Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roseville/Granite Bay Press Tribune Article "Local Author Finds Steps to Success"

Joanne Veeck turns passion for positive psychology into chapter for book
By Sena Christian, The Press Tribune

Photo by Cole AllenJoanne Jeffers Veeck, a local motivational speaker and author, talks to people outside the Borders in Roseville Thursday about the book she co-authored, “Stepping Stones to Success: Experts Share Strategies for Mastering Business, Life and Relationships.”

On a random day about 15 years ago, Joanne Jeffers Veeck decided to re-examine an old interest.

That interest was psychology, a subject matter she studied during one year of graduate school at San Francisco State University. She hadn’t finished the degree but the topic continued to fascinate her through the years.

Around that time, Veeck also dusted off a set of books about positive thinking, given to her a few years before by her father as a Christmas gift. As she further embarked on her journey, she learned about positive psychology, which she describes as not the “doom and gloom” of focusing on the past and origin of personal issues — but on opportunities in the future.

“With positive psychology, you don’t really care about the past,” Veeck said. “You take the person you are today. Let’s not talk about what’s bad in you, let’s talk about what’s good in you.”

In the following years, this modern approach to psychology and achieving everlasting happiness became her passion.

“(Before this) I would have considered myself your basic, average (person) stressed out about unimportant things,” Veeck said. “This changed my life. All of the sudden I realized there is very little I wouldn’t be able to handle.”

Veeck, now 55 years old and a mother of two living in Loomis, became a motivational speaker and co-authored the recently released book, “Stepping Stones to Success: Experts Share Strategies for Mastering Business, Life and Relationships.” The book features interviews with 19 experts in the field of health, happiness and total body well being, such as Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield and Dr. Denis Waitley.

The goal is for readers to experience positive and life-altering changes through what the authors call time-tested strategies. Veeck’s chapter focuses on her belief that happiness can be taught. People can learn how to discipline their minds, change their thoughts and adjust their attitudes to draw on inner strength and virtues to thrive.

“If you choose one day that your path for your life is happiness, it’s there,” Veeck said. “But you have to open your mind. It starts with your mind.”

Born in Palo Alto and raised all over the United States and in Mexico City, Veeck graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in education and a teaching credential. She later moved to San Francisco to study psychology and child development.

In 1984, her father George Jeffers started a family business so Veeck dropped everything and moved to Sacramento from Marin County to help run PriceLess Drug Stores. She worked for the retail drug store chain for 24 years, several of those spent as vice president of the company.

Veeck said her father was an amazing businessman who deeply inspired her. She observed how he interacted with people and the compassion he showed. He’d call his employees the “greatest cashier” or the “greatest office manager,” to encourage them to be the best they could be, she said.

But in 2006 her father passed away and the family soon sold the business. The change gave Veeck a chance to devote more time to acting as a motivational educator in local middle schools and high schools to teach lessons for happiness. Her first talk, called “Happy Hour,” took place at Warren T. Eich Intermediate School in Roseville in 2001.

In 2008, she completed 20 speaking engagements, earning a spot as a member of the National Speakers Association.

“I knew I had a calling to help folks realize their incredible potential and creativity,” Veeck said.

Janelle Hankins, a 33-year-old mother of three in Loomis, has attended one of Veeck’s seminars.

“I learned to let go of the negativity I was carrying with me from my past,” Hankins said. “I was able to re-examine bad experiences from my past and find the positive in them.”

Hankins said she also felt inspired to try new adventures and has since hiked Half Dome in Yosemite, gone whitewater rafting and is currently learning Taekwondo.

Thursday afternoon, Veeck stood outside Borders in Roseville — where she has an upcoming book reading event — and talked to passersby about her passion. Two of those people were Michael and Deborah Dunn, who have both attended several motivational seminars through their jobs. After a long conversation, Veeck gave them a copy of her book.

“We’ll read it,” Deborah Dunn said. “You can always find at least one thing that you can take away with you. Even just one thing is of value.”

Veeck said talking to people is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work, especially when she deals with individuals struggling with emotional suffering who need a positive outlook on life.

