching Works

Warning: I use the F word in this post.  If that offends you…either ignore it or quit reading now.

I’m going to give you a peek at what self-coaching looks like.  My goal is that every client I work with can employ this after working with me as the first line of offense when their optimal life is threatened.

Here is me, right now:

Some days fucking suck.

That’s not really what I mean.

What I mean is there are days I must look a whole hell of a lot harder for the upside than others.  I always find it because I want to.  I really want to believe in the best aspects of this world we live in.  I think it’s possible we live in a world where people can be super chill and respect each other and act on their beliefs.

I see a fuckton (yes it’s a word) of bullshit around me.  And through that lens of optimism I choose how I handle my engagement with that.

Received some crap from my kid’s soccer club yesterday that really set me off.  The background is that my son chose to screw around for the last year or so and not engage at his very best in his sport of choice.   Simultaneously, the club decided to institute an “A” and “B” team philosophy for the U11 age group.

I’m all in on competition.  Seriously – give me a challenge and I will prove how ridiculous your skepticism at my abilities is. I was less than thrilled at the prospect of my son at 10 being potentially told he wasn’t good enough for the A team.  We talked mental strategy and physical commitment and he went for it.  He was assigned to the B team.

Devastation. Tears. Confusion.  Questioning.

And he was pretty upset too.

Through his tears he asked me what he did wrong.  How the fuck am I supposed to answer that?

We connected with his coach who had some encouraging and constructive words for him and we developed a mindset strategy for moving past this.  We also talked application of that strategy in a series of upcoming practices, a tournament he was participating in and the multiple soccer camps he requested for this summer.

(I am currently selling body parts to finance all of this. Anyone need a pinky finger?)

He played.  He played like I haven’t seen him play in a while. His fire was back. Go figure…my kid needed a challenge to get him fired up and re-engaged.  He had been bored. I get that and I can work with it.

I’m feeling good about all of this.

Then yesterday I get the rosters for the teams for the fall in his age group.  His team doesn’t have a full roster and doesn’t even have enough to field a team.  Exactly how is this supposed to work?  Parents are jumping to conclusions all over the place.  I am sitting back and choosing my engagement.  Parents are now cancelling their commitments.  They are pulling their kids.

Holy cow.

Should I?  Nope, not my way. I don’t do things simply because others are.

I wait to see how the club director will respond.  I am disappointed.  There is no plan shared.  In fact, we are told that the rosters were created without a plan.  That they are working on one after their break and will share it at the parent meeting in 2.5 weeks.

Not good enough.  Not good enough by even a little bit.

What now?  How do I coach myself through this?  Well, I start with looking at what is true here:

  1. My kid earned the spot.
  2. The club director doesn’t have a plan, though he promises one.
  3. My kid loves, loves this sport. He committed to growing through this situation.

The values I am using to filter this:

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Commitment
  • Passion
  • Freedom
  • Transformation
  • Growth
  • Professionalism

What skeptical, cynical me thinks:

This is complete bullshit, find a new club.

This lack of communication means there was no plan and now they’ve been caught so they are scrambling.

What you allow will continue.

Intuitive me says:

He will thrive in a new environment

Yes, he earned that spot, but he also deserves more from himself and from his support system.

Questions still lingering:

What would a move to a new club (assuming I can find a roster spot) do for him – what message would it send?

Will the plan be good enough?

Actions I will take:

  1. Be direct with my response to the club director. I expect more. He needs to know that.
  2. Investigate other options for him to play if the plan isn’t satisfactory.
  3. Discuss with his father.
  4. Consult with his coach.
  5. Love and support him no matter what.

If you have a near term threat to your optimal lifestyle, take it through those analysis steps (the ones in bold).  Consider what actions you need to take to resolve it. These threats aren’t always immediately contained.  Sometimes they take a bit of work.  Working through them using your authentic, best self is way better than just reacting. 

Coach yourself.  And if coaching yourself doesn’t work, get a coach. And hey…I’m a coach, you could apply for a lackluster to limitless session with me and we’d see if it’s a good fit by working through what’s on your near-term threat list.

photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.

My background is 10 years in the US Army as an officer, 10 years in Corporate America and then the last 6 running my own business. I have deployed twice in combat scenarios, worked with foreign governments and military and worked extensively in international business.  I have an undergraduate in Criminology, an MBA and certification in Positive Psychology. I have led organizations from 3-400 and love developing people and helping them create their next steps in life and work. 

