The Things You Need to KNOW in Order to Succeed in Life

Everyone has a different definition of “success.” To some, it’s having a family. To others, it’s starting a business, or following a dream, or traveling the world, etc. You get it.

To me, success is having time and money freedom. That’s what I’m working towards in everything I do, and it’s what I mean when I say success. I hear a lot of people complain about going to work or not being “rich,” when in this day in age, it’s actually pretty easy to make good money. Easy, as in the opportunities are there. But of course, hard, as in, you have to put in the time and effort. That’s, of course, why not everyone is financially wealthy (Not even me! I’m not quite there yet.)

But besides putting in the long hours and elbow grease to become financially wealthy, there are other things that a person needs in order to “succeed.” These are often things that you won’t find on a list on Forbes or Entrepreneur. No, these are kind of fluffy, emotional, psychological things that people DO NOT like to talk about, but are really, really, really important.

This list I am about to share with you is actually a good starting point in your mental game for ANYTHING you want to accomplish in life, whether it be becoming a millionaire, writing a book, getting a new job, losing weight. I truly believe that the psychology of accomplishing anything comes down to these simple truths.

I could’ve called this list The Thing You Need to BELIEVE in Order to Succeed, but I didn’t. I called this list The Things You Need to KNOW in Order to Succeed because believing isn’t enough. You have to KNOW DEEP DOWN IN YOUR BONES that these things are true.

So, what the hell are they?

  1. You need to KNOW it is possible: Some people already ruin their chances at success by thinking that it’s not possible to achieve whatever goal is in their heart. Perhaps no one else around them has achieved this goal, perhaps you think you’re not smart enough, clever enough, pretty enough. These things do not matter. You can do anything.
  2. You need to KNOW when fear is making your decisions for you: In my line of work at my part time job, I am constantly exposed to entrepreneurs. I’m basically a business coach. And a lot of times, I see business owners making excuses for not doing things. This makes me extremely sad because most of the time, fear is their guiding emotion. Fear will always be there. It will. However, it doesn’t always have to make the decisions for you. All you have to do is have one big moment of courage, and if you will let go of fear’s hold forever.
  3. You need to KNOW that you can handle whatever accompanies your success: Another big hang up that I have a lot is another part of fear, but worth mentioning on its own: the responsibility of success, which often includes maintenance. There are so many positives of achieving your goals and dreams, but there are dark sides to the positives. What if people don’t like me anymore? What if people only like me because I have achieved my goal? What if I can’t maintain this level of success? What if I don’t have time to do things I love anymore? Whatever fears you hold here, just know that you can handle anything.
  4. You need to KNOW that you may need help along the way: This was a really tough one for me to learn, but you cannot do everything all the time. You will need help. You will need a shoulder to cry on. Hell, you may need a therapist. But it’s best to give up the notion that you can do everything on your own now, maybe spare yourself a headache.
  5. And most of all, the thing that is MOST IMPORTANT TO KNOW is that YOU ARE WORTHY AND DESERVING of whatever it is that you’re going after. This is the big one. This is the whopper of the list because it’s often the HARDEST to BELIEVE, let alone KNOW DEEP IN YOUR BONES. But regardless of the mistakes you’ve made up until this point, regardless of your skin color, religion, sexual identity or orientation, all those things, YOU DESERVE TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS, DREAMS, AND LIVE THE LIFE YOU’VE ALWAYS IMAGINED.

I am sure that more could be added to this list, but I believe that these are the 5 basic concepts that anyone attempting to achieve a goal needs to know.

Which one gives you the most trouble?

Let me know!


La Rae

Photo credit, EllaEve Photography

When You Have to Let Go of a Dream

I talk a lot about following your dreams and how important it is to do so. I have followed plenty of dreams recently, but let me tell you, not all of them pan out.

Yes, even I have to deal with failure, sometimes. This happened to me recently, and it was heartbreaking.

Let me tell you about it….

If you didn’t know, I am a full time wedding photographer. I love weddings because I love LOVE. Love makes me giddy.

Another thing that makes me giddy is Victorian houses, and one in particular: the one I grew up in.

Long story short, after 25ish years of living in a gorgeous, yet run-down, Queen Anne Victorian house, my parents moved out. The house was in such disrepair that there was talks of a nearby non-profit purchasing the home and land, and tearing it down. By a stroke of luck, the city put a year-long ban on demolishing historic homes, which gave me time to think about how I could save the house that I loved so dearly.

