The Art of Story Telling

In Marrakech, Morocco, the art of ” hikayat”, or story telling is an ancient art that has been practiced for over 1000 years.  Professional Story Tellers will gather people in the town square and tell tales of different life scenarios through fables and folklore.

Story Telling reminded me of our own personal stories, and how we can become stuck in playing certain roles that are not truly authentic to who we are.  Some of our roles begin at birth and are carried out throughout a life time.  Sometimes these roles include our strengths, and other times the roles become heavy, stagnant, and conditioned over time.

What life story do you tell?  What part do you play in the world?  Are you happy with your role?  Do you want to change your life story?

Sometimes our life stories work, and other times they cause us pain and suffering.  Whatever your life story, you can always change it.  Like the great story tellers of Marrakech, we can create new stories at any time, including stories of love, leadership, or adventure.  What story is calling out to you?  Are there roles in life that you need to step into?  Are there roles that are old and outdated that need to end? Our life stories will change throughout our lives and can be as diverse as we are.

What story are you telling?

Chicken Therapy

Have you hugged your chicken today?

Most people are familiar with Equine Therapy, and understand the healing abilities of horses, but have you ever heard of Chicken Therapy?

I recently met a couple who has eleven pet chickens.  The chickens were a variety of colors and breeds and all had their own pet names.  According to Heidi, the owner, she said that they all have distinct personalities and similar to people, they have their own pecking order.  Some chickens get bullied, while others are more dominant and take the lead role, while others are more curious, playful or adventurous.

Having experienced a stressful weekend, I asked if I could hold one of the chickens and was handed a beautiful golden brown one.  As I held the soft quiet clucking chicken in my arms, I felt an immediate sense of peace and calm, which lead to a conversation about how the chickens, like therapy horses, or other therapy animals, are helpful for a variety of mental health issue including anxiety, depression, PTSD and dementia.  I later did some research and found out that Chicken Therapy is not commonly known, but it exists, and research shows that chickens make great therapy animals.

For animal lovers, we all know that our pets make us feel better on rough days, they sit on our laps, lick our faces and cuddle with us when we feel sad.  They calm us down when we feel angry and rejoice in our excitement on good days.  There is no question that animals are healing and very therapeutic.

Next time your having a rough day, feeling, sad, anxious or frustrated – Try some Chicken Therapy!

Life is a Mutable Cloud

At different times in our lives, we will truly be tested.  It is during these times that we can either live in a place of fear and anxiety or we can learn to surrender to the winds of change.

We live in turbulent times, the world around us no longer feels safe or secure.  We all have our own personal and familial struggles, and then there are those that affect our nation, our world, and our universe.

It is during these times of challenges that we need to surrender to what we cannot control.  We have to ride the waves of uncertainty and reach out to others for help and support when we find ourselves alone.

When you experience your external world as a hurricane, you can create an internal place of stillness and peace.  Allow others to help guide and support you.  You are never alone on your journey, no matter how troubled or turbulent your path.

“Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peaceful Living in a Turbulent World

Living peaceful in a turbulent world means taking responsibility for our own reactions to stressful or difficult situations or events.

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, I teach clients that we cannot control other people or what happens in life at times, but we can always choose how we react.

During this stressful time where anger and violence sweeps across our nation, remember that you have choices.  You can either join in the anger, draining your own personal energy, or you can choose the path of peace to counteract the negativity.

Remember that each day we are given the gift of life.  We can choose to use our energy in a way that either creates peace, or contributes to anger or violence.

You when feel drawn or pulled into violent new stories or situations, take a breath.  Breath deeply and make the choice to live in peace.  If you can redirect your energy, you can live a life of balance.

Today take one step to bring more peace into your life:

Learn a breathing technique

Take three minutes to sit quietly

Smile at someone

Sometimes the smallest or simplest act, can bring about the biggest changes.

Addictions – Who are you without the addiction?

As a Licensed Professional Counselor and Substance Abuse Counselor, I work with people who struggle with addictions in many different areas including; alcohol and drugs, food addiction, internet and gaming addictions, and shopping addictions.  But did you know that you can also become addicted to being angry, or having never ending drama and conflict?

Addictive behaviors are often learned in childhood and can be carried through to adult life, often leaving people with no realization that they are living in an “angry” state or are having ongoing drama, but there are people who recongize their addictions, yet struggle to end or stop the addictive behavior, which can last years or even a lifetime.

