December 12th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

For the second time I am reading the book Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist and I think it’s even more powerful for me round two. Her words speak right to my heart!


She uses a term called fake resting….and it cracks me up! I totally know it! Fake resting is when you are wearing PJs, your kids are watching movies, your husband is reading a book and it looks like you are resting but you are not. You are ticking down your to do list either in writing or mentally, getting things tidied up, doing laundry, wiping counter tops….just doing it all. We fake rest instead of real rest and we end up real tired.


She says that part of being an adult is taking responsibility for resting your body and your soul. Meeting your own needs. No one else is going to do it for you!


And the bottom line is…constant activity keeps you from truly feeling. We can run circles around our house folding clothes, sweeping, tidying and never allowing ourselves to feel the cavernous ache.


The ache is: Am I loved? Does someone see me? Do I matter? Am I safe?


If I hustle fast enough, the emptiness will never catch up with me.


In my late teens to early 20’s, I outran the ache by drinking and partying. In my 30’s, I outran the ache by working too much and striving for goals I never really wanted. In my 40’s, I have learned a better way, but I have to consciously be aware every single day. Some days I rock it. Some days I am white knuckling it.


We can outrun the emptiness and ache in so many ways. Working out, binge watching shows, drinking, drugs, shopping, too much social media, dieting, being overly busy, cleaning….the list goes on.


Shauna says, “All of these things will make you less and less able to connect to the things that matter, like your own heart and the people you love. And, these things isolate you.”


This got me thinking. How am I avoiding my emptiness? My cavernous ache?


For me, my commitment right now is less social media. I notice when I am feeling empty, I tend to find myself checking my emails, FB page, Instagram…you name it. And often I don’t remember even consciously choosing to do so. Instead, I am going to sit and savor the stillness. Feel my feelings. Own my truths. And in doing so, know that I am loved, I am seen, I matter and I am safe.


I am going to practice real resting. No more fake resting for this girl. The tidying can wait. The social media can wait. My connection to all that matters, to my own heart and the people I love, is and always will be, my priority.


What will you lessen so that you can allow yourself to truly feel?

December 12th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment


It’s almost December…and that means Christmas! For me, Christmas has always been truly the most wonderful time of the year. Once Remembrance Day is over, I always put up my tree, get the Christmas carols playing and bask in the excitement and fun of the season. I’m like a kid at Christmas.
This year feels different. Our hearts are still heavy with grief and the thought of Christmas without Keith made me want to leave it all in the boxes until next year.
Maybe next year will be easier.
I see the spot on the couch where he’d sit each Christmas. Usually with anywhere from 3-5 grandkids snuggled up next to him. He’d open his gifts and do something goofy like put his toque on crooked. He loved to make the kids laugh. He’d sit and visit with whomever was next to him, and he’d soak it all in. FAMILY. All of us being together was what made him happiest.
This year, we have to do it without him…and it doesn’t feel right. It just feels really sad.
Yesterday, the boys and I decided we would put up the tree. Nolan’s girlfriend came over and she offered to help. It’s the first time since they’ve been born that the kids really seemed happy to help set up the tree. (They get their grinchy side from Lyle) I stepped back and let the three of them take over. They were laughing, Nolan got caught in the lights and almost pulled the whole tree over, they were talking about where different ornaments came from, how they should place them…and I just sat back and watched. I turned on the Christmas music, and they started to sing as they decorated. I just sat back and took it all in. I felt so proud of who my kids are, I felt grateful that Nolan’s girlfriend helped and made it fun, and I felt incredible gratitude for this life I have.
Then I realized, in that moment, I was like Keith. Sitting back, taking it all in, feeling such pride in my family…and my heart felt full!
These days, I keep looking for signs from him. Something to let me know he is watching from above. I think yesterday may have been a sign.
Christmas won’t be the same this year. There will be a huge hole. We will all feel it.
But as long as we are together, laughing, crying, and loving one another…it will be okay. As long as we find gratitude amidst our grief…it will be beautiful.

