The importance of family

I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and reaching this milestone has awakened all sorts of feelings and hidden dreams that I don’t even know where to start. One thing that it has woken me up to is the fact that our time here is limited and that we need to be creating moments and enjoying the time we have with our loved ones. Two things in particular have made me more responsive to the living in the moment aspect of life. I was fortunate enough to have my sister join me for my birthday celebrations in Punta Cana and as crazy as it might seem I had not actually seen her for nearly 7 years. This is crazy because we both live here in the US we are just separated by multiple state lines but in reality we are really only a flight or 2 away from each other. So my question then became why haven’t we made more of an effort to see each other more frequently.?We have family scattered all over the place, some of my siblings live in England whilst others live in Malawi and South Africa. The last time we were all together as a group was in 2011 when we all flew back to Malawi for my baby brothers wedding. I am sure he won’t appreciate me calling him baby brother as he is now in his 30s, married and with kids of his own. Fact remains he is the baby of our family. As I was saying before my mind drifted off , I do not get to see my siblings frequently enough and the realization that I hadn’t seen my sister in years gave me some sobering moments. I talk to her all the time , so that is probably why I never thought too much about the fact that we hadn’t actually physically seen each other in years. Added to this sobering realization my older brother was involved in a car accident whilst he was transporting his car from one country to another and again this provided me with the opportunity to think about the importance of family. He is fine and he managed to escape the accident mainly unscathed, it did give us all food for thought though by us I am talking about my siblings and I. Our time here on earth is not guaranteed and things can happen in an instant , it is therefore extremely important to STOP, TAKE a BREATH and REASSESS LIFE. By this I encourage anyone and everyone to take the time to appreciate life and refocus on what they deem to be important in life. I have had the realization that family is important, we tend to take family for granted but my brothers accident has really given me a heightened awareness to place more importance to the moments we share and the memories we can create. I have decided to make more of an effort to create more meaningful moments with my own little family. I was able to take the time to go and watch the blockbuster movie Black Panther with my husband and 2 older kids and this was time well spent. Something that required minimum effort enabled us to create meaningful memories. I can now remember all the times I used to fight with my siblings with a smile on my face, I might have thought I hated them then but I now realize how much I love them and how thankful I am for the time I have had with them. Living in different countries makes it so difficult to create new memories but I pledge to make more of an effort to use the modern technology that we have now to keep in close communication with them. If anything I do not want to look back and say I should have made more of an effort to stay in touch with my macro family (my sibblings ). I am super blessed that both my parents are here and they spend the majority of their time living with my little family. Apart from all the help we get from them with raising our kids, my kids have also benefited from the added advantage of having all these moments sharing their achievement with them. I remember my parents as these strict authoritative figures when I was growing up, but I guess becoming grandparents has changed them. I am always amazed at what my kids are able to get away with when the grandparents are in charge. I guess the parents job is to discipline the kids and the grandparents are there to spoil them, regardless I am just very thankful that my kids get to spend all this time with their grandparents. I have nieces and nephews that would also love this opportunity to spend this type of precious time with their grandparents and as such we have decided to try and arrange a family reunion for this coming year. As I mentioned before the last time we were all in one place together was 2011. Back then there were only 17 grandkids we have since had 3 more additions to our clan and my parents asserts the pround grandparents of 20 kids. It would be awesome to get everyone together for such a reunion and I am excited to start planning it.

I hope sharing this has made some of you realize the importance of family, I do realize that not all families are created equal but when it’s all said and done, make the effort to spend time with your loved ones as our time here is limited.

I am a work in progress.

As a mother, wife, nurse, entrepreneur, and all the other labels I can think of that can be used to describe me one thing remains true, I am a work in progress. By this I mean to point out the fact that I know I haven’t reached my full potential and I remain a work in progress. One of my goals this year was to read 4 personal development books a month, insert laughing emoji here, but that hasn’t happened yet and we are already 2 months into the year. I am somehow okay with this as I know I am a work in progress, 5 years ago I used to scoff at the thought of reading non fiction books , unless it was required reading for a class of done sort,as I deemed them a bit of a bore but that was before I started requiring more from myself and others. I was living a happy life , I had let society define what living was supposed to be. This entailed getting a good education, getting job that would provide and saving towards retirement. Needless to say this outlook has changed and I have somehow started to require more of myself and my family. I was fortunate enough to have been invited to attend one of Tony Robbins’ seminars , I am pleased to report that I am an “Unleash The Power Within” alumni and that is what I believe was the beginning of my path to greatness. As I contend, I am not there yet, I remain a work in progress but I am pleased with what I am destined to become. I finally got the realisation that I am the main person that can create the future I desire. It is through my visualization of my goals and dreams that I will get the drive to work towards the vision I have for my life. Through my own life experience I have come to realize that we only have one life to live and by not living life to our fullest potential we are somehow doing a disservice to god and ourselves. God gives us gifts and by not using these gifts we are letting them go to waste. This new resolve has made me require more of myself and has raised the bar in forcing me to acknowledge that there’s a lot more that I have to learn.

