Welcome Summer

Many changes have occurred in the last few months leaving me very busy and learning so much that I have really been wanting to share with my readers! I am officially working at a Family Clinic in a small town and see about 25-30 clients a week from the ages of 5 to 75! I am a licensed counselor in the state of Missouri and a nationally board certified counselor with training in cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy. Most of my current clients have anxiety, depression, and many have some degree of trauma and/or abuse. I would say 80% of my clients have suffered sexual abuse. I am constantly learning more about how to help my clients and learning so much from them. I have settled into my office at the clinic nicely and love my co-workers and the company I work for.

As summer comes into full swing I have also been settling in to my my home and small town life again I have had to learn balance as well. I am fortunate to keep pretty regular hours at the clinic working 8-5 but sometimes stay late finishing the many notes, treatment plans and session preparation required to be a successful counselor. I find time on weekends to be on the river in the boat or kayaking or taking a back road ride in the the side by side or my 4runner. Most of all, I really do enjoy the wind in my hair on the back of a Harley on a cool summer evening. My garden is sprouting with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and the herbs of basil, sage, cilantro, rosemary and lavender are all taking off beautifully this time of year as well. I can sit on my deck and enjoy the sounds of frogs, birds, and crickets singing and my dog snoring at my feet. Life is busy but simple in many ways at this point.

As I settle into my new job and lifestyle in the small town with easy summer days I realize this is the life I used to pray for often. I pray that all of clients and readers find a point in life that brings them this same sense of peace. Over the next few months I plan to share some of the things I have learned along the way that may help you see the world a little differently and find more peace. I am thankful for so much, including my readers. Looking forward to connecting with you all more over the next few months.

With love, health, and peacefulness in the mind and body,


Those ‘Meh’ Kind of Days

Ever have a day that is not particularly awful but you just feel off? It’s like you struggle to just do the basics to get through the day and feel this dark cloud over you? Maybe you didn’t sleep well or maybe you are coming down with something? Whatever it is you know you just are not at the top of your game.

I feel like I have been going 90 to nothin’ since I started my new job. There has been a huge sense of accomplishment and a certain degree of stress as with any job. I have tried to practice what I preach as a counselor and incorporate self-care into my schedule. I thought I had been balancing things pretty good but today I have to admit, I feel like I have hit a wall.

I instantly do the self check of basic self care… am I eating right, drinking plenty of water, getting good sleep, keeping good social support, staying active and taking time to relax? Yes, I actually think I am doing pretty good in all of them except maybe I could drink more water. So, I try to hydrate more and then move on to the next category… How do I feel in my body?

Body scan and check-ins are very important and help us be more self-aware. I have a dull headache and a lot of tension in my jaw, neck, and shoulders. I know I did not sleep well last night but I went to bed at a decent time and got up when my alarm went off. So this assessment tells me that a progressive muscle relaxation scan, some stretching and more water could help ease some of my tension. A little extra self-care is never bad when feeling out of sorts either. I enjoy essential oil baths so tonight that will be on my agenda before bed as well.

Learn to be in tune and listen to your body. If you catch the signs early, when things first start to feel off, then you can take action to help hit the reset button and gently guide your mind and body back on track. Meditation and present moment reminders like alerts on a smart watch or apps, like Headspace and Calm, are great ways to check in with yourself and improve self awareness. Creating this habit can lead to better health by catching things early! Listen to your body!

Yours For Better Health,



Over the Summer I have experienced many changes. Understanding what to expect in the face of change can lessen the stress we experience and move us toward a better place. However, it is not always easy to know what to expect no matter how much we plan and prepare. I graduated with my Masters in Mental Health Counseling, passed my CPCE and my NCE and finalized my last Summer class. Gave notice at my job and started training someone to take that position while accepting a new job and started the application process for my PLPC and Supervision. All while trying to sell one home and move into my new home. Then I got Covid!

