Beyond The Checklist

036: How Choosing Jesus Daily Will Help You Live in Your Purpose || Chanelle Neilson


[00:00:00] Darla: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla. Thank you for being here today. I am really excited to have a great guest for you. Someone who has been a friend of mine since the very beginning of my podcast journey. I think she was one of the very first podcasts that I met. When I started her name is Chanelle Neilson, and Chanelle, welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy to have you here. 

[00:00:46] Chanelle: Oh, thank you so much, Darla. It’s fun to be here to be seeing you and to be podcasting together. So I’m super excited. 

[00:00:54] Darla: I am as well. So I wanted to have you come on and share a little bit of your journey, but before we do that, would you just introduce yourself? Tell everyone a little bit more about you.

[00:01:04] Chanelle: Sure. So I am a mom of five. My oldest starts school soon and my youngest she starts college soon, I should say. And my youngest just started transitional kindergarten. He’s four and a half. I live in Southern California with my husband, been married for 21 years, and I love to be outside in nature.

I love to go on walks. I love to do yoga. And I am a life coach. Like you said, we had met originally doing podcasting together and I shifted this last year into doing only coaching which has been amazing and something that I really love. And I think that’s it. Other then I should add, I have a little dark chocolate addiction going on, something else integral to me, but I’m taking a break. Every once in a while it gets so I’m like, okay, that is a little much on the chocolate. So this month I’m off chocolate. 

[00:01:59] Darla: Oh that’s good. I’m glad to know that you have some things that you pull into your life. That’s really great. Yes. So you mentioned that you’re a life coach and that you’ve made a transition from being a podcaster to doing more coaching.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about today is about how you felt called to start this business and do something that was a little bit different from what you were doing. So will you just tell me about that experience? How did you go about making that transition and knowing that’s what you’re being called to do.

[00:02:27] Chanelle: Yeah. Okay. It’s so interesting because I’m going to go back a little farther if that’s okay and start with my podcast journey. So when I first started, I was podcasting for a company in China and that went really well. And I had this podcast, it was going really well. They asked me to write a book and it was this really great experience, but I had this prompting at the time that I needed to start a podcast here in the States.

That was really scary for me, really scary. I liked podcasting for a Chinese audience who I knew I would never meet and podcasting for an American audience just felt very vulnerable to me, but I bring that up because I can see that it’s part of my journey. Now, like looking back, I can see that I needed to be able to open up.

I needed to be able to talk and be vulnerable and feel like a dork in public and do those things. And so I podcasted at Moms Who Know podcasts for three and a half years, and we moved last year 2020 in the end of August. It was also COVID and so we had to move and I have five kids home, and my husband also works from home.

So we’re all home, 24 7 in this new house, in this new move. And it just felt like it’s time to be done. And at that point, I thought, I don’t know if it’s time to be done with everything. Am I just done with all of the online space and I just went out with, I burnt everything. I burned all the bridges, burnt on the boats, as they say. You cannot find my podcast on iTunes or Apple Podcasts anymore.

It’s not even available. I just really knew it was the end. It is still available on YouTube, but other than that, it was just time to move on. And then I sat with that for a little bit. I sat in quiet and I just did family things and I put a quote on my wall. It’s by Helen Keller. I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

And that was my theme for that time. And then I got a job, an actual, like job working from home for someone else as a coach. Now I had done coaching in the past and I used that in my podcast, but she had a million dollar business and I was a coach. And something, I knew I was just led to that job and it really set me up to know that was the next step.

And so since then, which is early this year, 2021, I’ve decided to just go all in on my coaching and have really just felt like looking at my patriarchal blessing. We didn’t know what coaching was then when I got my patriarchal blessing. And it certainly doesn’t say those words, but when I read it, I’m like, oh, yeah. That’s what that’s talking about. That is what that is. And for this time of my life, that’s what that means. So that was a long answer with that is that’s what led me to this point. 

[00:05:25] Darla: So, when we were prepping the interview, this is something that I thought was so interesting. So you’re in the middle of this journey and you’re having to really listen to the spirit and figure out which way to go. And you talked about how sometimes we have things that we experience on the covenant path that are put upon us, like maybe a health crisis or something like that. And we don’t have a lot of control, so we just have to go in, we just have to get through it, but this is something that you chose. And so you said something really interesting that I love, and I would love to hear your thoughts more about this that you have had to choose daily the Savior and to follow him and to know what his will for you is. What has that looked like in this part of your journey?