I have come to the realization that greatness leaves clues, and these clues are written down in the form of books. I have read and learned so much from the different books I have read, and I realize that this is a great strategy for gaining knowledge. This year one of my goals is to get into the real estate game, by that I mean I want to get a rental property that will help increase our net worth so that we can start creating a legacy to leave for our offspring . I think owning property is a great way of acquiring wealth and although I realize we have a long way to go , I am excited that there is opportunity for us to join others that are using this strategy to get there. I have therefore decided to educate myself so that we can also set our kids up for future success. One of our major 2018 goals is to acquire a rental property that will help us provide for our kids. Ignorance and lack of knowledge is an excuse that is readily available to be used as a reason for not doing something, I could easily talk myself out of starting the real estate investment journey since I don’t know what I am doing, but I refuse to be defeated before I have even started. I will educate myself and I hope to come back and report how it all goes. I am going to be using books that have been written to educate myself on best strategy and the pitfalls to avoid. Just as this works for real estate it works for other aspects of our lives. There is no shame in admitting that we are a work in progress and each day presents us with an opportunity to learn something new. I am therefore revisiting my goal of attempting to read 4 personal development/self improvement books a month. Although I have only managed to read a book a month I know it can be done and that will be a priority for the month of March. If I can increase my books read to 2 a month for the month of March I should be at goal by May. I am ever the optimist and that is why I am okay with being a work in progress.

Till the next post.

Celebrate Life

Hi all

I am back on US soil after spending a wonderful time in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The picture above was the view I got to enjoy each morning as I took a minute or so to just take in the sights. I was there to celebrate my fortieth birthday with my husband, my sister and her husband and 2 other close couple friends of ours. It was a well deserved time away from the kiddos and I know that we all enjoyed just being able to let loose and enjoy life. With 40 being a milestone I wanted my birthday celebration to be something to remember. My husband saw my vision and he was happy with the excuse to travel. We have both acquired the keen interest for travel and this seemed to be a great opportunity for us to explore a part of the Caribbean. The views alone were worth the redeye to JFK and the connecting flight to Punta Cana.

The resort we went to didn’t have free wi-Fi “gasp , sigh,what “. This was my first reaction, followed by “no free wi-fi, how will I survive” I couldn’t imagine being that disconnected from the internet but it actually ended up being a good thing. It made me realize how attached I have become to technology and instant access to everything. I had time to think and actually be present in the moment. I was able to capture the sights, the smells, and the sounds without phone in hand. I wasn’t bombarded with the whole Kylie Jenner baby story , I mean why is it important to me.I guess this is the world we are now living in. Being disconnected from this and all other sensationalized stories was actually a welcome distraction. I am now more rested as I was able to fully disconnect. I had such a great time just being present and living in the moment that I now plan on taking more trips like this. The opportunity to explore another country and just take in the beauty and culture was truly a blessing and I am grateful for the life I have

We spent most of our time at the resort by the pool or the beach partaking in the many cocktails they had. We did become tourists for one day though , we went on a paid tour to the gorgeous Saona Island. This was probably my highlight of the trip, we had to wake up early to make the pick up time from our hotel lobby. The early wake up was a pain but the whole experience more than made up for it. We were picked up and stopped at several pick up points to pick up other tourists. We then made it to the dock where we boarded a speed boat to the Island. We made stop on the water so that those who wanted were able to snorkel and get a clear view of the different fishes that were there. As scared as I am of water I actually ended up snorkeling and it was amazing. Once we were done we went on to the Island fr partying and food. It was such a great day that it probably requires it’s own dedicated blog post. Once done we got on to a catamaran and made our way back to the dock. Then onto our bus for the ride back to our hotel, we ended our night off by having dinner at one of the hotels restaurants.

