Jan 142015

Happy New Year to all! It’s that time of year again, as we return to work after the holidays, and move back into some of our daily routines I wanted to take a moment to remind us about the resolutions we have thought about for 2015.

I spoke with my team earlier this week about their goals for the year and was excited to hear so many different intentions that everyone has. Many of the goals were health related, in taking time for themselves, taking care of their bodies, slowing down and letting things flow.

I intend to support my team with their personal as well as professional goals this year and am making a note in my calendar to have fun with sending them little reminders in support of their desires. When you let other know of your intentions, you create additional support that can assist you in reaching your goals.

After our discussion, I also encouraged the team to think about ONE word that describes how they want to BE. So many of us make resolutions and get disappointed when we don’t reach them. Many times its because the way we are BEING is not in alignment with the goals we have set for ourselves. When we begin to bring them into alignment, life begins to flow with ease and grace.

Last year my word was NURTURE and I am completely amazed at all that has unfolded in my life when I focused on nurturing myself. I have grown by leaps and bounds. One of the best lessons learned is that when I take time to invest and nurture myself, it is the best gift that I can give my family. Not only do I have more opportunities showing up in my life, but so do my husband and children. But the first step was taking the plunge and nurturing myself as a woman first.

Vision boardThis year my one word is PLAYFUL. As a working mom of 4 boys, I can end up being the more serious one who tries to create a sense of order in the household. This past year, I have learned how to take more time to rest, relax and meditate, but have not focused as much time for play. My 5 and 10 year old constantly remind me that its time to play and not to work. As I have started to embrace being more playful, I have realized that when I am having fun, exploring and being playful, I am able to enjoy and be in the moment. I enjoy things I may never have realized and create some amazing memories. When I let go of my worries, inhibitions, thoughts and fears and dive into letting go and having fun, I create amazing things. Attached is a picture of my intuitive vision board I created a couple months before I chose my word of the year. Its amazing how it totally represents being playful. Its just a reminder that our heart and soul knows what we need way before our mind is able to see.

I encourage you to share your ONE WORD for the year. If you want to share why great. If not, please go ahead and just share your ONE WORD. I think it would be fun to see what others are thinking and provide support along the way.

Dec 182014

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season there are so many things that we want to do. In the spririt of giving, we can find ourselves searching for the “PERFECT” gift. Have you ever found yourself making a list and then searching either online or in multiple stores to find that special unique gift that represents how much you appreciate that person. I will admit there have been many times where I have shopped and shopped and shopped, and still couldn’t find what I was looking for. Why is that? Sometimes I shop and boom, I find everything I need (or rather didn’t think I needed it and bought it anyway) and other times, I hit a dead end.

Has that ever happened to you? Your intentions were so good. You aren’t doing this for you. You want to find the perfect gift for someone to make them feel special. But why can we sometimes not find what we are looking for? Or it feels like a chore and hard work to find a simple gift. Hmmm. Something to ponder about. When we are DOING instead of BEING, sometimes it feels harder and takes more effort. I have realized that in being attached to the outcome, in this case, a gift, I am limiting the possibilities that could happen in really bringing the joy to the person I wanted to touch. However, when I let myself BE, with no intentions, the greatest miracles happen.

I attended a church service this past weekend which talked about our Plan A versus our Plan B. Have you ever thought about Plan A, versus Plan B when it comes to the holidays?

Plan A – Could be shopping for the PERFECT gift.
What if Plan B, was even better?

What if that PERFECT gift, was YOU! Show up to your friends and family and those that are most important to you as who YOU are. My son showed me an example of this when I was shopping for something over the weekend. I was on a mission for something and couldn’t find it, but while shopping he saw a gingerbread house and said “Mommy can we buy this please?” I thought noone eats gingerbread in our house, but I saw the look in his eye and knew I needed to say. We created some amazing memories because I was open to being present and noticing what was really important. My plan A, turned into the best Plan B ever.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And remember sometimes the best PRESENT, is the gift of YOU!


Dec 102014

Thanksgiving weekend, I took my 5 year old son Andy downtown to Macy’s to have lunch with Santa Clause. This was a special Mommy and Andy day for us and he was looking forward to it all week. I had no idea what to expect because Andy has always had a fear of people dressed in character, whether it be Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, Disney Characters or the Mascot at a sporting event. He cries bloody murder and does not want to go near them.

