Saturday, January 18, 2014

I'm No Coupon Queen, but I ALWAYS Find Great Deals on Clothes!

I just can't get myself to use coupons. I tend to be a bit of a scatterbrain when it comes to organizational skills. But what I don't save on groceries with coupons, I think I make up for in savings on clothes.

I always tell myself, "I find great deals on clothes". When I say or think these words, I don't just repeat the words, but I throw in a healthy dose of emotionally charged excitement about the prospect of finding a REALLY, great deal.

How about finding $90 jeans for five bucks a piece for my fourteen-year-old son? Not just one pair, but four of the coolest jeans ever for a kid his age.  The icing on the cake is that they weren't just $5.00 each, but were buy one get one free! So every other pair was only $2.50.

Christmas shopping at the Traverse Mountain Outlets brought another adventure in savings. I was buying a last minute Christmas gift for one of my sons, and the sales clerk asked me if I had seen similar shirts on the clearance rack. I told her I hadn't seen a clearance rack. She craned her neck for a moment, walked around the counter to look deeper into the store, and said, "Oh, sorry, it's not out yet. It will be out any minute." I forfeited my place in the long Christmas line to hover back near the "employees only" door. Within a few minutes a manager wheeled out the rack and told me that the sale price wasn't correct. The clothes were actually 90% off the marked sales price. My husband did the mental math and said, "That's only 70 cents an item!" I put back the $24.00 shirt I had in hand, grabbed an armful, and got to the back of the line with a BIG smile on my face.

Another great deal was found at Ross. My husband and I were already at the cash register and a colorful scarf caught my eye across the store. I'm a sucker for colorful scarfs. I rushed to the scarf section to check the price, hoping to get back in line before the sales clerk was finished ringing up our purchases. I saw $14.99 on the scarf's price tag. Although it was more than I usually want to pay for a scarf, the colors were perfect, so I grabbed it and rushed back to the cash register. The tag caught on the display, so when I got to the register the price tag was missing. I told the clerk it was $14.99. He smiled and said, "You know, I think I want to give you a deal today." He opened a booklet and scanned a bar code that rang up my scarf for $1.99.

I told a friend about my adventures the very next day while we were at work. She said, "That NEVER happens to me". "Really?" I asked a bit surprised because it is such a common occurrence for me. She reaffirmed with strong emotion, "Never." I told her that THAT was exactly why it never happens to her.

How are you talking to yourself? What are you thinking? Scarfs, jeans, etc., they really are just insignificant material things. But to me this illustrates a point. Our self talk matters. We create with our thoughts. Here's to a positive weekend where I choose to dwell in happy possibilities instead of negative "perceived" realities.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Mystery of the Lost Belt

2012 was a great year.  2013 has been promising as well, filled with numerous opportunities to present a positive message to students all over Utah. I've visited numerous elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. I post my schedule on my website

I've loved every minute of the opportunities that have come my way this past year. However, my busy schedule has had some regrettable side effects. I am becoming more absent minded and forgetful than I've ever been in the past. Perhaps it is just getting older, but I'm forgetting small details such as "Where did I leave my jacket?", "What did I do with my favorite ear rings?", or "Where did I put my phone?"

This week I was perplexed as to where I had left a favorite black belt that I enjoy wearing with many outfits. I called multiple schools to have them check their lost and found stash. I called stores where I've shopped recently and asked them to check their dressing rooms. I even posted misplaced items on facebook hoping someone had found a few of my things.

I was becoming very frustrated over my lost belt, a belt I have had since 1993. Yes, twenty years! It was expensive when I bought it, and it has served me well. It still looks new. Yesterday my husband said, "Have you visualized finding it?"

"No, I haven't. What a concept!" I replied.

As I fell asleep last night I imagined the belt in my hands. I lived the emotions of how happy I am that I could wear my belt again.  A few hours later, this morning in fact, the mystery was solved. While getting dressed I pushed the hangers around in my closet and found it concealed under a knitted scarf that was draped around a hanger. I was thrilled to find it. I couldn't believe that I had missed it. I had scoured my closet no less than four times looking for that belt this past week.

