How Gratitude Can Help Us In Our Everyday Lives As Moms

By Lori Radun

When my older son was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, my first reaction was relief – I finally knew the reason for his behavior. However, I was also overwhelmed with sadness, fear and anger. I felt sorry for my son and for myself. Like many others in similar circumstances, my question to God was “Why me?”


Through the grace of God, I am now able to focus on my gratitude. I believe God chose me to raise my son because He knew that I would give him the best I have. He will teach me to love and understand him for who he is. I am grateful that I have my son, and grateful that God chose me to be his mother.


There is power and healing in gratitude.


How can gratitude help us in our everyday lives as moms? Think about the difference you can make in your family’s life just by noticing and being thankful for all the great things they do. When you express gratitude, you show your love and appreciation. Everyone needs to feel these things every day. Sometimes as moms we feel that no one appreciates us – and it is true that moms are usually last on the list to be thanked. One way you can teach gratitude is by example. Even on the days when it seems your children or husband are doing everything wrong, find a reason to thank them. Take the time and energy to look for the good. Think about the things that your family does that deserve a thank you. You might say to your husband, “Thank you for working so hard for our family,” or, to your child, “I really appreciate your sense of humor – it feels good to laugh.” Expressing your gratitude helps family members to understand how it feels to be appreciated. And if they still don’t catch on, let them know when you feel unappreciated. You can also tell them how great it makes you feel when they do express gratitude.


Gratitude is a wonderful motivator when you need cooperation. When enlisting the help of my two year old, I praise him often and with enthusiasm. I let him know that he is a great helper. I know I am teaching him appreciation because he expresses it to me. The other day I brought a bunch of multi-colored roses home. For five days, at least once or twice a day, my son thanked me for the flowers.


Sometimes we get so busy and caught up in daily life that we forget to be grateful. We expect everyone to do their share without being asked. The only time anyone hears anything is when a chore has not been completed. This attitude, over the long haul, will develop very resentful and uncooperative family members.


When life is good, gratitude is easy. It becomes more challenging to be grateful when we are experiencing hard times. Financial hardship, long-term illness, the death of a loved one and marital strife can all be trying and difficult. It is hard to find anything to be grateful for. But while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We have a choice in how we view our circumstances. We can turn our hearts to God and trust that he has a plan for us. We can be thankful for the lessons we learn and the opportunities for personal growth and transformation. Look at all the people in this world who share the gifts they received during especially difficult times of their life. It is the painful times of my life that have made me stronger, wiser, and more loving today.


I recently attended a powerful seminar on the various levels of energy that a human being emanates. The presenter identified seven different levels of energy. The first level of energy is defined by feelings of apathy and thoughts of victimization. A person at a level two energy has feelings of anger and thoughts of conflict. As a person moves up the energy scale, their feelings and thoughts are more positive. At level seven, one would experience unconditional love and no judgmental thoughts. Only God radiates at level seven. The average person emits energy at a level of 2.5. To experience peace and joy, an individual must raise his energy level to 5 or 6.


So how can we raise our energy level and open our heart to joy? One powerful way is to develop an attitude of gratitude. Look at everyone with grateful eyes. Listen to your heart and the heart of your loved ones. Speak words of affirmation every day of your life. Be grateful for your life with all its lessons and blessings. The more grateful thoughts and feelings you experience and express the more instrumental you will be in healing the world. And your outlook on life will improve in the process.


Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms. Visit her at

You Choose Your Thoughts & The Thoughts You Choose Dictate Your Life

By Willie Horton

Our lives are the product of what we ourselves do to create them. Although, ultimately, we cannot fully control our lives, we can, in the right frame of mind, exert a huge influence on our success and happiness. Unfortunately, however, most people exert little or no influence at all over the course of their lives because they have no concept of their own ability to grasp full control of the one and only thing that all us can control – our own state of mind. Indeed, I suspect that it has never even occurred to the majority of people that they can control their own state of mind. Most people prefer to be tossed around by life’s ups and downs, prefer to be followers rather than leaders, prefer to be victims rather than creators. It just seems to be the default state for the average normal adult – otherwise lives would be noticeably different.


