What Would You Take With You?


What a shock it was Wednesday morning to wake at dawn to the sounds of fire engines racing by, only to find that there was a major fire raging a little over a mile from our house, just up the canyon on the 405, here in Los Angeles. My husband, Evan, jumped in the car to go see for himself and came across a man in scrubs loading his fine artwork into the back of his SUV. Evacuations were called for all of Bel Air and everyone North of Sunset. We live on the West side of the 405 just opposite Bel Air and Westwood, so very very close to this. 

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We, like so many other Angelenos have been sitting here watching, waiting, feeling completely helpless as to which way the winds will blow and how it will affect our lives.

By Wednesday night, the news was reporting that the fire was only 5% contained, the neighbors were advising to water down your homes, shut off your gas and pack a bag in case urgent evacuation was necessary. 

Evan and I chatted with the kids about preparations. Evan asked them, “Ok, if you needed to take only your most essential items, what would they be?



Download my FREE Parenting Tips on how to encourage FAILURE (gasp...I know...)

”Kylie quickly jumped in, “Well, obviously Lexi (our Golden Lab) and my blanket and my stuffed animals.”

Parker thought for a second and said, “Uhh… Mac and cheese?” (the kid has a ridiculous obsession with that food-like substance)

This not only made me laugh, but also quickly brought things into perspective and forced me to ask the question of myself. “What would I take?"

The answer arrived immediately.

Take your family (pup included!) and leave.


Everything else is replaceable. It’s just stuff.

A wonderful book I read a few years ago and pull off the shelf every once in a while whenever I’m in need to an “attitude adjustment” about what really matters is, The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. 

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In it, one of the stories he tells is how he once had gotten a brand new BMW. He was so proud of it, he drove it over to his sister’s house and told his niece and nephew,

“Now, jump in the back seat and pour this can of Coke all over the seats.”

His sister and niece and nephew just stood there and looked at him completely perplexed.

He matter of fact responded, “Well, it’s going to happen anyway, so we might as well get it over with!”

The message was clear. Value people. Not things.

Praying for all of those directly impacted by these horrible fires; the animals, the people and the communities.

Much Love - Kirsten

P.S. Randy Pausch was a a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon when he was asked to give a speech to his college students titled, The Last Lecture. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” - Randy Pausch


P.P.S. If you're a mom...

...looking to take a break from the hustle of preparing for the holidays and you're feeling the need to reconnect with your daughter and remember what this season is all about--family and connection.

Then come join me and other mothers & daughters for our December Butterfly Beach Club on December 16! Reserve your spot HERE.

Details can be found RIGHT HERE!

Did you miss my 10 minute interview with Asia Mape from I Love To Watch You Play? Asia, in the past twenty years has worked for all the major Sports Networks; Fox Sports, ESPN, TNT, NFL Network and NBC Sports covering some of the most coveted events including five Olympics, NBA playoffs, and Super Bowls. I was honored to be interviewed by her!

You can check it out here.



Dear Parent - Please Sign Here.

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noun, 1. the agency, function, or power of a person authorized to act as the deputy or substitute for another.

Kylie, my eleven year old daughter, jumped into the car the other night at school. I was picking her up late from a practice. She was fighting back tears which were welling up in her eyes. I could see how distressed she was and given that she's normally a pretty happy child, I inquired,

"Hey, kiddo, how's it going?"

"Well, not good. My band teacher is mad at me. He says he's going to give me F's for my homework sheet. He knows that it's me, not you signing the piece of paper. He says its a legal document and a parent has to sign it," she muttered quietly not looking me in the eyes.

"Hmmm. Well, that's interesting."

Just a few weeks prior, after hearing Jessica Lahey speak, (author of New York Times Best-selling parenting book, The Gift of Failure), I took some of her advice to heart and decided to "give it a whirl".

She had shared her point of view as both a teacher and parent on how we're disempowering our children by doing everything for them. We're racing over to the school with every forgotten homework assignment or instrument (Guilty- I've done this) and checking the school "parent portal" for grades on a daily basis (Do you ever know what your kid has gotten on their test or quiz before they have? Yup, guilty of that as well) and finally, we're also disempowering them by signing every assignment that comes home when the teacher asks for it.

Now, I understand why this teachers ask for this. It's a big C-Y-A for the teachers. I'm sure teachers get tired of hearing parents say, "I had no idea my son/daughter was doing so poorly in this class. I wish I would have know, I would have come sooner to meet with you if I had." But the truth is, every time we "take over" and sign something for them, they no longer "own it". It's now Mom or Dad's issue to worry about. Problem solved, temporarily anyway.

A few weeks prior to Kylie getting this feedback from her band instructor, I had told her she could be my proxy because what I knew when I was signing the paper which stated whether she practiced every day or not, that she most definitely was not. I was curious to see how she would handle it if she was given the responsibility of honestly (and I know this is a high value for her) reporting back how much she practiced at home.

I can't say it was a "miracle cure", there was no magic pill and she didn't now practice every night, however, she did now OWN when she hadn't been practicing and together we worked out a plan where I would remind her to practice once her homework was done and before she could move onto playing for the afternoon. We both agreed to the plan.

So, my question for you is, what can you give your child proxy over? What is something you can really just let go of and be willing to get a little push-back on (if it's really unnecessary).

  • Are you willing to stay out of the "parent portal" and let your kid manage her/his own grades?
  • Are you will to let your child talk to their coach themselves if they aren't getting the playing time you feel like he/she should be?
  • Are you willing to stay out of the argument your child is having with a friend by brainstorming with them the wording and phrasing they should use when they go talk to the friend themselves.

