Boulders or pebbles?

I woke up this morning with this beautiful analogy in my thoughts. I’m a mountain girl. I grew up around Missoula, MT and absolutely love the area. One of my favorite things was to walk in the streams (or brooks/creeks) and look at the pretty rocks. I learned pretty quickly though that the beautiful rocks in the water changed drastically once dry and to just leave them where they were. Plus, my mom didn’t much appreciate me having piles of rocks in my room.

Today it came to me that our lives are like a stream. Everything we experience is like the bed of the stream. The boulders in the middle are the big events in our lives. They are obvious and are usually sticking out of the water. They don’t really alter the direction of the stream and if they aren’t too big, then the water can actually run over them and keep going. Some are much too large for that and the water is divided and forced to go around the barrier, sometimes causing us to get stuck at it and sometimes just going around it.

The rest of the natural path under quick flowing water is made of rocks, pebbles, sand and the natural dirt of the area. The water continues to rush over billions of pebbles unhindered. That’s our life! All of our experiences are either various sized pebbles that sit under the surface, unseen, yet still guiding our direction or large, obvious boulders disrupting the smooth surface of our lives. The pebbles build up over time and make the most change in the course of the water. Layer after layer can be added and, from the outside, the course of the water appears the same. Slowly the direction of the  stream can be changed by adding layers pebbles. The water will continue to trickle over the pebbles and easily glide over the small rocks. Eventually, if you add enough, even the boulder is covered and hidden by the water. Have you ever walked through a beautiful, crystal clear stream? You can see everything through the water, except where you have stepped or disturbed the creekbed. The once still bottom quickly muddies the water and makes it impossible to see anything. It takes a few seconds or so for the rushing water to clear the area again.

When I experienced AFT, I went into it totally aware of the boulders in my life. I’ve got them all mapped out. Some are so impactful they actually changed the course that I was going. Those I’m aware of and I learned from. Not all of them are bad either! Some are huge, life changing positive things. Some are serious God moments that made me aware of something and I changed in an instant. Some are big, ugly events that sit huge and forlorn in the middle of my way.

So, when I sat down for my first AFT, I thought I was well prepared. I know the things holding me back. I’m super self aware and always reading and learning and trying to move forward. What AFT did for me was unmuddy the water where I’d been walking so I could see the many pebbles under the surface. That first session, it wasn’t the boulders in my life that came forward. It was a tiny pile of pebbles cast into my stream by my stepmother. It was echoes of being told I wasn’t important, I wasn’t attractive and I … well I just wasn’t. Now, most of those things she didn’t say outright. She said things like, You know, you aren’t nearly as smart as you think you are or If you’d just lose weight you would almost be pretty.  I don’t know why she insisted to me that I wasn’t smart or pretty. I don’t know why she found me to be such a threat. I’ll never know why she talked to me that way as she’s gone now, but now it really doesn’t matter.

Until that moment in that AFT session,  I’d buried those memories. I dismissed them as unimportant. I haven’t even seen her in 30+ years. What she said to me didn’t matter. I had boulders in my life that said I was smart and I did matter. Those pebbles were still there though. So many of them hiding there. The AFT session brought them forward and I was able to deal with them and actually let them go for the first time. Decades after having dumptrucks of them poured into my stream, I finally saw them for what they really were. It was like holding dry, ugly rocks under crystal clear water and seeing them for the first time. It was so impactful for me! I hadn’t realized how many times over the years those negative pebbles were being handed to me! They did alter the direction I wanted to go, it was slow and over time and almost imperceptible, but it was there. They were hiding in the shadows of the boulders and in the muddied waters.

Really, it was like AFT just unmuddied the waters and let me see what was really sitting there. Normally, whenever I got to a well known boulder, I would just see the boulder and move around it. I was very aware of it and knew it to be a barrier for me. Those millions of tiny pebbles though, I never noticed them. It wasn’t just my stepmother, there were a few others that fed to the pile as well. They left my life almost as quickly as they entered it, so I never gave any thought to any of them. In that session I recognized the issue, acknowledged it, understood how it was stopping me and moved on from it. Thus, the word FREEDOM in Aroma Freedom Technique!

The water is beautiful and clear once again. I recognize what was said wasn’t really anything against me personally. It was her own hurts, her own issues and her need for … I don’t know what, but I released it and acknowledged that I am enough.

I want that for you! To look into the water and see it clear up is such an amazing experience. Changing the course of my future by acknowledging my past and letting it go… priceless.

To learn more about the Aroma Freedom Technique, you can visit
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Is it really ANGER or something else?

After months of helping people move past barriers they didn’t even know were there, a surprising finding has occured. Sessions begin wherever the person needs and they are all over the board! Seriously, they are so varied I couldn’t even list the top five.

