When I began to write from my gut, my pen seemed to move entirely on its own. 

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This Saturday I will be a part of the TedX speaking series at Bentley University. When I think of legacy, I immediately think of the pivotal moments in my life where someone said something to me that caused a mental shift to take place. The rigor of life often makes it difficult for one to s...

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 Studies have shown that when individuals are able to find opportunities to serve, they are more likely to persist towards their goals in a positive way.

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If you are someone who is interested in arriving at a new personal or professional goal, this course is for you.

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An awesome part of risk taking is the unknown answers to certain questions that can only come about from living the actual experience. Before hubby and I journeyed across the Atlantic, we decided to have somewhat of a brainstorm that mentioned all of the pros and cons about life abroad. Since we were not depending on retirement accounts, we were outlining our master plan as to how we would live abroad. In lieu of researching all of the preliminary steps for such a large move, I was happy to discover the Expat Focus blog. I met a few individuals who shared their experiences about living abroad and this was truly valuable. Once I arrived in Portugal, I wanted to capture all of the emotions I had about the experience and joined the Expat Focus blogging community. It served as a great outlet for me during my time abroad.

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Missing my MOMENT

15 years

5475 days of REGRET

525,600 minutes of DOUBT

788,400 minutes of RESENTMENT

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If I were speaking to women who had limited finances and wanted to start her own business, I would tell her to go for it. If there is a vision, picture, thought, dream, or imagination it can also be possible! I would say the first step to that is education! The brain is our tool and how we use it determines how far we'll get.

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This blog series is for those living between a rock and a hard place. You are a hard worker, a giver, a friend, a spouse, and a confidant. You have spent many years giving to others but feel deep dissatisfaction that stems from not telling your truth

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Posted by Dr Allana Da Graca on Feb 19, 2016

The Danger of Comfort

One of the best trips to Europe that I had was a first class flight to Paris from Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport.  The attendants took extra care to make sure that I was comfortable with customized meal plans, additional pillows, and plenty of leg room for my se...

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Personal Coaching: Demystify the concept of Aging and Ignite Your Goals

 

Now that I’m beyond the collegiate and post-graduate years, I notice

advertisements telling me how to soothe the aches and

pains of growing older. For me, the message is, “Allana,

you are getting older.”

 

Socie...

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My mouth dropped as I saw the elephant foot prints. I truly felt like I was on the real Survivor show, but without the nature experience.

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I battled for the peace of my consciousness that I could subdue my raw talent (poetry, dance, theatre, song) in exchange for stability for a later time. My thoughts for creative ambiguity were re-charged when I listened to Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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We know that heartache can stem from a broken relationship, job loss or betrayal from a trusted friend. It can also be daunting to enter into a new phase of life where one feels completely isolated.

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There were all kinds of words I wanted to hear Uncle Turtle say, but since he was so quiet about talking about my future, I would merely muster up the courage to say, “Uncle Turtle, can you ple-e-ease tell me about my future?”

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Foster mother seemed like a monster to me.  She was the female version of Hulk. A giant that I hoped I could escape from.  I stared at anything that would show my reflection to understand what made me so unacceptable.  Caretaker told me I was not worth hugging because I was too black for anyone to care.  She reminded me that my father would never accept me either as he believed I was a curse for his reputation.

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The day you left is one I will never forget

I waited for 18 years to hear your words

A moment where you could look me in the eyes

 

A time when your words mattered

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of singing with the Bandalhos band for a birthday bash of a dear friend. At the onset of joining this band I was a bit intimidated because rock music was not necessarily my forte. Ask me to sing the Jazz of Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn and I would do so without hesitation. When I heard that the set list would include songs from the likes of Gary Moore and Guns N’ Roses I almost said no altogether. 

Read The Full Blog at Expat Focus Now

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Posted by Dr Allana Da Graca on Mar 31, 2015

Please read my blog that was written for Expat Focus.

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About the Book

 

Busy schedules, challenges, and personal responsibilities are aspects of living in our society. In this life we may face difficult setbacks and may choose to either allow ourselves to ignore signs that we need to pause and reflect on our lives, or wait for tomorrow to make last...

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Last month the Bureau of Labor statistics highlighted that employment in the professional services sector had grown by 648,000. The communication industry is expected to grow by 12% within the next ten years. The highest percentage of growth is in the field of marketing, media and promotion. Heightened competition exists for qualified candidates in the communication sector to find innovative ways to brand the online presence of companies...

