How Do We Want to Raise the Next Generation?

I just got goosebumps after listening to my dear friend Lauri’s TEDx Talk on shifting gender paradigms.  I knew Lauri was smart, educated, determined and compassionate but I hadn’t yet witnessed how she could parlay all that into a well-constructed and powerfully-delivered talk about the impacts of gender bias on our young girls and boys. 

I grew up with two sisters, and although our Dad was not shy about sharing how he always wanted a son, he did manage to instill in us the capacity to be strong in the head, strong in the heart, and strong in the whole body.  An African-American man from the South, he was used to ‘Southern Belles.’  My sisters and I, however, were also raised by our Swedish mother who was not about to let her three daughters become meek, quiet, nor fragile beings.  No, she raised us to be tough Vikings, to stand tall and to speak our mind. 

I get frustrated on a daily basis when my son does something rowdy, destructive or intrusive, and people just dismiss it as “oh he’s just a boy.”  What? Are we teaching him it’s ok to hit, it’s ok to push, it’s ok to dismiss others feelings simply because his gender is male?  What about the little girl who hits, pushes or shoves another child?  She gets reprimanded. Why is it when my son falls and hurts himself, he’s told “Get back up, you are tough and strong”– while his female preschool mates are given ice for their booboos and doted on until they stop crying?

Lauri’s talk is a scary wake up call for me.  To this day my dad (who means well and was also brought up in a very old-school generation) will say to me, “Don’t you look pretty today.”  What does that have to do with anything?  I’d rather be told, “Go be bold, be brave, be authentically you today!”  So I’m here to back up Lauri’s message and share that as the single mother of a curious, adventurous, strong and compassionate little 20 month old – I’m on a mission to raise him to recognize all these wonderful qualities in his female preschool mates too.  I’m here to–as Lauri invited us all to do–be mindful of the stories I tell and the behaviors I express in front of my son and other young minds, and I’m here to set the stage for more gender equality. 

I want my son to grow up knowing he has a mom who is strong, curious, compassionate and unapologetically bold.  Mind you, just sharing these personal details about me certainly does not come easy. But I am committed to shifting our gender conversations and not staying silent.  

I want my son to grow up reading about characters like Pippi Longstocking – the brave, curious, smart and compassionate young adventurer, who happens to be female.  I want him to witness my two nieces as they develop into young entrepreneurs, that can climb trees, play with Legos, and create whatever their hearts desire.

Join me and my friend Lauri as we promote an environment where all children can pursue whatever their hearts desire.

P.S. Any TEDx Talk that mentions Sweden and highlights its strengths is an added plus for me.  Yes, I’m American and I’m also a very proud Swede! 

Be Your Own Person

Year of YesHave you heard about the book, Year of Yes – How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person!?  A friend recently recommended this book as a fun and interesting read.  It’s rare that I laugh out loud when reading a biography but oh boy did I laugh over and over again as I devoured this book.  As a single self-employed working mother, I don’t have much spare time to sit and read but this book I couldn’t put down.  It was a wonderful break from diaper changing and nursing.  But enough about me – I’m recommending this book because aside from being utterly entertaining it also has some profound, positive and helpful tips (especially if you are an introvert). Shonda talks about motherhood, relationships, diversity, body image and work pressures in such a real and refreshing way.  In addition to be fully engaging, I was more importantly moved and empowered by her wisdom, wit and transparency. Would love to hear your thoughts after reading it.

Millennials in Wonderland



I’m excited to share, I’ve contributed a chapter to this first complete guide to helping grads find direction after college.

Based on the successful Grad Life Choices coaching program, Wendy and Kenneth Schuman and 23 leading coaches and experts share the process that has helped young people from all over the country unlock their potential, overcome obstacles, and achieve their dreams.



Among the chapters:

  • Coaching across cultural differences (my contribution)
  • Choosing a career
  • Setting clear goals
  • Coping with negativity
  • and much more!

Relevant for coaches, grads, parents, mentors, career counselors, and educators wanting to help young people launch their lives and careers.  Check out the book here. Millennials in Wonderland

Book: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist

Book - the soul of money

I was introduced to this book during my coaches training program back in 2012. I couldn’t put it down, the stories the author shared evoked every emotion within me.  Excitement, anger, fear, joy, compassion, curiosity, inspiration . . . I could go on.  I shared it with everyone I talked to though gradually as time went by and life’s ordinary routines took over like many interesting yet unfamiliar ideas, the books wisdom faded from my mind.  That is until recently when I attended a two day retreat focused on the challenging yet so important concept of shifting from a mindset of scarcity to sufficiency.  All around me, everyday almost in every moment there is something reminding me that money, time, resources, and/or relationships are scarce. I don’t enjoy operating from scarcity yet it is so familiar and almost expected that it is often where my mind goes.  So I went back to look at all the highlighted pages and folded corners in her book to remind myself that there is in fact another perspective I can take.

“In the pursuit of more we overlook the fullness and completeness that are already within us waiting to be discovered.  Our drive to enlarge our net worth turns us away from discovering and deepening our self-worth.”

This was the perfect quote for me to land on this week as I’ve spent way too much of my time and energy in my head worrying about my net worth instead of focusing on discovering and deepening my self worth.  This may sound Pollyanna, however as a coach and an individual committed to overcoming the mindset of scarcity, being reminded of the value of paying attention to self worth set me back on an empowering instead of defeatist path.  What path do you want to be on?

Check out the book or audio course!

The Power of Vulnerability – Brene Brown’s Ted Talk

Just recently listened to Brene Brown’s talk again after about a year.  Honestly it would probably be useful to listen to this everyday. No joke.

Vulnerability is not something I choose to participate in most of the time, however, when I do it’s really amazing what opens up for me and those I dare to be vulnerable with.  She reminds me that vulnerability is a willingness to do something where there are no guarantees. I think of the quote (adapted from Andre Gide)

“We cannot discover new lands until we first have the courage to lose sight of the shore”

Everyday as a coach and individual committed to growth and development I am offered opportunities to practice vulnerability.  Today I’m choosing to embrace Brene’s wisdom and practice gratitude and joy. Remind myself that I am already enough. Love with my whole heart and let all of me be seen.  What does vulnerability mean to you?