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Summer Lover's Tips on Getting Through Winter

It's snowing in Ohio!

We managed to make it all the way to the New Year without any of this cold, wet stuff, and I was so thankful! I am such a Summer girl...I love the river, and doing yoga outside, and wearing bronzer 'cause I'm pale as shit.

So we got our first real snow last weekend, and I will say, it is beautiful. If you're a fellow Summer lover then you know exactly what I mean when I say that it is VERY difficult for me to enjoy Winter. If you're someone who loves Winter most of all...kudos?

I just heard yesterday that we are supposed to get another snow storm this coming weekend, and I was instantly filled with dread. I just really can't stand to be cold, and I really can't stand the extra time it takes to get to work because the roads are icy. So instantaneously I became irritated and had to check myself.

It's really easy to focus on the things we don't like and don't want, and lose our sense of gratitude and positivity that keeps our spirits feeling well. So I decided instead of pouting, I'd find all the tips and tricks I know that help keep me happy during Winter and share them with y'all!

How to Not Hate Winter (As Much):

  • Buy a really cute pair of boots.  One of my least favorite things about Winter is the bulkiness of the clothing. But cute boots are definitely a positive of cold weather. So one thing I've gotten in the habit of doing is asking for a new pair of boots every Christmas, that way I am anticipating snow so that I get to wear them!

  • Be mindful of the beauty.  Driving to work the other day I couldn't help but notice how beautiful the trees were all covered in ice. It's hard to be irritated or depressed when you're noting something so pretty to look at. 

  • Go to bed/wake up earlier.  One of the things about this season that gets me really frustrated is the lack of daylight in the evenings. I feel like I just don't have enough time to get everything done that I want to get done. So one way to get around this is by going to bed earlier so you can get up earlier. I'm typing this post at 6 am, because I just haven't had the time in the evenings! I use up all the daylight doing other things, and then I'm exhausted. Something about the Sun going down for me that just gets me totally unmotivated. 

  • Incorporate Seasonal weekly activities.  There is one thing to be said about Winter-it's a cozy season. So one of the joys of that is almost craving cozy activities that I don't care so much for in the Summer. Reading, writing, watching movies at home, hot bubble baths...these are all things that I love to do this season that I can sometimes forget about in the warm months. Winter is definitely a season for quality time. 

  • Enjoy comfort foods.  This could also fall under the seasonal section and/or the buying new boots section. I like to take full advantage of crockpot meals in the Winter, the same way I do grill meals in the Summer. Warm and toasty meals this season are such a plus.

  • Be a kid again. One thing I try to do in my adulthood all of the time is think about the things I loved as a kid, so I don't lose that part of me. I didn't like Winter as a kid either, but I did love sledding. So going outside and playing in the snow with my pup, or tubing, or whatever-are things that make the snow fun and not a nuisance. 

  • Get a HappyLite. This is a type of energy lamp that mimics natural sunlight. It's proven to put you in a better mood, boost your energy, and help you concentrate. 

  • Plan a getaway. If you plan to go on a cruise in the Winter they are typically cheaper. Also, getting a cozy cabin for the weekend with your significant other can be super romantic in general, but especially so in the cold months.

  • Get your inside house projects done. Winter is a good time to get all of the things inside your home completed. It's also fun to rearrange and redecorate your home according to the season. Seems a little more bearable when you have cute Winter decor everywhere.

  • Get Winter scented everything. Candles, body wash, car fresheners...you name it. One thing I do look forward to in the Winter is my gingerbread hand lotion!

So that's all I got! 10 ways to try and have a happier Winter.

Are you more of a warm weather or cold weather person? I feel like most people like Fall the best.

Whether Winter is your favorite or not, let me know what you enjoy about the cold weather months. Comment on this post or on my instagram picture for this post, and let me know how you like to spend your time when it's cold out.

Have a great rest of the month, and try to enjoy life...no matter the season!

Essential Steps to Manifesting the Year of Your Dreams

Happy New Year! How has 2019 been treating you so far?

I'm not a big resolution person-I'm a rebel at heart so feeling constricted with "have tos" and "musts" can be setting myself up to fail. I am very goal-oriented however, and at the end of 2018 I even began opening my mind to more spiritual ways of thinking.