“I am able to really help them,” Veeck said. “It’s real. It’s not just words.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Borders and Books Signing Events

Thank you for all your kindness and support with my book project, "Stepping Stones to Success," with Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield and others. Yes, you can get it on but if you'd like it personalized and don't want to pay shipping or handling I will be happy to send you a copy.

These are the dates of the Borders and Books signing events in the Sacramento region:

Aug. 7 (1-4) Folsom (2765 E. Bidwell)
Aug. 14 (10-2)Sacramento (2339 Fair Oaks Blvd.)
Sept. 4 (1-4) Roseville (2030 Douglas Blvd.)
Sept. 25 (1-4) Elk Grove (7415 Laguna Blvd.)

This is a unique book! Everyone can and will benefit from it! I promise! Hope to see you soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Stepping Stones to Success

SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE— Joanne Jeffers Veeck, keynote speaker and author, has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Stepping Stones to Success; a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Deepak Chopra (The Power of Purpose), Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), & Dr. Denis Waitley (featured in The Secret). Joanne Jeffers Veeck, Chopra, Canfield, and Waitley, are joined by other well known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.

Joanne Veeck, an educator and a former top executive from Northern California, has devoted much of her life researching, practicing and teaching Positive Psychology. She has redefined happiness and has proven both happiness and overall well-being can be achieved through a relatively simple and rewarding process. Joanne speaks nation-wide on the untold truths about what it takes to find lasting happiness and success. Finally the answers are available for the strategic attainment of what people worldwide spend a lifetime pursuing! For more information on Joanne Veeck and to order your copy of Stepping Stones to Success, contact:
Joanne Veeck
Loomis, CA – (916) 847-0213

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

State Your Purpose, Please

I once read, “99% of all people never reach their dreams and sadly, the reason is, because only 1% ever try.” A large survey, conducted by William Marsteen, a prominent psychologist, supported this statement. When the members of the survey were asked, “What do you have to live for,” 94% said they had no definite purpose. Many people wait and hope that someday their purpose will magically appear so they can experience the true joy of aliveness. I love how Jim Collins puts it in his book, Good to Great, “Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” In other words, “good is the enemy of great.” Life is just too darn short to watch, wonder and wait and “good” is just not good enough. The process of identifying your purpose will provide you a sense of peace and a new-found vitality in your life!

Discover your purpose by learning and becoming aware of what ignites your spirit and is in harmony with your natural strengths and desires. Being passionate and being guided and motivated by your passions work in unison toward living your purpose. Without passion life is reduced to mere existence, mechanical living and indifference.

Listen to the “loud” voices in your head. I refer to them as loud because once you do begin to pay a great deal of attention to the “whisperings of the conscience,” which remember, cannot be accessed from any other place, they become loud and clear. Recognize and value these inspirations that come to you and only you as they will help you visualize and organize your intricate plan.

Take action! Make a commitment to say good-bye to a blasé way of life. The purposeful direction of your mental, emotional and physical energy should be used toward following through with specific goals that will help you grow and live in your purpose. You are an important person and you have the capacity to make a difference in your world…accept this responsibility!

Balance and lasting happiness come from living in full awareness of your purpose. You will be pushed and pulled by competing demands and will be required to make adjustments along the way but “stating your purpose” will make you realize you are a stronger, more talented and capable person than you ever dreamed. Additionally, you will be inspired, comforted and guided on your journey through the best use of your great life.

Stayed tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

You're HIRED

A second grade teacher once asked me, “How do I apply the information and techniques you’ve given me to my second graders? I can already see patterns of behavior developing in some of my students that may lead to an imbalance overtime or worse, cause serious problems.” I loved that question because as the Dalai Lama states in the book, The Art of Happiness, “The most important use of education is (*should be) to help us understand the importance of engaging in more wholesome actions and bringing about discipline within our minds. The proper utilization of our intelligence and knowledge is (*should be) to effect changes from within to develop a good heart.” (*Unfortunately our society does not emphasize this.)

Because of the structure and functioning of our brains we CAN make a complete transformation of our mental state by mobilizing our thoughts and practicing new ways of thinking; deliberately selecting and focusing on being positive. The scientific name for this “learning and training” or the brains inherent capacity to change is called, “plasticity.” We’re lucky! We already have the equipment we need to achieve happiness; our “mind” and our “heart.” When it comes right down to it, happiness has very little to do with our conditions or how we perceive “the reasons” yet it has everything to do with how we perceive our situation. Below are various techniques we can teach our students, our children and ourselves, to help transform our outlook and the way we think.

