Colorado Life Coach: Created For Connection

We were created for connection with God and with each other. God existed before he created humans in a perfect relationship within the Trinity (Father, Son, and Spirit). There was no need for others, because this was a perfect relationship. No one felt left out, all needs were met, no jealousy or competition, just perfect love. We were created, not to fill a need in God, but to share this perfect intimacy with him and with others.

How was this designed to happen? In a perfect world, there would be one emotionally, spiritually healthy man, and one emotionally, spiritually healthy woman. These two have a biological baby. I know this is not the way many of us began, or how many families look today. Please don’t read any shame into this-we don’t live in a perfect world. My family doesn’t look like this, and I’ll bet yours doesn’t either. Wouldn’t it be nice, though?

Baby has a need. She cries. Mom or Dad meet the need. Baby feels comforted and secure. As this cycle repeats, she begins to trust that Mom and Dad will meet her needs in the future. She connects to them. She feels safe in voicing her needs, and feels worthy of them being met. She learns to trust that others will meet her needs, so she continues to ask.

As she grows up, this trust is extended to teachers, friends and relatives. If others respond to her needs in the same way, she grows to be a loving, compassionate, person who can extend empathy and trust to other people.

Most people did not grow up having two healthy parents, getting the majority of their needs met in this way. Ask yourself these questions to see if you grew up with a safe sense of connection:

Is it easy for you to trust?

Did you respect others?

Did your parents understand your behavior?

Were your feelings allowed?

Did your parents teach you to feel your feelings and how to deal with them appropriately?

Were you allowed to be a kid?

Did you learn how to fill your emotional tank?

Did you learn independence and dependence?

Did you learn to take turns?

Can you accept good and bad?

Do you know how to wait?

Can you say no?

Can you take risks?

Can you ask for help?

Can you work toward compromise?

Can you say you’re sorry?

Not many of us came from homes with emotionally, spiritually healthy parents.  That’s because they didn’t either! Nor did their parents! This isn’t about blame. We all do the best we can.

What if we could learn to heal this wound, get healthier, connect more deeply with others and change the course of our families? Guess what? We CAN! Stay tuned!

For coaching help with your relationships, or to understand yourself better, please go to:

This blog written by Carrie O’Toole, Colorado Life Coach




Colorado Life Coach-The Big Gift

Do you wonder if God cares about your life? Really cares?

Do you wonder if he is involved in your life, or if he just sits back and watches?

I’ve wondered about these questions before. Lately, I’ve been trying to watch for his involvement in my life-in the big things and the little things. I’m finding the more I watch, the more I see!

Something happened this week that is awesome! First a little background. I wanted to play in the band in 5th grade. My parents had already bought my sister a flute and she quit after 6 months, so when I asked, they showed me the flute. I didn’t want to play the flute. They told me to ask the band director what instrument I could play for free. His answer? The tuba! I was thrilled! He wanted me in the band and my instrument was needed! There were many benefits to playing the tuba: 1. I got extra help because if the bass stinks, the whole band stinks. 2. I was allowed to play in select groups early, because they needed a tuba and I could play. 3. I never got told to play softer. 4. There are lots of boys in the low brass section (and they’re happy to see a girl). 5. The school always provided an instrument, so I never had to spend thousands on a horn. 6. It’s fun, I love the low sounds, it’s unique, and it’s an outlet most people have never experienced!

CSU provided me with a great horn (a Miraphone, with 4 rotary valves), and when I taught band, I could take one home to play when I had a gig. I actually did have gigs! I played with the Aurora Symphony, the Loveland Symphony, and a brass quintet. Since I quit teaching 19 years ago, I haven’t had access to an instrument.

Last spring, I was talking with a group of women about the phase of life we were in, and what things we did in the past and would like to do again. Like everyone (NOT!), I said “I want to play the tuba again!” The next day, I received a facebook invitation to play in the grand opening of a performing arts center in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a small town I lived in for 9th and 10th grade! Everyone who had played with our director, Buz Hoeffer, was invited to get in shape and play. I couldn’t believe it. With enthusiasm and a little fear, I found a really ugly tuba to practice, and got myself back in shape. I played in that grand opening and it was awesome. My heart came alive again in a way I had only dimly remembered from all those years ago. I want to play again!