State of mind is everything. It determines whether or not your actions in life will come to anything. You could be working hard in your job and not getting anywhere because your efforts are being cancelled out by your very own self-destructive thoughts. How many people go through the motions at work whilst all the while thinking that they don’t like their job or they wish they were somewhere else? How many people strive for promotion whilst continually telling themselves that the system isn’t fair and that they’ve no chance of success? How many people work for the money and nothing else? The problem with this kind of “work” is that you’re not putting your heart into it, how could expect to get anything much in return. Or, to put it another, more scientific way, you’re not putting enough of your energy into what you’re doing.


We’re made up of energy – so is everything. Research in the fields of quantum physics and molecular science strongly suggests that how we deploy our energy has an impact on all energy – obviously and particularly, the energy closest to us. For example, if you tell your boss, who you don’t like and who you know, for a fact, is going to promote someone else in front of you, to have a nice day – the message will be coming from your teeth out! Your words will mean say one thing but your deployment of energy at that moment will mean something else – you will, in effect , be feeding your own failure.


Our world works on the basis of constantly responsive and interactive energy exchange. Psychology tells us that we only deploy about 1% of our energy in doing what we’re doing, the rest of our energy is dissipated in either useless or self-destructive thought – or both. This is directly as a result of our not controlling our own state of mind. Instead, the normal person wanders mindlessly through each day, allowing their mind self-destruct. And, even though you might think that you’re working hard or trying your best, the fact of the matter is that it’s not what you do that matters, it’s what you’re thinking while your half-heartedly going through the motions. It’s the thought that counts.


A colleague can tell you that you look wonderful today and either think that you look awful or wish that you didn’t look so well. An acquaintance can wish you the very best for your new business venture whilst inwardly hoping that you fall flat on your face. A good friend can tell you that you can count on their support when you set up your new business knowing full well that they’ve no intention of giving you any business at all (talk to people who have set up their own businesses on this one if you don’t believe me!). Many people will tell you to have a nice day and not give a damn whether you do or not. And, of course, most normal people won’t even bother putting on a brave face when asked how they are – the standard reply is “not too bad”. People in sports and business can work all the hours God gave them and train hard – but if they don’t believe in their heart and soul in their own success, they will fail.


It’s not what you do – it’s how you do it. You have to do what you’re doing wholeheartedly. You have to rise to the challenge of deploying more than 1% of your energy in the here and now – you’ll never have the opportunity again. You have to put in the work to prevent your mind undermining you – you’ve got to take control of your mind and exert maximum influence on your own success and happiness. If you don’t you might as well lie down and die.


Your state of mind is simply a matter of your choosing. Your mind can wallow in useless and self-destructive thought and you won’t even be aware of it – you’ll only see the “not too bad” results in your life. Or, alternatively, you can choose to focus your mind – not on your goals or objectives but on what you’re supposed to be doing now. That’s the kind of focus that will drag your mind away from its obsession with self-destruction, that’s the kind of focus that will pull your energy (often kicking and screaming) into the only place and time that it can be usefully deployed – the here and now.


The choice is yours – you choose your own thoughts and the thoughts that you choose dictate your life.



Willie Horton has been a Personal Development expert since 1996 – working with top leaders in major organizations. An Irish ex-accountant, ex-banker, published author and keynote speaker, he travels the world, from his home in the French Alps, enabling people to “live their dream”. Visit him at

Stand Up And Speak Out Against Bullying!!

October is National Bully Prevention Awareness Month.  Special shout out to Tray “Poot” Chaney, Don Cox, and Lamar Tyler for putting together this video which drives home the point that we must stand up and speak out against bullying.

