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Dealing with Criticism


I’ve had to learn how to handle criticism in the realm of singing, songwriting, classical piano performance, jazz piano and yoga instructing.


It’s never been easy.


Have you ever been criticized for something you’ve worked hard toward, only to be judged or spoken of in harsh ways?


How is it that one person who says, “that sucks,” can cancel out one hundred people who absolutely adore what you’ve made?


Even just one hater can send us into questioning everything.


It’s common and I know this doesn’t happen to just me.


The truth is, the more I’ve put myself out there, the more I’ve entered the arena, the more criticism has come my way.


I’ve had to really work on establishing a healthy self-concept and mindset around criticism.


As humans, there’s always the tendency to think critically (or critically think - which aren't the same thing) and find ways to...

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How to Help Your Anxious Teen

First off, I want to say, Thank you for trusting me with your teenagers. I love them. Ya'all have amazing humans you've been raising!

I've noticed a couple of things:

They're in a hurry to feel better, fast.

A common theme that keeps coming up is to slow down.

It's okay to slow down.

Because we need to pay attention to ourselves.

We need to understand why we don’t feel good.

That's where I come in with the coaching. I help people slow down.

I help them pause, notice what they're thinking and I hold the space for them to stay with the unrest inside of them long enough to process it.

Why we in such a hurry all the damn time? (scuze my french si vous plait).

The goal isn’t to feel better fast. The goal is to feel now. Even when it's inconvenient.

Especially when it's inconvenient.

Or else we get all anxious and stuff.

We ultimately end up feeling better by allowing all our feelings.

The positive and the negative.


Teens face A LOT these days....

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Little Earthquakes and La Vie en Rose

Since my husband's job over the years of marriage has determined where we live, we've moved a lot. I used to freak out inside when he hated his job and wanted to get a new one. In our younger years, we thought that changing our Circumstance was the answer to solving problems.

The I.T. world is constantly changing, and my husband has worked hard to stay relevant and keep current in the tech industry. Whenever his boss or upper management would change, he would get nervous.

On one such occasion, he updated his resume in 2011 and was contacted by an Amazon recruiter who quickly flew him to Seattle, arranged for two days of grueling interviews, and then offered my husband the Amazon moon of a job, with excellent pay, benefits, and stock options.

And just like that, our little family moved to Seattle.

Except that I didn't want to move.

No thank you Amazon. No thank you Seattle. No thank you rain. and NO THANK YOU leaving my music career, friends, and family.

I was comfortable in Utah. I...

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How One Mom Shifted Parenting Her Teenage Daughter

The following is shared with full permission by a very brave mom who I recently coached.

She shared with me how afraid she was of her daughter and the distance they were experiencing in their relationship. She had a completely different vision of how she thought their relationship should be versus the direction it was heading.

She believed her daughter was difficult.

A belief is a thought you keep on thinking.

It's a thought you keep thinking over and over, until it becomes second-nature.

Most of us aren't aware of our beliefs about other people, other than the general feeling that they're lacking in some way or that they are responsible for making us happy.

Our beliefs will determine how we feel about our life. And they will show up in all of our relationships.

This mom wanted support with her belief in being a good mom. She was brave and courageous as she admitted that being a good mom meant "always knowing what to say" when her daughter would "freak out."

She held the belief,...

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The 50/50 Principle

This past year has been amazing. Lots of growth, lots of new opportunities, lots of goodness. And, it’s also presented a lot of personal challenges in my roles as mother and Life Coach growing a new business.


Even though I’m a Life Coach myself now, I’m still a student learning from my own mentors and coaches, and I’m new to running my own business.  My mentors push me to grow in ways I don’t always want to sometimes and they really know how to get me out of my comfort zone. I love this about them! And, it’s hard.


I learned a cool principle about life from my mentor and Life Coach, Brooke Castillo. It’s called the 50/50 principle.


My students love it when they learn this principle because it generates a lot of relief about realistic expectations toward life and what it means to be human.


50% of the time our brains will react to our circumstances

 and will feel bad. And, 50% of the time,

our brains will...

