Love Last on Your List?


As a single woman your free time can easily get absorbed by the myriad of opportunities and pressures to meet others' expectations in this modern age. Whether your boss is pressuring you to work extra time to get the promotion or the lure to start a side business selling yarn on Pintrest or that favor your family asks you for because you must "have free time". It's easy to get involved in so many good things and feel like you have a full life. Until Valentine's Day inches closer and closer on the calendar and you become painfully aware of the fact that no one who wants to spend it with you.

It dawns on you that finding love has been so far down on your list that it never gets checked off.  

There are more reasons than the ache of loneliness for a day to move love up your list. While we are busy keeping life going and paying our bills, feeding ourselves and getting in enough exercise in order to live a good life, studies show that social relationships are the top predictor of a long life.

Specifically Susan Pinkerton shares in her Ted Talk that your close relationships are the number 2 predictor of how long you will live, 2nd only to general social integration. Exercise, weight, substance use are farther down on the list. If you consider how you are spending your time in the sense that you want live a long, full life--perhaps finding love and developing close relationships should move higher up on your list.

The truth is that we prioritize what we value and often we don't value love because we feel unworthy of it. We can cover over our feeling of unworthiness with excuses of busyness or good sounding reasons why dating doesn't work for us - but the underlying issue is that we haven't spent time focusing on healing the negative feelings we have about ourselves around love.

As a dating and relationship coach, I work with women who are ready to invest time to take a compassionate look at how they may be numbing themselves from their deep desire to be seen, supported and loved by a good partner. 

What if this year you decided to make the top reasons for longevity the same top item on your To-Do list too? Whether that means you decide to give online dating a shot again or stretch yourself to intentionally be around more single men or hire a dating coach to support you for a season to both heal and grow in your ability to welcome love?

Imagine what it would feel like to have a partner by your side who thinks you're amazing while you live supporting each others dreams. And with a loving partner, even your entire To-Do list just might start to feel a little lighter.


Ready to move love up on your list? Schedule a 30 min complimentary chat with me here to talk about how I help you move past patterns that keep you stuck and support you in drawing in lasting love faster.

Where Our Power Lies

Have you ever lost a night's sleep over your housemate's neglect to wash their dishes in the sink? I have. Years ago I remember flipping and flopping in my bed while my mind paced furiously because I felt so belittled by my housemate's blatant carelessness. For hours I lay there mulling over how I could communicate to her the next day so that she would change and I would feel better.

Many years and personal growth experiences later it seems silly to think about how mad I got about a few dishes left in the sink. I realize now that I was seeking something I could control outside of me that would allow me to feel ok inside of me.

Isn't that how life works? I mean if a wheel is broken you fix it. Then you have a working wheel, right? The only problem with this thinking in the realm of human relationships is that the only person that you can make real and lasting change with is that lovely creature you see in the mirror each day. Our true power to change our mental well being lies in the control of our own choices.

During that time when I got upset with my old housemate, I was feeling pretty powerless in my life in general. I was letting life circumstances choose work for me, giving clients needs priority over my own, and spending time in relationships where I gave more than I received. This stirring sense of powerlessness compelled me to seek a scapegoat on which to pin all of my anger. While the real anger I felt was directed towards myself for giving up my power of choice. Only when I recognized the true root of the anger could I forgive myself and take the power back to make healthy choices.

Have you ever hung your well being on someone else's potential to change? Your boss, your lover, your child? I have. Yet, I'm learning that one of the greatest gifts we human were born with is our ability to choose. Even in the midst of sometimes very distasteful circumstances beyond our control, we can make many choices in the way we respond in our thinking or behavior. While in our finite human bodies we have a limited amount of energy and resources to use--wouldn't it make sense to harness that power towards making an impact where it is most effective--in our own lives!!

These days I'm learning how to use my power in many different ways: to chose the work I do, to chose to speak up when something feels wrong, to choose to stop investing time in a relationship that isn't mutually beneficial. I'm learning how to use my power to control my spending, to feel and express my feelings, to say no when I want to, and to seek reasons to be thankful in the midst of difficult things. I use my power to picks outfits I want to wear and feel good in them (no matter what people think!), to choose to open up my heart to those who've demonstrated trustworthiness and to create my boundaries around behaviors I will and won't accept. 

How about you? How do you want to take up your power this week?