Contrary to popular rhetoric bullies are not necessarily abused at home and don’t always suffer from low self esteem. Many do have a low sense of self which drives their need for forced approval.  However, some bullies do have a superior sense of self, are highly confident in their abilities and opt to assert themselves and their position in the social order with harassment.

Bullies feel in control when they intimidate others and they feel admired by peers when they act out. It is not so much the victim that gives a bully his or her sense of power, it is the reactions, or rather the inactions, of bystanders that feed the bully’s superior sense of self.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Most people do not genuinely like bullies. They do not like witnessing another person being bullied. It is a very uncomfortable psychological state, a state known as cognitive dissonance, to witness a bullying incident and do nothing about it.Cognitive dissonance occurs when our actions do not match our internal code of ethics and morality; it is triggered when we don’t act in accordance with our internal moral code.Most people want to stop a bully but lack the courage to get involved for fear of becoming a target. When somebody else makes the first move others are likely to follow to alleviate their dissonance. Bullies always back down when more than one person confronts them.
Bullying can affect you in many ways. You may lose sleep or feel sick.  You may want to skip school. You may even be thinking about suicide.  If you are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
BLAM Fam…LET’S STAND UP FOR OUR FUTURE…..Spread the word…let’s get this message out to our children.

VIDEO: On Faith, Family, Love &….Pain. Yes, You Can Handle It.

VIDEO: As we build our marriages and our families we will at times experience pain that we will feel is unfair and unprovoked. Nobody said being in relationship with other people you love to pieces would be easy. Listen in as Bishop T.D. Jakes explains how “Being who we are in life to other people can often cause us personal pain, but what does it matter, if for one moment we can be what they never got to be or never had?

Security Vs. Insecurity…What’s Holding You Back?

By Nick Dillon

Security is one of the most basic human needs. Most people value security because feeling secure feels good. But is it possible that your need for security is actually inhibiting the fullness of your life?


If we look at most of the successful self-made people in the world, we’ll see that many of them had to endure what would be considered a large degree of insecurity. For example, according to studies, the average self-made millionaire went broke more than 3 times on the way to their monetary goals.


Most of us crave financial security, yet how many of us would be willing to put ourselves in situations where we might end up broke, just to achieve that security? Do these successful people have less need to feel safe? Perhaps they simply see security differently.




Most very successful people feel secure the majority of the time. They’re secure in themselves and in their abilities. They always have those two things available to them, regardless of their external events. Not having enough money is just a nuisance. While not ideal, it’s nothing to get bent out of shape about.


Risk vs. Reward


Most of us would feel more secure with $250,000 in the bank, a house that’s paid off, a stable job, and health insurance. The problem is that by the time most of us achieve all of these things, we’re nearly out of time. No one lives forever.


So to achieve the things that make us feel secure, the fastest path is usually to take action that might create a feeling of insecurity in the short-term. Taking some risk may be necessary to create a life that’s full of security. As with many things, security frequently comes down to risk vs. reward.


Starting your own business might be “risky.” You might go broke. You might have to sleep on your friend’s couch. But is that really the end of the world? Did you know that Sylvester Stallone was completely broke and his wife was pregnant when he was trying to sell his script for Rocky?


He even turned down $200,000 for the script because that particular film company wouldn’t let him star in the movie. He ultimately took less for the script, just to be able to be in the movie because he knew it was worth the risk. Stallone is now worth over $275 million.


Would you have taken the same chance? If your sense of security came from within you, then yes!


Inner vs. External Security


So, how can you change so that your feeling of security comes from inside you rather than from the outside? First, you need to simply decide that you’re going to perceive things differently. You also need to believe that you have the capacity to handle any bumps that occur along the way. That’s it! Just those two things are all you need.


Avoid letting your need for security undermine the achievement of your dreams.


If you feel the need to wait until all of your needs for security are met before you chase your dreams, you’re likely to run out of time first. Ask yourself if you really need all of those external things to feel secure. Then go get some real security.


