Footprints in the Sand: Dr. Carleah East's Journey to Heal and Inspire Women

Sometimes in life in order to reset, there must be recess. There is no guilt in taking time for self. There is no shame in the word “no.” In order to say yes to ourselves, we must say no to others. It is so vital that as women we embrace how powerful and gifted we are and that we stop giving our gifts away.
— Dr. Carleah East

Women Leaving Footprints in the Sand is happy to introduce our readers to Dr. Carleah East. Dr. East is on a journey to inspire women to reclaim their power, embrace their truth and design their destiny. Dr. East is an Author, Psychotherapist, Professor and Empowerment Speaker.  Be empowered by her interview and read more about her journey on her website. Thank you, Dr. East for sharing your journey with our readers!

What does greatness mean to you?

Greatness means authenticity, courage, strength, truth, faith, vulnerability, and resilience!
Who has been the most influential person in your life and how has that person changed you?

My mother has been the most influential person in my life; she raised me to be a lady with grit. In some instances, she is still raising me. She is my role model, my muse, and my best friend. I strive to be more like her everyday!

Fear stops many of us from going after the dream that is in our hearts, how do you handle fear?

With another four letter word plus IT…lol.  I handle fear by re-framing it to be a challenge instead of a struggle.  When you challenge me, be prepared for a battle, I may not win, but I won't just lie down.

Small steps have major impact. What small steps are you taking daily to make a positive impact in your own life or globally.

I think outside the box on a regular basis and in my role as a college professor, I empower my students to use their voices for more than reciting lyrics. I actually practice what I preach by expressing my frustrations and shedding my tears right in the class or in front of the clients.  I also serve. By embracing my humanity and my immortality, I am able to draw people in, help them not feel so alone and support their journey.

What quote resonates the most with you? Or what book has had a major impact on your life and why?

My Tears Don’t Compromise My Strengths.
— Unkown

The book that resonates with me the most is my journal; it gives me a space to vent, to say anything that I want, set goals, dream and wish, see my progress, reflect on my growth, and recalculate my steps.

Have you had any notable setbacks? If so, how did you become resilient enough to keep going after a setback?

Yes, I am a black female psychotherapist in a white male dominated field. It is a daily struggle. My resilience has come from knowing who I am and whose I am...and HE don't make no mess or mistakes!

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We are all unique.  The skill, trait or gift that has always come naturally to you is likely what makes you unique and where your greatness lies. Have you tapped into what makes you different from everyone else? If so, please share what you have learned.

I'm blunt with a brain. I don't dial down how I feel or my thoughts. Yes, I use appropriate language given the situation, but I shoot strait for my target and my target is healing, inspiring and acknowledging the greatness in every woman. My ability to be real is what women appreciate and find refreshing.

Is there any advice or life lesson that you would like to offer young women who are struggling to find their purpose and live a meaningful life? 

Sometimes in life in order to reset, there must be recess. There is no guilt in taking time for self.  There is no shame in the word "no."  In order to say yes to ourselves, we must say no to others. It's so vital that as women we embrace how powerful and gifted we are and that we stop giving our gifts away.

Is there anything that has not been asked that you would like to share with the universe?

Yes, S.M.I.L.E. Psychology and Associates is hosting its 1st Annual Mental Health Awareness Fundraising Gala on Saturday September 28, 2019 at The Event Hall (6152 126th Avenue No. #504, Largo, FL 33773). Our event will be held from 8pm-Midnight.  

We would like to bring awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder in the African American Communities. Our goal is to raise $50,000.00 to educate and provide support to African American parents of Autistic children.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. According to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and Center for Disease Control, thirty percent of African American Children are less likely to be identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A portion of the proceeds will benefit the AUTISM IN BLACK Organization.  AUTISM IN BLACK aims to provide support to African American parents who have a child on the spectrum, through educational and advocacy services. AUTISM IN BLACK is dedicated to bringing awareness to Autism Spectrum Disorder and reducing the stigma associated with ASD in the black community. S.M.I.L.E. is actively working to create solutions and solve the problems that our Autism Spectrum Disorder Communities are facing. Our efforts won’t reach their maximum effectiveness unless we have the backing of the entire community. 

Women Leaving Footprints in the Sand is an interview series that explores the journey of the stars and rising stars in our community who are growing into their greatness by claiming their purpose, living a purpose-driven life and leaving impactful footprints in the sand for others to follow.  Interview by @JanetAutherine. Please join our community for more inspiring stories. You support is vital to our success. If you have an inspiring story and would like to be featured, please contact me at