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Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through

Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through

5.0 1
by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, Katie Eastman Dr.

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“I highly recommend this book if you want to live more fully, laugh more heartily, and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones!”
— Noah St. John, best-selling author of The Book of AFFORMATIONS®, www.NoahStJohn.com 
     Is there a voice inside of you that’s urging you to make changes and seek a richer


“I highly recommend this book if you want to live more fully, laugh more heartily, and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones!”
— Noah St. John, best-selling author of The Book of AFFORMATIONS®, www.NoahStJohn.com 
     Is there a voice inside of you that’s urging you to make changes and seek a richer, more fulfilling life? Do you feel like you’ve been searching for something more meaningful, even if you don’t know exactly what it is? Have no fear—Percolate will show you how to let your best self filter through and thrive!
     In this empowering, heartwarming—and often humorous—book, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino will help you wake up to what’s possible, allow your heart and mind to simmer with fresh ideas to achieve your goals and enhance your well-being, and enable your spirit and passion to rise to the top like the foam on your latte. Elizabeth will guide you through the Percolate ProcessTM, a nine-point plan she developed with Dr. Katie Eastman that teaches you how to implement positive changes to excel in every aspect of your life. It’s simple, practical, and fun!
     Go ahead . . . grab a cup of your favorite joe, put your feet up, and start percolating. Ah, can’t you just taste the inspiring brew as your most powerful thoughts blend together to bring the authentic, best you to the world?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The suggestions for changing your life offered in this book by Hamilton-Guarino, founder of multimedia company The Best Ever You Network, strike a winning if overly familiar note. The author's spin on well-worn maxims—"Direct your thoughts in a positive direction"; "Keep seeking what is meaningful to you"; "Learn to say no"—is to organize them into an ingenious extended coffee metaphor. Thus, "love yourself" becomes "learning to like your own blend." In the "percolate process," you discover how to "expresso yourself" and the importance of "self-esteam." It's get-comfy, girlfriend-to-girlfriend advice, and Hamilton-Guarino's anecdotes and brainstorms suggest she would be a good friend if you were stressed about buying a new dress. "Start by trying on the craziest, ugliest dress you can find," she advises. "I initially wrote this chapter with a purple crayon on a napkin," she reveals at another point. And then there was the time her father was about to undergo a dangerous medical procedure and she visited him wearing a poncho like a superhero's cape. Whenever Hamilton-Guarino follows her own advice to "be yourself," the book is charming, though she relies too much on the tried-and-tested formula of the self-help genre. (Apr. 2014)
From the Publisher

“How can an aardvark and a platypus help you change your life? How can #WWBWD help you make better decisions? And what does brewing coffee have to do with being healthier and happier? For the answers to these and other life-altering questions, look no further than Percolate, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino’s masterwork. I highly recommend this book if you want to live more fully, laugh more heartily, and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones!”
Noah St. John, best-selling author of The Book of AFFORMATIONS®, www.NoahStJohn.com

“For years I have enjoyed bringing clarity and joy into my life by taking time each morning to reflect on my blessings over a hot cup of coffee. Now I have a new favorite way to ‘percolate,’ thanks to this wonderful book! After following Elizabeth on The Best Ever Your Network, I am so happy that she has found a new way to share her inspirational message with us all!”
Michelle Phillips, best-selling author of The Beauty Blueprint, www.MichellePhillips.com
“Elizabeth shows us how to follow our hearts and have the courage to really be ourselves—that we’ve been percolating all along.”
Gary Kobat, international authority on integrative well-being
“What amazing miracles have been percolating in your life that you might not realize, expect, or understand? Elizabeth and Katie will help you find out in Percolate. Enjoy the experience of letting your best self filter through!”
Deb Scott, host of The Best People We Know Radio Show

