We can often become anxious in anticipation of the future or sad about the past. It can be helpful when we are able to live in the present.
If this sounds like you, the following activity may be useful. If you would like to try it out, write “future” on a piece of paper. Under “future” write “present” and under “present” write “past.”
When you feel caught up in thoughts or emotions, slide/move your finger up or down the page to determine where you are. Are you in the past, present, or future?
After a few times you can move the written out page to a visual in your mind. This can be a useful strategy as you move about your day in order to determine your current mindset. If you find you are in the future or past, you can then ask yourself what you may be able to do to move back to the present. This is an intentionally lived and mindful life, a life within the present.
A young woman went to her Grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.
Her Grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.
She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her Granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hardened egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.
The daughter smiled as she tasted its deep flavor and inhaled its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, Grandma?”
Her Grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin, outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her Granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong? But with pain and adversity, do I wilt and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a fluid spirit but, after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water – the very circumstance that brings the adversity, the pain, the hardship – into something quite wonderful. When the water gets hot, it releases it’s fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better, and change the situation around you for the better.
When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity?
When we build a campfire, does it burn eternally? Do we build it once and never tend to it again? No, of course not, similar to our devotion of creating a rich, full, and meaningful life, we have to tend to that campfire every single day to keep the flames burning. Life is similar, we have goals we are striving for, obstacles we face, and things we must put into action to keep our flames blazing. This may include stepping back and assessing the campfire several times a day to add new logs to the campfire and generate new sparks and/ or maintain the everlasting campfire (i.e., a rich, full, and meaningful life). Of course, within balance, once we have a strong campfire built, life is also about just being and enjoying the warmth of the campfire you have built, adoring the dance of the red, orange, and yellow flames, throwing a new log on occasionally to keep the spark alive, and remembering life is not a destination, it is a journey…sometimes a journey that takes many logs being added to our campfire. Live the intentional life, a life full of campfires.
I am a Therapist who travels between California and Europe. In my time here on Earth, I have been blessed to live all across the United States; making a home in almost every corner (coast to coast) and some in between. One day, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, as I sat and counseled my clients, as I had so often did, to live their life to the fullest, to seize the day (carpe diem), and to have no regrets, I found myself intrigued by my words in a new way. That night, on my drive home, I wondered was I taking my own advice? Had I lost site of living within my guiding principles? Sure I had a great life but was I living my life fully or stuck in my comfort zone? So, when international travel came calling, I had to answer. I transferred my private practice to fully online and set out to live the life I wished so dearly for my clients (i.e., the discovery of living life to its fullest within each person’s desire). As someone who has suffered from then learned to live with anxiety and depression this was still a bold move…however, I hear life begins at the end of your comfort zone, a quote by Neale Donald Walsch and I was not going to let fear and the unknown hold me back—I would bring any uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and so forth alongside me on this journey as I am determined to live my life to the fullest no matter what. While we each have to choose our own guiding principles, for me, they are Travel Far- Eat Well- Live Long- Love Optimally. Within it, I have come to the realization and embracement of no roots as I have found that I do not necessarily have roots in one certain physical place but wings that allow me to fly. If anything, my roots are found in the people I have met along the way that store space in my heart (like so many clients I have come to know and offer support), the experiences I have met through food, history, and culture along my travels, the richness of the life I have lived, and the ability and choice to love optimally. While your ideal life may not match mine and send you jet setting across multiple oceans…I would love to walk alongside you and help you discover (or re-discover) what it means to live life fully. If you think online therapy may be the right fit for you, I welcome you to contact me and begin your own “journey.”
2020 Update: While I still have a love for traveling far and wide and continue to offer online Telemental Health Sessions, I now have re-established an in-person therapy practice within the state of California. To learn more click HERE
You cannot always control the waves but You can learn to surf the storms of life.
I AM NOT YOUR TYPICAL THERAPIST
I am an authentic, down to earth, and sometimes fallible human being. I do real.
MY APPROACH TO HELPING
Equipping and empowering is the cornerstone of my approach towards the holistic healing and growth of Mind~Body~Heart~Soul.
ARE YOU STRIVING FOR MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS?
Do you feel ramped up, on edge, worried, and misunderstood? Does your mind spiral & attack so that you feel lost in a perpetual vortex that is difficult to escape?
Perhaps you recently lost a loved one and feel enveloped within the effects of the loss. There may be days when the heaviness is beyond difficult to carry and it takes all you have to put on your armor and go out into the world—all the while feeling shattered on the inside.
There could even be may be days when you struggle with low energy and all you want to do is retreat, avoid, and push away thoughts and feelings yet you manage to the tasks at hand— all while knowing you are not fully engaged.
Perhaps you use to have a zest for life and just cannot get back to that feeling or even wonder what others mean by having a “zest for life.” You have this depth of desire to be able to discover your whole self and live fully.
Within this life, we may all come to feel stuck—perhaps through our spiral of suffering within anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationships, or other life transitions and struggles—and not know how to get back to or on your life path and purpose. You may be stuck but you are not broken!
I love working with and helping people! I will partner with and empower you on your unique life journey. I use a down to earth and open minded approach towards your healing and growth. On this journey, I will walk alongside you and navigate as we work together to design a personal roadmap towards your desired destination. This approach allows for the greatest possibility of you getting back to or the discovery of your best self!
MORE INFO ABOUT MY PRACTICE
I believe that everyone’s story matters. I am driven to live out my passion and purpose of supporting others every day. Through a personally tailored approach, I partner with my clients to offer a therapeutic healing space that promotes empowerment and positive self-growth. I work best with those who are ready for and motivated towards a pivotal change—wherever that may lead us on your unique life journey.
MY ROLE AS A THERAPIST
It is my belief that, at the core of all healing, is a supportive relationship. We each have the ability to live a rich, full, and meaningful life. I will serve the role of a guide, encourager, and advocate for you to live optimally.
When I am not at the in-person or virtual office, I enjoy spending time with my family, listening to podcasts, practicing mindful living, traveling far and wide, reading, savoring my coffee ice cream and chai tea latte, and sitting in coffee shops catching up with my friends.
One of my favorite quotes is, “You are the author of your own life story…so make it a good one!”
I am eager to meet you and excited to share in your journey!