Saving A Marriage Before It Starts

Like a lot of little girls, romance captivated my attention. I played for hours with my girlfriends, creating scenarios about how Ken would pick up Barbie in his sports car for dates. I watched, wide eyed, as Lady and the Tramp shared a plate of spaghetti, inhaling the last noodle together into a kiss. I dreamed that one day I would be the receiving beauty on the end of this mysterious, romantic love. 

Not only was I delighted by the happy movie endings of Cinderella getting the Prince, I started to notice a different romantic interest developing around age 11 or 12. I remember when I saw my mom returning from the mailbox with the Ladies' Home Journal at the back of the stack underneath her arm, I tugged it out halfway, while asking, "Can I read this?" and then scurrying off to a quiet edge of our 70's floral print couch to read the column, "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" 

I was equally captivated by the myriad of problems that could happen in a romantic relationship. Month after month I completly absorbed the details of how the woman wanted to leave her husband of 25 years because he never paid attention to her and how the man felt his wife's constant nagging caused him to lose interest in her company. The counselor then commented how different points of view and family backgrounds affected their problem. I read on, dying to know if their marriage could be saved? With the couple's willingness to take some steps, several months later the marriage was saved! With relief and joy, I was nearly in tears.

While I stocked up all this sage advice as an adolescent, I noticed, as I became a teenager, that I developed a serious problem in my own romantic life. Though I consistently had a love interest at school, my problem was when I spotted this love interest coming down the hall towards me within conversational distance, my heart nearly dropped into my knees and it was all I could do to not pass out from a panic attack. Forget about even offering a friendly hello.

I managed to have only one boyfriend in high school, due to the fact that my friend persuaded him to take me to Homecoming and he said yes. During the 3 months we dated, I lost about 15 pounds. I could barely eat an apple at lunch from all the nervousness I felt when he came to sit next to me. When I broke things off with him, I can't say if it was more because there was something wrong between us or if I just couldn't stomach the feeling of complete inadequacy to navigate a relationship.

After that galloping romance, I didn't enter another relationship for years. While I had one off kisses with guy friends, a 5 yearlong crush from afar, or the occasional unappealing advance, the feelings were always unrequited from my side or his.

At some point in my mid 30's I threw myself into overworking so much that I pushed down the desire for relationship all together. Until one day, after returning from an impulsive solo trip to Europe, I returned with a renewed sense of confidence. Soon afterwards a very attractive co-worker walked into the office and smiled at me. And I smiled back. It was the first feeling of mutual attraction that I'd felt in as long as I could remember.

With him as the first, I began a several year process of dating different men, on and off. While I was proud of myself for overcoming some of my fears to date men, the relationships weren’t working out because I was still unhealthy and choosing unhealthy men.

When I reached 40 I knew things were really serious and I needed help. I always wanted to have my own family, so I was motivated to act. I sought the best advice I could find in the hope to answer the question, "Can This Woman Be Wed?" 

I read books on self-worth and femininity, I worked with dating coaches and talked with trusted married friends. My passion for reading about relational dynamics rushed back, just like that young girl on the couch. I devoured any relationship advice I could find. Many of my friends felt comfortable to tell me about their relationship struggles and I was all ears.

I put the advice into practice—while in a relationship or online dating. I discovered what worked and what didn't. I joined a year-long dating coaching group, meeting 2-3 times weekly for accountability. Little by little, I became less anxious and more confident in who I was. 

I knew more of what I wanted, more of what I would accept, more of what I could give, more of what I wouldn't tolerate, and had a clearer vision for a marriage that wouldn't need to be saved. 

My man hasn't arrived yet, but he will, I am sure. Until then I am fully enjoying my life, whether a man is in it or not.

I recognize that I’m not alone in my struggle through the ups and downs of dating and relationships. Recently becoming a life coach, I want to help other singles to grow personally and gain skills to navigate the emotional roller coaster of our modern dating world. With all that I’ve learned, I know I can help.

Have you or someone you know just broken up? Feel reluctant to go online? Out of practice after divorce? Can't break bad relational patterns? Love the 'bad boy' types? Lose yourself easily in a relationship? Believe me, I've probably been there.

If you work with me, I would support you to discover some of the limiting beliefs that lead to dating issues, as well as help you with practical guidance in this age of confusing dating culture. I'd be your "columnist" so that you can save your marriage before it starts.  

So hit me up! - I'd love to walk with you towards the experience of a close, satisfying partnership!

Stuck Between Stay or Go? Maybe Your Body Can Help

According to several internet sources, adults living in the modern age make in the ballpark of 35,000 decisions a day. Surprising, but just think how many decisions it took you to prepare your oatmeal this morning. We can make so many decisions of course, because many of them carry nominal consequences--should I add raisins or cranberries today? Not a big deal.

