My Transformation Story

TruehappinessI’ve had quite a few people ask me recently about my transformation journey in the last several years. I’m happy to tell it, but it’s not a short, quick story. If I go back to the very beginning, I guess I would have to start 7 years ago when I suffered a severe brain injury. I didn’t know at the time, of course, but it was the beginning of discovering who I really was, and who I want to be.

It all started in 2010, when I was playing “football” with some friends. I took a tackle from a friend, and got hit harder than was intended. I suffered a severe head trauma. I was in college at the time, and I was almost finished with my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. I was severely disabled, and struggled to finish to get my degree. I was having trouble with memory, retaining new information, speaking clearly, and motor skills. Even walking long distances (like down a hallway) was difficult and painful. So, mentally working was very difficult. I graduated, sure, but I didn’t retain the knowledge very well. I couldn’t tell you what classes I took my last quarter.

Over the next few years, as my brain healed, I realized I didn’t enjoy programming in the slightest. It wasn’t fun for me anymore, I didn’t get a thrill out of it, and it was impossible for me to think the same way. This brain injury literally changed my life. I was fired from several jobs, I couldn’t develop new lasting friendships, my relationship was strained, and I just felt terrible most of the time. My therapists diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Emotionally, I wasn’t the same. It was like I turned into a totally different person. It took me years to figure out that it did change me. I had continued to try to fit into the box I put myself in. But I didn’t fit in there anymore.

After a few years of struggling, I started working at Petsmart. I hated that I couldn’t perform in my industry, but I needed to make money and do something instead of just sitting at home. So, I found this job. I was happy there. I enjoyed working with the animals, and I enjoyed teaching people about how they could better the lives of their pets. I constantly stayed late. I accidentally would keep working after my shift because I was enjoying it so much. One thing led to another, and I was starting to feel happy again… but this job wasn’t paying the bills.

So I eventually had to quit and get back into the software industry. I found a company where I was happy and enjoying the job, the people, and I could perform there. They were family oriented, and I didn’t work late. As far as software companies went, it was great. It was a good company who cared about their employees. Salary was good, benefits were great, and the people made me happy. It was a good fit. But I didn’t love what I was doing. I still wasn’t “whole”.

Somewhere down the road, my ex-husband and I got a dog. He was a great dog, but we had no idea what we were doing. After a few weeks, he started to pull on the leash, started to get very hyper all the time, and just was uncontrollable. So, I asked for help. I found a trainer who specialized in behavioral solutions. I had no idea the world I was about to discover.

As I started to work with my dog, I realized how much fun I was having. I used the knowledge I was learning to help others. I was giving my friends and neighbors behavioral advice from what I was doing, and wanted to learn more. They saw improvements in their dogs, and I barely knew anything! I was hungry for more information! I started searching online for workshops, webinars, books, online classes, and anything I could get my hands on.. Eventually, I attended workshops as well. I was insatiable when it came to learning about dogs. I wanted to know everything! I loved what I was doing, and looked forward every day to going home and working with my dog.

I started to build a client base after a few months, and I realized this could become a very rewarding hobby! So, I spent more and more time researching, reading, experimenting, and spending time with my dog. My dog and I had learned so much and we were turning into quite the team! I was so happy with how things were going. Every spare second I had was being spent working with my dog, as well as on my newfound hobby. Which meant I wasn’t nurturing my marriage.

In 2014, I went to Cesar Millan’s training center to learn more. Great opportunity and I was so excited! My husband called me while I was at the workshop to yell at me because Napoleon (our dog) had puked on the couch, and he didn’t know how to use the carpet cleaner. We fought. On the phone, a thousand miles from each other, but we were fighting. It was bad, and neither of us was happy. We were so young, and I was preoccupied in building this business.

I got back, and our relationship continued to suffer. We attended counseling, but I had already made up my mind that I was finished, and wanted to move on. We decided on a divorce. Not a pretty decision, but something needed to change. We were both great people, but too young and inexperienced for mature love. We split up. It was painful, it was an end to a chapter in my life I never saw coming.

I couldn’t believe it got this far, I was depressed, lonely, and wondering how this happened. My best friends were there for me during this time. My best friend’s husband was comforting me, helping me, and becoming my friend. I was looking for validation, love, compassion. He was looking for the same. We both weren’t happy, but we found happiness in each other. We both did an unspeakable thing. Something I never thought I was capable of doing. We had an affair. It lasted 9 months. We both knew it needed to end, but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from each other. We lied, we snuck around, and we made a mistake.

Once my best friend found out, of course she was livid. I betrayed her. I hurt her. I royally fucked up. However, she didn’t find out the whole story. She was told a tiny speck of what actually was happening. But it didn’t matter; it was just enough to shun me out of her life. She sent hateful messages, spread untrue rumors, and turned our friends against me. I didn’t defend myself and I let her attack me. I let the lies spread, and I didn’t retaliate. I didn’t lie, I didn’t cower, and I took all of it. Even though what she thought happened wasn’t the truth. But I didn’t say anything to defend myself because it didn’t matter at this point. Whatever it was, I deserved it, right?

