About Me

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I am studying Psychology and Sociology at Utah Valley University, and working at a treatment center for troubled teens. I love life, being with people from all cultures, speaking Spanish, and traveling all over the world. I will never stop laughing, dancing, singing, enjoying, appreciating, and just being.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Moments of I M P A C T

"Following the leader"

I love this video we watched at my work and I think it has a powerful message.  

I think we all need to have our lollipop moments this Christmas.  We can give sincere appreciation and acknowledgment to the people that have changed our lives for the better.  Make a list of all the people in your life that have done this for you and during this Christmas break, go around telling them and giving them credit.  We all need to be aware of how much one word, one smile, and one experience can change a life for good.  We have so much power and influence on one other and we need to recognize and use it more!  Be aware of any moment you have when you are stuck somewhere with a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger and instead of getting on your phone to stalk instagram or snapchat some lame picture, make the choice to listen, open up, laugh, smile, vent, or support the people around you.  You might not need it but the souls around you that live and fear, worry, stress, and negativity need it a lot more than you think.

"The moment of impact. The moment of impact proves potential for change. Has ripples effects far beyond what we can predict. Sending some particles crashing together. Making them closer than before. While sending others spinning off into great ventures. Landing them where you've never thought you've found them. That's the thing about moments like these. You can't, no matter how hard you try, controlling how it's gonna affect you. You just gotta let the colliding part goes where they may. And wait. For the next collision. "

-The Vow

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Psychology Project

Chapter 3:  "Flourish"

The Dirty Little Secrets of Drugs and Therapy

"Almost always, the effects are what is technically called "small".  Depression is typical.  Consider two treatments that are certified by vast literatures to "work":  cognitive therapy for depression and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Taking an average over the entire huge literature, for each you get a 65 percent relief rate, accompanied by a placebo effect that ranges from 45 percents to 55 percent....

Every form of psychotherapy I know, every exercise, is a "fighting the mountain" intervention.  In other words, these therapies are not self-reinforcing and so the benefits fade over time.  In general, talk therapy techniques all share the property of being difficult to do, no fun at all, and difficult to incorporate into your life.  In fact, the way we measure how efficacious talk therapies are is by how long they last before they "melt" once treatments ends.  Every single drug has exactly the same property:  once you stop taking it, you are back to square one, and reoccurrence and relapse are on the rule."

Something is simply not working!  What can we do...?

"How you celebrate is more predictive of strong relations that how you fight.  People we care about often tell us about a victory, a triumph, and less momentous good things that happen to them.  How we respond can either build the relationship or undermine it."

4 basic ways of responding and only one that is effective-

"Negative emotions and the negative personality traits have very strong biological limits, and the best a clinician can ever do with the cosmetic approach is to get patients to live in the best part of their set range of depression or anxiety or anger. ..one thing that clinical psychology needs to develop in light of the heritable stubbornness of human pathologies is a psychology of "DEALING WITH IT."  We need to tell our patients, "Look, the truth is that many days-no matter how successful we are in therapy-you will wake up feeling blue and thinking life is hopeless.  Your job is not only to fight these feelings but also to heroically:  functioning well even when you are very sad."

The vision of therapy in the future:  THE C U R E !!!

1) Patients need to be told that the drugs and therapies are TEMPORARY symptom relievers only, and that they should expect reoccurrence when treatment stops
2) Treatment should not end when suffering is relieved.  Patients need to learn the specific skills of positive psychology:  how to have more positive emotion, more engagement, more meaning, more accomplishment, and better human relations.  Unlike the skills of minimizing misery, these skills are self-sustaining.  They likely treat depression and anxiety and they likely help prevent them as well.  More important than relieving pathology, these skills are what flourishing is, and they are crucial to everyone's search for well-being

Monday, November 12, 2012


Oh the weather outside is frightfulBut the fire is so delightfulAnd since we've no place to goLet It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

It doesn't show signs of stoppingAnd I've bought some corn for poppingThe lights are turned way down lowLet It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When we finally kiss goodnightHow I'll hate going out in the storm!But if you'll really hold me tightAll the way home I'll be warm

The fire is slowly dyingAnd, my dear, we're still goodbyingBut as long as you love me soLet It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Friday, November 9, 2012


"I honestly do not know what to do...."

