Reach Back

Reach Back

Preach Michelle!

This is so important and one of the many reasons for the implementation of my upcoming “Design Your Story” Women’s Empowerment Luncheon series! When you’ve obtained a seat at the table, move over and pull up a seat for another woman to succeed as well!

Dr. Carmen April          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Podiatrist and Owner of The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC in the Nashville area. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership & Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals and is the creator of the “Design Your Story” Women’s Empowerment Luncheon Series.

Design Your Story Women’s Empowerment Series

Design Your Story : Women’s Empowerment

Series

Dr Carmen April Women's Empowerment Series

Happy Tuesday y’all!

           SAVE THE DATE for Saturday July 21st from 11am to 1pm when I will be hosting the 1st in a series of women’s empowerment luncheons here in Nashville! It’s something I started speaking into existence and talked about on my blog 3 years ago and it’s finally coming to fruition! We will hear from a special Keynote Conversation guest, enjoy great food, network with other women and expand our mindsets about important topics and issues! More details will be coming later this week, but this will be too good to miss so go ahead and mark your calendar NOW!

Dr. Carmen April           Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Podiatrist and Owner of The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC in the Nashville area. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership & Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals and is the creator of the “Design Your Story” Women’s Empowerment Luncheon Series.

Representation Matters

Representation Matters

Representation matters and that’s why it is so important to other women and young girls that they see women like me walking in my gifts! It’s important that young black and brown girls see another brown girl like me achieving and fulfilling my dreams! To all you ladies out here doing your thing and inspiring others, keep doing it! Never dim your light to make others comfortable with your own version of “shine”! There are young ladies trying to find themselves in this world and they are looking up to us. Our confidence makes a difference. Our elegance makes a difference. Our intelligence makes a difference. Our kindness toward others makes a difference. #RepresentationMatters

Representation Matters

Dr. Carmen April
             Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Podiatrist and Owner of The Foot And Ankle Healthcare Center, PC in the Nashville area. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership & Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals and is the creator of the “Design Your Story” Women’s Empowerment Luncheon Series.

Figure Out What’s Really Important

Figure Out What’s Really Important

Dr. Carmen April

When you figure out what’s important in to you in this life, it’s easy to let go of what’s not. I can’t be everything to everybody and still be happy with myself so I’ve learned to focus on what’s important and let everything else fall into place as they may.

Where do your priorities stand? Do you feel pulled in many different directions and finding that you aren’t at peace with where those paths are taking you? If so, it’s time to make some changes! Make a list of the things/activities/roles in your life that are most important to you. These reflect your CORE desires. These are the big rocks you put in the bucket 1st. Everything else, the smaller rocks and the sand, fill in AFTER your priorities are taken care of. If you fill your bucket with the small rocks and sand first, there will be no room for those things most important to you. When you learn that you can count on yourself, nothing else counts!

Dr. Carmen April          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on entrepreneurship and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

My Theme For 2017

My Theme For 2017

Happy New Year 2017

I know I say a version of the following statement every Jan 1st, but…….

……………….can you believe it’s 2017 already??!!

          Every year I select a word or a theme for the year that guides and encourages me daily. The theme is a way for me to focus on what’s important and expect the most of my life! I write my dreams down because I believe that when you “write the vision and make it plain” as it says in The Bible, wonderful things happen to our dreams and desires! When we write them down, our visions begin to take shape and become our reality.

 

          My Theme/Word for 2016 was GRATITUDE. I wrote several blog posts about GRATITUDE in 2016. If you want to check them out, here are a couple:

 

          Obviously, these blogs posts only scratch the surface of the millions of things that I’m grateful for. I thank God every single day for my many blessings – everything from waking up in the morning with breath in my body, the ability to speak, see, smell, hear, operate with clear thinking, to being thankful for my family, friends, patients in my medical practice, my sorority sisters, to the random people I meet in the grocery store who show respect and kindness, etc. If you really just take the time to sit down and be grateful for the things that you have, you will realize how astonishing and humbling life is.

 

Being GREAT begins with being GRATEFUL!

