+2 Family Challenge

To my online family, I want to share this challenge with you and yours, one that I think can greatly change your relationships. You can apply this to family, friends, coworkers, whoever. We are all one family, so share, share, share. Here’s my big idea, starting with family members.

Dear Family,

I have a challenge for our family. Birth family, online family, chosen family, you pick.  You can choose to opt in or not, completely up to you.

I have noticed that many of us, including me, have an old habit of complaining about our life, work, and the world. It’s also a habit to criticize or complain about our family members and friends.Fam-A-Lee pic

I challenge each of us, beginning today, to not criticize or negatively comment about family members with one another. To change what we focus on and discuss.

The family challenge is to change what we talk about with one another.

I’m sure you’ve heard (or said) something like: “He’s/she’s loud, quiet, awkward, wild, too liberal, too conservative, talkative, introverted, doesn’t listen, is negative, should be doing this instead of that, should be X instead of Y, just like their father/mother in some negative way,” etc. I don’t know about you, but I find it really challenging not to engage in these conversations, whether I or someone else is the one criticizing.

So, how about we have a family challenge not to talk about other people in a critical light? Surely we can talk about other things — we are smart, kind, creative people! Let’s discuss our life (not someone else’s), our ideas, and what we admire and love about family members.

So, are you in for the family challenge? To change what we talk about?

If you hear someone begin to criticize another, you can gently say, “Remember the family challenge.” (If you really want to change this habit, put money in a jar every time you speak critically and donate it to the political party you most dislike! Now, there’s a habit-changing incentive!)

This will take practice, so you’ll have to catch yourself. It’s a habit and habits take time to change.
Maybe you are talking about someone else because you are hurt or concerned about them. If so, try talking to them instead of about them. I know this may be “challenging,” but I’m positive we can do this!

In addition, I think many of us rely on others in the family to update us on everyone else. (Although asking about one’s children is fair game, it makes sense and we all appreciate that!) Reach out directly to adult family member to find out how they are. This can greatly improve relationships and let’s that person know you care. We’re all busy, but wouldn’t it be nice to hear from one another directly versus via the grapevine? We never know when that person will no longer be with us.209857_4795624404964_1999484768_o

Personally, I would rather hear from someone than about them.

We have an amazing family, full of very diverse and interesting people, who love each other very much. And for that reason, I hope you’re “in.” But if you’re not, that’s cool too because we’re all different! No judgment.

So, that’s my bright idea. Are you in for the +2 Family Challenge? You can simply reply “I’m in,” ignore (which means you’re out), or feel free to add your thoughts/ideas. Here’s your first chance not to criticize!

In review:
1. Compliment/be positive versus criticize (+)
2. Talk “to” instead of “about” another (2)
3. Say “I’m in” or opt out (the family challenge)

That’s +2 Family Challenge, I hope you’re in.
Much love,

Barbara (a recovering critic who loves her family)

P.S. I’m in.

P.P.S. Feel free to invite others to the challenge!

Posted in coaching, communication, family, love, parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Money Thoughts, New Year, New Thoughts

Many of my life coaching clients come to me, especially around the New Year, with issues around MONEY (or work).  Big stress.  And we have lots of ideas, beliefs and thoughts around these concepts.

What is your immediate reaction to the word money? Is it positive or negative?  It’s important to note.  The word money tends to bring up a lot of negative thoughts, memories and beliefs.  Questioning these ideas is a great first step.

Recently I was working with a client facing a money issue you are likely to understand.  She wanted to make more money.  But, she had a long held belief that she was not good with money.  She said she had never been good with money, even as a kid.  At the time of our coaching session, she was looking for work and struggling with finding the right employment.  As we delved into these issues a few things quickly became clear.  Perhaps what we uncovered can help you with your money issues.

As a spiritually attuned life coach, I could feel that her energy around money was like Pigpen (from The Peanuts cartoon) … all those balls of dust around her.  It followed her around everywhere she went.


The reason for this became immediately clear when I asked her, “What would you love to do for work?”  She couldn’t answer. She was at a loss, confused and unclear.  It’s understandable, it is hard to see clearly through all that pig pen dust.

The next question I asked was, “What gifts/services do you best provide?”  Then, she could come up with a few items.  But not many.  No wonder if was hard to make money!

You see, income/money is related to service.  In our world, we get money from the goods or services we provide.  It has nothing to do with our “real value” or worthiness.  (Think about all the amazingly valuable, underpaid teachers!)  It’s about what the market will bear.  Underneath that of course, may be our limited belief about our value.  You see, if we undervalue our ability to provide goods or services, money may elude us.

So, what do YOU believe about your you or your value?  Often it includes some negatives.  But, what you believe about yourself may not be true. In fact, it probably isn’t.  Let’s just question it.  Ask yourself, is this true?  Then, see if you can come up with three examples of it being NOT true.

Let’s say you believe you’re a failure?  Is that true?  Come up with three examples of where you are NOT a failure.  List three things you do well or have done well in the past.

