Artist Intentions

September 22: What are the intentions of an artist? What are the intentions of a career in art?

One of my goals this month is to take the time to explore what my intentions are for my art career. The sudden transition from living in San Francisco, pursuing art and coaching side by side, to moving to Denver within a matter of days has been jarring in ways that I could not have anticipated.

I can’t tell you how much I do not want to write this post.

The reason I made this one of my goals is because I have a lot of resistance to sitting down and writing out specific intentions for how to continue on my art journey. So I’ll share a (not so secret) secret with you – more of a little known fact, but anyway: I was accepted to Otis School of Design a few months ago, before we had heard back from medical schools. When JAC got an interview at UCLA I began fantasizing about attending school together. I began the application process very late, but did the work that needed to be done. I visited the UCLA campus and scheduled a tour of the MFA studios on the same day that JAC interviewed for medical school. I also went to visit Otis on the other side of town.

The MFA application process was hell for me. I cried a lot. I questioned everything. It made me hate my work and made me feel purposeless in my endeavors. I say “made me.” I say that knowing that it doesn’t quite hit the mark – because the process didn’t make me, I made myself miserable. I saw every essay question as a reflection of how I had failed, as a person and as an artist. I could probably write a whole post about the application process. The point is, I did not enjoy it. I did, however, complete three MFA applications.

You know what else I did not really enjoy? Getting accepted to Otis. That’s a lie – I eventually found joy in it. Sweet sweet validation! Yes! External markers that INDEED, I AM WORTHY.

When I first received my acceptance, I was 1) shocked! 2) scared to tell JAC and 3) annoyed because I would have to wait to respond. And wait I would! Much longer than I thought I would have to. The trouble with being accepted was that now the ball was back in my court and I would have to make a decision! GAH!

It was hard to tell Otis I wasn’t coming. It is one of those dumb things, that even when you know you are making the right choice (thanks gut brain!), you still have FOMO. You put the work in and you want to have the experience, but you don’t want to put in the time and energy that is actually required for the experience. If that makes any sense.

All of this to say – I am not setting specific intentions for my art career at this time. There’s too much other shit going on. I hated looking at this goal on my list so much, I have come around to thinking: what’s the big deal here? Why am I pressuring myself so much to make a conclusion or a statement about my artwork?

I believe there will be a time and place that may require more specificity around my intentions with art. That time is not right now.

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Rock your creative hearts out this weekend, XOXO ❤ LB

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Party Like It’s Your Birthday

September 21: We’re gonna party like it’s your birthday! Why? Because it’s my birthday month!

Count nine to ten months backward, where were we? New Years Eve, dats right! When all these fine folks were gettin’ it on and makin’ babies! And now here we are, thirty-one years later, celebrating every damn year.

My family is big on birthdays. A lot of people I know are really NOT into celebrating birthdays. They don’t like making a big deal about it, what’s all the fuss? Who cares? I care. And I’m gonna tell you why.

The people who don’t like or don’t care to celebrate their birthdays have given me pause on several occasions. Why do I like to celebrate bdays? Why is it important to me? What’s the value in it? Is it too individualistic? Is it a western thing? Does that matter?

A birthday of a loved one is important to me because you are you and you are here for a limited time. The chance of you being born as you is actually really small. Something stupid small and incredibly unlikely. You are a unique god damn flower. I love that you came into being just as you are on a particular day and time. I love that it offers us an opportunity to honor your special-ness and celebrate how alive you are. You have done so much in your time here! You’ve shared yourself with others and ultimately, you’ve shifted the course of the lives of those around you… So in some way or another, you’ve altered the course of the world. That’s kind of a big deal in my book.

We don’t often take the time to really think about how unique it is to exist in this moment in time. In this place. With these other people. We don’t often take the time to truly celebrate how far we’ve come.

I don’t think that life needs to be sunshine and roses all the time, but because shit can get so rough, I really want to cherish what we have to celebrate. And I get a kick out of celebrating the people that I love! In all big and small ways.

Three very very very special shout outs to 3 awesome September babies who have had awesome impacts on my life: Happy Birthday to Doreen, James, and My Mom! You are all such insanely wunderbar creatures! I am so glad to know you and share moments with you. I am celebrating you all month.

