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:

Amazon CANADA

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

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[i] “Robert Louis Stevenson quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/r/robert_louis_stevenson.html.

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

[iii] “Washington Irving
quotes,” GIGA Quotes,
http://www.giga-usa.com/quotes/authors/washington_irving_a001.html.

[iv] “Ralph Waldo Emerson
quotes,” Quotes and Poem.com,
http://www.quotesandpoem.com/quotes/showquotes/subject/Perseverance/4923.

[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,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_allen.html.

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

[iii] “Albert Einstein quotes,” QuotationsBook,
http://quotationsbook.com/quote/19649/.

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

[v] “Ambrose Bierce quotes, BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/ambrose_bierce.html.

[vi] “Bernard M. Baruch quotes,” Famous
Inspirational Quotes,
http://www.inspirationalquotes4u.com/baruchquotes/index.html.

[vii] “James A. Michener quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_a_michener.html.

[viii] “H. Stanley Judd quotes,” BrainyQuote,
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_stanley_judd.html.

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…

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ Chapter One (continued) ~ July 21, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

…continued from yesterday.

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

The first of these views that I would like to expand upon is love. To me, it is our most basic need. The need to love and to be loved is almost interchangeable, but the hardest person to actually love is oneself.

“Love has two daughters—kindness and patience.”[i] It is very important to bear this in mind as I go through the different points that I used to help myself. Important changes take time, and this requires a lot of patience and perseverance. It also requires a big dose of kindness, not only to others but to oneself. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”[ii] Be kind to yourself, and you will learn to be truly kind to others.

So many times throughout life I have met several people who don’t like themselves for one reason or another. I must admit that at times, I have been at the top of the list. We want to be more like someone else, we want to have more of what someone else has, or we just want to be prettier, happier, or more successful. We think other people have more confidence or more self-esteem than us. Over and over again, we compare ourselves to others and come up short.

Very few people actually want to admit this to anyone. It almost seems that if we did, no one could or would want to relate to us. After years of soul-searching, sharing, and reading, I have come to realize how much alike we really all are in this regard. In most cases, it seems to come with time, age, and maturity before we actually admit this, not only to ourselves, but to the world around us. By the world around us, I mean our own personal world and some of the more trusted people in it. It would be so much easier if we didn’t feel the need to compare ourselves to others and even easier if it didn’t matter what other people think, but it does.

So, with this thought in mind, one of the quotes that helped me in my desire to develop self-love is that “You can conquer others with power, but it takes true strength to conquer yourself.”[iii] Over twenty-five years ago, during a difficult period in my life, I literally forced myself to stand before the mirror and say “I love you.” I had to realize and reaffirm that God made me in his image and likeness and that he loved me just as I was, flaws and all. The more I accepted this fact, the more I became able to accept others for who they are rather than whom I wanted them to be. I may not always succeed at this, but it is certainly not from lack of trying. When I don’t, I remind myself that I am human and that God made me this way for a reason, and I remind myself to keep persevering. Hence, I’m not perfect and it’s okay.

At this time, I also felt compelled to get back to the ABCs of my faith. I reflected all the way back to my first encounter with God at the beginning of my formal education, as early as first grade, and how I was taught. I looked at the basic questions that were asked and answered all in one breath. Who made you…God made me. How did God make you…God made me in his image and likeness. Why did God make you…God made me to know, love, and serve the Lord.

This sounds good, yet somehow in the midst of this education, another lesson was also taught. It was the lesson about sin. First, it was the sinfulness of Adam and Eve. Then it was about our own sinfulness at such young ages, told to such impressionable young minds. But even more importantly, it was about original sin and the indelible scar left on all of our souls.

There was no mention of love in those early days. We were taught about hell and eternal damnation. We were taught about mortal sin, venial sin, and dying with a sin on our soul that would never be forgiven if we had not gone to confession. We were taught that God was a punishing and unforgiving Father, and we risked the loss of his love just like Adam and Eve. We were taught a lot of frightening things, but the one thing that sticks in my mind the most is that we were not taught about God’s wondrous love and mercy.

to be continued…


[i] “Sprichwort quotes,” Love  Sayings – Joachim Home Page,
http://www.genevieve-cory.isom.com/music/lovesayings.html.

