Posts Tagged by Intuition
|June 5, 2017||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Intuition, Lifestyle|
Nope, not right now.
I’ve not been good to me lately. And that’s incredibly effed up. You feel me? Right, well let’s fix this sitch, stat.
I’ve blah-blahed about self-care awareness in the past.
This time, I’m getting my bitch on about it. BTW, I took that word back long ago. Bitch = strong woman. Period. Bitch bonus: Rusty loves that determined, smart, surviving-thriving, loving side of me. Rusty loves bitches, period.
I realized that I’m doing 2017 backwards.
I’ve put everyone ahead of myself, to the point where I’ve given old battles energetic permission to resurface. Why the trauma redo? Because I didn’t get the message the first time. Call me dense. But I’ve got it now. If I’m not clear in my self-emitting signals, the Universe won’t be, either. So, pulling up my big-girl bitchy panties, let’s get specific; let’s get crystal-healing clear: Self first!
I have not been my best friend.
You should hear the smack I talk to myself: stuff I would never say to my besties, stuff I would never allow a guest in my home to say to me. What’s up with that noise? I vow, from here on, I’ve unerringly got my back. (Bitch’s back, you might say. Sorry, had to.)
I had to zoom out to clearly focus on the fix.
The big picture is the current grand-scale chaos of our country, our world. But, the biggest & best truth-picture: we are all love, we are all connected – people, animals, plants, Earth, Universe. We get wrapped up in 24/7 noisy news drama, social media, orange tweets and daily life – in a din that consumes & shrinks us, blinds & deafens us to our truth-picture. A friend asked me: “Why is everything so chaotic now, personally & globally?” Partially, it’s because we don’t zoom out; we’re being tribal & small, right-fighting. In that, we lose track & trust of the love that bonds us. Partially, it’s because the Universe is out of balance; it’s realigning now because it insists on balance. Because we’re all connected, we are sharing this universal experience. We’re all feeling it: topsy-turvy-crazy.
I intuitively zoom out.
It’s what I do; it’s who I am. (If you follow my writer’s FB page, perhaps you’ve read my monthly intuitive microblogs.) I must listen to my intuition. She’s always right, she’s calm, she’s loving – she’s always a welcome guest in my home, my work, my heart. Her voice has many sources, all from love. To listen to my intuition, follow her guidance & pass her messages to others – I must be unyieldingly steadfast in creating voice-space for her – for me. Steadfast in self-care, self-love, self-listening….. self first.
You can catch up on past microblogs here.
If one resonates with you, or you think it could help someone else, please share it. They are meant to be shared; they are messages thru me, for us all. Namaste.
- Summer realignment – the healing of individuals & community (May)
- “She Becomes” – a poem about embracing self-truth (April)
- Embrace becoming – The change-friendly message that inspired the poem and a blog-to-be. (March)
- Need-speaking – A nice empowerment to say what you need. (February)
Up next: Reaching out – June’s message, heard but not yet written…. Follow my writer’s page to catch it!
There’s a theme to the monthly messages: “Be your best friend.”
Take care of your best friend, you. Listen to your best friend. Love your best friend. Why? Because she’s downright awesome. She knows you best. She’s got your back. She’d give the shirt off her back to your friends. And people love her. She’s the gal they wanna hang with, laugh with, blow off steam with. Hell, name her if you need to. I named my me-bestie “Betty”; it makes it easier to give her a voice. My true friends know her & love her. In fact, they often greet her before me with a hearty, “Betty!!!”. They’re fond of saying, “WWBD?” Betty’s a “bitch” who knows & says what she wants. She’s fiercely loyal, loving & giving. Cosmos, chocolate, giggle-snort belly laughs & gritty-real talk – they’re the soul-stuff of her. She loves life & lives it unapologetically, regrets be damned. I love her. She’s me. We are GFFs; we are one.
In parting, I’ll share a personal intuitive message I received regarding my trauma 2.0.
“You are one. It’s a realignment. Stay on your path. You are safe & secure.” I believe that’s true for me. I believe that’s true for us, collectively. And that gives me peace and strength.
Be your bestie.
Love you because you deserve it. Embrace your Betty! Self love is your strength source. Trust and believe it. Then zoom out to this: love is Universal truth, the Universal balancer. We are all love; we are all connected. Feel that; trust that. From this truth, you’re strengthened to reach out to help others. We become reconnected as community. May this bring you peace and strength in the chaos, as well.
Want guidance on tuning into your intuition?
We’re all intuitive; it’s a sense we all are gifted with, like sight or smell. Tap into it, and you can trust it will guide you in life, career, relationships – endlessly & lovingly. To hone & honor your intuition, you must honor yourself – giving your soul space to grow and a deeply listening audience of one. What better way to be your own best friend?!
