Announcing: Lifebook LOVES!
18Jan 2018
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Hi everyone,

Jon Butcher here — founder of Lifebook.

Missy and I have something very special to share with you today…

Next week we’ll be launching a brand new weekly email series called LIFEBOOK LOVES.

In it, we’ll share all of the cutting edge resources, products, and practices that are helping us to create and maintain our extraordinary lives.

Watch the short video 1-minute video below, where we explain the series and what you can expect to get out of it.

Remember, you’re here to create an extraordinary life beyond your wildest dreams. And we’re here to help you unleash your greatness and reach your fullest potential.

Use this weekly series to find all the tools, inspiration and support you need to take your life to the next level!

You don’t have to do anything to sign up — the weekly emails will come automatically to you if you’re on our mailing list.

If you have an amazing resource of your own to recommend, please share it with us by emailing lifebookloves@mylifebook.com, and we just might feature it!

As always, thank you so much for sharing the journey with us.

With so much love and gratitude,

JonSignaturePhotoSignature

 

 

 

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Jon Butcher

Lifebook Founder
mylifebook.com

The Greatest Lessons from Lifebook, by Anna B.
15Jan 2018
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First of all, I am truly grateful and happy for the entire Lifebook and Bootcamp process. It has given me indespensable new insights and clarity around the type of person I wish to become and the type of overall life that I wish to attain. The clarity has made me more grounded and peaceful inside, by setting out a clear vision, framework and effective step-by-step approach for life. Here are some of the lessons that the whole Lifebook process has given me:

Since I started Lifebook, I have become more conscious of:

1) The character traits that I wish to nurture and develop in order to feel happy and proud of myself as a person;
2) The emotional states that I wish to experience on a daily and continuous basis, and that there are in fact recipes for attaining each emotion (fascinating!);
3) The love relationship that I wish to have, and how I can act myself to develop these conditions (but also how I need to have my husband on board);
4) The importance of my spiritual well-being, and how meditation can help me not only become more “spiritually connected” but also help me attain a more peaceful and grounded emotional state (as well as gain more mental clarity, insights and positive energy);
5) How the twelve categories interact with one another in profound ways, not least the emotional, spiritual, physical, character, career and financial ones;
6) The many benefits of gaining still more clarity around how to be a good mother/parent and how my consciousness in this area can have many positive feedback loops for the entire family;
7) The importance of my social life for my overall well-being, and how I need to set up regular dates with friends to activate my social life at a conscious level to make things happen. Also, I became more clear about what type of social activities that I enjoy the most, that is musical concerts, dancing and photo exhibitions rather than for example theater plays and modern art museums.

Since I started Life Bootcamp, I have become more conscious of the following: More…

14 Morning Rituals to Set the Tone for an Incredible Day
09Jan 2018
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You forgot to set your alarm.

As you slowly wake up on your own, you see that the sun is already shining brightly and it’s much later than you anticipated.

Panic sets in as you realize you’re late for everything. You throw on your cleanest outfit, brush your teeth and rush out the door un-showered, hungry and stressed.

While this may be a downright miserable way for anyone to start their day, it’s all too familiar to many of us.

We’ve all experienced the difference between an unintentional morning of stress and chaos, and an intentional morning of tranquility and efficiency.

Your morning routine has the power to set the mood for your entire day.

Studies show that people who start their mornings calm and happy finish the day in the same upbeat, energized state… whereas people who begin their day in a bad mood end their day feeling the same, or worse.

Furthermore, those who have elevated moods demonstrate high productivity, while those who experience low moods demonstrate low productivity.

The bottom line?

If you want to feel happier, more energized, more successful, and more fulfilled, you absolutely must create a morning ritual that nourishes you. More…

Lifebook’s 2018 Health and Fitness CHALLENGE!
02Jan 2018
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Are you ready to create some serious POSITIVE CHANGE in your body, and your life?

Do your New Years Resolutions include looking fantastic, feeling healthy and energized, getting stronger, increasing endurance, finding greater flexibility, and being the absolute best you can be?

If you’re ready to move the needle in your health and fitness, we have a Lifebook Challenge you don’t want to miss!

Introducing:

Lifebook’s 2018 Health and Fitness Challenge!

Please note: you do NOT have to be a Lifebook Member to participate in this challenge! It’s open to everyone who wants to take their health and fitness over the top this year!

Hit the ground running in the New Year with all the support, encouragement, and accountability you need to create positive, lasting transformation in your body!

All you have to do is accomplish your most important health and fitness goal, and YOU could be the Grand Prize winner! (see below for details)

Because a win in your health and fitness is a win EVERYWHERE.

