The go to destination for armchair travelers and everyone else

standard September 18, 2014 1 response

So, here’s the deal, I adore traveling. I love hotel rooms. I love walking around new places. I love, love, love discovering local treasures. Sadly, I don’t have the bank account to fund this love of mine, or the time to manage the jet setting lifestyle I wish I could live. Kids, life, responsibilities… it all colludes to keep me a veteran armchair traveler rather enjoying the real deal. Lucky for me, has now made it easy for me to travel around the world doing everything I love without ever leaving my desk chair. Even better, should I eventually ever get to actually pack more than an overnight bag, I’ll already be in the know on all the great things not to miss where I’m going. What can I say about Imagine for a moment that Google Maps and Pinterest had a baby, well, that baby might look a bit like Findery. It’s awesome if you’re looking to research a destination – find the best place to grab a bite, the neatest sight, the “thing” you never thought you’d ever want to know and yet are so glad you discovered. It’s also awesome if, like me, you spend most of your time traveling virtually.

  Or, it’s perfect if you want to find the neat finds that you didn’t even know were in your neighborhood.

  I’m not going anywhere soon, so, in the meantime, I’ll just keep updating some of my own favorite notemaps so others can “travel” with me:

  Follow me on and come explore the world with me. I can’t wait to see where you want to go too. If you’re a hard-core mobile user, you’re in luck. The Findery app was JUST released for Android (It’s already out on the Apple App Store). So, if you, like me, can’t resist the smell of fresh apps, download it now and come get your travel on! Twitter android ad 2 300x150 The go to destination for armchair travelers and everyone else

Please note: is one of my clients. As part of the work I do for them I have been compensated for this post. All words and opinions are mine and mine alone.  

The only one standing in my way is me

standard September 8, 2014 1 response

I woke up this morning to discover that I had double booked myself on Friday morning. Two meetings, at the same time, that I’m supposed to be leading, in two different towns. A problem 100% caused by my own fault.

I can fix the problem. I can even try to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. (Duh. There’s a reason people use calendars instead of relying on their own human brains.) But as I stewed over the situation all while packing school lunches and getting the kids ready for school, I realized a hard and unpleasant truth.

The only one standing in my way is me.

These last few days I’ve found myself constantly overwhelmed and frustrated. I’m overwhelmed by work and frustrated that it’s not the work I keep telling myself I want to be doing.

I’m like a petulant child, throwing mental tantrums, raging against the world.

I groan and gripe and tell myself that  I’m being forced to do work I don’t really want to do. I stamp a mental foot and whine about not being given the mental space to do the writing I crave doing.

But if I’m honest with myself, and apparently it took this calendaring snafu to get there, there’s nothing to really rail against.

I’m actually really lucky and grateful to have two, possibly soon three, clients who value my experience and opinions. I love the consulting work I do. I love being sought out for my knowledge and ideas. I come to life on consulting calls. I thrill at being able to connect people. It’s fun and I’m good at it. There’s really nothing not to like.

I think it all – the frustration and overwhelmedness – boils down to one thing. Fear. Pure, simple fear.

Fear. The dragon that stands in the way of success.

Fear that I will fail. Fear that I’ve oversold myself. Fear that, at any moment, someone will realize that I don’t really have anything of value to bring to the table.

And maybe, if we dig even deeper, that’s why I’m not using any of my available time to write, to finish my second novel.

It’s fine, at the start of a busy week, to bluster and grumble about the lack of time. There’s nothing to be done about it this week. There will definitely be no time to dive into the book. But, really, there was time last week and the week before, and I didn’t take advantage of it then.

Fear. Fear of getting lost in the work. Fear the book will be no good. Fear that I can’t deliver a second time. Fear that even a second book can’t help bolster the sales of the first. Fear that I’ll fail at this thing I value so much and that I’ll have no reason to keep going down that path.

Not getting it done is so much easier than facing those fears.

I am my own biggest obstacle.

I need to get over myself, to tell the voices in my head to hush up already.

There’s work to be done.

There are dragons to slay.