I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well we a working glass artist, Reiki Master,  Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10 year old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems. 





When I Grow Up….

By age 30 I had ended one career and started another and still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I thought success was finding a career path that provided relatively good income and room to move up – one already laid out with simple steps to move through – like a board game. I was discovering life hadn’t laid those steps out as neatly as I thought and it didn’t feel as successful as I thought it would.

Up until age 30, things had been appearing and I had been saying yes to them – somewhat blindly.  In 1992 I went to college because it was the next natural step to living a prosperous life.  In 1995, the US Army ROTC office at CSU Fresno called and offered me a full scholarship to complete my education and I said yes – with little thought.  I commissioned active duty and went off to be an Army officer.  I didn’t have a grand plan on what that would look like, but turned out to be pretty good at it.  I consistently did well and got great assignments as a result.

When I decided to leave, it was because I was getting the first rumblings from within: life was more than just a job.  I wanted a lifestyle different than the Army was providing.  In a bid to retain me, I was offered the opportunity to work with the most elite support command in the Army…still I had to go. The voice within was getting louder.

I went to a job fair and accepted a job in the Midwest with a utility company.  I joke that I accepted it in a fever induced haze – the product of contracting bronchitis while on a whirlwind interview tour across the US and being unable to go to any additional interviews.  My dogs and I moved to Iowa in February 2004 and I soon wondered when I’d be leaving.

It turned out it was here I’d settle on what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I’d discover life didn’t have to keep happening to me, I could create my life. I could develop a vision for the future and put it into action one step at a time.  Others were out walking their paths, sometimes lined up single file one after the other doing the same thing.  But me, I wanted to forge my way through on my own path.

I had this same mentality as a kid: I grew up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  My backyard was literally the Sierra National Forest.  One of my favorite things was to follow a trail for a bit, then strike out on my own – see what might be just beyond sight from the established path.  I often trekked up and down the creek behind our house finding new ways to get to different vantage points and finding fresh perspective.

This mindset came back to me as I began to question the path I was following others on after the birth of my son.  In 2007 he arrived 3 months prematurely and I was gifted time as I cared for him while he finished his development in the incubator in the NICU. I had time to consider my life.

I realized I needed a new vantage.  I needed to explore some alternate paths.  I needed fresh perspective on who I was and what I was doing.

I took some courses.  I read some new books.  I dabbled in different things.

For too long. I got seriously restless.

Then I got serious.  I hired a coach.

Hiring a coach gave me the path to clarity, accountability and commitment.  It also confirmed, yes, my life is more than my job.  I am here to live a full, rich, passion filled life and the routine to retirement gig wasn’t cutting it.

Are you asking, “what do I want to do with my life?” and taking free course or download after free course or download and not finding answers? A coach may be your answer.

If you are signing on for e-courses and not finishing them – you aren’t alone. I recently read upwards of 97% of people don’t finish them. (that fact isn’t verified, but I could see how it can be true).

Are you bored with life, or busy with bullshit?  Are you doing things that kinda suck? Are you doing them out of some sort of obligation anyway? You may need support to say yes to things that rock.

Hiring a coach gave me the courage to confront what I was really looking for in life and the confidence to take some action toward it. Now, 7 years later, I still have a coach.  My coaches have changed focus and people over the years, but I will always value coaching support and perspective.

If you know you are capable of more but feel restricted by external forces, a coach can help you develop the skills, attitudes and behaviors you need to free yourself.

And hey, I am a coach.  I might be able to help you like I have helped many others find the freedom they want – the freedom to be and live the way that really crave. It’d be super cool to have a conversation with you and see if it’s a good fit for where you are and what you want in life.

At a minimum, I can point you to some near-term actions and resources to find freedom if coaching with me isn’t right for you now – no worries.  I have told lots of coaches no along the way, it’s cool.

Your Challenge Now:

In your journal complete this sentence: When I Grow Up….

Then,  apply for a lackluster to limitless energizer session with me – let’s see if it’s a good fit for your initial foray into freedom.


photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

Jennifer Murphy

I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.

I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well as a working glass artist, Reiki Master,  Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10 year old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems.  email me at and share your story.


Photo by Benjamin Combs on Unsplash

How is Your Health?

