Accept Yourself

Madonna sang “Express Yourself” (still one of my all-time favs) and today I’m remixing it to Accept Yourself.

I do my best work in the morning.  I’m undeniably a morning person and I’ve allowed myself to create this detrimental thought pattern that I can’t write well, don’t communicate at my best and won’t perform at my highest potential later in the day.  When you get up as early as I do, later in the day is comparatively early for most people.  So I find myself at a challenge, right at this very moment.  I’m sitting here, at the keyboard, at 7:08pm.  I’ve convinced myself over the course of decades that I can’t write this late.  It’s clear to me that I am more focused in the morning hours, so I accept that about myself—truly I celebrate that.  This morning, then afternoon, then (my version) of early evening flowed by with lots of productivity in other arenas, but the blog still isn’t written and the emails aren’t answered.

And then the brain starts going: You can’t write at night.  You won’t produce with quality.  It will take you 10 times longer to answer emails.  And don’t forget about that pile about day-job work on the table…

I can play out those limiting beliefs or I can choose a new pattern, choose to “unstick” myself from thoughts that are holding me back from tasks that need to be done (those Rescue emails aren’t going to answer themselves!).  Instead of walking circles around the house, stumbling through smaller tasks while the mind swirls around the writing, I chose to accept myself, wrench open the laptop and write to you.  And I will answer the unread emails as soon as I’m done here.  And I’ll try not to beat myself up if I have to stay up past 8pm or if I leave a task undone tonight.

I took a class Friday evening on the Aroma Freedom Technique (I totally did not anticipate writing to you about this! I sat down intending to write about this week’s 2 rescues!).  My mentor Gina Califano taught about the technique and guided attendees through this powerful practice.  In her introduction, during which I took copious notes, Gina talked about overcoming our resistance.  She talked about how experiences create our beliefs; our beliefs create our behaviors; our behaviors create our experiences.  There’s the cyclical nature of it all.  The Aroma Freedom Technique is designed to get us “unstuck,” to facilitate release, to help us reach new heights.  I had such an incredible response personally to the technique that I’ve chosen to seek certification in Aroma Freedom so I can share it with you and your fur-babies too.

And here I am, two nights later, needing to release the limiting belief about when and how I can accomplish tasks.  I accept myself as a morning person and producer but it’s time for me to embrace other moments of me, not just the top-speed, ultra-effective version.  Gina said, “Once you’re aware of it, you can start to move it out.”  It’s time for me to breathe, to loosen up the rigidity I enforce on myself, and to keeping hopping my hop toward my highest potential with grace.  Much Love.

Acceptance

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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.

Gimme a Break

I sit here in the closing hours of a week off from the day job.  I’ve shared with you before about the (unnecessary) pressure that I put on myself to make the days off count… Of all the chunks of time off from the day job, I feel like I was better to myself over the past 9 days than I typically am—looks like all that personal development actually works.  I’m mentally beating myself up too much over what did and didn’t get done this week.

I’m a quantifier by nature.  I’m the one who keeps score, who keeps copious notes, who has the memory and the records of it all.  So here’s a run-down of what I made happen over the past week-plus:

  • babysat our friends’ daughter for 3 days
  • completed the last course for my +75 (75 graduate credits above my Master’s degree)
  • co-hosted a LuLa Roe and Young Living party
  • various doctor and spa appointments (self-care is super important!)
  • volunteer time and community outreach daily for Rescue
  • hosted a business dinner (and ate everything on the menu from 3 Brothers)
  • went to my favorite yoga class
  • reconnected with a friend (Love you S)
  • spent time with the uncles
  • hosted a wellness talk
  • had a private reading with the amazing Calise Simone (I highly recommend her!)
  • finished reading 2 books
  • watched 2 seasons of “Schitt’s Creek”

And yet I sit here with the anxiety of “going back” tomorrow.  And before I sat down to write this, all I was thinking about was the messes I didn’t clean up (this desk!) and the things left undone… but holy carrots!  Look how much I did do in the span of one week plus the bookends of weekends!  I’m not sharing this with you to brag about how much I did but as a reminder for you to shift your focus (if you need to) and recognize the good.  Celebrate the tasks accomplished.  Luxuriate in the moments, hours and days (if you’re lucky) of relaxation.  Appreciate what you can do rather than bombard yourself with what’s left undone.  Yes, I might be talking to myself more today than I’m talking to you but writing this is often as cathartic as it is instructive.

I need to recognize the breadth and depth of the list above.  I’m in awe—I legitimately felt like maybe I didn’t do enough to make it count this past week.  So, when you’re beating yourself up, grab your notebook and engage in a retrospective.  Make an I Did It list, rather than a Things To Do list.  Celebrate.  Recognize.  Give yourself a break or a pat on the back or both.  Reality is, there will always be “things” left undone.  When we are “done,” then there’s really nothing left.  So, while I’d love to get this desk cleaned off today, I promise to give myself a break and appreciate all the accomplishments, in and out, of the past few days.  The days will tick by, regardless of my action or inaction.  Like Calise told me yesterday, I must “create space, calm and structure.”

Much Love.

 

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.

Urgent & Alarming

Emergencies are based on perception.  What’s urgent to me may not even register at all to you.  And in a culture where we are inclined to be verbally emphatic over things that are bordering on mundane (I’m reminded of Julian Treasure, in one of his TED Talks, when he asks what he’s supposed to call something he sees that is actually awesome since just about everything is labeled awesome!), sometimes calls for urgent help or an emergency situation are look at with skeptical eyes—is the user of the word urgent just having an moment of increased inflection?

Because I am a connector and a promoter by nature, I fall into this perception trap at times.  When I’m reading and loving a book, I seek out those in my life who need to read this too—I’ll often send them copies.  I can’t fathom them taking another step in their lives without infusing this work of fiction or non into their realm.  When I’m introduced to a product that’s awesome, I always buy extras because I know someone who just needs this.  This week, it’s the lip exfoliator by Younique—it’s vegan, cruelty-free, deliciously flavored and works great.  I used it once, then ordered another for my mom, then told everyone with lips that they need one.

So you might think it’s in my excitable nature to see emergencies in situations that truly aren’t that urgent.  I’m sure I was guilty of that in my early rescue days, as most new volunteers are.  Particularly because we deal with life or death, survival or suffering situations, every case can have the perception of urgency.  But as one of the “big picture” people in our group, I’m tasked with, often quickly, prioritizing cases and differentiating between perceived and actual emergencies.  And I think I’m good at it.  I’ve developed a knack for delegating and managing and I’m damn lucky to be a part of a solid, dedicated and selfless team.

This past week was a week of emergencies: a rescued stray who needed urgent transport for veterinary care (thank you Jessica and Lauren for making that happen); a foster bun who fell ill and needed medical care (shout out to Michael and Victoria); and a sanctuary rabbit who is fighting for her life as I type this (Zulia and Tom come through again!).  Our group doesn’t operate out of a facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes, so there aren’t doctors on staff, a room away from the rabbits in need.  Our island is 118 miles long and the rabbit-savvy veterinarians are sometimes an hour (or more) drive from a foster home or rescue scene.  In addition to those 3 medical emergencies, we had 3 new rescue intakes and one adoption this week—that’s a busy set of days (I realize I keep saying week, but this all went down Wednesday-Saturday).

But it’s all about balance, right?  Good thing I have some Peace and Calming to get me through the Urgent and Alarming…