As September arrives, I am reflecting on an unbelievable summer. It’s brought unexpected and magnificent surprises, difficult loss and a whole lot of everything in between.

In late July, I attended my first National Speakers Conference with 1,600 other professionals speakers. I wRita and Ialked away with a notebook full of ideas and a box full of business cards. I connected with speakers I’d admired from afar like Rita Davenport, past president of Arbonne International. I shared with her that she was one of my inspirations for becoming a professional speaker. I also made fast friends with a few other speakers attending their first professional speakers conference, and we are creating a speaker mastermind group to grow together.

 When I returned to Portland I got into massive action. I learned at the conference that corporations will often sponsor not only events but speakers like myself and it was worth going after those partnerships. I learned that the “mom market” is a 4.2 trillion dollar industry. I picked up the phone and called a dozen companies. Then when I was lamenting to a speaker colleague that things felt like they were happening slowly, he shared a wonderful parable about planting a garden. He said we have to hoe the garden, cultivate it for planting, plant the seeds (lots and lots of them), water it, weed it, hope the sun helps and then he said really we have to “go to bed” and wait for our garden to do it’s magic. I understood mentally what he was saying but I still wanted things to happen more quickly.
Ann Trausch and IA couple of days later, my close friend Ann Trausch passed away after a heroic and miraculous 2 1/2 year journey with pancreatic cancer. I was honored to be her friend and share so many intimate moments with her during that time. She was a faithful Catholic women and we delighted in sharing our religious traditions with each other. I attended my first Christmas midnight mass with her last winter and the second time I was in her church was for her funeral mass. I was honored that she wanted me to emcee the celebration of life that her husband hosted the night of her funeral.


The following week, just a few days after that conversation to “let go”, I hatched a plan with Al Jubitz, founder of the Jubitz Foundation, whose mission is to foster peace. I had originally gone to Al to discuss my own kindness programs in hopes that he would sponsor a series of these in schools in the area. However, after some brainstorming we chose instead to create a larger event. We are creating a Peace Pole Planting day on April 21st.Peace Poles Our goal will be to plant 100 peace poles around the metro Portland area in conjunction with multiple Rotarian groups in the Northwest. In case you aren’t familiar with peace poles, here is the link to the international group we’ll be working with: We are inviting any group, school, organization or business that wants to get on board with us. More information to follow, but if you have ideas of groups that you think might want to be part of this, let me know.


This summer taught me that, life is precious and unpredictable. We must stay the course and be authentic AND be open to the miracles and opportunities that come to us unexpectedly. I know this year will bring more of this and I am wholly open to everything that comes with that: the joys, the heartbreak and everything else in between.

Of course, I am indeed still looking for corporations both local and national that want to partner with me as a speaker on Cultivating Kindness. Great companies for me are ones that want to market to that female “mom” audience, if you have contacts with any of those types of companies please do let me know!