What to Read: Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married


I love Dr. Chapman’s work on Love Languages and this is a great practical application to lay a solid foundation for marriage.

Thanks, Girl Meets Fiction, for your review!



The Perfect You

I am reading Dr. Caroline Leaf’s latest book, The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity. If you have read it, please leave your thoughts in the comment section here, I look forward to learning from your take aways!

“The most important facet of all my research and practice, however, is individual Choice.

The moment people recognize the power of their minds-the individuality of their thinking and how they have control over their lives-they are truly able to transform their world.”

“When people see themselves the way God sees them, as his wonderful works and particular reflections of His Image, then they see what is inside of them and perceive the universe in a different way (Psalm 139:14).”

A Share from MindMaps Unleashed 


I am honored. I guess that’s what comes from Mind Mapping for nearly a quarter century!

Map on, friends. 

Brain Byte: Focused Reading

For years I have been involved in an in-depth Bible Study.  Some may think it too in-depth at a glance and say, “you spent one whole week in ONE chapter?”  However, brain researchers concur that focused reading has greater benefit than ‘cramming’ your studies.

Read More of Less

Reading, in general, is good for the brain. But reading fewer books and articles so you can give each of them more focused attention may be even better. “Our brain doesn’t do very well with too much information. The more you download, the more it shuts the brain down,” says Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas. “It’s better to read one or two good articles and think about them in a deeper sense rather than read 20.”

BiggerPlate Mind Mapping Conference

I am super excited to share with you an opportunity coming soon to New York City on March 10, 2016.  It is the BiggerPlate Mind Mapping Conference.  From their website:

Join the only conference in the world dedicated entirely to mind mapping!

Our annual member conference boasts highly impressive speaker contributions, as well as opportunities to participate in interactive sessions where you can share your views, and learn from other atttendees! Biggerplate Unplugged focuses on opportunities, innovation, and collaboration within the mind mapping world, and we invite you to join us in New York for another great gathering of the Biggerplate mind mapping community!

Theme: Mind Mapping for the 21st Century Knowledge Worker

We believe mind mapping software is the missing link and the must-have tool for modern workers in business and education. Our mind map library contains thousands of free mind map templates and mind mapping examples to show you how real people around the world are using mind maps every day to improve their working and learning!

I hope you can join in on the event.  The price is $129, which seems like a great price point for the shared learning experience.  I am unable to make it this year, but am aiming for 2017 and beyond.

In addition, I believe you will find the Mind Map samples and other resources available at Bigger Plate’s website quite valuable.

Go out and create!

Maker of the Sea



Brain Byte: Put Your Smartphone Down and Look Around

Photo Credit: Meme Binge on Flickr

Photo Credit: Meme Binge on Flickr

My husband has not worn a watch in the 30 years that I have known him, yet he can tell you the time within minutes. He seems to have an innate sense of time. He can also drive me almost anywhere within our state without using a GPS. In fact, he says, “Turn that thing off!” If I enlist the help of the friendly Navigator App on my smartphone. He has a keen picture in his mind of where he is going; keeps his sense of direction and navigates more by his internal compass than actual road names. He knows if he goes about 20 miles east, 4 miles south, takes a turn west at the destination road, that he will soon arrive where he set out to be.

He is also aware of the environment around him: he watches the clouds, feels the air, and smells a storm a mile away. According to the “world’s smartest person” Marilyn Vos Savant in her book, Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks, my husband is doing the work of a genius.

Ms. Vos Savant suggests in Brain Builders #44 that we stop wearing a watch or looking at a clock for one week and instead start tuning into time. She points to the fact that animals have body clocks and so do humans. However, we are losing touch with our natural rhythms of time due to the reliance of technology and not using our brain as our time tool. Think about the migration of birds and the movement of certain fish, like salmon returning to the same spawning hole each year at the same time.

Think about what you are thinking about or NOT thinking about.  How much are you relying on technology?  How much of the time are you relying on your own built in senses and bio-computer?  The more you do the later, the smarter and more equipped you become to respond to your changing environment.  I am afraid it is true: “Smartphones are making us dumb.”

My Brain Byte challenge to you this week: Put down the Smartphone and look around! Now go out there and get smarter.

