The past two weeks have been crazy in the news.  When tragic tragedy occurs other places and cities, we stop and pause.  It is heartwrenching and makes you wonder about life and who are these people.  Then you go on with life.

When violence comes in your own front yard, climbs on your porch – it changes you. For me it is a ripping at the fabric of my heart.  Our leaders responded quickly setting an example to us all of humility and of determination.  A gathering of hundreds in the heart of the city brought some great messages.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said “We as a city, as a state and as a nation are struggling with racial issues, they continue to divide us. We’ve got to change.”

“Is this what it takes for us to come together? Does it take tragedy? Does it take murder?” Imam Omar Suleiman asked. “Hatred is not an appropriate response to hatred.”

“We are being tested down to the core, to see not only if we will survive the atrocities of last night, but if we will rebound and become a better city,” Bishop T.D. Jakes said,  “Enough is enough. Let that which unites us be greater than that which divides us.”

We in Dallas have seen the end of the path that hate speeches and violence, and taking sides will take us and have said “NO, not in our city!”   And the biggest cry has been a call for action.  This event is unacceptable and we have to make a change.

Not just expecting someone else to do it.  Not pointing fingers, not taking sides.  While I appreciate our leaders for setting an example, I can’t expect them to do it all.  It is going to take all of us showing up each and every day.

 It is going to take me standing firm and asking, “How can I be the change I wish to see in the world?”

I have seen this in effect on the streets and in churches and organizations. Many have asked this question.  I see this in individuals at the store of all races raise their heads and make eye contact, giving smiles and greetings and hugs.  The outpouring of support for our fallen officers has been monumental as well as support for those officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  People are taking a stand and action.

Police Chief Brown puts out an opportunity, “We are hiring, put in an application.” While a good idea for some, this would not work for this grandma, way past the hiring age.  So where does that leave me, still asking the question.  In another blog I will maybe outline my process for this discovery, but for now I will simply say, “I have  to look at what I have, who I am, what are my gifts and abilities. How can I stretch and grow and share who I am and be the change?”

Sooo. I have a blog.  I can write.  I also have some great information on communication.  Practical and down to earth.  How can we really listen to our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and enemies?  How can we listen to ourselves and respect our beliefs and open lines of communication, celebrating the differences in others?  How can we communicate our desires and needs effectively?  Very often, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

In the next few weeks, I will use my blog to speak out on some great communication strategies that will help you in all areas of life.  I would love to join with you and  discover how we can make a difference in this world. In our own way. With our own unique gifts. In our own corner of the world.

I would also love to hear your views.  How are you dealing with the current situation in our world?  We can all learn from each other as we stand together and say- “ENOUGH”

It will take us all.   Every One of us!sonja in hole at gog




7 Ways to Play Where You Live!

Fun times with my daughter!!
Fun times with my daughter!!

Yes, I will admit it.  I have been running away quite a bit. I have had some great times with loved ones where we had such fun times.   Considering the hectic pace of my life this summer, I am saying it is good stress management.  However, traveling from  my last getaway, I was thinking, “When can I  go again?”   Somehow, I would need to arrange my life in a way where the day to day routine is more exciting and inviting.  While it might be good stress management to have breaks, it is not healthy to  only be ok when I am away from home.  We all do it, though. While, I love to getaway to the country and hike and 4-wheel, the people there just use their 4 wheeler for work, and not play.   This idea spawned my

“Play Where You Live” plan. Continue reading “7 Ways to Play Where You Live!”

“What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.

cropped-garden-of-the-gods.jpgWe were driving home from a very frustrating doctors visit, with a doctor who knew little about dementia or how to deal with a dementia patient.  I was looking for assistance with home health for bathing and medication for her anxiety.  Instead, I came away with paperwork on cooking for a patient with high-blood pressure… sigh.  My mother-in-law had already forgotten about the traumatic visit and was distracted by the huge cumulus clouds banking all around the sky.   Suddenly, the sky opened up to a huge downpour. The rain was so heavy and strong even the wipers on full blast could not keep up. It was a bit terrifying for me, who loves storms, trying to see and keep on the freeway.  She was in quite a panic.  Then she asked, “What did I do to deserve this?” Continue reading ““What did I do to Deserve This?” How our questions influence us forever.”

First Things First

10525916_781390441881524_13519433434744531_n[1]When life gets busy and crazy with a never-ending to-do list usually I tend to roll up my sleeves and get on the treadmill and keep going and going and going.  It takes a while for me to realize I have gone too far over the edge.   Yesterday, I thought about working out.  Hmmmm how long has it been?  Over a week…No wonder I am feeling lethargic and tense. Really, I know the fact is, the busier I am, the more I need to be aware of what it takes to keep me functioning – physically and emotionally.   Just like I need to set up routines in my life to make sure the dishes are done every day and people have food to eat, I must have some routines in place to keep me balanced and energized.   Everyone is different.  For me I need to do these things every day!! Continue reading “First Things First”

Courage to Be Yourself

Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!
Come on jump into the fun of being yourself!

Throughout our lives we have received input on who and what we should do do be ok.  Some of us have huge ideas that are impossible to reach or often these ideas are conflicting.  We read magazine articles or books trying to improve ourselves and if you are like me these are sometimes helpful and sometimes make us feel a little less than or never able to measure up to others.  Other people look like they have life easy and have achieved perfection or gotten it all together.  So,we try harder and sometimes we are successful and other times fall on our faces.  For me the break though came when I realized no one really has achieved this perfection.  Everyone puts on a nice smile and gets dressed the same way I do!  I can learn great things from others in one area or another and they can actually learn from me in another.  I am so lucky to have a long time friend who taught me to be more structured and organized with my days with young babies.  She is highly gifted in this area.  She in turn says she learned from me to relax more and have more fun with her kids.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  The challenge it to grow in both of them; to understand and accept our own unique selves while continuing to grow! Continue reading “Courage to Be Yourself”

Conquering the Fear of Decluttering!

