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NEW: Life Coaching

I am starting a new adventure of Life Coaching. I will only be doing it on a part-time basis but If you or anyone is interested in making things happen in your life please contact me. Click the "Life Coaching" tab above for more information.

Book Review: FORTIFY: A Step Towards Recovery

"...My favorite line in this book actually happens on page 5. "Our aim is to help you reclaim and become again who you are and always have been, even if you forgot that for awhile." At ANASAZI we believe every child has a seed of greatness within them. They just need to remember. Both philosophies mean that the strength to overcome negative behaviors lies within."

INSPIRE: music.service.hope

At INSPIRE we are determined to make our dreams come true! We want you to be a part of our success. Please take a moment to check out our website:, FB page, join us at our next service project, or come to one of our upcoming Musical Firesides in the Valley to learn more about us.

"Make It Happen"

"Make It Happen" is a collection of principles, blog entries, stories, and conversations had on couches, floors, kitchen tables, and at many single-adult gatherings. It is filled with practical ways to make changes in your life, find hope, increase faith, strengthen relationships, and build the kingdom."

I Am My Sister's Keeper

"I am my sister's keeper. It is my responsibility to hold her heart and be aware of her concerns. I may not understand why she decided to wear pants to church or why she wants to go to the Priesthood session, but I can certainly learn about her cause and concerns before I demonize her."

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Together We Are Better

Don't mistake my silence for indifference
Grief is messy and there is no right way to mourn
When people we love and may not even know are killed
We, as humans, can't help feel hurt, betrayed, and torn

You may lash out in anger and I may be silent
That doesn't mean we both don't feel fear
You may try to find a reason or a cause
While I may just hold my loved ones near

People are people are people are people
And Love is love is love is love
Don't throw me into your "us against them"
Anger betrays  you when push comes to shove

My religious beliefs are not your concern
How I choose to live them however, affects all
And making any tragedy all about you
Is one of man's greatest downfalls

I may not sign a petition or march in a parade
But don't think for a moment I don't care
Together in love we are better and stronger
I have faith in good people out there

To REMEMBER Orlando, Newton, Boston
Fort Hood, Aurora, Killeen, Sandy Hook
Colorado, South Carolina, and so many more
Is something history can't overlook

So with heavy hearts and pleading souls
We each struggle to find our way
Remember the way you choose to grieve
May be different then me some days

I imagine there are things in which we agree
And therein lies our greatest power
To focus what we have in common for good
Line upon line and hour by hour

So fight the good fight however you choose
That allows me to do things my way
And hopefully we'll come together as one
At the end of these difficult days

Monday, April 18, 2016

Bring BackYour Boldness & Bravery

Dear Single Men,

First of all, let's agree that dating sucks but so does being single.

Second, let's make a truce for just a few minutes and be on the same team when it comes to wanting to be in a healthy relationship.

It seems to me that by the time you hit your 30's you can assume that there has been a good share of hurting, vulnerability, divorce, shame, self deprecation, people judging your mistakes, people judging your accomplishments, weight gain/loss, hair loss, people-pleasing, laziness, over-achieving, under-achieving, grief, and so much more.

I imagine you are exhausted.

It seems to me that you might be tired from trying to make women feel good by pretending over and over that you are clueless and oblivious to their interest--so as to not hurt their feelings. Also, you may be tired of hearing how many incredible women there are out there for you to choose from.

I figure by know you are pretty settled into your day-to-day life. You have family who support you and friends that you spend time with and most likely you not only have a job but a career--that you love and where you work hard. The thought of dating just seems futile.

I get it. I really do.

Remember how we made a truce and we are on the same team fighting against loneliness and the awful parts of being single (because we all know there are wicked awesome parts). So here's the deal let's mix it up and bring it back old school.

Please bring back your boldness and bravery.

I know in a world filled with technology that it is much easier to slyly get my number from a friend or add me on Facebook but I can't tell you how awesome it is when you just ask me for my number or ask me out on a real date. No "let's get a bunch of friends together and eat sushi" or "let's talk about your new entrepreneurial business idea while we eat food."

