Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When all the Coaching In the World Doesn't Help

I originally got 'started' on this journey when I was in a deep depression. A psychologist, a psychiatrist, my GP, and support groups couldn't help. I was on my own. The feelings of desperation were overwhelming, but for the sake of my children; I was determined to find a way out.

Sometimes even now, I experience those same feelings. Although they are not to the extent they were, the mere onset of that spiralling feeling sends me into total survival mode. Being able to recognize the oncoming 'symptoms', I have been able to apply the knowledge I now have to work my way back to the happy person I choose to be. On occasion though, my familiarity with EFT, therapy, self-talk, NLP, and hypnosis seems daunting as I must choose one at a time to find out what will work and what won't. Usually, the feelings are manageable with EFT, but sometimes that is not enough. Today is one of those days. Today it took creative writing therapy, EFT, self-hypnosis and NLP to get me back on my feet. I still have some upset, but it is manageable now and dissipating.

So why am I writing about it in my blog?

Well, I want those who read this to realize that we are all human. This past week I have had some 'issues' arise in my personal life. As all serious issues, this affects my family and friends - not just me. Because I am very much aware of how my actions and thoughts affect others, I have been doing every technique I know and have been seeking counsel from some of the most wonderful people I know. Although the issues have not been resolved, I am at least able to deal with them a little better.

A few months ago, I was having a conversation with Peggy McColl about something unrelated and she said something to me that has echoed in my mind over and over again. She said, "Leigh, always remember that asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness". Well, I must be a pillar then, because I have been asking continuously. I am very lucky and thankful for the fact that I get help from every turn. I humbly suggest and remind my readers as well, ask for help when you need it. We only become weak when we lose the ability to stand and reach for the outstretched hand in front of us.

Remember too, that even the most 'aware' people in the world are still that - people. We all have things pop up now and then that seem insurmountable or too hurtful to accept. Having a toolbox and, more importantly, as circle of friends and family who care; is the key to climbing those mountains. All you have to do is reach. My hands are extended now in both directions. One is reaching for someone to help pull me up. The other is reaching to pull those who want to come with me up the next step for them.

A special thank you goes out to Michael, Jody, Fred, Jennifer, Mike, Oral, Peggy, mom, Jack, and Judy. You all have been exceptional to me and for that I am grateful.


When all the Coaching In the Worl Doesn

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Facebook for Business and More!

Facebook for Business
Added: Wed Nov 19th 10:55pm
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This Friday should be very interesting. I have been asked by many of my networking friends to 'coach' them on social networking for their business on Facebook. It seems as if they are understanding the importance of 'exposure' more than they did recently. Because I have had so many people offer to actually pay me to show them how to do 'what I do' on Facebook, we are having a 'Facebook Workshop' at my house.

I am all about my kids and family first, and because the number of people interested is growing, I decided to have a workshop in my home so I could be where my little one was comfy, and still help out my friends. Depending on what happens with this 'dry run', I may end up teaching a few hours in a workshop specifically for this purpose. It amazes me how many people want to do this! Well, for those who do not know me, I am all about helping others in any way that I can so keep your eyes and ears open if this is something that you may be interested in as well. Maybe it could be something that will grow even bigger. I still have the whole income issues being a new resident to the US, so I still teach everything pro-bono. The cool part is that those who really want to learn from me and my experiences have helped in other ways, and for that I am eternally grateful!

Some of the people I have worked with have actually sent cheques to my trainer (I am still always training myself to be able to have new techniques to help those I mentor and counsel) towards my tuition! How cool is that! I haven't asked for this, at least not intentionally, but it is still amazing to me. Some people have tracked down some of my friends and business partners to find out how they can HELP me! Life and people never cease to amaze me with how wonderful they can be.

How does this happen? Simply offer up to help others unconditionally. I have read and studied this many times over, but not totally understood or experienced the results so dramatically myself until recently. Facebook is about friendship and relationships...or at least is supposed to be. I love the fact that my business is growing, and more improtantly, my relationships are through the wonders of technology! Having a group of people in my home for coffee, fun, and service to them in any way is fantastic! Not only are my social network groups growing, but so are my local friends. Who could ask for more than that?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

'The Science Project' Update

Recently I posted about how my son wanted to do a project about quantum physics and intention at school. He was quickly reminded that school follows a curriculum and has a pattern of its own. There is not a lot of discussion or allowance for 'coloring outside the lines'. For those of you who are following along, I wanted to give you the newest addition to the story - especially if you are a parent. However, before I do, I also wanted to remind you all of something. I am asked continuously, and hear the same question in Law of Attraction Group meetings, etc,. - how can I teach these concepts to my children? Before I tell you the story, I wanted to share my answer to this question. In the timeless words of Gandhi, "Be that which you want to see in the world". For parents, that translates for me and you to 'be that which we want our children to be'. Although simplistic, it is the best advice I can give and it works! The 'update' that follows is a prime example.

As I mentioned when I posted last about my son's science project, I do not 'preach' what I study, and indeed live, to my children and family. If they ask I answer, but that is about as far as it goes. That said, when my son came home two days following the initial incident of defeat at school; I was not totally prepared for his story.

About three days after his request and defeat to do an intention experiment for a science project at school, my son came home full of excitement. He was asked to do a book report for language arts. He still had Lynn McTaggart's book, The Intention Experiment in his backpack and was reading it when he had time at lunch and so on. He told me that he took 'matters into his own hands' that day at school. I was a little nervous at first, but then he told me how he decided that only way that things were going to change for him at school was if he changed them himself. He waited until the end of class, and approached his language arts teacher. He spoke to her and he said that he was not trying to offend her, but he was bored with the book choices provided on the acceptable reading list. They were mostly novels, and he felt they didn't really have much to teach him. He wanted to read something that provided him with knowledge that he didn't already have. His teacher was, according to my son, a little 'taken aback', but asked to see this book he wanted to read. After she looked through it, she mentioned how it might have been a bit difficult for his reading. He commented how his 'mom said that even some of the adult people in her class sometimes had a tough time with this book as it was full of studies and footnotes', but that he really wanted to learn more about it and that he didn't feel he was really learning much from reading novels that didn't interest him. The teacher congratulated him on his desire to learn and approved the book as advanced reading material. That wasn't enough for my main man though. He pushed on and had the book report approved on the same content as well. As he told me this story, my heart swelled with pride. Not only had he turned a real negative situation into a positive one, but he also showed the courage to stand up and fight for what he believed in. What more could a mom ask for?

He read the book from cover to cover, and is asking for more. I am so proud of him for what he has done. He even said to me, "Hey mom, maybe this is the way that the schools will finally realize that some of these ideas have to be taught in the classrooms! Maybe we could work together to get other kids to know that it's OK to ask questions and stand up for what they want too". I may have another Tony Robbins on my hands!

The key here is there was no preaching on my part, but what can I say? Out of the mouths of babes. What an awesome kid! When the final mark comes in, I'll let everyone know, but the mark doesn't matter to me. As an educator, I feel confident in saying that he has already learned more than any book report and language arts class could have given him. Grammar and language is important, but not even close to the ability to desire, motivate and achieve. Show me that in a teacher's plan book (it wasn't ever in any mine!). Until then, I will keep on doing what I am doing - it's working!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Will O' The Wisp

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, second only to Christmas. I believe that holidays are often created as an output for creative expression through decorating. Halloween allows the the 'dark' side of our personalities and creative flair to be 'tacky' or even horrific. It provides a great venting of any negativity we may have.

I get more excited about carving Jack-O-Lanterns than my kids do. From scooping out the pumpkin pulp, to lighting my masterpiece - I look forward to it every year. It is a tradition in our family based on a tradition from the early 1800's (maybe even earlier).