If we truly want to raise empowered kids, ones who will to be able to navigate this often confusing and sometimes messy world, we need to be willing to start letting go of our control now. It's not always going to be easy or straightforward, but eventually you won't be able to be there for every life event (assume wifi goes out for just a few minutes and they can't reach you, as we are often tethered to them even after they are grown and flown), nor should you. And you will both be so proud when they are adults. You have worked yourself out of a job and now can just be his/her friend.

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Asia Mape, one of the Co-Creators of We discussed the issue "Is youth sports were ruining our kids childhoods?"

I would love to hear your thoughts, over on my website,



P.S. If you're a mom looking to take a break from the hustle of preparing for the holidays and you're feeling the need to reconnect with your daughter and remember what this season is all about--family and connection. Then come join me and other mothers & daughters for our December Butterfly Beach Club on December 16! Reserve your spot HERE.

Details can be found RIGHT HERE!



Want to Finish Strong? Start like this!


March Madness will be here before we know it!

I know, I know, 2017 isn't even over yet and I'm already obsessing about March 2018?

Well, yeah, kind of. High school basketball across the country officially kicks off it's season next week. Not only is there a lot of excitement brewing in the air but also a bit of anxiety (for parents and players) around how the next five months will play out. And while we all have dreams of making it to "post-season" play, as individuals, we don't have a lot of control over exactly how the win-loss record will go.

We do, however, have a few things we have 100% control over.

Here are the Top 3 Non-Negotiables I work with my clients (and my own kids!) on as they get their mindsets ready prior to the start of his/her season:

#1: Start with YOU.

#2: Growth Mindset. 

#3: Be like Monmouth.

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#1: Start with YOU.

"It's not my fault." 

"She never passes the ball."

"That call was SO lousy! We would have won if it wasn't for the refs."

It's VERY easy to pass the blame. But if we are always looking for a scapegoat, we are going to miss the true opportunity to learn. Words carry a lot of weight in how we perceive a situation. So ask good questions.

Players ask yourselves: "What can I do better?" "What responsibility do I have in the outcome of this game? Did I give my best effort (on and off the court)? How was my attitude? What support did I give my teammates? Did I have fun?

Parents ask yourselves (before giving feedback to your child about a game): "What feedback is helpful in this instance?" Give yourself 15-20 minutes after a game before chatting to your child. Sometimes I just pick a different topic all together when getting into the car with my kid after the game. 

If you can't think of a helpful question to ask, just say, "I love to watch you play." If your child wants to talk about it, let them drive the conversation. There is no need for you to re-hash every missed pass or poorly taken shot (by a teammate or your child.)


#2 Growth Mindset.

Having done decades of research on what drives motivation, achievement and success in education, sports and business, Stanford Psychology Professor, Carol S Dweck Ph.D is considered the pre eminent authority on how we can not only coach but more effectively teach our children to be more resilient, gritty and willing to work for long-term goals. 

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort. They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Tip: Check out to learn more. 

Double click on this image below. Print it and put it on your kid's bathroom mirror! (Our minds are so powerful. If you're seeing this regularly, you'll start to incorporate this into how you give and receive feedback).


#3: Be like Monmouth.

Head Coach for UConn's Women's Basketball program, 11-time Division I National Championship winner & 7-time Naismith Coach of the Year, Geno Auriemma has some very poignant advice for athletes:

  • "Be happy for your teammates when they are playing well."
  • "Our coaching staff puts a HUGE premium on body language."
  • "When I watch game film, I'm watching the bench."

TIP: Click on the image to the right hear from Coach Auriemma. 

What if your kid isn't a starter or doesn't get much playing time?

I'm working with a high school client, Tom, (not his real name) right now who's getting ready for the start of his basketball season and one of his top desires is to increase his playing minutes

Here's what we've been working on and some of the coaching I've shared with him:

He is a fabulous athlete and competitor, (which you have to be to make your high school team these days!). He's already gone directly to the coaches individually to find out what he needs to work on. They have acknowledged his hard work in practice and that he's getting stronger in his shooting. This is a great first step, and one to keep working on throughout the season.

TIP: Keep asking for feedback (growth mindset) and checking in with coaches and teammates.

So the second, more subtle, step is deciding how he shows up to practices and games. Whether he's out on the floor getting minutes or on the bench cheering his teammates on, bring the attitude that makes it impossible for them not to play you. 

Have you ever heard of Monmouth University, in West Long Branch, NJ? Neither had I until a couple years ago when their basketball team's bench (not the team!) started making ESPN's Sports Center's highlights.

Does YOUR team's bench look like Monmouths?

What's your version of this? We are ALL made up of energy, so when we share positive energy, it's infectious. It spreads.

What type of energy are YOU spreading?




The Secret to Empowering Your Kids- Leave Them Home Alone for the Weekend

This is us.... without kids for the weekend!

This is us.... without kids for the weekend!

Recently, I was lucky enough to discover that East Coast based, New York Times Best-Selling author, Jessica Lahey, (FB: @jessicapottslahey, was speaking a mere hour from my house (that’s like practically next door in LA terms!). I immediately cleared my calendar for that evening and drove excitedly over to hear her speak about her book (now in it’s 11th printing), The Gift of Failure (Harper).

It was a small gathering of 40-ish parents at the La Canada Elementary School library. Jessica, a middle school teacher and engaging storyteller, whose realization about the short-comings in her own parenting came to light while she was teaching middle school. 

As with so many of us, it is so obvious what needs to be done when someone else has a problem, however, it’s perplexing that when we are struggling with how to find a solution for one of our own issues, we can’t see the forest for the trees. She says she had this epiphany about her own parenting short-comings as she was seeing many of the parents of her middle schoolers swooping in and “doing the work” for their children. 

Whether it was a project which used language far beyond a middle schoolers vocabulary level (but quite on par with a college professor's, which a few of her students parents were) or it was merely over-involvement on homework or just consistent rescuing the child by racing the forgotten homework assignment over to the school so that they wouldn’t get a zero.