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




What Matters Mondays – October 24, 2016

October 24th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

I truly don’t know where to begin. Loving someone is so incredible. Losing that person is devastating. This past week has had my emotions all over the map. One minute I’m crying and wishing I understood why this had to happen. The next minute I am laughing at a funny story about Keith. Then I am angry as I watch other people living their normal lives without this sadness our family is feeling. Then I vow to never love anyone again so I don’t have to feel like this ever again. Sounds pretty irrational right? It’s like a roller coaster. And I want to get off of it. I want to rewind back to two weeks ago when Keith was still here. I don’t really know today how we are going to carry on without him. But I do know, we will. We have the most incredible family and together, we will find a way.
In order to heal, I want to share with you who Keith was. Yesterday, we spent hours going through the condolence cards…with over 700 people at the service, there were a lot of cards. But here’s the crazy thing…the message inside most of them was very similar. They said, “He was a pillar in the community, an incredible role model to many growing up, a huge influence in people’s lives, someone who is leaving a legacy in everyone he touched, and someone who loved his family more than anything.”
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that LEGACY is one of my top values. To me, legacy means to leave a footprint in this world and an impact on everyone you meet. Keith reminded me that you don’t have to do huge things, you just have to do small things with your whole heart. Keith was so generous. He always helped wherever and whenever it was needed. And he never did it for recognition. He did it because that’s who he was.
I remember wanting to build a fire pit for Lyle. I wanted to surprise him, but I could not lift the cement blocks. I called Keith and told him what I was doing and within minutes he was here, fired up the tractor and together we built the firepit.
Nolan had his first hockey game where the kids were asked to dress up prior to games. Lyle was out of town. I had no clue how to tie a tie. I called Keith. He was at a friend’s house nearby, and he came right over and gave Nolan a lesson on how to tie his tie.
He’d pick me up for hockey games after Lyle and the boys left, so I didn’t have to go so early. We’d have the best visits on the way to the rink, and sometimes, he’d even share his fries with me!
He loved being here to help when we were building our house. He wasn’t the foreman, but he sure helped get stuff done.
He loved to babysit our boys when we’d go out…even after they no longer needed a babysitter. He’d say, “Papa should probably come over and watch the Oiler game with you boys.” He loved spending time with the grandchildren.
One day I was on a mission to get rid of our old couches in the basement to make room for new ones. Lyle had no interest in doing that job that day, but then Keith showed up. I told Keith what I wanted to do, and somehow he convinced Lyle to do it. The old couches were off to the dump in no time. Keith and I chuckled while Lyle grumbled.
Keith always checked in on me and the boys when Lyle was out of town. If we needed anything he was on it!
If Lyle needed anything…Keith would do it. Run errands, pick up parts, come help him with a job…Keith just loved spending time with Lyle & Brian!
He taught Nolan & Spencer so much – how to weld, how to drive, how to run a mower, a tractor and log splitter, how to help out in the community, how to be good people.
The legacy he leaves is one of generosity and a love of family.
I have never been more committed to living my value of legacy than I am today. It’s why we are here. To leave a footprint. To make an impact.
Keith, thank you for being you. For showing up every day with your whole heart. There are no words to express how much you will be missed, you were an incredible man and role model. It’s time for each of us to reflect on the legacy we want to leave and to make sure we are living that each and every day.
Keith, the grandkids…they already get it. They are already leaving a mark because you were their example. For that I am extremely grateful! We love you!

To those reading this today…what legacy will you leave?





What Matters Mondays – October 10, 2016

October 11th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Happy Thanksgiving! I love this holiday! Not because it’s filled with turkey and pumpkin pie (although that is pretty yummy) but because it forces us to stop and say thanks for all that we have and all that we are. In the book The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist tells us that to move from a scarcity (not enough) mindset to an abundance (I have enough and I am enough) mindset, we need to practice gratitude.

Gratitude can’t be something we just practice on Thanksgiving…it has to be a daily practice. Whether that is a gratitude journal, a gratitude jar, a thank you card or message, a meditation…it doesn’t matter. As long as we are doing it daily, we move toward more joy in our lives.

I love to send a daily gratitude to someone. Whether it is a card, a text, an email, a phone call….it doesn’t matter. I like to begin my days by sitting still for a few moments and allowing all that I have to be grateful for to flood my brain. As I think of it all, there is always someone in particular who jumps into my thoughts that day. As I reflect on the role that person plays in my life, I am completely in a state of abundance. Any fears or lack that I may have seem to diminish in those moments. I write my message and I send it to the person. And my day begins in abundance.

Today my gratitude is to each of you…

Thank you for showing up each Monday to read my blog. Your comments mean so much to me. Mostly, they remind me how connected we all are. My struggles are your struggles. We are never alone.

Thank you for being part of my Coach on the Go community. I know that you are here because you are also choosing to be brave in your life even when it’s scary.

Thank you for being an imperfect, messy human like the rest of us. Perfection is an impossible standard, and it’s an unfair message to give our younger generations.

