Category Archives: Relationships

Who’s in Your Corner?


Have you ever felt like life keeps beating you down?  Been dealt a bad hand? Had your heartbroken? Fallen ill with no support? Or perhaps  hard financial times have knocked on your door more than once? The light that paves the way towards your dream has all but faded?

Yep, that’s what I thought…

 Me too.

Now think about a time  when you were able to jump over that hurdle, cross that bridge and win the fight or know someone who did.  How did you or they  do it?

Chances are, someone was in your corner and you had the will to get back up.  I used to think growing up and as a young adult that I could handle all of life’s challenges on my own.  Man, was I wrong!  Most often, it was lack of trust in others, my own pride and stubborn ways that kept me from accepting help or support- I. needed. no one.

rocky quote

I finally came to my senses that the only way I could overcome my obstacles, serve a purpose other than myself  and strive to reach my dreams was two fold-  work hard and have a team of supportive people by my side. We are not alone in the fight.

This is not to say that everyone should throw the towel in  and rescue you from yourself and your troubles- struggle can bring tremendous personal growth.  This is never more true right now than with my teenage daughter who wants everyone to give and do everything for her(yes, the word entitlement comes to mind).  However, I am her Mickey- she just doesn’t realize it- yet!

Mickey was always there to push Rocky past the point of comfortable, work hard for what he wanted and move in a direction that not only led to wins in the ring but in life. In fact, most of the characters in the Rocky movies all played a different yet vital role in motivating him- especially his opponents- have you seen Ivan Drago?!Drago

This David and Goliath fight was not only to avenge Apollo’s death but more importantly it was a brilliant metaphor of how big life’s challenges can be- yet- if we have the will to win and the right people in our corner, we can be victorious.



You may be wondering how you find your Mickey?

Be one…







Turning Pain into Power

With tears in his eyes, my son spills out, why doesn’t Dad  want to hang out with me, Mom?  Despite my best efforts to communicate with my ex husband the importance of spending quality time with his son, I’m afraid it has fallen on deaf ears.  It is so hurtful for him at such an important age in his life and with everything he has been through to know that someone he loves and cares for deeply simply doesn’t make himself available anymore because it doesn’t serve his needs.

The absence of someone we love and care about is common place for many whether it be due to death, business travel or the ending of a relationship. How can we take these difficult times, the hurt and pain we feel and use it to make our lives better rather than bitter?

Although there is no magic pill one can take to cure this, there are a few steps forward that people can take to turn their pain into power.

Find ways to serve others.

This is a two fold benefit.  When our focus is shifted elsewhere, we put our mind and efforts onto serving others in positive ways whether it be volunteering at the local homeless shelter, visiting the elderly in nursing homes or putting together care packages to send to veterans overseas.  This strengthens our community one person at a time. It also helps to increase our moods by raising our  levels of oxytocin and serotonin in our bodies.

So for my son, who continues his battle with Chairi Malformation, I have spoke to him about the importance of how he can spread awareness of this disorder and be a  mentor and a friend for a new kid at his school who also has the same disorder.  Helping him to see the opportunity to be a leader to many of the younger, more inexperienced players on his team is another way to create bonds and feel appreciated.

Get Your Body Moving.

When we  feel strong physically, this helps us become stronger mentally and vice versa.  Running, yoga, crossfit,  team sports, biking, hiking or simply taking a brisk 30-40 minute walk every night helps to increase our dopamine levels and the reward centers in our brain. This is why, after we are done with a workout even though we may feel sore our mood is most likely improved and not focused on what’s missing in our life.

I keep my son moving by playing baseball, continuing with his physical therapy, swimming, and bike riding.  This season I am now one of his coaches for his team so those kids sure keep me moving !

Ask for Help When Needed.

Unfortunately, it seems we live in a world where so many think that if we show our emotions, share our story and express a need for help, that we are somehow flawed… weak.  Researcher Brene Brown states…


It takes courage to share your story, to ask for someone’s trust,  to be truly present in their company, to listen, show empathy, provide support and encouragement where needed.  Sometimes this help may need to come from a professional.

Or be the person who picks up the phone and  extends the olive branch to  friends and family in need and remind them that you are there for them not just during times when it is convenient but rather more importantly in the times when it is inconvenient. Perhaps when they feel others have walked out on them.







Plug Into What Matters

I’m not much of an artist, but allow me to try and paint a picture here for you.  The courtyard of the high school where I teach or probably any high school for that matter may fit this description…

-Ketchup packets strewn about on the ground that some teen thought would be  funny to stomp on all the while engaging in flip the bottle contest with pals.

-A table full of girls turning their backs to a couple of boys who like  sloths slowly make their way over, move in with a sly grin, throw out a couple of jokes and boom-score a number!

-Laughter, smiles, teens vigorously trying to type their essay before the next class.

