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zigged and zagged.jpg
travel through time with me to find out how I I zigged 🔀 and zagged 🔂 all the way to this moment, this job, and this haircut ↘ 

Little Me is an artist, loves fashion, and can't decide between being a writer, editor of the Delia's catalog, or psychologist when she grows up. (Narrator Voice: Alexis would go on to do a little of all of that.)

After earning a degree in Fashion Design and getting three-quarters of the way to another (a BA in Fine Art), I'm frustrated. Even though my grades are excellent, I'm being forced to repeat classes because of my transfers—and this is getting expensive.

Young Alexis (sometime in the 1990s) poses with her hands at her sides and her left leg resting on the wooden ledge of a balcony. She's wearing a grey, knee length dress, short heeled shoes, and a black bucket hat. She has blonde shoulder length hair and looks over her left shoulder.
a close-up photo of Alexis smiling softly at the camera, around age 10. Her hair is blonde, in a ponytail.

Let's jump into the mid-2000s, shall we? My college years involve five promotions, four cities, three university transfers, two countries, one fashion blog, and plenty of adventure mixed with privilege and confusion.

Twenty-something Alexis sips from a large coffee mug, looking at the camera. She's seated at a wooden table, wearing a printed top, burgundy beanie, and silver rings. Her blonde hair is shoulder length.
Alexis jogs down the steps of a marble monument with her arms up in the air in a _v_ shape. She has shoulder length blonde hear and wears a black t-shirt and bag on her shoulder. Blue sky is in the background

  tiny dreamer & sheltered teen

Barely-twenty years old alexis laughs, looking sideways. She holds a large starbucks cup in her right hand, wears an olive jacket, glasses, and has blonde hair in a short ponytail. A busy street of people is in the background.

 artsy college kid 

Alexis stands, smiling, in the middle of four men leaning in front of a wall.She looks at a friend on her left

Over the next few years, I am thriving: making art and getting promoted. Leading teams and designing stores. Styling and merchandising. Traveling for work and climbing that corporate ladder. Feelin' fancy.

A laptop open to the Local Tourist blog
Local (Tourist) blog logo with white, all-caps font over a black backdrop that looks like torn tape.

So...I decide to drop out of my second degree program to work as a full-time commercial artist, instead.

Working Alexis wears a sheer, black, ankle length dress, a red bandana on her ankle, and vans sneakers. she's balancing on one foot, arms out a little for balance. She has very short blonde hair and stands in front of a pink backdrop that extends from wall to floor.
Bob Ross paints a canvas, saying every day is a good day when you paint

Meanwhile, to keep my love of travel alive, I start a blog called "Local (Tourist)" and use all my vacation days to explore any place I can.

 the 00's

  thriving drop-out 

Late-twenties Alexis takes a close-up selfie, with a serious expression on her face. She has very short blonde hair, wears a white tank top. The right side of her face is glowing from a sunset in the desert background

In 2015, I'm promoted to my dream job: overseeing the creative side of double-digit millions of dollars in annual business and co-leading huge teams of talented humans in visual merchandising. 

I'm just 28 years old—in the peak of my career, in a happy relationship, good friends, nice apartment, beautiful city...I bet you know where this is going.

meme of kermit the frog laying, arms outstretched, on a bed. The caption reads _sometimes you just need to lay on your bed and do nothing for three years
Mid-twenties Alexis stands in front of a building with a grey door and pink wall. She has very short blonde hair, wears sunglasses, black tank top, blue jeans, black strappy sandals, and holds a black purse in her right hand. She is laughing, looking off to the right, with visible tattoos.
Mid-twenties Alexis smiles in a selfie, with grey-white, very short hair, wearing a white tank top, in front of a wall of green leaves
GIF of Nick Kroll wears a blonde wig and nods sarcastically

Fast forward one year later. I should be happy, but I'm exhausted, anxious, and lost. I've I girlbossed too close to the sun, accidentally tangled up my identity in my work and fully burnt myself out in the process.


 the dream job 

Cue: very millennial-white-woman existential crisis. Read allllllll the trending self-help books. Attend digital career-focused women's conferences. Attempt yoga. Journal. Try meditation. Binge tv. Write a letter from myself, to myself, telling myself to let myself BE myself. Cry. UGGGHHHHHhhh.


Cue: very deep psychology and neuroscience rabbit hole. Read allllll the pop-science books. Trace their citations. Rind those academic journals. Stumble upon positive psychology. Make obsessive notes. Apply what I'm learning. Wait, am I less anxious? Holy shit, is this helping?! 

Alexis faces away from viewer, toward a living wall of plants
GIF of Jessica Walters lays back on a couch with her hand on her forehead and eyes wide, looking overwhelmed and irritated.