You can also cut to the chase as ask yourself, “Is anyone in the universe a failure?”  No.  So why would you be the only person on EARTH who is, a failure?  Or worthless, or non-deserving. Or beyond hope.  We have all “failed” at something, but we’re not, you are not, a failure.

You see, just because you believe a negative thought about yourself, it doesn’t make it true.  It just makes it a belief you have about yourself.  Not FACT.  You have a TON of thoughts every minute of every day.  It’s not the thought that is the problem, it’s the BELIEF about the thought that causes a problem.  The fact that you believe this negative thought is what is stopping you. (From making more money, having more love, having self-esteem, etc.)

People spend years trying to figure out WHY they believe a negative thought, about self, money, work, love, etc.  You can spend years going down that never ending rabbit hole.  The WHY hole.  Better to question the validity of the thought.  Is it absolutely true? Disprove it and then just laugh off those old negative or limiting thoughts that keep coming up.  Thanks for that thought, but I no longer believe that one!

Back to money.  Say you believe you’re bad with money.  Is that true? Let’s say you think it is true.  How so, give examples?  I don’t balance my checkbook, I spend more than I make, etc.  So if those examples are facts would you like to change that about yourself?  Are there ways of solving this problem?  If yes, see what ideas come to you to deal with this “current” belief and habits.  (You could take a course in budgeting, hire a financial trainer, hire an accountant, hire a life coach!!).

Conversely, ask yourself the opposite of the belief, i.e., what are ways I am good with money?  Did you make any money this year, year’s past, do you make enough money to feed yourself, house yourself, help another, etc. I bet there are examples where you are good with money.  And if there are areas in which you’d like to improve, go for it!

Let’s say you believe you’ll never make enough money to live on, or reach a certain financial goal?  Is that true?  Well, you cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy so it’s probably not true.  And what’s enough?  But let’s look back, how often have you made enough money to live on?  In fact, right now if you’re reading this, you are alive, so apparently the money you made or did not make was enough to live on. Question these thoughts about money and self.  (And what do you imagine you would “get” or feel if you met that goal? Secure, valuable, proud, free?)

Some people say a lack of money is tied to your self-esteem or self-worth, which can have some validity, but maybe not.  Again, question the belief.  Is that a fact?  Is that really WHY you aren’t making “enough money.”  Whether or not it’s true that your self-esteem is tied to your money making, you can still choose to work on (or question) the issue of self-esteem.  (There are lots of wealthy people who don’t really like themselves!)

So, what can you do to address your self-esteem?  Lots!  Ask friends to send you a list of three or more positive attributes/talents you have.  (Blame it on me, tell them a life coach gave you this as an assignment.)  Also, you can list every attribute YOU can think of.  Start simple.  I’m kind to my dogs.  I help my neighbor.  I love to read. I am interested in self-improvement, I find it easy and fun to do XYZ, etc.

Still want to make more money?  Well, what are you good at, naturally?  If you were with a group of ten friends, what could you do better than most of them?  Speak in public, organize, provide comfort, listen, make people laugh, etc.  You’re beginning to discover what gifts/talents you have that someone would pay for!  Or what would you like to learn to be good at, that’s a possibility too!

Finally, stop trying to make money and start focusing on being of service.  When you are willing to share your gifts and talents to help someone (personally or professionally) you are an magnet to money.  You have something people will pay for!  We all pay for things we want or need.

If I need someone to pay my vendors, I will pay someone to provide that service.  If I need a marketer, an administrator, a driver, etc., I will pay for that SERVICE.  I don’t pay you because you need money, I pay you because I need your service.  I don’t pay you because you’re a good person, I pay you because you provide a need or want.

For many on the spiritual path we think we must be a healer, or life coach, massage therapist, author, etc.  And perhaps that is something we wish to pursue and would find great joy and money in it.  But other “worlds” need our energy too.  What if every light worker and spiritual worker started working in politics or community leadership?  What if we flooded the educational arena?  Hopefully you see what I’m getting at.  Spiritually driven folks  are needed everywhere.  Our service is appreciated and compensated for in many careers.

Who you are and what you can provide can be shared in a myriad of ways and in numerous and diverse settings.  Your gifts and talents are uniquely yours and are of great value.

Explore your beliefs about yourself, question them.  Remember who you really are (and ask others to remind you for when you forget.).  Then go out and serve.  The money will follow.

Questions you can ask yourself:

What would I love to do for work/money?

What do I do better than most people?

What do I believe negatively about myself (or money)?  And, more importantly, is it true?

(Find examples where the negatives are NOT true.)

What are three or more of my positive attributes/talents?

What goods or services can I provide that people want or need?

What would I LOVE to do even if I didn’t get paid to do it?

Ask a life coach to support you in living your best life (I’m HAPPY to help!)


Make this a year of questioning your thoughts, generously sharing your gifts and talents, and remembering how truly fabulous you are!





Posted in coaching, conscious living, finance, metaphysics, money, prosperity, resolution, spirit, spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back to School, A Senior Moment

No, not the “where did I leave my keys?” (which I am doing more and more of these days) but this senior moment is my daughter leaving the house for her first day of school. Her senior year of high school, that is.  If you still have a young children who are getting ready for their first day of school, relish it. By the time they become a senior, the first day back, it’s all different.

