Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Last night I watched the Netflix Documentary “Won’t you be my Neighbor”. Chronicling the life of Fred Rogers, more commonly known as Mister Rogers. I watched the show as a young child but little did I know that he had been on the air since the late 60’s. I was mesmerized by the movie and the message of the story as it triggered all sorts of emotions and memories in me. Towards the end I found myself sobbing with overwhelming passion and here’s why.

My Mission

A couple months ago as I was completing my final essay for my Wellness Coaching Certification and I felt the same overwhelming passionate emotion inside as I did last night watching the documentary. The passion related to the mission I saw for myself that was simple and very clear. My actions from that moment on had to be directed at ensuring that I did my part in this world to ensure that no one ever has to feel like they are not good enough, like they are less than others, like they don’t belong, and like they don’t deserve to be loved. Mister Rogers had a similar mission in his life directed mainly at children, which makes the most sense because that’s where the majority of the molding happens. The influence of life’s “teachers” determining what kind of thoughts we have about ourselves, which then determines what kind of beliefs we hold about our worth and our potential, which then determines the actions we take in our life and how we treat ourselves and others, which ultimately determines our destiny. Children truly are the way to changing the future of this world.

Deceiving Appearances

If someone I didn’t know stumbled across my blog they might think I had a negative upbringing. If I had that would definitely offer some understanding for the overwhelming feelings of worthlessness that I grew up feeling, except I didn’t. I had two extremely loving parents, they did everything for me and my siblings. Their lives literally revolved around making sure we had the life of opportunity. We played and participating in every extracurricular activity as my mom shuttled around 3 kids to different venues day after day and my dad worked tirelessly to build his business and provide for us all. I never went without and know my parents had and still have the fierce love for their kids that I can recognize now as I have the same for my boys. So why, under these glowing circumstances, did I still grow up feeling the way I did? The shame about myself, undervaluing my worth, fearing judgement, and allowing others to treat me poorly?

Here’s what I know

The influence is far more reaching than just our parents. It includes every other human being that we have contact with including our peers, teachers, coaches, our bosses, coworkers, our intimate relationships, our casual relationships, as well as the media. It all influences us. We are continually creating stories about ourselves in our minds, all day every day, and most of them are negative and completely untrue. Every situation and encounter we have throughout our day involves hundreds of thoughts that create a story and a belief about it. If we hold on to this creation in our mind and never ask questions to identify and clarify the true story, then that belief becomes a part of the foundation of our minds functioning. The more times situations occur that affirm that belief then the deeper and more true it seems (although it is most often profoundly false). Our mind then helps us to create more situations and encounters in our life that will follow this same false story and further perpetuate this negative process.

The Influence Creates Your Reality

By the time I was 16 I had encountered so many relationships and situations that had affirmed the false story in my mind that I was worthless, no one likes me, no one wanted to be my friend, and I’d always be alone that my entire reality reflected this belief. It was the foundation for me entering and staying in an abusive relationship which compounded those beliefs to such a degree that there was not a shred of truth left about the true me in my mind. My mind was running my life, the true me was buried beneath, my heart was trapped and unable to communicate, and I sunk into what we widely now call depression, however how I see it now was a false sense of self, and it’s a condition that I see many people suffering with.


The science of neuroplasticity is phenomenal and has discovered that our brain can create NEW pathways. Meaning all those negative pathways that we created throughout our whole life because of everything mentioned above, can be replaced with NEW positive beliefs about ourselves through the same methods that we created the negative ones. The catch is that the negative beliefs were formed automatically, but our positive ones we are going to have to consciously create, meaning it will take effort, dedication, consistency and support.

Media’s Negative Influence

Before I tell you in a nut shell some simple steps to start shifting your mindset I want to come back to something from the Mister Rogers documentary that made me really pause and feel a heavy weight of guilt and fear for my own children. Mister Rogers was angry. He was angry because as media developed and television for children became more mainstream, the content of the shows was destructive. The little developing and highly impressionable minds of children were watching hours of television that was geared towards consumerism, make believe, violence, and all sorts of other negative messaging that created thoughts and feelings of less than, fear, anger, aggression, sadness, and loneliness. Sound familiar? Well it should, because it’s exactly the messaging that still exists on tv for children and adults and has become exponentially worse. And if you think you’re immune to it, sorry to break it to you, you’re not. And neither are our children. The more times we hear a message whether we consciously believe it or not, it becomes a thought, that when repeated becomes a belief and so on goes the vicious cycle.

It’s all Connected

When I watched this portion of the movie, it wasn’t a news flash to me, like some brand new concept that we are influenced by tv, our kids in particular, but it was a light bulb that it’s all connected. Our beliefs are a culmination of different exposures and influences that have created these negative thoughts in our minds. TV needs to be included as one of childhoods teachers because most kids watch it, but sadly the messaging is powerfully negative. Don’t get me wrong my kids are among the majority that watch tv, almost daily. It’s the only way this momma can get a moment of peace sometimes! But that overwhelming passion that is burning inside of me to protect everyone from feelings of worthlessness burns especially hot when it comes to children, in particular my own. The guilt about the negative exposure I’ve given my kids as all of this washed over me became intense, until I caught myself and remembered the mantra “focus on solutions”. So let’s head there now.

Creating a Positive Mindset

  1. Focus on Gratitude – If holocaust survivors can find gratitude and forgiveness then surely we can find some too. It can be hard to see the good when you are in the midst of a shit storm but there is always something that we can find to be grateful for. Even if it’s the air you breathe, or the sun in the sky, or the roof over your head, there is something that we can show appreciation for. The real deep practice of gratitude is when you can find appreciation for things that are seemingly not so amazing. Like the flat tire you got on your way home from work, or your grumpy coworker, or the piles of laundry waiting for you.
    • Start a gratitude journal. Every night write down 5-10 things you are grateful for. Using pen and paper is best but if you like a digital option there’s a great free app called “gratitude” where you can write your list for the day and also practice using affirmations. Teach your children about gratitude and make it a family practice.
  2. Use Affirmations – an affirmation is a positive present tense statement about yourself or a situation that is what you WANT to believe. Remember we need to change the thoughts and the words that are frequented in our mind so repeating positive statements is a road to creating new beliefs. Saying only affirmations without working with a guide to help you identify and clear the negative energy blocks will still have a positive impact, but you can profoundly accelerate this impact by first clearing the negative away. Involve your children here too. They can create and repeat affirmations just like you can.
    • Use the gratitude app or create your own and practice daily affirmations. Repeat your affirmations using a power pose for 2 minutes twice a day. Utilize a powerful grounding essential oil to help anchor the new belief.
  3. Energy Clearing Techniques – my technique of choice is Aroma Freedom. It is a powerfully effective step by step process that identifies negative thoughts, emotions, body sensations and images that create a negative memory complex. By introducing the powerful effects of aroma using high quality essential oils we dissolve the negative energy and allow for free flowing positive energy to be but in its place with affirmation and forward action.
    • Find a technique that resonates with you and schedule a session. Try Aroma Freedom click here
  4. Find Forgiveness – this doesn’t mean excusing someone’s poor behavior or treatment and doesn’t dismiss how it affected you but when you hold on to resentment and negative emotions like anger, tension, disappointment and sadness it’s like taking poison and expecting the other person to become ill. The negative energy only affects you and when you can find forgiveness it will release that weight from you and allow the positive to flow more freely.
    • Sit someplace quiet and close your eyes. Think of someone who you are holding anger, hatred, or resentment toward in your heart. Take a few deep slow breaths and allow yourself to feel those feelings and just notice them. Now realize that you can’t change the past or that person’s actions. Also realize that this person may never change the way they are. Take a few slow deep breaths as you accept this truth. Now see the person the way they are, doing what they did because of some paid, some lack, see them as a child that is hurting and lashing out at others in their own pain. People hurt others only because they are hurt themselves. Can you find and feel compassion for them? Sit quietly breathing as you feel the expansion in your heart that compassion brings. You may need to repeat this exercise a few times to release the pain in your heart but your forgiveness will grow as you feel more compassion. Again something you can guide your children through. Listen to the Finding Forgiveness Audio here.
  5. Clear out the Negative Messaging – Mister Rogers message to kids applies still today to us all. If you find the message on the tv (or nowadays on social media and other media outlets) scary or unsettling or making you feel tense and contracted then do something about it… TURN IT OFF. Stop exposing yourself to negative messages that tell you either overtly or covertly that you are not good enough and special just the way you are. Fill you social media news feel with positive pages and groups of people that create feelings or happiness, lightness, joy, love, gratitude, openness and kindness.
    • Go through your social media accounts and delete negative people, groups and pages. Be the gatekeeper in your home and set controls to the types of shows and messaging that your children are receiving through media. Set the example for your children to learn from by thinking, speaking, and practicing positivity, gratitude, and forgiveness every day.

Take Back Control

Changing our mindset and our beliefs about ourselves from the inside out is a lengthy and tedius process, one you might dismiss because of its simplicity. But I urge you, as something who feels so wholeheartedly passionate about bringing self-love into my own and other’s lives just like Mister Rogers did, please try these simple tips. Just trust and take my word for it and try it on for 30 days and notice the shift you will feel. We are all amazing beings capable of the most incredible things living with a limitless potential in this world. Don’t let another day pass you by that limits you because of self-doubt, fear, and negative feelings. You are in the driver’s seat of your life and are the only one that can change its course, it’s time to start taking back control!

Letting go sounds lovely doesn’t it?

I mean don’t we all have some baggage that we would love to just ditch from our lives.  Carrying around a heavy load all day every day is exhausting, but how do we really let it go?

The word SURRENDER has been coming up a lot for me lately.  Not in the sense of waving the white flag “I surrender” or “I give up”, but rather in a sense of “I release control”.

I’ve written before about my incessant need to control and predict the future to make sure I have everything all lined up for success, and how this need is so I can protect myself from failure and being seen as a failure. But I’ve also written about the insane amount of stress that this creates for our lives.  It’s overwhelming, exhausting, and well… impossible.

No matter what personal growth topic I’m writing about or discussing the first step always begins with awareness.  When we are consciously aware of what we are doing and patterns we have created then we can start to focus on ways to change it.  Being aware of the behaviors that are self destructive allows us to take the closer look at why we are continuing to put ourselves through them.  And beneath all the self destructive habits and patterns that so many of us engage in, is a deep rooted fear, which most often stems from a belief that we are not good enough.

Let’s look at that from a bottom up approach instead.

Negative Limiting Beliefs

At some point in our lives we have had experiences that have created thoughts in our mind of us not being good enough.  Whether it’s we’re not pretty enough, smart enough, thin enough, successful enough, productive enough… the list goes on but the stem is “NOT ENOUGH”. When we repeatedly think these thoughts they become engrained neural pathways in our brain and strong held beliefs in our subconscious mind.

The Mind Creates the Fear

The subconscious mind’s (SCM) job is to attract and create a reality that reflects it’s programming.  So by nature of its physiology the SCM will ensure both that your reality affirms your beliefs even when they are negative, but that you also stay safe by creating irrational fears to keep you from ever stepping outside of your safe zone where you may experience the same hurt that caused the negative thoughts that created the belief to begin with.  Whoa right!  How counterproductive of our SCM to do that to us right? That’s why we need to start questioning what our mind believes and changing the thoughts and storys we are telling ourselves because news flash… you’re mind doesn’t recognize true reality. Is your head spinning yet? This part is tough to understand because we have been taught that our mind and our brain is the most powerful, it’s where all the knowledge and information is stored and helps guide our actions and this is correct except that it’s much more complex and powerful than we give it credit for.  It wants to be in control of our life and determine our actions and keep us safe but it does so in ways that keeps us trapped in our fears and doubts and far from achieving our dreams. The simple point here is that we can’t believe everything our mind tells us, we need to start questioning and looking deeper for the truth.

