Wide awake and dreaming


All-in at Lake Barkley.  8.20.16.


It was just another summer Sunday, but not to me.

I’ve taught group fitness classes for over three years now; but lately, I’ve stepped in mostly as a substitute instructor because coaching my clients and creating my classes and events has been my focus for most of this year.

When I do have time in my schedule to teach an exercise class, it’s never a side hustle mentality for me.

I’m not just going through the paces or on autopilot when I’m in charge of moving people to move their bodies.

I’m all-in.

Wide awake and present.

That Sunday, I taught an aqua fitness class where the participants are in the shallow part of the pool with these crazy looking foam barbells, and I’m on the pool deck with music and a plan.

I instructed my ass off for that 45 minutes. I had a pool of about 30 people moving, smiling, laughing and singing disco songs.

We were all wide awake, and it wasn’t just another aqua class; it was a goddamn mermaid opera.

I love that. I love that I live that way and show up in the world so fully for myself and for the people I serve in any capacity — whether I’m coaching someone in California or leading a workout for a group of people standing chest-deep in a swimming pool.

What I’m teaching in either of those scenarios is conscious living. What does that mean?

  • slowing down and paying attention to your thoughts and actions


  • being intentional


  • being deliberate


  • stepping into a higher level of personal responsibility — always and in all ways


  • if you’re going through the paces of your marriage with resentment and boredom, offer yourself a moment of vulnerability and courage to ask for help to become more connected and build a stronger partnership


  • if you overeat and don’t feel good living in your body, but you sway between ignoring yourself or beating yourself up for not “getting your shit together,” maybe it’s time to tune into a place of compassion, curiosity and belief that you have the power to love yourself and take care of your body in exactly the way you need to


  • if you can only show your heart and talk about who you really are to your group of girlfriends after everyone’s lubricated with a few glasses of wine  — question that and see if that’s what you really want in your friendships


  • when you feel like your soul-sucking job is holding you captive and you know that you want an exit plan, but you’d rather talk about how much it sucks and that you have no options —  question this story you’re telling yourself and get the help you need to change course if you feel like you’re at a dead end


  • when you see people you’re connected to on social media traveling, laughing with their family and friends, exercising on the regular, sharing stories or generally finding joy within themselves and their lives, and you feel jealous, want to look away, roll your eyes, or slap a dangerous label like “narcissist” upon them — turn inward and ask yourself what’s really going on with you; where is that visceral reaction coming from and how is it a clue to what you really want if you decided to be more awake in your life?


That’s when life becomes an art — not just something to put up with or watch from the sidelines. Every thought and every choice makes a difference and adds nuances, possibilities and capacity for deeper living.

Your life and how you choose to live it is your body of work.

It’s not for the faint of heart or for those who want to stay in the shallow end of life because they think they can’t drown there.

BUT – if you’re willing to take your top off and jump in backwards (see photo : ), I can promise you this: it will never be boring AND it will be exhilarating, messy and spectacular. And if that sounds like road you want to travel, then…

That’s when you know you’re all-in.

Wide awake and dreaming.

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3 thoughts on “Wide awake and dreaming

  1. Marcella Hazelwood

    LoveLoveLove what you said!!!! Sew GD right! My daughter Vanessa Poling was a student of yours at Pres as was I, and sent me your site!! Thank you for putting it all there is such simple straight to the point! If you want a great life…. Get of your ass and make it happen! Look inward and not at everyone else!!!! And damn straight I would jump in that lake topless at 52

  2. Terry Meyer

    Thank you for giving us Mermaids a fantastic workout, Laura. Your enthusiasm is genuine and I felt like you were enjoying it as much as we were! I greatly respect and admire your work and I’m benefitting from listening to your chats. Love from your fan, Terry

  3. Jeanette Lynch

    Your message resonated with me. Retired from teaching June of ’17 and am now an aqua fitness instructor. Need to work on my eating HABITS. Love TEACHing my classes. Thanks for the advice.