When Andy was first born I would try really hard and get my hopes up that he would smile nicely and take a picture. It is a fun tradition of taking pictures of these Kodak moments. But after the first couple years of no luck, I just decided it was not worth the hassle and I was not going to focus my energies on forcing him to take a picture, it was a no win battle.

Andy Mrs clauseSo needless to say, I really had no high expectations for what would happen this year. A friend of ours was playing Mrs. Clause and I thought well, he knows my friend Beth, so maybe he will at least take a picture with her, but really had no expectations of what would happen when he saw Santa Clause.

What happened the rest of the afternoon blew me away. We were standing in line to enter the ballroom and Andy said, “Mommy are we going to see the REAL Santa Clause”. My reply was “Do you want to see the REAL Santa Clause?“ He said “I think so. I am not afraid of the REAL Santa Clause mommy.” As we stood in line, I just breathed in his words and thought, maybe there is hope.

We sat down to have our lunch and Santa walked over to greet us. Andy said he was not afraid. He was super excited that Santa came to our table. He observed very closely everything that was going on in the room and wanted to know when we were going to be able to go up and meet him. I sat there in pure amazement.

Andy Santa.pgThen it was time for getting in line for Santa pictures. He was ready and couldn’t get in line fast enough. He looked excited. It was such a pleasure to be present and in the moment enjoying my son as he experienced this day. When it was his turn for Santa, he walked over and hopped on Santa’s lap like he had done it 100 times. There are no words to express the overwhelming feelings of joy and gratitude that I felt in being present and witnessing my son’s excitement. I almost forgot to take the picture. I just relished in the moment of watching my son. Tears rolled down my face and I could feel chills down my spine as I enjoyed this sweet moment. After I witnessed this moment, I then squatted down to take a picture to capture his pure joy.


I even bought a special ornament as a keepsake to remember this day. Every year at Christmas time, I will be able to think back to this beautiful memory that we experienced together.

Andy Candycane

For anyone else in line, this could have been just another day and another year with a picture with Santa. But this day, this moment, I will NEVER forget. It will be etched in my heart and soul my entire life. The day that my son was brave, curious, excited and believed. The day he let go of his fears and acted on his belief in himself, in me and in Santa. As I reflected, I have gone through a lot of transformation this past year and as I let go of my expectations and start living in the moment and BEING me, I allow my family to BE themselves too, not the version of what I want them to be. In this case, my presence of being in the flow with no expectations allowed Andy the freedom to BE himself too. He no longer needed to be afraid and was allowed to enjoy life BEING Andy, a 5 year old little boy.

Nov 242014

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share thoughts around things I was thankful for, but wanted to give it a different twist. Most people share thoughts and ideas around wonderful things and people they are grateful for, however, some of my most grateful memories this year are not what I would have expected.

Let me begin with a story from just this past week.

We had an incident in our house where my son wiped out my husband’s iphone. You can only imagine the anger and unhappiness that my husband felt when he realized that all his contacts, apps, etc… were GONE! I know how it feels, I have been there. He chose some not so nice words to say in the heat of the moment and my son was devastated. When I went up into his bedroom to talk with him, he refused to acknowledge me. He hid under the bed and refused to speak to anyone. I went into his room looking to comfort him, and I was unable to do so. Here I was trying to be a “good mom” and be a loving shoulder to cry on and he didn’t want it. Why? My heart was breaking for him, because I knew he was feeling bad and wanted to stop the pain, but he didn’t want anything to do with me. All he wanted was his dad (who just claimed he wanted nothing to do with him) and refused to speak to anyone else.

Later the next day I met with a coach and we spoke about the event that occured. We took a deeper dive into what was really going on in our family relationships. Her guidance, was rather than trying to figure things out from the mind, dive into the heart. We began looking to understand how and why my son might have been feeling the way he was. Why was he looking to use my husbands iphone? What stories was he potentially creating in his head about the entire situation? What did he really want? What was his heart feeling and needing?

