One positive side effect of my insomnia is I get epiphanies and ideas.

Tonight’s: I need to beta test a new tagline.

Debra encouraged me to do it with my target market. Well, aren’t you all my target market? My readers.

In the physical realm my target market is here in Fairfield county, so I need to use my Courage to do this on the soccer sidelines, pool deck, staffing of local carnival, post Girl Scout leader meetings, etc. I’ll do that.

So, here’s what Debra and I came up with last spring for a new tagline:

Aligning you with your Soul so your Authentic Self can fly.

When you read this, what do you think I do?

If you were my client and you had an hour, day, group, retreat with me, what would you want from that time together?

Please feel free to comment here, on Facebook (Julie Punishill, Authentic Self Coaching), tweet me or email me. However you’re comfortable sending me your feedback.

Next steps are photo shoot, site redesign, discussions with library and UUSIS about hosting meditation groups. Thinking one evening once a month and one day time, hopefully weekly, to start.


Another AMAZING thing to emerge from this blog is the connection I have now formed with my sister!!!

I wrote in Triggered about Christy as collateral damage.

See, I was born with a birth defect, a birth defect brought on by my father’s exposure to Agent Orange when he was a doctor doing triage in Vietnam. When they went to do surgery when I was 2 to correct the problem, my parents were re-traumatized. I was traumatized, but they were re-traumatized. They lost sight of my sister that year. She had started Kindergarten, despite being a November birthday. But they weren’t paying attention to her and what was happening for her. She repeated Kindergarten.

From then on, our relationship was set up to fail, worsened by the collateral damage I spoke of before in Triggered.

I always felt like my sister loved me, but I wasn’t sure if she liked me.

We formed a relationship thru my mother.

When Mom passed, we had to figure out how to have a relationship without her. We’ve struggled a little. It’s been a little awkward to find the groove. Due to busy life circumstances for both of us, we haven’t been able to talk much over the last few months. But this small break was good. It allowed there to be the possibility of something different. [I’m quoting Joanne a lot here, but I’m too tired to really worry about it too much. I know she won’t mind.]

Enter. . . me writing Triggered.

I knew I had to let her read it first. I wanted to be respectful. I asked her to let me know if she wanted me to change anything. Her response was she loved the picture I chose, she was fine with what I wrote and mostly she supported me. She included quotes that mirrored exactly what I’ve been talking about.

She stepped in behind me, firm behind my back. The energy she was sending me was, “I got you!” She was telling me “I support you” as you go forth, open yourself up to be vulnerable and fly!!!

I have NEVER felt as strongly as I do now that I can lean back if I need to and my family of origin has me, I mean really has me!!!

We are here, again:

See the pride and joy in her face? See how she’s holding me open to the world? See how she has my back? This is before all the other junk came in.

She had gotten the baby sister she wanted.

Last night, as we were talking on the phone as she and her family sang me my treasured annual birthday song (with their special twist) I expressed myself.

I told her how I feel this blog has not just brought us closer, it has been the bridge. It has helped forge the connection.

The relationship I have always longed for with my sister, I finally have!!!

Prior to now, we had glimpses of it. Remember Stuck? We had glimpses of it when she was teaching me about horses and how to ride. Horses are one of Christy’s areas of Brilliance (a Debra word). It’s her Zone of Genius (Joanne, now). She is the most natural rider I have ever known. I started to ride because I knew it would give us time together, maybe she’d like me.

In those moments, we did like each other.

We were sisters.

But now, we’re



I hope this post tells you what you have meant to me in the past. But, more important, I hope it further expresses what your unwavering support means to me as I fly on to this next chapter.

I love you!

Forever and Always,



I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been stuck. I’ve been stuck on a particular blog topic I wanted to write; I’ve been stuck from reclaiming my house from my depression; I’ve been stuck in my plan for getting fit; I’ve been stuck in making progress with launching my practice. Stuck is so not a fun place to be.

I was raised in the rainy Pacific Northwest. I now hate rain and I HATE mud.

