Posts Tagged by Walk
|March 15, 2014||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Recipes, Seasonal, Soul food, Videos|
After a rare kumbaya mediation with my nearly-ex last week, I decided to keep the flow going.
I visited a local & heavenly spa for a much-needed (understatement!) massage with a very intuitively talented therapist, Laurie. (Before you dismiss me as decadent, know that I had a bday gift card from my hubs in hand. That’s part of our kumbaya how-we-do now.) Back to Laurie: Usually, when she greets me, she asks what spots need work. And usually, as with most of us, the tension that needs easing is in my neck & shoulders. Not this time.
I told her what was happening in my life. I told her that the horrors of it were throughout my body.
As an empath, negativity soaks into my body. I can’t prevent that, & I don’t know how to rid myself of it – yet. I’m learning. With tears in both of our eyes, I asked her to be my guide. She smiled warmly & wisely as she said, “I’d be honored.” Then, to lift both of our spirits & energies, she said, “Let’s just play & see what happens”. I was completely up for that.
Given the option of beginning face-down or face-up, I chose face-down.
I’m not sure why, or if I should even know why. But, I mention this because it was a decision that led to one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. As Laurie began, her pattern & energy were quite different than when she’d last seen me. I knew that she was working some magic. As my thoughts drifted from divorce to house repairs to health insurance & financial fears to reinvention & writing ideas, I consciously let them pass by. I followed my breath and Laurie’s touch. I focused on the music of the flowing stream & bird chirps just outside the window.
I wondered if I would cry as my tensions released. Thankfully, I just relaxed.
Yes, I know this is a first-world issue: Have you ever tried to deep-breathe face down with a snot-filled, runny nose? Forget cute. On second thought, I take back the “first-world” thing I just said. This massage was every bit a necessity & prescription for part of my soul’s recovery. If I told you that I popped a pill to get better, I wouldn’t dismiss its importance. Yet that Rx would be such an unnatural fix by comparison. This was a crucial spiritual remedy for me. One that I highly recommend for you, too.
Here’s where the magic (& weirdness) begins. If magic wasn’t weird, well then it wouldn’t be magic, would it?
Halfway through & completely relaxed, I turned face-up. The fleeting thoughts that have fed past panic attacks were long gone. Laurie had managed the impossible in that my mind & body felt lighter, less burdened. As my brain became blissfully quiet, something amazing happened: In my mind’s eye, with a flapping woosh!, I suddenly saw myself on the table with large, thick white-feathered wings spreading from my back. My wingspan filled the room, and a few feathers lazily floated to the floor in the flurry. At the same time, a life force filled my body. What on Earth was that?!
Still stunned & winged, my massage came to a too-soon end.
Laurie left the room, inviting me to take my time getting up. As I eventually arose, I didn’t have my usual case of fogged-up massage brain & my-body’s-a-noodle-now lack of strength. Instead, I was energized. My wings were somehow still with me but hidden from sight. Outside the room, Laurie greeted me with a glass of water. I thanked her sincerely. Then she floored me: she said, “I know you’ll be ok.” She felt the energy & life come back into my body soon after I turned face-up. I confessed that I wasn’t going to tell her for fear of sounding certifiably cra cra, but that that was THE moment I sprouted wings. We shared our amazement & hugged goodbye. I walked away with chills & goose bumps.
The day’s synchronicities didn’t stop there.
As is my custom, I meditated by the spa’s zen garden afterward. As I watched the koi fish lazily swim in their waterfall-fed pond, I wondered about those wings. Where had they come from & what did they mean? Strolling the meandering path around the pond, I suddenly realized that I was going to write a book about my new path! What?! This certainly wasn’t my plan; it was as if the thought had just been inserted into my psyche. I smiled as I remembered the many times my mom told me I should write a book about my experiences as a trainer. Each time, I told her I’m not inspired by that. The last thing I want to write about is how to get Fido to sit-stay or Trixie to pee in the box. So what was this new inspiration? How is it connected to wings?
I have a hard & fast rule.
I never leave the spa without visiting the amazing artisan bakery & gardens just across the street. That day, I craved their sticky buns. Step back, there was no stopping me. Jazzed about being next up in the always-long line to the counter, I completely forgot that they don’t accept debit cards. When the owner kindly asked what I wanted, I sheepishly confessed my lack of funds. He didn’t miss a beat. He said, “We take checks, cash & mailed checks. So what do ya want?” I heartily thanked him & drove away as my car rapidly infused with the smell of fresh-from-the-oven warm, gooey, cinnamony buns. Such a sweet, heavenly experience. The check was most assuredly in the mail!