I realized that when I walked into his room, I was in my head and not my heart. I walked in with an agenda of wanting to comfort and console him, but what he really wanted was to be loved and accepted for who he is, my son, a child of God. Me coming into his room in my head space didn’t feel real and authentic to him at all. When I was in the moment, I couldn’t see it, I thought I was being who I needed to be, but now I see. This evening before bedtime, I shifted my energy to be more heart centered than mind centered and he allowed me into his loving presence. I was able to love him and snuggle with him where he could feel my love. What a precious GIFT he is to me and an amazing lesson learned from this not so happy experience. Before today, I never would have thought to think about the unexpected things that happen as gifts, but now that I am awake and can totally see, I can embrace the lessons to be learned from the experiences. I listed below the top 10 that came to mind this morning, but I am sure there are many more of these unexpected.

Top 10 Unexpected Things I am Grateful for (In no particular order)

  1. My son stealing my ipad and taking it to school with him
  2. My mom leaving the dinner table during the middle of my 5 year old son’s birthday
  3. Completely bombing an audition for a choir
  4. Leaving my wallet at starbucks for someone else to steal and the use my debit card to purchase “clash of clan” in app purchases
  5. My dad sending me an email resigning from being my sons confirmation sponsor
  6. Outsourcing some activities and not receiving deliverables on time (frustrating)
  7. My best friend telling me she was no longer going on trip with me (and that I should be happy for her)
  8. A few financial blunders; finding ourselves in debt that we never realized
  9. My son messing up my husband’s iphone (and him not wanting any comfort from me)
  10. And yes, gaining a few extra pounds this year (there are lessons to be learned here as well)

I will continue to cherish the times where my children push my buttons, a failure or setback occurs, or something unexpected happens. These are truly gifts from God. As I reflect to look at my top 10 list of Unexpected Things I am Grateful for, I am see how challenges and failures can really become some of the best lessons learned in life. However, I must take the time to be awake and process my feelings in the moment and then begin to embrace life’s many beautiful lessons. These are not things that I would ever wish for myself or for anyone, but am grateful that God knew what my heart and soul needed. I have certainly learned valuable life lessons in each and every “unexpected gift”.

I encourage you to feel into the “Unexpected Things” you are grateful for this year.

Nov 072014

I wish, I wish, I wish.  I have said those words many times.  I wish my office was organized, functional and beautiful.  As someone who works from home majority of the time, I spend many hours of the day in my office.   I want the space that I work in to be inviting with positive energy and not cluttered and disorganized with things all over the place.  Last week, I made a decision last week I was going to stop the madness and ask for help in this area.

I have always longed for my house to be neat and organized as well as look nice too, but it has  never been my specialty.  I decided to hire two design consultants to come in and re-organize and re-decorate my office.  Since I basically live in this space, there are lots of papers everywhere, books readily available, stuff for kids, pictures, scrapbooks, etc… You name it, it was likely in my office, all but a pool table.  (That is in inside joke for those of you who know Jim Wacker, whose office is right next to the pool table.) =)

These 2 women came to my home and in 2.5 hours we tossed a bunch of papers, organized my files, moved around furniture and redecorated my room.  I was completely amazed at what they were able to do in such a short period of time.

In addition to that, there were a few more items that would totally uplevel the space.  A bulletin board, curtains, rug and a few other trinkets to make it functional and pretty.  The designers made a list for me and said they would give me ideas and then I could go shopping.  Or for an extra fee they would do the shopping for me.

WOW!  I typically don’t like to pay people for something that I could do myself, especially shopping, however, I knew that if I tried to do it myself, it would

a) take me longer than it needed to,
b) I would create stress and frustration in looking for “the perfect” items.  (which of course if I knew what ti buy, I would have already bought it).
c) I could spend hours online shopping and still not find what i was looking for.

Normally I would deliberate for hours and outline the pros and cons of  my option.  This time, I listened to my heart and decided to take the plunge and let them shop for me.  Yes, I actually paid someone to buy decorations and supplies for my office.  It was such an invigorating feeling to be free of having to make these shopping decisions and know and believe with confidence that they would do an amazing job.

How many times have you wished for something and thought that maybe you should hire someone else, but you didn’t because you knew you should be able to do it ?  Hire a cleaning lady, someone to mow your lawn, organize your home, paint a room, fix broken things in the house. a tutor for your kids etc…  I encourage you to seriously think about the VALUE of having someone else who is skilled in this area do it for you.   You are actually giving them a gift by allowing them to share their gifts with you.  The energy exchange is truly amazing.  Having someone else who LOVES to do these tasks can provide you with so much more ENERGY.  You no longer have to feel stressed or worries about something, as you know it will get completed.

