Discipline… it’s not a bad word.

I’ve always been a HUGE believer of the connection between the mind-body-spirit… However, this lesson hit very close to home when I found myself feeling lethargic, lackluster, and sad. It wasn’t until I took a B12 vitamin, upon the encouragement of my sister, that I found some of my usual vitality returning! This experience served as a great reminder that if you want to be healthy you have to tend to each area. The secret to health or the proverbial ‘fountain of youth’ is to achieve balance in mind, body, and spirit…

Even the Bible mentions the importance of mind-body-spirit:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2)

So God is reminding us that health requires total body health. This sounds like such simple common sense, that you may even wonder why I’m writing about it…

Well, as we know, often the things that appear simple and common are often the most challenging!

To have total body health, we must be disciplined and being disciplined isn’t easy… because even if we can convince ourselves to get started on the path, it seems darn near impossible to sustain and stay the course…

So what shall you do?

You must FIRST start by disciplining your mind and then the rest becomes possible.

Here are a few tips to help you on the path to train your mind:

  • First identify a target – what is it that you’re desiring?
  • Next, visualize in your mind how you will feel once you’ve actually reached the goal
  • Finally, think of 2-3 really simple steps that you can begin immediately that will lead you in the direction of your goal

Remember it’s never too late to get in the habit of developing a disciplined mind!

I’ll leave you with a few useful quotes about discipline:

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him” Buddha, A Buddhist sage

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment” Jim Rohn, Entrepreneur

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through” Zig Ziglar, Author/Motivational Speaker

Get Disciplined! Stop TRYING and choose to DO IT! Did-You-Know-760x760

YOU CAN!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Leaping Faith… A New Journey Begins.

Have you ever found yourself in a place wondering: “what am I doing here?”

Well, that was me, this past week… I was going through a mini existential crisis, wondering why certain desired things had not yet entered my life. It took everything in me just to be able to go to and from work. I was out of energy, as a car whose fuel tank was on empty. It wasn’t that anything new had occurred; yet somehow the dark cloud of depression had found a way to blot out my sunshine. I guess I was experiencing scripture firsthand because Proverbs 13:12 says that a deferred dream will make one sick… and sick I was feeling indeed.

From this place of feeling like an emotional train wreck, I showed up to volunteer for the Catalyst Conference. For those of you not familiar with the Catalyst Conference, it is a national conference intended to provide education, resources, and tools to leaders who love the Church. From this place of emotional brokenness I had to dig from within to keep a smile on my face as I greeted the arriving guests.

After the second day, all of that smiling on the outside (but not the inside) depleted me. When my duties were done, I fled the conference to sequester myself in my bedroom. But something miraculous happened on the third day of the conference. My duties were done strangely early that morning and I was free to sit in on the conference activities. As I sat there in an arena filled with 8,000+ Christians, I initially watched but then joined in as we sang about the awesome power of God to free us from past hurts, from disappointments, from broken hearts. I realized that I had found the answer to my initial question of “what I was doing there”. It struck me that I was in the right place, at the right time. And it felt good, awesome in fact!

So much so that I see it as a pivotal point in my faith walk with God because two days after the conference ended I decided to give my body back to God. I am now choosing to abstain from sex until marriage. Go figure, me? Seems ludicrous yet as I was reminded, during the conference, we serve a God of the IMPOSSIBLE… not the difficult… the Impossible!

And it is in that God I place my faith, all of my future hopes and dreams.

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I am in a new season and it is one that is hope filled. May my story of courage and bravery, in the face of doubt, fear, and tears give you the strength to take your own leap of faith!

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Peace in a WORLD turned upside down! Learning the Art of Inner Contentment & Happiness

I sit here reflecting on this season of life that I’m in… and it is good…

✖ Not because life is perfect

✖ Not because there is an absence of life stressors

✖ And definitely not because I have everything I desire

In fact the amazing thing is that my life feels good in spite of the negative situations I’ve had to face!

How could that be you wonder?

Well, I’ve arrived at this very interesting space in time where I not only truly love myself but I know, I accept, and I appreciate my life purpose – my reason for living – the contribution/mark I intend to leave on this earth.

This place that I’m in is pretty awesome, particularly when I reflect on just a few short months ago I was struggling with the waiting:

https://donnadoctora.com/2015/04/30/spring-anticipation-patience-and-strength/

In that previous blog from Spring 2015, I mentioned the song ‘Conqueror’ by Estelle and Jussie Smollett. At that time, I needed the song to encourage me and help push me in the direction I desired to go. Now I listen to the song, and I smile… it is a smile acknowledging and confirming – YES indeed, I am a Conqueror!

I am a conqueror because I learned the secret…

Would you like me to tell it to you?

Here goes:

You can truly have happiness and peace NO MATTER WHAT is going on around you –

once you’ve found inner contentment!

It took me many, many, MANY, did I say many – years to get here.

But here I am… I finally understand and LIVE the true meaning of inner peace.

