Tag Archive | therapy

My New Neighborhood

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The gate to my new neighborhood! Welcome home!

I have new neighbors.  Well, I call them my neighbors because I’m new in the neighborhood at the farm.  And no, I don’t live at the horse farm, but I would love it if I did!  Everyone is so friendly at the barn.  It’s amazing to me how people say hello and talk with you.  Even the seasoned riders patiently explain when I ask about something or for help when I’m unsure.  Not that my teacher isn’t there instructing me, but when I hang around for a little bit after my lesson just enjoying the peace within the barn, the atmosphere is so soothing!

It’s truly magical to me, this new adventure I’ve begun.  New smells, new experiences, new people, and learning something new – how to ride, how to groom and how to understand those giant beasts of burden with the gentle loving eyes.  It’s just lovely!

I can see how grooming is therapeutic for the horse and for me.  It connects us in a  spiritual way and it shows him that I care.  I’m back with Charlie these days, having only ridden Sam once and Charlie numerous times now.

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Charlie and me on a sunny fall day!

Chock full of new experiences, I am loving  and living my dream of riding!  Let me introduce you to some of the neighbors!   For instance, at the gate, there’s Ely, who welcomes all who enter.  He’s even been so bold as to try to get his nose in my car, looking for cookies (treats)!  I keep forgetting to bring him a treat so I just pet his velvet nose and coo to him.

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Ely coming to see what I have for him!

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Mr. Chips following Ely’s lead. Hey Lady, got any cookies for me?

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Ely giving me the look since I had no cookies to give him! LOL

Ely’s got a new neighbor too.  Mr. Chips who, like me, is a newcomer to the barn.  He’s learning rapidly from Ely!  What a cute pair!

Thanks for stopping by to meet the new neighbors in my life! I am so grateful for life’s new experiences.  I hope you have a lovely Friday!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Fur Therapy Gratitude

purrrfect…fur therapy

Gratitude to Chessie and Tiffany!

Thanksgiving is a day about giving thanks for everything and everyone…but I believe we can continue that gratitude all year long.  So for today, I have to take a moment to give thanks for my sons (this is an old picture of them) and my ‘daughters’ who give us amazing comfort that we call fur therapy in our home.

My ‘girls’ are 2 cats who freely give such amazing blessings simply by being present for me, day in and day out.  My elder daughter is Francesca Maria but we call her Chessie.  Originally she was named Mary and was a stray found in a field 16 years ago when we adopted her.  Chessie was COVERED in fleas at 3 months old and very skittish.  My husband had finally agreed that we could get a pet, but he conceded  with the caveat that he really wanted the cat to be white.  I went to the cat adoption agency and looked at the white cat that they had advertised…but as I walked past the cages of cats, this one little one meeped (my word for a small meow) and it caught my ear.  I turned to see our darling Chessie in a cage with many cats.  She pushed her head against the cage so that I could put my fingers in to pet her head.  Just then, the woman in charge asked if I wanted to hold her…my sister had come with me and we laughed knowing that this kitten only had a small spot of white on her chin ~ the rest of her was pure tabby colored!

Well, so the story goes, when I held her for the first time, our hearts beat together, she purred into my shoulder and chest and I knew I was her Mommy.  My sister then held her and the same happened…when my hubby arrived, I was holding her and he asked where the white cat was ~ to which in my infinite charming way I answered that she was indeed white…on her chin!  I passed her onto to him and as he held her, she purred into his shoulder as well and home she came with us!

Chessie and ‘Daddy’ are best pals and have been since she came home with us 16 years ago.  She’s been Daddy’s girl since the first day when they played ‘tag’ on the stairs in our first home.  We found out that she was part Maine Coon and part Tabby which explains why she topped the scales at 15 lbs at one point.  She adores ice cubes, hopping in the shower after my hubby and sleeping on us at night.  She became Mama’s Girl when I endured breast cancer and napped my way through chemo.  She stayed by my side as I slept away the hours, her trusty purr rumbling in my heart as she slept on top of me, keeping me warm and comforted.  I was never alone ~ she made sure.  Now at age 16, she is slower these days, but still enjoys the water, sleeping on all of us (boys included) and has lost most of her weight as she’s aged.  She’s now everyone’s girl, enjoying being pet by whomever wants a snuggle.

