You are a potter, life is clay… What shall you make of it?

I was recently listening to Ruben Studdard’s song “I Need An Angel.” I’ve always liked that song, but on this day my attention gravitated to these words:

Take me – Shake me – Mold Me – Change Me – Teach Me – Fill Me – Save me…

Those particular lyrics echoed in my mind as I pondered what things did I want God to change in me… Hmmm… that was a tough decision because I finally feel I am on the right path. However, if you were able to pin me down about 7 years ago, I would have had a LONG laundry list of items that I wanted God to correct!

But isn’t that the beauty of life. If we don’t like the direction it is going in, we have the ultimate power to change it! No we can’t change others and no we can’t always change our immediate circumstances, be if we START with making small changes within ourselves, it Will ultimately SHIFT EVERY Thing around us!

How awesome is that! That God gave us the ability to have choice and power to create life!

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves – Rollo May, Psychologist

A man has to learn that he cannot command things, but that he can command himself; that he cannot coerce the wills of others, but that he can mold and master his own will: and things serve him who serves Truth; people seek guidance of him who is master of himself – James Allen, Writer

Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete a character – Samuel Butler, Author 

I think it’s pretty exciting to have that much freedom and influence over the life that we live. But I will admit it’s also pretty scary to have that much responsibility. To know that all of our choices: big and small, affect the state of our existence.

The first 30 years of my life I took for granted our ability to affect the life that we live. However, around age 30 I had a great realization! But I had to spend the next 10 years cleaning up the mess that I made in my 20s! Now that I’m 40, I intend to use the learned lessons to create the life I’ve always wanted… And I’m already in the process of doing just that!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

What’s going to happen? Believe…

I sat here listening to the contemporary song by Jekalyn Carr, and what caught my attention was the chorus where she repetitively sings: It’s Going to Happen.

I turned that same phrase over and over in my mind… It’s going to happen… It’s going to happen… It’s going to happen.

Some may say that it’s easy for the talented songstress to have such optimism because of her youth. And others may wonder incredulously, how could she sing that a statement with such certainty?

But I challenge you to pause for a moment and consider, how successful, how productive, and how fulfilled you would be if you wholeheartedly believed your dreams, your desires, and your purpose was a certainty!

Just imagine, with me, a life where you were lucky enough to do what feels good to your heart, and right with your soul… Now let’s go one step further…

What if I told you: That life is attainable. That life is possible. And you don’t need luck to have it!

All you have to do – right where you are, in whatever current situation you are, start to speak what positive blessings you want to come into your life. But you can’t just voice these desires as a passing thought. You have to believe it! When you believe in it, it shall come to pass…

Remember it’s going to happen – but will you have the courage and audacity to believe it?

The choice is yours…

What is the ‘it’ that you’re waiting on? Visualize it, as if it were already a reality! And then take baby steps towards manifesting that vision.

Here are three quotes to encourage you on the path of choosing to believe that your IT, is going to happen!

  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
  • “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it” – J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
  • “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Start to believe in the impossible, that which does not yet exist – for that vision is merely the beginning of wonderful adventures that await YOU!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

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

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 🙂

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!

We all struggle… Facing the “down” moments of life…

Life has so many twists and turns. Therefore, the best that you can do is to expect that the unexpected will happen.

Recently, I was in the process of moving. In the midst of the move, I knew I would need to fly out for a speaking engagement. Prior to departing for my conference, I felt pretty confident that I had secured my new home. I boarded my plane and attended my 2-day conference. It was an amazing experience and the icing on the cake was that I did my first, ever, radio interview. I was floating on a cloud, feeling invincible and untouchable. However, when I returned home I was quickly faced with a cold dose of reality.

The deal fell through and I had 7 days to find a new place, as my current lease was ending and I was scheduled to be out of town for another conference. Talk about pressure! In those first few moments after realizing the calamity I was facing, I tried to play out the worse case scenarios… Not having a home became a very scary possibility. I started to bemoan how does one go from being on top of the world to crashing and burning in ashes, in the space of a few hours! I could feel the walls start to close in, as the feelings of defeat started to overwhelm me. I cried out “God YOU HAVE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!”

Then I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that ups and downs are just a part of life. I also reflected on all of the various struggles that have come before and figured if they could pass, this one would as well.

During my dark moment, I decided to listen to Blessed & Highly Favored by the Clarke sisters. Here is the first verse from their song:

He brought me through hard trials. He brought me through tribulations.

Never let a day go by and not realize, had it not been for the Lord who was on my side.

Back was against the wall, looked out for me. He heard my cry and rescued me.

