Tap into endless Creativity

I am a new blogger. Or at least I view myself as new, considering that I began consistently blogging about six months ago. For years I contemplated starting a blog, but just never got around to it. I made excuse after excuse.

I didn’t have the time

I didn’t have the energy

And even scarier, I didn’t have enough to say…

Or at least I didn’t think I’d have enough to say. I wondered things like “how will I know what to post?” or “what if I run out of topics to discuss?”

However the amazing thing is that as I write more I find increased motivation and inspiration. The more I blog, the more I have to blog about. This is the wonderful cycle I’ve found myself in…

And the best news is that creativity is infinite! So there was no need for me to fear running out of things to say. Poet Maya Angelou eloquently captured the endless fountain of inspiration in this quote: “you can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”.

So what’s the moral of this message? If you want more, you have to do more. If you want to be inspired, you want to achieve success, and you want to tap into your creative abilities, you just have to start. You just have to use them!

If you’re wondering how to start… just take the first step by doing something different, something new. Take a look at this quote from motivational speaker Denis Waitley: “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown

And if you’re wondering where your creativity lies, remember that we are all creative, just in different ways. As educational advisor Ken Robinson states: “you can be creative in anything – in math, science, engineering, philosophy – as much as you can in music or in painting or in dance

So as I end this post, I want you to remember that creativity is infinite, we are all creative, and we tap into our creative potential by stepping out and doing something new.

I am excited about life and have renewed purpose as I delve into my creativity within the areas of writing, teaching, and speaking.

What is your creative ability and what new things will you do with it this year?

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna

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Living my Dreams… Courageous, Determined, and Patient

I was in the midst of writing a new blog post and ran across these three quotes. Although the quotes were off the topic of the post I was crafting at that time, I had to save them and decided to share them now:

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties – Erich Fromm, Psychologist

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go – Carol Burnett, Actress

When you have a dream that you can’t let go of, trust your instincts and pursue it. But remember: Real dreams take work, they take patience, and sometimes they require you to dig down very deep. Be sure you’re willing to do that – Harvey MacKay, Entrepreneur

All three quotes resonated with encouragement to continue pursuing my dreams! However they also provided the reminder that my dream chasing would require courage, determination to never let go, and patience. Ah patience… definitely not my strongest character trait. But at this stage of my life I am so certain about my purpose and so adamant that I am destined to make an important contribution, that I will patiently and persistently keep knocking on doors until my dreams come true.

Some may say I’m hardheaded…

Some see me as defiant…

And both are probably spot-on, but I see it as I was made for a purpose and it’s my job to bring that purpose to life.

Back at the start of 2014 I created an online vision board. There were many images that I included but one in particular I wanted to share. The picture says: “I am a social emotional leader”. Which is kind of funny, because at the time of creating the vision board, I didn’t consciously think of myself as a leader in my profession, nor did I have any idea how I was going to manifest that outcome. However, they say that there is power in the tongue! So because I not only spoke but also acted in ways to support what I was speaking, doors of opportunity started to open. And now that picture doesn’t seem so far-fetched. In fact, it seems to be a foreshadowing of what’s to come. Go figure!

So that somewhat explains why the 3 quotes at the start of this post grabbed my attention!

But a question remains… will YOU be courageous, trusting, persistent, and patient enough to follow your heart’s desires? The choice is yours…

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Want Success? Then you must Ask and Receive…

How specific are YOUR requests?

In life we are each on a journey, and along the way there are various things we desire, dream, and want. However, when I look around I see that there are those who attain what they want, and those who seem to fall shy of crossing the finish line. I wonder, what is the difference between the people that make it and the others that don’t? Is it based on luck or chance? Or is it based on the idea that some people are just more fortunate than others?

Hmmm…. Well it can’t be luck or the idea that “some people are just more fortunate” because there are many who have been elevated to success but they started out from humble, meager beginnings. So what is it?

I wonder if the missing piece is that the successful are very specific in their requests. Let me explain…

The bible suggests that we should “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). I have often heard this verse, as it is commonly cited. So much so that even secular references have been made to this idea in books on the Law of Attraction. But I found something even more interesting when I went to re-read this verse. I discovered another translation of the Matthew 7:7 verse, it states:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you – Matthew 7:7, New Living Translation

Wow… now this is really powerful because the key word in that verse is KEEP! Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking…

So it would seem that the successful have attained that status because they kept on asking, seeking, and knocking on various doors until they found the very specific requests of their heart.

I am seeking from God: a book deal for my memoir, a job that is not toxic/constantly stressful, a supportive husband, a biological baby, and financial freedom.

What things are you seeking for your life?

