Walking on Water When Nikes Just Won’t Do It!


When was the first time you discovered what you would love to do for life? If you were given the opportunity to start tomorrow, what would you do? I remember the first time I came into an understanding of what I wanted to be. It was an autumn or maybe fall day — I was about seven years old and my daddy, who was a minister, asked me to look up some words for him. He would always write his sermons at home, after a day at our family shoe shop called, Solomon’s Shoe Shop on Bright Street in Kinston, North Carolina 28501 (shout-out)—Richard Green where Grandma Sudie lived with Pam-Pam. After identifying what each word meant, I would tell him. Thus my fascination with INFORMATION grew…

Every other day, I found myself around this same age, loving to look through my dad’s office catalog, where he would order supplies for his home office- which was the desk where he ran the family affairs. Never being asked, I would always re-arrange and arrange his desk, sort the mail into stacks, put the paper clips in order, etc. I learned the art of customer service on my daddy’s desk, having learned to take messages on the message book and put the white copy on the desk for my daddy; leaving the yellow copy in the book. From what seems like birth, my mom was a strong domestic organizer- cooking, cleaner, gardener, decorator, seamstress, and stable force in our home. She was quiet yet her few words gave way to the bold actions to get things done! She was a mover and a shaker and taught me how to love the home I lived in. I know now yall got Martha Stewart and she has become stable, but I promise somebody somewhere, is a student of Talmer Joyce Gray Solomon’s School of Domestication besides myself! Momma did not play—- she had me washing dishes and doing laundry at a young age; which has aided as a virtuous compliment to me as a wife and mother! Thanks Momma! Thus my interest in improving DOMESTICATION THROUGH ORGANIZATION…..

Growing up in a family where my father endured 55 transplants and 3 kidney operations, I also dealt with many nurses and doctors in my life who were able to assess the issues he was experiencing and diagnose a treatment via medication, physical therapy, or the like. From the age of seven, I could name all of the nine medications that my father was taking, such that, when he blacked out at the wheel on the highway, due to a diabetic coma, we ran off the road and into a ditch—- Our car was pinned in an embankment on my side, so I climbed out of the window crawling over my dad and flagged down an 18-wheeler truck, who CB’d the hospital. When the ambulance came, I was able to tell them what was wrong with my daddy. In addition, I also gave them the number to my mom’s job so she could be reached. Thus my appreciation for COMMUNICATION …..

My journey as a Professional Organizer began then. Not following the grain. I set out to understand why I had a passion for organizing and informing people. I originally thought…could I actually get paid for this? Each time, I was asked what I’d study in college, the answer was always, ” I wanna be an organizer”. I often got a smirked look but each time I thought about it… I could do this line of work without getting paid. You know what, it has worked and my passion has carried me in many directions keeping these three pillars information, organization, and communication as the catalyst in all that I do– social work professor, clinical therapist, community organizer, grant writer, certified nonprofit specialist, social administrator, wife, mother, public information manager, friend.

There are many of us who are and will remain prisoners of hope, because we are fulfilling the dreams of our fathers or mothers or peers out of obligation or what the case may be. There are times in life when we must step out with wisdom in the direction of our passion and pursue that passion with purpose. It may be that we can not identity all of the pieces to the puzzle; and that is alight, the main goal is to start visioning and seeing yourself in your greatness!

Walking on the Water… When Your Nikes Just Won’t Do It… requires time and sacrifice. While you are counting the cost…stay focused!

Culture & Communications

UNLESS: A Bottle of Prescription

Photo Credit: The Bridge

Unless………this word has been affiliated with so many of the things that I have untaken in life. Unless defined simply means “except on the condition that”. So, if A does B then C. Many of the transactions that we undertake in life are gauged by the cause and effect relationship of a powerful and robust unless.

Unless…….Mackie comes home he will be kicked out of the house.

Unless…….Daddy buys me a new pair of shoes, he does not really love me.

Unless……William gets off of drugs, he will be banned from our family.

Unless……I can wear Christian Louboutin, I will not fit into the elite group at work

Unless, unless, unless. The new culture of communications. How pressure filled is that?

Adults daze around in circles wondering what their life will be life if only they had made a different decision on life and because of it can never get a firm footing in the life they are currently living because the security of  a life already lived had never sunk in.

The love of God is a love that is not built upon an unless. His love is unconditional and without pretense. The love of God says, “Even though you were addicted to drugs, I can still love you extravagantly.” It is hard for many to comprehend being given such an awesome gift to be liberated when you were once walking around like a slave in the rat race of life and trying to remain on the plantation of society and culture.

The word unless has been responsible for so much grief in life after all, we are a series of the events that we untake and products of our environments right?  Unless has become a bottle of prescriptions for many where they believe that conditions must be thrown out in order to get someone to act the way that they should but who are we to always try to direct the traffic of the pain that we are not willing to treat. People don’t want your stuff, they want to know that you care. This may be the cause for the high rate of persons cutting themselves all over the globe…to the tune of 4 million people because they may have been met with an Unless which elevated their stress absent the unconditional love to work through the drama and get to the healing.

Unless, I keep writing, will you not believe that I love to?

Stay tuned….”Unless: A Bottle of Prescription”- Coming July 2012 on www.danitaogandaga.com and the Orphan No More Podcast!

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(c)2012 danitaogandaga.com

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Our Deepest Fear- Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.