Blog Archives

To be loved

8 MontereyI am currently at my parent’s house for a two night visit with kids and pup in tow.  Now that I live near, these little visits can become the norm, and the ebb and flow of the day can be natural, versus forced because we’re on borrowed time.  I tried to blog yesterday via my cell phone and found that my technology skills are best served on a regular ‘ole laptop.  I am giving myself “credit” for missing a day and allowing the ‘trying’ to count.

I spent the bulk of today scanning a smattering of family photos to be able to create a slide show highlighting the 50 years my parents have shared.  It is fascinating to see the transformation of our family and our looks over the years.  The one thing that is constant though, is the evidence that I was well loved and I witnessed lasting love throughout my life.

I owe a lot of my confidence, outlook on life, focus on possibilities, ability to connect, commitment to my husband and many more personal aspects to the fact that my family extended an enormous amount of love to me.  I am truly grateful and somewhat overwhelmed to fully acknowledge this about my life.

I DO know what it means to love and be loved and the solid foundation was secured by my loving parents, Pam and Frank Hilton.

To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.

David Viscott

Dog Days!

CaseyI have just launched myself into a new role and identity of dog owner and it has been a big deal for me.  I have lost more sleep and experienced more ‘angst’ over welcoming our new dog (Casey) into our lives than I did with our BIG DEAL move across country.  What’s with that?

It boils down to one word: VULNERABILTY.  As with loving someone and having children, dog ownership brings up tons of thoughts and emotions that can fall under the realm of feeling vulnerable.  Here are my current challenging thoughts about having this dog in my life:

  • Our freedom to go wherever we want whenever we want will be compromised.
  • Our family’s financial security is at risk with the addition of dog-care expenses.
  • The order and cleanliness in our home will change.
  • What if he becomes a ‘challenging dog’ and we’ll not be seen as the fun, easy-going family we enjoy being.
  • What if he doesn’t love and respect me?
  • What if he dies before I’m ready?
  • What if he is more to handle than I’m prepared for?

…and the list goes on.  If I look at each and every one of those thoughts, they have been present for me throughout my adult life and they center around the risk to love wholeheartedly and to be “all in”.   More specifically, if I overlay the decision to marry my husband (of 18 years) or to have my two kids; the thoughts and questions are essentially the same.  I am so glad I took the risk with those three amazing people in my life…so now I add baby Casey to the mix.  My heart is ready and the resulting love and vibrancy I’m adding to my life, is priceless.

That all being said, making a move across country, while stressful and challenging, isn’t as risky to me as opening my heart up to love.  I’m glad I’ve been willing to do both though…I am loving every minute of it!

A Brighter Light

DSCN2407Today, I learned that one of my classmates and coaching friends passed away.

This hit in an odd way.  She is the first friend (that I know of) in my coaching community who has exited this earth plane.  I think I was of the belief that we were all going to somehow “grow old together, influencing the earth with love and inspiration”, but alas Melanie’s inspiration is coming in a different form.  She was super bright and positive.  She was a light.  Even her Facebook page seemed shinier than most.

My relationship with death has been morphing these past 4 or so years.  I’ve come to really accept the idea that when it is “our time” it is our time.  Who am I to understand the why of it all.  It feels more like acceptance and it actually brings me more peace.  Of course, I can get tied up in thoughts of “it was a senseless death” when tragedy befalls families that seem ‘not right’… or someone goes “before we think they should”.  But again I ask, who am I to decide what their life path or purpose was?  We are here to learn lessons and teach lessons…our life path is a lesson for ourselves and others.  If we are able and willing to rise to the Eagle View of life, we might be able to see a bigger expression of what it is all about.  I don’t know what it is all about, really, but I am willing to be open to a different perspective.

Many people (including me) are grieving and having an opportunity for reflection of a bright life and a bright light.  Before I would have said the light has been put out…but now I see that her light has been expanded and can play a bigger role in spreading love, light and positivity (as was her way).

This experience brings me back to the present and helps me look at what is important in my life.  It makes me want to take on some of her purpose here on earth.  I am willing to shine brighter in honor of Melanie.

