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My Loyal Helper

I have a loyal helper who assists me each and every day. He is very attentive to all I do. I am followed from room to room in case I need his aid. He helps do everything! No task is beneath his notice. He calls to me if I am not within sight, “Ma or Mom” he says. After all there may be something tiny or large that he can help me to accomplish. His full name is: Jedi Beauregard Boo Doodles. I call him Boo or Boo Doodles.

Here he is helping meIMAG2722 brush my teeth.

I find it helpful that he takes time to contribute his opinion on my daily selection of attire as you see in this photo.

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Here he is helping me to pack when I went on a trip.

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Boo even helps me to paint. (He adds his signature paw print when I’m not looking.)

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I feel really lucky to have such a steadfast assistant! Not everyone understands that he likes to help do everything. That’s ok because I do. Thanks for being my loyal helper, Boo! You make my days shine!

Musings of Rain

Here in Northern California we have a very dry season. The rain that normally visits us starting in November has been nearly non-existent. Needless to say, people have begun to express concern.

Yesterday morning while a passenger I saw life re-emerging in the subtle greening of the hills and in the blossoming of a few trees. I closed my eyes and began imagining all that I knew of rain. I brought to mind the feel of  rain on my face. I remembered the smell that accompanies rain or even the promise of rain. I thought back to some truly magnificent thunder storms I have seen and recalled standing on a street with it raining on one side and not the other. I found myself smiling!

In the early afternoon I noticed a fine mist of water on the windshield. Again I took a moment to bring memories of rain to me. Upon waking today it was raining! The earth was wet. Birds were singing. My first thought was, “Yeah! Rain!”

The Native American Elders taught me that water is the first medicine. “Without water there would be no life”, they instructed. This morning I welcome the rain, the water and first medicine with gratitude and a smile.

Do you have memories to share of rain? I would love to hear them!

Change

I love today’s image! Wouldn’t it be nice if it were written in the sky whenever change planned to make an appearance in our lives? Do you think we might embrace change more easily if this was true?

Most people struggle and resist change. We may not particularly like things the way they are, but we don’t welcome change either. I have always wondered about this notion of change as being something to fear or avoid. It seems we chose what is known; thinking it is the lesser evil in a way.

I have a different concept of change. To me change is always taking place even when we think that it is not. For example; maybe we go to sleep expecting that we know what our day will entail on the morrow. We think that we will rise, complete our usual morning routine and head off to work where we will engage in much the same thing as any other work day. In some ways this is true but there are still differences in the actual day, be it the weather or our engagement with the world.

We have these expectations, which I believe, are based on an illusion. It may be that we garner a sense of safety from them. Subscribing to this view of change will nearly always leave us anxious or fearful when big changes take place in our lives.

Consider thinking of change as a catalyst. It brings with it the gifts of experiencing something new and gives us the chance to evaluate our lives. Through change we learn, expand, heal and grow. We may learn things about ourselves that we never knew. We might find strength or tap a reserve of energy or Grace within us of which we were unaware. Change can bring us beauty and appreciation. It opens us like nothing else does. Change is always taking place in small or large ways. I hope we can learn to have assurance in it and in the unknown for all the prospects they bring.

Community Connections

Lately I have been giving some thought to community and the connections that are formed there. With social media prevalent in the majority of our lives, community connections has taken on new meaning. Through this type of medium I am able to connect with people all over the world. Most of these types of community are based on a common interest. I enjoy being a part of the social media groups where our community functions in this way.

However, not all communities operate in this fashion. What about our local communities or the global community? There may not be a shared interest among members. This got me thinking, what are the characteristics of a healthy community? For me they are: respect, honesty, integrity, support, communication which includes listening and freedom in expressing your thoughts without ridicule, and love.

Healthy community connections are those who accept their members for who they are, for their gifts and attributes and who challenge people to grow. It is important, I think, that each member have an equal voice and vote upon those things that interest them and impact their community. This type of community cares for its members. They can find support, love and care in the community whatever is happening for them. There is a chance to pull together on behalf of the whole community. In this community there is shared responsibility and accountability. In my mind the members are highly valued and work cohesively alongside each other. One person is as important as the next person. This makes healthy communities with deep connections.

To date I have only found such communities in the social media groups I am a part of that share a common interest. Could it be that a common interest is the link to creating healthy communities? I don’t know the answer. I continue to search for this type of community in the physical world. One day I will find it.

Simple Pleasures

Many years ago I learned how to take in the simple pleasures that life offers. I was lucky enough to travel with a very, dear friend of mine. She was a Native American Creek Elder. Everyday she found delight in something. Upon waking and seeing you for the day she always embraced you, saying, “Good morning, good morning!” For her there was such joy in being alive.

