The Great Slow Down

Alternate title: How We are Crushing Our Goals

As I write this, the Rescue group with which I volunteer is processing its 40th adoption in 2018.  40. 4-0.  In 2016, we completed 51 adoptions.  For 2017, we set a goal of 52 adoptions; we completed 55.  For 2018, we set a goal of 56.  Here we are, less than 4 months into the year, and we are CRUSHING our goal.  Every adoption is another life saved.  Every adoption is another family made complete.  Here’s how we are making it happen, from my perspective.

We, the collective of volunteers, supporters, adopters and foster families, believe so deeply in our mission.  Just above my desk is my vision board.  At the center of my vision board: Domestic rabbits are safe and protected.  That is the center of all of the action that I take.  Our group is rich with like-minded people who will stop at nothing to carry out this mission.  Belief and inspiration in action.

On November 30, 2017, I went to hear my mentor Gabrielle Bernstein speak at her “SuperAttractor Workshop.”  In talking about her principle of taking spiritually-aligned action, Gabby said, “You speed up by slowing down.”  That struck me—and not just the juxtaposition of words.  Do you mean to tell me that I can accomplish even more if I just slow down?  Even me, who needs to go-go-go (and maybe go some more) so I don’t feel like time is precariously wasting away?  Ok… I’ll give it a shot.  I’ll breathe.  I’ll stop working with a sense of frenzy and choose a peaceful mood.  And I’ve made it part of my practice to work on one task at a time, to use my laser-sharp focus with more grace.

In early 2018, I started reading You2 by Price Pritchett.  I wrote to you about it.  Plain and simple: it works.  It was recommended to me by my business mentors and the Universe started showing me its power immediately through the Quantum Leaps in Rescue.  I even wrote on the bottom of page 1 of my copy: “Slow & steady is not necessary!  Rescue had a leap in January 2018 to show me the possibilities.”  Now, I am in no way taking full credit for 40 (any minute now!) adoptions in 107 days.  But I sit at the hub of this incredible group and we energize each other.  We made a committed decision to save as many lives as we possibly can.  Radical honesty: some of the team wanted to set the 2018 adoption goal much bigger than 56.  Fear-based, I thought, let’s just add one more to last year’s record.  I was playing small.  The Universe has shown me that we can add more than +1 in a year.  I may be going slower, but the Universe is not.

So, here’s to slowing down.  When I slow down, I get even more done.  When I slow down, I receive clarity about what needs to get done.  When I slow down, the Universe speeds up and brings my vision to me.  We are crushing our goals with ease, belief and inspired action.  I am beyond proud to be a part of this team.  Much love.

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Ashley

You bought a rabbit.  I don’t know why.  Maybe your kids were begging you for one, promising they would take care of her.  Maybe you thought a rabbit would be an easy starter pet.  Maybe you didn’t think much about it, just bought her on a whim—she was cute.  Or maybe someone bought her for you—thank them for me and be sure to share this with them.

Less than two months after Easter 2017, likely when you got her, you decided you didn’t want her anymore.  You decided the responsibility that you chose was over.  So, you set her “free.”

On the first of June, 2017, a stray rabbit was brought into a local animal shelter.  White, black and near death.  This rabbit, a little girl, was emaciated, anemic and infested with parasites.  She couldn’t hop.  She couldn’t hold her head up.  Because you set her “free.”

The shelter called April, one of our most dedicated and compassionate volunteers, as the shelter isn’t equipped for rabbits—but they absolutely do their best.  April went to the shelter with supplies and care instructions.  Upon seeing the dire condition of this little rabbit, April recommended immediate veterinary intervention.  The shelter brought the rabbit to an emergency veterinary clinic where she stayed for four days.  She was given fluids, medications and critical care food.  Because you set her “free.”

When she showed some signs of gaining strength, the hospital released this rabbit into April’s care.  April named her Ashley, a tribute to the caring director at the shelter.  Ashley the rabbit’s condition was still critical.  She couldn’t eat on her own.  She could only move a bit.  But she was finally feeling love and support—you know, the stuff you promised to give her when you bought her.  But you were done with that.  So, you set her “free.”

Our team showed up for Ashley in such a beautiful way.  April got Ashley to eat some greens on her own.  Jacey and Bryce visited her daily when April had to go to work.  Lisa drove well over an hour (maybe 2?) one way just to meet Ashley and give her some love.  When Lisa arrived, Ashley was having a very difficult time.  Lisa called the talented team at Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, who said to bring Ashley right in.  Dr. Miller and staff cared for Ashley, assessed her needs, ran blood work and some other tests.  With their magic and skill combined with the love from our team, Ashley was sitting up on her own that night.