My husband would NEVER let us move back to my hometown and live there, so I attempted to convince my dad to open up an antique shop there and I could also house my studio there.

He quickly vetoed that idea. Back to the drawing board.

One day I was driving down the road, and it hit me: I could buy the house, renovate it, and turn it into a boutique wedding venue. I divinely downloaded so much information about this venture: what it would look like, what I would call it, I even created a services package and marketing materials. I was in LOVE with this idea, and since I received the idea from a divine source, I thought for sure it would pan out.

But, the problem was, I couldn’t afford a second mortgage, so I came up with a very shaky business plan to take to my aunt, who actually has rights to the house, in order to become business partners.

I couldn’t offer much, but I was SURE it would all work out. After all, the Universe gave me the idea. That must mean something, right?

So, I went to my aunt to pitch the idea. I asked her to just think about it. Well, a few weeks later, she said that she would have to decline.

I was HEARTBROKEN, but yet, I still had hope. I could still figure out how to purchase the house outright.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to come up with a plan in time. As I was driving to my parents’ house to pick up the key for the house in order to use it for a photoshoot, my mom told me that it had been sold.

I was devasted. I walked around my home bawling for over and hour. That week, I cried myself to sleep a couple of nights because that was the last time I would be in MY HOUSE.

So, what do you do when you have to let go of a dream? What if a dream slips through your hands without ever coming into fruition, as it did to me?

I guess this is another instance where I am able to use lessons that I’ve been learning for the past few years: courage, trust, and receiving.

For the hour that I was bawling in my house, I was angry at the Universe. WHY did I ever have this dream put into my heart? WHY give me all that inspiration when it wasn’t meant to be? WHY did it have to turn out this way?

I cried and cried. I relived so many childhood memories and felt so much sadness for what I wanted to do but couldn’t. But then, of course, I knew that this was another lesson and that I was meant to use this lesson to help others.

And whatever is meant for you will not pass you. So, then, I knew that this dream simply wasn’t meant to come true. The Universe has other plans for me.

So, I employed tools that have helped me the past 2 years: letting myself feel my emotions, breathing into the uncertainty, and trusting that everything is happening as it should.

Were you expecting some revolutionary list? I’m sorry to disappoint you there. But really, trust is the biggest tool I have ever learned, and I am sure it will continue to guide me throughout my life. I am currently trusting that this dream that I had to let go of is pointing me in the direction that I actually need to go. I will share more of that dream when the time comes.


La Rae

What I have Learned about PURPOSE.


Anyone on a journey of self-development has explored the idea of PURPOSE.

What is it? Is it innate? How do I find it? What do I need to do with it? What if things just aren’t working out for me? What if other people don’t care about my purpose?

These questions alone are exhausting. Luckily, we often times make it harder than it really is (way to go, brain!).

But I have learned a few profound lessons about purpose that I wanted to share with you.

  1. Purpose usually lives in your bliss: When we start out on our journey, we often believe that purpose is some elusive idea that we must go out and FIND. Usually, though, we just have to look at where we are the most HAPPY + BLISSFUL. Purpose also typically is found in recurring themes, which goes hand in hand with your bliss. What is something that makes you blissful every time you do it?
  2. Purpose does not have to directly serve anyone but yourself: I used to believe that my purpose had to be selfless; it had to be in service of someone else in order to truly be purpose. But this is bullshit. Your purpose does not have to DIRECTLY serve anyone but yourself. Why? Because the world needs happy people full of love. When you are living in your purpose, you will be (mostly) happy and full of love. You will be joyful. You will be glowing. And THIS is how you will serve others. Your joy, happiness, excitement, etc, will vibrate into the collective consciousness and result in a higher vibration and good for all.  Your bravery and courage will INSPIRE others to be brave and follow THEIR bliss. So stop with the martyrdom. It’s not doing anyone any good.
  3. Purpose is not always easy: Some people think that once they FIND their purpose (even though now we have established that you usually don’t need to FIND it), they will always be jazzed and energized by it. Well, I am sorry to say that this isn’t always the case. Just because something is your purpose doesn’t meant that it will always be a walk in the park. Your purpose will help you become the BEST YOU that you can be, which means that you do have to work through your shit. You will have to walk into your darkness, face your demons, undo negative conditioning, let go of anger, believe in yourself. These things are HARD. I am not going to sugar coat that. But they are WORTH IT.
  4. BUT happiness can be found in surrendering to your purpose: Although you won’t ALWAYS be energized by your purpose, I can assure you, you will always be HAPPY. I’ve never heard of anyone REGRETTING following their heart, their bliss, or their purpose. When you surrender to your purpose, you can rest assured that you are making the best of your life. You are living. You are NOT just going through the motions.

This is the list for now. I am sure I will learn more as I continue to figure out what it means to live MY purpose, MY bliss, follow MY heart, live in MY authentic truth.

Which truth surprised you the most?

I would love to know!

Until next time….


La Rae

Dreaming of Adventure

Wow, I have really been sucking at NOURISH + RECEIVE.

I guess it’s the positive and happy lessons that are the hardest to learn.

After months of ever-increasing gross income, I have totally psyched myself out. My gross income is not doing so hot.

And self-care, pff, I have been doing so poorly.

But yesterday, Sunday, March 12, I had an idea that hit me hard, but I knew it was the right thing.

I have to decrease my social media usage.

This is hard for me, basically because there is so much that my hubs and I cannot do. Often times, we just veg in front of our laptops all day. Super not good and so not nourishing.

So I decided to do a Sunday Social Media Fast. I did have to go on Facebook for a little bit, but I really made a conscious effort to stay off.

And it was incredible.

I didn’t stay off of my computer, because let’s be real, BABY STEPS.

But at least I didn’t binge on Facebook or Instagram all day.

What I did do was EXPLORE.

When I look back at all of my happiest moments in life, it was when I was travelling. Going on an airplane for the first time at 14. Seeing Times Square all lit up. Seeing the ocean for the first time at the age 19. Going to England. Eating at a mountain top restaurant in Athens, Greece, watching the lights sparkling in the night as my fellow pilgrims drank champagne and laughed as the night breeze flowed around us. Road-tripping with my husband.

Travel is my bliss.

Glastonbury Tor in Glastonbury, England, first trip outside of the US.

Seeing the ocean for the first time in Panama City Beach, FL.

Toes in the water

Athens all lit up.

Monemvasia, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Oia, Santorini, Greece Sunset

First time in Mexico, somewhere around Cabo.


Coconut drinks 🙂

Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana-our first roadtrip

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Holland, Michigan

Clear Lake, Iowa

My happiest times have been when I’m traveling, exploring, expanding my mind and experiences.

So yesterday, when I stayed off of social media for most of the day, we dreamed about where our next adventure would take us.

Some of Randall’s injuries are slowly getting better, but still, we have no ETA of when he will be better. BUT the hope that the world is big and wide and full of things to explore fills our hearts with so much joy.

So I guess the point of this post is just to say, never stop dreaming, never stop exploring, never lose your sense of wonder, follow your bliss.

And sometimes, you just need to stay the F off of Facebook.


La Rae

Changing Identity.

This week, my amazing energy healer and spirituality coach Lauren Wardell gave me some insights into why running is so effective for me in terms of weight loss, but also in processing energy as an empath.

So, I went running.

8-9 years ago, running was new to me. Prior to the age of 20, I had always been self-conscious about my weight, and frequently did Tae-Bo in my living room at night in order to lose my weight. It was also a new time in my life where I was single and not looking to mingle, and spent a significant amount of time taking care of myself. I would often run for hours at a time. In my prime, I would run 6 miles at a time a couple times of week. I would run in the forest, feel wild and free, and my body responded. I lost weight pretty quickly, to say the least.

So clearly, I’ve known for a very long time that running is MY method of losing weight, which in more broken down terms, is the way my body likes to burn energy. My healer (Lauren Wardell, Vitality Coaching) reminded me of this, and also further explained why this is so.

Today, Sunday, a beautiful, mildly cold day, I decided to go for a run.

I like to listen to Elizabeth DiAlto podcasts when I’m walking or running on the trail.

I just love how synchronicity has created an awakening for me today through these experiences.

While listening to Elizabeth’s podcast with Rebecca Campbell, Rebecca talked about how sometimes as a warrior, we feel the need to be martyrs. Being a warrior is something I’ve associated with for basically my whole life. I have always identified with the goddess Diana/Artemis, a hunter warrior goddess. And this year, throughout the struggles my husband has had with injuries and his health, I have truly felt the need to harness the warrior in order to survive.

