“Wonder” by R.J. Palacio should be a required read for everyone.

“Wonder” is the story of a ten year-old boy with severe facial abnormalities and his transition from home-schooling to fifth grade at a Manhattan private school.  While the meat of the book addresses bullying and acceptance, it also has a deeper layer that speaks to the soul.  

“Wonder” enlightens readers to become more conscious of their thoughts, words, and actions. It brings awareness to the power of kindness and compassion.  And, it teaches readers that judgement and blame are not the path to growth.  It is through awareness, acceptance, and forgiveness that we learn from our mistakes and grow to become better and brighter human beings.  
Our children spend thousands of hours in classrooms learning the subjects of reading, writing, math and science.  Yet, how much time is devoted to the lessons that are truly important in life?  Lessons about kindness, compassion, love and acceptance.  Lessons in accepting yourself and others for the wonderfully unique beings we are.  Why do we spend so much time teaching kids math facts and spelling words when we should be teaching them to love themselves and love others?
This book had me sobbing tears of joy and sadness.  It revealed wonderful life-lessons in language and topics that children and adults can both relate to.  Through laughter and tears, “Wonder” teaches:
1.  Our perspective creates our journey.  
2.  In all cases choose kindness.
3.  Reflect on your mistakes and learn from them.  
There are so many other beautiful life lessons expressed in this WONDERful story it is a definite MUST READ for any age, young or old.  

Houston, we have a winner…29 winners of the E3 Selfie Challenge

I am a huge fan of Pam Grout and her awesome books that inspire me to realize the power we all have to create extraordinary lives.
I also love vision boards (as you have probably figured out)…look what manifested from my vision board this time…a pair of tickets to one of Hay House’s “I CAN DO IT” conferences!
What irony and awesomeness and excitement! Thank you, thank you, thank you Pam Grout for this amazing opportunity!

Pam Grout

“Remember…nobody wins unless everybody wins.”—Bruce Springstein
E3 Bookie!!
Gosh, you guys! It was utterly impossible to pick winners of the E-Cubed Selfie Challenge. Creativity and joy and excitement just oozed out of every entry. In the end, I had to throw all the entries in a hat and eenie-minie mo it.

Seriously, you guys are all SO. COOL! I feel honored to be sharing the same planet with you. I did notice a couple trends. Quite a few of you will soon be traveling and publishing books. At least five of you want to meet Ellen DeGeneres although I also got a kick out of the entrant that wants to meet Brett Favre.

I wish from the bottom of my heart I could give away prizes to every last one of you. I really, really do. You all deserve it! And I can’t wait to hear the stories about how all your…

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Why you should: Find your Fractals,  See the Seagulls, and Pay Attention to the Signs!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get my mind to shut up.   I am constantly thinking about what comes next or worrying about how I could’ve done something different in the past.  Sometimes, when I’m driving in the car I try to meditate in silence. However, it is very easy and tempting to numb our mind’s chatter with to all of this with the songs on the radio.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love singing in my car. And makes me so happy and is a great emotional release. However, I wonder, what am I missing when I am numbing my mind with the radio or the television?
You see, I have started to realize when I am aware and focused in the present moment, The Universe sends me little signs guiding me toward my intentions.
I am getting better every day. However, many days I feel like I am driving down a dark highway with the music blaring and my headlights out.   It is as if my fuel light has come on and I am in a panic to get to the nearest gas station as fast as possible.  In this state of fear, I am completely unaware of all the signs along my path guiding me where to go.
A fractal is a natural phenomenon that exhibits a repeating pattern.  It is something that is repeated over and over again in your life, a sign, a guidepost, telling you which way to steer.
I learned the term from a wonderful teacher, Jen Freeman. She explained to me that when we reflect on our lives, we can identify many fractals, or common themes that are consistently repeated.  When we become aware of these fractals or signs, we can feel more confident and moving toward our purpose.
I read an email today from Ramit Sethi.  In the message, he described signs or fractals as seagulls. He wrote:
“In the 1820s, a sailor wrote about his 3-month-long journey from Spain to America: “I love when I see seagulls, it reminds me we’re close to land”
In 1492, Columbus kept a diary of his voyage. In September, he wrote this:

“That day they navigated, on their westerly course, day and night, 20 leagues, counting a little less. Here those of the caravel Niña reported that they had seen a tern and a boatswain bird, and these birds never go more than 25 leagues from the land.”

