Monday, April 08, 2013

Not Without Reason Film About Self Injury

Hello Divine Diva’s,

I’m super excited to let you know about a documentary film called Not Without Reason that I’m helping with and will also have a poem featured in this film about Self Injury. This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart because a few years ago I found out just how many people this affects and had mentored some young women who self injured. Please read my interview with the director and producer Joseph Chastain.

What is your experience with Self Injury and what inspired you to want to do a film about the Self Injury?

I am a recovering self-injurer. I've also met numerous people in my life who have indulged in self-injury. I decided to do this film as a way to educate people about self-injury and to show people who do self-injure that they are not alone.

At what age did you first start self injuring?

I began self-injuring around the age of ten, after the death of my grandmother.

Have you recovered or are you in recovery now?

I have not self-injured in a long time, but I do not believe that anyone completely recovers from any addiction as strong as this one. I occasionally get feelings that I should cut, but they are becoming rarer and rarer.

Was there something that happened in your life that led you down the road of self injury?

One of the big things was the death of my grandmother. A few months before three dogs that my family owned were killed and kids at school picked on me unmercifully. It was a hard year. I began by banging my forehead against windowsills and walls. Self-injury became a way to keep me alive. At the tender age of ten I considered killing myself.

How do you think society views self injury at this point in time?

Unfortunately a large part of society thinks that self-injurers are insane or sick. The truth is self-injury is amazingly common, though it is a tough disorder to understand, I feel that there's a way for self-injurers to be more accepted in our society. There is also the belief that self-injurers are attention seekers, which while true some of the time, most self-injurers keep their problems secretive. Even those that do self-injure for attention have major problems and need help. Finally a large part of the population thinks self-injury is a failed suicide attempt. This is simply not true. Self-injury is a way to cope with problems, not a way to kill oneself.

Is it still misunderstood, or do you think in the past few years people are being educated more now?

There have been miles of improvement in recent years. A lot of that is due to Marilee Strong's work on A Bright Red Scream and also due to several celebrities admitting they self-injure, including the late Princess Diana, Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Angelina Jolie, Demi Lavato, Mia Tyler, and a host of others. More research is being done, and a few films such as Thirteen and Prozac Nation have included self-injury as a theme in them.

What kinds of things are you going to be featuring in the film?

There will be interviews with self-injurers and mental health professionals, reenactments and showing small portions of every day life. Also I am featuring poetry and artworks of those that have self-injured as most self-injurers are creative. A special section on the film will deal with creativity and self-injury, both as a coping mechanism and correlations between creative’s and their self-injurious behavior.

I know the film is going to be a non profit film, is there a way that people can donate?

Yes! Any amount, no matter how large or small will be accepted. To donate one can go to Artspire and search for Not Without Reason.

Also going to the official website Not Without Reason has a direct link to the donation page.

When will the film be released and will it be released in theaters as well as DVD?

My target premiere date is March 1st 2014. I cannot tell you yet if the film will be released in theaters or TV, though those are both goals.

What are your hopes and dreams for the film?

I am hoping that this film helps convince self-injurers to receive help and helps them feel that they are not alone. I also want the film to help illuminate others on this important topic.

Where can people contact you to donate or for more information about the film?

Anyone who wants to learn more can go to my official page Not Without Reason

Our IMDB page is at Not Without Reason

Our Face Book Page is Not Without Reason

or e-mail me at

Joseph was educated at Columbia College Hollywood in Tarzana, CA. He’s directed several short films. Not Without Reason is the first feature he’s begun shooting.

His editor and Cinematographer, Lee Thomas has over 50 years in the film business and has been invaluable. His fellow Producer, Gordon Cornell Layne has about the same amount of time in the industry and has worked on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Walton’s, Hart to Hart and Days of Our Lives.

Joseph Chastain
Not Without Reason

Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nothing But Respect A True Victim-to-Victory Story Book Review

Hello Divine Diva’s,

I’m happy to share with you a review of my friend Julie Anne’s book, Nothing But Respect A True Victim-to-Victory Story .

Nothing But Respect captivated me from the very first page of the main event which starts out with Julie’s suicide attempt. As I read the first few pages, my heart broke reading how Julie Anne thought that her family would be better off without her and I wondered what possibly could have happened to her that lead her to this place on her life. I was especially drawn to her story because like Julia Anne, I also live with chronic illnesses and saw myself in her.