Whatever the addiction is or the addictive behavior, I often ask, Who would you be without the addiction?  What would your life be like?  People often adapt or create addictive behaviors out of some kind of loss or trauma.  The addictive behavior helps them cope in the beginning, but eventually becomes a negative force or destructive pattern in later life.

Recently I met with a client, a man who’s marriage of 27 years had ended.  He was dealing with the loss of his marriage and break up of his family unit by drinking; but it turns out that he had been drinking most of his life.  It was sad to witness his despair and depression, but he was reminded that at this pivotal point in his life, he needed to make a choice.  He could continue in his addiction, which had already resulted in the loss of his wife and family, or he could face the pain, and with help and guidance, learn how to heal.

Often times people struggle with letting go of their addictions.  When ending an addictive behavior, grief and loss can be experienced because the addictive behavior has helped to temporarily numb the pain, prevented feelings or emotions to be felt, and blocked out painful events, but avoiding to end the addiction, only results in further depression,  more issues or problems, and the greatest tragedy of all, addiction leads to loss of self.

Whatever your addiction, I can help you to reclaim yourself and your life.

Who are you without the addiction?

Career Coaching – Changing Directions

Are you happy to wake up in the morning and go to work?  Do you look forward to your day? Or, have you noticed a restlessness that leaves you feeling like you are on the wrong path?  Have you gotten a degree or training in a specific area and no longer feel fulfilled in that line of work?

Often times we start out on one path and than realize that we are not happy or fulfilled, yet we are fearful of changing directions.  By releasing the fear of change, you open up space to explore your true authentic desires and passions.  Changing careers doesn’t have to be difficult or scary.  Sometimes we may have to sacrifice when we make changes, but the rewards that we gain, pay off in more ways than we could ever imagine, often resulting in personal and professional success.

One of my passions is to help people explore their personal and professional goals, and to identify the necessary steps that are needed to create a new career that better suits their body, mind and spirit.  It’s never to late to change career direction.

What step do you need to take today?  Please contact me with any questions or schedule an appointment (You will be taking your first step!)

Crap, Crud and Clutter

Is your house filled with crap?  Is your mind full of clutter?  Do you feel that your life is cruddy?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone.  Most of us fill our lives and homes with crap, crud and clutter.  The more “crap” we accumulate, the more cluttered our minds become, because we have to figure out how to pay for the crap we collect, then we have to worry about it getting damaged or broken, and finally we have to orgnaize and store the clutter.

Typically the more money we make, the more we spend, often resulting in an endless cycle of debt, despair or depression.  Sometimes we buy or collect excessively to fill “the hole in our sole”, trying to make ourselves feel better, but what often happens is that we find ourselves feeling more unhappy and surrounded by a pile of stuff which causes more stress.

I often help people identify reasons why they accumulate things and help them learn how to release both the material and mental clutter in their minds, creating space for a balanced, healtheir life.

If you find yourself struggling with to much mental clutter (anxiety), or find your life feeling out of control or out of balance, please contact me.  Together we can clear the path to a clearer mind, peaceful home and tranquil life.

Taking a New Path

When is it time to step off of your old path and onto a new one?  Do you recognize the signs?  Usually it begins with an internal restlessness that something needs to change.  You no longer feel fulfilled with your career, your relationship has become lifeless and mundane, and you find yourself thinking of greener pastures.

Change can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be difficult if you listen to your own inner voice.  Sometimes it’s helpful to have a professional guide to help you find clarity and direction to begin a new path, and sometimes we need help saying goodbye to the old path although it has served us in the the past, the pathway has become unbearable to walk on.

In life, we often take  many pathways or trails, but sometimes the old worn out path can lead us to new wonderful trails that are full of beginnings and new opportunities.  If you currently find yourself struggling on your path and want help, support or guidance to your next step, please contact me.  Together we can explore the possibilities!

The Journey Within

For those of us who love to travel, the world is full of mystery and intrigue.  By exploring and discovering new and foreign lands, we also discover hidden or lost parts of ourselves.

Have you journeyed within lately?  The biggest journey we will ever take in this world, is to travel within and to authentically find out who we are.  This journey will take us on many paths, both locally and abroad, and it will include numerous people, some will help make our journey lighter and happier, and others will make your journey more difficult.

This journey is varied and individual, one for the authentic soul traveler, one that cannot always be shared, but its our journey to take.

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

Your Life is a Scared Journey

 “Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”   Caroline Adams