Photo by Michelle Smith-Lewis | Mural by Summer Wheat
My teaching journey began when people started asking me for help. I answered the simple request: “Will you teach me?”
I’ve been drawn to service since childhood and consider it a privilege to contribute to the success of others. My guiding principles are simple: Serve and love. Serve with love. Love who I serve.
Over the years, I’ve been guided by many gifted, older female teachers, experts, and healers. When I reached my forties, one of these trusted elders declared, “It is time you lead yourself.” It was a stark moment—to be pushed out of the nest.
I felt afraid. I struggled to trust that everything I had learned was already—and always had been—contained within. But over time, the vital combination of regular self-inquiry and prayer led to a tangible feeling of safety—of being protected—as well as confidence in my own instincts. Vulnerability transformed into personal power.
Honed from working with wisdom and the willingness to walk with mystery, these liberating experiences have opened the door to boundless grace. I practice and teach increasing access to freedom from limiting thoughts and behaviors.
As a lifelong student, I know that teachers and mentors cannot give you easy solutions to your most important questions. What they ideally have is skillfulness in pointing out objective instructions connecting you to the answers you desire—the ones that arise from within your own resplendent being.
If useful answers are not arising for you in life’s critical moments, they will with intentional, adept effort. Your sādhanā (spiritual path of practices), which looks a bit different for each individual person, unlocks the ability to lead yourself and everything you choose to do!
Prior to becoming a certified yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner, I worked in government relations, community affairs, politics, and communications. In 2006, I was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship to train emerging leaders in transatlantic relations. I am a graduate of the Center for Women and Democracy and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit universities.
I now study and teach meditation, write, garden, cook, collect art, and make socially conscious investments. I live with my husband and our dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, I completed my first full-length book, Mātrikā’s Muse: A Mystical Journey to Awakening through the Senses.
Lara brought our mind and body to a place of serenity. She gave us a gift that puts awareness and perspective into our lives.
Hopefully we will be more loving and caring and better…
For each other,
For those we love,
For our world.”
—MICHAEL B., MD