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Emily Cassel (she/her) is a Soulful Business + Leadership Coach for women entrepreneurs, podcast host, writer, international retreat leader, and champion of women, based in Charleston, SC. Emily believes that when women embrace and express their deepest soul calling and become leaders of their life and business, we create a more liberated and limitless future for ourselves, each other, and our world.

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A Journal Is The Best Gift

May 21, 2014

I have to admit that I’ve never considered myself a true “journaler.” I tend to have trouble following through with a new entry every day or x amount of days per week, etc. 

But today, in my attempt to clear the clutter from the corner that’s been there since I moved into my boyfriend’s apartment, I came across a journal that I had REALLY wanted my grandfather to buy for me in a little boutique in Cape May, NJ on one of our annual summer beach trips in August of 2008. It is one of the most beautiful notebooks I have ever seen – the cover adorned with pink flowers and green leaves, and each page has a different floral design inside a consistent silhouette in the middle and sides of the pages. I actually happen to know that the exact date of purchase was August 15, 2008, because the first day I got it, I really wanted to prove to him that it was a good purchase and that I would follow through with my intention to do all of my big picture life planning as I prepared for my college application process, and wrote my first entry on that day while in the passenger’s seat of his Honda Element. Mind you, I was only 16 at the time – which in itself reminded me what my innate strengths had always been. 

As I went through the journal, I found my personal mission statement.

I found the rough draft of my college application essay.

I found a few poems that I had written. I found the unfinished list of “The Big 101” things I wanted to accomplish in my life (some of which I am glad to be able to check off today!). I found notes from various workshops, seminars, retreats, and speeches I had attended over the years. I found a business plan for an international clothing store from 2009.

I found the goals I set for myself to achieve from 2008-2009 – which were strategically set SMART goals, and included a list of a minimum of 3 things for each of the following categories for each goal:


What I get:

If I don’t, I miss out on:

Steps to take:

My grandfather is no longer here on earth with me, and he can no longer buy me beautiful floral notebooks for me to plan my life out – but he can still give me guidance, and his spirit will never cease to exist for me. His spirit is within me, as I embark on my journey in life. He has given me so many gifts, for which I am so grateful. I would never have guessed, on August 15, 2008 that this would be a gift that I’d be looking back through at the age of 22, just 6 years later, without him to call and tell of my revelations. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack on May 17, 2011. 

He was the epitome of a superior man, and I am so grateful to have had his influence, and to still have his soul living within mine. For all the times I forgot to say thank you: Thank you for being a beautiful example, teacher, and source of inspiration for me. I am truly blessed by your giving nature and beautiful soul. Thank you for forever guiding me, protecting me, and only allowing the best for me. 

Thank you for everything, Gramp <3


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