Light-filled Friday

The day started out like any other day- I greeted my children, they settled in, and we began our work for the day. Teaching in a Montessori School is a wonderful thing, because at any given moment, a child may walk up to you and say, “Miss Lisa? I’m ready to learn division today!”….or, “Could you teach me more about how the continents were formed? I want to know more!!” or, “Hey Miss Lisa could you listen to my multiplication tables? I want to try to pass the EIGHTS today!!” A Montessori school requires the teacher to follow the child, and their motivations and interests.  My role as teacher, was Tour Guide to the exciting things about living on earth; it was to share the very building blocks of the world-and to this day, I still can’t believe I got to do it.

That day, the day I will always bookmark in my life, I remember a flurry of activity, like any other. It’s something to see: kids on fire about learning. I was in the middle of a lesson when one of my smallest students tugged on my dress. She looked pale, and not her normal, exuberant self. Tears were welling up in her blue eyes and I knew we needed to call her mom.

I went to the big binder called PARENT INFORMATION and found my student’s mom’s number. But under her number, something popped out at me. Under PROFESSION, were the words, life coach.

I still remember the way I stopped in my tracks. I knew I was led to this page that I held in my trembling hand. I want to say it was de ja vu, except that’s not exactly it.  It was like finding something that I remembered looking for in another life time. Sorry. I know that explanation is as clear as mud, but it’s the best I can do. If I could use dramatic music….I would use it HERE.

I dialed the number, and I recall saying, “Mary? Keeley isn’t feeling well, could you come? And also Mary? Can we talk about you being my Life Coach sometime?”

Here’s what’s strange. It was 1999. I had never heard of a LIFE COACH. I’d never heard a description, and I sure as heck didn’t know anyone who was ever life COACHED. But something in me knew that having a Coach in your life, was a good thing. I had been watching Mary, for a long time, and I liked the way she did Life. I admired how she never appeared to be frazzled or rushed. I watched the way she spoke to her children-they were equals she respected. She laughed easily. She approached problems we had at school like the kids in my class did: calmly, confidently, with a tinge of excitement at having a challenge. (yes, she is that amazing!!)


Mary Maisey-Ireland, creator of Your Joyful Life


The truth is, the very environment I was in, led me in the direction of asking for a Coach in my own life. All day long, was coaching. A motto that we started out reciting each day was, I like myself, I can think for myself; there are no problems too great to be solved. In the Montessori program, Writing and Math are only part of the curriculum. If a child is a having a conflict with another child, it’s not swept under the rug. Actually, it was the opposite. We almost celebrated it-because here was a chance to solve a problem, the right way. It was learning at it’s best.  The children are taught how to stop, and talk the problem out so that both walk away with a resolution. Often, the whole class gets in on it, offering help, ideas, and support.

In essence, I was teaching the children, and myself, that there’s always a better way to live our lives, and we must keep reaching for it.


Mary took me on, and that ‘s when I began looking at everything in my life differently. I would come to Mary in our sessions and give her a laundry list of the things that were wrong in my life. She would sit with me, and patiently untangle each and every thing. She taught me a variety of things, that today I call TOOLS. I literally picture a tool box, and each of our sessions added a new and different tool to my box entitled How to Deal with Life.

rainbow hands

And here’s the thing….now, after 15 years of teaching children, and 3 kids, and 17 years of practicing using all my tools, and learning a few more…I’m able to do for others what was done for me. I’m able to offer Coaching that untangles, and heals.


We came to this earth, which I like to call EarthSchool, to learn and grow. My Montessori students came to my classroom everyday, so excited about learning something new! And I often call on that energy when I start to feel like Life is getting too routine. I remember their joyful attitudes and the way they would beg me for the next step.

I call on their zest for life, and remember to ask for more lessons, and the grace to learn how to get through them with the same energy my small students had as they approached the works in our little classroom.