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Party On Babies! XOXO ❤ LB

The Bachelorette

September 20: Plan and thoroughly prep for the bachelorette party I am coordinating.

This party is too classified at this point in time to write a detailed post about it.

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So let me turn to you, world. What’s the craziest party you’ve ever been to? Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party or organized an event in your honor? What was the greatest thing about it? What totally sucked and should have been left out completely?

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I am working towards an experience that fosters bonding through the gentle pushing of boundaries that make you feel just a wee-bit vulnerable. The guests don’t know this.

For me (because that what it’s about right? Hm, maybe I shouldn’t be the one planning this…), it all goes back to intentions. Rites of passage, such as a wedding or bachelorette party need ceremony and tradition to cement them in time. Ceremonies state intentions and purpose. These rites of passage remind us why we are here in the first place, what we are committed to, and what to do when shit hits the fan. What intentions can you bring to the table to cultivate intimacy?

What makes an event unforgettable? Here’s my answer in someone else’s words:

At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

With feelings in mind, I am brainstorming all the things that we can do to curate an emotional response. And of course, those that create one hell of a good party.

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Party On Sucka’s! XOXO ❤ LB

Best Places to Meditate

September 19: Research meditation retreats.

I have wanted to attend a silent retreat for years now. I still haven’t been to one. I am also curious about attending a meditation group or Buddhist center. Both for the community and the spiritual guidance around philosophical topics.

Currently the only meditation I practice is with the Headspace App. I really like the app a lot and find it both convenient and soothing. However, if we want exponential growth in our lives (which I do), then we must do things we have never done before. Getting out of our comfort zones is imperative.

So the hunt is on! I have found several buddhist centers here in Aurora and Denver. I have yet to find a silent retreat that is open to me with no experience. I just stumbled across the Crestone Retreat Center, which looks amazing! Apparently they are one of the “most remote and dramatically beautiful places in North America.” Which, while self proclaimed, seems like it might actually be true based on some of these photos.

I have heard of several retreats in California, including the five day silent retreat at the Spirit Rock Center. I thought that this would be the one I attend (and maybe it will be), but I didn’t do it while I was living in San Francisco!

I am hoping that some people come out of the wood work and can recommend a few different meditation/silent retreats, particularly here in Colorado. I am open to learning about others, as traveling to a special location seems like a nice get-away.

Have you ever been to a silent retreat? What was your experience like?

XOXO ❤ LB

Cherish and support the arts.

September 18: Cherish and support the arts by buying weird art and hanging it in your house. Bonus points for talking about it with people.

I brought my favorite art with me to Denver. I have several of my own pieces and, of course, all the pieces I’ve collected over the last few years.

One thing that I wasn’t quite expecting when I started working in the art world was just how much pride and joy supporting the arts would bring me. Every time I say or write it, it seems so silly, because DUH! I like art, so why wouldn’t it bring me joy??? But there’s something different about investing in and promoting an artists work.

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The amazing Mark Harris

Since setting myself up for business as a painter, I have started putting my money where my mouth is in a very real way. I want to sell my work, so I buy other artists work. I have paid as little as $12 for a piece and as much as $1200. I’m putting this out there, plain and simple, so that I can illustrate that I am serious about walking my talk. $1200 may be very little money to some of you, while others might be thinking “where the hell did she get 1200 to spend on a painting?”

In my eyes, when inspiration and passion hit, you make ends meet. You make it happen.

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The lovely Seren Moran

Being able to purchase another artists work makes me feel proud in a deep and sensitive way. I get emotional about it. It’s exciting to support someone through their work and to be able to take a piece of that journey home with you. And while I am not one to sit in a museum for hours on end, I do find myself staring at the art around my house for prolonged periods. The best part is that each piece continues to fascinate and inspire me.

To cherish the collection I have been building, I have made it a weekly goal to spend time hanging up art around the house. So far, it’s been an absolute failure. I haven’t spend more than 5 minutes shuffling art around. I’m hoping that when push comes to shove with the guest room, I’ll hang the largest pieces to pull the place together!

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The awesome Rachel Zernold

Support your local art scene! Go buy some art!

XOXO ❤ LB

I am ready for more coaching clients.

September 17: I am ready for more coaching clients.

Do you want some coaching? Do you know anyone who is interested in a coach?