But what if you are deciding whether you should take a desirable job on contract for the next five years that will cause your family to move to another state and your son will have to finish his senior year in a new school? Not so straight forward.

In the past when I faced a really hard decision, I defaulted to a logical decision making process. I listed out the pros and cons on each side of a sheet of paper. Even when I saw that the pros list was longer, I still wasn't convinced to decide to "Go". Logic didn't give me the absolute answer, because of course, feelings and values are also playing a role.

In order to trudge through the murky waters of feelings and values, I've found that our 6th sense or "knowing" can play an even greater role in making a good decision if we can tap into it. Our bodies actually have a a great way of communicating to us this sense of knowing when we feel otherwise overly conflicted. 

However, we logical Westerners often tend to overlook when our body is trying to tell us something. Whether it's the sudden urge to go to the bathroom before an important interview or the immediate fatigue that overtakes your body when a friend starts talking about a subject you have no interest to follow. You may be sitting there saying you're feeling good about the interview or you could be feigning interest as your friend talks--but your body knows otherwise.

That kind of body wisdom is exactly the partner you want on your team as you're making decisions. While our mind may be subject to trying to please others or making decisions out of the feeling we "should" do something, our bodies could care less about social norms--rather, they speak our truth. 

So how can we check in with our body when making a decision?

1. Connect to Your Body - Are you aware of what your body is feeling in a peaceful moment? When you are stressed? Can you feel any tensions currently? Pleasures? Tingling? Stiffness?  Try tuning into your big toe to start--describe to yourself how it feels. Then move the whole way up your body noticing how each part feels.

2. Determine Your Compass - Set apart some time by yourself or with the help of a friend/coach to think through a situation in your life that was one of the worst moments you've experienced (don't worry you won't need to stay there long). Take a few seconds to imagine you are there in your mind and let your body feel what it felt in that moment. Describe the sensations you felt. Then do the opposite--imagine one of the best moments of your life--describe the sensations you felt. Now you have a compass that you can use to gauge what is your specific positive or negative reaction when it comes to making a decision. Is your body giving you a signal that leans towards the positive or negative sensations?

3. Explore the Possibilities - Go through each of the possibilities for your decision in your mind. Close your eyes and imagine "Staying" how does that feel in your body--describe all the sensations. Then explore "Going". Do this for each possibility you have. 

After taking these steps you will have a pretty good idea of what your body is saying about a certain decision. 

You may find, though, it is difficult to connect with the sensations of your body. Perhaps because you have been ignoring your body for a long time and you will need to practice. Also, you may find it tempting to override what your body is saying.  After all, it may be directing you towards a decision that will come with a cost to pay---like having that hard talk with your boss, breaking up with a guy, or pursuing your calling by moving to Kathmandu, Nepal. But if we are willing to trust that our body is able to circumvent societal pressures and come to the best decision for our authentic journey, we just might experience not only a sense of peace, but better health in our bodies too.

Stuck in the Middle

Perhaps the curse of my life has been that I am good at many things. But I am not great at many things. Nor do I do many things poorly. As a girl, when my mom signed me up for a gymnastics class, with no prior experience, I was able to tuck my chin, curl myself into a ball and stand up straight on the other side, along with all the other kids just like the teacher demonstrated. I somersaulted around ahead of half the other kids, yet not able to catch up with the girls turning with ease at the head of our pack. 

I wasn't good enough to have the teacher pull me out and recommend I go on to the advanced level. Nor was the teacher calling out my name because I wasn't doing it right. I was average-ly good--safely lodged in the middle.

And somewhere along the way--on swim team or at drama camp or in ballet classes--I grew comfortable in feeling safe in the anonymity of the middle. The longer I spent time in the middle of the "pack", the more solidified my belief became that I was better off being unseen. This way I could avoid being made fun of by bullies and I wasn't the last one chosen on teams. I was generally accepted at high school lunch tables and invited to parties as a person who could carry on a normal conversation, but not necessarily express a controversial opinion. There in the dead center of mediocrity, I safely avoided what I thought would be horrible feelings of shame. 

