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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Self-Care

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How many of you actually take care of yourselves? Hello there… anybody? Are you constantly running around and bouncing here and there like a ping-pong ball? I know that I once was, but not anymore—at least for the most part. I used to be so crazy busy and stressed out that you could have attached my head to jumper cables and received quite a charge!

All this running around taking care of people and making deadlines etc. didn’t have to be so crazy if I would have believed in the word, “No,” and practiced better self-care. Yoga, meditation, taking a walk, swimming, etc. Whatever calms you down and brings peace to you will work. But not drinking too much wine and stress eating. Yes, I confess, that is how I used to handle stress.

I know it’s hard to think of yourself when you have so much responsibility, but if you don’t take care of yourself then who will? And what’s going to happen to everyone and everything that’s depending on you if you get sick? A stressful life can make you very sick. Self-care isn’t something that’s selfish, or trendy. Self-care is something that is necessary for a balanced life.

When you are living through a nerve-racking time in your life, then that is just when you need to take a step back and think about what’s right for you. You need to be mindful of the choices you’re making and how they are affecting your overall health now and into the future.

It helps if you get yourself in the habit of self-care on a daily basis before you find yourself in a stressful situation. This way, you will know how to handle the horrible way you are feeling and de-stress before you get sick.

Remember, cheating yourself is going to cheat those that love you. Don’t beat yourself up all the time. Take a break and enjoy this life of yours.

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.

Danger in a Tone

That old adage, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” is so very true. It’s that tone we use that can make all the difference in the world. I don’t think most of us give much thought about how we sound or come off to others. And it’s not just the verbal tone we use, but also the tone we use in print, especially in our e-mails and texts.

Tone represents the mood we are currently in, but not necessarily how we actually feel toward the people or subject we are dealing with at the time. So if we are in a bad mood then how we deal with the people around us verbally or in print will have a hard and sometimes nasty edge to it. This can cause a lot of problems at work and in our private lives. And this can especially be devastating when dealing with children or very sensitive people.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when our tone is off because we are busy people, and always in a hurry. We speak or text very fast before we have really processed all information. Yours truly has made that mistake many times. Usually this happens to me when I get caught up in a situation that I feel is critical and the other person has a different view.

So what do we do about keeping our tone smooth and cordial? “SMILE.” That’s right. Before you open your mouth, or write that offensive line, smile first. It’s pretty hard to say or write anything in a mean tone while smiling.

It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to be kind and gentle toward others. We all have stressful days, but a bad or really cruel tone can throw another human off into misery, and I don’t think any of us ever mean to do that.

Life can be hard, so put that smile on your face and let’s watch out for one another.

“Tone has the living soul.” ~ Shinichi Suzuki

The Importance of You

This time of year is joyful for some, but sad for others. Sometimes sadness can bring dark thoughts our way, and depression can find its way in.

You, my friend, are important to me, and I bet to a lot of people. But mostly, you should be important to yourself. I don’t know you so why are you important to me? That’s easy because you are here and alive on this planet that we share, and everything that’s here has a purpose to be; just think about that and you will see.

I know about hard and sad days where you feel so alone. I know how stress can get in the way and muck up our lives. And I also have experienced feeling stupid and useless and wondering if I should care, or maybe just be done with it all. But that’s too easy and I don’t do easy and neither should you.

Sometimes we don’t realize how important we are to others and how much they would suffer if we were not here anymore. Think about all the good and even the bad times you will miss if you decided to be gone. Life is about good times and bad; laughter and sadness do go hand in hand. And you my friend shouldn’t miss even a second of it.

The importance of you and of every single one of us is greater than we will ever know. You matter—we all do, and because of that you will always be important to me. Please be important to you.

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”

~ Rumi

Live for Today

Live for today and tomorrow will take care of itself. That sounds like good advice as long as you are not foolish and reckless, but mindful instead. Living each day with the purpose of actually showing up and not thinking about tomorrow or trying to replay the mistakes of yesterday is a goal we should all strive for. We don’t have to do great things each day, but we should try to enjoy each day as it comes along.

It’s true not all our todays are pleasant ones. Sometimes they are actually horrible and stressful, but that doesn’t mean that we should discount them. Every day we get is a day that belongs to only us and a day that we are here on planet Earth. Even if it isn’t the best of days we should embrace it and show up the best we can. When our horrible today slips into the past of yesterday we need to let it go and never look back. We then need to welcome our new present today and maybe it will just be a much better day.

In letting the previous day leave take a moment and see if there was a lesson to be learned, or wisdom to take in. In doing this no day goes away without preparing us for all the future days to come. Also, once you do this with the exiting day there will never be a need to hang onto the past. You will be able to just let it go and die off. And die it should because as you already know, if you don’t let the past go there is no way that you can truly live for today.

 

“Yesterday is ashes.

Tomorrow is green wood.

Only today does the fire burn brightly.”

– Eskimo Saying