Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Can You Control?

I was just thinking about this very question the other day. What can I actually control? And then low and behold, my friend Kelli Dewispelare from Sweat Cycle Soul said the intention out loud! And it was exactly what I had been thinking. We cannot control what happens in the entire world around us. But we can control what happens in our own life.

Some people might challenge that idea and say that its not true. That we can't control whether we find a job or lose a job, or find love or lose love, or have children or not have children, and so forth.

And while we can't control all circumstances and situations, here are some things we can control...

We can control how we respond to life, to our circumstances and the people around us.
We can control whether we think of the glass being half full or half empty.
We can control whether we stay in a job or leave and pursue a different career.
We can control whether we spend money we don't have or live within our means.
We can control how we spend our time each day, watching TV or expanding our minds.
We can control whether we live in a hot climate or a cold climate.
We can control our decision to stay in a marriage or not stay in a marriage.
We can control whether we work on a relationship or give up on a relationship.
We can control our attitude being grateful for what we have or envious of what we don't.
We can control whether we serve others or wallow in our own selfishness.
We can control whether we get off the couch to exercise or complain about poor health.
We can control whether we eat nourishing food or empty calories of junk food.
We can control whether we set a good example for our children, or model poor behavior.

I look back at this list and will admit that I personally have a lot of areas over which I have control that I don't always make good choices. But just reviewing this list helps me to feel empowered! We have a lot more control over our world that we think we do!

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

For me, I'm going to personally pledge to do a better job with the last three items on the list. I've been gathering up a few pounds here and there and not taking the time to take care of myself through exercise and proper eating.  The interesting thing about that is that of anything on this list, it's the two things that I have the most control over!!! Nobody is shoving cookies down my throat and telling me I'm not allowed to go for a jog!  I am fully in control over those choices. And if I can regain proper balance in this area, I am most certainly setting a good example for my children. And I am most surely going to see a ripple effect of improvement in other areas of my life!

So stay'll be seeing more focus on "healthy living" as a part of 63 Days of Faith Love Time!

Love and Prayers,

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Change of Heart

Personal growth can bring forth amazing revelations and open doors that you didn't even realize were closed. I had one of those realizations today. I'd like to share it with the hope that it might be relateable to others.

When my daughter was a tiny baby she had her first open heart surgery.  For days after the surgery, the doctors tried to take her off the ventilator to allow her to breathe on her own. In the end, it proved not to be possible. Our little baby wasn't able to breathe properly now without the support of a breathing machine. We struggled to understand how this could be the case. For the first three months of her little life, she had been breathing on her own without the support of this machine. Why was it the case that she now could not breath properly without the support of tubes and machines? Why? We asked this question of the doctors.

Their answer was that because they had repaired her heart, it had changed the anatomy of how her body functioned overall. The heart and lungs no longer worked in concert with one another in the same way they had prior to the surgical repair of her heart.  Her heart had changed and now the rest of her body needed to also change in order to adapt. This would take time. Time. It would take time.

Photo I took of Street Tile in Pueblo Nuevo, Guatemala 
during my mission trip

I realized today that my own personal journey of transformation has been similar. While my heart has not physically been touched, my heart has been changed. It has been changed by the choices I've made and thus the experiences, people, passions, and causes I've come to know. I realized that when I question why I'm not where I want to be in certain aspects of my life, it's because the "change of heart" has created a ripple effect and the anatomy of everything else has changed now too.  I no longer see things from the same point of view, with the same "heart". Everything is different now. And just like my daughter's healing journey, "time" is required for the rest of the anatomy to catch up.

What "changes of heart" have you experienced in your life? Do you find yourself waiting and wondering when the ripple effects will be over and the anatomy of your situation will fully mend itself? Is it possible that God's timing just doesn't quite match your expectations? Can you be patient a little longer? It will be worth the wait.

Love and Prayers,

Monday, September 23, 2013

Butterflies in Your Stomach

Do you enjoy public speaking? Are you invigorated by standing up in front of a room full of people? How about an auditorium? Do you stutter? Do you stammer? Does your heart race? Do you perspire? Do you get butterflies in your stomach? Do you do it anyway?

My answer... Yes! Yes! Yes to all!

Most people would rather die than speak in front of a large audience! And there are statistics that support that! I actually get a charge out of it. I get extremely nervous, fearful, all those things I mention above, yet in the end I enjoy doing it! I had the opportunity today to speak to an auditorium of people. It wasn't a massive audience. It was around 70 people, but that's more than you'd meet in a coffee shop! I had the butterflies in the stomach, heart pounding, hope-I'm-not-pitting-out nervousness. I was sharing the story of my family from our book Miracle of Belief to a group of medical professionals. I shared a very emotional reading from the book and at that point, I actually felt my knees buckle. My legs were feeling a bit numb.

