When My Mind Is Fear-Filling Me

Last year I committed to kicking off a new program: When The Body Fails: Rebuilding Trust In Your Body. This was designed for women who have or have had cancer.

The program started as a weekend event. But we were in the middle of our book launch and timing wasn’t right for putting the right level of energy into marketing a new program.

Sounds reasonable to postpone – right?

Of course there is some truth to this explanation. However, I still haven’t moved this program forward. I took the advise of one of my mentors in the Equus world and decided to not go so big but just start locally and with more one on one coaching with women dealing with cancer.

Yes, I have done little bits in moving things forward. However, I am still stalling to do the workshop.

Why?

Okay so this program is so much like my book – Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep.   You probably don’t even know about this book. It’s been in files and folders on my computer for years. It’s been shared with friends, possible editors and in short pieces online. However, the moment it gets any further out into the world. I stall and the book goes background. Fear stops me in my tracks – it’s my story. It’s my life through cancer through rebuilding and reclaiming myself – body, mind and spirit. I think I am afraid of the story still even though it’s been lived. Yet in that fear I hold it tight.

The good news is that even though the book still lies under the surface, I have written many blog post, shared my story and even published two other books that are heavily influenced by the backstory.

When Your Body Fails You, Rebuilding Trust is like the book. Why?

Because I am fearful.

I could go on and on about why I am fearful.

However, that sure seems like a self-indulgent story fuddling process.

I do want to kick off this workshop so here I go! It’s now one day and it is a start!

I am going to put a link to the flyer here – I know many of my readers are not local – but I would still love to hear from you too.

Plus if you are interested – well I still plan to do a weekend version and will add opportunities to weave in the healing influence of horses. So stay tuned!

May be some day – Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep will be the book that comes along with registrations.

What’s your fear holding you back from doing? What steps can you take to move ahead? I’d love to hear from you.

Check out When The Body Fails Here

Three Types of Team Players!

Dogs are a huge part of my life. They are also great teachers.

As I got the chance to watch a series of dog agility videos today – all shared by friends. I couldn’t help but think about how each of these dogs shows up on teams.

There’s the Superstar – you know that performer – all in and intense – meet Pink!

Check Out Pink: https://youtu.be/oiySODkJbrU?t=12

There’s the Slow and Steady – no reason to get excited and sometimes slow is good!

Meet the Mastiff!

Check Out Rotti: https://youtu.be/GjqtwNUE148

And then there’s one always ready to play! Got to love the joy!

Then there’s ‘Charlie’: https://youtu.be/5iTTNRE-njM?t=50

In some ways I know I have some of each of these brilliant performers! Maybe I am dreaming that I could be like Pink. But I can be intense for sure!!

I can also relate to the Mastiff – especially when I am running along my Olympian partner in project mode!

But mostly I relate to the retriever – let there be JOY and PLAY.

Which dog are you on your team!

Happy Holidays – Finding Meaning In The Season

It’s that most wonderful time of year…..

I love the holidays. I love singing holiday tunes and walking about in our small town with the lights and families, friends and locals – all hoping that maybe we will have a white Christmas!!

It is hard to believe that we might not. Just a few days ago I was thrilled that we got a big dump of snow – opening the front side of the mountain!

Now four days into a spring-like weather pattern – the snow is gone. The mountain still has snow but it’s pretty scarce here in the valley!

CrisMarie has been away a few days visiting her sister and family. So this year our traditional night of Yuletide – ATP’s `(Alpine Theater Project) awesome holiday event) was just Paula and I. I am grateful that CrisMarie was able to have this time with her sister. I am also glad one of us (and maybe the one who appreciates musicals and the humor of Politically Incorrect Christmas Caroling) was the one here to whistle, rock and clap through the Yuletide extravaganza!!

I am so aware of the mix of emotions that come with holidays. Joy in celebrating our year and life together and tears for those not here with us this year. Smiles for the wonder and laughs that come with stories and reflecting. Fears and frustration with the pain that rolls through our life, the news and the headlines. Sometimes it is hard to reconcile the blessings and excitement that I have been fortunate to receive, knowing for many others it isn’t like that.

At times I don’t know what to make of Christmas being all about the baby Jesus. I wouldn’t call myself a religious person. It helps in year’s like this that Hanukkah will be happening right along side Christmas and there is always winter solstice and a new year to celebrate. I have always been a fan of Santa – or St. Nick – not so much because of Jesus, as savior – but the idea of sharing gifts, light and celebration even in the shortest of days. Plus I do love so many of the Christmas songs – beautifully sung and shared.

