The Future and Evolution of Illuminated Mind

Nothing is stagnant and neither is Illuminated Mind. Some big shifts and growth is happening around here, and I want to update you all on what’s in store.

Design update

In case you haven’t noticed (you read this blog solely in a feed reader) Illuminated Mind has received a long overdue face lift. As usual, due to my OCD tendencies, I designed it myself. Design is one of my biggest passions, even though it’s something I no longer have an interest in pursuing as a career. I think this space is finally getting stylistically the way I see it in my head. I’m really happy about that. I’d love to know what you think.

As a side-note, if you’re looking for a great designer you should probably check out Naomi Nile’s webdesign services. She is  awesome.

Upcoming products

Part of my goal with Illuminated Mind this year is to expand the line of products I offer. I’m going to be branching out in a number of different directions, and two products are currently being smelted at the forge. One is a new ebook that I’ll be launching probably in the second half of this year. I have a fairly clear picture of it so far, but since it’s still taking shape I can’t reveal too much. The main themes are going to be releasing potential and owning your truth as a way of finding personal freedom. I’m really excited about it.

The second product I’m working on with Charlie Gilkey. It’s all about how to do the stuff that matters and move away from the stuff that leaves you unfulfilled. It involves Kung Fu. Enough said.

It should be launching within the next month or two.

Expanding and Integrating

For a while here, I’ve felt like I’ve limited myself in terms of the topics I write about. In a certain sense, it’s good because I have a clear vision of the value I best provide: helping people break free of structures that limit them. But for someone who talks so much about breaking boundaries and integrating, sometimes I feel like I need to take my own advice. Part of the way I’ll be doing that this year is by expanding the scope of topics I cover here; primarily in the health and physical fitness realm.

In the past year I had a big breakthrough when it came to health and fitness. Before I used to see it as a chore; a type of regular upkeep that was necessary, but didn’t really enjoy. As someone who’s continually dedicated to detecting the bullshit in limiting modes of living, I started to question this.

What if fitness could be a way of self development; an art of expressing the human body?

And after questioning and exploring, I found a different way. I found an approach that makes me excited and I actually anticipate my daily practice of keeping fit.

What I’ve found I’d like to share with you here at Illuminated Mind. What I’m interested in knowing is whether or not you’ve experienced a similar deterrent from fitness; a chore that is a mandatory and painful fixture of your routine. Are you interested in alternatives, and a more joyful, sacred approach to caring for your body?

I would like to gauge the interest before I incorporate this type of content as a regular element of Illuminated Mind. Most likely I will start writing intermittently about this and if the response is favorable I will step up the frequency.

Theme for this year

The theme for this year is expansion. Part of that is expanding the type of topics I cover and the products that I offer, but it’s also about reach. My main goal this year is to double the readership of Illuminated Mind.

I want to help as many people as possible and further the message of liberation through authentic action. I know breaking down limiting structures and realizing personal potential is something a lot of people resonate with; and I want to get that message out to more people.

One of the ways I’ll be doing that is by expanding my communication channels. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews (2-3 a week) and will continue to do so. But more importantly, I’ll be picking up the pace with guest and featured writing.

If you’re interested in having me write on your blog (of 5k+ subscribers), I would love to cross pollinate. My best types of writing include:

  • Owning your passion and value
  • Finding personal freedom
  • Integration and moving beyond limitation
  • Making a living doing what you love
  • Finding your truth and purpose
  • Embracing your authentic self as a way of liberation

Send me an email if you think we’re a good fit.

Street team coming soon

The Illuminated Mind Street Team program will be released soon. It’s all about us working together to make cash and spread truth: You recommend products you stand behind and get paid each month.

I’ve been moving over to a new shopping cart system to help better manage the affiliate system (e-junkie just wasn’t cutting it). It should be ready sometime next week.

Look for more details on that soon.

Enjoying the path

More than anything, I am enjoying the process of everything that is unfolding here. While my eyes are set on my vision, the most important part for me is enjoying the journey. It’s really awesome to be a part of such an amazing community of people.

So that’s what I’m up to right now. How are you changing the world?

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Akshay S Dinesh March 11, 2010 at 9:20 am

The design is superb, minimal, lovely

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Eduard @ People Skills Decoded March 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

I believe it’s Woody Allen who said: A relationship is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.

