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Here at Transformation Academy we are excited to announce our January’s Transformation Academy Rising Star – Verleshia Hughes!
Our goal with this initiative is to recognize and celebrate group membership who demonstrate the heart and service of a coach. Each monthly recipient of this recognition will be selected for a unique reason. Some will be seasoned coaches who serve as valuable mentors within the group. Others may be just starting their coach-training journey and exude a contagious attitude or passion. Others may be actively supporting other group members, whether by providing resources, answering common questions, or providing moral support. Regardless of each of our wonderful group members’ background or experience, we all benefit from the mutual support and varied perspectives offered within this diverse group!
The Rising Star initiative is a way to give a special THANK YOU to those who go above and beyond to share of themselves within this community.
This month we would like to recognize Verleshia Hughes for being a great role model coach who uses her personal experience as a powerful catalyst for her wellness coaching business!
Verleshia has been a group member for a year now, and she can often be found posting inspirational content that is well-written and an example of great social media posts! She comes across as authentic because she LIVES what she teaches. Having a purpose-driven niche is a key factor that makes a coach successful. By focusing on a topic area that Verleshia is passionate about and that she has experienced personally (wellness), she can communicate clearly and powerfully in what her ideal clients are experiencing and desire. She knows because she has been there! Her coaching business, Her Well Life, provides her a way to guide other women through their journey toward health, weight loss, and self-care, providing both the practical steps and by helping them find their motivation to change through their Faith and higher purpose.
I’m Verleshia Hughes from Dallas, Texas. I’m an Entrepreneur and Certified Life Coach. I have a background in Early Childhood Development, Branding and Marketing. I was promoted as a Director’s Coach when I helped to create significant health and safety transformations in the corporation I was working at. I love encouraging women to win. I became a Certified Life Coach to better myself. And help women achieve their goals. As a result of working with my program, Her Well Life, women who are feeling overwhelmed in mindset and struggling to lose weight create healthier habits, experience more energy, confidence, peace and productivity.
Connect to Verleshia at https://www.facebook.com/verleshia/
Below is an interview we conducted with Verleshia.
What is your niche (coaching focus) and how did you choose it?
As a result of working with Her Well Life, women who were feeling overwhelmed, create healthier habits and wellness spaces so that they can feel fabulous, peaceful and productive.
Who is your ideal client?
Overwhelmed female entrepreneurs and new wellness coaches.
What inspired you to become a life coach?
When I was a center director, my supervisor (regional director) asked for my help to take her idea and create a health and safety campaign. She gave me a week, and I completed it in one day. It was successful throughout her region. Corporate asked her to place it into 149 centers in nine states. Later that year, another regional director asked me to fly to Ohio to help her director for a week. That director made great success in her center the following week. Then people started asking to pick my brain. This is what inspired me to become a Life Coach. I continued my education and earned my Certification in Life Coaching & Mentoring.
How long have you been coaching?
I have been a coach for 12 years.
How did you get your first client?
My first client observed my work as a director. She asked me to coach her in creating ideas for her baking business. That’s when I launched my coaching business.
How has your coaching journey changed your life?
I am a product of my brand. I have improved significantly in my mindset, body and creating wellness spaces for women. Word of mouth and effective marketing research has helped me build my business. I’ve been able to make great connections and meet clients. I’m able to work from anywhere.
What is the Most Challenging Part of Being a Life Coach?
Wanting to help everyone.
What is the most fulfilling part of being a life coach?
Most importantly, impacting and transforming lives. Giving back and leaving a legacy for my children, grandchildren and great grandson. Living life on my own terms. Traveling and working from anywhere.
What has been your most inspirational coaching moment, with a client?
When a client had struggled for years to lose weight. As a result of working with my program, Her Well Life, she got results within the first week. She was so ecstatic, after our follow-up session, I cried too.
What is your favorite coaching activity or exercise to do with clients?
Mind exercises to get the client relaxed before getting transformed. When the mind is calm, she’ll be able to objectively define obstacles. So she can reduce and/or eliminate those obstacles—and focus on her big why.
What has been the most effective strategy for finding clients and/or growing your business?
Market research and polling my audience.
What advice would you give YOURSELF back when you first dreamed of becoming a coach?
Stop self-limiting beliefs. Be yourself and show up. Your right client group is waiting on you.
What is the impact you want to make in this world?
I want to help women who are stuck in a mindset and struggling to lose weight, to achieve their wellness goals, so they can have quality of life, longevity and vitality.
Is there anything else you would like to share with Transformation Coaching Magazine readers?
“When you are operating in your genuine gift, you will be equipped to succeed. Keep pressing forward towards the mark. You GOT this!”
By Natalie Rivera
Goal setting is so much a key to success that it’s cliché. We know it, but most of us don’t do it.
First, we want you to know that this is NOT just another lame goal-setting program. This is the exact process we use to exceed in our goals year after year and coach thousands of clients to create BREAKTHROUGHS.
Second, regardless of how cliché it is, setting goals is VITAL if you want any chance of fulfilling your dreams with your career or your personal life.
Most people only consider their goals once per year—around New Year’s Eve. And, according to a study published by the University of Scranton, people who don’t set goals are missing out because people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.
Ten times more likely. Those are some good odds! However, your odds could be much, MUCH greater. What if you could learn what those who succeed at their goals actually DO differently than everybody else—and then do that? Well, you can!
In over a decade of studying human potential and psychology, coaching and training individuals and team members, and running our own businesses—we’ve learned why most people and businesses fail at achieving their goals.
The truth is that most people don’t have the mindset for success.
They don’t have goals and they don’t make a plan, and, when they do, they don’t use an effective strategy for executing their plan.
Achieving any life goal requires knowing three things, which we refer to as “The 3 Ds.” In order to know these three things, you must ask three questions:
- Desire: What do you really want?
- Drive: Why do you want it?
- Do: What do you need to do?
DESIRE: What Do You Really Want?
