Gratitude Expands This Thanksgiving

Posted by Donna Vail on November 23, 2016  /   Posted in Inspiration, Live More, My Life

"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously and because all things have contributed to your advancement you should include all things in your gratitude." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gratitude is a continual practice but what happens this week, during Thanksgiving holiday, is an expansion when our families and friends all come together to celebrate.

Sometimes it can be challenging to be grateful when we're faced with what we don't feel so grateful, however, we must count it all as on the way and a blessing because it all contributes to our individual and collective advancements.

We can experience what we claim to be pitfalls, stress, "bad things," or so much that seems to limit us or be in our way but I bid you, take a closer examination. As it turns out, it was all helping you be on your way.

  • When we get delayed and run late stressing, it may be preventing us from something far worse or be in perfect timing because where we're headed for our appointment, well, they're running late too. So when you get there, you're actually in perfect timing. (I love when this synchronicity happens and then I don't have to sit and wait as long. It feels good, like you're all magically connected in time.)
  • When you get called out on your work it turns out the challenge helped you learn and be even better than ever before. Now you're making more progress than you first anticipated. (This happened to me when I went in front of a group of entrepreneurs with my goal plan. They flipped my plan saying it would be more advantageous for me to begin with what I had at the end first. I panicked but then I found how to do it in a much easier way. And I got help as well, double win!)
  • When you schedule out everything yet you still can't seem to find flow and end up more stressed than ever, it turns out it was a calling for more people to pitch in and help, which now means you're never doing it alone again. (This is how we keep life moving in a big family on an everyday basis. Teamwork and delegation.)
  • A child who challenges you on all fronts of your parenting helps you become more loving and present to honoring others, now causing you to learn how to have deeper richer relationships. (This is my toughest child who really calls me out but has caused me to grow the most. I am grateful to tears for this child.)
  • A health challenge that has you in more weak spots than you're comfortable with but then you realize, getting ill gave you the healing you needed to be better, stronger, and sharper than ever. (I've been through several health challenges. I know it's not fun but it raises you up in ways you may have never tried to step up to otherwise.)
  • Having to learn something that you never wanted to but have had to take time away from what you want to do now helps you have more security and understanding so you can be more responsible, experiencing better results. (This can be technology, money, relationships...for me, it's touched on them all!)

Just as Ralph Waldo Emerson says, all things have contributed to your advancement, so we must practice gratitude for it all. Grateful for it all as on the way instead of in the way. These challenges I'm experiencing are growing me to the greater heights I want to live, so instead of stressing and hating it, I must practice gratitude.

I am here to inspire you to dive deeper in your gratitude this holiday and every day from here on out. See all things as contributing to your advancement, even when it doesn't feel like it. Count it all love. Count it all joy.

What has been a challenge lately that you haven't expressed gratitude for? Even if you can't see how what's happening in contributing to your advancement, count it a blessing. "Thank you for this delay." "Thank you for this challenge, it's growing me." "Thank you for this lesson, I have learned and am a better person now."

Let your gratitude expand on this holiday as well as everyday. We are here to love and be loved. We are here to live in joy.

I am grateful for you dear reader. For all of my clients, mentors, friends, family, and supporters whether near or far, from this age or another. You enrich my life by the lessons that come, the calling to share and lead, but most of all the trust you've put in me. My prayer is always to be more grateful and to aspire to all that life is calling. Let us enjoy the journey together.



Why You Must Believe in Yourself and Your Homeschool

Posted by Donna Vail on May 18, 2015  /   Posted in Conscious Parenting, Inspiration, Learn More, My Life

Superhero kidsI can remember homeschooling in the early years trying to do everything right, not really knowing if I was doing it right. I followed inspiration, connected with experts who had homeschooled their children already and I kept myself immersed in anything I could get my hands on. This was back in the early ninety’s when homeschooling was trying to emerge from underground. There was no Google and how-to books were few and far between. But I didn’t let that stop me.

My friends and family didn’t understand the changes I was making in my life and the choices we made as a family. I had my mind set on providing the best education I could for my children and I didn’t look back. I’m proud I was able to stand the test of time.

