A message from Viviana

How many times have I said that there is so much going on behind the scenes that we can’t see, to help us accomplish the things we were put here to do, and to become the people we were meant to become?

I love when people write me letters. I read every one of them. They keep me going sometimes, when I might be having a rough day. I also know that when I share them with others, it can help other people around the world have a better day, too.

I’m sure this letter will be no different. Pay particular attention to the date stamps of each of the following incidents.

Viviana writes:

Hello Leslie,

I absolutely love your amazing contribution.  I felt strongly that I needed to write to you after reading the Jackrabbit Factor 2 years ago.  Last year I read Portal to Genius and Hidden Treasures and on Oct.15th, 2016 I ended my journal entry with: “Bottom line: WRITE TO LESLIE”

Exactly a year to the date, Oct 15th 2017, you made it easier when you offered access to your ecourse [to a small focus group] in exchange for feedback… [Well,] I got A LOT of feedback for you.  So much in fact, that I don’t know where to begin.  Just for today, while I try to gather my thoughts and put them into words, I’d like to share with you my journal entry about last Sunday night.  In the meantime, know that I am literally THRILLED with your books, your articles, your podcast, your insights, etc.  I feel extreme resonance with all of it. I just wanted to send this quick note before the day was over.  When you read my journal entry below you’ll understand why.

Journal entry

Sunday night while my son read Narnia to me, I had my computer without volume so I could listen to him. As he read I looked at my email see if I had any new mail from Leslie Householder.  I love her inspiring messages and reading them is a treat I give to myself.  I didn’t think she would have any new posts since she had just posted the day before. But for some reason as I went to her website, the words: “Follow me on Facebook” stood out to me.  I am pretty sure she has that on every single article.  Have I not gone to her Facebook before?  I know I hardly ever even open my own Facebook. But I thought, since there is no new article on her website, maybe I’ll find something I missed in her Facebook.  I logged in, went to her page, and as I glanced at the images while still nodding as my son read out loud his book, I saw that the Facebook posts were the same as the podcasts, which I have already listened to.  I am scrolling rather fast sort of thinking “I’ve read all this already”.  My attention was mostly focused on listening to the story my boy was reading to me, when I noticed my name being displayed on the screen. “Vivian, come on” “You can do this” “Come on honey…”

I got startled! What on earth??!! Is Leslie Chatting with me? Does Facebook show you when someone is on your page? Does Facebook work like those dating sites that when you view someones profile a chat box appears and they are communicating with you?  I don’t like those, since for some reason it takes me a while to put thoughts into words. The chat feels like too much pressure. I did get an email a few days ago from Leslie asking “Did you receive my gift?” But I figured it was one of those automated template responses. Was I supposed to give feedback now instead of at the end of the 8 weeks? All these thoughts just flashed through my head in a fraction of a second. Then I realized the words appearing on my screen were the caption to the video that was playing (since I had the volume off). So I clicked on it, and it was a man talking about God always leaving a gap for us to jump to him (leap of faith) So the speaker compared it to his daughter “Vivian” standing at the edge of the pool as he encourages her to take the jump, close the gap. Then it asked: Is God asking you to jump?

I loved the concept. And then I thought, “Who names their daughter Vivian now days???” I have felt I needed to write to Leslie, specially after reading her “Genius” book.  I even remember writing in my journal: “Bottom line, WRITE TO LESLIE.” That was a year ago…and now…I see my name…on HER Facebook, saying “Viviana, come on.”

I thought that was more than a coincidence. I’ve always FELT I should write to her, but now I even feel as if I am supposed to.  It’s as if God is reassuring me to follow through with it.  I mean, I was definitely going to write at the end of the 8 weeks to give feedback about her program. As I was thinking about this I glanced at the Facebook page again and noticed the video was released on April 13th. WHAT????!!!!!!! I don’t know what opened wider, if my eyes or my jaw, which dropped in astonishment.  This video, saying “Viviana, come on” on Leslie’s Facebook, was released on April 13th, which is…my birthday! WOW…this is soooo weird….

So I thought, “Ok, OK, Lord,  I’ll write, I would LOVE to write, but it is practically midnight now, and whenever I even think about communicating with Leslie I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that tidal waves come out of my eyes, and Heavenly Father, you know when I cry my eyes get puffy, and I have to go to school tomorrow…I can’t show up puffy to school and scare the kids…BUT…this Thursday… I start the Thanksgiving brake, so on Thursday I can write her  (and cry) to my hearts content 🙂

I was sooo excited about the “synchronicity”. I explained to my boy what happened. Just a few hours prior, we had family Home Evening and he had given the lesson about the Holy Ghost. So I was very grateful that he was there with me to witness as this guidance happened so he could experience it with his own eyes. We turned the lights off and I said the night time prayer: “Thank Thee Heavenly Father for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and for the little secret messages to point us in the direction we should go. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”  And my boy says:

“Little? Secret? They aren’t secret and they are definitely not little.”

Wow, I was sooo touched that my 11 year old boy could actually perceive it that way.

Before I started writing all this, my anti-virus program popped this message on my screen: “Don’t let your support expire.”

Then I switch to the internet and I had many tabs open.  The one displayed was one of Leslie’s articles which I had been reading a couple of days before.  It said in huge bold letters: What would happen if you don’t respond today?”