My birthday was on Suday the 4th of Februay which also happened to be Superbowl Sunday. We had early dinner so we could watch the game. I have to credit the customer service though…they went out of their way to set up a projector in the hotel lobby for us to watch th game. A lot of us tourists bonded over our joint support for the EAGLES, there were some PATRIOTS fans the were obviously not too happy with the outcome, but hey that is life.

It would be amiss of me not to highlight the individuals that took the time out to come and celebrate my special day. Maggie for being the travel agent, Steve the awesome photographer, Isabel for somehow coordinating a birthday cake and a birthday song surprise , Paul and Victor for bringing the comedy. The Hubby And My Sister Sarah for pulling off that awesome video birthday dedication from my sibblings and family , you guys made my birthday amazing. I will now have to work on that “All Inclusive” book.

My experience in my short 40 years on this earth has taught me to value and celebrate the limited time we have on this earth. Take The time to celebrate the big and small wins. Celebrate life and celebrate with the people that are special to you, you really do not know what tommorow has in store for you. I always go back to the title of my book, STOP, TAKE A BREATH, AND REASSESS LIFE. Enjoy what you have while you strive to become who you want to be. Till my next post, heres to Love and Gratitude.

My take on hitting a major age milestone

As we welcome the new month I am filled with lots of emotions as this is the month I turn forty. I have been looking forward to this particular birthday for some odd reason. I knew I wanted to do something major and something different. Thanks to some great planning and a great supportive tribe I will get to spend my birthday with some great friends.

Turning forty can hit you in one of 2 ways, it can be a wakeup call to the fact that you are not where you want to be or it can be the beginning of a downward spiral to a midlife crisis. I think it has affected me in the latter, I realise I am not where I want to be but hitting the age milestone makes me realize that this is the time to work towards the dreams that were once forgotten. Life is meant to be lived and I realize that turning forty is a blessing in itself. I am grateful for the life I have, my family ,my friends and my faith. At the same time I realize that my time here is limited and as such I don’t have time for a dress rehearsal. I should just live to my fullest potential now. I am therefore here to welcome forty with open arms.

As I prepare for my trip to Punta Cana I have the time to reflect on where I have come from and how excited I am for what the future has in store. I am not about to let life pass me by, on this first day of February, which also happens to be my birthday month, I pledge to be present. I will enjoy each day and pay attention to what I am doing. I will take the time to enjoy my family, my work and also work towards my goals. Life is meant to be lived and I encourage you all to do that. Turning forty gives one a new sense of acceptance, I am accepting of the fact that my time here is limited and this is the time to live my life to the fullest.

Always remember to Stop, Take a Breath and Reassess Life. I am grateful for the fact that I will be able to take a trip to celebrate my fortieth birthday and I will share with you more about this in my next blog post. Yes it’s ok to take some well deserved time away from the kiddos , you all deserve it. Heres to a productive February.

With love and gratitude

DR Fatsani Dogani

My take on goal setting

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I am one person who doesn’t shy away from setting ambitious goals. I have been setting goals for some years now but the weakness that I have is that I don’t always see them through. I have a funny habit of buying cute looking notebooks from the dollar store and I always have the best intentions of using them as my goal and idea books. I always start off well but somehow midway through the year I find myself forgetting all about these little notebooks, when I find them a year or two later I see all the ideas and goals that were great on paper but that never amounted to anything. I sometimes look at some of my goals from 7 to 10 years back and ask myself where would life be if I had put these ideas into action. I try not to dwell too much on the what might have been but rather also focus on the fact that everyone’s path is different and oftentimes there are  reasons why god lets us take the paths we lead.  I am accepting of the fact that my journey was meant to take me here. Now is my time to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life. With that has come the realisation that I have been going about this whole goal setting business the wrong way. I have always had great goals but I lacked a method of  sustaining the interest that would have encouraged me to take the action necessary to achieve the goals.   I came to this realisation as  I was going through a change management online course the other day. Within the course content there was an old Japanese proverb that I believe was directly speaking to me.

Vision without action is a daydream , action without vision is a nightmare.”

What this means to me is that all those goals (vision) I had were daydreams because I did not take any action towards them or even attempt to have a strategy thinking session as to how I would achieve them. At the same time starting out with action without really having a clear vision is a nightmare. To break it down even further, if my goal was to run a marathon and I did nothing towards this goal that goal would mean I was just daydreaming. Similarly if I just started running without having a clear vision of why I was running , I would be setting myself up for failure (nightmare).  I therefore came to the realization that the goals that I had been able to achieve in my life were due to the fact that I had a clear vision for them and actually took the action towards them , such as pursuing my PhD or starting my fashion business with my best friend.

