lifepriorities

Where do YOU want to be in the next 6 months, the next year, the next 5 years? What are you willing to do and invest in in order to become that person? What are you willing to say is worth it to do for YOU?!

I’ve got a growing fascination with the belief I have inside myself that if it’s for my kids paying for their growth is not only worth it, it’s necessary. Classes for them, health care for them, supporting their passions – all of these I’ve barely blinked at figuring out how to make happen.

But for me, my first response is often I don’t have the time or money for that. Maybe another time. Why am I not worth investing my time and money in me? The money I am earning? The growth I need to create my best life which will also benefit my kids? What message am I giving my kids about adult self-care if I say no to the things I really want to do and that will help me become my best self? 🤔🤔

These are the things I wonder about as I strive to constantly be growing. I’m learning to place higher value on my health, growth and development needs than I have given myself permission to do in the past. I pay for a counselor for my kids AND myself. I buy healthy foods for myself AND my kids. I invest money in my growth AND for my kids. I am worth spending money and time on things that will make me grow.

What could your life look like if you said yes to you more often? You would do it for your kids so why not for yourself? You’re worth doing it for yourself. You cannot become all you want to be until you believe you are worth your own time and money.

Sift through the jumble

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Because I no longer use food or Netflix to cover up my emotions, I am becoming ever more adept in sorting through the jumble my emotions can create.

Sometimes, maybe oftentimes, we have to step away from things we’ve become too twined around that we can no longer give our best selves to. We can get so twisted up inside ourselves energetically, mentally and physically that we can step dangerously close to becoming a toxin for the very thing we have so lovingly created. We can become the very thing we’ve worked so hard to keep out of our happy places.

Then, if we are really lucky, we can find ways to sift through all of the jumbled mess and begin to pull out the threads that no longer fit into who we are and who we are becoming. What an absolutely magical thing this can be as it leaves more possibility for joy and dream weaving.

My journey through letting go of being Avalon’s caretaker is just such a journey. My exhaustion wasn’t from the work of the farm. It wasn’t from the creatures. It wasn’t from the community. It was all from ME and my own unwillingness to say, for too long, I needed something different for me. My exhaustion was from battling myself and trying to ignore the rising new dreams. That exhaustion came dangerously close to pissing all over the magical things created in Avalon’s first 12 years.

Tonight, I stepped back into teaching kids with horses, which has always been one of my great joys. I stepped back in with my favorite young Avalonian, Allie, and Miss Penny, who seems to adore children. They were amazing together! As I watched these two really work at listening to one another I realized I can just BE happy at Avalon with horses again. And I can share that joy out of love and aliveness, not out of necessity.

I’m so unbelievably grateful for the things unfolding in my life right now, all because I said YES to losing some weight to get healthier. Little did I know 2 years ago how much I would gain in this complete health transformation for ALL areas of my life.

So, in addition to Transformational Coaching, I will be available to teach kids and women simply seeking connections to horses a few hours a week. Homeschoolers are especially welcome as I have lots more day free time.
Be brave and untwine the icky parts of your life that you are creating. When you do, you might just find the magic and gold buried underneath. 💖💖💖

Beach Joy

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“We’re not unhealthy because we eat too much. We’re unhealthy because of WHY we eat too much.”
4 years difference in these beach pictures. 4 years of living through so much self exploration – both the darker and the lighter parts of myself. 4 years of learning I am worth the BEST choices I can make for my health and my life. 4 years of moving through grief and learning not to eat my feelings. 4 years of moving from struggling to find pockets of joy to living joy easily.

The 53lbs I’ve lost and kept off in the last year has been AMAZING. What I have gained – energy, body movement, better sleep, clearer mind – are even better. The BEST is the new found purpose for my life as I help others find freedom for their body, minds, spirits and finances.
The joy you see in my 2019 photo isn’t just for the photo. It’s for my whole, reclaimed self who is saying 100%. YES to her healthier self!

Can it? Will it?

 

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Can it work for me? Will it work for me?

