Pecked to Death by Geese

pecked by geese

There are profound moments in everyone’s life when they hear something that really ‘hits the nail on the head’ so to speak.

Maya Angelou gave me one of those moments several years ago. She put words to a feeling she called, “Being pecked to death by geese.”

She was explaining that she did not allow any person to speak unkindly to, or about, another in her home. Even tiny jabs, sarcasm towards, eye rolls, etc., aimed at another were not allowed.

At the first sight of such behavior she would look seriously at them and state, “Not in my house!”

Those small, almost invisible little bites at another take a little bit from a person’s value, one piece at the time; a peck here, a peck there.

Over time, those little things add up and eat at a person and destroy their feelings of self worth. Maya’s word for those little insidious jabs taken at others…..

“Being pecked to death by geese.”

It’s a message to all of us to check ourselves.

maya quote







It bares repeating.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Do your words and actions lift others up or take them down?

We each have great power to change the world, one kind word at a time.

Unanswered Prayers?

life changing prayers

Do you think your prayers go unanswered?

It’s possible that you do not truly understand prayer. So let’s start there.


First of all, do you even realize that you are praying every minute of every day?

Most people think that all prayers are started with a “Dear God,” or some other formal summoning of spirit…. To get His attention.

But God, like Santa Claus, is watching and paying attention all the time.

“Before they call I will answer and while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24)

Your every thought, feeling and emotion is showing God what you are wanting in your life.

When your mind is full of benevolent thoughts and wishes for yourself and others, He hears and gives you more of what you are (in essence) asking for.

If thoughts of envy, jealousy and other unkindness were to dominate your daily life, then you could expect that the answers will show you more of what you are putting out in the ongoing prayer you are praying.

Pay close attention to all your thoughts, not just the words of your formal prayers.

Then watch for the answers by seeing what unfolds in your life.

The answers will be there. He promised.


10 Minutes to Italy, 10 Minutes to Roam


Most people think that a mini vacation is one where you take off for a long weekend. But I’m talking about the kind of vacation you can take in a minute…. no matter where you are.

And you can take this respite to faraway places and even to other eras. There is no restriction on time, money or airline schedules.

One of my favorite movies of all times is Dances with Wolves; so much so that when it was playing in theatres, I went to see it 8 times.( That is a big deal for me, because I just don’t see movies more than once. )

Anyway, when I drive to Wichita from my home close to the Missouri Ozarks, I drive right thru the Flint Hills on Highway 400.

There is about a 10 minute stretch of road where, with only a small amount of imagination, I can transform my car into a covered wagon. I do this by pulling out the Dances with Wolves soundtrack and slide it in my CD player.


And viola! I’m on the frontier. In the words of John Dunbar, “Before it is gone.” …expecting any minute to see a buffalo. The music fills me. The prairie is pristine, peaceful. I’m in a more simple time.


One could go even further and imagine that Kevin Costner is with me. And there is a blanket, a cabin and …. I hit Leon and my fuzz buster starts beeping. (There is always a speed trap at Leon)

My covered wagon becomes a Camry again, foot to the breaks, eject the CD, and pay attention to the road. I’m back in 2016, so much better off for my short trip the 1800s prairie.

A New Take on Journaling


Yes, it’s true. Many people are touting the positive effects of journaling, especially about gratitude.

And…. So am I. But do you know why it is so important?

Do you know how to quantify the value?


The more good you put out, the more good you get back. It’s just math.

Ask yourself this question. “What percentage of my life do I approach from a positive perspective?” That will be just about the same amount of good you see coming back to you.

For example, if it’s 50%, about half of your life is working right now. Every small improvement you make in your attitude will result in more good coming your way.

When you set aside time every day to consider the things you are grateful for, the time you spend becomes part of that math equation. Because of your effort to focus time on the bright side of life, you tend to notice more good in your world. Thus, you continue to expand the percentage of the positive in your life.

