<![CDATA[LIGHTbeamers - Shining Stories (Blog)]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:01:51 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[This BusyBee Just Wants to BE]]>Thu, 12 Oct 2017 21:35:45 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/this-busybee-just-wants-to-be
Are you BUSY? Because I am! I always am, aren't you??? But this is what I'm thinking about today:  Our lives are so busy and confusing, they can run over us like a freight train on a dark, cold night if we don’t wake up, stand up, and vow to be more intentional and do the things that bring us happiness and joy.... make them a priority in our lives. 

Women especially fall prey to these pitfalls because we inherently feel the need to take care of all the demands; provide for the family, make people happy, make the kids a priority, do the dishes, fold the laundry, be a great friend, take care of aging parents, schedule the appointments, plan the parties, have meaningful sex with husband, be stylish not frumpy, squeeze in a workout, be a good neighbor, volunteer in the community, do all of this in 24 hours then repeat, repeat, repeat. 

Less is more. 
Less commitments, more down time. 
Less obligations, more freedom. 

Less “to-do lists”, more time to BE something.


Today, I invite you to simply "Be" -- take a little time for you. Let Busy go on down the street with her other busy-body friends. 

INSPIRED ACTION: NAME ONE THING YOU WILL COMMIT TO DOING IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS that will allow you to just "be."  

If you want some extra encouragement, pop over into our LIGHTbeamers Community on FB and tell us how you plan to #justbe today!  I can't wait to hear what you come up with! 


Cheering for you, as always!

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<![CDATA[A New Story To Tell]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 22:04:03 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/a-new-story-to-tell
I have to tell you I am feeling a rebirth with the coming of September. If I'm being honest, this summer beat the crap out of me. It was good on so many levels, but it was also just emotionally exhausting. There have been many changes, new beginnings, restarts, failures, disappointments, fears, and unknowns. 

But there comes a time when you just say, "Okay. I'm done with that. I'm ready to focus my eyes forward. I am ready to embrace the future with gusto!!!" I am there now. I am ready. 

I have been pushed lately to just tell my story in a way I have not told it before. As I tell everyone else when they say "I don't know where my story begins," I say, " it begins with your "WHY"
I'm really, really, really good at teaching, coaching, advising others on how to tell their story -- but gollly whopper it's hard to do it myself. But here goes: 

When I look back and evaluate the things I've done well, the things that have flopped, and every step in between, I see myself as someone who's asked a lot of questions, been bold to try new things, and really enjoyed the "story" as it's unfolded. I think I've always been interested in the story. I am truly FASCINATED by other people. Hence, I am a talker and walk into a room and immediately meet my new best friend. 

Therefore, moving to a new town where I do not know a lot of people has sort of rocked my world a bit -- but it's weird because I've moved back to Texas -- where I grew up, went to school, went to college, met my husband, and where all of my family and tons of old friends live. Yet this is all so new to me. Different. It's weird to feel like an outsider in a place that has its state map stamped across your heart. I keep saying to myself "just breathe. It's a new beginning" because that's how this really does feel to me. 

Naturally, I pray "just show me the way" as I seek new ground to plant my roots. And I keep hearing God say to me "You have a Community, April. They are called LIGHTbeamers. They are your people." 

So you are my people.

Like it or not, I'm going to ask you a lot of questions. I really want to get to know you. I truly am fascinated by your stories. Which brings me to my updated WHY. 


​This past year, a major LIGHTbulb went off when I realized my whole role in this thing is to help other people tell their stories. I've been telling and crafting other people's stores my entire career as a journalist, writer, and video producer-- I'm one of the few people in this world that knew the day she started college exactly what she wanted to do. I declared my major the first day and have been doing the work I love so much ever since. I know this is my gift; I have a skill of just "getting" the story that is special. 