But wait. WAIT. Where was the science in all this fluffy advice I'm soaking in? and why were the people telling me to "practice self-care" also trying to sell me something? 

late-twenties Alexis stands, barefoot and holding a coffee, on a white backdrop that extends from wall to floor, with some of the room's scenery showing to the left. She faces away from camera, making a goofy face and sticking out her tongue. She has very short blonde hair.
GIF of alexis' hand sifts through a big pile of disorganized, handwritten papers and post-it notes


 quarter-life crisis

 obsessive research

Alexis' legs, wearing wide jeans and pink loafers with white tassels, standing on concrete.
30-year-old Alexis stands in front of a bright blue sky and desert landscape. Her hair is buzz-cut short and brown; she wears a tan sleeveless shirt with big buttons, black jeans and sunglasses, smiling.

Suddenly on my first big break from work since I was 16-years-old, I feel a mix of summer-vacation-relief and who-am-I existential dread. I decide to throw myself into travel blogging, only to realize...oh god, I do NOT want to have to monetize travel blogging, oh nooo...

It's Spring of 2017; the company downsizes and gives me a choice. Option A: take a different job within the brand. Option B: take severance, quit, and reinvent my life. (I went with Option B.) 

A zoomed-out view of the Local (Tourist) blog homepage.
Alexis stands with arms at her sides, laughing with her head back, in front of a colorful wall mural. She's wearing blue skinny jeans, a black blazer, and has short pixie-cut brown hair.
a white wall covered in dozens of neon post it notes layered over each other by color with writing on them that's too small to see.

Instead, I decide to make my obsession with learning official by going back to school remotely, earning my Specialization Certificate in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. And while I'm at it, waking up early everyday to work on "the book I'm apparently writing."


 who am I, again?

 hit the books, round 1 

A lot happens in the fall of 2018. I teach my first ever workshop based on the material in my manuscript and reappear on social media after a long hiatus to announce I'm "self-publishing it this fall."

a video post titled “I HAVE A HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT” which cuts back and forth between alexis dancing in her apartment and alexis telling the audience she just got a book deal.

In the Winter of 2018, I launch the Call Me When You Get This podcast, describing it to friends with "It's like getting a 12-minute voice note from your psychology-obsessed and anticapitalist best friend."

And then, just eight weeks later, I'm offered a book deal with Chronicle Books, on their Prism Imprint (!?!?)

an iphone shows someone's instagram story, featuring the neon green title card of the Call Me When You Get This podcast, episode 11. Beneath the image, @ Megan Rayne writes “love everything about this podcast. @ baberhamrossi, binged them all today.”
alexis is seated, surrounded by people. Her hands are out and she's talking, leading her first self-employed workshop, while an intimate audience of women listen.
caption from Alexis Rockley reads: I WRIOTE A BOOK, GUYS. painting nails emoji. I'm really proud of it and #TerriFuckingExcited to share it with the world. It comes out this fall (so I won't be shutting up about it for a long while). Click the link in my profile to see the website I designed and check out my stories to find out how the hell this happened. Smiling face with sunglasses emoji. #UncensorYourself #FindYourFuckYeah.


 accidental author 

Alexis stands, holding a microphone, gesturing with her left hand in the air, to a workshop audience off camera. Two people listening and laughing can be seen in the background. Alexis wears a colorful, printed, short and long-sleeved dress and has very short brown hair.

Behind the scenes, my editor and I (Hey, Eva!) are working through final details of Find Your FuckYeah and I'm taking on my first coaching clients: creatives and entrepreneurs hoping to find some joy in their work again.

Cut to early 2019. I'm suddenly invited to speak on panels, co-lead events, and teach workshops on the science of goal-setting and our cultural obsession with "purpose"—events that unexpectedly help me overcome my fear of public speaking and plant seeds of "wait, do we love edutainment?!" in me.

screenshot of a slack conversation between Alexis and anonymous client. client: “just wanted to say I filled in my answers and was very surprised by how hard it was! haha figuring out my own brand ain't easy! Talk to you tonight (or this AM for you). Below that is a blurry screenshot of Alexis and client laughing in a zoom meeting. Alexis replies: “This is my aura photo, clearly.”
Alexis speaks on a microphone to an audience off camera. She sits next to an olive-skinned woman with long brown hair and wire-rimmed glasses; alexis has white-pink skin and wears an off-the-shoulder black top and has very short brown hair.


 edutainment & coaching seeds 

It's the Fall of 2019; one year after getting the book deal, and Chronicle releases the hardcover of Find Your FuckYeah worldwide. The whole thing feels surreal. I have to advocate pretty hard for the chance to narrate my own audiobook, but ultimately, I get the opportunity—and love every second of the process.

