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. :)