Creativity, Kids, and COVID-19

20190407_135153The other day I was walking my dog, Ellie, in the park. A father and daughter were walking behind us. We were keeping our social distance and so they were back several feet. I could hear her chattering away about COVID-19. She sounded about 10 years old and so matter of fact. I thought to myself, “WOW will this will be part of our normal vocabulary going forward? Will wearing masks and keeping our distance become a part of our regular behavior? Does this give kids one more thing to worry about like drills for what to do when there is a shooter in the school? Or why we have long security lines and guard dogs at the airports?”

I work with people every day who often grew up feeling anxious about one thing or another, sometimes it has become debilitating other times it shows up as a limiting belief blocking them from achieving a goal they are working on. While sometimes people have truly tragic things happen to them as children, it is a normal reaction for all children to feel uneasy about what is going on in the world or pick up on their parent’s concerns and worries. Now more than ever it is good to talk to our kids about their feelings and give them loving ways to work through them.

I created this simple Coloring Book to help you talk to your children about feelings. It would be a great activity to use while home schooling. Allow your children to pick the color they want to use. Allow them to be creative and think outside the lines if they want to. In the book I refrain from using the word bad to talk about emotions because I think it is important for children to recognize all emotions are helpful. Some just aren’t as fun to experience as others. But they are all valid.

20200508_074446 (1)Creativity is another way to work through emotions and is good for kids and adults. In fact, I have paper always ready in my office for me to color on. Here is my latest crazy masterpiece. My son came in the other day and noticed it. He asked if my 2-year-old granddaughter had been there. I told him nope just “little Kim” needed to come out and play for a bit. Coloring is a great way to have a gentle conversation about the pandemic with your children and explore if your children are experiencing emotions, they aren’t quite sure how to handle or process.

There are many cool books and fun games out now that help kids think about emotions and how to manage them. I have listed some of my favorites below.

I would be amiss if I didn’t mention the power of EFT or tapping. Use the following simplified version of the personal peace process to help you and your children end their day. As you are tucking your children in ask them, “what did you like or not like about today?”, “what felt good or not so good about today?”, as they relay the events of the day gently tap on the tapping points or rub the points. This helps them get rid of all the garbage they may have absorbed throughout the day rather than it being reinforced in their minds. It dumps out the trash so to speak and can even help them rest and get better sleep. As your children are talking, remember it doesn’t matter whether the child’s interpretation is reasonable, what matters to a child’s psyche is the effect the event had on them and the emotions they were feeling. You can ask probing questions to help them work through things or even provide some re-framing to help them look at things from a different perspective. If for example they are talking about a scary monster they saw on TV, while tapping you can say “Monsters on TV aren’t real”. When you are tapping it is more likely your child will absorb the message than if you are just talking about it.

I hope you enjoy the coloring book. If you have questions or suggestions, I would love to hear them.

   Download  The Color of Feelings – Coloring Book

Much Love,


Emotion Commotion Game74698875_112950353474345_6283616005352587264_o

 Tapping Book by Alex Ortner

Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?: Four Questions to Make You Smile Again

Byron Katie’s 4 questions for kids

Perhaps My Biggest Admission Yet

pic of books

I woke up today knowing I have a lot of homework to get done but also knowing it is Sunday. When I said my prayers last night I asked for help in being able to manage my time and focus. I asked for help so I could get my homework done and spend some time investing in my spiritual growth and growing closer to Thee. This morning, staring at my school assignment, the thought came. I should listen to my favorite spiritual YouTube while doing my homework. As they talked about Christ, like a lightning bolt, I was told it is time to share one of my biggest fears. Yes, I believe in personal revelation and acting on promptings. So here it goes!

As I have started my coaching and healing business one of the things I have really struggled with is sharing my personal spiritual beliefs. Not because I am afraid of personal judgement but because I love people so much that sometimes when I think about it I feel like my heart is going to burst! I believe this is my true calling and I have been prompted to do this all my life. Now, FINALLY, I am strong enough to act on those promptings. 