This friend of mine loved flowers too. Once when we were traveling we encountered an entire field of sunflowers in bloom. She said, “Oh!” with wonder as I was buzzing along at 55 miles per hour. Because of her small utterance of awe in seeing this beauty, I slowed the car down. I turned around and parked on the side of the road despite her protests. Then we sat for many minutes as we took in the beauty of this field. It is a memory I treasure.

Prior to meeting her I wouldn’t have stopped for myself to receive the gift of the field of sunflowers. I never did tell her how much I learned from her about appreciating life’s simple pleasures. Even though she has since passed I hope she understood how being with her taught me so much. I continue to savor the simple pleasures whether it is; flowers on my table, a cup of my favorite tea, the sunshine on my face or the unique time spent with cherished friends and family. I hope you take a page from this wise woman’s teachings as I did. Thank you, Grandmother! Aho.

Balance

Finding balance in our lives can prove to be illusive. Our culture prompts us to be ever busy but being on a wheel of constantly striving comes at a price. Most notably our body and mind start to suffer. When we miss the chance to slow down, we miss renewal and moments of peace.

One of the ways I have found to establish balance is by listening to my body and my inner knowing. Rather than ignore the signals sent to me from these sources and push through to one more thing, I respond to what it is they are telling me. If these signals tell me I need to rest or spend some time in nature, I make a way for that to happen. Even if I have to cancel plans or put something on hold, I do it. I know that this is counter to what our culture tell us but I am more concerned with my well-being. No one else can establish my well-being; that has to come from me.

Some tools that help me in maintaining my balance are meditation and yoga. There are a variety of modalities for all of us to keep our center. It may be that prayer or cycling do it for you. If you are unsure how to find balance try some things out to see what works for you. Nothing will work in every situation. Go with what works in most circumstances. Give yourself the gift of consistently doing those practices that help you to sustain balance. I find that life moves fluidly and with great Grace and Beauty when I am successful in keeping my balance.

Believe in Yourself

Believe in yourself. Be certain of your talents, your gifts and your abilities. Have confidence in your knowledge, your wisdom and your capacity to grow. Trust that you are incredibly amazing and wonderful! Your unique makeup and attributes are by design. Knowing all of this, believe you can do that which you think is impossible. Reach for your greatness! As today’s images tells you, “She believed she could, so she did.” Whether you are a she or a he, believe and do it!

Dreams

There are those who say, “If you have a dream, follow it.” I agree! I’ll add that following your dream is an inward journey. It involves consistent work on yourself. You will have to separate the opinions and advice of others from what you know is your dream. Often you have to get clear on your dream and also on what is needed to make it a reality. Many times doubt about your dream manifesting will creep into your awareness. Trust is required to see you through to the realization of your dream. So is faith in yourself and the Universe (known by many names) in bringing your dream forth.

It may take longer than you anticipate for your dream to come true, but don’t give up! Along the way the vision you have for your dream may change. Be open. The road may not always be easy or smoothly paved however you will get there. You might be scared to follow your dream. Do it even though you are afraid.

I think that our dreams grow us. They give us the chance to share with others so that they might be inspired to go for their dreams too. We encourage each other. I’m committed to following my dreams! Doing so has deepened me and given me joy. My life has become richer and I am grateful.

Wonder

Small children experience life with wonder. For them everything is new. They are open to life without expectations or judgments. Because of this they live fully present in the moment. Children laugh, cry and express their emotions based upon what they encounter. Wonder and curiosity are dominate for them each day.

What if we gave ourselves the chance to feel life in this way? Is it possible as adults to approach life with no judgments or expectations? There are many paths that advocate living fully in the present. My advice is to study little children in order to understand how we might live in this way. Who knows we might find ourselves filled with wonder and delight once again. Those are feelings I would cherish.

It’s Ok to Say No

Have you ever felt overwhelmed from the requests on your time? I know I have at times. It is natural to have times of more activity in our lives than usual. There can be occasions when we agree to demands on our time, attention and resources when what we really want to say is no. For some reason we agree instead of honoring what we know to be right for us.

It is ok to say no! We don’t have to feel obligated or guilty with our decision. I believe it is healthy to say no whenever we want. Yes I did say, “whenever we want.” When we ignore or override our right to say no we often end up feeling put upon or resentful. Those feelings have a way of coming out sideways. When they do we and those around us feel their impact, typically in not so nice ways.

Maybe you are a bit out of touch with instances where you really would like to say no. It could be that you are so conditioned to say yes all the time that you don’t recognize you wanted to say no until you are experiencing resentment or another emotion. Tell yourself now that it is ok to say no. When someone puts a request or demand on you, stop for a moment and check in with yourself. Take a moment to ask, “Do I want to say yes or do I want to say no?” Proceed forward with the answer you receive. If it is no, remember it’s ok to say no. This is healthy and you are taking a step toward harmony within yourself. This form of authenticity benefits us all.