          So, now we are in 2017. Thank God for the blessing of entering into another year on this earth. The very fact that I am here means that God has work for me to do and it’s my duty to do that to the best of my ability every single day!

          As I do every year, I will reveal what my Theme for the year is, then encourage you to develop one for yourself. I even have a graphic that you can print off, fill out and post in your home and at work, just like I do 🙂

My Theme for 2017 is a funny-sounding phrase, but one that holds a lot of meaning. Here it is:

hold it in the road

          I had never heard this phrase until I met my husband lol. It’s an old “southern”/ “country” phrase that he probably picked up from one of his grandmother’s or someone at least a generation older than him lol! When I call or text him toward the end of a long work day just to say hi and ask him how his day is going, he’ll sometimes say “Hey babe, I’m just trying to hold it in the road!”, translated —–> “It’s been a long day, but I’m still working hard to get the work done”. I laughed hysterically the first couple of times I heard him say it because it sounds so “old-fashion” and truly “southern”. However, because I am a southern girl at heart, the phrase started to grow on me.

          Admit it, even when you are doing your life’s work, working in a job and/or career that you love, enjoying the relationships in your life, and life is good, it can also be met with difficulties, bumps in the road and can flat-out be exhausting sometimes. We all get tired every now and then. Even a car needs a tune up from time to time! When a car needs a little work, you get a tune-up, get it back into optimal working condition and continue driving it. You don’t send the car to the junk yard just because it needs a little work. Likewise, when things get a little tough or you get a bit tired, that’s not the time you should give up. It just might be a trick of the enemy to wear you out so that you give up before you reach your destiny and the wonderful experiences waiting for you along that journey!

          When I was in residency, there were days when I was on call that I literally felt like a walking zombie walking the halls of the hospital. I would be so flat-out exhausted some days that I would literally want to just throw the on-call pager in the toilet, OR out of a window, OR bury it in the foot-high snow there in Detroit, MI LOL! There was even a time during my first year of Residency that I questioned if this was really the career I wanted for my life. It seemed all so overwhelming. I took comfort in speaking with our residency coordinator who told me that she’d been working with medical residents for many, many years and that every single one of them, at some point during residency, most often during the first year, expressed similar emotions of feeling overwhelmed, second-guessing being a physician as the right choice and even wanting to quit. When I started talking to other residents I found out that she was right! Knowing that so many other residents had very similar experiences to mine helped me and all of a sudden I didn’t feel so alone.

          I had to remember everything my parents ever taught me growing up about never giving up! I drew upon everything my faith teaches me about “reaping if I faint not”, about “counting it all joy”, and that in all things with pray AND Thanksgiving, I must make my requests known to God Had I given up at that point I would not be the doctor and entrepreneur I am today. I learned to “hold it in the road”, even in those times when I wanted to call it quits!

          There are promises that I am waiting on God to manifest for me and during that process of anticipatory waiting, I will continue to “Hold it in the Road”! I will continue to pray AND meditate AND envision AND day-dream those promises into existence! When I “hold my car in the road”, the wheels say firmly on the ground, the car doesn’t veer off course and there is no slipping and sliding involved. I remain focused on getting to my destination successfully. The same is true for my life and staying focused on the desires of my heart. One of my most favorite scriptures is Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” and I know this to be true because it manifests in my life over and over again 🙂

           This practice has transformed my life! What I know for sure is that the things we think about, we bring about! The themes that we focus on in our lives the most are the things and experiences that become our reality!

          So pictured below is a graphic for you to print out, fill out and post up in your home and at your office. I hope you choose a theme for yourself this year that will encourage you and inspire you to be your best self. Sit in silent meditation for a while and listen to the theme/word that consistently pops into your mind. I usually start meditating on my word in Oct, Nov and Dec prior to the start of the new year and follow through with the word that most consistently comes to me and feels “right” during the meditations. I encourage you to do the same!

       

Theme for 2017

Happy New Year!!