Who can I help? Anyone! EVERYBODY HAS A STORY. 
Sometimes, that story needs to be uncovered for personal growth reasons. There's an expansion that takes place when someone puts all the puzzle pieces together and says, "OMG! I DO have a story!!" 
For those with a mission, a platform, a business, a service, or a message to deliver -- your story is everything!! You must know the key components of your story, and how to tell it authentically before you can ever step on a stage, write a book, deliver a program, sell a product, open your doors! 
So. I am here to help you. I love, love, love this work. I have created 2 ways to work with me directly if you need help in this area. 
  • a 1-hour strategic "What is my story?" discovery call. A laser-sharp session in which I will 100% help you figure out the pieces to your storytelling puzzle and share with you my special storytelling formula that has helped so many declutter their message. 
  • a 30-day storytelling development package in which we use the power of video (yes!!) to develop your story, piece by piece. I walk with you step-by-step by giving you clear direction and valuable feedback so you can hone in on your story and start communicating it effectively and in your true authentic voice.

Amazing discoveries and powerful transformations take place in our time together. More information about these services are on my website here: http://lightbeamers.com/11-coaching.html
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I have been working with a select group of women over the past year in both of these ways and I can't even express how much FUN it has been, how many MAJOR transformations have taken place, and how many AMAZING STORIES I have been honored to witness. 

Almost everyone I've worked with so far has been from this Community. My People. So it's time I share my own story with you all so you know more about me, my why, and how I can help you! 

If you've read this entire post, I thank you! There are so many people behind these words I write -- so many people who've coached me, taught me, helped me, encouraged me, lifted me up and led the way! My heart is so full of gratitude for each of you! ❤️
I am clearly focused on the future and beyond excited about the magic that will unfold. 

#mystory

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<![CDATA[How BIG can you go?]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:02:53 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/how-big-can-you-go
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Tonight, I watched a free training on Manifesting your Desires (keep reading, I'll share the link!) 

As I was journaling through the exercises, it dawned on my how SMALL I dream.... too small. 

So I challenged myself to write out my dream as BIG as I could think it. Then, I challenged myself to think even BIGGER. Finally, I pushed one more time to expand the vision and write the ultimate biggest of all big version of that dream I could imagine. Holy Moly did I see some crazy wild stuff. 

But is it really all that crazy? What if the REAL truth is that whatever we desire, we an simply have (with the right manifesting tools of course!) .... yet we simply don't have it because we've just been dreaming too small. 

Get out your journal and get busy dreaming. 

Script out your future not as if it "could" happen.... but as if it has already happened. Write in complete sentences. Describe your surroundings. Tap into how this moment feels. Explain why this matters to you and why you wanted it.

Write it BIG...
then write it BIGGER...
and then write the BIGGEST version of that dream you can humanly imagine.

No rules, no "buts" or "what ifs"... just pure VISIONING. 

This is storytelling. 

What is your story?

Check out the "Manifesting your Desires" training by Alexandra Taketa here. She's a genius in her work. 
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<![CDATA[Is your Life a Soap Opera or a Self-Help Book? What story will you tell?]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 17:04:08 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/is-your-life-a-soap-opera-or-a-self-help-book-what-story-will-you-tell
I fully admit I used to be addicted to soap operas. "General Hospital" was my drug of choice. I mean, who didn't love Luke & Laura, Frisco & Felicia, and my personal favorite Sonny/Brenda/Jax!?!

I would spend hours of my time weekly watching the fantasies unfold, the drama build, and the suspense capture my imagination.

Now we have Netflix and Hulu, so we can all binge watch all our favorite shows. But there's still an absorbent amount of time being spent watching stories that take us away from our own real lives.

At some point, we have to stop trying to escape our own lives and start TAKING ACTION toward making our own realities just as desirable, exciting, and captivating as the characters in these fictional shows!!

Is your life captivating?

Is your life exciting?

Is your life the one you truly desire?

What story is playing out on the screen of your life???? Would someone want to binge watch what you are doing?

That's the kind of life I challenge us all to create!!!!

Over the past few years, I stopped watching television all together (like, really.... I watch nothing now!) and I've adopted some new habits instead. This has been so much better for my mental and emotional well-being. It has also helped me vision for the future of all that is possible for my life, which is pretty darn desirable, exciting, and captivating if I do say so myself.

If you've been following me for some time, you already know I'm a book junkie. I can't walk away from a great book. I can't go into a book store and leave empty handed!! While I still love a great mystery and fiction story from time to time, my new obsession is personal growth & development.

