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.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ivy League Dreams

Who would have ever thought that a few marks of ink on a paper napkin could have a profound effect on a young boy's journey toward his goals?

A few months ago, a woman stopped to talk to me at Costco. She was intrigued by a page from my book that was on display. The page illustrated visualizing your dreams. She told me a story about her son and gave me permission to share it.

Years ago, she attended an SEOP with her then thirteen-year-old son. During the SEOP her son told his counselor that he dreamed about attending an Ivy League school. The counselor raised his eyebrows and stated that not many kids make it into Ivy League schools. The counselor went on to share discouraging statistics and encouraged her son to set "realistic" goals.

When the SEOP was over, this mother, a single mom, was furious. She tried to hide her anger from her son. While driving home, she detoured towards a shopping district and decided to take her son out to dinner. She just couldn't go home on that sour note.

During dinner she told her son that he could achieve ANYTHING he wanted to "if" he was willing to work hard and make sacrifices. She KNEW he could do it. If he wanted to attend an Ivy League school, it was within his reach. She unrolled the paper napkin that was wrapped around the utensils. She handed him a pen and told him to write down:"I play football at an Ivy League School on a full-ride scholarship." She later framed the napkin and put it on her son's bedroom wall.

I interrupted her story and said, "He made it. Didn't he?" She grinned and said he had just finished his first semester at Brown University. It will cost $59,000 for his first year. He was there on a full-ride football scholarship! During Christmas break he came home for a visit. He told his mom that he had written down numerous goals on paper napkins and had put them all over his dorm wall. During a contemplative moment he said, "Mom, but what if they don't all happen?" His wise mother responded, "Kid, if 1/2 work out, you will be further ahead than most kids your age."

This mother is a school counselor. Don't you hope your child's next SEOP is with her?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding a Jackpot of Coins in Canada

This past weekend I was a presenter at First Lady Herbert's "Uplift Utah Families" Convention at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. I heard the best story from the camera man who recorded my presentation. After the workshop, I was able to visit in the hallway with Nick for a few minutes. I'm so glad he was assigned to film my workshop, because he is a like-minded individual who I feel so blessed to be acquainted with.

Nick returned home from serving an LDS mission in Canada about a year ago. He told me he was sent into an area where the missionary work was essentially dead. There hadn't been baptisms for a long time. The companion he was assigned to work with told him not to expect any success in that area. It was just a bad area to work in. Regardless of the negative view this companion had on seeking out investigators, he still found something to focus on. He had a habit of always looking on the ground for coins. Every day he found coins. Pennies, nickels, dimes, even quarters. One day while they were out and about doing what missionaries do, the young man found a literal jackpot of quarters in a puddle. Nick told me he couldn't believe it. It was as if coins were attracted to this guy. It was all he looked for.

Nick told me that when he decided to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he had high expectations. He had a vision of successfully teaching many about Jesus Christ. He knew he would find MANY people who were searching for meaning and fulfillment and would want to hear his message. Although he was intrigued by his companion's magnetic attraction to coins, he never gave up on his own focus and vision of what HE wanted to find.

I asked if he felt he was successful as a missionary. His smile lit up the hallway as he told me he met, taught, and baptized a man who today is his best friend. Later, in and email, he told me his closest friends today are those he taught while he was a missionary in Canada.

I'm so glad to call Nick my friend. He is so young (compared to me!) yet so wise. I know he is going places because he understands the power of a positive vision. Over time, our circumstances truly mirror what goes on inside our head. The jackpot of coins is such a good example of this!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jim Carrey and a Sandwich

This morning I read a "Message of the Day" that made me chuckle. Jim Carrey is quoted as saying, "I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That's the thing. You can't just visualize and go eat a sandwich."

I met a woman recently at the Murray Costco who chose to not "go eat a sandwich". Her daughter came home from school excited about a study abroad opportunity her high school had coordinated through a foreign exchange program. The daughter energetically started reading the pamphlet to her mother. When she got the part outlining costs and deadlines, her face fell and she tried to mask her discouragement. The mother put her arm around her daughter and said "Why not? Why can't you go?" The daughter looked quizzically at her mother. Mom said, "We can make this happen."