I would love to hear about situations where you have paid someone else to do something amazing for you that allowed you more time and energy to do the things you LOVE to do.

(p.s.  If anyone lives in the Chicago Western Suburbs and is interested in their contact information please let me know).  They are amazing and inexpensive.  TOTALLY MORE THAN WORTH THE VALUE>

Nov 062014

We all know how good it feels to write down a list of things to do and feel this sense of relief when things get crossed off that list. It is a sense of accomplishment. Even if the task is as simple as write a thank you note, call a friend. Some of us are so busy that our lists are so long because we don’t want to forget about all of the little things that need to be taken care of. Let’s face it, if we don’t write it down, will be actually remember to do it?

As my husband prepared for going out of town this weekend, I suddenly realized that I was going to be responsible for more things with him gone. My husband is a stay an home dad and is rarely ever gone, so a change in routine like this is not typical for me. My son has a hockey tournament in Detroit, so they are gone from Thursday to Sunday and I realized that my normal routine was going to be out of whack.

My first thought that set in was PANIC. Oh Crap! I need to re-arrange my schedule. Of course I needed to add a few things to my daily “to do’s”, re-arrange some appointments and change up my regular routine. My mind was initially thinking, how am I going to run all 3 kids to everywhere they need to be and still do the things that I already had planned. If we are not careful, the mind can drive us absolutely crazy. After I looked at my calendar and accounted for a few big things, I then came across this photo below.

To do listI was then reminded of the important things in life. So while I had other things planned for the evening, I listened to my heart and just went with the flow. Each boy had their own things going on. My oldest son took responsibility for helping out to make dinner without asking. Yeah! I was so grateful and counted my blessings. My youngest want to carve a pumpkin, snuggle, play games and read books, so while it wasn’t in the plan to spend all that time with him I did it anyway. He of course prolonged bed time, since I had 3 kids to take care of myself, but I loved every minute of it. I let go of controlling the evening to my plans. Then there is my other son who has been struggling with turning in homework at school. I grounded him when he got home, because this was the 4th time this week that some teacher reached out and said that he didn’t turn in or complete his homework. Ugh! I was so not having the patience for him. So I had to breathe. (MANY TIMES) He of course was not happy with me this evening, when my consequences were not the same as his dads. I could feel the tension in our relationship which started aching at my heart.

None of this was on the “TO DO” list, however, it was definitely on God’s to do list. There was a lesson to be learned from each child and experience I encountered. Even as I write this now as the kids are off to sleep, I can’t help but think about my middle son and what I am supposed to learn from this experience. I keep being attracted to the words Practice Kindness from the picture. I certainly was not being kind to him, since I was disappointed in his behaviors and needed to teach him some important lessons, but maybe there is something going on with him and he is just crying out for attention. Is there something going on that I haven’t be present to? Being mad, frustrated and disappointed is not going to help. This is my chance to be open to what is really going on. More to ponder this weekend. If I focused on my original to do list for the day, I would have totally missed out on the gift of being present.

So the next time you make your “To Do” list, be sure to add the little things that really matter as you never know what lessons might be revealed to you.

Oct 102014

Have you ever thought about what Whole Parenting looks like? Or to put it another way, how could we illustrate no-hole parenting? Now you might be thinking this is a really interesting concept. I caution you, the key is not to focus on how to be a better parent, but rather BEING parented as a child of God.

I attended a Bible Study last weekend and it was so moving I had to share with all of you. No matter if you are 6 or 76, you are a Child of God and he wants you to love and parent you as his Child always and forever. We need to remember that even as we age, we still need the guidance of a loving parent.

In this lesson, Beth Moore shared 6 different categories for “Whole Parenting”, 3 were motherly qualities and 3 were fatherly qualities. If one of the “pieces” of Whole Parenting are missing, then we will not truly find “peace”.

Mothering Parenting – The nurturing and loving side of parenting.