I desperately want to help people grow, heal, thrive, and become who they are meant to be. My fear is that if I share my personal beliefs some people will shut down and decide “Oh she can’t help me, her beliefs will cause her to judge me and I won’t feel safe sharing with her”. The last thing I want is for my beliefs to limit who I work with. Because I know it doesn’t matter. I have worked with people addicted to drugs, addicted to sex, sexually abused, emotionally abused, physically abused, anxious to start their own business, trying to achieve personal goals, going through a divorce, angry at their mother, struggling with eating disorders, stress, and anxiety, all religious beliefs from agnostic, to atheist, to Jewish, to Christian. Those who believe in Mother Earth, a higher power, some kind of Deity, Christ and on and on. I want people to know my heart. 

My heart is that I want to see people happy, feeling peace and joy, thriving, growing, and becoming a better version of themselves. I am here to support you in that journey and wherever you may be in the process. The most important belief I have and use in my coaching is I believe I am a facilitator helping you to listen, hear and act on what you already instinctively know. I allow a safe place for you to express your fears, experiences and conflicts, help you process through them and move to a place of knowing better and feeling motivated to take action on what is best for you. Second I work with you to stay inspired and motivated to move forward in achieving the things in your heart and what you desire. I have a strong testimony of accountability and the importance of agency and owning the choices we make. Yes that is a religious belief but it is also one of Jack Canfield’s success principles. E + R = O  or  EVENTS + RESPONSE = OUTCOME. It is also a belief of high achievers regardless of their religious affiliation. The only item in this formula we have control over is our RESPONSE. It is what we have 100% responsibility for. 

The fact that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is what keeps me grounded in helping others to achieve their goals. My belief in the importance of spirituality is what supports me to grow and work on myself as well as supporting and working with others to achieve success however that is defined by them. So I am going to stop worrying about whether communicating my religious beliefs will limit who chooses to work with me. I will start trusting that as I honor my authentic self and have faith, those who need my help will be led to me.

Now, back to my homework!

Much Love,


Conquer Trauma – We All Have Some!

Trauma Cover I Know this isn’t a fun subject but it is really important to understand, especially right now. First, we all have trauma in our lives. The important question is how do we work through trauma and have we processed it in such a way that it isn’t burdening us in our adult lives. The good news is you can overcome unprocessed trauma(s). It isn’t always easy but there are gentle ways to work through hard stuff and keep you feeling safe. This video is a quick intro about key elements, how we process trauma, and how we cope.


I hope you found this helpful and maybe even a little entertaining!

Love Always,


It Is Time to Take Our Power Back!

During this challenging time, I have worked with so many clients who have been triggered into a feeling of powerlessness. I am concerned that it is causing them to lose motivation and even more alarming lose hope. Here are some ways you can take back your power and start working toward the new normal we all have to get used to. It is time to feel empowered and hopeful.

Taking action in small ways builds self confidence and begins to build your “I can” muscle. Jack Canfield taught me this important principle and tool. Start by identifying small ways to tackle some of the messes or in-completes in your life. Brainstorm about things you are tolerating. It can be about health, finance, personal, or professional. It could be clean out your garage, fix a broken cupboard, put that stack of pictures in an album, fix a sprinkler, clean out your email box, or maybe it is dealing with a technology issue. Think about a relationship or maybe something physical. Walk through your home and make a list of things that irritate you. Do you have a junk drawer or a refrigerator that needs to be cleaned out? Write everything down in the “what is irritating me” column on the handout below.

Then fill out the next column by asking “how can I fix it?” This doesn’t mean you have to start fixing it. Just start writing what it would take to fix it. Maybe you thought of a relationship item you are tolerating. Fixing it might be apologizing or bringing up a difficult topic to discuss with someone. In the last column ask “is there someone who could help fix it?” Maybe this would require a trade with someone in your home or asking for assistance from a professional. Finally, put a date on each item of when you will complete it.


