Finding Me…

I was looking through my website and came across these random, (not) posted thoughts:

my similarities to the sun

  • sometimes overshadowed by clouds
  • occasionally eclipsed by the moon
  • but always living to rise to a new dawn

I started this list – Three years ago… wow… that would have been 2014.

Some things are the same about me and my every day existence – yet I feel different! Probably because the lens that I view life through, has changed.

Even though on the outside everything looks status quo, I can feel what would be missed by the naked eye and random observer.

No longer do I feel like I’m wandering aimless and purposeless.

No longer do I feel in the shadows, eclipsed, or overlooked.

I have found my voice. I have found my stride. And I’m excited for what the future holds!

It is a new dawn indeed! But this reality is better than I ever could have imagined! Because before I was waiting to acquire things or a certain status to feel peaceful, happy, and whole. But lo and behold, I have arrived to my happy place – and it didn’t happen because of a material possession, relationship status, or career promotion.

It’s comforting to know that this secure place is nestled inside of me – forever mine!

It all began with a Thought…

Have you ever took a moment to think about how cool you are? And not in a cocky, obnoxious way – but in a serious deep reflection about the unique things that make YOU – YOU…

Well I had that moment this morning!

As I sat in a swinging chair (my favorite type of chair by the way), on a porch of a landmarked Victorian home, in the sleepy suburban area of Frederick Maryland (just south of the Mason Dixon line and founded in 1745), I thought about how cool it was that I manifested this moment… I brought it into being with a simple thought that I backed up with some action (to actually make it here physically).

I’ve always been a go-getter / a risk taker – so this mini vacation to stay at this B&B was definitely something I have a track record for doing. But I’ve never really stopped to appreciate that part of me… the side of me that sees what she wants and then does it!

So here I am, sitting on my swing & giving myself a pat on the back. Kudos to me! Another wonderful life memory to cherish. Another story I’ll be able to one day share with my children’s children 🙂

When I turned 30, I began to somewhat entertain the idea of becoming a mom. Then at 35, I was first resentful and then saddened that pregnancy was not something that I just fell into or stumbled upon. For some of my friends, many of my friends, motherhood came easy for them… Alas, that was not my story and it made me sad – really sad! But now… after 12 long years, I look back on my journey with feelings of gratitude. Go figure! Because in those years (since age 30) there is so much that I’ve accomplished and experienced that was just for me – ALL ME! And now, I’m truly ready to share the lessons, the wisdom, and the love with someone else.

I hear my future child calling me – and I am ready 🙂  But in this moment, for now, I just sit, swing, and appreciate all that I am – right now.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

 

 

 

When you look up the phrase hopeless romantic… I bet you find my picture! I am one of those naive for love types! I love happy endings, believe in “magic”, and I’m always rooting for love. So you can imagine why being without my soulmate, for years, has been wreaking havoc on my psyche!

However, I recently had a moment of clarity that led to me making a decision that was sort of a jolt to my system:

I am going to remain single for 2017

Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought this would be the route for me, yet here I am.

This thought process was probably brewing for some time, but I believe my recent 42nd birthday was the proverbial icing on the cake. I am 42 and have never ever been single for an entire year.

Since I began dating at the age of 16, I have never truly been single… 26 years of spending time with numerous iterations of “mr wrong” has taken it’s toll! So I’ve decided to step back, be a bit selfish, and take this time to just spend it on… ME!

Now don’t get me wrong, I still know that one day I shall marry again. And I also know that our relationship shall be amazing (how do I know, well because I’m preparing for him – but that’s a different blog post, for another day).

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A preview of my preparation for my future marriage… here are 2 books that I’m currently reading.

 

But for right now, in this brief snapshot of time, I am going to take a little time to focus on Donna…

Feels good to love myself!