1916129_1270503639148_3980833_nThere is no pulling out the camera for a picture of my little cutie in long blonde pigtails, wearing her matching pink and purple gar-animals outfit. No big cheesy smile (with or without teeth or braces), happily standing for any number of poses she makes at my command. No, that’s not happening. (However, we have made progress because I know better than to even get out the camera phone and potentially start a war). Come to think of it, I bet I didn’t even use a camera phone back in the day, it was probably a real, honest to goodness camera!

The night before the big day I make a roast beef sandwich and place it in the refrigerator. No chips, no themed lunchbox. Just a little sandwich in a plastic baggie in the frig. It looks lonely in there.  Or is it me that’s feeling a little puny?

I ask if she’d like me to make a PB&J for her, to have ready for breakfast. “No, I’ll eat a breakfast bar.” Did we have breakfast bars 10 years ago? If so, probably only strawberry flavored. This week the favorite is crunchy pretzel, nuts and caramel. Anything to grab and eat on the go. Certainly there is no time or preference for bowls of captain crunch (oh, I think that was me, not her!) No cocoa puffs. No cut up banana. Nuthin’.

As we ready for bed, I wish her a great first day back at school for her senior year. I get a sideways hug. (My least favorite part of having an older “child”). Less and less physical contact, less and less time together. Independence reigns.

I go to my bed to read. She goes to hers, probably to check Facebook or have face time with a friend. (No cuddling together to share a children’s storybook).  I can’t get to sleep. I get up a number of times and see that she can’t sleep either.  We’ve been we’ve been rolling back bed time in preparation for her VERY early wake up call and neither of our bodies have figured out why we’re already in bed. It’s only ten at night now and that’s an early bed time for my teenager. That’s just about the time her summer evening begins, as friends would just be available for chat time, after they get off work!

So begins a restless night as I worry she’ll sleep through her alarm because she has to be up by 5 a.m. (to catch a 6 a.m. bus for a 7 a.m. start time). She took a shower this evening (without direction, one positive for the older set) , thereby saving a precious few minutes in the morning to get ready. However instead of pigtails or sleeping in rollers for curly locks, she has put on eyeliner because it will wear off and be just right for the a.m. Who knew?

After waking up every hour or so, I open my eyes to see a clock reading 5:30. It is eerily quiet. Oh no, she has overslept! I run into her room, trying to leave my anxiety behind and see she is laying calmly in her bed. “Good morning, Mom.” “Good morning, it’s 5:30 you better get up.”  And she does.  No argument, no fussing.

Unlike just a few years ago I do no reminding or hurrying her along. I trust she will pack in her dressings and preparations in just fifteen minutes by the time her Dad picks her up to drive her to her bus stop.  The bus shuttles her to her High School with a specialized program, Bio Medical and Allied Health. Yep, she’s studying medical programs in High School, that’s Medical Rounds, Internships, etc in addition to math, science, English.  And, this year if there is any oversleeping, she can actually drive HERSELF to school (another perk of senior year.)

But I still miss the school lists, find just the right rulers, crayons and pencils for her. I miss the mall shopping searching for the cutest-ever new looks for girls. I miss finding a new backpack and lunchbox with childhood themed decorations (101 Dalmatians, Little Mermaid, Hello Kitty and even the year of camouflage).

I miss the shared excitement of the new year as we pick out her favorite outfit, pack the lunchbox and the back pack.  I miss the nighttime bed time story while we predict her teacher and friends for the coming year.  I miss picking out her favorite cereal and making it for her in the morning. Watching her eat while she watches her cartoons.  Chatting together as I hold her hand on her way to school.  And yes, I miss her happily posing for the first day of school photos, on my camera.

11951134_1182048008487632_4729314738759081714_nBut alas, it is senior year. The pony tailed, Little Mermaid carrying girl has turned into a fine young woman.  She wears her black T-shirt, black jeans and snap back hat with confidence.  Stuffing her sandwich, breakfast bar and bottle of water in her boring blue backpack she traipses out the door.  My note is on the counter, “Have a great first day of your senior year.  Love, Mom.” I don’t think she even saw it.  But it’s there, just like my love and pride for her.  She’s still, and always will be my little girl.

First day of her senior year.  There is no picture to capture the moment, but I do have a vision of it in my mind.  A fine young woman, getting ready to tackle the world.  Beautiful.

Posted in children, conscious living, parenting, spirituality, teens, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Meditative Writing, On Purpose

Meditation takes many forms.  As a spiritual coach, I’ve been practicing meditation, intuitive development, and spirituality for many years.  People often say they have trouble meditating.  My question is, what is the purpose of meditating, for you?  What are you hoping to accomplish with meditation?  Peace, spiritual connection, inspiration, relaxation?  Once you get clear on that, it’s a lot easier to meditate, or perhaps do something else that lends to the outcome you seek.