Jessica came home one afternoon to her then, 9 yr old, wearing rain boots three sizes too big, only to find out that he had worn his brother's boots to school that day (and missed playing in PE- his favorite subject) because he didn’t know yet how to tie his shoes!She said, “It just hit me hard. I realized all this time, I’m thinking I’m doing him a favor by taking care of this little thing for him so we can get out the door to school on time. So we sat down and you what, within an hour, he had it nailed.” Problem solved.



Before you keep reading...

Download my FREE Parenting Tips on how to encourage FAILURE (gasp...I know...)

We can all relate, right? I have said to myself in the past…. I would let my kids make their own lunches but it drives me crazy when I walk into the (formerly clean kitchen) and see the mac and cheese all over the stove, and the counter, and in the sink, along with the dirty pan used to make the mac and cheese. And don’t forget the spilled milk on the counter and the butter dish left out with a couple pieces of mac and cheese now soaking in it.

I decided to make peace with that butter dish and the cheesy stovetop. And here’s why.

Because today it may be the rain boots or the butter dish, but before we know it we’re going to be waking up and they are going to be gone. Out of our daily lives and off trying to conquer that big, scary, messy world.

No longer will it be only be rain boots or mac and cheese problems, thanks to us over-rescuing them for everything they do, they will be completely incapable of handling the stuff in life that really counts.



Last weekend, my husband and I were set to go away for the weekend for an event in Orange County. We did something we’ve never done before… we left the kids (ages 17, 14, and 11) home alone for the night.

I figured, the age-appropriate equivalent of Jessica’s "rain boot" story for me was testing the waters around empowering them to learn how to fend for themselves for 24 hours. I know, this isn’t a long time, and that’s why it’s so perfect. It's a baby-step. We need to take lots of them and so do they.

Before we left, we sat them down and we told them, “This is a test.” (Yes, just like those tests from the Emergency Broadcasting Systems. Remember those?)

We know that you are capable and competent and we’re excited to give you this opportunity to “go it alone for a night.” They all smiled and nodded in agreement, “We got this."

Throughout the course of the night at the event, my aunt kept asking me, “How are the kids doing?” I have to say, it actually felt really good to reply, “I don’t know. I left my phone in the hotel room!”

The following afternoon, when we returned home, I was absolutely floored by what I saw when I walked in.


The house was immaculate. And when I say my oldest child is not a tidy person, I mean that he has a gift at spreading clothes around a room faster than a gardener can spread Miracle Grow. Yet his room was spotless.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I oh-so casually mentioned, “Thanks for cleaning up. Your room looks great.”

“Oh thanks, Mom. We all pitched in. It was no big deal.”

So I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised (but I am) when this week, he worked four hours on a English paper. In fact, he took it into his teacher TWICE for review with her prior to the deadline so he could make edits. Wha-wha?

This from a kid who crawled through Freshmen English with his eyes closed and phoned it in Sophomore year scraping by with barely a B. Hmm... so you're saying my kid wants to be empowered?

In fact, they are really asking us to let go. In 18 months, he will be gone from my watchful eye on a daily basis, anyway, so I might as well empower him now. He has figured out how to be successful by getting lots of coaching and feedback around what he's most passionate around, basketball. So it's our job, as his parents, to teach him that this approach can work in all facets of his life. 

It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always go smoothly, but they will thank us for it later. Hopefully.

Do you have any stories to share about parenting a teen (could be school, sports or socially) and letting go? I’d love to hear them!

Much Love & Successful Parenting!


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Gratitude of the week:

I had so much fun speaking to the 30+ high school students at ASLA, which is Matthew McConnaughey's Foundataion, Just Keep Livin'. 

We talked about what it means to go after our biggest dreams and how to get there. 

These kids have HUGE goals: Everything from curing Lupus (for a Mother who struggles with it) to attending Julliard. 

Or, my personal favorite, from a Senior named, Sebastian, "I want to graduate from high school next spring. Not because I want to go to college, because most likely I won't, but because I know I'll be very proud of myself if I do. And that's what matters." Truth. 


TOP 3 Mindset Tips in Helping Your Teen Prior to their Next Game

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"His stomach problems have disappeared since he started working with you four weeks ago."

I just LOVE coaching teens for Peak Performance! I was so thrilled to hear this report from the mother of one of my clients this week.

Lisa said, "John (not their real names) had been having major stomach issues, which would get triggered in times of stress. With the tools you have given him over the course of the last month, they have completely been eliminated from his life (on and off the court). He had a great tournament last weekend, it didn't all go according to plan, by the way, but he worked through the issues and came off the floor with a huge smile on his face. Thank you. We are so thrilled!"

We, as parents, can think of no worse pain than to see our kids in a limiting mindset that is potentially holding them back from reaching peak performance. And, so often it is this pain that keeps them "playing small" and not believing in themselves, which ultimately leads them down the path of relative unhappiness. And what parent doesn't want to see their kid happy? We are all guilty of that, right? Why is that seemingly simple request so complicated some times?

Hint: It starts from within. It starts with you.

Here are my TOP 3 Mindset Tips in Helping

Your Teen Prior to their Next Game-

1) Meet them where THEY are. The evening before their game, when you're saying goodnight to your child, ask them what they are most looking forward to about their game tomorrow?

  • "Finally beating that team"
  • "Playing my best and scoring 20 points!"
  • "Seeing my friends and wearing those cute new purple socks we all got!"

After they have answered the question and you have really listened to what it is they want you hear. Then you can respond in kind by meeting them where they are. I.e, if your child only cares about the purple socks, you worrying about the outcome of the game is pointless, right? If they do want to talk about their performance and how they hope to play, ask them to tell you a story.

