Reprogram Childhood Lessons that Don’t Serve You

Reprogram Brain copyWhen I lived in Germany from 1985 to 1989, I observed (with great awe) the epitome of efficiency from my German neighbors and friends. While I was always running out on Saturday mornings just before the local shops closed at noon for the rest of the weekend, my friend across the street would have already been to the market, cooked a hot lunch, cleaned her house, and swept the front stoop. She would cluck her tongue at me, head shaking, as I jogged down the cobblestone street with my basket bouncing on my arm.

I suppose “efficiency” wasn’t culturally coveted where I grew up. Being Southern, it was frowned upon to be in a rush. Moseying along was much more acceptable.

My dad had a saying that promulgated how acceptable “moseying” was. I often recall him declaring with a chuckle, “I’m always a day late and a dollar short!” Where I grew up that saying was certainly common, and perhaps even expected. As a child it never occurred to me to imagine what it would be like to be on time and have more money than needed. Needless to say my dad’s belief was programmed into my psyche as a little girl, and stayed with me long into my adulthood until I finally began to reprogram my thinking.

Being habitually late did not serve me well when I was living in Germany, where lack of punctuality was considered rude, American, and socially unacceptable. Fear of being culturally uncouth kicked my inner clock into gear. Long after leaving Germany and returning to the U.S., I remain a stickler for punctuality.

Being timely also has other implications, such as being efficient in order to meet deadlines. Consider, for example, all the things I had planned to have accomplished before the end of June. Several books were to have been published; trees downed, chopped, and split to season in time for winter; roof repair. None of this is done yet. Day short, week short, month short. This is when I take a deep inhale and know that, while it is not done in the time I would have liked, it will be done in perfect time.

My job is to identify what needs to be done and make my best effort to accomplish the task in the right time (my time). If it doesn’t get done in right time, then I know the universe is stepping in to insure perfect time. I’m not about to argue with that!

Reprogramming my beliefs about money took more time and courage.

What I’ve come to understand about money is the less connected I feel to it, the easier it is to claim when I want it. Bottom line, I really don’t think much about money and I sure don’t allow myself to fret over it. When I have something in mind that I want, I close my eyes and imagine money flowing in, like the tide flowing onto the shore. I imagine having more money in the bank than I realized. I see myself joyfully releasing money to others as easily as I see it coming to me.

When I do this, doors open. I get an unexpected teaching opportunity or a new coaching client. I sell more books than expected or I get a refund check for a bill that I somehow managed to pay twice! It’s crazy how this game works!

I don’t blame my dad for teaching me his limiting beliefs. He didn’t realize what he was doing. Instead, I’m grateful for the opportunity to identify the beliefs that didn’t serve me so I could reprogram my inner dialog.

My adult programming has taken time to code, test, and upgrade. As I continue to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I expect future program updates. And while my dad may have been satisfied living life a day late and a dollar short, I have decided to live abundantly and in perfect time. Just call me an enlightened Southern Belle.

Image courtesy of Jared Rodriguez / Truthout at

What Your Personal Mantra Reveals About You

No Ordinary Moments

Image courtesy of Leland Francisco at

I have lived by mantras for almost twenty years now, after my dear sister-friend Glenna took me under her wing and taught me how powerful they could be. Since then I’ve always had a primary mantra that I’ve made a part of each day, serving as reminder for what I wanted to manifest in my life.

At the Chopra Center for Meditation website, a mantra is described as having two parts: man, which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind; and tra, which is the root of the word instrument.

An instrument of the mind… for the mind. Who couldn’t benefit from that?

Interestingly (though not surprising), as I evolve spiritually so do my mantras. Looking back I can easily see how past mantras reflect where I was in life. The “instrument of the mind” perfectly tuned to my needs and desires at various stages in my personal and spiritual evolution.

My first primary mantra, and one I kept for many years, was a simple word: Success.

This one word had many levels of meaning. I embraced it at a time when I was going through a hostile separation, divorce, and custody battle. At the same time, I was beginning a new career in a new industry. I was starting a new life in a new place, with no extended family to support me. I was making new friends. I was redefining the woman I was to become.

I wrote my focus word on little pieces of paper and tucked them into pockets, taped them onto the computer, and made them part of my password system. This one word was a simple reminder of all I desired at the time. Every day I read the word whenever I saw one of my notes or had to type it to unlock my computer. Each time I would repeat it silently and feel it become a part of me.

Needless to say, my mantra brought me all that I desired. It gave me the success I sought in my family life, career, and social circles.

Then one day I began to feel as though I had outgrown it, that perhaps it was too materialistic. So I shifted my primary mantra to another inspiring single word: Gratitude.

Behind that word was one of my favorite phrases: An attitude of gratitude. Around me I had observed that people I knew who always complained, always seemed to manifest more to complain about. By contrast, I realized how quickly my life shifted when I practiced feelings of gratitude for even the smallest things. The more gratitude I practiced, the more I had to be grateful for!

