Excerpt from Life is Too Short Series: “The Power of Key Words” + KSL Segments

[The following is an excerpt from Life is Too Short For One Hair Color, by Connie Sokol. Purchase links below.]

listening-pic“Each of my four children was born with abnormal hearing. Through exhaustive research I have discovered that they are afflicted with what I call SDRS, or Selective Dog-Like Response Systems. Similar to Pavlovian responses, though more sophisticated, my children hear entire conversations but only respond to particular words.

For example, I will clearly say, “Boys, please pick up the Legos and put them in your Lego tub.”

What they hear translates to “Blah blah Legos, blah blah Legos.” To which they respond, “Hey, my LEGOS!”

Interestingly, I notice a similar disorder in their father. I say, “Honey will you take out the garbage and put softener salts in the tank?

And what he hears is “Blah blah take out blah blah tank.” What I get is chow mien and a reading on our water heater.

Where was I going wrong? The future looked bleak indeed when, like a toddler’s rejected pancake, it hit me: I was trying to be logical; I was trying to make sense. You see, I had forgotten I was dealing with men and small children. With this epiphany, I devised a new strategy—only use words that motivate, that contain two syllables or less, and do it without any logic whatsoever.

For example, I now say, “Boys, please clean your room with ice cream and you can empty the dishwasher treats.” This gets their attention.

Which leads to, “What, mom?” or, “What was that?” This is big, really big, because I get what every mother wants —eyeballs. Now they are committed—they have acknowledged I exist and I have witnessed their vocal cords in motion.

The ultimate benefit of this technique is that, though the key words change, the principle remains the same. Sure, they graduate to bigger words like “keys to the car,” and “remote control,” but no matter the age, the response is generally the same—a response. And in my book, that is big.

Recently, I retrieved my four-year-old son from the neighborhood preschool. After joining the moms outside, I was juggling my one-year-old daughter and two-year-old son when the latter wriggled free, running diaper naked down the street. Quickly, I had to choose—chase him in thick clogs, balancing a flailing infant or use a key word? Technique and vanity won, and grappling for the right word I screamed, “Ethan, come here.” He ran. “Ethan come HERE.” He laughed. Think, think—the nice neighbor ladies watched with ping-pong head motions. My final serve, “Ethan, ICE CREAM.” He stopped in his tracks, turned about, and ran his diapered fanny right into my arms.

Life Tip:

Appropriate to age and understanding, use key words to motivate rather than force.

Book Pick:

Teaching Your Children Values, Richard and Linda Eyre”

LifeIsTooShortForOneHairColorFront[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, only 2.99 for Kindle version!]

ALSO…

Check out Connie’s KSL segment, “Summer Survival Guide” by clicking HERE

AND, her KSL Motherhood Matters blog post, “3 Steps to Getting Organized (In the Real World)” by clicking HERE

Excerpt from Motherhood Matters: "Spiritual Anchor in the Home"

[The following is an excerpt from Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood, by Connie Sokol. Purchase links below]

anchor 1“You are likely the first and most powerful spiritual example for your children. Every righteous prayer, every patient fast, every page of scripture puts spiritual coins in you and your family’s bank account and helps create a spiritual anchor in the home.
Personal revelation is an individual spiritual gift that all worthy sisters can claim. Bruce R. McConkie said that the life of Rebekah of the Old Testament was one of the greatest patterns in all revelations of what women can do to righteously influence her family.
“The children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.” (Gen. 25:22)
Elder McConkie says, “Now note it well. She did not say, ‘Isaac, will you inquire of the Lord. You are the patriarch; you are the head of the house,’ which he was. She went to inquire of the Lord, and she gained the answer.” (1)
Rebekah didn’t push it off on someone else but trusted in the Lord, and found out for herself what the Lord desired her to do.
Repeatedly, scriptural heroines show by example how they have received personal revelation and how it has blessed their family’s lives. Eve, Sarah, Esther, Ruth, and especially Mary, the mother of the Savior. Scriptures show how these stalwart women knew doctrine and applied it in their lives, receiving inspiration, visitations, and miracles that changed not only their family’s lives but generations to come.
As mothers, we have more ready tools to increase that revelation than ever before. Spiritual basics such as prayer, easily accessible scriptures—both in print and online—Relief Society, Visiting Teaching, partaking of the sacrament and monthly fasting, all provide powerful ways to receive the Spirit.
Closer proximity to temples makes it more convenient to attend frequently and with more opportunities to receive greater peace and timely answers.
Blogging with other mothers to share thoughts, ideas, and scriptural insights into mothering can create connection and invite spiritual solutions.
Though it is insignificant to the world, a spiritual foundation is a legacy we gain for ourselves and leave for our children through the eternities—helping them gain their own spiritual anchor and personal relationship with the Lord.”

