25 Powerful Quotes to Awaken Your Wisest Self in 2017
03Jan 2017

“He wrapped himself in quotations, as a beggar
would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.”
-Rudyard Kipling

There’s no denying the power and potency of quotations.

Humans have used them as inspiration and guidance for thousands of years, like road signs from all the wise men who walked the path before us… Like little glowing gems of insight that shine their light and lead us closer to our truth.

The wisdom they contain floods our imagination, and reflects to us the same wisdom that lies hidden within our own heart and soul.

Here are 25 powerful quotes to help awaken your wisest, most illuminated self in the coming year…

“There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now,
always changing, always true. Are you willing to listen with fascination?
If you are, it will deliver you unto the self you have always dreamed you could be.
This is a promise.”
– Gabrielle Roth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection”
– Buddha

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual,
you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.
No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.
This is the day your life really begins.”
– Bob Moawad

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

“Love begins at home – with yourself. The more you learn to appreciate yourself,
the more you realize that you, not your partner, are the source of your own [happiness].”
-Margo Anand

The key point to understand is that prosperity is an internal experience, not an external state,
and it is an experience that is not tied to having a certain amount of money.
-Shakti Gawain

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
―Lao Tzu

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet;
how important you can be to people you may never even dream of.
There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
– Fred Rogers

“True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world.
Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
― Brené Brown

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”
– Yogi Bhajan

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man.
The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”
– Hindu Proverb

“Maximize the power of the beliefs that strengthen you and neutralize those that weaken you.”
– Rosalene Glickman, Ph.D.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
-George Addair

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
-Steve Jobs

“Savor life: don’t just breathe it in; exhale the moment to intake the next.”
-KC Rhoads

Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day
that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
-Mary Anne Radmacher

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”
-Pema Chödrön

“Our deepest wounds and our soul are intimately related.
If we journey far enough into the inner landscape of our wounds,
we discover there the mysteries of destiny.
Our wounds are essential facilitators in our soul lives.”
-Bill Plotkin

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful
as expectation of something better tomorrow.”
-Orison Swett Marden

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream;
not only plan, but also believe.”
–Anatole France

“The vision is one of wholeness, of embracing everything, because every situation,
whether pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity to become more aware about who you are
and how you can expand your capacities.”
-Margo Anand

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot


11 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate the New Year
27Dec 2016

By Jessi Kohlhagen

It’s been said that New Years Day (and how you choose to spend it) sets the intention for the entire year to come.

For this reason, January 1 will always find my family and I wandering outside, basking in Nature. This is our way of grounding, cherishing what’s most important, recommitting to being the best human beings we can be, giving thanks for the limitless abundance all around us, and honoring our roots.

However you choose to celebrate, this is a beautiful invitation to step into some of the most meaningful experiences you want to create for yourself… to actually embody them, give them a felt sense in your life, and allow your entire year to grow from that space.

Here are 11 meaningful ideas for celebrating this New Year:

Spend Time In Nature

As I mentioned above, this can be a powerfully healing and inspiring experience. See if you can invoke absolute presence and contentment wherever you stand — nowhere to get to, nothing to do. Just observe the world around you, from the smallest leaves to the limitless sky above. Go on an adventure. Commune with the Nature that exists all around and within you. See what you see, find what you find, go where you go.

Do A Reflection Ritual By Candlelight

This article would be incomplete if it didn’t include the year-end reflection ritual Lifebookers have come to love so much. It looks something like this: light some candles, brew a cup of hot cocoa or pour a glass of champagne, and settle in for a few hours of open-hearted honesty and reflection by the fireside. Go through the simple but powerfully thought-provoking questions one-by-one, and let this magical process invite greater truth, acceptance and growth into your life. More…

Solve The World’s Problems As Your Career
20Dec 2016

Written by Lifebook Member Juraj Bednar

In recent months I have met many inspiring people. They are generous, fun to be around and solving the world’s problems. Diabetes, partnerships, waste, security, retirement – all of these are huge problems, and I met people that are doing all they can to fix these problems. I think this is the best career move any individual can make; and for me, these people are an inspiration.

