Looking for a “gifted” coach?

Did you know that emotional coaching is a highly effective way to reach gifted children? Not only that, but parent coaching can provide parents of gifted children with the insight they need to meet the needs of their gifted kiddos.

When I started working with families of gifted children nearly 2 decades ago, I became increasingly aware that teachers, parents, and students all needed more resources and more support than was available. That is a large part of the reason why I wrote Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids.  

As the years went on, I realized that the books weren’t enough. I could do more to support our gifted population and those that serve them. My consulting and coaching business grew from that desire. Now I am a regular speaker at school districts and other venues. My audience includes parents, educators, and students. Topics include the social-emotional needs of gifted students, understanding the role of temperament and using social-emotional learning competencies to coach gifted children. Speaking events can be presentation or workshop style.

In addition to my speaking events, I also provide coaching for gifted children and their parents. Different from counseling or therapy, the coaching I provide is centered on understanding giftedness and how to maximize potential through empowerment and embracing the positive aspects of giftedness while managing some of the difficulties. I work with clients on goal-setting, specific strategies to address areas of concern, and other skills to help them fulfill their goals.

If you or your organization would like more information about speaking opportunities or coaching, please contact me through my website by clicking HERE.

For 2016, I will be looking for more ways to support the gifted community, as well as anyone living an intense life. If you have ideas about what you’d like to see from me, please leave me a comment and let me know.

Thank you for the ways you supported gifted individuals.

It’s a New Day…

As I’ve mentioned previously, I changed jobs almost 2 months ago. This change has done more than enable me to pursue my passions in new ways, it has freed up my creative self. As a result, I have been working on several very neglected areas in my life ranging from my physical health, to goal-setting habits, to my writer’s life. It’s an exciting and productive time. I am so thankful for the sudden infusion of creative energy and commitment.

One of the by-products of my rekindled passion for writing and my coaching work has been opening my online store. This is something I’ve thought about doing for many years – ever since I started using a Square reader I guess. Well, I finally did it.

Currently my store includes signed copies of my nonfiction work, available at the special pricing I reserve for my speaking events. I am not certain how long I will be offering these prices, so if you think you might like a signed copy of my books I’d order them soon.

In addition to the online store, I am working on a new logo and new website/blog designs – all things that will be coming soon. Also, I will be putting out information on my coaching business as well.

Thank you for coming with me on this ride. It is exciting, overwhelming, and fun!

What things are you working on?

Out of the Mouths of Babes…

I am in the middle of a book event in Burbank, CA – a two-day series of workshops for parents and kids about the emotional aspects of giftedness. On each night, I start with a workshop with the kids. Last night, I met with about 20 gifted children in grades 6-8.


Let me say that again – WOW! These children were fabulous. Not only did they fully participate, but their insight reminded me, yet again, how amazing our gifted youth are. Together, we discussed topics that included:

  • The meaning of giftedness
  • The social-emotional development of gifted children, and
  • The pressure of expectations

Throughout each discussion, the children offered insights that were poignant and profound. We ended with a Q&A session and while they did not have a lot of questions, I think one girl definitely summed up the workshop:

“I love that we are talking about all of this, and I think that it is important, but why don’t schools understand our need for this and do more to include this kind of discussion in the classroom?”

Why, indeed.

The message of the night for the students was simple – embrace your gifts, embrace your intensities and find ways to pursue your passions. Imagine what would happen if every gifted child – every child – got this same message…

Tonight I am meeting with Elementary school children for another workshop. I can’t wait!!

If you want me at your event, just shoot me a message and I am sure we can work something out.

When High Performance Standards Hinders Forward Progress

One of the hallmark characteristics of gifted children and adults is an incredibly high-performance standard. While this is a fabulous thing, and the very thing that can propel many gifted individuals to excel, it can also be the thing that causes complete and utter stagnation.

For me, it is often the latter. Especially if I can’t reconcile WHY I’m struggling or not performing at the level I expect.

I’m a hard worker. I take pride in my ability to assimilate information, learn new things and improve in the various fields I approach. With my creative self, however, I struggle. I work hard at the craft of writing. And I get great feedback from writers, editors, and the industry. That doesn’t mean my books are performing where I’d like them to be. Or that I am able to produce at a similar rate as that of many of my high-performing author friends.

And therein lies the rub.

I struggle to accept that hard work and improved craft isn’t enough to bring success in creative endeavors. There is a huge, intangible part. There is luck. And I can’t “work” my way into that piece.

For the last several months, the dissonance created by this intangible element of the writing business has resulted in a complete standstill for me. I haven’t been able to produce my fiction work. Every time I attempt it, I stare blankly at my computer, eventually writing and deleting too many words to count until I finally do something else (usually that means finding a nonfiction project to jump into). For a while I decided that maybe fiction wasn’t in the cards for me anymore.

And then I stopped. I changed my focus and decided it was time to quiet the noise and recognize the truth of what was going on…

My high-performance standards had morphed into the paralyzing procrastination that many gifted individuals wrestle face. It was time to try something different. Focus on the action I could take and “let go” of the things that were out of my control.

