From the Creator of the Breakthrough Watch Me!™ Motivational Mind-set
Live Beyond Your Dreams:
From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success
with Alexi Panos
By the Sea Books Publishing Company
Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234
More testimonials can be found on the Web site, www.RianaMilne.com, and on Riana’s free app, My Relationship Coach. We hope to hear from you too! Please send your reviews to BytheSeaBookPublishing@gmail.com. Thank you, we hope you enjoy the book! –Riana and Alexi
“Please devour Riana's book, Live Beyond Your Dreams. Hire Riana, meet with Riana, and listen very, very intently to what she says. I have to admit I was blown away by the empowering messages in her book. I love this brave woman's way of sharing and then teaching us how to take back the power and dignity that so freely gets taken away. What a great journey to happiness! Thank you, Riana! I'm sorry I didn't take the time sooner to read this book! My opinion of Riana’s top qualities: expertise, high integrity, creativity. She was the first recipient of our Leaders, Mentors, and Heroes Award for The Southern NJ Business Excellence Center.” Jamie Siracusa, Executive Director of The South Jersey Business Excellence Center
“Riana has taught me so much about relationships and it all makes sense! She's a great inspiration and her Live Beyond Your Dreams book has taught me to grow and reach my goals. She always helped me through those tough times and she is my idol. I can’t wait for her new book to come out! She advised me to read other books, many listed in here, and they also really helped me through some of the tough times in my life. She really is a positive inspiration and the best relationship coach! Be sure to try her free app, My Relationship Coach.” Chrissey, NJ, a relationship coaching client
“Great story about how the spirit of an individual is what it takes to get things accomplished! Loved the story line of the book and how it allowed plenty of space to relate it to my own life story, or anyone’s for that matter! It’s great that the money from the book goes to charity as well! Keep up the good work!” A lover of motivational reading
“My motivation to read Live Beyond Your Dreams came about when I had the opportunity to personally meet Ms. Milne and her coauthor daughter Alexi Panos as they presented a character education assembly program at my school. Their vivacious and enthusiastic presentation style had students and teachers riveted to their seats as they covered such heartfelt topics as bullying, accomplishing your dreams, and how to successfully deal with adversity in your life. Ms. Milne’s book is a glowing example of how one can deal with life’s unexpected twists and turns while holding your head up high. As a principal of a busy middle school, I recommend the book be stocked in schools nation-wide, affording middle school students who often struggle with many social and family issues an opportunity to succeed in school and in life. With sound advice for parents, teens, and anyone seeking to have more control over their lives, Live Beyond Your Dreams is a must-read for everyone.” Middle school principal
“I was quite fortunate to hear Riana Milne, the author of Live Beyond Your Dreams, speak as a teacher regarding the concepts written in her book. I am a recovering addict at an in-patient rehab center. She comes into the rehab every Saturday in Atlantic City. I can assure you—Riana is for real! She has so much energy, heart, and compassion for people in pain, and is exactly what we all needed as women of addiction. Every week, we looked forward to her coming to teach us. I learned so much from her—as we all did! I have since bought her book and left the rehab center. I practice every day the methods she has taught me, and it works! I am still healthy and reaching all my long-awaited goals. I have become so proud of the woman I knew I could be! No matter what you might be going through, take all her lessons and suggestions to heart. She knows what she is talking about! I feel privileged to have had Riana as my teacher and therapist during my darkest hour.” Rachael, a woman in transition and recovery
“I thought the book offered an excellent overview of an extraordinary woman who demonstrates a positive approach to life. I think the interaction with her daughter as a coauthor will make this an excellent book for families. As a therapist I will use it in my practice, particularly as a practical guide for struggling clients. Great job, Riana and Alexi!” A psychotherapist and single father
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but the title caught my eye, and I am an avid reader of self-help books. Live Beyond Your Dreams touched my heart, and I really could relate to the story—I got so much out of it that I went back and bought 18 more copies to give as gifts to friends and all of my family members. They all loved the book too! I would highly recommend this book to anyone, male or female, single or married, of any age that is looking to change and better their life.” George, age 45, civil servant, never married