These are the two questions I hear the most when I explore people’s dreams for their health with them. Heck, they were the questions I asked myself before I started on my amazing transformation path. They came from a place of fear and have now become the fuel of hope and belief I have for myself and for everyone ready for more.

“Can it work?” – YES! It can work for just about anyone. It’s a massively successful, comprehensive program designed to help people create lifelong, healthy habits one step at a time. Lose weight, less stress, more energy, get nutritionally balanced, release the grip of emotional and stress eating, sleep better, etc. CAN all happen.

“Will it work?” – MAYBE! The choice is yours, as it was mine. I’m not going to lie to you. It will only work if you put in the work. There were MANY times that I almost quit. The choice was mine if I was finally going to say enough to my pain, my exhaustion, my misery at not feeling like myself, my ever-increasing weight gain and living a life less than what I truly desired. The choice was mine to go for it and say YES to my best, healthiest self.

If people are willing to do the work and work their plan, their plan not only can work, it WILL work. That means working it moment after moment, especially after the bumps in the road. It means keeping the reason you said YES to your health always in front of you, like a carrot leading the way. It means locking arms with me, knowing I WILL believe in you until you can believe in yourself.

It CAN work! It WILL work! You just have to say YES to taking the first step to explore what that can mean for you. I am ALL IN and ready to go.

ARE YOU READY?

Drop the Bag

weightofworldDo you ever feel like you are dragging around the weight of the world over your shoulder?   I sure do at times.

This jumped out at me as the perfect picture for what I feel was happening before my most recent Big Leap. As a person inclined to be a strong healer and caretaker for others (animals and humans alike), it’s very easy for me to take on more and more and more self-imposed responsibility until I am bending under the weight of it all. I do this to myself more than anything and am slowly, baby step by baby step, learning how to let that go. “Stop dragging the energetic bag, Lara, and let it go!”
My health transformation started with my body almost 2 years ago. While that has been life changing, it’s the underlying mental and emotional baggage I am slowly letting go that has been the most amazing part. As the weight dropped off, I began to see the ways I used food to cover up the intense emotions of grieving and being the center piece of an active horse farm business/community. That weight was like a shield and a security blanket all in one. But it was heavy with emotions and heavy with way too much responsibility for other people’s/animal’s lives.

My most recent Big Leap from running Avalon to this new life I’m creating was kind of a giant, “DROP THE BAG, LARA!” shout out to myself. It’s not that I didn’t still love Avalon – its’ creatures, its’ people, its’ land. It’s that I had taken on wayyyy too much responsibility for it all energetically and emotionally. And I knew I needed to stop dragging the bag around in order to free myself up for the rest of my own, personal hope, health and healing.

In just the few short weeks since passing off the management/ownership of Avalon I have felt myself be lighter, breathing easier, and turning less and less to ways to hide away from the heaviness I’d taken on. I have lots of things that I am still sorting and sifting through, but I am no longer dragging around a crazily heavy bag with the weight of the world inside of it.

I can hardly describe the relief I am feeling. The closest I describe it is like parasailing – being able to see this amazing horizon in every direction. There’s fear and excitement all twined into one as the harness supports my weight rather than me supporting something else. The world is opening to me in amazing new ways and I love the feeling of flying into my dreams.
AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

“Get over yourself already, Lara”

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“Get over yourself already, Lara!”

This is what I am repeating to myself over and over again today.   I’ve written it on index cards and posted it in several different places.  I will read it over and over and over again, for as long as I need to until I get my head out of the sand. Thought I was going to say something different there, didn’t you? LOL.   I almost did.   My head is definitely in hiding. So whatever image works!

I have never thought of myself as a particularly fear-filled person.  I’ve always thought of myself as one who sees the rays of sunshine and possibility and hope even in the darkest of places. I’ve thought of myself as one who seeks to spread positivity and encouragement and believe that for myself.    I’ve thought of myself as one who can stand strong and grounded in the face of adversity.