As a result of this shift in perspective, I've really been learning about intention setting, moon phases, chakra alignment, meditation, astrology, and of course, manifesting.

I've spent this first week of the New Year really figuring out how to incorporate all of these aspects into my daily rituals, as a way of enhancing my short and long-term goals. I'm still trying to get a rhythm to practicing each regularly, but I have at least started on the path.

In this post I'm going to talk about the act of manifesting-and how you can utilize it as a way to create the year that you really want.

Manifesting your dream life all comes down to one simple concept: The Law of Attraction. Most people have heard of this and are aware of what it is. Others, (like myself) who have never heard of it may need to research it before trying to manifest your desires.

Essentially the idea is just what it sounds: you attract that which you spend your time and energy on. Just as the law of gravity proves over and over that if we drop something it's hitting the ground, the law of attraction proves that what we think about and talk about, we attract.

A lot of people don't believe in this concept. Some, because they think it's "magic." It's not. Others, because they are more scientific thinkers. The law of attraction still follows science, it's just we aren't dealing with an apple falling to the ground, we are dealing with thoughts and feelings. These are more difficult to measure.

I, myself, am a very rational thinker. In therapy we would refer to the idea of the law of attraction as your internal locus of control, or basically the belief that you have control over the things that occur in your life. I tell my clients all the time, there is nothing in your life that you aren't allowing and inviting to be there.

If you'd like to see more tangible proof of this law, youtube it. I'm sure just about everyone has heard of the plants that died with negative energy, and those that thrived with positive.

However you wish to believe is entirely up to you. I will say that one of the vital steps to manifesting is the belief that you can have and will have that which you want. That would mean you'd have to also believe in the law of attraction. Without this belief, you will struggle to manifest.

Not just belief in this law is important, the belief that you deserve the things that you want is equally important. If you don't think that you are deserving, these negative thoughts are going to outweigh the positive, thus converting your energy to negative. You might attract the opposite!

✨ To start your manifesting process, you first need to create a positive and quiet space of your own to practice in daily. I set up a little spot in one of our spare bedrooms, and I brought in my favorite sherpa blanket, a diffuser for my essential oils, and earplugs. I plan on bringing more into the space, but for now, that's what I have.

I know you can use crystals for meditation and enhancing the energy you are after, but I haven't got that far in what I've learned. I only have one small crystal and it's just sitting pretty on my desk at work!

Although I'm not sure how you do it, I know that Selenite is a good crystal for your meditation space. It's good for cleansing your chakras, clearing your mind, and promoting peace.

Another good one for this is Tourmaline. It protects you against negative energy, banishes negative thoughts, enhances positive thinking and creativity, and cleanses the physical and ethereal bodies.

You can also use Sage to cleanse your space, my mom grows Sage and does this habitually.

Again, I'm not entirely sure what you specifically do with the crystals, but I'm sure there are books or the handy dandy internet to assist you. I plan on learning eventually, so I'll share as I go!

✨ Next on your to-do list is just that- creating your lists. I created 3 lists for the New Year, and I recite each as part of my morning routine.

The first list is a list of my intentions-essentially what I want to manifest for myself this year.

The next list is a list of all that I already have and am grateful for. Practicing gratitude daily is an essential and possibly the most important step to manifesting. Sending out those positive and thankful vibes to the universe attracts more of that type of energy.

Your final list is a list of "wish you wells." Create a list of people in your life, and identify something you want to manifest for them as well. The key to this one is including those that you have conflict with. The first three people on your list should be people you don't really care for or get along with. And yes, every day you are trying to manifest something good for them. What you put out, you will get back. Remember that.

With these lists is where the phases of the moon come in. Each moon phase means and does something different, and the moon's interaction with the star signs all do something different as well. Although I've been really diving into this and have learned quite a lot in this area, for the sake of this post, we will keep it simple.

New Moons are perfect moons for intention setting. They are the start of a new cycle of moon phases, and are the perfect time for focusing on your hopes and dreams for the future. We had our first New Moon of the year on January 5. The list of New Moon dates for this year are: 02/04, 03/06, 04/05, 05/04, 06/03, 07/02, 07/31, 08/30, 09/28, 10/27, 11/26, 12/25.

