Believe In Bunnies

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Do It Your Way

Surprise… it’s Tuesday. I slept in today (for me on a weekday). I woke up in my best friend’s apartment and, as much as I love my home and miss my Peanutty, I didn’t want to leave. There’s just something incredibly magical about spending time with someone who makes you feel nothing but good.
6 months ago, I called her and asked, “What are you doing on October 29th?” Knowing me for 18 years, she didn’t flinch at the thought of looking half a year ahead. She accepts my planning nature, much like I wouldn’t flinch if she called me and asked what I was doing in 29 minutes. She’s the free-spirit. She was the light even before I knew light existed.
I didn’t let the fact that it was a Monday night, a work night, a borderline winter night (I know it’s early in the season, but to us downstate people, you get a lot of winter up there!) hold me back. I saw the opportunity and seized it. I bought the tickets. Just like I dragged her to Mariah Carey in 2003, I was dragging Bestie to Metallica in 2018 (less of a dragging this time but she’s always down, no matter what). #MetInAlbany 🤘🏼

My message for you today: Do not someone else’s idea of what you should do when dictate your life!
We get messages all the time, based on other people’s thinking and patterns, their paradigms, of what we should and should not do. Very often, we follow those messages because that’s how society programs us. I could limit myself to those paradigms:

  • Teachers shouldn’t listen to metal.
  • You shouldn’t go out on a work night.
  • Don’t spend your money on _______.
  • You can’t like Metallica and Mariah equally (Bestie, stay ready. She’s touring again in the spring).
  • Don’t travel without your spouse.
  • Have a spouse.

But I decided, incrementally over the years and fully recently, that I do not have to seek the opinions and validations of others. Keep your paradigm if it works for you— I’m traveling 3.5 hours, seeing a metal show on a Monday night and taking a personal day from work to travel home. Don’t fret. You don’t have to follow my way. I already have a +1 (but there’s always room for more if you want to join!).
As I watched Mr. Hetfield raise his arms in the air after closing the show with “Master of Puppets,” I soaked in the moment with gratitude. Gratitude for being at a show of such magnitude. Gratitude for having my soul sister at my side. Gratitude to watch legends, together for longer than I’ve been alive, bring it with full force. Gratitude for the crowd— without fail, the kindest people are at metal shows. Don’t believe me? Come with tomorrow night. 
Do not be a passive observer. Say yes to the opportunities that excite you. Seek them out. Say yes. And smile… “Life is ours; we live it our way.”

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Believe Energy Purpose

Wellness, Always.

My coach says, “You will never outperform your self-image.” Her coach says that too. He probably got that wisdom from his coach. Now, I’m passing it down to you. You will never outperform your self-image.

That maxim does not just apply to professional success; it applies to how you feel on a daily basis.

A colleague walked into my classroom on Thursday morning and said, “Stay away from ____ today. She’s sick, had a 102* fever yesterday.” Without blinking I said, “That’s okay. I don’t get sick.” Her response, “I’m not surprised that you don’t get sick.”

Roll your eyes. Feel annoyed. That’s a typical reaction from people when I affirm with confidence that I don’t get sick. (This colleague did not react that way, hence why she gets to hang around. Positive vibes only.) I absolutely acknowledge that there are thousands of circumstances and possibly millions of people who aren’t able to “not get sick” and I do not mean to offend or alienate anyone. I’m talking to the Average Janes today.

Follow me here, Average Janes, and you’ll be using your “sick days” as restorative mental health days.

  1. Believe in your wellness, in positive terms.

I should even kick the word sick out of this conversation. Keep the affirmation “I feel well, always.” Repeat it, believe it, pin it to your vision board. If you allow your mind to worry about getting sick, the worry can wear down defenses.

  1. Sleep. Sleep some more.

The body wants to be in balance. The body wants to heal and be vibrant. Sleep is when the restoration and healing take place. If you tell yourself “I can’t sleep,” your wish will be fulfilled. The subconscious mind cannot reject any thought or idea—it is a yes for everything. So, as you curl up under the blankets tonight, believe in your ability to rest.