I have felt the whole process has been challenging and stressful emotionally, mentally, and physically, but here I am with Summer near an end and Fall just around the corner. I love Fall and cannot wait for the cooler nights, warm fires, and hopefully a more simple way of life. I am living in the country with no visible neighbors in sight and I love the peaceful feeling. I am ready to be able to just focus on my work as a therapist and not have to worry about tests, papers, homework, and all the extras of going to school and having a job at the same time. I admit that I had become so stressed and wrapped in all the changes that I was not taking care of myself…not exercising regularly, drinking enough water, or taking my vitamins and this ultimately would lead to me getting Covid. Looking back I am thankful that I was between leaving one job and starting my new one and did not miss any work with the sickness. I have been able to have some time off before starting this new chapter and I can see the blessing even though it has been stressful. Through all of this I am proud to say that learning how to be resilient has been a key asset in my life.

Characteristics of resilience is to remain optimistic and a flexible perspective by learning from the past and allowing adversity to create strength within. Acceptance is a big one because it is a big part of counseling others through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and helps to focus on areas that can be controlled instead of what we cannot. Self-confidence helps to see we have more control than we may realize and look inward through insight to help us understand why we may perceive or feel a certain way. Understanding ourselves better can help build perseverance and a good sense of humor, to keep trying in the face of adversity and be able to laugh even when life is hard. At the end of the day you may not be able to control everything that happens but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Resilience is important to help prepare for change and adjust to what will be a new reality and everyone responds differently to change, moving at a different pace and sometimes I felt very stuck along the way. Today I finally felt some progress, feeling more myself after being sick and gaining some energy to tackle some projects, make phone calls, and send emails. It feels good to finally be getting back to some degree of normalcy in my new reality. I hope everyone else has had an amazing Summer.

With happiness, health, love and resilience,



Well it has been a while since I have taken the time to sit down and write. A lot has happened so far this year and left me feeling like I am treading water. Where to start? I started the new year off single and focused on finishing out my master’s in mental health counseling. School was my primary focus. In April I passed CPCE and then my NCE and in that month I also had a date that went really well. In May I graduated and in June I got offered a new job in my home town. I would have never imagined moving back to my small home town at this stage in my life but I knew I wanted change. The guy I started dating just happened to live in my hometown and my parents still reside there as well. With my mom being ill off and on for the last year, I decided to accept the job, give my notice and move back to where it all started. As I began to spend weekends there I started to feel this magic of the place I had left behind so many years ago. So many things had changed but some things never change. As my love for the place where I was born and raised was rekindled a new love was also starting. Everything felt different but also comfortable…like I was finally coming home where I belonged.

I have started packing and moving all my things, started training someone to take my place at the current job, and listed my house for sale. All of my investments in my home and my education are coming full circle. I am moving to a beautiful farmhouse on 120 acres just 10 minutes from the beautiful Current River in Southeast Missouri. The rolling green pastures are dotted with cattle that meet up with a beautiful blue sky in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest. I am able to hike, kayak, go boating, side-by-side riding, and jump on the back of a Harley and feel the wind in my hair. This is the life I have been working so hard for. The changes are coming fast and everything is falling into place beautifully. I have taken a position as a therapist at the small town family clinic to help those in the local community. The new man in my life happens to be the county Sheriff and as I write all of this I realize my life sounds a bit like a Netflix series, like Virgin River or something. I am okay with that…I am excited about what the future holds for me and realize I am not afraid of change anymore. In fact, I am embracing it.

With love, health, and happiness to all…


Chance and Romance

Lisi Harrison Quotes: Besides, taking a chance on romance is a ...

Deep down I am finally admitting I am probably a hopeless romantic. I want to just randomly meet a guy and feel the instant connection and chemistry that starts with asking your name and then your number and moves through the normal process of getting to know each other over coffee, drinks, dinner, a road trip and eventually growing into something amazing. Does that only happen in the movies? I have had bits and pieces of that story unfold in my life. I have a lot of friends of all ages and walks of life who share with me their relationships and how they begin and end and the rules and boundaries they set within the relationship. It is amazing to me the number of non-traditional relationships out there, like wives being okay with husbands having a girlfriend or they both knowingly having relationships outside the marriage. I am not judging what works for others, if they are happy in that lifestyle more power to them, but it is not for me.