There are so many unknowns that come to us in the day to day of raising our children and then homeschooling them on top of that. Coupled with anything else you are responsible to do or outside work and commitments; it takes all you’ve got and then some. Little did you know that when you signed up parenting and then homeschooling it's really the ultimate personal development training for the whole family.
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Let True Freedom Ring

Posted by Donna Vail on July 04, 2013  /   Posted in Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Learn More, Lifestyle, Live More

July4thFireworksToday we celebrate the 4th of July in the States. While we will have our cookouts, swimming, and fun with family and friends, it's also important to be ever mindful about our freedom and the work each one of us has to do on a daily basis to maintain it. It's not only about what happens with the people who serve the country in the military but what each one of us does every day in the comfort of our homes as we work, raise our families and move throughout the day.

We must at all times stay inspired to love more, live more and learn more. The relationships that we build and the unconditional love we share (or don't share) in our home doesn't stop there. It reverberates out into the world now and through the generations. Love is the most important ingredient that can make the difference in what is lived and learned.

Next, it takes a lot of living by being conscious with all that we do, always improving ourselves and seeking to experience more that expands our love and understanding. And it is when you love more and live more that you will learn more. Most importantly but not only reading, also listening to audios, letting go of what no longer serves you, aligning with your highest values and learning from others as well as your experiences. This is living inspired. This is living true freedom.

What will you do today to create the lifestyle of true freedom you desire? While you are having fun and spending time with your loved ones today think about this. Get your plan in motion.

Creating the lifestyle of true freedom for you and your family will be one of the most important things you ever do in life. Don't let it pass you by. Today as well as every day counts. What we do in our home reverberates out into the community, the state, the country and ultimately the world. Take care of you and your family, and in doing so you are taking care of the world. Let freedom ring around the world.

What does the lifestyle of true freedom look like to you? Please share your thoughts on this by leaving a comment below.

If you're serious and want guidance and coaching through the process, getting you there faster, email me at None of us do it alone. Get started today.

Stay inspired to love more, live more and learn more!

Peace and love,


P.S. Make sure you've subscribed to my newsletter so you always receive updates and the latest in balancing education, work and life.


About Donna Vail

Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children while the oldest is in college. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at:

Instead of Goals, Make a Commitment

Posted by Donna Vail on May 08, 2013  /   Posted in Inspiration, Live More, Work Life Balance

Ocean-View2-Cap-JulucaThis morning as I read my perpetual daily calendar on living inspired it read:

"Instead of goals, make the commitment to live joyfully in the moment. Stop dreaming about the future and get back to the only thing you have now. Decide to live fully in the present."

This is a bit challenging for me because I'm a visionary, a dreamer and am often looking to the future. I'm a mom, always looking ahead for my children and staying a step ahead in my day.

I have my plan and my goals for the next six months on my calendar already. But does this keep me from living in the present? It could if that's all I focus on and am living in this moment for some future fulfillment, not fully present in the now. It could if I was single minded in getting to the goal no matter what, pressing my way through life to get to my goal with disregard for others as well as how I look at those unexpected turns in the road that show up to benefit me. What I have learned by studying the highly successful as well as spiritual practices of being present, is how to come to a nice balance between the two and be committed.

I took time to work on my goals and think about what I will have wanted to have accomplished this year because my time to make a difference is finite even though I know that I'm always right on time and in everything I do I am growing and making a difference. Trust me, this is not about being double minded but rather on purpose and inspired. So I have gone through my process of determining my highest values, linking all that I do to my life purpose and setting up a rhythm that honors me fulfilling my life purpose while living present today, in this moment.

Here are a few tips to help you find a balance between being present and accomplishing your intentions:

  • Continually use your top five highest values as a guide in all that you do as you fulfill your life purpose.
  • Align all that you do with your top five highest values to be more in the flow and dissolve stress, seeing fully how it's all contributing to your life purpose.
  • If you have a goal you intend to reach align it with your highest values and make a commitment to infuse it in your everyday living.
  • Only keep one to three goals at a time so you can focus and accomplish them while living inspired rather than pressed and always running at break neck speed.
  • Create a family rhythm instead of a strict schedule, allowing for inspiration to flow and space for being present in the moment.
  • Set up what you need to do to accomplish in your goals as every day habits or way of living rather than checklists and jobs to do.
  • Slow down to the speed of life so you can hear the whispers of inspiration guiding you and then take inspired action.
  • Take time to be the observer as you go through your day and redirect yourself when you notice you're drifting away from the present moment.
  • Understand that your commitment is being fulfilled even when you're playing, resting, eating, cooking, sleeping and being with the ones you love.  You'll return to your great work inspired, energized and with new ideas.