Ask them, "If the game could go exactly as you'd like, how would it go?" (hint: don't forget the juicy details!) The more specific they can be the better. They are literally painting a picture of what is going to happen tomorrow, make it good.


2) Seal it with a KISS. Wherever the vision for their game takes them, whether the focus is on the socks or the 20 points they want to score, give them a little "homework" assignment and you kiss them on the forehead.

You can say, "Did you know that whatever goes through your mind last, is what your brain processes over night? Spend these last 10 minutes of awake time picturing what that will feel like tomorrow. I can't wait to watch you play."


3) Go slow to go fast. And finally, this 3rd step is for YOU. It seems counter-intuitive, we're busy, we've got a lot to do over the course of the weekend. Who has time to slow down?

Here's what it sounds like at the Jones household on most Saturday mornings:

"Grab your water. Load the snacks. Don't forget your equipment! Did you eat? And for Pete's sake, would you please brush your teeth! We're going to be late! I'll meet you in the car! Where is the game this morning, anyway?"

You want me to slow down? Yeah, right! But, yes, I do. I want you to set your alarm 20minutes earlier than you normally do.

  • Before you turn on your phone and check your email.
  • Before you wake up your kid.
  • Before you even turn on the coffee pot.

Check in (with yourself). It's an easy 5-15 minutes of letting go. Sit up tall, back against the couch and your head free. Close your eyes and surrender. You can take deep breaths, or count 1-5 and then 5-1. You are letting go. You are not thinking about the 20 things you will do today, you are enjoying this little alone time.

End your little self-imposed "time out" with a prayer of gratitude:

"Today is a gift. We GET to go enjoy this beautiful day together watching our kids play sports! How lucky are we?" Whatever comes to mind that morning.

Now you are ready to seize your day And the best news? You've already succeeded for the day. If NOTHING else goes to plan that day, it doesn't matter, you've already won. But given that you took the time to "do the work" and prepare for success, I think you'll be surprised how often things do roll your way! 

Have an awesome weekend! I can 't wait to hear how it went!

Much Love & Successful Parenting~


When I finally got sick and tired, I tried this....

When I finally got sick and tired, I tried this....

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My "entrepreneurial awakening" started 12 months ago when I decided that I needed to either "jump in with both feet" or quit pretending like I was going to "do this". Either "sh!t or get off the pot, girlfriend," was what my inner bossy self was telling me. I was tired of pretending that I could create a successful coaching business all on my own, without the support, knowledge or guidance of others who have gone before me. Ironically, I was offering my services to coach others without getting any coaching myself. Hmmm, strange how we're sometimes blinded by our own short-sidedness, isn't it? As a lifelong athlete, who has been coached consistently throughout not only her sports career but also her corporate one, it finally occurred to me that I could go much faster and further together than I ever could alone.

So, last August, I made the decision to invest in myself in two big areas (both financially and time-wise).

  1. I took a meditation course. I could bore you with all of the benefits, get more done, peak performance, better sex, better parking karma, etc., but in the interest of time, check out It requires 20min, twice a day. And before you start listing all the reasons this won't work, just. check. it. out. As a person who's probably never made it past my birthday (January 15th) on a New Year's resolution, I can proudly say I've been meditating consistently for over a year now. Am I "perfect"? Does it happen every day, 2 times per day? No. No. No. Most definitely not. And this is the beauty of it... you don't have to be perfect. In fact, there is no perfect... all you have to do is be as good as the professional All-Star MLB players who. while making millions of dollars a year, hit the ball only 3 out of every 10 times they stand at the plate. Why can't you? I would guess I'm "batting" maybe 7 out of 10. When I miss... "Oh well, try again." And now when I do miss, I'm finding sneaky ways to "squeeze it in", like while waiting in the car for my son's practice to end. NOTE: You DON 'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT. In fact, perfect is boring. Let it go.
  2. Divine Living Academy. I joined 230+ other women, literally from around the world on a journey to each grow our own businesses. I, of course, naively, signed up to learn about what processes and procedures I'd need to run a successful online business, which of course is part of it, but the real lessons you learn are about the journey within. When we understand what truly motivates us (i.e, our "why") and who and how we desire to serve and combine that with pulling back the curtain on the blinders we have to what's going on in our sub-conscious mind (i.e, our "limiting beliefs"), which keep us in fear, "playing small" and not only not reaching our goals, but sometimes keeping us from even starting.

So I as I reflect on my most recent trip, which took me back to one of my favorite cities, Paris, I see 3 big "wins" that may look like no big deal to an outsider, but have helped me feel 12 months in, that I'm "onto something." I'm on my path to really breaking open and creating even a fuller life I love. A life I get to share the gifts I believe I've been brought here to share.

1) Don't overthink it.

I've been literally wracking my brain on this one all year. Who do I serve? How can I help? What's my best angle? Blah, blah, blah.... boring! This is where the meditation can comes into play. When we let go, when we're ready to surrender, we've carried our pain, our worry, our angst long enough and we're ready to set it down, then the gift can appear. Whatever it is that you're telling yourself, "Well, once I figure THIS out, I'll be happy," let it go.


Find one thing you can focus on right now and do that. When that's done, come back to me and let's talk. We put 100 things on our to do list and then get so disappointed in ourselves when we flail after not living up to our imaginary perfect standard.


2) Let Fear be Your Companion.

Which leads me to the second point. We spend our lives being told, "Get out of fear. Fear less. Push through your fear." What if we did the opposite? What if we welcomed fear to the table, made her a nice cup of tea and said, "Listen, wench, I've got this thing I'd like to do and you keep getting in the way. What do you say, instead of me fighting you on this, we partner together? It's okay if you want to come along, I won't let you control me on this any longer, I'm really fine with you here, but just so you know, I'm going to be over here doing this ONE thing. I'd love your support. So what do you say? You in?" Talk to her (Out loud. Go ahead, she won't mind). Let her know you see her. And then take a step forward.

