Author Archives: La Rae Awakened

Too Many Circles.

Lately I feel like even though I work from home and usually have an entire day to get things done, I don’t. I can’t. I get overwhelmed really easily. I always have, and while I do have an idea why, that’s a whole other story for another day.

The anxiety of overwhelm is crippling. Some days I feel like I will never have any order in my life. Some days I justify the chaos with “I’m creative, chaos is natural.” And while that’s true, it’s exhausting. Sometimes, I just want order.

Someday, I will have a weekly maid. Or even a daily maid. And perhaps, a paid assistant. But right now, I don’t. It’s just little ol’ me.

But lately I have been thinking back to the time where I had a coaching session or therapy session, which ever you want to call it, with my former coach Rebecca McLoughlin. One of the things she talked about popped into my head.

Circles.

Closing the circle.

This is a metaphor she used to talk about the process of a project. Every project is a circle, and it has to be closed. But when we don’t finish projects, the circles remain open, and there are energy leaks.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Light bulb moment.

I have too many circles open. I am not finishing the things I start. Energy is leaking everywhere, causing overwhelm, anxiety, and feeling like I’m floating all the time.

Here are some examples of circles I need to close:

Finish the upstairs bathroom.

Finish the downstairs bathroom.

Finish the basement renovations.

Declutter.

Organize.

Finish reading my book that I’ve had for like 5 library cycles.

Folding and putting away laundry once I’ve washed it (anyone else leave it in a laundy basket for a few days or weeks before doing this??)

Basically, all of my home projects have been put on the backburner during wedding season, which I’m not sure can be helped. But I’m looking forward to getting those things done this winter, if not sooner.

Want to read Rebecca’s blog post about this? Click here.

Do you have any circles that are still open for you? What ones will be the easiest to close? Start with that one!

Sending you love on this journey <3

La Rae

GROUND Yourself : A Short How-to

Lately, I have been so frazzled. So much to do, not enough time to do them.

The big problem with being frazzled is that you forget the basics! There ARE simple, easy, usually fast things you can do in order to help ground yourself when you feel like you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off.

Here is a short list of these easy to implement habits that can help you feel more grounded during a chaotic day or just everyday life.

What do you think of my list?

Is there anything you would add?

Let me know!

xoxo,

La Rae

My Most Valuable Trait

I’ve always LOVED learning. When I was young, my parents thought that my love of learning equated a love of school, but that’s not the truth. I didn’t actually like the school part of learning. 
 
That got me in trouble in college, because learning in college costs so much that in order to make financial sense, it has to equate to not only a degree, but a career. I just wanted to learn. So of course, I changed my mind about 6 times about what I wanted to “do” with my life and now have a hefty amount of debt, as many people do. 
Everything I learned in college, I could have learned without going to college, which means my debt is largely unnecessary. And many of the things I gave up studying, such religion and technology, are part of my life’s purpose, but didn’t make any sense as careers at the time. While Anthropology seems like a wasted degree, it has shaped my skills, my senses, and my world-views so much. I am so thankful that I studied anthropology because it truly made me a better human being. It has helped me so much along the way.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and I can see how all of my passions fit together, but in college, not so much.
So, where is this post going? I guess maybe the only point of me telling you all this is that my love of learning has been the biggest gift in my life. I crave learning. I obsess over it. I haven’t had cable since I moved out of my parents’ house at 18, and I attribute that to much of my success. It means that I have spent most of my time learning new things, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, having deep, spiritual conversations with my beloved. Of course, I binge on a TV shows on Netflix or YouTube, but not nearly as much as I would if I had cable readily available. I have spent my time dreaming and acting on those dreams.
And now, as I am figuring out my next steps in life, I can see just how important my love of learning is. I have always been a student of life, but now I am back to being a scholar, seeking information. Being a scholar doesn’t mean you have to be in school. Being a scholar is a way of life. I wish I had been able to distinguish this before I went to college, but alas, everything that is meant to be, will be.
What is YOUR most valuable trait? Can you see how it has been a part of your personality your whole life? Share below!
Until next time,
xoxo,
La Rae

I Don’t Want to Hustle Anymore

Someone once said “Hustle until you don’t have to anymore.” I can’t remember where I heard the quote or who said it, but it is something I forgot until I achieved my dream of working for myself.

