I am Rita George, the Founder of Phoenician Blueprint. I am a transformational strategist and coach, speaker, teacher and author who has taught thousands of professionals, business men and women and young adults how to use ancient wisdom to create meaning, focus, direction, and well-being in their lives and realize body, mind, heart and spirit balance. I have been intrigued with and studied ancient wisdom for decades and committed to using this wisdom to transform our society in politics, business and non-profits and in the community.
Growing up in a large Maronite Christian Lebanese family in Peoria, Illinois, I enjoyed the warmth of family gatherings and a deep sense of community surrounded by hundreds of relatives. Since we have an ancestry tree that stems eight generations and since 6,000 Lebanese living in Peoria are all descendants from the small village of Aytou on Mt. Lebanon, I was curious about my Phoenician heritage. The history of Aytou stems back to 3000 BC to the time of the Phoenicians. Curious about the world beyond my family, after graduating with a degree in Business Management from Southern Illinois University, I began selling computer software systems to small businesses in Chicago. Months later, on the advice of my sales manager, I moved to San Francisco. This was my first leap of faith into the unknown.
Yearning to improve the world, make a contribution and fulfill political dreams, I delved into politics while working as the manager of a law firm. I become president of political organizations, chief strategist and spokesperson for advocacy issues, a candidate for political office, communication director for a Statewide Initiative Campaign, an appointee of then Mayor Dianne Feinstein, and a board member of several non-profits. I was frequently being interviewed by the media and appeared on television and radio programs as well as being a panelist and speaker at advocacy and political meetings.
After a 12 year political career, I realized that while I still cared about making a difference and helping others, I wanted to serve in a private citizen role. So I opened my own business and was a marketing strategist, a keynote speaker for regional and national conferences; a business columnist for the San Francisco Examiner; an adjunct faculty member for three universities including University of California, and on the board of business organizations and chairperson of the Commonwealth Club Arts Committee. I published articles for California Lawyer and The Executive Female and self-published a book on Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs. Within three years, even though I had helped individuals and businesses transform, I felt my achievements no longer provided me with fulfillment and I was facing an inner crisis of meaning. I felt this urgency to change but I lacked the solution, the “how to” create a healthy, harmonious, and happy, as well as, prosperous life.
Then while on vacation in Egypt walking across the bridge at King Farouk’s Palace in Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea, I had a mystical experience. Contemplating my life, I felt as if I was dying. Suddenly, my inner voice, that connection that all of us have to a divine power within, spoke loud and clear: “You are to transform your life.” I knew in that moment, while on the middle of the bridge, that I was at a crossroads between my past and future. I chose the future and made a decision to resolve my inner crisis and bring balance to my life. For the first time in my life, I made a commitment to follow inner guidance. Then I walked across the bridge.
This crucial decision began an intense eight year spiritual journey of listening to and implementing inner insight and accessing and using ancient wisdom to heal, grow, and evolve. I transformed my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves, moved to a nurturing home environment in nature, changed the nature of my business, created personal and professional balance and felt passionate, enthusiastic and energized while experiencing a deep sense of meaning and fulfillment.
I emerged from this journey having translated the ancient wisdom into a practical technology that anyone could use. I developed the Edge Transformational Program and self-published an extensive workbook called Moving off the Edge: Preparing for and Creating Change. Over the next 20 years, I taught thousands of individuals this ancient process and used the process to turnaround businesses in times of crisis and transition. Then in 2010, I wrote and self-published a book—Stories from the Edge: Nine Principles to Create Lasting Transformation—which is an overview of the program and the results achieved by some clients. I continued to speak at business meetings and as a transformational coach to facilitate the transformation process for individuals and organizations, serve on non-profit boards, spearhead projects, and become involved in political issues that improved people’s lives. At the same time, with the emergence of new revolutionary social psychology, evolutionary, biology, physics and neuroscience discoveries, which I had studied, I began teaching its relevancy to transformation.
While promoting my book, I was asked by the World Affairs Council in Peoria to speak at a Lebanese conference they were co-sponsoring on the success of the Lebanese. Two months of diverse research, especially reading Phoenicians: Lebanon’s Epic Heritage, led to astonishing discoveries about the Phoenicians, my Lebanese ancestors. With my newfound understanding of history, my past understanding of neuroscience, and my practical experience on how ancient wisdom transforms and creates coherent energy fields that connect people, I wrote a presentation that explained why the Lebanese are known to succeed and assimilate fast when they emigrate.
My speech was well received and the audience was intrigued with the Phoenician Blueprint, an ancient model of transformation. Passionate and inspired about the legacy the Phoenicians left the world, I wrote an e-book The Legacy of the Phoenicians: A Bridge to Peace and Prosperity which included my speech and all the questions and answers from two presentations at the conference. Then I published an article on The Legend of Phoenix Rising, which is the story of the Phoenicians—how they rose out of the ashes to make astounding comebacks century after century—in the Itoo (Aytou) Society newsletter and eventually in the Meditation & Health Journal.
Then another opportunity to expand my understanding of ancient practices and traditions opened up when I attended a Kuan Yin Chanting Retreat to develop more compassion. This led to studying Tibet Buddhism, the Tao, and ancient Chinese Traditional Medicine practices with a Chinese Master. For two years, I participated in seven retreats listening to a translator while learning ancient healing methods and spiritual principles from the East. I taught leadership and interpersonal communication skills in Vancouver, Canada at the headquarters for the meditation center to a mostly Mandarin audience with my interpreter. Then I was asked to head the English speaking program so I formed a team to develop, promote and expand the program. Along with the team, I taught ancient meditation and healing practices to hundreds of men and women from all walks of life in Canada and in California.
While in meditation at one retreat, I experienced another epiphany. The message: I was to honor my ancestors by introducing the world to the ancient Phoenician wisdom. Just as I stood on the bridge in Alexandria 30 years ago and was guided to access ancient wisdom and apply it to permanently change my and others’ consciousness and lives, Phoenician Blueprint is a bridge for the ancients to introduce their wisdom to today’s world—so individuals, families, businesses, and nations can apply their wisdom and transform the world.
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Feel free to contact me if you want to transform your personal and/or professional life or are interested in me speaking at a meeting or conference.
My photo: Kari Wishingrad; Cedar Tree: Randy Couri; Aytou, Lebanon: Joe Couri