Master Key System 8:5 If your thought has been critical or destructive, and has resulted in any condition of discord or inharmony in your environment, it may be necessary for you to cultivate a mental attitude which will be conducive to constructive thought.

Translation: if your thoughts have been critical or destructive and have caused you unpleasant experiences or relationships … you have choices to make! Which door will you choose? Will you decide to feed blame, anger and critical frustration over your “lot in life?” Will you choose the door that keeps you plodding along, resigned to being a powerless victim? Or will you choose to walk through the door that takes advantage of the most powerful mechanism God ever created, the human mind? Haanel and the Bible teach the creative power of thought and word.

First let me expand the meaning of a few words from Haanel’s message in 8:5:

Cultivate ~ try to acquire or develop something, like an ability, skill or attitude.

Mental attitude ~ a way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that’s reflected in your behavior.

Conducive ~ causes or produces something.

Constructive ~ serves a useful purpose or builds up.

So … here’s the invitation should you choose to except it … and who wouldn’t right? If you really want to add value to people in life AND make a creative adventure out of your days, of course you’ll say yes!

If negative stuff is manifesting around you it may be necessary [required, essential] for you to cultivate [develop] a mental attitude [way of thinking or feeling about someone or something that shows in your behavior] which will be conducive [cause or produce behavior] that’s constructive [serves a useful purpose or builds up a person or a relationship].

The Bible even hints at this idea: Ephesians 4:29 ~

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (I suppose this includes you!)
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Haanel follows his invitation with a specific tool. In 8:6 he suggests cultivating [developing] your imagination [forming new ideas or images or concepts not present right now to your senses]

He goes on in 8:10 and describes imagination as the plastic stuff or the material used to create new thoughts, new forms and new ideals.

The short version: The stuff surrounding you NOW is the result of what you thought BEFORE. Beginning today, you’re choosing to create something different and new! Your strategy:

1. decide to cultivate a mental attitude conducive to constructive thought about the stuff surrounding you.

2. Cultivate your imagination.

So ~ here ya’ go, there ya’ go and off ya’ go.

This is a mighty big puzzle piece, with virtually unlimited potential to change the expression of life for you and those you do life with! Change your thinking change your life; here’s a way.

❤️ Miriam


Photo by Bas Masseus on



“… do you not now and then feel the self within you?’ Haanel 7:30

Nicole does. She took her place Saturday in the front row of the MSU Marching Band Color Guard. The music from “World’s Greatest Showman” filled the stadium with power and electrical energy. Dancing to the choreographed movement of this elite ensemble, Nicole danced and twirled. She was in her ZONE.

Her face face expressed pure, focused intensity and delight. The flow of the flag and the precise timing of each movement looked effortless. Nicole was in her life “sweet spot” Saturday, with the color guard, the band and the music at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Anyone watching her on the field in those moments could see that Nicole, the real-deal young woman she was created to be, was unfolding and shining brightly before our eyes.

The movement looked effortless. It was as if Nicole was born with the natural talent to dance and smile and move with precision, strength and grace. However, there is a backstory. She’s been practicing and honing her skill relentlessly for 5 years. She’s worked hundreds of hours (maybe thousands now) tossing the flag and spinning the rifle and sabre, practicing precision, building strength and discipline daily.

Her relentless investment of heart and muscle, time-choice and energy have given Nicole two gifts. She has the privilege of marching with this elite musical organization. Deeper still, her choices have given her capacity and skill to courageously and clearly express her “Real You”.

Haanel asked the question if there is a time when when one feels the self within. Nicole’s inspiring performance on Saturday answered a resounding YES. She does. Every fiber of her being resonated I AM ME and I AM HERE. Nicole’s inspiring “all in” draws the “all in” commitment from a new place inside of me.

This grandma is inspired to earnestly commit to the discover, express, grow, stretch process for myself. When she shines Nicole, it inspires me to shine me.

Thank you.


The Four Jackets ~ Part 1

I’m reading Don Michel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. Reading chapter two I begin to see and understand that there is some things I’ve been figuratively wearing for a lifetime, like four tiny jackets, and none of the jackets fits me — not one of them ever did. Each jacket has sleeves dragging on the ground, holes in the fabric, and broken zippers. The darn things aren’t even a good color for me, so I look like toothpaste and feel ashamed, embarrassed, ugly and small wearing them. The jackets are created from words, thoughts, opinions and expectations of tradition, culture or other people. Don Michel says that breathing in the truth of the four agreements he describes will change my life. I believe that.