I still hold out for the real deal or nothing at all. I am not a half-ass kind of girl. I know myself well enough to know I am a one man woman and I want a one woman man. I want to be married again. I am done raising children. I am focused on my career path, personal growth, and finding a true partner to travel the world with occasionally or just stay in and watch TV and cook together. I love both adventure and stillness. I love to be at home and I love to try new things. I want it all but I want to share it. I have learned to live on my own. I have accomplished so much and feel stronger than I have ever felt as a woman but I do miss having a great guy by my side that gives me that warm deeply loved feeling of protection, strength, and support.

Lord knows I have dated and tried to be open minded. I have had long open discussions with many men and women, listened to audio books, read books, watched documentaries, YouTube, even read long, peer reviewed journal articles on the subject of men and women and my conclusion is…it all comes down to chance…timing and choice in that moment leads two people to a chance encounter that will either ignite into something fantastic, ignite but quickly fizzle, or never ignite at all. There is no specific magic, it is a combination of things that varies for each person. There are many factors that come into play when dating someone: chemical, physical, emotional, social, success and intelligence, humor, confidence. We determine what the person brings to the table and if we would like this person to even sit at our table.

At the beginning of this year I considered not dating at all. Then I allowed myself to give it a try as I finally started to heal from my heartbreak. This year has been very emotional and complicated so far but I am learning. What I have learned most is, I must be true to myself and I am worthy of all that I want so do not settle for less than. I don’t want to become jaded on the dating process. I still believe that it is necessary to take a chance and it is possible to find love and romance between two people, even in today’s world.

With love, health, and happiness,


Lessons of Letting Go

Image result for letting go

Sometimes we stay in a relationship for far too long and often we believe that we are the ones who have to grow more or be more or do more in order to make the relationship better.  Then one day we decide maybe we will never be enough for this person to be happy and the relationship ends.  However, somewhere along the way we may be allowed a window of opportunity to see how walking away feeling less than the other person is completely wrong.  The universe allows us to see the truth before we walk away.

We often paint a picture of this strong, successful, good looking individual who seems to have it all together on the surface, we put the one we love on a pedestal, but it’s not always what it seems.  A life full of surface relationships where you never open up and allow yourself to be real and vulnerable is never going to be fulfilling.  Being on the other end of it and trying to break through the surface for something deeper is never fulfilling either.  It becomes a very one sided relationship with one person constantly wondering how to talk about things and the other person avoiding the talk like the plague.

Initiating conversation only to meet avoidance and defensive behavior.  Resolving to give space and let them to come to you, but they never do.  So in an attempt to resolve the matter and at least get some kind of closure you reach out again.  Finally, you realize this person has not only avoided the problem, but ran away completely.  Finally admitting they are wrong and apologizing, but really all you want is for them to be real, open, and honest.  This moment never comes.  The answers for why things fell apart never come because maybe they don’t know or maybe their reasons are just as surface & shallow as their efforts in the relationship.  The apologies and acknowledgement & understanding of anger & frustration is not what is needed, we often know our own feelings and understand how we got to the point we are at.  It’s the longing to understand the other individual.  When someone is with you for years and is not willing to look inside themselves far enough to try and give some kind of explanation it just seems selfish and hurtful, but in this moment we start to see the truth.

The truth reveals all avenues were explored and all measure were taken to make sure the relationship was viable and in realizing that the effort to do so was not only not matched but flat out denied the answer was clear.  It was never about being enough, it was never really about you at all.  To love a person unconditionally and accept them fully is really quite rare but I have found the capability to do so.  This has allowed me a level of clarity that does not place blame on myself or the other person in relationships of any kind.  You simply see the other person is closed off, the energy and light is missing from them and the harder you work to light the fire and passion within them the more you feel your light dimming.  It is simply not the job of another being to light the fire within.  We must all find it in ourselves.