It applies to careers and blogs as well. Nice to see you moving :)

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Sid Savara March 11, 2010 at 11:24 am

Awesome Jonathan

I feel like my blog has gotten big enough and to the point now where I can focus my efforts on providing value through premium products too. So I’m working on putting out an ebook, but it’s definitely taking me some work to organize my thoughts in a coherent way across more than 5 pages at a time =)

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Monica March 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

“…a chore that is a mandatory and painful fixture of your routine” could in fact be the definition of exercise in my life. I am very interested in seeing what you have to say about making exercise more enjoyable and more self-expressive. Thanks!

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Naomi Niles March 11, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Thanks so much for the kind recommendation! That was so nice! You really did a great job with your new design updates. It was so fun to see it evolve. Perhaps you could design just as side job? :)

I can’t wait to see what you come out with and the new directions you are going in. And a new product from you and Charlie? Two of my favorite people on the nets AND kung fu? How much cooler could it get, seriously?

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zip March 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

I love the old theme better. But it’s ok because I read your posts from reader mostly.

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Willy March 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Out of curiosity, would you mind sending us some details about what needs you had that we were not meeting. We are always looking to improve our service and suggestions from users are the best way to find out what people are looking for.

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Nate March 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I really like the design. The choice of colors is good. I will tend to try to pop on here directly from the feeds more often. Though I’m not sure about adding ‘body’ to the name. ‘Illuminated Mind’ is has a simple elegance to it that I’ve always liked. Adding another word seems to add a little complication to a site that I refer to help to clear away the unnecessary. It’s not bad, and I’m not even sure if I agree with my take. Just a thought that if you start getting into the mind-body connection maybe create your own sister site for the physical things. Like Babuta branched ‘mnmlst.com’ from zenhabits. Your original name just stands out to me as very memorable and unique amongst your competition.

Your theme has a nice calming effect, good for reading and clarifying thoughts. Maybe a site focused on the body could have a more energizing theme to help with the idea of getting moving? Though very similar this one because it has a very nice eastern philosophy look to it that I very much appreciate.

And yes I see the irony of suggesting adding a site in order to keep the brand simple. I appreciate your works and look forward to your new endeavors. My suggestions aside, this theme rocks. It makes me think of art deco and eastern philosophy at the same time. Like Atlas Shrugged meets Buddhism. Sorry if I just offended you on that impression, but it’s working for me!

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Mars Dorian March 11, 2010 at 2:19 pm

First of all, I’m changing the world by being part of your paidtoexist program :), and second of all I’m reinventing the way of blog info-tainment by building an incredible blog (and future multi-media platform) that will give my audience the ultimate x-perience of creativity and personal-branding in the online web galaxy.

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Evan March 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm

At the moment I’m pretty happy with my physical routine – going for a walk with my partner.

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Minimalist Ninja March 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Hey Jonathan! I was waiting for a post that mentioned some of the tweaks you’ve made to your blog!… and I love it. The new header is especially sweet! It’s very much a style that reflects your purpose.

Keep up the great work, and I look forward to the expansion of Illuminated Mind!

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Jeff Mueller March 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Hey Jonathan, thanks for sharing your plans for Illuminated Mind, can’t wait to see whats next. I like the idea of producing some physical fitness content, I struggle with the “chore” mentality and I would like to hear how you changed your approach. Plus, improving your fitness level has a significant impact on your clarity of thought and mental health.

Lately I have been trying to break through the mental barriers that have been holding me back from trying to change the world, I know that by working my way through the Paid to Exist program will help me get there.

All the best

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Ian Coburn March 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I’ll be curious to see if your breakthrough with fitness and exercise has anything to do with sports. I too have always found exercising to be a chore; however, when I play sports, the competition and excitement allow me to exercise without realizing I am exercising. It works out well . . . unless you’re the team stuck with me . . .

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Nathan Hangen March 11, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I like the street team idea, I’m looking forward to seeing you implement that. Something I hadn’t thought of, but is masterful.

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Archan Mehta March 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Hey Jonathan,

I have been a reader of your blog–a fan of your writing, actually–for quite a while now. Thanks.

So, I thought it was about time to contribute a reply. I wanted to be one of the first to comment.

Congratulations on the new look (design) of your blog. I like it. I find it is pleasing to the eye. Wow.