Lisa, Maria and Ricky cared for her overnight before her odyssey back to April’s house (I can’t help but joke about the distance—our team spans the entire 118-mile length of this island).  Dr. Miller called me the next morning with the blood work results.  Nothing was good.  At all.  Despite that, April and her family, with the support of the other volunteers, committed to doing ANYTHING it took to give Ashley a chance at life.  This included syringe feedings multiple times per day and many other demanding efforts.  But April was willing.  We create a fundraising page to help with the costs of Ashley’s care, which raised over $500 in less than a day.  The time, love, energy, financial support, good wishes from so many people—that’s what it takes to counterbalance your decision to set her “free.”

Last night, I was smiling big time.  I came home from my godmother’s 65th birthday party.  My other half and my favorite of his friends were outside putting together our beautiful new gazebo and patio set.  80 degrees, sunny and we were dancing on the deck.  My phone rang.  It was Jacey and Bryce.  They had a call in to the 24-hour emergency service for the vet.  Ashley was limp.  She wouldn’t take her syringe-fed water, as she typically would.  Her temperature had dropped to 93 degrees.  They had her on heat and poured love on to her.  Maria and Ricky got in their car right away, heading to Ashley’s side.  April left work.  I was standing by, relaying messages from the veterinary team.

Jacey called again.  Ashley began to have a seizure.  We knew her time in this dimension was coming to a close.  Bryce and Jacey held her, loved her, told her it was ok to let go.  You know, like how you let her go, set her “free.”

Ashley passed away before April could make it home.  Jacey and Bryce stayed.  We are truly a family in this group.  Ashley suffered.  Immensely.  She was starved to near-death and infested with parasites when she was finally brought to safety.  She had liver damage among many other issues.  And if you’re saying “it’s just rabbit,” tell that to April, Lisa, Jacey or Bryce.  Look in their eyes and say it, please.  Just a rabbit to you— a precious, innocent soul to all of our team.

In case you ever wonder what happened to that little rabbit whom you set “free”…

Binky free, sweet Ashley.

Jimmy

jimmy

When Jimmy came into the care of our Rescue group, his name was Bugs and he was sick.  I was glad that we were changing his name (we stick with people names, always) because I had a hard time calling a rabbit with an eye infection Bugs— like he had bugs and we were teasing him or something.  But it’s all semantics.  Here’s what I wrote about Jimmy for our recent fundraiser:

Jimmy and another rabbit were abandoned and brought to a local animal shelter that is mainly equipped to care for dogs and cats.  Staff noticed that Jimmy (who was known as Bugs there) was ill as soon as he was brought in and their veterinary staff cared for him the best they could.  The other rabbit was adopted rather quickly, but Jimmy was still sick and still without a home.  One of our dedicated volunteers visited the shelter, brought supplies and gave Jimmy some love.  As the days went on, Jimmy’s health kept getting worse.

As soon as we were able to secure a space, we took Jimmy into our foster care. We are grateful to the staff at the shelter for caring for Jimmy while he was with them.  Jimmy settled into his foster home with a voracious appetite and a loving spirit.  A vet visit was planned for the immediate future, as his eye looked infected.

Then one morning, Jimmy’s foster mom noticed that Jimmy’s eating had slowed down– a sign that something was wrong!  Our volunteer team sprung into action and rushed Jimmy to Catnip and Carrots Veterinary Hospital, where the caring doctors accepted Jimmy as an emergency patient.

Jimmy was hospitalized for almost a week with an eye infection, upper respiratory infection and gastrointestinal stasis.  He was released to his foster home yesterday to continue recuperating and we are turning to you, our amazing supporters, to help with Jimmy’s vet bills.

I volunteer at Jimmy’s foster home weekly and this Monday he wasn’t feeling well again.  His eating had slowed down, just a bit, but those who are rabbit-savvy know all too well that rabbits are NOT “wait and see how he’s feeling” creatures.  One must act immediately if any change in behavior or eating is observed.  Jimmy’s foster home gave him meds and some of his favorite foods to entice eating.  I arrived in the afternoon and made some time to share some Reiki energy with him before I started my chores.

I grabbed my Joy oil before our session.  That’s not one of my go-to Reiki oils but I was drawn to it so I follow my guides.  I rubbed 3 drops in my palms, anointed my third eye chakra and started our session.  Jimmy responded right away by turning his back to me and grooming himself, a message of “Yes, I’m here but I’m not sure what you’re doing, lady.”  While he’s a snuggler, he’s understandably cautious due to his history.

