Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Our conversation began after she read through my book. She loved it and told me the concepts were true principles. Then she pointed to the word "Gratitude" on my marketing banner and said, "Do you realize there is a higher concept than Gratitude? There is a word you can use that will have a more powerful effect on your psyche than simply expressing "I am grateful" or "I am thankful". I was completely unaware of what it would be. She said the word is "praise". She suggested I try "I praise thee that......" the next time I want to express gratitude. She said I will be able to feel that it is a more powerful term. It expresses more clearly the trust we put in God as our master architect. It takes you one step beyond the gratitude level.
Not only was her daughter murdered, but her husband was shot during the same incident, yet survived. I was in awe of what this woman was teaching me. There was no bitterness or despair in her. As we spoke, I referred to when she "lost" her daughter and she corrected me. She cupped my hand in both of hers and said, "Oh Valerie, I never "lost" my daughter. Please don't refer to it that way. She simple went home, and today I feel very close to her. She is near, just in a dimension I can't see, but I can feel her. I never lost her."
Turning to God through that traumatic experience helped her grow spiritually, and she was willing to share a few key things she learned. She gave me permission to blog about our conversation.
She said that through that traumatic experience, she has discovered the power of words. Words generate an energy of their own when spoken. They have a direct influence over our emotions and our physical body. One of the neighbor's who stopped to chat had an obvious physical ailment. As this neighbor walked away, my new friend referred to her neighbor's "endurance". I found the word "endurance" curious, so she explained that she never uses terms like "trial, affliction, etc." She said that most people equate endurance with suffering, yet it is the opposite of suffering. It is an opportunity to refine our faith and trust until we can recognize our Father in Heaven's voice.
She also told me that the phrase "time heals all wounds" is a lie. Time has no power to heal. The only thing time does is give you an opportunity to reach the moment when you consciously CHOOSE to endure it well. When you switch from bitterness and fear to faith and trust, this is when your wounds heal.
It has been days since I met this wonderful lady, and I continue to think about her and our conversation. How would I react in that situation? It is hard to know. She is an example to all of us as we "endure" our personal "hills and valleys". I know mine pale in comparison to hers.
What an amazing education she gave me. She is the real deal. I've already tried the "praise" approach, and it does make a difference! Try it yourself!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Seven Questions Recently Discussed on a Blog Tour
1. What caused you to want to write this children’s book?
About seven years ago, my husband and I were struggling financially. We were out of work. This was our second employment layoff within a couple of years. At age 40, I had post-partum depression with my youngest child, and was even missing a front tooth that had broken off and we were struggling to pay the bill to repair it! Understandably, I was at the lowest point I had ever been. I agreed to attend a seminar my sister, Leslie Householder, was teaching in Arizona. She had been teaching seminars on principles of abundance and prosperity for several years. The seminar really opened my eyes to the power of dominant thoughts. After three days, I left empowered to live a happier and more abundant life. I thought, “Why am I forty years old and just understanding these things?” I thought of my five, beautiful boys, and wanted them to understand more about their thoughts while they are young. I encouraged my sister to create products for children, but since children’s products were not her focus, she encouraged me to pursue my idea to create a book for children.
2. What is the key message of your book?
The key message is that thoughts are VERY powerful things. Thoughts BECOME things. Our thoughts lead to actions and feelings. The most important message of the book is that we have the power to choose what and how we think. I want children to understand that we attract, or experience, the things we constantly think about. I like to think of my book as “As a Man Thinketh” for children.
3. Can you give an example of how our thoughts affect our sub-conscious mind?
Have you ever purchased a car, and then you notice them everywhere? There are two things odd about that. #1, there aren’t more on the road just because you have recently purchased your car, and #2, you're not even trying to spot them! Think about the energy you put into that purchase decision. We tend to find what we are looking for. After creating a “dominant thought” about the car, you can’t help but see them! We become self-fulfilling prophets. If we always tell ourselves the world is a miserable place, it will be. The same goes for those who have their antennae up and tuned in to positive things.