The origin of the Jack-O-Lantern is said to come from Ireland and based on the urban legend of a trickster named Stingy Jack. There are two versions of his tricking the Devil that I am aware of. In one, he convinces the Devil to change into a coin to pay his debt at a local pub, but instead of paying the debt, he places the coin in his wallet next to a cross, thereby trapping the Devil. In another version, he convinces the Devil to climb a tree, and while the Devil is in the tree, Jack places crosses around the base of the tree to entrap Lucifer. Regardless, the Devil ends up trapped and Jack does not set him free until Lucifer promises Jack exclusion from eternal damnation in Hell. The story goes on to tell that when Jack dies, he is denied entrance from Heaven because of all his tricks and wrong-doing; and because of his pact with the Devil, he is excluded and safe from Hell as well. The Devil threw him a burning ember from the fires of Hell. Jack carried this ember in a carved out rutabaga/turnip for use as a lantern as he walked the earth eternally and hid in swamps and bogs. Jack The Lantern's legend was brought to America by the Irish and evolved into a symbol to ward off the Devil and evil spirits. The pumpkin became the vegetable of choice as it was more plentiful than turnip and easier to hollow out.

A number of my family and friends are from Newfoundland, Canada. In Newfoundland, Halloween pumpkins are called 'Jackie Lanterns'. They re-tell the same folklore tale, but the lights in pumpkins are said to be 'ghost lights' or 'bog lights'. This is based on the phenomena of lighted orbs often seen floating over bogs and marshes that scientists say are caused by marsh gases. These same 'bog lights' are based on the story of the 'burning ember' that Stingy Jack (often called Drunk Jack in Newfoundland) was given by the Devil, and are known as Will O' The Wisp.

Will O' The Wisps have been cited throughout many places of literature such as JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, JRR Tolkien's, The Lord of The Rings, Michael Ende's NeverEnding Story, and Bram Stoker's, Dracula. One of my favorite authors, Johann Wolfgang von Goeth has Will O' The wisps appear in his fairy tale, The Green Snake and The Beautiful Lily. Whenever they are seen, however; they are always just moving out of our reach. Some people refer to goals as 'will o' the wisps' for this reason. They see their goals as magical lights that move away the closer we advance toward them. For me, this is an interesting analogy.

Regardless where the legend began, I have always been fascinated by Jack-O-Lanterns. Maybe the goal analogy is why. When I set a goal, I capture it and hold on to it until it manifests. No getting away from this chick. I grew up in the country too, so bogs and ghost lights only make me more curious - not afraid to go after them. My captured goals are trapped in my own pumpkins. the light in these same pumpkins represents hope and the unwavering faith of my achievement, and the scary faces push all the 'demons' or negativity away from me achieving those goals.

I think there should be a lot more people carving pumpkins and capturing their goals. Maybe this should also be done year around - not just for Halloween. Right now, however, I am planning my costume for trick or treating. I think I might go as Sarah Palin this year - but that's a whole other story...
Happy Halloween and here is a quote for you from one of my favorite authors as mentioned above to ponder as you carve your own Jack-O-Lanterns...

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have
occurred...unforseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which
no man could have dreamed would have come his way."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Expanding Your Circles

About a year ago, Fred and I wrote and ebook with some of our networking friends here in Florida called Expanding Your Circles Of Influence. This ebook was about the basics of law of attraction in your business, but more importantly about relationship building and understanding how our minds and those of others work. We are actually giving this away as a free bonus with the purchse of new book for the next few days, but I will get back to that in a minute.
The cover of this book is a water drop creating ripples outward. It represents how everyone's circles are ever expanding. Obviously if you are reading this, you understand this concept just by watching your own friends list and circle grow here on Facebook as a perfect example.
My own circles have been expanding, as everyone's do. With the excitement of our book launch today of The Secret Unraveled: Opening The Secret Once and For All!I wanted to share some of the amazing people in my circle who have helped with this launch by providing some fantastic complimentary gifts for those who purchase our book through our site over the next four days. Pat O'Bryan is giving a free copy of his book, Absolute Begginers Guide To Internet Wealth and a free subscription to his blog (which has more information for free than most internet training courses!). Pat has helped me learn so much about the internet, websites, and above all - he's 'real'. Pat may be a famous Rocker, song writer, and Best-Selling author, but he always has time to answer my emails and questions and talk to me no matter where he is or what he is up to.
Then there is Donald Kubelka. Donald is a great friend, my publisher and a new husband this week (congrats Donald - hope you are enjoying your honeymoon!). He has his own publishing company, is a computer genius, and an author - among many other titles he carries. Whenever we talk, I always make a pot of tea because one cup is not long enough for our conversations. Donald has given our readers an excerpt about Miracles from his and Dr. Joe Vitale's book, Becoming a Golden Master.
Maia Berens is one of my dear friends, whom I am planning on getting out to California soon to see her and share a pot or two of coffee. I love our phone calls together! She is a Life Coach, author and an inspiration to everyone who meets or speaks to her - I feel like I have known her my entire life. Maia is known as 'Wise Fairy God Mother" by friends and she worked with Dr.John Gray for a number of years, has trained over 500 professional therapists and corporate speakers, and provided workshops for Oprah Winfrey and her staff. Most important of all though, she has been my 'Fairy God Mother' and reminds me constantly 'how amazing' I am and we all are. She has graciously given us a copy of her e-book, 10 Secrets to Keep your Relationship Working Happily Ever After. Maia is the 'real thing' and by sharing her humor and experience (including that of her darling and her fish), she guides people to transform their lives.
Ann Webb and I also have a lot in common. She is a Life coach and entrepreneur who motivates anyone she comes in contact with just by her energy and conversation - it shows in everything she says and does. I actually met Ann here on Facebook, and we have become friends. Ann has offered a report called 'The Power of a Life Vision'. Helping people design their ideal lives is her specialty, and her report is a very detailed explanation that fits perfectly with my own experience of creating visions. She has a unique way of creating LifeVisions that I feel everyone should be using.
My local friends here in Florida have also given some great gifts.
Maddy Swinnen is an Executive and Life Coach and a Psychologist. I met Maddy here at my local networking group, and we hit it off immediately. Maddy has read our book and taken our class so that she can share some of what we do with her clients and we can share what she does with our friends too. We share the passion to help others, the understanding of how our minds work , and the understanding that our happiness is in our control - not in our 'genes' as she sputs it. Maddy can tell you first hand about her personal results. She offers a free coaching session and a 50% discount on her Well Being program during our campaign. Maddy's personality and smile alone changes the energy in the room when she walks in.
Timothy Ricke is also a dear friend whom I met here in Florida. He is an author of numerous books and is a dynamic professional speaker and mentor. He has spoken with Tony Robbins and has won many national awards for his speaches. For me, Tim's humor should also win him some awards! I haven't seen it yet, but he sings as well, and was an 'Elvis' for some time...maybe next Wednesday I'll put him on the spot at out networking group. Tim shares his 'Secrets Behind The Secret' tips that inspired him to write a new series on books on what he calls "Sensory Selling". I am very excited to see Tim working on this, and tickled that I will 'participating' in these projects with him.
Of course, Fred and I, as I mentioned have given a free copy of our book, Expanding Circles of Influence - which was how this whole discussion began. We wanted to find a way to grow our own circles in our ntework group and brainstormed my email course with contributions from some of the most successful people we know here locally. Our circles continue to ripple like wth water on our cover. Every one of those ripples, and many, many more that are not mentioned here are the reason we could do this. Thanks to all my 'ripply' friends!
PS...if you want to order the book to get the gifts from all of my friends here, I don't want to rush you, but they are only available for a few days while the launch is running.
Thanks...here's a link to check it out... http://living-success-now.com/prod01.htm

Keep Pluggin'

This week has been hectic, but time out for thinking is always important. Sometimes these times are only short moments of standing quietly outside and just listening, others may be alone in my room with my thoughts. Despite the work that was on my desk this week, every night before sleep, I have taken out some time to just contemplate the 'hugeness' of change that has occurred in my life in the last two years. It is exciting and mind-boggling to me at the same time.

Late last night, as I was finishing the last touches on our website links for our new book launch today, I realized that it is almost exactly two years to the date that I wrote out a goal of seeing this happen. I stopped what I was working on and sent an email to my friends and family immediately. There were no links for the book sale, no stories...just a thanks. Tears were in my eyes as I typed because I was mentally watching a movie of each of the people I care most about flash through my mind. Just before I wrote out those goals and my live vision two years ago, I actually was mentally watching these same faces in my mind as I said goodbye to them. All I kept thinking was, 'thank you God, I almost missed all of this'.

Now, here I am with more love and support than most people ever could dream of. That sad part of that is they have it too, they just don't realize it. That discovery is why I wrote this new book to begin with. As Fred and I tell the world about our book today, we have so many people to thank...we would both be writing for days and still not get everyone in.

