Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Parents: It WILL be OK... ignore the haters!

I spent years listening to the opinions and unsolicited advice of others about how to parent my children and I thought I would address some of these things here. Now, I never said anything in the past, maybe I should have, but I am saying it now in an effort to help other parents. Parents who listen to the barrage of opinions, advice, criticism, and judgements of others. Parents who quietly go about their business without ever saying anything yet feel hurt inside. Parents, like I was, who need encouragement and support, not fear and manipulation... from anyone!

Here are some of the things I endured from others. Does any of this sound familiar?

What is it about pregnancy that makes people crazy? Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to harm or kill your own baby. I was told not to put my arms up over my head or I would cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby's neck. I was told what to eat, what not to eat, how to sleep, walk, and even work. My favorite by far though was the constant advice on how to feed my baby once she was born. I had half the population telling me that I was irresponsible and not giving my baby the best chances in life if I didn't breast feed. Whilst the other half of the population, mostly family, telling me that breastfeeding was disgusting and an embarrassment. How was I to succeed?

The next hurdle came when I was to have a son. I do not believe in circumcision and so the obvious choice for me was not to have my child circumcised. This was clearly the worst offense I ever committed as a parent. I was berated, insulted, and even yelled at. Someone close to me actually told me that "one day your son will come to you as a teenager and tell you that he hates you for what you have done." Wow, just wow.

Madison, my first child, was a bit of a wild one! She was fearless, spontaneous, and very strong willed. She was a handful and often I was told by friends and family to "hit her." I was told that my discipline style was not severe enough and that she was sure to turn out like an uncontrollable monster who would most likely be "knocked up" by 16, if I didn't "spank her ass." Regrettably, once I did actually try spanking her little bottom which left me in tears, while thankfully, Madison was completely unscathed and unaffected by my attempt. I was told that clearly, I didn't hit her hard enough. I never tried again.

I was also a terrible parent for teaching my children about "choices." I used to use the phrases "that was not a good choice" or "it's your choice, but there are consequences," as opposed to "your bad!"  To the "choice" comments, I was told that kids don't have choices, it was up to ME to make their choices, and I was giving them too much control, and my approach was "stupid."

I also made it safe for my kids to talk to me... about ANYTHING. So while their friends were sometimes engaging in really risky behavior, our house was the safe zone. Our house was the place where kids could come and speak with "another Mother" (me) who would help and encourage without the judgement and ridicule. For the safe haven I offered, I often had a target on my back. Not many people, especially friends and family, want to offer you praise or thanks for doing the job they couldn't.

I am here to tell you my children have turned out wonderfully. Now, not all of them are full grown and out of the house yet, so I supposed they could still hate me someday, but I am going to go ahead and take a chance to say that they have turned out awesome! Madison is 19, in the Air Force, and happy. I am happy to say she wasn't "knocked up" at 16, nor did she sprout horns and become a demon. Harry is happy, successful, creative, and he likes me. Carrie seems to make really good "choices," and is a very compassionate child. I have applied all of my "horrible parenting techniques" to my step children as well, and they love me too.

So my dear readers, parents, friends, family, and others: Don't listen to the negative offerings of others. Don't let someone else scare you into parenting in a way that you don't agree with. Don't let the hurtful words of others convince you to do something you think is wrong. Please follow your own hearts, heads, and higher selves. Surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage, and offer support. Believe me when I say that it WILL all work out. Do your best, love your children, never compromise yourself or your kids and Live Inspired Now.

PS: Would you like to learn more about my work with kids, both my own, and the kids I work with? My book 'Live Inspired Now: A Field Guide For Happiness' is full of great stories, life lessons, and quick tips about everything from parenting, to relationships, to finding your perfect mate, and more! Get an autographed copy right here on my site! Happy New Year Friends! :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Advice for having the best relationship possible.

If you want love, then love has to come from you! All to often I hear people telling me what they want in their relationship yet they are unwilling to give what they wish for. A young woman told me recently that she wanted a man that would respect her, treat her like a queen, listen to her, and introduce her to his family. A "nice, relationship like you see in the movies, with flowers and passion and stuff" she told me. 

My advice to her, as well as to anyone looking for certain things in a relationship was this: Love must always come from you. You will never find someone to really love you if you don't love yourself. You will never find your "king or queen" where the court jesters hang out. You will never get respect if you don't respect yourself. You will never have that nice relationship if you settle for attention.

Stop posting half naked pictures of yourself online. Stop swearing and posting negative comments on facebook. Stop hanging out in bars or clubs. Stop falling for superficial flattery. Stop living vicariously through celebrities that have no interest in you at all. Stop making the business of others into your own. Stop flirting with people if you are in a relationship.

Instead try: Posting pictures of yourself doing great things like serving food at a shelter. Post uplifting quotes and complimentary comments on facebook. Hang out with other volunteers, church members, or people in community groups. Make friends and be a good friend; the best relationships evolve from friendships. Admire people who do good in the world. Ignore and avoid negative people. Make someone feel really special. Let your special someone feel like the most important person in your entire world.

Be the type of person you want to be in a relationship with. Be love, show kindness, express gratitude, live with purpose, speak gently, leave the world better than you found it, and Live Inspired Now! 

PS: Like this post? Buy the book: Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness! Get your autographed copy now, right here on this site! I can't wait to hear what you think! :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Avoid long return lines and make someones day!

Merry Day After Christmas!! Every year I take up a collection of clothes after Christmas that need to be returned because they are not the right size, or someone just didn't like them. Then, I donate the clothes to a local non-profit that provides business clothes to people who are looking for jobs. Sometimes people just don't have the right type of clothes required to look professional and, unfortunately, that can prevent them from getting hired at jobs they desperately need.

Isn't that a better idea than standing in long return lines at the store? Today, go through your piles of goodies and see what you can donate in order to help someone become gainfully employed and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to buy your autographed copy of my book Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness right here on my blog! Thank you!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Guest Blogger: Jane McGowan

Fading Stars: 
You’re cruising down the thruway trying to get to your business meeting, your sister's house, your long overdue visit to the in-laws and...
"Whoa! Did you see that guy? He went flying past us at 90 mph!"
"Now here's this idiot who's going 55 on a 65!"
"Now he's speeding up when I'm trying to pass him!"
People these days. Just a couple days ago I was driving with my sister and a man was bicycling in the snow to his destination. Cara commented and said, "Why is this guy bicycling in the snow? He's crazy, he's going to get killed!" I'm not sure what compelled me in that moment, but I stopped to think about that and I said, "Maybe he doesn't own a car." To which she responded, "Well that's depressing, now I feel bad."
There's so many things I've learned since graduating college and joining the real world as they say. Even though when you finally join it, you realize the world was real all along. In the working world it is so effortless to fall into routine, to zone out, to criticize, to say, "Well I just don't have time for that because I work 40 hours a week, my kids have to be at ballet class and I haven't baked those cookies for the office holiday party yet."
We are in this trend of thinking why is this taking so long! You're wasting my energy to the cashier at Wegmans who's new and doesn't know the produce codes. You're in my way to the old man on the highway who's terrified of merging. You're frustrating me slow internet and I need to download my Facebook pictures!
Perhaps our anger comes from something that we all know internally but we sometimes rarely stop to think about. The fact that we only have an allotted time to live on this Earth and none of that time is guaranteed to us.  If we stop to truly think about how much time we have left after we subtract out sleeping, eating and working...wow what little time we really have left. Our identities are so important to us but in 150 years the majority of us will be forgotten. A little boy will stumble in the snow to his grandmother's grave and on his way he'll read your name and the dates and it will hold no significance to him other than your birth year, which is the earliest one on record for the graveyard.
Perhaps this is why we idolize fame because just like we elect our politicians to represent us in government, we are electing celebrities to represent the whole of our identities. Their lives are the only ones that have a glimpse of a chance of becoming legendary. It baffles me that after 23 years of living on this Earth, I met a roomful of new people last night at the Canandaigua Toastmasters. The world is so vast. We are all like shooting stars in the night, one shooting star in a huge expansive galaxy. Only people whose paths we cross will see us shine because our light only lasts for a brief wrinkle in time. If you really think about it, we are only living life for ourselves. The people already gone never knew of our existence, the people of the future will soon forget us and only a tiny portion of the people on Earth know who we are at this moment in time and their identities will wash away with our own.
At the end of your life do you want to say that you spent 562 hours on Facebook competing for the two invisible awards on there? Because really there's only two relevant hashtags: #mylifeisthebest and #mylifeistheworst. Do you want to live a distracted life in front of a screen and spend money on a bigger house, an expansive nutcracker collection or wrinkle cream that denies our fate? Or do you want to see the Aurora Borealis, do you want to surf in Hawaii, do you want to soak in every beautiful place on this Earth before your starlight fades?

