Live Fearlessly…

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May 30, 2016

As adults we believe we are the teachers of the youth of our communities when in fact I have found that there is so much to learn from them. I often sit back in awe as I watch children bravely face the world. Whether it be climbing to the top of the tall slide on the playground, approaching a group of other children playing uninvited, waving hello to a homeless man on the corner or running towards the high rushing waves of an ocean that they are visiting for the first time. “Why can’t I be like that,” I would often say to myself. No fear of the unknown, no worries about what may or may not happen…just living freely. Granted children aren’t aware of all the dangers and risks that exist in this world however it is something to admire when you don’t allow your fears to hold you back from reaching your dreams or living authentically.

Have you ever met someone who will just seemingly up and move half way across the world without giving it a second thought? Or someone who finally quit their job that they hated and had no interest in to pursue their dream? Or maybe someone who lived without a fear of being judged about their outer appearance or how they lived their life although it was deemed by many as “socially unacceptable?” I have! And I have always applauded their fearlessness. Many of us live a life of playing it safe. Dreaming…wondering…thinking about the what if’s of life. I too lived a life playing it safe. I wanted my next move to always be planned to the T; nothing could be done out of order. And then one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was tired of somewhat living an “average life.” Loving what I did for a living but finding my beliefs did not align with the mission of the companies I worked for. Everyday I would wake up…”Is this it Kim?” I would say to myself as I dragged myself from the bed after hitting the snooze button 5 times. “Is this what you are going to be doing until you retire at 67 years old?” or it will probably be 90 by the time I retire; let’s be real. Day after day would go by and I began to live for the weekends. The weekends that seemed to be 2 hours long and then it was time for what seemed like a 1000 hour work week.

I started to look at all those people I applauded who I identified as brave and fearless…my toddler son being one of them. I decided to reach out to them to ask how they did it? What were they thinking? Did they have any regrets? Some told me they were broke and they had to significantly adjust their lifestyle. Others said they felt led to do it and felt like the timing was right. Others said they prayed about it and their move was simply an act of faith. But all of them said they would do it all over again and had no regrets. I thought to myself, “Wow, so that’s it…just like that?” I then started to challenge my own ways of thinking and realized fear is primarily a mental state. I started to think about how much time I really spent at work (on average 40+ hours a week) and concluded I spend way too much time at work not to love what I do and who I do it for. Let’s face it we spend more time at our jobs with co-workers than we do awake in our own homes with our loved ones. I got tired of living for the weekends and being known as the one who seemed to have it all together which I attributed was due to the structure I tried to live my life by but the Lord knew I didn’t have it all together…I still don’t and I honestly probably never will. However I say all this to say if fear has been in the driver seat on your journey throughout life this far I challenge you to think about your life if fear continues to drive it verses if you kick fear out the driver’s seat at the next stop light.

We have one life to live and we should make the most of it. With a world full of hate and lost we shouldn’t take life for granted as tomorrow or even the next second is not promised. So instead of putting off what you can do today for tomorrow or next week go ahead and figure out what it looks like and what it will truly take to achieve the goals you have set for your life. No longer live in a prison guarded by Fear but find that little kid inside of you who is fearless and seize your opportunity…whatever it is. I finally took my own advice after years of admiring others from afar. My journey of starting a private practice has been one of the most challenging but one of the best decisions I have ever made. It’s been scary but soul quenching, hard but heart felt and risky but rewarding. I thank God daily for giving me the drive, strength, courage, resources and passion to do something about my situation and follow my heart. I also pray to him for continued strength, drive, courage, resources, passion and a few other things since we are being honest. And let me be clear this could pertain to ending a damaging relationship with a friend, leaving a job, revealing a secret to a loved one, exiting a dead end relationship or confronting a family member. Those things all qualify as things that fear (“playing it safe”) keeps us from doing. Map out your vision, write out the pros and cons for your vision and the rest will come. Once you take back your life from fear of judgement, hatred, being unaccepted or criticized, etc you will feel 100 pounds lighter despite others reaction towards your truth. I guarantee it! It’s YOUR life..only YOU can live it and YOU deserve to live it authentically. Be encouraged…you got this!

