empathy

I Couldn’t Have Been More Touched

I Couldn't Have Been More Touched
Elaina with Frankie’s likeness at Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan, WI

As many of you know my dear Frankie’s memory lives on in a wonderful children’s garden called Bookworm Gardens.

Today I received this photo from my sister, Paula. She is living her dream being a nanny to two sweet little girls. This is Elaina. While recently visiting Frankie at the gardens Elaina bent down and lovingly said to Frankie, “Feel better.”

Well goodness… I have tears in my eyes just writing this! I couldn’t have been more touched.

One thing I enjoyed doing when I visited schools and libraries with Frankie and sharing her message and books I wrote about her was helping kids to understand empathy.

If children can grasp empathy oh, what a beautiful future we have! And dear Elaina is leading the way with her compassion and kindness extended to Frankie’s likeness that continues to spread that message even though she will be gone for five years as of June 21st.

What a gift this photo is as I’ve been giving so much thought lately to the anniversary of Frankie’s passing. And that our loved ones, human or pet, continue to be with us in the most special and magical ways.

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Wisdom of Healing from Mourning Dove

By embracing love, instead of fear, we become an example of the compassion and strength needed to help change the world. Peace was never won with violence and faith has never been met with darkness. Let us share hope with others through our intention to make the world a better place, one moment and one action at a time. ~Louise Hay

I woke with a heavy heart today. As an empath, I have to be careful that I don’t surround myself with too much anger or negativity. It does not mean that I’m ignorant to what is transpiring in our world, but in order for me to be my best self and serve the greater good in what I believe can add to the world in a positive way, I have to not get caught in a downward spiral of anger or fear.

And this means sometimes separating myself from the anger and fear, and doing the work I need to do to keep myself in balance. I don’t always remember to do this and can get caught up in the fear of which I found myself beginning to spiral down into this morning.

Lost is this whirl of emotions I was feeling, I glanced out onto my deck to see two mourning doves. To me, they represent love and peace – and my heart lightened realizing this powerful message that I needed to be reminded of in that moment.

Researching further into their symbolism I found this:  But far from representing death, the symbolism of mourning doves gives us optimism with its spirituality. Beyond their sorrowful song is a message of life, hope, renewal and peace.

While there is so much poison of fear being spread wide and far these days, I still hold onto hope, even when it’s hard, and I feel it quite heavy in my heart, and all I want to do is not function.

I had a choice this morning – I could let my heavy heart lead for the day – or I could work through my feelings to help them to begin to shift. The mourning doves were that needed symbol for me.

Taking a moment to expand on this, I sat down and picked two oracle cards for the day, plus one of my SoulCollage® cards. They were further confirmation of what I needed in working through all my feelings.

From The Nature-Speak Oracle – Rose – Love & Healing:  The appearance of rose, indicates an opening of the heart and the ability to touch the hearts of others. Your ability to express love now has great healing potentials – for yourself and others.

From Wisdom for Healing – Observe Your Conversations: Observe the conversations you engage in today. Are they productive or mean-spirited? Are they filled with gossip or stimulating information? Your goal: to recognize the quality of information you feed your mind each day.

My SoulCollage® card: This card represents peace and honor to me. Striving for peace and honoring that in myself and helping others to find that within themselves, which means I have to (and want to) be that example.

While I kept gradually shifting back into the space of my own truth and what I believe, yet another sign appeared from a friend who posted this image this morning saying: This is the month of love. I’m tired of all the anger and I think the we need more love!

And so it is.

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On Being a Mush Bucket and Why Mine is Overflowing.

Me-And-Simon-Come-Out-With-A-Kiss-944x629One of my favorite photos of Jon and his donkey, Simon

Hello. My name is Barbara Techel and I am a mush bucket.

Years ago when I heard a friend of mine describe herself in this way, I knew this was me too.

What is a mush bucket you ask?

Someone who gets teary-eyed whether they are happy or sad. It comes at times most unexpectedly or in situations you wish perhaps it didn’t. Like a mid-life hot flash, it just shows up. No call. No warning. There you are in the middle of it with nowhere to hide.

We find it difficult to hide our emotions. We wear them most clearly on our sleeve, and there is quite a bit that can move us to tears.

This week my mush bucket has been overflowing.

My all time favorite author, Jon Katz, underwent bypass surgery yesterday. When the news hit last week that he would be having this surgery, I was quite emotional. Today, learning that he made it through with flying colors, had the tears welling up in my eyes again.

So some may consider this silly. All emotional over a man I’ve never really hung out with. I’ve been to a few of his book signings, enjoying his talks, and have read every one of this books.

But it is his words that have taken up residence in my heart that make me look at life often times in a different way and appreciate it in a way I may not have considered.

I’m grateful for his authenticity and honesty of living the life of a writer, alongside his artist wife, Maria. Among the chickens, donkeys, barn cats, sheep and dogs he shares a life of meaning and simplicity.

His blog has become daily food for my soul. Almost without fail I read it Every. Single. Day.

With this scare of Jon perhaps not having made it through the surgery, I thought about how hard it would be to never see a blog post from him again.

Though that had my eyes welling up for a moment, I realized that his words will always be a part of me, and the sad emotion turned to grateful.

I’ve evolved and grown because of many thoughts he has so openly shared. I feel more secure in who I am through the wisdom of his own struggles he has so bravely shared on the page and in his posts.

So, yes, I am a mush bucket. I’m glad that I am. It means my heart takes things in in a big way. It grows each time this happens. I expand to appreciate more, to love more, and to be more compassionate.

To own that with all that it is I stand in the truth of who I am. I am a mush bucket and I am proud.

Anyone else out there a mush bucket too? You are safe to say so right here on my blog. I welcome all mush buckets with open arms… and lots of Kleenex.  🙂