After months and months of abuse from her and her husband, our “friends”, and the online posse she had built, I decided that enough was enough. She even attacked my business! Our businesses had nothing to do with this. This was a personal matter. Yet she brought this into the professional world and it affected clients, fellow dog trainers, and connections. As time went on, more and more negativity poisoned my life. I eventually felt like I was worth nothing. I was a piece of garbage, so I started acting that way. I started making poor decisions, putting myself in dangerous situations, drinking too much, hanging out with the wrong type of people.

After one night of putting myself in a position where I was in danger of my life, I realized I needed to make a change. This was so dangerous, and this could end up killing me.

I committed fully to learning about myself. Accepting I made mistakes, and started to piece myself together again, bit by bit. I spent a lot of time self-reflecting. I wanted to know what had happened. I had been falling apart for a while, and I wanted to know where it started. Why it happened, and how I sank so far. I learned to meditate. I learned to breathe through my pain, and accept that these things happened. I accepted I made a mistake. I learned to forgive others and myself. Only I can control my emotions, my actions, and my mental state. I wanted to be happy. It seemed like a stretch, but I felt like if I self-reflected and learned to forgive, I could learn to be happy.

I went for a walk in nature every day and listened to the sound of the birds, the water, the bugs, the wind in the trees, and I realized that this pain would pass. I spent so much time with my dogs, and alone that I was actually starting to get to know myself better. I meditated, sat with my suffering, and I really felt all the feelings. It hurt, it was sad. I didn’t find solace in other people. I didn’t go to my friends or family, I went to the mountains. I took pack walks with my dogs and hikes regularly. I spent time meditating, thinking, and writing down my thoughts. I spent so much time getting to know myself. I wanted to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I started to train. I started running, lifting weights, and getting stronger. I had started to learn to forgive myself, and I wanted to find peace in my life. So, I started working out, and eating healthier food. I stayed away from sugar, booze, and food that didn’t help my body heal from the onslaught of exercise I was putting it through. Nutrition and fitness became an obsession. I started to learn the “secret” of being happy.

I started to see an energy healer to help me clear out any emotional blocks. I learned so much about chakras, energy flow, the psyche, and how energy can fuel the soul. I started to be able to feel the energy move through my body. I started to become in tune with my own energy and be able to read others’ as well. This helped me with keeping people in my life who had positive energy, and shedding people who had negative energy. I was able to have compassion for people who were suffering. Even those who have hurt me, I could give compassion and send love. This was difficult in the beginning. Learning to love people from a distance, even if they aren’t close to me anymore. My best friend, who I betrayed, comes to mind. I love her deeply, and I send her loving, healing energy often. She may not consider me a friend anymore, but I do. She is still my best friend, and I am happy when I hear that she is at peace, finding success, and above all, finding happiness. I want her to feel peace.

I decided against using social media during this time, as it was not helping me through the pain I was feeling. In fact, Facebook in particular is full of negativity, and it was difficult to see the positive. I did block the people who were sending me hurtful messages, posting hateful comments, and otherwise anything that was evil. Getting back on Facebook, I decided I wanted to reconnect with people who have a passion for spreading positivity, bettering the world, and being the best they can be. Anyone else was un-friended, un-followed, or blocked.

I had studied and applied what I learned in fitness, energy work, nutrition, and meditation. I had started to become more connected spiritually, and learned how to be more mindful. I had started to treat my body the way it deserved to be treated all this time. Mistakes are just that: mistakes. They are there for us to learn and become a better person. Those who have “sinned” have great potential to learn and grow. When one is in a desperate place, we do not think about the repercussions of our actions. That mistake did not make me a bad person. It makes me human. It makes me real. I made a mistake that severely hurt my best friend. I love her deeply even now, even after everything. I have learned from that and become a strong, mindful person. I have learned to be less judgmental of those who make mistakes. I have learned to forgive. The most important lesson I have learned is to be vulnerable with my feelings, and allow myself to love fully.

I have decided I will not hold onto feelings of hate or anger. I do not carry around negative feelings, and I work hard to not pass judgment on others. We all have done things that have hurt others. We have made mistakes, and those mistakes make us who we are today. I wish I could have learned the lesson another way, but this is what the universe had planned for me. So, I do not regret making the choices I did, as I have repented, and I am set free of the past now. I don’t live in the past, I don’t hold those feelings close, and I have learned to live with my feelings, and realize that it’s ok. I will not be self critical of my past; instead I will embrace it. It has turned me into the person I am today.

I see the world as a beautiful place, and we should take care of each other. We need to invest in our health in mind, body, and soul. At the end of the day, this is all we have. So, I focus all my energy into surrounding myself with love. Love for the possessions I keep, the people I surround myself with, and the actions I perform. I want a life where I live free of ties, burdens, and unnecessary commitments. I only carry with me what I love. If you are one who I have chosen to spend my time with, know that I love you. Know that you are special to me, and I don’t just give my time to anyone. You are a beautiful soul and you deserve to be loved. You are cherished.

Love yourself openly. Be vulnerable. Be open to your feelings, and don’t be afraid to dream. Dream big and don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of work or time it takes to get there. Wouldn’t you rather spend the time working towards a big dream rather than wasting it just drifting?

