It’s time to stop hiding and get real

It is time for me to real and honest with myself which means I have got to stop trying to hide away from the world. This is my own, very real, vulnerable 2020 Wakeup Call. No more hiding away behind my excuses and exceptions. No more playing at creating my best life. No more writing about what I need and want, but not putting any of it into action. No more whining and complaining about the woulda, coulda, shoulda parts of my life. Just a real, honest look into where I really am and where I want to be, and then action to get myself there.

Part of my getting real and honest with myself is making the commitment again to living my life out loud. In every time and in every moment, when I live my life out loud I find more strength than I thought I had to create what is best for me. The magic, for me, is in sharing me with the world. The magic, for me, is in being authentically vulnerable. The magic, for me, is being transparent with all of the movings of my mind and my heart. The magic, for me, is in using my public sharing of my journey as part of my own accountability.

This all being said, I haven’t felt particularly well physically, emotionally, or spiritually for much of 2020. While that maybe true for many of us in this most fascinating year, mine is based in the spinning of my wheels that I have locked into place. Yes, I find joy in many, many things in my life. There is so very much I am grateful for each and every day. But overall, I’ve been walking through my life as if I am in a cloud. I’ve been exhausted; hiding behind books and Netflix; playing with my health program which I know works but I’ve stopped working all parts of the program; and writing dream and after dream and plan after plan but they are just sitting behind the strong wall my inner critic has constructed.

Everyday, I ‘ve been making excuses and finding exceptions to living my healthiest and best life. I’m playing at doing the work I know I need to do to create a life and be a woman that I love. Social eating, boredom eating, drinking with friends/family more than I want to, lazing around, binge watching show after show, reading none of the empowerment books on my stack, and so many more things have become habits that just aren’t good for me. But, believe me, I can justify why each and everyone of those things has been good for me. But are they in the long run? No, not really.

I am a mom and an entrepreneur who REALLY desires to live my best life. I want to be my healthiest self. I want to have work and businesses that I love that flows from my greatest strengths. I want clear focus. I want daily routines of action. I want to move out from under the cloud of doubt and woe is me and fear and stuckness that I have created. And I am fully aware that I have created this cloud. It is time to move it away.

So, in these final 90 days of 2020, here is my plan.

  1. Stop the negative self-talk and love myself through it.
  2. Stop making excuses and finding exceptions to my eating plan, my action plan and my dreaming.
  3. Gain control of my choices for my life.
  4. Use the abundant tools in my already very full tool bag.
  5. Stay accountable by living out loud, sharing my progress and checking in with my support people on a regular basis.
  6. Make a very clear, weekly action plan and STICK TO IT!
  7. Love myself enough to allow my future, badass self to coach me now.
  8. Lose 15 lbs to get back to my ideal weight so I can do all that I want to do. My body deserves better.
  9. Create 1 event/retreat that I can be ready to facilitate as soon as it feels safe to do so.
  10. Focus every single day on moving forward towards the amazing life I dream of for myself and my family.

There will be so much more I will be sharing as I dedicate to doing a weekly progress report as part of my commitment to living out loud. It is 100% time for me to stop hiding and start really living boldly and bravely again. You all get to be my witnesses and my cheerleaders.

IT IS TIME!!!!

Breathe! It will be okay.

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Horses hold heart space like no other creature I have ever encountered.  For anyone they will hold space in a profound way, and especially for one who have they have decided is worthy of their trust and their attention and their hearts.    Tonight, I was radically reminded of the powerful way a horse can hold quiet, solid space even as deep emotions swirl around them.  Tonight, I allowed myself to let go, trust and collapse into the heart space of a horse.  I am in awe of the gift I was given.

A year ago, we could barely get near Penny, the sweet, little lesson pony who came to Avalon with clear evidence of some significant trauma having happened to her at some point in her life.  She desperately wanted to connect with people.  She desperately wanted to believe that the gestures of patience, love and healing were real.  But it took her months and months of quietness before she stopped flinching every time someone came near her, especially around her head.  It’s only been in the past three months or so that she gives into the bliss of being rubbed on her head and her ears.  Now, she calls to everyone who comes near and is often the first to say hello.    Her fear has turned into a trusting choice to believe that people really do want the very best for and will only shower her with love here.

Well tonight, this sweet, little thing stood with all the confidence of 100 horses as I stood with my head buried in her neck sobbing my heart out.  Not only did she stand there with her heart wide open to me, she made it very clear to the other two horses in the field to back the hell off as she became my shield.   They weren’t doing anything except being curious and wanting to love on me too, but for that time, I was 100% hers to breathe with and they weren’t allowed in.  Considering she is one of the most gentle, forgiving, laid back ponies I’ve ever seen in a herd this was quite stunning.  She quietly made it crystal clear that she was creating the heart bubble space for me to just let go and cry.   That is what horses do when they show up to hold heart space for a person.  Penny stood there with me hanging all over her, sobbing, and all she did was breathe.  She did this even to the point of taking a huge inhalation and letting it audibly go as if to say “Lara, I have got you!!  Until you can breathe deeply again, I will do it for you. Just let go as much as you need to. You are safe. You are loved.  You are not alone. I am HERE!”