Friday, December 20, 2013

THIS person influences YOU the most!

Who is the MOST influential person in your life.... YOU are! Yes, you are! Despite the endless amounts of awesome people we have in our lives, it is always YOU that makes the decision to be influenced by another. YOU can choose to admire and emulate people who are making risky or questionable choices or, you can choose to model yourself on the admirable and upstanding individuals that are in your world.

For that reason, it is YOU that is the most influential person in your world. Isn't that reason enough to treat yourself better? Isn't that a great reason to stop the negative self talk? If you make the biggest impact on yourself, shouldn't you be healthy, happy, and advocating for yourself? The gift of positive words, love, and kindness that you give to yourself impacts everyone else as well. Let your self worth be a loving example of inspiration to others! Empower yourself with the highest level of love, respect, kindness, happiness, and peace and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We three coaches....

Join ME and my coaching friends today at noon for a special edition of "Free advice Thursday!"

Today, Jodi and I welcome fellow coach, "Tam I Am" to teach us how to find serenity in a crazy, busy world using a technique called tapping (EFT). Join the FUN and learn something new! Have your questions ready and get free advice from 3 expert coaches! We look forward to talking to YOU!

TODAY, FREE, 12:00pm (eastern time) on Spreecast:


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Buy the book for Christmas!

You don't need to shop at "Greenstar" or "Whole Foods," you don't have to do yoga, and you don't have to know how to use the word "Namaste." lol You just have to want to know how to stay happy, positive, and inspired throughout all of life's challenges!

If you would like to find peace and happiness without the fluff, then consider my 5 star rated book: "Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness!"

It's a straight forward guide for happiness in every aspect of life. Easy to read, funny, and touching stories, and quick tips at the end of each chapter!

Great for teens and adults... buy an autographed copy before Christmas! Just click on the buy now button
(on the right side) at www.liveinspirednow.com. I look forward to hearing what you think!


Heather Paris

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Replace one phrase and see what happens....

What words do you say habitually? What phrases do you repeat over and over? Are these words and phrases creating anything positive or strengthening in your life? Are they teaching your children to be empowered and confident? You can always make a change, you can always practice replacing the negative with positive. Like any habit, it takes time, but you can handle it!

Here are some of the positive things I say often and on a daily basis:

"God bless!" - to the kids before bed.
"What's good?" - instead of "How are you?"
"I love you!" - not just to family, but to my friends also.
"I'm excited!" - instead of "I'm nervous."
"I know you can handle it!" - instead of telling people what to do.

Words only have power if you believe them and what you tell yourself or your kids... you believe. So replace the negative and limiting words with more empowering words. Words can make things better, so use them optimally! Create more positive verbal habits, even if it is replacing only one negative phrase with a positive at a time, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to get my book 'Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness' today! It's autographed, it's awesome, and it's going to change your life!

Monday, December 16, 2013

What makes humans the happiest?

If you have some extra cash, put it in an envelope and give it to someone in need. If you don't have extra to give then make something to share. If you don't have extra to share, then offer kind words. There is always something we can give to others to brighten their day, and to feed our souls.

I truly believe that we as humans are happiest when we are helping, giving, or serving others. Someone I know posted a charity chart on facebook yesterday. It told how much money actually goes to those in need when you donate it to charities. Some gave 100% of what they received but others gave little or even none! Supporting your favorite charity is wonderful but you don't have to go through an organization. You can just find someone in need, and give to them directly. If you are not comfortable doing that, then drop an anonymous check in the mail, or even a box full of goodies from Santa! You could even have a friend that doesn't know the recipient deliver for you.

There are many ways to give, help, support, or serve others and I promise that the feeling you get from doing so is amazing! It is like a natural high so get the whole family involved if you can. Teach your kids to be generous. Give money, food, time, encouragement, hugs, or love.... give from the heart, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Buy an extra autographed copy of my book and share with someone who is going through challenging times! Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness will brighten your friends day and make you feel GREAT for sharing! I will be happy to send to your recipient on your behalf or anonymously. ;)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to destroy any relationship!

Unexpressed emotions lead to anger. Anger turns to resentment. Resentment kills relationships. People come to me all the time saddled with heavy emotional baggage that they have been carrying around for far too many years. Their relationships are suffering and they feel angry all the time but, don't really know why. People use anger as a "go to" emotion for a multitude of reasons. Often times, this is because they don't feel safe expressing sadness; they think it is a weakness. Or, because they don't want to say something and "rock the boat."

In order to maintain long term, happy relationships, you must make time to express your true feelings. I would add, that you must allow your partner to feel safe enough to be completely honest. Feelings or emotions that go unresolved will always lead to resentment if you don't find an outlet to discharge. Talk open and honestly with the people in your life, if you don't feel safe enough to do that, then perhaps you should re-think the relationship.

For example:
Your spouse makes a rude comment that they thought was funny and not meant to be hurtful.
It hurts your feelings but you say nothing.
The spouse learns (by your silence) that this is an acceptable way to joke and continues.
With every joke you feel more sad, hurt, targeted, isolated, frustrated, until it all turns to anger.
You are re-stimulated and remember ALL the rude comments every person ever made to you.
Your anger becomes overwhelming until you lash out.
A fight ensues (usually with a topic other than the original comment).

This could have been avoided if you expressed that your feelings were hurt by the first rude comment.

For example:
Your spouse makes a rude comment that they thought was funny and not meant to be hurtful.
It hurts your feelings and you express it: "I know you didn't mean to, but that comment actually hurt my feelings."
Your spouse gets the opportunity to apologize and make things right.

Expressing your feelings before they turn into anger is the key! You might not always get the response you wish for in exchange for your openness, but you will be able to leave the baggage behind you and know that you didn't let yourself down by failing to acknowledge your feelings. When you express your feelings, you unconsciously acknowledge and validate yourself as a person of worth.

So today, don't let emotions go unexpressed. Boost your self worth, strengthen your relationships by saying what you feel, and Live Inspired Now!

PS: There is an entire chapter in my book about discharging emotions and leaving the BS baggage behind! Buy an autographed copy today.... on the right hand side of this page!

Monday, December 9, 2013

9 Ways To be More "Likeable"

I am all for "being yourself," and being true to who you are. However, if you are having a hard time connecting with people, or maintaining relationships, then perhaps there are some personality tweaks that you can make that might help people relate to you better. Sometimes, we put people off without even realizing it and by following these helpful tips you will notice a big difference in your interactions. People may be more drawn to you, or perhaps long time friends will notice a real change in your energy and how they feel when they are around you! Give these a try and create deeper relationships with people in your life!

