• Thoughts on grief

    What is grief? I think grief feels like a deep sadness and pain which can be physical as well as emotional. It’s like experiencing a situational depression phase; nothing matters, lack of motivation and interests, and too much or too little sleeping or eating. I think most people think of grieving when someone passes away, but grief and loss happen more frequently than we may realize. The loss of the way things were, like relocating or adjusting to life after a breakup can provoke feelings of grief and loss. There are 5 stages of grief: anger, acceptance, bargaining, depression, and denial. These stages happen in any order and we can repeat stages.  We grieve things that were significant to us, meant something, or held in high regard. Grief means there was an attachment or a connection, and connection is why we exist as humans. 

    Grieving hurts and sometimes we create defenses or ways we learn to protect ourselves from the pain. For example, sometimes we end a romantic relationship prematurely, to ensure that we don’t get our hearts broken first, “I am going to hurt you before you hurt me.” Some of us do everything we can to keep all of the people in our lives, even if that means enabling hurtful behavior.  Sometimes people put up walls and create distance in relationships to guarantee emotional safety, this is effective for the most part, until it stops working. Then what?

    Substance abuse is another way we try to protect ourselves from getting injured. If we can’t feel anything, we don’t feel the agony. Anything in excess can be a way to numb the pain; video games, porn, binge watching on Netflix, or even reading books. These are examples of avoidant behaviors that can help us avoid grieving. All of these “effective” ways to dodge pain “help” for a minute, until the alcohol wares off, the shows are over, or we return to reality and still have to deal with current situations. 

    We have to feel our emotions in order to heal. We can’t keep away from creating attachments because we are a tribal species, we really do live to connect with each other. Life happens and things change, which can result in experiencing a loss and initiating grief. The bad news is grief is inevitable and the good news is grief is inevitable. Go through it to get through it and it will feel better once it’s over. Grief and loss are part of the human experience and it involves building relationships and feeling what losing those connections is like, along with learning/growing/changing. 

    I got teary-eyed while writing this post and needed to take a break and return to finish it. I have decided to leave Infinite Healing & Wellness. I have learned so much and grown in ways I didn’t realize I needed to and I am grateful for every part of it. I LOVE my team and always will. It’s time to go, so I can grow. Kelly (the founder, owner, and most importantly my friend) told me, that my wings are too big to spread under hers <3 I have been grieving and it’s not fun. I also know this grief is necessary as this is a connection that I will miss greatly. I am being brave with allowing myself to grow and courageous enough to grieve during this transition. Ugly crying in the lobby is not my finest hour and it’s also necessary to get it out. Lots of hugs and lots of tears. I encourage you to face fears, learn, and grow in ways that you didn’t think you were capable of... And I encourage you to grieve the losses and be open to the gains. 

  • Helpful links

    ORIGINALLY POSTED: Aug 15, 2016 12:44 PM

    I come across many different links and resources in my practice that I find helpful and I have listed them here for you...


    We need to exercise the noticing part of our brain. Here is a good resource on ways to be more #mindful and #meditation 101. Definitely for beginners or a good reminder to those who have a daily practice -



    This is one of my go to's. Brene Brown is a genious and here is a look at empathy. Be compassionate to yourself and others, this is a good reminder explained in a cretive way...


    I really like this Podcast, it's short and concise. I think this speaks to the idea of the mind and body connection - listen to your body!!! Your body is always trying to tell you something...


  • Headaches

    ORIGINALLY POSTED: Jul 30, 2016 10:56 AM

    I am prone to headaches on the regular. I get debilitating headaches that are painful like migraines. I feel nauseated and I keep pushing through because I can't take a nap while at work. I execute so many different coping skills to help reduce this pain in my life: guided meditation, taking breaks between sessions, exercise, massages, etc. and I STILL get frequent headaches. As a therapist, I know my body is trying to tell me something and I can't "kill the messenger" and get rid of the pain without listening to my body, but in moments of desperation, I have a few 'go-to's' that I resort to, especially at work:

    1. Tapping. This is can be an EMDR self-soothing technique. I slowly tap on alternating sides while taking deep breaths (This is something you should discuss with your EMDR therapist before trying on your own...).

    2. Essential oils. Breathe is my favorite for everything, especially headaches. I am like the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding with the Windex when it comes to breathe. (See my previous post).

