Friday, December 31, 2010

That's Incredible!! Four Pounds in Four Days while Eating Normally!!

I woke up today full of energy, quickly got on my exercise clothes, and jumped on the Wii board for a body check. Much to my delight, I found that I had met my two week goal earlier than anticipated. The Wii screen screamed, that's incredible!! And indeed it was!

4.1 pounds lost in the last 4 days!!

What have I done??? First, I proclaimed my desire to loose 30 pounds in 90 days and began at the end of November. With encouragement from many of you, I got into action, exercising most every day, drinking lots of water, and eating less. Still the weight seemed to cling. Then I decided to pick up Marianne Williamson's book on weight loss, and do as she suggested.

Let Go and Let God!

First, I had to admit that this weight problem was bigger than me, but not bigger than God. I began to pray, confront issues of fear, anger, resentment. Not easy for me to do, as I try to stuff these feelings inside, but I figured I needed to do things differently, if I wanted better results.

With God by my side, I began expecting a miracle and envisioned myself thinner, lighter and happier and decided to embrace the good, the bad and the ugly in me and those around me. They have all been doing double duty and trying hard to get me to acknowledge them. Well, I finally surrendered, embraced all of me and the wonderful people around me, and my weight shifted.

My journey is just beginning. I am excited and I would love to have company on this journey. I still have 23 pounds to shed between now and the end of February. I know I can do it with you and God in my life. Please join me if you are inclined.

What are you doing in the new year?

What will you do differently?

Will you join me in getting healthier, happier and more at peace?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Unexpected Joy!

When we are relaxed, at peace and at ease, we are often surprised with what lands in our lap!  This idea surfaced as I gazed upon a picture that I found on my facebook profile.  As I surveyed my bulging eyes, I was transported to the event which had taken place the day before Thanksgiving.  Peyton, a great big Great Dane was visiting with us and had surprised me with an unexpected jump upon my lap.

I  was resting comfortably on our family room sofa, with my legs propped up and extended.  I was feeling good about the day, my surroundings and myself.  I had enjoyed a good family breakfast; I had gone shopping, found everything I had been looking for; and was feeling happy, content and relaxed.  Sure, Thanksgiving was right around the corner, but I knew I could count on the help of friends and family to pull it all together.   So I threw my feet up and relished the moment of peace.

Out of nowhere, Peyton appeared.  She jumped up on the couch, and before I knew it, she had spread her large frame across my body.  Much to my surprise, she and I bonded, as we relaxed together on that couch.  In my younger days, I would have been running around like a chicken with her head cut off, much too busy to pause and much too uptight, to allow a dog to get up on my couch.


With joy in my heart, I realize that I am slowing down and am opening up to love, no matter when or where it shows up!  I secretly applaud my willingness to relax...This was not always my mode of operation.  I realize, I am indeed a Mama in Transition!!!

Tomorrow is Sunday.  How will you relax?  What will you do to share the love in your heart?  Where will you get that unexpected joy?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Banish Your Doubts!! Success is Coming!!

Who would believe that the Roses above were blooming in my garden at the same time the Fall leaves were falling?  Banish your doubts and believe you can have your heart's desires!! 

I love roses and the roses above came from my garden.  As I gaze upon them,  my heart expands.  I realize, that they brought a special joy to my heart and adorned my Thanksgiving buffet.  This year, I gave voice to my desire, shared my hopes with my husband, planted this rosebush on my anniversary in August and this Thanksgiving went out to the garden, where leaves were falling all around me and harvested these blooms.

At this time of Thanksgiving, I am filled with gratitude for the people and family who have strengthened my beliefs and resolve.  They have shown me time and again that anything is possible, if I pause to think about what I really want, share my dreams and take action!

My oldest son, Greg, recently shared his dream to buy a small farm house with 5 acres in the beautiful hills near Blacksburg, VA.  Together, we toured the farm together, via the internet.  We previewed the inviting fireplace, the cozy kitchen, the flowering fruit trees, the pond and the green acres where he hopes to raise organic chickens.  Suddenly, his dreams took on a new vitality that spurred him to take additional action.


 

The next day, Greg actually drove to the property and reported that he and a trusted friend had surveyed the land.  The land was in great condition and perfect for his planned activities.  He has plans to take it a step further, to get prequalified for a loan, to get partners on board and to tour the inside with Christy, his bride to be, on Monday.  I  have no doubt that his dreams are moving toward manifestation. 


May you be blessed with many hopes and desires..with friends and family who will support you and with beliefs that banish your doubts!  If you can concieve it, if you can believe it....you can achieve it!   


I remain committed to bringing out the beauty of our beliefs and hopes!  Please join me in giving voice to your dreams and keep us posted on your actions.  Look around..... what has happened in your life as a result of sharing your dreams with those you love?  What actions did you take?  What beliefs kept you going?  What was the result?

I would love to hear your success stories!  Please share in the comment box below.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jodee Blanco - A Survivor of Bullying Shares Her Heart and Soul!

 
Tonight, I did two things to nourish my heart and soul.  I shared my hopes for a brighter tomorrow and took action!

 
First, I met a dear friend, sampled a few delectable treats, feasted my eyes on beautiful decorations, learned of some local wineries and shared some hopes and dreams for the coming week.  Such a grand way to begin an evening. 

 
Little did I know, my evening would get even better!

 
At 6:30 pm, I battled rain and traffic to attend a special presentation by Jodee Blanco who was speaking at my church on the topic of bullying.  This topic is near and dear to my heart and soul, as I have heard one too many stories of young lives that are traumatized by insensitive comments and actions.  I have read too many stories of cyber-bullies and I wanted to know what I might do to keep my kids safe.

 
I very much wanted to hear what this survivor might be able to share with me.  Looking at Jodee now, you would never know....

 

 
Jodee told of her school days and the torment she experienced daily.  She bared her soul and history.  She reenacted her junior and high school experience and she had me transfixed. 

 
She talked about being pushed down the steps, being pinned down by several students while others ran to the parking lots to make snowballs which they stuffed into her mouth, ears and clothing.  They left her there choking. 

 
She talked about the nightmare of going from table to table in her high school cafeteria and never finding a place to sit.  As she asked each group if she might join them, they rejected her, sneered at her, and she was humiliated at every turn.  From that day forward, she spent her lunch period in the restroom eating stale snicker bars. 

 
She talked about her senior yearbook being ruined by a hateful remark when all she wanted was one pleasant memory of her graduation year.  She talked about her one friend, Mitch, who saw what was being written.  She described his eyes welling up, described him putting his face in his hands and sitting silently, while other students walked in, took a look and snickered. 

 
Much to my delight, Jodee's story has a happy ending.  She actually returned to her high school twenty years later and found a way to forgive her classmates and herself for believing the lies that were repeated time and time again throughout her school days.  She wrote a book about her experiences, then another and married Mitch.  She now travels all over, speaking to children, teachers and parents on what they can do to stop bullying. 

