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Be BOLD...Take a Chance…“Stop Settling:" A Tele-class for Creating Change

IStock_000013800766_ExtraSmall I’ve watched women settle for less than they deserve for most of my life. I’m tired of watching women settle. I hated watching it when I was a child and I hate it now that I’m a grown up. I’ve watched women cower to rage, complain about rage, beg for the rage to stop and on and on. What I've seldom seen is women putting an end to rage directed at them. I’ve watched women plead, beg, yell, scream and cry to others in an attempt to get more help with the kids, the house, their sanity. Seldom do I witness women calmly and effectively stop over-doing and allow others to feel the hit of this decision. I’ve watched women sleep with men in an effort to “get” the man, only to later be heartbroken when they realize they are only one of many he is sleeping with. Far too many women are not willing to risk losing the man they never had by asking for exclusivity. I’ve watched women stay in jobs with abusive bosses, “mean girl” environments and toxic teams because they felt they had no other options. Seldom are there no other options. 

Far too many couples are actively destructive with one another, silently co-existing with one another or are coldly tuning one another out. Studies show that people in happy marriages outlive those in unhappy ones. In contrast, people in chronically unhappy marriages experience serious health issues such as depression, heart disease and even cancer. The bad relationships are killing us…and greatly impacting our children. 

It’s time for women to step into the world in a new way…as an equal, deserving of great things and, most certainly, great relationships. Not settling requires a bold determination to step into your life and your relationships differently. I’m offering a new tele-class to help you do just that. “Stop Settling” is your chance to create a new beginning. You don’t have to leave a relationship in order to transform it, nor do you have to leave a job, friendship or community. You do, however, have to be different in your relationship/job/friendship/community in order for change to happen. “Stop Settling” will walk you through the steps of how to create the change you’ve been looking for, but have been too afraid to go after. This class will show you how to step into your life with a Grounded Powerful Strength (GPS) that produces results both within you and around you.

Be BOLD, take the leap, and make the decision to “Stop Settling”…the stakes are too high not to. Click here for more information. 


May 28, 2014

Why Does He Keep Doing This to Me?

IStock_000000381585_ExtraSmallHave you ever found yourself in the same painful situation with the same person time and time again and wondered why that person keeps hurting you? If so, you’re not alone. Many women wonder:
•    How could he do this to me again? This is his third affair—doesn’t he know how much he’s hurting me?
•    I can’t believe he’s drunk again! I’m so tired of his drinking. Why does he keep doing this?
•    Oh my gosh -- another lie! Why does he keep lying to me? Doesn’t he know I can’t trust him?

The issues could be anything, but the message is often the same: “How could he possible do this to me again?” The answer, though, is most likely not what you want to hear or look at. The truth is that it doesn’t matter why he does what he does. The important question is why do you keep responding the same way and expecting a different result? He knows your response is going to be the same as it always is and that in the end you’ll most likely still be there. You may be angrier, sadder or a little more distant for a while, but after all is said and done he knows things will go back to normal. He’ll make his apologies (hopefully), promise to not do it again and he’ll be in the dog house for a few days. Soon everything will go back to the way it was. You’ll think to yourself that maybe this time he really will change or perhaps he really does mean what he says. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll hope, this relationship will be what you always wished for.  

So you wait and see.

Continue reading "Why Does He Keep Doing This to Me?" »

May 15, 2014

Power from Within Versus Power-Over

IStock_000001213984_ExtraSmallOur world functions in a power-over paradigm. We confuse power with aggression and standing up for ourselves with stepping on others. World leaders, men, women, professional athletes, politicians and on and on, often move in power over others in an effort to get them to agree with their demands. Our world teaches us that yelling, intimidating and overall bullying others is okay if it serves our own needs. We snap at employees, tell our loved ones to shut up, shame our school children for mistakes, yell and scream at those we feel aren’t listening and bully those who struggle to stand their ground. We’re taught that sometimes the only way to be heard is to get BIG.

In the short run, this power-over paradigm often works. It succeeds in getting us what we want. People cower to our rage, they give in to our demands and many shrink to our intimidation. For the moment, we “win.” People back down, give us space and give in.

