Using Creativity to Connect

Using Creativity to Connect

Using Creativity to Connect

Exploring what we may not have considered…

How connected do you feel this year….right now?  If like me, limiting contact is the norm along with a whole slew of “things” none of us have done for 10 months.  Strongly connected is probably not one of your personal descriptors.

And even if we thought we may have lacked connection with others back in the spring, I think we could all agree that that was 1000% more connected than we are now.  We just didn’t know any better.

So that’s right?!?! We have no option but to wait. 
Check…and MATE!

We casually connected, with whom we wanted and when, almost at a whim at times.  But now the rules have changed.  People and activities, the one we identify with, are no longer available.  Frankly they are not right here with us.  And the activities are not quite the same either by structure or by who is there.

Strangely, many who have relocated and those who have never moved out of the area are in the same boat.  All of us one way or the other disconnected from many we know.

“Feeling connected” is challenging to say the least.  So that’s right?!?! We have no option but to wait.  Check…and MATE!

Or is it?

My busy has sifted away…
leaving me with what is important, important to me.

Over the past few weeks and really months, My busy has sifted away
leaving me with what is important.  And what is important to me I have neglected off and on over my life, those I love and cherish.  This is a bonus to this isolation.

With this revelation I realized I had both time and focus to correct that neglect.  So, I am currently working to find creative ways to connect with them.  Perhaps these will work for you too!

More than Zooming

Zooming seems to be the current norm.  We use it for work, for school and even church.  I have been networking with it and attending training classes.  Over the last year, most of us have learned to use it and even depend on it.  My folks manage it every week.

…yes a bunch of 70 and 80 year olds meeting at a bar…

Zooming allows them to see their friends.  They then take it to the next level.  Their happy hour group, on COVID lockdown, teed up trivia night.  They play trivia now on Thursday nights.  Rather than random conversations at a bar, yes a bunch of 70 and 80 year olds meeting at a bar, they are having game night. Through this focused activity they are learning more about each other.  The game gets the whole group talking about one thing and that drives the connection. 

My parent’s experience has led our three families to regularly play dice or Rummycube over zoom.

Shared experiences, deepen connection

Getting Creative

Going forward we are organizing more zooming activities beyond games.  The ides is to all do the same thing at the same time like art projects, who done it mysteries and maybe language learning.

Some of the ones I found are:

  • Origami Money Rings – Instruction from Pinterest
  • Tissue Paper Flowers – Instruction from Pinterest and supplies from me
    (My sister and I used to get a new one at Six Flags every summer. They are HUGE)
  • Paint and Sip – with Outside the Box Creation
  • Hunt a Killer – Mystery Subscription Box
  • Learn Spanish – or other languages with, interactive language learning for the whole family.

When we share an experience no matter in person or virtually, we connect.  When we are actively doing they same thing ~ creating or learning ~ we connect even deeper.

Shared experienced deepen connection.

Going Old School

Back in the olden days, people used to use a pen and paper to communicate with each other.  Yes, I know that is a foreign concept to many, but it is making a resurgence.

The extra time and effort then conveys
care and even love to those who receive them…

According to the New York Times, “the greeting card industry, which has slumped for decades, [is experiencing] a significant turnaround. This, I am sure, is due to our collective feeling of disconnection, which is amplified this year. 

Sending a handwritten note these days is significant, because few of us send or receive real handwritten notes.  The extra time and care then conveys care and even love to those who receive them, especially to our seniors.

Handwriting a note or sending a card takes time and effort. And in my case figuring out where the stamps are.  This is why going old school means so much to those who receive them.

So beyond the holiday cards this year, consider a weekly or at least monthly note to someone you love or would like to reconnect with.  That time and effort will not be lost on the one receiving it, because they probably cannot remember sending one out themselves.

Setting up Correspondence

I love receiving anything with my mother’s handwriting on it.

To really have an impact consider sending, a note card with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope.  Request a return note at their convenience.  This will create an intimate experience for both of you that will increase connection.

I love receiving anything with my mother’s handwriting on it.  The stories and the writing itself, her writing will be with me all my years.

Though there are many links here, I receive NO affiliate money or commissions from these.  These sites are what I have found to entertain and inspire me as I seek to connect better with those I love.

Get Creative and Get Connecting!

These ideas may or may not be your cup of tea, but hopefully these ideas help you explore all the options and even create your own ideas to connect to your most treasured people.

Have a wonderful week!

Want to learn more about creating home?
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.


What are my options…NOW?

what are my

What are my options…NOW?

With so much of life suspended or gone…what is left to do?

It’s been a L-O-N-G year.  Yes I know I am preaching to the choir, as they say.

So many things are no longer available to us.  Businesses have shut down.  Schools are virtual.  And those employee clambering to work at home every Thursday, are now home all the time.

With all of the things I can’t do, I am constantly looking on the internet, social media and asking those I know for ideas or even permission to do something…anything.

I peeled myself from the conversation and slowly dragged my feet, and me, out the door and into the backyard, convinced that it would be more of the same.