“The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. Step just outside your comfort zone and see your potential.”


Nick Dillon is a counselor and certified career coach. He maintains a private practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Visit him at

LOVING YOURSELF 101: Let Go Of How Other People Feel About You & Accept ALL Of Who You Are

By Deborah L. Shipley

Have you ever wished yourself away? I am not referring to leaving your precious life on this Earth; but rather, just wished you weren’t a certain way or did not have some particular qualities and mannerisms that were so apparent to you. I know I have.


In the past, I’ve had a very difficult time when others would point out my weaknesses to me, either constructively or not-so tactfully. I would think, “ Wow, not only do I think these are big problems I have, but now everyone else sees them as well.“ I would hope and pray that these parts of my personality would disappear into the deep character trait abyss. I would pretend to myself they weren’t present or I would try my hardest to cover them up. I spent a lot of time and energy on hiding these areas that I wanted so desperately to vanish.


A big first step in learning to love oneself and in self-forgiveness is accepting every part of you as the unique person that you are. All of your so-labeled liabilities can be tweaked into assets, but they must first be accepted. Otherwise, you are pushing against the grain and not being authentic to your true self.


Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. In all of my past serious relationships, I have loved very passionately- so much so, that I’ve depended on the other person in the relationship for my happiness (what is commonly referred to as co-dependence). My moods depended on their moods, their well-being, or were correlated to the way they were treating me at the time. One can argue that this is not really love. I feel it was love, but with a very important component missing-that passionate love for myself… With it, the “dysfunctional” one-sided relationships may have flourished or an even more likely scenario~ I would have probably not attracted them in the first place (but that’s a topic for another day). Once I accepted this as a part of my unique persona I was able to direct it in a more healthy manner-passionate love for my child, my work, my family, my faith, and most importantly, myself.


You may find your dark sides in anger, co-dependence, low self-esteem or a combination of these or other perhaps not so desirable traits. We are missing a part of us by wishing these traits weren’t ours and not owning up to every inch of them. If we are only loving a part of ourselves or of others, we are not fully engaged in the experience of love. You know that feeling of being in a relationship where the other person may “kind of like you” or you “kind of like them“. It doesn’t flourish, and neither party is truly happy. It has been said by finding an area in which you have found the most struggles, therein lies your true purpose. These are gifts for us to embrace; lessons are presented for us to learn. Think of one of your greatest challenges-has that not shaped who you are today? When you are in the midst of it, it can be difficult; but when you step back, you see the beauty of it all.


Accept your yin and your yang. Accept your dark and your light. Accept your failures and your successes. I am not suggesting that we use this as an excuse to not participate in personal development or self-care, or to neglect to learn those lessons that are often presented to us throughout our lives. Instead I am suggesting that we embrace our unique selves and know that we are not on this Earth to take up space but rather to fulfill a beautiful life of our dreams in our own special way~ every valuable bit of us.


“If you can’t accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.”



Deborah Shipley is a gentle guide whose personal mission is to assist others in creating a daily practice where personal empowerment, growth, and healing are fostered so that one may be able to thrive while also being of service to the world. She has been published on websites and in printed publications for her articles relating to personal development and change.



By Lana Moline

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being my friend.  That is because the position doesn’t happen quickly and I take it very seriously.  A friend to me is family that we can choose.  I fully intend to have friends for a lifetime, through thick or thin.  So a friend is someone who will do the work and can weather the storm.

The definition of a friend is someone who genuinely cares and is interested in your well-being.  It is someone with whom you can share and someone who is willing to lend a hand.  A friend is simply someone is willing to walk beside you on life’s journey.  A friend’s presence is like planting flowers on your path, adding beauty and making it all just a little bit more pleasant.  A friend is someone who encourages your very best and seeks it in their own life as well.  A friend is your heart’s reflection of all the things that matter the most.