My coaching philosophy is a systems approach where we make internal changes to produce outward results.  There are times when trying to change external habits or behavior can reveal inner blocks.  If we can address these blocks and transform them we can create lasting change and action is not painful or difficult.  Let me give a great example here from my life. In this series of blogs, I will walk you through the process. It was too long, so I am having to break it into several posts.  This process is helpful for removing blocks  in any area of life where you feel stuck. Continue reading “Conquering the Fear of Decluttering!”

Blog Post #100 – Yippeee!

395549_261699080561387_146189222112374_736403_1165990731_n[1]Knowing my hundredth post was coming up, I have been thinking of  what would be most important to write about.  Many ideas came to mind, but none that sounded really perfect for celebrating my 100 blog milestone.  That is when it hit me—  Of course– Celebrate the Milestone!!!!   Hooray   Hooray!  Time for the happy dance and confetti! Continue reading “Blog Post #100 – Yippeee!”

How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!

Fun time or stressful.  The choice is mine!
Fun time or stressful. The choice is mine!

It is so easy to look at the lives of others and think about how amazing they are, and then compare our family and life to this vision.  We see our own foibles and feel somehow like we fall short of the dream life and family.  The truth is there is no perfect life or family.  The reality is that life is a roller coaster.  We can however, choose our focus and the meanings we place on events.  Care for an example from my crazy weekend trip?

Continue reading “How was your weekend?? It depends on your perspective!”

Frustration RX

A simple, effective technique for dealing with frustration.  try it and see.
A simple, effective technique for dealing with frustration. try it and see.

Does Life ever bring those frustrating moments?  Sometimes I feel like I go from one frustrating moment to another. Then, other things that are usually easy, become difficult and Wham!…Life  just feels overwhelming and not much fun. What happens when we feel frustrated (along with her cousin anxiety) is the two parts of our autonomic nervous system become out of sync.  When the sympathetic division (responsible for our fight or flight zone in the brain in which is called upon for the sake of safety) and the  parasympathetic division (responsible for maintaining functions of the respiratory tract, ingestion and digestion and the disposal of wastes) are out of sync, is the signals in the nervous system are chaotic. It’s like driving a car with one foot of the gas pedal and one on the brake.  This makes for a jerky ride; burns more gas and wears out the car sooner.   So it is with our bodies and emotions, we tend to get frustrated more easily and often go into anxiety or anger. While it would be wonderful if we never had times of stress or frustration in our lives, we are going to encounter things that we do not like or that are out of our control.  Remember, it is not really the circumstances, but your perspective toward the circumstance and how that has put your nervous system out of sync. So, what do we do about it???    The people at HeartMath Research Center have been studying this for over 20 years.  I was delighted to learn some amazing techniques to deal with just his problem.

  • Become aware of how you feel about the situation at hand.  Admit to what you are feeling.  “I am frustrated and a little angry for spending 6 hours at the ER with my MIL and answering the same questions every 10 minutes.”  While I might wish I were a better person and not angry about this, acknowledging what I feel and naming it helps be to own it rather than just brush it off.
  • Slow down your breathing.  Breathe in for 5-6 seconds and out for 5-6 seconds.
  • Focus my breathing on my heart and breath in and out of my heart. (Yes, you are really breathing in your lungs first , but it has proven you can focus this breathing energy toward your heart.)
  • While still breathing ask yourself, “How would I like to feel?”   Compassion, love. joy, fun!
  • The more you focus on this new feeling, the more your nervous system becomes in sync and the more you can experience this desired feeling.
  • Express gratitude for this new feeling and for this moment in time.

Sounds too good to be true?  There is scientific evidence behind this!  It is a little challenging at first to get the habit, but gets easier the more you practice it.   So, give it a try and let me know how it works and lets leave frustration behind and life of gratitude. Another step in designing the life you have always wanted! Sonja

Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

I was almost as glad to have the Olympics over as I was to have them come.  It does take up a lot of my time and energy keeping up with it all. Of course, the opening  and closing ceremonies are always my favorite anyway.  Like I love pilots and series finales of TV shows and if I only watched those, I could save a lot of wasted time!  I also love births, weddings and funerals.  LOL  OK so before this turn into a blog on living between our high mountain top experiences, I will get to my point.

These people have trained endlessly for years.  Sometimes the win went to the favored and sometimes the most experienced failed and the win went to some one less experienced and not expected.  It all came down to performance on that day.  Some of the races were won by .005  or even .0007 of a second.  Oh my goodness.  I cannot even imagine how that would feel.  There could be many number of lessons learned in this.  What stands out for me is that every day is a chance to win.  I will step up to the starting line as the day begins and give my best effort. Hopefully it will be better than the day before.  Sometimes I will crash in a heap, flailing arms and legs in all directions looking for solid ground.  Other times I will soar in one way or another, knowing I have all that it takes for the victory of the day!  And then thankfully, I can start again the next day.  Every day is a gift and I can ask—

Did I live?

Did I love?

Did I laugh?

and Did I make a difference?

Ahhh now that is a Gold Medal performance!