In other words, he noticed the birds…and knew he was close to land.

You can use this principle in business and personal life, too. I call it The Seagull Theory.

The Seagull Theory describes how the subtlest of clues can signify you’re on the right track. For example, when someone says something once, you might not notice it. When you hear it again, that’s interesting. When you hear it three times, you lean in and start paying attention.

The universe is so amazing. It is constantly sending us signs to steer us on our divine course. However, we have to turn off the background music, turn on our headlights, and pay attention in order to notice the signs.
Let me give you an example:
Last week, a friend told me about an opportunity for therapists to travel to Peru to provide therapy for a community that does not have access to this type of healthcare. This is something I have always wanted to do with my husband (since we are both in healthcare).  I actually, put an image of it on my vision board this year.
I sent an email to get some more information on the Peru opportunity and that was it…at least that is what I thought.  However, I was really practicing being aware and focused and tuned in.  And since then, Peru has been popping up like a zit on a teenager’s face.
One of my favorite authors who I follow on Facebook posted this week that she will be traveling to Peru to give a seminar.  Then, over the weekend my neighbor told me I needed to try out a Peruvian restaurant nearby. (We were even talking about Peru-nor does she have any idea about my interest in traveling there.)
So, in less than a week, Peru came up three different times.
And maybe even more,Who knows what I might have missed while I wasn’t tuned in.
So, what does all this mean? Am I attracting Peru to me? Or, is the universe sending me signs about Peru?
When we increase our awareness, and quit numbing our minds with the tune of “uptown funk” for the umpteenth time that day, some pretty amazing signs start to appear. Signs that have probably been there all along, but we were just tuned in to Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson instead of our own divine rhythm.
Take a minute and reflect on your own life. What fractals can you identify? This week, make a conscious effort to become more aware and tune in. What signs do you see appear in your life? What seagulls are flying over your head giving you a little fly-by-hi squawking, “This way to land.”

Don’t hate.  Don’t judge.

Any label someone gives you is a judgment. 

You work too hard.
You talk too much.
You are too skinny.   
You are a horrible mother. 
You are a wonderful cook.

Each of these statements is a judgment based upon the individual’s own perspective.
We were not put on this earth to judge. We are here to discover who we are and what unique gifts we can share with others to make the world a better place.
You are not what anyone else defines you to be.
Only you know who you are. Because only you can hear the unique whisper of your soul.

The next time someone judges or labels you, try this:
Simply say, “hmmm…that’s an interesting point of view.”
It is an easy, non-judgemental way of saying “I hear you, but I am choosing not to argue about this.”
Take a minute now, and think about how many times a day you place judgment on others.

Her shoes don’t match that dress.
They should not let their child run around the restaurant.
His house is a mess.

Most of the time we only think these thoughts. But, thinking them can be just as nasty as saying them.
Instead of judging, try wondering.

I wonder if she has another pair of shoes?
I wonder why their child is running around the restaurant?
I wonder how their house became such a mess?

See how easy it is to transfer a statement of judgment to a question?
When we question and wonder, we expand our mind to other possibilities.

Practice Patience

Spread Loving Kindness

It’s Monday, so, I thought I would leave you with an act of kindness that is very simple.

In our busy society, we often are hurrying from one thing to the other. Our mind is focused on completing this step as quickly as possible so we can move on to what is next.
Occasionally, we encounter an obstacle. A stoplight. A trafficjam. An illness. Or, a shoelace that needs to be tied.
The one simple act of kindness that you can practice during these moments is patience.
Take a deep breath. Smile. And wait–patiently.
Think about it, what will happen if you get to the next thing a few minutes late? In the grand scheme of your life, is a few minutes worth huffing and puffing about? When we practice patience, we are doing an act of kindness for ourselves and for others. Without any words, we are saying, “I…

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