I'm a 3X Mental Health Therapist & Hypnotherapist who is also a Speaker, Author and Trainer. I would love to be invited to speak at your next event.
Joyce Meyer wrote "We set ourselves up for disaster with wrong mindsets, but we can have a good life if we learn how to think right”. And from my experience, nothing has ever been so true. I have watched people suffer and continue with the poor thinking that got them in their position of suffering in the first place all based on their quality of thinking. I often wonder why people repel wisdom. Probably because they don't recognize it as wisdom, rather, they prefer doing and believing what's familiar to them. I've seen people live in darkness and oblivion because their mind hasn’t yet recognized wisdom being presented to them and I've seen stubborn, fixed minded people have adult tantrums when their thought processes are challenged. It's sad and pretty frustrating to watch, especially when it's the very people I care for the most who are so deep in their wrong thinking.
How can we tell if we're thinking wrong? Well, the best way I know of is for us to look at our life results. Results never lie. Also, compare your beliefs and thinking to current research for comparison. It's possible you're thinking is rooted in decades of old beliefs systems that are no longer serving the greater good of your life. I see this the most in people who watch the nightly news incessantly. Decades ago, watching the nightly news was a family past time after dinner. Today, research studies prove that the news triggers our nervous system into constant fight/flight, which floods our bodies with too much stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Our bodies were not created to sustain such constant exposure to stress.
We must use our conscious mind to change our thinking patterns and personal behaviors. Additionally, when we were prehistoric protohumans, there wasn’t any broadcasted nightly news because there wasn’t any radio, television, or Internet. And even after radio and TV came into existence, we still didn’t have the kind of international access to worldwide tragedies within moments of catastrophes occurring. We can safely say that in 2021, it's healthier for us not to watch or listen to the news as often, or if ever. I personally never listen to the news because I have more important things to focus on, and I also know that someone will eventually inform me of any imminent danger. Most times, whatever is going on in the world doesn't directly apply to me anyway. Many times, it’s over with by the time I learn of it anyway.
My personal belief is I have more important things to focus on like advancing my family life and community, reading personal development books to improve my thoughts and knowledge base, or working on the personal or business project that's before me. I personally prefer to be an academic and a creator, not a Negative Nancy, Debbie Downer, or a Depressed Danny. I see too many people obsessed by social media negativity and the news. It causes them to live in fear. I don’t want fear to lead my life. Many people tell me I need to watch the news to know what’s going on in the world, but I disagree. I need to focus on creating my life and the news would distract me from achieving that to my fullest potential. But this is how I protect my mind; others are not as interested in protecting their mind, probably because the concept has not yet been introduced to them.
Everyone’s battle is in their mind. Right thinking can enable you and wrong thinking can disable you. Wrong thinking is the primary cause of most of our problems. That's why most people struggle with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They don’t have control over their minds. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not an easy task and that’s why most people don’t like to think about what they’re thinking about. And yes, most times, we don’t have direct control over our thoughts because many of our thoughts are subconsciously programmed into our brain. But we certainly can begin to consciously control our thoughts and redirect them once we “consciously” realize we are experiencing wrong thoughts. I actually prefer to say “unhealthy thoughts”, but either way, wrong or unhealthy thoughts do not serve us at all.
We must get to a point where we consciously decide to wage war against negative, unhealthy, ineffective, and unproductive thoughts. I chose spiritual guidance to protect my mind from unhealthy and wrong thoughts. I began regularly affirming right thinking such as:
I deliberately chose to stop arguing for my limitations. I deliberately chose to live by faith and not by sight. I deliberately chose to believe in miracles. I deliberately chose to believe in the power of prayer and wisdom such as Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”, and Matthew 17:20 paraphrased as I only need to have faith the size of a mustard seed for it to be effective. I chose to study the conscious and subconscious mind because at some point I knew I needed to reprogram my mind if I wanted my life results to match the beautiful vision of inner peace, et cetera, I had created in my mind for my future. My life results proved my personal hypothesis to be true. My beliefs create right or wrong thinking and I deliberately chose right thinking, which motivated my right actions to create desired results.
It’s important to note that it’s not our fault that we are naturally negative thinkers. It’s our brains way of trying to keep us safe. It’s a result of our primitive mind. Additionally, we were programmed from childhood as we interpreted external circumstances through our subconscious mind. Everything we experienced and took in from our five senses programmed our subconscious mind because all we had during our early years was a subconscious mind. As children we responded to external stimuli such as how people talked to us, treated us, and the energy of our environment by the way it felt to us. We didn't have a conscious mind to question our beliefs. We lived to fit in, to receive love, to feel a sense of belonging because to the brain belonging and fitting in meant were safe and would survive.
If we didn’t feel that sense of belonging, it would create fear-based thoughts such as rejection, and to our primitive mind, that equates to potential death. Hence, a society of “followers” was created. This is understandable because we are socially oriented people. Independent, analytical, and in-depth thinkers historically are much more rare, albeit, the creators of civilization.
Today, followers will suffer from unhealthy thinking. In-depth thinkers will question their thoughts and those being espoused in order to ensure intelligent, healthy thinking, which usually equals healthy behaviors. So ask yourself, "Am I thinking right or wrong thoughts, healthy or unhealthy thoughts, positive or negative thoughts”? Do you have a formula for intelligent decision-making? Are you analyzing your life results to gauge the quality of your thoughts? I can assure you if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or negativity, you need to improve the way you're thinking. You may initially want to push back on that suggestion, but pushing back won't serve your evolution. What will serve you is saying, “Today, I will take full responsibility for how the rest of my life turns out no matter what happened to me prior to today. And the way I’ll start taking responsibility for the quality of my life is by improving the quality of my thoughts”.