Fears Control Behaviors

With our SCM running our background operations controlling our experiences that we are essentially completely unaware of we continually go about our existence displaying self destructive behaviors that will affirm our beliefs and keep us safe from unrealistic fears.  It’s a vicious loop and this performance will continue to play out over and over and over until you, the true you at your deepest core, makes the conscious choice to wake up and start changing it.

Interrupting the Pattern

When we choose to wake up to our life we can start asking questions and challenging the story that our mind has been telling us and begin to make conscious choices to disrupt this pattern.  We can reprogram our minds to create new beliefs about ourselves and overcome our fears by taking conscious action to move outside of our safe zone.  When we repeatedly do this we create new neural pathways and new behavioral patterns that allow us to create a new reality which we are all dreaming of.

Lets go back to the original topic of Control.

Negative Pattern

Belief – I am not good enough.

Fear – Others will see me as a failure and that I’m not good enough.

Behavior – Obsessive need for control.

Result? Overwhelming stress which leads to physical emotional and mental burn out which leads to emotional instability, irritability, physical illness, anxiety, and depression.

Wake up and Change the pattern

So how do we Change the Negative Pattern

  1. Awareness – becoming aware of the negative pattern is the first piece of the puzzle. We have to take that long hard look in the mirror and be honest about what we are unhappy with in our lives and what patterns have gotten us here. Start a journal to allow yourself an opportunity to shed your layers of negativity on the page without censor or judgement, just write all that you have noticed, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  2. Make the Conscious Choice to change the pattern – When negative thoughts arise in your mind and you become aware of them, make the conscious choice to say to them “no thank you, that is not true about me, the true story is… “, say this in your mind, out loud, or write it down. Make the choice to start a new story in your mind about who you are, what you’re worth, and how you feel about situations and the world.
  3. Practice Gratitude – what we appreciate, appreciates. Make it a regular routine to show gratitude for the blessings in your life.  You can share them out loud or create a gratitude journal where you list 5-10 things you are grateful for every day.  It may start with external things and objects but overtime will shift to deeper more meaningful things in your life, including things you may have thought were negative experiences.  No matter what it is have gratitude for it all.
  4. Utilize cognitive healing tools such as Aroma Freedom Technique to dissolve the negative emotional energy tied to the negative beliefs and create space for positive energy to be inputted using affirmations. Affirmations alone are very powerful to create positive energy flowing but their impact is compounded when we can use techniques to first rid us of the negative energy that has been there for the lifetime of the negative pattern.
  5. Find Support – Find a support to help you gain awareness and grow yourself and your positive mindset. Remember that you didn’t create these patterns overnight so you also won’t correct them overnight. Give yourself patience, grace, and forgiveness as your journey evolves.

Need to take action

As you work on changing your negative beliefs about yourselves you will also need to be taking action to overcome your fears and solidify the new belief.  These action steps can be seemingly small but as you begin to move in the direction of your dreams and passions the success of this action will affirm your newly planted beliefs and create a feeling of empowerment that will assist you moving forward with more action.

Back to my control example.

Using Aroma Freedom Clearing  I am able to dissolve some of the negative emotional energy tied to the belief that I’m not good enough. I use affirmations such as “I am a strong and capable woman” or “I surrender control of my situation”, and “I believe that my actions will lead me on the correct path when I follow my hearts guidance”, I have many more but those are a couple examples of how I am training my brain with a new belief.  When an opportunity arises that I begin to hear negative thoughts or have negative contracted feelings about because of my fears, I give them my conscious attention and make a conscious choice to tell myself a new story and lastly trust my intuition to take the action guided by my heart.

It’s a very simple process but it’s definitely not easy.  Especially in the beginning when you may have an overwhelming amount of negative beliefs and fears.  But with patience, persistence and commitment the process will become much easier. Your awareness will grow, your self-destruction will cease and your ability to be conscious and confidently choose your path with the trust of your inner guidance will grow exponentially moving you towards a life of passion and true happiness.

Working with a wellness coach such as myself with experience both personally and professionally with this process is undeniably one of the most productive tools you can embrace.  To have the support and guidance of a Wellness Coach will help propel you forward towards your dreams with greater ease.  If you’d like to discuss how I can guide you towards the life you desire then click here   and set up an appointment with me, it’s free and just might be exactly what you are looking for in your life.


It’s actually a trait I used to consider positive.  I mean why wouldn’t we strive for perfect every time? Why would we be okay with less than perfect? But needing to be perfect I’ve learned is very treacherous path.

First of all I still strive for greatness.  I want to do my best at all times and I want the same for my kiddos, but greatness is not the same as perfect.

I can remember from a very young age feeling driven for greatness.  I’m certain it was learned from my dad, who in my eyes as a child never did anything wrong. He was always right and always had great ideas and executed them perfectly. The part I didn’t see until I started to see it in myself was that the constant need for perfection was an unhealthy behavior.

Why is Perfectionism Unhealthy?

Because it’s unrealistic.  When a person set’s such a high performance standard for themselves all the time they will inevitably come up short at time, or in their eyes… all the time.  It’s not possible for perfection every time because visions just don’t always execute as planned. There are too many factors out of our control that there is no way for one person to ensure perfection every time.  This then leads to disappointment and feelings of failure.

Psychologists note that people with a perfectionistic personality type are very self -critical of their errors and also are extremely affected by others evaluations of them.  Perfectionists also don’t ask for help.  They don’t trust that others will be able to execute their vision to their expectations and therefore take on all the responsibility themselves. Nothing will ever be good enough for a perfectionist.  It’s crazy how true this rings and if you are or know of a person with this personality trait you’ll agree.

I can write about this trait easily because it’s me … perfectly.

Sitting here I have streams of examples flooding my mind of times where I took on too much and wouldn’t rely on others, times where criticism or evaluation from others created great stress and anxiety, but mostly the times where I beat myself up mentally and emotionally for not executing perfectly.

So What Causes a Person to Develop Perfectionism?