As she starts to take us on the journey of her early childhood and teen years, they seem pretty normal to me. I found myself really enjoying reading about her adventures in school, sports, and the typical things we all go through as children and teens. Her story was talking me on a trip down memory lane which came to sudden stop as I read about how her innocence was stolen from her at the tender age of 17 when she was raped. As I read about how she thought it was her fault, I wished I could reach through the pages of the book and tell her, it was not her fault.

I have to say throughout the book, Julie Anne shows such courage and a willingness to be honest about every thing she has experienced in her life, no matter if it was good, bad, or ugly. She really hides nothing from the reader and doesn’t gloss over anything and her decision to share such personal details about her life is done for the sake of helping others and I applaud that she chose to do that for the sake of the book.

Many things she shares in the book are very personal and are about real life experiences that happened to her and she shares them with the reader to show us the lack of respect she had for herself with the hopes that the reader who may be going through similar things in her life will learn from it.

Without giving too much of the book away, I will say that Julie takes on her journey of depression, chronic illness, and her suicide attempt. She shares not only the highlights of her life, but also is very real is sharing her very dark days as well. She shares her stories of love and of loss and is very open about everything in her life.

Her book really shows the reader that no matter what you go through in life and no matter how bad it gets, you can change you life and you can find your way back from even the darkest days. It takes courage and willingness, but it can be done. We all have obstacles in our life and though some of have bigger obstacles to get around and things we can’t control, we all have the power to change our lives if we choose to do so.

Her book really shows us that God loves broken people and he can take the events in our lives and teach us lessons along the way, and he has the power to take even the most difficult things that happen to us and use them to help us create and even better life then we could have imagined for ourselves. If he can do that for Julie, then he can do that for you to.

Click the link to order Julie’s book.

You can visit Julie’s site at Julie-Annes Journey
Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Activate your Goodness by Shari Arison Book Review

In her book Activate Your Goodness, Shari Arison offers inspiration and wonderful tips for improving your life and the lives around you and shows you that in doing good for others, you also do good for yourself.

Forbes magazine ranked Shari Arison one of the World’s Most Powerful Women but from a young age, Shari always felt that there was something more out there and wondered what it was. After being a full time mom for years and being married and divorced 3 times she found herself trying to understand her life and started on a path of self discovery.

Like most of us who find ourselves on a path of self discovery and those of us who have dealt with adversity, she realized that there never seemed to be a shortage of obstacles, twists, and turns that come at us, no matter how hard try to escape them.

On her journey she always felt she was learning her lessons the hard way and after what seemed to be a life of fighting, she decided she wanted to do good, think good, and feel good.

She decided to figure out what she had to offer to the world and took her skills and life experiences and set out on a path to do her part on improving the world. She had a vision, a passion, and a concept of doing good which mixed together turned into a great recipe for promoting goodness in the world.

I related to her story so much because I went through many years of painful ups and downs in my life and for many years thought my life would continue to be one terrible thing after another and experienced some very dark times in my life in which I thought there was no light in sight. I knew there had to be more to life then obstacles, difficulties, and adversities, and I desperately longed for a life that had meaning to it and to know that who I was mattered in the world.

It took many years of feeling lost until I was diagnosed with 2 chronic illnesses and finally discovered my gifts and talents and what part they would play in my life and the world.

Shari believes that good starts with each of us and she invites us to start this journey with her. She says all you have to do is think good, speak good, and do good. It sounds so simple, but yet I firmly believe that if we all were to incorporate these 3 things in our daily life, amazing things would happen in the world.

Shari's mission to activate goodness has encouraged thousands of people all over the world to activate their goodness by doing a good deed and in March of 2012 more than 250,000 people around the world participated on Good Deeds Day.

We all go through ups and downs in life and sometimes it’s hard to imagine reaching outside ourselves and doing something good for someone else when we’re feeling bad in our own lives. But the magic is when you do reach outside yourself and do something good for someone else you start feeling better regardless of what’s going on in your own life.

We all have the power to activate goodness. There is no age requirement required, it doesn’t take allot of money, and it doesn’t matter where you live or who you are.

We all have the power each day to make a difference in the world by doing good and this book is a great starting point filled with helpful tips and inspiration to not only improve your life, but the lives of those around you.

(I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I am also an affiliate of Hay House Publishing and Amazon.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Everyday Angels

Hello Divine Diva’s,

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here and I’ve been working on some projects. So if you don’t see anything here, you can always find me at my community page for women at I would love for you to stop by. I also have some exciting things coming up and I will be posting about them soon.

