Please Don’t Look Away. Invitation to a Different Perspective.

Please Don't Look Away. Invitation to a Different Perspective.

I thought about whether or not I should share this SoulCollage® card I finally made this past weekend. I know so many have a fear of snakes – and I worried I may upset others or that they may judge me for sharing this – and the thing is, I’ve had a fear of snakes for a long time, too. 

And then I recall last year having shared the wisdom of Wolf from the Animal Wisdom Tarot card deck and how a reader of my newsletter was so upset with me. She couldn’t understand how I’d advocate for wolves when they have attacked and killed livestock on her farm.

And this is the thing, I guess ….there are many different perspectives – and I meant no harm in the Wolf card I shared, just as I mean no harm or discomfort in sharing this card – my only intention to help us see past our fears and look a bit deeper….for I do believe that all animals have wisdom to share with us.

And I truly can’t say I would have said this about Snake five years ago. But I’m learning to open to animals that are often not deemed as cuddly and cute. Not that it is always easy. But as I often say, I am a work in progress.

Honestly, I’m thrilled with this card I made of Snake. It’s been in the making for over two years…simmering in my mind…waiting to be born onto this card as a reminder of the healing that snake brought to me over two years ago.

It was seeing a mama snake, in beautiful shades of iridescent greens and blues, lying dead a few feet off the end of my driveway behind my car, and her unborn, dead babies beside her, and two a few feet from her, that I couldn’t look away…even though I couldn’t understand at the same time why I felt compelled to look.

In sharing this occurrence with my friend, Dawn, an animal communicator, she helped me to look deeper into what the message might be that Snake had for me.

It wasn’t an easy one to look at – though Dawn guided me by gently suggesting that I imagine as if I was in a dream and what it may represent that I came upon this dead snake and her babies.

While it is a personal healing that took place from working with snake in this way and not something I wish to share… I will say that it was a vital shift that needed to take place – one that had been begging to be addressed for a very long time.

It helped in many ways to set me free of something I’d carried as a deep wound that wanted desperately to be released. And honestly, if someone would have told me that by seeing a dead snake and her dead babies, then working with it as a dream while opening myself to a message of healing, well, I’d have thought they were crazy.

But I no longer think that. I feel truly grateful for the experience. Working with the images as seen on the card above came together so easily for me. And when I look at it, I feel a kinship with Snake and think of Snake as my friend.

And one last bit of honesty here:  I don’t know if I could actually pick up or hold a snake… though I think I could maybe do so with my friend Dawn’s sweet snake, Chloe. She has really grown on me.  🙂  And Chloe is great at recommending good books such as this one in the photo with her, of which I had to order.

So there it is…if you made it this far… and accepted the invitation to read about a different perspective regarding snake….BRAVO!!

Photo credit: Dawn Brunke

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.

Pretty Versus Beautiful

Pretty Versus Beautiful
Photo credit: Shiloh Sophia

Recently I finished reading a book called, Wiser & Wilder – A Soulful Path to Visionary Women entrepreneurs by Kaya Singer. While this sounds like it may not have anything to do with my title post, Pretty Versus Beautiful, hang with me here. This is how my mind tends to loop.  🙂

Since discovering Kaya’s book I also found out about her podcasts. I’ve been listening to some pretty amazing and inspiring women. Listening to these women living from what is right and true for them has given my wings quite the magical lift.

Book cover artwork by Kaya Singer

My intention for the New Year is to hold more workshops for women to encourage them to pause more often, listen deeply to their soul, and capture what it is that their soul wants them to know. It’s my hope that Joyful Pause studio will be that safe space where they can open to their intuition, simmer in its wisdom and use that awareness to live a more meaningful life.

As I listened to Kaya interview Michelle Grace Lessiard, a shamanic teacher and healer, her departing words of wisdom had my eyes filling with tears. Michelle in part said that woman have to start honoring their intuitive guidance. And that women who are willing to stand up and listen to, and honor their intuition will heal this world.

Earlier in the interview she also talked about how women need to start being kinder to each other. And I believe this to be true also as we women can be awfully tough and judgmental about each other — though I will say, I have felt it is changing for the better.

This leads me to how my thoughts looped to pretty versus beautiful.  Thanks for hanging with me! When I think about a woman who is beautiful, it has nothing to do with her looks. Beautiful to me, is a woman who is clearly comfortable in her own skin, no matter what size, color, or shape she is. She is someone who exudes an inner peace and has done the work, and continues to do so. That is reflected as a beautiful light that shines from the inside to the outside.

There are many pretty women in the world, as society defines pretty, but sometimes it is only on the surface. And please know this isn’t about being catty or jealous, because that isn’t what I’m trying to convey. But there are women who aren’t pretty as culture deems so, but yet they are beautiful. 

One such person that comes to mind right away for me is Lizzie Velasquez, born with a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight. She has endured some mighty painful bullying online and off. But she has taken that and turned it into a way to spread a positive message and is described as a Brave Heart. 

As I type this thinking about her, my eyes fill with tears… she is a Beautiful. Brave. Heart. She is truly one the most exquisite examples of what beautiful is to me. She stands tall in who she is. No. Matter. What. has been thrown at her.

And as I loop back to the conversation between Michelle and Kaya on the podcast, they are what I call two beautiful women also – for listening to, and following their intuition, even when it has felt scary. They are heeding the call to stand in what they believe they are here to do…to help heal this world.

While fear may rear its ugly head at times, I ask that my creator place before me more beautiful women — they are the inspiration that lifts me and feeds my soul to keep following my own intuition and do what it is I feel called to do.

Thank you for sharing and subscribing to my blog updates.

Animal Communication Journal, Part 2: Connecting with Kylie. Letting Go of Guilt.

IMG_2106 12On Monday, two days after the animal communication workshop I hosted, I walked by the mirror that sits on my vanity and Kylie caught my eye as I saw her reflection in the mirror. I quickly grabbed my camera and got this shot. I love it. It speaks to so much of what transpired during a group connection with her.

First a bit of background:

Kylie was only six months old when my dachshund, Frankie became paralyzed. Initially, John was the one to want another Lab after our chocolate Lab passed away nine years ago. I  recall not being sure if I was ready. But then I thought about how I wanted a therapy dog. Maybe Kylie would be the therapy dog I wanted, I thought, so the excitement grew in finding just the right puppy.

It didn’t work out the way I had planned. Frankie became my therapy dog after she recovered from her disc surgery and was then fitted for a wheelchair. Looking back I know this was the plan, though I didn’t know it at the time.  As it would also turn out, and I discovered as the years unfolded, Kylie was happier in her own environment. Therapy dog work would have not been for her.

At times I’ve felt guilty for the extra attention Frankie needed, then Joie, and now Gidget. I also felt guilty many times I’d leave the house to do my work with Frankie, leaving Kylie behind. And this is such a difficult thing for me to admit – In many ways I’ve felt like I’ve failed Kylie.

During the 2-day workshop, Kylie stayed in her kennel in the kitchen or laid on the bed in our bedroom. The two places that make her feel safe and comforted. Kylie can feel off center when things are out of place and my living room was surely that with furniture arranged differently and chairs added to accommodate 10 people for the workshop. She would peek in at us from time to time, but made no attempt to want to be among us.

Dawn led the group in a short meditation and then they first connected with Gidget.  After everyone shared their thoughts about her, we went right into connecting with Kylie.

Dawn asked me to ask my question of Kylie that I most wanted to know from her, so the group could then connect with her to see what they would get.

I said, “My question to Kylie is this:  What is the one lesson you are trying to teach me that I may not yet be getting?”

What happened next with one young lady in particular brought me to tears, releasing a deep guilt I’ve been carrying around for quite a few years.  Because it was so emotional for me, I actually reached out to Renee (not her real name) via email earlier this week and asked her if she’d be willing to share her notes she’d written about Kylie from the reading. Because I felt distraught at the time, I didn’t capture exactly what Kylie had conveyed during the reading.

This is what she wrote to me about Kylie:

Kylie was being a little shy and insecure during the reading. She has a heavier energy and needs time to adjust to new things. She worries about things and has some feelings of conflict about being a dog. She doesn’t have some “normal” doggy preferences and behaviors (like playing fetch). She likes support from you and to be in the light of your love and compassion, including self-love and self-compassion.

When asked the question from you: what is the one lesson you are trying to teach me that I might not be getting? I received a very strong “YES”, there is a lesson. I felt her energy really perk up when asked this and she was very straight-forward. She answered, “Everyone needs and wants love.” There was an emphasis on the word everyone and I felt it was to represent herself and you as being included in the statement. There was no sense of judgment coming from Kylie. No self-pity, guilt or resentment, just an understanding that everyone is worthy of love. Kylie seemed relieved to have been able to share that.

Renee also told me as she was reviewing her notes to send me, the song by Melissa Ethridge, Only Love, kept playing over and over in her head. She suggested I check it out. When I did, it brought it home full circle for me (video below).

In one sense it was very hard for me to hear what Kylie shared because the guilt I’ve carried about her having weighed heavier on my heart than I think I even realized. Even though I’ve never been a mom to children, I feel trying to relate my feelings in the following way helps me make sense of it.

Trying to be everything for each of my dog’s hasn’t always been easy. Because my dachshund’s have special needs, and I love caring for them, I have always felt like Kylie has gotten the short end of the stick — so to speak. My guilt in that I don’t spend as much time with her as I have, and do, with my other dogs. But I love her. I love her very much. It just feels different.

In a sense, I’ve relied on Kylie to be the strong one. The self-love and self-compassion really spoke to me as I caught her reflection in the mirror the other day. If I don’t let go of the guilt, I can’t love myself in order to give her more of my love. The self-compassion also speaks volumes as I must be compassionate with myself and where I’ve been and how I’m evolving. Kylie’s heart is big  and open and she accepts me, even when I don’t feel I’ve been the best I should be with her.

On a spectacular side note:  After the group connected with, and heard from Kylie, something pretty special happened. Kylie came into the living room and made her way around to everyone in the room. It was if she was thanking them for the honor of being heard. It brings tears to my eyes as I finish writing this post.

Everyone is worthy of love and we must first begin with ourselves. We must remember to forgive ourselves when we aren’t at our best or try so hard to be everything to everyone.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hugged Kylie since the workshop. I silently talk with her and thank her for her words of wisdom. I also tell her how much I truly love her for who she is. But the difference now is because of my shift in understanding and forgiving myself, I believe she feels that on a whole new level for herself…. and that makes my heart so very happy.