  1. Nurturing – God’s wants to nurture us like a mother would nurture a nursing child. God is compassionate, loving and teaches the importance of self care. God leads by example of how a mother should nurture not only her child, but her inner child. She must learn to nurture herself, before she can truly nurture others.
  2. Affectionately Desired – God wants us. He doesn’t just tolerate us. He truly is delighted to be our parent. Many of us question our self worth and have thoughts of being unwanted or unneeded. This can’t be any further from the truth. We are all WANTED in the eyes of God and have a divine purpose for this life.
  3. Accepting Parent’s Very Self – This represents the fact that Christ’s spirit always lives inside of us. He share of himself and pours himself into us on a regular basis. He loves us from the inside out.

Fathering Parentings – The instructional and teaching side of parenting

1. Exhortation – God wants to teach us what we need to know to follow his will. The child works beside the father and he teaches them way you need to know. Each child is called by God to do good works and He is there to teach and instruct the path forward.

2. Encouraged – God wants to support and encourage us as we move forward on our journey. He knows that the road won’t always be easy and obstacles may come your way, but if you trust and believe, God will provide the encouragement you need to keep going.

3. Charged to Walk Worthy – God wants you to GET UP and do what he has called you to do. How many of us are searching for our purpose in life? How many of us think we know what our purpose might be, but are afraid to take the necessary steps to move forward? God wants you to STEP UP TO THE PLATE. Walk the talk and just do it. You will find that if you do not move foward with God’s plan, he will discipline you in some way shape or form to get you back on track. He knows what you need and will lovingly provide course corrections as necessary.

I loved this last one. How many of us are looking and searching for our life’s purpose. It is inside each and every one of us and its our God given duty to dig deep inside to uncover the dreams and path God has in store for us. He never said that he would give us a roadmap with all the directions nicely laid out. But he did say to have FAITH, TRUST and BELIEVE.

When you look at this list, do you find one or more “missing pieces” in your life? Once you find the missing “piece” and are able to fill the hole, you will find your missing “peace”.


Oct 072014
Imagine this: Your alarm doesn’t go off and you wake up late for your first early 6am call for the day, after your call you then check on the kids and realize they didn’t finish their homework, so you help them out in between calls, you forgot to make lunches the night before, so you quickly pack up som PB&J to send the kiddos off to school and come back to your office. The morning started off rough, but everything seems to be going ok. It happens to be 2 days before a HUGE launch and you want to make sure everything runs smoothly so you have a meeting to discuss the results. Then you get the news. The conversion data doesn’t look like its suppose to. There are errors and you only have 1 day to fix them. The data review was late due to other circumstances and this was the first day you were able to view the data.
In the work we do, this type of situation can happen no matter how much we have the best laid out plans. Some might stress out and PANIC. Which could be an answer on some days, especially if your day started out a little on the rocky side. No need to panic, we’ll get a team meeting together to review the data and quickly find the root cause of the issue. So we gathered. We got on a call to review the results and it turns out that there are VERY STRANGE ANAMOLIES. Ever find yourself in that situation? There are thousand of rows of data to review and one afternoon to do it. Part of the team is going on holiday and needed to leave, they provided a ton of support before they left, but those that are remaining needed to work together to figure out the issue.
When you are in crunch mode it can easily get stressful. So together the remaining team works to review the information line by line to find the issue. As we review the data, we find even more issues. Internally, you think to yourself, “SERIOUSLY! CAN THIS REALLY BE HAPPENING!” It’s almost like every other row in the data has issues. As the team was sharing our screen working together, we ended up finding some patterns, but not exactly. We found ourselves repeating the same words over and over and over again. One of the team members said it was like a matra.
OH MY! We were actually creating a meditation for ourselves as we were in a stress filled situation trying to fix the data. So there was this moment of repeating the same thing over and over and over again. We were in this peaceful state together. Then we started busting out laughing at the fact that we were almost in a trance like meditative state in what could have been a stressful situation.
Both the meditation and the laughter really helped in so many ways. Our stress levels, decreased, we partnered together as a team and ended up proposing a resolution to the issue. Keeping a sense of humor during worktime is the best medicine to reduce or minimize a potential stressful situation.
Laughter and meditation take away all the stress, relaxes the mind, and keeps you focused. So the next time you are in the middle of a battle, whether it be at work, or with your kids, a little bit of laughter and meditation can turn an entire situation into a positive one.
Sep 302014

Do you ever pay attention to how much energy you have and how it impacts your mood, productivity and relationships? We know we need nourishment from food to provide us energy, but how many of you take a close look at the way we speak and how our energy can be drained?

