Spring Anticipation, Patience, and Strength…

Most of us look forward to the spring season because it’s a time of renewal, new growth, and FLOWERS! However, spring is also the time of rain showers and the dreaded pollen that blankets the southeast!

For the past few days I’ve been struggling with these awful headaches, which I’m thinking, are pollen induced. So I was semi glad to see the rain that came this weekend because it would clear the air and wash the pollen away… So there I was laying around on one of those damp, overcast Saturday mornings feeling somewhat restless and out of sorts. I was reflecting on life and wondering when the metaphorical rain would come to wash away my struggles, disappointments, and the depression that often blankets my happiness.

I’m tired of waiting, tired of striving, tired of feeling I’m not there yet…

I needed something to motivate me, something to encourage me to keep going – so I turned to music…

And there were two songs that seemed to champion my cause of pushing towards the finish line… Here are a few of the lyrics –

Doubt by Mary J Blige:

I’ll keep getting up

Cause that’s what I’m gonna do

I’m gonna be the best me

Sorry if it kills you

 I am a conqueror by Estelle:

Got a vision that no one else sees,

Lot of dirty work, roll up your sleeves,

Remember there’s a war out there,

So come prepared to fight!

You never know wherever the road leads you,

Not everyone’s gonna believe you,

Even though they’re wrong, don’t prove them right

After hearing those two songs, I felt encouraged to keep forging ahead, even though my tomorrow is still a day away. My hope was returning… And just like that the depressed feelings receded away and I was left feeling recharged, refocused, and ready to tackle the day! My spirit felt so renewed that I found myself dancing around to ‘Just watch’ by Mark Ronson. As I grooved to the beat, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror thought you doubt the future that is coming, and as that thought floated through my mind, I could hear Mark Ronson croon: “don’t believe me just watch”! The timing of that brought a smile to my face.

So what’s the moral of the story? Anticipation can be hard sometimes. But I do believe that in the end, the fruit from my waiting and working will be worth it!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Time to Move On… Say good-bye to Regrets!

In life we are accountable for making millions of decisions. That’s a huge responsibility, and sometimes we may not make the best choice. However, the mistake is often not realized until later, for as they say “hindsight is 20/20.” When you look back you typically have more information than you previously did, and that’s why you can say: “I wished I had handled that situation differently” or “I wish I could change that decision.”

But guess what? It’s done… you can’t get it back, so why mull over it, why beat yourself up, and live your life focused on regretting decisions of old. Isn’t this the type of advice often given? However, it’s often hard to forget the poor choices of your past because they can have real consequences in your present and future!

So how do you move beyond the past, even when the past is having an effect on your right now? That was a question I asked myself and that question remained unanswered for a few days until I this morning while I was listening to the song Different by Tasha Page-Lockhart.

At first I was focused solely on the tune and the catchy beat, but then I honed in on the lyrics. She sang about making unwise decisions. Allowing temptation, distractors, and negativity to cloud her good judgment. However, she really caught my attention when she sang:

But there’s not a hole too deep

That God won’t reach down and save me

See he cleaned me up and made me new

Said welcome back and now I’m standing here in front of you

That part of the song really got me to dancing because it was the reminder that even though I could never undo any decisions made in the past, God could help me through any of the consequences (of those decisions) I would have to endure in the present and future.

It felt good to be reminded that I would never be alone even amidst “the mess” that I created by my former decisions. And the bonus – I am different, better now because of all the lessons learned through my experiences.

So now I fix my gaze to the present and future, acknowledging that I am shaped by my past BUT I am NOT my past. As Olympian Jacki Joyner-Kersee is quoted as saying: “It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

I am a Gardener: a planter of greenery, life, and dreams.

I arose this morning to a blue, cloudless sky. There was a gentle breeze and birds chirping, as the sun kissed my cheeks. Today was Arbor Day, a day of nurturance and promoting the GROWTH of our beloved Earth. This was the first Arbor Day that I decided to take an active part. I participated in a garden project with my beloved sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.