Now, every day, I focus on being better than the person I was yesterday. I try to listen fully, instead of speaking and forming quick opinions. I try to pay attention and be mindful. I am trying not to jump to conclusions, judge, or pass negative energy to anyone or anything. Everyone has a reason for doing the things they do. What I can do is hold myself to a higher standard and try to be the best I can be. I won’t waiver, self destruct, or passively aggressively try to manipulate or control. We all do it from time to time, but the goal is to recognize it and try to understand that person is at a different point in their journey.

Acts of self-destruction, recklessness, inappropriate decisions, or poor judgment typically come from immaturity or lack of experience or knowledge. They haven’t found themselves yet, or know how their actions are affecting their lives and the people around them. The people closest to you in your lives are the ones you’ll see clearly. Those are the people where you have to let them figure it out themselves instead of trying to ‘teach’ them. They will accept the lessons freely when they are ready.

Live healthy, live free, live passionately. Be quick to forgive. Think before you speak. Send as much love out into the universe as you can. The world is lacking in true unconditional love. Take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Make healthy choices, for at the end of the day, you only have your health. Investing in yourself is the best choice you can make to achieve true happiness.

A Promise

You know when a song comes on the radio, and it’s the montage of your life right now? It reminds you of all the pain and suffering you are going through? Well, that’s how my day started. I wanted to escape for a bit, so I put in my headphones, got geared up and went out on a bike ride. A song that reminds me of the love of my life. A song that reminds me of all the good things, and I think positive, happy thoughts. This may be borderline intrusive to his privacy, but he’s hurting. And all I want to do is take the pain away. I guess I am falling into the ‘fix it’ trap. I want to fix it. I want to take all his pain and dissolve it into the universe. He doesn’t need it, and nor does anyone else. I want him to feel light and happy, and I’ll do anything to make that happen. That’s what this song reminded me of.

I go on my bike ride, and listen to positive, uplifting songs, and think about the good times, laughing, smiling, happiness, and bright, healing light enveloping him. I just think about sharing love and happiness. I think about healing light and happy thoughts. I’m ripped out of my own head by a sharp pain in my right ankle. I look down, and a dog is fucking biting me. WTF? Are you serious?! I crash, and kick it in the head. Wow, ok. Remind me to never leave the house again. I already can’t walk my dogs in the neighborhood because of off leash dogs attacking us. Now, I go alone on a bike ride, and a dog attacks me?! I kick him in the head repeatedly until he stops. Well, neighborhood dog walks, pack walks, non-dog walks, and now bike rides are off the table. What a great start to the day…

I’ve been struggling and trying really hard to stay positive. I’ve been dragging my ass out of bed to try to take care of everything. To try to smile and have it be real. To have real fun, instead of faking it. To enjoy the company of others instead of just want to crawl into my hole. Getting out of the house in itself is a challenge. I have to mentally prepare myself to go. I have to mentally prepare to present myself to other people. I guess it’s a mandatory evil when you teach people for a living. When I see 5-10 people a day, it’s exhausting to put on a happy smiley face every day. Sometimes, the faking it actually does help. When people say “thank you”, or “you’re amazing”, it’s like it just goes over my head. They’re saying that because they have to, not because they actually mean it. I’m the same as everyone else. I don’t bring anything special to the table. I’m just another person with another job.

I’m also trying to tell myself I’m worth something. That I matter. That I’m important. I don’t recognize myself much these days. I thought I left these feelings behind. I thought I was over it. When I tell myself I’m important, I really don’t believe it. I try so hard, but for what? I don’t see a change I’m making on the world. I don’t see my ‘big life’ I thought I had. My ‘big dreams’ I thought I had. They are just distractions, and they’re bullshit. I thought I was strong, that I was a ‘warrior’. Someone told me that once, and I felt it gave me power. Now, I don’t see it. I just see a weak, frail person in a disgusting body. I feel ugly. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, too. I don’t like my body. I don’t like what’s inside it either. I don’t like this person I’ve become.

I feel like I’m starting over. Like the journey I took before faded, and now I need to do it again. What was my regime? Oh yeah, writing a lot more, working out every day, eating crazy healthy, spending more time with friends, positive outlooks, and literally no booze, no electronics, setting goals for myself, and just enjoying nature. I want to feel better, so I guess I can do that. I went through a self-destructive phase where I wanted to cause as much damage as possible. I was a wrecking ball. I drank too much, used people, and alienated the most important people in my life until they left me forever. Bridges burned for an eternity. I don’t want to make the same mistakes, and I feel it happening already. I can feel the anger starting to come back. So, I need to stop this before it escalates into destroying my life… again.

I’m making a promise to myself. I can be the biggest rebel in the world by not allowing negativity to swallow me. That’s the popular option. That’s what everyone does. So, I don’t want to be like everyone. Rising up IS the counter culture.