First of all, build up determination and then begin each morning by thinking about positive things. Tell yourself “this day is a gift” and then utilize it in a more positive way. Replace previous negative conditioning with new positive conditioning. Repeating this process, day after day, will strengthen the positive aspects of the mind.

Second, make a special effort to be aware and reflect on your mental states. Address the negative mental traits so you can counter act each one as well as the positive traits so you can seek causes that create them.

Third, focus on remaining calm when disturbing events happen. When even the smallest amounts of anger are harbored other people will also appear hostile and then a chain reaction will occur. We’ll experience fear, a greater inhibition and sense of insecurity. Give up on the things that you recognize are harmful to you. Self-worth stems from developing the VALUE of human warmth and affection. When we maintain a feeling of compassion, loving kindness and appreciation of what we have our inner door will open and automatically create an inner calmness. Fear, self doubt and insecurity will go away.

Your awesome future is in your hands. Hire yourself to pave the way! Through training and constant familiarity of living positively, moment by moment, we can transform ourselves, which is the REAL “secret to happiness.”

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Day with Maria Shriver - To Sum it Up...

Yesterday, I had the great fortune of “hanging out” with Maria Shriver. Okay, so now that I have your attention, the truth is, I did spend much of the day “with” her but it was because she was leading groups of people through the CA Museum for History Women and the Arts and I was lucky enough to be “up-close and personal.” I was able to meet Maria and thank her for all she has accomplished as First Lady of California. She is brilliant, witty and filled with vibrancy and determination!

The best part of the day was attending the conference, “I Did it My Way,” featuring Erin Brockovich, Sally Ride, Lisa Ling, Rita Moreno and Maria Shriver. I felt honored to be in such a small, intimate setting with these five inspiring and successful women. They shared their personal journeys, which included their struggles, their passions and what they felt most contributed to their overall success. I took four pages of notes and will attempt to deliver what I felt was both thought provoking and just great advice from each of the panel members.

Erin Brockovich – “Believe in you! The perception we have of ourselves is not what works for everyone else. Look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m -----, the winner!’ We share a gift way down inside that burns in all of us…don’t let anyone deter or stray you away from that. Follow your gut, it never lets you down. Utilize your power of choice.” Erin told the audience her mother use to put post-it-notes all over the house that read, “Stick Tuitiveness.” She said, “Be willing to fail because you always come out better on the other side.” Erin believes the greatest gifts we have are, the love of our families, good health and clean water! Her final words, as she turned her head and looked into the eyes of the audience, were, “It’s time to change the message. It’s time to change the perception of how you see yourself and your neighbor. Challenge yourself and push forward to see how great life can be for you!”

Sally Ride – “By age 6 it was clear I loved math and science. It wasn’t until high school that I realized my interests were “weird” because I had support from my parents and a strong family environment. Success requires motivation and that motivation needs to come from within. The key to success is hard work.” When she first went to work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center she was one of only four women out of 4,000 men. (Lisa Ling thought that sounded like fun…) Sally’s parting words were, “You will doubt yourself from time to time but something within you will propel you to move forward when you want it badly enough! Don’t do something because you think it is expected of you. Listen, search, explore and experiment to find your calling.”

Rita Moreno – “Never think that what you want is unattainable…I chose to swim. Hang out with people that encourage you and are constantly reinforcing that you can achieve. People who have a dream have a focus, a special energy. Don’t let anyone spoil that for you. It’s not power that helps you attain what you want, it’s perseverance… ‘You are not going to stop me.”’ At 78, Rita is beautiful, well-spoken and hilarious. Her last words to the audience were, “It’s a good thing to be a mature woman!”