With all of the amazing blessings that are present in my life right now and I am deeply grateful for, emotionally I am in a very dark season of my life.  The number of unresolved things from the past several years that I am becoming aware of how deep some of the hurts run is kind of stunning.  One after the other they are bubbling up and out.    I’ve been trying to just keep moving, not write or speak about it, and just stay focused on all of the positives.  Well now, I am planning to keep moving and to stay focused on the positives, and I am also going to start writing and speaking again about what is REALLY going on for me.

I am at my very best when I am writing my truth.  I am at my very worst when I am not giving myself permission to write and speak my truth but rather I allow some random (sometimes imagined) others to dictate what I should write and share.    I am at my very best when I am being honest about my struggles and my pain.  I am at my very worst when I try to just put on a happy face and act as if everything is ok.  I am at my very best when I name my fears out loud, then breathe right through them as I bravely take my next best step.  I am at my very worst when I try to act as if there is nothing to be afraid of and I just need to focus on something else.  I am at my very best when I find joy in the simplest of things and share that with the world as if I have found the most amazing treasure. I am at my worst when I think the lens through which I view the world is silly or unnecessary.  I am at my very, very, very best when I stay in this time and this moment and live out loud whatever is showing up for me RIGHT NOW.

Horses mirror back to us what is really and truly going on inside of us.  And they bring hearts of love energy that is bigger than anything we can really imagine.  Tonight, in this time and in this moment I am deeply grateful for a sweet little pony who held my heart with fierce, unwavering love.  I am breathing deeper. I am opening my heart up to my most authentic journey. And I know I will not only be okay, I AM OKAY!

 

How Will I Show Up?

highest self

How will I show up?

This is the question I am pondering this week as I navigate my way through anxiety around the massive unknowns right now, flashbacks to 5 years ago which also was a very dark time, a hopeful belief that somehow all will be well and a deep desire to not lose who I am and who I most want to be in this time, this moment. The whole world has stepped into Cuckoo Luckoo Land, the place I’ve written of where things are not only inside out, they are upside down, outside in, twisted up and ever spinning. Eerily, I know how to walk in this place. Heck, I can even walk in this place as if I own it when I remember who I am.

I am a survivor. I am a traveler of the dark places of the soul. I am a writer who can find words in these dark places. I am a light for others who walk these dark places alongside me. I am a grounding rod for the swirl that threatens to spin us out of control. I am a mystic who can move beyond the veils of what is to see the possibilities of what could be. I am a woman who finds joy in the simplest of things. I am a believer that we are all far more powerful than we will ever know. I am a hope dealer who believes in the immense power of health and healing. I am a Warrior who does not allow the darkest places of Cuckoo Luckoo Land to ever completely forget how powerful and beautiful we all are.

So, how will I show up in this communal time of walking in Cuckoo Luckoo Land? I will show up as a Warrior for light, hope, and belief that we WILL survive this. I will show up believing we are all doing the best we can with a whole ton of uncertainty. I will show up sharing whatever glimmers of hope, health and healing I can. I will show up honoring everyone who is digging deep to be light bringers, healers and hope dealers. I will show up staying true to who I AM! ☀️

World, we have got this! 💖💪💖

Returning to MY Voice

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I don’t know even know how to start this musing.  The words are as jumbled up in my head as my emotions have been jumbled up inside of me for oh, about 6 months now.   Since August, when the bottom seemed to drop out from under my sense of who I am and what I want for my life, I have only written here one time.  ONCE!  That feels like pure craziness to me considering what a lifeline my writing has been since Russell died, the last time the bottom dropped out from underneath me.   I don’t know exactly where this musing will take me. I simply know that today, right now, I need to finally write something, ANYTHING, in the hopes that I might be able to begin the path back to listening to ME.

My writing has long been mainly about being the way to put voice to the things inside of me that I simply can’t hold within me in such a way to stay grounded. Writing has been a cleansing, a catharsis, a release of crazy intense emotions that simply need a way to move through my body.   While physical activity, being outside, and simply journaling can help with this too, writing a blog post and then sharing it publicly has been THE most powerful way for me to feel like I am honoring MY voice, MY dreams and MY needs.   It’s been an amazing gift that I have never, ever taken lightly.

