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I'm looking for expert guest bloggers!

If you have some expertise that could help my readers strengthen one of the essential connections in their life -- with self, with others, with God, or with Nature -- pitch me your idea and why you are qualified to write about it. Here are my guest blogging guidelines: http://www.heartspoken.com/guest-blogger-guidelines

Win, Lose, Or Draw? Losing Can Be Good For You!

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You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.” ~ attributed to Satchel Paige Winners and losers I spent nine years on the Shenandoah County School Board, and during that time, I read all I could about education and what experts thought they knew about […]

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Where’s Your NNT (Non-Negotiable Time)?

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Hey, busy people, listen up! If you are serious about trying to strengthen your essential life connections—any of them—you’ve got to get serious about taking care of yourself. I know; I know. I’m the pot calling the kettle black. But hey, I’m still learning and improving, and figuring things out too, so let’s do it […]

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Sacred Space Is All Around

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The late afternoon light streaming through our pine woods creates heavenly beams illuminating the exquisite beauty and design of each tree and shrub, each bough and needle, casting long shadows in a foretaste of the evening to come. Even in winter, this time of day never ceases to thrill me with its visual drama and […]

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Go Wild For Wildflowers At Your Nearest State Or National Park

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It’s time for wildflowers! The local wildflowers in the Shenandoah Valley can appear as early as March, but by late April and May, they are everywhere. My husband and I saw some purple Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) and some Common Blue Violet (Viola papilonacea) on a walk this weekend (late March) on the Skyline Drive. […]

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Five Secrets To Connecting With Almost Anyone

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“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People I’m not a connection expert; I’m a connection curator. Just because I study a great deal to learn what’s […]

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Can You Separate The Threads Of Life’s Essential Connections?

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This almost became a Christian blog Until I recently established an editorial schedule of writing about each of the four essential life connections at least twice a month, I found myself gravitating towards writing about my spiritual journey more often than any other topic. Blog gurus suggest the more clearly you define your niche, the […]

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Danger * Roadblock * Detour!

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I could hear the ominous roar of the water long before I could see it— powerful and menacing—a stark contrast to the exquisitely blue sky and sunny Saturday afternoon in late February. I was foregoing a workout at the gym to enjoy a favorite walk along the country roads near our home, iPhone camera in […]

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How do you feel about getting old?

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Aging may be inevitable but… I am fortunate. I am surrounded by close family members who are living well into their 80s and 90s and who are still active, engaged, contributing, and inspiring. I still call my 98-year-old uncle when I have trouble identifying a bird, and he still plays tennis with his friends almost […]

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Connection Protects Us From Comparison, Scarcity, and Shame

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I am a big fan of Dr. Brené Brown—author, speaker, teacher, and shame researcher—because she is helping us all realize how to set ourselves free. Free from: the tyranny of “shoulds,” the dangers of comparing ourselves with others when we’re imperfect and we’re enough, the waste of harboring a scarcity mentality when there is abundance all […]

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Book Review: I Am A Church Member

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I Am A Church Member: Discovering The Attitude That Makes The Difference by Thom S. Rainer This is a jewel of a book: small in size but priceless in its simple, powerful message for anyone who cares about the well-being of Christian congregations in the world today and who genuinely wants to be a more effective […]

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Nature’s Amazing Web Of Interconnectedness: Wolves Regenerate Ecosystems In Yellowstone

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir The trophic cascade: a miracle of nature This four-and-a-half-minute video, narrated by author George Monbiot, powerfully portrays the phenomenon called the trophic cascade: “an ecological process that starts at the top of the food […]

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Book Review: 168 HOURS: You Have More Time Than You Think

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“It is safe to say that time has become the primary obsession of modern life. Some people are having enough sex. Some people have enough money. But no one seems to have enough hours in the day.” Laura Vanderkam in 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think Who doesn’t want more time? I’m sure […]

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You’re Awake…You’re Awesome…Live Like It!

Kid President’s words of wisdom to a newborn This young man will make your day in his advice to anyone who’s new to this world. If you ever find as much great wisdom packed into four short minutes, please let me know! It was hard to pick just one piece of it for the title. […]

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Should Christians Forgive AND Forget?

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We’re commanded to forgive those who trespass against us Since the beginning of God’s relationship with mankind, God has spoken through his prophets about forgiveness of our sins. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. (Daniel 9:9) “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins […]

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Join The Great Backyard Bird Count This Month!

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17th annual count Friday, February 14, through Monday, February 17, 2014 [If you're reading this in a later year, go to the GBBC website for the correct dates.] Watching birds and learning about them is one of my favorite activities. It has taught me to be more observant and to feel more connected with the natural […]

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If You’re In A Shell, You’re Not Alone…

Do you feel alone and isolated? Never think you’re alone, even if it feels that way. Never underestimate yourself just because you’re not an extrovert. The world needs your light, just as it needs the light of this video’s subject, Harry Shum, Jr.. Let your light shine! Have you struggled with being shy? What has helped […]

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Deliver This After I’m Gone: Why Write Posthumous Notes To Loved Ones?

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Welcome to my guest Debbie Gruber, founder of Heart Writing. Her story—and her business—take a fascinating approach to connection and the writing of personal handwritten notes. I believe it’s worth your consideration. —————————————————— Why send a message for delivery after you’re gone? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss the value of posthumous notes.  To […]

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3 Great Apps For Nature Lovers

Smartphone users have amazing apps that enhance and facilitate access to information they want when they’re on the go. I’m just discovering some fantastic apps to help me achieve my goal of becoming more knowledgeable and aware of the natural world around me. Here are three of the most interesting I’ve discovered recently. Two of […]

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Hearing God’s Voice In a Noisy World: 6 Ways God Might Be Speaking To You

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Does God still speak to us? Yes! Scripture,  Christian writings, and personal anecdotes from devout Christians are clear that God has spoken to us throughout history and still speaks. What throws us off sometimes is having preconceived ideas about how God might speak to us and not recognizing it when He speaks in ordinary or […]

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It’s National Handwriting Day — Reach Out And Touch Someone

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John Hancock remembered John Hancock, one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence, is known primarily for his fancy signature on the document. National Handwriting Day is celebrated each year on January 23,  Hancock’s birthday. The day was founded in 1977 by the Writing Instrument manufacturers Association (WIMA) to celebrate the pleasure and […]

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