Many things in this world piss me off, and there are some things I can fix. On the other hand, I met a lot of young start-up entrepreneurs that are working on “apps” that just seem profitable. They don’t fix a pressing issue that people have. I think making the right decision in your career is important and “fixing world’s problems” is the most overlooked guiding principle in our careers. People study law, business or medicine just because these professions “pay well.”

Solving pressing problems usually pays well too. If it is something that people care about, they are willing to pay for the problem to go away.

The solutions don’t have to be perfect. Some products and services solve huge problems, and it took two weeks to implement them! One of the main misconceptions of entrepreneurship is that it is hard, that only certain people know how to create a profitable business and that you need to attend business school, read business books, become part of a startup networking group or a mastermind. It is not true. You need to find the right problem to solve, find the right financial model that works for you and do it.

Sometimes, the solution feels crappy. The website could be nicer; the product could be leaner and without bugs. But if it does solve the problem then solve it! More…

Why Self-Discipline = Freedom
13Dec 2016

Written by Lifebook Wisdom Curator, Jessi Kohlhagen

I wear a lot of hats in my life (and, if you’re a fellow human of the 21st century, it’s safe to assume you do too!).

I’m a wife, mother, careerwoman, homeschool teacher, yogi, maid, chef, chauffer… and underneath it all, I’m a human being who wants to create the best possible life for myself, and the people I love most.

If I had to pinpoint the single most important characteristic I employ to be the very best woman I can be in every area of my life, it would undoubtedly be self-discipline.

SELF-DISCIPLINE is the key to FREEDOM and FULFILLMENT everywhere in my life.

It seems counter-intuitive, I know. Self-discipline implies restraint, control, and limitation — where freedom embodies flexibility, allowance, and even indulgence.

But in my own experience, I’ve found that these two traits are inseparable… You can’t truly experience the power (and privilege) of freedom without first activating self-discipline.

You can’t have a vibrant, healthy body without applying willpower toward what you eat and how often (and well) you move.

You can’t experience the enjoyment of having a peaceful, beautiful home without spending some amount of time organizing and caring for it every single day.

You can’t be a rock star in your career without getting your hands dirty and putting in the necessary hours to get the job done well.

And we all know you can’t drink the sweet, healing nectar of a blossoming love relationship without daily cultivation and devotion to its growth.

Self-discipline is the giver, not the taker, of freedom. More…

How to Have a Good Bad Day
06Dec 2016

Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

We’ve all had terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

An overwhelming workload, a missed deadline, a traffic jam, some bad news, a fight with your partner, a broken goal… crappy days come in many shapes and sizes.

But (as with most things in life) you can bet your bottom dollar that even your stormiest days have their silver linings.

Here are 8 ideas for how to have a GOOD bad day:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself

There’s nothing quite like a “treat” at the end of a particularly crappy day… yet oftentimes our ideas of treating ourselves are actually unhealthy, and leave us feeling even more miserable after the initial surge of enjoyment has subsided. Whether our go-to vice is alcohol, sweets, cigarettes or shopping, indulging it usually leaves us with feelings of guilt and loss of control. So next time you find yourself seeking to fill that void, ask yourself, “will this really make me feel better?”

2. Connect with your body

The most beneficial way to “treat” yourself is to really connect with your being, and nourish every cell in your body. Exercise is one of the most obvious and effective mood boosters, so try a gentle yet nourishing form of movement that will take you out of your head and into your body (dance and yoga are fantastic choices!). Once you’ve nurtured yourself from the inside out, work from the outside in. Draw yourself a relaxing bath of Epson salts, essential oils, candles and relaxing music. You’re guaranteed to feel like a whole new person!

3. Write it down

Writing/Journaling is one of the most powerful forms of healing therapy imaginable. It’s not so much about the process of documenting what is happening in our lives… it’s the process of being fully aware of what is happening in our lives, and in ourselves. When you take the time to candidly and uninhibitedly communicate what and how you’re feeling, you will find gems of wisdom that you didn’t realize existed (and oftentimes the solution you need to the problems you’re facing). Thank you, inner voice!

