Ella and Monkey

The Catnip and Carrots waiting room is like Cheers for our rabbit rescue family.  Anytime you walk through those doors and sit on those benches, you are bound to meet someone who knows your name, even if it’s just from interaction in our incredibly supportive online community.

An afternoon in July of 2014, I sat on one of those benches.  Two women, a mother and a daughter, sat on an adjacent bench.  In their carrier was their elderly guinea pig.  From careful eavesdropping (teacher-hearing comes in handy outside of the classroom too), I learned that they take this beloved guinea pig to the vet weekly—sometimes several times in a week.  Considering that most guinea pigs don’t get any medical care, I judged this family to be super pet parents.  I was right.

The daughter looked at her phone and started to read an email to her mother.  The email was an apology for a delayed response.  I heard her mention a big rescue case in Mastic that was the excuse for the delayed response.  I realized that I wrote that email.  These are people that we are screening for adoption!

I’m not shy.  I said, “Excuse me.  That email is from me.  I’m Denise.”  They introduced themselves and we conducted the step in the screening process that is usually a phone interview, live in the waiting room.  Each answer confirmed the judgment I already made about them—these women are part of an exceptional pet family.  Home visit… adoption day… they brought their adorable Monkey Bun to “speed date” with several of our adoptable rabbits.  Monkey chose Elke on July 20, 2014.  Elke was renamed Ella.  They never bonded—it happens.  They live side-by-side in happiness now.

Ella is estimated to be around 10 years old… maybe 8… maybe 12.  With age often comes some health and mobility issues.  I was honored to visit Ella and Monkey this past week and share some Reiki with them.  In connecting with Ella’s energy, I felt a beautiful sense of patience.  Before I entered their pens, I poured several drops of Frankincense essential oil into my palms and called on our guides and angels to support and heal all who are open to the energy.  I stepped into Ella’s pen first.  She spent most of our session together in her cardboard hut.  She has a green light surrounding her metaphysically.  She “told” me that she doesn’t feel old, which put a big smile on her family’s faces in our post-session conversation.  When working on Ella’s chest area and heart chakra zone, I felt a big shift, like an obstruction began to dissolve.  She feels blocked physically so we “worked” on that through most of our session.  She “showed” me the numbers 10 and 11 and that she prays with the family, so whoever is praying or doing some spiritual work, keep it up!  Ella is working with you!

Ella

I hopped over to Monkey Bun’s pen next.  He’s much more curious than Ella is so we did more hands-on work together.  He “showed” me the number 3.  We worked to soften his heart chakra.  He “told” me that he knows he’s a little boy but he’s NOT the baby of the family!  He is solid and healthy.  His solar plexus chakra is very guarded (common in prey animals) and he “shared” a turtle shell energy with me, a hard exterior for protection.  Where Ella is blocked physically, Monkey is guarded or blocked emotionally.  They are in great balance of each other.  Although they never officially bonded, there’s a lot of love in that bunny room, just like there’s a lot of love in that entire house.

Monkey Bun

From our chance meeting in the waiting room at the vet’s office… Ella’s adopter has become one of our most dependable volunteers, which is not surprising.  They are a family of compassion and dedication.  They show that in the way they cared for their ailing guinea pig, the way they opened their home to Ella, who was a bit older when they adopted her, and the continued care every animal (and person, from what I gather) in that family receives.  It is my true honor to share Reiki with Ella and Monkey and to be around such a wonderful family.  Much love.

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Cameron

On the last Monday in March, I paid a special visit to a special little boy.  Quick backstory: Cameron was rescued with four other rabbits right before Halloween.  He was adopted shortly after the New Year and returned right before Valentine’s Day.  We don’t get many returns (thankfully).  Cameron had fallen ill and his adopters decided to return him.  Volunteers rushed to get him back into our care.  Cameron developed neurological “issues”—could be genetic, could be a result of trauma sustained when he was trying to survive post-abandonment/pre-rescue.  His adopters gave up on him.  His foster family never will.

Cameron has been making great strides.  He’s a bit wobbly at times.  He needs an enclosure specially designed for his mobility needs.  Other than that, he is a perfectly happy and hoppy boy.  I was delighted to have the opportunity to share Reiki with him.

