Familiar Territory


Stop navigating and float in good company

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

As adults, I think we are pressured to always be on-track, be clear, have direction. Of course, these things are necessary and usually helpful—but I also think, at times, they can hinder us creatively.

Fortunately, we all know people who are far more creative in the areas we might not be.

I’m creative with communicating ideas.

But when it comes to bringing visuals to life—not so much.

When I told Elizabeth Sawinski ( my realization from the highway in East Tennessee, I knew she’d be able to give it wings. It was freeing to say, “I have no idea where I’m going with this, but I want this idea to look like something. What do you think?”

If it were driven purely by my direction, this creative outcome never would have happened.

When was the last time you said, “Here’s my idea…” and just let it float in the capable hands of someone you trust?

Lessons from Dorothy…

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Recently I was driving back to Virginia from a trip to Tennessee. I was tired and bleary-eyed from a busy trip when I looked outside—somehow with a new (tiredness induced?) perspective, and thought, “East Tennessee sure is pretty. I’m really glad I grew up here.”

There truly is no place like home—because it’s where you came from. Every piece of us adds to who we are, right?

Now don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my life now in Northern Virginia for anything (unless I win the lottery, of course), but now I have this great reminder of my roots here with me.

Created by my talented friend, Elizabeth Sawinski, it says:

“Home is where one starts from.” -T.S. Eliot

How is home part of you who are today?

home art image (1)

A totally doable tip to refresh the mind.

Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Too busy to try something new today? It’s okay. If aerial yoga doesn’t fit into your schedule, here’s an even more practical tip that won’t require carving out a half-day.

Get some fresh air.

It does a body (and mind!) good.

·         Even if it’s just 5 minutes on your porch.

·         Even if it’s opening the windows on your way to Trader Joe’s.

·         Even if it’s parking a little farther from the entrance.

Breathe in some of that crisp fall air.

Like, right now!

Do it.

A sense of fulfillment…

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

VHCenter_LOGOtagSTACKED_C_050815I always give 100 percent to my clients—but often, what I get back is more than payment. When the project involves an organization, mission or service I’m personally interested in, payment also comes alongside a great sense of fulfillment.

This happens often because I work with so many healthcare organizations. Even though I’m not providing direct patient care, I’m supporting an organization of people who help people in need—or in this case, animals.

I’ve personally seen the benefits of holistic medicine for my own dogs and cat, which is why my recent project working with the Veterinary Holistic Center has been so energizing.

It’s exciting and fulfilling when work and life intertwine in this way. And I think there are more opportunities for it. Whether it’s actively looking for work that sparks our creativity, or finding ways to connect with the value of our work—work is definitely another avenue to find fulfillment.


Try something new today…

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Perhaps you keep driving past that new art studio in town—and when your inner-adventurer thinks, “I must go there,” your inner-practical-person says, “I’m too busy.”

What if we just ignored the practical voice and tried all these new things?

I tried something new, and it turned into quite the experience.

I had never heard of holistic vet care or acupuncture for dogs until my dog needed it several years ago. Now I’m a believer! My dog’s health improved and I’ve naturally become an advocate for holistic therapies.

As if that’s not benefit enough, I also met Dr. Kocen (at the Veterinary Holistic Center) because of trying something new. And a few months ago, when he was ready to start work on the launch of his new practice, he called me for help.

In this case, trying something new helped my dog, opened by eyes, and started a relationship that has now resulted in a collaboration.

It happens all the time.

So, next a time a friend or family member says…

  • Want to join me for aerial yoga?
  • Let’s try that new restaurant where everything is raw.
  • Let’s go zip-lining this weekend!

…step out of your comfort zone and do it! Branch out. The experience may change your thinking (and will definitely introduce you to new people).

Does less whining equal more time?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Time management is a constant issue for me. Perhaps I just take on too much, or maybe the great time-management tips I implement eventually wear off. That’s why it was definitely worth my time to read this article from DailyWorth, 7 Tricks to Better Manage Your Time. This tip was an especially good reminder:

Take breaks
“We only have 90-minute attention spans,” says Schulte. “The brain can concentrate on anything if it knows a break is coming soon. Choose your most important task and do it first when your willpower is strongest and your mind freshest, then plan to devote your attention in 30-, 45-, or 90-minute ‘pulses.’ Then take a break.”