[00:06:04] Chanelle: Yeah. Okay. It’s something I’ve given a lot of thought to, because when I talk to people, it’s like, people think I’m sure you do. I’m sure. So many people listening do there are things that are hard, right? And yet I almost feel bad saying this. I feel like I’ve had a really easy life. I’ve had a few things here and there that you could look at and say, okay, that was pretty hard, but for the most part, I’ve had it easy.

And because of that, my growth, it’s not oh, I’m up against a wall. Am I going to, reach to the Savior to help me to lift me over? It’s more like I’m given the choice. Do you want growth? I’m doing well enough. I’m temple worthy. I’m living the gospel. I’m doing the things I need to do, but do you, and this is Him speaking to me.

Do you want this growth? Do you want this next level? Do you want to see what I can make of you? And so that’s the choice that I have to make daily because as I’m doing these things, I could read by the pool all day and nothing would happen. There would be no consequence to that.

My husband makes the money. I’ve got my kids now all in school, and even when they were home, there at easy stages. It’s a choice for me. And I’m choosing the hard, because I’ve been told over and over again, that that’s what He wants for me. 

[00:07:31] Darla: Okay, Chanelle. I love this because I think it’s so relatable.

You do hear stories often of people who face super hard things and get through them and rely on the Savior and I don’t discount that at all. I’ve interviewed so many people that have inspired me and helped me want to do better, but I think a lot of people are in the spot. I can relate totally with what you’re saying.

I think a lot of people can. They’re in the spot where you’re at. Things are going good. Your life is great. Are you going to choose to have the growth in your life and to rely on Him? I love that thought. So what kind of experiences, what have you seen as you have chosen that you said you choose it daily?

What does that look like? 

[00:08:07] Chanelle: Okay. On a practical level, it means that I have to put in effort every day. But on on the real level, what that means is this. So yes, I have to do action, but what it really means to me is that I believe every day. I’ve done a lot of studying on faith lately and on what that means.

And this, I would love to talk about this with you because here’s something. Faith, it’s the first principle ofthe gospel. We know faith, belief in Jesus Christ. Yes. Got it. We think we know, and yet it’s really interesting. President Nelson asked us in our most recent conference to learn about faith, to study faith, to increase our faith.

For me, everyday I have to choose not just the generic :”I have faith in Jesus Christ,” and not even just, ”I have faith that His atonement will help me,’ but the next level, which for me is I have faith that one, he has asked me to do this thing, which for me is to build this business that is so big and so scary to me. It is. It’s hard. So, have faith that one, he asked me and two, because he asked me, it’s done. And that’s what I keep learning in the scriptures. Not that maybe it will happen that maybe it’s going to happen. His promises are sure. We see that in the scriptures over and over again. 

And I was just studying this morning. Not coincidentally I’m sure, but Father, Lehigh and first name when they’re out in the wilderness, there’s a scripture in verse 25, chapter five, verse five. And he says there in the wilderness Starla. Okay. They haven’t, nothing’s gotten good for them yet. They’re still in the heart. And he says, I bless it.

Be the Lord or something like this. I have obtained a land of promise. And in it, I. Paraphrasing, you can read the correct version in the scripture, but it’s something like that. I have obtained it. I have this blessing already and I’m grateful. And that’s the kind of faith that I’m learning this business that is in the future for me.

The Lord sees it as done. I have a little business currently, but this big business that he has asked me to build the Lord sees it as done. It’s already happened. And so I can be thankful for it now. So to me, that’s the next level for me of faith. That’s what I have needed to learn that the faith is not abstract.

It’s very concrete. It’s very applicable to the day to day. 

[00:10:37] Darla: Yeah, I love that thought. And that’s applicable to anybody cause not everybody’s going to be called to build a business or to have a podcast or to do something like that. Whatever you’re feeling called to do, it’s such a great way to look at it that this is already finished in God’s mind.

He already knows. He knows what this is going to become. And you just need to get on board and trust him. And like you said, it’s a daily day-to-day thing with your faith. I would love to know for you. And I know this is different for everybody. Practically, what is that choosing everyday look like? What are you doing in your day that is helping you to develop that faith?

[00:11:14] Chanelle: Okay, so this is fun. We’ll get into the practical. I have some specific practices that I do. And one of them I call prayer journaling and I call it that because I opened my eyes during the prayer. And I actually write down impressions that come to me.

But there are specific things I asked for in that prayer. I won’t touch on all of them, but one of them is we were asked in general conference to pray what debris we should remove from our lives. Like what am I doing now that I need to stop doing? What’s in the way of me coming to Him?

So I pray about that. And then I wait and then I opened my eyes and what impression comes to me, I write it down. And then I also ask, what do I need to do to increase my faith? So those are some questions from conference that were given to me. That’s every six months we get new ones and I add those and I release the last ones.