In the Untethered Soul Michael Singer states:

“Does anything in God’s creation, other than the human mind, actually pass judgment? Nature just gives and gives to whoever will receive. Should you choose not to receive, it doesn’t punish you. You punish yourself because you choose not to receive”

My hope for you is that you find the courage to keep asking for, seeking, and knocking on the doors of your dreams. And may you be ready to receive the overflow when it comes!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

I’m a GROWN woman…

What is a woman?

I’ve been on quite the journey, as I grew from a young girl to the woman I am today. There were many changes as I shifted from my beginnings (as a Tomboy), into my young lady stages of being a “handful” (think of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderful), and finally into the more balanced and centered woman I am today. I have evolved, akin to the process that a caterpillar embarks on to become a butterfly.

As I reflect on my evolution into womanhood, I can’t help but think about my distorted views of what it meant ‘to be a woman’.

Psychologist Sigmund Freud has been quoted as stating: “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love”. This statement alludes to an invisible division – women are either loved (the Madonna) or lusted (the Whore).

For years I struggled to answer the question: do I want to be loved by a man or desired by him? I wasn’t sure, so I opted to create my own answer. I wanted to be feared, because then I would be viewed as powerful and in control. My chosen path of control and domination seemed to be the best option because loving hurts and control doesn’t, or so I mistakenly thought. I would soon discover, the hard way, that my controlling thoughts, reactions, and mannerisms were not only blocking me from loving a man, they were blocking me from loving myself!

So I went on a quest to find a new definition, my definition for womanhood. And, in time, I reached a place of understanding and acceptance. Soft does not mean weak! A woman, a real woman – can balance strength and calm, initiative and grace, and achievement and nurturance.

I could no longer relate to the disconnection or disharmony Freud referred to. I now know that I can be sexy and I can be lovable – all at the same time! A man can love a woman that he desires, when that woman first loves and desires herself. And when she comes to understand that this entire journey is what we choose to make it – we just have to decide to start making that choice consciously.

I love being a woman! It’s awesome. We are the makers and givers of life.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

P.S. Stay tuned because in my upcoming memoir entitled Shedding Perfection: A Psychologist’s Journey to Self-Healing, I will share my journey with you.

And, if you want to see visual images of my evolution, you can see pictures here: https://donnadoctora.com/the-evolution-of-me/

Getting emotionally TOUGH!

Just take a deep breath… DEEPER.

One minute I’m smiling and chipper. But in the next breath, I am melancholy, as I burst into tears. Sounds like an emotional roller coaster or an unpredictable storm!

Am I pregnant? No. Am I losing my mind? At times it feels like it, but no I’m not.

So then what the heck is going on?

It’s as if my emotions are going haywire or there is an emotional short circuit.

There I stood tears streaming down my face, and a little voice reminded me to “breathe”. I took a breath. Then, the reminder came to “breath deeper”. This time I made sure to inhale and completely fill my lungs. As I took in that breath and oxygenated by body, and then let out that same breath – I could feel the tension lifting as the carbon dioxide left my body.

The breathing helped to lessen the intensity of my emotions, which was good. Because though the stressors were still there, I didn’t feel as erratic or ‘on the edge’. And in this calmer state I reminded myself that this hectic season I am currently in shall pass and I will make it.

Whenever I begin to doubt the certainty of my success, I remind myself of my mother’s words: “Donna all things pass” or my grandmother who insisted that I was made of tough and undefeatable stuff. “You are a Trojan [warrior]”, she said. Their statements are nicely summarized in this quote by televangelist Robert Schuller: “tough times don’t last, but tough people do”.

I will admit, there are many days that I do not feel tough, AT ALL. However, I’ve learned that toughness is not based upon my emotions. Instead, my toughness is based upon my decision to keep striving despite my feelings. In other words, I am tough because I have made success my only option!

So how exactly can YOU get tough, when you feel like life is beating you up? This, is what I intend to share in my memoir. It is entitled: Shedding Perfection: A Psychologist’s Journey to Self-Healing © 2015 Donna Gardner. All rights reserved. The memoir is still in progress, but I eagerly anticipate the day it shall grace the bookshelves. Until that time, I want you to remember that:

Sometimes you just have to allow the tears, take a breath, and remind yourself you’re going to make it!

Speak life… What are you thinking and saying?

It’s often been said that you have to “think positive”. And I agree with that sentiment because thoughts become feelings and feelings become actions and actions become what is your reality. So there is a direct link between the things that we think about and what occurs in life.

However, have you ever stopped to think about your thinking?

What do you spend most of your time pondering about?

If you take a survey of your inner mental activity, you will be amazed to see that it will give you a clear picture of the person you are and the direction that your life is moving in…

So if you ever find yourself in a place, in life, where you desire change to occur – it first starts within your mind! Start working to change what you think!

