Going Back In

In four days, I’m going back.  I’ll sit in a blue and teal chair on an hour long trip to the greatest city in the world (arguably, of course, but that’s what we’ve told to call it).  I’ll walk several blocks, check in to my hotel, and head to the SVA Theater. There, I’ll sit in a red upholstered chair and soak it all in, taking copious notes over the course of our three days together.  Yes, this weekend is Spirit Junkie Masterclass.

As I look over my nearly 40 pages of notes from last year’s class, I see a beautiful parallel between my teacher’s “Steps to Stepping into the Fear” and the experience with and lessons from our rescued rabbits.  I’ll list Gabrielle’s steps below and annotate my rescue musings.  My rescue colleagues reading this can nod along…

  1. Honor your wounds.

These abandoned, neglected and abused rabbits did NOTHING to deserve the treatment they got (or didn’t get) before they came into our care.  We celebrate, love and care for their backgrounds.  We work tirelessly to ensure they will never be wounded again.

  1. Stop trying to outrun fear.

Dear ones, let us bring you to safety.  We are the good ones.  I promise.  The only thing you have to fear now is the Shop Vac cleaning your enclosure.

  1. Show up for your assignment.

Once they are “ours,” these rescued rabbits have a big job.  They are tasked with completing families.  That said, it is NEVER their assignment to teach children responsibility–that’s the job of human adults.  But it is their job to soak in all the love.   I’m smiling so big, thinking of all the ways my boys have been there for me over the past 6.5 years, showing up for their assignment.

  1. Build new momentum to create confidence.

With this step, I’m thinking of the shy ones.  The scared ones.  I’m thinking right now of Aspen.  She was rescued last year, and shortly after, gave birth to 8 babies.  Aspen is the softest and was the shiest rabbit I’ve ever met.  In a series of foster homes she wanted nothing but to hide.  And then… she moved in with a new foster family, where she’s an only rabbit, and her personality is shining!  She’s flopping, she’s running and she’s posing for pictures with sass!  She’s come into her own, created that confidence.  It’s incredible what a change of surroundings can do.

  1. Affirm what you want to feel and who you really are.

Oh, these rabbits have personality.  I have a 4-pound lion with the attitude of a 420-pound King of the Jungle.  He’s the King of the Living Room.  When we pay attention to what they are “showing” us, our rescued rabbits are all sorts of perfect and loving.  Some, like Aspen, need to be solo buns to shine.  Some, like my Peanut, need to come to you on their own terms and not be approached quickly.  Trust, they always affirm what they feel; sometimes, we need to listen better!

  1. Be more you.

Here’s where rabbits (and any animal for that matter) can really show us the path.  They know no other way than to be themselves.  Just like little kids, they show and share how they feel.  Take a lesson from the furry ones.  Be silly when the mood strikes you.  Take multiple naps a day, if that’s what you’re craving.  Chew the molding in my living room… wait.  Scratch that.  But seriously, use those instincts—don’t squash them!

 

Spiritual Running Buddies:  I’ll see you on Friday.  Rescue Fam:  You inspire me.  Much love.

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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.

Before

Before having two rabbits of my own, I did not consider myself an “animal person.”  You may have heard clippings from this yarn before.  Here’s some of my companion animal history…

When I was born, my parents had a rescue dog Bonzo, named after John Bonham.  I don’t remember her but I hear she was my big sister and protector.  She passed when I was maybe two or three years old.  I texted mom for a more precise date but she hasn’t answered me as of time of publication.

Shortly after Bonzo passed, Midnight, a female German Shepard puppy joined our family.  I remember her.  She knocked me over and, thankfully gently/playfully, bit my head.  I hesitate to say “bit” because she didn’t break skin or injure me physically but biting is technically what it was.  There started my fear of dogs that stayed with me for nearly three decades.  Midnight was rehomed for my safety with a colleague of my father.

My only cousin growing up was a cat named Sammy.  Sammy didn’t like me. Sammy belongs to my uncle who taught me the true responsibility of caring for an animal.  I credit this uncle for my perfect balance of compassion and no-nonsense.  His example is the foundation for what I do, for my life purpose and work.  Direct all complaints his way (pause for laughter).

