A Kid at Heart.

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This past Saturday, Lil’ G and I stopped at my friend, Cassy’s art studio. She recently set up an area with a kiddie size table and chairs for kids to come sit and do art.

So, okay, it’s for kids at heart too as you can see by the photos. I love chalk and had fun using the chalk to doodle on this chalk board.

It’s good to doodle and let your noodle rest for awhile. A fun and different way to meditate!

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My Dog’s Help Me Uncover the Many Layers of my Soul.

2014-04-26 19.52.40 eYesterday I watched Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. She interviewed author and co-founder of the Omega Institute, Elizabeth Lesser.

Elizabeth shared a quote with Oprah that I can’t get out of my head. It is by Haznat Inayat Kahn, “The soul is covered in a thousand veils.”

Elizabeth had originally shared the quote with Oprah via an email. Oprah told her that it took her about 5 to 6 times of reading it before she “got it.”

When I heard the quote for the first time yesterday I thought of the class I’ve been taking for the past nine weeks called, Unwrapping the True Self. I identified with the quote right away, though I can’t say I would have had I heard it years ago. But in our class this is what we are doing, peeling away the layers to who we really are. Being in the class each week we practice letting go of a layer that is not who we are – that has been put there because of societal pressures, false belief’s, insecurities, and the list goes on and on.

Listening to Oprah and Elizabeth who are now both 60, I now can’t wait to be 60. They were so at home in who they are – having uncovered many veils from their soul’s already.

The veils to my soul have slowly been uncovered over the years (and continue to be) because of what I learned, and continue to learn, from my animal friends – especially from my beloved dog’s.

Cassie Jo, my chocolate Lab awakened me to the fact that my birthright (which is everyone’s) is joy. No matter what is happening in my life, I can find joy in some small way.

Frankie, my dachshund in a wheelchair, awakened me to see that I had a choice as to how I chose to live my life. That I could live by my own rules. That I could let go of what I thought others thought of me. That I could be proud of who I am.

Joie, my second dachshund in a wheelchair, awakened in me that I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone that I am worthy. That being still and listening to my heart will always reveal what matters most to me.

Kylie, my yellow English Lab, keeps my soul awakened each day as she shows me just by being her gentle, sweet spirit that the center of who we are is the most beautiful place to live.

Gidget, my dapple dachshund is showing me how connected this Universe really is – how all that is here on earth—people, nature and animals, as well as another realm of which we cannot see, is all part of what makes up this thing called life.

I loved when Oprah and Elizabeth talked about “what to do when life cracks you wide open.”How in challenging times and moments we have a choice of what we are going to take and learn from it. This is how we uncover our soul even more when times are hard.

I could so easily relate that to all I’ve gone through with my dog’s and all the different lessons they’ve taught me – how they’ve helped me to appreciate life even more – how I see more of who I am every single day because of what I continue to learn from them.

And even when losing Cassie Jo, Frankie, and Joie to death and my heart cracked in pain and what felt excruciating at the time, has only made my soul stronger today. To see the blessings in each one of them and what they gave me in helping me be who I am today is truly such a gift.

What if We All Along We Were Just Supposed to “Be?”

2014-04-24 14.06.26Won’t you come sit and just be with me?

As you know, I call Gidget my Buddah Dog. I continue to be quite fascinated as I journey down this road called life and realize how the right dog was here for me for what I needed then. Gidget is so perfect for me and where I am at in my life right now.

I’ve opened myself more and more to the teachings of my dogs and animals, which has meant for me delving into animal communication more, reading books on the subject and recently hosting a teleseminar with animal communicator, Dawn Baumann Brunke. You can listen to the replay here if you missed it.

As you may also know, I’ve had readings done with Dawn talking with Joie, Frankie, Gidget and Kylie. Each one revealing something about me that I needed healing for, something I needed to work on, or a glimpse further into who I am. I’m really starting to truly understand how very connected we all really are.

Dog’s and all animals, aren’t busy “doing,” and worrying about what is next. But rather, they really seem to get this just “being” concept that seems so challenging for humans to grasp. Okay, granted, they don’t have to make money to support themselves and pay bills. But the more I learn about animals and how they live each moment, I feel like the All American Dream of achieving success in terms of material things and social status was all a very big myth.

What if we truly are meant to just “be.” What if that has been the big test all along for we mere humans? When I think about the definition of the All American Dream I think of having an expensive car, a big house, lots of nice clothes and a corporate job. Then I think about what I would need to do to achieve and keep all of that.

Don’t get me wrong, this may be for some, it just isn’t for me. And there’s nothing wrong with a big house, nice car, etc. I just don’t care for the trade off of what that potentially means, is all I’m saying. It feels too stressful to me and too far from what I believe “being” is about.

I’ve been in that place of getting lost in that dream. Striving, striving, striving. Busy, busy, busy. And then I forgot who I was. What it was that really brought me joy. My chocolate Lab, Cassie stopped me in my tracks as if I’d been slammed against the side of the head, when she was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. The reality was that my heart shattered in a million pieces. I was terrified of losing her.

But the last leg of her journey for eight months of living with cancer turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise for me. I stopped doing, doing, doing. I Thought. I Observed. I Pondered… and I found my way back to the center of me. The center of being.

Am I always at this center of being? No, of course not. It’s a daily observation of awareness that I’ve learned to listen to more carefully. For me, it’s a more deliberate way of thinking about what I want for my everyday life. Yoga helps me with this. My new practice of meditation is really helping me with this. But most of all, really being with my dog’s, taking in their wisdom of just sitting our walking with them, is a beautiful reminder. I love to soak in those moments. The more I do, the more I want. The more I want to “be.”