“I love the Java Jive, and it loves me . . . and I really love Percolate, a bold and flavorful blend of higher wisdom, experience, and common sense. Drink deep of this rich brew, and you’ll enjoy life to the fullest.”
Stephen Powers, Grammy Award–winning producer and co-founder of Agape Media International
“Percolate is a gift—a marvelous one—filled with intelligence and beauty.”
Michael McGlone, actor
“Courageously awaken and percolate your best self forward, and remember to put a fresh filter of unconditional love and light in each day.”
Debra Oakland, author and founder of Living in Courage
“If you can’t wait to get your hands on another self-help book filled with dogma and strict directions, then Percolate isn’t for you. However, if you’ve been searching for a book that can brilliantly guide you to guide yourself, search no more.”
Gabe Berman, author of Live Like a Fruit Fly
Percolate is not another self-help book. It’s an invitation to sit down with Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino for a cup of java and a generous helping of real-life stories that just may shift something in your own life—it’s that powerful.”
Lisa Tener, award-winning book coach
“Put down this book if you don’t want to do the work.”
Fred Cuellar, Diamond Cutters International
“Just like the ingredients of an excellent cup of coffee, Percolate delivers the perfect blend of emotional energy, spiritual spice, and tremendously good taste. Elizabeth’s bubbly attitude and fresh perspective will leave you thirsty for more!”
Sue Jacques, The Civility CEO®
“It takes only moments to learn that Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino has a gift for connecting with people. She shares her own personal experiences, and those of others, in a way that challenges each of us to become our best. The stories in Percolate continue to express her inspirational spirit and will simply make you feel good.”
Sarah C. Bazey, Mrs. International 2012 and president and CEO of Simplex
Construction Supplies, Inc.
“Percolateis the perfect title for Elizabeth’s book because anyone who knows her personality will agree that she is like a constant, contagious, and inspirational jolt of caffeine. This is a woman who lives every minute of every day to the fullest. Elizabeth’s cup runneth over, and if we can sip in just a little bit of her wisdom and experience, we should consider ourselves lucky!”
Anthony Turk, Hollywood publicist
“Elizabeth’s inspirational and caring spirit is reflected on each and every page of this book. A special thank-you to Elizabeth for guiding us on this journey to our best selves.”
Lisa Cocuzza, founder of It’s a Glam Thing
“Are you happy? Are you living a life that you love? If not, Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is your new best friend, and it’s time that you meet! In her own unique and delightful style, Elizabeth shows how to create your best-ever life, no matter what your personal circumstances.”
Gina Clowes, author of One of the Gang: Nurturing the Souls of Children with Food Allergies, www.AllergyMoms.com
“The No-Brainer Book of Big-Bean Changing! Your destiny reflects the choices you make. Your choices are the sum of your thinking, and your thoughts are infused with the meanings you attach to your words. So change the bean, change the brew: new meanings, new words, new thoughts, new choices, and—hey, presto—new destiny! Here’s to you being your own barista, percolating a rich, far-reaching aroma, stepping off the wheel and into the world to leave a positive footprint.”
Alex Concorde, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.,creator of CruXiom® New Mind-Body
Wisdom and author of Life: Choice, Chance, or Circumstance
“Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a master at connecting with people; and her warmth, storytelling charm, and sincerity fill every chapter. With her ingenious and inspirational methods, we can reach a better and fuller way to live and conduct our lives with more exuberance and with the results that we desire. This is a must-read book with activities and inspiration for anyone who wants to not only be adept at problem solving, but who is also ready for permanent change.”
Dr. Jo Anne White,professional transformational coach; radio host of Power Your Life; and author of Mastering the Art of Success, Joy, and Sense Your Way to Life Satisfaction
“Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is a mother, a businesswoman, and a fierce example of someone who takes life by the reins. She’s a positive example and yet still learning. Percolate is a beautiful compilation of insights she has gained over her journey to hopefully inspire, awaken, and evoke your personal best.”
Brianna Brown, actress and founder of The New Hollywood Women’s Goal Group
“Elizabeth’s perseverance and courage amidst life’s challenges should serve as encouragement for all. Through Percolate, she exemplifies the power of personal transformation and achieving balance in one’s own well-being. As a long-standing MedicAlert member, Elizabeth can live her life to the fullest, knowing well that should she ever be in an emergency, her lifesaving information is just a call away.”
MedicAlert® Foundation
“Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino’s writing is just like her personality: ebullient, charming, and uplifting. Percolate is a joy to read.”
Frank Dell’Amore, president, Dell’Amore® Premium Marinara Sauce
“Percolateis compelling from the very first words. I couldn’t put it down, and I was moved to tears within the first few pages. Give yourself the delicious joy of journeying through this inspiring book with Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino.”
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., author of Inner Bonding, www.innerbonding.com
“If Betty White, Erma Bombeck, and Cheryl Richardson had a sister, it would most definitely be Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. Simply put, Percolate flows, and you’ll love the feeling of expansion you get from reading it!”
Pina De Rosa, Mindset Effectiveness Expert, www.PinaDeRosa.com
“I am thrilled that Elizabeth took the time to write Percolate. Nothing is more healing to your heart than laughter.”
Shea Vaughn, founder and CEO of SheaNetics® and Healthy Initiative, www.SheaNetics.com and www.HealthyInitiative.org
“A beautiful and, at the same time, no-holds-barred presentation of Elizabeth’s philosophy of life. This book befits a delightful author who speaks with the directness and humanity of one who, through personal experience, knows what really matters in life. Elizabeth has touched the lives of many with her work, and with this book, she will touch yours, too.”
David Fraser, Ph.D.,executive coach and author of Relationship Mastery: A Business Professional’s Guide
“I believe that in life, what we give, we get back. Who we surround ourselves with is who we are and what we stand for. I believe there is a little bit of superhero in all of us. Percolate, written by my dear friend Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, is the Ultimate Superhero Self-Help Book for the Soul. I was truly inspired and deeply moved by the book. . . . This is a must-read and will give you strength, knowledge, and the courage to grab your own superhero cape and fly!”
Amy Pauszek, indie film producer/publicist