This past weekend I spent an amazing stress free weekend away with my husband, which with 4 kids is a rare experience. On Sunday evening I decided to call a friend who I had not spoken with in a while and we talked for over 2 hours. Since it had been a while, I shared a variety of things going on both good and challenging situations.

That night I had a REALLY hard time sleeping. I never have sleep issues. I regularly get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, but I had this anxious feeling all night long. It wasn’t like I had a lot of stuff going on the next day to worry about. It was just this really wierd energy.

Later in the day, a client of mine reached out said she felt that we needed to connect. She was sensing that I was “just out of it”. She was right. I had all of these anxious feelings that came to the surface as a result of talking with my friend.

It was like when I spent time gossiping, or talking about “negative” stuff, that my energy field was severely impacted. Many times, we live in this space of energy leaking all over the place and it just becomes the norm and hard to realize when this is happening to us. But this was SO different for me, since I had literally had a stress free weekend. I went from complete BLISS, to complete ANXIETY. My body could SO feel the difference.

My friend told me to close my eyes, take a deep breath and put my hand on my heart and think of the first word that comes to mind. PATIENCE. Ahhh. This anxiety was around waiting for things to happen. Talking with my friend about the anxiety just added to the leaking of my energy and created even MORE anxiety. While I didn’t intentionally ask for more anxiety, that is what my body and energy was creating by the words and actions I was choosing.

It was amazing to really experience it from this perspective. I had never thought of energy from that perspective before. I know its important to surround myself with positive thoughts and to keep a gratitude journal, but I never paid attention to how my words thoughts and actions completely drained my energy. All I did was have a conversation with a friend, which we all do, but this time, was a new learning experience for me.

I encourage you to think about times when you are speaking negative thoughts about something at home or at work or even just complaining about something. Maybe something happened at work and you felt the need to express that you didn’t feel something was fair. Maybe a colleague did something or didn’t do something that frustrated you. You might be unhappy with your child who is not turning in his homework on time and getting bad grades at school. It could even be worrying about how you are going to find time to run to the store to pick up a gift for the party over the weekend, when your schedule is jam packed or when you get lost and you know you are going to be late for an event and you want to make a good first impression.

When we are in the thick of it, many times we don’t see how we are allowing the circumstances and people around us to steal our energy. When we give away our energy, we give away our internal source of power. This is the life force that keeps us going. If you find yourself beginning to realize you are leaking energy, take a deep breath and refocus, remain strong, centered and grounded. This will help you to stop the leak and regain your power.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can learn to manage your energy.  Check out my new Art of Feminine Presence Class .

Sep 192014

attended an amazing event this week where the speaker reinforced the importance of goal setting. Only 10% of the people in the world achieve their dreams and goals and unleash their own talent? Why is that?

The speaker gave a tip and shared that successful people write down their goals and journal about them daily. Only 2 people in the room rose their hand that they actually did these 2 things. WOW! This was a room full of entrepreneurs who have amazing hopes and dreams for unleashing the talents they have to be of service to others. We all know its important to write down our goals, but do you journal about them as a daily habit?

We are all smart intelligent people. What is it that these people are doing that the rest of us still haven’t figured out? I personally am someone who loves reading leadership and development materials. There are tons of amazing authors who give us amazing tips and strategies. This week on our HR Town Hall, our new Talent Strategy Managing Director Nate Boaz recommended an amazing set of books to SPARK our development.

The people in HR that follow my blog have already seen this, however, many of you are from other parts of the organization. I felt compelled to share these great insights around some recommended reading for igniting the SPARK in yourself, your team or your organization.

I have read two of the recommended books and seen the movie Moneyball. I would love to hear thoughts from anyone who has read any of the books below and any great insights and wisdom that they provided.

Let’s continue to unleash the talent that we have within to have a greater impacts on ourselves, our teams, our families, our communities as well as our business of Accenture. ENJOY!

The Thinkers Toolkit
Naked Statistics
Leadership and Self Deception
Second Machine Age
The Innovator’s DNA
Financial Intelligence
Give and Take
Difficult Conversations