Various fish, a turtle and a container of Sea Monkeys filled my younger years.  I can still see, like a short film playing in my head, when my uncle (not the same guy from the previous paragraph) was returning the Sea Monkeys to their spot on the table in the basement (I just had to bring them upstairs and show them off!) and accidentally dumped them over, the red lid of their container rocketing off and monkey-water cascading out.  Rest in Peace, Sea Monkeys.  And while we’re on the topic, what the heck are Sea Monkeys?  Pause for a Googling.

Ok then… Bonus was my longest-lived Beta Fish.  She went away to college with me and she accompanied me on many Connecticut to Long Island and back road trips. She was a cool chick.  When I met the Bunny-Daddy, I was sharing my apartment with a Beta Fish named Ham that my grandmother brought home for me from a bridal shower.  Ham was the centerpiece… really people?!

Shortly after moving in together, the Bunny-Daddy and I got Tater Tot and Peanut… the rest is history, chronicled here.

I’d say I’m an animal person now. Much Love.

 

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.

Amira

“They” say the energy goes where it needs to go—distance and time are not limitations, unless you treat them that way.  I’ve done my share of Distance Reiki sessions and I often “channel” furbabies from afar, but last weekend was my first official leap around the world: a Reiki session with a doggy in Australia!

I met Amira’s mom through an online spiritual business group.  We scheduled our session (after I was able to wrap my head around the time difference!) a few days in advance and I was ever-so excited to work with this cute pup.  About a half an hour before our session commenced, I sat in meditation to connect with Amira and her mom’s energy.  I anointed myself with Believe essential oil blend, my signature scent.  I connected with three concepts, restlessness, the number 3 and thoughtfulness, which I presented to Amira’s mom at the start of our session.

We joined together via Zoom at the appointed time, breakfast for them, almost bedtime for me and I explained how I “work” and get messages.  We talked about the restlessness I picked up on through my channeling, probably not uncommon for dogs in general, but Amira’s mom connected to my description.  The number 3, a beautifully spiritual number, didn’t particularly stand out to her but we let that be.  Then the thoughtfulness… I got the “message” that Amira is thoughtful, like if she were a person, she would be the type who remembers everyone’s birthdays.  Her mom liked that!  Super sweet.

Amira’s mom asked me to check in on Amira’s anxiety, particularly when she leaves the house, to make sure she’s comfortable and drinking her water.  From there, I started my direct work with Amira, who lied casually across her bed.  Starting with her crown, I felt pressure (but not pain!) and was compelled to send the word “freedom.”  I sensed a favoring of her left side and she “told” me that she likes to have her right ear scratched!

Amira transitioned into her mom’s lap at some point during our session, still comfortable and soaking in the vibes.  When working on her throat chakra, she acknowledged that she knows her mom listens to her—how beautiful!  Moving to her heart, I felt a darkness.  In our post-session conversation, I assured mom that this was NOT something scary or bad, but just something to keep an eye on, be open to… maybe get her a green toy, something to connect with the heart chakra.  On to the solar plexus, Amira feels safe and heard.  She feels a best friend energy with her mom and likes to be reminded of that.

Toward the close of our session, I connected strongly to Amira’s root chakra, checking in on the concerns mom expressed before we got started.  Amira knows she will be with her mom forever and she grips onto their relationship.  She also “showed” me the number 4.  I closed the session, beaming tons of love, light and energy for the greatest good of Amira, her family and their home.  I shared what I “heard” and “got” through the Reiki with Amira’s mom and thanked her for this opportunity to work together.  A beautiful family, a beautiful session.  Much Love.

Shoes and Trust

I had a shoe-mergency today.  I finished speaking at our wellness event, was walking back to my seat and I knew my right shoe didn’t feel quite right.  I sat down and investigated—a case of a loose platform.  I’ve had this particular pair of shoes for at least ten, maybe eleven years.  I don’t wear them often and I guess they wanted to show their displeasure with not being taken out more frequently.  You really learn who you can count on when you’re having a shoe-mergency.

