Ya’ll can probably tell by this point I have this thing about the concept of taking a deep breath, and just breathing in and out.  Again, and again.  Slowly.  Calming the pace of life.

Breathe baby...
That meaty ol’ paw is excactly why I massage for a living!

When I saw this, I just went ahhhhhh…. so me!!!  And wanted to share it!


I have no idea why the simple concept of breathing in deeply and breathing out completely makes my heart calm and happy… but I’m so glad something simple like that makes me feel more whole.

Happy Wednesday!



I’ve been taking advantage of this really great program offered by the Roanoke Valley Library system.  They now have free memberships (for library patrons) to Universal Class.  Universal Class gives you the opportunity to learn and explore on different topics.  I signed up for five classes – maxed it out – of course!

I am working through the Wellness Coaching one right now, and was working on the lesson regarding Mental Wellness, and came across information about affirmations.

The general gist of them (in the context of information from this class) is that they are statements written, said internally and/or externally, in the present tense to help work through situations.

For example…

I am still struggling with placing adequate importance on working out.  It’s something that disappoints me and frustrates me daily.  In order to overcome that hurdle I could use affirmations.  Some affirmations I could use are listed below.

It is my choice as to how strong I am.  I am the creator of my health.

Exercise is a big component of health.  I chose to be healthy.


Some of the suggestions from the lesson were:

Frustration:           Even though I dislike frustration, I can handle it.

To get pleasant results, I often have to do unpleasant things.

Achievement:      What I become is my choice, for only I am the creator of my destiny.

I’m no longer afraid to use the power within me to achieve my goals.

Love:                     I draw love and romance into my life and I accept it now.

Love is all around me. I feel everywhere. Joy fills my entire world.


I’m committing to trying affirmations for the next month and see if I find it changes my perception.  It seems like it’s similar to the cognitive based therapy process of re-framing your thoughts.

Does anyone currently utilize affirmations?  Do they help?




The Joy of No

Every time I take any kind of personality assessment, I always get told I’m a people pleaser.  The type that puts everyone else first.  The girl at a party that spends the whole time making sure everyone else has fun, even if she’s not the host.  The person who says yes to last-minute changes/requests, even when it impacts her plans.

That’s the same type girl who resents feeling used.  Taken advantages of.  Taken for granted.

That’s the same person that doesn’t ever seem to hear “Thank you” or “I’m sorry for yelling at you when I was stressed out at everyone else” or “I really appreciate you”.

I really really am awful with personal boundaries, both creating and enforcing them.

When asked a question, or to do something for someone else if it’s going to make me feel bad that I said yes, I’m trying to say no.

Often I say yes to accommodating others, instantly.  Instead , I’m making myself think about it and really reflect upon if I want to… or if I just want to say yes to make someone else happy.

The reason this is such a problem for me is that I take it personally that people abuse me in this way… EVEN THOUGH I AM THE ONE LETTING IT CONTINUE.

My feelings are hurt when a neighbor asks me to help out and they know I have guests coming.  I say well I have guests coming…  And I get the response “I only need this and this and that”… I end up saying yes, but I’m so angry at them for thinking it’s okay to add to a plate that is already filled.

My feelings are hurt when I am going out of my way to be extra helpful at an event, and when the host cracks under the pressure and I’m there, being Helpful Hannah, I get yelled at… I just want to scream “I didn’t have to help you, I didn’t have to make this day extra special, no one else is doing this for you!!”.

I’m practicing the process of thinking about each action I do for everyone else and thinking about what my real motives are and how I will feel if they are not appreciated.

I’m practicing thinking if saying yes will overwhelm me, and what the downside of saying no could be.

I tend to be an extremist…

If I don’t go the extra mile no one will like me.  If I don’t always say yes, they will say no when I really need their help.

If someone doesn’t like me for not going the extra mile every.single.time, do I really want/need them in my life? NO.

If they aren’t willing to help because I had to honor my own needs once or twice, am I really at a loss if they don’t help me anymore?  NO.

I’m embracing the joy of saying no.  Of owning my time, my space and my life.  One simple No at a time.