 

 

 
If you have been bullied or are concerned about your children, your neighbors, or community, you can learn from her too.  You may wish to read her book or join Jodee's  anti-bullying community.  You might want to read Jodee's blog to learn how to manage bullies and reduce bullying in school, on the playground, in the neighborhood and on-line. 

 

 
Jodee recommended Social Shield as a way of keeping our kids safe on line.  While many of our teens are reluctant to befriend us on Facebook, we can rest easier with Social Shield.  I came right home and ordered Social Shield. I am currently testing out its capabilities for free and while this system is new to me, it looks very promising.  I hope to report more about it in the days ahead.

 
While reading the Social Shield blog, I came across many resources, designed to keep our kids safe, because while our kids may be "cyber savvy" and know more about new technology than we do, our kids are not necessary "cyber secure." The online resources found here, from Stay Safe Online, provide tips about basic Internet safety, online gaming, cyberbullying, social networking and more. 

I learned much and tonight I will sleep better, knowing that I took action to feed my heart and soul.  

  • What do you do to nourish your heart and soul?
  • What is keeping you up at night?
  • What information can you share to brighten your life and lessen your load?
Please share your responses in the comment box below. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Little Kids, Little Problems, Big Kids, Big Problems!

The story below reminded me of my Grandma. She was fond of saying, "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems." As a parent with three young adults and one still in his teens, I can tell you, it takes big courage to be a parent!   You are called on to make big decisions and it is often tough!  It is also isolating.  Many times, we feel mean and alone.

In my blog, on October 31st,... I suggested that we all begin to roar for what matters most to us.  The article on parenting teens found in the Examiner of New Orleans,  may fuel your convictions and help you in making the tough decisions that parents are often asked to make.  It provides much food for thought.... Read it and then come back to this page to answer the tough questions below. 

Parenting Teens: The Unfiltered Truth http://exm.nr/djcD6l

  • What tough decision will you make tomorrow? 
  • What hunch will you follow? 
  • What will you do to show your love?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

An October, Like No Other!

Today is Halloween, October 31st, the last day of the month and it will end like many others ... with candy, costumes, and many scary masks.


While similar to many other Halloweens of years gone by, this October is like no other in our lifetime. This October has five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays. The last time this occurred was 823 years ago.

While some may think that this odd occurence on the calendar will bring them good fortune, I am wondering what I will post... What has this October brought to our attention, like never before?

Cyber-bullying springs to mind as it has dominated the news throughout October. People everywhere talk about its consequences and it is clear that the bullying of 2010 is worse than a punch in the nose or snide comments I remember receiving as a youngster.


In fact, bullying this year has led to a rash of suicides and deep emotional scars, making us all wonder what can be done to turn this horror into a beneficial lesson for us all.

On this note, I turn to the Horrors of Halloween.  The world can be a scary place, especially when it is faced alone.
  • Did you know that Halloween brings terror to many young children and teens who do not fear scary monsters, squeaking doorways, or haunted houses but instead fear being left out, more than anything else?
  •  Did you know that many young people will be rejected by their peers, left behind, and have their candies taken by neighborhood bullies?
  •  Did you know that young adults often act out like monsters not to scare you, not to ruin your day, but in an attempt to be noticed?
  •  Did you know that many parents will lay awake tonight and wonder what they can possibly do to make Monday, Tuesday and all the days to follow better for their children who are less than self confident, who are not in the mainstream and often bear the brunt of insensitive remarks.
According to Dr. Cornel West, University Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, "We have witnessed the breakdown of the social systems that nurture our children. Our rootless children… have no cultural armor to protect them while negotiating the terrors and traumas of daily life."
Dr. West tells us that young people need:
  • Families who will stand up for them;
  • A community of support to sustain them; and
  • Hope that things can be different.
So what is the answer to indifference, exclusion, and to bullying behavior?  Let me share with you responses that I have seen to bullying behavior.  I want you to know that people everywhere are confronting this issue head on and I want you to envision a brighter tomorrow.

Imagine young people being supported by a community of family members who compassionately believe in them in the most trying circumstances.  Imagine a mother acknowleging her child's weaknesses and then reaching out to other parents and asking for suggestions that can help her to help her child in finding friends.  Imagine many other mothers and fathers being sensitive and responsive to this mother's pain and sharing lessons they have learned that have fostered confidence and friendships in their childrens lives.


Imagine a church pastor who has chosen to stand up to bullying and has invited his entire congregation and the surrounding parishes to a special community seminar featuring Jodee Blanco, a nationally known anti-bullying activist and author of New York Times best selling memoir Please Stop Laughing at Me... and the newly released sequel Please Stop Laughing at Us...One Survivor's Extraordinary Quest to Prevent School Bullying.

Imagine teachers and parents working together to strengthen the victim by training targeted children to act more assertively.  Look more closely, as you see students in conflict invited to work with a trained teacher or peer-mediator to find a mutually acceptable way of resolving a dispute that may underlie the bullying behavior.

Imagine another author, Sam Horn, who saw this behavior as intolerable, years before it became national news and wrote, Take the Bully by the Horns.  Imagine reading Sam's book and sharing the contents with your family, your children and your friends and living your life with a new found confidence.

Imagine finding an author who speaks to your soul and explains serendestiny.  Watch Sam's video on serendestiny to help you honor your hunches and move your life forward.

The answer to bullying, the answer to exclusion, and the answer to complacency, can be found in activities outlined above where real people... parents, teachers, pastors, the young, the old and those somewhere in-between have come together to form relationships, foster courage and creativity.

Together, working with courage and creativity:
  • we can create relationships,
  • we can give our children a community of support,
  • we can stand up to indifference, roar for compassion and rail against exclusion.
Here's to courage. May all the Mom's In Transition out there, roar out loud! According to Dr. Cornell West, courage is contagious. Listen to his words and be empowered to toss off complacency and don your courageous attire. It's Halloween!

Known as one of America’s most gifted, provocative, and important public intellectuals, Dr. West gives us much food for thought.


October will soon be over.  What will you do to make November like no other?  What courageous act will you take to move toward a brighter tomorrow?   Please make a comment below and let me know how you intend to take the bully by the horns and believe in a ray of hope!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nourishing our Souls - Before Bed!

Life has a funny way of nourishing our souls, especially when we are least expecting it. This message came to me at the most unexpected time, just when I was getting ready to head to bed.

Today, I reached out to my friends on Facebook and asked for recommendations on blogs that made their spirits soar. I wanted to know which blogs they read and which blogs were meaningful to them. I was asking for recommendations as I am always looking for inspiration.

No replys, nothing came back, so I assumed my posting had failed. I asked my daughter to look for my earlier post and to reply if she found it. A few minutes later, I heard from her.