Peace & Light,

Kim LO

Transformation: The Story Behind The Name Life Begins Here

June 21, 2016

What’s In A Name?
Life Begins Here Therapeutic & Counseling Services, LLC came to me after years of examining the life of butterflies. I can remember when one of my best childhood friends was abruptly taken away from this earth. I can recall after her funeral at the burial site I continuously sobbed but I stopped after wondering why (what seemed at the time like 1,000) butterflies kept flying into my face. I wanted to scream at them and tell them to leave me alone so I could continue sobbing, but then a warm feeling of peace came over me. At that moment I interpreted that feeling as a sign from my friend that although she had left this earthly realm suddenly and violently, she was safe and her soul was happy. From that instant forward I had a new love for the insects and honestly became a little obsessed if I must admit. Butterflies became my first love because of what I believed their life represents.

Go with me mentally if you will and think about the life of a butterfly. A butterfly starts as a caterpillar roaming the earth on their belly, rarely being noticed, unlikely to be admired and as a result sometimes being smashed and never given a second thought. Many of us as humans can probably relate to that feeling of being unnoticed and over looked. Many people don’t know this but caterpillars (larva) have to grow and shed 5 different layers of skin. During this time the caterpillar has to eat a great deal of food in order to increase their strength to make it to the metamorphosis phase (building the cocoon). Unfortunately many do not make it. Those that do then search for the perfect place isolated away from prey to start this process. They spend hours meticuliously preparing a silken anchor-hold where they will spend hours hanging from and transforming. Their life then depends on how well they built their cocoon and are hidden from prey. Which means they have to have faith (the hope for things unseen and the belief that those things will come to fruition) in their decision and move forward with the process. Hours later they emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Most people only see the beauty of these creatures in their later being and do not think about what they had to endure to get to their current state. Just as most of us do when we look at others who appear to have desirable traits and lives.

Just like the butterfly we encounter phases in our life where in order to move forward we had to shed a few layers to better ourselves. Those layers may be people, past baggage or even our own beliefs and fear that may have been or is holding us back from living the life we desire to live. At times in life we have been through and will have to go through periods of isolation during our transformation phase. We must be patient and have faith when we feel lonely, want to give up and are frustrated during this phase. Everyone does not make it through…just as the caterpillars. But those who do, emerge with a new found sense and love for self. A new confidence that no one can take from you again. Many of us, like the butterfly, do not look like what we have been through. And thank God because only the Lord knows.

So with all that being said, many people feel because of what their life may have looked like in the past or even currently, they can not have or do not deserve the beautiful life and authentic self they aspire to achieve. When in fact, which is evident by the life of a butterfly, it is never too late to live the life YOU want IF you are willing to put in the work and transform your mind! Many of us are alive but are not living. Hence the birth of the name Life Begins Here and my logo. Using myself as an example, I got tired of living for everyone else’s dreams and not my own. Being scared to take that next step and always just playing it safe. I shed those layers, left that negative baggage (i.e. “friends,” jobs, destructive thoughts), went into isolation to focus and strengthen my mind for my transformation and emerged as a new stronger me! Although it is not always easy during this transformation you too can start truly living today! No matter if you have been left hurt from past trauma, still healing wounds from a nasty relationship, have questions about “Why Me?,” suffered abuse (mental, physical or sexual), or may feel like you have been living a lie your whole life and you’re tired of wearing a mask… your life can begin here! Remember it’s not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself…Life Begins Here. Let me help you on your journey to your authentic self, you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule your free consultation today.
 