And I thought:  “I am responding today.  I AM responding today. I got the message.  Point taken already!”  🙂

___

Shortly after she reached out to me and we connected, she realized that the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse (she was already in) and the Mindset Mastery Program were two DIFFERENT courses. She wrote:

Because I had already read all your books, articles, and listened to the podcasts… I thought: ‘I know my thoughts affect my reality, but I need a system to keep my thoughts on track…’ It wasn’t until 2 weeks into the [Fundamentals Ecourse] that I noticed an email from you which showed the Mindset Fundamentals and the Mindset Mastery SIDE BY SIDE! It was only THEN that I finally noticed they are TWO different programs. Immediately I purchased the Mindset MASTERY and I was delighted to see a workbook, questions, accountability check, journal, etc. YES! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Viviana

And then a few weeks later she shared part of her experience (to that point) in the Mastery Program, which reveals a very important and powerful principle that I want to share with the world! She wrote:

TRANSFORMATION JOURNAL

12/4/17

I watch the stickman video. My first thought was: I’ve already seen this. Then it got to the number patterns game. Again, I already know the pattern, but I did it anyway. I got up to 21. Then Leslie reveals that there are 4 quadrants, which I already knew. The lines defining the quadrants remained on the screen and I did it again. I did exactly… DOUBLE. Got up to 42, and it would have been more if I had not gotten stuck on 15 for a while. LOL

But what I LOVED about this little experiment is that even though I ALREADY knew about the pattern, having the lines on the screen STILL gave me DOUBLE the results. One of the issues I keep facing since the first time I came across “Thoughts Alive” is that I already know the information. It started when I was a kid when I read “the Silva Method.” Since then, several books, “long plays”, videos, tapes, movies, etc. have in mysterious ways found their way to me throughout the years. So what I am thinking now is: even though I already knew the pattern, I got DOUBLE the results when the grids were on the screen. So what if…even though I already know the laws of thought, about visualization, gratitude, act as if, etc…

…what if just having “the lines” (the program from Leslie) I simply get DOUBLE the results I am currently getting?

Hmmm… And the most amazing thing is that the improvement was INSTANT. I didn’t have to practice for a week. I am very visual. Those two lines across the screen gave me DOUBLE the results IMMEDIATELY! Wow.

As I continued watching the video, I loved the analogy of the math sum: Hard to do in your head, but super simple when writing the symbols down. I remember seeing the stickman figure on the video a couple of years ago, and I couldn’t see what was so great about it. Yes there is the conscious and the subconscious and the body. But were the rest of the stickman figures not on the video I saw 2 years ago?

I believe just the rest of the stick figures ALONE, will be the grid on the screen that will instantly DOUBLE my results. What would it be like to instantly have Double the time, double the ideas, double the faith, double the wisdom, double the health habits? hmmm…things can add up exponentially pretty rapidly. Of course there is a gestation period for certain things to blossom physically, but the exhilaration is instant.

The thrill is in the journey.

Well, that is my observation of my first week doing the Mindset Mastery program. That is what my BRAIN has observed.

However, my greatest excitement in doing this program is the witness I experience from the SPIRIT. I find great resonance. I have never been as excited about buying something as I was when purchasing the program. Why? I don’t know. I had just bought another program from someone else the week before and I didn’t get that excited about it. Neither did I get tsunamis building up in my eyes as I read. Why? I don’t know. But I know that my spirit is connected to the infinite. I know that my spirit knows things my mind doesn’t understand. Add to that the synchronicity I experience guiding me in this direction (Heavenly assistance), and its a triple combo 🙂

For instance, last week, as I was thinking about the power of thoughts, belief etc…I noticed the sun coming through my window, bouncing off the corner of my glass table and lighting up ONLY the picture that says “Faith, Hope & Joy.” My living room walls had no sunlight except for that little spot right then and there when I had that thought on my mind. I showed it to my son who was sitting next to me and then took a picture. I love being guided.

Whether I go to bed at 10, 10:30 or 11, I keep waking up at around 3. I get up, drink a glass of water, and then do the program…for about 3 hours. Then I go to sleep for a couple of hours. I am also paying attention to what I dream about. This is sooo fun! I am really looking forward to the time off from school to dive in and totally immerse myself in it 🙂

Thank you Leslie! It’s like Christmas morning every day!

With great gratitude,

Viviana

Thank you Vivana – I love this. I hope this whole experience – captured so beautifully because you were willing to WRITE about it as it happened – helps other readers pay attention to, and act, on the promptings they feel as well. The promptings are there to nudge us in the right direction, to bring us to all of the help and resources we will need to grow into our greatest potential. Well done!!

Kick off the New Year with the guidance, training, and help you need. To learn more about the Mindset Mastery Program and get started now, click here. Now there are multiple ways to afford it!

Share

When Have I Done Enough?

Years ago, my friend Natalie taught a lesson during our women’s meeting at church about “Having Temperance in All Things”, which had a profound effect on me. I’d like to share my epiphany.

First, let’s establish a definition:

Temperance = moderation and self-restraint

Before her lesson, I’d say I easily understood the concept of “moderation” in terms of harmful substances (like sweets), or addictive behaviors (like binge-watching your favorite shows). But when I thought about what temperance in ALL things means, I had some trouble.

For example, I was never very good at knowing how to be temperate in goal achievement. I’d aim high, and then I’d overbook myself and get overwhelmed by all that needed to be accomplished.

I didn’t know at what point I could take a break and say, “I’ve done enough.”