She did find it, she did reply, and while she did not specify which blog she liked, she did make my spririts soar with a simple message. ILY.

Before heading to bed, I decided to check Facebook, one last time. There I found a message and a blog post, that did touch my soul and warm my heart. It is from Maria Salamao-Schmidt who writes a blog post every Friday. Maria's post was heartfelt and lovingly shared with me and all her readers. I hope you will read it and let me know what you think.

I believe you will enjoy Maria's post. She is a Mama who multi-tasks, takes time to laugh at herself, and takes time to reflect! She is surely a Mama in transition and a role model and inspiration to many, including me. I am sure she will sell many books in the months ahead.

Her posting today, reminds me of a quote I read earlier in a message from Francine Allaire, Sales and Marketing Star turned Daring Entreprenuer, who reported, "Personality and Passion, not Perfection, Produces Profits."

As I head to bed and post this blog, I am still wondering...What blogger makes your heart sing? Does the blogger's message nourish your soul? Does his/her message ring true?

Please respond in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Enjoying Everyday Wonders - The Power of Intent and Gratitude!

Seeing my smiling daughter and the Red Maple that has sprung up beneath the Azalea bush, my faith is renewed.  My heart swells with appreciation and I silently give thanks to God who always hears and responds to my heartfelt desires.  I am filled with gratitude and a sense of wonder!  Looking out, I see ample evidence of the biology of belief and the miracle of life.


Twenty plus years ago, I prayed for a blond, blue eyed daughter; fifteen years ago, God responded to my prayers and I brought this little beauty home from Latvia.  She has been a bright star in my life every day and a great reminder of the power of intent and belief.


For years I have marveled and appreciated the red leaves of fall and I have looked out my backyard window and seen primarily green and golden leaves.  Beauties of nature, but the landscape was missing the red leaves that I adored.  That is, until this Fall...


Last Mother's Day, my husband and youngest son, surprised me with a brand new Crape Myrtle.  Much to my surprise, its leaves are now turning a bright red!  Off to the left, my eye falls upon a Red Maple that has sprung up magically beneath an Azalea bush that was planted approximately 16 years ago.



My advice and expectation:

Enjoy your days and look for everyday wonders.  Focus on your blessings and share your gratitude.    When you share your joy, voice your intentions and express your heart felt desires, you can let them go and know that miracles will pop up, much like my Red Maple, my lovely daughter, Sandra, and my Daisies in the Fall.

My request:

I hope to hear about the everyday wonders in your life!  Please share!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Reason to Celebrate, A Reason to Hope and A Reason to Share!

Today is Robert’s birthday. He turned 19 today. As I contemplate his age, I realize that my youngest son is a young man! Even, more significant in many ways, he is mobile and is gaining more independence each day. He got his driver's license this morning and is now out driving on his own...behind the wheel without another licensed driver for the first time!


This is a milestone and a reason for celebration.

For years now, Robert has been responsible for maintaining our yard. He has been mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubs, power edging, spreading the mulch and planting new trees and shrubs. He has helped our neighbors with power washing and deck staining, spring and fall cleanup projects and snow removal. With his new mobility, he can now easily perform these services outside of our neighborhood and share his love of nature with those in Northern VA.

To see "Robert's yard" the fruits of his labor, and his latest venture and dream, visit Believe in a Ray of Hope website.

This milestone also brings to mind other celebrations and memories of years gone by. Flashing back, I recall, when I first learned that Robert would be joining our family. It was a sunny July 4th. The year was 1995, and yet I remember the details like it happened yesterday. To learn how this miracle unfolded, contact me and I will send you the full story.


In September 1995, Sandra and Robert joined our family and the picture above was taken in the early months. We enrolled Sandra in kindergarten and while we used our limited Latvian vocabulary, Sandra quickly picked up English and became a translator for Robert. Meanwhile, Robert quickly picked up a household broom, adopted it as his favorite toy, and has been sweeping up ever since!


Greg quickly bonded with them and they were seen as three peas in a pod. Our family, friends, and neighbors joined us in celebration. Everyone around us embraced Sandra and Robert and showered them with gifts. Within weeks of their arrival, their closets and drawers were bulging with clothes and toys.


Now, 15 years later, much has transpired. Greg has moved out, is happily managing the kitchen of an organic restaurant, has become a great cook, and is engaged to Christy. They share an old farmhouse, have planted a garden, love their Great Dane, Peyton, and plan to marry next year and begin their own business in the spring.


Sandra is in her second year of college. While attending classes full time, she is working part time, earning money, shopping, and paying off a portion of her college expenses. She is loved by the children in the neighborhood and their parents who see her as a warm loving spirit. She is highly sought after as a baby sitter and is determined to become an elementary school teacher.

Looking backwards, I realize that our lives have been tremendously enriched by their presence and through adoption. We have experienced great joy, success, pain, and frustration and we have weathered life as a family. I was naive and made many mistakes in the last 23 years as a parent, yet, I would not change my life in any way today.

Experience has been a great teacher. I have learned that transitions are seldom easy but when we can face our challenges with those we love and admire, we often find greater meaning in our lives.


While Sandra and Robert both still share the front doorway, I realize that time is marching forward and they too will be looking to venture beyond our doorsteps. Soon they will be marching out with high hopes and dreams for themselves, following in their older brother’s footsteps.

I continue to believe that our dreams and hopes will propel us to new heights and both Robert and Sandra seem to have caught the beat! What do you think?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beginning with the End in Mind!

Finish Strong is more than a statement, it’s an attitude. When you combine the word “finish” with “strong,” you create a powerful springboard into action.

As I look back, I realize that my life has been a powerful teacher. I have learned much in living my life and my failures and disappointments have fueled my determination to succeed. I now know what works and what does not work. I know what gives me joy and I am ready to jump on the springboard into action.

If you are like me, you are ready to use your knowledge to help others and are filled with a sense of urgency. As I approach my senior years, I believe that now is the time to get going, to keep going, and to finish strong.

If you have stumbled and fallen down, I encourage you to rise again! Enjoy the short video below and be inspired to finish the year with pizzazz and gusto.

I believe you can do it! I believe you can do it better than you dreamed possible! You can do it with courage, belief and action. Take the first step now. Watch the video and then take another step toward your desired outcome.



Do not worry, if you can not see the finish line. What is your next step?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dreamin of a Day when I Will be Living Like I'm Dying!

Pulling up the weeds, tossing out the accumulated stuff that no longer interest me, I'm making room for a new way of living: I am dreaming of the day that I will be living like I'm dying!

Thinking of that day, I'm feeling a tingle run up my back. No excuses, I will put myself first and find a way to do the things that bring me joy. I will sleep until I wake, then I will jump out of bed and head for the sea shore with my camera and beach chair. I will gaze at the ocean, focus on the rising sun, see the birds feeding along the shore, relish the joy of seeing small children enjoying the sand, their buckets and shovels and take pictures of these simple pleasures.

