What are you holding on to that no longer serves you?

Are you still holding on to things that no longer serve you?

Often we outgrow things, yet we have a tendency to want to hold on to them even when they are no longer useful, or even good for us.

Who hasn’t kept an article of clothing that no longer fits or is out of style?  Perhaps you have an item of furniture around that’s like Fraser’s Dad’s chair, duct-taped and well-worn, but a part of a past that no longer fits your present.

My Dad loves to tell the story of how he persuaded me to give up my pacifier to a horse who needed it more than me. I have always loved horses and at the tender age of two, I thought I was doing  a good deed by gifting my pacifier to the chestnut mare. Apparently, he also said he’d get me a swing set if I did. Seems like a pretty good trade to me still.

I gave up the pacifier and never looked back.

Where in your life are you holding on to things that are like security blankets or pacifiers that offer no real value, they simply keep you stuck or comfortable?

What are you holding on to that is holding you back, cluttering your mental and physical space, and keeping you from moving forward in your life?

Is it a job, a relationship, a way of being, an addiction?

Invitation:  

Today take an inventory of some aspect of your life and let go of something that no longer serves you.

Walking through fear and fire!

I walked on fire for the first time in 1999 at Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I was terrified!

Today, I can boast that I’m a four-time fire-walker, including walking a 40 foot fire-walk in Hawaii at Tony’s “Life Mastery Workshop” in 2000.

There is nothing like fire-walking!!!

Our brains are designed to fear fire and our bodies learn early on not to touch it. That’s why walking on fire is so powerful!

The fire-walk is a show of courage over circumstance, to not let fear stop you from moving forward in your life.

How often do you get stopped from taking action in your life because you are afraid?

We are afraid of failing, looking stupid, making a mistake. Our fear can keep us stuck, our fear can keep us from going after our dreams or from making positive changes in our life.

Not everyone needs to literally walk on hot coals to know that they can overcome their fears, but it sure feels awesome to do it! And if you don’t believe me, ask Oprah!

For some people, finding the courage to speak their truth is their fire-walk. I have several amazing clients who realized that the reason they never felt like they “fit in” was because they had been born into a body that did not reflect  their gender. For these brave souls, their fire-walk was dressing and expressing themselves authentically.

For others, their proverbial fire-walk, might be coming out about some other personal truth.  I’ve had several clients who had to muster the courage to tell their parents or partners something they feared they would be judged or rejected for.

For some, a fire-walk might be leaving a professional career to pursue an artistic endeavor, ending a relationship, following a spiritual calling or traveling internationally.

Every one of us has some growth edge, some place where we are hiding or holding back and afraid to step forward into our authentic selves or a greater expression of who we are.

What is your fire-walk and will you take that first step?

Hey Beautiful! Yes, I’m talking to you!

Happy Pride!  It’s time to celebrate our diversity!

When we are proud of who we are, and the beautiful beings Spirit created us to be, not only are we fabulous, we are irresistible!That’s right whatever our sexual orientation, gender, race, color, creed, body size or shape, we are beautiful and equally worthy of life’s goodness.

So, take pride in your unique beauty and the way you light up the world with your unique gifts, talents and essence.

This isn’t always easy. I know. As a gender diverse individual, I sometimes fall prey to comparing myself to others and struggle with recognizing my own unique beauty too. Times like these I have to stop and turn down the volume on that mean 8th grade girl that lives in my head and judges me and turn the self-love up.

And please don’t waste your time resisting other people’s judgement or nastiness, because what we resist persists. Instead, just tune into your self-love and pump up the volume. Take pride in you!

Below you will find links to my interviews on Understanding LGBTQ and Coming Out and the recent advances for same-sex Marriage in Taiwan with Apple Daily, an International Chinese Media Outlet reaching thousands of Chinese people around the world!
xoxo
Davina

Congratulations Taiwan!