Lisa Ling – (Lisa’s boss is Oprah Winfrey) “Put yourself out there! Travel, expose yourself to other cultures. If you can’t travel, take advantage of things in your own community…expand your horizon…never stop learning. Be aggressive and go beyond your comfort zone. Books cannot teach these things. If you want your dreams to come true, do what it takes ALL hours of the day. Risk it…it makes you feel alive! Do what you love and then be utterly relentless pursuing what you’re passionate about.” Lisa added, “I feel fortunate and I think we need to spend more time being grateful and concentrate on what we do have.” Maria asked Lisa, “How are you going to use your voice in 2010?” She answered with this statement, “I hope that through my work people will have a ‘journey’ to experience other things and cultures and acquire a stronger sense of humanity.”

Although I can only speak for myself, I think I can safely assume the audience members were more than moved and inspired by these women’s wisdom, knowledge and encouragement. I appreciated their time in offering their heart-felt messages to help myself and others maximize their potential for lasting happiness. As Lisa Ling stated, “Take advantage of things in your own community,” because you never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn or how it will impact how you “use your voice in 2010.”

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Monday, March 1, 2010

What Color Are Your Glasses?

First of all, I want to thank my “followers,” on blogspot or through my personal emails, for taking the time to comment on my articles. I love to know what you’re thinking! I’m intrigued by your questions, your honesty and even your skepticism.

After reading my article titled, Healthy Energy=Healthy Body, emphasizing the great impact our thoughts have on our physical and mental health, one of my “followers” told me her mother-in-law always seemed to view things and live her life through “rose-colored glasses.” As I read on, I realized she didn’t necessarily agree that her mother-in-law’s way was the best way. However, as I continued reading, I learned her mother-in-law, who passed away in her nineties, was a very happy, well respected, intelligent and compassionate woman. Can her long life and well-being be attributed to viewing life through her “rose-colored glasses?”

At this very moment, our minds are fully equipped to begin the process of achieving complete happiness. Identifying our mental state or consciousness, each our thousands of different thoughts, is the foundation for that accomplishment. We have to build an awareness of the negative emotions that are harmful to us and learn how to reduce or eliminate them. Equal in importance is recognizing the helpful and positive thought/emotion and learning how to nourish it! Once we learn how to identify our negative thinking that all too often turns into “patterns,” and realize how harmful it is to us personally, and to society as a whole, we can then make slight movements toward new, intentional choices that make us feel better and contribute to the well-being of others.

A balanced life is a conscious choice and requires the willingness to “let go” of what continuously doesn’t work, i.e. old habits and old beliefs. The fact is everyone is faced with problems, within their personal lives, societies and issues worldwide. But every human problem has many different angles. The severity of the problem depends on the angle from which it is viewed, from whom it’s viewed and the "color" of his/her glasses. People who view inevitable challenges of life through "rose-colored glasses" and seem to glide through tough times do so because they’ve chosen to react positively to predicaments.

We can’t control all of our problems but we can always control our reactions to them which ultimately control the effect they have on us, which is the bottom line! We simply need to ask ourselves, “What will I allow this problem to do to me?” Controlling our reaction doesn’t mean underestimating the problem, it means disciplining our minds to manage it positively and creatively. It’s true, problems can be opportunities; it just depends on the color of your glasses.

Stayed tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Best Case Scenario

According to researchers at Duke University, physical exercise is no longer considered good just for developing a lean and strong body or a strong heart. Now, it is actually viewed as a “preventative or wellness activity” that helps prevent physical and emotional conditions. The chemicals or endorphins that are released by the brain, during physical activity, are our body’s energy boosters and natural pain killers. One study showed that workouts of only eight minutes lowered sadness, tension and anger.

On the other side of the coin, physical inactivity can now be determined to be a “risk factor” for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, obesity and depression. The American Heart Association has reported that more than 12% of total deaths are attributed to the lack of regular physical activity.

Okay, let’s review this. Physical activity renews energy, makes us look and feel great, and prevents a variety of illnesses and diseases. So, why, with all this said, is it a well-known fact that most people aren’t active enough? Usually it is blamed on lack of energy from working all day or just worn out from the hustle and bustle of daily life. But the holistic concept, which is supported by an enormous amount of evidence, indicates most people are “worn out” from the lack of nutrition in their diets. The fact is people have more energy when they eat well! The interconnectedness between nutrition and physical exercise is extremely important!

