I Cried Today…

I cried today as I let my mind run away with thoughts surrounding the last year of events. I lost someone I had loved and lost but still loved, if that makes sense. Grief was magnified from a break-up and two years later his death. Two different kinds of heartbreak from the same relationship. Then I cried tears of joy because my daughter got engaged, then my daughter found out she was pregnant. Then I cried again when she lost the baby. I cried as I felt love grow with the start of a new relationship. I cried when I lost my aunt and my cousin both within 2 months of each other. I cried tears of relief when I graduated with my masters, then again when I passed my state exam and my exit exam and finally when I received my state license to be a counselor. I cried when I left the job where my counseling career all started and when I got accepted at my new job. I cried because it took forever to finally get a start date with my new job. I cried when I sold my house and moved all my things back to my small town. I cried as I navigated a few bumps in the road through the first year of my new relationship. I cried when I first saw my daughter in her wedding dress. I cried today because I made it. I made it through all those hard, beautiful, scary and maddening moments to get here to this one and I am okay.

With love, health and happiness,


Mixed Emotions

Joan Didion Quotes | BukRate

I have been hesitant to sit down and write for the last week. The level of change that has occurred in two weeks feels like a heavy wet blanket laying over me. Some grief has caught me in moments but I feel as if I am holding my breath, waiting for the full realization to wash over me and I want to be fully alone when it does. In the last 10 days I have experienced a wonderful vacation to Gatlinburg Tennessee that I planned weeks before. I was able to secure my first Airbnb and with my birthday just two days after Christmas, it was going to be the perfect 4 day weekend! A Smoky Mountain Christmas! Just 5 days before me and my new love were to leave on our trip I was notified that my last long term boyfriend of 4 years had died.

I was driving down the road when I read the news through a text message from a friend who was probably too scared and emotional to call me in person. He was only 54, and had just had a birthday in November. He worked out regularly and by all appearances look to be a very healthy guy. I was shocked and heart broken. We had broke up at the end of 2019 and finalized things with a trip to Gatlinburg of all places, in October of 2019. It was a friendly and mature breakup by most standards but the truth is, I was heart broken. I loved him and really struggled with the break-up. Over the next year life was full of struggle for me. I was completing my masters degree and trying to date as I watched him show up pretty quickly with someone new on his arm.

Let’s just say 2020 was not good. Between the pandemic, multiple failed attempts at moving on and dating someone new, and struggling through work and school… I was exhausted and just trying to heal. In 2021 all the change I had prayed so hard for in 2020 came in like a wrecking ball! I graduated with my masters degree, met a great guy from my home town, got a new job, moved back to my home town, sold my house, and watched my daughter get engaged. All the changes happened so fast but even the stress of it all was good stress with many positive outcomes. I was finally at a point in my life where I was not thinking about him on a regular basis and I had fully began to embrace the new life I was making when the news came.

Nobody prepares you for a loss like this. First of all, I know you may find this amazing, but at 43 years old I had managed to live my life without losing anyone really close to me. I mean, I have heard about school friends passing but they were not super close to me at the time of their death. This was someone I had shared pretty much a daily connection with for four years and we had only been apart for 2 years. I felt like I was losing him all over again. I also felt this weird sense of guilt because I have a wonderful new man in my life but here I am grieving and looking through all the memories of this man from my past. The mix of emotions is overwhelming and so hard to explain to someone who has not experienced it. The grief comes when I allow it but I have not fully allowed it yet. The services will be next week and I am trying to prepare myself for what I know will come.

It was bitter sweet and so very ironic to be vacationing in the last place I vacationed with him. It wasn’t planned that way but it felt almost like a tribute in my heart to say, yes I remember, even though it didn’t work out we had many good times. All the traveling we did together was amazing and he taught me a lot, in some ways about how I wanted to be and in others how I did not want to be. He wasn’t perfect but I think I am realizing that he loved me the best way he knew how. It feels ironic that he died from complications in his heart. It was easy to see in the four years that we had together, he was not always good at expressing deeper and more loving emotions. The heart chakra was definitely a bit wounded and blocked for him and I tried hard to figure out why with only bits and pieces revealed by him about his childhood.

After celebrating Christmas overlooking the Smoky Mountain tops and turning the big 44 sitting at a rooftop bar overlooking downtown Gatlinburg, I realize what an amazing adventure life can be. Every single person who touches our lives makes an impact and some even steal a piece of your heart forever. So today I am thankful…thankful for all of you who read my words, all who have touched my life, no matter how big or small. Thank you for making my life amazing and please remember to tell those you care about that you love them often. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I love you all!

