Defensiveness is the First Act of War

Uncategorized May 17, 2024


You know that feeling… the one where you are suddenly hot with anger and on guard because someone said something to hurt your feelings?

Why does it hurt? Words don’t hurt until we give them meaning, -meaning WE have a thought about them.

Our natural instinct is to resist and fight back because we don’t like how it feels. We feel attacked. 

But the reason it bothers us is because even if the statement isn’t fully correct, we can find a kernel of truth in it.

I remember an incident when my now, high school senior, was 2-3yrs old..  My older, 6th grade son had asked me to drive him and a friend to school in a fancy convertible Porsche we were baby-sitting for a friend.  I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t have time to install the car seat. I hated saying no because frankly, I felt like at this point in his life, he needed a “yes.” 

The school was less than a mile away and on residential...

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Become the Observer

Uncategorized May 16, 2024

Hey my friend!

Have you ever had a day where you were just in a horrible mood and really had no idea why?

This happened to me last weekend and it took a little work to get it figured out, but I did it and I’d like to share with you how you can do it too!

Did you know that the average human being has over 60,000 NEGATIVE THOUGHTS PER DAY???


Our thoughts create our emotions.  Most of us believe that it’s our circumstances (the facts of our life like our address, the size of our home, the weather, the amount of money we have, the number on the scale…) that cause us to feel the way that we do, but it’s just not the case. 

The way we THINK about our circumstances is the cause of everything we feel.

Why is this so important to understand?  It’s because EVERYTHING we DO is driven by our emotions.  It is what causes us to behave, to take action (or not take action), to respond and to create.  And...

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The Pain of Judgement

Uncategorized May 15, 2024

I talked about this subject a bit in my blog post, Stay in Your Lane, but it keeps coming up over and over again in my coaching, so here is a little more to add to your perspective.

Have you ever felt judged? That hot flash of embarrassment or humiliation that makes your cheeks flush, and the instant reaction of anger and defensiveness that comes with it.  Ugh… such a horrible feeling!

Once when I was serving as a new Young Women’s President, I was attending a Ward Council meeting and the Bishop was reviewing the budgets.  I was pretty young and had recently moved into the ward and had never before served in a Presidency. I had ZERO training in this position, let alone budgets. 

I had just been told that if we had activities, the ward would cover the expenses. Well, when it came time to discuss the YW’s budget, it appeared I was quite a bit over our limit and the Bishop wasn’t very pleased. I wouldn’t say he scolded me, but I felt pretty...

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The Key to Confidence

Uncategorized May 14, 2024

The Key to Confidence

If you’re anything like me, we will bend over backwards to keep a commitment we make to someone else.  You need help at 1pm on Thursday? I’ll be there! Ask me to help you with a project of importance to you, for sure, I’m in! We volunteer to help out all the time, and we wouldn’t even consider not showing up!


When people aren’t feeling confident, we can most likely trace it back to self promises that are un-kept.

You know what I’m talking about. We commit to starting a diet or going to the gym tomorrow, we decide that no matter what, we will change a habit, start a new project, take care of a problem etc… 

But when tomorrow comes we just don’t feel like it. 

So we don’t do it. 

We teach ourselves that we cannot be trusted and that our word to ourselves is just no good.

Holding personal integrity is the highest...

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Dirty Pain

Uncategorized May 12, 2024

As I send my baby off to his first day of school as a Senior today, my eyes are a little misty.  There is an ache in my chest. It feels a little hollow and empty. I think of all the years leading up to this day and wonder where the time has gone,- how did this happen?  I love that it hurts, because it is an indication of how incredibly much I love him. The pain I feel is clean and beautiful… a reminder of why I need to cherish the moments I have.

Just like the pain we feel when our beloved pet dies, or we hear heartbreaking news, clean pain is appropriate.  It’s something we want to experience because we value that part of our humanity. We know it is sometimes the price we pay to love.

Clean pain is looking at the whole menu of human experiences and saying, “Although I wouldn’t necessarily choose this, I am willing to go through it because I choose to love and be loved in return.”