Having irritations takes away our mental capacity for focusing on our goals. It robs us of putting our attention and capability on the things we want to achieve in life. By allowing them to build up physically or in our subconscious it will eventually lead to overwhelm and a feeling of hopelessness. Now is the time for us to keep our eye on what is most important and what we truly want to create. Set a goal to take care of at least a few things on your irritations list each month, make a to do list based on your handout and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

We all need help sometimes. Why do you think Olympic and professional athletes have coaches? Having someone you trust to give you an objective and honest point of view while working to help you stay accountable for achieving your goals and dreams is critical to your success and growth. We all need help and support when we make the courageous decision to push ourselves into the discomfort of growth and creating a better version of ourselves. If you are stuck or so overwhelmed you don’t know where to start I would love to help you take that next step and ultimately achieve your goal.

Finally having balance is important and that means making time to play. Brainstorm a list of things you enjoy. Pick one thing on the list to do everyday. It can be as simple as dancing to a happy song or as complicated as planning and making a spot for a new garden. It is a great time to play! Commit to actively doing something you love everyday. Some of my favorites are: soaking in a bubble bath, meditating with a fragrant candle, coloring, making digital photo albums, writing, gardening, singing, crocheting, hiking, fishing, swinging, watching birds, playing with my dog Ellie, baking, art journaling, playing games, …. There are so many things we can do to bring us peace and joy.

Keeping a balance is essential. By doing these three things everyday,

  1. Take action toward cleaning up a mess or irritation
  2. Do something challenging to move you toward your goals
  3. Take time to play

You will begin to feel empowered and hopeful about your future. You have got this!

Love, Kim

EcoMeditation – Boosts Immunity, Reduces Stress and Anxiety

I will just start by saying I couldn’t think of a good picture for meditation. But pictures of my adorable puppy Ellie watching me create this blog makes me feel peace, joy, and blessed.

I have been wanting to blog about meditation for quite a while and during a time like this, meditation becomes even more important. This meditation uses EcoMeditation to help calm the body, slow the heart rate, and get in a deep relaxed state. This form of meditation was created by Dawson Church. The below recording is great to use for setting an intention for your day or for pondering to find answers for a pressing concern.

If you have tried to meditate before and just haven’t felt successful at it, EcoMeditation is for you. Dawson Church developed this form of meditation using 7 physical relaxation exercises that send signals of safety to the brain and body. It has been shown to reduce cortisol which helps build our immune system, and creates a significant amplitude of theta and delta, the brain waves characteristic of healing and creativity, and very low amplitudes of beta, the frequency of stress and anxiety.

Eco-Mediation to Set Your Intention

If you are interested in the script to record the meditation in your own voice please message me and I will send it to you. Enjoy!

Much Love,


Thank you 3M

Yesterday was my goodbye retirement lunch at 3M. The team gave me a bracelet and a dragonfly necklace. I was so touched! How fitting! Dragonflies are a symbol of transformation and change. As I move into full time coaching as a resiliency and transformation coach, I am a bit melancholy. I have so many memories of great leaders, not so great leaders, really good and even magical times, yet some extremely challenging and tough times. I have spent the last 35 years in information technology and software engineering. I truly love it!

Now it is time to take those lessons and apply them to the next chapter in my life. As passionate as I have been about innovation, improving healthcare, & using technology, I am more passionate about people, and bringing wellness to the world through alternative medicine, behavioral health, energy psychology, and integrated care. I am convinced we can only improve our physical health by focusing on our spiritual and emotional health.

My love for data, learning, science, business & process improvement served me well in my career at 3M Health Information Systems and now I plan to use that foundation while coaching and working toward my doctorate. I am finally listening to that nagging voice begging me to do more.

My heart is filled with gratitude as I look back on the last 20 years with 3M. I have met some brilliant and amazing people I am proud to call friends. I have also met some difficult and challenging people I now consider gifts in my growth and progression. Most, I consider family.

Through long work days, significant regulatory events, building and launching new products, using natural language processing (NLP) to auto suggest codes, managing teams all over the U. S., traveling so much, I once had to freeze breast milk and ship overnight to my six month old baby, it has been quite a ride. Through births, graduation’s and divorce, my 3M family was there supporting me in my growth and development as a leader but more importantly as a person. So how very fitting to be given a dragonfly. It not only symbolizes change and transformation but also adaptability, self realization and renewal.

Here’s to new beginnings, new ideas, and going after dreams. Here’s to moving from natural language processing to neural linguistic programming (NLP), moving from recognizing revenue to recognizing self worth, moving from left brained activity to leveraging creativity and intuition.

