🎶 “Three cheers & dammit, C’est la vie – I got through all of last year, and I’m here!” 🎶

🎶 “Three cheers & dammit, C’est la vie – I got through all of last year, and I’m here!” 🎶

🎶 Plush velvet sometimes, sometimes it’s pretzels and beer, and I’m here 🎶

The last several months have been… interesting, hard, educational, good, bad, valuable.  But as the song says “I got through all of last year, and I’m here!”

I got through (and still getting through) these odd times with community, friends and family.

I’ve connected with my mom on Zoom and we finished her memoir DANCING IN MY KITCHEN… it was a wonderful way to stay connected and to come out the other end of 2020 with something to be proud of!

I guess the main learning through the last 2 years has been that connection is the key.  And that we really do need to learn how to reach inside to our inner reserves in times of challenge. 


Reach out.  Love to hear what you’ve been up to!



And this, one of my favorite quotes from a little book my mom and dad gave me a long time ago has never been truer.

“All the people, all the events in your life are put there for a reason. What you choose to do with them is up to you” ― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Janet Pratt 💃 Poet Author

Janet Pratt 💃 Poet Author


Writer. Poet. Teacher. Counselor.

Dancer-in-the-Kitchen. Mom. Grandma. Wife.

“I was putting this project together – 30 groovy women for 30 days – It just seemed logical to include my mom because … well she IS the person who made me who I am … there was one big wide open spot and … and it was Mother’s Day!
“Well, hello universe! I guess I know who I’m featuring on that day!”  – Kelly

Kelly Pratt, Founder of Athena Village interviews her Mom, Janet on Mothers Day 2020

04:23  Kelly and Janet talk about Lifelong friendships. Starting in junior high and lasting until today!

07:15  Janet tells about Marilyn (Mare) her friend from junior high challenging her in her 60s to learn to play the drums, playing with the Purple Pan People and doing gigs around the Lakes area.

11:36 What music stirs her soul.

13:00 Janet asks if she can say something about Kelly! eek! And talks about “mothering” styles.

I couldn’t choose just one so my Song’s are  “When you Wish Upon a Star” sung by “Jiminy Cricket” 😉
“Somewhere over the Rainbow”

And the entire Harry Nilsson album THE POINT… LOVE IT! (Great for kids!)

More about Janet:

Janet Pratt is a writer, poet, former high school English teacher and guidance counselor.  She retired to “the lakes” in her 60s and proceeded to join a steel drum band and started galavanting around the area doing gigs with her friends!

She raised 3 kids – Kelly is the oldest (and bossiest 😊) and often tries to “coach” her mom.  Kari, is the artist in the family and her youngest, Steven, is on the east coast and is an aircraft crew chief for Boeing .

She talks about herself and her husband as “the poet and the pilot.” Dick has been tinkering with airplanes, in one way or another all his life. He even remodeled their retirement home so he could re-build them in their basement. (Yes, the basement. That’s another story.) Janet has always been indulgent of Dick’ adventurous spirt… even when his adventures moved the family to a bayou in Mississippi to run a campground.  (Again, that’s another story.)

Janet is the extremely responsible oldest of 3 kids to a single mom. The first ever Homecoming Queen in Fargo North Dakota. A star tennis player. And the best mom ever.

She lives in Detroit lakes Minnesota with Dick, Abby the cat and go to lunch with their grand daughter Naomi every Friday – when they’re not sheltering-in-place. In between she’s working on her book – DANCING IN THE KITCHEN.

(ps.  this bio was written by me, Kelly Jane, Janet’s oldest daughter!)

Design a Life with White S.P.A.C.E.

Design a Life with White S.P.A.C.E.

“white space” – the empty space between and around the essential elements of a design

A good designer knows that “white space” is critical to an elegant design.

And a good composer knows when to add silence to emphasize the beauty of their composition.

Designing a life is no different.

When you live with the right amount of white space, your life will feel like a great symphony.  With harmony, rhythm and flow in all the right places.

By adding SPACE you will find the sweet spot where ABUNDANCE + CREATIVITY + PRODUCTIVITY intersect.

What works for me is to pay attention to the essential elements in my life and to make sure that they have enough space around them. Then to truly honor those elements.

That’s it.  Just leave space around your essential bits, you’ll find your essential, authentic self will have room to emerge!  Clearing SPACE in your life for what’s essential.

The 5 basic ingredients that I’ve found are essential for a life with “white space” are:



Find time to be still every day. Traditional meditation, a walk in nature, whatever works for you. Whether it’s for 4 minutes or an hour. Schedule it.

The constancy of stillness… only from that place can you create your best work and your best life. — Oprah Winfrey


Play is not just joyful and energizing — it’s deeply connected to our development and intelligence. And a strong correlation between success and playful activity has been shown. So make time to play! To laugh. Even a forced smile can improve your mood. Smile muscles activate endorphins + immune boosting T-cells.

