The Beauty and Torture of a Road Trip

This summer the whole family went on a road trip. Just to be clear, I am not talking about a trip from San Luis Obispo to LA. This would have been too easy, and you can barely call 200 miles a road trip. We decided to cross the United States of America starting in Miami and ending back in Paso Robles. To give you a feeling for the seriousness of this adventure, 5000 miles is the magic number.

My husband and I have always loved road trips, and our son has gotten used to this kind of traveling. He pretends he loves it as well, but he is only 12 years old and I am not quite sure if he just wants to please his restless parents or not. I might ask him again when he is a teenager. I promised myself not to be surprised if he finally tells us what he really thinks about being stuck in a car with his parents for miles and miles and days and days.


You might rightfully ask, “What can you expect from a trip like that?” Is it a healing way of traveling, a family disaster or just a crazy thing to do? Yes, it is all of that and more. Discovering the beauty and diversity of the United States of America is a unique experience and there is no better way than driving across the country and taking it all in. You never know where you will spend the night. You find small towns and cities that you would normally not visit. You eat different foods at different places, and you get in touch with nature whenever you decide to take a break.  You can stop wherever you want to stop, and you move on when the road calls you again.

We stopped at many places; Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone were my favorites. But no need to worry, I will not bore you with a detailed travel report. Let me get back to the question of what you can expect from a long road trip like that and why I recommend this experience and would do it again (at some point in my life, probably not next year).

First, sitting in a car, sharing hotel rooms, adventures and impressions bring you closer to your family. I enjoyed having my son and my husband with me for three weeks in a row. We were so close during that time, something that is difficult to maintain in daily life.

While driving, my husband finally spent hours talking to me, which is also rather rare. We had so much time talking about topics that we are both interested in with the great side effect of killing endless miles at the same time.  Yes, a road trip supports verbal communication and everyone likes to share what they have seen and observed during the drive.

Too much verbal communication is a nuisance for children though. My son loved to stick his nose into his i-pad and play games. He wore headphones to make sure he was not disturbed. He was able to be off in his little virtual world in the car, while the real world was unfolding around us. He deserves some credit for spending at least part of the time looking out the window for longer periods of time, but got impatient after a couple of hours. Funny that kids never get tired of watching events on a tiny screen instead.

When we stopped the car to visit sights or stay overnight, we were finally rewarded for our resilience. Leaving the car felt like leaving a cage. Once you left the car, everyone got excited and was longing for adventure. Finally you could move your stiff body and tense muscles and climb hills, jump on rocks or take a swamp boat in the Everglades with alligators looking at you with their big hungry eyes. Yes, leaving the car was the biggest reward after driving hundreds of miles.

Back in the car you discuss possible routes, short cuts or points of interest, knowing that the only way to get there is to keep on driving. It is teamwork and every team member has a voice. The team effort makes it a great trip or a nightmare. Sometimes it involves compromise and patience, sometimes just kindness and compassion. The many stops for using restrooms, buying potato chips or soda are negotiable and I am sure my husband found some of these stops rather unnecessary. Nevertheless he sucked it up and made all the stops to keep the family happy. On the other hand, we drove big circles because my husband never gets enough of driving and occasionally wanted to drive through a certain canyon ‘just to get a feel for it’. Well, this is what my son and I had to suck up, so we did.

Altogether a road trip is a great experience. Everyone in the car is part of a big adventure. You stick together, you share your impressions, pains and gains and you come home together with the warm feeling of, “We did it, it was fun and now let’s stay home for a while, because there is no place like home.” Yes, a road trip makes you appreciate what is waiting for you at home. Sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side but when you see so many other sides, you know it is not true. Home is where your heart is, and distance makes the heart grow fonder. And now I miss the physical closeness to my family. My son is not sitting on the seat behind me, and my husband is who-knows-where in the house. I think I miss the intimacy of our car. I wonder what the best route is to New York.

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Are you breaking your bad habits?

I don’t really know if I am qualified to write about bad habits, because I don’t really have any. Lol. Or maybe pretending to be perfect is the worst habit ever. Anyhow, I am very proud that I lost my worst habit a long time ago – smoking. After that all my little bad habits seem like a piece of cake. This does not make them any less aggravating, but fixing them is less urgent – at least this is what I make myself believe. Today is the day of starting another self-discovery trip and finally confessing to my imperfections. You can also take the first step in the fight with your own demons.