I know something about being a friend and oddly enough my lessons were learned from heartbreak.  I had a relationship were the guy was unfaithful so of course that didn’t last.  But as I listened to his reasons of how he made the decision to step outside of our (then) relationship, I accepted the fact that I had not always been piped into where he was coming from.  Now I don’t condone what he did but after it was over I was able to see the part that I played in the demise of that relationship and I didn’t want that to happen again.  So from that I learned to ask reflective questions to make sure I understand and to let whomever I speak to know that I hear you and I care.

Another hard lesson learned was when I found myself the topic of an ugly gossip infused powwow.  Turns out, I had shared some personal information with the wrong person.  She, in turn, took that information and ran with it.  From there the information was distorted and my name was dragged through the mud.  Of course the lesson with this one is obvious and going forward I became very selective about who I shared my personal information and my indicator is examining how an individual refers to him/herself, how they handle the problems in their lives and how they regard the relationships of the ones that are closest to them.  Now I pay attention to whether someone speaks positively about their family, spouse, friends and especially themselves.

I keep my list of friends very short on purpose.  Although I know tons of great people and I fellowship with most, I believe the role of friendship is a title that should be given and accepted for the long haul.  I wholeheartedly believe that God should be the center of friendships and there is a purpose in our friendships.  These relationships help us to remain on point at all times and picks us up when we need that too.  So meeting and establishing friends is something I take to God in prayer.  God is so good until He has not only blessed me with wonderful God-fearing girlfriends who know how to have a great time but He has positioned Himself as my very best friend.  My constant friendship with God allows me to see that all of my friendships with others hinges on my friendship with Him.  Every day He shows me how to love and every day I am grateful because “a friend loves at all times.”

Lana Moline is an integral part of the writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.

24 HOURS LEFT IN SALE!!! Gain Insight And Clarity About Your Relationship At 1/2 The Price

If you need answers about your relationship or know someone who needs answers about their relationship… GET THE RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT BELOW!

We feel that the fastest and most efficient way to fix a broken relationship is to first get a clear understanding of why it’s broken.    You may currently be in a healthy relationship that could use a dose of passion.  You may currently be in a hum drum relationship that is weighing heavILy on your heart as you watch the days and years slowly pass by.  You may be ready to walk out the door and turn towards a new life as you turn your back on your relationship.  Whatever the need….WE ARE HERE TO HELP.


Are you unsure about the status of your relationship?

Do you want to know whether you should stay or you should leave?

Do you want to know if 10 years from now you be stuck in the same emotional space?

Do you want to know if you’ll ever trust or be trusted again?

Do you want to know if increased intimacy is a real possibility for you and your partner?

Do you want to know if it’s possible to overcome your issues?

Do you want to know if your partner still loves you ?

Do you want to know if he/she will cheat again?


If you find yourself in your relationship on a regular basis confused, angry, uncertain, detached, or sad and you genuinely want to know, “Where are we going from here??  We have the answer for you.  We, Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at have created a Relationship Assessment Questionnaire that will give you insight about you and your relationship by exposing underlying strengths and weaknesses of your relationship dynamic.  Along with asking thought provoking questions, we provide a 1-2 page assessment within 24 -72 hrs detailing what we think about your answers and how they relate to the pertinent issues you’re currently having in your relationship.

We know confusion is NO FUN so we aim to assist you in achieving clarity whether you choose to remain in your current relationship or decide to end it.    We understand that peace of mind is of utmost importance to you therefore we are making a commitment to you to be honest, direct, and sensitive about your situation in our assessment.  We want what’s best for you. Our objective is simple…we want to help you be healed, happy, and whole.