However, as I entered into young adulthood, when the time came to make my unique mark on the world, I started to notice that I had a hard time making close friends, I was terrified of dating and I didn't have any specific desire to follow a career path. In fact, any fear of sticking myself out there beyond the safe middle to let people know who I was or what I was interested in, felt like potential sudden death. Sure, I was surviving doing menial jobs I didn't care about and hanging out with people I'd keep at a distance, but I wasn't able to thrive. The real me felt stuck, hiding deep the middle of myself, because I'd hardly experienced what it could feel like to come out beyond the pack as uniquely me.  

Therefore, I continued to find various jobs, until I fell into a series of accounting jobs, respectable enough by my parents'/society's standards, yet nothing along the lines of what I'd dreamed of doing. I spent many years pleasing my bosses, working hard at something I didn't like so I could be a responsible adult staying with the pack. But I felt depressed, rarely voicing my opinion, nor expressing my creativity nor feeling as though I were living my purpose. I suffered for years in bad work situations and my health grew worse.

Today, through the support of many people, I am learning to come out of my own middle prison. I am taking dance classes again--believing that there is a possibility that I could be great! or I could suck! and trusting that as I risk being in either of those places that I will be freer. I understand now that there is freedom in being seen for the characteristics that make me unique. I wish I felt back then what I understand today, I could have been great at being me--only much, much sooner!


If you're anything like me, I know it takes support to put yourself out there and stand in a place where people can see the real you. Don't let your beliefs keep you stuck safely in hiding, while the real you is slowly dying inside. Connect with me for coaching today!



Letting 'Everybody' Stop You

I confess to you that I've been struggling with writer's block for longer than I'd like to admit. There is a part of me that loves to write, but avoids it like the plague because I hate the feeling of sitting down to a blank page and feeling stuck. 

When I do finally sit down to contemplate, the wheels of my mind grind away, offering potential topics. A part of me shoots down every suggestion that my creative mind comes up with. "Hmm, no that won't work." or "No, that's not interesting." or "Is that subject appropriate?" Then a news line pops up on my phone and before I know it I am staring into the back of my refrigerator, pulling out creamer for a cup of coffee while I surf the internet. 

To make a little sense of my writer's block dilemma, Martha Beck helps me in her book, Finding Your Own North Star, where she writes that "we all have a psychological tendency to give unwarranted power to certain individuals." She calls those individuals our 'Everybody'. More accurately, the rejections in my head are inserting this 'Everybody'. "That's not interesting to 'Everybody'.'' or "Is that subject appropriate to 'Everybody'?" Suddenly, I am seated on trial across from my personal panel of judges, trying to avoid their disapproval. 

If you've ever been stopped in your tracks because "But what will 'Everybody' think?", then you've experienced this too. Martha suggests that getting rid of the 'Everybody' is nearly impossible, as every human being psychologically protects themselves this way. However, the members of the Everybody panel can be replaced for the better. 

Take a moment and see if you can pare down who really makes up your 'Everybody'. You may find it's basically a mix like; your father, your friend group at the gym and your co-worker in the marketing department who freely vocalizes all of his opinions. Think about whose voices form your inner criticisms.

For example, let's say you struggle with the idea "I deserve a life of joy and fulfillment." Then think for a moment, who in your life has told you that you don't deserve a life of joy and fulfillment? A caretaker? A church leader? a specific culture? Write those down. Then, see if you can think of the people in your life who have voiced that you deserve a life of joy and fulfillment, this may be a bit more challenging, but list those people on the other side of the page.

Then evaluate, which group of people would you have more respect for, want to spend time with, have fulfilling lives themselves, or would you trust to raise your child? Start to dwell on those voices as your 'Everybody'. Write down what they said, speak it to yourself, let their affirmations ring in your mind, until they begin to quiet down the critical voices.

This is a beginning of an exercise you can use  to exchange your 'Everybody'. As you desire to press towards something new in your life that is calling you, you may find that you are having blocks too. Could it be that it's time to evaluate and replace your 'Everybody' for a better one? Who doesn't need more positive voices in their corner to help them along, right?


Following Your Own North Star has many more exercises like this that promote change on a heart level. They are especially powerful when you do them with the support of a coach or a small group. If you are interested to be freer to live your potential,  Email for more details on getting individual coaching or joining an upcoming small group to go through the book and exercises together.

Birthing Vs. Achieving in the New Year

As a kid I watched lots of cooking shows. I loved the way the chef assembled all the ingredients from pre-filled bowls and within 2 minutes pulled the cooked dish out from behind the counter. So when my family got a new video camera, I knew right away what kind of video I wanted to produce. 