He “showed” me something about his back left leg, like it was caught or twisted or bent previously, so I sent energy there.  Of course, I didn’t touch his back leg—I only know one rabbit who tolerates that kind of behavior from his mom (the same rabbit who tried to bite my hand off a few months ago!).

The other message Jimmy shared with me is big counter-clockwise circles.  I forgot to tell his foster mom that so hopefully she reads this.  I don’t know what that message means quite yet but he’ll show us at some point.  As soon as I closed out our session, thanking Jimmy for his openness to receiving the energy, he started to nibble on his pellets—a joyful sign!

I thank my guides and angels and all of our rabbit-friends over the Rainbow Bridge for helping me share healing light with Jimmy.  Much Love.

Philomena & Boo

This past week was book-ended with loss for our Rescue group.

Philomena, long-time sanctuary bun and notorious feisty lady, made her journey over the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.  I volunteer time every week at our sanctuary and special needs foster home so teeny tiny Philomena and I had a relationship— not a close one, but that was her choice.  Because of medical concerns with her heart, she has never able to be spayed, thus earning her the title of a sanctuary rabbit, one who cannot be adopted out.  No matter my approach, fast or slow, quiet or with a verbal warning, Philomena would box her tiny paws at me, then hop away and hide.  She never allowed me to connect with her and I respected that.  She did have quite the affinity for our volunteer Robert.  Robert could handle her better than anyone else.  She would let Robert pat and cuddle her.

At the end of January, Philomena’s impairments caught up with her and she quickly fell ill.  She got immediate veterinary care but her age (estimated somewhere between 6 and 9 years old) and her physical struggles were just too much for our tiny little fighter to combat.  I’ll miss her bug-eyes and her attitude.  I’ll remember her fondly as an independent lady who liked her space and who made the tiniest “bunny buttons” in the largest quantities!

And then midweek, adoptable boy Boo fell ill.  He recently battled a case of head tilt and infection.  We hoped he was recovered… but the illness came back with vengeance.  He was “rolling,” which could look more like uncontrollable thrashing– scary for the animal and scary to witness.  The outpouring of love from our volunteer team was (as usual) inspiring.  While Boo struggled and his condition worsened from mid to end of the week, our team spent extra time at his foster home, making sure Boo could reach his water and food and ensuring he was safe and comfortable.  Boo crossed the Rainbow Bridge as we crossed into the weekend.  I’m sure Philomena met him there and they binkied off together.

There was a very large and surely very intense abandonment case out in Suffolk county this week and, despite the fact that two other rescue organizations were handling the case, our group received some criticism online for not being actively involved in this situation.  On top of the realities of our limited time and money resources… if those critics only knew the truth of what the week was like for our team…

Boundless love to all those who loved Philomena and Boo.

All Quiet on the Rescue Front

It’s amazing what freedom you can attain when you release things, habits (and people) who no longer serve you in a positive way from taking up space in your life or even just in your head.

Confession: I checked my email, on average, every 9 minutes from the time I took over the communications for our Rescue group up until just a few weeks ago.

Do you know how mentally crippling it is to check every 9 minutes?  Can you fathom how much time I wasted refreshing and clicking?  Guess what—we NEVER get emails every 9 minutes.  But there I was, for years now, ineffectively using my time, checking and checking for responses, for new communications.  A purely addictive behavior that served me, or Rescue, no positive purpose.

Compulsion is definitely in my nature but I think this particular compulsion started as a result of taking on such an important task, a task that I deemed highly time-sensitive.  Combine that with an aggressive overachiever and solutions maker and BOOM: you’re checking for emails 6+ times an hour.  Sometimes, I’m sure it was more frequently.

Sure, urgent issues in Rescue pop up (or should I say hop up?).  But thankfully, they don’t occur every day and they certainly don’t happen every fraction of the hour, daily.  Through consistent personal development, mindfulness and my precious oils, I am proud to say that I check my emails 2-4 times per day now.  Massive difference.  And when I check them at this frequency, I respond with more clarity and delegate more effectively.

In response to my energetic shift, “things” have quieted down on the Rescue front.  Our educational efforts are wide-reaching.  Our communication with perspective adopters or struggling owners who didn’t adopt from us still happens but, as I don’t feel the (although sometimes quiet) mania I used to, the intense situations just don’t show up any more.  And when urgency arises, my clear mind and focused intrapersonal and interpersonal skills enable me to handle the necessary steps with much more ease than ever before.

