Jumping Squirrels


Earlier this week, I pulled up the blinds on my bedroom window and was instantly met with feelings of disappointment and then discouragement. A squirrel had attacked my sunflowers.  They were broken and lying on the lawn. I felt heavy-hearted and I thought, “I am so sad that this is the way my sunflower summer story ends.” Then I wanted to rush outside and chop everything down, clean it up and move on. Finally, I realized that I felt shame, like I had done something wrong by sharing my sunflowers all summer on Facebook and Instagram, and then I let them get broken by squirrels, and that I needed to run and hide.

Believing the Negative Voices in My Head

It’s so interesting when you stop and watch your thoughts in slow motion. My thoughts and feelings combined made me want to rip out all the flowers, throw them away and then run and hide. It all happened in an instant while I was staring out the window. This is how I would describe an onslaught by the adversary. With my thoughts in slow motion, I broke the entire process down. My “natural” self has a tendency to hear judgy voices in my head along with perfectionist voices, and what I call “stickler” voices that give me no allowance for doing anything less than perfectly. Once I entertain the voices of the judge, the perfectionist and the stickler, those voices get louder and more insistent. They all tell me that I’ve done something terribly wrong and now I need to hide and be ashamed. A lot of times I do listen to those voices.

They Were After The Seeds

Today, since I was thinking in slow motion, I was able to ask myself the questions that broke me free of those voices. I asked myself to STOP and look for the gift and the lessons.  All summer, as I worked outside physically with the flowers, mentally I was noticing life lessons I was learning from my plants. I believe those lessons came to me from God as I worked with my hands and quieted my head.  Today was just one more lesson.

I started with seeds, I planted them, watered and nourished them and watched them grow. I protected and supported them because I wanted the flowers. I love the flowers, but the plant wanted to produce seeds so they could continue to grow. That’s what the squirrel was after – the seed.

“Faith is Like a Little Seed, If Planted it Will Grow”

I have been working on developing an aspect of my faith this summer. I have been thinking about how Jesus supports me during my trials – He will not forsake me. I planted the seed and watered it by studying my scriptures and looking in them for evidence of how people were supported during their trials. The sunshine and fertilizer was prayer and meditation, followed by the support of worshipping in a community of believers. Gradually my faith grew and began to flower.

We All Have to Face Jumping Squirrels

Then came the jumping squirrels. They came just when my faith began to flower.  I had some challenges and I didn’t feel love or support from Christ the way I thought I would. I wondered if I had done something wrong or if I was wrong or what had gone wrong? Then, by listening to the still small voice of the spirit in my garden, I learned I am producing seeds. If I give up and run and hide – which for me would be to stop sharing the little lessons I learn from God. If I don’t share the seeds, they die within me.

Learning to slow my thoughts and feel the feelings, and recognize the gifts in my life is something that I have learned and practiced. I’m not perfect at it, but I am willing to share what I’ve learned.  I would love to speak with you and your friends in small groups, or in midweek Relief Society meetings. Reply to this email and we can figure out how to make that possible.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Everyone Else’s Sunflowers Look Better Than Mine!

My Beautiful Sunflowers!

I’ve spent a lot of my free time this past 5 months growing sunflowers in my backyard. It was something I was so excited about. I grew them from seedlings, planted and protected, watched over and sang to them. (The neighbors really enjoy watching me sing to my plants!)  I felt like the sunflowers were my babies. In the past week or so, my daughter and brother-in-law shared photos of the sunflowers they had been growing. My brother-in-law has this huge field of sunflowers, my daughter grew hers up against the fence in her front yard. They are so tall and beautiful. 


Suddenly, my sunflowers didn’t look so wonderful anymore. They fall over and break (thanks squirrels!), the Maya variety bloomed early and died back before everything else could bloom. They aren’t thick and bushy like my daughters. For a few days I was upset that “everyone” else had the secret to the “right” kind of sunflowers. I must have missed something when I was planning them. Perhaps I didn’t plant them the right way.  When I went outside, I didn’t see how beautiful they were, I only saw what they were lacking. 


