Gallup Strengths Finder

One of the many interests that I squeeze on my insta-bio is Gallup Coach.

Gallup is an organization that researched the characteristics, traits, or tendencies, that make up people. Gallup calls these elements talents. From research, they’ve discovered that understanding personal talents and growing them into strengths makes a positive difference in performances.

Gallup identified 34 talent themes and once assessed, an individual can see how their talents line up. This knowledge creates awareness. Strengths coaching can produce a personalized performance strategy.

Regardless of the talent themes, each person can develop strengths and improve his/her life simply by doing what they were uniquely designed to do. I coach people of all ages beginning as young as 10 years old.

This coaching design has a valuable impact on work, goal-setting, family-life, parenting, academics, and relationships. In addition, it is great for students, teachers, ministry groups, teams, and businesses.

This type of personal development can make life more meaningful and fulfilling, because clients understand how they best function and then strategize to make contributions to the world around them in a unique and natural way.

The other title on my insta-bio is professional counselor. More specifically, I am a solution-focused counselor who relies on the client to be the expert regarding his/her life. As an SF counselor, I’m simply a guide who helps the client discover what is going well and how to do more of that in life to see improvements. This practice is similar to strengths-based coaching, as it focuses on what people do well instead of working on what they do not.

Perspective changes things!

Personally, Strengths Finder helped me determine how I wanted to spend my life. I don’t live within conventional roles for my professional life any longer. Instead, with my Gallup Strengths Coach, I work to develop a life that makes sense for me and my unique design. Now, my life and insta-bio are full of things I am passionate about and can make a living doing!

Do you live a life you love? How did you make that happen?

If not yet, I would love to help you take the next step! Let’s connect.

Harmony Doodle

You may have seen there is a new furry member of Wander in Harmony Inc.

Harmony was 11 weeks old on Wednesday. She is an F1 Goldendoodle. Which means her mom is a Golden Retriever and her dad a standard poodle.

Harmony has been under consideration for many months now.

See, we lost our 12-year-old poodle a year ago last October. This left a hole in our hearts and made Willow, our black lab, an only dog.

Willow has actually become the best-dog-ever after several years of trying our patience and growing out of puppyhood. So, adding a new puppy to a very stable and entirely potty-trained family was a huge decision.

Here’s the thing. I grew up with eight dogs. Five were German Shepards and the other three poodles. I was an only child until I was six, so these pups were not just pets, they were my pack.

As a toddler, I learned a lot about love from my animals. They were fiercely loyal, kind, and always interested in me. I could get them to do just about anything for a Cheeto. As I grew, they let me dress them up, and they were the best students when we played school. Protection was a natural instinct for them, and several of the older humans learned quickly not to reach for me or try to pick me up in the presence of the pack without careful warning. They were easily the best part of my childhood.

Back to Harmony.

As a therapist-in-training, I am fascinated by alternative therapies that help people heal. This is why oils and yoga will always have a place in my practice. As designed, while interning with an advocacy agency for children, I met a therapy dog. Watching the dog naturally and instinctively work with and love on these children was powerful. To watch the children, respond with smiles, touch, and trust, impactful.

Harmony has a long way to go, but we hope she will have a heart and disposition to tend to the hurting. Willow has a beautiful disposition, but some bad manners and is now eight-years-old. Still, Harmony and Willow began training last Saturday. As I said, we have lots of work ahead of us, but I hope to have two new furry therapists in our office in the near future.

I believe the love and protection of dog has the power to grow and heal hearts.

On a personal note, our family is smitten over our new puppy, Willow has a playmate, and everyone has an abundance of love and sloppy kisses.

Follow Harmony’s training on Instagram @harmonydoodle

My why…

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’ve been thinking a bit about my journey to healthier living that began in 2011 and my decision to build a Young Living business in 2013.

In 2008, I had my youngest son. I had anxiety and depression that shut me down most days. It was relentless and the only thing worse was the insomnia and the feeling that I was trapped in my existence.

When I looked in the mirror, I no longer saw myself or anyone I wanted to be. It was long and difficult.

My health was the next to crumble. Weight gain, adrenal fatigue, body aches, and a vague diagnosis with no fix. At that point. I let doctors, who did not know, define what I could and could not do.

But God…

In 2010, we moved to DFW. 600 miles from family, to new jobs, new stress, new bills and the same sickness. That year, Tom ended up in the hospital twice with random unexpected illnesses. Needless to say, we were tired, our marriage was rocky, our finances a mess.

In 2011, in a desperate attempt for relief from my physical and emotional hurts, I found help at the hands of a Chinese Medicine Doctor. I learned about toxins and how eating clean and living clean can heal the body.

I learned to move (whether painful or not). Most importantly, I realized that with every bit of effort in the right direction, small changes were countering the faulty beliefs I had foolishly accepted about myself.

Fast forward a few months, I learned from my childhood friend that Young Living had great products to support my new and evolving toxic-free lifestyle. Essential Oils were the missing link and I began to feel healthier than I ever had.

In 2013, I became a certified yoga instructor, in 2015, I ran my first half marathon with my husband. In that half training, I learned to follow him/Him. Our marriage was healed.

In 2015, I went to an Oola Weekend Conference and wrote down wants, why’s, goals, and how’s, regarding these areas of life Faith, Family, Friends, Fun, Fitness, Finances, and Field (work). With a community of people who were ready to take living to the next level, I developed a plan.

We are now Gold distributors with Young Living. We have traveled, paid off debt, sent our children on adventures, and I was able to leave my job in public education in 2017 and go to school full-time this year (dream come true), all because of the decision to intentionally share wellness with others.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭

My dreams are to continue to learn and grow in understanding about how to empower myself and others to create a life they love! Through my work as a life coach and a therapist-in-training, I hope to reach others who are ready to live better.

We are incredibly grateful for every bit of this journey, even the painful ones.

I share my story not because it’s over, or because I live a perfectly healthy life today, but to say we are not limited to what we think we are or are not.

Never settle for anything you can choose out of your life. Find Joy in that which is not a choice and the journey you will experience along the way!

Let your light shine.

The morning after the largest shooting in U.S. History, I can’t help but take a moment to think. Yogis speak of meditation. Mindfulness is a popular concept. For me, thinking is my jam.

A warm cup of coffee and quiet space is all I need to put the world back in order. With my dog at my feet, I feel loved. I pray over my people who are out in this scary world and remember that their contributions matter.

Am I afraid? Absolutely. Am I heartbroken by the violence? Undoubtedly. Yet, today in my silence, I am reminded that for every brokenhearted person, for every tear, prayer, breathless moment, sleepless night, angst in chest, and grieving soul; there is also hope. For every person who cannot fathom the despair and actions of Stephen Paddock and is harmed by the thought of this senseless act, is sense. There is truth and light in every person who doesn’t get it and there lies hope.

This may seem like an optimists’ post gone overboard, but my drop of hope is worth sharing. Light shared by others makes the world not dark. Light is powerful. For every one of us, who takes a moment, during this time of grieving, to think, write thoughts, teach children, and ache to make a difference, there is light.

The sun came up yesterday and today, and I am believing for tomorrow. We all have a chance to go forward and share our light. Smile, forgive, extend grace, be willing to see the best in others, write that thought, say that prayer, share something good, eat something delicious, take a walk, send a gift, volunteer, lift someone up, encourage, be present, love fiercly, and live well. Your contributions matter.

Together our light breaks the darkness.