I received an intuitive hit that I need to let go of the warrior portion of my identity….and here’s the kicker….I need to do so because right now, I can’t nourish myself while being a warrior.


One of my words for 2017 is NOURISH, and let me tell you, I’ve not been doing a fantastic job with this. I do well for a few days, then completely forget to take care of myself. I feel like this is honestly going to be the hardest lesson I’ll ever learn.

So, let’s look into what I know about the warrior archetype.

Traditionally, the warrior is a masculine archetype, which makes a lot of sense, because I’ve always been stuck in my masculine. I’m always hustling something, always doing something, and I rarely sit down or relax. In the words of my coach, instead of being a human BEING, I’ve always been a human DOING.

So the information that I divinely received today is particularly powerful because I am being called to access, explore, and master my own mothering, nurturing feminine essence.

So, it seems, I have been called to change my identity. It’s going to be incredibly hard to let go of habits and behaviors that I have honed for 28 years. But I know that the joy and essence of my life depends on it.

With this change, I believe it’s time to begin honoring a new goddess.

After some research, I feel like the goddess Brigid is calling to me.

Brigid is a Celtic Goddess of Imbolc, the coming of spring, motherhood, poetry, fire, creativity, and inspiration.

I am excited to learn more about Brigid and myself in this new stage of my life, and I’m so thankful that I’ve been given this information on how to truly nourishing myself.

Blessed be.

Confession: I Fell Out of Love with My Husband

Today I want to tell you some truths about my marriage. I intuitively know that it’s the right time to share this with you all and hope that it helps you in your own journey.

Before my husband got injured, we were sitting on top of the world. We wanted for nothing, we had a beautiful home, true love, adventures, trips, etc. We had the life we have always dreamed of.

Then once he got injured, it began to change. Slowly, we had to stop doing all the things we loved. We could no longer take motorcycle trips, we couldn’t do picnics, we couldn’t go hiking very long….everything started to dwindle.

Since we had no idea how long these injuries would last, it wasn’t that big of a deal in the beginning. We just sort of let those things go for a while. I focused on being a “good wife” and not complaining, taking care of him, etc, but those things, too, slowly started to fade away.

In May of 2016, I found myself in perhaps the deepest depression I had ever experienced. It was something that I honestly have never experienced in my life. I have been sad + depressed before, but it was an artistic type, like the “my high school boyfriend broke up with me and I thought we would be together forever and I don’t know how to live” type. This depression ran deep. Deep into the core of my being. It was a “I don’t know how much longer I can live like this” depression. It was a “I resent everything about you because YOU are making my life a living hell” depression. It was a “I feel like I am slowly dying inside” depression. Yes, I blamed it on my husband. I blamed him for ruining our perfect life. For a very long while, I hated him.

I thought about leaving him many many times. And guess what-he thought about leaving me too.

Finally, there was one night that broke both of us, and made us face what was happening and do the scariest thing ever: talking openly and honestly to each other about what was happening.

Is there anything scarier than telling the UGLY truth? The answer is no. There is NOTHING scarier than telling the truth, especially when you don’t know what will come out of it. Would we get divorced? Who would move out? Where would that person move? How would our families take it? Who would take Lili?

But that night, the night we decided to finally lay it all out there, we did something. Rather, I guess, we DIDN’T do something. We didn’t give up. In that moment, we were NOT in love with each other, but we didn’t give up.

And it was hard. We didn’t wake up the next day in love. Or the next. Or the next. But ever so slowly, we started liking each other, admiring each other, trusting each other, and soon, the love, lust, and butterflies were back, too (well, maybe for me, he’s not the one writing this post 😛 )

Every day is different. Some days, I am head over heels in love with the man he is becoming. Some days I am so tired and I’m not so enthused. I am writing this post not to air out dirty laundry or get sympathy, but to offer support to any husband, wife, or couple who are feeling like maybe this marriage thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe you are feeling nervous that you made a mistake or that life isn’t turning out the way you thought it would. The truth is, marriage isn’t always easy for anyone, even people whose marriage don’t include hardships like the ones we’ve been experiencing. Sometimes, communication or the lack thereof is the only hardship.