4. Do a 180

If you spent the day trying to dig yourself out from an overwhelming pit of paperwork, spend your evening completely disconnected from your career and engage in something that feels like a contrast. Play, read a book, move your body, relax. On the flip side, if you spent your day lazing around, making poor choices and are feeling crappy about yourself, get up and get something done… which leads us to #5…

5. Accomplish something

Oftentimes, the overwhelm, guilt and defeat that we feel at the end of a terrible day is caused by a sense of imbalance. These are the days we spend way too much time and energy focused on one thing (or one theme) and are left feeling too exhausted and frustrated to even begin thinking about all the other things that need to be done. Sometimes the antidote to overwhelm is simply to take conscious action. So when you’re feeling overpowered by one category of your life, accomplish something meaningful in a category you feel is lacking. Deep clean your kitchen, cook a beautifully vibrant meal, connect with your children, make love to your partner, create something for someone. Find a sense of accomplishment elsewhere, and let that satisfaction heal you.

6. Say “well, at least I…”

Surely there are meaningful moments that occur, even on our darkest days. Learning to focus our minds on the full spectrum of our experience, and not indulge in one overpowering aspect of it, is one of the great keys to balance and fulfillment in life. So instead of stewing over everything that went wrong, try and make a mental list of the things that went well.

7. Keep perspective

Ask yourself if this will matter in a week, a month, a year… or even tomorrow! Think back to similar times when you’ve felt defeated, and remember how it all worked out… recognize how distant and removed from that experience you feel today, and remember that this too shall pass.

8. Remember the ebb and flow

The brilliant Rumi spoke these poetic words of wisdom:

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence
is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birds’ wings.”
― Rumi

Remember that the nature of the human experience is this very contracting and expanding. The more you can accept this as a simple (and in fact beautiful) part of life, the more inner peace you will find in every millimeter of your experience – both the good, and the bad.

Even a bad day can have something good in it.

What can you find in yours?


The Antidote to Overwhelm
07Nov 2016

Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless.
But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment.”
-Maya Angelou

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
The secret to getting started is to break complex, overwhelming tasks
into small, manageable tasks, and then start on the first one.”
-Mark Twain

As a human being in the 21st century, chances are you have a career to build, a family to care for, a household to manage, bills & taxes to pay, and a burning desire to improve every area of your life.

Sometimes you have so much going on, you feel like your head might explode.

And you’re not alone. The feeling of overwhelm is spreading like a disease throughout modern culture… and rightfully so.

Our limited human attention spans are in a constant tug-of-war with countless demands, distractions, and desires… and they’re increasing exponentially with each passing year.

The modern world’s incessant need for “more, better, faster” creates a sense of urgency and inadequacy, and leaves us feeling that our happiness, contentment and desired state of being are perpetually “just around the corner” — always the next goal away, just out of reach.

Even as the highly conscious, ultra-intentional Lifebook Members we are…

We all face challenges in life that threaten to sweep us off our feet and defeat us once and for all.

Enter emotional overwhelm… that paralyzing cocktail of stress, worry, helplessness and disempowerment that tries to convince you of your inability to cope with the circumstances and challenges of life.

Overwhelm overrides our ability to see things clearly and take conscious action, by making our problems appear bigger and closer than they actually are.

But here’s a truly life-changing secret…

Overwhelm is less about what’s going on outside of you, and more about what’s going on inside of you.

Sure, it feels real. Because inner chaos actually creates outer chaos.

When you’ve got a million and one things renting space in your mind, and a whole stew of emotions weighing heavy on your heart, it’s impossible to slow down, prioritize and actually get things done.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself a time out and DO THIS 6 PART EXERCISE.

Here are 6 steps that will lead you out of overwhelm, and into clarity, confidence, and conscious action.

1. Do a brain dump

Take 5-10 minutes to get everything out of your head and onto paper. No matter how large or small… everything must go! In addition to the obvious deadlines and pressing demands of your daily life, be sure to include the little tasks that keep you up at night, the things you’re constantly telling yourself you should be doing right now, the nagging reminders in the back of your head that won’t let up. Don’t stop or edit until your mind feels blissfully emptied of all of them.

2. Let go of what you can’t control

Looking at your list you may notice items that are simply outside of your control — things like wanting someone to act or feel differently, or wishing for an outcome that simply can’t be predicted. Here, you have one of two options. Either change the goal/task into something you do have control over — that you can actually take action on… or draw a big fat line through it to remove it from your list (and your life) forever. Liberating, isn’t it?!