Here are the 3 steps for working on your bad habits:

1. Discover your bad habits and decide on the one you want to encounter and hopefully make disappear. Think about what you are struggling with in life where you show a consistent behavior pattern that is either unhealthy, makes you unhappy, forms a threat to yourself and/or others or is simply annoying and makes no sense at all. This can be habits such as smoking or drinking too much, going to bed without brushing your teeth, uncontrolled cussing in the car or getting defensive when you feel somebody is questioning you. There is a long list of bad habits we all have all developed over the years and maybe it is time to pick one of them and send it off for good.

2. After you have decided which of your bad habits is the “one” you are struggling with most, it is time to give it a closer look. This is when self-observation is needed, in other words truly looking deeply into the matter. What are your feelings and thoughts when you surrender to that habit? Which situations trigger this bad habit? How often does it show up and how long does it last? How do you feel after you have allowed your bad habit to appear and take the lead? Observe any sensations in your body and find out what is happening inside of you when your particular bad habit expresses itself. This observation period should last as long as you need to discover a pattern, usually at least three weeks, but this might take even longer.

Please take notes every day and write down what you have discovered. (A daily journal would be perfect!). Make it a daily practice, because this is the best way to catch every single detail of what your bad habit is doing to you. When does the bad habit show and what is the real issue behind it?


Just as an example, I would like to refer to my smoking habit. When I was a young woman, smoking helped me overcome insecurity and a lack of confidence. I felt more mature while I was smoking and I had something to hold on to when I was in public, namely, the cigarette. As silly as it sounds, but after I quit smoking basically overnight, my self-confidence grew. Knowing that I didn’t need to hold onto anything when in public made me so much stronger. I learned to rely on my own inner strength. What a discovery for me at that time! The effects are lasting and I cannot even remember what it felt like to smoke.

3. Self-observation is the key to change. Once you know who your enemies are, you can successfully beat them. Once you know what your particular bad habit is based on you can change it. Put your awareness into a new behavior pattern whenever something triggers your old self. For example, when you feel sad, or just slightly depressed or exhausted and you usually grab a chocolate bar in that situation, tackle the problem now differently. You learned through self-observation which situations get you into trouble, because after you ate a whole chocolate bar you usually felt even worse. Now you change the pattern by doing something different. You chose whatever you want this “different” behavior to be. It can be exercise, eating fruit, getting satisfaction by anything else but chocolate.

Don’t expect to feel good about it right away. There is suffering involved – No pain no gain. Nevertheless the more often you exchange the old pattern for a new pattern, the faster it will turn into a new habit. Again it takes from three weeks up to several months to change a bad habit into a good one, but it will happen. Remember your bad habit did not develop overnight and it can take as much time for it to disappear as it took to develop.

Sounds like magic, but it works. For more details please read the attached link on how to form a new habit.
Does all this sound like fun or do you prefer to live with your little or big imperfections? It’s up to you to decide what needs change, but knowing that you are not stuck with whatever bad habit you are carrying around is empowering. Yes, I can skip my nighttime yogurt in bed after I brushed my teeth, but I don’t want to. On the other hand, I really want to stop cussing in the car. My son offered to start a new swear jar since the last one is now filled with coins to the top. I love my little imperfections, but some are absolutely useless and need to be fought. What about you? Please share your story with us and tell us how you are breaking your bad habits.

Be a woman and act like one.

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Girls wanna have fun

Just recently I went on a fun trip with my girlfriend Susan. Sharing a common interest in horses, we went to an international horse show where we met some of our other close friends. There is no need to tell you that we had a lot of fun. When women get together there are only two possible outcomes. They either hate or love each other. When they hate each other, women can be relentless, judgmental and totally outside themselves. When these same women love each other, they have the best time, having fun and making sure that everyone on board is happy.

It takes courage to make these girls trips happen. We all have our lives, and getting away is not always easy. Some of my friends work for large corporations, others have their own businesses, and some have the responsibility of taking care of children and the house. What holds us back is not necessarily our commitments but the feeling that we are irreplaceable and that the world might come to an end without us. This feeling of, “They cannot do without me” is nothing else but a trap we build for ourselves.


I want to make a brave statement: Everyone is replaceable! Do you believe me? Well, if you are a mom, you will certainly disagree. Who can replace mommy? But believe it or not, our children need a break from mom and they enjoy time without us. When your boss or your team gives you the impression that they cannot do without you, consider this emotional blackmail, because they can. If you drop dead this very moment, the world will continue turning. That is fact. Business will also go on, maybe less efficiently, maybe simply different, but there will not be complete stagnation.

