conscious living

What You Might Do when you feel Lost, Emotional or Confused


I am going through quite a time right now. Maybe you can relate.

It started earlier this year. Part of me was acknowledging that my 60th year was to begin in May. And here I am on the cusp of that day.

I want to be alone. I am crying suddenly and if I'm not, the tears are just below the surface. I had a whole day of feeling depressed and irritable because I did something I didn't really want to do. It made me feel like a child. My skin feels sensitive to the touch. Today I burst into tears, crying pleas of sanity, as I briefly passed by the news station this morning. ugh...

All of this, and I love my life. I wouldn't really change anything in a big way. 

Because I have been "here" before, or somewhere similar, I am riding the wave and wondering what might being wanting to come forth from my deeper essence. What might I need to express more of?

This morning I read a blog by one of my favorite - see if you can read this one :) - medical, gone holistic-medical, woman-mentor-from-afar's. Lisa Rankin beamed in, reminding me about an author's words I read last year. His name is Charles Eisenstein. The term came from his amazing book, The More Beautiful World Our Heart's Know Is Possible.

His words ~ "The space between our stories" is such a potent term ~

I am in an ending of sorts, and not yet in the beginning of my next life's chapter. I am between stories.

As soon as I read it - AHA! There it is. This is exactly what I am going through. 

No - I am not moving, getting married, divorcing or having a baby (HA-HA!). But surely as the sun will set tonight, I am bringing forth new life, through me, in the days to come. 

I can feel the urge to BE in a new way - but what? She/they remind me, I don't need to know. I just need to be gentle with myself.

And rest. And wait.

Are you feeling like your story is changing? Like you need to make some changes but don't know what? Many of us are waking up to new lives as we collectively move through change rapidly. These growing pains can be tricky :)

We'll get through it together. 

So, I'll see you on the other side ~ in my new story. Soon.

No Back Doors – 5 steps to take to raise your commitment level to Achieve what you want

As women, it can be a struggle to maintain relationships and also commit to what we really want from work, from recreation and for ourselves. I intimately understand this dilemma. My relationships are essential to my well-being. Therefore, like many women, I must be vigilant to not over give, and then find I haven't the energy to achieve what I want in other ways.

During a final session of a week-long retreat when I was training in the Shamanic path, we were urged to commit to our work, to our life and to the path we were walking. The session was called – “No back doors”.

I often think of the phrase, no back doors, and this session as I re-commit continuously to my work as a healer and a coach. In my work with women, I witness them struggle to keep their own life in a place of top priority to them, for them. I am reminded of the deep shift that came for me when I simply decided, there would be no back door when it came to this important work. Because of this, I have written a book - something I never would have imagined not that many years ago - and work with more and more clients to live more fulfilling and satisfying lives. 

As women we often work hard at our relationships, investing oodles of time and energy, often making it hard to shift focus when we want to achieve something important. It’s not necessary to abandon relationships, but it is critical to modify your patterns if you want to succeed in other important areas of life.

Here are a few steps to take today to begin to alter your habits and give yourself the energy and focus required to make what you really want a reality.

1.     Take inventory of all relationships to which you give time each week. Actually track the hours you give to others to get a sense of what is really happening. This includes every hour you spend with someone that isn’t about what you really want. You might surprise yourself.

2.     Identify which relationships make up your support circle – the ones that hold what you want in high importance too. These are the relationships that must become a priority as you move toward change.

3.     Stop saying yes to anyone for anything for at least one month and say, “I’m not able to commit time to you right now. I have too much going on.”

4.     Take time everyday, even if it’s only for 10 minutes to write in a journal about what you want to change and how you want your life to be 2 years from now.

5.     Consider finding a mastermind or support group to be a part of as you make the changes you desire.

When you commit to yourself - to your deep wants, saying – there are no back doors – it’s surprising what opportunities show up, what others accept as you change and grow, and what excitement you ignite inside!

