Ask, Then Allow

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Many times in life we focus on what is right in front of us, which may include things we don’t want for ourselves. We become so focused on the misery of the moment that we lose sight of the bigger picture. The desired goal seems so far away. This is when we must be self-aware and remind ourselves that we are focusing too much on the negative and we must back away from the whole situation. Control seems to be a big issue with many of my clients. They want to know who, when, what, where, and how things will happen or change for them. This is not always possible. Learning to accept things in the moment and find something to be grateful for, (even if very small) is the best way to change the flow. Just tipping the scale to the positive side just to 51% is all it takes.

If you ask for what you want and then just sit there tapping your foot getting frustrated that it isn’t happening you are not helping the situation. Ask it, believe it is done, and then go on about your day doing things that bring you joy and don’t think about it again. I admit this has been a struggle for me and I am actually going through this process in my life right now. I am learning to just accept and allow and not have it all figured out. I am learning that the more I look for ways to find joy in my day the better my life will flow in my desired direction. I do my best not to talk about negative relationships of my past when I discuss dating with my friends. I do my best to only think of the things I enjoyed about each person and how I would like to have those things in a future relationship. I look for things I love, things I enjoy, people I care about, things that make me laugh and smile, and I just surround myself with feelings of comfort. Some days this is easier than others but when things do get hard I find that counting my blessings, no matter how small, that can tip the scale in my favor. From running water and indoor plumbing to my daughter and my pets, I am grateful for many things in my life.

We must learn to ask and then allow. Not try to force it, figure it out, and control it, and beg and plead, just have faith and allow it to flow to you. I often use the visualization technique called leaves on a stream. I picture myself walking down a beautiful hiking path and coming upon a stream. The colorful fall leaves float down from the trees and land on the stream. As thoughts of negativity try to creep into my mind I lay them on the leaves and watch them float away getting smaller and smaller. This helps diffuse my mind from the negativity of the moment and allows me to make room in my mind for more important and positive thoughts. Its accepting the thoughts and not trying to stop them but allowing yourself to have the thought and understanding that our thoughts are not facts and they do not define us. Acceptance and allowing life to flow while being flexible with your thoughts and feelings takes practice but in time you will start to realize that we are often making it much harder than it needs to be.

With love, health and happiness

Stacy

Alignment

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Sometimes the ones we love the most seem to be the ones that pull us out of alignment with ourselves. Then I think, if we were ever really in alignment why did we attract their negativity? That is when I am reminded that the work is not about anyone else, as long as I am staying in my own lane, focusing on being my best, finding my true happy place, well…then I will feel good about life and remain in alignment. I remind myself of my values and goals and ask myself if what I am doing and the thoughts I am allowing to fully form are supportive of my end game. Are the people I am surrounding myself with and the words they are speaking to me supportive of my end game? Often times we cannot control the situations that come our way or the people, but we can choose how we respond to them. This is where the real power lies.

I have found myself trying to find positive, common ground with a person who just seems to focus on the negativity of each situation. When I make an effort to have a positive conversation about things the response often starts off with a negative statement followed by a slow backing up of how they are making the best of it anyway. My first instinct is to challenge and call them out on the negativity but often that is met with a either more of them trying to say it really isn’t that bad and how they are making it work anyway, as if it is some great chore they are suffering through. So I have stopped challenging them on their thoughts. If a person chooses to treat each day like chore and take on the role of victim of their own situation (that they chose), then they really have no one to blame but themselves. I no longer feel it is my job to argue or talk them out of this mindset. If you are unhappy with how your life is going then take action to change it. If you continue to stay in the same situation and make no effort to change then stop complaining about it.

People often want to point fingers and use others as a reason for why they are in the situation they are in, never taking full responsibility for their choices or lack of making a solid choice. When you are out of alignment and feeling negative the first place everyone should look is within. Unfortunately, the first instinct is to point fingers saying “you talked me into this”, ” I stay because I love you”… comments like this are simply cop-outs. Nobody talks anybody into anything unless that person already wants to do it themselves. Staying because you love someone even though you are unhappy in the situation is a lie to yourself, because love should not feel like a sacrifice. Look within and discover the real reason why you feel unhappy and stop blaming others.