-Group of boys rough housing it on the lawn, tormenting the young bucks on the team with a few slams to the ground and a lunch monitor giving a slight warning to knock it off.

Yep, we see it all on the daily including the times where the opportunity zooms overs their heads to create a connection or a touchpoint with a friend, teacher, parent.  Today was no different.  ‘Laura’ – sitting with four friends at lunch.  As they always do, they  pop open the lunch boxes, cell phone in hand or within quick reach.  She began to confide in them that her father had been in a serious accident and was in the hospital.  Each taking their turn with the required “aww, sorry- hope he’s ok” while  continuing to text and stare scrolling right along on their devices. Now in some cases, keeping things as normal as possible can be helpful.

In her situation, she needed them to really listen and  could sense that they weren’t truly interested in what she was sharing. A few moments later, she gathered her lunch and backpack and off she headed towards the library.


Pay attention.

It is so easy to miss these opportunities to make a deposit into the relationships that matter– to create  meaningful  connections where people feel validated, heard, appreciated, supported and where  people know  that trust and empathy are present. When we do this,  it leads to more productive and healthier  relationships between parent & child, among friends, partners, colleagues and within our communities.

As a teacher and Mom of two, I must  guide my students and children in understanding and practicing the right times and situations to plug into their cell phones/computers and when to plug into people and the moments that matter.

I must also remember to practice what I teach.

Please watch Simon Sinek discuss it best in describing the generational changes and the power of connection in our personal and professional relationships.


I Believe


I Believe in miracles, I’ve had a few you see

the gifted hands of doctors who’ve saved my son and me


I Believe in giving as a means to help and heal

the cold, the tired, the hungry with a warm and hearty meal

I Believe in the power of story

that lifts us from our dark and dreary night

so that we may see the glory of the early morning light

I Believe and support the soldier some who’ve left this earth too soon,

for they protect my children sleeping peacefully in their room

I Believe in freedoms that allow us to bow our heads and pray,

however we choose to worship on any given day

I Believe in forgiveness for those who beg and sin

as most often we know the enemy is within

I Believe in getting lost along our nature’s path

so that we may gain the wisdom that keeps us from the wrath

I Believe in a love that is patient, kind and true

and please know my Dear, I will always Believe in You.



How to Build Bridges in Business and in Life

My Grandpa was a cabbage and lettuce farmer and for many years as a young curious girl,  I watched  him work and helped him harvest the crops. There is nothing else he would have rather done. It was in his bones.  I asked him one day if  I could take a turn driving  ‘Ole Blue’ as he called his rusty and reliable tractor.   He responded, “Have you been paying attention?  Yes Sir.”IMG_0032

Pulling his hankerchief from his pocket, he wiped the sweat off his brow, stepped down and said,  “Well, get up there and give it a go.”

 Like my Grandpa, many of us  feel driven by a purpose or calling- to start our own business,  become a life coach, create a blog,  write a book,  or get healthy.  Or perhaps even wish to master the art of staying calm under pressure. Yep, a few of these are on my list too.  So, how do we do this and meet with success?  

There are four key factors in building  bridges and accomplishing our goals: 

1.  Know the leaders/competitors 

Seek out and study those in the industry  and in life who have thrown themselves In the Arena and become champions in their field. What skill sets, resources and connections do they possess?

2.  Be their customer/follower

Listen to their story. Pay attention to the characteristics and behaviors of those you wish to emulate. Demonstrate loyalty to their product and service and reciprocity is sure to follow.

3.  Be their partner

True leaders want to see and help others succeed. What will your contributions be in this relationship? How can you help build them up? 

4.  Create your own niche

Be authentically You.  Focus on your unique talents, skills, traits and passions . This is one of the most important tools needed in building bridges in both our professional and personal lives.

Here are a few of the leaders in their respective industries that I follow and partner with who encourage, motivate and greatly inspire me to  step  In the Arena  in accomplishing my goals and reaching my dreams.

pressfield 2

*Steven Pressfield author of The War of Art, Turning Pro and The Legend of Bagger Vance- made into a major motion film starring Will Smith and Matt Damon.  Pressfield   offers invaluable wisdom  and great insight on  beating Resistance often disguised as our Muse.

*David Scott Mann– 

Founder of Lead Strong  leadership coaching, author, real estate investor , mentor and veteran- Lt. Colonel(ret), Army Special Forces Green Beret.  Scott’s expertise and skills extend well beyond the battlefield; training others to connect, succeed  and leave deep tracks  in this world through the power of storytelling. An Elite Leader like no other.

*Danny Ray Jr.–  Contributing writer- Life Hack,  and creator of  Dream Big, Dream Often .   Danny is a visionary  and community leader both on and offline with a seemingly inexhaustible reserve for helping others recognize and reach their dreams. A dedicated servant and advocate for those whose lives have been impacted by Multiple Scerlosis. The world could use a few more Danny’s.


“Pay attention and give it a go”  Grandpa 



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