So You Want to Have a Breakthrough… Well, How Bad Do You Want It?

Anatomy of a Breakthrough Series:

Project: 60 and Smokin’ Hot!

A few months ago I turned 59 and I started to think about where I wanted to be by my 60th birthday, generally a milestone in a person’s life. So I looked at all the different domains of my life, Body, Love and Relationship, Travel, Home, Car, Business Growth/Work, and Projects/Lifestyle and immediately I could see that there was something that I wanted in each of those areas AND that I was somewhat complacent about being able to have that result. Either I had already been trying and not getting there, I felt tired or resigned about actually getting some of these areas to move in reality, and I was afraid I was going to take on too much and not have a breakthrough in any of them, by trying to have a breakthrough in all of them.

However, I remembered from all of my work with different transformational work that if I cause a breakthrough in any area it will allow for breakthroughs in other areas. So I chose one area and got to it. The area was my body and my project is 60 and Smokin’ Hot!

The Project Result to Accomplish: To be the fittest I have ever been in my life and look fantastic in a bikini, (yes, at 60).

Conditions (Where I am starting and the facts): I have had 4 children and I have not seriously worked out for years. I go to yoga when I can, which means 1 a month (or less) or once – twice a week when I am on the east coast. I would go to the gym once or twice a month. I was/am very active in my life so have connected that as my idea of working out – working hard.

Inside my commitment and passion to look and feel great at 60 years old I could see there were actions I was taking that were NOT aligned with that commitment AND I really liked doing them. Drinking wine, eating chocolate, and not going to the gym. I also saw that I was only using one metric to determine how I was doing in the domain of my body and that was fitting into my clothes. If I fit into my tiny jeans then I was in good shape (for having 4 babies and being 59)!

Might all be true, but not good enough to cause a breakthrough. Certainly, for 59, have four kids, and not working out seriously, I do look good. But that is not the result that I want. That is the justification I have used for not getting what I want.

Lastly, I noticed that I had to make room to fail. What would happen if I did not get to that goal? I will have worked hard toward something/a goal and I will have some great results. Will it match exactly, if I do not have a breakthrough? No, probably not… will it be worth it? Absolutely. I know what will happen if I continue how I am… nothing and likely get less in shape as I age… definitely worth it!

So here is the restructure:

I stopped drinking alcohol altogether, for 12 months
I got a trainer and had my measurements done at the gym by a 3rd party (not me!) and put in my chart (I started to measure for results)

I listened to the trainer!

This one was harder than I thought. My trainer said to accomplish my goal in 12 months I should be working out 4x a week and eating 80 grams of protein a day. I laughed out loud, I really thought she was kidding.

She was not kidding. I had to completely re-constitute my thinking about what this was going to take and then commit to it again – If I wanted to have a breakthrough in this area of my life there was a reality to what it was going to take of me daily.

So the real question came down to: How bad do you want it? Do I want it enough to give up time, energy, things I like, and what appeared to be any fun? Did I want it that bad? Well,  YES, YES I do!

An added benefit for me is I also get to use the game as a laboratory for the Anatomy of a Breakthrough, which makes it even more fun.

The game is on! I invite you to let me know your goals that you want to have breakthrough in.

GreenLife Foundation and GreenLife Project One

I am so excited to announce that we are formally starting our first GreenLife Community Project!

I will be announcing more specifics soon, but for now here is a bit about the organization and what we are about.

GreenLife Foundation’s mission is to educate and inspire others to live committed lives, contributing to their families, communities, and the world.

GreenLife is a laboratory for exploring and designing creative communities and social solutions.


The GreenLife Project One:   To design long-term sustainable communities for NO INCOME residents.   NO INCOME CONTRACT HOUSING allows participants to stabilize their lives, learn marketable skills, recover, and contribute to their new community.    Potential communities are homeless, refugees, and addicts.

Again, the specifics of our first project will be announced within the week!

A GreenLife Community is designed as a co-operative integrative system.  Version 1 will house 108 people, include organic gardens to feed 200 people, run on sustainable energy, gray water, and each participant will have a contract for full time work inside the community.   Participants will be trained to maintain the buildings (including plumbing, electric, handyman skills, and painting, etc), take care of the food and animals (chickens to start), and work with  the children or elderly who might live on site, as well as specific industries where they can get jobs off site (appropriate to that area).   Recovery work is part of the program for all participants.  The Peer Recovery model is the intention.

It is intended that once a GreenLife Community is stable and the participants are able to run it, that the staff and team of trainers are moved to another location to start again.

Will keep you posted as things develop!

Build Your Own Ark — Explorations of Working From Anywhere

About 5 years ago I started conjuring a plan to retire in 5 years. Well I have not gotten to that, yet… but oh so close! I, of course, had other dreams too…

1. To be bicoastal and live near a tropical beach
2. To have enough passive income to be able to be out of the country at least 6 weeks a year
3. To be out of debt, including mortgages
4. Extreme health and fitness
5. To make a lasting difference in the world

Five years ago I was getting married and some of my 5 kids were still living at home, I had a fledgling construction company (2 years old) and we owned a couple of rentals that we managed to get and hold on to.

So I started building my empire in 2008, at the start of the real estate crash in the United States. I just saw so much opportunity and I jumped in with both feet.

Now I have 13 rentals that pay both my mortgages, one on my house on the west coast and one on the shore in Florida, plus all the utilities. That being said, I wanted more. I wanted to be free to be anywhere (bi coastal) and although I am still building that asset and have an excellent track record for picking the right properties, I felt geographically stuck. There is no getting around it, construction and real estate is a hands-on business.

So I launched into, what has turned out to be, a multi-year exploration about generating income from anywhere. I have been at it for about 5 years now and I have learned so much.

This blog is about those lessons and how they unfolded. Honestly, this is a dream life and I hope you find yours!

How To Start a Business Without Losing Your Job

Small start-up businesses have had a huge resurgence in the past 5 years. Since the US recession and ever so slow recovery, people of all walks of life have started needed additional income or are so worried that they will be laid off that they are turning to self-employment at unprecedented numbers.


At the same time, you really want to give your business time to develop before leaving your steady paycheck so here are a few tips on how to start your business without having to lose your job, especially if your “job” is something that you really can’t or don’t want to lose, such as being a stay at home mom or dad (which is most definitely a full time job!)


#1. Start small. You can start almost any business at home. It is important that you plan for being bigger, but in the really expensive things, like offices, phone systems, equipment leases, etc. you do NOT need to do that. What are the things you must have?


1. A great business card (VistaPrint is my go-to for all this type of printing, first 250 FREE)

2. A great printer, scanner, fax machine (an HP All-In-One is my personal choice, about $400)

3. A business license from the Department of Licensing in your state. $59-ish

4. A computer – you can get a decent computer for under $500

5. Internet access — about $50 a month at its most basic level

6. Website — WordPress $0

7. Blog — if you are doing on line marketing this is a must have $0

8. Facebook page and Twitter accounts, Linked In profile for a professional

#2. A budget

What is your plan for making money. If you are a weekend cabinet maker, then how long will it take you to make cabinets for someone once they order them? Can you take 2 orders and get help if needed? How much money do you need to make to make ends meet? In other words, how much do you want to make from your business and how long do you want it to take? Then double the amount of time. Remember to include your materials and build your hours into the cost of making the cabinets at the expense it would be to hire someone to do it. To make that clear, cost of the labor is no more than what you could hire someone off of Craigslist to do it for (plus taxes and insurance).


#3. A Plan

This is more about the time. If you have a job you will have a harder time marketing at networking meetings and other mid day opportunities. So you will have to be creative in finding your niche market and reaching them. So get creative and make a plan that works in your schedule.


#4. Wardrobe

Look the part. If you are a house painter, do not go do bids in your suit straight from the office. Never tell folks this is your hobby business. You can show up in your nice car but make some comment about the truck being in at another job site. You are a house painter, that is who you need to be when you are with your customers.