Now consider again going on a girls’ trip. You know that everyone will miss you when you are gone, but at the same time, you know that life at home moves on. Is there any other excuse you can think of that prevents you from spending some girls’ time? Truly, there is not. Therefore I recommend that you consult with your best friend or best friends right now, when and how you can spend valuable time together.

It will be a fun and carefree time that pampers your heart, your mind and your soul and the best part is…. When you come home you will be the queen again, at least for some time. Here is what my son Sherman (12 years old) has to say about my trip with the girls and how he handles our time apart.

Be a woman and act like one.

“When my mom is away for a week or so, things can be good or bad. Some reasons that it is good are that the rules normally aren´t as tough. My dad doesn´t know a lot of the rules, like chores, electronics, or just small side rules. Sometimes my dad will even forget to take away my electronicsJ. But it can also get pretty lonely too. So when my mom is away I spend quite a bit of time alone in my room or outside. Things also get pretty messy in my room and bathroom. But in general I think it´s fine when my mom is away. Even If I’m worried like if she is traveling on a plane. I am 12 and can take care of myself in some ways…”

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What can you do best?

Just recently I was giving a speech in front of a big group of businesswomen. I talked about my book ‘Be a Woman and Act like One. Succeeding in business and life’. What mostly amazed me about that particular group of women was how open-minded, professional and happy they seemed to be. Being a guest speaker at that event was a treat because I felt they were not only listening, they were also emotionally involved in what I had to say. They helped me to deliver a good speech which made me reflect on what is it that we can do best and what are the circumstances that allow us to do our best?


Women often struggle in a work environment when the competition especially from male coworkers is strong or when simply the company culture makes it difficult for women to thrive. Just like plants in a garden need a good environment with nourishing soil and water to thrive, women in business need a good environment to succeed. So what can we women do to avoid getting stuck and frustrated in our careers? How can women do their best and realize their full potential?

Here are strategies that can help you thrive:

1. Find a company/environment that supports women
Women wear many hats and are often responsible for their families, husband and kids, while perhaps also taking care of elderly parents while at the same time earning income for the family. Women need support in juggling so many responsibilities, so find a company that supports women. Look for a company that understands that you may have to leave earlier occasionally to take care of your kid or other family issues and trusts you to make up for lost time by working from home or doing overtime on another day. If the company you are working for does not trust you and does not allow you to make your own choices, it is probably not the right place for you. Move on to another company where there is more understanding and where the overall climate is more supportive towards women.

2. Take time for reflection
If you are a busy bee and the days pass without any time for reflection, you are not only trapped, you will also never find out what you really like to do and what you do best. You need ‘me-time’ to reflect on what you are doing. You may well find that there are actually other things you would be interested in doing. If you are running in the hamster wheel all day without stopping, you will never find out what is going on around you. You miss out on life and opportunities.

3. Be flexible, be open and allow change to happen
One of women’s biggest fears is leaving the comfort zone. You know I’m right! It feels good to feel safe. Even when we are doing a job we don’t like, we would often rather keep it because we think we know what we are doing. After all we enjoy a routine and a regular income. This is like being buried alive! Sorry, for being so harsh, but if you lose your flexibility and prefer to stick to something you are used to while being in constant fear of change, you stagnate. You are at the end of your personal development. Instead, take a leap of faith in yourself. It might be scary at the beginning, but taking a few lumps on the way is OK as long as you can keep moving forward.

4. Kill the inner critic
Women in particular have a very strong inner critic – the little voice inside of us that tells us we are not good enough, that we can do better etc. Don’t allow this voice to take over. Especially when you decide to do something new, you don’t want to discourage yourself before you have even started. Therefore, keep your body and mind in balance by doing activities that give you confidence and joy. Allow this sensation in your body to grow and spread. Whenever you hear the nasty doubting voice again, recall what it felt like to be happy and in balance. Defeat the inner critic.

5. Test the waters
Imagine you are very talented in various areas of your life. You might be a good marketing woman, very creative, loving animals, good at sewing and doing crafts etc. How can you find out what you can do best and what brings you the most happiness? The only way is to test the waters. If you want to find out if the bath water is too hot, too cold or just right you, stick your hand into the water. This is exactly how it works with finding what you can do best and what makes you happy. Whatever you think you would like to do, give it a real try, and do so for some time. You will know what is right for you, and nobody else can give you the answer. What feels right to you, what you enjoy doing, is not necessarily right for someone else. Some like it hot, some like it cold – What about you?