Here are two quotes about inner peace:

  • Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Saint Francis de Sales, Roman Catholic Saint
  • My faith helps me understand that circumstances don’t dictate my happiness, my inner peace. Denzel Washington, Actor

I leave you with a final word… Namaste; which you will hear Yogis (practitioners of Yoga) say as a form of greeting to one another. It means the spirit within me, honors the spirit within YOU!

May you come to know the inner spirit that dwells within you, so that you may find peace, happiness, and inner contentment!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Investing 101: Reaping from your efforts

The day prior to Independence Day I attended a church concert featuring Tye Tribbett. The concert was an awesome experience and there were many lessons I learned from the word preached by the church’s pastor Joel E. Gregory and Tye Tribbett him self.

Here is just one of the nuggets I took home:

When we focus on the problem we start to sink, so stay focused on the solution (which comes from and is God)

We listened, we danced, we sang, and we praised. By the end of the evening I was in such a positive spirits.image1

It seemed nothing could knock me off my center… and I remained in that peaceful place until life came-a-knocking.

I was still broke. Financially strapped. I felt good on the inside but I was still forced to acknowledge the constraints of the world around me. The direness of my situation became real when I could only place 80 cents in the church’s offering bucket. The gas tank in my car was on empty, payday was 48 hours away, and all I had to give to God was eighty cents.

Some might think that my fiscal limitations would be enough to plummet me into a pit of self-pity and despair. But alas that was not the case! In fact what dropped into my spirit, into my thoughts was one of the songs that Tye Tribbett performed at the concert.

He sings:

The devil thought he had me, thought that my life was over, he thought by now I’d give up, he thought I had no more” (from the song He Turned It).

Although I danced to that very song at the concert, the words resonated with me more clearly in that moment of contemplating my “funny money.”

I was still alive; I hadn’t quit nor gave up. Though I will admit there were SO many moments where I thought about throwing in the towel!

Not now though… You see I have finally arrived to the place in life where I REFUSE to quit, no matter the challenge or difficulty that faces me!

Losing is not an option for me even on the days where I am counting the stray coins…

Napolean Hill is quoted as stating: “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” I intend to get a return on investment for all of my efforts!

I continue to strive to reach the top! I hope you’ll join me.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Jealous Paparazzi

What a season this has been!

In the midst of my own struggles, several family members have attempted to slander my name… I didn’t think it could happen in my family, thought we would be immune to the human condition of jealousy and envy. But alas, we are not.

For a few days it left me confused, hurt, and distraught – as my mind attempted to rationalize why would someone related to me desire to hurt me? What could they gain from my demise?

And then I ran across this quote from German composer Johannes Brahms:

“Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.”

It made perfect sense… because I always strive to seek the positive, surround myself with positive, and exude positivity – so those who have not found that balance within themselves will attempt to degrade and malign me, in hopes that I would lose my focus on what is right, and good, and beautiful about life.

I am happy to report – that plan was foiled! I will admit that I shed a tear. I cried for the pain and malice that was inflicted. But then I dried my eyes I reminded myself that the only one who gets to decide how I feel – IS ME! images


I choose to surround myself with positive people

I choose to pursue the things that make my heart sing

I choose to have family and friends that support and encourage me.


Everyone and everything else [that is negative] can “kick rocks!”


In your life, if you ever run into jealousy – here are a few quotes to encourage you:

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius”. Fulton Sheen, Catholic Bishop

Don’t waste time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind.” Mary Schmich, American journalist

As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.” Antisthenes, Greek philosopher

People are taken aback by a confident, pretty girl who knows what she wants in life and isn’t going to let anyone get in her way. And you know what it’s all about? Jealousy.” Summer Altice, Actress aba6f2f6b994e084c6752fddeeb38b3f

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

4th of JULY reflections – More than hamburgers, hotdogs, & fireworks!

It’s another 4th of July…

As I reflect on this day known for barbecues, time with the family, and being poolside, my mind wanders. Independence – freedom – the pursuit of happiness. It’s quite ironic that a few days ago I was reflecting on the season of life that I am in. It is a period where I am finally and truly open to change, growth, and releasing the past! So this year is a bit special. July 4th will not only be a time for remembering the freedoms fought for and that we’re still striving for, but it will also signify a turning point my life.

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Moving on to the new can be a very daunting and overwhelming task! Most may opt to remain with the familiar. However happiness, true happiness can only be obtained when we are free – when we allow ourselves the chance to seek the things that encourage our inner passions, creativity, and spirit.

This Independence Day I am channeling the sage wisdom and bravery of my ancestors to walk courageously into happiness!

So what is the first step on the path to happiness?

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It is letting go of the past hurts, pains, and even regrets… this first step is often the HARDEST but it is necessary!

I give myself permission to be happy

I give myself permission to be free

I give myself permission to be whole

I forgive those who have hurt me and …

I liberate myself from feeling any further self-blame that I allowed them to hurt me

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I am eager to see the amazing new things that will walk into my life because I am a new me. Marriage, babies, publishing books, and amassing wealth… an exciting time is on the horizon, indeed!

Well that’s my Independence story, what’s yours? What are you focused on this Fourth of July? Will you take a moment to reflect on what new pursuits will add flavor to your own life?