So, I chose a new approach – a few different projects to work on and a different way to push past my demons.

This morning, for the first time in a long time, I woke refreshed and ready to tackle my fiction-writing world. I drew up a plan and my mind raced. I feel excited.

I feel ready.

Time to act. Time to write. Time to move forward.

Have you ever gone through something similar? What did you do to move forward?

Celebrations are in Order

Happy Friday!

I couldn’t let this week pass without officially letting you know that two of my books have won 2015 Legacy awards – I’m Not Just Gifted and Parenting the Shy Child.

e1028-raising2bthe2bshy2bchild2b-2bhrAccording to their website, “The TAGT Legacy Book® Awards honor outstanding books published in the United States that have long-term potential for positively influencing the lives of gifted individuals and contribute to the understanding, well-being, education and success of gifted and talented students.”

Parenting the Shy Child, my critically acclaimed book about social anxiety disorder, won in the parenting category. I’m Not Just Gifted, my book of curriculum for gifted children focused on building social-emotional learning competencies, won in the curriculum category.

ee811-iI am so thrilled and thankful to both my publisher, Prufrock Press, and the TAGT Legacy Book Award committee for this honor. Creating these books has met a lot to me.

You can find out more about these books and my other titles by visiting my website.

Making a Change

As some of you may know, I left my job as a school psychologist after 18 years earlier this month. It’s been a surreal transition to a consulting job, working with school districts. Although much of the skills I used in my former role come into play, I am now traveling across the state to work with a variety of districts. It is work I deeply enjoy. And, it is somewhat freeing to my time and my creativity. My stress levels are reduced as I am able to focus now on the things I love to do most – coaching, consulting, problem-solving. I can let go of the things that bothered me in my previous position.

A dream job.

That isn’t the only change I’ve made recently. As the job frees up my creativity and time, I am now able to expand some of my parenting and child coaching practices and increase the time I give to writing and book events. I’ve added a few clients, began giving book chats again and started a few new proposals for upcoming books. It’s a time of deep productivity. You can check out my website to know more about my events, or contact me directly to ask about presenting at your function or inquire about coaching.

As my time fills with more of the things I love to do and my mind frees, I realize just how blocked I’ve been. Has that ever happened to you? Have you become blocked to your own goals by the goals of others or the obligations on your plate? I’m sure that it has. As a creative, intense, and gifted adult, I pay a steep price when I am blocked. It impacts my ability to sleep, my physical and emotional shelves, and even my faith. I do not make major changes easily (part of it is a loyalty thing). But as I become more in touch with my authentic self, I understand my need to live from a place of “flow” and authenticity.

If you are finding that you are out of sync with your goals or your own happiness, maybe it is time to contemplate making a change and pulling yourself into alignment. You’ll be thankful you did!

New Look, New Clarity

Hi everyone. I am happy to say I am finally BACK. No really…


After a very long hiatus and intermittent posting, I am finally back to blogging. As you can see, I spruced things up a bit. I have also decided to get back to my central purpose – talking about all things intense, gifted, and creative.

Those of you who have been around for a while know that I am dedicated to helping gifted individuals understand and appreciate their unique intensities. I write books and articles on the topic, frequently speak to groups of parents, educators, and kids about this topic, and work to help gifted individuals embrace all that they are.

This blog is a piece of that journey.

I will be posting 1-3 times a week on subjects related to giftedness that I find interesting. Additionally, I have decided to comb the interwebz for interesting articles that I think will benefit gifted children and adults, as well as educators and parents. I’ll post links regularly on my Intense Life Facebook page. If you aren’t following that page, take a second to hop over and do that. My goal is to recap the best of those links every few weeks over here as well.

I hope that you join me as I revive this blog. And bring your friends. I’ve missed our wonderful conversations and am excited to get back to that.

As I prepare new posts, I have a question for you – what topics would you like to see here on An Intense Life?

Thanks everyone!

I’m here, I’m here…

Wow – I can’t believe I deserted this blog so completely. Rest assured that things ARE happening over here. I’ve had several books release, finished up the second edition of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and am getting ready to launch a new website/blog devoted to gifted individuals, artists and creatives – anyone wishing to embrace their intensities and live a more authentic life.

Over the next month, you’ll see more regular posts and a lot of changes to layout, etc and I get ready to launch the new site. So, hang-on…

Great things are coming!

