|November 5, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Recipes, Soul food, Uncategorized|
Where have we been?
Traveling; spiritual journeying (me – I don’t know about Rusty); spending time with family, friends & nature; and eating well. We’ve collected wonderful memories & stories along the way. Here’s a taste….
I hate airports & planes.
It’s not a fear of flying. It’s the impersonal, cattle-herding, soul-sucking nature of the airport that wears me out like the flu. Once boarded, I find myself praying not for the plane to remain intact for the duration, but for my seatmate to not be an escaped lunatic. Truly, being trapped with insanity or Chatty Kathy is my nightmare in the air. Folks ask me why I don’t take Rusty. I wonder why on Earth he’d enjoy it anymore than I do? I think he prefers to stay on terra firma, curled up in a biped’s bed. I get that.
I confess, I used my miles to fly first class on my last trip.
I’m a solo-flying newbie, so comfort eases my stress. A good friend urged me not to use my miles to fly domestically. She wants me to see the world; I want that, too. But a girl has got to get comfy flying alone first; the world will wait.
Fast forward to boarding.
I finished a text while praying to the plane gods that the seat next to me would stay empty. Suddenly, a cheery voice said, “Well, hello there!” I looked up and saw an open, genuine, happy soul smiling with his eyes. Immediately, I was relieved. This would be a terrific flight. We toasted, laughed & chatted the entire trip. We anti-smalltalked about life’s twists & turns, family, work, dreams, goals – it was effortless & meaningful. If I dozed off, he greeted my awakenings with, “So, d’ya have a good nap? Want anything?” I thanked the plane gods several times that flight. Lovely, lovely guy.
The return flight was completely different.
I sat beside Mr. Gadget. Despite my polite efforts to catch his eye to @ least greet him, he plugged in & tuned out from the start. I’m not judging; who’s to say that he wasn’t using his own social/emotional crutches? Clearly, the rule was no talking. Faced with a bad movie, not being tired enough to sleep & cracking a new book open – I chose none. Instead, I opted to spend 6 hours on a plane with no tech, no books, no movies, no talking. A few naps. Lots of internal chatter about where my life is going, why some I loved have left it, if I can make a go of my dreams, & if others will hop on board with my visions. Daunting stuff, that. As I watched clouds, lightning & snow covered peaks go by, I finally heard my intuition speak. (That girl needs silence, no way around it.) She said, “Continue to find inner peace & happiness.” Sigh. So simple, yet it’s everything. This writer & awakening healer needs to listen in the silence. We all do.
Rusty & I celebrated our reunion with a kitchen concoction. It’s basic, ‘cuz after a trip I usually only have pantry basics. And, I’m usually too dog-tired to slog to the grocery store. So this happened:
Ruth & Rusty’s Simple Smoothie
Ingredients (use organic when you can)
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/2 cup non-fat milk
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
Puree in a blender until smooth & serve asap. I drink mine from a glass. Rusty prefers his served on a saucer, topped with some oats & a dash of cinnamon. Really, he does. He refused it otherwise.
~Tweaked a tad from Martha Stewart~
Here’s the thing: finding inner peace & happiness is an inside job.
You can’t rely on someone or some place or some time to make you happy. Period. Look inward. Yes, it’s scary. Who cares? Just do it. Those negative thoughts & voices you hear in the silence? They’re not you. Not the real you. The real you is love & gratitude. So any voices who talk smack about you like you couldn’t imagine talking to a loved one…let them go. That’s your gremliny brain prattling on with hurtful nonsense. Notice those thoughts, and watch them pass by like the scenery from a plane’s window. Don’t push them away; that strengthens them. Notice & release. Come back to your grateful heart & breath. This takes daily practice because you’re retraining your brain that’s naturally hardwired for negativity. Think of it as working out your happiness muscle.
Ditch your expectations.
Expectations are created by perceptions. What? Yeah, they’re not real, either. Like the gremlins in your dome, what you think should happen isn’t necessarily best for you. (Gasp! Your ego could be wrong!) If you don’t attach to an outcome, you won’t be hurt if it doesn’t unfold. And, you’ll be able to see the fork in the road offering your better path. You’ll also see the wonders around you for not clinging to a mythical outcome. Clinging causes suffering. Self-imposed suffering stifles happiness. Back to my plane ride: While I thought I didn’t want a seatmate, in each case, the men who sat next to me gifted me. One with connection with another soul, one with connection with my own soul. Be present; be mindful; be happy.
