The Strong Ones

We don’t always notice the strong ones. Or more accurately, we sometimes only notice their strength and the way that they seem to keep going no matter what is happening to them. We watch them keep going, keep smiling, keep striving, keep standing and we shake our heads thinking “How do they do it? They always seem okay. That could never be me.”

As one who has walked through far more than I would ever have imagined I could, with people often commenting on how strong I am, I can tell you that we keep going because we simply must. And I can tell you that there is so much that you don’t see. Even with me who has shared so much of my journey with grief and loss and letting go, there is so much that you haven’t seen. The underground river of emotions has knocked me off my feet and left me wondering if I can continue so many times.

For me, it’s not because I think showing you the harder pieces is something I shouldn’t or can’t do. It’s that by the time I have found the words to describe how dark and scary and out of control I have felt at times, that time has passed and the words are simply my own. But today, for whatever reason, the words flow and I find I need to share.

After I turned over the ownership of Avalon Horse Farm in the summer of 2019, I knew there would be a period of grieving letting go of that space and that dream. I knew that it would take me a while to untwine all the parts of me that I had woven into the fabric of that business and that community. How could there not be when what I created was more than a horse farm? It was a lifelong dream realized of a sacred space for horses and their humans.

What I didn’t know was the depths of grief & healing I would enter into. I didn’t know that all of the unhealed parts of me still moving through things from Russell’s death would come flying into the mix. I didn’t know how much I had “set aside” as I managed a large farm community and prioritized my kids’ healing needs. I didn’t know that my breath could be sucked out of my lungs any more than it already had been during the early years of mourning after Russell’s death. I didn’t know that simply being around people who were farm friends & treasured parts of my community would make my heart hurt so much as I figured out how to relate in new ways. I didn’t know that being strong meant I would feel I needed to be silent in my grief, because I chose to walk away from Avalon towards something ambiguous new dream thingy. I didn’t know that the silence I imposed on myself out of some silly notion that grieving a place as deeply as I did was foolishness would slow down my ability to move through my emotions rather than get stuck in them. And I definitely didn’t know that the grief I would experience letting go of Avalon would twine up with new layers of grief about Russell.

I spent months and months and months just feeling it all. Only a very few folks saw the pain within the “strength shield” I wrapped around myself. Outside I showed more of the “this is what I am dreaming of and what I am creating” energy – the strong one. Inside I was weeping and doubting and second-guessing and running away and beating myself up for “dropping” people because my grief was so strong & confusing and struggling to give myself restful, patient healing space. Like I said before – an underground river of emotions!

It took me probably a full year before I fully understood what I was walking through. It was a full year of unintentionally pushing people away. It was a full year of questioning my “right” to grieve the letting of Avalon. It was a full year of untwining the dreams for my life from the dreams Russell and I had when we said yes to Avalon. It was a full year of feeling swirly, overwhelmed with emotions, and often confused. It was a full year of continuing to dream of more & different for my life without the true emotional energy to open the doors to the new things waiting for me. It was a full year of “being strong” while also quietly hoping people would see behind that strength shield, or wall, and simply say “I see you & I am here & you don’t have to be strong right now.”

Today, I can honestly say that with the help of friends, family, and my own life coach, and tapping into all of the energetic processing tools I’ve picked up over the years, I am in a really, really good space. I’ve gotten a lot better at letting down my strength shield before it becomes a wall to others. I’ve gotten a lot better at not questioning why am I feeling this way and instead asking what message this feeling has for me. I’ve gotten a lot better at asking for help when I don’t feel strong but I am projecting that. I’ve gotten a lot better at allowing others to handle their own healing & not expecting myself to be their strength too. I’ve gotten a lot better at loving myself right where I am and trusting each step of my journey.

For those of you who have people in your life who always seem strong – See them! Be there for them! Let them know it’s okay to not always be strong!

For those of you who are the strong ones – I see you! I am here! You don’t always have to be strong!

Why I love & believe in life coaching…

I believe we can learn to dance in the shadow spaces between the dark and the light of our world, weaving them together into a glorious life dance.

I believe we all deserve a fresh start as often as we need one. Every single moment is an opportunity for a new layer of awareness.

I believe we can fall and get back up again and again and again.