Our task for the day was to rake mulch and plant flowers. There I was crouched down, and as I held the soil I felt a sense of PEACE. It felt good to get back to basics and travel back to a simpler time in life when I could just play in the dirt. We each took to our individual activities and when two hours rolled around the project was done. I stepped back to assess what had transpired and was amazed to see that our final product had beautified the area. We were finished. As I walked to my car, I marveled at the awesome morning I had experienced. And it was in that moment I stopped to take stock of things. I felt a sense of pride because I finally created for myself an existence that included taking time to PLANT LIFE.

However, these plants meant more to me than their physical ability to beautify the area. These plants were actually an indication of faith. You may wonder FAITH? How could a simple act of planting, demonstrate faith? Well, because you put the green leaves in the ground expecting them to grow, trusting them to thrive into something bigger and stronger than their humble beginnings. If we can do that with leaves, why can’t we do the same with our own lives?

As I drove home the song Help Me Believe by Kirk Franklin came on the radio. I reflected on those lyrics and thought about how they coincided with my morning’s planting. Kirk sings:

I wanna believe

But I’m having a hard time seeing past what I see right now

His words reminded me that some times when things haven’t YET happened, it’s easy to give up and turn back! It seems so simple to give up on your dreams and walk away from your heart’s desires!

But, just as planting involves faith, having the determination to continue pursuing one’s dreams will also require faith! And that’s exactly what I plan to do, going after EACH and EVERY dream! Will you join me?

Let’s plant in faith and watch a beautiful future, unfold.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

No… it’s NOT too late! So get Started & Don’t Quit.

Do you ever stop and wonder about some of the decisions you’ve made?

This weekend I turned 40… this momentous point in my life found me reflecting on the highs and lows of the previous decades. As I considered past decisions and choices, I realized that I have learned, grown, and gained A LOT of knowledge. As that realization set in I began to wonder how life would have been if I had the knowledge I have now, back then…

If 20-year-old Donna knew what 40-year -old Donna does, I could have saved her a lot of heartache and headache. I guess that’s why they say: “youth is wasted on the young”. As I sat thinking I began to feel a bit glum about what on the surface seemed to be squandered time. I asked myself: What if I hadn’t and maybe I should have? And I even considered IS IT TOO LATE? Did I wait too long to “wake up”!

But then I reminded myself that the wisdom I gained came from the mistakes, the wrong turns, and the detours, so none of it was in vain.

And not only was it not wasted time, but I was reminded that it’s not too late…

My reminder came while listening to Steve Harvey on the radio. During the morning show he mentioned that he was homeless at the age of 30. Although I knew he had been homeless, what caught my attention, this day, was his age. 30 wasn’t that young, so I decided to Google his bio and discovered that many of his great accomplishments occurred at an age others might deem as “old”. He didn’t get his television show until age 39, Kings of Comedy didn’t happen until age 42, and he didn’t begin writing books until age 52. And at his current age of 58, he continues to evolve and achieve new things.

Reading Steve’s bio was the reminder that I needed! For though I am now 40 and I wonder what would have happened if I had been living my purpose since age 25, I can’t get the past back. But I can purposefully live my present and my future, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. By the end of the next 40 years, I’ll be able to look back and admire all I was able to accomplish.

I share this with YOU to encourage you that no dream is ever too late! Each new day of life is another opportunity to go after your heart’s desires.

As Fitness guru Jane Fonda would say: “It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.

So waste not another minute of your life!

I’ll leave you with this quote from Journalist George Eliot: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Life According to ME,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Intentionally Living My Purpose

  • What’s makes me SPECIAL?
  • How I am I different?
  • Why will I SUCCEED when so many want to and haven’t?

These are the questions that float through my mind as I DREAM about and VISUALIZE making my desires a REALITY…

During the last 7 months, I have found myself crossing paths with authors such as Ron Clark, Elizabeth Gilbert, Steve Beecham, and Susan Breen, politicians such as David Belle Isle, sports announcer Ernie Johnson, and educators such as Dr. Susan Crim McClendon. They each had a dream that they visualized and made reality.

