Success for Everyone

Success depends on a plus condition of mind and body, on power of work, on courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enough of scary headlines and dire predictions. And that, my friend, includes the frightening stories we tell ourselves and the disbelieving comments that cripple us at every turn. 

Every morning I wake up to a choice: Will I believe that low energy whine that tells me, “You’ll never succeed, the obstacles are too overwhelming, and besides, you wouldn’t be in this place if you could anything right.” If I listen to that voice, I’ll never get out of bed. 

Or will I choose to listen to a more subtle voice that says, “Accept that things are not as you would like them to be. Accept that you played your part in co-creating these circumstances. But do not accept that you are helpless in the face of these difficult truths. Instead, choose to trust God (and yourself) in a new way today. Release your regrets and set aside your fears. Do today’s work with your whole heart. Live in the moment and plan for success.”

That inspiring voice also says, “Take small steps in the right direction and trust that you will be led. Believe that you are a child of God, and you are greater than any conditions that life presents. You can create better conditions, with the help of Spirit, if you’ll just see yourself as a powerful spiritual being capable of creating amazing things. Even in loss and failure the human spirit can triumph, and unexpected victories can come to the heart that believes.”

One day when I was feeling anxious, I took a small positive step and bought a book. Cash in a Flash: Fast Money in Slow Times by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen gave me lots of ideas for building my business and taking positive action to create a life I love. Since then, I have been sorting through empowering ideas and choosing to listen to my “inner winner” instead of my “inner whiner.” 

One other idea I have taken from the book: create a mastermind group. So now I’m having regular meetings with three of the most powerful women I know. These ladies are survivors who know how to thrive, who never give up, and who have created meaningful lives out of the ashes of their failures and losses. They inspire me to do the same, and to believe that even when things feel like they are falling apart, they are also coming together. A new and better pattern is replacing the old ways. 

Our mastermind group is reading through the book and applying the lessons from Cash in a Flash. We are discussing some great ideas for co-creating and collaborating on projects. We encourage and pray daily for each other as we make progress toward building happier and more prosperous lives. 

Here’s the website address for the Cash in a Flash book. They offer lots of extra practical and inspiring goodies online, so it’s a great investment.


Success = a focused mind + a determined heart + a focused, determined team.
from Cash in a Flash

There is no combination of experiences so hard, so black, so complicated but that God can work a miracle in them.
Emma Curtis Hopkins

A self-pitying life is a doomed life. Only the life which deliberately picks up and starts over again is victorious.
James Gordon Gilkey

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.

Men were born to succeed, not to fail.
Henry David Thoreau

If we want more roses, we must plant more trees!
George Eliot

The thing we wish to do, then, is to find a faith greater than our fears, whether they are fears of people, of conditions, of life, or of death. Such faith is born out of a complete conviction of the eternal destiny of one’s own soul and of all other souls. 
Ernest Holmes

Affirmative prayer

From this moment on, life is forever changed for me in magnificent, prosperous, and graceful ways. All things are unfolding for the highest good and there is no resistance, only divine timing and perfect peace. Love is the true motivation for all I do, even in the simplest routines of my daily life. I now claim God’s great idea of amazing success and vision to help, heal, and touch the world. I am now open and willing to receive the blessings which make this so.

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I have Pam Slim’s blog on my bookmarks bar. I check it every week. She has a great blog on starting your first website right now. But I especially appreciated her blog on the three types of people described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point. 

Here is Pam’s description of the three kinds of people that make things happen: 

Connectors are fantastic at expanding your network. They will say things like: 
“Oh you should talk to …”
“Have you heard about…”
“Let me introduce you to…” 
They think in nodes, not individuals, and like nothing more than to help you. They see people first, then money.

Salesmen will take the idea that you have been working on for years and help you package it, price it and sell it. They say things like:
“But if you do that, you won’t make any money!”
“Here is how you should position it, and here is the upsell…”
“You have to have an offer. Traffic means nothing if it doesn’t lead to a sale.”
“What is your pricing structure?”
“What specific value will this have to your market? How much is that worth?”

