Believe In Bunnies

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Big Picture Master

A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk on organization to a group of entrepreneurs in the wellness lifestyle industry.  In pure irony, the notes I prepared for this talk look like a scrambled ramble of ideas.  The organizer appears messy but gets it all done.  Here are some gems from my notes for you, dear readers:

The key to my success: I know exactly what I want and I let NOTHING get in my way.

I’m a Big Picture Master, a Results-Driven Red (see The Four Color Personalities for MLM by “Big Al”).

I know nothing about running a non-profit organization, but I make a non-profit run.

Take an honest look at yourself and your habits or get a coach to assist you in doing that— it is from here that you get organized.

It’s really cute when people tell you to follow your dream or your vision if you don’t know yet what that is—it’s like telling kids in school to pay attention without ever teaching them to pay attention.  Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for more about this.

Play to your strengths.  Not mine.

I’m never going to be a runner but I run s…

You don’t get organized from a book or from anyone else’s system, if you want to lead.  I don’t know how to get your organized until you know your vision.

Once you have your vision, your dream, your goal, then (and not a moment before) you need:

-executable steps.

-consistency and routines.

-to stop doing stuff that doesn’t work.

For me, it’s committing one hour per day to my business, regardless of how active the day job and/or Rescue was that day, it’s keeping a consistent schedule and it’s TONS of personal development.  That’s how I stay organized.  That’s how I’m the Big Picture Master.  That’s how wellness, abundance and purpose continue to flow freely to me and my family.  Much love.

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Believe Purpose Uncategorized

Vows

They say it’s hard to make friends in your 30s.  I say they’re not looking in the right places.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat on a remarkably comfortable blue couch and an incredible friend that I made in my 30s sat on the matching loveseat to my right.  She’s getting married in July.  If you know me, you know that I’m not a marriage/traditions kind of person for myself, but I get it.  I’m along for the party.

After her fiancé came back from 7-11 (thanks for the seltzer!), at some point, the topic of wedding vows came up.  Spoiler alert:  They are not writing their own.  Intuitive secret alert: I think my friend wants to write her own.  But I’m not one to meddle…

I joked that I would write them some vows.  I joked that I would include specific video game playing and watching etiquette in said vows.  Jokes aside (are jokes ever aside for me?), I’m laying down some vows for love in general here.  Feel free to use them but always give me credit.  Plagiarism causes wrinkles.

…to be weird, silly or sad as the moment strikes and to feel supported in each striking moment.

…to recognize that it’s damn near impossible to get everything from one person.  There are over 7 billion people on the planet and probably billions more with us in spirit.  It’s ok to connect with others (see next vow).

…to communicate openly, clearly and reasonably about connecting with others.  Straight talk makes for straight understanding.  The trust is in the communication and the action.

…to balance needs, to support desires, to hold space for the dreams, goals, and projects of the other, even if said needs, goals, etc. seem weird.  As long as no one is harmed in the process, let him/her shine.

…to find strength in each other, to be even better together without abandoning everything you are as an individual, if that’s something you value (not that you asked me, but you should value yourself as an individual).

…to honor that growth, change and evolution are likely and should be celebrated.

 

This vow stuff is easier than I thought— perhaps because I have clearly-defined views on my sense of self and myself in a relationship.  Bunny-daddy and I just celebrated our 8th Valentine’s Day.  Our relationship certainly isn’t for everyone.  But it’s for me.  I’ve changed a lot over the course of 8 Valentine’s Day.  I feel 100% supported in each change… and that’s a vow I treasure.

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On Loss, from a Special Guest

This week, I bring you a special treat!  This post was written by my dear friend, talented crystal healer and artist Dina, the MetaphysicalMom.  She recently lost two of her furry children and was generous with her time and with her soul to share with us today.

I’ve made the joke many times that our house was an assisted living facility for senior citizen animals; two fifteen- year old chihuahuas and one nineteen year old cat are certainly no spring chickens. Even though you know the life expectancy of an animal- it isn’t easy watching them age, watching their personalities change, and watching them slow down.

The past month has been ridiculously hard for our family- we lost one of the chihuahuas and the cat. Where once we had a robust home (feeding time was always a laugh) now there’s only one set of paws underfoot.

How to cope with the lost of a pet (or any other cherished loved one)? How do we go on without their love? In many cases, we even have to live with some guilt and shame. Did we pay enough attention? Did we show them enough love? If only we had another day.. another hour.. another chance for a hug or kiss.

It’s too easy to stay in that place of guilt, of shame, and of heartbreak. So, how can we transition through the stages of grief and what tools can we use to cope?

Emotions are absolutely necessary and important to feel. First- we must grieve and feel it all. The good memories, the bad ones, the shame, the guilt; whatever comes up. We don’t want any of these feelings to be stuffed into our body. Use must feel them, discuss them with a friend. We must go through them even when the natural reaction is to run away from them.

