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?


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….”

“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.”

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!”

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!


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!!

Beliefs on Winning (and losing)… Do they motivate or discourage?

Friday night found us driving to Temple.  The town of Temple in Central Texas. It was the ultimate Friday Night Lights experience with the blue moon overhead; Braving the traffic, mosquitoes, heat and dust, cheering our boys to attack and knock each other around.   According to the score board, it was a dismal loss for our high school team.  Looking beyond the surface there were many positive bright moments, considering it was the first game playing 11-man football with only 24 players on the team.  We sat in front of the grandparents of the boy who scored the one and only touchdown and participated in rejoicing as only a grand parent can!   There definitely was a good showing of spectators on our side considering the long drive.  The feeling of community and common purpose was strong as we cheered for each small and large success.

The drive home provided a great opportunity to discuss beliefs concerning winning, success and losing.  We discovered quite a few conflicting messages in our heads.  Clay, growing up with a coach for a dad, had quite a few interesting ones.  You either win or win, the is no other option. Another coaching favorite was, ” If you loose you didn’t try hard enough.” I admit I am very competitive.  One of my earliest memories is of learning to play rummy on the bank of Lake Geneva and beating everyone!  I do think competition can be healthy, when it makes you stretch and grow and go beyond what you think is possible. I n my life the fear of failure is so strong, I tend to play it safe most of the time – Only setting goals where I know I can achieve success and therefore taking very few risks.  This leads to many successes  but not to challenging myself and growing.   Setting larger goals outside of my comfort zone and going for them, has led to more failure and not meeting my goals (which is painful for me), but it also has shown me I can do more and go beyond what I previously thought was possible.  This produces a strength of character within me that I can draw on in other areas of life.  Since sometimes life throws challenges at me and risks I would not choose to have, this added courage has been very wonderful.

It is such a freeing thing to look at beliefs we hold and analyze them.  Is this motivating me toward my life of purpose or demotivating me toward of life of mundane mediocrity?  If it is not serving me, I must adapt and change it.

My new belief is – ”  If you haven’t failed lately, you haven’t been trying”

How about you?  What are some beliefs you could tackle concerning winning or losing?

Update:  This weeks game found us way behind again.  There was one point I thought, “Just let it be over before it gets worse”.  However , our boys kept fighting and never gave up.  Coming from behind for a 64-62 victory in the final seconds of the game!   Hopefully this moment of pressing on and achieving their goal will stay with all of them as an example of perseverance!!  I promise not to blog about every football game this season, but this was a great learning experience!