She was a single mother and financial means were scarce. She had her daughter imagine how happy she IS, sitting on the airplane taking off for Europe. She told her, "From here on out, only positive emotions and thoughts about the trip. Make it REAL in your mind. We aren't going to let our current circumstances dictate our emotions. Now let's get to WORK." They made a flyer and distributed it all over their neighborhood. They asked for donated items to sell at a Saturday Flea Market at the State Fair Grounds. This creative mother only had a small sedan and had to make multiple trips from neighbors to their home collecting all kinds of "junk". It took three weekend trips to the Flea Market, but they managed to raise all the money necessary to give the daughter this positive educational experience.

The mother was glowing with pride as she related this tale. What a great example this mother showed her daughter. Instead of eating a sandwich, they got to work. Instead of thinking they weren't worthy of such a great experience, they believed it was within their reach. Visualization was their fuel and catalyst to achieving that success.

I think Jeff and I should go to Hawaii for our 20th Wedding Anniversary. I will have to discuss that with him when he gets home. :) He will probably want to go golfing in Banff. We will have to see if we can find a goal we agree on!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The "Secret" to Fire Walking?

Another great story. I met a woman who went on a retreat taught by a Native American. It was a three week retreat out in a desert wilderness where she learned to let go of her fears, anger, hate, etc. The emphasis was heavy on forgiveness so that the participants could open their hearts to an increase of love and a higher way of thinking. The Native American was quite advanced in years, and had many wonderful insights to offer the people who were attending this retreat.

The end of the experience involved the ancient rite of "fire walking" over crimson coals. Not everyone in her group decided to try it. But she did it three times. The first time she practically ran across the hot coals unscathed, but by the third time she was able to relax and slowly walk across the coals without receiving a single blister.

I was amazed and said, "So was it learning 'mind' over 'matter'?" She said, "No. It was by using the power of 'love'." She said they learned how to clear away all negative thoughts, feelings, etc. and tune into God's higher power of love. It was love that enable many in her group to walk the coals.

I found the whole discussion fascinating. I admit I don't fully understand how the entire process works. We only visited for about twenty minutes. But I love this as an example of the incredible transforming power of love. With God all things are possible. And God is love. Interesting.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Burglaries and Blessings

I met a woman at the Murray Costco who is my inspiration this week. Listen to this, and she will be yours too!

She raised her daughters as a single parent. Economically, times were tough. One of her daughters worked hard to get into the University of Utah. This particular semester, the daughter had some unexpected bills and was short $750.00 for her tuition. She told her mother she had decided to drop out of school and work for a while. Her mother said she might never go back. Dropping out wasn't an option. She told her daughter to show some faith and ask God for the money. This woman is a big believer in combining prayer with visualization and creating positive energy to attract what you desire. They both took on an attitude of gratitude that God would enable them to pay the tuition bill. They didn't know how it would happen, but didn't allow themselves to doubt, fear or worry.

During this time, there was a big snow storm. The duplex they were renting had a flat roof that was heavily burdened by the snow. The landlord hired some workers to shovel the snow off of the roof. My new friend was at work while her roof was being shoveled. When she came home the snow was gone, but so was her snow blower that she kept in the car port. She wasn't angry. Although disappointed, her reaction was to send blessings their way. She prayed that the snowblower would help elevate whoever took it so they could earn more money to provide for their family...etc. (I would have been ticked!)

Within a few days, after filing a renter's insurance claim, she received a phone call and was told they had a $750.00 dollar check waiting for her. This was on the day the tuition was due! They gave her the option to receive it by mail or come pick it up. She drove straight over and picked it up! What a great story to show that God may not show up when you want him to, but He is never late!

I wonder if the outcome would have been the same had the theft thrown her into deep despair or anger because of her apparent misfortune. I believe it was her attitude that opened the door for that blessing. What a great reminder that we should face every challenge as a blessing!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Talk About Good Karma...

Talk about good Karma....

