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I found out.   My name is Laura Cottril, and I am an award-winning professional photographer.     I recently embarked on a journey that began with that roar, because I didn’t listen to the whisper.  As a result of it, I created what I now call The Year of Me. I did not intentionally set out to create The Year of Me. It more unfolded as the result of an act of desperation. A two-year journey of stress and heartbreak in almost every area of my life left me no choice. I took the reins and set an intention to change my life. I adopted the mantra:

If you improve yourself, you will improve your life.

From there I embarked on a trail of faith and hope, finding rewards I had not imagined. Welcome to my “The Year of Me” Website.  Come along with me on the journey and together we can find your own “Year of Me.”  I always liked the idea of learning together, we are all still learning and every year has it’s own lessons.

Click here to read my story and why I created The Year of Me. Follow this link to go to my Blog page for stories and inspiration.

What is The Year of Me?

The Year of Me is not really a year and does not have to start in January, but it is very much like a year of seasons. It begins with deep reflection and inaction. Where you are now is exactly where you are meant to be.

  •  Winter: We begin with a time for reflection.
  •  Spring: finding inspiration, gathering energy
  •  Summer: making change, outward, joining actions
  •  Autumn: saying yes, rewards of labor/actions

Some lessons you’ll learn along the way:

  • How the path to renewal follows the seasons of nature
  • Why giving can help you receive
  • How finding ways to get inspired can jumpstart your path
  • Get out of the house to open doors
  • Creating your personal “company policy” keeps you on track
  • Revealing yourself
  • Saying yes to scary offers
  • Harvesting the fruits of your labor

Recent Blog Posts:

Curl! Don’t carry.

Photo copyright Canadian Olympic Committee I can’t get this image out of my mind. It’s the Olympics. ThereView full post »

After the clearing

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In ourView full post »

The balloon that is you.

Life lessons are not always learned and then checked off, not to be repeated. Some lessons become more of a practice,View full post »

Why don’t we eat dessert first?

I love a good book. I love a pile of good books and I love to read. The day is ended, the house is winding down and I amView full post »

What are you carrying?

When I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office, I was stunned. I did not imagine this number, even though myView full post »

There is value in the valleys.

After learning my lessons in my Year of Me, I sometimes feel that, now that I know what to do, I should be living theView full post »

The gift of investing in yourself

“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him and then choose that way with all his strength.&#View full post »

It’s Okay to Start Again

Today I went to yoga. For the first time. In nine months. With a bad knee gone bad, crying to insurance, some blessedView full post »

One Hour a Day

Talking to another mom at school this week, we got onto the topic of putting your own oxygen mask on first, so we canView full post »

Skip to the good part

Recently, I went to a gathering where I knew no one. My connection was a friend of a friend of a friend. Even thoseView full post »

My Big Ideas

I admit it, I’ve been dipping in and out of a funk. There is a lot going on for me right now as I stretch and growView full post »

The Year of Me Interviews Brooke Snow

One of the best ways in life to learn a lesson, other than experiencing something for yourself, is through the storiesView full post »


I am a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert and I finally got ahold of her newish book “The Signature of All Things.” ItView full post »

Do you have a hobby?

I have finally, after fifteen years, tackled painting the kitchen cupboards. Admittedly, I wasn’t focused on thisView full post »

It’s not forever

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that myView full post »

Death Do Us Part

Ian Ruhter has shown up in my life…on Facebook. A kind friend sent me a link to his videos and now I sit hereView full post »

The Doubters

Who are you to put yourself first? What about those people who depend on you? If you are out at the spa all day andView full post »

The Seeds You Plant

“Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson Last summerView full post »

Begin Again…

Beginning again feels hard. Writing comes to mind. Lately – for months really – I’ve been writing inView full post »

How do I begin?

I was sharing with someone recently about The Year of Me and how my life had changed because of it. I hadn’t seenView full post »

Fear and Excitement

Fear and excitement come from the same place. Think of a roller coaster. Trying new things can be scary. Well, even ifView full post »

Lake Tahoe, children

Break the Rules

I’m just like you. I do my best to be a mom, a wife, a business person, get in shape, eat better, send a thank youView full post »

Spring, finally, Spring!

What makes the boat change it’s course into brighter waters? It feels random or circumstance or lucky, but deepView full post »

I’m Not Doing Nothing…

“Sometimes one can learn much more about life, love, and happiness, when they’re single than when they’View full post »

In gratitude for good teachers…

I’ve wondered my whole life why I wasn’t motivated to “do my best” in school. I knew I was smartView full post »

Silence of a Lava Field

We hurry as we race the setting sun. The air is perfect with a soft breeze brushing our cheeks, but we don’t notice.View full post »


 “There is nothing more important in my life ~ or in my business ~ than my own personal growth as a human beingView full post »

Sugar Free

I have decided. I’ve drawn the line. I’m off sugar. Again. As addictions go, there is the painful part, theView full post »

Back to Basics

“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ~Chinese proverb I am sitting hereView full post »

I Believe in Magic…

“Dad, your guiding hand will remain on my shoulder forever.”  Author Unknown We have a somewhat newView full post »

I am waiting for you…

  I am in the front corner because the class is so full, this is the only spot left. The sun is shiningView full post »