So what was the wing thing? One of many signs that I’m finally being true to myself, perhaps?
I believe that when you are on your correct life path, you see synchronicities. The stepping stones on your path are illuminated, and you walk your path with ease. There’s a flow to life – a knowing without trying. (Ever notice that walks with your dog or laptime with your cat go better when you’re more peaceful?) That week’s discoveries & kindness gems (delightful synchronicities) extended into this week, with generous gestures from beloved girlfriends. Tearfully grateful tangent here:
Girls, you know who you are. My goddess friend who cries when I cry & does my hair for free occasionally, asking for nothing more than a kiss on the cheek or puppy advice in return. My gorgeous, strong, wise, sista-from-anotha-motha personal trainer who just hugged & kissed me & sweetly gifted me her time so I can reach my 2014 goal of “being buff”. My inspirational GFFs who drag my ass up a mountain @ least monthly & just surprised me with a birthday brunch. The FB army of wise & supportive women who always know just what to say. My friend who sweetly cupped my face as she asked if I was ok on a day when she was recovering from surgery but I was the one who could barely stand – & then invited me in for a huge cup of tea served with laughs & wisdom. My east coast girls, who define BFF, picking up where we leave off, no matter how long it’s been. (One’s a first-time author – congrats, girl! And, hell, one just drunk messaged me as I was writing this & dared me to fit that into this post. Did it, GF!) And my human soulmate muse, my mom. She was so thrilled to hear about the book-to-be that I lost count of the I-told-you-so’s!
My wings? They symbolize my new-found strength, independence, creativity & ability to do-for-me.
They represent freedom; they can take me anywhere to do anything. All the kindness from friends, family, mentors, acquaintances & animals are the wind beneath my wings, helping me find my way. (Corny? Yeah, I thought so as soon as I wrote it. But it’s true!) So call me Dorothy. Rusty’s my Toto. Now where are those adorable ruby slippers?
Whew! You know, it took a little hutzpa to tell that story. I’m happy to trust you with my truth.
In honor of flapping my way to a buffer, healthier me, I created a green drink. It’s also a sincere thank you for reading this tale. If you’ve had winged synchronistic moments -or- you’ve got a green drink recipe of your own -or- you’d like to share stories of great friends (human & animal) in your life, please chat away in the comments. Cheers to being true-to-you & a healthy, happy 2014, friends! xo ~Ruth & Rusty~
1 frozen banana, sliced
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 ripe avocado
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
3 basil leaves
1/8 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground flax seeds
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup almond milk, equal parts sweetened & unsweetened
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Drink immediately. (To share with pup, simply make the drink without the avocado. It will be thinner, but just as yummy. Or, treat pup with the non-avo ingredients as you make your green drink.) Cheers!
©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
|October 27, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Lifestyle, LOLs & BOLs, Music, Pup culture, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos|
I love a good ghost story, especially if it’s dipped in reality.
For example, it’s fascinating to read that a nearby landmark, the Bodega Bay schoolhouse featured in Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, just might be a haunted home. A classic episode of Syfy’s “Ghost Hunters” is another fun fright. Why? Dolls & clowns creep me out. (I can’t point to any specific childhood trauma that stems from.) So I related to GH’s lead spook chaser, Jason Hawes, when he commented on a framed doll during an investigation, saying, “That’s the creepiest baby I’ve ever seen.” Later, upon reviewing a recording (EVP) of that moment, they heard an eerie child’s voice answer, “It’s not that creepy!” (Believe me, I tried but failed to find a clip of this for you. It’s episode 5.2 from Star Island, in case you want to catch it.) That ghostly quote is now a running joke in our house whenever we spot a ridiculously sinister doll. It’s all in good fun.
Speaking of good fun, in case “The Birds” was before your time, here’s the schoolhouse scene. Note: This still might be too scary for kids to watch. In that way, Hitchcock is timeless. Enjoy….
What if you had a personal experience, in your home? Would you be scared?
I’ve had a few “unexplained” moments. Have you? Most of them involved my much-loved departed pets. You’d think they would be terrifying experiences, but they’re oddly calming & comforting. Go with me on this: These are just the facts of my experience. Most recently, a few years ago, I got up @ 2:30 a.m. to go to the bathroom. (TMI? Sorry.) As I got back in bed, I heard the meow of my dear cat, Alex, emanating clearly & loudly from right next to me on the bed. (You know your pet’s voice without error, right? Right.) It was the same tone he used to get my attention in life, and it came from his preferred spot on the bed. Yes, I was wide awake. Yes, I know the difference between a meow coming from my bed or from outside. No, I didn’t have another pet in the house @ the time. No, I wasn’t still traumatized by losing sweet Alex a few years earlier. I’m sure of the time because I looked @ the clock when it happened. I’m not crazy; I’m certain of what I heard. And, you know what? It wasn’t that creepy.
Unlike dolls & clowns, there’s nothing spooky about my little boo, Rusty, either.
He’s a brave soul, but nighttime walks can unnerve both of us. Facing shorter days, we set out to make our evening strolls safer. Now, Rusty’s got day-to-night swagger in his new bow tie & evening bling. We took back the night. Not at all creepy, just uber cute.
A quick note about Rusty’s Vivid LED collar: It’s a size small – the smallest available. It’s meant to fit necks 12.5 – 16.5″. Rusty weighs about 13 pounds, and it’s too big for him. Fastened as snug as possible, it still slips over his head while buckled. That’s one reason why I attach his leash to his harness instead of the collar. The other is that I prefer harnesses to neck collars. Harnesses are healthier because they disperse any leash tension over a dog’s body, rather than focusing it on his neck. Having said that, despite the amazon.com reviews of the Vivid collar, it works perfectly. It has varied settings, from a steady glow to the fast blink I used for effect. It’s well made, nicely padded & rechargeable. Safety first: When you’re not walking your dog, remove the collar & keep it out of Pup’s reach.
How do you & your pets spend Halloween? Do you have any favorite winter gear for your pets? Any creepy stories you’d like to share?
You’re welcome to visit our FB page & post fall pics of your pets. We’d love to hear from you.
Boo! xxoo ~Ruth & Rusty~
|April 18, 2013||Posted by Ruth under Inspirational & motivational, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Training/Behavior, Videos|
It’s been 6 years since I stepped foot in my church.
So breath held, here I go ……
What kept me away? Bluntly: burnout & anxiety.
My little gremlin kept saying, “What if you fall again?” She had a point. The last time I visited my church, I took a frightening tumble. Confidence shattered, knees bloodied, I hobbled home. I was grateful to be in one piece, but my faith in my place in my church waned. Despite that, my soul remembered being fed by my sanctuary. She whispered to me steadily for 6 years, “Go back, girl. You love it there, and it’s good for us both. Go back.”
As I enter, I suddenly trust that I’ll quickly find my place & my path again.
My sanctuary speaks to me: “Where have you been? Welcome back!” My soul wells up with grateful tears. On I walk, remembering……
My church has everything that I need.
In it, there are no walls. Judgement, dress codes, hate, bigotry, & gossip do not live here. It is blissfully inclusive. It does not pretend to be something it’s not. I trust what it shows me.
I find my church to be a wonderful equalizer.
It is a bountiful reminder that we humans do not hold dominion over all living things. We are all integrally connected, part of something bigger than ourselves. We are not superior. We do, however, have a responsibility to gratefully honor & preserve this sublime gift – for all beings.
My fellow parishioners are a varied bunch, here. We respect each other’s rights to exist.
I am spiritual because of them. As I wander down my path, I’m reminded of the countless times I listened to pious humans in churches-with-walls insist (as if they knew for sure) that only humans have souls. In my soul, I know that’s not true. Do you see your pet’s soul? I do, too.
A quick aside: This doe was just 10 feet from me on the side of the trail. We communed for about 10 minutes before going our separate ways. To not frighten her, & to get this pic, I used a body language trick that comes in handy with cats & dogs, too. Keep your side to nervous animals, instead of facing them. You are less of a threat. Fearful pets are more likely to approach non-frontal body language. In fact, facing an approaching dog or cat (also called body blocking), can stop them in their tracks. If you want them to relax & approach (come when called, even), soften your stance & grant space. Study how your pets interact with each other & you. You’ll see wonderful examples of this body language communication translating across species.
I continue on to the alter.
This serene place allows me to collect my thoughts. Here, I am grateful for my sweet husband’s support as I realized my new calling as a writer. Here, I begin to write this post.
Nearby, flowers grace my path.
And sun pours through stained glass windows.
Further on, I find the Shakespearean sermon, scrawled on a pew.
I’m blissfully aware of the lack of walls & human preaching. The sermon is voiced by water, birds & wind: We are all indeed part of something grander.
Finally, I reach my destination. I am at such peace here. This is why I will return.
Tomorrow, Rusty & I will walk together.
I enjoy the solace of my church, but I find grace & joy in my dog, too. Thankfully, he’s all soul, no dogma.
What inspires you? What feeds your soul? Where’s your “church”? Please share…..
©2013 The Soulful Pet