How do you live out God's plan for you?

A Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians 2: 10

What does this mean for us? God, our ultimate designer had an extraordinary purpose for creating us. He planned a mission so unique, that no one else can take ownership of it. Who are we to judge our own selves? God intended us and only us to serve Him in the way He prepared the world to receive us. He already knows the path we are to follow so that we can grow, thrive, find peace and abundance. God has given us His son Jesus to save us for when we stray from our path. God has laid the foundation of our life before us and reassures us that He is ever present in a world where only few promises are kept. He knows where and how we will falter, but we need to remember that through His light, goodness, and mercy, His love will forward us back to the direction of where we need to be in order to live good lives not only for ourselves, but others as well. Can you imagine a world where we all live up to our potential, are happy and living in abundance, where the seeds of peace can grow and spread, and where joy and compassion meet when someone is in despair? What you feel when you think about this? How can you play a role in the quest that each of us has been given to live out? You can do this, for it His dream for you has been breathed in your life at creation!

By: Gina Sannasardo

The Strengths Within

Hello Friends!

I am expecting great things for you and me in 2016 because with faith and some creative positioning, there is nothing we can’t do!!! Absolutely NOTHING!

So I wanted to drop by quickly to see if you will join me in exploring your strengths and talents. You know those finely developed skills that set you apart or those God given abilities that make you special. I believe our strengths and talents are the guideposts to our purpose in life. And once you’ve figured out your purpose, a dynamic vision for your life can be born. But it all starts with knowing and understanding the strengths within.

When I began my coaching practice, I decided to focus my coaching on Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology focuses on how to help human beings prosper and lead healthy, happy lives mainly by helping them access their strengths, gifts and talents. Simply put…the thought is… the more you operate in your strengths, the happier your life will be. I am a walking testimony to this fact which is why I encourage my clients through strength building. Sounds great, right? I think so. The problem however, is that most people have no idea what their strengths are. They don’t understand the power of their gifts and have no idea how to direct their talents to lead happy, successful lives.

I want to help you all in this area. So back to my request at the beginning of this post…please join me in exploring your strengths. I am going to give you two easy ways to begin to tap into your strengths within. Below are a few assessments that will give you a good indication of what you are working with. They are all FREE. YAY! But very capable.

Please do yourself a favor and learn more about what makes you uniquely who you are. This is the first step in the Vision Making process. Tis the season for Vision Boards and Goal Setting. I’m asking you to Pause this year, Explore your strengths and Learn how to leverage them for success, AND THEN Create your Vision Boards or Goals. StrengthsFinder 2.0 is another tool that I make EVERY client take at the beginning of working together. The cost on that assessment is about $15.00, however you will need someone certified in StrengthsFinder to interpret your results accurately.

In any case, do yourself a favor and identify your strengths within. Trust me, you will thank me later.

Via Survey of Character Strengths AND Brief Strengths Test 

You will need to do a quick registration. They can be found under questionnaires.

Spiritual Gifts Test 

You will need to do a quick registration.


Natasha Gayden is the founder of Elevate! Master Coaching. Natasha brings over 20 years of corporate experience identifying and developing high potential talent within individuals and teams. She as has many years of life experiences and a track record of helping people unstuck in their lives. Natasha specializes in the development of human potential across the personal/professional spectrum of life. She brings to the table significant Coaching, Training, and Consulting experience in the areas of Strategic Planning, insight, leadership skills, executive presence and overall life resiliency.