 

 

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day, a day when we mourn those we’ve lost. My most recent loss was that of my pet companion, Harvey Milk. Harvey came to me as an 8 week old kitten. He crawled onto to my arm while I was carving a pumpkin at a friend’s house, nestled in and fell asleep. It was like he was claiming me. I already had two cats I loved at the time, but Harvey stole my heart.

Harvey was a difficult cat. He was ornery and he had a maddening habit or urinating on everything and I mean everything. I can’t tell you how many of my coveted records and books I had to throw out, shoes, even a toaster oven.

But Harvey was wise. He taught me not to be too attached to things.
Some people who knew of Harvey’s penchant for pissing on things would tell me to get rid of him. But Harvey was my soulmate, my friend, my fur son, he was not something to get rid of. He taught me patience. Those of you who have human children know all about this.

Harvey was unconditionally loving and he showed me that I could love unconditionally. He was my safe space through life’s trials and tribulations. Those of you with animal companions know the greatest gift they give us is that total unconditional love they have for us.

Harvey was also the one being in my life who I could open my heart to completely. I didn’t need to be defended with him. We may find ourselves still holding back and protective of our hearts even with those people in our lives we love the most, but with animal companions we can love them with an open and undefended heart.

I miss Harvey. There’s a quiet absence in my home and in my heart. There’s even a bit of loss of direction and meaning in my life and a sadness for the loss of love that he gave me and that I got to give him.

My heart goes out to those of you who are grieving loved ones and feeling that loss of direction and meaning. I hope you find meaningful ways to honor the memory of your loved one. I also hope you find a way to honor your feelings of loss and care for yourself. Please let yourself feel the grief. There are 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Don’t judge or deny your feelings. Let your tears pour forth as reminders of the love and moments you shared together.

Travel is my pathway to freedom and nature is my spiritual temple.

Travel is my pathway to freedom and nature is my spiritual temple where I connect with the beauty of life. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets thrilled me in Baja Mexico where I spent a long weekend in early March with my dad and step-mom. If you’d like to see more on the beauty click to my Instagram.

Laurel Bookstore Reading of Behind Barbed Eyes

We had a wonderful show out to the

reading of Behind Barbed Eyes
at the new Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, CA where I got to see many Bay Area friends and marriage equality activists who I’ve missed so much since I relocated to Los Angeles almost five years ago. People loved the readings, though I struggled to act out all the parts with a cast of one. LOL!

We also discussed how to provide more mental health and healing services to reduce incarceration.

Here’s the most recent 5 star review of Behind Barbed Eyes from a reader in Boulder, Co.

“This story took me by surprise… I loved the multiple story lines and how they were intertwined, I was impressed with how details were kept back until they could be unveiled in a real impactful way. This book is a really good read and while not autobiographical, it’s definitely based on experience and the reality of prison life.”

If you’ve read the book I’d love it if you’d review the book on Good Reads and/or Amazon. Every review counts. Thanks in advance!

You can still get a signed copy from me or you can get your copy of the novel from Amazon, B&N or IndieBound.

Convergence Healing Meets Courageous Heart

Last month I was the featured speaker on the Convergence Healing Podcast with Peter Bedard on Healing Shame and Being True to Yourself.

Peter says, “I’m so excited to share the work of the super cool Dr. Davina Kotulski! If you’ve ever wanted to heal shame, raise your vibration, and learn about Affirmative Prayer then listen up!”

The Courage to Be the Author of Your Life

The Courage to Be the Author of Your Life

When I was in classes to become a New Thought/Science of Mind spiritual practitioner one of our assignments was to write our eulogy and perform our memorial service. It was a powerful exercise as we were being asked to consider our legacy, how we wanted to be remembered, and the memories we wanted to leave behind. We were reminded that we were ultimately authoring our lives or what was left of it and we had important choices to make.

It was a beautiful opportunity to gain clarity on what really mattered to us and to touch the courage we needed to make a commitment to get our lives in alignment with our higher selves.

Time flies by quickly.

