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Heart of the House

Musings from the CEO’s Desk

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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Embracing Your Uniqueness

Being different is rather freeing…becoming your unique self is spectacular. Do not strive to be anything other than who you were created to be – your own unique, incredible, awesome and wonderful self! THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH! In these days, we spend so many hours scrolling through social media comparing our lives to the lives of others! Finding ourselves as measuring lesser than the next person! The gift? The true gift is realising that you are more than enough!! Every single one of us have been created unique, incredible and absolutely stunning!! So…embrace your uniqueness and stop wishing you were living someone else’s fake Facebook / instagram life! And when there are those who struggle to handle you being you??? Make a decision that you WILL NOT change for them. Not ONE thing g!! Be content to be yourself. Everything in life changes when you make that sobering decision to be yourself…and express that self honestly and authentically. We all have the capacity to influence so many others for good. Make a decision that your life will reflect your uniqueness; don’t ever settle for being less than yourself! You are enough!

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Metamorphosis– A grander view

A caterpillar has a very narrow view of life, limited by what its eyes see as it crawls from leaf to leaf with absolutely no idea of the possibilities that lay ahead or the potential that its little slimy body possesses. When a caterpillar spins an encompassing cocoon, it has no comprehension that its body will be totally transformed during hibernation; no idea that when it emerges from the cocoon it will be stunningly beautiful with wings that will soar it high into the skies. It has no capacity to realise that its vision will be expanded beyond measure.

When our precious diamonds begin their journey at Destiny Haven, their visions are limited by their life controlling issues; stunted because of the traumas they have experienced during life. They are unable to comprehend that their lives could be abundantly full and free. Most find it impossible to believe that change is even possible. Like the caterpillar, change cannot be forced. It takes time and the right amount of nourishment to arrive at the place where wings to fly are possible. What an awesome privilege to be part of the change process for the precious ones God brings into our lives.

There’s one more thing about metamorphosis I discovered as I researched a caterpillar’s transformation. When the chrysalis is ready to emerge as a beautiful butterfly, the creature within must struggle its way out of the cocoon. As it pushes its way out, fluid is pushed into the wings of the butterfly that will enable it to fly. If the butterfly is ‘helped’ out prematurely, it will be destined to crawl for the rest of its life. So, it is with the metamorphosis of a broken life. The process of recovery is not quick. You cannot undo a lifetime of wrong core beliefs in weeks. There are essential struggles if a life is to emerge metamorphosed into something truly spectacular. We are destined for dreams more magnificent than we could ever dream ourselves. Our prayer for every Diamond is that they would discover this for themselves and learn to truly fly!! This painting emerged from my discovery of metamorphosis…it is called simply ‘New life’.

Artwork: Janine Epere, ‘New Life’

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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Failure is an Opportunity!

 Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently (Henry Ford).

Have you ever tried and failed? It doesn’t matter. Try again and again and again. The great actor Mickey Rooney said, “You always pass failure on your way to success”. The human spirit is more resilient than we realise, and the only real failure is when you decide not to get up again. Many women enter our program after years of addiction, suffering from eating disorders, self-harm or other mental-health diagnoses. Without exception, all have suffered attachment traumas in childhood. For some, we are their first attempt at turning their lives around. For others, we are the 2nd, 3rd or even 15th attempt at residential treatment. In my own journey to beating heroin addiction, I tried many times to stop using drugs. For eleven years I would have brief weeks or months of sobriety. At one point, even 15 months! However, I never really dealt with the core issues from childhood that crippled my wrong core beliefs into adulthood. Twenty-five years ago, I finally accepted I could never use drugs again. That’s history. It takes a lot of courage to enter a program asking for help. It takes so much more courage to stay and complete a program. Even more courage to reach out for help in years to come if you relapse or find yourself struggling again. Failing is only ever failure when you give up!

Janine Epere

CEO Destiny Haven

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