I’ve still been out sprinkling my Seeds Of Hope cards and it’s so much fun to leave them out for others to find. It got me to thinking about the first card I created many years ago and this is a story about that.

When we think of angels the first pictures that often come into our mind is a heavenly being with golden hair and a light that shines bright enough to light the world. We've seen pictures of angels in books and photographs of all different shapes and sizes. There seems to be no end to the beauty they project, and they have comforted many people at just the right time in their lives. But I have often wondered to myself, what does a real angel look like?

I had never had an angel encounter myself, but have enjoyed reading the many stories that have been written about angel encounters through the years. They have always fascinated me and I always felt like there must be a way for the average person like me to have an angel experience. The question was how would I go about it? Do I call on my angel to show herself to me? Do I pray to God and ask for him to send me an angel?

Several years passed since I first started thinking about angels, and my life has changed in so many ways. At 32 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called Fibromyalgia, and my life took an unexpected turn. I was given this sentence of an incurable illness and there was not a thing I could do to change it. I went through the usual denial, and then the anger of wondering why did this happen to me? No matter how many times I asked there seemed to be no answers of why this illness chose me.

Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

After I got over the initial shock of all of this, and started taking medications to manage the symptoms, I still had angels on my brain. There were days I felt so alone and I felt like nobody understood what I was going thorough, and I had no idea what to do with all of these feelings I was having. It really opened my eyes to a new world that was about to change for the better.

Of course I didn't know how at the time, I felt like I must have been given this illness for a reason, the key was to figure out why. Then it dawned on me that I was not the only one who must be feeling like this. There are millions of people each and every day who are dealing with an illness just like I was. And knowing how it felt to feel like nobody understands, I thought there must be a way to let other people know that they are not alone and that someone does understand. I knew that angels have always been comforting to people so I decided I would write an inspirational poem that I could send out to let others know that they have an angel watching over them.

My first poem was called Your Secret Angel. I started sending it to hospitals, cancer centers, homeless shelters and anywhere people may be in need of a few comforting words. I sent it out with just the name "From Your Secret Angel". I was excited to be able to do this, and I went on to write several more inspirational poems that I have sent out to strangers through the years. Through my research I have found that there is no shortage of organizations and places that people are in need of comforting word. And although it took an illness for me to find my gift of writing, I also learned some very important lessons along the way.

You see the world is full of everyday angels just like you and me. Just because we don't have wings or wear a halo doesn’t mean we can’t be angels. You don't need to fill out an application, and there are no special tests required for this job. We all have special gifts and talents that we can share with the world. For me it’s writing, for you it might be something else. If you look inside your heart, I know that you will find that special thing that lies inside every one of us. We don't have to look to the sky to find that shining light, because that shining light is in each and everyone one of us, and we should all let that light shine bright for the world to see. We all need a little divine intervention at sometime in our life.

Let today be the day that you decide to be an angel to someone. We're all on this journey together and what better time to earn our wings and become the angel that we are truly meant to be.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Seeds Of Hope

Hello Divine Diva’s,

I have just started a new project this week called Seeds Of Hope. It’s kind of a variation of a project I did many years ago and have just changed it up a little bit. You see when I was first got sick many years ago with my illnesses I knew exactly how it felt to feel alone and like nobody understood what I was going thru. To the outside world, I looked fine because my illnesses were invisible to others. I wanted to find a way to help others and let them know they are not alone and created a special poem that I sent out to hospitals, homeless shelters, support groups, and anywhere else that I could send my little poem which was called Your Secret Angel.

I was cleaning out some things a few days ago and found one of my little cards from long ago and a new idea came to me. The last several years the economy has hit all of us hard and I know for many, things are still not much better and it’s a scary place for many people. I know this first hand because right now, I am not able to work due to my illnesses and my boyfriend lost his job and is doing landscaping to try to support us and trying to find another part time job so that we can continue to survive and it’s still a scary place for many people in the world.

So I decided to create some new cards with my little quotes and poems on them for a project called Seeds Of Hope, spent a few dollars at a copy center and made a bunch of my little cards. I decided that I wanted to spread Seeds Of Hope to others and take these cards with me when I’m out and put them in random places for others to find them. Each one has a quote or poem I wrote on it and at the bottom, I wrote you have just been sprinkled with Seeds Of Hope. I think what the world needs now more then ever, is hope and my hope with this project is to let others know that they are not alone and I’m hoping these positive messages I’ve written will brighten the day of someone.