Like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end the faster it goes. If we are not intentionally designing our life, some asshole is going to take the duration of our years and unceremoniously flush them down the toilet. Do you want that?

If you don’t want that, you must choose to become the author of your life. You must courageously step up and away from the TV, Facebook, dysfunctional friend or family member, or whatever mind-numbing time suck you lose yourself in and decide what direction you want to take your life.

If your life was a book what genre would it be? Comedy, Drama, Tragic Comedy, Romance, True Crime, Inspirational?

What kind of book do you want your life to be?

Where does your heroine/hero want to go? What does s/he want to do? What difference does s/he want to make in her/his life and the lives of others? What obstacles does s/he need to overcome? Why should we root for this person?

You matter. Your life matters. It’s time to stop playing small and letting life happen to you. It’s time to be courageous and become the author of your life.

There are many ways to be courageous.

Being true to yourself.

Following your dreams.

Helping others.

Making a difference in the world.

Doing something new.

Walking your authentic path.

Expressing yourself and your individuality.

How will you be courageous in 2017?

Check out my new program Follow your Courageous Heart: A 90 Day Journey Beyond Fear to Fulfillment. 

 

be-the-author-of-your-life be-the-author-of-your-life

What makes a person courageous?

What makes a person courageous?

 

A courageous person goes against the stream. Unlike a rebel who is simply defiant, a courageous person goes against the stream because they have a higher purpose.

Oprah Winfrey revolutionized TV talk shows by focusing on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality to empower audiences.

A courageous person sees possibilities where others don’t.how-will-you-be-courageous-in-2017_

Steve Jobs saw possibilities others didn’t see and revolutionized the computer world.

A courageous person treads where others fear to tread. It doesn’t mean that a courageous person doesn’t feel fear. It means that they don’t let fear stop them.

Ellen DeGeneres created a show that had an openly gay character. Ellen was the first openly gay actor to play an openly gay character.

A courageous person doesn’t let social convention stop them. They courageously express themselves in ways that are authentic to them.

Prince and David Bowie are two examples of men who expressed themselves in ways that were outside of social convention. They both had innovative musical styles.

A courageous person works to make changes in laws when they see something wrong. 

Nelson Mandela had the courage to fight against the unjust system of apartheid. He was sent to prison for 20 years and during that time he says he was preparing to lead his country, which he did. He became the president of South Africa, when he was released two decades later.

Mandela said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.:

Erin Brockovich, a legal clerk, works to hold corporations accountable for their pollutants and helped win one of the largest lawsuits against PGE for polluting the drinking water of residents in a Southern California town.

A courageous person stands up for the rights of others.

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania, helped 6,000 Jews escape from Lithuania during the holocaust by personally writing exit visas violating orders from Tokyo.

Harriet Tubman, a runaway slave, returned to help thousands of other slaves through the Underground Railroad escape to freedom.

A courageous person stands up for themselves and thus help others like them who are being treated unfairly.

People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Rosa Parks.

A courageous person goes after their dreams.

Malala Yousafzai a young Pakistani woman continued going to school after receiving death threats. She survived an attack on her life and continues to speak out for girls to have an equal right to education.

A courageous person believes in themselves and puts in the time to make their dreams come true.

At twelve years old, Muhammad Ali began training as a boxer. He dreamed of being a world champion and he become one. He said, “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it.”

There are many ways to be courageous. How will you be courageous in 2017?

Check out my free call 7 Steps to Move Beyond Fear and Courageously Live the Life of Your Dreams

The Courage to Change The Things We Can

god-grant-me-the“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I carry this prayer in my wallet and sometimes I actually remember to look at it. I was first introduced to this prayer in my teenage years when I chose a clean and sober lifestyle. In twelve step meetings we always prayed out with the Serenity Prayer.

This prayer is a powerful reminder that some aspects of life are out of control and we must surrender and let them be, rather than trying to make them be a certain way. However there are many things in our lives that we do have agency over.

