Before leaving to travel the world. Thoughts on goal-setting, fear and starting where you are with Francesca Friesen

“In hindsight, I didn’t think about it. I just entered it. I didn’t dwell on it, because I didn’t have a lot of time. And that changed my life.”

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It was 10:00 at night when Francesca Friesen received an email from a friend. It was a forward for a contest that she said “reminded me of you.” The contest was for a trip to visit every country in the world. Entries were due at 10:00am the next day. She had an impulse to enter it, and so she did.

Spoiler: she didn’t win, but the simple act of entering the contest changed her life. It planted a crave inside of her mind, and from there she started to put a plan in place.

A few months ago, Francesca gave her notice, and told her boss that she would be leaving her corporate job to travel the world. She boarded her plane a few weeks ago on September 11th.

“I think what happens to a lot of people in the corporate world, is they become bottle necked in their position. I knew I was the only one who could do what I was doing in the company, and that if I left there would be no one there to do it… so I guilted myself into staying (even though I wasn’t enjoying it anymore). When I fly out, it will have been almost a year of thinking about it and making it happen. It took a long time.

There’s nothing wrong with following the rules, but I was stuck living a life that was right and successful in other people’s eyes (my version of conformity), instead of living a life that was successful in my own heart.”

Our Conversation with Francesca Friesen
(aka Frankie Freedom) 

What habits have created the greatest momentum in your life?

Gratitude. Goal setting.

What’s your process for setting goals?

I do the typical one and five year goals, and then I make a vision board that goes with it. Since 2011, I’ve been making annual vision boards. At the end of the year, if there’s something incomplete, I put it on the next one.

What sorts of things have been on your vision boards?

There’ve been a lot of houses and pictures related to finding a relationship. There were also a lot of travel goals, but I never really took action towards making them happen. I was scared.

A lot of the things that I wanted have changed.

One thing I do that’s pretty unique with goal-setting, is that I allow myself to change my mind. I’m using the money I saved to buy a house to travel. If I hadn’t given myself permission to change my mind, I’d be missing the opportunity to follow my heart. For me, my goals have to consistently align with what I want in my heart.

I also try to understand where I am.

You can’t really move forward if you’re moving from an un-solid foundation. I was feeling stuck and ungrateful.

I was resisting where I was instead of taking a moment to look a the situation in the moment, and then moving forward from there. What was my current reality?
I’m working here, I’m in a lease until September. Could I get out of this lease? Maybe, maybe not. Could I get out of this job? Yes. How would I do that? I’d give my two weeks.

Deep breath.

I really broke my life down, and then decided what I wanted to look differently.
For me, that practice was literally sitting there and asking “what do I want out of life? And why do I want it?”

The why was very important to me, because it gave me perspective.

What fears have you conquered in your life?

I went budgy jumping this summer. I also went on a road trip by myself this summer – strictly because I was scared to. This summer I actually decided that I would practice conquering my fear.

I’m on the 50th floor of my apartment, and I couldn’t stand on my patio because I was afraid of heights. So I went bungy jumping. Now I can stand on my patio.

I had an anxiety disorder growing up… I’ve conquered a lot of fears since then.

How do you practice? Do you do what’s scarier than your fear?

Yes. I climbed a mountain with someone I had never met to watch the sunrise.

I taught a yoga class – I’d had my teacher training for awhile, but I’d been afraid of teaching.

Literally this summer was just practicing.

What do you consider ‘healthy fear’?

I don’t want that anxious fight or flight type of fear, but that fear that just lets me know that I’m doing something that I’m meant to be doing. For me, that’s been the basis for all the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I feel it, in my gut I know that it’s what I need to do.

What 5 things do you CRAVE in your life?

I CRAVE yoga

I CRAVE whole vegan food that nourishes my body

I CRAVE exercise

I CRAVE healthy fear

I CRAVE love for everybody.

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You can follow Francesca on her blog: 
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CRAVE Your life, our 6-week program, is back!