I’m offering brand new soul-based intuitive guidance sessions for humans!
Your pets are welcome to join you; they are natural, gifted helpers in this wonderful process. xxoo ~Ruth~
Love connection quotes:
- “We are one heart, one love and one spirit.” ~Panache Desai
- “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self.” ~Brian Andreas
- “Self-care is how you take your power back.” ~Lalah Delia
- “Pets are great love conduits; with their guidance we reconnect with each other with ease, without judgement.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “You should see her since she gave herself permission to rise.” ~Rebecca Ray
- “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” ~Roald Dahl
- “Never diminish your light’s strength, for it is meant to wildly, beautifully shine in this life.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Perhaps, we should love ourselves so fiercely, that when others see us they know exactly how it should be done.” ~Rudy Francisco
- “I fill myself first so I can heal the world.” ~Lissa Rankin
- “Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.” ~Ram Dass
- “Life lived authentically is all the sweeter.” ~Ruth Hagen
©2017 The Soulful Pet
|January 18, 2017||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Mindfulness, Science and soul, Training/Behavior|
2016 was a relentlessly hardcore teacher launching mammoth lessons at us.
Were you paying attention in last year’s class? I was.
Buckle up; this is gonna get personal.
And real. And uncomfy in parts. But that means last year’s lessons hit home – deeply. I accept 2016 as my teacher.
I often joke that since my post-divorce awakening as a writer and an intuitive, I somehow hooked myself to a comet that’s plummeting thru life lessons at a ridiculously head-spinning rate.
Or I’ve caught an epic wave that must be surfed to its fullest. Or both – waves by day, comets by night. Regardless, it’s a master class and I relish it.
I could be ongoingly outraged. We all could.
Hell, we’ve all been politically outraged, haven’t we? But that outrage means the lessons aren’t getting through to us. If we’re right-fighting, we’re not listening, not growing, not learning. So deep breath, and repeat after me: “Puppies & kittens, puppies & kittens, puppies & kittens.” Picture that fluffy cuteness, keep repeating & breathing. Better? Good. Time to chill out and absorb the past year’s lessons.
Here are 6 of my biggest takeaways from 2016 –
about humans, affirmed by animals (my life teachers):
- If a loving relative yells at me, it’s because she’s scared & stressed nearly to death.
She needs my compassion, understanding & stability. It does neither one of us any good if I match her aggression with aggression. Similarly, a fearfully aggressive animal needs you to kindly provide time & space for them to calm. Ultimately, they need your patient guidance through their fears later, when they’ve calmed to a non-defensive learning mode. A fierce response to humans or pets does lasting relationship damage. Don’t go there.
- If a loving partner is occasionally critical or negative, it’s because he’s stressed by his day’s events.
Again, calm compassion. And boundaries. And space and time. (He gifts me these if I’m scared or sad.) He unspokenly needs me to hold a mirror up to him, inspiring self-reflection, returning him to presence. A simple question then silence succeeds: Why are you irritated with me? (I know he’s not, really.) I do the same with irritable cats & dogs: What is not ok for you right now? How can I make you comfy? Growls from otherwise sweet animals require the question: What lies beneath the behavior? Are you sick/scared/painful/stressed? Be safe, but be there to be aware when they answer you. They will answer you. Then get to your vet.
- When life presents challenges – and it always does – they are surmountable.
Rather than obstacles, they are lessons in disguise. I see two perspectives. For legit problems, by definition, if the problem exists then so must its solution. For questionable problems, I apply the “5 by 5” rule: If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t waste 5 minutes of your energy on it today. Just let that shit go. Back to pets: I counsel my clients that obstacles are opportunities. For example: that barking dog behind the fence that your pup can’t pass without transforming into a leashed Tasmanian devil? Be grateful for this conveniently located & safely contained distraction, perfect for positive focus training for Fido. With all challenges, if it seems insurmountable, find a teacher-helper. Just do it.
- Something today might feel like a very bad thing you survived in your past, but it’s not the same.
Step back and evaluate. Is it really the same? Of course not. An example, please? I know a lot of women, myself included, who were badly affected by Trump’s rise to power because it felt too familiar. But he’s not that guy. Remind yourself of that, ladies. He’s just not. He can’t hurt you. You’re fine; you are. An animal example, please? Your new pet is not your last pet. If you were traumatized by the aggression, behavior, illness, etc. of your last pet, please know that this new animal-soul is not that trauma. If your last pet was your soul mate or behavioral perfection, your new furry family member will rise to her own unique potential if you don’t hold her back with unfair comparisons.
- Recognize mismatches and souls whose paths no longer overlap with yours. Let them go.