We forget to notice, however, what it feels like to the person on the other side. In that moment, we don’t really care that they gave in out of fear. We don’t care that people don’t like to be bullied, shut down or not listened to. We don’t stop to notice how our intensity or our rage silenced their voice. We only notice whether we got our way.

Continue reading "Power from Within Versus Power-Over" »

April 17, 2014

What Your Parents, The Media and Our World Should Have Taught You About Romantic Relationships

IStock_000014937781Large1.    If your significant other talks poorly to you, s/he will likely talk poorly about you. Bad mouthing a loved one behind their back is about that person’s lack of integrity, not your behavior. Choose your significant other wisely.
2.    Getting married, having a baby or moving will not fix a relationship. These actions will instead amplify what is already there—the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t look to these things as your savior. Fix the underlying issues before you get more deeply imbedded in them.
3.    You are 100% responsible for the life you allow, the life you sabotage and the life you create. Don’t blame your circumstances on your significant other or anyone else. Doing so takes your power away. No one, but you “makes” you do anything. Get real with yourself, your choices and your actions.
4.    Anyone who is unaccountable for their own behaviors, mistakes or difficult patterns is difficult to be in relationship with. A person’s lack of accountability is about the person, NOT about someone else’s behavior. If you’re unaccountable—fix it. If the person you’re with is unaccountable—have them fix it. If they won’t, be willing to leave.
5.    Addicts often form relationships with people who will enable their addictions. Too many partners ignore the signs of their significant other’s addiction and tip toe around it, hoping the addict will “see the light.” Addiction does not magically go away and most addicts deny they are addicts.

Continue reading "What Your Parents, The Media and Our World Should Have Taught You About Romantic Relationships" »

April 10, 2014

The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey

IStock_000008480884_ExtraSmall(Note: This is a fictitious story and “Karen” is a conglomeration of women and their life-sabotaging choices)

Karen is 28 years old, single and has never been married. More than anything she wants to be married and have kids. She just can’t seem to find the “right” guy, though, and often seems to end up with men who are just plain bad for her. She doesn’t understand how that happens. She throws her hands up often, asking, “Are there any nice guys out there?”

Next thing you know, Karen meets Bob. Bob’s “great.” He’s fun to hang out with, he can be nice when he wants to be and has a great job. He also… has a temper, loves to party and has cheated on everyone with whom he’s ever been in a serious relationship. The good news, though, according to Karen, is that Bob has seen the error of his ways and wants to cut back on his drinking and start being faithful.

Karen decides to give Bob a chance—after all, he’s “seen the error of his ways.” On their fourth date, Bob has too much to drink and says some stupid things to Karen’s friends. He blows it off, saying he just had too much to drink and it was no big deal. Karen has an uneasy feeling, but continues to date Bob. A couple of weeks later Bob gets angry with Karen for something she says and yells at her. Karen lets it go, thinking it was really her fault since she “didn’t think about how she spoke.” Two weeks later Karen and Bob go out with friends and Karen watches as Bob gets ticked off with the waitress at the bar and aggressively shames her in front of everyone at the table.

Soon Karen realizes this isn’t going to work. Bob obviously has anger issues and she has no interest in getting involved with someone who’s a hot head. She tells Bob she wants to just be friends. They part ways.

Continue reading "The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey " »

April 01, 2014

Stop the Silencing: Own Your Place in this World

IStock_000008250965_ExtraSmallAs I’m launching my next tele-class, Finding Your Voice, I’ve been reminded of all the ways women end up silencing themselves, playing small in their lives and even losing themselves in relationships. What’s interesting about the dynamic of losing your voice is that it’s often a subtle process.

Initially, many women do speak up for what they want. They ask their husbands to talk more, they try to set limits with people who don’t treat them well and they often ask for support around their dreams. The trouble begins to happen though, when they are met with a “no.”  If this “no” is said with intensity or judgment, women’s loss of voice speeds up even faster.

