Lead the Life You Desire

by Lance Ekum on · 36 comments

Laura Neff

"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet." ~ Emily Dickinson

Today I have Laura Neff here, from More in You Life Leadership Coaching.  Laura is a caring and compassionate friend, and the more I get to know her, the more this just shines through so brightly!  She is an amazing woman, and someone who truly shines at living life openly and authentically. 

Join me, as I sit down with Laura and we touch upon how life has brought her to where she is today.  

1.  Tell us a little bit about who "you" are (family, career, any special life experiences you’d like to share, etc.)
Lance, I think you started out with the toughest question of all! But I’ll give it my best shot. First, I am a wife to my love, Robert. We met nine years ago here in North Carolina through a local whitewater kayaking club, and three short weeks after the first “hi,” before we’d even kissed, hugged, or held hands, we had “the” conversation…the one that goes, “Well, I…I’m terrified to say this because I don’t know if you’ll go screaming the other way…but, I…I think you’re the one!” “I feel the same way!” “What now?” “I have no idea, but can I kiss you?” “Yes!”) Nine years later, we work hard on keeping our relationship healthy and strong, and we stumble sometimes, but we help one another back up, and we make sure we always have a good support system in place. Two years ago, we gathered with many dear friends and family members and got married under a huge Oak tree in our back yard. We live on just over two acres of land and on our “farmette” have a dog, three cats, and two chickens who make us laugh and give us two eggs a day!

I’m a corporate escapee who’s played and dabbled in lots of vocational arenas since (like corporate communications consulting, writing/editing, teaching English, organic farming, working in a riverside coffee shop/café in Colorado, managing a retail bead shop/teaching people how to get in touch with their creativity/making & selling my own jewelry, etc.). All those forays were adding puzzle pieces to the larger picture, which became clear about four years ago, when I dove into life coach training & certification. Now, I’m a Life Leadership coach with a home office and thriving practice, and I can’t imagine doing anything else! (Except for my newest venture, which is to found and launch the International Alliance of Midlife Women [IAMWomen]. Stay tuned for more on that. :))

I’m the youngest of seven in a family that resembles the Brady Bunch, except when Mike (aka my dad, Bob) and Carol (aka my mom, Ellen) married, they had one more…me!

And I’m so blessed to have many, many incredible dear, wise, funny, strong friends in my life. Seriously, life is good!

Lance's Commentary:  See, Laura…it's all part of my plan to get the hardest questions done first!! 

One of my favorite family vacations was a week-long whitewater rafting trip in Idaho.  So, I would LOVE to hear some of the stories you have from kayaking!  And to you and Robert…sometimes you just "know"….chickens and all.  What I also read in here is that life has truly been a journey for you…and one that has led to where you are today.  I suppose for all of us, this is true.  Still, there is something very connecting about reading the directions you have went in life, and to where that all puts you today.  Laura, I love it!!  

And I just can really feel that "life is good" whenever we talk!  You embody those words so wonderfully!!

2.  What led you to start your Life Leadership coaching practice?
In the years before realizing that coaching was what all those puzzle pieces added up to, I could literally feel the angst, tension, nagging, and sometimes real pain of living a life on the outside that did not match who I was on the inside. (This was especially true for me in Corporate America, but also in the years after that, though to a lesser degree.) And, thankfully, I realized early in my adult life that no one else was going to correct that angst/tension/nagging/pain for me. And so the circuitous route I forged was one that held all the key elements of Life Leadership: being fully at choice and taking full responsibility for my life, gaining more and more clarity on who I wanted/needed to be and what was next for me, becoming conscious for the choices I was making and their impact, becoming closely acquainted with my courage, and along the whole way, learning how to recognize and work with my fear. Since then, I’ve worked, played, learned from, tripped over, lost & found, and experimented with all of these elements myself and with anyone and everyone around me who was willing.

In short, this work is who I am. It’s the talk I’ve gotta walk. As a dear friend says of vocation, coaching, for me, is “that which I can’t not do.”

Lance's Commentary:  Just from our conversations, I get a couple of very strong feelings.  One is that you care.  That's such a wonderful quality, and one that I really believe is you, at your core.  The other strong feeling I get is that you are very much vested in "walking the talk"…that what you say is what you do.  There is a comfort level in all of this – one that makes talking with you so easy.