What parts of your life have you sort of just given up on? What have you put on the back burner, because you can’t even deal? What problems in your life keep coming up, making you CRAZY, because, seriously…WHY ME?! Have you often thought, There has to be a better way! but never really found it? Or do you just keep getting up everyday and hope for the best?

I’ve been working with some amazing, brave men and women (and even some children) who have decided they want to be on purpose about their lives, and want to learn a better way. I love to teach. More to the point, I love to teach THIS. Small confession: Math never was my favorite.

me web

Today, because I want to encourage more people to see what happens when you sit with an unbiased, loving and caring person, with no preconceived notions, no judgments, only solution-centered goals–I’m offering A DEAL. I want others to see how a huge knot can be untangled in their lives.

TWO 90 MINUTE SESSIONS WITH ME FOR $88.88. I could wow you with the math on what an incredible discount I’m offering, but, since I don’t LOVE THE MATH….can you just trust me? It’s good.

So, I’m only offering this until I hit 15 deals sold. And some of those are gone, baby, GONE..already. Don’t wait. I can’t wait to work with you.


Can You Read Backwords?


So my 10 year-old, Quinn, has been big into reversing words lately. It’s a phase, much like the eating only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches phase that all my kids have been through. Or the refusing to take a shower phase, not letting food touch phase, the Pokémon GO phase, or the not eating carbs phase. Wait. That last one was mine. Anyway, these things are all fleeting and are super fun and addictive for awhile.

Except the not eating carbs thing. That was a very dark time, friends.

I’ve been hearing all about words and their abilities to be the same exact thing, no matter which way they are read.

These are palindromes, and they are fascinating to Quinn. But he didn’t stop there. He decided to look at words backwards, and see what they spelled. When he went into that territory, I almost said, “Oh yes! Like Redrum!” but then I remembered that Quinn is 10, and doesn’t really need to know about films that include psychotic breaks and possessed children.


But then he came upon one that made us both stop in our tracks.


Quinn’s smile was slow like a train just coming to life on the tracks. I loved watching it gain speed. He ran to our dog, Frodo, and hugged him. “Yes!” he kept exclaiming. “YES!” and then he came and hugged me. “I like that, Mom! so much!”

I liked it, too.  When I think about the dogs in my lifetime, they’ve all shared the same qualities:

playful, joyful, wordless comfort, deep wisdom, innocence,loving, kind, protective, forgiving, humble, miraculous, faithful, devoted, loyal, insightful…..

And isn’t my list of God qualities the same? I think that’s the way truth feels-like the happiest slap across the face you’ll ever get, you know?

Children and dogs, dogs and children. I swear to you, they are my favorite teachers. It makes me think of one of my favorite quotes by Elizabeth Chase Allen:

Backward, turn backward, O time, in thy flight;
Make me a child again, just for to-night.

Watch this. Tell me that you can’t spot God in this place.

(P.S. for all my wordpress people, I’m really sorry about this new theme. It’s not set up yet, and I’m sort of over trying to figure it out today it’s bothering me, too. Bear with me! )

Changes in Latitude

It was a scene straight out of Home Alone last night. You remember that one? Crazy people running around, Fuller drinking 2 gallons of soda….the Pizza guy that hits their little garden statue every time? That was our house, minus the extended family with the cheap uncle.  We leave today for sunny beaches and snorkeling in the clear waters of Cancun. It looked like this:


It sounded like this:

“Mom! I can’t find my white shorts!”

“………….ummmm……in the dryer!”

Littlest marching around in only his pajama bottoms singing at the top of his lungs:

“♫Glory, glory hallelujah! I love presents, what it’s Tooooooooooooooooooooooooo Ya?♫”

“Lis, we’re packing light, right? No need to go crazy….right?” I hear my husband’s reasonable voice from somewhere above my head, most likely in the kitchen.

“Of course!”I holler, looking at my suitcase bulging with hair products and flat irons…(silly man. When’s the last time I went crazy?)

