A Woman's Voice

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ Believe In Yourself ~ August 13, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

This is a very profound quote.  If I can leave anything with you today, I would like to give you the gift of believing in yourself. It won’t happen in one day, but maybe it will be the first seed that when nurtured, will bloom into a very fruitful tree. So many of us look for validation outside of ourselves to identify who we are by how others react to us.  We may look to others for approval instead of being our authentic self.  It is necessary to find that validation from within in order to have a true belief in ourselves.

If we rely on others to form this belief, we may lose sight of all that we hope to be because we have compromised facets of our own personality and character so that we will be loved and accepted. This is conditional love. It takes real courage and true grit to be different and stand up for our beliefs. We can only find this courage when we have the strength and determination to validate who we are from the inner stirrings of our Maker.

These stirrings may begin by a dissatisfaction or lack of contentment in our lives that just won’t leave us, but there is a reason for this. If we are always satisfied with our situation in life, there would be no room for growth or any desire to change our circumstances or anyone else’s for that matter.  Growth results in many fine attributes like self-worth, self-esteem and a desire to make a difference.  With these attributes, we learn about hope and the gift of believing in ourselves…a gift so wondrous that we can stand tall and be exactly whom we were meant to be regardless of other people’s opinion of us. Be true to these inner stirrings and you will learn how to believe in yourself. Thank you God for spurring me on.

Back by popular demand. Previously posted April 18, 2011 

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part – 4 continued) ~ August 4, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….continued from yesterday ~ part 4

The second room that I enjoy visiting on a daily basis is the room where I exercise my intellect. It is the room that I have used to better educate myself as well as challenge and develop my own intelligence. In this room, I can no longer claim ignorance is bliss. I have chosen to educate myself in such a way that I feel confident asking questions that at one time I wouldn’t have dreamed possible. Finding the courage to do so has increased my faith, not only in a loving God but in myself. Stretching ourselves mentally can come in all forms. Although I enjoy reading and playing bridge, one of the forms I especially enjoy is in puzzle form.

Over the years, I have taken great pleasure in developing my puzzle solving skills. The more I solve these puzzles the better I get at it. The better I get at it, the better I feel about myself and my own self-image. My favorite puzzles to solve are crosswords and cryptoquotes. I also now enjoy Sudoku puzzles as well. Although they all bring me pleasure, the puzzle that has enhanced my life the most is the crypto quote. This quote is encoded by mixing up all the letters of the alphabet to reflect a different letter in the quote. By figuring out which letter stands for which, you can eventually decode the quote of the puzzle. I feel that I have been doubly blessed by having both the desire and the ability to do these puzzles.

First of all, it makes me feel somewhat intelligent to be able to do them as many people I’ve discussed this with say there’s no way that they can. Secondly, and even more importantly, is the fact that most of the quotes I have saved and savored over the years are from these puzzles. Some of the wise sayings from several of the greatest thinkers that have ever lived or still live today have been found in these puzzles. I have had the double benefit of not only solving the puzzles, but I’ve personally gained from their sagacity. “Study without reflection is a waste of time; reflection without study is dangerous.”[i]

There are many ways to educate ourselves and some are a lot of fun, albeit challenging. Once again, I must stress that although I enter this room on a daily basis, I wouldn’t want to stay in it all day. I may enjoy reading, puzzle solving, or educating myself, but I have other rooms to visit. I realize that “until input (thought) is linked to a goal (purpose) there is no intelligent accomplishment.”[ii] I must use what I learn in this room to better enhance my life and the lives of those around me. This has always been my main goal, and I am still making every effort to accomplish it.

to be continued….

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 2 – continued) ~ August 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 2

In the last chapter, I wrote about the Cherokee grandfather who was explaining life to his young grandson. In Canada, we have come to call the people who were here first as First Nation people. They have asked to be referred to in this way. When we were young we always referred to them as the Indian people. Over the years, this has become a derogatory term to describe our oldest ancestors. I notice as we travel through the United States, especially through the southern states, that the First Nation people refer to themselves as Indians. We have visited many Indian Craft sales along the way and have enjoyed many facets of their culture. The signs are made by the Indian people themselves and displayed as Indian Arts and Crafts. I have a love for the Indian people as I do for all people no matter what they choose to call themselves.