I enjoy signing off post, emails and letters with Happy Holidays – whatever the holiday may be for you.

For me, it is one that celebrates our humanity. It’s a holiday about joy and joy is an exquisite mix of love, pain, tears and sorrow.

This time of year reminds me that we all have dark nights and hopefully we all have bright spots, one’s we remember or just the light of a new day or a night sky filled with stars.

Many years ago – the holidays fell at one of the loneliest and darkness times of my life. I found myself alone on Christmas Eve and very sad and fearful about life. I traveled downtown back where I lived then and walked into a church service where I knew no one but the music pulled me in. I was welcomed even though the only white person. I wasn’t much of a church person but wanted human fellowship on a lonely Christmas eve. I remember being so moved by the welcome and the invitation to sing and dance along. I don’t recall anyone’s name. I doubt I ever saw any one of them again. I left shortly after midnight on Christmas – still singing those carols – with warmth in my heart and what seemed like a reason keep going.

That Christmas did teach me, I don’t have to know people to offer comfort and joy – a smile and song. It goes a long way to share those simple things. I seriously doubt they had any idea how they touched my life.

So this holiday may you be blessed to either be one who gets to share your joy with someone who needs that simple spark – or may you be fortunate to find what you need from someone else.

Merry and Happy Holidays and Humanity to all!

Merry and Happy Holidays & Humanity

Last Chance – Don’t Wait

There is so much good happening in my world. Our book launch experience has been quite exciting and fulfilling as our book is finding it’s words spreading out into the world.

Between the pages sold and the various podcast traveling out on the airwaves, I do think we are doing what we wanted – spreading a message that supports people have more honest, real and intimate (in-to-me-see) conversations.

All of our focus has been on the launch. I had a belief that as we launched the book, we’d also be able to get people intrigued and signing up to work in-person with us. Thus the decision to schedule and launch Couples Mojo at Apache Springs in AZ – October 25-28, 2019.

Today I am faced with the reality that even with all the good things happening – what isn’t happening is rush of couples signing up for our program.

It’s down to the wire and it is looking like we will have to cancel. Who wants to throw those words out on Facebook and into the world of social media.

I am wondering if this level of transparency and honesty is good for our marketing effort.

However, I don’t want to cancel until I have done all that I can. I think Couples Mojo is an amazing opportunity. One because I know what we bring to a Couples program.
I also know that adding and including the horses is going to be awesome.

Apache Springs Ranch is a gorgeous, luxurious retreat center that will nurture the soul, provide a safe and beautiful space for doing this most important work.

I don’t want to cancel. Not without one this last honest effort.

Maybe you have been thinking about it and just haven’t hit register.
Maybe you figure this will just happen another time so not rushing to commit.
Maybe you aren’t sure if have the time – or the money and are waiting for a sign it’s worth it.

Let me just say – don’t wait.

Big Sign here:

    YOU are Worth it and so is YOUR Relationship!

There have been times when I have thought:
• I don’t have time.
• I don’t have the money.
• This will come again and maybe it will be easier or a better time.

However, I know when it comes to ME and our WE – meaning my aliveness and health and our relationship passion, aliveness and connection – I don’t wait – I jump in and that investment has ALWAYS been worth – both for me and for us.

So let me know if you are close to committing. I am happy to talk to you about it – to you and your partner! But don’t wait.

Do it today.
This is the last chance.

The Beauty of Conflict for Couples Launches

September 15, is the day!

Our book, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples is officially launched.

This is book two and the first with a publisher, Tiny Press, which is part of Mango Press.

We’re excited. Of course if you are following you may be thinking that we are going all out to become Amazon best sellers.  You may hate Amazon or just wonder why we are so driven.

WHY Amazon?

Here’s the deal – for a book to get into book stores you need a great rating on Amazon.  Sure some large publishing houses can get their authors into the book store.  Our publisher has us on Barnes & Noble, Indie Press and is willing to go out push to bookstores where we have a following or have made a request.  But what gets books onto the shelves of book stores is online sells – and like it or not – Amazon is king.

I know a lot of writers don’t care for Amazon and I get it.  But I also want our book to get into the hands of people who could use a book that helps them ignite passion, connection and deepens intimacy.

I want that available and I believe our book offers some amazing tools, stories and wisdom that is worth getting out beyond digital land.

So yes, I am marketing and I am encouraging people to order the book through Amazon.

Shape & Great Day Hoston

Some of the marketing effort is quite fun.