6. Jump
There are times in our lives when we have to make choices. We can go the safe path or walk along the ridgeline. We can stand on the edge of the precipice or take the plunge. We can stay dry and safe or get wet. Find your courage and take the route that makes your heart beat faster. Of course, this does not mean that you should jump blindly. Give careful thought to important decisions and stay real. After all, a non-swimmer who jumps in the ocean is not courageous, just a fool. That’s why you must first “test the water”. But when you feel confident that you can swim and are just scared of water, take the plunge.

Jumping into something new means living your life to the fullest. It might not be the safest choice, but you will not drown as long as you know how to swim. Instead it will bring you immense sense of accomplishment and a sense of purpose.

My own experience has been that when I showed courage and openness for change, I felt some initial trepidation, of course, but that soon gave way to happiness and pride, especially in a fertile new environment. I felt embraced and was able to show my best.

You are the creator of your life and you can pick where and what you do. Once you have an environment that embraces you, you will thrive and find out what is best for you. Situations in which we experience animosity and a sense of not being welcomed are not unusual. Remember then you cannot change others, but you can make your own choices and change your environment. If you want to do what you do best, first find fertile ground and then begin your journey of self-discovery.

My heart is with you and every woman who makes the effort to find true meaning and happiness.

Be a woman and act like one.

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What Did You Lose Last Year?

Talking about losses is not really the most pleasant topic, is it? Nevertheless, it is an unavoidable topic because every one of us has experienced and continuously experiences losses in daily life.

Last year I lost one of my favorite pair of earrings. I also lost my purse (scary), but it miraculously showed up again. Then I lost my strong confidence in riding one of my horses and I am still working on getting my confidence back. I did not lose any weight and I did not lose my desire for chocolate. Instead I lost a good companion, one of my beloved horses, which I still miss so very much.

We are surrounded by losses of things and people. I wonder why losses we are desperately longing for don’t happen. Losses of bad habits, for example, don’t happen often. I wish I could say that about other incidents in my life. The older I get, the more I find that I am losing friends, family members and beloved pets. Why is it with losses that they accompany us on a daily basis and haunt us in every corner of our lives?

Whenever I ponder about a topic, I start reading books about it. I have learned that coping with loss stars with acceptance. I then take this wisdom and spread it around trying to convince myself as well as my friends that every loss is the beginning of something new. So much wisdom in all those books, but let’s be honest. What is the best way to deal with loss of any kind? Acceptance? Yes, I agree, it is part of it, but for me it is not the most healing balm on my wounds.


Dealing with a loss is a challenge and as much as I accept it, it still hurts. Being left behind with this kind of pain is cruel and I need more than just acceptance. Here is what I do, which might not be your answer but works well for me.

After I realize the loss, accepting it with clinched teeth (it takes time to allow acceptance to happen and genuinely feel it internally), I try to look ahead to something beautiful lying ahead of me. At the same time, I cherish the memory of the past. This is how it works: I was devastated after losing my beautiful horse I had had for many years. I cried and suffered and mourned his death. We all need time to mourn, but the danger is to get sucked in without a way out. When I feel that the pain of loss is unbearable, I move my awareness to something beautiful. In my case, I was longing to spend more time with my dog and my other horses showing them my love and affection. By spending more time with them as usual, I felt the connection to the animal kingdom and this was when healing took place. I felt that the love I had in my heart for the lost horse needed to go to another place. I am not saying that I gave him up. I still love, and continue to love my departed horse Stravinsky, but I also needed to channel my love in another direction. Finding another outlet for the love I keep in my heart has been felt like releasing pressure.

You might ask why I didn’t channel my overflow of love to my family? When I lose a pet, I find comfort in other animals. When I lose a family member or friend, I find comfort with my family and friends, but also my animals. It seems that if a person loves animals, a lot of comfort can be felt just by being with them. When you lose a dear pet, you can open the door for another animal offering it a loving home.

Indeed, losses often open doors to new opportunities. There is a reason for anything, even though we don’t sense this at the time of the loss. An accomplished life has a beginning and an ending. We wish for as much time as possible in between, but when our time is up, we reach accomplishment. By accepting the beginning and the ending, we can finally live our lives in peace and live with losses in a much more profound way.

Everyone has a personal story and an individual way of dealing with loss. Knowing that we are not alone in these difficult times helps a lot. Therefore, please share your thoughts and feelings and tell us your story.

Be a woman and act like one.

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What was your act of kindness today?

