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

“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”

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!”

Good Grief (even when it doesn’t feel good)

Good GriefJanuary marks an anniversary of my father’s death.  It is not marked on my calender and has been over 25 years.  Sometimes I don’t remember or acknowledge it, but this year it came into my mind. I am writing a Middle School curriculum on The Vikings and a High School study on the book Kon Tiki by Thor Hyerdahl (one of his favorites).  It was one of those moments where I thought “OH wow, the movie Kon Tiki is on instant Netflix, I need to call my dad and tell him.”  Of course, the next moment realizing I cannot do that brings a wave and sadness and grief to my heart.  Thankfully, as I go ahead and say it to him aloud and enjoy the movie and my  heritage, the grief passes and I can rejoice in life as it is today.  This has not always been the case.  The very strong emotions I felt after his death were the most intense I had ever experienced.  Granted I was pregnant, had a preschooler to care for and was exhausted from his long illness.  At that time it  was all completely overwhelming, so I just responded by stuffing those painful emotions down as far as possible.  Of course the result  was a crazy horrible depression t hat lasted for too long of a time.  Digging out of that pit and learning to deal with all these uncomfortable emotions was a difficult journey and also a gift to myself and to everyone around me.  I am so thankful for those lessons learned.  When my mom passed, I was able to deal with the strong painful emotions and come out on the other side quicker.  While I still miss them, I honor the memory by living my life fully charged and with purpose.

This experience has led me to focus on helping grieving people in my coaching. Losing a loved one is hard and painful.

One exercise I have found very helpful is to write a letter to your loved one.   Explain to them what you are thankful for, then what you are angry about and finally how you wish things could be.  These items take you through most of the emotions of grief and sharing them with your loved one helps to acknowledge them and validate them.  After this tell them you will remember and hold on what is good and then say goodbye.  This is a hard step.  People often say, “But, it has only been one week, …or month …or year….!”  consciously saying goodbye is accepting reality.  It takes you out of denial and allows the grieving process to work within you.  This may need to be done more than once and even years later.

If you find yourself stuck in any of the stages or emotions of grief denial, anger , depression, bargaining-find someone to help you get out of it.  These stages are necessary and normal, but getting stuck in any one doesn’t help and the longer you stay , the harder it is to get out.  Working through grief is one of my specialties, primarily because I had quite a struggle with it when my Dad passed away and just couldn’t find the help I needed.

The process of grief is painful and challenging, however it can bring new strength and endurance to your life.

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!!

Live Free in 2013

Each morning when I was in Jamaica, I was awakened early by the goat lawnmower bleating out his greetings outside my window.  As I opened my eyes, I was excited about the day and the adventures to come.   This feeling only grew as I quickly dressed and went out to have my mountain walk and workout as the  sun began to peek up and warm the earth.

Some days I do have that response to a new day and greet it enthusiastically and others I am likely to curse the alarm and pull the blanket over my head.   In thinking about the coming year and what I would desire to change, I have decided to find  a way to make my mornings a joyful anticipation of all the day might hold.   There could be multiple approaches to achieving this and I will work on establishing habits- physical, spiritual and mental to get there.  While I can’t get a pet goat as my alarm clock or build a mountain in suburban Ft Worth, I will look for changes I can make and each month establish new habits to help me in this.

How about you??    What internal experiences in your life would inspire you, motivate you toward freedom?    Instead of resolutions this year-  lose weight, exercise more, stop watching tv- start with why is this important and how will this change me or the world, them move backward to the habits to implement.

If you would like to figure out how to awake every day with joy and excitement no matter what the circumstances are in your life, feel free to join me!!  Things are always more fun to do with support and others ideas!!      Let me know what habits you think would be helpful in establishing this.  I will post 3 new habits for each month starting this afternoon!!               I already am excited and can’t wait to get started!!