Ultimately, how your life turns out is your responsibility and the quality of your life starts with how well you think. Question everything about your life and see if you can improve it by improving your thinking habits. Remember, you will be transformed as your mind is renewed by the word of God, incorporating advanced knowledge, and seeking wisdom through independent thinking. The bottom line is we have to change our thinking before anything else about our lives will ever change.
Dr. Capri Cruz
I recently was locked out of my Facebook account because of technical difficulties. At first, I tried to get back into it to no avail. After a few days, my will dissipated and I began feeling a sense of gratitude. I've never wanted to be too immersed in social media because it can be a very unhealthy world; the constant barrage of information entering my brain that influences my reality and the seeing of things I'm not in alignment with or that disturb my peace. It’s just too much incoming stimuli for my brain when my goal is to be able to know my own inner voice. I just don't want to be exposed to so much noise. It changes the rhythm of my heartbeat. I have come to peace with not being on social media so much and it's beginning to feel really good.
My main interest on social media was helping people through my Heal Your Life with Dr. Cruz recordings, which are also on Youtube, but after getting locked out of Facebook I felt a gradual shift as if I was being perceptually realigned. I began experiencing something that I am now embracing even more; a greater sense of self. I remember once saying, “I just want to experience an authentic thought of my own, not one influenced by external culture, society, or public opinion”. I want to know me. What is it like to just be me? I crave this relationship more than anything else in the world.
From the beginning of time you and I have been influenced by something or someone, which has molded our sense of reality. We are influenced by our parents, extended family, friends, peers, strangers, significant others, social media, politics, religion, email messages, previous thoughts, emotions, experiences, interpretations, our environment, fears, hunger pangs, and current beliefs systems. We’re influenced by sounds, vibrations, celebrities, money, music, TV, and by history. In fact, just last night I watched the Malcolm X movie on Netflix and I was influenced! Everything influences us whether we know it or not, and with each degree of influence I become less of me and more of someone else.
I once had a friend who also struggled to hear his inner voice and I suggested “being a monk for a day” and now here I am enjoying my morning peacefully listening to Native American Flute music desiring to be a monk for a day. I just want to hear my own inner voice. Don't you?
I realize although I have tremendous inner peace in my heart, I want to also experience deeper
serenity. Even Malcolm X went to a hotel to be at peace and hear his thoughts and Jesus went to the mountaintop, all versions of seeking serenity. It's through this silence that a clearer reception of one’s divine self is provided, which evolves our consciousness through the emptiness. There's great power in silence. It's an energy, a space, a tranquil feeling of deep connection with oneself.
Can we just “be” for a while?
Can we stay there long enough to get clearer reception of the wisdom within; connect to the divine, connect to the powers of the universe, connect to a deeper vibration, be an observer, a receiver, the recipient of the greatest gift in the world - to hear and feel that which cannot otherwise be communicated. Can I receive revelation that awaits my channeling? To float along with the notes of the flute as it somehow reveals a more expansive part of me to the consciousness of me on a vibrational level. Energy is being shifted. It all has meaning when I can be silent long enough to allow that which is not being said to be experienced. This is the power of silence.
Silence is the gateway to freedom; freedom from the noise that I now choose not to be a part of. I prefer this other dimension of focus. I've been here before and it is generous. There's so much more to life than what the external world exposes us to. Much of the external world is a distraction from authentically experiencing life in the most natural way. I want more of the internal life where pictures are revealed, altered states of consciousness are experienced as more of myself is revealed to myself. It's a much better place than scrolling through the disruptive noise of social media. As much as I care for people I do not want to see their hospital pictures, their physical wounds, or their funerals on my timeline. That has no place in my brain because that is not my path. My path must be revealed to me in my silence. We must guard the gates of our mind and our heart if we are ever to truly know ourselves.
Maybe one day I'll make the effort to unlock my Facebook account but for now my destiny is trying to reveal itself to me through my silence. Maybe yours is too.
Author of Maximize Your Super Powers
Some people were not brought up in an environment conducive for them to cultivate a healthy focus for their life, but with the right intention and guidance, we absolutely can change anything about our lives we desire. The challenge is that when our environment provides for traumatic experiences, our brain’s circuitry develops in response to those events. That means people who experience abuse think differently than those who do not. This often prohibits the abused from knowing how to shift their energy and perspective toward a creative, healthy focus for their life because they’re typically accustomed to reacting to their environment instead of planning, thinking, building healthy relationships, or controlling their
Emotions such as fear, anxiety, and panic are more active in the minds of those who
experience abuse and trauma than those who do not. This can leave people feeling
helpless, hopeless, and without options. Here are some things you can do to offset that and begin creating a focus for your life:
Step 1. Figure out what you enjoy, what comes natural for you, and what could you see yourself doing 5 or 10 years from now that brings a smile to your face. Learn to pay close attention to your inner voice. Your inner voice is there to guide you and to provide you answers to whatever questions you provide it. All you have to do is learn to listen to it. Start by meditating. Focus on your breathing and just observe yourself internally. Guidance will reveal itself to you.
Record your revelations in a notebook.
