I want to introduce Dawn McIntyre who is the author of The New 10. 40 Days to Creating a Boldly Beautiful Life From the Inside Out. Dawn is an Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse. Today I will be asking Dawn some questions and she will share her replies. Thank you Dawn for taking the time to respond to my questions and let’s get started.
1. In your book, you have broken it down into four sections which are beauty, body, spirit and extraordinary lives. Do you find one area to be more important than the other when thinking of the New 10?
They are all equally as important and serve to help us in creating whole and balanced perspectives of ourselves and our lives.
2. Many times in our society we hear people say that they do not worry about what others think of us. Do you find it to be human to worry about what others think of us? To you, is this part of a need to be accepted by others?
I believe that what drives us as humans, to want the approval and acceptance of others, is fear of rejection. And yes, this is a common fear. Still, having suffered this myself, I did experience tremendous freedom when I was able to follow my heart, regardless of the opinions of others. And yes, I have been rejected by many friends as a result BUT I am now surrounded by friends that support me completely in who I am. My book is meant to help others to do the same.
3. It is human to make mistakes. However, it is not good to beat ourselves up when we do make mistakes. How do you think we should handle ourselves when we do make mistakes?
I always say that there are no mistakes, just lessons. The biggest lesson is love. Love of ourselves first and having compassion for our being human and living in a world that is constantly changing, therefore requiring us to change and grow along with it.
4. We have many out there today who are abuse survivors. Do you believe an abuse survivor would benefit from meditation?
Absolutely! Meditation was my saving grace from child and spousal/peer abuse. It allowed the peace and silence to hear the wisdom in my experience and to have the courage and strength to not only heal from it, but also, to help others heal as well.
When we meditate we are encouraging our higher wisdom to come through and guide us. In essence, we are giving our higher wisdom permission to take over and accepting that we cannot do it alone, nor do we have to do it alone.
5. Rejection is hard for everyone. How do you think it is best to handle rejection by a friend?
I was saddened by the rejection of many friends as an adult but I knew in my heart that as much as I would miss them, if they were not able to love and accept me as I am then they weren't truly friends at all.
As long as we hang on to friendships, out of fear of rejection, we are blocking the opportunity to allow healthy and sustaining friendships to enter our lives.
6. Do you believe random acts of kindness goes a long way when we are good to ourselves or ourselves along with others?
Yes, very much so. What we give comes back to us tenfold, so when we give kindness to ourselves first, it will come back to us. And when we give kindness to others it will come back to us as well, even if not from that particular individual.
Personally, there is no feeling greater than making another person smile, laugh and feel great about themselves.
7. What is the best way for us to get in sync with our bodies? What is that first step in listening to what our bodies tell us?
We can get into sync with our bodies through breath work. Taking at least seven deep breaths and focusing our attention on areas of the body that are calling to us and then listening internally to the guidance is very powerful. For some it could be exercise, others it could be diet and still others movement through dance or even a different vitamin plan.
For me it has often been "Give me break and just accept me the way I am." It was beat into me, as a child that I was fat and ugly and so this was a tough one for me and honestly is still a challenge, at times.
8. Do you see dancing as a way to reach our inner beings or releasing a lot of negative energy within us?
Yes, the movement of our hips actually allows our spirits to flow fully in our bodies. In essence, dancing grounds us more fully in our spirits.
9. You mentioned that as a child you were told you were ugly and fat. Have your tips in this book helped you in overcoming these feelings?
Yes they have although, as mentioned previously, this is still one of my weak areas and in following the advice in my book, I am able to bring myself back to a place of love and acceptance for my body.
10. In your book you discuss your divorce as a nasty experience. By nurturing your spirit how has that helped in overcoming this experience?
During this time I spent a lot of time with my daughter which I what my spirit needed. My daughter has an uncanny way to make me laugh, regardless of how I feel, and she was my inspiration for following through on the divorce, as difficult as it was.
11. Hard times have helped you grow stronger. This has been gratifying for you. How have you achieved gratification in this?
I have become much wiser and am able to see the best in people. I have also found the courage to follow my dreams and never give up, regardless of the obstacles that have been in my way. It has not been an easy journey for me however, the journey has made me whom I am today; for that alone, I am extremely grateful.
12. Not everyone believes they have an intuitive nature. For those who do not believe this what would you suggest for them so they could obtain this?
Our intuitive nature, or sixth sense, is as strong as our other five senses, we just don't realize it because we aren't taught how to recognize it. In my book I talk about journaling for 30 days. Each day you can ask a specific question, it can be the same one each day or a different one. Take a very deep, slow breath and place your hand over your heart. Write down the first impression, feeling, thought, or image that comes to you without censoring it. The idea is to build your intuitive muscle through this process and after 30 days you can go back and actually witness the accuracy of your intuition. It is important to write it down because we tend to forget over a month’s time what our intuition has said to us.
13. If someone does not believe they have an imagination, what do you suggest they do in this case?
Some of us have a greater imagination than others and yet, our dreams, our desires, and our goals come from what we imagine our lives could be like and what we wish our lives were like. The term 'desire' means 'from God' and that means that there is nothing that we desire (or imagine we want) that we cannot be do or have.
14. Do you find that humor is a great reliever in a serious world?
Yes, especially when we can laugh at ourselves. Again, this was a tough one for me to learn even though I have a great sense of humor. When we can laugh at ourselves and our perceived problems we open ourselves up to solutions and to the grace of God to work through us. We also see the world as a much friendlier place as well.
15. Is it important to be aware of ourselves and how we feel about ourselves? In other words, do we needed to be conscience of our opinions of ourselves?
Yes, our opinions of ourselves directly create our outer experiences and until we are aware of them, we cannot own them and then proceed to change them as necessary. If something in my outer world is not reflecting the life I choose to live, I ask myself "what must I be thinking in order to create this experience?". I write down what comes to me, replace these thoughts and opinions with ones that are more affirming and positive and then proceed to burn the ones that are blocking me.
16. What is the importance of just “being”?
If we can't just be who we are in this moment and be comfortable that is an indication that we are rejecting ourselves in some level. What we do is important, but we are being in the process is far more important. It starts with just "being" with yourself and loving every minute of it.
17. Why is it so important to live in the now and not the past?
It is futile to live in the past because we cannot change what is done. All of our personal power lies in the living in the present, being grateful and trusting that we have all that we need in this moment. In doing this, the future will take care of itself.
18. What is beautiful about growing older?
We become wiser and 'more seasoned'. We care less about the externals and care more about what really matters, living in a state of peace. From this place, our inner light shines more brightly and there is nothing more beautiful than that.
19. Is there a difference in being a “queen” and a “drama queen”?
Yes. A queen owns her power and uses it to touch others lives in positive and loving ways. A drama queen gives others her power and in so doing creates negative and often painful experiences for all concerned.
20. Do you believe that getting in touch with our dark side along with light side helps us to grow in a healthy manner?
Yes I do. Our dark side is only one aspect of ourselves but if we are not aware of what pulls us down, of what patterns of behavior consistently sabotage our efforts, then we do not have the power to change them. The only way we can change anything about ourselves is through complete and radical love and acceptance of ourselves, even the darkest parts of our self.
Thank you Dawn for this great experience. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.