But somehow, despite the chaos and headache-inducing bedlam under the roof of the family Carr last night,

ready to go

We are somehow ready to go. I took Frodo the big black poodle on one last romp through the hills this morning. He’ll be taken care of while we are gone, but I know he, like me, will miss our daily runs in the fresh air. Speaking of air, the temperature was a crisp 23 degrees this morning. RE-freshing!

south dakota winter moring

I couldn’t help but marvel at the life I’m fortunate to live: This morning, cold foggy, crystalized grasses in South Dakota. Tomorrow morning, my feet will squash along in wet sand; the temperature in the high 80’s, and I’ll be smelling ocean water. How wonderful.

Cancun beach (Mexico), August 2006

Cancun beach (Mexico), August 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Long

How long do we have to share a pot of coffee, and look over the hills of wonder?

Can you feel it, when it’s coming? The last smile, or the gentle look of concern that makes your eyes narrow; your brow furrow, just in the middle.

I don’t want to feel it, if that’s how it works.

And I do.

I’ll brace myself for a different kind of life, and let go of you a little bit here, a little bit there.

But, there is no preparing, I know that, too.

No shortcuts, or Get out of This Sad Place cards to be found.

Only unknowns.

And you’ve taught me how to handle those; I know exactly what you would say.

There’s no running away from time; no hiding like a child under my bed with my eyes shut tight.

But I feel like a child right now, not at all grown.

How do you live in light, when you know the darkness is coming?

And what will happen to me when the path goes black? Will I ever find my way back to a place that is shining?

Today, I can honestly tell you, I don’t know.

I suppose that’s just the wintry winds whining.

How long do I have with you?

I don’t need to know, after all.

I’ll love every piece of you, and I’ll never let go.

-Lisa Heggen Carr

The Walls Have Eyes

Nancy Drew (2007 film)

Yesterday was  a powerful kind of day.  I got through a killer workout, had supper all whipped up in the afternoon so that all I had to do was warm it up….and I hacked into my children’s school records. Continue reading

The Firstborn

My dear friend Madame Weebles has inspired me to tell a story. She herself has been telling tales of moments that make you believe there is a force in the universe much larger than ourselves. I’ll urge you to visit her over at Fear No Weebles. You won’t be disappointed.

Now for my story. Continue reading

The Way it Has to Be

I just had to say good-bye to the Middler. He is going away for a week. I smiled and hugged him and told him to have fun.

He walked out the door and the tears started.

So, I wrote this. And it feels a little better.

The Problem

The problem with loving your kids too much

is it takes every fiber of your being to let them go to a week-long camp away from home.

What if everyone isn’t nice to them? What if they can’t sleep at night, without all the comforts of their bed and perfect pillows? What if they forget to take their medicine?

The problem with loving your kids too much

is every time you look at them, you can see the ghost of the baby you spent so much time rocking. No matter how big they grow, you can always see it even though others cannot.

The problem

is you don’t ever want anything bad to happen to them, and you want to walk around like an invisible bouncer, casting dirty looks that people can feel to some that get mouthy, putting a foot out to trip those that might be mean.

The problem with loving them too much

is you want to freeze this time. Because you’ve never been happier  in all your life. Being a family like this is everything you’ve ever wanted.

The problem

is that you’ve done your job too well. They grow tall and more confident each day. Ready to go into the wild world, without you. To have experiences that you won’t know about or be there to witness.

The problem with loving your kids too much

isn’t really a problem.

It’s the way it has to be.

The problem is

I don’t know any other way to be.

-Lisa A. Carr

Sing your song

When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else. When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her.

Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity.
When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another. A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. So remember, just keep singing and you’ll find your way home. — Original tribe unknown

What is YOUR Song?

This is just one of mine by Enya called A Day Without Rain

He is Her Baby

He is her baby
She can worry if she wants to
But she doesn't want to
He is beautiful and kind
Perfectly made
He's her baby
She can worry if she wants to
But she doesn't want to
There are days coming for him
that will be hard
There are days she can't wait for him
to experience
She knows he is more than fine,
and sometimes she worries still
because she's his Mama
He is her baby
-Lisa Heggen Carr