Whatever ends up happening over the next few days, we know that it is what is supposed to happen. When Fred and I first started this project and company together, I told him, 'Even if we only help one other person realize how truly amazing they are - we are a success'. That's how we look at everything. We already have helped a number of people, so we just keep plugging. When we were asked yesterday at a presentation of how we got here, I said 'love'. Then I just smiled. Not everybody in the audience got it, but a lot of them did. So in answer to the emails I have received over the last few days, if you really want to know how to get here (where ever 'here' is?), go buy a Beatles CD and listen to "All You Need Is Love" for about 7 times straight. Then start to take a few moments every day and be alone with your own thoughts to figure out what that means to you. That may sound goofy, but it will get you thinking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Calling All Teachers - Pay Attention Or You could Be in Detention!

I have had the wonderful pleasure to be able to work with students in classrooms, after school programs, and on playgrounds for a number of years. I have had more great days than not-so great days. As a parent and as an educator, I have had my share of situations that required discipline for behavior issues. I may not be an expert, but I have found a number of things that do work and that do not. The most important thing that does NOT work is public humiliation of students or children in any setting or with any forms of physical punishment. This, many would say is common sense; yet this week, I have heard stories from parents in which physical 'discomfort' is a 'discipline policy' in some local schools. New to Florida and the US, perhaps things are done differently here and my experiences in Canada have 'softened' my approach; but to me any form of physical or mental humiliation is not acceptable.

This past week, I have heard of a local school here in Florida that has a 'desk on the back' form of discipline. The concept behind it is based on the idea that children must carry everything they own and use at school (from textbooks to pencils) back and forth in their backpacks for a minimum period of one week. The idea of the 'discomfort' is to instill in the child that 'bad' behavior is not acceptable and that the discomfort of lugging everything will create the memory and habit to behave more appropriately the next time. If the lesson is not learned within one week, then the discipline is extended for two weeks and so on.

When I first heard this, I literally cringed. I pictured my own child walking home bent over from the weight of his backpack the beginning of the year when he took his textbooks home. He only has a short distance from the bus stop, but if he had to do that for even a week straight - my fear of physical damage to his posture and back would cause me to drive him daily and approach the school about other options. My advice to any teacher who uses this form of discipline is to be very careful - you are walking on very thin ice here on the boarder of corporal punishment. Instilling pain on children - or anyone - is not acceptable behavior. As other parents realize this practice is taking place, I assure you the repercussions for your particular location will not be pleasant. I have seen many upset students, but they do not compare to upset parents. Issues like these can not only have parents show up in your front office, but also lawyers.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind with regard to using this type of discipline:
- 10,000 injuries were caused by heavy backpacks in 2005
- 15% or less of the students body weight is the MOST a backpack should weigh
- Students aged 7 to 10 are the host high risk group for injuries from stress on the spine
"Heavy backpacks can distort the natural curves in the middle and lower back causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine, joints and ribcage...Physical Therapist, Missy Caywood said that if children are not careful, these injuries would follow into adulthood and could remain permanent" (KUJH-TV News, University of Kansas, 11/08/06)

As an educator, I realize that discipline is an area that is difficult for teachers. Everyday, the rules change. However, if you simply take the time out to be more aware, you will often find that your classroom runs smoother. If you enter a behavior situation with calmness, understanding and humor, you can usually get your point across and not adversely affect the situation. Use your common sense. I remember substituting in a school a few years ago, and watching situations develop with a particular student day after day. The teacher had enough, and was getting to the end of her rope. I asked if I could have a few moments with the student, and she agreed. I sat next to his desk and asked him why he was so upset. After the 'Everybody picks on me and hates me', I took the time to ask who 'everybody' was. 'Everybody' was one other student in another classroom. I humorously asked him if he could project his anger through concrete walls and when he looked at me like I was nuts, I told him that was his problem. Every time he was trying to get back at the other kid, his anger was hitting the teacher and him and causing an argument. I suggested he either learn telekinesis or mention the situation with the other student to his teacher. Following that discussion, he was much more calm, he did not retaliate the other student involved, and he learned to speak up not scream out. The teacher, was amazed at how easy it was to change the behavior - no detention, no yelling, no humiliation - just communication and humor.

Speaking of detention - there is an effective way to use detention and many not-so-effective ways to use detention. I have heard of students being required as part of their detention to clean garbage from the school yard. This, in itself, may seem like it is a win-win situation, but I have been on the school yard and watched what can happen with this form of discipline. Often, the students are chastised and humiliated by their peers. They are made fun of, called names, and be-littled. To me, is no different than public humiliations from hundreds of years ago when people were made public spectacles by throwing rotten fruit and vegetables at them. This leaves mental scars on our children and that is not acceptable either. Further, it can create a behavior boomerang. Students can feel belittled, so they act out even more with anger at being humiliated in the first place. If it continues, the 'bad' behavior is re-inforced and becomes a permanent habit. Not good. Use detention to get extra work done - on areas that the student requires help in. That means relationship building skills and foundations too - not just math. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to distinguish the needs of your students and supply the resources. That was, I hope, the passion and reason you became a teacher to begin with. There are more resources available to teachers now than ever before - use them.

These ideas do not always work, I realize, and I am not making light of situations. Violence in classrooms does occur, and teachers need to be prepared for that. However, often if the educator is very aware and time is taken when the 'small stuff' starts, discipline can often be very easy. If an educator takes the time to learn about awareness in themselves, they can often create amazing learning settings with positive outcomes. There also needs to be continuous communication - and not just be email and 'open house' nights. Parents and teachers need to talk face-to-face. Whenever I have been asked by parents about how I 'get along so well' with kids, I simply remind them that their children and just little people. They still have the same feelings as we adults do, and those feelings are often amplified because they are in new situations all of the time and still learning social skills. If you want happy students and respectful kids - all you have to do is be that which you want them to be and communicate that to them in every single thing that you do.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How to Stuff A Turkey

Last week I was on course and we were talking about 'triggers' - those things that cause memories, emotions and asscociations to arise in the forefront of our minds to current situations and experiences. Michael (Watson), my NLP trainer, was mentioning food - one of my favorite subjects. As soon as he started talking about food relating to different times in our lives, my mouth began to water as I was imagining turkey dinner.

As I now live in Florida and the US does not celebrate Thanksgiving until November, I almost forgot that it was Thanksgiving this weekend back home in Canada. I will miss Thanksgiving with my family and friends back in Nova Scotia, but am celebrating just the same. Who says you can't have Thanksgiving twice in one year? I have posted one of my short stories about how to stuff a turkey for my friends and family back home today. I miss and love you all. I am thinking of each and every one of you and am thankful for you all. The best part of all, is that I am grateful all year around - not just on holidays. Save me some stuffing!

How To Stuff A Turkey..

We have all had those days, when someone was in town, or decided to ‘pop over for dinner’. We have all celebrated holidays with family and friends and celebrated being together over a Turkey dinner. Let’s face it, Turkey is a comfort food.

Just this week, my husband called me from work to say that a friend was in town visiting and that they were stopping over for a visit. Panic is not one of my favorite words, but there was definitely a fluttering in my stomach as I thought of what I should have for dinner. I decided on a turkey. I could put it in the oven and basically forget about it. There is no such thing in my mind as turkey without stuffing.

So, off I walk to the local grocery store. I get a 26 lb turkey, and a box of stuffing mix. I have learned over the years of my ever expanding family that boxed stuffing can be a gift sent from heaven. I make it up, and then add my own mashed potatoes and spices to give it that homemade taste – a tip I learned from my mother-in-law – a mom of eight, grandmom of eighteen. I walk home thinking how I have made the right choice.

I peel, boil and mash the potatoes. I mix the potatoes in, and add some fresh onion, and garlic and herbs, spices…just about anything I can find in the cupboard. My claim to fame is that I am a great cook, but nothing is ever the same no matter how many times I prepare it. I don’t believe in recipes. I have always taken the basics, and made them my own.