That’s not the surprising part. I expected that. As I was guiding someone through a session this week I had a feeling we would get to anger and then a serious shift for her. Sure enough, anger popped up and then a serious shift. That really got me to thinking. As I sit through these sessions and listen to people (which I love!), anger seems to be an umbrella emotion for other things. People feel rejected, abandoned, walked on, dismissed, and belittled. They feel unimportant and unheard. The memories that come forward almost always surprise the person and I hear “wow, I haven’t thought of that in years!” As they work through the emotions from beginning to end, it seems that anger (although often the final emotion) is actually disappointment, rejection, frustration or simply the desire to fight back.

At home I started putting my finding to the test. When someone says they’re angry,  I talk to them about it. Every time it has been some other emotion at the root. Not really angry, just tired. Not actually angry, just feeling unheard. Huh, nope, not angry; just frustrated with the situation. Amazing. I moved this out to the people around me. When someone said they were angry/mad/ticked off etc, I listened intently and asked questions. Sure enough, there it was again. Don’t get me wrong, everyone mentioned here was mad, but what they were actually feeling was a loss of control or frustration with the current situation. So then, what is anger?

According to Dictionary.com:

1. a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

So I took that definition and broke it down a little.

  • First part: A strong feeling of displeasure? The definition of anger is not being pleased? Okay.
    • Displeasure
      • 1. dissatisfaction, disapproval, or annoyance
  • Second part: ……a feeling of belligerence aroused by a wrong. 
    • Belligerence
      • 1. a warlike or aggressively hostile nature, condition, or attitude.
      • 2. an act of carrying on war; warfare.
    • A strong feeling of not being pleased and is accompanied by a strong feeling of warlike attitude. Oh my! So, what is war then? 
      • Warnoun
        • 1. a conflict carried on by force of arms….
  • So, based on all of this, anger could be defined as a strong feeling of  dissatisfaction or disapproval accompanied with a warlike or aggressive hostility because of not being pleased. Another way to look at it is: A strong desire to force someone else to do it or see it our way. Wow!! Feeling rejected, abandoned, walked on, dismissed, belittled, unimportant and unheard! 
  • The solution is then to identify what behavior would be pleasing and realeasing those things that make you feel angry.

What happens when you get mad? What do you do about it? I challenge you when you are feeling angry, stop and think about it. Okay, you probably won’t think about it at the time, but what about afterwards? Why were you mad? Were you really mad or were you frustrated at something or someone? Is it because you feel you should have control over the situation or person? Did you feel unheard or rejected? Does your opinion really matter more that someone else’s? Why isn’t that person important enough to you for their opinion to be valued as much as yours? OR, why do you feel so unheard that you must force your opinion on others?

I’ve done many sessions on people that wanted to be softer, more gentle, more accomodating, more on purpose with their loved ones. In other words, they were looking for anger management. They found it. How? They identified what was making them feel out of control. Now, did they walk away perfect. Nope! They did walk away able to start knocking down barriers that were stopping them from finding peace and enjoying the people they loved instead of trying to have control. They left knowing it was their own issue and a tool to change it.

Do you think anger is a real emotion? Or do you think it is just an umbrella word we use to group emotions together and justify our tantrums or desire to control someone else(s)?

This post is not meant as judgement. I had to walk it before I could write it. I actually learned this lesson a few years ago, but only recently was I able to actually put it into words. The first time I realized that I was actually feeling dismissed and rejected when someone didn’t see something ‘my way’  I was appalled at myself! In that moment I realized that getting mad at them didn’t make it better, didn’t change anything and meant I didn’t think they were valued. I stopped and decided to rejoice in their value, which in turn made me feel valued! They felt heard, I felt important. Warlike behavior subsided. Anger vanished. I was forever changed. Not perfect, just changed and a lot less likely to need to force being heard or understood.

I love what I do and have always been drawn to helping and encouraging others. Offering AFT session gives me an avenue to help others reach their potential and release what’s holding them back. In other words, finding more pleasure in life!

Feel free to leave me a comment or reach out to me in email, text or wherever you know how to reach me with questions, comments or what you think of this post. I can take it! 😉

Thanks for being here. I appreciate you!

Knowing Me

Do you ever get the feeling it’s just time for a change, that doing what you’ve been doing just isn’t working anymore? I’m there. I am not talking about moving or change in relationships or anything, I really enjoy:

  • Working with people
  • Writing
  • Problem solving
  • Feeling like I’ve accomplishing something
My strengths are definitely
  • Writing/Communication (I’m one of those crazy people that LOVED speech class!)
  • Teaching/Leading
  • Learning/growing
  • Brainstorming/Thinking outside the box/Being able to look ahead
  • Working alone or as a team
  • Multitasking
  • Prioritizing
  • Technology
Now, what to do with that. Sometimes, I get the overwhelming urge to write. I just have to write. I have friends that say sometimes, they just have to run. I never feel the need to run, but I understand that urging!

