20 things you might not know about me [blog tag]

Having a little fun with blogging today — join in!

To celebrate making it through a colonoscopy and endoscopy yesterday with no more than the expected level of trauma, I thought I’d jump in and participate in the “20 Things You Might Not Know About Me” blog tag started by April from Blacksburg Belle. April began this blog tag experiment to build community among bloggers — so we can connect more and get to know each other better.

Before I dive in to my 20 things, let me explain about the photo.

The colonoscopy and endoscopy were held at Dignity Hospital (aka St. Mary’s Medical Center) in San Francisco. I’d still like to know how they dare call themselves Dignity while making me wear those socks, and that gown. Dignity? Not so much!

Okay, let’s do this! — The 20 things you might not know about me

Question 1: How tall are you?

Answer: Five-four–ish.

Question 2: Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

Answer: Even when I’m somewhere I’ve never been before, I am almost never late. I have a built-in talent for knowing just how long it takes to get from here to there.

Question 3: What’s your biggest blog-related pet peeve?

Answer: People who use overly decorative fonts in their blogs. Beloveds, these fonts with curly bits and excessive thick/thin differentiation are designed to be used sparingly, in headlines; not as your text font!! I’ve taken to using a web developer trick — inspecting an element and changing the text font to something readable if I want to read a story that otherwise might cause too much aggravation and squinting — don’t make me avoid your blog; make it readable! But wait, there’s more!

Posted on August 29th, 2014. Posted in these categories: blogging, fun. 6 Comments

Declutter your brand

I talk about decluttering a lot, and teach it to my coaching clients

Usually it’s in the context of physical decluttering — that spiritual review of everything you have that helps you get real about what you keep, and helps you see the opening to release what no longer serves you. Physical decluttering is so healing to do once a season. Like this: Pick up every single thing you own, one room at a time (don’t forget your car, your garage, if you have these), look at it, and ask your true heart:

  • Is this something I use now?
  • Will I use it in the next three months?
  • Is it something I cherish?

And if the answer to all three questions is No, release that thing. Give it away, donate it or just throw it away. Create space. Here is one blogpost I’ve written on physical decluttering and here’s one more.

decluttered brandingToday I’m thinking about decluttering in a whole ‘nother way — decluttering your brand

Okay, wait. This will (probably) make sense (if it doesn’t I’m sorry, and thanks for helping me work through this). Let’s look.

What is your brand?

  • Your brand is how your message is received — what people think and feel when they think about you and your business
  • Your brand is how you align your actions with your values, and how you show up for your commitments
  • Your brand is who you are and how that informs everything you do in your business and your career

Are you thinking: “Okay I get it. But why and how would I declutter my brand?”

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on August 15th, 2014. Posted in these categories: branding, decluttering, personal branding. 20 Comments

Accountability is a path to freedom

First you have to practice, and practice some more

Accountability is a path to freedom

The best way for me to share what I’ve learned about accountability is to look at it with you in the context of managing your energy as it relates to time.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say “managing time.” When you make the shift from thinking you can manage time (you probably can manage time as effectively as you can manage, say, the ocean) to managing yourself, you take the first big and powerful step towards living in integrity.

“Our relationship to time is what it is because we lie to ourselves about what we are and what we can do and we hide from ourselves what we are meant to be and what we are meant to serve.”
— Jacob Needleman, Time and the Soul

I could write for days about what living in integrity means.

It means living an accountable life. It means doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, and when the unexpected happens (and the unexpected does happen, often) letting those who are affected by the change in your timetable know what’s going on, as quickly as possible. Example: You’re on your way to meet a prospective client, and you get in your car, turn the key, and oops the car doesn’t start. Your first call is to road service, or your mechanic. Your second call? Yup, it’s to your prospect, telling her or him that you are dealing with car trouble and need to reschedule. This is accountability, yo. But wait, there’s more!

Posted on July 30th, 2014. Posted in these categories: accountability, freedom. 16 Comments

Weaving together the strands of my heart’s work

Are you afraid that your deepest, lushest, most heart-centered you is too big for your audience?

I’m a lifelong spiritual student and practitioner. In the last twelve years, since I’ve been working with women as a coach and supporting them in their branding, my commitment to spirituality has deepened in many ways.

Yet, for many of those years, I found myself keeping some of my more arcane sacred practices veiled from my business interactions and offerings. Looking back now, it makes sense… I came from years of corporate graphic design work, and there were few to zero models for authenticity and transparency among my colleagues and clients.

In the last year or so, as I work more and more with my own heart-centered business coach, and study with teachers who live and work with transparency, I have come to realize that it’s time for me to step out from behind the veils. I know that I can best serve my own clients by parting the veils and sharing myself 100% as I am.

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”
— Dalai Lama

What held me back from an open expression of my spiritual path

Although I am not looking to enroll anyone in any of my spiritual paths or practices, I carried around a fear that some revelations might be too big, too woo-woo for people to take.

I was operating under a belief (that I no longer think is valid) that my business offering and my spiritual path should be separate. No overlap. With walls and moats between, please. This was because I simply didn’t know — hadn’t seen, hadn’t imagined — that there could be a way to bring my open-hearted most loving spirituality into my business in an integrated way.

I thought that my coaching and design clients would resist and misunderstand suggestions to deepen and broaden their connection to spirit. Ummm…. not true!

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
— Mother Teresa (1910–1997); Founder of the Missionaries of Charity


I have always talked about having a big toolbox full of practices. Now I’m upending my own toolbox and sharing with you the spiritual awesome that makes up what I deliver from my heart in my work.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on July 16th, 2014. Posted in these categories: biz dev, transparency, women's spirituality. 18 Comments

Gratitude redefined.