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Despite the beer bottles, drug dealers standing on the corner, and dried up chicken wings on the ground, we had the luxury of the fire hydrants. My memories of childhood were not all terrible.  In 1996 I was walking with finesse and had discovered my consciousness as a young adult.  On any given day I could smell “Arroz con Pollos” (Rice and Chicken) in the air from the Puerto Rican homes on the block...

 

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Uncle Turtle was my first realization, that God could not be real.  If he was great and mighty, why would he let my Uncle Turtle turn his head away as though nothing occurred? I sat at the table with scars on my back, arms and chest...

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There are no words to express what it feels like to be hit with a pot cover, pushed out of a moving vehicle, and smothered with the fist of an adult who appears like Hulk Hogan to a five year old! 

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My Writing Process Blog Tour

I’ve been invited to join the #mywritingprocess blog tour by Kaolin, the author who wrote Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives (http://ltar-kaolin.blogspot.com/). I met Kaolin as an undergraduate student at the U...

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Many of us are bombarded with commercials that make us loathe the thought of getting older. In addition to this our fast pace life of cell phones and social media messages consistently demand our attention. The demand to balance time with family, friends and career goals can seem daunting.

As a chi...

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Consider to pace yourself when setting new goals. The desire to complete everything on a given checklist is admirable. This week I have been busy with writing, grading, editing, and coaching. I have a few deadlines to meet with new articles I have been working on but realized I needed to stop and pr...

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Dr. D

No one cares to simply read another bombardment of words that are so polished that “reality” is removed

No one cares to keep seeing the hundreds of selfies that were taken at the last event or in the mall

No one cares about long titles that echo separation from any sense of unity

No on...

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The truth about Lucy’s picture


She stared at the photo of a stranger who was placed in an Instagram photo in the arms of one she did not know
In this photo was the image of a provider standing with a loving child
This was a stark contrast to the abandonment and loss this woman felt
The Little girl w...

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I have been anticipating the 5k Color Run that will take place here in Atlanta. Honestly, this run is really not about completing a vigorous run. The goal is to get people out and active with hopes of shedding some pounds along the way.   There were some younger people out zooming past me as they ...

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It would be easy for me to go on a trip and gain 10 pounds from eating whatever pastry, burger or fry I could find in route to a destination. Obviously I would not be walking around with whole foods in my back pack. I was not sure how my excursion to visit my friend was going to be. I hate to have t...

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Sometimes we maintain a secret because we are afraid of the rejection that ensues if who we are is revealed. Some secrets are not harmful. We all love a good birthday surprise, but others can wreak havoc in our bodies and cause the same damage every time the memory of the event is recalled.

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One of the ways I am able to stay motivated with healthy eating is by watching videos of studies that investigate the plant based diet to that of a traditional one.  I was fascinated when I found Dr. Gabriel Cousens and his work with helping his patients reverse Diabetes. He worked with Diabetes p...

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After three years of crying every other month, I decided to take my LIFE back.  Why would I allow someone’s perception to rob me of living a full life?

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Whenever I start to eat really clean I can tell when the toxins are leaving my body. I get an excruciating headache, and I really do not feel like doing much. Hence, this is my fate today. In addition to this I feel quite lazy today so walking or running does not seem appealing to me at the moment. ...

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So this morning I decided I would jump back on the health wagon. This past week I said screw the diet,  I am “Going All In.”  I mentally stated, “No smoothie, no salad, beans or nuts!”  I want to go back to the good ole days of eating apple pie, ice cream, chips, cookies (Gluten free…...

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We all hate it when we are working towards a goal and we see the sweat of our hard work oozing down the side of our face? There are times when this boulder of challenge seems to take the very wind out of us. This boulder can also cause such exertion that we forget that we can put a plank right ...

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I was surprised today by what took place this morning! Normally I go to the Gym and participate in a group fitness class, but the rain kept me inside. I almost did not work out due to the weather, but I knew I had pent up energy to release from the daily rigors of life.

Interestingly, my work out ...

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By nature I am someone who loves to be solemn in my time of introspection.  I have always been this way.  Honestly if I could build everything on my own I would. This determined spirit is good but does not always work for the best of us.  I remember a woman who wanted to attend one of my empowerm...

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In my forthcoming book, Tomorrow Can’t Wait,  there are a few chapters that deal with the challenge of fear. Some people fear success while others fear failure.  Truly I do not believe we were created this way. When I taught at a daycare many years ago I can recall this tenacious ability that ...

