Gratitude and Why it Matters in Motherhood


Gratitude is a powerful spiritual practice. If you don’t already have a gratitude practice, start one now. It will change your life. And, ultimately, change the lives of your children.

Gratitude is not only a beautiful practice for focusing on what is right in your world, but it also connects you with the source of abundance and helps you reconnect with the flow of life.

I like to call gratitude the back door to abundance.

You see, when you generate the expansive energy of gratitude, you are connected to source. Gratitude is at the same energetic frequency as abundance.

When you are dissatisfied, you generate contracted energy and disconnect from source. You create a kink in the hose so to say. Contraction is at the same energetic frequency as lack.

This is why it is so important for us, as mothers, to teach our children how to shift their thoughts from dissatisfaction to gratitude. I learned the hard way that I was teaching my children how to live a contracted life. I learned that they were learning how to navigate life by watching me. It was a painful lesson.

Below are a few practices I have incorporated into our family life. I am not perfect but I really do try to walk the walk with my kids.

  • I let them catch me writing in my gratitude journal

  • I encourage them to write in their own

  • I shift my thoughts from dissatisfaction to gratitude verbally so they can hear my thought process

And, years ago when my children were little, I started a bedtime ritual that I call the Grateful Prayer. Each night, I invite them to come up with 3 things they are grateful for. Sometimes (actually often), their gratitude consists of mommy and daddy but I always encourage them to reach a little deeper. To think about their day and remember all the goodness.

I invite you to incorporate one or a few of these practices into your family life and share your experience with a comment below.

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help shifting your thoughts from dissatisfaction to gratitude? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in seeing all the goodness life has to offer. Click the button below to get started.


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Claim it Until You BEcome it


You are worthy of every good thing life has to offer and you must believe it in order to BEcome the woman you are envisioning. You don't have to be, or do or acquire anything to be more deserving than you are right now.

Years ago, before I turned my life upside down, I didn’t believe this to be true. I didn’t believe that I was worthy of all the goodness life has to offer. I believed the goodness was there for others, but not for me.

And then, after many years of soul searching, I discovered the late great Louise Hay and the power of affirmations. I learned that I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone to be more worthy. I simply had to believe it. Simple, yet not easy…

Affirmations are a powerful way to write your new story. To claim it. I AM that I AM.

It’s not fake it until you make it, its Claim It Until You BEcome It.

Affirmations are more than just words though. You have to get in touch with the feeling of each
affirmation as you say it.

How does it feel to be you when you say I AM worthy, for instance? Feel the expansion of that powerful statement. Your higher self hears the feeling of the affirmation. Not the words alone.

Believing in yourself is the first step in BEcoming the very best version of you. It takes practice and a will to change your perspective of yourself. And, I am living proof that you can.

BTW - Your children will thank you one day. Not necessarily with words but by the people they BEcome.

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help believing in yourself? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in Claiming It Until You BEcome It. Click the button below to get started.


FREE Daily Affirmation E-Course

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Freedom to Choose


Our forefathers had a vision. 

They decided on the vision. 

They believed in the vision. 

They took action on the vision.

They built a support structure to protect the vision.

And, this week, we will be celebrating the 243rd birthday of the declaration of that vision.  The Declaration of Independence.  A declaration of freedom.

As we celebrate with fireworks, parades and festive gatherings, I’d like to invite you to celebrate yourself as well.

your life

your vision

your freedom

I invite you to draw up your own declaration.  Your own vision.

Try this:

Listen to your longings and discontent

Decide what you would love to be or do or have

Take action 

You have the freedom to free yourself.  To free yourself from the chains that hold you back from being all you are here to be.    

The time is now!  Declare it!

Shine Brightly,


Do you need help drawing up your own vision?  Start here.  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

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That Thing Called Zing


As life moves forward I am certain of one thing.  That thing called zing.  You know what I’m talking about.  And, no, it is not an imaginary creature from a Dr Seuss book.

Zing is when a thought, an idea or an experience COMPLETELY resonates with you.  The Encarta Dictionary defines zing as a lively and exciting quality.  For me it sometimes feels like an electric buzz that moves throughout my body.  It’s that YES! Factor you’ve heard me talk about. 

I feel that thing called zing when I go downhill skiing, fly in a prop plane, dance freely or sing loudly.  I feel it when I go to listen to a band that I love or an exceptional musical like Beautiful.

I can hear it in someone’s voice when they are completely aligned with their vision.  I can actually feel the zing energy in a room full of people sharing their visions during a vision workshop.  Now, THAT is zing!

I now include zing in my daily life.  I dance, sing and hula hoop to my heart’s content.  Yes, even when it embarrasses my kids.  (Especially when it embarrasses my kids!)

Do you feel that thing called zing? Do you include opportunities to experience it in your daily life?

Try this:

  • make a habit of moving toward the laughter

  • turn the music up and sing really loudly in your car

  • do something off the wall - just because

It may feel awkward at first but stick with it. The more you experience that thing called zing, the more joy you will experience in your life.

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help feeling that thing called zing? I’ve created a complimentary series of beautifully simple daily affirmations to remind you that you are a delightful gift to this world, that you are capable of so much more than you know and that you rock.


Life by Design Daily Affirmations

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Going With the Flow of Life


Have you ever thought about why life seems to be easier for some and not for others?  I contemplated this question A LOT in my “former” life.  I related mostly with the latter.  I would look at the lives of others and wonder “Hey, what do they have that I don’t?”

It took me many years of paddling upstream to realize that I have everything I need to go with the flow.  I just wasn’t allowing it.  And, let me tell you, if you are not allowing yourself to go with the flow you will get tired.  You will get discouraged.  You will feel as if everyone else has the keys to the kingdom except you.  Well, that’s how I used to feel anyway…   

I had the opportunity, thanks to a beautifully generous friend, to learn how to paddle board recently.  The surface of the lake was smooth as silk for most of the day and it was easy to position myself on the board and even do a downward facing dog (and plank to show off!). 

It took some getting used to but with my friend’s guidance, I was able to maneuver easily and quickly learned that when I allowed myself to go with the flow (with the wind and the current) it was easy to cross the lake.  And, when I turned in the other direction it was as if I was paddling upstream.  It became more difficult and took longer for me to get where I wanted to go.

This is how life can be.  This is the difference between natural and normal.  Natural is going with the flow.

  •  The flow of your own life. 

  • The flow of your own desires. 

  • The flow of what lights you up.

Normal is the way we are trained to think.  And, it is usually with a lack mind set. We are trained to think that life is challenging and difficult. We are trained to think that it must be a certain way.

Because of social conditioning, we often choose the hard way, the way of lack, the way of struggle, paddling upstream instead of going with the flow and riding the current of abundance that is right there at our fingertips. 

We will experience challenges at times. This is a given in life in this human form.

We will have to work hard at times. This is how we reach our goals.

In those in between times, I invite you to begin aligning yourself with the flow of your own life.

  • Decide for a vision of a life that lights you up

  • Believe that you will BEcome the woman in your vision

  • Take action in the direction of your vision

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help going with the flow? I’ve created a complimentary series of beautifully simple daily affirmations to remind you of who you are, all that you are capable of and just how much you rock.


Life by DesignDaily Affirmations

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Raising Grateful Kids


One night my 9 year old daughter was having a difficult time.  It had been a full week and we recently had to have a few difficult conversations with our children about death. 

My daughter, who has a vivid imagination, did NOT want to sleep in her bed.  She was not having any part of it.  By 10PM I realized that she was serious! 

So, I got her settled into my bed and took out my gratitude journal for me and my bedside notebook for her.  Her eyes lit up at the sight of the notebook as she is an artist in the making and draws any chance she can get.  I told her that instead of our nightly “grateful prayer”, as we call it, we were going to write in our gratitude journals to help us change our thoughts.

I was delighted with the experience for both of us and for the learning that took place that night.  She now has her own gratitude journal.  A simple solution with a powerful outcome. 

Gratitude is a powerful spiritual practice and an easy one to pass on to kids. Here are 3 reasons you and your child may want to start a gratitude practice.

  • Gratitude connects us to the source of abundance and creativity. Since our thoughts are prayers, gratitude is a great way to align with the source of all that is. That place of pure love.

  • Gratitude aligns us with the vibration (or vibe) of abundance. Seriously, gratitude has an energy about it. It vibrates at the same energetic frequency as joy and abundance leaving us feeling expansive while sadness, anger and frustration tend to leave us feeling constriction.

  • Gratitude increases our sense or feeling of deserving. It feels good to know that we have something to be grateful for.

Do you have a gratitude practice?  Do your kids? Please share it in the comments below.  Yours may just be the golden nugget that changes another mom’s life.

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help thinking grateful thoughts? I’ve created a complimentary series of affirmations to remind you of who you are, all you are capable of and how much you rock.


