Pursuing Joy with Allison Murray of West of Felicity

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A few months ago, we had the great privilege of working with Allison Murray, creator of the blog West of Felicity, on her influencer event and retreat, The Joyful Influencer. We were so moved and inspired by her desire to bring together a group of women who all operate in the same space for a weekend of relaxation, inspiration, and generally just loving on one another to celebrate each others' giftings! We're proud to introduce you to her and her blog today, and we know you'll adore her just as much as we do. She radiates joy and graciousness in word and actions!

1.     Hi Allison! We are SO grateful to have connected with you in the past year and love what you are doing with your blog, West of Felicity. Tell us a little bit about why you started your blog, what you focus on, and what the name means?

Tell me about it! Working with The Deeply Co. and your mission to celebrate creative beauty has been such a blessing. Y’all are THE BEST!

 West of Felicity has been such a joyful journey. The name is my testimony in finding Jesus through joy. I was living as a victim of happiness, constantly chasing fleeting feelings to fill me up. When I found Jesus, He overflowed my heart with joy, peace, and purpose. I couldn’t help but create something with it…West of Felicity! Felicity means intense happiness and West resembles my movement toward God, turning my happiness into joy. My mission is to encourage joyful living through faith, fashion, travel and now… joyful gatherings!

2.     We got to know you through your event, The Joyful Influencer Conference, where Jillian performed for the attendees in our favorite setting- cozy, after dinner vibes with your girlfriends! Tell us ALL about the event- what's the purpose behind it, how did you come up with the idea, and what all was involved in the weekend?

Jillian was absolutely amazing! Everyone in the room was struck by the sincerity and beauty of her performance—eyes were glistening and tears were falling— it was the perfect start to our weekend away. The Joyful Influencer Conference was inspired by joy and purpose. In this creative and social world, joy is so frequently clouded by comparison, perfectionism, fear, and self- doubt. I realized I could create a space to challenge those daunting qualities, a retreat that embraced purpose, community, and joy! I wanted The Joyful Influencer packed with purpose and a side of relaxation. The chance to be stirred up and to sleep in, ya know? It’s a fine line, but I think we nailed it!

My heart beats fast for hosting! The opportunity to welcome people in, shower them with gifts, delicious food, flowers, and inspiration… I truly LOVE it. So, you can imagine how I felt about 3 days of hosting these wonderful women!

The weekend started with gift baskets as the gals checked into their rooms—handmade paper welcome cards, a few fun things to wear throughout the weekend, our itinerary, and a little about ALL the women who contributed to making the event so darn special.  Part of my passion for hosting is rooted in lifting up and shouting out the talented women in my life. I’m grateful to say that I feel surrounded J

 We enjoyed farm to table food from the castle chef and sank into Jillian’s magical concert the first night. Oh, so lovely!  Saturday we woke up to brunch—of course— and powerful speeches from Ashlyn Carter and Ashley Lemieux. Ashlyn inspired The New Rules of Perfectionism and Ashley challenged us to Stand up and Shine. After a fabulous dinner, we celebrated with a ballroom slumber party! Plush pillows, pajamas, milkshakes, cotton candy and house-made smores….all the things!  Ashlyn lead a breakout session that turned into endless late night chatter and sugar overdoses by the fire. It was a day I dreamed of, but these ladies made it so much more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. On Sunday, my dear friend Jules Hunt lead us in ballroom yoga before breakfast to reset and recharge us for the week ahead. It was a WONDERFUL weekend away, and Jillian’s performance set the tone for vulnerability and peace. I can’t thank her enough!

3.     As an influencer yourself in a very crowded space in the social media world, how do you draw inspiration on a daily basis from the world around you while remaining true to who you are? 

Such a good question! My inspiration is rooted in the joy I experience every day. It could be a verse I read, a fabric I love, a person I meet or even struggle I endure. I’ve slowly learned that I draw inspiration from life and simply being present. It’s when I get caught up in consuming and keeping up that I lose my way, which I have totally done!

I get so excited to see people killing it with their creations, passions, and talent in this social and media-driven world. Other influencers inspire me to dig deep, do me, and keep creating. I believe we were all created with a lovely uniqueness. I want mine to shine and I’ll only cloud it by trying to recreate someone else’s, ya know!  

4.     Working from home, how do you structure your days? What other projects are going on simultaneously as you work on your blog and conference?

I’d like to say I have this down… but I’ve recently discovered that I run from routine. Every day is different as projects and inspiration flow in and out. I do work from home, which means flexibility, which also means discipline, not a natural skill of mine!

 I try to focus on one task at a time—copywriting, creative campaigns, email, shooting, planning, meetings, and errands—one at a time. We have a sweet pup, Leroy that keeps me company. His walks help break up my day to change gears, he is such a fluffy blessing!

5.     Who are your biggest influences? Who or what inspires you most in what you do?

I think I'm most inspired by emotion. Seeing excitement, joy, and expression in others inspires me to create. If I can create a smile and spark a passion or purpose I've done my job. 

6.     What's next for West of Felicity? What do you want your legacy to be?

West of Felicity is taking an exciting turn. More friends, more faces, more joyful gatherings are coming. So, stay tuned! I want my legacy to be peace and joy; a community, a mindset, a space that encourages joyful living and service.

7.     How do you define beauty, and what role does it play in your life? How do you celebrate beauty through your work, life, and relationships?

I define beauty as creation, raw, unique and purposeful creations. I see it in mountainous views, art, music, skin, joy, smiles, fresh flowers, architecture, and clothing designs. Beauty is everywhere in my life, I think it’s a piece of the joy I have—noticing and appreciating all the beauty around me! I celebrate it in prayer, creating content around it, and dreaming up events to showcase it. I love to pull it in and share it as much as possible. 

8.     What does it look like for you to "love each other deeply"- how do you best express and receive love yourself?

Loving each other deeply to me means selflessness.  Listening, serving and even sacrificing for the sake of someone else.  I think I express and receive—or like to think I do—love with words and actions. Expressing appreciation, concern, and compassion then even harder and more important, acting on it. I LOVE to give gifts, hugs and smiles away like candy, if that’s your love language letting me know, I’m your girl!

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