Spring Back Series #2: Growing Boldly & Simply with Emily Ley

Episode 02

Just as we rely on spring each year to bring light and warmth back into our lives, we also depend on the lessons of life that show up during each season. That’s why on this series of For the Love we are bringing back some of our all-time favorite guests. Not only to remind ourselves of what life was like way back when it was normal, but also to give ourselves the chance to look back on some life lessons that we should always carry with us. And this week, we are bringing you the one and only, Emily Ley. You know the superstar mom that built the Simplified empire from the ground up? Yes, that one. Not only does she guide women to live their lives based in simplicity, she also encourages them to evaluate what truly matters, and ditch what doesn’t. Jen revisits why it’s so important to not only clear clutter from your home, but to also clear the clutter mentally. Because once we take the time to remove the unnecessary parts of life, we are then able to live a life filled with joy and passion for what we actually care about. AND Jen has all new commentary about how decluttering gives you space to live simple and free and grow boldly–also the topics of Jen’s and Emily’s new books. 

Episode Transcript

Hey guys, Jen Hatmaker here, your very happy host of the For the Love Podcast. Glad you are back with us as we are continuing to move forward in our Spring Back Series. I know for a fact that I am not the only one that is starting to feel this little renewed sense of hope as we move through spring into the summer months. The world looks like it’s starting to open back up. We’re getting vaccinated. Things are coming back. It’s lighter. It’s brighter. It feels, well, more normal than it has in a very long time. I feel it in my body, and I cannot wait. So before we get into the beautiful days of summer, God, please get them here. Please get us out of school. I wanted us to take a little look at the past because I think we’re far enough out to say this without irony.

Hindsight is 20/20, friends. Just because we are moving into a new season, it doesn’t give us a pass to lose what we learned in the last one. We too can have growth that happens in our hearts and in our souls and our families and not just from the earth, as these new, beautiful flowers bloom. We get that too. We also get to come back to life. It really feels like a good time to take stock of who we are after this year, doesn’t it? Who do we want to be? Also how we can get there, how we can accomplish that? So if you’ve been here a while, you know that I’m a calendar and a planner gal, like the paper kind. Get out of here with the one on my computer.

I just like them, okay? They just help me. They help me do all the stuff. I know that I would be a disaster without one. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I save all my paper calendars too. You guys, I have them going back almost 15 years because it’s fun to look back at Jen of 2011 and be like, “What was I doing?” I don’t even understand half the stuff I wrote down. 

For those of you who don’t know, the Simplified brand of planners, they’re my one true love. They have been my one and only planner for the last five years. I found them five years ago and I have never deviated since and by the way, I buy mine. So for anybody who’s like, Jen’s just saying that because she’s in a partnership with, I buy mine, with my dollars. They have helped so many busy moms and professionals actually manage their time and days.

They’re their own brand of magic, trust me, they’ve got a bunch of awesome stuff built in. It’s not just like here’s a square to write down your dentist appointment. It has really thoughtful ways to expand your notes, to do long range planning, to sort of be encouraged, with little words and phrases. I use my planner well outside just the month I’m in. I use all the other pages too. It’s absolutely full, and you know who else is her own brand of magic? The one and only, owner and CEO of Simplified, Mrs. Emily Ley. Speaking of Emily, I hope you’re following Emily. She is one of the brightest lights in the digital space. She really is. Not only, you guys, did she launch the Simplified Planners as a way to organize her own life, but she did so while raising three kids and has since turned her venture into this thriving woman-owned and led business, I mean, really. It’s an empire at this point. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that, but it is. 

She is a rock star, in every way, shape, and form. I really admire her. I really respect what she created and what she built and the way in which she did it. So the episode where Emily joined us to talk about simplifying our lives is as applicable today as when we first broadcast it, if not more. I’m looking at all of us right now, pressing our little faces to the windows of the normal, real world going, “We’re almost there. It’s coming. It is coming.” So I don’t think any of us want to re-emerge with junk. If this year has taught us anything, it’s what really matters and what doesn’t.

Let’s purge it all. Emotionally, mentally, relationally, and then also physically. Let’s come back into real life with open hands, with clean spaces, with clean heads, with clear minds. Emily helps us see that we actually get to do that. We can do that. We have permission to do that. We can say no to things and get this–it’ll make our lives so much easier and people will actually respect us for having boundaries, as opposed to being yes, yes, yes, yes, all the time. But one of my big takeaways was how she invites us to become caretakers for our own souls. I really love this, really, really love, you know I love this. You’ve been watching me do this. I’ve been learning and doing this in real time, on a daily basis.

So this, for me, hits new, this hits hard and it feels fresh to me after this last year in my life, because she makes a great case. Why we deserve more than always being on the back burner and how it’s not just good for us, it’s good for everyone in our lives. We deserve it and the people that we love deserve our best us. I believe this. So, since we first talked with Emily, a lot has happened in her world, as you would imagine. The Simplified brand actually launched their latest planners into the world. They’re darling, per usual. She’s written a new book, which just came out this year called Growing Boldly: Dare to Build a Life You Love. Okay. Right on the nose. Her merchandise has been featured in Target, in Office Depot, plus, she’s joined us here in the podcast ranks with her own weekly show called The Simplified Podcast.

It has the perfect little bite-sized episodes that are so dreamy and so calming and so sweet, just like she is. I love the work that she’s putting out into the world. I love this since, we say this a lot, we have a lot of words in our common vernacular about simplifying and clearing space and making room for our highest points of contribution and including parts of the story that we love and having the courage to eliminate the parts that we don’t. But now it just feels real to me. It just feels more real to me after this year than it ever felt. I mean, I’m 46 years old and I’m like, “I also want to build a life I love. I want to build a life I love,” and that’s what I want. That’s what I want my legacy to be.

I want it for my kids. I want it for my best friends and my family. I want to do this with intention. I don’t want to get 10 years down the road and realize life just happened to me, for another decade, without being in my own driver’s seat. This feels as important to me now, maybe, as it ever has. So friends, here’s a piece of our chat from a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much this time around as you did the first. This was a highly ranked episode. I think one of our highest ranked episodes of that year, like downloaded and downloaded and downloaded again. But for those of you who are new here, I hope you find joy and see that it is more than possible to grow boldly in who you are and who you were always meant to be just by living simply. Doesn’t that sound nice? Doesn’t that sound like a relief? By living simply. So enjoy this conversation with the one and only, my friend, Emily Ley.



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