Simplify. Focus on Essentials.

Things have been really crazy around here. It seems like this is a time of intense change, transformation, growth for so many of us. And of course, even changes for the better can be stressful.

Grad school in clinical psych is a TRIP! Wonderful, intense.  It’s really letting me see how much of my own work there is to do in order to best serve you all. I’m feeling really fortunate for all who nurture me on this adventure and look forward to this career change which is both a passion and a genuine beneficial contribution to this world of ours.

The big impulse I’m feeling, or dual impulses really are these:



The urge for simplicity is informing all aspects of my life. My husband and I hoping to move into a new space here in Chicago where we can live and work together. We should know tomorrow or at the latest sometime this week! So, please stay tuned for updates! We’re really excited because this would allow us both to offer so much more for all of you out there, both in terms of on-site classes and offerings via the interweb! My husband, Matt, is a martial artist and teaches ving tsun kung fu (a Chinese martial art great for young and old, men and women) in a very traditional way. The school is so amazing and I’m so proud of what he has been building all these years. So many schools focus on belts and test (all with very high fees) and competition and so-called fighting. We believe that the study of martial arts is not so much about this…


as it is this:


and this:

vtsda group summer 2015

We in the school (The Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy) really focus on building the martial skills for our own self cultivation, strength, confidence and the be able to come to the aid of those who when in trouble, are unable to  defend themselves. Matt teaches his students to prevail in life. It’s really something. You can also check out the school on Facebook. Matt also finally has an Instagram account! We are feeling really very techy now!

So, under the heading SIMPLIFY, we think this is going to be awesome and simple. Everything in one place.

Also, simplifying technology, like just going to one device, instead of phone, tablet and computer! WHOA! That is Way To Much for me. One thing please.

Also clothing. I tend to wear pretty much a basic uniform. The same all the time. I don’t want to waste time making choices about what to wear and fussing over style. That’s just not really me. I like to look nice and presentable but don’t want to have to think too hard about it. I want to use  my time for way for interesting things like learning, teaching and adventures! So you can totally expect with this move (I am imagining it happening already, even though I actually hate the work of upset/stress associated with moving but the results! Those will be fabulous…) that a lot of clothing and extra coats and just God where did all that stuff come from ANYWAY?, going right out the door for donation.

And as for number two, FOCUS. I have come to feel that Calm Chicago’s website seemed all over the place and needed also a paring down and focusing on offering fewer things in the best way I could possibly offer them. So, look for upcoming changes there too! 

A couple of things I’m looking at are:

  • More focus on classes and workshops that use writing as a tool for inner transformation

  • Very focused and fun, intense workshops/classes and online materials that focus on helping you all clear out those obstacles that get in the way of your own transformation and helping you become your wicked best self. (Yeah, I’m from Boston, so you’ll hear me say that wicked thing a lot. It’s a positive. Not like the wicked witch of the west or anything like that!)

I’d love to hear from you about any of this. What you would like to see and how. Meanwhile, stay tuned for news about the move and cross your fingers for us. And look for great stuff for the rest of the year and 2016!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you all lots of love, happiness and freedom to be your most authentic self, uniting your passion with helping the world be a better place.


Namaste, Hillary


Author: Hillary Johnson

Improvisational documentary and fine art photographer.

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