Do you want me to start counting?

"If you don't have your shoes on and out that door by the time I get to 3 you will be staying home!" Ha ha ha looking back to hearing Mama D. say those words to me as a child make me laugh now. She was not laughing as she said them that I can assure you! Why weren't my shoes on and why wasn't already out the door? Because I was ignoring her. Sound familiar?

Oneeee, Twooo, Threeeeee! YEAH!  We excitedly clap our hands when children learn how to count.  I'm sure if you think back you can remember teaching your kids this and become so excited when their tiny chubby little fingers make 1, then 2, then 3 as they too get excited. 

Then, months and years later, we teach them something different about counting. It's no longer exciting, it's more threatening.  Does this sound familiar? "Do I need to count?" Wait, do you need to count? Why are you counting?

Counting 1-2-3 to get kids to listen has become a popular strategy, especially to parents of smaller children. The problem is, that it isn't effective. Sure it might work to scare them to do what you want them to do, but does it teach them respect to you as you've asked them to do something? 

Does this sound familiar:
"Please stop. I said stop it. Don't make me start counting! Oooonnnnee, Twwwooo... Do you want to go home? Ooonneee, Twwoo, I mean it we will leave. One. One and a half. Two. Two and a haaaalf..." (You might get a little crazy and throw in a Two and three quarters in there) and the word three never comes out of your mouth until you get mad.  Now you're mad, your child throws a fit because you're making them leave....and now full blown tantrum to which you proceed to tell them to calm down, perhaps start counting again.  

Have you told someone to calm down mid meltdown? It's super fun. I'm not sure about you but it's NEVER calmed me down. Ha! 

Think about it: counting to three is teaching kids that they don't really have to listen the first time. They know you're not serious and they will stare you down until you start to say thhhh...and not even finish three until they  move.  We are teaching them that they have a few more seconds to completely ignore us. 

What do I do then?

One way to change from your counting method would to be 1. Look them in the eye so they know you are serious. 2. Use a calm but firm voice as you give your request (while including a consequence if your request is ignored) WHILE YOUR VOICE IS CALM and they do not do!  Now this means toddlers, teenagers and in between! True, the requests and consequences will be different depending on their age but let's just use toddlers as counting is most commonly used with them.

For instance: "Jace, will you please stop throwing toys and put them back in that bin, or I will clean them up and put them away for awhile.  (Jace ignores you)

"That's a bummer, maybe you can play with your trucks again when you're ready to put them away when it's time" as you gather up the trucks and put them away for a few days."

I can almost hear your next question. "What if he freaks out then?" In your calm voice (notice I didn't say condescending!) let him know he is welcome to stay in his room and cry about choosing to not put the trucks away and when he's ready to be calm he can come back to wherever you are.

Hang in there! It might take a couple of times for the child to know you mean it, but ditch the counting stay consistent and they will get it!

3 Easy Ways to Show Gratitude

Before I share this week's Gratitude Challenge, I just want to say Thank You to those of you who joined in my Gratitude Walk Challenge last week and shared with me how it went for you. So cool, huh? If you didn't get a chance to do it last week - go ahead and do it this week, why not? 

Thank you!

​NOW - on to THIS week's challenge. Since I didn't post it in time it's more of a 'this weekend's challenge' but I know you can do it!

​Ok let's be honest there are thousands of ways to show gratitude, but today I wanted to focus on 3 EASY, quick and yet super effective ways to show gratitude to those people in your life you are grateful for. 

The smallest things can make all difference in your life and others.

We are headed right towards the "most wonderful time' of the year. (Football season, Fall, Holidays, AZ Winter...BEST!)   As we approach the holidays weed to remember to take the time to show our gratitude and spread our kindness. The world needs it. I mean seriously, we ALL need it! We should practice it year round but it seems to be easier to talk about as we approach Thanksgiving. 

1. Phone a friend!

If you watched my Insta-Story you heard tell everyone to close Insta and do challenge #1, which is to phone a friend. Call someone who has always been there for you but you may or may not ex press your gratitude. Make the call less than 30 seconds - just call and let them know why you are calling and WHY you appreciate/are grateful for them.  You up for the same challenge - Ok go! Call someone NOW! If they are really your friend and it's 3AM, call them anyway! They might think something is wrong, or that you're drunk but do it anyway! CALL THEM NOW! 

A couple of years ago I was at a conference when I was challenged to stop what I was doing right then and call a person that is always there for me and to express my gratitude. Oh, easy - I can do this. I call my younger brother and after he said hello, it went something like this.

Me: Hey I know you're busy but I just wanted to call real quick and tell you thank you. You're one of the  people I know I can always count on and I just want you to know how much it means to me.

Brother: You're welcome...uhhh are you ok?

Me: {Laugh crying because I was so grateful and laughing at his response} Ha ha yes and I know this is random but I know you always have my back and I don't always say thank you. I just appreciate you, despite telling mom we would NEVER be friends as adults I am glad we are.

Brother: [Laughing a little awkwardly, I'm sure due to the nature of the call] You're welcome, ditto - you are always there for us and I don't think we express it often either.

Me: I love you, bye.

Brother: [still taken back at the unusualness of this call] love you too, bye.

​Looking back it's all hilarious to me! As soon as I started talking and expressing gratitude years of hardship came flooding back to my memory but having my brother and his family as a safety net and safe haven brought tears!  You don't have to cry about it - just be genuine! 

2. Send a text

Listen, I know some of you are just better with texting and it feels more comfortable. That's ok! Some people would rather hear your voice. BUT this challenge embraces them both! So now that you did the phone call, I challenge you to think of another person who is your quick-go-to. The one that always drops things on a dime to help you out. The quickest fastest way to get to them is through text and they fire right back.  Think of that person and send them a text expressing your gratitude and WHY you are grateful for them. Cool? Ok....TEXT THEM NOW! 

​I'll never forget where I was when I got that last text. Things were hard, I was trying to figure out some things and just feeling in the dumps. It definitely lifted my heart to know that God sent someone with a heartfelt and genuine text just when I needed it! Love you friend! 

3. Send a note

Do you remember what it was like before you had a cell phone? I do! I used to go to the gas station and buy a phone card so I didn't have to use so much money by calling long distance from the 'home phone'.  You feel me?

Those were the same days (prior to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all other social media. Way back them....hahah the days of not-so-long-ago that we would get cards, letters and paper invitations in our mailbox.  I don't know about you but I RARELY check my mailbox.  In fact, I just got the CUTEST Halloween Party invitation from the mailbox...yesterday. (Oopsie, but thank you Carly!)

BUT what joy it brought as I opened it. You know why I don't check my mail that often? Because it's just bills and junk mail. I have been trying to send more cards so people get a surprise of love in the mail mixed with all the gunk. SO - that is my final challenge for this week.  SEND A NOTE, through the mail system, with a stamp, and your handwriting! Express your gratitude with your handwriting, so you have time to think about what you're going to say that can bring the most good or joy to the receiver! 

Ok - that's it! Super simple, but super effective ways in showing your gratitude.

Please leave a comment and share people's reactions! 

Take a walk…

Tonight on my Insta-story I talked about a gratitude challenge.  If you missed it, that's ok because if you're reading this I want to give YOU the same challenge! ha ha you're welcome for this screen shot of my wonkey face...100% of my followers are up for the 1st of my 4 Week Gratitude Challenge...are you? 

This time of year all of the gratitude posts start to fill our social media feeds.  I am sure we can agree to welcome ALL of them this year after seeing so many terrible things happening in the world.  

This is a photo contest that I participated in 2014...have you done something like this? 

​Well the challenge I have for you is something like this...but I want you to take a walk. (Ha it sounds SO much better than someone telling you to 'take a hike' right?)

3 Reasons to take a walk!

Being outside for this challenge is important. While I understand it is snowing already for some of you...bundle up and take a short walk. For those of us in Arizona, we welcome this time of year with lengthy walks! 

  1. Being in nature decreases stress.

A 2010 study published in Environmental Health & Preventive Medicine, for example, found that participants who walked in a nature and touched the grass and leaves had lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) afterwards than those who strolled through city sidewalks.

  2.  Nature makes you happier!

I'm not saying you have to rough it, or go camping, or even be outside for extended periods of time. Studies show that when we spend 20 minutes outside we become happier. 

  3. Nature reduces fatigue and increases creativity.

We use our brains to multitask— ALL DAY LONG. When we set time aside to go on a walk, without all of our gadgets, we are actually letting our brain relax and recover. 

David Strayer, a researcher at the University of Utah says, “We are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.”​ 

Ok, now we know WHY we should take a walk, here is when I give you the challenge for the first week of my 4 Week Gratitude Challenge! 


Go for a 20 minute walk and start listing the things you are grateful for. See how far you actually go and how deep of gratitude you can reach!

I did this tonight and it was amazing the things that just FLOODED after the first few minutes of saying things like, "I'm grateful for the trees, those crickets that are outside (not in my bedroom), the clouds that look so cool." Before I knew it 30 minutes had passed and I was getting into deeper gratitude for so many things in my life. I'm not ashamed to admit I was crying at one point as gratitude overflowed from my heart. 

In the way!