Set a strong physical foundation right out of the gate in 2018, and watch every other area of your life transform as a result of the strength, clarity and focus it brings!

Our research shows that achieving health and fitness goals can cause a tremendous ripple effect in every other important area of life.

By connecting to your body and achieving your health and fitness goals with this Lifebook Challenge, you have the opportunity to:

  • Improve the way you look and feel
  • Ignite greater passion and connection in your love relationship
  • Find unprecedented mental clarity and focus
  • Amp up the energy and commitment you bring to your career
  • Make more money
  • Achieve greater balance with your emotions
  • Discover a deeper spiritual connection
  • Experience greater energy, connection and presence with your children
  • Inspire EVERYONE in your life

The individual who creates the biggest results will win the Grand Prize, valued at over $3000…

More…

Lifebook’s Annual Year-End Reflection Ceremony
26Dec 2017
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There’s something absolutely magical about this time of year: the twinkling lights, cozy fires, joyous cheer being spread by everyone, and perhaps most exciting of all, the anticipation of turning the page of our lives to a brand new chapter.

It’s a season of celebration, love, and self-reflection.

In honor of this magical time, we have a reflection ritual here at Lifebook that takes place each December.

Here’s how you can join us…

Light some candles, brew a cup of hot tea or pour a glass of champagne, get cozy by the fireside (perhaps with a loved one) and settle in for a few hours of deep reflection and open-hearted honesty.

The ritual is done by answering simple questions, which are designed to call forth mighty truth, inspiration and growth from deep within you.

Enjoy this magical process, and make this New Year a beautiful expression of your wildest wishes and deepest dreams.

More…

Wine 101: It’s Not That Complicated!
19Dec 2017
5
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Written by Lifebook Member Brian Johnson

Quality of Life is probably my favorite of all the Lifebook categories. And for me, fine wine is an important part my quality of life!

I love everything about fine wine; the hunt to find those special gems, sharing a great bottle with friends, discussing wine for hours on end…

But I’ve discovered that when I talk to most people about wines, the reaction is usually the same…

“UHGGG! I just don’t know where to start! It’s just all too confusing! I don’t know enough! I‘m afraid I will waste my money!”

(Then, the other one that really gets me is, “Oh… I just stick with my box of red wine from the local grocery store!” OMG, right?)

Seriously, the world of wine does not have to be complicated…

Yes, there are a plethora of choices, and they are always changing. For instance, a big winner one year for a Napa Valley cabernet could be a total flop the next – or one year, a mediocre Spanish wine could win the “wine of the year” the next. How does that happen?

Well, there are many reasons, but unless you are immersed in this world and you take it as serious as I do, it simply does not matter!

What DOES matter is what YOU like, not what anyone else likes!

Having one of the top wine review sites in the world, I am frequently asked a few of the same questions over and over and I wanted to share them with you. For this issue, I am going to just keep it to the top few questions and we can get into more of them later.

Big Question Number One: “What is the best wine I can buy?”

OK, I love this one and I usually have fun with it. I start with something like Screaming Eagle for about $4,000.00 per bottle and run up to a Chateau Petrus for $17,000.00 per bottle.

Then, after they look at me like I have two heads, I say, “I am just making a point, because there is no BEST WINE!” What kind of ice cream do you like? What kind of car do you drive? Where would you like to live?

It is really all about YOU! That’s all that matters when it comes to the best wine. It could be a local bottle from the grocery store, or a $200.00 bottle of Napa Cabernet.

If you are a collector the story might be a little different, but most people are not collectors (and we can get into collecting wine down the road, which is where things get really fun).

Question Number Two (and a better question to ask): “What wines do YOU like?”

I usually get this question after my answer to the first one.

Why is this a better question to ask? Because, if you are just starting out with wines or if you are looking to step-up your experience with wines, then this is one of the best ways to do it…

Talk with other wine lovers and share your experiences.

Not only is this really fun, but it’s a very good way to enhance those great relationships with the people you want to be around.

Most people love to tell you about their favorite wine or some great experience in a nice restaurant with a wine they’ve never heard of. Or how they remember the specific wine they were drinking when they got engaged, or attended a birthday party, or a graduation.

You can also find some wine blogs or review sites out there that DO NOT review wines to make money. I say that because most of the magazines and blogs will give their sponsors and advertisers better reviews then they deserve. And, most likely, you won’t find the “hidden jewels” in any of the mainstream wine resources.

Here is an example; I roam the Napa Valley and go to small wineries that produce less than 1000 cases of wine. Places like Staglin Family, Chateau Boswell, Palmaz, Bryant, etc. Most likely you won’t hear about these in any mainstream magazines, but I feel they are better wines for less than 100 dollars than most 1000 dollar bottles out there.