Don’t wait for the outside to improve first. Be grateful for what you already have and more will follow. Once you see that a gratitude journal is a small effort with a huge benefit, you’ll be sharing this ‘New Math’ with everyone you know.



the “Common Core” Generation

untitledRecently I was asking Dakota, a 4th grader, how she was doing in school. As it turns out, her grades were straight ‘A’ except for math. In math she got a ‘D’.

Cody, Dakota’s dad, overheard our conversation and immediately voiced his contempt for ‘Common Core Math’. He said there was no way he could even help her with the homework as he could not figure out why 2 + 2


couldn’t just equal 4 like it used to. (I know this is a stretch, but bare with me for a minute.)

I commiserated with him, being as confused by the whole thing as he was.

A few days later I was talking with my Tabitha, my Goddaughter who is a middle school math teacher. She is teaching “Common Core”. What an enlightening conversation!

Tabitha explained that kids grow up today with computers, debit cards, etc. they do not even experience the same things we grew up with. For instance, they have no reason to learn how to count back change. Actually, people are even getting away from using real money in their transactions. Many things are handled automatically that used to be ways for learning basic math skills in real life.

Therefore, kids in this new age do not develop the natural deductive ability to discern whether or not the mathematical answers they get make any sense. If they use a calculator to add up 285 + 300 and they push a wrong button, the answer may come up 3,285. They have not developed any skill for being able to immediately see that it cannot possibly be the right answer. The world they live in did not teach them that logic.

“Common Core” is geared to teach in such a way that the kids learn to estimate. Through that method they learn the logic we acquired naturally by simply growing up in a different time…. In a different world.

For many of us, it is almost impossible to fathom that things could be so different than when we grew up, but actually they are.

Some 3 year olds know more about operating a smart phone than I do. I was in my 40s before cell phones even existed.

By the time they get their first account, they will graduate to a debit card and the bank will do all their calculations for them. They will not look into their billfold to see how much money they can spend. They will go online and the bank records will tell them.

“Common Core” is a way of teaching what many of us think of as ‘common sense’.


The Ultimate Turn-off

flipOur world is so full of diversions that we are essentially tuned in and turned on all the time.

Even though we’re not supposed to be texting or talking on the phone while driving, we’ve always got our Garmins to keep us connected.

All our kids have smart phones, laptops and televisions in their rooms. Let’s not forget video games.

We are a turned on society every waking hour of the day.

textIf we get up in the middle of the night we even check our texts.

But it is actually the ‘Ultimate Turn-off that would be the biggest ‘Turn- on’ if you would give it a chance.

You know why?

God talks to us in the space between our thoughts. But when you keep your space so occupied with external things, your internal life is what suffers.

Silence for many is a scary thing and so we keep our minds rushing from one thing to another not realizing that what we are missing is the peace and contentment of our spiritual connection.

Communion with God will be challenging until you learn to quiet the negative self-talk running rampant in your head.

If you can’t hear guidance until your head is quiet and…. you feel like you can’t get quiet without some guidance….. it can feel like a catch 22.

Replacing your ‘head noise’ with a positive thought is a great first step. Find an affirmation that feels good to you. Anytime you notice negative thoughts, calmly repeat your affirmation. Repeat it several times if necessary.

It’s all worth the effort. Soon you will be listening to the sound of peace.

Who Will You Be Today, Your Authentic Self or …?


Think about all the personalities we employ as we go about the days and years of our lives.

For most of us there is the daughter, the employee, the mom and the wife. Or the husband, father, employer, brother, etc.

There are also more complex versions of all of us that we employ based on the circumstance and our frame of mind at the time.

Some show us who we want to be more of and others give us a view into our… well… let’s call it our “self improvement needed” side.

I’ve recently had an extended encounter with my ‘Over Accommodating’ persona.

Those who hire ,e can get a very good idea of the subject matter of my talks by first reading The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living or taking my on-line courses.

A running theme throughout my work is that of figuring out who you really are and living from that place.

As I prepared to work with a new group, it was requested that I put in writing what I would say. Trying to be accommodating, I did that.

They had other requirements of what I needed to include and so I added and rearranged. We were working back and forth for quite some time, and I was beginning to be concerned that in order to meet the restrictions I would either have to memorize or read my talk.