There is no need to keep someone in your life, even if you could, to the detriment of you both. I now know that a love that was never there to begin with can’t be lost and needn’t be mourned. While I give my heart fully, it is not fodder for others’ toxic whims. That’s where my path must diverge from theirs. It is meant to be that way. I see this play out with pets – as mismatches. A dog who needs time and space to evaluate or escape chaos likely won’t be his best with a hectic, uber-social, on-the-go family. A person who craves & insists on a cuddle-buddy cat is not best paired with a fleetingly affectionate, independent feline. Don’t insist on square peg-round holing it through life. It’s not good for anyone involved. Admit it doesn’t fit and move on. It’s a mismatch, not a failure. Letting a soul’s path diverge from yours gives them the gift to find their better fit. There are perfect matches to be found for all of us. And, it’s likely that your mismatched encounter was necessary to put you both on separate paths to better-suited, destined companions.
With that, I enthusiastically ride the waves & comets into 2017.
I am grateful for 2016’s cosmic lessons. While teachers are often cleverly, even cruelly, disguised, they are placed in our paths because our souls need their lessons. Don’t be outraged; be a life student. Always ask: What can I learn from this? How can I grow from this? Then listen. Really listen. As you studiously wait, apply compassion, kindness & empathy. Then your truest answers will come….
If 2016 was The Teacher, I believe we should put our hard-learned skills to work this year.
In 2017, let’s become The Listeners. (To be continued in my next post…..)
So what did you learn last year about yourself, fellow humans or your pets?
Who was a powerful teacher-helper for you last year? How will your lessons help you this new year? Please share; there’s strength in learning together. Go ahead, get political if you want. But be kind, constructive & inspirational while you’re at it. Remember, you’re somebody’s teacher, too. xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
Words with wisdom:
- “Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” ~Buddha
- “Remember, you’re somebody’s teacher, too.” ~Ruth Hagen
“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” ~Leo Buscaglia
“I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.” ~Queen Latifah
- “Today, I find calm clarity. I am inspired despite the election. I choose happiness (not naivety, not helplessness). I choose a path of love & light.” ~Ruth Hagen, on her FB writer’s page
- “A fierce response to humans or pets does lasting relationship damage.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “Don’t be outraged; be a life student.” ~Ruth Hagen
“I take all of my life lessons, which some people might call ‘mistakes’, and apply them to my future so that I keep growing.” ~Kimberly Caldwell
- “When you get older, you learn certain life lessons. You apply that wisdom, and suddenly you say, “Hey, I’ve got a new lease on this thing. So let’s go!” ~Robert Redford
©2017 The Soulful Pet
|September 4, 2016||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Mindfulness, Science and soul, Seasonal, Videos|
With Labor Day celebrations behind us, let’s rethink our daily labor.
It’s often a lonely, one-way journey down the very real road to burnout.
It is unhealthy, not sane or saintly, to put all things before yourself. Working more is not working better or smarter. Trust me; I know this to be true.
A 40+ hour work week takes an undeniable toll on your mind, your health and your relationships.
When all is said and done, we will not wish for more possessions or hours at work. We will wish for more memorable adventures and time with loved ones; good health; and a continued passionate, creative curiosity in life.
Be mindful in your daily work flow.
Look for inspiration; it is everywhere. Have a beginner’s mind. Embrace your passion with childlike abandonment.
With practice, you’ll find a unique personal-timing sweet spot where self-compassionate breaks meet passionate productivity.
I can be found with my muse-pup, Rusty, sitting under the redwoods, with paper and pen – should creative inspiration strike. There, I am open to the possibility of business and writing ideas, but I release them to the paper for consideration at another time.
In the big picture, there is no true place in the workplace for selflessness.
It leads to illness and resentment – the stuff of burnout. It empties you, making it impossible for you to create, find joy or give to others.
Make your work and your breaks part of a soul-filling, blissful process.
With dedication to your well being, design your days to be simultaneously productive, energizing and of benefit to others. With this, you become abundance, not depletion.
Can this self-aware design be had in a 40+ hour workweek?
Or would we best honor our souls by embracing the science that justifies a 3-day work week? Certainly, whatever the number of hours, it is imperative that we prioritize finding our uniquely personal sweet spot for our best life.
I challenge you to consider this:
If your knee-jerk reaction was something like, “I have no time to sit under a tree with a dog“, then you have missed my point. Get honest, personal and introspective. Because you’ve always done something one way, does not mean it’s best. Is your blinders-on, nose-to-the-grindstone, joyless way really working for you? Are you frequently complaining about your work? Are you chronically tapped out and exhausted each day? Are your relationships stressed? If you’re not sure, ask your family and friends for honest feedback. Be prepared to respect their words and make a change.
If you’ve read this piece to this point, you might have an intuitive desire for change.
Only you can change your circumstances. Because you deserve it, decide and do it. Now. ~Namaste.
