By Debra W. Gould, MS
Words have power. They can be used to create or destroy. Used without thinking, they can stir unwanted reactions. However, when words are spoken with purpose and precision they pave the way for your dreams to become real.
So, what are your dreams? What is most important to you? If you could create or experience anything, what would it be? Is it freedom? Happiness? Fulfilling work that produces prosperity? Do you crave intimacy, a powerful partnership, genuine love or all of the above? Do you want to resolve a persistent problem? Or perhaps stop settling for less? Consider: What do you really want? Are you inspired to be healthy and fit? Do you wish to evolve into a wiser and more loving parent? Are you motivated to build a legacy? Travel? Explore? Make a difference?
Words matter because they materialize as matter. Words can transform challenges into opportunities. They can be used to gather information and clarify meaning, which open lines of communication allowing you to understand another’s point of view.
And it’s not just the words you speak, it’s the intent fueling your words, and the way you frame the language you choose that will determine whether you elicit resistance or accord.
What do you say after the words I Am? The words you choose influence how you see yourself, how others see you and what is possible for you. Do you say things that disempower or empower you? Do you say, “I’m stressed, I’m bored, I’m tired, I’m broke, I’m alone?” Or, “I am centered. I am inspired. I am focused. I am clear. I am ready. I am grateful.”
When you use the words I Am, you invoke your power to create. These words are potent! Be aware of what you link them to. The thing you are claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
By Carole Copeland Thomas, MBA, CDMP
Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who died in service to their country. The holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 to honor Union and Confederate soldiers and was expanded after World War I to honor those who died in all wars. Today, Memorial Day honors over one million men and women who have died in military service since the Civil War.
By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
My Memories: Town Gatherings, Celebrations, Parades and The Gettysburg Address
Remembering the Gettysburg Address is frequently a symbolic part of Memorial Day traditions. Years ago my daughter, Lorna, recited the Gettysburg Address during a town wide program, while her sister, Michelle, and brother, Mikey, played the flute and saxophone with the school band. I believe the program took place in the town cemetery to honor our war dead.
From Decoration Day To Memorial Day
What is “decorated?” Gravestones and cemetery plots of deceased soldiers who died in military service.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress' change of date within a few years.
Sources: www.census.gov and wikipedia.org
By Michelle Porchia
When I was growing up, I was taught that image is extremely important. How people see you starts how they treat you. I learned from a well-known speaker that a person is judged by the first glimpse that someone has of you and then the first 12 words out of your mouth. If that is the case, what image are we portraying and what image do we want others to judge us by?
The Met Gala* was the talk on all the news programs in early May 2015. What was interesting is that they didn’t really talk about the purpose or importance of the Gala; what they talked about was the seemingly new theme of who could show the most skin. Granted, the Gala is known for its outrageous costumes. It is, however, a fundraiser and I think a little decorum is needed. The theme was “China: Through the Looking Glass.” Interestingly, some of the costumes were Japanese and Korean themed, not even Chinese. Perhaps some people needed a lesson in the differences of Asian culture. Furthermore, I read several articles written by Chinese writers who thought the Gala showed racism and disrespect. One celebrity carried a purse in the shape of a china doll. “The blunt bangs, the round face, the rosy cheeks and monolids are so pronounced that the poor doll can't even open its eyes, apparently. Because a Chinese girl can't have big round eyes, huh? It's like the haute couture version of a politically incorrect Barbie doll.” The writer also pointed out, “the sexed up version of a qipao is that it perpetuates the stereotype that Chinese women are "exotic, subservient sluts.” (Fashionista - Fawnia Soo Hoo)
During the red carpet at the Oscars, the focus is all about “who are you wearing,” not that the actors, writers, directors, etc., are there to hopefully win an award for their hard work. There is a little more elegance at the Oscars but for a while, it was becoming a competition for showing skin as well.
Women in videos are called not-so-nice names because they are scantily clad and gyrate. Yet young girls watch these videos and unfortunately model the image they see because they think it gets them attention. It does, but is it the attention they want and deserve?
TV shows and movies have shown business women in suits with no blouses, skirts so short they never sit or are seated behind a desk and six inch heels. Why are we surprised that people actually dress like this when they come to work?
Bringing back the importance of image to the grass roots level, we need to reassess how we want women to be viewed. What image do we want our young girls to aspire to and project? I was working with a group of college girls and a few of them didn’t understand why they were getting feedback that they were inappropriately dressed for the office. Their supervisors felt that they were dressing for the club rather than for the corporate arena. One young lady said she needed to find a job in an environment that she felt she fit in. She was one of the young women that received feedback about inappropriate dress. Corporate America has also swung the other direction; many have very casual environments now.
When I started in the working world, I was told two things about dressing for Corporate America: 1) Dress for the position you aspire to attain; and 2) You don’t want people to focus on what you have on but what you bring to the table. I’m not saying that we should dress in sack cloths. I am saying we can be classy, elegant, and even sexy without being almost naked.
I think we need to reassess what message we are sending as women and what do we want to be remembered for…our skin showing through the little bit of material we wear or the value we bring to the workplace and to the world?
*What Is The Met Gala??
The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the grand opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit. Each year's event celebrates the theme of that year's Costume Institute exhibition, and the exhibition sets the tone for the formal dress of the night since guests are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. Each year the event also has honorary celebrity event day chairpersons.
This year's theme was China.
The most recent event was held on May 4, 2015
By Nancy J. Lewis, MS, PHR, RCC
Living an intentional life is about being purposeful, deliberate and focused with what you desire to achieve. It means you stop making excuses and start taking steps to achieve the things that matter most to you. It requires you deciding that failure is not final but merely a detour of learning on your journey to success.
This year my personal commitment is to live an intentional life. I have been doing daily intentional quotes on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter to keep me on track and to help others. Living intentional has caused me to be swift to hear and slow to speak and making sure the words I say are positive and creating the world I desire.
Living an intentional life requires saying no to the things that are not moving you closer to your spiritual, personal and professional goals. It is okay to say no and not feel guilty when you really are determined to live intentionally.
A few keys for living an intentional life:
I challenge you to make 2015 a year of living an intentional life.
Book Debra, Michelle, Nancy or Carole for your next speaking engagement or training event.