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

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 🙂

Are you living the life YOU imagined?

Many hours of a child’s day is spent daydreaming, wishing, and hoping. To a child, the world is a playground and all experiences are seen as an opportunity for adventure. They conquer, discover, and invent, even if only within their minds. No mountain is too tall, and no task is too big for the power of a child’s imagination.

However, then life steps in – in the form of an adult suggesting that a particular task is impossible and/or was completed incorrectly. Or life may intrude in the shape of a peer who jeers and teases that child into questioning them self. Perhaps, it’s just the child comparing their performance to that of a sibling. No matter, where, when, or how – at some point the child will face criticism and that criticism may call them to question all that they dreamed and imagined.

One hopes that the child is able to rebound and still continue to pursue the things that they visualized. But such is not always the case. Many children give up, discard, and abandon the very thoughts that brought them hope and joy.

How do I know that this has taken place with some children? Well, because there are so many of you, who walk around no longer living life to manifest your dreams. Instead, you live life on autopilot. Doing the same routines, not because it fulfills you and not because it infuses positive energy to those around you – but just because it’s the same way you’ve always done things.

For this New Year, of 2015, I hope you find a way to tap into that child within you. Within you there is still a child who is filled with passion, and believes in all of your dreams. There’s still a child who isn’t afraid to try; even if it means you fail and have to start all over. There’s still a child who finds joy in the discovery of something new and the unexpected. Harness the power of that child within so that this year you finally get to start the new project you’ve always wanted to do, try that new hobby you’ve been meaning to get to, or even go on that desired trip. Whatever it is, take some time this year to get in touch with the ‘you’ that is within you.

If you take the time to go within and rediscover your buried dreams, what you’ll awaken is a bounty of motivation and energy that will better your life and those around you!

Recently, I was walking past a local Barnes & Noble. I noticed in the window, a sign that read “go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Life the life you’ve imagined”.

What will you do in 2015 to make your dreams a reality? How will you begin living the live you’re imagined?

Do and Persist in 2015

Ugh, was the feeling I had as I rolled over, in bed. Limbs still somewhat sore from the previous evening’s dance class, and the brain still not fully awake – I was struggling to get up and moving. What was sort of funny about this morning’s fight was that as soon as I got out of the bed, I could hear my 12 year old across the hall going through a similar battle! I called his name several times, but it was to no avail, he was not ready to be awakened. However we had 45 minutes to get to his morning basketball practice, he had to wake up now! I called his name for the sixth time. He groaned in response and said “I’m not going to practice today”. Initially I paused, but then I responded with “get up, you’re going!” He dragged his lazy bones out of bed and proceeded with his morning routine.

On the drive to practice I explained to him the method behind what he perceived to be my madness. “Get up, you’re going was said in order to teach you the importance of persistence”, I explained. We then had a discussion about the value of doing things, even when you’re tired, discouraged, or frustrated. We spoke about the difference between the successful and those who aren’t. The successful continue to do despite how they feel!

And as if to confirm the legitimacy of my stance, later that day my sister sent me her morning devotional, from mydailybible.org, which read “for whatever was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”.

So my question to YOU is what are you willing to endure on your path to success? Will you continue to pursue your dreams even when you DON’T FEEL like it? If you do, keep going no matter what, I bet on the other side of that journey will be your happy story ending.

Take a look at this quote from American Essayist Og Mandino:

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams”.

It’s the New Year (2015)… I hope you decide to begin doing and persisting… and WHEN you do – come back and share your triumphs, with me!

Forecast for 2015 – Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Confirmation is all around you!

That is the sentiment that came to mind when I opened my Christmas gift from my cousin/sister-friend. Her purchase was a silver charm bracelet that included 4 charms: a green gemstone, a 1st place ribbon, a star, and a tortoise.

I immediately loved the present because it was simple and classy, but upon further reflection I realized the weight attached to this dainty surprise. It wasn’t a simple bracelet with trinkets. No this wrist ornament was confirmation of the journey I have been on. It was proof that I was on the right track and just needed to keep trudging along. As if to place an exclamation to this point, the card that the bracelet was attached to reads:

Determined ~ Slow and steady wins the race

How timely of a message, as I get ready to close out 2014, in anticipation of 2015 and all of its expected blessings. I forecast that 2015 is going to be a great year, one of abundance. However, I don’t intend for the bounty to just fall into my lap. On the contrary, I am determined to be steadfast and persistently consistent in manifesting all of my dreams!

Although I was already on the course, it’s nice to receive a surprise reminder that the race is not won by strength or speed, but by endurance and an unwavering faith – that the impossibilities are all possible, in due time.

So I shall continue to run my race knowing that I have found my stride and I am in my season, so I shall reap my due harvest!

