What Brings You Peace & Happiness?


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,


False Start in Dating

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As of Tuesday around 1 pm my attempt at dating someone new failed.  A friend of mine once warned me about those whirlwind romances and how they can end as quickly as they start.  Sadly, I feel this guy is a great guy in many ways and how he chose to end things was very disappointing.  I knew the end was inevitable because he just didn’t fit into my world.  There is something to be said for taking time to heal and learn to be on your own after a divorce or breakup.  I realized I wasn’t ready in some ways, but he was even less ready and in denial of that fact. The jealousy and insecurity on his part often came out in ugly random texts when we were apart, but then things were fantastic when we were together.  The red flags were there early on but I chose to set them aside and wait to see if there would be a pattern or if it was just the normal navigation of dating someone new.

Sometimes we get side-tracked from our goals  and ignore boundaries when we find a person that is so close to what we want. Basically, I allowed myself to be side-tracked and make excuses for him.  I was allowing many things that I knew were not okay with me because the pros were outweighing the cons.  However, the cycle was continuing with the pattern of negative remarks being made, me getting upset, him apologizing and giving me all the excuses of stress, not feeling well, and being insecure from people who had done him wrong in the past.  None of these things are my fault and I no longer wanted to be the person he chose to take it out on.  After a couple of months of seeing this cycle I knew it was not just his current situation but who he is as a person.  So when I finally pointed out the pattern he broke up with me…through text.  Sadly, his response was to just disappear and not even attempt to discuss the possibility of growth or change.

Since I have not reached out after his disappearing act I may never know exactly why he chose to just cut off communication instead of trying to talk it out.  I will choose to be positive and hope that he realized he needed to learn to be alone a bit longer and work on himself before entering into a relationship.  I guess his perspective no longer matters at this point.  It is up to me to decide how I feel about the situation and how I plan to move forward.  When someone drops communication that easily after such a short amount of time I conclude that I was never as important as they said I was.  This realization can sting a little until you realize that you just dodged a major bullet.  Looking back over the last two months I really have no regrets.  I enjoyed getting to know him and enjoyed the time we spent together.  I feel sad that we could not have parted in a nicer way but his cold exit speaks more to the type of person he is and has nothing to do with me.

It was a good start with the potential for so many things to come but as I have learned, you can’t fall in love with just potential, you have to fall for the person as they are.  I think maybe I was still learning that lesson in this experience.  I think it is important to learn something from each experience and in the process become more clear on what you really want in a relationship and out of life in general.  I think the last two months definitely helped me do both.  Looking to the future and still keeping my eye on the prize!  Stay positive my friends!

I highly recommend the book pictured in this post if you are navigating the dating world! It gives great insight and forces you to be honest with yourself!

With love, health, and happiness,


Making It Work In Your Favor…

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Soooo I took my 3 days of Spring Break last week even though I didn’t fly to Chicago like I had planned.  Instead I worked from home a bit and enjoyed time being lazy and eating and drinking with the new guy in my life.  By Saturday I realized that maybe this stay at home thing was possibly a downward spiral of pajamas, day drinking, endless Netflix and overeating and I needed a self-check.  I drove home from my boyfriends house and thought about how I was going to navigate coming back to the office this week and what the future may hold.

Monday morning it was clear that this week would be the week we all get set-up for Telemedicine and make the final transition to all of us working from home.  I have always wanted to work from home and thought this would be super productive and then I thought of my few days off just the previous week.  Yes, that was supposed to be a bit of a vacation but I also know it was super easy to sleep in, snack, and stay in my pajamas all day cuddling with my guy.  I realized that was not the pattern I wanted to get stuck in if I was going to be working from home for a month or more.

I want to make this time at home work in my favor and if I plan to do that and be a productive individual I would still have to have a schedule.  I could sleep in a bit more because I would not have my commute but it also opens the opportunity to have more time to exercise, meditate, and make myself a healthy breakfast, do some laundry, organize closets and still check emails, make calls, and do my billing and coding for insurance claims.   It is vital that I create a routine from the start so that I do adopt bad habits in my daily routine.

This week, as I finalize things at my office to transition to working from home, I am also creating a schedule for my days at home and my plan is to really make this time work in my favor.  I have learned from my research of others who have worked from home for years that it is so important to still have a regular wake-up time and lunch time, and close the office door time.  As I create my new schedule for home I hope to find balance and still be productive while enjoying this opportunity to build discipline and structure for when I do have my own practice.  Project number one, make my guest room into a home office!  How are you navigating changes?

With peace, love, happiness and healthy vibes to all,


Fear of Missing Out & Only If Mindset

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In today’s world I think most of us suffer from the fear of missing out and the only if mindset.  We want to see, do, be as many things in life as possible and we often live for the future …if only I could have that car, that house, that degree, that job, that partner…then life would be perfect!  We forget to take pride in who we are and where we are in this very moment.  We are so focused on the next big adventure or the thing of the future that we ignore all the good right in front of us.  I am a planner so I often find myself struggling with both of these.  I get my heart set on a goal and keep my eye on the prize and this helps motivate me when times get tough.  However, I have come to realize, as with all things, there must be a balance.

