Ask, then Believe

Conceive | Believe | Achieve

In life many of us have a little problem with the need to control situations, people, things…We get impatient and try to move things along and often this just manifests more doubt. See…in order to really have faith you have to be willing to ask and then let it go. Act as if it is done. Know in your heart, your mind, and your soul that if you are in alignment and this is something that is truly right for you, then it will be. The clearer you can feel it and see it the more quickly it will come. When you think about it don’t dwell on the what-ifs, the blocks, the doubts, the things that could go wrong or the worries of what the other person may be thinking. It really isn’t about anybody else. It is about you and how you feel in this very moment.

Think of something you really desire in life and write down the first 5 thoughts that honestly jump into your head. Are they positive or negative? If you have been wanting a happy relationship but you focus more on all the negatives in the dating process or in other people, and more quickly give reasons why you aren’t in a relationship than the reasons why you should be then maybe you need to refocus. How we think and feel in the moment we are asking will have the greatest impact on the outcome. When asking for your desire be in a happy place. Allow yourself to fully absorb into the idea of how you would feel having it. Every. Little. Detail. The more specific the better! Meditate on that thought every day, at least once a day if not more.

Be self-aware, if you are asked about it or having a bad day and things have just not manifested the way you want just yet don’t speak of the lack. Instead be prepared with a positive general response to others and yourself. Things are flowing right along and everything is right on track! What we speak and think about most is what will be. Keep it positive, keep the faith, and know that it is yours! Ask and believe, this is how we achieve! This is the key to manifesting!

With love, health, & happiness,

Stacy

Lesson’s Learned

download

Sometimes I find myself making decisions on people and then after some time passes I reconsider and let them back in my world only to be reminded why I let them go the first time.  There are people who bring us lessons and people who bring us blessings in life and there are some that may do both.  Those that bring a bit of a lesson and a blessing can be the most frustrating and confusing, forcing you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.  What is the end-game?  Is this a person who brings much joy to your life or more negativity? Law of attraction will sometimes bring people into our lives when we are not in a great place. Water seeks its own level.  We feel a connection to another person that fits the whole “misery loves company” mantra but then, if we are smart, we work our way out of the misery.  Then what happens when the other person does not leave the misery?

This may leave you feeling obligated to help pull that other person out of their situation, because , well…they helped you in your hard time.  However, this is not how it is meant to be.  The truth is, if you were able to make the choices to pull yourself out of the low point and move forward, then so can they.  Do the counseling, make the hard choices, work on yourself, but don’t latch on to another for validation or completion, not in friendships or romantic relationships.  Asking another individual “what do you want me to be” is the wrong question to be asking.  The real question is what do you want to be, or better yet, who do you want to be? Laying that kind of pressure on another person is not only wrong but it leaves yourself looking insecure and needy.  Many confuse this kind of complete vulnerability with love and it is not.  Illusions of that kind of love often leads to a never-ending rotation of unfulfilling relationships with people who are looking to be completed by another individual.  I don’t know about you but I want someone who is already complete and happy in life on their own!

Learning that the ups and downs we are experiencing in life can attract these lessons or blessings people can help us be more aware of why and be rational about our expectations.  I truly believe people, places, and things are attracted to us at certain times and give us feedback on what path we may need to take.  Personally, my eyes were opened to a deep need for communication and conversation and I quickly found that connection.  However, as I became more aware of what I was missing it helped me move out of my unhappy situation and grow to realize there were even more things I had been missing and I began to find those things in others along my path as well.  If you keep going and growing eventually you reach a person who is on a similar path. Your friends want to do things that excite you, letting you know that they are on the same path.  If you find certain people boring, annoying, or overly negative, then those are probably people you attracted at a low point and are now outgrowing.  Life is a constant cycle and some things and people are for a season and some for a much bigger reason.  It is good to recognize and accept this fact.