Step 2. Once you figure out the answers to the above questions, ask yourself, “How can I build a life doing "the things" that were revealed to me?” This question now has the potential to become your central focus. For me, I knew I wanted to be a therapist since I was 10 years old. Had I learned to focus in on that thought and feeling instead of living a life of survival, I could have made a plan to move in the direction of that as a career. I could have focused on my education early on instead of getting caught up in survival mode. But that would have required someone teaching me how to nurture and trust my inner voice. That’s what I’m suggesting you do for yourself now.
Step 3. Nurture what your inner voice reveals to you. Find the necessary mentors, take the necessary college classes, build out the idea that's inside of you, ponder how your work can improve society, write books on the topic, become the authority in that subject area, and take advantage of all opportunities that reveal themselves to you.
Step 4. Create something. Create your life.
Step 5. Focus on your legacy. How do you want to be remembered? What legacy do you want to leave? The ideas you come up with will probably change over the years. That’s okay. At first, I didn’t really know what legacy I wanted to leave. I just knew some things I wanted to accomplish. I started out with achieving my bachelors degree and years later that turned into writing a book, then another book, then a blog, creating a website, then a literacy program, and now it’s a coaching program where I teach people how to maximize their super powers and deliberately create their lives by reprogramming their subconscious mind using hypnosis and other methods I used to improve my own life.
It took me a while, but I eventually realized I wanted to be the BEST at all I did. Being
a person of excellence became the platform from which I did everything because I
decided I wanted to be a great example to society, especially foster youth. I wanted to show them what IS possible. When we focus on creating a legacy that will live on long after we are gone, it creates a sense of healthy pride in ourselves. You can never go wrong when your focus in life also benefits humanity.
All you have to do to get started in life is just start with an intention and life will
unfold for you. As you learn to oblige your spirit, it will guide you. Is your inner voice guiding you toward a life of teaching, modeling, acting, hair, make-up, auto mechanics, computers, aviation, tech, love for humanity, entrepreneurship, leadership, dance, construction, plumbing, or something else? Once identified, you will be well on your way to figuring out the focus for your life. But beware of distractions; control your focus and your thinking. Remember, conscious thinking doesn’t naturally occur for humans. We must focus our mental efforts toward deliberate thinking in order to think smartly
Read non-fiction books to learn how to think. Always put new knowledge into your brain to create new neuropathways. Talk with as many people as possible who are smarter than you are. This is how you will learn to integrate ideas, think abstractly, muse, imagine, and reason. As you increase awareness of your talents and interests, use that momentum to progress your life and the big picture called your future.
Holding a GRAND vision for you!
For a free copy of Maximize Your Super Powers or to receive Group Coaching,
In today's day and age, we are either overwhelmed by access to too much information or we lack guidance to know the direction we are to proceed. Both create what is called “non-starters”. Maybe you have several ideas of what you could do but none truly speak to your soul. Or maybe you just don't know what to do and the guidance you receive is all the same, “stop thinking and just do’. Well that's great advice for those who know what to do but for those who are overwhelmed with confusion, it adds to the frustration of it all.
Thus, here is where the procrastination often begins: overwhelm and confusion. If you’ve experienced being a non-starter here are 7 steps that just might set you free. It's time you unshackle your mind and do things differently because what you really need is less advice, not more.
Stop seeking advice from everyone for at least 2-4 weeks. Seeking advice sometimes just furthers our confusion. We think we're seeking the golden egg but what's really going to happen is we will become more overwhelmed with competing thoughts. It's almost like walking through a hazy cornfield maze. The truth is, the answers you're looking for are not "out there"; they are in your spirit, you just can't hear your spirit if you're always thinking and talking. No one is smarter than your inner voice, so honor it and tap into its genius. Honor it by quieting the incoming stimuli. Just stop all advice seeking and see what you learn from yourself.
Stop accessing all social media and email for 2-4 weeks. Again, what I'm getting at here is reducing all incoming stimuli because it just confuses the mind. You will benefit from narrowing in, not out. The whole reason businesses flourish is because they niche down, not out. You want to niche down on who you listen to, which needs to be your inner voice, which is your inner wisdom. All the answers you're looking for are within you and will be revealed when you're not consuming information or thinking.
Meditate for at least 10 minutes a day to teach your brain how to stop thinking. Another huge distraction from getting started is overthinking. Meditating will help you not think. This is a great practice and you want to learn how to love it. That will require you to make the decision to love it. Declare it: I love meditating. It will create the space in your mind so you can hear your inner wisdom and creative ideas.
Identify your big picture. What is it that you want to accomplish? Do you want to start a podcast, get an apartment, get a job, earn 6-Figures at home (visit www.CapriCruz.com for The 6-Figure Blueprint), start a group of some sort, lose 20 pounds by summer, heal your heart, or gain more confidence? What do you want to accomplish? Identify this and you're well on your way to being a starter and no longer a non-starter.
Identify the 5 things you need to do to achieve your big picture goal identified in #4 above. Just list the first 5 things that pop into your mind. If you want to lose 20 pounds by summer then 5 things could be:
Focus on the 1 thing you need to do next. Is it blocking out time throughout the week? Is it giving yourself permission to be successful and following through? Is it to stop making excuses? Is it to listen to hypnosis audios to reduce your anxiety? (For hypnosis, contact Dr. Cruz at DrCapriCruz@gmail.com). Just identify your next 1- thing that will move you forward.
Change your identity in your mind. This is a BIG one because we cannot outperform our self-image. So, every morning before getting out of bed and every evening before going to sleep, visualize yourself as the accomplished person you want to become. Visualize yourself doing the activity that you want to begin. The goal is to become a Self-Starter and stop being a non-starter. There are enough people in the world who are lost and confused; you don't want to be one of them. I know this because you have read this article. Now affirm yourself in the mirror as a self-starter and follow the steps that I have given you, then email me later with an update on your success!
