What’s Holding You Back

bird-soaringOkay, I admit it.  I’ve been holding back.

I haven’t been writing because I’ve been in a dark space and I haven’t wanted to share that because there’s so much amazing stuff happening in my life that I’m in gratitude for and I want to keep my attention on that.

And yet, the darkness is there too.  I’ve been keeping it hidden.

I told myself I was keeping it hidden because I didn’t want to focus on it, didn’t want to make it real, didn’t want to grow it.

But, by keeping it hidden I inadvertently lead you to believe that your life has to be perfect for you to step into the greatness of who you really are.

When, in truth, it’s just the opposite.  You can only step into your greatness if you don’t wait for the darkness to dispel.  You’ve heard the saying tha the light is most visible as it shines through the darkness.

It applies to your light too.

No matter what’s going on in your life, you CAN be thinking big.  There’s nothing to hold you back now except your own BS (belief systems).

It’s never the right time.  Just like it’s never the right time to have a baby.  It’s never the right time to think bigger about who you are.

In fact, there’s no better time than now.  Because what I can tell you is if you wait until all the challenges are gone, you’ll be at the end of your life before you realize you’re out of time.

Ok, so I know you are dying to know about this darkness.

What darkness am I experiencing in my life?

Closing down my law firm has brought me face to face with the darkness of people who feel abandoned by me.  People who feel left behind.

I promised a lifetime relationship and now I’m no longer going to be their lawyer.

And while I have trained Personal Family Lawyers throughout the Southern California area who will step in and provide the ongoing service I promised, there are people who are not happy with that.

Rather than expressing their disappointment and sadness as that, they’ve turned their pain into anger and threats.

Susan, my Client Services Director, who has borne the brunt of these attacks, is a saint.  She’s trying to shield me while at the same time conveying the messages.  And with each new report, I have a choice.

I can react in kind with my own indignance (made that word up!) or I can recognize another opportunity to be more of who I am, feel compassion for the person who is unhappy and remember the Truth.

I have done everything I possibly can to ease this transition.  The truth is, I’m no longer the best lawyer for my clients.

It’s hard to acknowledge that, but it’s true.

They deserve to have a lawyer who is in her office, focused on their needs, at least 4 days per week, not traveling around the country constantly, teaching and doing tv appearances.  They deserve a lawyer who has an office they can go to, who will be available to talk with them when needed.  They deserve a lawyer who has a team to answer quick questions and will be able to sit with them and go over their planning decisions on a regular basis and keep things up to date.

My clients deserve a Personal Family Lawyer and there is just no way I can be that lawyer and fulfill my life’s purpose at the same time.

I tried everything I could to bring a lawyer into my office who would be able to keep things going for my clients, but my standards are high and ultimately I could not find someone in Redondo Beach who was ready to step up in a big way build upon what I had created.

So now, my clients need to choose a lawyer in San Pedro or Santa Monica or Sherman Oaks to find the same kind of service and ongoing relationship.

And that’s painful.  I hear ya.  I loved the office in Redondo Beach, also.  I loved working with you, also.  I’ll miss you, also.

What’s so suprising to me is that a few of my clients are expressing their pain with threats and anger.

I haven’t written about it because I was trying to pretend that darkness didn’t exist.  But, it does.  And, I have to acknowledge that and bring compassion to it and not hide it away.

By hiding it away, I don’t allow you to see that you too can shine your light through the darkness.  It leads you to believe that everything has to be perfect for you to go big.  And, that’s the exact opposite of the truth.

Fortunately, I have seen rays of light through this darkness that have given me huge hope.

Here’s an example:

I was working with a woman named Helen on a book project.  I promised to write a book as part of a series of books she is creating.  She’s been asking me for the first two chapters for two months now and I just have not had time to get to it.

Between closing down the firm, working on the TV show treatment, training lawyers, raising kids, being a girlfriend, appearing on TV and trying to spend a little time every now and then taking care of myself, I just couldn’t get to it.

So, finally, I wrote to Helen and I told her I was just not going to be able to participate and I was so sorry.

I held my breath waiting for her reaction.  Given the feedback I’ve been getting from a few of my clients as I’ve honestly told them I just can’t do it all, I expected anger on her part.  I expected to get an email saying “Alexis, you promised you’d do this.  Now, I’m going to hold you to it.  And, if you don’t do it, I’m calling my lawyer.”

I braced myself for that response, in fact.

To my great joy, that’s not what I heard at all.  Just the opposite.

Helen responded “Alexis, congratulations!  We are so excited for everything that is happening in your life!”  She went on to let me know that she wanted to support me in what I have going on in my life and if we could find  a way to work together, great.

