Monthly Archives: May 2014

Maya Angelou and Your Legacy

5 29 2014 smMy blog takes a side step this week, reflecting on the impact made by celebrated author and poet Dr. Maya Angelou, who passed May 28. Through her writing and activism, Angelou inspired generations to face adversity and look for beauty in the world.

The importance of mentorship is shown in Maya’s influence on a young, upcoming journalist. Oprah Winfrey says Angelou’s first autobiographical work  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was a driving force that helped her realize her own value and strength. Maya Angelou’s book recounted the traumatic events of her childhood up to age seventeen, and won her international acclaim. It inspired Oprah to realize that she too could rise above her situation and accomplish great things.

When Oprah opened The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, she excitedly shared her joy with her mentor. “This will be my legacy!” Oprah exclaimed. Dr. Angelou disagreed. “No. This is not your legacy. You have no idea what your legacy is. Your legacy is every single person who has watched your show and said ‘I am going to take better care of my health,’ every single parent who has watched your show about child abuse and said ‘I’ll never hit my child again’.” Oprah’s television show went on to impact millions with her inspirational topics.

Every morning I get an email message, a  “Note from the Universe”  courtesy of my friend and best-selling author/philosopher Mike Dooley. (I highly recommend subscribing to these!) Last week I got a Note that read, “One day people will be wearing t-shirts that say: ‘What Would Gloria Do?’ ” Wow. That was deep. The thought gave me goose bumps. Could I really make an impact like that upon the world? Why not? I know my purpose is to improve the world, one connection at a time. What will my legacy be? What form will it take? A blog perhaps? 🙂

A friend of mine who runs a dynamic anti-bullying program called  “No-Bull” states his personal purpose statement as: “to inspire, impact, empower and transform those in the space I occupy.”

If you think about it, we are all here to serve one another in some way and make a positive impact.

In the spirit of Dr. Maya Angelou, I leave you with points to ponder this week.

What is my personal purpose statement?
What is my legacy?
Who will I impact in this lifetime?
Who can I impact this week?

Start this week to develop your legacy.

Take Care of Your Body, It’s Your Home

5 22 14 1healthy-quote-1-1024x789“You don’t know what you don’t know.” The first time I heard my friend Barbara use this phrase, I thought, “How true!”

I had not intended to blog about health this edition, but listening to three perplexed people tell me about their health problems this week, I changed my mind. I might be advancing some controversial concepts that you have never heard about, but bear with me – a year ago I didn’t know them either!

Society faces a wide variety of diet plans. Many disagree on what diet plans are valid, but I think we can all agree on a few facts.

In the last few decades, obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes have increased in America. At the same time, consumption of fast food and sugars increased and genetically modified foods appeared on our tables. Coincidence? I think not. Coupled with the increased tendency for adults and children to sit in front of television and video games instead of exercising, this was a formula for disaster. I remember when I was in grammar school, there was only one “fat kid.” Now according to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years, increasing their risk for the health problems listed above.

The Big Mac hamburger debuted in 1968. In 1970, consumer spending on fast food was $6 billion; now it is at $117 billion! In 1994, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first genetically modified food, the Flavr Savr tomato, for sale on grocery store shelves. The delayed-ripening tomato has a longer shelf life than conventional tomatoes. We all know the joke about Twinkies. What do you think is better for you – real food or food packed with preservatives and chemicals?

What are we doing to ourselves?

Ten years ago, I had reached my highest weight, despite working out diligently and trying all kinds of diet pills. For some reason, I didn’t think of changing my diet! Two friends of mine had used the product of an international weight loss company successfully, so I figured, why not? This program included herbal supplements for inner body cleansing and detoxification. I also changed my diet; somewhat. This worked! The weight started falling off and I lost 20 pounds. But something else strange had happened. I had somehow lost my taste for sugar! If I tried to eat a sugar-laden cookie, it tasted horrible and I spit it out! My now cleaner body was rejecting the toxin I had tried to put into it. Of course when I tried to explain this, people looked at me like I was crazy! Yes, sugar is a toxin and it is killing us.

