Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to personal development Expert Donna Merrill.
I met Donna just a few months ago online, and right away I could tell that she had a lot of knowledge and wisdom in the personal development area.
Please, meet Donna, a personal development expert who has a lot to tell you.
Donna, first I wanted to thank you for accepting my invitation for an interview, and to start could you, please, tell my readers who you are, where you are from and what you do?
Thank you Sylviane for inviting me. I am Donna Merrill from donnamerrilltribe.com. Born and raised in Brooklyn USA, being Italian-American, I must say I do have an “edge” in my character ha ha.
I have been an Entrepreneur since I was 17. It was my back door to the job I had on Wall Street. The J.O.B. never made sense to me – so I needed a back door plan to reinforced my sense of independence. I was born with psychic abilities. That’s a very long story, but the short version is that I used my intuitive gifts to build the brick and mortar business I have been operating for the past 30 years.
Because of my intuition, I sensed the current financial unrest about 10 years ago. I had to find a way for people to create their own “back door” – an addition to their J.O.B’s so they could follow their passions as I did mine. Some even took the plunge and created their own businesses online with a little direction from me.
That is what I do. My passion is to help people get their own businesses going via Social Media platforms.
At what point in your life did you develop an interest in personal development?
Being in a “dysfunctional” family setting, I knew there had to be another way to life. In my early teens, I savored the magazine “Psychology Today.” It was my vehicle for finding out why the world was not such a great place to be. It was more than the usual teenage girl confusion. It was a life of fear and emotional abuse. I had to make sense of it all, so I started reading.
At what point did you realize you could help people?
It was at a time when I realized I had a psychic ability. Call it intuition, that is an easier way to put it. But by going back to school, learning to become a Social Worker, I hoped to put myself in a position to help others who had suffered through some of the emotional abuse I had.
I soon realized, though, that I would have more independence, and be able to be more authentic by working on my own rather than following professional rules I couldn’t agree, and seemed counter-productive to my desire to help people.
I studied parapsychology and also quantum mechanics. It was sufficient scientific proof that my conscious mind emboldened me to do what I knew how to do best. That was helping people through intuitive consultation, aka psychic readings. I found this to be a good start, but I always sought ways to improve my methods for helping my clients.
In what field of personal development do you have most expertise?
My expertise is being a “psychic” and using that to help others be on their true path of growth and happiness. Because of my psychology background and ethical professional approach, I work in a different way than the “boardwalk psychic” that all too often manipulates unsuspecting people with fear, and threats of a looming “black cloud” constantly overhead!
I consider myself a road map. Yes I can “see” what lies ahead in the future, but the future is dynamic and riddled with variables, not pre-determined and cemented in place. That being said, I sit with my client and advise that “if you do this…that will happen, but if you do that….that will happen”. Always giving the client a strong message that THEY are the master of their own destiny. Every action we take, every thought we have will manifest a clear cause and effect.
Did you always have some psychic ability or how and when did it happen?
Funny you should ask this question. Heck everyone does. I am currently writing a book about my story. But to put it in a nutshell, I was born psychic.
There were many things in my early childhood that freaked out my parents. I thought everyone was on the same page as me until my parents took me to the Church across the street and the priest told me never to speak to the devil again. Hmmm.
Did that ever cause a negative effect? Not at all. Being psychic I looked up at this big fat man with a red face and understood somehow that he was like my dad…an alcoholic. I was only 7 years old, but felt sorry for him. To please my parents as a good little girl, I never spoke about what I was seeing and knowing. I had to stifle expressing my intuition.
But one day in my early 20’s I experienced a Poltergeist situation. Things were flying in my house. So many manifestations, it is too long to explain here. Bottom line, when I ruled out it wasn’t a squirrel or anything else causing this, I called the Parapsychology Department at Duke University.