Tonight I told my husband it was found. He said, "Where was it?" I told him I had followed his advice. I'd visualized finding it and found it this morning in our closet.

It is refreshing and wonderful to realize that we can tap into inspiration by simply calming down, taking a deep breath, and allowing ourselves to imagine success.

He is already softly snoring, oblivious to my typing right next to him on my laptop.  Since I'm the one that generally lies awake for hours trying to solve all of the world's problems before morning, it appears its time to visualize a good night's sleep so I'm prepared for tomorrow's presentation at at Bountiful Stake Woman's Conference.

Sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Nickel in my Shoe

Here is a wonderful story, perfect to share on this day of Thanksgiving.

My ecclesiastical leader, Bishop Ron Thue, told of his experience as a young college student at Brigham Young University. He gave me permission to share it during a recent speaking engagement.

Years ago he was an engineering student on a foreign exchange scholarship. He had failed a test in an important class and was worried he might lose his scholarship and his dreams of a good education.

He was more than worried. The more he tried to have classmates explain the material, the more his frustration grew to panic. It seemed impossible for him to understand and grasp the concepts. He explained his plight to a good friend, another student, who had been assigned as his home teacher. (Home teachers are a part of a network set up in our church for monthly contact to share a gospel message and ensure a member's well-being).

His home teacher smiled at him and handed him a nickel. "Ron" he said, "put this nickel in your shoe and every time you feel it, say a prayer of gratitude. That's all. Just do it." Ron did as he was told and slipped the nickel in his shoe. As he walked across campus the next morning, he could feel the nickel and began to give thanks. He gave a lot of thanks. He had no idea how much he could find to be thankful for. The nickel was felt with every step. When he sat down in a class for a lecture, he forget about the nickel for a while. As soon as he stood up, he felt the nickel again and gave more thanks. This happened all day long.

At the end of the day, he walked into his professor's office. He told him, "You've got to help me. No one else can." He expressed how desperate he was to not fail his class. The professor took out a piece of paper and a pencil. He started to draw out an equation and explain the concept. My bishop said within three minutes, a light went on in his head, and his understanding was perfect. It was clear as a bell and made complete sense. He couldn't believe it had been so confusing only a day before.

He ended his talk by reminding us that we are commanded to give thanks in all things. A blessing from following this counsel is an enlightened mind. By choosing a grateful heart we are naturally enlightened by God's Spirit of Truth.

Today is the perfect opportunity to pause and ponder all the God given blessings in our lives. My family drove to Boise last night to share Thanksgiving with my parents. I'm so looking forward to our meal in about an hour! How important it is to adopt this focus daily.

What solutions are you looking for? What problems are you faced with that make you desperate for understanding? Replace desperation with gratitude and see where the Light takes you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yellow Sticky Notes and Ambassadors

Today I visited Sunset Ridge Middle School to share a positive message about the power of kindness. We focused on looking for ways to be a hero. I had a great time. I'm so impressed with the administration, counselors, and student body at this school.

At the beginning of the assembly the student council held a flag ceremony. A color guard was called to attention and they respectfully entered the auditorium and posted the colors on the stage. Then, one of the Student Body Officers led the students in the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm in awe of the maturity of these kids. This isn't your typical Middle School.

Julie, the counselor who invited me to their school, told me that last year they set up a texting system where students could immediately text to a "hotline" any incident of heroism or bullying. It is a fast way to communicate with counselors and is getting a high response from the students. At the end of last year she looked at the log of heroic texts and selected 20 students to be Ambassadors for this current school year. These Ambassadors meet regularly and are essentially the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the school.

Recently, a student was in the counselors office sobbing because someone had put a yellow sticky note on her backside that read, "Wide Load". The girl was humiliated. The counselor turned this situation over to the Ambassadors to decide what to do.