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Hello Everyone:

I love Saturday because of the chance to unwind and peak at the lush environment that surrounds me. The birds are chirping and the sun is causing my eyes to squint.  Simple is better.  I glare at the same tree everyday and marvel at how firm the bark is planted. Some plants bloom ...

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Book Pre-Launch: Why Tomorrow Can’t Wait
Dr. Allana Da Graca

I began writing my latest self-help book Tomorrow Can’t Wait two years ago.  I remember this vividly as I was at a place of introspection.  I thought of all of the that people would say, “You have completed so much in your life and...

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We have all had moments in our lives when something shakes our core. This can be indicative of hearing negative news, receiving a diagnosis, failing at a particular goal and more. In the moment of a shift in our experience we have a decision to buy into the emotions of either trigger. For example, o...

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                When I taught in the traditional classroom I would save ten minutes of class time for an activity I called “Current Perspectives.” Surprisingly, students would arrive to my classroom twenty minutes early to debate hot topics. These topics ranged from themes about relation...

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It really hurts my heart that thousands of our students are in a place where bullying is a norm.  Bullying is the foundation of unexpressed pain.  With that said, we can easily look at the patterns of human behavior to find that the experiences of childhood has a strong impact on the way we percei...

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I purchased a French language CD to become fluent over night. I played my CD’s in the car, while completing chores and running errands. . I would be happy if I understood my husband speaking and I was able to catch some of his words. The Audio CD experience has been great, but U got tired of tryin...

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I love working out but every now and then I may find myself in a sluggish mode. I sit on the couch and rationalize all the reasons I should not go. I tell myself I can do exactly the same movements I would do at the gym in my living room. Unfortunately, every professional trainer knows that complace...

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The first day of my communication course at a 2-yr college would begin with my instructor introduction. Educators know that the foundation of a good course is to establish rapport with students at the onset. I observe the urban students who display a look of determination towards reaching academic g...

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Hypothetical Jane who goes to work is asked “How are you doing today?” Hypothetical Jane may respond by saying that she is doing fine. Unfortunately, she goes about her day complaining to herself about how much she cannot stand her job. She begins to look at the clock throughout the day to see h...

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Aujourd’hui, je visite le groupe de conversation française. Le groupe dispose d’une rencontre avec les étudiants. Langue française ce n’est pas facil. J’éprouve un petit problème avec l’accent.

Today I had the pleasure of attending a conversation group for French learning. It was fun...

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Anything is possible, but how many individuals understand the power of this word? Merriam Dictionary defines this as the ability for something to exist. The idea that something has a potential promise is something we can look to when we may fear not reaching certain goals in life. We can look at a s...

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In the Article, “We Are the Ones in the Classrooms—Ask Us!” the Boston Student Advisory council highlights that authenticity is valued in engaging student learners. The idea is to provide a rich environment for learning that builds the hope and promise of our young.  It is always upsetting w...

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Graduating from Middle School and entering into a High School is a major step in an adolescents life. To be a young student in society today can be a challenge for some. The problem with bullying is evident and as a community (teachers, parents, students, and counselors) we have to set a standard to...

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What makes the light bulb click for a student? This past week I asked a group of teens to jot down the challenges that impede their learning. They quickly began to yell out the following words:

  1. Bullying
  2. Gossip
  3. Hormones
  4. Peer Pressure
  5. Cyber Bullying
  6. School Auditions

Some of these terms were no ...

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My research in education has taught me that there are choice patterns that individuals follow that determine the success or failure of reaching a particular milestone in life. Milestones can be viewed as the necessary steps a person must complete in a satisfactory manner to arrive at personal or pro...

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It is always good to remain consistent in the learning process. Today I met with a French tutor to work on my first level of French. It was to communicating without regressing to my English vocabulary. In addition to this, I felt like I was in pre-K all over again! In this moment, I realized how ove...

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For the past three years I have taught the lesson of self-value to audiences of women and teenage girls.  One of the lessons that always keeps the room engaged is my discussion about self-value.  I usually begin to ask everyone to highlight the attributes they love about themselves with an additio...

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Bonjour A Tous!  (Hello Everyone!)

Traveling abroad is a great opportunity to learn about others and learn about various communities. When I go to a new destination I always ask the following questions:

 

  1. What would it be like if I were to live here?
  2. What are the culinary options of choice?
  3. W...

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This week a student was complaining about the paradox between education and financial challenges.  I explained to this student that one may attend school to gain the skills necessary to carry out a particular function but in the end the student has to decide the course of his/her future. This may b...

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