Compassion is infused in everything I do and create.
I’m a design thinker, strategist, mom, feminine leader, artist, author. Most of all, I’m choosing an intuition and soul-oriented life by design.
I think about people and how to best tell the story of their interaction with the world. I think about how to make better products and services in the future that solve real problems. I think about how to ease people’s pain and make their lives better. I think about beauty, design and typography. I think about psychology and motivation.
On my blog, I like to share my art and beautiful quotes, wisdom, poems and tips from myself and other brilliant people around crafting your personal story, philosophy, creativity, motivation, the power of our senses, the beauty of attention, life by design, user experience, leadership, intentional living and more.
It’s here! I’ve published my first book. I am so happy. It is full color and GORGEOUS! I’ve collected some of my favorite original art and poetry from the last few years and put them together into this collection. Available in print softcover, hardcover or ebook format. The work includes musings about soul and path, purpose and pain, pleasure and stardust. My macrophotography (cover art), watercolor, oil and digital art is all infused into this work to stir the soul and bring hope and inspiration to the restless hearts of the many that seek the truth and follow the light. Available here!...read more
A powerful leader once said to me that “Indecision is purgatory.” I have know this to be true in my own life. Often times we get stuck in wondering if we are making the “right” decision. What we forget is that it is all path. The world adjusts to our decisions. If we stay stuck, and in indecision though, the world reflects that back to us also. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and soul studying over the past five years. I have discovered my intuition’s voice and a new realization that even when I falter, if I am following my “yes” voice I can trust my decisions. Even when things get rocky, I can see things through. Make a decision and move. You can always course correct if you need to. Each day you evolve into the newer version of you. Great leaders know that both in personal and professional areas we need to trust ourselves, make decisions, accept responsibility for our actions and move on. Ready, set go! 2017 watch out, we’ve got stuff to...read more
One of the most prominent insecurities I have noticed with working women is their discomfort for asking for compensation, for asking for more money, for valuing their services at a certain rate. I have written about this before, and I can tell it is an area I will continue to help people (and particularly women) continue to grow in. Charging for your time is respectful for both the people you serve and for you to be able to maintain your health and well being so that you can do your best work. How much you charge is circumstantial and can be influenced by a variety of factors including the going rate of what you do, your years of experience, your level of skill and education, to name just a few. Or, perhaps you get endorsed by a TV show and all of the sudden demand requires you to reconsider your pricing. The important part is that we are all human. No one human is “worth” more than another human. Some simply have figured out how to create wealth and income in a way that allows them to craft their particular lifestyle of choice. Many people do not have the luxury of creating a service business or determining what they will make. In this case, I would still say that if there is a will there is always a way. There are endless ways to create new sources of revenue if you focus your energy and effort, particularly with online distribution and digital marketing. What I remind people often is that their worth has nothing to do with how much money they make. Your money and how you manage it, how you create more, how you spend it, all of it is a reflection of your world view and how you interact with the world around you. Your worth though, my dear, is infinite. You are more sparkly than a thousand diamonds, more gorgeous than the gems at the bottom of the ocean. Can you see...read more
At some point as we age, life becomes more about practice than anything else. Practice does not make perfect though, as the saying might go. Practice normalizes, practice makes habit. Practice is the only option for an ever changing world. Intention, combined with practice, can actually change your mind, habits, perceptions and how you interact with the world, thus, your influence. It has for me. I am in an active state of viewing my life as an experiment and my body, mind and soul as a process of every changing reform. As I wrap up 2016 and am in a period of reflection, I am endlessly grateful for the lifestyle that I am able to support. It’s not all on my own, not at all. My employer is a place that I am proud to say values and actively speaks out about inclusion and diversity. It’s a place that values well-being and energizing staff at work to ensure bottom line success. My family and friends support me as a single mother, endlessly. I am able to get my children to and from school and still serve my needs. I am able to go on a walk, write in my journal, read a book on occasion and feed my mind and soul. While my life has a lot to manage, I continue to release and renew and re-prioritize the important over the urgent. I fail, a lot. I learn. I get sick and grumpy. I dance. I acknowledge that while I am always new, I am already the person I want to become. The rest of my life will be different revelations, different flavors, but I am happy with who I am, deep inside. This is a great place to have grown into and the gratitude I have for the people and events and commitments that allowed me to get to this point is endless. As my late grandfather said to me as he gazed at my young daughters, my cup runneth over. I thank the practice of living for allowing me to get to this...read more