“As a twice-divorced, intentionally childless single woman, I was astounded to discover how powerful I found the parenting chapter to be. The world would be transformed if every child had the opportunity to be raised utilizing these methods. That alone is worth the price of the book. This is a book for everyone. All of us, regardless of our personal experiences, can benefit from something in this book. The couples chapter also stands out as one of the book’s most profound installments, containing a wealth of information for those who just don’t know ‘where to go’ after a hardship in life or after a loss of a partner or relationship. The book is well written and easy to follow, especially for those who find spiritual and motivational self-help reading challenging. I would encourage everyone to add this book to their collections, as it is something meaningful to refer to time and time again when life gets tough. I just loved it!” Beth Anderson, age 55
“A brilliant integration of self-disclosure, spirituality, and vision for one’s future. Riana offers insight into areas of our lives many never approach due to fear and one’s past history. This book should be a staple for all who want to grow and progress beyond their dreams of what they have always thought was not possible.” Dr. Robin Barnett, EdD., LCSW, LCADC
“Although we aren’t quite 13, our neighbor suggested we read Live Beyond Your Dreams. Both my sister and I really loved it, and especially liked the chapter, ‘Advice from Mom,’ which is written for teenagers. It really inspired us to be the best we can be, and not to worry about others who try to bully us, put us down, or make us feel ‘not good enough.’ Riana and Alexi can really relate to us kids! We suggest that every teenager should read this book!” Fourth-grade twin sisters
“Professionally speaking, I’ve worked with Riana and Alexi through both web and fashion design and I’m glad to see their dreams come true. They’ve worked hard and sacrificed to get to where they are now. They’re the ideal, ‘multi-purpose’ women in America—women that society should look up to!” Bryan Joe, fashion designer, business associate
“Riana—we can’t tell you how impressed we were when we read Live Beyond your Dreams, a book written on how to have a motivational mind-set for personal success. No matter what your age is, one should always strive for self-improvement and personal growth. Since we are grandparents of 40 children, we particularly enjoyed advice on raising successful children as presented in the parenting chapter. This advice is wonderful to pass on to our own children, and for that matter, the grandkids!” Senior Citizens at the Jersey Shore
“After reading the book Live Beyond Your Dreams, I felt totally touched and motivated. Riana Milne told her personal journey through life in a way that touched my heart. As women, we have all shared our hearts, our time, our secrets, our fears, our hopes, and our dreams. We’ve all had our many challenges and hard times, but I know after reading about the Watch Me! mind-set that it is always up to us to believe in ourselves and make ourselves feel better. A great beach read! Riana’s story will make you confident that you really can succeed in life!” Nancy Page, NJ, a “fellow survivor”
“Wow, I really related to the author’s stories! I often felt put down and not good enough and have struggled my whole life with these feelings. The techniques Riana suggests to use really helped me personally deal with past issues, and the parenting chapter helped me to become a better father to my own children. The couples chapter gave great advice on how to be a better, more understanding partner for my wife. Thank you, Riana; I finally got the therapy I needed!” A mayor’s son
“I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. This book was recommended to me by my therapist. I can’t tell you enough how much I learned from it—to re-inspire my life towards growth and change and not to stay stuck in my addiction. It made me look at anger in a whole different way—and addicts are usually full of anger and guilt. When you can get over that, you can get over drug use. This book directly hits what the addict needs to read to overcome past pain. Thank you to Riana—who seems to be a terrific counselor and a great mom—and to her daughter Alexi. Both live a higher purpose of helping to inspire change in other people’s lives. I ended the book in tears and in a prayer of thanks!” Donald W., a recovering addict and alcoholic
“Riana gives excellent advice on improving yourself for healthy relationships. She sums it up with, ‘Be the person you want to attract.’ And don’t miss the parenting chapter, from the importance of giving unconditional love to teaching children the Watch Me! mind-set. What a good role model she is for single working moms!” Annie, a working mother
“Live Beyond Your Dreams” , is a book that you can’t put down! It is so easy to incorporate its key principles into your everyday life. I immediately wrote down each of my goals and put them on my bathroom mirror so I could look at them every morning before I start my day and at night to review if I met each goal. It’s a great way to balance your life, and as a single mother of two little ones, that can be a challenge. This book was so helpful I gave it out as Christmas presents!” South Jersey mom and special education teacher