Part of the problem was that I truly had the mindset that I could do anything – and that there was no such thing as doing “too much”.  I didn’t always know how to temper my ambitions, because frankly, they helped me achieve some things that I was pretty happy about.

However, sometimes my mortal body couldn’t keep up with the pace of my thoughts and expectations, and so predictably, I went through periods of unbridled ambition, followed by periods of crashing and burning, until I regained my strength to start it all over again.

I’m telling you, that kind of pattern can eventually break a person, like bending a metal rod back and forth until it finally snaps.

According to the Law of Cause and Effect, I knew that each time I took a step toward my goal, it took a step toward me. So I wondered, “How could it ever be okay to stop stepping?” Well, that morning before church it felt like I was on the verge of another crash-and-burn, so I prayed for insight. I wanted to know how I could keep making progress without burning myself out or incinerating my relationships.

We got to church and during the third hour, I joined the ladies meeting.

That’s when Natalie, at the front of the room, began. She said:

I like to make cookies.  In fact, I have a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies that just works. Over the years I’ve used it, as long as I follow the right steps, we predictably end up with perfectly delicious cookies.

If I set the timer for 13 minutes and take them out when it dings, they’re perfect.  But if I get busy and ignore the timer, pretty soon I’ll start to smell them, and by then it’s too late. Even if I get a whiff and then run to take them out, it’s too late. They’ll be hard, dark, and good for nothing, except to be thrown away.

So, after mixing all the ingredients together, letting them bake is one of the most important parts – otherwise, you just don’t have a cookie. But baking them for the right amount of time determines whether or not they will turn out good. That’s why the timer is so important: to help you make sure the cookies don’t burn.

Life is the same way.

When you’re trying to accomplish something good, your energy and attention on the goal is one of the most important parts, like heat in the oven baking a batch of cookies.  However, you’ve got to turn off the energy and attention when the “timer” dings, or you just might ruin it all. So listen for (and heed) that inner voice that says, “Ding! That’s enough…”

Wow. I got it. I finally understood how too much of a good thing can be bad.

That lesson had a profound and lasting effect on me. I was amazed and grateful that the Lord answered my question so directly, so clearly, and so quickly! For the first time in my life I could finally understand that yes, there IS such thing as too much, and if you push the limits, you run the risk of ruining everything.

Too much of even the most wonderful things can turn into something bad. So remember:

When the “dinger” rings, it’s not just okay to stop, it’s critical!

Finding that middle place, finding your “13 minutes”, is so important. We have to trust that it is by “small and simple things” (instead of longer-than necessary intensity on things) that “great things are brought to pass”. Choosing this belief and abiding by it is an act of faith of the highest order.

After my epiphany that day, I tried to listen more carefully to the Spirit of God that serves as my “timer”. It quietly alerts me when I’m pushing things too long or too far. And instead of rationalizing that “I can still do MORE!”, I try to remember burnt cookies, so that 1) my goal can get just the right amount of energy, and 2) so that I can also avoid burning myself out as well.

As for the Law of Cause and Effect? Well, sometimes the right action is to take no action at all.

Natalie concluded her lesson that day by giving us each a perfectly formed cookie and saying:

“Careful baking is what determines the quality of my cookie, and temperance in my actions determines the quality of my life.”

Thank you, Natalie, for being an instrument in God’s hands that day. My prayer was answered (and my family thanks you for it, too!)  🙂 Originally published Mar 27, 2010


Share

Twenty dollars and a curious visitor

Sorry – I accidentally criss-crossed two different stories. Click here to read about the UPS delivery mentioned in this morning’s newsletter. Continue below to read about the twenty dollars and curious visitor.

Here’s Cari’s Mindset Mastery midterm experience:

It is difficult for me to attempt anything without scriptural reference. That includes my mid-term assignment.

When I consider the Law of Perpetual Transmutation, one of my favorite scriptures comes to mind. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” – Acts 2:17

Visions and dreams are an opportunity to create and see a future for you and those around you to “live into.” Prophesy speaks to me as an opportunity to make a declaration of those visions and dreams.

I was all too excited about taking this assignment on, and I have two examples to share:

Curious visitor

Just last week friends gave me a birthday party at a Karaoke lounge and when I stepped through the doors my spirit spoke within, “be in the world but not of the world” – (John 17:14-15). I immediately seized the environment with all my love and decided that everyone I encountered would be left bigger and brighter. The evening began with a few country songs that I was familiar with, thanks to my Alabama father. Then the evening began to escalate into a “party” environment. Since we did not have a private area for my birthday celebration, I continued to stand in mental declaration that I am in the world but not of the world. I could see angels all around me, a hedge of protection.

Immediately a woman who seemed odd in every way for the environment approached me. She introduced herself to me, as Katherine. Katherine appeared to be about 70 years of age. Her fashion was dated, and she had a large flower in her hair. She was alone, so I asked her why she had come, she said, “to celebrate your birthday.”

Before I could process anything, Katherine was at the mic singing Amazing Grace! I felt this pull and I joined her. Everyone in the lounge joined her. It was truly amazing. She hugged me, and we took a selfie together. I turned to ask if she would like to sit with me and my husband and she was gone. The lounge had quieted, and people were connected and kind. As me and my friends left the building, one of them said, “What was that?” to which I responded, “Homework.”

