Happy Monday to you! Today I’m excited to share with you an article I wrote for memoir author Kathy Pooler’s blog. This article on how I came to understand that transition is a doorway to learning more about ourselves.
Transition: A Doorway to a Deeper Self
When it first began, I’d only hear it now and then. But as a pivotal chapter in my life was coming to a close, it became harder for me to ignore an inner whisper trying hard to get my attention. Yet I kept pushing down the feelings I didn’t want to deal with.
I knew a transitional time for me was right around the corner, but it was too painful to think about. It meant I needed to let go of what was, and give thought to what was next.
I had found what many seek and some never define– a purpose. For six years I had a passion to bring positive awareness to disabled pets and help children and adults see their challenges in a positive way. I did this through the example of my dachshund, Frankie, who was in a wheelchair due to paralysis of her hind legs. It was what made me bounce out of bed each morning.
As I trimmed and shaped the shrubs and cut back the perennials which I enjoyed immensely this summer being that they were freshly planted this past May, I thought about Juli.
I didn’t know her well, but knew of her, having encountered her a few times because of my work with Frankie my therapy dog. She was a caring, generous of spirit lady. For the past seven years she has been on a journey living with stage four breast cancer. I marveled at her positive attitude. I learned today that her voyage here on earth ended. She was forty seven years old.
When I came across this last sprig of lilac and one last rose that managed to make its way into the world one last time this season, it made me think how Juli left her family and friends with the gift of her caring and giving nature – they will never forget that – and I’m sure she taught so many that even in the face of a difficult diagnoses and all she endured, she found a way to give back. Her obituary stating that even when very ill, she found a way to help others, never complaining, and often was heard saying, “I am fine.”
I was feeling melancholy as I thought about Juli and seeing the last of the summer flowers. While I know the flowers will bloom again next spring and the roots do their work below the surface, I remind myself that those that have walked this earth are not really gone either, their spirit in some shape or form continues and will always be a part of this planet.
And so Juli, this rose is for you – for being the beautiful soul you were while here on earth, blessing so many in your path.
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I’m so honored to have been asked to provide an article for the monthly newsletter for SoulCollage®. As many of you know, I became a facilitator two years ago. It’s a process that by working with images and creating collages on five by eight cards that lead to self-discovery.
I was contacted by SoulCollage® to write an article on pet grief and how SoulCollage® can be of help. I believe the article will appear in the November issue. I’ll be sure to share a link once it is available.
But I wanted to share with you today the card I made to honor JOIE and encourage you to do the same for a pet you love and now may be gone. But it’s also a great way to pay tribute to an animal friend who is still here with you.
I have over fifty cards I’ve made so far and it’s always touching when shuffling the cards and choosing a card at random when one of my animal friends shows up for the day – reminding me of their presence in my life and what they taught me.
As is also encouraged in SoulCollage® after making a card, to journal with it from a prompt often used in SoulCollage® which is “I am one who.” To “step into the card,” so to speak, and listen for the wisdom the image has for you and capture that in writing.
I’m reminded today as I sent photos of my cards of Frankie and Joie, and my “I am one who” journal entries that our animal friends are always with us and that we can connect with them anytime we want – it’s just making the conscious choice to be in that sacred space of stillness and connection with them.
My JOIE journal entry:
I am one who could only stay a short time. My greatest gift to you was for me to leave my physical body so that you would come to see there are gifts in transition – whether they be in death or life changes. Doors close and new ones open – each a portal to understanding yourself on an even deeper level. The water paw print I sent you from the other side was my way of letting you know you are on the right path – the one of living in more conscious awareness – one of pausing often to listen to your inner voice and bring that wisdom forth to share with others.
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About Barbara Techel
I’m Barbara Techel, author, animal advocate, SoulCollage facilitator, founder of National Walk 'N Roll Dog Day and The Frankie Wheelchair Fund.
It's the wisdom I've gained from animals that has taught me to tune in and listen often to my inner voice. This has led me to living a more meaningful and joyful life.
It brings me great joy to encourage and inspire others through my love of animals, writing, and teaching workshops, to pause often, listen deeply, and capture what matters most.