There is a very key point to this process. Once you find the right blogs or people who drink wines frequently, try the wines they suggest. If you like what they’ve suggested, then you have found a good person to follow and they will likely steer you in the right direction.

Just because some ad says, “this is the top wine of the year” does not mean you will like it. I am not saying don’t try it, because trying new wines is the only way to expand your palate. What I am saying is don’t just rely on what you read.

Experience the wine world for yourself. Just try different wines more often and PAY ATTENTION to what you like!

After a while you will narrow your palate into the areas you love and then you can expand it from there.

Question Three: “What do you like best about wine?”

This may shock you but what I like about wines MOST, is not the wine itself. It’s not the taste, it’s not the pairings, and it’s not that great feeling of gratification from a great wine… No, it’s much bigger and more profound than that…

To me, it’s all about the experiences, the relationships wine can build, the love that it expands.

Those single moments in life that you look back on and will remember forever. Like sipping an 86 Mouton while overlooking a sunset with my wife while in Key West on our anniversary, or the 2000 Gaja overlooking the fountains at Pacasso with family, or the 2004 Staglin we enjoyed with Jon and Missy, or the many, many times we’ve gotten together with our good friends to share timeless stories while sharing each other’s wines.

Heather and I relate special times in our lives with certain wines. Wines are so much more to me than just a beverage. Good wines are special, and the more you look at the history of a wine and how it was first created, the more you can appreciate it and the more you cherish the experience when you open a great wine.

I collect really great wines and I’m always looking for the right time and place to open a special bottle. Or, I’ll buy a wine when a baby is born to open at their graduation or wedding. Wine can help to bring people together, create outstanding experiences, create new friends, and just so much more.

Do you remember the last time you had a great wine? When was it? What was the time like? Is it something you will remember forever?

Now THAT to me is worth every penny I have spent on wine. Whether it was over priced or under priced, deep red or purple, 2009 or 1940, good or bad…

Think about that the next time you open a great bottle of wine and turn your wine drinking into a wonderful experience.

Cheers!

Brian Johnson

For a quick glance, here are some of Brian’s top-rated wines in each dollar bracket. For a deeper dive and more extensive list, visit his blog at TheWineBloggers.com.

Brian’s Top 3 $0-30 Wines

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso 2003, 90 points

2003 Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso

(Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri)

Deep dark fruit, plumbs and leather on the nose with strong ceder.  Lots of character in this wine. Deep purple color hinting toward brownish.  The palate is powerful at the start with chocolate, blackberries, cloves and dark leather.  It’s a dark feeling wine with earthy dirt tastes and black tobacco.  Lots of spices and tannins. The finish has burnt caramel and strong tannins on the sides of the tong and the lingering aftertaste is a touch bitter with cigar tobacco.  This is a deep dark super Tuscan and if yo like that this wine is really good for 25 bucks.  This is a 2003 and this wine is going to age beautifully.  This is a definite try if you like the bold Italian reds.

Orin Swift The Prisoner 2006, 90 points

2006 Orin Swift The Prisoner

(USA, California, Napa Valley)

Loads of personality in this wine. Very big and jammy. The nose was not as surprising and the palate. Had black olives, caramel and an overall soft earthy smell. The color was a deep dark purple and had some nice body to it. The palate was a BANG! This wine has loads of body and a very big initial taste with burnt caramel, sour cherries, black olives and a hint of pepper. A little hot and needs to be open for a while. Not as earthy as the nose but more jammy. Definitely worth 30 bones because this is an experience.

The 2006 blends the lush berry flavors of Zinfandel(51%), the power and concentration of Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), the dark black fruit of Syrah (12%), the intensity and structure of Petit Sirah (6%), the flesh of Charbono (6%) and a hint of Grenache (2%) – all combined for a decadent wine with great complexity.

Orin Swift Website

Tintara Shiraz 2005, 90 points

2005 Tintara Shiraz

(Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale)

In Redondo Beach LA for meetings and ate at Baleen in the Portofino hotel.  Great meal and had the Tinara Shiraz in a flight of 4.  This one was clearly the best with the Kobe steak.  Love the chocolate nose with loads of espresso and burnt log.  Great nose on this wine and very intriguing. The palate starts with lots of chocolate and spices, very nice. I like this wine a lot because it has some nice characteristics. Very soft wine for a shiraz and the tannins are on the softer side as well as allowing the flavors to come through.   I highly suggest this wine.  Great for the money at about 20 bucks a bottle.  Give it a try.