“Riana and Alexi—I just read your book about the Watch Me! mind-set over the summer, and it’s definitely a 100 rating—really I’d say it’s a 1000! I have had so many problems recently; it’s been a long journey, and I’m still fighting. I’ve gained so much weight from stress, my dad is an alcoholic, and I was removed from my parents—my whole family is messed up. I felt like a ‘no one,’ but I really got help from reading your book. I am going to develop that keen sense of focus that is needed to succeed in my life and stop trying to change my family members that don’t want help. Each day I will set the goals I need to do well in school and to make a good life for myself. I will seek out the help of my SAC counselors at school, and talk to them to stay positive and motivated both in school and in life. I am determined to feel better, physically and emotionally—and your book was the start of this new way of thinking!” Fifth-grade female student looking for love, hope, and happiness
“As a mother of three children, with two beautiful girls and one son, I have to say, if I had read about the Watch Me! mind-set authored by Riana Milne when I raised my children, I would have had the tools to know how to positively influence the lives of my children by following her thought process and advice. I found her book to be emotionally motivating and a book that I could not put down. For me personally, going forward, I found the tools within this manuscript that I will definitely use so I can have a more rewarding and gratifying life. Norma Jean, PA, a mother, entrepreneur, author, and life partner
“Live Beyond Your Dreams is a compelling read—a self-help book written in a manner that allows the reader to visualize what the author is speaking of, and use such lessons in everyday life. A wonderful read, and I refer back to it often for guidance, particularly the parenting section.” George B, widowed parent of two, attorney, age 53
“Riana Milne’s book, Live Beyond Your Dreams, has a powerful message: that no matter how chaotic your life has been, there is hope that things can get better. She gives examples of turbulent times in her own life where she struggled against all odds. However, with hard work and determined to succeed in this game of life, it is obvious that Ms. Milne has succeeded both professionally as well as personally. The author presents sound ideas for ways to change one’s life for the better. All ages and genders can benefit from reading this wonderful motivational book!” Sandy Dixon, mother and educator
Live Beyond Your Dreams:
From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success
Copyright © 2013 by Riana Milne with Alexi Panos; First Edition
by Terriana (Riana) Milne, MA, LPC, Cert. Relationship Coach
NJ-LPC Lic# 37PC00049500 NJ-LCADC Lic# LC00091200
and By the Sea Books, LLC
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act, no parts of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database retrieval system, without prior written consent from By the Sea Books Publishing Company and/or Terriana (Riana) Milne, unless otherwise indicated.
Send all inquiries to:
By the Sea Books, LLC
7028 Ridge Avenue, Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 08234
For Riana’s other books, audiobooks, and info products, go to her Web site:
www.RianaMilne.com or app, My Relationship Coach
Alexi’s Web site: www.AlexiPanos.com and www.epicthemovement.org
See us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter
under Riana Milne and Alexi Panos
For more information, write Riana at RianaMilne@gmail.com,
Edited by Caroline Kaiser
Riana’s headshots by Alexi Panos
Cover design by Dunn+Associates, www.dunn-design.com
Cover copy by Graham Van Dixhorn at www.writetoyourmarket.com
ISBN 13: 978-0-9785965-4-5
PCIP: Self-actualization (Psychology) 2. Change (Psychology) 3. Success 4. Spiritual Life
BF637.DS4M55 2012158.1QB112-600216 1st edition
Library of Congress Number: 2012919068
Published in the United States of America.
All information and examples involving clients, students, or celebrities are based on actual events, but names have been changed or omitted to protect the privacy of all.
This book is dedicated to my daughters, coaching and therapy clients, and prior talent who have such determination and dedication to change, grow, and succeed, and who took the risk and dared to dream despite the doubt and disbelief of others. Thank you for sharing with me your journey of self-discovery to reach your dreams and beyond to live your higher purpose.
To my families and children in Africa, who have enlightened my soul and driven the spirit of my higher purpose.
Since Alexi and I are dedicated to helping make our world a better place, partial sales proceeds will be donated to Alexi’s nonprofit charity, EPIC, and The Riana Milne Scholarship Fund for the Performing Arts. Thank you for your donation!
Help Yourself by Helping Others
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments from Riana Milne
Acknowledgments from Alexi Panos
Introduction: How It All Began
Part 1: The Watch Me! Mind-set: How to Make It Work for You
by Riana Milne
1) What Is the Watch Me! Mind-set?
2) Gearing Up for Greatness: Finding the Motivation to Change
3) A Sense of Spirituality Is Essential
4) The Secret of the Five Ds: Desire, Determination,
Dedication, Devotion, and Dare to Dream!
5) Just Do It! Goal Setting for Personal Growth and Success
6) Learning from Life’s Lessons:
Finding the Good from the Bad
7) Achieving Balance in Life
8) For Couples: The Evolved Relationship—
Being Your Best Self for Your Partner and
Accepting Nothing Less
9) For Parents: Raising Successful Children and
Teens by Teaching the Watch Me! Mind-set
10)For Teens: Advice from “Mom”
Part 2: It Works for Young People Too!
by Alexi Panos
11) My Story: Discovering the True Meaning of Watch Me!