Full Moons are your manifesting moons. The moon is fully illuminated during this time, and bringing out our deepest emotions and feelings. That's why you want these feelings to be in accordance with what you want to manifest! The Full Moon dates for this year are: 01/20, 02/19, 03/20, 04/19, 05/18, 06/17, 07/16, 08/15, 09/13, 10/13, 11/12, 12/11.

✨ A vision board is the next step in your manifestation process. Look up examples on the internet if you are unsure what a vision board looks like. I had my clients in group do this just before the New Year, and they all seemed to really enjoy the experience. We used poster board, and cut out phrases, pictures, and symbols that represented things we wanted to manifest this year. Don't forget to hang it somewhere where you can see it every day. This vision board allows you to incorporate your thoughts into something tangible that others can see as well.

✨After your vision board creation, it's time to find an object to carry with you as a reminder at all times. I use my crystal, but you can choose any object you want. Maybe an ornament or piece of jewelry. You carry this object with you as a constant reminder to anchor yourself and continue being grateful and open to the universe.

✨The next small step for manifesting is opening your life and acting as if you already have the things you desire. Pretending as though you have the confidence already, or are wealthy, or whatever it is, creates the positive mindset you need to attract what you want.

The final steps in your manifestation process are where the real magic happens.

✨Here we are...meditation. This is the one I struggle with the most. My mind is incredibly active. But meditation is where you focus all of your thoughts and intentions toward what you want. The more detail and concentration you can put into your meditation, the more likely you are to manifest that which your meditating on. Don't just visualize that Louis Vuitton bag you want, visualize yourself going to the store, purchasing it, the cashier getting it for you, handing it over, the smell, the way it feels...etc. Also, visualizing from a third person viewpoint is a better way of creating detail. What are you wearing? What does your hair look like?

✨The last and most important step to manifesting is here. Taking inspired action. It does you no good to create vision boards, read, meditate, visualize, follow the moon cycles, any of that, if you just expect handouts. Sitting and waiting for your life to be created for you is ignorant. And lazy. You still have to put in energy. If you want a new job you need to be looking. If you want to lose weight you should be practicing healthy habits. The more active you are in changing your life, the more active the universe comes in helping.

There you have it, 7 steps to help you manifest your perfect 2019. The key to all of these is consistency. If you practice these steps, or even just one of them, but only once or twice, that's not doing you a whole lot of good. Try to create this manifestation process into your daily routine, until it becomes a way of life.

Make this year the year that everything coming into your life is only because you manifested it there!

Here's to a happy, laughter-filled, magical year. I hope you manifest your greatest year yet.

The Complete Guide To Self-Care

Ah, self-care. Two of the most common words floating around in the mental health and wellness space. Such a simple concept, and yet a concept that is so often overlooked, ignored, or completely misunderstood.

This year I've been really diving into my own self-care, fine tuning the familiar ways I have of coping, and also exploring new ways of practicing looking out for myself.

Often times in my profession, and in my friendships, I will ask someone who is voicing their stress- "how is your self-care?" The two most common responses I get in return are: "I don't have time for self-care" or "what do you mean by self-care?"

With the a new year approaching, I thought this would be a great time to talk all things self-care, helping you to get familiar with the concept. That way, you can have some ideas to begin implementing at the start of 2019, to hopefully help make it the best year yet!

So let's start first with what exactly is self-care? It is defined in the dictionary as, "care for oneself." Personally, when I say self-care I always think coping skills. But really, self-care is anything that you want it to be. Any type of positive and healthy ways you have of feeling good, would be considered self-care.

Now notice that I said positive and HEALTHY. Anything that you might consider self-care but is done in excess or is against the law would not be self-care. Eating healthy is self-care. Measuring your food intake to the point of distress is not self-care. Sex can be self-care. Having sex on impulse and regretting it later, is not self-care. Catch my drift?