At night, meditation  can be a way a relax and go to sleep.  My shortcut is to listen to a meditation on youtube, often a relaxation or hypnosis audio.  But more often, I now meditate because I want spiritual clarity.  I am looking to improve my life experience.  To have more peace, more prosperity, better relationships, more fulfillment.  For that I do what I call writing meditation.  I get quiet and I ask a question or questions.  And then I let my fingers go free and type the answers from spirit, my higher self, or God.

I host a bi-monthly guided meditation group (another way to improve meditation practices, to listen to a guided meditation.)  But part of the group meeting is for me to get quite and write down information, through my meditative writing, that may help improve the lives of my students.  Recently, my students were questioning purpose.  So here’s what my writing meditation.  (Purpose is something I see many people struggling with, feeling a lack of purpose, wanting a “True purpose,” wanting to feel their life was/is significant or they will fulfill their purpose. )

How can I be of service today, can we talk about purpose?

This (our world) is a creative zone, so what you are interpreting as purpose is actually your natural desire to create.  There was no exact “thing” that you were to do in your lifetime, but there are things that are so connected to your soul that they feel like purpose.  What purpose actually is …. it is what you love, what means something to you.  So those who are looking for their purpose need to look no further than their wants, desires, and dreams.

The ability to create and the results and along the way can feel like purpose.  Let me be clear, as soon as you create that so called “purpose” a bubbling up of creativity will come along and another purpose will be born.  For each of your purposes are the same and yet different — to express Your SELF in this lifetime.  That can take so many twists and turns, none of them right or wrong.

It would be like giving a painter a brush and when he paints the picture to say that paint was not to have made that picture.  It was simply the expression of an inspiration, and expression of self.  So whatever you choose to do is an expression of your self, and your natural creative nature will continue to drive you to create again and again. The red paint is not mean to only paint an apple, but the many things colored and tinged in red, and to combine with the white paint to create pink or rose colored flowers or food or skylines.


That is you, you are the painter and the paint, and the painting.  Think on that.  Every painting is a magnificent expression of your divine self.  You each have many paintings and painters within you in this lifetime.  You may choose to paint them or keep them in your mind’s eye or soul’s journey for another lifetime.  It is all good.  Every painter is an artist.  Every soul is an artist, a creator.

I, and we (spirit/God) look at all the paintings you are creating … and celebrate and are inspired by your work.  And as others paint their expressions, affecting those around them, some of them are called masters.  But, in fact, you are all masters, painting the pictures of your life, expressing your desires and your manifestations of self.

So, breathe deeply and admire your own work.  Look what you have created!  Imagine what you will create.  OR simply admire the painter as he or she creates in his or her mind.  Whether the creation comes to fruition or not, it does not matter.  What matters is that you each have the gift of creation and your individual differences allow a tapestry of paintings to influence one another.  You come together to make up a landscape of beauty, individuality as many expression of the divine one, each self living on this planet.  Even the plant creatures and animal creatures add to the painting, giving of themselves, their colors, and sharing their beauty as inspiration, as reflections of you.

So, next time you look at a painting, know it is an expression of self, and recognize your own beauty in its creation.

So, go forth creative ones, dream, paint, play, listen, manifest, be.  All these things are what God wants for you.  To live the painting of your life, to create that which brings you the highest level of expression.  Enjoying every step of the way, from inspiration to manifestation.  It’s all beautiful.


So perhaps you will see why I love meditative writing.  It provides me inspiration, clarity and expression of my self.  Just another way to explore your self, my self.  Meditation, whether in silence, while walking or even writing is a magnificent way to explore your self, your wisdom and the world around you.  Go forth and create.  You may find the painter in you!

If you’re in the Annapolis area, please join us every other Saturday afternoon, through Meetup.com.  You can also contact me for a private spiritual coaching session.

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Valentine’s Message, Everyone is Be-Love-d

friendship heartIt’s  was day before Valentine’s Day and I hosted a Valentine’s Love meditation gathering in Annapolis, MD.  I host monthly or bi-monthly meditation meetings, and one of the favorite things I do is the following.  Before the group meets, I write my own personal letter to God and ask a question.  Then I type the answer.  Whether this is “god” or my higher self, or a higher source of wisdom, doesn’t really matter.  I use the term God because that’s where I feel most centered, loved and open.  What I know is that what I then write is always enlightening, loving, wise, and I learn amazing truths.

So here is it Valentine’s Eve, I get quiet and ask, “How can I be of service, what shall I share with my beloved group?  Here’s is the answer:

Just that.  That each and every one of you is beloved.  The more you can be in touch with that truth, the better your life experience will be.  It is not possible for someone not to be beloved.  So whatever story you might be telling yourself about how someone treated you or how you felt in the relationship, even how you treat yourself, it has nothing to do with your lovability or belovability.  You are love.  You Be love.  You are Be Love – ed.

You see when I was envisioning and creating you, the first thing that I knew for sure was that you would be a unique expression of love.  And one of my greatest gifts I could give to you was to allow you the freedom to experience your life in many dimensions.  To give and receive love in many, many ways.  To experience love in many, many ways.  And that is all that you experience, it is love.

So you may say, when so and so treated me this way it was not love.  Ah, but it was. It was love of their self, love of their fear, love of their security, love of power, etc.  It may not have felt like love of you, that in fact may be true, but again it has nothing to do with your loveability.  Or anything to do with the truth of any illusion that you or that person IS not love.