In the year preceding my departure from my last corporate job I had walking pneumonia 5 times.  Once it even came with a bonus kicker of whooping cough.  Steroids, antibiotics and over the counter remedies did nothing to stop it.  Days of working from home, long naps and attempting to power through it made no difference.  I was chronically tired, chronically sniffling, chronically coughing after every word I spoke.  I had put on weight.

In the prior 3 years I had been diagnosed with allergies, GERD, Arthritis, Migraines, more than a few bouts of bronchitis and sinus infections as well as the rarest form of asthma.

I kept thinking…wow, is this really what it’s like to be human?  

Around me I saw the same things happening.  To be sick seemed to be the latest fashion trend.  Everybody I knew seemed to be on something for something. Showing up to work sick was done with a sense of pride, “I’m so dedicated and valuable here I can’t possibly stay home.”

“Seriously, there has to be more.” I remember thinking.

There was.

Recently my Yoga Instructor reminded me of all this.  She looked at me in class and said, “we have been doing this about 10 years and you haven’t aged.”  We talked about why and I am going to share my suspicions with you here. I perceive 3 primary actions driving this outcome:

  1. I changed my diet.

My cravings were for fresher foods, more organic flavors and higher quality. I gave in to them.  I began to buy fresh, local and organic.  Even when my budget became the tightest it ever was, I stuck with it. I found I need less volume when the quality is higher – go figure.

My weight dropped and my stomach issues cleared up almost immediately.  Increasing water helped my headaches begin to fade and my ache from arthritis dissipate. As time went on I found that eating processed foods had an immediate and sever impact on my body:  skin rashes, stomach aches and more.

My diet was a huge step to take in feeling better about my life.

  1. I changed where I spent my energies.

Mentally I had to get straight on what mattered. I developed an exercise called aligning priorities and put it to work for me.  Using it I became very focused on spending resources on what I valued most and saying no to the things misaligned.

What followed was an increase in opportunity to engage with my dreams.  The opportunity to open my business presented itself, I took it.  Changes needed in my relationships became obvious and I made them.  Expired affiliations and loyalties were retired and lower vibration options just went away.

This alignment of energies gave me clear path to yes or no in my life.  Today I ask, “will this get me closer or further away from what I want to do?” as the gatekeeper question.

  1. I changed how I heal myself.

How I heal myself today addresses my entire system.  Rather than running to a doctor for each discomfort, I explore my life holistically. I never seemed to have an easy illness for a doctor anyway.  There was never a “oh you have this” response.  It was always, “well it could be several things”.  Now I know why: my illnesses weren’t just a bug – they were connected on all levels.

Today I work with a holistic chiropractor, Dr. Karly Abel, and view my health primarily through natural and spiritual means.  I consult with healers periodically and go the VA for my annual physical.  In the last 3 years I have had to consult a General Physician once for an illness I could not contain.  It was walking pneumonia.  Rather than just taking the antibiotics and waiting for a cure, I also took stock of my life and found other areas needing to be addressed.

I believe our bodies talk to us about our life choices.  They will tell us when we are off track – the same way our intuition speaks to us.  Therefore, we need to heal not only the physical symptoms, but the emotional and spiritual as well.

Do you recognize yourself in any of this?

Is doing exactly what I do right for you?  Maybe.  Is some degree of it?  Definitely. 

Your diet and how much water you drink is a fundamental building block – your body uses what you put in it – wouldn’t you like it to be the absolute best Mother Nature can create? Fuel yourself with high quality and you body will return high quality energy and output.

Focus your energies on what is most important to you and those things will flourish.  Spend time on the things you value most and you will feel most connected to them.  Feeling connected to those things will inspire you to live in alignment with your purpose and in turn you will feel more freedom.  Your sense of conflict will diminish as you know what you can say yes to and what to turn down.

How you heal matters – we are multi-dimensional.  Treating only one dimension just seems ludicrous. If I ignore a spiritual or emotional pain long enough, it will show up physically.  I bet yours does too.

What is your health currently telling you?  Are you trying diet plan after diet plan?  Are you on a closet full of prescription meds? Are you always hungry and always eating?  Are you shoving emotions down faster than a bag of French Fries? Chances are it goes deeper than conventional methods would explain.

Rebel.  Explore other means. Try a new approach if what you have been doing isn’t working.

The answer to how I haven’t aged in my Yoga Instructors eyes in 10 years is in living a lifestyle I love.  It is encompassing of healthy supportive food, people I love, a career that inspires me and a sense of completeness.  This lifestyle is more than professional success, it’s my entire life of success as I have chosen to define it.