I remembered that the life I was living isn’t the one I actually want to live.

The life you have to lead and who you have to be to achieve your dreams is absolutely necessary, however, it doesn’t have to be who you continue to be.

I called myself a Girl Boss. I hustled. I channeled Beyonce every moment I could.

It all seemed very glamorous on the outside, because our society worships being busy.

But.

I worked tirelessly.

I burned myself out.

I was bitchy to my husband, the person who loves me the most in the world. I neglected him, my responsibilities, and the people I love.

I gained soooooo much weight (as I have mentioned many times on this blog before, here, and here)

During all of this, when my hubby was feeling neglected and I would say “I’m doing this so that we can have freedom in the future!” I 100% believed it. And alas, it did get us there. But I had to actually REALIZE that I finally had everything I was working for. I took a step back and saw that we are living in a great house in a good area, we could afford healthy organic food, we had so many blessings. It wasn’t until this hit me that I could finally say, it’s time to really live this dream.

Yes, it was so hard. It was hard to keep going when things weren’t so fantastic. When I was so over it. When I thought it would be one of the reasons my marriage would end.

But, I’m here now. I have arrived at the goal I set out for myself.

What happens when you FINALLY reach the dream you’ve always had in your heart? Well, you can either replace it with a new dream and continue to participate in the rat race, OR you can appreciate what you have an re-evaluate your plan of action.

Which is what led me to finally working for myself full time.

One problem is that the hustling spirit doesn’t just go away, but in time, I hope to harness it correctly. I am learning my new patterns, which can only be done through the power of awareness and observation (my degree in Anthropology didn’t completely fail me!).

So now, I know 1 thing for sure: I no longer want to hustle in the same way I had hustled before. I didn’t become a full time entrepreneur to still be a slave to my laptop, to social media, to other people. I became a full time entrepreneur for freedom, spaciousness, alignment, joy, and grace. I am going to have to put things in place to make this really happen. Editing takes up almost ALL of my time. So I am considering how I can hire a maid or an assistant (or both!) so that I don’t have to waste my time cleaning and running errands. My time is best spent on creative and income-generating endeavors. Once I get things a little more ironed out, I think this could be a reality.

So today, I leave you with the assurance that if YOU are hustling for your dreams, and it doesn’t always feel so good, you CAN CHANGE. BUT you have to be willing to slow down and take a look at your priorities once you achieve your dreams.

Sending you so much love on your journey.

xoxo,

La Rae

Photo credits to (in order of appearance): Crystal Photography, Sally Kleiss Timmer Photography, Wild Soul Weddings (my company).

 

Lessons Learned in My First Two Months of Full-Time Self-Employment

I can’t even believe it’s been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since I had my last day of “work!”

Honestly, it has gone by in a flash. The best part of my training as an anthropologist is my ability to watch, notice, and identify patterns; pair this with my awareness of myself and my environment, and I have really turned into a very fast learner. I realized recently that so many things from over the past 3 years, including the Year of Courage, the Year of Trust, and the Year of Nourish and all little sub-lessons learned in these years, has led me to such a keen sense of awareness. This is one of my biggest triumphs, and it has been helping me grow so much.

Let me first say that my very first month working from home, I got almost NOTHING done. You are reading that correctly. NOTHING. I thought I would dive right into productivity, but that was simply not the case. I definitely took my time in getting things done for that first month, but it was definitely what I needed.