Life by Design Daily Affirmations

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Spring Forward


Imagine that your life is a book.  There are often defining moments in life that we might call chapters within our own story.  They are all integral parts of who we are regardless of how unpleasant they may have felt at the time.

Sometimes, no matter how much we want to spring forward into the next chapter, we end up falling back into the one before.

Now, imagine that you are the author of the book of you.  You can’t erase those chapters but you can absolutely edit them.  You can rewrite them and give them new meaning.  And, you can redirect the story going forward.

I have rewritten many chapters in my own life.  If it wasn’t for one of the most rigorous chapters, I wouldn’t have found my love for yoga, teaching and my own spirituality.  I wouldn’t be sharing this with you today.

I am incredibly grateful for those chapters that once felt rigorous.

·         I learned the power of forgiveness. 

·         I learned the power of resilience. 

·         I learned the power of perseverance. 

I have learned how to rewrite the chapters in my life so that I may spring forward into the next. And so can you!

What will be on the pages of your next chapter?

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help springing forward into your next chapter? I’ve created an easy work sheet to help you rewrite the rigorous chapters in your life.  Download it for free using the button below. 


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Rewrite the Chapter Worksheet

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Mind Management for the Busy Mom


Being a mom is serious business.  Really, it is like running a business.  I don’t know about you but much of my personal time (and sometimes my work time) is devoted to logistics.  Kind of like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle.  Making all the pieces fit.  Who is going where, when, doing what and who will be the driver for instance.  And, guess what, I am the manager of all of it.

I found that in order to be a good “manager” of my household, I needed to be a good “manager” of my mind.  There are all kinds of management systems out there.  You name it and you can find a management system for it.  It makes sense to me that if we manage our minds first, we will be much more successful at managing diet, exercise, time, productivity, behavior and on and on and on.

Ultimately, it is our thoughts that create our reality.  Mind management is the key to well-being and happiness.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the research that has been done at Baylor, Princeton or Stanford to name a few. 

Thoughts have power.  And so do words.  It is important to pay attention to your thoughts and the words you put out into the world. 

Mind management begins with replacing common thoughts with empowered ones.  Common thoughts are simply the patterns of thinking that have been ingrained in you.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  The ones that remind you of all the ways you suck.  

It takes practice but I am living proof that you can replace “I suck” thoughts with “I rock” thoughts. Make a vow to choose empowered thinking and empowered language every day.  Catch yourself and tell yourself a new story. If you fumble, use the mantra “Every day and in every way I am getting better and better”. With time, you will start believing it.

And, ultimately, thrive in motherhood.

Do you have a favorite empowering phrase?  Please share it in the comments below.  Yours may just be the phrase that changes another mom’s life.

Shine Brightly,


P.S. Do you need help managing your mind? I’ve created an easy cheat sheet to help you make the shift from common thinking to thoughts of empowerment.  Download it for free using the button below. 


Free Download

Mind Management for the Busy Mom Cheat Sheet

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3 Reasons to Laugh More


Have you laughed lately?  I mean a good, hearty belly laugh?

It is said that a child laughs nearly 300 times per day while the average adult laughs less than 20.  Whether this is accurate or not I’m not sure but I wouldn’t doubt it based on the hysterics I witness with my own children.

They laugh.  All day.  Even when they are trying not to in between big, fat, crocodile tears.  And, especially, when someone says BUTT (have you ever wondered how many times you say that word in a day?).

All jokes aside, research shows that laughter is the best medicine.  It has both short term and long term positive effects on stress, the leading cause of chronic health problems in the US.  In fact, Norman Cousins, author of Anatomy of an Illness, experimented with laughter himself and claimed that 10 minutes of belly laughing gave him two hours of pain free sleep.

  • Laughing is a natural state changer.  Have you ever tried a frown while laughing?  Try it.  I bet it will make you laugh.

  • Laughing increases the intake of oxygen into the heart and lungs.  There is even a form of yoga called Laughter Yoga.  It’s a hoot!

  • Laughing brings us back to the present moment.  We can only laugh in the present.  And, this is good news because we only have NOW.

What is your favorite way to get a laugh in?  Watching a funny movie?  Reading a funny book?  Watching your cat try to make her way out of a paper bag?  Or, maybe it’s laughing for the sake of laughing. Please share with a comment below.

Shine Brightly,


*Are you laughing enough? Take the free assessment below to determine your laughter quota.