Okay, on to the next response I typically get. "I don't have time for self-care." The reason I get this response so often is because my friends I'm speaking with are mostly females, and the population I work with in my profession is women. And that statement mentioned above is true. As women, we wear a lot of hats. Mother, wife, sister, daughter, homemaker, cook, cleaning service, career woman, animal lover, volunteer, friend. We are designed to take care of others. It's the way our brains are wired. So we really just don't make time for ourselves.

But the truth is this- you are going to be a much better mother, sister, wife, friend...etc. when you take  care of yourself. Have you ever had those days that you got a good nights sleep, ate a healthy breakfast, had an easy day at work, and just felt good? 

If your answer is no, DM me...you might need to make some changes. But most likely, everyone has had a least one day like this. And on days like this don't you feel so much more productive? Like maybe you can spend more time playing in the floor with your kid because you have the energy to do so. Or maybe you start a load of laundry when you get home because you don't feel mentally drained or exhausted. So imagine if you could feel this way the majority of the time. Imagine what kind of role you'd play then. It all comes down to your ability to care for yourself first. Because you just can't pour from an empty cup. Fact.

Alright let's talk now about some signs that you might need to step up your self-care game.

  • Physical exhaustion. If you just feel so tired that you don't want to move and do anything that is a sign. Unless you just did a triathlon or something. Common sense, people. 
  • Emotional exhaustion. Not being able to participate actively in conversations. Crying over basically nothing. Feeling as though you've "checked out" or are on autopilot.
  • Insomnia. The inability to sleep is linked to anxiety and stress.
  • Impaired memory. Doing/saying things and not retaining the information means your brain is overloaded.
  • Physical symptoms. Heart issues, high blood pressure, etc. I get rashes when I am super stressed. Always just below my eye too. It's fantastic.
  • Change in appetite. Overeating or inability to eat, either one. Upset stomach, also.
  • Illness. Getting sick often, even just a runny nose, is your body's way of saying, "slow down. I am tired!"
  • Depression and Anxiety. Feeling as though you just don't feel good and you can't pinpoint it. Feeling low. Feeling worried excessively. Feeling on edge. 
  • Absence of positive emotions. Maybe you don't have depression or anxiety, but you just can't find the good in anything. Everything is just a plain gray. 
  • Cynicism. This kind of goes with the above mentioned. When positive people annoy you. Or when something good happens and you still wait for the other shoe to drop.
  • Lack of patience. Getting irritated with people or situations that normally you can handle just fine. 
  • Lack of resilience. This is when everything feels as though it's a crisis. Your fight or flight mode is constantly active.
  • Relationships issues. Picking fights with those close to you, pushing those you care about away.
  • Substance Abuse. If you find yourself drinking more, or using drugs, this is your brain's attempt at self-care. Just an unhealthy one.
  • Forgoing personal activities. Just opting out of your life. Not feeling "well" enough to be an active participant. 
These are a few common signs that you need some de-stress time, but everyone is different. Getting to know your body and your signs are the most important thing to maintaining self-care.

So how did I get here? You may ask. How did you get to a place where your self-care is diminished?

There are a few different elements that play a role in depleting your energy.

  • working too much
  • having a career that is emotionally draining, even if the hours aren't bad
  • lack of support from those around you. including your boss
  • lack of resources
  • lack of positives in your life
  • feeling as though you have no control over your own life
  • feeling unclear or unstable in your life
  • suffering from severe consequences when you make mistakes
  • work/life imbalance
  • type A personalities get burnt out a lot. These are your perfectionists
  • being a pessimist. It's exhausting. I speak from being one
  • having a controlling nature. again...speaking from experience 
  • poor match to your career

So what to do? We've made it this far, we understand how we got here, now how do we improve our self-care? I am going to give you a SHIT TON of different ways you can practice self-care. It is entirely up to you to take what you need, and leave the rest. 

Then, I will talk to you about how I am starting to implement self-care, and give some suggestions for newbies. Any other forms of self-care that you have and I don't mention, PLEASE leave in the comments. You can never have too many options for how to feel good. 