Product Details

Hay House, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt


Let Your Best Self Filter Through

By Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino


Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4019-4298-4


Discovering Your Inner Aardvark and Platypus

Life is full of choices about how to live and, for some, it includes choosing life itself. In August 2004, my kids, husband, and I moved across the country to Portland, Maine. Prior to the move, we'd spent months trying to decide whether we should move to Maine or Minnesota. Although my parents were living in Minnesota, and it would've been nice to be close to them, we opted for Maine because my husband's job offer there was a bit better. Besides, we figured my parents would love to visit, eat lobster, and take in the gorgeous scenery. Sounds like a great plan, right? Unfortunately, however, life had something else in mind....

On December 18, 2004, with my home still unpacked and boxes everywhere, I found myself boarding a plane from Maine to Minnesota, as my 60-year-old dad had suffered a stroke. He had collapsed in the living room of my parents' house the day before. My brother Shane had, by sheer luck, just learned the symptoms of a stroke a few days earlier. He recognized the signs immediately and called an ambulance. Shortly after the stroke, my dad suffered a brain hemorrhage that was devastating and called for extreme life-saving measures, including a barbiturate-induced coma.

I spent much of 2005 flying back and forth between Maine and Minnesota while my dad fought for his life. During this experience, I also discovered that I needed to help keep my mom healthy. She was completely devastated and stressed out, even sobbing in her sleep. I'd heard about instances of longtime married couples dying together: when one spouse becomes critically ill and dies, the other dies of a broken heart at the same time or shortly after. Having been married for over 30 years, my mother was a prime candidate for this. It felt like we would lose our mom, too, if our dad died or just from the sheer stress from watching him suffer. So my siblings and I tried to do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.

This was an intense period of ups and downs and near-death moments. During this time, my family members and I bonded with the doctors and nurses on staff. My dad's room was plastered with photographs of his children and grandchildren—the positive energy was abundant. It was clear that my dad loved movies, basketball, and other sports, too, as that energy was present in the room. We worked hard to keep my dad's morale up by reminding him of all the things he had left to do in the world: attending weddings, meeting future grandchildren, and so on.

However, at one point, the cardiologist gathered the entire family around. This seasoned professional cried as he informed us that he had done everything in his power to save my dad's life, but he feared the outlook was grim. Everyone in the room could tell he felt intense responsibility for keeping our dad alive, but it seemed so very hopeless. Despite his prediction, we found ourselves offering him hugs during this sad moment. In the midst of this most difficult conversation, the doctor mentioned that he would love to play basketball with Dad and all of us because we just seemed like such a cool, loving family. We cried. We prayed. We stayed positive and never gave up.

I flew back and forth for most of the year. On one occasion with my dad still in a coma, when things seemed completely desperate, while getting ready to return to Minnesota, I found myself alternating between crying and sobbing as I packed black funeral clothes in my suitcase. Then on that miraculous day in the middle of 2005, the phone rang. The call was completely out of the blue.

"Hello," the extremely weak, barely recognizable, and faint voice said, "It's me, Dad. I love you."

Caught completely off guard, with the coat of a black suit in hand, it took me a second to grasp what I'd just heard. It was my dad's voice. I couldn't believe it—my dad was speaking to me! My mom then took the phone because Dad was speaking to me while on a ventilator, a feat that is nearly impossible to do. When he woke from the coma, he'd requested to make a phone call to me. Just typing this makes me feel the warmth and abundance of gratitude.

My dad was alive—and, better yet, he not only came out of the coma, but for some miraculous reason that none of us really completely understands, my dad also had most of his faculties in order. His memory was perfect, and he could move. His speech was faded and weak, but it was clear to us all he would survive.

I packed brighter clothes and immediately flew back to Minnesota. Even today, it is quite difficult to remove that image of my dad when he was so ill from my mind. Many of us kids had nightmares and illnesses of our own that year because of the stress.