It reminds me of when I was a little girl in the summer. I would bound up to my mom, and lethargically declare, “I…am…so…bored.”  Almost melting to the floor at the same time to demonstrate my level of boredom.  I just knew she would solve my problem.  Instead, she would send me outside to play.  “Find something to do outside.  There’s lots of fun out there.  Just try.”

I peeled myself from the conversation and slowly dragged my feet, and me, out the door and into the backyard, convinced that it would be more of the same.  Once there with the change of scenery, some sunshine and my mother’s assurances that I could solve my “boredom”, I typically found something to entertain myself.

At this point, you may be thinking this is another one of those “Just Think Happy Thoughts” article.  I assure you it is not.

Like every subject I tackle, you will find something practical to use today.

The Options are Close By

How close by?  I assure you, you live with this person.  It is YOU!

Before you groan and put down this article stick with me, because this one is actionable and you will feel so much better.  Perhaps even gain control.

These options have to do with the roles you play in your life.  Some of these role we inherited by being born.  Other role we chose along the way to get married or in accepting a job.

The ones I want you to explore in this context, are those roles that are most important to you.  Those interdependent roles that mutually support who you those on the other side.

  • Daughter/son
  • Mother/Father
  • Sister/Brother
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Niece/Nephew
  • Friends
  • Co-conspirator
  • Employee
  • Supervisor/Team Lead
  • Mentor
  • Evangelist/Encourager

Which ones do you treasure most?  Which ones are of most value?

If like in my family, you have rarely seen those outside your four walls in the last 10 months, you have potential opportunity here.  With everyone struggling, each and everyone of us wants to feel needed, wanted and included.

And really, no matter the state of any valuable relationship, they can all use a bit of care and feeding.

Because of proximity, I have a family member that is both isolated and literally alone…except for the cat.  Life is full of delivery groceries and TV.  Not a whole lot life.  We love each other but have never been regularly close. 

What can I do?  I can reach out.  Phone calls and notes.  Calls and notes will demonstrate care,  interest and love.

Busy stripped away

Now that we are no longer busy with all of the pre-COVID life stripped away, consider which of your roles may have been neglected or just not cultivated over the past few years?

And really, no matter the state of any valuable relationship, they can all use a bit of care and feeding. 

Moving a little closer to…You!

With so much gone even temporarily, the current state of life is a little disconcerting.  I used a drive across town to ignore what was going on inside of me.  I have even been known to use cleaning the kitchen as a distraction to being mad (one of my least favorite tasks).

However, I find that ignoring what is bothering me harder to ignore.

What would you like to change?
Who would you like to be on the other side of all of this?

With all of the busyness removed from our lives, the spotlight on the sore spots of life is harder to ignore. We can see them, front and center. 

  • Procrastination
  • Perfectionism
  • Neat freak
  • People pleasing
  • Or “I’m just always late”
    (like we are born this way)

The attributes we may call quirks or innate traits are in the light.  So now what?

Would you like to change them?  Did you know they could change?

If you did change these quirks…who would you  be on the other side of all of this?

Showing up just for ME

Change like this is all about showing up for yourself.  Showing up for yourself in by way of conscious decisions  as to what you will do and how.  And best of all creating a plan that you want to walk.

“Girl, YOU set me up!  Thanks!!!” ~ Brooke Castillo

The practice of meal planning and getting everything in the house when dieting means that the decisions are made.  Following through is made easier because everything needed is already in the kitchen/pantry.  The only thing then that we need to do is follow the plan.

What this program does not address for me was how to set myself up for success.  Sometimes, I would look at those meals in the evening and think,

“Seriously, this is it?!?!?” 

The problem here is that the disappointment of a meal was more than hunger. The plan that was was created was a miss on multiple levels and therefore cannot be sustained.

One of the things that helps us make lasting changes is that we create a plan that takes care of us every step of the way.  Not just the beginning and reaching say a weight goal, but every step of the way.  Think about it.  If you need to do hard things, you need to talk care of yourself every step of the way to stick to it. 

Planning meals that you like and perhaps stepping it down a little slower may be good ways to create a plan that takes care of you and has you saying…

“Girl, YOU set me up!  Thanks!!!” ~ Brooke Castillo

Set up for success

Do you know what happens when you begin to believe success is possible? That is when the options begin to appear.

One of the biggest obstacles to change, is our minds.  Like Henry Ford said,

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t,
you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford

Once we crack open the door to the “possibility of another way”, we begin to see options we did not see before. We begin to create options. 

It’s crazy.  Intellectually, we understand that these options might have always been there.  But now with the door cracked open, we can make a difference in our life, in our relationships and even see how we set traps for ourselves.

  • A predictable phone call every week to grandpa makes a huge impact.
  • I felt uncomfortable in that meeting, so I always made myself late.
  • I love that meal and it fits in my protocol. I will plan it once a week.

Not without options

The pandemic has beat us down and has many of us thinking that we do not have many options.  We even move that narrow thinking into other areas of life.

  I don’t have the option of going to the gym, of course I’ve gained 20 pounds during the pandemic.  As if we can sweat to the oldies at home, use resistance bands, plank or go for a run.

We have options, perhaps not the ones we had before, but we still have options. 

When we believe we may have them, we begin to see them.  We begin to create them.