The way I always try to check my self-care is by thinking: mind, body, soul. I have read many different books/ articles, whatever, about self-care, that can kind of be overwhelming. I've seen material that goes over 7-9 different types of self-care, I've read books that talk about different levels of each type. That might be good for those type A personalities that I mentioned above, as they are very detail oriented. Me? I'm not type A. I'm actually very messy and disorganized and I see everything in big picture format. So for my self-care I always check mind, body, soul. If I'm covering each in some way, I'm good! That's actually how I got into blogging...I needed something more for my mind and soul...and here we are!

So I'm going to divide the self-care suggestions into those three categories. If you are someone who needs it broken down more, I'm sure you can do that or find a book that does it for you.

Self-Care Activities for Your Mind

  • setting SMART goals (if you're unsure how to do this, I wrote a post explaining it here.)
  • identifying positives in every day
  • journal
  • read
  • color
  • draw
  • write
  • check your perfectionistic tendencies 
  • check your negative thoughts
  • change your perspective 
  • practice making informed decisions
  • be assertive
  • identify your strengths
  • be flexible in your expectations
  • set boundaries
  • develop resiliency (more on this here.)
  • be self-aware
  • have optimism and hope
  • be grateful
  • take notice of what you can and cannot control
  • do something on your to-do list
  • laugh
  • leave your comfort zone
  • listen to music
  • listen to a podcast

Self-Care Activities for Your Body

  • eat healthy
  • exercise
  • spend time in nature
  • practice deep breathing
  • take a bubble bath
  • dance
  • stretch/yoga
  • drink a lot of water
  • surround yourself with comfortable clothes (I love a onesie and a cup of coffee. mmm)
  • comfort foods
  • warm drinks
  • go to bed early
  • light candles
  • have spa days
  • create a relaxing and soothing bedtime routine 
  • ask for what you need
  • explore
  • do body scans
  • get a massage
  • learn EFT tapping
  • pet animals

Self-Care Activities for Your Soul (my favorite!)

  • meditate
  • use visualization
  • practice manifesting
  • garden
  • practice mindfulness
  • limit your contact with negative people
  • admit your mistakes
  • celebrate your successes
  • travel
  • take yourself on a date
  • spend time alone
  • declutter your physical space
  • write yourself daily affirmations
  • set an intention for each day
  • have mantras that you love to refer to
  • no comparisons
  • always be searching to feel inspired
  • make it a point to see either the sunrise or sunset every. single. day. 
  • be present

Hopefully you were able to read the lists above and find some ways that you can implement some more self-care. The healthy habits post that I linked above has even more suggestions for you, and breaks down how to set goals, which applies to all self-care.

I've recently started expanding my self-care even more, and it started when I've found myself in a very stressful and disheartening chapter of my life. I don't want to get into the details, but I started struggling a couple years ago with a specific work situation, that has yet to be resolved. The good thing that has come from that, is that I have learned SO MUCH about myself, and grown SO MUCH MORE. I have learned that I am very resilient, and that my personality is the kind that will figure out how to be okay, no matter what.

So with that being said, although my self-care was pretty good, given the high stress environment I'm surrounded with every day, it's gotten that much better. I started blogging while I was trying to find an outlet, which has been amazing. I picked up reading again which I haven't done since before college. I journal almost every day now, which I haven't done since I was a kid. And obviously, I've learned how to look for the positives. You also learn who your REAL support systems are in high stress situations, which is awesome. 

One thing I have never had in my life is some type of "higher power." I'm not religious or spiritual in any way, so that's a journey I've recently been on. I started practicing yoga this year (again, something else I've gained positive in my life as a result of negatives), and it has led me down a spiritual journey. I had heard that it would, but being a realist I was just like pffft. But it really has.

Recently I've started exploring Hinduism, which has led me to learning about meditation. This led to learning about manifesting, chakras, crystals, the whole nine. So although I'm no expert at it, and actually don't even know if it's something I will relate to, it's sparked my curiosity.

From this curiosity I've been able to expand my mind and my soul, by being uncomfortable and unsure, and just exploring, which has been fun. It has also enabled me to set new goals for the upcoming year. I want to learn about manifesting and crystals and chakras. I want to learn about the phases of the moon, I want to go to different classes and ask questions and reach out in areas that I've previously laughed at.

Who knows, I may find at the end of my journey that I think it's all silly, and am uninterested, But at the very least it's sparked a curiosity and conversation for me, and that's self-care at its finest.