And then also on the day-to-day I ask the Lord in three areas, what do I need to do today in my business? And then I write those down. Often, I will have planned in the afternoon before. I use a system called big three. And so every day I have three things I need to do in my business. And so usually they’re written down and so I’ll say, okay, Heavenly Father, today, I plan to do this and this. Is that what you want for me?

And sometimes they change and sometimes I feel good about them. What do I need to do today in my family? And sometimes a certain family member will come to me or a certain impression of how I need to spend time or what I need to talk to someone about. I write it down. And then the last one is who do I need to serve today?

And as I write those down and then go and act on them, of course, that’s the piece. And maybe for some people, they don’t need to write it down, but for me, if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen. I’ll have this great idea or impression. And then later I can’t even remember what it was. So I have to keep that record and sometimes I don’t do it, but I’ll see it the next day.

And I’ll be like, okay, Heavenly Father. I missed that one yesterday. Today I’m going to go serve who you told me to serve yesterday. And I believe there’s enough grace in this process that he knows that I had all the best intentions and I needed that reminder. So He asked me a day early, just because of that.

[00:13:24] Darla: I really love that you have adapted this to work for you. That writing is a way, it’s a conduit for you. It helps you to fill His Spirit and to know what you need to do. And so you just do it. I think that’s such a good example. Nobody has to go out and do exactly what you do, but hearing what you do will help somebody else. It will spark an idea. I’ve shared about how I prayer journal, which is totally different. And I think that’s great. If we hear all these different ideas, then it helps us to know, okay, there’s a place to start. I could try that. And then you can adapt it to your own self. I think I love how you just know this is what works for me and this is what I do.

And like you said, there’s a lot of grace in that. So I would also love to know how has personal revelation played a part in you building this business and the daily things that you do and building your faith in the Savior? What has personal revelation meant to you and how does that look in your life?

[00:14:16] Chanelle: Yeah, so I absolutely feel like I am co-creating this business with the Lord. And so what that means to me is if I am going live, which is something I do a lot on my social media. I’ll do a live video. I pray before I do that video. And I ask. I don’t know who’s going to hear this video.

It’s just going out there, but the Lord knows. So help me to say the things that that person, whoever will hear this live video, help those people to come even. It’s been a really cool process because I think that for me, one of my strengths or gifts or whatever is being a teacher and most of my callings in the church have been teacher. I’ve taught Relief Society, gospel doctrine young women’s, never taught primary.

But I’ve always taught. And I have come to like when I’m teaching, I prepare a lesson or I prepare a talk and I know what I want to say, but there’s this just prompting, just revelation, just feeling of the Spirit that I know my words are not mine, or I’ll say something that I totally hadn’t planned on saying at all.

And when that moment happens, I’m like, okay, this is the Spirit, but what’s really cool to me is that experience used to be mainly for teaching in the church. Now I’m building a business and it’s a secular business. I take money for it. It’s not like a service project that I’m doing. It’s a business.

And yet I’m having that same experience. I’m going live and doing a video or I’m doing coaching with the women who I’m coaching. And I feel that same just download of revelation and I know what that person needs, whether I can see them or not, whether they’re even there live with me or not. Sometimes I’m doing a live video and no one’s watching live, but I get the impression, you need to say this and who knows who that will reach and when it will reach them. The Lord knows, and so he tells me what I need to say. And so I’m having that same teaching prompting being led experience through my business and through content creation and through all of it. So it’s been a really cool process because I don’t want to build the business that I want to build. I want to build the business. He wants me to. 

[00:16:32] Darla: Okay, so here’s a question for you. Let’s back up a bit. How did you get to the point where you feel like you get on Instagram live or you get on a coaching call or you’re writing something for a blog post or whatever that you can have that personal revelation to know what God’s will is? How did you get to the point where you have that capacity to be able to do that? 

[00:16:52] Chanelle: Yeah. Oh, it’s such a good question. I remember the first live video I did. It was in 2018. I was doing a coaching program. I was being coached and my coach asked me to do it. And I was like, oh, that’s really hard to go live.

I didn’t feel comfortable at all going live. And I recorded this live video and it was garbage. It was garbage. And I told my coach, okay, I did it, but I think I should take it down. And she said, leave it. Leave it up. So the first way is just practice. And so just continuing on to do it and to do it and to do it. So there’s that. But also I seek it. And I have to say I’ve probably been guilty of this in the past, like compartmentalizing this is work and this is church. Instead it’s this is my purpose that the Lord has given me. And so how’s he going to lead me in it, just trusting that he will. And so I feel like in that way, I’ve opened myself to it. I’m looking for it. I’m seeking it. I’m praying about my topics. I’m asking. 

