September Review

September 30/October 1: a review, report card if you will, of September.

How did I do? Let’s take a look. I’ll start with a comprehensive list of everything I wanted to work on and accomplish this month and what the desire behind it is. Then I’ll break them down to go over what worked and what didn’t. Keep in mind, all of these items stem from DESIRE, they are fueled by wanting something more, something bigger. I do this during my birthday month to set the stage for my next year of life.

September Goals

  1. Set up an altar –> A desire for more spirituality and a great sense of connection in my life.
  2. Intentions for 31 –> To increase my sense of purpose over this next year.
  3. Hike with Chase –> Explore with the dog.
  4. Write and send postcards –> Stay connected, let people know they matter to you.
  5. Get clear on desires for birthday –> Manifest/plan a great day!
  6. Review my Chani Nicholas astrological report for the year –> Keep in mind that you’re made of the same shit as everyone else. What do the stars have in store for you this year?
  7. Make a list of conferences I would like to attend –> Explore what people are doing out there and see what events could be fun and help me expand.
  8. Explore Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts –> Explore my femininity, keep learning.
  9. Meditate –> Breath. Take space.
  10. Get a tarot reading –> Connect with the occult, explore fate and the way the cards fall.
  11. Get a massage –> Relax, self care.
  12. Mobility & stretching –> Take care of your body!
  13. Finish the guest room –> Create a nice space to host people, so satisfying to finish something.
  14. Research Spanish classes –> Get back on the language train, put a plan in place to succeed.
  15. Get a pedicure –> More self care, feel pampered.
  16. Do one meet up –> Explore Denver, explore communities, meet people.
  17. Get a new coaching client –> Keep talking to people and tell them what you are doing.
  18. Hang up art work –> Cherish your art, surround yourself with beauty and inspiration.
  19. Research meditation retreats –> Explore spirituality and how to deepen your practice.
  20. Prep for the Bachelorette party –> Take care of others, celebrate others, give to others.
  21. Thoughts on birthday celebrations –> Take care, celebrate, give, be open and grateful to receive. Share the love.
  22. Intentions for art career –> Understand where I am at and how I want to move forward.
  23. Make a doctors appointment –> Health! Vitality! Take care of yourself.
  24. Review journal –> Review, reflect, learn, grow.
  25. Missed this one… –> Oops.
  26. Tarot reading review –> Share your experience, connect, feel seen.
  27. Meet Up review –> Share your experience, resources for others, connect.
  28. Write a letter to yourself –> Learn. Grow.
  29. A book club –> Connect, learn, grow, challenge, interact, create a community.
  30. Happy Birthday Me! –> Celebrate! Share excitement.
  31. A review of all of this –> Resources. Reflect. Understand. Grow.

The desire that each of these represents is much bigger and more powerful than the individual task or idea. The underlying theme for me is living a more intentional life, which is another way of saying I want to walk my talk. I want to do things that I believe will be an expression of what I truly want: connection, love, health, learning, growth, etc.

Daily Practices: Report Card

  1. Meditate 19/30
  2. Stretching 19/30
  3. Write/Blog 27/30
  4. Money Check In 19/30

Weekly Projects

  1. Guest Room: 5/5 Done!
  2. Hang Art: 0/5 Shit.
  3. Bachelorette: 3/5, I’ll take it.
  4. Art Intentions: 1/5 = plenty! Wrote the post.
  5. Book Club: 2/5, created a book club and read a book. Win for me.
  6. Sleep In: 3/5, always wanting more.

Overall, I feel really good about what I have accomplished this month. Looking back, this month does feel infused with intention. There were items I didn’t think would happen, yet they came to fruition. Others, not so much. But it was an ambitious month that included travel for a wedding and two weekends with visitors. Plus, I’m only 6 weeks into living in Denver. This project has allowed me to feel more engrained at the house and in the city.

What have I learned?

Goals, list making, and intention setting are powerful tools that can create a surprising new reality. Making choices, whether actively or passively, is still making a choice. When you take responsibility for your choices, you choose both the thing you’re actually deciding on and all the consequences, positive and negative, of that path. So, be willing to step fully into your choices and watch them out, chances are there are some lessons to be learned along the way.