We have been interviewed on 28 podcast so far AND I have loved laughing, learning and sharing with so many other people passionate about communication, couples, intimacy, growth and dealing better with our differences. 

We’ve had a couple feature stories put out into the world. The first one was about SEX – in Shape Magazine. Now I wasn’t expecting that – but you know I loved it.  Sex is one of the big challenges for couples and I’d love to generate more dialogue and conversation to broaden our cultural storylines about sex, sexuality – what’s okay and what’s not.  I have always been a believer that one of the prime reasons we have so much violence and sexual inappropriateness is because we don’t have a healthy way to talk about sex, our desires, our attractions and what works for us and doesn’t. So, no, we didn’t write this book about sexuality – we wrote to support honest and real dialogue and intimacy (in-to-me-see) between couples – AND we are thrilled that part of the launch includes some of our take on sex!

Just this best week we had our first TV appearance – on Great Day Houston!  It was a blast. The producer who reached out to us was fantastic.  She had us well prepared for the day.  Our segment was as she called it “a long one –  4-7 minutes”.  I honestly couldn’t grasp how that was long – but I soon learned just how fast a day show goes.  Probably my favorite part was being in the green room with the other folks going on.  These were the people I got to talk to and really share the message and moment.  The 4 minutes with Deborah was fun and I was grateful for the wee bit of media training we received because it does take a lot of effort to talk that fast and stay on message!

Click to see the clip

All this and the book is just set to launch on September 15.

I do hope we get the Amazon best seller banner at some point during our first few days.  No, we don’t indeed to do any crazy stuff to make that happen.  But we will ask and put ourselves and the book out there.

It’s worth it and do hope you’ll join us for some of the fun.

We’ll kick off with a FB Live on the launch day.  Our virtual launch party is happening on Monday September 16 – we’ll be on for 30 thirty minutes – share some stories and answer questions if folks are willing to join and ask.  We also have a webinar scheduled later in the week where we will do a deeper dive into the model.

Hopefully you’ll see us online and decide to join us and help spread the word.  I want our little book on the book shelves.  I also invite you to read it and write an honest review – on Goodreads, on Amazon – we’d be thrilled.

We really do need to get better at living well together and I honestly believe this book can support getting more real, honest and able to opt in to conflict/differences and hold for the tension and ambiguity it takes to get to a new possibility – one beyond right and wrong!

Let’s get relational – instead of getting righteous!

Our Book is Getting Real – So Am I

There are so many exciting things happening in my world.
This past week we got the author copies of our book, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples.
Loved opening the boxes.
Pretty cool experience.

I noticed a big exhale when there were no spelling errors on the cover. Of course there weren’t – we had editors and people watching our back.
However, I noticed until the book was in my hand I was anxious.

The book looks great and feels great.

Our days have been filled with podcast interviews. Only a couple have aired at this point. I am enjoying the process and I notice as the launch week approaches, I am feeling a touch exposed.

It’s funny I didn’t feel quite like this with our first book. Not sure why. Maybe because this one is about relationships, including our relationship! The last did tell some parts of my story and our story but it focused on our work with leaders and teams.

This one is closer to home – to me – to us.
Plus we are reaching further. We have a publisher. We have PR and marketing team.

Next week we’ll be on TV show in Houston!
We’re getting media training.
I’m saying I’m an expert in the area of relationships.

Here’s the deal.
I totally believe in what we have put out into the world.
I know this relational work as transformed my health, my relating, my world.

I know and have witnessed that same transformation happen in our programs and with couples and individuals I have worked with and I don’t doubt the work.

Still I am very uncomfortable calling myself an expert. My friend, Sherrie, tells me to redefine expert.

She ask me, “Are you confident in the work.”

“Yes!”

“Well – own it.”

She reminds me I am confident and clear that what I am saying is grounded in experience, knowledge and years of both living it and work and training.

What I am noticing is that I am standing forward. AND, on the inside I am aware of the tremble, the doubts, the dyslexic in me looking for the mis-spelled words.

Maybe I am not suppose to expose the insides as an expert.

However, for me without sharing the inside this feels incongruent.

Relating isn’t about being right or an expert. It’s about being real, sometimes raw and stepping forward.

Yes I hope people will buy our book, read it and try things out for themselves.
I want people to discover the beauty I have found in conflict.
Facing and wrestling with my own inner conflict
Learning and growing through relating with CrisMarie
Finding the beauty in our conflict.
The mess, the cleaning up and the transforming of ourselves – as individuals and as a couple.
Taking that same vulnerability and curiosity into the world around me.