Even I had another coach who’s a member of the church who asked me to pray how long should my live videos be? Do I need to think about the light? Just all these things going to Him. And it’s not that okay, I’m just going to sit here live and not have a script. We have a script just like when we’re preparing a talk or a lesson, but we’re open to that and we know what it feels like, and that then we’re able to act on it. So that’s what it’s been like for me. I think that is a hard question to really think through that. 

[00:18:20] Darla: Yeah. And I’m sure it wasn’t step-by-step okay if you do this and you do this and you do this, you’re going to live in personal revelation. When I hear your story, that’s what I think of.

You’re just living in it and that’s what we want. That’s what our prophet has asked us to do. And yeah, I thought I would just ask that question. If somebody is out there saying, how do I get there? I want to be where she is at? How do I do that?

I love what you said about just practicing. Just being open to it and maybe it doesn’t go perfectly or repenting, I think is a part of it. Like when you get a prompting, I’ve had this happen to me recently, got a prompting, didn’t follow it. I had to repent and say, I’m sorry. I really do want to know what you want me to do, and I’m going to try to do better. And so I think that’s just a process and it’s, I think it’s really good for other women to hear that you weren’t just born this way. You have worked for it and you have built up over time. And I think that’s a very hopeful message.

So really grateful that you would take the time to share that. Is there anything else about your journey and what you’ve been learning that you feel prompted to share? 

[00:19:19] Chanelle: Just as you were saying that I was really thinking about this idea, it’s something I’ve thought a lot about is the language of the Spirit that we have to learn it.

And I remember, as an adult, it probably in my twenties wondering, was this an answer to prayer? Is this revelation being not fluent in the language of revelation. And there is a growing, learning process. Like you said, it’s not like you either have this or you don’t. It’s not like something that people talk about in church, but you didn’t get blessed with that.

We all can get there. And I spoke Chinese on my mission and it was so hard for me. So it’s a tonal language. Even to hear the tones at the beginning, I couldn’t even hear them. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. I was just such a beginner and we can be like that with revelation.

And so baby steps, like eventually you’ll get there. And so to feel like I’ll never get there. It’s out of reach or it’s too much, our capacity does grow. And when we want it, the Lord will bless us with it. So that’s just my final thought is it is like learning a language and that language is unique to you and the Lord. You’ll have this special language. So wherever you’re at on that spectrum, I think there’s hope. 

[00:20:33] Darla: Yeah. And I think that comes full circle to what we started talking about at the beginning about choosing daily. Just choose daily that you want to hear Him. 

[00:20:41] Chanelle: Yeah. 

[00:20:41] Darla: And you’re going to develop that capacity, like you said. I love that. So well put this has been great, Chanelle. I have one final question for you, and that is how have you seen and felt the Savior in your journey on the covenant path? 

[00:20:53] Chanelle: Yeah. I love that you asked that question. I see, and feel Him daily. Like we talked about. I feel like. He wants more for me than I want for myself.

And so I feel him pushing me at times. I feel him like a personal trainer next to on the trail. Just like you can do one more mile. You can keep going and this cheerleader. And I feel that He wants my growth and for me to become just like what we see he did, he became. It’s a process of becoming. And so he’s with me. I feel him every day. I love Him. 

[00:21:35] Darla: So beautifully said, thank you so much for sharing. And I appreciate you taking the time to articulate these things. And I know I have felt the Spirit. I felt some things that I want to do better in my life. So you’ve inspired me and I know that you’ll inspire so many other people, whoever will find this and listen to it. So thank you so much, Chanelle. I appreciate it. 

[00:21:54] Chanelle: Thank you, Darla.

[00:21:56] Darla: And now here are this week’s journal questions. 

The Helen Keller quote Chanelle shared was this, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” What small task in your life could you view as great and noble? Write your thoughts on how doing this task daily will increase your faith in Jesus. 

Chanelle expressed her belief that God already sees her business as “done,” even though she is in the beginning stage. What are you feeling called to do in your life? Is it a business, something with your family or church calling or something else? How can you increase your faith to see this thing as already “done” in the Lord’s eyes? Here’s some ideas to embrace how God sees your calling as “done.” Ask in prayer for Him to bless you with this gift. Visualize or meditate on what you are feeling called to do as “done.” Journal as if you have already accomplished what God has asked you to do. 

In Chanelle’s journey she has learned to live in personal revelation every day, but she wasn’t born fluent in the language of the Spirit. Chanelle has developed this ability over time by choosing daily to follow Christ and live in her purpose. Ponder how you have seen your spiritual fluency grow throughout your life. Record in your journal the growth you have seen in your own journey to know God’s will for you.