If you are a house painter and you are trying to change to something more business suit like, then go to Nordstrom’s (or you best local department store) and try on some outfits. Get a sense of what makes you look and feel like a million bucks. Then take a picture and go to Good Will, or your local Value Village and find the pieces for pennies on the dollar. You can look fantastic for under $50 with the right wardrobe choices.


#5. An Offer

What do you do? What can you do for your customers? This is the most important piece. You need to have a strong, compelling offer that soothes a pain your customer is experiencing. Remember that we are all over busy, so saving them time, stress, or $ are easy top-of-the-pile issues. Then there are, looking or feeling better.


#6. Boldness

Call this whatever you like, courage, chutzpah, confidence, or boldness… you must find that spot in yourself where you can approach strangers and open your mouth with a smile and build a relationship.

Practice your opening in the mirror. When I get started on something new, I always write out a 1 sentence way of saying what I do. That is the most common question you will get, and sometimes you will only get 1 sentence – or 30 seconds at some networking meetings. So you need to be prepared to say it really well and get your point across. Give them benefits, not services. If you clean gutters for your new business, you want to tell them that you will prevent water damage and flooding, quickly, and leave the place spotless.

Tell Everyone you know!

Just make an announcement when you are ready to get started. Tell everyone. “ I am starting to do roofing on the weekends and if you know anyone I will give them a great deal and great service. “

They may not know anyone right away, but give lots of cards out and you will surprised how many calls you will get if you keep going.


#7. Stay Focused on What Matters

To not lose your job, you need to stay focused on it. So keep your attention where it matters. When you are at work, be at work and do not try and sneak other business in on company time. That is the single most common reason that bosses don’t like people to start other ventures. It takes your attention away from what you are doing. So keep doing a great job there.

At lunch, before work, and after work, you can return calls, follow up and plan marketing meetings. Use the weekends to fulfill your promises to your customers. And take at least 1 day off to rest. Exhaustion is not going to work in the long run.


Have Fun!!

Butterthief Gardens, A Sacred Place

Nestled among 40 acres of pristine old growth cedar high above the rambunctious Chehalis River this fantabulous spot is a sacred



place for me to find clarity, write without distraction, breathe, discover inspiration, and just be among nature at is finest.


Home to nut trees, wild blackberries (of course), huckleberries, exotic   vining fruits that hang from the cedars, amazing medicinals, this rich   corner of the universe is full of faeries, gnomes, and all likes of natures helpers.

Costa Rica White Water Rafting

For those of us who love adrenaline, this trip was worth the effort.   It was quite a hike down to the river and fortunately they float the boats down from up river.  We have good class 4′s in the Pacific Northwest during the spring, however the water is just above freezing and it is loaded with boulders.  Helmets and wetsuits are a necessity.   In Costa Rica the water is warm and if it were not for the fall of the river, the white water would not be slower, just not as bouldered.


Started with a few days trip to Panama City, then a day hop in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.  Looking for an adventure beyond the amazing banana fields and wild toucans (with real striped beaks!) we found a river trip that turned out to be one of the best day trips of my life.



Class 3! Really? Amazing day with amazing friends!



You work up quite an appetite after a few hours of this kind of work.

Schoolhouse Earth —

Love, love, love Schoolhouse Earth.   A 501(c)3 parented by Transformation of Education to develop innovative programs that interface with schools, support teachers, and design powerful and impactful stewardship education that leaves contributing adults who are responsible, creative, and engaged in life.





With programs like Edible Rainbow, Local Growers Program,  Body Logic, Schoolhouse Gardens, Sugarfree Schools, Dreambuilders, and Guinea Kids Education Fund… this organization is playing big for fun and making a difference.



Ahh, Italy

Two and half weeks of blissful travel.  In the dead heat of August, started in magical Venice, and trained to Florence.  Never was there a city like Florence.  So beautiful, so full of art and architecture.  Everywhere you look is a wonder of craftsmanship.  The people are lovely and warm (except when I asked for ice for my coffee, ouch!)


