[There] are a few … things we do to help keep the light and connection in our home, and not have our family time hijacked by technology:
Devices charge in the kitchen and in the loft, not in bedrooms.
All devices are plugged in and off by 9 pm (we are not perfect, but trying)
Mom/Dad have the passwords and can look at them at any time.
They do not use apps that have not been approved
We limit the games available to educational ones
No technology until we have had breakfast/devotional (not perfect here either)
Priority on family meal times – tech-free
Engage in uplifting tech with them (we snuggle and read together. Between books/chapters, we watch Random Acts, How things work, and other inspirational content… then discuss what it takes to get things done, celebrate the genius of others and find ways we can serve!)
But then she had a BRILLIANT idea that would help her daughter pay for her own phone bill, too!
As she implemented her plan, not ONLY did her daughter get the money she needed to pay the phone bill, she ALSO came away from the experience with insight and inspiration to meet ALL of her future goals.
All day yesterday, my 11 year-old son hoped I would find time to take him fishing. I had already picked up some hooks and bait the day before with the money he gave me, and he couldn’t wait to use them.
But yesterday was too hectic – my business commitment I thought I’d finish by 10:00 am took me until 5:30 pm instead. And his older brother was already in line for me to take shopping after I was done.
It was around 2 or 3 when my little fisherman asked again if we could go, and I finally had to say, “I need you to be okay if this doesn’t work out. I would much rather be fishing than doing business, believe me. But this is a promise I need to keep, and if I’m worried about how you’re feeling, I’m going to be stressed, and it will be harder for me to think. Are you going to be okay if we don’t go today?”
He said, “I’ll be okay if we don’t go today.”
I turned to his little sisters and said, “What about you girls? I need to know if you’ll be okay, too, so that I am not worried about you. If I’m not worried, I’ll be able to work faster.”
They both replied, “We’ll be okay if we don’t go today.”
Of course they were disappointed, but supportive. Talking it through with them like this was my attempt to pre-teach and help them accept a “no answer” calmly. I was proud of them for it.
I realize this sounds dangerously similar to the times when I was full-time building my business and I would say something like that to put my kids off. But the difference back then was that coming back to them was usually a token effort just so I could check it off the list and get back to work.
I always professed to want family time, but if I’m going to be honest with myself, I recognize that my actions showed otherwise. I had a really hard time breaking the pattern. It took a total emotional collapse to reboot my system and set me on a path to a more congruent existence. I’m grateful it happened, though, because now I only work my business about an hour a day, sometimes even only a couple hours a week. I’m not addicted to the work anymore, nor the charge I’d get from feeling like I was changing the world.
I truly don’t mean to diminish my work, because I know it was important and necessary for me to do at the time. But I’m just grateful that the joys I’m finding now in full-time motherhood are even deeper and longer lasting. When I receive emails from readers that describe what my books or materials have done for them, I’m super happy and I feel tremendous fulfillment and gratification that all of those hours, and the blood, sweat and tears were not for nothing. Like this one:
Hi Leslie 🙂 First of all, I can’t tell you how much your book [Portal to Genius] has changed my life. I know you hear this all the time, but I still have to say it. I have been an executive business coach for many years and … I have read every self-help, motivation, inspiration, sales book, etc…on the market and have been a reader of this type of material since I was about 25 years old. I am now almost 45. 🙂 I have even held seminars, workshops, training sessions, etc…about the power of the mind and “change.” I have trained groups as small as 3 and as large as 4,000…and NEVER have I felt the way I do right now…since I read your book just 4 weeks ago! I can’t thank you enough! In fact, my husband & I had been writing our own book for the past 2 years, never that thrilled with the content, but desiring to finish it because we know we can help people with their health. As soon as I read Portal [to Genius], I gave it to my hubby, he read it the next weekend, and we’ve have been writin’ fools ever since. The writer’s block has ended and we can’t stop…the ideas just keep comin’!!! I have referred your book to a total of eight people now and I would say half of them have reported back to me, concurring with my sentiment! Nicole K., Ph D
But as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting emails like that, (I really do!!) the thrill and joy only lasts a short time, and life marches on.
On the other hand, when I participate in helping one of my own children have a major breakthrough (which, interestingly enough is rarely of the variety that my business is even about), my gratification is pure joy, and I literally relish in it for days. I’ll sometimes even fall asleep rehearsing the victory and how it played out for several nights in a row. Even months and years later, I know that those are the breakthroughs that I will remember the most, and in which I will take the most pride.