After everything is mixed together, the smell of the spices is almost overwhelming. I begin to spoon the stuffing in the huge bird I have just washed like it was my first born. Around the second full spoon, memories begin to flash across the screen of mind. I see Christmas dinners at my home and at my husbands’, Thanksgiving dinners with all of the people I love, weddings, funerals – all with family and friends that mean everything to me. I watch as the next spoonful goes in, all the while the movie playing in my head is of my brother-in-laws dozing – full of dinner and arguing that it was the chemical in the turkey that made them sleepy – a scientific fact – not the wine that we toasted. I see the kids playing with toys under Christmas trees, and I feel the warmth of the fireplace that is burning in my memory of a distant Thanksgiving. I watch as my father begins to carve that turkey – it is golden brown, a true trophy to be shared as we pass our plates one by one.

I realize, as I look down, that I have been filling the turkey. I have been moving the spoon almost like a caress that I would share with my children before sleep. I am not in shock, but taken aback a moment by the intense feelings, connections, and memories. I realize that anytime I have, and ever will stuff a turkey, it will be with love. My noticing of my own physical motions at that moment, and all of the feelings make me smile. What truth there is in living the moment. I love the small stuff in life.

Stuff your turkeys with love…who cares what the recipe says.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

My September EFT Story

Just the other day, I went out to grab the mail. It was absolutely beautiful. and daughter did not want to go back inside. I decided to spend a few moments pruning my garden. As I bent down to remove some weeds, I was stung twice by wasps hiding in one of my evergreen bushes. Boy did that hurt!
Almost instantly, my fingers began to swell and pain throbbed up my arm. By the time I gathered my wits and my daughter to enter the house, my throat began to close over, I was feeling a tightening in my chest and pain was now crossing my collarbone to my neck.

I have a potentially fatal allergy to stings, and I carry an Epi-pen wherever I go. Because I only walked to the mailbox at the end of my driveway, I did not have my Epi-Pen with me.

In a few moments, panic started to set in as I frantically tried to remember where my medication was. It was getting harder to breathe now and I was alone with my baby girl (2 yrs). I knew from experience and my symptoms that I did not have a lot of time before I needed a shot.
I have used EFT for emotions of being overwhelmed, frustrated, and for anger, but never for something this serious for myself.

I concentrated on the panic as I began my EFT tapping. After two rounds, the swelling began to subside, and the pain in my arm was reduced to below my wrist and hand. Within roughly fifteen minutes, it was almost completely gone. I think I may have even missed a few tapping spots. My results amazed me. My husband was recently stung and it took four days with medicated topical creams to relieve his swelling and pain - and he does not have an allergy. The stings happended at about 3:30 PM, and when my son arrived home from school at 4:30 PM there was only two tiny white bumps where the stings had been. When I showed my husband an hour later, there were no marks or swelling left at all. All of my symptoms had also disappeared except for a feeling of bruising when touched where the stings had been. My faith in EFT was now concrete.

Do I recommend you give up your Epi-Pen or meds? NO! EFT is amazing and works the majority of the time, but even I will still carry my pen - just in case. I do recommend you learn EFT though. Chick it out at emofree.com. As Gray Craig says, "Try it on everything". EFT often works when nothing else will - even when you don't believe it will. Fred and I discuss EFT in our new book and provide step-by-step instructions on how to use it, it's theory and it's history. We have modified it a bit and added some other techniques to make it even more powerful and we also teach it in our classes. Read up on it for free at Gary Craig's site http://emofree.com

Parents: EFT is great for kids. you can play Simon Says while tapping to help them sleep, deal with frustration, or to cope with test anxiety to name a few things!

Press Release - Entrepreneur Views on The US Economic Crisis


The US Economic Crisis:
Business As Usual For Local Entrepreneurs

ORLANDO, FL - October 1, 2008 (PRB) - In an
article published today by ‘The Canadian Press’, an
analysis of a survey conducted by Ewing Marion
Kauffman Foundation showed where the minds of
Americans stand in view of the economic crisis.
According to their findings, following the US
Government’s announcement of the Senate vote
against the Economic Bailout Plan, “7 percent
of people felt there would be no personal impact
at all, 87 percent expected negative consequences,
and 13 percent of people believed the economic
crisis would have ‘devastating effects’.”

The same article also quoted the views of
entrepreneurs. “The crisis has also made it more
difficult to become an entrepreneur in the US,
71 percent of the respondents said. But 70
percent nevertheless think the success and health
of the American economy depend on the success of
entrepreneurs”. This same mindset was shared by
local entrepreneurs in Orlando, FL today at round
table networking groups.

Fred Keebler and Leigh Le Creux, addressed local
networkers today about the importance of being
aware, but not letting the negative discussions
and media coverage of economic crisis affect their
attitudes or businesses. Keebler owns A+ Learning
Solutions and is an author and life coach.
Le Creux is an author and an educator in success
principles. Together they created Living-Success-Now which is
a personal development and life coaching company.
They discussed their book being launched later
this month on the heels of the financial frenzy
and think they could not have picked a release
date more timely.

“The Secret Unraveled: Opening The Secret Once
and For All!” is a manual that teaches people how
to implement desired changes and growth through
the understanding of their attitudes and beliefs
and the development of the abilities to cope with
negativity and issues such as financial worry”
LeCreux stated.

“Understand the importance of entrepreneurs in the
process of re-building the US economy.” Keebler
remarked, “There couldn’t be a more appropriate
time to release this book…these are the answers
everyone – especially entrepreneurs – are searching
for.” Referring to thinkers such as Ford, Gates,
and Rockefeller who all showed the mindset
required for success, Keebler added “Maintaining
that same mindset requires skill and techniques
that are used daily. Getting those tools out is
our job”.

“The Secret Unraveled: Opening The Secret Once
and For All!” officially launches on
October 23, 2008. It is available through

More information about the authors is available
at http://Living-Sucess-Now.com
or call 407-971-3116.

CONTACT: Fred Keebler/Leigh Le Creux
Telephone: 407-971-3116

Monday, September 29, 2008

Facebook = Business Growth = Law of Attraction

I have had so many comments about my last blog post on Facebook and my interviews, that I thought I would share some of my own ‘quantum leaps’ with regard to my business. I was sharing some of my stories last week at one my networking meetings, and I was surprised that so many small business owners do not use Facebook because they are ‘not comfortable’ with it, or don’t know how to use it for their business. Hence this post and my group presentation planned later this week in Oviedo. First, here is a stat that not everyone is aware of – there are over 80 million + users on Facebook. From a marketing perspective alone – even if you do not understand social networking – that’s huge! People all over the world can get to see who you are, what you stand for, and what your business/products are. That means, that if someone in the UK makes a connection with you by simply seeing you in a group or listed as a friend of one of their friends – you have increased your exposure. Business development is based upon exposure – but more importantly – it is about creating relationships, developing trust, creating lasting positive memories in the minds of others, and providing value for others. With social marketing, in particular, using Facebook, people can read all about you, see you and what you are interested in, see what you have to offer, and talk to you – all without getting out of their pj’s.

Being a coach, author and educator, I work and live the law of attraction or success principles everyday in every aspect of my life. Facebook is the law of attraction in action. I am member of various groups that are of importance to me, so people who are in the same groups want to connect to share ideas. I have clients and resources online that I could never build (ie: book distributors overseas) normally by working from home in such an easy manner. I shared this story last Wednesday with my networking group to show them the power behind social networking.

The previous Monday, I was on a teleconference about marketing. I am familiar with Facebook as I use it almost daily to talk with my family and friends back home in Canada. I used it to send messages about my first book launch to those who wanted to buy my book back home over a year ago. My friends list has constantly grown as people whom I’ve never met read my book and wanted to know more about me.

