Hi. I'm Donna J Davis, and I understand.
"Stress, anxiety and depression are caused when we are living to please others." ~Pablo Coelho
I am a living testimonial of how true Mr. Coelho's statement is. After decades of health issues, I know now that my fear of hurting or displeasing others created so much stress and anxiety. And those two conditions were major factors in why I got sick repeatedly.
If you feel that stress or anxiety has been impacting your life, I'm so glad you found me.
My intention is to help you identify and learn how to make small but powerful changes.
When you can release that crippling stress and anxiety from trying to please everyone else, you can step into the life you were created to live.
You have a beautiful purpose and it's time to release the blocks that are keeping you stuck, frustrated, and unfulfilled.
To help you understand my journey, here's a brief description of the road that led me here.
"You have cancer."
In 2015, I heard that I had breast cancer. That was the fourth time I’ve heard the cancer diagnosis: Breast cancer in 1993, then leukemia in 1998 and again in 2002. Then breast cancer again.
My first cancer diagnosis sent me head-first into learning the metaphysical meaning of cancer. From that first diagnosis, I knew that cancer was much more than a medical issue – it was a spiritual, mental, and emotional issue.
I read Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book, “Love, Medicine, and Miracles.” I then read Dr. Carl O. Simonton’s book, “Getting Well Again” which had me sobbing all throughout that book. It was like the author had followed me around for the previous 15 years and was telling my story.
These doctors talked about how so many cancer patients they treated had deep-seated resentments, that were contributing to their cancers.
I knew that was true for me too. I got busy discovering all those smoldering irritations. I let go of resentments from my first marriage, from my jobs, and a dozen other things I was carrying around. I knew it was critical for my health.
I landed a great new job and started re-creating my life. I was getting together with friends. I was laughing and dancing again. My life was amazing!
I moved up quickly in the company I was with, and with every promotion my work hours increased. With all the added responsibilities, my stress level was climbing more and more.
The bad news
Years later I married my current husband who had two small hyperactive boys (1 ½ and 3 at the time). I was still working my high stress job and now had an instant family (no stress there, right??). In that first year I became extremely fatigued and was bruising at the slightest bump.
My doctor thought it was probably just the demands of parenting small kids but ran complete bloodwork. Results came back showing signs of cancer.
I had more tests and a bone marrow biopsy. That confirmed I had hairy cell leukemia.
During this time, I was really asking the Universe what other lessons I needed to learn. I had done so much personal growth years earlier. I learned about the power of forgiveness and gratitude and I became really grateful for the small and big things. I was happy.
I never really got into the “pity party” thing about “why me” so I just knew there must be more for me to unearth and to stay positive during my chemo treatments. I made more personal changes. I got through my treatment, regained my energy and felt good again.
And the cycle repeats
In hindsight, now I know that when I was sick, I had to take care of myself. I had to do what I needed to help my body heal. I had to get good rest, eat well, and keep my stress low. I gave my body what it needed to heal. I got well again and then got back to my normal routine.
Except, my normal routine wasn’t healthy for me. I would slip back into my pattern of doing everything for everyone else and slowly but surely forget about taking care of me. I was under high stress both personally and professionally.
I had accepted a new job that I loved at first, but I was then asked (expected) to take on more and more responsibility. Even though I refused some of the requested duties, I somehow ended up doing them anyway.
I was afraid of hurting someone else’s feeling. I was worried about what they would think if I said “no.”
I didn’t know how to speak up for myself. I was not able to set and hold firm to my boundaries.
Add to that the fact that I was living in a house filled with angry people. My kids were now teenagers with their own problems. One got into drugs at the age of 14 and the other is gay and was being seriously bullied at school (and did not tell me until years later). My husband was experiencing high pain and severe insomnia and I was trying to make everyone happy.
Is it any wonder I got sick again?
After choosing a more natural approach with my last breast cancer, something new entered the picture – anxiety and panic attacks. I was waking up at 3 AM with my heart pounding. The worries (about almost everything) and stress just did not stop.
I was experiencing panic attacks and high anxiety.
I know now that I had these at various times in my life but with all the other health challenges I experienced, this was overlooked. I knew without a doubt that all the years of people-pleasing and doing everything for everyone else had taken its toll.
Lessons learned from flight attendants
Throughout all of this, I have learned many lessons, but one critical element. You hear this all the time before take off on an airline flight. The flight attendants instruct us, “In the case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first. Then assist those with you.”
Great life advice. I learned that when I put everyone else ahead of me, I got sick. I cannot do it all. I must take care of myself first and then help others – not the other way around.
As a reminder, here's Pablo Coelho's quote again:
“Stress, anxiety and depression are caused when we are living to please others.”
So I learned how to put myself at the top of my priority list, and when I did that, everything changed. This was so foreign to me. I thought I was being selfish, but after hearing the cancer diagnosis for the fourth time, I knew what I had been doing was definitely not working. It was time to make changes to regain my health, my balance, and my joy.
The supplements that changed everything
I started doing more research into anxiety and chronic stress. I kept reading about how various adaptogen herbs can help lower stress and how CBD and hemp-based supplements can help balance the body. These supplements were life-changing for me. I had found the missing piece. My anxiety went from an 8 to a 1 or 2 and my panic attacks completely stopped.
I have had a local service business for the past 17 years, yet I knew that there was something greater that I was here to do.
After my last health challenges, it was clear. I became a Certified Health and Life Coach to help others make small shifts that produce powerful results in your health and in your work.
My passion is helping other women create the balance, the health, and the joy that gets destroyed from chronic stress and anxiety.
I am not perfect. I still struggle with taking on too much at times, but I no longer live with chronic stress and anxiety. I tune into my body, my mind, and my spirit and do my best to honor what I need to do that day.
Without the high anxiety, I am focused again. I feel empowered, and I’m so much more productive. I created a major shift in my life after the age of 59 so I know that it is NEVER too late to create a life you love.
How can I help you?
Are you dealing with anxiety, high stress, or burnout? Are you feeling overwhelmed with all your responsibilities?
Do you feel like your business is running you rather than you running it?
Where to start? If you struggle with anxiety, subscribe to my newsletter and click here to get my free ebook “10 Natural Alternatives to Manage Anxiety.” I’ll share weekly tips on self-care, stress relief, and the power of developing a positive mindset for a healthy life and business.
If you’d like to explore how to dive even deeper, let’s talk.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Donna J Davis