Twenty dollars

The second …was sweet and simple in comparison. Without any urgency associated with it, I set a goal of $20 within the timeframe of five days, Monday – Friday. I took time to visualize twenty-dollar bills falling from the ceiling in my living room. By Wednesday I had stopped looking for it to fall from the sky (laughing). Friday morning comes, and I am in a state of “out of sight, out of mind” and I remained confident.

My son asked me to pick up some things for him at Walmart. In our family we use an app called Square cash to send and receive money from each other. I sent my son a request for $25. Later when I was at the store, I noticed he had not sent the funds, so I text messaged him reminding him to send the $25. I heard the notification chime that the funds had arrived and I was able to make the purchase. When I returned home, I heard another chime and saw he had sent an additional $25, but why? I wondered. I looked at the transactions and saw I had actually received the $25 from his father. Turns out when I sent the reminder to my son, I accidentally sent it to his father (laughing). (I immediately told my ex-husband I would return the money, but he said no.) I was so certain this was my result.

But then I went out to take more bags out of the car and as I closed the hatch, there it was on the ground by my foot! I was like, SERIOUSLY?!?! A fresh $20 laying flat on the ground. It must have fallen from the sky. I looked around and then walked from corner to corner to find the person who lost it. I knocked on my neighbors doors but no one had lost it. I posted in the neighborhood Facebook page and still nothing. It was my manifested vision… I knew it was the result of the assignment …irrefutably this work.

Learn more about the Mindset Mastery program here.

The 12-week Mindset Mastery Program is not to be confused with the 8-week Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse. The Fundamentals Ecourse is a powerful exploration of the principles that govern success, and takes an introductory approach for effective goal setting. By contrast, the Mastery Program is more focused on the *implementation* of the principles and the *achievement* of your goals. It is full of interesting assignments that take you step-by-step through two experimental goals, challenging your thought processes, helping you experience success, and setting up a pattern in your thinking that you will be able to utilize over and over for effectiveness with all of your future goals. I hope you’ll join me in one of these programs, to help you take your understanding and success to the next level in ALL the different areas of your life.

Share

Is Victory Really Possible?

When challenges come, it’s easy to doubt whether there really is success to be had on the other side. The wall seems too high, the bricks too large, you feel too small to go over it, and too weak to break through it. A continual barrage of setbacks can cause you to question even the possibility of victory.

At a time when I was beginning to wonder if some of MY dreams were like the proverbial carrot, dangling in front of my face and never getting any closer, some of them felt like they were already years overdue. I tried to keep moving my feet in that direction, but I was really beginning to wonder. I don’t think I had ever been stretched that far…

But gratefully, God finally let it materialize. I felt sobered and grateful, and I didn’t take it for granted.

If you’re questioning the possibility of victory, know that the success is already there awaiting your arrival, and keep moving in that direction until you reach it. There is no “IF;” there’s only “WHEN.” I know that’s true on a deeper level than before. I’m a different and better person for having my own perseverance so severely tested.

I knew the challenges were good, because I had long since learned that with the laws of success, the challenges are actually part of the recipe for the very cake I ordered. But I had begun to wonder if the challenges would ever give way to the victory. Gratefully, I was reminded (again) that they eventually do.

Every time I have set a goal of significant magnitude, I have been obliged to face a challenge or two (or three, or a HUNDRED) that needed to be overcome before I would finally enjoy the victory I sought. But now I can say with certainty that our dreams are ours because they are possible, and are waiting for us at the end of our persistence test.

By the grace of God, it comes. But God does not give us the victory if WE stop preparing for it.

Each time, this goal setting process seems to stretch me to my limits, and beyond. Yes, each time. The more I go through the process, however, the more practice I have in enduring it. Every story of success I share with you has an untold struggle that went with it. No matter how many times I’ve succeeded, the process repeats itself to some degree.

Having an understanding of the process doesn’t take the process away, it simply makes it bearable and helps me to keep doing my part. It gives me peace of mind to realize and be consciously aware that the darkness, uncertainty, and turmoil in the middle is simply the gift, the opportunity to prove myself. It’s where I can exercise my faith like a muscle, demonstrate my drive to press on (though it may feel like I’m crawling to the finish line, bleeding and delirious), and hold fast to my expectancy of the WIN on the other side. Knowing how the Law works, I begin to feel differently about the struggle, and seeing it for what it is, I’m able to be more grateful for it, and thus the sooner I’m able to receive.

The Miracle’s Promise

My son has been putting himself through college with a determination to pay as he goes. Each semester has had its own set of challenges, and each time he has discovered different and unexpected solutions that helped him through. Two weeks before the end of his most recent semester, he called and said, “I’m done. I can’t do this anymore. I’m just DONE.”

So I gave him a pep talk, encouraging him to find the strength to give it just two more weeks and finish strong, imagining how good it will feel to look back on it with relief and amazement at what he had accomplished. He had already long since let go of the hope that he would get straight A’s, which would have been his ticket to tuition waivers for future semesters. He was resigned to getting B’s in half of his classes, but even still, he couldn’t seem to muster the energy to go even another day.

We brainstormed on a few next steps that he could take to get himself out of the funk. I reminded him to speak strength. Instead of affirming that he can’t keep going, I wasn’t going to hang up the phone until I heard him say, “I can do this” and then projecting our minds forward, I also wanted to hear him say, “I DID IT.”

I also encouraged him to talk to one of his professors and explain the reason he missed the mandatory attendance day. He had skipped class that day to drive 4 hours and pick his sister up at the SLC airport to deliver her to the MTC – the last time he would see her for 18-months. We decided it couldn’t hurt; maybe the professor would show some mercy and adjust his score.

