Image by Sharon McCutcheon

ABOUT
QUEER COMPASSIONATE ALIGNMENT

unconditional self-love & aligned habits serving the whole, most authentic you

 

MISSION

  • to help queer folx of all ages fall in love with and show up for their most authentic selves

  • to empower queer individuals and families to build sustainable habits that allow that most authentic self to live their happiest, healthiest, best life.

  • to provide safe spaces & communities that empower queer folx of all ages to show up authentically and feel supported in their journey toward self-love, wellness, & alignment

 

HI, I'M ARA!

(they/she)

  • queer, non-binary, and proud

  • polyamorous/non-monogamous

  • vegan

  • imperfect minimalist

  • diet culture dropout

  • avid learner & audiobook listener

  • coffee & tea enthusiast

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MY ALIGNMENT JOURNEY

NOTE: This video currently uses my given name, rather than the name I choose and use in our community.

An updated video will replace this one, when available.

 
 
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MY APPROACH
& CERTIFICATIONS

QUEER SELF-LOVE & ALIGNMENT COACH

  • Holistic Nutritionist

  • Holistic Health Practitioner

  • Health at Every Size® Approach

  • Tiny Habits Advocate

  • Self-Love Rooted Practice

  • Safe-Space Community Creator

 

WHY SELF-LOVE?

 
Image by Sharon McCutcheon

You may be wondering why, if I am certified as a holistic nutritionist and a holistic health practitioner, I choose instead to label myself as a self-love & alignment coach. You might even be wondering what self-love has to do with holistic well-being or sustainable habit building at all. It’s a fair question. But to be honest, the answer is that it has EVERYTHING to do with true well-being and lasting habit change.


You see, I’ve done the journey the other way, without self-love as a foundational component.


In fact, I’ve done it

over…

     and over…

               and over again!

 

HERE IS WHAT HAPPENS:

Lack of proper self-compassion leads to self-blame and guilt for missed time on habits or when they don’t grow quickly enough. THE RESULT: Habits feel impossible and don’t last. AND we blame ourselves for our “failure”, negatively impacting our confidence & mental health.


Being out of tune with ourselves leads to picking habits or efforts that we think we "should do", instead of what we want to do & what works for us. THE RESULT: habits feel like a chore and they don’t last. Again we assume it’s our fault they didn’t work and we question our ability to grow at all.


We rely too much on motivation and aim to make huge changes all at once. So, when motivation does naturally wane (which is 100% normal and natural), we struggle to keep doing the habit and… THE RESULT: (you guessed it) we eventually fall off the wagon, the habits don’t last, we blame ourselves, and our mental health takes another hit.

 
Image by Carlos de Toro @carlosdetoro

I’ve been down that road so many times. I know it well, and if you've made it to this page, my guess is that you do too.


Recognizing how conditional my confidence actually was and then working to build those foundations first, completely changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. It allowed me to build habits that would actually stick. It allowed me to reshape my habits in a way that worked for me AND to come running home to them, even when I took some time off or life got in the way. Seriously - I am now excited to do my chosen habits, even when I miss days, and have no guilt holding me back!


My effort and habits have compounded in a way that has allowed me to be a more confident, out and proud human than I ever imagined I could be. And my life has shifted dramatically over time to serve me in ways I could never have dreamed.

 

HOW DOES QUEERNESS IMPACT ALIGNMENT & WELLBEING?

 
Image by Mike Schrengohst

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the no excuses rhetoric that ignores our intersectional identities! In addition to simply needing safe-space support for our growth journeys, queerness impacts our alignment in a multitude of unique ways and that should be taken into account by the coaches, therapists, and practitioners that serve us! And when these factors are taken into account and centered in our journeys... magic happens!

 
Image by Jesse Bowser

PHYSICAL WELLBEING & QUEERNESS

Queer folx are more likely to struggle with body dysphoria and dysmorphia, leading to disordered patterns with wellness habits. They are also less likely to feel heard, respected, and safe in medical spaces, resulting in less medical care including for check-ups, chronic or emergency care, and sexual health. Not to mention queerness and lack of acceptance impacts stress levels in unique ways, which can trigger a host of chronic conditions and impact both sleep and energy levels!

When we instead center our queerness in conversations around physical wellness allows us to find new body appreciation, to create space to affirm our identities compassionately, and to create physical wellness habits that revolve around how we want to FEEL, rather than solely how we want to LOOK.

