Furry Beings

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When you look into your dog’s or cat’s eyes—actually any animal, there is just something there that can’t be explained, except to say it’s special. It’s as if they are little angels that are here to ground us and maybe even guide us somehow. So why is it that we sometimes take them for granted and even ignore them?

Being too busy and even stressed out makes us not notice all the little things surrounding us. Animals can get underfoot and we trip over them in our hurry to do whatever, and this makes us mad. They need our care and we don’t always want to be bothered, but are we missing the real picture of their purpose?

I think it’s about “Love.” Animals show us unconditional love, and where else can you find that except in human babies and young children. But no matter how old an animal gets it’s always there that unconditional love and acceptance, and you sure can’t always say that about humans. I’ve seen animals give love even when they’ve been starved for food, love, shelter, and about to die.

All the cats and dogs I’ve known in my life have taught me something and given me so much. I learned to slow down and take notice of the beauty all around me. I learned how to read body language and listen to what the eyes are telling me. I realized laughter was necessary, and to play every day. But most of all, I learned about a special kind of love just for animals.

Let’s not get so caught up with stressful days that we forget about the divine animal beings that we share this planet and even our homes with. Delight in who and what they are, and let yourself be guided by the love they want to share.

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It’s Still There

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When tragedy hits whether it happens to us personally, or we are spectators of a horror that we can’t comprehend, we lose our bearings and nothing makes sense anymore, and beauty seems to go out the door.

But, the beauty and the sense of our lives are still there. It’s all around us and all we have to do is open our eyes to see.

It’s there in the small baby we hold so close taking in the sweet smell of a new life and fresh beginnings of hopes and dreams.

Our loved ones who accept us for the beings we are, and hold us tight when our world is falling apart.

We hear it in the giggles and laughter of children at play going about their day feeling safe and loved without a care or worry in the world.

The sunrise and sunset that begin and end our long days bring us the sense and beauty that we belong to each and every day.

It’s there in the elderly hand we hold giving love and support as once we were given when small and everything was so new.

Let us not forget the furry family members that grace our homes. Always listening and showing us unconditional love no matter what.

The warm sun bringing gratitude to our hearts, and each rainy downpour enticing us to jump into puddles. And, oh yes, the tiny snowflakes that tickle our noses making us feel so alive and wanting so much more.

We see the beauty and sense of life in the magnificent trees and colorful flowers that paint our days, and the delightful singing of songbirds that make us stop for a second and take notice.

Nature always teaches us about our lives even sometimes brutally, but its beauty and strength takes our breath away and makes us better in so many ways.

When we get lost from things out of our control we need to remind ourselves that yes, beauty and sense are still there. Just open your eyes and see it’s all around you and me.

 

Hold on to Dreams

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“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” 

~ Louisa May Alcott

Our aspirations and dreams of what can be give us the energy and fight to get up in the morning. They are part of what drives us. Never give up on your dreams because they’re who you are and why you’re here.

Stay Strong.

Embrace Your Tears

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We can get embarrassed when we tear up in public, but maybe we shouldn’t. Tears are the way of clearing our bodies of emotion and the stress we carry around. It’s a beautiful way of cleansing and setting our bodies back into balance.

Some people think it’s a sign of weakness, but it’s really a sign of being human and caring. There are tears of joy and tears of pain, but whatever the tears don’t hold them back, let them flow.

It’s true that there are times when you can’t just break down and sob, but you can tear a little bit and maybe sob later. When I’m working with a child in bereavement and he or she starts to cry, it breaks my heart and the tears start to fill my eyes. I can’t just lose it; I have to be there for the child. So I stay in command of my tears by concentrating on helping the child and only letting a few come into my eyes. I also have to get over my embarrassment, but we tell the kids that tears are always okay and maybe seeing tears in my eyes makes that really so.

Feeling joy or pain is part of our journey and so are the tears that accompany all of that. Don’t be afraid; feel what you feel and let yourself connect to the moment and to life itself. We are all just human, so let’s be that. Be a beautiful feeling human.