[ii] “Lao-Tzu quotes,” Thinkexist.com,
http://thinkexist.com/quotation/kindness_in_words_creates_confidence-kindness_in/11355.html.

[iii] “Lao-Tzu quotes,” Business Coach – Changing Yourself: Starting with Yourself by Vadim Kotelnikov,
http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/crosscuttings/change_yourself.html.

I’M NOT PERFECT AND IT’S OKAY ~ Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self ~ July 20, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

CHAPTER ONE ~ The Greatest Of These Is LOVE

So many books have been written about God and on the meaning of life. They have been written by theologians, philosophers, psychologists, and many other well-educated and deep thinking individuals. I am none of the above, but in some small way, I am all of the above because I have been exposed to many of the teachings through education or experience.

Some books have been read and reread many times over. Some of them have been used in the school system to educate and broaden the minds of students across the world. One of the greatest books ever written is the Bible, which has many authors. Over the years, I have asked myself how these men knew what to write. I have also asked myself when referring to the Bible, why men, at that time, were the only ones with such great inspiration and courage to share their work with all of mankind.  I feel that God inspires each and every one of us if we have the desire to listen to the still, small voice that lives within. It is this voice that gets our creative juices flowing and is the inspiration for all the good ideas that come to us in our daily lives.

Over time, I have decided to simplify my life and to look at as many things as possible from this very same point of view. I find that life can become so complex that we can forget the things in life that were meant to bring us the most pleasure. If one goes back to the first teachings of Jesus, the message he was teaching is and always has been very basic and very clear. It is as simple as the kindergarten rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. The theme that most captures my interest in the Bible is about loving God and loving thy neighbor. To me, this is the truth and the only meaningful truth that needs to be adopted in order to answer God’s call. Life is a lot simpler than what most of us have made it out to be. It is with this simplistic theme in mind that I will explain some of my views.

To be continued…

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.” ~ Lucretius

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ You Asked…I Answered (part 2) ~ April 21, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

What was the hardest thing about writing this book? (I’m Not Perfect And It’s Okay)

The hardest thing about writing this book was making the decision to be so open and honest about my feelings.  I had hidden my depression from others, with the exception of my husband, for so long that I had no idea how people would react to this revelation.  I have discovered since the launch of my book that many people are willing to share their journeys or tales of depression with me, however, most prefer that they remain anonymous.  Still to this day by what I’ve heard and observed, depression is not looked upon by all, as merely another type of illness or disorder. 

One of my closest friends asked me if I felt more vulnerable after writing about my mental illness which is what depression is considered to be.  Without a doubt, I certainly did and still do at times!   The most difficult part was facing people after they had read what I had shared with them.  I did not want my relationships to change.  Generally speaking, they have not.  In fact, my fears have been put to rest because several people have demonstrated more admiration and respect for me as a result of my efforts. 

Of the 13 tips you shared for getting through life, which do you feel is the most valuable? 

Of the 13 tips that I shared with my readers, the one I feel is of the most value is the very first one, that of learning to love yourself.  During this very difficult stage of my life I not only suffered from depression but I also had a very negative self-image as a result.  At that time, I could hardly bring myself to look in the mirror and love what I saw in it…my own image.  I not only felt self loathing, I felt that others could not find much to love in me either.  Thus, first and foremost, I had to relearn to love myself instead of looking at my reflection in such a negative way…that of an utter failure. Due to my illness, I could not return to my teaching career and was at a major turning point in my life. It was necessary for me to figure things out. Therefore, this book is actually being written in retrospect.  I needed to live life first and then reflect back to better describe the choices I made along the way in order to have a full and rewarding existence. 

As in all recipes, some ingredients are vital to the recipe and cannot be substituted.  In my book, I feel that the first step is the most essential in order to make this recipe work.  A lot of people are unhappy with themselves.  My recipe calls for admitting this fact if it applies. I also stressed learning how to be happier with whom you really are rather than what you may want to be. It doesn’t mean to say that a person cannot grow but growth stems from an honest assessment of self.  This process requires some self-examination, a dose of truth serum, and the desire to move on from this point.  This could possibly be done by incorporating some of my recommendations into daily living.  When I have off days, which most of us do, I still refer to my own book and try my best to follow my own advice. 

I recently wrote an article about the “stigma” of mental illness.  Mike Falcon’s article  (Spotlight Health) with medical advisor Stephen A. Shoop M.D. in USA Today coincides with my post titled “Dear Abby”.  I hope you will take a moment to check it out.  Two more articles you might want to read regarding depression are Here To Help and About Depression.  The more aware and informed we all are about this oftentimes, debilitating condition, the more compassionate, empathetic and tolerant we will eventually become.  

To be continued…also, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I will answer them to the best of my ability.  The above questions were asked by Laura Davis on Interviews and Reviews.        

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ You Asked…I Answered ~ April 14, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Dolores why did you write “I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay” ~ A Baker’s Dozen ~ (Steps To A Happier Self)? 

Over twenty-five years ago, I went through a very difficult period in my life.  I was in my early thirties with a husband, a young family and a full-time career as an elementary school teacher when I experienced a bout of severe depression.  It totally knocked me off my feet and left me at an utter loss.  Due to a negative drug reaction to a prescribed anti-depressant, I was hospitalized for a couple of weeks and I had no idea what the future held for me.  At that time, the prognosis was not encouraging.   When I returned home from the hospital, one of my first desires after tending to my family was to try to share what I was going through and to try to prevent others from facing a similar experience.  My situation was so debilitating and devastating to me that the only positive conclusion I could arrive at was to try to help spare others this kind of ordeal.  It was at this time when I initially decided to write my book. 

How did you decide on a baker’s dozen? 

I decided on a baker’s dozen to honor my elderly mother as well as the memory of my late mother-in-law whom were avid bakers/cooks in their time.  As I tell my story, I share with my readers some personal anecdotes about life’s recipe for more peace and happiness according to my own experiences.  Due to this fact, I have chosen to refer to my suggestions as a baker’s dozen.  In other words, there are thirteen recommended ingredients to my recipe for a happier life.  Like all recipes, these can be adjusted to suit the individual’s tastes or needs.

Although I consider depression to be a serious condition, I have used many quotes and much humor in my writing to lighten up the topic and to show my readers the brighter side to life.  Usually the sharing or swapping of recipes denotes pleasure or joy.  A reader mentioned that she thought my book was a “feel good” book.  This has always been my goal, that of encouraging others to feel good about themselves and to have a better self-image.  

To be continued next Thursday…..please feel free to leave a question in the comment box. I will answer it to the best of my ability. The above questions were asked by Laura Davis on Interviews and Reviews. 

I recently discovered this quote by Dr. Ashley Solomon and I decided to share it with you.  She states, “Give me a break, people. I’m not sure where this little rumor got started, but it’s about time it was laid to rest. More than 20% of us will suffer from depression during our lives, and not a single one of us will avoid be affected by depression. While this doesn’t mean that we have to accept depression as the status quo, it points to the fact that being happy all the time isn’t in our biological or cultural reality.”

According to this quote, it would seem that depression is a fact of life. I’ve been saying this for some time now. If we don’t suffer from depression, we can be darn sure that we know someone who does. I still have bouts of mild depression. I merely know how to better cope with it so that it does not get  as severe as it once did. 

Self-acceptance of my condition certainly helped me make a better life for myself and those around me.  

“Growing Up And Liking It” ~ Book Review ~ February 28, 2011 by Hope

Book Review by Hope

Growing Up & Liking  It: Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self

Author: Dolores Ayotte.

(Tate Publishing, © 2010, 192 pages)

At a time when most of our lives are complicated by schedule, commitment, stress and expectation, motivational author Dolores Ayotte greets us with a delightful, easy to read book that suggests an alternative approach to experiencing our lives. A follow-up book to I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay, Growing Up and Liking It is a compilation of 13 life lessons, born of the wisdom of a life well lived and told through relatable stories, anecdotes, personal experiences and inspirational quotes. In her book, Ms. Ayotte encourages her readers to slow down, to listen, to question and become enthusiastic about the lives they lead.

As a reader, we are given a sneak peek into the Ms. Ayotte’s relationship with her friends, her husband, her children and her grandchildren. Her stories, simply told, convey not just the wisdom of her experiences but the way she reflects on her experiences to better her perspective and enhance her own life.  Her stories convey a strong dependence on a faith well-honed, a spiritual soul at the center of her thought and natural teetering between the roles of teacher and student that lends a sense of humility in the conveyance of her message.