Holding a GRAND vision for you!
"You don’t have to be perfect to become successful, but you must be committed”.
~ Dr. Cruz, Creator of The ULTIMATE Success Mentorship Program
My life has been anything but perfect. I’ve made more mistakes than most, some with gut wrenching consequences, but I came to learn that’s usually what happens when you don’t have the right people guiding you. Today, I can proudly say that despite my struggles, I am one of the most successful people on the planet.
How can that be?
A lot of grace and a lot of self-determination.
You see, we were all born stupid. As babies, we may be cute but intelligent we are not. As we grow, we are at the mercy of 2 things: genetics and environment.
Environment is vastly more influential than genes. In fact according to the biological phenomena of epigenetics, changes that affect gene activity and expression result from external or environmental factors. So you see, your environment controls, to a great degree, how you come to learn to think, feel, and be.
So despite your IQ, you can ABSOLUTELY become successful and you can do it traversing your imperfect life. You see, it doesn’t matter where you start in life, it matters what you BELIEVE is possible for you!
Success starts with belief. If you believe you can become successful you absolutely will as long as you are in the right environment. This is why it is better to be alone than in bad company. One bad influence, one negative person, one limiting thought planted in your mind by someone in your environment can block your belief in yourself before it has time to grow legs.
It took me decades to overcome the consequences of my life in foster care, never having access to the right people to guide me, but overtime what I cultivated was the right mindset and environment, and turned that into “The ULTIMATE Success Mastermind”, proving that the least of them can become the greatest (Luke 9:48).
If you want to experience success you must do a couple of things to start. First, get in an environment that can teach you how to become successful and everyday of your life plant seeds in your mind to create the energy that produces success.
💙 See you at the TOP!
Dear Dr. Cruz:
There's so many things I want to do with my life but I feel like I can't do any of them. Can you tell me how to make something out of nothing with my life? ~~Anonymous
~ Dr. Cruz, Creator of The ULTIMATE Success Mentorship Program ~
This feeling of “there's so much I want to do with my life” represents the wild fire in your soul. It knows there's something out there for you; it’s the energy of countless wild horses ready to be freed. It’s the “je ne sais quoi” that activates Greatness from within. Understand what you're feeling is life inside of you ready to break through the dam. Your job is to harness it and focus it in a purposeful direction so that you don't waste your energy on unproductive activities or spread yourself thin in directions you should not venture. You possess untapped energy. You are plentiful, but energy without direction could be futile.
Focus on identifying your purposeful direction, not your limitations. Limitations are mental constructs. They are acknowledged only when you acknowledge them - so don't. You have Greatness within you - Greatness knows no boundaries. What you ultimately need is a worthy focus and the corresponding identity. First you must identify your focus. Who do you want to become? What do you want to do with your life? What is your heart calling you to do? Spend as much time as you need identifying the specific messaging because it's the beginning of your creative journey. It will dictate who you surround yourself with (always like-minded people). It will dictate your priorities. It will dictate how you occupy your time. In essence this will become the purpose for your life.
Mark Twain said, “The most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why”. You're doing the work to find out why you were born. And once you do, you must take on the identity of that person whether or not you feel worthy, ready, or qualified. As an Identity Coach I can unequivocally tell you that when you “become it, you will see it (manifest in your life)”. But you absolutely must become it first. Visualize the person you want to become, the life you want to live, the work you want to do, and the service you want to provide to others to help improve the world. This is how our self-esteem increases, our self image improves, and our identity begins to shift. This is how we begin to step into our power. This is how we release our greatness.
Continue adding to your knowledge base through self-improvement books, YouTubes, seminars, and mentoring. Continue to strengthen your spiritual relationship with your higher power. Continue to believe in that which you can only see in your imagination because as Walt Disney said, "Logic will get you from A to B but imagination will take you everywhere”. Let nothing deplete your energy or the inner herds of horsepower. Once you identify the vision for your life, remain laser-focused in that direction until it comes into physical form. You must continue to increase your consciousness of “the thing” because as believers, we know that “You can do all things through Christ Jesus which strengthens you” (Philippians 4:13).
Discovering your inner vision, the path for your future, is the most important work you'll do to bring forth the fullness of your life. Employment, on the other hand, is just a means to an end, at least until that vision is revealed. Since I don't know your personal location or situation, it's difficult for me to guide you specifically. But the easiest approach is to journal your options and ideas so you can move confusion from your mind to be analyzed on paper, ultimately allowing you to gain greater clarity. If you do not have personal transportation (ie: a car, a bike, a scooter etc.), consider how you can get your own transportation by a certain deadline. Deadlines are important because they hold us accountable for achieving the goal. In the meantime, consider your options without transportation (ie: walking, public transportation, can someone take and pick you up, can you get a bike or a scooter?). Scooters are more economical than cars, but have limitations such as where you can ride them. Oftentimes, you do not need a drivers license for a scooter but you want to check your state laws. Speaking of Drivers License, do you have yours? If not, try to make that a priority. If it's not possible right now, that's OK, put it on your to do list.