I did something out of my norm and joined one of my silent mentor 'a (Lewis Hows) challenges. I used Mel Robbins' 5 Second Rule  theory before I talked myself out of it, realizing that it would be a little difficult. My challenge today was to post a picture of what is holding me back from my greatness. I have thought about this for a LONG time. What stands in my way of greatness, is me. Do you too get in your own way?

Practice what you teach!

I teach my clients that in order to move forward we have to get extremely real with what is holding us back. Sometimes there are a lot of tears, unspoken fears and slight panic attacks as we admit where weaknesses are.

I've been blessed to learn that my weaknesses are given to me so that I take time to learn how to make them strengths. I have turned some pretty big weaknesses into strengths and yet there are still some I am trying to overcome.

I have {and even still} struggled with true self-acceptance. I found this image several months ago and it speaks volumes about what I'm working on right now. I am learning how to let my spirit and my body become friends and to work together instead of against each other. I want to love me and my body exactly as/where I am in my journey. I want to be friends with myself to be able to get out of the way and to have my spirit/soul and my body be friends and to work together. 

I'll be honest, this picture has made me cry several times. Perhaps you can relate to this as well. You are not alone, let me assure you.

It has been a process and I am blessed to have great friends, mentors, coaches, and angels in my corner helping me to become a better version of me! 🙂

I am in love with this quote from Nayyirah Waheed. "And I said to body softly, 'I want to be your friend.' It took a long breath and said, 'I have been waiting my whole life for this."

Are you ready to face your weaknesses to learn how turn them to strengths?  If so, send me a message and let's get started! Thank you Lewis Howes for helping me dig deeper to transform stronger!

Just let it go!

Have you struggled with something for awhile, maybe years that people tell you, "Just let it go!" Perhaps you've sung yourself the lyrics to Disney's "Let it Go" song that Elsa sings when she finally decides to embrace who she IS and not who people want her to be. 

While it is easy for us to tell another to simply, 'let it go' it is not as easy for us to let it go when dealing with our own stuff. 

​So how do we overcome the 'survival programming' or reprogram it? Well it's simple. (Notice I didn't say easy? Simple and easy are very different things!)

READY to learn how to overcome it?

Let    the     feelings     be    there. ​

Don't try to push them down, pretend they aren't there, or turn them off! Whenever you resist the emotions is when you become stuck.  Tony Robbins has said that there are 2 options when it comes to emotions....they either teach us to run towards something or to run away from something. Do you know where you are with your emotions?

Positive emotions are a sign that you are in line with and working towards your purpose on earth.

Negative emotions are a call for action, or awareness. Negative emotions don't have to be looked at as a bad thing - they are a warning going off telling us of something that needs to change, or realign to get back on course. We should not ignore them. Nor will they kill us if we pay attention to them!

You don't just cut your hand with your  new knives and ignore rush to the sink to wash it, grab paper towels to clean it, assess whether or not you need stitches and then you baby it until it's healed. Why don't we look at negative emotions in the same light?

Some pretend they don't exist, some act like they don't feel them and some take medication to numb them. When we allow ourselves to be seen and heard in negative and positive ways is when true healing can start. ​

May I suggest a new phrase, "Let it be"​

When you allow negative emotions to be there, to teach you something and the to let it move through you, they truly go away. Then we can dig into why they were there in the first place and start healing those wounds.

We want to learn where they came from as to not continue putting yourself in a situation where you can get hurt, where you allow others to hurt you....but to heal the wound that caused the negative emotions in the first place JUST as the knife caused the cut to the hand. ​

I am not a doctor (FULL DISCLOSURE) However, whenever I talk to people about PTSD I get the craziest looks. Most people associate PTSD with having gone to war (God bless every soldier in any capacity that has served our great country!!) with the military.  

I believe that if you've ever been a child, a sibling, a roommate, a friend, a neighbor, a mentor, a teacher, a spouse or a parent...chances are you've gone to war and there is some sort of PTSD associated with any relationship! 🙂 

One thing that I have found helpful is a mind relaxation therapy. I won't lie it's expensive to purchase ($500) but I'll tell you what it's worth it. It is a therapy that uses guided imagery from a doctor with his PhD that helps the person overcome the ill effects of the fight-or-flight response while achieving physical, mental and emotional balance. There are programs for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Autism, improving your sports game, Sales and more! I wish all of you lived closer so you could come try it. (If you're interested in a week free without the headset, email me and let me know!)

I'm just saying there's no reason to 'stay stuck' or 'feel broken'.  Let's say you broke your leg in 4th grade playing kickball. (Hey it's intense in 4th grade!). You haven't spent the last 10, 20 or even 30 years contemplating about your broken leg. You've moved on. Why? Because it healed.

That's what I'm talking about with emotions. They too, can be healed! I believe that's what finding your purpose through learning about your true self is all about!

One last thing I want to of my favorite quotes. You're welcome!