“Realizing your true potential in a way that also benefits other people, is the ultimate expression of the power of the dragonfly” -Author Unknown

Thank You 3M Family, you will be missed!

Positivity in 2019-Inspire in 2020

2019 had a rough start. While I had started to make many changes and things were starting to look up, I was still feeling the deep sorrow of so much loss. I received counsel after counsel and many blessings encouraging me to be patient, yet my soul was seeking to accelerate my healing and I was beginning to wonder if the sorrow would ever go away.

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of our heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” – Rumi

Finally the sorrow began to shake from my heart and while I was in Rome new leaves began to grow. Each happy memory gradually replaced my sorrow and once again I began to feel joy. As, Sam graduated from high school, I found out I am going to be a grandma again, I met amazing women and entrepreneurs, I built new  friendships, I started my coaching business, I was accepted into the doctoral program at ASU, and I reached my 20 year anniversary at 3M and announced my retirement, the new roots grew.

Of course, along with the highlights there are always a few low-lights. But, each happy event, new experience, new friendship, created a new memory for me to draw on as I moved forward. My coaches and therapist guided me to awareness. As I learned to observe my thoughts, the feelings they created and the actions I took, I learned to manage my thoughts more effectively. Eventually the joy came, growing deep roots, and the new leaves sprouted in the boughs of my heart. The counsel I received, changed from one of patience to one of faith and trust in the Lord. The more I let go of the timing for outcomes the greater my peace and joy grew.

Recently, I heard a story about a young boy who wanted to ride a carousel but was afraid to pick one of the horses that moved up and down. His grandma convinced him that it would be OK and she would hold onto him. So he agreed to sit on a horse that moved up and down. As the carousel took off and the horse gently started moving, Grandma stood by tightly holding on to the boy. About halfway through the ride the little boy turned to his grandma and said “I don’t feel safe, but I am”. I think that is what having faith and trust in the lord is all about. As we push ourselves to grow sometimes it doesn’t feel safe. Yet……….  I am.

My word for 2019 was “POSITIVITY”. It was positivity that moved me to a place of immense gratitude. These last few weeks of the year my heart has felt swollen and sometimes so large I thought it would burst. I have felt such deep gratitude for so many blessings and it has brought me tremendous peace and joy.

I am so excited for this year and the new challenges I will face. Never before has my course seemed so uncertain and I am sure there will be many times that I don’t feel safe. Yet this year is 2020. The year of clear vision. What I am clear about is, I am moving in the right direction, I am safe, and my heart is filled with unimaginable peace and joy. I plan to fully embrace this carousel ride, trusting in the Lord, knowing that he has my back, and far better things will continue to come. 

My word for 2020 is “INSPIRE”. Come with me on this journey. Let’s inspire each other to achieve our dreams and live a life full of passion and joy.

Love, Kim

2019 in Review

Finding joy during adversity through self esteem, self confidence and self efficacy.

As I look back on life and some of the painful things I endured, I have often wondered how it is possible that I could be as happy and thriving as I am now. Margaret Lynch, one of my mentors, helps explain this with three definitions of self.

1. Self-esteem which is the belief that one has value or self worth.

2. Self-confidence which is trust in one’s abilities, qualities, & judgement. Self confidence is broken into two parts: inner confidence and earned confidence.

3. Self-efficacy which is the belief that one has the ability to initiate and sustain a desired behavior.

My childhood experiences resulted in me having very low self worth. I compensated for my lack of self and inner confidence, with earned confidence. I spent many, many hours reading self help books, going to training, and earning degrees, as a desperate attempt to build my confidence. But the problem with lacking inner confidence is no matter how much you learn, earn, achieve, or try to be perfect, it does not increase. Sometimes those things can tone down the inner critic or self-doubt but it lies dormant and can be provoked when something big comes up. So while I had a good amount of earned confidence by doing things for others, earning degrees, and building my career, my inner confidence and self esteem remained low. Or said another way I didn’t feel worthwhile unless I was giving or doing for others.

