Culture & Communications, Uncategorized

You are Everything………

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Today is everything. The 3 Sessions that I had today proved that life is exactly what you CHOOSE to make it. Becoming a content creator was one of the toughest decisions that I faced but has proven to be the greatest source of healing that I could ask for. There is actually a possibility that what you THOUGHT you were created to do could actually be replaced by what you were DESTINED to do. Choices, decisions, actions, we’re faced with everyday and when things become hard, when no one returns your call, or buys your products, or comes to your events, you wanna quit.

When was the last time you SHINED your light, MOVE, get out the way! Getting to YES is everything…..the yes comes from DEEP WITHIN, not from the next person after you’ve gotten the cold shoulder. Resolve within yourself that you are ENOUGH and the gifts and talents you bring to the table are ENOUGH. I wrote this to encourage you but it is a CONSTANT reminder to myself. As I am writing this, my books, online courses, and therapy sessions are being booked and sold because my focus has become SERVICE. Do your destiny, go on, with your good self!

For more products visit my store at www.danitaogandaga.bigcartel.com 

 

 

Culture & Communications, Grief & Loss

Is America Still Grieving the Loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ?

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We’re ever mindful of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today as well as everyday. The fortitude and great courage displayed under fire to lead a nation into freedom and awareness of self was impeccable. For those that were present on this Earth during the time of his assassination,  I pause to write this post for you.

Is America still grieving the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

President Obama eloquently stated at the passing of Nelson Mandela that Mandela does not belong to us, he belongs to the ages. This statement rings true for many who are going through the grieving process. How do we present our loved ones to the ages, a place where there is no reach until death? The process and stages associated with presenting that loved one to the ages is grief (the acknowledgement that our loved ones are no longer among us.)

I wonder how you approached the grief on that low day on April 4, 1968 at 6:10 pm when time stood still for the nation and the world it sits in. For many, the hope of a nation froze like an ice cube in a tray wondering how we as a nation would move forward creating progress towards a more perfect union between races, religions, and genders. How many Marches on Washington have been held to promote peace, how many movements and sit-ins have been established to break the mold on injustice since that time?

Disappointment and grief are two cousins that can knock a person off of their feet. It is like an unwanted house guest that you want to leave and are not certain of the duration of time for their visit. Long after television announcement such as an assassination of a leader has been published, what happens to the hope of the people who vested all of their hope in forward progress? Have their hope dried up like a raisin in the sun? withered like grass? turned into a state of surviving rather than thriving? provoked courage in the face of fear or a screaming settling to accept the current circumstances of this life? Many have said, including my parents, that Dr. Martin Luther King’s mark in their lives was huge and they would not be able to have certain privileges without his contribution and the favor of God on his life.

Think about your approach to grief. I know that we’ve lost loved ones far greater than the relationship of a leader such as Mandela or Dr. Martin Luther King, but looking back at the approach you took once you heard the news of Dr. King’s assassination, where you satisfied with the steps of grief you went through and your approach to it? Where are you today and how have you changed?

For anyone that has gone through the loss of a loved one would say that grief is a refining fire that burns but when you come through it, your perspective is fortified with a great strength that provides peace and courage, an unshakable courage to approach life fearless because you have already loss in life, yet you are alive, and equipped to move forward in peace that your loved one is at peace. Grief is complex, peaceful,  speechless, and confusing all at the same time.

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How do you choose to remember and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King today? While some capitalize on legacy photo shopping Dr. King in a twerkin contest for their club (SAD) or him rocking a gold chain (c’mon people), we could be taking the time to organize coalitions or assisting the efforts of the NAACP in getting clarity about their vision now in 2014 where we have a multiplicity of issues that affect us individually and collectively like mental health and the agonizing reality of how prolonged grief is impacting our race due to the misconceptions that we hold concerning distrust in mental health providers, how religion and our devout love for God keeps us wrapped up tightly in denial that we are acquiring pain but not releasing it. Dr. King’s Day brings us together in harmony yearly for fellowship but should we be galvanizing our communities expanding the vision rather than continuing to celebrate the legacy that froze in 1968? Hear me well, I honor Dr. King and have the highest admiration for his family, but am always challenging myself to do more. I love how every YouTube video of Dr. Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. King, always encourages us to move forward and advance the dream of her father.