I met a man at the West Valley City Costco who told me a terrific story about "good" winning in the end. He was a fascinating man who grew up on the East Coast. He had a wonderful story about God intervening in his life and giving him purpose and direction. It was a great story, but even more interesting was the story he told me about his Aunt Francesca (name has been changed).

Francesca moved to Las Vegas many years ago and became quite wealthy. In fact, in the 1940's she became a millionaire. She was a philanthropist and used her money to start a Montessori school in Las Vegas. She built a successful business and influenced the lives of many children. This man went on to tell me a story that could easily be made into a Hollywood movie. It involved corruption in city government, family betrayals, Mafia connections, and elderly abuse.

His beloved Aunt died alone, broke, and mistreated. It broke his heart when he learned what had happened to this generous woman through the greed and selfishness of others. Aunt Franny was a woman who always treated him with love. He respected his Aunt and appreciated how she always made him feel important and worthwhile.

Years went by. He missed his Aunt and thought of her often. A few years ago he drove through Las Vegas and decided to drive past the old Montessori School building that corrupt men had taken from her (stolen from her). He wanted to know what had become of her passion and live's work. When he drove past the building, he was stunned to see that it was a school once again. It appeared to be a private school and had an unusual name. Curiosity got the best of him so he parked his car, walked up the school steps, and entered the front doors.

Do you remember me mentioning that God had reached out and redirected his life? When he entered the school, he learned that the private school was based on curriculum with a Christian emphasis. Not just any Christian emphasis, but that of his new found faith. He couldn't help but believe that somehow his Aunt not only had a role in the building becoming a school again, but also in his serendipitous journey to his new found purpose and faith.

He had tears in his eyes as he told me he no longer agonized over his Aunt's final years. He felt her purpose wasn't thwarted after all. No matter how successful evil was in destroying her life's work, Good triumphed in the end.

In a related story, I met a woman who told me she uses kinesiology when working with groups of teens. She uses muscle testing to show the teens how negative thoughts weaken muscle strength, verses the strength that comes through positive thoughts filled with love. Every now and then she said she sees mischief in a few boy's eyes, hoping they can send out negative messages to weaken opponents. She is quick to stop the kids from entertaining that line of thinking because whatever you send out, comes back to you ten- fold. She said it is by laws of physics. I don't know where that law is documented. But it is interesting none-the-less.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gratitude Journals for Four-Year-Olds? You Bet!

I received an email today from a Costco customer that made me smile. A couple of days ago I was in the Orem Costco and met a woman who bought a "What are You Thinking?" book for her four-year-old.

She told me they read the book when they got home, and her son loved it. He wanted to read it again the next morning. She even caught him "reading" it (in his own words) to his eighteen-month-old little sister. He was teaching her all about staying away from "yucky" thoughts.

Yvonne, the boys mother, told me a unique way she and her husband have helped their son with his prayers. He often didn't know what to pray about. They decided to help him create a daily gratitude journal. They told him he would decide four things he was thankful for and they would write it down for him throughout the day in his journal. The journal was a great way to focus on the blessings in his life and has helped him know what to pray about at the end of the day.

When Yvonne took the book home from Costco, her husband told her it was on his Amazon Wish List. She didn't even know that her husband had written it down, let alone knew about the book, but figured it was why she stopped by Costco while I was there. Pretty cool fulfillment of Law of Attraction from her husbands perspective!

Yvonne and her husband are great examples of parents proactively going the extra mile for their children. I wish I'd thought of doing a gratitude journal for my own kids when they were younger. However, I didn't even understand the value of having one, or the power of thought until I turned 40. It's never to late to start!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mother Teresa, Parades, and Garlic

This week has been filled with numerous reminders about the importance of proper focus. Here is another great story I heard from a Costco customer named Marnae. She is a life coach and specialist in Rapid Eye Techniques.

Years ago, Mother Teresa was invited to be the Grand Marshal of a parade in Calcutta. The parade was being organized as an anti-war protest. She told the organizers that she would not take part in such a protest, but if they ever organized a parade focused on peace, she would support it.

