Archive for the 'Tips & Trivia' Category
10.5 Top Tips… for Success in Business (and Life)
Business Success Skills:
Strategies, practical information, career-bolstering lessons, and insights
Today, I was interviewed by Angie Strader on her BlogTalkRadio show "What’s Your Bottom Line?" today. Each week, Angie has straightforward discussions about what it takes to be successful in your personal and professional life. "I pick the brains of my successful and inspirational guests. It’s like getting a free business success and motivational seminar each week!" she commented.
10.5 Top Tips for Succcess in Business (and Life).
1. Bring your talents with you.
2. Share your spirit. (enthusiasm, energy, playfulness, fun)
3. Stretch your skills. (continue to grow, attend training)
4. Acknowledge your uniqueness. (be authentic)
5. Be positive whenever possible; Pragmatic as needed.
6. Focus on solutions. (not on problem or blaming)
7. Celebrate your successes. (by yourself, and with others)
8. Listen to your heart; Be true to yourself. (inner compass)
9. Read inspiration that nurtures your soul.
10. Maintain your balance. (faith, sleep, family, work)
10.5. Keep a good sense of humor.
Sheryl Roush is an entrepreneur to her core, starting 8 businesses since the age of 16. With 35 years in marketing, advertising, graphic design and communication, she is an internationally top-rated trainer. An inspirational speaker, she has 3,000 presentations under her designer belt, in 9 countries. Toastmasters International honored her as the 3rd female to earn their elite Accredited Speaker designation, out of 4 million members in 106 countries. She speaks on conference programs on business and inspirational topics, boosting morale and skills.
Sheryl is the creator of the Heart Book Series, which includes: Heart of a Woman, Heart of a Military Woman, Heart of a Mother, Heart of the Holidays, Corazon de Mujer (Heart of a Woman, in Spanish), Sparkle-Tudes!, and Heart of a Woman in Business.
Heart of a Woman in Business is an inspirational collection celebrating working women and their unique contributions to the global workplace. This here’s how, sisters-sharing-with-sisters book shares their authentic stories, and offers here’s how and I did it, you can too! Selections offer strategies, practical information, career-bolstering lessons, insights, affirmations, poems, prayers and quotations. Whether you already own a business, planning to start one, or working in a job you love.
Contact Sheryl Roush at Sparkle Presentations, Inc. to speak at your event, meeting, conference or retreat. Call Toll Free 1-800-932-0973.
New Year’s Tips:
5 Positive Ways to End Your Year
These suggestions work the same in late December, mid-March, early summer or while watching leaves fall. Read this advice, and you’ll see the timing is universal.
1. Watch a movie . . . that tugs at your heartstrings. This may be a favorite movie you’ve seen many times, or a new one that excites you, moves you or maybe even makes you cry. Just pick one that makes you feel good as opposed to sad. When the movie is over bask in the feelings that you feel.
2. Think about things . . . that make you feel proud. Spend some time looking back at accomplishments large or small, private or public, that make you feel good about yourself. It will be time well-spent.
3. Listen to music . . . that makes you smile. You know what music this is. This is the music that makes you dance, smile and maybe brings back fantastic memories. Pop it in your CD player or fire up your iPod. Better yet, if you have an MP3 player, make a play list of all your favorites so you can listen to them back to back, anytime you want.
4. Talk to a friend . . . who believes in you. Spend some quality time – on a walk, over dinner or with a cup of coffee – talking with a person who is supportive of you and loves you for who you are. Enjoy the time together, listen to what they say, and thank them for being in your life.
5. Read a book . . . that inspires you. Whether a self-help book, inspirational poetry or a story you identify with, find a book that you will not only enjoy reading, but will also learn from.
All of these actions will create positive feelings and memories. Each helps you look back and inspires you into the future. You can use these feelings and memories to not only feel better about yourself now, but to propel you with greater energy and enthusiasm for what is coming.
Potential Pointer: Choosing actions that help you understand yourself and your world better, makes you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, you take an important step towards creating a better future – for yourself and all with whom you work, live and play.
Submitted by: Thom A. Lisk, www.TerrificSpeakers.com
25 Ways To Say Thanks
As I look back through the archives of "Living Wisely," I see that gratitude has been the theme of several of my articles around the holiday season. The old words seem to drum home the importance of being grateful for what
we have. This year, in the face of financial crises and the loss of veritable institutions that we’ve relied on for employment it may be more important than ever to find a silver lining in order to endure. In a time when our feelings probably outweigh our ability to express them, I thought it might be helpful to explore some ways to say thanks and experience feeling grateful.
1. Say Thank-You with your eyes
Make more eye contact with people. Really connect with the gratitude for being alive by connecting with another human through their eyes.
2. Write a Thank-You note
Write a note that thanks someone for being in your life without them having done anything or given you anything recently.
3. Tell people what they mean to you
Do not let an opportunity go by to tell someone what they mean to you personally and/or professionally. Let people know how they make a difference in your life.
4. Perform a Random-Act-of-Kindness
Anonymously, do something outrageously kind or generous for someone else. Never tell.
5. Create a daily ritual that expresses gratitude
List five things a day you are grateful for, light a candle, say a prayer, tell someone you love them, send out a daily email to your closest buds. Come up with something that will daily put you in contact with gratitude.
Hold a hand or lend a hand. Just help someone who needs help more than you do. It will give you amazing perspective on your life.
7. Pick up a treasure
When you see something that reminds you of someone you care about, pick it up for them and give it to them ‘just because’.
8. Make a Donation (even if you think you can’t afford to)
Sharing your money, expecting nothing in return, is a powerful way to show you are grateful for what you have.
9. Write or create something and donate the proceeds
Create something that can be sold to support a cause.
10. Give of yourself
The gift of your time and attention makes a great statement about how much someone means to you
11. Make a kid’s day
Giving a child a special day that will forever be a happy memory will be a win-win you won’t soon forget
12. Write a letter to the editor
If someone in your town (a teacher, a neighbor, a service provider) did something really great, write to the editor of your town newspaper to give that person a little extra acknowledgement. Tell people how this person went out of their way to help. You’ll warm some hearts and maybe cause of positive ripple effect for the person you thanked publicly.