Bring it back simple, bold, and brave. There just isn't enough of that today.

Let's go on adventure. Let's make mistakes. Let's be awkward at first and then land in that space where we can't get enough of each other and everyone hates us. Let's choose to have hard conversations that make us think and change us. Let's share parts of us we have been dying to share but had no one who listened long enough.

Bring back your boldness and bravery and I will match it with my confidence and caring.

Love, All the Single Ladies

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Do You Really Know?

Do you really know the people around you?

Do you know what makes them happy, what they do most of the day, what drives them as a person, what pains they carry, and how they became who they are today?

The Sassover Rebbe said that he learned the meaning of love from overhearing a conversations between two villagers. One asked the other, "Do you love me?" The second replied, "I love you deeply" The first asked, "Do you know my friend what gives me pain?" The second protested that he could not possibly know. "If you do not know what gives me pain, " lamented the first, "how can you say you love me?"  (Rabbi David Wolpe, Making Loss Matter, 1999)
 Most of the people around you who appear strong, confident, courageous, and fearless have lived a life filled with loss, grief, pain, and disappointment. They have had to make some very important decisions in their lives that led them to the person they are today.

Have you asked them about their story?

I love hearing people's stories. I am continually amazed, and shocked, at times, the things people have overcome. I learn time and time again that most people, when tested, learn to fly.

This past year I learned that one of my friends had a girlfriend that was killed while they were riding their bikes and just one year earlier his previous girlfriend committed suicide. I couldn't believe that he carried around all that with him as part of his story. I would still not know this about him if I hadn't asked him to tell me about his story.

A while back another friend of mine told me, while we were on a ferris wheel, that he was struggling with a crippling addiction (I had no idea) and that he was finally getting help. He actually thanked me for sincerely wanting to know how he was doing. He was grateful to tell someone about his story.

The other night I shared dinner with another friend that showed me her 2 year sobriety coin and told of some of her ugly past that she regretted and how grateful she was for Grace and the opportunity to change.

Another friend shared with me, after years of knowing her, that her father was in prison for killing her mother in a domestic violence situation. She told me this after asking me about my brother's death. When I was willing to share with her parts of my story she felt free to share hers. She was relieved to finally share her story after years of not talking about it to anyone.

I'll never forget sitting one day in grad school, after a huge group assignment was over, there were a bunch of us sitting around at my friend's house and we started sharing why we decided to get our Master's in Social Work.  Later, when we were cleaning things up and everyone had left, I asked the host why she decided to study Social Work. She told me she that when she was younger she had been raped and it was a social worker that helped her in her process of healing.

It is amazing what we learn when we ask and listen to people as they share their stories.

After the dark comes light

If you ever want to be inspired, feel compassion, be grateful then all you need to do is ask someone you know to tell you their story. You might be amazed and how much you really don't know.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ask For What You Need

I have been thinking a lot about relationships lately. What makes friendship work, how siblings communicate love, why people fall and grow in love, and much more. There is a lot of information out there but lately I've been specifically thinking about the idea of asking for what you need in relationships.

I work in a job, as a therapist, that is entirely relationship based. It is pertinent to have a good therapeutic alliance with my clients. I can't do my job if my clients don't trust me. As a human being I think the same thing is important. To be in a healthy relationships means that you take care of yourself and the needs of others--two whole people that learn to trust each other and become vulnerable.

I love studying *positive psychology, The Arbinger Institute, and recently listening to my friend Nate Bagley's "Loveumentary" podcasts. All of these people teach about a principle of self care, serving others, asking for what you need,  healthy communication, treating people as people not objects, etc. It got me thinking...

At my current job I am required to used a research based outcome measure tool called My Outcomes before and after every individual session I do with my adolescent students. There are 4 questions my clients rate on me and how the session went at the end of each of their individual sessions. It works on a sliding scale sort of like 0-10.