Thank you for choosing self-compassion over self-criticism. When we practice self-compassion, we invite more resiliency, motivation, healthy behaviors, connection and compassion into our lives.

Thank you for choosing curiosity and compassion over judgment. Using a values lens to look at other people’s choices is the most authentic way to show up.

Thank you for your willingness to embrace vulnerability rather than run from it. Vulnerability is NOT weakness…vulnerability is courage!

Thank you for feeling your emotions and getting curious about them rather than offloading your hurt onto others.

Thank you for choosing to live your values rather than simply profess them.

I am so grateful to each and every one of you! Thank you for showing up! Thank you for being who you are!

What is ONE THING you feel grateful for today?







What Matters Mondays – October 3, 2016

October 3rd, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

I work hard every day to help my boys learn the important lessons in life, and I am so incredibly grateful when other adults step up to help too. It takes a village after all to raise great kids!

Last week, I got a call in the middle of the school day from my youngest son. He said, “Hi mom! Can you give me Amma and Papa’s (Lyle’s parents) home phone number?” I said I could and asked him why he needed it. He told me that one of his teachers had called him down to the office and gave him a mission. Of course I was curious and asked what the mission was. He said, “Well mom, Mr.Krupa was in charge in the office for a bit today, and he decided to call kids down during advisory block to give them missions. My mission was to phone Amma and Papa and tell them how much I love them.”

The phone went silent, as I was wiping my tears and I said, “Can you please tell Mr.Krupa that I love him?” Spencer awkwardly giggled and said he would, said goodbye and sounded really eager to get off the phone to complete his special task.

At the end of the day, I asked Spencer if he completed his mission. He told me that they weren’t home, so he left them a message. His message was, “Hi Amma and Papa! I guess you’re not home. I just wanted to tell you how much I love you and I hope you have a good day.” He was so happy as he told me this. He then shared other challenges kids were given….all of them involved reaching out to connect and show gratitude to the people in their lives who truly mattered.

On Saturday evening, I was at a function with my mother in law. She came over and asked me if Spencer had told me what he did. Her face beamed. She understood that it was a task from Mr.Krupa, but she was so grateful that he accepted it and did it with such excitement and love. We both agreed that we need more Mr.Krupa’s in the world. We need people who help our youth practice gratitude, reach out in more ways than texting, and focus on what truly matters in their lives. They are kids…they need to be taught these great lessons along the way!

This likely started out as a fun way for Mr.Krupa to pass the time while holding down the fort in the office, but in that fun so many lessons were learned and so many hearts were touched.

I will tell you, doing something like this impacts the person receiving it, but it also has an incredible impact on the person delivering the message. It feels good to stop and be grateful!

Who can you reach out to today? Who needs to hear how much they matter?





What Matters Mondays – September 26, 2016

September 26th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Last week, I was heading to a conference. Before I got on my plane I had gone to two different stores to buy a new journal. I’m not sure if you are like me, but I love a new journal and I really love one that connects with my mindset for what I am going to learn. I have never gone to buy a new journal and not found one, but after two stores and no connection to the message on the journals, I left empty handed. I came home and decided I would have to take one of my old journals. Again, I looked for one that had lots of pages left to write on and a great message. Still nothing. So I just grabbed one with lots of space to write in. Little did I know…it was the EXACT message I was meant to have.



I have a confession to make.

I am a weirdo.

I am an introvert.

I don’t do well in large groups.

Especially large groups of extroverted people.

They are loud, sociable, they like hugging and dancing and they make me feel invisible.

Actually the truth is…I make myself feel invisible.


Now for those of you who know me well, you may be saying, “Danielle an introvert? NOT A CHANCE!”

People think I am this confident, outgoing person because I…

Get on stage and speak to large groups.

Run workshops.

Have lots of friends.

Love to make people laugh.

Love to tell stories.


But here’s the deal…

I prefer small gatherings of people.

I’d choose a pub over a dance bar any day.

I’m happiest at home with my family.

I like spending time alone. In fact, I need alone time.

I prefer time with 1-2 friends rather than a room full of people.

Being on stage, I get to create the energy level and the way I deliver my talk. I will always choose authenticity and storytelling over big and flashy.

In my workshops I create the atmosphere that works for me and I attract the clients who love that too. My atmosphere is calm, genuine and full of deep connection, vulnerability, stories and laughter.

I need time to decompress after I am around a lot of high energy.