Here's my observation about this.  Somehow, I pushed past the signs and signals my body was giving me. I pushed past the fear and the physical "feelings" and I did it anyway! I put myself through this physically, emotionally charged situation anyway.

Why? I found myself really asking Why? It wasn't like I was auditioning for The Voice, or a chance to win a million bucks. I didn't have to speak to this group. I was asked and I said yes. It was my choice.

Here's what I believe to be the answer. I am driven by the "connections" I can make with the audience. I am driven by the "passion" in my heart to share a message with others that I believe can have an impact, inspire, and make a difference for a handful of people in that group of 70. I know that it is my calling and I'm willing to push past the fear and the near nausea to get to the other side.

My question to you is this. What is the thing that you are scared of doing that you know you must do in order to achieve your goal, your dream, your vision? What is it that gives you the butterflies in your stomach? It's probably the thing you try hardest to avoid. And it very well could be the one thing, that if you just take a deep breath and do it anyway, you'll be amazed at what happens next.  The truth is that nobody else can see the butterflies that you feel. And if they could, they would probably delight in knowing that you are merely human and experience the same fears, anxiety, and doubts they themselves experience.

Have you heard the expression "Feel the fear and do it anyway"? Let the fear be your friend. When it shows up, invite it to sit down beside you. Stop trying to chase it away. It's there to force you to grow.

Love and Prayers,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Love the Life You Live

I know I'm not alone. There are times of great inspiration. And then there are times when its hard to feel inspired. I decided not to put pressure on myself to blog every single day during this 63 day run, but rather to look at the 63 day block as a whole and find meaningful inspiration to guide transformation throughout a 63 day calendar journey. As a result of cutting myself some slack, I've been slacking on my daily "thinking" about what to write about! Call it a writer's block, I guess. Not something I have often as I love to write and the words generally flow.

So, what to do when you're stuck? I find that looking to other people for sources of inspiration is the best answer.  I pulled out a book called Love Your Life and It Will Love You Back, written by Sourena Vasseghi. Mr Vasseghi was born with severe cerebral palsy which robbed him of muscle control and the ability to speak clearly. He is in a wheelchair. Yet, he has become a speaker, life coach, and author with a passion to inspire other people. I was inspired by his book when I originally read it, and decided to pull it out tonight to revisit some of the highlighted passages.

My favorite quote from the book :
"There's a party going on all the time, and it's called life." 
Sourena's philosophy is that if you love your life enough, it will eventually love you back.  And he believes that true talent is fully loving your life when nothing is going well. Wow! That's an inspiring way to live and think.

A friend once gave me a keychain (which I still carry) that said "Love the Life You Live" and on the other side "Live the Life You Love".  I remember when she gave it to me secretly thinking to myself "Ya right." That was many years ago, and I've gotten past that way of thinking.

Sourena suggests falling passionately in love with your life by doing the following:
"To fall passionately in love with your life, think like someone who's in that passionate, overwhelming state of being in love. You'll see how they exude these characteristics.
  • They have the courage to dream.
  • They accept the ones they love exactly the way they are.
  • They depend on people for support.
  • And, most importantly, they do anything to win the other person's love."

Sourena Vasseghi fell in love with his own life despite his physical challenges and is an inspiration to anyone who thinks they can't do the same!

What can you decide to do to fall in love with your life?

Love and Prayers,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Better Than a Hallelujah

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I find healing and inspiration from music. My friend and spiritual mentor suggested that I listen to Amy Grant's song, Better Than a Hallelujah.  I've always loved this song, but never really "listened" to the words. I've been listening to it over and over all day.

The message I heard in this song today is that God really wants to hear our truth. God loves us no matter the messes we might have in our life. We pour out our miseries and He hears a melody.  I've really been working on strengthening my relationship with God through daily prayer, and this song solidified for me that those daily prayers of miseries big or small are music to God's ears! Read the words and then google the song title and watch the official video.

"Better Than A Hallelujah"

God loves a lulluby
In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

The woman holding on for life
The dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out

We pour out out miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

(Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)
Better than a Hallelujah
(Better than a Hallelujah sometimes)

Love and Prayers,

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Are 'Self Help' Books Worth the Money?

I was just having a conversation this evening with a young woman in corporate America. She reminded me a lot of myself 10-15 years ago. Hard working, type-A, full of promise and energy.  I still believe I'm all those things, but with a greater appreciation for having purpose that accompanies all that hard-work.  We were talking about inspirational books to read.  I had been reflecting recently on the fact that I've read more books in the past five years than I have in all the previous adult years of my life. And they haven't been Harlequin Romance novels!