Another option for employment is to join the military. I personally joined the U.S. Navy and I recommend it as a place you can park yourself while you figure out what your calling is in life. I was able to depart for boot camp within 30 days of signing up. It's different for everyone so make sure you do your research. The key to being successful in the military and beyond is to have a plan ahead of time. The operative phrase is “a head of time”. There are many benefits that come along with joining the military to include free housing, medical, dental, regular income, retirement investing, learning discipline, regular exercising, learning leadership skills, educational benefits while on active duty, G.I. Bill after three years of honorable service, 30 days vacation a year, and much more. But the cost is high, as well. The military will require many things of you such as discipline, respect, wearing of their uniform daily, regular physical fitness exams, zero tolerance of drug use, and so much more. It's a great starting point when you're trying to make something out of nothing.
If you decide to join, some of my suggestions are to save at least 75% of your income, max out on your TSP retirement account, do not get married or have children in your first four year contract, (which is a common trap many military service members fall into during their first contract because they feel lonely), and pick a job that has transferable skills in the civilian sector. Remember, many civilian companies love hiring military veterans after they discharge from active duty, so this could be a great stepping stone to sustain your basic needs while you’re planning out your future.
In closing, the way you make something out of nothing is to create a grand vision FOR your life, and use the stepping stones IN life to climb the mountain OF life. Life is a journey, not a destination. It’s about developing a healthy mindset, surrounding yourself with excellent evolving people, rooting yourself in your spiritual relationship with your higher power, and knowing that you have a calling on your life. Your job for the rest of your life is to get clarity on what that calling is. Step one is to listen to your inner voice and then do something to move toward it. That “something” will take you to the next something, and as you gain momentum you can refresh your mental screen to get updates on the development of your vision as time progresses. The most important thing is to start, so start with journaling your likes, dislikes, talents, and gifts. These will lead you in the right direction.
Onward and upward,
Life Challenges and the Importance of a High School Diploma for Foster Children
As I think back on my own life experiences as a foster child, it really is some kind of miracle I made it to my high school graduation. I recall having been burdened by the struggles of being abused, a runaway, a drop-out, attempting suicide, moving from the north to the south three times, and lacking all family love, guidance, and support. Yet and still, somehow I graduated from high school. Today, I realize the demands on all children to excel in academia, along with increased expectations for advanced performance in other areas of their lives is quite daunting. The guidance provided by parents who are invested in their children's development and upbringing is akin to a success blueprint ensuring their children have a good start in life but for the foster child, it’s a completely different road traveled.
On average, foster children are not prepared to participate in AP or Honors classes nor are extracurricular activities readily available to them. The opportunities to volunteer that are required to be competitive for college entry applications are nil. There is minimal and bleak parental guidance, if any at all, and part-time work is not usually accessible to the foster child due to state regulated cumbersome restrictions, so there goes their foundational experience and resume-building opportunities.
Additionally, there isn’t really much talk, if any, in the home of which college they plan to attend or how to begin that journey because more often than not there aren’t any invested parents available to assist in the development of such a plan. Foster children are doing all they can to just survive the turbulence of their current moment while dealing with the shadows of their past: their traumatic memories, their depression, the chaos, feelings of hopelessness, lack of self-esteem, and sometimes very dark thoughts of suicide because they lack support and options.
Before delving into the challenges they face upon emancipation, let’s first look at what precipitates their challenges. First and of great importance is knowing what age they entered the foster care system, how many times they've move, and how inconsistent has they education been? I wish I could address one of these concerns without the other two but that would be unfair to the foster child because they all directly affect the challenges these children face as they approach emancipation.
The age at which they enter foster care directly affects to what extent they are
psychologically affected by the traumatic experience of being removed from their biological families and dropped of at a complete stranger's house, now called their foster parent. This affects their sense-of-identity, self-esteem, and sense of safety; all crucial for healthy development.
How many times have they heard, “This is my foster child”? How many holidays have they felt like the odd ball in the room? How long has this psychological damage been cemented into their psyche? The number of times they’ve moved from foster home to foster home and school to school will directly affect their sense-of-belonging in any micro or macro-system. Each time a child moves, they suffer social, educational, and psychological maladies from instability. Their lack of self-worth amplifies their challenge to socially acclimate, and whether they feel or don't feel accepted and understood by others can be the difference between future resiliency and pathology.
The second tier of challenges foster youth face as they approach emancipation is “do they have a trustworthy and consistent support system”. This element is needed for all youth transitioning different life stages but the dichotomy for foster children is in their suffering of exasperated burdens from not only lacking a solid family to provide guidance and emotional support, but also to be able to have long-term trusted relationships with people who have their best interest at heart. Who are we as a species if we do not have long-term support from trusted relationships? All of these elements are exponentially multiplied in their future if they do not graduate high school. I often say, “leaving foster care without a high school diploma is like trying to climb a latter that doesn’t have any steps”; it’s nearly impossible to progress. If a foster child does not have the proper family support AND does not have a high school diploma, how can they succeed? The outlook is grim, and yet, our nation currently suffers from countless homeless, unemployed, and/or incarcerated foster care alumni because as it is, nearly half of these children leave foster care without graduating high school.
A high school diploma is their primary asset, which provides for an even playing field from which they can progress. Despite their emotional and financial burdens, a high school diploma opens the gates for entry into college, independent living, future opportunities, increased self-esteem, and enriches life’s possibilities. As they become more aware of the opportunities available to them, their high school diploma will provide the means of entry to excel, but without a diploma, their mountainous deficits magnify the probability that they could perish.
