A Woman's Voice

The Human and Humane Self-Help Author ~ Dolores Ayotte



“The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honour.  If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.”  (Samuel Smiles)


My books are written in a gentle, conversational style, meant to reach my readers in a kind and non-judgmental way.

Both books, are self-help books about the steps I used to help me overcome two serious bouts with depression that I experienced in my earlier years. They are written in recipe format giving thirteen simple steps in each book that are easy to incorporate into daily living. In order to get out of the pit I found myself to be in, I had to do much soul-searching and reflection to get to the source of my depression.

My books are what I consider to be heart books.  They are written from my heart to any and all hearts that are open to my message. They are also written with the intention of reaching out to help people by sharing some of my personal experiences. Others may be able to identify with some of my stories and anecdotes.

Hopefully, my suggestions will enhance the lives of my readers in much the same way they have enhanced mine.

Through my faith,  eventual self-acceptance, and with the support of my husband, I was not only able to rise above my despair, I learned how to lead a full and rewarding life with my husband, children and now several grandchildren

My recipe for life consists of a little bit of this and a little bit of that borne from my life experiences. Usually, when I use all of the ingredients and steps…I end up with a pretty good product. Sometimes…I can still fail. It is this failure to succeed all of the time that helps remind of my humanity and the fact that I am not perfect and it’s okay.

To order “I’m Not Perfect And It’s Okay”, please click on one of the following:

Amazon USA


Barnes and Noble

To order “Growing Up & Liking It”, please click on one of the following:

Amazon USA:


Barnes & Noble:

MEMORY LANE ~ Through the Eyes of a Child ~ November 30, 2011 by Lorraine Gauthier

 My Sister’s Voice

As children, with the purest of hearts we see life with wonder.  We learn to walk by crawling, standing, and falling…so similar to life as an adult. We educate ourselves by seeing, hearing and copying those we want to be like…a parent, an older sibling, or a friend.    

We all started off as children and somewhere in us, we still have the heart of that young child. I know I still do.  As an innocent child, I usually chose to do things for the absolute right reason.  

At age two, I chose to cut off my hair to look like a boy. The reason…my dad had ‘hoped’ I was a boy  because he wanted another son after my brother and three sisters were born.  I loved him and wanted to please him. I wanted to give him what I ‘thought’ was a boy, as if cutting off my hair, would do the trick. 

Years later, we had another girl born into our family. Now there were five girls. We had a small house and had to learn how to share. We were lucky to get a new chest of drawers.  This was very exciting to me because now we could each have our own drawer for our personal belongings.  However, I was worried that we, as sisters, wouldn’t recognize our own drawer.  I decided to engrave our names on each drawer so that my sisters knew which one was theirs.  Needless to say, this was not well received.  My dad was furious.  I was punished because I had damaged the new chest of drawers. 

How many times in life, even as an adult, do we have perfectly good intentions, with the purest of hearts, yet it is received differently?  I am grateful that throughout our lives we can still have the heart of a child.   

Over the years, this child’s heart will feel both joy and pain. It truly becomes our guide to how we perceive things as an adult.  Hopefully, we can continue to see the beauty in all things like we did as an innocent child! 

Thank you Lorraine! 

Lorraine holds a B.A. with a major in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg.  She  is a member of Advocis and a Life member of Million Dollar Round Table. Lorraine lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband Barry.  She works full-time as an Advisor at Sun Life Financial.

Subscriptions to my blog are FREE.  Please click on the side bar to register. Thanks ! 


INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ Simplicity ~ October 26, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

I have learned the hard way about the negative consequences of over complicating life. I have found it is much better to live life as simply as possible in order to reduce stress and to find more pleasure in the small things that can be so easily overlooked  if our lives are too busy and complex.



“No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form.  The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.”  (John J. Morgan & Ewing T Webb.)

MEMORY LANE ~ The Persistence Of The Spirit ~ October 17, 2011 by Andrea Cockerill

A Wo-Man’s Voice   

If you have ever been around children, you know how persistent they can be when they want your attention. All of my children let me know in their own way if they feel like they are not getting their fair share. Today it was my oldest daughter who told me loud and clear that her well for my attention was running low.

After filling my daughter’s well, I started thinking about how persistent our spirit can be when we are ignoring its guidance and passions. I have on many occasions put my spirit last on the list, but I am comforted with the fact that my spirit is going nowhere. No matter how long I ignore it, it is like a patient and trusted friend, waiting for my next phone call.