And it’s not because of any praise I get for helping, it just from watching the children experience a change.
Most of the time, they don’t even realize they grew.
Like when my son didn’t show up for work on time because there was a miscommunication about his schedule. When he got the text that asked, “Aren’t you coming in?” he just about had a heart attack. It was his first job, he had only been there a week, and his brain kept firing shots of terror through his body, with all the ‘what ifs’ about what the consequences might be. As we raced to get him there (7 hours late), I tried to assure him that somewhere in this awful experience there is a seed of something good.
He shot back, “How can this POSSIBLY be good??”
I had no answer. Only that it’s a true principle, and that somewhere there was a blessing in it. I didn’t know, maybe just that it was good he learned this lesson (whatever lesson it was) on a first job instead of a career job later when he’s trying to support a family.
He was convinced that everyone there was going to hate him, because he wasn’t there to do his part when they opened, and then for 7 hours, his team mates had to cover for him in a really stressful environment.
I practiced being calm for the both of us. Prayed for him that the good would be found. I knew that there was something good in it, because that’s one of the laws. I just hoped he would find it.
Then at the end of the day when I picked him up he was flying high. He told me excitedly about how everyone was really understanding, how the misunderstanding about the schedule meant that it was never posted publicly, so for those 7 hours nobody but his supervisor knew that it was him who was missing, and then because he was so late, he was there for some unexpected emergencies, and it was better for everyone that he worked the night shift instead of the early one. He came off heroic instead of delinquent.
Best of all, he got some BIG praise from his supervisor for showing up 7 hours late instead of not at all. He had faced his terror instead of just writing the day off, he overcame the fear of the unknown, grew in self-esteem, gained experience in communicating with people who he thought hated him, and saw real evidence that the law of polarity is actually true. The experience changed him. I saw him grow two years in just one day, and I felt joy.
So back to the original story…
I finished my work without guilt, because I knew that the day was wide open, and I would not even be tempted to work. I knew I’d be able to spend some real time with my kids; and besides, I was ready for some recreation myself.
So I took my 18 year-old to work at 7:30 am, and ran home again to get his name tag. (On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is totally calm, I’m happy to say that I managed to stay up around an 8, even though returning for his forgotten name tag was not exactly what I wanted to be doing.)
Before I reached home the second time, I called the fishing preserve to ask about their hours. Since they had been open since dawn already, I was excited to surprise my youngest three with the news that we should go ASAP.
My 11 year-old son was super excited. We have a lake in our backyard, and he’s already caught countless fish there, but mostly only catfish, and only for catch and release. The lake we were going to is behind the library where you can catch about 5 different kinds of fish (including trout, which is what he really wanted), and, you can take them home to eat them.
So off we went.
While I was following them through the brush to find the best spot, I thought about how hot and uncomfortable I was (weather report says it was effectively 97 degrees), but how much in a rush I wasn’t. This is where they wanted to be, and I was mentally prepared to go along with it for a couple hours. I didn’t have something else on my mind that I “needed to get back to”, and I marveled that I had come so far. Two years ago I couldn’t get work off of my mind.
One of my previous parenting mentors (Matt Reichmann), always taught that if you want to have more power as a parent, you’ve got to play with your kids. When I was so caught up in work, I always had trouble making time for play. It’s getting easier, though, and I’ve noticed that the more I play with them, the less I have to correct them. Bottom line, they simply behave better when their emotional buckets are full, and their buckets stay full the more often I play with them.
I was also reminded of a video clip that put a smile on my face. It is simple but profound:
I love when the blogger said that “children aren’t something you collect because they’re cuter than stamps, [mothering is] not something you do if you can squeeze the time in, it’s what God gave you time… for.”
I know you may be thinking, “Yeah, that would be nice, if I didn’t have so many stresses that keep me from living that way…” because that’s what I thought for twenty years.
Well, I finally figured something out. When I was really ready to make that shift, when I was finally committed to living it no matter what, I had to let go. I had to let go of what people might think of me. I had to let go of the need for my lifestyle to look a certain way. I had to be ready to make the necessary sacrifices to claim it. I had to check my own priorities.
We downsized our home. We sold some extra cars. We rearranged a lot of things to make this work. I don’t get my nails done any more. I make my kids work for things. If we have to choose between getting a new coat of paint on the car or investing in our children’s education, we choose their education.
