How Will I Show Up?

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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! 💖💪💖

Vanity or Health? Which will I choose?

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“Vanity or Health?” Which will I choose? You’ve got to read to the end to find out. 😂

It’s about radical self-love. 💖

Okay, deep breath 🌬️ and in I go, into being crazy vulnerable and really real about something that’s been holding me back. I’m ready to dive deeper into what my healthiest self could look like; a self whose body feels so free and amazing I can barely imagine it right now. But, I have to choose – my vanity or my healthiest self.

You see, it’s my vanity about my face that has been winning for a long time. I spent 12 years working a horse farm. No amount of sun screen was ever enough to completely protect my skin. I knew one day I’d have tons of face wrinkles because of it. I just didn’t think it would be so soon. Since I’ve lost 53 pounds I can really notice it. And wowza, has it stopped me in my tracks. No way have I wanted to lose more weight and look like a prune. Even if losing more weight could be really good for the rest of my body.

Some of the thoughts that have pinged through my brain during this internal debate have really revealed how much further I can go to radically love myself exactly as I am.

“If I want to date again who would want a wrinkle faced woman?”

“Do I really need to lose more weight, even if I know it could be great for my aging body?”

“Will I get ugly?”

“Should I put more weight back on to plump out my face again?” (Answer is always, NO WAY!)

“Am I seriously this obsessed with physical appearance?”

“Am I in any way attractive anymore?”

“I miss my 25 year old self.”

 

WOWZA! I am a HUGE proponent for everyone to love themselves exactly as they are. I am a HUGE proponent for making choices that help us create our best selves. I am a HUGE proponent for recognizing our SELF is about soooo much more than our bodies.

I am also, quite clearly, a woman who is trying to believe in herself more, recognize her worth, find her beauty again, and radically love every part – the dark, the light, the wrinkled, the strong, the weak – ALL OF ME!

So, I am choosing my health! I am learning to love my wrinkles for the stories they tell. I am going all into turn my body into its strongest, healthiest, most Badass self. I am choosing to believe I am beautiful. I am wrapping myself in the love, hope and healing I strive to bring to everyone else.

That means my goal, now spoken publicly, is to lose the final 15lbs I’ve been considering losing by my birthday on July 30. Get ready to watch my journey as I go for my finish line! 💪💪💪💪

Who am I?

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Who am I?

Maybe it’s just me, but I am constantly asking myself this question.  Constantly.  As I get older, I realize more and more how reflective of a person I really am.   Hmmm, maybe why I need days of pure quiet sometimes is less about other people and more about simply telling myself that I need to shush for awhile. Hmmm…

The last few years, the answer to this question has felt like a giant roulette game.   Just when I think the ball will drop into place, the wheel keeps spinning just enough to say “nope, not this one”.    Then, just as the ball settles into place and I start to feel like I’m settling into a new understanding, life spins the wheel again and the ball spins, spins, and spins.   At those times, it can feel like I may never be able to adequately answer the question “Who am I?”.

As disconcerting as this can be at times, there’s a wild excitement too.   I can feel a certain, pingy energy that permeates the world around me as I explore new understanding of myself.  The possibilities really are endless about how I can and will answer this on any given day.  My answers vary based on my confidence level in that identity, my current focus of reflection, and the spins of the wheel I am currently taking part in.

The spins of the wheel that can come out of nowhere aren’t always fun, but I’m getting better at just breathing while I wait for a new answer, a new understanding of who I am to settle in.  I can’t really do anything while the wheel spins anyway, so I might as well just breathe and watch it spin.

So, how do I answer this right now? These are the ones I am probably most able to say “Yes, that is who I am.” right now.

I am a mother.   My kids are ever present in my mind and my heart. Always!

I am a warrior.  Everyday, I am striving for more discipline to work hard and create my best life.  I am far stronger than I believe and I am practicing telling myself this.

I am coach – a coach for growth, for health, for learning, for transformation.   There’s little I love to do more than help guide people to find ways to grow in believing in themselves.  I’ve always leaned towards this identity and now I’m stepping more deeply into it.

I am a hope dealer and a dream weaver.   I am ever hopeful that we can make our dreams a reality, as long as we are willing to do the daily work needed to make it so.   I almost always can see hope, even in the midst of the darkest of days.

I am a community creator.   Together, we are so much stronger and there is great power to heal when we come together.

I am a writer who is deeply in love with the musing part of herself.

I am a widow.   This is still twingy to write but it is oh so true.

I am a phoenix widow.  A newer identity I am playing with as I experience myself rising from the ashes of my grief.

I am seeker.   I am constantly exploring more understanding of myself, my purpose in life and my experience of the world.

I am a person radically committed to her own transformation.   I am bound and determined to become the absolute best, happiest, healthiest person I can be.  That means I will do things every single day to understand myself more, to create new habits and to make the very best choices I can in each given moment.