In fact I recall some years back joking with business colleagues about how "self-help" books were only for mentally unstable, insecure people who had low self-esteem. "Those books" weren't for successful people who know where they are going in their career. Funny, how little I knew then!

I recently had a friend comment when I told her I read daily. She said, "Reading! When in the world do you find the time to read a book?"

My answer was "I make the time because I feel it grounds me and keeps me focused and growing."

What have I learned from all these books? How to believe in myself, let go of past mistakes, open my mind to new possibilities, dream, plan, organize, write goals, create vision, strengthen my faith, run a business, be an entrepreneuer, have persistence, network, live with purpose, eat healthier, love, teach my children, be a better wife and mother, think abundantly, live fearlessly, inspire others, and live each day to the fullest.

Why do I keep reading daily? So I can learn to do all these things consistently better and become the best version of myself possible. These books have helped me discover that when I thought I knew where I was headed, maybe I really didn't know where I was going at all!

And from the oldest and best book of all time, here is what I've learned:

Why do the schools reinforce reading so much? It's the best way to continually grow and expand your mind for the rest of your life! What are you reading right now?

Love and Prayers,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Believing in Yourself

It doesn't matter where you are at in life right now. What matters is that you believe that you are great enough to become what you believe you have the potential to become. If you are not where you want to be you are not growing enough. It's about who you are going to become. It starts with believing in your dreams.

Then it's a matter of believing in what is possible.

And, then it's a matter of believing in yourself and what is possible for YOU!

Believe that the best is yet to be.
Believe in yourself.
Be unstoppable.
Be brilliant.
Be amazing.

Love and Prayers,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Seasons of Struggle

One of my favorite motivational speakers and mentors is Keith Kochner. (check out I was sorting through a pile of papers and discovered a small sheet of hand-written notes from a webinar I attended that Keith had led.  The note page was labeled "How to Deal with Seasons of Struggle". Keith offers:
Seven S's of Surviving your Season of Struggle:
1. See through your Struggle
2. Stand in your Struggle (rely on the memory of other struggles you've had and conquered)
3. Stay Focused--Focus is the fuel of desire and desire is the fuel of discipline.
4. Starve the relationships that are not part of forward progress
5. Speak life over circumstances, have conversations that reveal expectations
6. Serve someone else's season of struggle
7. Support--Be willing to ask for it!

Keith also suggests that successful people bring attention to things. Unsuccessful people let things get their attention. Choose where your attention goes.

You might be having a struggle today, or you might be in a season of struggle. Whatever your situation, I hope that you read this blog and realize that everyone's life is as messy as yours. We all have seasons of struggle from time to time that we must overcome. I appreciate mentors like Keith sharing their own personal seasons of struggle and offering suggestions on how to get over them and thrive!

Love and Prayers,

Choked by Life's Worries

With a husband who has been in bed sick for 7 days now, I've fallen behind in my blogging. Let's just say that despite my rules for only positive thinking, states of worry have been setting into our house! Timing couldn't be more perfect for me to read a chapter on "worry" from the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World~Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life by Joanna Weaver.  This blog is largely based on the concepts she addresses about the worthlessness of worry. She offers up many bible scriptures which not only suggest, but command us not to worry!
"An anxious heart weighs a man down" ~Proverbs 12:25
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?' ~Matthew 6:27
Some interesting statistics report that there is nothing we can do about 70 percent of our worries. These are the things we worry about:
40% are things that will never happen.
30% are about the past--which can't be changed.
12% are about criticism by others, mostly untrue.
10% are about health, which gets worse with stress.
8% are about real problems that can be solved.
(Source: Bible Study Foundation: 
In the parable of the sower, Jesus tells us:
"The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures" ~Luke 8:14
This verse suggests that there are those that are Christian and surviving, but are not truly thriving. According to Weaver, she suggests that the bible is adamant about avoiding worry and fear because it short-circuits our relationship with God.  If fixes our eye on our situation rather than on our faith. 

"Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life." ~Matthew 6:25
Weaver also points out how worry can become a habit, a way of life.  Have you ever had a thought about worry that leads to another worry that leads to another? It becomes a domino effect and your mind starts to conjure up all sorts of unfortunate unlikely scenarios. This type of worry becomes toxic and can actually prevent us from leading the full lives God intends us to live.

So if you identify with any of this, like I did when I read it, What do you do? Weaver suggests we follow the recommendation found in Phillippians 4:6-7

1. Be anxious about nothing.
2. Be prayerful about everything.
3. Be thankful for all things.

Bottomline...stop mentally obsessing about your problems. Consciously turn those worries into prayer. And then count your blessings!

Love and Prayers,

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Karma Day

It's been one of those kind of "karma" days. Ironic since I blogged yesterday that "what you think about you bring about". I don't recall thinking about the things that came about today. You know one of those kind of days that when one thing goes wrong, everything seems to go haywire..husband at the ER, kids fighting in the back seat, soda spilled in the car, broken glass in the kitchen.

