The Treasure Lies Within You!

Are You a Pearl Stuck in an Oyster? Do You feel hidden away from all your heart’s desires and life goals? If so, let’s talk about how to quickly transform that pain and bring you out of the dark, showcasing all the beauty and talent you have!

Changes can be painful and irritating, just like the series of events the oyster experiences that causes it to create a beautiful pearl. That lustrous gem is actually created because of the injury done to the oyster that contains it. The constant irritation of a sharp piece of sand inside of it (sound familiar?) causes the oyster to excrete a white pearly liquid to coat the sand in order to stop the pain. It is the gnawing pain that eventually prods the oyster to begin changing its situation and do what is necessary to change its life. The result is a pearl of great beauty and value although the process was not easy. Transforming our lives bears some resemblance to the pearl’s metamorphosis. We work on the issues until they no longer can hurt us!!!

Releasing the pearl’s beauty to the world requires the oyster to be opened (in a sense, being vulnerable to the outside world). Despite the hardness of the shell, it can be opened with ease as it is only held closed by a single muscle called the adductor. The oyster’s shell is opened using a thin knife to separate the adductor muscle. Once it is cut, the shell falls open and a beautiful treasure emerges. Sometimes our “releasing process” feels equally difficult but the end result is beyond belief! We can make something beautiful out of our pain.

We then use our experiences and knowledge to guide others down a similar path. As we do, our own confidence will soar even higher as we help change lives while fulfilling our own divine purpose! If your gifts and talents are still a hidden treasure deep inside of you, allow the mental adductor muscle to be cut. Release your potential!

Visualize yourself stepping out. What are the first five steps you will take? Write them down. In order to attain a life-transforming metamorphosis – 1) we either realize we have grown too much to stay where we are, or we cannot allow ourselves to suffocate in that painful, constricting shell any longer. End result is a pearl of great beauty and value where we have removed the sharp edges and made something beautiful out of our pain. Then we share it with the world!

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What Picture Are You Looking At? Inside or Outside of Package!

Here’s a great affirmation for you!  A flower does not think of competing against the flower next to it. It just blooms! Well…So should you! 

Today I make a list of all of my abilities, accomplishments and qualities. These are what I will nourish and see them grow strong! Read on………………!!!!!!

Who isn’t delighted by a gorgeous rose, a beautiful symbol of love, romance, and life itself? It didn’t start out that way though. Nature’s storms pelt the little seed in similar fashion to what we experience in life. Oh yeah! However, the turbulent moments in life are actually where roots grow deep and the seed starts to take the shape of a lovely flower IF, as the gardener, you nourish your seed (life) every day.

In spite of the thorns (trials of life), the transformation has brought you from a tightly closed bud to a magnificent bloom. Yes it has. I spent most of my life feeling like the shriveled up, ugly little seed hopelessly in the dark, abused, self-destructive and quitting everything I started, always afraid of failure and rejection. Then I looked at the picture on the outside of the seed package! What I could become with God as the Master Gardner. In all honesty, I had to quit feeding myself with negativity and garbage that was growing weeds and choking out the blossoms.

When shopping for flowers, you look at the photographs on the seed packages. They do not show you a picture of what the seeds look like in their current state, as dark, tiny, ugly seeds that do not showcase their true beauty and potential. The package shows the magnificent end result. Given the right nourishment and care, it will blossom into a vibrant and delightful creation. Likewise, when you look in the mirror, never see yourself as inferior, unlovely or defective–but as you truly are–a child of God’s magnificence! Allow the seed inside you to grow, and only focus on the lovely picture of what you can become! How magnificent you are!

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Life feeling a bit disjointed?  You Can Rearrange the Pieces!

Like a Kaleidoscope, life can seem like a mass of disjointed bits and pieces, but with deliberate adjustments, they can create a beautiful new picture.

I’m sure God sees the overall picture, not our broken dreams and frustrations. He sure saw mine! After going through two divorces from very abusive marriages and then losing a loving man from cancer in between, I hit rock bottom. Daily life was filled with such self-destructive habits. Shortly after taking refuge in my new apartment, I began taking walks after work in a park I called my “sanity trail” when a strange experience unfolded. As I prayed and walked, I literally had a vision of myself with jagged shards of glass stuck throughout my body. It was a real awakening as to how emotionally wounded I had become due to all of the self-sabotage, years of degrading treatment and self-loathing. I felt completely unworthy of deserving a new start.