I have found conversations that connect with me and draw me in with questions about myself with a desire to not assume they know me but want to learn about me from my own words.  There is nothing worse than hearing from a person who definitely doesn’t know your soul telling you they already know you, maybe better than you know yourself.  One of the biggest lessons in life is understanding that you will never fully know anyone so well that asking for clarity would be a mistake.  If you don’t ask questions then you are just making assumptions based on your own desires and feelings.  That leads to expectations, confusion, and heartache.  Stop and take a breath to evaluate, listen, and observe.  When you put your desires out into the universe and keep a positive outlook you will attract those that are right for you and others that are not will naturally fade away.  If they see the value in you they will try to find the lesson and grow as well but often many people remain stuck looking for their saving grace not knowing that they should be their own saving grace before they can find a fulfilling life of friendships and a romantic partner. So ask yourself, are you repeating a cycle or learning new things?  Are you allowing yourself to move away from relationships that are no longer serving you or staying in the dead end?  Are you learning the lessons in order to find more of the blessings?

With love, health and happiness,

Stacy

 

 

 

Define Love…

unnamed

What is love to you?  When you think love what images come in to your mind?  When you smell it is there a certain perfume, cologne or food that conjures in your memory?  When you see love whose face or what places do you want to look at?  When you feel it is there a certain blanket, petting your puppy, or the way you are touched or kissed that brings that overwhelming loved feeling?  Taste of love….ooooo yes this could be erotic but isn’t that part of it?  The taste of a kiss, the taste of a person, the taste of sweet strawberries, salty fresh raw oysters…or maybe just the love of grandma’s fresh baked cookies?

When I meditated recently I chose this as my prompt to focus on.  I thought of all the sensations in life that make me feel really loved and in love….memories, hopes, dreams of feeling each level of love in my soul.  We are creatures who love to be loved and give love.  To connect with another human on any level is wonderful, to have a deep conversation, to laugh with someone, to make eye contact and smile, to hold hands and kiss….these are all levels of love.  We should be sharing loving moments with those we connect with daily.  Often love is confused with being something deep and singled out for only a few important people in our lives, but love should be boundless and shared as often as possible.  Respect is also love, don’t use to love in a negative way, it can be shared without disrespecting, losing trust, or hurting someone….if that happens then it really isn’t love to begin with.

Take time in this week to stop and ask what defines love for you and then focus on it.  Love is a word and action often misused and abused….define what it really means to you and then express it daily in the world around you.  If you show love through your work, art, cooking, or you just want to smile more or make deeper connections with friends and family by reaching out to talk or listen more…these are all acts of love that feed our souls and I think right now we could all use a little more soul food.

With health, happiness, and love,

Stacy

 

Trauma Response

Tears.

As a student and provider of mental health counseling I am constantly learning more about myself and the world around me.  One of the things I know without a doubt is the vast difference in symptoms of how humans respond to trauma.  As a mental health provider it is my job to remove my personal values, beliefs, bias and opinions when counseling a client, unless of course there is harm being done in some way.  It is not a counselors job to give advice but instead to help guide a client to find the path that works best for them.  What I would choose for myself may not always be best for the client.  I understand with cultural and environmental differences, differing religious beliefs, morals and values in the world that not everyone may see the world the way I do.    Instead I choose to love and accept each individual that walks through my door and as I take their intake and do my assessments I want to learn their story and understand.  This human desire in my heart is why I chose the helping profession.

I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking and the power of the mind-body connection.  I counsel my clients through many methods that may seem a bit outside the box for some.  I love yoga, meditation, mindful breathing exercises, assessing a persons diet and physical state through practices like Ayurveda combined with my knowledge of biofeedback and neuroscience.  My years of practicing yoga, doing massage therapy, and working in Chiropractic give me a unique perspective as I have continued my education in counseling and therapy.  I combine it all with the understanding that there never is just one answer and at the end of the day we all have our own healing process.  We all respond to trauma and everyday life differently and that can be both scary and beautiful.  I am learning and growing everyday in my practice but I see how my very beginning efforts are already helping others.