So what do ya do? I like to look on the bright side of life. Find the silver lining. Discover the lessons learned. I'll be honest, I have been grumpy and mad today and not too interested in seeking out the positive in the craziness of our day. Nothing I seemed to have planned, went as planned. Thank goodness a friend recommended to me a few days ago that I google "Nick no arms no legs". Let me tell you, today was the day I needed to be introduced to Nick!

If you've never heard of Nick Vujicic, you need to check him out. He was born without hands or feet. Yet his attitude toward life is amazing. I watched several of his videos on YouTube today. In fact, I couldn't get enough. He's married, has a child, has written books, traveled the world, and has an amazing career teaching others about the how obstacles can become opportunities.

Let me tell you, If you are having a bad day, imagine getting through your busy day without hands or feet. Picture your life without being able to walk or care for your own basic needs, or hold your spouse's hand. I am so glad I met Nick today, because it was a huge lesson in humility. I love his motto, "No arms, no legs, no worries." What an amazing attitude!

I had my girls sit down with me tonight and watch the YouTube video of him surfing with Bethany Hamilton. They were in awe and had a million questions. Can you imagine surfing without arms or legs! This man has an amazing heart and mind and attitude! Having a pity party that needs to end? Watch a few of the videos about Nick! Check him out at  and  

An absolute  "must watch" video about overcoming hopelessness:  I believe EVERYONE needs to see this video of his talk.

Love and Prayers,

P.S. Tomorrow is a new day!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You Are What You Think

The Law of Attraction, Power of Positive Thinking, The Secret...all of these books and principles lead to the same basic conclusion: You Are What You Think!  Or as author and speaker, Rita Davenport says, "What you think about, you bring about!" The truth is that every thought creates energy frequencies. Where is your frequency and emotion right now?

Are you on a high, positive frequency? Or a low, negative frequency?

Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. points out in his amazing book, What To Say When You Talk To Yourself

"It all starts with our programming! What we have accepted from the outside world, or fed to ourselves, has initiated a natural cause and effect chain reaction ... It is our programming that sets up our beliefs, and the chain reaction begins... 1. Programming creates beliefs. 2. Beliefs create attitudes. 3. Attitudes create feelings. 4. Feelings determine actions. 5. Actions create results."

If you are not getting the results you desire in your life, it very well possibly traces all the way back to your internal beliefs and programming. Shad's recommendation is to change your internal programming by changing your self-talk! So as we embark on this next 63 days journey, I'm going to put that out there as the first ground rule! Eliminate the negative self-talk. Put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you have a negative thought, particularly if it's negative self-talk.  Try it.  It works. You might have a sore arm by the end of the day, but it will bring your awareness to the negativity that's permeating your head.

Love and Prayers,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Don't Quit

After successfully completing my 63 consecutive days of blogging, I thought long and hard about why I was doing it. I sought feedback from friends and followers. I prayed about it. I thought about who I was helping. Was it for anyone else's benefit other than my own?

Here's what I came up with. For me personally, writing "grounds" me. I'm finding my inner voice through my writing. And I'm finding that voice is seeping out into other areas of my life in a positive way. I've also learned than my thoughts, as crazy as they sometimes seem to me are pretty darn close to what a lot of other people are thinking too. And so if I can help a few other people find their voice, experience transformation, and discover their "miracle", it's worth it!

I've witnessed a miracle take place in the course of 63 days. Maybe some miracles take longer than 63 days. I do believe that amazing transformations can happen in the course of 63 days! I believe I haven't fully witnessed the miracles within my own personal journey of transformation yet. And I would never, ever quit three feet from striking join me on the next journey of 63 Days of Faith, Love, Time!

Love and Prayers,

Monday, September 9, 2013

Loosen the Grip

This post seems somehow very appropriate as the last of 63 days of consecutive posts!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~Hebrews 11:1

Recently my pastor asked the question, "What do you hold as your true North? As your Core? As your absolute pillar?"

He shared the story of Abraham and that at the end of his life after all he had accomplished through the Lord, he is only credited for his "Faith".  He was asked to leave his land and family and everything and travel to a distant unknown land. This would not be an easy fate for anyone to accept.  He had to learn to "let go" of everything and trust his calling.

The message was that we have to loosen our grip on our own power and plans and sink deeper into Faith, because our plan is already written!  The lesson was also about not trying to constantly take the reigns, and control and try to remain independent. Instead, our God wants us to fully rely on him as our source of strength. This isn't the first time in the last 63 days that this message has fallen on my ears. It probably won't be the last, as it seems I need to be constantly reminded!