I have loved using TurboTax for a while – and many years ago referenced it as an emerging UI reference for building a wizard workflow for enterprise software. It’s spin off tool that is free to use and helps maintain your donation deductions for your taxes is called Its Deductible. Today, I was preparing a donation for pickup of household items. I went to try to add them to ItsDeductibleOnline, but I could not complete my task with their latest release. I was stuck in an endless loop of adding items and never saving or viewing my list. I wasn’t the only one. The solution that TurboTax gave me is to use their old version. No fix, no resolution or estimated time of a fix. They just told me to revert to an older release. One wonders, why does this happen, and why so often in software and digital tools? The main reason is that people are not thinking about the human when they deploy code. They are just completing tasks themselves, and not checking to see if what they build is fit for consumption – as a user. It makes me sad that this is such a rampant problem, but that is why there are so many people in my field, putting in the good fight every day. So that people can complete the main task of their software tools....read more
As it turns out we have two choices in life when presented with speed bumps – blocks, obstructions, holes in the road. Choice 1: Speed Up Hitting the gas when you approach a speed bump *might* work out okay, for a while. You might also get whiplash. The “thrill” of diving head first into fear, of the highs and lows of the roller coaster will hit you much harder with this method. Some like that. I’ve gravitated towards this most of my life. Choice 2: Slow Down If we slow down in anticipation of the upcoming hurdle, take our time to get through it, we tend to emerge with less of a shock to the system. We are better able to turn a car also, when we are going slowly as opposed to speeding along and basically unable to turn without hurting ourselves. We spend so much time in our cars. And it turns out, our car is an excellent metaphor to practice how you approach life. Do you yell at people that do something wrong – or make room for them? Do you use the time at a stop light to take a deep breath or do you curse that you are late? I do not look at things as either or anymore – its just a matter of which choice feels right in the moment. Sometimes it totally makes sense to tell fear to take a hike and whirl through the bumps in life and sometimes, it makes sense to listen to your instinct to ease your way...read more
Nonsense, in my experience, is the main pathway to creative synthesis on a large scale, in the divine ways that no one really understands. Incremental improvements are always possible and can be “rationalized” into existence using traditional ways of thinking or “logic”. Vision and strategy come from practicing the Art of Nonsense. I don’t love the “left brain” + “right brain” metaphor, scientifically speaking its very over simplified. The way that our conscious thought forms and the patterns we have in our brain are very inter-twined with past behaviors as well as with our body and instincts that are subconscious. So, if we spoke in simply the left and right brain speak, we’d just be surface scratching all the factors of what allows our thoughts to tell us what to do (conation). Where do emotions come into play with this metaphor? When does the subconscious tickle our soul and tell us to do something else if we limit ourselves to such an over simplified view? Often, people like to box themselves into a category of how they think. “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” or “Rational thought is most important.” The truth is simply many have not been culturally trained to flex our creative muscles. Why? Because they way there is FUN. Fun can’t possibly be good at work, so we don’t value it. What a backwards way of thinking. It is precisely the things that get us out of our normal thought patterns and allow us to laugh and play that allow our brains to be creative and synthesize supposedly unrelated things into the Realm of the Possible. We use technology and science to mask our creative muscles these days. Creativity is a muscle and it can be trained. But not by learning to swipe or type. Certainly not by droning away at emails and meetings. Returning to my point, not making sense is a direct pathway to creativity. There are various tricks and tools of the trade to get you into this place, but first, you need to know why being in the non-sensical place is a good thing for you and your life. What’s at stake by a society that is not trained on how to be truly creative and seek nonsense? In my opinion, everything because we will not see how to solve problems at their root and will continue to increment. Take a quick stroll to Pinterest and you’ll find plenty of reminders on how to get back to being creative. They are all ways to break out of a block or a rut. That is most definitely the first step to getting to Nonsense. But nonsense is not something most people seek. They seek the more socially accepted work: “creative”. We want our lives to make sense to us so we can feel in control. Its a fundamental human instinct. Tapping into the “nonsense” is freeing us from the limits of thinking we have total control. Consider the possibility of training your mind to play, to seek out nonsense and whimsy as a pathway to a more creative, healthy and yes, rationally happy...read more
Sparkle. Always the reminder that leads me back to laughter and an awe of life’s possibilities. A dear friend once told me I was “Sparkly”. I appreciated the complement, but didn’t realize that my unique lens on life was to notice the beauty in tiny and shiny things. While I often can take a macro view, there is so much beauty in zooming in on life. There is literally sparkle in every thing that light touches. The tiny specks of a violet flower, the frost glowing off a fall leaf. In you – you are after all scientifically speaking simply star dust reflecting light as well as every other living and non-living thing on this planet. Whenever I am blue, I return to myself through some form of sparkly remembrance. Yesterday, I attended a conference in Denver that I should have been feeling really inspired about. Shoulds are not super useful when you are feeling blue. I couldn’t figure out how to get out of my funk. The day felt “wasted” with so much always vying for my time. So, I went to a Mexican restaurant and ate some yummy food and wrote in my journal. As I was sitting there, I noticed an almost annoying amount of flickering light out of the corner of my eye. The plastic from the jeep wrangler outside the restaurant was twinkling light and reflecting a constant disco ball flicker at me as if saying, “Look at me, I’m sparkly, too!” Every time I experience a flicker in my life, I now remember that every single thing has its way of shimmering. Every thing has its unique way of finding the light, reflecting it back to the world and helping us wake up. Even when it seems to be fairly dark, things can still have this affect. Light comes out of darkness endlessly in my experience of the world....read more