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

 

 

 

Father Boyle, Anxiety, & Healing Wounds

I sat listening intently as Father Greg Boyle provided his keynote luncheon speech to a captive audience. As he spoke, I jotted notes wanting to capture the nuggets of wisdom woven throughout his humorous and candid talk. However, in the midst of writing down pointers, I began to focus more on his delivery and energy. I took note of tone, pitch, inflection of speech, as well as the spacing of jokes that peppered his lecture. There I was the eager student hanging on to the words of the sage teacher. Absorbing all I could because I have already envisioned the day when I would be the invited keynote speaker…

Yes, that’s my vision and where I am directing my efforts and energies, to be a well-renowned motivational speaker. Though my dream is a tall order, I have lived a life that has taught me that:

It is the impossible that is quite possible!

So I continue to reach for the stars… And for those moments where I begin to doubt myself, I just reflect on how far I’ve already come.

I reflect back on the Donna of my yester-years. Seemingly outspoken and high achieving, yet on the inside I was a worrier, a loner, and a seeker of avoiding any and all the things that drew attention to myself. Any one who knew me when, can attest that I was notorious for burying my head in a book!

Yet, fast forward 25 years, and now I stand before others, providing them with the tools necessary to bring children out of their shell – kids locked inside of themselves, just like I was…

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Father Boyle shared various points that I shall cherish. However, the statement that resonated with me most:

We must heal wounds to heal the wounded

I can attest to that… it was through the process of unleashing my own voice, of learning to get comfortable of being front-and-center, that I can now share that wisdom with others…

We must heal wounds to heal the wounded

I challenge you to pursue your own self-growth. Where are your shortcomings? What’s your Achilles heel? Identify it, accept it, and allow the healing process to happen, for when you do not only will it help you; it will equip you to help others!

As we cherish this time of the holidays where we focus on giving, let’s give to others the greatest gifts possible: the gift of acceptance, the gift of understanding, the gift of hope, and the gift of love.

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Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

I am a Gardener: a planter of greenery, life, and dreams.

I arose this morning to a blue, cloudless sky. There was a gentle breeze and birds chirping, as the sun kissed my cheeks. Today was Arbor Day, a day of nurturance and promoting the GROWTH of our beloved Earth. This was the first Arbor Day that I decided to take an active part. I participated in a garden project with my beloved sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.

Our task for the day was to rake mulch and plant flowers. There I was crouched down, and as I held the soil I felt a sense of PEACE. It felt good to get back to basics and travel back to a simpler time in life when I could just play in the dirt. We each took to our individual activities and when two hours rolled around the project was done. I stepped back to assess what had transpired and was amazed to see that our final product had beautified the area. We were finished. As I walked to my car, I marveled at the awesome morning I had experienced. And it was in that moment I stopped to take stock of things. I felt a sense of pride because I finally created for myself an existence that included taking time to PLANT LIFE.

However, these plants meant more to me than their physical ability to beautify the area. These plants were actually an indication of faith. You may wonder FAITH? How could a simple act of planting, demonstrate faith? Well, because you put the green leaves in the ground expecting them to grow, trusting them to thrive into something bigger and stronger than their humble beginnings. If we can do that with leaves, why can’t we do the same with our own lives?

As I drove home the song Help Me Believe by Kirk Franklin came on the radio. I reflected on those lyrics and thought about how they coincided with my morning’s planting. Kirk sings:

I wanna believe

But I’m having a hard time seeing past what I see right now

His words reminded me that some times when things haven’t YET happened, it’s easy to give up and turn back! It seems so simple to give up on your dreams and walk away from your heart’s desires!

But, just as planting involves faith, having the determination to continue pursuing one’s dreams will also require faith! And that’s exactly what I plan to do, going after EACH and EVERY dream! Will you join me?

Let’s plant in faith and watch a beautiful future, unfold.

Life According to Me,

Dr. Donna

www.donnadoctora.com

Twitter: donnadoctora6

I challenge YOU. Are you up for the challenge?

As an 80’s child I recall being inundated with slogans like RIF: reading is fundamental and Knowledge is Power. I reflect on these phrases now because they remind me about the liberating power of reading.

You may wonder what has me in this contemplative mode about reading…

I sit here, traveling, and working my way through the first few chapters of a book called the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Thus far, the book is exploring the notion of “awakening one’s consciousness” to the realization that we are not our thoughts – just as we are not defined by, objects that are outside of ourselves. It is a very interesting point and it definitely serves as confirmation for the process of self-discovery that I decided to begin several years ago.