Pretty much everything redefined.


I have learned some life-changing lessons over this time that I’ve been sick — life-threatening sick — and convalescing.

I have experienced some profound changes, and I’m doing everything I can to hold on to them as I slowly return to health.

Three weeks ago I wasn’t strong enough to scramble an egg

And it took me two days to eat the egg my sister scrambled for me.

Overnight, I stopped multi-tasking (I could barely single-task) and I started experiencing mindfulness in an entirely new way. Since my energy was so massively compromised, I had to choose every action with intention. I no longer had the bandwidth to watch TV and play games on my iPad at the same time. I had to plan every trip to the kitchen. When I grabbed some food to eat, I sat down and ate it. No reading, no iPad, no TV.

Priorities had changed. This is a gift. When would I — when would anybody — even think to sit down and review every single habit?

Many of my habits have dropped away or completely changed. I no longer drink strong green tea round the clock. In fact I no longer seem to be dependent upon caffeine. I’m having a cup of green tea today, by choice, not habit. What? One more: I now drive around with my windows open, something I never ever did in the 20 years I’ve lived in California. I have no idea how or why this happened.

I resisted being sick, and going to the hospital, partly because I didn’t want to rock the boat with my clients. (That’s fear, yo.)

My clients and my partners — without exception — have held space for my illness, and my healing. Talk about gratitude redefined.

Remember, I had just come back from a month’s vacation, and I ended up in the hospital four days after I got home. It had been really difficult for me to take the break. This is the second time in my career that I had taken a long vacation. By the time I got home I was eager to get back to work. And then — oops! — to have to tell my clients that I’m out of commission, and to have it last so long!

I couldn’t have made it without the love and loving (and sometimes stern) admonishments my clients and colleagues kept heaping on me. What a gift to be able to surrender to what is.

What gratitude redefined really means

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on July 6th, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, healing. 14 Comments

The healing journey, accepting what is, asking for help

Learning to heal, a deep dive into a healing journey

healing journey

I have watched myself on this healing journey.

I watched myself resist what was happening. How could this be happening to me? (Oy, I have such inflated ideas about myself, superhero solopreneur, single woman who lives alone and takes care of herself!)

In the five days between hospitalizations, as I got sicker and sicker, I finally began to shed the layers of denial and resistance. And when the moment arrived when I needed to get back into the hospital, I allowed a friend to come and take me.

No matter what I think —what I like to think — about my self-care, my strength, my health, I had to get humble, the sooner the better. Humility and acceptance allow me to surrender to the moment, as it is. That’s where the healing can really begin.

Such hubris! To think that I would never have a ruptured appendix. Or that I was somehow above sepsis and c diff.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on June 18th, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, healing. 14 Comments

Sacred journeys

And unexpected turns

You know I meant to get back to work — back to you — after my road trip with so much to show you of California’s breathtaking views and vistas.

I planned to share inspiring interactions, road stories, humbling lessons learned, the love and joy of deep connections made. Really I did.

I planned to get back to my by-now very patient and generous clients, who were kind enough to bless my journey in the first place and who have been nothing but loving since I got sick. I thought I knew what was next, that it was time to start our active collaborations again.

And then, my sacred journey took an unexpected turn — sharply inward

I have just a few thoughts to share with you today, from my big grateful heart. I write so much about gratitude because I’ve learned what a huge game changer it is. For me, it is so good to express gratitude — so I can stay connected to my path even in [ahem] slightly trying situations and so I can be a useful participant in my own care team.

  • Every sacred journey is an inner journey. This is what I’ve learned. Go out, drink up the experiences, bask in the beauty of this earth, take what you learn and transmute it into joy and wisdom. Bank it. Share your gifts and your passions, do the work you are meant to do — do the work you are meant to do. Whatever change you are meant to make, make it. However you are meant to heal, open the channel. Whatever your vision, share it. And then, when life happens in a way that brings you inside, follow this path too, connected to the ever present love of the divine.
  • Let those who are here to help you, help you. Hospitals challenge cheerfulness, I find. Makes sense, I guess. I don’t come by good cheer naturally. I have developed access to love and good cheer by having a committed spiritual practice — prayer and meditation; by being of grateful service in the world; by giving freely of my time, treasure and talents. The access to that wellspring of cheer gets a little kinked up in here, like an occluded IV tube. So I set myself, and reset myself, and keep working on meeting people where they’re at, remembering they are here to help. The same tools I use in the world. Asking people’s names, making eye contact, many pleases and thank yous.
  • One more and I’ll go back to my main job today, healing. It’s hard to manage a business from this position. (Part of me is laughing hysterically just writing those words.) So, my solopreneurial sisters, I feel you. When unexpected stuff happens for your clients, you use love, and flexibility, and generosity to help them manage their changes. I find the same principles apply when the tables are turned. I’m telling my clients everything that’s happening to throw our work off. I’m letting them know how much they mean to me. And I intend to include some gifts to them as part of celebrating my return to health. Sshhh! Don’t spoil the surprise.

Signing off, for now

My plan of the moment is to resume my New and Full Moon posts once I’m home. Just too technical for here in the hospital. Even a short blog like this takes hours, because I’m writing in code, no WYSIWIG.

I invite you to comment! let me know how this lands, share your story. This is a great opportunity for our conversation to be deep and healing. Thank you!

Posted on June 4th, 2014. Posted in these categories: healing, journey, Uncategorized. 14 Comments