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




Forward on the Path of Life!

Interpreting life as a journey helps keep me going.

Sometimes we get a little lost only to find we were on the right path all along and didn’t know it.

Sometimes the path is bright and cheery and others filled with sorrow. Sometimes the direction is clear and sometimes it makes little sense.

Too often I find I am walking someone else path or the one I think I am supposed to be on rather than the path that is unique and true to me.

There are moments in life that seem so amazing, I don’t want them to ever end or change- but they do and life changes and moves on.

Some moments are so filled with pain and hurt we want to move on, but feel so stuck it is hard to take another step.

Others can join us, love us, support us. Sometimes it is for a long time, others it is fleeting. Some people seem to be in our path as obstacles to our movement and happiness. These people can show us parts of ourselves where we need to grow that we would really rather not see.

My current life journey includes launching my youngest into adulthood. It is exciting and scary. For 33 years I have had a child at home to care for, nurture and prepare for moving on.  It seems like a huge step to move on from here.  In reality it is just one step, just like the others, just like each day.

I remind myself of my intentions-

Give and receive love generously

Be open and connected to my creator

Experience fun and excitement in each situation

These are the constants I want to keep in my daily life journey.   For today I will add –

Just keep moving

Your path belongs to you.  Where are you going and how do you want to get there?  What are your intentions for today??

Garden of the God's

In This Moment….

May 8 Waterfall

Today, I sit in my favorite spot on top of my favorite waterfall. The water level is less than it was only a few weeks ago when I had such an amazingly fun time.  I am also aware that next month there will possibly be no refreshing water at all cascading over these rocks. It is a challenge to enjoy the deliciousness of this moment and to accept what is true at this time, in this place. The sun, the breeze, the birds and the cool water all provide a banquet for my heart and soul.

I went for  an annual exam at the doctor.  I like to hear everything is ok and working as it should.  Only, not this time. Hmm… what’s this lump. Of course it is a lump, why did I not notice it myself?  Which led to another appointment, another test and then yet another.  And the expectation of more to come.  Words we really do not want to hear from someone in a white coat. Not what I had in mind for my summer plans. I can take this moment to stay here, accept what is truth and not fight it, yet not make it more than it is.  I know I am stronger than I feel.

I can remember back so very long ago a  situation with a tumor which grew to be as large as my unborn baby.  The fear and struggle from that time tries to fill my heart and soul.  I have to remind myself, “This is now, not then.”  I am in such a different place.  Of course, I can remember the good lessons from that time- love myself, love others, don’t sweat the small stuff , keep a sense of humor and stay in the moment- don’t get ahead of yourself. I just have to look at my amazing 6′ 5 son to remind me of the miracle of that time.

So, here I am  in this moment.  I am free to choose courage over fear.  Acceptance over striving. Peace and grace in this moment.  I can enjoy and celebrate all the love and support from family and friends. Decisions will need to come. Summer plans and goals will adjust and change. Tomorrow, I will deal with what comes my way in the strength of that moment and the next and the next.  I will gratefully return to my waterfall perch in times when I need to refresh, renew and remind myself to accept and thrive in this moment.  There may be an abundance of water or none at all, but still I can choose to embrace this time.  Kind of like my life at this moment.

How can you embrace this moment for yourself?


5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From A 100 year Flood

Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!
Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!

1) In order to end a drought, we have to have a flood:

One rain storm, even a heavy one will not erase years of drought conditions.  We have to have a deluge and more than we need. If we neglect caring for our solves, one healthy meal or sleeping in will not bring us back.  If you find yourself in a place of burnout, you get into a crisis care situation and really need to spend lots of time regrouping.  Self care is not selfish.  It is essential to living.

2) Those Flood Plains are There for a Reason:

WE get used the the drought  conditions and all these vast areas of land around rivers seem so odd.  Thankfully city planners and civil engineers know what can happen and plan accordingly.  It is not a good idea to build too close to the river or lake.  In life we must plan with margin.  When we fill our schedule too full with no down time, we put ourselves at risk. It might be great in the short term, but situations beyond our control are inevitable and can overwhelm if we don’t have emotional reserves to deal with them.

3) Respect the Boundaries:

The stories of people who notice a barricade and choose to go around it, only to get stuck in high water and have to be

I don't think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.
I don’t think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.

rescued are puzzling.  While I am so about expanding yourself and going beyond our internal limits, it is foolhardy to disrespect others boundaries and try to change or control them.  Lack of boundaries  also encourages us to take on others expectations for us rather than being ok with he person we are.

4) The World is an Abundant Place:

When we have severe water rationing we have to  conserve and be aware of lack. It is also so disproportionately spread.  Even now California needs some of our abundance. This month 35,000,000,000,000 gallons have fallen in the state of Texas.  This is enough to supply the entire worlds population with 10,000 days of water for everyone to have eight 8-oz glasses a day. We know 85% of the worlds diseases are caused by lack of pure drinking water.  While I can’t completely fathom this or hope to change this gruesome statistic by myself, I can be informed and contribute to organizations working to make this change through education, relief and drilling water wells.  Emotionally,I can be in a good place where I share hope and grace rather than fear with those I encounter on a daily basis.  Loving words, kind gestures or even a smile to a stranger at the grocery store can spread abundant life.  As we encourage our family members and coworkers we create strong emotional waves to spread and renew life and love.

5) Life is fragile and the Future Uncertain:

While the loss of life has been small considering how extensive this has been, each story is so sad. Makes me aware of the fact that we cannot control so many events.  We can spend quality time with loved ones, building them up and not letting hurts and wounds cause rifts and bitterness.  Deal with your issues and move past.  Don’t allow fear and worry or insecurities to rule life.  I want to enjoy each moment.  This year my motto has been Peace with the Past, Present in the Now and excited for the Future.  While I may not always stay in this place, this season of crazy weather has helped reminder me this is my goal and where I want intentionally to live my life.