Dear Universe, I am open and ready to receive some badass coaching clients. Please send me at least two new amazing people (before December) who are ready to make awesome changes in their lives.

I’d like to share a bit about my coaching journey here. I will tell you a little about iPEC, the certified coaching program I am in (and about to finish!), and I will share what niche(s) I am considering.

In March, after having multiple conversations about coaching with a good friend of mine, I found myself hooked (again) on the idea of joining a coaching program. This is not my first. I attended Interchange Counseling Institute in 2012, which I have also written about. JAC and I had been waiting for a couple of months already to hear back from medical school. Crickets. We heard crickets. We were anticipating big changes and I felt like my hands were tied. It felt impossible to plan anything because we didn’t know where we would physically be in a few months.

Fueled by my self help obsession and the idea that a coaching program could provide me with some much needed structure and reliability, I began my search. I looked up all the local coaching programs in the bay area. Within a few hours I had phone calls with three of them. It was an easy choice. iPEC’s timing was convenient and I had a great conversation with their representative – iPEC checked all the boxes AND I would start class 2 days later!!! I was throwing money at them and totally over the moon with glee.

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iPEC continues to impress me. I am incredibly satisfied with this program. I have to note here that as sweet and happy as I may seem, I can also be really judgmental, stubborn, and hard to please. I am very critical of educational programs and often find myself disappointed. So what do I like so much about iPEC?

  • The program is set up so that you have at least twice as many coaching hours than needed to become a certified coach.
  • They are super professional AND FRIENDLY. I can’t believe how awesome the people who work for iPEC are.
  • They are organized up the wazoo. They even start and finish classes on time. THANK YOU!
  • They respond quickly to your emails. Again, thx!
  • They deliver every step of the way and then some. You know how people tell you to do that? Especially in business, the advice goes something along the lines of: always over deliver. Blow your clients mind! iPEC does this through surprising you with free books, resources & materials, timely email reminders, helpful support every where you turn, aaaaaand access to a business development program to get your coaching business off the ground. THANK YOU!

OK, I could honestly go on and on about my coaching program. I’m stoked, I really am. You get it. Moving on…

“What kind of coaching clients would be awesome?”, you might ask. Great question! I am having a hard time committing to a niche. Which has kind of always been my problem. Just. Choose. One. Thing. So let me tell you which niches I’m considering at the moment. I would love your feedback, by the way. Before you read on, which group of people do you think I am best suited to serve? Now shoot me an email: lara at larabuelow dot com and tell me your thoughts!

  1. First I thought: how great would it be to be a coaches coach? Life and business coaches need coaches too. The awesome part about working with coaches is that they speak the language, they’re emotionally intelligent, and they are typically very self-motivated. Sign me up! The con’s here are that, duh, it’s a fairly saturated market. Coaches coach other coaches all the time and lots of people are interested in this niche.
  2. As I’ve continued on my coaching journey and as life has unfolded, I tried to come up with some more unique and unusual ideas. I haven’t come up with anything too crazy, but I have been playing with being a coach for the spouses of doctors (or people in medicine). Doctors have access to a lot of resources through their universities, companies, and practices. Also, people hold doctors in high esteem, so they are well connected when they need something. There are also A LOT of doctors turned coaches who advertise their experience in medicine as a reason to hire them. Uh, yea, I don’t have that (but I’m pretty damn good at coaching). This lead me to thinking about the relationship and life struggles doctors and their significant other’s/families have. Not only do I have a ton of doctors in my family, but now I’m on a path I never thought I’d be on (actually, I actively worked against what I considered to be a rigid academic path and told JAC this point blank during our first few weeks together). Anyhow, I love how open and specific this group is at the same time. What do you think?

If you’re still with me, wow! We’ve come a long way. Thanks for participating in my enthusiasm for coaching. =D To bring this back to where we started – as I am still in my coaching program, I am open and happy to coach anyone at this time. I have sliding scale payment options and an abundance of tools and materials that I can share with you.

With love & vigor, XO ❤ LB

 

Meet Up Dot Com

September 16: Attend a Meet Up.

I’m an adult. I just moved to a new city. I work from home. I need some friends!

In what ways do you like to explore new places?

What are your hobbies?

How do you meet new people?

