Transforming my Life

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Ever since seeing the movie Wonder Woman last summer, I have been a little obsessed with her. I have posters of her, quotes from the movie all over my journals, 2 costumes, jewelry, and even a Wonder Woman doll. I watch the movie over and over again to inspire me to be a Warrior for love for myself and the world.
My 2 costumes I have were worn in public 5 1/2 months apart. Both times I needed my kids, family and friends to encourage me to follow through. Wearing costumes in public is something I always love seeing people doing. But doing it myself took far more courage and shushing of my inner critic than I thought it would. Wanting to dress up and play, not caring what others think, is a definite act of being a brave warrior for following my own joy.

What I most LOVE about this “then and now” picture combo is seeing how radically different my legs, especially my knees look. Is it any wonder I was in so much pain back in September when I wore my WW dress to the Japanese Festival? Look at how incredibly swollen my knee was! I knew this but seeing it in this picture has shocked me to my core. I remember that day how I had to sit down often while we walked around, because my body hurt so very much.

I love who I was in both of these pictures – brave, me, loving my life, and following my own path. What I love more than anything now is that my body is no longer infused with pain and unable to do more than short walks. In fact, I have such minimal pain these days I barely notice it.

I’m thrilled that I said YES to taking back my health and started my new health program in November. Changing how I eat has led to me losing 26lbs and that has made my body feel better than it has in 8 years. Plus, I’m thrilled that I’m learning how to be a health coach so that I can help others transform their lives. Having my healthy body back while helping others do the same brings me great JOY!

I’m becoming a superhero for myself because it is what I need to have the life I want to live.

We Never Know

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We never know whose lives we are impacting by sharing our stories.  What if the steps we are taking and vulnerably sharing about are exactly what someone else needs to hear that day?  To not feel alone. To believe they can do it.  To know that there is light at the end of even the darkest tunnel.  We many never know who needs to hear only what we can share, but we should learn to believe that the stories of our healing, our successes, our pain, our glory can make a difference.

When I was a new teacher, I had to learn that I many never see the results of the seeds that I plant.   Oh sometimes I would see the impact I had by the end of each year, but most of the time the concepts of love, justice for all people, respect as the most basic right for all, and the need to work together to make the world a better place were simply powerful seeds I planted in the hopes that they would grow over time and become strong, vibrant parts of my students’ approach to life.

For the past 3 years, I have lived my life out loud in a more conscious way than at any other point in my life.  I have shared the story of my life through the dark times and the light ones.  I’ve shared it partly because I hope my story may help someone else through their own life struggles but mainly I’ve shared it because I’ve HAD to.   There is some driving force inside of me that seems to only be content when I write and share my story with whoever wants to hear it.  The writing and the sharing heal parts of my being that are wounded and hurting.  It also inspires me to seek greater joy and strength as I strive to live a life with purpose, passion and joy.

When I hear that sharing my story is inspiring others I have a myriad of internal reactions.  The first one is most often joy that something about my life and the sharing of it is making others smile, have hope, not feel alone, or simply have a little bit better of a day.  Knowing that my journey and the public sharing of that journey is inspiring others makes me want to continue to write and live my life out loud.

I also must admit that I often feel confused and don’t quite know what to say.  That quiet (not always so quiet though) part of me where my inner critic resides doesn’t always understand how me just living my life and rambling on about it (inner critic words) could inspire anyone.  I’m just floundering around over there and trying to make sense of things.  I don’t always feel as strong or brave or with it as I think I sound sometimes.  So I become baffled when others comment how strong I am.  “What?” my inner critic says.  “I’m not strong at all. I’m just good at putting on that mask.”

This winter as I’ve stepped even more firmly onto a path of living my life as a Warrior for love, peace and joy (and greater health), my journey sharing has become part of my discipline for myself.  Sharing my journey has become the stepping stones to becoming the powerful Warrior Woman I want to be for myself, my family, my friends and the world.    As I play with putting on the mantle of being Wonder Woman for myself and tapping into that amazing, playful, powerful Warrior energy I long to plant those seeds for others who want to find new paths to living lives of joy.

What if we all shared a little bit more of our joy and our pain, the light and the dark parts of our life, so that none of us felt we were alone?   What if we learned to open our hearts and our lives to one another so we could find the strength we need to live lives of greater joy and realness?  What if trusted that in sharing our story we might just be the light that someone needed to see on a very dark day?

I will continue to share my journey, the whole thing – good, bad, dark, light, joy, pain – for my own ongoing transformation.  I will continue to share my journey of being a Warrior Woman for those who long that for themselves but they just can’t quite find their path yet.  I will continue to share my journey because I really may never know whose life I’ve made a little bit better because I shared one story of my own.

While I may never know whose life I’ve impacted, I do know that the very sharing is transforming my own.  That will be enough!

