You'd never know Dr. Donna Blevin's Virginian southern tinged voice was once silenced in a surprising twist on Halloween in 2013. After completing her book, "Mindshift on Demand," a massive left-brain stroke robbed her of the ability to speak. Even her speech language pathologist thought he needed to re-schedule therapy with her for at least 8 months before she would ever speak again. Remarkably, Dr. Donna Blevins recovered her ability to speak 3 short days later and now is emboldened with the mission to teach others how to harness the remarkable power of our minds.
You can't help but smile listening to Dr. Blevins - especially when she speaks of Mama Peggy and her 5'3" husband who stands by her towering 6'5" frame stirring up an unlikely picture in your mind of this couple. "When somebody sees us, we draw attention." Dr. Blevins jokes, "he didn't grow up really..." I paused and chuckled not wanting to be impolite, but also finding her humor right up my alley.
Dr. Donna Blevins is a storyteller at heart. I'm captivated by stories of her husband, her 92-year-old Mama Peggy and how she describes her stroke akin to having a filing cabinet of every word you've ever spoken thrown on the floor in chaos. She asks at one point, "What would you do?" I'd start to file it, but then I'd probably want to burn it in utter frustration. One of the places she triggers every fear button in me is the realization that she is totally cognizant of people around her, but can only utter 2 words - her name, "Donna," and "Crap." Can you imagine? You're aware of what you used to be, and now, you're limited to 2 words and a filing cabinet of words strewn on the floor of your subconscious.
How to Get Your Brain to Shift - Gear Up
How many times when you're faced with a challenge, you get discouraged and somebody says, "you've just gotta shift your mindset?" Now how many times has anyone ever shown you how to do it? Dr. Blevins simplifies mind-shifting by offering 12 Mindshift exercises. In the back of the book, Dr. Blevins lists all of the exercises and the page where you can find it in detail.
How Long does it take to form a Habit?
Dr. Blevins suggests it takes 6 times to create a relationship to learning a new behavior. She suggests taking one of the exercises, work on it for a week and try another one the following week. She insists we don't need to do these for hours, but rather focus on one mindshifting modality for about 10 minutes a day to really feel results.
When I ask her about her favorite of the 12 exercises, she says the "Hmm, isn't that Interesting?" exercise is her favorite. I pressed her to tell me more about it, and she offers to actually take me through the exercise. You know the adage, "the teacher comes when the student is ready?" That day, I had found out 2 friends were facing life-changing surgery and I was facing some tough challenges with one of my kids at home, so it wasn't too difficult for me to conger up a stressful situation in my mind (ha!) I felt my stress go away as she taught me through this process how to disconnect myself from the situation. Earlier in the interview, Dr. Blevins talks about disconnecting herself from her illness, I found that to be one of my aha moments in this interview.
For those of us who use self-deprecating humor? Hold on until the end - Dr. Blevins will reveal two words to say that are magical. Self-Talk in 2 words at it's finest. Those 2 words? You'll have to listen to find out - but they are Profound.