Beauty For Ashes - Living with Pain

About two years ago, my husband and I decided to do a 7 day fast. I had not done a fast in several years due to being diagnosed as Pre-Diabetic, having Fibromyalgia Syndrome and High Blood Pressure. I typically wouldn’t alter anything from the routine of food I consumed because any little imbalance could result in weeks of unrelenting pain. I chose not to take all of the pain meds prescribed by my doctors because I believe they just mask the pain, cause dependency and decrease the quality of life. Some people believe differently, however this is my choice. I choose to endure the pain, press through, lean into it, so I can lead a somewhat normal life. So as you can imagine a 7 day fast could have grave implications on my well-being, not to mention I had to go to the corporate headquarters to sit in meetings for 4 days. Well I was on day 3 and I had a headache that was unbearable!!! I felt like I was going to pass out. Then a co- worker noticed I was not myself and asked me what was wrong. I broke down and told her I was fasting and just like someone delirious in pain, I went on and on about how hungry I was and how the pain was racking my body. I was almost in tears. But then this women looked at me with so much love and compassion and said to me, “Compare the suffering”. It was like a bolt of lightning had struck and landed directly on my soul. What she was saying was to compare the suffering of Jesus with my own current situation. Well how was I supposed to do that? There is no comparison and her point was well received. I went to the bathroom and prayed for strength and thanked Jesus for His suffering for me. I then put mind over matter and went on with my meeting. An hour later, lunch was served and miraculously all the things I could eat, were served. My pain was still there, but I needed to put it into perspective. Pain is sometimes necessary. In Jesus case it was necessary and in our lives it can be a necessary benefit as well. This is how pain benefits me:

Pain lets me know I’m alive. We’ve all heard the saying “I pinched myself to see if this is real”. People say that because the pain from the pinch lets them know whatever it is, is real. So many of us go through life sleepwalking and acting like the walking dead. We are not living life, just going through it, numb to everything around us. But when you experience pain, it becomes a wake up call. Pain lets you know you are still here and have work to do.

Pain lets me know something is wrong. In general, pain is an indicator that something is amiss in the body and needs to be healed or corrected. Similarly, pain in my life lets me know I’m not sleeping enough, not eating properly or dealing with too much stress. It also tells me when my body has had its fill of activities and when it is time to rest. My body in the past would lie to me. I would be tired and stressed and it would keep going, acting as if everything was okay when it wasn’t. My pain is like the truth ringing in my ears, loudly, screaming….TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Pain helps me to be more compassionate. I have to admit, before my fibromyalgia diagnosis, I was hard on people who claimed limitations. If you were sick, get over it and come to work anyway. If you were going through a break up, cry for 2 days and get back on the wagon. When people claimed to be fatigued, I thought that just meant they were tired or sleepy. And hey, we can sleep when we are dead, right? Wrong! The first time I felt fatigue, which is commonplace these days, I thought I was dying a slow death. Tired is to someone pinching you as fatigue is to someone hitting you with a baseball bat. They are NOT the same. And everything people go through in life, whether pain in their body, hearts or minds should be handled with the utmost care. People in pain should be held with compassion, not pity, not disbelief and not business as usual, but compassion. God blessed me with a compassionate husband who along with my pain has taught me to extend grace, passion and love. I am thankful for my pain because It has made me a better person.

Finally, pain gives me purpose.God promises us Beauty for Ashes. This simply means that out of our pain, disappointments and brokenness, beauty will manifest itself. There is a purpose to everything….nothing God does is in vain. I… like Paul have asked God to take this thorn from me and He up to this point has said no. And because I trust God and refuse to lean on my own understanding, I know there is a purpose for my pain. Around the same time I was diagnosed with my incurable, life long pain, my grandson died. It was because of these instances that my purpose was born. I got serious about my life, I got engaged in life, I stopped playing church and lived for Christ. I sought my purpose and began living in it. Now pain moved in with my purpose and they will not be separated. And I’m okay with that as long as I am living a purposeful life. No one ever told us that finding our purpose would be a painless life. Just look at Mother Theresa, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Pain followed them, it was part of their purpose. And part of my purpose is to help other Chronic pain sufferers know that they can still have purposeful and wonderful life.

Beauty for Ashes is what God promised me. So I can hold on. I can see the big picture. I can endure the pain. I understand its benefits. I thank the Lord for my pain. But its hard. It’s especially hard on days like today when I can barely type this blog, I’m fatigued, I’m experiencing brain fog and my body feels like its been hit by a Mack truck. However, I will overcome, because I have work to do. I have a purpose…..





In saying grace for the food we eat, thank also those who bring it to us.


Thank the soil

The plants

The children picking food in pesticide filled fields

The animals raised without light and sun and dirt and freedom

To the sun

The rain

The earth

The insects that pollinate it

The winds, the rain and snow.  