As easy as it sounds to check one’s phone less, it wasn’t easy for me to cease the compulsion.  But I did it.  All is peaceful on the Rescue front.pc-clarity

Questions…

The only question I remember asking about rabbits before we got them was about smell.  I used to ask everyone whom I encountered who had a companion rabbit, I think even before Bunny-daddy and I met, if rabbits smelled.  Apparently my pet-cluelessness and curiosity stopped at odor.  Much like your human children, as long as someone cleans the litter box often, my children don’t smell.

As the recipient of most Rescue communication, there are a number of questions people ask that make me sad, like:

  • Can I donate my rabbit to you?
  • Can you take this thing out of my house? My kid doesn’t want it anymore.
  • Can you find a home for my 4/5/10 year old rabbit because I’m moving/having a baby/not interested anymore?
  • Our new dog doesn’t like our rabbit. Can you take him?
  • Our rabbit is aggressive—can you rehome her?

Here are the questions people should ask:

  • Am I ready for a 10-12 year commitment?
  • Am I willing to spend $500-$1,000+ should a medical emergency arise?
  • Can I deal with being bitten, if I or something else in the home stresses my prey animal companion rabbit?
  • Can I deal with being covered in fur all the time?
  • Do I want a pet that doesn’t like to be snuggled or picked up?
  • Can I interact with my pet 2-3 times per day, every day?
  • Can I limit treats and make sure my family members do the same?
  • Can I deal with having pieces of hay everywhere?
  • Can I provide 30-40+ hours of exercise time per week in a rabbit-proofed area?
  • Can I respect my rabbit as much as I respect my human family members?
  • Can I be honest with myself and my level of commitment?

Here’s to responsible pet ownership! Much Love.

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Snoopy & Budgie 2017

On the first day of this fresh new year, I visited Snoopy, Budgie and their mom Jean.  Budgie has been acting out a bit so Jean wanted me to check in with him and make sure all is well with him.  Before I left my house, I rubbed drops of Highest Potential essential oil over my heart and Release essential oil between my palms, just the oils I was compelled to grab in honor of my upcoming session.  Every time I’ve treated these bunny brothers, I start with Budgie (maybe next time I’ll change that up!).  Momma Jean worked on her computer, adjacent to the boys’ enclosures during our session (remember this fact for later).  Budgie was very receptive to the Reiki energy and very calm.  He “showed” me the number one, which I connected to the opening of the new year… or that he’s #1!

Budgie quickly invited me into his pen and we shared lots of hands-on energy throughout our session.  All is well with loving Budgie.  He’s a reputed kisser.  He consistently gave me three kisses, then flicked his tongue three times, left-right-left.  That might just be his habit, his tongue muscle memory… or maybe he was bringing the power of three to the forefront.  Three is pure power.  Three is divinity.

I moved on to Snoopy.  He’s a guarded little boy so I know to stay outside of his pen.  He still gets the bountiful energy and energetic benefits just as much as he would with hands-on—Reiki love and light will flow wherever it needs to, wherever it is welcome!  Snoopy stayed within his cardboard house for the duration of our session (his Snoopy house?!) but acknowledged our exchange through his grooming and sharing “messages” with me as well.  I had a sense of Jean’s mom, Snoopy and Budgie’s grandmother, and the letter M toward the end of our session.  As shielded as Snoopy can be, he is still receptive to the energy, love and light in such a beautiful way.  I feel so energized when I work with these boys!

After I closed out our session, I share the “messages” and feelings with Jean.  I felt awkward asking about her mother; while I feel spiritually connect to Jean, I still don’t know her that well!  What if this was a “bad” question to ask?  But I had to ask her anyway.  I asked if Snoopy was close with Jean’s mom or if they even knew each other.  Jean shared with me that her mother passed away six years before Snoopy came into her life.  Then she paused, took a breath and told me that she was writing a post for her own blog

while I was working with the boys.  That post is about her mother and father.

I am honored to confirm Jean’s mother’s presence.  Our loved ones are never truly gone if we just take the time to quiet our minds, remove the distractions and pay attention on purpose to the present moment.  I am not a trained medium.  But I am a true believer.  We all have these abilities and they step forward when we take the time and care to listen.  Sharing the love and light, the life-force energies with Snoopy and Budgie on the first day of what I know will be a year of beauty set a wonderful tone.  Thank you Jean.  I love you and your boys truly.

snoopy-bbf
Snoopy, photo credit: Jean