There is much that happened in 2019 that nudged me towards the edge of an emotional abyss.   Really too many things to want to name here at this time and maybe never in a public way.   The letting go of Avalon and all that had ever been for me and that I still dreamed it could be was the final step that dropped me into more emotions then I knew were waiting for me to have time to focus on.  The past 6 months have been a very, very dark and solitary journey for me, one that I am just recently beginning to see a light ahead to begin to get out of this place.  I anticipate someday soon I will write more about all of this and what all has opened for me to explore but today it is about MY VOICE and the ways that I silenced here these past few months that I need to write about.

Even before Russell died and I started sharing my musings with the world, I believed that allowing myself to speak the stirrings of my soul as they arose was an essential part of living my truest self.   In bits and pieces throughout my entire adult life I have either written or spoken of deeper things.  In the past almost 5 years, I have written and spoken what is true for me without worrying about what others think or if they agree with me.   At least until these past 6 months.

Perhaps because of how lost and confused and alone and rudderless I started feeling, I began to allow other people’s opinions about what I should or shouldn’t share to matter. Very subtle messages I received, or interpreted, as “SHHH, don’t say that.” somehow filtered their way into that doubtful space of myself and took up residence.  I started worrying about looking weak and incapable.  I started obsessing about sharing anything except positive, forward motion kinds of things.   It fed right into some deeply rooted, life long fears and did a fabulous job of shushing up MY VOICE, MY MUSE.  Oh, I’ve written in journals, enough to fill three books in 6 months.  But sharing my story, my real in this time and in this moment story – nope not an option.

Combine that shushing up I’ve done to myself with the swirl of emotion grieving letting go of Avalon and the swirl of emotion reawakened about Russell’s death and the doubts about what to do next with my life and the feelings of loneliness and the reality of being a single mom and the stress over finances and the internal pressure I put on myself to be the best I can for everyone else, sometimes more so than taking care of myself, and walking with my entire family as my dad learns how to live with cancer and WOWZA it’s been a doozy of a time.

With deep, deep gratitude I am thankful that the light is shining brighter at the top of the abyss I have been in.   I am thankful that my Muse has finally said “ENOUGH ALREADY!  Your voice is YOUR VOICE and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks you should do with that voice.   All that matters is what YOU NEED to do with your voice.   It is time to shush your own inner critical fearful self and return to living YOUR story and YOUR life.  Let others take care of themselves and trust YOU!” I am grateful, grateful, grateful!

I have TONS of stuff to explore about me and what I most need to create my very best life for myself and my kids in the upcoming weeks and months.   I am making new choices and stepping onto new paths, many with lots of unknow factors involved.   But, it is feeling okay to do this, and I am even excited about the new things ahead, because I am 100% committing to living MY life out loud again and allowing MY voice to be the one that matters most to me.

In this time, in this moment and in every time, in every moment I will live out loud MY story, using MY voice.

Dear World, You May Keep Revolving

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Today was the first Big Day – anniversary or birthday or holiday – since Russell died 4 plus years ago that the driving thought all day wasn’t “World, WTF?  How are you still revolving? Russell isn’t here!   Everything should stop!”  It was the first Big Day I didn’t brace myself from beginning to end waiting for the crash into the darker, despairing side of memories. It was the first Big Day I didn’t feel the need at the very start of it to “rally” my troops and make specific mention of what is missing. It was the first Big Day that I just moved through my day with flashes of memories that brought only smiles, joy, love and peace.

Big Days are WICKED hard for people who are grieving.   And, those Big Days stay wicked hard farrrrr longer than the first year that the world seems to think is the “okay” time to grieve and be sad.  It’s incredibly hard to understand how the world doesn’t come to a screeching halt, when it feels like that is exactly what our hearts have done.  I’m at the tail end of year 4 and just now experiencing a Big Day as one I can simply breathe with love and joy through, without expectations that the entire world stop for the day.  4, ALMOST 5, YEARS!  And I am in no way the exception.

We MUST find ways to love people as fiercely in the years after that first one as we do in the first shocking one.  We must gently walk with people with compassion and patience until they one day walk through a Big Day without a thread of pain woven throughout.  We must allow people their own journeys, in their own time no matter where they are.   We must remember that grief has no time frame or blueprint for how to navigate through it.

So tonight Dear World, thank you for continuing to ebb and flow around me as I navigate this still new, often strange journey I find myself on.  Thank you World, for loving me gently, fiercely, unendingly as I dance my dance between joy and sorrow, dark and light, love and loss.    Dear World, you may keep revolving.

When you lose your mojo…

beachme

 

Stream of consciousness writing is one of the things I usually reserve for my journal only.  As inspired as I usually feel when I write one of my musings, they tend to write themselves almost completely in my head before I put them into my blog.  Not this morning.   My mind has been such a muddle the past week or so and I have no clear idea of what sent me spiraling down into the land of muckity muck but there I am.   Stuck, not really caring that I’m stuck, and yet feeling ickity enough that I want out.