The humans who toil

The oil in the trucks

The trucks and truckers

The plastic it comes wrapped in.  


The compost it creates

The fertility of what our bodies turn it into.


The water that washes the food

The dishes

The human waste


We are part of wholeness

Let us be grateful.

Nika Annon incorporates Nuero-linguistic programming (NLP) & Nuero-plasticity techniques to help individuals move beyond limiting beliefs & assumptions that hold them back & create new habits to reinforce the changes which create the desired outcomes. To learn more about Nika, please visit


A Tale of 3 Funerals

“Life is what happens when you are staring at your smartphone” – author unknown

I am in an introspective mode after returning from the third funeral I attended in less than 90 days: a dear cousin, an uncle, and a good friend’s mother. But don’t worry – this isn’t a sad message. Just a reminder about how precious life is, and what a difference one person can make.

Losing someone is a sad occasion, but since God has other plans for us, so we are only saying goodbye to our loved one’s body. Homegoing services give us an opportunity to say goodbye and pay tribute to our loved one's lives. As I reflected on the lives of these three amazing people, I found some inspiring commonalities. Though none of these people knew one another, and there was no blood relation, they had the following traits in common:

  • They gave love freely and abundantly. I heard story after story of the people who were touched by these three people. In each case there was at least one story of uncommon generosity of spirit, and sharing love the way that God intended us to. They each displayed love not just with their families, but to people in need, who became adopted family.
  • They were strong and vibrant.  They were everyday people - like you and me. They weren’t famous, but they left giant footprints in their communities, and in the lives of their families. 
  • They were positive. Stories abounded about courage and strength in the face of adversity. Being heads of households, they pushed through the tough times and stood strong. My cousin had a huge smile and deep dimples, and we watched a beautiful slide show of pictures with her trademark smile, even when she was ill and we knew she was suffering.
  • They valued family above all. Each person made a gigantic impact in their families – and became role models for many beyond those with blood relations. But through thick and thin, they stood for the people they loved when the going got rough.

What a testimony!  At each service I remembered my own interactions with these people – however brief or long ago. I remember thinking about how they didn’t waste one drop of the spirit, intention and purpose that God sent them here for – and how I’m sure He greeted them each with the words, “Well done.”

I’ve said it often – tomorrow isn’t promised. We have a finite amount of time here on earth. How are YOU using your time? Are you wasting too much time checking your email or playing Candy Crush (she said guiltily)?  

Are you pleased with the direction your life is taking? If not, what can you do to shift gears? Remember, you are much more powerful than you think. Some things we chalk up to bad luck or victim thinking can be rectified if only we would choose to take action. 

Today is the first day of the rest of YOUR life. What does tomorrow hold for you? And more importantly, what will YOU do differently going forward?

Many blessings to you and yours.

Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit @PerspectivePlus  or



Chchchch...changes...    (cue David Bowie!)

On any given day, week, month or year, changes can astound, overwhelm, and/or, surprise us.  Some change is welcome and some is not.

I hear a lot of people say they don’t like change.  I am hearing their remarks as referring to those changes that upset their routines or thinking. 

I have encountered a number of changes in my life.  I transitioned from my full-time job in order to pursue my dream job of coaching and consulting full time; I’ve moved and lived in about 15 different places in my life; and more recently my front porch fell apart.  With each decision, address change, and removal of a piece of something, other aspect of a new reality needed to be addressed or repaired.  Things are not always as they appear to be and yet we can either plow through or fly free to get where we want to be.

This leads me to the changes that upset our thinking.  We are so closely aligned and committed to our way of thinking that we can hold on for dear life just so we don’t have to think differently about a person or situation.  We like our opinions.  We like how our perception orders our world and our place in it.  It is what we do with new information that can either lead us to new insights or root us deeper in our place.  Each has value.  The challenge is learning to know which to apply and when. 

Back to the porch…Once it was revealed that the sheathing behind the siding was damaged from a water leak I had two choices; 1) was to remove the siding, replace the sheathing (and subsequent insulation) and put it all back together again with all new materials or 2) do nothing knowing that the sheathing was damaged, but not structurally impaired and just cover it up again and make it look nice.  In case you are wondering, I chose the first option!

