Creating Holiday Intentions

Creating Holiday Intentions

The holiday season is upon us. I’m writing this article right before the start of December when things start to get a little crazy. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday (love that!), and more stress to add to what can already be a stressful time of year....
It’s Become a Habit

It’s Become a Habit

How many of your thoughts and behaviors have become habits that have become so ingrained in you, you aren’t even aware they’re having a big impact on you? Your unconscious habits could be sabotaging your ability to have a great relationship. People can...
Gratitude

Gratitude

You hear this word a lot this time of year: GRATITUDE. It’s that time of year again- Thanksgiving- and with it the hustle and bustle of people getting ready for family, friends, a big meal, and a day to give thanks. In our house, it also means my husband going...
Where Do You Want to Go?

Where Do You Want to Go?

Where do you want to go? That question came up recently during one of my workouts. Let me explain… One of the ways I get super motivated is to listen to motivational recordings. I love to listen to podcasts- particularly ones that have a host who interviews...
Why Do People Have to Be So Mean?

Why Do People Have to Be So Mean?

“Why do people have to be so mean?” my daughter asked. I’ve heard that phrase a lot from her lately. Being a teenager can be difficult. You’re trying to figure out who you are and her peers apparently have no problem letting her know who she...
Why Taking a Time Out is Good for You

Why Taking a Time Out is Good for You

Is taking a time out from an argument when you or your loved one are worked up, a good idea? An author on a book about emotional intelligence believes emotionally intelligent people don’t walk away from conflict. In this video message, I talk about what I...
What I’ve Been Up To…

What I’ve Been Up To…

Want to know one of the key factors to living your best life? Having great relationships.  Think about it: If your significant relationships with your partner, family, and/or friends aren’t great, then it  affects the other parts of your life. If relationships...
How Triangles Mess Up Your Relationships

How Triangles Mess Up Your Relationships

Triangles (not the shape but the relationship dynamic) can mess up relationships especially if you aren’t aware of what they are and what they can do.  Everyone, to some extent, has relationships that are triangles.  Triangles, according to Murray Bowen*, a...
When the Holiday Season Isn’t So Happy

When the Holiday Season Isn’t So Happy

“Happy holidays!” someone shouted to me.  “Mmm hmmm, ” I mumbled.  Gosh, I felt miserable then.  About ten years ago I faced my first Christmas as an almost-single woman.  We decided we would split up in early December but he’d move out...
How to Screw Up Your Kids After Divorce

How to Screw Up Your Kids After Divorce

Divorce can be tough.  My own divorce process took almost three years and it was extremely hard trying to keep the kids out of the fray.  It’s hard for most people to handle the break-up of relationships (I say “most,” but Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris...
How Much Do You Know About Your Partner?

How Much Do You Know About Your Partner?

Want to know how to have a better relationship?  On a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest, answer this question:  How much do you know about your partner?  Do you know their favorite color?  Their favorite food?  Favorite restaurant?  Favorite date night idea?...
You Need an Attitude of Gratitude

You Need an Attitude of Gratitude

It’s that time of year again in the United States–Thanksgiving time!  I love this time of year:  creating great memories of culinary feats, satiety, and wonderful company.  In other words: Thanksgiving is a time where good company and lots of good food...
Want Life to Work Out For You?

Want Life to Work Out For You?

Glenda (not her real name) isn’t happy.  It’s weird too–she feels like she should be.  She’s got a great job and her kids are busy and doing pretty well in school.  She has a great group of friends, and her parents are healthy and live an hour...
Showing Your Kids How to Love

Showing Your Kids How to Love

I’ve got a question for you:  On a scale of one to ten, with one being the lowest and ten being the highest, how good of a role model for a loving relationship are you and your partner to your child(ren)?  How do you think your partner would answer this? Your...
Want to Be a Better Mother?  Try This!

Want to Be a Better Mother? Try This!