I spent many years in that state. As I approached 50 I was struggling with the recognition my marriage was failing, I was reading and searching for answers. Everyone I talked to and everything I read, would say “you need to work on yourself first and then the relationship will work out”. Silly, silly me! I translated that to, “I need to do more and give more!” That isn’t what “work on yourself” means!! Let me say it again!! Working on yourself doesn’t mean doing more things or giving more of yourself. It does mean, digging deep and coming to learn and know your self worth to the depths of your very core. 

“When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

For me this required a lot of healing from past traumas and investing more in, not my temporal growth, but my spiritual growth. Building my relationship with God, reconnecting with the Holy Spirit, building faith, and learning to love myself was what I needed to restore and work on. So back to my original question. How am I able to thrive after going through so much pain? First, all that giving and doing served me well for many years. I was able to raise 3 remarkable children, develop an immense love for learning, and build a lucrative career. It gave me knowledge to draw from when I needed it most. It helped me find the tools and resources I needed when things felt like they were falling apart.

As I look back on those years, where things began to unravel, I recognize how my low self-esteem played a big part in the unraveling. While I had been working so hard to be happy, I was living in constant fear of doing the wrong thing or making someone unhappy with me. I conned myself into believing I had control of how others felt about me and I was constantly pandering for love and validation, while sacrificing my own physical and emotional needs. But there was still that constant inner voice nagging at me, saying” you are meant for more”, “you deserve better”. So the second thing that allows me to thrive is I learned to trust that inner voice. That voice pulled me toward energy Psychology and tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Energy psychology accelerated my healing, along with traditional therapy and spiritual development through prayer and scripture.  

Third is once you have a stronger base of self esteem and inner confidence then you are more equipped to apply what you learn to changing habits and developing new behaviors. Now, I am embracing these new opportunities and starting to reinvest in my physical and emotional well-being. Each success reinforces & strengthens my self-efficacy.

That is not to say I don’t have plenty of triggers or more healing to do. In fact as I push myself to grow and pioneer new ways of relating and connecting with the world, I probably have more times of discomfort. Yet I also feel so much more inner peace and true joy.  Now I have a deep enough foundation to take a step back,when something comes up, and say, “oh, there that is, a trigger, telling me I have something to work on, something to be curious about and learn from.” Now I recognize it as a gift, an opportunity to heal and grow. One of my mantras is “I will remember my pain and use it as a force for good in the world”. Seeing past hurts as gifts is so incredibly empowering. Once you heal, you don’t re-experience the pain, you simply remember it.

“A memory without the emotional charge is wisdom” – Dr. Joe Dispenza

There are many who play it safe and go through life in such a way that they never have to address those past traumas or build that inner confidence or true self-esteem. But I want you to know you were meant for more. Below is a link to one of my videos I created for an online summit. I am sharing it with you in hopes of helping you to find more ways to be TRIUMPHANT in achieving your life’s mission and start thinking about what you want to achieve in 2020. I am also offering up to three free EFT sessions through the month of December to help you reduce stress and remove roadblocks getting in the way of you achieving your dreams. It is as easy as scheduling a time using the link to schedule coaching services.

I am filled with gratitude at this time of thanksgiving and the first week of advent where the theme is hope. There was a time when I had lost all hope but I want you to know there is so much to feel hopeful about and it starts with you and your potential. I urge you to be courageous and reach for more, more joy, more peace, more happiness. Finding ways to live up to your full potential can be fun & so rewarding. Be courageous & invest in yourself so you can THRIVE and live your life wholly!! Watch Video

Much love,


Learning Self Care

18359195_10210932879575450_809572607464168043_oWhen I first started on this journey of growth and healing, people would say “you need to take care of yourself”. Honestly, I had little to no idea what that actually meant. At that time, my self care consisted of regular exercise, good nutrition, and getting my nails and hair done. The last two of these seemed indulgent and I would often feel guilty about spending time getting these done. These were all good things, but I was really hurting at this time and what little self confidence I had was destroyed. I was feeling very alone and needed to find ways to soothe and nurture myself. Gradually I started down the self care and nurturing road out of self preservation. First, I started doing things to take better care of my emotional well being like seeing a therapist, doing energy healing work, reconnecting with friends and family. These things saved my life and put me on a better path.