One of the most popular phrases in my book of dysfunctional and complicated things to repeat when faced with having to make any type of small or large decision in the life of ME. Whether I am rolling out of bed and I do not know what song to listen to as I get ready, what outfit to wear, what class to skip, what lunch place or fast food to eat at, what major I decide to study, what state to live in, what country to visit next with the coming holiday, what words to spill to the boy I like, what party to go to on the weekends, or what picture to make my profile pic.......it is always a struggle, this life, that is composed of different "right and wrong" choices. There is the "what if I do this instead of..." factor or "if only I had said this..." or "they both feel right....", we are constantly having to CHOOSE what to say, what to think, where to go, what to buy, who to talk to, how to feel, and when is the best time.
Remember the good old days when we would wake up with breakfast made, our rooms cleaned for us, the house all put together, our clothes picked out, and our days, weeks, and even years planned for us by some divine leaders and "perfect know it all/do it right" human beings called our parents...?! Where did the time go and where was I/what was I doing during that class or course where our parents or some kind of adult figure sat us down and taught us how to use our brains correctly and make the right decisions always for the rest of our lives....? Guess I missed out?!!
Well hello and nice to meet you REALITY CHECK to becoming an adult. I am not married and I am not even close to having any children but I am on my own and let me tell you, living and breathing and succeeding and winning and school/work/relationships/life in general is pretty hard to figure out when you are on your own. It is not so "glam" and "independent" and the "dream" as we think. It is hard work and it takes time to learn how to use your head and heart to choose your life. It takes practice...
So how do we make the "right" choice with every decision we are going to face...? How do we know if something is "right"/ "fate" and that "oh don't worry, everything will work out...." Will it? How do I know that...
well first we are going to look at our set backs of why we are not making decisions in our lives...what is holding you back?
possibly being torn between two good things...?

We see it in the movies too.... from the beautifully touching and emotion filled chick flick "The Notebook", Ally is torn between two great guys and does not know who to choose. This is Ally being young and happily in love with two great people but each one could definitely give her completely different lives. Noah, the dream boat and Ally's first love, gets frustrated with her and tells her to stop thinking of everyone else and trying to please other people and for once think of herself. He finally tells her to go within herself and make the choice not because he wants her to do it or her mom wants her to choose someone else but she should do it because she knows it is exactly what she wants. What would you do? Who would you choose and what path of life would you follow? I feel like this movie shows us how often we are "torn" between so many choices in our life and we want to go certain ways or pick specific things because of outside influences of people we care about and love. We do not want to hurt anyone and we want everyone to be happy! Even though in our lives we will faces roads with so many options and ways to go, we need to accept the fact that we are TORN between all the choices but we need to go within our hearts and heads and let that be the judge and not let the ones around us influence us so much. It is our life and our happiness and we need to be looking out for ourselves. Maybe both decisions are good and both could be great and that is okay but we need to learn how to just CHOOSE. Do it and see what happens! maybe we will get hurt or lost or set back or we might even succeed and receive everything we want in life but regardless it is time to start going and deciding and things will work out.
whether you have fear, have been told you cannot change or accomplish something, are torn, stuck, worried, impulsive, confused, or just trying to people please, know that you are the one that holds the POWER to create and live your own life. You, in the end, even if you make a good or bad decision or choice, are the one that deciding and you can determine whether or not you are happy or unhappy.

I really like this talk by President Monson that talks about the three R's or choice:

I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. Scarcely an hour of the day goes by but what we are called upon to make choices of one sort or another. Some are trivial, some more far-reaching. Some will make no difference in the eternal scheme of things, and others will make all the difference.

I mention first the right of choice. I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for His gift of agency, or the right to choose. President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”1
We know that we had our agency before this world was and that Lucifer attempted to take it from us. He had no confidence in the principle of agency or in us and argued for imposed salvation. He insisted that with his plan none would be lost, but he seemed not to recognize—or perhaps not to care—that in addition, none would be any wiser, any stronger, any more compassionate, or any more grateful if his plan were followed.
we will always have the right to choose.