One thing I learned from my parents during this experience is the incredible strength they both showed. During this ICU stay, my dad was on a ventilator and for the most part unable to speak. We all discovered that years ago, our mom and dad had worked out a code to use in case of a situation such as this. If either of them became unable to speak, they promised to blink twice if the sick person could hear and squeeze a hand if they felt extreme pain. Throughout Dad's critical care stay in the hospital, he and my mom used this code much too often for the amount of tears I could cry. It's certainly a code of strength I'll never forget.

Months passed while Dad received treatment at the rehab center. We didn't know whether he would ever fully recover the use of his eyesight, speech, or hearing. There were some extremely dicey moments with fevers, involuntary hiccups, and just overall extreme weakness. These were things that set back the progress one hopes to make in a rehab center. Thankfully, as he began to recover, Dad gradually regained his strength and voice. There were no major issues to the extent of needing to go back to the ICU or hospital, but plenty of close calls and trying moments where continued will to survive was needed.

One day, rather unexpectedly, a gray-haired, spunky older nurse came into his room and told my dad that it was time to get him ready to go to speech therapy. My dad is about 6'4", well over 280 pounds, and at the time, he was in pretty rough shape. I know the last thing on his mind was speech therapy, but as many of us know, cooperation is important while in the hospital. It took several people what seemed like forever to properly maneuver him and his many cords and bottles in order to transfer him from his hospital bed into a wheelchair. He was already exhausted from that process, and despite his lack of energy and enthusiasm, my dad went along for the ride.

Now, my dad is a very smart man. Little did we know, but he was going to teach us a new code. The nurse who wheeled Dad down to his speech pathologist spoke to him in a gentle, baby-talk voice. She asked my dad to say the first word that came to mind when she said a letter of the alphabet. Naturally, she started with A. I suppose the nurse expected Dad to say at or and, words typical from a patient who had suffered such a severe stroke.

Dad looked over at us, rolled his eyes, and said, "Aardvark." My translation of Dad's code: "Do you think I am so debilitated that I've lost my mind, too?"

Dad, draped in fashionable hospital garb, exhausted, barely fitting in the wheelchair, and having now been in the hospital for months, was about to recite the preschool alphabet for all of us in a new way.

The next letter was B.

"Benevolence," he whispered. Mom and I giggled.

Then came C.


And D.

"Definitely determination," he said, smiling.

I'm fairly certain my dad's word selection for the letter F was, well, not appropriate for this book. We blamed that response on the drugs. For M, Dad chose "movies," and from out of nowhere came "platypus" for the letter P. The therapy continued through to the letter Z.

Although the nurse was astounded by my dad's vocabulary choices, Mom and I weren't surprised at all. My dad's mantra has always been I can and I will. Listening to him utter these words brought hope, courage, and laughter. Despite the trauma of a stroke and four brain surgeries, Dad maintained his wit and humor; it was his way of telling us he was going to be okay.

Thinking about the words I can't help me realize that our life experiences teach us what we are capable of achieving. It's easy to lose track of our successes when life becomes overwhelming. Eventually, we start to feel like we can't do something we love, or it's too late to be that writer we've always wanted to be, or that famous painter, or the adventurer longing to visit the rain forests of Costa Rica. We get stuck in the words I can't and give up on these dreams.

This is where percolating comes in and perhaps my favorite word will soon become yours, too.

When someone tells me they can't do something, I immediately think about my dad's experiences at the rehab center. I long to take the can't-sayer on a field trip to this inspiring institute just to show what can be done when you change can't to can. We spent months in this amazing facility, wondering if my dad would ever speak, walk, or see again. My mom and I would go on hospital walks during those bleak and desperate moments. While we wandered the mazes of halls, we'd gaze upon and admire the artwork displayed on the walls. Not until we closely examined the art did we realize who the artists were—blind people painting from memory, children whose limbs were deformed due to the effects of thalidomide, paralyzed patients painting with their mouth, feet, or even eyelashes. These incredible creations inspired us. They weren't just your average works of art—no, these images on the walls were miracles made from determination and the unwillingness to say I can't.

You can. Whenever my mom or I experience a challenging moment in our lives, we talk a lot about what we witnessed at the rehab center. My mom recently called to tell me that one of her friends asked her to speak at her funeral when she dies. I thought that was a strange request because the friend seemed young—just my mom's age. Mom reminded me that many people her age start thinking about their death, especially when they begin to have more serious health problems. Her friend had just been diagnosed with diabetes.

Rather than agree to the request, Mom surprised her friend by suggesting some dietary and exercise changes to help manage her illness and prolong her life. Despite this newfound knowledge, my mom's friend struggled with the diet changes and felt quite sad and hopeless.

