Sunday, October 23, 2011

Questions about "What are YOU Thinking?"

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.

Author Bio

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,, and Visit the website

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Miracles and Illustrators

Today I was at the Murray Costco. A young man approached me and asked me how I was able to create my book. He has had an idea for years, and wondered about finding an illustrator. My experience meeting Lori Nawyn is such a good example of the Law of Attraction. I thought it would be valuable to outline how you can use the power of thought to accomplish your dreams and goals.

After I attended my sister Leslie Householder's seminar seven years ago, I had a strong desire to introduce what I had learned to my children. I had a clear idea of what the book would be about, what it would say....yet I became frustrated as I tried to find an illustrator. I tried to draw my own images, but I just didn't have the ability. At the time, my husband and I were recovering from being out of work, and I didn't have any cash to pay the advances required by professional illustrators.

One day I was on a phone call with my sister Leslie. She loved my idea, found it original and fun, and was a big cheerleader for me to accomplish my goal. Leslie reminded me that I needed to put the principles to work. She could hear so much anxiety and discouragement in my voice and dialog. She reminded me of a few key steps to take:

1. Express gratitude. I was to imagine that I had already found my illustrator, and express gratitude to God for the blessing. ex. "I am so grateful that God has helped me find the perfect illustrator!"
2. I was to allow myself to feel all the joy of moving forward with my project as if it had already happened.
3. I needed to hold onto that positive emotion for at least one minute. (I actually spent countless minutes during the day feeling and expressing gratitude for my illustrator that I had found.)
4. I couldn't entertain for a moment any negative energy about not having an illustrator.

I didn't know how it would happen, but I followed Leslie's advice. She agreed to do the same in an effort to help me. I'm discovering that it is such an act of faith to shut out fear, and allow yourself to feel all the positive emotions of an event that has not yet happened.

It was only about a week later, that she received an email from Lori Nawyn. As I recall, Lori introduced herself as an illustrator and expressed that she loved what Leslie was teaching, and if there was anything she could be involved with, she would love to have her artwork associated with what Leslie was doing. Leslie told Lori that she didn't have a need for artwork at the time, but her sister did.

Leslie has a world wide audience, and it was remarkable to me that Lori Nawyn lived only about an hour away from my house. I will always remember how thrilled and amazed I was when Leslie called me and said that she thought she might have found my illustrator.

I went to Lori's website and loved her portfolio. We talked, she loved the project idea, and were able to secure her services with a trade. One of Leslie's Home Study courses was traded for 12 picture book spreads.

The project became bigger than just 12 pictures, and so we arranged that Lori would make royalties as the books sold.

I told the young man that if I had submitted my idea to a publisher, they would have found an illustrator for me. I elected to self-publish, because at the time I viewed my book appealing to a "niche" market, and I knew I could sell my books through Leslie's seminars.

I've been thrilled to discover that it isn't such a "niche" book after all. Who isn't interested in helping their children become successful? Understanding how important it is to control our thoughts is a huge component in that effort. It is a common desire shared by people regardless of color or religion.

Hopefully my remarks today will help this young man pursue his dream.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Circus Tickets and Touchdowns!!!

Today I was again at the Sandy, UT Costco. I had another fun day meeting people who all have their own unique and wonderful stories to tell.

I met a very nice mother of two young boys who told me she purchased my book the other week because she believes that so many of our experiences are governed by our thoughts. She told me that the Circus was recently in town, and she had many conversations with a co-worker about how she wanted to go, but it was out of their budget, and she worried that even if they had the money to spend, her children may be too young to remember it. Days went by, and she found herself thinking about her desire to go to the circus many times. Within days, a co-worker of her husband offered them free tickets. Enough for the entire family to go! I had a nice chat with her three year old about the elephants. I think it was an experience he will remember. I know his mom will!

On the same day, another mother of two boys stopped by and looked at the book. She told me about a football game her nine-year-old had just experienced. The game wasn't going well, and they started visualizing an amazing catch and run. Thought proceeded action once was so fun to hear about how her son had been lifted up in the air by cheering teammates.

Lets never forget who to give the credit too. I really believe our Father in Heaven is mindful of our needs and desire and he enjoys blessing us when we exhibit faith in Him. The act of allowing ourselves to feel gratitude for something before it has materialized is a true act of faith.