Next, I had to start taking better care of my physical well being. The top things I focused on were:

  1. Regular massages
  2. Taking vitamins
  3. Epsom Salt Baths
  4. More sleep
  5. Meditation

All of these things made a big difference and I really started to feel better physically. Yet this still wasn’t all I needed to really nurture and care for myself. So again I bumped it up a notch by doing two more critical things.

  1. I developed and committed to a daily and weekly routine. I use an acronym (SOW PEACE) to help ensure I my give self care the attention and focus I deserve.
  • S – Scripture study daily
  • O – Optimize my exercise at least 5 times a week
  • W – Write in my journal at least 3 time a week
  • P – Pray (every morning)
  • E – EFT (tapping) every day on limiting beliefs
  • A – Affirmations everyday (every morning)
  • C – Clear negative energy daily
  • E – Eco Meditate (every morning)

Each of these items, their benefit, and value, deserve a blog post on their own. I will write about each one in more detail in future posts. But, for this post it is enough to say, if I consistently focus on this acronym and maintain a morning and weekly routine, I feel happier and more peaceful.  Your list will be different but the key is, identify those things that help you thrive and then make sure you start your day, end your day, and consistently invest in yourself and your well being on a routine basis.

2. The second and final thing I have done is really learn to love my body. I have always hated my body; I’m too fat, too sore, my legs are too short, my arms are too big… I am guessing you may know the drill. I have started to really learn how to nurture myself and love myself. Recently, I even added True Love Skin Care products to my routine. True Love Skin Care products are made with all natural ingredients and were a great way to bump up my nurturing. I use the Mineral Soak for foot soaks, Mimi’s mud for a facial mask and detox, Glow for facials, Professional Grade for my extra rough skin, Feminine Balm for area I chafe, and Deep Rub for my aching legs and knees.  I love all of their products. So much so, I decided I had better start selling it as an independent true love skin care maven. If you are interested, you can find out more about these products by using this link:  True Love Skin Care or contacting me. For promotions and success stories go to promotion code.

True_Love_Maven_Logo_GreyA product that has the words “true love” in the name must be good for me! As I learned more about the founders and the products, I realized they are the epitome of True Love. Here is a link giving more information on the products’ ingredients.   True Love Skin Care Ingredients

As I rub the nourishing balm or deep rub in I use affirmations from Louise Hay’s Love Your Body. Some of my favorite affirmations are “I love my skin. My individuality is safe, the past is forgiven and forgotten. I am free and safe in this moment. My skin is youthful and smooth on every part of my body. I choose the thoughts that create joy and peace for myself. I love to caress my skin. My cells have eternal use. My skin is the mantle that protects and nurtures the temple I live in. I love and appreciate my beautiful skin and body.”

I hope each of you are able to truly give yourselves the care, love, and nurturing you deserve.

“To love yourself right now just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don’t wait until you die.  If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now.”       – Alan Cohen

Much Love,


Insights From Rome – Part 1 of 2

20190215_150423.jpgI went to Rome in February.  It was a major step for me, since it was the first time I had taken a vacation, for more than 10 days, in 15 years. It was also the very first time I would be taking a vacation alone. I loved every minute of this trip. It represented the passage to a new way of being for me and I discovered some empowering insights I want to share.

I’ve always wanted to see Rome and when they started to advertise tours to see the Rome temple open house for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it made the idea even more enticing. So, I booked it! It was several months in advance. I thought it would be a good way to celebrate my independence and welcome the next chapter of my life. Little did I know I would still be far from independent nor how long it would actually take me to get to a solid place in my healing journey.

Insight 1 – Deserving and Living in the Now

I struggled for weeks before the trip trying to rationalize whether I was deserving of the trip and feeling fearful something or someone would get in the way and I wouldn’t be able to go. The week before the trip the anxiety was so intense I was trying every tool in my emotional toolbox to reduce the worry and focus on all the last minute loose ends I needed to tie up at home and work.  Even when I finally boarded the plane I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease. It took me a couple of days before I was able to completely relax and fully enjoy my trip.