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year, several years really. It’s been the last year though that has been so dramatic. I’ve learned I have a genuine love and acceptance for people. All people, even the ones I don’t understand. I genuinely care for them and want the best. I’ve learned that relationships really matter. I’m not a good friend. I’ll say that up front. I moved every year my whole childhood, never attending the same school for more than two years in a row. I never learned how to attach myself to a friend. I am a very loyal friend though. If you tell me a secret, I won’t share it. If you need to talk something through, I can look at it neutrally and help you figure it out and I  won’t judge you for it. If you are my friend, I assume it’s because you want to be and you don’t have any preconceived ideas of how I should be your friend. I assume that, because I am that way. I’ve learned that is not the case. People feel let down if they are an active, seek out the friend kind of people. I don’t seek people out. I don’t think to call a friend up just to chat. In person, I can chat with you for hours. Unprompted? Not so much.

I’ve learned that although I do not need praise for doing anything. Not at work, not at church, not at home, I DO need to know I’m an important part of the team. This is very important to me. I wasn’t really aware of it until this year. Oh, I’ve known for quite some time that I was feeling very left out and unappreciated in a few areas of my life, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’m a team player. I can’t help it. I’m decisive and a leader and a problem solver. I’ts how God made me. I can see through the bull, even when I let you continue with it. I’m often aware that it’s untrue and if you mean to be lying or are just caught up in the moment. Sometimes I’ll call you out, but mostly I’ll make a mental note that you lied.

I’m very creative. I’m very analytic. I know! These are two complete opposites! I’m very extroverted and confident in front of people. I love speaking to groups of people. I do not like crowds. Sometimes, I feel shy and uncomfortable and I don’t want to be around people. Again, opposites.

I love to counsel people. I love listening to their stories, to their struggles and to their joys. I love helping others work through problems and seeing it from outside the box to help them cope and see the joy hidden in the heartache and the hope in the desperation.

I’m an oldest, youngest, middle child that moved a lot growing up but was surrounded by such a variety of personalities in my own family, that it’s easy for me to accept others for who they are. My father was married and had children with three women. I was the oldest with his second wife, making me the youngest of the children by his first wife. He went on to have more children, making me a middle child.

I was born with a strong faith. I have always known there was a God and he loved me. Not matter what, He loved me and was there for me. Bad things happened. I got mad at the people, but I never thought to get mad at God. Isn’t that odd? I know a lot of Christians and non-Christians and lot of people that have been or are currently, quite angry with God. They blame him for everything bad in their life. He should have this or should have not allowed that. He should have stopped this or given that. I don’t know they why behind what happens, I do believe with all my heart that it happened for a reason, even if the reason was choices someone (maybe not even me or you) made a very long time ago.

Family is important to me. Family history/genealogy is important to me. Peoples stories are important. Family photos are important. I’m not a great photographer, but I love being out with my camera. I love capturing moments and sharing them. I love helping people capture their stories.

My perfect job would be just that. I would help people research their family history and write their family story. Not a dry, boring autobiography, but one of love, trial, growth, joy, sadness, regret, and wisdom. I recognize the importance of this. I’m aware of it with my whole being. It is important.

Yet. I haven’t done it myself. I haven’t written my story. I don’t have all of my photos in albums. I don’t journal. Again, opposites.

My life is too chaotic. I know this. I know I need to fix it. I don’t. I need to. I feel it, like rushing water running over me. Fix it, fix it, fix it. Downsize. Too much stuff. It needs to go. Simplify. Yet, the new job I now possess, possesses me. It consumes me. It does not make me feel like an important part of the team. It drains me. I do not need accolades. I do not need awards. I do not need ceremony. I do need acknowledgement. I do need to feel appreciated. I am consumed and it leaves very little for family, friends, social life or activity.

I have everything I could need to create many beautiful scrapbooks/photo albums. I know how important it is. I feel it in every ounce of my being. It IS important. I know this. I dream it, I think it, I FEEL it. I know this to a be a truth. It is important. I don’t do it. I come down here and sit in this large room full of paper and tools and albums and photos and… I don’t do it.  I want to, so very desperately, I want to. I want to save my photos and their stories. I want to leave that rich history for my children. I want to help others to do the same. I desperately want to, with an ache that fills me until I almost can’t breathe. Sometimes, I drown in the ache of it. It overwhelms me and consumes me and leaves me feeling like a failure. Desolate. Empty.

I feel called to share my spiritual gifts, called! In a loud and persistent way. Like a strong wind at my back kind of way. I am to share what God has given me, what I have learned, what I know and what I love. I’ve been trying for years to figure out how. I give and share and show. I almost beg to be allowed to share my gifts and what God has blessed me with. I am denied. I am rejected. I am shut out. At first, I was devastated. I am called to share these things. I have strengths and skill and passion and they are fired from the Holy Spirit. Left to just me, they would wither and die, but they don’t. They are there. They are whispering: use me. I try. I offer. I almost beg. Nothing. Dismissed. Rejected.

I won’t give up. I’m not sure if that is a strength, or a weakness, but I keep going. I keep searching. I keep trying. I keep working.

It is time for change. I don’t know what it looks like. I do know that it must be. It has to be.

Conflict. It is the one constant.