In this big, crazy, yet beautiful world the healing response to trauma has always been there.  We all have our own way of processing the world around us.  The things we are seeing in the news now is a cycle we have seen for years.  My parents are in their late seventies and speak of a time not so very different from now and yet very different.  The truth is, the world and human species at its very core will always have negatives and positives, and as morbid as it may sound, we need both in order to fully appreciate life and grow.  When trauma occurs in my world I have a tendency to withdraw and reflect, but others may act out in a bigger way, and neither way is wrong or right.  Grief and trauma are two of the hardest, most heartbreaking, and emotionally draining experiences in life.   Sometimes it can sneak up on us with things that we may not even realize are affecting us on a deeper level.  Be easy on yourself and others when navigating this process.  I highly recommend counseling for everyone but find one that is the best fit for you…its an important relationship between client and counselor that cannot be forced.

With love, health, and happiness

Stacy

Allowing & Accepting Yourself to Just Be

just-breathe

Allowing and accepting yourself to just be is probably something we all struggle with.  Just allowing yourself to be the imperfect being and accepting that there will always be something to improve upon or learn is just part of life.  I struggle with the need to constantly be productive and push through the hard moments.  No time to be weak or lazy! I feel guilty if I am not doing something from cleaning and organizing in my home, to education and career related, or personal growth.  If I just choose to watch a movie or scroll through social media I feel guilty.

If I were super organized and scheduled I could be maximizing my time and constantly being productive in some way.  Yes this is ideal but is it really necessary?  At what point to we actually stop to smell the roses and just be?  Do I need to schedule time to just be into my day as well?  This last week I had the weirdest experience in my life and being a student of mental health I was able to pinpoint the symptoms that occurred afterwards.  Overall, since mid-July of last year I have had a roller-coaster of emotions.  A very hard break-up, starting grad-school, my daughter starting college and moving out, a scary dating experience, the virus changing my school and work routine, and then last week things really got weird.

I woke at 4am Thursday morning and it was still dark outside.  My home is on the edge of town and backs up trees and then an open field so I had my blinds open and as I woke that morning and looked outside I see a weird orange glow.  I walk down the hall from my bedroom towards the other end of the house and see out the kitchen door that the house next door is engulfed in flames!  I run back to my bedroom to grab my cell phone and dial 911 and as soon as I connect a huge explosion comes from the house and the tree next to my home begins to catch on fire.  During this time there is thunder and lightning also in the distance and I begin to pray that the rain starts because the fire is moving fast and fire department has still not arrived!  I live alone and I am in tears at the thought of watching my home burn and no-one there with me and concerned about the man who lives next door.  Then I turn to see that there is a pet carrier on my porch with a cat inside …the neighbors cat!  This man had set his house on fire on purpose!  Is he crazy? Where is he? Should I be worried for my safety and not just my home?  As the rain starts to poor down the fire department finally arrived and was able to get the fire under control before any significant damage was done to my property.  The sister arrived to take the cat and after speaking to the investigators they determined no one was in the house and the fire had been set intentionally.

Late the next day the man was taken into custody and now I am reminded of that weird morning and the level of shock, panic, and fear each time I look at the damage next door.  Multiple explosions came from the house during the fire causing pictures to be knocked off my wall.  Realizing later that my neighbor of 6 years had previously done time in a juvenile detention center for shooting his dad I am left with thoughts of what-if?  Even though nothing of mine was hurt and I am okay and he is now in custody I still feel this feeling of unease.  I have not slept well and my appetite has been off.  Is this how it feels coming down from a high adrenaline moment? Am I still in shock?  I cannot explain the feelings because I have never quite felt anything like it before and I almost feel like I am being ridiculous for being so messed up over it.

Here I am about 4 days later and I am still unsure how to feel.  This past 12 months has been such a rollercoaster ride and here I am still pushing forward.  Trying to start my summer classes for grad school and get back to work at my office instead of working from home, getting used to my daughter being gone… it all feels like a lot coming at me right now.  Not to mention being single and trying to navigate the dating process!  At the end of the day I have to accept where I am in life and allow myself to feel and be without feeling guilty, ashamed, or ridiculous.  It is okay to take time for yourself and do absolutely nothing.  It is okay to just numb out and let yourself escape for some time before really trying to process things in life.  As I go to bed this evening I remind myself of how far I have come and how strong I am.  I count my blessings and tonight I am thankful.  I am also learning to accept and allow myself the time I need to just be okay again.

With love, health, and happiness

Stacy

Complete Release

new-day-VVL

Ever had those moments when all the self-work finally hits home and you get this complete sense of peace?  A conversation may happen or something as simple as watching a movie or reading a book or just taking a hike alone opens your heart and mind to the truth.  You feel this weight lifted off your shoulders because you basically just make an agreement with yourself that you finally get it.  You understand all the ups and downs in life brought you to this moment and you accept it, even if you don’t completely understand all the whys behind it.  You just completely release all the guilt, all the sadness, all the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s of life and just embrace the moment you are in.  You find a moment in life where the chaos in your head stops and you just cry, not necessarily tears of sadness or tears of joy…just relief.  Relief that you are enough, that you are amazing, that you have made shitty choices, good choices and a few things have happened that may have not been your choice at all, but all of it has brought you right to this moment.  You can choose to go to sleep tonight dwelling again on the lost moments of the past or the what-ifs of the future…OR…you can choose to release it all and just sleep well knowing you are exactly in the right place and ready for the next chapter in your story and oh…what an amazing story it is.

With love, happiness, and health,

Stacy

Just So Over It…

 

The deadly human touch | 2016-05-03 | ISHN

I am feeling a bit fed up today.  I have been in a funk that ebbs and flows but I still manage to get up and do the things I need to do each day.  Some days are better than others but even with a recent get-a-way to a beach (so I could have a different view during quarantine) did not completely pull me out of my funky mood.  I feel like something is missing and this morning I decided to go into the office instead of sitting at home.  I miss my routine, I miss socializing and going to the gym….I want my normal back.

I have tried to maintain a regular wake and sleep schedule even on the days I have been working from home.  I have got up each day and made my bed, got out of my pajamas, brushed my teeth and went through a pretty normal process just like I would if I were going to get in my car and commute to work.  However, even with this attempt to keep some degree of normalcy I have felt…off.  I thrive on planning and routines and this whole quarantine thing has left me feeling a bit lost.  I find myself doing things to overcome the loneliness and boredom that starts to set in when you have had too much time alone.  Don’t text the ex, stop posting so much on social media, focus on your school and work projects, read a book, watch a documentary, only eat when you are hungry, do some online guided yoga and meditations classes, stop ordering off Amazon, drink more water….damn girl shave your legs even if you don’t have a man in your life!  (yes these are conversations I have actually had with myself)

So, needless to say, at this point I am just over it.  I am single and want to mingle.  I am in need of hiking, fishing, kayaking, meeting my girls at the winery all dressed up and having lunch.  I want to go on a date and have a really good conversation with a handsome dude who can make me laugh.  There are only so many books a girl to read and let me tell you, I looooove to read!  There are only so many movies, documentaries and crime shows a girl can watch before she becomes a full on CSI or so much Grey’s Anatomy before she tries to do a tracheotomy with a kitchen knife and a straw.  (I wouldn’t recommend coughing around me at this point).  I live alone, work alone, most of my human contact is Zoom meetings with school and work and phone calls or social media.  I have finally started to venture out and see a couple of family members and friends and it feels so therapeutic.

I am a introvert for the most part but I do love social interaction and months of no plans with friends or family has been more of a struggle than I expected.  I hope everyone is being wise and safe when they do venture out and I understand the need to be cautious but I just need a little human interaction.  Please check on your single friends during this time.

With love, health, happiness and many future hugs!