Looking for a sense of home? 
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.


Intentional Transformation

Intentional Transformation

Intentional Transformation

Moving from wondering…”How did I get here?” to “This is where I am going and who I will be”

One of the biggest transformation for me took place when I transferred from Southwest Texas State University to College of St. Thomas(MN) in 1986.  At my first university it was all about exploring the world, especially the world of college life.  I found friends for fun and kind of went to school.  I was paying for it myself from the 2 or 3 jobs I had worked each summer.  I felt independent and free to do as I wished.  Then my dad got transferred to  Minnesota.

When they offered to pay for a college of high caliber in Minnesota, I took them up on that.  I was tired of the fun and was ready to get to work anyway.  And that I what I found at this new college.  One Thursday I asked my roommate where everyone was going she said “To the library”?  Perplexed I asked why and she told me rather flatly, “To study”.  For real?  To study?  I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.

“I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself.”

But like at the first college, I fell inline with the acceptable activities of this community.  I must say that academically, this was a superior choice for me. My willingness to do as the locals did was strong and it served me.

And this is how I lived most of my life, via my roles.  First I was a daughter and a sister.  Then I was a dancer, student, flutist, high school senior and then college student.  Each of my role determined the transformation that took place in my life.  Each role dictated how I would act, what I would do and the life that I would live.

On some level I did choose my life…but I abdicated much of how that life was lived to others in the community or the community itself. 

It was kind of a “Oh that look like a good choice” or “I want to be part of that community” choice as opposed to choosing who I am becoming through it.

In my conversation with Rob Fenlon on Thursday’s Podcast, we talk about how most of us go into relocation wondering what this will be, rather than directing how we would like this to go.

Knowing that the transformation is coming is the first step.  Directing what the transformation is and includes in the second step.

“I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.”

Intentional transformation is the process of executing a planned personal change or evolvement.  It takes us from being dragged along on a raft by the current, to building a boat and sailing it in the direction we wish to go.

As a mom I have experience crafting intentional transformation for my son and perhaps by husband when he lets me, but until the last few years I have not created and intentional transformation for myself.  There have been the exercise kicks and pursuing a degree or certification.  However, taking time to craft a vision for myself and putting together a plan to get there never happened.

I blame it on the K through 12 years, but that was just a distraction to deciding to live a life I want to live.

More than the where and do

Usually, when we talk about who we are, we talk in terms of roles.  I am a mom.  I am an HR Director.  I mentor high schoolers.

We identify ourselves with where we are from.  I am a Texan. I am British.

When we talk about transformation, we talk about gaining knowledge or experience: certifications, group membership, reading the latest Economist or parenting book.

These attribute though are only a subsection of a whole.  They are rather static and are all singularly focused.  They may cause indirect transformation, but they are typically not part of a whole personal transformation. 

Who I am today vs. Who I want to be tomorrow.

Intentional Transformation is about our “Who”

 Consistently in ReloWomen, you will find that I reference your “who”.  This is not where you live or what you do, though that can influence your who.  Your who is the wholeness of you where you make the decision for all of life.

“Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.”

This “Who” is the driving and directing part of us that embodies what we believe, what we value and what we want to accomplish in our lives.  You might see it in want statements.

  • I want to be a great mom.
  • I want to create a company to support my family and families in the community.
  • I want to help everyone understand how important this is
  • I want to be a good steward of what I have.

When we strive to do anything bigger than what we are doing now we have to tap into our “who”.  Because it is in growing our self image, our knowledge and our experience that we can go into our community, big or small and create the impact we have on our hearts to create.

So to do any of these things above we need to define and expand who we will need to be to accomplish this.  Perhaps we need to be brave or flexible or skilled or observant.

Evolving our current “who” allows us to realize our potential and become more of who we already are.

How to Intentionally Transform

 Intentional transformation begins with the idea that it is possible to direct the transformation that is taking place on a daily basis.  We all have experience choosing transformation, like when we went to college or chose to marry or take a new job. 

Seeing transformation as daily rather than big life changes puts the power in our hands to direct our transformation.  With this we still see the external people and cultures that have led us to transform in the past, but we see it in an active way not with passive acceptance.

Be careful not to judge any past “going along” as bad.  It is not bad.  Those passive choices were just not chosen with personal intention.

When we chose to intentionally transform in the moment and over months or years, we are continually evaluating this incoming information against who we know ourselves to be, what we want to accomplish in our lives/world, and ultimately who we want to be.


Start with who you are now.  That gives you a solid place to step off from.  If you haven’t defined it recently, check out the first part of my 3 Step Relocation Guide.  It is all about knowing and defining your current “Who”.


Intentional transformation is about knowing on some level, about the destination.  Many times during our lives we talk about not knowing what we want to be when we grow up.

 The Future in terms of intentional transformation is the act of choosing one.  Choosing something you want and who you must be to accomplish that.  A great speaker, a lover of learning, someone who keeps their word, someone who shows up for themselves just because they decided to do it.

This idea of our future selves is what provides the guidance to know if the path we choose is the right path.