So, what are some of the things I’ve learned? Let’s dive in:

  1. My sleep patterns were actually very normal: I found my sleeping sweet spot, and it’s going to bed between midnight and one, and waking up between 8:30 and 9:30 every day. This is the same sleep pattern I had while working at my part time job, so this was an easy transition.
  2. Unexpected effects of being at home all the time: More dishes to do, more toilet paper used, more garbage produced, need for higher internet speeds, need for more clearly defined work/personal space. Since my hubby and I both work from home, we really needed to figure out the best place for my office, and the best place for his studio. We had to move some things around, but things seem to be good for now.
  3. How my menstrual cycle affects EVERYTHING: I thought I was having an productivity crisis, and tried something called the Pomodoro method where you set a timer for 25 minutes, and you don’t stop working until the timer dings. Then you take a short break. But I realized that I was attempting to force myself to work during a rather unproductive time of my menstrual cycle. During ovulation, I am all feminine. I am in my prime energy flow. I sway with my desires and moods like the wind. My mind can’t focus, but I am open and receptive to my creativity. I have come up with a LOT of ideas during my ovulation time, they just flow into me. And they flow into me because I am IN my flow. Once I am done with ovulation, and I enter into the luteal phase of my cycle, I enter the “get shit done” portion of my cycle, and I stay here until I’m in the final parts of my menstrual phase. During this time, it’s like a light switch is turned on to my structured productivity. I harness this energy and work almost for 2 weeks straight, all day, so I don’t have to during ovulation. This is the single most incredible thing I have uncovered about my energy, and I know this is true for all women.
  4. Identity crisis: When you can finally be who you are, you realize how much you have NOT been presenting yourself to the world. Now that I am able to dress however I want, do whatever I want, say whatever I want, and BE myself, I had to figure out who that is. I still don’t know how to fully show up as myself, but I am working on it. I will write more about this process soon.
  5. We are still working on purging our home of stuff. We have accumulated soooo much stuff, most of which is just crap that we have just failed to remove. There are so many un-needed and un-necessary items, but it takes time and energy to get rid of. Since I have been putting so much energy on my photography company these days, I have little get shit done energy for anything else.
  6. Now that I know I can make substantial amounts of money, I need to learn how to be a better steward of that money…ie, I need to start saving!

Whew! So, that’s a lot of stuff to learn in just a few short months, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am delving more deeply into my identity and my cyclic feminine nature, which I know will be so beautifully transformational, for myself and for the women I am meant to serve in the future.

Did any of these things surprise you or resonate with you? Let me know!

xoxo,

La Rae

“And In This Moment I Am Happy.”

Last night, I had a mini photoshoot with myself. Doing more self-portraits have been something I’ve been dying to do. It was so much fun, and I really feel like I honored myself by doing that.

I must be nearing the end of the get shit done part of my cycle because last night I slept for 10.5 hours. I woke feeling joyful and refreshed, and I breathed in the deep gratitude I have for the life I have built.

I sat down to work, and my puppy kept jumping on me, so I decided we should go for a short walk. After our walk, I did a few Sun Salutations in the yard while my two younger dogs chased each other around. Lilith kept coming to lay with me and lick me in the face while I was in upward and downward dog.

I am feeling the joy of this beautiful day and wanted to share it with my sisters. 

I hope you all have a day that fills your heart with joy.

I Bought Myself a New Wedding Dress

This year around the time of our 4th anniversary, I did something crazy for myself: I bought myself a new wedding dress.

To some, this might seem crazy. For me, it was an integral part of my healing around our wedding.

In case you don’t know the story, let me tell you.

My wedding was surrounded by crazy. Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did.

Here is a list of things that went wrong/not the way I wanted:

-My hubby broke his hand at his bachelor party

-We were victims of fraud when we purchased our photographers plane ticket, and we didn’t find that out until about 3 weeks before the wedding

-I didn’t want a traditional bachelorette party, but we went ahead with that because I didn’t have the guts to stand my ground

-My bridesmaids didn’t all get along

-My sister and I got into a huge fight

-Our basement flooded the week before our wedding, and the area around our venues were flooded as well. This of course resulted in HUGE amounts of stress.