9 Ways To Be More Likeable: 

1 Like yourself! If you don't put much value in who you are, neither will anyone else. Take care of yourself, your health, and your surroundings. No one will ever treat you worse than you treat yourself. You set the standard for what you accept, be sure you have a high enough standard!

2 Get your attitude in check grumpy! People do not like to be around someone who is always angry, cranky, or complaining about things... well except other people who are angry, cranky, or always complaining. Gratitude is one of the best ways to get rid of the grumpies. Focus on the things you have to be grateful for, start with waking up today and go through a list of all your blessings.

3 Chill out and allow other people to manage their own lives! I know, I know.... other people are doing things that annoy you, or they are doing things wrong and you know how to fix them. Well guess what? It is NOT your responsibility so let it go! How much easier would your life become if you only had to worry about living your life and not others? Let other people experience and learn from their own journey.

4 Compliment others and appreciate a job well done! If you notice someone doing a good job, take a moment to compliment them. People are drawn to others who make them feel good. Make time to recognize even small things... a co-worker's new haircut, or a child's completed project. Say something nice!

5 Smile!
You don't have to plaster a fake smile on that never comes off. Just smile when someone walks by. If you are the type of person where people are always asking you "what's wrong," then you may just need to smile more. You might be perfectly content but your body language is sending different signals. Make an effort to smile at people so they know you are approachable.

6 Listen!  Too many people think about what they are going to say next rather than actually listening. People like to be truly heard, so truly listen! You don't always have to "solve" the problem, just show you care by being fully present and listening to the other person.

7 Don't gossip! Everyone knows, if you talk about other people, you will also talk about me when I walk away. Nobody likes a gossip so don't say anything about another person that you wouldn't say in front of that person.

8 Don't take that tone! It is not just what you say, but how you say it.Take note of how you use your voice. Do you sound sarcastic, annoyed, indifferent, mad, or unsure? The words mean far less than the tone you use to say it.

9 Love who you are with! People like people who like people! If you genuinely like the people you are with, it will show. If you can't like them, at least find some common ground that you can appreciate. Maybe you can appreciate that you like the same football team, or that you have kids that are similar ages. You can always find something to appreciate if you just take the time to notice.

Relationships are the most important factor to a quality life, so be sure to have quality relationships. Try to connect with more people on a deeper level and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Don't forget to get my book 'Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness' today! It's autographed, it's awesome, and it's going to change your life!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Change it or accept it..... it really is that easy!

I have a knack for simplifying things. I prefer life to be simple but in today's world, people seem to like to make everything difficult. Everything can really boil down to two things; change or acceptance. If you have a challenge, you can either change it or accept it; it really is that simple.

What exactly can you change? YOU! You are the only solution to all of your problems! You can change your attitude, behavior, feelings, and your beliefs. No, you can't change your boss and make him nicer. You can't change your parents and make they less judgmental. You can only change you, and how you feel about all of those people and circumstances. You just have to decide if you need to change or accept what is.

If you decide to make some changes for yourself, here are a few tips:
- Be specific about what you want to change.
- Create a plan with a timeline that is not open ended.
- Be accountable for only your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. What other people do, say, think, or feel is none of your business.... even if they do, say, think, or feel it about you!
- Surround yourself with supportive people, friends, or family that will support your changes.
- Hire a coach to keep you on track, hold you accountable, and encourage you.

Now, for the acceptance. If you absolutely cannot change something, then make peace and accept it. You don't have to like it, love it, or agree with it, but if you don't accept it, your own feelings will make you miserable. Let's say, for example, your husband decides to cut down your favorite fruit tree while you are at work. While this may be upsetting, the tree is gone and cannot come back. Feel free to express your feelings about it but then you must accept it and make peace with what is. Choosing to remain upset for years about things out of your control will merely make your unhappy.

So, you can either change yourself or make peace with what is. Either way, you can handle it! We are solely responsible for our own happiness, for the changes we make, and for what we accept. Make some decisions about whether to accept or change things and Live Inspired Now!

PS: My book is in stock and shipping out in time for Christmas! Buy an autographed copy today!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Less is the new more!

Yes, that is ME...eye patch and all! I think I must have been about 4 or so and I was visiting Santa at the Army base.

Some of my favorite memories growing up are of the simplest things. My favorite Christmas memory was in the early 80's. Dad had just been stationed back in Germany shortly before Christmas and our household goods had not arrived yet. We were in an apartment in a high rise on the 18th floor and we had no furniture, no toys, nothing but what we had with us on the plane... and it was Christmas time.

I am sure times were tight financially but I certainly had no idea at my young age. My parents went and bought us a plastic bowling set, a couple of board games, and I got my first paint by numbers! They bought a miniature tree that had a stand attached and we decorated with popcorn and aluminum foil balls. My parents put one strand of lights on the little tree which we did not light in honor of the hostages being held in the "Iran Hostage Crisis." I didn't know what that meant, but I did know that we were honoring Americans who wouldn't get to have Christmas with their families. 

My parents played games with us and, since we had no furniture, the living room made an awesome bowling alley for our new plastic bowling pins! We didn't have much, but we had fun and it is one of my fondest memories.

Isn't it time we stopped creating debt and started creating memories? I promise you that the kids will remember the times you spent with them and appreciate your time more than your gifts. They will also remember any acts of charity you do together and they will likely make that part of their adult life as well.

Less is the new more... give less, feel more. Cry less, laugh more. Complain less, honor more. Buy less, love more. Create your children's favorite future memories this year and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, December 2, 2013

I made the news?!?

What an incredible article that The Citizen posted about me in this Sundays newspaper! It was so cool to see myself in print! Here is the online version so you can read the article! Thank you!!

Handbook for hard times: Port Byron life coach releases book of advice, stories

Heather Paris

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

You will NEVER guess where these crayons ended up!!!

A very funny event from my childhood happened when I was about 3 years old. My father, being in the Army, was stationed in Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. My mom had always wanted to take a train trip, so she decided that while my dad was on duty one weekend, her and I would take a train to visit relatives in Rhode Island. My mom was a little leery of traveling alone, but nonetheless, we made the trip.... What could go wrong?

Mom came prepared to entertain a 3 year old in the early 70's with coloring books and a big box of new crayons. After the long ride was underway, mom dozed off. She must have slept for a while because the next thing she new, we were at our stop to switch trains. Mom woke up and looked over at me and with tears in my eyes I stated "I want my crayons!" Confused as to where the crayons could have disappeared to, my mom said "Heather, where are your crayons?"

At that moment, I just pointed to the seat in front of us and that is when my mom discovered in complete horror where my crayons had gone! While she was sleeping, the man in the seat in front of us had also been sleeping. And while this poor unsuspecting man slept, I had pushed all of my crayons into his giant afro that stood above the back of his seat! In the 70's the afro's were sometimes really large so he must not have even felt it! My mom says she didn't know what to do so she quietly whispered to me "I will buy you new crayons" and hurried off the train!

My mom still laughs when she tells this story almost 40 years later! I am sure it must have been pretty funny and I hope the man with the afro wasn't too upset by the crayons! You just never know what funny things kids are going to do!

I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving! Love your family, count your blessings, and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The full circle of things....

I thought I would spend this week reflecting on some stories that I have never shared before. Since this is Thanksgiving week and all, I am thankful for the experiences I have had that shaped who I am.