I believe developing personal growth habits ..... investing in yourself!!!.... is the single thing that will change the script in your life. Whether is reading books, attending seminars/retreats, taking a class, hiring a coach-- It can crack you wide open to see the possibilities in your own life that are crazy exciting and captivating!!!

I want to see THAT story when you start playing it.

Currently, I am reading "The Compound Effect" by Success Magazine founder Darren Hardy.
Consistency over Time is the principle he teaches.

Consistency.

Persistence.

Sticking with it even when nothing seems to be changing/improving.

Not giving up!!!!

If I'm honest (and I'm going to be), consistency is something I've lacked. I tend to fly to the next idea before I've finished the first one and seen it through. 
Sure, I get things done and have success.... but to reach the goals I have that are desirable, exciting, and captivating-- I must have consistency.

Luke & Laura broke up in the end. Sonny went crazy and Brenda left town. The stories got boring & stale so the writers had to kill off the characters we loved.

Don't let your own story play out the same way. Keep challenging yourself to grow!!!! Do better, be better, and take inspired action towards that which will captivate you and everyone around you!!!

We only get one shot at living our lives. Let's make it a story worth telling ❤️
Let's keep this conversation alive: What books are you reading that have impacted you? Where do you spend time & money on personal growth? Tell us under this live thread currently in our LIGHTbeamers Community on FB
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<![CDATA[The Summer of LIGHT - A storytelling series]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 04:16:42 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/the-summer-of-light-a-storytelling-series
When I first started LIGHTbeamers, I wanted to simply share good stories.... some that I'd write on my own, others that I'd find along the way to share. At one time, I'd thought about an interview series where I'd go & meet people, talk to them, share their great stories. But logistically, I couldn't make this plan make sense... I didn't have a platform, just a blog that only had a handful of subscribers (mostly my family!) 

Fast forward ....  I have a freshened up idea. There are so many amazing stories within the online LIGHTbeamers Community, in our private FB Group. I started thinking about spending this summer just listening to your stories.... 

So starting mid-July, I am hosting a virtual "Summer of LIGHT" storytelling series. This will be an interview series that I conduct via video to share directly (Live) in the Facebook group, then I'll do a write-up and share on the LIGHTbeamers blog and on my other social media channels! 

I want to highlight as many of you as I can!! Let's showcase who you are, what you're passionate about, what journey you are on, and what lessons you have to share. When you share a piece of you, you shine a light for others!!!! 

While I do have a few women lined up for this already, I'd love more! If you'd be willing to be featured, please introduce yourself here (link)  

There is no criteria for this. I don't believe personal stories have any rules--- if you have something to share, then let's share it! Variety is the spice of life! 

I've been interviewing people my whole adult life... but I could not be any more excited than to think about talking to LIGHTbeamers!

I know it will be a summer filled with great storytelling, light-filled journeys, and most of all, connection within the Community. 

I can't wait!

xoxo
​APRIL


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<![CDATA[STUFF = Silly Things Unnecessary For Fulfillment]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:21:06 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/stuff-silly-things-unnecessary-for-fulfillment
​I've become keenly aware of my STUFF lately... the things we carry around in our car, store in our kitchen, hide in our closet, and pack away in never-opened cabinets.

I've revisited this Collection-of-Stuff phenomenon as I've touched each piece of it as part of the packing, moving and unpacking process.

There is too much STUFF. I can't even believe how much STUFF accumulates over time without any awareness of it being there.

It's a clear signal and reflection of Mindlessness.

The Energy of these things are dull and flat.

I've thought much about this STUFF these past few months as I've eagerly put myself through The Great Purge.

In addition to selling our house, we've sold furniture, donated truckloads of goods to local thrift shops, and gifted items to friends in need. In every sense of the word, I desire to eliminate the STUFF from my life so that it creates SPACE for MORE.

I desire a freedom from things that take up space. Rather, I seek the opportunities that come from no longer having things that keep me mindlessly occupied.

No more.

STUFF is just Silly Things Unnecessary For Fulfillment.

