It has been so wonderful to add Lara to my circle of RAD humans. She is creative, funny, energetic, and so enthusiastic about helping and encouraging people in so many ways. We connected over snail mail (we both LOVE it!), and I absolutely adore the zines she creates and sends to her clients and friends. Be sure to take a minute to read Lara's answers here, and then think about how YOU might answer these same questions! Enjoy this interview from an amazingly colorful person!
Share a comment here on the blog with your thoughts, or how you might answer these questions. You can also send me a message or find the conversation over on social media.
What are some things that were important to you as a small child that you can still see echoes or threads of in your life today?
I see so many threads of my younger self in my life today. I have always considered myself and activist, having started animal-rights clubs as a kid, raising money to donate to different organizations. Even though I no longer am leading my own justice groups, I still participate and donate to many rights organizations. I am also an artists, through and through. I have always been a painter. I think this one is quite common. Kids are encouraged to do arts and crafts. We lose that somewhere along the way. I never gave it up. I've always been obsessed with crafty things and continue to pursue an art practice today. I paint and do mixed media on canvas and paint large murals. A quieter thread is my introverted nature and the need for alone time to rejuvenate myself.
Were aspects of your identity celebrated or suppressed throughout your life? How did this affect you?
My parents are the most diplomatic loving people I have ever met in my life. Their kindness and compassion extends beyond our immediate family. I know with every ounce of certainty in my being that I was born into a very special situation. I feel lucky to have the parents I have. I am definitely the person I am today because of them. I'm a very sensitive person and I think that if I were in a family that squashed my feelings and desire for unique expression I would have ended up very different.
What are some things you have done in your life that you are truly proud of?
I've traveled a lot, stayed true to my creative nature, and pursued the opportunities I've been most interested in. One specific adventure that I am super proud of is my cross country bicycle trip with my older sister in 2008. We cycled from our apartment in NYC to our brothers house in Seattle. It was awesome. I went to art school, dropped out, graduated with a degree in art & environmental studies 6 years later. I am also super proud of the murals I have painted and putting myself out there as a painter. I continue to be committed to building my coaching practice and there have been many milestones along the way that I have enjoyed.
What are a few of your favorite questions to ask people you are getting to know? Why do you like these questions?
I love finding out where people are from in the world and where they have lived. Getting peoples travel stories. How did you come to Denver or X location? How do you know X person? What are you working on right now (just in your life)? I actually really love speed networking events because I feel like you get these glimpses into peoples life for a few minutes and then get a little taste of everyone. The speed aspect allows you to jump straight into a fun facts about you scenario and go down whichever little path pops up first. Icebreakers are always a litlte tough and awkward - giving out compliments is an easy and nice way to reach out to someone.
Are you a parent? What has parenting taught you about caring for another person or being curious about them?
I am a parent and it is shifting everything. Taking care of little people and people in general is super hard (for me). I feel that it is a deeply undervalued and under recognized thing in the USA. I feel like my ignorance is coming into full view… that I actually know nothing and finding out news ways that I know nothing every day. What I do know is that every single humans needs the love, attention, and care from another human. And we are deeply lacking that across the world. There are too many people who are not getting the love and attention that they need. How will we change this? How will be do better for our own families?
Lara is a certified professional coach specializing in regret and life design. Lara is certified through iPEC and the Designing Your Life methodology through Stanford University. She has a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University and also studied painting at Parsons School of Design. Lara’s education and background as an artist fuel her excitement for supporting people who are asking "what's next?" (professionally or personally) and helping them to design their own good life path. Check out Lara's website: www.larabuelow.com, or connect with her on Instagram: @larabuelow
Lara lives with her husband, two daughters, and dog in Denver, CO. She is an enthusiastic creator and a self proclaimed self help junkie.