It is great to make plans and have goals to learn and experience new things.  It is wonderful to put dreams out into the universe for a better lifestyle, nicer things, and fantastic relationships, just don’t let these wants and desires for the future take over the present moments.  Take time to truly enjoy where you are and reflect on how far you have come.  Remind yourself that there was a time when you may have prayed to be where you are right now and have some of the things you have right now.  Take time to celebrate those wins you have already accomplished along the way before moving on to the next big thing.  The constant drive for more can be unhealthy and end up leading you in a life of never being satisfied or happy.

So take time today to slow down and appreciate the present moment.  Look at your life and think about how far you have come and truly appreciate your efforts and hard work.  We must be thankful for what we have now and give thanks regularly in order to receive all that we desire in the future.  Taking time to give thanks in your daily practice of meditation or just as you get ready to start your day is a great positive habit. Spare nothing in your time of giving thanks, running water and indoor plumbing as I shower and get ready, my body functioning properly as I climb out of bed and stretch, my healthy teeth as I brush them…include every detail of life in your list! Truly feel it in your heart as you give thanks, don’t just run through it like a grocery list.  I am thankful for all of you who read my blog!

With love, health, and happiness,




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I have been through some serious changes since last Summer:  a breakup, starting grad school, and my one and only daughter going off to college have topped the list, and more recently the start of dating someone new.  As I near mid-terms in grad-school our professors often encourage the importance of self-care.  In the field of counseling we are inundated with client worries and concerns throughout our work day on top of navigating our own personal and professional stress.   This can quickly cause burnout in my career field but this can be true in many other career fields and life situations as well.  When we are experiencing a lot of changes it can be overwhelming even if they are positive changes.

I changed my job and started this new career path just within the last couple of years and even though it has mostly been rewarding, there have been times when I felt overwhelmed and unsure.  I love to read and have a bit of a magazine addiction, its one of my guilty pleasures and you can find stacks of magazines by my bed, bathtub, and couch.  Being a big fan of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, I love to receive my Yoga Journal magazine and as I was reading through one of the most recent issues I came across an article recommending a book by Tara Brach called Radical Compassion.  I am also a member of Audible and decided to use my monthly book credit to check it out.  I love to listen to audio books on my drive to work each morning and this one is definitely worth the read!

Self-compassion is a little different than self-care but I think both are required in order to truly take care of yourself.  I think most would agree that we are all our own worst critic in life and many of us overachievers focus constantly on what we should be or could be doing better and even shaming ourselves for our areas of struggle.  Monday I had a bad day, I felt like I was just going through the motions and basically not really accomplishing much of anything that day.  Then on Tuesday my day was better but my significant other was out of town on business and our evening conversation consisted of him relaying to me his extremely complicated day!  Here we are on Wednesday and we both have high hopes that it is only going to get better!  After my manic Monday I woke up determined to get my shit together and not let my Tuesday be a replay.  I often push myself to work through lunch and Tuesday I chose to have lunch with a friend and I even bought a plant in a beautiful container to put on my desk.  I allowed myself to just enjoy my lunch hour and not rush back to the office.  That afternoon I accomplished more than I would have if I had stayed through lunch and tried to push through.

Normally, I would have beat up on myself for taking time for myself after having such a non-productive day on Monday, but I have come to realize it is necessary to let go and just be every once in a while.  We were not put on this planet to trudge away with work, school, paying bills and raising kids day after day.  Having a wonderful job, furthering your education, being able to pay the bills, and raising a healthy happy family is all joyful but we all know there is more to life.  It is not selfish to have things that just bring you and only you, joy.  Allow yourself grace to have a bad day and allow yourself time to just be and do something you enjoy that only benefits you.  Recognize and train yourself to be self-aware when you feel stressful, hurt, and angry emotions and how those negative feelings feel in your body.  Accept & allow those feelings and understand they are normal.  Sit with those feelings for a bit, really allow yourself to feel them.  Investigate where those feelings come from, how they came about, and why they feel so strong in that moment.  Then nurture yourself by understanding the emotional ups and downs of life are not only normal but necessary.  This concept of  recognize, allow, investigate and nurture are known as RAIN and is more deeply explained in the book by Brach.  We need to be reminded what it is like to struggle and have a bad day every now and then because it helps us learn, grow, and truly appreciate the good days.

It may be hard to see it and believe it in some situations but even life at its worst is still a positive experience because there is opportunity for learning and growth through self-awareness; opportunity for acceptance and connection through self-compassion, and opportunity for moments of joy and freedom through self-care.  So as we move through the rest of this week and find ourselves getting closer to Spring remember better days are ahead and you don’t have to have it all figured out, all together, all the time.

With love, health, and happiness,