Stacy

 

 

Don’t Let Your Past Dictate Your Future

51c0ffca6b1a02b60cf0a6063294e905.jpg

We all have a past and we all have had crappy things happen in our childhood that have imprinted on us to some degree.  We have all had struggles in relationships with friends, family and especially romantically to some degree.  We have all had sad moments in life from losing a job, a loved one, or a relationship to divorce or break-up.  No matter how tragic or extreme the lows and highs have been in your life there is a time when you have to take inventory and ask how you plan to move forward.  Acknowledge and feel those emotions attached to past events, give yourself time to sit with them but don’t wallow in it and keep asking why me?  There is healthy time for healing and then there is time to ask if you really want this to define you moving forward.

I have a close friend who had a bad childhood.  His father was a drunk who would go on tirades throwing things and yelling and would hit him and his mother when he was growing up.  He would be embarrassed when his father would show up to school events drunk and sometimes even had wet his pants.  He was later bullied in school for being the son of the town drunk.  He did go on to college and ended up becoming successful.  He had the nice home and cars, a place on the lake and a beautiful family but in time his workaholic ways caused his marriage to dissolve and they ended up in a divorce.  Depression took over when his children left for college and started their own journey.  Contact with kids was few and far between and he was living alone for the first time in years.  When he did finally start to date again he was stressed with work and the financial toll the divorce  and paying for two kids in college had taken on him. So he let out his frustrations in the new relationship.  When things got bad he would frequently refer back to not just the current stress in his life but the past abuse and negative experiences growing up in his home and the bullying in school.  It was obvious that all the negativity was consuming him and adding to his depressive state.

So how do you pull away from this thought pattern?  Depression, anxiety, worry, stress…these feelings can follow us around like a dark cloud and be hard to shake.  It takes small steps to slowly pull yourself out of the darkness of this thinking pattern.  Sometimes it may even take the help of medication while going through counseling to address old hurt, anger, insecurities and other negative feelings.  However, if you find that you are not completely consumed then maybe you have just found it easy to blame the past when you succumb to bad behavior.  Maybe it has become a crutch or an excuse, like a get out of jail free card to be an asshole to those around you?  You say something ugly in the heat of the moment and then apologize later using your difficult past as the reasons why you lash out.  This may work for a while but most people around you will begin to grow weary of this cycle.  Only you truly know the truth, but I encourage you to be really honest with yourself because in the long run you are only hurting yourself.

If you are aware enough to recognize that your past is the reason you lash out each time at what point do you start doing something about it?  Saying your sorry means you understand something is wrong and you plan to change the behavior.  If you continue to apologize but the behavior never changes, well then are you even really sorry?  Take responsibility for your words and actions towards those around you and take an active role in making the hard but necessary change to be better.  There are people in this world who use their past struggles to learn and grow and do better as they move through life and build a better future.  Then there are those who continue to use their struggles as an excuse to be angry, selfish, and ugly in life.  Be honest with yourself and address these negative patterns.  Each day is a new day and a new beginning.  Don’t let your past dictate your future.

The first step in addressing the negativity is to stop focusing on it.  Change your perspective and you can change your life.  Find things in your life that you are thankful for, count your blessings before you go to bed each night and again when you wake.  Meditate and let your mind retrain itself to let go and be still to stop the cycle of constant worry.  Stop referring back to your past when you do wrong in the present.  Take time to pat yourself on the back by taking pride in how far you have come and all you have accomplished.  Take time in your day to relax and do something that brings you joy.  Start complimenting and finding things you appreciate in those around you.  Look for the positive first instead of the negative in every situation and person you encounter.  All of these things may seem simple but when practiced daily they can change your entire life.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Thoughts & Emotions = Healing or Illness

I cannot stress enough how important it is for every person on the planet to learn the art of meditation and practice the power of positive thinking.  If you can train for a marathon, body building, yoga, or any sport then you understand that the mental aspect is just as important if not more than the physical.  To achieve it you have to believe it.  Even if you have never trained for anything in your life it doesn’t matter because it is guaranteed that you still have thoughts and feelings on a daily basis.  So ask yourself what do your primary thoughts and feelings consist of?