13. Bring a friend along for the ride
If you get an opportunity of a lifetime or get ushered up your career ladder by a helping hand, bring someone you know with you. Do what you can to bring them along. Be that helping hand to the next person.
14. Share a meal
‘Breaking bread’ with somebody or a group a people is a great way to express your thanks for them. Serve them as if they were kings.
15. Park yourself in an awesome spot in nature
A majestic view helps to humble your ego and help you appreciate the richness of your world.
16. Finger paint
Get dirty finger-painting and feel the energy going through your fingers as you press through the paint on to the paper. Feel the privilege of having a body that works.
17. Plant a tree or some flowers (depending on region!)
There is a sanctity to putting living things in the earth to encourage their growth. You don’t have to be a ‘tree hugger’ to appreciate what the earth has given you by giving something back to it.
18. Dedicate something to someone significant to you
Say thank you by honoring someone with a dedication. Whether it’s something you have written or a performance or a book, or maybe even a project, dedicate it as an acknowledgment.
19. List the people that make your life easier
Write down a list of people that are in your life that do things with you or for you that make your life a little easier. Imagine if they were not there and how much would be on your plate.
20. Give away all you no longer need
Taking stock of your stuff and seeing it go on to people that can use it, gives you an appreciation for all you have.
21. Make someone something
Engage your creativity, suspend judgment and express your thanks for someone by making them a gift. Whether you have a particular craft or talent is not necessary. Share your creation and tell the receiver what you did to create it.
22. Help someone feel important
Sing Happy Birthday at your own birthday party to someone whose birthday closely follows yours. Acknowledge someone else publicly while you hold the floor. Include someone at the ‘head table’ of an event who would not expect to be there. Do something for someone else’s self-esteem.
23. Document someone else’s life
Dust off your camcorder and record an oral history by a family member, friend or interesting acquaintance. You can even forget the camera and just get someone to talk about the stories of their life. Just when you think you’ve been through it all or you’ve hear it all, you’ll fill with the appreciation for the journey we are all on.
24. Kidnap a friend or loved one for a day devoted to them
Show up unexpectedly and steal someone away for a day of activities handpicked for your friend’s enjoyment. Take them to eat their favorite kind of food, take them to a movie they would love to see, take them to their favorite sporting event or shopping place. Plan a day that has nothing to do with you. Devote it to them.
25. Say Thank You and Mean It
‘Thank you’ can sometimes take on the same worn familiarity as your most comfy slippers and lose it’s true value. Pay more attention as you say it and really mean it.
Giddy, ecstatic, humbled, moved, awed—grateful.
However, the emotion registers for you, each of these actions can likely get you there. It is that intense feeling of being alive that we crave. Despite any troubles we may be dealing with, remember the feeling these 25 ways give you and recreate it every day. That is living. That is worth Thanksgiving.
by Laura Berman Fortgang, Speaker, Author, Coach
Copyright ©2007-2008 Laura Berman Fortgang.
Reprintable when full credit is given.
Attitudes of Gratitude: How To Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life
by M. J. Ryan
Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
by Robert Emmons
Heart of the Holidays: Yuletide Treasures & Traditions. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Mother: A tribute to a mother’s love. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Woman: Insights on the strength and wisdom of women. Stories, poems and quotations, by Sheryl L. Roush
Heart of a Woman in Business: Stories, Strategies and Skills for Business Success, by Sheryl L. Roush
Affirmations for Presenters
Read out loud before your presentation.
I AM CENTERED.
I let go of anything that has happened today which does support me to be my best NOW.
I put my ego aside and serve this audience to the best of my abilities.
I remain balanced and centered and am capable of handling anything.
I AM KNOWLEDGEABLE.
I have credibility in this topic and present this message in a way which is easily understood and by all.
I am professional and respected.
I AM CALM.
I gave thanks that my thoughts flow easily and effortlessly.
My words flow smoothly and in a logical manner.
I am safe. I am confident. I visualize success.
I am authentic, genuine and real.
I AM CONNECTED.
I easily establish and hold rapport with my audience.
I am connected with my audience and shift to respond with them.
I create ways to involve the audience.
I empower interaction among and with the audience participants.
I AM DYNAMIC.
I deliver a dynamic presentation.
I am amazing. I am courageous.
I am an outstanding speaker.
I AM PLAYFUL.
I take my material seriously and delivery lightly.
I use my talents.
I have fun, and they have fun.
I AM THANKFUL.
I am worthy to deliver this message.
I am grateful for the privilege to serve them.
I give thanks that I meet and exceed expectations of all present.
I give thanks that I reach each listener on their level.
Published in Heart of a Woman in Business.
Sparkle Presentations, Inc.
From the Heart of a Woman in Business book by Sheryl Roush
How to Take a Good Picture of Someone
(one that looks real)
When it comes to down to it, all any of us want in our lives, is just one, great, image to be remembered by… is it too much to ask? And our biggest fear is that we will be caught looking hideous and that is how we will be thought of… FOREVER!!!
When we first start out in business, we are always trying to find that one thing we are good at, I was fortunate to find my "good at" thing when I was 20 and became a portrait photographer. When I first started, I asked myself, "What makes an image look great?"
At first I thought, good lighting (bought that), then a cool studio (got that), great equipment (check), then I became skilled at hair and make up and wardrobe… still, with all that, I noticed there were photos that had of none of these advantages but still looked great.
So I asked myself, "What is it that makes an image look great?" And the answer came "Capturing the real person." REAL, that’s what we love, no fake smiles, real ones, no trying to look confident, real confidence. How do you get that out of a person? How do you capture that which is secret and guarded?