-My DJ tried to sleep with one of my bridesmaids

-My videographer was creepy

-An unwelcome guest decided to show up at my reception, which put me in quite a sour mood.

-I felt like there were things I wanted that no one paid attention to

-I am an introvert and I don’t like being around so many people for so long

-I ordered my wedding dress 1.5 years before my wedding, and by the time our wedding rolled around, I wished I had a different one. My hubby offered to buy me a new one, but I didn’t want to be so vain.

-It seemed like the day wasn’t exactly about our marriage…it was just a huge party. And that didn’t sit well for me.

I needed therapy for about a year after our wedding, and I also kind of became a hermit for that year. I didn’t want to see people, hang out with them, anything. Girls have so many preconceived notions about their wedding, and when it doesn’t turn out the way they thought, there are lots of negative emotions.

So since the hunk of burning love and I had such a tough year last year and didn’t kill each other or get a divorce, I wanted to do a vow renewal this year. Yeah yeah, it is only our 4th anniversary, but I still wanted to do it, and I wanted to do it the way I originally wanted it all. Well, needless to say, we didn’t travel to Italy or find ourselves atop a tall mountain, but I had a crazy idea one day while driving to Ankeny to see my bestie, Alicia.

I wanted to buy myself a new wedding dress.

We went to get a pedicure, then ventured over to a wedding dress consignment store. I thought I’d just look and see what I could find and what the prices were. Well, I tried on about 5 dresses, and a dress that I at first glossed over ended up being almost EXACTLY the one I wish I would’ve wore 4 years earlier.

This dress made me feel so beautiful, even being the heaviest weight I have ever been.

It is everything I wanted.

I fell in LOVE with this dress, and put half down on it.

A week later, I came back to pick it up. I had kept all this from my hubby, but my other best friend Sally, an associate with my photography company, knew my plans. We had a branding photoshoot scheduled, and I told my hubby we were getting some anniversary photos taken as well. Little did he know, I was waiting for him in my new wedding dress.

I even bought myself a bouquet of my favorite flowers, peonies, from Wildflower Florist in Reinbeck, Iowa, and I had cupcakes made by my friend Kiedra at Sweet Magic by Kiedra in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  I had my hair done by Madi Bowen in Grundy Center, and my makeup was done by my dearest friend Alysha, who owns The Old Fifty-Six: barn weddings and events in Grundy Center, Iowa. I was giving myself some much needed closure on this whole wedding fiasco by pampering and doing things the way I wished they would’ve been.

So, did buying a new wedding dress work? Did it help me heal?

Yes. It did. It released the importance of that ONE DAY, that ONE DRESS. The day we decided to stay together last year almost means more to me than our wedding day. Choosing to marry someone isn’t nearly as difficult as choosing to STAY married when things seem impossible.

It also helped my money mindset as well. I saw what I wanted, I had the money, and I bought it because I knew it would bring me complete joy and closure on the pain and sadness I felt around that day.

I am not keeping this dress, just as I didn’t keep the first one. I would LOVE to keep it and wear it all the time, but honestly, I am losing weight, and it was too big when I bought it, and it will continue to get bigger as I get smaller. I also want to help another bride feel the joy I felt in it.

We hold onto material things too much in our culture because we care about the thing more than the emotions or memories, which is another reason why I’m selling it.

But I am so thankful for the joy it brought me while I was wearing it, and I am thankful that I did what I needed to do. It was definitely one unexpected way that I nourished myself this year.

xoxo,

La Rae

How To Heal Your Relationship with Money

I am so thankful for all of the mentors, teachers, and guides that I’ve had along my spiritual and business journey. But one of the most influential teachers I’ve had in my journey has been Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise teaches about Money Mindset and I took her course Money Bootcamp, which got me through my toughest financial time last year when I stepped from a full time to a part time job, and it has completely set me up for success. You can read about that time in my life here, and you can learn more about my money and spirituality story here.