So, I’m making a promise:

  • I won’t drink. I will take care of my body and only put in things that help me.
  • I won’t be a party animal. I won’t allow my judgment to be impaired. I can still have a good time without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • I will make an effort to set work out goals for myself. I will compete if I have to.
  • I won’t abuse myself or others. When I hurt, I’ll spread love, not give into the anger.
  • I will find the positive in everything. No matter how bad things get.
  • I won’t yell, scream, lose my temper, or be impatient. I’ll listen.
  • I will spend time with myself every day. Really spend time with myself and allow myself to validate any feelings that come up.
  • I’ll be gentle with myself.
  • I’ll go to the mountains several times a week to meditate and ground myself.
  • I won’t succumb to negative self talk. I will stop thinking of things that hurt me, and turn it around into a strength.
  • I will create a happy place for my soul to emotionally live.
  • I will acknowledge the feelings, and I will protect myself. I will create healthy emotional boundaries to protect myself spiritually.
  • I will keep my heart center open. But I will not allow myself to be abused emotionally, psychologically, or physically.
  • I will tell myself I am safe. I am safe. I am safe.
  • I will tell myself this is not my fault. Assigning blame is negative self talk.
  • I will tell myself I have people who care deeply about me. Even if in the moment I don’t know who they are.
  • I will tell myself I am not alone. I am not alone.
  • I will tell myself that this too shall pass. That this is another breakdown to breakthrough. Smile and let the tears fall, because pain can be beautiful. Feelings are beautiful.

When we feel, truly allow ourselves to feel those emotions, we acknowledge them, and then let them go. Numbing them, stuffing them down, or trading them for anger and hate are not dealing with them. History will keep repeating itself unless we deal with the baggage.

I’ll be ok. I’ll make it through. I’ll take care of myself. I’ll be gentle. I won’t beat myself up. I won’t succumb to the darkness that took over my life before.

Oh, want to know what the song was to start all this? “Ophelia” by the Lumineers. It always makes me think of my love, Rob.

What’s That Thing Called?

What is that thing called that makes you think all kinds of negative thoughts?

That thing that goes on for a few days, then you go back to normal?

The vicious cycle that comes and goes when you least expect it.

The thing that gets fed every time you are stressed, losing sleep, don’t meet deadlines, etc.

The feeling you get when you are on your period and your hormones are out of whack.

What is it called when you have mood swings, low energy, irritability, depression, anger, anxiety and negativity that come out of nowhere?

When you want to scream at the world for making you this way. Because everything just happens to you all at once. You get slammed with all kinds of crazy problems back to back before you were able to heal from the last one.

That feeling you get when you want to push everyone away, but you don’t want to be left alone.

The feeling that all you want to do is scream at the people closest to you and tell them how grateful you are for them, but you can’t because every time you open your mouth, it isn’t nice. At the same time, you don’t want to be left alone and feel clingy and lonely for no reason at all

The feeling of not even knowing what you want.

That causes anxiety because you are just looking for something to stop this feeling, and nothing is working.

The feeling of wanting to do something drastic like climb up the side of the cliff, but curling up in a ball and crying sounds good too.

What is it when being social takes up too much energy, but you put on your face anyway and you be nice? There’s a word for it…

You hate fighting and arguing, but you can’t stop. All you want to do is cry at this point because you can’t say anything nice, but that’s all you want to do.

You want to scream it from the rooftops, but you can’t because of this thing…

Nothing is wrong, yet nothing is right.

Oh, I know what it is.

It’s called depression. And all these things listed on this site are true. And I hate it.

I hate I have to feel this way for no reason. The people around me have to deal with me when I feel like this too, and it makes it so much worse. I hate that I’m hurting them. I hate that I feel like this. I wish there was a magic wand that could make me not feel these things. But there isn’t a “cure” for depression. If there is, I don’t know what it is nor has that been shared with the world.

It’s been recommended to me before to try a gratitude journal. So, I’m writing the first thing that’s been on my mind all day. I am deeply, truly grateful for my boyfriend who is trying so hard to understand me and what I need. He puts up with me and all that comes with me. It’s so frustrating to not be able to tell him. Not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t even know what I want, or what I’m feeling. I’ve been on the other side of depression too, and I know how helpless that can make people feel. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly appreciate you (because I know you are reading this). You are my soul mate and I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have you. You were made for me.

Secondly, I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, be able to put food on the table, and clothes on my back. Some people aren’t so fortunate to have all 3. Whatever 1st world problems I’m dealing with aren’t as bad when you think about how some people don’t even have enough food to feed their families.

 

10 Ways to Start Finding Happiness

Guide after guide will teach you how to be happy. But at the end of the day, many people feel they don’t deserve it. Guess what…THIS IS A LIE. I found this page to help people who are feeling these thoughts. No matter what they’ve done or what they’ve been through. You just need the strength to want it.

As I have been through some shit, been at rock bottom, and been at the highest highs, let me tell you what I think on how anyone can achieve happiness.

Obstacle 1-Caring what other people think. We spend way too much trying to live up to others’ expectations. Just live for you What makes you happy? Do that. Living through other people’s lives on social media, tv, or just a stereotype you want to follow isn’t going to make you happy. Are you jealous or want to live a certain way? Then make the change. Instead of focusing all your energy on how other people live their lives, or what you are ‘supposed’ to do, reflect on your life and concentrate on making yourself a better person. Make a plan for yourself. Life doesn’t seem to follow plans exactly, but at least you have a direction of where you want to go.