Step 1: Brainstorm: Write down everything you can think of (big or small) that you would like to change, achieve or do. For the purpose of this activity, focus on long-term goals that you want to accomplish within one year. Feel free to dream further into the future, just make sure you narrow down to one or two yearly goals. If you have a goal that will take longer than one year, identify what part of it you CAN do in one year and write it down. Goals can be personal, work-related, or both.
Step 2: Simplify. Look at your list and group items that are similar or that can be combined into one larger goal.
Step 3: Prioritize. Look at your simplified goals and circle the ones you feel are your highest priority. Rate each circled goal on a scale of 1 to 3, 1 being the highest priority and 3 being the least.
Step 4: Identify one to two major goals for this year. Looking at your priorities, identify one to two goals that:
- Will make the biggest impact on your life (create your BREAKTHROUGH)
- Will take about a year to implement (This cannot be something you can bang out in three days or a month.)
DRIVE: Why Do You Want It?
When making changes in our lives and working toward larger goals, there are two common things that lead us to stop.
- First, we get distracted with life. We get busy and encounter roadblocks.
- Second, we feel uncomfortable with the new change and go back to what we know .
Why do these things happen? Because we didn’t have a big enough WHY. We didn’t have a strong enough drive or motive. Our ability to follow through on implementing lasting change depends on having strong enough reasons to keep us focused and committed through the hard times.
By identifying the true outcomes you’re looking for, which are usually how accomplishing the goal will impact your life or make you feel, you will have a stronger motivation because you’ll understand why you want the goal.
Look at the goals you’ve chosen for the year and ask yourself the following questions (for each goal):
- Why do you want to achieve this goal?
- What is the outcome you believe you will receive by achieving this goal?
- What does this mean to you?
- How will it feel?
- How will it impact your life?
- What will happen if you don’t achieve this goal?
DO: What do You Need to do?
Now that you’ve identified where you want to be in one year, you can chart a course to get there.
Step 1: Monthly Milestones. The next step is to break down each major goal into smaller sub-goals. This is called “chunking”. Think of your goals as the “big picture” and your sub-goals or milestones as the bit-sized achievements that make your goal approachable and keep you motivated.
- Brainstorm again. For each goal, considering where you want to be in 12 months, brainstorm all of the things you need to do or have in order to reach that goal. Start by thinking about what would you need to accomplish in nine months in order to be close to completion in 12 months? Then continue to work backwards to six months, and then to three. Write down everything you can think of.
- Then, group items together, with the goal of creating 12 “milestones” or bigger steps, each of which will contain smaller tasks.
- Lastly, put the milestones in order of when they would need to be completed.
These 12 milestones will represent the 12 months of the year. Of course, you don’t know exactly how and when everything will unfold—you are making your best guess.
Creating a roadmap for your goal and putting it down on paper helps your brain to hold the vision of the big picture and the real-life action steps at the same time. This is vital!
Step 2: 60-Day Plan. Now it’s time to create your short-term goals. Research shows that anything that is planned more than 60 days in advanced is most likely going to change. So, take the goals you determined in the first two months of your milestones and break them down further into sub-goals.
- BRAINSTORM: What tasks you will need to accomplish in the next 60 days in order to accomplish your milestones? Write down EVERYTHING you can think of.
- PRIORITIZE: Then, arrange them in order of priority and what NEEDS to be done first before moving on to the other things.
Step 3: One-Month Plan: Take those priority items and put them in a list for month one and put the rest in a list for month two, and save it for later.
- For each project goal, brainstorm ALL of the TASKS you will need to accomplish in order to reach your goals in 30 days. Write down everything you can think of.
- Prioritize each item on a scale of 1 to 4, 1 being most important OR needs to be done before you can begin on other tasks and 4 being least important or time-sensitive. You now have the next 4 weeks’ tasks (1 through 4).
Don’t Stop Here…
A small percent of the population set goals and create plans that get them to this point. If you get this far, you’re ahead of the game. However, most people who reach the point of having a plan for the month still don’t accomplish their goals. Why?
WEEKLY PLANNING IS THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF PLANNING.
Why? Because THIS is where PLANNING meets ACTION. By their very nature, sub-goals in your 30, 60 or yearly plan CANNOT be action items NOW. But, you CAN take actions NOW that will keep you on your path to achieving these milestones.
If you “wait and see” if you can get to it, you won’t. Your week will unfold and you’ll be at the whim of other’s priorities, not your own. Leaving your planning off at the “work on this month” level often means you’ll get to the end of the month and find you’ve made little (if any) progress.
Step 4: One-Week Plan:
1: Determine WHERE you’re going to put your list. Our favorite places to keep track of our weekly plan include:
- In a daily planner
- On a white board where we can see it
- In a planning or task app on our phones or computers
Just make sure it’s someplace visible and easily accessible.
2: Schedule a weekly strategy session. In order to establish the habit of a weekly strategy session, you absolutely MUST SCHEDULE IT IN! Choose a time that you will sit down for 20-30 minutes EVERY WEEK to plan the coming week’s tasks. Many people make their lists first thing Monday morning. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get sidetracked by emails and other distractions on Mondays, meaning many people put off their strategy sessions. Another common time is Sunday evening, which helps eliminate this problem. However, we’ve found that Friday afternoon is the best time to plan for the coming week. Why? Because everything is fresh in your mind and come Monday morning you already know exactly what your priorities and goals are for the week and you can jump right in.
3: Write Your “Ta-Da” List. WHY WE CALL IT A “TA-DA” LIST: “To-do” sounds like an unpleasant list of tasks that you have to do, while “ta-da” is more inspirational. Every time we finish a task, we cross it off and say “ta-da!” Celebrating even the little victories gives us a sense of accomplishment and builds momentum. We enjoy it so much, in fact, that if we find that we’ve completed a task that we didn’t already have on our list, we ADD IT to the list just so we can cross it off!
Take the #1 items from your Monthly Plan and write them down as Actionable Tasks. If needed, break tasks down into sub-tasks.
Identify which tasks are a priority (mark 1 through 3) and plan to do level 1 FIRST or write them down IN PRIORITY ORDER. This is your ta-da list for the week.
