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Stack of envelopes tied with string You know that stash of special letters you've tucked away?

I'm collecting examples of letters or notes that have impacted people's lives to include in a book I'm writing. If you have one you're willing to share, please scan and email it to me: elizabethc (at) heartspoken (dot) com, along with any explanation and your name, city, and state -- or it can be anonymous if you prefer. If you'd rather send it by mail (and I'd love to get a handwritten note from you!), send to Heartspoken, P.O. Box 81, Maurertown, VA 22644.

Would A 30-Day Passion Project Get You Back In Touch With Your Life’s Purpose?

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What is a Passion Project? The 30-Day Passion Project is a brainchild of Laura West, founder of The Center For Joyful Business, creative business coach, author, and speaker. Laura is the co-leader of my mastermind group and is creative director at the group’s retreats. She is a dynamic and talented woman. She has a gift for […]

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Create Quiet Time For The Little Thinkers In Your Life

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/considerthismoment/Program_495.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Sometimes the most precious gift we can give our young children or grandchildren is the gift of quiet listening. My guest, Connection Messenger* Annette Petrick shares some simple wisdom that will equip you well the next time you find yourself with the chance to create quiet time […]

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Encouraging Thunder Award

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Unexpected recognition What a thrill to receive the “Encouraging Thunder Award” recently for this blog.  Many thanks to my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly Walker, for her nomination. Be sure to visit Kelly Walker’s blog “Life of a Daily Painter.” Kelly not only chronicles her daily painting adventure, but she encourages others to paint and shares the work […]

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Nature Is Speaking, But Are We Listening?

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Nature is speaking… One of my most urgent messages to you about our connection with nature is that it is a gift from our Creator and an essential part of our physical and spiritual well-being. That’s a day-in-day-out reality. …but are we listening? Thinking longer term, however, if we don’t strive to protect our natural […]

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Love, Fear, Wisdom, And The Exquisite Beauty Of The World Around You

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This week has been crazy, and I’m determined to be kinder to myself when I don’t get everything done I want to do. I haven’t written a post this week, but I have come across some absolutely stunning insights on the power of connection from other sources. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to let their […]

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Why I’m Ditching Facebook: Reflections on Connection by Rick Wilcox

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This thought-provoking piece, written by my friend Rick Wilcox, appeared originally on his Literary Life blog. I am reprinting it with his permission, and I hope you’ll head over there and read other posts he has written. I find them both intellectually and spiritually nourishing. Rick is a greatly appreciated Heartspoken Connection Messenger.* As a serious […]

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Make Someone Smile: Connection Lesson From A Grieving Orphan

My friend Nancy Camden just posted this video on her Facebook page about a six-year-old orphan whose goal is to make as many people as possible smile. He connected with them one by one and gave them a simple, tiny toy, but the results were nothing short of a miracle. I dare you not to […]

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Compassion: So Much More Than Pity

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The word won’t go away The word compassion has been coming often to my mind lately…the kind of niggling, repetitive showing up of a thought I’ve come to recognize as Spirit trying to teach me something. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, compassion‘s etymology can be traced back to French which came originally from Latin: com– “together” or […]

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How Walking Has Opened The Door To A Beautiful New World

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Walking for exercise became walking for exploration Back in early March, when I bought myself a Fitbit Flex Wristband, I had no idea I would be unleashing my inner naturalist. A Fitbit is one of those little thing-a-ma-jiggies (see picture and Amazon link at the bottom of this post) you either clip or strap to your body to […]

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7 Spiritual Growth Lessons Learned From My Grapevines

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Grapes at Cave Ridge Vineyard photographed by Rod Shepherd and used with permission For years, we had lush and lovely grapevines growing along a wood-and-wire fence behind our country home. We pruned, watered, and fertilized them, enjoying the sweet, luscious grapes and turning them into juice, jam, jelly, conserve, and even pie. Having lived with grapes and grapevines […]

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What Will You Do With Your Next 24 Hours?

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http://traffic.libsyn.com/considerthismoment/339_24_hours.mp3 Podcast: Play in new window | Download Every day holds the potential for amazing opportunity, growth, and accomplishment. My guest today, Connection Messenger* Annette Petrick, challenges us to use our next 24 hours to be all we can possibly be. Use the audio player above to listen to this 90-second show…or enjoy reading the transcript below. I […]

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Self Discovery: I’m Not Cut Out For A 30-Day Challenge

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30-Day Challenges are all the rage They’re extremely popular in my world of internet marketing and online business. I find them extremely alluring for several reasons: They don’t require a long-term commitment. They offer the promise of some form of self-improvement or progress. They provide instant accountability by declaring your goals to others in the group. They theoretically […]

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A Better Connection

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Today’s guest is Connection Messenger* Esther Miller. From the vantage point of a family member’s porch steps, she enjoys the late afternoon and finds a connection far better than WiFi and television—a connection with nature. Wireless connectivity is almost non-existent in this little midwestern town where we’re celebrating family and history on the Fourth of July. My usual nightly […]

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Heaven Is Closer Than You Think: A Book Review

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Miracles from Heaven: A Little girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing Written by Christy Wilson Beam Reviewed by Elizabeth H. Cottrell I was approached by this book’s publicist to read and review it (with absolutely no compensation or pressure for a good review), and while I was somewhat skeptical of […]

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Make Someone’s Day Today

Never, ever underestimate the influence you have on others. You may not even remember the biggest impact you’ve ever had on someone. Whether you remember it or not, you have made someone’s life better by something you said or something you did, and you can do it again and again. In the video above, Drew […]

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Have You Hit A Rough Road In Your Life?

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It’s inevitable You’re driving happily along life’s highway, enjoying sunny skies and beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden… BAM! You get slammed with an unexpected turn of events, a setback, perhaps even a tragedy, scary medical diagnosis, or loss. Suddenly everything changes and you’re floundering for a way to cope when all you want […]

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The 1957 Letter That Encouraged Me To Write

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The envelope above held a later letter from my grandfather postmarked 1965. I didn’t have the envelope from the 1957 letter described in this article. My grandfather, Robert Beverley Herbert, was 78 years old when he wrote the letter below to me, his seven-year-old granddaughter in Virginia. He was a busy attorney in Columbia, South Carolina, yet he […]

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Let’s Be Bridge Builders

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I was returning Sunday afternoon from a remarkable connection experience at the Word Shark Writers’ Conference in Newark, Delaware, with several women, all writers, who had in common that we’d each worked with editor Karen R. Sanderson, the Word Shark. We had crossed virtual paths, but had never met in person, and in the two-and-a-half days […]

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Belonging: The Ultimate Connection

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I welcome The Very Rev. Alexander D. MacPhail, Connection Messenger* and today’s guest blogger. This piece appeared in a recent parish newsletter, and I share it with his permission. It speaks beautifully about three of the essential types of connections that we focus on here at Heartspoken: connection with self, connection with others, and connection with […]

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Tree Swallow Attack: Mothers Are The Same Everywhere

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Curiosity was my downfall There’s a precious birdhouse in our backyard that my sister and brother-in-law gave me a couple of years ago. We mounted it on a wooden beam in the yard that used to hold a bug zapper (which we removed because it attracted more insects than it zapped). For the second year in a […]

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