Mavens will dig deeply into your product and give very specific, detailed and relevant information on how it can fit within the marketplace. 
“I was researching that last month, and I noticed a slight discrepancy in ….”
“Your work fits right in the xxx part of yyy’s essay on the zzz topic.”
“You could add videos to this to bring the lessons alive! And you could expand on the content in Chapter 3, Section 2, by listing …”

I realized that I’m a “maven.” My bookshelves and my collections of quotes tell you that I like resources and research. For example, when people ask me about writing and publishing, I’m the one who says, 
“Have you checked out the writer’s section at your local bookstore?” 
“Have you read this or that person’s blog?” 
“Do you realize you can create a great information product with this?” 
“Did you read this document on the developing e-book story?” 
“Have you gone to Smashwords and read Mark Coker’s blog and clicked through on to the other blogs he recommends? 

So what are you—connector, salesperson, or maven? And how can you use your unique gifts to collaborate with others to create a success that multiplies good for everyone?

read the entire blog post at: 
Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen: The secret to your success
Pam Slim’s blog on August 23, 2010


  1. September 19, 2010 11:08 AM CDT

    I came across your book by chance, or so I thought. I have really enjoyed how you write and put things. I choose to make the best of every day. Keep writing, people need you. God has used you in such a great way. Never live in a box. Throw the box away.

    - Tammy Pitarro


Dare to Live

Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.
— William James

I have been formatting The Art of Encouragement into an e-book for publication on Smashwords (soon to be available). I wrote the book in 2002, but it still speaks to me today. In fact, I’m still working on applying the wisdom from its pages. When I write, I write more wisely than I know at the time I’m writing. As I look back on my work, I see that there was a sure thread of insight weaving through my work that anticipated my own spiritual growth. 

I also remember that when I was writing The Art of Encouragement, I was struggling with the limitations of dogma and doctrine, trying to find my way through the labyrinth of questions and changes and challenges to old belief systems. Funny, I think we are all going through this collectively now. The world I knew then is not the world I know now. The rules I was trying so hard to follow back then are now broken, discarded, or have morphed into something less legalistic and more about living from the heart. 

Struggling with my own doubts and fears, wrestling with the realities of another era, I am reminded again to stay true to my own vision, and to be kind and forgiving to others, knowing that we are all in the process of evolving to higher levels of consciousness and more expansive ideas of what the world is meant to be. 

This excerpt from The Art of Encouragement spoke to my heart today:

Adventure can be an end in itself. Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring.
— Grace Lichtenstein

Do not close yourself off from life because of fear. Do not build walls of expectations or dictate terms for who, what, how, and when the Universe will deliver. Expect miracles and see miracles, even in the simple, mundane round of life. Love each moment as it comes. Embrace it fully. Immerse yourself in this moment, this reality. Be aware. Be yourself. Be brave and dare to live from the very center of your being. 

When you have a choice between following your heart or following your head, always listen to your heart first. Know that you are not alone. The still, small voice speaks when you are willing to listen. You are surrounded by the love of the Universe; you are guided by God; you are ministered to by His angels, watched over by saints and ancestors. Embrace your life today. Live in the music and dance to the rhythm of love. Dare to live with your whole heart, every single day of your life.

Alas for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.
— Blaise Pascal

Dare to be naïve.
— R. Buckminster Fuller

The only real security is not insurance or money or a job, not a house and furniture paid for, or a retirement fund, and never is it another person. It is the skill and humor and courage within, the ability to build your own fires and find your own peace.
— Audrey Sutherland

People generally think that it is the world, the environment, external relationships, which stand in one’s way, in the way of one’s good fortune. . . . and at the bottom is always man himself that stands in his own way.
— Søren Kierkegaard

There is no going alone on a journey. Whether one explores strange lands or Main Street or one’s own backyard, always invisible traveling companions are close by: the giants and pygmies of memory, of belief, pulling you this way and that, not letting you see the world life-size but insisting that you measure it by their own height and weight.
— Lillian Smith

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.
— Sarah Bernhardt

You are not living by human laws but by divine laws. Expect miracles and see them take place. Hold ever before you the thought of prosperity and abundance, and know that doing so sets in motion forces that will bring it into being.
— Eileen Caddy

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.
— Bernadette Devlin

No one has ever seen God. Yet if we love one another God dwells in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.
I John 4:12 (NAB)

It is not who you are or what you have been that God sees with His all-merciful eyes, but what you desire to be.
— The Cloud of Unknowing (c. 1375)

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
— Romans 15:13 (The Message)

Affirmative prayer

O God, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass understanding: Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee in all things and above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire.
— The Book of Common Prayer

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

I met a wonderful musician a few months ago. He performed a stirring anthem, We Are One, and had us all singing along. Kevin Reid inspires people with his joyful enthusiasm, all-embracing love, and playful humor. As a songwriter and music producer, his songs reflect his experiential awareness of the deeper levels of being and becoming, while encouraging individual, national and global transformation to greater unity, love and understanding.