They got to work. With networking that is only possible with Social Media, 1000 students showed up to school the next day with yellow sticky notes on their backs that read, "NOT AT OUR SCHOOL". Just thinking about the actions of these students chokes me up. They are AMAZING and will be the leaders of the future. They are leaders NOW. They remind me that there is still so much goodness in people and in the world.

Here is a link to the news story that sprung out of this situation.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Eaten by a Lion

I've never been a 'car' person. My sons and husband know the year, make, and model of about every automobile that drives by. I can't even remember the year of my classic Volkswagon bug that I drove in college.

The other day I met a mother and her 14 year old daughter during a book signing. The fourteen-year-old told me they had just purchased a Scion, and she thought they were cool because no one else had one. With much exaggeration, she spread her arms wide and said, "Now that we have one, I've noticed that EVERYONE has one!" I laughed and said, "You know, this is interesting. We live in the same town, drive the same roads, and I've never seen one." At least if I have, I didn't know it. I told the girl, "Life looks differently to each of us. What we find what we look for."

My friend BJ Stober, an experienced family therapist, taught me a new term a couple weeks ago. It's RAS, or the Reticular Activating System in your brain. Your RAS is responsible for the way sub-conscious awareness is raised as a result of your focused thoughts. I was fascinated that there is a scientific term for this phenomenon.

Yesterday, as I drove to Hurricane, UT to share an assembly with Middle School students, I was searching the radio to find a familiar tune. I stopped when I heard a song from TRAIN. I've heard this song many times, yet not known half of what the lead singer was saying. But yesterday, as I headed towards Red Cliffs Drive, I clearly heard him sing, "Eaten by a lion, run over by a brand new purple Scion."

I still don't know what the rest of the song is about. It's a catchy tune, but I'm clueless. Hearing about a purple Scion was incredible to me. It must have been my RAS at work!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to be an IRONMAN

I'm enjoying the sunshine of beautiful St. George this week while I visit Middle Schools in the Washington County School District. I'm traveling from school to school sharing a message about the power of thoughts and the importance of a positive attitude.

Yesterday I went to lunch with three of the counselors from one of the Middle Schools.
One counselor told me that he participated in the IRONMAN here in St. George a couple years ago. Last year he participated again with his wife. He shared with me that they were two completely different experiences.

The first year, he visualized going through the finish line throughout the entire race. It kept him going and was his fuel to actually live that moment of triumph.

Last year, his wife joined him in the race. It was a wonderful experience for them to train together. However, the swimming portion of the race was unusually challenging. That year, the water was choppy and the weather was terrible. While this man was swimming, instead of keeping his thoughts focused on crossing the finish line, he was focused on concern for his wife's safety. He knew she was in the water too, fighting the waves, fighting fatigue. He ended up having to climb into one of the safety boats and didn't finish the swimming segment of the race.

He thought it was interesting how his ability to finish the IRONMAN was compromised when he took his focus off crossing the finish line. Of course, no one faults him. What a great display of sacrifice and what a great display of love. It is also a classic example of how vision and focus play a role in our success in any of our pursuits.

In the case of this counselor, his focus, in my opinion, made him the Husband of the Year.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Chemistry of Tears

A few weeks ago I was a guest on a radio show hosted by Family Therapist, BJ Stober. BJ interviewed me and allowed me read my book during the interview. We even showed it page by page on her live stream broadcast.

When we showed the page about "Granny's Car" where Granny's radio is tuned in to "Gratitude", BJ shared an interesting fact.

She said that tears of joy and tears of sorrow have different chemistry. She said it is evidence that the thoughts we create effect us at a cellular level. I was fascinated by this.

After the interview, I went to a book signing and shared this with a customer. The customer said, "This makes sense to me, because when I cry because I'm sad or upset, my tears sting. But when I cry during a movie because my heart has been touched by the message, they don't sting."

It follows the same line of thinking James Allen addressed in his classic, "As a Man Thinketh". Thoughts clearly have an impact on our health.