I have been doing my routine of being thankful throughout each day on a regular basis.  This has grown into me giving thanks over my food before I eat and asking it to benefit my body in the most positive way.  Then learning to go through each daily activity with intention, whether it be washing my hands or the dishes or simply saying hello to a stranger.  Being in the present moment throughout the day and not on auto pilot.  Stoping occasionally to ask how my body feels, take a deep intentional breath and mentally check in and be aware of myself and my surroundings.  Understanding that the only point and time that really matters is this moment right now. All of these things are, to some degree, a form of a meditation practice.

It is also important to be aware of how you think, speak, and feel in day to day life.  Are you avoiding gossip, removing yourself from negative people and places and negative conversations and situations?  Are you trying to focus on more positive aspects of life and learning to avoid complaining to your friends and family about all the things you wish were different or things that caused you frustration?  Retraining the brain to focus more on positive thoughts and feelings can be the first step in healing.

I am a big fan of Jason Stephenson when it comes to finding good healing and positive meditations or a soothing sleep meditation.  The practice of meditation to sit and breath and let your mind clear and just be still is hard at first, but with continued practice the results are amazing.  With all the amazing apps for smart phones I cannot believe everyone isn’t taking advantage of the guided meditation lessons!  I love Calm and Headspace!  Incorporating meditation into your morning and evening routines can be very beneficial and help with focus and productivity throughout your day as well as reduce stress and anxiety.  The long term health benefits of daily meditation are endless and even more beneficial when combined with a regular yoga practice and a Ayurvedic diet.  Try the positive meditation with Jason Stephenson that I shared with this post and let me know what you think!

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

 

 

 

What Brings You Peace & Happiness?

Achieving-peace-happiness-is-a-daily-practice.jpg

Have you ever been in a situation and thought…I would much prefer to be doing A, B, or C right now?  I think we all have but really think deeper on that idea for a minute.  If you could be living your life and doing exactly what you want each day, what would that look like?  Not everyone’s idea of peace and happiness is the same and that is what makes the world go around.  With my daughter in the process of transitioning from living at home with me to moving out on her own I have realized that I am pretty much an empty nester.  Since I am not dating anyone that makes my time even more freed up to mold my life the way I like.

As I sit here this morning finishing my homemade breakfast tacos and sipping my coffee and orange juice, I think about what a great life I have been blessed with.  I am a single mom whose daughter is independent enough to move out on her own at 19 while holding down a job and going to college.  I have a job that allows me to work from home during this pandemic and still complete my grad school degree, which has also transitioned to completely online.  I own my own home, may car is paid off and I have three cats and a dog to keep me company.  I could go on with all the blessings in my life and what I am thankful for but basically, life is good right now.

So as I contemplate the best way to spend each day so many things I love come to mind.  I have so many home projects to complete with cleaning, organizing, remodeling and updates.  I have so many books to read or listen to on audio and writing on different topics.  I can start planting my garden and potting plants for Spring.  Begin a regular morning meditation and yoga routine and do other exercise daily from home.  I can learn new recipes and clean out my refrigerator and pantry to create a healthier plan.  Make time to watch more YouTube videos, read articles and do research on life coaching, counseling, and other interests.  The options are endless on what I can do in my life daily to feel at peace, fulfilled, and truly happy.

We often push aside little things that bring us joy when we get lost in the chores and to do lists of daily life.  Taking this time to be at home more can allow us the opportunity to look at our lives and ask, what little things are missing?  I love spending time in my home but I also love the outdoors.  Taking time to go for a walk or plant a garden helps with the cabin fever of being inside the house all day.  I do not have cable but I do watch Netflix and I have Amazon Prime (what is up with The Tiger King btw?!?), but I try to limit my TV time.  I prefer to opt for writing, reading, radio or audio books(when doing house projects) as my form of entertainment.  Instead of just being a lazy sack while at home, maximize this time to work in your favor and really investigate what makes you feel at peace and happy and do more of that…its actually good for the immune system!

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy