August 18th, 2016
A CONUNDRUM - A FULL LIFE means a never ending to-do list.  
Should we stop complaining so much?

Are you stuck in a never ending to-do list? I'll be honest, I'm feeling a little (okay, okay - more than a little!) stuck in the "too much to do, not enough time" conundrum myself right now. But that's when I remind myself that my life is FULL and my to-do list reflects all the things I LOVE! Remembering that, helps me to focus on the things that really matter and allows me to do the more mundane (and downright distasteful!) stuff with a little better attitude, because those things are just a small part of the much bigger, more important picture.

Laundry? Yes, because I have a family to help care for! 
Paperwork? Yes, because I have a career that I love! 
Lots of trainings & hoops to jump through? Yes, because that's what it takes to be the coach of 2 cross-country teams!

And you know what? I love my family, my career, and coaching my awesome cross-country kids!

So today, I am SO GLAD that I have those things in my life...even though it means I have to do a bunch of stuff I DON'T love to do!

Today I will focus on what really matters. I hope you will, too!

LIVE life. Love more. Learn more. Laugh more.

Your Fellow Work in Progress 


June 21, 2016
From Human DOINGS? to Human BEings!

Busy, busy, busy. Is busyness a disease? I recently read an article that suggested just that. "Disease" or not, too much to do can certainly cause DIS EASE. Since our emotional well-being very much impacts our physical health; feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted can absolutely lead to very real, physical 'disease' and ailments.

Our society is so focused on the idea that SUCCESS comes from constantly BEING BUSY and DOING MORE. (Sleep?  Who needs sleep?  What's that?)  I confess, I struggle with this. See, I love DOING things. I love being with my family, being present with my kids at their activities and school functions, my career, coaching my cross-country kids, running, reading, and that's just the beginning of my list. :-) So, I have to constantly bring myself back. Back to my "aha" moment, when I decided to DEFINE SUCCESS for MYSELF, instead of allowing society or anyone else to define it for me.

For me, at least, success means balancing all the wonderful things in my life to the best of my ability and reminding myself that instead of focusing so much on ALL the things that need to be done ----"TO-DO list" anyone? --- I need to STOP - and just BE. BE IN THE MOMENT. And recognize that MY LIFE IS FULL. Full of people I love, a career I am passionate about, family and health I am grateful for...full of love and laughter, chaos and craziness, and yes, sometimes tears, and frustration ....and I wouldn't have it any other way.  

Is your life TOO BUSY? What can you do or change to feel that YOUR life is FULL instead of just "busy"? Here are a few things you might try:

1) Remove toxic people & situations.

2) Decide your priorities.

3) Protect your priorities by setting boundaries!  Take a lesson from a toddler and Learn to say "NO!" to things you don't want to do or don't have time for.

4) Fill your life with love and things you are passionate about.

5) Define SUCCESS for YOURSELF and start working toward your new definition so you can BALANCE your life in a way that works best for YOU.

YOUR definition of success and MINE will be different. And you know what? That's OKAY!!  

Keep in mind that Life is a see-saw, so perfect balance isn't possible and the pursuit of better balance requires constant vigilance and adjustment. And the 5 suggestions above aren't easy and they require different methods and understanding for different people and situations. But, don't you deserve to measure your success by your own yardstick instead of someone else's?  Don't you deserve to consciously and proactively decide how YOU want to live your life? I say, you do!

LIVE life.  Live it GENUINELY and be who you really are! 

Your fellow work in progress,


April 14, 2016
Time Heals All Wounds?

Time heals all wounds, they say. Well, I call B.S.! Sure, time is a factor but time alone does NOT heal all wounds. Think about physical ailments. Some minor wounds will heal all by themselves without any treatment. Others may seem to get better, only to resurface again and again. Still others, left untreated, continue to get worse over time and may even become infected creating even bigger problems!

It's the same for emotional wounds.

In fact, when it comes to emotional wounds, we use a lot of time and emotional energy trying to STOP the healing process. Why would we do that? Well, because allowing the process means allowing painful emotions... so we run from it, try to hide from it, ignore it and hope it will go away, or self-medicate it - and not just with drugs or alcohol. We also use work, sex, food, rebound relationships, "retail therapy", or we just make sure we stay "busy, busy, busy", all because we want to avoid pain. And that makes perfect sense, right?

Except that by attempting to avoid pain, we are actually choosing (not consciously, of course) to carry it with us. It's heavy, but we get so used to it, that we sometimes don't even notice it. Until it spills out into our lives in other ways - crying or yelling over little things, stomach aches, chronic headaches, isolating yourself - there are so many ways it can affect us!

So, STOP AVOIDING! Whether it's from a long ago hurt or a recent one - look for ways to ALLOW THE HEALING PROCESS. Because you deserve the best life you can have and carrying all that pain around with you, is getting in the way of that.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy. I'm saying it's going to be worth it. :-)

"Because life is to be enjoyed, Not endured!"

Your Fellow Work in Progress,
~ Coral

February 21, 2016 

I saw this facebook post today that said "all of our daughters should be told this daily!" followed by this poem... 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...

little girl looking in mirror

It does not matter if I'm short or tall...

If I have skinny legs or my hips are wide...

It only matters who I am inside...

Blue eyes, brown eyes, black or green...

What makes me most beautiful cannot be seen...

When you look at me, don't judge my parts...

The most beautiful thing about me is my heart.

This stirred up a lot of thoughts in me, so... I jotted them down.
  Here they are.

I believe we should honor both our insides and outsides, but form opinions about others (and ourselves), based on what's inside. I do believe we need to take care of these awesome machines we call bodies, though. Not just to LOOK better, but to FEEL BETTER FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

Looks really do mean nothing... but I believe the tendency to judge based on looks applies to both genders. It's not just men that do this -  women are bad about making judgments about men based on looks, too. This really isn't a one-sided issue. And we really are our own worst critics as well (more on this later).

So, this well-known "don't judge a book by it's cover" platitude is something we all like to say, but let's be honest - we really are, as a whole, a shallow society. People will say that looks don't matter (cause that's the right thing to say, right?), but show a single (as in unattached) person a picture of a potential suitor and watch their reactions. Listen to people say, after just one date/meeting, "I just didn't feel any attraction to him/her". But truly, don't you notice that not so cute people often get cuter as you get to know them? And really "hot" people get a lot less "hot" if they aren't very nice? And doesn't getting to know people take time? So, doesn't it follow that attraction can grow?

And, listen, I'm not just talking about those looking for a significant other. We are "attracted" to people we want to be friends with as well. So, who do you choose to get to know? And why (or why not) did you choose them? And what causes you to accept or reject those who reach out to you?

Now, don't get me wrong. We all do it! Don't say you don't! 
It's human nature to make judgments based on what we see.

But what we CAN do - is catch, stop, and remind ourselves what really matters and remember that we probably don't know that person well enough yet to make a decision about them. So, just don't.  Just decide NOT to. Choose to reserve judgment.

Trust me, after 20+ years, of having the honor of being a "secret keeper" in the counseling profession, what I've learned is that the people commonly known as jerks have a story too, and if you knew their story you might not judge them so harshly.

And those people you think have it all?
Well, they have problems, too. Just like you. Maybe even more than you.

But perhaps the most upsetting thing of all, I believe, is how harshly we judge ourselves (both inside and out, by the way).  Ask a beautiful woman what she sees in the mirror, and she will inevitably find her worst possible trait (even if it's not perceived as bad at all by others) and point it out to you.

So, please try to be kinder to yourself. 
See your great qualities and quit blowing the not so good ones, out of proportion.

And try please, try really hard, to remember there's SO MUCH MORE to a person
THAN WHAT WE SEE or the few things you THINK you know about them. 

Your fellow work in progress,



February 19, 2016
Journaling is BORING... NOT!  