Today, I urge you to develop an open and honest line of communication during the easy times so that the skills and trust are already there when times get tough. I started to blame him for our life, but the truth was, it wasn’t his fault at all. It was my fault for not being open and honest with him from the beginning. I was trying too hard to stuff my emotions down inside me (and as I stated in my past post, I used food as a comfort and a distraction) and to ignore my own needs.

My husband and I are still in the middle of this chapter of our lives; we have no idea when his pain and injuries will go away, and we don’t even know how to explain them to people anymore. We have gone from doctor to doctor with still no answers after 2 years. But now we both know what we need to do in order to continue to have hope in our situation and love in our marriage, which is a huge life saver for both of us. No, it’s STILL not always easy. There are days when one of us or both of us are exhausted, grumpy, and hopeless. But we know we are not giving up on each other and our marriage.

There is more to this story that I want to share, but I think this is probably enough for now 🙂


Sending you so much love, especially if your journey feels like this right now.


La Rae

Photos in this post are from Nicole Harnois Photography and Jenni Chung Photography

Why I Had to Get Fat in Order to Save Myself.

Right now, and for the past year, I have been the heaviest weight I have ever been.

Before I got this heavy, I told myself I would NEVER allow myself to get so big.

But this post isn’t going to be a trip down memory lane to a time when I was thinner, dreaming + wishing of being thinner again. No, this post is going to be something else.

This post is going to be a love letter to my fat.

Yes, you read that correctly. A love letter… my fat.

My lowest adult weight was around 147 when I was 23 years old. When I got married, I was at 160, and now, I am around 190-195. I didn’t get here quickly, though; it’s taken me 3 1/2 years. Since my wedding, I have been using food to comfort me, like many people do. But I am not upset with myself for it, I’m not angry that I “let myself go,” and I do not even hate my body. I am so thankful for my body getting fat because honestly, I needed something to comfort me during the most trying years of my life.

Since our wedding, my husband has been injured in some way or another and this has greatly impacted our life. Many times, I am so exhausted and I haven’t had enough energy to take care of myself. I know, I know. Bad excuse. But I have pledged to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and I have been exhausted for years.

Eating has been an indulgence, an addiction, a comfort, and a chore, all at different times in the past almost 4 years. But now I’m ready for eating and food to be something else, and if you’ve read my past few posts, you might guess that I’m ready for it to be nourishing.

Right now, I am first and foremost just trying to make sure I am eating. For a while, I was only eating 1-2 meals a day, and that is definitely not good. So while I am being mindful of what food I am eating, I am just really focused on stopping whatever I’m doing (I have a bad habit of working ALL THE TIME) and giving myself the honor of rejuvenating my body with good foods.

So, this is a love letter to my body + to my fat. Thank you body for not hating me for treating you so poorly the past few years. Thank you for putting up with me not valuing you. Thank you fat for providing me with safety, warmth, comfort, and a shield. You did serve me well. But this is also a goodbye letter. Not as in “YEAH! I’m going to work out and kill myself to get back to my lowest weight.” No. I plan on doing this as gently as I did putting it on. I am ready to let you go. I am ready to release you. I am ready to start caring about myself and giving myself the best of everything. I am ready to experience joy like I have never experienced before, and therefore, I no longer need you.

So mote it be.


La Rae

photos in this post are the work of Jenni Chung Photography, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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OMG it’s finally that time! The post where I share the most important word of the upcoming year. If you are just joining in on my journey, every year, I chose a word that will basically serve as a theme and anchor for my growth and learning.

In 2015, my word was Courage.

In 2016, my word has been Trust.

These two words and the lessons that they taught me have launched me into my purpose, but really made me work hard!!

For 2017, I am doing something unprecedented (maybe?)….


Honestly, I couldn’t pick just one of these words, and they totally both came to me intuitively, so there must be something important for me to learn through them both. I have honestly had such a difficult 2 years and have worked so hard, that I am kind of going in a new direction with my theme.

Could you possibly guess what they are?






Ok, no guesses?? Well, here they are!

After 2 years of very hard work and working through many blocks, I am hopefully going to give myself a year of joyful lessons.