If you live in the Richmond area, think about joining us for Winter Solstice this year. We’ll be focusing on commitment and following through with action toward our dreams. Solstice is always a night to remember. Details are here.

Don't Wait for Death

What you don't deal with in life comes to visit at the end of life. NOTE - What you DO deal with frees you to live wholly, honestly in this life. 

When my dad passed last month, I became acutely aware of the gifts of dealing directly with old hurts, forgiving and letting go. My healing journey began 26 years ago. I spent many hours in self-reflection and in healing spaces with loving support that helped me grow into the strong and clear woman I am today. I worked hard and made a very deep commitment to myself to heal all that I can in this lifetime. I continue that commitment. It no longer feels like work, it feels like loving service to myself and others.

I felt very disappointed and frustrated with my relationship with my father for a long time. With persistence and the right kind of help, I came to accept my father for who he was and allowed him to be just that without internally anguishing about what I didn't care for. I also came to know who I am, allowing myself to be all of Me! My dad loved me in his way. I wanted more intimacy and connection in my relationships than I experienced with him. I want to feel known and heard and understood. In time I gathered a beautiful support circle (that grows and changes with life changes) that nurtured me into a true sense of wholeness. These people know me, understand me and listen well to me. They are my chosen tribe. I let go of the need to have a quality of relationship with my Dad that I had wanted but couldn't cultivate without him wanting those same things. I let it be. My gift was that I experienced wonderful love and support from others, and also found peace inside to let my Dad be who he was  - less able to navigate and cultivate intimate relationships.


During his last week of life I held space from afar. My youngest sister and dear niece, who is a nurse, tended him at his bedside. I sent loving prayers and attention and intention for him to have the end of life experience that he desired. I lit candles and created an altar that I could look at, reminding me to send peace and love their way consistently. This allowed me to feel like I was participating in a valuable way. I checked in with myself daily to make sure I didn't "need" to head north to see him one more time. I made sure he was asked if he wanted me there. He said,"Laurel knows".  We were at peace with one another.

We were at peace with one another because I wanted nothing less than peace and dedicated myself to the cause. I believe he wanted the same. So it was. But in order to get to that peace I needed to feel all the other heavier feelings that came earlier in life with the disappointment and lack of connection. I needed to cry those tears of loss, say what I wanted to him, voice the disappointment and then, Let it Be, release. And in doing that I opened a space within to become peaceful. I gained freedom from the old relationship of little girl and emotionally unavailable father. The relationship became spiritual seeker and spiritual seeker. I could tell him what I thought and not hold back. And that felt good because I like to think (I hope this is true) that I did so compassionately, boldly and clearly. I have my thoughts, opinions and path to walk Dad, and I am doing it.

Sadly, others in my family have not walked this healing path. My Dad did not know how to navigate that space with them and lead them along. The end of my Dad's life brought drama in this circle. Because at the end of life, what wasn't dealt with in life comes to visit. I am saddened by these new family dynamics, but I accept that this is the consequence of not doing the work while we are alive and able to make that conscious choice to create more healed, harmonious and loving relationships. We all have the opportunity to seek inner peace and healing. When we take that opportunity and run with it, everyone around us is served. We contribute to global harmony in our most powerful way. By creating it internally and in all the relationships we engage in as best we can.

ExamineWhat have you been avoiding, what creates conflict for you inside? Now is the time to learn to navigate those difficult waters, while you have time to create the peace you desire.

Boundary Setting and Creating the Life You Want

The boundaries you set equates to what you experience in life. When you create with clear intention and fence and sunconscious choice, you become empowered to live a fulfilling life. If you are not living the life you want right now, here is an exercise that can help you make changes that will move you towards an improved experience. Ideally, find a quiet time to sit and reflect for a while. Here is a template to use.