I see this as an opportunity for her friend to awaken, to feel love and compassion for herself, and to begin to make changes. The pain and sadness provide an opportunity, and maybe even a chance, to become a medical wake-up call. Mom offered to help her friend adhere to the new diet and exercise regime, and she ended their conversation by assuring her that there would be plenty of time to discuss her funeral plans.

In contrast, my mom has another friend who is 83 years old. My mom's friend is so excited about her daughter's second wedding that she keeps sending my mom pictures on her cell phone of the new dresses that she is considering wearing to the special occasion, as well as jewelry and shoe choices. In fact, her friend has gone on a diet in preparation for her daughter's big day. Now, that's living. After telling me about her two friends, Mom said, "You can spend all of your time dying, or you can live. It's your choice." I don't know about you, but I choose to live.

Let's face it: For the most part, life isn't predictable. I know—that just seems so unfair, but since we have no way of knowing when or where we will draw our last breath, it's important to begin embracing life now. If you're reading this, smile. You can even giggle or laugh. After all, you're alive. Some mornings, it might not be that easy to just roll out of bed full of gratitude, plant those feet on the floor, and feel tremendous love for the day ahead. I get it; I'm usually fumbling around for my glasses that have fallen on the floor or socks that I've kicked off in the middle of the night, but if you think about the alternative, it makes the task a whole lot easier. You might have to learn how to do it, but it's an important lesson to master.

Here's an idea: Try spending some time reviewing your day and giving thanks for all the great moments—and yes, even for the not-so-great ones. Do this each night before you fall asleep, and ask yourself the following:

• Are you able to maintain a positive sense of yourself?

• Are you still positive to those around you under these wearisome circumstances?

How do you give thanks for a difficult moment? Perhaps it makes you appreciate the good ones all the more. This practice becomes especially important when life gets tough and throws you a curve, twist, or fireball.

Despite any challenge, with thought and reflection, you can focus on the positive and not drown in a pool of negativity, stress, or anxiety.


Be determined.


Bold Beginnings

The alphabet is one of the first things we learn in life and one of the first ways we express ourselves as children. From ABC songs to Dr. Seuss books, there are all sorts of games we played as kids to learn our letters.

If you have children, think of the time invested in teaching them to write, memorize, recite, and learn the alphabet. It's the foundation of our language, so much so that when I say the letter A, most people would respond with the word apple and not aardvark. Well, my dad inspired me to play a new alphabet game. Let's say that the first word that comes to mind for the letter A isn't apple. What if it's attitude? Would it be as catchy? Could your brain reeducate itself to think of attitude as the most dominant A word? What if we taught our kids this type of vocabulary from the start? What if we used those precious hours of early learning and taught life lessons using the alphabet?

The first step is to realize that the ABCs of life begin with positive thinking. You can retrain your brain to think positively; it's as important as learning the alphabet. Consider the words you use daily or even moment to moment, and think about what you say around others. Before you do this though, it's important to stop believing that everyone else has it better than you. You know it when you think it—it's someone who has a cleaner car, more cash in the bank, a bigger shoe collection, a higher-paying job, a book deal, a better body, or whatever you might perceive is true of someone else's life. You think that everyone around the world has a perfect life ... except you! There are days when you might catch yourself glancing at the marks on your kitchen walls thinking the house across the street is perfectly unscathed.

But whose reality are you really seeing? Upon closer inspection, you'll likely discover that nobody has the perfect life, and for the cleanest, best waxed car that ever existed, there is most likely a crumb or two somewhere inside. Therefore, it's important to focus on yourself and only yourself with respect to your life and to only evaluate how you are doing in it. I keep the word perfect out of the vocabulary at Best Ever You. After all, it says Best Ever You, not Perfect Ever You.


Excerpted from Percolate by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino. Excerpted by permission of HAY HOUSE, INC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino, founder and CEO of The Best Ever You Network, understands firsthand the challenges that life can bring and has worked with thousands of people worldwide to illuminate their light within and help them live their best life. She has a degree in communications and broadcasting; is a life coach, food-allergy expert, and anaphylaxis survivor; and is the host of The Best Ever You Show. Elizabeth and her husband and four sons live in Maine. Visit her websites: www.BestEverYou.com and www.PercolateBook.com.
Dr. Katie Eastman has been a change agent from a very young age. She holds a doctorate in clinical child psychology and a master’s in social work, and she also did extensive study in theology. Directing these skills to work in hospice and palliative care, Dr. Katie has become a tireless advocate for valuing quality of life throughout an individual’s life span and is the founder of Children’s Palliative Care Community. Learn more about Dr. Katie and her work at www.DrKatieEastman.net.

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A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.