I chose nourish because it encompasses self-care entirely-mind, body, and spirit. I am going to focus on doing as many things as possible to nourish my whole self. These things include: monthly massages, eating foods that energize and fuel me, not weigh me down, moving my body in ways that bring me joy, listening to music, taking hot baths, reading, traveling, saying no to things I don’t want to do so I can say YES to things that I do want to do, not being so hard on myself, hiring a maid, snuggling with my husband, and so on and so forth. I think you get the idea 😉

Now, on the other hand, in order to do these things I also need to learn how to RECEIVE. In fact, the Universe can only give you that which you are capable of receiving, so by practicing receiving, you are showing the Universe that you are ready for all the gifts that are meant for you. This can show up in many ways, from accepting compliments, to being open to new ideas/inspiration that comes to you, to picking up change on the ground, all the way up to accepting gifts, accepting help, allowing people to take responsibility for themselves so you don’t have to do it, to manifesting money or experiences, etc.

I have laid the foundation for abundance and success the past few years, and these two words for 2017 will catapult me even further into living my dream life. After all, we can choose the way we want to live our life at any moment, and unfortunately, the past few years I have been neglecting that fact. I have been stuck in sadness and grief, and I hope to not continue that negative mindset any longer.

I am so excited to see what is in store for 2017. <3

Sending you so much love, joy, and success.


La Rae

Spiritual Life Savers

Today I wanted to share a list of books, coaches, and experiences that I had this year that utterly and completely saved me. I want to share these things with you so that you can access them if you need them.

This list is in no particular order, really, so no one resource is more important than the other. I do have to say that the theme that does tie them all together is the fact that each of these resources made me feel like I was part of something bigger, and not alone. Loneliness is something I have always felt since I am so much different than everyone I am around, but having access to all of these things made me feel the comfort and warmth of belonging.

So without further ado, here is my list.

  1. The book Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton. This book seriously changed my life so profoundly and honestly did more good for me than all the therapy I have ever had. Glennon writes with an open + honest heart.
  2. The Untame the Wild Soul Woman podcast + Untame Yourself Facebook group, by Elizabeth DiAlto. Elizabeth’s insights are basically amazing and wonderful and she has helped me along my journey SO FREAKIN’ MUCH. The podcast and FB group are FREE so join in on this fun!!
  3. The book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book taught me a lot of courage, and even helped me throw away old fashioned ideas of what is right and normal. I listened to this one on audiobook, which Elizabeth actually reads. So moving.
  4. Being a part of Becca Piastrelli’s The Dabblist Collective Sisterhood. In April I joined the Sisterhood, which is a monthly membership program that includes a monthly guidebook, video conference call, and Facebook group of like-minded women who are focused on divine femininity and working/creating with our hands. This group has held me so much in my growth and has really given me a sisterhood to confide in.
  5. Being a part of another group of ladies who all did the Live More Weigh Less program together. This group of ladies has been such a source of strength and comfort for me the past 2 years and we just keep getting closer! I have shared so much joy and sorrow with them that I will forever be in their debt for holding me so closely and tightly during my year.
  6. Business/Life Coaching with Liz Nead. I met Liz Nead when I was at a conference in Mason City this year, and her passion and spark caught my attention. She has been a huge source of strength and inspiration for me in the past 5 or so months.
  7. Spirituality coaching with Lauren Wardell of Vitality Coaching: I have been friends with Lauren for about 5 years and I have seen her blossom on her spiritual journey. Her work and intuition on being an empath and creating energetic boundaries has helped me this year IMMENSELY and I have been lucky enough to have some 1 on 1 calls with her on my own energetic shit. She is incredibly intuitive and anyone would benefit from 1 on 1 coaching with her. 
  8. Taking the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp course with Denise Duffield-Thomas. Lauren Wardell actually recommended to me that I take the Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp, and I am so thankful for that! This course has not only helped me financially, but spiritually as well. I have learned even more about myself and my pre-programmed beliefs that I have been able to let go of. I haven’t even been through the whole course, technically, but this course has already changed my life in so many ways. 
  9. The book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes. I listened to this as an audiobook, and while the audiobook is abridged, the true joy is listening to Dr. Pinkola-Estes telling the stories. She is a true storyteller, and everything about her voice and the way she shares the myths about the Wild Woman is enchanting. This book really stirred up my own inner Wild Woman, which is a huge reason why this year has been so incredibly wonderful for me.                                                                            
  10. The book Playing Big by Tara Mohr. I listened to this one on audiobook too, and it is also read by the author. The biggest ahas I took from this book were from the chapter on the two types of fear: pahad and yurah. Pahad is irrational fear, and yurah is simply the fear of being in a larger space than normal. When you can distinguish between the two, you can move forward in confidence (yurah) or you can give yourself a pep talk and move into logic (pahad). Tara also has a whole chapter devoted to actual small steps you can take to play big and stop selling yourself short, such as stop using the word “just” and also not using intonation all the time. I love this book so much because of the soul-stirring nature as well as the down-to-earth advice she gives.               
  11. Developing my intuition through journaling and writing poetry was also a huge lifesaver for me this year. In the thick of my lowest depression, I decided to start writing down whatever I felt and thought, no matter how bad it was. I let go of self-judgement and just let out the venom onto paper.
  12. Honoring my intuition by pursuing any intuitive hit I got (even talking to random people at the Barnes and Noble in Jordan Creek Mall) further allowed me to develop my intuition because just like inspiration (as you will read in Big Magic), the more you use something, the more it comes to you.
  13. Since my husband hasn’t been able to go on adventures with me for a while, I had to make a decision: stop adventuring altogether or just go on adventures alone. I chose the latter and even though it wasn’t the same experience, I did get to do some fun things. I did something I’ve been dying to do for a long time, which was visit Clear Lake. The time I spent by the lake affected me in a profound way, and I don’t think I can even describe it correctly. I guess the closest thing emotions would be comfort, clarity, and resolve.
  14. And last but certainly not least, my best friend Alicia. Without this girl in my life, I would seriously go crazy. She never judges me and always knows how to make me feel better. Love you to the moon and back girl!