I was able to make contact with them because of the various new ventures I’ve engaged in, all for the purpose of getting out and meeting new people. Why am I doing this? Well, because I am preparing for my children’s book that will be released this upcoming fall.

The fall seems far off, yet I know it shall be here soon enough, so I am planting seeds that I believe will germinate into something awesome for me. And though I continue to take the steps and risks necessary for success, that doesn’t address the questions I started off posing at the beginning: what makes me special?

Well it’s been estimated that less than 10% choose to live out their dreams!!

So I guess I’m special because I am intentional in wanting to be in the group of the 10%!

And if that statistic isn’t enough to bolster my confidence, I remind myself that only I can be the best me there is… so that means there will never be anyone else who can leave the unique imprint that I was specifically designed to leave! And the same goes for YOU. ONLY you can be YOU!

I leave you with this quote by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson:

“I have a personal philosophy in life: If somebody else can do something that I’m doing, they should do it. And what I want to do is find things that would represent a unique contribution to the world – the contribution that only I, and my portfolio of talents, can make happen. Those are my priorities in life”

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

I Accept Happiness & CHOOSE to Win

Have you ever wondered where true HAPPINESS comes from? Or how to have JOY and PEACE in your daily life?

Well, I think I’ve discovered the secret… it’s ACCEPTANCE. Your ability to be okay with life, as it is, plays a significant role in being able to attain HAPPINESS, JOY, and PEACE.

This may seem too simple but it is the true essence of a happy life. When we learn to let go and go with the twists and turns of life, we allow ourselves to experience the beauty that is life. Old beliefs that adversity and struggle means the world is against us can be seen from a new perspective. Adversity and struggle provides opportunities to grow, expand, and live!

Author Annie Dillard once said: “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair… or go into business. You’ve got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.” Her message being that we build strength and we improve because we are willing to remain strong in the face of adversity and struggle.

I must admit I did not always carry such a disposition, and to be quite honest I still have my days where I moan “whoa is me… why am I being challenged so?” However, then I remind myself that I am the one who determines how I handle life situations. And if I’m the one in control, then that means I’m the one who can choose to WIN, no matter what obstacle is before me! That simple shift of giving myself back the power to choose has helped me to endure even the toughest of days…

But that’s the choice I made… How willing are YOU to live a happy life?

Will you be courageous in the face of whatever difficulties you’re currently facing?

Or as Author Joe Vitale would say: “how good can you stand it?”

If you can answer that yes you want happiness and yes you will remain courageous, then strap yourself in and prepare to live a life that rivals your wildest dreams! Because that’s the ride I’m on, will you join me?

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Website: www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Stop Procrastinating – Live Life!

Over the course of a single day you might be responsible for making countless decisions. So many responsibilities to handle that at times it seems dizzying. I sit here pondering such thoughts as I gaze at my to do list. Am I the only one who feels a subtle hint of being overwhelmed? And is it just me that thinks about the simplicity of ignoring the list and watching a favorite show on my DVR recorder?

Alas, I don’t do either. The responsible Donna knows that procrastination just makes the task all the more harder to attack. But where does one find the energy and the motivation to do what it takes, even when you just don’t feel like it?

Motivation and Energy come from visualizing and focusing on some tangible and desirable outcome. In other words, you are more apt to keep going and keep working when you have something that you’re working towards.

So if you’ve ever struggling with procrastination or perceiving yourself as just plain lazy, consider this quote by Tony Robbins:

People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.”

Now, take some time to reexamine your goals. Do you have something that you desire? What will be required in order for you to obtain that desire? How motivated are you to obtain it? As you consider these questions, you may experience a renewed sense of focus. And before you know it, you’ll feel energized and ready to tackle the day! So go out and make the most of it.

