Reviews You Can Use

Les Brown, Master Motivator, Is The One

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Not many people know that I worked for The Secret’s Bob Proctor years ago when he owned a small company in Kansas City called Life Success Institute. Yep, I wrote promotional copy for his bestselling book, You Were Born Rich.

Back then I was familiar with the work of Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, John Assaraf, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale and Michael Bernard Beckwith. They all had one common message spoken with different words and energy. I interpreted and internalized the message this way:

If you can visualize your dream and believe with pure conviction that the dream is coming to you, there is nothing that can stop it from arriving. 

Twenty years ago, while learning from guys like Jeff Smith and Jim Bunch who would go on to lead motivational companies and coach thousands of CEOs before it was cool to be a coach, there was one name I didn’t know: Les Brown.

Eventually I learned that Mr. Brown is considered by many to be the #1 motivational speaker in the world.

And we saw him speak this past Saturday night right here in Frisco, Tex. at Elevate Life Church.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so moved, both during the time we shared soaking up his wisdom and in the days to come as I re-examine my hopes and dreams and decide how to take action toward them.

Here’s a bit of what Mr. Brown shared, none of which is really new, but I heard the words in a new way:

Design a life rather than accept the life you’ve been given.

We have to train our minds to serve us.

Someone’s opinion of you doesn’t have to become your reality.

Leap–and grow your wings on your way down.

If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.

If you do what is easy, your life will be hard.

You will fail your way to success.

Ask for help–and don’t stop until you get it.

There’s a difference between delivering a message and being a message.

Live full. Die empty.

The future belongs to those who prepare for it.

It’s not over until you win.

There’s no way I can capture the energy with which Mr. Brown delivered his message. I can tell you he was real and sincere and captivating. I sat, spellbound, tears leaking from my eyes as he described being raised by an adopted mom after he and his twin brother were delivered in an abandoned building in Miami.

His young school years were grueling as he was tagged as a stupid kid, held back in two different grade years.

Les Brown said there is one of two words imprinted in our hearts somewhere between the ages of zero and five years. That word is either Yes or No.

His word was Yes and, as an adult, he burned with passion to speak up, to speak out, to change lives and to encourage others to do the same.

Les Brown leads with love of family and his God. His message of hope, determination and positivity resonated. He left us with this culminating thought:

You’ve got to be hungry. He will never forsake you or leave you but  . . . you must refuse to be denied.

And so it is.

Photo courtesy of BryanHanson

Membership Program Answers “What’s Next?”

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After we threw a big party–the UNITE to Face Addiction Rally–for 25,000 at the base of the Washington Monument on October 4, people asked, “What’s next?”

Yesterday, Facing Addiction answered the question in a big way: What’s next is a national membership program that challenges how Americans deal with addiction.

I can say we because I write a lot of digital content for Facing Addiction. I can say deal with because the work will be comprehensive when it comes to shifting prevailing attitudes and beliefs around each and every aspect of our nation’s #1 health crisis. You can read more in co-founder Jim Hood’s article here.

Getting to work

Following the Rally in DC, we–or speaking for myself, I–sat in this space of feeling blown away by the event we pulled off. I mean, seriously, who does a first-time, national event in the non-profit world with Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, The Fray, and a bunch of actors and politicians?

Here’s the video recap (by the way, the guy in the military suit is the US surgeon general!):

Here’s the thing: people are paying attention. The ears of big-time influencers are perked up, intrigue is at an all-time high and Facing Addiction’s co-founders are meeting daily with people whose names would blow your mind. Mine gets blown on a regular basis and I’ve been involved for nearly a year!

Then there’s the work. We’re not slouching in the ambition department, folks. If you’re plugged into B Here Today socially, you’ll see references to the different target areas of Facing Addiction’s work throughout the remainder of the year. For a more detailed list of those areas, click here.

By the way, that link will also introduce you to the Become a Member page.

Membership in Facing Addiction

The comprehensive approach that Facing Addiction is taking to building programs and solutions to the addiction crisis will take an unfathomable amount of money. So, yes, your money is needed. But more than that, you are needed.

Your voice is needed. Your heart is needed. Your belief that we can become a branded organization that stands with the likes of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association is needed.

Membership in Facing Addiction provides an opportunity that is rare in today’s “take your money and run” national non-profit world.  Parts of this membership package allow you access to unprecedented moments in history.

Don’t you want to own a part of the mission that completely reshapes how addiction and recovery are perceived? That shifts the problem from the halls of criminal justice to the hallways of healthcare facilities?Membership in Facing Addiction is all this and more!

Plus you get a t-shirt.

When my mom died of cancer more than five years ago, my family knew where to go for answers to impossible questions.

When it comes to addiction, the questions also seem impossible to answer. Facing Addiction is primed for the mission. We still need you! Sign up for membership today!

Book Review: Dark Wine Waters

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Late last summer, just before Recovery Month in September, Fran Simone emailed to see if I’d be interested in taking a look at her book, Dark Wine Waters: My Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows. She thought I might want to write about it here, for Recovery Month.

Sure, I said, send it on. My blog calendar was pretty full for Recovery Month 2014 but I told Fran I’d see what I could do.

Rigorous honesty, right? Fran did indeed send her beautiful book and here’s the truth: It became buried on my desk.

You see, Recovery Month is a tiny-bit hectic for a recovery writer. I’m a piling sort of writer anyway—put Dark Wine Watersstuff away in desk drawers and I have a hard time finding it—so there are sensible stacks on my desk that grow out-of-control during hectic times.

Please consider this my amends, dear Fran. I’m sorry I didn’t read your book then but I have read it now—and I am moved by its transparency. Thank you for your bravery.

For the readers

I want to tell all my friends in recovery and those who love us that Fran’s Dark Wine Waters may cause you to cringe repeatedly as you read. That will be a normal response so don’t panic.

You will quite possibly shed tears at times too, and don’t be surprised if you become enveloped in sadness. That was my experience as I read.

Please don’t turn away in fear of these emotions. One of Fran’s gifts to her readers is the idea that feelings need acknowledgement. They must have a safe place for expression and that safe place begins within the confines of our hearts.

Tweet: Without expression, feelings congeal, becoming resentments we use to beat ourselves and our loved ones. http://bit.ly/1uRU1uf @bheretoday

Dark Wine Waters is a memoir of Fran’s life with her husband  Terry and their relationship with alcoholism and drug addiction.

Much of the book describes their painful, tortuous descent into the belly of the beast, played out with lies and subversion, disappearances and blackouts. In many ways, the day-to-day drama is different only in the details of other stories lived every day in every town, perhaps on every block, in America.

Terry’s drunken escapades—and Fran’s valiant efforts to hide them behind a normal facade—felt intensely familiar to me; I suspect they might to you as well.

The gut-kicker

Terry’s story is so much like my story, like many of our stories yet society still looks past him—and me—and says, “why can’t you just stop?”

Fran writes about the times when Terry thought he could stop on his own. She also writes about how she thought she could get him to stop—on her own.

But alcoholism and drug addiction gradually took possession of his body and their lives. It rendered them powerless to stop its onslaught.

That’s what the disease of addiction does. It ravages the wiring in our brains and does its damnedest to convince us we’re in control. There’s nothing wrong, we think; just drank a little too much.

Virtually all Americans are affected by addiction, whether they’ll admit it is another story. Too many remain hidden behind walls of shame and denial.

But thank God for the Fran Simones of the world who have stepped from behind the wall as family members of the afflicted. Thank God she now knows she didn’t cause Terry’s disease (or her son Matt’s), she couldn’t control it and she certainly couldn’t cure it.

There are 23 million people in the United States who are in recovery from a addiction. Another 20 million suffer with substance use disorder; a large portion of them don’t get the help they need. For every person afflicted, there are several family members and loved ones deeply affected by the disease. 

Thank you, Fran, for sharing your family’s story with us. May you find continued peace in recovery and retirement!

For a copy of Dark Wine Waters, click here. Please leave a comment and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a free copy.

Photo courtesy of richcd

Release Your Stranglehold on Fear (Finally)

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One of my mentors and friends, Tess Marshall, has just opened The Unstoppable Courage Club, a monthly program designed to help you let go of any and all fears that keep you from being your incredible true self. Enjoy this interview and if you’re inclined, please click here or on the link at the end to join. (This isn’t an affiliate program, so I get no percentage of Tess’ signups, just the knowledge that I introduced the two of you so you can grow together.).

Tess, for our readers who don’t know you please introduce yourself.

I work as a writer, speaker, and courage coach. I have a master’s degree in counseling psychology and had a private practice in Michigan for 10 years. I love to guide and inspire people to overcome their fears, take the action needed to create a meaningful life and be wildly successful. 

I write at The Bold Life, for an amazing and growing community that I love dearly.  My work has allowed Tess Marshall 1-15me to reach people all over the world. I’ve written three books and created five ecourses and now the Unstoppable Courage Club.

Tell us more about the Unstoppable Courage Club.

The Unstoppable Courage Club is a monthly program designed to help you do one thing: Overcome fear with confidence and courage.

I want to reach as many as people I can. I’ve set the monthly fee very low to ensure that anybody can join and there are no excuses to get started with releasing your fear.

Each month the focus will be on releasing your fear and building your courage.  Why monthly? Because overcoming fear and making positive change takes time and consistent practice. The biggest reason people fail is because they try to do too much at once.

The course is designed to take you beyond excuses, procrastination, worries and doubts … from fear to freedom.  You’ll gain the confidence to take bold action. 

As a subscriber, each month you will receive articles and videos, access to the club on a private page at The Bold Life. There will be a new topic each month; here’s the breakdown for this year:

January: The Courage to Feel and Act Worthy of The Good Life

February: The Courage to Focus on Your Dreams and Proceed with Abandon

March: The Courage to Take Risks and Fail

April: The Courage to Expect and Embrace Rejection

May: The Courage to Resolve Problems and Heal Relationships

June: The Courage to Become More Present and Engaged in the World

July: The Courage to Live with More Adventure, Freedom and Love

August: The Courage to Immerse Yourself Live with Uncertainty

September: The Courage to Be Vulnerable and Love No Matter What

October: The Courage to Be Yourself and Be For Yourself

November: The Courage to Quit Your Excuses and Be 100% Responsible

December: The Courage to Believe In Your Capabilities to Succeed

Lessons. You’ll get a video or article each month on overcoming fear and mastering confidence and courage.