Please share how you balance work & life. We’d love to know! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
Words to live & work by:
- “By refreshing our sense of belonging in the world, we widen the web of relationships that nourishes us and protects us from burnout.” ~Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone, “Active Hope”
- “With practice, you’ll find a unique personal-timing sweet spot where self-compassionate breaks meet passionate productivity.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” ~Audre Lorde
- “Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.” ~Kristin Hannah
- “Only you can change your circumstances. Because you deserve it, decide and do it. Now.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “Rest and be thankful.” ~William Wadsworth
©2016 The Soulful Pet
|August 24, 2016||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Mindfulness, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos|
I’m impatient…. with myself… bigtime.
I have infinite patience with people and animals. Well, almost infinite – as long as my empathic-introverted need for solitude & stillness is regularly refilled.
Today, I wrestled with the potential horror that the quicksandy feeling of writer’s block would never end.
My mind’s impatient insistence that the-now-is-forever is a slippery slope. The ride down that slide careens through glass-half-empty territory. And within minutes, my writer’s block is a concrete amalgamation filled with angsty issues….
Currently, my yard is an active volcanic system of mole holes.
It’s my first foyer into battle with these critters. Initially, I wanted to be humane: shoo them along in a live-and-let-live NIMBY kinda way. I even had a sense of humor about it: As I savored a glass of wine under my redwoods one night, both back legs of my chair sank completely into mole tunnels. I calmly poured another glass & laughingly said, “Call me Alice.” But now, I’m mole-iciously murderous. Done. Outta here. So the Mole-y War (will I win it? can I end it yesterday?) swirls together with my writer’s block. There’s more in the mix….
I spent spring in PA helping my mom as best I could with my dad, who’s critically ill.
I put my life (my business, my sweet S.O., Rusty, etc.) on hold – because it’s the right thing to do. I love my parents & I wouldn’t have it any other way. Today, it’s hard to be across the country from them as I pick up my life again. So add that to the thickening mix, as well….
And, I’m bravely-not-so-bravely rolling out a new business – which includes brand new services & new approaches to existing services.
Plus, I have books to write! Great, right? Yes, to be sure, it’s exciting! But my methods have changed, and change is unnerving. (I’m confident in my well-honed process, but how will it be perceived?) I’m following my calling to combine science & soul to enhance the lives of both humans and animals via the bonds they share. It’s groundbreaking, it’s new and it’s bound to ruffle some feathers in the training community. In order to do it, I have to write about it. (How am I doing so far? Gulp…) For that, I have to fly my freak flag just enough to not care about naysayers & gremlins. And that is the glue in this quicksandy conglomerate that occasionally paralyzes me.
But tick-tock, right?
Life is way too short to be anything less than kindly patient with yourself. We are all, human & non-human animals, beautiful souls who must share our gifts with the world. Artists, caretakers, counselors, lightworkers, teachers, scientists – we must shine our unique lights into the dark corners of this world – especially now. I learn this lesson repeatedly from animals & their people.
So, let me tell you the tale of Molly & me:
I met Miss Molly when her mom called me for help.
As her human told me their story, I sat on the floor with lovely Molly. Molly’s mom had recently lost her husband to cancer. She knew she wanted a dog to keep her company and had searched several shelters & rescues for just the right pup. Finally, Molly. As I listened, I had both hands on Molly, who calmly leaned into me. Suddenly, through my mind & out my mouth came, “You had help finding her.” It was a natural knowing that had to be stated out loud (claircognizance, I now know). It was a message that Molly’s mom needed to hear. She said, “Well, yes, my friends looked for a dog with me.” I said, “No, that’s not the help I mean.” Molly’s mum blinked and lit up. She told me, with a sparkle in her eye, that before her husband passed, they had talked about her getting a dog. Her hubby teased her that she’d probably get a little, white, fluffy dog. Molly’s mom insisted absolutely not – she didn’t want to be cleaning a white dog’s bottom all the time. It was then that I noticed Molly’s rear end: an adorable white fluffy swishy tail, white fluffy-furry haunches & legs, and a decidedly dark grey bottom where cleanup counts. We laughed….hard. Message received & sent (or vice-versa). Molly, her mom & I are friends for life. Rusty & Molly are on mole patrol as I write this.
Whew! I feel like with the telling of Molly’s story, I’m breaking out of that cementy-sandy stuff.
I must remember that the now is transient, including its feelings, its drama & and its perceived obstacles. I will not make mountains out of mole hills. I now see life’s muddy little hills as opportunities & lessons placed along my life journey’s path. I embrace my unconventional intuitive gifts, my writing, and my time with clients and pets – it’s all so precious.
Moles & gremlins, be damned.
Why? ‘Cuz, patience, dear – every little thing’s gonna be alright!
