Archive for March, 2009

Wow, what a day!!! A conference focused on future leaders who just happen to be women. St. John’s University and Target hosted a booksigning for my new book on March 28th at the Queens, New York Campus.  St. John’s conducts a leadership program for women aimed at igniting an awareness of the leadership greatness within.

My new book, mentioned in the April 2009 edition of Essence Magazine, is designed to help women and yes girls explore and hone the personal and technical skills embodied by leaders who display greatness. In ten compelling leadership fables, I detail leadership essentials for women, and provide an array of tools to achieve the same. Come on ladies, it is time we left the backroom and graced the boardroom where we belong….

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A room full of women, all ages, all ethnicity’s, all having walked their own unique journey joined Women’s Journey, Inc., in Plantation, Florida to celebrate Women’s History Month. The program was started some eleven years ago by Dr. Ann Lewis, the author of Me, Again, a riveting book that examines the socialization of women and how it impacts our lives. I got an opportunity to speak to the women about honoring their lives, discovering their passions, and dancing to their own truths. What a joyful evening March 26th was as we celebrated the bonds of sisterhood!!

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From the Nov/Dec 2008 Issue of Truly Woman Magazine

By Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe

Countless women are grappling with the same dilemma as this reader, and far too many women still have not admitted to or dealt with emotional wounds deep within… A reader asks this question, “I am engaged to be married, and I have not shared with my fiancé that several years ago I had an abortion. I am worried he will not want to marry me or love me anymore if I tell him. As our wedding day fast approaches, I feel as though I should be honest, but I can’t seem to make myself do it for fear of how he will react. What should I do?”

While honesty, although frightening and sometimes painful, is always the best policy, you and only you can decide what is comfortable when faced with the need for personal revelation. Certainly, I suspect, your fiancé has not shared every detail of his life and past relationships with you so keep that in mind, but your apparent need to tell him about a past abortion points to a number of more compelling issues. (more…)

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From the January 2009 Issue of Truly Woman Magazine

by Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe

Exhilaration no longer dominates the air, festive lights have been put away until next year, we have toasted in the New Year, some of us have made a resolution or two, and now in our moments of solitude we are faced with a choice: do I make this the year that I earnestly manifest my goals and dreams, or do I allow yet another 52 weeks; 365 days; 8,760 hours; 3,163, 6000 seconds slip through my fingers because of a choice to cling onto the past; past hurts, past mistakes, past setbacks, past discouragements, past relationships.

The question of “how to let go of the past” is posed to me quite frequently, and as we herald in the New Year, this is a time to ponder this challenge; but moreover, this is the time to genuinely elevate your mind, and let your divine glory shine in 2009.

Although many of us promised ourselves that January 1st was a new beginning, and some of us sat in church and prayed for a new start, how many of us are sincerely willing to do the work?

Just as few of us would expect to go in the backyard and pick callaloo if we have not planted any seeds, none of us can expect to attain joy in our lives if we do not sow seeds of the same in our minds. Truly, how many of us realize that before we can move on and move up we have to find a way to cleanse our minds and hearts of negative thoughts and beliefs, and by whatever means that works for us, find spiritual healing for our wounds so that we do not spend a lifetime emotionally and spiritually crippled.

As I sat watching the movie, “Woman Thou Are Loosed,” I was overpowered by the thought provoking messages contained in this movie. In the story, at the age of 12, the main character is abused by her mother’s boyfriend and she carries that anger with her for years. This one event transformed not only her life, but also the lives of everyone involved. The mother’s unresolved issues and emotional baggage further worsened the already negative impact of the abusive event; thus, rendering the mother unable to respond to the situation effectively or appropriately. By the movie’s end, lives were totally destroyed; mental and spiritual resiliency came much too late. This movie makes one wonder just how many of us are allowing past events to hold our potential, our possibilities, our aspirations, and our attitudes hostage.

The color of every person’s world comes from his or her personal beliefs. Our beliefs are shaped by our thoughts, which are continuously impacted and formed by our experiences. The experiences each of us faces are a unique blend of moments of sheer happiness and others that require us to muster every grain of persistence and courage within our core.

While we may be able to survive in those trying times, how many of us completely heal the mental and spiritual scars caused by these situations?

How many of us are actually able to get over them, no longer allowing the memories to haunt us? I dare say that some of us remain stuck reliving these challenging times over and over again, never finding it possible to learn from the situation and move on.

