holiday stress

How Couples Can Support Each Other During the Holidays

Are you dreading family get-togethers this holiday season? Are you bracing yourself for holiday stress? Strained relationships or family dysfunction can suck the joy out of your holidays.

In this video segment, Dr Linda Miles talks about how couples can support each other during the hectic holidays. Family dynamics during the holidays can be taxing. Here are some ideas for how you can help each other through them.

Read an excerpt of “Change Your Story: Change Your Brain” on Amazon.

Dr. Linda Miles is a leading expert on relationships and mindfulness. She is a psychotherapist, author, media expert and speaker. She has studied and worked in her field of counseling psychology for over 30 years and often speaks about mindfulness, stress reduction, mental health and relationships. Dr. Miles is personable and accessible in her books, articles and talks about how mindfulness and loving kindness can positively change your brain, your chemistry and your life. She can be reached at www.DrLindaMiles.com or followed on Twitter.

dysfunctional families

Coping with Dysfunctional Families During the Holidays

Do you have one of those dysfunctional families? Do holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas easily turn contentious when certain family members get together? Does this make you dread the holidays?

In this video, Dr. Linda Miles shares insights on how to cope with bad behavior from family  members during the holidays. The behaviors that are a problem are often automatic. If a family is dysfunctional, it’s easy to get swept up in these behaviors. If you feel like freezing or fighting in bad family situations during the holidays, here are a few things you can do.

Read an excerpt of “Change Your Story: Change Your Brain” on Amazon.

Dr. Linda Miles is a leading expert on relationships and mindfulness. She is a psychotherapist, author, media expert and speaker. She has studied and worked in her field of counseling psychology for over 30 years and often speaks about mindfulness, stress reduction, mental health and relationships. Dr. Miles is personable and accessible in her books, articles and talks about how mindfulness and loving kindness can positively change your brain, your chemistry and your life. She can be reached at www.DrLindaMiles.com or followed on Twitter.

vulnerable writing

Vulnerable Writing: How to Safely Share Your Vulnerable Story in a Book

Do people tell you that you should write a book about your life? But have you put it off because your story involves exposing other people? Or you’d rather not air so much of your personal life? Here are a couple ideas for vulnerable writing that protects your privacy and the privacy of others.

Join me in the Southern Utah Mountains Sept 26-29 for my writer retreat where I’ll be sharing writing tips, strategies and insights, connecting you with your creativity and giving you lots of time to write. I’ll also be on hand for questions… Check it out here.

Correction: I said you were getting two established authors. I’m an established author with 25 titles. My partner conducting the retreat with me is an established blogger with 7,000+ poems and has 2 books in the works, an English degree and is a great editor.

writing fiction

How to Keep Your Readers Turning Pages

Are you writing fiction or considering writing fiction? How would you like to keep your readers turning pages and unable to put down your book? When people find a book so engaging they can’t put it down, they’re more likely to share it with their friends.

In this video I share techniques for keeping your readers engaged and reading. I illustrate my points using a scene from An Uncertain Justice, a novel based on a true story about my 2nd great grandfather who was murdered atop Lookout Mountain in Georgia. The book is about the last legal hanging in the state of Georgia.

I hope you enjoy the scene and glean some ideas for how to keep your readers engaged.

Check out my upcoming September 2017 Writer Retreat in the mountains of Southern Utah where I’ll be on hand to assist you with your novel or non-fiction book.

Featured Image: SementsovaLesia/BigStockPhoto.com

getting people to trust you

How to Get People to Trust What You Have To Say

Every human being has a conscious mind that acts as a gatekeeper, deciding who it will believe and who it will not believe. The conscious mind looks at your body language, mannerisms, how you present yourself. It may compare you to someone else it has encountered to make a decision on whether to let you in.

When you’re putting your message into the world, whether it be in a book form, an information product or live delivery, your audience decides whether they will listen to what you have to say based on the feedback the conscious mind receives.