Quiet Mind

DSC_0301 (2)This picture from my 2010 anniversary trip to Cambodia, came up on my computer today and I immediately connected with it.

For me, it symbolizes leading from the heart (and body) versus the head.  It also represents what an ideal meditation session would look like – a cleared mind.

As much as this statue could be viewed as flawed and perhaps grotesque, I think it is beautiful and represents a goal I have when it comes to being more present, calm and centered.  The thinking/head can complicate this state of being…this picture says it all.  Nice!

Spaces in Between

In the past few days I’ve noticed that I’ve had these paradoxical thoughts and sensations like “hurry up and wait” or “everything to do and nothing to do”.  It is a fascinating place and calming in some regard.  I feel at peace with these sensations and I wonder if it is because I intuitively know that everything will get done exactly how it should when it needs to be done.

I’ve read about the concept of the spaces, or the energy between things…I could find it but then this post wouldn’t get written.  Let’s just use the metaphor of the ‘pull’ you feel when a magnet is about to attach it’s opposing charge.

It is a magical and seemingly palpable place between here and there, or the time between now and then….if you stop to notice that space and ponder it, it has a calming and wonder-full feel to it.  Even the space between asking/praying for something and getting it has a similar quality…if we relax and ‘soft focus’ on the space we will feel the ‘knowing tug’ that it is all taken care of, in the ways it needs to be, in the time it needs to get done…perhaps the feeling state can be called grace or faith…something to ponder.

I am reminded of the quote I call upon often these days:

All Shall Be Well,
and All Shall Be Well,
and All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

Julian of Norwich

I am not a Wrangler

This past week I decided to “own” something about myself.  I am not meant to be a “child wrangler”.  More specifically, I am not meant to be involved in the ‘business’ of helping out in the kids’ school in a capacity that involves managing students in their school activities.  I do not enjoy it.  I get grumpy when kids are not following the rules (aka ‘kids being kids’).  I have always been a ‘rule follower’ so it grates on my nerves and I cannot untangle from that feeling, so then I am a ‘bitter’ helper.

In the past I’ve held an erroneous belief that I “should” want to be working with the kids at school because I love kids.  That is not the case.  I still love kids and I hold a belief that children should thrive and be happy in school (and in life); however, in a capacity of ‘organizing kids’, I am not a happy camper.  I could have seen this ‘lightbulb’ way back in 2006 when I spent half a year as a preschool teacher to 3 year olds.  That should have been my ‘clue’; I wasn’t having fun and I began to dread it.  Hence, I am no longer a preschool teacher.

So, here is my lesson.  I get to acknowledge that I am a hugely valuable resource to the kids.  I know this to my core.  I am an active volunteer in the school for the teachers and the PTA.  I have abundant gifts that I share like organizing projects, creating effective communication systems, and supporting school-wide endeavors from a project management and implementation perspective.  AND, my time is better spent in those activities than ‘child wrangling’.  There are amazing people who find it rewarding and fun to work in that capacity; not me!  So, I intend to say NO to activities that do not speak to my desires, and say yes to ones that do.  I get to decide how I show up in my life and I KNOW that I am valuable in what I do. 

So, I ask you….what is your Child-Wrangler story?  What have you believed that you ‘should love or should do’ because that is what ‘people do’, or ‘moms do’, or ‘women/men do’ or even ‘entrepreneurs’ do?’  What can you OWN as your value and what can you say “that is not for me, but I can do (fill in the blank) that also serves the greater good”?

What if saying yes to what feels good and no to what doesn’t is all it will take for you to feel as if you are having a ROCKIN’ life?  What if the more you own what feels good and what doesn’t, the more ‘feel good’ things come your way?  I am going to look at my “should do’s” with more of an open perspective of….

“I am NOT willing to do X, but I AM willing to do Y”…thankyouverymuch!

A Question is Everything

I am a curious cat; I love to ask questions. 

I am a life coach;  I know how to ask questions. 

I am a searcher of meaning in my life; I get great joy in posing the big open-ended questions. 

I know the power of questions…..

However, just recently I can say that…I FINALLY GET IT!