Brian’s Top 3 $30-60 Wines

Paradigm cabernet 2005, 93 points

Do you like Screaming Eagle?  Then you will love this wine at the price.  Wine maker Heidi Barrett brings this wine to you as one of the better Napa cult wines.  I call this the little brother of Screaming Eagle.  The color was very dark and inky.  The nose had the old world feel to it that I like with chocolate, cherries and an earthy edge to it.  Lots of fruit and some layers of toased oak.  This wine was silky on to a velvety finish.  Very mouth coating BANG to the palate.  This wine will cellar for many years.  After about 45 minutes in the decanter it really rounded out nice and got softer.

At around 60 bucks a bottle it is a definite try.

Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera 2005, 91 points

2005 Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera

(Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico)

Nice wine.  Balanced and quality.  The nose has vanilla and dark cherry. The palate has plum, dark red cherries with nice oak and black licorice.  Good solid transition and a finish of tar and tobacco with some raspberry. I like this wine because it is solid and has good quality all the way through and worth the money.  About 40 bucks a bottle.

From their site: http://www.masi.it/agricola/COSTASERA_PAGE.pag

The Colonial Estate Emigre 2004, 91 points

2004 The Colonial Estate Emigre
(Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley)

Different than what I expected from Australia.  In a good way. Overall and explosion, loads of spice, molasses and sugar and cinnamon toast. Interesting wine and good quality.  The nose was earthy with green pepper and dirt. This wine had lots of sediment in it.  The color was a dark inky look. Lots of black fruit on the palate with molasses and some vanilla.  Good solid mid palate and a long finish that was smooth.  This wine will be stellar in a few years and it is worth a try.

ROBERT PARKER “Outstanding 94+” Rating: “The 2004 Emigre, a Rhone-based blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre as well as Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibits a sweet perfume of graphite, black fruits, sweet cherries, licorice, smoke, and background vanilla. Full-bodied, rich, textured, and impressively long, it should drink well for 10-15 years … minimum. 94+ points”

Brian’s Top 3 $60-100 Wines

Chateau Boswell releases the 2007 Napa Cabernet, 93+ points

The new release 2007 Chateau Boswell Napa Cabernet. This Cabernet has been rated “Classic 96″ points. I visited and did a tasting at this producers and I can say I totally agree with that rating. This wine is on my favorites list. Check out my video. We were tasting from the barrels this wine came from and I swore I was drinking Harlan Estate. Not a surprise because its on the same hill. The winemaker is from Peter Michael (Les Pavot Cabernet $209/bottle) and the vineyard source is next to the ‘Cultish’ Hundred Acre “Ark” Cabernet ($299/bottle) which has also been rated “…a candidate for Perfection; 96 – 100″ by Robert Parker. Chateau Boswell is a surprisingly good bargain at $95/bottle or a whopping $200/bottle savings compared to their world famous neighboring Cabernet. The owners are not only great people but their facility was just as good. They were very inviting and accommodating. Chateau Boswell is a hidden jewel and their wine will not be this price for long as people catch on. I have been stocking up on them and you can see my other reviews from their other wines. Check them out here

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard 2004, 92 points

2004 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard

(USA, California, Sonoma County)

Home run.  Very nice wine with character, complexity and boldness.  Deep violet color.  Huge fruit on the nose with black currant and  licorice.  Nice blackberry, bark and vanilla on the palate with violet and other hints of floral.  Had a little old world to this wine.  The transition was a little quick but the finish lingered nice with some chocolate, oak, and a nice balance of tannins.  This wine is velvety and soft but still having some strong characteristics.  Definite try at 65 bucks.

Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2004, 91 points

2004 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

(USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain)

Soft and velvety with an explosion on the palate. Solid wine and is worth a try at 60 bucks a bottle.  Solid deep purple inky color. A few more years on this 04 and it will be a superstar. The wine is jammy and reminds me of a good bottle of the Prisoner. Solid fruits, solid oak, solid tannins.  The wine is balanced and well rounded.  Lush dark berries and dark cherry. The mid palate stayed strong and the finish was medium with a smokey and earthy feel. The palate was much better than the nose.  The nose was good but not eventful with some cedar. This does not mean the overall wine is not good because this is a definite try in my opinion. Give it a little time in the decanter.

From Ladera’s site:

Our 2004 Lone Canyon Cabernet’s were cold soaked for upwards of 5 days before the commencement of fermentation. A combination of multiple strains of commercial and native wine yeasts were used. The average fermentations lasted 12 days. The free run wine was then separated from the skins which were pressed at several intervals of pressure; determined by taste and tannin intensity. The wine was then barrel aged for 22 months in French oak barrels (73% new). The wine was bottled August 23, 2006.