As an added bonus, I've created a 31 day self-care challenge for you, to start off the New Year with. I will insert the picture below, and also add it to my "templates" highlights on my instagram. Just click the picture at the end of this post to expand, and then right click to save!

If anyone reading this has any further suggestions or questions about self-care, please leave them in the comments! Also, if anyone has any good suggestions for me regarding my spiritual journey of chakras and manifesting, message me or leave a comment.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Take SELF-care!

Holiday Gift Guides

Hey guys! Happy December 1st!

I've been wanting to post a gift guide for some time now, but with my test getting closer and closer I was studying more, and have been too mentally drained to do it!

Luckily, I passed my exam this morning, and can now spend the rest of the year relaxing and shopping! 😉

I'm going to make just a general gift guide for her, and gift guide for him, instead of breaking them down into a million different guides. I'm curious to know...where is your favorite place to shop?

Mine always fluctuates, but right now I'm obsessed with APL's, and want them ALL. Leave a comment down below with any other gift suggestions or ideas!


  • APL's  --These are my favorite running shoes, I've been asking for a different pair for Christmas since I found them. Jackrabbit.com typically has good deals on sneakers, and I was able to get a pair off of there last year around this time for a really good price.

  • Makeup Gift Sets --Makeup gift sets are such a good idea because they can range anywhere from $8.00 to $148.00, depending on what you want to spend. The other good thing with makeup is that you can physically see what someone wears on their face (i.e. lipstick) to know that they would or would not wear lipstick. This gift set from Tarte is my favorite right now, because lately I've been all about skincare!

  • Skin Serum -- Speaking of skincare...I have been noticing my eyes are getting lines underneath, so I"m on the hunt to find a good skin serum. This is the one I asked for this year, so we will see how it works!

  • Wireless headphones --I really want to get back into running this coming year, so I asked for a lot fitness-related things to help with that. You can obviously find wireless headphones for much cheaper, but these are the most popular currently.

  • Apple Watch -- I think this one is on everyone's list! 

Don't forget gift cards for girls too! Gift cards are always my favorite thing to receive, as I enjoy the process of shopping! Victoria's Secret and Amazon is my favorite place to get and give gift cards!


  • My first suggestion for a guy is lessons or tickets of some sort. I bought Matt golf lessons this year, which I think is a really cool, different gift!

  • Golf shorts  --to go with the lessons! I got him this color, black, and a navy pair! 

  • Slippers -- I was actually searching for slippers for myself when I found these at Nordstrom. Matt needs these after Arrow ate his last pair!!

  • Shoes --I saw these and thought they would be good shoes for when Matt plays basketball, but I typically buy him some sort of new shoe each year. 

  • Scratch Off Map --I always try to get something totally unexpected as a gift, and I saw this and thought it was perfect. They have different variations, but you can scratch off the places you've been, which is perfect for travelers and those with a man-cave! 

That's it for me! Hope I was able to give you ideas other than the typical scarves and robes I've been seeing everywhere.

Thanks as always for reading!

Values: How Do We Find Them, How Do We Use Them, What Good Do They Do?

Good evening! Or good morning, or afternoon, or whenever you're reading this! I hope you've had a good week thus far, and have some exciting plans to celebrate the upcoming holiday!

I really should be packing, as we are leaving tomorrow to go back home to WV for the rest of the week, but I feel like writing a blog post is more my vibe currently 🙆 Yes, I will regret that decision tomorrow...

Anyway, today I wanted to write about values. I was talking to a friend earlier, and we were discussing how we connect so well because we have the same morals and values. This conversation inspired me to write, as my values have been such a huge part in learning who I am and living accordingly. Teaching values to my clients is also one of my favorite (and in my opinion), most important subjects that I teach.

So, what are our values?

Dictionary.com says they are: a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life. 

I personally would define values as the ideas that a person believes in, what they find is important to their own personal growth and wellness. Your values have a lot to do with what you were taught when you were younger, and what you grow to appreciate and emulate as an adult. 