Last week I drove my son to school as usual. We left the house in a hurry, again as usual, wondering if we would make it in time. It was one of these days when you think that this is going to be a stressful day. We arrived just in time, and then my son realized that he had forgotten his homework folder with an important assignment which he had to turn in that morning or get an “F”. Joy! As a responsible and loving mom, I decided to drive back home, grab the stupid folder and bring it back to school as soon as possible. Now we don’t live around the corner from school. We live out in the country and the trip takes about 25 minutes each way. Nevertheless my determination to deliver the folder just in time was unshakable, and my son was relying on me.

Suddenly I was on a mission. I dashed back home, found the folder and was rushing back into town when a cop stopped me for speeding. I was guilty as charged, and I knew that this might turn into a costly adventure. I did not even try to defend myself. The officer had caught me fair and square. I simply pointed at the folder lying next to me on the seat and said: “I am sorry officer. I am usually not a racer but I have to deliver this folder at school as soon as possible.” Yes, I gave him a sample of my most charming smiles, but I did not beg. I simply explained the situation and I awaited my fate. What happened next made my day. He let me go by saying: “Once a day I let somebody go and you are the one today. Congratulations and now drive to school and fulfill your motherly duties.”


This friendly and compassionate officer made my day and his act of kindness made me very happy for several reasons.

  • I felt appreciation and compassion
  • I was forgiven for acting wrongly
  • I felt heard as a caring mom
  • I felt that I still have my ‘mojo’ and can perform my feminine magic
  • I saved a lot of money and hassle.

When I told this story to my husband, he summarized it from a very male point of view. He could not resist laughing out loud when he said: “Sometimes it’s really helpful to be blond.” Men might laugh, but I thought that my husband was totally minimizing this act of kindness. Well, men!!

The rest of my day went smoothly and I was waiting for my opportunity to pay it forward. I did do so the same day and I felt that being kind evolves into pleasure for the giver as well the recipient.

Christmas is coming up soon and I want you to think about an act of kindness you can give to people around you. I am not talking about making gifts of material value, instead I am talking about everything else – a compliment, a helping hand, showing forgiveness or confirming trust. Make this month a month of kindness. Maybe you will get used to it and will continue doing so the rest of your life. Trust me that the more kindness you give, the more kindness you will receive. It does not cost you anything, but it is the most precious gift you can make.

In this sense I wish you a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

With love,

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How old are you? Don’t tell.

The idea to write about this blog topic came up when I went to the “I can do it” conference in Pasadena in October of this year. On the last day of the event I attended the talk of Dr. Christine Northrup. She is an internationally known and reputable author and speaker. She spoke about the common topic of aging, but the way she presented her point of view was very entertaining as well as very convincing. At one point she raised the question: Should we tell our age when asked? Christine Northrup answered this question with a clear “No”, and the reasons she gave made sense. This was the day when she also convinced me to never tell my age to anyone again. Allow me to explain what shifted and let me give you my take on this topic.

I am well-known in my county due to public appearances and speeches as well as the publication of my book: Be a woman and act like one. Succeeding in business and life. I encounter many women, and they often ask me about my age – out of curiosity or I am not sure what triggers it – and I usually answer by giving them an exact number. I used to feel an obligation to tell the truth, no cheating, no stumbling, just giving an honest answer to an honest (or maybe nosy) question. Usually the reaction after I answer the age question is silence or the comment of that I don’t look my age. It always made me wonder what was the point of this question? Why do women ask me about my age and why is it relevant (men never ask those questions)? Until now I answered anyway even though I was thinking that it was none of their business. I don’t have a problem with my age. I feel happy just the way I am, and in the past I believed that by telling truth I was making it clear I feel good about myself that no matter how old I am.

Well, this is going to change now. I still feel good about myself and I want others to feel good with me as well, no matter what number is attached to me. My mother-in-law is 95 years young. She once told me, “Age is just a number.” She does anything she likes to do, and she is fortunate to be healthy and happy. Although she doesn’t pay much attention to the judgment of others, she notices the critical looks expressing, “Isn’t she too old to drive,” or “How can she still go dancing in her age?” My mother-in-law decided not to worry about it and the wisdom of her age helps her not to worry. Nevertheless, she admits that she hates to be tagged by her real age.


This is a crucial argument in the discussion about telling your age. People connect certain behaviorisms with age and judge you accordingly. For example, some people believe that from a certain age on, women should not wear certain clothes. Comments like: The skirt is too short for her age. Her hair is too long for her age. How can a woman her age date such a young man? For a woman her age, she should not do this or that. The list of ugly comments is endless and hurtful.