After most kinds of physical activity we are rewarded with a larger degree of alertness, in better moods and we feel more confident! Hopefully the “reward” is what will motivate you to respect your health by practicing good nutrition, which reinforces the entire cycle. Eating nutritionally, 70% of each meal should be fruits, whole grains and vegetables, and exercising regularly will give you great pleasure and satisfaction. You’ll not only be doing something great for yourself, but as Dr. Colin Campbell states, “You’ll be part of the vanguard working toward moving America into a healthier, leaner future.”

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Food For Thought...Literally

Diet and nutrition have a profound impact on mental and physical health. If your doctor doesn’t agree or realize this, don’t be too upset with him/her. The fact is, our western doctors have had very little training in nutrition, and it’s just not their area of expertise. It’s a shame, though, as the wrong food and lack of balanced nutrients can cause serious and damaging psychological and physical health issues! This is why I encourage you to educate yourself, (easier now than ever before with access to the internet) and gain knowledge of a more “holistic” approach to health, which simply addresses the body, the mind and the spirit as a whole. Start today with a self-care program that provides your body with the highest levels of nutrition!

Our bodies produce chemicals that regulate our moods and emotions. The lack of nutrients in the foods we eat will trigger certain amino acids and will decrease the production of emotional neurotransmitters.

Sugar, for example, is destructive to our bodies in so many ways. Most apparent is, it gives us an increase of energy, for a few moments and a false sense of feeling good but as soon as the insulin is produced in our bodies we will feel tired and possibly depressed. Whole grains, vegetables and fruits, on the other hand, increase the release of seratonin, which reduces our appetite, calms us, helps with physical pain and alleviates depression.

Although we need to eliminate animal fat from our bodies, we need to make sure we are getting the “healthy fats” from avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil and some fish. These fats promote the absorption of nutrients into our cells and a natural cleansing takes place, which also lessens depression and enhances our moods. On-going clinical studies have shown that folic acid deficiencies have been linked to depression but a simple glass of orange juice or a cup of cooked spinach will relieve it.

Hopefully this little bit of education will help you realize the importance of the foods you eat and will jump-start a healthier lifestyle. Over a period of time your taste buds will change. Instead of craving foods, that are high in sugar, high in the wrong fats or that contain artificial ingredients; you’ll crave the way you feel and your new zest for life.

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just What It Takes

It is now more urgent than ever before to take control of our health, which must include changing our way of thinking to have a broader perspective, and should include the use of good nutrition. Food can not only lengthen or shorten your life, for better or for worse, it can change your life. Eating the right way not only prevents disease and generates good health; it creates a sense of well-being, both physically and mentally. The “sense of well-being” is what we all desire but many of us spend our lives wondering what it takes.

Although I have my strong beliefs on “what it takes,” all of which are based on scientific research, I will not take it upon my self to try and convince you of my beliefs. I urge you to read The China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as I mentioned in my previous blog, titled “Feel Great/Be Great.” I think you’ll be amazed and enlightened from Dr. Campbell’s 40 years of research, take it to heart and, you, too will change your current dietary beliefs and habits. Although, I have met many people who refuse to read this book because they really don’t want to know that the foods they love and crave are so harmful to their health and hinder the “sense of well-being.”

What I will provide you, are a few facts on nutrition that are not controversial, they’re just not being publicized fast enough. Most important to know is the healthiest type of protein, a sacred nutrient and a vital component to our bodies, is found in a natural variety of plants. Animal protein isn’t necessarily consistent with long term health, as we’ve been led to believe for so many years. Additionally, our bodies do not naturally build shields to protect ourselves against free radicals. Fortunately, the antioxidants in plants put up the shield and sponge up those nasty substances. Uncontrolled free radical damage is part of the process that can cause cataracts, cancer, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, emphysema and many other ailments.

Reduce (or eliminate) your intake of animal protein and load up on your vegetables! It’s likely you’ll lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, have more energy and finally begin to get that long, sought out, “sense” of well-being!

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feel Great/Be Great

There's no doubt that taking responsibility of your life, in all aspects, is the requirement, per se, to total body well-being. Making the decision to take control of your health, emotional and physical, is the first and most important step. The key to success is knowing this decision starts today and never ends, not even for a moment. When it comes right down to it, there's a sense of freedom associated with knowing, you're it; no longer can a person, place or thing influence who you are, where you are or what you're striving to become.