“If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there.”
~ a paraphrase of the exchange between the Cheshire Cat and Alice,
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

All of us are on a journey.  How do I know?  Because I am here, as I am, in this place and with these people doing these things.  I got here because of my journey.

At this age I know that much of the past journey was dictated by others.  But now that I know, the current journey is more often one of personal choice. 

So which path do you choose?  It depends on the future self you are going after and this will dictate the path or journey.  No journey is a straight line or without potholes, but the active choosing of a path and a journey does mean you will get there more quickly than no choice at all.

It begins with where you are, then choosing a future and finally choosing the path or paths on the journey between the two.

Passive transformation becomes
Intentional Transformation
when chose a fuller destination. 

Every Relocation

 Passive Transformation takes place in every relocation.  It is the relocation decision puts passive transformation in motion. 

Passive transformation becomes Intentional Transformation when chose a fuller destination.  When we choose, and put into the plan every piece of our lives beyond simply a community, schools and a job…THIS is when we step into our power to direct our lives. 

This is when we create intentional transformation.

    • So, who do you want to become and be?
    • Who do you want your children to become and be?
    • Who will the family become and be?

Knowing we can use this relocation, this clean slate of life to intentionally transform, means that we utilize our innate power and truly live a life we want to live…no matter where we land.

On Thursday, we will continue the Intentional Transformation discussion with Rob Fenlon, the CEO of Global Educational Consulting Services ,on the ReloWomen Podcast, available on Spotify, Apple and your favorite podcast players.

Missing a sense of home? 
I can help.

Download  “a Sense of Home” guide

The journey is easy.  Begin here.


Holidays…All or nothing?

Holidays...All or Nothing

Holidays.  All or nothing… in 2020

The 2020 American Holiday season.  We were briefly introduced to the holiday changes on Halloween. 

There was so much talk about whether or not we should let the kids trick or treat.  Was it a risk for them?  For us as parents?  Would every house have a candy shoot…would the be required to.

It was a flash test for what was coming.  For those of us beyond the trick or  treating years, this was a mere blip.  It didn’t really affect us.  Our only concern was, do we turn on the lights this year or not.

Halloween was flash test for what was coming.

But now, here we are at the beginning of the BIG Holidays, beginning on Thursday with Thanksgiving, continuing through Christmas and then New years. 

What will this look like? What can it look like?

The news is full of warnings.  I just heard that for a Cowboys home game only 25,000 fans were in attendance and it became a super spreader event.  I believe the roof was open and groups were placed far from the others.  Less than 25% of capacity and still a spread.  So now what?  What is responsible?  ….And do we just cash in the 2020 holiday season all together?

Do we CANCEL the holidays????

It is what the news media and the CDC seem to be selling.

On my calendar Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and all of the other holidays are still on my calendar between now and January tenth, two thousand and twenty.

Whether we choose to acknowledge them or not, these holidays still exist.  These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

These holidays from Thanksgiving to after New Years are part of our past. And IF WE CHOOSE… they are part of our present and our future.

Both groups act like we only have two options, all or nothing.

However, there are many ways to celebrate a holiday.  We may not immediately see it. Most of us have been celebrating the same way for years. 

When we look around though, to our friends and neighbors, it is then we see that everyone does not celebrate the same way. 

All or Nothing…

The reason cancelling the holiday creates such drama, is that it assumes that holidays are an all or nothing ordeal.  We either, …celebrate the way we have, with all of “these people”, at “this place” and in “this way”, OR we cannot celebrate.  Black and white. 

This is a well meaning trap.

Having not experienced or considered alternatives, we may think there IS only one way.  This is well meaning trap.  A preferred way of thinking our brains prefer to  keep us safe from the unknown.

Our brains like it.  When life is steady and predictable, our brains are happy.  They do not have to work so hard.  See “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

This practiced predictable way of working though, does not serve us in a time or a year like pandemic 2020.

This black and white thinking only leads us to fighting what is.  There is no changing it, the facts are the facts.  We may choose to argue, fight or even try to avoid it, but we will lose the argument with the circumstances…100% of the time.

Option Zed

What IF there is another options…on that does not try to change the circumstances. What can we do what options are there if we accept the pandemic and the limitiations it dictates?

We change the only thing we can control. We change is ourselves.  I am sure you have heard the saying, all we can control is our response to it.

I learned the secret.

This was a curiosity and an impossibility to me for so many years, until I learned the secret.  Until I learn, I could control what I thought was uncontrollable.  No the circumstance by how I saw the circumstances.

In the past I would work to change the circumstances…what was going on or try to change the people.  This rarely if…well  it never worked. So, after a while, I gave up trying. 

There it was again, that word ~ belief

What I did not know was that there was an option Zed and all those along the way.  The way people control their responses to their circumstances was that they were able to do it because of options Zed.  They believed they had another option, even multiple options and they were willing to pursue all of them.

There it is again, that word belief.

Belief and pursuit

Belief is what keeps us pursuing the celebration of the holiday with and around our family and friends even at a distance in a yard or through a screen.  Belief that we can have a holiday celebration drives us. We take hold of a belief in option Zed.

…driven by a feeling of being “figureoutable”.