3.  What’s one thing that has happened from going down this path that has been a real surprise, and what has it meant to you?
Definitely the challenge and realization of what it is to come into my own as a business owner.

I’m an entrepreneurial girl at heart, but I’m also someone who, when I’m not awake at my own wheel, can dive into a new venture without really thinking through what it will entail or look like. Being committed to my coaching practice as a lifelong and ongoing expression of who I am but also as a well-functioning business has meant slowly unfolding into my fullness as a business owner and all that responsibly entails. Often it feels as if my “business owner shoes” are still too big, and I’m playing grown up, toddling around trying to keep them from falling off. But I can tell my feet are growing, slowly but surely!

What this has meant to me is a new layer of my understanding of responsibility, and also it’s helped in my lifelong journey to grow out of my self-perception of “little sister” and into a new identity of “grown, capable woman.” (You youngest siblings out there know what I mean!)

Lance's Commentary:  Laura, everything I see points to you most definitely as a "grown, capable woman"!  You know…just so you know…

4.  Life has an interesting way of presenting us with some unique opportunities.  Tell us some way life has brought you to where you are today.
I love this one! When I was 25, I very unexpectedly spent five months in a hospital and on bed rest due to a mysterious internal spinal fluid leak, and that time has made all the difference.

Throughout those months, if I stood up or sat up, I’d be instantly gripped with such a blinding, nauseating headache that all I could do was get horizontal again as quickly as possible and wait for the pain to subside. Consequently, I spent much of that time staring at ceilings or out windows, increasingly frustrated about missing my life.

Over time and with much thought, I started becoming conscious of the fact that I’m given the gifts of time and energy every single day and that I’d been taking them completely for granted. I examined my life…the work I was doing, the people I surrounded myself with, the way I had been spending that time and energy, the flippant choices I was making. And I started to wake up to the fact that if I let my life continue on the trajectory it was on (one that had largely been defined by other people), I would get to retirement age, look back, and not be able to see a single speck of tangible, real difference because of how I was choosing to spend my time and energy. I would have unalterable regrets.

So that was the beginning of what, to me, felt like a real awakening. It led to the realization that no one was going to shift that trajectory for me, and it started my journey of understanding who I was, what made me tick, and what resonated deeply within me, and from that place of resonance, what I have to offer the world that can truly make a difference. It took four more years before I was ready to make a leap, but the beginning of the journey was undeniable, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Lance's Commentary:  Laura, what a great story of how something that seems "bad" can really end up being so, so good!  And that's reminder to me, in any moment that I might feel like "woe is me", that really there can be so much good that might come from this….if I just open my eyes (and my heart) to what can be.  

5.  You have recently started a new program in your coaching – the Circles of Six.  Would you share what this is, and who it’s geared toward.
Yes! I’m so psyched about this!

Circles of Six are small group coaching at its best. Basically, six individuals come together to form a Circle that works together via conference calls and in an online forum for a minimum of six months. The Circles are led and facilitated by me, and everyone has at least one thing in common: they’re committed to their own growth, and they want to experience that growth in a supportive, community-oriented way.

There are three kinds of Circles coming together right now:

  • One for women in midlife who need a structure in which they can pause, take stock of their lives to date, and plan for the second half,
  • One for folks who need to get searingly clear on their goals and then be held accountable in a very strong way as they move forward, and
  • One that has each member digging deeply into the five key elements of Life Leadership (Choice, Clarity, Consciousness, Courage & Fear), using them to move forward in a meaningful way in their lives.

Regardless of which Circle someone’s in, each person gets clear on what their goals are for our time together, they learn from me and one another along the way, they get coached, and they provide steady and loving support to their Circlemates. And, a side benefit to small group (or any sized group) coaching is that it’s often less expensive than one-on-one coaching. I’m so glad to add this offering to my list of services because it expands the range of options, making Life Leadership available to lots more people.

I have a web page with lots of details on the Circles of Six program offerings.

Lance's Commentary:  You know what?  I am so psyched about this too!!  I think the whole concept behind group coaching sessions can be so positive.  I have participated in one other group coaching session, and found it to be so beneficial in moving me forward and beyond some of the fears that were holding me back at the time.  And…as I continue to move forward in life…it's time, once again, to get beyond some of the barriers that are holding me back from fully living.  So, I'm excited to be a part of this program, too!

