Sallie Felton, Life Coach, Weblog

July 22, 2011

Out From Under, Passing of A Parent

Filed under: Change, Transition, Depression, Life Transitions — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sallie Felton @ 3:50 pm

I received an email from a dear friend who just lost her father about a month ago. He had not been well for a while, yet still remained humorous to the end, but within a few months passed on. A death of a parent disturbs our roots and shakes our foundation whether you are a caregiver or not.


I remember in 1999 when my father was diagnosed with emphysema and congestive heart failure, hearing the doctor’s words, “Your Dad may have a year or two.” I was stunned; numb…this can’t be happening. My INNER child was screaming, “this is not OK, …I am not ready to deal with his death.”  This was not in the cards, cannot be happening….of course my parents will live forever. WRONG! 

We joked numerously with our parents that there was a reason they had 5 daughters…the constant caregivers. It’s not by surprise that my sisters are my best friends. It wasn’t always like that growing up, but we worked at it through the years, confronting each other and working through issues. They would each be by my side and I theirs at a moment’s notice, unconditionally.

It is because of that bond I believe we were able to rally around taking turns caring for Dad and later with Mom who was diagnosed with lung cancer the summer before Dad died in 2000. Both of our parents made it very clear there was to be no nursing home in their future, though there are families where that is not an option. We 5 gathered around and came up with options, plans, schedules and support systems. Some of which our parents thought to be overdone, overprotective and overly committed. However, when I asked her, “If you were taking care of me, what would you do?” BINGO! Same solutions. (The apple does not fall far from the tree.)


We spent wonderful days caring for him and later with Mom. Those two years gave me a greater sense of “giving” unconditionally than I ever thought I had in me. I looked at every task, either changing a Depend to changing a soiled bed to feeding a meal never as a JOB or BURDEN but of coming full circle. It was my turn to give back to them for all the years in which they nurtured me, tended to my soil from which I grew strong roots and blossomed. Though I do remember a comment Dad made, “I would like to ship off my daughters from the ages of 13-18, and then have them back.” Guess there might have been a bit too much estrogen in the household for one single male…lol . Whenever there was a tense moment, we used humor; we shared stories and memories and soothed each other with touch.


Before Dad died, my sisters asked if I would say something at his funeral. Dad and I were always joined at the hip, so I felt very honored. As I would visit him, I often wondered what I would say…and then I would begin to write and write some more. The feels poured out, even our butting heads came onto the pages. Then I did something I instinctually, from a cellular level, HAD TO DO. I drove down to see him one afternoon and asked if I could share with him what I was going to read at his funeral. He smiled! I sat beside him, holding his hand and began to read. Tears poured from both of us. I got to say what was in my heart. He knew for years how I felt, but how many time do we really sit down, take the time, and say it…really saying it. Of all the people in the world I wanted to hear those words and not when he passed, it was Dad.

 So if you are coming up from under and your foundation has been jostled by the death of a loved one and you hadn’t had the chance to tell them how much they meant to you, here’s something you can do. Take up a journal and begin to write, tell them what he/she meant to you…what you struggled with, issues you wished were resolved. Let it out…grieve… for the healing will take place in time. The ceremoniously burn it outside letting the Universe deliver it.


P.S. I put my letter into Dad’s pocket before he was cremated. My words are always with him.

April 26, 2010

Networking…”Who am I really?”

When someone asked me about networking today, they were surprised to hear that “I HATE IT”. Why? Because it is not my strength to go into a room, shake hands, hand a card, ask what the other person does or offers, and then go to the next person…and so on….and so on…

It may work for others, but not for me. Let me share what works for me. I make a date/appointment to meet a “prospect” for coffee either in the morning or late afternoon. I begin by saying how pleased I am to have them take the time out of their busy day to meet with me. We share what each of us does, and then I change the subject. PURPOSELY!


These questions might be out of the ordinary, but they reveal quite a bit about the person. In order to build the funnel of trust, one has to know the person they are dealing with. Is this someone you would like to do business with? Why? It is all about building relationships. Start where you stand, and who will you call next?

Let me know how it goes, what’s your secret?


How Can You Be Your Best?

I was interviewed last Sunday by David Muraco on IN THE ZONE. Here is the link to that particular radio show:

You might find some great tips in here about choosing what you wish to come into your life.


Let me know what you think…

March 3, 2010


You are busy everyday. The world goes on, never stopping to breathe. Do you find yourself on a treadmill, literally or figuately? Many do. So how do you slow down? Do you even slow down on your vacation?

Here are a couple of suggestions to slow down. Think about one thing you wish to do, start small: massage, walk, sit and read or spend 15 minutes with just you! In order to keep yourself fueled, you have to revitalized yourself. If you can’t read a whole book in a week…start small, read one chapter! It is all about starting where you stand, start small and make the committment to yourself.

I am on vacation right now and am replenishing myself in nature. Yesterday I took a 4 mile walk along the Snake River, seeing moose and soaking up the mountain air. I might have missed it looking around, but something inside me told me to look up. There above me was the most beautiful bald eagle. It must have been 15 feet above my head perched on the aspen branch. I stopped, camera out, clicking away…then I stood and spoke to it. It just stared at me, yellow beak bent low in my direction probably sizing me up if I were to be the next snack. I was taken by its’ curiosity of me. Our eyes fixed on each other. Its’ wings never expanded, content to be “hangin’ out” by the banks of the Snake. I took steps forward to continue my walk and noticed just by stopping and breathing in that encounter filled my heart with joy. When I met another human on the path, I would tell them of the eagle awaiting them and watched their eyes light up with excitement. I filled my soul with the wonderment of nature.

Now some people would not feel the same as I did, and that is perfectly ok. Find something to do that interests you, AND JUST DO IT. When you are emotionally refueled, you are emotionally available to others. So what’s missing?And how are you going to refuel?

January 29, 2010

Stuckedness and Getting Help by Conway Felton

Filed under: Change, Transition, Depression, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 11:26 pm

When I was newly married at 25 years of age my wife, Sallie and I had not lived together prior to our wedding. It was a time when parents of the ’60s  were not quite ready for this new living arrangement.  Had we done so, it is exceedingly unlikely we would have married, given my mannerisms/behavior under this cloud of depression.

Sallie saw first hand my moodiness, snappiness, anger, directed at myself , as well as my low self-esteem. If she chose to stay in our marriage,  she knew that she needed to take care of herself first..she needed support too. Therefore, her discussions with her primary care Doctor was the first step. The Doctor indicated that I certainly could get help. Depression makes others around them walk around on egg shells waiting for another outburst. Now she had to convince me that the inability to make decisions,  finding it hard at times to get out of bed coupled with flu-like symptoms was NOT the daily NORM of people. Needless to say it took weeks as she was able to finally help me look back at a series of events that led to seeing and understanding a pattern of life that did seem flawed.

Could I have ever gone to counseling on my own? Not likely. But I had a wife that was willing to support me. Did I feel our marriage might be doomed unless I went to counseling, I don’t recall but subconsciously I probably knew that might be the case. So I feel extremely fortunate to have a soul mate to steer me towards getting help. 

Sallie’s notes: It is very important for any partner/spouse who is in a relationship with someone with depression find support for themselves as well. We were newly married and I wondered about my future.  Did I want to raise children in this environment? Was this behavior normal? There had been a pattern through his family. And speaking with family sometimes is not helpful, as they too need to be educated. So, was I to  just accept this at face value and do nothing?  IT AGAIN WAS A CHOICE I HAD TO MAKE. I continued to read and educate myself on the subject of depression. I would continue to share this information with Conway and slowly we began to talk about it. It was because of the support and communication that  made a  difference for him. He was willing to go seek counseling and begin the process. More to come.

January 20, 2010

Depression, IN THE BEGINNING by Conway Felton

Filed under: Depression, Life Transitions — Sallie Felton @ 1:14 am

How does depression start? Well, I don’t think there is a dramatic beginning. The light does not just suddenly go out, rather it starts to dim as if on a rheostat switch. It could be much like any illness that is mysteriously acquired and you don’t have any idea that you have “it”. Depression can lay dormant and only appear because of various internal or external events; internal: biological and external: traumatic event. Because you think the way you feel is normal, there is no reason to think otherwise. If this is the way “I feel and look at the world”, why would you realize that your feeling  was distorted? As a child, adolescent or adult, you judge the physical and mental weight as just plain normal. For those who realize they have depression, the how and why does not really matter. There are but two choices: either deal with it head on, or try to sustain some form of life by saying the proverbial, “I’m fine.” The “I‘m fine” choice could cost you many personal relationships and ultimately your own life and soul. I have known 4 friends who have taken their lives because of depression and I simply want to share the notion that that choice is unacceptable. More to come.

February 27, 2009

A Need To Unload

Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions — Sallie Felton @ 3:52 am



Buried Alive. That’s how the beginning of the phone call started.  Three weeks ago our son, Corey, was in an avalanche in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, buried 5 feet down, and found unconscious by his brother, Taylor, and room mate, Topher. To make matters even more interesting, Corey was in a prior avalanche in Alaska just 10 months ago and had his ACL repaired.


So I ask how does one, as a parent deal with that type of call and stress? I have spent hours reflecting three things:


  1. Saying thank you and being grateful just isn’t enough, for me, for saving someone’s life
  2. Knowing the length of your lifetime is not for us to know, it is how you live that matters
  3. Continuing to support a lifestyle, which seems to be intravenously injected into the soul of our son, without adding doubt to his self-confidence?


Upon flying to Jackson Hole to see Corey, I was met at the airport by our son, Taylo,r and our daughter, Sarah. I became acutely aware that Taylor’s hug was tighter than before and his arms engulfed me. We just stood there, nestled in each other, whispering how glad we were to see each other. (Little did I know that Taylor had also been slid and was able to grab onto a tree). Sarah joined the reunion of stretched out arms. It was a few days later when she realized she could have lost two brothers. Reality hit her hard.

There was something very different in the demeanor of Taylor. I got a sense he knew what it was like to have glimpsed death.

When I saw Topher, I told him that I could not cook enough home cooked dinners to make up for what he did. I owed him more than I had and then some. He saved our son from being buried alive! I wondered how he was processing this.


I looked out at the fields of snow realizing that as a parent we cannot say when and where the lifetime of our children ends. It is not in our hands, but what I am sure about is HOW we choose to live our lives. Living just to exist is worse than living to LIVE.

Being ever present is a profound way to live one’s life. I realize that even more.


Both my husband and I will worry about what they do. They have chosen a lifestyle that lives on the edge. It is their profession. However, they have been well trained, educated and are very aware of the risks.


I had a friend say to me, “Sallie, how can you continue to have them do this? They could die!” Yes, they could, but “I WOULD BE KILLING THEM EVEN MORE IF I WERE TO ASK THAT THEY STOP DOING WHAT THEY LOVE.”

I can’t do that; they would lose their spirit, their passion, and their zest for life. The flicking of the candle would die.


So I ask they each tell us what they are doing, what they have learned, what are their dreams…and I listen. And I listen some more. So much that I hear their heart’s beat with enthusiasm. For they are living their lives exactly they want too and buried in the thrill of life.


Thanks for listening…I needed that.



I ask you, what would you do if you were a parent? What would you do differently? And who would it benefit?


Sallie Felton

Life Coach

Transition Specialist

International Talk Radio Host

December 17, 2008

I DID IT!!!!

Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 7:28 pm


# 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,  7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30


#4 My cottage industry, The Rocking Horse, has begun to gallop. Though it is a work in progress, it has been focused on for the past couple of weeks. There will be pictures that need to be taken of the product line, but those will be added as the items are made. Sometimes I thought I couldn’t get this done, especially since I am not a techie, but persistence is one of my core values…and I don’t give up easily! One step at a time.

#6 Remember how I was leaving this for last. Well I have not…I have taken all the kids photo albums and gotten three boxes (one for each). In the evenings, by the fire, and watching a movie, I have removed the best pictures of each and placed them into their respective boxes. Duplicates I have tossed, and any blurred ones, also tossed. How many pictures do we need of the same birthday party, Holidays, first bike ride etc…save the best.

I will chronologically place and label each of the pictures into their albums. Scanning did not hold that heart felt sentiment for me as reviewing the past and creating a journey. Each to his/her own, but it worked for me.

#11 I have asked my sister, Nina, to help me with, as this is right up her ally and I love her taste!

#19 Stone wall all repaired before the snow fell.

#29 Decided the hot yoga classes were just to hot for me, so I  joined another excersice class. Feeling great!!! 


What I learned:

A year is a long time….keeping up is a commitment, but the end result  for me is feeling  tremendously accomplished. No one said that this would be a walk in the park, and many times I believed I took on way too much. However, after three months into it I had two choices: continue or give up.

If I continued I knew that I was accountable to all who read this blog and to all those in my radio land. To quit meant to not even try to succeed. I could have used any number of excuses, but I would be cheating myself of two things:

1. what would I learn about myself by accomplishing these goals? and 2. how would my goals serve me in the end?

I can say to you as I end 2008 that I not only surprised myself but others.

My tip:


Set small goals

Be specific, make them measureable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented.


if not now…when? Tell me your own story…I would love to offer you support..

Wishing you and yours a very safe, warm Holiday Season



October 26, 2008


Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 1:50 pm


# 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 28, 30 (25 COMPLETED…5 TO GO!)



#7 More went out to Salvation Army,,

#3 Took more to the consignments stores, love getting those monthly checks.

#5, #20 All upstairs drawers and closets are done. Downstairs: living room, dining room, office, breakfast room, and den are all completed!! Storage area above the back hall has been torn apart, reorganized, all records or documents in appropriate chronological order: each child has their own important document box…labeled.

#23 Got rid of more funiture we simply won’t use. Simplicity is looking better and better.

#25 Took all the unused paint to the town environment day. They took 24 paint cans plus a $$fee for recycling. I asked them what they do with all that, seeing the haz mat team ahead of me in their white garb and jumpsuits. IT GETS USED FOR FUEL!!


#27 The dog and I are learning new tricks…Kathleen O’Connell (, a dog trainer is helping me with dog aggression. Our loveable Misty feels she has to assert her being while meeting another dog on walks. Now both of us are getting the lessons we need while I am increasing my excersise routine! This is great~ 


Even though I have not shared these past 4 months with you: I never gave up continuing to work away at this. I kept myself always having the finish line in sight and what that would look like…the end result, the goal. This has been a long process, but if one takes chunks, breaks it down it can be done!!! So go for it.

Remember to renew, reuse, recycle: be environmentally friendly.

Here’s a tip: got a clogged drain? Well I tried this and it worked! Pour 1 cup baking soda in the drain, then pour 1 cup vinegar in the drain; one minute later, follow with 1 pint boiling water. DRAIN FREE!!


5 more left to do…whew…and 2 of them, are of course the ones I have been leaving to the last…why, because i REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO THEM.

#4 make a new website for the Rocking Horse with photos

#6 organize all the photographs from past years, put into individual albums for each child

(they are already in albums, but this next step is removing each one and sorting per child)

#11 will be done in the next three weeks

#19 stone wall will be fixed today

#29 look into different Yoga classes in the next 2 weeks

So there you have it, the last 5.

Do I hear a drum roll? Do I hear cheering in the background?? I hear the quiet conviction of making a goal and following through, even when hitting the wall. It’s those lessons learned of structuring a way for each job to get done…but it has to work for YOU.

So as 2008 comes to a close, what might you select to have as your goal for 2009. Share your thoughts, I would love to read them.

Check out our new decluttering book:

written by myself and 8 other internationally renowned authors; chapters full of tips, hints, worksheets. From Clutter from the Inside Out, Feng Shui, Computer Clutter, Time Management, Finding Your Strengths, decluttering Relationships, Downsizing, to How to Simplify for the Holidays… everything to make it easier for you to get a grib on your own clutter.

Will continue to update you, Warmly, Sallie

July 14, 2008


Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 1:59 pm


#S 1,2,3,7,9,10,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,21,22,24,26,28,30 (19 out of 30…11 more to go!)


#7 To more items to Salvation Army last week

#25 Completely tore through Taylor’s closet, now neat and organized

Room reorganized…new curtains, new rug (not brand new….an older one I had that I loved)

Drawers and closets cleaned out:

Dining room, kitchen: pots and pans, silverware, glasses, dishes, cupboards of food, utensils, table cloths; den, all underneath cabinets; laundry room, shelves cleaned, old socks used as rags and dusters

#10 Bought new couches for the den, to be delivered on July 20

#26 Continue to call old friends! and reconnect

#30 Making early morning habits stick!

#28 Making sure that I eat breakfast each morning and not get onto my laptop the first thing in the morning!!




Have you ever noticed “when one door closes another one opens”. For example, after spending all this time decluttering, ridding my house of all the things that we no longer needed…my husband’s parent’s house sold and the furniture needed to be divided amongst the three grown siblings. (There was a moment of panic when I thought of all the furniture and other stuff that would now be descending on and into the house…after 6 months of cleaning and clearing, ugh!). Here is where the door opened.

For years we had not used the living room because pieces of furniture were being moved from one place, it became the “storage” unit for my own family of origins furniture, nic nacs, paintings, etc…until I decided what to do with it all. I must admit the living room was not a high priority on my list. The thought of redecorating, covering and reupholster was daunting and costly.  We lived in our den which we always found to be more cozy with roaring fires, especially in the cold winters.

When Conway came back from selecting what he might like from his parent’s house, I was surprised to learn that much of what he selected would have been my choice too. AND THEY ALL WERE LIVING ROOM FURNITURE PIECES! Last night we had his family over for dinner, we used the living room for the first time in four years! It gave them and us great pleasure to see where the furniture from their past was now living. “Sallie, that looks perfect there, it was meant to be.” “Wow, I remember where that was in the old house, it looks fabulous here.” I know that they all had a first glance at spying one or more pieces, I am sure as they continue to return, they will trip over another piece from their past. Certainly seeing the pleasure on their faces made my night.

So just when you think you have cleaned out something and have all your ducks in a row, don’t be surprised if some other door opens. Greet it with enthusiasm and curiosity, you never know where it will take you.


I learned something new on Good Morning America today; it was all about the new movement to SWAP. As the economy gets tighter, more individuals are swapping their skills and talents for items. Example: a woman needed dental work but could not afford the procedure. It was her dentist that approached her and said that he would be more than happy to take care of her dog in return for the procedure. So check out craigslist or for more tips.


#7 To more items to Salvation Army last week

Move all inherited furniture to storage unit for kids’ future houses

Take painting to auction house

Go through my closet on a rainy day this week

Go through all my drawers in my bedroom

Redo and reorganize linen closet

#5 Tackle Corey’s closet…when that is done the entire upstairs will be FINISHED!!!

#3 Take more to the consignment store

#8 Hot tub fell through, so I need to try and sell that one more time

So what are you struggling with?

What would you like to bring into your life?

Remember be SMART: S-specific; M-measureable; A-attainable; R-realistic; T-time oriented



Life Coach and International Talk Radio Host




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