Written by Dr. Capri Cruz -
Author of Maximize Your Super Powers at www.CapriCruz.com
“I AM” is the most powerful command statement there is. It frees you to be who you desire to become because it’s the power of God being spoken into where the power of God already resides. Ironically, it's so powerful, it can be used to empower you or disempower you, so be very careful of what you attach to the end of that statement; it will surely manifest into reality. In fact, you are already speaking it into your life. When you say I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I’m overwhelmed, you’re in essence saying
I AM. When you say I’m bold, I’m able, and I’m blessed and highly favored, you’re also saying “I AM”!
Biblically, I AM is the English translation from the Hewbrew text.
Jesus said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the father except through me. I AM the vine, you are the branches. I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I AM the bread of life. I AM the light of this world. I AM the resurrection of life. I AM THAT I AM!”
How powerful is that!
You can say,
“I AM” source energy. “I AM” beauty. “I AM” powerful. “I AM” kind, thankful, God in human form, I AM wise, devine energy, and awareness.
“I AM” unlimited. “I AM” harmony. “I AM” peace for my family. “I AM” wealthy, determined, successful, confident, integrity, and free. “I AM” one with God!“
I AM enlightened, gifted, responsible, worthy, and a light for those who need to see. I AM good! I AM who and what I say that I am.
You have the power to declare, decree, proclaim, and receive the gifts of your own tongue. No one else can say “I AM” for you. No one else can speak those words over you. No one can release you but you. These words are for you and only for you to declare what you will over your life. You are the only one who has the power and authority to speak such words for your own conscious creation. It’s a fact of your existence.
The reason you have become who you are today is that you have accepted what your environment said you were, what was possible for you. You bought into the influence of your surroundings, the limitations of your experiences as many of us do until we learn how to self-proclaim using the power of I AM.
“I AM” neutralizes fear and doubt, and moves you into position. Command yourself NOW! Who can stop the man or woman who proclaims him or herself into power? No one!
“I AM” allows you to become what you consciously choose. “I AM” proclaims the presence of your divine creator within you. When spoken with emotional conviction, you condition your subconscious mind to believe. This is the predecessor of all great things to come for you.
This is the great secret to transcending all current conceptions of yourself.
It is your Super Power.
Know this. Say this. Now, step into your power!
From the author of Maximize Your Super Powers, Dr. Capri Cruz
Some people were not brought up in an environment conducive for them to cultivate a healthy focus for their life. I am one of those people. I grew up in an abusive environment both in and out of foster care, which slowly cultivated a physiological state of fear that later consumed my mind, ultimately provoking me
to survive in life, not thrive. Quite the notable difference in mindsets, wouldn’t you say?
When our environment provides for traumatic experiences, our brain’s circuitry develops in response to those events. That means people who experience abuse think differently than those who do not. This often prohibits the abused from knowing how to shift their energy and perspective toward a creative, healthy focus for their life because they’re typically accustomed to reacting to their environment instead of planning, thinking, building healthy relationships, or controlling their focus. Emotions such as fear, anxiety, and panic are more active in the minds of those who experience abuse and trauma than those who do not. This can leave people feeling helpless, hopeless, and without options.
The topic of creating a healthy focus for our lives is one that should be brought up earlier in our lives, as early as 4 or 5 years old. It’s never too soon to start focusing on developing the focus for our future. I personally did not learn I could control the focus for my future until I was in my late 30s; sadly, there are thousands of other foster alumni who never learn it. The good news is we can change that starting today! Here are some tips to get you started:
It took me a while, but I eventually realized I wanted to be the BEST at all I did. Being a person of excellence became the platform from which I did everything because I decided I wanted to be a great example for foster youth. I want to show them what IS possible. When we focus on creating a legacy that will live on long after we are gone, it creates a sense of healthy pride in ourselves. You can never go wrong when you’re focus in life also benefits humanity as a whole.
All you have to do to get started in life is just start and life will unfold for you. As you learn to oblige your spirit it will guide you. You don’t need to know how anything will happen because that’s the magic of being led by your inner voice. Things just begin to happen as long as you have a focus. You must decide today what your focus will be. What beacon will you follow?
Is your inner voice guiding you toward a life of teaching, modeling, acting, hair, make-up, auto mechanics, computers, love for humanity, entrepreneurship, leadership, dance, construction, plumbing, or something else? Once identified, you will be well on your way to figuring out the focus for your life. Remember, thinking doesn’t naturally occur for humans. We must focus our efforts toward thinking. Contemplate. This is how we will learn to integrate ideas, think abstractly, muse, imagine, and reason. As you increase your awareness of your talents and interests for legacy, use the momentum to progress your life and the big picture called your future.
Written by Dr. Capri Cruz -
Author of Maximize Your Super Powers at www.CapriCruz.com
There is a lot that can be said about self-doubt such as we all experience it in some way, shape, or form at some point in our lives. The difference is in our results stems from who allows it to control them and who allows it to fuel their greatness.
Self-doubt is a manifestation of our interpretation of events. Self-doubt is a compilation of thoughts based on our understanding of the situations we experience that then reflect back to us who we see ourselves as. These self-doubt educing thoughts beget additional self-doubt educing thoughts that then cyclically reinforce the premise of our self-doubt. It’s a vicious cycle. These thoughts create emotions that confuse us and ultimately erode our own understanding of ourselves. So what is needed to break the unhealthy cycle of self-doubt? An interruption in our mental and behavioral patterns!