A friend and colleague of mine sent this article to me because she knows time management eludes me—maybe because I’m always whining about it! Hmm…If I didn’t spend so much whining—I bet I’d have more time. I’m going to implement these tricks, whine less, and let you know how it goes.

What’s your number one tip for effective time management? Let me know. I can use all the advice I can get.

Black pants and hiring experts…

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Here’s a little tale of a fashion-challenged, time-strapped professional desperately seeking good black pants…and what it means about working with experts…


Imagine a busy woman with no time to spare for shopping but a real need for a spring wardrobe update. I decided to make an appointment at Nordstrom with a personal shopper…and boy, was it eye-opening experience.


I scheduled my session and told them what I was looking for, then arrived to find a dressing room filled with several options of what I requested and some other great items to consider.


An experienced personal shopper told me very bluntly what looked good on me, what worked for me and what did not—and she backed it up with explanations as to why. She saved me tons of time and helped me make wise decisions. 


Exactly what I try to do with my clients.


I won’t think twice about scheduling a personal shopper again in the future. She was just the expert I needed.


I’m fashion-challenged so I freely admit I’m not your best choice for a personal shopper. But if you need someone to save you time and help you make wise communication decisions, I’d love to be your expert.

Go from exhausted to balanced

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I’m so exhausted.

I only slept four hours last night.

I’m on my fifth cup of coffee.

Have you heard these statements yet today? Did you say them yourself?

We all get caught up in trying to do it all—usually to our own detriment. Maybe we find ourselves checking emails at midnight, yet still burdened because we aren’t getting enough done! In today’s constant stream of communication, there is always something to do. No wonder everybody is so tired and unbalanced.

In this great article, “Exhaustion is not a Status Symbol,” Lillian Cunningham interviewed Brené Brown. Here are my takeaways (to help ourselves and others gain balance):

  1. Give feedback. In the same way deadlines are a gift—so is feedback. Instead of just moving onto the next thing, take a few minutes to talk about what someone has done. Brown sees feedback as a sign of respect—a way to acknowledge that someone has accomplished something important.
  2. Set boundaries. When it comes to rest, fun and celebrating, they won’t happen unless we make time for them. Nobody will set boundaries for us, and no amount of coffee will fix that.

Do you have any tips to share?

Giving the gift of deadlines…

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

I love deadlines. Without them, a fraction of our accomplishments would ever get completed. Do you realize how productive deadlines allow us to be? And how much they enable us to manage our time, our projects, our output and even our mental wellbeing?

Deadlines create the framework in which productivity happens. I sort of view giving (and respecting other people’s) deadlines as a gift. A gift of sanity. A gift of productivity. And a sign of respect.

Here are 3 tips for giving and enjoying the gift of deadlines:

  • Set them for yourself to help keep you on track, even for internal projects.
  • When asking others to do something (or even respond to an email), provide a deadline to help them manage the task and timeframe.
  • Be respectful of deadlines given to you by others, and realize the impact missing one may have, i.e. the snowball effect.
  • If you’re unable to meet a deadline, communication is key. As soon as you know a deadline might not be attainable (even if you have a sneaking suspicion)—give a heads up so the other party can reorganize.

If you’re like me, deadlines keep you calm and productive. Do you like them as much as I do?

6 tips to be strong, positive and resilient

Posted by on Jan 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Good vibes were plentiful the past few months as I celebrated my 10-year anniversary. Just look at all these amazing partners and colleagues who guest posted on my blog! With such good company, feeling great was easy.

But real-life isn’t always a celebration—it can be stressful at times. Since avoiding stress is impossible, it’s important to deal with it in a healthy way. My favorite tips for feeling great and staying positive are:

  1. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  2. Reframe negative thoughts into positive ones
  3. Get 8 hours of sleep
  4. Stick to the golden rule
  5. Do yoga or walk during the day
  6. Assign priorities

Every day isn’t perfect, but if I can do more than half each day—I consider it a big win!

What are your top tips for staying on top of your game?