Almost 5 years ago, the white cat finally made it to our home and with her entrance, our cat family was complete.  Tiffany is an American Bobtail whose enthusiasm for anything ribbon or shoelace has made our home cat proofed.  No longer do ribbons adorn presents in our home as Tiffany has a sweet tooth for them ~ certain types of shoelaces also are a kitty treat which has disgruntled hubby a few times when his dress shoe laces disappeared as we realized they were chewed down to the actual shoes.  But barring her puppy chewing tendencies (I think she may be a bit confused), she has brought joy to our family in her own right.  She is very vocal, calling “Mama” from the other side of the house when I’ve dared to go into another room while she was sleeping.  She can do tricks as taught by my younger son.  She can sit, stand, beg and stay.  She’s very food motivated and she’s topped the scales at 15 lbs as well.  I guess you could say we like our cats stocky! 🙂

Tiffy, breeder born, is more wild-cat than Chessie who was actually born in a field.  Tiffy scratches by her food everyday, burying it instinctively so that nobody else will find and eat her portion.  In fact, I believe she thinks I’m foolish when I leave my cup of coffee unattended on the coffee table in the living room as everyday, she will jump on the table and ‘bury’ my coffee cup so that nobody else can sip it!  Because it makes me giggle, sometimes I do it to see if she will ‘take care of my coffee’ and she never lets me down!

I would love to say that my girls get along fabulously, but alas, that’s not truly the case.  While Chessie tolerates the little upstart in our home, Tiffy tries to get Chessie to play and keep her young.  At least, that’s my take on the situation.  Occasionally we’ll have a little ‘cat fight’ where the girls bat at eachother and then chase eachother with a little hiss here and there, but for the most part, they are friendly.  As the weather cools, most likely you’ll find them up on our bed, each on a side, curled up warm and happy.  Because you know, we are only their servants here!

Fur therapy is that special happiness we get when we hug our pets…their unconditional love and happiness upon greeting us when we enter our home everyday makes their cat brand of love special.  I know people talk about how wonderful dogs are, but cats have it going as well.  Yes, they are independent, but they are also comforting.  As I walk into the house, I always call for my girls and they come to greet me ~ unless of course, they are cat napping on my bed and are dreaming of catnip and laces!

Do you have a pet?  Have you gotten any fur therapy lately?  I highly recommend it!

xo

Face the Sun!

Strength. Turn your face to the sun and shadows fall behind you.

Many of us have had tough times.  By a certain age, most of us have endured moments or longer of hard times and with that, have some experience in disappointment, sadness, fear, loss and such.  What I find most interesting though is how some people have endured hardships and yet they don’t allow those moments to define them.

Having been dealt the hand of breast cancer at age 34, I have experienced sadness, fear, loss and disappointment among other things…but that’s not to say that I haven’t been able to enjoy every sunrise, every cloud formation, every season and the precious moments of spontaneous hugs from my sons and family.   I’ve seen the darkness and I’ve seen the light.  Perhaps you feel that it’s not easy living on the roller coaster of life, a sentiment which I understand.  However, what brings me comfort is that with every nightfall, I know that in a few hours, there’s a sunrise waiting for me and it’s that sunrise I choose to concentrate on and ‘turn my face to’ everyday.  I feel grateful that I am here to experience it all ~ for without having experienced the darkness, how would we ever know how spectacular the sunrise is?

You own the power to choose everyday how you are going to face the day…

Turn your face to the sun and shadows fall behind you.

You’ll be glad you did!

xo

5 Minutes of Solitude…

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence

that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us,

as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. K.T. Jong

For those of you who are energized by a challenges, I challenge you this week to give yourself 5 minutes of uninterrupted silence a day ~ not multi-tasking silence where you turned off the radio while driving to work ~ that doesn’t count nor does taking 5 minutes on the toilet and instead of reading, you sit quietly ~  nor does the 5 minutes before you actually fall asleep and have your head on the pillow ready for sleep to envelope your mind ~ but 5 minutes where you are conscious, quiet, without doing something else and you just sit.

I recently started doing this myself and at first it was hard for me as I like to either zone out in front of the tv if I’m going to be quiet or I like to read if I”m not chatting.  However, sitting quietly for 5 minutes without doing anything is a challenge.  I started making lists in my head of what I needed to do, wondering what the noises I heard downstairs were (did one of the kids drop something?) and the continuous thought of  ‘oh man, is 5 minutes up yet?” looped in my head.

So what I’ve done is started free writing during my 5 minutes which is akin to meditating, but offers my busy body a way to keep quiet for 5 minutes while doing something.  I am not quite sure if 5 minutes of solitude allows for free writing, but for now it’s working like a charm for me and perhaps it will for you as well.

Free writing for me has been me typing on my computer for 5 minutes uninterrupted, just allowing whatever words that begin to show in my head, a space on paper.  It’s just typing (or writing if you prefer) the stream of consciousness or unconsciousness that exudes from my fingertips without constraint.  And boy oh boy has it been interesting to read.  In fact, there have been times recently that I’ve gone over and beyond the 5 minutes as the words simply type themselves on the paper and continue to roll out in long, waves of sentences and paragraphs.

Sometimes it’s been just drivel that my fingers have typed, but some of the words/meanings that have come to fruition have been quite meaningful to my life and present situation.  The thoughts have had insight to my experiences and have been able to give proper responsibility where its due.

My Monday post today is simply to TRY for 5 minutes to be quiet and just listen to yourself…take a few moments for you.  Use it as an experiment.  You have nothing to lose except 5 minutes of worry, work or multitasking…give it a week and let me know how it goes…I’d love to hear if you already do this as I’d love the feedback…and if you’re just starting, let me know if you’d prefer I keep my challenges to myself!  Ha!