However, do take note that it’s okay to have down time and it’s healthy to devote energy to being quiet, still, and at rest. But it’s critical to realize that there is a time and place for everything. Success requires a time for productivity, as well as a time for relaxation. As Benjamin Franklin once stated: “Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never.”

I wish you the courage and fortitude necessary for completing each and every one of your goals.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

The purpose of life…

This past weekend my maternal grandmother passed at the age of 87. The nurse that was with her in her last moments said she did 3 things: first she asked for her children, then she began to profess her love for God, and finally she stopped talking to the nurse and began talking directly to God. After she was done she said she was going to rest. The nurse left her to allow her to sleep. When they returned a little later to do a usual vital sign check, she was gone.

My grandmother’s peaceful passing has me wondering many things about LIFE, why we’re here? Why do we roll over and awaken to a NEW DAY?

There are some who say we live because we still have a PURPOSE to fulfill on earth or as the church folks would phrase it: “I’ve got work to do”.

About 7 years ago I came to the realization that we are each here for a larger and beautiful purpose. So in 2008, I made the commitment to myself that I would discover that purpose and then LIVE it out each and every day that I ARISE to a new morning! And that’s what I’ve been doing, since.

But that leads to me to question, are YOU living your purpose?

Author Srikumar Rao shares his thoughts about purpose in this quote:

“I believe that if you don’t derive a deep sense of purpose from what you do, if you don’t come radiantly alive several times a day, if you don’t feel deeply grateful at the tremendous good fortune that has been bestowed on you, then you are wasting your life. And life is too short to waste”

So, if you aren’t yet living your purpose – I encourage you to not waste another day. Life is precious and never guaranteed; so seize each new morning that you are given.

I have peace about my grandmother’s passing for she lived a long life and death is truly just a part of life. Our physical bodies may pass away, but our spirit lives on. As so eloquently stated by Author Guy Finley:

“Once something has outlived its usefulness in one area of life, its purpose for being in existence is no longer the same. The leaf that captures a stream of sunlight, and then transfers its energy to the tree, serves one purpose in the spring and summer, and another completely different one through the fall and winter.”

I wish you abundance, courage, and a purpose filled life.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Frowners never win… Coping with the Blues…

Coping with the Blues…

Have you ever wondered how to feel the SUNSHINE in your life? How to bring HAPPINESS, LAUGHTER, and JOY into your everyday? It would seem that SUNSHINE, HAPPINESS, LAUGHTER, and JOY comes when you let it in

I came to this conclusion as I sat wrestling with my own “blue thoughts”. I was feeling sad, restless, and incomplete. Nothing new had occurred to trigger those emotions, but there I was facing the same old struggle. My initial thoughts were “things will never change”, “I will never get better”, and “I will always struggle with depression”. Those first three internal judgments did nothing but pull my mood further down.

Then a fourth idea struck me! From somewhere within I remembered the saying “once an addict, always an addict”. I toyed with that idea for a bit… could it be true? Would I struggle with depression for the rest of my life??? That was a frightening thought!

However, the fighter in me… my rational side refused to give in to, to believe the defeatist side in me. The warrior within reminded me that no matter the emotions, I am not my emotions which meant – no matter how long I suffer with sad emotions, that is not me. Reminding myself that I am NOT sadness, and I am NOT depression, helped to elevate me out of “my funk”. I was lifted up enough to also remember that because I am not my feeling; I was the one who could decide how to handle those feelings.

So what did I decide to do?

I chose to refer back to an old childhood song that I remember watching on an old episode of the Flintstones, Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sunshine In.

Do you remember the song? Here are a few lyrics to jog your memory:

When you are unhappy the devil wears a grin

But oh! he starts to running when the light comes pouring in

I know he’ll be unhappy ‘cos I’ll never wear a frown

Maybe if we keep on smiling he’ll get tired of hanging round

So let the sunshine in.

So let the sunshine in face it with a grin smilers never lose and frowners never win

So let the sunshine in face it with a grin open up your heart and let the sunshine in

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com