3) You 've got options.

Ever get so stuck in your way of thinking, you can't see "the forest for the trees?" This must get done and it must get done this way. Hate to over stress this point, but it is only when we are able to tap into our unfocused mind (through meditation and other mundane activities- yes, like gardening or doing the dishes or taking out the trash) that we start to see other possibilities. Other solutions to that problem we were so sure there was only one way to solve.

I've had this epiphany in my business lately. I was thinking that there was only one way to "do this." I needed to "follow the formula" that was being presented, because it worked for her. Well, it could work for you as well.... or not. And when I was open to other solutions, ways that feel truly good to ME, I realized I was onto something. If we're creating something but it's not in our true, authentic way, it may work in the short term, but it will NEVER be sustainable in the long run. Even if you're able to fool yourself for a few minutes, months, or years, eventually you'll either get frustrated and angry about your lack of results or even if you are able to get the results you desire on paper, you won't be happy or fulfilled while you're doing it.

Our hearts and souls know when we 're doing something joyfully and whole-heartedly. How is your life running now? Are you moving on your path with joy or is it running you into the ground? There's no time like the present to course-correct.

Home on the Range

Home on the Range


I grew up on a lot of land in rural Montana. Looking back now, as an adult, on my childhood, I can gratefully say, it was an amazing upbringing.

My parents loved to entertain and we happened to have the perfect "slice of heaven" to do it. We lived on 29 acres in the middle of the forest, where bear and deer often meandered through. With fields for horses, a pool, a trout pond and a tennis court, it was the ideal place to have family friends over, where we'd swim until dusk and BBQ like nobody’s business.

Every get-together, after the boys had finished chasing the girls with snakes, some adult had inevitably gotten thrown into the pool fully clothed, kids had swam and/or played basketball (and adults had consumed some “adult beverages”), the sun faded and the stars came out, and that's when it got very memorable.

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Parents would sit around chatting about “parent things” as we, kids, roasted S’mores. As the evening wore on, we inevitably were instructed by our much older neighbors, who lead us in a Native American “Rain Dance.”

I don’t remember how often it actually rained after we danced, but I do remember the words and the hand motions (while dancing, of course), precisely (Spelling the lyrics is another story entirely. They might not be quite as precise.)

Ah-cooney, cooney, checka-ah-ooney.

Ah-cooney, cooney, checka-ah-ooney.

Eye-icky-eye-kye-a-na, Eye-icky-eye-kye-a-na

Ooh— w ah-ooh-wah-oonah kitchy.

This memory popped into my head as I heard about a very successful tribe in Africa, who apparently has 100% success rates of getting it to rain whenever they do a rain dance.

Wow! 100%? Really?

How could they be so good?

The answer is very simple.

Whenever they start a rain dance, they never stop… until it rains. Period.

How often do you start something, all excited as you begin. But after you get a quarter or a third of the way through it, you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you think you desire. So what do you do? You throw in the towel, of course!

If you want results, you need to dance until it rains.

If there is no forecast for rain, good news, you have more time to plan WHAT you're going to do. But when you are making it rain... you need commitment, perserverence, and grit.

I'd love to hear your rain dance plans... if you need help figuring them out or encouragement to keep dancing, you know where to find me!

Much Love


5 Tips to Not Raise a Slacker

5 Tips to Not Raise a Slacker

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But he needs me.

He can't do this on his own.

I'm only being helpful....

It's so hard to let go. The process starts the moment they arrive, and doesn't stop until long after we send them off to live independently.

As my two younger children headed back to school this week, it occurred to me that my oldest child will flying out of the nest in just two short years. Now, you may say, "Chill,'ve got TWO years! Relax, Rome wasn't built in a day. You've got plenty of time."

This is, of course, true. However, it also occurs to me that we've now been living in Los Angeles exactly two years this week. Two years? What the what?! Are you sure? I just got here. Where did time go?

So, knowing that the next two years will fly by at warp speed as well, and as I'm seeing many friends sending their "babies" off to college in the coming weeks, I thought about the tools I'd love to see my son have as he transitions from being a helpless dependent with no sense of where to get his next meal, ("Uhh, Mom, isn't there an app for that?") to how he will become a completely independent contributing member of society. #parentinggoals

I could write an entire book on this topic (hmmm, there's an idea...) but in a nutshell, the top five gifts (i.e., lessons) that parenting experts, college admission counselors, and your child's future hiring manager would beg you to impart on them as they transition into adulthood include:

Tip #1: Fail with a Capital F.

Tip #2: Don't Chase IG. (Instant Gratification or Instagram, for that matter)

Tip #3: Chunk it.

Tip #4: No Regrets.

Tip #5: Belt it from the Mountaintops.


Tip #1:

Fail (often) with a Capital F.

When we don't let them experience the highs and the lows of trying something new, we also deprive them of experiencing true joy in life.

As parents, we're so programmed to not want them to be in pain, that we start removing opportunities which we view as potential set-backs before they even try. Possible defeat.

Well, defeat is a good teacher. It teaches us what we want, who we are and what we're made of (if we let it).

So let him take a swing.

When he first tried to walk, he came at you looking like Frankenstein, fell flat on his face and starting wailing, did you throw in the towel and say, "Well, that's it, pin the kid down. This is obviously hopeless!"

Tip: Let him try. (encourage him to try)

Try out for the sports team in the sport he's barely played. SO he gets cut. And that's ok.

Here comes the juicy learning opportunity for him: How did it feel? Would you like to get better and try again next year? What do you think it will take to get there? What help can I provide you in reaching that goal?

