Another way to meditate

b7f8c554b69c1c9a33e783d6c957ddbfIf you’ve been thinking about meditating, but haven’t started or if you are a looking for a way to bring more gratitude into your life, please check out this free gratitude film series by famed  director, producer, and cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg.

The Mentors Channel 21 Days of Gratitude series begins November 4th, and may be the best holiday gift you give yourself – and it’s free. By the time the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, you will be relaxed and ready to embrace the festivities from a brand new perspective.

Click here to enjoy one of the wonderful videos the series offers. It begins with a sweet message and is 6 minutes of pure pleasure and the perfect way to immerse yourself in feelings of gratitude. The series is designed to be enjoyed with your eyes open or closed, so it is perfect for meditating and gratitude newbies and a refreshing change for those comfortable with the practices.

For more information on this free series, click here. I’m sharing this information because I’m grateful it is available! Please take a moment to do the same with your friends and family via email or Facebook. Everyone can use a bit  of tranquility at this time of year!

Here’s more about the series from the Mentor Channel:

Embark on a never before traveled, journey into gratitude, through extraordinary audio and stunning video presentations . Listen to inspirational thoughts from our narrator and twenty one pre-eminent mentors, leading minds of industry, science, entertainment and spiritually. Keep your eyes open, as you enjoy dazzling images of nature that transport you to a magical place, or, with eyes closed, allow haunting melodies take you to a quiet place within . . .
  • An unorthodox, reliable way for anyone to meditate
  • Audio meditations enhanced with extraordinary visuals
  • Golden nuggets from world renowned mentors
  • Learn how to enhance every aspect of your life with gratitude
  • Heal and/or strengthen family bonds through gratitude
  • Discover your unique place in the universe
  • Begin to appreciate nature in a whole new way
  • Turn your dreams and desires into reality through the practice of gratitude

Enjoy! And remember to share the series with your family and friends.

Changing the world, one t-shirt at a time

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My BFF Marci and her friend Tricia are creating the lives they  really want – for themselves and girls all over the world! Wishful Thinking Works presented their first mother-daughter workshop, which was great fun. Look forward to doing more!

DOING IT WITH MIRRORS

Local ‘mompreneurs’ bent on making young girls believe in themselves

By Lauren Sable Freiman

The little girl that Tricia Price sent off to kindergarten was confident, secure, and comfortable in her skin. But as the year went on, Price observed that her daughter’s confidence was beginning to waver.

“You tell your children how beautiful they are and how smart they are, and then they go out into the world and people tell them differently,” Price says.

That disheartening realization sparked a conversation between Price and her long-time supervisor and confidant Marci Hower — a conversation that ended with the decision to dive in together and become “mompreneurs.”

“I can’t be with my daughter all day every day, but how great would it be for her to pass her reflection in the mirror and be reminded of how wonderful she is,” Price says. “I told Marci about the idea, and we decided to start a business.”

That business is Reflect Who I Am. After several years of planning and conversation, the business officially launched in July of 2012. Reflect Who I Am sells mirror-image T-shirts for girls and women, so when they pass their reflection in the mirror, they are reminded of their value by the phrase on their shirt. Current designs include “I am beautiful,” “I am unique,” “I am fearless,” and “I am loved.” The company plans to launch four additional designs and messages before the winter holiday season.

“We had a message that we knew was important and a product that we loved,” Hower says. “This ignited the passion to get our message heard and gave us the confidence to launch the business. We did not set out to be entrepreneurs as much as wanting to encourage every young girl to love who she sees in the mirror.”

According to Price and Hower, their business venture is much more than a money-making operation, and the company is much more than a typical T-shirt company. It’s an opportunity to have a real impact on the lives of girls everywhere — an opportunity that, as mothers, they take very seriously. Last spring Reflect Who I Am hosted its first mother-daughter workshop, an afternoon designed to help girls celebrate who they are while boosting self-esteem. Because of the success of the first workshop, additional workshops are in the works. The company’s website also features a blog that is directed toward parents, group leaders, and educators, with information on how to create self esteem in young girls.