When women speak up about what they want and are met with anger (“What the hell do you want from me?!”), dismissiveness (“That’s ridiculous. You’re too sensitive!”) or called out as being selfish/mean/a “bitch,” the women tend to shut down. In fact, some women will even go on to revoke their request. Some women, in an effort to calm the other person down, will even go so far as to agree with the person by saying that, yes, they are too sensitive or the upset is their own fault. It’s a crazy phenomenon we do to avoid upsetting others.

Women are taught to be nice. They want to be liked whenever possible and they’d prefer not to have people upset with them for any reason. Although, it’s not all women, there is a strong societal pressure for most women to be pulled into this type of thinking. Not surprisingly, this pulls many women into the habit of putting the needs and happiness of others above their own. Subsequently, women learn to ask for little, disagree little and say little. If they’re in a meeting at work and they disagree with what colleagues say, many will nod their head in agreement while internally shaking their head in disagreement. If their partner at home is speaking harshly, they excuse the harshness due to a hard day, stress at work or any of a number of excuses. When this partner yells at the children, too many women go to the children to explain why dad was upset and implore them to not take his anger personally. They do this rather than holding their husbands accountable to speak more softly to their offspring.

Time and time again women silence their voices and, in so doing, they gradually lose themselves. They learn to laugh a little softer, ask for a little less, share opinions only when they’re similar to those around them and accept more than they ever thought they would…all under the guise of being relational.

It’s not relational to silence your voice. It’s not “nice” to lie to a loved one because you don’t want to upset them with the truth. It’s not compassionate to a child to rationalize the anger of their parent. And it’s not helpful to anyone to put the need to be liked above the need to be treated well.

Find your voice. Ask for what you want to ask for. Say what you truly think. Share your honest opinions, ideas and dreams. Speak up to injustices—toward you and toward others. Own your place in this world.   

Challenge: For one week, pay attention to all the things you don’t say and why. After you become more conscious of how you silence, during week two, begin to speak up beginning in the areas with the lowest risk.

Note: If you struggle with Finding Your Voice, read more about my tele-class here and sign up to work this skill.

March 26, 2014

Building Your Accountability Muscles

IStock_000007605445XSmallPeople have this fantasy that “if only” their partner was kind, or respectful or caring or … (fill in the blank),  their relationship would be great; this is not how relationships work. The idea that your relationship would be fine or easy “if only” your partner…, is a convenient way of taking the responsibility of creating a healthy relationship off of yourself. Chances are your partner is thinking the same thing about you – if only you would…

She said: “You never talk, it’s like I’m living alone!”

He said: “I would talk if you weren’t nagging all the time. Did you ever think of that?!”

She said: “Well, if you did something around here, I wouldn’t have to nag. Did YOU ever think of that?!”

…and on and on they go with little, if any, resolution to many exquisitely described problems. 

To create the relationships you want, you have to be consciously working them in new ways. This requires that you look at your part FIRST, and when you’ve changed you, THEN, you look at your partner’s part. For example if your partner is treating you poorly, are you putting up with it, treating him/her poorly back, setting limits around it or just complaining about it? 

Continue reading "Building Your Accountability Muscles" »

March 19, 2014

Asking for What You Want

Directly asking for what you want can be a difficult skill to master for many women. One of the biggest obstacles for women with this struggle is worry. Women often get caught up in worrying about whether what they’re asking for is reasonable, whether the person is likely to give them what they ask for, how the other person might respond to their request and whether or not their request is likely to upset the other person. No wonder women struggle with asking for what they want; all of these concerns would paralyze most people!

Rather than fretting over what is and is not okay to ask for or how someone may or may not respond, women will go farther by simply getting clear on what it is they want. The bottom line is: there is nothing you can’t ask for. Women, men and all fellow human beings can ask for anything as long as they understand that asking doesn’t mean they will get it. In other words, ask for anything, expect nothing. Your job, when it comes to asking for things, is to be clear about what it is you’re asking for and to ask for it respectfully and “cleanly.” Below are five tips to keep in mind when it comes to requests:
1.    Ask for what you want, not what you think you’ll get. Don’t try to figure out what the other person is willing to agree to. Instead, get clear on what it is you want. You’d be surprised how often people are willing to do more than you ever thought they would. Get out of your own way on this one and ask for your true wish.  
2.    Be concrete and clear. Know what you’re asking for and state it in concrete terms, so there is no misunderstanding. Don’t water down your request to make it more palpable. Say it straight and to the point.