I’ll never be over it

standard September 2, 2014 6 responses

I don’t think I’ll ever be over it. The whole no more babies thing. I can sit and look at my life and marvel at how wonderful it is to no longer be tied to an infant’s schedule or needs. I can sit and watch my children play and thrill at the fact that they no longer need me to hold their hands as they explore their world, test their limits, become who they are. I can sit and enjoy the fact that I am, once again, in control of my schedule, my days, my needs, my wants.

In every abstract way possible I can take stock of our lives and think “We have it good. We have enough. We are blessed with what we have.”

And still, I can hold a day old infant and feel heart-rending sobs threaten to break through.

I will never again feel a baby move within me.

I will never again experience the wonder of creating a life and carrying it to term.

I will never again whisper “welcome to the world” into a tiny ear I’ve been waiting to whisper into for 9 months.

I will never again hold my own newborn up to my breast and feel that deep recognition settle into my heart.

I will love on my friends’ babies.

I will love on my own existing children.

But that thought that I will never again be pregnant, never again give birth, never again nurse a baby, never again bring home a new member of our family… that thought breaks me.

99% of the time I can function happily in that space where I know I have enough, where I know I have been blessed beyond what many others get. I’m grateful for what I have, grateful for what I wake up to every day.

But sometimes I need to wallow in the “what if” and the “why can’t I too.” I hold a friend’s newborn infant in my arms and I wonder what my third would have looked like. What we would have called him or her. What it would be like to welcome another into our lives. And I struggle to breathe, crushed by the weight of missing someone who will never be.

Lucie meeting mommy 300x225 Ill never be over it

This was taken 7 years ago when Little L and I met for the first time. She still makes that face sometimes.

Introducing Resetology

standard August 29, 2014 Leave a response

Just over a year ago I met a potential client for a quick lunch in downtown Palo Alto. The cafe, a tiny place well populated by your usual brand of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, was crammed, so we jammed ourselves between a guy working on a laptop and a wall.

In no time at all the potential client and I hit it off (and ultimately became friends, but that’s a whole other story) and our conversation grew animated as we got excited about our conversation topic. The guy next to us seemed totally oblivious to our laughter and chatter. He was really focused on what he was reading, only taking breakst for quick bursts of laughter or mumbled “oh, but of course!” and “that’s so smart!” or “I should have seen that!” punctuated by rapid fire bursts of typing.

Being a nosy Nelly, it didn’t take all that long for me to turn to him and comment on how much he appeared to be enjoying what he was reading.

Turns out he was reading his publisher’s edits on his book. On parenting.

I had just turned in my own book to my publisher. And I’m quite well versed on the whole connecting with parents thing.

Don’t you just love it when things just fall into place?

We spent the rest of our meeting time talking about parenting and book writing and promoting, and bloggers, and moms, and a million other things pertaining to the whole publishing thing. And of course, before we all said our goodbyes we exchanged emails so we could meet again.

That man’s name was Jim House, and his book, Resetology; Calming and Connecting Secrets from the Principal’s Office, finally came out today. There’s even a section in it written by me!

Resetology Image 195x300 Introducing Resetology

Want to know a bit more about Jim and Resetology? Keep reading! I interviewed Jim for you guys.

So, what exactly is Resetology?

Resetology™ makes life easier for busy parents by equipping them with the confidence and ability to quickly calm kids, transform irritating moods, and connect in fun ways you’ve always longed to.

All of the parents I’ve trained are good parents  (it’s only good parents who seek out additional parenting resources) and still they all confess that there are plenty of frustrating interactions that happen on a daily basis.

The short-term goal is to strip the emotion from the scene. While that’s a powerful skill to have, long-term goals are more important. As parents, we teach our kids to clean their room, to do their homework, and to use a knife without cutting themselves – things we think are important for their future success in life. But how often do we teach them skills to manage their own emotions and moods?

Finally, Resetology shows you how to build the connected relationships that become a legacy that you hand down to your kids and grandkids.

OK. That sounds great, but, what’s the background on Resetology™? Where did it come from?