Many people don't know this about me, but I joined the Air Force in the early 90's. I got about half way through basic training when I started getting severe leg pain in my right shin. I thought something might be wrong since it was so swollen and painful but didn't say anything. One morning when I came down to formation, my drill sergeant let me have it because my boot wasn't laced properly. It was then that he noticed how swollen my leg was. He sent me to the hospital and it turned out that I had over 20 stress fractures, shin splints and severe tendinitis. After many tests and x-rays they determined that my leg was not going to heal well enough to stay in the military and I had to get out. I was so disappointed but knew that it just meant that something else was around the corner for me. I got out of the Air Force and my leg took a long time to recover, but I moved forward.

Fast forward about 20 years later, to last month when I went and watched my daughter Madison graduate from Air Force basic training! Wow! What a treat for me to be back at the same base and watching my daughter complete something that had been a dream of mine. I thought a great deal about the irony of the situation. The fact is, when I got out of the Air Force, I moved to Rhode Island and met Madison's father. Had I stayed in, I would have never met him, and Madison would not be there, graduating herself! It was like a circle closed and Madison was starting her life close to where I had started my life as her Mom.

I look back now and I am so grateful for that leg injury! How many times does something happen in your life that you think is a negative but turns into something positive? Even if the event was painful, good things can come of it! We just have to keep our eyes and hearts open and have faith in the bigger picture! Do you have any stories of things that came around full circle and worked out for the best? Think about your blessings today and Live Inspired Now!

Like my posts? Buy my book! Buy a signed copy here on my page or save a little and buy it on Amazon:  Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness

Friday, November 22, 2013

6 Tips to Emotionally Detach From Mean People This Holiday!

One of the most frequent questions I hear from clients and fans is "How do I deal with judgmental or critical family members?" Everyone wants to know if they should keep them in their life or ditch them, and if they keep them, how then can they keep their own sanity.

Whether you decide to tolerate not-so-nice family members is up to you. My personal motto is "My love is unconditional however my tolerance is not." I don't believe we are obligated to put up with abuse or meanness from anyone. With that said, please also take a look at your tolerance level. Some things can (and should be) shrugged off.... are you emotionally detached? If not, here are 6 tips to help you emotionally detach when you visit snarky family members during the Holidays!

1 Arrive with a plan! Before you even leave your home to travel over the river and through the woods, devise a clear plan for escape! Decide with your partner on how long you will stay, and the exact time you will leave. If you decide to play it by ear, then at least come up with a signal to let the other know when you have had your fill. A simple ear tug, or a throat clear can be a sign that you are ready to leave and then you don't have to feel like you're the bad guy dragging everyone away from Grandma's house.

2 Distract yourself! Bring items of distraction that will keep you focused on anything but your mother's "Gee you have gained some weight" comments. A good book, board games to play with the kids, or your favorite holiday movie. Whatever it is, distract yourself from the negative comments and put your attention elsewhere.

3 Give, help, donate, volunteer! When you focus your energy on helping others, you have little time to think about the negative influences in your life. A fan today told me that she was going to have extra cards at her house for family to fill out, then she would send them to Holiday Mail for Heroes! Yay! Great way to change your family's focus onto something worthy!

4 Wear your walking shoes! Be prepared to take a little walk if you need to escape. We can't always be perfect and deflect the negativity so take a break if you need to! You can take a walk, get some fresh air, offer to run to the convenience store for more butter, or just sneak off and enjoy a quiet moment alone.

5 Discharge! If you don't express your emotions, they just pile up and you are left lugging them around in the form of baggage for years to come. If you don't feel you can express yourself during your Holiday gathering, then do it afterwards. You can talk to your partner and discharge all of your hurt feelings, or you can journal about it. Another nice way to dump hurt feelings is to write a letter to your offender and burn it. Be sure to be as explicit as you can be, then shred or burn the letter. You will be surprised at how liberating it is to free yourself of emotional baggage!

6 Breath deeply and relax! Take some nice, big, deep breaths and imagine yourself enclosed in a giant gold bubble. Nothing that anyone says can hurt, harm, or offend you. It all just slides right off as you sit back and relax. Nice deep breaths and controlled reactions. You are allowed to relax and enjoy peace, even if someone is trying to get you going. You don't have to attend every drama party you are invited to!

I hope you are able to emotionally detach and enjoy a very happy and healthy Holiday Season! You have the opportunity to practice your new-found wisdom next week on Thanksgiving Day! Enjoy, relax, detach, and Live Inspired Now!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A great way to show Military people that we care!

Every year our family sends cards to Military Men and Women who are recovering in the hospital after the stresses of service, or who are spending the holidays alone away from family. Please join us by mailing holiday cards to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

They ask that the cards not have glitter or other substances that could fall off onto wounds. Also, don't make cards out to particular people, just use generic greetings such as Dear Service Member so they can go to anyone.

This a wonderful way for kids to get involved and learn how good it feels to do something nice for others. This year I am especially glad to be doing this project as my very own daughter is now in the Air Force. She will be with her military brothers and sisters for her birthday and Thanksgiving but gratefully we get her back in time for Christmas!

Please join our family in letting military people know how much we care! Send a card or a bunch of cards and Live Inspired Now!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The #1 gift they will NEVER FORGET!!!

In our home, we don't give birthday "presents," rather we give birthday "experiences!" I have shared about this before, but it's been a while so let me tell you what we did this year for the kids birthdays!

We took Harry to the Vidcon Conference in California. He loved it! Not only did he get to meet his favorite famous youtubers, but he learned some great new techniques for making videos, and he networked with fellow youtube friends and fans! Harry says it was one of the best trips he has ever been on!

Ethan wanted to go to the "big Chuck E Cheese" in Rhode Island. We told him that we couldn't pull it off, and that we would just do something else instead. So when we went to Rhode Island, shortly before his birthday, he was completely surprised when we brought him to his surprise party at the "big Chuck E Cheese!" You couldn't have pried the smile off of his face with a crowbar!

Carrie Sue wanted to take a mother / daughter trip to Rhode Island. We had a blast! We had tons of time on the road trip to talk and laugh and even make silly videos. Then while in Rhode Island, we visited her favorite stores and spent time with Grandma and Grandpa! Carrie still talks about the trip and wants to go again next year!

My daughter Madalyn wanted to go to the "Cake Boss" store in New Jersey. I planned the visit around a Tony Robbins; Unleash The Power Within Conference and took her to both! She LOVED it! We visited the cake boss bakery and then Mattie spent 4 energy packed days at the UPW conference! She walked on fire, had some major breakthroughs, and wants to go to the conference next summer!

The kids love going on amazing adventures and doing fun things for their birthdays. The biggest thing that I love about it, is that the memories we create will stay with them for a lifetime. Much longer than a plastic toy or electronic device that they will eventually stop playing with and forget about!

We don't always do such extravagant events, sometimes they are as simple as going to a show or concert. It's about sharing the experience, spending time together, and creating loving memories! So think about how you might "do" something for your loved one instead of buying something! Create memories that will last forever, and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You, yes YOU, are a survivor too!

Dear Readers,

If you are reading this, then you are a survivor! For your entire life, you have survived traumas, scary situations, extreme challenges, transitions, disappointments, betrayals, sickness, loss, and heartbreak.

Yet you are still here and you are AWESOME! Don't underestimate yourself, you can do anything you put your mind to! Go kick some ass!

With much admiration and inspiration,

Heather Paris

PS: Please consider purchasing my book which is for sale on this page on the right side! :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This "stupid" 8th grader is now a published author!

I thought I would do a "vlog" (video blog) today instead of a regular post! Please let me know what you think of my video!

Live Inspired Now,
Heather Paris

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you Veterans!