Coming soon: New pages on this site describing those new services and my new role as a positive, science-based Intuitive Pet-life Guide (IPLG). Open-minded humans and their teaching-healing pets make up our growing soul-tribe family…. for that, we are so grateful! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
Quips for patience with your creative truth:
- “Patience, dear – every little thing’s gonna be alright.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “If you’re creating anything at all, it’s really dangerous to care about what people think.” ~Kristen Wiig
- “When words are both true and kind, they can change the world.” ~Buddha
- “These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” ~Najwa Zebian
- “It is the function of art to to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.” ~Anaïs Nin
- “The most important aspect of being on a spiritual path may be to just keep moving.” ~Pema Chodron
- “Life is way too short to be anything less than kindly patient with yourself.” ~Ruth Hagen
- “If a problem exists then, by definition, so must its solution.” ~Ruth Hagen
©2016 The Soulful Pet
|February 16, 2015||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle|
Today’s not just any day. Today’s my birthday.
While I’m not opposed to telling you the number, I won’t for an unlikely reason. I don’t see age anymore. I see souls. It’s a gift – a lovely thing, really. It’s a bit like looking at Rusty and seeing his whole being, rather than just a dog or just a poodle. Moving forward in my life and my career, I know I will share this soul-seeing gift with others.
When my husband of 25 years left me last year, it shook me awake.
My intuition stepped up and spoke up. She guided me, cared for me & saved me. In my awakening, I chose happiness, released my inner writer, and realized my empathic & intuitive gifts. I am finally embracing these gifts for what they are. They’re not “skills” (as I was once told by someone who didn’t get me) or “curses” (as if I’m somehow lesser for them). I’m so happy to share them now, the keys to my soul’s calling. Knowing that is the best present a girl can get!
This week, Helen, a dear friend of my mother’s, died.
Helen was amazing. She marched to her own drumbeat, not caring who thought what of her. The world needs more chicks like that. She was a fiercely independent spirit. She shrugged off her pain, but spoke from her heart. And she expected you to speak from your heart if she let you into her world. That was the gift she gave me; she let me in. She insisted that if I visited my parents I should visit her. The gritty girl talk between Helen, my mom & I was memorably priceless. When Helen found out about my divorce, she did not pity me. Instead, she spoke to my soul: “Get out there. Don’t close yourself in. You’re too special to not share with the world.” I had my marching orders…..
So today I celebrate. I am ageless. I am reborn.
I will love fearlessly, I will write fearlessly and I will live fearlessly.
And my life will be unapologetically beautiful for it. This is not selfish; this is necessary, like breathing. This life celebration is what Helen was talking about.
My true celebration began the day my divorce became final.
That is not spiteful; it’s joyful. On that day, this “poem” flowed out of me:
“Today, I celebrate.” ~Ruth Hagen
Today, I celebrate freedom. Freedom to be myself, freedom to evolve into my best self. My soul’s freedom.
Today, I celebrate love. Love for myself and others, human & animal.
Today, I celebrate my truth. Truth that I speak, truth that I write, truth in my work, truth in my heart.
Today I celebrate kindness. Kindness extended to me by others & kindness I live to return.
Today I celebrate my essence. My essence is not broken or flawed; she is lovely. My essence is empathic, intuitive, honest, spiritual, peaceful, grateful, playful, irreverent, quirky-geeky, joyful, uncensored & loving.
Today, I celebrate. Today, I am single. Today, I am reborn.
So, dear Helen, this I know is what you wished me. This is what I wish me, too.
Together, I hope we inspire others to see souls, heart speak and find life’s drumbeat. xo ~Ruth~
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” ~Mary Oliver
©2015 The Soulful Pet
|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
|May 15, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle|
I have no idea what I’m doing.
Those were my thoughts as I entered the pagoda by the Japanese zen garden. It was a cool, misty morning, and the pool’s waterfall filled the soundscape. I sat down on one of the meditation cushions, placing my bright yellow bag on the deck by me. I crossed my legs & relaxed. I looked to my far right. The man already seated there was serenely still, with his eyes closed. With so much beauty in the garden, how could he close his eyes? With that, the steady flow of my inner, perhaps inappropriate questioning began.
“Are you sensitive to incense?”
A gentle, kind-faced woman asked me as she sat to my immediate right. “Not at all”, I responded. Good, I thought. Clearly, she’s the guide for this meditation session. She was a calming presence; I was sure she could talk me into relaxing. Incense lit, I wondered why we wanted to smell that when the dewy country morning air was so sweet. I set that aside. She struck a gong-like chime. Oddly, it brought tears to my eyes, and I thought, “omg?” (Do you think in text talk? Sadly, I do.) Interesting beginning. But then…. silence.
Silence?! I thought this was a guided meditation!