3. Challenge your assumptions about what you must do.

We all have those to-do items that follow us from week to week and never actually see the light of day. These are usually the things that suck — that we feel obligated to do but aren’t passionate about. Sometimes we really do have to complete them (hello tax returns!). But more often than not, we have the power to free ourselves from feeling of the constant frustration and failure over these half-hearted commitments. Again, you have one of two options: Roll up your sleeves and commit to executing it once and for all… or remove it from your list and free up that mental-emotional real estate.

4. Prioritize and number your tasks

Wahoo! Now you have your real to-do list — the most important and meaningful tasks in your life right now. The next step is to prioritize them. Take a look and order them by number – starting with the most urgent and pressing items, and working your way down the list.

5. Schedule your tasks into your calendar

Now that you know what order you’ll be working in, you can plan your tasks into reality — through your calendar and daily work schedule. This is the final and ultimate step in releasing them from your thoughts. Once you have everything organized and scheduled, all you have to do is hit the ground running with each day’s task. Which leads us to the next step…

6. Take one step at a time.

You absolutely must learn to be content with taking small steps, because really that’s all life is. By taking small, meaningful steps each day (that you’ve consciously and thoroughly plotted in advance), you’re finally able to give yourself permission to reside in that place of happiness and contentment — because you know you’re doing your very best, and for the first time, you believe in your heart that that is enough.


The Beauty of Birthing Naturally
25Oct 2016

Written By Lifebook Member Diana Shea

My mother has always said that the three most amazing days of her life were the days that I and my two sisters were each born. Every year, on our birthdays, she would tell us our birth stories. To this day, she still recounts the details. Among them was her determination to give birth naturally and the pure joy she felt in doing so. Year after year of this retelling was one of the most amazing gifts she could ever give to us. She set the premise in our minds that birthing is a beautiful, natural and extraordinary experience that we wouldn’t want to miss! She repeated to us, time and again, that we are lucky to be girls because we get to have the babies!

Likewise, from a very young age, I have held the conviction that birthing naturally is beautifully awesome! Our bodies are expertly designed to grow and birth our babies without intervention. The entire process is natural. Fast forward thirty years to becoming pregnant myself, and it was hard for me to imagine birthing in a hospital environment where medical interventions are the norm. How could I create the birth experience that I wanted? Everyone’s pregnancy and birthing journey is their own. There is no “right way”. For me, however, I knew that the best place for me to birth my babies was at home, so that it would be as unencumbered of institutional rules and policies as possible. My husband and I agreed that with a Certified Nurse Midwife, a top rated hospital close by, and doula support, we would feel safer staying home than going to the hospital for childbirth. And so that’s what we did. If you ask my girls where they were born, they’ll say, “in the dining room”!

Now, I know that home birth is not for everyone. And that is ok. We all have to decide what is best for ourselves and our families.   I do feel passionately, however, that our culture needs more examples of and strategies for pursuing natural childbirth in order for more of us to consider it a valid option. And so it is in that spirit that I share with you the following resources. Along the way, I’ve become a trained doula and prenatal yoga instructor, so these suggestions are favorites from my collection.

Want to learn more about natural childbirth and the reasons for pursuing it? Check out ‘Natural Childbirth Resources’ (below). Looking to build your toolkit of strategies for a healthy pregnancy and birth experience? Visit my website (www.DianaShea.com) for detailed Childbirth Preparation and Relaxation Techniques. Have a question or want to connect? Email me at info@dianashea.com. More…

7 Habits That Will Change Your Life
18Oct 2016

Submitted by members of the Lifebook Team

Habits have the power of shape our lives, for better or worse.

If we wish to live a truly extraordinary life, we must pay especially close attention to the habits, rituals and behaviors that add up to who we are and how we live.

Below, Lifebook Team members share one personal habit they’ve successfully implemented that has transformed their lifestyle.

Enjoy reading through these inspiring success stories, and feel free to comment at the bottom of the post to let us know how you feel, and share a habit you’ve successfully implemented in your life!

A Morning Ritual
By:  Brian Johnson, Lifebook CEO

Just by implementing this simple new habit, I’ve been able to create results at a higher level than ever before, and make a major change in how my days turn out.

In the past I used to wake up, and the first thing I did was have a coffee, check emails, and get to work.  I found this to be a bad idea, because I was allowing the rest of the world to dictate what my day was going to be like.