– receive a sense of clarity about where your relationship stands and where it is going

–  learn what you need to do to have peace of mind in your relationship

-gain an understanding of the underlying barriers blocking quality time and what you can do to increase it

-learn how to communicate the things that are hard to say

– understand gender differences and why your spouse does what they do


we are married and have been together for 17 years (we have history and can represent the male/female points of view to you)

– we have 4 children (we know about shared responsibility and can empathize with you)

– we’ve experienced DRAMA (communication issues, money issues, trust issues, etc) in our relationship (we can relate to you)

– we have assisted over 100,000 couples improve the quality of their relationship (we have experience with couples in similar situations as you)

– we are both certified marriage educators and Aiyana is a licensed therapist (we have credentials)

Aside from being married and doing your assessment together I think the greatest advantage is that WE CARE ABOUT YOU.

Here’s what some have said about us and the service we provide:

“Thank you for taking the time to make something like this. it helped answer some things i haven’t been looking at as well as make me think about things i couldn’t fully answer.” 

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— “i love you guys, aiyana, u inspire me sooooooo much, i trully admire u, as a young woman of 27 years young (lol) i just aspire to be like women in ur category, by that i mean, (not category) but of your stature or shall i say emotional beauty.”
— “I appreciate the work that the two of you do and your advice is on point.”
If you need a little bit of clarity about an issue OR have a desperate need to how to move forward in your relationship we implore you to get our RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE.
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Oh…I forgot to mention one other advantage…WE KEEP OUR PRICES VERY VERY REASONABLE : )
For only $47 when you click the BUY NOW button and make the payment you will receive our RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE.  Once you receive the questionnaire please answer all questions to the best of your ability.  After you complete the questions email them to and put “MY RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE” in the subject line.  At that point you can exhale and look forward to receiving your RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT within 24 – 72hrs.
It’s simple, it’s convenient (you don’t need your partner to complete)

*NOTE*  You don’t have to use the ASSESSMENT as soon as you receive it….you can use it in the future when you really need it, just present us with your electronic receipt and the answers to your questionnaire.

*NOTE*  You can purchase the assessment as a gift for someone else that you think needs some clarity in their relationship.  You can purchase more than one RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT.  Whomever you’re purchasing it for would just have to provide us with electronic receipt or receipt number.

*NOTE*  You don’t have to be in a relationship to get the RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT.  If you would like to know what internal barriers you have, or emotional baggage you need to unpack to clear the way for a relationship…..this ASSESSMENT WILL HELP YOU WITH THAT.

So stop wondering whether you should get a RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT and ask yourself “Am I worth getting a RELATIONSHIP ASSESSMENT?”  

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*Disclaimer* The assessment we provide should not serve as a substitute for therapy.  If you are in need of therapeutic support feel free to call us at 202-599-0234 for additional assistance.  The relationship assessment we provide, although exceptional, is based on the truth you presented about yourself and the opinion you presented about your partner.  If you are looking for the most complete and immediate healing experience, we recommend that you engage in INDIVIDUAL OR RELATIONSHIP COACHING so we can assist you in getting to the root of some of your issues.

Fear is a Mother F#%ker!

By Traci Femister

What is it that keeps us sitting still in-spite of the dreams, hopes and desires swelling up in our hearts and minds?  It keeps us in a seemingly safe place of not failing that leads to nowhere because it paralyzes us.  It convinces us that tomorrow is “the” day because today you have to…what? Watch a certain TV show, cheer on someone else who is making strides towards their goals or better yet, spending time talking and critiquing someone who is making it happen (which is also called “Hatin’”).  It also finds us commiserating with like-minded, doing much of nothin’ folks.  Gosh darn it…it’s fear and fear is a mother f%$&ker!

I have coached and talked ‘til my mouth is dry to folks who want it but have done little to get it.  Others get some advice and run like the wind towards their finish line.  I too have been that fearful dreamer with all kinds of hopes and doubts that tug and pull at each other in my mind every hour of the day. We all have qualities, education, professional backgrounds, and colleagues willing to assist us, but are we accessing all of those resources? Or are we stuck in a virtual world where we get a false sense of satisfaction because we are tweeting to our “followers” or posting to our “friends”?  All that “communicating” and we really have not moved forward on our paths.  It’s all just a bunch of f’ing fear!