12) Let It Go: The Watch Me! Mind-set Begins With Letting Go
13) One Step at a Time
Conclusion by Riana: It’s Never Really Over
Since Our Last Conclusion: Update from Riana
The Day the Watch Me! Mind-set Was Born
Haiku from Riana’s Journal
How to Apply to or Donate to The Riana Milne
Scholarship Fund for the Performing Arts
The EPIC Movement and Nonprofit Organization
References and Recommended Reading
About the Authors
Riana Milne has a three-part master’s degree in applied clinical and counseling psychology, and is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor (LCADC), and a certified relationship coach for individuals, couples, and families. She has her own practice, Therapy by the Sea. Her app, My Relationship Coach, offers convenient coaching on the go for her clients around the world. Riana served as a student assistance counselor (SAC) who helped students with emotional issues at all grade levels. She is also an interfaith minister, and she uses spiritual concepts with her inspirational and motivational coaching and therapy style to help her clients overcome pain and fear and to create holistic change for personal growth in mind, body, and spirit. The Watch Me! mind-set began for Riana at age 16 with her own challenging journey and then evolved into an instructional motivational program for success she has taught for over 30 years. She’s been a professional speaker, had various radio shows, and has appeared on TV. Her students are of all ages and include children, teens, parents, couples, and singles.
Despite your age, occupation, or life situation, Live Beyond Your Dreams: From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success will inspire you to change, grow, and reach your dreams. Be sure to check out Riana’s forthcoming book, Love Beyond Your Dreams: Break Free from Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve, and her Web site, www.RianaMilne.com.
Alexi Panos, Riana’s youngest daughter, is an amazing young woman who has climbed to the top of many personal and professional ladders. After reaching a high level of worldly success in the music and fashion industries at the age of 16 and in the corporate world at age 21, Alexi is currently living her dreams of being a TV host and producer while traveling the world. As well, she has been dedicating herself to bringing freshwater wells to Tanzania, Africa, with her EPIC charity project (www.epicthemovement.org).
Alexi recognizes that true success can only come from within. Although it started as an external drive, the Watch Me! mind-set is something Alexi challenges her inner self with every day. Now she dares you to take the first step of your own ladder of goals and dreams to explore the real, authentic you! Alexi’s Web site is www.AlexiPanos.com.
How It All Began
The Watch Me! mentality was born within me at age 16, but it exploded from me at the age of 27. At the time, I was living in Erie, PA. I had just opened my own model and talent agency and was the mother of my two wonderful daughters, Stephana Nicole, age five, and Alexi Danielle, age four.
My husband, and their father, had just torn apart my modeling and talent office, throwing files across the room, upturning my desk, ripping the phone out of the wall, and leaving the office looking like a tornado had hit it. This was all in response to my telling him I wanted a divorce.
“Watch how far you’ll get in this town without my last name!” he screamed at me.
With a deadpan expression, I looked him in his eyes, pointed my finger at him, and said with the utmost confidence in a stern but calm voice, “Watch me!”
Where did this sense of confidence come from? How was I so motivated to have a new life, and how would I get there when my world was crumbling? Usually, one final act spurs people to become motivated enough to do whatever it takes to create a new life for themselves.
As soon as my divorce was final, I immediately went down to the courthouse and changed my married name to my maiden name. And I took it one step further; never particularly liking my birth name, I changed that too, making the total name change from Terri Ann Milne to Terriana (Riana) Milne. I have gone by Riana ever since 1987; it’s a name I associate with rebirth, creativity, confidence, uniqueness, and a dedication to living my goals and dreams.
The Watch Me! motivational mind-set is what I have lived ever since taking on the name of Riana; therefore, that name connects to everything I have overcome and everything I have become. Changing my name was the beginning of my journey to a new life; at the time I had nothing but a new name and dreams for a more peaceful, happier, and more purpose-filled life.
I am just an ordinary woman; my story is one that many women, men, and teenagers can relate to. It’s about conquering stress, fear of change, anxiety, depression, doubt, financial struggle, and emotional pain in a time of difficult transition.
It’s about overcoming all the negative messages many loved ones have given us over time, making us feel put down and not good enough. It’s for those of us who have been doubted, criticized, or told our dreams were a joke, and that they’d never amount to anything extraordinary; it’s for the business owners, actors, models, singers, and dancers who were told they’d never make it.
This is also a story for other single mothers and fathers trying to keep sane while attempting to keep their family lives together, and for parents who are frustrated with depressed or angry children. It’s for people who are in recovery or questioning if addiction is a problem for them. As well, it’s for those who are stuck about whether to move out of or fix a toxic relationship, for couples who want a more successful and loving relationship, and for teens who are looking for answers about their future.
I understand—I’ve been in all these situations, and I hope I can inspire you to overcome the negativity of your past or current life. It is my goal to help you move beyond your current fear and the pain of transition toward a more positive, happier future in which you can reach your dreams and beyond, achieving your higher purpose.