We’ve got a call scheduled for Feb. 25 to talk about how we can work together anyway.

This is the type of woman I want to do business with, I will make time for and cannot wait to build amazing things with.

What’s so exciting is that I am finding more and more people like that in my life.    And so I recognize that the mean people are slowly but surely disappearing and this experience has given me the opportunity to uplevel the people I do business with and share my life with.

Yes, its scary.  But, I’m being afraid and doing it anyway.

By the way, if you are ready to step into something bigger and just need a little hand-holding, encouragement, motivation and guidance to make it through the rought spots, I’m launching a monthly program that will help you do just that.  The first month’s free.  Check it out here.


  1. Susan MazzaThursday, February 5, 2009 at 10:14 am 

    Wonderful to see someone having the courage to make choices FOR their life. Perhaps the way the angry clients have treated you are exactly the reasons why they ended up needing a lawyer to begin with!

    I think a big reason why people don’t make the choices their heart and soul are screaming at them to make is because we allow other people’s feelings and fears to hold us hostage. Perhaps we are afraid of the angry and hurt people on the other side. Yet when we do choose, we find out who was really for us anyway. We may get surprised by who that is, but I think it is a gift to know the truth.

  2. Laura RoederThursday, February 5, 2009 at 6:01 pm 

    Sounds like you are going through a tough time right now, you have my love and support.

    I’m reminded of something that happened to me the other day – I was waiting for a bus and had been waiting for a while when a bus that was supposed to stop passed right by. There was a woman standing near me and she was FUMING! She was stomping the ground and going on and on. I just kind of nodded and did my best to ignore her. I knew that ruining my day would not bring the bus back! Then another woman came up and asked me if a bus had recently come by. I told her what had happened and she actually laughed! She just smiled and said oh yes they do that some times, it is so frustrating!

    The bus passing you is always going to be a somewhat disappointing experience, as is losing someone that you thought you had hired for life. But it really made it clear that there are some people that choose to make the worst of everything, and others that choose to make the best of everything. You can’t control how other people react, but you can go back to yourself and choose if YOU will choose to make the best or worst of their reaction.

  3. Patty LarsonThursday, February 5, 2009 at 6:36 pm 

    When you make a promise to continue service and people trust you for that, you can expect that people would be upset when you break a promise. It’s called a breach of contract!

  4. L.Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 8:27 pm 

    I was wondering how you clients were reacting to your closing your practice. Especially the ones who were paying you an ongoing fee for you to “be there” for them. Perhaps you will be refunding them their subscription fees.

    I have to say, from the outside, it looks a bit flaky. You had a practice where you claimed you could finally be the lawyer you wanted to be, and then unsuccessfully tried to transition that so you can go be what God has called you to next. But what if attorneys sign up for a year of your coaching and then you break up with DaveDee or God calls you to do something else and you have to go do that and hope people will understand. Same with the people who’ve signed up for your PFL program – are they going to be left in the lurch when you decide to move on?

    As a friend who was listening to your last call said “If she has all these coaches, why is she so scattered?”

    And these questions are coming from someone who thinks your methods are great, and has gotten good info from you, and is all in favor of living your dream, but maybe just be mindful of the promises you are making along the way. And realize that if you drop one thing that was so close to your heart, people might think you’ll do the same with your Next Big Thing, and the one after that.

  5. amy martinThursday, February 5, 2009 at 10:38 pm 

    i love you no matter where you go, or what you choose to do………………. and that is forever

  6. Dave DeeFriday, February 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm 

    Do not discount what I am going to say because Alexis is the love of my life. (And, in comment to, L, we aren’t breaking up.) But I am also her business advisor and partner.

    There is nothing “flaky” about what she is doing. She has a very well thought out plan that we’ve discussed deep into the night many times. Her decisions were not made lightly.

    Alexis did build the practice of her dreams because she deeply cared (and still cares) about her clients. That, more than anything else is why she was successful.

    I remember one beautiful Saturday afternoon, she was on the phone all day helping one of her clients find another lawyer for a serious matter outside of her expertise.

    She kept her law firm open 18 months too long, against my advice. She always said to me, “I have clients that are counting on me and my firm.”

    The reality is she could have closed down the firm and told her clients to find another Lawyer. But she did not. She had calls with Personal Family Lawyers who she has personally trained, who offer the same level of service that she did, and got their commitment to take on her clients and give them the highest level of service possible. She is abandoning no one and her clients will get everything they were promised and the service they have come to expect.

    (Oh, and she is getting no compensation for this.)

