My Life

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.




Posted by Donna Vail on January 21, 2016  /   Posted in Audio, Conscious Parenting, Lifestyle, Media, My Life

Parenting, Homeschooling and Weight Loss

[AUDIO Download Below]

I went through a period of time in my life when my health wasn't so well and I was over weight. I got so stressed about how much weight I had gained, I stopped getting on the scale when I reached the 200 pound mark. I know I gained some after that.

Thankfully I met a very vibrant and gracious woman who told me I should meet the man who helped her cure her breast cancer. I knew that if he helped her with something as serious and advanced as cancer, he could easily help me with weight, allergies and nagging health issues. I was also concerned because I had high blood pressure during the birth of my second child and now pregnant with my third; I wanted to have an uncomplicated home birth.

During my first trimester I met with Verne Varona and he got me on track immediately. In fact now when I look at this picture, I'm amazed because that was just a year after meeting Verne. My little Lauren was born in March 1998, after having met Verne in the September prior and this picture is in following August 1998. I didn't use any fad diets, drinks, or pills and did it while raising my first two children, pregnant, homeschooling, being a housewife and all of life demands. The biggest key was having Verne's expert guidance, accountability and support. Everyone should have someone to help guide them through the process.

Read More

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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Happy Thanksgiving From Our House to Yours

Posted by Donna Vail on November 28, 2014  /   Posted in Learn More, Lifestyle, Live More, Love More, My Life

Autumn Appalachian Trail Foggy Nature Blue Ridge Fall FoliageToday we have great celebrations in our home, both the Thanksgiving holiday with our loved ones as well as my husband's birthday, which this year falls on Thanksgiving day.

It took several days of planning, preparation and long hours of cooking yet through it all I found myself diving into deep thoughts like "I am purposeful and present for my family."  And so this becomes my mantra, grounding me to be fully present and purposeful for and with my family.

Through it all I'm noticing and paying attention to the family dynamics, how truly balanced we are together, even when it doesn't seem so. In between the demands of coordinating and moments where stress could have easily taken over we have to stay focused on the unity of love and abundance.

As the holiday passes we are still left with the opportunity to practice this continued gratitude in all we do as well as share it with others. It's the way we live and the way we love.

I am especially grateful to be here with you and even though this year has been quite a challenge for me and my health, it has brought so much new light and love to my life so I am now able to be more on purpose and see it all as love.

I care so deeply for people, it is my magnum opus to serve your highest good. There's so much goodness. So much to be grateful for. So much to look forward to. Let's learn and grow together!

I truly wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving that is filled with an abundance of gratitude, love and priceless moments with your loved ones; from our house to yours.
Peace and love,





Donna’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with 17, 14, 12, 9 and 5 year-old)

Posted by Donna Vail on February 04, 2013  /   Posted in Learn More, Lifestyle, Live More, Love More, My Life

 Vail Family (3 of 4)

Donna’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with 17, 14, 12, 9 and 5 year-old)

When I first began homeschooling in 1995 with my oldest, now in college, I had a strict routine loaded down with curriculum and seemingly burdensome deadlines to meet. Like many new to homeschooling, I did all I knew to do and that was to structure my homeschool based on the public school model I grew up with. I was bold and determined and it only took two and a half years until me and the kids experienced homeschool burnout.  I knew that homeschooling couldn’t be this maddening for everyone so I took time off to explore different paths. After reading and researching I discovered self-education and An Inspired Education was born.

We’ve evolved a lot since our early days of strict schedules and mountains of curriculum and now follow a family rhythm. With the birth of each new child I’ve learned to expand time, be more flexible and simply allow. This greatly reduces stress. Trying to “fit it all in” and always pushing the children to what’s next is not only stressful for mom but also the children. I want my children to remember the freedom they grew up with exploring and following their curiosity, having plenty of fun and adventure where they could and honing in on their life mission, focusing on their highest values.

CLICK TO TWEET! Here’s today’s Tweetable: Trying to “fit it all in,” pushing the children to what’s next is stressful for mom but also the children. via @DonnaVail

Our family rhythm is set up in quadrants and time blocks that are sliding. This is where I create flexibility. Caring for a child’s need or character takes precedence over what time it is and what we “should” be doing. For the most part though, our family rhythm flows steady and we are constantly learning and growing. Read More

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2013!

Posted by Donna Vail on January 01, 2013  /   Posted in Academics, Conscious Parenting, Learn More, Lifestyle, My Life

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2013!

I'm beginning this year full of gratitude. I'm so grateful for you continuing the path here with me as we raise our families, grow personally, homeschool our children and create legacies that make a real difference in today and tomorrow.


I'm also grateful to the best of the best mentors and personal trainers who so patiently bring me up into a better me. And last but definitely not least, my dear family and friends who also patiently live and grow with me on a day-to-day basis.


I'm very excited about this year, 2013. I've made some changes with the way I'm doing things so I can be more creative, learn more and grow in all areas of my life. Able to express more and this means sharing it all with you as well.


I've been focusing on building for you personal development for moms. I feel this is utmost important because who better than to develop personally than moms. You know all the most successful people always have mentors and coaches. But you know as well as I do that it's us moms who are at the heart of creation raising the next generation who will be the leaders, inventors, artists, musicians and the people who will sustain our world. Be sure and stay connected keeping your eyes open during the first quarter for this to go live. If you don't already, be sure you're on our email update list so you can be the first to know and receive exclusive offers. You can register at


Are you ready for you're best homeschooling year yet? Whether you're thinking about getting started or have started and looking for ways to improve your homeschool remember, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to get it started. Make sure you've got the support you need and that you've customized your homeschool for each child to best fit your family's lifestyle.


You know, I wish I knew what I know now when I first got started homeschooling back in 1995. You see, I didn't have it all right, I made a lot of mistakes and I learned a lot all through the process. That's why I'm so passionate about sharing with you how to shorten the learning curve so you don't have to make the mistakes I did or take the long road to learning.


Do yourself a favor and if there's a particular area in homeschooling and raising your children that's got you boggled or that you need more help with, send me an email so I can get you specifically what you need. I'm here to support you, guide you and encourage you along the way. Let me know how I can help you. Email or leave a comment below.


Our children grow so fast! As you can see in the picture above, I'm with all my children and my oldest is already 22 and my oldest son is 17, soon to be embarking out on his own. The time has flown since I sat with him, teaching him how to read. Don't let the grass grow under you, it's never a moment too soon to get the help you need when it involves children. If you're on the fence or looking for solutions remember, as I mentioned before, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to get it started.


Click to Tweet! Here's today's tweetable: 

It's never a moment too soon to get the help you need when it involves children. @DonnaVail


I'm here to support you throughout the coming year and beyond in your homeschool, developing as a mom and growing families to love more, live more and learn more. Let's make it the best ever!

Stay inspired,


PS. What do you need more help with in your homeschool and raising your children? Please share by leaving a comment below.

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:

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