Or, once they get their license, let themdrive to high school (on the 405!) or across town for the Dodgers game. Of course, we're hoping for a safe passage here, which is nerve-wracking, but at some point we need to start inching out the rope. It starts by letting them drive to get gas, then high school and finally the open road.

We've conditioned ourselves think that byholding on tighter, they won't fail.

And you're right, for the moment they won't. But when the time comes for them to attempt something on their own (and you are no where to be found), not only will they not have the tools they need to try, but they won't have the self-talk telling them what's possible. (that's an entirely different blog, more on that later)

Inch out the rope. Let go. He can do it.


Tip #2:

Instant Gratification doesn't lead to longterm happiness.

Find ways to create opportunities for him to understand what it means to delay gratification.

We are all so driven by that ping of our phones. The blissful sound that triggers the dopamine which floods the brain, oozing in warm, soft messages which whisper to our ego, "You are loved". So when it isn't happening, scarcity mentality kicks in and & panic runs rampant.

Tip: Unplug & turn off the phones by 9pm. (Leave them off, charging in the kitchen over night. Out of sight.) Leave the last 1-2 hours of the evening before bed for interaction... with each other. Gasp.

Tough to do with busy schedules and maybe you only do it a few nights a week. But just imagine the benefits even 30-50% improvement could bring. Would clarity of each others hopes and desires, support, connection and love be worth it?

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Tip #3:

Chunk it.

Teach and model (if/when you can) good practice habits. You can talk about what it takes to succeed, but if you can have them experience it for themselves, they will then (eventually) be able to transfer (with a little coaching) the learning to other parts of their lives.

My oldest son, has to do summer reading. "It's pointless, Mom. I'll just read the Spark notes and 'phone in the answers' to the study guide. It's all good. It's what 'everybody' does."

(Ok, maybe that isn't exactly what he said, but that's what I heard.)

So, as a way to teach him how to "chunk" the goal and not have to eat the entire elephant in one bite, I helped set up a "book club" with several of his classmates. They cut the 2 books into four parts, we used a tutor to help facilitate the learning and the boys met every couple weeks throughout the summer to go through the study guide.

Tip: The (hopeful) outcome is that the wiring is being laid down so that he remembers, " when I plan the work up front, stick to the schedule and follow-up, I am successful." Perhaps I'll need to continue to help him with the scheduling, the follow-up and the reminders to read (for now), but the long-term goal is that in two years, when he's on his own, he can pull this "little tool" out of his "handy dandy toolbox", recall that it actually was beneficial to read The Illiad and Brave New World, and realizes it doesn't have to be painful. Voila!

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Tip #4:

No Regrets.

Teaching them that when they take little calculated risks, they are moving themselves in the direction of their desires. It doesn't have to be a HUGE leap. Little steps will get you there.

My middle child, Parker, doesn't like heights, but he does love a good challenge. A couple of summers ago, he got stuck at the top of the high diving board. With 10 kids behind him waiting to go, crying and fearful, he was too scared to jump, but too frightened to back down the ladder.

Now what? He was at a total impass.

I gave him the out and said, "It's fine, Parker. You don't need to jump." A couple minutes later, feeling completely dejected, he eventually shimmied down the ladder.

Not 20 minutes later, he came over to me, "Mom, I want to face my fears. Will you help me go off the high dive?"

Tip: Find the little opportunities in the every day which are building the scaffolding to help them take risks and have no regerts. I mean regrets.

(Oh, and be prepared, as a side bonus, it usually forces you to face a few of your own as well!)

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Tip #5:

Sing from the Mountaintops.

Just imagine.... you've reached the mountain top. It's the highest point of Machu Picchu. The air is crisp and clear, your lungs are burning, you are completely exhausted and you couldn't be any prouder of yourself.

One of the most powerful acts highly successful people employ, is free.

What if f I told you it was available to you right now. Would you use it?

Here it is....

Tip: Act as if you already have. Whatever the goal or desire or outcome you wish to bring into being, spend 5 minutes a day visualizing it.

You made it to the top of Machu Picchu. Smell the crispness of the air and the freshness of the grass. Feel the burn of your lungs at 8,000ft and the soreness of your thighs which have just gotten you to this moment. This is a perfect moment. And you created it.

What are you creating next?

You are awful! Get a new job! You're the worst!

You are awful! Get a new job! You're the worst!

No, really. You suck.

No, really. You suck.

"Why even bother? You're a joke."

As I leave Vegas after 5 fun-filled days watching my two sons play a sport they love, basketball (ages 16 and 13), it gave me pause this week to think of our youth hoops journey to this point, dating back to this picture from above where my older son, CJ, at age 9, (making a dunk face) just "balled for love of the game".

And it's still stinging a bit thinking of all the pressure they and each athlete faced this week. The grandstanding by the parents and the coaches, the expectations that are put upon these kids to "win at all costs", particularly for those who are now in high school. The bar is very high and the tension in the gym, you can cut with a knife.

The further my older son's team progressed in the tournament this week, the more vile and aggressive the parents got, yelling at the refs and sometimes even swearing at the kids, each and every time up and down the floor. There was one Dad who literally moved to the bottom row of the bleachers to get closer to the floor so that he could heckle the ref each and every time she ran by.

Was the ref'ing perfect? For sure, not. There were many missed calls and bad oversights on the floor. And, I guess, you could rationalize that most of the yelling wasn't targeted "at the kids", so it's not that big of deal, right?


When did it become so accepted that you target the girl or guy, who I'm guessing are making $30-$50/game, who are also doing their best to try and call a "good game?" What are we modeling for our kids about what's acceptable behavior?