If you can get past the gatekeeper, your message will sink into the subconscious mind where it has a higher probability of being acted upon. Whether you’re trying to motivate someone to self-reflect, make life changes or buy your product, you need to get past the gatekeeper.

In this video, I share two ways you can get people to trust what you have to say enough to allow your message into the subconscious mind. These are two techniques anyone can use. As you use them you will connect on a deeper level with your audience, build credibility and trust and increase the likelihood of the person doing what you’re trying to get them to do.

So let’s get started…

Do you need help writing a book? Publishing it? Marketing it? Or building an entire business around your book? Sign up for a FREE 20-minute strategy session and let’s discuss what your next steps will be to move forward with your goals.

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power of story

The Power of Story: An Author’s Golden Elixir

I’d been fascinated by the life of my 4th great grandmother, Dicey Langston, for nearly two decades before deciding to write a book about her life. Her story was the first fiction novel I ever wrote. It hooked me, reeled me into the power of fiction and the golden elixir of story. Over the next few years, I wrote at least nine more novels, eventually tutoring with editors to further perfect my craft.

Writing fiction was a part of my “hero’s journey” as an author. I traveled to other worlds and brought back the elixir and power of story. In every nonfiction book I’ve written since then, you’ll find stories woven throughout. Stories are what engage your readers, draw them in, connect to their hearts. Once the emotional connection is established, it is much easier to convey principles.

When you emotionally connect truth to a memorable story, it’s like linking a memory to a song. You know what I’m talking about. There’s that song that comes on and suddenly you’re transported back in time to a funny memory of the sixth grade or back to your first kiss. Stories that tug at your emotions implant truths deep into your mind where they stick. Remember the story, and you “feel” the principle. It becomes a part of you at a deeper level than if someone just “preached at you” insisting, “you should do this or that.”

This is why the central focus of my Create a WOW Book System is my Collaborative Creation and Story Method. Once you learn how to craft a compelling story, you have the building blocks of a page-turner.

Use the magic of story to create a WOW with your book – join my Create a WOW Book System 

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grow your email list

How to Grow Your List of Book Buyers

Everyone knows that it’s important to grow your list of book buyers. After all, you’ll want to let them know about your future books and other products and services. Unfortunately, with Amazon there’s no way to know who is buying your books, but if you use this strategy, you can start building your reader list asap. Then when you release another book, you’ll have an announcement list. And you’ll be able to upsell book readers on your other products and services.

Learn more about writing, publishing and marketing your bestseller here!

Click here to book a free 20-minute consult to discuss your book marketing.

thought leadership

Thought Leadership: Are You a Thought or Tribal Leader?

by Marnie L. Pehrson

Do you consider yourself a leader? Do people follow you? Even if it is a small group? Have you ever considered whether you might be a

  • Tribal Leader
  • Movement Leader or a
  • Thought Leader?

Is there a difference and why would it matter which type you are? I think it’s important to consider what type of leader you are so that you can be more effective in your own style of leadership. Let’s look at what each one entails. Keep in mind a couple of these definitions are mine. So this isn’t written in stone.

Tribal Leader

Seth Godin who wrote the book Tribes, defined a tribe this way

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.” ― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

So a tribal leader is someone who has a shared interest with a group that they’ve gathered. And they have an active way of communicating back and forth with this group. Members of the tribe also have ways of communicating with each other and with their leader.

Movement Leader

tribal leader

A Movement Leader would be someone who is creating a shift in thinking in order to create change. A Tribal Leader could be a Movement Leader if the shared interest with their community is about facilitating some kind of change.

President Trump is a great example of a Movement Leader. He frequently says it’s not about him; it’s about the movement. He has continued to operate as a Movement Leader and not just a President of the United States.

This is one thing that distinguishes his presidency, besides his “get it done” and “keep campaign promises” philosophy. Then, again, even his follow-through is an outgrowth of having built a relationship of trust with his tribe. He wants to maintain that trust by following through on promises.