Next, with the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground. The Lord knows this; Lucifer knows this. As long as we live upon this earth, Lucifer and his hosts will never abandon the hope of claiming our souls.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal journey without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him God-given guidance to assist in our safe return at the end of mortal life. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us, and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, written by mariners who successfully sailed the seas we too must cross.

When faced with significant choices, how do we decide? Do we succumb to the promise of momentary pleasure? To our urges and passions? To the pressure of our peers?

Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classicAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?”
The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”7
Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.
Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny.
All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.

No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves. President Brigham Young once expressed this truth by relating it to himself. Said he: “If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed.” He continued: “This will equally apply to every Latter-day Saint. Salvation is an individual operation.”8

We have all made incorrect choices. If we have not already corrected such choices, I assure you that there is a way to do so. The process is called repentance. I plead with you to correct your mistakes. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Although the path is not easy, the promise is real: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”10 “And I, the Lord, remember them no more.”11 Don’t put your eternal life at risk. If you have sinned, the sooner you begin to make your way back, the sooner you will find the sweet peace and joy that come with the miracle of forgiveness.


inspiring talk.

"walking in the light"

You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness.

"He told us plainly what it would require for us to have that joy. We would have to receive a physical body, with all of the trials that would bring. We would be subject to illness and have within our bodies the processes which would finally lead to death. And our bodies would have in them powerful cravings for physical satisfaction....

Those who rebelled did not want to accept and to depend upon a Savior nor run any risk that they might not return again to Heavenly Father. Every one of you was among the brave, the faithful, and the true in that conflict. You accepted the Savior and the plan for this journey to return to the joy of our Heavenly Father’s presence.

You are remarkable, even among those who chose right in the contest in the spirit world. You qualified to come into mortality and to make this journey at a time when the gospel of Jesus Christ was on the earth. And among the billions of Heavenly Father’s children now living, you were privileged to find the gospel of Jesus Christ and His true Church. Even more than that, the fact that you are listening tonight means that you have chosen to make the journey of life walking in the light.

Every child of Heavenly Father born in the world is given at birth, as a free gift, the Light of Christ. You have felt that. It is the sense of what is right and what is wrong and what is true and what is false. That has been with you since your journey in life began. The fact that you were baptized and received the Holy Ghost is evidence that you chose to walk in the Light of Christ.
But the spirit who led the rebellion in the world before still opposes the plan and wants you to be miserable. He wants you never to find your way home again. That enemy of your soul knows you and your goodness. He knows that if he can turn you away from walking in the light, he can both capture you and stop you from helping others along the journey. He knows how good you are and your power to teach and influence hundreds of Heavenly Father’s children in this life—and thousands over the generations that will follow your path. If he can get you to wander away from the light on your journey, he can do harm and bring misery to many.
The fact that you are listening now is evidence that God recognizes your great importance and that you have chosen to walk in the light He offers you. Such choices are not always easy to see clearly. You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness. Some of the most important choices are about what you set your heart upon.
There are so many things you may consider desirable. For instance, all of us want, to some degree, the approval of other people. All of us feel a need for friends. All of us are searching for some evidence that we are persons of worth. We make choices based on those desires. Some might lead us away from the light God offers us as a guide. Some may brighten that light by which we can find our way.

It is by faith that you can lay hold upon every good thing. I pray with all my heart that your faith will be increased that you are a daughter of a loving God. I testify to you that you have been one of the valiant ones to reach the point where you now are in this journey of life. Just as you are marked as a target by the enemy of righteousness, you have been protected and watched over by your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. They know you. They know all of the forces and individuals around you. They know what is ahead of you. And so They know which of the choices you make, which of the desires you decide to satisfy, and which of the circumstances around you will make the most difference in keeping you walking in the light. I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.
You must have faith to pray. You must have faith to ponder the word of God. You must have faith to do those things and go to those places which invite the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost.
I promise you that within the next few days you will feel the illumination of the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost in your everyday life. When you walk in the light, you will feel at that moment some of the warmth and the happiness that will finally be yours when you are welcomed home again with the hundreds and perhaps thousands of others whom you will bring with you, who have walked in the light because you did.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's okay.