I’ve created some amazing things in my life.   I consider myself a successful, inspired, dedicated to going after my dreams kind of person.     I think I am resilient, creative, resourceful and can be hard working.   I can usually motivate myself to go after what I want but also love the support of a community.   The last few years especially I have done some awesome things, especially in light of the dark thread that has woven through our lives.

You know what though, I am tired.  I don’t mean physically tired really as I am finally getting enough sleep most nights.  I mean emotionally, mentally, energetically tired.  I mean to the bone tired. Actually deeper than that even.    I am weary of being strong, of going after bigger dreams, of working, of staying connected, of trying to figure it all out, of trying to be the absolute best I can be, of doing anything more than just being in each moment.  I am afraid I have not only set aside my mojo, but that I have somehow completely lost it.   I am tired.

This exhaustion is leaving me with such a pervasive “whatever” mentality that I actually feel like I am going backwards in creating the life I want for myself and my family.   Oh, I am still going through the bare minimum things I need to do to stay afloat but striving to really create a life of massive financial and time abundance – pfffttt!   That doesn’t seem to be happening right now. I’m too tired.

I don’t even want to think about or do the things that I know may pull me up and out of this funky place.   Because when I am just resting in the place of being tired and not sure if I want to be a massive go-getter anymore, I feel less tired.   There is a peace in that space.  And then, I wonder if maybe I don’t REALLY want to be a massive go-getter.   Maybe, I just want to find a job that has insurance and a 401k, so I don’t have to constantly worry about these things.   Maybe I just want to go do my hours and then be done for the day.   Maybe I don’t want to do the constant work needed to create new businesses, even though I love coaching and retreat facilitating.  Maybe I am too tired to be constantly dreaming, doing and creating.   Maybe I am too tired because I’m done being in charge of everything in my life and I just want to be a minion for awhile.

There are lots of maybes and lots of things to explore within this muckity muck place. While I am here I will do what I can. While I am here I will write all the muckity muck in my journal. While I am here I will be gentle with myself and trust that I won’t be here forever. While I am here I will try to just be curious about all that is rising up in me. While I am here I will do at least 1 thing each day that gets me moving just a little.   While I am here I will be grateful that I have my writing which provides some magical relief for me.   While I am here I will just be tired and focus on one thing at a time, without expectation that I do a million things each day.  While I am here I will love myself and know that I am doing the best that I can even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

A Little Secret

dreamhome

I’m going to let you all in on a little secret, a secret that keeps me stuck in more ways than I can decipher even for myself somedays. I experience massive anxiety most days. I’ve always leaned towards being an introvert, but the anxiety I’ve experienced in varying ways since Russell died leaves me wishing desperately somedays I could be a hermit, on a beach, talking to no one for days on end.

When I’m with people I love being with them, especially if it’s my kids. When I talk to people on the phone I love the conversations. But, I’m not going to lie, I could seriously be alone in my house for a VERY long time before feeling any desire to talk to anyone. And it can take A LOT of psyching myself up for even one interaction.

I don’t feel the anxiety until I know I’m about to leave the house or make the phone call. And the anxiety eases fairly quickly once I’m actually engaged in conversation with someone. When I’m experiencing it, it’s like trying to walk through quicksand with wader boots filled with concrete. Some periods of time are worse than others but it can shift randomly. But always it’s there waiting to invite me deeper into silent aloneness.

Most of the quotes and memes I share each day are what I NEED to read just to keep myself moving. I WILL create my best life and my biggest obstacle is myself.

I’ve got this and so do you!

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. 💖💖💖

Lion King

lionking

Lion King kind of wrecked me. I cried off and on from beginning to end. Here’s why…

1. Not only was it the first movie Russell Peterson and I saw together, it was when I first admitted (to myself) I was irrevocably in love with him. And he was on track to be a priest so it felt a little doomed.

2. This is the first time I’ve allowed myself to watch it since he died.

3. The symbolism of life, death, purpose, passing the torch, and so much more has always been enough for me to write a book.

4. The dad dying tragically and suddenly, leaving his kid, is way too close to home.

5. The belief that we carry on the mission and the love of those who’ve died is powerfully alive as I strive to create a life in which I can bring change to the world. That was Russell’s greatest desire – to make a difference.

6. I just really miss Russ tonight as I had a great evening with two of our kids. That all of my kids still like and seek to spend time with me is one of my greatest joys and gratitude’s.

7. I know Russell would be so proud of the adults our kids are growing into and I hope someday they can really believe that too.

8. I feel emotional things so deeply sometimes, even if it’s “just” fiction. To me, who has a very active imagination, even fiction becomes real for at least a little while.

Circle of life! 💖💖💖💖

“Get over yourself already, Lara”

getbusy

“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!