  • I felt hear, understood, and respected.
  • We worked on and talked about what I wanted to work on and talk about.
  • The therapist's approach is a good fit for me.
  • Overall today's session was right for me.
I've had to be accountable to these 4 important questions for the last 18 months. It has created opportunities to talk about my therapeutic relationship with my clients. Some of these conversations have been uncomfortable and hard to hear where I wasn't meeting their needs.  In each of the 4 above questions I get to check in with my clients and adjust to what helps them feel more heard, respected, focused on what they want to get out of their sessions, and so forth. We are consistently adjusting the way we communicate with each other. They ask for what they need and so do I. 

Having to adjust my communication,  the way I go about approaching hard conversations, and so forth has made my relationships much more intentional.  A thing of which I think is vital to healthy relationships. Asking for what you need isn't selfish-it actually means you may get what you want and a better, stronger, healthier relationship.

* To be more intentional when it comes to love check out my friend Nate Bagleys's Loveumentary & Unboxed Love and tune into his podcast: Loveumentary.

To learn more about self betrayal, treating people like people not objects, and great leadership skills check out, "The Anatomy of Peace" by The Arbinger Institute.

To look into Positive Psychology I recommend you check out these books: "Quiet" by Susan Cain, "The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor, and  "Authentic Happiness"by Martin E. P. Seligman to begin.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Middle Mormon Voice

Recently there were 2 opposing articles that were published about opinions on women and equality in the Mormon church. In reading both I felt there was a large group of Mormon women left out of the discussion. 

One of the articles,"This Fearless Mormon Feminist is Doing Something Very Brave and Very Dangerous" publish in Tech Insider quoted Chelsea Shields, "I gave my religion a free pass because I loved it, "Shields said. "Until I stopped. And I realized I had been allowing myself to be treated as the support staff to the real work of men." The other article  "In Response to The Mormon Feminist" published in LDS Smile quoted Kera Birkland, "Now when it comes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I have always been treated equal." Both articles state opinions of women's equality in the LDS church. Is it possible that both women are right?

I know there are many women in the church that feel sidestepped, marginalized, and suppressed. I also know there are many women in the church who feel supported, honored, and that they have different, yet important roles, than men. How do I KNOW both of these kinds of women exist? They are my mother, my sisters, my roommates, my cousins, and my friends. So it is true that one woman can feel she is "support staff" while another feels "I have always been treated equal."

It seems that in our society  the outlier voices are much louder than the middle voices. The dichotomy of, things being great just the way they are in the LDS church when it comes to women and, the voices shouting that women should have the priesthood, is not representative of the majority of women in the LDS church. I want to go out on a limb and say that the middle voice, or those who can see that there are still some equality issues in the church yet women, in general feel good about their place, is under represented.

I long for a discussion of how we can as women (and men too) start working together for the common good instead of seemingly working against each other. Telling women to leave the church if they aren't happy just isn't the solution. Also, making women, who don't desire to hold the priesthood, feel like they are stupid  or brainwashed, doesn't help either. I believe the power lies in the middle ground.

And while we're on the topic of black-and-white-thinking let's take the Planned Parenthood situation as another example. You can read articles, blogs, videos, charts etc. about the outlying sides of whether Planned Parenthood should be funded or defunded. Depending on which article or which side you choose to believe there is a LOT of seemingly great evidence to support your feelings.  One side is shouting that we should close it all down and the other side is screaming about the greatness in all the services Planned Parenthood provides. To me this isn't an all or nothing situation. 

Like most things in life there is a grey space between these voices or sides.  I think the middle voice is closer to the idea that there are a lot of great services at Planned Parenthood that help a lot of people AND there are some huge moral issues, such as abortion, when it comes to life and death. It isn't as clear as the media or the loud voices seem to portray. There are parts and pieces of good just like there are parts and pieces of bad in many polarized topics.

I don't get too involved publicly or personally with the issues above or others, not because I don't have an opinion or because I don't care--most of the time it's because I tend to be somewhere in the middle of the conflict (and there's no fun in that argument, haha). 

People  are complicated, passionate, opinionated, vulnerable, and so much more. We bleed, we cry, we love, and we all die. We live most of our lives in the grey, not in the black-and-white, and yet the middle or grey never seems to be splashed across any media, blogs, or articles youtube, etc.

 I  feel like the middle voices needs to be heard in the middle of all the conflict! 

What do you think?