I’d spend an hour getting everything set up right, putting them together so they look perfect and then stick them out there and say. "Be Real!" My clients just stood there asking me what to do. And at first I really didn’t know, I just knew I wanted them to be comfortable and have a fun and successful experience at my studio. I would start telling them a funny story, maybe one that wasn’t funny when it happened to me… but one that was real. I put on their favorite music. I ask them about their lives, what they like, what they love, who they love. I devoted myself to them and who they really are, relinquishing and resonating with their individuality… creating special moments in my studio where people are truly and deeply connected, connected enough to show me their real self.
So how can YOU take a good picture of someone?
By first giving to them from your heart, then all you need to do is push the button!
08 08 08-A Day of Prosperity
Today is a most unusual day. if you embrace the Gregorian calendar, like we do in the Western World. Today is the 8th of August, 2008. We indicated it with 8/8/8 and the multiple 8s mean some interesting things to many people.
The number EIGHT. In many cultures celebrated as a symbol of "infinity."
For the Chinese, the number 8 holds a special significance. They believe that it means good fortune coming or prosperity. In Hong Kong some who would pay extra to have the number 8 on their license plates, and telephone numbers. They believe in luck in China — a lot. So, today is a particularly “lucky” day for many Chinese.
The Number Eight
The word for "eight" in Mandarin sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar. There is also a resemblance between two digits, "88", and the shuang xi (‘double joy’), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters ? (xi, ‘joy’, ‘happiness’).
The Summer Olympics in Beijing open on 8/8/08 at 8:08:08pm.
Of course today also marks the beginning of the Olympic Games, which was carefully selected for these reasons, and just following a full eclipse of the sun a couple of days ago over Russia and China. It is no mere coincidence that the Chinese chose to start the Olympics in Beijing today – and at exactly 8.08pm. The date and time were specially picked in a bid to bring them luck.
Chinese tradition aside, numerologists say eight is known as the ‘great balancer’ or the karmic ‘you reap what you sow.’
A quick glance back at what has happened on previous August 8s may partly back up the notion it is a lucky date. Famous people born on 8/08 include the Duke of York’s daughter Princess Beatrice (and in 1988 too), tennis champion Roger Federer (1981) and former Grand Prix ace Nigel Mansell (1954).
A Time of Reflection toward the Future
Whether you believe in it’s luck or not, one has to stop and think what a powerful day it really is in the way that it has brought so many people together in this time of reflection and continued progress toward prosperity and abundance of everyday life.
Create an abundance day today. Wherever you are. Share that love, laughter and joy with others. Yes, go out and create monetary abundance for yourself and others. After all, the free market is all about abundance and helping people everywhere to increase their living (see Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations).
May today be a special day for you and bring you lots of happiness, success and much prosperity.
May you have continued prosperity and abundance however, that would apply to you now.
August 6, 2008
Clearing Our System: Food Allergies
In this day and age we know so much more about our relationship to food than our predecessors, and the way we eat and think about food has become almost unrecognizable to our grandparents‚ generation. One example of this is our awareness of food allergies, a condition that has recently entered the collective consciousness. Most of us know someone who is allergic to such commonplace foods as wheat and dairy, and we may even be prone to such an allergy. Understanding how our bodies react to food, and making the necessary adjustments in our diet, can have a profound effect on our whole energy system, and can be the key to shifting our mind into a state of greater clarity.
When we are continuously exposed to a food that gives us an allergic reaction, we feel lethargic, foggy-headed, or as if we always have a low-grade sinus infection. Other symptoms can include nausea, digestive difficulties, skin problems, and difficulty breathing. Many of us have been fighting these symptoms our whole lives without realizing that getting relief could be as simple as cutting a particular food out of our diet. When we do, we feel as if we are waking up out of a fog, and our whole system, cleared of substances that work against it, benefits. Many people see skin improvements, they sleep better, have more energy, and feel able to think more clearly. When we feel less than well, testing ourselves, or getting tested by someone else, for food allergies may be a good place to start.
If you know how to do kinesiology, or if you work with a pendulum or have access to clear signals from an inner guide, you can test yourself. If these modes of gaining information are unfamiliar or uncomfortable, you can get tested through a doctor of your choice. However we go about it, exploring our relationship to the foods we eat can be the first step to a more optimal state of health, well-being, and clarity of mind.
15 Tips for Saving Money at the Supermarket
Saving money at the supermarket has never been more important or difficult. Get Rich Slowly published 15 money-saving tips to help you hold onto your hard-earned cash.
1. Make a list and stick to it. Lists focus your shopping and are the single best way to save money.
2. Compare unit pricing, not box size. As with good things, good prices sometimes come in small packages.
3. If you only need a handful of items, use a basket, not a cart. Empty space cries to be filled.
4. If it’s not on your list, don’t pick it up. According to Paco Underhill in "Why We Buy": “Virtually all unplanned purchases…come as a result of the shopper seeing, touching, smelling, or tasting something that promises pleasure, if not total fulfillment.”
5. Shop at the edge of the store. That’s where the healthier, cheaper items hide.
6. Disavow brand loyalty and swear allegiance to the lowest price.
7. Consider generics. You usually get the same quality, without the unnecessary branding.
8. Learn to love coupons. With practice, you can buy almost $150 worth of stuff for $5.
9. Make one big shop, rather than several small ones. You’ll save on gas while inoculating against wasteful spending.
10. Buy from bulk bins. Why pay for packaging and marketing when you can reach right in and scoop out exactly what you need?
11. Check your receipt. Don’t let an errant scan ruin your hard work.
12. Shop alone. Science shows that we spend more when we’re with company.
13. Track your spending so you can see what’s eating your money. Committed receipt hawks can spot price cycles to help guide their shopping.
14. Eat a meal before shopping. Shopping on a full stomach tamps down impulse spending and keeps you focused on your list.
15. Shop without a car. Nothing limits spending like knowing you’ll have to carry your goods home.
Published in Heart of a Woman in Business by Sheryl Roush
Are You Ready to Make a Change?
What is the one thing that would make the most difference for you if it was handled? Is it a problem that needs to be addressed? An opportunity that would catapult your career, business or personal life to a new level? Do you need to deal with a difficult client, employee or supervisor? Would you benefit from starting a fitness program, paying off debt or scheduling regular time off?