The things I have learned through her course are simply priceless to me. It has helped me decipher my beliefs, shed those beliefs, forgive those who have given me those beliefs, and retrained my mind for abundance. Last month I almost hit my goal of 5 figures! You can read about this here.

I will forever sing Denise’s praises!!

She also provides tons of free content that is super interesting and eye opening.

In case you want to check out her Facebook page, click here.

If you want to follow her YouTube Channel, click here.

Here is a post that is about setting boundaries in your business, but I honestly think it could apply to all areas of life!

How To Set Better Business Boundaries

Seriously, if you are interested in healing your money mindset, listening to Denise is the way to go.

Let me know what you think!

xoxo,

La Rae

I Didn’t Order the Food that I Wanted..

This year, as you may recall, is dubbed The Year of Nourish since I have been practicing and learning how to nourish my body, soul, and spirit. And if you’ve been following me on social media, you might know that I recently read a book called Bright Line Eating by Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. Since I read the book, I have been following the Bright Line Eating plan and it really has made a huge impact on my life.

Now, I’m not going to go into detail about what that plan entails, because honestly, if I were to just TELL YOU what it is, you would never do it. Sorry, but it’s true. I didn’t even know if I could do it, but the SCIENCE behind the plan is the WHY I’ve been able to keep following it.

If you are interested in learning about the plan, here is a link to purchase.

**Please note this is an affiliate link, but all opinions on this are my own and I would never recommend something that I don’t believe in or that doesn’t work.**

But this weekend, I went on a day-date with myself to my favorite place in Iowa, Clear Lake, and had a big personal win in terms of nourishing myself.

There are two restaurants in Clear Lake that I went to the last time I was there and I wanted to eat there again. Before I headed to the first restaurant, I was looking at the menu, deciding what I wanted. I decided to go with something simple: cheese balls for an appetizer, fish and chips with ranch for my meal, and I would let myself have a fruity, beachy drink! Man was I excited for a cheat day!

But as I was sitting at my table, waiting to order, I started to think. What was the main objective of the trip? To sit at the beach, read a book, get a tan. Eating was NOT the main objective. How would I feel if I eat all this crap? I would feel full and bloated, which would make laying out in the hot sun absolutely miserable (and boy was it HOT HOT HOT out!).

So, I ordered a water with a lemon, bruschetta, grilled shrimp and veggie kabobs, and a salad instead of fries. The bruschetta came with grilled buns cut up into triangles, and I barely ate any bread. The salad came loaded with croutons, and I didn’t even eat those.

Because since starting Bright Line Eating, I have felt so much better. My food has tasted so much better. And best of all, I am actually losing weight, without exercising.

That day, I decided how I wanted to feel and ate according to that instead of ordering what I thought I wanted to eat. 

This is a concept, and a few other concepts taught in Bright Line Eating, was first introduced to me when I was a part of Live More, Weigh Less, a program by Sarah Jenks. Unfortunately they didn’t really resonate with me 2 years ago when I did the program. Sometimes we have to learn things in different ways before they actually click in a profound, meaningful way, and that’s ok!

I am so thankful that this happened. It has never been so easy for me to choose what to eat before, and it’s never been more easy for me to give myself what I NEED.

When was the last time you gave yourself what you NEEDED and not what you wanted? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

La Rae

 

I ALMOST HAD A 5 FIGURE MONTH!

So as you can tell, I’m pretty fricken excited.

At the beginning of the year, I made a goal of hitting $10,000 in gross income each month. This month, I almost hit that goal!