We all have the ability to change our thoughts, our words, and our actions and yes, even our circumstances. We just need to connect to this truth and find the courage to make changes.

How do we find the courage?

What’s helped me tap my courage is to find someone who has done what I want to do or to find others who are in the process of making similar changes in their lives.

When I wanted to get sober I got a sponsor and attended meetings with other people who were choosing a healthier lifestyle.

When I’ve had to muster the courage to take bigger leaps in my own life, I’ve hired my own life coach, therapist and spiritual counselor. I practice what I preach. I believe it’s very important for people who coach or counsel others to also be engaged in their own personal growth work and get support. In fact, I’m sort of suspicious of people who don’t.

I’ve also found that prayer, positive affirmations, and talking with a trusted friend are powerful ways to tap into courage.

My clients often remark that in our work together they are able to move through fear, self-doubt and negative thinking and make important changes in their lives. They say that working with me as their coach has allowed them to “light a fire under their butt” or that working together allowed them to push through blocks that previously stopped them.

I get it. When I wanted to get in shape I joined a gym and attended exercise classes and boot camp. Having a coach or a trainer to encourage and push me kept me going on days when I was tired and I wanted to quit.

I love surprising myself and moving past my own fears and perceived limitations and I love to help other people move beyond their fears and find fulfillment they didn’t know was possible.

While some things are truly out of hands, everyday we get to make a choice to be courageous about the things we can change. Will we choose to go after our dreams? Will we choose to live our lives authentically? Will we choose to address our mental blocks and negative thoughts that hold us back? Will we choose to make lifestyle changes that allow us to be healthy, strong, and vibrant? Will we choose to end unhealthy patterns of relating?

Today let us pray for the courage to change the things we can.

Check out my free call 7 Steps to Move Beyond Fear and Courageously Live the Life of Your Dreams

Be a visionary, not a victim.

As we get ready to cross the threshold from 2016 to 2017 I invite you to begin this new cycle from a place of inspiration, not desperation, a place of courage, not fear, a place of love, not hate.

Sure, they are real challenges ahead, some external like politicians and people’s cherished prejudices, physical illnesses, and financial situations that we must absolutely deal with. But let us not cower in the presence of these obstacles.happynewyear-2017-gif-happynewyear2017orgin-17

We must deal with our internal challenges that trip us up. We must face and erase our doubts, fears, and worries. Let us grow even bigger than our fears. Let us rise to the occasion and find ways to inspire ourselves and others. Let us be solution focused, rather than problem-obsessed. Let us be resourceful and creative, rather than depressed and resigned. Let us find the very best in ourselves and others.

Let us begin again from a place of enthusiasm that we are alive at a time where we are being asked to lead, not be sheeple, where we are being to asked to love and bring something better to the generations to come.

This is a new cycle where we can flourish, not flounder. Where we can assert with greater clarity our commitment to diversity, equality, environmentalism, freedom, cooperation, sharing, and all that really matters to us. We are not minions.

Rise up with great love and determination in your heart. Rise up with a ferocious commitment to create a world of peace and sister/brotherhood.

Don’t simply focus on what you don’t want or your fear of what could happen.

Envision a world you’re proud of. Be a visionary, not a victim. Begin within by creating yourself and your life in a way that brings you joy and happiness. This is where your strength resides.

Be Courageous!

I love you and wish you a very Happy New Year!

Dr. Davina

Behind Barbed Eyes- My New Novel and Interview for Out of the Box Podcast

Check out my interview with Rosie Tran and Out of the Box Podcast.

Comedian Rosie Tran (@FunnyRosie) interviews psychologist, author, and life coach, Davina Kotulski (@drkotulski) regarding her new book, “Behind Barbed Eyes”. The novel is based on Dr. Kotulski’s work working with women in prison for many years. Dr. Kotulski discusses the dire need for rehabilitation in the prison system, which is primarily filled with abused, neglected, and underprivileged low income and women of color. Very informative episode with a thoughtful and activist guest!