I truly understand when things are not going well and when things seem to be out of our control and we feel frustrated and sad, and sometimes depressed, it’s easy sometimes to get stuck in that way of thinking, and if we stay that way, we may lose hope. I don’t want anyone to lose hope and my goal with these little cards is to remind others to have hope. I believe with a little faith, hope, and love, if we plant those seeds, miracles can start to grow and anything is truly possible.

Amazingly enough on my first day of this project, although my goal was to help others, I received and unexpected blessing. My boyfriend and I took these cards out with us on our errands and we put a few on cars, gave a homeless woman one, I put a few in a restroom where we were eating and on the table where we were eating, and we had a coupon for a free bag of chips, so I told my boyfriend to go and give the bag of chips to a gentleman who was seated not far from us. He had said hello to my boyfriend so I figured why not give him this bag of chips we received for free, it was just a small gesture and we weren’t going to eat them anyway. To my surprise the gentleman got up and came over to meet me and said thank you to my boyfriend and I and asked is he could say a prayer for us.

So right there in the middle of this fast food restaurant, he said a beautiful prayer for my boyfriend and I asking God to take care of us and bless us. When he was finished, I handed him one of my little cards and he was so surprised and when he read it, he told me that God has big plans for me, and then he asked if he could have a few cards for his friends as well, so I picked out a few different ones and gave him those for his friends, and we left.

My boyfriend and I felt so blessed by this and although my intention was to inspire, and help others with my little cards, we ended up receiving an awesome unexpected blessing as well. It was a perfect end to the first day of sprinkling Seeds Of Hope.

When I decided a few days ago to start this project, I asked God to give me a sign to let me know this is what he wanted me to do, and I received that sign today when this gentleman came over and said a prayer for us.

I don’t have a set plan of where and when I put the cards out, or which particular one, I’m just going to take them out with me when I’m out and about and let the Universe and God guide me and hope each one and each message gets to the right person, at the right time.

I’m on a mission now, to Sprinkle Seeds Of Hope, One Seed and One Card at a Time!

Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Looking Into The Eyes Of Love

Hello Divine Diva’s

I had the pleasure of meeting Nick Vujicic a few years ago. Here’s what happened when I met him.

Do you ever have those weeks when certain things happen to you that leave you really feeling down about yourself? Well for me this week was one of those weeks. I was really feeling down about myself and is spite of that, some amazing things happened to me. About a month ago I saw a video of Nick Vujicic from Life Without Limbs and was so inspired by him, but had no idea at the time that I would ever get to meet him. Nick was born without arms and legs and he travels the country speaking about God. He’s such a remarkable man, and that’s putting it mild. Anyway I found out this week from a friend that he was going to be speaking at her church this week and I was so excited and knew I had to go hear him speak, but until Friday I had no idea how I would be able to go and see him.

My car has been down for more then a week and everyone I asked to go with me could not go, so I had almost given up hope that I was going to be able to see him. Then a friend stepped in and made it possible for me to go. It’s weird because I didn’t have any specific intention when I went to hear him speak, except to get a seat in the front of the church which I did. I had no idea what a powerful night this would be for me. Watching him up close speak about his life and how God uses him, was so inspiring and amazing. I mean here is this young man, who could have easily given up on himself, and instead he chose to do great things with his life, and in the process he inspires millions of people all over the world.

I knew without a doubt that I had to meet him after the service. Although I had no idea what I would say to him, and was so nervous trying to think of something great to say, when it was my turn to go and hug him and speak to him, I hardly said anything. I’m not usually a nervous person and I’m not one who is ever at a loss for words, but there I was standing in front of him not knowing what I could say to him that would mean something. If I was at my computer, I’m sure I would have thought of a million things to say to him. I’m an inspirational writer and words flow more freely when it’s just me and the computer, but in person, I thought I really blew it when it was my turn to speak to him.

But then something magical happened. After I said the only two things I could think of to say to him and received one of his famous hugs, I started to walk away from Nick and then he called me back over to him. I had no idea what was about to happen, and I’m still in shock remembering what he said to me that night. He looked into my eyes and it felt like he was looking into my soul, and as I looked at him, I knew I was looking into the eyes of love. He told me what a beautiful, generous spirit I have and he seemed to know everything about me, although we had never met before. He asked my name and then asked if he could talk to me and tell me a few things. Of course I said yes, but I had no idea how powerful what he said to me would be. He knew that I try so hard to help others and he also knew that I have questions each day and often wonder if I’m on the right path and if what I do matters to anyone. He knew that I worry about these things and that I get stressed out about wondering if I’m doing what I’m meant to do in my life.