Some people spend their lives looking for fulfillment outwardly, in travel, great food, adventures in the outdoors, beautiful homes, cars and other material possessions and that can be exciting and so empowering for a while.  To share those things with others is also extremely rewarding. However, true fulfillment is not found in the outward things, its a deep connection found within.  That connection must be found within and then also shared in relationships for true growth and fulfillment to occur.  This process requires being vulnerable and open to risk with others and can be so rewarding when you actually achieve that deeper human connection.  You can actually sense it in people, sometimes before they even speak you can feel it radiate from them.

It is not a touchy-feely, overly emotional, share all my feelings kind of being.  It is a weird mix of strength, knowing and ability to love and accept without expectations or conditions.  An understanding of when to let parts of yourself out and when to remain quiet.  Much like how a tree grows and just accepts that is must bend to reach the sun and it must lose some parts of itself in the storms that come, but with time and maturity it becomes stronger and the roots go deeper allowing the tree to withstand whatever comes its way with complete allowing.  Don’t force your growth, just allow it to happen over time, allow the experiences and relationships to flow without the pressure of expectations.  You will know when it is time to let parts of yourself go and move closer to the sun to reignite that light within you….growing a little stronger.

With love, health, happiness,


The Shift

Dr. Wayne Dyer is a wonderful motivational speaker and writer that will inspire you to look at your life in a different way.  This movie is free on YouTube and worth the watch.  I also suggest his books.  Currently I am listening to his audio book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Living the Wisdom of the Tao.  His focus comes from living your life fully from a place of love.  Enjoy!


With love & inspiration,


In Your Own Time

As a woman who decided to complete my education in my late thirties and continue into a Masters program in my forties and plan to finish my doctorate before 50, I am a bit of a late bloomer.  I graduated high school, pushed myself through junior college to get an associate degree out of the way (even though I had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up), was married by 21, had a baby at 23 and divorced by 28.  Needless to say, I felt pressure to be everything as quickly as possible and in the process I made some mistakes.  In a nutshell, I felt this need to conform to societies expectations and timelines.

Being 40 when you graduate with a BA degree is kinda looked at like…’well yeah most people accomplish that in their twenties soooo…good job at finally catching up to the rest of the world with a degree you probably will not ever use’.  I chose to complete my degree in psychology and continue on with my masters in mental health counseling and hope to move on to my doctorate.  The consensus about psychology degrees seems to be that everyone loves the classes because they are interesting and a lot of people get the degree, but many just go on to get a job that does not relate to psychology at all.  So, not only am I going back to school and going through this big career change later in life, but I am also faced with the idea that the path I have chose is looked at as a bit of a cake walk that won’t amount to much.

Not to mention the other timelines pushed on me….what, only one child?  What? You got divorced 12 years ago and you never remarried?  You have been dating a guy three years and you haven’t discussed marriage?  You are going to end up alone with 17 cats, a degree you can’t use and one child that will never call home…end of story.  Yes, all of these things have been said directly or joked about by both friends and family, even my parents.  At what point do you just say fuck it!  I am definitely not the normal girl and honestly, I don’t know that  I want to be.

I have been a lot happier since I have started following my own timeline and stopped worrying about what everyone else thinks.  I will admit, knowing there are many out there who may think that way makes me even more determined to prove those false narratives all wrong.  By the way, who is to say that lady with 17 cats isn’t livin’ the dream?  Live your life by your own timeline and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

With love to all the late bloomers in the world,


Lessons Never Learned

I am a big promoter of constantly asking what can be learned from every situation, good or bad.  I think if you can take a step back from each situation and reflect you can always find something gained, strength, knowledge, a deeper insight into life or yourself.  So when I encounter an individual who seems to be blind to obvious learning opportunities or valuable advice is given to them over and over by multiple wise individuals and they choose to ignore it, I am amazed.  I have encountered two individuals in my life who light a fire within me that is a mix of frustration, confusion, intrigue and shock at how they choose to live their lives.  I have tried to advise and help both of these women and realize that denial is a soul sucking and knowledge draining leach on some individuals.  I think when people refuse to see the obvious it is most likely because they are in denial and lying to themselves because of insecurity, guilt or shame.