As I read and took notes in the margins, a thought popped into my head… it was my mother who purchased my copy of the Untethered Soul and it was that same woman who nurtured my initial love for reading. It seems my mother, from the start, was an unconscious or intuitive supporter of my emotional and spiritual growth!

During my preschool years, I recall her reading to me and then listening to me as I read books such as Goose Goofs Off and Little Miss Bossy. These two books tickled me to death, as a young girl, because the characters reflected what I had come to understand about the Donna that I was at that time: a procrastinator, who was DEMANDING. LOL!

However, gone are the days of books about demanding-ness and procrastination. Nowadays my mother is buying me books such as Why You’re Not Married Yet and the Untethered Soul.

Thank goodness my mother’s book selections have expanded – I guess to fit the ‘me’ that I have grown into. Isn’t it interesting how life, and our experience of it, will often be a reflection of what is occurring within! As if life is merely just a mirror image of our inner world. So if you want your external environment to change, I guess you should begin by changing your internal world.

We are often told to work on ourselves, but that work is often the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do! Isn’t it so much easier to complain, or to whine, or even to blame others? It is… but that route only leads to heartache, headache, and misery! We can’t change others and often (most times) we can’t change the things happening around us. So what can we change? Ultimately, the answer returns to the idea that the only thing we are ever in control of is OUR SELF.

I challenge YOU to go within… examine your heart, challenge your mind, change your thoughts, acknowledge your feelings – and watch your reality transform and expand! You may even surprise yourself and find that in the process of changing yourself – everything around you mirrors what you’ve always desired… You could wake up one day and find that you landed yourself in a place called peace and happiness.

Find the Love Balance… A Continual process…

There’s the old adage that relationships take work… but why is that? Does it have anything to do with the fact that we were warned by our mothers, as the Shirelles sang in 1961: Mama Said There’d Be Days Like This? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQlImg2bm28

Maybe… But there has to be another reason…

I recently came across a picture of stick figures working to find the love balance. There they were – putting their little red hearts on the balance beams, until they were finally able to reach the point where each individual was equally invested. That picture illustrated several important relationship points:

1) Achieving balance will require the efforts and investment of BOTH parties

2) Imbalance will be inevitable, until balance is achieved

3) The process of finding balance is evolutionary – it is not a static/fixed point, which means it can and will change.

Although point #1 seemed like a no-brainer to me… I must admit, #2 and #3 did cause me to pause. Let me explain.

Point #2 points out that imbalance is a natural part of achieving balance within a relationship. So why did I find that so unsettling? After reflecting, I realized that I was hoping, in some naive way, that “the right relationship” would mean that I could avoid any and ALL uncomfortable feelings! However, not only is that impossible, I also now realize that way of existing would be limiting.

As Michael Singer explains in the Untethered Soul,

“don’t think you’d be free if you didn’t have [negative] kinds of feelings. If you can be free even though you’re having these kinds of feelings, then you’re really free – because there will always be something”.

So moral of the story, it’s important to get cozy with the idea that there will be imbalance and discomfort in a relationship. That’s okay. If both people are invested, you will work through and get to the place of balance.

Now on to point #3. That one was unsettling because it raised the idea that after putting in the hard work to achieve the balance earned in point #2, there would be moments where the whole process would have to be started all over again! Yikes! Which then leads back to my opening line about relationships requiring work.

Yes… the process of sustaining balance is a continuous one – just as the process of understanding oneself is a never-ending one. We will always need to make the conscious decision to love — love for others, love for ourselves. Each moment, of life, will beg the question of will you take the risk to be aware and learn or will you retreat into old habits and patterns?

Although I initially felt somewhat intimidated by the uncertainty involved in finding and keeping the balance in love, I now find comfort in the fact that I always have the power to choose. It is this ability of choice that leaves me feeling empowered, strengthened, and encouraged to love each and every day. And that I believe is what they call finding the balance…