I’ve always been a nature girl, happiest outdoors exploring the woods. I spent countless hours of my childhood in my suburban NJ backyard making tiny fairy houses out of leaves with stick furniture and little acorn cap cups and bowls.
I majored in animal behavior in college, thinking I would become a wildlife biologist like Jane Goodall. I spent four months in Kenya studying giraffe behavior, and realized that while I loved watching the giraffes, it wasn’t my path to turn every bite they took into a bunch of tables and graphs for the rest of my life.
I knew I wanted to learn more about wilderness camping and eventually found myself on the side of a snowy mountain clutching an ice axe. I learned how to take care of myself in the wild, and that I actually prefer hiking and camping that doesn’t involve being roped up so you don’t fall to your death in a crevasse.
I moved to New Orleans and taught science to amazing and incredible middle school students for sixteen years. It was much more than a job and it took up almost every waking moment – and filled my night dreams as well! It was fulfilling, challenging and fun!
In the middle of all of that I found true love, bought and eventually paid for a house on two tiny teacher salaries, got too busy, lived through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and discovered Martha Beck. You can read a funny story about it here.
Eventually it was time to get back to me. I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009. The whole thing. All 2178 miles of it. It changed my life and recrystallized my priorities. I did it alone and happy.
Since then I’ve been figuring out how to be in this world without feeling over- anything. Overworked, overstimulated, overtired, overwhelmed. Over anything except over the moon with the amazing-ness of everyday life.
I’ve figured out how to have a life that feels peaceful. I have time for photography, sketching, writing, beautiful meals with my sweetheart, walks in the woods and meaningful work.
What’s changed the most is what happens inside my head. I’ve learned to trust my body as much as my brain to find my right life. I’ve learned that about eighty percent of the chatter in my mind is a pack of lies and I don’t have to listen. I’ve learned that the only thing in my way is me, and any other excuse I dream up is hooey. I’d love to help you discover this too. And I’ve got the tools from Martha Beck’s coaching program to help us make it happen.
Do you believe it’s possible to live every day with the same sense of peacefulness and happy anticipation you have when you’re on vacation? I’m finding out that it is! I’ll be honest – I don’t pull it off every single minute, but I’m blown away by how much easier it gets to be this way each day. Life feels open, expansive. Dreams aren’t just dreams – they’re achievable. Like soon. And resting and relaxing in the midst of fulfilling them is part of the plan. It’s all pretty delicious.
Email me at email@example.com with questions, insights, or just to say hello! I’m always interested in having a conversation and sharing about our journeys to a more wild and precious life.
If you’re interested in coaching, schedule a free 30 minute call with me and let’s chat about it!
If you’d like to read a more detailed Q&A that asks me some great questions about my philosophy and about coaching, please check out this Shine post on Jackie Cangro’s blog.
You can also follow me on Twitter: @NOLACarla
Or on Facebook: Living Wild and Precious
Or check out my NOLA blog, One Wild and Precious Life: nolawildandprecious.com – it’s the place that keeps me honest – see what I’ve been up to living my own wild and precious life! Updated nearly daily.
P.S. NOLA means New Orleans. Sometimes I forget that if you don’t live here you don’t know what that means!
(photo credit: Mark S. Kirkland)