I think it would be difficult for an effective Movement Leader to not also be a Tribal Leader. Effective Movement Leaders have two-way communication with their followers. You also see sporadic groups popup for tribal members to communicate with each other. For example, there are several “Women for Trump” Facebook groups you can join.

Because he considers himself a movement leader, President Trump continues to conduct rallies long after he’s won the election. He still wants to be among the people and listening to them. This is also why he conducts meetings where he listens to educators, police chiefs, business people, etc. and incorporates their feedback into his policies.

Thought Leader

Tony Kershaw wrote in his article, “The 5 I’s of Thought Leadership:”

“To me, thought leadership is the process of combining your professional and personal experiences to explain a big idea. The process should influence how people perceive the world they live in and should help them re-imagine it from a different point of view. Thought leadership connects seemingly disparate ideas together and inspires new ways of thinking and behaving.”

“To become a thought leader, you must build a reputable brand around your ideas. The difference between regular leaders and thought leaders is that thought leaders have a large following while their regular counterparts don’t.”

A Thought Leader is someone who teaches, informs and educates around a concept or idea. Thought Leaders have lots of people reading their books, following their work, and listening to them. But they don’t necessarily create a community or two-way communication between themselves and the people who follow them. They don’t necessarily facilitate ways for their followers to communicate with each other either. If they do, then we’re back to Tribal Leader. 🙂

Leader

The average leader is not a Thought, Movement or Tribal Leader. To be a Thought Leader you need scale. You need lots of people following you. But leaders show up in all aspects of our lives. Parents are leaders. Teachers are leaders. My husband who is a School Resource Officer is a leader and mentor for youth. Never under-estimate the impact you can have on the lives you touch.

Do you consider yourself a leader? Which type are you? And are you happy with that type or would you like to morph into another?

building relationships that build your businessTrust Your Heart: Building Relationships That Build Your Business

by Marnie L. Pehrson

True Accounts of Entrepreneurs Who Have Tapped into the Power of Leveraging Relationships to Build Their Businesses! Filled with valuable relationship-building tips for the newbie and seasoned entrepreneur alike, Trust Your Heart: Building Relationships that Build Your Business will inspire you to tap into the synergistic power of relationships to catapult your business to the next level.

In this transformational book, twenty-five entrepreneurs pull back the curtain to reveal their powerful and life-changing lessons on how to:

  • Create prosperity through partnership.
  • Uncover gems in your current associations.
  • Define success principles involved in joint venturing.
  • Tap into the capital lying dormant within your relationships.
  • Create raving fans out of your clients and customers.
  • Invest in your clients so they invest in you.
  • Build a team that supports and champions your success.

Discover how to fuel your own dream surrounded by people who support, encourage, and leverage your influence in the global marketplace. It’s time to uncover the profit potential in building the relationships that build your business. Click here to download a sample.

mindfulness

Choose Joy: Using Mindfulness to Increase Joy in Your Life

  • Do you want more joy in your life?
  • Do you dwell on the negative in your day?
  • Do you want to live more in the present moment?

“For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-lived life.”

                                          Melville

Leah, a middle-aged administrative assistant, had a history of depression. She had experienced problems in her past relationships and isolated herself because she felt like a loser. She did not want to repeat that pattern, but her new partner began to complain that she was always negative.

Leah sought help to learn mindfulness to help her become aware of her negative thought patterns. She tended to apply a negative filter to her thinking. Cognitive psychologists have found that this type of despondent thinking is prevalent in those with depression and can be changed. Negative filter thinking refers to when we focus on the negative and discount the positive. The brain is like glue for negative and Teflon for positive. Leah started to notice the Teflon effect when she was given compliments or positive attention, and she observed the frequency of sticky negative thoughts.

Leah realized that she learned this way of thinking as she grew up and the fact that she could change her thinking and behavior gave her hope. Many people were raised in households with little joy and ample negative thought and behavioral patterns. Our models for thinking about the world are formed at young ages and become unconscious. By gently shining a light on inner-injurious thoughts without judging herself, Leah was able to become aware of why she felt and acted as she did. Through her practice of mindfulness, she could live more fully in the present moment.