What changed my life was a clear message God put in my heart that told me from then on, I was not to let anyone’s opinion or comments determine what I was worth. I was only to allow God to show me how He sees me, as His beloved daughter. Those nightly walks took on a new scenario as I began concentrating on all of the gifts and talents I was blessed with that had previously been pushed deep down inside. I also developed a new appreciation and gratitude for where I was at the moment, not for where I still wanted to be. Piece by piece, those jagged shards seemed to come out as I turned my focus on using them to create a beautiful new picture of God’s design.

You too can take those scattered pieces of your life, sort them into your personal and professional goals, personal relationships, financial situation—whatever the case may be—and every day, let God be the Master Designer, guiding your hand to create a new, transformed life. Is my mosaic finished yet? Nowhere close, however, I am determined to keep rearranging my life’s design for the good of my life and those I’ll touch along the way. What will you do with yours? You can move the mountains of fear, doubt, depression, sadness, lack (and all others) and create a new design.

Just keep working it and never, ever give up. I’ve tried so many times to throw it all away but God says “No, I have work for you to do!” Grab His hand and let’s get going!

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Are You Ready to Soar High Like an Arrow? 

Are you feeling like your dreams are being pulled farther away? Think of the Arrow, which can only be shot by pulling it backwards!! 

When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that, with determination, it’s going to turn around and launch you into something great!! Just focus…and keep aiming! So if someone or something tries to bring you down or pull you back, show them the struggles only made your arms stronger.  Strong enough to get up, focus on your dreams, and shoot that bullseye straight on!

You may be thinking—how am I going to do that? I’m so worn out, broke, tried and failed too many times! Remember, No material in the world is as resilient as the human spirit! Yet we must decide what are holding onto that is holding us back and what damaging dead weight to let go of. Why? When holding on to negatives, researchers believe it can actually reshape the human cell to the point where our thoughts of the past can negatively affect our cells and physical body. Here’s an example: Looking back, did your negative relationships (personal or professional) provide any kind of physical, spiritual or emotional nourishment to feed you with encouragement, positive direction and support? Or did they bring disappointment and frustration, shooting your arrows into the ground? If so, mentally grab those arrows, sit down, and take a moment to visualize a picture I once saw: a bird was sitting on the outside of its cage and it read: The day came when she finally broke free from the cage that had been created in her mind. She slammed the door shut, spread her wings and flew free… to her destiny!

So can You. Yes, there is nothing stronger than the human spirit!  Where you might be right now is not where you are intended to spend the rest of your life. Ready? Pull back that arrow…aim…soar higher!

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Ooh baby, time to knock down some barriers & create a new life landscape!

 We have all encountered barriers that impede a successful transformation. Ugh!!

         I once read a story about a barracuda and mackerel, the barracuda’s favorite dinner. It is amazing how much two fish can tell us about our own human nature and how we can give up just before our breakthrough. Researchers put them in a tank with a glass partition in between. For three days, the barracuda feverishly banged its nose against the glass anxiously trying to capture its next meal. After three days, it gave up, believing the tasty prize was not within reach. When the researchers saw the unhappy barracuda, they removed the partition so the mackerel was fair game. What happened? Absolutely nothing! Although the barracuda had free access to a hefty gourmet delight, it had given up the fight. It wouldn’t even attempt to snatch it although it was right there for the taking.

         *How many times do we hold on to partitions in our lives because our dreams have been so far out of reach and we’re not sure how to move forward. It can be uncomfortable to change so we look for excuses that something cannot be changed, whether competing for a new career, or leaving a bad relationship and allowing ourselves a new, healthier one. That negative situation can be painful and so unfulfilling but…it is familiar! We stick to it even if we are trying to get out of that box. We may possibly think that there is no risk of failure or rejection IF we stay in what is familiar…but is there? What is the transformation you are seeking?

         It may be time to make a New Life Declaration: I declare God’s dream for my life is coming to pass! It will not be stopped by people, disappointments or adversities! God already has solutions lined up to every problem trying to hit at me. The right people and the right breaks are in my future, even if I may not see them yet. I decree and declare I will fulfill my destiny!

Instead of saying “Lord, I don’t know how to do this…say, Father, I can’t wait to see how you do this”! That one thought can really put you in a whole different frame of mind! It may be that to reach your dreams, you need to restructure your life patterns. It may be necessary to tear out a few seams in your life’s design that no longer fit you or that have become too uncomfortable—a lifestyle choice perhaps, or a place where you like to go, unhealthy diet choices, etc. You may need to replace a torn sleeve in life’s current pattern (ouch)—like a friend or job. Be sure to replace each piece removed with something positive and uplifting, such as a dash of life-giving color—flowers, educational or self-improvement classes (many are free online), a positive new friend who has your back, or music that makes you happy—to your new design. Create a rich new pattern that is instrumental in manifesting your purpose, dreams and heart’s desires. 