They referred me to the ASPR in New York. I had a team of people come to my house and long story short, the Parapsychologist explained to me that I was a “medium”. Holding in my energy, he said, caused my electromagnetic energy to move things. Top that off with a discarnate personality (Poltergiest).
I drew him in, I was told, and that touched off 4 months of horrifying experiences. I did not want to be a medium, a psychic, a freak! That was because of the negative associations to it that were neurolinked to my childhood and made me believe I would upset people.
Then, through testing and training with parapsychologists and scientists, my conscious mind accepted that I had to channel out this energy.
How involved in personal development are your clients or potential clients?
Very involved. If a person comes to me for one hour, it is my responsibility to do my job and also take it a step further by suggesting to them different modalities they can choose to remedy their situation.
I am a great networker! If I come across a person that needs further help, I would give them the support they needed with a few weekly sessions if they wanted to go that route. I do have many clients that call me once a week for their personal development and well being. But I only accept those who want to work on their growth. Not those that want an “answer” because that removes them from their own self-reliance.
What is the most frequent question or questions you are getting from your clients, and what does such questions tells you about their state of mind?
Mostly, people want to know how to make things work out better. Make more money, get their lover back, and regain good health. They want me to make it happen. These people just don’t understanding the basic way in which THEY are attracting those things that manifest in their lives. To attract something different, they need to set a different set of actions into place. I can’t do it. They need to.
I would have to say that their “help me” pleas convince me that they haven’t grasped the concept of the law of attraction. I always get “Oh Donna you are so lucky.” “You are so strong.” “You have it easy.” Ha! One must work at those things.
I am not lucky or strong, and nothing in this world comes easily. I try to help these people achieve independence, even when they don’t believe in themselves.
They want to depend on me and that is not allowed in my business. My job is to teach them what I named my business in the first place – Mind Over Matter! That involves far more than just the concept of the Law of Attraction. Although LOA is a good starting point.
Because I firmly believe our reality stems from our minds, I am a stickler about that. Getting people to understand the concept that they are creating their reality sometimes is difficult. They may not be ready, so I have to track back and mirror to them the patterns they have set in motion, but now complain about.
I tell them that if they are comfortable being miserable, so be it! And some people actually are. BUT, if they are willing to just entertain the notion that they just might be their own master, then they have taken their first step to creating a life that they want.
I first introduced this as a concept of “Magick” – I made candles anointed with specific essential oils that do correspond to the brain for different reasons. It was actually a form of aromatherapy combined with neurolinking strategies.
This is how I introduced those that didn’t want to do the “work.” Here is the trick: Take for example a person that is absolutely miserable at their job. They had 5 different jobs, but they were all repeat performances of the same scenario. I might give them an anointed candle with the corresponding color and oils for change.
They were instructed to light the candle when they were in a calm space and picture their idea of a perfect job. When they reported back to me about all the happy things that ensued, I would explain that it had nothing to do with the candle. They did it themselves, thereby introducing them to a basic principle of the law of attraction.
I know it sounds like a dirty trick to play, but some people just don’t understand the intrinsic power they possess until they experience it. Then I would take the process a step further by asking them to just relax and meditate, or write down a list of what they urgently desire at the moment. After a while, they would catch on. Of course, there were suggested readings to back up the clinical experience, but I know that experience in the form of application is the best way to learn.
Are they people consulting you that you feel you won’t be able to help, and if yes, why?
Why do you think more and more people are now trying to exercise their mind as much as their body?
I think it is because there is a lot of talk these days about Life Coaching, Law of Attraction, NLP and the like. These once eclectic notions, have now become household words.
Personal development is no longer an exclusive club! Compare it to psychotherapy today, and how it was 50 years ago when it was taboo, kookie, or a clear indication that there was something terribly wrong with you. Now, when we hit a dead end in our lives or there is a nagging feeling of depression or anxiety, we tend to go to some form of psychotherapy to learn different ways to overcome that problem and perform more effectively.
