I’ve never been one to celebrate my own birthday. Typically it is just another day for me and I am too busy to notice it approaching. This year is different. This year, I’m turning 40 and I started planning a year ahead for what my 40th trip around the sun would be like.

I knew I wanted to give myself something nice, but practical. Something to mark the milestone but also give me direction for the next decade I hope I’m lucky enough to experience as an older and wiser soul.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do and what I wanted it to look like. The world was paused by a pandemic so I had extra time and space to allow myself to dream again.

We can get so bogged down in the day to day that taking the time to evaluate what you want feels like a luxury in itself.

When I stepped back to look at the picture I was painting in my mind’s eye I saw that I’d already given myself exactly what I asked for. I get to go to work every single day with inspired people, doing inspired things. I am creating a business I can be proud of and I get to see the direct impact of my work in the lives of others everyday. How could I possibly ask for more? Don’t be greedy, Shell!

But it turns out, you can ask for more. You can ask for whatever you want. You have to accept the hard work and sacrifice that it takes to get it (that is part of the contract) but you can and should ask for the things you really want. You know the secret things that you barely whisper about because they sound so big and grand…you can ask for those too. So I did.

I asked for a clear path to scale the impact that I’m seeing everyday. I want to help people find their spark, support them while they chase it and then celebrate them when they catch it. I want to share a gift that I have been given with others. I spent 2020 forming the ideas into a plan and now it is time to put that plan into action.

So on this, my 40th birthday, the Inspired Foundation is also born. It has been growing inside me for years and we are ready to share it with the world. We will be doing personal and professional development focused on meeting the needs in our local community.

I’m not naive enough to think I have it all figured out but I do have an army of people who will help me. Like most things in life, I’m sure it will turn out nothing like I expected, but better than I could imagine.

Live Inspired,

We will be kicking off the party next month at the Central Illinois Mom Prom, one of our signature community events. Watch our website and social media for more events.