A Woman's Voice

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.

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps To A Happier Self ~ Chapter 5 ~ July 29, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

CHAPTER FIVE ~ He Who Laughs, Lasts!

Over the last several years, my husband and I have had a neat arrangement. He usually is not a man of many words. I am a morning person, and he is not. When we walk in the morning, he says very little. On many occasions he has told me to just keep talking and says that he will let me know when he doesn’t agree with me. So he must be agreeing with me in most instances because he usually just keeps moving along in silence. According to Wilma Askinas, “Sometimes you have to be silent in order to be heard.”[i] Publius Syrus recommends, however, to “let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.”[ii] Either way you look at it, I must admit that I already know what he does or doesn’t agree with. If I want to get him to talk, I just press one of his buttons, but most of the time I hear his silence and know exactly what it means…

[i] “Wilma Askinas quotes,”
Thinkexist.com, http://thinkexist.com/quotes/wima_askinas/.

[ii] “Publius Syrus quotes,”
QuotationsBook, http://quotationbook.com/quotes/36269/.

Once again my dear readers, I thank you for taking some time out of your busy lives to spend some of it with me. Take gentle care and may God grant you His choicest blessings!

Amazon USA


Tate Publishing & Enterprises

Barnes and Noble

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) July 24, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

Six months into the job, much to my  dismay, I had a relapse. I pulled myself up again and returned to work after six weeks. Once I regained my self-esteem and self-respect, I was able to use some of my teaching skills in my new job. I enrolled in some courses being offered and made every effort to re-educate myself. Several people in my new place of employment saw the benefits of my previous teaching experience, and they helped me utilize them in a totally different situation. I will be forever grateful to all those people who helped me along the way. In most instances, they had absolutely no idea of what had happened or the point of reference I was coming from. Although they knew I had been on sick leave, they had no idea I suffered from depression or my previous history with it.

This is just my story, but each and every one of us has one. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with depression.

For me, by going back in time, looking at myself, and striving to better myself, I learned so much more. It not only gave me personal insight, it also gave me a better understanding of others. The more I saw and understood my own shortcomings and virtues, the more I understood and accepted others.

As difficult and as negative as the above experience was for me, in retrospect I would not have wanted it any other way. When I was in the midst of it, I prayed and wished it away. After much soul-searching and hard work, I accepted myself and realized that it is human to fail, and I could get up again. I also learned that life can consist of many failures, but each and every time, you just have to keep getting up. For me, it was easier to fall down and get up rather than just lay there and suffer with bouts of depression.

When I learned to look at myself this way, I also learned to look at others in the same light. At times it is hard to measure up to the goals we all set for each other or for ourselves. We all fail at one time or another. By seeing myself in a more human light and in a more humane way, I learned that the person I was had nothing to do with whether I failed at something. I could still be considered a good person, no matter what was going on in my life.

This is when I learned to separate the person from the action. Although I had not completely succeeded at classroom teaching, I was not being punished for not being good the way I had been taught. Being good at something and being a good person are two totally different things, but it is very hard to accept this fact if you have been taught otherwise. Oftentimes people associate suffering with punishment. It was ingrained in me that I would be punished if I stepped out of line. I have come to realize that there are many innocent people who do not deserve to suffer and therefore are not being punished.

After experiencing all that I did, I soon learned that I am not perfect and that failure is a fact of life. I was not being punished either. I also learned that when you look at your whole self and decide what you like or don’t like, you can alter your own behavior. I did this by looking back at what caused all my confused thinking, religious hang ups, and guilt. I knew that it didn’t start in my early thirties. It merely peaked there. It had a much earlier origin, and I needed to go all the way back to figure it out. I knew what brought me to my knees had to do with religion, but I needed to know why. The only solution was to go as far back in my memory bank that I could and get to the root of the problem. That’s exactly what I did. I had to start with the ABC’s of my original instruction and go from there. Once I did this, I understood myself a whole lot better. Once I understood myself better, I also had more understanding for human nature period. I just had to start with the human I needed to know better, namely, myself.

Conclusion tomorrow…

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) ~ July 23, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

I feel the need to say that depression feels very different from other physical ailments, at least from my personal point of view. It is generally not well received, and not all people have empathy with the condition.Several people think that you can just “snap out of it,” and this only adds to the frustration of trying to live with it. In my instance, it felt that I was somehow responsible for my depressed state. Perhaps it happens and I am unaware of it, but I can’t image anyone suggesting that a person suffering from diabetes, cancer, or some other life altering illness “snap out” of what they are going through.

Getting angry and frustrated with a depressed person only further aggravates and exacerbates the condition. He/she is having enough trouble trying to cope with life as it is. I am not trying to criticize, condemn, or complain. This is not my goal, nor has it ever have been. I only want to share because I care. I am not looking for pity for such a crippling condition but rather for compassion for all those who suffer in silence. I am also seeking compassion for those who live with a depressed person and, last but not least, compassion for those who have added to the crippling effect of the condition by their innocence or their ignorance. My silence no longer feels golden. It is time to find the courage to share my healing circle with my family, my friends, and all of you who choose to embrace what I have written.

During a depressed state, you feel very alone  and isolated. As stated above, in most instances you will not find the compassion you might get when experiencing other illnesses. You, therefore, might try to cover up what you are experiencing, and you may become further depressed. As a result, you may feel even more isolated in this downward spiral until you reach the point when you can hardly get up in the morning to start your day. You can lose your zest for life, your sense of humor, and joy for the little things that once enhanced your life and brought you so much pleasure.

A bout with major depression is like living in a black pit. Each day you have to work very hard at climbing out of it in order to see the light of dawn. It is at this time, when you may feel the need draw from a Higher Power to give you the strength and courage to face each new day. I found that without my faith there would have been very little hope to ever rise above the depressed state, not only faith in God but learning to have a renewed faith in myself. This is the hardest task because a depressed person has usually lost faith and trust in himself/herself. It is almost impossible to draw strength from a well that has run so dry. Eventually, by taking small steps and being satisfied with small gains, you can make some deposits into this dry well. Due to the fact that there is so little left to draw from, the only choice you actually have is to try to replenish it so you can make your way back to a full and rewarding life.

I must admit that this was the most difficult period of my life thus far. I had left my teaching career in order to recuperate, and I could not get the courage to return. It felt like I had failed miserably. I felt so lost. I then decided that in order to continue pursuing work outside our home, I would have to make some major decisions about what I was going to do in this regard. I had to learn how to think outside the box.

I came to realize that I didn’t need a classroom to teach. Classrooms have walls, but teaching doesn’t only need to take place inside those walls. I decided to change careers, and I got hired by a major financial institution. I soon discovered that before I could teach again, I had to be a student and learn totally new information. It took some time, and it was no easy task.

To be continued…

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ Games People Play ~ June 13, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

“The secret of a good memory is attention, and attention to a subject depends upon our interest in it.  We rarely forget that which has made a deep impression on our minds.” (Tyron Edwards)

Do you like playing games? It’s ironic how different facets of our personalities can really show up when we get into the competitive mode.  It must be a very basic part of our genetic makeup to want to win.  I notice that this doesn’t always hold true when it comes to the game of life. When some people don’t feel good about themselves they kind of “give up” at times. They may not put out all the necessary effort to make their lives the successes that they can truly be.  When I was going through my own depression, I started to try many different things to draw myself out of my deep blue moods.

As mentioned in some of my previous writings, I started to do more reading and also engaged in puzzle solving.  Although, I always had an interest in solving crosswords even at a very young age, I hadn’t continued to enjoy this little habit for a long period of time.  When I finally found the time and desire to enjoy this pleasure once again, I discovered a puzzle I enjoyed even more.  It was printed in our daily newspaper on the diversion page.  This puzzle was called the cryptoquote, although I notice it is also referred to as the cryptogram in other newspapers and puzzle books.  By utilizing my brain, I discovered that “there is a great treasure there behind our skull and this is true about all of us.This little treasure has great, great powers, and I would say we only have learned a very, very small part of what it can do” (Isaac Bashevis Singer)

I am sure that you have all figured out by now that I am a motivational writer. By solving the cryptoquotes I mentioned above, I found a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. I learned from the sagacity of these quotes and took their wisdom to heart. I try my best to utilize this wisdom in all that I say and do. I very much agree with Charles Betts when he says, “As we help others to heal we heal ourselves”.  I truly discovered this as I went through my healing process. This philosophy is the inspiration behind everything I write. Today I shared a little tip with you. It’s learning how to utilize our brains and draw from the Power within.  I don’t mean to say that it needs to be done in puzzle form. I merely mean to say that it is necessary to keep ourselves mentally challenged in whatever way we choose.

I am writing a little series on positive thinking and I hope you’ll stayed tuned as I share personal stories about my healing journey and some simple ideas I used to overcome my woes. Sometimes a little tweaking here and there can garner incredible results.

To be continued…

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