Gimme a Break

I sit here in the closing hours of a week off from the day job.  I’ve shared with you before about the (unnecessary) pressure that I put on myself to make the days off count… Of all the chunks of time off from the day job, I feel like I was better to myself over the past 9 days than I typically am—looks like all that personal development actually works.  I’m mentally beating myself up too much over what did and didn’t get done this week.

I’m a quantifier by nature.  I’m the one who keeps score, who keeps copious notes, who has the memory and the records of it all.  So here’s a run-down of what I made happen over the past week-plus:

  • babysat our friends’ daughter for 3 days
  • completed the last course for my +75 (75 graduate credits above my Master’s degree)
  • co-hosted a LuLa Roe and Young Living party
  • various doctor and spa appointments (self-care is super important!)
  • volunteer time and community outreach daily for Rescue
  • hosted a business dinner (and ate everything on the menu from 3 Brothers)
  • went to my favorite yoga class
  • reconnected with a friend (Love you S)
  • spent time with the uncles
  • hosted a wellness talk
  • had a private reading with the amazing Calise Simone (I highly recommend her!)
  • finished reading 2 books
  • watched 2 seasons of “Schitt’s Creek”

And yet I sit here with the anxiety of “going back” tomorrow.  And before I sat down to write this, all I was thinking about was the messes I didn’t clean up (this desk!) and the things left undone… but holy carrots!  Look how much I did do in the span of one week plus the bookends of weekends!  I’m not sharing this with you to brag about how much I did but as a reminder for you to shift your focus (if you need to) and recognize the good.  Celebrate the tasks accomplished.  Luxuriate in the moments, hours and days (if you’re lucky) of relaxation.  Appreciate what you can do rather than bombard yourself with what’s left undone.  Yes, I might be talking to myself more today than I’m talking to you but writing this is often as cathartic as it is instructive.

I need to recognize the breadth and depth of the list above.  I’m in awe—I legitimately felt like maybe I didn’t do enough to make it count this past week.  So, when you’re beating yourself up, grab your notebook and engage in a retrospective.  Make an I Did It list, rather than a Things To Do list.  Celebrate.  Recognize.  Give yourself a break or a pat on the back or both.  Reality is, there will always be “things” left undone.  When we are “done,” then there’s really nothing left.  So, while I’d love to get this desk cleaned off today, I promise to give myself a break and appreciate all the accomplishments, in and out, of the past few days.  The days will tick by, regardless of my action or inaction.  Like Calise told me yesterday, I must “create space, calm and structure.”

Much Love.

 

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Jimmy

jimmy

When Jimmy came into the care of our Rescue group, his name was Bugs and he was sick.  I was glad that we were changing his name (we stick with people names, always) because I had a hard time calling a rabbit with an eye infection Bugs— like he had bugs and we were teasing him or something.  But it’s all semantics.  Here’s what I wrote about Jimmy for our recent fundraiser:

Jimmy and another rabbit were abandoned and brought to a local animal shelter that is mainly equipped to care for dogs and cats.  Staff noticed that Jimmy (who was known as Bugs there) was ill as soon as he was brought in and their veterinary staff cared for him the best they could.  The other rabbit was adopted rather quickly, but Jimmy was still sick and still without a home.  One of our dedicated volunteers visited the shelter, brought supplies and gave Jimmy some love.  As the days went on, Jimmy’s health kept getting worse.

As soon as we were able to secure a space, we took Jimmy into our foster care. We are grateful to the staff at the shelter for caring for Jimmy while he was with them.  Jimmy settled into his foster home with a voracious appetite and a loving spirit.  A vet visit was planned for the immediate future, as his eye looked infected.

Then one morning, Jimmy’s foster mom noticed that Jimmy’s eating had slowed down– a sign that something was wrong!  Our volunteer team sprung into action and rushed Jimmy to Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, where the caring doctors accepted Jimmy as an emergency patient.

Jimmy was hospitalized for almost a week with an eye infection, upper respiratory infection and gastrointestinal stasis.  He was released to his foster home yesterday to continue recuperating and we are turning to you, our amazing supporters, to help with Jimmy’s vet bills.

I volunteer at Jimmy’s foster home weekly and this Monday he wasn’t feeling well again.  His eating had slowed down, just a bit, but those who are rabbit-savvy know all too well that rabbits are NOT “wait and see how he’s feeling” creatures.  One must act immediately if any change in behavior or eating is observed.  Jimmy’s foster home gave him meds and some of his favorite foods to entice eating.  I arrived in the afternoon and made some time to share some Reiki energy with him before I started my chores.

I grabbed my Joy oil before our session.  That’s not one of my go-to Reiki oils but I was drawn to it so I follow my guides.  I rubbed 3 drops in my palms, anointed my third eye chakra and started our session.  Jimmy responded right away by turning his back to me and grooming himself, a message of “Yes, I’m here but I’m not sure what you’re doing, lady.”  While he’s a snuggler, he’s understandably cautious due to his history.

He “showed” me something about his back left leg, like it was caught or twisted or bent previously, so I sent energy there.  Of course, I didn’t touch his back leg—I only know one rabbit who tolerates that kind of behavior from his mom (the same rabbit who tried to bite my hand off a few months ago!).

