animal guides

Trapped Inside My Writing Cottage

Trapped Inside My Writing Cottage

This is new.

This darling little fellow.

Who just recently started to sit upon the birch tree branch I have outside my half-moon window of my writing cottage.

He caught my eye as I was doing my yoga practice this morning.

Sitting there so content and might I add, so dang cute!

And he sat, and sat and sat.

So unusual for a hummingbird to sit so long.

It had me reflecting on how Hummingbird has shown up quite often lately in my animal wisdom oracle card readings.

And just two days ago listening live on Facebook as life coach, Cheryl Richardson shared the news of Louise Hay, founder of Hay House Publishing, who passed away at the age of 90 on the very same day that Dr. Wayne Dyer passed away two years ago. As Cheryl talked about Louise and her dedication to helping people heal, a hummingbird landed right outside her window…

and it just sat, and sat, and sat as Cheryl talked so lovingly about Louise.

And this is the thing…life is truly magical. Hummingbird showing up just then as Cheryl talked about Louise reminding us that joy is our birthright…

in life… and in transition.

And while the title of this post is ‘trapped inside my writing cottage’ because when I wanted to walk back in the house after my yoga practice, this little fellow had returned again to sit upon the birch branch.

And he sat, and sat and sat.

His message to me that life is to be savored and enjoyed. That there is no need to rush, but to take in all the joy that abounds.

And so I waited, and waited and waited until he decided it was ready to move on with the day. And then I too opened the door and made my way into the house.

And taking with me the lesson that I am only trapped when I make that choice. But when we make the choice to pause and capture what is right in front of us that the real magic happens and with it comes so much joy.

So much joy.

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My Dog Gidget’s Lesson on Letting Go

My Dog Gidget's Lesson on Letting Go

I’ve had a pivotal shift.

It might be viewed as a bittersweet letting go, but I’m not seeing it in this way.

When Gidget came to live with me I consulted with my animal communicator friend, Dawn, and had a reading done with Gidget.

I was wondering what perhaps the deeper meaning of our coming together was about. Meaning, what did I need to learn from her and her from me?

Having had many teachings from my pets to date I welcome being open to more lessons that can help me live a more meaningful life.

From the reading with Dawn I came to understand Gidget was in my life to help keep me grounded. Interestingly enough, I am in her life to help her do the same.

When Gidget came to our home over four years ago I’d define her as anxious and fidgety. There was an insecure side to her also and she had a difficult time when I’d leave the house. And might I add I have/had the same tendencies? 🙂 While her tendencies are still true in some aspects, I’ve noticed a shift in her. 

A few weeks ago, as I usually do each morning after she eats her breakfast, I scoop Gidget up from under her blanket on her bed in the kitchen, and off to my Zen writing cottage we go for my yoga practice.

But something stopped me this day. I didn’t want to disturb her and had this selfish feeling come over me for having done so since she has been with me.

While I love having her with me, I wondered if this wanting her near me often was more about myself. And that day I decided to let go – to stop trying to control where or when she decided to be with me.

And you know what happened?  She stays cuddled under her blanket in the kitchen when I do my yoga practice in my writing cottage. In some ways this has been difficult for me because I miss her and miss seeing her sweet face as I move through my practice.

But I’m also realizing it is a lesson for me to stop trying to control things. Gidget has her own agenda too and should be allowed to express that.

Interestingly enough I had this realization reflected back to me when visiting a friend recently. When I pulled in her driveway I saw a cat walking toward me. I thought it was a stray as I’d never seen my friend’s cats out in the yard before.

My friend came outside to greet me and I said, “Is that a stray cat?”  She smiled and said no, it was her cat. Recently having returned from a retreat and she realized she had been trying to control her cat from going outside when she knew in her heart that is what he wanted.

When she surrendered to letting go, she was pleasantly surprised that trusting in what was right for her cat would be okay. And it is. He loves to explore during the day and comes home later in the day.  And their relationship has deepened.

And so it is with Gidget. I’m learning to let go and not hold on so tightly. I know in the past my dogs like a security blanket for me, but also my greatest teachers of learning to step into who I am.

I’m sensing that by my letting go it helps Gidget to learn to feel grounded within herself and dang if that isn’t a mirror to my own grounding that I need, too.

And to add to this beautiful teaching this morning when I came into the house from my yoga practice? Miss Gidget came running from the kitchen to me in a full-out body wiggle. Oh, how my heart exploded!

While she was happy to have her alone time, she was now ready to connect with me, and I with her. What a sweet, sweet deal.

And just after writing this post, then having some lunch, Gidget decided being in Kylie’s kennel is where she’d rather be this afternoon.

And so I learn to let go again and honor her wishes.

