What I’ve learned about taking time to look back instead of always looking forward

I’m a left handed creative being, but have type A- personality which means I like rules, rituals and planning ahead, but need to frequently break free of them or I might just suffocate from the weight.  I was guilty of always looking ahead and rarely looking back.  I’m so horrible at it that one of my dearest friends, Nancy, is my memory.  Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it - I have to have a friend to remind me of all the shenanigans, disappointments and accomplishments from the past?  Not looking back was a way to avoid some pain that I didn’t want to revisit, but mostly because I am so excited for what is ahead! 

I have a delicious life with my Viking men (my husband and two grown sons), but I had let a busy fast paced work life own me mind, body and soul. I lost who I was. There was no one to blame but myself – I let it happen.  I loved the people I worked with and for, but felt I was slipping further and further away from who I was and what I was meant to do. Two things happened that changed all that. In a two year span I received a gift from the universe - an angry gallbladder and a complete fracture of an ankle.  As I was laid up after both surgeries, I was forced to focus on the now.  That led me to gratitude which led me to grace.  So much, that I made a plan and jumped off the speeding train of living in the future, to live in the now.  The time I took to just BE was what I called my mid-life grace - more on that in another post.

That brings me to now as I write this first entry for Lauren Brooks Life. First let me say hello and thank you coming along on the adventure.  I hope there will be more of getting to know each other. For a start, I thought taking a look back might help you to get to know me a bit better. In fact, if you are sitting on the stressed train of life right now, and don’t recognize the person you’ve become – you might want to follow along and do this exercise too!

As I went through the process of looking back I decided to write down anything that came to mind that made me smile or defined a path I followed. I was seeking a way back to the essence of who I was before I became shaped by the world. I went all the way back to as far back as I could remember. I used the “before that” phrase to help step me back down to my earliest memories.  After I was done and looked at what I had remembered, it was crystal clear that I came into this world already knowing what my bliss and purpose were.  I loved to garden and being outside in the woods out my front door, I felt alive when I was able to create, decorate or arrange things, I thrived on helping people and was passionate about starting something from absolutely nothing.

My journey is listed below. I can’t wait to meet what the child in you reveals – feel free to post up what you learned about yourself.  This might just be the spark you need to light a new path or seek more of what you need to bring bliss back into your life. For me, the opening of Lauren Brooks Life is the returning home to the me I’ve always been.  Saying welcome home has never felt so good. 

I am the founder and boss of bliss at Lauren Brooks Life! 

Before that I was on a two-year mid-life grace to find my way back to the bliss I had, but lost.  

Before that, I was a busy vice president of a globe-trotting meeting, convention and association management company and a wedding and event planning business.

Before that, the co-founder of an organic lifestyle business on an urban farm gleefully selling products, creating a wholesale line of body care products and teaching gardening, aromatherapy, craft and seasonal cooking classes. I woke up with a big smile on my face every day.

Before that, I wanted to learn how to grow a tomato in the desert, became a master gardener then taught teachers how to tend gardens and organized the first school gardening conference in the southwest.

Before that, I became a mom of two boys – happiness beyond my imagination exploded.

Before that, I was living the life as a yuppie slaying day and night in advertising and marketing at an upstart airline - growing up and with America West Airlines. The harder I worked the luckier I got.

Before that, I graduated from Arizona State University and tied the knot while in college because I was crazy in love – and still there 36+ years later with a Viking named Brooks.

Before that, I was a high schooler working as a municipal court clerk where even with a band of people trying to help someone, if they don’t want to change they won’t, the choices you make will define the course of your life, you can have compassion and be firm at the same time and listening is all you have to do to help anyone feel better.

Before that, I was a 15-year-old girl being transplanted to Arizona from Connecticut – tacos, searing sun, saguaros and brown environs were the new, but all I wanted was to go back to my green, grey, cold New England home.

Before that, I was 12 singing Proud Mary with my brother thinking life was good, but evidently not all was as it seemed as my heart was broken by my parents sudden and final divorce.  

Before that, I was a 10-year-old girl living in a house with the woods across the street and a yard filled with heady lilacs, soft pussy willows, and perfumed roses growing under my bedroom window.

Before that, I was a five-year-old girl holding my hand filled with seeds asking my dad to plant me a garden.

Before that, I was a two-year-old girl climbing the wood stairs of her soon to be new home wondering how pretty it would look with all the furniture.

Before that, I was born to a Sicilian singing mother and French Canadian chemist dad – given the name Leslie Lauren and welcomed into the world with all the possibilities and promise of what was to come.