The other message Jimmy shared with me is big counter-clockwise circles.  I forgot to tell his foster mom that so hopefully she reads this.  I don’t know what that message means quite yet but he’ll show us at some point.  As soon as I closed out our session, thanking Jimmy for his openness to receiving the energy, he started to nibble on his pellets—a joyful sign!

I thank my guides and angels and all of our rabbit-friends over the Rainbow Bridge for helping me share healing light with Jimmy.  Much Love.

Curiosity

Often I’ll get a book as soon as I hear about it, like this mad dash of NEEDING this book in my life… but then I won’t read it for a while or forever.  I saw Brian Grazer on “Super Soul Sunday” with our Earth Angel Oprah probably a year ago, maybe even longer.  I downloaded his book A Curious Mind shortly thereafter. I started reading it last week.  I think that the delays of this nature are very purposeful—the information comes to us when we need it, when we are ready, when we can best benefit from the message.

Curiosity is more than just an adorable notion (or an annoying notion, depending on its source).  Grazer writes, “…one thing I know about curiosity: it’s democratic.  Anyone, anywhere of any age or education level, can use it…. even if your curiosity is suppressed, you can’t lose it.”  At what age or stage do we stop wondering?  I’m inclined to ask people a lot of questions.  I often joke that I want a talk show when I grow up.  I love doing Facebook Live talks with my oilers or my Rescue team.  Curiosity can level the playing field.  Listening to someone’s curiosity, the questions they ask of you, the things they read and share about opens up the possibilities of connections.  Those of you who live to help others, you’ll help them so much more if you listen to their curiosity, interests, needs, rather than just dictate what you think they need to better their situation.

Grazer talks about the efficacy of curiosity as hinged on the ability to pay attention to the answers to your questions and the willingness to act.  Curiosity is as much about wonder, asking and exploring as it is about listening, thinking and acting.  How many times have you asked a question, then completely tuned out the answer?  Did you not really care about the answer?  Did you have a “squirrel moment” of distraction?  Did you ask the wrong person or source?  Were you afraid of the responsibility warranted through the answer?

Grazer highlights an element of leadership, putting words to a sense that I’ve felt for a while now, a sense that has helped my day job life, my Rescue life and my Reiki and wellness life flourish: “I’ve discovered that even when you’re in charge, you are often much more effective asking questions than giving orders.”  Think about the effective teachers, coaches and mentors in your past (or present).  Who reached you best—the one barking orders or the one questioning, thinking about what will help you reach your goals and milestone?  Rescue life—I can “yell” at people who want to “get rid of” their rabbits or I can ask them how we can best help them either make their rabbit a source of joy in their family rather than a source of strife or how we can assist in helping them find a loving home.  The questions, rather than the chastising, are the only way people will potential recognize their responsibility in the matter (and life) at hand.  And in Reiki/wellness life—I’ll help facilitate far more healing if I ask, wonder and listen than if I prescribe and dictate.  Always.

I’m only 17% through the book but it’s cracking so much wide open for me that I was compelled to write about it already, rather than wait until I was done.  This just might join the ranks of the books that I buy copies of for “my people,” (The Four Agreements by Ruiz, The Happiness Project by Rubin, May Cause Miracles by Bernstein).  So, stay curious.  And don’t apologize for it.  Don’t feel weird or annoying for asking questions (but don’t be afraid to do some research of your own too!).  Let’s reignite our sense of wonder, our questioning and thinking, together.  Much Love.

Philomena & Boo

This past week was book-ended with loss for our Rescue group.

Philomena, long-time sanctuary bun and notorious feisty lady, made her journey over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.  I volunteer time every week at our sanctuary and special needs foster home so teeny tiny Philomena and I had a relationship— not a close one, but that was her choice.  Because of medical concerns with her heart, she has never able to be spayed, thus earning her the title of a sanctuary rabbit, one who cannot be adopted out.  No matter my approach, fast or slow, quiet or with a verbal warning, Philomena would box her tiny paws at me, then hop away and hide.  She never allowed me to connect with her and I respected that.  She did have quite the affinity for our volunteer Robert.  Robert could handle her better than anyone else.  She would let Robert pat and cuddle her.

At the end of January, Philomena’s impairments caught up with her and she quickly fell ill.  She got immediate veterinary care but her age (estimated somewhere between 6 and 9 years old) and her physical struggles were just too much for our tiny little fighter to combat.  I’ll miss her bug-eyes and her attitude.  I’ll remember her fondly as an independent lady who liked her space and who made the tiniest “bunny buttons” in the largest quantities!

And then midweek, adoptable boy Boo fell ill.  He recently battled a case of head tilt and infection.  We hoped he was recovered… but the illness came back with vengeance.  He was “rolling,” which could look more like uncontrollable thrashing– scary for the animal and scary to witness.  The outpouring of love from our volunteer team was (as usual) inspiring.  While Boo struggled and his condition worsened from mid to end of the week, our team spent extra time at his foster home, making sure Boo could reach his water and food and ensuring he was safe and comfortable.  Boo crossed the Rainbow Bridge as we crossed into the weekend.  I’m sure Philomena met him there and they binkied off together.

There was a very large and surely very intense abandonment case out in Suffolk county this week and, despite the fact that two other rescue organizations were handling the case, our group received some criticism online for not being actively involved in this situation.  On top of the realities of our limited time and money resources… if those critics only knew the truth of what the week was like for our team…

Boundless love to all those who loved Philomena and Boo.