But, and however, people show up as teachers and reflections of you, of your thoughts, fears and love.  So when someone is treating you less than you desire, it is a GREAT GIFT, to allow you to ask yourself, how do I treat myself less than I desire?  And you can THANK THEM for showing up to teach you that.  You see, even in that (them being the “bad” thing they were being) it was an act of love.  They were willing to show up as “self-ish, fearful, arrogant, pushy, controlling” so that you could look at yourself and say, how am I that way to ME?  How am I that way to another?  How are my thoughts that way?  And then you can return yourself to the truth of who you are.  They were willing to put on that mask, at your request, at your calling, to help you heal and return to the truth of your wholeness.

And the opposite is true, you show up in someone else’s life appearing selfish, controlling, fearful, arrogant, pushy, wishy-washy, controlling, loud, quiet, communicative, non-communicative, so they might see something in themselves.  Do you see how incredibly loving you are in that moment of being “less than yourself?”

You see, you are all in this together, always helping out one another.

So, if you are wanting to call forth a greater love into your life, let us look at that desire.  Each of you has a picture of what that looks like.  The goal is to put that picture inside yourself, for it is not “out there” but inside.  As you love and adore yourself, as you treat yourself with generosity, selflessness (versus ego-ishness), love-full versus fearful, self-assured and empowering of others versus arrogant, open and willing versus pushy, surrendering or trusting versus controlling … then someone else outside of you shows up the same way.  AND, the opposite … only if it will serve you.  And truly, no matter how someone shows up it can serve you.  And does.

There are no mistaken relationships, it is all part of natural process of evolution and self-discovery.  It is a grand adventure, an adventure of love.

If you seek a partner, a love partner….when you imagine all the events, circumstances, personality traits you desire, notice them in yourself and others so you begin to vibrate and attract that same kind of person into your sphere.  Even if you wish to attract business associates or bosses who are more positive, same applies.  Controlling versus trusting, etc.  Remember everyone is showing up as an act of love.

It really is all perfect.  And it is all love.  It couldn’t be simpler.  Trust the process, Focus on what you LOVE, focus on the love within you and within all “others.”  I put “others” in parenthesis because you know, there really is no other.  There is simply You and many reflections.  Love and its reflections.

All my love, always and in ALL Ways


As translated and received by me, Barbara.

Would you like to join us in Annapolis or maybe even a google hangout so we can connect no matter where you live.  Let me know.  One of my greatest joys is to help people deepen their relationship to God/Spirit.  Spiritual Enrichment.  I do this through group gatherings, coaching, and of course, writing.

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‘Tis the Season, to remember

Holidays! (Insert several emoticons from smiling to crying). I have so many fond memories from my childhood, teen and young adult years.  However, with the passing of beloved family members, as you may have experienced, Christmas can become a bittersweet holiday.

mom n meMy mother loved to decorate a Christmas tree!  Looking back, I realize the real excitement was anticipating the whole family being together.  Mom’s three kids would all be under one roof again — my sister Beth, my brother Lee, and me.  The last time we all lived together Beth was 18, Lee was 16 and I was 6.  That’s when my parents divorced and Beth went off to Indiana University, Lee stayed with my father in St. Louis and my mother and I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, to be near her mom and her new job.  So, it was a special occasion to have all three of her, now grown (or almost grown), children under one roof!  I was always tickled pink to have both of my siblings with me!

So, while Mom and I decorated the tree each year, we simultaneously loIMAG0378oked back recalling our fond memory and looked forward, anticipating the arrival of family.  We would pull out and inspect all the old ornaments, sparkly baubles from my Nana (I recall my childhood days, going through her costume jewelry to make one),


hand-painted (outside the lines) ornaments that Beth and I created when I was a kid, newer ornaments with family names on them, and my personal favorite, tiny elves made of pipe cleaners and felt.

For many years (after my mother died in 1987), it was terribly difficult for me to decorate the tree.  I would miss her presence and excitement,  sipping white wine, playing Christmas tunes and singing, going through all the ornaments and talking about what delicious meal she was preparing for Christmas Eve Dinner.  As is often the case after the matriarch dies, the entire family didn’t get together quite so much and there was no big Christmas Eve dinner and celebration.  My brother, newly married, and my sister, married with two little ones, had dinner with their respective families.  I had to make my own tradition.  Find my own Christmas spirit, without my beloved mom and siblings.

lily christmasIn 1998 things changed.  Having a daughter of my own truly helped.  Nothing like the excitement of a little girl running into the room to see what Santa brought.  When she was two she ran into the room and asked, “Where’s Santa?”  She stared out the front door to look for him.  She was certain that when we said Santa was coming, we meant he’d be there in the morning to watch her open her presents.  Kids are very literal!  It was heart wrenching and funny, her little face pressed up again the window, repeating, “Where’s Santa?”  Bless her heart!

She is now a teenager and not quite into the decorating so much.  So this year I needed to start a new tradition.  After attending a friend’s trim-a-tree party I decided to invite close friends over to help me trim my tree.  It was a GREAT time.  The bonus was one of my friends brought a little six-year-old, and she kept the holiday spirit quite alive.