6.  Deep down, Laura, what makes you, “you”?
Big smile here, Lance! There’s a core of me, deep inside, that is unique but that is also connected to every other living thing on this planet. What makes me “me” is that core, and the fact of my slowly-increasing awareness of its nature, what it wants, how it moves, what makes it tick, what brings it joy and pain, what it’s here for. And what makes me “me” is also everything and everyone around me, and how my core is in relation to everything else. It’s a dance that happens all day, every day…the dance of my core and the Universe, the finite and the infinite and vice versa. Oh, and beautiful people like you who create thought-and-heart-provoking questions like these to help me remember who I am and what makes me “me.” :)  Thank you for all that YOU are, Lance! You are such a gift to all of us!

Lance's Commentary:  Understanding how we "tick"…I love that thought, Laura!  When we can strip away the outer influences in our life, and see clearly into what is at our core…what an amazing place to reach!   I sense this very much from our conversations…that this is a place you have visited often, and one that brings much direction and focus into your life.  Keep dancing, my friend!!!

Closing Thoughts:  Laura, thank you so much for being here today, and for sharing more about who "you" are!  I think we have known each other for about a year, and in that time I have really come to appreciate all that you share.  You are a shining example of what is right and good in this world, and it's an honor to work with you, and to call you "friend" as well. 

As I think about the Emily Dickinson quote above…Laura, know that my life is sweeter because our paths have crossed.  You have an energy about you that is both deeply connecting and filled with life.  And in that, you bring out life, as you shine yours so beautifully out into the world!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Miguel de Luis April 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Hi Laura, Lance

I’m intrigued at the Circles of Six. Most of my online connections, are just that, links, but I cannot imagine feel really at ease with five other strangers on an online group. Perhaps it’s the baggage I carry from online “debates” and stuff like that, but I tend to go “shields on” on a internet group.

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Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach April 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Hi Miguel!

Thanks for your comment, and it’s a great one. For some, being virtual actually feels more safe than being live and in person, eyeball to eyeball. But for others, as you point out, it can also be a place to feel cautious, guards up, waiting and seeing. What I *love* about the Circles of Six is their size. With six people, it’s intimate. No two ways about it. And thus, you can run, but you can’t hide! 🙂 Of course the group members start out as “strangers,” but that’s blown out of the water extremely quickly (by design). Also, each group establishes its very own “rules of the road,” to create a space in which each person can feel as safe as possible showing up fully, open, honest and willing.

Of course, true intimacy takes time. Which is why the six-month part is a good thing. Over six months, in that kind of co-designed environment, you get to know others much more deeply.

And you know what’s cool? It actually feels to me like a risky and bold thing to leave a comment here sharing how you go into “shields on” in online groups. Way to go! Maybe this whole virtual-transparency thing suits you after all… 😉

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Darren Sproat April 5, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Lance,
Thanks for another wonderful post and thanks for asking the tough questions and introducing us all to Laura… 😉

Laura,
It’s great to meet you. I know we are connected on Twitter (@DarrenSproat) but it wasn’t until Lance’s post that I feel I have really been introduced. It’s great meeting new people and I look forward to learning more about all that you do.

Regards,
Darren Sproat
.-= Darren Sproat´s Last Fabulous Post ..So Strong That Nothing Can Disturb My Peace of Mind =-.

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Tess The Bold Life April 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Laura,
What you’re doing make so much sense and your energy, joy and compassion comes shining through each photo you share here. Thanks for being you and helping so many people on their personal journey. The world is a better place because of your work. Great interview Lance!

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Jody - Fit at 52 April 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

A quote & post to make one think.. always here on your site Lance! Thx for bringing Laura here & she certainly gives some of us “lost souls” some food thought! Very interesting about that cirlce of 6!

Laura, you certainly have lived life & kept moving forward to find what is rght for you!
.-= Jody – Fit at 52´s Last Fabulous Post ..Junk Food & the Brain it Effects! =-.

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Jarrod @ Optimistic Journey April 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Lance, Great interview. I thank you so much for sharing!!

Laura, I can sense a gratefulness from your statements. I love what you’re doing in your ‘IAmWoman’ program and your Circles of Six. Keep up the great work. I’m glad that I’ve come across this inspiring interview!