Thank you to the brave men and women who courageously risk their lives to preserve our freedom! Thank you for your selfless dedication. Thank you for your willingness to be away from the people you love the most to serve your country. Thank you for proudly wearing the uniform and honoring the flag. Thank you brave veterans, past and present. Today, and everyday, we honor you!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What the last bed in the shelter meant for my new friend!

I was sitting in my hotel room and ready to cry, again... it had been an emotional day! I was feeling very overwhelmed by looming project deadlines and from being on the road for the past month. Just when I was about to retreat from my long day and dive into a molten chocolate lava cake, there was a knock at my door. I had asked the room service guy about the loud noise coming from the heat vent and he said he would send someone right up. What I didn't know is, he would be sending up a new friend.

Jeff, the hotel engineer, entered my room and jokingly said "what did you do?" I forced the tears back and said "I don't know what happened, it was fine but then it just started making this loud clanking noise." It took Jeff no more than 60 seconds to make the heat vent stop rattling; we spent the next hour plus just chatting. I am not even sure how we got going on such deep topics but he gave me permission to share his inspirational story.

Upon hearing about my work with under privileged children, Jeff told me of his upbringing and how he believed that the African American community was falling apart. His young life started with tragedy when his mother was shot when he was only 4 years old. He and his 5 siblings went to live with his Grandmother in a lovely but mostly white suburb. He clearly loved and respected his Grandmother and had nothing but praise for her. She raised her own 5 children and then took in her daughter's 6 children when she passed. Jeff said he often felt like he didn't fit in with the white kids because he looked different yet, the black kids didn't accept him because he was "well mannered and spoke respectfully." He felt isolated and desperately wanted to fit in.

Despite the love and generosity his Grandmother offered, Jeff made unfortunate choices and found himself using drugs and getting in trouble with the law. He spent time in jail and when he got out he moved to a half way house where he was able to stay clean for 2 years. Then, one night he chose to use again and he says it all flooded back as if he had never gotten clean at all. It was like the 2 years spent clean never existed. He did another stint in jail and was out again only to go back to drugs. At some point, rock bottom and near death saved his life.

Jeff had been admitted to the hospital after a fight. He needed 28 stitches in his face and eye area and he says the nurse kept coming into his room and saying "Are you sure you are alright?" Finally, after  this happened several times, he asked the nurse, "Is something wrong with me? Why do you keep asking if I am alright?" The nurse then explained that he had experienced a major heart attack.  Jeff had been so high, he didn't even feel it! Jeff was admitted to the hospital and had decided there was no way he was staying. He was plotting his escape when the nurse brought in his medication. He drank the medicine and then asked what it was.  He found out it was methadone and just as the medicine knocked him out; his escape plan had been foiled! With tears in his eyes, and after apologizing for becoming emotional, Jeff told me that he believes God intervened to keep him where he needed to be.  

While in the hospital, Jeff met a man with AIDS, that had lost a leg to diabetes, and was about to have a kidney removed too. This man inspired Jeff by letting him know that though his time was very limited and he had lost so much, at least he could say "Today, I am clean!" He talked to Jeff about the importance of staying clean and sober and making the best choices he could.

Homeless, penniless, and busted up, Jeff had no place to go when it was time to leave the hospital. He had one last hope and that was a bridge he thought he had already burned. He called a shelter where he had stayed before. They remembered him and although they were reluctant, they said they would give him a bed but ONLY if he got there before 2am. It was 1:30am and he was at the hospital on the other side of town. Jeff said he wasn't going to lose this opportunity like everything else he had lost. Jeff, after spending time in the hospital for a heart attack, brutal physical beating, and completely doped up on drugs, literally ran all the way across town and made it to the shelter by 2:00am. It was there, that with help, he made the choice to put his life back together.

After some time, and many drug and alcohol meetings later, Jeff started looking for jobs which was proving to be very difficult with years of prison gaps in his employment history. He heard about a job here at the hotel and applied for a maintenance position. In yet another instance of divine intervention, Jeff got an interview because the hiring manager went to the same high school as Jeff, so he gave him a chance. That chance, along with Jeff's hard work and determination for a better life brings us to today. Jeff has been with the hotel for 18 years, has been clean and sober for 19 years, and is now the head of his department! He takes 100% of the responsibility for the bad choices he made, yet offers most of the credit for his recovery to the people who helped him out, and to God for not giving up on him.

Jeff is grateful that he is no longer dependent upon the "system" to take care of him. He works hard and earns everything he has. He spends much of his free time talking to the dis-advantaged youth in his community and trying to teach them about "freedom." He want's them to know that a small welfare check and a cheap apartment in the projects is not freedom, Rather, he feels you are a slave to a system that will never let you rise above your circumstances. He want's the young people to be free to go to the movies, take trips to Europe, laugh and enjoy their youth before they start to have babies. He want's them to appreciate the small things, and to know how good it feels to make positive choices and to inspire others. He want's them to know that drugs will rob them of youth, and wants them to make choices they won't regret when they are older. I have no doubt that Jeff is doing wonderful things to inspire the youth in his community. Jeff told me that when he lays down each night, it is just him and God. He prays, and thanks God for his blessings. He is grateful, he is happy, and he is an example of how life can be awesome if you decide to make it so!

I shook Jeff's hand and thanked him for his heartfelt sharing. and thanked him for being a new friend!

I know it seems risky to befriend strangers who come to your hotel room, but I truly believe it is a much bigger risk to shut out people who may be in your life for a reason that you don't even know about. I can't be certain why our paths crossed but I am grateful to be able to share his story!

I emailed this post to Jeff before I shared it with you and he loved it. He shared this quote with me that he keeps next to his bed in a frame he purchased while volunteering at the Salvation Army: "Within the maddening maze of things, When tossed by storm and flood, To one fixed trust my spirit clings; I know that God is good!"

Live Inspired Now!
Heather Paris

Thursday, November 7, 2013


OMG ya'll!! I am so freakin' excited!! My book is currently being printed! I am offering pre-sales to my readers, starting today. Every single pre-order (from this site only) will be autographed no matter how many copies you buy! So be sure to let me know who you would like me to sign the book to in your order. The books will be shipping around December 1st.

I am so grateful to all of you: friends, family, readers, and loyal fans! Your encouragement has been instrumental in keeping me motivated through the "not as glamorous as I imagined it to be" publishing process. I am beyond touched by the love and support you have offered me.

I hope you enjoy the book. Each chapter contains: an overview of how to achieve happiness in different aspects of life, a life lesson with my personal stories, and quick tips for easy reference on the chapter topic. You might be surprised by some of the stories! Each chapter gives a deeply personal story to allow you to get an idea of how my beliefs and understandings of the world developed. From funny stories about a "dildo" to my "darkest moments of despair," I don't hold anything back! If you have always wondered how a person who has been married 4 times could become an incredibly successful relationship coach, now you get to find out! You will laugh, cry, and learn how to be happy!

Here is what some readers have already said:

"Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness is an easy to read, fun filled yet touching journey to inspiration and the realization that happiness is right there waiting for every single one of us!" 
-Betsy Chasse; Tipping Sacred Cows and What The Bleep Do We Know?!

"Heather's perspective is absolutely refreshing. She reminds us what is really important and how easy it is to be happy. She reminds us that it is always our CHOICE and that we are more powerful than we realize or give ourselves credit for. I laughed and cried while reading her truly heartfelt, honest and sometimes vulnerable stories. Don't waste time, read it and start Living Inspired NOW!"
Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R

Thank you again so much! I am deeply grateful and I look forward to hearing what YOU think of Live Inspired Now; A Field Guide For Happiness!

