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kansas2If home is where the heart is, then my heart is a geographical kaleidoscope.

It lifts to greet the foothills of Colorado and the Flint Hills of Kansas. It sings when it senses the rhythms of the muddy Mississippi or the Pacific coming up against a rocky coast or a stretch of sand. It skips a beat in recognition of the beauty of a city park or a country garden in full bloom.

In each of those places, there is a bit of my heart that whispers, “This is home.”

But it splits wide open when I go back to the prairie.

Yes, I’m still a Kansas girl at heart.

The open spaces, as stark as they might seem to the uninitiated eye, are rich with life. The wheat and grasses undulate as entrancingly as any sea, and the straight line winds will blow the cobwebs from your mind as surely as any luxurious massage.

I’m posting this from the road.

Headed for Kansas.

Technically, this is the first stop on the Just Blow It Up book tour.

Symbolically, this is a big piece of my life coming full circle.

Although I was raised in Kansas, it was 1996, early in my medical consulting career, when I first visited McPherson, Kansas.  I was there to provide an analysis for Dr. William Payne’s dental practice.  Sitting down with Dr. Payne and his wife, Teresa, to discuss my findings and recommendations, none of could have guessed that we were embarking on a journey that would take us from consultant and client, to friends, to “family of choice.”

It was Dr. Payne who started me on the path of becoming the inaugural Certified Go-Giver Coach and the Master Coach for the Certified Go-Giver Coach Program. When he asked me to construct workshops to teach The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success as part of his staff training program it set the wheels in motion that would lead me to create a coaching program that became The Go-Giver Success Accelerator.

It was Dr. Payne and his team who gave me the opportunity to hone my personal development and coaching talents alongside my management consulting skills. And when he sold his practice, it was Dr. Payne and Teresa and their three kids who made sure I knew that I always had a family to come home to even though I no longer traveled to McPherson every month to coach and consult in his practice.

It was Dr. Payne who introduced me to Annette Karr.

Now, it is Annette who is bringing me back to McPherson.

And it feels like going home.

When I was preparing to launch Just Blow It Up, my publisher, Sound Wisdom, asked if there was a cause or charity I’d like to work with.

My heart holds space for as many causes as it does places to call home. And there are many groups I want to help “just blow up” some walls. But the first group that came to mind was the kids who spend their days, and often a lot of nights too, in hospital beds. Kids with cancer, with heart disease, with leukemia, with missing limbs, with every kind of medical problem you can imagine, and often with the best attitude and the most brilliant smile you can imagine as well.

If there is any group that needs to believe that “nothing is impossible,” it’s these kids and the people who love them.

My next thought was for Annette, whose book (written on behalf of her French Poodle, Wink) is the story of a little dog who was born with an imperfection, and not much chance at life. In spite of being born too early, and having one eye that had to be removed, Wink has proven his worth time and time again as he and Annette take their message of “You are worth a million” into schools and community centers. He reminds kids and adults alike that, no matter how imperfect we appear to be on the outside, we are each unique and precious and “worth a million.”

I knew I wanted my launch plan to include donating that book, Wink the One-Eyed Wonder, to the hospitals where those kids spend the boring, anxious, often pain-filled hours having procedures that leave them bald, scarred, on crutches or in wheelchairs.

Sound Wisdom offered to help fund my dream, and this weekend it begins to come true.

I’ll be joining Annette, Wink, and “the 100 followers of Wink” in the McPherson County Centennial All-Schools Cay Parade on Friday. (Article on the parade and Wink HERE) Then it’s off to Wichita’s St. Francis Hospital to deliver the first batch of books to be donated, followed by more donations to the Ronald McDonald house nearby.

On Saturday, Annette, Wink and I will be signing copies of our respective books at The Bookshelf in McPherson. Information on the signing is HERE.

On Sunday morning, I’ll be delivering a few words as part of a Mother’s Day service, and holding a discussion and book signing in the afternoon.

It seems right to celebrate my first public signings in Kansas, and have Annette and Wink celebrating with me.

It is, in fact, not only right. It’s perfect. Because Kansas may not be what some people call “perfectly beautiful,” but it is what I call “home.”

*You’ll find stories from Dr. Payne, and Annette and Wink in Just Blow It Up. Because they sure know how to blow up some walls, and they’ve taught me some things I just had to share with you.

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