Again my mantra of gratitude became core to my daily work and personal practice. Each time I recited it, I would pause to consider: what am I grateful for in this moment? And there was always so much to appreciate!

A few years ago my mantra shifted yet again, this time to the phrase: “Thinking leads to feeling.” 

What I most appreciated about this mantra was its constant reminder that whatever I allowed to consume my thoughts, would also consume my energy. It guided me to focus on the good I wanted to manifest instead of focusing on what I didn’t like or enjoy. It reminded me that feelings flow naturally from our thoughts to our emotional center to create feelings; and, if I wanted to feel good, I had to “think good.”

Now I’m in a new place of spiritual development and growth and hence a new mantra for daily living has emerged: There are no ordinary moments.

Every. Moment. Is. Special. All by itself.

When I consider this beautiful truth, my heart feels lighter. I feel a warmth flowing through my body. My face relaxes and my lips curl into a soft smile. My inner wisdom reveals herself.


I didn’t pick this mantra, it picked me. In the recent process of relocating my office, I’ve been going through lots of papers. And there it was — a note I had saved from a fortune cookie with the words There are no ordinary moments. When I read it, I felt a new awakening. Instead of tossing it in the trash bin, I taped it to the top of my computer screen. The words resonated so strongly within me that I knew instantly my mantra had just been revised.

photo 3Each day as I work, my eyes eagerly reach for the wise words. When I read them, they echo in my mind, in my heart, and in my soul. There are no ordinary moments because I have the choice to recognize the beauty and mystery in every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

“Ditto, until infinity!” as my youngest son would say. Ahhh, I can’t imagine how life can get any richer than this!


If you have a personal mantra what does it reveal about you?

How has it impacted your life?

If you’re considering a mantra, you’ll find lots of examples on this wiki page

Likely is One Thing, Messi is Another

You'll never guess

From the series: Life on Dog Hill

Confession: I’ve spent uncountable hours over the last month watching television. Everything on my priority list, including the upcoming publication of my young adult adventure trilogy, was made second to one thing — the FIFA World Cup.

Having just watched Argentina defeat the Netherlands in the last semi-final, I admit I was biting my fingernails for ninety minutes before the game went into two fifteen minute overtimes. Afterwards, when the score remained 0 – 0, it was time for the dreaded penalty shots. The Netherlands kicked first and was unsuccessful. First up for Argentina was Lionel Messi, the team captain. I loved the comment from the announcer just moments before Messi sank the first penalty shot deep into the net, spiking excitement for Argentina, and adding increasing pressure to the Netherlands team.

“Likely is One Thing, Messi is Another.” 

This statement was made in the context that most players were predictable, except Messi. Which got me to thinking, how predictable am I and is that a good thing or a bad thing?

So I texted my husband, who was traveling.

Me: I’m working on my blog posting and I have a related question for you: Am I predictable?

Hubby: I am able to predict you better these days. More predictable than unpredictable.

Me: In what ways am i predictable?

Hubby: You yell at boys then give in.

Hubby: You make quick decisions without looking at prices.

Hubby: You like being hippy.

Me: I have a reliable warning system.

Me: I don’t get hung up on technicalities.

Me: Love, peace and happiness.

Hubby: So I just have to think: What would a hippy do?

His response made me smile. Rather accurate on all counts. Next I texted my son Nate who, of the seven kids, knows me best.

Me: Quick question related to my latest blog post I’m working on…. Am I predictable?

Nate: Sometimes, I think we all are. Like… I might have to call you multiple times because you’ve left your phone in some random place.

Me: Ha!

Nate: I know that you will be playing piano and singing Christmas carols before Thanksgiving.


Nate: I know that you will always support me.

Me: Indeed!

Nate: I can’t predict when you will adopt a new dog…

Me: That last dog was NOT ME!!!!

Nate: Lol! yeah I know.

I realize there is comfort in predictability when it comes to family and friends. Knowing that you can be authentic, bringing your whole self into the room every day, and being loved for who you are. Knowing that you can share your opinion openly and honesty and that your words will be received with the positive intent with which they were meant. Knowing that you will be forgiven your shortcomings, like misplacing your phone on a daily basis. It’s all good.

Likely is one thing when it comes to building and maintaining healthy relationships — trust, good communications, and mutual support. Messi is another when it comes to winning a world cup game and not giving away to the goalie where you plan to put your shot.

Likely is one thing when it comes to building good habits that support your daily happiness — meditation and prayer, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. Messi is another when it comes to being playful and spontaneous.

Two great things came out of my spending another afternoon watching soccer:

  1. The team I wanted to play Germany in the final won!
  2. I learned that when hubby wants to know how I will respond he simply asks himself, “What would a hippy do?”

Big smiles all the way around.

My smile will be even bigger when I watch Germany defeat Argentina in the World Cup finals on Sunday! Sorry Messi, the love ends here…


 Feature image credit

Deutscher Fussball-Bund image credit