I believe this phenomenon has been growing, and it started sometime back when Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and the Williams sisters game into their prime. It happened when parents started to fantasize that if they are able to sink a lot of money into their kid starting a sport at 3, 4 or 5 years of age, they too can "create a prodigy" (despite, perhaps taking their own lack of athletic background into the picture). It happened somewhere around the time when it changed from "just a game" to a belief for so many parents, that this could be their "golden ticket".

Where we have gone so wrong from one generation to the next is allowing this heckling and pressure on young kids, all for the .001% chance that "my kid is the one" to make it to the next level. When I was a young, we used to play because it was fun, because we needed to be outside until dark, because we LOVED the game. If my parents came to the game, great, but there was ZERO expectation that I would play sports in college.

But it's now evolved so that when 1,600 kids and their hopeful parents show up in Vegas (and many other places around the country for so many different sports including football, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and lacrosse) with hoop dreams, they believe they are paying for results and, it would seem, are entitled to belittle, scream and demean whomever they want to get results they desire.

This whole phenomenon has made me curious on the math and I wanted to help level set expectations for my son. What are the real, true odds my kid can play at the next level, college, much less the Division I level?

It ain't pretty, people!

It is really not in most people's favor....84:1. Not great Vegas odds.

Maybe they should post these statistics near the front door as you walk in the gym of every tournament and pay your $10. But then again, that really wouldn't do anyone any good, as it's become such a business. Everyone from the club programs to the gyms up to the college programs, need to make money off of this so I guess we're better off letting parents pay the big bucks, give up family vacations and quality time together as a family (what's that?), in hopes of chasing one of these very rare unicorn scholarships.

For male high school basketball players according to

For female high school basketball players according to

For female high school basketball players according to

And if these statistics aren't sobering enough to encourage you to say pass to at least one of these recruiting events this year and spend some family time together, consider this.... the AVERAGE height of those 5,134 Division I players is 6'7". A-v-e-r-a-g-e.

So as our family leaves Vegas and hits the road this week for Jackson Hole, Wyoming (wo-hoo!), I am reminded that as much as my son dreams of playing at the next level, he should be doing his summer reading in the car (to get good grades!) and we should enjoy every minute together as a family, grateful to be making memories that will last long after the last buzzer sounds.

Don't get me wrong, I am not discouraging kids to chase their dreams. I am in full support of my son going after his, but what is it going to take for parents to have some modicum of decency when they go to a high school game? Reality check. It's a game, people. Cheer. Have fun. Support your child, but please stop cheering against the other team and yelling at the ref like they have a vendetta to pay against your kid. They are just doing your job. When's the last time you walked into your office and everyone yelled, "You SUCK!" as you headed to your desk.

Mother Nature is amazing.

Mother Nature is amazing.

She is in constant flow.

She is always either creating or destroying.

Nature is never static.

Change is constant.

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On a hike last week, I had an interesting epiphany as I walked through the ashes of a 35-acre burn that had happened near my house over the Memorial Day weekend. When I got within 100 yards from where the land had been charred, the smell of smoldering ashes took over and I was immediately propelled emotionally back in time. That wiff of smoke brought a beautiful wave of calm and peacefulness came over me.

And I instantaneously knew why.

As a child growing up in rural Montana, my father used to spend his free time clear-cutting our vast property. We lived in such a remote area, you had better odds of running into a into a bear or a deer, than you did another human being. This is such a stark contrast to the way my children, growing up in LA, are being raised.

I remember joining him, as he burned excess tree foliage, to make room for our horses to graze. I loved watching him work. He was so at peace working the land. For me, this stench of charred wood brings back memories of simple, careless childhood times, of closeness to Mother Nature, and to a time when the only thing I had to consider was how quickly I could get my chores done, so I could go back to building forts with my sisters and friends.

So, as I walked through these blackened grounds and memories flooded in, I realized everything has a time and a place in our lives. Just as "she" took out the grown foliage and it had all gone, Mother Nature has now cleared a path for new foliage to grow, news seeds to be sown, new opportunities to develop. And, she does this in our lives as well.

What mode are you in right now? Are you creating your new life? Or are you in destruction? Are you ready to get out of the ashes and rise again?

Perhaps you are clear-cutting some dead weight so you can make way for something new... a new relationship, a new life opportunity, a new goal.

Not all destruction is bad, in fact, many times there is a beautiful silver lining. Mother Nature is right there supporting you in helping you create who you are truly meant to become and it is through this destruction that she makes way for the new.


I love helping others create their new futures. Jump on my calendar for a complimentary 60-minute session (under Contact on my website and let's talk about what you're getting ready to create. I can't wait to hear all about it...

Much Love,


How to Fear. Less.  David Blaine's answer to this is fascinating.

How to Fear. Less. David Blaine's answer to this is fascinating.

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In a recent interview, David Blaine (@DavidBlaine, Magician, Illusionist & Endurance Performer) was asked, "How do you overcome fear?"

This is a guy who does stuff most of us would consider "CRA-ZEE", like sit in a plastic box hoisted high above London for 44 days without food or water. What-eva!

His answer is awesome, though... "I announce whatever scares me to the world, before I've even figured out how I'm going to do it. And then I start working back from there. Knowing that I've commited to delivering X magic trick at Y date, forces me into action."

When I heard this, I realized I had just done the same thing and it worked brilliantly. I had an idea I'd love to try for almost a year now. I wanted to host workshops for mothers and daughters, at the beach, where we build community, connection and collaboration. Last year, I even went so far as to hire someone to help me run this event, but when it came time to execute, those Elphaba voices in my head jumped in, "What if no one shows up? What if too many people show up? What if people don't like it?" What if, what if, what if...

Panic set in, I realized I had never "announced" my date, so whew!, I was free to go on about my life pretending like it was never even a thought in my mind. Feeling a bit like a loser, but at least I hadn't failed, right? Wrong.