The reason I have gone into this preamble is because I want to share a little story with you about an Indian philosophy that I read about many years ago. I don’t want to say that it is a Cherokee, Cree, Erie, Apache, or any other particular tribe/Indian philosophy because I don’t know which one told the story. I also don’t want to offend my Canadian First Nation people by calling it an Indian story, nor do I want to take from the American Indian who has not asked to be called otherwise. Its origin may very well be from the American Indian. “A man’s feet should be planted in his own country, but his eyes should survey the world.”[i] I would like to share this story with all those who can identify with it and appreciate that it was told by an older person in order to spread the wealth of his/her wisdom.

It has been a long time since I have read this story, and it is not one that I have kept in my night table drawer. If I don’t explain it perfectly, it is not for lack of trying. The Indian or elder in this story was describing that each of our bodies has four rooms in it. The elder goes on to say that these four rooms are spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. The spiritual room, of course, consists of our faith and our relationship with our Creator or God. The mental room is comprised of our education, our knowledge, and our desire to learn. It deals with our intelligence. The emotional room consists of the happy times, the sad ones, what brings us the greatest pleasure, what makes us angry, and any or all emotions that we could possibly feel. Not all emotions are positive; nevertheless our human nature is comprised of the full spectrum.

Last, but not least, is the physical room where we concern ourselves with our actual body and the condition that it is in. According to this wise older Indian, in order for each of us to have a healthy, well-balanced life, we must enter into each of these rooms on a daily basis. If we don’t do this, our lives will not be as peaceful and as harmonious as they can be.

Each area of our lives must be satisfied in order to find true happiness. “Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even.”[ii] It’s not to say that we won’t have hardships to face, it only means that if we are a more balanced person we will have better skills to cope with what may come our way. It has come to my attention that one of the most difficult things for us as human beings is to find that balance. As previously stated, with the stressful and busy lives that a lot of us lead, it may be hard to really find the time to follow the sage advice that is being offered. Although, I must admit, that by not at least trying to follow some of it to a small extent, it will be hard to truly enjoy life to the fullest. “There is no achievement without goals.”[iii]

to be continued….

[i] “George Santayana quotes,”
The Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/George_Santayana.

[ii] “Horace quotes,” The
Quotations Page, http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/2954.html.

[iii] “Rober J. Mckain
quotes,” Thinkexist.com. http://thinkexist.com/quotes/robert_j_mckain/.

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) July 25, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….continued from yesterday ~ conclusion

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

I have come to the conclusion that it is from this well of understanding that we find empathy and compassion for  the world around us. Our own world is a microcosm of the whole world. If we cannot find peace in this small world where we live, there will never be world peace. How can we expect such a thing if we cannot make it work on such a small-scale?

So let’s get back to looking in the mirror. If you don’t like yourself, ask yourself why. If the reason is because  of the way that you were taught, acknowledge and embrace that fact. However, there can be many reasons for not liking ourselves. Possibly we lack education and feel inadequate. We can feel inferior for a number of reasons, including a poor self-image due to body weight, shape, or size. Sometimes we don’t feel smart enough, regardless of our education. Some of us may feel that we have been born on the wrong side of the tracks, while others may feel that their skin is the wrong color or they are lesser because of their sex. Others may not be proud of their heritage or their own personal backgrounds and family history.

If a person has nagging feelings of inferiority that affect his/her quality of life, that person is the only one that can answer the questions about what is causing their own personal situation. In most instances, the remedy or solution to the problem can be the same, because in the end, the goal is to overcome the feelings of inferiority or inadequacy by developing better life coping skills. After you have done this, though, there is plenty of work to be done. This is not about blame, but more about understanding ourselves.

Remember, the better we understand ourselves and accept ourselves for what we are, the more we will understand and accept others for who they are. One very important fact to remember is that in most instances, our parents, educators, and mentors actually taught us the very things that they were taught and in much the same way. Education is a process that evolves and slowly changes with time. The key to life and what love is all about lies in accepting this. Education comes in a variety of forms. Not all education is formal, but we are constantly on the learning curve by observing, learning, and being influenced by others.

Love really is very simple. In fact, it needs no words or language at all. It can be a special feeling, look, touch, or act of charity, humility, or generosity. God lives in each and every one of us. God is perfect love. If you strive for perfect love, you will learn to see the face of God in your spouse, your children, and your fellow human. This should be our goal as humankind. If and when we do this, a lot of our problems will be solved. However, charity really does begin at home, so once again start with the face in the mirror. I encourage everyone to go have a really good look at yourself. Look right into your own eyes and into the depth of your own soul. It’s not as easy as you think!