Sometimes I go and sit in my car in the middle of the day just to get away.

I love silence.


Last week, I put myself into a really awkward situation. I attended a conference where the extrovert energy was palpable the minute I walked through the door.


This is where my gremlins have a blast…

You don’t belong here.

No one even notices you.

These aren’t your people.

You are too different.

You have to change to fit in here.

You have to be brave and be more like them.

You don’t belong here.


I learned many things that first day:

  1. The introvert in me is truly overwhelmed. Loud voices, hugging, dancing, invites to sit together while I head to a table alone are all too much for me at times.
  2. My gremlins have already convinced me I shouldn’t be here and I’m buying it!
  3. My “shoulds” are running the show.

I should love this…everyone else is.

I should stay all day…I paid for this.

I should mingle and dance and hug…everyone else is.

I should, I should, I should…and yet I can’t!


I went back to my room on the verge of tears after the first day and did some digging and here is what I learned…

I asked myself, “If the work I do is about helping people be brave in their lives then why can I not be brave right now?”


And then my AHA moment came!


Brave is being real and honest.

Brave is doing what I need.

Brave is listening to my heart not my head and all those “shoulds”.

Brave is embracing who I am.


Brave is NOT sacrificing those things to try to fit in and be someone I am not.


And I realized right there that the bravest thing I could do was BE MYSELF!


Then I asked myself what the brave me would do differently. If I was truly being brave I…

Wouldn’t go for the whole day.

I’d enjoy spending time by myself and some time at the conference.

I’d go for a run.

I’d go for a coffee.

I’d work on some business stuff I needed to get done.

I’d stay in bed a little longer.

I’d do what felt right in my heart.


And that’s exactly what I did. And it felt so damn good! I felt so happy!

This weirdo, introvert did what felt right and it is one of the bravest things I have ever done!


Now back to the journal. I wrote this blog post sitting in the hotel as I reflected on my awkward, challenging day. As I finished writing all these hard truths I felt a huge sigh of relief. I was being honest. I was being ME. So I closed my journal and the words on the front cover almost hit me in the face. BE YOU!


I thought I had chosen a journal with an insignificant, unrelated message on it. Little did I know….I chose the exact journal I was meant to choose!


What choice can you make today to allow yourself to BE YOU?





What Matters Mondays – September 19, 2016

September 20th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Parenting…no one gives you a manual. For many of us, we parent the way we were parented or maybe the opposite of how we were parented depending on our experiences. We do what we think is right, we make mistakes, we rock it, we suck at it, we are human. We, as parents, do the best we can with what we know. That I truly believe.

I have made my share of mistakes I can tell you that. I have yelled at my kids when I was frustrated. I have had moments where rather than hear them, I’ve tried to solve their problems for them. I have had times when I’ve been so busy with work that I forgot to pay attention to what they needed. I’ve made mistakes and I will continue to for my entire life because I am not perfect.

But I do know this…my kids are watching me in every moment. And consciously and unconsciously they are learning how to become adults through my example.

Realizing this truth years ago, made me stop in my tracks.

Was I being the adult I wanted my kids to become?

We want our kids to be happy! I think most parents would agree to that statement. But what if the happiness of our kids was influenced by how we, as the parents, are showing up in the world?

My belief is that it is.

We are truly the example of how to live.

By this, I don’t mean our kids need to be just like us. Not at all.

By this I mean…

If you are judging others, your child learns to judge.

If you are not living in alignment with your values, neither will your kids.

If you are continually busy and not taking time for rest and stillness, your child will follow.

If you are stuffing your emotions inside and not processing them so will your child.

If you think vulnerability is weakness so will your child.

If you are using a lot of negative self-talk…so will your kids.

If you have no boundaries neither will your child.

If you talk about people behind their backs, so will your child.

The list goes on….

That may seem really yucky and negative and the truth is…it is!

But the flip side is where it gets really awesome!

If you are being real, your kids will be real

If you are comfortable with your imperfections and flaws, your kids will be too.

If you are making mistakes and owning them, so will your kids.

If you are talking about your struggles, your kids will too.

If you are living your values, your kids will too.

If you are keeping other people’s stories in the vault and only sharing what stories are yours to share…your kids will do the same.

If you are replacing negative self-talk with self-compassion…your kids will learn that.

If you are making time for you in your days…your child will learn the importance of that.

The list goes on…

I think the key to being the example is simply stopping in each moment and asking yourself, “Is this the lesson I want my child to learn? Is this how I want to show up?”




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