I get that the POWER of the question is actually in the space between the ASK and the ANSWER.  What if, we approached everything from a questioning mind verses an answer finding mind?  What if all it takes is for us to ask questions and either wait in that moment for the answer to arrive OR to just let the question filter into the atmosphere to be answered in the right time and in the right place with the right people and the right information for YOU?

I have to say that I often take a consultative approach with my life and other people with whom I connect.  I look at the variables that are on the table and form a  big picture of what the possibilities might be – almost like a puzzle.  I feel I have an intuitive ability to see the possibilities…but what if….what if…all it really takes is the questions?  I wonder what that would look like?  Part of me gets an anxious feeling that my ‘puzzle-solving’ skills will be jeopardized….but what if my puzzle-solving is actually more of a default to “control” and “feel safe”?  What if all it takes is to ALLOW the answers to come? 

So many questions AND so much time…..I love every minute of it. 

The best question I’ve heard recently from is…..

How can it get EVEN BETTER than this?

Coeur de rire

Translation:  Laughing Heart

My Facebook post from 9/11/11 read – “…the world needs more laughing hearts”.  When I wrote that I had a sense of knowing that this has something to do with ME and my purpose in life.  I’m curious to explore where this has already manifested for me and where it will take me.  For the time being, I have tucked the idea and the rich palpable feeling in a metaphorical bubble near my heart.  I have the intention that MY laughing heart will attract the people and experiences to help me inspire others to live from a ‘laughing heart’ perspective. 

In retrospect, I realize that I have recently been photographing hearts in many everyday things like trees, clouds, rocks, and spontaneous lotion hearts squeezed in a hand.  As I was looking for the French translation (coeur de rire), I found this beautiful poem. 

The Laughing Heart by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

— by Charles Bukowski

Nature calls

Lately, I’ve been called to nature.  I went camping last weekend, and this weekend, went on a nature hike with my son.  In the recent past I have avoided nature a bit.  I’ve in fact stashed myself away in my office “working” and “connecting” (both are ‘air quotes’ because both aren’t 100% true).  Now that I’ve started to reconnect with nature, and working it into my creative endeavors (photographing and leading sessions) I feel so much more authentically motivated to be mindful of myself, my surroundings and my interactions with people AND nature.  I am noticing more.  I am watching more.  I feel like I am reintegrating with the life I find so worth living.  Here are my observations from the most recent nature ventures:

  • The smell of roses is absolutely my favorite smell
  • The sound of the earth under my feet in the woods sounds like my childhood.
  • The shadow of a flying heron is both impressive and haunting.
  • The whoosh of an Eagle to catch a fish is a stunning sight.
  • The sound of coyotes in the early morning is a curious call.
  • Hummingbirds buzzing by my head make me feel connected.
  • Butterflies flitting by me, remind me that there is abundance in this life.
  • A green bug perching on my arm hair brings creative stories to my mind.
  • The sight of a cloudless sky brings a huge expansive feeling in my chest.
  • The rush of the rapids from snow melts is powerful beyond measure.
  • The taste of strawberries picked from the ground is way better than candy.
  • New flowers blooming every day make me think of hidden secrets waiting to be revealed.

I could go on and on.  I am so happy to be out and noticing with all of my senses, the amazing and awe-inspiring nature that abounds….I am reminded again and again, that if I step out, I am never-ever disappointed…I just have to remember to step out.




I am overjoyed that my Violet plant has bloomed again.
I bought this plant in full bloom some time ago and then they blooms faded.
I watered and loved the healthy succulent leaves…but…
I had a lack of trust that those beautiful blooms would arrive again.
At the first sight of a bud I was giddy with anticipation.
I still had doubts because the buds look so wound tight and small that it didn’t make sense how that could bloom into this…but alas, one by one they are opening to this rich royal purple and I am in love and I am in awe and…
I am a little bit disappointed in myself for doubting that they would come.
Which leads me to the question, what else am I watering and caring for in doubt versus trust?  What seeds of opportunity have I planted and then left because of doubt or fear.
These fresh new Violet blooms are my invitation to remember to care for my desires in a place of trust and anticipation.