I became uncomfortable. In my peripheral vision I could see that legs were crossed & eyes were closed. There would be no talking. I was on my own. My ego stepped forward. I immediately noticed that I was the only one not wearing Birkenstocks & socks. (If you follow TSP, you know I love a cute shoe. Enough said.) I was the only one not wearing brown & black. I was the only one not shawled under a blanket. God help me, I’m sure I was the only one considering fashion don’ts @ that moment. I was off to a bad, caffeine-deprived start.
My brain scrambled to remember anything about meditation that I’d read or watched.
Ok, so you’re supposed to breathe. Check. You’re supposed to release white-noisy thoughts as they come into your mind. Fail. (I had already judged the Birkis, & now I looked down to consider that maybe that yellow bag was a cry for help.) Ok, try again. Release the thoughts & focus on your breathing, in & out. In & out. Better…..
I couldn’t close my eyes. Why not? What was wrong with me? Arghh….!
I’m a peaceful person. I should be able to do this, damn it. Suddenly, I noticed that the shimmering reflection of a tree in the pond’s gentle ripples was as relaxing as a candle flame. Ego disappeared. And the chatter stopped; what I call my Squirrel!-brain quieted. I noticed that my body was so relaxed that it seemed to somehow be floating below my mind. And then, the writer took over. Big time.
She started writing rapidly, in full & visual sentences, mind you, describing the experience.
I started to kick myself for working while meditating. (Is that a felony or a misdemeanor?) I had silenced the squirrel alert – now I had to deal with an annoying blogger posing as a wanna-be Buddha? Then it dawned on me: this was why I was here. This should not be silenced.
I gave the writer full reign.
After all, amongst its many benefits, meditation is supposed to enhance creativity. So be it! I’ll write this post in my head before I get home. Unfinished, the writer quieted. It was eerily still in my head. (Where’s that when I’m trying to get to sleep @ night?) Then, I heard that familiar voice from within. She’s calm, still & wise. She has saved my life, and she guides me daily now. I deeply respect her. She’s Intuition. She said: “Patience. You have never been patient with yourself.“
Finally, I closed my eyes with ease. Amidst the water’s soothing cascade, I could hear birds, frogs & the town waking up. I didn’t want to leave. And – apparently, neither did my entire left leg. It had fallen sound to sleep, from my toes to my hip! Great. So much for zen. I had to move my leg, or I wouldn’t be able to stand up when this was done. (When was this supposed to end, anyway?) I lifted my leg to uncross it, and gracefully hit the deck rail with my foot. As jarring pins & needles traveled up & down my entire leg, the sound seemed to echo through the entire garden. I’m such a dork. Oh, look – there were cows on the hillside. When did they arrive? Squirrel!!
And the silence was broken. What I thought was a half hour had actually been an hour well spent. I walked back to the car, grateful for permission to be patient with myself. I have infinite patience with animals. I have patience with their humans. But with myself? I’m trying. Rusty is infinitely patient with me, and he has a Squirrel!-brain. He seems to know what he’s doing. I’ll learn from my Birki-free poodle Buddha.
Boy, do I have questions for you!
Do you have meditation tips for a newbie like me? What have you learned about yourself through meditation? Are you patient with yourself? Did your pets teach you patience? How did that lesson present itself? Please share! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|January 19, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Training/Behavior, Worthy reads|
Deep breath. Not a wimpy, shallow stress breath. Deep belly breath. And again…
This is zen stuff. So as I tell my tale, don’t cry-for-me-Argentina. I’m fine. Rusty’s fine. Another breath, in…..out. Now – we’re ready to begin.
My life has been mixed up & thrown up in the air like
a tossed salad Miley Cyrus rode a wrecking ball thru it, naked.
Divorce isn’t pretty. In the midst of lawyers, counselors, therapists, paperwork and all the emotional garbage – I’ve been reinventing myself. Some days that goes very well. Others are a hot mess, like Miley twerking, tongue out. On my Miley days, I remember to breathe……
My anti-resolution was to simply be me.
That’s carrying me through all of this. How? Because, as it turns out, I’m a bit like Dorothy. I always had the power to pull through this, ruby slippers or not. I’m just realizing it now. Still, I can’t hate the slippers. They’re cute, right?
Being me includes being intuitive & empathic.
I recently learned how to hone both of those gifts a bit more – just in the nick of time, as it turns out. More on that later. We are all intuitive. Some of us are just better listeners when our intuition (or soul or heart or inner voice) speaks up. If you haven’t started listening, start. Your intuition could save your life. So tonight, before you go to sleep, try this simple intuition-enhancing exercise: Ask your intuition for guidance on a specific question or concern. Afterwards, pay attention to dreams, words, images or even a calm “knowing”. Don’t dismiss them or shrug them off. It takes practice & trust. Listen.
