How You Think About Life Quickly Becomes Your Life

“How you respond to life is your life.”
– Tama Kieves
From her new book, “Thriving Through Uncertainty: Moving Beyond Fear and Making Change Work for You”

Oh my goodness, take that in.

It’s so easy to imagine that if I change my circumstances, I’ll have a better life.

I did the research on this one when I moved from Denver to Lamy, New Mexico three years ago.  I do love living in a magical casita surrounded by open land and open sky.  And, I still have bad moods when things don’t go how I think they “should.”

When I’m able to respond by allowing things to be as they are, then my life feels great regardless of where I’m living or any other circumstances.

When I’m spending time in Denver and sitting in traffic, I can choose to respond by becoming present and Zen and flowing as traffic is or isn’t flowing.  When I rail against “idiot drivers,” I create a not-so-good life for myself.

Same circumstances: sitting in Denver traffic.  Two different lives by my response to life.

Is the answer to never go to Denver again?  Of course not.  Then I would simply have more time to focus on all the “idiot hikers” in the beautiful New Mexico open space who let their dogs run loose and jump on me.

Thriving Through Uncertainty: Moving Beyond Fear and Making Change Work for You by Tama Kieves

Tama has written a brilliant, inspiring, heart-warming book championing our oh-so-human experience and calling us to become more aware of how we can thrive anyway.

Love yourself – read her book.

Join the conversation ~ post your insights, feedback and experiences below.

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

When I first moved back to New Mexico two and a half years ago, I created a wonderful, ever-changing art project for myself. I filled a white, ceramic, shallow, baking bowl with fine black sand and created a new Zen “rock garden” daily, or as inspired.

On my daily walks, I would notice which small rocks wanted to come home with me to play in the rock garden. I loved collecting various sizes, shapes, colors and textures. The interplay between matte finishes and shimmery finishes delighted me.

I put all possible rock players in a basket in a drawer beneath my butcher block counter top. Whenever I felt like it, usually while waiting for my coffee to brew, I would take the current rocks out of the garden and arrange new ones. Sometimes the basket got too full to close the draw and then some of the rocks would go back outside.

I loved the ever-changing parade of rocks in the consistent, stable environment of the white bowl with the black sand. One of the best parts of the ritual involved picking my “favorite” rocks to play with on any particular day.

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

What Happens When I’m Willing to Release Control?

After a few months, the same rock garden would stay in place for weeks or months. One day last summer, the wind kicked up through the open widow behind the rock garden and, in a moment, black sand was all over the kitchen. After I had cleaned up everything, I put the bowl and what was left of the sand into a cupboard.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when I felt inspired to put the rock garden back in service. Once again, I was enjoying the ever-changing art. Then, spontaneously, a few days ago, I decided to change it up. I had pulled the rocks out of the sand and was beginning to choose the next rocks to play.

Then I had the thought, “why don’t I pick the rocks that want to play without looking at them?” So I did. When I looked at the rocks I had picked without looking at them, I felt disappointed. I wondered, “How could I make any beauty with these rocks?”

Boy, was I wrong. I placed the rocks and THERE it was: Beauty where I thought there wasn’t any!!! Turns out that when I allow and receive, it works out as well or better than when I choose “my favorites.”

For fun, I’ve included photos of three different rock gardens. Which one of them do you think has the “random” rocks rather than the “chosen” rocks?

So what about you? What might be the value for you in releasing control in a particular area of your life right now?

What Can We Rely on When Things Seem Uncertain?

The change of administration in Washington here in the U.S. has many people feeling uncertain about what the future holds. The truth is that we never know what the future holds. And, times of transition tend to make us hyper-aware of that.

So, what can we rely on?

For some it’s faith and spiritual practice. For others it’s their own internal strengths and gifts.

While I rely on my faith and spiritual practice as well as my internal strengths and gifts, I also rely on my relationship with nature.

Here’s a 3-minute clip from a talk I gave at church this past summer about how nature sustains me.