Your current circumstances and heart can lead you very far in determining what life issues(weeds) need to be pulled up, which new habits to plant (your seed) and the desire to make a new life flower bed or a whole new landscape.

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Steps Towards Writing Your New Life’s Chapter–GO!!

Now can be the first step of your new beginning in whatever area you are seeking changeanother exciting push forward towards your new transformation – NOT when you are forty pounds thinner, can afford a newer house or car, are remarried like your ex-husband, or whatever issue may be holding you back.

Those “new things” may take a bit longer to accomplish than you want (like “Gee, I wish that would have happened yesterday, last year, half my life ago–I can relate to that one!), so take one step at a time and walk through each phase after carefully answering the steps below. Do what it takes, in small increments, to turn your situation around. Even quick, shorts steps can cause you to feel better and stronger: Walk another half block each day until you reach a fitness plan that works for you, exchange that doughnut for a healthy yogurt with cinnamon toasted walnuts, make a cup of yummy flavored coffee and save the Starbucks money towards your new car fund. Thoughtfully consider these questions, then write down the who, why/why not, how is this affecting me, etc. Seriously, evaluate each one, how it makes you feel, and kick the fear of change in its backside. Go!!

  • What do I wish to change and why? Relationships? Health? Finances? Career?  Be detailed on where you are now and where you need to be.
  • What will it take to transform my life? Different friends? (Ouch, but in a good way). Letting go of someone or something that keeps me down? An exercise and eating plan? Classes that will equip me for my dream job? There are so many free classes on the web.
  • Who or where can I turn to for support? We all need it and it makes others (the right ones) feel special for being able to help. Never try to do it alone but it is critical to pick those who will be supportive and positive. That is the key!!
  • Who or what is preventing me from stepping into my new life? Are they perceived or real roadblocks? Be honest. Is it fear, finances, taking care of a family member? Is is (just) memories of something someone said that actually does NOT determine your abilities at all!. 
  • If I can’t completely change a particular area of my life, what steps can I take to make it better? Begin with one realistic step, then the next, and the next. Exchanging an area of your expertise with someone who can watch the kids while you attend class. Getting up a half hour earlier to have quiet time with God and seek His direction. Taking the stairs to recharge and burn a few calories?
  • Where I am speaking in negative or defeated terms, what can I say to turn it into victory statements?

Take each negative thought and literally rewrite it. You can change, “I’m too old to change careers” to “I have years of valuable experience, insight and creative relationship skills that will give me favor to be hired by the best company for me.””I deserve a wonderful, loving partner.” “God can give me new, supportive and fun friends to replace those who have kept me down.” Name it–claim it!

Believe it or not, it is NEVER to late to begin again!!! Or again. Or again. Never!!

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Changing Our Thoughts Changes Our Lives

Every time we speak, we are prophesying our future.

Jane Goodall, anthropologist (ape family) and UN Messenger of Peace said… You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make right then and there!

We make a choice at that very minute to be angry, forgiving, revel over someone’s misfortune, withdraw to a corner, smile and talk to a lonely person, or even laugh and do a little victory dance step, and move on! Motivational Speaker Zig Ziglar once said: You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make the attitudes to fit those situations. You can start changing what is going on around you when you begin changing what is within you.

When someone says something to or about you, either positive or negative, that seed tries to plant itself in the soil of your life. It is at this very moment that you determine whether or not to allow that kernel to take root and grow into a self-sabotaging weed or pull it out!! and plant a positive, beautiful new seed. If we dwell on what was said or done to us, we are watering and fertilizing the damaging seed and it will manifest in our life if left inside. That is why we must stop every time, immediately, and think of what impact our thoughts and words have on us, our loved ones, and on the world! Switch and meditate on positive thoughts, blessings, and what God’s Word ways about you throughout the day. Nourish those good seeds and watch them grow into our newly created reality!

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Do my non-verbals say I’m the one to do business with?

Our “self-perception” shapes the perception others will have of us. Our goal is to be perceived as a confident, caring, engaging and knowledgeable individual who sincerely desires to provide the best products and service possible.

What Does One’s Own Perception Have to Do With It Anyway? 

What caused the current perception we have of ourselves? As previously mentioned, more than likely, it is from all of our past experiences and how other people treated us. For instance, picture someone walking into a place of business who is well groomed and wearing a nice suit. Previous experience says that someone who looks like that is a successful, educated, organized, and intelligent person because that’s what we probably learned to think. This is how we see them whether they are really that way or not. Often, how we see ourselves is also based on past experiences, whether positive or negative.