To produce a different result, something will need to change. What you have done up until now has gotten you where you are. Doing the same thing going forward is going to keep you there.
Change can be frightening and uncomfortable. That’s why many people choose to continue repeating past behaviors rather than risking a change that will take them to their most cherished goal or dream.
The decision to leave the corporate world to start my own business a few years ago was a major change for me. I knew that in order to pursue my dream of helping people become more empowered, fulfilled and successful, I had to make a change. It required me stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks with no guarantee of success. No doubt, it has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, but making this change has also led to success and opportunities I would have never imagined.
Is there a change you’ve wanted to make, but just haven’t been able to get started? Why not begin today?
Here are four tips to help you:
1. Decide that you will make a change.
Hope is not a strategy. Rather than sitting around hoping things will change, decide that you will commit to doing something different in order to create different results in your life, your relationships or your career.
2. Get clear on your desired outcome.
It’s hard to hit a target you can’t see. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Where do you see yourself once the change has become a reality? What is important about the goal?
3. Create a plan.
Develop a plan to use as your roadmap and guide. It is easier to make progress when you have outlined the steps to take. A clear plan will act as a compass to keep you on course amidst the hundreds of distractions you will face along the way.
4. Get into action.
Once you decide to make a change, it’s time to take action. Many people get stuck at this crucial step, letting their fear of the unknown stop them from moving forward. By taking action, you create momentum and positive energy to propel you forward.
What will you do differently?
Are you ready to make a change?
Pat Morgan, Life Coach
Published in Heart of a Woman in Business, releasing October 1, 2008
How to Bring Eloquence to your Presentation Skills
Eloquence is lean. But, I didn’t know that when I started speaking 7 years ago. I used weighty language, and for the wrong reasons. In retrospect I can see innocence in the mistake. I was a woman and often younger than my mostly male clients. My expertise had been acquired through an eclectic route and bore no degrees or designations to fortify surety in myself. So I used three-dollar words to sound credible, content-ful and smart. The more nervous I got, the more tiles disappeared from my scrabble bag.
A breakthrough came while a consultant was preparing me for a radio interview on parenting, the topic of which was to be a concept I call “The Trophy Child.” In our practice session, I kept saying the problem of using our children to gain status was systemic, and she kept saying the word systemic was inaccessible and preventing me from connecting with the audience. She was right and this “a-ha” lead to the development of a mental filter. A little bell began to go off when the wrong motive was behind a lavish word. Now I work to make impact without pomp. I have found simplicity and brevity are harder.
The tendency to be verbose can come from other roots. Many industry and business experts are so familiar with their own jargon, they cannot see how thick and impenetrable it is to the listener. Professorial trivia buffs have trouble with arcane references that create separation and leave folks behind (seen any Dennis Miller lately?).
Does this mean that we should shy away from using colorful or interesting words? Au contraire! But, we must be sure our selections are mindful, and strive to elevate the message, not ourselves.
Each of us have some verbal shortcomings and big words may not be your issue. You may have trouble putting your thoughts together in a clear way; you may be a 20/30 something for whom “like”, “you know” and “totally” have infected your delivery; you may have a hard time feeling confidant in front of any size group and find that this internal experience corrupts your ability to speak well. Let’s face it, we can all turn up the heat on purposeful word choice. There is work to do. The first task is to reflect.
Step one is external. We must have truth reflected back at us, as in a mirror. Seek feedback on your presentations through video, coaching, honest words of colleagues, and evaluations. Now take these numerous and thorough points of view and see how they reflect your eloquence. Are you hearing “to the point”, ”articulate” or “really kept my attention?” How many said “seemed a bit long” or “couldn’t quite follow.”
Step two is internal. Usually a critical mass of data is building around us to help reveal blind spots, and if we are quiet we will begin to notice themes in our own professional flaws. Become a watcher to your own play and try to actually listen to yourself while you speak. This will take some time but soon you will actually be pulled out of your own presenter trance when your words sound over-the-top, meandering or dull. You will notice when you drone on during your A to a short Q. Speaking of Q’s…asking yourself reflection questions can help. “Am I saying exactly what I mean?” “What portions of this presentation don’t really add anything relevant?” “What would it look like to be in complete command of this room?”
Step three is eternal. As our presentation careers progress our word choice becomes more perfect and more natural. Eventually we move from Thermometer to Thermostat. A thermometer constantly checks to see what the room feels like. A thermostat hovers at the right mark by making constant adjustments automatically.
And after all of this reflection; Redesign! Here are a few tips to get you started…
12 Stops on the Road to Eloquence
Upgrade your Source: Don’t stop at your computer thesaurus. Purchase The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale and Nancy LaRoche. This juicy tome is the difference between the spatula aisle at Vons and William Sonoma.
Off your Offspring: Writers fall in love with their own words. But, when it comes to editing the common thought is, you must “kill your children.” Go through your presentations and edit listening for overkill, showing off, repetition and repeating.
WWMAD: What would Maya Angelou do? If I were one of the great masters of clarity blended with poetry, how would I say it?
Practice Makes Perfect: Don’t feel strange about rehearsing what you are going to say whether it is to an audience of 1, 3 or 1000. Nerves can hijack your eloquence in a heartbeat unless they are tamed by practice. Use this discipline especially when speaking in front of anyone that is particularly intimidating to you or who presses that Daddy/ Big Brother/ Hot-Guy-Who-Rejected-You button.
Go Low: Ladies, be aware of when you are chattering away in your high register. To empathize with the male perspective on this sound, try calling to mind the last time your children were whining. Use your low tones. Then give yourself positive and affirming self-talk to add the confidence to back them up.
Follow Through: You know how to follow through in sports. Do the same in speaking. Once the perfect eloquent words are in your speech infuse them with good full breaths. Let your weight drift forward to the balls of your feet. Linnnger slightly on the right consonants and exlooore your vowels.
Cut That Out: When striving for eloquence on paper try to cut out the word “that” whenever you can. It is unnecessary 90% of the time.