I believe we all need someone to walk alongside us at times in our life that feel more dark and overwhelming.

I believe trusting ourselves comes by keeping promises to ourselves.

I believe in the power of community to create our best lives. If I could create the life I want by myself I would have done it by now. I need others for accountability and support.

I believe that all of us are worthy of saying YES to ourselves before we pour everything we have into others.

I believe we all deserve to have lovingly fierce cheerleaders in our corner who help us believe more deeply in ourselves.

I believe in the power of dreaming and taking action inspired by those dreams.

I believe in YOU!

Lara πŸ’Ÿ

P.S. Email me if you want to hear more about my coaching services.

#lifecoachingforwomen#lifecoach#soulcoaching#Dreamweave

Wishes or Weeds: What are you choosing to see?

What do you see in this picture? Do you see a field of weeds? Or, do you see a field of wishes? Me? I see a field of wishes at the magical time of sunset. And that lights me up with the joy of possibility.

All of us look at the world through a lens of our own making. It’s a lens created by our past experiences, our present reality, and our dreams for our future. We notice what fits into the current story we are telling ourselves about what the world has to offer us. We can look at the same thing – like this field at sunset – and tell a very different story about what it is about. It’s not about one being right or wrong, it’s about perspective.

Our perspective – the lens through which we look at the world – is shaped by our experiences, upbringing, and cultural background. It can also be shaped by the media we consume, such as news outlets, social media platforms, and entertainment. It’s essential to be mindful of the sources we rely on to form our opinions and seek out diverse perspectives. Understanding perspective is a continuous journey that requires constant self-reflection, empathy, and a willingness to learn.

The ability to shift our perspective, to choose to try looking at the world through a different lens – can also lead to personal growth and development. By challenging our beliefs and assumptions, we can broaden our horizons and develop new insights that can help us navigate the complexities of the world. It’s important to acknowledge that our perspective is not the only valid one. By recognizing the validity of other perspectives, we can create a more inclusive and tolerant society that values diversity and fosters mutual respect. Throughout it all we can also find personal healing and hope in ways we might never have imagined.

Just because I see this field of dandelions as a field full of magical wishes, it may be a field of weeds to you. And that is okay! I don’t need you to understand it differently for me to believe in the magic I see there. What do you see?

The Shadowlands

This musing was originally written in May of 2017. I find that I still often live & dance in the shadowlands of life. There is magic in this space, healing energy here. It is because of my ability to live & dance in this space that I am better able to help others as they learn how to live & simply breathe here.

I live now in the shadowlands, that space between the light and dark of the world. I can see things that others cannot see. I can hear things others can’t hear. I can feel things others can’t feel. I am wiser, older, and more real now. I am awake to things that much of the world sleeps through every day.

One would think, looking from the outside in, that the shadowlands would be a place of less color, everything muted. But I find it to be filled with brighter, bolder colors than the β€œreal” world. Nothing is muted because all is seen as it could be. The shrouds of our perception of how things should be are pulled away here in the shadowlands. Light infuses all things. Dark infuses all things. There cannot be one without the other. The holding of opposites is where the work of grief & opening to hope lies.

Heart’s blessing

I would wish you all of the love that rests deep within my heart.

I would wish for you the quietness of a sunny summer morning to warm you on your darkest days.

I would wish for people to surround you who love you and are willing to listen to your story for as long as you want to share it.

I would wish for moments of joy that surprise you more and more often.

I would wish for the courage to stand strong in who you are now while gently remembering who you used to be.

I would wish for you an end to the sadness that creeps and crawls throughout each and every one of us.

I would wish for a full night’s sleep, night after night after night.

I would wish for you to feel the power as you regain your strength to walk in the world.

I would wish for laughter that starts deep in your belly and completely takes over your entire being.

I would wish for the sweetest, most embracing of hugs.

I would wish for you a novel that takes you away into another world even if only for a little while.

I would wish for you such a firm belief in yourself that you truly saw yourself as a warrior, capable of anything.

I would wish you a break from the pain.

I would wish for you a snuggly puppy or kitten that treats you as if you are the most important thing in their world.

I would wish for you long conversations that feel easy and light.

I would wish for you a heart that is once again whole.

I would wish for you time in your favorite place.

I would wish you the knowledge that you are always doing the best you can in every, single given moment.

I would wish for you, gentleness as you walk a lonely path of grieving and healing.

I would wish you light, joy, healing, and the deepest of peace.

I would wish you love, love, love.

Lara πŸ’Ÿ

Written in June 2017

One pathway to growth – be willing to be surprised

2 years ago today I entered into a world that I had previously just been a witness to. For years and years, I had watched, listened to, and gifted items for 2 of my kids, Demetri and Soren, to play Dungeons and Dragons (DnD). As someone who has always loved fantasy novels and has a pretty active imaginary world of her own, I loved when DnD sessions took place at our house. I would listen in complete awe at the ability of Soren and Demetri to not only create characters but create whole worlds to delve into as they adventured the hours away with their friends. Wizards, druids, familiars, dwarves, necromancers, rogues, spellcasters, paladins, the list went on in the campaigns that they played. I was fascinated and yet also thought “There is no way I could ever play this. It’s so intricate. I can’t fathom creating dialogue or connecting with the stories so much to play for 3, 4, 6, or 7 hours. Love it for them. But, it’s not for me.” Never say never right?

During the pandemic, my family and I spent a lot of hours online together each week – zooming, playing games, and trying to stay sane. I also began to have LOTS of conversations with Demetri and Soren about DnD as they took their playing online. I became more and more intrigued. Finally, towards the end of 2020, I said okay to trying it. Demetri, as our dungeon master (dm), coordinated an easy-entry campaign that allowed me, Soren, my daughter, Kateri, my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew to bravely step into playing a family adventure. Considering my sister-in-law, April, plus Kateri and I had never played before Demetri was really the brave one. Learning to play online can be quite challenging, but we did it.

I was stunned by how much I fell in love with DnD. My first character, Enya, was a pretty straightforward neutral good druid with a hermit background. The coolest part about her was that she was Dragonborn. There were some super cool things about her character build. I loved learning how to play with her. But I really didn’t know what I was doing and it felt more like reading a character’s play instead of actually playing AS her. Play for me often felt stilted and just hard to figure out. I simply didn’t know enough. We played that campaign for about 10 months before time constraints for all of us made scheduling super hard to do and we stopped playing. All right when it was starting to get good and begin to make sense.

Fast forward 2 years, and I have now played in 3 other campaigns including a Star Wars one with other family members new to DnD. I also have 4 new characters in various stages of development for possible future campaigns. Each character is so different from the others and it’s super fun to play with different ideas. I watch DnD shows. I read DnD books. I have at least 7 full sets of dice and always want more sets. I have the coolest, dragon-skin-looking bag for my dice that I adore. I have hours-long conversations with all of my kids about DnD. My favorite weekend activity is playing DnD. And my current character is actually helping me heal some deep wounds I didn’t even know were there.

Tris (pictured here), my main character right now, is a complicated one. Aligned as chaotic neutral she definitely leans towards the chaotic. Recently banished from her people for a curse she didn’t know was placed upon her as a child, she is in a shaky, chaotic state of trying to understand who she is. Having grown up believing she was a druid and being trained as one, it has come to light that she is instead a witch with a hideous curse. Her wolf pup familiar, Gani, is the only thing she fully trusts and the only thing that truly feels safe. She’s not sure whether to go along with her new companions or go off on her again so that she doesn’t hurt anyone else. She is a swirl of emotion all of the time with a heart that believes in doing good for others but also a heart full of a lot of anger over how she has been betrayed.

Playing her feels like playing with my inner child who remembers being bullied as a kid; who remembers having imaginary friends who were wolves and horses, not humans; who remembers no understanding of how to fit in; who remembers thinking she was part of a group only to be pushed out without explanation. In a recent private conversation with another character, Madame Zandra, who she just learned is also a witch, Tris experienced profound love and understanding. The scene was more powerful for me than I could have imagined a scene could be. I cried in character and out of character, as healing acceptance was given to Tris. The fact that my kid, Demetri, as the DM playing the character of Madame Zandra, was the one who played out the healing love given to Tris left me with such deep pride for who Demetri is as a person and as a talented DM.

As I play Tris I am getting to fully dive into my imaginative side which I adore. All of the DnD I have watched with my kids has helped me understand how to fully enter into BEING my character while I play. It’s like playful, healing, persona work and I am LOVING IT!

As much as I love what DnD has become for me and for the healing I am allowing myself to move through in a playful, creative way, what I love the absolute most is what it has become for my kids and me as a family. We have something to do now together that we all not only enjoy but that we absolutely love. Do you know how incredibly awesome it is to have something like this with adult children? To have something that isn’t just a game to play but is really a passion for each and every one of us? DnD has given us a common language to share, even when there are other areas of our lives and their growing up that have pulled us in different directions. We get to revel in the creativity of each other. We get to share ideas, write stories together, and have a great time every single time we play. DnD truly is the BEST gift the pandemic gave to me and my kids.

So, my invitation to everyone out there is this. Be willing to be surprised by something new! That very thing that maybe doesn’t make sense right now, might just bring you more joy and connection than you ever could have imagined. It might lead to your personal healing and to healing relationships in a profound way. It can be easy to drift away from our kids as they grow. I am grateful that DnD has given me the joyful opportunity to grow closer to my kids in THEIR world. One of the BEST things I’ve ever done as a parent and as a person committed to her own growth was saying “Okay, I will try it.” I honestly can’t imagine my life without DnD. One of the biggest surprises of my life!

Joy Start Your Morning

What if simple joy came first every day?! What if I fueled myself with things that light me up first each day instead of leaving those things as rushed leftovers?

I’m a supporter of dreaming big, setting goals, and having solid habits to help us live into our dreams. I’m also realizing more and more that expecting myself to start my day off focusing on my goals or to-do list simply exhausts me.

So it came to me today what if I stop expecting myself to do, do, do things before I’m barely awake & instead I start by relaxing with a second cup and reading a favorite book for a few minutes as my first priority? What if instead of creating a habit of a productive focused morning I create a habit of a JOY-focused morning? What if I allowed myself 10-15 minutes of pleasure to infuse JOY into my day right from the start?

Well, let me tell you, my heart and my soul skipped a little beat and whispered ” Could we? Could we really stop having to psyche ourselves up first thing? Could we really start with joy and ease into our day? Could we? Could we? Could we?”

With a smile and a deep, joyful breath I feel things click into alignment as I answer ” Yes we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we WILL!”

Start your day with whatever brings you simple, contented JOY! Maybe it’s exactly what you need to fuel the rest of your day.

Ahhhhh! πŸŒ¬πŸ’™πŸŒ¬

Lara πŸ’Ÿ

Light & Dark – Dancing in the Shadow Space & Offering Hope to Others

March 20, the Spring Equinox, is a time of new beginnings; a time of hope; a time of trusting in the promise of warmer and sunnier days; a time of greening; a time of taking deeper breaths; a time of joy. It has long been one of my favorite days of the year. I have loved celebrating it and inviting others to do the same. When I ran the horse farm, we’d have a spring bonfire to celebrate and release all of the pent up heaviness of the winter. It was glorious!

March 20 is also the anniversary of my husband, Russell’s death. 7 years ago he left this world after a very short 7 days of confusing illness. That day 7 years ago stopped his life; stopped my life as his wife; stopped my kids and my lives as we had known them; stopped the world for us for a very long time; and stopped my choosing to celebrate the Spring Equinox. The symbolism of endings and beginnings was not lost on me that Russell died on the Sring Equinox. But it became nearly impossible to imagine or give myself permission to celebrate with joy the first day of spring, when March 20 had also become the day of remembering our family’s deepest loss.

This weekend a very significant shift has occurred for me. I’ve found myself dancing in the shadowy space between the light and the dark of joy and sadness in a profound way. Not just standing stuck in that space, but dancing there listening to soul music only I can hear. I released the guilt I’ve felt for years about wanting to celebrate the Equinox as I felt it somehow would take away from the death of Russell. I listened to the very real truth that part of my life’s work and mission is to dance in that center space and speak of what that is like for those who can only feel the darkness. My choice to become a Soul Life Coach and an Equine Guided Facilitator flows from this truth. I have walked through a dark night of the soul. I find joy every single day of my life. I know how to weave these threads of dark and threads of light together in ways not everyone knows how to do. I want to guide those who long to learn how to dance in this shadowy space. I laughed a lot this weekend. I rode my pony at sunset tonight which has always been a joyous Spring Equinox activity. I reveled in multiple sunsets. I had my first fire just for the Equinox (originally a decades-long commitment) since his memorial fire a year after he died. I shared stories with friends and family. I started a dream list for spring. I celebrated with joy and no guilt!

Dancing in this center space between death and life has been a dance I have done for longer than I can remember. Even before Russell’s death, it was as if I could hear music in that space that others couldn’t hear. Now, my desire is to offer hope to those who need it most. I can only do that if I allow myself to fully embrace both/and. Remember Russell on this day of his death AND celebrate the first day of spring. THIS is how we say yes to hope in the midst of our suffering. We don’t try to pretend that there is no pain in life. We don’t try to push through and ignore it all, only making it worse. We don’t deny ourselves joy or peace or rest. We learn, baby step by baby step, how to dance with all of the pieces.

As a concrete way to share tiny bits of hope for others who are out there looking for any sign that they’re not alone, I started a new habit today. Those of you have been following me for a while know that I find pennies (and other coins) all of the time. The notion of “pennies from heaven” was one of the BEST things a friend shared with me early in my grief journey. I think of them as penny hellos from Russell. They bring me hope; they make me smile; they help me feel less alone when I need it most. I don’t really think Russell drops them for me, but I do feel them as love reminders. And I find them all of the time because I look for them all of the time. I am open to the magic of something as simple as a penny to change my day.

Well today, I decided to start randomly dropping pennies when I received them as change. There are others out there who will find those pennies and smile. Maybe they will find them, like I always do, just when they need them most and believe they aren’t alone. Maybe they will find a little bit of joy to help the darkness not feel so dark.

These are how I dance in the shadowy center space between light and dark, offering hope to the world. One musing blog post at a time. One sunset alert at a time. One willingness to share that I’m not always okay. One joyful picture at a time. One penny at a time.

Today I remember Russell, missing him always. Today I celebrate the first day of Spring. Dancing with both, and feeling love for it all!

I AM ENOUGH

The glass I shattered today. Smashed intentionally is a better description.

Sometimes things happen that spin us into an emotional space faster than we can blink. I call it “Universal shoves into an emotional rabbit hole. ” It’s a place where the emotions that bubble up seems to be disproportionately intense to the event occurring. I’ve learned enough through my life journey to realize it means that something ready for deeper healing has been triggered and I have a choice before me. Will I navigate the warren-like tunnels in this emotional rabbit hole to gain more clarity, more healing, and more peace or will I barrel my way out of the hold as fast as I can, stuffing all of my emotions into food, silly shows, alcohol, or other avoidance crutches?

Here’s the very quick version of the background event that left me in my current emotional rabbit hole. Last night, while out getting a Christmas tree with my youngest, Demetri, our truck stopped working. We had a wonderfully kind gentleman come over and help us jumpstart it so I thought “Great, I will just go get a new battery right now and we will be good to go.” We made it about 100 yards before the entire thing shut down, just short of a very busy street. Called the tow service and settled in to wait for the hour eta of a tow truck. Several people stopped, including the police. I reassured them we were good despite the cold. I was struggling not to cry and go into overwhelm mode as Demetri rocked staying positive and supportive. Our hour-long wait extended farther and farther out, with the police checking in every 30 minutes. Finally, at 2 hours and 15 minutes of waiting with very little word about when someone was actually coming, I said yes to the police officer’s questioning if I wanted them to call someone. At this point, I felt cold, tired, a little near panicking, and struggling to remember that things ALWAYS work out for me. All three of my kids and several friends who kept checking in kept reminding me of this. But that freaked-out voice in my head wanted to scream and scream and scream. 20 minutes after the police called a tow service the awesome driver arrived! He had us hooked up and home within 30 minutes. He was nice, very competent, understanding, and a pure ninja getting the truck backed into our tricky driveway. Demetri and I put up our tree. I took a very hot, long bubble bath. We had dinner watching Elf at midnight. I went to bed knowing I couldn’t begin to deal with the emotions that had bubbled up right then.

This morning I woke up exhausted and feeling like there was lead in my body. I knew with intense clarity that I needed to journal and move my emotional energy. The biggest thing that had popped up last night, making me want to smash things and scream, was being pissed at Russell for dying and therefore not being here to help me. I rarely feel angry at him for dying, but last night I really did. I felt angry and I felt abandoned and I felt very vulnerable. Oh, I felt grateful for many things too but gratitude is simply the light that shines into the dark places of my emotional rabbit holes, offering me hope that I will be able to move my way back out again. I knew this morning I HAD to allow myself to feel the feelings and put some action to them.

So, I decided to smash some glasses with my sledgehammer. I found several glass jars, put them into doubled-up trash bags, and proceeded to smash away yelling all of the things I’d been thinking last night but didn’t want to open the door to speak in an enclosed space. I let all of my pissy, scared, angry, frustrated, sad feelings and thoughts come out as I smashed away.

As I opened up the bag to take a peek at the smashed glass the thought came to me “It’s not enough. I need to smash more. It’s not enough.” That thought quickly raced towards the next ones, which hit me like a bolt of lightning right to the gut “I’m not enough. I can’t do enough. I can’t figure things out enough. I’m not enough for my kids alone. I’M NOT ENOUGH.” This just about knocked me over as the tears came crashing in harder and I had to sit down. I let the tears flow, put my hand on my heart, focused on my breath (all the tools I invite my clients to do), and allowed the pain to ease as I trusted that feeling my feelings, I mean really feeling them, wouldn’t leave me stuck in this rabbit hole. I added some more glasses and smashed some more, pouring my feelings into each pounding of my sledgehammer on the glass.

This, “I am not enough” is at the heart of my fears and I believe the fears of most of us. It’s that deep, niggling, insidious thought that “I am not enough” that trips me up over and over and over again. I don’t mean in my daily actions as much as in me growing deeply and truly loving myself exactly as I am. I mean in trusting that no matter what life throws at me I can choose to keep believing in my worth and my value to the world because my worth and my value are NOT tied to what I am producing or what I have or what I do or what I don’t do or any of those things that I seem to want to tie it to. Clearly, everything that bubbled up with my truck breaking down is a sign that I am ready for deeper healing and deeper embracing of who I am.

Feeling my feelings and allowing those feelings to be expressed with intentional action has freed my body, my mind, and my heart up today. It feels like I cleaned up a deeper layer of wounds that needed attention. I find myself sitting here feeling clearer than I have in weeks. I find myself stepping out of this rabbit hole with gratitude that I took the journey in. I find myself believing on a deeper level the truth that things can work out in ways we never could have imagined on our own. I find myself accepting my worth and my value just a little bit deeper and a little bit broader today. I find myself at least considering being wildly open to receive gifts from others. I find myself very grateful that I have the tools I need to feel my feelings and listen to the messages they have to share with me. I find myself taking a deep breath as I say “thank you for all that has happened and is happening.”

I am enough simply because I AM! You are enough simply because you ARE!

“Putting the Puzzle of ME Back Together πŸ§©πŸ’™πŸ§©

“Putting the Puzzle of ME Back Together πŸ§©πŸ’™πŸ§©

Vulnerability, Getting Real Post

Have you ever felt like something inside of you isn’t quite in the place it used to be? As if things have shifted and you don’t know exactly when things all fell apart? You just wake up one day realizing that things aren’t quite right and you want, or need to, make some shifts?
When this picture from 3 years ago popped into my memories a few weeks back that’s exactly what happened to me. I felt my breath catch in my heart. I felt tears fill my eyes. I felt a pit in my stomach. And, I felt my entire being say “We remember her. That Lara was on fire with passion, power, physical strength, purpose, and joy. How about we take a good hard look at our self right now, and find our way back to her? What do we need to do? Here is evidence of Warrior Lara who knows her way and is living her best, healthiest, most joyful life. Let’s put her back together!”

Ever since that day, I’ve been ruminating and taking a good hard look at myself, my life, and what needs to shift for me to be living in my greatest strengths. The image that came to mind was that of myself as a giant puzzle that somewhere along the line in the last couple of years fell all the way apart. Oh, enough has stayed together to keep working, keep dreaming, keep seeking & recognizing the pockets of joy, keep believing in myself just enough to try new things, but there has been a fragmented feeling that has been like a whispery voice throughout it all. It’s as if my inner critic and my doubting self have been consistently, subtly, and very quietly pulling pieces of my Warrior Lara self away from me.