Our relationship with our spirit is like any other relationship that we honor in our lives. It needs our time in order for an intimate bond to be built. It is the difference between talking to one friend every few months and talking to another friend every few days. You may cherish both friends but it is the friend whom you talk to more often that is going to know the more intimate details of your daily life. This same principle applies to our spirit. If we form an intimate relationship with our spirit, we will be better able to understand and intuitively follow its subtle guidance system.

Your spirit promises you that it will never reject you. It is persistent but patient, and its sole goal is to lead you to the Divine. Forming a relationship with your spirit needs to be a conscious decision on a daily basis, but the rewards span a life time.

Namaste (I see the Divine in you which is also in me.)

Thank you Andrea! 



Continuous effort is the key to unlocking our potential”  (Black Elk, Native American)


FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE ~ Old “Black Thumb” ~ August 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE by doloresayotte on August 24, 2011
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When I wrote my first book, I quickly stated that I was “no author” in the introduction.  Some may find this a strange comment coming from a person who was in the processing of writing a book.

At that time, my goal was to reach out to people to help prevent them from experiencing what I had been through with my bouts of serious depression.  I was simply a “greenhorn” when it came to any kind of writing, so therefore, I didn’t claim to be an author.  I merely considered myself to  be a person reaching out to help others.  I wanted to touch as many lives as possible and I didn’t know any other way except by the written word.

My gardening fame falls into much the same category.  I’m “no gardener” but I sure have been trying all my life to be one.  My husband can attest to this fact because he appears to be right there by my side.  Although, he claims he is “no gardener” himself, the two of us persist in our endeavor to be the best at maintaining our backyard so it can be as picturesque as possible. 

As the years have gone by, I know that at some point we crossed the line and can probably now call ourselves gardeners. The term, old “black thumb” that my son-in-law first teasingly called me when he observed my lack of gardening skills may no longer apply.  He has now admitted that I’m actually better at it than he initially thought me to be. The proof’s in the picture.  I now have evidence to show it.

I kind of feel the same way about my writing.  I may have started off by stating that I was “no author” but with perseverance and dogged determination, I must admit I’m becoming one.



“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance.  It overcomes almost anything, even nature.”  (John D. Rockefeller)


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 6 – conclusion) ~ August 6, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

….Conclusion ~ part 6

The last room that is necessary to visit on a regular basis is the physical room. This is the room that concentrates on the health and well-being of our bodies. I notice as the years have gone by that more and more people are concerned about this area. The concern is not only about exercise or the lack of it but also about the food we eat. We hear expressions like “You are what you eat.” There is a major concern about the quantity of food that we eat as well as the quality of it. People can find themselves leading sedentary lives. Watching television, playing computer games, and other idle activities are adding to our sometimes poor eating habits. If we work long hours or have too much responsibility apart from work, we have little or no time to address this concern. If we are not in good health or do not have the time or the opportunity to enjoy some physical activity, we pay the price in other areas as well. That’s the conundrum! It’s finding or making the time to create a well-balanced person by addressing the needs of the whole person. “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”[i]

All four of these needs, whether spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical, are equally important and must be met in order to live a more centered and satisfactory life. If a person robs himself/herself in one area, it will have a negative impact in another one. By finding and achieving a healthy sense of balance in all the areas of our lives, a healthier sense of self will unfold. According to Thomas Carlyle, “He, who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”[ii] It will then have the domino effect in our personal relationships, our family life, and our overall outlook on life. Energy begets energy whether it’s positive or negative energy. People with positive attitudes attract people with this same kind of energy. “A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.”[iii] The old saying “misery likes company” is the reverse of the above belief system. It actually can be true in a lot of instances.

Those people who are unbalanced in their life style choices emanate a lot of negative energy. They end up attracting like-minded individuals. The end result consists of existing in a negative life cycle the majority of the time. A lot of people are reluctant to admit that they actually can do something about it to turn their lives around. This is another area where we need to be very truthful and honest with ourselves. We need to evaluate and reassess our whole lifestyle many times over. We must continue to do so on a regular basis in order to develop the balance in our lives that we all not only crave but need. It may take time and several attempts to achieve this healthy balance but “our greatest glory is not failing, but in rising ever time we fall.”[iv] You may not succeed on your first attempt at entering all four rooms of your body on a daily basis, but keep trying. I promise that you will get better at it because “a will finds a way.”[v]

     Step 10 Try your best to meet all the needs of your whole being, the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. Once these needs are being met, a more positive, well-balanced life will follow. You will end up in the positive cycle of life. In the less positive cycles of life, you will have the skills to better deal with the situation. One of the first things to do is to set a few moments aside to ask yourself this question. Do you have a clear idea of what you want your lifestyle to look like? Sit down and write it out. Keep yourself accountable. Maybe even recruit a friend to do it with you!