My name change to Riana initiated a stronger sense of confidence as a woman; when I changed it, I swore I would never again accept any emotional abuse and I would fight for my sense of being no matter the cost. My journey describes the mental and spiritual resources I needed to survive the poorest of times, when there was no help, little hope, no money, and many responsibilities.
At one particularly low point, I lived on tomato soup, eggs, and cereal for weeks, but I always made sure my daughters had a decent meal and a safe place to live. I endured many extremely difficult transitions, and I was even told once that someone had a contract out on my life. A few times I knew I had nothing to hold on to but my dreams for a better life; yet I was motivated to become a strong and successful mother and woman, one my daughters could be proud of.
My story is not about anger or revenge. The Watch Me! mind-set is about an inner journey of growth, developing a sense of spirituality to heal and survive, using meditation and positive self-talk for inner strength and self-esteem, and following a goal-setting system to reach your dreams and beyond.
This philosophy will teach you that your own happiness and success are your best revenge, and you will learn not to lash back in anger or retaliation at the people who have hurt you. Instead, you will discover that someone’s doubts about you or efforts to hurt or destroy you can now be the driving force for you to succeed. Chapter 1 explains what the Watch Me! mind-set is, and chapter 2, “Gearing Up for Greatness: Finding the Motivation to Change,” addresses this underlying inspirational force.
Pain is our biggest teacher; the struggles from our past are simply the lessons we needed to experience to reach our most powerful and best self. Using a combination of spiritual and motivational psychotherapy techniques to get past your pain, learning a different way to perceive your challengers, and practicing the art of forgiveness are all a part of this plan. Spirituality is an important foundation of your success, as I explore in chapter 3, “A Sense of Spirituality is Essential.”
My father, Jack H. Milne Sr., who had a huge influence on my life, once told me, “Babe, if you have the five Ds, you can do anything! They are desire, determination, dedication, devotion, and dare to dream!” You will find these secrets in chapter 4, and they are the foundation of the Watch Me! mind-set.
These inspirational lessons that I am now privileged to teach you are ones I have taught to many coaching and counseling clients, friends, acquaintances, coworkers, models, actors, singers, dancers, troubled children, rebelling high school students, and their confused parents, all ranging in age from 5 to 85.
Once you know the secrets of the five Ds, then you must move on to goal setting to make progress toward reaching your dreams, as explained in chapter 5, “Just Do It! Goal Setting for Personal Growth and Success.” The techniques in this chapter are what I used for many years, as they helped to launch my individual businesses and allowed me to enjoy many successes.
My stories are all true. As you read them, understand that there are always two sides to every story, and this is my rendition. I have forgiven everyone along the way who has challenged me, and my past “teachers” are my friends.
My forgiveness of their deeds brought the wisdom and courage I needed to be where I am today. This is fully explained in chapter 6, “Learning from Life’s Lessons: Finding the Good from the Bad.” Not only do I forgive those from my past, but also I thank them, and send them blessings for a happy, peaceful, loving, and fulfilled life.
In today’s hard economic times, many adults are holding down several jobs to help make ends meet. Relationships and family life can suffer severely without personal balance. The various techniques explained in chapter 7, “Achieving Balance in Life” were critical to me during all my transitions, moves, and job changes. These techniques kept me stable, sane, and focused on success during emotional and exhausting times.
Chapter 8, “For Couples: The Evolved Relationship—Being Your Best Self for Your Partner and Accepting Nothing Less,” offers advice to single people as to the most important qualities to look for in a partner. It is also for individuals who are not happy in their current relationship, or who are experiencing toxic partners. This chapter helps you to define when enough is enough, as well as how to find the courage to get help individually or as a couple.
Even though my second husband felt overwhelmed and ashamed of his business failure to the point of moving out of town without notifying me, we have thoroughly discussed both our torments at that time, and all is forgiven. He is now a supportive friend. We all make mistakes, and it is important to admit them, ask for forgiveness, and do whatever it takes to make amends to the damaged party.
A few years prior to 2001, Alexi was going through her own challenges. A very successful Grammy Award-winning producer from the Atlantic City area auditioned Alexi at age 15. He and his brother told us that they auditioned over 350 girls on both the East and West Coast, and Alexi was one of two they chose for a callback. They were ready to sign her, but this was in September after Alexi had returned to Erie, PA, to continue the 10th grade. Alexi was thrilled and honored to receive the invitation, and was ready to move to New Jersey full-time with me. But then, her world crashed; her father said she was not allowed to quit McDowell High School in Erie and move to the Atlantic City area to sing.