What I am trying to share is that when you set your goals you have to have a clear vision of what the outcome is going to be, the goal has to be able to move you towards taking the steps and action necessary to get you to where you want to be. Goal setting should not be taken lightly , it should be taken as a major responsibility to be treated with the utmost importance. After all, this is you finally giving yourself the permission to do something about living the life you want to live. You are now saying to society ” this is not what life is all about, I can be more than this, I can do more than this , I wasn’t meant to be mediocre, I was meant to be great.” Once you give yourself the permission to improve your life and to live your best life now, you will find that the goals come to you. What have you always wanted to do, what have you always thought was out of reach?Once you start to visualise and set the goals, your mind opens up to opportunities that can lead you to your better life. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you set goals and sit back, you have to take the action necessary to reach your goals. Take the example of the marathon, just because I say I want to run a marathon does not mean the opportunity for a marathon will just come to me. I have to start taking the steps to get me there. This would require researching types of marathons, cost of marathons, training required etc , etc, . Then followed by the action of training until the point that I would feel prepared to run the marathon. Goal setting can get you to where you want to be if approached the right way. I hope my take on goal setting has triggered a small desire in you that will encourage you to do some soul searching about whether you are living your best life now or whether you need to Reassess where you are in life.

I hope this  blog post has some of you thinking . As always I encourage you all to Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to my website and blog

pexels-photo-775779.jpegI would like to personally welcome you to my awesome blog. This is the first of many postings that I plan to share with you. As I was thinking about launching my personal blog and website I spent many a day wondering what my niche subject should be. Deciding on a topic area was giving me endless headaches because I just couldn’t decide what my focus should be. Then I decided to leave it to God…and Lord and behold that inner voice started asking me why do I have to choose a niche topic. It said “Fatsani you are so multifaceted in what you do, why do you have to choose one aspect of your life to talk about”. That then had me asking myself,” who said I have to stick to one thing, why not talk about different aspects of my life?”. So that was all I needed to decide that this platform will be used to share the different things that I am passionate about. After all, I am who I am because of the different life experiences I have had.. In list form which is by no means conclusive… I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a cousin, I am a mother, I am an auntie, I am an entrepreneur, I am a fashion designer, I am a nurse, I am a PhD, I am an immigrant, I am an author, I am a Speaker….. And so on and so forth. So why limit myself to a specific “NICHE” Topic, I feel I would be doing the world a disservice by limiting what I share with it. So here I am, first blog post on my brand spanking new website I am here to share my story and to inspire, to move you all to get better every day. My drive behind going to all this trouble is to share the story that made me “Stop, Take a Breath, and Reassess Life” which also happens to be the title of my first self published book. See not so long ago I was living life as it came.. With goals and ambitions but with no urgency to change much about life. Then my husband got diagnosed with a spinal tumor that required major surgery that he is still getting over today and that was the kick that I needed to reassess where I was in terms of personal goals and achievements. Don’t get me wrong when people glance at my life and what I have been able to achieve I am sure they say I am not grateful for what I have. I have the PhD, a home, a great job, a great family etc, etc but added to that I also have the huge student loan debt. I am grateful for what I have but at the same time I know that the Lord created me to be more and to do more. I have the God given potential as do you to be able to live at a higher level. My thing is that I know I can do better, I know I should be living a life of financial freedom or rather I can live the dream life that I want as long as I put my mind to it. So here I am today reflecting on the fact that it took my husband being diagnosed with a tumor for me to realize that I wasn’t really living the life that I could be living. I hope that by sharing my story I can help others see that life is never guaranteed and that the unexpected can easily creep upon us and change our lives as we know it. So I am here to encourage you all to ask yourselves the hard questions…

  1. Are you doing what you love ?
  2. Are you waiting for the right time time?
  3. Are you prepared for the curveball we call life?

The right time might never come, you just have to decide what you want in life and start taking the steps to change your reality. I usually get carried away when I start talking about personal development and living our better lives so as a first post I will stop here. Just know I have a lot more to share with you. I will use this platform to educate where I can by sharing my stories and my life experiences. Like I said, I am such a multifaceted individual so expect to see different topics from me. I will aim to keep it entertaining and educational. I have a lot to share and I hope you keep coming back for new content.

I would love it if you can show me some love and encouragement by following me on social media and signing up for updates.

Till the next posting remember to Stop,Take a Breath, and Reassess Life.