Through my work I learned with absolute certainty that we really can have anything we want. We could have a new car if we wanted one badly enough. We could replace some old furniture if we were passionate enough about doing that. I understand the principles of success and the law of vibration, and how our results are a reflection of our application of those principles. But I also recognize that for every desire, there is some effort that is required. So I had to ask myself, what am I working toward? For what purpose do I invest my best time, money, and attention?
What I really wanted more than anything was a peaceful home and rich relationships with my husband and children. And now I’m finally directing my best efforts to my own family. It takes a LOT of time, and it takes effort. Sometimes I still say “no” to a profitable opportunity here and there because it is a distraction at the time from my primary focus. But so far, nothing else has been this rewarding.
So you can imagine my surprise when, after ‘letting go’ for about a year and a half, that the business began to grow on its own. Other resources also began finding their way to us more freely. I began to recognize a real correlation between the calmness I felt, and the increase in the flow of money and opportunities into our lives.
There were still stressful situations, but choosing calmness and trusting God always seemed to cause the problem to melt away entirely, or turn it into something unexpectedly good. In either case, we were okay.
Stay calm, be still (in your heart), and think of God as a loving Father who will take care of you. Trust Him with your life.
No, it’s not easy to raise a family, and it’s not easy keeping Mom home from work if that’s what the goal is. But it’s possible if you want it. Opportunities will come to those who work tenaciously toward their worthy ideal, whatever it is. I promise you that. The answers may not come when you want them to, but God is never late.
(If you’re struggling with money issues, then you can get some new hope by reading The Jackrabbit Factor, and then coming back to browse some of the favorite posts on the right side of this page – they’re mostly about dealing with financial stress.)
So anyway, there’s my thought for the day: Raising a family is not something you do if you have time for it, it’s what God gave us time for.
I got a super fun video message from Jon and Trina Gunzel last night that I just had to share with you (video below). These folks have been students of The Jackrabbit Factor for some time now. They went through the Mindset Fundamentals Ecourse in 2015 (previously known as the Jackrabbit Factor Ecourse), and have taken what they’ve learned to launch themselves into a crazy new life.
Before I share the video, let me give you a little back story.
Meet Jon and Trina Gunzel:
Back in April of this year, they explained the following on their blog:
We had the most wonderful neighbors, our dream home and property! We had the best friends, church family, and community! Yet, we couldn’t ignore a prompting to lay it all down and go help a lot more people.
After a lot of praying, some major ARE YOU SERIOUS??? moments, and designing an 8 week plan to make it happen, we decided to push ourselves outside our comfort zone and go on the road full time. We’ll be touring all 50 states with our two children, Wyatt and Abbie, over the next three years.
Our goals are to grow closer as a family, continue to learn and develop individually, and to help a lot of people in the process. Since our work goes with us anywhere, we’ll be hosting seminars, having book signing events, and coaching individuals and groups. Of course we’ll share our exciting adventures and learning, homeschooling our kiddos, in a variety of locations.
Since beginning their new adventure, they created an ebook called, The Roadmap to More Time, Money, Love & Freedom, which reveals 3 destructive habits that prevent you from achieving more, and living MORE of your potential and purpose in life.
They had JUST launched the webpage that delivers their new ebook, when this happened…
I’ll let them tell you what happened in their own words:
We had the most awesome Jackrabbit Factor moment tonight! We just launched our online funnel for our flagship product and when we walked outside less than a minute later there were rabbits everywhere! It was so cool and we instantly thought of you.
Thank you for all that you do!
Thank YOU, Jon and Trina for thinking of me!! I can’t tell you how many people over the years have had similar experiences about seeing rabbits – real ones – that encouraged them along in their journey at just the right moment. I think I may need to start an official collection of all those rabbit-sighting stories.
To learn more about Jon and Trina Gunzel, click here. You can also download their free ebook: “The Roadmap To MORE Time, Money, Love and Freedom” at rmtm.IamMadeForMore.com
Way to go, Jon and Trina, and thanks again!!!
Now, I want to spotlight YOU!
If you want YOUR story featured in an upcoming newsletter, describe your experience and provide any related pictures or videos that will help me inspire someone else. I want to know any of the following: what you’ve done with the principles, lessons you’ve learned, obstacles you’ve overcome, or just what was going on in your life when a rabbit sighting meant something special to YOU.
The principles DO work, and your story might be just the thing that someone else needs to read in order to brave a try. Just shoot me an email! Send it to leslie [at] thoughtsalive dot com.
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.
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.
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!” 🙂
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:
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,
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!!