A school counselor named Linda recently called me to ask if I would speak at a Junior High School assembly. I had met Linda many months ago at a book signing. Linda told me that after reading my book and speaking with me, she realized they were focusing on the wrong thing at their school! The first half of the year, they had implemented an anti-bullying campaign. With the support of the school principle, they have now decided to switch their focus to a more positive approach; that of developing leaders and heroes.

It is so easy to focus on the negative. We seem to do it naturally unless we seize the reins of our thoughts while we are developing habits to think better.

Before I wrote my children's book, What are You Thinking?, I had already had wonderful experiences with my boys in applying concepts of thought with great success. A favorite story of mine is how one of my sons stopped wetting the bed when we changed the focus from,"I will not wet the bed" to "I'm so grateful that I am a big boy who wakes with dry sheets". I have an earlier post entitled 10 Questions where I go into detail about this.

I was sharing this story again with a man in the Bountiful Costco and he told me his father would position him in front of the bathroom mirror, tell his son to look at himself and say out loud, "I will not wet the bed". I asked this man how he felt when his father made him do this. He said it felt awful. It was embarrassing and negative. I said, "I bet you had that challenge for a long time." He acknowledged that he dealt with the problem into his teens.He grew up in San Diego and was all about surfing and sports. He acknowledged that no matter how tough you may appear to others, those emotional issues can take hold of anyone.

Tonight another man told me his mother would rub a pasty garlic spread all over him at night in an effort to help him not wet the bed. I asked him why she did that. He didn't know. He thinks it had to do with a cultural belief that the garlic would ward off negative spirits or something. The jar of garlic went back in the refrigerator, and no one wanted to touch it. Each time he opened the refrigerator door to get a snack, he was reminded of how humiliating the whole situation was.

When ever you hear yourself or a child say, "I will not...." turn it around to an "I will..." statement. (ex. "I will not strike out" switch to "I will hit the ball"). So simple, but so often not applied. If you want to take it a step further, follow the suggestion of another Costco customer who visits Calcutta frequently to do charitable work in local orphanages. She told me that there is no more powerful statement than starting an affirmation with "I am.....".

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Olympic Endeavors

I was in my hometown Costco when I ran into a woman I used to sit by on the bleachers at Vets Memorial Park. Years ago, our sons played on the same city league baseball team.

She told me her son is in LA right right now, training for the 2012 Olympic backup bike racing team. I asked many questions about how her son caught the racing bug. She told me many things, but what stood out the most was a story about an amazing coach.

This coach believed in her son. He owned a bike shop, and gave him a $6,000 bike. The parents felt like the gift was too much, and spoke with the coach and said they simply couldn't accept it. He insisted, and expressed to the parents that he knew what he was doing. The boy needed the bike.

She told me this significant display of confidence was a major turning point for her son. His commitment increased and his dedication to his sport grew. He trained harder and pushed himself more than he had before. I thought back to the times in my life when someone showed they believed in me. Simple things, yet I rose to the level of their expectations too. We have the power through our words and actions to help others rise to their potential too.

As our brief visit came to an end, I told her it looked like her son was going to be the next Neil Armstrong. She had a funny look on her face and said, "You mean Lance Armstrong."

I laughed as I caught my mistake and added, "But I bet he could go to the moon too, if he wanted to!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Chance Meeting

I was able to combine business with pleasure when I traveled to St. George, Utah for my nephew's wedding. I managed two days of book signings while in the area, and heard a great story from a customer about how closely thoughts are tied to health.

A man told me of a horrible automobile accident he was in many years ago. It left him crippled with pain. The circumstances of the accident led to a lengthy law suit process, where from his perspective, he was unfairly treated. He carried with him anger and resentment for eleven years.

One night the pain and despair was more than he could bear. He took his handgun and headed out of town to a predetermined destination where he planned to take his life. While traveling away from town on a remote road, he passed his brother who was driving in the opposite direction. The brother recognized his car and flagged him down. Both of them were surprised and said, "What are you doing here!?" The chance meeting in an area neither of them typically traveled, at a time of night neither of them were usually outside of their homes, saved this man's life.