Much Love, Inspiration, and Gratitude,

Heather Paris

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Guest Blogger: Meer Fennema

Money Reflections:
As you see the world around you as a Meer-or, all external situations are a reflection of your inner self. By changing yourself, you will change the world around you. For a lot of my clients right now, a shortage of money is a major roadblock. What’s the mirror of a money shortage? The most common reflection is a lack of self-worth. But there are more reflections. Because of the recession, a collective reflection right now is fear of shortages, fear of not having enough. If you really believe that in your core being, that’s what you radiate and will come back to you.

An antidote for fear is gratitude and asking the Universe what you really want. Every day in my meditation I express my gratitude for everything and everyone in my life and ask the Universe to help me with the goals I want to manifest. I also use incantations (affirmations said while moving and really feeling it) while I power walk to change the limiting beliefs I used to have about money. A short one which I repeat every day is: the truth is money is energy and it flows to me. Another reflection is grounding. If you are not grounded well enough, your company can’t have a strong foundation either and it’s more difficult to earn money. Sounds logical, right? Since I know this, I do a lot of grounding exercises like dancing, stamp your feet on the floor, ask Mother Earth to ground me even more and meditate with Boji stones.

How you really have to keep on asking to get a clear reflection, shows the story of one of my clients. She told me that she had a shortage of $900 dollars a year. She works in the department of eye specialists in a hospital. A job in which she is really good at and which she loves. A clarifying thing was that she told me that she felt that she was short sighted. She wanted to have more money in her life and really find her life mission, but … did not want to step out of her comfort zone. For her the external situation reflected her life purpose of ‘looking further’, practically meaning to look for a better paid job at a hospital further away. Other clients I coached had limiting beliefs like: money is dirty or rich people are unethical. It’s good to be aware of your thoughts and beliefs about money. Are they limiting or are they serving you? What you radiate, will come back to you.

Meer Fennema (Dutch, 1967)
Your Inner Voice Coach, International Speaker and Author

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Blogger: Jodi Brichta-Coyne

What happened? Where did all the kids go? You know the ones who use to play outside and were curious about the world. The ones who used their imagination to dream of far away lands with dragons and knights in the woods of their own back yards? The ones yelling, playing kickball, laughing and smiling at each other.... where did they go?

I think they forgot.. forgot what it was like to stop for a moment...put down the phones... go outside... breathe in the fresh, crisp air and stare at the world with wonderment.  We (the 70's/80s kids) have forgotten.....WE have forgotten what it is like to just 'be' a kid.

How can we expect our children to do the same when we ourselves, don't set the example. We are so stressed out, overworked, overburdened and overwhelmed that instead of turning everything off, sharing quality moments with our kids as we walk around and absorb the world, we give them things to tune out instead. Then we go ahead and label them as lazy, unmotivated, introverted, shy and call them the entitled generation... etc. We start to blame the world, the economy, schools, government, food and everything else before we turn that finger around and point it at ourselves.

Our children are only in our lives for a short time and then they grow up. It is our responsibility to guide them to be a contributing member of society. To get along and survive in a world that can seem cold and cruel at times and yet can be beautiful, amazing and full of endless possibilities.  It is our job to provide them with tools and strategies to navigate through the ups and downs and let it be known that giving back and inspiring others is what makes the world go around, and happiness is always achievable.

Our hearts are in the right place, but are actions speak otherwise. The good news is that there is always time to turn things around.  They say that kids today are so disconnected from their families, environment and themselves because they have been handed an electronic and a false sense of security. I have also heard the saying that we should be providing our kids with the correct information. Think about it... who is the better salesman?... YOU or the drug dealer. If they don't hear it from you, there is always someone out there that will be happy to tell and sell them what they need.
Spending 20 minutes of quality time with them per day is all it takes for them to feel safe, connected and loved in a world that (thanks to the media) has scared them from taking risks. Our children are crying out to be noticed and are desperately seeking our approval and love. They deserve that much and speaking positive and uplifting words such as "I am proud of you" or "great job today doing___" can do wonders instead of "lazy, good for nothing, slob" and other demeaning labels.

Isn't it time, we stop blaming others and stop labeling them.  We are responsible, and they are our responsibility. It's time to put down our phones and be there for them and just listen...

Jodi Brichta-Coyne, Certified Life Coach and Strategic Interventionist, helps busy moms find their inner voice by helping them go from chaos to calmness by aligning their values with what matters most. "I help my clients face their challenges, develop a plan and get results so they can find time, joy and happiness again."  www.momgoddesscoach.com  or  facebook.com/momgoddesscoach

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Guest Blogger: Donna De Luca

I have been asked recently why I consider myself an inspirational speaker instead of a motivational speaker. I replied "inspired" means being in spirit, being in your truth therefore I simply need to show up and allow whatever message my soul has to deliver to be delivered. I am the messenger of a message guided from my heart to empower and touch your heart.

Motivation is motion in action. This is more of a performance based approach. It is just as effective but can fade because it touches your mind and less your heart. This is more like a pump your jam workout where I get you excited to get you moving.

This leads us to the Art of Inspired Action, the balance of both in order to achieve our dreams!

With LOVE,
Donna De Luca
Inspirational global leader of BE THE CHANGE

Friday, November 1, 2013

Guest Blogger: Karen Comitto Beijer

Three years ago I needed a colonoscopy at the age of 39. Well below the normal age of 50. They found 4 precancerous polyps and removed them. I would or could have been one of those women at age 50 who had silent colon cancer...and it may have been too late. I have had candida issues and immune issues for a long time. I had always wondered if all of these things were connected.
I started selling Arbonne, a little over a year ago. Arbonne means "from the earth". We carry skin care and nutritional wellness products that are vegan, botanical, gluten free, trans fat free, cholesterol free, paraben free, mineral oil free etc. This lead me into a whole other world about the foods I put in my body and my families bodies!
I watched the following documentaries: Genetic Roulette, Forks over Knives, Vegucated, Fat sick and nearly dead, A Beautiful Life, and started reading Dr. Fuhrmans book Eat to LIve. I started buying all organic fruits and veggies and cooking differently.
Last December I decided to take out meat, dairy, gluten, caffeine and see how my body responded. Some or all of these foods would usually mess with my candida issues and cause stomach issues/diarrhea.
In 10 months, I have only had two stomach issues....and that's because I strayed from my diet.This is a huge improvement!!! I have since taken out alcohol as well.
I have to say that in all honestly, I can't say I am a total vegan or vegetarian. I would say I am more of a nutritarian...I eat clean 80-90% of the time and cheat the other percent.
Changing all of these things sounds drastic, but I know my body and I know how it responds. It has been so educational and empowering....so much so that my friend Julie and I are writing a cookbook. See, not only has it improved my stomach issues, but it has also increased my libido, it has helped my complexion, it has improved my sleep, and I have gotten off of my prilosec, and my restless leg meds. I know when i stray from my diet now, i will probably get sick...and i like to avoid that at all costs! I am in charge!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Guest Blogger: Mattie Paris age 16

Two summers ago my mom hosted an empowerment seminar and firewalk with Tony Simons, a local firewalker instructor. Tony and my mom, Heather, had us write down things that we wanted to overcome or 'break-through' on wooden boards. We then had to place the board on top of two cinder blocks and break them in half. Seeing all of the words I had written on the board; seeing them broken in half and everyone cheering me on, really helped.

I was so happy after I broke through my board, I could not stop smiling! Overcoming things that hurt you before or scared you, feels really good! I can tell you now that those things don't even cross my mind anymore. Next, we broke arrows with our necks. Yes, actual arrows! At first I couldn't break my arrow. I said I wasn't going to try again but then my dad stepped up and said he would do it if I did it with him. The whole time he held my hand and we cheered each other on. By the time I broke my arrow, tears were running down my face, not out of pain but wonder! I felt like I could accomplish anything in the world, which meant that I was ready for the fire walk.