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Joy Tanksley April 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Great interview, Lance!

Hi Laura! Well, aren’t you just one super cool, totally authentic, multi-talented chic!? 🙂 It was great to learn about you. And I love the story of how you met your husband. So sweet!

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now April 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm

You can see the passion coming out of every sentence. That’s what a life leadership coach must have. I can see why her practice is so thriving.

The circle of six sounds like a great idea. Sometimes it’s better to do group coaching that one on one because you get the benefit of the other people in the group.

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Dorlee April 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Hi Lance,

Thanks for the great interview!

Hi Laura,

I enjoyed “meeting” you via this interview. You come across as most sincere as well as full of enthusiasm and passion for your work. When things settle down a bit, I think I may give one of your circles of six a shot 🙂

Best,
Dorlee

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Lance April 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Laura,
I smile as I re-read this tonight. You really do have this energy about you…and it’s so rejuvenating for me to experience that! That coupled with this very real and deep desire you have to see others succeed in life, is a one-two punch in helping people reach new heights in their life!

Laura, it is an honor to know you, and to have you here and sharing a bit more of who you are. You do this so authentically, and in that I feel an even deeper bond with you. It’s like I can look at you, and know some of the highs and the lows of life. And I know…that you are speaking from your heart. And because of that, I trust you. And I also feel safe in being more open and real myself. Wow. I just think that is such a beautiful gift that you have.

So, thank you for being here, and for really being open to who you are. Blessings to you always, my friend….

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Lance April 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm

@Miguel – Hi Miguel. While I think Laura has done an excellent job answering this, I’ll also throw in my two cents, also. About a year ago, I participated in a similar concept. What was so good about this was that everyone on the call was respectful of each other, and commited to not only improving themselves but also helping the other participants. And – there was very much this level of comfort that was reached as you had the chance to know someone more deeply. And I think it relates to the idea that when we empathize with someone else, we care. And I do believe very much that this is something that comes from a group like this. I also know Laura, and know that she is committed to providing an experience that is both enriching and “safe” for everyone. Miguel, I appreciate your honesty and sharing here today. Much peace to you, my friend.

@Darren – Hi Darren. Laura is truly a wonderful soul out there in this great big world. And I really believe that such a big part of that is in her own honest and heart-based sharing. It instantly makes me feel so comfortable around her. She is a very special in this world!

@Tess – Hi Tess. I loved all the photos Laura gave me to work with…so I decided to use them all!! I think they really do touch upon the person she is – and the energy and fun she exudes! And I know my life is better because her path and mine have crossed in this world we live in. Tess, thanks for being here!

@Jody – Hey Jody! And since you mentioned it…I kind of think we are all “lost souls” at certain moments throughout our life. And then I think…maybe that’s a good thing. As much as focus is good…sometimes just wandering down a path (in life) can lead to all sorts of great things. So, I’m all for focus…yet at the same time, being able to see that “lost soul” in us, and let it just wander a bit…I think that too has merit. And the Circles of Six is something I think is a wonderful program – and offers a great way to not only connect with some other people on this journey, but to also really develop a group of people to support you in going down the life path in front of you. Jody, thanks so much….your thoughts tonight really have me thinking even more deeply about all of this.

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Chania Girl April 6, 2010 at 12:23 am

Laura, thank you for taking the time to share about yourself and your life with us through Lance’s awesome page. I found myself nodding and saying internal yeses to a lot of what you shared and also found myself thinking that there are some areas in my life it might be a good idea to re-visit sometime soon! 🙂

Congratulations to you on how you’ve taken control of your life and are consciously working toward your dreams, dreams that include building up and inspiring others. You’ve certainly done so today for me, so thank you. 🙂
.-= Chania Girl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Happy Birthday =-.

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Lance April 6, 2010 at 5:16 am

@Jarrod – Hey Jarrod. Laura really is creating some wonderful programs for people to take action and move their lives in the directions they desire. And she just shines at making that deeper connection that allows people to more openly connect and share (and grow).

@Joy Tanksley – Hi Joy! Hey, now THAT is well said!! Laura is all sorts of awesome!!