I struggled as a first-year teacher and almost failed. My instruction was solid, but my classroom management skills needed work. I was a new teacher so I definitely need some coaching, but my supervisor went extreme. I was led to have students fill out stacks of worksheets all day long so they wouldn’t have time to misbehave. It was killing the students and frankly it was killing me, too. That was not what I expected teaching was going to be like. I knew there had to be a way to manage students’ behavior and attention in a way that was more engaging for them and less painful for me.

Two years later I was teaching the new techniques that I developed to all of the new teachers in the district. Then later as a principal I adapted these techniques, which became Resetology™, to use with poorly behaved kids–from stubborn honor students to gang kids who were fighting. I used these techniques with thousands of kids–kids of every disposition and in most every situation.

And now you train parents?

As a principal I spoke daily with parents who were frustrated with her children’s behaviors, so it was natural for me to share these techniques with parents. I’ve been training parents in workshops and as individual coaching clients for a few years, and my book, Resetology™: Calming And Connecting Secrets From The Principal’s Office is a natural extension of that.

Can you tell us a little more about what you teach in Resetology?

Using the simple metaphor of a cookie recipe you can first learn how emotions work. Then you’ll learn how easily you can get your child, or yourself, to change their emotion. And finally you learn the powerful ways to build strong connections–especially after those times when you lose it. It’s going to happen, but Resetology™ has a specific four-step process you will use to repair and restore your relationship and reconnect.

Sweet! One of the chapter is “Pssst . . . Your Kid’s a Navy SEAL.” Can you tell us about that?

This is a fun chapter in which I reveal the three things that are always going on in your kid’s head. First, your kids are Navy SEALs of reconnaissance and observation. Like the real SEALs, your kids are watching everything you do, and they’re remembering. Second, in most every situation where they interact with you, your kids have already internalized a predictable range of responses to expect from you. This is what I expect from mom on a good day, and this is what she’ll do on a bad day. Same for dad. And third, they are certain that they can outsmart you.

Once you realize these things are always going on inside your kid’s head, you can use that to your advantage. That’s where The Reset™ and Resetting comes in.

Wait. What’s Resetting?

The majority of frustrating situations that parents deal with involve low intensity emotions—not doing their homework or chores, picking on their brother or sister, or ignoring mom and dad. Resetting will give you the power to manage these situations in brand new ways.

But there can be times when the emotional intensity is very high and you enter the red zone– either your child or both of you.  In the book I teach a technique I call the Dimmer Switch, which is the same technique I used to transform big angry eighth graders who had just been a fist fight and were were escorted to my office. They would sit down trying to rip the armrests off of the chair, and two minutes later I was having a calm rational conversation with the student about their behavior and the consequences.

Sounds like there’s definitely food for thought there! How did you come to be creating Resetology at this time? 

At first I set out to write this book for other principals. But after many conversations about the book in which parents became intensely curious–grilling me with a litany of questions like, “How did you do that?” and “What did you do after he did that?” and “What would you do if . . .?” and finally, “Do you realize that there’s nothing like this out there?”–I began to understand that the greater need was amongst parents and families.
So I scheduled a free workshop to see how parents would accept and apply these techniques that had worked thousands of times for me. I didn’t have to wait very long for my answer because the first parent testimonial showed up the very next day in my inbox.
I’ve now been training parents in seminars and as coaching clients for almost three years. The book itself has been many years in the making. The longer I do this, the more clearly I see just how desperately these techniques are needed in this radically disconnected world we live in.
So much awesome! Last question! Who exactly is Jim House, the man behind the book?
I’m a speaker, the author of Resetology™ – Calming and Connecting Secrets From The Principal’s Office, and creator of The Reset™ Academy. I’ve been principal of several elementary schools, and a middle-school assistant principal in gang-riddled neighborhoods. I was a teacher in an affluent district. I love lots of things–most of all, I love people and helping families build even stronger connections. To me there are no strangers. I love ringing chords in really good barbershop quartets; I love wonderful wines; I love playing with gravity on skis; I love canoeing, kayaking and crunching volleyballs; I love things all sweet, which of course includes milkshakes and pop tarts (and I know the address to Extraordinary Desserts). And many former students and a couple of teachers used to call me “Senor Casa”–I loved that, too.


Resetology Sale Image 300x94 Introducing Resetology