Tucked under my arm will be a good book and my journal. I will take time to capture my joy on the printed page. I will read words of inspiration. I will doze as the sun becomes warmer and warmer. When I awake, I will pull the notecards from my bag and I will write individual notes to those who have made a difference in my life.

I will tell them specifically what makes each of them so special to me. I will write and write until I am sure that everyone in my life knows how much I appreciate them and the special gifts they have shared with me and others. As the sun sets, I will head back to my deck, drink a salty frozen margarita, gaze out toward the horizon and plot another fun filled day. That night I will drift to sleep in peace with love and appreciation in my heart.

Reading over the delicious day I look forward to enjoying someday, I wonder when I will begin. My questions continue... Why wait till I am dying to say thank you or tell another how special they are to me? Why let another day go by, without expressing my gratitude? Why let another day go by without taking time for reflection and joyful activities that bring happiness to myself and others?

Why not begin now? As the script says, I have 86,400 seconds in a day to either turn it all around or throw it all away.

What would you do if you only had 86,400 seconds left? If you are puzzled, perhaps the song below will provide a bit of inspiration...Enjoy!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hey Soul Sistah, How I Love Yah!

This blog is dedicated to all my soul sistahs!

Seeing the picture below, reminded me that our fun is magnified when shared and reminded me of my first soul sistah and those that followed in her footsteps.


In looking at old photo albums, my own soul sistah and I were often pictured side by side, and were often seen sharing a lap.  She and I shared a bedroom, shared our secrets, our hopes and dreams.  When I needed a play mate, a hug, a sympathetic ear, or someone to give me a second chance, she was there.  When I could not find anything in my closet, her closet and dresser held special treasures that she was often willing to share.

When I went off to college, I sought others like her and thankfully, found them. My college days were brightened because I had a great sistah from my high school days who introduced me to a great group of fun loving gals who later became my sorority sisters. 

Being away from home, we explored unknown territories, ventured off to unfamiliar places, to fraternity houses, hung out between classes and planned parties with enthusiasm!  We shared joys, failures, successes, humiliations, disappointments, celebrations and triumps.  When I dropped out of school, it was my sorority sistahs who encouraged me to return. I grew to love these special sistahs and over the years took many of them for granted.

After college, I continued to explore and traveled throughout Europe with trusted sistahs. With unfailing support, I got married and made the transition into motherhood with my soul sistahs near my side. Somedays were bright, other days were dark, but they were always better when a soul sister was near.

As I have aged, I see that life is too short and I do not wish to wake up with regrets. So today, I intend to recognize those special sistahs in my life.  I will  hug those sistahs who have laughed with me, cried with me, encouraged me, and stood next to me even when we were miles away.

God never said life would be easy, but he did give us soul sistahs, and with these sensational sistahs next to us, life is worth living day to day!
Let's celebrate Soul Sistahs!  Let's sing tonight and expect brighter tomorrows!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Putting All Your Eggs In God's Basket!

Hope and A Quote for Today
September 30, 2010

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

I Believe in a Ray of Hope and I Believe in You and Me!

Have a faith filled day of Belief and Blessings.

For more encouragement, read about how I put this hope and a quote for today into action, 23 years ago, and learn how my life changed forever in December 1987

May you always strive to put hope, passion and gratitude in God's Basket and live in awe!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love Flourishes in a Happy Heart!

"We love to the degree we're happy. While we are unhappy and attending to our fears, we are not loving. The self is always crying out for acceptance. When we deny it that acceptance, things get hairy. Our attention gets sucked into a void inside ourselves, leaving nothing left to give to another." ~Jennifer Hautman

How true it is...

When I am happy, my heart overflows with love..

I think of how much more loving I am after I have received a warm note of appreciation.

I think of how much more loving I am when I am well rested.

I think of how loving I am when I have taken a break and strolled around a reflecting pool of water.

I am much more likely to greet that stranger with a smile, take time to encourage my teenager, or give my husband a hug.

When I am crying for acceptance, I begin to draw within..

I think of how unloving I am when I have been criticized.

I think of how unloving I am when I am hungry.

I think of how unloving I am when I am struggling with an assignment and feeling inadequate.

I am much less likely to make eye contact with the office intern, listen to the complaints of a colleague or volunteer for another project.

If this is true for me, I am sure it is true for many of you. It is also true for our husbands, our children and our colleagues.

If you want to be happy and be able to share love, begin by nourishing yourself. Begin with a full cup, so you will have much to share.

I Believe in a Ray of Hope and I believe your cup will be constantly replenished....

Start loving yourself today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow, There is Peace!



Enjoy the scenery and song...and reflect on the wonderful world we live in. May there be peace in our homes, in our communities, and in our global markets. Let peace begin with you and me. Let's begin by reaching out, shaking hands and connecting our hearts.

May our collective dreams, hopes and wishes for a brighter tomorrow, begin with simple gestures of kindness today. Happy International Peace Day! Sleep well!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Law of Attraction: Begins with Loving Yourself and Letting Go!

Reading today's Daily OM, I am reminded of my obligations, not only to others, but to myself. My list is long...where am I on this list?

All too often, we put the needs of others, before our own, and forget obligations we have to our own well being. Over time, as we continually say yes when we are tempted to say no, we begin to erode our self worth and self confidence while building walls of resentment, between ourselves and those we love and that spells disaster for all! When I pause to listen, I AM REMINDED, We can not help anyone, if we are drained and exhausted!

Barbara De Angelis, gives us MORE food for thought while saying, “If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.”

When was the last time you made time for yourself? When was the last time you said no, and said yes to that nice walk in the sunshine? When was the last time you said no, and slept in or stayed up late to read that juicy novel that took you to unknown places? When was the last time, you took time to reflect, to relax and to relish your accomplishments.

I know I have a hard time, ending the day and letting go. I hear the small voice inside saying, "Just one more chore, one more note, one more call, then... I will slip into the warm bubble bath... That's my promise and obligation to me!

What can you do today to demonstrate your love and appreciation of yourself? When will we put ourselves on our to do list? If you are feeling burnt out, finding it difficult to get up and begin again, I encourage you to rest, slow down and say no more often! When we pause to love and appreciate ourselves, the universe responds with a resounding YES!

Perhaps, tomorrow, I will begin with me at the top of my to-do list... Maybe that would make it easier to Let go and Let God? What do you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Surrounded by Love, Hope, Gratitude and Laughter!



It was a fun filled weekend of family and friends.

A unexpected visit by grandpa and grandma, led to a unexpected visit by my oldest and his soon to be bride.

After a full day of activities, I had everyone pose for pictures, only to find that my memory card was out of my camera and I couldn't load pictures from my internal memory without a cord that I could not find.....