@Karl – Hi Karl. Laura very much has a deep and caring passion for this…for really helping others to see what IS possible. What I like about group coaching is the interaction with a group of people – and being with these folks as they go down deeper internal paths with you. I think it’s all very connecting. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts, Karl…

@Dorlee – Hi Dorlee. While Laura comes across as very sincere in this interview, I can tell you from personally speaking with her – that she is completely that. Every time we have talked (or corresponded in some way), I ALWAYS get a deep sense of how much she cares. This is a beautiful gift that Laura has, and it fits so well with the work she is doing. Definitely, the Circles of Six programs are all wonderful choices (see Laura’s website for more info on each of the different groups she is forming). Have a great day today Dorlee!

@Chania Girl – Hi Carla! You know, I think one of the real qualities that Laura shares is her ability to “understand”. And I really think that’s because she genuinely cares and she genuinely shares. Caring about others while also openly sharing about herself and her own journey. I know that I very much feel warmth and trust in her presence…and that’s a pretty great place to hang out in! Carla, thanks so much for visiting today!

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Lynn April 6, 2010 at 7:10 am

Wow – Laura is so inspiring. I’ve always been intrigued by life coaching.
.-= Lynn´s Last Fabulous Post ..Popping out, half off and dear… =-.

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Evita April 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

Hello Lance and Laura

What a great interview!

Laura, I love where and how you described where you live! All that space and those animals – sounds so good!

And I also acknowledge that while your hospital stay must not have been easy, you were given a great gift and that is I am sure part of the big reason why you are where you are today. You are taking that life energy and using it on a daily basis, and most importantly helping others with it.

Great interview again, and so good to get to know you better Laura 🙂

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Katie West/The Levity Coach April 6, 2010 at 7:56 am

Laura,
I totally feel like I know you or should know you. Maybe I will just have to visit or we can play at a Levity Project together somewhere. Why? Because, it is very clear that you rock!!!
I like your style that is full of ease, truth and authenticity with a big dab of fun….
Love the Circles of Six, Love the IAMWomen, and appreciate your process.
I appreciate you telling your story about when you were 25. What a hard and amazing experience. For me, I had convinced myself when I was young that I was not going to live past 25 and so when I lived to be 26…I said “Hmm…still here, better focus on something and go for it….” Thank you for reminding me of how valuable those moments are that begin the chain of events we are celebrating in our present life.

I so look forward to knowing you and hopefully taking over the world together.
Katie

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Trece April 6, 2010 at 8:06 am

Lance, yet another wonderful interview! It sounds like Laura’s Circles of 6 are something I’ll put on my list for maybe later this year. Thanks, Trece
.-= Trece´s Last Fabulous Post ..Will this count for Eternity? =-.

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Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach April 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

@Lance: You have such a beautiful community here, and it’s all a reflection of YOU and what you offer here that brings us together. THANK YOU!

ALL: Lance is diving into the “Pure Life Leadership in Action” Circle of Six. We would *love* to have you join in! Holla if I can answer any questions about it!

@Darren: So glad to be connected here and on Twitter. I look forward to learning more about you, too!

@Tess: Thank you so much. And I do love those photos! I’m lucky to have a friend who’s a professional photog, and his passion is drawing people out. It worked! 🙂

@Jody: That’s something I love about Lance’s post. They *always* make me think and provoke my brain into new territory. Yaaay Lance! I’m grateful to have had the chance to be here & offer some of my journey for you. Blessings!

@Jarrod: YES–so glad you saw that! I didn’t say anything specifically about gratitude, but I am ridiculously grateful for all that has been in my life. Thank you for reading between the lines! 🙂

@Joy: Hi! Thank you so much! Authenticity is a high value of mine, but you know what’s cool? The more I strive for it, the more I realize there are layers and layers to peel back, and it keeps me in the land of courage and curiosity, checking out what I’m ready/willing to share on a daily basis, with myself, with those closest to me, and with the world. It’s a process and a journey unto itself, to be sure, but I hope to lead by example. So glad to connect with you here!

@Karl: Thanks so much for your acknowledgment! I can’t say my words drip with passion every single day, every single second, but questions like these help me remember what I’m up to, why, and how great it feels!

@Dorlee: Hi again! Thanks for tweeting about this post yesterday. Very sweet of you! If you’d like, you can download info on the Circles of Six via my website. Ya know, just so you’re well informed and stuff. 🙂 We’ll have wide open arms waiting when you’re ready!

@Chania Girl: You’re most, most welcome!