Obstacle 2-Overanalze situations and dwelling on the past. Sometimes overanalyzing situations that haven’t even happened yet. Looking too far into the future and creating negative outcomes. Or even overanalyzing a tiny little problem and then making a much bigger problem. Deal with the situation as it happens, then move on. Adding more stress to a stressful situation just makes it worse. Dwelling on a mistake, or something that happened previously will also just increase stress, make you feel like crap, and then you think of the ‘what if’ or ‘if this didn’t happen…’ scenarios. There is absolutely no reason to live like this. You can’t fix it by replaying it in your head. Make peace, and if necessary forgive yourself and drop the baggage.

Obstacle 3-Taking blame for others’ problems. This is usually to protect or please the other person, while you are losing something of your own. Time, money, energy, etc. Setting up emotional boundaries can help you say no, but also demand a certain respect of how you want to be treated. Being honest about how you are feeling can prevent major problems in the future. I know it’s hard, but I found this nice guide on how to do it. It’s difficult and awkward in the beginning, but I found this a long time ago when I was learning how to set emotional boundaries for myself. At the end of the day, you have to take care of you and your life first.

Obstacle 4-Surrounding yourself with negativity. The biggest things are your own thoughts. Focusing on things you don’t have instead of what you already have. I’m not only talking about material things. I’m talking about people, lifestyles, money, etc. It goes for everything. Be grateful and appreciative of what you already have instead of mooning over what you don’t. Toxic/negative people fall into this category too. You can easily surround yourself with people who make you feel special. People who don’t appreciate you for WHO YOU ARE have no place in your life any more. This may change as time goes on. Who was your good friend before may not be anymore. They just bring negative feelings and thoughts to the table. Surround yourself with positive people, happy vibes, and good feels. Have a job that makes you stressed? Then maybe it’s time to find another one. There are other jobs that will pay the bills. Is this your career path and it’s a temporary unhappiness? Then, give it a time line, and if it doesn’t slow down, you need to make a change.

Obstacle 5-Clutter and mess. I’m not only talking about your room here either. If you take on too many tasks, don’t have enough downtime, or feel like you have been spread too thin, you need to slow it down. Cut out the bullshit in your life. Material things are just that-material. Life settles down quickly when there is less you have to worry about. This includes people, material objects, jobs, tasks, errands, etc. This is all stress you are putting on yourself. Cut it out. The act of cleaning it all out is therapeutic too. Get your physical space all clean, and your mental space will clear up too.

Obstacle 6-Grudges and anger. These bags are very heavy. Holding on to anger, bitterness, grudges or not forgiving someone honestly doesn’t do you any good. And no, it’s not punishing the other person either. So what good does it do to feel that way? If you haven’t gotten the apology you deserve, if you haven’t been forgiven for something you did, or maybe you’re just mad at how people treat other people. Guess what? It doesn’t do any good to hold on to it. The sooner you stop caring about whatever it is, the sooner you can start to move on. Usually in these situations, it’s not something you can do anything about anyway.

Obstacle 7-Complaining. This is huge. Things happen. You had a fight and it ended badly. You got cut off on your way to work. You didn’t like what that one person said that one time. Get over it and move on. Don’t put more energy into the situation, as you just give it power. Just let it go and talk about something happy instead.

Obstacle 8-Focusing on insecurities instead of attractive qualities. Seeing a pattern yet? Yeah, this one is also negativity based, but based on self reflection. First of all, you are beautiful. Secondly, you are worth it. You give yourself value, not other people. Live your life by your own set of standards, not everyone else’s. Be a good person. Let’s be honest, we aren’t perfect. NO ONE is. Physically or mentally or anything! We all have flaws, and we all have different bodies. Just because we can’t all look like Megan Fox doesn’t mean we aren’t beautiful. Every single person on this planet has BEAUTIFUL traits. Who cares about the other stuff? Looks are usually just expensive packaging, and when we’re old and grey, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we treated people, what kind of person we grew up to be, and if we were happy.

Obstacle 9-Food and Exercise. If you aren’t comfortable with how your physical condition is or how you don’t feel at your best, you can change it. Eat healthier and exercise regularly. Honestly, this is great for your mental wellbeing too. I know that when I’m working out, I’m much happier in the long run. I feel more confident about myself, I feel like I achieved something, and I really enjoy pushing myself! Good nutrition is important for taking care of your mental welling too!

Obstacle 10-The hardest one I think…Trying hard to be someone else instead of embracing who you are. Love thyself. Focus on what makes you happy. Write down things you love about yourself. Write down your talents and your achievements. Write down things you think make you different than other people. You are unique, special, and beautiful. Now, you just have to believe it.

That was my 10-step list. Here are some others:
http://www.yourtango.com/experts/kelly-rudolph/how-be-happy-yourself-5-tips
https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/11-simple-ways-to-make-yourself-happy-every-day.html
http://elitedaily.com/life/things-need-stop-immediately-want-live-stress-free-life/659777/
http://www.wikihow.com/Be-Happy-Being-Yourself

 

 

We Kill Each Other

We kill each other with our words, our meanings, and what we don’t say.
We kill each other with looks, fake smiles, frowns, and disgust.
We kill each other with disrespect, lies, and truth.
We kill each other by degradation, stereotypes, and expectations.
We kill each other with religion, belief, and extremes.
We kill each other with labels, classifications, and clicks.
We kill each other by hiding, assertion, and disappointment.
We kill each other with war.
We kill each other with success and failure.
We kill each other with our actions, and our betrayals.
We kill each other with selfishness and selflessness.
We kill each other with pride, power, and greed.
We kill each other in body, mind, and soul in any way we can.
We kill each other by looking at just the surface.