Write It- Edit It: You have 100 words to make a point to a man. Any more and you venture into the territory I like to call “The Avalanche;” pouring tons and tons of info into their very action-oriented minds. Try this- write out everything you want to say and then edit it down to 100 words. When you read it back you will get the felling of the brevity and directness that makes men listen.
Go Easy on Quotes: If you crave more splash in your words, don’t borrow them too liberally to meet this need. Too many quotes in a presentation smacks of amateurishness. They came to hear you.
Drop the Cookbook: I love to bake because it is an opportunity for instinct and nuance. A good recipe partway through is abandoned, like a guidebook that at some point is tossed to the tour-bus floor so one can run off and explore. The point is…Improvise a bit; even through content you have already written.
Identify your Recipe: One more baking analogy and then I am going to have to go whip up a lemon bundt cake so I can get back to concentrating. There are different flavors of eloquence. Ask yourself, what is your eloquence recipe? A spoon of wisdom? A pinch of sweetness or sarcasm? Just a dash of subtlety?
Warm Up: Why write it if your lips can’t say it? The most beautiful words need a warm and flexible vocal instrument to be heard. You can sing scales. You can hum a note, sliding up and down. Don’t forget the tongue twisters. My favorite; “She stood on the balcony inimitably mimicking him, hicupping and amicably welcoming him in.”
Welcome to today’s words. “Punked” is a verb and Paris Hilton a role model. We need every well-spoken syllable we can find. So don’t give up the fight. Carrying the torch of moving and relevant language is, as it always has been, up to you, to me and the occasional odd guy on a box in a public square.
-Juliet Funt, Speaker, Author
Juliet Funt is the owner of Talking on Purpose, Inc. Her hilarious, lively and idea-packed presentations may just be the most fun thing about your next meeting or training day. Check out www.julietfunt.com for more info or contact Juliet at 323 854 8855 or Juliet@julietfunt.com
Keeping Your Balance
Although it really does feel like you are at the mercy of other people’s emotions, you can stay in an energy that serves you best. You don’t have to get on the emotional roller coaster with them. When you allow yourself to become more of an observer in any given situation you free yourself from believing you are being personally attacked or that you need to solve their stuff. It helps you remember they are speaking from their truth and it doesn’t necessarily represent your truth. When you know who you are, how you want to feel and that you really do want the highest good for all involved, you create an energetic vibration that can move from you to them, ultimately changing the outcome of any situation allowing you to walk away feeling good that you stayed connected to your energy.
~ Linda Salazar
Certified Personal Life Coach, Author, Speaker, www.AwakenTheGenieWithin.com
©2005 All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
This excerpt is from the book Heart of a Mother by Sheryl Roush.
Travel Tips and Favorite Places to Rejuvenate:
Xcarat, Cancun, Mexico
Submitted by Karen Tate, Speaker, Author, Sacred Tour Leader
Travel industry statistics show that when people travel they want to do more than lay alongside a beautiful pool or beach sipping margaritas. They want to spend their precious time away from work engaged in some activity that nourishes their body, mind and soul, uplifts their spirits, or contributes to the good of society. Some doctors take vacations and participate in efforts such as Doctors Without Borders. People go on spiritual pilgrimages to curry favor with a deity, connect with their ancestral roots or for emotional or physical healing. They rejuvenate their bodies, minds and spirits with what we call in contemporary times, purposeful travel, rather than the more out-dated term, pilgrimage. And statistics also show that more and more women are taking these kinds of journeys, alone and in groups. And many are seeking out places that can bring them closer to the essence of the Sacred Feminine.
Whether one is seeking the Sacred Feminine essence or not, Xcarat is, a cultural, spiritual and eco-archaeological park filling many of the aforementioned needs, for women, men and children. Located just outside Cancun, in the lush tropical landscape of the Yucatan region of Mexico, the park offers more activities than one can possibly entertain in one day, often tempting visitors to return a second or third time. The park promotes a healthy respect and enjoyment of nature and the cultural heritage of the Aztec and Maya world. And for those interested in Aztec and Mayan aspects of the Sacred Feminine, the park is a fun place to experience the essence of the Goddesses, Chalchiuhtlicue and Ix Chel, respectively, in a living, participatory and natural environment.
Xcarat, meaning “small inlet” was one of the most important Maya spiritual and ceremonial centers for more than a century. Goddess devotees who visit Xcarat will immediately be overwhelmed with all there is to do and see which immerses the visitor in a communion with the spirit of Goddess – at an adult amusement park! Here visitors are offered a unique opportunity to feel within Mother Nature’s embrace like nowhere else. Set on the blue-green waters, filled with butterflies, felines and colorful birds, Xcarat is a contemporary sanctuary of Goddess.
Starting with the naturally occurring underground rivers for which this region of Mexico is famous, (which quickly brings to mind Chalchiuhtlicue and “her watery jade skirt” motif), at Xcarat visitors can don a life jacket and flippers and immerse themselves in these cold, swift and clear waters. The experience is almost one of rebirth. The cold water, compared to the heat of the steamy temperature outside, causes swimmers to quickly stop breathing and catch their breath, in a sort of mini-death, only to gasp back life a few seconds later, feeling truly alive from the experience. The clear waters of the underground rivers are magical. One floats in this womb-like waterway for 1,600 feet, sometimes completely underground in dimly lit watery caverns.
The animals kept at Xcarat certainly reflect Goddess, as Mistress of the Animals, especially the large feline cats on jaguar Island where there are adult and young pumas and jaguars for all to see. There are the exquisite butterflies in the Butterfly pavilion. This pavilion is one of the largest in the world and unique for its self-sufficient butterfly reproduction. It is truly awe inspiring to sit amongst these beautiful and delicate creatures whose life is so fragile and transforms so quickly, a symbol of life, death and rebirth offered by the Mother.