Because I am continually moved my music. This song helps me create the "refrain" in my head that reminds me that I need to stop always trying to be self-sufficient and in control.

“Lord, I Need You” lyrics
Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Loosen the grip on the plans you so desperately are trying to fulfill. What "phasod" about your life are you holding onto? Be still, just for a moment. And "listen" to what God is calling you to faithfully do and trust. Simply trust.

Love and Prayers

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The People We Hurt the Most

I realized today in church that I always feel emotional when I'm in church. I think it's a feeling of humility and joy at the same time. Humility that I am there in confession of my imperfections. And joy that I am always and continually forgiven.  Something struck me today during the opening prayer. When the Pastor encouraged us to individually, quietly confess our sins from the week, he said to think about the people we may have hurt with an unkind word or gesture.  Sadly, I thought mostly of the disagreements or the disregard toward my husband or that I yelled too much at my children. That I could have been a better wife or mother or friend this past week.

I didn't think about what I could have done differently or better in business or work. I thought about what I didn't do well enough with regard to the important people in my life. It occurred to me that we tend to hurt the people most that we love the most. The people we love the most and are most present in our lives and take the brunt of our daily stress, worry, anger, and frustration.  We don't do it intentionally. They are just in our path when we have our moments of weakness.

I recalled the hand-written bible verse that my daughter handed to me yesterday...
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1Corinthians 13:4-8a
I hope this causes you to pause and consider whether you are showing love to the people in your life that deserve it the most.

Love and Prayers,

Saturday, September 7, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog?

To blog or not to blog? That is the question. This post marks 60 consecutive days of blog entries. The goal was 63 days.

In my first blog post, Why 63 Days, I wrote about my intention for the blog.
"This journal will be my own 63-day walk to focus on faith, love, and time to discover what God will reveal to me as the next stage of my life. I invite you to join me on the adventure and discover your own "miracles" along the way!"

I posted a photo of the Tower of Terror at Atlantis Resort. I remember feeling like I was on that Tower of Terror when I hit the enter button to post the first of the 63-day posts. I thought to myself could I really make the commitment? would anyone care to read it? what if I can't think of something to write about every day?  I initially sent the link to a few close friends and invited them to follow. Then, gradually, I worked up the courage to post it for my Facebook friends, and then the Miracle of Belief Page, and eventually the Heart Heroes page. And then I started telling people I would meet about the blog and how they could find it.

I really have no idea how many people this blog is actually reaching.  I see that there are a lot of views each day. And I've received some wonderful emails from people saying things like "I look forward to reading your blog each day", "I feel like you are speaking to me directly", "Thank you, I needed to hear that".

The truth is that I have immensely enjoyed writing this blog, whether anyone is reading it or not! The words have flowed easily most days. And I have a long list of topics to write about! Maybe this collection of writing will eventually become my second book. I have also thought about whether the goal of the blog has been satisfied? I can say that it truly has been a "faith walk" for me. I read or listen to positive, uplifting books and devotionals daily. And I've implemented a daily habit of reading bible passages. I've also discovered that you can "google" bible passage topics which can be fun!

The biggest transformation for me in the last 61 days, has been about getting very clear about my goals and purpose and creating a plan for the next stage of my life...which feels like a lot of puzzle pieces coming together. I didn't accomplish every goal I set out to achieve, however, I feel I've made some amazing progress.

So, back to the Blog or Not to Blog? Should I keep going? Can I do another 63-days consecutively? It's certainly a time commitment. It does require mental focus each day.  And then the real I doing this for myself? or am I helping someone else in the process? Hmmm....maybe its both? Or maybe it doesn't matter if it's one but not the other. Either one would be enough.

"Remember: You are the only person on this planet with your story. What's the point of being here unless you share it, pass it on, and help somebody else?"~from the book Just Who Will You Be? by Maria Shriver

I'm going to make a personal request...If you are reading this blog, or if you've been reading over the past 60 days, will you take a moment to send me a personal message with any feedback? It can be as simple as "Yes, keep going." or "stop wasting your time"! Or you can share what you've gained or what your favorite post has been. Send the message to: Or you can message me on Facebook as a friend or on the Miracle of Belief Page.

Love and Prayers,

Fabulously Conflicted

Many people ask me about how I made the transition from where I was in life as a corporate sales executive juggling family with a busy, hectic schedule and traveling on business frequently,  to having the life I have now. I'm home with my children, running a charity and a health & wellness business, and following my passion as a new author and motivational speaker. I will tell you that the transition has not been easy, but it has been so worth it!  

I ran across this old hand-written journal entry the other day. It's a beautiful journal that a friend gave me as a gift.  The cover of the journal says "Fabulously Conflicted". When I opened it, I discovered the very first journal entry which I'm humbly sharing very transparently in this blog entry. It was written a couple weeks after my daughter's surgery and brain trauma while I sat bedside, late at night with her at the rehabilitation hospital.  

