LIFE plus what?

I believe that there is a formula to success.  Individuals can reach their goals despite roadblocks, loss, hardships and life situations but it may take hard work, determination, motivation and accountability! As a wellness coach, I help others achieve success through small steps and habits that are anchored with proven, evidence-based research.


We have a life.

Life can be happy and healthy.

We need balance and wholeness.

I have found that activities, work, people, food, and nature can add positive elements to our lives. Finding balance is sometimes the challenge. Making time for self-care is so critical to moving forward with meeting personal goals. Focusing ONLY on ourselves will surely lead to problems in our relationships, work life and friendships. Balancing the art of being true to ourselves while meeting our obligations to others can be tough. How does one learn to juggle like the best clown in town? How does the fun-loving clown keep all of the balls in the air?   Is it skill? Practice? An unfair advantage?

Years ago I found that when I focused my attention in one area, the other areas of my life were neglected and I became out of balance and began dropping balls. Finding balance or creating balance is crucial to life satisfaction and whole health. Just as a stool needs its legs to stay steady, we need BALANCE to be happy, healthy and effective.

Sometimes, we have to let things go… Does that mean we slip up and drop a ball? Not necessarily. We can dig deep and determine what pulls us down or simply keeps us busy to be busy. Then, the decision can be made to let go of things. Feel at peace with the decision. Juggle fewer balls perhaps. There is a time and season for all things. Dig deep and decide what this season is for in your life, get organized and have a vision for the future. Once we have the particular balls in place to juggle, we need achievable steps in place and routines established and supportive people around us.

Maybe this is your season to focus on your health!

  • To those people who are too busy or stressed or frantic – I hope you will slow down, breathe, look around you and know things will work out. Seriously. Do your best, work your plan and adjust as needed.
  • To those stuck or feeling defeated or who have decided to be satisfied with mediocrity – I hope you will put yourself out there, try new things, take a chance, invite meaningful conversation, be open to being social and nurture your friendships and make new ones, set some goals and lean on others.
  • To those hopeless or burdened – Believe that things can be better, work on your faith; know things will change over time and that your attitude can lead the way.

Whole Health takes Finding Purpose, Moving More, having a “Tribe” or Community of Support, Good Nutrition, and Reducing Stress. Whole health means feeling well and living long and well.

One might say… “That would be The LIFE.”

The LIFE plus energy

The LIFE plus love and support of self and others

The LIFE plus satisfaction

The LIFE plus wellness

A life of balance is LIFE plus so much more!

I encourage you to let this season be about your wellness.



First Impressions



A Quarter of a Second?

What about a person’s worth beyond the first glance?

This research can help us understand the importance of our appearance, body language and eye contact. The way we look and groom ourselves is an indication of caring enough to dress for the occasion and shows what matters to us before we ever open our mouths.  Often, assumptions are made that the quality of our appearance will match the quality of our work.

For speakers, an audience is quickly deciding if they will trust them and if they have anything worthwhile to say. Body Language is being observed, facial expressions, tone of voice and clothing are all being assessed in a quarter of a second.

Having a pulled together look is good, but do you have the depth of personal growth to go along with the look?

By deciding whom you want to be and how you want to be and transforming yourself into the kind of person you admire, you have to start from the inside. Can you “fake it till you make it?” Some say you can. To truly become someone impressive with depth and wisdom, the work must be done deep inside, not solely on the surface. If you build a machine poorly, it won’t work well. But if you make it strong, it will have the right components for a useful, working machine. Modeling after someone you admire is good, but only if you prepare and put in the time. We can work on enhancing who we are on the inside and everything else will be enhanced as well. If you learn to manage your mind, you can lead others well. Try staying in a peaceful state to enable your body and mind to work best in its highest possible way. This includes learning to become responsive rather than reactive. You will become impressive by practicing the skills that make you trustworthy, approachable, non judgmental and dependable. True growth from the inside-out can portray leadership skills and you’ll be “practicing what you preach” and “walking the walk”not just “faking it until you make it.”