On the other hand, when meeting someone who, upon first glance, has a disheveled appearance, or looks cranky or shy, we immediately decide he or she does not have anything to say that is worth our time. That perception may be correct or it may be completely false.  However, we may miss numerous opportunities because we do not perceive ourselves as good enough, competitive enough, educated enough, or dressed nicely enough.  You can fill in the blank with any number of reasons. Our energy, manner and appearance will be busy forming impressions that will may be hard to shake.

            A question we should ask ourselves daily is, “Do I send out the message to others that I am the one they want to do business with because I am the best?”  Why or why not?

             Exercise:  Stop! Take some time to really examine the following points and determine:  “What is the most important area that I would like to change as far as the perception I am giving to others?”  ________________________________________________

  • Could it be getting in better shape to appear more energetic and able to successfully handle their business?
  • Could it be working on simple body language changes such as a more confident handshake, erect posture and good eye contact?
  • How about a few changes in grooming to show others that I take good care of myself, therefore, I will also take equally good care of them and their business?
  • What would make me “feel” more confident, organized and ready to take on the big guys?

Your answers will help you lay out the steps necessary to change any perceptions that are not in your favor.  Stay tuned for tips on Giving an Impression That Commands Positive Results!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Rita Rocker is an international published author, life-transforming inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and career consultant with Transformation Academy, LLC. She inspires individuals to rise and go forward by providing powerful techniques for victorious personal and professional life makeovers. Clients include teens, adult men and women, and the elderly. She works with individuals, professional organizations, corporations, youth programs, and at conferences and retreats. Rita has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. Her professional background also includes corporate training, human resources and non-technical project management. She is a former Mrs. Nebraska and Mrs. America contestant (whose husband died during her term from cancer), and on the international board for Professional Woman Network.

On a personal note, Rita’s passion to transform lives comes from climbing out of her own deep pit of very low self-worth, domestic violence with physical/mental/emotional abuse, self-sabotaging behavior through fear of failure and rejection, emotional eating, care giving, personal loss, and self-destructive relationships. Rita understands what it is like being stricken with several health issues and eight surgeries in two years including a brain tumor, jaw bone tumor and Meniere’s disease. She is very authentic and transparent while filling her clients, audiences and readers with hope, help, humor and heart!

Expertise:

  • Inspirational and Self-esteem Programs
  • Dynamic Communication Skills for Your Personal and Professional Life
  • Polished, Professional Image, Business Etiquette & Social Skills
  • Career Development and Exceptional Leadership
  • Successful Branding/Networking Techniques
  • Customer Service and Relationship Building

Keynote and Breakout Topics Include:

  • The Whole Enchilada: Creating New Recipes for Your Life
  • Marketing Yourself for Success
  • Attitudes That Overcome: Triumphing Through Transition
  • Get Your Combat Boots on Ladies but Don’t Forget Your Mascara
  • You, Getting Older? You’re Just Getting Started!

Rita is the author of: Hope at the End of Your Rope: Steps to Rebuild Your Life and Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success. She is a contributing international author to: The Professional Woman, Overcoming a Chaotic Life; Sink, Swim or Float: How to Survive the Trials of Life; The Unstoppable Woman’s Guide to Emotional Well Being; Woman Power: Strategies for Female Leadership; The Power of Transformation: Reinventing Your Life; Baby Boomers: Secrets for Life After 50; Tapping Your Inner Vision: Transforming Your Life, Shifting Your Mind; The Self-Esteem Guide for Women: How to Build Confidence; Your Personal GPS: How to Navigate Life’s Challenges and Roadblocks; The Woman’s Book of Empowerment and Confidence Daily Affirmations.

 

Business Holiday Events: Have Fun…But Not Too Much!

At business social events, you are still under scrutiny.

Many important business deals are conducted during functions outside of the 8-5 world. Holiday parties are a time to get to know individuals better, relax and have fun. They are not the proper place to promote your business. If you want to learn more about each other or meet for coffee at another time, discreetly provide a card when asked, or ask the other individual for his/her card because you would like to learn more about their products or services.

*Be sure all mobile devices are silent; “vibrate” is not good enough. Avoid placing a mobile device on the dining table, as this indicates that it has more importance than the conversation.

*Always hold your glass in your left hand when mingling so the right one is dry and free to shake hands.

*Drink a glass of water or coffee between alcoholic drinks to maintain a sharp, professional conversation at all times.

*Make it a habit to introduce yourself to at least five people you don’t know to build up your network or make new friends. Always focus on them (which also helps if you’re self-conscious talking about yourself.)