A few things to help you shift your thoughts:

  • Be mindful of what you read and if you’re not a “reader” – you need to begin! Reading feeds the mind
  • Be mindful of what you watch via the internet and/or television
  • Be mindful of the company you keep, as the thoughts of others can be infectious. Negative thinkers can influence how you think about life
  • Remember the power of the tongue

I think #4 is SO important, that I want to spend more time talking about it.

The power of the tongue, what exactly does that mean? It refers to the ability for us to speak things into existence. If you speak positively, then that is likely where your thoughts and focus with shift. By the same token, if you’re a naysayer, doubter, or worrier, then the odds are you’re probably talking about and thinking about the obstacles, struggles, and problems.

You need to be more aware of the things you say or speak over yourself and your life. For me, I speak positivity because it encourages me, it reinforces positive beliefs about self, it refuels my energy tank so that I can persevere, and it confirms what God already told me – that his children are beloved, beautiful, and accepted in spite of their flaws!

So what positive things will you begin speaking over your life?

  • I proclaim that I shall be a published author
  • I assert that I will be seen as a social-emotional leader
  • I anticipate that my writings will provide emotional and social healing to those that it touches
  • And I expect to enjoy my future roles of biological mother and wife

What positive words and thoughts will you start to proclaim, assert, anticipate, and expect in your own life?

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Not by random chance or coincidence … God is a God of Order…

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the fact that God is a God of order. You may be wondering, what do I mean by that… well the God we serve believes in arranging things, providing direction, and being a source of stability for us. Don’t believe me – just check out 1 Corinthians 14:33 and you’ll see that we serve a God of order.

Order was on my mind one morning, as I said a prayer for a friend who is at a crossroads and is questioning her decisions. Her words were “pray for me Donna, as I am feeling confused and just unsure about the choice I have to make”. As soon as the request left her mouth, I immediately knew I needed to send a prayer up on her behalf, because God would respond by providing her with instructions that would bring clarity to the confusion and order to the lack of certainty.

I said the prayer and went along my merry way.

A few hours later I found myself meeting with two illustrators, one a professor and the other her student. I had located the professor through her university bio. We chose a date and time to conduct in person introductions and for me to provide them with an understanding of the project to illustrate. They were both quite nice, engaging, and seemed eager to learn about my children’s biblical book idea. As I shared the proposed topics, they expressed interest and provided positive feedback about the focus I was taking. However, it wasn’t their demeanor or even their eagerness to take on the project that blew me away. What caught my attention was when the student expressed that her mother is a minister, and she wished that she had a book like mine when she was growing up. And then I was again flabbergasted that the professor began sharing that she’s Christian and can see herself reading such a book to her two young children.

So why did it amaze me that both the professor and student proclaimed themselves as Christians? Because I had contacted them in what I thought was a random fashion. However, I soon realized that our meeting was not by chance – it was by design. God’s design… And there is it was… A perfect example of my initial point…

We serve a God of order.

When God does something it will bring clarity, it will bring peace, it will make sense, and it will seemingly just “fall into place”.

So if you have big dreams and there are things you desire to do…

First be sure that it’s your purpose, because if it’s your purpose, God will bring order and allow it to come true.

Second, don’t be afraid to step out and just try! Because, God will bless your attempts – when you are doing what you’ve been blessed and called to do.

And lastly, have a little faith in the vision and dreams that God has given you.

So remember, God given purpose, Step out and try, and finally Have a little faith.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Healed Hearts in 2015

It was an interesting day. I had three different people thank me for my blog posts. While I was humbled and appreciative of their feedback, it was the phrase “thank you for allowing God to use you” that caught my attention. Those who know me know I don’t believe in random coincidences, and the repetitiveness of the message struck me, as this is more than just a fluke of nature. So I decided to think a bit more about their choice of words…

Thank you for allowing God to use you…

It seemed that they viewed me as a messenger conveying something from God through my blog. That’s a pretty awesome confirmation, as the focus of my message is always to share something that will inspire, uplift, and spread some love. However, as a writer you’re not always sure if you hit the mark, until you hear the reactions from the receiver of your words. It felt nice to be acknowledged – I was doing something positive and worthwhile. But even larger than that, I was doing something that people could see God from within me. Now that, for me, was mind blowing!

It blew my mind because my spiritual walk has not been a straight and narrow path. There have been many twists and turns, even some days where I wondered if God had forgotten me. But then the tide began to change, and with one touch I could feel God turning my life around. The shift was so GREAT that it prompted me to start penning my memoir; a memoir that I am still in the process of writing.

At times I wondered why did God seem to overlook me in one season, but then in the next I can so clearly feel God’s presence all around me and within me? And then, I came across a chapter in the Stormie Omartian book that talked about hardened hearts. She explained that God needs our hearts to be softened.