There’s a few noted contributing factors to perfectionism such as frequent fear of disapproval from others or feelings of insecurity and inadequacy or having a parent who exhibits perfectionistic behavior or expresses disapproval when their child doesn’t meet perfect expectations, as well as insecure attachments early in life.  Brene Brown, a writer and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, says that “perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best.  Perfection is not about healthy achievement and growth. But rather a shield used by many people to protect against the pain of blame, judgment, or shame.

Gaining Awareness

As I reflect on my life and consider where this trait originated and where it really took life for me I can put together a short understanding.  As I mentioned my dad was a perfectionist so I for sure learned some of the trait from him, but also I was a middle child.  Being a middle child creates a sense of unbelonging.  Where do you fit in? Success and achievement was highly valued and praised in our home and so I believe I developed a desire to be perfect and achieve in an effort to receive attention, and the more often I succeeded the more it imprinted on me that it was important.  I also recall that when I came up short, which honestly was very rarely, but if I did the disappointment of my parents left a significant imprint.  In turn it made me more inclined to strive for high achievement to avoid this judgment and the shame that came with it. This is not meant to blame my parents for anything, it’s simply a reflection of where I think this behavior came from. And knowing this has been helpful to identify where the behavior became unhealthy.  Because striving for greatness and doing your best can be a very healthy characteristic to have, but it’s a fine balance to maintain.

Is Perfectionism a Mental Illness

Psychologists do not state that perfectionism is a mental disorder, however in the extremes the unhealthy behavior can be a risk factor for obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, social anxiety, workaholism, self harm, substance abuse, and clinical depression as well as contribute to physical problems like chronic stress and heart disease.  Research has shown that individuals who are high on the maladaptive perfectionism scale are often anxious, depressed, and suffer from burnout over the long term.

It all makes sense really that when you have an unhealthy need to be perfect in everything that you do and the continued failure that would inevitably ensue could very well contribute to mental distress, emotional turmoil and more.

How to Overcome Perfectionism

In addition to working with a therapist or a wellness coach here are a few self-help strategies for perfectionism.

  1. Challenge “black or white” or “all or nothing” thoughts. These are the absolutes that come up.  Like I always fail at that, or I will never get that right.  Absolutes are results of negative thinking over time that then becomes are predominant story in our minds.  So next time you hear yourself saying these things stop and challenge them.
  2. Start a Journal. This is one of the top rated self-development suggestions for a reason. It allows you an opportunity to write down your negative thoughts, and reflect.  When you write uncensored you will find that you gain awareness about things you do, say, or think.  Having this awareness is the first piece of the puzzle to creating a life without the constant stress of needing to be perfect.
  3. Listen to Your Self-Talk. What kinds of things do you hear your mind telling you on a regular basis. Our thoughts become our reality so if we are continually sending ourselves negative pressured messages then that will become our outward experience.
  4. Mess up on Purpose. Find something that isn’t overly important to you and don’t give 100%, notice what happens and how you feel.  Write it down in a journal.
  5. Try a New Hobby. Something brand new to you means you’re going to have to learn and develop through making mistakes. This is a great way to challenge yourself and pay particular attention to the process rather than just the end goal.

In addition to the steps about I have found it extremely beneficial using the Aroma Freedom Technique to facilitate a simple process to reshape my beliefs and feelings about myself and my goals. If you’d like to read more about the Aroma Freedom Technique click here for my Aroma Freedom Clearing Session FAQ

Setting Realistic Expectations for Children

This is tough balance both personally and as a parent.  As you’ve read, a main contributing factor to the development of the perfectionism trait is our upbringing. So now that you’ve identified it in yourself and are taking appropriate steps to overcome your needs for perfection lets look at how we as parents can set realistic expectations for our children to prevent them from developing this need too.

Every Child is Unique and Different

When setting expectations for your child it’s not an exact science because every child is different, but luckily you the parent know your child the best. So look at the particular child’s strengths and weakness, interests and talents and base your expectations on the individual child. Charts and progress guidelines are not cut and dry and do not work for every child.  Fitting into the box that society has created is not the goal.  Every one of us including our children are unique so keep that in mind when your child brings home a test that they scored poorly on, or when the other kids are skating and your child can barely stay on his feet.  They are all different.

It’s Not About You

Don’t base your desires or expectations for your child on yourself. Of course we all want our children to shine and excel, it’s completely natural to have that dream for them. But you can’t live out your failures or missed opportunities in your children.  If you always wanted to perform on stage and you see an opening for an audition, it wouldn’t be realistic to pressure your shy reserved and quiet child to audition.  This is setting a child up for failure and this will negatively impact their self- esteem. Now if that same child is excited about the opportunity and wants to pursue it then by all means allow them. This also applies to pushing our children to do things just because everyone else is doing them.  Remember to consider their strengths and interests and allow them a say in what they pursue.

Focus on Doing Their Best

Place more emphasis on challenging themselves to do their best and less on being perfect. Children are the prime example of growth as we watch them learn to eat, walk, talk ect.  They continue to get back up and try again.  It’s important to give your children encouragement to push themselves outside of their comfort zone to achieve but within a healthy boundary of perfection not being the goal.  Many children can get trapped in the safe zone which we as parents can see as them being lazy. If you notice that your child is not moving towards a goal then it’s a great opportunity to sit with them and have a conversation about why. Teaching them that they can do more than they may think and creating short term realistic goals for them may give them the motivation to push outside of the safety zone and challenge themselves.

Perfection Isn’t The Goal

This is an ongoing learning for everyone in my household, from myself personally and how I parent and teach my children about growing in our world today. Don’t beat yourself up if your parenting hasn’t been perfect, I certainly know I’ve made my share of mistakes and will continue to, but remember that perfection is not the goal.  The goal is to do your best, to continually strive to learn and grow yourself personally and as a parent and know that the main things your child needs to know is that they are perfect exactly as they are and that you will love and support them no matter what.

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Aroma Freedom Clearing Session FAQ


  1. What is Aroma Freedom? The Aroma Freedom Technique is a step-by-step process for identifying and releasing negative thoughts, feelings and memories that interfere with reaching our goals and dreams. It is meant to be used as a way to set a person’s emotional energy flowing in a positive direction, towards growth and expansion rather than contracting in fear, doubt, and paralysis.
  2. Do I need Essential Oils? Only Young Living Essential Oils are used in the Aroma Freedom Process. If you are local to Sandra Payne Wellness you can attend in person and have the use of her supply for an additional cost of $10. If you are not local, or only wish to have a video conferenced session then the oils are available for purchase from Sandra Payne or any other Young Living distributor.
  3. What if I have allergies? We can use and recommend substitute oils if there are any allergies or sensitivities.
  4. What else will I need? A notebook and a pen is helpful to write down certain things during the process. As well tissues and water as there are times when the process can be emotionally triggering.
  5. Are you a psychologist or counsellor? No, I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified IAWP Wellness Coach and a Certified Aroma Freedom Practitioner.
  6. How many sessions do I need to attend? There is no required amount of sessions, however I like to think of each clearing like removing a layer of an onion. There are many layers to get through and the more clearings you experience the more clarity and mindset shifts you will experience. At a minimum my recommendation is a set of 3 sessions, but it is not required.
  7. How long are the sessions? At a minimum the sessions last an hour, majority last 90 minutes, and at time last up to 2 hours.
  8. How much to sessions cost? An individual coaching session with AFTis $97. A three session bundle can be purchased for $275.
  9. How do I book an Aroma Freedom Sessions? Follow this link and select a date and time that works for you. https://calendly.com/sandra-payne-wellness/wellness-coaching-session

Or contact me Contact

The Teacher Inside Us All.

It’s hard to decide where to even start with all that I want to share with you about my past weekend experience taking a Meditation “Teacher” training.  I put “teacher” in brackets with a smile on my face because when I signed up for the training I had this expectation that it would be a course on styles of meditation, scripts, and different guiding tools ect.  I’m certain that there are classes out there like that, but this was not it.  Before you think that this means I was disappointed let me stop you.  This training far exceeded any expectations that I had.  It was indeed a teacher training but not in the sense of what I and many of the other participants had thought.

I’ve had a bit of experience over the last few years with various styles of meditation and have felt the benefits first hand.  But this weekend took it to a whole other level.  This was an incredibly beautiful transition into a deeper meditation, free from the scripted words and the pretense of what a lot of people think meditation is. It transcended just the calming relaxing benefits of meditation into the true realm of self-discovery.

Meditation for me is about connection to yourself and the greater universe, freedom, exploration, understanding, clarity, expansion, and discovery. It’s about going deep and peeling back the layers that have been covering the true you and your limitless power and potential.

I’ve said the words many times about discovering yourself, building self-love and self-trust, and reclaiming your power.  It’s literally the description I use for my “Full to Fulfilled” coaching program. These words however felt disconnected because I was trying to make the understanding of them in my conscious mind without consideration of the source.  The source is me.  It the truest purest most beautiful essence of who I am.  That’s where the words originated and that’s where they make sense.

Finding the Light.

If you’re new to the spiritual realm or the meditation practice then you might be feeling a bit confused.  First of all that’s ok.  It’s a learning that will grow over time and maybe this story will help you understand.

Many years ago I was trapped in an abusive relationship.  We were together for 6 years roughly and it was awful and horrific.  The most prominent abusive behavior was the emotional trauma inflicted upon me, reducing me and covering me with negative beliefs and fears about myself and my worth.  This period of my life was like living in a prison.  I always thought that prison was the physical and external barriers that kept me chained in that life day after day, but the prison as I see it now, was the heavy layers of darkness that had built around and over my inner light, my true self, my pure essence.  It was lost, out of reach, and it felt in the external world that it would be impossible to ever feel alive again.  I wanted to take my life, to escape in the only way I thought possible.  Thankfully that light inside was stronger than I was even remotely aware of.  One cold November morning, in an almost out of body experience, I picked up the phone to call my mom to ask her to come help me get out.  She saved me that day, but the other truth is that I saved myself.  I never quite knew what gave me the strength to call her.  I thought possibly divine intervention, but I had this feeling that it was something else even more powerful.  I now know without any doubt, that the power that set me free, was me.

Feeling Lost.

3 years ago when I finally admitted a truth inside of me it created a lot of questions, and I see now as my journey unfolds, that many people have the same questions.  We look around at all of our accomplishments and wonder what it’s all for? Is this it? What’s missing?

I too searched. I thought first it was my lack of spiritual beliefs. And so I explored and found a belief that resonated with me and begun a sporadic meditation practice to try to connect with an external source. The unfulfilled feeling improved but was still lingering. Then I looked at my relationships, then my career, but no matter how many changes I made it still wasn’t enough. Something was still pulling me to find something more… but what. It was frustrating and angering and sad. Then I started to feel like maybe there was something wrong with me that I felt this way.  I felt depressed and so lost. It was an all too familiar feeling I’ve had over the course of my entire life. Until I realized that all this time the answer was staring right back at me. It wasn’t something that I needed to change or achieve. It was me.  It was the deeply covered me that was screaming and crying to be recovered.

Sitting With Sadness

I’ve done a lot of work dealing with my sadness and grief that has existed in me for as long as I can remember, but the goal has always been to make it go away. To resolve it and live my life without it.  I see now that this is not the right approach to take.  We can’t “fix” how we feel because we aren’t broken.  So much of my life I have felt that there was something wrong with me and people were consistently trying to fix me.  This is something no one should ever have to feel.  To feel broken and flawed because of a belief our mind and society’s collective mind has created. And this belief is the recipe for receiving a label in our society that further contributes to a greater level of self-hate, self-pity, worthlessness, hopelessness, and “attempted” destruction of our true authentic selves. I’ve been there, for so many years I lived this belief and it buried who I was.  But by being honest with myself and curiously asking the questions instead of hiding in my minds creation of doubt and fear I’ve found many answers.