While I still think this leaning towards hope and possibility is true for and of me, it has become increasingly clear to me that I have allowed my deepest, dreaming self to get wrapped up in thorny branches of fear and anxiety that are twining so sharply around me that every move I make seems to cause them to tighten more painfully.  So for weeks, maybe even months, I have allowed this ever increasing fear and anxiety to leave me paralyzed.  I mean paralyzed into such a depressive, angry, terrified place that leaving my house seems near impossible at times.

Living out loud in this time and this moment – the profound commitment I made to myself about how I would live my life from the point of Russell’s death forward – has become like a shadow for me in many ways.   The more I feel anxiety around the Big Ass Leap I am taking and the fear that I am going to fail myself and my kids so hard we will end up with nothing I dream of, the quieter and more isolated I have become.   I come out of that anxiety in little, baby bursts of hopeful action; kind of like a dolphin coming up for quick breaths of air before diving back under the surface.  But leaping fully with trust into this new journey forward, with joy like a playful dolphin;  BWAHAHA  that just isn’t happening right now.

Instead, I’ve been locking myself up inside of my heart, inside of my head, and away from the world spinning around and around and around about every single thing that not only could go wrong, but also about everything that IS going wrong right now.   That fear just pours over me and through me and off me, as it twists tighter and tighter around me.  Except for those short bursts of confidence and remembering who I am and what I am all about, I am locked in a dark, thorny mess of a place with my inner critic who knows all of my red hot, “you are a failure” buttons all too well.  The terrifying, self-limiting talk inside of this place is awful.   I have felt so paralyzed by it all that I have stopped living out of my best self and have been living out of my scared self.   Ickity!

Today, I am saying “ENOUGH!  Get over yourself already Lara and start focusing on what could go right, that dream that you have to inspire the world and help people live their way into their best selves.   Get back to living it all out loud in every time and every moment, because that is where your gift lies.  Not in hiding the fear away but speaking it out loud so it loses its’ stranglehold on you.    Live it out loud all the way through into the life you are dreaming that is just waiting around the bend for you.   Be the fricking warrior already and stop being the wuss hiding under your covers.”

Well, okay!  Facing my fear, naming it for what it is, writing it out to release it and then focusing on my dreams of everything that can go right is what I AM going to do; because those dreams are fricking amazing and I know that it is a life I both deserve and can create.   Watch for a whole lot more musings  as I return to living out loud in every time and every moment without worrying about what others will think (one of the strangling fears right there.)  It is my life and my mission and my dreams and my hopes that are the only things I can really live.

Here’s to getting over myself and getting out of my own way!

 

Just Breathe – All will be well and All is well

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When I left teaching high school at Althoff 20 years ago to be home full-time with my kids, I never thought I’d find something to do as work that I loved so much. For years, I didn’t but poured my heart and soul into homeschooling my kids and being the best mom that I could. Then, almost 12 years ago, along came Avalon. To say that I fell in love with this place is putting it mildly. It really was love at first sight as I drove into the farm that first day just curious to find a horse farm nestled back in here. Avalon will always be considered by me as one of the great loves of my life. My kids, Russell and Avalon – those three have held my heart in hugely transformational ways.

As Avalon grew from a handful of folks who bought into my dreams to the massive community of 100s of people who now are able to see beyond the mists of the world to magic that is here, my heart has grown with joy and love and awe that I’ve gotten to be part of something a rare few experience in their lifetime. There really are not enough words I will ever be able to pull from my Muse to share what this place and this community has meant to me.

For the past 4 years especially, you all have been my hands, my life lines, and in many ways the keepers of my heart. There is NO WAY that what this farm, this community has become, nor what I am becoming, would have happened without all of you after Russell got sick and died. For that I am grateful beyond measure and love each and everyone of you for the role you have played in our dream like transformation.