Continue reading " Asking for What You Want" »

March 05, 2014

Seven Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen(s) Starting Today


First off, let me begin by telling all you parents out there who are raising teens at this very moment, my heart goes out to you. Raising teens is not for the faint of heart, I must say. My heart also goes out to all those parents whose children have not yet hit the teen years…you have no idea the ride you are in for .  

Before I paint a one-sided scary picture of parenting teens, though, let me say that although teens can be moody, snappy and difficult at times, they can also be fun, thought-provoking and really cool to hang out with. Below are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way with my own kids…and I soooo wish someone had told me these pointers years ago. Here’s my gift to all the current and future parents of teens… a mini-cheat sheet to parenting teens. Enjoy and may it help make these years a little less stressful and a lot more fun…for both you and your teens.

The Seven Guidelines

  1. Lighten up: Stop taking everything so seriously. They’re kids and they’re going to make mistakes. Don’t micromanage them though, in an effort to make sure they don't mess up. They will mess up, we all did. When they do mess up, stay grounded and calm in the storm, not aggressive and reactive. Know that they're young and one way they learn is through their mistakes. So stop the freak outs!
  2. Stop the lectures: It‘s very easy to want so badly to teach teens to be kind, responsible and successful that you find a lesson in every TV show, statement, interaction or life event. Stop it. Stop the lecturing, stop the preaching and stop the teaching. No really, just stop. I’ve learned (ok—I’m learning) this the hard way. The more you lecture, the quicker they tune you out. Be choosy about your lectures, keep them short and sweet and when tempted to preach…just BREATHE . 
  3. Join them: When they’re hiding out in their rooms, don’t forget about them or assume they want nothing to do with you. Stay connected. Go in and hang out with them, watch a show with them or watch them play their games (or join them in the games). They may act tough, but inside they often feel insecure, lost and lonely and could use a strong support to count on. Be one for them just by showing up.

Continue reading "Seven Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen(s) Starting Today" »

February 24, 2014

Difficult Decisions Made Wisely: T.U.N.E. I.N.

IStock_000015754146_ExtraSmallMany women struggle often with making decisions. I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes I can have a steady diatribe running through my head saying, “Are you sure? What will others think/feel/do? Make sure no one’s hurt. Don’t be selfish. Make sure you make the best choice…” It can be daunting at best when I get caught up in the diatribe. I know I’m not alone with this struggle and I also know how important it is to get this straightjacket off if I have any hope of making a good decision.

Below are a few tips to help you when that nasty little tape starts to play in your head about an important decision. When trying to decide remember to T.U.N.E.I.N.:

  • Tune into your instincts: Take time to slow things down and simply tune in. What are your instincts saying? Do you have a gut reaction, a certain sense or a nagging feeling about this decision one way or the other? Tune in and notice it; don’t dismiss it.

Continue reading "Difficult Decisions Made Wisely: T.U.N.E. I.N." »

February 12, 2014

Valentine’s Day Anew: A Day to Consciously Cherish Loved Ones—Including Yourself

IStock_000011653319SmallWhen I was a teenager, Valentine’s Day just seemed to be one more reminder of the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend. It was another chance for all the cheerleaders and the like to show off how beautiful they were and how much all the guys wanted them. Ugh! Much of my college years were fraught with the same reminder of how inadequate I was, unattractive, unlovable…blah, blah, blah. For a long time after those tumultuous years that were filled with insecurity, constant comparisons and chronic self-doubt, Valentine’s Day was a mixed bag of something to get through intertwined with a sense of relief that I had someone. 

To this day, I hate the pressure that Valentine’s Day puts on teenagers, girls and women. The pressure for girls and women to have a boyfriend or man in their lives is constant. This pressure sets females up to doubt themselves without a male at their side. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing my life with my husband and I think nice boyfriends for teens and single women are great. Males, though, should be an addition to a female’s life, not the completion of her life or the rubber stamp that proves a female’s worth. (This is the same for men and boys, by the way—they too don’t need to “prove” they’re a man by how many girls they have hanging on them). 