Yep. Big, juicy, nasty shit-storms. Stay strong; weather the turbulence. Take shelter by leaning hard on people who truly love you. Let them help you because they want to help you. Asking for help is strong, not weak. Slog through the gooey, mucky mud puddles with your pals. You must go through it, and you can get through it. But you’re not alone in it. My mama’s fond of saying, “This too shall pass.” And, like a storm, it does. It does, friend. (Oopsie, sorry for the swear words, mum.)
So that’s what happens when I fly solo. Deep freakin’ thoughts – or welcome distractions from delightful peeps. Either way, I’m cool. But I am glad to be back on terra firma with my pal, Rusty.
Convince your mind to follow your heart, and enjoy the ride! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|September 9, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Uncategorized|
“Impossible”, you say?
You watch your dog delight in endlessly fetching that disgustingly slimy ball. You watch your cat squish herself into the tiniest nook or balance on the wobbliest perch. You ask, “How can that be fun? How can that be comfy?”
Our pets are blessed with the ability to feel happiness, as are we.
But they’re more open to what brings them joy than we are. Before you think them simple-minded, how easy is it, really, to find joy in the little things? Maybe our pets are onto something. Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. Yep, a big, wet slobbery KISS is what your pets can teach you.
I know you’re an overthinker. I am, too. We’re human.
It’s easy for a goofy dog to be overcome with mud-puddle joy when he doesn’t have a job, kids, home, bills, etc. to deal with. Kitty’s purrfectly content with a sunny spot & batting feathers on a wand. She’s not carpooling, running errands, reporting to the boss (she’s the boss!), or making dinner while running on the fumes of empty. My point exactly.
Ever watch your pet just being and say, “It must be nice”?
After all, someone has to pay for the kibble, right? Ah, yes. But if that human someone isn’t happy, it all falls apart. So with that in mind, choose happiness. It’s a choice; make it now. Practice everyday. Start by finding time to mindfully join your pets in their bliss for just the shortest of periods. Be fully present. Soon you’ll say, “Now that IS nice.”
I chose happiness as my marriage fell apart around me.
My intuition spoke loudly & clearly as I looked in the mirror, heart pounding & hands trembling, at my shockingly tear-puffed eyes. She said, “Choose happiness.” I listened to her calming wisdom; it’s the best thing I ever did. It didn’t mean that I was happy @ any given moment, but it was my new foundation as the rug was yanked out from under me. I could feel it under my feet, in my bones, in my heart & in my soul. I honor it every day, and I wish it for you.
Life happens. Go ahead & choose happiness, anyway.
No excuses, because you’re so worth it. When things get rough, it’s critical to get back to happy. It’s all around you, if you open to it. No time now? Then schedule happiness into your day. Make it a priority; make you a priority. Be “self-ish“. How? Find quotes, art, people, nature, animals, music, books…. that inspire & resonate with you. Do it daily, like taking vitamins or exercising. Let’s get started….
My personal dose of back-to-happy vitamins, randomly discovered today.
May they inspire you, too!
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but one’s self.” ~Virginia Woolf
- An article:
“How to Use Your Intuition for More Fun, Flow & Money in Your Business” by Stephanie Todaro
- A Buddhist tale:
“A man said to the Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, first remove “I”, that’s ego, then remove “want”, that’s desire. See now you are left with only happiness.” ~Unknown
- A personal moment of mindfulness inspired by last night’s beautiful moon:
“I look at the sky every night to remind me that we’re all connected. It’s at once calming & empowering to know that we are part of something so infinite, and by comparison our issues are so finite. ~Ruth Hagen
- An intuitive message last night:
“You need more silence.” Since I never doubt her, I’m taking steps to create more silence immediately. I will share them with you next week. In the meantime, I signed up for a free 3-hour seminar on beginning meditation @ my local Shambhala Center. I need help being a student of silence!
- A walk with Rusty
- And a happy song!
Life, Love & Laughter – That’s what it’s all about, humans.
Choose happiness. Go on & get yourself some! We’ll be here with daily inspiration.
Share what inspires joy in you. Join us! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|September 26, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture, Rusty's place, Seasonal, Uncategorized, Videos|
So how was your summer?
Mine was poodle pawesome, but not canine cray like these pooches.
They are howlin’-at-the-moon lunatics. Settle down, dawgs. Settle down.
What?! Cats, too? I need a summer do-over, dawgs! ~Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
|May 22, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Pup culture, Recipes, Soul food, Uncategorized, Videos|
Let me begin by saying: Vegas hurts my brain.