Wow… I wondered to myself “could it be that my heart had been hardened before?” Then I reflected on all of the hurts, disappointments, broken promises, lies, and all the other negative encounters I’ve endured. Yes, it would seem that I had sealed off my heart to protect myself from further injury. However, once I started to open myself back up – to seek God and to love God, it made it a lot easier to heal from everything I had endured. And I guess that why God can now use me.

My hope, for you, is that whatever blockages, whatever has happened to you that keeps you closed off and protecting yourself from hurt – I pray that 2015 is the year that you are healed from it. For in your healing, you will then allow God to make you a vessel of his message, so that you might then go out and bring hope, light, and inspiration to someone else.

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna 🙂

Be gone negativity… Hello abundant life.

In this season of my life I have found myself surrounded by prayer.

I have continued the ongoing Morning Prayer circle with two girlfriends and I decided to join in on the 30-day Evening Prayer led by an aunt. Who would have thought that I would be spending so much time engaged in corporate prayer?

I grew up in the church and always believed in God, but never thought of myself as “one of those Christians”. I initiated neither opportunity. All I did was be responsive when it was laid on my doorstep. So, this is where I find myself, prayer all around me.

And guess what… it has been an eye opening experience, thus far. It appears as if God is preparing me for a new assignment. Therefore, the prayer coming from all sides seems to be God’s way of getting me ready for all that is coming. In the King James Version of the Bible there is a verse that states: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13). This verse talks about the need to remain alert, be ready for action, demonstrate self-control, and think clearly. Basically you need to be “on point”. My increased time in prayer is doing just that. It is helping me to refocus, recharge, and remain steadfast in my pursuit of ALL that God has promised to me.

Within my prayer group discussions I have learned and shared a great deal thus far, but one particular prayer topic stands out in my mind. It was during the previous week, while reading for the evening prayer group, I came across a chapter entitled “Pray as Though Your Life Depends On It”… This chapter from Stormie Omartian’s book was a great reminder that prayer is indeed a lifeline connection, to God – the giver of earthly and eternal life.

Often we all think about God when life is called into question – so when we are near death. However, if we thought about God during our earthly comings and goings, we’d live a more fruitful, prosperous, and loving existence. And that is where I am focused in 2015. The question I will ask myself all year is – how can I live a life that is more abundantly rich, full, and gratifying?

I expect that I shall continue to grow and be stretched, as I strive for a life that is plentiful. But there are two immediate things that I know, right now, will support an abundant life:

  • I refuse to engage in negative interactions. Any and all things that attempt to bring negativity my way, I immediately know that is NOT of God, so why engage – I just say NO to the haters, naysayers, and detractors…
  • I know who I am… so while earthly validation makes my ego feel good, it is the spiritual validation that provides me a sense of rest, peace, and fulfillment

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna 🙂

What’s your unique brand?

Yesterday afternoon I was en route to my 12-year-old’s basketball game. As I enjoyed the leisurely drive, I decided to pass the time by tuning in to my favorite gospel radio station, Magic 102.5. When I turned the dial, I heard the familiar voice of the afternoon DJ, K.D. Bo. Although I have enjoyed his show on previous occasions, there was something particularly attention grabbing during that afternoon’s show. K. D. said:

Be faithful to the brand God placed in you – and you too will be successful

His point seemed to highlight a few key things:

  • We each are given something unique from God
  • The gifts and talents we are given have the potential to make a significant impact and contribution
  • If we turn inward, we will discover a pure talent that is available to be tapped into

This was a very timely message for me, as I continue this journey of writing my memoir. At times, during the creative process, it is so easy to wonder “is what I have to say relevant”, “will anyone care”, and “do I have enough of what it takes to be truly be successful”? When the doubts begin to creep up, it can serve as a distraction to getting the task done.

However, K. D Bo’s message was a reminder that because we each have a unique, and valuable contribution to make, that book, that business, that idea can truly only be implemented by YOU… So I will steadfastly continue on my quest to not only complete but to also publish my first book.

What’s very interesting about this is that I am in the midst of a spiritual fast. I decided to give up something desired for 66 days in order to demonstrate my faithfulness in knowing God will answer earnest prayers. You won’t believe what I’m giving up… I decided to abstain from all carnal activities for more than two months. And do you know why I am enduring this major sacrifice? It is to request that God provide me with endurance and completion; the strength, determination, and conviction to finish the work that I began.

So how ironic but fitting that the radio message would provide me the needed encouragement to continue.

I intend to press on until I succeed, knowing that my story can only be told by me – and so what I have to say is unique, divinely gifted, and destined to make me fruitful.

What gifts/talents were you gifted? Will you decide to unearth and tap into the potential within, this year?

The world is awaiting YOUR contribution!

Life According to me,

Dr. Donna