Returning Home for the Holidays

This evening I went to see a musical written by Mark E. Swinton, a producer for the Tyler Perry Studios. The setting: a fictitious mountain town by the name of Perryville. The story: a remake of the parable, known as the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15:11-32. And the message: Forgiveness…

The cast was compelling, the singing was moving, and I enjoyed the theatrics of it all. But something shifted inside of me on the drive home. As I steered myself north, in the direction of home, my thoughts skimmed over a few things I was desiring this holiday season, and settled on reflecting over the MANY things I have been through just to arrive at this holiday season…

It was in that moment of replaying my life, of reflecting on the hardships, and reviewing the tape of some of the struggles that I had the epiphany:

I AM THE PRODIGAL SON

Cue the tears… Yes tears fell as I thought about the fact that Over fifteen years ago, I walked away from God – took my lot and decided to move far away from all that was familiar and all that was safe. The same as what is told in the biblical story. But perhaps the most amazing part is that the same way the bible speaks of the Prodigal son being welcomed back home with OPEN ARMS; God has provided me with the same fanfare… And I am thankful! So thankful to be back within the fold – back under the covering of the one who can save, protect, and love us all.

I share this story hoping that when you hear the word forgiveness, you think about not only forgiving others but also forgiving yourself of bad decisions, poor choices, and “stupid” mistakes!

God loves you, and God forgives you, and God is WAITING to welcome you home.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from Me and Mine to You and Yours!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

 

“It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself” – Actress Patty Duke

 

“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on” – Motivational Speaker Les Brown

 

Dancing (Moving) to clear my mind – Getting Refocused…

I was single and that was not were I desired to be… an apparent disconnect between my wishes and reality existed. It was so apparent that I was awakened from my sleep with a sense of unrest! It was 2am and I was no longer in the oblivion of REM, which meant I had to face the truth. I was lonely…

The weight of loneliness began to get heavy and the disheartening bordered on unbearable. But then I had a thought! What if I started using all of the things I’ve learned about happiness? Now that would be something novel – to use the information I’ve amassed! So that’s what I set out to do. I combed my brain for remnants of something that could help me in this moment of despair. And that’s when I bumped head first into the idea –

WHY NOT FOCUS on where you are HEADED instead of where you are RIGHT NOW?

Eureka I think she’s got it!

The more I turned the thought over in my mind, the more I realized that it was indeed the answer. And keeping with the nickname given to me by my father (The Scientist), at 2am I went on a search to find evidence for my proposed hypothesis. Here’s what I discovered:

Elizabeth Gilbert – “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings” – from the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ – read August 2008

Tracey McMillan – “you really do have to believe something before you can see it” – from the book ‘Why You’re Not Married yet?’ – read June 2014

Michael Singer – “learn to stop resisting reality, and what used to look like stressful problems will begin to look like the stepping-stones of your spiritual journey” from the book ‘The Untethered Soul’ – read November 2014

Ralph Carson – “See yourself getting better each day and use your mind to visualize where you want to be and how things will be when you get there” from the book ‘The Brain Fix’– read July 2015

Cindy Trimm – “Focus[ing] on the problem [prohibits you] from seeing the solution” from the book ‘Command Your Morning’ – read July 2015

After 1 hour I decided to stop, though I could have continued… The evidence seemed to be clear: what we think, see, and believe becomes what is. So I refuse to allow my current state to dictate what is to come. I will dance in advance, for I claim the victory as mine! 1768189e7a921e8ba2b9be1fb61ceb3c

My hope is that you too will find the courage to start dancing DURING your situation. See yourself successful, think about your next step, believe you’re going to WIN, and by God’s might it shall be.

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?

lettinggoquote

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

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

Are you Alone or Lonely?

ALONE but not lonely

It seems that the fear of being alone is something that starts at a very young and continues well into adulthood. We perceive loneliness as a punishment, so it’s used on children (in the form of time out), and it’s even used with adults (in the form of solitary confinement within the prison system).

So why are we so afraid of being alone? Where is the fear coming from?

Maybe it’s the realization that when we’re alone we are stuck with and have to actually face our own thoughts, our own fears, our own SELF.

So we’re afraid of being alone, but IMAGINE the FREEDOM that is possible if the fear could be conquered.

Well that’s the space in life where I now find myself… I can be all by myself, without feeling lonely. Alone but not lonely! And I must say, it’s a pretty awesome feeling.

The realization of being alone but not lonely hit me when I was unexpectedly granted a Saturday to do absolutely NOTHING! I was scheduled to work, but the client needed to reschedule, so that left me adrift. My 13 year old was with his dad, I had no dates on tap, and so I pondered for a bit how exactly would I spend this day.