The recording We Are One took nearly two years to complete The production involved 90 coast-to-coast recording sessions to include the voices and talents of a diverse group of over 200 professional artists and everyday people. It’s a global gift of love. 

Go to to hear the song and read the story behind its creation. 

The Courage to Thrive

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers. 
Leigh Hunt

I have been handling a lot of frustration, desperation, and depression this summer.Struggling to keep afloat, I experienced a leak in my boat. And I’ve been drowning in the negativity and fear that we all feel like a miasma around us, fed by the media and by economic woes. And I have been tempted to give in to the most frightening thoughts, the most troubling images. I doing things that I never thought I would have to do, facing losses that are hard to bear. 

But I refuse to be defined by my failures, my losses, and my fears. I am choosing to move beyond limited definitions of who I am and what I am capable of being. 

In the process of seeking answers to my own dilemmas, I have met some amazing people and found some helpful resources that tell me we can do more than just survive in hard times. We can learn how to thrive.

I am reading an inspiring book by Paul Pearsall. It’s called The Beethoven Factor: The New Positive Psychology of Hardiness, Happiness, Healing, and Hope. Pearsall’s own story of surviving cancer is inspiring, and he introduces you to the people he calls thrivers, individuals who face life’s unavoidable challenges head-on and grow stronger and more vital as a result. He offers a course in “thrivology” that teaches you to tap into your God-given powers to transform troubles into triumphs. Beethoven wrote his best-loved symphonies despite deafness. And we can write a more meaningful story for our lives even in the face of loss and difficult times. 

This is not just about positive thinking. It’s about being willing to live fully, even in the face of death. It’s about being willing to risk, even if you have no guarantees of winning. And it’s about choosing to love life, give it meaning, and adapt to the changing circumstances of life with grace and courage.

If you are in the midst of a crisis, I know that words often slide off the surface of your mind, making no impact. You have to give yourself grace and time. But when you are ready, the right phrase, a new idea, or something that lets you know you are not alone in your struggles, can reach the heart. I’m writing not because I have the answers, but because I have found some comfort and inspiration to help me make a choice for life, and to choose to thrive instead of merely surviving. 

The Daily Coyote, a book (and website) by Shreve Stockton, tells the story of a young woman raising a coyote in the wilds of Wyoming. One of the most inspiring ideas I gleaned from her relationship with Charlie, the coyote, is about becoming an “energetic alpha.” Shreve says, 
“By energetic alpha I mean a solid, unwavering conviction in oneself. On that cannot be broken by intimidation from outside sources.… Energetic alpha is a combination of confidence and grace, and this translates seamlessly to every area of life—personal and business relationships, even our attitudes regarding work and personal trials—and the manner in which we move through life.” 

Paul Pearsall writes: “Thriving is defined as reconstructing life’s meaning in response to life’s most destructive occurrences. It is not only rising to the occasion, but being raised by it. Thriving is a renewal of faith, energy, trust, hope, and connection just when doubt, cynicism, fear, fatigue, and alienation seem at their worst. It’s not just bounding back, but up and beyond. It is the emergence of a new creative spirit through and because of the darkest times, a spirit that can guide us to the Beethoven Factor so we too can creatively conduct our daily life as an ode to joy.”

Are you willing to consider the possibility that there is more to you than meets the eye? Are you willing to come with me on a quest for a more meaningful and vibrant response to the challenges life presents? I can’t guarantee that we’ll get out of this unscathed, but I do guarantee that we can find grace and a new kind of wholeness and sanity if we will face our fears and failings with courage, and move deeper into the heart of God for our strength and comfort. This is my quest. I hope you’ll join me. 

Here are a few more quotes that I hope will inspire you if you are facing a crisis or challenge in life:

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns.
I Ching, The Book of Changes

All suffering prepares the soul for vision.
Martin Buber

The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns not longer fit; the time for a passing of a threshold is at hand. 
Joseph Campbell

To a poor sailor the winds are always against you.