Learn to love yourself as you are…that’s the first step.

I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading the first chapter of I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Steps to a Happier Self

If you would like to read more, please click on one of the following links to order a copy….Thanks! If you are still undecided, over the next few days, I will post the title and first paragraph of a few more chapters.  Down the road, I will also post some excerpts from my second book, “Growing Up & Liking It” ~ More Steps To A Happier Self  

Have a most enjoyable day and whether you purchase a book or not, I thank you for spending some time with me. Bright blessings to you all!

Amazon USA


Tate Publishing & Enterprises

Barnes and Noble

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ Games People Play Part III ~ June 16, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from Tuesday. It’s time to use your imagination again. Remember, you are at the stage where you feel like a “mat” on the floor.

This is just a cute, little, self-help game I played with myself as I tried to figure things out to help me overcome my own feelings of inferiority. This is when I mentally switched the letters of  the word “mat” to form the word “tam”.  These “tam” personalities may actually feel superior or above others.  They may have the tendency to “look down” on those around them in a kind of superior or what some may refer to as a snobby way.   Although, I may have felt like a “mat” personality, I knew that I never wanted to heal in such a way that I would evolve into a “tam” personality.  That would be like going from one extreme to the next or from the pan into the fire.

Both personality traits, that of feeling inferior or that of feeling superior to other people, have their drawbacks.  I realized then and there, that I didn’t want  to be either. This is when I had another good look at that simple, little, three-letter word. I decided that I could take some creative license in using it so I opted to add an apostrophe. The new word I came up with was “am’t” which you know is the abbreviation for the word “amount”.

I then made a conscious decision and a concentrated effort to try to “am’t” to something in life so that I could feel better about myself.  Although my personal goal was to overcome my feelings of inferiority which were fueling my depression, I knew that I never wanted to make others feel the same way I did.  I didn’t want to feel better at anyone else’s expense. One of my deceased dad’s favorite expressions was “two wrongs don’t make a right”. It is never right to look down on people whether on the giving end or the receiving end.

My personal goal was to also help others so that they could “am’t” to something worthwhile and  develop a better self-image too. This is a great example of when Charles Betts’ words of wisdom hold true. “When we help others heal, we ourselves are healed”.  I wanted to develop a set of tools or skills that would work not only for me but for others just like me. I also wanted to share my discoveries so that I wasn’t the only one benefiting from my experiences. This has been the purpose of my writing endeavors since the onset.

My goal today is to demonstrate what I did so that you can choose to try to incorporate some of these simple, little ideas into your daily living by utilizing your imagination. This is merely a technique that I discovered and I want to share it with you.  My daughter calls it “self-talk” and that’s exactly what it is. We need to better learn to use our own mental and emotional skills in such a way that they work for us instead of against us. Therefore, look at yourself today. What image do you have of yourself? Do you feel like a mat, or a tam or are you going to “am’t” to something? Make up your mind what you are going to be just for today. Picture it…that’s all you need to do.

Last post in this series to be continued tomorrow…

WINNER of the copy of my book,  “Growing Up & Liking It”  ~ Congratulations goes to Virginia Johnson-Hamlin.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for reading my posts and for leaving comments when you do. I want you to know that you are greatly appreciated. May God grant you His choicest blessings! 

MIRACLE MONDAY ~ Standing On Your Tiptoes ~ May 30, 2011

Only as high as I reach can I grow,

Only as far as I can seek can I go,

Only as deep as I can look can I see,

Only as much as I dream can I be.

Some things are just worth repeating…this is one of them. There comes a time in life when we must learn to reach out in order to accomplish our dreams. There may be a niggling inside us that is yet to be fulfilled. It doesn’t matter our age nor our stage of life…what matters is the desire to be all that we can be.  The sky’s the limit. It’s never to late to go for it!

“Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought, at least, you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights; that they are no walls nor fences, nor prohibited places, nor sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought…”(Robert G. Ingersoll)

FREE DRAW ~ Anyone who leaves a comment on any article from now until June 15th, gets their name put in a draw for a free copy of my book ”Growing Up & Liking It”.  The more comments that you leave the greater your chances of winning. Good Luck!

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