IMG_0723We decorated cookies.  Greg who works for NASA made ornaments inspired by the planets and Star Trek, Turi brought a delicious tofu egg salad, Karen made the most delicious pumpkin bread, and Kim came early to help me set up and then topped it off with a yummy sweet potato recipe.  Showing them my old ornaments and sharing my memories made it all special again.  And having help untangle the lights was a huge bonus!

I realize that although time passes and traditions change, the spirit of the holiday expresses itself in many ways.  From singing with my mom, to untangling lights with friends, to watching a little girl find many, many ways to decorate a cookie, it’s all part of the tradition of the holidays.

Even though she wasn’t with me in person, I could feel my mother’s spirit.  I feel she is happy and smiling, telling me she could decorate as many Christmas Trees as she wants now. And, my loving, funny brother, who I miss just as much, is there with her.

I miss them dearly, but have so many fond memories of their spirit.  Especially at this time of year.  ‘Tis the Season, to remember.  Especially our loved ones who have passed.  And create new traditions and celebrations that allow you to feel and share the spirit of the season.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

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Promotion, Inside or Outside Job?

Ask a seasoned public relations professional/communications expert, like myself, whether to self promote and most of us will say, “No, not if you can help it!”  Hire an outside consultant, or have a designated staffer, because it’s a tough job to promote oneself. Not only is it difficult, but it won’t be as professional or successful as it could be.

Since the 1980’s I have promoted world leaders, businesses, non profits, environmentalists, peace makers, nuclear weapons abolitionists, civil rights leaders, women’s advocates, authors, and celebrities representing issues worth publicizing.  As an outside consultant, I could present an unbiased view, and could handle a “N0.”  Or several.  I could keep reaching out and turning a “No” into a “YES.”

2013-03-15 16.32.36Representing yourself (your issue, your business) and handling a “No” is a lot more difficult than for a professional outsider. For both you and whoever you are speaking with.  Turning “No” into a “YES” can be downright uncomfortable, for both sides.  To a large extent it is a game of numbers so being determined and continuing on despite the response is necessary.  And it’s also a lot easier when it’s not YOU they are rejecting.

As an outsider, there is also the component of being able to look at the issue or topic from an outside perspective.  When you are representing yourself or your idea/business/product you may be seeing things in a narrow view.  Not as others might see it, or see you.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have worked with a client, listened to his/her pitch and knew instantly why positive responses were limited.  You can be so steeped in your own perspective you cannot see the flaws of the pitch.  Because it’s not really about you.  It’s about what YOU can do for someone else.  WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me?)  Me meaning — another person, community, audience.

Understanding how to communicate a message  in a way that someone else will care is a special talent.  Somehow I knew exactly how to do that from the first time I tried.  In fact, I was a receptionist/assistant in an advocacy communications firm and was given a press list to make some calls.  I actually didn’t know what I was doing.  But I read the press release, the background materials and just started picking up the phone and calling reporters and producers.

A few days later my press conference was held. Many reporters showed up and even the producer of Nightline attended.  My boss asked me what in the world I told the Nightline Producer to get him to show up.  He had never before attended a press conference organized by our firm.  What is obvious to me now is this:

1) I was very passionate about the topic,

2) I was straight and to the point,

3) I understood the perspective of their clients (audience), and,

4) I didn’t take no for an answer.

I was promoted to publicity director and never looked back at the switchboard.

I went on to pitch stories to the most highly respected journalists in Washington, D.C., to include the White House Press Corps.  I was too young and naive to be intimidated.  And, as I said, I was passionate and determined.  I also honestly respected journalists; after all, my mother was one.  (One of the first women editors in the country).  My father, a marketer.  I was a great by-product of the two!

So if you’re having trouble crafting your message about your product, cause, business or idea, you might consider hiring an outside consultant. (Like myself!  Here’s me pitching me!)

Actually pitching myself is pretty difficult.  Although my resume is quite impressive there are people who have known me for decades and have no idea what I’ve accomplished.  I’m not a horn-tooter.  But, I’m a great promoter of others.  In fact, when I published a children’s book last year I did little promotion!  I’m in the process of getting someone else to do it for me.  Yes, I sold books, but I didn’t do what I would do for someone else.

As I said, it’s uncomfortable to promote yourself or your product.  It’s also not the greatest business strategy.  Better to hire someone who knows their stuff, a seasoned communications professional, a good strategist, a person with media savvy.  Like me. Or someone like me.  Click here for my (impressive) Linked In resume.

If you’d like a consult, feel free to contact me on this page through my email link.

And since I don’t speak for myself well, here’s a recommendation from one of my clients, General Lee Butler, the Former Commander in charge of the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal (USAF, Ret.)

“(re: Barbara Webber)  Her wise counsel and extraordinary range of expertise were absolutely essential to both the setting and the stage of exploiting the stunning success of the public presentation of the campaign objective… She has earned my respect and admiration, as well as my unqualified endorsement as an expert of the highest caliber.”