As he spoke strength, he immediately gained strength. We finished our call and he was back to the books.

Two weeks later, he called to say, “Well, it’s all done. It’s over. Every single class is behind me now, and I’m on my way home (a 16 hour drive).” He related how he felt about each of his finals, and though he knows his performance wasn’t totally stellar, he was at peace, knowing he had given it his all. He had done better than expected in a few of them, but it was yet to be seen how his final projects would be graded.

Twenty MINUTES later, he walked through my door! That kid totally punked me! He and his brother had actually finished the day before, and had driven through the night to surprise me. I was SO thankful I didn’t know they were on the wintery roads and driving through the night; it spared me 16 hours of worry. 🙂

Soon after, he logged into the system to check his grades. Somehow, he ended up with straight A’s after all. He kind of just stared at it numbly with a faint grin on his face. It was the only reaction he had energy for, after such a grueling 4 months.

Later he came to me and thoughtfully reflected:

“Mom, I don’t think miracles have ever made my life easier; they just made things possible.”

I have pondered that many time since. And it’s true. Maybe you didn’t know this is how the Law works.

Your job is to set the goal, see it done, feel the victory ahead of time, take action when opportunities and/or ideas come along (no matter how frightening they may be), and finally, do not neglect the final ingredient to the recipe:

Perseverance.

Because your greatest victories will always follow the most intense struggles.

“Then, what is are the laws for if I still have to endure challenges?”

They simply guarantee you will be provided with everything you need to accomplish the goal, and that it will all show up just when you need it, at the right and perfect time, and sometimes only after appearances indicate the opposite, and after you choose to be at peace, anyway. It promises that if you can conceive it, you can achieve it.

It’s amazing if you think about it. Isn’t it better than no guarantee at all?

So now, think about that goal you want to achieve, and know this:

It’s possible, and that’s a miracle. So keep at it until you achieve it.  Originally published Mar 29, 2008

Share

Why I Needed to Have a Bad Day

A number of  years ago I was having a particularly horrible, edgy day. I was angry at everyone, and everything around me. Even things that weren’t all that bad felt intolerable. I don’t even know what originally set me off, but I was totally out of emotional control.

And then the final straw: doggie poop in the back yard.

That was it. We had already had a pow wow with our children the month before, and the deal was agreed: they needed to pitch in on his poop and start caring for him without being reminded, or we’d need to find him a better home. Don’t judge me.

With seven children between the ages of 3 and 17, surely one of them would care enough about keeping our basset hound to show some initiative.

But unfortunately, it had been about four weeks, and only once had one of the children cleaned up his poop independently.

He was already listed in one classified ad, and we had received two calls up to that point. But we also had a list describing the perfect home (it would need to be a step up), and we weren’t going to give him away unless we found a home that matched the list.

But on this day, I was especially upset about the poop and determined to place another ad to speed up the process. My 14 year-old son saw me typing furiously on the computer and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Placing another ad for Charlie.”

“What?!” He was devastated. He couldn’t believe I was actually going to go through with it, and was horrified to find out this wasn’t my first ad. Finding no sympathy from me, he stormed out of the house to cool off. Naturally, I felt horrible. Total mom failure.

But a few days later I found out how God used me, even though I was a mess, to accomplish his purposes:

On the day I placed that ad, my younger ten year old son was across the neighborhood coming home from the park on his bike. His pant leg had gotten caught in the bike chain while he was on a street that we rarely traverse. He was stuck, alone, and didn’t have the strength to pull it out. That’s when my 14 year-old wandered into that remote area of the neighborhood, just looking for some time away from his cranky mother. But in reality, he was being LED to rescue his brother, and didn’t even realize it.

Now, I don’t think God purposely ticks me off so he can set up a rescue; but he does know me, and he knows my weaknesses, and miraculously, and mercifully, he even uses my weaknesses to accomplish his purposes. Knowing this helps me feel like everything is going to turn out okay, if I just keep trying and trust that the Lord is in the details, even on the days when I’m at my worst.

Think about that: perhaps all is NOT lost when you feel like a failure; in fact, I’m certain that quite often, there is more good that comes out of those experiences than we realize.

So keep your chin up, and if you want to learn more about how you can get really great results in spite of yourself, find out how in the Mindset Mastery Program. You really don’t have to be perfect to enjoy wonderful results. Originally published November 6, 2009

Share

And Along Came a Spider

Some time ago my eleven year-old daughter came home from orchestra practice simply devastated. She had been the first to arrive, and as the others filed in, nobody chose to sit by her. She sat at the edge of the room, the only student with an empty chair at her side.

She felt rejected and alone.

So the next day, as I dropped her off, I encouraged her to hold back and let some of the others sit down first, and then make her choice to sit by someone she’d like to get to know better. “Find someone who might be having a bad day, and BE the one to make a friend.”

I encouraged her to have a prayer in her heart, picturing herself with an abundance of friends, and reminded her that choosing to be positive and confident would help others want to be around her.

So she pulled herself together with an intention that things would be different this time. She agreed to pray in her heart and try to think more positively.

But what happened next surprised us both…

When I picked her up from school, she was excited to report that she ended up right between two girls that she was excited to get to know better.

How did it happen? Not the way we thought it would.

Contrary to my advice, she still showed up earlier than most; and out of habit decided to sit in her regular chair on the edge of the room. As a few of the other students filed in, the pattern threatened to repeat itself.

