Believe In Bunnies

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Believe Energy Healing Purpose Young Living

Why. My Young Living Story.

Why… because I can’t not.

Ooooooooo the English teacher just rocked a double negative!

Because I don’t define myself as an English teacher. I am not my job. But society will try to force you into labeling and identifying as what you do.

That never sat right with me and, for years, I wouldn’t tell people my profession. It felt like one of those Halloween masks from the early 80s, the plastic ones with the uncomfortable, thin elastic band around the back and the barely-there cutouts for breathing. They don’t make those masks anymore… for a reason.

Like those masks, the school system feels stifling to me. The prospect of working at this job for 30+ years as is, following everyone else’s way, put a literal lump in my throat and a clawing in my stomach. Try feeling like that every day. Maybe you already do…

I needed something else, something different. But I didn’t have a clue what or how.

I could resign myself to keep at what I was doing and consequently feeling how I was feeling or I could make a change. I didn’t think I could or should change my job. I decided I could and would change myself.

I remembered how much better I felt physically and mentally when I practiced yoga after graduating from college so I found a yoga studio near our house. There, I met my acupuncturist. During our sessions, she used Young Living oils. I was feeling more and more peace with every healing I experienced.

I couldn’t take those needles home but I could take those little brown bottles with the colorful labels home. I ordered a Premium Starter Kit. I enrolled in Essential Rewards the next day. I ordered a kit for my father the next day. I was all in.

The more at peace I felt, the more energy I had, the more people began to ask what changed. There was no missing and no denying that I’d shifted.

I shared about the oils and products just like I would share about a delicious new restaurant I found or a hilarious new show I stumbled across. Some friends wanted what I had. I was in business.

From this business, I’ve found community. I found people who are authentic. I can say, without hesitation, that I am happy. Happy… a simple word for a multi-faceted concept. If I, a woman who was in physical pain from emotional conditions, could feel happy, vibrant, powerful… how could I keep that from people?

I share Young Living because it led me to feeling free, free from the pressures placed on me by a system that doesn’t serve me, from pressures that I placed upon myself to be the best to have the best and to never take off the mask of achievement. Like I mentioned earlier, those stifling plastic Halloween masks have been banned and are long-forgotten. Through the community of wellness, purpose and abundance that I found in Young Living, I learned to take off my metaphorical mask and to breathe in the real me, a real space in this world to grow and flourish. Today, my mask is off and I face the world, and myself, with authentic happiness.

I want to see you with a smile on your face that rivals the one on mine right now. Believe in your happiness.

Come with us.

You are worthy.

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Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

No.

In Rescue life, I find myself saying no very often.  And it’s not a struggle for me.  I attribute that to my logical, black-and-white, organized nature.  We don’t have a shelter facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes.  Thus, we can’t do anything unless someone can offer a space in their own home.  Once we find a space, then things spring into motion, but before that, it’s just no.  No, we can’t help until someone steps up to foster.  No, we can’t take your rabbit that you’ve grown tired of.  No, you can’t house a domestic rabbit in an outdoor hutch.  No, we can’t give you hundreds of donated dollars to pay for the spay/neuter of a rabbit whom you decided to purchase from a breeder.

Do I sound cold?  Sorry.  But to me, these are just facts.  There’s a logical procedure to making all of this happen, to saving as many lives as we can and then providing a high quality of life for those we save.  If we just said yes to everyone, everybun, every request, we would be financially broke (we run solely on your donations, 100% of which go directly to the rabbits and are tax-deductible) and the rabbits we have in our care wouldn’t have exercise time, food and supplies, and the love they deserve.  So, no is my answer often.  Even when dealing with the cutest of cotton bottoms, you have to harden the F up sometimes… a lot of the time…

So take this sense into the rest of real life.  With some minor exception, I’ve never been a people-pleaser.  I’m loyal.  I’m honest.  I’m dependable.  But be damn sure that I won’t do anything I don’t want to do and I’ll never commit to something that I don’t plan on fulfilling.

In many cases, saying no is a gift to yourself, a gift you deserve.  No, I don’t want to _______ because I really need to rest, handle my own business, do something that fulfills my spirit.  Put yourself first.  I always do.  Always.  I don’t care if that sounds selfish or crass.  Putting myself first, saying no to some people and things along the way has enabled me to create the life of my dreams.  I’ve written here before that the life of my dreams is probably far from the one of your dreams—how great that we can all have it all, in whatever way we want it?!  Anyway, saying no in Rescue life and in real life is really just a yes to something else, something that we choose to give priority.