Although we can never free ourselves from the judgment of others and everyone has the right to say what they want to say, I refuse to feed them with additional information to keep the judgment wheel rolling. Let them think and say whatever they like about me, but on uncertain grounds. The less information others have about your personal life, the less they can use the data to place you in a pigeon hole. The only way to minimize the opportunities of being labeled is by leaving questions open. Not telling your age is one big point.

Women today are much younger than they used to be. Women in their 40s look like women in their 30s; women in their 50s appear at least 10 years younger and so on. This phenomenon is not just connected to looks, but to overall fitness and health and a youthful charisma. You know the saying: You are only as old as you feel! What this proverb states is that the biological age is your real age. Your passport might say 51 years old, but your biological age might be 40. So why bother worrying about the number in your passport when you feel that this particular number does not represent who you are.

Youthful thoughts lead to youthful living. Do what you like to do, wear what you like to wear and say what you have to say. At the same time, don’t allow others to stack you on a shelf with a label on it saying: Used. You alone decide about your lifestyle, and you make your own choices in every area of your life. You can do it the hard way by fighting judgment and labels or by letting others stew, wondering if they are dealing with a woman of age or a woman of youth.

Be a woman and act like one

I offer Business Coaching, Coaching with Horses and Consulting Services in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura County.  I also work as a Personal Coach and Problem Solving Mentor throughout SLO County. If you’d like to transform your life with power and ease, please contact me; the first consultation is free of charge.

To purchase my latest book that will inspire you to Be a Woman & Act Like One, click here.

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Are you in a happy relationship with yourself and others?

Single women often ask the following questions: How can I find a partner? Are there any eligible men in the area? What is the best way to meet someone? How do I know a man is the right fit for me? Can I trust again after the last guy cheated on me? Do I really want to be in a relationship? If you are a single woman, these questions probably seem familiar to you. Welcome to the club of women who are still seeking a partnership and wondering where the answers to the unfulfilled wishes are.

Women in a relationship, married or unmarried are asking different questions. How can I get this relationship to work? Is he loyal to me? Will this relationship last in the future? Can I fully trust him? Why can’t he show more love? Can’t he give me more attention? This seems like a different club of women, dreaming of the perfect relationship that may or may not exist.

Even though it seems like there are two groups of women with different issues, they actually belong to one group. I call this one group: the women’s “quiz club. The rules of the club are simple. Let’s ask tricky questions and contemplate the answers. As simple as it sounds, it is a very intellectual club because most members are sophisticated, smart and do not hesitate to dig really deep to find answers to the quiz questions. The harder the questions, the more they all work themselves up to finding answers.

October Image

As a former member of this club, I know how stressful and energy-sucking a “quiz club” membership is. You can stay in the club as you long as you wish. Some are lifelong members, but fortunately many women also leave this club sooner or later in life. What makes them leave the quiz club? They finally decide that the more questions they ask, the more answers they come up with and the more they get tied up in a process that takes place outside of themselves. The answers and questions to your relationship issues are in yourself – no comment and group discussion needed.

The “quiz club” may sound sarcastic and judgmental, but let’s think about it. Women spend a lot of time talking and disagreeing with other women about their relationships or lack of relationships. They discuss it, look at it from all angles, more questions and doubts appear – it is a vicious cycle. The result of this process is short-term stress release, but long-term frustration. This cannot be the life you are longing for.

Instead of asking questions and searching for answers elsewhere, I would like to invite you to live a happy life – a life where happiness is rooted inside of you. Happiness that is not dependent on talking, disagreeing, asking and questioning – it comes from the inside out and is not dependent on rewards and attention. This is how you can find true and lasting happiness – inside yourself, calmly, with no membership in the quiz club required.

I personally believe that you can find true happiness from within by connecting with nature. Entering a word-free zone, connecting with your feelings, senses and liberating yourself from the opinion of others will help you to find out what makes you happy. It is a journey into the unknown which has only one rule: be true to yourself. Once you find your own happiness, you will develop charisma and your overall being will be so intriguing to others that finding a partner and living in a healthy relationship will not be an issue any more. You will turn into a magnet others are attracted to, and it will be in your power to make healthy choices for yourself.

In my work with horses, I help women to find inner happiness. Horses are like humans seeking relationships, which is why they prefer living in herds. Horses want to know where their place in the herd is and they want to feel safe. They connect with others without losing themselves. This is why they are excellent role models for us, and they can help us to connect with ourselves and nature – it is a healing process.