(That’s the power of subconscious thoughts right there…)

However, just then, she noticed a scary spider on her music stand. Creeped out, she took her folder and tried to push it off.

Instead of successfully getting it out of her space, it fell onto her leg. She jumped up and shook her pants, and wasn’t sure where it ended up. Assuming it was still at her chair, she decided that it would be better to move.

It took her out of her comfort zone and into another chair. One of the girls she’d like to know better came in and sat right next to her. Before long, a second girl took the empty chair at her other side.

Admittedly she said she thought the answer to her prayer would show up in the form of an idea, or an added measure of courage to do or say something uncomfortable.

But no, it showed up as a spider.

This micro-experience captures the essence of how God so often deals with us. When we ask for things to be better, he doesn’t just make things better. He creates conditions in our life that make us get out of our comfort zone and put us somewhere else – somewhere, where the blessing we’re asking for can finally be received.

Sometimes we get moved out of our comfort zone and still fail to receive the blessing. This can happen when our thoughts are not inclined to look for the hidden benefit in our adversity.

It would be like my daughter getting out of her regular chair and into another, and being so upset by it that she doesn’t even notice the potential friendships on either side of her. By her response to the hardship, she could have completely denied herself of the blessing that the change contained.

In that case, the girls that flanked her could have picked up on the downer-energy and might have been inclined to just ignore her.

I’m grateful that she was thoughtful enough to give credit to God for sending a spider, because it prepared the way for her to receive the very thing she was hoping for all along.

My dear reader… What’s your spider? What ugly thing has showed up in your life that’s opposite to what you’ve been praying for?

It’s there for a reason.

(To watch additional clips from this event, click here)

A Hardship is always a blessing in disguise. Pay attention to how it “moves” you.

I’d like to help you make sense (cents) out of your setbacks. Are you ready for a better future? Click here to learn more about the life-changing Mindset Mastery Program. Originally published September 22, 2009

Share

What we do to ourselves sometimes can’t be undone on our own

I was visiting my in-laws one evening when I signed in to my Facebook account and saw this post on my newsfeed. It was from my 18-year-old son. He said:

Jacob (18)

I just walked past my parent’s room and heard my 4 year old sister Sarah crying. My parents are gone so I thought she was in there waiting for Mom to get home. I tried to open the door but it was locked, so when I got into the room with a key and asked what was wrong, I saw that she had tied the ribbon of her dress to their bed.

As I was struggling to untie it she said:

“I’na good tyer.”

Then she came and asked me, “Wanna know why I tied myself to the bed?”

I asked, “Why?”

Bethany (7) and Sarah (4)

“Because Bethany was being mean to me.”

