Connection Redirection

Remember Pavlov?  He’s the guy that rang the bell then fed the dog. After a few go-rounds, he could ring the bell and the dog would salivate.  The dog made a connection between the bell and food.  In reality, there is no actual connection between the bell and the food, yet even after many failed attempts where the bell produced no food, the connection remained.  My dear readers, the same is true of us.  There are lots of connections that we have crafted throughout our lives that in truth have no association, yet our behavior and belief remain.  Let’s look a few examples.

Money = Security:  Many of us are conditioned with the belief that money is necessary for security.  If we have money, we are safe.  It feels true that abundant money may help alleviate some concerns in daily life, but the reality is that there are people with large supplies of money that feel very insecure, and people with minimal financial balances who feel perfectly safe.

I’ll be happy when…:  Do you practice this one?  It’s the forever unattainable happiness that is connected to some life circumstance, event or achievement.  “I’ll be happy when I graduate.”  “I’ll be happy when I meet that special someone.”  “I’ll be happy when I lose 20
pounds.”  We connect happiness to external events in anticipation of those events changing our feelings.  And it is true that these successes are worthy of celebration and will bring a momentary high.  However, the reality is, if you’re not happy now, there’s a good chance you won’t be happy then either.  Why?  Happiness (real happiness) is not connected to life circumstances.  It is connected to how you feel about yourself, your personal power, and your ability to navigate life.

Partner = Completion of Self:  Finding a perfect life partner is a goal that many
people share.  It is common for people to associate wholeness with the presence of a mate.  The truth is that you are whole, and any pieces that you are looking to have completed by a partner will remain void after the initial high of partnership wears off.  Let me clarify.  Partnership can be wonderful, and if it is something that you wish to have in your life, that’s great.  However, if you are seeking a partner to “complete” yourself, you’re asking for trouble.  Know your own completeness and look for a partner to enjoy and enhance your life.  A partner should be a bonus, not a space filler.

It’s common that we learn of these misaligned connections through trial and error and often through hardship.  We typically don’t know the connection exists until it is challenged in some way.  You may realize that your definition of who you are requires an overhaul when you lose your job or your partner.  You may discover the disconnect between events and happiness when you find yourself feeling low even though the circumstances of your life are good.  If often takes experiencing the contrast to
realize that the connection wasn’t true to begin with.

Here comes the coaching part.  Awareness is always the first step in any positive change.  If you wish to change some of the connections you’ve created, take a good, honest look at where they exist.  Next, collect some evidence.  Are there times in your life that you were
happy, even though you hadn’t yet achieved some of your goals?  Are there other people in your life that have found contentment and joy despite your necessary prerequisites?  (Secure without money, whole without partner, happy without circumstance, etc.)  Once
you conclude that the connection is invalid, then watch for places in your thinking that it pops up.  When you notice it in your thoughts, remind yourself that it was simply conditioned to be there, and replace it with your new truth.  Just as the conditioning for the belief took time to build, it will take time un-build.  Be gentle with yourself as you learn a new skill and be generous with your self-congratulations as you
experience the positive shift.


Post originally written 5/2010 by Jill Baake.

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I Can Do It!

No, this is not Nathan's actual sandwich 🙂

We had some friends over the other day, and Nathan (age 6) asked about having a snack.  I asked him what kind of snack he was thinking about, and he decided that a peanut butter and jelly would do the trick.  He got out the bread, grabbed the peanut butter, found the jelly in the fridge, and took a plastic knife from the drawer.  He skillfully spread the peanut butter, gooped the jelly, mashed it together and went on his merry way; freshly crafted sandwich in hand.

My friend commented that her son (also age 6) wouldn’t have a clue how to make himself a sandwich.  She does all of those types of tasks for him.  It never really occurred to her to have him try it for himself.

And so began my wonderment about self-sufficiency and the value of knowing that I can take care of myself and that my kids deserve to know that they, too, can take of themselves perfectly.

The next day, I was reminded again to think about self-sufficiency and the “I can do it” spirit.  A few weeks back, I took my car for an oil change at the Hales Corners
Fast Track.  The oil-change guy told me that my cabin air filter needed to be replaced.
The part would be $60.  He showed me the filter and I happily ignored his sales pitch.  Then I started to I wondered if I could just do it myself.

I decided to see if YouTube could offer a little insight on this filter thing.  Sure enough, a fuzzy 3-minute video showed a clip here, a clip there, filter out, done.  So, I checked out the AutoZone website and learned that the $60 part that the Fast Track guy would graciously sell me, actually costs $18.  Wow.  Later that day, I picked up the part I needed and when I got home, I replaced my cabin air filter in about 3 minutes.  Couldn’t have been easier and I was way proud of myself.  I saved $42, and enjoyed the satisfaction of self-sufficiency in car repair. Go me!