For me, keeping fit is not a chore. The notion of keeping fit is a chore, unfortunately. We need to be careful about labels and categories, to be sure.

By contrast, I have a zen-like approach to “keeping fit.” I don’t consider it a discipline. I feel uncomfortable with that word because of the negative connotations. Play is a better word. Fun is a better word. Bliss is a better word. And so on and so forth.

So, what do I do? Well, I don’t go out for a walk. Rather, I go outside to enjoy a leisurely, casual stroll. Ah, nothing beats strolling in the outdoors.
It is an uplifting experience and elevates your mood.
Your spirit soars like an eagle in the sky. Try it.

You feel so much better: mind, body and spirit in harmony. And you’ve just given yourself the gift of a good work-out without trivializing the issue; nor have you made a big deal out of it. Play with your flute and see what music you can create. And enjoy it.

That’s the message I want to convey to you and your readers here. To find joy and inner bliss in whatever you do. Working-out need not be in the gym or involve a word like “discipline.” Thus, if you play with ideas, you won’t have to work a day in your life.

Cheers! And keep up the great work you are doing here.
And wish you great success on the journey of your life.

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Lana - {Daring Clarity} March 11, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Design looks awesome and your goals are inspiring. Here is to spreading the Truth!

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Jen March 12, 2010 at 3:06 am

Hey Jonathan
I am really excited for you!
I really like the new site design … it’s much fresher and inspiring to me and also more ‘unisex’ if that makes sense? I liked the previous design but always thought it was quite a masculine look.
I personally love the idea of more fitness related posts. I have checked out bodyweightrenegade a few times and am really interested in hearing more about your approach to health and fitness (will you still be running that site too?) … it sounds really inspiring and a shift from the ‘norm’. I love running but it is always great to get new perpectives to take it to the next level.

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Kate England | Marmalade Moon March 12, 2010 at 5:32 am

So exciting to read about your thoughts around how you want your beautiful and minimalist space at Illuminated Mind to grow! And yes, I’m interested in reading about a more joyful and sacred approach to caring for your body.

I’m already looking forward to seeing how all this unfolds!

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Craig Thomas March 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

I like the minimalistic design – great work.

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Tracy Chapman March 12, 2010 at 9:22 am

Hey Jonathan -
Definitely looking forward to the new ebooks!

On the fitness question – I’d say the main things that stop me are:
1. The weather here in Portland. I really prefer to do outdoor fitness activities like walking, hiking, stand-up paddling or snowshoeing and the weather can certainly impact that here
2. Not wanting to make the effort to go the gym. I don’t really want to get all dressed and presentable to go workout. I’d rather just stay in my PJs, work out and then get a shower before leaving the house. Plus I don’t feel motivated to drive there.
3. I do have workout videos at home and sometimes I do get into doing them but it usually needs to be when the kids aren’t home because then they think it’s time to climb all over me, take my weights or otherwise make it hard!! It can be fun with them, but not the workout I really want.

Regarding the self development stuff, and especially “living your own truth”, I definitely look forward to more of what you have to say. I read a lot of this kind of material and think you are the best. Keep it coming!

Tracy

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Alex March 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Sharing what you are doing and where you are going is awesome. Sounds like you have a lot of wonderful things going on. Love the design by the way

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Casey Accord March 14, 2010 at 6:39 pm

As always, Jonathan, you are completely inspiring! I love hearing about what you’re doing and can’t wait to become an Illuminated Mind Street Team member ;)

And regarding the expansion into health and fitness topics–YES. I love it. The mind/body connection is fascinating and I think you could provide some interesting insight to the topic.

I practice Bikram Yoga and have for years. It’s the most intense workout I’ve ever experienced. It’s also intensely mental. My practice has changed the way I handle stress and “push” my mental limits. So I think there is definitely a wonderful opportunity to expand Illuminated Mind with topics like this.

Congrats on all your success so far!!

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Jonny | thelifething.com March 20, 2010 at 12:12 am

Holy mother, I had no idea you had so many readers. Kudos, you write good stuff.

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Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot March 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm

The new design looks good. Got one in the works myself. These things do get overlooked and it’s time to catch up with them. I love the idea of cross-pollination:) I’m branching out with my blog topics too. I think the readers are here because they like you and your writing so you can write about almost anything and they’ll still hang around:) Well done!

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