Is this ever a story that you see pop up in your life? Do you look around and feel vaguely dissatisfied with yourself or your life? Did everyone else’s kids serve missions and get married in the temple, while yours made different choices? Perhaps your home isn’t as big or beautifully decorated as your friends and neighbors’ houses? Maybe it’s your health. You’ve got auto-immune illnesses and your sister-in-law runs marathons.  Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to others and coming up short?


This concept may be new to you, but these are all just stories that our brains offer us.  But guess what?  We don’t have to believe or accept them! 


My life coach recently gave me an assignment to make a spreadsheet of my daily activities, and then rank them each on a scale from 1-10, with one being things that I loathed doing and that drained me, and ten being things that really lit me up and made me feel energetic and enthusiastic. She called it the Joy scale – 1 is no Joy and 10 is full Joy.

After a few days, I observed some interesting things:

  • I became very thoughtful about assigning numbers to my activities. 
    I didn’t want to be miserable, so I examined each activity looking for ways that I could improve its score.
  • I started looking for 10’s and trying to collect more of them every day.
  • I looked for ways to improve my average score for the day.
  • If I had an activity that I didn’t like, I would try to find ways that I could turn the activity from a 4 to a 6. What would I have to do to bring these activity scores up?


I discovered that everything in my life is filtered through my “mind’s lenses” and when my lenses are focused on what everyone else has, that is better than what I have – I don’t like myself or my life as well.


Oh, by the way, I’ve forgiven myself and my sunflowers, and there was never really anything wrong with them – or me.  I am back telling them how beautiful, strong, and amazing they are everyday.  They like that – I can tell.


Mind lens cleaning is just one of the things we will learn in Becoming a Whole-Hearted Woman small group coaching. We will practice looking at ourselves with loving lenses.  In fact, the entire program is based on love as outlined in the three Great Commandments, loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please setup and time and Let’s Talk.

Sometimes You Just Need A Teepee!

Just Need A Teepee...

This morning my husband and I went on a date to a large community garden. We loved seeing so many plots and reflecting on many different garden styles and choices of plants.  There were small fruits, flowers, vegetables, even fruit trees. Each gardener fenced and protected their plot in their own way, and I loved seeing the variety of trellises the gardeners chose. There were garden gates, all kinds of recycled wood – both painted and natural, and stakes of all kinds and shapes. It was a delightful date, and my mind was brimming with possibilities when we left.


I have been thinking about support for weeks. We all need some kind of support. We seek support when things get heavy, and we can’t bear our own weight. We also seek support when we need something to hang on to that will help us balance. Another reason to seek support is when we are climbing up and things seem so unsteady far off the ground.

Support for women often comes from other women. We weren’t designed to flourish in isolation. We seek out others who are in a similar stage of life or someone who has moved through their own challenges and come out the other side. We are inspired by sharing other people’s experiences. 


If you are looking for support so you can keep climbing and you feel like you are higher than you can go by yourself, you might love being part of “Becoming A Whole-Hearted Woman” small group coaching program. This program is like a teepee trellis. It has three supports.

We start by learning to love ourselves, and then focus on how much God loves us and we love God, and finally, we turn our attention outward to love our adult children and other important relationships in our lives. In a small group we share our stories, get coached and learn from ourselves and other women in our circle how to distribute the weight we are carrying. We have a fresh perspective as we look at ways we self-sabotage and what we can do to stop it.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

We Can All Use A Little Support…

We Could All Use A Little Support


I’ve been growing a garden in my backyard for over 20 years and each year I learn new things that help my garden get better. This year I grew a lot of sunflowers and I learned how having the right support helps those sunflowers take off and grow taller than I dreamed they could. 

I planted about 100 sunflower starts and it seemed like they really struggled to get growing.  Day after day they grew but their stalks were puny, and I worried they would fall over. I gathered all the stakes that I could find in my garage and drove to several stores to buy even more stakes. (Did you know we have a stake shortage?)  I started with the tallest plants and put a stake next to them, then I tied the plants and the stakes together. Almost overnight, the sunflowers exploded! They got both taller and stronger – because of these supports. They provided just what was needed. I was amazed how strong their stalks became and how tall they grew.