Yes.  What he said.  I definitely could not have said it better myself.

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Love/Hate Relationship with Medicine

I was getting ready to put a pill in my mouth this morning and I realized what a love/hate relationship I have with medicine.  Being an advocate of conscious thinking, I suddenly saw what damage I was doing to put a pill in my mouth and hating it.  Geez, I teach this stuff!  When it comes to food, I am the first to say love what you are eating!  It should apply to medicine too.


Whenever possible I use alternative treatment for illness and I’m a deep believer in treating body, mind and spirit, uncovering the various components of illness.  I’ve seen amazing physical results from clearing emotional beliefs and trauma in the body.  So I KNOW the body holds events, traumas, thoughts, issues, etc.  It is our barometer to our well-being.  Feelings of pain, discomfort are all communications from our body to our consciousness, or perhaps our unconsciousness.

My body is very sensitive to medicine.  It does best with homeopathic.  So I’ve had a love/hate relationship with medicine.  But truth be told, it has SAVED my life, especially when I was in the ICU.

Let’s cut to the chase here.  How crazy is it to put inside your mouth, your body, a medicine that is supposed to help you while hating the fact that you have to take it.  Crazy. And self sabotaging!

So here’s what I did this morning.  As I picked up my blue pill to put it into my mouth to help me with a virus that has been rather active lately, I talked to it.  I said, “I would really appreciate it if you would help this virus complete its job and go to the light.  I thank you for helping me heal this condition and thank the virus for its work.  I promise I will take better care of myself.  I will pace myself.  So, I don’t need it to remind me anymore to slow down.  Thanks virus, for looking out for me.  Thanks medicine, for helping me get stronger.  I really appreciate you.”  And I swallowed the pill.  That felt tremendously better than resenting the pill and the virus.

I feel a lot better about taking the medicine now.  And I beleive it will have an even better shot at helping my immune system.  Yes, I know pharmaceuticals have side effects.  YES, I know.  But I also know it’s a tool and if I put my good energy in alignment with its good energy, the results could be tremendously helpful.  And I KNOW it will be more helpful than eating it and hating it, or the virus.

This virus has just been doing its job.  It taught me to watch where my energy goes.  It reminds me to slow down, to rest, to take care of myself.  And I’m willing to take on that job for myself now.  Will I need reminders, yes?  But instead of asking the virus to be a reminder, I am asking my friends to remind me. I’m asking my higher consciousness to remind me with a kind, but loud, thought.

When I say YES to too many things, friends can tell me I am allowed say no.  When I keep pushing THRU instead of listening TO, I will take a moment to listen, stop and regroup.  I will do things I love more often.  I will read in my snuggly bed.  I will work with people who are positive and encouraging.  I will talk with people who will listen to me, laugh with me, embrace me, love me.

So, if your goal is to feel better, become a little more conscious of what you are doing, more importantly the energy with which you are doing it.  Resting while being mad that you have to rest doesn’t work well.  Eating good foods while hating that you must “eat your vegetables” isn’t great.  Hating your job is pretty bad energy.

Instead, focus on what you appreciate, what you love, what brings you joy.  So if you are cleaning up a mess but resenting it, change tactics.  Appreciate that you HAVE a mess to clean up, that you have people in your life who are messy.  Play music while you clean.  Imagine your best vacation while you are cleaning.  Do this with whatever you are doing that you would normally do begrudgingly.

And when you put that pill or food into your mouth, thank it.  Align your energy with the purpose of your action.  If the medicine is meant to make you feel better, thank it.  Ask how else you can help create the better feeling.  Do you need to rest more, eat better, laugh a bit, enjoy your friends, drink water, or appreciate your amazing body?

So my little blue pill is now my friend.  As I continue to take it, I will give thanks for it.  I will collaborate WITH it for my wellness.  And when its job is complete I will continue my job to take care of myself so it doesn’t have to come back and remind me.  Re-MIND me.

Thanks little blue pill, you taught me a lot today!  Now, on to the little while pill. (Could be a long morning!)

Tell me what you’ll be doing differently today, I’d love to hear!

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Who Am I?

Do you ever forget who you are.  I mean who you really are?  Who am I?  Really?

lily grad

A mom, with my daughter

Sure, I know I’m a mom, a daughter, a sister, a PR consultant, a spiritual life coach, an author, an intuitive, a Hoosier (born in Indiana), woman, speaker, healer, a sexual being, actress, communicator, friend, neighbor, etc.  But if I lose a title, for instance, let’s say my mother dies, which she did, am I still a daughter?  Yes. To me I am.  (I still talk to her ).

Daughter, with my mom

A Daughter, with My Mom

What if I quit my fast track career promoting world leaders, am I still a professional PR guru? Am I still a “success”?

Who am I without the title of mom or professional?  Who am I when I sell my home?  When I get divorced?  Who am I really?  What if I become disabled?  Who am I now?

There is a popular saying (which I do not agree with), if you don’t have your health you don’t have anything.  Well, there’s an identity!   I must be healthy or I don’t have anything!