Dr Carmen April Speaker          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful For Breakfast In Bed

Grateful For Breakfast In Bed

Gratitude

          I believe that the “little things” in life are really in fact the “big things” that matter the most. I’m on the go a lot and so when I have an opportunity to hang out in the bed with my crisp sheets, comfortable comforter and cushy pillows on a Saturday morning or Sunday morning, I do so……..or at least as long as I can before I start to get a tension headache from laying in the bed too long lol! Does that happen to anyone else out there?

          My husband gets up and starts moving around much earlier than I do and in particular, he likes to get up and cook breakfast! I’m so grateful for those random breakfast-in-bed moments that he surprises me with from time to time. Prior to getting married I NEVER ate in my bedroom……that was totally breaking the rules and off limits lol! But, there is no way I’m turning down my husband bringing in a wonderfully prepared breakfast to me out of love. Some rules are meant to be be broken, right?!?!?!??!

Dr Carmen April Speaker          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Entrepreneurship and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful for Dinner With My Husband

Grateful for Dinner With My Husband

Gratitude

          Growing up, my parents were pretty strict about time spent together as a family and having dinner at the table together every evening. We ate, laughed and talked about our day. We fully engaged with each other the entire time and that’s what made the evening dinners so special and our family bond so close. I guess growing up with this type of experience on a regular basis is also why I find it so sad when I go out to restaurants now and see kids at the table on their phones and tablets, the parents doing the same things and none of them truly interacting with each other!! What. Is. The. Point. Of. That?

          Now that I’m married, I appreciate the evening dinners my husband and I have just as much as I did with my family growing up because it’s an opportunity to for us to connect and bond. We talk about our day along with a million other things! We chill out afterwards, watch Family Feud (I usually get more of the #1 answers than he does, but don’t tell him I said that lol!) or some other TV show that I drag him into watching with me!

          I’m GRATEFUL for the opportunity and time spent in the evenings connecting in this way!

Dr Carmen April SpeakerDr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful for Lazy Saturday Mornings

Grateful For Lazy Saturday Mornings

Coffee ad love pillows

          I’ve talked here on the blog in the past about how I used to be a “busy bee” until I made a conscious decision to STOP THE GLORIFICATION OF BUSY! Someone could come up to me and say, “Hey Carmen, how’s your day going?” and my response would always be, “It’s great, but super busy!” My response was the absolute truth 99% of the time! I always had something on the calendar, something to do, and somewhere to go in addition to work and personal obligations.

          I will admit, the “busy” stage served it’s purpose during a point in my life and career where I was trying to network and meet as many people as possible after I first moved to Nashville and was growing my business. Howwwwwwww-ever, over committing and overworking myself became exhausting.

          Fast forward a couple of years later to the current time and I am so very GRATEFUL for lazy Saturday mornings when I can get out of bed when I decide to, grab some coffee or tea, head out for a leisurely walk in the park and just relax. I have a better understanding, since slowing things down a bit, that life is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed through.

Dr Carmen April SpeakerDr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful For Balance

Grateful For Balance

Gratitude

          At this very moment I can say I’m Grateful for Balance. This has not always been the case (ie.- those years during med school, residency, first couple of years starting my medical practice) and will not always be the case, but…………….. for right now, it’s how I feel and I am grateful for it.

          We hear a lot about “work-life balance” and what that’s supposed to look like. I’m asked that question often when I’m out on various speaking engagements, especially by young professional women and college students. My best answer is for everyone, on a individual bases, figuring out what your activity limits are as it relates to pouring out too much of yourself into others without investing back into yourself.

          Instead of “Work-life balance”, I prefer to use the term “Life Integration” because to me that is more of a long time approach to this concept. Life occurs in stages so there will be times when we feel totally balanced like I do at this point in my life, but there are also times when things don’t feel balanced, and that’s OK too. As long as you are working to integrate work priorities with family obligations, community service, etc in a manner that works for you, no matter what it looks like for someone else, do THAT!

          Just up until about a year ago, I was THAT person who was on the go ALL the time! If I wasn’t in my office seeing patients and running the business side of my practice, I was at some meeting for one of the 3 Board of Directors I was on at the time, at a sorority meeting, doing community service with my sorority chapter or out blogging about something, somewhere! It was all cool and exciting until I just got tired. Point blank and THE period —-> I. Was. Tired.