I am a believer in magic.   This means play, glitter, bubble, a belief that dragons might really be real, and massive imagination.

I am a joy seeker.   I truly love to look for joy, even if it is just in little bitty pieces within the dark.

I have every confidence that I could continue to write more in answer to the question “Who am I?”.  It’s such a fun thing to explore.   But, for today, these are good to breathe life into and through.

How would you answer this question for yourself?

 

Lion King

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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”

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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!

 

It’s time to ACT

 

“We are the most obese, medicated, addicted, and in-debt Americans EVER!” Brene Brown

Brene Brown’s words shared below ring so true for me.  For decades, I “knew” all I needed to do to lose weight and get healthy.  I’d tried so many different paths each one with varying degrees of success.   I “knew” if I could focus on meal prepping consistently with lots of good protein, veggies and little starches it would do the trick.  But “knowing” did nothing for me, because I didn’t want to do meal prep all of the time. I didn’t want to think about food so much. I didn’t really want to do any of the extra stuff I’d need to do.

See the problem wasn’t what I “thought” I knew about food.  The problem wasn’t even what I judged to be laziness about meal prep on my part.   The real problem for my steady, deep decline into the darker places of my health was my emotions.   The depth and breadth of my overwhelm finally took over completely and I used food to mask, soothe, “heal”, reward and deal with all of the pain and stress in my life.

I for sure don’t beat myself up about any of those choices I made as I firmly believe that was doing the best I could throughout it all.  But wowza, am I ever grateful that I am learning to feel my feelings in every given moment, instead of feeding them with foods that leave me feeling worse than I did before I ate them.  It can be a harder road to travel at times, but most of the time it is a freeing, joyous one to journey.  And the reward is spectacular – a body and mind that is free to move through the feelings and not allow them to become barriers to growth.

From the Gifts of Imperfection…

“We know how to eat healthy.  We also know how to make good choices with our money. We know how to take care of our emotional needs. We know all of this, yet…

We are the most obese, medicated, addicted, and in-debt Americans EVER!

Why are we struggling like never before? Because we don’t talk about the things that get in the way of doing what we know is best for us, our children, our families and our communities.

We don’t talk about what keeps us eating until we’re sick, busy beyond human scale, desperate to numb and take the edge off, and full of so much anxiety and self-doubt that we don’t act on what we KNOW is best for us.”

 

YES, YES, YES!!!!!  It is time to ACT!!!

2019 – Year of the Phoenix Warrior

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2019 – Year of the Phoenix Warrior

What will you create for your new year? Who do you want to become and be?

Intention setting is one of my favorite things to do. For years, I have set an intention or a theme for myself at the beginning of each year. Rather than declare specific new year’s resolutions that I often leave in the dust within a month or two, I pick what energy I want to create for my life in the upcoming year. Then throughout the entire year, I thread that energy, that theme, that intention into all that I do.

Interestingly four years ago at this exact time, the final Christmas /New Year’s week that Russell Peterson was still with us, I set my intention for the upcoming year as “Let go and just breathe”. There was much in our lives that was in chaos and disarray to a very deep level and I knew I had to let go of a whole lot to create something new. Of course, little did I know at the time, how that mantra “Let go and Just Breathe” would become the strength I needed to survive the hardest time of my life.

Setting intentions can be weird and kind of magical that way. There is a stirring that goes inside of me, and I believe most of us, of a deeper knowing what we need to move ever closer to our most authentic selves. Sometimes I listen to her and sometimes I don’t. This time of year in which there is the cool blend of letting go of one year and getting ready to step into a new one, I allow myself to listen pretty closely to what is needed to get even more real.

This year has been the Year of the Warrior for me and there have been some badass, wonder woman, mother of dragons kind of movements. Mounted archery, running a 5k, starting a new career as a health coach filled with passion and purpose, doing my first horse shows, holding warrior woman retreats, and axe throwing are just a few of this year’s awesome adventures. The ways in which these have changed me is kind of amazing.

2019 is going to be the Year of The Phoenix Warrior for me. I am rising more strongly every single day from the ashes of the past several years. All of what those years have been for me – sorrow and joy, peace and despair, love and loss, light and darkness – come with me as part of who I am. But they will not leave me bogged down in the ashes anymore. I am dreaming big, bold dreams for my life and the lives of my kids. I am working daily to learn how to fly with these new, powerful wings that my warrior has formed. I am becoming more disciplined and determined to be my absolute healthiest, bravest, and most loving self. I am letting go of the fears I have of what others will think and simply speaking what is in my heart, knowing others will choose to journey along with me if it is right for them. I am flying with purpose, passion and joy towards a life of abundance in finances and in experiences.

I believe that I truly can create the life of my biggest dreams. I WILL do what it takes to make that happen and by this time next year will have an even more amazing story of life transformation than I do right now.

I am a Warrior. I am a Phoenix. I am a Phoenix Warrior!

Watch me fly or fly with me – the choice is yours!