When we don’t resolve or give closure to an event in our life- like the loss of a loved one- we continue to hold onto the energies generated by the emotional response to it. These energies may stay stagnant- but they eventually will resurface. So, the best course of action is to feel and process immediately, no matter how painful.

Thankfully we have resources to turn to: meditation, exercise, crystals and essential oils. All of these can help move emotion through our bodies and aid their processing.

My favorite healing modality is crystals; wear them in jewelry, carry them in a pouch, or hold them in meditation. Allow them to open up those parts of you that are holding onto, and not fully processing, emotions.

Some recommendations for grief, shame, and heartbreak are:

Obsidian- a powerful emotional teacher. It allows one to understand shame and our shadow self- allowing it to evolve and be illuminated.

Danburite- soothes the heart and sends the message that all is well; it brings forth the frequency of comfort and angelic rescue.

Rainbow Moonstone- this beautiful stone aids in clearing the emotional body and eases emotional trauma and grief.

Pink Tourmaline- assists in releasing stress, worries, depression, and anxiety. It helps those that are “emotionally numb” recover their passion and zest for life.

Remember to not judge yourself. When processing loss and experiencing trauma we must lean into our feelings and not judge ourselves. Be kind and patient to yourself and those going through the grieving process.

Dina, you are a true treasure.  Thank you for sharing your story and knowledge with the Believe in Bunnies world.  Love you.

You can connect with Dina and her wonderful healing work at CrystaliciousNYC.

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You… Squared.

My mentor in the essential oils and wellness world shares often from a little book called You2 by Price Pritchett.   When she first started sharing this book, I listened to the message but tuned out the idea of getting the book myself—I have 100s of books on the shelves downstairs waiting to be cradled in my hands and have their pages turned.  I wasn’t looking for another book.

Then, my mentor had an event in early January.  At that event, several speakers shared powerful messages about personal development (my passion, along with saving the bunnies!) and business development.  Through their messages, all signs pointed toward me ordering You2 for myself.  The next morning, I did.

My copy of the book sat on our dining room table for a while… but I swear it started working its magic before I even flipped open to the first vignette.  The book is about taking and making quantum leaps.  It’s about dropping the routine of playing small and not just going big with our dreams, goals and accomplishments but going HUGE.

Our rabbit rescue group typically completes 2-4 adoptions per month.  4 in one month has me dancing through my hay-strewn living room.  In January, our team completed 10 adoptions.  10. Unheard of.

I looked down at that silver-covered book on my table and thought: Okay, you’ve shown me what you can do just by being here.  It’s time to see what you can do when I put you to work!

I started studying You2  that day.  At the bottom of page one, I wrote, “Slow & steady is not necessary! Rescue had a leap in January 2018 to show me the possibilities!”

I feel it.  I know it.  I believe it.

See you at the top.  Much love.

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Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Follow-Up

When I first started volunteering, I would often ask, “What happened to (fill in name of rabbit here)?”  I became obsessed with knowing the next chapter for the rabbits that I helped care for after they were adopted out.  While records were kept from the beginning of the group’s existence, there wasn’t much follow-up that happened, unless initiated by the adopter themselves.  It was not a matter of disinterest or indifference; it was simply impossible for the number of consistent volunteers to keep in touch with over a decade’s worth of adopters.

I took the database that was kept at the time and pieced together what I could, reaching out to past adopters to check in, see how rabbit-family life was going and make sure all were current on veterinary check-ups.  I heard back from many and said prayers for the rest.  Not long after, an adopter suggested we create a Facebook group where adopters, foster families and volunteers could connect.  I believe she was looking for a bunny-sitter at the time of her idea.  After some careful imploring, I got the go-ahead from the directors to create such a group.

In some ways, I think of the group selfishly.  I was once obsessed with finding a way to follow up with the lives of our former foster rabbits.  The group fills that need.  Just about every family who adopts joins.  I can get updates on just about any-bunny and smile so big when I see how great they are doing.  But even better than that, the group has become a beautiful place for encouragement and support.   It’s like 24/7 customer service swirled with the loving care of people who choose to spend their free time saving and caring for these abandoned buns who need us.

I’m glad this crossed my mind today because I’m sitting here smiling with pride—I belong to a group filled with outstanding support, like-minded people who’ve hopped together for the greater good of our hoppy little friends.  And while we’re on the subject, are your babies up-to-date on their check-ups?  Just following up!  Much love.