Changes take us to a decision point.

·         We recognize that things can’t go on like they were before and we have to take steps to move to the next phase of our life or career or,

·         We can become frozen in place.  And well, you know the saying, “Not to decide is to decide.”  We think if we take no action or deny that an action needs to be taken we can bide our time in making a decision.  

Whether you move forward in a conscious way or stand still and do nothing, remember, future changes are already taking shape for another day. 

Tune in to the next show that I am hosting on the Life Coach Chat Channel on Wednesday, August 13th at 1:00 PM titled: Do I or Don’t I: Taking that Leap of Faith Into Something New.

Barbara Hetzel is the Founder of Ridge Top Coaching, a life and leadership-coaching firm that engages leaders and teams in developing and expanding their gifts and talents for the world.  As an accomplished professional in the field of training and organizational development, she has over 25 years of experience helping others discover and embrace their true calling.

It's Time To Get On With It.

It’s time. Now’s the time. Not tomorrow. Not next week. NOW. It’s February. The confetti has fallen. The dust has settled, and whatever goals or resolutions we've& made for the New Year – either we are pursuing them, or we’re NOT. So how’s it going for you? Are you excited about the direction 2014 is taking? Kudos to you if you are taking action to pursue your goals this year! 

But this message is to those of us who are NOT moving forward.

I hope it encourages you.

What’s going on in your life? Are you…

…overwhelmed? Are you too busy – pulled in too many directions to really focus on your future? It’s hard to move forward if you are stuck on the treadmill, feeling like you are going nowhere.

… in a rut? Do you have a case of the “why bother’s”?  Have you told yourself that things can’t change, so why waste the effort? Or worse – is someone else in your ear telling you that you won’t succeed?

… in pain? Are you recovering from a letdown or loss of some sort, and it’s stopping you from feeling the excitement and positive outlook you once held for life?

… scared? Fear is the #1 dream killer. We worry about making the right choice, about failing, about looking bad. What fears are keeping you from taking action?

Whatever is keeping you from moving forward, I encourage you to shake it off and find a way to take at least ONE STEP toward your ideal future.   

Here are a few tips: 

Too busy? It is absolutely essential for you to carve out some time for yourself.  Even if it’s 10 minutes of quiet during the day, or a 30 minute walk. If you are racing from one thing to the next, you don’t have time or energy to devote creating something new. Remember, before you're able to build something new, you must first create it in your mind. Try to find one hour for yourself THIS WEEK. Do something that’s important to YOU. Or spend time on something fun - like relaxing, listening to music, reading a book, or exercise. 

·         Feeling stuck? If you are lacking the motivation to move forward, it’s hard to make positive changes in your life. Try to build time into your schedule for things that you enjoy – that feed your spirit. Have fun. Relax more. Spend time with friends and family. Once your spirit is replenished you may be more energized and optimistic – and more capable to take on a new adventure.

·         Suffering?  Any loss is damaging to the spirit. It’s important to allow yourself to go through the grieving process, so that you can begin to heal and then move on to bigger and better things. The sun will shine again. Surround yourself with positive people to help you get through this period.

·         Afraid?  There is simply no way around the fact that in order to conquer your fears, you must face them head on. Arm yourself and just go for it. Answer this question: What’s the worst that could happen? Put on your big boy or girl pants and then GO FOR IT!

Here’s the bottom line:  life progresses minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.  We can move with it or we can stay where we are.  It’s tragic when people stay on auto-pilot, or live their lives governed by priorities other than their own, only to look up 5 or 10 years later, wondering where the time went.  LIVE WITH URGENCY.  For today is really all we have. Make the most of it! 

Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, and founder of Perspectives Plus Coaching.  She encourages her clients to pursue career goals that are in line with their spirit – to push past fear and insecurities to make their dreams a reality. Visit her online at


Q: What was the most exciting ticket in town this past weekend?

A: Well, it depends on what you’re into, but for me, it was the Inaugural Life Coach Radio Network Workshop Weekend!

