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Heart of the House

Musings from the CEO’s Desk

The Impact of Our Attitude

We probably don’t fully realise how impacting our attitudes are on those around us. Being around a negative person can make you feel grumpy. Certain cheerful people automatically make us feel brighter. It’s so important to surround ourselves with people who uplift and encourage positive attitude. Charles Swindoll said, “I am convinced life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it”. If 90% of life is how we react to circumstances, issues, troubles and relationships, it makes sense that those around us would be affected. Sometimes we can’t help how we feel, but we can choose how to handle ourselves so that we don’t take our mood out on others. When we are upset, angry or feeling down, we can still treat people with kindness and respect. I believe the most significant decision we can make daily is to choose our attitude. Attitudes are an outward display of what’s taking place in our hearts. When our hearts focus on the right place, our attitudes will too. I’m sad to say I can be extremely impatient (especially in cafes and check out queues). However, I never fail to notice that when I calm myself and smile and ask the waitress or check out person how they are with a smile instead of tapping on the table? A person’s whole demeanour will change. The only thing we have to lose by choosing a positive attitude is a negative one! When our attitudes are right, no challenge is too great and no dream too extreme.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Be the Original – Embrace Authenticity!

We have a problem and our problem is that we try to be something that we are NOT – we want to dress like everyone else and we want to talk like everyone else but it’s time to compete with yourself and win! Be the original – embrace authenticity! You are the only one qualified to be you! There is no one else in this world exactly like you! Others may have similarities, but you are the original you. There is nothing more beautiful than someone who lives from an authentic, real place – unafraid to be themselves and being totally OK knowing that you cannot fail at being yourself and to become who you truly are is the privilege of a lifetime.
Being authentic is about choices. I don’t want to be a poor copy of someone else. I am in competition with no one else. I choose to run my own race. I refuse to speak of myself in condescending, negative ways and I watch what I say about myself. I nurture my innate ability to be great and I nurture that in those I am privileged to influence. I have no desire to play a game of being better than anyone else; I am simply committed to be the best version of myself. I have often been told that I shouldn’t be so vulnerable with the women who share my life – but I disagree. Authentic leaders don’t wear masks. They are vulnerable and reveal their true selves, demonstrating by example that it is ok to do so. My vision is my inspiration and my purpose is my motivation. I am committed to be a better person than I was yesterday, to hone my skills and to study, to give my voice a platform it needs to be real. I read, to give my mind the challenge it needs, in order to succeed, to prosper, to love, to wake up to live the life of my dreams, to grow, to lead. And all of this means deliberate decisions every single day. “To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight…and never stop fighting” (E.E. Cummings).

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Perspective is Everything!

I love this poem. Perspective is everything. Do you see everything tinged with darkness or do you look for things to be grateful for, even if your situation may be difficult currently? I have met many incredibly beautiful souls in my life who see every problem as an opportunity. I have also met some negative, bitter souls – people who see the worst in everyone, who expect things to always end up badly and so, they inevitably will. We can use every struggle and trial to cause us to live negatively, or we can choose to find the gold in every pile of dirt. Choosing to open your eyes and actually see the positives in life – even in the midst of hardship actually changes so much. This is not about naively blocking out the bad things, it is choosing not to dwell in frustration and sadness. Positive people strive for dreams that may seem out of reach and they bounce back from failure – two qualities that are correlated with success. Choose today to believe that every day there are things to be thankful for.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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God Created Us Brilliant!

“The brain cannot change itself. You, with your love, power and sound mind can change your brain. The thought you are thinking right now is impacting every one of the 75-100 trillion cells of your body at quantum speeds.” Dr. Caroline Leaf

Without doubt, identity is one of the hugest issues plaguing our society. We increasingly base our identity on what society tells us we should look like, sound like, act like. Therefore, too many live from a place of fear: fear that they don’t measure up, fear that they won’t be accepted or loved, fear that they will fail, fear that they will never have what they want in life. Research actually shows that living from this place actually causes brain damage. God is brilliant and He created us with brilliant minds intended to live to their full potential. We can only do this when we live our lives from love, power, sound judgement and personal discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Every woman that arrives at Destiny has believed lies about themselves: the lie that they are worthless, rejectable, unlovable, doomed to loneliness, failures….and the list is endless really. However, we can begin to CHOOSE to believe the truth and reject every lie that is triggered multiple times a day. True, this takes time which is why Destiny Haven’s program is not a “quick fix”. A life controlling issue takes years to develop. You don’t become an addict or an alcoholic overnight. You do not develop a debilitating eating disorder or self-harm or mental health issues overnight. These become ways of coping with the chaos in our minds and souls that have been there for years. Dr. Caroline Leaf’s research shows that it takes 21 days of MINDFUL thinking to actually begin to arrest a long held wrong belief or bad habit. It takes a further 42 days to begin to form a new habit or way of thinking or believing, 63 days! If you are mindful for 7 days? Your brain will quickly revert to its old habit. If you are mindful for 20 days? Same deal. We have been created to live our unique and incredible selves. We cannot do this until we believe that we have the God given potential to step into the destiny only we have been created to live. I am continually excited by the emerging proof that we are NOT doomed to remain crippled by lies that have been spoken over us that we continue to perpetuate! We CAN choose to rewire the brain and live as our wonderful selves. What a gift. However, it requires daily choice to think and act differently. We all have to choose: Fear? Or Love, power and a sound mind that lives from a place of knowing and loving ourselves and living from a place of love, power and a sound mind.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Don’t Dream Your Life, Live Your Dream!

‘Don’t dream your life…live your dream! I’m a dreamer!’

Do you remember being little and dreaming of becoming something when you grew up? Maybe all you wanted to be was a teacher, nurse, doctor, actor, famous singer, ballerina, musician or something else? I remember as soon as I discovered Carole King and Elton John, all I wanted to be was a singer/piano player who earned a living doing it! Not the most stable job choice and not really encouraged. When I achieved that dream and made quite a bit of money entertaining, I actually became addicted to drugs that nearly destroyed my life. When Lewis and I spent a year in a residential program and our lives were turned around, all we wanted to do was help others live without using drugs. When I ask people what they dreamed for their lives when they were growing up, most will wistfully gaze off into a distant place and tell me they couldn’t ever achieve their childhood dream. “Why”, I ask? More often than not that person will respond with, “I don’t have the education”, or “I could never find the money”, or both! The diamonds at Destiny will hear two things from me often:

1. If you can achieve your dream, you are dreaming too small!

2. Dream, big, dream crazy, dream as if there are no limits!

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened when we’d been at Destiny just over a year and the new pastor of the church that owned the property told us we either needed to find a million dollars or vacate within six months. Certainly, this place would not be here! Many women who have come here would not have the lives they now have, and I would not have had the courage to continue to dream big, crazy, seemingly impossible dreams! I’m grateful that there were people who stood with us and believed for the dream of owning the property and continuing to help women into the future. Without their encouragement in so many ways, we would not be here to tell the story. I’m also thankful that being able to live this amazing life with the most beautiful, courageous women encourages me every day. If you can help someone dream? They are well on their way to a future that is incredible. Destiny has birthed many gifted, crazy big dreamers and they in turn have, and will continue to leave here impacting others to believe for the impossible.

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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