Finding My Pluck!

This week I got to go CAT skiing, a.k.a Snowcat skiing, which is backcountry untracked skiing through trees and powder. So today’s piece  is all about finding the best untracked line,be it in the snow or on the page, and both take PLUCK!

Pummeled and humbled by the mountain and still I rise!

That’s right.  I have no doubt the reason I got the cheers as I skied up to the cat on our last run was because everyone there was just grateful to see that I had survived and was arriving smiling.

Yes – the mountains had humbled and pummeled me but I had completed all ten runs!  I had shown I had pluck! Who knew most didn’t.

Well let’s be clear most didn’t who signed up for a cat ski day at my level of skiing.

I haven’t been skiing that long and frankly have been a touch conservative about where I ski at our Whitefish Mountain Resort.

I have steadily gotten better and this year signed up for the women’s ski program that included weekly lessons.  Now I have made a few black diamond runs and have been feeling pretty good about myself!

So when I got the invite to go ski powder – I took it. I thought I was ready.  Yes, I was scared but I wanted to go.

The thing is if I had thought it all through, I would not have gone.  I would have been rational and realized skiing in powder really meant skiing through trees, very high up in the mountains of Montana.  That skiing where there were no tracks  meant  significant bumps, ledges and (little) cliffs that resulted in taking air!  That once you got out of the Cat and put those skis on there really was no other way down, except to ski and if falling regularly,  to keep getting up again, again and again.   Let me just say here,  though falling in powder is soft – getting up over and over is exhausting.

Rationally it made no sense.  But emotionally – well that is a different story.  My heart wanted to be out in the back-country and loved those moments when I would find some rhythm and even did land a little jump.  I enjoyed learning how to do a  flip through the powder as I was falling so my skis would be in a better position to get back up.  (just to give the full picture – this isn’t an airborne back flip – no this is falling face first towards the snow, throwing both of my skis over my head and sliding ski first so it would be easier to get back up! – nothing graceful about it – but once I did manage to get back up on my skis and continue on down as though I had never fallen!!!)

There were a couple runs that were near perfect through the untracked snow, through the trees and over the bumps.  A couple runs where I did find that perfect line our guide suggested we shot for at the start of each new run. 

I believe I will be a better skier having made this trip. (Yes, I’ll have to get over the stiff and sore muscles – but I will!).  But even if I’m not a better skier, I found my  pluck – having or showing determined courage in the face of difficulties and I’ll take that!

It’s not the first sign of my plucky nature.

Writing has been a bit like powder skiing for me as well.  I struggle with grammer, spelling and find it difficult to stay committed when that great story in my head just doesn’t come out on the page. I have been terrified of feedback (sort of like trees wells and moguls on our mountain!)

Starting my blog took an effort and know I have gone through hearing no feedback from a post , great feedback,  mean feedback – over and over.  I don’t wake with sore muscles but sometimes I wake up dwelling on someone comments.

Still I love to write. My heart sings.  I show my courage, to show up and work to speak from my heart.  It’s especially cool when I find a great story line and ride it through – editing, spell-checking, wrestling with the best way to make a connection.

Yes, be it skiing or writing,  life , or really most any great day, it’s about finding the best untracked line.  Your line and sticking with it.

Bottom-line, that’s life.  We know some day it will end or it’s very possible our heart will be broken over and over along the way  – will we take the risk?  Will we have the spirit and courage to find our best line through – even the rough spots – even when we fall?

Funny thing is, I bet if you asked your own heart – even if it’s been broken many times – the answer would be – yes – I will do it again!

I’m glad I got to ski untracked powder.

I’m glad I write

I’m glad I have opened my heart.

And if I when I have  the chance to to do any of the above again.

I say – YES!

Where’s the powder in your life?  Where have you been invited to open your heart, live full-out,  even when it’s not rational?

Did you say yes??  I encourage you to say yes!

Be Plucky!!

Special thanks to Merrill Lynch, specifically Jamie Carbo and Mike in Whitefish, MT and to Great Northern Powder Guides – you guys are awesome!!





Follow Your Heart Day

14542424_1330145196998042_865427924870034475_oValentine’s Day, the day of romance and hearts! Right? Cards, flowers, chocolates and gifts are shared on February 14, either openly or anonymously in the service of romance and following one’s heart.

The first time I even noticed the day I was in an airport in February 1999 and had recently met CrisMarie. I found myself looking at all the cards in the rack. I was smiling and felt the warmth, joy and elation of opening my heart to someone. I was quite thrilled to find just the right card and for the first time write some romantic note that spoke of my feelings.

I had every intention of giving her that card on Valentine’s Day…but it wasn’t until a year later that I found the card I’ d stashed away and finally had the courage to pass it along!

That’s right. I stalled, stumbled and almost walked away from the love of my life because the stories in my head, designed to protect and keep me safe, were controlling the choices of my life!

It’s funny, in my 20’s when I had life-threatening cancer I learned to follow my heart and take a chance, but when I was older and healthy, following the nudges and wisdom of my heart wasn’t so easy or graceful.

I have some pretty strong heart protectors, and frankly, for some pretty good reasons! Those patterns aren’t overcome easily for someone like me! So yes, I stumble, stall, procrastinate on those things that matter to my heart, but I have learned about my tendencies and also how to do it differently.