Many of us spend our entire lives thinking of ourselves as victims. Far too many of us never quit looking in the rear view mirror, only to rehash a list of what ifs. Too many of us cling to unresolved hurts, we repress our anger and we walk around filled with dangerous levels of stress. Stress and anger have been linked to a host of illnesses, particularly the activation of cancer cells that sleep in our bodies waiting to respond to a host of igniting factors. Failing to completely unload our negative baggage is dangerous and unhealthy on a number of levels.

Each of us must find a way to bring closure to the past so that we can live fully and blissfully in the present. Even though people, both family and friends, hurt our feelings, sometime mistreat us, break promises or fail to meet our expectations, for your own sanity and well-being, finding a way to close those chapters is necessary. Finding a way to accept yourself and your past and still flourish in your life is a must.

Getting over it may require talking to a mental health professional. If that is what it takes, do it.

Do not let false pride keep you from seeking the help you need. If you had any other type of pain, you would not hesitate to seek relief. Getting mental and spiritual nourishment is the foundation that nurtures goodness in all areas of your life. So as much comfort as you give to others, give the same to yourself.

Getting over it may mean finally releasing your tears, having a frank talk with someone, or making positive changes in yourself. Whatever it takes, find a way to get over whatever it may be that is troubling you once and for all.

No matter what it takes, identifying mental and spiritual obstacles that are holding you back is an important step in beginning to reinvigorate your life. Left unchecked, scars from the past will only fester, and in the end can lead to even more pain than the original problem itself. Refuse to be held hostage by your past, and refuse to waste your time dwelling on it or believing that this event dictates how your future will be.

The events of our lives are meant to shape us into the person that divinely we were meant to be; our experiences are designed to prepare us for the assignments we were given the gift of life to complete.

Regardless of what you faced in your past, or what you are facing right now, you can get over it and you can go on to thrive.

We all may have moments of poignant sadness, but there are also three pivotal elements fueling our spirituality, our perceived state of being: these are thoughts, choice and habits. Everything first begins as a thought, and thoughts ultimately manifest themselves into words and deeds. All discoveries, inventions, actions, both good and bad, flow from a thought that dominates someone’s mind. Too often, for too much of each and every day, some of us suffer from “stinking thinking,” that is we dwell in the valley of negativity;
we are overwrought by deception, pessimism and hopelessness. When this occurs, this mindset begins to color our entire belief system, the way we approach life, in time how we view our potential for happiness and personal fulfillment. Until someone suffering from such a mental drought decides to replenish their “thought well,” he or she will be inclined to spend a considerable amount of time being stuck, exemplifying a negative force where they journey.

The nature of our thoughts colors the texture of our choices. One of the birth gifts we are given is the power of choice, and for some of us that is not a good thing. Some of us have allowed past failures, environmental conditioning, toxic nurturing, family dysfunctions, societal biases and low expectations to dominate the choices we make. When we allow fleeting external factors to govern our internal thermostat, the worth of our choices is compromised. Once we make a choice to focus on our passions, our heartfelt dreams, the treasure
chest of gifts and talents uniquely ours, we become divinely unstoppable.

The array of choices we make over time form to follow our habits. The habits we embrace either unlock the doorway to personal greatness or unleash the lingering demons within our spirits. Habits are those intimate friends we hold dear, those behaviors that come naturally whenever a certain situation presents itself to us. But too often we forget that a genuine friend is someone who desires and encourages the best for you, not
someone who makes you feel incompetent and inapt. The self-limiting habits that are impeding your progress, impacting your level of contentment, and bringing clouds of drama into your life indeed are not your friends.

So the choice becomes, will you allow yourself to get lifted in 2009, that is LETTING, INSPIRATION, FUEL, THOUGHTS, EARNESTLY, DAILY. Will you choose to take actions that elevate your thinking and transform your life? Will you decide to allow purpose and the creation of heartfelt goals to order your steps?

For in the end, there are four kinds of people, cop-outs, people who simply do not try; drop-outs, people who give up at the first sign of a challenge; hold- outs, people who refuse to give their all to anything; and all-outs, people who understand that purpose, passion and persistence are the keys to personal power.

Work to discover what it takes to fuel your liftoff each day. Guard and select carefully the spiritual fuel that ignites your being, for your life depends upon it. Journey to discover the U in YOU!!! Get Lifted and Let in Shine “for true” in 2009!


From the January 2009 Issue of Truly Woman Magazine

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