In four days, I’m going back. I’ll sit in a blue and teal chair on an hour long trip to the greatest city in the world (arguably, of course, but that’s what we’ve told to call it). I’ll walk several blocks, check in to my hotel, and head to the SVA Theater. There, I’ll sit in a red upholstered chair and soak it all in, taking copious notes over the course of our three days together. Yes, this weekend is Spirit Junkie Masterclass.
As I look over my nearly 40 pages of notes from last year’s class, I see a beautiful parallel between my teacher’s “Steps to Stepping into the Fear” and the experience with and lessons from our rescued rabbits. I’ll list Gabrielle’s steps below and annotate my rescue musings. My rescue colleagues reading this can nod along…
- Honor your wounds.
These abandoned, neglected and abused rabbits did NOTHING to deserve the treatment they got (or didn’t get) before they came into our care. We celebrate, love and care for their backgrounds. We work tirelessly to ensure they will never be wounded again.
- Stop trying to outrun fear.
Dear ones, let us bring you to safety. We are the good ones. I promise. The only thing you have to fear now is the Shop Vac cleaning your enclosure.
- Show up for your assignment.
Once they are “ours,” these rescued rabbits have a big job. They are tasked with completing families. That said, it is NEVER their assignment to teach children responsibility–that’s the job of human adults. But it is their job to soak in all the love. I’m smiling so big, thinking of all the ways my boys have been there for me over the past 6.5 years, showing up for their assignment.
- Build new momentum to create confidence.
With this step, I’m thinking of the shy ones. The scared ones. I’m thinking right now of Aspen. She was rescued last year, and shortly after, gave birth to 8 babies. Aspen is the softest and was the shiest rabbit I’ve ever met. In a series of foster homes she wanted nothing but to hide. And then… she moved in with a new foster family, where she’s an only rabbit, and her personality is shining! She’s flopping, she’s running and she’s posing for pictures with sass! She’s come into her own, created that confidence. It’s incredible what a change of surroundings can do.
- Affirm what you want to feel and who you really are.
Oh, these rabbits have personality. I have a 4-pound lion with the attitude of a 420-pound King of the Jungle. He’s the King of the Living Room. When we pay attention to what they are “showing” us, our rescued rabbits are all sorts of perfect and loving. Some, like Aspen, need to be solo buns to shine. Some, like my Peanut, need to come to you on their own terms and not be approached quickly. Trust, they always affirm what they feel; sometimes, we need to listen better!
- Be more you.
Here’s where rabbits (and any animal for that matter) can really show us the path. They know no other way than to be themselves. Just like little kids, they show and share how they feel. Take a lesson from the furry ones. Be silly when the mood strikes you. Take multiple naps a day, if that’s what you’re craving. Chew the molding in my living room… wait. Scratch that. But seriously, use those instincts—don’t squash them!
Spiritual Running Buddies: I’ll see you on Friday. Rescue Fam: You inspire me. Much love.