“We have a product that we hope can encourage young girls to love who they are and help boost their self-esteem,” Price says. “Our hope is that every girl loves who she sees in the mirror both inside and out. It’s not just a product but a mission.”

Attention from mommy bloggers and local media has helped the company gain exposure, and in 2013 Price and Hower hope to grow their business beyond their website and establish a presence in retail stores.

They’ve been fortunate to work with the accelerator group of Entrepreneurs Organization, an experience that has proven invaluable for the start-up.

“They have an intensive program that helps guide young companies to grow in a smart way,” Hower says. “The group gives the education, mentorship, network, and drive that young companies need to take it to the next level.”

“We have a product that we hope can encourage young girls to love who they are and help boost their self esteem.”

After many years of working for other people, Hower and Price are enjoying the newfound flexibility that comes with owning their own business. As they both have young children with busy schedules, the flexibility is imperative, as is the ability to play off each other’s strengths and skills.

“It is always about balance, and the balance always changes each and every day,” Hower says. “What works one day, doesn’t necessarily work the next day. Luckily, Tricia and I have the same family values, and we place priorities on similar things. Prioritization is a key to maintaining our balance. In the end it has to get done, we have the flexibility to determine when it gets done and in what priority. Having a partner certainly helps, because when one of us can’t get to it, the other one always seems to be available.”

For more information: reflectwhoiam.com

This article was reprinted in full from CBC, Cleveland Business Connection, a Cleveland, Ohio business magazine.

I Am Malala

Each year around Anne Frank’s birthday in June, I write about her honesty, her insight, her bravery, and the impact of her words.

MalalaI now have another young female hero, Malala Yousafzai. Please know that no matter what words I use to describe Malala, her actions, or the impact they have had on the world and my heart, my words will never fully portray how listening to her made me feel.

Malala’s quest for education for girls in Pakistan and her bravery in pursuing her quest against the actions of the Taliban culminated in her being brutally shot in the head and neck by a member of the Taliban while returning home on a school bus. She was 14. Two other girls were also seriously wounded in the attack.

Malala’s interview with Jon Stewart made me feel proud of humanity, embarrassed about the opportunities I have ignored throughout my life to speak up at all costs on issues I care about, and joyful that Malala is on this earth and remains so to inspire us. Again, my words are a poor substitute for how she made me feel.

I plan to read her book, “I Am Malala” and to listen to this and other interviews again and again. Her story is not just about the actions of the Taliban or living in Pakistan, but rather it is about any group, government, or individual who denies others the right to think for themselves or to be physically and intellectually free.

When you listen to Malala and hear the joy she carries with her – despite everything she has faced – please let her joy be a reminder that happiness is always a choice.

There are many articles about Malala on the Internet, the information below is from Wikipedia:

Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ‎ [mə ˈlaː lə . ju səf ˈzəj];[1] Urdu: ملالہ یوسف زئی‎ Malālah Yūsafzay, born 12 July 1997)[2] is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu.
On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father.
The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. Deutsche Welle wrote in January 2013 that Malala may have become “the most famous teenager in the world.”[3] United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a UN petition in Yousafzai’s name, using the slogan “I am Malala” and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill.[4] In the 29 April 2013 issue of Time magazine, Yousafzai was featured on the magazine’s front cover and as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”. She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize (although Malala was widely tipped to win the prize,[5] it was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). On 12 July 2013, Yousafzai spoke at the UN to call for worldwide access to education, and in September 2013 she officially opened the Library of Birmingham.[6] Yousafzai is the recipient of the Sakharov Prize for 2013. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malala_Yousafzai

The actions and words of thousands of brave individuals have changed our world for the better. I believe their stories can inspire us change our worlds and to create the life we really want. The key is to figure out what matters most to you and focus on that, which takes grit.

We’ll be talking more about grit in next week’s post. Until then, I hope you can find some time to listen to Malala.

That’s it for now, have a great week.

Look for the butterflies . . .