The first person I think of is a woman in her fifties who has a skin disease that causes her some pain and discomfort, but is somewhat controlled by medication.  She is also looking for a job to relocate closer to family.  These are two very separate situations but how she chooses to handle them is very much the same.  She is a smoker, doesn’t really exercise and her diet is not great either.  Yet, she constantly complains about her disease and asks me for advice about natural remedies to help with the symptoms.  Her doctor has already told her to quit smoking because it will help her meds work better and may even put the disease in remission, but she just chooses to ignore that suggestion and ask me for alternative advice.  She did not graduate high school and needs to complete her GED.  I have given her the location and information to do this, but she ignores this information and just continues to apply for jobs that require being a high school graduate or having your GED in hopes that they will make an exception.  Why?  Why ask for more advice when you refuse to take the valuable advice already given to you?

Then I have a friend in her late forties who has been cheated on by her last 2 boyfriends and not even two months after breaking up with the last one she is already practically living with another guy.  She skips from one guy to the next and gets involved so quickly and even when she sees warning signs of issues she ignores them because she is just so desperate to have someone.  I remind her of similar situations in her past and how she said she would be different next time, but she chooses to ignore it. She will try to explain to me how this time is different. Why is she repeating the same mistakes over and over and hoping for different results?  Why call me and ask to be a reference on an apartment or a job or ask advice about relationships if you are going to ignore it?

These are two examples of women in my personal life that need counseling and may not realize it.  They are in denial but do they know they are in denial?  Are they just stubborn and refuse to admit that what is wise is not what they want in the moment?  Do they really not know the best way to handle the situation or is doing the wise thing too hard and they are just too lazy or weak to even try?  What happened to them in their life to make them ask for advice over and over but never act upon it?  Do they just enjoy talking about their problems and having attention on them?  If they actually take the correct advice and apply it and it works then they won’t have the problem anymore and then the attention they received will no longer be an option.  I think this could be the issue for my first case study.  However, I think the second one is a bit more complicated.

I believe the first case study simply does not want to change her habits, she is looking for the magic pill to heal her.  She is too lazy to go back to school, change her diet, exercise or quit smoking.  That would require too much effort from her.  She would much prefer to collect disability than try to better herself. Yes this attitude infuriates me and unfortunately I see it all too often.

Then case study number two is a classic case of can’t be alone with a twist of competitive spirit.  I catch her in weird little lies or half-truths a lot because I think a part of her is in competition with me.  She wants me to think she is getting a great apartment or a really great paying job or going back to school or getting married and buying a house with the current boyfriend, but none of it ever seems to actually happen. I do believe she could possibly be diagnosed with a personality disorder and not just simple laziness.  She asks for advice about the same things over and over, things that should be obvious to her by now.  She repeats the same relationship over and over, just a different guy each time.  Yet, when I point out the similarities she seems surprised at how right I am, but then still chooses to ignore all the red flags and continues to move forward.  Yes, she openly admits I am right but does nothing about it.  Then I don’t hear from her again for a while and randomly she will contact me and tell me how great everything is but it is over-the-top great and usually later I discover that its not as wonderful as she has made it out to be.  Some time will pass and she will contact me again to tell me problems and ask for more advice, often problems that are identical to past issues.  I will point out similarities again, she will agree and say she understands.  The next time we talk she will try to paint the picture that everything is great when I know it is not.  This cycle will repeat until the  guy cheats on her and the relationship dissolves and she is broken hearted, saying she is fool and frustrated that she invested so much time into another bad guy.  I just think, you didn’t have to invest all that time and effort if you would not have ignored the signs and listened to my advice the first time.