The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
William Shakespeare

Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves—regret for the past and fear of the future.
Fulton Oursler

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.
Pablo Picasso

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ 
Eleanor Roosevelt

Things seem to turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.
Art Linkletter

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
Oscar Wilde

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it.
William Danforth

Affirmative prayer

My mother recites this prayer and I, too, am finding great comfort in it.

The light of God surrounds me,
The love of God enfolds me,
The power of God protects me,
The Presence of God watches over me,
Wherever I am, God is.
--prayer card/author unknown 

Introducing an inspiring friend: 

Just for fun

Remember the old Exxon slogan, “Put a tiger in your tank?” Chris Guillebeau offers a new take on that with his blog entry Visit to Tiger Kingdom. The photos do not lie—he’s cuddling up to a very big tiger. “What’s new, pussycat?”

Get serious about play:

With all the dire headlines and my blog about finding meaning in trials and difficulties, it’s easy to forget that one of the best things you can do is play. If you want to be fully alive, play with others. Interplay groups offer one of the most wonderful ways to play meaningfully. I took the Interplay Leadership course and will be forever grateful to Diana Morningstar Ault for introducing me to the joys of Interplaying. I give you the national website and our Tennessee site. Come have fun and heal your heart!

Action Whey

I don’t normally endorse products. However, I have enjoyed so much success using this whey drink that I have become a distributor. I'd love to have you check it out and see if it would work for you, too. I’m offering my personal experience with the product and if you are not interested in a commercial, just skip this part of my blog. 

I have been drinking ActionWhey since late June, and I'm so grateful for the extra energy it gives me. I'm eating less (so I'm saving money on groceries!), feeling better, and even losing weight! People tell me I am looking great. 

Not only that, ActionWhey tastes good, with no bitter or gluey aftertaste. I like to blend it with water, milk, rice milk, or almond milk, and a banana. Chocolate is my preferred flavor, but the vanilla is also excellent. I drink one serving in the morning for energy, and if the day is hectic or I'm feeling the need for extra nourishment, I'll drink another serving later in the day. I have always struggled to eat for energy and tend to wilt pretty quickly in the afternoon, even when I eat well (salads and fresh fruits). 

Since I have been using ActionWhey my energy continues evenly through the day. I'm also handling the heat of Nashville summer better, too. No more wilting for me. This has been a special blessing in the last few weeks as life has been more stressful than usual recently (hasn't it been so for us all?). 

Oh, and did I say how helpful it was when I traveled in July? I had plenty of energy for the five hour flight, and when I was at my destination, one serving of ActionWhey kept my energies up so I could enjoy time with my family. 

I also sleep more soundly. And my digestion is better. They say it helps you feel younger—and I do feel younger, lighter, and less weighed down by life itself (this is a neat trick, considering what's going on in my life right now!). 

One new thing I've noticed: clear sinuses. This may not be a big deal in other parts of the country, but summer in Nashville, especially on hot and humid days, can be hell on sinuses. I have had something that gives me sinus headaches every July since I moved here in 1993. Not this year. I'm sure it's the ActionWhey helping my immune system. Clear breathing is a gift, especially when the heat is on and the humidity makes you sweat. Clear sinuses mean more oxygen in the body, and that means more energy. 

Gail Goad, my friend and yoga instructor, introduced me to Action Whey. Her son has helped develop the product, and Hugh Downs chose to feature the product and company on a recent PBS program. It also features Dr. Mark Houston from Vanderbilt, Director of the Center for Anti-Aging and a Board Certified physician. 

I have also learned that it's easy to build a business quickly (low key, absolutely nothing pushy, no financial investment, no complicated systems or sales meetings). I can soon have the monthly cost of my whey drink covered, just by introducing others to what I already use and enjoy. And as more people join under me I can also earn $$$$. All I do is tell them about the product and send them to my website. 

But you don't have to build a business. You can just go to the retail site, read about the product, and download the free report on Glutathione, with no obligation. 

If you decide to try ActionWhey, let me know if you like it. Email me if you have questions. I'll do my best to answer them. I think the website is pretty self-explanatory, though.

I'm putting links for Action Whey here. One takes you to my website.