The answer is to kick fear in the ass!

To start, write down and post one goal where everyone…yes EVERYONE can see it.  Just one goal and make sure it is one that is achievable.  If it is getting a new job, ya might not want to post that one on your cubical wall. Maybe put a sign up that reads, “advance in my career”.   So because I have a long background in helping folks find the confidence to kick fear’s ass and get a new gig…that’s what I’ll focus on.

Don’t be afraid to:


  • Ask for help.  Career coaches, Small Business Administration, for someone in your field as a mentor or even Find some one whom WILL GAIN (operative words) from your success and add a level of accountability to your process. Also answering to someone has always put a little more fire under my fanny!
  • Take a class or join a group to gain specific knowledge…Toast Masters is great for helping you understand how to effectively verbally convey your message.
  • Network like there’s no tomorrow.  Everywhere you go, let folks know the who, what and how about you.  What your offer.
  • Not sure what you offer…refer to the first bullet and get a coach. They will definitely help you understand your skills and your worth.
  • Scared to talk about yourself?  Pretend you are talking about someone else.  No, don’t refer to yourself in third party, which will make you look cocky and a bit crazy but look at yourself as a service.  What problem does your skill solve? How have you helped others? Who have you helped?
  • Practice in the mirror…yes, just like you use to pretend you where Michael Jackson using a wooden spoon as a mic when you were younger (and probably perfected your moonwalk in the process) get in front of the mirror or a friend or join a local Toast Masters group and practice your spill.
  • Ask for “fo’ real” feedback.  A balance of humility and confidence is very attractive and works socially as well.

Good luck in kicking fear’s fanny! I know you can do it!!

 Traci Femister, former corporate staffing executive and current transition specialist and career and business coach for Private Luxury Unwrapped (assist professionals moving around and into Fortune 500 and small businesses nationally).  Reach her directly at

12 Things Your Feet Tell You About Your Health

By Todd Greene

Want to make a simple, ten-second check on the state of your health? Take a look at your feet.

“You can detect everything from diabetes to nutritional deficiencies just by examining the feet,” says Jane Andersen, DPM, president of the American Association of Women Podiatrists and a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Together, your feet contain a quarter of the body’s bones, and each foot also has 33 joints; 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments; and countless nerves and blood vessels that link all the way to the heart, spine, and brain.

So when the feet send you one of these 10 warning signs, you should listen:

1. Toenails with slightly sunken, spoon-shaped indentations

What it means: Anemia (iron deficiency) often shows up as an unnatural, concave or spoonlike shape to the toes’ nail beds, especially in moderate-to-severe cases. It’s caused by not having enough hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in the blood cells that transports oxygen. Internal bleeding (such as an ulcer) or heavy menstrual periods can trigger anemia.

More clues: On fingers as well as toes, the skin and nail beds both appear pale. The nails may also be brittle, and feet may feel cold. Fatigue is the number-one sign of anemia, as are shortness of breath, dizziness when standing, and headache.

What to do: A complete blood count is usually used to diagnose anemia. A physical exam may pinpoint a cause. First-step treatments include iron supplements and dietary changes to add iron and vitamin C (which speeds iron absorption).

2. Sudden hairloss on feet or toes

What it means: Poor circulation, usually caused by vascular disease, can make hair disappear from the feet. When the heart loses the ability to pump enough blood to the extremities because of arteriosclerosis (commonly known as hardening of the arteries), the body has to prioritize its use. Hairy toes are, well, low on the totem pole.

More clues: The reduced blood supply also makes it hard to feel a pulse in the feet. (Check the top of the foot or the inside of the ankle.) When you stand, your feet may be bright red or dusky; when elevated, they immediately pale. The skin is shiny. People with poor circulation tend to already know they have a cardiovascular condition (such as heart disease or a carotid artery) yet may not realize they have circulation trouble.