Maybe I am the crazy one for trying to advise these women over and over, but this is also why I chose to complete my education in counseling.  I want to learn ways to help people see the error in the way they think and confront themselves.  If you cannot be honest with yourself then you will not be able to be honest with anyone.  If you are not learning from past experiences and you find yourself in the same situation more than once, then it is time to seriously re-evaluate and make some hard changes.  Yes, I said hard.  It is never easy to make real change, especially when you have been doing things the same way for years.  But with real change comes real opportunity for real results.  I am not going to be a hand holding counselor.  I will confront you and challenge you to look at the ugliest parts of yourself and you may not like what you see.  You may not like me for forcing you to acknowledge those parts of yourself, but the truth is, we all have those parts of us.  The insecurities, shame, guilt and just feeling like a failure in some areas of life.  If you don’t confront those faults within your character you will never grow to your full potential.  A stagnant or immature soul is an unfulfilled soul which leads to unhappy relationships, depression and even suicide.

It may sound ironic but in order to be truly happy in your own skin you have to allow yourself to fully accept the dark, ugly, sad, scared, guilty, insecure and shameful parts of yourself.  With acceptance of where you are in that moment you can also commit to a plan for change but until then you cannot change what you refuse to admit is there.  Make sure with every experience you accept responsibility for your part in it and ask yourself what lessons are learned.  Then take those lessons and really apply them in the future.  That is a true sign of wisdom and maturity.

Surround yourself with people smarter than you so that you are always learning something because a day spent not learning something is a day wasted.

With wisdom, love and happiness


Life Cycle

So in my psychology classes we review a lot of theories and how nature and nurture can affect how we become the people we are in life.  Then along the way other relationships and experiences change us and shape us a little more.  Then one day, as time goes by and we get older, we look back over our lives and realize we are not really anything like the person we started out to be.  Some may change more than others, some may become better and some may become worse people over time.  I find myself thinking about how much of the life cycle is a choice and how much is just…well…unconscious.

Do you have the same morals, values, beliefs and standards that you did when you were in your teens or early twenties?  Did you want a spouse and kids and a nice little house and yard with a dog and a picket fence?  Were these ideas put there by family and peers and cultivated from the area of the world where you were raised?  Did you really want these things and believe them or were you just conditioned to think that way?  These are questions I am asking myself and I want to hear the answers from others.  I would love to hear it from all cultures and areas of the world….if you were to be extremely honest with yourself.  Are you truly being your authentic self?

Also, I understand that some degree of influence in culture, family, religious belief….all of that and more are going to affect how each person views the world.  Were you a minority in your school?  Were you popular?  Were you teased or did you just fade out in the crowd? Did you marry young or get pregnant in high school?  Did you experience some kind of trauma?  Did your parents divorce?  Do you even know your parents?  All of these things can affect how we respond to others in our every day lives.  When you really start to think about it there are certain small moments that make a difference in every individuals life…good or bad.  Maybe you had a teacher who said something encouraging to you in the the 4th grade and that moment changed your life.  Maybe you had a summer love with a girl that broke your heart and you will never look at love quite the same.  Maybe that summer love with that girl or that moment with that teacher did not affect them the way it did you.  Maybe, they went on about their lives and never thought about you again.

Now think about your daily life now….how you interact with those around you, even strangers.  There may be one single moment that you will do something kind for another human being and it may change their life from that point on.  You may not think about that moment ever again but they will remember it forever.  So pay attention to how you live, even in the little moments….because in the life cycle you are making ripples in the ocean of life.  Those ripples can create beautiful waves or they can cause a horrible storm in the hearts and minds of others.  Be conscious of the choices you make in your actions and words throughout your day.  Be true to yourself and don’t live by the standards and expectations of others, do what makes you happy and feels right in your heart.  Be a leader in your own life, not a follower.

With Happiness, Health, Love and Truth