I would like to thank each and every one of you for spending this precious time with me. I hope you have enjoyed reading “Four Rooms” as much as I did in writing it. I sincerely hope it has touched your lives in some small way. This is just a gentle reminder, I recommend that you now go back and read the chapter in its entirety in order to get the true essence and inspirational flow of my message.  If you are interested in reading more of Growing Up & Liking It ~ More Steps to a Happier Self, I have provided the links below for you to purchase a copy at your convenience. Bright blessings to you all!

Amazon USA:


Tate Publishing And Enterprises

Barnes & Noble:

Great quotes and quips :)  Blessings for success. Win this beautiful paperback by leaving a comment at my blog. The winner will be announced Monday! You have only today and tomorrow, so go for it!! http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com


[i] “Robert Louis Stevenson quotes,” BrainyQuote,

[ii] “Thomas Carlyle quotes,”
BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomascarl118220.html.

[iii] “Washington Irving
quotes,” GIGA Quotes,

[iv] “Ralph Waldo Emerson
quotes,” Quotes and Poem.com,

[v] “Orison Swett Marden
quotes,” BrainyQuote, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/o/orison_swett_marden.html.

GROWING UP AND LIKING IT ~ Four Rooms (Part 5 – continued) ~ August 5, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday ~ part 5

The third room that I want to visit is the emotional room. I love and enjoy this room as well. It consists of the room where I laugh and where I cry, if necessary. Sometimes there is plenty to laugh about, and at other times there may be a sad event going on in my life that brings tears to my eyes. I deal with it here. This is an opportunity for me to also deal with all my other emotions. This is where I can admit that someone has made me angry or has upset me. I can also look at myself and admit that perhaps I have offended someone else, and I may need to say I’m sorry. In this room, I have discovered that there is a whole spectrum of emotions, which range from the very positive to the very negative. It is here that I acknowledge the full capacity of these emotions, and I take the time to decide which ones I will use to handle any situation that I may be facing.

Each of these rooms offers the opportunity to make different choices. In this room, I can take the advice of the Cherokee grandfather and decide which wolf I am going to feed. Remember that “you will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”[i] I can choose between love/hate, laughter/tears, faith/fear, and every other possible emotional combination in all situations. It’s okay to cry in this room if something sad is going on in my life. It is okay to know fear in this room and look for ways to overcome it.

According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it…You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”[ii] It’s okay to admit anger in this room and figure out a positive way to deal with it. It’s okay to admit that someone has offended me and how it made me feel, but I must learn how to love and not hate the person who made me feel this negative way. “We can not despair of humanity since we ourselves are human beings.”[iii]

In this room, we not only have the right to face and deal with all our emotions, we also have the obligation. We must not only do it for ourselves but for the benefit of those around us. The less we deal with the things that negatively affect our lives the more power they have over us to negatively affect others. “The truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.”[iv] We are all far better off to take the bull by the horns and face what needs to be done rather than let our past have the opportunity to affect our present and future happiness. “The future is that period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true, and our happiness is assured.”[v]

It really is okay to face up to a few things in this room. It’s a well-known adage that the truth shall set you free. In this room, it is very necessary to be totally honest with yourself. It’s okay if you don’t always like what you see because then it gives you the opportunity and the real challenge to do something about it. It has been said that “The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.”[vi] Yes, it can be frightening but “it takes courage to know when you ought to be afraid.”[vii] No matter how scared we are to deal with something that is going on in our past or present life, facing it takes courage, and it should be seen as such. “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.”[viii]

to be continued…conclusion tomorrow!

[i] “James Allen quotes,” BrainyQuote,

[ii] “Eleanor Roosevelt
quotes,” Wynn Davis, The Best of Success (Lombard, Illinois: Successories
Publishing, 1992), P.129.

[iii] “Albert Einstein quotes,” QuotationsBook,

[iv] “Thomas Merton quotes,”
Thinkexist.com, http://thinkexist.com/quotes/thomas_merton/.

[v] “Ambrose Bierce quotes, BrainyQuote,

[vi] “Bernard M. Baruch quotes,” Famous
Inspirational Quotes,

[vii] “James A. Michener quotes,” BrainyQuote,

[viii] “H. Stanley Judd quotes,” BrainyQuote,

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/.

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