This past weekend if I had to guess, I probably spent at least 10 of the 22 hours there in meditation. Every time I found the light in me it brought profound sadness with it.  My light will never extinguish, it’s forever, as is yours, but it’s gets hidden and buried and can feel lost forever.  I decided through meditation to attempt a different approach and have a conversation with my sadness to find out what it wants from me (my true me, not my mind).  Here’s how that conversation went.

After singing mantra for what seemed like a long time with tears streaming down my face we reached the quiet meditative time, and so deep inside of me I asked the question… Sadness, what do you need from me? The answers came clear. Sadness responded, I don’t want to be hidden anymore, I want you to feel me and welcome me, I want to belong with you and have a voice, I don’t want to feel shame and be tucked away, I am crying to be set free.  After a long pause, amidst tears and a heavy sensation I responded. I am so sorry that you have been burdened this way, and I want you to know that I too feel the same.  I also have been hidden and lost for a long time. With a warm softening of the weight I asked, what do you say we both link arms and be free together? I am taking back control of this kingdom and everyone will have a voice, no one will be shadowed any more.  Sadness smiled and said, we should probably take anger with us too. As we moved freely towards the surface together I felt happiness, excitement and peace join us.

With Answers Come Questions.

It was a profound experience and gave me so many answers, and so many more questions. The lightness of knowing is what we are all seeking.  To relieve the burden of needing to have answers and a plan to letting go, finding security and trust in our true selves to guide our way.  The connection this entire weekends experience has had to those words I mentioned that I speak so frequently has been incredibly affirming of where I’m headed.

So, if you are out there wondering what’s missing you can stop looking, because the answer is right there shining brightly inside of you.  The process to find it is about rediscovering yourself, rebuilding your love and trust in yourself, and reclaiming the seat as the Ruler in your life. It’s all there for you. You’re asking the questions for a reason and the answer comes when you start listening.

If you’re unsure about how to get started with Meditation please reach out and allow me the honor to help guide you to get your daily practice started. It only takes 5 minutes a day to uncover your deepest truest self.

What an interesting question.

When I started reading Marci Shimoff’s book, Happy for No Reason, it felt like she was sharing bits of my story, and also bits of my dreams.  But it all starts with answering this simple, but huge question.

Are You Happy?

I feel like there will be a range of answers to this as some of you will say you’re happy sometimes, or you’re happy when…, or you’re happy if…. But the majority of you, if we’re truly honest, will answer no, or more evasively, not really.

The rates of depression these days are staggering.  It is estimated that by 2020, which I’ll remind you is right around the corner, that the amount of people struggling with depression will be second only to heart disease when it comes to the burden on our health care system.


Why are so many people so unhappy these days?

The statistics around society’s plague of unhappiness weighs heavy on my heart. As someone who has experienced the dark pit of depression and managed to find the light it is so hard to see and hear so many people who feel hopeless when it comes to their mood and who believe that medication is the only answer.


I am not discounting the medical management of depression when a person is a real or potential harm to themselves or others. Medication saves people’s lives and if you are clinically depressed you should seek medical assistance.

I also believe though, that we need to be teaching people about the options, and the research that has time and again proven that there are other solutions to managing and truly healing our depressive moods. All of these methods should be explored and compliment one another on an individualized basis.

So for now lets just leave that debate aside and focus on the important part, that when we live our lives unhappy or try to fill our happiness with external factors we are truly missing out on living a fulfilled life.

So what is being fulfilled?

Fulfilled is a feeling of happiness and satisfaction created from fully developing our abilities or character. Being fulfilled is a growth process through failures and victories and building habits that lead to joy. This kind of happiness comes from within and it’s lasting throughout all the ups and downs of life.

But I was born Unhappy.

So this is a story I told myself for a long time and then in addition to my negative life’s experiences depression took hold and swallowed me up.  Research has conceptualized that every person has a happiness set point.  Like a thermostat.  And no matter what happens to you in your life you tend to return to your happiness set point.  There is of course some situations in life that can take a longer time to recover from, such as the death of a child or spouse, chronic unemployment, or extreme poverty are among what researchers has discussed. But in the face of either positive (like winning the lottery) or negative (like developing a disability) situations the change in happiness is mostly temporary and people then return to their happiness set point.

This set point is equally influenced by our genetics and what we learn.  So to say we were born unhappy could be partly true, some people’s set point may be genetically lower, but we can choose the other 50% and raise our happiness by practicing happy habits.

50% of Our Happiness We Control

Well lets say 40%, because 10% of that control is related to our situation and sometimes that is not entirely within our grip of control.  So the focus we’re going to take is on the remaining 40%.

When we have negative thoughts, feelings, ideas, and habits we create negative neural pathways in our brain.  When we repeatedly think and feel these same things we strengthen the pathway and make the groove deeper. Think about when you first take a walk through a field of tall grass and then think of what the path looks like after you’ve walked it 20 times.  It becomes a defined trail right?

Now we used to think that our brains were fully developed in childhood and we couldn’t make any modifications to them, but now the science of neuroplasticity has proven this to be wrong.  When we change our negative thoughts, feeling, and ideas we can create new positive pathways and thereby increase our overall experience of happiness.  This is the happiness that comes from within.  It’s changing the way we see ourselves and the world and we are the only ones who can do this for ourselves.

No matter how much we try to achieve happiness through acquiring more or waiting for something to happen in our lives we will never truly find that inner peace and well-being that we are all craving.  The next hair style, or weight loss product, or even finding love, or getting a new job will not fully satisfy that craving until we start practicing happiness habits.

Three Guiding Principles of Happiness

In her book, Marci Shimoff identifies three guiding principles behind the habits of happy people.