The 2004 Lone Canyon Cabernet is a perfect example of how rich and lush the wines from this property can be. This wine is exuberant in color and the aromas are alive with spicy and herbal fruit. The nose provides earthy, brambly undertones with brilliant dark fruit. A full bodied entry hits the palate with flavors of dark cherry and licorice. The wine is layered with textures that are bold and masculine yet maintain tannins of a velvety character. The dark fruit flavors blend with the complex tannins to produce on extremely long fruit finish.

Brian’s Top 3 $100-150 Wines

Feudi di San Gregorio Pàtrimo Campania IGT 2005, 92 points

2005 Feudi di San Gregorio Pàtrimo Campania IGT

(Italy, Campania, Campania IGT)

Great surprise. Beautiful full bodied old world wine. This wine was a treat with a nose of blackberries, spices and nice balance of oak. The palate was balanced and the tannins were just right. The best part of this wine for me was the real old world feel to the wine. Nice oak with vanilla, chocolate, and a little pipe tobacco and leather. Spices and minerals come through. This wine is mostly Merlot and has a soft but powerful jammy palate. I can tell this wine will age great and a few more years will do this wine good. Definite try.

Producers site: http://www.feudi.it/en/wines/patrimo-2/

From their site

“The 2006 Patrimo (Merlot) is a compelling wine. Super-ripe blackberries, blueberry jam, spices, minerals, graphite and French oak emerge from this opulent, full-throttle red. Despite the richness, there is a surprising level of clarity and detail in the glass. The tannins are impeccably soft and round all the way through to the finish. Today the oak is quite prominent, but another few years in bottle should help the wine come together nicely. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

Chateau Boswell Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon & Dr. Crane 2005, 92 points

2005 Château Boswell Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon & Dr. Crane

(USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena)

Nice old world feel. Rich with mouth coating flavor and the tannins were perfect. Complex with black berry and coffee espresso and a bit earthy. AWESOME nose that is inviting with balanced oak and herbal. Great character in the palate with a finish lasting. This wine reminds me of Harland estate for much less money. Right about 90 bucks and if you like wines for an experience try this out. Not an everyday wine and a really nice old world tasting and feeling. Quality all the way.

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate 1996, 92 points

Solid “old world” red wine. Tons of Berries and very aged smelling oak. Very together nose that is plentifully and balanced. The palate had nice balanced oak, blackberry’s, and black current and still have a nice “old world” taste to it. Nice long finish and the mid palate was still screaming. Overall a very good experience. Higher priced wine but if you like old world you will like this.

Brian’s Top 3 $100+ Wines

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella 1998, 97 points

1998 Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella

(Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella)

Flawless outstanding producer. I opened this wine up by accident and then went to my list to find it was about 450 bucks a bottle. Well… the good thing is before I knew the cost I was absolutely savoring every minute of this amarone. Lush and velvety. We decanted for about 30 minutes and this wine flourished throughout an hour. The color was on the brownish side. Typical old world feel. The nose was HUGE and towering of anisette, raisin and plums with a good dose of roses and cedar. The palate was an explosion on the start. This is a heavy wine and coats the mouth with chocolate, plumb,floral, black licorice and soft tobacco. The mid palate stayed consistent and the tannins were just right.  After an hour the tannins really rounded out and this wine got very soft while maintaining the flavors.  The finish was long and balanced. Floral and cedar still lingered.  I can’t say enough about this wine.  If you ever get a chance this is a definite try because you will always remember the experience.

“Valpolicella’s magician.” “The master of the Veneto.” “The patriarch of Amarone.” “The traditionalist.” Not bad for a winemaker who simply follows the winemaking customs of his forefathers. Giuseppe Quintarelli’s hand-written labels are easy to recognize and his wines fit the idiosyncratic style. Since 1924, his family has made wine from grapes grown on steep slopes on the outskirts of Negrar. For his highly-regarded Amarone, he still dries the grapes in an attic room, ages the wine for years in large Slavenian casks, and holds the wines from release until he is sure of their readiness. His magic has worked, as he has turned some of Veneto’s most traditional wines into luxury icons.