So when I say no to having lunch on a Sunday with you, I’m really saying yes to myself, my family and my home—I need that day to get shit together!  When I say no to an abandoned rabbit, I’m really saying let’s get the best possible scenario arranged first to truly save this life, all while saying yes to keeping the safe and loved quality of life for our foster and sanctuary rabbits.  No keeps me grounded.  No keeps the quality of yeses super high and wonderful.

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Stay grounded.

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Bunnies Energy Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

What it takes… and gives.

Two more wake-ups until I return to the day job so you’d think my mind would be there… but in my endless quest to be present and be mindful, I’m just here now.  In deciding what to share with you all today, I was searching for some sort of “Summer’s over…” moment, but I don’t actually feel like anything is ending.  I’m not feeling a loss, per se, and that’s probably because I gained a lot this summer.  Everything I gained came from Rescue life.

Yes, I had something like nine weeks of vacation (I didn’t count the days) but there was not one day where I did nothing.  It’s not in my DNA to do nothing, as much as I’ve tried to force it.  Don’t get me wrong—I can relax with the best of them.  I took a juicy 3 hour nap today.  I’ve felt tortured in my past, without an outlet for the energies swirling.  So freakin’ lucky that Rescue has given me purpose, with tangible tasks as well as spiritual fulfillment.

To run this show, it takes patience, compassion and determination.  It takes a strong memory and compulsive organization.  It takes some moments of shutting off the emotions (otherwise, some of the cases would crush—Rescue is not for the faint of heart).  It takes an absurd amount of time—communicating, transporting, cleaning, and the list goes on.  But above all that, it takes a stellar team.  The moments that Rescue feels insurmountable are only the moments when I feel team-less.  When the Squad is present, we make magic happen.  Jack Welch in his best-seller Winning states, “Leaders relentlessly upgrade their teams,” and sometimes it feels like a full-time job to manage this team.  It takes a lot, but it sure does give a lot.

Rescue gives… and not just to the rabbits we save.  Rescue has given me a support system of like-minded angels.  Rescue has given me some of the strongest relationships in my life right now.  Rescue gives me a platform to use my talents and powers.  Rescue gives me heartwarming moments of awe, like when adopters and supporters donate their hard-earned money and devote their treasured time to helping clean or fundraise or spread the good word about what we do.  This summer, Rescue took me into the offices of powerful local politicians as an advocate for abandoned, abused and neglected domestic rabbits—some groundbreaking stuff coming in that arena!  None of this would be possible without that aforementioned glorious team.

So, it takes a lot… for me, it’s mostly time and spiritual effort.  But it gives so much value.  My heart is warm just thinking about it.  Who would have ever thought that cleaning litter boxes would be a part of my life’s purpose?!  I have gained so much through this work, far more than I feel I could ever give.  Here’s to boundless hoppiness.

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Believe Energy Healing Reiki Uncategorized

Be Open… or Not.

One of my classic B-isms: Not everything is for everybody.  Reiki is such a strong example of that.  It’s subjective.  It’s situational.  It’s suited for some, or from some and not for others, from others or between others.  Like a massage—what feels good for me might not be what you need.  Or choosing a meal from a menu—you and I probably don’t order the same thing(s).  And it’s all good.  You don’t have to like what I like.  I don’t have to find peace on the same path where you wade through yours.

I met with a first-time client this week.  When I tell you that animals pick up on and respond to our energies, this family could be the textbook case.  The matriarch of the family presented some specific questions and issues she wanted me to address with her companion animal.  Before I could explain to her that Animal Reiki doesn’t necessarily work that way (your animal is not filling out a questionnaire or being hooked up to a lie detector), she then changed all of her questions and purposes.  Her energy was like a bouncing rubber ball, pinging off of every surface, sometimes with grace and sometimes with force, trying to communicate what she thought we needed to attain from our time together… I wonder why your cat is an anxious little guy?!

I share this anecdote as a lesson: Be open.  Or not.  Reiki, like anything else, doesn’t suit every being or every situation.  But if you do want to try giving or receiving energy work in Reiki or in another capacity, please exhale and let it flow.  Energy work is not to be micro-managed (and this is coming from the queen of micro-management!).  There’s an openness, an exchange, a flow that needs to be accessible for the energy to work its magic.  It’s not for everyone.  There are some days that I, as a practitioner, am not in the best head-space to give or receive either.  Like I said before, it’s subjective.  But it’s damn powerful.  So don’t focus on feeling “ready” or looking for the right time, place, set and setting—just be open.  Be open to the magic, to the possibilities.