So now that many years have gone by and you’ve reflected on how you have processed your grief over the years, how have you made personal change in your life and contributed to the lives of your community?  Creating social and environmental change begins with a choice and a decision to make something of the surroundings that we live in. Giving up and caving in will never resolve issues. If you are disappointed with where the nation is since the death of Dr. King, stop and ask yourself what are you doing to make a difference?

I love community organizing and my time as one in Pittsburgh working with hopeless people who could not see past their current circumstance and surrounding. It is amazing what a cup of coffee and some jazz can do for letting people know that they are not stuck with a memory of Dr. King. No…No. His legacy is very much alive and lives in each one of us. Just as the people of South Africa may be grieving the loss of Mandela, although they have a capable president, they can not erase the effort  and contributions that were made under his leadership. The blueprint that they choose to leave in life will be inspired by his legacy. We too, should do the same. Marches may not be effective, but social media is. What topic are you passionate about? How can you share your story with the masses. Today in honor of the legacy of Dr. King, let this be the day that you draw the line in the sand and move yourself forward to progress, doing something rather than talking about the endless possibilities of it. If Mandela can rise from prisioner to president and Dr. King from minister to global agent for change, what will your story be?

be encouraged……….

GriefTalk group coaching sessions are starting on February 11! Be sure to sign up on the Coaching page!

Culture & Communications, Grief & Loss, Human Behavior/Urban Environment, Uncategorized

Hope’s Promise Against Suicide

policeSuicide hurts. This post is in no way attempting to mock the life of Derek, the suicidal young man who tragically ended his life in downtown Durham, North Carolina on Tuesday, September 17, 2013. He has left others behind that loved him sincerely and are attempting to come to terms with this tragic death. There are a number of people who have reached a point of decision to leave a note to those who will remain following their suicide. Countless posts have been left on social media notifying not only their families but the masses as to their intentions and rationale for terminating their lives.

Just because we encounter God’s love in life does not exempt us from experiencing hard core pain, the pain that is penetrable (in our opinion) to our heart where we believe no recovery, no cure is necessary. The fact is will encounter trials in life and some of those trials will knock the wind out of us but we must learn to be resilient when trouble comes. This is a process, I will not sit here and try to fake the funk like it is not.

The very fact that we are living on this Earth means that we are equipped with the mechanism of hope. When we face hopeless situations, many may not have the reliance of a grandmother saying, “Baby, don’t do that because Jesus love you and Grandma loves you.”

The time to learn how to get the promises located in God’s word in the bible to the very chambers of our heart is now.  The world is growing colder by the days with rumors of wars, natural disasters, unemployment, and family conflict; yet in the middle of this, we must know that we exist to rest in the promises of God. For some, that work of resting is harder than others especially when you keep getting knocked down time after time. When we feel depressed, this is the time to get the promises of God deeply rooted in our mind so we can be sober as we attack the challenges in our lives; otherwise we will be drunken with despair and without hope.

Proverbs 12:25 is one of my favorite passages of scriptures that addresses anxiety. It says: “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word provides cheer to it.” This scripture has helped me through a very difficult time of grieving the deaths of both parents in my youth as well as a bout with drug use.

I know you may be saying, “Danita, telling someone to cheer up when they have a gun barrel at their temple is not the solution!” Well. You are right; I do agree that this stage calls for the need of some intense cognitive therapy and physical intervention to extinguish the situation.

God has given us a million solutions for dealing with the decisions that we are dealing with on this earth and at the time of someone contemplating suicide; all they need is one. Thick dark memories of their hurt and pain crowd them into a corner and they are forced to escape the pain believing it will never get better. We’ve heard it said so many times that there is no return from suicide; it is the permanent resolution that someone has made to what may be at times short lived pain.

In closing, I’d like for you to share the following scriptures that I have gathered from biblegateway.com that deal with troubled minds and hearts. Share them with your family and friends and above all, of you are feeling suicidal, tell someone so that you do not have to suffer in silence. Social media is a venue that was created to allow expression, but should not be a replacement for authentic relationships.

God loves you; He really does:

But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. Romans 8:24-25

These, the ransomed of the Lord, will go home along that road to Zion, singing the songs of everlasting joy. For them all sorrow and all sighing will be gone forever; only joy and gladness will be there. Isaiah 35:10

God, fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in you, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm – I will come to you. John 14:18

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. The peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.John 14:27

These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death. Romans 15:4

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:2-3

The Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials. 2 Peter 2:9