The heart knows…and even though I’ve offered this advice thousands of times to others…I sometimes need reminding and confirmation, too.
Thank you, my beautiful, awesome community of readers…you rock! Seriously! I heard back from many of you regarding my post yesterday and my contemplation I’ve been in for quite sometime wondering if I should change the name of my Joyful Paws website. Which, if you’ve not read that post yet, I’ve decided to keep it!
Which brings me to this heart shape I discovered on my curtain in my writing cottage late last week one morning. I smiled when I opened the door and saw it. Gently peeking behind the curtain my suspicion was confirmed. It was a tiny moth.
I’ve been seeing heart shapes an awful lot this summer. And while I try to connect the dots to see if there is a message there, I simply smiled at this moth that resembled a heart shape that morning.
Then this morning another confirmation. But first, I was in such a thankful space for having heard from many of you that you love my Joyful Paws name and understand the journey of where I’ve been to where I am now and how you feel it is who I am.
And I heard from one reader, Mary Ellen, who shared she was happy that I’m keeping the name and that it makes sense. But what she said next really lit me up and warmed my heart: “I kind of see it as a joyful pause in my life to read you page when you post.”
Exactly what I hope others new to my page will understand and those along for the ride since the beginning I realize saw this all along.
As I ended my yoga practice this morning, leaning forward from my sitting position, something caught my eye under my wicker chair. I pondered what it could be.
Once done with the last yoga pose I gently pushed the object out from under the chair.
And I smiled again. Though I was sad for the death of this dear moth, I realized the cycle of her message had been made. She was the confirmation of all the work I’ve been doing this summer as I’ve been giving thought to whether or not I should keep Joyful Paws name.
Follow my heart…of course…its the best and only way to truly live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
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It’s been an interesting summer so far. I’ve been taking part in a 22-week online course called The Magic of You with transformational coach, Jocelyn Mercado which began mid-June.
In part, because I want to expand my reach and offer more of the SoulCollage workshops I facilitate, online. I’m also taking the course because I want to offer oracle card readings, incorporating the wisdom of animals, as a way to help guide others through life’s bigger questions.
The hardest part for me, and what the course helped me greatly with, was deciding whether or not to let go of the name of my website, Joyful Paws.
As many of you know who have followed me since 2007, I’ve been gradually expanding from my work with my wheelchair dog, Frankie. And while I don’t believe I’m done writing books and there will be at least one more book I’ll write, I’ve decided to set writing in that capacity to the side for now.
When I sat with my feelings about letting go of Joyful Paws, I just couldn’t do it and honestly, I didn’t want to. But I was so torn because I really want to expand my reach and help more women live fulfilling and meaningful lives. Could I do that with the same domain name? While I’ve talked about this before on my blog, the course has really helped me to finally see that it is a part of me and always will be. That made my heart sing!
Joyful Paws, which began as an outlet to share my writing, which expanded to my books and my advocacy for dogs in wheelchairs, then expanded into my wanting to teach workshops. And for many years, I’ve also dreamed about offering oracle readings to others because of my love for them as a tool I use in my own life that has helped me greatly.
Joyful Paws….at the heart of the name is how my dogs taught me to appreciate so much about life…the simple things…that we only have this moment…that it’s our birthright to experience joy. All pauseful moments of reflection that I came to see as vital to living a meaningful life. In a world that glorifies hurry and material things, my dogs have, and continue to help me see what is truly important.
All those teachings expanded to really tuning into, and appreciating the healing energies of nature, observing other animals in the world, and exploring all the many parts of myself to step into the authenticity of who I am.
Joyful Paws is so much a part of who I am…which Jocelyn helped me to fully embrace and know that I didn’t need to let go. I realized I was resisting letting go of Joyful Paws in part because I didn’t want to buy into how things “should” be done in the world of how marketing can instruct us to do. And more than anything I wanted to trust my intuition.
And so it is…Joyful Paws will stay!
Which leads me to the other part of the story to this post today…
Last week, John and I took the plunge and bought a 2018 Chevrolet Exquinox. Well, we actually leased after weighing out all the options. Our GMC Envoy is seventeen years old and she treated us well. But it was time.
In preparing to sell the Envoy, I cleaned it out yesterday. I also knew I had to remove the website decals and the “in memory of” Frankie and Joie decals off the back which I saved until last. It was bittersweet.
The Envoy, for over five years, had become what I had dubbed as “The Frankie Mobile” when Frankie and I traveled to schools and libraries in Wisconsin sharing the message to “Always be positive, make a difference and keep on rolling!” We were also so fortunate to have a few local TV interviews, too.
As many of you also know, on June 21st, the five year of Frankie’s passing, I scattered her ashes around my writing cottage. I will do the same for Joie’s ashes on August 22nd – the day she passed four years ago.
Two things I’ve really come to understand: grief is something one always carries with them and it becomes a part of who you are. And there are moments when you are called to take another healing step in that journey. This is how it has been with expanding Joyful Paws from what it was, to what it now is, and what it will be as I continue to move forward.
And so it was with removing the decals off the back of my car. While the decals are gone, the memories of my dear wheelie dogs are not. They will always be a part of me – without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Just like Joyful Paws – it lights me up – it is so much of who I am – and always will be.
I took a photo before I removed the decals:
I removed most everything except for this:
It was my way of having a silent moment and quietly saying thank you once again to my wheelie dogs for all the joy they brought to my life before I finished peeling the rest away – a joy they gave me that remains – and always will.
In sharing the photos on Facebook, two ladies offered to make me new decals which I thought was very kind and sweet. Though I won’t be replacing them.
Another said it is “an end of an era.” While in one way, yes it is, I really view it as an expansion of an era. Because in my heart I believe I am carrying on the teachings of what my wheelie dogs taught me.
And I couldn’t help but think as this all unfolded that the Envoy is seventeen years old and Frankie would have been seventeen on August 20th. And for the time I had her I had it stuck in my head that I wanted her to live to be seventeen. In an animal communication reading with her that my friend Dawn did the day before I helped Frankie cross over, Frankie shared with us that she felt seventeen.
Perhaps…just perhaps, this was confirmation from Frankie that buying this new car and letting go of the old was the right time.
And why Joyful Paws as my website will stay the same. And I finally feel very good about this decision.
And to add to the magic of the number seventeen I shared this with my friend Dawn recently who said that seven and one when added is eight, which turned on it’s side is the infinity sign.
Infinity…which symbolizes eternity, empowerment, and everlasting love.
Now that gave me goosebumps!
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