Reposted from the cropped-cropped-the-parker-five-cover-cw1

Butterflies

October 3, 2013 · by · Bookmark the permalink. ·

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Last spring, Emilie was given a live butterfly garden kit for free at a yard sale.  She lovingly stared at the box the whole way home talking and talking about how she was finally going to have a real butterfly for a pet!  I tried to explain that once the butterfly came out of its chrysalis, that she would have to set it free.  Emilie shrugged off my pessimistic comment and continued to explain why her butterfly would be different.  She would love and care for her butterfly so well, that it couldn’t possibly leave her.  I smiled and then rolled my eye’s.
Weeks passed and we watched her science project come to life in the hanging basket strung up in the corner of her room.  Everyday we would peek in and look to see if there were any changes yet.  Then finally, one morning, the first butterfly had emerged!  In a few days, the rest of them would be ready and we would have to let the butterflies go free.  While we all excitedly talked about the upcoming liberation, I could see the disappointment in Emilie’s eyes.  When I asked her if everything was okay and she just shrug her shoulders and walked away.
The day finally came to let the butterflies free and the whole family gathered in front of the house to watch.  On my way out, Emilie quietly pulled me aside and asked, “Do you think at least one butterfly will sit on my finger before it flies away?”.  I sheepishly smiled at her, not wanting to get her hopes up and simply said that I had never seen that happen before, but you never know!
The girls all gathered around the basket and Emilie began to unzip the lid and pull it back to let the butterflies out.  One by one each of the butterflies flew up into the sky and fluttered around the yard. Madeline and Samantha were ecstatic and screaming with excitement.  Emilie, on the other hand, looked disappointed.  She leaned up against her bike with a flat expression on her face.  I knew she was sad that none of the butterflies had landed on her finger.

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I miss Em a lot lately.  I miss everything about her sweet beautiful face smiling up at me.  It is sometimes hard to understand why I don’t still have my little butterfly.  There are days when my face I am sure looks a lot like Emilie’s did the day we let her butterflies go.  I want her to be with me.  I want to hold her and listen to her constant talking.  I pray for help, strength and patience to endure the longing my heart feels for my little girl.
Last week, I was having a particularly hard day.  School was over and it was so beautiful outside, that we decided to play in the backyard for a bit.  Madeline and Samantha both jumped on the swings and I sat down on the grass to watch.  A few minutes later, Madeline leaped off the swing and came running towards me pointing into the air and shouting for me to look up.  A large beautiful butterfly was flying by and softly landed on the ground in front of me.  It was gorgeous!
Madeline bent down to get a closer look and said, “Mom, I think I want to hold it.”  And I automatically responded, “Madeline, butterflies don’t really like…” My eye’s widened and my heart stopped as I watched this beautiful butterfly walk right onto Madeline’s open hand.  I couldn’t believe it.  I truly had never seen something like that before.   In that moment, I could feel my body being filled with love and happiness.  I could feel her, my baby with me.  It was wonderful.  Madeline held the butterfly up to her face to get a closer view and then smiled up at me with excitement.    She then turned to Samantha and asked if she wanted a turn too.  Samantha excitedly held her hand next to Madeline’s and I watched in shock as the butterfly was passed easily over onto her hand.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  It was amazing!  A few moments later, the butterfly flew away and I was left catching my breath wondering if what I just saw really had happened at all.
Again, it was wonderful.  It was… a good day.
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Please note . . . The Parker’s lost their daughter, Emilie Parker, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. I first saw this post on Huff Post Parents. To follow or read the Parker’s blog, click here.

Picture yourself succeeding

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Focus

Via my friend Lynn, a wonderful reminder . . .

“Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind, a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.  Your mind will seek to develop the picture.”   Normal Vincent Peale

It’s not just about envisioning what you want; it’s about the way our brains work. Our brains help us move toward what we focus on most often.

Why not consciously focus on your dreams? 

Just think how wonderful it would be to predict better for yourself, than to spend your time worrying.

It can’t hurt, and it feels so much better!

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