What I found quite interesting in the read of this book, is the number of inspirational quotes incorporated into the teaching of the 13 steps to a happier self. For me, this is testimony to the breadth of seeking and reflection that has gone into the living the life that inspired these lessons. Inspiration from the likes of Mother Theresa, the Bible and Vince Lombardi are woven into practical pearls of wisdom that are easy to apply to anyone’s life.

The underlying message I found in all 13 steps, is that in our own lives, we are the ones with the power to change what is not working. The author encourages us to know and address our own needs; physical, emotional and spiritual. She encourages us to choose wisely what we strive to be, and pay dear attention to the journey taken to achieve our goal. She encourages us to finish what we start, say what we mean and mean what we say. Though none of this is news to any of us, the reminder to pay attention to these simple things is so welcome in our event-driven, constant connect, always on, always available lifestyle that has come to be our way.

In reading this book, I felt like I was talking to an old friend. The language is simple yet poignant, the stories relatable and familiar, the rhythm of the read easy and the message clear and consistent. As I read her stories, I was reminded of similar ones in my own life and my own family making her message all the more accessible and her suggestions all the more applicable.

Each of the thirteen chapters ends with a summary and a reflection. In this, Ms. Ayotte gives the reader practical, doable suggestions to help us begin to examine our own lives and find the places where we can begin to find and welcome our true self.

The book ends with an Epilogue that reveals the delicate and painful experiences that paved the way for these lessons to be compiled. The startling honesty of Ms. Ayotte’s story inspires all us to question, to know ourselves, to trust ourselves and our instincts and to find and hear our own voice.

I’m Not Perfect and It’s OK and Growing Up & Liking It are must reads for anyone looking to better their station in life, is seeking to find and define their own life’s legacy or find their way through a personal crisis. The read is simple, the message profound and the author’s story an inspiration to be the best that is within us.

By: Hope Rising

Thanks so much Hope for the wonderful book review. It is greatly appreciated!

“Growing Up And Liking It” –December 26, 2010 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on December 26, 2010
Tags: , , , , ,

FOREWORD to “Growing Up & Liking It” by Andrea Cockerill

I have always known that my mother could give sound advice if the occasion arose.  I have gone to her often throughout my years at university, during my employment as a social worker and now in my years of mothering. Sometimes as children in the process of growing up, we can’t always see our mothers as women, as if the role of mother negates being a woman.  As I have gotten older, I have taken a step back and I have learned to look at my mother through the eyes of a woman looking at another woman. As an adult,  I see a woman who passionately cares about people, not just her own children but all people who may have or who are suffering. She knows suffering but she also knows the power of hope, knowledge and self-love. These are such simple concepts yet many times they are so hard to grasp in times of despair.

I have had my own times of despair, from a first-born being in the NICU to the heartbreak of some of the tougher times during the mothering of my own children. It is during those times that I have called my mother knowing I would receive the words of guidance that I so longed to hear. Her guidance is not complicated but rather straight forward and practical.  Her words, just the remedy needed in times when complications and stress seem to dominate our lives.  

My mother is educated but it is more through her own painful trials that she has learned life’s most valuable lessons. I feel that it is because of her compassionate heart, she writes this book full of wisdom and raw knowingness. She initially wrote her books so that her children and grandchildren could benefit from her life experience. Her goal was to spare them the suffering from falling as hard and as deep as she did during her most painful times. It is with this compassion, she shares her recipe for a more balanced life with her readers. 

My mother writes in much the same way she would talk to you if you came to her for advice. Her words are well thought out, gentle and nonjudgmental. You can feel this positive energy throughout the pages of her book. Two of the greatest gifts my mother has ever given me are, to believe in something bigger than myself, and to honor the beliefs of my neighbor. It is because of these wonderful gifts that I now see the world in color, instead of black and white. What joy it has been to live life with such an open heart. Although I am her daughter, I no longer negate the woman my mother is nor the woman my mother wants me to be.  In doing so my eyes are now wide open and able to see the gentle wisdom that was always there, right in front of me. I am ever so grateful that now, you too can share in my mother’s wisdom and grace. In doing so may your heart be open to the gifts her book has to offer. Enjoy!  

Andrea Cockerill – BA (Psychology), BSW

To learn more, please visit TATE PUBLISHING

Thank you Andrea for your inspiration, support and love! 


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