So, last night in the Write Your Way to Your Goals Journaling Group, we were asked to set a goal and then identify 5 steps toward reaching that goal. My goal (to get more sleep), requires setting - and sticking to - a regular bedtime. I've always had problems with this, so when we were asked to write a letter to and/or from the step that seems most difficult, I chose to write my letters to and from Bedtime.  And despite how crazy that assignment sounds, it actually helped me understand myself a little better. 

Here are my letters... 

Dear Bedtime,

I hate you! You are my nemesis. I don't want the structure you try to impose on me. I LIKE my free time. I LIKE my UNSTRUCTURED time. I LIKE staying up until I'm ready to go to bed. I NEED my alone, unstructured, free time to do the things I WANT to do. Even if that's things that others may consider a waste of time. I need my down time... and BEDTIME, you threaten to take that away. You frustrate me because I know I need your limits in order to feel my best, but it's quite a conundrum because I need my quiet time, too. And don't tell me to get up early for my quiet, alone, unstructured time because if there's one thing I hate more than you, BEDTIME, it's MORNINGS! But, yes, I hear you and you're right, I'm pretty tired of being tired. And I recognize one of the reasons I hate you is because when I stop for you, often my mind doesn't.  And I know that's not your fault, but I still resent you for it.


Night Owl

Dear Night Owl,

I know you hate me and I'm really sorry that you do, because I think we both know that you really need me.  You know you can't function at your best without getting sufficient sleep, yet you continue to deny me.  When will you stop?  You know that in order to be your best, this is something you have to find a way to do.  And really - be honest - am I really the problem?  Maybe you're just too busy and you need to find a way to decrease your responsibilities.  I hear you.  I know your life is full of good things that you don't want to give up but you can't keep giving me up or you will never be your best.  You've got some choices to make, I think.  I'll be waiting on you. 

Love you even though you hate me,


P.S.  Maybe you wouldn't hate mornings so much if you liked me better.  

So, while this didn't SOLVE my problem - I have to actually DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT to SOLVE my problem - it did reveal to me why it's so hard for me to GO TO BED.  Because while I need and value SLEEP, I also need and value MY TIME after everyone else goes to bed.  Since I have two opposing values, I need to find a way to balance all the things I want and love to do, while beginning to prioritize sleep.  I have some work to do in my own life, to figure out how to make this work.  But at least I understand me better.  :-)  And that gives me a better opportunity to figure out a plan that works for me, instead of just constantly being frustrated at myself for not meeting my goal and not understanding why.  Now I am more clear on why this is so hard for me.

This journal exercise was just one of many that our group leader, Barbara Stahura, taught us to help open our minds and reveal our own thoughts to us.  (Thanks, Barbara!)  You wouldn't think you would need your own thoughts revealed to yourself, would you?  But, how often are you really aware of your thoughts?  And even when you are aware, aren't they running around kind of chaotic-like, one over the top of the other, most of the time?  Or is that just me?  :-)  I use journaling all the time in my counseling practice, in my Personal Growth and Wellness Consults, and in my Personal Growth Small Group Seminars.  Writing down your thoughts makes them tangible.  Making them tangible makes them real.  And in making our thoughts tangible and real, we reveal ourselves to ourselves!  Then we are more able to organize and make sense of them.  So, if you thought journaling had to be dry and boring, now you know better!  So, go ahead.  Find out what's in that head of yours!  Write, reveal, and peel back the layers.  Take some time to get to know YOU.  

Because you know by now, if you know me at all, that I don't have to know you to know that you are Be·YOU·tiful!   

YOU are worth knowing.  Get to know YOU better. 

Your fellow work in progress,


January 28, 2016
Reflections and Confessions

As the big 50 gets closer, I find myself once again re-evaluating myself and my life.  See, self-evaluation is something I teach and have done in my life.  But like exercise, it's not something you can do once and say YAY, I did it! and then never have to do it again.  Self-reflection ideally occurs at some level on a pretty regular basis.  And I do that pretty well.  But sometimes we need to step back and go a little deeper.  This is something I am doing now.  So, here are a few of this morning's reflections.... and yes, confessions.  :-)  Don't judge too harshly!  Go easy on me, okay? 

Sometimes I feel like a fraud. 