With love, health, and happiness


Break-ups & teenage children

Image result for sad teen

I have a very unique situation in my life where my now ex boyfriend is the boss of my 18-year-old daughter.  She was working for his business before we broke up and has respectfully handled the situation but not without heartache and difficulties of her own.  Sometimes adults do not realize the impact a break-up can have on older children.  My ex-boyfriend and my daughter did not bond a significant amount right away, it has been a slow process.  I never really allowed any men to be in her life during my single years until this man came along. He was significant and she knew it.  She observed how he treated me and how he interacted in his business, life, church and friendships.  Through this time he bought her sweet gifts and they had a few conversations and playful moments between them.  Eventually she came to work for him.  It is easy to think this simple communication and interaction over the course of our four year relationship was just a blip on my teenage daughters radar but I had a very profound moment last night that said something very different.

My daughter came to my room at the end of a busy weekend and sat on the edge of my bed, I looked up to see her face was red and upset and tears were about to burst from her eyes any moment.  I was prepared for something awful and personal concerning school or her boyfriend but what came from her mouth just left me dumbfounded and even more heartbroken.  My daughter is a waitress while going to college and has made me very proud with her hard work and dedication.  Saturday night at work, as she rounded the corner she caught sight of my ex sitting alone at the end of the bar eating dinner.  He is her boss and often eats there or grabs food from the restaurant before heading home. Normally, she said she would not have thought a thing of it but in that moment it made her mad and upset.  She said her emotions were so strong that she almost started crying right there in the restaurant.  She told me the thoughts in her head as she wondered how he could prefer to sit there alone when he could have her mother sitting there with him sharing dinner and conversation.  She went on to express how she had all of these things she wanted to share with him about school and her career choices and how the opportunity seemed lost because now she was just hurt and angry.  She was afraid if she did open up she would be disrespectful and she knew that would not be something I would approve of.  So she just walked away.

As I move through my heartache I realize my love for this man is strong and when I see and hear how it affects my daughter it moves me even more.  I want to encourage her to still have a relationship with him.  I explain to her that the value he brings to her life should not be affected by our relationship status.  However, she says it feels too hard.  This loss has affected our little family in a way that I cannot fully describe and I wonder….does he even have a clue?  Just as I have worked through my own grieving process I realize how my daughter must work through her own.  I realize that working for him, seeing him weekly, and having all these things she wants to say can be even harder for her in some aspects.  We both chose him in our lives in a way and he has backed away from the opportunity to stay.  It has been four months and my daughter finally released all of the feelings and emotions surrounding this change and loss and it reignited some feelings within me.  Having the holidays so close this is usually a time when she would normally be spending more time around him outside of work.  My heart aches for him and for my daughter and at the end of that line-up is still my own heartache about the situation.

The loss of a relationship is so profound and I encourage men and women who make the decision to be in the lives of a person with children to make that decision with great care, even older teenage and adult children.  Understand when you have the conversations with your significant other, and choose to walk away, it is wise to address the situation with the kids being left as well. I know this may not be an easy task to take on but I stress that if you are not up for dealing with all the responsibilities that come with being in a relationship then ask yourself if you should even enter into it.  At the end of the day we don’t have a crystal ball to know how things will end up and even if there are good intentions from the beginning when things do not last it is important to handle each relationship with care.  Take ownership of your own part in the process and make sure if you do walk away that you can walk away with peace in your heart that you respected all involved.

With love, health, and happiness,




Revisiting the Past for Inspiration


About four years ago I had just started the relationship that has recently ended.  We came into each others lives when we already had full lives and plans made as single individuals.   So that summer he went with friends to California while I visited one of my closest friends in Florida.  During that time I felt amazing.  I was working a full time and part time job and had not started back to school yet but I was seriously thinking about it.  Thinking back to that time in my life, just four short years ago, I realize how much I loved about myself and how much I have grown and accomplished.  I completed my bachelors degree, started my masters degree, changed jobs, paid off my car and other debt and so many other adventures have occurred along the way.  It is easy to feel sad and focus on the things that went wrong or we could have done better in a relationship once it ends but in order to really appreciate life and move forward in a healthy way it is better to really focus on the good.

Looking back I truly thought I had found a guy that had a healthy life and full life of his own, like I did, and we could come together in a way that would allow us to maintain those lives while adding to each others.  I had found an honorable and trustworthy man that I did not have to challenge and check-up on because he seemed to constantly challenge himself in life to constantly grow and be a better man in every aspect.  I thought I had found my equal, a man who saw the world not exactly like me but was on a similar path and a few steps ahead of me to offer support and guidance in my goals while I supported him in his already established business.  It was an exciting time and it felt like a relationship full of potential and promise.  Considering where things are now I realize that my perspective was not exactly in alignment with his and maybe it never was.  I will probably never know what his thoughts were at that time or at any specific time in the relationship.  All I know is,  my intentions were good from the beginning and I loved him to the fullest and after it is all said and done I feel he did love me too.