Schedule any tasks that are time-framed into your daily planner and assign other tasks to specific days of the week, when required. Keep the rest of your week’s list someplace easily accessible to refer to throughout the week when identifying daily goals.
4: Create Your Daily Plan. Every day, look at what you have on your SCHEDULE as well as your weekly Ta-Da list. Write in your three to five sub-goals/tasks for the day and then IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE.
Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit http://www.transformationacademy.com.
By Jowanna Daily
How to use quirky holidays and observances to promote your life coach business.
Marketing our life coach services can be stressful. It takes much work, and as small or solo businesses, we are always in a time crunch. Luckily, quirky holidays can help you strategically increase your business’ brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.
Who Comes Up With Different Holidays?
Anyone can come up with an unofficial holiday. For instance, you can come up with a holiday based on your coaching business and subject matters that resonate with your audience. You can also sponsor (or pay for) a holiday. These holidays are usually created to shine a spotlight on a specific cause. Luckily, there will be many “national” and “international” holidays that align with your life coach business already, and you can take advantage of the celebrations that already exist—and use them to fill your 2022 content calendar. Here are some basic tips to follow as you build awareness around your holidays each month:
Leave Gimmicks Aside: These holiday themes are fun, but they are not gimmicky. Make sure they have meaning, align to your brand, and connect.
Don’t Forget Strategy: Pick holidays that help you reach your goals. You can use a theme that aligns with a month-long awareness, a week-long observance, and a day-long holiday within the same period. For instance:
- Run a month-long promotion aligned with a theme in the month.
- Plan a market funnel that advances on specific days.
- Spread brand awareness by showing your expertise in a particular niche.
- Engage your social media followers with a themed-based quiz that allows you to find out more about their needs.
Less is More: It can be hard to decide what holidays to select; there are so many that you will connect with. Use these general guidelines:
- Pick one theme for the month.
- Make sure any week-long observance you pick aligns with that theme and don’t select more than one per week.
- Try to limit the single-day holidays that you include in your promotions to one per week.
Upcoming Considerations for Your Content Calendar
January Holidays and Observances
- Worldwide Rising Star Month
- National Thank Your Customers Week (January 2-8)
- Customer Service Day (January 17)
- National Thank You Month
- Celebration of Life Week (January 1-7)
- Thank God It’s Monday (January 3)
- Celebration of Life Day (January 22)
- Commitment Day (January 1)
- Z Day (January 1)
- National Motivation and Inspiration Day (January 2)
- Work Harder Day (January 12)
- Make Your Dreams Come True Day (January 13)
- Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day (January 17)
- National “Just Do It” Day (January 24)
- A Room of One’s Own Day (January 25)
- Backward Day (January 31)
Health and Wellness
- Family Fit Lifestyle Month
- Shape Up US Month
- National Staying Healthy Month
- Diet Resolution Week (January 1-7)
- National Lose Weight—Feel Great Week (January 2-8)
- National Keto Day (January 5)
- National Gluten-Free Day (January 10)
- Healthy Weight, Healthy Look Day (January 13)
- Healthy Weight Week (January 16-22)
- Sugar Awareness Week (January 17-21)
- National Joygerm Day (January 8)
- Play God Day (January 9)
- Humanitarian Day (January 15)
- No Name-Calling Week (January 17-21)
- National Hugging Day (January 21)
- National Compliment Day (January 24)
- Get a Balanced Life Month
- Get Organized Month
- International Quality of Life Month
- Organize Your Home Day (January 14)
- National Use Your Gift Card Day (January 15)
- National Nothing Day (January 16)
- National Geographic Day (January 27)
- National Escape Day (January 30)
- International Change Your Stars Month
- International Wayfinding Month
- National Vision Board Day (January 8)
- Self-Love Month
- National Peculiar People Day (January 10)
- Daisy Day (January 28)
February Holidays and Observances
- National Time Management Month
- National Entrepreneurship Week (February 12-19, 2022 )
Health and Wellness
- National Fasting February
- National Fiber Focus Month
- National Goat Yoga Month
- National Grapefruit Month
- National Heart Healthy Month
- National Self Check Month
- National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week (February 13-19)
- National Women’s Heart Day (February 14)
- Vegan Cuisine Month
- International Friendship Month
- National Laugh-Friendly Month
- National Mend a Broken Heart Month
- Pay a Compliment Day (February 6)
- Send a Card to a Friend Day (February 7)
- Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day (February 7)
- Make A Friend’s Day (February 11)
- National Shut-in Visitation Day (February 11)
- No One Eats Alone Day (February 11)
- Hug Day (February 12)
- Do a Grouch a Favor Day (February 16)
- Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17)
- World Human Spirit Day (February 17)
- Be Humble Day (February 22)
- National Freedom Day (February 1)
- Laugh and Get Rich Day (February 8)
- National Entrepreneurship Week (February 12-19)
- Who Shall I Be Day (February 17)
- National Mend a Broken Heart Month
- National Weddings Month
- Relationship Wellness Month
- Solo Diners Eat Out Week (February 1-7)
- National Wedding Ring Day – February 3
- Pay a Compliment Day (February 6)
- Dump Your Significant Jerk Week (February 6-12)
- International Networking Week (February 7-11)
- National Marriage Week USA (February 7-14)
- Propose Day (February 8)
- Promise Day (February 11)
- Hug Day (February 12)
- National Freedom to Marry Day (February 12)
- Kiss Day (February 13)
- World Marriage Day (February 13, 2022)
- Celebration of Love Week (February 13-19)
- International Flirting Week (February 13-19)
- National Ferris Wheel Day (February 14)
- National Have a Heart Day (February 14)
- Valentine’s Day (February 14)
- National Self Check Month
- Solo Diners Eat Out Week (February 1-7)
- Love Makes the World Go Round, but Laughter Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy Week (February 8-14)
- Read in the Bathtub Day (February 9)
- Satisfied Staying Single Day (February 11)
- Desperation Day (February 13)
- Madly In Love With Me Day (February 13)
- Self-Love Day (February 13)
- National Call-in Single Day (February 14)
- Love Reset Day (February 15)
- National Mend a Broken Heart Month
Jowanna is a business and personal coach, consultant, freelance blogger, and personal brand photographer. Jowanna uses her 20-plus years of business, information technology, business analysis, and project management experience to serve solopreneurs, microbusinesses, and professionals through consulting, coaching, training, and workshops. She is also a freelance blogger who serves corporate and non-corporate clients. Visit her website at https://www.jowannadaley.com/about/.
