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

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!”

Living With Dementia

Titus and his Great Gram!
Titus and his Great Gram!

All things considered, it could of been a lot worse.  The transition of moving my MIL to my home went very smoothly.  I took her out shopping and eating while hubby and the kids worked hard and recreated her apartment in my former master suite.  On bringing her home we just showed her, her new home.   She keeps forgetting where she lives and we have to bring her into her room over and over again.  Repeatedly, it is like she is seeing it for the first time and is happy with it and very thankful. Continue reading “Living With Dementia”

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!”

Thankful for this extra hour!!

Good morning world!

Hooray for the time change!!

Last night I was ready for sleep at 6pm, but resisted until 9. LOl

Now, this morning, the dogs are up at 5:30 ready to play.  The good news, for my goal of getting up cheerful for the day, is this is very helpful!  Yes, I am up, walked, fed, dressed, music on and ready to write my blog!

A good example to me of embracing what I can’t change (unless I want to move to Arizona).  There are some battles to fight, change, adjust in my life, but this is not one of them and I can adapt and learn and grow.  There are so many areas where I need to release control, it can feel frustrating.  But really, in all situations I can choose to control my thoughts, beliefs and actions.  This is the place where I can choose life, goodness, blessings and joy!

Gratitude is a great place to start.  We overlook many opportunities for gratitude every day.   Are you alive?  Are you breathing?  Can you walk. or move your arms?  Wow!  A great day!    After living in Haiti and showering and washing clothes by hand, I was so grateful for hot water and a washing machine.  It has been awhile since I really appreciated this luxury.

Our habit for November is Gratitude !

What Can you be grateful for today?

The Best and Worst!

As we are working on our evening routines this month, I have a great suggestion for communication.  One of my favorite things, when my kids were young, was to tuck them in bed.  This was such a special one on one time. My favorite thing was when  I would ask, “What was the best thing about the day?”  and “What was the worst thing about the day?”.  Then just listen.  This was not a time for teaching, training or other lectures.  Just entering into their world to mourn and rejoice with them on their perspective of life at the moment.  In addition to sharing a moment and feeling heard, this teaches them about life.  A normal life has ups and downs, highs and lows, every day.  Often we either stuff the bad in denial or only focus on the bad things and feel like life is awful.  Learning to accept both and go on is a very special gift.  Adding, ” What are you looking forward to tomorrow?”.  This shifts the focus to a new day and new possibilities.

These questions are helpful in any relationship.  Lunch or coffee with a friend or spouse, or conversation with a co-worker.  It shifts the relationship into a deeper level without overly prying.

It is also a great tool for communication with your self.  Just like I mentioned above, asking these questions regularly, keeps you out of denial without over focusing on the bad and feeling overwhelmed and negative.  A very good thing!!

Here is to the day!  Both the highs and the lows!


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?




Is It Time For Independence Day?

Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence (Photo credit: Scottwdw)

Yesterday, in the US, we celebrated Independence Day!  Parades, fireworks and blueberry pie!   We commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4 1776, by the continental congress.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another….

This wasn’t the beginning of the battle or the end, but a time when a unanimous decision was made and it was recorded on paper as a resolution.  This was risky.  If things had turned out different, all those men whose signatures appeared on the document would have been tried and convicted of treason.   It was another 12 years of battles before the Treaty of Paris was signed, recognizing the sovereignty of this new independent country.

We often want someone to wave a magic wand and make our lives perfect and wonderful.   It is a journey, and through the journey, we learn much about ourselves, others and what we really want.  We can ask for help and support, but ultimately it is up to us to decide, ” Enough of this.  Now it the time for me to gain freedom from_________” (clutter, the past, negative thoughts, habits, weight,  toxic attitudes….).   Some things we can’t change, but quite a few we can.  It is risky.  Perhaps we will fail or people will laugh. We remember all the times we have tried and failed and it seems easier to just deal with what we know, rather than step out and take the risk.

Is it riskier to make the change, to begin the journey toward freedom or to allow things to continue as they are ??

They say a journey of a 1000 miles begins with just one step.  What step can you take today to declare your freedom?     

Today, I am declaring freedom from clutter and dust bunnies invading my bedroom.  I rearranged, vacuumed under everything, and even cleaned the ceiling fan.  While I can’t move or buy new furniture today, this simple thing made a huge difference in the look and feel of the room.  Plus it improved my attitude and feeling of control and being in charge of my destiny.    Now, should I tackle the mountain of laundry or the writing project due next month??  HMMm At the moment I feel powerful enough to take on both.  Let the adventure begin, and then, I will reward myself with  piece of leftover blueberry pie!!

”  All men are endowed with certain unalienable rights in the this household, to  have clean underwear, rid myself of the tyranny  of procrastination. Going forward in and the pursuit of happiness and blueberry pie”.

Happy Independence day to you, today and every day!!

Best Blueberry Pie with Foolproof Pie Dough.

July New Habit — Freedom!!

Mel Gibson as William Wallace wearing woad.
Mel Gibson as William Wallace wearing woad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my mind I am imagining saying it like Mel Gibson in “Braveheart”.   “FREEDOM!!!”

Admittedly, I am a little sad to let our June habit of having fun each day go. However, that is the cool thing about making new habits. By focusing on having fun each day, it can continue in our everyday day life naturally, even why we change our focus to another area.

Each of us will have our own needs and ideas concerning what freedom can or needs to look like for us.   For some, it will be letting go of the past and going on, for others making changes and taking charge of areas in life that have held us captive.  I teach a children s class for a 12 step program.  This week we deal with powerlessness.   We all have situations in life where we feel powerless and we cannot change them.  There are, however, many things we can change.- Attitudes, responses, thoughts and beliefs that are not serving us at this time.   And yes, Boundaries, both physical and emotional can help us be free to be ourselves and feel safe to be ourselves.  I do love the old prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:

Twelve Step Program

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference .

How would a month of practicing the habit or freedom each day look for you??    Are there areas you need to  accept or change?        

It will be exciting to see how this plays out!  hmm I think I need to run around the house shouting ”  Freedom, Freedom”.  (Since I am not wanting to give up on my having fun each day, quite yet!!)