2017, A Year of Every Big Life Change

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two housed as they are in the same body.
— Mary Oliver

Dearest readers,

2017 has been A YEAR for me, for our world.

For me, I have had immense progress and also hardcore stagnation. Mostly 2017 was incredible change. The greatest lesson I have had to learn over and over again how to come back to center as change spins around me. Cheers to more change, more centering in 2018

2017 in Summary

It is the first full year I have lived without my dad.

This has been an accomplishment. Existing in the world without my dad brought about a deeper way of viewing the world and more grief than I thought possible. But it is not simple grief, it is complex, and quiet and tender. The tears, the heartbreak, the sinking feelings sneak in just when I think I have a chance of being “past” it. It is continually hard for me to admit that the loss doesn’t disappear. The pain of being without my dad in the world does not go away. But life goes on. There is still joy, and hope and creating. And the missing him, that stays too.


I moved back to my hometown.

This has been both a privilege and comfort. Yet, there is a sneaky undertone of defeat. See, I tried to branch out beyond Berkeley. I sought out life among the orphans of NYC. I traveled. I sought out what is available in the world. I spent years exploring San Francisco and enjoying the perks of a small city. After all the exploration, after my dad died, Berkeley opened its reliable arms to be. In 2017 I got to come home.

lauren bride


I got married.

After building a new home in my hometown, I got to marry the sweetest man. Along with a wedding blessed by incredibly artistic, openhearted friends I shared a day unlike any other. There were so many tears. It opened my eyes to the true community I have, the rare moment you get to see it all in one room. The marriage, is like the final coat of paint on a house you have spent years building. The shift into matrimony is the final touch on a lot of hard work and now we have an even more structured foundation to live in.


I left one business to start another.

After buying a clinic called Service Workers Acupuncture Project three years ago. I left due to some changes in the lease and dove full force into Well in the West (Thanks for being here btw!). This has become a community, an advice column, a source for herbs, physical health advice and much deeper healing. I can feel the path opening up broader and wider. It is as if a two lane highway has expanded into a freeway. The road will only go faster, with more traffic from now on.


I healed my adrenals.

Even before the death of my dad, my adrenals were low. After working in Community acupuncture for a few years I was running on low. When my dad died, they went kaput. With a lot of supplements, dietary shifts I have learned how to nourish myself again…more… deeply. This year has been deeply infused with my own healing. There has been no other option.


I got a complicated AF puppy

This little doggie has taught me more in three months than I thought possible. At five months old this puppy lived under our bed three days, we didn't get her off of our property for two weeks. Now she is eight months and has dog friends, loves going on hikes and is curious but not friendly to new people. She has taught me about fear, boundaries, healing, growth, expansion, brilliance… She is still not a “normal” dog, but she is on her way. Her world is expanding everyday. It's hard to explain the gamut of emotions I feel for this little creature. Above all she has been one of my greatest teachers.


I guided women through three transformational seasons, Winter, Spring, Fall.

I learned that the seasons embrace us, always. We have to learn how to embrace them back. Living with the pacing, the nutrition, what is available to us moment to moment, has taught me how to develop a resilience. Resilience calls for acceptance of what is happening. So often we reject when life slows us down, we get sick we still go to work. A loved one dies, we keep calm and carry on. We are deeply tired in winter, we go forth and drink all the coffee to stay well. We are launched out of our comfort zone and we curl into a ball.

As we sit back and enjoy the ride, the shifts and changes of each season hug us, they guide us, they nudge us. Living life more aligned to these tenants has been gently life changing, for me, for my clients… for communities we share the knowledge with.


I have remembered my artist self.

If there is one thing that adult life can beat out of you, it is the deep knowing that you are a creative artist with a lot to do and say. Art can be integrated into business, daily life. It can be a way of seeing things differently, accepting them, challenging them…art is all about making work about what we see in a creative and new way. I forgot this piece of myself a long time ago. Surrounding myself with all the people I love best, I have seen this in my friends living as professional artists. As well as all the people with day jobs who are lovely and holding tenderly their brilliant ideas, their creative streaks under the surface. We are all artists. Let's keep telling our stories.


As I sit and reflect on all these big changes. A LOT can shift in 365 Days. Looking forward to the 2018 reflections. Wishing you all a year of big change and growth.