I offer personal and business coaching workshops with horses to help you find your inner happiness. Let me know if you are interested and I will get a group together for a wonderful day of discovery.

Drop your quiz club membership off at the door and join me on a journey to finding true happiness. Effects can be a healthy relationship or even marriage!

Be a woman and act like one.

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Intuitive Leadership – How to lead from the inside out

Inspired by an article I read in the women’s magazine More called “How to command a room” in March 2014, I decided to write about this topic from a slightly different angle. Don’t get me wrong, everything I read in this article speaks to me and I agree with most of it. Nevertheless, I want to raise your awareness towards your inner self when it comes to leadership. There are so many leadership books, training guides and articles on how to present yourself in front of an audience or how to become a successful leader. As a leadership coach, I know a lot about this topic and have gone through various certification trainings myself, not to forget mentioning my personal experience of being in a leadership position for many years in the corporate world.

Is it the wisdom of my age or is it my urge to simplify life that I look at leadership from a different angle now?

Here is my question for you: Do you think there are valuable communication tools you can learn to become a great leader?

If you answered yes, you probably went through intense management and leadership training yourself and feel that it made you stronger. I don’t want to disagree with that, but nevertheless I tend to answer the question with a clear “No.” You can take as many leadership courses as you like, read as many books on leadership as you wish, it will not change who you are unless you feel leadership in your bones. Not many trainings that take place in the safe environment of a conference room will achieve a change in your leadership skills. Yes, you will learn a few tools, tricks and triggers to impress or even motivate your coworkers or bosses, but as long as you don’t feel in your body that you are leading, nothing has really changed.

I am fully aware that by making this statement I am arguing against a whole industry and an army of leadership trainers and coaches, but I insist: leading from the inside out – intuitive leadership – is the only authentic and real leadership. What makes me believe this? First of all, I believe that leading is not a matter of finding the right words to become heard. Instead I believe that mainly through non-verbal communication we will be heard and acknowledged. Whatever words you choose, if your body does not confirm the message, you will not be authentic – and certainly not leading.

Here is an example: When you say, “Follow me, I know the way out of a crisis,” but your body tells me that you are not sure, I will not follow you and neither will others. A body revealing fear or doubt by shrugging shoulders, lowering your eyes to the ground or by nervously stamping your feet tells the true story. There are no words in this world that are stronger or more convincing than a body in doubt. Non-verbal communication is efficient communication and plays a much bigger role in interpersonal relationships than verbal communication. There are many examples of words not matching the body language. It happens every day in business, in politics and even in our daily encounters with others. The body does not lie to us, but words often do.


You may ask where I get this wisdom from, and I could answer by naming some of the teachers I have met over the years. The most efficient teachers that prove to me every day that I can only lead by intuition are my horses. They sense when I am in balance and when I am off balance. They follow me everywhere so long as they sense my leadership – intuitive leadership – and they refuse to follower if I transmit a sense of fear, doubt or any kind of distress. There is no way I can talk myself out of a problem. Horses mirror our inner self and when they sense doubt, they act accordingly. Fight, flight or appease are the natural ways of horses to deal with any kind of stress or danger. If you want to be the leader of the horses like the mare in the herd, you must prove that you are leading from within. As long as you are in tune with your body and feel your leadership role, horses will trust you. And isn’t trust the key word when it comes to following the leader?

Would you follow a leader you cannot trust? Would you follow someone who spreads doubt or fear through his or her body language? Of course not! We all sense – just like horses – whom we can trust and whom we are willing to follow. It has nothing to do with how highly trained someone is, how well the person speaks and argues or how loud his or her voice is. We follow leaders we trust and who make us feel protected and safe.

How can you learn to lead from within? Many paths lead to Rome, but as a passionate horsewoman and Certified Equine Guided Educator, I strongly recommend working with horses. It can be group training or a one on one horse coaching session. My team of four legged coaches and I will help you to understand what leading from within feels like. I offer leadership training sessions at my ranch near Paso Robles, CA and Lake Nacimiento. My coaching with horses sessions do not involve any horse riding, just ground work. You will be surprised how efficient this work is and how efficiently you can grow as a leader within a very short period of time. I work with one or several of my horses achieving results faster than traditional approaches that can typically take weeks, months or even years.

Be a woman and act like one.

For more information about my work and courses, please visit my website,

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The Fear Factor and How We Can Overcome Times of the Unknown

We all know about moments of fear or major anxiety. We are so scared that it takes our breath away and our body reflects our inner tension by responding with all kinds of aches and pains. Often, no accident or personal threat is needed to enter this state of anxiety and fear. Sometimes it happens when we are confronted with unwanted changes leading to an unknown destination.