BE IMPECCABLE WITH MY WORDS, is the first agreement and it lines up beautifully with the Bible. This material is deep and beautifully intricate, but two of the main points I initially glean are:

  1.  The power of the spoken word, for both good and evil, regardless of whether our use is intentional or accidental. Words plant seeds into our hearts and minds, changing the trajectory of life.
  2. The need to prepare fertile heart-soil to accept seeds of truth.

Ruiz explains how God created EVERYTHING using the power of the spoken word. The gift to create comes “directly from God” and enables me to manifest everything (the good, the bad and the ugly) in life. Scripture says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. We have the power to create love, beauty and life by confidently seeking, expecting and speaking the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Gal. 5: 22-23.) The jacket I’m wearing, representing how I see myself, shapes and constrains my capacity to see the good, or even desire to see it.

According to the Bible, there’s no law against these! But, guess what… we can only receive these thought benefits, with a heart and a mind open and ready to let the seeds of theses beautiful fruits be planted and grown.

I’m curious, what are you believing about yourself and about God that prepares the soil for seeds of truth? Or maybe flip it and consider what you are believing about yourself and about God that makes it such hard work to believe that the world is filled with the fruit of His goodness and kindness…

I Write

blue and purple color pencils

I Wrote.

I was holding a pencil, laying on my stomach and writing by copying the words from the pages of a mighty big, book, almost before I could read. Yikes… I realize that the Earth has traveled around the Sun 65+ times since I was born with writing hardwired into my very DNA.

If I cared, I’d be really curious “Why?” I’d wonder the “why” of a writer living a lifetime limiting thoughts on a page mostly to Thank You notes and little love notes to my kids from THE HOUSE FAIRY (a fictional fairy named mom, responsible for sometimes helping my children keep the stuff in their rooms up off the floor.)

I love, love, love color and words that embrace the depth and the curious drama of life …. and love the idea of routinely dumping them out onto pages. It’s TIME for this grandma’s beautiful, rainbow-splash thoughts to spill out of her head and onto a page; watching with delight how they assemble themselves.

Krav Maga Friend

“[Krav Maga is] built on simple principles, instinctive movements, and practical techniques. [It] started as the official self-defense system of the Israel Defense Forces. To this day it remains a favorite among law enforcement agencies, military personnel, and anyone who is interested in making the transformation of a lifetime. That’s right — anyone.” (Krav Maga Worldwide Website description)

Tough. Focused. Aggressive. Clear. Strong. Powerful. These are words that come to mind as I think back on my Krav Maga class observation. My friend recently passed a belt advancement test into the next level in this world class self defense and fitness training. Over breakfast this morning, she trusted me with her story of attending a weekend de-escalation conference with elite Marine physical and martial arts trainers. I’m awed and excited at her courage.

Conference leadership were men that she deeply admires and looks up to. These people are the “creme de la creme” of the people she admires most in life. Each leader demonstrates the discipline, skills, mental focus and “grit” to move into some of life’s toughest interactions, and move the interaction toward a safe resolution. Each resolves real life and death emergencies, tough human interactions, as well as training elite forces of our US military in self defense and near range combat. This caliber of leadership was the group that this amazing friend spent time with.

Her mentors mentor is mentored and trained by these leaders. (That’s an awkward way to saying that because of her mentor, she had access to down-time and experiences with the leadership of this elite event.) She witnessed interactions, heard conversations and evaluations other participants weren’t privy to, over dinner and drinks. She came home awed at her own courage, the experience and the level of privilege she’d been granted.

I’m curious. Did the connection with a higher level of excellence and performance also leave her wondering what new paths might be available to her, if she chooses to continue to cultivate the greatest version of herself? Her mental focus and force of will is established. She already gives these permission to grow and evolve.

She’s in the process of looking at potential impediments to stepping more fully onto the path that delights, excites and challenges her; her personal hero’s journey “next step.” She’s looking at variables and counting the cost of each one. Smart woman.

She’s already a champion, calling her own shots and selectively discounting comments of discouraging naysayers outside of her “wonder woman” tribe. She’s facing one of the many phase gates life’s journey contains, and taking time to ponder.

Blessings and wisdom as you assess and determine what best nourishes your passion and grows the powerful, inspirational spirit God packed inside of you. Go Go Go! Thanks for sharing the passion, the story, and the complicated conundrum. I’m excited to walk alongside, whatever path you choose.

Great Hike!

I did it! I hiked to the summit of Brown’s Mountain this morning. The daunting, dusty trail lay before me, as well as the prospect of reading the trail map alone. I always count on the aide of my amazing husband to be both map reader and trail guide. He chose not join me today but, before I left the house, he handed me the trail map and quietly asked me to take it. My short retort was, “Don’t need it, can’t read it.”

