Elisabeth Misner Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Imprint

Imprint

In 2014, I came to Elisabeth with this crazy idea for a science fiction short story called “Imprint”.

As a business and self-help author, this was way outside my wheelhouse but it was an idea that intrigued me greatly. She loved the idea so much she sat down and wrote a rough draft of the story. In 2017 she even did a pitch at a SXSW conference in Austin for the story to be done as a TV show or movie. Over the last several years we spoke about completing the story several times, but business and life had other priorities. After her passing several months ago, I felt compelled to complete the story and publish it. This short story is the end result of our combined efforts.

“Imprint” is available on Amazon.com for only 99 cents: https://tinyurl.com/ImprintShortStory

Take a look at the story at Amazon. If you like it – give it a review (if you don’t like it, forget I suggested it). 😊
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Charming and unexpected by Victoria Wacek

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necklace

The Necklace

As many of you know, my wife passed away a few months ago.  I’ve wrestled with sharing the necklace story because it is a bit out there for a left-brain business guy, but friends have suggested that I should share it, so here it is.

After Elisabeth passed away, all my children came over for a private memorial at our house. We gathered around her Bagua Circle (pictured here).  Elisabeth loved to do Tai Chi and Qigong (Chi Gong) in the circle with nature all around her.

That evening, I brought my two daughters and daughter-in-love (as Elisabeth called our daughter-in-law) up to her closet and I gave them some of her jewelry to remember her.

I told them that I would eventually give them most all her pieces except for two that I wanted to keep; her wedding ring and a necklace.  The necklace was a heart with a lock and key that she often wore.  We looked everywhere for the necklace – her jewelry drawers, the safe, everywhere.  But we couldn’t find it.  I was distraught because this necklace had a lot of sentimental value.  I bought it for her on a long romantic weekend trip to New Orleans and we both loved this piece a great deal.  Ashley, my eldest daughter, said that sometimes women drop a piece of jewelry in their purse and so we went through every purse she had.  (OK, so can I just say – OMG, I had no idea she had so many purses!!!!). We did find some jewelry but not the one I wanted so badly.  I was distraught because the necklace held so many happy memories.

The Necklace Dream

After the family left, I went to bed.  That night, I had the first dream about Elisabeth since her passing.  I had a very vivid dream about hands (that looked like Elisabeth’s) holding up a small pocketbook to my face and opening it up.  I couldn’t see anything else and I woke up and wrote the dream down.

A couple of weeks later, my daughter, Dorian (AKA Cassandra) came over for Thanksgiving Dinner (an American tradition).  While she was there, she asked if she could look through some bags that were in our pantry that had a lot of Elisabeth’s things in them.  She was looking for a Switch game that they both played together.  Dorian couldn’t visit Elisabeth’s island on the game without permission and she wanted to do that.  I told her to feel free to go through the bags and if she happened to find the necklace to let me know.  She sat on the floor and started going through everything.  I stood next to Dorian wondering if I should tell her about the dream I had.  It was so “out there” for me that I thought she would think I was losing it.  However, I felt compelled to tell her and so I shared the dream.

Just as I finished telling her about the dream, I looked down at her and she opened a small pocketbook and held it up to my face – “does it look like this?” she said as she opened the pocketbook and pulled out the necklace.  And there was the pocketbook exactly like in the dream I had.  I realized that it wasn’t Elisabeth’s hands in my dream, it was our daughter’s hands, and it was held up to my face just as in the dream except in her other hand was the necklace.

The fact that I shared the dream with her just as she found the pocketbook and necklace at the same moment was surreal.  We laughed, we cried, and we were both dumbfounded.

No one really “knows” what happens after we pass on – but today more than ever, I believe our loved ones can come back to us in mysterious ways with messages.

I have no answers – only my experience.  And that experience was stunning.