*Your date is also under scrutiny. Adults never want to introduce someone as “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” but rather just offer their first and last names; however, if it’s your spouse, provide that designation.

*Always thank the host or hostess and let them know how much you appreciate their hospitality. It’s great to spend quality time with co-workers but don’t overstay your welcome. Pay attention to the time frame set up on the invitation.

*If a sit-down meal, follow the host/hostess for when to put your napkin in your lap and begin eating.

EMAIL ME FOR ANSWERS TO YOUR HOLIDAY ETIQUETTE QUESTIONS AT rita@transformationacademy.com! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Holiday Business Social Events – Do It With Pizzazz!

How you speak, look and act at social events can have consequences on your career. Holiday parties are one of the most important places where executives and managers are rubbing elbows and where you may be seen by individuals that you may not usually run into. Here are quick tips to keep you confident and making a positive impression: 

Your voice reveals education, background, self-confidence, trustworthiness and credibility, all of which can impact your future success. Speak in a focused, motivated and confident manner.

Your attire should not be too casual or revealing as that impression will carry back to the office and can affect promotional opportunities. You still want to be remembered as the polished (and fun) individual, not for what you wore. You always want to stand out as the polished professional versus being remembered for what you wore. If you’re not sure what works best, put another shirt/blouse, dressier or more casual, different shoes and socks, and possibly a different jacket or fancy sweater, and fancier or more casual accessories in the car. If you notice others dressed quite differently from you, slip into a bathroom and make a quick change. If the invitation indicates a theme or dress code, adhere to it. If not, choose something that is still office-appropriate. Then…go in with confidence and impress them with your fantastic personality!!!

Is it OK to shoot between two or three parties? Arrive on time. It’s disrespectful to show up late, even around the holidays. There is often a schedule of events set up to start at the time indicated on the invitation. It will certainly be noticed if you’re walking in an hour or two late – not a good impression to make with your co-workers and superiors. At business social functions, shyness or indifference may be misunderstood by management as being socially unskilled. Try to exhibit friendly bravery by introducing yourself to as many people as possible. Even if you really don’t want to be there, stay at least 1/2 hour and makes the rounds before leaving. This can keep you in the winner’s circle by exhibiting a team player attitude and be good for your working relationships. If this event could have a noticeable impact on your career, be sure to spend a good length of time conversing.

Have Fun–But Not TOO Much! Many important business deals are conducted during functions outside of the 8-5 world. Holiday parties are a time to get to know individuals better, relax and have fun. They are not the proper place to promote your business. If you find that during the conversation you want to learn more about each other or meet for coffee at another time, discreetly provide a card when asked, or ask the other individual for his/her card because you would like to learn more about their products or services.

Is it ever appropriate to hand out a business card at a holiday office party? Many important business deals are conducted during functions outside of the 8-5 world. Holiday parties are a time to get to know individuals better, relax and have fun, and not the proper place to be promoting your business. However, if you find that during the conversation you want to learn more about each other or meet for coffee at another time, discreetly provide a card when asked, or ask the other individual for his/her card because you would like to learn more about their products or services. It is good business (and socially correct, if you were given it at a party) to show the proper respect by looking at it before putting it into a handbag or jacket pocket.

Conversations: Converse with a variety of people. This is your chance to talk with those you may not get to see in a typical day. It is a good way to get to know others outside of the “work environment.” Keep the subjects light and avoid gossiping about co-workers or delving into heavy topics like religion or politics.

By the way, these are good rules to follow:       
  • Be sure to thank whoever planned the celebration before you leave.
  • Keep drinks to a minimum and hold your drink in your left hand so it is always available and dry to shake hands.
  • Know when to leave. While it’s great to spend quality time with co-workers, don’t overstay your welcome. Pay attention to the time frame set up on the invitation.
  • Be sure all mobile devices are silent; “vibrate” is not good enough. Avoid placing a mobile device on the dining table, as this indicates that it has more importance than the conversation.
  • Keep a pleasant demeanor, professional conversation and enjoy!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rita Rocker is an international published author, national inspirational and educational speaker, communications and image specialist, and a careercoach with Transformation Academy, LLC.  She is the author of “A Guide to Marketing Yourself for Success”, and “Hope at the End of Your Rope.” She is a contributing author to ten other books. She has appeared on national television and radio talk shows on self-esteem and communication. A former Mrs. Nebraska and active in numerous professional organizations, Rita is on the Board of the international Professional Woman Network. Rita provides life and career-transforming programs to mature teens and adults. Contact Rita at rita@transformationacademy.com.