As an ecological park, Xcarat is providing breeding and care programs for the animals they house there, including the rare turtles and manatee. The park raises awareness of environmental concerns threatening marine life, animals and the environment in participatory programs such as careful swimming with dolphins. There is a bat cave, wild bird aviary, reef aquarium and native bee exhibit – all creatures of Goddess, known to embody her very essence. One can also enjoy the mushroom and orchid farms or the tropical jungle path, all sources of sacred beauty and fertile bounty.
Maya culture comes alive among the actual archaeological ruins on site in a recreated Maya village and especially during the night time activities. When the lights go down at Xcarat, and the activities of the day close with the setting sun, the ancient rituals of the Maya come to life. At dusk everyone gathers on the terraced seating for spectators to await viewing of Ulama, the actual ancient Maya ballgame. Under the watchful eye of Ix Chel, the Moon Goddess, the evening ceremony begins with a calling for the blessing of the elements of the universe and four corners: air, fire, water and earth, also associated with Ometeotl, the deity who embodies the duality of male and female. The ballgame then begins and spectators are instantly transported back in time, seeing players in native dress of the era, play an ancient game few have ever witnessed.
At the conclusion of the ballgame, spectators walk from the park along a particular route through a modern recreation of an ancient Maya village. The route takes them by various Maya rituals being performed to haunting music by individuals dressed in vivid and glorious costumes. It is truly a unique experience and a rare glimpse at what life may have been like during the worship of Goddesses in ancient Mexico. Sometimes the night activities include touring the underground rivers lit by only candlelight – an opportunity not to be missed.
The park has other activities not particularly related to goddess, though are a continuing celebration of life that is the Divine Feminine within nature. There are opportunities to scuba dive, ride horses, see cultural performances and equestrian shows. There is a museum which displays detailed models of all the archaeological sites on the Yucatan peninsula. There are restaurants, locker rentals, a drug store and all the modern conveniences of home – including the opportunity to get a great massage or facial. One is reminded of the words of the Popol Vuh, a sacred book of the Maya-Quiche, “Here is the story of the beginning, when there was not one bird, not one fish, not one mountain,” Xcarat feels like a paradise, an Eden, a place far from mundane life, a pristine place of nature, from which all life may have been born.
-Karen Tate, Speaker, Author, Sacred Tour Leader, Radio Show Host, www.karentate.com
Excerpted from Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations
IN THE WORKPLACE
Our Professions Can Cause Our Bodies to Hurt…but There is a Solution
by Sue Crossen, CMT/injury & Rehabilitation Therapist
Author: Back Pain Breakthrough and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Breakthrough
I’ll never forget the day I tentatively poked my head around the corner and glimpsed into my office. I knew I had to go in there, but I was afraid. Every time, after being on the computer a few minutes, I’d get burning pains in my upper back. “Get in there and figure out what’s happening,” I yelled to myself. “After all, you’re a therapist!” I marched myself into my office and sat down. I sheepishly put my hands on the keyboard and started typing. Sure enough, in seconds, I saw the culprit behind the pain. I was keeping my right shoulder slightly elevated. Even having a shoulder elevated one-tenth of an inch will eventually cause pain. So, instead of having my mouse and mouse pad on my desk, where they had been from the get-go, I pulled up a chair next to mine and put them down on the seat. That instantly forced me to drop my shoulder down and, presto; the pain in my upper back vanished as quickly as it had appeared.
I know that not everyone has the luxury of pulling a chair up next to theirs. But there are all kinds of tricks for avoiding and ridding your body of aches and pains.
My son, John, is home from college and has a summer job working as a reservation’s agent for a ferry boat that takes people to a quaint little island off of Southern California’s coast. John sits at a long desk, butted up against about six other people, all with headsets and computers.
Just as John was coming through the door, around 10pm one evening, to tell me about the aches and pains he’s starting to get in his neck and shoulders, the ringing of my phone jarred me from my focused trance as I wrapped up my latest article. It was a dear friend of mine, Cathy. “Sue,” she cried in desperation. “In addition to this job driving me crazy, I’m now getting carpal tunnel syndrome. Can you help me?” With John standing in front of me, Cathy on the phone, and another friend who had just called me a few days prior asking what he can do about his shoulder pain that’s arisen from sitting in front of a computer 40 hours a week, I knew it was time to write an article on how to alleviate the aches and pains from our jobs.
The most important factor to realize is why these musculoskeletal conditions (carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, tendinitis, hammertoes, arthritis, etc.) arise in the first place. Some people call me up utterly frightened about their pain. Pain can be truly scary. So many fearful questions pop into people’s minds: “Will this pain ever go away?” “Will I lose my job?” and/or “Will I have to have surgery?” And, believe me, I’m speaking from personal experience. I became a therapist, author, even a radio show host (The Healing Truth – 990 WALE) because I had been a back pain patient for 20 years, even spending the last year in bed. Yet, during that year in bed, I went on a crusade for an answer (read hundreds of books and articles on the back, arthritis, and health in general and interviewed hundreds of physicians and other healthcare practitioners). One day I had an epiphany; the pieces of the puzzle finally fit. I knew the real cause of so many of our aches and pains. Just as the cause became absolutely clear to me, as I now speak to others on the subject, it becomes clear to them. And, it instantly takes the “fear factor” out of the equation. This alone can start reducing stress and anxiety, which in itself can diminish some of the pain.
Think about these questions for a second:
1. Who gets carpal tunnel syndrome?
2. Who gets shin splints?
3. Who gets golfer’s elbow?
4. Who gets tennis elbow?
Besides receiving a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, I had been continuously told by a physical therapist that my back problem was caused by weak muscles. Yet, I had been a gymnast for numerous years (one of the most physically demanding and strength requiring sports). I had muscle on muscle.
I realized that, in virtually every case, all musculoskeletal conditions are simply caused by incessantly contracted muscle tissue. Hard to believe? Keep in mind this fact: Our bodies are almost 70% muscle.
A major clue came from the numerous research studies I examined that illustrated that there was basically no correlation between spinal abnormalities and pain. For instance, at George Washington University 67 people, who never had back pain, were given MRI’s of their spines. Nearly half of these people had a bulging disc, several had herniated discs, many had arthritis, etc. Yet, these people were pain free.