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Generating Motivation on Purpose

My music students have asked me over the course of years I’ve taught music lessons how to cultivate motivation to practice when they don’t feel like it. I love it when they ask me this because it means they’re ready to ‘level up’ in their musical abilities.


Many of you know I'm a classically trained pianist. I used to practice for three to four and sometimes upwards of six hours a day while studying piano performance in college on scholarship.

I didn't want to practice, but did it anyway out of sheer grit.

And then I burned out. And I burned out hard.


When my students ask me about motivation, I usually ask them some form of the question, “how do you want to feel about your music?” They almost always say, “I don’t know,” which to me is never a suitable answer.


I then follow up and say, “Don’t you want to be really good? Isn’t that what you’re going for by taking lessons from...

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A Little Light

Almost twenty-two years have gone by since I gave birth to my first born son.

Noah Gabriel Vaughn was born at 11:50 pm on December 6th, 1998 to a younger version of me who had eagerly anticipated being a mother.  He didn't cry when he was born, just a small squeak.  I remember wishing he would cry, but there was just silence mixed with the doctor's hushed instructions for me of what to do next.


"Is he still alive? Is he okay?" I knew he wasn't okay. But I wanted some sort of re-assurance that all was not completely lost.  The doctor said, "Yes, he's still alive, but it won't be long judging by his color."


"Can I see him? Can I hold him yet?" It seemed like an eternity before he was finally placed in my arms.

He was beautiful.

He was perfect.

To me.

He looked just like me, lots of fuzzy ginger blonde hair that grew low on his forehead, little ski-jump nose that turned up on the end, a tiny, round chin, and square face.


**** A truth about birthing...

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Practicing Constraint

How are you feelin' about this year's growing holiday list of To Do's?

Sending big love and support to everyone who's feeling the overwhelm.

I'm deciding ahead of time that this year the holidays are going to be a little different.

For me, that means to practice constraint.

Constraint is a limitation or a restriction you put on yourself that simplifies your life. I've noticed many of my coaching clients are feeling a lot of dread with some of their holiday responsibilities that are coming up.

Constraint helps eliminate overwhelm. If we decide ahead of time how we're going to focus our energy during the holidays, the more energy we have to create what we truly want.

Constraint (saying no) gets difficult if we are the type of people who like to keep our options open.

Keeping our options open is a problem though, because we have too many options these days.

Constraining your holiday parties is a great idea. One of the things I really like to teach is to find your people and then...

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Bring the Sunshine

mental health recipes Nov 08, 2019

Surround yourself with those who bring the sunshine with them.

We soak up the energy of the people we are around.

Of course this doesn't mean to avoid people who are sad. No.

It just means to seek out those who bring out your light and who make you want to be a better person.

I've been reading a great book entitled, 'Habits of a Happy Brain,' by Loretta Graziano Breuning, Phd. She talks about how we can design joy and wire it into our neurons based on the habits we form.

Five tips to make this winter amazing versus. . . not:

Play in the snow. NO EXCUSES. In Seattle, there is a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing preparation. Truth my friends. Hike in it, ski! or learn to ski, go for pretty drives in the canyon and pack a thermos and a plaid blanket picnic. . . you get the idea.

Not a skier? Create a girls snowday in and instead ride the gondola, then get lunch together in the ski lodge. Enjoy these beautiful mountains we have access to.

Make a 'Cozy...

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Inner Child Work

Things I wish I could go back and tell little miss Wonder Woman Danielle:

You really are Wonder Woman ‼ You just don’t know it yet.

You have no idea what’s comin’ but you’re strong and you were made for all of it.

Trust your gut. It’s never wrong.

I know you struggle with shyness, but if you only knew how many people want to be your friend.

Keep challenging those teachers at school when they’re treating The Hulk there unkindly. He relies on you and looks up to you. Your feisty ness is your friend.

Don’t ever quit the piano. It will be a saving grace for you often, and you don’t know it now, but you’re going to grow up and be a piano teacher yourself someday. Surprise! So don’t quit!

Savor every minute with your grandma. Every minute.

Savor every minute with little Mini Mouse and The Hulk. You were meant to be siblings.

Start now with writing your poetry and writing in your journal. You need to write, write, write.


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