Thursday, November 29, 2012

Never eat alone

I spent more time than I should out of the present, replaying the past or fretting about the future.

Next year, both human children will be at college. The dogs and I will be on our own, for the first time since we arrived here in 2005. Big Boy Blue is the only other remaining family member from the time before, so it will definitely be a change. But, as evidenced by this photo from a recent Saturday morning waffle breakfast, I need never worry about eating alone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On the outside ...

Have you ever felt disconnected, present as part of a group or activity, but not really of the group? I feel like it happens to me a lot; it's as though different languages are being spoken - I am in the room, talking and listening, but not really communicating.

Thanksgiving evening, it occurred to me that nonhuman animals must often feel the same way. We speak, gesture, move in many contexts and so do our animals. But are we fully communicating? I think the answer - most often - is "no."

Just think how our animals must feel so very often - speaking and gesturing but not being completely understood. Haven't we all felt that way, at least once or twice?

This was a revelation for me and, honestly, it gives me a whole new perspective when communicating. Far too often I am in a crowd yet feel alone and not understood (no pity party, just fact). Our companion animals must feel the same way so often. In my opinion, the breakdown is on the human side of the equation much of the time.

What should we do - with one another and with all creatures?

I believe the key is - yet again - in slowing the pace. Sometimes our agenda has to be shelved in favor of watching, of listening, of being present.

We must
Paws (pause)  ... and Listen
                      ... and Watch
                      ... and Consider
                      ... and Learn

Hollis Haven's Brodrick (Brody) was my teacher for nine years. He left on August 13, 2010, far too soon. But I carry his lessons in my heart every day. I know that I didn't slow down enough to truly hear him, and for that I will always be sorry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Thanks

The months since a blog entry has been posted have been exciting, stressful, insightful and confusing. One lesson that keeps presenting itself, however, is the need to slow down and be present. As I wrote earlier in the year, Carson pleaded for me to slow down. Shortly after, I began another graduate program. But I have found my heart remains somewhere else - in writing and in my TTouch work.

I find myself at a crossroads, trying to learn - to understand - how to meet my goals AND provide consistent and sufficient income for myself, my children, my animals; to take care of all (including myself!) physically, mentally and emotionally and be healthy; and to do all at at a slower pace. To be present, much as Blue, Carson and Marley - my teachers - fully present in each  moment of their lives.

So as I continue to learn, I want to acknowledge the time of year and give thanks to my teachers. I am thankful for their ageless wisdom, their joy, their focus and their unwavering love.

Meet my teachers and role models: Marley and Blue on Thanksgiving Day. Our boys are keeping it real and focused in the kitchen. And Carson, our joy-filled and exuberant girl, who always reminds us to smile and laugh.