Never let a day go by and not realize, we are blessed

Don’t take it for granted that we are here today. 

Just know that you’re blessed and highly favored 

Thinking from this perspective helped me to calm down and then I could feel a wave of peace wash over me. God was going to take care of it; that one thought helped to deflate the worry that was swelling within. And, once I decided to stop worrying, I felt freed up to actually do something proactive about the situation.

So there are a couple of lessons that came from this experience:

  • Life is going to happen, that includes the good and the-not-so-good. Be ready to roll with the punches. “Take the bitter with the sweet” without personalizing the bitter. Life isn’t against you, just chalk it up to life is about the (whole) experience.
  • No matter where you are – look around and find the blessings, the things going well, as this will chase away the feelings of despair and lift your mood
  • Don’t be afraid to call out to God – the bible says ask and you shall receive and you have not because you ask not.

Use What YOU Got! Life Lessons…

Several years ago, God gave me the vision (idea) that I would author books and further my passion for dance. I didn’t realize it then, but my quest to manifest these visions would take me on a very interesting journey! I wish I could say that it has been easy trying to accomplish these goals, however, it has not been. There have been many days of questioning, self-doubt, and frustration! Yet, despite the many struggles along the way, one message has always remained crystal clear… to not use my God given talents would be a waste! Not only would it be a waste, but it also would mean keeping myself stagnant and not fulfilling my true potential.

This idea that you have to USE WHAT YOU GOT (nope that’s not grammatically correct!), is even reflected in the bible! The passage that discusses this is called the Parable of the Talents.

Recently, I have given some thought to the Parable about the Talents. If you are not already familiar with this spiritual story, let me provide a brief description. The Parable of the Talents describes three servants who were each given weights (money) based upon their abilities. The first servant took his weight and doubled it. Similarly, the second servant took his weight and double it. However, the third servant who was given the least amount of weight, decided to not only hold on to it but he buried it in the ground! I should tell you that the third servant thought he was doing a good thing because he was keeping the weight buried – safe and sound. However, in the end we learn that the first two servants are praised for their sound judgment. The last servant is admonished for his foolish thinking.

So what’s the moral of the story? What can we glean from this well-known parable?

There are a few points that I wanted to share:

  • God gives us what he knows we can handle. So if you want God to increase what you have, do something with it! Don’t hoard in fear of having less. Success requires risk (wise, calculated risk – but a risk nonetheless!) You won’t get to the next level by doing, thinking, and being the same – you have to step out in faith and try something new!
  • Each of us has multiple abilities, skills, and gifts. Our skill-set was given to us with the intention that we’d use it and share it to make this world a better place! If we don’t share those gifts, they go wasted – as if buried in the ground.
  • When it appears that “others” seem to have more than you do, remember that we ‘reap what we sow’. So if you want MORE – you have to DO MORE! Start with what you already have and build from there…
  • Even if we start this game called life in different places (1st place vs. last place), if we use our faith in God, our faith in ourselves, and the resources we have – our potential is LIMITLESS!

From Dreaming to Living the Impossible Dream (A Prayer to the Father)

This morning before rolling out of bed, to begin the day, I laid in bed and started speaking to God. My morning ritual typically begins with a word of thanks to God, but this morning the word of thanks included just a little bit more. You see I ran across a tweet by Sandi Krakowski, which stated “Ask God to put you in the right place at the right time with the right people and the right open doors! ASK ASK ASK that is the key friends!” I had no prior knowledge of Sandi Krakowski, but there she was telling me exactly what I needed when I needed it!

So back to this morning…

I thanked God for: 1) health, 2) life, 3) peace, 4) purpose… You see I no longer take any of these things for granted. I wake up each morning feeling that I am on solid footing because I am alive, I am well, I feel whole & happy (ON THE INSIDE) despite my external circumstances, and I know my life’s purpose!

After expressing thankfulness, I decided to take Sandi Krakowski’s advice; advice that I have heard previously while reading books about the Law of Attraction (e.g., Ask And It Is Given)…

So, I asked God for, 1) open doors, where they don’t yet exist, 2) open windows when doors are not there, 3) the ability to fully live out my purpose (i.e., Social Emotional Leader) to a level that even I don’t yet realize, and 4) to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people so that my desires and my purpose can be fully borne out… Now That’s a TALL ORDER!

But, I believe in a God who does the impossible… so why not shoot for the stars! And because I truly believe this – why not take the action steps to make the impossible – possible…

Initially I said to myself: I intend to live the dreams that seem impossible 🙂  After some reflection I reframed that initial thought into: I am living the dreams that seem impossible! Now that’s a kick azz mantra!