  1. What expands you makes you feel happier. I love this because it’s something I’ve been using and practicing for a while now, except the concept I use is the “compass of joy”. When we take a moment to evaluate whether something will bring us joy or not and make our decisions based on this assessment we will always feel good about our choices.  So the next time you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself if it will make you feel free, open, joyful, and light (this is expansion) and visualize the choosing the different options to help you identify how you will feel.  If the choice makes you feel anxious, tight, agitated or heavy then this is not the option to go with. This is a beginning to trusting your intuition and learning to be guiding by your inner knowing and has been a huge shift for me.  I used to labor over every decision and then lament over it after finally making it.  After practicing the compass of joy concept I have developed a deeper trust in myself and a belief that my intuition will guide me correctly every time I need it. Just try it out and I guarantee you’ll feel what I’m talking about.
  2. The Universe is Out to Support You. This might be a difficult concept to fully accept depending on where you’re at in the spiritual belief spectrum as well if you’ve faced unimaginable trauma this can be a tough belief to adopt. So rather than try to convince you of it I would encourage you again to just try it on for a while and see if it fits.  When you’re up against a struggle or challenge, tell yourself that you’ll be ok because the universe has your back.  No matter what the outcome there is a blessing hidden inside of the experience and you believe that even if it doesn’t feel great that it is for your greater good.  Try it out and see if it changes your outlook and your mood.
  3. What You Appreciate, Appreciates. This is all about having gratitude. When we can recognize and appreciate even the smallest of things in our lives it changes our outlook on everything.  Throughout the day practice taking a moment and appreciating things around you, maybe the sun shining, or your children laughing, or your partner’s touch, or good food, clean air, or literally anything.  At the end of your day try starting a gratitude journal.  List out 5-10 things you are grateful for.  It can be small or big things it doesn’t matter, the key is to show gratitude for them.  One thing my family tries to do every time we sit down for supper is to say one thing that we are grateful for that day.  It was shocking how difficult this was in the beginning but it’s getting easier and it pulls at my heart strings big time to hear what my family comes up with every night. Lately we’ve added a second topic and that is to name one thing you love about yourself, and I thought the gratitude list was challenging, this one is 10x harder.

I’m excited to share more of this with you all as I believe it’s at the center of every one of our lives.  We’ve spent all our time checking all the boxes and lining up all of our ducks in effort to have the truly happy and fulfilling life but have found that something still is missing.  Finding true happiness and fulfillment is exactly what’s at the heart of my “Full to Fulfilled” workshop and coaching programs so be sure to check out the next one coming up! If you have further questions please comment below or send me a message.  Have a happy day!

When a Dream Dies

I have a strong belief that absolutely anything is possible and that we all live with a limitless potential to create a life that we desire. But sometimes the vision that we have does not play out exactly how we thought.

I wrote a couple weeks ago about resilience and how I had built my emotional strength over the last years. But what’s come to my attention lately is that some traumas break open wounds that have multiple layers, and even though I have built my emotional muscle there will be times when dusting myself off and getting back up again is more challenging.

Sometimes it seems that no matter how hard you work no matter what you do, you just can’t shake it and you just can’t let it go. I couldn’t understand why this particular experience had taken such a strong hold on me.

I think I equated the word grief with having lost something significant and I couldn’t see how losing a possibility, or feeling like a dream for your life was stolen, could create such emotional trauma.

But it can.

I acknowledge that writing about a situation without giving details can be frustrating for a reader but this, like many traumatic situations, involves other people, so I choose to leave out the details in an effort to sustain the positive work I have done.

The predominant feeling I experienced was anger which shifted between sadness and loneliness and then a bit of acceptance back to anger back to sadness and back to loneliness. It seemed like a vicious cycle I just couldn’t break.


The word grief had been coming up so frequently that I took a moment to think about what I had learned as a nurse about it. I recalled that it was a cycle where you moved between different emotions in a non-linear step by step process.

A quick Google search will give you Kuhbler Ross’s 5 stages of grief and loss as:

  1. Denial and isolation;
  2. Anger;
  3. Bargaining;
  4. Depression;
  5. Acceptance

It was like a huge lightbulb went off as I realized that was exactly what was going on with me. After even more reflection I realized I’d even participated in the bargaining stage by trying to come up with alternatives and different solutions to keeping my dream alive.

I’m not trying to compare the grief someone experiences when they lose someone they love to my experience but rather to paint a picture that grief can show up in the strangest places.

The Path to Acceptance

The path to acceptance in the face of this type of grief is forgiveness, gratitude, love and belief. Belief that I’ll be OK even though my dream may not look the way I envisioned. Forgiveness and love for everyone involved including myself. And Gratitude for my life and my family and everything that I have. The anger, the shame, the sadness, the depression and the loneliness can’t survive in the face of forgiveness, gratitude and love.

Steps to Take

With these answers in mind I am making a promise to myself to take the steps to truly find forgiveness, let go of my negative emotions, and to practice gratitude.

So I ask of you. Is grief showing up in your life? Is there an anger or another emotion you are struggling to let go of?

If so I encourage you to try these steps along with me and see what happens.

  1. First of all I’ve learned forgiveness isn’t excusing someone who has wronged you or even forgetting about the incident. The relationship may need some work to move forward after forgiveness or you may choose to not have that person in your life. Either way it’s not about the other person. Forgiveness is for YOU to remove the heavy negative emotional burden from your life after you have fully identified and felt the hurt and expressed and released your feelings and this requires a willingness to process and let go of trauma. When we don’t release our negative emotions they remain trapped and can begin to express themselves as physical, mental and emotional ailments. So give yourself permission to feel everything you are feeling.
  2. Write a letter in your journal and acknowledge fully the situation. Be honest about your feelings and how the situation has impacted you and your life. Accept your involvement, your mistakes, any hurt you have inflicted as well as your growth from the experience. Allow yourself to be unedited and fully expressed in this letter. Remembering no one has to see this except you.
  3. Reread the journal letter. Try to step outside of the memory and see a new perspective of the situation, yourself, and the others involved. Try to find compassion and understanding.
  4. Practice stress management during moments of anger and resentment. An aroma reset can be a helpful technique.
  5. Don’t go to sleep angry. Every night make a gratitude for at least 10 things you are grateful for. Reframing your life in a positive view is the best way to fall asleep and feel more joyful the next day.
  6. Look for other ways to build positivity and joy into your life rather than persistently focusing on the negative. Look for love beauty and kindness and refuse to let the negative swallow you up.
  7. Decide if the relationship needs some work.  This may mean you have to follow Brene Browns advice and Rumble through some vulnerability.  Meaning you may have to show up and lean into an uncomfortable unpleasant situation.  To truly let go may mean you need to find closure on the situation or the relationship itself. Look for mediation or a relationship counselor if you feel the situation requires it.
  8. Practice emotional release techniques.  We can stuff our anger, sadness and fears deep down for a long time but eventually the energy they hold will start to manifest in different ways.  There are a variety of energy therapies or emotional release modalities available to you.  My choice is Aroma Freedom Technique.  To learn more or to schedule your own session click here. Schedule
  9. Lastly find forgiveness for yourself.  Accept that as a human you will make mistakes.  Owning our errors and holding yourself accountable is important and then offering yourself grace, love and forgiveness is essential to denying the hold the negative emotions may have over you.
  10. Reach out for support.  You’re never alone in this world and there a whole list of people who are here to support you and guide you through.  Isolating yourself and feeling alone is a symptom.  Getting support is a big part of the solution.