Before I show you the final number for June 2017, I want to make it abundantly clear about how I got here:

  1. I started a business 4 years ago.
  2. I had people around me who believed in me enough to keep me going when I wanted to quit.
  3. I continued learning, growing, and getting better at my craft.
  4. I expanded my offerings to fit client need.
  5. I started adding in multiple streams of income (The average millionaire has 7 streams of income…I work 2+ businesses simultaneously! Working on developing more!)
  6. I worked through my money mindset to change the negative thoughts/habits I had around money.  I cannot emphasize enough how important this is! If you are not in a place to RECEIVE ABUNDANCE, you won’t.
  7. I have emotionally worked through a LOT OF SHIT in the past 5-6 years. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. If you do not sort through negative emotions, bad memories, and the like, you won’t be able to even do business. Business is said to be one of the most spiritual practices, and that is 100% correct.

I also want to make it abundantly clear that this number is GROSS INCOME, not NET INCOME. I pay my associates and my husband, which is a large chunk, and with this money, I made some larger equipment purchases in order to up the ante in my business again.

So without further ado, here is my final number for June:

$9,493!!!!! BAZINGA BITCHES. 

In June, my income MOSTLY came from my wedding photography/videography company, but also received income from my part time job (which I also quit in June), and from sales and commission from my direct sales company, Girl Boss Lips, which is part of SeneGence, International.

As you may remember, my words for 2017 are NOURISH and RECEIVE. These two words and how I’ve been living them are also very much a part of this awesome month I had.

You see, I finally nourished myself by leaving my job and working for myself. I continue to nourish myself by creating boundaries in order to protect my own energy. I nourish myself physically and mentally. I also have been practicing receiving in that I accept compliments, I accept tips, I accept adoration, I allow myself to receive JOY.

So much of our daily habits form our reality, often times, without our knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong, earning this much money isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When I saw this number, there was some fear and doubt. Fear that so much money arrived in June, and I don’t have that same expected income for July. Fear that I don’t know if I will EVER duplicate this. There was doubt that I deserved it. There was doubt whether or not this is even real.

But, I know from my deep depression last year and making the jump from full-time to part-time that when I feel the constriction of fear in my belly and my chest, closing my eyes and B R E A T H I N G deep, in and out, and imagining that I am a blob melting into the Universe, helps to ease the fear and uncertainty.

In a blog post earlier this year, I outlined many resources that helped me last year. You can find that blog post by clicking here. Honestly, though, being open to learning and dealing with my mental and emotional issues has led me to the perfect therapists/coaches/resources/experiences I needed in order to walk this path. There is no right or wrong! I assure you. Just be open and the resources will appear.

Real resources to help YOU achieve your dreams:

  1. Denise Duffield-Thomas-she has TONS of free content on her website, here, but doing her Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp has changed my life. Literally. Changed it. I kid you not. There is another LIVE ROUND of Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp happening in August, and I HIGHLY suggest you join along! In the meantime, you can take the Lucky Bitch Manigesting Course by clicking here,  or trying the Money in 24 Hours here. I am an affiliate for Denise, but this opinion IS completely my own, and I would never recommend something that doesn’t work or didn’t profoundly influence my life!

2. Maru Iabichela-Maru also has tons of free content to help you learn how to RECEIVE. Maru’s teachings were what really showed me how little teeny tiny things that I was saying or doing (or NOT saying or doing) were affecting my capacity to receive! She is incredible.

3. Playing Big by Tara Mohr-in this book Tara talks about how women tend to play small and how to change that. What I love most about this book is that she talks both philosophy AND gives plenty of practical action steps in order to help you play big.

4. Get a coach! I have had a couple of coaches in the past year that have REALLY helped me. One focused on Spirituality, and one is a business coach. These two ladies work SO WELL for me, but I encourage you to find a coach that suits YOU. (My coaches, Lauren Wardell + Liz Nead, pictured below!)

So, July is another month. So far this month (it’s July 5th right now), I’ve made $875. Will I hit $9000 again this month? I don’t know! So many possibilities are opening up for me. But I know that I CAN. Maybe not this month, but I know that financial abundance is not only a possibility, but a definite.

Cheers!

La Rae