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day Anew: A Day to Consciously Cherish Loved Ones—Including Yourself" »

January 29, 2014

Amazing Grace: One Family's Story

Schickel familyEvery once in a while I see examples of amazing grace and strength in the face of what appears to me to be insurmountable hardship. This past year has been one of those times for me. Last January, Elizabeth Schickel, a 15 year old high school student and athlete, was struggling with headaches. She had been a starting Freshman on her high school’s varsity girls soccer team, which had finished with a winning soccer season. She was a vibrant girl experiencing her first high school year, so it was easy for an outsider to think the headaches were likely due to stress and she would be fine. The headaches continued, however, and more symptoms began to show up. Soon my daughter informed me that Elizabeth was going in for more tests. 

In January 2013 Elizabeth was diagnosed with brain cancer. And here is where the journey of amazing grace and tremendous strength began.

Elizabeth and her family have battled with her brain cancer over the past year. She has been through surgery, chemo, countless visit to doctors, loss of hair, more chemo, loss of balance, more doctor visits, loss of hearing, more visits, loss of eye sight…and more visits. Throughout this time, Elizabeth and her family have been an incredibly powerful example -- to me and countless others -- of how to walk through one of life’s most difficult journeys with grace and love. 

Continue reading "Amazing Grace: One Family's Story" »

January 23, 2014

Changing Me, Changes We: Taking Control of Your Life


There are countless women all over the world settling for poor relationships, bad jobs and unfulfilling lives.

  • Sally is in her third long-term, miserable romantic relationship with yet another man who has issues with anger and control.
  • Karen feels like a demanding boss, a crazy work schedule and a toxic work environment have sucked the life out of her.
  • Leigh can’t believe she’s stayed in her emotionally cold marriage for 20 years.

All these women -- and countless more -- can’t believe they’ve ended up where they have. Many of them are lonely, overworked, tired and resentful. They’re resentful that the people in their lives don’t treat them better. They’re angry that the years have trickled by with little change and they’re sad that somewhere along the way they have lost themselves.

What many of these women don’t know, though, is that the only one responsible for getting them where they are is themselves. What they don’t know is that they, and only they, have the power to change things. They don’t realize that their utter focus on changing those around them has resulted in those women staying stuck themselves.

The more they tried to “make” others be kinder, softer, more available, the more time they wasted. The more they tried to work longer hours for their crazy boss, bow down to their spouse’s rage and over-accommodate for their lover’s short-comings, the more they sabotaged their dreams. The more they sabotaged their dreams, the more they lost themselves. And the more they lost themselves, the more hopeless, angry and resentful they became.

Women without number find themselves repeating toxic patterns in their relationships. They end up with the “same” guy, who just happens to have a different name or with the same job, but in a different company. Many of these women saw the same warning flags well before they got involved with man or job number one, two and three. Some didn’t see any red flags until they were deeply entrenched, at which time it became difficult to disentangle. All of the women let things go too far, get too bad and last too long.

The hard reality that all women would benefit from hearing is this: You’re responsible for your happiness. You determine your life. You create your future. When things aren’t the way you’d like them to be, you are responsible for changing them. Continually trying to get others to change their moves is the quickest way to sabotage your future. Get your eyes off the other person and back on you.

  • If your partner rages… change your response to his rage.
  • If your boss demands 24/7 attention…don’t buy in, look for another job, set limits or do all of the above.
  • If you’re controlling, critical and perfectionistic…learn to let go and be more compassionate.
  • If your date flirts with other women…recognize the red flags early and move on.

It’s an act of courage and takes enormous strength for a person to be accountable for their mistakes, imperfections and struggles. I challenge women across the world to step into this level of accountability and to take full ownership of their happiness. Neither blaming others for causing our pain nor looking to others to solve our pain serves women. When women learn to effectively step into the world in a new way, their world will change. Get grounded, not reactive; powerful, not aggressive, and strong, not helpless. Rely on yourself for change and stop looking to others to make you happy.