Being a mother means many things: providing love and care being a disciplinarian keeping track of schedules driving, feeding, shopping for your kids being their protector, their rock and home base A mother wears many hats:  chauffeur, manager, coach, teacher, nurse,...
7 Ways You Can Be a Better Parent

7 Ways You Can Be a Better Parent

Reading through dozens of articles on eating disorders and parenting practices (this is for a class  in the Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program I’m enrolled in) recently has started me thinking:  You can proactively take charge of your parenting by...
5 Quick Ways to Get Over the Blues

5 Quick Ways to Get Over the Blues

Got the blues?  With Autumn upon us, the days will start getting shorter and a lot of people will start spending more of their days inside (to me that even sounds depressing!).  During the winter months, some people will suffer from depression–or what clinicians...
How to Ruin a Relationship

How to Ruin a Relationship

If there were a course called Relationships 101, what would it cover?  There’s probably a course out there somewhere that’s called this, but let’s see if we can come up with some of the topics: How to communicate well How to honor your commitment How...
This Judge Did WHAT to these Alienated Kids?

This Judge Did WHAT to these Alienated Kids?

In the news recently you probably couldn’t help but hear of the story of the three kids sent to juvenile detention center for refusing to see their father. A little background here:  A Michigan judge ordered the children, ages 9 to 15, to be sent to a juvenile...
Why Parents Should Pay More Attention to Teens Cutting

Why Parents Should Pay More Attention to Teens Cutting

Way back when I was in school, I had never heard of cutting but this was 3 decades ago.  Nowadays if you’re a parent, chances are you’ve probably heard of cutting. Cutting has existed for a long time, but more kids are trying it now because of its exposure...
How Do I Know If My Child Has ADHD?

How Do I Know If My Child Has ADHD?

As a student in a Marriage and Family Therapy program, you cover a wwwwiiiiiiddddddde range of topics in your studies.  One of the topics covered is attention deficit/hyperactive disorder–or ADHD for short.  You may know someone personally who has ADHD. ...
Burnt Out Parent?  Improve Your Life with the 3 R’s

Burnt Out Parent? Improve Your Life with the 3 R’s

Parenthood.  It’s glorious and laborious.  It’s oh-so-wonderfully meaningful yet pull-your-hair-out challenging.  If you’re a parent of young children and babies, you’re struggling for adequate sleep and other basic needs.  Parents of older...
What Do All Parents Want for Their Children?

What Do All Parents Want for Their Children?

Parenting has been around for thousands and thousands of years.  Yet I, without knowing you, the reader, or most of the world’s population, I am going to go out on a limb here and state that nowhere on this planet can anyone call themselves “the perfect...
Child or Teen Acting Out?  Consult Your Future Self

Child or Teen Acting Out? Consult Your Future Self

Most parents need parental guidance at some time during their kids’ lives.  Maybe they get their parenting tips from loved ones (whether it’s solicited or not) or they might get it from books or the Internet.  Wherever the information comes from, searching...
Parent?  Partner?  Bring Out the Best in Your Loved Ones

Parent? Partner? Bring Out the Best in Your Loved Ones

As a coach and counselor, I consider a major part of my job is bringing out the best in people.  Isn’t that a wonderful job description!?  But guess what!  You have that job too!  Part of your job as Loved One to others is to bring out the best in people. If you...
Make Time for Your Relationships

Make Time for Your Relationships

Look around you and you’ll notice that most people are in a rush.  Hurry up to finish the project at work.  Hurry to get supper on the table.  Hurry to help the kids with their homework.  Hurry to kiss goodbye to your spouse as you rush out the door.  Hurry,...
Holding on to Anger and Resentment

Holding on to Anger and Resentment

Recently, I published the following quote on Twitter:  “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”- The Buddha One of the things I teach my coaching clients is to keep...
3 Reasons Why People Withdraw in Relationships

3 Reasons Why People Withdraw in Relationships

At the outset if I was more mature, aware, and conscious, I would have recognized that my first marriage was a disaster from the start (except that I got three beautiful children from this relationship).  Oh, our marriage was okay-ish for a long time–until we...
Do You Know What You Need in Your Relationship?

