Tag Archives: The Success Principles

Something Unexpected: The Power of I WANT

I don't have all my photos from this trip on my computer. That is so weird. But I have this one. <3

I don’t have all my photos from this trip on my computer. That is so weird. But I have this one. ❤

When I was a high school freshman, my French teacher had us write down an I Want list.

Back then I lived in books. I saw the world in books. I conquered evil through books, found magic in books, played make believe in books.

And more than anything my books helped me know I wanted to go to Paris one day.

Back then me going to France was as probable as me playing for a state winning sports team. If you’ve ever seen me walk and talk at the same time, you’ll understand that.

Still, my teacher told us to write the I Want down even if the I want was impossible. I don’t know if she knew it, but way back then she was teaching me the power of releasing something to the universe. I released that dream to the universe, along with a ton of others, then got back to the business of being a kid.

Life happened.

And suddenly it was 2008 and the summer after my daughter’s graduation I took a group of students on a tour to….

Yep. Paris.

I remember walking out of the train station and staring in wonder at the beauty that was this city often considered the most magical place on earth and drinking in the flowers on balconies and the coffee shops and the Parisians. It was all so unreal and beautiful and amazing. But it didn’t really hit me until the next day when our group walked into Notre Dame.

I stood outside those gorgeous doors in awe of this sacred place that had become a tourist destination and grumpily wondered why it was so hot and smelly. Seriously. The place was crazy with traffic and kids were running all over the place screaming and I was hungry and those stupid cobblestones were a pain in every part of my feet. The birds, God, the birds. They were so gross. And people smoke in Paris worse than they do in the Oklahoma casinos.

I mean I said all the right words. “Cool.” “Wow!” “I can’t believe we’re here!”

But they were a front for what I was really feeling, which isn’t appropriate for this conversation.

But then we walked inside and everything changed.

Walking through the doors into the Notre Dame everything changed. The hair on my arm stood on end as I entered this place that is still holy even though tourists visit in droves. I looked at those arches and those statues and those candles and the floor and the rose window, the glass…truly breath taking. Tears filled my eyes and I was so thankful. Thankful to God, thankful to my daughter and her friends and my mother-in-law who was there with me. Thankful to my friends and fellow teachers who were there.

I remembered that kid sitting in French class in Burkburnett, Texas writing down I want to go to Paris on a list of impossibilites. And with that, I lost it. I boo hoo’d like a baby. Tears streamed down my face, and I’m pretty sure I embarrassed my mother-in-law.

I don’t think I understood the power of the I Want list, even then. But over the last few years of studying The Success Principles and The Artist’s Way and The Secret and the bible, I’ve learned our words have incredible power for good or bad. When we release them to the universe, the universe will answer. Even if we don’t really believe that.

So yeah. The lessons I spent twenty forevers building for week one dealt with goal setting, visualization and affirmation. We hit goal setting hard and talked briefly about affirmation and maybe, maybe, two kids wrote affirmations.

But the I want list was a big star of the show because some of last year’s kids still had their’s and they were able to say, “Hey, I crossed some of my I wants off my list since last January.”

I was able to say I crossed five off my list.

And even if the newbies didn’t believe in the power of an I Want list, they were, for the most part, willing to give it  try.

I understand the reluctant ones. God, I understand them. The disbelief in the supposed truth that anything is possible. Life makes it easy to NOT believe sometimes. And it’s not like you can wiggle your nose and WHAM, the I want happens. You have to work. YOU have to work hella hard sometimes.

But when you put that I want on paper, you have a destination. You know where you want to go. Now you just have to figure out the right way to get there.

That’s what we did last week.

We looked at where we want to get personally and with the different staffs. This week we’re figuring out how to get there.

It’s easy to get caught up in the ickiness on the road to a goal. The pain and heartache and no’s and failures and drama and conflict and testing and interruptions and the news and cell phones and PDAS and all that jazz. But I hope starting with this will help us all work together to start every day with a destination in mind. I know it will help me embrace the journey.

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Surround Yourself With Positivity

someonesmilesAt the NTRWA (North Texas Romance Writers) meeting last weekend the speaker reminded us about how important it is to surround yourself with positivity. She talked about how allowing dark presences in our lives can actually affect how we respond.

I’m a FIRM believer in that.

Two years ago I spent most of the school year focused on being positive only. I worked to keep my Facebook posts positive, I blogged about positive issues here, I wrote daily affirmations, I put motivations quotes up around my writing space and my classroom. It made a huge difference in my day and how I responded to kids at work.

I’m going to rededicate myself to the goal of surrounding myself with light and positivity. It’s easy to say in the middle of July. I’m going to focus on my affirmations, though, and when the school year starts, if I start to go negative, I hope my blog followers and friends will say, “HEY, hold up. Where’s your light?”

That doesn’t mean I’ll bury my head in the sand on politics or the war on education. It does mean I’m checking out of the spin zone. My emotions have been in constant turmoil for months because of the spin. I’ll focus on facts, fact finding and helping make positive change. I’ve already unfollowed most of my news feeds. I’ll be sticking to PBS NewsHour and print news for the most part.

In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield says most people complain to the wrong people. They complain to people who can’t fix the problem, which is really just an exercise in frustrated futility. Kind of like trying to fight a war on Facebook. Canfield is so right. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been a room and one person says something negative and another chimes in and then I chime in and before you know it, this little thing that really was No Big Deal has turned into a GIANT PROBLEM. That leads to crazy stress and hurt feelings and all sorts of emotional fallout. So, I’m checking out of that, too.