Challenge: If you’re unhappy, courageously look at yourself and how you’re sabotaging your happiness. Step into your life differently and take control of your destiny. 


January 16, 2014

Divorcing with Integrity


The divorce rate has been hovering around fifty percent for many years in the United States. As many of you know, divorce is often a very painful process for all involved, even in the most amicable of situations. In those divorces that aren’t amicable, the damage done is hard to fathom. This is especially true in those divorces where children are involved. I can think of no worse example of this than a recent incident in Florida in which a mother is alleged to have shot and killed her two teenage children and then turned the gun on herself. Allegedly, the mother was under extreme duress about the divorce and the father’s alleged unwillingness to provide child support, alimony or anything else (

Although I don’t know what the “truth” is in this case, I do know that many people go through divorce angry, bitter and determined to “get” the other person. I have seen countless couples emotionally bash one another throughout the divorce process, attempt to get every last cent from the other person and try to make the other person hurt as they themselves hurt. These maneuvers cause nothing but more pain for families already reeling from the loss of family as they knew it.

Continue reading "Divorcing with Integrity" »

January 08, 2014

How Did I End Up Here?

IStock_000002084023_ExtraSmallWhen girls are young and first beginning to explore relationships, they often have big visions. They’re certain their “soulmate” is out there somewhere and they can’t wait to meet their best friend, lover, confidante and life partner. They dream of laughing with someone who gets their jokes, sharing their biggest secrets with someone who will hold those secrets in the greatest of confidence and of holding hands with someone who holds them in the highest regard. 

Through the years, though, things change. These young girls grow up to be women. They have met countless frogs along the way and they have stopped imagining that they would meet their prince. They learned that what they looked like is far more important than who they are. They stopped laughing as much, sharing their opinions as much or expecting as much as they did before. They learned to settle for less than they ever thought they would. No longer do they believe they will meet their soulmate -- or that there even is such a thing. The men they’ve met along the way don’t like to talk about their dreams, laugh at their jokes or hold them in high regard. In fact, over the years, the women continued to lower their expectations and the men they met seemed, coincidentally, to barely meet even these expectations. 

With each relationship that didn’t pan out, the bar was lowered for the next one. Soon the bar was so low that the women couldn’t believe what they had learned to settle for. Their vision went from finding their soulmate and a man who loved, cherished and honored them to finding…a man. Some women though did meet men who seemed great, yet, somewhere along the way the relationship started to go down hill. Regardless of whether they found a great guy or a not so great guy, once they found a man, their next task became keeping him. They began to believe that, in order to keep a man, they had to learn to pretend to be happy. They couldn’t complain about something they didn’t like or the men would say they were nagging. The women couldn’t ask for more emotional connection because then they would be accused of being needy and the men would give them even less of their attention. The women learned to stay silent when the men became angry because to not do so would mean having to deal with an even greater wrath of anger. 

Continue reading "How Did I End Up Here?" »

December 31, 2013

A 2014 New Year’s Wish for All Women Around the World


  1. May you love yourself enough to surround yourself only with those who treat you well, hold you in high regard and add to your life. 
  2. May you know that you deserve greatness and refuse to settle for less.
  3. May you have the courage to make difficult decisions that will lead you to a brighter future.
  4. May you treat yourself with kindness in your actions, your thoughts and your words.
  5. May you not measure your worth based on how much you weigh, how good you look or how many men are chasing you.
  6. May you learn to trust your instincts, have faith that you know what you know and no longer look to others for answers you have within you.
  7. May you let go of the need for perfection in others or yourself and learn to appreciate who you have, what you do and who you are.
  8. May you be confident enough within yourself to stand in your own power, walk in the world as an equal and never look to others to convince you of your worth.
  9. May you have the courage to acknowledge and work on your issues and refuse to blame others for your fate, life, and choices. Know that you are the captain of your ship and steer it where you want it to go not where others try to take you.
  10. May you have an amazing year of love that feels good to come home to, prosperity that creates a life of financial freedom and good health that lasts a lifetime.

Wishing all of you an amazing New Year in 2014!

Warm Regards,



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