True alignment starts with taking responsibility of your own life and not blaming others or trying to fix others. Emotions are a guidance system and if something feels off then be brave enough to ask yourself why and do something about it the first moment you feel it. It could be as simple as changing how you respond to a person, like I stopped challenging a friend on their thought process. I realized my need to challenge them was to get them to see things the way I see them and that is just not possible. We often spin our wheels trying to get people to understand us in life only to realize that most people have to just learn on their own. We complicate relationships often because we feel complicated within. How we treat others is often a reflection of how we feel about ourselves in any given moment. Take a moment to pause and really be self-aware of how you feel and why you respond to people and situations the way you do. Taking inventory may lead you to making some changes which I like to call re-alignment. This is something everyone should do daily. Mindfulness check-ins can help us stay value focused so our choices throughout each day are moving towards the type of person we want to be, an aligned individual.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Accomplishment

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

I have been working full time while completing grad school. During this process I have had many ups and downs and in January I will start the final year in my degree, take my state license, and start my supervision hours. I have many emotions about this next year but mostly I am just ready to complete the process and finally be fully licensed and practicing on my own. The education and licensure process to be a therapist is a long one but so worth it. I often find myself in the “hurry up and wait” limbo. I wish to be at some point in the future where I believe life will somehow be better or easier. When I think about it I realize I have done this many times in life and for different reasons. There are many good things in the works for the future that will come in time and it is important for all of us to remember to be more present. Basically, do not wish your life away. Enjoy each moment to the fullest and appreciate the process.

I am currently navigating my first long-distance relationship and he is in the Army. Around the time he is set to retire I will be finishing my supervision hours and become fully licensed. We didn’t plan it that way, but I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. We attract people, places, things, and situations in life and I think my positive focus on my hopes and dreams for the future have brought me to this point in life with purpose. In my relationship we both are working on self-growth in addition to our careers. This distance in our relationship has its good and bad aspects but at this point I would say mostly good. It allows me to more easily focus on my education and career while still making plans for my future. It forces the relationship to move slow and for us to get to know each other in every aspect and really communicate.

Instead of pushing for the big end game take time to appreciate the little accomplishments along the way. Yes, it is good to be goal oriented and re-evaluate to make sure you keep your eyes on the prize, but not so much so that you fail to notice all the beauty of the present moment. As we move into the Christmas season and the New Year take pause to reflect on everything you have been through, good and bad. Really focus on the accomplishments and appreciate the present, slow down, breath in the moment. Do not rush through the holidays or get distracted by the commercial and gift giving aspects of the season, really take time to appreciate who and where you are in this moment in life…in history…because there will be a day when you will wish you could do it all again.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

How Busy is too Busy?

My Top 5 Health And Fitness Tips For Busy Women and Moms •

I am a full time office manager for a busy private practice counseling center. I am also a full time graduate student getting my masters in mental health counseling. I am also doing my practicum at my private practice site location where I am the office manager, which includes not only my regular office duties but now, also seeing clients. Not to mention all the other responsibilities I have in my life right now, a teenage daughter, a long distance relationship, and paying my bills, taking care of my pets…well, you get the point. Each day I play the roulette wheel of life to figure out where my focus will be to make sure I am giving my time to the most important projects and people. This has become a delicate balancing act, attempting to keep all the balls in the air and not letting them all fall completely to the ground.

I know I am not the only one who is doing this juggling/balancing act each week. Luckily I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with my graduation in May and my final internship next Summer. Supervision hours will start this time next year and before I know it, I will be successfully navigating my business plan for the future. These steady stepping stones are even more clear to me with my new relationship added into the picture. I have met a man who is military and on a similar timeline to his retirement. About the time I complete my supervision and become a fully licensed counselor he will be retiring from the Army and moving back to Missouri. This three year plan sounds like a long time and a lot of work but I can look back and remember when I was just finishing my BA in Psychology. So this brings me to the current evaluation of my busy life. How busy is too busy?

I have a new relationship I am navigating and even though we both have so much in common and similar long term goals, there is a distance between us that just makes things feel more complicated. As I am learning what kind of counselor I want to be I am also learning a new relationship and becoming more clear on how I see my future five years from now. When I think of how busy and stressed I am I realize that there is an end game, all my stress and everything making me so busy is for a purpose. I believe that purpose is what makes it easier to tolerate and more manageable. So my answer is, when busy is too busy is for you to decide. Are the things that make you feel so damn busy all the time really worthy of the stress? Are they projects and people you are investing in for the betterment of your future? Then it is not too much, it is not too busy, its worth it. I am a strong believer in re-evaluating our goals, routines, habits, and even relationships on a regular basis. If you are feeling overwhelmed and just too busy, then it is time to see if you can bring yourself peace of mind with your current choices or are there some things that need to go? Because you are never really too busy for your priorities in life.

