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Posts from the ‘Dogs’ Category

Dog Days of Summer

“A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Wherever you are, be there totally.” Eckhart Tolle

No matter the season, these two always know how to have fun. Summer brings rolling in the grass and some serious ball chasing. When I get caught up in my “to do” list and my swirling thoughts, they bring me back to focus on gratitude, presence and joy.

Life is not a continuous puzzle to solve, a checklist to be checked off, a hot pursuit of what’s next. Life is hidden right in front of us in simple moments, in a walk with a friend, in laying next to your best pal and flipping a tennis ball into the air to show off your ball handling skills.

Breathe, laugh and take it all in.

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Other Side of the Fence

“Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Get busy watering your own grass so as not to notice whether it’s greener elsewhere.”― Karon Waddell

On our daily jaunt into the woods, I let the girls off leash to run full throttle. Abby chases balls in an open field trying to catch them on the first bounce and Sasha chases her. It brings a new joy to them each day like it’s the first time. Dogs and kids are experts on being fully present and aware of the moment at hand, or paw in this case.

When I threw one of the balls, it went over the barbed wired fence by the water tower. I threw the second ball but Abby was intent on the ball on the other side. She suddenly downgraded and became human, focusing on the other side while a ball was by right next to her and easily accessible. How often do we reach for something out of reach when the same and often better is right in front of us?

Wake up and see what’s in reach and embrace it with gratitude. If we don’t recognize the blessings that are already in front of us, it’s impossible to receive new blessings. The grass and the ball are not always greener on the other side.

Happy ending to the story – I decided not to scale the barbed wired fence, but my arm did fit underneath and Abby walked out of the woods with two balls in mouth. Big win.

Settle In

“All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.” – Plato

As I took a 5-minute break from a day jammed with “zoom” meetings, I looked at Abby sprawled on the couch and she sent me a glance to remind me to settle in, stretch out and relax. She’s a wonderful relaxation coach.

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.” – Thich Nhat Han

With the completion of my home project – painting and new floors – and a few big projects at work, I’m ready to jump into the next activity to keep “busy.” We are made for more than busy and activity. We are built for purpose and depth with a side of delight.

Celebrate the finish, be open to see new beginnings and enjoy the journey of mere being.

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Perspective

“Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?” ― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

“Pray thee, spare, thyself at times: for it becomes a wise man sometimes to relax the high pressure of his attention to work.” – Thomas Aquinas

When we settle in and settle down, allowing relaxation to restore and rejuvenate, we gain new perspective. A shift, a turn of the head and the world becomes new from the inside out. Don’t waste days wallowing, wading and willowing. Rest up, look up and relax. It’s all good and going to be good with the fullness of time. In the meantime, let go and relax.

This public service announcement is brought to you by my life coaches Abby and Sasha – the model fun makers and relaxation queens. Lighten up, it makes the journey so much sweeter.

“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” – Alan Watts

To Good Days Right Now


“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” – Wayne Dyer

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” – Khalil Gibran

To long runs to prepare for a marathon that will probably be canceled in October. To time with family to celebrate motherhood. To friends who show up in texts and call checking in. Good days are available right now, not in the pandemic-free future, if there is one. Look around and take inventory of all that is present and good right now in this very moment. These are abundant, blessed days. Never, ever give up. Naïve – hell yeah and necessary.

“Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

Chasing

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

What are you chasing? When we pursue the right things, the ones that are woven with flow, meaning and purpose, the chase becomes the destination. Choose the chase with intention in hot pursuit of pure joy.

“Joy is of the will which labours, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.” – William Butler Yeats

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”― Henri J.M. Nouwen

 

Good Days – Create Them

“Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.” – Mary Oliver

“Every day should be a good day. People fool themselves that they’ll be here forever.” – Stephen A. Schwarzman

A walk with friends by the river with the girls. House chores to prepare for new floors on Monday. The plumber. Comcast for a new cable box. A long ride with Mom and the girls. Sasha chasing geese in the field. A drop by my sister’s house as she gazed into the eyes of her grandson with pure joy. A stop to pick up dinner. A few more chores. Sit down and watch a movie.

No meetings. No zooming. No tech. Flat as hell hair and it isn’t going to get prettier with the state locks down stay at home until May 18th and a perm reschedule, yet again, for Memorial Day weekend. A simple day, a good day.

Don’t miss good days. Create them and accept nothing less. Not defined by accomplishment or to dos but by presence and ease. Deep gratitude for the extraordinary in the ordinary. Good days – create them.

“Every day should be a good day. People fool themselves that they’ll be here forever.” – Stephen A. Schwarzman

Yep, I put the quote in twice because we forget. We will not be here forever.

Onward!

“Think and wonder, wonder and think.” Dr. Seuss

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

As I crammed in a 10-minute rushed jaunt with the girls this morning before a day-long schedule of zoom meetings, the girls were thrilled to be out, poking at each other and then focused attention on the road ahead.

As my mind moved too far ahead, reviewing the endless “to do” list and overcommitments, I saw the girls lunge to the road ahead, with rapt attention, delight and enthusiasm. And yet again, they reminded me how to live the big life in small steps. In the moment, one step at a time, always looking ahead with optimism and joy in search of new adventures.

Not sure where to go? Onward! Of course.

Joy Chasers

“Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” – C. S. Lewis

“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen

I need not search far for joy. In Liam’s sweet smile and laugh, in Abby’s pursuit of the ball, in Sasha’s snuggling in beside me. Simple pleasures and gifts are all around and are not dependent on circumstances. They transcend them.

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa

The Joy Chasers Club is open and membership is free. Surely the serious business of Heaven.

“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” – Oscar Wilde

Expansive!

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – William James

No matter where we are in life, we decide whether we will expand or contract. Right now, the obvious, easy and natural response to contract. Do the opposite. Expand into the world. Connect in new ways, love deeper and embrace optimism and hope. It is the only sustainable and joyful path.

Get out in the fresh air and look beyond the horizon, beyond immediate circumstances. Watch the sun slowly set. Walk and run with your best friend. Let go of the leash and dance in the field. Look up, pull your mask off and simply say hello when passing by to acknowledge our shared humanity and experience.

This moment, how we move through, survive and thrive beyond the immediate is our defining moment. Define the moment rather than letting the moment define you.

We are so much bigger and wonderous than this moment. Observe, absorb and expand!

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