With this in mind the Celebration can and will happen…just as it has for hundreds of years.  It may appear different but it will occur and can occur with joy and connection just as it appears on the calendar.

This belief in option Zed moves us into a place of curiosity.  The active pursuit is driven by a feeling of being “figureaoutable”.  Yes a made up word but still relevant, and understandable.

If you are feeling this holiday season is figureoutable, what then?  What are the options and the possibilities ~ you can now see.   

The battle of what we want, is generally hindered by our own minds, by what we believe.  When we believe we can figure it out, and we tap into the energy to pursue it…we no longer cling to what and how it was, we create what can be.

Seek and be Inspired!!

Open up your mind and see what others have done already to overcome the challenges of pandemic 2020 and be inspired. Look how these people have overcome.

People all over the world are getting creative, solving their own challenges, choosing to live in the midst of this and coming together to support their community.  People help people, ourselves and others. 

It is in coming to the aid of others, that we make this place better.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if the pandemic actually brought all of us together? 

Through creativity and innovation, a whole new way to celebrate, deeper, more connected and meaningful is created for all of us. 

Let’s hit the social and traditional media airwaves with that!

Create Meaningful and Joyous Holidays

The holidays bring people together… the ones we love and care most about.  It is the time where we enjoy the company.  We do for one another and we express what they mean to us through both acts of service and through what we say.

Our acts of service and our voice are not silenced during this pandemic.

If anything, I have spent more time with those I love.  I have reached out to more people to check in, and extend help or even just a kind word of love and appreciation.

The precautions we are taking between now and the beginning of next year do not dampen who we are or our ability to connect with others.

Our Joyous Holidays will just look a little different… 
different bows and window dressing.

We may be throwing a quick celebration in a front yard or taking the kids over to grandmas to build a snowman.  We may back our favorite treats and drop them off at neighbors and friends who are alone this year. 

We may even drop off a tiny Christmas tree at each friend and family member with instructions to send a selfie and write a holiday wish note…like that “flat Stanley” so many of us had as kids coming with us to school, on each trip and to the holiday dinners. 

Perhaps assembling a book of everyone’s tiny tree pictures and holiday wishes printed out for everyone.  A remembrance that even in a time such as this, we still live.  We connect and continue to celebrate, on that day….as it comes on the calendar. 

You can do it

Get creative and make a difference.  Connect and reach out. 

I always like to think about the kids in war torn countries, because not matter how chaotic or dangerous, those kids still play.  They are kids and kids play.

but do not let it push out the joy

We are alive and we will continue to live.  Take this unique holiday season a truly make it your own.  Allow the grief of what cannot be…but do not let it push out the joy that is a part of life and a real part of this and every holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

I cannot wait to see how you inspire me!!

Want to feel a sense of home…here…now? 
I can help.

Download my free resource guide “a Sense of Home”. 

The journey is easy to begin, right here.


Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose

As adults we all think we live our life on purpose. 

We make conscious decisions as to what is in and what doesn’t make the cut.  We do this for ourselves, our kids and our families…sometimes across multiple families.

But this is just the problem.  Are we actually making choices OR are we going along with the crowd?

Going along with the crowd is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes agreement “buys” us access into a group.  We buy into a belief or perhaps we buy into an activity that is “great for the kids”.  What we are getting in return is membership into that group.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

Our primitive brains(as opposed to the decision making part of our brains) are designed to desire this. It believes that when we have our tribe around us, we are safe.  Safety is the key to our survival.

And as far as our brains are concerned, going along with established norms or other “trusted” peoples decisions saves time and energy.  I mean why wouldn’t we go along with what our good friend recommended to us?  They know us and we like their values.  The challenge is that we do this more than we think we do, almost unconsciously.

And that is what leads us to living someone else’s life and values.

The “clean slate” of relocation
is a unique benefit.

All is Swept Away in Relocation

The unique thing about relocation is that all of these external influences are swept away in relocation.  Many times you will hear me talk about the “clean slate” of relocation.  This clean slate is the result of moving away from all that is known ~ the people, the culture and the rhythm of life.

The Clean Slate of Relocation is one of those unique benefits that is available in the first few months after the boxes have arrived.

When you do not know anyone and there is no normal to life, life in the new place becomes a blank canvas for you and everyone in the family to sketch out and create a vivid life that truly suits each one of you.  Sometimes the shift includes trying new activities or perhaps pursuing a different kind of friend.  It isn’t that anything in the past was bad, but rather this go round the ability to truly choose is available.

…the ability to truly choose is available.

Start with Who You Are

Starting with who you are can be a challenge, especially if you have kids at home.  We, as parents are so trained to be attentive to what our kids need or what our partner needs, we can lose track of ourselves. So, if the words do not flow when trying this part do not fret.  It is difficult for most of us during these years.

An easy place to start is with personal assessments like StrengthFinders 2.0,, I Said this You Heard That app or a Birkman assessment. From strengths to personality and temperament to stress responses learning these things about ourselves spurs on conversations within our families.  There are Ah Ha moments, “Oh that’s why I do that!”

“OH!  That’s why I do that!!