In my past articles I focused on our thoughts and feelings being crucial factors in one's overall health, the first step to lasting happiness. But the second and third "crucial factors" go hand in hand and cannot be ignored, diet and exercise.

In 2006, as I mentioned in my article, Learning Something New Everyday, my father passed away from lung cancer. What I didn't tell you was that the doctors discovered a "spot" on his lungs, during a short hospital stay, unrelated to cancer in November of '03 but didn't tell him about it until February of '05. The information got "misplaced." By the time he was told, the "spot" had grown into stage 4, with a 1.7% chance of survival. After I got over the shock, terror and anger, (actually, I've never totally gotten "over it") I began a crusade to save his life. Unfortunately, the cancer in my father had spread uncontrollably so even though my hours of research and devotion didn't save his life, they "saved" mine.

Through integrative doctors, Homeopaths, Acupuncturists, books, DVDs, support groups and seminars I discovered that much of the cause of our physical ailments directly stems from what we eat and our inactivity. You may think, as I did for most of my life, that you eat well and get plenty of exercise. It may shock you when you learn that most of what you eat is causing you more harm than good. In fact, many foods we've been led to believe are "healthy," are actually making us sick. Once I learned the truths about the food I once ate, I dramatically changed my diet, which consequently, changed my life.

We need energy to maximize this gift of life! It's impossible to map out a road to lasting happiness and well-being if we consistently feel sluggish, tired, overweight, chronic pain or dwell on "what's wrong," instead of "what's right." To begin your new healthy campaign and to have more energy than you ever dreamed possible, I recommend you read the book, "The China Study," by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. While you're reading, it's important to keep in mind this information is "findings from the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease." (The New York Times) In addition, included in The China Study are hundreds of publications from the most reputable scientific journals.

Tomorrow I will inform you of a few "musts" but please, don't delay, take the time and "learn" how-to "feel great" because when you do, it/you will "be great."

Stay tuned,

Midnight Motivator

Friday, February 12, 2010

All We Need is Love, Love...Love is All We Need!

With Valentine’s Day just ahead it seems fitting to talk about love and how it also relates to my past articles on the mind and body.

First of all, I’m going to recommend a book for you to read, again and again. I will often refer to it, “The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav. Not only has this book changed my life but I feel it offers critical and insightful information to assist you/us in our journeys to become the best people we can be and lead the amazing lives that were meant for each and everyone of us! If you’ve already read it, I suggest you read it again. New parts and segments await your eyes!

In my last article I touched upon our energy and where it can lead us. When energy we take in or dish out leaves us in fear, distrust or with emotional harm, in general, we will feel anxiety and powerless. Power losses affect certain parts of the body. If we feel fear in our ability to love or be loved we will feel pain or discomfort in our chest, near our heart. Chronic or acute “heart-ache” can literally result in the attack of the heart. In fact, Gary Zufav states, “Every distress and every dysfunction of the body, every illness, can be understood in terms of power loss to an external circumstance through the energy centers within the body.”

When we release energy in love and trust, and feel free to love and be loved we are on the road to eternal peace-of-mind and lasting happiness. There is nothing that cannot be healed when we live in love. Love is an active force that brings harmony and a genuine interest in the well-being of others. It directly relates to the quality of experiences that occur within our lives.

This weekend, especially, be conscious and focus on your power to remove your negative thoughts and emotions. Heal yourself of fears, inferior and unnecessary thoughts through the energy of love. Give and receive love. It will enhance your personality and, at the same time, be graciously appreciated as you enrich the lives of the people around you.

Happy Valentine’s Weekend,

The Midnight Motivator

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Healthy Energy = Healthy Body

In my last article I discussed the importance of health being a critical part/step in the journey to lasting happiness and overall well-being. How happy can we really be if much our time and thoughts are consumed by our physical aches, pains and illnesses? The fact that the mind rules the body, "the most fundamental fact which we know about the body," (Frank Alexander, M.D.) we need to transform our thoughts that rule our minds.