@Lynn: Thanks! If you ever have general or specific questions about coaching, I’m always happy to gush about it. And I know tons of coaches, so am always more than happy to connect awesome@E people with coaches who rock!

@Evita: Hi! And thank you! It was a wild time to be sure, but luckily I was just starting to surround myself with wise folks who, in the midst of all of it, were helping me to experience the whole thing fully AND get curious about the gifts/meaning/etc. I am so grateful, and so glad to connect with you here! 🙂

@Katie: Lol! YES, let’s DEFINITELY take over the world together! 😀 I am so glad that Lance connected us here and via Facebook. You are a crazy-bright light, and you made me laugh out loud with the part about turning 26 and going, “Huh. Still here. Guess I’d better get to it!” 🙂 Wouldn’t it be great if we all woke up and thought that every day?! Would certainly help on the “off” days! Let’s DO play. SOON!

@Trece: Hey there! Just wanted to say hi and thanks for your comment. When you’re ready, Circles of Six will be here for you! 🙂

TO ALL: You rock. You just do! Now go make it the most amazing Tuesday you can remember in the recent history of your life!
.-= Laura Neff – Life Leadership Coach´s Last Fabulous Post ..Response cached until Tue 6 @ 21:58 GMT (Refreshes in 7.72 Hours) =-.

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Amy April 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

Laura,
Your light is sure shining bright and I’m so grateful to have crossed path with you! I agree with all that’s been said above, and then some. The world is a better place because you are in it. And those who work with you will benefit from the light that spills over into their lives, encouraging them to find more of the same from within themselves.

I will be signing up for a Circle of Six and can’t wait to experience the power of the group as facilitated by you. Lucky me!!!!

You rock,
Amy
.-= Amy´s Last Fabulous Post ..Dream Gardening =-.

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Mama Zen April 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

Great interview, Lance!
.-= Mama Zen´s Last Fabulous Post ..Honestly! =-.

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Dr. J April 6, 2010 at 10:02 am

I think what you have dedicated yourself to is wonderful and invaluable to others, Laura!

There was one period in my life where a “great person” came and helped me out of that cavern I was trapped in. Grateful seems too small a word for what was given to me!
.-= Dr. J´s Last Fabulous Post ..Lab Notes: New Treatment for Glaucoma on Horizon =-.

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Mindful Mimi April 6, 2010 at 10:47 am

Laura,
Life on the outside that does not correspond with the inside… I can so relate to that. And it is great that you have found your way to match the two. I am on my way there as well 🙂 and it feels great.
Glad to meet you.
Mimi
.-= Mindful Mimi´s Last Fabulous Post ..How a 4 year old solves the Greek debt crisis =-.

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Holly Latty-Mann April 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Laura, you are perfect for helping people push their potential to performance. You also turned adversity into something positive – hey, that’s leadership, too.

I applaud you, Laura. Not sure of your exact location (I’m in Durham/RTP, NC) – I know people who would like to meet you!
Keep being YOU!
Holly

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Audra Krell April 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Ah Lance, like obviously attracts like! This is a great interview, Laura is very inspiring. So glad you two met and then you shared her with the rest of us. Love when people know who they are and what “makes them tick.”

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Lance April 6, 2010 at 4:42 pm

@Lynn – What I love about life coaching is how it really gets me thinking (and acting) on those things that are all too easy for me to put off… Thanks Lynn!

@Evita – Hi Evita. I know, doesn’t that really sound like a sweet place to live!! And that’s pretty great when we can see the good that comes from what appears to be something “bad”. Laura has done this so well!! It’s great to have you here today, Evita….

@Katie – Katie. You know, I am SURE that you and Laura would make this amazing BANG in the world were you two together!!! I am sure of it!! So…taking over the world…ahhh…that could just happen!!! And – the clincher is that the world would be so much better for it!! And…guess what else?? I am pretty glad you DID make it past 25…otherwise I would have never known you!

@Trece – Definitely the Circles of Six are a great way to get into some personal growth – and with Laura, I know that it’s a supportive and caring environment for that to happen. Keep her info on file for when you are ready!

@Laura – Hi Laura!!!!

@Amy – Hi Amy, and welcome! Yes, Laura is a magnificent light in this world! I have been touched by that light…and without doubt…my life is better because of that. And – way awesome – YOU signing up for the Circles of Six program!!

