As I kick off 2020’s Share Your Story; the Women the WSJ Missed series, I am reminded of why I began it in the first place. In my role as Founder & CEO of Kuel Life, I have the privilege and opportunity to meet many amazing women who are making bold, big changes in their Second Act.
Hara Allison epitomizes midlife reinvention. Rising above childhood trauma and low-self esteem which wreaked havoc with her weight; Hara now uses all of her talents as a graphic designer, artist, photographer, and coach to uplift women and show them their beauty.
Kick off 2020 with Hara’s fearless sharing of her truth! And, if you haven’t done so; follow her ‘Yes, yes magic’ on Instagram. It is a wonderful, uplifting platform celebrating US!
KUELLIFE: What are you pursuing now, at this stage of your life, that surprises you or might appear to others as if it comes out of left field?
HARA: In October I went to the Archangel Summit in Toronto. I went in hoping to get re-inspired for my graphic design business and left believing that dreaming wasn’t only reserved for others, but was also available to me.
And what was my dream? To help women who have suffered the way I have – with hating themselves and battling weight. I’ve lost 70 pounds (and counting) and I want to help women see their beauty and worth, before they lose a single pound.
KUELLIFE: What’s a typical day like for you?
HARA: I wake up early every day, about 4:30am. I’m working on design projects for clients like The American Bar Association and Visit Rainier, or I’m writing a blog post for ‘Yes, yes magic’. Or, I might be editing a photo I took for my 52 photos project. On Mondays and Thursdays, I play tennis at lunchtime. I’m meeting with a lot of women, either for ‘Yes, yes magic’ or just because. I love that.
KUELLIFE: With what do you struggle?
HARA: Finances are my biggest struggle. I’m going to change that.
KUELLIFE: How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
HARA: I have been self-employed since 1991 (almost 30 years) so I know for sure I am self-motivated. I always want to do better, be better, learn more, and challenge myself. Right now, I am taking three online courses and I have two coaches. I love how I’m developing.
KUELLIFE: What advice would you give fellow women about aging?
HARA: My mom passed away when she was 46. Aging is a privilege. Take care of yourself. You should be honored to do so.
KUELLIFE: What does vulnerability mean to you? What has the ability to make you vulnerable?
HARA: I love women who dare to be vulnerable. I once had an art show based around this topic. I asked women to pose for me topless, and then I painted them from that image. There were a lot of brave women. One stands out: she had lost a breast to cancer, but still posed for me topless. I’ll always remember her pulling her robe down. I love that she trusted me.
Now, when I take photos for my project, I interview women beforehand. We spend sometimes two hours just talking. They always tell me their secrets. I’m so happy to be a safe place for so many.
KUELLIFE: What are three events that helped to shape your life?
HARA: My mom passing away at 46. I was 18. Marrying the wrong man at 23. Marrying the right man at 49.
KUELLIFE: Who influenced you the most in life and why?
HARA: One of my sisters, who is closest in age to me. We were inseparable our entire childhood and much into our adult life. She was my biggest cheerleader even though I wasn’t always easy to deal with. We’re actually estranged at the moment, but it doesn’t negate how much she influenced and helped me. I would hate to imagine my childhood without her!
KUELLIFE: What is the best advice you’ve been given from another woman?
HARA: My best friend always says “Boldy be you.” It was hard at first. I didn’t love who I was. But I did a lot of work and released a lot of shame I carried and now I am living life out loud, full of pride, to the utmost.
KUELLIFE: What woman inspires you and why?
HARA: My daughters inspire me with their courage and kindness. I am so proud of the women they’ve become. They have given my life true purpose.
KUELLIFE: Are you grown-up?
HARA: I am. I am youthful looking and feeling, but I’m proud to say I’m a mature woman.
KUELLIFE: What do you do for self-care?
HARA: Everything! From only drinking filtered water; to only using non-toxic products; to only eating and drinking healthy, wholesome options; I am in a constant state of self-care. I do get occasional massages and take time with my friends, but caring for myself is my top priority.
KUELLIFE: And last but definitely NOT least: What are the top three things on your bucket list?
HARA: Travel with my husband. Turn my passion into a full-time profitable vision. Live a long and healthy life.