Yikes! Who said that four letter contraction of the words CAN NOT? Could it possibly be the same woman who drove across most of the USA alone, without a real map or driving glasses, a few short years ago? The moment I heard those words come out of my mouth, I knew I had to do three things:

  1. Take the map
  2. Read the map
  3. Select a challenging trail

However, while driving toward the trailhead, my resolve wavered a bit and I briefly considered choosing another Saturday morning hike on the nearby Quartz Trail. This is one I know and am able to virtually do in my sleep. But, THANKFULLY Brown’s Mountain and the more challenging trail continued to beckon and call my heart to higher heights and grander vistas.

Approaching the trailhead, I asked a volunteer steward for his wisdom about a new, more challenging trail than the one I’d completed yesterday. He marked out his suggestion and also shared a brief bit of ranch history. So happy and thankful he did. Half way up the trail I saw the foundation and water tank remains, as he said I would.

Brown's Ranch 1

The abandoned foundations of these buildings sat off in the distance, surrounded by nothing by desolate desert.

It’s 9:30am, April 7 and the temp in this beautiful desert is already 91 degrees. The afternoon hours and summer days only mean greater heat. What prompts someone to live here? Possibly the Brown family struck out alone, in a place with few family or friends willing to join along. The mountain honoring the family name and the abandoned building foundations testify that the family did, in fact, take the challenge. The two pics that follow might give us a clue to the motivation…

Goldie Brown

did they build and settle in the beautiful Sonoran Desert for the love of the horse and the promise of raising cattle? It’s really impossible to know for sure.

Brown's Ranch

But, in a strange way, the Brown family and I have one small thing in common. I hiked a trail challenge, using a map, taking the Summit Spur Trail and arriving at the summit of Brown’s Mountain. I took a pinnacle moment to experience the beauty and exhilaration of my accomplishment. Knowing I could do it, I did.

I believe that there must have been moments, even amidst the heat of this harsh, relentless desert environment, when the Brown family experienced the same I DID IT feelings. Maybe Mr. Brown and his bride (Goldie, pictured above), or one of their children or grandkids stood atop the same summit, viewing a world class Arizona sunset and hearing a heart-whisper say, “Great hike! You made it! You did it!”

For me, the person I thought I needed along to complete the hike (my husband), would’ve hindered the depth of my personal satisfaction. I did it… following my own path, alone. I honor the family who established Brown’s Ranch and years later donated the tract of land for all of us to share and enjoy. Today, with that family, I share a very tiny piece of the celebration of stepping forward into the bigger vision of who God created each of us to be.

“Great Hike, Mr. Brown.”… “Great Hike, Miriam”



Someone’s Sweet Baby Girl

A young lady in her early 20’s was in a recent car accident, pronounced brain dead and died, all within about 24 hours. One day she was someone’s sweet baby girl, a living, breathing daughter, friend, sister. She was alive that last day and now, the very next day, she’s not.

Who told her how loved and cherished she was? Who mentioned the richness and beauty life contained because she was in it? Did anyone “seize the moment” and forgive a past hurt she may have caused or let her know that her mistakes could be overlooked, in favor of the peace that comes from simply moving forward and releasing the past into God’s big, capable hands?

I hope all of this and more. Not for the precious, beautiful young woman who suddenly tasted death and is twirling with Jesus now. But, for the peace, healing and grief process of those she left behind. My wish and hope for her family, friends and for all of us, is that there are words spoken and connections made, so there’s not the burning regret of “things I wish I’d said.”

She will always be someone’s sweet baby girl, but she won’t ever again be here to hear it.

MK Week 17HJ Pennies from Heaven

penny from heaven

Many years ago a delightful, elderly man attended our small, country church. In his gentle way, he shared wisdom and humor with all of us. He attended alone but I never heard the back story. Had his wife died years earlier? Was she home with a caregiver during that time, freeing him to come worship and connect with our loving body of Mennonite Christians? I don’t know. But here’s what I know: no one, young or old, came away from a connection time or a chat with him without feeling loved. I never felt judgement or corrected, no opinions were shared about how I might parent or dress better or love my spouse differently. I was enjoyed and appreciated and it seemed to be that everyone else was too. Nothing but love there.

One Sunday, shortly before he died, he placed a tattered envelope into the offering plate. The outside of the envelope was labeled “Pennies from heaven”, in the shaky scrawl of the elderly. The small bank envelope was filled with pennies.

Where’d they come from? A glorious family adventure to the ocean, a walk to the bookstore, the grocery parking lot? I can only imagine. It seems to me that people who stoop to pick up pennies are “detail noticers.” Those who notice and value the small things in life. Those who, really seeing, take a moment to bend or bow and really connect for a moment with life.