@Mama Zen – Thanks much Kelli!

@Dr. J – Hey Dr. J! And that’s really it – we can get “trapped” in where we are…and not see what’s out there beyond. Having a coach is a great resource for taking those next steps and really tranforming our lives for good. Laura is a STAR at this!!

@Mimi – Hi Miranda. Getting to that place where the voice of our heart can match what we do in the world…that is such a great place to be at. And I DO know you are on your way, and I am so happy for you, as I watch you move more in that direction! Keep on, awesome friend!

@Holly – Hi Holly! Laura really does shine at helping people to find their true paths and then move down these paths of great potential. Much like you do, Holly!!! I say that North Carolina has some super amazing souls in it (like YOU and Laura!!!). Woohoo!!!

@Audra – Hey Audra! Well…and you are here, too (that whole LIKE attracts LIKE thing!!). Laura is filled with so much inspiration, and on top of that – is just really so down to earth and easy to talk to …what a win-win!!

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Tim April 6, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Hi Lance and Laura:

Lance, first off, thanks for introducing us to Laura. Laura, I enjoyed your story of meeting your husband – I think it’s awesome. I also admire your background and some of the things you are doing. I’m someone in transition and trying to figure out my next step (in other words, looking for clarity). I can speak from experience in being part of several small groups that it is a great way for members to learn. I have found that I not only learn from the person leading the group, but I learn from others in the group. Thank you for doing what you do…there are a lot of us out there.
.-= Tim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Weekend Musical Diversion: Jimi Hendrix =-.

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Hilary April 7, 2010 at 1:53 am

Hi Lance and Laura .. I can see why you brought Laura over – so clear in her life. It’s just great to hear the naturalness in her words and thoughts, and her story – loved it. It’s uplifting to see what’s going on around with other bloggers and people in general .. there’s so much we can learn from being online, while being discerning with our time and energies as you pointed out so well to Miguel .. I liked that mini conversation = so important to hear about.

Many thanks – have good weeks .. Hilary
.-= Hilary´s Last Fabulous Post ..Folklore Notes and report back on Great British Garden Bird Watch =-.

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Farnoosh April 7, 2010 at 5:46 am

I have a friend who became a life coach, and never has she loved what she does more. Escaping Corporate America to do what you love is a huge accomplishment, but what you do in helping others, that’s wonderful. I thought about the life coach path; I just wasn’t sure that I could make that impact – that I have that real inner “tick” and I didn’t want to just pick another career for the sake of sounding cool. You seem to absolutely have that “tick” – listening to your calling indeed.
And it just so happens that I live in NC too, and maybe I have run into you already. Life is short and it IS a small world, and it’s really scary that you spent those months at such a young age in the hospital but to learn from it like this is brilliant. What a great way to start my morning by reading this, thank you Lance and Laura both!

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord April 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

Another wonderful interview! I found Laura through your site, Lance, a few months ago. I’ve very much enjoyed her web site and what she’s all about. This interview just puts what makes Laura so great into perspective, though.

I think Nadia at Happy Lotus might agree that it’s incredible how many people have an “event” at age 25 that alters the course of their life. I certainly had one, and reading about yours was pretty spectacular. Being forced to lay with yourself in complete stillness (practically), and in that time, your life came into much clearer view. In order to get up and moving again (from horizontal to vertical), it’s as if you had to plug the leaks (figuratively and literally) of the backbone of your life. WOW! What a metaphor.

Laura, thanks for sharing so openly here. It was a joy to read!
Lance, thank you for having Laura here again, in such an intimate way.

Blessings of joy & eternal love to you both!
.-= Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s Last Fabulous Post ..Small Is The New Big: 9 Small Things You Can Do To Affect BIG Change =-.

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Dr. Jennifer Howard April 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Thank you for these great questions and inspiring answers. Hats off to both of you and keep up the good work!

Dr. Jennifer Howard
.-= Dr. Jennifer Howard´s Last Fabulous Post ..Monday Inspiration! =-.

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Miguel de Luis April 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Hi Lance, Laura

To be honest, now that I think of it, I can recall being part of a very interesting group, which was small and it worked nicely, the Young Adult Novel’s group. I only quited because I felt I needed to write in my mother tongue — writing in English is fun, but I wanted something more.