I could never ask anyone not to dream for this is what carries us forward into our greatness and for the dreamer it's where you go to create. Really, it's all about having a careful balance so you can aspire to your dreams while being fully present in the now. It's what our humanness is all about. Be extremely grateful for everyone in your presence, what you have now and all that is showing up for you, no matter how big or how small. It all counts and is an overflow of love for your highest good.

I am grateful for you taking this moment here with me. May you find that peaceful place where love can flow and everyone can grow.

Let’s support each other! It’s time for you to set yourself up for living in the present moment. What's your favorite way to bring presence into your day?

Please share by leaving a comment below on my blog. Sometimes we have days when we just need to know we’re supported and not hanging out on a limb.

Thank you for sharing this path and leaving your comments  to engage and share the inspiration.

Peace and love,


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About Donna Vail

Donna Vail, Education and Parenting Specialist, is founder of An Inspired Education and the Mentor Mastery Inner Circle, the proven step-by-step program dedicated to maximizing the success in the human potential through homeschooling and life mastery for the whole family. She creates educational programs for homeschool children, “after-school” study programs for public schooled children and personal development for moms, while homeschooling her five children. Get free tips and resources from Donna Vail at:


Celebrate Love as a Family

Posted by Donna Vail on February 11, 2013  /   Posted in Inspiration, Learn More, Love More

Love is in the air as we approach Valentine’s Day this week. It can have different meanings in different countries, depending on where you live. In some countries it’s strictly about romance while in many other countries everyone joins in not only for romance but also to acknowledge friendship. Any which way you look at it, on this day we have opportunity to do something a little more special for those we love to show them how much we love and appreciate them.

Here’s a few ideas you might like to do with your children to spread more love.


1.       Valentines’ Day Melted Crayons Mobile Craft

Melted crayons and wax paper make stained glass heart sun catchers.

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Heroes for My Daughter

Posted by Donna Vail on May 29, 2012  /   Posted in Conscious Parenting, Inspiration

Heroes for My Daughter

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Do you ever want to give up? Does life seem too hard? Do you ever get discouraged and don't know how your going to move forward? Do you ever wonder how you will guide your children to greatness when at times you don't feel so great? Sometimes you can feel alone but we are never really alone but rather surrounded by others who are growing through challenges and finding the support life has to offer. You too can discover inspiration from others who have journeyed through life lessons, those who tell you about their challenges offering support through the stories of their struggles and achievements.

As I was on my weekly library trip I came across a beautiful book that does just that. It's an inspiring collection of stories about heroes from whom our daughters can learn to lead a fulfilling and impactful life. The book is Heroes for My Daughter by Brad Meltzer. He has brought together stories of sixty remarkable people, a diverse set of individuals from across time and from all walks of life: artists and inventors, scientists and explorers, who each dedicated their life to making our world a better place.

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm. As you get older, remember you have another hand: the rist is to help yourself, the second is to help others." -Audrey Hepburn

The introduction is a letter to his daughter where he builds her in strength and love, "Women are not weaker. Read that again, Lila. Women are not weaker. They are just as strong, just as resolute, just as creative, and are filled with just as much potential as any man. Yes, as your father, my instinct is to protect you (like the first day with the nurses). Other people will want to protect you too. But remember that you are not a damsel in distress, waiting for some prince to rescue you. Forget the prince. With your brain and your resourcefulness, you can rescue yourself. And when you have your doubts --as we all inevitably do --you will have this book, full of people who were wracked with just as much fear, but who also found the internal strength to overcome it."

This book is perfect for mothers and daughters to read and treasure together. If you have sons, check out Brad Meltzer's first book: Heroes for My Son. The perfect book for fathers and sons to read together.

"When the first Superman movie came out, I was frequently asked, 'What is a hero?' My answer was that a hero is someone who commits a courageous action without considering the consequences...Now my definition is completely different. I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. They are the real heros, and so are the families and friends who have stood by them." -Christopher Reeve








What books have you found particularly inspiring to share with your children? Who's story has moved you to be a better you? Please share in a comment below.

About Donna Vail

Donna Vail is an education-parenting specialist, coach, mompreneur, homeschooling mother of six children, author and founder of An Inspired Education. She helps families create a lifestyle of true freedom by balancing education, work and life through self-education, entrepreneurship and inspiration. She is a highly sought after consultant for her successful guidance and resources that enable parents to let go of traditional parenting and education models, creating a lifestyle of learning where the whole family flourishes. You can find more of her resources at

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