Donna has spent the last several months creating the first two courses in the Soulfire Program™. The Soulfire Program has 2 online courses available now on Udemy, and the next 2 available in the coming months.
Reclaiming Your Sacred Self: Designed to assist people to lean-in to their current beliefs, and inspire the light within themselves. Available now.
Accessing the Extraordinary: Designed to assist people to understand how our thoughts lead to the realities that we live. How to break through limited thinking and become the extraordinary person you are. Available now.
Tapping the Infinite: Designed to assist people to transition from scarcity thinking to abundant thinking. This course defines abundance as more than just personal wealth. (Available by year-end)
Manifesting You: Designed to assist people to transition to become what they want to attract into their lives. (Available by year-end)
The Soulfire Program™ is a collection of programs that can stand alone, or be used together, to give people tools and techniques to create the lives they want to live, rather than accepting the life they have.
painful when you were born to be great!”
~ T. D. Jakes
by: Donna R. Wood
When the Butterfly sheds the chrysalis, there will
be loss. There will be collateral damage. It will be uncomfortable and even
painful at times. But, when those wings unfurl for the first time, life takes a
new path. It is no longer crawling along the branches and leaves, but floating above
it all in victory.
I was born in the late 1960s with a congenital
heart defect that could have ended my life before it ever began. It didn’t. I
spent a good number of years wondering what I had been saved from; surely death
at birth would have been a far better alternative than the life I had been born
This constant search for the meaning and purpose
of my life led me down some very dark
and treacherous roads. I found myself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Everywhere
I looked there was death and destruction. I was surrounded by living ghosts –
people who only existed, until their bodies wore out, and the reaper came to
claim them, one by one.
I was terrified, because I knew with each passing
day I was becoming one of them. I found myself very much alone on a road with
hundreds of people. We trudged along, bearing the weight of all our shame and
guilt for decisions made or not made; for love given or withheld. We trudged
along, dragging our baggage with us, hoping to find an oasis in the desert; a
place to rest. The oasis never came.
In the end, I was a living ghost, the same as all
the rest. However, in the depths of the wells of despair and demoralization,
pain and humiliation, there was the glow of a soft flame of strength and
courage. With each breath that sustained my life, the flame sputtered, clinging
to the hope for redemption.
I struggled with my own perception of myself,
placed there by each new label as it had been firmly attached to my soul –
single mother [shameful,] Godless [damning,] damaged goods [demoralizing,] and
poverty stricken [unworthy.] These are only a few of the labels that had been
placed on me by the world; the world, not me.
In the realization that my life was a living
testimony to those labels, I began to tear them off one by one.
I couldn’t change the fact that I was a single
mother, but I chose to tear the label in half. Now, I am just a mother. How
liberating that is.
I couldn’t change the fact that I am damaged
goods, I was born that way. I removed the word damaged from the label, and the
‘s’ from the last word. Now I am just good. I am kind and considerate of
others. I am not perfect, but I try every day to live in a state of soul over
I could change my socio-economic status. I went to college and graduated – twice – and have recently returned to challenging myself through courses offered on-line. I took the only gift I was given at birth, the gift of writing, and capitalized on it. This is not what makes me simply worthy, but I will talk about this in a future post. Godless – how does one conquer the label of Godless in a world where being damned by your labels prevails? Just be Godly like all the rest? Being like all the rest didn’t seem to work out very well the first time, so it required a bit more work. I found that I could not expect or receive compassion from all the rest – I had too many labels to overcome. I could not expect or receive forgiveness from all the rest – I was a living ghost encroaching on the land of the truly living. I had nothing to offer, nothing to give. I was damned to the wilderness, where I had to find it on my own or not at all.
Your labels and my labels may not be the same; however, what we choose to do with our labels is what really matters in the end.
The butterfly is a flying flower… ~Ponce Denis Écouchard Lebrun
by: Donna R. Wood
Most people at the age of five dream of being
something extraordinary like a firefighter, doctor, lawyer or some other high
level profession, but not me. I wanted to be a flower. Flowers were soft,
delicate, and beautiful. My grandma and I would pick wildflowers in the fields
and ditches along the highway, bring them home, and put them in a vase on the
table. I would marvel at the menagerie of colors and design. Oh, how I wanted
to be one of them. They were perfect in every way.
That’s the trouble with people; none of us are
perfect. We go through life collecting imperfections born out of bad decisions,
mistakes, or even through circumstance. We hold on to these imperfections,
packing them neatly inside and drag them with us wherever we go. We become so
weighed down by all this unnecessary self-perception of imperfection, we cannot
begin to imagine the idea of taking flight in life.
I dragged around bag after bag of guilt, worry,
bitterness, and regret. The weight of these bags became more than I could
carry, but I insisted on taking them with me wherever I went. I would try to
fly, only to find myself confined in the chrysalis of the life I had made for
myself. I had constructed walls around me so high and thick that no one could
get in, and in the process trapped myself inside.
It was dark in that chrysalis. Yet over time, the
darkness became a source of comfort. It was familiar. I knew each pain and
suffering by name and date. I knew all the characters that had played a role in
their creation. I would reminisce in their moments of completion. I began to
live in the memory of all that had been, and my world became very small, ending
where the chrysalis began.
One day, I stopped struggling to get out. I just stopped. It was a pointless effort. I couldn’t do it. I thought I wasn’t strong enough. I thought I wasn’t perfect enough. In reality, I wasn’t brave enough. I was scared of all the new pains and sufferings that might be out there. It was painful inside the chrysalis, but the risk to emerge was too great. All the what-ifs came into play. What if I get hurt again? What if I’m not good enough? What if…what if…what if… If a butterfly stays too long in the chrysalis it will die. It will suffocate in its own skin, never having felt the soft summer breeze that lifts it to flight.
Every chrysalis has a weak point, a place in the
wall that can and should be broken. But how? I learned, inside the chrysalis,
where the source of true strength lies – inside us. We have to take that deep
breath and expand until the walls break, and we are free. When a butterfly is
inside the chrysalis, at the moment before it emerges, it swallows air from the
outside world to expand its thorax and break the chrysalis open at the weakest
When the butterfly emerges it is no longer a
caterpillar. It cannot carry the extra baggage from its previous state with it.
The butterfly must leave behind the days of being a caterpillar. It must leave
behind the days of struggling to survive – to find food, hide from predators,
and live each day until the next. It must leave all the pains and suffering of
its caterpillar days in the ruins of the chrysalis. Only then will it truly be
free to fly.
Although a butterfly spends but two weeks in the
darkness of the chrysalis, shedding its past self, I spent almost three years.
Transformation does not happen overnight – for the butterfly or for people. The
most frightening moment of the process is in the moment before emergence. Break
the chrysalis anyway.