Healing For The Wounded

Healing
July 14, 2016
With all of the hate and hurt going on in the world today I was moved to write this post about healing. We are all hurting in some aspects and the wounds have been re-exposed due to the recent events and acts of violence over the last month or so. First the shooting in Orlando, 49 innocent people many who identified with the LGBTQ community were gunned down, the killing of another two unarmed black men by police, the bombing and shooting of an airport in Baghdad and a restaurant in Bangladesh and then multiple cops who were killed at a protest in Texas. I know, unfortunately, their are several other instances that can be included here but I will stop there. All of these events outraged me. I realized these events made people angry, sad, scared, hurt and a multitude of other emotions which caused people to turn against each other and others in outside groups however that does not solve anything. The answer to the hurt is healing…from the inside out and by educating/ healing others.
I hurt for everyone. Everyone that has ever been treated unfairly or ostracized due to factors that are beyond their control. Be it their race, religion, a physical trait, disability, disease, illness or their sexuality. Many of the individuals who are the culprits of the hate we have all been witnessing are hurting too. Many of them were raised to have the viewpoints they possess and as a result do not even understand why theirs views/ actions are harmful. Others may have had a traumatic experience with one member of a particular group which caused them to attribute those traits from that one member to the entire group. Or simply they just do not understand that group’s way of life, never have been around members of that group personally or in someway feel afraid or intimidated by the group for whatever reason. There are other cases that may cause hate but in my opinion these are the main causes. It’s a fact that none of us are born hating anyone…hate is a learned trait. Therefore the great thing is, it can be unlearned. It will take a lot of work to heal and change a conditioned mind. After all we have had these thoughts and views imprinted in our minds for the last 30+ years. So how do we do this? Well I’m glad you asked! We start our own healing by healing others. Have you ever been with a group of people and heard someone call a gay person an inappropriate word and it made you cringe but you didn’t say anything? Or you ever been at a party and you hear a friend call someone a racist name? Or maybe even at an airport and you see a person being harassed because of the way they dress which happens to be affiliated with their religious beliefs?
I am certain we have all experienced this at one point or another. And I am sure we have all been guilty of not saying anything despite how uncomfortable it made us feel to witness those things. With that being said the way to start the healing of a broken and hurting nation is to use that opportunity to educate those individuals in that moment. For example, while hanging in the group and you hear them talking badly about a gay person ask them one or all of these questions: “Do you personally know anyone gay (interchange black, Muslim, etc)? Have you ever gotten to sit down and talk with a member who identifies with that group to see they are just like you but just happens to love the same sex (or be a different skin tone or practice a different religious belief)? And do you not believe people should have a choice to be with who they love (treated equally, fair) ? What if someone told you no matter how much you loved your wife/ husband you could not be with her/ him because her/ his hair was brown? (Or no matter if you follow all the laws you will still be harassed or possibly killed because of your race or religion.) Doesn’t make sense, right? Let people be who they are and love who they love. Let’s embrace the differences of our country and the world.” Believe it or not when people are educated on certain things or questioned in an assertive and tactful manner they become mindful of their ways and thoughts….something that they probably had never been able to do before because they never had the opportunity due to no one ever addressing these questions to them.
We have to also understand that because certain members of these groups commit horrible crimes those individuals do not speak for their entire population. All Muslims are not bad people and all police are not corrupt. Once we can truly understand and internalize these factors the healing can truly start. Also in most of these groups we know who the bad guys are. For example, in the police force I am sure the force knows who the bad seeds are but for fear of retaliation they don’t speak up and because no one speaks up senseless acts continue to happen. And this example can be applied to any group of people not just the police. The good people in this world out number the bad, I truly believe that. It’s just many of us are afraid, hopeless or do not know what to do. But good can conquer the evil. We can be the beacon of light this country needs. We can make a difference. I encourage us all to be the change we want to see.
In closing, if anyone reading this (or if you know of someone) is hurting and is in need of some professional help (Professional help simply meaning having someone who is unbiased, not as invested as a loved one and non-judgmental to help process past or current hurt) and is in need of obtaining some coping skills, gaining closure and/ or accomplishing peace I encourage you to contact a therapist/counselor. The same way we would take care of a broken leg, we need to take care of our mind as it controls every aspect of us and who we are. It is the most powerful thing we have, so I urge you to take care of it. If you do not feel I am the best therapist for you, please refer to PsychologyToday.com to find your perfect fit. If you have tried therapy before and it did not work give it another try with someone else; you will be surprised how helpful a therapist can be in your life. Whether you struggle with daily stressors or something more deeply like trauma, loss, hearing voices or seeing things, severe mood swings or anything in between there is help for you. Just have the courage to take that first step in asking for. You can do it…I believe in you. We are the world…let’s heal together.
Take Care of Yourselves.
Peace, Love & Butterflies,
Kim LO