Embracing change alone is scary. But what if you could welcome big change into your life with the support of a group of like-minded women?

Starting September 28th, the CRAVE Your Life program provides women with a safe/supportive atmosphere to dream big so that they can discover and create their CRAVED lives.

This involves 6 very important stages. Check them out here

Pre-register until Sept 24th and get the program for $395 ($100 off!)

Here’s what some of the women who’ve already gone through the program are saying:


Genise“I decided to do the CRAVE Your Life program because now that my kids are older and out of the house I was at a crossroads as to what I wanted to do next in my life. I had worked so hard my whole life to ensure they had the best life that I failed to think about life after they left.

Participating in this group was very enlightening and empowering. I had so many labels of myself in my head that were not glowing representations of my character, but working with this group of women helped me see the positive labels in myself and allowed me to be supported by them.”

– Genise Dawson


“Attending the 6-week CRAVE program was just what I needed. I was in the middle of a big life transition and move and knew I needed to focus on what matters most.

As a Whole Health Lifestyle Coach I understand how important it is have clarity around who you are, what you value, what your non-negotiables are and where you are headed. This 6-week program encompassed all of that and more. I know how valuable it is to invest in yourself and be in an awesome community of like-minded women, Melody, this program ROCKED! Thank you for putting this together and helping me get even more clear about what I CRAVE!”

– Heather Blankinship, Founder of MindBodyBeing


“Life is weird.  Let’s all just agree to that premise. It’s weird and exhilarating and frustrating and wonderful.  But when fear and frustration and self-doubt get in the way, “weird” becomes “toxic.”  But if you can just take a little time, focus on what is important and put your foot down for what is non-negotiable things have a way of getting back on track.

That’s exactly what Melody and the Crave workshop did for me.  It gave me permission to slow down, take a breath, and figure out what I crave in my life.”
– Brea Stevens, Read her story here.

Pre-register until Sept 24th and get the program for $395 ($100 off!)


Check out the CRAVE Your Life program page by clicking here. 


Introducing the CRAVE Manifesto

For the last several months, we’ve been working on our manifesto, and our answer to the question:

How you do live a life you crave?

What do you CRAVE?

At our last Urban Campfire event in Seattle, we asked the attendees to write what they CRAVED on little sticky notes and post them on our GIANT chalk board. 

Here’s what they told us they CRAVED:

  • learning calligraphy to write beautiful notes
  • a new gorgeous place to live
  • hiking in the woods / hiking in the mountains
  • following my inner voice’
  • time to read for fun
  • being debt free
  • living off the grid
  • a regular workout routine that makes me stronger
  • to become a full-time photographer with one job
  • solo time exploring
  • to live authentically and boldly by matching my true self with my actions and behavior in my relationships
  • a closet full of vintage dresses
  • mirror love
  • the thrill of a fast ride
  • to work from a beach
  • a vacation
  • massages and retreats
  • an art studio that that I can leave my mess out!
  • laughing back and forth with my insanely adorable nephew
  • to fall in love and get married to a true partner
  • a Boston marathon qualifying time
  • uninterrupted sleep
  • simplicity and efficiency in life
  • peace with my past; freedom for my future
  • a fulfilling life after retirement
  • the ability to manage stress
  • new friendships that focus on growth
  • dancing the night away
  • to do my company full time and to grow it into the powerhouse I know it will be. 

We also had a lot of one word answers, the most popular of which were:
Change, love, connection, travel, movement, peace, inspiration, joy, serendipity, creativity,  freedom, and abundance.

The interesting thing about the answer to this question

is that there is no right answer or perfect formula that will be true 100% of the time. The ‘right’ answer will change and evolve along with you. 

But what does seem to be true, is that specificity is important. If you only have a sort of general idea about what you want, you’ll never get it. 

If you CRAVE inspiration, but don’t know what ‘being inspired’ means to you, how will you know when the CRAVING has been satisfied?

If you CRAVE financial abundance, but don’t know the dollar amount that would put you in that category, how can you track your progress?