The Disease to Please

I always liked the idea of setting boundaries, it sounded very strong, like I was building a fortress protecting myself. But actually determining what boundaries I wanted and setting them was not something I ever did.  Maybe it was too powerful for me to accept as a possibility, as something that I didn’t feel I had the capability of creating or the confidence to enforce. Or maybe it was the guilt that came with saying no, and the fear that standing up for myself would end up losing me relationships.

I’ve gotten much better at this over the last years.  After realizing that “setting boundaries” isn’t really such a formal activity, rather more of a guideline that I could create to identify my limits and how I will respond when someone passes those limits.  It turns out it’s not that difficult to actually set them, but it is much more difficult to enforce.

Why Set Boundaries?

To set boundaries is important to ensure that relationships are mutually respectful, supportive and caring. They set the limits for acceptable behavior and help others to know where you stand. Unknown or weak boundaries leave you vulnerable and likely to be taken for granted or hurt by others.  But the benefits of boundaries are huge for our confidence, our self-esteem, and our emotional strength and energy.

Why We Avoid Them

When I reflect back on many times in my life where I was hurt by someone I can see that I had really weak boundaries.  I was willing to let people walk all over me.  This came down to really how little I valued myself.  When you don’t feel worthy of respect, you won’t demand it.  It’s not that I, or anyone, is born untrusting, but certain life experiences can create a lack of trust and low self-esteem and make us more susceptible to boundary violations.

Fear and Guilt are by far the main reasons that many have a hard time standing up for ourselves, or saying no to things we don’t want to do and tolerating rude or mean behavior of others towards us.  Like a lot of things it’s a vicious cycle, the more we avoid setting boundaries, the more we’re taken advantage of, this violation lowers our self-esteem further, and so the weaker our boundaries become and so on.

So How Exactly Do You Set Boundaries?

  1. The first step is ALWAYS awareness. Set up a time where you can write out a promise statement to yourself that will allow you to become aware of what your limits are. Include in your promise what your boundaries are protecting and how you will respond if they are breeched. This is mine. “I promise to communicate my boundaries in professional and personal relationships. I promise to always stand up for my beliefs and my values if I feel they are being compromised. I promise to never let another person make me feel less than or unworthy, and if they do I promise that I will stand in my power and demand the respect I deserve. I promise to speak my truth and ask for what I need and to never compromise my emotions or my desires because of fear and guilt. I promise to value my body and my emotions, as well as my time and my energy. I promise to take action verbally through assertive communication to enforce my boundaries when I feel they are being violated and if the disrespect continues I promise to be firm and seek outside support.” Print it out and post it and remind yourself regularly.
  2. Practice Setting Boundaries. There are multiple types of boundaries you will want to look at setting as well as many different relationships to set them in. The types include, personal space, emotional interactions, intellectual, ethical, touch and sex, material or possessions, time, and energy investment.  Boundaries also don’t have to be rigid, then can be flexible as long as they stay within your promise to yourself and don’t leave you feeling any negative emotional energy. You may have more flexible boundaries for your loved ones and more rigid boundaries for professional situations.  Always be open to evaluate and adjust but learn to trust your intuition or your gut reactions to situations and relationships and never veer from your promise to yourself.
  3. Be Assertive, not aggressive when it comes to expressing boundaries. If you don’t feel confident in the moment to speak up, then take the time to process what you’re experiencing. When confronting someone who has violated your promise to yourself you want to ensure you are speaking from a place of honesty and clarity and avoid blaming, name calling and accusations. For example “you are a jerk for saying my cooking sucks”. Try instead using an “I feel” statement such as, “I feel hurt when you criticize my cooking when I’ve tried my best to do a good job”. Then follow this up with what your boundary is. “What I need is kindness and appreciation for my effort”. No blame or shame, just words expressing how you feel and how you are impacted and what your boundaries are.
  4. Learn to Say NO. This is hard. So often we just say yes to everything because we feel fear and guilt of hurting or disappointing others, all at the expense of ourselves.  So we are left with an excessively busy lifestyle that leaves us exhausted and burnt out and resenting everyone and everything. We don’t need to justify our reasons for saying no we just need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and believe in the importance of saying no for our own needs
  5. Get Support. If you are having difficulty setting and enforcing your boundaries get support from someone skilled to help you effectively determine your personal limits and communicate them. Never feel alone in any of life’s paths, there is support out there, you just have to accept it.

You ever wonder why some people seem to achieve their goals effortlessly, while others struggle? Or maybe you’re someone that gets really close to the finish line but always seems to come up short and fall back into previous patterns.  The changes you continually struggle to make just don’t seem to be lasting. Read more

Isn’t is funny how easy it is to say to someone “oh just let it go” or “shake it off” but when you’re on the receiving end of those suggestions it can leave you frustrated right? It’s much easier said than done.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just shake something off and move on with our day? Wouldn’t it be so much less stressful if we could just let go of the feelings, emotions and thoughts that can overtake our day, week, month, even our lives? Read more