“Seeking Therapy does not mean you are crazy…it means you are HUMAN”: Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health

Seeking Therapy
If I could tell you how many times I have heard people say having emotions and displaying them are a sign of weakness I would truly be a gazillionaire by now! I don’t even know if there is a such thing but you get the point. The stigma of mental health has plagued our country and our communities for far too long. Mental health should hold the same weight if not more as physical health. If we have a broken leg or a cold that lasts too long we go to our doctor’s office because we are worried about our health and we want to feel better…physically. However when we have been feeling down for weeks, months or even years we suffer through it. Or if we feel extremely anxious all the time or when certain situations present themselves and we ignore it. Or if we dealt with some trauma as a child that we have never been able to shake or that we keep having nightmares about and it has effected every relationship in our life yet we turn the other cheek and say to ourselves “get over it you were 6 yrs old.” Or what about if we have struggled with our sexuality our whole lives. You married a woman (or man) because that’s what society said you should do…but society has you living in a shell and wearing a mask that has caused you to not be able to live your truth and as a result you hate your life and/ or are forced to live in secrecy. I know it is hard to express and be our authentic selves because that means we have to be vulnerable. And being vulnerable is not easy; it takes courage to speak truth…our truth.
Can you imagine living a life where you were 100% true to yourself and although you respect your friends and loved ones views of you, you did not let that hold you back from living the life that YOU believe YOU should live? Or can you picture being able to take back over the driver seat of your life from fear, hate, anger, resentment and/ or depression? Or to truly forgive the person that wronged and took advantage of you when you were a lost and confused 12 year old child? What does that life look life for you….can you see it? Really try for a few minutes to take a few slow deep breaths and close your eyes and imagine your ideal life…how does that feel? You can have that life…but it takes some work on our parts that is not easy at first.
Holding on to these traumas and being ashamed to talk about them is killing our mental capabilities to experience true joy and happiness. It may sound scary initially to think about talking about or facing these things…because it is, but until we are able to talk about it, process it and find closure we will forever be unable to lead a peaceful and authentic life.
Seeking therapy does not mean you are crazy it means you are human. It is my personal belief that everyone should go to therapy at one point or another in life. I mean what other place can you go and talk about yourself the entire time in a safe and confidential environment free of judgement where someone listens to you attentively and can help you see things in a different perspective and gives you tools, advice and methods that will help you to implement the change you want to see in your life?! Hey, sign me up! Sounds great to me, right?!
As humans once we get past the fear of judgment and the fear of facing ourselves we are half way there.
Therapy can be a brief interaction, you can go as needed or you can go for years. Therapy can be whatever you need it to be for you. I know different cultural norms keeps us from wanting to talk about our business outside of the house however has keeping it in the house proved to work for you?
I will leave you with this my loves…if your entire life you have been trying the same methods to find peace and happiness and it has not been working; it’s time to try something different. You deserve to have peace in your life just like you deserve to be free of a cold that has lingered for weeks or healed from a broken leg. Take care of your mental health the same way you would, if not better, your physical health. Help me to break the stigma and see it as the normal part of life that it is. Try it at least twice. And understand that in order to have a fulfilling therapeutic experience you have to have a therapist that best suits your needs. I know this world would be a much better place if we all had our own therapist to help us along this journey of life. Sending you light and love on your journey to finding the courage to break out of your comfort zone and start on the path to living your best life!
Peace, Love and Light,
Kim LO