I wish I could say it gets easier and maybe it does.
I don’t think I can sell that – because I am not sure it does get easier

Fuller and more alive
But not easier.

Living and loving takes courage and isn’t a pill a formula or a sure thing.

That much I do know for sure!
However – I won’t take the pill or certainty even if it was offered!
I hope you don’t either.

Mojo, Couples & MUCH MORE!!

Folks are arriving today and we kick off Find Your Mojo in Montana tomorrow!

I love this program we’ve created. I love seeing people tap into their Mojo. We have a blast getting things ready, showing off our great town, Whitefish, and getting to play and learn from the horses!

We have some new folks, some returning folks and some clients from our corporate work and some from the Haven world, coming to find their mojo!!

You can’t beat that!

Super Busy – Flowering

Right now we are super busy! Which is awesome. Some great things are brewing and flowering (our word for last year – and sometimes things take longer than expected!).

We are now working with our publisher, Mango Press, our new PR person, Cher, launching our Beauty of Conflict podcast in mid-June -all to pave the path to launch of our second book, The Beauty of Conflict for Couples coming out in September.

We also are speaking at FPA -NorCal Conference later this month and leading Couples Alive at The Haven in June!

Indeed life is full and exciting – AND at times, tense, uncomfortable and bringing up all my issues around visibility and standing forward in the world, owning my truth.

Riding The Wave

When I made my decision to step into my Montana Mojo and shift from doing what has been familiar and comfortable for me (leading Come Alive and Living Alive at The Haven) – I knew I’d be riding a wave.

It hasn’t all been easy. I have and still do deal with self-doubt and some grief. Yes, tons of good things are happening and I still miss being so much a part of something that fed my heart and soul for so long!

I do believe I made my big move at a time when I was being called to step into MY mastery and Mojo more.

Coming Back To The Island

I also see that Haven is rocking on and the core programs continue to thrive and transform people’s lives. That is cool!

In June I’ll be back up at The Haven leading Couples Alive Foundations with CrisMarie and I look forward to stepping back onto the island and leading.

So I breath every day. I feel deeply and sometimes spiral down into a hole. But overall I believe I way less reactive, much more open-hearted and for that I am truly grateful.

I don’t write here too much anymore because we are doing some much writing and programming through thrive!. Sometimes I miss just sharing the ride here – without much editing and simply celebrating life – the good, the bad the ugly and beautiful!

All Systems GO!

So it seems liked the perfect time to send out a post – stepping into Mojo and stepping out onto what seems to me like a much bigger stage. It’s not really – but it’s my stage and what I know to be true.

That is a little different. A bit more vulnerable and I am fully committed! All systems go.

Learning From Wild Mustangs

Going to the Wild Mustangs

I am heading off to work with the Mustangs. I find myself excited and curious.
The stories I have heard from earlier classes create some uncertainty. Yet as I reflect on my intention I find I settle.

I am NOT heading into this to tame a mustang.
I am NOT seeking to become a horse whisperer.

I AM seeking to discover how I can settle inside myself.
Let go of my attachment to outcomes without letting go of imagining and dreaming.

I am far less concerned about taming a wild mustang,
Than discovering how to quiet my mind.

I imagine I will judge myself.
I imagine I will frighten myself.
I imagine I will challenge myself.

I want to discover how to read the cues and signals
Without getting loud.
I want to connect without reservations,
Knowing my safety comes from within,
Knowing I can listen and hear the music.
I can step back and observe.
I can be held.

Yes, these are some of my desires.
I want to connect,
But more so invite.
I want to feel the vibration,
Mine and that of others.

I want to learn lessons from the masters.

Returning from Learning from the Wild Mustangs

So I wrote the intentions above on my way to the workshop. Now coming home I look back and smile. I have a felt sense of having reached for and lived my intentions fully!

I was willing to step into vulnerability and notice when a wave of reaction or separation rose to the surface. I didn’t flinch or run, but dropped in and felt. I worked to share, as best I could, through the awkwardness of my words, my message.

I noticed the moments when that message was received or responded too with something different in return. I didn’t lose myself in the feedback. I listened. I received. I remained sane and open to what did fit and what didn’t.

This lesson came through so clearly from Petey, the most wild one. He was the mustang that presented with what seemed to be deeply held patterns of fear and uncertainty. He was the one that presented with the greatest resistance to touch or connection. He’d nip or bite at his dearest companion, the one who knew him best, Max. He’d tuck down and move rapidly to avoid our hands. When touched he’d come out bucking and kicking. Yet with a break and time to release the fear and anxiety, he’d turn and follow Max back in for more.