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Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Budgie

Budgie probably doesn’t remember it, but he’s the first LIRRG rabbit I ever met.  It was February 2012.  Budgie and his mom and his aunt were representing LIRRG at a local Petco for an education event.  Bunny-daddy and I had just brought our boys into our home a month and a half prior.  (We found out that a local rescue existed after that… but we’ve more than made up for it since!  When you know better, you do better.)  I went to Petco with my mom and the uncles to meet the Rescue people.  We met Budgie there that day and I exchanged contact information with Budgie’s mom, hoping to find out more about volunteering.  And the rest is history-ish.

I visited Budgie this week to share some Reiki and check in with some out-of-his-ordinary behavior that his mom is concerned about.  I’ve treated him and his brother Snoopy before.  I started my session with a drop of lavender oil on my third-eye chakra and 3 drops of T-Away (the Animal Scents equivalent to Stress Away) in my palms.  I don’t typically put the oils directly on my bunny-clients; I rub the oils between my palms and do hands-on treatments, sharing the frequency of the oils.

I started Budgie’s treatment from outside of his pen, giving him some time to acclimate and invite me in.  I soon joined him on his play rug and worked hands-on for the majority of our session.  I connected strongly with his solar plexus chakra and the desire to assert power… which aligns well with the behaviors his mom is concerned about.  I sent lots of calming and peace to Budgie there, reassuring him that his power in this realm is recognized and strong.

He licked my right hand about 5 or 6 times during his treatment, each time in a series of 8 licks and the final time, 16 licks.  In our discussion after the treatment, I asked Budgie’s mom if the number 8 has any significance to her.  Nothing jumped out at her—but we did talk about 8 as the infinite energies and love.  We rounded out our treatment with an exchange of loving energies and I focused my Reiki on reassuring Budgie of his strength and power in his loving family.  All in all, Budgie thinks he’s the boss… and I’m not arguing with that face!

Much gratitude to Budgie’s mom for inviting me to share my love and light with her sweet boys.

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Believe Bunnies meditation Purpose Uncategorized

Hop the Hop

I advise everyone, yes everyone, who asks for coaching, mentorship or just plain advice from me to meditate.  And yet, my practice of meditation is less than consistent!  Since I was on vacation from my “day job” this week, I took the opportunity to talk the talk AND walk the walk… or should we say hop the hop!

My meditation coach and treasured friend Debbie describes meditation and mindfulness as “paying attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally” using the body and all sensory systems.  Start as simply as her directive of “Just Sit.”  That’s where the magic happens.  Believe in the potential or not… you know it’s worth a try!

Debbie trained at The University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness under the direct guidance of the incredible Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, so there’s plenty of legit science behind all of this spiritual practice.  Accompanied by fellow Rabbit Rescue volunteer Nicole, I attended a talk Debbie gave this week at Turn of the Corkscrew in Rockville Centre.  Armed with my notebook and my renewed commitment to my own practice, I soaked in all of the goodies from Debbie’s wise words and guided meditations.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and its approach to a mediation practice fits well into my human experience.  It’s not the type of practice where you have to run off into the woods with no shoes on and clear you mind completely for hours to reap benefits—quite the opposite.  Debbie reminded the attendees throughout her talk that mindfulness meditation is an exercise to strengthen our brain.  And just like any other muscle or body system, the brain needs work to see progress or change.  You aren’t going to lose weight by eating differently for one day.  You aren’t going to get sick abs by exercising for one week.  It’s all a practice.  In this case, it’s a practice of “lifting emotional weights.”

And this practice is one that helps us to “respond skillfully rather than react,” which is an invaluable skill for me in both my day job and in Rescue.  I receive emails, many of which seem or are urgent, and calls about cases that are literally life or death situations for abandoned rabbits.  If I react, I’m in an ineffective panic.  When I remember to breathe, then respond skillfully, cases are appropriately prioritized and more lives get saved.

Toward the end of her talk, Debbie said, “It’s not about getting rid of stress—it’s developing a new relationship to it.”  And that’s a refreshing truth that I think will resonate with a lot of you reading this.  No matter what passion and path you are hopping, walking, trotting, whatever, stressors are real.  Obstacles appear and sometimes persist.  A meditation practice, even 2 minutes a day, can be the key to surmounting those stressors.  And since I advocate so heavily for the practice, I will hop the hop with you.  Just sit.  And as Debbie says, “Trust in the wisdom.”

“Like” Debbie’s page on Facebook, please.

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Tater Tot meditates too!

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angels Believe Bunnies Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The celebrity world isn’t the only one rocked by loss in 2016.  This weekend alone, 2 beautiful bunny girls made their journey over the Rainbow Bridge (the favored euphemism for passing away… another euphemism, just more common), 2 very different girls, both fitting of a tribute here as they taught me to believe in bunnies and magic within.