The effective direct result of taking these assessments is that we all think more about ourselves and what makes us tick.  We begin to associate those things that help us and those things/people/activities that suck every last piece of energy from us.

Teeing up this conversation within our heads helps us to see our wants…perhaps for the first time.

The Transformation Desired

One of the most brilliant questions I heard this week came from my friend Rob Fenlon, a StrengthFinders2.0 coach from the UK.  He has this question now that he asks himself and his relocating friends before relocation:

“What is the transformation you would like to see in yourself as a result of this relocation?”

Isn’t that brilliant?  What transformation would you like to see in you?!?!

How often do you think about your transformation?  We may have thought about it when in school and associated it with the kind of life we would have as adults.  But rarely do we pause long enough during these years to think about our own transformation in any context.

Transformation in the context of relocation comes down to who we will become. 

  • What will we learn?
  • What will we assimilate?
  • What will we choose to keep out?
  • How will be change?
  • Will our values be tested or changed?
  • How is our bravery, compassion and ability to connect changed?

When we think about potential transformations, ahead of time, we can truly craft how we walk through this relocation.

Life on Purpose is about Intention

What I like best about the transformation question is that in asking it, we become more intentional about all aspects of our relocation. 

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried.

In relocation we make hundreds of decision, sometimes on a daily basis for months. The thought of making it even more decision laden can be a bit daunting.  To make every decision with intention?  Doesn’t that cause more work?

I argue that living with known intention actually makes all of that decision making easier.  When we know where we are going and what we want out of this relocation, we have the ability to look at all of those option and decide more easily…more quickly.

Filling that clean slate of life now with intention is not hurried. We are no long frienzied with “getting this done” and “getting the family settled”. 

…we are now seeking out those things that fit us.

With intention in view, we are now seeking out those things that fit us.  We only allow in those thing that lead us toward that transformation we are seeking.  Sure we may try on new things to test them and see if they fit.  But ultimately those people, things and activities we bring in are now aligned with where we are going as individuals and as a family.

Start Here

One of my free resources gets you down the path to living life on purpose.

The “3 Step Relocation Guide” provides you with links to the personal assessments I listed above as well as worksheets and resources to get you through every step of your relocation journey.

Remember if you have not connected, your relocation is not complete.  I can help.

If you would like to know exactly how this works choose a time to meet with me in the next week.  I will give you an overview of what is here on the website, you will receive real WholeLife Relocation coaching and tool or two you can use today.

I can help.

Ready to learn more?

ReloWomen WholeLife coaching can help you.
Click the button and choose your time.


Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Signs of Struggle in Relocation

Typically, signs of struggle cannot be seen in the first month of relocation.  We are productive beyond our comprehension with planning, managing and settling our families at top of mind. 

We experience energy we did not know we had and creativity in everything.

We are Super Woman handling every task, making decisions and dabbing every tear.  We are taking down this relocation one decision at a time….

Until we can’t.

The relocation struggle is like a stealthy ninja.  We don’t recognize it until it has overtaken us. A devastating blow and we are left incapacitated.  What Happened??

A stealthy struggle shoved us into a house of mirrors.  We can see where we want to go but cannot seem to stand, let alone figure our way out. 

At this point we need a light!  A light to show us the secret path out.  That light is knowledge.

If you can see the signs of struggle early the deadly ninja, overwhelm can be defeated.  Knowing what they are and how to identify them provides the light and power to thwart an attach.

We begin with your ability to remember.

Memory ~ ZAP!

A deluge of information from the day of acceptance sets us up for a potential ZAP!

Information begins flooding in.

    • Potential communities
    • School rating
    • Local parks and activities
    • Specialty programs
    • Commutes
    • Home styles
    • Safety
    • Air traffic paths and so much more

Between the relocation decision and the home decision, a matrix should be created to capture the information and then show implications and dependencies.

Forget something? Probably…most assuredly.

A typically human’s ability to take in that quantity of information over 30 days is capped at some point.  It is like trying to cram a whole semester of British American history into your brain is 2 days for the final.  It just doesn’t really work.

The secret to recognizing this ninja is to expect it and recognize the signs.  By being on the look out for it, we automatically include the possibility in the plan.  Because of this we are better organized in the beginning and create a process to track everything important to us.

“I think I will remember that,” always gets me into trouble.  Accepting the fact that I will most likely lose track and therefore be too much to “remember”, limits the negative self-judgement and help me identify the struggle before it overtakes me.

I now know that when anything slips, my effectiveness waning and I require maintenance.  Ignoring the slip is like ignoring the check engine light.  Ignore it long enough and everything is stuck at the side of the road with a heavy dose of irritation!!


Irritation is the most “acceptable” of the signs.  That makes it super sneaky.  Without relocation, we might recognize it and wonder why we felt irritated.  But during relocation it is accepted at normal.  One that our friends may exclaim, “Of course you feel this way, YOU are in the middle of a relocation!”

But that is only an excuse.  Irritation is not normal and that excuse only only provide temporary comfort. A comfort that prevents us from seeing our struggle.  It is yet another ninja there to stop our relocation progress.

