Kindness and a Chuckle from a Stranger

photo: Wikimedia Commons

As I pulled into a parking space at the grocery store today, my tires crunching over the ice from rain that froze overnight, I noticed him. An older man, possibly in his mid-to later 70s, walking toward his car. He stopped, looking over at me, as if waiting for me to get out of my car.

I noticed in the backseat of his car a beautiful dog, which looked to be a Carin Terrier.  I smiled.

Once out my door he said, “Are you okay to walk across the ice? Or I can assist you and you can hold onto my arm.” 

I said, “Oh, I think I’ll be fine. But thank you.” 

“You are welcome,”  he said smiling, and then added, “You sure do look nice today.” 

I sensed he didn’t mean any harm, but was just having a little fun flirting. “Oh gosh, thank you. You are sweet,”  I said.  “Is that your dog in the backseat?” 

He said, “That’s my girlfriend.” 

I chuckled. “She sure is cute.”

He said, “You see, my wife allows me to have three girlfriends. I have two girlfriends at home who are my hunting dogs and this one, she is my puppy dog girlfriend.” 

Chuckling once again at his humor, I said, “You have a very nice wife and you just made my day.” 

He said, “Well you made my day, too.” 

And on our way we both went.

I smiled practically all the way through the grocery store. And I thought about how when I was younger I would have looked away, worried that this man was weird, strange or wanted something from me.

He was harmless and just wanted to talk and in doing so, he truly did make my day with his kindness and sense of humor. And heck, even if he was flirting a bit…I thought, more power to him.  He is alive and well and making the most of his life — gotta love that!

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You Never Forget the One Who Lit the Light Within

You Never Forget the One Who Lit the Light Within
Diane and Me October 2012

Today is a special decade birthday for a dear lady I hold close in my heart. Almost twelve years ago I turned to her for one thing to find myself leaving with something completely different.

I will always say it was one of the best decisions of my life. Making the call that early spring day, my hands shaking, to work with a life coach. It would be the first step to accepting myself for who I authentically am.

Diane lit that light within me. A light of self-acceptance, of following my heart, and of moving past feeling like a failure, to seeing myself as an explorer. It was her gentle and assuring guidance that helped me to understand and value how taking time to really listen for what mattered to me would lead me to living a life with more meaning and purpose. 

That indeed has happened. It’s why I became a writer, author, speaker, and wheelchair dog advocate. The light continues to flicker and has led me to stepping into encouraging other women to pause, listen and capture what matters with workshops I facilitate — all because of a spark Diane saw in me. She held a safe and loving place for me to explore who I truly am which led me to finding the courage to test my wings and learn to fly in a way I hadn’t before.

I will never forget my coaching experience with her which led to friendship. While I don’t see Diane often, she is often in my thoughts as I expand and grow from the seeds of encouragement she so lovingly helped to cultivate within me.

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Joyful Pause Studio: Bad News and Good News

Joyful Pause Studio: Bad News and Good News

Bad News: returning home from vacation in November I discovered we had a water issue in the lower level of our house. Magazines stacked on the carpet against the wall, used for the SoulCollage workshops I offer in my studio, I came to discover when moving them that the bottom magazines were wet.

Nothing like a water problem to make your stomach drop to your feet. We pinned the problem to a chimney leak we had late August, which John had fixed not realizing the water had dripped down between the walls.

It had been a hope of mine that we could replace the carpet downstairs with something else eventually. Well, now is the time. At least for the one room.

Good News:  Today John is installing a luxury vinyl flooring that clicks and snaps together (not really as easy as it sounds, as it is a bit more challenging than he anticipated).  But it is backed by 5/8 inch cork board and perfect for basements. It also looks like wood flooring, which I love.

Of course now I wish we could do the whole lower level plus the stairs — but that will have to wait. It will also take much longer to do that amount of space which is about 800 square feet.

The other good news is I painted the room also to match the rest of downstairs – I just love that green!!  Very “zen”  I think for my workshops.

I keep telling John that the nicer he makes our house, the more I won’t want to leave it for a warmer climate which we’d like to do someday. Though honestly, I don’t know if I can ever leave completely, but would like to head to warmer temps just for the winter months.

I’m so excited about 2017 and the workshops I’m going to be facilitating on my own, plus workshops I’m collaborating on with friend Rachel, of LaValley Equine Sanctuary. We both have a fire inside us about offering workshops and it feels so good to have this new passion.

My vision of encouraging women to…

Going down the stairs to Joyful Pause Studio (and yes, John needs to reinstall trim here – always something to do!)

is coming true and that makes my heart feel much joy…which is good, good, news.

Even for women who aren’t local to my area and can’t attend my workshops in person, I’m giving lots of thought to offering workshops online, videos, tele-classes, etc. which I want to record and facilitate from my Joyful Pause Studio…so stay tuned!

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