As I move forward I have discovered the process of grief covers many emotions and sorting through the past is necessary.  Once we get through the shock, heartbreak, sadness, anger and forgiveness of self and the other person we finally come to a place of acceptance.  In that moment we can hopefully look back at the time spent with the other person and appreciate the good, the bad, and the ugly, as part of the journey to who we are today.  I am inspired by that little bit thinner, much more tanned, longer hair version of myself four years ago.  She was full of hope and joy for so many things and four years later she has accomplished many of them!  So now is a time to set some new hopes and dreams and see what the next four years will bring!  Lets get inspired this holiday season as the year comes to an end…inspired by our past courage, faith, motivation, endurance, and grit to keep finding the positive, learning and growing with every experience life throws our way!

With love, health, and happiness,








Grief Recovery


As I move forward in my mental health counseling graduate school I realize that I have a passion for working with couples and grief counseling.  My ultimate goal is to combine my 15 years of working in holistic wellness with my counseling practice.  This will include yoga, mindfulness, meditations, visualizations, Ayurveda, and neuroscience and many other processes to help individuals have a full and healthy life in body, mind, and spirit.  As I move forward in my education, while working full time, I often feel extra stress and I usually manage it really well.  However, I have realized with my recent loss of a relationship combined with my daily stresses has resulted in sickness.  So, as I sit here in my bed on day two of no work I realize my mental process is now negatively affecting my physical and my immune system has finally relented.  Grief affects us all, whether it be loss through death or loss through divorce or a breakup, it will have an affect on a deeper level than we realize.  Not allowing yourself to grieve is a recipe for disaster.  If you push it away now it will find a way to resurface later.

Grief often works in cycles but it doesn’t mean that once you move through one cycle that it is done.  Often we can cycle back more than once through the sadness or anger if we do not properly process or we encounter a situation that brings up memories.  Even with all my knowledge of different methods I have still allowed my mind and body to absorb and hold on to some negativity.  Yesterday I spent most of the day in bed.  Body aches, exhaustion, tension throughout my body, nausea and just an overwhelming feeling of sadness and anger had taken over my body.  In the process of doing a body scan I realized my solar plexus area was, and still is, extremely sore.  This area of the body is connected to our self-esteem.  When it is blocked it will not only create all the symptoms I was physically having, it is also directly tied to self-esteem, and mine has recently taken a hard hit.  Self-love, self-acceptance and knowing your self-worth are all vital to the health and balance of your solar plexus chakra.  So how do I get myself out of this negative place, get myself back in balance, restore my mind, body, and spirit back to health?

The first big step is to move passed the feelings of loss and get myself on the path of acceptance in the grief process.  The relationship whys and what ifs no longer matter, let it go and stop talking about the other person and the relationship and change the focus to yourself and the future.  After a relationship ends we feel rejected or maybe guilty, depending on the circumstances, and this can lead to negative thoughts and feelings towards ourselves.  So the second big step for me in home care is to focus on building myself back up, understanding this was not about me not being enough or not being worthy, we were just not in alignment and no longer on the same path.  I can work towards building my self-esteem and self-worth with EFT and positive affirmations.  Caring for the nausea and body tension can include herbal tea, healthy food choices and a little yoga and meditation.  When a specific area of the body is ill and suffering I also find visualization is a great tool in the healing process.

I picture my stomach area red and irritated with a bunch of knots tied in a rope and the redness is pulsing.  Then I picture the redness fading to a lighter pink, then purple and a calming cool blue and all the knots in the rope slowly coming loose and floating freely.  This process helps relax my stomach and ease the nausea along with a nice ginger tea and maybe even a warm bath with some essential oils.  With tea and toast I can build my strength to do some light yoga and stretching.  All of this process combined with rest can help reclaim my positive energy and overall well-being.  It is also good to remember that what we are taking in through all of our senses can affect us, so watching sad or negative shows on television, talking with friends and family about the negative situation, or even listening to sad music can magnify the grief and cause you to cycle back through a process over and over again.  The goal is to plan for the future. What is your new game plan?  Your life is changing and what new goals are you setting for yourself?  The focus needs to change from then to now and looking forward.  Take time to write down things you would like to do differently or goals that you want to work towards.

This is also a good time to reflect on what you have learned that was good, but do not let yourself get caught up in the negative in an effort to find the positive.  Desires for what you want in a future relationship should be more clear as well as desires for yourself, like boundaries you may need to make more clear for yourself moving forward.  The grief process does not have to be all bad.  I have often said perspective is everything and the ability to take joy in knowing that you are moving forward in a positive way with new growth and a clearer vision of what you want in life is empowering.  Remove the memories, stop replaying conversations and move towards acceptance.  Accept the relationship as a learning process and now it is over and time to move on to a new lesson in life is the best.  Be gentle with yourself and understand you must love yourself first and foremost.

With love, health, and happiness,