I’m part of this amazing network of coaches from around the country, and we’re on the radio several times a month; however, this was our first live event and it was a great success. Here are some of my takeaways. My hope is that you will be inspired in some aspect of your life by some of these really amazing coaches!

·         Mindful Eating: I was able to apply lessons from this talk right away, especially because it took place right before lunch! If you know me, you know I love me some Japanese ramen. Well, I went to my fave place for lunch and practiced the mindful eating techniques Danielle Mercurio provided during her workshop. I left feeling satisfied, yet not full and was able to return to the event fully charged, but not lethargic.

·         Spirituality: This is an area I’m constantly looking to work on. Jennifer Kottler provided a fresh new perspective – a different way to look at spirituality that I can incorporate into my daily practice. Her use of analogies and phrases made it very simple for a novice spiritual-ite to engage.

·         Resilience: Man, this is one of my favorite topics. Developing resilience serves us in so many aspects of life- work, diet/exercise, personal relationships and hell- even the NYC Subway system! When I was promoted a few years back in my conference life, I had an executive coach who focused on resilience with me, and these lessons have served me well. Filomena Iorio-Tasoluk and Veronica Taylor really broke down the top 10 characteristics to grow and build upon to develop this important muscle. They’re turning it into an online workshop soon, too!

·         Defining Your Life, Your Way: This was my workshop and it’s a topic area I’m super passionate about. We talked about defining what matters to you- not what matters to others- and the next step is to put what matters to you into a WIP “Life Plan” so to speak that can be changed as you go and grow.

·         Going With The Flow: We had our first live studio audience for an actual LIVE radio show on this very topic! Coaches Andrea Ruchelman, Tim Billiter and Russ Terry talked about how to get into the right mindset to be able to do this naturally and easily. This TOTALLY came in handy during snarled traffic and commutes due to freezing train lines this week!

·         Clearing Clutter: Danielle Mund shared her theory on “Your ONE thing,” where she laid out what multitasking actually does to our brains and why focusing on Your ONE thing will help you actually achieve results. She talked about how you can define your one thing to move forward. This was REALLY helpful to me, because in addition to my growing coaching business, I do event work so I am constantly mutli-tasking. This helped me understand how to cultivate my ONE thing while still being practical.

·         Networking With Linked In: Russ Terry brought the workshop weekend HOME, yo! He closed the weekend on an equally strong note to the rest of the amazing workshops with a really practical, hands on approach to using Linked In to find business opportunities and the job of your dreams. I was able to use my computer in real time to update my profile and make it stronger.

Unfortunately, I was unable to clone myself and attend all the various workshops going on at once.  There were opportunities to hear from Divorce Coach Martin Salama, Life Purpose Coach Annette Johnson, Clutter Coach Tracy Pierce, Leadership Coach Barbara Hetzel, Purpose and Transitions Coach Mandy Roczniak and Corporate Coach Shannon Sennefelder.

If you’re looking for some guidance on any of these areas of your life, definitely contact them or me and be sure to listen in on our upcoming shows!

Jill Ozovek is a personal development coach who works with 30-something women (and others!) with demanding careers and busy lives get real with themselves and figure out how to take the next big step in their lives, whether it be a career change, personal development goal or relationship challenge. To learn more, visit

How Can We Just Be?

Do you find yourself spending a lifetime of just doing,

or wishing you could rewind the tape? 

You look around and wonder where did the time go, or what else is there? 

I believe we can reinvent ourselves if we spend some quality time with being..

Were you told as a child if you want to be, then you just do?  We want to be thinner, happier, have it all and all pain free, yet do we ever address what are we doing along the journey to get there?  Staying in the “comfort zone” can be considered a “blind zone”  and even when it doesn’t serve many people, we seem to “just stay there”.

From a mothers point of view, we have opportunities and reasons “why” we do the things the way we do.  Sometimes it dates back to how our parents did it.  If we don’t find these habits serve us any more, Quit.  Yes, we can quit habits that don’t bring out the best in us.  Intelligence tells us if we feel bad when we eat something rotten, don’t eat it!   As with any new muscle formation, our “quitting muscle” means we can venture out with “new ways of being”.