WOW! Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2004, 94 points…

2004 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

(USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford)

At the Ritz Carlton in Las Vegas with my friend Spike.  We are sipping this Staglin overlooking the beautiful Lake Las Vegas which adds to the great experience. This 2004 Staglin is out of sight good. Much better than the 1998 we had last month. Deep purple color. Nose is ripe rich dark berry with sweet tobacco and bark. Old world feel all the way. The palate is blackberries, dark chocolate, sour cherries, and cacise. Extremely complex yet so together It is massively structured showing more liqueur-like blackberry,soft minerals, burnt wood and rich concentrated roasted oak and cedar. Nice and balanced, the finish is long and well layered with deliciously sweet tannins,the acidity is just right. This wine will age effortless for a decade or more. The mouth feels simply HUGE and velvety and glides over every inch of your tongue and mouth. I love this wine and it is one of my favorites. I am never disappointed and it is one of those wines that you just always look forward to opening.

2009 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove, 94 points

2009 Mollydooker Shiraz Velvet Glove

(Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale)

I scored this wine 94 points because it was young but I can see this wine hitting 96ish easy.  After tasting the 2009 it told me I definitely want to cellar much more of this wine. Very dark purple and inky in color.  Almost like an aged port. Very Jammy wine wine with Bing cherries, deep vanilla and strong blackberry.  The transition was smooth and balanced with a long hang time that stayed fruity. This wine is a fruit bomb and of good quality.  i cant say enough about this wine.  In a few years it will be stellar.  It’s a little pricey at 160 bucks but it can hold its own.  give this one a try but cellar it for a while.

From their site: http://www.mollydookerwines.com/mollydooker_wine_store?maxrows=200

33 Powerful Morning Affirmations
05Dec 2017
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Affirmations are like little spells.

They are small but mighty words that powerfully rewire our brains, and enable us to restructure the thought processes that greatly influence our behaviors. They help us develop positivity in our lives, faith in ourselves, and gratitude for all that we have.

And therein lies the great power of affirmations…

By rewiring our inner lives, we start affecting real, positive changes in our outer world.

In honor of Quality of Life month at Lifebook, we invite you to plant new seeds of intention, and transform the way you live with the power of morning affirmations.

Start your day with conscious creation by reading them out loud each morning. Let the words guide your actions for the day – each one bringing you one step closer to living in the life you truly want, while deeply appreciating the life you already have.

Here are 33 powerful morning affirmations to get your creative juices flowing.

We also encourage you to create your own affirmations that suit your personal visions and passions!

  1. I am the creator of my reality. I have the power to make my life an extraordinary masterpiece.
  2. I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
  3. I accept and love myself, just the way I am.
  4. I am healthy, energetic, and unwaveringly optimistic.
  5. My heart is open. My mind is at peace. My body is at ease.
  6. I am conscious of my body. My actions and habits support its purification, vitality and radiance.
  7. Everyday I become stronger and healthier.
  8. I give each of my endeavors 110%, and consistently express the very best within me.
  9. Money flows into my life easily. I always have what I need.
  10. I am open to all the wealth life has to offer.
  11. I see abundance everywhere.
  12. I am patient, kind and forgiving. My compassion replaces anger with love.
  13. I think only positive, loving, empowering thoughts. I hold no space for negativity in my being.
  14. I believe in myself, truly and deeply.
  15. I am powerfully courageous. I do not let feelings of fear of doubt stand in the way of my greatness.
  16. I deal with all of life’s challenges from a clear, calm and positive place.
  17. I know there is always a solution to any problem.
  18. I am balanced in my ability to both lovingly give to others and gracefully receive from others.
  19. I love to have FUN. I’m playful and never take myself or my life too seriously.
  20. I am surrounded by people who love me and inspire me.
  21. I accept each of my loved ones exactly as they are, and offer them unconditional love.
  22. The universe has my back, and supports me in every possible way, even when I can’t always see it.
  23. Knowing that I give my absolute best to all I do, I can relax and allow the outcome of my efforts to flow to me naturally, in its perfect form, without expectation or force.
  24. I live with open eyes and witness the infinite beauty that exists within every moment of my existence.
  25. I follow my heart and listen to my inner wisdom in all matters.
  26. I am safe, and protected by divine forces.
  27. I live with an open mind and continually invite new perspectives and fresh ideas into my world.
  28. I forgive others for their shortcomings. I forgive myself for my own shortcomings. This opens more space in my heart for unconditional love.
  29. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and every single experience of my life serves my highest growth.
  30. I am dedicated to never-ending growth, knowing that everything I seek in life is already right here within me, waiting to be awakened.
  31. I use every challenge as an opportunity to understand myself, take responsibility, and grow.
  32. I am fully open to whatever the divine wants to express through me in this life.
  33. I live with mindfulness and gratitude, so as to be worthy of all the incredible gifts I am given.
5 Ways to Simplify Life (and work) Today
28Nov 2017
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Written by Leo Babauta of ZenHabits

Living a life of simplicity can be a beautiful thing. But simplifying itself can seem like an overwhelming process.

