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

Baby AFTER 40… Do you believe?

I am 40 and still intend to have biological children. That statement often garners me incredulous looks and an inane litany of questions that go something like this:

  • You STILL want to have children?
  • Why’d you wait so long?
  • When do you plan to do this?
  • You realize time is running out?
  • Doctors say your chances are slim after 40, so how are you going to have a baby?

And on and on the list goes…

In my younger years I would let the doubts, insecurities, and disbelief of others cloud my own visions, hopes, and dreams.

However, me being as comfortable as I am in my own skin now, has allowed me to believe in every single dream within my heart… And that means I trust in me, I trust in my body, and I trust in God’s plan for my life – so I guess that’s why I have faith that I shall be a midlife mommy 🙂

The irony of this entire situation is that while outdated research studies say I should be less fertile after 35, I actually feel and look healthier than I’ve ever been. I must add in the emphasis that the research is outdated; women are having babies post age 35, at increasing rates.

If you’re interested in reading more about the outdated research take a look: http://nypost.com/2013/09/28/outdated-studies-feed-false-panic-about-older-moms-to-be/old_pregnant

I share this story about my fertility journey, hoping that it might inspire you to believe in whatever it is you desire to birth or bring forth, whether it be a baby (like me) or some other new life journey!

The moment I stopped limiting my options to what was in front of my eyes, was the exact moment that I broadened my perspective and life began to unfold before me…

So here I sit on the cusp of birthing my first book as an author! Watching my professional speaking career flourish! And being able to complete a few must-do activities like flying trapeze!!

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I’m so EXCITED and THANKFUL for this season that I am in…

I am happy – I am healthy – and I am ready for that which is to come.

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

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

Do Superheroes exist? Modern day powers: Intuition and Faith

Is seeing really believing? Or is our vision the last sense to know?

I pondered these questions after reading an article about 11 creatures that possess a SIXTH SENSE. Sea turtles measure the Earth’s magnetic field in order to locate their home, Bats use ultrasound to “view” their surroundings, and Salmon use their sense of smell to identify their stream of water. It would seem that if these creatures have superhero like powers, shouldn’t WE?

Some scientists argue that we DO have a sixth sense, often referred to as our instinct or intuition (http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Scientific-Facts-About-Intuition-Developing-Intuition). I’ve always wondered about intuition. Seems like a valid concept, as there has been moments I “felt” an occurrence before it even happened. However, one recent afternoon in particular is most memorable.

A popular blogger that I follow posted an announcement about a friend’s upcoming free webinar. I decided to participate in the talk, which was focused on fertility and conception. The information shared was interesting and it was quite relaxing to join in on the five-minute group meditation time. Although I am not a stranger to the practice of meditation, this session was strikingly different!

To begin – the webinar facilitator mentioned that while meditating “you may see a symbol. Just notice it, and then continue to focus on your breathing.” When prompted, I closed my eyes, relaxed my muscles, and focused on my breathing.

Breathe in – Breathe out

Breathe in – Breathe out

A few minutes passed and then I saw 3 symbols: a cross, an ankh, and a heart. Seeing the cross made sense because my faith is an important aspect of ME. Even the heart made sense because it represents love. But the ankh… why did I see an ankh?

After the session was complete, I decided to Google the mysterious symbol. And guess what I discovered? The ankh is an Egyptian symbol often seen in the hands of a God or Goddess and believed to represent life, conception, and immortality.

Reading the definition of the ankh blew me AWAY! There I was meditating during a conception webinar, I see a symbol that I had no prior understanding of its meaning, and I later discover that the symbol represents the very topic I was listening to!

Call it a strange coincidence or a random occurrence. But I see it as divine prophecy of the day in the future when I shall conceive a child. How can I believe this? Well, because I have faith in “things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

Which one is it? Problem, Challenge, OR Opportunity?

I woke up early this morning ready to begin my day. I stood in the mirror going through my typical routine. During this time, I usually allow my mind to wander as it may. On this day, various thoughts ran through my mind. I thought about my soon to be published children’s book, I thought about the bloated look I want to get rid of around my torso, and I even thought about the fact that I was feeling quite happy this morning. I paused to ponder that last thought a bit more. I was HAPPY… not sure why, but I was… It wasn’t because my problems miraculously disappeared and it definitely wasn’t because I somehow found a way to put aside all rumination about my difficulties.

I was happy because it that particular moment all was well. And as long as I didn’t veer into the past or too far into the future, I could feel happy.

Isn’t it funny how HAPPINESS can be achieved by staying in the PRESENT MOMENT? I once heard a speaker say: “your mind is your most powerful tool.” He also noted that the MIND is so powerful that in the bible it is stated that we worship the Lord with our mind.

And the bible isn’t the only source that discusses the mind’s strength; take a look at a few famous quotes:

  • Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Poet
  • How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most” – Stephen Covey, Author
  • The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free” Charles Swindoll, Writer

So if the mind is so powerful, why aren’t we all using our minds to its fullest potential? I believe the answer to that question points to the two infamous culprits – Fear & Doubt…

Fear will cause you to be frozen, immobilized from taking any necessary steps forward

And Doubt will cause you to question yourself so that even when you take a necessary step forward you stop in your tracks or even turn back to retreat to the familiar.

However, success, in any endeavor and towards any goal will require you to use the strength and power of your own mind to overcome fear and conquer doubt!

I leave you with these lyrics from the song Hold On by James Fortune & FIYA. I hope it encourages you on your journey –

Know that flowers bloom when rain falls

You just hold on

The tears may come, but stand to the end

Remember you CAN succeed in spite of the fear and despite the doubts!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

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