 

INTELLECTUAL WELLNESS & QUEER FOLX

Intellectual Wellness - Lack of acceptance in learning spaces can uniquely impact the ability to focus, learn, and succeed academically for queer folx of all ages. Queer folx may also often fear that topics that interest them and they wish to learn about would be ridiculed, deemed inappropriate, or even threaten their safety if they were “discovered” because many subject matters associated with the queer community are often labeled taboo or only socially appropriate for certain binary genders. And of course, many queer folx also hold other intersectional identities that affect their learning patterns & the way in which they accomplish tasks, such as being part of neurodivergent or disabled communities.

Owning our queerness and intersectional identities in discussions of intellectual wellness makes room for exploration and play. We are able to finally grant ourselves the permission we've been looking for to peruse ideas that have always called us and create systems to do so that actually make sense for us!

Image by Jeremy Bishop
 
Image by Eastman Childs

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS & QUEER EXPERIENCES

Queer folx face unique stressors, due to lack of acceptance, which leads to higher rates of fear, chronic stress, depression, trauma, and other mental health conditions. Queer folx also face heightened emotional dysregulation & latent self-discovery due to compulsory cigenderism and heterosexuality and the need to socially “mask”, either consciously or unconsciously.


Acknowledging the effects of our queer identities and experiences on our emotional wellness creates space for deep healing. It allows us to unburden ourselves and discover lightness and freedom in showing up as our truest self.

 

SPIRITUAL WELLBEING & QUEER IDENTITIES

Queer folx often encounter hateful, unaccepting, and traumatic experiences in religious communities due to prejudice. Additionally, they can often find themselves isolated and alone, lacking a sense of community with people who truly understand them and their experiences.

Leading with our queerness in the realm of spirituality is expansive. It allows us to recenter community and purpose in these conversations, free ourselves from arbitrary rules and metaphorical shackles that do not serve us. It unburdens us of shame and replaces it with celebration of our unencumbered, limitless love.

Image by Dylan Gialanella
 
Loving Kiss

SOCIAL WELLBEING & SAFE SPACES

Discrimination and prejudice can make it feel uncomfortable and unsafe for many queer folx to show up 100% authentically, out, and proud with family or friends, at work, on the street, or anywhere else in their lives. Further, compulsory heterosexuality and cisnormativity can make it difficult to build a positive relationship with ourselves or to even discern who we truly are underneath and outside of all of that conditioning!

Queerness can transform our social relationships, allowing us to form deeper bonds rooted in openness and vulnerability, mutual appreciation, and deep sense of self. It gives us space to create and define our relationships not by prescriptive social rules, but by the wants, needs, desires, and magic of the individuals in them.

 

SPACE, TIME & THE QUEER EXPERIENCE

Queer folx often do not feel like they have as much control over their environments and shaping them to feel like truly freeing, safe spaces. Many queer folx are also nuerodivergent or have disabilities, which creates unique intersectional needs when it comes to creating calming and safe spaces in which to live.

Queerness can empower us to transform our relationships with space and time, asking not how we can serve others and fit the mold, but how our time and space and serve us, and how breaking the mold can liberate us all.

Image by Max Di Capua
 
Image by Felix Dubois-Robert

JOBS, MONEY, & INTERSECTIONAL IDENTITIES

Stereotypically queer mannerisms and ways of presentation are often seen as unprofessional or inappropriate for the workplace. Many queer folx may not feel safe being their most authentic self or being out in their work environment which affects both opportunity and productivity. It can also create uniqie barriers when it comes to salaries and opportuntiies for promotions. And this, of course, is magnified for queer women, queer trans and GNC folx, and QBIPOC folx who are impacted in unique intersectional ways when it comes to being seen a “professional”, feeling safe , or being valued in the workplace.

Rooting our occupational and financial wellness in queer safety, celebration, and liberation can allow us to find new inspiration, fulfillment, empowerment, and creativity in our or jobs and day to day tasks. We can transcend limiting roles and find the ways in which our unique and radiant magic creates opportunities for us and for our communities.

 

QUEERNESS IS OUR SUPERPOWER!

While queerness and our other intersectional identities can create unique barriers and obstacles for us when it comes to self-love, alignment, and wellbeing, queerness is also a self-love and alignment superpower! It gives us space to get to know ourselves more deeply and practice stepping outside of societal boxes in ways that cis-het folx do not experience. This is why our queerness should be front and center in those discussions. We deserve the conversations around our confidence, our alignment, and our well-being to be as unique and multi-dimensional as we are and to use all of our unique tools and secret weapons. We deserve a personalized approach that seeks not to contain or to tame our minds, bodies, or spirits, but to embrace our individuality and set our most authentic selves free. When we center our queerness and our other intersectional identities in our growth journey, we find ourselves able to lead with compassion like never before, to shed and transcend the spoken and unspoken expectations that have been keeping up small and subdued, and to truly begin shaping our day to day world to celebrate us in ways we didn't even dare to dream.