Reflecting Back, Looking Forward

May you know why you are here and why your being here matters.

As I reflect back on this year, I notice that I can track highlights. Mostly, I notice this unrecognizable place of freedom, expanding peace in my core, and an unwavering gratitude in living this life I continue creating from the inside out. I know my value as a human being. This expanding experience of inner worthiness finally seeped down into my DNA.

Four years ago, if a “ghost of the future” had shown up across the table from me in the hospital cafeteria as I sat alone eating food because I knew I had to nourish my exhausted body, my broken heart, my terrified of tomorrow, yet get out of bed singing a song, self, I don’t know if I could have heard what she had to say. I might have wept profusely in awe and gratitude believing, not believing.

She’d have assured me that my son would live, that he would be flourishing in sobriety in LA, that I’d meet a man, who would quickly become my Sweet Love, that together we’d create a healthy, vibrant love relationship,  that my daughter would know her courage, strength, love, passion, and resilience after all the storms, that I’d have a third book on its way to being published with Sacred Stories Publishing, that I’d be a columnist and featured contributing writer for BizCatalyst 360°, that I would be living in the mountains of NC, and serving clients in both western NC and Columbus, Ohio, for starters.

Creating a life from a place of profound trust and the rubble of a completely imploded life takes unbelievable courage and many, very many, uncomfortable actions.

I cannot sugar coat these results, the unrelenting steps I took to arrive at this place in what I love calling the Bonus Round of Being Alive. I had to take on new practices on a daily basis. I had to dig deep down to find those dreams that would need all the love I could give every day of my life. From this place I became unstoppable. I still grieve. I lost my dad to death four months ago. Life continues being a mixture of heartbreaking happenings, hilarious reframes, and delicious expansions. I have found a way to keep my heart open for all that has transpired and for all that will come my way. I know I came to planet earth to love and be loved in return, to create, contribute, and collaborate. I have reclaimed the parts of myself that know how to be joyful, carefree, honest, and real.

As you look back on this year, I hope you are able to see from a both/and perspective, that your life experiences contain a full spectrum of human happenings, that it wasn’t all as(*& show or all beautiful happenings, rather a cornucopia of experiences that have shaped you, but not defined you. I hope you notice that you responded to people and life circumstances in different ways that honored yourself and others. I hope that you took actions that made you feel uncomfortable and yet these different deeds lead to new learnings and realizations about who you are and what strengthens you. I hope that you’ve cleared some clutter from your heart, your home, and your life. I hope that you observe that you continue to learn, grow, evolve, and adapt in your ever-changing life. I hope you know in your bones that you are loved more than you can even imagine and that you matter.

Wholehearted living means living from wholeness, from what touched your heart, what broke your heart open, what helped you shed limiting beliefs, what supported you waking up each morning with a passionate commitment to be gentle with yourself, to radically accept with love all your pieces and parts, perfectly imperfect.

May you end this year in gratitude for all that has transpired in your life. May you begin this next year with a growing knowing in the very core of who you are that you can live the life you are meant to live. May you know you are free to do so.


Laura Staley
Laura Staley
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately helps people thrive by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, mind, body, and soul. Laura knows that there’s a relationship between the conditions of our homes or workplaces and the quality of our lives. Trained and certified with the Western School of Feng Shui and seasoned by almost two decades of working with a variety of clients, Laura uses her intuition and expertise to empower her clients to produce remarkable results in their lives. Her trifecta of serving people includes speaking, writing, and compassionate listening. As a columnist, Laura writes personal essays focused on self-discovery, feng shui, emotional health, and transformations from the inside out. Laura is the published author of three books: Live Inspired, Let Go Courageously and Live with Love: Transform Your Life with Feng Shui, and the Cherish Your World Gift Book of 100 Tips to Enhance Your Home and Life. Prior to creating her company, Laura worked as a fulltime parent and an assistant professor at Ohio Wesleyan University. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University. Her joys in life include laughing with loved ones, dancing, reading, meditating, running, being in nature, and listening to music she loves. She resides in Black Mountain, NC with lovable dog, Layla. Laura is a contributing author to the inspiring book Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy

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  1. Thank you for this endearing message Laura, I am very humbled that you included me in your list. Each year gives us great experience, and at the holiday summit we can look back down the mountain at all the twists and turns, all the cuts and bruises, all the joys and triumphs of our journey. We may lose special people along the way, but we also gain and accept new souls who fulfill us in other ways. This is the miracle of life, this is the nurturing magic of love and compassion. We can set aside the noise and chaos constantly bombarding us and see the truth in those who matter most. That is what the holidays give us, a gift of reflection and thanks, a blessing that keeps our compass pointing north. Real sorry to hear about your dad, but he is and always will be with you. May you stay safe and blessed this holiday and look forward to more of your lovely posts on the other side of New Years. Be well…

    • Thank you so much, Aaron, for all these thoughtful, beautiful and kind words of reflection and good wishes. I truly appreciate your condolences for the loss of my dad. Yes, keep trending North or whatever direction your heart points! May you have a healthy 2020 and fully recover from your virus. I wish you all the best now and always. I’m grateful to know you, to be connected with your through our words, thoughts, musings, honesty, and black squiggles on a screen. Get well soon. I look forward to our interactions in 2020. Grateful for you.

  2. I am often in awe of where I’ve been and where I am, wondering at the strange twists and turns that got me here, and grateful for every joy, every sorrow, every moment of grief, relief, and comfort in the arms of friends and family.

    And I am so grateful for you, Laura, and for our friendship, which has spanned those years with love, support, honesty and growth.

    • Yes, indeed, Sarah. I’m very grateful for you, too. I bravely attended that first #NLV just weeks after my son got escorted to GA. I know I was raw. I also know how important being with smart, heart-centered people to continue to learn and grow is for that life trajectory. May you know in your soul the positive difference your kind invitation to #NLV and enthusiastic purchase of my first book had on my life at that juncture. You were being you. Thank you. I am forever grateful.

  3. Oh, Laura. Thank you for this moving and inspiring story. I am so happy for you, that you’ve come to a place of love and inner peace. I am still working on the latter. I am hard on myself to a fault, as, in my mind, I haven’t “made.” Haven’t gotten to the place where I thought I’d be, professionally. But that said, I am so happy to have moved beyond the s-storm that was my life nearly five years ago. You’ve read my stories so I believe you know what I’m talking about. I know I am blessed with love, from my husband, my sister, and others. It’s the self-love that I need to work on. As this is a very introspective time of year for me, I will keep your lovely words in mind and do my best to take them to heart. Thank you, dear.

    • I completely feel your journey-the path ways opening to that unshakeable self-love of your True Self-that quiet witness, Sherry. I appreciate all you continue to share in your writings as life is not done with either of us-we’re bound to have a whole bunch of experiences that fill the bandwidth of difficult to delightful. I wish you that time of introspection and connection with You and Love. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability, your willingness to keep walking through that doorway. And you are so welcome. I honor your journey as it will be as unique and amazing as you are.