Dominate 30

I’m not certain how best to start in, so I’ll dive in and see where it takes me…

Since we got home from our last Vermont vacation, I went from being somewhat depressed to being pretty full on debilitated by it.  I always assumed my lows in life was normal for people who complained of depression.  I am here to say that is not the case, not the case at all.  If you’re depressed like I have been since July… and honestly if you look at it more critically, I have been depressed growing more so steadily for a couple of years now, it’s a whole different ballgame.  It truly wiped me out.  I had nothing to give, day in and day out.  I never recovered day-to-day.  Not emotionally, not mentally and not physically.  I hid in books all day.  I would waste time with TV.  I didn’t have it in me to take care of myself and barely took care of our home.  Hubs was the same loving, kind man he always is, but I know he was frustrated.  After a very.. Let’s call it… tense… phone call with my mother, I decided it was time to ask for help in a new way.  About a month ago I started a low-level of an antidepressant.  It’s the hardest decision because it makes me feel weak, and like something is broken in me that I couldn’t fix it with other means.  I know I am not weak, and I know I really did all I could; but sometimes emotions and logic go to war.

And then my 30th birthday happened.

At the end of September, beginning of October I started writing in my journals again, both a stream of consciousness one, a gratitude/positivity one.  The morning of my birthday (October 20th) I sat down with my journal.  I had gotten up earlier than Hubs with that intent.

I realized this entire past year has been a haze of disappointment and of me being disconnected from the world.  I have been so disconnected from my life that it’s almost like this past year didn’t happen.  I haven’t achieved a lot of the goals I had for myself.  I haven’t stayed focused, or to be honest, cared about them for most of the year.  I think 29 will stay in my mind as the year I can’t believe really happened because I wasn’t really present for it.  It amazes me that while I have been so checked out, I have still built my business and had time to make some great new friendships this past year.  I guess that happened while I wasn’t paying attention!

And as I sat there on the morning of my 30th birthday, I realized, I didn’t want to say that ever again.  I don’t want to wish any more time away.  I can not tell you how happy it made me to realize I actually cared about my future again.

I’ve been making up for lost time too!

We had a party (this was planned before I became determined to take my life back) and had so many many lovely people in our home.  It was wonderful and I can’t thank everyone from our wine group enough!

We went to the Roanoke Go Outside! Festival Sunday.  If you didn’t manage to make it there this year, please please please go next year!  It’s free to attend, most of the stuff inside is free… And they had dock diving dogs.  I mean, what’s better than that?!?  I think next year, even if we’re not still in Virginia, I’d like to come back and camp out (also fo free…  You may assume anytime that I say the words for free, I am thinking of this clip, thank you)… I kept telling Hubs I felt happier than I had in years.
Roanoke Go Outside Festival
Sunday we noticed how very nice and lean all the dogs there were… Which was a striking to Theron. He’s down 6 lbs, but still has 15 to go.  I volunteered to take him walking more.  So Monday we took a morning walk, I had a client, we took a lunch time walk (on the Greenway – Hubs’ suggestion!) and an evening walk on the Greenway (all three of us!) before Hubs went to basketball.

Tuesday I took my first ever solo hike… Well, Handsome Dog was with me, but I think it still counts!  That hike marked a few other firsts…  Like the first time I have been all alone peeing in the woods.  And the first time I’ve been able to hike in the gorgeous Virginia fall.  And fastest time I’ve had ascending and descending Mill Mountain!  Theron’s quite the little pace setter.

Mill Mountain Hike www.findingtimetobreathe.wordpress.com

I even walked on the Greenway with Hubs and the adventure dog last night!  I am so glad Hubs reminded me of the Greenway.  It’s such a nice change of pace from the neighborhood.

I just can’t tell you how amazing it feels to have rejoined the life of the living.  To actually have it in me to live my life, instead of walking around like a shell of a human struggling with a dark time of the soul.  I haven’t posted anything about feeling on the other side of my sadness because I have spent each day the past month or so waiting for this alive feeling to drop out from under me, and to be replaced with that miserable, lonely, detached feeling again.

Instead of being sad to be 30, I am so ready to take on this year with all the vigor I can muster!!  Here’s to being 30!!!  Bring on the best year yet!!!!  I’m ready to dominate it!