When a person uses a muscle over and over again, the muscle becomes tight. Chronic muscle contraction results in compressed nerves and constricted blood vessels. This, in turn, can bring on symptoms such as tingling, burning, numbness, heaviness, weakness, and cramps. But the problem doesn’t lie within the tendons, the ligaments, the nerves, the bones, or the discs—the problem lies within the muscle.
The solution is simple. Since in almost every single case musculoskeletal conditions are caused by tight muscles, all we need to do is release these short, taut muscles. Hence, when they are released, the problem resolves itself. And, this is the case for practically every single musculoskeletal ailment that affects the body.*
The solution is found in a unique stretching technique and self-massages (to break up any adhesions). It’s beyond the scope of this article to display all the stretches and self-massage techniques. (They can be found in my books at healingresults.com).
Three other imperative tips.
As you sit at your desk, check your shoulders. They should be completely down and relaxed at all times. Be careful not to elevate them as you type or work the mouse. Try not to lean forward with just your head. Keep your head on top of your shoulders.
Take frequent breaks. Sitting and looking at a computer monitor can be hard on your back and neck. Stand up and walk around (even if it’s just for a few steps) whenever you have a chance.
Check your body throughout the day; make sure you’re not clenching any muscles. If you’re holding tension anywhere in your body, it means muscles are firing (contracting). Shake your body out frequently to make sure there’s no tension.
After being pain free for almost ten years now, along with almost all of my clients, we’re living proof that the many diagnoses we received, from carpal tunnel syndrome, to osteoarthritis, to herniated discs, were not the cause of our pain. Musculoskeletal ailments arise, in almost every single case, from short taut muscles. And many times, it’s the repetitive nature of our professions that lead to the muscles shortening in the first place.
* Please be aware that pain can come from other ailments: tumors, kidney infections, etc. It’s important to go to your physician whenever you have pain to make sure it’s nothing that needs medical attention.
Sue Crossen, CMT/injury & Rehabilitation Therapist
Author: Back Pain Breakthrough and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Breakthrough
Copyright© 2008 by Sue Crossen, All Rights Reserved.
Being late for an appointment or a date can seem like a small thing that really doesn’t matter, but it communicates volumes, whether we mean it to or not.
Being kept waiting is an experience that almost no one enjoys, because at best, it wastes their time, and at worst, it indicates a lack of regard. It’s as if we’re saying that our time is more important than their time, so we don’t need to honor them by showing up when we said we would. When we are running late, it means a lot if we call and let the person know, especially if it’s going to be more than ten minutes. However, if we are chronically late, it may take more than a phone call to properly address the issue.
If it’s become a habit of ours not to be on time, we may want to look inside ourselves and see what’s going on. It’s easy enough to make excuses about our behavior, or to project responsibility (blame) on the other person, perceiving them to be uptight if they are irritated by our tardiness. What’s more difficult, and more meaningful, is looking at ourselves and asking why it is that we always, or often, show up late. Sometimes this happens out of a lack of self-regard, as if we aren’t really important anyway, so why will anyone care if we’re late, or don’t show up at all.
Chronic lateness can also stem from being disorganized, or simply trying to do too much in one day. Another possible reason for being late to a particular appointment, or date, is that we don’t really want to be there. We communicate our disinterest or boredom by not showing up on time.
Whatever our reasons, if we raise them to the conscious level, we have an opportunity to live a more conscious life. As we begin to understand the deeper reasons behind our inability to show up on time, we have the option to communicate clearly and consciously about how we really feel, rather than communicating unconsciously by being late.
Many people suffer with the tendency to apologize all the time, chronically, for everything.
On the one hand, apologizing is a social convention that keeps interactions between people polite, and in that way it can be very helpful. On the other hand, if we find ourselves apologizing for everything, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to say "I’m sorry" so often. Ultimately, saying you’re sorry is saying that you are responsible for something that has gone wrong in the situation. Whether it’s negotiating a parking spot, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when sorry is the right thing to say. But there are other times when "excuse me" is more accurate.
Sometimes saying you’re sorry is like saying that the other person in the equation has more of a right to be here than you do. Of course, it’s true that using the word sorry can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension. However, if you find that you say sorry all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.
The first step is observing yourself each time you say it, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you apologize. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune in to what it is you are feeling right before you say it. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings.
Over time, stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to be sorry all the time.
Tips: Being Present At Work
Being present at work begins before we even go to our place of employment. It starts with our intention to bring consciousness into everything we do, including those activities we do for money. Whether you are a secretary who files papers all day, a janitor who cleans the local high school, or a nurse caring for children, there is much to be gained by fully engaging in the tasks at hand. When you decide to bring your presence into your work activities, you may find that the entire experience of working is filled with new energy and life.
Sometimes we believe that when we step through the doors of our workplace, we cease being ourselves and start being someone else’s employee. Though our employer may depend on us to perform certain tasks, the truth is that we never stop being ourselves.
The commitment to being a conscious, empowered person of integrity doesn’t stop and start with a time clock. Our decision to be present for our own lives is what weaves together all of our experiences from the moment we wake up, throughout our entire workday, and to the moment we turn off the lights at night.
Before leaving for work today, you can clear your energy and choose to step out with your best foot forward. Setting an intention in the morning can even help you stay present as your day unfolds. You might decide to find joy in every activity, complete all of your projects on time, or be truly helpful to your coworkers.
By being fully present, you will begin to radiate and people may begin to notice; they may even want to follow your lead. Whether you run a company or hold a sign outside a deli, do it with pride and be the best you can be.
Evaluating What We See and Hear in Today’s Media
There is a lot of information available to us at this time in history, more than ever before, and it travels fast. We are able to learn in the blink of an eye about something that happened halfway around the world, and it’s natural for us to want to know what’s going on.
However, it’s also fair to say that we don’t want to become so caught up in one way of looking at events that we lose perspective. Often, the news comes to us in a very fear-oriented format, and when too many of us get caught up in fear, the balance of the whole is disrupted.