    Alexis loves coaching, she loves teaching, and she loves helping people, this is where her heart lies. That is the common thread that runs through everything she has done and is doing. That is why she is closing down her firm. It is her calling and one she must heed.

    Most people are afraid to follow their calling and listen to the still small voice inside that is telling them what they should do. They stay trapped in their little box that society says they should be in.

    Breaking out of that box and continuing to grow can be painful. And Alexis is experiencing that now. But she is doing it with with compassion, heart centered love , grace and a boatload of guts and determination.

    Yes, I deeply love Alexis Martin Neely but I also respect her and marvel at all she is doing and who she is a woman, girlfriend, mother and entrepreneur.

    Dave Dee

  7. Chelsea MoserFriday, February 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm 

    Lex – you are an amazing woman, and I look up to you in many different ways. You are making the right decision – never second guess yourself. You are rocking this world and I’m so happy to be supporting you all the way! I’m here for you. Lots of love! -C

  8. CandiceFriday, February 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm 

    I don’t get what the problem is, when you have extensively trained people to operate the same type of practice that you operated and got them to agree to take your clients. It’s like expecting Ronald McDonald himself to serve you your burger forever and ever. Would your clients never let you retire?

    Your plan seems very well thought out.

  9. Jamie ParksFriday, February 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm 

    You can’t satisfy everyone all of the time. Keep unlocking yourself.

  10. Jennifer JohnstonFriday, February 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm 

    The problem is that Alexis is acting a bit like an egomaniac, and the only one she seems to be “serving” is herself. I was a fan of hers until I saw where she was heading, as in down and dirty, with no hope for redemption.

    Machiavellian plans of power do not jive with the responsibility of the law. She brings shame onto the legal profession and she is stepping all over people on her trip to the top of the money pile. The trouble is we are feeding her need for attention, we shouldn’t even be reading her blogs. Karma will be a painful teacher for her.
    — Jennifer

  11. Courtney MartinSaturday, February 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm 

    Alexis (aka Machiavelli!)-

    I’m proud to be your sister. Remember that the higher your climb, the more people who will be looking from below and trying to pull you back down.

    I love you. Rock on.


    PS I think Dave Dee might really like you 😉

  12. Naz BhujwalaSaturday, February 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm 


    Your courage, in choosing the right path for yourself, has set a brilliant example for me. Thank you.

    As another lawyer, I take issue with Jennifer Johnson’s comments regarding your choices. ‘Shame on the legal profession’? Seriously? I certainly do not share those views.

    You were called to practice law for a time in your life. In so doing, you helped countless families plan for their futures. Now, you are called to do something else, to help others in other ways. From what I gather, it would be easier for you to continue practicing law successfully. However, you’ve recognized that, in so doing, you would also be doing a great disservice to your clients because your heart’s calling lies elsewhere. Naturally, your former clients will miss you and the level of dedication you brought to your work. Some may be taking it personally, but they shouldn’t. Ultimately, they will be fine. You know it, and they know it. You certainly seem to be doing everything you can to make the transition smooth for your clients and your efforts should be recognized in that regard.

    Continue to follow your heart through these dark days, her light leads you to the greatest good.

    – Naz

  13. LisaMonday, February 9, 2009 at 1:27 am 

    My neighbor used Kids Protection Plan. No one thought of a legal service like this before. You call up and they refer you to nearest office. The office staff really know law- they handle everything from beginning to end.!! Very easy for families with busy lives. My neighbor, tho, is rich and not pregnant. Its super expensive but totally a good idea. Can someone explain why Alexis fired the pregnant client –because that is wierd?

  14. Lindsay GriffithsMonday, February 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm 

    Alexis, you inspire me. It seems that whenever I read your blog, I find something that I need to hear and it motivates me to keep on keeping on. I really admire you, think it takes huge guts to follow your dreams with no real safety net, and go for it even when you’re scared. I also think it’s great that you’re talking about the “darkness” – that’s definitely something I needed to hear today. Good luck – it’s been a joy to get to know you through Twitter and your blog, and I wish you all the best!

  15. Amy MiyamotoTuesday, February 10, 2009 at 1:09 am 

    It was very helpfult o me when i gained clarity around the fact that there are ultimately two statesof being either fear or love. And when someone is “sahowing up” in their lives in a less than loving way it is usually because they are experiencing fear on some level and they are doing the best they can with the tools they have at the time. When i finally got this, it enabled me to take things less personally and connect more deeply to compassion for even those who may be outwardly hurtful. It looks like you have the right perspective on things. BRAVO!
    On twitter @LotusAmy

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