I remember the day my horse was being a brat and refusing to come in out of the rain. She was along the back fence of her rather large corral. It was raining fairly hard, especially for Oregon, not that usual Portland mist. [Aside: I now say the sky is spitting at us to the girls when it rains like that here. They think that’s funny, I think it aptly expresses how I feel about that kind of rain. I hate it!! Can you hear how much I hate it!!!] But back to my lovely horse. Why was she out there. Her coat was soaking wet, mane plastered to her body, in fact, I’m not sure she could really see me, but she could hear me, you’ve seen how big horses’ ears are, right? She knew I was there calling to her to come in. I went to get the grain to toss around in the coffee can to entice her to come in. The usual grain trick didn’t work. She was going to make me come out and get her.

For this exact problem, our dad had added railroad ties from Tonya’s stall out to her paddock for us (and frankly, Tonya, he loved that horse) to avoid the mud. This had been a particularly rainy time in Oregon. There was A LOT of mud!!! The railroad tie bridge did not extend far enough to cover all the mud this particular winter. Well, OK, here I go, I had to go out there and get her. For you non-horse people, a horse has to be exercised each and every day. My horse-loving sister (who taught me almost everything I know about horses and who I inherited Tonya from) made sure I knew this. My parents made sure I did it. The responsibility of taking good care of an animal was not lost on me. I had to go out there and get her. I took some deep breaths, steeled myself for how wet I was going to get, grabbed her halter (but not the grain, damn her, she was not going to get that grain) and out I went.

I got to her, put her halter on, had a little not so nice conversation with her about why was she making me do this and we headed back toward her stall. Have you guessed what happened next? I got stuck, not Tonya, just me. Down my boots went in to that thick, gooey, brown glue of mud. I could tell as I tried to lift my right foot out, my boot wasn’t going anywhere. The left foot was in there pretty good, too. It’s pouring rain, my feet are stuck in the mud, I’m holding Tonya’s lead line and I am miserable!!!!! I started to cry!!! God Damnit (the only swears we ever heard in our house) I was stuck in that God Damn mud!!!! What was I going to do. There was literally no one else at the barn. I don’t remember where Christy was that day. It was rare we weren’t at the barn together. But there was literally no one there but me and my “beloved” Tonya. She really is my beloved horse, but she wasn’t at that moment. I don’t know how long I sat there stuck, crying, alone trying to decide what to do next. There was no way that right boot was coming out of the mud by pulling my foot out. Every time I tried, my foot just slipped out of the boot. The left one wasn’t as bad, but that right boot wasn’t going anywhere.

I was at what Prita calls a choice point.

I remember consciously deciding to just leave that right boot just where it was, stuck in the mud, and get Tonya and myself out of the rain. I slipped my foot out of my cowboy boot and tried to mostly hop through the rest of the mud, over the railroad ties and in to the warmth of Tonya’s stall. Once there I paused. I let Tonya have the grain. I love her and I really wasn’t that mad at her. She was in her 20s when I inherited her, she had earned the right to be cantankerous. I shook the rain off my coat, shook my hair out, breathed a little with my sock sitting in the warmth of the shavings of Tonya’s stall. What was I going to do about that damn boot. I’m cold. But you can’t ride a horse with only one boot. So, I again steel myself to go back out in the rain. I hobble back out there (trying so hard not to put my stocking foot in the mud) to get that boot. I get to it, bend down keeping my right foot in the air behind me and have to shimmy that boot out of the mud. Success! The mud releases its hold on my boot,I slip my foot back in to the mud covered boot and head back in to the stall. After a lot of cleaning up, Tonya and I have our usual good ride. She was the most amazing horse I’ve ever met and I don’t ever remember a bad ride with her. But the whole time I was still a little wet and miserable.

I didn’t intend to tell this story when I started writing this post. But when I was searching Google images for a picture to represent “stuck” it all came flooding back. That DAMN MUD!!!!

This story aptly describes where I’ve been the last few weeks. Stuck in the damn mud. I got triggered by a homework task for this business salon I’m taking, I got stuck.

I think I was the boot waiting for someone to come rescue me.

But then I remembered, I’m not the boot, I’m ME!

I rescue me, just like I rescued my boot. I know that.

So I was honest on my Brilliance-based Business Success™ Salon prep form and weekly call. I got the coaching I needed from Debra, because I asked for it and I’m unstuck.

The next post will be titled “Unstuck.”