He told me that God knows that I worry about these things and that I want clarity and that I want to know the answers, and he told me that he loves me and that God loves me as well. He told me that God knows I want clarity about my life and what I do with it. To tell you the truth I was so nervous and freaked out and I think I even said that to Nick but I didn’t mean it in a bad way. It was just so weird and amazing that Nick knew so many things about me and I know the only way that he could know these things about me was from God himself. He even knew that I take medications and when he asked about it, I told him I take several medications for a few chronic illnesses and a severe back problem as well. He seemed to know so many things about me but most important of all, he knew that I wanted confirmation. He knew I wanted to know that what I do and who I am does make a difference in the lives of others.

Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

I remembered in his sermon, Nick said God uses him to show others what is possible for each of us, and I know and believe with all of my heart that God chose a very special man when he sent Nick out to the world to spread his message of love. Nick reminded me that it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside, and for me this was a message I needed to hear more then ever this week. I had so many doubts about myself this week and wondered to myself, what if I’m not the woman to help the women and girls that I reach out to, and I received the answer to that question that night from Nick.

I know now more then ever that I am the right person and that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. God used Nick to give me the clarity I was seeking and to confirm without a doubt, that I need to continue on my mission to help inspire, motivate, and build self esteem in women and young girls. And as I continue to remind those I connect with that they are enough, I know now that I am also enough, just as I am. I know now that my life has been blessed and I will continue to use my gifts and talents wherever I go. I know now what it feels like to look into the eyes of pure love. I saw that tonight in Nick’s eyes as he spoke to me.

I thank Nick from the bottom of my heart for reminding me that I am a child of God and for reminding me that I don’t need to question my purpose. I am doing what I’m meant to do each time I reach out to another woman who has been abused and who is hurting, and I will continue to do all that I can and all that is in my heart. He reminded me that I am loved and he looked into my soul and showed me what I needed to see this week. I thank him for telling me that he loves me and reminding me that God loves me as well. I will always cherish the night I met Nick and when doubts come up, I will remember the words he spoke to me and remember the gift of love that I received from him that night. Those gifts of love that poured out of Nick's heart are priceless to me and will stay with me forever.

I thank him for giving me the chance to look into the eyes of love and see what I needed to see and for reminding me to never give up on my mission in life. He reminded me that love conquers any fear we might have each day. He reminded me that with love all things are possible. He also spoke about the word impossible and broke it down into this. I AM POSSIBLE! So for anyone reading this who has doubts about themselves and who feels that things are impossible, remember that anything is possible if you believe it is.

Please check out Nick’s website to see what an amazing man and gift Nick is at Take a look at what God can do through each and every one of us.

You can order Nick’s books in hardcover, paper book, or kindle by clicking on the following links.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy New Year

Hello Divine Diva’s

I hope that everyone is having a very Happy New Year. I know it has been a little while since I have posted a new blog, and I’m very sorry about that. I took some time off over the holiday and I also was sick as well.

For those of you who may not know, I have an illness called Fibromyalgia, an illness called Interstitial Cystitis, and I also have 3 herniated disks in my back, as well as spinal stenosis and arthritis in my back and sometimes between all of them, I have down periods where I cannot be sitting at the computer. Boy I so need a laptop, it would make things much easier.

I think sometimes these things get jealous of what I’m doing and decide to cry out for some attention and if I don’t listen, they just will not give up trying to grab some attention from me, so I had to give some attention to them. They can be very determined at times, just like my little puppy who is also one determined little guy.

I did however create my new facebook community page and hope to build an inspiring community there. I also have some great things I’m working on for this New Year, one of which is a clothing and giftware line of products with my inspirational sayings on them and hope to have that online shop open soon.

I also have some great interviews I will be posting here on the blog as well with some amazing women and will be posting interviews throughout the year to inspire you. I’m also going to be starting a program to honor inspirational women each month here on the blog and my facebook page as well and am looking for sponsors who would be willing to donate products to give to the person who is selected as the Divine Diva of the month to celebrate her. It’s a great way to get your product or service out there as well as honor a special woman each month. You can click on the links on the blog for more information on being a sponsor as well as nominating a deserving woman. Please send me an email if you are interested at

I hope you are all having a great start to the New Year and I look forward to connecting with you and inspiring you! Check back soon for the next interview. Wishing you all a Divine New Year!

Always Remember that you are Beautiful, Strong, Powerful, Fearless, Amazing, Divine, and most important of all YOU ARE ENOUGH! Divine Diva Donna

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