During my school year of positivity, I tried meditating at lunch and it was a HUGE success. I might try that again, although, I have to say I LOVE eating lunch with history teachers in the upstairs lounge. They have the most fascinating conversations. And it’s good to see grown ups. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. (I bet a history teacher could tell me the origins of that phrase! Or Google…nah. I’m not looking it up.)

I’m ending this post with this goal. My goal this year is to surround myself with positivity, to focus on the light, to use my energy for good. I hope you’ll hold me to it! Especially in August…when it gets tough to follow through and December and March. Yearbook advisers and anyone who has ever worked on their yearbook will understand. 🙂

****For the next 90 days The Guardian books, Dead Girl Walking and An Angel Earns Her Wings are available to check out for free to Amazon Prime members. Angel Eyes will join them on July 20. I hope you’ll look at them, read the blurbs, see if you’re interested. And if you read and like the books, I’d appreciate it if you’d write a short review on Amazon letting other readers know about them. As an indie author, word of mouth is how people learn about my books. Several of the ad sites require a set number of reviews before they’ll let you advertise.

Thanks so much!!

–Mary Beth @marybethleeybnp

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Angel EyesAngel Eyes, The Guardian Book 3 by Mary Beth Lee releases July 20. Sharlene Gallagher is back. YAY!

 

 

The Success Principles

I LOVE The Success Principals. The entire book is incredible, life-changing, awesome.

I love how Jack Canfield says if you don’t like something, fix it. Don’t stay in a miserable situation. Take responsibility for the place you are in life.

I love how he says find your purpose and then make sure everything you do helps with that purpose. I love how he says make choices no matter how small the moment is. I’m going to use some of his lessons in my class. I haven’t done that in years. But kids need to learn these lessons.

The most powerful lesson in the book is Event+Response=Outcome. And then Canfield calls us on it. We are responsible for our realities. It’s up to us to change what needs changing and quit griping.

I’m closing in on the end of the school year. It’s been tough. The yearbooks delivered today, though, so that makes up for it. That and the fact that I’ve remembered my purpose and I’m working toward it constantly.

 

 

E+R=O

Image

I started this blog with the photo from Facebook because it defines this year for me.

I’m loving this year so much.

I’ve loved my job forever, but the last few years have been tough. This year should be the HARDEST ever. I have four advanced staff in yearbook. My yearbook editor is an amazing writer/photographer/organista who agreed to take the job even though she’d never done a yearbook page. We’ve moved the newspaper online. Everything is different. BUT
 I spent all summer in this positive-only zone and it carried over into the classroom.

The only thing different this year from the last several is I changed my perceptions. I focus on the positive. I find the fun.

I still stay up to date on education politics (Save TX Schools rallies coming soon to a town near you!), I still constantly watch the news and engage in political debates. I’m still pretty much the same across the board (only 50 pounds smaller, see my getting fit page for that story), but I’ve changed my perspective, and I’ve done so deliberately.

That change in perspective is seen in my writing, my work and my home life.

I can’t control all the events in life and at work, but I can control my responses to those events.
My response, my responsibility.

Easy.

At least easy today.

I hope you’re all having wonderful years. If you’re in the path of Sandy stay safe.

 

**Check out my books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FLU11C. If you’re a Prime member, you can read them for free on your kindle!

 

 

 

 

The Power of Positive

You’ve gotta wake up every morning and ask yourself, ‘How bad do you want it?’ How much work are you willing to put forth for the things and people you want and need in your life? Nothing great comes without effort. But I promise you that if it’s something of great meaning in your heart and something you need in your life…EVERY risk, EVERY step and EVERY drop of sweat will be worth it. ~Markesa Yeager (I LOVE THIS QUOTE SO MUCH!!!!!!!)
I’ve tried something different this summer. If you follow me on facebook, you might have noticed. This is the summer of positive affirmation. I’m certainly not the originator of positive affirmations. One of my earliest memories is a summer spent watching Y&R. The character Tracy wanted to lose weight and she wrote affirmations every day. That was my introduction to the term. Several years later my friend Karen Kelley told me about The Secret and surrounding yourself with positive energy and how important it was to success. I love Karen, but I thought she was kind of crazy until I read The Secret. It’s definitely a little woo-woo, but it makes some great points. The Success Principles is another great book about surrounding yourself with positive energy and the secret to making dreams come true. I love both books. This summer I’m putting their principles into practice.
My writing world is the no negativity zone. The negative words, no anger, no hurt. I joined Candy Havens’ Fast Draft and wrote a draft in a week. I’m working on revisions now. I’ve got a new book–Letting Go–slated for publication this week (kindle or print only for 90 days). I’m a writer, so I write. No excuses. I’m getting healthy, so I work out every day in some way, no excuses. When school starts, I’ll add work to this, too. I can’t wait to see the difference the power of positive makes. ###

Letting Go by Mary Beth Lee, coming soon.

Clarissa Dye doesn’t put down roots. Stearns, Oklahoma, is a stopping point on her path to self-reliance. And God? Don’t even get her started. Enter Mackenzie Dillon and her cowboy dad, Jed. From the moment Mackenzie runs into Clarissa, the little girl worms her way into Clarissa’s heart. The fact that her strong father happens to work his way in there, too, only scares Clarissa more. Letting Go: a story of forgiveness, second chances and finding a love that lasts forever.