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Scattering Frankie’s Ashes – on the 5th Anniversary of her Passing

Scattering Frankie's Ashes - on the 5th Anniversary of her Passing
Altar with Frankie’s ashes

The sun streaming through the blinds woke me at five this morning. I tried to go back to sleep, but Frankie and the releasing of her ashes began to swirl through my mind, which I wrote about yesterday.

I lay in bed a bit longer thinking about her. It then occurred to me that in August she would have been seventeen years old. This is significant for me.

The day before I made the decision to help her cross to the other side I had a reading done by my friend and animal communicator, Dawn. I shared with her that I had wished Frankie could live to be seventeen. I don’t really know why I wanted that. But communicating this to Frankie, Dawn shared that Frankie felt seventeen – meaning she lived a full life and was ready to move on. That was very comforting to me.

I can’t help but link the significance of that to today being the five-year anniversary of her passing and my being ready to scatter her ashes.

I didn’t make any sort of plans for today. All I knew was that I would scatter her ashes around my writing cottage. I followed the flow of how my heart was guiding me.

At five-thirty I climbed out of bed and did my normal routine of feeding the dogs, etc. Eventually I made my way out to my writing cottage, twelve steps from my bedroom patio doors across the deck I walked. My heart in some ways felt heavy with knowing what lay before me.

I lit a candle and decided to pull out of my SoulCollage card deck the card I made of Frankie during the winter solstice two years ago. A card of her and the reminder of her gift to me – to always look for the light in dark times and to be the light as an example for others.  While I didn’t know if I’d write about my experience today of releasing Frankie’s ashes, I knew in that moment I would. 

Frankie taught me so much about the joy of living, but also that death should not be feared and to trust that our spirits live on and we can connect with our loved ones whenever we want.

Following my intuition I decided to also randomly choose two oracle cards. Joy and Dragonfly presented themselves. The universe definitly with me this morning. Joy is my favorite word and what joy Frankie brought not only to my life, but thousands of others in our work together.

Dragonfly had a message too and what Frankie taught me – to be authentically who I am – and Dragonfly card says, “You know who you are.” I do now… thanks to Frankie.

I smiled through my tears.

Continuing to follow what felt right, I did my Yoga practice. It was moving through my poses that I knew I’d sit with the box of Frankie’s ashes afterwards and listen to our song, Landslide, before I took the final step of scattering them.

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought it down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
 
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older, too
 
My time with Frankie doing the work we did together was so incredibly rewarding that the words in this song, ‘I’ve been afraid of changin’ çause I built my life around you’ would often move me to tears…it was hard five years ago to imagine my life without her.
 
But time has made me bolder and I’m so much stronger because of Frankie – and getting older and time passing has certainly brought me to a new place of understanding.
 
While we never ‘get over’ a loss and what I’d often say is that we have to be gentle with ourselves and allow ourselves to ‘move through’ grief, I’ve now come to understand it now as that we ‘live with’ it – meaning that it just becomes a part of who we are. It changes us because we can never be what we were before – but hopefully we can rest in a deeper place of peace and a knowing that to love so deeply means we will experience great joy – and to bear the pain of loss is worth it to have this experience.
 
When I took Frankie’s box of ashes off the shelf yesterday I heard a rattling inside. Not sure what it was, I decided to wait to open the box until I was ready this morning.
 
The sun streaming through the east window of my writing cottage warming my face, I took a deep breath and opened the box. The mystery to the rattle brought a smile to my face – it was a stone I had placed inside with Frankie’s name and the date of her birth and death I’d written on it. I’d forgotten all about that.
 
Holding Frankie’s ashes in my hands I realized I was holding my breath. I knew it was because I was preparing, in a way, of letting go – of taking this final step. And though I felt some resistance, I reminded myself that this wasn’t really Frankie I was holding, but that her spirit was alive and well today and always – and here for me whenever I choose to connect with her.
 
As I walked across the deck and down the stairs the stillness and quiet of the morning took my breath away – it just felt so incredibly sacred that the earth seemed to be holding me with such a beautiful gentleness.
 
As I dipped my hand inside the bag holding Frankie’s ashes my hand shook slightly and my knees felt a bit wobbly. But something guided me as I released her ashes to the ground below…and step-by-step I moved around my writing cottage releasing her back to the earth to be among the stars, the universe, and the creator…
 
As I made my way to the east side of my writing cottage the honeysuckle plant I planted after Frankie’s passing came into view. You may recall my sharing here and in my book Through Frankie’s Eyes, that Frankie visited me as a hummingbird two weeks after her passing.
 
Well, I knew in that moment, the remainder of her ashes would become one with that honeysuckle and my heart smiled.
 
We are expecting rain later tonight which feels comforting to me to know that it will help in moving Frankie’s ashes deeper into the earth.
 
The morning flowed just as it was meant to be. While I shed a few tears, I feel at peace. Very much at peace.
 
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