The life of the “heavenly penny man” demonstrated that tender connection. Each encounter I experienced I saw that willingness to set himself aside and openly value, accept and love others.

This heightened awareness of life and people has been part of the Franklin Makeover, the Master Key Experience and now my personal “hero’s journey.” My grace and compassion levels continue to expand beyond the tiny boxes I’ve had them in. I realize that I’m swimming in that ocean of abundance. Just like the kind man from another place and time, I’m beginning to see that there are beautiful people experiences everywhere on the planet. It’s becoming impossible NOT to see them, now that the veil has been lifted and I realize it’s been here from the get-go. My “shiny penny” life is glowing, as I collect and share the kindness, grace, focus, compassion and all of the tender goodness people and this life have to offer.

I wanna be like the shiny penny man, soaking up all the goodness I see everywhere and letting it ooze out of me. Stooping low or reaching out to receive kindness, grace and compassion, those tiny, massive “heavenly pennies”, cherishing and examining them for the moment then immediately letting them flow out of my life, into the lives of others.

MK Week 16: Permission

I am giving myself permission to be happy. Now. Doing it now. Not when all of the painful stuff of life is “figured out” like I wish it to be. Not when everything is working and smoothly wonderful. I am happy right here, right now. I have a wonderful life and am connecting with amazing and wonderful people who are helping to grow me and challenge me into a place bigger and lovelier than where I am right now. So, I choose to be happy and I give myself permission to do exactly that.

I read a quote that said: Be Happy and the Reason Will Appear. That sounds crazy backwards… unless I know a super secret. I know that the things I focus on grow and are attracted to me. If I want to attract happy, I darn well better make a mighty big space for that!!

So, I give myself permission to be happy and let the old trash and the deeply painful stuff either be hauled away, or gently packed into the “tender treasures” box to be examined and lovingly grieved at another time… or not. But for now, I’ll be happy. Packing away the pain and sadnesses makes space in my life for happy and fun and peace and joy and kindness to appear out of nowhere… everywhere! These treasured gifts are EVERYWHERE, if I choose to release the other stuff into the hands of my kind, gentle, loving Heavenly Father and let Him carry the weight. This frees me up to … dance and do yoga and make smoothies and laugh and play games with friends and with grandkids. Maybe even to hike the Grand Canyon with my sweet yoga instructor and maybe to write some additional blog posts. But, mostly just to move merrily along on the Miriam path. The path that makes huge space for encouraging family and old and new friends to love and enjoy life and the moments it’s filled with. Encouraging and modeling being the most expansive and loveliest we can each possibly be right now! Now! In the place where we’re each planted. Lovingkindness extended to those we each connect with… doing it now.

Giving myself permission to be happy makes space for all of this and lots more. I’ll pick that life!

Week 13: The Gossamer Drive

Yesterday, my faith jumped. Experiencing the power of the MKMMA material in a new way, I felt a veil lift. For a brief moment, I was on the other side. I moved in another dimension. Being the observer, receiver and the driver, I was somehow living in the substance of faith and belief. Each time I stepped away and watched it unfolding, it felt “other worldly” and pretty bizarre. I could’ve been driving blindfolded.


gossamer drive

Here’s the backstory: my first morning appointment ran longer than expected, leaving me a 27+ minute drive to stop number 2. My schedule allowed only 15 minutes. Setting my GPS and repeating to myself, “I always start on time”, I pulled into the flow of Christmas traffic. Knowing that I needed to maintain a state of quietness, belief and rest, I began quietly singing and searching for red circles. Each time I felt a brief nudge to change course from my GPS route, I did. When the nudge said to follow a series of “pace cars” ahead of me, I followed, changing lanes and slowly dancing through the traffic. Because “I always start on time,” I expected I’d make my next time slot. The great majority of traffic lights turned green for 12+ miles of shopper traffic. I flowed.

The Holy Spirit brought “Ask and you shall receive”, to mind a couple of times, as the traffic moved eastward and I moved along with it. Feeling a tiny doubt creep in twice, I countered by more exuberant singing and greater red circle thankfulness. It was as if I was being pulled along by an invisible thread. There was NO stress, NO tension and NO need for quick, reckless evasive moves or lane changes.

Result? A 27 minute trip completed in 19 minutes. I arrived only 4 minutes late, by the clock. My contact wasn’t ready for me, so I had a few quiet minutes, in the waiting room. I sat. A state bordering on reverent awe enveloped me. From the client’s perspective, I started on time.

Lesson learned: follow and trust the gossamer thread and sing louder through uncertainty. I’ve experienced something quietly magical. How can I live in that place of trust and belief?