Renée's Tips for
Our purpose(s) are intrinsically tied our passions. Our purpose, in any season, is found in our gifts, talents, and passions. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? How can you use it to serve others? How can you bring all those things to bear in ways that provides value to others? When you answer those questions, your purpose(s) becomes clear.
Our passions change over the course of our lifetime. As we grow from season to season the things that are important to us change. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals and dreams accordingly.
Never let what you (or others) perceive to be your weaknesses, limit pursuit and exploration of purpose(s). We don’t step into purpose fully grown. Rather, as we stretch our wings and exercise weak muscles, weaknesses are transformed to strength.
Don’t be afraid of failure. You will encounter failure as you pursue purpose. It is a necessary part of the process. It is the place where wisdom flows and growth abounds.
Celebrate milestones. Take time to celebrate milestones, however small they may seem. They will help motivate and inspire you to keep pushing during the lean times that come as you pursue purpose.
Don’t be afraid to shine. There are people (friends and family, alike) who will resent your glow. Your shine will make them uncomfortable. It may even make you uncomfortable. However, consider eyes once shrouded in darkness, newly awakened by sunlight. The brightness of the sun, at first, irritates the eye until we are fully awake and our eyes adjust to greater levels of light. Light is necessary; awakening is necessary. It illuminates darkness and allows us to see ourselves and the world we live in more clearly. When we shine with purpose, we disturb darkness. We awaken folks who may be asleep, and we invite them to shine too. The world needs more of that.
Renée's Contact Information
ChristLight Productions Ltd, LLC
7710 Hazard Center Drive, Suite E-323
San Diego, CA 92108
Our July Spotlight is on Renée Aikens who took a literal leap of faith and is living out loud by following her purpose and her passion while impacting the wellbeing of countless women and their families!
Read Below to Learn About Renée...
Renée how did you get here? In other words, what is your story? Tell us about yourself.
How did I get here? It’s a question I ask myself all the time. [Laughing] At the heart of my story, and the foundation of its narrative, is family. I was born to a family of faith that nurtured the belief we are each endowed with various gifts and talents to be used for common good. As a young child, I watched my parents serve others in ministry and my extended family modeled the same. Consequently, the how and the why of how I got here is informed by a belief and a desire to serve others in ways that uplift, inspire and empower. It is what led me to pursue a legal career over twenty years ago, to write my first novel, to found an independent publishing company and, now, a multimedia production company.
As a young law student I served with the Legal Aid Society and, later, in a law firm. I eventually ended up “in-house” at a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate for and provide services to foster care youth, where I served as Contracts Advisor for 8 years. I have also served as an executive in the legal and trade publishing arenas. And while my story has many chapters, the common theme of each plot line is a fundamental belief that the entire world is but a stage on which we glorify God by using our gifts, talents and experiences to serve others. For me, the stage on which any act plays out isn’t that important, so long as my service brings glory to God. It is the heart of who I am and it defines how I move through life.
How did you get started in your business/field of work?
Well, that depends on which business or field of work we’re talking about. [Laughing] I am currently the CEO & Executive Producer of ChristLight Productions Ltd, LLC (CLPL), a multimedia production company; the Founder & Publisher of Christ Light Publishing, an independent publishing company; and the on-screen personality & Cook-in-Residence for The Eating in the Real with Renée™ Show, a healthy eating lifestyle show.
I started ChristLight Publishing shortly after my first novel was published. After its publication I began work on a faith based children’s book series. However, after numerous rejections when my agent submitted the proposal to traditional publishing houses, I decided to form my own publishing company to publish the series. (I was already writing and publishing inspirational meditations and study guides.) When other writer friends and acquaintances learned of what I was doing, I began receiving requests for synopsis reviews and consultations on their projects.
ChristLight Productions was a huge leap of faith. After years of working in the legal arena, I no longer felt fulfilled. A creative at heart, I knew many of my gifts and talents would never be used in that arena, and as seasons changed, I asked, “What’s next?” At the time, I was dealing with a health crisis, caused by a chronic inflammatory condition that had been worsening as time progressed. It required me to take a medical leave from the organization where I served to get my condition under control. It was during that time the seed for ChristLight Productions was planted in my heart. A couple of years later when the timing was right, I resigned from my former position and ChristLight Productions was born.
Its flagship production, The Eating in the Real with Renée™ Show was inspired by my own healthy journey. When my condition received an official diagnosis, the doctors proposed putting me on a regime of medication I would need to take for the rest of my life. Because I refused to believe the solution to my condition was in the bottom of a medicine bottle, I decided to educate myself on how it could be managed without medication. I began researching the causes of inflammation, and the more I learned, the more I realized it was the root cause of many health conditions suffered by Americans, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, obesity and a host of other health conditions.
I also learned the food we put in our bodies bear a direct relationship to many of these conditions. After taking an anti-inflammatory eating class, I radically changed my lifestyle. I began eating a largely organic and raw food diet, cut out refined sugars, introduced fresh herbs and spices, and began making regular exercise a priority. Already a fairly accomplished cooked, I also began developing new recipes and modifying old ones. As a result, I lost 80 lbs. in little over a year, my blood pressure (which had begun to soar because of the inflammation in my body) stabilized, and I now successfully control my condition without medicine. I learned food IS medicine, and I wanted to share with others what I’ve learned and continue to learn about food and health. The Eating in the Real with Renée™ show is the perfect way to do it.
How Amazing!!! So now what are your business goals?
The mission of ChristLight Productions is to produce positive programming, including series, feature films, and other programming to entertain, educate, unite, inspire and empower society for the common good. Our immediate goal is to successfully launch The Eating in the Real with Renée™ Show and its platforms, and begin work on additional productions currently in planning and development.
The mission of Christ Light Publishing is to publish fiction and nonfiction works that entertain, educate, inspire, and empower readers to produce and promote positive change in the world. Our immediate goal is to publish and promote a cookbook of original recipes featured during the Pilot Season of The Eating in the Real Renée™ Show. We also hope to publish the first story book in The Little Light Gang™ children’s book series and a coffee table book of inspirational writings within our first year of incorporation.
What motto best describes your approach to your business?
"We do not exist to merely make a living. We exist to inspire, educate, and empower others by creating magic with words and in film."
What is your inspiration, the fire in your belly? What gets you out of bed every morning?
Purpose is the fire that gets me out of bed every morning. There is a quote attributed to Mark Twain that reads: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” I know my why, and it is a fire in my belly that drives me every day. I was born to inspire, exhort and encourage, and it manifests in many ways and on many stages.
What lessons have you learned that you would like to share with other women?
Life has seasons and seasons have purpose. We too often hold onto seasons past because we fear what lies ahead. However, each season prepares us for the next, and our next season has wider expanses and higher heights to which we are purposed to soar. There are people waiting in the next season that need to see us soar, because when we soar we invite others to do the same. Don’t be afraid to soar to new heights; don’t be afraid to step into new seasons.
What Legacy would you like to leave behind when you depart from this Beautiful Earth?
I want to leave a legacy of hope and inspiration. I want to know that because of how I lived, how I loved and how I served, someone, somewhere, didn’t give up; that someone, somewhere was inspired to soar.