“You think you can become a singer and a model in Philadelphia or Atlantic City? That’s a f—ing joke!” Another relative from Erie said, “Well, why should you become famous? What have you done to deserve that?” Even though both my girls had been involved in my model and talent school since the ages of five and six, leading them to become successful child models and actors in our area, people still wanted to put them down and tell them they weren’t good enough to succeed in the arts.
This is the kind of poison that can destroy our kids. This is the kind of parental negativity that drives teens to use drugs, drink alcohol, and give up on themselves and their dreams. People they love and respect—parents, teachers, mentors, peers, siblings—or anyone else telling them that they can’t do it or they aren’t good enough to go for their dreams kill their spirit. I refused to let them believe any of the negative comments and did everything to encourage them to go for their dreams!
The Watch Me! mind-set addresses this question: How do you still realize your own dreams when those who supposedly love you tell you that it is impossible, that you can never do it? These relatives and friends who doubted Alexi had forgotten that she had years of modeling, dancing, and acting classes at my modeling school and at other training centers. She had singing lessons for a few years with a coach in Erie and an outstanding Seth Riggs Coach, Badiene Magaziner, in both New York and Cherry Hill, NJ. She had always loved performing and creating new acts; it had been a part of Alexi’s life since she was three. She was perfectly in tune with her childhood dreams and desires; it was everyone else who didn’t understand her passion to do it professionally.
I could not take Alexi across state lines myself and bring her to New Jersey full-time even though she wanted to (it’s called kidnapping!), and I had a joint custody arrangement. An attorney advised her that if she wanted to move, she should leave on her own volition once she got her driver’s license at age 16.
Alexi finished 10th grade with all As, and drove herself— along with all her belongings—to my home in Ventnor, NJ. It was the day she told her father, “Watch me succeed—I am going to do this no matter what, even without your blessing!” It was the start of Alexi’s greatness, and the moment she adopted the Watch Me! mind-set completely for herself. The rest of the story is in her section of the book in Part 2: It Works for Young People Too!
Holding a child back from their desires, goals, and dreams out of parental selfishness, insecurity, and fears during the most exploratory and courageous time in a child’s life is a huge mistake.
Chapters 9 and 10 are for parents and young people who are encountering difficult challenges within their families and describe what they can do about it. It is difficult being a good parent; our children don’t come with an instruction book! Chapter 9, “For Parents: Raising Successful Children and Teens by Teaching the Watch Me! Mind-set,” addresses some important issues on positive parenting and gives parents tips on raising assertive, emotionally intelligent, responsible, and street-smart children. These children will reach success early in life and throughout their life span. Although there are many challenges between parents and their children, by learning these various techniques and a positive communication approach, you can break through the wall of silence. And if you still can’t break down the wall, you will have the courage to jump over it!
Chapter 10, “For Teens: Advice from ‘Mom,’” offers words of encouragement and inspiration to the young people I think so highly of. I remember all too well the suffering I endured during my young teenage years, how not feeling good enough caused a huge sense of depression. This chapter reaches out to you—in celebration of your quest for independence, your creative magic, your unique individuality, and your fierce fight to hold on to your dreams.
Alexi was strong and independent and soon able to handle her own career without me. In spring 2004, she was 21 and confident enough to move to NYC on her own. In less than just one year, she learned to navigate the city like the back of her hand, and was part of the “in” crowd who knew where to go in the city.
I began to envision my life now that I was in my mid-40s and alone, missing my kids terribly. I needed a new plan to reinvent myself and to set fresh goals for the final years of my life, without my children as my primary focus. This was a huge change for me, as it is for any woman and mother.
I moved back to my mother’s house in Ocean City, NJ, temporarily while I was looking for a home to purchase and a place to reopen a therapy center. I felt like I was starting from ground zero all over again. I decided to take a trip by myself to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to reflect on my life’s struggles, accomplishments, and purpose. I had taught the Watch Me! mind-set and attitude for years and had always wanted to write a book to inspire many others to risk change and grow to become their personal best. It was finally my turn to focus on this goal, so I wrote the first edition of this book in 2006.
It is my sincere hope that the stories, examples, and lessons shared within Live Beyond Your Dreams: From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success gets you inspired and motivated to become your highest, best self as you reach your goals and dreams.
It is your God-given purpose and destiny, after all. We pray you enjoy the book and then give it to someone else in their time of emotional need and challenging transition.
(Please note: for confidentiality, all names have been changed for stories related to my counseling practice. Some names have been changed to protect a reputation or purposely not mentioned to protect an artist’s or entertainer’s desire for a private life. Other names have been used unchanged as a thank you for being part of my journey, or for being my friend, teacher, mentor, or part of my support system.)
The Watch Me! Mind-set: How to Make It Work for You
by Riana Milne
What Is the Watch Me! Mind-set?
ou bought this book for a reason. Maybe you have this burning desire to accomplish a certain goal, but your fears paralyze you, preventing you from getting started. Or you have been working toward your dream, but friends and family laugh at your endeavors and make you feel as if you’re not good enough to succeed.
Perhaps you have this nagging, negative, critical inner voice that constantly puts you down, ruining your confidence, self-esteem, and chance of reaching your goals. Just maybe, something in your life may not be working quite right or you are experiencing a horrific, unexpected transition, making you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious, and depressed.
Possibly, you have dared to dream of achieving exactly what you want in life, and you wonder how to go from dreaming to living the reality of that dream. It is one thing to think, ponder, and imagine the vision of the ideal life; it’s another to absorb the vision, have it be your driving force and purpose, and live each day on the path to actually achieving those dreams.
The Watch Me! mind-set will inspire you to reach and live your inner vision, enabling you to keep an intense focus to create the exact life you want. By living totally in the now, you will realize that each day is truly a gift. Each day is an opportunity to take one more step toward a well-balanced life full of purpose, peace, inner light, a sense of spirituality, and the contentment of a life fully lived. Meditating on these concepts is how you prepare daily for personal lifelong happiness and success.
Would you believe it if I said that you, no matter what your current age, can reach that degree of personal happiness, joy, peace, and success if you learn the techniques of the Watch Me! mind-set and the secrets to balance in life?
The Watch Me! mentality is simply an inner motivational program that helps you to reach your goals, dreams, desires, and purpose. It is a motivational self-talk system that helps you to ease your stress, anxiety, and overwhelming depression during a difficult challenge or transition in life. Humans are normally quick to jump to fear-based thinking when faced with an unexpected traumatic situation. They can also be quick to go into the “pity-me” attitude and feel sorry for themselves, retelling the stories to all their friends of the injustices that were forced upon them. This negativity comes from overwhelming emotional pain and a faulty coping system.
There is a better way to handle unplanned painful challenging transitions. I discovered this for myself when I was only 26 years old and had two small daughters. My husband’s business failure had left us $750,000.00 in debt. I was afraid, stressed out, depressed, and anxious, and knew I had to do something to change my life.
When I told my husband I wanted a divorce because I couldn’t take the stress of his poor financial and business decisions any longer, he tore apart my model and talent office. Everything I had built with just pure energy and my first month’s rent was destroyed. Looking at the mess of his tantrum, he screamed, “Watch how far you’ll get in this town without my last name!”
“Watch Me!” I said boldly. I didn’t know where the strength had come from, but it signified my newfound confidence that I could do anything if I set my mind to it and become the woman I knew I could be. I knew my life couldn’t get any worse. It was time for a change, and to reinvent myself for a better life for my daughters and me. I didn’t know exactly how to do it in that moment, but I knew I was ready! It was the birth of the Watch Me! attitude and a new mind-set that would change the rest of my life.
The Watch Me! mind-set is not walking around with a sense of entitlement, an arrogant, selfish, self-centered personality, or a defiant attitude! It is just the opposite; the program consists of constant mental positive self-talk, daily reflection or meditation, and following the core lessons and spiritual principles with every choice you make. It involves knowing what you want—defining your goals and using the five Ds (desire, determination, dedication, devotion, and dare to dream) to reach them.
The Watch Me! mind-set also includes clarifying what you want and need in a healthy relationship. It is important to know the traits that a healthy, evolved person has, and to know what a toxic person is and have the strength not to settle for an unhealthy relationship.
A toxic person is someone who is negative, controlling, angry, addicted, demanding, or demeaning, someone who lacks integrity, constantly lies, or who tries to hold you back from your higher purpose because of his own lack of self-esteem.
When you are an evolved, spiritual human being, you will find you cannot possibly endure a toxic relationship that is full of anger, deceit, and abuse. Having the inner strength to move forward, release this person in love, and get out of the toxic relationship is often very difficult, especially for a woman with children to support. I know, as I have had to do this myself. Even though it is not easy, you will develop the inner strength to do whatever it takes to have peace in your life for you and your children.
Men with children also hesitate to leave a toxic relationship because they hate the thought of breaking up the family and becoming a part-time dad. I have counseled these fathers who have given their toxic partners chance after chance, but eventually they leave due to the heavy emotional toll it takes to stay. I encourage them to get even more involved with their children once they are separated by becoming a coach, doing hobbies together, traveling together, and making sure their time together is quality time.