4. Can you tell us of any personal experiences you have had in applying the principles taught in your book?
A few years back when I was discouraged about our financial situation, I chose to have a ‘pity party’ about my life. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life, and instead of counting my blessings, I spent hours beating myself up with my negative, poisonous thoughts. I was driving to a thrift store to find clothes for my children. The store had a large wall behind the counter that was a mirror. I saw my reflection and was shocked at how miserable I looked. I appeared haggard and depressed. I went out to my car and cried for a few minutes. I thought, “What has happened to me??? Through my tears, I said a prayer. When the prayer ended, I knew I needed to count my blessings. I still had shopping to do, so in the thirty minutes it took me to drive across town to the next thrift store, I spoke out loud, while counting my blessings. I expressed gratitude for everything I could think of. My mood started to change. I felt happier. While I was in the second thrift store, I looked to my left, and saw a woman. As I turned back to the clothes on the rack, I thought to myself, almost with envy, “What a beautiful lady. She looks so put together…” As soon as I had that thought, I did a double take because I realized it was me! It was my own reflection in a narrow mirror. I was amazed. I couldn’t believe that in the space of only 30 minutes, my countenance had changed completely. My financial situation hadn’t changed in that 30 minutes, but my attitude had. Changing my dominant thoughts transformed me.
5. Do you have any examples of how children have been helped by following the principles in your book?
Here is one that many parents may relate to. I have a son who had a bed wetting problem. This problem had gone of for quite a while, and it was a big negative in all of our lives. I was tired of washing the bedding. He was anxious and humiliated. It was embarrassing, and he felt he had no control over it. After attending Leslie’s seminar, it occurred to me that he was focusing on what he DIDN’T want. The negative thinking about bed-wetting caused his sub-conscience to be programmed to “wet the bed” so we tried an experiment. We decided to create a new dominant thought. We decided “I am so grateful that I wake up with dry sheets because….” to be the new dominant thought. Each night for a few days, I had him visualize how wonderful it is to wake up to dry sheets and a comfortable bed. I would paint a picture for him of a dry morning, as if it had already happened. After a few days, he ran up the stairs into the kitchen shouting, “Mom! My sheets are dry!”. It played out exactly as we had imagined!
6. What age group is the book intended for?
I wrote the book when my five children were one to nine years old. There is a bunny on every page spread for younger children to look for. However, Barnes and Noble catalogued it as an eight to twelve-year-old book based on reading level. It is really fun for all ages, because I have had parents buy it for a teens, mothers purchase it for everyone in their book club, and have even had people buy it as a gift for adults!
7. What feedback are you receiving from customers and how the book is influencing their children?
I received an email from a customer just the other day where she said that her son loves reading the book with her over and over. She said he finishes the sentences for her, although he can’t read yet, because they have read it so many times. Every time they read the book they talk about different experiences her son is having, and how he can better face and overcome challenges.
Another mother told me she purchased one for her adult son who has downs syndrome. She said he carries it around the house and loves looking at the colorful pictures. He tells her it makes him happy.
Another father wrote me and told that this book came into his child’s life at just the right time. He was dealing with a lot of fears and anxiety, and it helped the father teach the son that he has control over his thoughts.
Valerie Ackley graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Business Management/ Marketing. She worked eight years in the telecommunications industry before becoming a full-time homemaker. She lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah with her husband and five sons.
The book is available at every Utah Costco, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. Visit the website www.whatareyouthinkingbook.com
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Today I begin to document my adventures as I travel through the Utah Costcos promoting my new children's book, What are YOU Thinking?. I have been invited by the regional buyer in Seattle to do book signings Monday through Saturday each day in September, and I am loving every minute of it.
I have met some of the most fantastic people. The message of the book, that children can understand how powerful their thoughts are, and that they can learn to develop positive "thinking habits" in their youth, is striking a chord with many.
I met a nice woman today who told me that when she needs to put a child in time-out, she has them sit down at a designated place in her home, where she has "happy" pictures. Pictures of good memories with their siblings and happy events. She has them look through all the pictures and then tell Mommy what they love and like about the brother they were just fighting with. I think it is a terrific way to deal with an emotional situation. Don't feed the anger...just redirect it. Change the images in the mind, and you change the emotions.
I have been busy with book promotion for almost 6 weeks now, and one Saturday I had a melt down. Nobody was listening to Mom or doing their chores. I thought angrily, "I've been sooo busy, can't you just help a 'bit'???? After everyone scattered like roaches in light after I exploded.... and the dust settled, I was still banging pots and pans in the kitchen sink and my seven year old tapped me on the arm and said, "What are you thinking? It's a choice, and you are choosing to be mad and it makes me sad." My heart changed in an instant and I swooped him up and hugged him and agreed that mom chose to be angry...but she was deciding to be happy now.
I'm excited about this journey! May we all learn to watch our thoughts and our actions, and make the world a better place one baby step at a time.