It feels good to know that I can do things for myself.  It also feels good to know that my journey toward self-sufficiency in recent years has had a positive influence on my kids.  Nathan and Rylan get lots of opportunities to figure things out, do things for themselves, and celebrate the sense of “I can do it!”

Here’s the added bonus!  The more I allow my kids to do things for themselves, the less I have to do for them leaving more time for fun stuff.  Who couldn’t use more time for fun stuff?

Where can you empower your kids to be more self-sufficient?  How about your own “I can do it” practice?  You can do it!  (Whatever “it” is).

Isn’t today a good day to give it a go?

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Learning out Loud – Exerpt from I Love Me Mom (Chapter 4)

Learning Out Loud

As you are walking the journey to self-love, I encourage you to make observations about your progress to your kids. Open and honest conversations about what you are learning provide an opportunity for you and your kids to think about situations, feelings, and
self-exploration in a new way.

It might sound something like this.

  • Mom: “Hey, Nathan! Would you like to hear about something new that I’m learning?”
  • Nathan: “Sure.”
  • Mom: “Well, I am learning to treat myself with love and respect. I didn’t realize
    that sometimes I am really mean to myself. Isn’t it neat that even when you
    grow up you still learn new stuff?”
  • Nathan: “Yep.”
  • Mom:  “What are you learning about you?”

When you have the courage to share your journey with your kids, they benefit from your learning. As a bonus, you get the opportunity to learn from them. Really listen to what they share with you. The insights and brilliance that comes from this kind of conversation will amaze you. You will gain information about how your kids are feeling, and create communication behaviors that provide the building blocks for future discussions.

Furthermore, working through your new thought processes out loud solidifies them within you. When you share with your kids that you are learning, you give them permission to learn. When you give them the opportunity to share what they are feeling, you create a safe place for talking about learning. We are not doing this in a behavioral correction sort of way. We are doing it in an exploratory, learn-about-yourself way.


Learn more about I Love Me Mom – A Guilt-Free Guide to Honoring Yourself and Empowering Your Kids at  Order your copy today!




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Unexpected Great Day

I was thinking that yesterday was going to be a great day.  I was planning to take the kids to the beach and had invited several friends to join us for a day of sun, sand and splashing.  Beach day is about my most favorite way to spend the day, and I cherish those summer-fun days.

When I woke up, however, clouds filled the sky (what the heck, weather forecasters??) and it was feeling a little chilly for the beach.  Then I checked email and learned that some of our beach-buddies were not able to make it.  Sigh.  Looks like beach day isn’t meant to be for today.

So, we decided that a play-at-home day would be the substitute plan.  Late morning, the kids were playing outside.  Then the neighbors on one side (2 boys) came out to play with them.  Then the neighbors on the other side came out (2 more boys).  I texted a couple of my son’s classmates and invited them to join us.  By 1:00pm, there were 8 boys ages 5-7 and my daughter playing in our yard.

One of the moms hung out to chat with me, and it turned out to be a great day.  Some of the highlights:

  • Shoe-ball:  The boys were playing kickball, and when they would kick, their shoe would fly off and everyone would laugh.
  • Wisconsin Firecrackers:  This was the name of their kickball team.
  • Water stand:  My daughter took the pitcher of water and set up shop at the picnic table.  She loves a good tea party.
  • Race track: One of the boys drew a chalk track on the driveway for the bike riders.

This is the mom that I want to be.  The one with the yard full of kids being kids and making memories and laughing and thinking how fun it is to play at our house.  What I thought was going to be a great beach day (then I thought was going to be a quiet stay home day) turned into quite a party day.

I love when that happens.

The Wisconsin Firecrackers 🙂

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A Little Daydream…

I just received an order for I Love Me Mom for Los Angeles, CA.  Woo-hoo!!!  The book will now be in 6 states.  That’s kinda fun to me!

So, now that the book is on its way to LA, perhaps this is the spark that creates the viral wildfire that puts I Love Me Mom on the map.  Indulge my fantasy for a moment, won’t you?

The woman who bought the book today reads it and loves it.  She begins to tell her L.A. mom friends about it.  You know… her LA mom friends… Pink, Gwyneth, Julia, Katie, Dr. Phil’s lovely wife, Robin, etc.  The buzz and readership grows leading to the plethora of phone calls from talk shows wanting to feature the book (and it’s author).  “You would like order books for your audience members and have me as a guest on your show and put me up in an ocean-front hotel for the week?  Sounds great to me!”

Hey, it could happen.  For now though, I’ll just enjoy the excitement of sending a copy of the book to California where it might help a mom on her journey.  After all, that really is the goal.  To be a ray of hope and inspiration, to help moms honor themselves and gain a better understanding of how self-love influences us and our precious kids.

Do you know a mom that could benefit from the book?  Learn more and order your copy at


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The Circle of Help

Have you ever thought about all the different facets around the concept of “help”?  When I bring up the idea of asking for help, what emotion does it spark? Are you able to easily ask for help or is it a fearful process? Have your requests for help often been met or have they been refused? Do you feel guilty or grateful upon receiving help?

How about when someone asks you for help? Do you feel obligated and resentful, or honored and energized to have the opportunity to contribute? Do you have the personal power to decline if the help is not in alignment with your needs?

The giving and receiving of help can be a magical process.  It can produce great feelings for both the giver and the receiver. It can propel a desire to “pay it forward” and help others in a positive and joyful way. On the flip side, it can also create feelings of abuse, obligation, guilt, vulnerability, rejection, distrust and disappointment.

So, how do we create a circle of help in our lives that allows for asking, giving and receiving of help and produces all the positive side effects that helping can offer? Here are some thoughts on how to create your own circle of help.

The ABC’s (and D) of Help:

  • Awareness: awareness is always the first step in creating anything. Pay attention to the role that helping plays in your life. How do you feel about it? If it isn’t feeling great, what about it is out of alignment for you? Are you helping too
    much? Are you asking for too much help? Are you giving help and never asking in
    return therefore robbing your circle of the opportunity to give? Are you expecting help without asking for it?
  • Boundaries: one of the most important (and sometimes difficult) aspects of self-love is the ability to set and honor personal boundaries. Take a look at your help
    behaviors. If you are giving out of obligation and fear of saying no, it may be
    time to look at how you’re treating yourself.
  • Communication: creating a circle of help requires authentic and honest communication. We learn from each other, support one another and deepen our relationships when we really talk about how we feel about situations.
  • Don’t take it personally: everything that others do is about their journey – not
    yours! Everything you do is about your journey – not someone else’s. Becoming
    proficient in this belief changes everything. Asking for help is easy. Giving
    help is a choice and done from love and joy. Receiving help elicits gratitude.
    Being unable to help does not produce feelings of guilt. Being denied help is
    not a rejection of you or your relationship.

What are your help beliefs? This week, I invite you to pay attention to the role you play in the circle of help. How you can help yourself grow and evolve in this area? I welcome your comments and thoughts!

Post originally written 5/2/2010 by Jill Baake.

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What is a Life Coach?

A Life Coach is a professional communicator that helps people implement positive changes in their lives.  A coach acts as a sounding board, motivator, resource, and guide encouraging people to discover their personal truth and make decisions that move them in the direction of their goals.

There are a multitude of different coaches lumped under the title of Life Coach.  Some coaches are focused on business, others on communication, some on romance or
relationships, and others on wealth, physical health, or another area.  I personally consider myself a joy coach.  I like to work with clients that are looking to experience more fun and joy in their lives.

Often what brings someone to a coach is the realization that their life is not what they want it to be.  Through the coaching process, a good coach can help you discover what it
is you’d like to experience in your life and how to reach that goal.  Many times, a new client may not know what they want to experience, but they are aware of what they don’t want to experience again or any longer.  That’s a great place to start.  Once we’ve gotten to the core of whatever it is that you want, we then look at how to get there.


The way to start moving toward your dreams or goals is by taking one small easy step at a time.   We’ll celebrate each step taken and explore feelings, lessons and insights that come up along the way.  Those feelings and lessons will lead us to the next step and the
next.  The magic in coaching is the understanding that you are the creator of your life experience.  You get to decide what it is that your life
will be.


Hooray, indeed, unless you are not making the decisions that lead to the experiences that you want to experience.  If the decisions you make are coming from fear, envy, powerlessness, unworthiness, or insecurity, then the outcomes you create will reflect that.

In contrast, when you begin to make decisions from self-love, worthiness, deserving, and
joy, the results of those decisions are a dream come true.  Literally.

Your dreams begin to manifest in your life because the decisions you make create your reality.  Hooray!!  Oh, and if you’re thinking that you don’t even know what dreams you would like to make come true, remember that we started there with figuring out what it is you want to experience.  The next step is to lather, rinse, repeat.  You achieve one dream, and you move on to the next.

Can you imagine a life more joyful than that?

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