Happy Monday to You!

You’re worth 5 minutes…and more!

Be good to YOU!

xo

GROW through Life…

Don’t go through life. Grow through life.

Sometimes I think we mindlessly go through life, continuing the habit of work, eat, sleep, awaken repeat…we get into the routine of doing what needs to be done during each day because it needs to be done.  Taking care of ourselves sometimes gets pushed aside in order to take care of everyone else’s needs and we allow routine and the easy thoughtless unmindful ways to take over.

Being that it’s Sunday, I thought this was a good time to broach the subject of taking care of ourselves ~ “the Sabbath is a day of rest” as my Mom puts it ~ is just the ticket to change the routine.  If it’s an excuse you need to use in order to allow yourself some time to just ‘be’ and relax, well, then here it is!

Let me remind you that there are 24 hours in a day…and you can spare 10 minutes for yourself.  The idea is to start at 10 minutes for you and then add minutes as you go.  Perhaps a little meditation could be in order…or some free writing where you can just allow your thoughts some flight…or just taking a little time to look up at the sky and notice the beauty in nature that surrounds you.

Just going through life isn’t a life…you need to GROW through life so that you can experience all that life has to offer!  I don’t want to look back at my life and wonder where the years went…I want to stroll down my own memory lane with many stops along the way, enjoying the laughter and even the tears of moments which impact my life and my family…I want to remember fun times and silly moments…I want to smile and feel peaceful for how I lived, how I treated others and even how I treated myself.  I want to remember stretching out of my comfort zone to breathe happiness into my soul.

Enjoy this Sunday!

Grow through your life!

You are worth it!

xo

A Single Courageous Step…

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin,

and a single courageous step

would carry us clear through them. -Brendan Francis

Lately I haven’t been sleeping as well as I’d like.   I don’t know about you, but sometimes I go through periods of time where sleep evades me more often than not and right now I’ve not been sleeping well.  I wake up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back asleep because my mind continues to whir and mindless chatter of what I need to do and what needs to be done by others plagues me.  And then there is the fear of not getting everything done properly as I’m in charge of a lot these days…that fear alone can put me over the edge.   But what I’ve found is that the fears are usually paper thin and unfounded…but in the middle of the night, they feel like I’m carrying heavy bricks.

So what I’ve begun doing is imagining that each brick is one of my fears and I begin to walk ~ baby steps of course ~ and as I do, I let go of a brick with each step.  I simply drop it and allow my mind to tick it off the list that plagues me.  I drop the brick of named fear into the abyss below me and I imagine that it goes away into nothingness ~ that it simply evaporates.

Sometimes I imagine that Universe/God catches it and turns it into dust as well, but that’s only if simply dropping it doesn’t actually make it go away.  Sometimes those fear bricks have been known to not easily be released and that’s when my stepping out takes control because I’m still walking as I drop them and as I continue to walk, they are further away from me.

We all have fears which is sad because when we allow those fears to manifest, they can take over…which is why, I adore my baby steps!  Do you carry fears?  Do you sleep well?  Can you see that much of what we fear isn’t anything more than worry emphasized?

Join me in our stepping away from our fears and into the light…drop your fears, make them a kite and fly those paper-thin thoughts right out of your head today!  Let me know how it works for you ~ and what works for you!  I’d love to hear more options for my nightly episodes.

Happy Monday to you!  It’s the start of a new week!  Enjoy!!

xo

Strength…

“STRENGTH does not come from winning.

Your struggles develop your strengths.

When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender,

THAT IS STRENGTH.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger

Although I’m not a huge fan of Arnold, I do like this quote because it’s true…to look at me, to know me, to love me, is to know that part of ‘my charm’ is that I am not a big fan of pain and I have been known to yelp with a paper cut!  I am also a fainter at the sight of a needle which you would think after all of the needles that I’ve seen through my 1/2 closed eyes with fingers splayed across my face, I would be over that fear by now, but nope…again part of my charm.  Which by the way, my darling husband would love it if I were less charming (ahem), but I can’t be anything but me, so charming it is ~ much to his chagrin!

But what I lack in muscular strength, I have in spiritual and it is what gets me through life.  I would never win a prize for athleticism or physical endurance (although I do think there should be a prize given to those of us who have endured more than our share of illness/surgeries and all around ick), but the middle of the nights, all alone spiritual challenges may leave me weakened, but never completely without endurance.

I have endurance…it’s a small seed of endurance filled with love, laughter and an amazing amount of support from my family, friends, loved ones and even strangers.  I have faith which has increased over time…and I am HOPE above all.  I just never surrender.

So if your strength is waning these days, I’ll lend you mine…because that’s what friends are for.

We are all connected…you may be the weak link in the chain at the moment,

but the chain of love will protect you.

Never surrender!

Love you lots!

xo