I hope you do!

“One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Amen”

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

What the HECK is your problem?

Have you ever had a moment where someone was snippy with you and you thought: “what the heck is your problem?”

Recently, a good friend suggested that we get out and walk one of the local trails. It was a beautiful day, and so the idea appeared to be a brilliant one. Once arriving to the location, we realized that we needed to pay a parking fee in exact change. Neither one of us was prepared, as we stood there deciding what to do, my question “so should we leave one car here and drive the other to get change at the store?” was met with a grouchy “what else would we do?” The response caught me off guard and I was taken aback. The answer did not seem to be warranted.

Thank goodness I am an evolved Donna because I simply got in my car, took a billion deep breaths, turned on the radio, and said “God give me something to calm me.”

And the first song I hear “I’m Letting Go” I was not familiar with the tune but this line really caught my attention “when I let go, it started to flow.” Just hearing that I could feel the tension easing and the anger lessening. From my calmer state I could see that my friend’s irritation wasn’t about me – it was about them, so why should I be upset? So I decided I would no longer be…

The most ironic thing about this situation – it was the second time for this week that I found myself in this predicament. The other occurrence happened while in conversation with an agent about my book, and she was quite crabby. So much so that she became aware of it and apologized for her presentation.

I’m pretty impressed that I kept my cool in both situations, as not that long ago I would have done one of two things:

  • Let someone else’s negativity bring me down and put me in a bad mood
  • Responded to someone else’s negativity with anger

Neither option would have included remaining calm, level headed, and balanced.

It feels awesome that my emotions are no longer dictated by what others are doing or saying. Or as Pastor Joel Osteen reminds us “every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed, or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.”

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

The Negativity Trap: Bitching, Venting, Whining

Accept Discipline

Do you ever find yourself wanting to complain about things gone awry? Doesn’t it feel so much easier to have a ‘bitch session’ focused on venting? I believe we’ve all been there, those moments where we need to ‘get it out’!

Emotional expression is healthy; it’s best to air the negativity instead of keeping it bottled up. However, it’s important to remain aware so that the complaining, whining, and venting doesn’t start to become who you are. When you find yourself complaining more than talking, venting more than appreciating, then you probably fell into the negativity trap.

How can you get out of the negativity trap?

Two things you can do – 1) just start to be appreciative for what you have right now. I know that it’s commonly said we should show appreciation, but I’ve never challenged myself to actively do anything about it.

So this morning that is what I did. I decided to create a list of things I am thankful for and things I am asking God for (waiting on/aspiring to). I have to admit that the right side of waiting/aspiring was quite long! However, what was even more surprising was the left side of the page. Can you believe that my list of thankful items was longer? Not only was it longer, it was two times longer than my waiting/desires list. It felt really good to be able to find reasons to smile, reasons for joy, opportunities for thanks.

The second thing you can do – 2) be encouraged in the fact that those very same things that are distressing have the potential to be used for your future gain. How do I know this? Well check out this verse from Hebrews 12:11 (No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it).

And if you need more motivation, take a look at a few quotes about discipline:

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” – Jim Rohn

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind” – Buddha

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through” – Zig Ziglar

Get out of the negativity trap! Endure! Persevere! You CAN DO IT! You WILL make it, if you keep going!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

How to WIN: Tired, Weary, & Faint of Heart

Don’t grow weary and lose heart

Have you ever started a new venture? And thought aaugh! I’m in over my head! Well that’s me lately… Wondering what do I need to know? Who do I need to know? Where do I begin? Why do I feel so far behind? Questions, questions, questions.

The new venture is my journey to write and now to publish my book. It can be a lonely and daunting process, so much so that a gazillion times I’ve contemplated GIVING UP!

And to add salt to the open wound, the process requires you to expose yourself to judgment and critique from agents, publishers, and other writers. It’s enough to make your head spin…

While staring at the to-do list that seemed to stretch to infinity, I found myself feeling overwhelmed and overstressed. I decided to reach out to a good friend who reminded me “Donna if this is your purpose, trust that.” His comment took me somewhat aback. What did he mean by stating that I needed to trust? This wasn’t about trust… This was about manuscript submissions, snippy agents, and nonresponsive publishers. I sat baffled for a few minutes and then the realization came crashing down like a bolt of lighting. I was trying to work overtime to make things happen, forgetting for a second, that since God placed me on this path – God would be the one to make it happen! And that’s when I remembered a bible verse my pastor repetitively recites: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe we are accountable for our actions and we need to make decisions that move us towards a goal. However, I also know that at the end of the day life often happens in a serendipitous way. We can’t line everything up, sometimes it just happens and we have to allow it to do just that.

So now, I will remind myself from time to time, to step back, take a deep breath, treasure the present moment, and trust that the life promised to me shall unfold in time.

For a moment I started to grow weary and lose heart. I allowed doubt and discouragement to slip in. But I’m back on track. The spoils go to those who persevere. I look forward to the finish line, but will also allow myself to enjoy the race!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

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