That was the only explanation she gave.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t be mean to your little siblings or they might lock themselves in a room and tie themselves to furniture with knots that they can’t undo on their own.

~~~

It’s true; sometimes our reaction to life’s disappointments and frustrations becomes the real source of our problems. We can really complicate matters when we react instead of responding with calculated choice of thought.

The fact is, life will disappoint us, and frustrations are inevitable.  Our power to rise above such problems, however, does not lie in the circumstances themselves, but in how we respond to them.

And, as explained in Hidden Treasures, Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters (free download), the larger the problem, the greater the opportunity.

So, I echo my son’s moral, and remind us all to apply it to the world of adults:

If life is mean to YOU, don’t tie yourself up in knots that you can’t undo on your own.

Success is not a measure of how many problems we avoid; it’s a measure of how well we respond to the problems we have.

However, if you feel like you’re already “tied up” in some way, pat yourself on the back for being a good “tyer” (be kind to yourself!) …and then get some help. You don’t have to stay stuck forever.

To see how I can help you now, and to learn how to choose your thoughts carefully in a crisis for the best possible outcome, visit ProsperTheFamily.com Originally published November 29, 2010

Share

Keeping Your Eyes on the Horizon

We were newlyweds of only one year. My husband and I decided to drive twelve hours to attend a conference which would help us start a business. Tensions were high because we couldn’t afford the trip, and our disagreements left us both feeling hurt and misunderstood. Because of a previous accident the year before, I was nervous about crashing again on this road trip, but to him, my fear was a personal jab against his driving skills.

We arrived safely, but I was still upset that he was offended by my fear of crashing. One of the guest speakers was a professional comedian who started to make fun of women with poor depth perception.

He explained that there’s this man at the wheel, and the woman next to him just suddenly SCREAMS out of nowhere. Well, of course the man swerves the car and after regaining some control he looks at her and screams back, “WHAT?!?”

“That car tapped its brakes!”

“Woman, that car is a quarter mile ahead of us!”

I’m thinking, Okay that is NOT funny, but the truth is, I couldn’t hold it in. I had been trying SO hard to stay angry at my husband. I did not want him to think I was enjoying myself, for, in my mind he needed to be punished. However, when the comedian popped the punchline, all of my pent-up emotion came bursting forth and I literally laughed until I cried. I laughed so hard that no sound escaped my lips. My abs curled until they burned. Basically, that comedian described ME, during our twelve hour trip to the convention, and I knew it.

My husband and I continued to laugh throughout the rest of the meeting, and our contentious feelings melted away. We talked about it later, and I reminded him that I was a nervous wreck only because we had both fallen asleep and driven off the road the year before. Road travel made me nervous, period. All the way to the function I had been watching to see if we were getting too close to the shoulder or center divider. Any deviation which brought us any nearer to the edge caused instant panic resulting in a gasp and reflexive grab of my shoulder strap. Any minor swerve which caused us to close in on another car caused the same reaction. And, yes, if a car even a quarter mile ahead of us put on their brakes, I braced for impact.

Even short, local trips on the freeway made me nervous. Rounding a bend was especially frightening, because I’d see the tire and paint marks from cars that had crashed there before. I’d say, “Oh… this must be a dangerous spot; look at all the crashes that happened here!” Of course, I’d prepare for impact, just in case. I’d even look ahead at semi trucks and imagine the horrific wreck that would result if they suddenly cut us off.

Over the years I finally learned to calm down. I reminded myself that my husband didn’t want to die any more than I did, and he’d be careful with or without my incessant reminders. I practiced trusting him, and trusting in the Lord to keep us safe. I also found a visualization strategy which worked wonders: instead of imagining a possible wreck, I’d close my eyes and picture myself tucking my children in bed that night; a vision which presupposed our safe arrival home.

It took me a long time to get my road travel fears under control. Our driving improved as we learned that we stayed nicely in the center of our own lane NOT by looking at the line painted on the road at our side (which resulted in constant adjustments and a jerky ride), but by looking to the horizon where the road was headed. Even if the road followed a long bend, by looking to where it disappeared on the horizon, the car seemed to naturally stay in the center of the bending lane. I discovered that by looking to what I wanted and where I wanted to be (literally, as well as figuratively), I was implementing a powerful method for not just dealing with my fears, but for achieving the results in life I wanted. What a wonderful lesson to learn.

And then one day I realized the lessons from this analogy ran even deeper than I realized:

Ten years later my old fear of driving in traffic was tested to my limit. I was at the wheel, trying to speed ahead at seventy miles per hour to pass a semi truck on my right, with a pile-on and no room for error on my left (due to road construction north of Salt Lake City prior to the 2002 Olympics). The lane was three-fourths the width it should be, and there was nowhere for me to go but straight ahead. I noticed that when I looked at the semi by my side, I started to close in on it. I only realized my error when I’d look forward again and realize how far over I had drifted. I discovered the only way to make it through was to look straight ahead, with my white knuckles on the wheel, and aggressively ignore the obstacles at either side. If a vehicle was going to swerve into my lane, then at least with my eyes on the goal I’d be less likely to overcorrect and cause my vehicle to roll, doing potentially fatal damage to myself and others around me.

This is how to reach your goals. Stay focused. Keep them vivid in your mind’s eye, and don’t let the obstacles, difficulties, disappointments or distractions divert your gaze. Your ride will be smoother. You’ll stay in the lane that gets you there. You’ll avoid collisions. You’ll even deal with sudden or unexpected threats more effectively.

This landmark experience also made me think of life in general. We’re all traveling this fast-paced, sometimes scary road called life, hopefully heading for a glorious eternal reward with our loved ones in the presence of our Father in Heaven. But along this road, there are obstacles that can take us off course or slow us down or cause a wreck, so to speak. The only way to proceed safely is to NOT give the distractions or obstacles your focused attention, even if it’s in an effort to avoid them, because doing so can cause you to drift toward the very obstacles you are trying to evade.

Sometimes when I forget, and look too long at the danger nearby, I don’t always realize how far I’ve drifted until I finally look back toward my goal. I must try to always look straight ahead and keep my eye on the prize. The obstacles will pass, one by one, if I just press forward with full purpose of heart. Should an obstacle swerve into my lane despite of my efforts to stay on track, I will be able to respond without overreacting, and keep my life from rolling out of control.

As one man named Alma taught his son: “The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever … Yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:46-47) Originally published December 20,2009

Share

#28: Parenting Principles Preview

Parenting can be hard!  So when difficult behaviors wreak havoc on the family, you might just need a few more tools in the toolbox. Finding the core principles that govern success in any area of life is absolutely key to succeeding in that area, and what you’ll find on this podcast is no exception.

This entertaining audio program will not only help parents who have small children, but also those with teenagers. It describes the parenting system that I used for many years as we raised our seven children, and it made ALL the difference!