Nine months later, the thought came rushing back and I went so far as to mention it to a mentor of mine. She immediately turned to me, looked me in the eyes and said, "Kirsten, you should do this immediately." (Insert hammer hitting head emoji here). I literally ran home, created the flyer, picked the date and announced it. Holy crap, here we go.

YIKES! Scary as all get out but also amazingly exciting. This past weekend, I had my first event. There were 12 of us. It was awesome! (Yes, 6 people who had paid didn't show. Stuff happens, people). It's funny as I rationalize my fears to others, they tend to look at me cross-eyed and ask, "Whats the big deal? You do this kind of stuff all the time." Yes, AND- it's important to keep doing it.

So, what's your BIG announcement today?

"I'm going to make X$ by Y date in my business."

"I'm going to lose lbs by Y date, in time for my summer beach vacation."

"I'm going to speak up for myself in every meeting with my boss and tell him how I really feel."

Sometimes we just need to GET. IT. OUT. Let someone else know your intentions, hold yourself accountable. And go.

So, my next scary announcement is my first YouGO!Girl Coaching Retreat, which is going to be held in Park City, Utah, September 28- October 1, 2017.

Are you looking for community, collaboration and others to support you on your journey? Together, we'll chart new waters on the next chapter in your life, your new business, your body, whatever is top of mind for you right now. It's going to be so much fun, I can't wait! This will be VERY limited in size (max 8 women), I want all of the women to feel very cared for and heard, so if you are an introvert and wondering if this is the right place for you. Yes, everyone will be very much included. Please let me know if you'd like to get on the "interested" list, more details are coming soon! #thisaintyourmamasretreat

If you don't have anyone else to make your announcement to, reply to this email and announce to MOI... I love helping others step outside of their comfort zones. I'm here for ya, baby.

I was a high school beauty pageant queen.

I was a high school beauty pageant queen.

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Ok, not really, but I did try it once. Really.

Yes, indeed, I believe it was the summer before my senior year of high school, back in 1987. A flyer must have circulated the halls of Sentinel High, up in wonderful Missoula, Montana.

"The Junior Miss Montana Pageant" hosted, in Great Falls

I honestly don't remember that much about the event itself. I just remember driving the four hours with my Mom, who graciously agreed to take me, and staying at some Red Lion Inn (or DoubleTree or whatever chain) where we, contestants, had to learn a couple of musical numbers over the course of several days, meet girls from all over the state and it all culminated with a "pageant" of sorts. The finalists were called and some lucky girl was "crowned". Spoiler alert, no, I didn't win. In fact, I didn't even make the Top 10. It's not an event that I honestly spend much, if any, time, reminiscing about, but it popped into my thoughts the other day as I was discussing with a client, 

"What advice would you give to your 18-year old self?"

In 1984, one of my family's closest friends, Kathy, lost her husband, Ric, and 18-year old daughter, Kristi, in a tragic car accident. Ric and Kristi, were driving home from Wyoming, where Kristi had, as the current Miss Montana, for the Miss USA pageant, performed in an event. Unfortunately, Ric was known for going to bed early, and on this night, tragically fell asleep at the whee just 35 miles from home. Neither he, nor Kristi, were wearing seat-belts (not yet a law back then) and both of them perished when car ran off the road and over-turned.

I had always looked up to Kristi who was four years my senior. She was the beautiful, funny, silly girl, who had Catherine Zeta-Jones looks but not a clue that she was truly stunning. She was the girl who all the boys had a crush on and all the girls wanted to be-friend. I remember her summer job of working at McDonald's, where we used to go visit her and get free french fries (which was a big deal)! She was the cool older friend who would rather take the "little" 8th graders to see "Chevy Chase's Vacation", than spend the evening with one of her several suitors who were always lurking around. 

So, when the Jr. Miss pageant came to my attention four years later, it wasn't that I thought, "Wow, this has been my life long dream", but I did think it would be a wonderful way to honor Kristi, and I guess, even force me out of my basketball shoes and volleyball kneepads for a few days, learn a few dance steps and try something else on for size.

There's a beautiful podcast I'm in love with right now, hosted by Jonathan Fields, called The GoodLife Project. He was riffing on this subject as well the other day... "Advice to your 18-year old self."

I personally think it's wonderful advice not only for an 18-year old, but really for any age.

He suggests you "run multiple experiments". The goal of any of these experiments isn't to succeed at any ONE thing, the goal is to answer three questions:

1) Who am I?

2) What do I care about?

3) What am I good at or capable of getting good at?

You will find that by "playing" and by running these "so-called" experiments in your life, you will be testing the waters. And it is through these tests, you will find your strengths, you will discover what you TRULY value, (which may be in opposition to things those around you are telling you, btw) and opportunities will come from this, which will align with your true self and will put you at peace and.... drumroll, please... may even have side-effects such as HAPPINESS. Ahh...

So, you then may ask... Kirsten, what does you entering a beauty pageant in your 18th year have anything to do with what you are doing now or happiness for that matter?

The answer is simple. I was experimenting. Without even knowing it (no foresight or intention here) I was just merely naively "trying it on." And even though, nothing technically came of it, really (ok, maybe a little poise and presentation skills?). I was just thankful to be able to honor Kristi's spirit and play.

A lot of clients in their late 30's (and beyond) tell me, "At some point, I stopped listening to myself and asking what it is I want. I stopped probing to find out what I truly care about. I even stopped wondering what I am good at or could be good at three or even five years from now." We get so stuck on our story of who we are right now, that we stop seeing who we could really be... like we used to do when we were 18.

So how would you answer these questions? When is the last time you asked yourself who am I?

If you're looking for help on answering these questions, I've got a free tool which helps bring clarity to your vision....