Needless, to say, no one was too happy when I said we'd have to start over. Being used to my antics, they made the most of it and hammed it up all over again.



How lucky I am!! Surrounded by love, hope, gratitude and laughter. What could be better?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Love Bombing, Let it Begin with You and Me!

I have always loved the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi. Quoting from this prayer, I am called to action. "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; and where there is sadness, joy."

In this blog, I am sharing a link and youtube video to get you going on the road to making a big difference with directed acts of kindness. You will learn about a very, very easy and fun way to put this wonderful prayer into action. As Nate says, it starts with us! Nate comes up with wonderful unique ideas each week to bring joy, smiles and delight to unsuspecting souls.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, you can make someone's day very, very special.
Join us in bombing the world with love! Find out how you can be part of the next love bomb, by clicking the change the world logo below and then let the songs begin!





Have fun, be happy and bring joy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

If Mama Ain't Transitioning, Ain't Nobody Transitioning!

My friend, Dr. Carie Rothenbacher, and I presented this lively workshop at a Transition Conference in Pennsylvania this summer and were pleased to see a wide variety of Mamas in attendance! Those in the audience were not only Mamas, but Papas, Educators, Administrators and Rehabilitation Specialists. They were all looking for answers for youth in transition and were craving a bit of fun.

They all wanted to hear the story behind the playful title and Carie and I were happy to tell them all about why it is essential that Mama transition, if she expects her teen to take the next step forward!

If you want to learn more about this workshop or want to get the "Mama" in your life started on her own transition, contact me at 703 371-5682 or email me at Doreen@BelieveinaRayofHope.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grand Parent's Day: Still Fishing for Dreams!


As a dreamer, water lover, and daughter of an avid fisherman, I could not pass up on the opportunity to share this story. I have been thinking of my dad alot today, as it is Grandparent's Day and my dad has been Grand in so many ways! He took me fishing as a little girl, took my children fishing and still has me fishing for my dreams!

It is my hope that my own dad, who has always loved fishing, the ocean and adventure, will see himself in this story and know how much we all appreciate him and the wisdom he has shared. My dad started early in pursuing his dreams.

He left home early, joined the marines early, saw the world early, married and had children early. Growing up, I listened to his stories of adventure and was in awe. I definitely wanted to follow in his footsteps but my courage was not as great. In fact, you might call me timid! In other words, I was SCARED!

My journeys began after college. I married late, had a family late, and found my voice late. As a result, I live with a sense of urgency, today. Being a late blooming flower, I am more committed than ever to live the remainder of my life pursuing my dreams, my passion and my purpose.

Far too often, parents put their dreams on hold, waiting for the "right" time and place to reconnect with their passions and dreams. For far too many, the right time and place never arrives and this breaks my heart. I grieve not only for the person who has stopped pursuing his dream, but for his children. It is my firm belief that children learn by following our actions, not our words. If you are not in action, pursuing your dreams, what are you teaching your children?

Following in my father's footsteps, I hope to give voice to unspoken dreams. I hope to inspire you to find your voice, to connect to your dreams and to call you to action. You see I want company on my journey!

Read Steve Wozniak's story then come back for a call to action!

Angler's amazing feat: 1,000 species of fish and counting

Wozniak exercised his passion and drive to not only accomplish his dream but to inspire others. While I do not know if Wozniak has a wife or children, I do know that his actions have inspired me. When we follow our hearts, others hear the joy and want to join the fun!

Imagine his joy, his energy and enthusiasm for life. While my dream is far from Steve's dream, I, too, have passion, energy and a calling and so do YOU. If I can do it, so can YOU. Let's get going!

Are you still counting the days or relishing the moments?

What can you do today to make your heart sing?

How can you begin to fish for your dreams?

How can you put Grand in your day?

How can you inspire action in your children?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ministry offers respite for special "MAMAs"


The church is in Georgia and yet its message beckons to me like a lighthouse! It is not next door. In fact, it is several states away, yet the light it sheds is bright and provides a beacon of hope for SPECIAL MAMAs EVERYWHERE!

As I reflect on my day and the conversations I have had, I am reminded that "Parenting a teen with special needs is not a sprint, it is a marathon." The road is long and we get so tired. As special Mamas, we need a break, we need a place to breathe, we need time to reflect. Yet, where can we turn? Is there a place nearby that provides a place to rest and lay down our weary souls?

Read more about the special ministry in Georgia and let me know if you know of a similar place? If there is not a place nearby, please read through the questions and begin to ponder!

Ministry offers respite for special needs families

What can we do to ensure that parents and caregivers have a place to let go, to breathe and to reflect?

Where can a parent safely place their children while they take a moment to relax, refresh and reenergize?

What can we do to create an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance for both the parent and the s child/teen with unique challenges?

What can we do to ensure that time away from the family is enjoyable for the child/teen with special needs?

How can we make this unique child/teen feel appreciated?

How can we help this Mama to continue to put one foot in front of the other in search of a brighter tomorrow for herself and her child?

Remember, you are never alone. Someone feels like you. Let's find her and begin to breathe easily.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anniversary Weekend

Anniversaries have been on mind all weekend. I celebrated my 33rd wedding anniversary on Friday, on Saturday, we celebrated the adoption of my two youngest children who joined our family 15 years ago, and now I pause to reflect on Katrina, the devastating hurricane that hit New Orleans five years ago, today.

As I look at each of these anniversaries and seek to connect them all, I realize that we all experience joy, failure, grief and loss and we often reflect on these on anniversaries. As we reflect on our lives, and think back on our joys and pains, let's remember that recovery and readjustment is ongoing. It is never too late, to shift our focus and we are never alone. I believe that we are born to learn and we learn most when we face adversity.

For three more stories of survival, click the survival link.

Going forward, lets look at anniversarys and adversity in a new light. Let us pause, reflect and answer the questions:

What did I have?

What has happened in the interim?

What do I have now?

What did I learn in the process?

Let's focus on the lessons we have learned as we move beyond survival ... Lets focus not only on surviving, but on thriving.

I hope you will pause to reflect, readjust and recover. This is my hope.

What is your hope?

You are Never Alone!

In facing pain, we often shrink within. We see smiling faces, hear laughing voices, and we want to run away and distance ourselves. I can remember a time of great pain in my own life and I remember feeling very much alone. To read my story, go to Believe in a Ray of Hope.

For now, I want to show you how to connect with your heart, your head, and your humanity while avoiding needless suffering. In the video below, Pema Chodron helps you to learn about a simple practice that can help you to transform your pain into compassion. She teaches a simple phrase, that shakes you out of complacency. As of consequence of implementing this practice, our energies are shifted, and we start thinking bigger which benefits not only ourselves but those who are special to us!