YOU can find this too – you can be the person receiving your ultimate compliment.  You can be the person former acquaintances don’t even recognize and look at in wonder. It is possible for you.

Your challenge:

It’s time to define what lifestyle success means to you – how do you define it? Email me at and let me know. I’d love to hear your definition!

photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

I am Jennifer Murphy, a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.

Apply for a Lackluster to Limitless Energizer Session if you are ready for more independence, freedom and sense of living your real life than you have ever had before. 






The Complaint I hear Most

The single most common complaint I hear is:      

“I feel like all I do is work”

Or the family person version:

“All I do is work and do things with the family”

What they are really saying is they feel less than fulfilled.  They feel there is more out there.  They feel bored and want more.

Many aren’t sure what they’d do if they could do anything else.  Some have a clear picture of exactly what they’d do.

In both cases, as soon as the possibility of more is approached, resistance flies up like a barricade at a court house parking entry.

Basically, we aren’t happy with what is happening, but when the chance to change pops up, we feel like we can’t.  Pretty messed up right?

About a year ago, I was talking with a former colleague and she was sharing a dream of a business that embraced one of her passions.  As she spoke, she was glowing, literally glowing.  She had the whole idea mapped in her head and described it in such amazing detail that I could see it.  It is a gorgeous idea and she is perfect for it.

Tapping in to her excitement, I asked if she had thought about location.  She had and went on to describe it.

I pushed a little further and asked when.

The reasons why she couldn’t then came tumbling out: obligation to her mortgage, her corporate career, jeopardizing her retirement, her husband’s expectations and the belief that she just couldn’t.

This is a very common story.

The successful professional who wants more, but can’t seem to have it.  The more isn’t always a business idea.  Sometimes it is a desire to be able to sit down and relax at night – without the stress of work preying on them.  It is the desire for a life outside of work that is fun, filled with good friends and experiences that enrich their life, leaving them energized to go to a job they can love more fully since the rest of life is pretty awesome.

When I was hired at my last corporate job, one of the reasons I took the job was something my hiring manager said: “I believe in working to live, not living to work.” For as long as I worked for her, she lived by this.  She was supportive to her team in this philosophy in a corporate environment that didn’t always agree with her on that thought. Despite this awesome environment, I still found myself living to work.

In my years of working in large organizations, as a leader in the US Army and then again in corporate America, I observed three reasons we feel this “all I do is work” feeling:

  1. Society tells us this is the right thing to do, everyone else is so we follow along.
  2. We agree to focus on work temporarily for a big project or busy time then…it never ends and becomes routine.
  3. We never saw a different way: this was what our parents or mentors did, what we perceived was right and we followed the example of those we admired and loved.


All three impacted my life.  All three shaped the definition of success I pursued which was aligned primarily around a solid career.  If it enabled some cool stuff in the rest of my life that was great – I saw it as a bonus.

If this is you, you can shift this. 

One day I decided to listen to that calling from within asking for “more”.  Not knowing what “more” was for me, I engaged a life coach who helped me figure it out.  I moved away from living to work and having a life that had a successful career to living a successful life where I have a job I love. I feel the fullness of a lifestyle that supports my continued experience in this world – the experience I get to create anew each day.

How I shifted it:

  1. Engaging help – I got mine from a life coach, like me.
  2. Being open to possibilities and willing to change somethings in my life.
  3. Acknowledging that the life I was living wasn’t my dream life and taking the time to develop the picture of what I wanted.
  4. Taking immediate action to start living that life I wanted.
  5. Continuing to act, even when it was hard.

You can do this too. Are you ready to move beyond the complaint?

Start now.  If you need help, apply for my lackluster to limitless energizer session and we will spend an hour on your plan.


photo jun 20, 8 27 31 amHi, I am Jennifer Murphy.  I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives – the ones that include work, but aren’t entirely work.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created.



Are you Too Busy For Time Management?

This week my son is in a 7 hour a day week-long soccer camp followed by a chiropractor session, a haircut, competitive club soccer tryout and bookended by soccer tournaments.

It’s a busy week for him.

It’s also prime training time for time management.