I am also learning that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Setting realistic expectations for myself will help me feel more successful and like I have a better handle on all of my responsibilities. This month has really opened my eyes to the fact that I am swimming in abundance and I am surrounded by some of the most awesome people on the planet. Which is pretty damn cool. Knowing this, I feel more prepared to step into the life I desire and face the fears that come up along the way.

On that note, Hello October. =)

XOXO ❤ LB

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Happy Birthday Me!

September 30th: Happy Birthday Me!

Today I celebrate, not only myself, but all September babies and all Libra babies. So big shout out to all of you!  <– You won’t regret clicking that link.

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Imma be doing all kinds of dope shit today! I hope that you join me from afar by getting outside, using your bodies, and jumping into a body of water.

I spoke to my one of my BFF’s today, we have been BFF’s for 26 years now – and she told me that I started my run & swim birthday ritual back in 2012. That’s the first full year I had back in the bay area after being away for a decade. It’s the first blog that I started. I just dug up my really amazing blog post commemorating my first annual birthday run & swim: see here. <– You won’t regret clicking on that link either. =D

Which means that I have been doing an outside adventure involving cardio and a plunge for 6 years now! Wow! I have been telling everyone that I have only done it 2 or 3 times… Guess I AM getting old. Discovering that I have been dedicated to this new tradition for six years now is deeply satisfying to me. I am really proud that I have stuck with it.

SO. Tonight, I pick up the parental unit (WAHOO!) and bring them back to our new place. Then we hit the town and rock out at an Ozomatli concert. Tomorrow, we will have breakfast before heading out to Saint Mary’s glacier. The whole family will hike to our own version of the polar bear swim!

It’s gonna be an icy dip!

After our hair-raising, bone-chilling rebirth, we’ll return home for hot chocolate, cake, and maybe some presents? Definitely candles. Then it’s time for beer and appetizers while we wait for our late night dinner reservation at Annette!

Finally, we will enjoy a Sunday morning brunch before saying “Au Revoir! Auf Wiedersehen! Adios!” to my mom and dad (it’s a double date weekend!) ACTUALLY, it doesn’t end there. Once JAC and I put in some hard working hours, we are continuing the celebration with Mr. Mills at Rheinhaus! He too, is a Libra baby, and we will party in ze German Haus for a wunderbar Sunday late afternoon party. Jawohl, WIR FEIERN!! <– seriously, these links are gold.

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The real icing on the cake is the another BFF is coming to town Sunday night. Continue celebrating you say?! Don’t mind if we do.

A LOVELY SEPTEMBER TO YOU ALL, WILKOMMEN OKTOBER!

Cake & lederhosen for everybody, XOXO ❤ LB

 

Abundance Book Club

September 29: Book club of 1.

Another goal of mine this month was to start or join some kind of bookclub. I am kicking around the idea of starting my own because what I really want to do is read my own books, have accountability, and take the information a bit further by having people to discuss it with.

I love my book collection. I have a small library of self help & business books. There’s fiction mixed in there, don’t freak out! I also have an inspiring collection of travel & guide books. Nothing like Trekking Nepal and How to Travel the World on $50 a Day to get excited about all that awaits us in life!

I just completed You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. I highly recommend it. Much more so than her book You Are a Badass. This money book opens up the mental and spiritual game of wealth and abundance. I even laughed out loud at several of her stories, particularly the one with the goats. You’ll just have to read it, I’m pretty sure I cried.

This Badass $$$ book is the one that made me think about starting a book club of some sort. I want to read it again. It’s ripe for conversation. It’s ripe for coaching! Though this is not the book club that was created this month.

This month, my sister and I agreed to read and discuss Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans. Lots of great videos and interviews on YouTube aaaaaand an excellent course on CreativeLIVE to walk you through the whole process. My sister and I have been talking about this book since the summer. We’ll start the book club in October.

In the meantime, I’m picking away at Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I’m really into the abundance mindset right now. Any book recommendations on abundance? Best fiction novel you’ve read this year? Please share!

Sincerely yours, XOXO ❤ LB

A Letter to Myself

September 28: Write a letter to myself.