Do You Know What You Need in Your Relationship?

A lot of conflict in relationships boils down to one thing:  You and/or your partner aren’t getting your needs met.  Everyone has basic needs–like food, shelter, and water.  But do you know what your needs are when it comes to your relationship?  These are...
Bringing Integrity Back Into Relationships

Bringing Integrity Back Into Relationships

Integrity:  adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty (thank you dictionary.com).  Having integrity as a person is a wonderful ideal.  Ask people what character traits they value and most will respond with integrity as part of...
7 Secrets of Solid Marriages

7 Secrets of Solid Marriages

Most people get married without knowing if they are truly a good match with their partner.  Your romantic feelings override those important discussions about roles, values, and major life issues.  You overlook the charming quirks.  There’s nothing like the...
Morning Rituals

Morning Rituals

When you’re the head of a busy family, your needs often get smushed down to accommodate everyone else’s needs.  Your kids need your attention; your spouse does, too.  Each day presents a challenge:  How can I make it through the day without letting the...
Harmony at Home

Harmony at Home

Harmony. 1.  agreement; accord; harmonious relations.  2.  a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity (from dictionary.com).  Harmony is also used to refer to music; t’s the blending of chords that produces sound that is pleasing to...
Undefeated–How Hope Helps Lift You Up

Undefeated–How Hope Helps Lift You Up

Have you ever watched a movie and its message stayed with you long afterwards?  Recently, I watched the movie “Undefeated,” a documentary based on the true story of a high school football team, the Manassas Tigers, who when the movie begins, have yet to...
Do Your Days Lack Purpose, Meaning, and Value?

Do Your Days Lack Purpose, Meaning, and Value?

Wake up, rush to get ready, eat breakfast (if you’re lucky), rush to work, come home, eat dinner, watch a little tv, go to bed.  Does this sound familiar?  Did your day go by in a blur?  Maybe it was not so rushed, but was it a day that lacked purpose, meaning,...
How to Make a List of Your Values

How to Make a List of Your Values

Recently, I wrote an article about Coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.  At the bottom of his Pyramid of Success are his 12 Lessons in Leadership.  These are obviously geared toward a sports team, but this information can also be translated into your...
7 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

7 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

It’s that time of year:  Winter!  As I write this, there’s no snow on the ground beckoning me to go outside and shovel (shoveling is one of my favorite things to do in winter.  I know that must sound crazy to some people!).  Winter has a way of making you...
An Update:  Current Work on Parental Alienation

An Update: Current Work on Parental Alienation

Many of you know by now my experience of being a rejected parent (I have written before on my experience of Parental Alienation) of two of our kids:  one biological, one a stepchild.  These instances began during their middle school years (an age ripe for this) and...
The New Year, New Goals

The New Year, New Goals

It’s that time of year!  With the approach of the New Year, many people begin to reflect on their New Year’s resolutions (see last week’s post:  New Year’s Goal Setting, Version 2.0). Take some time to get quiet this week–even if...
New Year’s Goal-Setting Version 2.0

New Year’s Goal-Setting Version 2.0

As we near the end of the year, I have a question to ask you:  Are you one of the millions of people who begin thinking of setting goals and resolutions for the new year ahead?  If you are, some of you will start the process by bringing up the disappointments of this...
It’s that Emotional Time of the Year:  The Holidays!

It’s that Emotional Time of the Year: The Holidays!