In Deepak Chopra's book, "Reinventing the body, Resurrecting the Soul," it states that every cell in our body is made up of two invisible ingredients: awareness and energy. "Any change in mood is conveyed via "messenger molecules" (through the bloodstream) to every part of the body, altering the basic chemical activity of each cell." Negative and distorted patterns of energy are the main cause of aging, infirmity and disease. "The tiniest change in energy, no more than a few words, can lead to massive physical disruptions." Our bodies will literally suffer from the toxicity of negative thoughts we tell ourselves or from the disruptive words we tell others.

The biggest myth is that people can't change. Oh yes we can! The fact is our cells know what our brain is thinking and our mood levels. Once we become tuned in to the power of our thoughts and moods, our bodies have the capacity to correct themselves. As our energy changes so will our bodies. Much of life's everyday hardships are dominated by our inability to think and behave in a new way. "To break out of any habit, you need to reclaim your power to choose." (Deepak Chopra)

Have an impulse to grow and evolve today,

The Midnight Motivator

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Learning Something New Everyday!

I lost my father, George Jeffers, in 2006 to lung cancer. His illness and death were especially hard for me as he was also my boss of 23 years, my mentor and my best friend. When none of the traditional cancer treatments worked and his doctor said, "There's nothing more we can do for you, George," I began a personal campaign to try and save his life. For almost two years I spent hours each day researching alternative treatments and integrative cancer institutions. During our journey together to win the battle, we were introduced to a well-known and well respected MD/Master of Acupuncture. With stage 4 lung cancer Dr. Kauffman never promised us a cure but he did promise to lessen his pain and make him more comfortable, overall. He did exactly that. After each treatment, twice a week for 3 months, my father showed signs of improvement and said he felt better. In fact, he always looked forward to his acupuncture treatments. To this day I have never known a doctor more compassionate, intelligent or as knowledgeable, in both the eastern and western worlds of medicine, as Dr. Kauffman.

Last summer, in a nation-wide search through the Nationals Speaker's Association, I was asked to co-author a book with Deepak Chopra, Dr. Denis Whaitley and Jack Canfield. The book, "Stepping Stones to Success." is scheduled to be released late spring . (2010) Because of the overwhelming evidence that good health is directly linked to happiness and overall well-being, I asked Dr. Kauffman for his professional opinion/help on my segment on health. I had attended one of his seminars and knew we had similar beliefs on the most important aspects of good health, or, so I "thought."

During my meeting with Dr. Kauffman, ready take pages of notes and gather as much information as possible, he said to me, "Joanne, tell me your ideas on health." I tried to impress him with my vast knowledge and years of research on the benefits of plant-based diets vs. animal protein, etc. He was so kind and caring and let me ramble on and on. When I finally stopped to take a breath, he said these words, "Yes, all those things you have mentioned are part of a good-health program. But, the medicine I believe in, have been studying for over 17 years and has been practiced and proven for five thousand years... health, good or bad, starts with one thing, your thoughts. The relationship you have to your own thinking will determine your physical and mental health." "Wow," I remember thinking, "of course." I sank back in my chair, listened to more of his knowledge on the profound effects our thoughts have on our physical health. His words, so real, so true and so profound, made everything I had been researching for so many years suddenly became more clear and complete. I did several weeks of intense research before completing my segment on health, which I and many other experts believe is first and most important "stepping stone" to success.

Dr. Richard Carlsen states in his book, You Can Be Happy No Matter What, "Understanding the nature of thought is the foundation to living a fully functional and happy life." Everything we feel stems directly from a thought or many thoughts and since we are the only ones who can produce our thoughts then we are the only ones that are responsible for our feelings. Negative brain activity, thoughts, feelings and unnecessary worrying is directly linked to weakened immune systems - the weaker it becomes the higher your risk is for minor illnesses and major diseases.

Researchers continue to explore the health benefits of "positive thinking," which I will cover in depth, but for today, when a negative thought appears evaluate it and then eliminate it! Practice positive self-talk! Just like that, on a spin of a dime, you can do it! Surrounding yourself with up-beat, positive people makes it much easier to do as there are, no "ifs," "ands" or "buts" about it, we are products of our environments!