Empaths listen, too.
I recently discovered that I’m an empath. What’s that? Some hocus pocus? Not at all. Subconsciously, we sponge up the energies & emotions of others (pets & people, for me) in our environment. I believe that animals are empaths because they are naturally & keenly connected to their environment. As with intuition, we all can (& should) enhance our capacity for empathy. I started “The Soulful Pet” to help humans empathize with their pets (without anthropomorphizing) to realize that we share common life experiences & emotions. We can learn from our pets by experiencing the world via their points of view. To quote Buddha: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Your pets are always ready to teach. Are you listening & learning?
So here’s where it gets eerily real for Rusty & I.
I practiced asking my intuition for guidance last night, for the first time. Then I had a whopper of a nightmare for which I’m giddily grateful. In it, I received 3 solid answers to pressing life questions I had just posed. Wow! Still considering the implications of intuition, I went about my morning. I prepped the house for an appraisal, staying calm for the sake of my little empath, Rusty. Then Rusty waited in the car, all snuggled up under blankets, as the appraiser did his thing. It was quick & painless. I sprung Rusty from the cozy car, and let him outside to potty as I made coffee. It would be nice to spend the rest of the morning writing with my poodle buddy curled up by my side….
Within 5 minutes, I realized something was horribly wrong.
Had the appraiser closed the gate? I was sure that he hadn’t. Normally, I would NEVER let Rusty out without checking. But it was a Miley day, for sure. I ran out back, calling Rusty. No poodle & the gate was wide open. My heart leapt to my throat. I ran barefoot into the street, calling. Still no Rusty. Then, the calmness came. I heard my freshly prepped intuition speak: “Don’t waste time. Put your shoes on & get in the car. He went for his walk. He’s sniffing, so he hasn’t gone far.” Literally, I heard that word-for-word in my head. Shoes on, car moving, deep breath…..
Sure enough, Rusty was nose-to-the-ground a block away, walking our usual route.
I got out of the car & happily (I’m an adequate actress.) asked him, “Where are you going, little man?”. He looked up @ me, wagging his tail, clearly saying, “What took you so long? We’re going for a walk, mom!” I scooped him up, tucked him in the car, and, as we drove home, I promised him that we’d do that walk together. Whew.
Here’s what I know.
I will continue to hone my intuition. It’s life-savingly imperative. I will work on Rusty’s recall. We all need a little brush-up on our skills in the new year, yes? And, through my life’s upheaval, I will remember to breathe. If I forget, Rusty will remind me. We’re going for a walk now, because Rusty knew it would be good for us both. (I think that’s why he started without me but waited for me to catch up.) It’s the best kind of walk, where Rusty sniffs & I meditate. I breathe in as Rusty takes several steps, and out as he takes a few more. (I just learned that lovely trick from Michael Chase’s book, “The Radical Practice of Loving Everyone“.) Rusty receives relaxation from me and I from him. We are simply two intuitive empaths out for a stroll. I know that we will be ok, with every step, sniff and breath we take.
Do you and your pet have a special connection?
An unspoken language of your own, perhaps? Has your intuition saved you and/or your pets? We’d love to know about it. Heck, we know you’re not crazy… xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2014 The Soulful Pet
|December 18, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Blog hops, Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Pup culture|
This is a scary-new kind of post for me. Why?
It’s my first blog hop! I’m amateurishly rubbing elbows with fellow pet bloggers who I admire. Why else? While I’ve given you a few personal glimpses of me in The Soulful Pet’s first year, it’s been much easier to hide behind my sweet pup, Rusty. It seems that I’m not alone in the pet bloggers’ world in that way. Which is why this blog hop is called “Meet the Bloggers”, aka “The Grand Unmasking“. We’re all exposing ourselves a bit more than we naturally would without a push.
Why on Earth should I do this?
Why answer all these pre-determined, personal questions so god-knows-who can read into my soul? I squirmed as I asked myself this when I read about this event. My knee-jerk was “hell no!” Then I realized that it’s the writing version of my cliff jumping, ziplining adventure. So Geronimo!
First, to participate I have to literally expose myself in a candid pic.
I was going to cop out & use the uber-lucky selfie that I’ve slowly grown comfy with you seeing on The Soulful Pet. But, as with ziplining gear, vulnerability shouldn’t be pretty. So here’s a painfully raw, un-Instagrammed outtake (complete with trashcan in the background) from the selfie session Rusty & I originally endured for this site’s sake. We are blissfully selfie-challenged.
Deep breath. Now to answer those pesky, disrobing, probing questions:
What’s your favorite non-animal related book?