I'm sharing this journal entry because it reveals, that I was at a tipping point in my life. You might find that you are at a similar tipping point in your life right now. I truly was "conflicted" and I can't say that it felt all that "fabulous".  It was interesting to me to reflect back and remember the emotions and feelings I was experiencing at that time and now realizing how much has changed. Five years later, I can say that while there is a lot about life that is still challenging from day to day, I am no longer "conflicted" about who I am and my purpose in life. That feels pretty fabulous! I share this with you to help you to see that if you are conflicted about your life, you have the power to change it. It's not easy. It takes time. It takes some soul searching. But it is possible.  

Journal entry 7/13/08:
Lost--Who is it I want to be? I've just turned 40. No party. No fanfare--nothing like I've expected and planned for this entire past year. I bought the shoes. I bought the dress. I argued with my husband about how much I deserved "the party" and now it doesn't matter! I quietly turned 40. What really matters most right now is that my precious 7-year old daughter is in a rehabilitation hospital fighting to recover from a brain injury that followed open heart surgery! My God! How humbling is that?
So I ask myself what do I do now? I have felt LOST for a long time. Caught up in corporate jobs. Not sure who I want to be. Dissatisfied with my marital relationship. Lost in my identity. Feeling I am destined to do more--not knowing what it is. Who am I and what is my purpose for being here?
Many people have been touched by my daughter's story. So what is the real lesson for me?
-Love More-Complain Less-Be Grateful-Enjoy Life's Simple Pleasures-Slow Down-Cherish the Moment-Have Faith
But now what do I do? How do I identify with this and what am I meant to do with this gift? Continue with the corporate job (as great as it may have seemed--and as talented as people believe I am)? Is it really what I want? Was it not meant to be? Is this a message to me that I need to move on? What if I could do something that would truly touch the lives of other people? Inspire. Motivate. Awaken. 
Who would have thought the Carepage detailing my daughter's healing journey could become inspiring and identifiable to so many people? What is the message I am receiving?-- Be transparent! Who do you love?--Tell them! Studies indicate that 84% of people are unhappy with their jobs. So what does this mean for me? What do I want to do that is satisfying that can earn a living? What makes me strong, special, and unique?

Can you relate to my journal entry? Do you feel conflicted about your life? I recently shared a vision-writing process, Vision Writing Part I and Vision Writing Part II,  that helped me to discover the answers to my questions.

I remember that moment so clearly. Fast forward five years and now I'm home with my children (no more corporate travel), running a health and wellness business and a charity that's affected children all over the world, and following my passion as a new author and motivational speaker. I will tell you that the transition has not been easy, but it has been so worth it!

Love and Prayers,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fear of Growth

"Walker, there is no path, you make the path as you walk." ~ Antonio Machado

This blog post comes to you by "special request".  Is there such a thing as fear of growing? Or fear of success? I believe there is.  Maybe it's tied to our fears of whether we are worthy. Or maybe it's tied to our fears of whether we can handle the success and all that comes along with that. I was having this discussion with a friend just yesterday and it was suggested that perhaps this should be a topic I address in the blog. Coincidentally (or not), my morning devotional today addressed this topic! Or at least I interpreted it in such a way that it became relevant. One of my morning devotions comes from Mark Nepo's book The Book of Awakening.  This is the story he shared...
"I listened carefully as he described his little girl's first steps. He encouraged her to keep her eyes on him, and only when she didn't, did she stumble. Only when she lost her focus, when she became too conscious of the steps she was taking did she fall... He stared off, offering slowly, 'She made me realize that when I stop looking for a sense of truth, I stumble. When I lose my focus on what really matters, I fall." 
Here's the main idea. We are forever taking first steps...yes, forever taking first steps.

Nepo says:
"Isn't balance, in reality, the ability to step quite naturally, like this little girl, without too much thought into everything larger than our fear?"
I think that really says it all. When we put too much thought into something, and over-analyze it, fear takes over. Instead, it we could let go of the thinking and just stay focused on the truth, what really matters, growth will come naturally.

Mark Nepo always ends his devotions with a meditation exercise. He suggests that you sit and breath deeply and "without troubling yourself with 'how', step with your heart into the field of the growth you are seeking".

This is the part that made the most sense to me. Stop worrying about the "how" and just follow your heart! This may not be the blog about fear that was anticipated, but it was the message that was revealed to me today!

Love and Prayers,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Vision Writing Part II

Did you know that actor and comedian, Jim Carey, had actually written himself a check for $20 million and carried it around in his wallet, until he was eventually paid that sum of money for his performance in The Cable Guy. He visualized (and believed) that he was worth that amount of money. He was quoted as once saying, "It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what's left?"

Yesterday's blog Vision Writing Part I, addressed taking inventory and spending some time soul searching to identify your authentic values and your natural gifts to come up with your life theme. Next, Richard Bliss Brooke suggests writing affirmations that will be incorporated into your vision statement. They are written in present tense and are positive statements. They can also be recited independent of the vision statement. When my daughter was healing from her brain trauma, we used affirmations at every stage of her healing. They were powerful for her and for us because it triggered the mind to know what was possible.  I can stand on my own two feet. I can walk on my own two feet. I can see with my own two eyes. 
Here are a few examples of Affirmations you might like:
I deserve happiness.
Life is abundant.
I attract whatever I need.
I am healthy and strong.

Photo Credit:

Then it's time to write the vision statement, the NEW film script for your life. The book, Mach II with Your Hair on Fire goes through a lot of great detail. I'm only going to cover a few highlights! (buy the book to dig deeper!) First is to focus on the positive. There is no sadness, fear, anger, envy, sickness, or playing it small! Instead of using words like "I'm 'debt' free" use phrases such as "I'm financially free." Second is to write in present tense, first person (I or we). Be very detailed and descriptive so as to evoke the emotion and the senses...what you see, hear, smell, feel. The emotional connection is the most important part!

So, I'm going to be bold and share some of my vision statement. It might not mean very much to you, but that's because it is personal to me and outcomes I deeply desire based on my values. It's a moment in future time (written in present tense) that I can feel deeply connected. This is how it starts:

"I am lying here on the beach at the “orange house” in Cabo, soaking up the sun and feeling my toes dig into the sand while watching Tim and the girls play in the ocean.  I am grateful to have our entire family, including mom and Dale back at our favorite, special place. I am blessed by a feeling of peace, abundance, and financial freedom. The shiny new Mercedes keychain glistens from within my bag and I notice the team photo charm keychain dangling beside it, a symbol of lives changed, hard work, strong faith, and memories that will last a lifetime. Ah… the joy I feel deep inside knowing the lives that have been changed. I am healthy and strong and full of energy! I close my eyes and smell the ocean breeze, hear the waves and seagulls overhead. I feel like pinching myself that this is my life, surrounded by family, faith, love, respect, freedom, health, and in contribution to others."
In my vision statement I continue with more detail about what actions I'm taking daily in my life that create the vision I'm living. This will help me stay focused daily on the "what" I need to do in order to "have" what I "want" in my vision.  This will help balance the feelings of skepticism that may arise with trying to make the mental connection to how I'm going to make the leap from where I am today to where I want to be.

Richard Bliss Brooke suggests reading this vision statement each day when you first wake up and before you go to bed. Remember, this is about replacing the movie reels that are already running through your head, of which might not be serving you. He even suggests creating your own audio and "listening" to it while you get ready in the morning or drive in your car. The idea is repitition. I can say from watching my daughter's healing experience, it works! It may take faith, love, and a fair amount of time. But it works!
“I can have anything I want - if I want it badly enough. I can be anything I want to be, do anything I set out to accomplish if I hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.” - Abraham Lincoln
Love and Prayers,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vision Writing Part I

I'm not going to claim to be an expert at vision writing. In fact I'm pretty much a newbie, but I found a process I really like that I'm trying for myself. So I thought I would share and invite others to try it out along with me!  I've gone through some other exercises where I took inventory on my values and my talents. As a matter of fact while we were living the experience I wrote about in my book Miracle of Belief, I had a life-changing aha moment, based on a process I went through in a book called Key to Living the Law of Attraction. During that period of my life, I had a lot of late nights at the hospital with my daughter which turned into worthwhile time to reassess my life. It led to a major career and lifestyle transition for me and my family.

The recent book I've read, Mach II With Your Hair on Fire takes the reader through a similar process of taking inventory on your values and gifts, so that you can write a crystal-clear vision. You basically write a film script of a moment in your life when you are who you would love to be. I've just written mine and I'll eventually share some of it. But first there's some preparatory steps.

Photo credit:

I'm not going to share all the details, just the general concepts. I highly recommend buying the Mach II book and reading the whole story. Both of the books focus on the process of first doing a personal inventory. For some that are new to personal development, this can be extremely uncomfortable. It can also be very exhilarating and freeing!

The first step is to identify your authentic values. These are simply the aspects of life that you treasure. What do you love about life? What must be in your daily life?  There is a whole list of examples in the book. These are some of mine:  Family, Faith, Love, Contribution.

The next step is to consider your natural gifts or talents that are contributions to other people. If you don't think you have any, ask someone that knows you well and they'll immediately rattle off many of your talents! Sharing your God-given gifts is what fulfilling your purpose is all about! Discovering those gifts makes doing what you do a joy!  Again, there are examples in the book.  Here are a few of what I wrote down for myself: Inspiration, Organization, Speaking, Writing, Passion. For me, I'm just discovering some of my gifts, which has been the best part of being on a journey of transformation!