Here are my top four remedies to annihilating self-doubt:
TAKE ACTION, MASSIVE ACTION!! Why, you ask. Because confidence comes from competency and competency by the act of doing. We can academize self-doubt and its bio-psycho-neuro-chemical effects all day long, but until we take action, its antidote cannot begin to work its magic. You cannot edify self-doubt away. You cannot pray it away. You cannot love it away. Yes, these elements can be part of your support system, but the ONLY thing that annihilates self-doubt is ACTION! And a lot of it, CONSISTENTLY. Competency comes through repetition. By sharpening your saw in this way, you gain confidence. You must level up and evolve.
Okay, taking action absolutely is the ultimate answer for overcoming self-doubt but before we jump off the cliff and start taking calculated action, you must do and know a couple of things first. If action is the end-in-mind, you must begin with preparation!
First, you must start in your spirit. You must know who you are in Christ. If you don’t know who you are, who you were created to be, and what God’s Word declares over your life, then no matter what else you do you’ll be doing it from a platform of sand, not solid ground. In time you will most likely sink. The power of self-doubt is not to be looked upon lightly. It’s far stronger than the power of will because your will is ego driven. It has limited strength.
Self-doubt, on the other hand, is a virus in your CPU (your mind) that seeps into your physiology to kill, steal, and destroy you and your future! It slowly creeps into your mind and spreads throughout your thoughts and then programs your physiological reactions through the chemicals produced by your brain. The only antidote for this enemy is God’s Word and love, so it behooves you to know who you are in Christ in order to have the armament to fight your formidable opponent. This is an absolute game changer.
Next, you must know how your brain and mind work. You are a spiritual being but you live in a human body. You must understand the difference between your brain and your mind. The journey you take to learn that will absolutely empower you over self-doubt because you’ll learn about the mechanics of your own hardware (your central nervous system) and how it all works together to create and sustain the thing called you. Don’t take any shortcuts. Do your research. Read peer-reviewed neuroscience articles so that your knowledge base is a product of scientific research. Begin sessions of hypnosis as soon as you can because all the change you desire resides in your subconscious mind.
My last suggestion to annihilate self-doubt is to make it your supreme goal to become financially wealthy and giveaway 90% of your wealth. Let me assure you, becoming financially wealthy has a way of annihilating self-doubt, especially when used to help improve and save the lives of others. If you need a reason, permission, or a rationalization as to why becoming wealthy is a good idea, let it be because you realize that life is a game and part of winning the game of life is to be able to advance society in love, peace, security, health, wellness, etc. for future generations, which includes your grandchildren. Become invested in that! What greater purpose can we mere mortals have than to help those who don’t have the resources or knowledge to help themselves? Money is just a tool but with the right tool you can create real change on earth as you simultaneously annihilate your self-doubt.
These four remedies to annihilating self-doubt create a win-win for you, your family, and society. Be Bold, be Great, or just be better tomorrow than you are today. As long as you keep moving toward your greatness, self-doubt will have no choice but to dissipate.
From the author of Maximize Your Super Powers, Dr. Cruz
To live a life of Greatness, you need to shift. What does that mean? It means to incorporate new strategies so you can live better, plan smarter, be more present, and execute more effectively. These six strategies helped my life shift and I assure you they will help your life shift as well.
1. Before you go to sleep, make the conscious decision that when you wake up you will immediately take a couple of deep breaths to center your mind and your body before you do anything else. When you awaken, don’t check your email or social media. If it’s helpful, use a separate alarm clock from your phone so that you’re not tempted to check your phone. You must learn to be deliberate about how you move in life. From the moment you gain consciousness to the time you go to sleep, be aware of the moment. Be a deliberate being, not robotic in your typical ways of being.
2. Plan your week on Sunday, then review each new day the night before. This helps you wake up each morning focused to hit the ground running. When you fail to plan you plan to fail, undisputedly! How do you get ahead of life? How can you shift the influence on your own life? Deliberately plan what needs to get done before the day it needs to get done. We all have 24 hours in a day. Some people are just more effective at strategizing their time and therefore, applying their energy to certain tasks. Every second counts and when you’re serious about the results you want to create for you life, you will be serious about planning your time wisely.
3. Control your calendar; don’t let it control you. Great leaders wag the tail; they don’t let the tail wag them. Stay in control of where you place your focus and how your time is used. Use it judiciusly. Each line on your calendar is available for you to dictate. White space usually means wasted time when not accounted for. When you create goals for you life you realize time flies. It can get away from even the best of us. Nonetheless, there is opportunity there for you to become more aware of the power of using your calendar to guide your day. Effectiveness comes from being efficient.
4. Visualize how you want your day to go before getting out of bed and feel your sincere thankfulness for at least 3 things to calibrate your energy. Visualization is the best technique to bring fort thought form into reality. Why? Because you are essentially downloading invisible software into your mainframe (your brain). You have the ability to control your brain but most people live their lives in reaction to their brain. It behooves us to ask, "whose brain is it anyway? It’s your brain. Does your car drive you or do you drive your car? It’s the same concept. Get in the driver’s seat of your mind and control it. Do you ever wonder how dreams come true? One must first dream. What is visualizing? It is dreaming in great detail. If you can see it, you can achieve it. If not, you continue to let life take you in the direction it wants to take you. The choice truly is up to you. The important thing to know is that you have this majestic power. When you incorporate emotions of gratitude with visualization, you essentially have activated your super powers because neuroscience research has confirmed that feelings of gratitude rewire the brain to think in a certain way. When that becomes a habit, it begins to happen automatically.