Dirty pain, on the other hand, occurs  when we have...

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The Truth About Trust

Uncategorized May 10, 2024

This is something that has been on my mind and heart this week as I coached a beautiful gal whose husband struggles with a pornography addiction.

She asked the question, “How can I possibly trust him now?”

We think that trust is something to be earned, but  perhaps there is another way to think about it. We feel let down when we have an expectation that life should be a certain way.  When reality doesn’t live up to the dream, we feel betrayed. But what if it isn’t personal? What if it’s simply an opportunity to grow?

I believe Heavenly Father gave us families, not only to love, but also as part of our challenges.  Those tender relationships give us ample opportunities to discover what we really believe. Do we really believe in forgiveness?  Do we really trust that there will be justice and mercy… and do we trust that it isn’t our place to be judge and jury, but simply love as our Savior did?

Most of us are tempted to...

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What's Your Story?

Uncategorized May 09, 2024

Have you ever said any of the following (maybe even just in your head!)?

“He’s not my soulmate.”

“I can’t believe I married this guy, what was I thinking??”

“Pretty sure I should have married someone more….”

No?  How about this one, “He’s the PERFECT one for me!”  (then lucky you!)

This pic was taken last week while on vacation and I love it because when I was looking at my husband, I was celebrating him… celebrating the joy of loving him, because he truly is the perfect one for me.

Sadly, I spent way too much time over the past 30 years of my marriage NOT feeling this way.  I didn’t realize that it was my own thoughts that were causing me pain.

I spent a lot of time building a file of evidence for all of the reasons we weren’t good together, and here’s the thing…. We find what we look for.

Most people don’t recognize that the story they tell themselves about...

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The Manual

When I was a newly married, every single night I would cook an elaborate dinner, because I believed it was what a “good” wife should do.

Truth is I don’t really love to cook, but in my mind it was necessary if I wanted my husband to love me. I remember one night, my husband coming home and saying, “You don’t have to make a big dinner every night, I’m totally fine with a frozen burrito!” 

But of course I didn’t listen, because a “good” wife always makes a nice dinner! Right??

There were lots of other things I added to my manual for myself, like never say anything if it might hurt someone else’s feelings, always volunteer, never go out in public without looking good… and on and on! Sound familiar?

Not only did I have a manual for myself, but I also had a manual for my husband. Which of course I never shared with him, -I just expected him to read my mind. 

Because if he really loved me, he would KNOW...

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Life Will Always be 50/50

We are on vacation in Southern California recently with a few of our kids and grandbabies.  It’s a trip we’ve been so looking forward to since we booked it months ago, and so far we are having a great time! 

But knowing that our experience is going to be 50% good and 50% bad, helps me keep a good perspective and roll through the bumps with much more calm.

In life, so many of us have the expectation that we should just be happy all of the time.  That if we can just choose the right thoughts, things should always be perfect.

We should always be madly in love with our spouse, we should always be having fun and feeling amazing.  But here’s the truth, in order to experience the full scope of human emotion, life is supposed to be 50/50.

Consider this, if we spent 100% of our lives in positive emotion, everyone would be happy, thin, lottery winners… and we wouldn’t even know we were happy. 

There would be no contrast.


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What if You're Both Right?

This is something I’ve been doing a lot of coaching on lately, so I thought I’d share.

Our opinions really matter to us.  Most of us feel very strongly about a lot of things, and it makes us feel bad when others don’t agree with us.

But wait a minute… does IT make us feel bad?  Or is it what we make it mean, that makes us feel bad?

When you are arguing with your spouse (or anyone else for that matter), do you find yourself digging in?  Do you feel the need to defend your position? Do you make being wrong a character flaw?

Consider this, -perhaps you are both right? He sees a lantern and you see flowers. Both are true and correct. What if you could just get curious about why he sees the lantern?

Was the way your family raised you best? 

Did you celebrate holidays in all the right ways, and his family just didn’t?

Do you have the right ideas about how to raise the kids, load the dishwasher, plan a vacation or install the toilet paper...

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