If you CRAVE a vacation, but don’t know where you want to go, how could the vacation you’re craving ever truly take place?

Our CRAVE Manifesto 

is not a formula. It’s an exploration. Every line / piece of advice will mean something different to every person who reads it.

And before we say any more. Here is it: 


Many of these steps are uncomfortable. Each line has it’s own fear, doubt, and uncertainty weaved into it. Maybe you actually don’t feel deserving of living the life you crave,  or maybe you’ve been told by one too many people that what you CRAVE is unrealistic. 

Try journaling. Or maybe go on a silent walk. Sort through the gunk. Dream, get quiet, and don’t compromise. We’d like to challenge you to find the courage to ask for it all. 

And by the way… our next CRAVE your Life Program is Starting October 14th!
Learn more. 


How do you live a life you CRAVE?

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 10.35.24 AMDeciding to live the life you crave doesn’t mean that you have to wake up tomorrow morning and exercise, meditate, say your affirmations, go gluten-free and vegetarian, quit your job, and buy a plane ticket to Bali.

What exactly does a craved life look like?

It has to do with embracing your story – who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to live. A craved life starts to take shape when you find the courage to get obsessively specific about where you want to go,  and trust that you really can make the choice to live by decision, and not default. 

Over the next month, we’re going to be exploring the answer to that question with a series of CRAVEfuels, interviews, and more. 

This Month’s CRAVEfuel

September cravefuel Chicago (1)

Seattle – September 23rd at 6pm – Visit the Facebook Page

Chicago – September 23rd at 7pm – Visit the Facebook Page


What habits have created the greatest momentum in your life?
What book launched your most significant breakthrough?
Was there something you CRAVED, but didn’t think you could ever have… but then got it?

This month, we’re asking female entrepreneurs and leaders to share their answers to these questions. But remember: their answers are not your answers. This series is meant to inspire your own deliciously unique story. Read the interviews not with the intention to copy, but with the intention to explore. 

Weekly Email

little white lightsSign up for our newsletter for our new weekly series featuring little white lights, multi-cravings, and 5 miles a day motivations. 


You don’t have to approach your craved life with apprehension or doubt.
You can approach it with trust and excitement. 

So, let’s talk about how to do that.

What do you CRAVE most in your life, but are afraid to ask for?
Share your thoughts#100thingsiCRAVE


Mixing Together the Connections you Crave

What are the ingredients that make a friendship or relationship successful?

In her book ‘Daring Greatly’ Brene Brown defined connection as “the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement.”

If that’s connection, then what allows for that sort of energy to be created, and maintained? We asked some of the speakers and sponsors from our recent Urban Campfire to share their thoughts.

Here’s what they shared as the connection ‘ingredients’ that were the most important to them:

1. Values that are Aligned

A value is a judgement about what you have deemed as important in life. “When your values are aligned everything else comes easy” said April Wilson.
So which values meant the most to our interviewees?

Susan PhotoFor Susan Gibson: Honesty, Integrity, Humility and Grace.
“Whether self, partner, or friend, these ingredients are the same” she says. Here are her whys:
Honesty: “I’m a truthful person, to myself and to others. Honesty can hurt, but the alternative is far more damaging.”
Integrity: “Being true to myself in all that I say and do. That’s what integrity means to me.”
Humility: “I check in with my ego constantly and evaluate my thoughts and actions against my ego.”
Grace: “Failures happen. Some small, some big. I own my failures and acknowledge the suffering they cause.”

Julia PhotoFor Julie Armitage: Respect, belief, trust, loyalty, commitment, courage and gratitude.
Here are her why:
Respect: “Seek to understand others before I seek to be understood.”
Belief: “If I believe in myself, I can overcome anything.”
Trust: “Trust is the foundation of healthy relationships and it must be earned.”
Loyalty: “Promises must be more than words, even if they require sacrifice.”
Commitment: “Hold nothing back and work like this is my last job.”
Courage: “Never back down from a challenge; discover the strength to soar.”
Gratitude: “Seek opportunities to express kindness in word and deed.”