For many years, in fact, I was very chronically ill, sometimes bedridden, sometimes without hair, without the ability to feed myself.  Was I still a woman, a mother, a professional?  Was I still sexy? (well, if you asked me then it would have been a definitive No).

I think part of the human condition is that we often forget who we really are.  We hold onto a label or two for a time, it changes as we change (jobs, partners, skills).  But who we really are, that remains the same.

I challenge you to list all of who you are.  And then take away a few things (i.e. a healthy person) and then who are you?  I learned at the height of my illness when I couldn’t work, (therefore losing the career identity) and the sexual identity (emaciated, no hair and lots of pan and scars)  but I was left with quite a few attributes and identities.  I was still a spiritual being, a kind and loving woman — albeit a mother who watched and listened versus “doing” mom stuff.  I suppose I might have been beautiful to someone, I did fit into a size zero which is all the rage for the models!  (Wasn’t loving the hair loss and feeding tubes!)

Who I was, at my core, did not change.  I certainly grew and expanded my understanding of myself.  But my true self, that is constant.

In those times when we “forget” who we really are, I challenge to ask friends and family to remind you.  You will be amazed at what you find out!  Just tell them your life coach (me) gave you an assignment.  Have them email it to you.  (My sister told me a negative attribute was that I was dramatic and a positive attribute was that I was dramatic.  Funny!)

And see who you think you really are.  What I do know is that there is NO ONE like you on the entire planet of nearly 7 billion people.  Not one.  Isn’t that amazing?

So, who are you?  You know.  And I’m here if you need help remembering.



As always I am available for private coaching sessions,  It is my pleasure to help you remember who you really are and live the life your soul desires.


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Shifting Focus the Fun Way

Can this spiritual evolution be a little easier?  More Fun?  Less work?  So that life is easier, more fun, less work?  Yes, yes it can!!

Something I re-learned lately, and we all KNOW this, we just forget to do it…what you focus on grows.  (Law of attraction and all that.  UGH  I know, you may be saying, yes I tried this, but it hasn’t worked … yet).

Let me tell you how I did this shift from feeling bad to feeling better, recently.  I watched youtube spiritual videos.  I listened to relaxing subliminal meditation tapes as I fell asleep for a week straight (and still am).  I really worked my mind muscles by listening to and engaging with things that uplifted me, inspired me, relaxed me.  The spiritual videos gave me some tools I loved, but also I just felt better.  The funny Facebook posts kept me laughing, or being grateful for kindness.  The books I read made me feel lighter.  All good stuff.

I started noticing I was feeling better.  I was more hopeful.  Opportunities started showing up (without me DOING anything specifically to “make” them happen).  I was vibing in the positive, I was open and sure I  “did” stuff, but not “in order to make something happen” but because it felt good.  Phew, so much easier.smiley barb

I think most of us think, ok, I’ll change my focus.  And we thing one thought of positivity, or two, or 5 minutes worth.  Then, we check in and see that nothing changed.  ARG! And we think, “Well, that didn’t work!” It may take a little more than the one thought or five minutes to retrain the monkey mind.  (No judgment or beating up yourself, it’s just habit).  Think how many times you have thought the negative or “lack” thought.  Give yourself a good dose of positivity, laughter, joy.  Practice, have fun with it.  Don’t make it another “to-do”.  When you’re ready and want to, give it a try…a good long try.

This doesn’t mean your problems disappear.  It means your vibration can raise so you can shift perception on the “problem.”  New ideas may come to you.  You may simply feel more hopeful.  You may just feel like, this will work out, I’m going to be okay.  And you are. Going to be okay.  In fact, you already ARE okay.  But when we focus on that situation we don’t like, we feel like, well… crap.  And it feels like it’s not going to get better.

So change tactics.  Focus on what feels good (nothing related to the “problem”).  Let’s say you are worried about money.  It often won’t work that if you imagine being wealthy, you can’t shift your focus on money because your brain just says, this isn’t true. Trying to increase your positive feeling about money doesn’t work when your predominate feeling about money is not great.

But if you focus on what you love, and all your blessings, you begin to feel better and this feeling can change your idea about your prosperity.  You see all the riches in your life, all the blessings…and then “out of the blue” a financial opportunity pops up!  And remember, the world is conspiring FOR you….all the time, in every way!

So in this moment, I am grateful for my bed (I love naps).  I love my house with a water view and trees.  I see my daughter’s face and I feel warmth and joy.  I watch a video and listen to positive spiritual teachers, I watch funny facebook videos, I pick a great movie, I call a dear friend, I read a great book.  I think about how my clients feel during and after a session with me.  And that thing I was worried about doesn’t pop up as much.  In fact, some great feeling solutions show up along the way.  Who knew?

So, don’t give up.  Be okay where you are and surround yourself with positivity.  Sure, there are times to go into the emotional baggage department and let go of stuff, but there are also times to just jump on the happy plane and take off. Your baggage will still be there, but probably feel lighter when you land in your destination of joy.  Maybe someone will take all your junk and leave the good stuff!

Much love to you!  As always, I am available for private sessions to help you create the life you want, to remove the blocks and find that joy and love and happiness you want (and have).  Let’s have some fun together.

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