Does Study Affect Your Creativity?

Success favors the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur

Classroom with multicolor chairs

Where does creativity come from?  Some think it appears out of no where and some believe you are born creative.

Studies of highly creative people reveal that they nurture their creativity through a continuous quest for knowledge. Tony Buzan, one of the foremost creativity consultants in the world, defines creativity as ‘the degree of removal from the norm.’  Michael Gelb writes in Thinking for a Change that creativity is the result of a new combination of existing elements.  Combining these two ideas: to think outside the norm we must know more, coalesce the ideas, and produce new outcomes.

In conclusion, the more you know the more your capacity for creativity expands.



Your Stressed Brain and Learning

Rule #8 of John Medina’s Brain Rules: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.


Emotional stress causes us to lack focus and inhibits our ability to retain information. This impacts kids’ school work and employee’s productivity.

The body’s defense system releases adrenaline and cortisol in immediate response to a serious but passing danger, such as a oncoming car in your lane. If you are facing hostility at home or work on a regular basis or YOU are the one with raging anger daily – your body deregulates a system which was created to deal with short-term responses.  This becomes dangerous to your health.

Chronic stress produces adrenaline which creates scars in your blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or stroke, and cortisol damages the cells of the hippocampus, crippling your ability to learn and remember information that may be crucial to your success.

A Confidence Builder for Speakers and Writers – and a Giveaway!

Today, I am linking up with Cindy Bultema of Red Hot Faith to tell you about the great things that come from attending the Speak Up Conference.  Cindy and I are graduates of this fabulous conference and are both offering workshops there this July.

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” II Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

Reflections on my experience at the Speak Up with Confidence Conference 2010

Wow!  What a weekend.  I knew it would be good, but I wasn’t prepared to be floating home, full of excitement and the energy transferred from the conference leaders.  And it was a large team of diverse and qualified leaders, from many areas of discipline.  I should note that prior to attending Speak Up, I had been blessed with a plethora of high quality training as an employee of an international corporation and professional trainer, myself. I worked in Leadership and Professional Development for several years. Yet, I found my investment of time and money into the Speak Up Conference, very worth while.

This team of worship leaders, teachers, and some former participants poured out their hearts and talents upon this room filled with eager (and some trembling) students.  And the expectations were high for those attending: to receive and apply what was being given.

I am a kinesthetic learner, so for me, the most valuable part of this conference was the ability to give several presentations and receive specific, immediate feedback.  I still have my Speak Up Evaluation forms!  And for my last and most memorable presentation, Carol Kent stepped in to listen and give me direct guidance.  She was encouraging and provided me specific feedback.

The conference is fast-paced and kept my attention well.  There is an option to take a break; or for those of us who like to take in as much as possible, to choose extra sessions.  I chose one that gave tips on professional appearance.  It was fun and fabulously fashionable (I know, cheesy).

Oh… and I met the most beautiful people.  I fell instantly in love with one woman, we became fast friends.  Although several states apart, we are still in touch today.

In 2010 the conference only focused on developing speakers, now the Speak Up Conference includes a writers track with options to meet publishers to pitch a book idea.

When the time comes to an end, you purpose to come back every year because it is so life-giving.  However, we all know God is the keeper of our time and our plans are not always His!  I was unable to attend in 2011-13, however, in 2014 I was invited to join the speaker team.  It was an equally rewarding experience to be a part of the conference team. I look forward to sharing Mind Mapping: A Whole Brain Tool for Writers and Speakers, once again this year.  I hope you will join us!

GIVEAWAY:  Carol Kent is making a generous offer of $100 off Speak Up Conference registration to one winner from among all the comments. To be entered for the chance to win simply add your comment below stating whether you prefer speaking or writing and if you are being called to one or both.  A winner will be randomly selected.

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Please be sure to leave me a comment to let me know your extra entries.

DETAILS: Starts today, Monday, May 4th and ends Monday, May 11th at 9 PM. Winner will be announced the week of May 12th.

Join our Blog Hop:

Cindy Bultema - She Sparkles

Cindy Bultema – She Sparkles

Brenda L Yoder, MA

Brenda L Yoder, MA

Radiant Learning

Radiant Learning

Amelia Rhodes

Amelia Rhodes

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