I want shiny & bright. I want relationships, experiences, and adventures. These things bring about stories that are worth sharing. 

And at the end of the day, there is a LIGHT in those stories worth chasing.
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<![CDATA[The Stories of Books]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 02:16:59 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/the-stories-of-books
I spent the day today boxing up one of my treasures: my books. I felt a range of emotions as I pulled books from the very back of a cabinet that I honestly haven’t  touched in the 11 years we have lived in this house. What purpose have these books served me while being hidden away? But pulling out the titles, one by one, I reflected on the power of their words. 
​Some books I could immediately remember their entire storyline — a great read that kept me up late because I couldn’t put it down; Its story and message still lingering all these years later just by me staring at the front cover, smiling in admiration.  Other books I realized I had never read; purchased because someone had recommended it or the words on inside jacket piqued my interest; Yet the book landed in this dark hole in the back of this cabinet — its words yet to be appreciated. A story lurking, waiting for the telling to unfold. 

Where are you in your storytelling? Are you a book that’s been read from cover to cover multiple times because you’ve captivated your audience with fantastical details and real-life grit? Or is your story buried in the back of the cabinet, just waiting for someone to rescue it from the darkness? 

Like a great page-turner — your story is not for you — it’s for your listener/reader. They need to hear your story because it will remind them of all their own frailties in life, their own humanness easier to bear. It will give them courage, hope and inspiration, especially when they are mired in the darkness. 

I know the power of stories. I’ve witnessed them. I’ve written them. I’ve recorded them for others. I’ve read them and absorbed them for my own soul’s nourishment. 

Every single time I come across a great story — and they come in all shapes & sizes — it leaves an imprint on my soul. My spirit is lifted. The energy the story carries infuses with my own.  

Storytelling matters. Your story matters. Rescue it from the dark and let your light shine.
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<![CDATA[The Silent Words We Speak]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 02:27:13 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/the-silent-words-we-speakPicturePhoto Courtesy: Unsplash.com
There is something so beautiful and sacred in the power of our silent words -- Those words that are not spoken aloud yet heard deeply within our soul; their weight carrying more meaning because they do not need to be spoken. 

I've been surrounded by these silent words for some time. I've come to realize that many of my deepest friendships have been built on a framework of silent words. It's in the look of an eye that smiles with admiration and love; it's in the single heartbeat that skips simply because you've entered the room; it's in the knowing expression when someone else has said something hurtful, or exposed a secret not ready for the world to know; it's in the squeezing of a hand that says, I am here, you are not alone. 

In my deepest relationship, the one with my husband, I imagine we could successfully carry on an intelligent and meaningful conversation while sitting across from each other at dinner without ever speaking a single word. 

These silent words are moments of comfort and peace between two people and are offered up in a single slice of energy that passes between you -- no one else capable of intercepting the message because only the two of you can decode its meaning. 

Silent words are beautiful, pure, poignant, and penetrating.

When I think of my dearest relationships, they are filled with hilarious and tender conversations, but it is the silent words between us that creates an unshakeable bond hard to describe. 

Silent. Words. 

I've encountered them so much lately -- perhaps because I'm in the midst of one of "life's transitions." These are times when you really don't know what to say. The words do not have the capacity to fill the depth of which you feel -- the emotions too raw, too big, too powerful to match any attempt to describe the feeling out loud. Looking at the beautiful souls around me, I hear their silent words and am immediately comforted.  Their smiles, laughter, tears, hugs, hand gestures, knowing looks, and bowed heads say all that is needed. The message of the heart is carried out through actions, not words. 

As beautiful and glorious I believe words to be (I am a storyteller after all), they are nothing without love and intention. 
While stringing together a syncopated sentence full of delicious syntax is something that tantalizes me, it's the silent words from my loved ones that move me to tears. 

I hear you. 

I understand your 'no words'.

You say everything by saying nothing. 

Your beautiful and special heart speaks to me through your kind gestures, your availability, your honesty, your hospitality, your openness and your humanity. 

I am humbled by your love and comforted by your symphony of silence. 






