What Matters Mondays – Nov.22, 2016

November 21st, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Don’t we all want our kids to thrive?

I know for me the answer is HECK YES!


I spent two days with Derek Peterson and about 120 incredible people – a combination of youth and adults from a small community – and we learned what it takes for youth to thrive.


The formula is simple. It’s not easy. But it’s simple.




Remember learning about the colors of the rainbow in school? Let’s see…


R = RED is the Power of FIVE

Every youth needs at least 5 caring adults/anchors in their life who have high expectations and who provide opportunities for them.

I looked at my own boys and I feel such gratitude. They have so many caring adults in their lives – parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, youth council leaders, parents of their friends…etc.

The reality…not all kids have 5. In fact there are many kids who don’t have even 1.

In my work, I meet many youth who cannot name one adult.

Adults….there are many youth out there who need you? Who can you be an anchor for?

At this event, I got to be an anchor to a few youth….it felt so great…connecting and reminding them that they matter!


O = ORANGE are tangible strings

Home, clothing, nutritious food, boundaries & consequences, learning, sports, expectations, neighbors….all of these are tangible strings.

Adults – which tangible strings are you throwing to the youth in your life?

The more strings a youth has…the less likely he/she is going to fall through the cracks. A thick web is going to help youth thrive.


Y = YELLOW are intangible strings

Now this is where I got really excited…this is my area of expertise! Values!!!

Integrity, compassion, humor, gratitude, courage, achievement, forgiveness…these are all intangible strings.

As an adult – through your actions – you teach the youth around you how to live with values. When you show up with compassion instead of judgment, you are the example to a youth.

Adults – What values are you teaching youth?



A person’s innate characteristics, natural abilities, talents, intelligence determines the size of the balloon.

The bigger the balloon the less likely it is to fall through the cracks. However, a small balloon, just needs more strings and anchors.


B=BLUE are the scissor cuts

Reducing or eliminating the conditions, actions or attitudes that erode the strings being created by the anchors. For example, if a youth starts using alcohol at age 15, they are likely to begin lying to the adults/anchors in their life and cutting strings in their webs.


I = Indigo is Caring for the Carers (the web beneath your anchors)

Just as youth need 5 adults/anchors in their lives…so do we as adults.

When an adult’s web is thin, it is challenging for the adult to be available to fully support a youth. As youth, when you are feeling like an adult has let you down, before getting angry and lashing out, ask yourself if there may be a reason. Maybe the adult is doing the best they can, but they are also struggling with a thin web.


V = Violet are social norms within your area or community

For example, if doing drugs is “Just what we do in our community” then the web will likely be affected. It is like a storm, it can affect the entire web.



After the two days, we received comments like, “This event changed my life and it will change the community.” and “This has had an incredible impact on my daughter. She has a much better sense of what she needs and how she can succeed.”

and “Thank you. I feel like I have a purpose here and I can achieve it.”


Teach ROYGBIV to everyone you know. Help adults know what to do to support youth and help youth learn how to ask for what they need.


What every kid needs first and foremost are adults in their lives. Every one of us can be an anchor to a youth.


What color will you give more thought to today?

Who is in your five?



November 7th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

HALLOWEEN was a disaster in our house this year!


One week ago today was Halloween, and although I am not a huge dress up person, every year for 15 years, I have taken my kids to choose costumes and made sure they were excited for Halloween.


Last Sunday night, it dawned on me that it was Halloween the next day. I had forgotten all about Halloween this year. As many of you know, my father in law passed away three weeks ago and I believe that forgetfulness must be a part of the grieving process. My mind was anywhere but on costumes and candy.


So I completely forgot. No Halloween costumes, no plans for trick or treating. NOTHING!


Nolan, who is in high school, was not too concerned. He and a buddy had a costume idea that he could create with what we had at home. And he was, for the first time, not going trick or treating.


Spencer on the other hand is 12. An age where all this matters. His response was to be mad at me. He huffed off and told me that it was fine and that he would dress as himself the next day. I tried to convince him that we had a tickle trunk full of costumes and that I could help him be something cool but he was mad and sad and disappointed so he told me not to worry about it…he was going to be Spencer!


I went to my room and cried. My first instinct was to beat myself up for being such a horrible mom. But this is my work, and I know that beating myself up is not healthy or helpful and so I did two things that save me every time I am in a struggle.


  1. Self-compassion – I sat on the edge of my bed. I put my hand on my heart. I started to pay attention to my breath. As I breathed I said, “This is really hard. It’s hard to feel like I disappointed Spencer when he’s been through so much sadness lately.” I then said, “Other people have forgotten important things too. I’m not the only one.” And I ended with, “May I be kind to myself right now.” I sat in that space and all kinds of thoughts came to me. The most important was the part of being human. I gave myself lots of generosity…knowing that this year was different and it wasn’t typical of me, but that I was doing the best I could.


  1. Circle back – That night I laid down beside Spencer and I told him the truth. I said, “I need to circle back to last night and this morning. I am sorry for not getting you a costume. I forgot it was Halloween. I have been so sad, I just truly forgot. It’s not because I don’t love you. I like you to have fun on Halloween too. I am sorry.”

Spencer hugged me and said, “It’s okay mom. I know.”


The thing is….he did know. He did get it. He also knows he is loved dearly. And…he understands that part of being human is making mistakes.


We both learned some incredible lessons that day.


Have you ever had a parent fail moment? Did you beat yourself up or did you use it as a gift to teach your child an important life lesson?







What Matters Mondays – Oct.31, 2016

November 2nd, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment


When you lose someone you love, you find yourself examining your own life:

Am I living with gratitude?

Am I surrounding myself with people who make me a better person?

Am I living aligned with what truly matters?

Am I living authentically?


About three weeks ago, when my life seemed pretty normal, I created a quiz called: Are You Living an Authentic, Aligned Life?


Authentic meaning… are you being YOU? Are you showing the world the real, imperfect, flawed, amazing, messy, beautiful you? Are you owning your whole story?


Aligned meaning….are you living your life purpose, are you aware of your values and are you intentionally living them each day?


My hope with the quiz was that it would give you an opportunity to step back and evaluate how you are showing up in your own life.

After you take the quiz, you are redirected to a journaling page and tip sheet. It’s here that you gain awareness.

Awareness is the key. When we stop to check in, we get the opportunity to make changes. We get the chance to move more toward an authentic, aligned life.


I know that my father in law lived an authentic, aligned life. He was genuine and real, and his values of generosity and family were evident in everything he did. His passing reminded me to check in every day…to make sure that the life I am living is the life I want to live. He was such an incredible example.


So today, I want to finally share the quiz with you. I hope that it gives you the awareness to live your own life with intention. I hope that it moves you toward a life of authenticity. I hope that it connects you with what truly matters.


To take the quiz, click here: http://coachonthego.net/quiz




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