My guest Matt Reichmann and his wife Julie raised five children while he worked in Los Angeles law enforcement. He saw countless parents lose control of their children and then look to police for help. This negative trend spurred a desire in Matt to use his experience to make a difference.

The combination of Julie’s home skills and Matt’s law enforcement experience gave them a unique perspective in the art of parenting.

Over the years, they developed a powerful system of discipline based on the principle of personal accountability. After using the system in their home with success, they were encouraged by friends and associates to share their parenting techniques with others. This encouragement and a strong desire to help others lead to the creation of Accountability Concepts.

This audio was originally recorded ten years ago. I have been wanting to share it on my podcast, but his sweet wife (my dear friend Julie) was diagnosed with cancer and then lost her courageous battle in 2014. During those difficult years, their website was shut down, their business was put on hold, and the audio remained hidden in my archives. But it is my pleasure now to announce that Matt’s website is once again back on line, and he has given me the green light to finally share this audio FREE with you now.

To learn more about Matt Reichmann’s powerful parenting program, visit Accountability Concepts.

Share

Adversity and Unifying the Family

Back when all my kids still lived at home:

Journal Entry 2008:

Tonight was our weekly family night, an evening set aside to spend time with the kids and improve our family relationships through activities and instruction. However, more often than we’d like, it’s actually the only family argument to open and close with prayer (as songwriter Michael Mclean once lamented). Nevertheless, we persist. We trust that the habit alone serves as an adhesive to help our kids feel like they belong to something important as they grow and prepare to face the world on their own.

Tonight was contentious, probably because of me. Honestly, I didn’t feel like “playing.” I was in an emotional slump and my head ached (a Law of Rhythm thing methinks). But because it has long been established as a weekly tradition, my kids began asking me what we were going to be doing that evening. Trying to brush the topic aside until I could rest my headache away, my answer was simply, “I just don’t know yet.”

My 12 year-old Nathan begged me to take them to the park for dodge ball, a family favorite. My 15 year-old Jacob had too much homework so we compromised and played some in the back yard with him first. Then he was back to the books and the rest of us headed off to the park for some more serious battles.

I loosened up, forgot my headache. Eventually I got off the swing set with the baby and began playing dodge ball, too. Holding the baby helped; the family was gentle when tossing it in my direction, and I won at least one of the rounds. There was still the usual sibling-to-sibling bickering, but I believe everyone had plenty of fun.

Finally it was time to go home. We gathered to the van and Trevan (my husband) realized that the keys had been locked inside. Nathan suggested we call Jacob to drive them over. But our other set of keys had already disappeared months ago, and since we never needed the second set, we had never bothered with finding or replacing it.

Besides, Jacob isn’t old enough to drive.

Trevan suggested we say a prayer. We huddled together and he asked God to allow the door to somehow be unlocked so that we wouldn’t have to walk the mile home. Then he said,

“But if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”

The front passenger window was cracked about 2 1/2 inches. First we tried to see if any of the kids’ arms were skinny enough and long enough to reach the door lock.

No good.

Through the front window we could see, resting in front of a couple books on the dash, a mechanic’s wire claw (about two feet long, used for grabbing little things that get dropped inside an engine). I asked Trevan where the keys were and he said they were in the passenger cup holder in the center console. I asked if he thought that the wire grabber would be long enough to reach them, but it looked pretty short compared to the distance between the cracked window and the center console.

It was the only possible option at that point, so even though it was a long-shot remedy, we got to work trying to obtain that claw.

None of us could reach it through the narrow window crack. Kayli suggested we use one of the badminton rackets that we had brought with us. We first tried to use the racket to pull the lock up (to no avail – wrong angle). Then we tried to use it to bring the claw closer, but there was a thick “Jane Eyre” book on the dash blocking it.

The window opening was about 2.5 inches wide along the top, but only about 1.5 inches wide at the lower front gap (the part closest to the dash where the claw rested). Trevan force-pulled the window down to give me an additional 1/2 inch or so, and although I couldn’t reach the claw, I realized I could reach the fuzzy dash cover upon which the books and the claw sat. So I grabbed the cover and pulled it toward me until the claw was within reach.

Next we had to use the claw to reach the keys. But no matter who tried, the closest we could get to the cup holder with that claw was at best 4 inches. We were SO CLOSE! How can we have so much success getting this far only to have our efforts fail now?

There had to be a way.

Trevan discovered that if a person could be lifted higher than the van, their arm could get into the window opening a little better and reach a little farther. But there wasn’t anything to stand on except the wheel, two feet in front of where we needed to be.

After Trevan tried and then Nathan, I took a turn standing on the wheel, leaning 45 degrees onto Trevan and squeezing my arm into the narrow gap. Nathan supported me from behind so I wouldn’t fall backwards off of Trevan’s shoulder. Simultaneously, Trevan force-pulled the window down just enough for me to get my forearm in. Then, miraculously my elbow passed through. I managed to hook the keyring with the claw and began to pull them out. At one scary moment it felt like my arm might break before I had the chance to completely extract the claw and keys. Carefully maneuvering my arm and shoulder while leaning at that unnatural angle, I managed to pull them out.

After a round of “high-fives” we paused to give thanks, and then took a moment to help the kids see an important lesson in the experience:

Everything we needed was already there. We simply had to ask for help, and then get to work putting it all together in the right order.

The same is true in life. You already have all you need – the resources, the people, the brains – you just need to begin utilizing them in the right combination and in the right order. It can be hard, I know! It’s easy to feel blind to the solution. The good news is that as you make an attempt, every failure will lead you to think of the next idea, one after the other until you find the solution.

Just remember that it never helps to fret and fuss, moan and complain. Solutions are best (and sometimes ONLY) discovered by the person who is at peace, expectant, hopeful, and tenacious.

So ask God for what you need, and be willing to accept “no” for an answer (“but if not, help us to enjoy the walk.”) Then get to work finding the way to make your goal a reality. You might not yet have the keys you need to go where you want to go, but you do already have everything you need to begin the process of obtaining them.

And sometimes the solution only becomes apparent after a series of frustrating attempts. So keep trying!

If we had truly exhausted all possibilities without success, we would we have eventually tightened our shoelaces and started home on foot. I’m just glad we didn’t have to. In any case, I believe our family night was a success because we were unified for a common purpose (if only for 20-30 minutes), and it only happened because we first had adversity. (Law of Polarity)

And you know what? Solving the problem as a family turned out to be ten times more gratifying than the best game of dodgeball could ever be. Originally published April 8, 2008

For more about the laws of success, click here to read Hidden Treasures (free!)

Learn more about how you can Prosper the Family

Share