Alexis stands at a Books Inc bookstore podium, reading her book on microphone to an audience off-camera. She wears a mustard tweed suit and strappy sandals, with very short brown hair. Shelves of books are in the background.
alexis smiles mischievously at the camera, with large headphones on in front of a microphone filter in an audiobook sound booth. She has very short light brown hair and wars an off the shoulder black and white striped shirt.

We wrap 2019 with a mini book tour, and I get to do a reading in the local bookstore I had daydreamed my work might be sold in one day. PINCH ME.

Alexis is seated at a wooden table, looking down and smiling as she signs her book while on tour. She wears a white button down shirt, big hoop earrings, and has very short brown hair. The background is wall-to-wall shelves of colorful books.
clip of alexis’ hand turning the Chronicle Prism publishing catalog page to reveal the book, Find Your FuckYeah available for sale.


 the "pinch me" era

Plot twist! The pandemic changes everything. I start actively seeking and sharing coping tools in attempt to manage stress; some of those resources unexpectedly go very viral. 

Tweet by @ Alexis Rockley reads "Let me be clear (a thread): Those "all over the place" fe

2020 is off to an epic start: I get to lead one of my workshops at a retreat in Iceland (!?!) and experience bucket-list, life-altering events like witnessing the Northern Lights in person (!?!?!)


 pandemic plot twist 

As my coaching work expands, I'm feeling great about my specialization training, but unnerved by how much of a "wild west" the life & career coaching industries are. I decide to enroll in my second certification program: a 500-hour PCC from the International Coaching Federation, led by positive psychology professors and ethics experts in the field of coaching.   

The epic internet response reminds me: we don't need rescuing, we need resources. In August 2020, I host the Take Back 2020 virtual retreat; it raises $3.7k for The Loveland Foundation, becomes a mini-community, and changes lives (including mine). 

a mac desktop screen scrolls through the Take Back 2020 Retreat webpage.
an open laptop screen filled with tiled images of zoom meeting attendees, smiling and laughing. A tiny cutout of alexis sits on the edge of the laptop; her leg is kicked in the air and her head is back, laughing.
2020 Alexis smiles calmly, directly at the camera. Her brown hair is short and wavy, and her right hand rests under her chin. She wears a beige tank top, and some of her tattoos are visible.

 hit the books, round 2 

2021 Alexis smiles softly at the camera with her left hand under her chin. The bright sunlight  behind her glows; she wears denim striped overalls, big hoop earrings, and her brown, shoulder-length hair is cut wavy, in a mullet.

In other ways, my life contracts: I move to a more isolated city while social distancing, undergo surgery for a chronic condition, and grapple with physical and mental health struggles that slow my "productivity" in a major way. I'm learning about energy budgeting and my personal seasons—while redefining my concepts of rest, ambition, and embodied activism.

Cut to 2021: As the pandemic changes the world, it changes me, too.

In some ways, my life expands: I take on more coaching clients and find myself researching, creating, and hosting more virtual workshops than ever for public and corporate audiences alike. 

Alexis talks to the camera, with shoulder-length, wavy brown hair and wearing a white linen shirt. A series of posters, mirror, and a tall green plant are in the background.
instagram post from @ alexis rockley announcing the Procrastination 101 workshop, hosted Monday, May 17th, 2021.
laptop open to a screen scroll of Alexis’ Energy Budget Reflection Notion Template.


 slow ALLLLL the way down 

2022 is full of behind-the-scenes growth. Coaching, teaching, and content creation continue—but I find myself hungry for books, classes, and perspectives that highlight systemic influences on mental health while de-centering whiteness, patriarchy, and individualism. My library (and brain) expands.

2022 Alexis kneels on one leg, taking a mirror selfie in a room filled with plants. She wears a pink and white checkered fluffy sweater, black leggings, and pink loafers with tassels. Her hair is brown, shoulder length, and wavy with bangs.


Endlessly curious, I decide to enroll in my third certification, earning my Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate from The Embody Lab in February 2023. 

I was lucky enough to study under both the pioneers of somatic psychology and practitioners devoted to decolonizing the fields of trauma research and traditional psychology.

 hit the books, round 3 

 let's work together. 

Alexis touches her earring and looks surprised at the camera, wearing a black blazer in front of a glowing orange gradient.

hi, so...I'm the plot twist your event is missing.

Alexis is wearing a black blazer and laughs, looking down, in front of a lavender gradient.

not to brag, but I make really great conversation.

Alexis' right hand is on her hip while she laughs, looking off to the right. She wears a black blazer and is in front of a lavender and orange gradient.

anti-grind coaching for people figuring out how to feel alive.

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