Have you ever lost a loved one and felt that they somehow spoke to you afterward?  If so, tell me about it here.

first date

Love at First Date

Someone recently asked me how I knew Elisabeth was my soulmate after our first date. I’ve told the story many times and I cover it a bit in the book, Givers Gain, but I don’t think I’ve ever written it down as one story so here it is:

I first met Elisabeth in 1986. It was at a BNI Leadership Team training I conducted in LA (Los Angeles). I vividly remember meeting her. She was young (23) and very motivated and I could see why the group elected her the President. I also recognized that she was very smart and she was… gorgeous. Although I was undeniably attracted to her – I was also in a relationship and didn’t connect with her again for two years.

In that time, unbeknownst to me, she moved from LA to Prescott, Arizona (many hours away). I was scheduled to speak in Phoenix (about 2 – 3 hours from Prescott) and out of the blue she called me. Now in 1988, I was no longer in that relationship and when she called, she said, “I don’t know if you remember me, but we met in LA a couple years ago.” My heart pounded but I calmly said, “Yes, yes, I remember you, Elisabeth.” She told me that her chapter knew had she met me and they asked her if she would call me to see if I would “swing by” Prescott to speak to their group – so she asked me that question. I knew I couldn’t just “swing by.” I knew it was an overnight trip so I did something I have never done before – I said, “If you’ll have dinner with me, I’ll drive the 2 – 3 hours over to Prescott to speak to your group,” and she said “Yes.” That was about April or May of 1988.

Honestly, for her it was a business meeting but for me, it was a date. I could tell pretty quickly that she wanted to keep it professional and I remained a perfect gentleman all evening. We spoke for hours. Many, many hours. I didn’t get her home until almost 1am and we had the BNI meeting that morning at 7am.

There was something special about this woman (after the first date)

When I got home to LA the day after the meeting, I had a conversation with the nanny (Pia Jacobsen – PJ) who was watching my young daughter (whom Elisabeth later adopted). She asked me how that “date” went that I was looking forward to so much. I told her that it was a “good thing that she lived so far away” and she asked me “Why?”. I told her, “Because if Elisabeth lived nearby, I would ask her to marry me”. PJ said, “Are you crazy, you just got divorced – you can’t get married again so soon and especially after one date!” I agreed that it was crazy and I told her I knew that I was a logical, left-brain thinker, but that there was something special about this woman and it was probably good that she lived so far away. It would give me time.

Elisabeth and I then started talking a couple of times a week by phone. This was back in the day when long-distance phone calls were crazy expensive. Beth couldn’t afford the calls so when she wanted to talk she would call me and we’d hang up immediately and I’d call her back because she didn’t make enough money to afford talking for very long. And I, of course, called her directly – a lot. We saw each other in person a couple times over the next seven months but the relationship was almost exclusively by phone.

We’re going to be a great team!

In late December, we were talking and she said she had just gone to a Chiropractor’s conference (she was a Chiropractic Assistant). I was still running my consulting business full-time AND doing BNI close to full-time. She asked me for some “business” advice. She said she had two job offers and wanted my professional opinion (as a business consultant) as to which was the better opportunity. My first question was – “Where are the jobs?” She said, “One was in Dallas and the other was in Pasadena” (close to me). I immediately told her the best one was Pasadena. She said, “But you haven’t even heard anything about the offers!” I said to her – “I don’t know if you get it by now but I’m interested in you. I recommend Pasadena.” So, she moved out to California in February. (The cover photo above of Elisabeth and I was taken in February 1989. I took her to the BNI Murder Mystery event in San Diego. It was our first getaway together) Then, she left the chiropractor and came to work with me in March (see the note from Elisabeth to me below). I asked her to marry me in April, and we were married in May, 1989 (see photos from our wedding at the bottom of this blog).

While it wasn’t love at “first sight” it was, for me, love at “first date”. We were married for 31 years. I don’t know “how” I knew. I’m not sure that “knew” is even the right word. It was something I “felt.” And for someone like me, who values tangible information and facts, to get such an overwhelming feeling – I knew I needed to pay attention to it. I’m glad I did.