 

 

Transforming my Life

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What an awesome opportunity I’ve had the past two years to go to the dinner/auction for Caritas. Thank you Jill Coffey Wenzel for having me as your guest each year. Thank you Kirsten Marie Peterson for going with me.
Hearing the stories of transformation from people who have been positively impacted by the work through Caritas is inspiring to me to keep being a Warrior on my own journey of healing and embracing life with joy. Plus, each time I have gone new ideas generate inside of me of how I could offer Avalon and the horses as a way for the people that Caritas serves to find some joy in their own lives. We shall see what comes.

I also loved being able to take a picture of myself in the same place 2 years in a row. Being able to see evidence of my own health transformation is fascinating. My hair style is almost identical though the touch of blue still in my hair makes me smile. My smile is almost the same; I think last night’s is a little bit deeper and easier. My excitement to do something out of my norm rang true both years.

Last year it felt like such a giant, brave leap forward to go to the event. I remember the fear and trembling I had at the thought of being around dozens of people I don’t know. My social anxiety was at its’ highest last year. Last night, I had none of that fear and trembling. I simply and radically felt happy to be able to dress up and do something different.

My health transformation is an ongoing process. While I love seeing the physical difference being down 35 lbs (25 in just the past 3 months) from last year has made, I love more how much better I FEEL. I am dropping more than weight off of my body. I am dropping years off my entire being. I FEEL lighter and happier than I have in a very long time. My heart doesn’t hurt all of the time anymore and that is what I am reveling in day after day.

As I change my eating habits and say YES to what feels good to put into my body; I am saying YES to loving myself more than I love the temporary taste of some food. As I say YES to new ways, healthier ways of handling my stress the tension that could only be eased temporarily by comfort foods or a glass of wine has released its stranglehold on me.
Say YES to you! Make the changes you need to make to feel the best that you can. We are worth living the best life we possibly can!

My pledge to myself

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My pledge to myself! Printed and hung up in several places to read everyday, reminding myself that I am the hero I need for me.
I WILL tend my fire and follow my dreams for my life! I will no longer allow other things, no matter how cool the idea might be, to distract me from the Warrior path I have chosen. I will stand in my truth and my truth alone as I walk the path that is uniquely my own.
#warriorlara #2018yearofthewarrior

Keep Going

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Well I don’t know how exactly it happened considering while I was sick I ate off my plan much of the last weekend and spent 4 days with very little movement. I’m not counting moving from bed to the couch and back as movement. I lost 4 lbs this past week, putting me under 150 for the first time in 7 years. I’m now only 8lbs from the bulls eye goal I’ve set for myself. I should reach that by the first day of spring!
I honestly had doubts if that would ever happen again. Oh, I’ve been targeting getting back into the 140s but that quiet, self-doubting part of me has wondered (feared) that I’d never get past that 150 threshold. I even was thinking last night of starting my transition phase to just be happy with where I’ve been as I’m feeling so much better than I have in years.
I’m in shock, feeling very emotional, and my entire body is saying “thank you for taking care of me”. It’s as if I can feel my body singing this sweet song of gratitude to me. I’ve neglected it for so long.

This journey to health is intimately connected to my husband, Russell’s, death for me, as much of my Warrior path has been. Kirsten, Russell and I had just started our own health challenge with each other a few short weeks before he died in the desire to get us all out of dangerous places with our health. As I get stronger and healthier I often wonder if Russell might still be here if I had become a warrior for health – mental, emotional, spiritual and physical – back then. Obviously I can never know but it is part of my driving force today. I need to be as healthy as I can for myself and for my kids. I want to be with them for another 50 years.

Slow and steady steps forward every single day are the way to our goals. Warriors just keep stepping forward even if all they can do some days is baby, baby steps.

I’m so grateful to everyone in my life who cheers me on over and over and over again. You help me in more ways than I will ever be able to express. Each positive word fuels me to keep me going!

Go get it folks! Whatever your it is GO GET IT! It can all change in the blink of an eye as my story shows. Make this the year that you look back at the end and say I DID IT! I’m doing my best to make sure I do!

Year of the Warrior – Take back my life

I have declared for myself that 2018 is my Year of the Warrior.   It is the year that I don’t allow anything, including my own deep seated fears and BS stories to hold me back. It is the year that I radically, powerfully, joyfully take back my life and reclaim on a daily basis my belief that we can transform our lives in magical ways.

For 3 years, Rachel Platten’s song “Fight Song” has been my theme song.  I’ve written about it. I play it over and over again. I dance to it.  I share it with others who are seeking to come back from something and deeply need to believe in their amazingness.   It touches emotional cords in me that go deeper than even I know.  It calls me to more every single time I listen to it as the words and the music beat deep into my heart.

Tonight, as I ran on the treadmill I listened to Fight Song for my cool down as I’ve done for the past 4 days.  It is the song I need to listen to as the reminder that I AM A WARRIOR, passionately ready to release the phoenix who has slowly been rising from the ashes of my life over the past few years.   As I walked through my final minutes on the treadmill tonight, listening to Fight Song I felt like the drum was trying to pound directly into my soul.  Tears bubbled up and out as the refrain moved me stronger than ever before.