By Linda Commito
Celebrating beautiful examples of how people are finding their own unique ways to be kind.
Whether we are an active participant or simply a witness, kindness can open our hearts and help us to feel a connection to others, a sense of belonging, and give us hope that we can each be a part of creating a kinder, more loving world.
I would like to share with you these beautiful examples of how people are finding their own unique ways to be kind. Some are small and some may seem bigger, but each act of kindness is valuable in the message of caring that they convey. Kindness can happen anywhere at any time at any age . . .
Not long ago, I was a witness to an act of kindness during an outdoor concert. I watched an adorable 3-year-old girl, Mimi, caught up in the music, joyfully dancing in her long colorful skirt and tiny sneakers. From the crowd, emerged an 8-year-old girl, Annie, with a freshly painted face, and happily holding a lion made of balloons. She bent down to show the wide-eyed, little dancing girl and placed it in her outstretched arms. Mimi was delighted and held on tightly. Looking around tentatively at her parents, Annie made the decision to gift her precious lion to Mimi. It was such a sweet scene of kindness in action.
Volunteering has a way of being life-changing, as CC, a new resident to Sarasota, FL, discovered. Moving here to care for her 93-year-old mom, she says, “I have so many things to be grateful for and want to be part of a larger community where I can express my sense of gratitude by serving others.” CC decided to volunteer to serve meals at Salvation Army for Thanksgiving and was deeply touched by the experience. She shared: “Salvation Army treats people as guests, welcoming them to a well-decorated room with table settings, where people are invited to sit down to eat and be served by the volunteers—a rarity for many of them. There were also boxes for people to “eat a meal and take a meal” to share. CC was so grateful for the experience and declared, “I’m going to do it again!” She confided, “I had been prepared to be frightened, as I have often avoided people on the streets.” But instead, she expressed: “How grateful I am to be in a community that cares. It’s a real heart-to-heart connection.”
Tracy and her husband Ray joined 120 other members, including families and kids, at Church of the Palmsin Sarasota to support Rise Against Hunger. Together in 3 hours, they packaged over 21,000 meals, which were sealed and being sent to Central/South America for distribution to needy families. It’s amazing what so many loving hands can do to ease the suffering of others.
In another part of the country, Sue from Littleton, MA, loves to uplift the spirits of those in a nursing home by collecting inspiring quotes on kindness, putting them on colored paper and leaving them on the residents’ meal trays to enjoy. So often elderly people delight in the wonderful expressions of caring made by volunteers. My mom, who lives in an independent living home, has a loving sign on her door made by the staff that she sees every day. It’s says, “Three important reminders: 1. You matter so much. 2. You are very loved. 3. Everything will be okay.”
Michelle Penn has completed over 200 mats for the homeless using over 500 plastic shopping bags each. She says, “We are saving the environment and helping the homeless one mat at a time.”
No matter how we experience kindness, it brings joy to the hearts of all who participate and leaves ripples in its wake. How can we open ourselves to the opportunities, right where we are, to spread a little happiness, share a little love?
Linda Commito, author, speaker, entrepreneur, consultant and teacher, is passionate about her vision to leave this world a kinder, more loving, and interconnected place. Linda’s award-winning book of inspirational stories, Love Is the New Currency, demonstrates how we can each make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others through simple acts of love and kindness. Her latest project, the card game Just Ask 1 2 3, was inspired by a desire to connect people of all different ages, beliefs and lifestyles to share our individuality and find commonality. Linda also created “Kindness Starts with Me,” a program, book and website for children. For more information visit http://www.LoveistheNewCurrency.com or visit the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Justask123game.
By Arielle Giordano
How to dance in your heart and inspire the world!
Your inner goddess, which I call the real and deeper womaness, lives in your heart and is your deeper beingness. The opening of your heart and the surface levels of your being are feminine, while the deeper levels are masculine and must move through the feminine to express. In other words, the meaning of the masculine is the feminine within the masculine.
When you rest in your heart and relax your body, your heart becomes quiet in the first movement of being, which is feminine. A woman’s mystery is her essence of being moving in her humanness, and this mystery has the qualities of openness, softness, surrender, innocence and vulnerability.
The identity of a woman does not come from her female body, but from the earning of real womanness—the awareness within her being. Her being resonates with nature, and, when you are connected in nature, nature knows what you really are and then reflects it back to you.
Your feminine power surrenders to knowing the truth in your heart, which is the release of masculinity. When you are surrendering and relating from an open and soft heart, you will use your mind, emotions and will in a new way.
By shifting out of the “self”, you let go of the base of yourself as you know it. You—as awareness—are now on a deeper level and able to integrate the principles of being within the feminine aspect to become an integrated woman. The real woman that you have now become embraces the qualities of love, kindness, gentleness, surrender and loveliness.
“Surrendering to the feminine power means really listening. You are listening with an open heart for the truth. If you like listening, that is feminine and does not disempower you. Real listening means you are open and available to know the truth of what you hear. Real listening does not mean that you believe what you are listening to. It means that you are present to the truth in what someone else is saying to you”—John De Ruiter
BOX with Picture of Book
Celebrate the Dance of the Goddess
This article is an edited excerpt from Arielle Giordano’s new book Celebrate the Dance of the Goddess, which researches theancient history of matriarchal cultures over thousands of years and includes magical, themed inspirational stories that delve into the depths of your heart with interpretations, choreography, and journal writing exercises. Through its pages, you will find secrets of the past to awaken the Goddess that lives deep in your heart, illuminate the highest beauty of the sacred feminine in the heart and soul of every woman, and bring to light forgotten wisdom that lies dormant but alive and waiting to be awakened inside every one of us.
