signs

On Letting Go and Expanding

On Letting Go and Expanding
photo: http://shroomer83.deviantart.com/

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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Signs, Signs. Everywhere a Sign.

Signs. Signs. Everywhere a Sign.

Yesterday on my blog I wrote about how an issue with my right eye has had me feeling vulnerable in going out in public without eye make-up and how this has been a great lesson of acceptance of myself.

It opened a great discussion and thoughts on the post itself and on Facebook. Thanks everyone for chiming in!

The discussion continued today when I went in to get my haircut by my friend, Missy. Standing in the reception area we talked about my post and Missy agreed about much of what I said about questioning what real beauty is and how we’ve bought into what our culture deems as so. With my eye still red (but a bit better today), Missy shared with me how a spot on her face has her feeling very self-conscious right now.

Truth be told, I never saw the spot. It was her sparkling eyes and her genuine, loving personality that I saw. As we talked about self acceptance Missy looked down to see a heart shaped leaf on the floor of the salon.

And there it was! Confirmation for both of us to know in our hearts we are enough. I was thrilled she handed it to me so I could bring it home and take a picture and share with you today.

So there it is…for each of us…we are all truly enough. Believe it and really know it…for then you shall be set free.

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Synchronicity Chronicles: Why Finding Trash Made Me Smile.

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You will be invited to become a “Kairomancer”: someone who is poised to catch the messages in special moments when synchronicity is in play—and to take action to seize the opportunities those moments present. To be a kairomancer, you need to trust your feelings as you walk the roads of this world, to develop your personal science of shivers, and to recognize in your gut and your skin that you know far more than you hold on the surface of your consciousness. –From Sidewalk Oracles by Robert Moss

Thursday night I finished reading Sidewalk Oracles-Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life.

For a long time I’ve been fascinated with synchronicity and how the universe listens if we are open to paying attention. I don’t believe things are coincidence, but that it all has a purpose when things happen that seem out of the ordinary, or line up with our thinking of something in a particular moment– and then how supporting signs will show up along the way.

But it can be easy to miss those signs if we aren’t paying attention. I enjoyed reading Robert’s book because he makes a game out of it — in fact he has several different games he suggests as helping us to be more in tune with what is going on in our inner world and how that can then show up in our outer world.

And how fun it was when something happened to me yesterday morning!  I woke up thinking about Dilly Bars.  I’ve not thought about Dilly Bars in a long time. I do enjoy them, but I wouldn’t rank them as one of my favorite treats from Dairy Queen. But I certainly wouldn’t turn one away if I am offered one.

But what made me think of them in that moment, I don’t know. In the afternoon I took the dogs and we headed for a walk in a small woods near my home. As we were on the last stretch of our walk, which borders a fence to an athletic field, I noted that there were a few spots of trash along the fence line.

It always makes me sad to see litter. I almost walked by, but just couldn’t leave it there as I don’t like seeing trash anywhere, but especially when in nature.

I picked up an empty Doriotos bag, a piece of newspaper and a piece of paper that had a list of sorts on it. The last item I almost left as it was buried under some dingy leaves and sticks, but after just a few tugs, I got it out.

And when I read what it was, I smiled. It was a Dilly Bar wrapper! It made me think back to the morning waking up to thinking about this ice cream treat.

dilly bar

So what does it mean?  Well, that part I don’t really know. Perhaps it’s just a confirmation after finishing the book on synchronicity and the universe tapping me on the shoulder in case I had any doubt — that yes, this stuff is real.

And perhaps this is the universe saying, “Welcome! You are now an official kairomancer!”

Whatever it is, I never thought I’d say picking up trash made me smile.

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