Motherhood Matters_2x3[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood. Only $16.98 hardcover or $3.49 kindle.]

Excerpt from Motherhood Matters: “Spiritual Anchor in the Home”

[The following is an excerpt from Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood, by Connie Sokol. Purchase links below]

anchor 1“You are likely the first and most powerful spiritual example for your children. Every righteous prayer, every patient fast, every page of scripture puts spiritual coins in you and your family’s bank account and helps create a spiritual anchor in the home.

Personal revelation is an individual spiritual gift that all worthy sisters can claim. Bruce R. McConkie said that the life of Rebekah of the Old Testament was one of the greatest patterns in all revelations of what women can do to righteously influence her family.

“The children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord.” (Gen. 25:22)

Elder McConkie says, “Now note it well. She did not say, ‘Isaac, will you inquire of the Lord. You are the patriarch; you are the head of the house,’ which he was. She went to inquire of the Lord, and she gained the answer.” (1)

Rebekah didn’t push it off on someone else but trusted in the Lord, and found out for herself what the Lord desired her to do.

Repeatedly, scriptural heroines show by example how they have received personal revelation and how it has blessed their family’s lives. Eve, Sarah, Esther, Ruth, and especially Mary, the mother of the Savior. Scriptures show how these stalwart women knew doctrine and applied it in their lives, receiving inspiration, visitations, and miracles that changed not only their family’s lives but generations to come.

As mothers, we have more ready tools to increase that revelation than ever before. Spiritual basics such as prayer, easily accessible scriptures—both in print and online—Relief Society, Visiting Teaching, partaking of the sacrament and monthly fasting, all provide powerful ways to receive the Spirit.

Closer proximity to temples makes it more convenient to attend frequently and with more opportunities to receive greater peace and timely answers.

Blogging with other mothers to share thoughts, ideas, and scriptural insights into mothering can create connection and invite spiritual solutions.

Though it is insignificant to the world, a spiritual foundation is a legacy we gain for ourselves and leave for our children through the eternities—helping them gain their own spiritual anchor and personal relationship with the Lord.”

Motherhood Matters_2x3[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Motherhood Matters: Joyful Reminders of the Divinity, Reality, and Rewards of Motherhood. Only $16.98 hardcover or $3.49 kindle.]

Excerpt from Faithful, Fit and Fabulous: "How to Energize to Lose Weight!"

[The following is an excerpt from Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous. Purchase links are below.]