Celebrate the Dance of the Goddess was written to ignite your inner fire, transform your body into spirit, make the ordinary extraordinary and bring the essence and beauty of the Goddess within you alive. Visit https://www.dancingfromtheinsideout.com/launchpartner?lang=en for more information and to order copies.
Transformational Life Coach Award-Winning Author & Speaker, Professional Dancer. Arielle’s Award-Winning book for Best Self-Help Award: Dancing With Your Story From The Inside is available on http://www.Amazon.com. Her professional career includes the Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Professor for the College of Humanities, History and the Arts at the University of Phoenix. She is a published co-author of Transform Your Life Books 1 & 2 and author for Tampa Bay Wellness, Conscious Shift & Transformation magazine. She has published her 4th book, an Instructor’s Manual for Barlow Abnormal Psychology 4th ed. and authored Psychology, A Journey 3rd.ed. Study Guide published by Nelson Education, Toronto, ON. She has also studied philosophy at the College of Integrated Philosophy with John DeRuiter for twenty years. Arielle has been a featured guest on radio and television, in newspapers, and the media across the US and Canada. She is a certified Essentrics Stretch and Dance Instructor. Arielle offers coaching sessions, classes and workshops and a free 30-minute Consultation. Websites: http://www.dancingfromtheinsideout.com, http://www.ariellegiordano.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Terez Hartmann
What if getting to witness a life—with all of its peaks and valleys—is the ultimate LIFE coaching opportunity?
The Ineffable Seed
We all contain an ever-renewing seed of the Divine (a.k.a. clarity, light, and love), so it is no wonder that we feel most alive when we nurture it—giving it water, air, and sunshine—and less alive when we block our resources. But isn’t it nice to know that nothing we do can ever kill that seed? It is ineffable, eternal, and every moment we turn our attention to even the smallest sliver of light or allow our body and mind time to sleep and rest, the seed is again renewed.
And even when that which contains the seed transforms and lets go of the animation of the vessel, the seed continues and blooms unto the heavens in all that exists—and in the hearts and minds of all who have witnessed its beauty and story…
Rev. Sylvia “Sylvianna” “Dolly” Romano, Ph.D., a.k.a. “mom,” was a true force of nature in every sense of the word—a personality so big that anyone within a five-mile radius could not help but feel the magnitude of her being; so, when she made her transition into pure energy and light, my soul experienced a seismic wave beyond anything I had ever known.
When she was in a state of joy, you would not find a more loving and generous human being who would willingly share anything and everything she had—and her brilliant mind was akin to a living, breathing version of the Library of Alexandria. She was the consummate teacher, always bursting forth with new volumes, chapters, and pages to share with all who would simply ask.
As a child growing up, I often found myself in awe of her, especially when she would speak or offer spiritual guidance to others, as so many of her words resonated at such a deep level. Even when disease changed her and fear became the driving force in her final years, she still would smile and sing along every time the song “When You Wish Upon a Star” would play and make a point to say, “This is my favorite song of all time.” Even when darkness clouded her vision in multiple ways, the fact that somehow, the seed of her true essence still found a way to hear the music of hope and possibility kept her essence alive in me.
Even now, as I sit here writing this article on a December evening during the first holiday season without her in 3D, and have moments of really feeling her “absence,” every time I shift my perspective to the presence of her love and the gifts she has brought to my life, I can’t help but feel a little lift in my soul knowing that her seed has, indeed, bloomed to full fruition unto the heavens and all that exists.
Sylvia’s Seeds of Wisdom
Though I know that there are not enough words in ANY language to be able to convey the enormity of her impact upon me, or to be able to fully catalog everything I have learned and become as a result of sharing a lifetime of trips around the sun with her, I know for sure that my mom was, is—and I suspect will continue to be—MY ultimate LIFE coach.
Indeed, much of my more recent personal evolution was the result of (what I liked to call) intensive “Jedi training sessions” with her (which truly did bring me to my knees at times), but now, as I focus upon the core of her who always loved, always encouraged, and always “wished upon a star,” I see “behind the curtain” to the coach standing on the sidelines, smiling proudly, and shouting “Yes!!!” every time I would find a path onward, upward and forward to an upgraded version of ME. So on that note:
Here is a small sampling of but a few of the powerful gifts her technicolor, high-def, unbridled spirit has given me. It is my hope and intention that some of these ideas ignite a spark of hope, possibility, and onward, upward and forward motion for you and your clients.
1. See your life clearly. Like many women reaching adulthood in the late 1940s and 1950s, my mom initially followed the path of wife and mother, but after years of feeling dependent and seeing unhealthy relationship patterns play out time and time again, she made a new decision to realize a life of total independence and to finally get to know who SHE truly was. As a result of her clear vision at that pivotal time, she focused on her education and career with a vengeance, which then led to becoming the first in our family to achieve three incredible milestones; a master’s degree in nursing, a Ph.D. in divinity, and even (unheard of in a traditional Italian family); becoming an ordained inter-faith minister.
Because of her willingness to see her life clearly and make new choices, my mom utterly transformed her life to one of true self-reliance and positive contribution. She realized a more confident, contented version of herself (which was always her potential), and the loving and progressive parent and gifted human being I had the joy of knowing. On a clear day you really CAN see forever.
What new choices, decisions or paths are your life experiences inviting you to embrace?
2. Wisdom is a verb. One of my mom’s greatest joys came when she discovered her passion for teaching, and she especially loved her time facilitating CNA (certified nursing assistant) courses for multiple organizations, for which she received countless gifts, awards, and praises from her graduating classes—and even a lifetime achievement award from the American Red Cross, one of the largest service organizations in the United States. Because mom had been a career nurse and worked “in the trenches” in the ICU (intensive care unit), the CCU (cardiac care unit), and the cardiac catherization lab at the VA Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, her ability to convey practical knowledge to the next generation of healthcare professionals and do all she could to help struggling students succeed was nothing short of legendary. Every time I unearth yet another letter, card, poem, or photo of my mom with her gushing students, I can’t help but feel so much pride in seeing how she proved that wisdom truly IS a verb.