So there you have it! If you are ready to start your own spiritiual journey, I really think that these resources will help you along your way. I have been on this path for about 5 years and I think this year has been my biggest year of growth yet. The best part about growing spiritually is that your path is your own and there is no right or wrong answer. If you are committed to growth, you can take as much time as you need!

Sending you lots of love-La Rae

The Year of Trust.

I have been waiting for the right words to come to me so that I can describe fully, truthfully, and hopefully about what 2016 has brought to me and my family. For about 6 months, words and knowledge has transferred into my brain at the most random times, but there has been a bit of silence since the beginning of November. Maybe the Universe knew I needed some time to process, but also, I desperately needed rest. When you learn and grow so much so fast, there are definitely growing pains. They needed to work themselves out.

So much came to me on Christmas Eve. So much. The words, the way I needed to say it, the truths that needed to be shared just flowed right out of my fingers onto the paper, as it has so many times this year.

I TRUST that whatever I share in this post will benefit those who read it, and whatever I may forget to include, well, that it was meant for me to know and share later.

This post may feel heavy, but I know that once I let it all out, I myself will feel light. Today, though, I do feel a sense of sadness. Sadness that so many people are experiencing the joy and happiness that I once felt or are experiencing new adventures that I so desperately want. But since my word for 2016 is trust, I trust that what is not happening right now is just as important as what is.

Zora Neal Hurston once wrote, some years have questions, and some years have answers. I thought this was a question year, BUT it’s actually an answer year. I have obviously learned TRUST, and I have probably beat that topic to death in this little blog, but I set out to learn it, and I did. Honestly, too, I have learned faith. Since I ended my affiliation with the Christian religion, the word faith has been something I’ve steered clear of, but faith goes hand in hand with trust; I wouldn’t say that they are interchangeable, but they are 100% related. Trust is a verb, faith is a noun.

2016 has been a year of trust, but it has also been a time of  incubation. A year of destruction. A year of death. A year of rebirth. Kali has come into my life and completely burned everything to the ground so I can rise.

The practice that got me through the tough times was simply breathing and expanding into the uncertainly. When I got scared and felt myself contract, I made a conscious effort to expand and melt into that space. This, along with EFT (emotional freedom technique) aka “tapping,” is how I developed trust and strengthened my intuition.

All of these lessons have changed me completely. So, who am I now?

Who I have become is a woman who knows her worth, isn’t scared to take chances, who deeply knows and loves herself, but still wants to feel taken care of. A woman who has a deep understanding of her heart, mind, and inner knowing. A woman with a connection to the Universe. A woman that can see opportunity and seize it. A woman that can nurture relationships and people so much that they can see the potential in themselves, the goddess in themselves, the lionness in themselves. I have also become a woman who knows her limits and dislikes and knows when to bring in help when needed.

I’m still not ready to give up my word for 2017 because I have a little bit more to share before then.

So until then, I’ll talk to you later.

xoxo-La Rae