It helps to remember that we have a much greater and more positive impact on the world when we maintain our inner sense of peace and joy.
We are aware enough to know when we are eating something that is not good for us, because we don’t feel well after we’ve eaten it. In the same way, we can determine for ourselves whether the sources in which our information comes are ultimately healthful. News can be presented in a way that inspires us to take positive action to help the world, or it can be presented in a way that leaves us feeling powerless and sad. It is up to us to seek out and support media that empowers and informs us, and to say no to media that drains our energy and our hope.
For a time, it may even be of benefit to commit to a media fast, in which we stop taking information in for a time to give ourselves a rest. When we return to the task of taking in and processing the information all around us, we will come to it with a fresh mind. This will enable us to really notice how we are affected by what we hear and see, and to make conscious choices about the sources of information that we allow into our lives.
Create a Supportive Life Story for Your Life
We all have our own life story.
It is filled with relationships and events that help shape who we are and what we believe to be true about the world. Depending on our perspective and willingness to grow, our experiences can become fodder for negativity and patterns of playing the victim, or they can fuel a life of empowerment and continued self-development. It is the story we tell ourselves about what happens that makes all the difference.
Take a moment to look at the life story you create for yourself on an ongoing basis. If you generally feel peaceful about the past and trust in your ability to handle whatever comes your way, then you are framing circumstances in a manner that serves you well.
On the other hand, if you retain a lot of guilt or resentment and often feel weighed down by life, you may want to start telling yourself a new version of past and present events. No matter who the characters are in your story or what they have done, you are the only one who can give their actions the meaning they will have for you.
You are the only one who can define what role you will play in your own life. By taking responsibility for your story, you are able to learn and grow, forgive and find compassion, and most importantly, move on into a brighter future.
From now on, you can choose a life story that supports you. Let it be proof of your own resilience and creativity. Be kind with the roles you give yourself and generous with how many chances you get to learn what you need to know. When you remember that you are the author of your own story, you are free to create a masterpiece.
Multi-Tasking and Handling Interruptions
by Career Strategist and Life Coach, Laurie Sheppard
It is no longer a question whether or not to multitask, but how we can do it without dropping a beat. We are constantly connected to multiple forms of stimulus and available for interruptions.
We take our laptops on business and personal trips. Wireless systems everywhere make it easy to connect for emails or to call someone on Internet-based phone sites. Social network sites have escalated to billion dollar businesses. We carry cell phones that ring annoyingly in public places or vibrate in our pockets till we’re pulled away from who or what we already elected to focus on, to have a loud sidebar with someone else on the phone. Public cell phone users expose us to the intimate details of their life while we walk past them in post offices and cleaners, or worse yet, as we stand next to them in waiting lines. Text messaging abounds, while its shortcut language further separates communication between the younger and older generations - but perhaps not for long. I saw a middle-aged woman last weekend at a play who was constantly pulling her phone out to text message, until an usher spotted the bright light from it and told her to kindly put it away.
Our downtime, the little we had staked out for ourselves, is being eaten up by the constant demands of others and our own urge to stay connected to everyone and everything at all times. Has communication become more important now, or is it the fascination with our toys and machinery that lure us to use them?
Considering Americans are relatively new to many of these products, it’s possible we’re still in an early fascination phase. That’s what Naomi Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University and author of "Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World," says is the case. She looks at how technology influences our learning and behaviors. Baron said, "My hope is that Americans are only going through a phase of feeling they must be ‘always on’ and that over time, we will regain a more balanced sense of communicative equilibrium."
Even watch alarms or other time-reminding alerts can negatively grab and redirect our attention, particularly when we were focused on something of importance. We all know what it’s like to be in a discussion with someone and be interrupted, then come back to the conversation and realize we forgot what we were talking about. Paul Schutte, of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, wrote "Assessing the Effects of Momentary Priming on Memory Retention During an Interference Task" for NASA. The discussion of memory aids and how to better prime the mind for effective mental recall. Download the PDF here.
1. If you like to be plugged in and multitask, find ways to sharpen your memory that will otherwise become less sharp with constant interruptions.
2. Pay more attention to social courtesies and ask yourself whether or not it’s kind to others that you hold that outside conversation now.
3. Decide whether or not you want to be subject to constant connection through technology’s stimulus rather than be right where you are, with whom you’re with, or maybe enjoying your quietude.
I think we’re missing the comfort that emptiness can provide and the insights and learning that come from still reflection and being "offline." What about you? Do you leave yourself open to constant external connections?
CREATING AT WILL: Best Second Careers for Women
Read other Articles on a variety of topics, including Life Balance, Career, Time Management, etc.
What We Can’t See: The Unseen World
Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, although this is a common way in which people deny the existence of spirit guides, angels, and other unseen helpers in our lives. However, anyone who has encountered such beings can attest to the fact that they do, indeed, exist, just as our breath exists, keeping us alive, even though we can’t see it. The wind exists, too, but we only know this because we feel it on our skin and hear it moving the leaves on the trees. All around us and within us are things we can’t see, and yet we know they are just as real as the grass beneath our feet.
What we see and don’t see may just be a matter of perspective, like the ladybug who sees the leaf on which she sits, but not the tree the leaf grows on, or the person sitting beneath it. And the person beneath the tree may or may not see the ladybug, depending on where he focuses his attention. Still, all of these things, whether seen or not seen by the person or the ladybug, exist in reality. Some people are more gifted at accessing that which we cannot see, but given an open and willing heart, anyone can tune into the invisible realm and begin to find their way.
Human beings have always done this, and it is only recently that we have fallen into distrusting the existence of what we can’t see. If you have lost touch with the unseen world, all you have to do is resolve to open your heart to its existence, and it will make itself known. Closing your eyes in meditation and visualization, or engaging the unseen through the written word, are just two ways to welcome the invisible back into your life. Whatever you choose to do, cultivating a relationship with that which you can’t see is a time-honored human practice that can greatly enhance your life.