  1. Get your food right.

If you put soap in your car’s gas tank, it’s not going to run. You know this. And you don’t do this. Then why, oh why, do you eat food that doesn’t make you feel great and run well?! Do you like your car better than you like yourself? I eat a plant-based diet but I totally acknowledge that it’s not right for everyone (allegedly it can be and the planet would benefit as well but that’s another conversation). If you feel your absolute best every time you eat ____ and your absolute worst every time you eat ____, eat more of the former and less of the latter. It can be that simple.

  1. Feed your spirit with positivity.

Now, many of us can’t or don’t choose to spend our days running through sun-kissed meadows with butterflies and baby goats… but we can replicate those feelings (or whatever lights you up) every single day. Maybe not in every single moment but definitely every day. If you don’t believe me, scroll back to the opening lines of this story. If you don’t think you can feel happy, you won’t. And if you don’t feel well spiritually, physically will follow suit. Read, watch and listen to things that make you feel good. Get comfortable with silence. Surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable. You know when it feels right. Be bold enough to shut it off and walk away when it feels wrong.

And that, my readers, is how I stay well… and my daily NingXia Red too. Much Love.

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose

Hungry?

I call Peanut my son but it’s no secret that we aren’t the same species. In being different species, we have different needs. His diet should be 80% grass hay; mine should be 0% hay. He should have unlimited access to hay. I also have unlimited access to hay, but it’s mostly in my shoes or tousled in my hair.

We both drink lots of water. His treats are an occasional bite of apple, banana or a “doodle,” our code word for a particular type of food pellet that is sweeter than most. You can equate it to a Lucky Charms type cereal as opposed to, say, Grape Nuts. He gets very few “doodles.” My treats vary and are often excessive in quantity.

If he misses a meal, we have a massive emergency on our hands. If I miss a meal, I’ll be just fine.

Thankfully, and despite his excessive fur and dwarf stature, Peanut has only gone into stasis once in 7 years. Knock on every available hard surface…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my own food consumption lately. It’s been a struggle for most of my life—I don’t know when to stop, just as Peanut would likely feel if we left him alone with the jar of “doodles.”

Peanut's jar of Doodles

Our relationship to food as a culture is interesting… How often do we use food to cope? To celebrate? To mask?

Are you hungry or are you eating just because it’s “lunchtime”? What are you feeding yourself? Maybe if you get sick, bloated, uncomfortable every time you eat _____, it’s time to give it up? Replace it with something that makes you energized? Just a thought…

And speaking of feeding… what are you feeding your mind and soul with? If things you are consuming on television or social media make you feel anxious, angry or sad consistently, it just might be time to change the channel or close the app. If you’re like me, you may not even realize the feelings that the content you are consuming stirs in you. Take today to be conscious of it. It’s absolutely okay, and sometimes necessary, to indulge. But why waste time with food, content, people, anything that doesn’t make you feel and perform your best?

Peanut, catching up on RHOC

It’s okay to indulge sometimes!

Here’s your homework: Contemplate and journal about the following questions.

What are you hungry for? And why are you hungry for that?

Pay attention to the “food noise” and how what you are consuming, on and off the plate, is making you feel. Reach for the greatest feeling. It’s always possible.

And never forget to eat your hay. Much love.

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Believe Energy meditation Purpose

Screwed?

I was on the way to meditation class Friday night and my tire pressure light came on. The car seemed to be driving fine and I was halfway to class so I stayed attentive to the feel of the drive (which is technically what we’re supposed to do when we drive anyway… there was a time before indicator lights!) and made it to the parking lot. Hopped out of the car, flicked on my phone flashlight (another convenience we once survived without) and there it was: a very flat rear tire and what looked like a going-flat front tire.

I hustled into the building, climbed the stairs, hugged my teacher Lisa and told her what happened. As I was dialing AAA, Lisa suggested I get that squared away and come into the class. Class was only going to be an hour and that’s usually the minimum wait time for assistance to arrive. I thought about it… but I know myself. Even if I had a 5 hour wait time, I would struggle to focus in class. I function best when things are squared away, like I had to clean off a section of my desk before I sat down to write to you today. Now that I think about it though, sitting through the class would have been an exercise in growth for me…

As nerdy-adult as this sounds, AAA is excellent. I’ve used them twice for tire troubles and they’ve been kind and attentive on the phone, as have the service people they’ve sent out. The woman who helped me on the phone was named Destiny (I’m just realizing the beauty in this now). Within 30 minutes, half of the estimated time that Destiny told me), a tow truck arrived. The nice man took a look at the tires—thankfully the front tire was just fine! That rear tire was flat almost to the rim though. When he took the flattened tire off and rolled it toward me, there it was: a shiny silver screw, embedded in the rubber.