Now I wake up and spend an hour of quiet time thinking about the day and everything I will do to make it an outstanding one. How I will act? What conversations will I have?  What will I take action on?  Then I read my daily affirmation.

This ritual sets the stage for a great day and keeps me in the right frame of mind, and the feeling that I can handle anything at a very high level.  Enjoy!

My Daily Affirmation
Today is a wonderful day.
I choose to have loving thoughts.
If my mind starts to chatter of negative things I will stop – and replace those thoughts with positive thoughts.
I will focus on all the little things in my life that mean so much and feel loving gratitude for them.
I will think of all the wonderful people in my life and how much I love them and I will feel the love.
I am cool, calm and collected – I can handle anything today will bring.
I am healthy, happy and live in wisdom.
I can change my life.
Today I will take one step toward my Life Vision.
My presence makes a difference in the world.
I joyously take on the challenge of exploring my passions and pursuing my goals so that the world can benefit from my existence.

The 50/50 Rule
By:  Phillip Mitchell, Assistant Director of Customer Experience


This may seem like a very simple habit that I have formed as a result of the habit setting guides and goals we have developed here at Lifebook, but for me it has been transformational in pushing my intellectual life forward in a big way.

I am an avid sports fan and fan of television and films in general, which can translate into hours in front of the television every week. In an effort to equally distribute my time between my appreciation for the entertainment and enjoyment that television brings me, and the need to continue expanding my intellectual life on my journey to remain a lifelong learner, I have implemented a 50/50 rule for myself which means for every minute or hour of television I watch, I will spend an equal amount of time reading or listening to audio books.

Sometimes I consider my television watching to be a mindless way to relax and unwind, but I have come to the conclusion that I gain quite a bit from this activity, so I didn’t want to cut it out completely. Since I am already a very avid exerciser and work out regularly every week, I considered other options for holding myself accountable about my reading and personal growth.

For me it is more about beginning the journey, once I find myself diving into a new book, article, or audio program I am engulfed in the power of it. So this was a great way that I could enjoy both in nearly equal amounts providing fulfillment across multiple categories of my life. So far in this New Year alone I have already read three new books and I am currently in the process of reading my 4th! I am already ahead of my goal of completing 1 book per month, thanks to this habit!

One Simple Statement
By:  Katrina Lawton, Lifebook Concierge

My Character is something I cherish and am truly proud of. It is connected to EVERY category of my life. Since creating my Lifebook I have become more aware of my Character, and I now understand that my life experiences and relationships are built with quality, as a result of my Character.

How I act in certain situations, and how I treat people, will create great experiences and amazing relationships, not only in my personal life but my social life, business life, etc…

There is one character trait in particular that has transformed my Character, opened my eyes, and led me to a more positive life. This trait has become a STAPLE in my daily thoughts and actions.

The trait is Gratitude. Gratitude to me is simply being thankful for the people and experiences around me.

I am now in the habit of thinking and saying things that I am grateful for.

My thought process around this is pretty simple. When something feels great and makes me happy, I make sure to stop and reflect upon it by saying, “Wow I am so grateful for… such beauty, such amazing friends, my family, my co-workers, eating amazing food, having quality conversations… etc.”  It is so important to tell the people around you that you are grateful for them, and why.

Gratefulness makes me a better person, which becomes contagious to others. I could follow myself for a day and say I was proud!

Reciting a simple statement during a moment of gratitude creates an incredible energy that keeps me moving forward, experiencing MORE gratitude, deepening my relationships, and creating memories that last a lifetime.

My Morning ‘Gifts’
By:  Sandra Garest, Director of Customer Experience

I’ve come to learn through my own personal experience (and from some wonderful teachers) that one of the most important parts of the day is when I first wake up in the morning.

After considering my morning routine and how it was making me feel, I realized that I was starting my day with habits that were dragging me down.   I was turning on the morning news, checking email on my phone before even getting out of bed, and then diving immediately into action instead of starting the day with grace.

I identified morning ‘gifts’ that I could give to myself to set my day up for success and bliss.  Then I practiced these as habits for 2 whole months, and have continued to expand on them.