As the call continued, I was looking through Facebook at the same time. I recently had a woman befriend me who was a life coach. The new Facebook (just recently changed its look) does not always allow you to read someone’s profile until a friendship has been confirmed. As I was now taking the time to find out more about this woman, her friend’s list was on the page, and one particular pic stood out. The lady in the picture looked like Jennifer Anniston. I clicked on it ( I always trust my intuition) and I told her how I had found her picture and how she reminded me of Rachel from the TV show, Friends. She quickly emailed me back and said that she was a life coach too, and apologized for typos as she was holding her newborn in the other arm. I answered that I had written my first book the same way. We had an instant connection. The conversation continued, and after she asked about my book, she went to Amazon, ordered it, and offered to promote it on her e-zine. Then she added me to her friends list. Up until this point, I could not read anything about her, but we had a great time talking and I was tickled pink that she was interested in my book as well. When I did receive her friend confirmation and reviewed her profile, ‘Jeanna’ turned out to be ‘Jeanna Gabellini’ , one of the Best-Selling Authors of Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction: 7 Essential Ingredients for Living a Prosperous Life, with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Eva Gregory. What do you think of that? I had goose bumps for days. For me as an author, I was humbled, flattered, and unbelievably excited at the connection. But, that is what the law of attraction is about and that is what Facebook is about. Now, from a business perspective, what do you think Jeanna’s offer to help by putting my book in her e-zine means for my business? You do the math on that one – my head is still buzzing. The same thing happened two days later with another person…different circumstances and story – but another huge quantum leap. That is another blog post for another day.

The key of importance is to remember something about social networking sites – they are for social networking. I specialize in relationship marketing and my main tip and warning is always the same – people like people – not products. My experiences are amazing, but they happen because I practice etiquette online and offline. If the relationships and trust is there, then maybe I will mention what I do. You know what to say when you are a party to new people – remember the same guidelines online as well.

NOTE: if you are in Central Florida and want to know more about this…the presentation I referred to will be this Wednesday, October 1/08 at the Daily Grind Unwind Coffee shop on 3100 Alafaya Drive. Our networking group is known as COFFEEEVENT on Meetup.com. you are more than welcome to join us. We start at 9:10. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Facebook, Twitter, and Interviews

This week has been an extremely exciting one! I have met so many awesome people from Facebook and Twitter - that in itself is amazing for someone who is fairly new to this 'social networking' stuff. Facebook for me has always been just for family and friends - and it still is - but I have met some people that I would not have had the opportunity to otherwise (at least for awhile anyway :) ).

I also had the pleasure of having coffee and an interview with a dear friend, Harry Duncan. Harry was one of the first friends I met here in Orlando and he is amazing! He knows more people, I think, than are on Facebook! Harry works in alternative health and is a walking, talking, flashing billboard for me and many others. His passion is meeting new people and helping everyone he meets in some way. You can talk to Harry at harry@neatoweb.com - tell him Leigh sent you!

This interview was printed in a local newsletter/newspaper in my hometown of Louisbourg, NS, Canada. A few people have asked about the interview, so here is the unedited full transcript. Enjoy!

HARRY: Although I know you very well Leigh, I have a number of people in my networking circles who I want to share what you are doing with, so I wanted to have this interview to provide those answers. Since I am aware of your new book, let’s talk about that today ok?

LEIGH: Sure.

HARRY: So this new book is coming out in October right? This is what – book number three for you now?

LEIGH: Actually its number four – two published, one in pre-publishing, and one e-book.

HARRY: All of this in only three years; while still being at home with your children, teaching, and studying all at the same time - That’s incredible! Tell everyone what this newest book of yours is about.

LEIGH: Well, actually it is a manual that I co-authored with my partner, Fred Keebler. It covers the basics and the not-so-basics of the law of attraction through the use of study guides, exercises and advanced coaching techniques – the stuff you often only get with one-on-one personal coaching or mentors. It actually goes along with classes we teach locally in Florida – but the manual can be used all on its own.

HARRY: I know there is an interesting story behind the “Why” you both decided to write The Secret Unraveled: Opening the Secret Once and for All! Can you tell us a bit about that?

LEIGH: Sure. As you know Harry, my passion is with kids – so I find myself answering questions with clients and parents all the time about to apply the techniques I use into their lives and the lives of their children. Fred has a lot of clients, and together we know of so many people who were frustrated because they followed everything in book and movie The Secret, but either couldn't’t make it work for them, or if it did, it only worked for a short while. The Secret Unraveled provides all the tools and techniques we use, as well as what we found to be the ‘best of the best’ in the self-development field to make the Law of Attraction work every time. We have personally used and experienced every thing we talk about in our book.
There is also another reason for me. When I needed help a few years ago, every time I found something that I thought would help, it came with a price tag I couldn't’t afford. This almost drove me insane and put me in a worse depressed state! All the training and information I wanted to use to get me out of my rut - both health wise and financial – was not available because I was in that rut to begin with! I swore that when I had the opportunity, I was going to find a way to help others to get out of the same place as I was. Fred has had similar experiences – another connection between us.
That said, don’t get me wrong – Everything is worth looking at, and the argument in the Law of Attraction realm is that if you want that money to take that program – you just attract it. What they don’t tell you is how to do it specifically. I recommend that as soon as you learn some techniques like those we teach, and you start to see changes beginning to take place – then prepare your goals to take those other programs. That’s how I got started myself you know. (Laughter) But seriously, everyone has a different perspective and something to offer – that is why there are so many different programs and books to begin with. We just wanted to do our best to put it all together and help people get where they want to go a lot faster without having to spend all that money and research just to find out what would work for them.

HARRY: That’s great! Now because I have had the opportunity to experience your program, I have to say that sometimes I wonder about all the people who take it. I mean, our class has life coaches, authors, and business people – a whole myriad of different people doing different things. What I mean is, this program is great for anyone – it has made a huge difference in my life already – and I am so grateful for having you and Fred as my friends.

LEIGH: Thank you Harry, that means a great deal to me.

HARRY: You’re welcome, but as I was saying, people in the same field as you, like other coaches – how do you suggest that this book helps them? I mean – don’t they already know what you teach?

LEIGH: Great question! And the answer is yes and no. People, who ‘work’ in our field, as you say, are always looking for better ways to improve their own skills to help others. Remember, everyone has a different take or spin, if you will, on things. For example, a lot of coaches are familiar with EFT…

HARRY: EFT being short for Emotional Freedom Technique right? Can you just touch on that as in am not sure if everyone is familiar with it?

LEIGH: Sure. EFT is a very simple, yet very powerful technique that can be thought of as acupuncture without the needles. Instead of needles to stimulate acupressure points, you simply tap them with your fingertips. I love EFT and use it all the time for all kinds of stuff – from removing feelings of frustration, to goal setting, to allergy relief. The cool thing about EFT, not only does it work on almost everything even if you don’t ‘believe’ it will, but you can do it anywhere at anytime. I wish I had known about EFT when I worked in the ‘corporate world’ to deal with stress! Oh well…another lesson right? (Laughter) EFT is only one of the techniques that we teach in our manual and classes. Fred has actually refined the technique and had added specific short-cuts and combined them with kinesiology techniques to enhance them. That’s would be one thing that other coaches could learn from this. Not only that, but when people learn some of the strategies we show them, and implement them themselves, they can define their own needs and goals in more clarified way. That way, if they get ‘stuck’, then a coach or mentor has the ability to hone in on the exact area they need help with. It helps the tailor to the needs of their clients. We show step-by-step instructions on EFT, but also give people a ‘toolbox’ that includes goal achievement strategies and exercises, creative writing, and visualization techniques – especially for those who have had difficulty with this – this is another one of Fred’s specialties. One lady we worked with had ADD and couldn’t visualize or focus – just be doing one exercise in fifteen mintues and she can! That’s powerful stuff!

HARRY: OK – that is powerful and I never really thought about how it could help coaches that way, but now I understand. Since I have been using your and Fred’s manual and taking the classes, I know what to do when I get frustrated, I, too am more focused, and I see changes in my life everyday now – especially in my business and family life. I know that some others in our class have had some amazing results already too – like phobias disappearing, new friendships developed – all kinds of stuff. That said, I am wondering about the program – for now it is just available in Orlando correct?

LEIGH: Yes, for now. I can’t give you a lot of details, but very soon we hope to have a recorded program available.

HARRY: Fantastic! So where can people get The Secret Unraveled? How can people get the book? I know you have am official launch planned very soon…can you give some details on that?