Please visit the Elisabeth Misner memorial website and leave your memories or stories about Elisabeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner – Humanitarian, Author, Minister, and Mom

Elisabeth was the love of my life.  She brought color into my black and white world. Elisabeth Prevo was born on June 13th, 1964, in Fort Worth, Texas to John and Mary Prevo.  She was the eldest of three children.  Her brother is Jon Prevo and her sister is Tammy Prevo. She obtained both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in theology.  She was later ordained as a Christian minister. Elisabeth started her career as a chiropractic assistant where she met her husband, Ivan Misner.  She left that field to work for BNI where she served in many roles. She then transitioned to the Marketing Director handling PR and marketing for the organization.

In the last few years of her life, Elisabeth called herself a “Lovetarian.”  She loved people and she loved life.  Anyone who knew Elisabeth knew this to be true.  She was a gentle, loving soul who will be missed by everyone who knew her well. Elisabeth Misner passed away on October 29th, 2020. She is survived by me and her three children, Ashley Misner, Dorian Prin, and Trey Misner Tempest.

“All my life I have found creative ways to incorporate service to others into my professional life. From being a chiropractic assistant, managing special projects for BNI, and leading the prayer ministry at my church, my one question has always been, How can I help you? I want to know what I can do that will make things better for those whom I support and encourage.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Humanitarian Efforts of Elisabeth Misner

Givers Gain was a way of life for Elisabeth and myself. She taught us all how easy it is to be a positive part of someone else’s story.

  • As a child growing up in eastern Tennessee, Elisabeth collected the discarded aluminum cans from the various roadways near her home and recycled them. Furthermore, she donated all the funds from recycling the cans to the scouting program at her church.
  • As an adult living in Southern California, Elisabeth donated her gently used business suits to the House of Ruth for their clients to wear at job interviews. The House of Ruth provides critical, life-saving, and supportive services to victims of domestic violence in Pomona, California since 1977.
  • In 2005, Elizabeth Misner was named the Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year for her disaster relief support after Hurricane Katrina.
  • Internationally, Elisabeth Misner helped Building Blocks to build schools in Bangalore. This organization works for the betterment of slum children across India by providing them with a well-rounded education on par with most private schools.
  • Elisabeth supported the Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre in Kenya. They provide a great start at growth and learning to disadvantaged and special needs children living in the urban slums. They make it possible for children to reach physical, emotional, and cognitive development milestones and gain school readiness skills.
  • Elisabeth was the co-founder with me of the BNI Foundation and helped to raise millions of dollars for children and education all around the world. She also created their “Business Voices” initiative which creates an awareness of the local educational needs with the local business professionals.
  • Elisabeth was the administrator of The Misner Family Foundation. Beth, our three adult kids, and I would decide together which causes or charities to support as a family.

“It is so overwhelmingly gratifying to be able to impact the lives of kids all over our planet, whether they are in Kansas or India. I was raised with an understanding that we have an obligation to make life better for others wherever and whenever we can.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Books Authored by Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner was a New York Times Bestselling author. She wrote or contributed to seven books. Her latest book was published just one month before her death.  It is titled, Called Out of the Church.

Elisabeth Misner was an Ordained Minister

One thing that would tell you a lot about Elisabeth is that she transitioned from being called Beth to being called Elisabeth.  She did that because she said that Beth means “house” and “Elisabeth” means “house of God.”

Elisabeth was an ordained minister with a Bachelor’s degree in theology. Plus, a Master’s degree in theology with an emphasis on spiritual formation. She was the founder of the Journey Center (Claremont), a center for spirituality, healing, and wholeness in California. Elisabeth’s spiritual journey planted the seed of passion within her to be an instrument of peace and grace for others. She had a way of working with her clients to tap into their unconditional love. Her goal was to bring them to spiritual clarity and peace. It did not matter their faith path or tradition. Elisabeth was a meditation and prayer leader.

“There can be no doubt that the ability to intuitively listen to the voice of the Spirit is important.” Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth Misner Loved Being a Mom

Elisabeth would always say that the most important job in her life was that of “mom”.  She loved being a mom and she immensely loved our three children: Ashley Misner, Dorian Prin, and Trey Misner Tempest. While raising our children she also obtained a black belt in Shotokan Karate. Finally, Elisabeth studied Tai Chi and later become a Qigong Master teaching at the Austin Spa Resort in Texas.