It’s soul-suckingly devoid of depth & charm. It’s especially sad to see women trying too hard to be Vegas-distorted versions of themselves. Too made up, too drunk, too-tight & too-short everything – all that posing’s just not cute. It’s like watching a parade of regrets-in-the-making. Thankfully, I’m immune to the din & lights that seduce gamblers. So what’s left to love about it?
My hubby thinks my Vegas aversion is weird.
He loves watching the human train wreck parade. He’s energized by it all. Give the guy a gin & tonic and a blackjack table, and he’s a happy boy. I don’t get it, but I like to see him happy. So imagine his surprise when I told him I wanted to go to Vegas for my birthday. What? Vegas, baby?!
Before you write me off as a buzz-kill prude, know that I have layers. And an id.
What you see isn’t always what you get with me. I’m working on letting my layers rise to the surface more, which means that my id gets a little fresh air. I can go to Vegas with a purpose. My birthday purpose was P!nk. I’m a huge fan. So’s my id.
Why P!nk? The short answer: she’s a genius. The long answer: she has layers, too.
She’s a gifted lyricist, singer & musician. She’s also an animal advocate, a yoga enthusiast, a mostly-vegetarian, & a happy new mom. She’s incredibly smart, with a wicked sense of self-deprecating humor. She’s the first to describe herself as socially awkward and shocked that she’s a cover girl. (I’ll stop soon. I can hear my hubby saying, “chick crush much?”. Yeah, just a bit.) Under her “tough” exterior is a softie who’s overcome major heartaches & obstacles beautifully. She’s refreshingly uncensored, honest & outspoken. Take her or leave her, she’s no poser. She sings from her soul, and she inspires me, so I’m sharing her with you.
Take a listen to P!nk’s acoustic version of “Who Knew”.
(Adorable when she interrupts the song to talk to her baby girl, off screen.)
For years I couldn’t listen to this song without crying about my sweet boxer boy, Gumbo, who I’d recently lost. Recently, on Palladia’s Storytellers, P!nk said that this song’s meaning changes for her depending upon what’s up in her life. At times, that’s included departed dogs for her, too. Who knew?
The morning after Just hours after P!nk’s killer show, we trudged into the hotel’s breakfast buffet with low foodie expectations.
In the midst of mystery concoctions that my tummy didn’t want to meet @ that moment, I stumbled upon a yummy gem of a granola parfait. Determined that this wouldn’t stay in Vegas, I recreated it @ home so I could share it with you (& Rusty), too. Here it is, healthier and with a twist of lemon:
Ruth’s Vegas Zen Granola Parfait
In a glass, layer honey (or maple syrup), plain Greek yogurt, honey, granola, mixed berries, and Lemony Whipped Cream. Dig in!
In the wake of a recent granola recall, I started making my own again. My fave recipe is “Power Granola” from Cooking Light magazine. It’s easy, delish, tried-and-true. If you’re a coconut fiend, you’ll love Deb Perelman‘s “Big Cluster Maple Granola“. For this granola, I dialed back the sweetener in the parfaits by using less maple syrup. Tip: When you layer your parfaits, use the same sweetener that you used in your granola.
Lemony Whipped Cream
Using a whisk attachment on your mixer, beat 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 Tbs. store-bought lemon curd on high speed until it’s creamy, smooth & thick – like yogurt. Or – Using your finger tips, rub 1/2 tsp. lemon zest into 1 Tbs. granulated sugar until it smells like lemon candy. Beat 1/2 cup whipping cream, as above, for 1 minute. Add the lemony sugar. Beat again until soft peaks form. Tip: This whipped cream keeps for about a day, refrigerated in a sealed container. It’s best to make small batches, as needed. And you’ll NEED it.
Yes, your dog can enjoy your parfaits.
Just deconstruct them before you share. We’ll taste test doggy granola recipes and report back in a future post, so stay tuned. Minimal sweeteners and no whipped cream or overly caloric human granola for your pup. What to share? Rusty loves plain, non-fat yogurt. Berries are an acquired taste for him. If I cut a blueberry in half, he might eat it. But combine the two in his “Beat-the-heat Treats“, and he’s poodle putty in your hands!
Long story shorter, I finally found an elusive oasis of non-posers in Vegas.
They were all waiting in line for the zen-master’s concert, which was awesome. I can now say the cliche, including the t-shirt part. Best of all? My husband, confident in his manhood, confessed that P!nk “put on a great show”, and we’re going again for our anniversary. Zen on! Who knew?
©2013 The Soulful Pet