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Greatest Gift of All

One Christmas, so many years ago, I received a beautiful set of books in a compact, leather bound sleeve with gold lettering. They were from my father. After I opened them I remember smiling and saying, "Dad, thanks, they're so beautiful." I don't remember if I said anything else before setting the books down and proceeding on to open my next gift or not. At the time I was busy; working full-time in our family business, married and raising two children. What I do remember, though, is what I thought; "I'll never have time to read these books but, oh well, they'll look nice on our bookshelves." Sure enough, they did look nice and for many years that followed.

I can honestly tell you, there was no thought process and no known reason why, one random night, after putting the kids to bed, I walked over to the bookshelves and reached out for the set of books my father had given me so long ago. There was nothing unusual, earth shattering or alarming going on in my life at the time and to this day, 15 years later, it remains a mystery. After I blew off the 3 inches of dust that had accumulated on top of the cover, I took the books over to my dining room table and proceeded to read. The set, "How you Can Arrive, Survive and Thrive through Possibility Thinking," written by Dr. Robert Schuller, has forever changed my life!!!

It became a ritual. Every night after the kids went to bed, I sat at my dining room table and read...every inspirational, motivational and self-help book I could get my hands on. The excitement from the almost immediate and positive transformation that took hold in my life made it difficult to fall asleep at night, at the same time, I was anxious to begin the next day. I looked forward to acting upon what I had learned and experiencing the instant reward. What "reward," you ask? Simple...the reward of having a great day, everyday...the reward of knowing what ever I put out, I got back, every time, everyday. It was almost foolproof. When I exhibited love, enthusiasm and compassion I was almost guaranteed to receive the same in return.

Through my "studying" I learned something new that enhanced my life each day. It was fun, exciting and I began to welcome new challenges. Then, after awhile, it dawned on me, why, I wondered, wasn't this critical and so badly needed "subject," of emotional well-being taught or at least presented in our schools? Couldn't our young children stand to learn about self-worth, self-respect and ever-lasting happiness? Yes, of course, I thought, but a problem existed, who knew enough or anything about this subject and would be qualified to teach it??? Now, I "get it." There is a reason why there are large sections in book stores labeled "Self-Help" because until our government and our educators realize the importance of such subjects being taught in our schools, we, or at least the seekers of a better life, will have to "help ourselves."

I will often refer to excerpts from many doctors, philosophers and other experts, from all over the world who have, so graciously, shared their wisdom and information from their research. I will also go back over all my highlighted areas and dog-eared pages in many of the books that have had the greatest impact on my life. There is no doubt in my mind that if you go on this journey with me; take the time to read these "articles," for the next few weeks, maybe even months, they, too will be the "greatest gift of all."

Stay tuned,

The Midnight Motivator

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let the New You Begin

I love the "firsts" of each month. I feel invigorated by what I perceive as another new beginning~another opportunity to accomplish an unfinished list from the prior month, or in my case, begin my New Year's resolutions.

For over 15 years I and many other experts in the field of Positive Psychology, have been researching the complexities of happiness and overall well-being. It has been both fascinating and life-altering! Because it may seem a bit challenging/overwhelming to embark upon such an extensive research program I am going to attempt to share some of my key and instrumental findings with you. I will review valuable information that has so positively enhanced my life and so many lives around me and continue to gather new data from current research.

Much of our lives are spent focusing on the wrong issues and setting the wrong priorities. Quite frankly, the reason we do this is simple; we've never been "taught" how to direct or discipline our minds to focus on what really matters. Consequently, our inner strengths and potential are rarely realized and our lives fall short of our hopes and dreams. Scientific research, within the world of Positive Psychology, has proven each and everyone one of us has the ability to change our stubborn, old and ineffective ways, that often result in emotional anguish and despair, once we've been given the substantiated tools and techniques to do so. In fact, last year approximately 1500 students were enrolled in Harvard's most popular class, Positive Psychology; Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment and reported the class improved the quality of their lives.

I find my mind is more useful when I am least mentally distracted which, most often, is late at night. My hope and goal is to provide you with daily, rather "nightly," messages, untold truths and valuable lessons that will change your world!

There's a new life that awaits you! Why don't you join me, without having to go to Harvard, in what just might be the most important journey of your life, learning the subject our educator's have overlooked and the one that matters the most; happiness!

"Everything changes when you have the burst of new belief." (Dr. Robert Schuller)

Stay tuned!

The Midnight Motivator