There is a woman that holds stop signs for kids to cross the street near where I drop off my daughter for school in the morning. She literally waves to every single person and car that drives by, every single day. I’ve wondered what led her to that path, if she has an intention placed behind every wave. If she once was a big-wig executive and now chooses to wave at people and help kids cross the street. She has become part of my routine in the morning. Same with the old man that I walk by at the lake. I don’t know their names, but I know their kindness. I rely on it. If they are not there, I’d wonder where they went off to. This is the sort of person I want to be. The person that shows kindness to all without having to know them. Simple kindness. Being human has its side effects. Phobias, complexes, feelings. Sheesh, what is a busy person to do? It is so very understandable why so much of our adult world is choosing to numb out. To turn towards escapes and alternate realities. This reality right in front of us is ugly, messy, scary, uncomfortable and darn right painful often. Why would any one turn towards pain? It hurts. A lot. It really is not up to anyone else to decide when to end suffering for someone, that’s up to us individually. We get to feel through our own experience and make adjustments, the responsibility is our own. I realized this week how little self compassion I have been giving to myself. How I hold judgement and compassion and 700 other emotions at the same time from different view points. A life of complexity like that ought to be confusing. The truth is, I tend to over-complicate. When I get too far off my path, the one I intend to become as opposed to the one I am showing up as, I try to remember who I’d like to be. I can’t get to being that with lots of self loathing for how I failed or made a mistake. That self critic is basically not helpful, not even a little bit. So, I choose to return to love, to kindness. Knowing that I will fail again. Knowing that I am massively imperfect. When we over simplify, that too can be harmful. Language and boxes come from simplification. Typically when it comes to human behavior, there is much, much more at play than the results of people’s actions and words. So much more, we will never know all the reasons and interconnections for how things happen and why. So, remembering the complexity of life, of the myriad of ways that people are living and worlds they have to walk through (typically in some type of battle ground or another), gives me the ability to step back and pause. To remember to return to kindness. ...read more
Eckhart Tolle wrote a book called the Power of Now. Presence is what its referring to, being truly here and able to be embodied and show up in each moment. Today I attended a lovely talk at a Denver Salesforce User Group. The VP of Communities, Erica Kuhl, discussed our immediacy culture and how far the pendulum has swung with our needs for something immediately being met by modern day consumers. Convenience and urgency tied into consumer spending habits seems to be the focus of many new ideas and startups. I am intrigued by the polar difference in the meaning of “Now” with Tolle and the meaning of “Now” in our modern culture. To most, Now means meet my consumer needs immediately. Now means I should have every possible desire satisfied and met immediately. Here’s the HUGE issue with this way of living… it leaves most of us feeling empty at some point in our lives. We disconnect from our real needs and fill every moment up with artificial and ever increasing needs for more – more knowledge, more things, more distractions. If we fill every waking moment with to dos or distraction based numbing (TV, games, etc) and increase our ability to manifest by making everything appear at the drop of a hat, there is no space in our life for us to feel the beauty of the natural world around us. There is less space to experience one thing for more than five minutes. We have a new need and think we need more because it is so very easy to have more. Our basic needs are getting met and so we add and add until we don’t realize we have filled our lives with doing and our beingness is not connected to what really matters most: human connection. Today I was listening to the TED talk about slowing down. They discussed a new movement called: “Slow TV” where each minute of an experienced is filmed, unedited and uninterrupted and played as it is. This apparently is filling a need for an “unbroken story” and feeds a part of us as a culture that is hungry for real stories and not edited, ADHD, perfected stories. Slow TV shows it just as it is and has a calming effect to give us permission to slow down and participate in the incremental pace of real, human life. Now, perhaps you could argue some of the modern ways of fulfilling our needs are helping free our time for more connection with ourselves and others. Perhaps. Its a balancing act certainly. Convenience is not wrong. However, expecting everything and everyone to arrange their universe around yours is setting yourself up for disappointment at some point. What would happen if we were able to slow down so that there was more space in our life for meaningful connection, purposeful work, soulful discovery and play? Would we still need all those things? Would we still want a life filled with escapes? From my experience, when I face my fears and my pain rather than filling my emptiness with things I feel really good. The urgency around what I need to get or do recedes into a more reasonable ebb and flow with the natural flow of time. Sometimes I find comfort in re-doing a...read more