JAC started medical school with 184 other students this August. They had an orientation at a camp in the mountains where they got to go down giant inflatable slides, play frisbee, engage in icebreakers, eat food and drink beer. I feel lucky to know two people in Denver prior to moving here (plus about 4 more elsewhere in CO). JAC and I get along great and have a lot of fun hanging out, but now that he’s on campus anywhere from 7 to 12 hours a day, it’s just me and the dog (Chase, you’re an excellent friend!) I am grateful for adopting Chase because he gets me out of the house everyday. We run on the trails near the house or go to a park somewhere. Chase’s enthusiasm for life is inspiring and it makes me happy to watch him running through the great outdoors.

I love doing outdoorsy things, but I also feel like I easily slip into a solitary routine jogging through the woods (it’s not the woods, it’s grasslands =D). So I am asking myself, which activities do I want to commit to and which of those are great to share with others? Coaching, art, and Spanish classes all seem like a great start – now to get my ass out of the house to where the people are.

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What helped you settle down the last time you moved? Hit me up.

Nice to meet you can we be friends ok, XOXO ❤ LB

Those Toes Though

September 15: More self love –> Give yourself a pedicure.

Recently I heard that September is the most popular wedding month. Is this true? No matter – I am only going to one. I got to go to an exceptionally beautiful wedding last month on Lummi Island in Bellingham Bay. I got my toe nails painted last minute in my favorite teal color. It was awesome.

They are chipped grubby little sausage toes now. They wail out to me in their piggy little ways, asking me to take care of them. “No” I say coldly and turn away. Over the last 30 days I have looked at them lovingly often. The teal color is so beautiful and calming. It reminds me of pictures of tropical beaches and that makes me think about surfing and relaxing on the beach. (aaaaaahhhh, big sigh).

With another wedding around the corner, it’s the perfect excuse to clean myself up a bit. I think we (the piggy toes & I) are going with neon pink this time…

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In bright celebration, XO ❤ LB

Habla Espanol?

September 14: Research Spanish Classes.

You would think that after dating a Mexican for 3 years I would be fluent in Spanish. But I’m not. Not even a little bit.

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I was working on Rosetta Stone for several months. That was repeatedly interrupted by trips and completely deserted throughout the move. I’m thinking about starting again. Yep, just thinkin’ about it.

Ideally, I would take a class. I think this would accelerate my learning a lot. I think the interaction, the feedback, and most importantly, the accountability would really get me to step up my game. I am researching classes in the Denver area now and am happy to report that there are a ton of good options! I’m so overwhelmed with the options that I don’t know how to choose.

Once I choose, I have another problem. I will be out of town for several days every two weeks till 2018. How the hell am I going to get Spanish to stick if I don’t have any consistency? It’s making me think that Rosetta Stone might be my best option through the end of the year… but I really want to accelerate my learning.

Here are all the different language schools I am considering:

Varsity Tutors with fancy schmancy tutors from ivy league schools (great website!) Bridge Languages is offering intensive group classes that sound awesome. The Art of Spanish is looking pretty basic, affordable, and accessible. We’ve also got the Language School, which appears nice but it’s impossible to read their schedule. And then there’s the SIF Language School that does immersion days in Denver and immersion weeks internationally.

How to choose?! The best way will likely be location, reviews, and/or timing.

Salut to learning languages!

Muy Atentamente, XO ❤ LB

The Guest Room

September 13: The Guest Room.

A room for You!

One of my weekly tasks this month is to organize and set up the guest room. Because we are lucky enough to have one and we are excited to have some awesome visitors! The guest room started out as the shit show room. We just piled all of our boxes, packaging materials, and anything really right into that room. It was stacked to the ceiling with boxes, literally. Plus, a bed frame, a queen size mattress, bubble wrap, clothes, art supplies, and a framed print wrapped in foam.

I have been whittling away the chaos and the clutter. There was one day where the sight of the mess made me so angry that I had to banish myself from the project. I sat on the couch and pounded a La Croix instead.

I had better luck the next day, flat packing all the boxes we moved with and arranging them neatly at the back of the closet. I cleared enough space to lay the mattress in its resting space. A few of the remaining hurdles to finishing this lovely little room is that we are missing the following: bed frame, night stand, bar for hangers in the closet, blanket, and pillows.

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All that really means is that I am dying to spend another $400 at IKEA to finish settling into the house.

Swedish Meatballs, XO ❤ LB