“People often focus on what you have in common and that certainly can be a motivator for bringing people together: a shared interest, a common experience, liking and doing the same things. Those can bring people together but it doesn’t keep people together.” says Cordila Jochim.

“What binds at a heart level is shared values: an understanding of what you believe about yourself and life and what’s important, alignment around what you believe is right and wrong, a mutual understanding of commitment and covenant, a similar inherent nature of the fabric of your character, and a fundamental way of being that says “yes” or “no” to life and the opportunities it presents.”

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2. The Ability to Be Vulnerable

For Angela Shen “the ability to be vulnerable without fear of judgement” is one of the most important ingredients in a relationship. “I have to believe you are being your true self with me, whether you are my friend or my man” adds our Urban Campfire MC Genise Dawson.

“One of the most valuable ingredients for me in any relationship is the ability to speak your truth and share what is in your heart” says Heather Blankinship

“A successful relationship of any kind requires both parties desiring to stay in the relationship and being willing to open up and get vulnerable with each other, even when it is uncomfortable.

Too often I see people shying away from speaking their truth, or when they get hurt they build a story around what happened to them instead of engaging in a conversation to find out what really happened.

It is super easy to be misunderstood in this world of text messaging and social media, but if you want to have deep, authentic and meaningful connections, you have to be willing to pick up the phone and engage in real time. Relationships are incredible catalysts for personal growth, they are there to show us where we need healing and stretch us to fully embrace and love all parts of ourselves, and in doing so we can show up and fully love another.” 

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“Inspiring and uplifting these kids outside of Angkor Wat Temple, I love seeing the big hearts and smiles of our youth!” – Heather Blankinship

3. The Willingness and Desire to
Grow, Live, and Be Present… Together

We’re always growing and always changing. It never stops. It shouldn’t. How boring would that be!! There is so much that can be learned about the people in your life, so never stop being curious. Never stop nurturing the relationships that mean the most to you. Don’t take those you love for granted. 

Our interviewees agree.

Toni Photo“Connection is incredibly important to me, the most important ingredient regardless of whether it is a friendship or my significant other is being present. What does being present look like to me? Turning off the distractions (TV, computers, and tablets) and putting away the cellphone when spending time with me. Having real deep conversations about life’s triumphs, disappointments, true deep seeded issues that need hashing out, and celebrations – living in the middle mediocre conversation scratches the surface with me and becomes mundane, uninteresting and boring if there is no other substance on a regular basis.” – Toni Burbridge

Diane Najm tells us that she’s drawn towards those involved in “a never ending journey of development and learning.” For her, that includes involvement in charity and giving back, which doesn’t have to be complicated! It could be as easy as opening a door for someone. Or as deliberate as helping someone else to succeed. “I get inspiration by looking at those who’ve maintained strength and displayed unwavering courage – especially in the face of challenges. I expect the same from my friendship and partner (work or family)”friends UC3 (1)

Bringing it All Together

sherrice_picSherrice Kirby wraps this connection reflection up fairly nicely with her personal recipe for connection:
1. Take two whole perfect souls (the more naked and real these souls can be, the more vibrant the creation).
2. Add equal parts compassion – for the flaws that exist in these ingredients.
3. Use communication to blend in understanding, laughter, joy, and tears.
4. Ensure that each of the parts are in equal contribution (you will need to check this consistency frequently).
5. Ensure that their is recognition of the contribution that each soul is offering to the flavor .
6. Allow the energy to mix, tumble, and adapt as needed.

Please note: Love, tenderness, adventure, commonality and sharing deeply seem to enrich the aroma over time.

If things seem to not blend, sometimes separating the two souls and allowing space to relieve the tension, that over blending can cause, will help.

P.S. If you desire to try this recipe again, start back at step one – adding more love and compassion to the mix.

In the end, connection requires bravery. But the pay off? Might be worth it. 

What ingredients are most important to you?#iCRAVEconnection