 

The war of souls is bigger than what you can do with guns. By crushing the spirit, the species as a whole will die. We abuse ourselves terribly every day. That’s not enough, so then we abuse others.

 

 

The spirit dies when it is lied to, cheated on, or deceived.
The spirit dies when it is disappointed in the actions of others.
The spirit dies when justice isn’t served.
The spirit dies when it is stolen from.
The spirit dies when it is used or abused.
The spirit dies when it is ignored.
The spirit dies when others around us are ignorant.
The spirit dies when it is not allowed to heal naturally.
The spirit dies when it is not defended or stood up for.
The spirit dies when it is abandoned.

Life is precious and can be taken away. It can all be over so quickly. Extinguishing the light is as easy as snuffing out a flame. Shouldn’t everyone should have the chance to let it burn to the wick? Let the flame go out on it’s own.

If the spirit is dead, there is no flame. It takes bravery to relight and start again.

You have the power to put out the light of someone’s else’s flame. You also have the power to light it again. But don’t forget you also have the power to protect your own flame.

Don’t put out the light.

I Came Home Today

homeI came home today. Now, before you can really understand what this means, I need to back track and explain a few things. I haven’t talked much about this spiritual journey I have embarked on. It has been interesting, but not incredibly noteworthy until now. I broke through. I moved mountains! I felt true, open, vulnerable happiness. I have been freed of the mental chains holding me back, and I can see the light. I have a deep sense of peace, and I realize that what’s been holding me back has been me this whole time.

I have a beautiful soul, and I have a shining light of happiness inside me. I have had different events or people try to squash it, bury it, murder it, or take it from me. Some have been successful at dampening its’ power. But I have learned to protect myself, and learned that this power is mine. It’s my light, my happiness, it’s my life. I can choose how to use the power, who to give my light to, and how to protect it.

So, let me explain how this all started. I have been receiving healing from an energy healer. But not just any energy healer. Someone who specializes in working with the psyche. She dives deep into the inner chakras to see where you have emotional blocks, and helps you work through them at your own pace. You do the work. You feel it, you work through it, and she helps guide you. Through one on one sessions, she uses a metaphorical dialogue to help you understand how you view things, and work through programs you are running as self defense mechanisms. These programs actually cause more harm that good, and she helps you change your programming. Dynamic breathwork is another tool she uses to help you push out energy that gets stuck. This can also help clear entities. You can work through deep emotional traumas, baggage, and hurts that haunt you. This baggage you carry around can destroy your hopes, dreams, relationships, and your mind. You can push out dark, negative energy that damages your psyche. Through these tools, I have prepared myself for a workshop where we will work through deep childhood wounding. But that’s a different post.

marshall1So, fast forward to last week. I was in a breathwork class, and I started to work through something huge. Things like blame, pain, death, loss, shame. The loss of my dear Marshall. It was so tragic, so sudden, and not fair. My dogs are my family. The loss of Marshall was devastating, and I didn’t want to let go. Because I thought if I let go, he’d be gone forever or maybe I’d forget him if I didn’t hurt anymore. Of course, his physical body was gone already, but I couldn’t accept that he wasn’t with me anymore. It was too painful to let go. During this session, he came up. Not physically ‘came up’, but he was in my thoughts, my memories. I remembered in detail. That fateful day. Every second was in slow motion, and I relived it. It was so painful and I was screaming. Sometime during this playback in my head, I heard a voice. Not clear, but a whisper, straight to my soul. It was myself talking. I said “It’s not your fault. Forgive, and let go. Let him go.” I started crying, and I didn’t want to let go, so I fought. I fought the feeling and wanted to hang on. Tetany happens when you have control issues and you can’t let go of the hurt. Your muscles cramp up and you can’t open your hands. It’s scary and it is excruciating. This started to happen, and it’s happened before. This time, I surrendered to the pain, and I let go. I cried violently, and I let go of Marshall. I forgave myself. It wasn’t my fault. His spirit is always with me because he is a part of me. He isn’t part of my FAMILY, he’s part of ME. When I realized this, I stopped crying and I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I felt him there with me. And I realized he had never left me. He’s with me even now, because he is part of my soul. That’s why I connected with him so well. We found each other, and he needed me in his life. I needed him, because I was missing a piece of my soul. He couldn’t be a part of me in physical body, but he can this way. Then remembered all the little cute things that he did all the time and I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I mourned, and I let go. And soon, I was at peace. Right after this happened, I was enveloped by a warm purple light. My guardians, I presume. They protect me, and they were happy I have reached this state. They gave me a gift. This gift was protection and said I can have this peaceful, happy feeling as long as I want it, but there was a price. Vulnerability. I had to agree to keep my heart center open, and accept peace and happiness without fear. I agreed to try to my best and protect myself against negative energies who try to bring down this feeling. I have control of this, and no one should be able to take this from me. I am in control of myself and my experiences in my life.

