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




Mothers Day When We No Longer Have a Mother….

Last year for Mothers Day, we took Clay’s mom out to eat. With her flowers and card, she told everyone it was her birthday. We went with that. It is a good memory in the midst of that season.  This year she has passed and we find ourselves with no mom in the family. When my mother died a few years ago, I was surprised by the strong orphan feeling.  I am an adult and been successfully navigating my life for many years but when faced with the reality of both parents leaving this earth, it was an odd mix of responsibility and neediness. Now with my husbands family gone, we are it.  The patriarchs of the family.  It is strange with no family standing between us and the end of life.  Whether we have had great relationships or struggles, there is something comforting about that buffer. Even when I remind myself -this is normal life changes and seasons, it feels odd and unnatural. Embracing this new season and acting on my decision of what do I want this time to look like and feel like for me helps to make it more normal. What legacy do I want to leave in this world? Am I making steps to make that happen?

Then, we are faced with a holiday reminding us of what we are missing.  Normally, I say look at what you have in your life rather than focusing on what is missing. However, Continue reading “Mothers Day When We No Longer Have a Mother….”

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!”

Changing Gears

Interior in a short nose SAAB 96. Photographed...

In driving a car or 4 wheeler, it goes through a transition as you increase speed.  On an automatic, it will switch into a different gear to make the engine work easier.   On a standard transmission, you have to make that shift your self.  While I really do not understand the mechanics of it all, ( as you can tell from the not so scientific description), I have learned to listen and hear the whine telling me it is time to shift.  On the 4 wheeler, I not only hear the change, but feel it, as it gives me a nice little jerk as I shift into this higher gear.

This week my life has shifted into a much faster pace.  Adding a 26 hour a week internship with some very special kids to my normal life and coaching schedule has been challenging.   I have felt a little bit of a whine as I have worked to shift myself into a higher gear.  One of my favorite ways to give myself that jump into a higher gear is to ask those super, empowering questions!!

If I were to ask, “Why am I so tired?” or Why am I feeling overwhelmed?” , it would give me a different focus than if I asked myself “How did I make a difference today?” or ” What amazing thing did I learn?’”  If you ask your self the same empowering question each day, your brain will automatically look for ways to find the answer. You will automatically even start changing behavior to  able to give yourself a stronger answer!! It is amazing how this works!  This does take a little thought to decide what are some empowering questions I could ask?  But, it really is not so taxing on your brain as staying in these old patterns with  a negative or even neutral question.  It is empowering if it moves you forward – emotionally, mentally or physically!!

Another technique for ramping up to a higher gear is to change your physiology.  What is your body doing?  Take a few minutes to listen to your breath.  When I get busy and overwhelmed I do forget to breathe. Those shallow breathes do not support me in the need to do more.  We can make a quick change in the way we feel or perform, by changing our breathing.  We can relax or stimulate ourselves with different breathing techniques.  Here is one I like from Dr Weil.  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html         He also has a great one for relaxation.

Exercise 1:
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
  • Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
  • Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.


How will you have a wonderful day?




Letting Go and Moving On

English: Climber repelling Rooster Rock in the...

Just because you have done something for a long time, does not mean you must continue it forever;                                     Your past does not equal your present;                                                                                                                                                                  You sometimes have to let go of one thing in order to embrace something new.

This are things I often say in reminder to others who are making change in their lives.  Yes, it is easier to say than to live it out.  Today, I let go of a position I have had for a very long time.  I loved it and was good at it. I enjoyed it immensely and received many emotional rewards for it in my life.  I also felt I made a difference in the lives of others here.   So, to say this is tearing a part of me away is not overstating it.  Even when I know it is the right thing to do, there is grief, loss and fear.  What if this is not the right decision?  What if no one likes me anymore? What if I never find something else that I enjoy this much?  Oh my!  This is normal, I tell myself.

When I went repelling, they had me all strapped and secured with the ropes.  The hardest part was letting go of the base and grabbing onto the rope.  Even though I knew I was safe, it took a little while to convince myself to make that move, then the rest of the journey was a blast!

How will I handle it?   Allow the feelings to come and go, yet tell myself the truth.   “This is time to go on”.  “My worth and value is not in what I do.”  ”  I have been through change before and it has been good.”  ”  I will grow from this and the future is wide open.”

I  made some cute matching prairie bonnets.  Not sure that would help anyone else, but it felt good to do a project with an result that can be seen.

Tomorrow will be easier and I can rejoice in stepping out and the adventure of the future!!

Sometimes freedom comes with some pain, but I have been here before and know it is worth it to grow, to learn and to keep on this journey of life!!

(And, no the picture is not of me, but it is a great illustration.  My repelling adventure was in the inner city, not so beautiful but just as scary!)

Changing the Things I Can

English: Leaves changing color in Lorain, Ohio

The Calender says,”It is Autumn”. Pumpkins and brightly colored leaf garlands abound to decorate our homes.  The pool is closed and padlocked.  The only problem is the temperature is still 96!  While 96 is not really hot, if it was July or August, we long for some crisp cool air.  As much as we complain and whine about it, we can’t change this.

Often in our lives, we struggle with accepting the things we cannot change and neglect taking steps to change what we can.  Things like the weather, other peoples choices and professional sports teams, fall into the can’t change and must accept as they are.  I can change my attitude, the quality of my relationships and how healthy I want my body to be by working out and eating well.  There are many more in each category, these are just the things I am dealing with today!!  I talked with my sister and she was dealing with the dilemma of saying goodbye to her flowers and plants for the winter time in her part of the country, as she prepares for months of snow and ice.  We all face the changing of seasons in our environment, as well as the seasons of life we live.   While different for us all, we need to keep in mind what we can change and what we can’t.

For today, I will enjoy wearing my shorts once again, light a pumpkin spice candle, work out and be thankful for my air conditioner!!   I will make my calls, some for work and some for fun.   Moving forward in embracing this life journey.

English: Autumn is one of the four temperate s...

How will you embrace this beautiful fall day?