Gretchen Weiners had cracked....

You know that moment when you wake up feeling really sick and you do everything in your power to convince yourself that you are "fine" because you do NOT want to take medicine, lay around, feel crappy, feel bad for yourself, and more importantly experience that achy, nauseating, weak moment of throwing up....

It is inevitable that you are going to throw up right?  So why do we stall and anticipate and put off and instead just embrace the sickness...let it at us! Why can't we just throw up numerous times because we know it will make us feel better?!!  We don't let ourselves crack....

Sometimes it is okay to NOT be okay.  We are humans and sometimes we have a lot on our plate and in our minds and we can try to run and run and never get off the treadmill or we can take a moment to be still and figure our crap out.  We need personal time and we need to learn how to take care of ourselves while we are creating and living our lives and helping and loving other people.

Some of my favorite movies have these intense "breaking down" moments when these main characters act like they are happy, progressing, achieving, healthy, and they are truly not because they get to a point we could call "rock bottom" and we crack and find out that we are not actually happy.  In the moving yet slightly depressing popular chick flick, "P.S. I Love You", Holly, the main girl who's husband has passed away, is dealing with still holding onto her husbands death and is not able to move on with her life and take care of herself and find happiness in other people and things.  There is a moment in the movie where she finally goes to her mom, who she does not really get along with, and just falls into her arms and starts to weep.  She cries for a few minutes and tells her mom that she cannot breathe she is so scared and worried and upset and unhappy.  Her mom calms her down, takes her on a walk, and they both open up about the past, present, and what they can do in the future as a family to overcome this.  Holly wanted to believe that she was "okay" and dealing with her husbands death when really she was just avoiding the emotions about it and "running" through her life, thinking it would get better.  She later realizes that life does not fix you but only YOU can admit to yourself when you are not happy and YOU will be the one to make changes.

Another movie that I love is "Eat Pray Love", that beautifully demonstrates this kind of discovering the emptiness and lack of wholeness in ones life and a need to make a change.  In the movie, Julia Roberts plays a stunning, successful, married, and strong character that finds herself "wanting more" and crying when she is alone, which leads her one night in her bathroom helpless on the floor praying to God for help.  We all have those moments of despair and a feeling of worthlessness when we come to understand that we are not completely happy in the life that we are living and we need to find out what it is we can do to find that complete joy.  We hear those people say, "don't give up!", "believe and achieve!", "try this and that...", which is all great and motivational but if WE personally are stuck and not "okay", then we are not able to progress and move forward.  Something is wrong and we are the ones to decide whether or not we not just replace these issues with different places, people, and things, but we actually FIX IT!!!

In the movie, this woman takes a year off to herself and travels all over the world to find herself and discover her own goals, passions, talents, gifts, weaknesses, and desires in life.  She addresses her own core issues and is able to completely HEAL her mind, soul, and body with experiences, meditating, good people, culture, prayers, love, and joy.  Now I am not saying we all need to drop our lives, buy a plane ticket somewhere exotic, and leave but I think we do need to just STOP.  Be still and take time to ponder, meditate, explore, feel pain and joy, and figure out what we want, who we are, and then make it happen.  It could happen in a day for you or take a year like it did for this girl in the movie, but whatever timing I hope that you can first:

-understand it is okay to not be okay
-admit to yourself that you are not happy
-take a break and give yourself time
-ponder and meditate who you are, your goals, strengths and weaknesses
-feel both pain and joy, sorrow and happiness, darkness and light
-fix your issues and make changes instead of "covering" or replacing them so you do not have to deal with them
-talk to people about it and seek support
-be alone and be peaceful
-set plans and routines to do things that will satisfy you and fill you up with joy
-share your love and light with others

Life is a journey and I do think it can be enjoyable.  Sometimes we get too caught up in going, running, achieving, being great, and serving others and I do not think we take the time to self reflect and analyze where we are actually going or who we are becoming.  Take a break.  Step back.  Look at yourself and ask yourself if you are happy and taking good care of your heart, mind, and soul.  If not...