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Believe Uncategorized

An Interesting Benchmark

When I was an undergraduate student, I watched “Sex & The City” on a perpetual loop.  No matter what I was reading or writing, no matter who was visiting my dorm room or apartment, those DVDs were on repeat.  I, of course, had my favorite seasons (2 and 3) and my favorite episodes (“Are We Sluts?” to name but one).  When the seasons premiered, we had parties.  Friends would bring NYC-themed foods, like hot pretzels, and we’d hang on every scene.  When the series ended, we gathered at M.’s apartment (she was the only one with HBO that year!) and gasped as Carrie’s pink-crystaled phone lit up “John.”  We were early 20-something girls watching these 30-something women tear through the city that lay just 45 minutes away from my childhood home and from my college home, just from different directions.  We all identified with different characters, with at least a little bit of Carrie in each of us.  No one wanted to be Miranda.  Radical honesty: we grew up to be Mirandas.  And I’m totally good with that.  While we’re on the subject, do not be surprised that I was never a Charlotte.

Mid-December this past year, I started re-watching the episodes that were the backdrop to my college years.  At bedtime (because I have to have the television on to fall asleep), I flick on Amazon Prime and, starting at season one (the awkward season in my opinion), I’ve been falling asleep to my past.  Through an entirely different lens, nearly 2 decades later (yes, that kind of time has passed), I marvel at my different take on the relationships.  Where I once thought Mr. Big was cold, I now see Carrie as narrow-sighted.  Where I once thought Steve was kinda icky, I now see his charm.  Fear not, I still think Charlotte is… I’ll just say lost, to keep it nice and keep it moving.

As I cooked this morning, I streamed the season 2 premiere of “Divorce.”  As it loaded on my I-pad, I couldn’t help but wonder (see what I did there?) when I rolled from “SATC” to “Divorce.”  Talk about SJP speaking to me.  Fear not, all is well in the Land of the Bunnies.  I just mean, this is the stage at which we’ve arrived.  I am the “Divorce” audience.  Frances is a 40-something to my 30-something, like Carrie was a 30-something to my 20-something.  What an interesting benchmark as we grow, evolve, stretch and learn.  Much love.

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Believe Energy Purpose Uncategorized

I Don’t Know What to Say

I write these stories to you best when I don’t think about you.  When I think about you, I think about what you want to read about.  Then, I get all judgy with myself that you won’t want to read about the things I’m inclined to write about.  Are you here for the Reiki and spiritual tales, so you click away from the Rescue stories?  Are you a bunny person, but the spiritual stuff turns you off?  It’s a quick mind-spin and I almost don’t get my fingers on the keys when that “stuff” is the stuff swirling through my brain.

That’s judgment.  And projection.  That’s self-sabotage.  Consciously, those aren’t choices I would make.  When I stop, breathe and think, I want to write what I’m thinking or feeling in the moment.  Maybe if it’s not for you, it could be for you or you or even you.  But it’s always for me.  Writing this is part of my personal development, walking the walk of what I teach, putting in the work on me.

Our brains click into this judgment mode as a form of protection.  If you believe in science, our brains have evolved to keep us safe.  We judge the stimulus around us based on past experiences, past hurts.  Go to the old “hand on the hot stove” adage—we learn not to touch it again because we remember getting burned.  Some of us love to keep our hands pressed firmly on the hot stove, even after multiple burns… but that’s a topic for another day.

I sat down today and I didn’t know what to say to you.  What if you don’t like it?  I have to figure out where that all comes from… and I have just the tool to help me get started… Much Love.

JD

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Believe Energy Purpose Uncategorized

Balance

I’m always Even Stephen (your inclination might be to spell Stephen with a V here but I must pay appropriate homage to my uncle/best friend/birthday buddy and remain PH balanced).  There’s something magical in balance of things.  Maybe it’s because I was raised by a Libra; my mother is the one always making sure everyone else is happy and their needs are met.  When you ask her where she wants to go to dinner on her birthday, she’ll invariably say, “Wherever you want to go.”  It’s not that she doesn’t care for herself—she just likes harmony and draws on her roots as the oldest of four children when she lets others make the decisions.  It’s not indecisiveness nor is it laziness—it’s preservation of peace and balance.  But enough about her.

We all joked and prayed that 2017 would bring us out of the hardships of 2016 (and yes, I know that a slew of celebrities dying isn’t quite a hardship compared to some of the actual tough stuff that this human experience can bring but ssshhhhh, I’m writing here).  2017 was like 2016+… or +++ for some people.  But, to paraphrase Mama Ru, a butterfly doesn’t know what’s happening in that cocoon.  Just a happy little caterpillar spins this intense cocoon and the metamorphosis is violent!  Then, out flaps this gorgeous creature that we marvel at… heck, I have 4 butterflies tattooed on me.  So here’s to hoping that 2016 and 2017 were our cocoon years and we bust out with pretty wings, using our feet to taste in 2018.