Somewhere amongst these piles of papers, boxes, and other random crap, I have several letters that I have written to myself. I meant to read them this month and then draft a new letter. The letters have gotten lost in the shuffle and there hasn’t been much time to write something new and meaningful, between this blog and everything else. So, for inspiration, I’m taking this time to see what others have written to their XX year old selves.

Wise words from a woman turning 40.

Wise and more concise words from a 37 year old.

A slightly annoying, but OK list of 31 “truth bombs” to a woman’s younger self. #20 is pretty legit.

I googled something along the lines of “letter to 31 year old self” and have found posts exclusively written by women. So I am deliberately searching for a man’s perspective now.

A divorced man’s advice to his married self about relationships. Some thoughts on love and commitment.

A man’s letter to his younger self about commitment and marriage (are we seeing another trend here?)

A gay man’s open letter to his younger self. More sassy than those above and way more fabulous! A short and sweet list of advice towards the end.

And finally, just some guy writing a letter to his younger self.

My main take aways from all of these:

  • Enjoy yourself as much as possible, this is your one wild ride.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Be kind.
  • Be yourself.
  • Love, commitment, and all the things that seem hard often bring great reward.

What would you tell your younger self? And on that note – what would do you want your future self to know?

XOXOX you sweet honeys ❤ LB

My first meet up.

September 27: I made it a goal to attend at least one meet up this month.

I didn’t think that I would complete this task. Honestly, my life feels like a complete shit show and I’m drowning in overwhelm on a daily basis. It’s funny because I’m not the one in medical school, nor do I have to show up at an office for 8-9 hours a day. Phew, just saying that is making me feel a whole lot better.

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Weird, how starting your own business, adopting a dog, and setting up a house can be so chaotic and insane. (insert cynical laughter here).

ANYWAY – I didn’t think that I would actually make it to a meet up this month the way that things have been going. Then one evening I was cruising through meet up’s online and the Alternative Business Networking Group (ABNG) had a new members orientation at a time that I could actually attend. I RSVP’d.

I was actually sitting in the car, driving to the event and thought to myself “I don’t have to go to this… I have so many other things to do…” I LOL’d because I was already over a mile from my house and I had promised myself I would do this.

The ABNG meets at the Original Brooklyn’s which is a very old restaurant/former brothel (can’t find any supporting evidence, this article says otherwise). It’s pretty neat. This is a very active meet up group and they boast a large membership with chapters all around Denver. This particular group is run by Nigel, the owner of Denveres, a coaching and entrepreneurial business. Him and his wife, Susan, were absolutely lovely in their welcoming of me to the group. I spent the next two hours with them doing the orientation and then the normal hour with the rest of the crew.

This was an excellent pick for me! The ABNG has strong values around building quality connections and building intrigue. Nigel and Susan explained the coaching-like approach of the meetings – this is not a place to sell your products and services, but rather, to get curious about people in the business community. The emphasis is on why we do what we do. Not what. So, the ABNG sets up a nice framework for building relationships and creating interesting cross-business networks.

I’m glad that I went. I hope that I can continue to go to ABNG meetings, though currently it looks like I’m away every meeting through November! =(

Have you done any meet up’s? Which ones would you recommend?

XOXO ❤ LB

Ritual Craft: My Tarot Reading

September 26: Last year I challenged myself to complete 30 new things leading up to my birthday. One of those was having my tarot cards read by a professional.

I was lucky to have a friend of mine recommend an excellent tarot card reader. She met me at a cafe and spent a whole hour deciphering the traditional tarot layout with me. It was insightful and fun. And for that reason, I decided to do it again this year!

The main hurdle with this years reading is that since I don’t know many people here in Denver and I’m not familiar with the tarot reading crowd, I haven’t been able to get a recommendation. For this kind of thing, I’m a bit picky.

Anyhow, another friend of mine forwarded me an event at a local witchy shop here, Ritual Craft. I was not able to attend the event, but the store did catch my eye. They have a nice website and seem reputable. I booked a session with Raven – as that’s the name I loved using for myself and my dolls when I was a kid.

I booked a 60 minute session for a tarot reading and a plant brushing. What’s a plant brushing? It’s a cleansing ritual of sorts. You can read more about it here. I had never heard of or experienced a plant brushing before and was therefore inclined to book it! September is the perfect month to try new things.