Tony first had us walk around the fire while chanting and clapping. I thought it was really funny, but my sister Madison was so into it! Slowly one by one we walked across the hot coals, palms facing upward. I was smiling so much! This was awesome! After everything that happened that night, I felt like a brand new person.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's Never Too Late For Right Now!

It is NEVER too late for RIGHT NOW! Start now, don't wait. "Putting off" suffering, actually prolongs it! Put the effort in right now and reap the benefits for the rest of you life. I have a couple of young clients that dropped out of school and are now realizing that they want their GED. There is no better time than RIGHT NOW! Do the work now, then you can be done with it. Don't wait for the right time, there is no "right time," there is only right NOW!

So today, get off your a$$, and starting doing something NOW. Get it done, then you can take deep breaths and relax knowing that you don't have to worry anymore about it. Whatever "it" is, get it done, and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Uh oh..... Harry got detention!!

Harry came home the other day with a detention slip! What? Yes, Harry... who gets straight A's and B's got a detention! He had to stay after school for 2 days in a row for his crime. He..... jumped in the hall and touched the ceiling tile.

The school sent a notice home with his referral in it. There were 16 offenses to choose from ranging from defiance and disrespect to violence, and weapons. Harry got the "other" check box. His other box had a line for a brief description which read: "Climbing wall in hallway with his feet."
I really have to laugh at this. I totally support the school in giving Harry a detention for breaking the "do not jump off the walls to try and touch the ceiling" rule. I told Harry, it's their house, and you broke their rules, so you have to deal with their consequences.

However, the fact that the list of offenses were all really big violations to obvious school and even public rules and laws, it seems rather inconsequential to "jump off the wall" and get detention. This seems to be the norm in schools these days though. Kids are expected to step inside a box and never venture out, let alone JUMP out! Kinesthetic kids are too often labeled "ADD/ADHD" when what they really need is a venue in which they can have more physical activity. Adults often face the same challenges when sitting at a desk all day. We as humans were not meant to sit still and be quiet all day. We are built to move around and stay active and we learn much better when utilizing all of our learning modalities too. Engaging kids physically, as well as through visual, and auditory means is the best way to have them actually pay attention and absorb what they are learning.

I told Harry to serve his time, and to follow the rules in the future. He graciously served his 2 day detention after school and we had a good laugh about his offense of "other." I told him that if he had to get a detention, I am glad it was for "other" and not any of the real crimes! Encourage your kids to deal with the consequences of their actions, even if they don't seem fair or just. It is important that they learn to respect the rules of others, and to be honorable if they make a mistake. That is the most important lesson. Talk to your kids, communicate openly, enforce consequences, encourage them, and Live Inspired Now!

Friday, October 25, 2013

One giant tip to help kids be AWESOME!

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." ~Stacia Tauscher

I LOVE this quote so much! We often forget that our children are already awesome, full of life and creativity, and it is adults that figuratively beat them into submission. Kids start out believing in everything, willing to dream and unwilling to settle! Then, unfortunately, our own limitations and beliefs get shared and the child slowly loses his passion and starts on a path of cynicism. DON'T DO THAT! Don't place limits on a child's dreams or imagination!

Tell them that they are awesome and you have faith in them and if they want something to "go for it!" I mean really, how much MORE could WE accomplish if we just believed that we could? Let kids know that they are already smart, and equipped with what they need to go forward, learn what they need to know, and achieve whatever they dream of! 

Kids today are smarter than ever! They are resourceful and are often far more technically savvy than adults! Don't tell them they can't do something, don't even tell them they can do it someday. Why would they need to wait until they are adults to become an artist, musician, graphic designer, or anything! 

Make the following words your mantra to your kids: MAKE IT HAPPEN! You just might be surprised what they accomplish when you encourage them to take initiative and make things happen for themselves. I know.... I live with an artist, a builder, an anthropologist, and a chef! Offer your help, brainstorm ideas, get excited for them, offer input and then let them go for it. Encourage kids to be amazing today, and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

No reason needed....

"I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."  ~Edward Everett Hale

What can you do today to contribute, or to improve someone's world? YOU are powerful. You don't need a reason, a sign, the perfect time, or an excuse... just help someone today and Live Inspired Now!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

News peddlers control brains of unsuspecting drama junkies!

Every sensationalized news story that you get sucked into is like another shot of drama drug straight into your system. You become addicted quickly and you start looking for the next big hit of drama until you eventually become a reality TV junkie. Spending your free time watching attention starved divas fight for their man, sitting on the edge of your seat to find out who's the baby daddy, or making bets on who will be voted off next. Watching with secret hopes that something catastrophic will happen on screen so you can say "yes, I saw what happened, I was there!"

The news headlines pull us in, sometimes kicking and screaming. Have you ever clicked on a news story KNOWING you were going to regret it? Have you ever given in to the temptation of clicking on "Most Americans Are Totally Cool With Smoking Weed At Gay Weddings!" Yes, that was an actual news article from the Atlantic Wire. The article was about two prominent cultural topics: marijuana use and gay marriage. They intertwined the topics to create a sensationalized headline that received far more clicks than if the headlines merely stated: More people support gay marriage and legalized marijuana than in previous years. At no point in the article does the author mention celebrating a gay couples nuptials with a joint and feeling "totally cool" about it with "most" of the other guests.

Remember when Michael Jackson "dangled" his baby off a balcony? When in actuality, he showed his baby off to the crowd below from a balcony. I don't agree with what he did, but at no point was the baby dangled, he had 2 firmly gripped arms around the child. Or most recently, when Obama "caught a lady who fainted behind him?" She did get slightly wobbly on her feet but she didn't faint, nor did he catch her. He simply turned to her, it looked like he took her hand, then offered her some comforting words for a moment until another women led her away. I guess nobody would click on "Michael Jackson showed his baby to fans" or "Obama said Your OK, to a women who got dizzy." 

Hows this for an accurate headline? "News peddlers control brains of unsuspecting drama junkies hungry for their next fix! Oh, in fact, I think I should use a portion of that title for this post!

Parents: kids are especially susceptible to sensationalism in the media. They hear about school shootings and learn to be afraid. They hear about bullying and think it's inevitably going to happen to them. Or, they hear about suicide and immediately it becomes an option that they might not have considered previously. Please be careful about what your children hear and watch. Sensationalized drama is addictive and can be harmful, specifically to the most impressionable among us: kids.

My point in all this is not to get so caught up in manufactured drama that you forget to enjoy actual reality. There is an entire world of sensational sights, romantic moonlit moments, and exciting successes to take in and celebrate! Promote positive living to kids and teach them to be discerning of what they see and hear. Get caught up in your dreams, go out and discover new things, share an adventure, enjoy every moment, create happiness, set a good example for young people and Live Inspired Now!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A great way to stand out and start conversations....

Lately I am hearing that people are having difficulty making conversations with new people, or they don't know how to stand out in the crowd. Standing out is especially important for self employed people who have to make connections and build rapport in order to get new business.

A great way to stimulate conversation AND to stand out is to wear something that grabs attention. Some examples would be: a brightly colored scarf, a large sparkly brooch, a cartoon character tie, a hat, sequined shoes, or maybe some striking jewelry. There are limitless ideas, you just have to think about how much attention you want to grab! If you are attending a professional networking event, maybe a crazy tie is enough attention. If you are attending a party, maybe you can be more risque. It depends upon your comfort level and what you are trying to accomplish.