Finally, he discovered the comfort of touch and relaxed. Until the next morning and the waves of his uncertainty came again. Only this time not quite as strongly or for as long.

In so many ways his willingness and curiosity was inspiring. I found myself more willing to trust and open. Knowing that there was nothing to be fixed or that I had to do right but that I could keep working at my pace. Some would not understand why some lessons didn’t stick – but some would and more importantly I would, showing compassion and kindness for myself, staying vulnerable.

Petey taught me to be okay in just showing up. Far from perfect. Not right. Real.

Max, on the other hand, was one of those beings who stepped into the moment and with each new door opening, stepped in. I imagine he will find his person and forever home first. That relationship is likely to come more rapidly and easily. Yet, his journey was not less filled with trauma. He simply let go with more grace and ease.

I have often longed to be like Max. Yet I found my mirror in Petey. Trust still does not come easy. However, trust does come. I believe Petey will also find a home, though it is not a given. That is part of the work, getting these wild mustangs to a place where they can find a home and continue this work of building relationships. This does require someone who is able to keep the training going. I hope it will someone with the heart and patience of trainers like Koelle and Kasia. I do believe he will be okay. He has a willingness to show up and someone will see that potential even through the waves of resistance, fear and uncertainty.

One night, I had a dream I was riding Petey. The dream was so vivd and real. I could feel the quiver, the power and the wild heart and spirit. I also felt my own heart beating in return.

We all have our journey. Some are more turbulent than others. My greater goal is to live with an open-heart – that may indeed be a cracked open heart – I’ll take the scars and I’ll relish when the light shines through. Just like Petey.

Not Broken. Not Alien. Human

My message today is this: we are wired to relate to connect and to bridge and live well together, using our differences, our pain and our stories to make contact and know we are human – not broken and not alone.

I’m an Equus Coach, for me that means that I partner with horses to support my clients in becoming more embodied (aware and utilizing ALL their resources – body, emotion, spirit and mind) and are congruent in their communications. and relationships (meaning the inside matches the outside).


Horses do this naturally. They are keenly aware of their environment and rely on their relational skills to keep themselves safe as well as all the other members of their herd. Horses are not about power and dominance – they are about building relationships that create a powerful network for each horse in the herd to stay alive and well.


Don’t you wish, we has humans did more of this?


For years, I have been engaged as a program leader, therapist, coach and consultant to encourage and help people develop stronger and healthier relationships with themselves, with their partners and out in the world. My journey in discovering how to relate through being more vulnerable and curious started in circles at The Haven, a personal growth center in Canada. What I learned there transformed my health and life. Literally I was dying when I arrived. ( that’s a longer story). I believed that my willingness to engage with vulnerability in curiosity allowed me to become more intimate (in-to-me-see) and relational with the world. The project was humbling, at times hard and is one that is never ending. Thus becoming a relationship coach was a natural way to not only support my journey but to help others discover the possibilities when we work to live well together.


What I know for sure is that the quality of my life is way better when I am not defending, protecting or simply surviving. Now I will be the first to say, I still struggle with being vulnerable. I resist. However, with the horses as I walk through a herd, I relax. My defenses drop. I become more present.


So of course it seems only natural to want to use the resources I have found most helpful in my journey to help people who may be facing some of the barriers and roadblocks i have faced. Like health challenges, childhood trauma, being dyslexic and wrestling constantly with the underlying belief I am either broken or an alien.
Having now been working with hundreds of people, I know I am not an alien. The many circles I have been in and stories I have heard that all have underlying similar themes makes it clear I am not alien – I am human. As humans, a big part of our journey is to discovery how to use our unique storytelling abilities to bring us together not take us a part. Oddly though we do seem compelled to make this very difficult.


Thus the challenge.
So why am I telling you this.


If you can relate to a deep desire to connect and struggle with something in you that stops that desire from being expressed fully in the world. I think I can help.


I’d love to hear from you. Sure you hire me as a coach or you can just write me back let me know your story and struggle.


I’m just wanting to work to keep finding ways to get my message out there. My message today is this: we are wired to relate to connect and to bridge and live well together, using our differences, our pain and our stories to make contact and know we are human – not broken and not alone.

Tapping My Joy During The Holidays

Thought I would try a video!  Hope you will listen and enjoy.
The main message is how important it is to find simple, easy ways to tap into joy.
Also I shared three things in 2018 I was very excited about that happened in my world and invited you to share what you loved about 2018!!
Finally,  here’s the link in case you want to join us for Get Unstuck starting January 8!