He’s 10 and life won’t slow down from here.  Increasingly, demands will be placed on his time as he gets more social, craves more mobility, plays in middle school and high school sports in addition to his club and continues with his hunting and fishing seasons.  Eventually (I shudder) he will have a girlfriend and she’ll want his time (she had better be good enough for him!).  Life will get busier and as his parent it’s up to me to model for him the best way to manage those demands.

It’s the kind of thing we didn’t really talk about when I was his age, nobody did.  I don’t remember people glorifying busy the same way – triple and double booked and racing all over hell and back to make it to every graduation, birthday, sport and event.  People said no to the things that weren’t most important.  That is the model I had.  Rather than just talking about it, I crave modeling and living with a time management model that is simply…simple. 

Back to my question: are you too busy for time management?

A few other versions of the question:

Are you too busy to focus on what is most important?

Why are you spending time on things that are not important to you?

Is there a reason your kids needs to play 4 sports?

Do you truly want to sacrifice your personal time and experience in this life to live vicariously through your kids, your friends or people online?

If I gave you 30 seconds, a minute even, could you list the 3-5 most important areas of your life and what you are doing to enrich them?

Are you investing in things instead of experiences?

These are the kinds of questions I had to ask myself almost a decade ago when I wanted to unscrew how screwed up my life had become.  They were hard to answer – despite the model I had growing up.  I had to spend some time working with a coach to pull away all the objections, forms of resistance and utter BS I had chosen to pile up around me.

If you struggle to answer those questions, you are in need of some serious overhaul in the way you manage your time.  Time is a finite resource – we get 24 hours in a day, we get this one life to live (in this incarnation), and we deserve to treat ourselves well in how we use it.  Not just well…outstandingly amazing.  We deserve to treat ourselves outstandingly amazing.

Three things you can do right now in 5 minutes or less to start treating ourselves outstandingly amazing:

  1. Optimize the next 7 days. Spend 5 minutes looking at your commitments for the next 7 days.  Say no to the things that are energy draining and unnecessary.  Send the card instead of going to the graduation party of the neighbor kid you say hi to once a year.  Say yes to the things that move you forward in life.
  2. Admit you can only be in one place at one time. Take a deep breath and recognize that you are only one being.  You can only be in one location at one time.  It isn’t your job to stress yourself out completely to make everyone else happy.  If you choose to over commit, do it because it feels fun – not because you want to have a heart attack in the next 12 months and die from stress.  Pick the event, activity or commitment that moves you forward and delegate, decline or defer the rest.  FYI – I just postponed a massage so that I could focus on getting some work churned through so when I do get that massage, I am not freaking out about my to-do list.
  3. Schedule 15 minutes once a week to optimize your schedule. Right now, set a weekly appointment with yourself to spend 15 minutes a week optimizing the next month or so.  It will always be a state of refinement, that 15 minutes will yield huge gains.

Yep, I get it, managing all the moving pieces of life is tough.  Part of loving the life you are living is loving what you are doing in it.  Those things are your choice.  You can choose to be too busy for time management and just keep letting life happen to you. 

You can take charge now, implement a couple of simple things and let me know how they work for you. 

If you struggle, it may be time to bring in the big guns of life coaching and together we will look at what drives you to insanity and help you conquer that chaos and chart a fresh course full of purpose and straight up fun.  Start here if this is you.

We have a mini-course on this coming up in August, then again in September.  It will kick off on August 1 at 11am CST and run for 4 weeks then again on September 12 at 730pm and run for 4 weeks.

Right now I am looking for input on this course and would love to have you weigh in via this short survey – can you do that? It’s only 8 questions and I have a bonus for those of you interested in taking this to the next step.

Click here to be an Influencer and provide us your thoughts on the best focus areas for the “Too Busy To Take It Time Management Mini Course”.


j36Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Iowa, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values and create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from daily living.  Learn more at 

Moving Announcement!

Moving on (again)

I strategize. I plan. I take action.    

This is my process.  This is how I lead, how I execute and how I live.

No Limits Life Empowerment Institute is moving! (and so is shaman grocer and my glass studio!)

We’ve been planning for this move for at least a year and it is happening right now! I’m very excited.  Beyond excited and it’s been a super weird crazy experience, as it usually is when you level up your life and people around you…well, don’t.

I’ve been through this a few times and I’ve seen it with others.  When people decide to make a change that has them departing from a group or institution, the group or institution has a choice how it will react: be excited and supportive or take offense.  I’ve somehow ended up with some pretty low vibration associations which have taken the offense path and I am currently writing up some information and analysis on how to deal with that if it happens to you…because it happened to me.