What tools, knowledge or skills can you put into use to empower others and move your life and SELF onward, upward and forward?
3. Stay open to possibility and believe that miracles really CAN happen. One of the things my mom used to say when we had no idea where or how a solution would come was, “God will provide.” And I have to say, even when times were hard, I never went without food, shelter, or anything that truly mattered—along with a few bonuses, upgrades and happy surprises…
When I was around 7 years old, my mom and I were cold, tired (and possibly even lost) in New York City on Christmas Eve—perhaps the only evening of the year that NYC would become quiet, due to virtually everything closing early (at least back then). As if out of nowhere, we caught a glimpse of a horse and buggy with a kind-looking driver who offered us a ride back to our hotel. “Thank God!” we thought.
Not only did he get us back to our hotel safely, he also insisted upon taking the “scenic route,” which included going past the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral! If that was not already gift enough, in true Christmas-miracle fashion, it began to snow! But the Universe still had one more bonus in store for us: When it was time to pay the driver, he refused and simply said, “Merry Christmas.”
Because my mom was open to possibility and believed that miracles really could happen, we were treated to one of THE most magical holiday moments of my life!
What new possibilities are YOU open to experiencing now and/or in the coming year?
4. Find the fun. One winter, while living in Brooklyn, NY, I remember a time of making frequent visits to my favorite uncle’s spectacular home in neighboring Flatbush. While there, I’d get to enjoy a wonderful hot shower in a bathroom that looked like something out of a penthouse suite at Caesar’s Palace, be “showered” with gifts of some kind, and even get treated to an incredible meal—often including lobster, filet mignon and the like. When back at home, most nights we’d have pizza for dinner (what mom and I came to call “something different”), which was always a hit for this kid!
While I was having a blast spending time with uncle Frankie and eating pizza ‘till my heart’s content, I barely noticed the fact that I needed a few extra blankets when not in our bedroom and used cold water to wash my face, hair, etc. (meaning that we did not have heat and hot water in winter in New York) or that we were struggling in any way. Even during a time of hardship, my mom found a way to turn a challenging time into a game: Like a real-life Mary Poppins, she found the fun and turned what could have been a darker chapter in our lives into something I’ve come to associate with happy memories and, lo and behold, shortly thereafter, things got better, as they ALWAYS ultimately did.
What can you do to lighten up the energy or infuse your current situation with more fun?
5. Don’t let challenges stop you from living: Remember that love CAN find a way. A very powerful message my mom shared with me in a lucid moment during her final days was, “Being afraid is not living—don’t waste your time here. There is no devil, only yourself. Fear is the enemy. Learn from my example.” My mom used to love to travel and learn new things, and had rightfully earned the nickname of “Dolly” and “Auntie Mame” because of her vivacious, adventurous spirit.
Once she started listening more to fear and identifying passionately with the role of “victim,” she made her life smaller and smaller, ultimately creating (in her own words) a “self-imposed prison.” Yes, she had been through a lot and had absolutely experienced real trauma, so she most certainly had her reasons, but her choice to listen to fear rather than seek out help to turn up the volume on love and the call of LIFE robbed me of 10-plus years of time that could have been spent traveling and savoring life with my amazing mom.
After months of hateful, angry words coming from the disease process that was, unfortunately in charge of her consciousness, I received a warm and loving voicemail that sounded like it was from my ACTUAL mom! I called her back immediately and sure enough, I got to have the most beautiful, healing conversation with her: She told me how sorry she was for ever saying or doing anything to hurt me or any of us (that the venom was not coming from the real version of her), and that she loved me with all her heart. It was the first time I had heard anything like that in years.
I then called my brother, who was in the hospital at the time, shared the news of this incredible interaction with him, and encouraged him to call her ASAP, which, thankfully, he did, also coming away with much-needed loving words from our mother.
In addition, I felt compelled to reach out to my sister-in-law, Maria, who had experienced an extended strained-at-best relationship with her, and sure enough, when she called my mom, mom apologized for her behavior and for the first time in over a decade told Maria she loved her.
Astonishingly, only a couple of days later, mom tested positive for Covid-19 and, in less than a week, made the journey from her assisted living facility to the ER, to the Covid isolation wing at Hospice, where she then passed in her sleep.
Even with all that was to come and the overwhelming noise of fear that had embedded itself in her psyche, somehow—and not a moment too soon—love STILL found a way.
What do YOU truly love and value that makes YOUR life worth living, and what actions can you take to turn the volume up on love?
The Bottom Line: Growing Forward with The Seeds of an Extraordinary Life
What if getting to witness a life—with all of its peaks and valleys—is the ultimate coaching opportunity?
Life with my mom was indeed one of the most profound experiences of my life, for it showed me I can learn from, through, and WITH. There’s no doubt that I would not be the unique combination of elements that make me…well…ME, had I not had been a part of the challenges, stories, and experiences my mom and I created TOGETHER. She is, was and will forever be my “Rainbow Connection”—the embodiment of a true celebration of color, beauty, and magic; borne of the alchemy of both intense contrast and magnificent light…
…Ah, but aren’t the richest, fullest, best lives that truly DO move us onward, upward, and forward, always filled with rainbows?
Thank you, mom, for allowing me to bear witness to the seed that was, is, and always will be YOU, and for the seeds of love, independence, creativity, strength, vision, and wonder you nurtured within ME.
Here’s to creating and allowing a bright, beautiful new year, to the power of LIFE Coaching, and to the knowing that we and others truly CAN grow FORWARD with the seeds of an extraordinary life.
Now THAT’S what I call living. Life. On. FIRE.
Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann is a Visionary Creative & top-rated instructor, Law of Attraction & Allowing YOUR Success specialist, published author, speaker, singer-songwriter, recording & performing artist & composer, “Catalyst for Fab-YOU-lous” and true Renaissance Woman who has already helped over 10,000 students in over 130 countries allow success and live life on FIRE. She is deeply passionate about helping other Powerful Creatives and Leading-Edge Thinkers live unique, empowered lives on their terms by cultivating the courage to dream, to express themselves boldly & authentically, and to focus Onward, Upward and Forward into new possibilities. http://www.terezfirewoman.com
By Owen Waters
As you raise your consciousness, you contribute exponentially more to the spiritual quality of the global mind.
One of the mysteries of quantum physics today is the fact that subatomic particles communicate with each other at speeds far greater than the speed of light. Apparently, they weren’t listening to Einstein when he said that they’re not supposed to be able to do that.
This phenomenon came to light in 1982 at the University of Paris, where it was shown that related photons are able to instantaneously communicate with each other regardless of the distance separating them. It doesn’t matter whether they are 10 feet or 10 billion miles apart, they say. Somehow each particle always seems to instantly know what the other is doing.
Metaphysics—the science of energies beyond the physical—provides the answer because it recognizes the existence of mental energies. It also recognizes that all things are conscious, so let’s rephrase that 1982 experiment in metaphysical terms:
Two photons meet and, like two normal, healthy, conscious entities, they take a liking to each other. Even though one is sent off on a long journey and the other is kept close for observation, they stay in touch. After all, they are friends. When something happens to one, it promptly happens to the other as a sympathetic reaction. Now, because mental energy travels at millions of times the speed of light, their speed of communication is virtually instantaneous. And, yet another mystery is solved by modern metaphysics.
Mental energy is one of the nonphysical energies in Creation. It can be used as an umbrella term to include the energies of both rational thought and emotional feeling. The existence of mental energy in motion should come as no surprise because the universe was created by Original Thought and Original Feeling set into motion.
Every second of every day, your physical brain transmits and receives mental energy to and from the mental atmosphere surrounding this planet. This globally shared mind belt is the medium that enables discoveries and inventions to occur at the same time by people who are not in physical contact with each other. For example, the discovery of oxygen was made not by one researcher, but by three different ones in three different countries at the same time. Mathematical calculus was another example. It was created by Newton in England and Liebnitz in Germany at the same time, leading to years of entertaining rivalry.
Have you ever had an idea, then seen other people express or use that same idea? You probably said, “Hey! I thought of that first!” Well, that’s exactly how the mind belt works. It’s an atmosphere that you share with all other sentient beings, but you especially tune in to the topics and frequencies of mind that interest you the most.
Throughout your life, you contribute to the energies of the mind belt and do your part in making the world what it is today. As a spiritually-minded person, you uplift the mind belt because the frequency of heart-centered consciousness is a lot higher than the self-involved thoughts of the statistically average person across the face of the globe. At this point, you may wonder how spiritual people—a smaller portion of the current population—can do much good in a world affected by a lot of materialistic and depressive thinking. The answer may surprise you.
It’s almost as if the Creator stacked the cards in favor of spiritual evolution. As a spiritually minded person, your higher-frequency thoughts have exponentially more power and influence than thoughts of a lower frequency. By definition, at least 80 percent of the population has an average effect upon the mind belt. You, however, have a frequency advantage that empowers your influence in the world far more than you may have realized.
Researcher David Hawkins spent years investigating the effects of the whole frequency range of human consciousness and came up with an amazing discovery. As a spiritually aware person, the influence of your consciousness is equivalent to hundreds of thousands of statistically-average people! This surprising fact presents us with an incredible opportunity to help others and make a very positive difference in the world.
His actual figure was that a person’s consciousness at the entry level to spiritual awareness counterbalances and lifts up the effect of the thoughts of 800,000 people of average consciousness around the world! Imagine what happens when you go beyond the entry level and work every day on your own spiritual growth. Before you know it, you’re helping to uplift tens of millions of people and making the world a distinctly better place than it would have been without the benefit of your presence.
As you raise your consciousness, you contribute exponentially more to the spiritual quality of the global mind. Therefore, your greatest service to humanity is, paradoxically, focusing upon your own spiritual growth. This wonderful level of service to humanity occurs as a direct effect of your consciousness upon a world which has been starved, for so long, of spiritual thought and spiritual energy.
Meanwhile, as you develop ever-higher levels of consciousness, you become more attuned with the soul aspect of your awareness. Operating just above the heart-centered level of consciousness, your soul aspect has the freedom to see beyond the limitations of space and time.
Your soul, as the higher part of your mind, knows the exact details of your life plan and its current status. While your physical brain rests at night, your active awareness rises to this higher level in order to review your life on an ongoing basis.
The key to being on-target with your intended life path each day is to develop soul awareness as your intuitive support for the goals and challenges that you face in your physical life.
Make a decision to develop your spiritual growth on a daily basis. Choose a time for reflection and spiritual practices each and every day. Spend that time increasing your frequency of consciousness by engaging in meditation, spiritual study, energy work, reflection, and the use of sacred essential oils.
As you develop your spiritual knowledge and healing ability, you become able to spread the word of how others can empower their lives and achieve spiritual freedom. With a more developed sense of intuition, you soon learn how to make better choices based upon a growing sense of your innermost joy. Life becomes an inspired dream factory where your highest visions for a better world begin to manifest in the physical reality around you.
Owen Water is a cofounder of the Spiritual Dynamics Academy and InfiniteBeing.com, where a where a free spiritual growth newsletter awaits you at https://www.InfiniteBeing.com. He is an international spiritual teacher who has helped hundreds of thousands of spiritual seekers to understand better the nature of their spiritual potential. Owen’s life has been focused upon gaining spiritual insights through extensive research and the development of his inner vision. He has written a spiritual metaphysics newsletter since 2004 which empowers people to discover their own new vistas of inspiration, love and creativity. Spiritual seekers enjoy his writings for their clarity and deep insights. Contact Owen via email News@InfiniteBeing.com.
By Jo Mooy
As we attempt to live virtuous lives and do the right thing, sometimes we need to take a breather, give ourselves a break and do something “normal.”