I just finished Chelsea Handler’s, “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.” She makes me laugh – hard. She puts the “coslopus” into being a strong, funny bitch. Love her. (She does talk about her dog, Chunk, in the book, but just in one chapter.) Was I supposed to be more cerebrally high brow with this answer?
What’s your favorite non-animal related movie?
Sooo many! I love to laugh, and I love a roller-coaster scare. So I’ll say “Bridesmaids” & “The Cabin in the Woods”.
What’s your favorite non-animal related food?
Does that mean it has to be vegetarian or vegan? A glass of juicy red vino & eggplant Parmesan is heavenly. I was pesco-lacto-vegetarian until I started cooking for my boxer. Now, I can’t wait to visit family in PA and have a REAL Philly cheese steak. Extra sauce, light on the cheese, no peppers or onions, soft roll – drool!
Who’s your favorite actor?
Now that she’s played a sex addict in “Thanks for Sharing”, I can properly answer this otherwise dull (sorry) question: P!nk!
What’s one thing you have to do every day?
Car dance & sing, usually to P!nk, Jessie J, or Karmin – turned up LOUD. Of course, if Rusty’s in the car I tone it way down. Not the dancing, just the volume. He loves it when I make a fool of myself. Today, though, even I was embarrassed to be with me as I jammed to Daft Punk on the way to the gym.
What makes you feel fabulous?
That’s easy: being loved & cute shoes.
What do you wish you were more skilled at?
Spanish & techie stuff.
What’s your favorite holiday?
A self-ish, elfless Christmas with loved ones.
I make a mean chicken & dumplings. Yum!
What do you like to do in your free time?
In no certain order: Hike with girlfriends; visit consignment shops & local galleries; bake; read; try new restaurants; drive thru the countryside & along the coast; and hang with my little man, Rusty.
What one word would people who know you use to describe you?
Why is this so hard to answer? Ugh! No, that’s not the word. Still thinking & feeling awkward. Can I phone a friend on this one?…. OK, I just asked 5 of my girls, & I got 5 words. I’m not picking one. They said: loyal, loving, selfless, compassionate & kind. I think I’m a golden retriever.
If your pets could talk, what one word would THEY use to describe you?
Trustworthy. I really try to be predictably stable, kind & fair for my pets – no matter what’s happening in my life. As it turns out, that’s good for me, too.
What is one thing you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I could write a book on this, and I might someday. Plain & simple, I survived the last year of my life: burnout after 20 years as a pet behaviorist, anxiety & learning that my husband doesn’t love me. Currently, I’m rising like a Phoenix from its ashes, reinventing myself as a writer. (I’m fascinated & inspired by our bonds with pets.) Loving family & friends – and Rusty – give my wings strength.
How is your pet most like you?
Rusty & I are both very sensitive to our environment & the beings in it, pets & humans, alike. We don’t like chaos. We’re extroverted introverts.
What can your body do for you that makes you most proud?
My intuition is pretty keen. I’ve learned to listen to her over the years. She’s saved my life & my sanity many times. And, she’s made me a better behaviorist, writer & friend.
If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
On the heels of this horrendous past year, I’ve already made that change. I consciously chose happiness. As a result, I know that all of the other pieces will fall into place. I’m good.
Other than blogging, what are three things you do that bring you joy?
I can’t be alone in this: Couch surfing with my dog, cozy under blankets. When I’m stressed and/or I have a nasty case of writer’s block, I need to be in nature. And, I’m a super happy girl while sipping a delightful vodka cocktail, dining al fresco on a warm summer night with good friends. Cheers! Wait, there’s a fabulous fourth joy: MUSIC!
What’s one thing you could do to be more kind to yourself?
I’m learning to ignore negatives, whether they’re internal (self-talk) or external (haters). Life’s too short.
What drives you nuts about your pets? What melts your heart?
My pets don’t drive me nuts. I do hate thinking about how short their precious lives are. So I stay in the present, enjoying each moment with them, accepting & honoring who they are. They are my teachers. I’m blessed, not driven nuts. That and a warm snuggle or a howl fest, melts my heart.
If you didn’t have your current pets, what pets would you choose to have?
I was without a pet for 3 years after my soul-mate cat, Alex, & my boxer boy, Gumbo, died in 2006. Never again. I’d love 2 dog-friendly cats & one cat-friendly dog. That’s my perfect pet family. It just feels right. But Rusty is anti-kitty, so he’s solo unless his doggie buddies visit.
So now that I’ve peeked out from behind my pal Rusty to risk dying of exposure, please join me.
I need some company here. I’d love to hear from you. Why not answer a few questions yourself? It’s not so bad, after all. Maybe I should try skinny dipping next? Hmm…. I do have a friend who’s been trying to convince me to join her at a Buddhist retreat – naked in their hot springs. Happily peeling the layers off….. xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
©2013 The Soulful Pet
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