2017: The Year of Balance

Balance

Balance 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017! 2016 was full of highs and lows just like any other year. Although this year we did have another presidential election and we lost a lot of greats in regards to the political and entertainment communities. In fact I spent my New Year’s Eve in the hospital with two of my loved ones who both had to have emergency surgery. That was tough! However despite the grey clouds I always tend to look for the silver lining in every situation. While in the hospital I got to spend quality time with my loved ones and although their road to recovery may be long they will gain some much needed quality rest. I challenge you to too see your silver lining(s) from 2016. With that being said, also while sitting in the hospital room I thought to myself in 2016 I ventured out of my comfort zone to embark on a journey I had always dreamed of…opening my own private practice after about a decade in the field. It wasn’t easy and to be honest it still isn’t but I can say it has definitely been worth it. The road that led me to opening my private practice was an ironic one. I had not planned on doing it at the exact time that I did but I took a huge leap of faith after being backed into a corner…and I came out victorious. At times we are faced with tough decisions…decisions where we are afraid to make the wrong decision so instead of making a decision we just stay stuck. This was me in early 2016. But after being in that corner several times I thought to myself “what do I have to lose?” I rather try and fail than never try at all was my thought process at that time…so I went for it. I know all of us have faced things like this before. And I want to encourage you to take your leap in 2017 and before doing so ask yourself, “What do I have to lose?” Start living for you and for what makes you happy. The happiest people I find are those who put themselves first.

Mentioning putting yourself first if I can be transparent with you, one thing that I truly struggled with in 2016 after starting my practice was balance. Many times it felt as though I was always lacking in one area or another. Or giving too much attention to one thing and not enough to the others. You ever feel like that? Because of that, I have decided the theme for 2017 for me will be Balance: Mind, Body, Spirit & Soul. For me this will include intentionally doing MORE meditating, exercising, reading, writing, taking risk and going on adventures, embracing friendships, spending time with loved ones and ensuring my self care comes first. I am excited just thinking about the results of what being intentional in my thoughts and actions can yield! I know for a fact this way of thinking works as I have experienced it first hand.

What will your theme of 2017 be? What will help to make you a better YOU for YOU? We can work together to accomplish these goals! Always remember YOU possess the power to transform in whatever way you desire. Doesn’t that make you feel amazing to know YOU and you alone have this capability? So let’s make 2017 great!

Sending peace, love and light your way!

Cheers to an amazing new year,

Kim LO 💜

31 Day Gratitude Journal

I challenge you to join me for next 31 days to journal things you are grateful for or any positives that you have currently or see manifesting in your life! Let’s change the dialogue and change our way of thinking by focusing more attention on what wonderful things we already have present in our lives! Are you up for the challenge?!

What will your theme for 2018 be?

 

Want to make 2018 your best year yet?! Well if so, let’s go ahead and manifest it in our minds and hearts that it WILL be the BEST year yet! The second step to doing this is choosing a theme for your new year! What is an overarching thing you would like to focus on in your life? Friendships? Balance? Family? Self-Care? Love? Knowledge? Name it and claim the theme for your year!

How to Positively Manifest YOUR Reality! (Part 1)

 How I Positively Manifested My Reality (Click here to watch the video blog)
In this Vblog I talk about how using positive manifestations helped to create my reality! I explain how I manifested my perfect birth journey. I talk about the vast difference in my two birth experiences, my experience with consuming my placenta, tips on how to positively manifest what you want and how having the right people surrounding you on your team makes ALL the difference. You truly are the company you keep! Your circle should increase you…never decrease you. If you feel like you are the smartest in the crew and the only one making significant contributions…you need to reassess some things and get some new friends/ associates.
 I hope this Vblog will encourage you to go the road less traveled and to believe in your dreams no matter what others tell you is impossible. If your mind can conceive it you can achieve it! If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough!
As always much love and light is being sent your way!
Live Intentionally,
Kim LO