My Heart and The Horses

In 2011, CrisMarie talked me into taking a Koelle Simpson horse workshop. I was in awe watching Koelle work with the horses. The moment I stepped into the arena myself was life-changing. My heart opened similar to when I met CrisMarie.

There was an invitation to apply to become an Equus coach. Now, I was still terrified of these amazing beings, and had absolutely no background with horses.

Aware of my tendencies, I made note of my resistance and decided to apply anyway, and I got accepted!

Now you might think the path was set, and I would go with grace and ease towards starting an awesome Equus Coaching practice here in Montana, horse country.

No – that’s not what happened!

While in the actual training sessions with Koelle, I was doing great, but back at home I’d procrastinate, stall and not even go and work with the horses. UGH!

Again, having learned about my resistance I have developed strategies to work with my natural tendencies. I turned towards the fear and started using the many pattern-busters I’ve developed of the years. Pretty soon I found just the right ranch close to me and started my practice.

Now I have regular visits with the horses, and I bring my clients and teams out to Stillwater Whisper Ranch. Yes, the dream is happening. Without hiccups and bumps – no – but one thing I have learned is that which makes your heart beat, and even ache, is worth the effort.

So what about you?

I know there are other people like me – who stop themselves: put the Valentine’s Day card in the desk drawer, don’t send their manuscript to the publisher, never apply for that dream job, don’t sign up for the training they long to take.

Because it’s not logical, practical or safe.

That’s why I designed Get Unstuck: Build Your Mojo to help people like you and me!

If you’re like me, you probably have some part of you that protects you for some good reason. But that doesn’t have to keep you from following your heart and inner wisdom.

Build Your Mojo  gives you a proven, step-by-step path to face and work with your resistance.

You will move forward on what matters to you. You will find your way through your procrastination, distraction and avoidance to finally move forward successfully on what matters to your heart!

Sign up for Build Your Mojo  to make this Valentine’s Day a follow your heart day! You’ll get the support you need to make your career, project, relationship dream a reality.

PLUS FOR TWO DAYS ONLY – I’m offering a 50% OFF SALE! That’s right save 50% if you sign up today! It will expire tomorrow so make sure you take advantage now!!

Click here, go to the bottom of the page, hit the button and put in PROMO CODE: valentine2017 to get this special offer!


IMG_0621I wish I could say I was busy fighting for what’s right, taking a stand or working towards something that would somehow make a difference in what seems to be our country’s current trajectory.

I read the news and I am upset by what seems like a surreal demonstration of either a dictator in the making or a immature boy trying to puff-up and run the government. What is even odder to me than watching this wild display of immaturity and bullying is seeing others go right along with it – support it – and ignore the very people who our government is designed to represent.

Oddly though I am not compelled to protest, march or actively rage against the unfolding political path.


I am not sure but something in me just doesn’t think that is a solution that will work. I notice I find much more possibility and encouragement through engaging in diverse groups of people working towards creating a path forward in their community, organization or family.

I find myself listening more and discovering that there is a very deep level of discontent that has now surfaced through this election process and is even louder now that the administration has changed hands.

I have believed for a long time that there isn’t such a thing as righting a wrong done. It’s just not that simple. The very nature of the statement suggest that there is a right or a wrong – a black or a white. This, I think, is the biggest pain point of being human – polarization.

We keep trying to figure it out. To right wrongs or fix the problem. Oddly though that effort just doesn’t make the gap between you and me smaller or any less of a gap. I can not fix what I may have done to you. You can not fix what you may have ever done to me.

I can find peace but oddly that does not come from the outside. It comes from within – when I get beyond my own right/wrong thinking.

I don’t want to sound too Rumi-like here though I love that poem – beyond right and wrong – there is a field – I will meet you there.

I know that field is out there. I also know I live in this very human experience that is you, me and other.

Both things are true – we are one – there is not an other – and yet there is.

The paradox, the pain and yes, the pleasure of that very human dilemma is always present.

So though I don’t know that there are really victims and perpetrators – I do need to own that I am both if indeed there are and not simply try to rise above that agony – but tolerate the pain of being one or the other and both!

That’s really the only path through this current trajectory for me.

I can’t make Trump wrong. Because his very transparent display of child-like narcissism is simply a huge projection of my own narcissistic qualities.

I don’t like what I see and I really would like to rage against what seems like a mad man – but all that I keep hearing is that mad man is me.
Find my own intolerance and work with it.
Be in my world and listen, engage with my neighbor.

When I hear what I judge to be prejudice or bullying – speak up.
Not necessarily to say – “you are wrong”.
But to say – I don’t like that and stand along side with as much compassion and curiosity as I have to offer myself or another – instead of right or wrong.
That journey for me is much harder than fighting a monster on the front page or in a White House.

I know that isn’t the journey for everyone. Some are called to speak out and play on much larger stages.

It will take all kinds to somehow ride this wave.

But I am convinced building a platform of any type of righteousness isn’t going to work. Being ‘right’ isn’t going to get rid of ‘wrong’.
Frankly in my righteousness I believe I may just be making the wave bigger!

It’s time to ride the wave (s) – on a surf board, in boats, maybe a yacht or bigger vessel should you be so inclined or able. But don’t put down an anchor – not yet – stay open – listen and see those riding around you – see the water – not the difference between your boat or mine.

May be we’ll get through this. May be we won’t.

I want to believe we can make and we can do this together – let’s work to get to that field out there beyond right/wrong.