Acceptance screw

He popped on my spare and I was on the road back home before class even let out. I told the bunny-daddy to take my coconut milk ice cream out of the freezer. I needed a dark chocolate treat to balance out my night. Then yesterday, I went to my favorite service station to get my tire repaired. My favorite service advisor Fenix came into the waiting room after about 20 minutes. He had the saddest look on his face when he told me the tire could not be patched. I needed to buy a new tire. I shrugged, smiled and said, “This is all part of owning a car. It’s not like I can 3-wheel it home!” Relief crossed Fenix’s face. I guess he, like many people in service industries, is used to facing angry or disappointed customers. I think I wowed him with my acceptance. In a beautiful exchange, he wowed me with a $20 discount.

I could have freaked out at any turn, like when the light came on, when I thought I had two flat tires, when my plans changed out of my control, when, even with the discount, I paid $150 for a new tire. But I didn’t. I had clarity. I knew how to manage myself by getting it taken care of right away. I knew kindness and gratitude were the answers. I knew that a screw in my tired didn’t mean I was screwed. Building good Car-ma…

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Same Old Story

For the longest time, I wouldn’t tell people I was a teacher. There were just some things about the job (or at least how I was doing the job) that didn’t align with whom I feel I am. Now that I’ve committed to daily personal development, I proudly say I’m a teacher. The job didn’t change; I did.

In most settings when I meet new people, I don’t mention that I am an animal rescuer. On the completely opposite side of why I used to run away from the label of teacher, I hide rescue from “strangers” because the conversation all-too-often goes badly… like it did yesterday.

I was at an event where I met dozens of wellness-minded women and we had tons of fun trying natural skincare and makeup from Young Living. The ladies at our table started to connect and share contact information. In searching for me on social media, one of my tablemates came across the title of my blog. She looked up slowly and said, “Bunnies?” to which I said, “Yes, they are my life’s work. I help run a rabbit rescue.” Her response, “Do you want a rabbit?” Cue the lump in my throat and rage in my heart. Here we go, again.

Why… how… why does it seem like everyone I meet either has a rabbit they don’t want or has some horrifying story about a rabbit that they, their cousin or their neighbor had when they were younger? And why do people think I want to hear those stories?

This woman was very well-meaning and I knew the outline of her story before she even told it, the same story I read in emails 15 times per week (or more). Her daughter came home with a rabbit one day without discussing it with the family. Now, no one takes care of the rabbit. I assumed she was talking about a child, but no, her daughter is an adult with a child of her own. The grandchild is the one who wanted the rabbit in the first place. The daughter is the one who purchased a living being who requires special care and lives 10-12 years without doing any research or thinking about long-term plans. They have 3 dogs at home. Daughter and grandchild are moving and don’t plan to take the rabbit. I quietly listened as I tried not to fling an all-natural face scrub across the table.

When she was done, I made a comment about the 10-12-year commitment her daughter made when getting the rabbit. The woman next to me whispered in my ear that she used to do dog rescue and sympathized. I referred her to rescue groups local to her, gave her some care tips and changed the subject as quickly as I could.

So I struggle with keeping my Rescue life quiet to strangers. I don’t want to hear this same old story from people looking to dump a rabbit. I don’t want to hear about the hutch bunny your neighbor neglected during your favorite childhood summer. I want the neglect to cease. The only way we are going to stop the abandonment and suffering is education but it seems like most (NOT all) of the people who want to rehome their rabbits are just looking to flake on a responsibility they chose. Where’s our sense of integrity? Our follow-through? Our commitment? Maybe I expect too much, in some people’s eyes. But on behalf of our fluffy, big-eared friends, my expectations will never be lowered.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue

Linus

My business mentor the incomparable MP reminds us often to “keep the main thing the main thing.” If you’re a loyal reader, you know what’s at the center of my vision board that hangs above the center of my desk. If you’re new here, I won’t keep you in the metaphorical dark. At the center of my vision board it says: Domestic rabbits are safe and protected.