The following are some of the things that I’ve incorporated in my morning makeover:

* Gratitude and prayer, saying “thank you” as I first open my eyes
* Bringing more conscious to my very first thoughts, making an effort to be sure these first thoughts are pleasant, positive, healing ones

* Envisioning my perfect day and how it will unfold

* Deep breathing exercises

* Foundational Movement Practices from the Balancing Center

* “
Start Your Day Right” Meditation App.

The very first moments of the morning set the tone for the entire day.  Everything from my first thoughts to how I nourish my body, mind and spirit greatly influence my success.  Applying these simple practices to my life has helped me drastically improve my overall happiness and energy.

A Time Commitment
By:  Peter Scott, Lifestyle Consultant


Jon’s Principle of Goal/Habit Interconnectivity from week 6 of the Bootcamp has had a significant impact on my life.  Two years ago, I inherited a real estate property with literally zero real estate experience.  Over night I became an absentee landlord managing a three-family home in Connecticut.

After 6 months, I learned that real estate is not always “passive income.”  I went through every problem you could ever experience related to owning property and made the decision that I had to sell the property because I was losing money.

Now this “goal” seemed extremely overwhelming to me.  I had no idea where to start, or how I could break such an enormous goal down into manageable steps.

Then, Jon released the VIP Bootcamp.  My epiphany happened in week 6 when Jon mentioned that goals are the keys to creating great habits and habits are the key to accomplishing my goals.  So I thought to myself, if my goal is to sell a piece of real estate, what habit could I associate with that goal?  I realized that what I could do to sell a piece of real estate is make a list of everything I could possibly do to move the project forward, and then commit to a scheduled time frame.

So I created a habit to spend the hours between 2pm and 4pm EVERY Saturday afternoon on my real estate list: updating the marketing materials, hiring a new realtor, replacing a furnace, etc.

I’m happy to say that last Friday, the sale of my property went through and I accomplished my enormous goal!  I couldn’t have done this without committing to a habit of working on all the tasks that needed to be completed, and then taking massive action.

I can now say that I accomplished my overriding goal for the entire year because of Jon’s Principle of Goal/Habit Interconnectivity.  This is a principle, and a practice, that I will continue to carry into many other areas of my life (and goals) in order to achieve my Life Vision.

One Interaction At A Time
By:  Benjamin Lawrence, Director of Finance and Operations

I was fortunate enough to spend some extended time with my grandfather during an 18-month travel sabbatical that I took a few years ago.  After I went back to work, I lost touch with my Grandfather and our daily face-to-face conversations turned into monthly phone call snippets.  My Grandfather was not the only one who I lost touch with, as my friends and family members would constantly ask where I’ve been since returning from sabbatical.  If anyone has ever spent 18 months in relative seclusion from working and socializing, they know it is a serious adjustment to get re-acclimated with the “real world” and to be able to function in a balanced and optimally positive mode.

It seemed as though the emotional drain that one experiences in a demanding professional role was leading to me not having the “emotional energy” to simply call a loved one on a daily basis.

After a few months of continuing to spend my mental energy in a lop-sided fashion where my Intellectual, Career, and Financial life took priority over family and social life, it was clear that I needed to recommit myself to regular visits with my loved ones. After all, family and close friends are the cornerstones of my life, and each and every one of them means the world to me.

With that being said, I decided to make it a habit to speak or visit with a loved one daily. Since making this declaration, I have achieved an incredible, sustainable life balance.  I have spoken with my Grandfather at least twice weekly.  I have made it a point to be fully present in the lives of my nephews, and hang out with them at least once a week.  I take one weekend out of each month to go ride horses with my Father.  I even began reconnecting with old friends who I thought I’d grown apart from.

The tangible results of turning this into a habit are clear:

* My Mother constantly tells me how much it means to my Grandfather that we talk all of the time
* My Nephews regularly call me to ask “what are we doing for this week’s Uncle B day?!” They even write about our hangout sessions in their homework assignments, meaning I’m really making an impact on their young and impressionable minds!
* My Father told me just the other day that he hadn’t had this much fun hanging out with me since the olden days when he dedicated a decade of his life to taking me to all of my sporting events and coaching me in youth football
* My closest friends have thoroughly enjoyed seeing me back on the social grid and I realize every day how lucky I am to have friendships that stand the test of time

If such a simple habit can make the twilight of my Grandfathers life that much more enjoyable for him, then who am I to not make that commitment?  Since turning this goal into a habit, I have rediscovered why I feel so passionate about bringing joy, hope and optimism to my loved ones’ lives on a daily basis … one interaction at a time.