Shoe

I turned to my colleague and friend who was sitting at the table.  She immediately offered to get some flipflops from the car (I normally come prepared with back-ups, but I’m rolling in a loaner car for the weekend).  Our other colleague, who also works at the venue, scrambled around for glue or something to repair my busted sole.  No glue on the entire premises… but who needs glue when you have friends to hold you together?

After her speech, which was FANTASTIC, the first colleague/friend I mentioned went out to her car and retrieved two pairs of shoes, one flats and one stilettos, for me.  I went with the heels, of course.  Crisis averted.

I was listening to Brene Brown’s Super Soul Sessions talk called “The Anatomy of Trust” as I was cleaning out my classroom last week, preparing for summer break.  Ms. Brown talks about the little acts that create trust in a relationship, how a small gesture or conversation, sometimes even comment, can form a bond.  And, in the spirit of balance, it takes an equally small gesture, or the lack of a gesture, or comment to annihilate trust that previously existed.

I’ve put up the front of not needing anyone plenty of times, as a way to protect the fragile little Denise inside of the woman filling the 5-inch-high shoes.  I’ve purported in various incarnations over the years that I don’t trust or don’t need anyone.  But, let’s be real—I was running defense.  Today, I wasn’t going to be running anywhere without some darn great ladies whom I trust.  I knew I could depend on them before their gestures today, for sure.  But how these souls stepped up for me when my sole wasn’t supporting me fills me with so much joy and love.  It’s these small, trust-building gestures that save an event, a day, even a life sometimes.  I see it in Rescue—the way our team shows up for each other is outstanding.  And I felt in first hand today with my Oil sisters.  Thank you, my friends.  Much love.

More about Masterclass

Gabby tells us to step in fully.  And I’ve been doing that, every day.  I’m stepping in and up, creating opportunities for growth in the day-job realm, going big in Rescue, arms locked with the most dedicated team, and establishing weekly classes for the summer to share our incredible wellness products.  I’ve stepped in fully, basking in the light from root to crown.

Today, I want to share a few more sparkly gems from my massive collection of notes from our Spirit Junkie Masterclass:

  • Lean into appreciation when you see yourself comparing.

Especially when we are flicking through our social media feeds, it is easy to start comparing, which breeds judgement, envy, annoyance, a host of negative emotions.  When you catch yourself comparing her experience, her presentation of her relationship, her possessions, etc. to yours, lean into appreciation instead.  Stop.  Breathe.  Be happy and proud for your friend (and if she’s not your friend, why are you looking at her stuff?).  Find gratitude and appreciation for what you have and what you are experiencing.  Make and execute a plan for change and growth for yourself.  Appreciate your opportunities rather than compare and judge.

  • A movement within creates a movement in the world.

We are making a difference.  It’s easy to miss that, especially if you watch “the news.”  But I know darn well that the light I stand in and spread to everyone I come into contact with is facilitating positivity.  It’s a domino effect, in a good way.  Is there a term for that, because domino effect is making me think things are falling down?  I haven’t had my coffee yet.  But you get me.  Make one person smile and they make another person smile.  It’s network marketing for the spirit.

  • Outside resistance reflects our inner resistance. Dissolve it with love.

When you are getting push-back, when doors aren’t opening up for you, when stuff seems impossible… all that is holding you back or telling you no or standing in your way starts from within.  When we are faced with rejection and we let that stop us, that stems from inner resistance.  When nothing seems to be going our way externally, that is rooted in something internal.  But please don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up.  Find that inner resistance and dissolve it with love.  Literally sit down, close those pretty eyes, and envision that inner resistance.  Give it a face or a symbol.  Then envision surrounding it with love, pouring love all over it and through it.  Dissolve it with that love.

Oh!  Now I’m inspired to lead a guided meditation and/or Aroma Freedom Technique session about dissolving our inner resistance with love… let’s make this happen.

Much love.

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