5. Brush your teeth 2x a day, gargle, and floss. This habit taught me disciple. The bonus is that it’s a healthy habit (that most people overlook). This discipline taught me to pay attention to the small things that I would otherwise not want to do because as humans we seek the path of least resistance, meaning we are naturally lazy. It takes discipline to do the right thing when we would rather not. What small things did this habit empower me to be disciplined over? Washing all the dishes at night when I’d rather just go to bed, sweeping the front porch instead of overlooking the dirt and leaves, and ultimately becoming more alert to other little things in my life that have a huge lasting impact like shutting off lights when I’m not using them.
6. Force yourself to network with “next level” people who you ordinarily would not. I view each new person I meet as my rehearsal partner for that one person I'll eventually meet who will help sky rocket my net worth. I literally force myself to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations so I can stretch my comfortably. Yesterday I took it upon myself to introduce myself to a judge and two prosecutors, and today I’m a better person for it. Look for the opportunities to expand your wings so that you can learn to fly higher, stronger, and longer. Great people excel. They keep challenging themselves to become better at things that will improve their positioning in life. They are aware of the power of "shifting". I hope you will be open to challenging yourself to find at least one thing each week to become comfortable doing that you otherwise would rather not. I believe one day you will be glad you did.
To Your Best Destiny!
From the author of Maximize Your Super Powers, Dr. Capri Cruz
Marilyn found herself beaming with glee as she moved to Madison, Wisconsin for a long awaited new job opportunity. Spending all her days conducting research for her work, she was delighted that she had finally found the job of her dreams. The summer months came and went quicker than she could enjoy them and as the fall and winter months approached Marilyn found herself struggling to focus due to decreasing energy levels. What used to be a sense of excitement for the new day ahead had slowly turned into a constant sense of somber and slumber. Marilyn began struggling to get out of bed and often showed up to work late. She just did not have the energy or desire to get up and get things done like she did before the Thanksgiving holidays.
As winter months traded sun for snow, Marilyn found herself craving the warmth and desire to crawl back into her bed as soon as she could get home. Each morning started with a heavy sense of despair and each night an escape into the comfort of her pillow and blanket. All Marilyn wanted to do now was sleep. When spring sprang upon her, her mood was lifted with an emergence of vibrancy once again. Not thinking too much of it, Marilyn supposed she just had a tough first year in a new city. But when the same experiences consumed her mind and body the next year, she decided to visit her doctor. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression. Everything she had experience suddenly began to make sense.
Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is seasonally recurring and centers primarily on a sad mood and low energy levels. SAD actually feels sad. It predominately affects women, who make up 60-90% of the people diagnosed with SAD. Symptoms may include being tired, irritable, difficulty concentrating, increased desire to sleep, decreased physical activity, episodes of crying, withdrawal from social situations, reduced sex drive, increased crave of carbohydrates and sugars, and an increase in weight gain due to overeating (b, c, d).
Symptoms commonly begin in the autumn, peak in midwinter and subside in the spring. Those living in the northern most latitudes are most likely to be subjected to experiencing symptoms of SAD.In essence,the closer you live to Alaska, Canada, the UK, Russia or North Korea the more likely it is you may experience seasonal depression. This is due to climates having less sunlight and colder winter months.The average duration of a SAD episode is approximately 3.9 months (a).
The exact cause of SAD is unknown; however, there are several contributing factors including the seasonal changeof light, which affects internal circadian rhythms and secretion of the hormone melatonin, genetic inheritance, and diet (a). Thus, a reduced amount of natural sunlight can cause changes in the body's circadian rhythm, affecting mood, energy levels, sleep, eating patterns, focus and attention. A decrease in exposure to sunlight has also been shown to extend the production of melatonin, which functions to regulate sleep cycles.
Additionally, it was reported by the University of Virginia in 2008 that consideration of the strong genetic component to SAD not be overlooked. The melanopsin gene, which is a light-sensitive protein that is believed to originate in the retina of individuals is not concerned with vision, but can be linked to non-visual responses, such as circadian rhythms, hormones, alertness and sleep. These mutations may cause some individuals to be predisposed to SAD. Individuals who carry two copies of this gene mutation will have a higher probability of experiencing the disorder.
SAD may also impair one’s ability to function at work causing additional depressive symtomology. Reports of excessive guilt, crying spells, negative self-talk, and a general lack of follow through and completion of common task becomes the norm. People who experience SAD often prefer to be socially isolated and may experience somatic complaints in their body such as headaches, muscle aches, other flu-like symptoms (b).
There are several medical conditions that can mimic SAD, such as hypothyroidism and hypoglycaemia and viral illnesses such as Epstein Barr infection and chronic fatigue syndrome. It has been suggested those interested request a physical examination and a review of your blood count, thyroid levels, a metabolic panel and liver function, and a pregnancy test to ensure general medical conditions aren’t of contribution (a).
Reported treatments to managing symptoms include light therapy, diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relocating to warmer climates, and antidepressant medication. If interested, you can learn more about the treatments by conducting a thorough online review or by contacting your local medical facility.
(a). Zauderer, C., and Ganzer, C. A. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: An overview. Mental Health Practice. London, 18, 9.
(b) Timby, B. & Smith, N. (2005) Seasonal affective disorder: shedding light on the wintertime blues. Nursing. 35, 1-8.
(c) National Health Service, "Seasonal Affective Disorder-Symptoms," United Kingdom Government website, http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Seasonal-affective-disorder/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
(d) J. Blaszczak, "10 Things You Didn't Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder," [Fact sheet], Psych Central, 2013, http://psychcentral.com/lib/10-things-you-dont-know-about-seasonal-affective-disorder/