May we all open our hearts and minds and remember that "other people feel this." May we all be free of this pain and this sense of isolation! May we always remember to connect with our hearts, our minds, and our humanity. This is my hope.

What are your hopes?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Special Day of Awareness - A Mother Shares Her Struggle and Triumph

Wow, think about getting the answer to one's prayers, in an email, and first thing in the morning. That's what happened to me!

My eyes opened Wide as I read the following email:

IMPORTANT NEWS ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST

"Mother labored to find reason for son's developmental delays"
By Sandra G. Boodman


Click the link below and read the Washington Post article and then come back because I have more to share about the consequences of not getting an early diagnosis. Do you know anyone else who fits this description?

1 in 500 boys have it and they need your help!

Washington Post Article

For years, we have wanted to get the word out and to let the public know about this condition which often goes undiagnosed and untreated while countless suffer. You can imagine my delight and excitement to see the story of a mother and a son who struggled until they got answers. With the diagnosis, came understanding and appropriate care and services. I identified with that mother and son, because I have lived a similar story.

Our son was diagnosed with 47,XXY when he was 11 years old, after struggling for years in school. His language delays were identified early, followed by reading and writing difficulties which then led to acting out and behavioral problems.

When his teacher told me that he was actually regressing in his reading ability in fourth grade, I decided to have him completely evaluated by the medical community. It was then that I learned that he had an extra X chromosome, 47,XXY – a critical fact that had been repeatedly overlooked by doctors and educators despite our years of searching for the cause of his challenges.

Sadly, our experience is all too common. Over the years, we have gone in many directions looking for help for our son. Even at very good private schools designed for children with learning and emotional disabilities, our son presented more challenges than the staff was equipped to handle. Our struggles and his frustration have been extremely challenging and at times, we were tempted to throw up our hands in despair.

Since getting this diagnosis, he has seen several great doctors and has had some great teachers, but as hard as we have all tried, he never seemed to have access to all of them at the same time. As a result, services for most of his life have been fragmented, his self esteem has suffered, and he still struggles academically. Our son is now 18 and we have finally succeeded in assembling a great support system of school and medical personnel and we consider this to be one of our greatest accomplishments.

Not all young men with XXY are so lucky. Many are still mislabeled, misjudged and left without much needed services. Most are never tested to rule out genetic abnormalities and are simply mislabeled as ADHD, ADD, lazy, or as loners or troublemakers in school (which is incredibly sad because they are often uncommonly sensitive and caring for others when properly diagnosed and treated.)

Many of these boys need specialized educational services and benefit from testosterone supplementation as their bodies generally do not create enough of this hormone, which often leads to fatigue, moodiness, and a lack of focus.

Many doctors and educators are largely unaware of this very common genetic variation and its social implications. Raising awareness of this genetic abnormality in publications such as yours will increase the possibility that these boys will be tested and given appropriate services early on to avoid needless years of struggle and frustration, strengthening these boys to take their rightful place in our society.

It is my hope that with more public awareness, that parents will get the help and support that they need for their sons who often struggle to read, to write and to fit into traditional classrooms. It is my hope that increased awareness of 47,XXY will lead to a recognition of symptoms, testing, proper diagnosis, and attract research dollars and more effective treatment which could mean the difference between success and failure for our boys with an extra X chromosome.

If you know of anyone who fits the description above, please feel free to contact me or the KS&A organization directly. There is much to share and much to learn. Let's do it together!

With higher hopes for tomorrow because of a story shared today,

Doreen

Friday, August 20, 2010

Connor Doran Flys High as Mom Stands By!

"Children with special needs don't have an illness, so there is no cure and it's not contagious. They want what we all want - to be accepted." My friend, Brenda Nyland Baker had copied these words down after reading them somewhere. She shared the idea with me in honor of Special Needs Week. It had resonated with her and when she shared it with me, it struck a cord, and touched my heart. Brenda and I share many memories and many similar thoughts. Somethings are so good, they must be shared!

Brenda helped me to bring my two youngest children home from an orphanage in Latvia 15 years ago and my life has been enriched beyond measure. While I have been raising my children and looking for answers, Brenda has placed over 1,600 kids into the loving arms of parents who desperately wanted them.

Like me, Brenda knows first-hand what it is like to have a child with special needs and to see that child struggling for acceptance. That child wants acceptance more than anything and it’s a joy to see acceptance in motion. That very idea inspired me to share yet another discovery with you.

Did you watch America's Got Talent last Wednesday night? If you saw the beaming smile of Connor Doran as he was applauded on the stage, your heart must have melted as you saw him enjoy full acceptance.

As I watched his mom enjoy his moment in the spotlight, my eyes filled with tears of joy and recognition. Truly, this is every Mom’s dream… to see her child be recognized and appreciated for his gifts.

We are more alike than we realize and we all have gifts that need recognition and appreciation.

Watch Connor now and see your spirits soar!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Day of Nope Leads to a Ray of Hope

It is better to Believe in a Ray of Hope, than to curse the Day of Nope!

What is a Day of Nope?

It is a day you have heard no, one too many times. It is a day of struggle and disappointment.

How do you cope with the word Nope? Does it mean no, without a doubt? Does it mean no, not a chance? Or does it mean I need to be more creative?

How can I see the word Nope as Hope? How can I change my focus, shift gears and change Nope into Maybe? With a little more thought and Hope, I see Nope as a call to action.

How can I change Nope into Yes? In my struggle, I must figure out a way to learn from my lesson and make it a win/win situation for us all. It sounds like food for thought and a call for not only thought but for action.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!" How will you turn your no into yes?

How will you turn your Day of Nope into a Day of Hope?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do You Want a Compromised Life?

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” Robert Fritz

Do you want a compromised life? Do you want to simply go through the motions and take what is reasonable?

If not, commit yourself to making your dreams come true and to connecting to what you really want. In making dreams come true, there is no compromise. If you know what you want, you are well on your way to manifesting your desire.

Now make room for the manifestation of that desire! Start by saying NO to activities that no longer excite you. Focus on what that desire means to you and why you want tomorrow to be different. Free up time to do those things that make your heart sing! Make time for reflection and be ready to take action tomorrow and everyday to make your dreams come true.

Starting tonight,

1. Review your day and reflect on how you want to make tomorrow different.
2. Jot down 3 things you want to do tomorrow to move toward your dream.
3. Do these 3 things tomorrow, no excuses, no compromises!

Tomorrow night, repeat the process above and say, I am committed, I am worthy, my dreams count and I deserve it. Do this for two weeks and let me know how far you get. I believe you will be well on your way to loving life and I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, August 16, 2010

After the Disbelief, Frustration and Anger....You face Isolation or Another Choice!

In parenting a child with a disability you face a major choice.

You can choose to adopt limiting beliefs and believe that your child's condition is the death of your dreams...

or

You can choose to adopt empowering beliefs and believe that your child's condition requires bigger and grander dreams...