This experience was so powerful, I had a feeling of euphoria when I left that night. I control my life. I can CHOOSE to be happy. Happiness comes when I am open to vulnerability. I don’t have to be scared of being vulnerable. I overcame the pain, the fear, the paranoia. I did it. I put in the work and boy, since then, I will live my life so much happier. But it’s not over.

pagodaToday, I had a one-on-one session with her again. We use metaphors to help work through things. She always asks us to visualize a ‘red colored bridge’. Usually I see a bridge in the woods, a forest, or there’s a waterfall behind it. The path is always dirt, and heading towards the forest or woods. Today, it was different. Today, I saw a pagoda. Cherry blossom trees were all around me, losing their leaves. I walked up to the pagoda, seeming like a good thing to do, and feel like I should go inside. I walk inside, and it’s a temple of some kind. There is an alter with a statue on it, reading materials, black boards, meditation mats, etc. It’s clearly a community building where people go to worship. There’s someone inside, meditating. After some time (and energy work), we realize this person is pretending to be me. This person is tricking me and is imposter. He shouldn’t be here. I look at this a different way, and I realize this building belongs to someone, it isn’t a community building. It’s mine. This is my house, and this person has taken over. This is an entity who shouldn’t be here in this space. This entity moved in a very long time ago, and has been comfortable here for years. What it brought into my house is chaos, organization, and trickery. I asked him (it was a male monk impersonating me) to leave my house. He was confused, not violent, but didn’t understand why, after all this time, that it had to leave. I was firm and told him to leave again. I had help sending this entity away, and this place of worship transformed into a comfortable, cozy tiny place where I immediately felt welcome and happy. This is my home.

I look around, and feel like it has been far too long since I’ve really been home. I notice a black dog sleeping in front of a fireplace. I go to him, and I notice he is very old and blind. He has been waiting for me all this time. I finally came home, and his tail wags when I go to him. But something is wrong. He’s ready to die. He’s been waiting for me, so he can die. I hold him, and tell him I love him, and give him the release he needs to leave this world. I send him compassion and deep, unconditional love. Tears start to form, and I know I don’t have much time with this dog. I don’t know him, but I feel a deep attachment to him. I look into his milky, blind eyes, and I say goodbye to my new, but old friend. I see the light go out, and his body goes limp. He died in my arms. As I am holding his lifeless body, his physical body is disappearing. I truly did let him go, and I stand up, ready to move on. This is my space. This is my home, and I can choose who I let come in. I can choose who stays in my space. It is not a right, and I can be more conscious of who I let in. That doesn’t mean build walls, but I have the right to claim my own space.

cherryblossomsI went outside and saw it was night. On the wrap around porch of my pagoda was a rocking chair. I sat in the chair, and looked out into the night. I smelled the clean air, and watched mallards pick at bugs by the riverbed, right next to the red bridge. The river was flowing lazily with koi and cherry blossom leaves. There were no outdoor lights, but the stars and moon were bright enough to light everything up and what I was saw clear and peaceful. No one was around, but it was comforting. Knowing I was home, and the air was still, the atmosphere totally silent. In the air, you could smell nature and the crisp, clean scent of cherry blossoms. It was a beautiful scene, and I felt at peace. There was a shooting star, and I realized I was going to be ok, because this is my life.

I left feeling more in control of my own life. I am ready for the Inner Child work. I am ready to go on and set forth and learn to be happy in this body with this soul. I am learning how I can protect myself from negative energies, others’ ill wills, and how to also just be. I meditate every day, and do grounding exercises every morning to start the day. Getting snow today was a beautiful gift. It helps quiet the mind, I think.

Anyway, to close, I am learning how to take care of myself emotionally and spiritually. I am working to find all things balance in life, and I want to practice seeing beauty again. I have been so focused on all that has gone wrong, I forgot to see the good and what has gone RIGHT. Where there is good, there is always evil. I was focusing too much on the evil and the bad things. I want to focus on the beauty, the love, and I want to feel peace. I feel so connected and grounded, and this is a feeling I want forever. I can make that happen because I have the power to control my perspective!

Year’s Reflection

Dixie National Forest 12/2016

Dixie National Forest 12/2016

As the year is nearing the close, I can honestly say I am not the same person I was 12 months ago. I have changed in many ways I have never thought possible. I grow every year, but this year was incredibly traumatic, painful, and reflective of how far I’ve come.

Nappy, my very happy boy!I started the year by meeting an incredible guy. Literally, on New Years, I found Rob. I found him and kissed him, and stole his heart. He’s the most incredible, self sufficient person I have ever met, and he has big dreams. Guess what? I do too. The more I learned about him, the harder I started to fall. He’s amazing. He’s done amazing things, has really great stories of parts of his life, and has taught me so much about what is possible in this life. It has been an absolutely crazy journey, but I am so in love with him, and together, we can move mountains. We can do anything. The problem is we want to do EVERYTHING! We have gone through intense good times, but also heavy traumas and very deep, dark things. But we are going through it together. So, here’s to many more years to see what happens! Hopefully, the hard parts are subsiding, and we are building a fruitful foundation for the years to come!

I sold the house I bought with my ex husband all those years ago. I fixed it up with help from my friends, and sold it. I learned how to do drywall, do mudding & taping, painting, flooring, I laid cement, and learned to use many different kinds of tools I didn’t know how to before.