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Determine your Laughter Quota for Increased Health and Well-Being

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Be Careful What You Wish For


Did you ever wish for something that you really wanted but thought that it would never come true?

You know.  It's that thing that you feel deep down in your core.  Something you ponder while drifting off to sleep at night.  If only, you think to yourself. 

Well, I did too!

For me it was that elusive relationship with my father. The one I had been craving since childhood. Due to circumstances beyond my control I spent over 2 decades wishing and wanting. It felt so far out of my reach.

And today, I am pinching myself. 

The latest and greatest is that my father is moving to Raleigh. In September. He wants to be near me. To know his grandchildren. To be a part of our lives.

And, my heart is filled to overflowing.

I never imagined that it would happen...that is until I did.  I imagined it with all of my heart and soul.

And, I'm here to tell you that miracles do happen. They are everywhere if we open our eyes. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are very small but they do happen.

This particular miracle began with changing my mind and moving toward what I want rather than pushing away from what I don't. Deciding for rather than wishing for. 

  • Deciding what I wanted
  • Believing that it would happen
  • Taking action on my desires

With this in mind, I am holding a Vision Board Workshop later this month.  To help you get super clear about what you want.  To keep it up close and in your awareness.  So that you can begin to take the steps necessary to bring your miracles into your life.

How about you? Any miracles occurring in your life? Please reply to this email and let me know regardless of how small they seem?  It lights me up to hear about all the goodness in the world.

Wishing you and yours peace, love, joy and many miracles!

Shine Brightly,


Life by Design Vision Board Workshop

Saturday, September 29

10-4PM EST

Raleigh, NC

$75 (includes a delicious lunch from Sunflowers Cafe)

10 Best Parenting Quotes


I hope these quotes resonate with you as much as they do with me.   

Shine Brightly,


There is no such thing as a perfect parent.  So just be a real one.  ~ Sue Atkins
Don’t worry that children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.  ~ Robert Fulghum
The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example.  ~ Drew Barrymore
Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.  ~ Linda Wooten
Your kids watch you for a living.  It’s their job; it’s what they do.  That’s why it’s so important to try your best to be a good role model.  ~ James Lehman
It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.  ~ Ann Landers
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it myself. ~ Joyce Maynard
Treat a child as though he already is the person he’s capable of becoming.  ~ Haim Ginott
If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.  ~ Carl Jung
Little eyes ears and hearts are always watching and learning how to navigate life through you.  Let them see you not just survive but thrive.  ~ Tracy Nolin Beerman

Do you need help being all you can be?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

5 Must Do Daily Practices


In the hustle and bustle of life as a mom it is imperative that we maintain consistent practices to help us stay sane throughout the day.  As painful as it feels sometimes, I start my day at 5:45 so that I have time to do these 5 practices daily.  It’s a way of filling my cup before tending to my family and my work.  They have all become integral parts of my life.

1. Walk ~ What are the benefits of walking you ask?  Let me count the ways...  Holistic health and wellness guru Dr Andrew Weil recommends walking as THE best exercise.  Not only does it do your body good but it also increases cognitive performance in the brain and reduces stress.  I choose a 30 minute morning nature walk as my daily go to exercise.

2. Yoga ~ 20 minutes of yoga each day will change your life.  I know this to be true.  After 25 years of yoga and years of experimenting with various healing modalities, I always return to the mat.  There is no better way that I know of to connect mind, body and soul.  And, yoga is a great stress reducer.

3. Meditate ~ Treat your mind as you would your body with the "mental hygiene" of meditation.  Contrary to popular belief, the practice of meditation is to bring your mind back to NOW whenever it wanders.  And, trust me, it will wander.  It is not about sitting with a blank mind for 30 minutes 3 times every day.  Start small with a 3 minute guided meditation and increase the time gradually.  Oh, did I mention that it reduces stress too?

4. Gratitude ~ After attending to my body and my mind, I begin each day by writing and connecting with 3 things I am grateful for.  Not only does gratitude feel good as I recall and focus on all the goodness in my life, but it also aligns me with the vibration of joy, happiness and abundance.  I like to call it the "back door to abundance".

5. Vision ~ Connecting with my vision daily is an absolute for me.  I read it, write it and "put it on" every day.  Living a vision driven life is THE most life giving way of living.  As I connect with my vision I BEcome the woman in it.  And so can you.

Shine Brightly,


How do you begin your day?  Please share with a comment below.

Do you need help starting a daily routine?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

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