To thrive in our wild new world you would be well advised to play until you can’t think. — Martha Beck


When do you feel “in the groove?” What makes you lose track of time?

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman


Zoom, call, email, or write someone a note!  Connect.

Connection is “… the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”  ― Brené Brown


Learn your own circadian rhythm.  Honor it.

During the day stretch. Stand up. Move around. DANCE. Do something to get your blood moving! (check out our Playlist!)

It’s not the number of hours we work that determines the value we create, but rather the energy we bring to whatever hours we work. Science tells us we’re at our best when we move rhythmically between spending and renewing energy. ― The Energy Project

When you honor the spaces in-and-around the essential elements in your life, you will see your authentic, essential self emerge.

What are your essential elements? It’s up to you to decide your exact ingredients and the perfect measurements for each.


Click to download your Living With Intention Manifesto



Red Winged Blackbird

Red Winged Blackbird

A message from A Red Winged Blackbird

He reminded me to Pay Attention

A story:


Once upon a time there was a very sad woman sitting alone and reading.


It was a very bleak time in her life.


A red-winged blackbird had a message for her. He went to great lengths to get her attention.


He flew from the cattails in the river up the bank, under a tree, around a corner and swooped beneath a gabled doorway to hover and stare directly at her though the window.


He hovered there until, finally sensing something, the woman looked up from her book.


What she saw was a rather insistent looking bird hovering and staring straight at her cocking his head left, then right.


Startled, she sat up and asked the bird “Can I help you?” 

The bird simply continued to stare, and cocking his head from side to side. Then he blinked and swooped off.

Of course, that woman was me in 2005 – Crazy, I know!

It was a time in my life when I felt a wee bit crazy.  I was doing some emotional healing at a beautiful little hermitage in Central Minnesota called Dwelling in the Woods.  I felt the bird had been sent as a messenger.  The message, although I didn’t know it at the time, was my calling.

Flash forward a couple of years, and many red-winged blackbird encounters later (they’re always swooping my little volkswagen beetle).

Through a long and arduous journey, I eventually made the decision to become a Certified Martha Beck Life Wayfinder Coach and, to specialize in creative entrepreneurs.

It was only then that I thought to look up red-winged black birds in a book on animal totems. Here’s what it said:

Those who possess blackbird medicine sing a song that awakens people to their hidden potential and help them to find their true purpose in life.  They bring the touch of poetry, music and inspiration to all that they do.

This all happened 3 years before even a thought about coaching ever crossed my mind – I guess that red-winged black bird knew something I didn’t!


This story supports what I’ve always instinctively known – but somehow need to be reminded of now and then – to pay attention – to the synchronicities and serendipitous events of our lives.

That in a creative recovery” as Julia Cameron, author of the ARTIST’S WAY says ” (we need to) take seriously the possibility that the universe just might be cooperating with our new and expanded plans.”

So, now, when I pass the many red-winged black birds we have here in Minnesota, or hear their song or see a picture of any black bird, I say a silent thank you.  And I’m reminded again to PAY ATTENTION to the reminders and the ways the universe is supporting us all in our creative and expanded plans!


Community and connection are what we need – Find the style that works best for you

Community and connection are what we need – Find the style that works best for you


Community and connection are what we need.

Find the style that works best for you

I’ve always been a connector.

 At no time has this been more valuable than over the last year and a half.  Stated simply, since 2020, connecting with others has saved my sanity. Being able to connect face-to-face – even online – has kept me from, well, going to that place… you know the one, it’s dark there, lonely and feels like there’s no way out.
In fact, having several face-to-face connections each week, with new and old colleagues, family and friends has given me a sense of renewed purpose.  It’s also confirmed that I’m on my “right path.” That path being creating space for people to find community, make connections and to support one another in their ventures. My mentor and teacher, Martha Beck says that it’s likely we’ve all…

“… embarked on a cycle of change (because transformation is happening to all of us at once). The bad news is that nothing feels stable anymore. The good news is that none of us are alone. Community and connection, paradoxically, are what we most need to follow our unique paths through the wild new world.”

Community and connection.

I’ve also realized how critical it is to honor every person’s own connecting style. I was able to connect with my 85 year old mom over Zoom.  We even completed her memoir that way.  But My best friend wasn’t having any of it.  She would only talk on the phone.

Not everyone has embraced the Zoom-iverse like I did.  I found having one-on-one conversations or group events on Zoom very enjoyable and energizing.  Others not-so-much.  They found it annoying and less than satisfying and in fact, quite exhausting.

Many are now craving in-person connections where they can hug and shake hands. I love a fun coffee-shop meeting, that is, with my friends.  But after a year or more of online networking, I’ve decided that I really prefer networking online. It gives me more freedom to take notes, to followup and saves a lot of time.

The bottom line is, figure out how YOU prefer to connect, and seek out ways to do more of that.

What’s your connection style??  What gives you energy? What makes your life easier?  What feeds your soul?

We’re having these conversations in Athena Village.  Join us! (first month is free!)