LEIGH: The official launch date is next month – October 23 – but it is available on Amazon.com now. On the official launch day, we will have some free gifts for those who purchase the book from some incredible people like Pat O’Bryan, Marketing Expert and Best Selling author of Your Portable Empire; Forbes Robbins Blair, Best Selling Author of Instant Self-Hypnosis; Maia Berens, Relationship, Life Coach, and Author of Once Upon A Time There Was You, Timothy M Ricke; Professional Speaker and Author of The Gift, and The 4% Factor, and Maddy Swinnen, Psychologist and Well Being Life Coach…just to name a few. These gifts were hand-picked by Fred and I to compliment various aspects of where to apply this knowledge – whether it be your business, health, finances, spirituality – any aspect of your life. There may be a few surprises too! (Laughter)

HARRY: Do you have a way to get the book offline too? …And what if people have questions – while they are using your manual? How can people reach you and Fred?

LEIGH: Well, I am aware that not everyone is comfortable buying online – I learned that one the first time around – so this time there will be a form that people can print off and mail to us so that we can ship them a copy. And, yes, before you ask, if they email me a copy of the form, I will make sure they get all the free bonuses before they are made unavailable – they will only be there during the few days of the actual launch. As for questions, Fred and I can be reached by email or through our company website http://Living-Success-Now.com. Fred’s email is FredKeebler@Living-Success-Now.com and mine is LeighLeCreux@Living-Success-Now.com . We are also both experts on http://AllExperts.com under the category of Law of Attraction and people can post their questions there if they don’t want to send them to us.

HARRY: That’s great. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions today Leigh – and above all, for you and Fred enriching my life. I know this is important to you both, and you are succeeding. You are making a difference.

LEIGH: No, Thank you, Harry. As always, you are a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to me. That’s what life is about though, right?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

How can we change the education system?

After working in education for a number of years, it never ceases to amaze me how ridiculous some of the 'rules' of schools are. Today was a prime example.

My son was planning a science experiment involving the intention effect on plant growth. He was already researching some quantum physics, and reading up on The Intention Experiment by Lynn McTaggart. He came home today from school today extremely disapointed as his teacher told him that his experiment was not an experiment at all, 'plants don't have brains'. My child is twelve and is exploring quantum physics on his own accord, and his teacher literally squashed his enthusiasm in one sentence. I talkd him we would have to follow the rules at school, but we are doing the experiment ourselves at home anyway. This made him feel a little better, but he still asked, "why does my science teacher not know about energy mom? everything is made out of energy!?" Good question.

To top it off, he was actually reprimanded for reading the above mentioned book in Language Arts as it was "not considered to be advanced reading". Duhhh? Did they even look at the cover of the book? Quantum theory and science is not advanced reading?? Seems to me there was some science guy - pretty well known - that used to talk about this....oh yeah, his name was EINSTEIN.

So how, do you deal with this? Well, we can always switch to home schooling I guess, but for now, we will just make sure that it is covered at home and we 'appease' the powers the be at school. I reminded my son, Henry Ford was told over and over again that he was crazy, and Einstein was failing in school. No one who was ever noted as exceptional in history listened to what everyone else said. Yes, kids we do have to follow the rules in school, but no one can tell you what to think. As parents, we need to remind ourselves and our children to be free thinkers. I think the end of the year gift for the teachers will be a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble or maybe a free field trip down the road to NASA.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I don't often get really angry, but just recently I was literally spitting nickels.

I just received my copy of RTIR(Radio and Television Interview Report) this week. This publication is an advertiser's listing of all those who are 'up and coming'. The magazine is a major issue for publicity hunters looking for the 'Who's who" of the moment. RTIR is a fantastic resource and the people who put it all together are awesome at what they do. I love getting my copy in the mail. However, something in the Should You Advertise With Us section got me really riled up this time.

This section discusses what the media and prime time is looking for - or what creates high ratings on radio and TV. I guess I never really paid that close attention to this before. I was sickened to see the top media choice picks were mostly negative controversial subjects, sometimes just strange or really 'different'. The industries such as going green and self-development / self-help were highly ranked, but family and parenting were described as "much less appealing" for subject content.

As someone who focuses on consciousness and development with family always being top priority, this really put a knot in my jaw. How can we, as a society grow and develop if our emphasis is not on family values? How can relationships develop if our concentration is on controversial subjects like religious separatism and cultural differences?

So , then the next question is how can this be made more positive? How can I do my part? What can I do to make a difference and help family and relationship values to grow in popularity with the media and the masses?

I think back to where I was a few years ago and shudder for a moment at my own contribution to the negative group think tank. Thank God I took time to prioritize my own life. I have broken many rules to get there, but man am I glad I did.

Putting love, tears, and determination in every action and decision I took everyday since is how I won and still beat the battle of negativity around me. I study every tool, technique, and opportunity that is presented to me. I pay attention to every encounter and person whom I come in contact with the intention of heightening that person's day - even if only by a smile. Intention is the key.

I write everyday. I write for myself and to inspire children, and to help others know that they can make a difference. Every new technique I learn, I write about to share it with others.

Now, with a program being developed, I face yet another challenge. Others in the same field as my partner and I want to share the same information for hundreds and thousands of dollars. Again - I am P.O.'d! When I needed help, I couldn't afford it. I don't care what the others say, I know that this is not the way to go.

So, here we go again - breaking the rules. We combined our experienced techniques and tools and published a book on it - no frills, just what works so everyone can afford it and make a difference in their own lives. The publishers and reviewers said to us, "you need a professionally designed cover", "you need fantastic graphics that jump out at everyone", "You need to charge at least $100 for this material or people won't want it". WHAT!?! Then, to make matters worse, when we told them there was a program to go with it, we were told that no one will buy at that price because it is too low and low prices denote low value". "Everyone under values their own work...cahrge at least five times what you intially thought of and then you will be in the right ballpark". I am sorry if I offend anyone, but these people are NUTS! How can you make a difference if the people who need it the most can't use it? Yes, inspiration will move some to start out on their own, but what about everyone else who does not know where to start or do ont have the resources to get even to that point?

For us, this is about passion and making a difference. I do not care what 'they' say, because I have been there. I fought to get where I am now, and I am staying. If I can help someone else get where they want to be...who do you think is going to be more successful? The guy selling a program to a few at a couple of thousand bucks, or my partner and I when we can't keep up with the classes because we actually make a difference and are 'reasonable'? We shall soon see won't we.

NOTE: As I was posting this today, I received a call from someone at the above mentioned publication about a possible TV interview for our new book. He was "feeling' me out and checking out my pitch for a producer should they choose to interview us. I laughed and told him I was blogging when he called and told him what this blog was about. I suggested that maybe the media is 'barking up the wrong tree' in a sense. That I think that the 'market' of families is somewhat overlooked, and maybe they should be barking up the tree of genealogy - the family tree. He laughed and agreed. We shall see what happens when he calls back next week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Story...for those who have asked

A little over two years ago, I suffered from depression. I gave up the career I thought I had always wanted to be full-time stay-at-home mom.
I suddenly found myself no longer the same person. I was no longer contributing an income and our financial picture became ‘tight’ to say the least. This was a huge change for me – not just for the amount of income change, but also because I had always prided myself as being an independent woman. This importance of financial independence had been instilled by my parents since I was a child.
The guilt over choosing to be a good mother and watching my family struggle was unbearable to me. We still had enough, but it was often very difficult. I had not had to count grocery dollars before.
I often cried for hours on end and sometimes did not leave my house or even shower for days on end. My marriage and my children started to show the stress as tensions were high and conversations were stalled. Not knowing where to turn, I asked my family doctor for help. He said there really was nothing he could do. I saw a psychologist and spoke with a psychiatrist. No one could help me except with the offer of drugs and the promise that it was only temporary – just a bad case of the ‘baby blues’. I was told that every one ‘goes through it’, just at different degrees.
At home, I became a robot. I cooked meals and sometimes, cleaned my house. To this day, most of my friends and family have no idea how much of this I/we hid this from them. I would pass off my withdrawal as being tired from the kids, or I would say that I was just too busy to get out even for groceries.
At this point, my friends began to call less often. I was pushing everyone away without realizing it. My life was spiraling out of control and I was completely overwhelmed by it. The only one who truly knew just how desperate I felt, was my mother. I even managed to keep some of what I was going through from my husband – or so I thought. I could have won an Oscar.
My mom began sending me books about self-help, and names of groups and people I could talk to. She sent me a copy of the movie The Secret. The books and papers sat scattered through the house gathering dust.
Although I do not remember the actual day, I had reached a point that I never will return to again. As I sat nursing my daughter, watching Oprah and eating a bag of Doritos, I wondered if my family would be better off without me. I even thought about how if I was gone, insurance would pay off a lot of our debt. My husband was a wonderful man – I should have been better to him and my kids. He would meet someone better, and that would be good for my children.
Tears streamed down my face. I sobbed and shook in the armchair. My trance was broken as my daughter made a gurgle sound. I looked down at her, and in that very instant, I realized that I had so much to live for. I thought I was going to go insane. As I fought the guilt coming at me from every direction for the thoughts I had just pictured in my mind, I glanced up at the TV. How the hell did people like Oprah get where they are? I didn’t know a lot about her, but I knew she came from virtually nothing. I didn’t think I could ever get to the same ‘place’ as she was, but maybe there was a way to get myself out this mess and I just had to find it. I looked down at my daughter, and then and there, I promised her, my son, my husband and my parents – all of them – that I could fix it. I knew I had to fix me first, because I knew somehow that I had caused all of this. I had pushed the people I loved the most away from me. The problem was me. I prayed and asked God to somehow show me what to do.
After awhile, I got up to change the channel and I saw a DVD on the top of the television. I picked it up and realized that it was the movie, The Secret that my mom had given me. I blew the dust off and put it in the player. ‘I might as well watch it’, I thought. “I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself and not doing anything anyway!”
I watched that movie three times in a row that day. I cried ever time, but now the tears were from hope and inspiration. That same evening, I explored every corner, closet and bookshelf in my house. I pulled every book mom had given me, or ‘accidently’ left behind and I piled them all in the living room on the floor. There were books by John Gray, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Cheryl Richardson; as well as many others. Cheryl’s book looked interesting, so I decided to start with that one. I read it cover to cover in two days. Then I started again, and did the journaling and exercises in one of my son’s empty scribblers from school.
It was difficult to relive some of my experiences as I wrote them all down. But, I did it faithfully every day while I was nursing my daughter or while she slept in my arms. I watched The Secret again and again, and I kept on writing. I asked questions aloud, and wrote every thought and feeling I had. I analyzed my own entries. What had I learned? How did or can this help me? Where do I go next?
I began to look on the internet for more information. I discovered The Science of Getting Rich Program, and I knew the second I saw it that this was the next step I needed to take. The program was expensive - $2000.00, but when I approached my husband he saw my desperation and told me that ho only wanted ‘his Leigh’ back again. We didn’t have the money, but we would use credit if it would help me. I bought the program.
That program has helped change my life. I began going out again – gingerly at first, but I became more confident and started spending time with my friends again. I started my own business, and I wrote like a banshee every day. My journal entries now changed to a story for my son. That same story became my first published children’s book. The whole process and how that little chapter book has further changed our lives is another novel in itself. The main point is – I got out of that place. I vowed that somehow, I would find a way to help others like me find their way out too.
Now, a different person, yet the same – my outlook on everything is best described as holographic. Even as I write this now, I fell my eyes begin to fill. The difference now though, is that these are feelings of gratitude. If is often hard to imagine being thankful for the pain in our lives and serious conditions such as depression, but if you learn the lesson and can move on – you have learned the secret to life.
I have been knick-named “The Rule-breaker” by some of my new friends. I don’t follow the rules. If someone tells me I can’t, I know instantly that I can and I will find a way. I was told I would never publish my book – I am currently on book number four. I was told that couldn’t change – I did. I was told that I could not get to the point to help others – I do. You can too. Believe.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Practice What you Preach

You know, us coaches are not like the Walmart happy face all of the time. We have times of frustration too. We are human.

However, that said, I practice what I preach. I believe, use and teach through the power of writing. Get it out on paper is my motto. Then you release the emotion. So why am I frustrated?

I moved to Florida a year ago. I entered the US as a 'spouse of an international delegate'. My husband has a temporary visa, and the permanent one is on the way. He has a social security number, but since I am only his spouse, I do not have, nor am I eligible for one until he gets his Green Card. They tell us that takes five years or more. The powers that be still make me pay taxes, however. I am a permanent resident. I have credit, a car, and my own home. The problem arises with regard to working.

I am an author, educator, and a coach. I work from home - mostly online except for speaking and classes that I teach. I have my own company. Since moving, I had to let my clients and customers aware of my new location. However, I cannot accept payment for my products or services without a processing account. They require a social security number - hence, my dilemma.

There are, however, loopholes. I am finding them. I was told I would never graduate - I did and am still getting certifications and degrees. I was told I would never have children - I have two adorable kids. I was diagnosed with cancer - it's gone. I was told I would never get my book published - I just published my third. There is obviously something else that needs to be done or to happen first. Therefore, I will wait and keep on plugging. I reference A Course In Miracles often, "Infinite patience brings immediate results". I just need to be patient.

This, too, I shall overcome.

There, I feel much better.

Tropical Strom Fay: The 3 Stupidest Things I Saw

OK...I have been in hurricanes before and tropical storms and I have seen some pretty amazing and dumb things. However, as tropical storm Fay pesristed for days and flooded out most of the state of Florida, I have to say I had three new experiences.

Stupid ones.

Here are my top three dumb things to do in a tropical storm.

3. Surfing - I used to be on a swim team years ago and took the beginning of Lifeguard training. You do not have to be lifeguard to know that there are currents in the water. Furthermore, when the waves exceed a few feet high and there are white caps...it's rough. Add a state declartion of emergency and warnings to stay inside away from the windows from the Governor - you know it is not a typical 'beach day'.

Yet...I watch the news to see how the storm is progressing, and every second 'live' shot is on the beaches with people surfing and the media laughing. I am sorry, I love thrills - roller coasters and parasailing are my best buds - but I do have a little common sense.

2. Umbrella Skating - I peaked out my front door because I thought I may have heard the tornado siren, and wanted to get my kids in our safe room. As I am mentally going through my checklist of supplies, water, diapers, flashlights, etc that are in that room - I hear a kid scream...then more screams from obviously different kids. Worried that someone was hurt, I opened the door all the way to see three kids (I would say about 7 or 8) on skateboards holding patio umbrellas and using the gusts of wind to fly up the road. It was great until one of them wiped out at a rough speed I'd guess to be at least 20miles/hour. Not such a great sport.

1. Superman Wannabe - OK, this guy won. I saw a man on his roof when I was moving some debris in my yard in a quiet moment of the storm. I assumed he had leaking and flooding problems. Then, I heard a kid yell to him, and when I looked he was hold the bottoms of his jacket open like a parachute for the wind yelling he was superman. I went back in the house shaking my head, as another band of rain and wind gusts started. Two days after Fay moved on, I heard from a neighbor that he had been up checking on a leak, and the superman imitation for his kids resulted in flying - not so gracefully from the top pitch of his roof to the emergency room with a broken arm and collarbone. I guess he wasn't so invincible.

The moral of the story...

Mother Nature has been known to show us her fury. When she is angry, get out of the way. Don't be stupid, but be prepared. Spend your time doing something useful inside where it is safe. Clean your pantry and closets. Not fun, but your stuck in the house anyway, and when the storm is over, there are a lot of people at shelters and in need of clothes and extra food. Your not so needed canned goods and clothing can help other families.

To all those affected by Fay...Blessings and our thoughts are with you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Conversations with a Priest

Growing up in a very small town of about 800 people, your religion was part of your profile. Mine happened to be Catholic – and still is. However, a few years ago, I began to ask a lot of questions. Being a catechist since the age of sixteen, a liturgy committee member for five years, and so on; you would have thought that I knew what my ‘role’ was. Call it an early onset of a midlife crisis, or trying to find oneself – whatever; my life had taken some interesting turns by year thirty-five. My son was now eleven and I was pregnant with my second child. My sister-in-law, and very dear friend, fought and lost a battle with breast cancer. My uncle attempted suicide. Everyday it seemed, I was seeing tragedy all around me. Finally, it got to be too much and I did what every ‘good’ Catholic girl does – I went to talk with my parish priest.

The actual conversation I had that evening opened a whole new world to me. I learned so many lessons about my life, the church, and faith. I left his office that night feeling like I had just stepped off of a circus ride. My head swam at the new discoveries I had been given, and my heart raced with excitement for all of the new questions that were created.