I prepped out cookie ingredients and then prepared baked cookies to put behind the counter. I gave my brothers directions on how to film and what lines I'd say. From years spent absorbing cooking shows, ideas came to me quickly. Rather than the video being someone else's idea and me trying to work hard to follow the steps, it was as if the ideas and abilities had been growing inside me and when the opportunity presented itself, I gave birth to a cooking show. (kid quality, of course!)

I thought of this today as I saw my grocery store announced Resolution Reset Day as January 19th, 2018. They cited that each year 135 million Americans who made New Year's resolutions, by the 2nd week of February, 100 millions of them already failed to make them.  

This made me wonder if the reason most people's New Year's resolutions last such a short time is because they come from the wrong source?

Now in the 2nd week of January, I'm sure you've experienced hundreds of messages from advertisers offering new memberships, deals on organizer containers or diet plans that have so much promise. Advertisers work off the premise that we all want thin waists, clear skin, extra cash and clean homes. But since when did they have the 411 on what makes you fulfilled?

Before making the video, my mom didn't sit us kids down and force us to come up with a cooking show, but when the opportunity came, I was inspired to do it. Motivated from within, there was barely anything that could stop me.

If you've been wandering around in the last year, feeling pressure to achieve goals that you felt you should have done a long time ago or maybe you just feel like a failure to your own "weak" will power, maybe it's time to seek out a different approach. Instead of shuffling off with the crowds to sign up for a new membership you won't use, try taking a few, quiet moments to go inside of yourself and see what signs of life are already growing.  

What seeds of ideas, creativity, production, or connections have been planted in your very DNA to be birthed to life? What examples, models, or heroes have you been enjoying absorbing because what their doing excites you?  Perhaps it's not a matter of making a list of goals to achieve, but rather exploring: How can you support what is wanting to be birthed through you? What blocks need to be taken out of the way so it can be born? You are the best source to find those answers. If you find you need help, I can hold a space for you to help you discover more.



Why I Left My Business

My client leaned across the table towards me and asked me to explain why the numbers for their equity accounts on their balance sheet seemed high. The intentness of their eyes shot pressure directly into my stomach. I wanted to cry because I couldn't give a crap about why their numbers seemed high. Yet, I sat there contorting my face into gestures of pleasantries, while explaining that I needed some time to look into it. It took all possible forces of self-restraint to hold myself back from screaming, "I don't know and I don't give a damn!" I knew I could not put on this act any longer.

My answer was not very convincing and I felt my own incongruence through every fiber of my muscles. 

Bookkeeping had become so boring to me that when sitting down to do it, throwing plates against the wall seemed like a better alternative. The mask of feigned interest I wore with my clients had become very scratchy and ill-fitted, like a kid wearing his Halloween costume all night who, without a second thought, yanked it off on the way home because he couldn't stand the rub any longer.

However, I couldn't just yank the mask right off. I was a rational, responsible adult with bills to pay and clients to please. 

These feelings of repulsion and distaste about bookkeeping had been surfacing stronger and stronger for months. I wondered somehow how I'd ever gotten to this place. Trapped, with a full-service 6 year old bookkeeping business with 5 other contractors now partnering with me.

From a young age, I never imagined that I'd be a bookkeeper. In fact, if I were asked to write a list of 25 professions that I wanted to do as a child that probably wouldn't have even been number 25.   

Yet, I was obviously scared to find a way out. It was hard to imagine what, practically speaking, I could even do next.  

Sure, my mom had always told me that I could do anything I put my mind too. "You're so talented Kristen. There's very little you can't do." 

"Thanks, Mom." I'd shrug off the feelings of pride and pressure. Maybe I could do lots of things. I'd worked dozens of jobs since my youth and proved I could step up to most challenges. But I was haunted with the feeling that I needed to strike out of my comfort zone in order to pursue the things I was born to do. Could there be some work for me where I would feel deeply satisfied while offering a valuable service to the world?

My calling, to that point, hadn't dropped out of the sky and found me. I felt confused and unsure and impractical for wanting to start all over with some career in my 40's. Every idea my creative brain threw out on the table to consider, the editor brain brain stamped with a bright red "Ixnay". So my mind constantly drew blanks. I knew I needed to get out of my own head, move beyond my own self-sabotaging behaviors, and get support.

So I called a counselor with coaching skills that I'd been wanting to call. We talked about what I wanted to do and what was holding me back. After several months he helped me set a target date to sell the clients for my business and made plans for a sabbatical to figure things out. From the moment I left his office that day with plans to leave my business, I felt 50 pounds lighter. It has been an unregrettable journey ever since.