Your Choice!

Based on personal experience, I know that parents, like me, who chose to let their dreams die based on their limiting beliefs, often become frustrated, angry and ultimately isolated. Not only were my dreams drifting away, but my life lacked lustre.

After many frustrating uphill battles and many bitter disappointments, I realized that I was not winning the war I was fighting and my child was not benefitting from my efforts. We were both, slowly sinking into an even greater hole.

It was at this point, that I decided to make another choice. I decided to switch gears and joined the group of Parents who chose to dream bigger. Sure, I faced bigger challenges and sometimes, I just cried! When I hit bottom, I confronted my values and my commitment was renewed.

Over time, I grew stronger, more confident and more connected. With greater trust in myself and others, and a focus on win-win, I found myself more willing to share my experience and to reach out to others who may find themselves frustrated, angry and isolated.

Today, my mission is to give voice to the unspoken dreams.

Will you join me on Facebook in the support group for parents and educators? Together, we can combat isolation and give voice to those unspoken dreams.

Go to: Believe in a Ray of Hope on Facebook and add your voice and support to the dreams of parents and educators everywhere. Tell others about the hope and encouragement that waits for them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our Actions Cause Reactions!

Did you ever notice how powerful our choices are? Our choices and resulting actions bring forth reactions. Cheryl Richardson reminds me in her wisdom cards, that I need to make my choices wisely!

There is only so much time in the day...only so much time on the weekends... How do I want to spend my time? While choosing to write this blog post, am I freeing myself or tying myself down? What goes undone? What must I do first to ensure my day works the way I want it work?

These are the choices that confront me and these choices will impact my day and those around me.

The day began with reading a blog post... Maria Andros reminds me that the way I choose to make my money, grow spiritually, heal emotionally and become healthy will impact the other areas of my life. If I experience success in one, the other areas are also influenced.

In the words of Cheryl Richardson, "Choose Wisely!" In the words of Doreen Fulton, "Think Win, Win and Believe in Yourself and Hope For the Best!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Dad, My First Hero!

As we approach Memorial Day, my thoughts turn to the special veterans in my life. I think of my Dad who was my first hero and who taught me what it meant to be a Tender Warrior. As I got older, I looked and found another Tender Warrior. We have been married for over 30 years.

This book shares many lessons I learned while growing up with men and women who served with dedication, strength and courage.

Enjoy the short movie below and then find a veteran and share your gratitude!

"A Tender Warrior" shares 5 Leadership Letters from the life of LT. General Hal Moore. His and his soldier’s story is the basis for the movie We Were Soldiers. Take a few minutes to watch this story of strength and dedication. The book includes his letters, photographs and the gift of Hal Moore's example of a life of service and leadership. It is a special way to honor, show appreciation and thank those who have served their country.


A Tender Warrior

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paying Tribute to Our Teachers and Mentors

Many of us can recall a teacher who inspired us to make the most of our strengths and encouraged us to overcome our weaknesses. As the end of the school year rushes closer, remember to thank the teachers and mentors in your life for all of their efforts. Enjoy this 3 minute movie that captures the essence of The Heart of a Teacher.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Adding More Joy to Your Life!

Life can be challenging but happiness is simple. At times we try our best to make it complicated but if we look closely, happiness is really very simple. The inspirational movie, Finding Joy, is a gentle reminder of what is most important in life. Enjoy the encouraging quotes, breathtaking photography and beautiful music! It will put a smile in your heart!





What brings you joy?

What can you do today, right now, to put a smile in your heart?

I encourage you to find a way to add more of this activity into your life!

Enjoy your weekend! Let it be JOYFUL!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blessings! Reflect to Recharge!

I love reflecting on all the good things in my life.... My family, my friends, my home, my work and my challenges. These good things strengthen me, make me bounce back and continue on my journey.

When I stop to reflect and recharge, I am often driven to action. Feeling not only blessed and energized, I can then focus on what stills needs to be done. With this short break for relection, I am recharged, filled with a new sense of urgency and find that I accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.

Sometimes, we just need a jump start and often this jump start, begins with a break! With gratitude and appreciation, I encourage you to take a break and watch this short movie. It just may be what the "doctor in you" needs to reflect on to recharge.

The book and movie, "May you Be Blessed," is about joy, gratitude, appreciation, kindness and love. Allow it to rekindle your inner light and then consider blessing someone else by sharing it with them.



What action will you take today to energize you?

“May you be blessed and may others be blessed by you.”

With Love and Blessings,

Doreen

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Anything is Possible with Belief and Support!

I have been blessed with a wonderful family and fantastic friends. In hard times, they have encouraged and helped me get up. In good times, I have heard their cheers in celebration. In victory or defeat, I have been blessed with the love and support of others, making my success sweeter and my defeat only temporary.

When I was only a little girl, I remember my Dad told me that I could do anything I wanted to do. Being a trusting daughter, I believed him and pursued my dreams. When I got left behind or knocked down, I remember him telling me to get up and try again.

He had faced his own disappointments, shared his own stories and challenges and thus inspired me. The scenes were varied, and in his stories, he was often described as the underdog, the runt of the brood, yet he was brave and always sprung back into action! Following his lead, I got through algebra and geometry. Neither of us were going to give up until those problems were solved.

When I think on my childhood, I see my mother and I, hand in hand. I remember my Mom beside me in all my early ventures and I knew I had a powerful supporter next to me. I walked straighter and taller as a result.

These two influenced me and helped me gain the confidence and courage that would serve me in countless challenges. When I faced new experiences, I would often envision their faces, hear their voices, and know what I needed to do next.

They served as powerful role models. They encouraged me dream, provided support, and promoted action in the face of fear.

Their influence continue to inspire me. I realize that I was able to accomplish and bounce back up because I was given belief and support.

Now, when facing a challenge, I ask:

What needs to be done?

Why is this important?

What can I do today to improve the situation and move forward?

Who can help me?

Who can I support?

How can we celebrate?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Leadership and You!

Do you have a willing heart, a positive attitude, and a desire to make a difference? If so, you are like many parents, educators, and advocates I know. You wake up everyday and after a good night's sleep, you are ready, to move forward and take on both new and persistent challenges.

Unfortunately, many of you were not able to get that good night's sleep. You tossed and turned and searched for answers. Before you knew it, it was 7 am and you were being asked to step it up a notch! At such times, it is normal to demand the same of the young people in our lives and it normal to encounter resistance!

I know how hard it is to make a dent in the many challenges before us. Many times, we are tempted to give up and throw up our hands up in despair. At such times, we need to remember our own strengths and to "find and to tend to our own gardens," as Nelson Mandela has advised. We need to pause and reflect.