He had a lot to “say” compared to most of my clients.  He “told” me that the “rolling” his body experienced when he first showed symptoms of illness really scared him.  When working on his throat chakra, he “showed” me that he was weeping happy, grateful tears for being safe.  He asked about Lil’ B, a bun with whom he was rescued.  He showed me the number four—well, he was rescued with four others.  He lives with four humans.  In Angel Numbers, four means “the angels are with you.  They send you the number 4 to reassure you that they’ve heard your prayers and are helping you.”  I quite like that number for Cameron and his foster family.

He’s a young soul.  He’s on his first pass through this mortal coil and he really trusts people now because of his foster family.  Being a young soul, he can let go of his abandonment (twice now, that we know of) easier than others can.  No resentment present in that furry little body!  Cameron knows he’s “different” but feels confident and secure, which he confirmed by licking his paw.  Throughout most of our session together, he stayed flopped under his bench.  When I was working on his spine, however, he came toward me then ran away quickly to show he’s strong.  He started eating immediately after to confirm that physical and emotional strength.

Cameron feel clenched in his hips and lower body.  I told his foster family to give him some gentle hip massages.  He told me that he likes to be around one person at a time, rather than a crowd.  His favorite color is blue (which his foster mom guessed correctly in our post-session conversation).  As I closed our session, Cameron stood up very strongly, like Mountain Pose in yoga, to show me that he feels very loved and safe.

It was a honor to work with Cameron and I am grateful to his foster family for welcoming me and Reiki in their loving home.  Cameron is looking for a forever home, preferably with an experienced family who knows that different is so very beautiful.

You can follow Cameron’s foster family’s blog here.

Missing Piece

I am no longer allowing this missing piece translate to missing peace.  I am telling a new story.  You are the first to hear about it.  Grateful to you for “listening” today.

I’ve been holding back from truly stepping into a component of this work and of my personal development because there is a piece to my story that I’m not ready or maybe not willing to tell.  I struggle with the idea of telling my story without telling that story.  Can I be authentic and leave out a big piece?  My answer to that was no.  I’ve held back so much because I didn’t think I could share my light fully without sharing that piece.  And I do not want to share that piece.  I’m not going to share that piece.  There’s no secret link embedded here.  I’m not going to do a big reveal at the end of this entry.  These types of thoughts and the struggle arriving here has robbed me of some peace and have stunted my healing.  Thus, I’ve felt stunted in sharing healing.  It’s cyclical.

As I sat down to write to you today (or do I write this to me and you just peek over my shoulder?) I opened to a page in my notes from the Spirit Junkie Master Class that I attended last June.  On that pink page I wrote, “Be not afraid— be empowered.”  Gabrielle taught us how our inner guides are begging use to release our resistance.  I’m sure hearing that six months ago, I interpreted that as a call to reveal my missing piece.  Now, I see it as permission to release the expectation of telling it all, the expectation of being as transparent as many others seem to be.  Gabrielle taught us to step into the darkness so we can dive into the light.  I am.  I am finding my peace privately.  I can do that and still share healing publicly.  Today I give myself that permission.

Gabrielle imparted on us, her Spirit Junkie disciples, that we look at our stories from a place of power.  My missing piece deals a lot with shame and guilt.  I will find the power.  You all help to lift me up.  Forever grateful.  Big stuff coming… Much love.

Autopilot

I don’t know if there’s a name for it… that experience where you’re driving but your mind is completely somewhere else and you kind of shake your head and snap back to the present moment, having virtually no recollection of getting where you are, like that total autopilot moment… that’s August for me, every year.  I just realized it last night, as we got into bed and I shook my head fiercely and thought, “Holy stuff, it’s almost over.”   This is my brain on August, autopilot, struggling to get back to the present.

My mindfulness practices are inconsistent—but that’s why they call it a practice and not a perfect, right?  I am routinized and committed to many things so it’s not like I can’t; I just haven’t yet.  But I will.  The struggles are thematic (and I almost blush at calling them struggles because it’s really not so bad in the grand scheme of this whirling world).  I hit speed bumps and roadblocks at similar places and phases, the same way, I imagine, a serial dieter does.  I am aware of my patterns and my inclinations.  I’m here, trying to balance acceptance and growth.

Again, it’s a practice.  I’m finally at a place where I don’t feel like my vacations are too short (those of you who don’t get the number of weeks off that I do can continue cursing at me now—I can’t hear you anyway).  I don’t feel like the days or my life is racing by because I am paying attention on purpose, with purpose.  I’m making it count AND giving myself a giant break that I denied myself in the past.  I’m consciously shutting down the August Autopilot now.  So today, or even just for the next hour, give the autopilot a rest.  Let it recharge—after all, we need it in its highest working order in times of necessity—and be present with yourself.  Take it all in.  Accept your patterns, your habits, your predilections and grow through the elements that could use change.  Be here now.  Much love.

