This summer has been extraordinary. One of the best I can recall. Most weekends have been devoted to beach-combing, floating and capturing images of Leelanau County AKA “The County”. My back yard is primarily made up of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,  just voted the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America viewers. How cool is that?

Weekdays were devoted to coaching brilliant clients, finishing a new line of self-paced coaching workbooks and participating in the Inspired Living Telesummit along side a group of extraordinary and highly creative entrepreneurs.

I let go of one version of my young daughter as she skipped off to equestrian camp for two weeks and came home morphed into a new version of her extraordinary self.

I faced and began healing a new set of emotional wounds, found the courage to open my heart and visited with ghosts corporeal and noncorporeal from a childhood long past.

The lesson?  When you do the work and make time to soak up the sweetness of your life, the path of true balance feels clear and supportive. Always in motion. Always a loyal dance. Always a reminder of what we have to be grateful for.

Three Ways to soak up the last bits of Summer:

Highly recommended if you are ready to open your heart and allow for joyful creative expression.

1--Visit with a childhood friend

I hadn’t been friends with Leslie Winzer since 7th grade. We were thick as thieves from 3rd-7th grade. Then we went in search of who we would become as teenagers without the safety of our long-term friendship.   Two weeks ago I received an email from Leslie inviting me to lunch, I was excited and a little freaked out. Did I really want to open a dialogue with a person I  had seen since childhood? I agreed to meet my old friend for lunch. When we did meet, there was so much energy surrounding us that we could barely manage to eat our lunch. We caught up on the ghosts of our childhoods. Discovered we’d shared some of the same kid fears and bullies. Neither of us could figure out when or why we stopped being friends. I am grateful to Leslie for taking a chance to suggest our reunion. I expect I will see her again the next times she rolls into the county for a holiday.  Is there a childhood friend you’s like to connect with? Go for it!

2--Create time to walk in nature and capture images of the beauty surrounding you

You deserve to surround yourself with natural beauty. I choose to live on one of the most breathtaking places on earth. I find the natural beauty of my surroundings inspirational.  I wrote a great deal of Life on Your Terms while at the shores of Lake Michigan. Plus, there is something magical about the fours seasons of the north country. I am grateful to live in an area surrounded by lush forests, hundreds of lakes, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. When will you make it a priority to take a walk on woodland path or enjoy an invigorating hike along the beach? Grab your camera and chase  a sunset!

3--Allow a full day devoted to self-discovery

Self Discovery is not just for hippies and philosophers. Each of us owe it to ourselves to explore our full potential personally and professionally. Personal liberation is enjoyed by to those of us who have the courage to life the veil of the status-quo and stop bumping around in our day-today-ness.  What do you love? What inspires you? What kind of music, literature, and art do you most admire? It’s time to look at your strengths. Your interests. What makes you the miracle that you are. You deserve to develop a deeply satisfying relationship with yourself. Begin your self assessment today by journaling your answers or posting them here on the blog.

Big LOVE and blessings to you.

Author's Bio: 

Unconventional, spirited and delightfully curious,Shann Vander Leek is a fresh new voice in the arena of mindfulness and extreme self care. She is the founder of True Balance Life Coaching, LLC. and a Coach Training Alliance Certified Coach and Yoga Instructor. Shann inspires creatives and women in transition to create balance in their lives through personal coaching, yoga and creative expression. She is the author of the e-book Getting Your Groove Back - A Luscious Living Guide and Co-author of a new series of team authored books for women titled, Wake Up Women BE Happy, Healthy & Wealthy. Shann's personal style and direct approach have guided many in overcoming personal and professional challenges. Her background in broadcast television advertising sales,marketing and client development along with leading a talented sales force for 11 years prepared her for the business of professional coaching.
Telephone and email consultations make Shann accessible to clients all over the world.
Visit to sign up for Getting Your Groove Back - A complimentary Life Balance e-course.