123olderwomanjumping300x400“1. Rest. When I experienced adrenal fatigue, I had been work­ing out six days a week, forty-five to sixty minutes a session. Finally thrilled to be consistent, I now had to force myself not to exercise in order to heal (the irony of it all). Working out wasn’t helping my exhausted body. However, as I enjoyed consistent, quality rest, my energy improved to neutral, then increased. Steadily. So have faith in rest. Sleep first, get back to neutral, then gently increase your workout time for optimum wellness.
2. Personal purpose. Go back to your life paragraph—what do you love to do, experience, or dream about? Think about your hob­bies, passions, and pursuits that stay locked in the closet because of zero time or energy. Add spice to your life with something quick and fun (read a book, take a hot bubble bath) or with more purposeful pursuits (teach a cake decorating class or attend one). Start focusing energy on something joyful, even creative, and you will get a charge of positive attitude and motivation for your life.
Review Elder M. Russell Ballard’s counsel to make time for something enjoyable, and write it down. This will help you remember what you like to do and feel good after doing. Choose one and enjoy!
3. Listen to your body. Begin listening to your body by noting its particular signals—what they are and what they mean. Let’s say you’re living pretty healthy right now. You’ve eliminated the emotional drag and practiced the Basic 12, but for some reason, your body won’t lose weight. Or, you’re experiencing some unusual body signals and aren’t sure what they mean.
It’s very possible that your hormones are out of balance. Check out bioidentical hormones with a care provider who is well-researched and informed on the topic. I’ve used them for years and have been grateful for their helping return me to my usual self—energetic, happy and motivated for life. Some great books on the subject are Dr. John Lee’s, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, and Suzanne Somers’ Ageless.”

Faithful-Fit-and-Fabulous_2x3-200x300[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Faithful, Fit and Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life – in just 8 weeks for only $11.69 paperback and $3.99 kindle!]

Excerpt from Faithful, Fit and Fabulous: “How to Energize to Lose Weight!”

[The following is an excerpt from Faithful, Fit, and Fabulous. Purchase links are below.]

123olderwomanjumping300x400“1. Rest. When I experienced adrenal fatigue, I had been work­ing out six days a week, forty-five to sixty minutes a session. Finally thrilled to be consistent, I now had to force myself not to exercise in order to heal (the irony of it all). Working out wasn’t helping my exhausted body. However, as I enjoyed consistent, quality rest, my energy improved to neutral, then increased. Steadily. So have faith in rest. Sleep first, get back to neutral, then gently increase your workout time for optimum wellness.

2. Personal purpose. Go back to your life paragraph—what do you love to do, experience, or dream about? Think about your hob­bies, passions, and pursuits that stay locked in the closet because of zero time or energy. Add spice to your life with something quick and fun (read a book, take a hot bubble bath) or with more purposeful pursuits (teach a cake decorating class or attend one). Start focusing energy on something joyful, even creative, and you will get a charge of positive attitude and motivation for your life.

Review Elder M. Russell Ballard’s counsel to make time for something enjoyable, and write it down. This will help you remember what you like to do and feel good after doing. Choose one and enjoy!

3. Listen to your body. Begin listening to your body by noting its particular signals—what they are and what they mean. Let’s say you’re living pretty healthy right now. You’ve eliminated the emotional drag and practiced the Basic 12, but for some reason, your body won’t lose weight. Or, you’re experiencing some unusual body signals and aren’t sure what they mean.

It’s very possible that your hormones are out of balance. Check out bioidentical hormones with a care provider who is well-researched and informed on the topic. I’ve used them for years and have been grateful for their helping return me to my usual self—energetic, happy and motivated for life. Some great books on the subject are Dr. John Lee’s, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Perimenopause, and Suzanne Somers’ Ageless.”

Faithful-Fit-and-Fabulous_2x3-200x300[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Faithful, Fit and Fabulous: Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life – in just 8 weeks for only $11.69 paperback and $3.99 kindle!]

Excerpt from Motherhood Matters: "Living a Beautiful Life"

Motherhood Matters_2x3[The following is an excerpt from Motherhood Matters, by Connie Sokol. Purchase links found below]

“Playdough is scattered all over the counter. Bikes are strewn in the driveway, hopscotch drawings and bits of colored chalk litter the yard. All are joyful evidences that you are a mother.
And, you can still live an aesthetically beautiful life.
Treasure the small beauties and things that are lovely, praiseworthy or of good report. Use the nice dishes. Buy a small pot of flowers for your bedside. Each week I buy flowers for our kitchen table and look for plump, ripe fruit for the baskets. The pleasure in a perfectly ripe peach cannot be measured!
Take a moment during your week to savor the beautiful things in daily life.
Pretty placemats (easy clean are still beautiful) or a new set of glasses (that actually match, imagine!) Paper napkins add a nice touch, and even a special juice or sparkling cider with dinner.
Make your own loveliness. One woman painted a gorgeous scene on the inside of her modest brick home. Another woman used a “survival” bottle—stuffing extra money in an empty bottle and burying it for needed joy in a future time of desperation.
Find small beauties and enjoy them. Use scented candles in the entry way or lavender bath salts after a long day.
Yes, you’re busy. Yes, the house looks as if children live there. Terrific. Now add to it your sparkle, your item of pop or loveliness that reminds you how beautiful life truly is.”

[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Motherhood Matters, you may purchase the book by clicking HERE or kindle edition by clicking HERE.]

 

Excerpt from Motherhood Matters: “Living a Beautiful Life”

Motherhood Matters_2x3[The following is an excerpt from Motherhood Matters, by Connie Sokol. Purchase links found below]

“Playdough is scattered all over the counter. Bikes are strewn in the driveway, hopscotch drawings and bits of colored chalk litter the yard. All are joyful evidences that you are a mother.

And, you can still live an aesthetically beautiful life.

Treasure the small beauties and things that are lovely, praiseworthy or of good report. Use the nice dishes. Buy a small pot of flowers for your bedside. Each week I buy flowers for our kitchen table and look for plump, ripe fruit for the baskets. The pleasure in a perfectly ripe peach cannot be measured!

Take a moment during your week to savor the beautiful things in daily life.

Pretty placemats (easy clean are still beautiful) or a new set of glasses (that actually match, imagine!) Paper napkins add a nice touch, and even a special juice or sparkling cider with dinner.

Make your own loveliness. One woman painted a gorgeous scene on the inside of her modest brick home. Another woman used a “survival” bottle—stuffing extra money in an empty bottle and burying it for needed joy in a future time of desperation.

Find small beauties and enjoy them. Use scented candles in the entry way or lavender bath salts after a long day.

Yes, you’re busy. Yes, the house looks as if children live there. Terrific. Now add to it your sparkle, your item of pop or loveliness that reminds you how beautiful life truly is.”

[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Motherhood Matters, you may purchase the book by clicking HERE or kindle edition by clicking HERE.]

 

Excerpt from Life is Too Short Series: "Squeezing the Guilt Sponge"

[The following is a excerpt from Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, purchase links below]

“I was at Barnes and Noble studying, re-searching, minding my own business. After a brief walk around the store, looking at new titles, I returned to my original table loaded with my own books brought from home to read when I saw an employee picking up extra books on various tables. Immediately, I wondered about my own texts—would the employee understand that these stacked books were mine, previously bought right here at Barnes and Noble, and not ones I was trying to pilfer? Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with guilt. Even though I had truly purchased those books—the receipt was somewhere at home or in the dog’s kennel—this did not matter. I was flooded with anxiety: “She’s going to think I didn’t buy them and now she’s going to say THIEF in front of everyone in this store and they will stone me with thick biographies.”
Continuing in this ridiculous paranoia I walked to the front counter to pay for two books I was now purchasing—not from guilt of course. I hesitantly asked the cashier, what if, say, I really had bought some books before tonight but didn’t have my receipt and had brought them with me right now, but I thought the store people, she, might think I had really stolen them. She blinked. I took it to mean she thought I was a thief. She slowly said to just relax, as if I had an Uzi in my purse, and suggested I keep future receipts in the books.
It was 45 minutes of total stress, on MY NIGHT OUT, about something that wasn’t true but that I felt guilty for.
Ever felt that?
My guilt wasn’t related to non-stolen books but to all things I have done and not ‘fessed up to. Criminal things, like retelling a story and saying it was Elm Street and later realizing it was Pine Street or parking in front of the Do Not Park sign to return a video.
There are two types of people in this world (“Those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t”) and there are two types of guilt: healthy and pointless. Healthy guilt prompts you to change wrong behavior. Pointless guilt prompts you to eat a box of Ho-Hos. With pointless guilt, you say one thing but think another and mentally carry on several guilt-chats while having a real-life conversation, which, incidentally, annoys real people involved in the real conversation).
It’s time to squeeze the guilt sponge and let the guilt drain out. To do this, try one thing: say to yourself, “I am not perfect.” It sounds simple, even brainless, (“Well, of course I’m not perfect”). Simple things are usually the hardest to practice because of the apparent ease of the process; things like, eat well, exercise regularly, and get adequate rest. No-brainers, guaranteed success, and yet still we say “Oh yes, I should really do that.”
This week try this no-brainer: when you lock yourself out, burn the lasagna or forget your son’s appointment, stop before launching the guilt-attack. Laugh and say “I’m not perfect!” and give the guilt sponge a satisfying squeeze.
 
Life Tip:
When feeling overwhelmed with guilt, stop and enjoy saying “I’m not perfect!”
Book Pick:
I’m a Day Late and a Dollar Shortby JoAnn Larsen”

LifeIsTooShortForOneHairColorFront[This was an excerpt from Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, only 2.99 for Kindle version!]

Excerpt from Life is Too Short Series: “Squeezing the Guilt Sponge”

[The following is a excerpt from Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, purchase links below]

“I was at Barnes and Noble studying, re-searching, minding my own business. After a brief walk around the store, looking at new titles, I returned to my original table loaded with my own books brought from home to read when I saw an employee picking up extra books on various tables. Immediately, I wondered about my own texts—would the employee understand that these stacked books were mine, previously bought right here at Barnes and Noble, and not ones I was trying to pilfer? Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with guilt. Even though I had truly purchased those books—the receipt was somewhere at home or in the dog’s kennel—this did not matter. I was flooded with anxiety: “She’s going to think I didn’t buy them and now she’s going to say THIEF in front of everyone in this store and they will stone me with thick biographies.”

Continuing in this ridiculous paranoia I walked to the front counter to pay for two books I was now purchasing—not from guilt of course. I hesitantly asked the cashier, what if, say, I really had bought some books before tonight but didn’t have my receipt and had brought them with me right now, but I thought the store people, she, might think I had really stolen them. She blinked. I took it to mean she thought I was a thief. She slowly said to just relax, as if I had an Uzi in my purse, and suggested I keep future receipts in the books.

It was 45 minutes of total stress, on MY NIGHT OUT, about something that wasn’t true but that I felt guilty for.

Ever felt that?

My guilt wasn’t related to non-stolen books but to all things I have done and not ‘fessed up to. Criminal things, like retelling a story and saying it was Elm Street and later realizing it was Pine Street or parking in front of the Do Not Park sign to return a video.

There are two types of people in this world (“Those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t”) and there are two types of guilt: healthy and pointless. Healthy guilt prompts you to change wrong behavior. Pointless guilt prompts you to eat a box of Ho-Hos. With pointless guilt, you say one thing but think another and mentally carry on several guilt-chats while having a real-life conversation, which, incidentally, annoys real people involved in the real conversation).

It’s time to squeeze the guilt sponge and let the guilt drain out. To do this, try one thing: say to yourself, “I am not perfect.” It sounds simple, even brainless, (“Well, of course I’m not perfect”). Simple things are usually the hardest to practice because of the apparent ease of the process; things like, eat well, exercise regularly, and get adequate rest. No-brainers, guaranteed success, and yet still we say “Oh yes, I should really do that.”

This week try this no-brainer: when you lock yourself out, burn the lasagna or forget your son’s appointment, stop before launching the guilt-attack. Laugh and say “I’m not perfect!” and give the guilt sponge a satisfying squeeze.

 

Life Tip:

When feeling overwhelmed with guilt, stop and enjoy saying “I’m not perfect!”

Book Pick:

I’m a Day Late and a Dollar Shortby JoAnn Larsen”

LifeIsTooShortForOneHairColorFront[This was an excerpt from Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, only 2.99 for Kindle version!]

Excerpt from Life is Too Short Series: "What's Your Passion?"

[The following is an excerpt from Life is Too Short for Sensible Shoes. Purchase links below]

“That’s right, today we’re going sit down and talk about passion. As in, do you have a juicy, fiery, get-you-up-in-the-morning personal passion, or, like most of us, a dusty one in the attic somewhere, that we used to love to do, back in 1972…
For me,  I have always aspired to be a writer. Some people are born with silver spoon; I came with a Bic pen and yellow legal pad. Throughout childhood I surrounded myself with stacks of books and papers, scribbling notes for the always future best-selling novel.
Inspired at age 12, I proudly wrote my first novel “My Mom and Me,” the quality of which immediately brings to mind Anne Lammott’s sentiments in Bird by Bird:
“Every writer has a book that will never be published … This will be yours.”
However, the writing attempt prompted my five-star poem on Paul Revere’s Ride that actually made it to the principal’s desk. My proud teacher told me that the principal couldn’t believe it was done by a sixth grader. At last, I thought, I have talent.
In high school I developed my writing passion through advertising competitions, earned national honors of all things, and wrote to compensate for obvious non-talents. Of note, when our college housing group did a classical music recital, I was without classical talent. Not wanting to be left on the sidelines, I composed and sang (using the verb loosely) humorous verse to the tune of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, a funny song that I still use in my speaking.
The important point here is that discovering and pursuing a passion is often not some climb-the-mountain shazammy experience–it’s usually found in doing a little bit here and a little bit there. The trick is to level extreme thinking, which may seem like an oxymoron when combined with the word passion. Throughout my life I have kept writing, even when it’s lousy, and even though I couldn’t do it full-time.
Weaving writing into life in other ways has brought great fulfillment and a good example to our children. To help them pursue a passion, we observe their interests and move them forward. This depends on the interest—for example, if it’s an air soft gun passion, we largely ignore it. Our oldest son has had many passions (should I say obsessions?), starting with Thomas the Tank Engine, through Legos, adding Pokemon cards and finally striking gold with a coin collection; this we can get behind. We take him to coin stores (once a month tempers the obsession), find mentors (older patient neighbor coin collectors) and ask our friends to bring home coins from their foreign trips.
Helping children find role models and mentors helps a passion become a possible job opportunity or scholarship. Keeping children focused on positive pursuits helps them develop talents as well as reminding parents that passions are for old and young alike.
To discover and pursue a passion for yourself, just begin to do what you love. As a child I soaked up all kinds of books, from Nancy Drew to Lord of the Rings (and didn’t understand a word). Reading Little Women, I identified with Jo—ink on my middle finger and our homemade version of the Pickwick Papers. Then in college I read the core classics: Dickens, Hemingway, and People magazine. All these deposits add to the passion account. Whatever your passion—oil painting, pottery or gardening—you can do something today: a summer class, supplies, an informative chat with an expert found in the Yellow Pages.
Developing a passion makes life’s experiences more purposeful and fulfilling. Writing columns pre- and post-childbirth has helped me do personal therapy, share life-changing principles and become a better writer. Instead of putting my supplies in a closet for 20 years, I now use our family life adventures as food for thought, helping others springboard to their learning along the way. So this week I invite you to rekindle a former hobby or discover a new passion just for fun, and see where your positive passion takes you!”

LifeISTooShortForSensibleShoesFront[We hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Life is Too Short for Sensible Shoes, only $2.99 for kindle version!]