Identify an area of your life

  1. Describe the condition of this area of your life right now.
  2. How did you decide to begin this experience and how has it changed since the beginning?
  3. How have you grown or changed since this experience started?
  4. What have you learned from this experience?
  5. If you could wave a magic wand and change this experience right now, what would it look like?
  6. What small step can you take right now, that will bring you in closer alignment with this change?
  7. Make a plan of change - create a series of steps to move to the change you want in this experience.
  8. Execute the plan, modifying this plan as needed depending on what occurs as you execute your plan.

Examining the boundaries you have put (or not put) in place is a crucial aspect of acknowledging the life you have created. It is important to spend time considering your personal boundaries, relationship boundaries, work life boundaries, your creative boundaries as well as your inner boundaries.


Making conscious boundary choices alters your life flow in ways that ultimately support your best interests as well as the interest of the world around you. It means you decide consciously to create a life in alignment with your inner truth and your inner passions. In my experience, everyone wins when you do this. When you bring only a weak, watered-down version of self to any experience, no one benefits. When you bring a passionate, creative, energetic self into an experience, everyone benefits.

Make a plan today to bring your energetic, passionate, creative Self into action - the world needs You!

Money Habits This month I am posting my favorite videos about healthy habits. Here is one from Kate Northrup. Kate is Dr. Christiane Northrup's daughter! She is coming out with a new book about money soon. I love Kate's energy. She has some practical tips on how to raise the bar of respect for money in your life, causing you to be more conscious of how you are handling the money that you do have.

Focusing On What You Want and Why It Can Be Tricky

How are you feeling today? Are you feeling joyful, fulfilled, enlivened by living your dream life? If you answered no to the above it may be because you are trapped in the loop that many are trapped in - unable to manifest your dreams and goals. And frustrated! Feeling matters...

It can be tricky to focus on what you want when you are living in ways that FEEL unfulfilled or disappointing or boring. When you are feeling these things your thoughts will naturally follow your feelings with thoughts of lack, heaviness and powerlessness. The stream of thought and the flow of feeling are a beautiful dance within each one of us that reflects the connection we have to our personal power. The power of creation.

Feeling matters...

How you are using your personal power can be revealed by watching your personal dance of thoughts and feelings.What you are doing within- with your energy - the energy of feeling and thought - matters in essential ways. What you are doing with your energy is reflected in your outer world.  Often we remain bound up and unable to manifest what we want because we repeatedly travel the loop inside of what we don't have, versus what we have and are moving towards with excitement. What we don't have feels heavy. What we happily enjoy and are excitedly moving towards feels light and expansive.

Feeling matters...

The fastest way to elicit change is to recognize what you have and what are currently creating. Your thoughts and feelings all proceeded this current life experience to get you to today - to this now. Consciously moving into the "next" now - or tomorrow - means specifically altering your thoughts and feelings that will create that specific "now" experience you seek.

Are you lost? It's okay if you are. This manifestation process is tricky and a bit complicated. If it weren't a bit tricky, don't you think we all would have manifested our hopes and dreams by now? :)

gratitude-rainbowspiral1Feeling matters...

Focus on what you have that is good. This will help you create more good through FEELing good. This is how and why gratitude journaling works. If you haven't created a gratitude journal yet - take that step. Many years ago a gratitude journal helped me focus my attention on the positive and then take action to clear out the negative and unsatisfying. Now feeling grateful is a way of life. I no longer need to condition myself to elicit this feeling. It comes automatically, consistently because I have made it a habit. See how those habits work :) If you don't want to create a journal - try this approach.

Feeling matters...

If you have difficulty feeling that your life is worthy of gratitude, then it's time to see your life through new eyes and work with me or someone else who can help move you into the state of being perceptive about what you have created, what you are experiencing and what you are doing with your precious life. This perception can move you forward by putting the power back in your court. From there you will begin to experience gratitude for this new insight and the ability to create the change you desire. Then instead of feeling unable to create what you want, you recognize that you can.

Feeling is power, fuel, important to your creative process...