I know that I am getting to my own truths right now as the desire to curl up in a ball and cry is pretty fierce. There’s a large part of me that wants to shut this writing down and hide under my covers. Ahhh, a sure sign for me that this is exactly what I need to write at this time and this moment.
Am I finding joy and massive things to be grateful for in my daily life? A big, huge YES! The things I am doing and the things I am creating are fabulous. But those are just some of the pieces that I have been able to fit back into myself. And some of the things that I haven’t been able to piece back together are pulling at me, threatening to break the fragile new connections I have made.

So here is some of the reality that I haven’t wanted to see, or admit, in myself. I sure haven’t been sharing any of that with the world. πŸ™‚ But, I have long believed that sharing my story, my WHOLE story, is healing for me and potentially offers hope for others. And today, my Muse and my Warrior self say “It is the time!”

*My physical health is at the lowest point it has been in over 4 years. I’m active enough that my body can do a lot which is awesome. But my energy is low, my weight is way higher than I want, and I just don’t feel like a strong warrior self.

*I have not been reaching out, sometimes unintentionally and sometimes intentionally, to the people who I know could support me through some of the sticky parts of life. Why? Because a part of me has felt embarrassed and like a failure for not “getting it right” or for not being able to do it on my own. PFFTTT! I coach people all of the time that asking for help isn’t weakness, it’s a sign of strength and powerful self-care. But I get that it is so much easier said than done when we feel like we have fallen way back in our journeys.

*I am having big bouts of doubting myself. The work that I am doing as an instructor of kids and adults, and more especially my work as a life coach for women fills my soul. As we inch towards winter, I’ve been exploring part-time job opportunities just as backup work if the weather goes to hell in a handbasket. Receiving rejections or literally no calls back for positions I could do so easily, is very disheartening.

*I have so many things that I have started and stopped, then started and stopped another thing, etc, etc, as I am trying to figure out which puzzle pieces I still even want to have fit into who I am right now. Part of the downside of not living my healthiest path is that my focus scatters. Well, when I already feel like I am putting back together an entire self that is scattered and shattered, having scattered focus doesn’t help. πŸ˜‰

*I am deeply missing the communities of support, accountability, and growth that I was actively a part of 3 years ago. I am recognizing how much I really need people around me to keep my energy flowing as I work. Being able to do things virtually has been great since 2020, but it’s not enough for me. I need communities in person!

Putting the puzzle back together – I do not know all of my next steps forward. Today, I am okay with that. I know that, for me, this is the first big step forward. Getting real with myself and writing about it helps me to see things way more clearly. And while I may not know all of the steps, or all of the pieces to fit my Me puzzle back together, I do know the following:

1. I need to focus on living my healthiest life again – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. The great thing is I love the health program that I found 4 years ago (and now coach) because it focuses on the WHOLE self, not just our physical body. It’s easy for me to dive back in and start again.

2. I need to reach out for more regular support from the people in my life who have helped in the past and continue to do so today. That being said, I have finally gotten brave and reached out to my own coach asking for support. It wasn’t easy but I know it’s hard to support others if I am not getting the support I really need because I am trying to do it all on my own. There are others I will be asking for more support as I figure out what that can look like.

3. I am tapping back into several communities that have been powerful places of growth for me in the past. I’d still love to create some kind of space in which entrepreneurs could gather together several times a week in a co-working/creating kind of space. That will come.

4. I am reminding myself that the heart work that I am doing brings value to the world in ways that no part-time “job” could do. It will grow!

I find that, for now, there is little more that needs to be written. I am deeply grateful that writing is a form of healing and growth for me. I am deeply grateful for the Warrior Lara photo that popped up and is now above my desk as a reminder to me that living in power, purpose, passion, radical health, and joy is possible. I am deeply grateful for the imagery of a broken puzzle that I can put back together in whatever new way I want to. I am deeply grateful for every single pocket of joy I am experiencing in my life as I figure out my way forward right now. I am deeply grateful to feel like I am starting to put myself back together.

Lara πŸ’Ÿ