It’s that emotional time of the year–it’s the holidays!  For some people, the stress of doing it all, and doing it perfectly creates a stressed out ball of nerves. You know what I’m talking about!  If it’s not you, you know someone like...
Why Character Matters in Relationships

Why Character Matters in Relationships

Character–an ethical or moral quality; an aggregate of traits and features that comprise the nature of a person.  Character is more than what we notice about a person from the outside–it is who they are even when no one is watching.  When was the last time...
Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving time!  This time of year in the United States, families look forward to spending time with family and cooking a huge, gigantic, gourmet meal centered around–pie.  No, it’s turkey.  It should be pie, but it’s all about the bird...
How Dr. John Gottman Predicts Divorce

How Dr. John Gottman Predicts Divorce

John Gottman and Nan Silver share their research-backed principles for successful marriages in the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (1999).   In the book, Gottman and Silver describe the signs they look for that can predict divorce. Their research...
Secrets for a Successful Marriage

Secrets for a Successful Marriage

One of the assignments for a class in my Marriage and Family Therapy program was to think of an issue relevant to families today and create a program for the issue.  Fun (I love this subject!)!  Our program couldn’t be based on opinion, it had to be backed by...
The Top 3 Reasons Why Couples Divorce

The Top 3 Reasons Why Couples Divorce

No one gets married with the intention of eventually getting a divorce.  We all want to buy into that optimistic dream of living happily ever after.  After all, who wants a divorce?  Divorce can be traumatic, expensive, it can tear apart a home, affect children for...
Create Your Home Place

Create Your Home Place

How do you define home?  Home is a physical place, but it is also a spiritual, emotional, and psychological place, too.  For many, home means a place of belonging and acceptance.  These feelings are vitally important to the development of identity not only growing...
Don’t Feed the Trolls!

Don’t Feed the Trolls!

I recently heard an interview on a Sirius radio show with a host asking someone their best piece of advice for the audience.  “Don’t feed the trolls,” they said. Don’t feed the trolls!  What a clever way of disguising a great skill to have in...
How to Parent Teens Without Losing Your Mind

How to Parent Teens Without Losing Your Mind

Back when you were a teenager, you probably remember trying to figure out who you were.  Maybe you tried different hairstyles, clothing, sayings…During the adolescent stage of development, your teen is seeking the answer to the major life question:  Who am...
Handling Compliments

Handling Compliments

As the mother to 3 girls and 1 step-son, I feel as a parent that they should know how to handle compliments.  They get a lot of them!  Many adults don’t know how to handle compliments either.  Here’s a simple way to deal with them:  Say, “Thank...
You Are Here

You Are Here

Have you ever seen a map of a place, and in the middle of it there is a little marker with “YOU ARE HERE” on it?  Sometimes it’s nice to know where you are–like if you’re in a crowded mall, or on a complicated hiking trail. I think the...
Life Lessons from Nine-Eleven

Life Lessons from Nine-Eleven

If you are a U.S. citizen, everyone probably remembers where they were and what they were doing on 9/11.  It was a turning point for every one of us–a huge wake-up call that we weren’t safe on our home soil.  Our troops dealt with this kind of violence on...
Back to School–the New Start

Back to School–the New Start

It’s that time of year–it’s BACK TO SCHOOL time.  For me, it means a tremendous amount of driving around for my kids (thank goodness they’re active), but I think it’s wonderful to have that one-on-one time with them.  Back to school time...
My Work and Life Update

My Work and Life Update

As we finish up the final week in August (2014), I can’t help but be amazed at how fast the summer months have flown by.  In a week and a half, three of my kids will start school; and one starts her junior year at Notre Dame this week (their first football game...
How Do You Want to Feel?

How Do You Want to Feel?

I recently came across this article on Houzz.com (love that site!): The Question That Can Make You Love Your Home More Okay, so are you curious about the question?  Wait for it, wait for it…Designers often ask their clients: How do you want your home to feel?...
You Can’t Possibly Please Everyone

You Can’t Possibly Please Everyone

As a woman, I was raised in this culture to take care of others’ needs–often at the expense of my own.  I know a lot of women can relate to this.  The nature of females (or female energy) is naturally inclusive and holistic–we unconsciously want to...
What Keeps You Up at Night?

What Keeps You Up at Night?

What keeps you up at night?  Is it the chores that are left undone?  Unfulfilled dreams?  Painful experiences that you want to resolve?  Is it a person you think of or a situation?  Excitement for the next day to come–or dread?  There are many reasons why you...