As I contemplated a few options, I settled on changing into my favorite pair of lounging pants and curling up in my bed with a favorite book, my laptop, a writing pad, and a pen. The hours melted away as I alternated between writing, journaling, and catching up on a few favorite shows, saved on my DVR. Before I knew it, the sun was starting to set and the day was nearing a close. As I stopped to reflect on the day, that’s when it struck me that I was alone but not lonely.

So how did I stumble upon this place of peace, you wonder? It seems that the secret to feeling wonderfully happy, even when you’re alone, is to be able to feel a sense of inner fulfillment. Getting to the place of fulfillment is so important that I will discuss it in a future post. But for now, just remember that there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.

Theologian Paul Tillich expressed it best when he said: “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone”

My wish for you is that you find some time of aloneness, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. And may that time refuel you to accomplish all of the tasks and responsibilities that bombard you.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

P.S. reply to this post by sharing how you spend your “alone” time.

I’m Annoyed! Accepting my flaws…

I’m annoyed…

He rattled off a play-by-play of the activities taking place, as he drove in the car. I held the phone to my ear and listened for a bit, until I couldn’t take it anymore. “I don’t care to hear about what’s taking place on the roads”, I impatiently snapped. He simply replied “okay”, and I excused myself off of the phone.

That very short and simple exchange had me wondering is something wrong with him for his topic choice? Or is something wrong with me that I was experiencing annoyance? I wasn’t sure of the answer, but it did cause me to stop and think.

Throughout my life I’ve had a tendency to be easily annoyed. And the immediate and typical conclusion that I come to is to avoid the source of my annoyance. However, in the spirit of seeking to grow and learn, I challenged myself to dig deeper in order to better understand my annoyance.

“Hmm, I wondered, is it that I don’t like this guy?” But then I stumbled across this quote by Swiss author Alain de Botton: “You have to be quite heavily invested in someone to do them the honour of telling them you’re annoyed with them”. As I read that quote I couldn’t help but to burst out into laughter. Ha! So I guess lack of interest was not the impetus for my annoyance.

I then decided to peruse some of my old reading materials and I found these two very important points:

The minute you start to close and defend yourself, get back up” – author Michael Singer

“Try to stay open to learning, not judging yourself for the things you do” – authors Erika Chopich and Margaret Paul

These quotes both echoed the point that it is important for the heart to remain open. So instead of running from my annoyance (prior way for handling things), I was on the right track by seeking to understand it (current way of handling things). The moral of this story is that we each have a choice, everyday, to learn something new about ourselves. We can grow and welcome new life into our atmosphere, as long as we stay courageous to remain open.

As for my feelings of annoyance, each day I am learning to make peace and accept myself, just as I am – flaws and all…

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

Have I met the One?

I met someone and he has captured my attention. However, the cynical side within queried: “how do you know he’s truly worthy of a second glance?” I wasn’t sure how to answer my probing mind. I then wondered how does anyone know when he or she has met the one?

The one… isn’t that what women and men alike, are seeking during the journey to find love? Isn’t that why we subject ourselves to the craziness of dating, because we hope in the possibility of meeting that individual we have been seeking?

I tossed these thoughts around in my mind for sometime, never really finding a true answer. The lack of resolution was starting to get to me, and from that frustrated place I replayed some of my former breakups and wondered do I even want to be in love. Doesn’t love hurt? What would be so different about love this go-round? But then it hit me, even with no answer to all of my musings, I realized there is one thing I am quite certain of now. I am in love with a God who never fails, and that love is guaranteed!

And as if to confirm that my thinking was on the right track, later that day I went to church and heard the choir sing: “my hands are lifted up, my heart is ready to receive a blessing from you”.

An open heart… an open heart… everything around me was the resonating with the importance of having a heart that is receptive, unlocked, and willing to be vulnerable.

Tears of amazement streamed down my face as I realized and accepted that I was finally in a life space where I am ready to love. The past heartbreaks and disappointments would no longer cloud my horizon because the light of God was now resting with me. I had received and accepted the love of God, which now made me accessible to welcoming a loving relationship.

The verdict is still out about the new guy. Time shall reveal his merit, and his ultimate purpose in my life. However, in the meantime I find comfort in knowing that it is God that I put my trust in, God who reveals all things, and God who will answer the prayers of those that believe, persevere, and praise him.

Will you find the courage to let go of past hurts?

Will you open your heart to love?

For it is only with an open heart that you can walk into all of the remarkable blessings waiting just for YOU.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna