I first heard about Michelle Rosado through her Twitter feed this past Spring. The more I read her bio, the more and more arresting and absorbing her story became. She's a 9/11 survivor with a riveting tale: seated at her desk on the 95th floor of Tower 2 of the World Trade Center, a loud crash shattered the windows in her office. She made it out, escaping the crush of the falling towers.
Though her life didn't start with September 11th, that horrific experience dramatically affected her life's direction. Like anyone's story, she can tell you about what she has lost, and the pain she's experienced. However, she can also explain, quite movingly, what she fought hard to overcome, and what she's achieved.
Our history is filled with inspiring women: Jeanette Rankin, Dolores Huerta, and Fannie Lou Hamer. Women who believed in turning negatives into positives, and whose lives were animated by the very best of humanity. Add Michelle Rosado to that list. So prepare to be impressed with this 9/11 survivor, visionary, life coach, motivational speaker, and peace activist.
How did the 9/11 attacks impact your life - personally & professionally? What person were you before the attacks?
Although the experiences through the years have ultimately shaped my destiny, I wasn't fully aware that my true "destiny" ever existed until September 11th. The shock and awe of the tragedy left me wondering if life would ever be the same again. After my offices were destroyed, I didn't have a job to report to for a few weeks. So while many of my co-workers were working temporarily out of a location in Short Hills, NJ, my small department was temporarily displaced. That was until I got the call to handle the disaster recovery effort in Fort Lauderdale, FL, working with a branch of my department. Upon my first day on the job I met my husband, Randy. So, I guess you can see that my personal and professional life did a complete turn around within a matter of just a few weeks.
Prior to the attacks I was living in New York City and still recovering from the emotional scars of a long-term abusive relationship. To be given the alone time I needed opened my eyes to various ways of self-growth and improvement, such as yoga and meditation. I was enjoying my independence and newly-found freedom, despite at times feeling as if I didn't have a purpose.
How long have you been a peace activist? What's your philosophy?
I probably officially became an activist of peace in 2005 when becoming a vegan, which was mainly after learning of the horrific cruelty that has been waged onto animals. However, my voice of advocacy for peace came about in 2006 after becoming aware of how greatly our negative thoughts impact our actions, thus impacting our lives, and how these actions stem from our egos and insecurities. In retrospect, after recovering from the years of domestic abuse, my philosophy is this - the overall solution is to find peace within oneself; for then one can find peace in all of humanity.
There are so many disputes which derive from prejudice, countries of origin, the clash of various religious beliefs, and it's our inability to respect those beliefs and differences in others that continue to lead to this constant conflict. Everyone has a unique voice which has the right to be heard, but in the end there is more understanding when one lets go of the ego and let listening be the ultimate practice. When we unite, we raise the flag of humanity, instead of the ones that tend to separate us.
How long have you had a newsletter?
Because of our businesses we were sending inspirational newsletters to our organizations since 2003, but I've been sending my "Empowerment Strategies" newsletter, which elaborates on daily quotes from various inspirational leaders, since January of 2009. Although there's a bit of work in preparing an inspirational quote every single day, I receive incredible joy and satisfaction when my subscribers give me such positive feedback and tell me that they look forward to my message every morning.
You're a popular speaker. What topics do you talk about?
I speak on a number of different topics that range from survival and overcoming adversity, to leadership, inspiration, and business ownership. Obviously being a 9/11 survivor often has my story incorporated into my overall message, but my intention is not to ever reflect on that day in a negative light, due to the fact that it keeps us living in the past and not developing an understanding of living the present. It may seem that I'm somewhat pigeon-holed as an inspirational or motivational speaker because of my September 11th story, but I pride myself on the presentations that I have delivered on the business front as well as other types of venues. The success we had obtained in our mortgage business, real estate investments, and multi-level marketing businesses is what enabled me to leave corporate America at age 30 to pursue my true passions. I encourage everyone to pursue their own destiny, even if they are not aware of what that is just yet.
What is it like being a life coach? Do you work with clients and individuals?
I don't think there's a better feeling than being able to empower someone and to help them see their own potential. Sometimes I can actually see the transformation occur in someone's eyes, as if a mental awakening has occurred during our discussion. It's so important to live in the present and to focus on the accomplishments we can make today. I notice that many people create their current reality based on the experiences of the past, wallow in the disappointments about yesterday's decisions or worry about what lies ahead in the future - none of which can be controlled. We have the innate ability to empower ourselves with what is known as the here and now, and it is our actions today that will manifest the gifts we receive in our future.
I work primarily with individuals and provide customized coaching focused on their specific needs. We are in the process of recording an audio coaching program that will consist of ten training modules, each session being approximately 1 hour and delivered online weekly until the course completion. Students can review the audios as often as they'd like, and even join an affiliate program to earn income if they wish to share this coaching program with others. This is intended to make extensive life coaching more affordable than ever, while giving me the opportunity to spread my message to a greater audience through the use of online media and word-of-mouth affiliate marketing.
What is your upcoming book about?
"Pursuing Your Destiny" is about people coming into their own and finding the true purpose for their existence. Although the first chapter gives very descriptive details about my experiences on September 11th and my journey home after escaping the towers that day, it is not a book about 9/11. Randy and I use our own life experiences and the journey that has taken us to this point to relate with the average reader. We are very open and honest, sharing some of our darkest and most troubling moments, and showing how these experiences changed our focus and led us to our true purpose or destiny. I believe that every experience in our life is meant to happen, whether it positive or negative. It's our perception and reaction to these events that will ultimately determine our growth process and future life results. We can gain insight and grow from them in order to create the life that we want, or we can focus on what's wrong, rather than how to make things right. Our destiny is truly in our hands.
Tell me some things about yourself that people may not know, and that you wouldn't mind sharing?
Despite both of my parents migrating to the United States from other countries in 1969, my father became a fan of the popular music in the states at the time and named me after the Beatles' song, "Michelle". I was an artist and wrote poetry as a young woman, and aspired to have a career in art before being urged by my father to study business in college because he felt I would have more career options.
Most people don't know that I'm an avid football fan and enjoy watching the NFL games every Sunday in the fall, which is quite the change from the many Sundays of my childhood spent teaching bible class to kindergarteners.
To read more about Michelle Rosado's inspiring journey, log on to her official sites: Michellerosado.com and Rosadocompanies.com. For information on the release of her eagerly-ancicipated book Pursuing Your Destiny, click here.