15 Minutes Of Freedom
By:  Jessica Butcher, Director of Membership and Communications

During the January VIP Challenge, ’31 Days To Create A Habit’ I committed to doing yoga during the first and last 15 minutes of my day (upon waking, and before going to sleep).

Since declaring the habit, I’ve expanded on my routine, and created what I think of as ‘15 minutes of freedom’ in my mornings and my evenings.  What started as a simple stretching practice has transformed into an incredibly powerful habit in my life, positively affecting my health and fitness, my emotional life and my spiritual life.

I’d like to share it with you…

My 15 Minutes Of Freedom (practiced twice a day)

I recently flipped through a book at a friend’s house on Ayurvedic home remedies (click here if you’re interested), and stumbled upon a fantastic recommended ritual.  In the book, they gave some unusual but intriguing recommendations that I’ve borrowed and adapted, and have since transformed my waking and sleeping rituals.

First, I acknowledge my waking and awareness before opening my eyes (or if it’s the evening, I’ll close my eyes and bring awareness to my body), noticing what I feel like from head to toe, inside and out.

When I open my eyes, I raise my hands over my face and observe them.  I know this sounds strange (I thought so when I first read about it), but hands are known to be incredible sources of energy, and for me, bringing my awareness to them reminds me that I am here, I am whole, and I am powerful.

After putting energy into my hands, I lay them over my face, and feel my skin.  I rub my ears, throat, and chest, and rest my palms on my stomach.  This stimulates my skin, and helps me awaken my cells and connect with my body.

Then, I begin breathing deeply into my stomach with long, deep inhales and slow, steady exhales.  With my hands still on my stomach, I try to raise them as high as I can, carrying my breath as low as possible into my abdomen.  I feel the oxygen flowing through me and I feel alert and energized.

After a minute or so of deep breathing, I begin stretching my body while still laying down (legs, arms, twists, etc.), while continuing the deep breathing.

If it’s the morning, I’ll transition to sitting up or standing up, and continue the stretching exercises.

If it’s the evening, after I’m done stretching, I will lay on my back (while continuing with the deep breathing) and bring my intention to relaxing every muscle in my body, starting with my toes and working my way up to my neck, head and face (this part alone has drastically improved my sleep by helping me release all tension and increase my body’s circulation).

By the time I’m finished I feel incredibly centered, balanced and alive… a positive and healing sensation I’ve become totally addicted to!

How to Raise Kids Who Love Their Bodies
04Oct 2016

By Jessi Kohlhagen

“To love yourself as you are is a miracle,
and to see yourself is to have found yourself, for now.
And now is all we have… and love is who we are.”
– Anne Lamott

As parents, it’s up to us to teach our children to love their bodies.

We get the sacred task of showing them how to respect and enjoy their beautiful form, even when the world gives them so many reasons to do the opposite.

To remind them that they get only one, that it is sacred and miraculous, and to cherish every moving moment.

To instill confidence and self-love in them, by demonstrating what it looks like, how it feels, how it moves.

To teach them that their bodies are magical in what they can perform, that they are constantly changing, and worth loving no matter what.

Here are 20 ways we can raise our kids to love and respect all bodies — most of all, their own. More…

Tempe, Arizona Lifebook Session: November 10-13
30Sep 2016

Below you will find all the information you need to create a truly extraordinary and unforgettable experience. Should you have any additional questions please contact becky@mylifebook.com.


Transportation and Hotel Accommodation

  • Book a Hotel Room:
    • To book your stay at The Embassy Suites, please mention “Piranha Marketing” for a discounted rate of $152/night:
      • Phone: 480-897-7444
      • Address: 4400 S Rural Rd. Tempe, AZ 85282
  • Arrange Airport Transportation:
    • Fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Wednesday so you can join us at the Lifebook Estates for our 8 am start on Thursday
    • The Embassy Suites offers free airport transportation.  When you land at Sky Harbor airport,  call the hotel and they will send the shuttle to pick you up. You can also arrange a shuttle to return you to the airport upon departure.
    • Flight departure can be anytime after 5pm on Sunday, November 13th.