Raven did a tarot spread that I am not familiar with (cause I know like 2). The spread is shaped like an upside down triangle with three cards in the top row (representing day-to-day), the 2nd row is two cards (representing spiritual advice/actions), and the 1st row is one card (representing the root access/thing fueling what’s up above).

Two additional cards came out (fell out) of the deck and Raven decided to use them for the spread. She placed them on either side of the triangle. On the left we had Justice and on the right we had temperance, both major arcana.

Day-to-Day Cards: Nine of cups, five of swords, & wheel of fortune.

What it means: General good fortune! This is about connection, patience, and self care. Take the time for enjoyment. The nine of cups is kind of a “wish car”, which is representing the general good fortune with these three cards together. The five of swords shows conflict where no one wins. If I can let go of negativity and pointless arguments, I will be free to receive the good things. The wheel of fortune, which is a major arcana card, is all about the ups and downs of life – and in combination with these two others, is suggesting that the upswing is on its way. Oh mama, thanks to the universe for that!

Spiritual advice/Actions: Queen of cups & four of cups.

What it means: The queen of cups is about our intuition and nurturing. It is about our emotional side and tapping into the wisdom of our feelings. The queen is telling me to take care of myself. The four of cups is about new opportunities, trying new things, and keeping an open mind. New opportunities do not always present themselves in the ways you think that they will.

Root access: King of pentacles.

What it means: This card is a very masculine figure who represents stability, sustainability, and long term success. They are grounded and want a nice home life, while they pursue a healthy and successful business. Raven and I decided that this card represented JAC, as the recent changes in my life are all due to his acceptance to medical school and us creating a new life together here.

The justice card: Raven saw this card as a representation of getting notified of JAC’s acceptance to school. She reasoned that the justice card was illustrating the decisions and the commitments that arose from deciding to move to Denver.

The temperance card: Raven explained this card as the “general energy” card. She recommended exercising balance and patience as a way to realign myself.

After everything we discussed, I was prescribed motherwort, rose and hawthorne.

Next, Raven bundled together herbs and plants gathered from her garden, had me meditate on something I wanted to clear/dispel or wanted to attract before brushing me head to foot with the plant bushel.  It smelled amazing!

I now have my plant bundle hanging to dry by my altar.

There you have it, my tarot & plant brushing experience at Ritual Craft here in Denver. It has been nice to take these moments for myself and get some additional insight to all that is happening. The pause is good.

With love, XOXO ❤ LB

 

Dear Diary, a review.

September 24: A review of my latest journal. Confession central! 😉

Along with being a note-taker and a list-maker, I am also an avid journal-er. It comes and goes in cycles. For example, I noticed that when JAC moved in I stopped writing as much. Then I picked up The Artists Way and rededicated myself to my private writing practice.

When I write regularly, I go through notebooks like hotcakes. Similarly to day planners, I have tried a zillion different kinds and tend to collect them. I realized recently that am partial to the Leuchtturm 1917 collection and will likely stick to these going forward (with exceptions if I find something crazy cool).

I don’t like to deep dive review old notebooks because sometimes you have to let things go and forget about them. However, there are some gold nuggets in there and plans/dreams/lists that I like to transfer to my new notebook if I find I’m not done processing those things yet.

Here’s a bullet list review of things I’m working on…

If you read this post, please take a moment to comment below, write me an email (lara at larabuelow dot com) or respond on the FB post: What’s one thing you are taking away from this post?

Afternoon Delight, XOXOX ❤ LB

An Apple A Day

September 24: Schedule a doctors appointment.

Check! I scheduled a doctors appointment through Kaiser back at home, which I will go to during a trip back to California. I struggle a lot with completing adult tasks in a timely manner. Especially those ones that are important maintenance things, but that I really hate.

Doctors appointments often fall in this category. Uuugh, check ups!

I made this a goal for September because my intentions include paying attention to all aspects of my health and taking care of my body. Having a month of goals has been very grounding so far. It’s helping me settle into our home in Denver and helping me get more clarity on how I want to live my life. It is so much easier to do routine maintenance than to run shit into the ground. That’s what I’m finding anyway. So I’m trying to take my own advice and do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

Appointment scheduled. Now all I need to do is show up. 😉

Zum Wohl, XOXO ❤ LB

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

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