Knee jerk reaction

Irritation comes with out warning like a doctor with that little hammer on your knee.  You know it could happen but it is always a surprise.  An instant reaction to a comment, a situation, a tone of voice or your own internal thoughts.  Irritation is almost unrecognizable by the one feeling it, which means it goes unsupervised.

Unsupervised, irritation seeps into most areas of life.

It looks like”

    • Why did you DO that?
    • Can’t you keep your hands to yourself?
    • I already took care of that.
    • Don’t do it that way.
    • Just get away from me.

That exasperation in this season may seem acceptable.  However, why would you accept something that can break relationships, slow down responsiveness and remaining unchecked bring a relocation to its knees.

What if we can head it off at the pass?

What if you didn’t have to walk through irritation to this end?

The answer to this is also the answer to the control freak.

The Control Freak

The control freak comes out to play after the Mind Zap and Irritation.  We are so filled with fear that we have to take control of everything to make sure we are getting to where we need to be.

Normally, I am one of those people who can think about 10 steps ahead seeing implications for miles.  Something my son wishes I could not do.  He’d like me to be blissfully unaware.  But that is not the case.  I am in a constant state of …

How to get out of house in case of fire.

Stay Safe!!

I blame third grade on this.  I had to draw a floor plan to our house and figure out all of the ways to get out if we had a fire.  We learned to feel the door and crawl on the floor to avoid the smoke.  By the end of that school week I had my first extensive plan to keep us SAFE!

Since then I have applied that lesson to every area of my life, which is fine under “normal” circumstances.  However, when the stress and mind drama gets going I might as well be Henry the Eighth.

It sounds much like irritation but with much more direction:

    • This must be my way! (demanding)
    • You know I have already figured this out! (defensive)
    • Don’t even bother to tell me another way! (closed minded)
    • Let’s go now! (demanding again)

A whole lot of fear wrapped up in there make for a narrow field of vision.

Narrow field of vision

When the control freak loop plays in a mind, only one thing can be seen. Any challenges are seen as the enemy.  When I run this loop I end up isolating myself through demands and then blame others for leaving me.

Recognize this in anyone?

We think we are handling IT!  But in actuality, we are shooting ourselves in the foot while telling every one “you can’t help me.” The plan partially or fully fails and we create what we were avoiding or fighting to prevent.

It’s the Fear

Fear is THE FUEL that ignites the control freak. Test it.  If you are afraid, the need to control will increase dramatically.  And if you need to control, it is time to look for what is causing that fear.

The fear doubles down on the belief that we are right & this is the only way!

Seeing this in ourselves should cause us to pause and get curious, because staying here will lead to nowhere.

Sidetrack the Struggle

Sidetracking the struggle begins in our head.  The thoughts we think.  I love this quote,

“Whether you believe you can or you believe you can’t
 … you are right.” ~ Henry ford

The first strategy is to observe.  We cannot overcome what we do not see.  Practicing the observance of our thinking allows us to see what is creating the results we are receiving.  Our results are a direct reflection of out thoughts whether we have chosen them or not.

When the negative emotions pop up it is time to get curious and see what in your brain is causing it. Most of us do not capture a fraction of the 50,000 thoughts going on in there everyday.  Just because we do not see them doesn’t  mean they are not causing trouble.

Change the thoughts & the results

I am not talking about thought swapping for sunshine and unicorns. That will cause the brain will double down and strive to prove you wrong.

This is about choosing something you actually believe.  So instead of “this will never work” try on “I can figure this out.”  You will know you chose the right thought by the emotions they create within you.

A productive thought will send the brain off to find proof that it can be achieved.

We will talk more about this in Thursday’s podcast.  There is a little more to it than just this.  But this gives you the basics.

Believe me!  You have it within you to do this!!

Let’s Chat!

For more information and to work on a personal example, Let’s Chat! You can try out coaching to see if it works for you.

Relocation – The Whos, The Void and The Friend

Every time I relocated, it is like I have been making it up as I go.  I go along following the latest article or “squirrel” that crosses my path.  And then the Void hits. I forgot about the Whos. And the friend? I don’t have any friends here.

I think to myself, certainly I know how to do this.  I am an adult.  I am successfully raising a child.  I have relocated before.

The challenge though is that I am out of practice.  I have forgotten what I knew.  The rule and processes of the partners chose in the past have changed.  Regulation always change.  It is like I am almost doing this for the first time.

In additional the “HELP” I am receiving from the employer is helpful monetarily but it doesn’t actually provide a roadmap to relocation.  Housing check – Transportation of household goods check – a bit for miscellaneous expenses – perhaps culture or language training if an international assignment.

Each being static pieces of a much larger organic puzzle.  Required but not really connected, leaving us ReloWomen to fill in the gaps.  All of the gaps, which are like tendons and muscles.  Without the tendons and muscles, it really doesn’t matter much if you have the bones.  They are not going to go anywhere.

Oh, the Gaps

These gaps are everywhere and we are expected to know how to not only identify them and fill them.  I don’t know how many times I have heard…

“This is just moving from here to there.  You know how to live life. You obviously have already set one up.  You already have a place to live and your things, so no problem, You’ve got it from here.”