There are also many books, and media presentations on this subject. With so much scientific evidence and clinical studies for proof these days, it helps people to understand its applicability to their daily lives. I think people tend to get out of their comfort zone of misery and defeatism only when they are given a clear way to do it.
Why do you think they are still so many people who are not aware of the power of the mind?
To me, they are the people that actually thrive on being victims, poor-me’s and pitty-party people. What do they gain from that? Actually, a lot! Other people often rush to help them through their negative attention-getting episodes. Frequently, they even win financial help with their antics. I’ve seen people do this so well, that if they applied that energy to a business they would be rich!
These people often choose to use the power of their minds to harnessing comforts without having to undergo changes or improvement in their lives. They thrive on the negative rewards. If they do choose to apply the power of their mind, it’s to manipulate others into giving them even more negative rewards.
Another observation I have made is that people may just discount their own abilities because they don’t have enough education about it. Especially when it comes to the advanced scientific proof. Guess if they made a reality show about it, they would accept it ha ha.
Do you read personal development books and which ones?
I don’t have time to read entire books these days, but learn from presentations and articles on the internet. I have read many in the past. Michio Kaku’s book “Parallel Worlds” and all his others fascinate me. For me, a scientific approach to things help me. Also Gary Zukov’s “Seat of the Soul” is awesome.
I am interested in interactive books like workbooks. Right now it is “The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook” – Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & Distress Tolerance – It was intended as a workbook for a therapeutic practitioners that deal with borderline personality disorders. Lately, it seems to have become a pop-culture book that can be beneficial to anyone who wants to grow!
I think it should be in every home…. I’m passionate about it.
What else do you do for your own personal development?
I took two sessions, each 20 weeks long on DBT therapy. I wanted to be stronger, not let negative emotions or insecurities stop me from reaching my goals. This helped me to not only learn, but apply modalities to my life that are calming and effective. Most importantly, being educated to help myself allows me to be a better guide for my clients.
Acupuncture also helps in my personal development. As I lie on the table for one hour with all those needles in me, I feel the meridians flowing, and it connects my body to my mind and spirit.
Taking time out after dinner to take a slow walk is another exercise in personal development. In America, there are fast walkers and runners all over the place for cardio. But on the other hand, taking a slow walk after dinner helps the oxygen get into the body and is great for digestion. For the mind, it puts you in a very relaxed, introspective state.
Taking 15 minutes in your day to walk around and look at gardens, smelling those roses, etc. does a world of good for your inner peace.
I also give myself positive suggestions every 30 days. I do this in conjunction with a breathing technique I use to confirm the auto-suggestion. As I take a deep cleansing breath..filling the belly…right before I release it, I give myself a word, say success … then immediately exhale. Doing this a few times every day does reprogram the subconscious. I have to stick a post-it up on my mirror to remind myself… he he
What would be the first 3 self-improvement tips you would want to give to anyone reading this interview?
1. Step out of your comfort zone. You will not die! See change as a positive not a negative.
2. If you are one of those people who love to read self help books, please take action on it. I know people love information. But it will do you no good unless you take action to improve yourself.
3. Growth. A healthy mind is one that grows. If eighty year old people are taking up tai chi, and learning meditation, then you can also change for the sake of your well being. If you want to be successful, it all starts with self growth. If you cannot do it alone, and I don’t believe we can.. then get a life coach, a therapist, anyone that you resonate with and start your journey to joy.
Once you do that, you will find that anything is possible. Your life will have things falling into place because you will train your brain that it is more than possible, it is inevitable.
I know. I’ve done it myself and still do. When a problem occurs, we must remember that there is fact (the problem); there is emotion (your emotions are real); there is a “critic” in your mind from your subconscious that links to your emotion. Your task (as my client), is to learn to manage all of these components effectively.
Many blessings to you Sylviane and your readers.
Thank you so much for those precious answers and I am sure my readers will love this. So, please, guys let Donna and me know about what you think and ask any questions you may have down below!