Trekking to the top of Michaelangelo’s hill and having fresh caprese with wine at a little cafe that overlooks the whole city, so lovely and perfect.  Every bite of fresh basil and summer fresh tomatoes sprinkled with sweet balsamic and olive oil that tastes like it was pressed yesterday.   The sun, the slight breeze, and the site of olive trees, castle walls, and a walled river that twists on to the Mediterranean.   Like a postcard, it was.



Every day was a new treat, from Florence we went to Rome and climbed the tower inside the Vatican Doumo.   The Vatican Museum, the trains, we walked every where to get a better taste of the cities themselves.   I was in heaven until my son went on strike from museums, palazzos, and really anything old… finally, we had to seek out a Hard Rock for the boy… and he deserved it.






However, since there is no Hard Rock in Florence, we had to make a bolt to Rome!  Oh, poor babies… more old stuff for me and hamburgers and english for David.

You Can Be Anyone! You Can Do Anything!

At this time of year there is always a flurry of coaching clients who want to reinvent their lives. There is something about the start of the year that calls for a new beginning… a fresh breath that feels somehow completely disconnected from the past.


Delightfully, from science to spirituality, it is proven that Humans are remarkable, neuroplastic, creative Beings with the capacity to invent anything and be anyone, no matter what has happened in the past. No matter where they come from, no matter when they begin.


This is big news… just like Dorothy in Oz in her ruby slippers, this new beginning that we grant to ourselves at the start of each year is actually available at any moment of anytime…


Taking the time to thoughtfully choose our goals for the year — not just taking the unfulfilled resolutions from last year, but really looking out into the future and creatively choosing where you are headed for the next 12 months.


and then getting in action — that’s the critical piece… not hoping but acting…




How Anonymously Adopting a Family For the Holidays Rekindled the Magic!


It is dark outside on the morning of Christmas Eve and there is still so much to do before tomorrow’s special celebration of family. I will bake all the special treats that are only eaten on holidays. But I wanted to take a few minutes to share something special that we did this year and the difference it made for us as a family.


At the end of each Christmas our family always feels somewhat over full from getting… we know we have enough stuff yet we want to acknowledge and appreciate each other in some meaningful way… we have struggled with it for the past couple of years as the kids become adults and the magic and wonder of surprise becomes the stress of having enough for everyone…


So this year we adopted a family that we have never met and will never meet. It was offered through a radio station after Thanksgiving and on the spur of the moment I called and accepted a single mom with 3 little kids.


The station sent me their Christmas list complete with sizes and favorite colors and it included their wish list (of things they did not think they would get but wanted or needed). I called my family and told them what I had done and with mixed feelings we went to work.


As we started shopping and buying things for the children… picking out toys and clothes, dishes, and books, towels, pj’s, yo yos for stockings… suddenly, even though we were not going to be there to see them open these gifts… the Magic of Christmas became more real then it has been in years. We cared what they wanted, whether they would like it, was it going to bring joy to their lives, would it entertain or keep them warm.


Our whole family spent a full day together where we laughed, wrapped presents, and had a big, messy crab pot dinner and were full of the joy of giving.


There is something so special about giving to someone who has no idea whether they will get their Christmas list items or not… it was especially great to get a bright shiny bike and stick a bow on it. I remember the morning my children got their first bikes and the amazing joy it was for them for get outside and ride in the freezing cold. Well, quite simply, it was magical for them and that is what I hope and anticipate for the family we adopted. That they really feel like something magical has happened for them.


But the real magic was that our family felt great about it. We shared in something that makes the holidays real… We got to be Santa and honestly, I can say that this holiday has been one of the best, although not traditional, we have had in years.


I know that next year we will do this again and it will be better organized (I hope).


I truly wish you all a happy holiday and the very best of seasons with your family, friends, and loved ones. The times they are a changing and the magic is where you make it!


Please spread the joy good will to all.