The other link takes you to the Action Whey page for information on the product I'm using.

Floods and the Tides of Change

A practitioner of spiritual mind healing is continually confronted with the fog of fear, superstition, and doubt; otherwise, there would be no occasion for his practice. He will either get lost in the fog, or see through it. Though the fog is there, the sun is always shining—this is what he clings to. 
Ernest Holmes 

Change. You do your best, but sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back. Stuff happens. Your tide of good fortune and perfect timing comes together and brings a flood of blessings. Or the dark clouds of financial distress or a health crisis or an unexpected loss come together in a deluge of discomfort and sadness. 

The recent floods in Nashville felt surreal to me. A major city half drowned in this historic thousand year flood, and yet the world hardly knew we existed, according to the national news media. So the story got missed in the national consciousness, but here in Middle Tennessee we saw stories of courage and heroism unfold, and continue to see an outpouring of compassion as we rebuild and repair and work to return to normal. Difficult conditions happened when the rain fell, but the sun came out again, and many hands are helping to restore and renew after the loss. 

Looking at difficult conditions to see the spiritual reality beneath is like trying to see the landscape in fog. The sun is still shining above the clouds even though you are surrounded by swirling mist and a sea of fog. I choose to see beyond the illusion that conditions are more powerful than the spiritual reality (and we all have wrestled with that, from doubts and fears to money issues to making our dreams come true). 

The fog is the condition of our weakness or challenge, the gift is seeing through the fog to the spiritual reality of our inner greatness and potential. Eventually the fog clears, the sunlight returns, and you can see that you made progress, one step at a time. So I have been choosing to see beyond the foggy conditions of my outer questioning, fear, and doubt to a shining inner reality that tells me the human spirit can triumph even in times of trouble and loss, and that the very conditions that once seemed to overwhelm became the catalyst for growth and freedom. 

That story is being played out here in Nashville, and I know that in coming years there will be many blessings that arise from the flood, blessings that we may not be able to imagine in a time so close to a time of loss. I have been inspired by the response of the people in this town and encouraged to keep on keeping on as I wrestle with my own changes and challenges. 

A difficult situation may be the catalyst for the kind of change that overcomes all limited and conventional thinking. Once you are out of the box, no one can put you back in. The very act of moving beyond old boundaries turns you into a larger, more expansive person. 

All adversity is a re-direction from God.
Dr. Bernie Siegel

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. 
Robert Louis Stevenson

When things fall apart, make art. Carry this spirit through to every area of your life.
Philip Toshio Sudo

When you are up against a wall, be still and put down roots like a tree, until clarity comes from deeper sources to see over that wall.
Carl Jung

Affirmative prayer

I have a deep and abiding conviction that there is a Presence and an eternal Truth that is everywhere, and that is here now with me in whatever conditions or circumstances I face. I know that every challenge is an opportunity for something greater to express itself in, through, and for me. Some may call it a miracle, but I call it the Law of Life and Love, the presence and power of the Divine Intelligence working in my affairs to bring forth the highest good for all. All things are possible with God. I affirm that great good and amazing triumphs are now happening, taking me beyond my limited thinking into a greater realm of joyous expression. Thank you, God, that I know what to do and how to do it as I am led into greater good than I have ever known. And so it is. 

Personal news, inspirational people

I’m working on updating and upgrading my website. I have also been busy getting more e-books published. The Art of Abundance is now available as an e-book at Smashwords, as is a new mini-e-book of a month of meditations on abundance, 31 Days of Abundance. I’m experimenting with new prices, offering a variety of products. I hope you will check them out, and if you like what I do, support me by buying something. Meanwhile, over 600 people have downloaded my free e-book, The Heart of Abundance, since I published it in mid-March. I’m grateful that people are taking the time to read it, to email me that they have found encouragement in those pages. I’m thrilled to see the count go up every day, for it tells me that what I write fills a need. 

My inspiring friend, Lisa Jennings, is featured at the L. Ross Gallery in Memphis this month. I love her art and was thrilled to see it displayed all together before she took the pieces out to Memphis. Gorgeous painting and sculpture. Here’s a link to a recent video interview with her: 

Here are some links to the Nashville Flood (because they said it better than I could)

Ann Patchett on the flood in the NYT

My friend, Charles Alexander's thoughts on the flood