An attention grabbing accessory can ease you into a conversation. You might get a compliment on your scarf and you can tell a brief story about where you bought it, or maybe who gave it to you. Every single thing you have, has some sort of story attached to it and this is a great way to break into a nice talk with someone new.

So today, find your way to stand out! Think about what you have on and relate some stories to it. Be prepared to ask questions about other people too. Build new relationships, stand out in the crowd and Live Inspired Now!

Monday, October 21, 2013

What example will YOUR kids emulate?

Your children may not follow your advice, but they will follow your example. Are you teaching them to be depressed? Are you teaching them to fight with their future spouse? Are you teaching them to under achieve or to be afraid of trying new things? Perhaps your example is teaching them to hate themselves? I know, I know... it's pretty scary when we realize we have that much influence, but they are OUR children and WE are responsible for the example we provide.

What type of things do you want to teach your children? How about self esteem, confidence, kindness, compassion, perseverance, respect, independence, altruism, humor, or love? These are qualities best passed down by example. You can try to teach these qualities, but living them is the best way for your children to learn them by modeling your attitudes and behaviors.

Have you ever seen a person smoking a cigarette and telling their child to "never smoke!" Then they wonder why the child grows up to become a smoker when they specifically told them not to. Your example will always be the very best way for children to learn. So, what do you want your children to learn? Think about how you can change your behavior and set a positive example for your children and Live Inspired Now!

PS: Please reach out if you want to change your life and your children's lives. You can learn to be happy and set positive, healthy examples for your children. I look forward to hearing from YOU!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Why I almost told a teacher to F**K off!!

This is a picture of the letter I received yesterday from Madison. She is nearly done with basic training and I am so excited to watch her graduate! Madison and I have been writing letters to one another every day since she left for Texas. There is nothing more sweet than receiving a letter from your "little girl" in which she tells you that you are her best friend and that she loves you! The most important thing I ever learned as a parent is that the relationship I have with my child outweighs any accomplishments or milestones that I may wish for them to achieve. (Keep in mind, "best friend" status shouldn't occur until after they have left home.)

When Madison was in high school, she hated it. It was like pulling teeth just to get her to go to school, never mind doing well while she was there. At one point, one of her teachers called me in to discuss her grades. He insinuated that I was not actively participating in her education because I was not "forcing" her to do her Global History project. I explained that I have provided Madison with every possible resource to be successful in school but it was up to her to actually utilize them and that I was not going to put a gun to her head and try to force her to learn. The teacher smirked at me and retorted, "Some parents are actually invested in their children's education!" At that moment, I think I could actually feel my blood boil inside my body and I wanted to lash out but I kept my cool and asked him if he had any children of his own. He said he didn't, then changed his answer to "Well, one on the way." I then offered him some advice. I merely said, "Some day, I hope you understand that the child is more than the grade. I am fully invested in my child and I love her enough to let her be responsible for her own consequences. That is the real education!"

The next day, this teacher apologized to me. Madison continued to struggle through school until she finally graduated. She was always smart enough to do the work, but like her mother, she didn't find as much value in the classroom as she did in real world experience. I have no doubt that she will continue to be successful! Oh and what is success in our house? Happiness.

In this letter that Madison sent, the first line says "Mom, I miss you so much, you are my best friend." I would say that my "investment" in my kid paid off! She is bright, loving, kind, and compassionate and I am very proud of her. Remember: while your children are growing up, the most important thing is to create a bond that will remain once they leave the home. Worry less about what other people think, don't listen to ignorant comments, hug your babies, and Live Inspired Now!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Turn worry into productivity!

"If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying.  It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep."  ~Dale Carnegie

This is a great tip from Dale Carnegie! Turn your worry into something productive, if your going to be up anyway. :) Have an INSPIRED day everyone!! 

Live Inspired Now! 
Heather Paris

Monday, October 14, 2013

You are NOT powerless.......

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to do nothing because they think they are powerless. The only time we are powerless is when we are dead. If you are still breathing, you have the power to make changes for yourself, your family, your community or even the world! You just have to be willing to follow your heart, take some chances, and disregard nay-sayers! Making even one change can make a huge impact because of the residual effects. Like dominoes, the smallest action of flicking one block down, impacts every other block connected to it.

Sometimes you don't even realize the impact you have on others. I often get people who say to me that one of my posts really helped them to think differently about something and it changed their life and I had no idea until they told me. Never underestimate the power of living in alignment with your beliefs and values because you are setting and example for others which is another form of power.

We don't always get feedback but make no mistake, you are not powerless! If nothing else, you have the power to change your own mind and thinking, to change how you react to things or people, and to change how you act in any situation!

Embrace your power, resist the urge to do nothing, and Live Inspired Now!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

9 Tips To Successful Workplace Communication:

Lately it seems that many people have been asking me about communication. Any of my clients and readers know that I believe communication is the corner stone to success in almost everything we do. Usually I am talking about communication between couples, or parents. Today, I thought I would give you a few tips about effective workplace communication!

9 Tips To Successful Workplace Communication:

1 Build rapport with whomever you are communicating. Do this by matching their voice tones and body language. For example, If you go in to talk to your boss, and he is sitting completely upright, rigid, with little expression, and speaking to you with a soft voice, do not go in there and slouch back casually in the chair, with your legs thrown way out, leaned back, and start the conversation with a loud, booming voice. Matching body language makes the other person feel more secure around you.

2 Act professionally. React calmly; interact appropriately. Don't act in a way that will have co-workers thinking you were hired because you are the boss's brother. Don't react negatively or blow up every time something happens. Don't gossip, cause drama, hit on co-workers, or use any behavior that your mother or grandmother would not approve of. It's a workplace, be professional.

3 Learn to use better language and express what you mean without offending. The English language with all it's complexities can be quite confusing. The words you use may mean something entirely different to another person. For example, remember in the 1980's when all the kids were saying "That's bad!" which actually meant that's good? We offend people all the time with words they may not like or tones they think are snarky. You can't please everyone, but you can keep it neutral enough so as not to offend most.

4 Don't be a mind reader or expect others to be one either. You probably DON'T know exactly how another person feels so don't say you do. Additionally, don't expect other people to know what you want or need. Assuming that another person will finish up your project the way you like is setting you both up for failure. Communicate with words, not telepathy.

5 If you have an issue or challenge, communicate with the source directly. You can go home later and vent to your spouse, but don't vent to co-workers; this is really just gossiping. Go speak to whomever you are having the challenge with and work things out. Focus on the issues, not the personalities involved. You don't have to like everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't work effectively together.

6 Express gratitude. People like to help people who are grateful. Be sure to thank anyone who offers you help.

7 Avoid negative talk. You DON'T want to be the office's "Debbie Downer" or "Negative Nelly." People prefer to be around other people who are positive. People don't like to walk away from a conversation feeling drained or depressed.

8 Always be sincere and considerate. Nobody likes a sycophant, or someone who is only interested in personal gain. Zig Ziglar once said "If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want." This is true on many levels. People like people who help others, not people who blow smoke. People also like people who are sincere and true to who they are. You don't have to be syrupy sweet all the time, but honor your own values, and think of other people.

9 Laugh. Be sure to use humor that won't offend. That means save the "Yo Mama" jokes for home but feel free to use appropriate humor at work. Appropriate humor for the workplace would be humor that would be OK for your children to hear. When in doubt, don't say it.

The workplace is a cacophony of personalities with an unlimited amount of perceptions. You may never orchestrate perfectly, but you can harmonize pretty well if you apply these successful communication tips. Start today with some great communication skills, enjoy your workplace, and Live Inspired Now!