Nature Shows Me that I Do Belong

I’d love to know what you rely on when faced with uncertainty . . .

Relaxing into Ourselves . . .

Back in 1997 when I first became a coach, I loved the idea of helping people “make themselves better.”

Today, I see it a bit differently. We each already are so amazing. We don’t need to make ourselves better.

Can you imagine her thinking she were anything less than radiantly beautiful?
Can you imagine her thinking she were anything less than radiantly beautiful?

What I love now: creating the space that allows my clients to recognize and accept their own love and brilliance. I am so tickled when they experience spontaneous episodes of their own Divinity.

I know my work is good when they are kind to themselves. I know my work is good when I am kind to myself. I know we are making great progress when we talk more about relaxing and savoring than about striving and fixing.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within.”)

I would love your thoughts and responses. Post comments and insights below . . .

What’s Yearning to Be Discovered?

Happy gorgeous autumn!

I adore this time of year. When the light becomes more clear and the mornings and evenings are cooler, my mind slows down a bit.  Almost instinctively, I reflect more in the mornings.  It’s as if my psyche begins to take stock of what is in the storehouse and root cellar.

This year my focus has turned to New Mexico, the home of my soul.  I lived north of Taos for two years in 1999 and 2000.  It was a magical time.  I fell in love with the land and the sky and the sage and the rocks.  And the spaciousness . . .  And the light and the moon and the sun.  I moved back to Denver as I was separating from my then-husband and needed to reinvigorate my business.

New Mexico landscape
The Rio Grande River just south of Taos,
as the season is turning to autumn.

It feels like it is time to live there again.  I have been looking at places since the beginning of August and wonderful casitas keep calling me and then their owners rent to someone else.  I finally took that as a sign that maybe now wasn’t the time.

And then I got another nudge. So I am going down to Lamy, NM (20 minutes northeast of Santa Fe) to look at another beautiful casita.  Once again I am excited to see what I will discover!

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, what about you?  What is yearning to be discovered in your gorgeous autumn?


Strong from Within . . .

If you are feeling called to go beyond some of your seeming limitations and would like coaching support, let’s have a conversation to explore if the one-on-one Strong from Within coaching program would be a good fit for you.

If it fits for you, we will do some of the coaching sitting on a wonderful New Mexico porch!

Porch in New Mexico

Ah, the transformative coaching we will do
on a porch like this!

Click here to schedule your conversation.


My book, “Thriving Work” is now available
on Kindle at Amazon for just $3.99:
Click here to order


Find Your Strongest Life: Singing Me to Her

I remember a line from a song in the Dances of Universal Peace, “Mother Earth God, she is calling me . . .” and a line from the movie, Australia, “I will sing you to me.”

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What would it take for me to hear Her song more?

Well, the New Mexico land sings me to Her.  Recently, I’ve heard the song for a while and wasn’t finding time in my schedule to answer her call.  So She spontaneously cleared my schedule for a few days!

I just got back from Taos two nights ago.

What I noticed being there: she sings me to Her because I am a stronger version of me when I’m there.  I am in tune with myself, the natural rhythm of my life and of Life itself.  I am aligned with both my spiritual Self and my human self.  Whole.  Needing nothing.  Being.  Present.  Breathing deeper.  And taking in the incredible nurturance of the Earth herself.

Ah . . . . . . . . . .

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Ah, the melodies of the trees, the clouds, the sky . . .

I lived there for two years in 1999 – 2000.  I get the sense that I will be living there again.  Maybe sooner than I imagine.  Certainly, I will listen for and follow her song more . . .

What about you?  What calls you?  What puts you in tune with yourself, the natural rhythm of your life and of Life itself?  What aligns you with both your spiritual Self and your human self?

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The path home . . .

Post your comments, insights and progress below.

Thank you for playing with me today!


Align with Source coaching

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My book, “Thriving Work” is now available
on Kindle at Amazon for just $3.99:
Click here to order