Purposeful Meaning

 

“The Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert talk about the two “hungers”. There is the Great Hunger and there is the Little Hunger. The Little Hunger wants food for the belly; but the Great Hunger, the greatest hunger of all, is the hunger for meaning…
There is ultimately only one thing that makes human beings deeply and profoundly bitter, and that is to have thrust upon them a life without meaning.
There is nothing wrong in searching for happiness. But of far more comfort to the soul is something greater than happiness or unhappiness, and that is meaning. Because meaning transfigures all. Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content – you are not alone in your Spirit – you belong.”
Laurens van der Post

The line, “Once what you are doing has for you meaning, it is irrelevant whether you’re happy or unhappy. You are content.” Isn’t that what we are all looking for in life, just to feel “content?”  And how we get there is to have purpose in our lives.

At some point we have to stop all the running around trying to keep up with our daily mess we call our life. And we have to arrive at the point where the crazy thoughts that are swirling around in our minds also must end, and then we can get down to the business of what is our purpose for being here at all.

Without a purpose our life has no meaning, and as the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert have figured out, we certainly are not going to be very happy, and forget about content without a life of meaning. Perhaps that is why so many of us are living a miserable and unfulfilled life.

So much of the time we look in all the wrong places for happiness or contentment. It’s not found in material things or in other people. It is there inside of us. The purpose of your life will start to take shape and show itself to you when you go within and ask your Spirit, “what am I here to do?” Instead of the material things you think will bring you happiness, it’s found in the things you love to do—especially for others. It’s found in the kindness you spread around and the protection you give to the earth and the beauty you create. It’s the genuine things you do that might not be popular with the people you work with, or the friends you have, but feel so right to you.

As you think deeply about who you are and what you want to accomplish in your life, you will find it will include sharing your gift with others and in some small way, will make this world a better place.

And my beautiful friends, once you find your true purpose in life, there is no going back to the old you. Your life will have great meaning, and that contentment we are all looking for will come to you and you will find yourself smiling for no particular reason at all. But you’ll know why.

 

Slow Down

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy

Hello, lamppost, what’cha knowin’?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’
Ain’t’cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in doo-doo, feelin’ groovy
Ba da da da da da da, feelin’ groovy

I got no deeds to do
No promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you
All is groovy

~ The 59th Street Bridge Song ( Feelin’ Groovy)  Simon & Garfunkel

Learn to slow yourself down before your kids grow up and move away, and your parents become a thought that you just can’t place. There is life outside of work, bills, the disturbing nightly news, and yes, even struggles that plague you daily. And boy, this life can be really great!

Life can be great if you just let yourself slow down and enjoy the simple things. The beauty of nature right out your back door. The silly smile on your child’s face. The warm breeze that tickles the back of your neck, and maybe even the sound of silence when you take a short nap.

The point is, slow down and just be in your life instead of somewhere else. It may not seem like it now, but I can assure you it’s true, life goes by very fast and it can pass right over you. And, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get it to come back. So, as  cliche’ as it sounds, just stop and smell the roses while you can.

Survival Kit

To get through the ups and downs of your journey through this life you need a survival kit. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” This is sound advice for keeping you mindful, but I would like to add these components: Be open to the beauty and grace of nature that is always surrounding you; it’s there even in a busy city. Don’t forget to pack that crazy sense of humor with lots of laughter, and remember to put in a note to never take yourself or life in general too seriously. What about worry? Please leave that thing behind, it just mucks up everything.

It’s always good to remember that you need good listening skills on this journey. It’s just so amazing what you can learn when you close your mouth and open your mind and ears to what other people are saying. Who knows, you just might learn something. Also don’t forget about letting yourself feel great joy and simple happiness; they are both essential ingredients for the long road ahead.

And as you start to wrap up this kit, did you place a note in there with a bit of wisdom as a reminder to always believe in yourself even when others don’t? Do include that you are here for a purpose, and as you’re trying to find what the heck this purpose is all about, know it will always have something to do with showing kindness and love toward every living being.

The truth of the matter is that the road will sometimes be as smooth as glass, but other times extremely bumpy. But take heart, tomorrow will always be better.