No matter your situation, or whether you are male or female, through prayer, study, meditation, and living with this philosophy, these motivational techniques will carry you through these tough times. This program will help you acquire the inner wisdom to make wise choices based on your personal purpose in life, and will give you the strength to pursue your passion without letting anyone else bring you down in the process.
Even though we hear negative comments from those we admire and love that we’ll amount to nothing, and that we’re not good enough, pretty enough, talented enough, strong enough, smart enough, or privileged enough to succeed (this list can go on forever), we can develop the strength and inner fortitude to move on with our goals and dreams despite what others think or say. Unfortunately, we are often told at a young age that we won’t succeed by those we trust: parents, siblings, teachers, and coaches who feel that we just aren’t as good as someone else. We then become programmed to think negative thoughts that defeat us before we even try.
Many people who were emotionally or physically abused or abandoned when young often turn inward as adults, with self-doubt and low self-esteem. This could eventually develop into various mental health disorders that may include depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, bipolar disorders, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder (dissocial personality traits), and could lead to a variety of addictions. The ACOA (adult child of an alcoholic or someone with other traumas) personality type also has many of these disorders emerge after entering into a long-term love relationship.
Individuals who may be suffering with a mental health disorder could be toxic to your soul and your life, and it is best to try to identify these people early on. You can save yourself a lot of heartache if you see the red flags, the warning signs of one or several disorders. These toxic partners can drain your spirit, causing turmoil in your life as well as mentally or emotionally depleting you.
As children we were born with a perfect innocence, able to do whatever we dreamed to do. But along our journey in life, we become jaded because our mentors/parents/teachers tell us in many ways that “we can’t.”
Once you know the methods in this book, you will be able to say silently and in a strong and assertive, yet calm and confident way, “Watch Me!”
Watch Me! is where the journey begins. These two words could become a living and loving motto in your mind, almost like a chant that you repeat over and over again. This is the starting point or point A. This can happen at any stage or at any age in life. Each person has at least one gift or talent. We are all God’s children, whoever you see your God to be. Therefore, we are all perfect in our own way and born with a purpose to contribute to the world in the best manner possible. Only when you find your purpose or talent in life and use it to serve others will you feel truly content with yourself.
When I mention the word “God” within this book, I want you to relate that word to how you see your God, the Divine, or higher power. If you do not have a sense of a higher power or have God in your life, I sincerely hope I can inspire you to connect with and live in a spiritual way that works for you. It is that important.
Without it, the Watch Me! mind-set could become about defiance and inner anger; if that happens, it will not work for you. This book is not about winning with your ego or selfish pride, but instead, living with spiritual grounding and inner strength so that you can confidently move forward in your toughest times by taking your God-given talents and reaching out to the world to serve others.
The rewards are many! Once you begin on your path to greatness by living your sense of higher purpose, the happy, evolved human being that you are becoming will emerge. It is that high, that exhilaration, that incredible feeling of living a peaceful life full of purpose that will keep you in the zone and help you reach your highest degree of contentment, joy, and personal success. Welcome to Live Beyond Your Dreams: From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success.
How to Apply or Donate to
The Riana Milne Scholarship Fund for the Performing Arts
I personally understand how critical the performing arts were to my life, my daughter’s lives, and to the many students at Riana Model & Talent School in Erie, PA. Because creative people often choose careers and training outside of the typical college program, there is not much financial support to get the professional training they need to succeed.
This fund is being established with the publication of this book. With each book sold, I will donate two dollars to the general scholarship fund. However, for any school purchasing Live Beyond Your Dreams: From Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose, and Success as a textbook from By the Sea Books Publishing Company, the two dollars will go toward a scholarship award at that particular school. This book teaches profoundly important life skills needed for success. It is not just for those students who are interested in the arts, but for all adolescents who have a dream.
Applications for this scholarship opened January 1, 2007, and students may apply every January thereafter. Award winners will be chosen by May 1st of each year and will be presented at graduation. Seniors who are planning to graduate and who have a 3.5 GPA or better may apply. Since both my daughters graduated with a GPA over 3.5, I am setting the standard this high to reward those creative individuals who deserve a scholarship based on educational excellence—those who have a desire and dedication to develop their talent, regardless of race, gender, or financial need.
You may apply for a scholarship for the following professions: modeling, singing, acting (stage, film, or television), dancing, broadcasting (radio or TV), writing (music, poetry, other), or photography.
Please type an essay of 500 to 1000 words in 12-point Times New Roman font. Please discuss why you deserve a scholarship, and exactly what you would do with the funds awarded. Your essay should incl
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