So then, given your values and gifts, what do you feel is the main theme of your life at its most powerful level?

Ponder on these ideas. Find a nice journal and sketch out some ideas. Believe it or not, I still have a beautiful journal of hand-written notes from my aha moment five years ago. It's kind of interesting to go back and look at what I wrote then and how much of it is consistent with who I've become since then.

In the next blog post I plan to share the writing of the actual vision! I believe it can be very powerful!

"We've got to have a dream if we are going to make a dream come true." ~Denis Waitley

Love and Prayers,

Monday, September 2, 2013

Who are You to Play Small?

Dealing with a summer cold today and a foggy brain...but still making time some time to work on my "vision". Here are some great inspirational passages to help you prepare for creating your vision.

"Our deepest fear it not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented or fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  
We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we inconspicuously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Marianne Williamson ~ A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles (Random House, 1994)

"The world is full of abundance, achievement, influence, respect, love and health. It is there for the borrowing. All you have to do is envision yourself with it, and it will come." ~Richard Bliss Brooke, Mach II
"There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less." ~Kurt Hahn

Love and Prayers,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Creating a Vision for Your Life

I recently created a new plan with goals, with deadlines and activities attached to them. I wrote about it in the recent blog Goal Setting in August.  I wrote goals and why they were important. And I created timeframes and activities. I just read an amazing book called Mach II With Your Hair on FIRE by Richard Bliss Brooke. The book focuses on crafting a new Vision for what you want your life to be, almost as though you are writing a film script with specific clarity, detail and the intent to create emotions. This book points out that our minds are constantly replaying "images" in our heads. Old movie reels of past events (often negative memories) that don't serve us. Or our minds are conjuring up images of future negative events based on worry or fear.  The premise of this book is that if you gain control of the "visions" in your mind of your future and create positive visions, your mind will believe them.

"The 'secret' to change and reinvention (really the secret to success) is that the most powerful part of YOU--the most powerful being on this planet--cannot tell the difference between a real experience (the truth) and an experience that has been vividly imagined.  When the most powerful collection of molecules in the universe cannot tell the difference between what we call The Truth and an Imagined Truth ... well then the Imagined Truth can become The Truth, which makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy."

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I'm following the plan in the book that Richard lays out to create a powerful new "film script" for your life. I'll be sharing more about this over the next couple days as I create my own. I invite you to join me! The goal is to identify your Authentic Values, your Gifts and what you feel might be the Theme of Your Life. You write a story of what you want your life to become, in real-life technicolor!

"Success comes through us before it comes to us. Your greatest leverage to a new life is to shift who you are; your habits, your character traits, your beliefs about you and other people. You were not born with any of these 'qualities.' You adopted them and you can replace them at will any time you choose."
This goes hand in hand with my blog titled The Power Lies Within You.  I often refer to the expression "what you think about you bring about."  Isn't it true that we can become our own self-fulfilling prophesy, when we focus our energy thinking and worrying about all the things in our life we "don't" want. So, it only makes sense that we make some stuff up in our heads that could be a positive self-fulfilling prophesy. And what if...what if it comes true!

Love and Prayers,

The Power Lies Within You

I've blogged daily now for 53 consecutive days and enjoyed every minute of it! The goal is 63...63 days of Faith, Love, Time.  I set off on this journey with an expectation to focus on the ingredients of creating transformation. Through this journey, I've realized what I already knew. External factors are not responsible for creating transformation in our lives. The power we possess from within is what creates transformation.

Have you ever signed up to attend a motivational seminar, bought a book, joined a fitness club, hired a financial planner or marriage counselor, or anything of the sort with the expectation that "this" would be the answer? Perhaps you were thinking this will change my life, business, finances, health, marriage, (or anything else in your life you are trying to "fix")! Of course, we've all been there. I've thought many times, that book has the secret answer for me. That exercise program is going to give me the easy answer to losing 10 pounds. That conference will get me motivated to grow my business. That mentor, coach, or leader is going to lead me to success. If I hang around that person, I will be successful.   In fact some of you may be following this 63-day blog and thinking Sondra is going to give me the secret answer to transform my life.

The truth is that I've searched long and hard and even spent a lot of money seeking the "external" influences that will give me the results I dream of having in my life. The one awareness I've discovered over this past couple months is that there is no answer in the external universe. Every answer I'm looking for lies within me. God has given me the gifts, talents, wisdom, and power I need to create everything I want in my life.

And you have everything you need as well.  Stop looking outside and start looking within.

Love and Prayers,