Merry Christmas, From My Family to Yours…

Merry Christmas! I will be taking the next week off and trying
my hardest to stay off-line, not only to spend time with my family but also to
finish a couple of projects that need to be done before the new year. Before I
leave I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas stories with all of you. Let
this story inspire you and bring light into your world between now and the New
As some of you may know, my mother was a minister. My
favorite time of year to watch her at the pulpit was Christmas. Mom loved
Christmas — everything about Christmas. Trimming the tree, caroling, and the sermons
she would share throughout the season. Her favorite, however, was the candle-lighting
service held Christmas Eve at our church. My mother did not create the service –
that was done prior to her becoming the faith leader at the church. But she did
take the service to a special place, treating it as though it was the sacrament
of communion. Indeed this service was a communion in light. Simple, elegant,
and inspirational.
About 5 years or so before she died, I asked my mom to share
the service with me so that I, in my home or wherever I am, could celebrate the
way I remembered celebrating as a child. Now many churches do candle-lighting
services of one form or another. What I loved about this one was the colors she
used for each candle and for the symbolism she presented through the service.
It’s that symbolism that I want to share with you today.
My mom believed deeply in the story of the Nativity, holding
each member of that sacred scene in a position of honor. What you see below is
a representation of how she viewed each character and what they symbolized in
the story of the Nativity.
Candles were set up on an altar with a tall, white taper in
the center to represent the Christ.
To the left were three smaller tapers as follows — red to
represent Mary and the purity of her divine love; yellow to represent Joseph
and the highest of divine wisdom; blue to represent the shepherds and the
innocence of a child. To the right of the tall white taper were another group
of three smaller tapers — green to represent Melchior, the first of the three
wise men. His was the gift of gold to represent the prosperity of spirit; orange
to represent Gaspar, the second wise man. His gift was frankincense to
represent the purest and deepest devotion; the last candle was purple to
represent Balthazar the last of the wise men. He gave myrrh and the candle represents
the gift of healing.
In this candle-lighting service, parishioners were asked to
pick a candle and light it from any (or many) of the seven candles focusing on
those attributes that you wanted to work on and pray on in the upcoming year.
I always remember this service as setting the tone for my
new year. Music was played, usually by one of the harpist from the LA
Philharmonic who just happened to be parishioners. It was a breathtaking
service and when mom gave me permission to replicate that service in our home a
guaranteed that one of my favorite traditions would continue.
Now that my children are growing up and beginning to leave
the home, I know the time will come when I can pass this tradition on to them.
It is my hope that if the symbolic meaning of the Nativity
and what this candle-lighting service can truly represent has meaning to you
that you share it. Replicate it for yourselves and hold the meaning of
Christmas and the season of light in your heart.
Blessings to you and your family. May you all have a happy
and healthy New Year.


I have exciting things to bring to you in 2015 including six
new books before we hit summer! Until then, enjoy all that this season has to

Lots of covers, lots of excitement…

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday. I, for one, can’t wait the week to be over. My oldest is home from college in three short days and I couldn’t be more excited. But that isn’t what this blog post is about.

It’s about my shiny new cover. Elana Johnson is helping me out with a cover reveal for my next book, Indie and Proud. But as I was prepping for that post, I realized that isn’t the only cover I have ready to share. I have COVER-S. That’s right, covers plural. Three to be exact.



You did it! You achieved your dream of writing and publishing your book. You should be happy. Instead you feel trapped in an ever-changing publishing race, stressed over the never-ending to-do list, and frustrated with yourself for continuing to doubt your talents, despite achieving your goals.

Face it, being a creative is difficult, and achieving some measure of success in the business doesn’t make you immune to your own fears and doubts. If anything, your achievements have added even more pressures. Indie and Proud shines a light on those fears and pressures, providing tools to deal with your frustrations and embrace your passions again.

Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, the book uses everyday examples and stories from writers and other artists to help artists find and maintain their balance in the exciting world of independent publishing. With specific strategies to address self-doubt, underlying fears, and the truly intense nature of being creative, Indie and Proud is a must read for anyone ready to embrace everything it means to be Indie.

Coming February 2, 2015

RAISING THE SHY CHILD: A Parent’s Guide To Social Anxiety

The fear of being judged by others in social activities is a common human experience, especially during childhood. But when the fear becomes all-consuming, it can disrupt daily functioning and the development of social competency. Raising the Shy Child: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety takes a fresh look at social anxiety disorder, coupling the latest in research trends with evidence-based strategies and real-world stories to untangle the complexities of this disorder. Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, the book uses a combination of real-world examples and stories from adults and children with social anxiety disorder to show parents and educators how to help children find a path through their fear and into social competence. With specific strategies to address school refusal, bullying, and identity issues, Raising the Shy Child is a must-read resource for anyone dedicated to enhancing the lives of children.

Coming March 1, 2015 from Prufrock Press

Social-Emotional Curriculum for Guiding Gifted Students

What does it mean to be a successful person? What traits and characteristics define successful people? Why do gifted children, in particular, need a strong affective curricula in order to maximize their potential? These questions and more are explored in this guide to helping gifted children in grades 4-7 as they navigate the complicated social and emotional aspects of their lives. This curriculum is designed to help gifted children explore their giftedness, develop resiliency, manage their intensities, face adversities and tough situations, and cultivate their talents and passions. Including lesson plans, worksheets, and connections to Common Core State Standards, I’m Not Just Gifted is the practical guide necessary for anyone serving and working with gifted children.

Coming May 15, 2015 from Prufrock Press
I don’t know about you, but I am so freakin excited! I am also planning a few fiction releases – so I will be sharing that information soon…ish….
Until next time, what books are you excited for???