          All that I was involved in looked really good on paper, but it wore me down and I felt that I had no time to myself. Even my Dinner With Nerds Food Blog, that I designed to be a creative outlet, began to get stressful. When I was doing full features on particular restaurants by interviewing the owners & chefs and coming in with my camera to photograph all the food, the owners and managers always wanted to know when I would be publishing the feature which then put me on a deadline, which then made it start to feel more like work and less like fun 😦

          My balance was off because I wasn’t integrating the various aspects of my life in a way that satisfied me. At the end of the day, if I’m not taking care of me……extensions of me begin to suffer (ie., my business, my health, my attitude toward things).

          When I began to say NO to some things, NO to people requesting my attention, rolled off a couple of the Board of Directors I was on and realized that my contributions to my community , to my work and to the people I love were already more than sufficient without having to add anything more, slowly but surely I began to feel more like myself again – less stressed and happier! I always feel honored when I’m approached to serve the community in some capacity or to offer my expertise in certain areas, but I have learned that I only have so much so give before I start feeling off-balanced. With time and age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes knowing your limits. I’ll choose this feeling over being over-committed and over-worked any day of the week!

Dr Carmen April Speaker              Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

Grateful For Time Spent in My “Me” Place

Grateful For Time Spent in My “Me” Space

Gratitude

          I looooooove my “me” time, but I’ll be honest and say that it’s taken some practice for me to establish specific, set-aside time just for me to meditate and be with my happy thoughts! When I began carving out time to sit with my thoughts and mediate on the things in life that I’m grateful for, I began to notice a SHIFT in my way of thinking. My dominating thoughts have become those of GRATITUDE, love, faith, peace and of moving myself in the direction of “greater”!

          Spending alone time with God and my thoughts has allowed me to change the narrative of my life. I have a strong belief that, no matter what, life is on my side and is always pushing me to be a greater version of myself each and every day. I know that my dominating thoughts become my reality so I’m very intentional about concentrating on GRATITUDE, love, faith and expecting the best out of life! When I take the time daily to elevate my vibrations to a higher level of happiness, peace, love and GRATITUDE, all of those things return to me in immeasurable ways!

Here are a couple of things I do to get into my happy place during my “me” time:

  • Listen to calming spa-type music while laying awake in bed or on my couch and meditating
  • Tapping into one of my favorite iPhone apps, Calm,  that allows me to listen to sounds of the ocean and the beach while daydreaming about all that I appreciate, love and desire in life
  • Heading out to one of my favorite parks to walk/jog, listen to nature, and perform one of my walking meditation exercises where I thank God/Universe for all I see that is beautiful and makes me happy 🙂
  • Logging onto Instagram and following hashtags that lead me to awesome feeds of food, landscapes, beautiful homes, luxury hotels, luxury spas and inspirational quotes! I loooooove photography so seeing beautiful photos that raise my vibration into a happy place always do the trick and leave me feeling happy, at peace and serene 🙂

          Sometimes folks find it difficult to carve out “me” time, especially since we are in an age when the glorification of “busy” seems to be an “it” thing. However, I’ve learned that it’s detrimental not to do it. The “me” time does NOT have to be during the same time every day. Schedules vary, work and family demands vary and it’s ok to cut yourself some slack and be flexible with your personal time as well. Some days it may be better to spend time in the morning with this exercise and on other days the evenings may be better. Either way, we all owe it to ourselves to steal away and take some time to relax. Not only is it good for your psyche and mental health, but periods of relaxation and meditation have other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure & resting heart rate and lowering levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in our bodies.

          Lastly, as a Law of Attraction Practitioner, I encourage relaxation and meditation during “me” time as essential to elevating yourself to a higher vibration and attracting those things, experiences and opportunities into your life that you desire. Your dominating thoughts mixed with the positive emotions they create within you, bring them into your reality! It’s all about faith!

Dr Carmen April SpeakerDr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2014 Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Law of Attraction Practitioner and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.