What to do: Treating the underlying vascular issues can improve circulation. Toe hair seldom returns, but nobody complains much.

3. A sore that won’t heal on the bottom of the foot

What it means: This is a major clue to diabetes. Elevated blood glucose levels lead to nerve damage in the feet — which means that minor scrapes, cuts, or irritations caused by pressure or friction often go unnoticed, especially by someone who’s unaware he has the disease. Untreated, these ulcers can lead to infection, even amputation.

More clues: Oozing, foul-smelling cuts are especially suspect because they’ve probably been there awhile. Other symptoms of diabetes include persistent thirst, frequent urination, increased fatigue, blurry vision, extreme hunger, and weight loss.

What to do: Get the ulcer treated immediately and see a doctor for a diabetes evaluation. Diabetics need to inspect their feet daily (older people or the obese should have someone do this for them) and see a healthcare professional every three months.

4. Cold feet

What it means: Women, especially, report cold feet (or more precisely, their bedmates complain about them). It may be nothing — or it may indicate a thyroid issue. Women over 40 who have cold feet often have an underfunctioning thyroid, the gland that regulates temperature and metabolism. Poor circulation (in either gender) is another possible cause.

More clues: Hypothyroidism’s symptoms are pretty subtle and appear in many disorders (fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin).

What to do: Insulating layers of natural materials work best for warmth. (Think wool socks and lined boots). If you also have other nagging health complaints, mention the cold feet to your doctor. Unfortunately, however, aside from treatment with medication in the event of a thyroid condition, this tends to be a symptom that’s neither easily nor sexily resolved.

5. Thick, yellow, ugly toenails

What it means: A fungal infection is running rampant below the surface of the nail. Onychomycosis can persist painlessly for years. By the time it’s visibly unattractive, the infection is advanced and can spread to all toenails and even fingernails.

More clues: The nails may also smell bad and turn dark. People most vulnerable: those with diabetes, circulatory trouble, or immune-deficiency disorders (like rheumatoid arthritis). If an older person has trouble walking, sometimes the problem can be traced to the simple fact that as infected nails grow thicker, they’re harder to cut and simply go ignored to the point of pain.

What to do: See a foot specialist or your regular physician for care and treatment. In serious cases, over-the-counter antifungals are usually not as effective as a combination of topical and oral medications and the professional removal of diseased bits. Newer-generation oral antifungal medications tend to have fewer side effects than older ones.

6. Numbness in both feet

What it means: Being unable to “feel” your feet or having a heavy pins-and-needles sensation is a hallmark of peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the peripheral nervous system. That’s the body’s way of transmitting information from the brain and spinal cord to the entire rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy has many causes, but the top two are diabetes and alcohol abuse (current or past). Chemotherapy is another common cause.

More clues: The tingling or burning can also appear in hands and may gradually spread up to arms and legs. The reduced sensation may make it feel like you’re constantly wearing heavy socks or gloves.

What to do: See a physician to try to pinpoint the cause (especially if alcohol addiction doesn’t apply). There’s no cure for peripheral neuropathy, but medications from pain relievers to antidepressants can treat symptoms.

7. Sore toe joints

What it means: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a degenerative joint disease, is often first felt in the smaller joints, such as the toes and the knuckles of the hands.

More clues: Swelling and stiffness usually accompany the aches. This pain tends to be symmetrical; for example, it happens simultaneously in both big toes or in both index fingers. RA develops more suddenly than degenerative arthritis, and attacks may come and go. Women are almost four times more affected than men.

What to do: A full workup is always needed to pinpoint the cause of any joint pain. For RA, there are many medications and therapies that can minimize pain and preserve function, though early diagnosis is important to avoid permanent deformity. (In the feet, the toes can drift to the side.)

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