As I sat across listening to a man I had known and worked with for almost ten years, and suddenly had the realization that I had never known him at all. I poured out my fears, anger, and frustration while he sat listening. There was no judgment, no comments – just the feeling of love in that small office. I had never experienced that total joy of just ‘being there’ before, or of having someone totally hearing my words and feelings without even the usual “I understand how you feel” statements.

When I finally finished ‘venting’, the man across from me quietly said, “Umm, now I think you have questions.”

Boy did I! Before I uttered a word, he told me I could ask one question.

“Sum all of them up into one if you can.”

I looked at him like he was crazy for a moment and simply said, “I’m afraid. I have been all my life – as far back as I can remember.”

“What are you afraid of?”

I felt like someone had punched me in the lowest part of my belly. I did not want to answer him. I had butterflies of nervousness as I thought of what I would say. The look on his face was pure and gentle, and it calmed me instantly.

“I’m afraid to ask you because of what you may think of me. I’m afraid that God will be angry with me and will send me more tough love lessons. I’m scared that if I ask you or tell you what is in my head that there will be nothing you can do to help me, and I will be in a worse place that even I was before tonight.”

“Just ask me Leigh.”

The sincerity in his voice brought tears. I took a deep breath and went on.

“My fear is that my faith is not strong enough. I worry that if Jesus came up to me on the street and asked for money or help, that I would not recognize Him, and turn Him away. Even worse would be if I did recognize Him, and He told me that I was not strong enough in my belief and that because I had so many questions, that God would not accept me because I was not a good person.”

He simple stared at me and asked, “What questions do you have that could be so great that they would offend God?”

I looked at him dumbfounded. What kind of question was that? This was his response to my fears – fears that were running my life? He must have sensed my shock because he smiled and began the conversation again.

“Maybe we should have a cup of coffee and talk a bit more.” Father John walked over to the credenza and poured us both a cup. He spoke as he prepared our drinks.

“I wasn’t always a priest you know.” He laughed and he noted the expression on my face. “Shocked? You may be surprised at how many priests and ministers do not receive their calling until later in life. Some were married before they became priests.”

“I thought that was not allowed” I said in confusion.

“Some of us have lost spouses and then became priests, some of us just don’t fully understand the ‘Calling’ that is in us until we go through life’s experiences or those tough love lessons from God – as you call them. I wasn’t married before, but I came very close. I was in university and studying psychology – going to go into social work – and I fell head over heals for a lady in one of my classes. We dated and were engaged a year later. We even got so far as having the wedding invitations printed. A few months before the wedding were to take place, we attended our marriage course through our church, and I had my first ‘aha’ moment. I realized, as the discussion the night was about the Sacraments, that the most powerful one to me was that of Holy Orders. I wrestled with my feelings of love for the woman who was to become my wife and the love I had for God. God won. Sometimes He throws in a big monkey wrench to get his work done. Before you ask, she is now happily married and still a very dear friend. She was hurt at first, but she understood. In fact, I think it hurt me more than it did her for a long time. Since we were both very spiritual people, we both knew it was what we, or I, had to do. So, I chomped down and added theology to my studies. Between the psychology and theology, I became a sex therapist and a priest.”

Up until now, I did not think that this man could surprise me any more. A sex therapist priest?! I could not have imagined such a combination. I was still in for more though, as he continued.

“Sex is one of the most important issues that arise in marriages, so I specialized in it so that I could help more couples and families. Most priests are trained in psychology you know. We need to know how to talk to people. We need to understand how their minds work physically and spiritually so that we can truly help them. Being a priest is not only about faith, it is about applying that faith to every aspect of everyone’s life. You can’t have one without the other. You asked before about knowing if your faith is strong enough, I can tell you now that it stronger than most.”

“How can you say that? I mean, how do you know? If I have questions, maybe even reservations about the Church and my beliefs, isn’t that wrong?”

“You work with children, at your son’s school, in day care, and here at the church all the time right?”

“Uh huh.”

“Well, how do they learn from you? You don’t just tell them or regurgitate everything you know in the short time that you have with them – that would be impossible. They learn from you, me, - everyone – by asking questions. Are you with me so far?”

“I think so.”

“Well, why would it be offensive to God for you to ask questions? That’s innocence and is certainly not anything God would object to. Think about it for a moment Leigh. If you didn’t ask questions here at our meetings, we wouldn’t find better ways to educate our children. If you don’t ask questions, you are not learning. Those who ask want to learn more and it causes their faith to grow with God. That is also the difference between those who call themselves spiritual and those who call themselves religious. If you are spiritual, you are open to understanding and receiving God, and sometimes that means going against the status quo. If you consider yourself to be religious, you are often role-playing. Don’t misunderstand me here – I am not saying that calling oneself religious is not having faith – it’s just at a different level in my opinion. A lot of our rituals and beliefs are just that – rituals. They are based on faith and belief – but their essence is at a much higher level of awareness and understanding. Everything we practice and do is based on a higher understanding and on faith. To be spiritual and have true faith, these rituals and beliefs must be questioned. It is a sign of growth. In fact, when one studies theology, so many questions arise that often those who initially began their studies to become involved in a Holy life, drop out because they feel their faith has dwindled. They do not realize that these questions are necessary to strengthen them. I think that’s sometimes God’s way of picking and choosing. Not everyone is meant for a pulpit or to sit on an altar, but many of us serve in other ways. Everyone has a job and there is a reason for everything. God has the answer and those who ask will find it. It may not be Holy Orders, but you, and everyone else; will find their purpose. As for your faith, Leigh, keep asking questions about everything. The answers you get will point in the direction you should go.”

“OK, but we have all been taught not to question the Church or the Bible. How do I get past that and all the fear and guilt that comes along with it? When I pick a book about psychics or Buddhism for example, I feel like I’m sneaking a cigarette in the bathroom and I‘m terrified that someone is watching and I’ll get in serious trouble. I know I can’t be the only person who feels like that. How do I get past that paranoia?”

“Believe it or not, it’s easy; but it may take awhile to become a habit. Whenever you feel that fear of God or guilt; first remember that God is love – do not equate Him with the God who sends plagues and lightning bolts. Also you are a part of God. He created you in His image – that means He is in you, and you are in Him. He is sending you the path to take – whether it’s a road, a book to read, or a new friend. Whatever the situation, it is meant to happen and on His terms – not yours. He usually gives us a choice, but no matter how you choose, there is a reason for the outcome. Just knowing He wants you learn more and is giving you the answers will melt those guilt and negative feelings. Do you see even this conversation we are having right now is happening for a reason? I can already see a change in you since you arrived.”

“I do feel different than when I walked in here, that’s for sure. But I still have so many questions.”

“Well, you can at least now feel reassured that having questions is a good thing. It’s God’s way of working through you. He uses each of us through our voices, jobs, and actions to do His work – His creating happens through us. You have a brain to think, but it is only a part of you. It is an organ that works with all of your body to help your mind grow. Your mind is all of you – body and spirit together. Your mind is your togetherness with God. That is where the questions come from to keep you going to the next step in your life. Read more and study about how your brain and body work together, and your spirit and faith will grow. If you learn more about how your spirit grows, your physical body grows. The two are one in the same. Now you know why your questions are not an offence, but a necessity. Now you know why I said your faith is already stronger than a lot of people who come to me. Never stop asking questions and learning Leigh. That is the true lesson of life. The growth of the spirit comes from love, and love comes from understanding. Even a plant cannot grow without love in the forms of the warmth of the sun and the rain. These are God’s gifts of nature – they are gifts of love. Our time together this evening is a gift of love from Him to both of us, and each other. Look at everything in your life that way – even those tough love lessons – and you will see it for yourself.”

I left Father John’s office with a feeling of peace. My attitude about my personal life had dramatically changed. I now had a sense of confidence that was new, and strong desire to learn everything I could about who ‘I Was’. I really wasn’t sure of that anymore, but now it didn’t matter in the same way.

Still not knowing ‘who I am’, I have kept my confidence and I look forward each day to a new discovery. Everyday brings new questions, and along with them new answers. I share what I have learned and am still learning everyday with others along the way. Although some of the steps are still surprising, I feel a sense of purpose in all of them now. I also know that if I met Jesus on the street today, I still may not recognize Him immediately, but I know that, too, would be for a reason. I’m OK with that.