How grateful are you today? What do you want to create? Be clear, be specific, stay focused. Use the resources around you. If you are conflicted about what you want, either consciously or unconsciously, you will find yourself stalled or unable to move forward in your desired ways. There are tools that can help you change these patterns. Choose to work with someone who can teach these tools.

You have more power than you know. Watch the dance of your thoughts and feelings and remember - the dance is a result of your conditioning to this point in your life. You can recondition your thinking and feeling as you move forward. I know because I did it and I help others do it every day. Are you ready for change?

Stop Following

Most of us are moving through our days on automatic pilot, not really giving thought or consideration to the fact that we are creating our daily experience. We have been conditioned by the culture to behave and shape our lives in specific ways that are not necessarily fulfilling or joyful. Unfortunately, we don't always know what else to do, so we just keep on following along with some "program" that's been delivered to us along our journey into adulthood. Today's video challenges you to seek the places where you are following along with a program that doesn't really fit with your heart and soul's desire. By finding those places of discomfort and conflict, you begin your path out of an uninspired life and into a life of passion, excitement and joy.

Accessing Your Inner Power Through Breath

Last week Dawn posted about Breathing for health. This week I want to talk about breath as your bridge to access your inner power. Such a simple tool and always available - WOW!

Mastery of your breath is so simple and so deep, so complex and so straightforward!

Do you hear all those paradoxes? That is your breath.

Breathing - essential for remaining alive. Essential for awakening to the deepest truths of life! The simplest to the most complex of experiences!

Your breath is a portal that - WHEN YOU CONSCIOUSLY WALK THROUGH - takes you to places within YOU that are unimaginable with your mind and your consciousness presently. In order to have the experiences you must walk through the portal!

Breathe through the portals within

Do you want to live a life of your dreams, in line with your unique authentic purpose, in tune with your heart and soul's desires? Begin with conscious breathing. Conscious breathing means bringing attention home, to you where your ultimate power and choice await you.

Everything that looks like it is outside you, and out-of-order, relates to something inside you that is out-of-order. Most folks are focused on reorganizing the world around them for change. Instead you can choose to work from a position of authentic inner power. Pay attention, discover, right the inner world  - and the outer world will follow. Nothing can stop this action on your part. You are in charge of your inner world - no one else!

Examine Your Present in Search of Your Past

When you are stuck in places that don't work, that cause you frustration and disappointment, upon examination you will find that you are repeating patterns that are connected to old fears, thought patterns, and wounds. In order to successfully live in the present, eliminating how your past controls your present, examine the places in your life that are dysfunctional - not in optimal working order. This thoughtful attention offers useful information about how you are carrying your past into today, how it is limiting you in ways that no longer feel right. Rather that being stuck with the current drama or situation where you feel trapped, instead offer your attention to your own patterns in the situation, the repetitive habits, communication patterns and self-care issues embedded in the situation. By giving your attention to these aspects of your life, you return to the places where your power to effect the situation resides. Today's video is meant to challenge you to be more attentive to your repetitive patterns that create the quality of your present experience.

A Clear Slate, Now Decide Consciously

I like to think of the year as a clear, clean slate, like the sky just beyond these tree branches in this gorgeous photo. You will create a year of experiences that will tell a story of your life for the next 365 days. What do you want that story to tell? Deciding consciously alters your story significantly. First recommendation and power habit of the year - decide consciously. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Reardon

Giving thought to what you want your story to tell begins moving your creative energy towards what you want. It causes you to set clear intentions for the next period of time. It helps you flush out self-limiting and useless patterns and habits that create your life today.

That is my intention for the year to come. The focus is on supporting you to further become the powerful creator of your life by sharing powerful life habits with you. You can craft the life of your choosing - if you become a conscious and intentional life force.

Did you receive my first post of the year? It was empty and that was no mistake. Your life is like this - there is nothing - until you create it.

Are you ready for conscious creation yet? I hope so. We are here at Focusing Inward! Let's dream our lives into being with a collective energy that says Yes! to our deepest desires.