Now, it is time for me to pick up the pieces of my heart and allow the heart of Avalon to be cared for by others who love her. I have been stuck in a swirly, stagnated place for a long time and that has begun to leave Avalon stuck in many ways. I am ready for a massive shake up and so is Avalon. I am ready to stop defining my life as before Russell’s death and after Russell’s death. That has kept me stuck in ways I can barely articulate but I NEED to change in order to live a life filled with joy and purpose and love. I deserve that and all of Avalon deserves to have someone who is deeply in love with all of it as I used to be. It is time for new leaps forward to be taken and that means some deeper changes must be made.

For 3 plus years I have been writing in my journals of a new vision for Avalon and myself. In that vision I let go of the managing of Avalon. For 3 years I’ve been writing of my desire to be a coach, facilitate retreats and workshops out of Avalon Sanctuary, of being free to write and follow my genius work. That genius work does not include stall cleaning or worrying about frozen hoses. 😊

For me to continue to love this land, the horses, and all of you it is time for me to step away from being the manager/owner of Avalon Horse Farm. I am ready to grow in radical new ways for my personal and family healing and my financial health. Avalon Horse Farm is also primed and ready for its’ next big leap forward into even bigger and better things. I am not the one to lead the way there. I simply cannot do it anymore. The farm tasks and daily stress of keeping this farm going physically and financially drain me to the point there is no extra energy left for all of the things I most love and what I believe to be my greatest gifts to the world.

While I have dreamed of making changes for 3 years, it wasn’t time until now. Only now, has someone spoken the words I needed to hear to be ready to let go of this part of my heart and trust that all would be well. I have every confidence there are many who would have said yes to doing what needed to be done to keep things running. But only recently has someone stepped forward saying it is a heart dream to one day be the caretaker of Avalon, out of a place of love, joy and deep desire to keep dream weaving and building the magic of Avalon. In that speaking a door opened to taking grand leaps of faith.

Emily wants this farm as much as I wanted it 12 years ago. She wants it for all that is and all that her dreaming self can already envision. Her dreams are wrapped in love and joy for the farm, the creatures and the amazing community. She is ready to pick up the torch that I am ready to pass. On July 1st, Avalon will become hers. She is excited and scared and so much more I am sure cannot be named. The core team is already meeting to begin new dreaming while helping make our transition as smooth as we possibly can. The greatest joy for me is that Avalon will continue with love, respect, amazing care for its’ creatures and the land, and new ideas will be able to flourish with new eyes and new hands to make it so. Watching Emily’s joy at stepping into making her dream a reality is so exciting to me. She will rock it!

I will be continuing to live in the cottage and keep a couple of my horse here. I am dreaming of continuing to offer retreats, workshops, private healing coaching, book clubs and other spiritual opportunities out of Avalon Sanctuary. I’m keeping the tractor in my name for the farm community to use and for me to volunteer my services while I play on the tractor I love. I am excited to be just a volunteer and be part of the community in ways that feel good for all of us. I have EVERY confidence that the amazing core team will continue to support Emily and make Avalon be the best, most magical horse farm it can be.

The words thank you will never be enough to express my gratitude for this community. The core team has helped me keep things going in ways seen and unseen. Avalon would have crumbled years ago if it wasn’t for Denise, Nikki, John, Lynette, Carrie, Mike and Emily. These people have helped with every aspect of keeping the farm and me going for years. THANK YOU! For each and every one of you who are part of this community and have done your part to make it function and grow, thank you! Your support, your dedication, your work, your playfulness and your belief in me and Avalon is part of the magic of this place. Together, we have created something that is outside of this world. That’s a powerful thing.

There will be many more writings from me I am sure as I move forward in the next few months. My Muse has been waiting for permission to speak of this new journey and she is ready to go. For now, know I am here to talk, to listen, to be with all of you, to dream, and to reassure you that all will be well. Because ALL WILL BE WELL AND ALL IS WELL! As you settle into this new information please know that I am here, Emily is here and the core team is here to answer questions and help ease the fear that naturally comes with any change. Change is scary but it can also be an amazing time for new growth.

This is going to be amazing for ALL OF US!