Yet to me that group was very, very special, not your usual internet stuff
.-= Miguel de Luis´s Last Fabulous Post ..Una perspectiva incómoda =-.

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Laura Neff - Life Leadership Coach April 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm

@Amy Hiiii beautiful Amy! What a *wonderful* photo of you, and did you get my ezine today? It was all about “seedlings.” Per your last blog post, we are on the same wavelength, woman! I’m so grateful to get to know you. Can’t wait to have you in a Circle of Six!

@Dr. J Thank you! And oh, thank goodness for those who help us out of the dark caverns. Where we’d be without them…I shudder to think! I was just talking w/ a client about how important it is to do the dual work of internally shoring up our clarity & strength re. who we are and choosing what will help us BE that in the world AND, at the same time, creating community on the outside that will be there for us when we falter on our inside work. When we do, and when we stumble into those wayside caverns, their support is priceless.

@Mimi Hi! And thanks. I love how you mention that you’re “on your way” to that internally/externally aligned place. Aren’t we all? I’m grateful to hold myself as a constant work in progress. 🙂

@Holly Oh, I’ve heard about your wonderful work up there in the Raleigh area! I’m in Charlotte. Send your peeps my way, and I’ll do the same for you! I’d love to connect further, too. Thanks for being here!

@Audra Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

@Lance Hiiii!

@Tim Hey Tim, thanks for your note! I love that you pointed out the mulit-directional learning that can happen in groups. In my experience being a group member, that’s absolutely so true, AND I’ve learned so much afterward as I’ve kept up with other group members and learned more from them over time. Sending you wishes of clarity and clear paths ahead. Be in touch if I can help!

@Hilary Hi Hilary. Thanks for your acknowledgments. I loved reading the word “naturalness” because this very minute I’ve got my “office” set up on our back deck. The breeze is blowing, birds are singing, wind chimes are chiming, and I keep having to wipe the pollen off my laptop! 🙂

@Farnoosh Hey there, fellow North Carolinian! I’d love to connect with you and talk more about all you wrote here!

@Megan Hey lady! I’ve *so* enjoyed interacting with you since we “met” here a few months ago. And I love what you put together here metaphorically about my experiences at 25. It’s much more inspiring than what my brother said about it. He just kept calling me “sprinkler spine.” 😀

@Dr. Jennifer Thank you!

@Miguel I knew it!! Lol! Thanks for popping back in with this.

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Escape The Rat Race April 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

What a fabulous blog! I’m so truly thankful I’ve found such a wonderful community of people.
We all know life is a journey and I live mine to the fullest. Life coaching is a fab way to help one reach their full potential.

I’ll be revisiting your blog regularly…

Michelle Stanley

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Lance April 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm

@Tim – Hi Tim. One of the things I have found from working with a life coach is their ability to help us clarify “life”. And what Laura is starting with her Circles of Six groups really do this plus provide a small network of other committed individuals there to help guide us toward success. Personally, I am really looking forward to joining Laura in this! And know that I wish you much success on this journey you are on…

@Hilary – Hi Hilary. Having talked to Laura both through email and on the phone, I can attest to how she really does have this real and natural love for seeing others succeed. It’s an honor to both work with her and call her friend!

@Farnoosh – Hi Farnoosh. Yes, Laura is really a gift to those people she works with! I have felt this deep connection she creates, and it is one that is so good! And…very cool…another person from the great state of North Carolina (I just know only amazing and wonderful people from that state!!).

@Megan – Hi Megan. And I love how you have described your take on Laura’s life-changing event at 25 years old. Being healed can be much more than just a physical healing. And I feel that very much in Laura’s story. Megan, thank you for these thoughts today. Much love to you…

@Dr. Jennifer Howard – Thanks much for being here today!

@Miguel – Hi Miguel. So I think it really comes down to the group and what everyone in that group is fully committed to. Great to hear about your positive experience!!

@Laura – Hey there, good buddy!!!!

@Michelle – Thanks much for stopping by Michelle.

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Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com April 17, 2010 at 2:42 am

Love this article. Very in depth and interesting. Her answer on what makes her herself really resonated with me.
.-= Richard | RichardShelmerdine.com´s Last Fabulous Post ..Tabata Intervals : Day 30 (Post Mortem) =-.

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