Like my sunflowers, we all need a little support. Do you feel unhappy or stuck in your life? Do you feel overwhelmed by daily living? Do you feel like you did everything you knew how to do in raising your family?  Still, things are  just not turning out how you thought they should.  We are living in a time when additional support might be necessary to become stronger and grow beyond what we thought we could.


My small group coaching program, “Becoming A Whole-Hearted Woman”, is designed to give you the exact kind of support that you need. Whole-hearted women realize that the great commandment to love others includes instructions to love themselves. 


The first stake or support that we drive into the ground is remembering how to love and show kindness to ourselves before we can show kindness to others. 


The next support or stake is to realize God’s love for us. When we open our hearts to love ourselves, we become more open to God’s love. 


Assured that God is there supporting us every step of the way, and loving ourselves, we can then reach out to others and become a light for them.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

Do You Know What You Want?

What do I want

When I start working with coaching clients, I ask them what they want, and frequently they confide that they aren’t sure what they want.


This is a normal state for many, if not most, of us. Few people know exactly what meaning and purpose they want to create with their life. However, some do know exactly what they DON’T want, and this is also part of the puzzle. 

I spent a lot of time this week wondering why people don’t know what they want to do with their lives and I discovered, much to my surprise, that I am not always sure what I want either. The reason I was surprised was that I regularly review my priorities and goals to help keep myself focused on what I want to be working on in my life. 


One of the things I realized is that sometimes we can be very clear about our priorities, our dreams, and our goals, and working toward them. Other times we can feel lost and adrift. Both states are normal and neither one is something to worry about. 


Sometimes, in those lost and adrift times, when we are feeling miserable, we need to slow down and just take a good look at ourselves and reconsider everything.

That’s where I was this summer. 

I had something that looked a little bit like an adult meltdown mixed in with being lost and depressed. For a few weeks I did the meltdown thing and kept wondering what the heck was up?  Was there something wrong with me? 

During this time, I had to fill out a series of questions for a class I was in, and after answering several questions, I knew that I was feeling depressed.  So, I just decided to go with the “being depressed” thing for a while and I watched a LOT of Netflix.


I am here to tell you that it’s OK not to know what you want all the time. It’s OK to let everything go for a bit and let yourself reset. It’s OK.

We are all going through a lot in our lives and a little grace is sometimes needed. Learning to live life with our whole-heart sometimes means that we are OK with those periods in life when we feel adrift and possibly a little depressed.


If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

You Take Care of You and Leave Your Loved Ones in God’s Capable hands

God's Capable Hands

“My promise to you is one that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once made to me. 

I said to him that because of choices that some in our extended family had made, I doubted that we could be together in the world to come.

He said, as well as I can remember, “Hal, you are worrying about the wrong problem.

You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.” 

I heard Elder Eyring say this during General Conference in 2019, and I still remember his words in my heart.  I’ve returned to them over and over.   

Henry Eyring

Lesson learned – I just need to worry about myself… 


This reminds me of when I was raising my girls and one of them would come crying to me, tattling on her sister.  I would tell her to just take care of herself and she didn’t need to worry about what her sister was doing, I would take care of her sister.  Now I admit there were times when I needed to rush in and take care of that other sister because she WAS up to no good!


I’ve found that it is human nature to worry and fret about things that we can’t do anything about, we waste our time, power and energy thinking about things that we can’t control. The things our adult children are doing fall into this category. How they spend their time, their money, how they parent, how they worship or don’t worship. These are things they are in charge of.


I know that I have plenty of things for me to work on. I have talents I want to develop, love that I would like to share, habits that I want to break, offenses to forgive, and joy that I want to feel. I have a lot to work to do without looking at someone else’s life and wanting to “fix” theirs.


Let’s just decide to take care of ourselves, our true self, the one that God sees, and work on becoming the heavenly person that God knows is inside of us – and leave those we love in our Heavenly Parents’ capable hands.


That doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do for our adult children, there is a lot we can do for those we love who are struggling with their faith and we’ll talk about those things we CAN do in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, let’s practice becoming the BEST PERSON we possibly can.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

The “Golden Glue” That Mends A Broken Heart


When I first chose the word “whole-hearted” as my guiding word for the year. I thought it meant that I had to pour my whole heart into everything I was doing. I didn’t want to do anything that I thought was important half-heartedly. I was wrong. That approach led to exhaustion and burn out. As I slowed down, took things a little slower and really looked at the state of my heart, I saw that my heart was battered and broken in a lot of ways.  That’s both the beauty and the sorrow of having a mortal experience. Our hearts are going to reflect our journey through mortality and sometimes our choices or the choices of others cause our hearts to break.   

Have you ever heard a Japanese word called “Kintsugi”? It is a beautiful practice in Japan of repairing broken pottery with gold. The finished product helps you to value the broken piece’s beauty as well as its imperfections, highlighting them both equally as something to celebrate and not disguise. Kintsugi reminds us that something can break and still be beautiful and that, once you have repaired it, it is even stronger in the broken places.

This beautiful metaphor helped me see the many broken pieces of my heart, heart-ache from my life experiences, including seeing those I love leave the church.  The gold that I used to repair my broken heart was hope, faith, love and prayer along with the belief that my heart could be healed by turning towards the Savior and experiencing His atonement.  Even when my life doesn’t look the way I thought it would, I am better and stronger than I ever thought I could be. That’s because I discovered the “golden glue” to heal my broken heart

What is the state of your heart? Where has it been bruised, battered and broken?

Over the next several weeks I will share the “golden glue” that helped mend my broken heart, and that can help mend yours too. 

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

Opening My Heart To You

Open Hearted

Each year I choose a “word for the year” and each year I can’t imagine the adventures my word will take me on.  This year was no different.  If I had known everything that lay before me when I chose the word “whole-hearted”, I might have chosen a different word.

My definition of “whole-hearted” was to do everything with ALL my heart – as opposed to being half-hearted.


I threw myself into every aspect of my life with FULL intensity.  I took an emotional intelligence class and learned about the traits that I have that might sabotage my efforts, and developed the skills to overcome my saboteurs. I learned more about myself through the Enneagram which is a way of learning about ourselves through our strengths and weaknesses. I taught classes, I wrote morning pages, I applied for and was offered a coaching job. I learned more new things so I would be a great “cash-flow” coach.  I learned new social media skills and wrote, video’d and published many posts. I visited and spent time with all my family, both immediate and extended.  I participated in a family reunion. I did physical therapy twice a week. I planned and planted a beautiful garden with hundreds of sunflowers.  I did absolutely EVERYTHING with my whole heart.


Then, all of a sudden, I hit a brick wall. Through a series of misunderstandings and disappointments, I found myself at odds with several members of my family. I was hurt and angry with myself and others. I was worn out and exhausted.


That’s when I learned that being whole-hearted is not to throw yourself into every project with all your energy, but it is to come to know and accept everything in your heart.  All parts – the hard heart and the soft heart, the tender heart and the stony heart. Being open-hearted and being closed-hearted.  All of those things and more are part of being a whole-hearted woman. I experienced love, energy, and passion and then disappointment and regret. 


It was from these experiences that my coaching program – “Becoming a Whole-Hearted Woman”, was born. This is a program specifically for mothers whose grown and gone children are doubting or have left the church. You are questioning everything you did while you were raising your kids. You wonder if you failed at being a mother. You wonder what you can do for these adult children now.

“Becoming a Whole-Hearted Woman” is based on the great commandments:

  • Love God
  • Love Others
  • Love Yourself


Do you wonder what you can do as a mother for your beloved children?  I have found that a whole-hearted woman has confidence in herself and trusts in God. She has learned to open her heart through prayer, journaling and meditation and is willing to learn how to strengthen her relationships within her family.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share the things I have learned in my Whole-Hearted Woman journey. Perhaps some of those things will help your heart heal too.