Bottom line: low vibration atmospheres suck – literally suck the life out of you.  High vibration is the way to go – they empower and support and require more from the best of you while growing you.  Be high vibe.


Here is the scoop:

No Limits Life Coaching became No Limits Life Empowerment Institute a few months ago.  You may have noticed that, or you may need to wake up….seriously, pay attention people! We have moved primarily online and are working on building our online home right now. (It’s like we are living in our RV on the property and are watching construction.)

We are also available locally and totally willing to travel to your home state or city for workshops or events.  Especially if you live near the beach or are anywhere in Washington State, California or Colorado.  I, Jennifer will personally be working out of the co-working space in Cedar Rapids – The Vault, for a while and I’m super excited! Our mission at No Limits Life Empowerment Institute is to help you move forward with your life using your strengths.

Shaman Grocer, our store is relocating to Iowa City, Iowa – home of the University of Iowa a big ten school you may have noticed on ESPN, the BIG10 network or anywhere college football is spoken of in loud bawdy cheers.  Or your doctor may have a diploma from there on her wall.  We will be at 114 ½ College Street in suite 5 in an area with a seedy reputation that is part of its charm for us and is slowly shifting from seedy to centered – the Hall Mall.

Shaman Grocer is our physical extension of the energy we cultivate daily.  As a minimalist it may seem a little weird that I own a store but here is how that works: we want you to buy things that you both love and that have function.  We sell our glass work but also things like sage, palo santo, resins, and local made soaps.  We cultivate relationships with local artists to find functional pottery, fabric items and woodworked pieces.  We offer incense, incense burners, and buy only what we can link to the source – we try our best to be responsible!! Our mission is to help you “Find your piece to find your Peace.”

(We’ll be online roughly 3 months after I wanted to be, later next week and I will share that link with you.)

Our glass studio is moving home with us.  We’ll be back up and running later this summer after we get into our new home and we will offer lessons again.  We may just be a little more selective since we are inviting you into our home.

So yes!  We are moving 3 currently co-located businesses into 3 separate locations.  Yes, it is chaotic as it sounds.  But we planned for this: we strategized, we planned and now we are acting.

….and it feels so good!

Keep up by making sure you follow up online:  

No Limits Life Empowerment Institute Instagram or Facebook @nolimitslifeempowerment

Shaman Grocer on Instagram @shamangrocer

Glass on Instagram @gatheringelements and @j.mo_dab


Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Iowa, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values to create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from daily living.  Learn more at 


A 420 Reflection

Normal is a relative term. It really is. Think about it for a moment.  Your routine, your rhythm for your day is yours and yours alone.  It is your normal.

The values and situations you grew up with were normal when you were growing up with them.  You woke up, you had things happen, they were normal.  And the things that happened in your day were likely different than the things happening in your peers day.  Their breakfast routine or homework routine was different.

Take my son for example.  He is driven farther than anyone in his class to get to school and I am guessing he is among a minority if not alone in the fact that he often gets up at one household yet has breakfast and gets ready for school at another.  His normal is different than others in his class. As a 10 year old he is learning a lot of flexibility and gaining the ability to transition through situations pretty well.

It gets me thinking about my own normal growing up as I note the date on the calendar – April 20, 2017.  Known better in certain circles as a holiday called 420.

When I was growing up in California, it was the mid to late 70s and 80s, I graduated high school in 1992.  (Don’t hurt yourself doing the math – I am 42 as I type this article.)  Cheech and Chong were funny guys on the record player and 8 track.  There were funny smelling plants in the backyard we didn’t tell everyone about and in the den there was a red tray that I wasn’t to touch.  The water filled smelly piece with the black sticky residue was also off limits.

The sweet, slightly musky smell of weed permeated my childhood. It was normal.  I didn’t see it as a big deal, it was just there.  Large groups of people around me used it. It was just part of life.

The Red Ribbons showed up in my life a few years later and I remember seeing a display put up by the local sheriff with all kinds of illegal substances and thinking – hey, I know what that one is…

Around that time, the smell became not quite so constant.  If it was happening, I wasn’t seeing it. Why was never my business and I don’t know that I asked.  I don’t remember it being a big deal one way or another.