Many years ago a friend asked me to accompany her to a Weight Watcher’s meeting. I’d never gone to one before and didn’t know what to expect, but, as a show of support, went with her. After the obligatory weigh-in and pep talk, we took our seats near the back of the large conference room. About 75 dieters, most of them women, poured in to tell how their week had gone.
The instructor or counselor (she may have worn two hats) led the session, encouraging them to share their stories of triumph or failure. One by one the women stood up to tell the group about their difficulties with certain foods and how they had overcome an urge to eat something “not on the program.” Some of their stories were funny. Some stories triggered others to relate theirs.
Then one woman with a chocolate chip cookie addiction got up. She talked about doing well for two days after the previous meeting. Then the cookie-monster addict arrived. She walked past the cookie jar on her kitchen counter several times an hour. She touched the jar, opened it and smelled it. Then she left the house and went for a walk to calm the beast. In my ignorance I silently wondered why she had cookies in the house if they were such an issue. Her story continued with the explanation that her three young sons and their father loved chocolate chips so she had to buy them.
When she got back from her walk, she saw the smiling face of the cookie jar once more. She put the jar in the refrigerator so she wouldn’t have to look at it. But all the food was in the fridge so she had to keep opening the door. She managed to get through the evening until about 3 a.m. when the cookie monster called her. She got out of bed and went to the kitchen. She opened the jar and took out a fat cookie.
She described what happened. “I wanted the cookie. I knew I’d hate myself if I ate it. So I put it back. Then I took it out again. I wanted to eat the cookie so bad…” As her voice trailed off in this almost 20-minute story, my thoughts became vocal and I said out loud, “Just eat the damn cookie.” Audible gasps followed my words, until the instructor said, “She’s right.”
Thirty years after my only visit to a Weight Watcher meeting I stumbled on a story from a Zen retreat center. The story, which is actually an important Zen teaching, is called, “When the dog howls, throw the dog a bone.” It seems that when students or disciples come to meditation or retreat centers they’re usually filled with zeal and good intentions. At times, the disciplines, as well as the diligence of the practice, is so intense the student freaks out. This apparently happens even to those who have been practitioners for many years. The “dog bone” teaching gives an example of a senior student who freaked out.
This student followed the practices conscientiously rising early for meditation, then yoga, then a vegetarian breakfast, then more meditation, then chanting, etc. One morning when the center’s bell was rung for early meditation the student decided to sleep in. While the others were in meditation, he sneaked out of the retreat center and hitchhiked into town. There he bought a newspaper. Then he found a diner where he ordered a hamburger with French fries and a chocolate milkshake and sat down to read the newspaper. He said he wanted to feel like a normal person again.
He wandered around town all day enjoying the break from the retreat center. At the end of his day off he hitchhiked back to the Ashram where he was met by one of the teaching monks. He immediately confessed what he’d done, expecting to be tossed out. Instead the monk said, “The dog howled and you tossed him a bone.” The monk then went on to describe his own escape from a center years before, and the student went back to his daily practices.
As we attempt to live virtuous lives and do the right thing, sometimes the effort seems too great. We wonder if it’s worth it. We feel deprived in some way and then the dog begins to howl. Before the effort completely upends the diligent practices, take a breather. Give yourself a break and do something normal.
Eat a hamburger with fries. The world will not end. Better yet, “Eat the damn cookie.” One won’t kill your diet. Whenever the dog howls, pay attention to what’s happening and toss it a bone. After that, regroup, settle down, and get back to your work.
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email email@example.com.
By Mary Boutieller
As we stand at the beginning another year, we once again have the opportunity to slow down just a bit and take stock of where we’ve been and where (or how) we want to be going forward.
The beginning of anything can be a time of reflection, of being fully present. Remember turning 30 or 60 and how it felt as though you were standing at yet another jumping off point in your life? Similarly, starting a new job, moving to a new location, the birth of a baby, the beginning of a new year…can fill us with anticipation, awe and maybe a little angst!
And so it is as I ponder how I want to be in the coming year. Will I branch out more or keep myself closer to home until things feel a little more settled? Will I find a different way to enliven my body and my mind? Will I let in that which nourishes my soul, as I continue to let go of what’s no longer needed? Like tides and our breath and the changing seasons, we tap into the flow of Life, over and over again.
I read recently that, when practicing yoga, it’s not about what pose we do, but how we do it. Imagine if we focused on how the pose felt instead of how it was supposed to look? Might we worry less about what others thought, and think more about the juicy flow of muscle and joint and breath? What if the end result of every yoga pose was a smile on our faces, no matter the pose, because we were present and listened and honored our bodies?
Emily Hill said, “It’s not about achieving the pose—it’s about how the pose changes you, challenges you, and makes you feel afterward.”
How often do we allow our own lives to change us, challenge us, and make us feel something real? Even the mundane can challenge us to see things from a new perspective. This life of ours is fleeting and worthy and amazing, and we are all a part of the matrix that makes it so. Imagine then, if the end result of this life was a smile on our faces, no matter the details, because we lived and loved and laughed and cried with the best of them.
Sufi poet Hafez said, “Now is the time to know that all that you do is sacred. Now is the time to understand that all your ideas of right and wrong were just a child’s training wheels to be laid aside when you can finally live with veracity and love.”
I’ve read this quote many times lately because I needed to remember, again, that everything is sacred: the clouds that float through the sky, a rainy day, those I love, those with whom I disagree, an extraordinary moment, the taste of a ripe tomato. We waste so much of our precious lives worrying and disagreeing and thinking that we are separate from each other and from “All that is” and, every once in a while, in those fleeting moments of grace, we are reminded that this is surely not the case.
So, for now, I’ll ponder these things and decide how I want to be moving forward. And both in times of sorrow and joy, I’ll remember that doors seamlessly open when we are ready.
To all of you who are reading this, I feel such gratitude for your presence. Thank you for being you, for bringing your unique contribution to the world, for being a part of this wider circle.
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.