So I recommend simplicity in your simplifying.

Instead of trying to simplify your whole life, tossing out all your clutter and paring your schedule to just meditation and writing your novel … how about just simplifying one thing?

Simplifying one thing is doable. You don’t have to simplify everything today — you’ve got ages to do all of that.

Simplicity is the path.

You can pick one of the ideas below and implement it today. If it works well, continue it tomorrow. Or try one of the other ideas. And do it with a smile!

  1. Single-task. The next thing you choose to do … do only that. Close everything else, put your phone away, and just focus on that one task. If you’re reading this article, stay with it and do nothing else until you’re done reading. When you decide to check social media, check one at a time and do it fully and with mindfulness. When you go for a walk, have nothing to listen to or look at, other than the nature all around you. One thing at a time: wash one dish, just write, just eat. This is such a simple idea, and it’s doable right now.
  2. Use in-between spaces as mini-meditations. When you’re done with one thing, instead of rushing to the next, pause. Enjoy this in-between space. Notice how you’re feeling, what’s around you, what you just did, what your intention is for what you’re about to do. When you’re going somewhere else, whether it’s just another part of the office or another part of your city … just enjoy this time fully, as if it’s just as important as anything else you do, and don’t rush past it.
  3. Let go of one commitment. Our lives are so full because we say yes to so much, and our commitments pile up over time. You can greatly simplify your life by letting go of one commitment. What isn’t fulfilling you? What can you get out of today by telling them you just don’t have space for it? Practice saying no with confidence and love.
  4. Be fully present with someone. Pick someone today to be with fully. Put away your phone, let go of anything else you’re thinking about, and just be with them. Listen to them. Try to fully see them. Open your heart to them. Send them your love. If you do this with one person a day, which is such a simple thing to do, your life will become better through better relationships and connection.
  5. Clear one space. Find one little area in your work space or home, and declutter it. Just the amount of space that you can hug. For example, just a little space on your desk or kitchen counter. Let this be the blissful oasis of peace and simplicity that will ripple outward to the rest of your life!

These are five little things you can do no matter what you have going on today — don’t do all five things, but just pick one.

And enjoy the simplicity that comes with the doing.

How Feeling Grateful Can Change Your Life
21Nov 2017
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Written by Lifebook contributor, Olivia Ryan

Being grateful and happy aren’t always easy. Some days we get stuck in negative thoughts. For me, today has been one of those days. A broken-down car, more school work and bills then I can manage, and uncertainty about the future are only a few of the places where my mind is sticking.

It’s easy to concentrate on the negative, forgetting all the good in our lives. It’s simple to ignore the good that is all around us and dwell on the negative instead.

How Feeling Grateful Can Change Your Life.

Recently, I stumbled across An Experiment in Gratitude: The Science of Happiness on YouTube. It’s an experimental approach on what makes people happier. Through the course of the exercise they discovered that when you express gratitude for the people in your life, your own happiness increases. If you have 7 minutes to spare, just watching it will bring a smile to your face. It’s a son expressing his appreciation for his mother, a friend for a friend, sisters, and an older man remembering a mentor. I dare you not to smile. Can you do it? Can you watch gratitude being expressed and not let it affect you?

5 Immediate Results of Gratitude

While expressing gratitude is something you do in appreciation of the person whom you’re grateful for, there are immediate benefits to your own life as well. Expressing gratitude reduces depression, increases energy and productivity, makes life seem brighter, increases creativity, and inspires you towards generosity.

#1 Depression reduction.

Expressing gratitude shifts our focus from negative to positive. Hormones like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin are released, which fight back depression. Psychology Today gives 7 gratitude techniques to help alleviate depression and explains more of the science behind this antidote.

#2 More energy and productivity.

Did you know you can boost your health with a dose of gratitude? According to WebMD, gratitude reduces stress and boosts our immune system, which leads to increased energy and productivity.

Gratitude leads to healthier choices when it comes to food, exercise, and sleep. This naturally leads to increased energy and productivity as well — and this energy and productivity leads to better problem-solving skills.

When I feel out of control I begin thinking about the areas in my life that I can control. I can style my home for success, I can conquer my writer’s block by writing an article for Like A Boss Girls, and I can put my energy towards reaching goals rather than dwelling on the negative self-talk that derails them.

Negative thoughts easily slip us into a victim mentality derailing our dreams. They send me crawling back under the covers unwilling to face the day. By changing my thoughts and focusing on who and what I’m grateful for, I find the energy to get up and face the day.

#3 You see life from a brighter side.

