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Laura Horton-Ludwig

Laura eating kimchi

Trust yourself: what eating kimchi can teach you about trusting your own boldest, weirdest ideas

Trust yourself! We hear that all the time, but what does it actually mean? Here’s an example:

Last Friday, my husband John and I went to visit his mom, who lives one town over in Newport News, VA. And like we almost always do on our way home, we stopped off at our favorite Korean market, Jung Ha, for fresh kimchi (spicy Korean pickled veggies, sooo good!). We got three different kinds and went home happy.

That night, we made some rice and opened up the kimchi. It was all delicious…until a few bites in, when my mouth started burning. Whew, these batches were way, way hotter than usual! I could barely finish what was on my plate. It was still really good, but the red pepper level was just too much for me. 

The next day, around lunchtime, I had an idea. What if I rinsed off some of the pepper? Like, put some in a colander and literally ran some water over it? Would that be too weird?

Path through evergreen forest

Why have a regular spiritual practice? (Practical reason #2: it helps you let go of the stuff you don’t actually have to do)

Last week I shared 3 tips for how to slow down and listen to your soul, even when you’re really busy. This week, I want to loop back and talk with you about why you might want to do that.

Like, seriously, why would you actually set aside structured, consistent time to check in with your soul? What’s the payoff?

Wait, is that a weird question?

I mean, isn’t it obvious?

Or is it? Personally, when I try to explain exactly why I do my regular shamanic journeying practice, I get a little tongue-tied. It’s hard to get at the heart of it.

But let me try.

I could start by saying, my spiritual practice helps me feel better–mentally, emotionally, and physically. That’s definitely true. For example, every night, I do a little clearing ritual with my rattles where I imagine myself releasing any energy I picked up during the day that isn’t serving me, and replenishing myself with fresh, healthy energy. If I forget to do that daily clearing, I tend not to sleep as well.

I could also say, it helps me figure out problems and confusing situations in my life. That’s also true. If I’m unsure what to do about something, I’ll often do a quick journey to ask for some guidance.

Here’s a small example…

Lit water lily chalice

My top 3 tricks for slowing down and listening to your soul, even when your to-do list is way too long

I’ve heard from a few people recently that they want to get better at slowing down and listening to the voice of their soul……but it’s really, really hard when there is just so much else to do!It’s understandable! If you’re like many people, you have a ton on your plate. You have long lists of stuff that has to get done, and not enough time to get it all done–let alone mindfully savor each moment, like you feel like spiritual people out there somewhere must be doing.

Can I let you in on a secret?

Most of those “spiritual people” struggle with busyness and overwhelm, just like you. I know I do! I’ve been committed to near-daily spiritual practice for decades, and even now, the whole being-mindful-of-each-precious-moment-of-existence thing does not come easy. I’m someone who tends to prioritize whacking through the to-do list each day. Slowing down is hard for me too.

But after years of experimentation, I’ve found a few tricks that really help me slow down and check in with my spirit. This week, I thought I’d share my top three with you, in the hopes that at least one of them might help you too.

Outstretched hand above city street

Do you find it hard to ask for help? Here’s a way to move through your fears and ask for what you need.

Is it just me, or do you ever find it hard to ask for help?

Some time ago, I found myself struggling with whether to ask an acquaintance for a favor. (Let’s call them Robin.) It wasn’t life-and-death or anything like that, but it was something that would make a big difference in my life.

And I knew that, because of their connections, it would be really easy for Robin to do the favor–like 10 minutes, easy-peasy, done and done. Seriously, it would be a piece of cake, if they were willing.

So why was I so nervous about asking?

Well, I knew I was afraid they’d say no. But what consequences would that bring, exactly? As I sat with the possibilities, two separate fears emerged….

Night sky with crescent moon

What’s the best resolution you’ve ever made? Here’s mine…

At last week’s Reflect & Connect gathering, our conversation on resolutions got me thinking about the best resolution I ever made.

It was very simple: to look up at the sky more often.

Just that.

It happened about 25 years ago. At the time, I was feeling pretty lost. I was nearly done with a master’s degree program in classical singing—a big, brave thing I’d plunged into with all my heart.

And it wasn’t working out.

I loved singing. When I’d begun the program, I thought I’d found the meaning of my life—my vocation, that one beautiful, pure thing I was meant to be doing in this world.

But soon it became clear: I just wasn’t good enough to make a go of it professionally. My heart was sad and tangled up in shame, disappointment, and confusion. Who was I if I wasn’t a professional musician? What was I supposed to do now?

Candles at night

When you’re grieving during the holidays

When you’re grieving during the holidays, you might feel out of place, out of step with the rest of the world.

But believe me, countless others are right there with you. And it’s OK for you to honor where your heart is right now.

At the holiday stress workshop I led last week, we discovered that almost everyone there was dealing with grief in some way, mourning family members who had died, or grappling with the serious illness of a loved one, or carrying some other tender weight on their heart.

Grief is part of our lives, especially in this season with all the memories of holidays gone by. How could it be otherwise?

And yet, there’s a sense in our culture that grief during the holidays is somehow inappropriate, a downer that’s incompatible with the stereotypes of holiday cheer and happy twinkly lights. So countless grieving souls end up feeling isolated and alone.

Woman laughing in front of computer

When you’re overwhelmed with tasks, these two questions can help lighten the load

Is it just me, or is your plate overflowing with too many things to do?

I’ve talked with so many clients lately who are feeling overwhelmed with the sheer number of things they need to get done by the end of the year. And some days I feel overwhelmed too!

But let me offer two short & simple questions to ask yourself that may just help you find some lightness in your to-do list.

Question 1: What’s the easiest way to do this?

This is a question my beloved former coach Larry Peers helped me come up with years ago, at a moment when I felt like I was drowning in half-completed projects and emails that kept piling up.

In particular, there was one project that had me really flustered.

Yellow leaf and red seeds

From my heart to yours: Thank you!

Hello everyone—

Today I want to say thank you.

Thank you so much for your trust, whether you’ve been reading my posts for a while now or you’re brand-new to this site.

In this hectic world, it means so much to me that you’re open to engaging with me in this ongoing conversation about spirituality and living in a way that brings you joy.

To everyone I’ve had the privilege to work with, I want you to know that you inspire me every day. It is an incredible honor to witness your dreams and struggles, your insights and accomplishments, your courage and grace, your strength, humor, and resilience. Thank you for being my teachers.

And to each and every one of you reading this today, thank you for all the ways you show up and bless this world simply by being yourself.

Adult and child hugging

Are you really allowed to arrange your life in a way that works for you?

Do you ever feel like somehow you don’t have the right to arrange your life in a way that really works for you? Let me tell you right now: You do. You absolutely do.
And yet, if you’re like many sensitive or intuitive people, you may be feeling a lot of pressure to contort yourself into conforming with other people’s expectations of what you should be doing.
Recently, I’ve worked with a number of clients to explore some changes they wanted to make in their life. With each of these brilliant, wise people, two things were clear right away:
1) They each knew how they wanted things to be. I mean, they were all absolutely clear on what they would change to make their life better, more sustainable, more productive, and more fun. Some of these changes involved re-setting expectations with family members or workmates, but none of them were drastic or draconian.
2) However: None of them believed they could actually pull it off. Why? Because they feared that these changes, which they wanted to make for their own well-being, would disappoint people they cared about. Now, they weren’t worried that the people around them would be angry! Just worrying that they might be disappointing someone close to them was almost enough to stop them from even trying.
Does that sound familiar to you?

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