The problem is that that life, that successful life was set up over years.  It evolved over time to become what it was.  Things, people and activities were brought in and let go of.  That evolution happened slowly with lots of information…

NOT in 2 to 3 months knowing almost nothing.

But now we are being asked to pick up multiple, whole lives, roots and all, and replant them in a place we know nothing about.  Where’s the roadmap for that?  Who is going to help us?  Typically no one.  We are on our own.

And this is why ReloMoms was born, now ReloWomen.  I have seen the struggle.  I have experienced the struggle.  I have scars from the struggle and I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

Today, I am sharing a few nuggets from the ReloWomen Crash Course. A six week intensive course designed to get teach you what you need to know to create a roadmap that works for you and your family.

First Nugget – The “Whos”

One of the foundational concepts of the ReloWomen Crash Course is knowledge of the “Whos”.  Who you are, who your partner is and who your children are. Knowledge of the whos is foundational because every decision made during relocation is directly related to one or all of you.

The first nugget here is actually a collection of assessments each of which analyzes different aspects of each family member…each of your whos.


I recommend 4 different assessments to be completed by each family member over the age of 10(make your best call as parents for applicability).  In the ReloMoms 3 Step Relocation Workbook available at the first section lists these assessments along their links. 

When we know who we are and how we work, we make better decision that align with us.  In addition, when each family member takes the quizzes it opens up additional conversations about similarities, differences and shows how each person is best supported.

During all of the change and stress of relocation, the more each one understands the other fewer conflicts and more compassion is possible.

Second Nugget “The Relocation Void”

Not many people talk about “the relocation void”.  Perhaps they forget after a year or so, but the relocation void happens upon most every relocating woman. Typically, as relocating women we take it upon ourselves to plan, arrange and setup for our kids, our partners and our family.  We make phone calls, create schedules and get things all ironed out to make daily life run well.

We are so very busy attending to everyone else and their settling that we forget to attend to our own.  Therefore, when everything is running like a Swiss watch and there is nothing else to organize the Relocation VOID appears.

Our daily purpose in the new place is gone.  And without that daily purpose, that activity we experience a void of purpose, of usefulness. 

Similar to Gone

The only other place I have seen this is when my mother was taking care of her mother during her last years.  Everyday my mother would go out to Grandma’s place to get her up and going and then later again to go to bed.  She would take care of everything Grandma needed in between.  And then one day Grandma was gone.

My mother had such purpose taking care of her mother.  She took such pride in it.  Mom loved taking care of her mother and saw it as a privilege.  When Grandma was gone, so was my mother’s purpose.  For a couple of years Mom filled every day full with activity supporting her noble purpose.  When Grandma was gone, so was her activity.  So then what?  What could she do that would be close to as meaningful as taking care of her mother? How would she spend her time?

That is the same with the relocation void.  It means so much to us as ReloWomen to make sure everyone in the family adjusts and adapts, putting life in just the right order for everyone to begin living their best life.  Everyone except us.

It is noble and right to do this, but many time we get so busy with them that we do not start to put the pieces in that are just for us.  ReloWomen are both individuals and a family member.  It is important to pick up knowledge, activities and connections for ourselves while we are setting up everyone else’s life.

That too, is noble and right.

Third Nugget – A Friend

We need a friend.  I heard a great podcast a few weeks ago Women Who Lead.  On the second one on relocation the guest being interviewed, Tania Thomas remarks that it wasn’t until she found her first friend that she began to settle in.  This relocation at that time was 2 years old.  It had taken her 2 years to find that first friend.

This is not unusual, especially for us ReloWomen.  We are busy taking care of everyone else that we do not spend time finding that friend, no like we do planning play dates for our kids.  We come last.

Either this OR we do not recognize the people in front of us as friends.

Friendship Reality & Illusion

In Friendships Don’t Just Happen by Shasta Nelson, she talks about the 5 different circles of friendships.  The range from just met acquaintances(Contact Friends) to “call you at 3am” always show up friendships(Committed Friends).  Shasta says that if at any time, one of those five friendship circles are empty you will feel a loss, like you are missing something.  And that feeling will distract you from “seeing” those lesser but valuable connection right in front of us.

Sometimes we do not see it because we are looking for someone just like our best friend back in __________ .

In ReloWomen Crash course I go through the stages of friendships and how to set proper expectations for each stage friendship.

Ultimately, when you recognize a connection in the mid-section of the stages, you begin to feel that connection to the community.  That is when that sense of community and home can begin.

To learn more about these topics and others browse the ReloMoms’ library of blogs and podcasts on the ReloMoms website…soon to be ReloWomen.

No Longer Alone

And if it is time to not walk through your relocation alone click this link and try out Whole Life Relocation Coaching.  The first one is on me!  We will primarily focus on relocation coaching and then spend the last 5 minutes talking about the ReloWomen Crash Course and Coaching options if you would like to hear more .

Join me on Thursday in the ReloMoms Podcast as we wrap up the week with more nuggets in the ReloWomen Crash Course.  A ReloWomen Relocation Roadmap and experiencing hope. 

Hope is everywhere when you know where to look for it.  The ReloMoms Podcast is available in Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast players.

Have a Wonderful Week!