I can easily show people how to make a good and lasting impression. We can practice introductions, handshakes, body language and talk about clothing. The larger task may be to add the character trait of not being the type of person who draws conclusions in under a second. To me, being impressive includes being able to look past the exterior of an individual. A person’s true worth is not found on the surface and takes longer than a few seconds to discover. We must dig deeper and get to know people on a 3 dimensional level even though research tells us that we all tend to be influenced by looks.

Actor, Alan Alda said it well. “It’s a complex world. I hope you’ll learn to make distinctions. A peach is not its fuzz, a toad is not its warts, a person is not his or her crankiness. If we can make distinctions, we can be tolerant, and we can get to the heart of our problems instead of wrestling endlessly with their gross exteriors.”

By having a professional look that sets you apart from others and having depth through personal growth, you will be an impressive person. When you are assessed in a quarter of a second, the genuine skill of looking beyond a person’s exterior and seeing the best in others will be noticed. To me, that is making a good first impression!

Physics and Philosophy

img_2948Sacraments and rituals may be different among religions, but almost all share the common philosophy that guides humans to be good people. The shared philosophy promotes the use of our minds and bodies for good, directs mindfulness of faith and encourages a discipline to follow religious practices and teachings. Another commonality is the natural cause and effect from our behaviors.

Physics –  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Philosophy – “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”                                 Galatians VI – King James

Peace can be obtained by believing in and following the golden rule through living the components of the common good. The components include Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Justice. By practicing these components in our daily lives, we enable positive human interactions. When people communicate with a mutual regard for one another, chances are that the conversation will be a satisfying experience. Nothing shortens an exchange faster than when one person is rude, irrational, or mean-spirited. Showing compassion means that a person may need to put another person’s needs or desires above their own. Removing elitism and social divisions promote respect among people as well as sets the tone for justice to be prevalent. Feelings that are heard and understood, promotes feelings of belonging and safety. Peace follows. Then, purpose and meaning in life. Give this gift to others to promote peace, respect and understanding.


Mindful Listening is indicative of a person showing respect to others by engaging in conversation and focusing on what the person is saying rather than exhibiting body language and eye contact that sends a message of indifference and disregard. A person’s real value can be missed if a one-dimensional view is all that is seen.

Philosophy is the critical study of fundamental beliefs and the grounds for them. This includes what we believe and how we came to believe these things. 

Physics is the science of matter and energy and their interactions.

James Hillman from Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology writes, “People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self‐help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.”

That “something else in life…” comes naturally to children. While teaching in the atrium of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I’ve watched children naturally draw closer to God. This doesn’t happen because teachers are giving facts to them each week. Instead it happens over time as the child enjoys the beautifully prepared environment that invites the child to contemplate, discover and pray. From the outline of training for Catechesis: In the 3-6 year old atrium, the child comes to know a God who is deeply relational, who reaches out to be in relationship with humanity, who is Life in Abundance and invites us to share in that life.


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Happiness is …

Fifteen years ago, I gave my little boy a small red ball on his first birthday. It was shiny. It was just the right size for him to hold with both hands. He loved it! Actually, I bought it for myself because it held special meaning to me, but I knew he would love it! Soon, it became just another toy in the toy box so I eventually pulled it out for safekeeping. Since then, I have kept it near as a constant reminder to maintain a clear head, focus on the positives in life and live intentionally.

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“Spotting Butterflies” is how I describe living with an eternal desire for human life to be full of love, happiness, goodness, acceptance and kindness. This may seem like a simple-minded and often impossible expectation, but my foundation in religion that has developed into the spiritual life that I now practice gives me inner joy and peace that promotes kindness towards others. To me, “spotting butterflies” seems like a better choice than expecting the worst in life, living without integrity, or being selfish.

Continue reading “Understanding”