Moving Forward With Intention

Phillips, Craig and Dean say it so eloquently in their beautiful ballad,
Yesterday's a closing door, and you don't live there anymore.
The story behind the song is equally as powerful.
The visual of that doctor massaging that heart back to life
is almost too breathtaking to behold.

Today I stand in awe of something so serendipitous that I can hardly wrap my mind around it ... be still my beating heart.

Because yesterday, just as it seemed I might be stuck closing the door on a very challenging chapter in our lives, this image came through by email to my inbox. 

It's the proposed (not yet final) cover for my book, due out in June 2014.

And it was as if a still, small voice was telling me to
let it go,
close the door,
move forward, 
walking, no, flying 
intentionally into the future.

Yesterday is in the past ... in the rearview mirror.
And that's as it should be.

So WoW ... it's hard to explain the feelings of relief and peace.
Oh, and the overwhelming thankfulness.
Gratitude ... 
for the love, support, compassion and prayers
that kept me going when I wasn't sure I could.
And unspeakable joy for a new beginning ...
joy, my one little word this year.

Here now, some advance reflections about
 What's Under Your Cape? SUPERHEROES of the Character Kind 
that can't help but fill my heart with joy.

Providing real classroom and school-wide experiences, Barbara proves herself to be the “Harry Wong” of character education. What’s Under Your Cape? doesn't tell, but shows how to meaningfully integrate positive character traits in a doable way for teachers and administrators; these lessons will be impactful in classrooms across the world.
~Sheila Sjolseth, Ed.M., Founder of Pennies of Time, certified Special Education teacher, and mom of two, McKinney, TX
Powerful and empowering, this book simultaneously ignites inspiration, encourages by example, and wraps us in a warm hug. It’s the perfect prescription for healing our world, one kindness at a time.

~Jodi Moore, author of When A Dragons Moves In and Good News Nelson

Barbara has been instrumental in "flooding our world with character" and has provided us with not only inspiration but tools in which to grow a community of caring, compassionate citizens who feel empowered to be a positive voice for change. North Pointe Elementary has been significantly impacted for the better due to Barbara's positive energy and passion for character. This book encompasses that energy and is a must-read! 

~Kelly Mooney, Principal at North Pointe Elementary, 2013 National School of Character, Houston, TX
In this world of negativity, What’s Under Your Cape? is like a breath of fresh air. Barbara reminds us of the good things in life and how we can make the world a better place every day!
~Dr. Jean, forty-year veteran teacher, author, early childhood consultant
Barbara has written a practical and inspirational account of how to infuse character into the fabric of every classroom and school. Parents can see how they can expand their role as their children's primary character educators. This is a book that delivers on its promise of showing how character is impacted by thinking, feeling and doing.

~Ron Axelrod, Retired teacher and International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Former Staff Development Coordinator, Community of Caring, CEP National Schools of Character Site Visitor

Barbara Gruener's book, What’s Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind, is a wonderful character education resource book for elementary educators. It is filled with ideas, activities, and suggested children's literature which teachers can use as they help to instill good character into the hearts of their boys and girls. Just think what our future world would be if all of today's children would grow up to become positive character superheroes---what a beautiful world that would be!

~Pam Morgan, Retired Elementary Principal, Executive Director of Character @ HEART, Montgomery, Alabama

This book is a must-have resource for any counselor or teacher looking to infuse character into their school. Barbara connects tangible behaviors with abstract words like respect, responsibility, and empathy. While we were able to visit her school and implement many of her ideas in our journey to becoming a National School of Character, I wish this book would have been available years ago; it's a booster shot of character and enthusiasm every educator needs! 

~Jennifer McCaffrey, Counselor at North Pointe Elementary, 2013 National School of Character, Houston, TX

The SUPERHEROES acronym is brilliant, providing a framework and link for teachers to hook into, which makes it more feasible for uber-busy teachers to "seize teachable moments to infuse character development" into our classrooms. As Barbara states in her Introduction, children " are hard-wired to learn and their capacity for character is unlimited." This is the heart of this must-read book!

~Lisa Mattes, author of Growing Firsties blog, first-grade teacher, mother of two, Sussex, WI

Barbara has written a practical, well-organized, and easy-to read guide on teaching important character traits to children. Teachers will appreciate the incorporation of hands-on activities, songs, projects, and other fun ideas for making abstract character trait concepts more concrete and helping kids recognize the importance of good character.

~Angela Watson, Owner and Founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, Author of The Cornerstone for Teachers blog

A comprehensive, user-friendly resource that dedicated and hard-working educators will turn to time and again, this guide delivers refreshing, easily-implemented and highly-effective strategies to connect with kids and capture their hearts. The use of many children's literature titles, along with questioning and extension suggestions, will allow practical alignment into a standards-based curriculum. What's Under Your Cape?
 is a must-have for any caring educator looking to spark character education within an authentic, fun, engaging and practical framework! 

~Lisa Steele, Elementary School Counselor, Newport News, VA

Barbara is a gifted and authentic writer! Her love and passion for teaching and building a climate of character jumps out in each chapter through her personal life stories and creative, character-building activities. Barbara's commitment to empower young lives through character development makes her, indeed, a superhero!

~Dr. Jodi Duron, Superintendent of Schools, Elgin, TX


Watch for super-exciting pre-order information coming soon.

What might you need to leave behind so that you can move forward with intention? Please let me know if/how I can help you with that.

I'll close today with the words of Guy Clark - 
Life is a just leap of faith; always trust your cape!
Click {here} to sing along.


  1. Barbara, I am so so very happy for you!! I am excited to order your book!! You have been such an inspiration!!! Thanks!!!!

  2. Yeah! I love the sneak perk. I am so excited for you and I can't wait to read it. Hopefully, while at the lake this summer.

  3. Oh, can't wait!! What an inspiration you are to so many!! Thanks for all you do.
    Your friend from VA.

  4. Thanks for the sneak peak! I am so excited to hear more and get my hands on this book in June :-)

  5. Congratulations. I am really excited for you! Can't wait to see it.

  6. What? I didn't know you were writing a book. I'm for sure getting myself a copy!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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