When we concentrate on "being" who we truly are, we find joy.   If we can concentrate on being vs. doing, we can actually improve our health, save time and have less stress in our lives.  


We are busy, tired, wired and stressed. What is keeping us awake at night and sleepy during the day?  If we eat for energy instead of comfort, we can achieve this delicate balance.   Most comfort foods are processed foods and “processed foods are electrically distorted foods.” (1)

Imbalances always begin with the decline of electrical integrity within the body, leaving one with chronic congestion and inflammation.  Deep within our subconscious soul, our body hears everything we think and say.   Because the body increases production of the adrenal hormones when under stress, this can be linked to nutritional deficiencies.  “Every cell in our body has a positive and negative electrical charge.”  A healthy body is made up of trillions of cells in a continual delicate balance of plus and minus energies.  When we pollute our inner environment it strips our electrical charges, and we fall out of balance.

All matter is energy.  All energy is in constant motion.  Even when we sleep our heart pumps and our body detoxes automatically.  Fully awake we have to ask the question:  Are we full of vibrant energy and life or are we “just doing” what it takes to get by?


Have you thought while watching some nightly TV show:  “What if all life was a drug for this “dis ease” or a punishment for that “lawbreaker?”  Society tends to put “labels” on “things.”

Explore a life without labels.  In the beginning we were love and light, and if we remove our blinders, we’ll discover that, we still are!  Rather than labeling things, or people, a far more grounded, healthier energy is found in quieting out the noise, and finding that place of awareness.   It can be intuitive if we take a moment to “listen.” 


A fascinating habit, so many of us do, when we meet new people is to ask:   “So, what do you do?”  What they do, often has little to do with who they are.  Right?   You’ll find out when you listen and discover who they really are.  I know people who say they would like a more fulfilling relationship.  The lesson is in the listening. 

Imagine you’re home with your teenager after school.   His teacher called and said “Your son had a fight in the classroom today.”  Before speaking to your son, ask yourself:  “Can this situation be looked at in a different way that I haven't been considering?”  “Can I stop the stress and give what I see my child needs right at this very moment?”  Listen for the answer.  It’s a wonderfully productive zone to “be in” and a state that also unexpectedly makes you smile, instead of frowning.   A conscience effort put in motion with everything we want to “be.”  ~ Love. 

Can we be the change? 

Here’s a basic reality check:

Do you find yourself worrying or anxious about stuff you’ve got to get done every day?  Do you want to say goodbye to habits that don’t serve you?  What is your time worth?  Maybe it’s time to stop living in the land of “some day I’ll...”   There’s no better time then NOW to remember to have intention to “be the change”.   All change begins in your mind first!  ~ You see, hear, hit replay and feel it.

It’s a choice-To be healthy, To be conscience, To be kind, To be loving.  Become aware that you can choose your foods and thoughts, which in turn can make your life easier and less stressful.  “The power of being in the now is full awareness of our environment.” (2) And remember, any bite size step is a win. 

Most of the time it is easier to stay stuck and /or addicted in our actions and our thoughts.  Procrastination/indecision, fills a life with “unfulfilling matter’ and “regrets” while never giving us the results we want to achieve.  It has been said that if you change your mind about stress, your body actually reacts differently to stress.   If you tell yourself “this is going to be a stress free day” - it will be.

Some mistakes you can avoid:

1-There’s an old saying~Don’t rush the spaghetti sauce.  Making your family number one takes time and patience.

2-”Doing” doesn’t always equal joy.  Find time to relax and “just be”.

3- Munching on chips in front of the TV doesn’t help you to chill and de-stress…it only adds stress.  Learn why digestion is so important. “30 to 40% of the total digestive response to any meal is due to our full awareness of what we’re eating.”(2) 

4- ADD can be mislabeled. Check here for more info:

5-Look at what’s holding you back, but don’t wallow there. 

6-Don’t be afraid to ask for support.  Make a plan to succeed by getting the support you need!


Connie Rogers is a Certified Health Coach and Reiki Master at   A powerful way to support my clients is in  “finding joy by being” and “making the room to make changes”.  Evaluate how your current decisions are affecting you and what they are costing you when you ignore them.


Electrical Nutrition by Denie Hiestand