That is certainly different than my normal presentation method, but I wanted to be cooperative.

As restrictions became overwhelming, I started dragging my feet. It affected all my productivity and enthusiasm. Not on just that presentation, but on my work in general.

Something just didn’t feel right and I found myself doing everything I could think of to avoid my work.

I finally realized what had gone wrong. I’d lost my way, forgotten who I was.

The ‘Over Accommodating’ personality had descended upon me like a thief in the night.

A round peg doesn’t fit into a square hole, but we can sure wear ourselves out trying.

All it took was remembering my true self and recognizing that I was out of alignment. Once able to see the problem, I got back on the right track. Immediately things changed.

Enthusiasm returned.

Truth and Consequences

What if, your life was actually a movie playing out in front of you to show you the consequences of your thoughts and actions?

Just imagine that possibility for a moment.

Then take a quick look at it from the standpoint of it being your movie. Kind of a cool idea, huh?

And further….. what if your life really was that? Would you be happy with your movie?

What genre would you categorize it in? Drama? Suspense? Horror? Romance? Family rated?

If you are not completely satisfied with what is playing out in front of you, it’s never too late you switch your category.

The truth is, the life you see out in front of you starts with your mind. But most of us think that it is our exterior circumstances that are causing everything we see ‘out there.’

You can see what an endless and frustrating merry-go-round a person can be on always hoping that their life will change so that they can finally be happy.. When, in fact, their life/ their movie only transforms by them finding more peace and satisfaction inside themselves.

This isn’t an easy change… but that is only because the real truth runs so counter to what we have believed all our lives. As you gather your belief around you, and give it a try, you will see subtle changes that will help you ‘change your mind’.

We’ve all heard “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The truth really is that…. “When you believe it, you will see it.”

_____________________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at

The Perfect Career – Guaranteed!

Before you seek contentment in any other career, it is important to realize that your most important work is to be happy, contented, grateful and generous.

When you master these standards as your first priority, you will succeed at anything you choose to do. Without these, nothing you choose to do in life will feel like real success in the end.

Here are a few guidelines to help you get there.

Take time to count your blessings. By daily focusing on what is ‘right in your world’,  you automatically attract more good into your life.

What you focus on expands.

Quiet the voices in your head that say you’re not good enough, not smart enough, or any other defeatist balderdash.  Drown them out with positive thoughts and affirmations.

Surround yourself with upbeat people. Your mind will have the additional source of input that will help keep you on track.

Focus on the negative, you attract more to you.

Focus on the positive and your life improves.

Give of yourself to things you feel passionate about. Let the simple joy of giving be your intent. Have no concern for getting something in return.  When you are generous with your time and talents, it creates a space that must be filled.

Focus on giving and the Universe gives back to you in surprising and wonderful ways.

As you keep all these things in mind, make strides toward what you desire.  That movement forward demonstrates what is important to you. It is another powerful form of focus.

The result? True Success in life and career.

________________________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at

Carts Before Horses

Early on, as many people do, I choose a career path that would bring me wealth, give a great lifestyle and a degree of notoriety. I thought money, comfort and fame were the answers.

They weren’t!

Now I know that, just like the insanity of having the cart ahead of the horse, I had my life out of order.

I thought I had to first DO something

So I could HAVE what I wanted

And then I would BE happy.

But my priorities led to years of sacrifice only to find that real satisfaction starts with figuring our first who you are.

Who did I want to BE inside?

If I had known that upfront, inner passion for my life’s purpose would have been driving the train. Passion is the ultimate motivator.

From that passion I would have chosen a path that was in line with who I am instead of driven by money and fame.  Now there is nothing at all wrong with money or fame. However, the best situation would be for them to be a by-product of my passion instead of visa versa.

If my passion had been at the fore front of my life choices, instead of dropping out at age forty to find the meaning of my life, I would have been living it in every step I took from the very beginning.

Now that the power of my passion is the symbolic horse leading the way, it carries me to where I need to go and I am able to enjoy life every day.

The joy truly is in the journey.
______________________________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at