Olivia

You may remember Olivia from some of my previous Reiki tales.  Olivia hopped from this mortal coil on Friday evening.  While still sweet as pure sugar and a sponge for snuggles and love, Olivia lost her ability to move over the preceding week.  She even lost the ability to urinate on her own.  She spent her last few days with her adoring mother gobbling treats and sharing gentle moments.  Olivia lived at least 12 years, maybe 13 (we often don’t know exact ages, due to the nature of rescue cases).  She’s the third senior citiz-bun/special needs bun from the LIRRG roster to journey over the Bridge in 2016.  She joins feisty Belle and kissy Wednesday.  These three angels allowed me to bring Reiki into their lives and I believe they have joined my Reiki guides.  In our time together, Belle taught me to believe in building trust.  Wednesday embodied my belief in unconditional love.  And Olivia helps me to believe that we can all grow old gracefully.  Despite her mobility issues in her last few weeks, Olivia never grumped, nipped or fussed.  I thank Olivia’s mom deeply for sharing the love.

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Suzy

I covered a shift of “bunny chores” at our main foster home today.  When I checked my phone after chores were done, I had a message from my dear friend Renee.  The message simply said “Suzy” followed by 3 broken heart emojis.  I responded simply “No.”  But, yes, Suzy made her journey over the Bridge this afternoon.  Far too young.  Suzy was born with the most unique case of splayed legs anyone in my rabbit realm has ever seen.  She ran, flopped, played, binkied like the happiest little seal-bunny.  Suzy is a celeb-bunny, the legacy of the Different is Beautiful movement.  Suzy’s pictures and videos exude pure love of life and love of family.  Becoming acquainted with Suzy reminded me to believe in myself and those around me with complete faith.  Suzy didn’t let her physical differences negatively affect her life for one second—from her, I believe that no perceived obstacle in insurmountable.

Suzy

Binky free, sweet angels.

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angels Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Reiki Rescue Uncategorized

Run Bun

Invoking my encyclopedic memory to tell you the beginning of this story…

2013:

A normal night at one of our main foster homes.  Owner of said foster home completed her own evening routine and shut the lights to head to bed.  Then the doorbell rang.  With trepidation, she opened the door.  On the porch, a small plastic carrier and a note.  Inside the carrier, two small rabbits, one black and white, one brown and white.  As our addresses are not made public in any capacity, this was no coincidental abandonment.

These two rabbits were aptly named Ring (black and white) and Run (brown and white).  Both small and super lovable.

Later that year, Run was adopted.  Ring found his forever home in 2014.

2016:

We received a heartbreaking email from Run’s mom earlier this weekend.  Being an attentive, loving mom, she noticed that he was having some trouble with one of his paws and his balance.  She immediately brought him to his veterinarian, where he had recently been for a check-up and blood work (all was fine at that previous appointment).  X-rays and tests illuminated the shocking news—Run has developed cancer, including a large mass that is pushing on his spine, causing the mobility and balance issues.

The size and intensity of the mass leave few western medicine alternatives that are safe for dear Run.  And his family is devastated.  Without a second thought, I brought Run Bun, as his mom affectionately calls him, into my distance Reiki meditation.

Distance Reiki and the Distant Healing Symbol is used to send Reiki energy over distance and time to anyone and to anything.  This morning, before sitting down to write, I sat with a picture of Run that Debbie shared with me, put my most powerful mediation oil, Idaho Balsam Fir, on my palms and called on my angels, my guides and all healing energies to encircle Run with love, light and peace.

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I’m sharing Run’s story with you today so you can send him healing vibes too.  Send peace to his family.  Send all the health and hoppiness in the world to dear little Run Bun.

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Believe Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Feel and Focus

On Friday evening, I sat amongst a diverse yet like-minded group at Yoga Journal Live to hear Gabby Bernstein’s talk entitled True Power.  When I explain who Gabby Bernstein is to people, I call her the Marianne Williamson of the younger set.  If none of this is resonating with you, stop reading this and go turn on Super Soul Sunday on OWN or make a quick trip to the library or to smile.amazon.com, pick Long Island Rabbit Rescue as your charity of choice, then treat yourself to some powerful nonfiction by either of the aforementioned ladies.

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Ms. Bernstein sharing her True Power

As in my nature, I took a lot of notes during Gabby’s talk (Metatron is my guide and he’s known as God’s scribe so it all comes naturally to me).  As I review my scribbled pages, the phrase “You can dictate what you feel based on what you focus on” is shining at me this morning.  You hear a lot of the same refrain from acquaintances, colleagues, and family members about being so busy, too busy, overwhelmed and overbooked.  But it’s all about choice and focus for me.