“I have always been a full-time mom, and feel that God has taught me so much in the process of raising these three amazing young people.”  Quote by Elisabeth Misner

Final Thoughts on Elisabeth Misner

Elisabeth’s hobbies and interests included gardening, scrapbooking, and travel. Furthermore, she also loved reading, writing, painting, drawing, quilting, speaking, decorating homes, fine art, wine, astronomy, and meditation. Beth was fluent in Spanish and German, the language of her Mennonite great-grandmother, Elisabeth Kroeker. Yes, she was named after her. Elisabeth also spoke French and she knew sign language and a little Japanese.  Elisabeth was truly a life-long learner. She especially loved Texas. Beth always told people she was from Texas, even when they lived in California.  Texas was her home wherever she resided.  She was incredibly happy to come back to Texas for the last six years of her life. The world, Texas, and our home are a little less perfect without her in it.

In Lieu of flowers, our family would prefer donations to the BNI Foundation.

Please visit her memorial site and leave your memories or stories about Elisabeth:
https://www.forevermissed.com/elisabeth-misner/lifestory

I will be making an announcement later on Facebook when her online Memorial will be held. All are welcome to attend.

The Greatest Referral of My Life

If you’re familiar with BNI, the business networking organization I founded back in the mid ’80s, you may be aware that this year is BNI’s 30th anniversary and we’re honoring it with a celebratory video series.  Today, I’d like to share with you one of the videos from the series which is especially important to me because, in it, I talk about the greatest referral of my lifetime.

Throughout my thirty year career in networking, I’ve been privileged to receive more than a few remarkably noteworthy referrals–and I’ve seen and heard of some truly amazing referrals being passed to others.  However, nothing–and I mean nothing–has come close to being as remarkably noteworthy as this one referral which has changed my life in countless ways for the better and continues to define the center of my life.

After watching the video, I’d love to hear from you about what the greatest referral in your life has been up to this point.  I’m sure you have some amazing stories and I hope you’ll share them in the comment forum below–thanks in advance for your participation!

 

 

A True Givers Gain Achievement

In 1998, my wife Elisabeth and I co-founded the BNI-Misner Foundation, a nonprofit program supporting charitable causes. We created the foundation because we truly believe in the philosophy of Givers Gain, on which we founded BNI, our worldwide business networking organization. Simply put, Givers Gain means that if you help others, others will want to help you in return (think “what goes around comes around”).

Now, thanks largely to the generosity and kindness of BNI members and directors around the world who also believe firmly in the Givers Gain philosophy, as of May 2010, the BNI Foundation has contributed more than $1 million to charities around the world since its inception 12 years ago.

The foundation has a focus on children’s educational programs but allows donor-directed contributions as well. Looking back on the significant contributions the foundation has been able to make, I am continually inspired by the willingness of BNI members worldwide to give of themselves to help others. They made it possible to donate more than $100,000 to the 9/11 relief effort, $72,000 to tsunami relief, more than $25,000 for Haiti earthquake relief and tens of thousands of dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief. The foundation has built preschools in India, built preschools and a library and put tin roofs on schools in Indonesia, bought school uniforms for students in Kenya and stocked a library in South Africa with books.

Why am I telling you all of this?  I’m sharing these things with you because I truly believe that the more people genuinely give to others, the more successful they will be themselves. I fully attribute the worldwide success of BNI and its members (read some of their stories here) to this very concept. When you give to someone else because you want them to succeed, everybody wins, and you’re setting yourself up for success because the more good you do for others, the more good others want to do for you.

Starting this week, make a continuous effort to conduct your networking efforts, your business and your life with the philosophy that Givers Gain. Help people because you can and because you want to, and you’ll be amazed by the things you can achieve for yourself as a result.

To find out more about the BNI-Misner Charitable Foundation, click here.

Become a fan of the BNI-Misner Charitable Foundation on Facebook by clicking here.

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