“Putting the Puzzle of ME Back Together 🧩💙🧩

“Putting the Puzzle of ME Back Together 🧩💙🧩

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. 🙂 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. 😉

*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 💟

Where do I belong?


phoenix.jpg       The question of “Where do I belong?” has been a very live one for me lately.  I’m betting that it’s been somewhere in my thought process ever since Russell died.  But over the last 2 months it’s been pressing closer and closer to the conscious, awake part of my brain.  or maybe it’s that I have been becoming more conscious and awake, hmmm.

For as long as I can remember I’ve felt deeply grateful to be part of lots of communities that I felt I belonged to.  I’ve spent much of my adult life being part of groups of people that I connected with in some way or the other.  Belonging to something has always felt a part of my life, starting with my family.  Somehow I always find ways to be part of vibrant, exciting communities.

In the past 5-6 years I’ve felt most connected, like I most belonged to, a few very loving communities – my family first and foremost, my WOW group, friends with a few people I have known for decades, a family faith sharing group, and Avalon.  All of these to varying degrees have been threads of love and acceptance that have supported me through a lot of ups and downs.  In each of these groups I have experienced a very deep sense of belonging that included the freedom to truly be myself.

What is becoming clearer to me day by day is that I don’t really know where I belong anymore.  Oh I still feel in all of these groups and many more that I can be myself, and that my journey is always seen as important by others.  I still feel a great deal of love pouring forth from tons of people supporting and loving me.  I still experience people welcoming me and wanting to spend time with me.  I even am increasingly feeling fairly settled and content with portions my life.

But there is also a very real thread of my reality that the very places I’ve spent the most time and have felt most deeply connected to – specifically at Avalon and with my closest family and friends – now feel just a little off most of the time. It’s as if I’m there but not there, looking into the party through a window from the outside.   Some days it feels very off and disconnected from me, leaving me with feelings of “I just don’t fit here anymore. This isn’t where I belong.”

I still want to belong in those places that have been home for me.  I want to feel like I fit there.  I try to do the same things I used to do that brought me such great joy.  Some are good, lifting my spirits and easing my heart. These I allow myself to rest in loving the feelings of contentment that flow through me.   Other things feel like nails on a chalkboard and leave me cringing and wanting to flee as far away as possible.  During these times I realize I need to rethink my life, structuring it new ways.

The biggest change isn’t the communities and groups I am part of. The biggest, most mysterious change is me.  I don’t feel I belong because in many ways I don’t anymore.  I am not the same person I was 15 months ago.  In many ways I really did burn to ashes like a phoenix.  As I am reborn from these ashes some of the basic, core parts of me remain but there is much that is new or will be new.

I find it challenging to be patient with myself as I am reborn. It’s very, very uncomfortable to feel like I might not belong in some places in the same ways anymore.  My fear that maybe I don’t belong at all in communities I’ve loved for years wakes me up shaking at night.   When I give into the fear I go to a very dark place.

Thankfully, some very wise folks have caught me in some “I don’t belong” spinouts lately.  Seemingly out of nowhere these spinouts have left me stunned and crying as words just fly out of mouth.  These women have gently and bravely given me the messages “Yes you, as you were before, don’t belong anymore.  Because you are a new you. And it’s okay to be figuring out where and how you fit now.  We still want you here with us. You do still belong here; you’re just learning in a new way in how you belong.  And that is okay!”

To be able to speak in shaking, trembling and terrified words of my sadness over feeling I don’t belong at the places and with the people I most love is a deeply powerful thing for me. It’s speaking my deepest fears out loud to someone and having them say “it’s okay. You will find a new way.” that is freeing me to keep step by step inch my way forward to a newly created life, a newly created me.

I may not know where I feel like I belong.  But I am deeply, profoundly grateful that there are others in my life who say with words and actions, we love you and want you to be part of us in whatever way you can.  What a gift that is to me!

Changing things up

cropped-dancingangel.jpgIt is time for some shifts and some changes.  I’m playing with re-creating my blog site.  Figuring out how to reset things is a fun and also challenging undertaking.  I am working to keep an attitude of play, even as I navigate the inroads of design.

Watch for lots of new things to come soon as I step out in a new way.

Thanks for journeying with me!