In high school I was offered some and thought – well yeah, why not?  It’s normal.  In fact, I am almost 100% sure weed was the reason I passed geometry. My junior year of high school I was “busted” smoking after a football game, in my cheer uniform with some football players.  I was horrified to be called into the dean’s office and interrogated.  They threatened to call the sheriff and I was horrified at what that could mean.  I was a good girl. Good girls don’t get the sheriff called on them.

When I got home that day, my mother was waiting and she was not mad at me. Not for trying it anyway.  She was mad at my judgement on timing and placement. She admitted it would be hypocrisy to condemn me for something that was not a foreign substance to her and that she didn’t believe was the worst thing I could be doing.  In addition to the on campus suspension I had been awarded, the temporary suspension from the cheer squad and suspicion of “narking” by my peers, I was grounded for a few weeks.

I didn’t smoke after that. I just didn’t.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop or a dislike or anything else.  What really happened was alcohol took over my life.

As an alcoholic I wanted the chaos and insanity and drama that alcohol brought that weed simply didn’t invite in my life.  With weed I passed geometry, with alcohol I failed health.  But by God, I committed to alcohol.  After all, alcohol was legal so why shouldn’t I overindulge and drink as much as I could?  And like an Iowan at a corn syrup…oops I mean corn, festival, I went for it.

For the next 10 years or so I let alcohol dominate me:  through a career in the military where I found many of my kind, through passing out while driving and waking up on the side of the road half collapsed out the driver’s door, through alcohol poisoning and lost memories, marriage and divorce, lost friendships, bad, bad choices and more.  So much more pain than I can describe, or that you want to hear.  Alcohol took me to dark, dark places.

I recovered 14 years and 2 days ago.  It used to be a huge, big deal.  Now I have a new life and the day itself isn’t as big a deal as the gratitude I have for the life I get to live now.

I am interested in this movement of the legalization of marijuana on so many levels:

  • There are so many medical benefits which I saw up close as I watched my aunt recover from breast cancer in a medically legal state.
  • I am intrigued by the vast amounts of information and misinformation out there. The fear based op-eds and the scientists and doctors coming out with more and more research.
  • The dollars gained in taxes in states like Colorado where medicinal and recreational can be purchased and the dollars spent on crime prevention and jails in states where it isn’t legal.
  • Watching Tommy Chong on Dancing with the Stars then reunited with Cheech Marin on stage right here in Iowa a while back was fascinating– a state where you can use cannabis oil to treat certain conditions but you can’t buy it here (note: you can buy CBD oil here), instead you have to trek it in from another legal state across illegal states and pray to whatever you believe in that you don’t get caught bringing medicine to a family member or loved one that experiences intense relief when using it.
  • As a glass blower I can’t help but be fascinated by those artists whose work largely heads into the weed market. Their creativity and artistry is mind blowing.  If you haven’t watched Degenerate Art on Netflix yet, queue it up.  And this 60 Second Docs piece on Robert Mickelson and his work will  blow your mind.

I think we as a society are headed into a new normal – maybe more like the childhood I remember even.  My family couldn’t have projected what they were preparing me for as I was exposed to all that I was exposed to, but as I see it today it is like seeing an old friend.  That moment your olfactory senses are tickled by a scent that brings back happy childhood memories, like gramma’s cookies might do for someone else.  Across the nation people are benefiting from the use of medical marijuana and of legal age adults are choosing the mellowing effects of weed over the chaos of alcohol.

It may not be for everyone, but neither is your anti-depressant or pain management pill.

When I think of the lifestyle I want, the life I want for my son, I pray that he never chooses to drink the way I did.  I hope and pray he didn’t inherit the disease that took me to places I never wanted to go, but signed a contract in blood with as I took those first sips.

What I want is for him to pursue life the way I have chosen – his own way. I want for him, and for everyone, to know that it is super cool to be you.  Just be you, not some expected version that needs to measure up against anything else.  I think as we move towards a more authentic state of being, it is natural to also move toward more natural products for our bodies.  Our bodies crave the new normal of natural, not the old normal of processed synthetic, toxic mind and body altering substances.

Whatever your normal is today, think about it.  Is it right for you?  Is it really, really right for you?  Are you informed on all sides of the issue you spout off about, vote on or endorse?  Do you know your own story and what works for you and what doesn’t?

It is time to live dangerously: define your normal, don’t let it be defined for you.


My first time on the big girl torch

My first big torch experience

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Cedar Rapids, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values and create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from their daily lives.  Learn more at