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Living On Purpose

In this blog Elaine Taylor-Klaus shares her musings on purposeful parenting, partnering and living. Read, enjoy, and comment ...


Using Time Effectively (lessons from the fast lane)

In my house, we are living life at a "warp-speed-wonderful" pace, these days, trying to fulfill commitments and responsibilities, while making time for the extra passion-pieces that make life worthwhile. Admittedly, we’ve probably bit off a bit more than we can chew. But at this point – even with multitude of "juicy NOs" that we decline daily – there is nothing extraneous on our plates to eliminate. This is, quite simply, an extra-busy time of life for us. But here’s what we’re learning from it. When life gets...

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Bringing the Critical Mind to Positivity

Alex Haley, author of Roots, said: "Find The Good, and Praise It." Some see the world through rose-colored glasses, determined to find the good in any situation. For others, their analytical minds seek to understand and make sense of the puzzles of life. They see what is “wrong,” or “broken,” and may or may not judge it as “bad.” So whichever way you tend to lean, ...

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I’m a bully … and so are you!

Bullying is one of those themes that starts in childhood and persists throughout our lives. No matter how mature we get, it never seems to disappear completely. We know it under euphemisms such as Road Rage and workplace Anger Management. But the most egregious bully of all is the one who dwells within. So, here’s my true confession ...

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Re-Defining Success to Fit our Busy World

With the volume of information we process amidst the extensive distractions of a technological age, there is a limited amount of attention we can give to each aspect of our life. Should we try to do it all? Or should we make different choices. What does it look like to re-define success in the context of a modern world?

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Sufficiency Mindset

There never seems to be enough ... time, money, resources, hope, possibility, etc. The news is full of all that is wrong, and harmful. We make decisions out of fear, even when there is no evidence that supports the fear. We are afraid that there won’t be enough. What about you? Do you believe that there is not enough? Are you willing to see a different perspective?

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Making Meaning Happen

      "The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
               -- Mark Twain

I had an “Aha!” today on the phone with my coach: I do believe I discovered my ‘why.’

It turns out that my purpose is not about the details of what I do, or create. Through dozens of professional and personal projects I've engaged in over the years, I’ve always searched for ways in which I could be most effective. I thought that was my purpose.

But the truth is that what’s really important to me is “making meaning happen.” My purpose is to make life matter -- for myself, my family, my community, and humanity. It's to live a values-driven life, and encourage others to do the same. 

Is that hokey? Maybe so. But I know have a great reason to wake up in the morning, and it makes a difference every day. What’s your reason? Are you on the path to discovering your 'why'? I highly recommend it!

Two Lessons Learned

There are two major lessons that I've learned from the 10 years we searched before discovering my daughter's gluten intolerance. 

  • First, that bull-dogged determination is called for in life, sometimes.
  • Second, that our life challenges can be used for good in the service of others.

This video addresses both of those lessons, and tells a poignant story of our discovery of gluten and its impact on our family.


Diagnosed with ADHD and 41 Years Fell Into Place

Diagnosed with ADHD and Learning Disabilities at the age of 41, my entire life began to make sense. Suddenly, I understood why:
  • I’d had to work so damn hard in college, 
  • I always felt stupid despite my obvious intelligence, 
  • I was such a slow reader,
  • I’d never felt successful despite appearances to the contrary,
  • I always felt chaotic and out of control,
  • I’d self-medicated since the age of 15 ...
I could go on – 41 years fell into place. For better and for worse, ADHD was a silent member of my family long before I recognized it’s participation at our dinner table.
With ADHD, there is no piece of ourselves that is unaffected: personal performance, relationships, even sexuality are impacted by this alternate brain-wiring.
I share my story to challenge the so-called stigma of diagnosis, and to empower parents to support themselves and their kids. With understanding, we can teach our kids to confidently accept themselves so that they do not ACCEPT the ignorant judgment of others.
The clarity that diagnosis brings is empowering. Diagnosis gave me permission to focus on my strengths, and outsource those areas that are particularly challenged. For the first time in my life, I actually feel successful – in part because I no longer beat my head against a wall trying to do things that my brain is simply not well-suited to do.
More importantly, my grasp of the realities of ADHD has profoundly changed the tenor, direction and ‘success’ of my role as a parent. Awareness lets me provide the members of my family with the appropriate expectations and support they needed to manage ADHD’s impact on their lives.
I have come to believe that Parents are the Missing Link in the treatment of ADHD. I feel so strongly about the importance of parents that I’ve co-founded a national organization, ImpactADHD.com, to bring the effectiveness of coaching and the tricks of a coach-approach to training parents of kids with ADHD. It’s an incredible resource, and long overdue.

Escape Expectations, Find Your Core Values: What do you Really WANT?

How DO you differentiate between what others want from you, from what you actually want for yourself? It’s easier than you might imagine: you start with your core values. Values are like a road map for what is important to you, a way to identify clearly what it might look like for you to “walk the talk” in your life. They are who you are at your core. 

So, if you are ready to stop doing what’s expected of you and start living your own life, get started with this do-it-yourself values-clarification exercise.

Read Elaine's full blog on ShareWiK.com >

Let us know how it goes!


Dinner Time in ADHD World

Success in the face of any challenge inevitably starts with understanding and acceptance. You gotta get the lay of the land before you figure out how to manage it successfully, right?

Recently, at the dinner table, my family helped me see that for me, acceptance -- in my case, it's about living with an ADHD Family of Five --  is grounded in 3 things: calm, appreciation and playfulness. Take a glimpse into our world for a moment -- Baby Blues, move over -- and see if it opens any doors for you.

What is it that you want to accept, and what's it gonna take for you?

Read the full blog on ImpactADHD.com >


Identify your Core Values

One of the great gifts of Middle Age is the opportunity to give yourself the permission to shed your parents' expectations and replace them with your own.

But how do you do it? How do you differentiate between what others want or expect from you, and what you actually want for yourself?

Here are 3 activities you can do to start identifying your core values – which are a fundamental part of your decision-making process.

Read the full blog on ShareWiK.com >


Failing Forward: Why Teach Failure?

Read my article on Womenetics.com - Failing Forward: Why Teach Failure?Every new venture embodies both risk and possibility. With each opportunity, we ask ourselves, “Is it worth the risk?” Often, we’re not even conscious that we are making such an assessment. 

Think about it. Do you find yourself avoiding action because you’re unsure of the outcome? Do you tend to calculate the risks, only to move forward when the odds are squarely in your favor?

Or, do you take bold action, accepting that with great opportunity comes the risk of failure? Are you able to allow yourself to “fail forward”?

Featured in this week’s Womenetics magazine, Elaine’s article, “Failing Forward: Why Teach Failure?” uses the success-story of entrepreneur Sara Blakely to demonstrate the value of embracing failure.

A not-so-subtle caution to the ‘Achievement Elite,’ it’s a message that you might just find liberating.


Is Delta's Food Policy Reckless Endangerment?

If you requested a Gluten Free meal, and Delta serves you a Gluten Free meal, and it's clearly labeled a Gluten Free meal, then shouldn't it actually be a Gluten Free meal? Not according to Delta airlines.

Delta's spokesperson wrote, even if a meal is clearly labeled gluten free, passengers are "encouraged to refrain from ingesting any product if they feel it does not fit within their dietary requirements." That's like saying that if they serve a peanut-sensitive passenger a snack and tell them that it is almonds, the passenger is responsible for knowing that it is actually peanuts.

Help us help Delta to bring their policy into the 21st century. While they're at it, maybe they can do something about their customer service!!

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Eight Tips to Prepare for Postpartum, Parenthood and Life

Elaine Taylor-KlausThe prospect of becoming a parent for the first time is damn scary! I mean, you take on a job for which you have no experience, it’s a matter of life or death, and it’s 24/7. Talk about a challenge.

I am a seasoned veteran of the shock of the postpartum experience. My first child taught me, the hard way, that the time spent preparing for an ideal birth was incomplete without equal importance placed on preparing for postpartum life and the beginning of parenthood. Let’s just say we had a tough first year togethe

So later on, in my years as a teacher of pregnancy yoga classes for women, and labor and delivery classes for couples, I tried to teach budding parents to use pregnancy, labor and delivery as a training ground for parenthood.

Now, after three kids of my own, and watching hundreds of new mothers and their partners fumble and find their way through the early maze of parenthood, here’s some useful advice for all stages of parenthood, both pregnancy and postpartum (which, by the way, lasts forever after): 

  1. You can’t control what happens, you can only control how you respond to what happens.
  2. Expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything.
  3. Trust your instincts.
  4. Learn to ask for help and support, and actually accept it.
  5. Let your partner BE a partner – get over the ‘super-woman’ myth that you have to do everything yourself. If there is no partner, find an ally!
  6. At all costs, maintain your sense of humor (choose laughter instead of tears.)
  7. Create and join community wherever it presents itself. Loneliness and isolation start a vicious cycle.
  8. Practice taking care of yourself.

Read the full version of this blog on ShareWiK.com, where she is a regular columnist.

Elaine Taylor-Klaus is a Life, Leadership & Parenting Coach and the founder of Touchstone Coaching and ImpactADHD


Staying Power and Forgiveness: Keys to Supporting people with Addiction

Severe addiction causes a lot of pain and guilt for friends and family. Staying with a friend without getting too close, and finding Forgiveness without condoning bad choices is a recipe for success. It may not always lead to a happy ending, but it’s a way to manage the conflict with integrity and respect.

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