With love, health, and happiness

Stacy

A New Life

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I am a big believer in the law of attraction. What you speak, think, and focus on most is what you will see manifest in your life. I have used tapping, vision boards, keeping a journal, visualization, meditation, focus wheels, and many other mindfulness methods to keep myself focused and positive. Self-awareness and being in the present moment has been the key to my success when it comes to attracting many of the positive things I have accomplished in my life. Practicing self-awareness has also helped me be very aware of the moments when I am slipping, being less focused on my goals, and focusing more on the things I don’t want.

When I caught myself slipping into the negative mindset I instantly went into action and started asking myself questions, like why? I have recently started the second and final year of grad school for the mental health counseling program while starting practicum, being the office manager of a busy mental health counseling practice that is still navigating telehealth only appointments, while taking care of all my personal relationships and responsibilities. Not to mention, I met a new guy through eHarmony, which was a unique experience that I was highly skeptical of but it has turned out to be a blessing. All of this stress is good stress but none the less, still stress. I felt overwhelmed, irritable, and just wanted time to myself.

I realized I was not taking the time to fully appreciate and be grateful for where I am in this moment and how far I have come. Everything has been falling into place at such a fast pace that I couldn’t keep up! Suddenly I felt like a poor little hamster on a high-speed wheel and I couldn’t stop to just smell the roses. I have paperwork at the office that never stops, clients that need me, homework and projects for class, parents who have doctors appointments, a teenage daughter who has one foot out of the house living at her boyfriends but still has most of her stuff at my house, friends who want to grab lunch, dinner, or at least a coffee, a new boyfriend that is in the military and can only visit one week a month so we make time to FaceTime and call each other as often as possible, pets that need a walk or to be cuddled, a home that needs cleaning, litter box that needs scooped, garden tomatoes that need picked, groceries to buy, clothes to wash, a car that needs an oil change, a body that needs to be exercised…. need I go on?!? I am spreading myself too thin at times and trying to keep all the balls in the air is impossible at times.

This is when you just have to try to appreciate the chaos and stop a moment to take it all in. You don’t have to have it all together all the time. Sometimes things will not be done perfectly but at least you are trying. Give yourself grace and remember there was a time when you were not as far along in life as you are now. You are at a point in life that maybe one time you only dreamed of. I know I have come a long way and I can finally begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel as everything really starts to fall into place. I remind myself to enjoy the process of it all coming together. Enjoy the learning process of school and working in my current job, embrace the process of fixing up my home, loving my pets, going for walks, and watching my daughter navigate her transition into becoming an adult. Absorb myself into the dating and getting to know my new boyfriend and how we laugh and love each other. Some days I may focus more on work or school, other days on self-care and family. You cannot be everywhere and do everything all in one day. Give yourself a chance to enjoy the things you have prayed for and be grateful by being fully present in whatever you choose to put your focus on for the day.

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

Tip the Scale

Law of Attraction made simple. Think 3 positive thoughts every ...

When it comes to the power of positive thinking and attracting more positive things into your life you really should not have to work too hard at it. If you are self-aware then you can easily tip the scale of good versus bad in your favor. All it takes is 51% more positive thoughts in each day to start the turn-around process. Stop doubting, worrying, and looking for reasons why something will not work and start looking for the reasons it will! I have witnessed this process happen in my own life many times and I am finally starting to get better at keeping the scale tipped in my favor.

Everyone has good and bad days and the truth is you want to have those bad moments and bad days so that you can fully appreciate the good. Lessons and growth happen from those negative moments in life. However, the real art of allowing and acceptance is understanding those moments are temporary and not a place you plan to stay. In order to truly learn and grow from the negative there has to be movement beyond it and towards more positive alignment. The effort to move beyond is the processing of what did I learn and how can I do better? You add those nuggets of wisdom into your big bubble of knowledge, hopes, dreams and desires and keep moving forward.

Self-awareness and tipping the scale also comes in form of signs. I don’t believe in coincidence or random occurrences. I believe we are constantly attracting people, places, things, situations and experiences into our lives. Pay attention to little nudges that are the feeling of your gut or intuition guiding you on a certain path…you may be drawn to a certain book, or person, or place…listen to that inner guidance system and be open to the possibilities. I have been practicing this more and more in my life and the recent results have been almost surreal.

Finding true happiness is first within yourself. You must be happy with yourself and being alone in your own thoughts and feelings, but once you have accomplished the happiness within yourself then the alignment has already begun for everything else. You will then start to attract the desires outside of yourself as you keep in alignment with yourself. Its true in every aspect of life….when you have tended well to your job or career, your home, your relationships in life then you see growth radiate out further into bigger parts of your life. Start small and just work on yourself first and you will see big things begin to happen. All it takes is tipping that scale in the favor of positive thoughts and ideas more often throughout the day than any negative. Then watch the magic take over!

With love, health, and happiness,

Stacy

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

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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…

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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