Here’s the thing, I don’t have a tuba. I never have. They’ve always been priced out of my reach. I got married right out of college and we decided to buy our first car instead of a tuba.

Before I went to the grand opening, I prayed that God would provide me with a tuba so I could keep playing after I returned.  I asked that he would bring me a pretty tuba and that I wouldn’t have to pay for it.  We have lots of expenses these days and once again, it’s not practical to buy a tuba right now.

Last week, I got a notice that I still owed money for my grad school. We paid off the loan this summer, so I called to find out what happened. I waited on the phone for 45 minutes to talk to the finance department at the school. Just for fun, I went on ebay to look at the tubas (I’m a geek). There was this used, 4 valve Miraphone that kept calling my name. It’s way too much money, but I kept looking. I finally got a response from the loan department.

Somehow, we overpaid our loan. I owed a bit, but there was more in another account that they needed to refund to me! It’s enough for a beautiful, used, 4 rotary valve Miraphone and a case! I prayed: “Really, God?” A still, small voice deep in my soul replied, “Play it, baby!”

I’ve seen God provide for really important things, for seemingly insignificant things, and now, for big, low, beautiful things! I know he can do anything he wants, and I’m so thankful for this personal gift that makes my heart sing!

For a video example of another gift, go to: and “God Cares About the Little Things.”

This blog is written by Carrie O’Toole, Colorado Life Coach.

Colorado Life Coach-Lessons in the Tension

On the verge…

In many areas of my life, I feel like I’m on the verge…

I’ve been learning a lot about so many things and feel like God is asking me to share what I’ve learned.  I wrote a book about our family’s experience of adoption last year.  It was difficult to write, but it helped me get it all out and down on paper.  I thought that was the way I would share what I’ve learned.  Turns out, publishers won’t talk to me about a memoir unless I’m as famous as Bill Clinton or Mother Theresa.  I’m just a mom in a sea of moms.

I am restructuring the book to be more about why ALL relationships can be hard.  I’ve learned people don’t really want to know about your little story.  They want to know how your story impacts them.  I know I have learned things that others might want to know, but it’s been a struggle trying to figure out how to get the message out.  I’m on the verge…

I’ve been on the verge many times in my life.  I remember when we were waiting for our first child.  We were on the verge of being parents for a long time.  Infertility, miscarriage, 1 adoption that never quite got going, and finally the birth and adoption of our son, Brendan finally made us parents!  I felt like I’d never be a mom, but it wasn’t true.

A friend of mine watched her last child graduate from high school a few years ago.  She loves her family and being a mom, but she was excited to have time for herself after the kids were through with school.  She told me, “every time I turn around, huge things happen that prevent me from being able to do what I want to do.  I see other people doing it, but it feels like if I don’t make an effort to do things I need to do, it won’t ever happen.”  Things with her kids consume her energy and she ends up frustrated.  She’s on the verge…

Here are some things I’ve learned living on the verge…

  1. Life, like music, needs both tension and release.  Sometimes I feel like I’m playing 2 keys right next to each other on the piano, over and over again.  It is great to have dissonance here and there, but the resolution sure feels great when it comes!
  2. Sometimes you need to push to get to resolution.  Like when I was 9 months pregnant with Katie, and thought I would be the only woman in the history of the world to NOT have her baby.  It only felt like that.  I did eventually have my daughter!  The verge does come to an end…or a beginning.
  3. Sometimes you need to settle in to the feeling of being on the verge… Sometimes there is nothing you can do, but wait, trust God, and learn to be OK without the resolution.  It will eventually come, but sometimes you have to just wait!
  4. Learn to live in the now and the not yet.  It’s hard to enjoy the present if you are consumed with the future.
  5. Most things worth doing don’t come right away.  Weight loss, changing eating habits, relationship changes, overcoming addictions, growth of any kind, or accomplishing something you’ve always wanted to do.

Living on the verge…

It can feel uncomfortable, but it can be the start of something wonderful.

This post is brought to you by Carrie O’Toole, Colorado Life Coach


Contact Carrie O’Toole to schedule a confidential telephone call or appointment for coaching.