Is there anything else included in the monthly program?

Yes. You’ll also get reminder emails each week with ideas to take actionable steps to eliminate fear, monthly helpsheets to reinforce the lesson, webinars on that month’s lesson (with time for Q&A!), and access to a private Facebook for check-ins. 

Why did you create The Unstoppable Courage Club?

I understand what it is like to be paralyzed by fear. In the past, I made mistakes, I spent my time freaked out, playing small, denying and hiding from fear.

Little by little, I turned my life around. I created a new story.  The payoff of my post-fear life? I raised my family, I saved my marriage, became a successful therapist, a coach, an author, a professional speaker, a blogger, a writer–all things that I achieved even though I never thought they were possible. 

The Unstoppable Courage Club is the culmination of everything I’ve learned. I’m still asked, “How do you do it?” I’ve been blessed with very loving and brilliant mentors and teachers throughout my lifetime. Now it’s my turn to give back!

What are the benefits for those who join the Unstoppable Courage Club?

It is life-changing if you do the exercises, participate in the webinars, get involved in the community and apply what you learn.  Anais Nin said, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” 

Once you commit to doing what it takes, you’ll become more confident and courageous in everything you do. You can’t think your way out of fear. You must act your way out of it. Once you change your life, there is no going back. You may fall back but you can’t stay back. It’s impossible. 

The course will lead you out of the pitfalls of fear and insecurity and into the power of freedom and innate courage. You only need to take one small step at a time. All your little steps add up and take you where you need—and want—to be.

You can sign up for The Unstoppable Courage Club here.

Photo courtesy of xenia

Fran Sorin’s 10th Anniversary of Digging Deep

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November–the month of thanksgiving, appreciation and gratitude–is one of my favorite months. Many people in recovery have an affinity for November and are often known to use the 30 days as a time to “give back what has been freely given.”

In that spirit, I want to share with you an interview with my friend and fellow writer Fran Sorin, who recently released the 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening.

Don’t be fooled by the title!

Digging Deep is a powerfully uplifting and transformative self-help book for the creatively and spiritually challenged. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet). If you think, “I’m not creative,” think again. Fran will help you harness your instincts and live a life filled with joy and creativity–and isn’t that the whole point?

I asked Fran how Digging Deep applies to B Here Today readers–gardeners and non-gardeners alike. She said, “When we are on all fours in the garden—digging a hole in the ground –we are not only tending to the garden, but we are tending to our souls. The infinite beauty and magic of nature awakens all of our senses and enables us to move beyond the realm of ordinary consciousness.

“We enter a world of sacredness where we feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for not only being alive—but for experiencing ‘oneness’ with the universe. We tuck these jeweled moments of gratitude away into our consciousness, knowing that we can access them anytime (especially when facing obstacles) to help us stay grounded, resilient and focused on the stuff that really matters.”

Holy cow. That’s so cool and so, well, deep.

“Think about it,” she said. “Each of us has the ability to improve the quality of our lives by freeing up our imagination, improvising, taking more risks, experimenting, living with uncertainty, and being more mindful. Although I use the process of gardening as a tool for making my point, learning to live creatively outside of the garden—in all areas of your life—is the ultimate challenge.”

Is gardening a spiritual practice?

“Oh yes, for sure,” Fran said . “The beauty of gardening is that humankind’s connection to nature is such a primordial one that when you slow down, and let yourself just ‘be’ in the moment with nature, tending to the plants, you automatically can enter a Zen-like state. There’s a rhythm and beauty to it unlike any other spiritual practice I know of.

“Believe me, those moments leave deep impressions in your soul and you walk through this earth overflowing with gratitude and a feeling of abundance. If that’s not spirituality, I don’t know what is.”

I wondered whether, as a spiritual practice, gardening has transformational qualities, so I asked Fran if she had ever felt transformed.

She spoke about the time when she went through the first major renovation in her garden by tearing out all the shrubs in her front yard and replacing them with perennials.

“That was a real marker for unearthing the fear and trepidation that had bound me for so many years. I started trusting my instincts, to pay attention to what I knew would work for me, and to take some real risks and be willing to make mistakes.

“I learned to live with ambiguity and to not always rush to conclusion. In the garden, you just have to wait and see what’s going to happen—something I was never all that good at in my personal life. I liked to know what was going to happen at all times. But I started to trust the process of life more, both in my plants and in myself.”

Thank you, Fran, for sharing your love of gardening and your joy in living with us. Purchase Digging Deep through Amazon here.

Fran Sorin is an author, a recognized garden expert, deep ecologist, ordained interfaith minister, and soul tending coach who has a gift of awakening others to the joy of life.

Photos courtesy of Fran Sorin