In reflecting you are being asked to remember that you have what it takes to become a great leader and to make a difference in the lives of those young people who are determined to do it their way! You and all great leaders need to spend some time alone and to take in a bit of inspiration every now and then. Afterall, leadership is a marathon, not a sprint!

I started this blog and developed my website to empower parents, educators and advocates who wish to inspire youth with learning differences to step up and stand out. I focus attention on these parents, teachers and advocates, knowing that when they become active and engaged in pursuing their own dreams, young people are eager to follow in their footsteps.

I learned through my own failures, that the key to becoming an effective leader is not to focus on making other people follow, but on making yourself the kind of person they want to follow. You must become someone others can trust to take them where they want to go.

If you are needing a bit of inspiration, right now, please click on the link below and reflect.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mom, She's Solid as a Rock!

Rose Gray, my mom, was a force to be reckoned with. She stood tall and was no shrinking violet when it came to raising my sister, brother and I. She was opininated and passionate. She loved to dance and sing and delighted in being a Mom. She shared our joys and sorrows and was quick to offer encouragement and to help us learn from our mistakes. We always knew what to expect and we could count on her for unconditional love through our trials and tribulations.

She had high hopes, dreamed, planned and took action with vigor. When she came into a room, you noticed a woman who was sure footed. She walked with confidence, with a smile on her face and you knew almost immediately that her family was very important to her. She knew where she was going and what was next on her agenda. Not only was my Mom, solid as a Rock, she modeled rock solid leadership.

When, I came upon this book and movie, I remembered my Mom and the legacy she left me. She led by example and was a great role model.

Rock Solid Leadership is a beautifully designed book and movie with great stories to engage your mind and your heart. These stories offer insights and inspiration on ten principles of leadership that include long term vision, discipline, and enthusiasm.

Enjoy this 3 minute movie and be inspired to be your best, like my Mom!




What will your children remember about you? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Shot of Inspiration to Get Into Action!

Do you hear a whisper from within? Are you looking to move your dreams forward? Do you need a shot of inspiration, to get into action? If so, I have a special treat for you!

I know I like to be inspired, before I get into action and this short movie, provides not only inspiration but validation. Please view Dreams Are Whispers from the Soul and consider getting this book which is written by my Dream University teacher, Marcia Wieder to keep you moving forward.

Many of you know that I am Certified Dream Coach® and attended Dream University in 2008. In attending this course, I fulfilled a long held dream. I have followed Marcia Wieder's work for years, and it was a great treat to finally meet and work with her in the last year. Marcia is widely known as America's Dream Coach, has appeared on Oprah a few times and is Jack Canfield's personal coach.

I have been applying Marcia's work in Transition Coaching for several years and have witnessed many transfomed lives as a result. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Marcia and was delighted to see that she highlighted many key concepts in this book. In her book, Marcia will show you how to turn your dreams into reality with real life stories, motivational quotes and beautiful photography.

Enjoy this 3 minute movie to get you started today on realizing your dreams!



My colleague and dear friend Dr. Carie Rotherbacher and I are currently offering Transition Quest, A Visioning Course for Parents, Educators and Advocates, utilizing Marcia's formula. We will be presenting an Introduction to Visioning for Resilience and Colaboration in Roanoke, VA in March.

Please go to my website at http://believeinarayofhope.com/to learn more about upcoming training events.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Go Out, Go In, to Find Your Strength!

How do you get through tough times? The Best Way Out is Through movie is a wonderful dose of inspiration to get through challenging times and envision triumph. Take a few minutes to enjoy this message of perseverance that is filled with encouragement and inspiration to stay motivated to make 2010 the best year yet! Enjoy watching and then come back to the blog. I want to share one more tip that has helped me to get back in motion!




Our Thoughts Create our Feelings! Change your thoughts, and the world looks different!


Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and think of the best thing that has happened to you this week. Where were you and what were you doing? Think about why it is so special to you.


Open your eyes and feel your energy rising. Continue to build on these positive thoughts and before you know it, not only will you be feeling better, you will be on your path to greater satisfaction.


What idea from the movie is still with you? What idea will you use when your resilience is tested next?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Quotes and Notes: Regrets and Resiliency


Over the holidays, my daughter, Sandra, came home from her first semester at college and we shared many precious moments together. We experienced the Blizzard of 2009 and found time to reconnect and do some sledding as you can see in the attached picture.

At night, we often shared space on the couch in the family room. During this quiet time, I was often curled up with a book while she was busy interacting on Facebook. I noticed her fascination with quotes and on breaks, we would often discuss those she found most meaningful.

Since I also enjoy quotes, I suggested that we keep in touch when she returned to college, with both quotes and notes via email. In the last couple of weeks, we have been exchanging emails and staying connected on a regular basis which is comforting to both of us.

Yesterday, was a challenging day for me and it was tough on many levels. You know how you can be on top of your game, feel like you are making real progress, and suddenly hear some disappointing news. Suddenly, you are not so sure and your confidence erodes. Your sleep can be disrupted and the day following is less productive than days gone by. Well, I know, first hand how this can be, since yesterday and today played out very much as described.

Today, I waited as an automated message played over and over for more than 10 minutes. I tried to be patient as I waited to be connected to a live person. When it was answered, I encountered a rude customer service representative who ultimately hung up on me before answering my question. My response was less than exemplary. My calm disolved and my anger erupted as I demanded to be connected with her supervisor. I fussed and fumed and felt my tension barometer going up as the minutes passed. I had failed miserably once again!

As I sat down at the computer, to check on messages, I realized that my daughter had sent me a special quote and note.

Suddenly, my afternoon was brighter, my mood was better and I rebounded with renewed enthusiasm. It encouraged me to write back. This is what I said:

Dear Sandra,

Thank you for sharing your love, quote and note with me. Here is the quote that came to mind, as I thought about the fine young woman you have become and the path you are on.

Quote:
"As we grow older, it's not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do." Author Unknown

Note:
I have been thinking about love, regrets, results, and resiliency. I think we grow most, by stretching ourselves and pursuing what we love! In reaching for the goal, we may succeed or stumble. In the long run, I realize that we succeed even when fail. The lesson is visible and can be applied to even greater success. When we get back up and apply the lesson learned, we win. Our growth is stunted when we fail to apply the lesson and fail to try new things that make our heart sing.

"Today, Dare to Dream, Work to Win, Take a Risk, Always Reach Out in Love and Your Wishes Will Come True."

D/mom


As I finished writing her back, I realized that receiving and sending these quotes and notes, were helping me to bounce back with renewed energy and commitment. When I was connecting, giving back, providing support, and sharing lessons learned, I became optimistic and resilient once again. Sure, I had my regrets, I had slipped and fell and I did not reach out in love to the customer service rep, but with with this simple connection to my daughter, I jumped back up and vowed to try again to do better next time.

If I can bounce back, I know you can too! What practice can you put into place to help you stay connected, inspired and on track when life throws you a curve?