By slowing down and experiencing the moment it is possible to feel more alive, and you’ll find that sensory perceptions are heightened. It is too easy to rush through life and not take a few minutes to enjoy the simple things. Leah began a practice of staying in the present moment and experiencing joy in simple acts like washing dishes. She let herself take in the lemony aroma of the soap. She slowed down for a few special moments to experience the feeling of the soap on her hands.

By developing mindfulness skills she learned to be able to focus on the now and the pleasure of the moment. Joyful moments began to be sticky while her negative thinking became more like Teflon. Since thought and feelings are meant to come and go, she practiced letting go of  the detrimental glue of her negative preoccupation. As her focus changed to appreciation and celebration of life, she began to notice joy, love, and miracles in the everyday.

As Leah’s inner experience began to change, she smiled more and spoke more positively about life. Relationship researcher Dr. John Gottman has shown that couples who thrive over time have a 5 to 1 ratio of positive interactions over negative ones. Leah’s relationship improved as her negative filter weakened and she could expand her experience of  joy. Research has shown that mindfulness practice can help those suffering with depression. Symptoms of depression are reduced with a regular practice and parts of the brain associated with negative arousal shrink in size. Volume and activity in brain centers associated with calm awareness are increased.

Choosing Joy

  • Savoring moments of joy, like holding the hand of a baby, playing with a puppy, or stepping on fall leaves becomes a thought habit and the brain likes to repeats habitual ways of thinking.
  • The feeling of joy is a practice; As you practice, your brain wires neural networks to fire in the direction of joyful thinking.
  • As neuroscientist Dr. Wayne Drevets observed, “In the brain practice makes permanent.” Fortunately because of neuorplasticity, we can reroute our brains in the direction of gladness at any age. 
  • Notice if your thoughts are Teflon for positive and glue for the negative. Imagine letting thoughts pass through your mind like clouds overhead.
  • Imagine a neural railway and that you’re laying track toward enticing stations.
  • Look for joy in everyday things; open your eyes and imagination. Practice staying present in your body. Learn to focus as you experience moments in the day. Let your attention come into your senses as Leah did by smelling the soap when washing dishes and feeling her hands in the water.
  • Develop a simple practice of mindfulness and practice it daily to increase your ability to feel joy in the moment. So much of life is spent replaying what happened in the past or imagining what might happen in the future that people do not fully experience the present.
  • As you practice mindfulness you begin to realize that you can choose joy in the moment by getting away from repeating negative thought patterns and using your senses to fully experience the gifts of the present moment.

Your Turn

Take a moment to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply using your diaphragm. Let your attention scan your body. Notice places of tightness or tension. Imagine that the tension is a knot and in your mind release the knot gently. Let it go. Feel the tension loosen.

Imagine a time when you were very happy. Allow yourself to experience that feeling. How does your body change as you recall this memory? Open your eyes and look around the room until you see something that gives you pleasure—a picture, a book, flowers. Allow your attention to linger on that sensation.

Train your brain to go to places of peace and joy. Set an intention to focus on joy instead of attack thoughts. As you do this you may experience small changes in your mood. Over time, your ability to choose joy and peace of mind will increase.

You will find if you practice this throughout the day, even for a moment at a time, you will see objects in more detail and begin to experience peaceful joy.

There is no right way to practice noticing your past thoughts and recreating them in the present. Keep trying this until it feels right for you. This is a very simple practice, however most people do not do it long enough to really make a difference. Make a commitment to set a time to practice. You can set a chime to ring on your phone as a reminder. You can do this alone or with others.

mindfulness

 

Change Your Story, Change Your Life
by Dr. Linda Miles

Do you feel as if someone else is writing the story of your life? Learn to program your brain to live with purpose. Change Your Story: Change Your Brain is a guide to living more fully in the present moment. As you live with greater intention, you can literally change the structure of your brain.

Click here to learn more.