 

Perspective

You’ve heard it or read it a thousand times before… “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” -Dr. W. Dyer

That concept has swirled around me the past few days.  (Look at Summer Denise, writing on a Tuesday instead of Sunday… scandalous!).  I’m getting more and more comfortable with change, especially the changes that I didn’t necessarily invite into my life.  I’m shifting my perspective with an intention to see the value in the change for myself and for those with whom I share love.  I’ve always been the type to take words and promises very literally, particularly because I keep my own without question.  Not everyone is like that.  I’ve always assumed their breaking their word, and subsequently our trust, was purposeful.  I’m working to change the way I look at that.  I’m working, because this is wholly MY ISSUE, to see that everyone’s definition of loyalty and friendship is different.  And that’s cool.  Acceptance.

When I go to yoga classes, I rotate where I roll out my mat.  I used to be the type to want the same spot (middle row, side of the room) for every class.  When I switched studios two summers ago, I decided to change that habit.  Now I never get stuck in a rut, as I’m consciously shifting my perspective.  I’m able to be more present because the change in physical space keeps my brain more engaged.  I don’t shift into autopilot, then careen off to what I have to do after class “monkey mind” as easily.  I change the way I look at things every time I step into the studio.  Try it.

It’s not easy to move your spot, to say no, or to walk away from certain people, places or things.  Whether it be habit, pattern or sense of obligation, we sometimes find ourselves going places we don’t want to go, getting into conversations that feel “wrong,” or surrounded by elements that make us feel stifled, fake, even in pain.  Honor yourself.  Walk away.  Drift away.  Run away.  Whatever pace suites you.  I promise, I’m living proof, that when you surround yourself with the people, places and things that match your level, frequency, and power, your happiness, soul and success will soar.

Flip it on its head today.  Change that perspective.  Shed the confines of relationships and situations that no longer serve your highest good.  Hop into something that feels better, that feels right.  Then watch the miracles fly.  Much love.

 

Find your Tribe

Every personal development book, lecture, course or coaching session deals with relationships in some form: the relationship with have with ourselves, with our environment and with other people.  Even the supreme introverts have interaction with others in some capacity.  JD Salinger had to walk to the Post Office to collect his mail in Cornish, N.H.  Now I’m wondering why he even cared what was in the mail, if he disconnected so thoroughly from relationships with his environment and with others… Digression!

Yesterday, I co-hosted my first Make & Take party.  18 women gathered in our Great Room and spent a few hours creating.  We made roller ball essential oil blends that smell delicious and either offer relief from temporary head tension or help support happy, uplifting feelings (some chose to make both!) and lava stone and gem stone essential oil diffuser bracelets.  My friend and colleague Jill, a talented art professor at a local college, lead the jewelry making.  We also talked oils, supporting the health of our family members, and seeking out safe and natural cleaning methods—a truly fun and grown-up afternoon.

happy

I realized, with 2 exceptions, that I was able to introduce each woman as “Eddie & Bailey’s mom” or “Callie’s aunt” and so on.  My 2 exceptions are straight from the YL essential oil family.  Talk about a gathering of like-minded people, a room filled with women who love their fur babies and who are making positive choices for their health and the health of their family members.

“They” say that you become the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.  “They” say, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.”  “They” say there’s guilt by association, that you are judged by the company you keep.  Caroline Manzo, in an early season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” said, “If you hang around with garbage, you start to stink.”  Now I’ll remix that and say, “If you hang around with oilers and bunny moms, you’ll stink of positivity.”  Ok… it’s a work in progress.  Don’t embroider it on a pillow yet.

I’m inspired and invigorated by the relationships I’ve built through Rescue and now through Young Living Essential Oils.  I’m even more pumped that the worlds have merged for me.  I knew our bunny boys changed my life; they opened my journey to Rescue and to Animal Reiki.  My personal development and wellness journey brought me to Young Living and to incorporating oils into Reiki.  The paths merged and now I spend my time sharing and supporting the wellness journeys of those around me, my tribe, people by whom and alongside whom I’d gladly be judged.  Find your Tribe—just do what you love, open your heart and they will appear.  Much Love.