Here is our favorite spring fed waterfall just a few weeks apart.  Funny on the left, the fun was from climbing on top and on the right, from hiking in the creek and under the falls. Ahhhh Life !

May 8 Waterfall
May 8 Waterfall
May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015

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”

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!”

If it’s important to you, it’s important to do!

Sitting down, I was excited about writing a blog for our habits section on why breakfast is so important.  Suddenly, I had a memory of 3rd grade and an oral report about, “The importance of Breakfast!”  I remember being very excited about this.  I loved learning and anything extra or different was always fun.  My dad, (who worked for US Dept of Agriculture) had given me coloring books to hand out to every one in the class as part of my presentation.   Sharing this gold mine with another girl- really what could be better than giving away free coloring books!   She   replied, “Well, it’s not important because the coloring books are on the 4 food groups, not breakfast”.   Looking back now, I see a huge amount of envy here since of course her report was on the 4 food groups, but at that time I allowed it to totally steal my excitement and joy.  While I went through the process of my presentation, it was without the earlier feeling of satisfaction.

There are times in my adult life I am excited about doing something and making progress in my goals, when suddenly for no apparent reason I will begin to doubt myself.  I begin to wonder, ” Can I do this?”  “Is it important enough to spend all this energy?”  Of course, when I start this line of thinking, it removes my momentum and joy.  I start thinking my value and worth or the value and worth of what I do can be evaluated and determined by another and what they might think.   What hogwash!!   I do not believe this.  But, somewhere in me is an 8 year old experience (perhaps other experiences too) that believes this.

The good news is, I have faced this before and know what to do!!   I have a list of many of these hindering beliefs that are no longer truth in my life , posted on my wall.  Beside each one is the new belief that motivates and empowers me.    All I have to do is remind myself, ” I do not give anyone the right to take the place of God in determining what is important for me”.    My new empowering belief is – If it’s important to me- it’s important to do!!   This brings me back to my adult place and allows life to flow away from a hard, frustrating place.

Hmmm, you might be saying, this is harder to do and you make it sound too easy.   Granted, I learned this skill in a group situation where we were all having fun putting old beliefs to rest and helping each other over come them and come up with new empowering sayings.   The synergy of the group was great, as well as just having permission to leave old things behind that are not working was amazing.   I also have facilitated others in this process many times, both in group and individual sessions.  It always amazes me to see the transforming  quality of this exercise in the lives of others.  The hardest thing is giving yourself permission to change these things.   These beliefs have been a part of you for a long time and it might feel like to leave them, you will lose yourself.  The opposite is actually true, when you face these beliefs and decide if it is empowering or dis empowering to you, it releases you to be more the real you and not a false sense of who you think you should be!!

Try making a list of 3 dis empowering beliefs and transform them into a new truth that propels you into being all you are meant to be.   Remember, I offer a complimentary coaching call if you would like to work this through with someone else.  This would be a great way to check out coaching  or just deal with this one area!

Now, I need to write my breakfast article.  I have a vision for everyone to have a life of joy, purpose and fun.   Not everyone will read it or even agree with me.  Hopefully, this blog will be helpful for some and encourage you and give you tools to make it happen.  In order to go forward I must know in my heart that it is important for me to write and therefore important enough to do it!!

Those awful Decisions!

,., decision making
,., decision making ?

The other day I talked to 7 people who where stressing in the decision making process.  Since I had my friend hat on rather than my coaching hat and I am in a decision dilemma, I enjoyed the moment of drama we all had and the solidarity of angst.  Later, I did put my coach myself hat on and thought through, “How can I enjoy and thrive in this decision making process?”  People who know me well, can tell you- decisions make me a totally crazy, insane person.   Last year, I lost my whole summer fun time in the stress of it all.

Sonja ja kynä

1)  Be thankful–  Really we have so many choices these days and it is a good thing.  Sometimes it does cause a lot of pressure because we have so many options, but honestly would we want it otherwise?  My mother sent all her children to boarding school because that is what expatriate government workers did.  You just went with it.  While that is simpler, we would chafe with losing that freedom.   If I stop and have a heart of gratitude for the freedom to make the choice itself, it goes along way in giving me peace in the process.  In addition, I am truly thankful for the relationships involved in this decision and need to keep that in mind, rather than being frustrated and angry with them.

2) Where do I want to go–  Sometimes when coaching, people get frustrated with me when they are trying to figure out what to do now and I want them to envision 10 years from now! Really Sonja!  Most often the decision about now is only relevant to the big picture.  By looking farther out we gain perspective.  By looking at where we want to be down the road can help to clarify which road to take in the present!   If I keep the journey in mind, it helps keep me moving forward rather than being stuck in the mud of this immediate choice.

3) Mistakes are good!–   Some mistakes are fatal and we must avoid them at all costs, but most are not.   I think choices are hard because I want to make the absolute perfect one.   I get frozen in all the details and what if this and what if that.  Talk about pressure.  I have made decisions that have not turned out like expected, but I have learned and grown from them in ways I wouldn’t otherwise.   Sometimes we just have to take risks and trust that to learn and grow we have to fall down – a lot.  Some are more painful falls than others, but getting up and going on can be an adventure with great rewards.  Yes, look at the possible cost of the choice, and be prepared, but don’t let fear consume you!

Thinking through these things has made me more at peace and not so crazy.  Life is good and I have stuff to do and enjoy today!!

What ideas do you have?  What can you share with me to keep the crazy, decision- phobed Sonja away??

Choices, choices A network of paths and bridle...