Typically, if you grow up in a home where you are told to work hard for the things you want, being a hard worker is a value that you have as an adult. Sometimes our values can be shaped by our experiences. For example, I told a REALLY big lie once when I was a kid, one that had some serious repercussions, and once I got out of that situation and told the truth, being rigorously honest was something I vowed to do from then on out. Honesty became a value of mine. 

A lot of times in life, people can lose sight of their values. Maybe practicing religion was a value of yours, and you experienced trauma and as a result lost your faith in your religion. Maybe you've fallen prey to the disease of addiction, and can't even remember what your values used to be, nonetheless what they are now. Maybe you just never had values instilled in you, or maybe you aren't exactly sure what they are? 

I have two basic, easy exercises I like to do with my clients to help them on their journey to discovering what their values are. 

The first exercise is simply asking them, who are the most important people in your life, and what would you want them to say about you when asked? Would you want them to say you were kind? That you volunteered for charities, and took in animals, and were always positive? If so, those are things you must value. 

The second is having the client to pretend that they are writing a letter to someone they love five years from now, filling this person in on where they are, what they're doing, what their life is like. Are they traveling all over the world? Do they own their own hair salon? Do they have any kids, are they married, are they happy? If so, these are things you value. 

encourage you right now to get out your journal or a piece of paper and complete these exercises. Even if you think you know your values, you might be surprised at the ones you've left behind. 

Okay, so you've started on the path to figuring out what your values are...now how do you apply them to your life, and for what reason? 

Like I said earlier, our values are the very core of who we are, and what we believe in. What this means is, they are in charge of our thoughts, and therefore, our actions. So if we don't have a solid grasp on our values, we may find ourselves at times confused, lost, uncertain what to do. We may rely on others' values to make our life choices for us. This is where co-dependency comes in, and unhealthy relationships are born. 

If we a live a life without any values at all, we find that we become shells of people. Living life on autopilot, not even aware of the ways in which we are affecting others with our lack of knowledge. 

If you notice there are frequent times in your life where you feel completely unsure and lost, or maybe that you often make bad choices, these are typically signs that your values aren't dictating your life. If your values aren't making your life decisions for you, that typically means your emotions are, and that is never good as emotions can drive us to behaviors we aren't proud of, and aren't in control of completely. 

Alright, so we know what some of our values are, now how do we use them? In order to live a valued life, especially if you aren't already, you must begin acting as if. We can use some of my own values for example.

So a few of my biggest values are honesty, loyalty, and independence. Knowing that these are my values, I keep them in mind at all times, using them as a guide through life and through my life experiences. Because I value being an honest person, when I am trying to make a decision or am just living my life day-to-day, I will always ask myself, "what would an honest person do in this circumstance? What would an honest person say?" This leads me to my answer.

So for independence I might say, "how would someone who is independent behave in this scenario? What would someone with independence believe and think and say to themselves?" As I let these types of questions guide my actions and choices, I begin acting as if I were these things. Over time, you're no longer acting- you ARE this person. Over time you no longer have to ask yourself these questions...you already know what they would do, because you are them. 

We don't have any control over other people. You are not going to always meet people with the same values as you. There is nothing you can do about other people's values and beliefs. What we do have control over is our own values, and our own choices as a result of these values. At the end of the day, there isn't anything in your life that you aren't allowing to be there. Maybe that thing you need to dispose of is self-doubt. Maybe the value you need to adopt is confidence, and you need to start asking yourself what someone who loves themselves would say and do.

I absolutely believe that we, as people, can manifest the things we want in life. I believe if I tell myself every day that I am stupid, then every day I will make choices and actions that reflect and reinforce this belief. I believe that if every day in my mind, I pretend I am successful, and happy, and self-assured, I will eventually manifest these very things, because I am living as if I am these things already. 

Let's go back to those two exercises you did earlier. Look at those values you were able to identify and ask yourself what are you doing currently that brings you closer to those values? Write them down. Keep doing them. Then look again and ask yourself what are you doing currently that takes you further away from those values? Write them down, crumple them up, throw them away. 

I want you to ask yourself these two questions every day- what did I do/say today that led me closer to my values and goals? What did I do/say that led me further away? Act accordingly. Choose your life. Create your life. Love your life. 

And do yourself a favor and make laughter one of your values.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!