Upper Setting near Mirror Lake, Kanab, UT 06/2016

Upper Setting near Mirror Lake, Kanab, UT 06/2016

I learned how to take care of my own landscaping. And I learned more about all the legal hoops you have to jump through when you do something like get married or get divorced. It’s all ridiculous, but I learned more about everything. I learned more about the processes for buying and selling property, commercial buildings, licensing codes, how city ordinance works, and what to do when things get tricky.

 

 

I lived in a 900 sq ft studio where I shared space with my 5 dogs, and all my business visitors. Clients and dogs alike were invited to the only space I could call my own (which wasn’t even mine). My bed sat next to my kennel room. My Jedkitchen was in my living room. But I managed, and I kept up a positive attitude. I was forced out eventually, and I moved to a loft above my friend’s tack room on her ranch for several weeks after a house I had an offer for fell through 4 days before closing. She was incredibly generous, as I really thought I would be living out of my truck, while continuing to train dogs to make a living. That family is one of the sweetest families I know, and every single one of them are beautiful. I thank them from the bottom of my heart that I didn’t have to live in my truck for weeks while I found another house. I had a roof over my head, and a safe place for my dogs to live.

This gave me a brand new appreciation for being grateful for what I do have, and cherish the things and the people that I used to take for granted. Most of the time, not on purpose, but now I see the world much differently. I love more, I cherish more, and I don’t take running water, electricity, money, or life for granted. Material things mean little to nothing to me now. A ‘rich life’ means a happy lifestyle to me. That’s all I want. I don’t care about what I have, how much money I make, or material possessions. I just want to be happy, and live an emotionally, spiritually, and mentally rich lifestyle.

Moab, UT 10/2016

Moab, UT 10/2016

I found a house, and I moved in to this old, cottage-type home I fell in love with in May. Yes, it’s a project house with a shit ton of landscaping and yard work, but I loved it. I had help moving in from my friends, my clients, and my family (Rob’s included). It was an emotional experience, because moving into this house meant all the shit I went through before now is over, and I could leave all that baggage behind me. And I did. Slowly, I let it go. I didn’t have to continue to move every few weeks/months and I could start rebuilding. The work I had planned on doing on my house was quality work. I want to take the time to fix ‘er up and make ‘er mine. A few months later, Rob officially moved in with me. We are so happy, and this just felt right. Not rushed, and not because it was more convenient, but because it was right. We are together because we want to be, and no other reason. That’s the way it should be.

Horsetail Falls hike, Alpine, UT

Horsetail Falls hike, Alpine, UT

This house has many problems that we knew about, and a plethora of even more we didn’t know. It’s old, so some of the issues are because of wear and tear, old materials, and things that are outdated. But some of them are because of how things have been updated, band-aid fixes, or shoddy work on the house. We will slowly fix everything, and update what needs to be updated. The yard work in itself could take us years alone.Redoing the work others have done will also take years. That’s ok. We have all the time in the world. Life is what we make it!  No rush. This isn’t a race.

We have a bedroom, 2 bathrooms, the dog house, and the kitchen that are under construction all at the same time (we didn’t plan it that way…obviously). We are working on fencing projects, landscaping, and flooring all at the same time. Big projects are a constantly here, and it can be overwhelming, but we are trying to make the best of everything, and not let it overwhelm us. I feel it’s a direct relation to our life right now, and even though there are projects, all of them are repairable.

I have also had quite a lot of trauma this year. I have lost 3 of my personal dogs (Jed, Napoleon, and Marshall), 2 client dogs, and a foster dog. Plus all my friends who have lost animals this year. heather and marshallIt all hits me so hard, and it seems I’m so sensitive to loss now. This year was incredibly traumatic. I have a passion for life, but my heart has been broken over and over this year. It feels like it won’t ever totally heal. I want a lull in the disasters for a while. One thing after another, it keeps crashing. Devastating chaos keeps hitting, and before I’m able to fully recover from one, another one happens. It makes me want to stop working, and spend all the time I have cherishing the ones I do have. I wish life would allow that.

My heart has been broken so many times this year, I feel like it doesn’t know how to fully heal anymore. Happiness is a dream. It’s like something that if I try hard enough, I may see it again. Not that I’m unhappy or miserable, but I have an overhead gloom over everything that taunts me with ‘What’s Next?’ questions. What happened in this universe to cause all these things to happen? What energy am I putting out to allow this to continue happening? I started learning about energy transfers and similar things several years ago. I didn’t believe I was putting anything out that would cause these things to happen to me. I felt like a victim. Terrible things have happened. But I don’t see myself as a victim anymore. I see it as I need to learn something. I need to learn what energy I am putting out, and make it more positive, so I attract more positive events in my life. Happy, positive events, rather than chaotic, traumatic ones. That’s my take away. I’m working towards a more uplifting, happy life. I don’t want complicated or hurtful anymore. I want to do away with the negative. Not a New Years’ resolution, but a goal. I want to focus my energies on spreading positive, happy vibes. So, when life gives you lemons…Fuck the lemons and bail! Haha, no, I want to go with the flow of life, and accept even the bad things with grace. I want to be and let be. Make lemonade… anyway, you know all the metaphors, you know what I’m saying. I want to be able to roll with the punches! Ok, I’ll stop. I’m done!