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<![CDATA[Tinkering With Your Boat]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:08:40 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/tinkering-with-your-boatPicturePhoto Credit: UnSplash
I delivered my regular Meals on Wheels of Greenville route today. One of the regular stops is a couple, a man & wife, although it's the man who always answers the door. The wife is non-mobile; I gather she is bedridden. He relies on a walker to get around. It always takes him a long time to answer the door when I ring. You just get the sense that everything takes time, happens slowly, and there are never, ever any lights on in the house when I step inside to put the meals down on his kitchen counter. 

Today, he surprised me. 

As I got out of my car and walked toward the door - he spoke to me from the other side of a boat that is always parked in his carport. He was smiling a big, bright smile and said, "You can just put those inside."

I was startled to see him outside! I opened the door and placed the meals on his counter and noticed his walker was in the kitchen. 

When I came back outside, I playfully asked him, "Hey, how did you get all the way over there without your walker?"

"Oh I've got it with me. It's right here. I have two of them!" he replied, smiling and continuing to tinker with something in his boat. 

The vibrant energy that came off this old man's aura was palpable. It was a beautiful day here, the sun was shining, the sky was clear, and you could just tell that getting outside -- even for just a few minutes to tinker with his boat-- probably reminded him of days gone by when he would take that boat out on the lake, fish for the big one, and come home with a filled up soul only a day on the water can provide. 

I smiled at him and asked if there was anything I could do for him while I was there. "No," he replied. "I'm doing great."

Yes he was. Today was a great day for him. No one needed an announcement to be able to tell that much; It glowed from his body. "THIS IS A GREAT DAY. I GOT OUTSIDE AND I AM GETTING TO TINKER WITH MY BOAT" 

When I began the route earlier, I started out by asking God to use me to help shine light for someone else today.... but it was this man tinkering with his boat that shined for me.



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<![CDATA[Mountain Highs]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 16:12:27 GMThttp://lightbeamers.com/shining-stories-blog/mountain-highs
I'm coming off an amazing weekend where I attended our church Women's Retreat up in the mountains of North Carolina. It just so happens that I was the retreat organizer and helped plan the weekend. And it just so happens that those plans included MUCH of the vision I hold for the "Ignite Your LIGHT Retreats" that have been dancing around in my head for about 2 years now. I was gifted with a playground in which I could test out my ideas. The women loved it. I've been flooded with emails and texts today about how awesome this retreat was. Don't get me wrong -- it was not ALL because of my plans -- we had an exceptional retreat speaker and some other really amazing contributors that made the weekend really special. But the vision was there -- and it was phenomenal to see it play out and be so enthusiastically received. It solidified my theory: WOMEN WANT THIS. WE NEED IT. 

This is how life and VISIONING works. 

I planned this retreat simply because I said "yes" to a committee 3 years ago. The position was a 3-year commitment with different responsibilities each year. The 3rd year was planning this retreat. 

3 years ago, there was no LIGHTbeamers. 
3 years ago, I had no idea how to plan a retreat. 
3 years ago, I had no vision for any of this. 

But God knows our path long before we do :)

Enter the first ever "Ignite Your LIGHT" Retreat. [HAPPY DANCE]

What Vision do you hold for yourself? What story are you telling yourself that is holding you back from going after your dreams? What do you really want your story to be? Spend a weekend tapping into your personal power and reigniting the LIGHT that is inside of you. 

Jennifer Rackley Chacon, a certified health & life coach, will join me to facilitate this retreat.

We are offering crazy good "beta" pricing. 
$250 (shared room) - $350 (private room) for the entire weekend. 
All inclusive (meals, accommodations, supplies, workshops)

The retreat will be Friday March 31 - Sunday April 2 at a lake house on Lake Norman (just outside Charlotte, NC)

I don't even have the registration links fully operational yet ... but I cannot wait another day to share this. I am too excited and READY to share it with you. 

MY PROMISE TO YOU: We will pour into you the most amazing energy and content we can dream up. You will leave refreshed and reenergized. Your story will unfold. Your light will shine. 



If you want more details: email us @ lightbeamersignite@gmail.com
or you can Register by simply clicking here, we will be in contact to secure payment for the retreat. 

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