As we approach the New Year, it is commonplace for people to choose New Year’s Resolutions. I, however, tend not to set resolutions. I figure, why wait for the New Year.

  • Why not choose to live a life where you become determined to go after all that you desire and aspire to do and be?
  • Why not wake up every day being firm in your convictions to make your fantasies, a reality?

Have you ever wondered, to yourself, what is stopping you from living out your dreams?

I hope you decide to name the obstacle and then jump over it, get around it, or go through it – but whatever you do – keep going! Remember, slow and steady wins the race!

And when we look back at this post, at some later date in the future, we can be glad that we decided to get started AND that we kept moving!

To you and yours… I wish you a happy holiday season and a DREAM Changing NEW YEAR!

Happy 2015!

“Persist with a heart full of gratefulness for what you’ve overcome (past) and what you have yet to accomplish (future)!” From Dr. Donna 🙂

I’m Not Crazy….Why Should I See a Therapist?

There is a common misconception that to darken a psychologist’s door means to admit one’s own “craziness.” However, what would seem more “insane” is to live a life with feelings of dread, incompleteness, or lack of fulfillment. Eleanor Roosevelt stated that “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” Her words so eloquently highlight that life is intended to be lived without the shadow of fear. Yet so many of us are clouded by fear… fear of what others think about us, our work, and our families. Fear about being significant and relevant on the job. Even fear about the existential question of “who am I?” Although fears are a common fact of life, particularly when we are going through various life changes, sometimes the weight of fear can leave us feeling paralyzed, unmotivated, and guilt ridden. What is one to do with this fear? The first step is to acknowledge the fear and then to accept the fact that you need not be alone as you question this journey called life. The feeling of aloneness can be alleviated through the support and guidance of a well-trained, empathetic, and encouraging therapist. Therapy is a great solution for finding an environment that will empower you to conquer your fears and face the life questions that may have only recently begun to plague you or even those that seem to have been present for some time. There is much work that can be accomplished within the therapist’s office. However, one of the greatest intangible gifts inherent to the therapy process is insight. Insight is the heightened awareness of self, as well as a greater understanding of a particular struggle/issue. Provided with the clinical know-how of an effective therapist, you can expect to experience a renewed sense of hope and exhilaration, thereby freeing you from fear and any other stumbling blocks that may be limiting your full potential. Find the courage to live your life fully. Be inspired to live out your life’s purpose. Sometimes all that is needed is to take that first step, as it is often the hardest one!

New Beginnings

Have you ever sat on the fringes of a breakthrough? In nervous anticipation of the next step that was on the horizon… Well that is where I am… right now, in this very moment. Looking ahead at a transformation that is sure to come… There is so much in the works, that I’m not even sure where to begin.

1) my memoir that is in progress

2) a budding new relationship

3) a newly born private practice

4) my improved physical health and physique

5) my head full of hair (this was not always the case!)

6) several new part-time contracting opportunities

No matter which aspect of my life that I focus on right now – I see new growth EVERYWHERE! It’s amazing, because I once obsessed over the fact that I desired to be a biological mother, by now… However, though I have not yet had a child, new life is cropping up all around me and that feels wonderful. New life in my career, New life in my relationships, and even New life on my head!

“So I decided to take a moment to appreciate the new life that is taking place all around me. To acknowledge the newness that stands before me. And to be thankful for new beginnings” Dr. Donna

 Although newness is refreshing and desired, it can also be scary because there is so much uncertainty. I believe the fear of the unknown is what keeps so many of us stuck. We are afraid to do a new thing. So we allow the familiar to bring us comfort, even when that familiarity means living a life that is lacking, wanting, and limited.

I finally arrived to a place in my life, where I decided to no longer allow fear to be the determining factor. I have made peace with the unfamiliar, trusting that with it comes the beauty of chance, potential, and newfound possibilities.

So you may wonder what has helped me to gain the courage to step out – to open myself up to new things… There have been many steps I’ve taken over the last few years to arrive at this place. However, the 3 most important things that I did, I will describe using the acronym NEW:

N Never give up – never quit. Being persistent and steadfast was indeed a very crucial part of helping me to shed all of the old dead weight so that I could move into this new phase of life. Never accept never… In other words, even when you hear a no – keep going until you get a yes!

E Energize – finding things to renew my energy and my strength was a pivotal piece. My hobbies, my talents, and my faith in God each have helped to restore me when my energy was depleted.

W Wish and Wait without Worry – This last one was the hardest of them all for me… Getting to a place where I continued to wish (have hope) and wait (have patience) for the things I desired without feeling angst and worry that things had not happened yet, was indeed Tough! However, I have learned that finding that place of peace within is an important step in getting one’s heart’s desires.

So I sit here typing my first blog post and reflecting at all of the other new beginnings in my life. It feels great to be at the starting point of this new phase in my life journey.