That’s my main thing. That’s what my heart beats for. That’s my life’s purpose.

Yesterday, I helped coordinate the rescue of Linus. I share his story with you today in hopes that one day that sentence in the center of my vision board comes true.

Here’s what I wrote for the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group’s Facebook page:

Some days in Rescue are more difficult than others. We don’t share these stories and pictures to make you angry or sad; we share these stories to increase awareness, in hopes that no more rabbits have to suffer like Linus is right now.

Just before the weekend, we received an email from a man who found a lop-eared rabbit who had been abandoned in eastern Suffolk County. After several exchanges, we were able to ascertain that the rabbit had an injury to his mouth, so this case became a priority among the dozens we are alerted to weekly.

With no available foster space, we turned to the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter. Like most shelters on Long Island, they aren’t typically set up to accept rabbits but they have been remarkably gracious and generous with helping many rabbits lately. The finder brought this little injured lop to the shelter yesterday just before closing… and the rabbit’s condition was worse than anticipated. He got immediate medical attention and we are grateful to the doctors and staff at the shelter.

He has a hole through his face and jaw. His underside is inflamed and possibly infected. He cannot eat on his own. Our volunteers who met him said that all he wanted was snuggles and kisses despite the pain he must be feeling.

Due to his extremely fragile condition, Linus, named by the volunteers, is spending a few days in a medically-equipped foster home. If Linus survives these critical days, he will be in search of a foster home to help him recuperate.

Someone did this to him. A person, possibly out of ignorance, let him “go.” Now Linus is fighting for his life.

Hundreds of rabbits are abandoned on Long Island every year. Not all are as lucky as Linus to have a second chance.

To donate toward his care, visit http://longislandrabbitrescue.org/index.htm and click Donate on the right.

Share his story. Thank you for your support.

 

 

 

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Believe Purpose

Celebrating 41 Years

You would think that the little girl from the picture-perfect family would want to be a grown-up married woman. Marriage has never been a dream of mine, in the official sense. Yes, loyal readers, you know there’s a Bunny-Daddy and it’s a solid union… we just aren’t the paperwork type. That said, I attribute much of who I am and what I do to what I’ve learned from my parents’ marriage.

Tomorrow, my parents celebrate 41 years married. They “tied the knot” on my father’s 22nd birthday. 43 years together, 41 years married… they are the best of friends. I consider them my greatest teachers, as individuals and as a union.

The biggest lesson I take from my parents’ partnership is one of independence and support.  To my knowledge, one has never stopped the other from doing something or going somewhere or buying something. They enrich each other. They have each other’s back, always. I’m sure they’ve made sacrifices for each other and there have undoubtedly been compromises over the span of four decades.

Even in moments of discontent, there is always kindness and respect. I have never heard one call the other an unkind name. This is no “Brady Bunch” moment; it’s just what they’ve shown me is love. It’s the standard I learned to set for myself from watching and absorbing their example. I do acknowledge that I lack my mother’s patience and fairness, but she’s a Libra and the oldest of four children; I’m an Aries and an only child!

Last week, they came over to hang some art and a bulletin board in the room in which I sit as I write this to you. To watch them work together is kind of magical. They are a true team. They just make sense together. Like the kids say, they are relationship goals. Four decades and they still enjoy each other’s company. Four decades and they laugh more together than any other couple I know.

My mother will tell you that it takes work every single day. If you stop working, it’s over. If you ever have the honor to witness just how truly happy they are, how each other’s company truly uplifts them, I can tell you that the work has been worth it for them. The respect they have for themselves and for each other is what I attribute my independence to. I know that, with or without a partner, I am capable of absolutely anything. While they’ve had each other since they were practically children, my mother 2 months shy of 20 when they married, they are two individuals who make a pair, not two halves that create whole.

They lift each other up. They are a force when they’re together. Happy 41st Anniversary, Mom and Dad.

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Believe Energy Purpose

Stall-Out?