Yep, that's right.  Here I am promoting myself and my business, saying, in essence, "hey, want your life to be better?  contact me!  I can help"  And you know what, I really believe I am good at what I do.  And just knowing that I play a part in helping people succeed and getting to watch them make positive changes in their lives is what makes what I do so dang rewarding.

So, why do I feel like a fraud?  Because despite being passionate, sincere, and my efforts to consciously practice what I preach, sometimes FEAR creeps in and that little voice inside my head says, "WHAT IF THEY KNEW?"  What if they REALLY knew all MY faults, all MY craziness, all MY failures?  Why in the world would they want to come to YOU for help?"  So, while I am genuine, share personal experiences pretty readily, and do admit difficulties and issues in my own life, there's still that voice that makes me want to pretend sometimes that maybe I've got it a little more together in my life than I really do. 

But as I continue my own journey of growth and move closer to that "halfway to 100" mark, I find myself reflecting deeper and wondering if I can face my fear and ALLOW myself to be even more real with people.  In order to do this, I feel like I have to take another look at my life and ask myself, how can I LIVE more authentically?

So, here are just a few more reflections/confessions:

I ABHOR routine, yet have to have some in my life. 

I mean, I have children!  I HAVE to have routine!  Plus, honestly, I know that I would function better and be happier, if I could find a way to establish more of a regular routine.  But ROUTINE BORES ME!, so that doesn't work well with my personality.  Therefore, one of my current challenges is to find more ways to balance between what works best for my personality but also helps me better meet my personal and professional goals.  In my business world, I've created ways to provide myself with multiple challenges which keeps me from getting bored.  But, in the unstructured areas of my business and in my personal life, I still struggle with "routine". 

I CRAVE structure (and organization), but I'm terrible at it! 

I mean, I truly NEED my life to be more organized but I HATE doing it.  See, I'm very detail-oriented, which is a great attribute in some areas of my life, but my attention to detail and proclivity towards perfection make it hard for me to tackle tasks of organization.  Those tasks take me FOREVER, so I tend to avoid it (more on that in a minute! LOL).  But I have a bit (okay, maybe more than a bit) of an ADHD brain, so I really, really need more structure in my life, in order to feel calmer in my brain and more in control of my life.  Maybe I need to hire a personal organizer!!  Is there such a thing?


Ugh. Another thing that I teach other people how to deal with. And truly, I am WAY better than I used to be, so I am going to validate my success in improving :-) before going on to say, that this is an area I still need to work on. As I stated in my last "admission", I tend to avoid certain tasks. This is a place I need to use more of my own advice and "just get it over with". I'm proud to say, I've already started to make some changes here! I wish I had taken before and after pictures of my home office/workout room, so I could show you proof! :-)

I don't even know how to label this last reflection/confession.  Wait, I know!  TRANSITIONS. 

I'm TERRIBLE at transitions. It takes me forever to GET STARTED.  But once I'm started I don't want to quit until I am DONE.  So, I have trouble STOPPING too.   Again, I've learned and am practicing strategies to help me in this area, especially in my business.  However, in the unstructured part of my business (paperwork, phone calls, organization) and in my home life, I need to get better at this. (Anyone, see a theme here?) 

Wait, there is one more thing.  I have trouble STICKING WITH A PLAN. 

I guess this goes along with the whole routine/structure issue, but see, right now, this is not what I am "supposed" to be doing.  This is an "unstructured" work from home, day for me.  And trust me, I have LOTS that needs to be done and I had no plans whatsoever of writing any kind of post this morning.  But these things were on my mind, so here I am.  Writing.  When I am supposed to be.....drum roll please.... working on organizing my schedule and business paperwork! 

Hahahaha!  Now I'm really laughing at myself.  Go ahead.  You can laugh, too.  I don't mind.  We are crazy creatures sometimes, aren't we?  But now that I've done this, I promise, the next thing I'm going to do is get on with my plan.  Unless, I get distracted.  I just heard the dryer buzzer, so I'm off to switch over the laundry....

Your fellow work in progress,