When I begin focusing on all the things around me that I am thankful for I begin to see solutions for my other problems, or at least how it isn’t as bad as I initially thought.

My car isn’t working. While it may be frustrating, it’s not the end of the world. I’m surrounded by good friends who will give me a lift until I’m able afford a tow to the garage.

School work is overwhelming but there are some great services out there, like aussiewritings.com, to help me get caught up and ahead.

Yes, things are financially tight, especially with that broken car, but I have a job and the ability to pick up extra shifts. There’s always the neighbor’s kids who need babysitting and, with a little more attention to my personal finances, things will turn out just fine.

Life is actually pretty good.

#4 More creativity.

The Link Between Gratitude and Creativity has to do with the ability to remember more vividly, think outside the box, engage with our environment, try new things, play, and so much more.

#5 Pay-it-forward.

Gratitude for others naturally flows into giving to others. When I’m focusing on the ways others have blessed me, I’m more inclined to serve others — whether it’s a neighbor or a volunteer role in the community. It gets me off my butt and increases not only my self-productivity, but also encourages me to pay forward the kindness that has been shown to me.

How to Feel More Grateful Today

There are some simple things you and I can start doing today to feel more grateful. It’s the small steps we take every day that lead us to our bigger goals. Expressing gratitude for others is one small step towards living a fuller life. Make an effort to add at least one of the following today, then come back and tell us how it made a difference.

  • Replace complaining with gratitude. The next time you feel a complaint rising up, stop and instead say what you are thankful for. What are you grateful for today?
  • Start a gratitude journal. Every day write down 5 to 10 things that happened that day that you are grateful for.
  • Tell someone why you are grateful for them. It can be a letter in the mail, a phone call, or even better face-to-face.
  • Surround yourself with inspirational quotes and thoughts. Put sticky notes on your mirror, hang inspirational thoughts next to your computer, hang pictures of the people you love throughout your home.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others!
  • Be present. Learn to live in the moment. Don’t dwell on the past or constantly be looking to the future. Enjoy the moment you are in.
  • Get outside and help others. Donate your time, donate items, and volunteer to make a difference.

Final Thoughts on Gratitude

A spirit of gratitude leads to peace of mind and an overall positive attitude. When we appreciate the people around us we become more productive and healthy. Our stress and depression are reduced. Our immunity gets a boost and we have higher energy and productivity. We find ourselves more creative, happy, and generous.

Gratitude brings success to our day to day lives. Joy is contagious and draws in others. Relationships improve through a mutual sense of love and support. When you focus on the positive and are grateful for the people around you, you will find they want to be with you more. People are attracted to a grateful spirit.

Gratitude feels amazing!

 

About author: Olivia is an incurable optimist who always sees the glass as half-full. She likes nature, knows how to enjoy silence and keen on writing for different websites. Meet her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

11 Powerful TED Talks for Stepping Up and Making a Difference
13Nov 2017
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TED is one of the best organizations on the planet.

Their 2-to 18-minute videos help to inspire and spread ideas and creativity in ways humans never could have dreamed of just a few decades ago.

In addition to spreading ideas and inspiration, TED is one of the best ways to start surrounding yourself with passionate world experts in the 12 categories.

And all for free, at the click of a button.

What a miraculous world we live in!

Below are 11 of the most powerful videos we’ve seen relative to the career category.

These videos can profoundly alter the way you approach your career, and the world.

Whether you’re in the mood for a full-length TED Talk marathon, or just scheduling one of these videos to watch each day this week — we hope you enjoy the show!

11 Powerful TED Talks for Stepping Up and Making a Difference

1. Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

2. Steve Jobs – How to Live Before You Die

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s now famous 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

3. Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In a poignant and funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research — one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. This is a powerful talk to witness and share.

4. Elizabeth Gilbert – Your Elusive Creative Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

5. Rory Sutherland – Perspective Is Everything

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

6. Sir Ken Robinson – School Kills Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

7. Cameron Herold – Let’s Raise Kids to Be Entrepreneurs

Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: This child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. At TEDxEdmonton, he makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish — as kids and as adults. Filmed in Edmonton, Canada.

8. Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.

9. Jonathan Fields – Turning Fear into Fuel for Brilliance

How to turn fear from a source of anxiety and paralysis into fuel for action and achievement.

10. Larry Smith – Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Throughout his three-decade career here at the University of Waterloo, Larry Smith has inspired legions of students to take up the mantle of economics with his passionate and homespun tales of economic wizardry. A renowned story-teller, teacher and youth leadership champion, Larry has also coached and mentored countless numbers of students on start-up business management and career development strategies.

11. Benjamin Zander – The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.