Napoleon Hill wrote, “The whole world is undergoing a change of such stupendous proportions that millions of people have become panic-stricken with worry, doubt, indecision, and fear!” in 1938.  Nineteen-Thirty-Eight. One Nine Three Eight. Do we know people who are in that mode now in 2018? Two-Thousand-Eighteen? Two Zero One Eight?

So, have we not progressed? Not yet learned the lessons?

Or do we take comfort, knowing that we’ve made it another 80 years despite those despondent feelings?

This is what I was contemplating, sitting in the service department of the car dealership early this morning—not to worry, just an oil change.

Have we, the collective, stalled out in modes of worry, doubt, indecision and fear? If so, was the time Between the Acts when Hill wrote the first slip into that stall out? Or was it the Revolutionary War? Or perhaps some trauma programmed in our ancestral DNA from conflicts in Mesopotamia?

And, I don’t know about you, but I’m not sitting in the comfort of these uncomfortable feelings. I’m rising out. I suspect you are too, since the Universe has brought you here with me.

Just like I took my car in for service, we must maintain ourselves and, in turn, our maintenance will keep the world from stalling out.

From wherever it stems, you can say NO MORE to worry, doubt, indecision and/or fear in any aspect of your life, starting today, in this very moment. No need to wait for a new year, a program to start or even another type of sign. You are your sign. Your feelings are your guides. Trust them. It does not feel good to doubt or fear. It probably feels comfortable (meaning familiar, not comfy-cozy) because you’ve been there for decades. Are you ready to replace the worry with wonder, the doubt with delight, the indecision with determination and the fear with confidence?

The world needs you to be ready. Darkness will not prevail in the presence of your light. Shine brightly, so Hill’s message doesn’t have to ring as true in another 80 years.

And, if you need a hand turning on or turning up your light, follow me here.

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angels Believe Energy Healing Purpose

Two Years Gone

On this, the eve of the two year anniversary of my dear friend’s passing, I’m re-posting the story I wrote about her, about us, the day after she left this mortal coil.

Before you read this, please call or text that one person you’ve been meaning to reach out to. Take that time. Even if it’s been a while and you think it will be awkward, use me as an excuse– tell them Denise, your favorite blogger, told you to call.

Then, come back and read this.

Goodbye, dear friend.

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angels Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Purpose Reiki

Maddie and Teddy

I drove to Brooklyn and back, all by myself. I brought my passport, just in case they checked at the border and gave some cute stamp. But enough about me—this is about Maddie and Teddy.

Several weeks ago, Maddie developed an abscess on the bottom of her back paw. Maddie and Teddy’s mom sought immediate veterinary treatment at the incomparable Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital and her foot has since healed well.  Over the course of the healing, Maddie and Teddy’s mom and I got to talking about the emotional and metaphysical connections to physical changes and injury. We talked about the connection to feminine energy and the side on which Maddie developed the abscess. I told their mom to read some of my past blog entries about Reiki and rabbits. We decided a Reiki treatment was in order.

I took my pilgrimage west. Upon my arrival to their home, Maddie and Teddy promptly hid behind furniture—stranger in the house! To start our session of sharing energy, I anointed myself with Frankincense and called on our guides to support all beings and objects who are open to the energy.  I started “working” on Maddie first. She “showed” me the color grey. Her third eye chakra is blocked and she has trouble believing in her own instincts so we worked together to shift that energy (and I knew it! There’s the connection to the abscessed feminine energy in her paw!). Maddie “told” me that she feels very secure and loved.

Her root chakra is very solid.  She did not want any hands-on work, which is incredibly interesting when compared to the ridiculously lavish snuggle session she and I had after the Reiki was over. Maddie flopped as soon as I started working with her husbun Teddy.

Teddy doesn’t want anyone to know his “secrets” or about his past, in a silly, playful way, so much so that he ran across the room and up the stairs! Teddy is very funny, like a cartoon character in his spirit. He “showed” me the numbers 2, 3 and 2 again. His sacral chakra is low or blocked so we worked to open up that energy. Overall he has a very chill energy. He loves music and the flow of water. It is likely that he is a water sign, but tough for us to do his astrological chart since we don’t know his exact birthdate!

Together, Maddie and Teddy love being a couple and they know they are with this family forever. I am very grateful to Maddie and Teddy’s mom for allowing me to share Reiki with her furbabies. Much love!

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