Last year, a friend of mine, Julie, an LPN and Nutritional Specialist, introduced me to a whole new world of information that explained why my first cleansing had worked. I also found out that I still had more “inner cleansing” to do, and a lifestyle change in my diet to clear up some health problems I had.

Then I saw fitness and nutritionist expert, JJ Virgin, on TV, who claimed if you cut seven foods from your diet, you could lose seven pounds in seven days.
The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days
She laid out a very simple challenge to her audience. Try her diet-lifestyle change for just three weeks, and if you didn’t feel better at the end, well then, you could just go back to your former lifestyle! People might not be willing to commit to a whole life change, but maybe could commit to three weeks or a month. Can you do that? Can you just try something for a month?

My new doctor introduced me to an amazing book by Dr. Susan Blum, M.D., M.P.H., who encouraged cutting out five of the seven foods that JJ Virgin had mentioned. Coincidence? Hmm. Maybe not. The common foods are: sugar/artificial sweeteners, gluten, dairy, corn, and soy, with the last two being eggs and peanuts.

Many people are walking around with conditions that can be alleviated by eliminating certain foods, toxins and stress from their lives. I know people whose doctors told them they were incurable, but yet cured themselves by changing their diet. By the way, I dropped another 20 pounds. It simply melted away from my new change in eating habits.

“You don’t know what you don’t know” – but I can tell you, yes, you can get rid of that weight, plus probably some of the ailments you have.

Now, I don’t have the medical credentials and degrees of these distinguished women, so I am not going to attempt to explain the science behind how people have transformed their lives and cured diseases such as arthritis, lupus and Hashimoto’s, by eliminating the toxic foods from their diets and practicing clean living.

Instead, please read Dr. Blum’s book that lays out in very straightforward and clear chapters the science behind what we have done to ourselves over the last few decades, and what we can do to fix ourselves. She even provides delicious recipes! Click here to buy the book and transform your life:
The Immune System Recovery Plan: A Doctor’s 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease

If you like to speak with me about my personal experience, please use my Contact Form. If you need to find a medical practitioner in your area, please consult
http://www.functionalmedicine.org

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.
As Buddha said, the choice is yours.

5 22 14 2buddha-every-human-being-is-the-author

How is your Brand Image?

anything-less-than-your-best-LombardiMany people are enamored with celebrities. When you are in the grocery store cashier line you see celebrity faces spread across the tabloids and magazines; you see their antics on the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitter. Everyone has his own particular interest or favorite celebrity. A friend of mine doesn’t care that much about pop culture. When I mentioned the word “Kimye,” the blended word associated with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, he asked, “Who is that?” He is more concerned about his own image and his own pursuit of success, rather than the image of paparazzi favorites.

Are you concerned about your personal brand image? If you have been unemployed or underemployed in the past few years, you have been concerned about how you present yourself on your resume, during your interview and while networking. You should be concerned. You need to know how to present yourself in the best possible way.

A few years ago I was attending a workshop for job seekers about how to network to find their next job. Sitting at a table chatting with the woman next to me, I offered her my “personal brand” card and asked for hers. She stammered, “I don’t have a card!” What if she had been at an event with recruiters or hiring managers? How impressive that would have been to hand them a personal brand card! She had to write her contact information on a scrap of paper for me.

Businesses need to also be concerned with their image. When people have a need, they shop for the best business to meet that need. Is your online and print image the best that it can be? This goes for big business, small business, and even the freelance entrepreneur with a website! I know that if I look at a business website and it has misinformation or lacks polish, I’m not impressed. If they lack the care and concern for their market image, how much care will they have for the customer?

I was looking at the website of another woman I had met who advertised herself as a business marketing consultant. On her testimonial page, a quote by a client stated: “She is professional and contentious.” Really? I don’t want to do business with someone who is contentious or argumentative! She can’t be very detail-oriented if her website has such a grammatical error.

If you want to put your “best self” forwards, whether you are an individual or a business, it may be time to have someone help “proof you” in order to “improve you.” Don’t settle for anything less than your best. Vince Lombardi, the well-known former head coach of the Green Bay Packers, said it this way:

“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish with your lives.”

These words still ring true years later. If you’d like to read more about this number one coach and his timeless values, check out his book: What it Takes to be Number One

And come back for more insights on my new blog!