I have been existing in a state of hyper-vigilance most of my life. Constantly searching for warning signals from other people’s actions, behaviors, and emotions. I learned this as a child to keep me safe and try to prevent people from getting angry with me. This type of tuning in to everything and everyone around me, means I mostly function from a very anxious and stressful state.  Getting away from my normal surroundings and my work computer allowed me to sit back and truly enjoy the people and scenery in the moment. I also think being alone really helped with this because, it is too automatic for me to slip into a hyper-vigilant state and focus on people pleasing, when I am with friends or family. It was one of those rare times when I didn’t have to worry about sacrificing my own needs and desires to please others and could just relish every minute.  Times like these help me really connect to who I am, what I value, and what I love in life. Being in that state is when I fully recognized I deserved to be on this trip and have this experience.

Insight 2 – Pondering my Faith

The first few days were spent on land in Italy. It was a whirlwind tour of Carrara, Pisa, Florence, Vatican City, and the Rome Temple. Seeing the stark contrast of the elegant simplicity in the Rome temple and the grand magnificence of St. Peter’s Basilica on back to back days was a profound illustration of the differences in religions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s Temple and visitor’s center, focused on Christ’s ministry and resurrection. The Basilica is steeped in great works of ancient history, honoring popes, saints, and Christ’s crucifixion. Both were so awesome and inspiring to see first hand. 




As I compared these two amazing Faiths and looked at them from this surface level view it caused me to ponder what felt right for me. I felt a huge amount of peace and gratitude for the temple, the teachings of Christ, the gift of repentance, the tremendous sacrifice He made for us, and knowing Christ’s resurrection is a pillar of my Faith.

Insight 3 – The Importance of Recovery and Recreation

On the fourth day of the trip we boarded the cruise and set off to explore the Mediterranean. We had crammed a lot in to those first few days and I was tired. It was the first time I had ever been on a cruise and I wanted to explore the boat. We sailed all night and docked in Savona, Italy. While I wanted to go on an excursion, I was tired from all the walking the three days before. I decided it was time for a little self care, relaxation, and recovery. I scheduled a massage, explored the ship, and enjoyed the spa’s hot tub and sauna. 




The recovery time allowed me to be well rested for the rest of the cruise. I had renewed enthusiasm for new experiences and fun. It is easy to put self care and recovery time aside thinking if we just keep pushing and working we will experience more or become even better at  whatever it is we are working toward. But it doesn’t work that way. This goes back to one of the principles taught by Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits. Taking time out to sharpen the saw (invest in self) allows us to be more productive and accomplish our goals faster.

It reminded me of earlier in the year when I was traveling for work, spending 12-16 hour days at the office, managing the emotional strain of separating from my husband, and training for a triathlon. I was pushing myself hard and just kept training, thinking the exercise was good for me and would give me more energy and make me healthier. By the time I got to the triathlon I was extremely anxious, not because I hadn’t trained hard but because I was feeling exhausted and depleted. It ended up being the slowest triathlon I ever competed in. Ultimately, a month later, I ended up having to take a leave from work because I was so depleted, I could barely function. It was a huge lesson for me. While in Rome, I was glad I knew better than to push myself. I recognized the necessity of taking time for recovery so I could really enjoy the rest of the trip.


Insight 4 – New Friends and Fun

The tour was mostly married couples. There were a few who had come with a friend or a sibling. I was the only one traveling alone. This did come with benefits. I got to pile all my junk in the seat next to me. 🙂 I was able to sit and visit with the tourist guides on a few occasions and loved getting to hear about their lives in Rome and get to know them better. It also caused me to reach out and get to know the others on the trip.  I am quite introverted so it was good for me and I made some great friends!







Taking this trip was pivotal to my process of healing and growth. I have filled my memory bank with amazing moments, happy times, and good people. As I continue on my journey of learning to feel safe, being authentic and exhibiting confidence, I will draw on many memorable moments in Rome and along the Mediterranean. They will be there to replenish me during the rough spots and fortify my grateful heart as I celebrate good times and look forward to many more to come.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”  – Gordon B. Hinckley

Looking forward to sharing more insights in Part 2.

Much Love,