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Always prepared to take good notes

I work a traditional Monday to Friday job, I coordinate a non-profit organization (that logs far more hours than my “job” does) and I have responsibilities and appointments, social and non, that filter through the days as well.  At the day job, I can certainly feel busy, stressed, uncomfortable, drowning, fighting a losing battle at the most extreme of times.  Now shift the focus, make the choice…  Yesterday was a typical Saturday for me, as I handled a steady stream of Rescue emails, managed the group’s social media accounts (except Instagram, that one I’ve thankfully delegated out to the squad), handled phone calls and texts from volunteers who themselves are managing some complex rescue cases, completed two outstanding home visits for potential adopters, had lunch with a treasured friend, did three loads of laundry, food shopped… but guess what, loves?  I felt completely alive, blessed and happy through it all.  Not for a second did I choose to feel busy, stressed, or overbooked.

This is not a brag-post.  This is a message that you can do it all, have it all and be it all if you “embrace the light” as Gabby reminded the 700+ attendees at her talk on Friday.  As soon as I embraced my life’s purpose, the moment I found my truth, I left behind those crazed feelings of drowning through all the things I had to do.  I can now have a packed day of smiles and movement.  I shifted from my former refrain of “I have so much to do” to my divine inner monologue of “I feel completely alive and on my mission.”

Gabby told us to “reach for what we believe in right now.”  I believe that my work in rescue has saved my life as well as helped to save countless animal lives.  I believe that every cell in my body vibrates and functions at its full and glowing potential when I’m doing my rescue and Reiki work.  I feel the best I’ve ever felt because I’ve chosen to focus on what drives me instead of focusing on what society/family/whoever told me I should focus on.  I’ve magnified my purpose.  I choose what feels right and so much more of what is right has flowed my way.

Busy, lazy, productive, slow… these are all perceptions.  Perceive, feel, focus and be whatever you truly want.  Let that authentic purpose come to you.  Your truth is gorgeous, just like you.

Magnify

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Bunnies Energy Rescue Uncategorized

Captain

One week ago Saturday, I covered a “bunny chores” shift at our main foster home, changing litter boxes, vacuuming, feeding and the like. This foster home houses most of our adoptable rabbits and volunteers visit daily to tend the rabbits. Captain, a Dutch mix, has been on our roster of adoptable rabbits for about six months. He was rescued from a neglected outdoor hutch, where he and multiple other rabbits were left in the extreme heat of the summer with no water and no food. When found, the rabbits were eating “wee wee pads” (is there a technical name for that product?). Some of the rabbits in the hutch did not survive the heat and neglect. Captain, along with Beaux, who was adopted a few months ago, and Lola, who is still waiting for her forever home, were brought to safety.

Captain quickly earned the reputation of being “tough” to handle amongst the volunteers. Rabbits are never aggressive—any behavior they exhibit that people interpret as aggressive is a rabbit doing all he can to survive. These prey animals are only aggressive toward Romaine lettuce, not toward human beings. Captain typically lunges and even bites sometimes; his behavior precipitates from his past neglect and trauma. While he has made progress over the past six months, he was still holding the title for feistiest bunny…

I reached into his pen slowly to take his litter box which was in need of changing. Despite employing my best techniques (I am the mother of a Lionhead rabbit who thinks he’s a lion!), Captain still perceived a threat in my approach and bit my right hand something fierce. The result of the bite looked much worse than it felt! I posted a picture of my hand on Facebook, playfully asking my fellow volunteers to guess who caused these marks. It didn’t take many guesses to reach the right answer. Then, a message appeared in my inbox that has quickly proven to be life-changing for our Captain.

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My hand 3/5/16

Volunteer and epic bunny mom Lisa messaged me, asking if she could take Captain home to foster for a month. She expressed determination to make more progress with him. As aforementioned, his previous and current foster families have helped Captain become more comfortable with human interaction but there is definite room for growth! I checked with the directors of our group, got the approval and let Lisa know that after her shift of bunny chores on Thursday, Captain was hers to foster.

Within hours of being in Lisa’s home, Captain seemed to shift personalities. My inbox exploded with videos and pictures of Captain sitting on Lisa’s shoulder and accepting loving snuggles from Lisa’s nine year old daughter. The change of scenery, the change of energies… whatever it is, Captain is letting down his guard and letting his true bunny-self blossom. I and the rest of the team are so grateful for Lisa’s caring efforts and determination to help Captain trust and love. After only a weekend, he’s a totally different rabbit. Paws crossed that, after his month-long visit with Lisa’s family, Captain will be truly ready for the love of a forever home.

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Captain, showing the softer side we all knew was there!!

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