    3. I take something like Motrin or Excedrin. These are at your own risk, but sometimes works for me.

    And I drink LOTS of water as I live in Arizona and often wonder if I am dehydrated.

    Okay, so back to this message my body is trying to tell me by giving me a headache... I recently went on a vacation where I realized I did not have a headache the ENTIRE time I was gone. I was reflecting on my activities; I drank water, not sure if it was enough but did not feel dehydrated... I didn't eat the healthiest, I tend to cut myself some slack while I am on vaca... and I did not exercise as much as I usually do. All of this being said, my hypothesis is my headaches are stress related. #duh. You don't have to be a doctor to tell me this "new" information. But this revelation has caused some deeper reflection which I am often guilty of, "I NEED MORE SELF-CARE." I know this, but here is the evidence in black and white.

    My mission is take more days off and DO NOTHING. I work a 6 day work week, I have for the past few years. I enjoy what I do and can't get enough of it, but my body is tired and telling me I need a break. I returned to work after my 4 day "long" vacation and did not have a headache on my first day back! This is something. I also plan to not work on those days off, I will take off of one job and work at the other - NO MORE OF THIS. A trusted colleague suggested I take a "mental health day" at least once a month. It's happening. I think this will help with any possible burnout because I want to be able to do this type of work for a very long time and do not want to tap out. I plan to post a follow up to this as I want to keep myself accountable.

    I challenge you to take better care of yourself and make more time for you.

  • Another self-care blog post

    Are you doing what you can to take care of yourself? Sometimes we get stuck in the day to day obligations and forget that we need to make ourselves the prioroty. Here are some quick ways to incorporate self-care into your daily life!

    Relaxation tips:

    1. Make sure all of your basic needs are met: food, water, exercise, sleep. Please make sure you're getting enough of each and not an excess of any. You can't relax when you're hungry, tired, thirsty, wired, etc. 
    2. Make time to relax throughout your day... Do you take a lunch at work? Can you meditate during your break? Do you start your day off by answering emails in bed? You have to make time for yourself to relax, schedule it into your day if you have to!
    3. Connect with people - we as humans are meant to interact with each other and build relationships. Do you isolate all day? Have you called a friend or met up with an old coworker lately? It's all about connection.
    4. On the other side of connecting - what about disconnecting? What happened to the days before smart phones? Unplug from screens for a little bit each day and notice how much free time you have and imagine all of the relaxation activities you could do... Embrace the quiet. Go outside. Just be for 1 minute.
    5. Allow yourself to relax. I think we get so caught up in the monotony of the day that we forget to make time for ourselves to just relax and unwind. You have permission to relax!!! 

  • Let it go

    Happy New Year!!! It’s 2020, a new year, a new decade, a new you! #newyearnewyou. It is a great time to make changes. Instead of the cliché of making a New Year’s Resolution, how about you do something that you can maintain and that will help you achieve whatever it is that you are seeking? I have decided to work on letting things go that no longer serve me: old beliefs, relationships, and unhelpful habits. 

    I often get asked how one let’s something go… I think this varies from person to person. I am listening to an audio book on letting go, I play guided meditations on releasing things, and say affirmations to help keep me grounded in what is real. I also participate in my own treatment to help me heal and let shit go. 

    I remember a guided meditation that suggested to assign balloons to things you want to let go and envision letting the balloons go. I’ve also suggested to imagine holding onto whatever it is that you want to let go and imagine releasing and making a release motion with your hand. I think what really needs to happen, is addressing whatever it is that is bothering you. Acknowledge the pain, disturbance, anger, or sadness related to the event. Sometimes identifying what is hurting is helpful in healing. Accepting the injury does not always produce a change, a different outcome, or healing. Discussing your concerns may be helpful. Talking to a friend or a confidant could also help in letting things go. Sometimes we need connection and validation about our feelings, even though that doesn’t change the situation. Connection produces oxytocin, which are the happy hormones that make you feel good and could change how you approach your situation. Of course, I would recommend therapy. I am biased, I think everyone could benefit from counseling… I am a therapist. 

    Your coping skills could help you let go of things or at the very least, shift your feelings; cardio, painting, yoga, dancing, spending time with friends or family, cooking, laughing, and daydreaming to name a few. 

    I think it comes down to a decision. You have to decide if you want to let things go and make the commitment to yourself to let go, in however you decide. Besides, what purpose does it serve you to hang on to things that are hindering you from moving forward?