When I look back on my life, the biggest fear I experienced was probably leaving my home country and moving to a new place (America) without knowing what was waiting for me. The fear of the unknown was a big challenge. Trusting that everything is going to be all right was an even greater challenge. Living in a new world without friends or family members, not having a job and relying on my husband to secure our living was the ultimate challenge. With my role as a mom of a small child and leaving behind my life as a manager in Germany, I had to fight the biggest battle ever – saving my dignity and self-confidence. There was a fear factor, and it took me a lot of (positive) energy and resourcefulness to overcome this difficult time in my life.

What about you? Do you recall moments or times in your life when you felt someone was pulling the rug out from under you? Do you relate to the feeling of a free fall without knowing where you are going to land? Have you ever experienced a threat either from another person or due to circumstances that virtually scared you to death? Have you ever feared for your life, your job or your relationship? There are so many situations where the uncertainty about what will happen scares us.

What can we do in these times of the unknown, and how can we overcome fear and anxiety? There is no single answer to this question, but I would like to give you some ideas of how you can get through this phase of your life without losing yourself.

Stay calm

Don’t get into a state of alarm. Instead spend time doing activities that calm you down. Walking, reading or simply allowing time to unwind will help you to stay calm. Nature and animals have a healing effect, so just open the door and go for a long walk. There are so many answers in the calmness, and there are many ways to create a space both within and outside ourselves that keeps us calm.


Stay balanced

Staying in balance means that mind, body and emotions are in tune. None of the mind, the emotions or the physical body should dominate the other; instead, you should strive for harmony between all of them. We feel balanced when we have a sense of ease and feel as firm as the Rock of Gibraltar. When I want to regain balance, I ride my horse or take my dog for a walk. I get into “horse time” by focusing body, mind and emotion and using all my senses to experience what is going on around me. This is what horses do all day long on the pasture.

Take a 360 degrees perspective on your life and your problem will seem smaller and smaller as your fear vanishes. Look at the birds, smell the flowers and notice every single sensation that is happening inside your body and also what is around you.Walk slowly with your eyes open and soak it all in. In just a short amount of time, you will feel balance and inner connectedness. These are the times when nothing can push you off your feet, and you will build strength and confidence for anything that might happen.

Surround yourself with positive energy

There are so many energy suckers out there waiting for you. They are like vampires but instead of sucking your blood they long for your energy. Stay away from these people who burden your life. Surround yourself instead with people, friends and family members who bring positive energy into your life, people who like to laugh, love, play and are fun to be with. Everyone can have moments of despair, but a person with positive energy will pull out of a tailspin fast, and the last thing they want is burden somebody else. These are the friends to look for because they will help you to stay on a positive note instead of pushing you off the cliff.

Trust yourself, life and others

This is probably the most difficult but at the same time most efficient way to fly lightly through life’s challenges – trusting. You probably have experienced many breaches of trust in your life, but nevertheless keep on trusting. Trust yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to. Trust others that they are honest with you and trust that life is good to you. Any negative experience only means that there was a little bump in the road – nothing to worry about – it just makes the trip a little bit more interesting. Learning to trust does not happen overnight, but it is worth working on.

In my coaching with horsesprogram, we use horses to develop the ability to trust. Horses reflect our inner emotional state and they can show us the way to building trust. The topic of trust is broad and I will write about it in another blog, but for now my message to you is: Everything is going to be all right. You will find the right answers to all your questions and you will solve even the biggest challenge – have confidence in yourself and others – have trust. FEATURED QUOTE

There will always be moments of fear in our lives and it is ok to be scared as long as the fear does not take over our mind, body and spirit. Acknowledge your fears, but don’t put your energy into fighting the fear. Instead put your energy into living a mindful life staying calm, balanced and trusting in yourself, others and the outer world.

I would like to end with a quote by Lao Tzu:

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”

So I guess there is a simple answer to fear. If we just stop worrying about the past and the future and instead live in the now, there is not much room left for fear. As imperfect and loving human beings, we might not always be able to stay in the now, but this should not stop us from trying.

Be a woman and act like one.

I offer Business Coaching, Coaching with Horses and Consulting Services in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura County.  I also work as a Personal Coach and Problem Solving Mentor throughout SLO County. If you’d like to transform your life with power and ease, please contact me; the first consultation is free of charge.

To purchase my latest book that will inspire you to Be a Woman & Act Like One, click here.

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