Whenever the transition is complete, we can’t forget the tough stuff.  That’s the necessity in the balance.  We are all energy, sitting or standing or lying on energy, holding energy, surrounded by energy.  That energy changes form and function but it doesn’t go away.  It finds its balance.  So if you’re feeling lonely, empty, too full, pulled in too many directions or even directionless, sit, breathe and allow the balance to rush in.  Surrender to the energy.  Do the next right thing without grabbing for 5 steps in the future or being tethered to a perceived misstep in the past.  It may take longer than you want or expect and it will often take a different form that you want or expect, but the balance will come.  Allow the peace to fill your heart, your soul and your space today as we transition into another glorious year.  Much love.

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Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Moving Parts

What didn’t happen yesterday in our little Rescue world?  I’ll just timeline it for you:

7:21 am: The first email inquiry of the day from a parent wanting a rabbit as Christmas gift for a young child arrived in our inbox.

NOT Holiday Gifts

Photo Credit: D.C.

8:15 am: Assembled a team of volunteers to standby for the potential influx of emails like the aforementioned, in effort to educate these well-meaning families that living things are not toys.

9:00 am: Volunteers cleaned, fed and snuggled buns at our main foster home.

10:00 am: Ontario, adopted out last year, was transported back by volunteers to our main foster home, as her family could no longer care for her.  Welcome back, sweet girl.

Ontario

Photo Credit: LIRRG

11:00 am: Secured a foster home for the “Frat Party Rabbit.”  A father contacted us during the week that his daughter saved a rabbit from a college fraternity party but they could not keep the rabbit long term.  Volunteers then sprung into action, once foster home was secured, to transport rabbit from rescuer’s home to foster home.

Throughout the Day: Emails are thankfully and surprisingly slow… or it just felt that way because I had a lot of great help!  Connected 4 potential adopters to volunteers for screening and helped a few other emailers with questions.

3:33pm: Lil’ B, a boy from our recent big rescue in Baldwin, is adopted as husbun to LIRRG alum Brooke.  That makes 51 adoptions in 2017, just one shy of our goal.

4:00 pm: “Frat Party Rabbit” picked up by loving volunteer and father of rescuer gave very generous donation.  Bun is transported to foster home and is now a member of our sorority; she’s a young lop-eared lady.

Frat Party Bun

Photo Credit: N.S.

6:23 pm: Two strays that a former adopter has seen in her neighborhood (and offered to foster if we help catch) are spotted.  Team springs into action and heads way out east.  One rabbit is brought to safety… turns out this case is far more complicated than two abandoned rabbits and the authorities are called in.

6:33 pm: Compiled the volunteer coverage schedule for the upcoming week.  Grateful to the solid team of helpers!

8:01 pm: LIRRG alum (and my tiniest niece) Laila Bunny is not eating and her temperature is low.

8:55 pm: I leave the house (in my pajamas) to medicate Laila Bunny.  She seems to be getting better (but she didn’t get better overnight and has been hospitalized this morning).

9:43 pm: Volunteer who sustained scratches at the evening catch texts me to ask if Sacred Frankincense will work on her skin like “regular” Frankincense will.  Yes… and I love the crossover between my Rescue and wellness worlds, lots of people living lives of wellness and purpose.

 

I think I got everything… and that’s just the “stuff” that I helped with; we have quite the kick-ass team out there, saving as many as we can!

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Consistency

My mom doesn’t like mushrooms or peanut butter because she doesn’t like the consistency of either.

Consistency has been my word of the moment in business but when you think about it, it really the crux of all of our work and practices.  What you attend to grows.  If you do squats every day, even just a few, your booty will look “better” (such a subjective topic, but you get it).  If you meditate daily, your mind, like any other muscle, will train into its fittest form.  Like a seed blossoming into a plant, flower or tree takes consistent sunlight, water, oxygen and time, our own blossoming takes consistency to cultivate lasting benefits.

The flip side is tricky.  You can do something “bad,” step out of line once and suffer negative consequences.  Or you can step out on yourself, on your health, on your job, your family, whatever, once and be just fine.  You can do “bad” consistently… the laws of our universe say it will catch up with you.  Karma… do dirt, get dirt… Darn this stuff is tricky. Because it might not even catch up with you.

But I can guarantee the “good” work done with consistency will.  It just takes time.  But, hey, we are here anyway!  Some fellow rescuers get frustrated at the number of abandoned rabbits on Long Island or at the number of negligent stores selling rabbits with no more care than the way one might sell a bottle of soda, but if we continue our mission with consistency, it will absolutely work.  If we truly believe in the work we are doing and we do the work with passion and consistency, we will make a positive, lasting impact.  We are already and we continue to do so every day.

You may get disheartened, discourage or even dismantled at times… but when your goals are real, when you believe in your effort, when you find your purpose and act on it with consistency, you will reach the most beautiful moments.

 

Special love and light to Alexa, one of my darling bunny clients, who is battling head tilt.  Keep fighting Alexa. Much love.

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