“This is MY fight song. Take back my life song. Prove I’m alright song.  My power’s turned on, starting right now I’ll be strong. I’ll play MY fight song and I don’t care if nobody else believes because I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.”  

YES, YES, YES!  My year of the Warrior is this.  Being a Warrior is being ME as authentically as I can possible be. Being a Warrior means following my heart, my path.   Being a Warrior means being strong in MY power that is most definitely turned on.  Being a Warrior means acknowledging my fears and doing it anyway.  Being a Warrior means inviting others who are ready to journey with me to feel the magic of their own journeys.  Being a Warrior means saying yes and trusting that as long as I listen to my intuition and take action the path will open up before me.  Being a Warrior means believing in me and what I feel called to do even if it seems no one else does.  Being a Warrior means I will follow my heart and my path which means sharing my wisdom journey with the world.

NOW is the time for me to finally, joyfully take action on all of the hundreds of things that have been stirring inside for me the past several years.  As much as I may have wanted for these to come to be much sooner than now, I really wasn’t ready.  But I am NOW!  As I walk the land of Avalon, I can feel the magic of that land stirring again in ways it hasn’t been able to for probably 4 years.  Oh, magical things have still been happening because it is an amazing place, people and creatures.  But there is a magic that pulses through the land that I haven’t felt as deeply.  Until recently!

As I declare myself a Warrior for love, peace and joy I can hear the land of Avalon sing again.  It is as if the very land drums in beat to the new rhythm that is coming singing up from inside of me.  New life is pulsing through me and in turn new life is pulsing throughout all the areas of my life.   As I plan the upcoming “I am a Warrior” retreats, there is so much awakening inside of me.   I want to share the wisdom that has come to me as I have traveled in the shadow places between the light and the dark.  I want to help others find the Warrior residing inside of them who is wanting to give them the power to be strong and find joy.  And this is only the beginning!

“There’s a fire burning in my bones, still believe, yeah I still believe.”

Daily I am taking back my life and allowing life to take me back.   My commitment to living an entire year (and probably way more) with the mindset of a Warrior is exciting.   I feel the fire burning inside of me as my entire being is lit up ready to live and love with joy!

THIS IS MY FIGHT SONG!  I AM A WARRIOR! I AM READY TO FLY!

 

I am ready!

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2018 is definitely going to be my Year of the Warrior! And I have started now to make some radical moves to significantly change my health – physically, emotionally, financially. I am DONE being stuck in ruts that cause me a great deal of pain. I am DONE feeling like I can’t find the joy I want because my body, mind and heart hurt. I am DONE feeling so uncomfortable in my being that all I want to do is hide under covers.
I am READY to rock my life! I am READY to become the very best, healthiest person I can be! I am READY to have a body, heart and mind that are free to feel joy all throughout! I am READY to throw off my cloak of fear, pain, and lethargy to fully become the Warrior Woman who wants to be fully alive!
Part of this change started just 7 weeks ago when I took a big leap to start on a path of drastically changing my eating habits. With the help of my health coach, Carrie Magill, I am learning new habits and saying YES to eating in a whole new way. In those 7 weeks, I have already lost 20lbs putting me at a weight lower than I’ve been in 5 years. For the first time in years, I purchased a medium shirt rather than the XL I’ve been having to buy.
But it’s not really about the weight. It’s about the fact that my body moves with little to no pain anymore. I had gotten to the point last summer and fall that I was seriously considering quitting Avalon because the daily, non stop pain I was in was just too much to run a horse farm. I could barely get up out of bed without hobbling, much less do the hard physical work of the farm and teaching in a sand arena. That physical pain caused me a great deal of emotional pain too as I felt blocked from living the life I want to live.
NO MORE! I am losing the weight that bogs my body down. I am learning new eating habits that are healthy and steadily move me forward without leaving me feeling like I am missing out on things. I am learning how to listen to my body and the second, literally the second, something doesn’t feel right I listen to it and make changes to set things right. I am slowing down and thinking about how I am fueling this body.
I am feeling light enough in my heart and body again to do the things I most love – dance, ride Magic, ride Karoly, teach without pain, walk the farm. I am saying YES, YES, YES to me! Tears of gratitude and joy rise up in me over and over again everyday as I feel the layers of pain, sorrow and fear fall away revealing the amazing Warrior Lara I long to be.

2018 is going to be my year! Make it yours too! What are the things you want to release and shed away that are keeping you from living a life of JOY and STRENGTH? What are the things you want to be able to do?
Let’s do it together! Together we are so much stronger and I am dedicating much of my new work at Avalon Horse Farm to helping myself and others step into our inner power. Watch for book clubs, support groups, retreats, exercise classes, art classes, health coaching, and so much more.
Let’s make 2018 the most amazing year ever, starting NOW!
Say YES to you! I AM!