The friendly exchange with his brother brought this man to his senses. I don't know if the brother knew of this man's intentions, but somehow he encouraged him to see a local chiropractor for his pain. I believe the doctor was named Dr. Graff.

To make a long story short, the chiropractor did all he could for him, and came to the conclusion that this man needed to see his brother, a trained professional in emotional healing.

Somehow, through techniques this doctor specializes in, the doctor encouraged this man to forgive and let go of the hate that had held him captive for eleven years. An amazing thing happened. He told me that immediately, his back straightened while in the doctor's office. It was the beginning of a lasting recovery.

Many thoughts led to this man's healing. From the thought of his brother to get in a car and go for a drive, to the thought of the chiropractor to refer this man to another health care professional, to the decision to change his thoughts and forgive, a life was saved and changed.

I met a psychologist at the Orem, Utah Costco who said we think 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day. With that knowledge, it's not so surprising that by changing the energy of those thousands of thoughts, this man's life was entirely transformed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

There is Nothing more Delicious than Humble Pie

Humble pie. It is never a selection of choice on the menu of life. We are usually served it. I ate a big piece today and what might have been bitter was sweet. A few days ago I had a misunderstanding that I realize now was created by my failure to live by the principles I try so hard to bring awareness to.

Instead of focusing on the end goal of a project I am working on, I allowed myself to become focused on obstacles that were on my radar; obstacles that appeared to be blocking my ability to move forward. Focusing on obstacles and adopting an attitude of fear and worry about issues out of my control, resulted in my being blinded to the truth. I created a mountain of misunderstanding and woe with someone I deeply love and care about. In the heat of emotion, I was completely unaware of the damage I was creating.

Today, after much prayer and meditation, and a phone call from another partner in the project, I received a shower of divine clarity. As the realization hit, I was shocked and stunned at the mess I had made from thinking and believing that the project was unraveling. I couldn't have been further from the truth. How amazing it is that when our focus is locked on obstacles, (the antithesis of what we are trying to accomplish), we lose our compass and end up where we never expected to go.

With this clarity, I was able to admit fault and ask for forgiveness. I don't know if it will repair the damage I caused. I hope it does. I can only rely on God now to do the rest because I've done all I know how to at this point. If I have more epiphanies regarding how to move forward I'm committed to acting on those insights.

Acknowledging fault was painful. I was ashamed and embarrassed. But recognizing my mistakes, and taking steps as best I know how to repair them, at the very least, brought a sweetness of peace I haven't felt in days.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Value of Writing Down a Goal

Is it really necessary to write down our goals? Does it really matter? I think we would all agree it has a positive influence on achieving goals. For those who continue to NOT write down goals, here is a good punch in the arm for getting busy with that pen or pencil.

I met a delightful, confident woman at the Ogden Costco who is a professional organizer. She has a bona fide bucket list. On her list of aspirations, she recorded that she wanted to be on the "Hoarders" cable show. Eventually, a show was planned to help a "Hoarder" in Utah. She was one of three professionals that the program manager of the cable show contacted to interview for the job. Among all the professional organizers in Utah who were considered, it turned out that the three women included herself, her mentor, and her apprentice. She was chosen after the interviews. She didn't have the most experience. She accounted her selection to the fact that she was the only one who had written it down! I imagine she had spent time visualizing it more than the others too. Perhaps the very act of writing it down contributed to the visualization process.

Another day I met a woman who ran track in high school. She said her coach had them write down the time they wanted to achieve on their time trial sprints. She always wrote the time down on her hand with an ink pen. She said that it was uncanny, but when she finished her sprint, it was almost always her desired time. Somehow, the act of writing down her desire enable her to stretch herself to achieve her goals.

It is a new year, and whatever your desires are, write them down! My sister Leslie, prior to becoming the National Best Selling Author of The Jackrabbit Factor; why you can, read a vision statement daily before proceeding to write. In her vision statement, she told herself that she was a national best selling author. She said that she had to prep her mind before working on her manuscript. The vision statement was the best way to do it.

So do you have your pen in hand yet? I'm signing off to write a few goals myself. :)