Sharing the Light

“That’s barely burning” I said as I looked down at the jar candle. I like to use candles in the bathroom instead of the bright lights and loud fan. It just makes a shower or bath that much more calming. Without a thought, I grabbed another jar candle, lit it and it burned bright. Perfect!

Upon exiting the shower, what I saw next made me stop and reflect for a minute. I looked over and both jar candles were burning brightly and had the exact same flame height. It was as if the brightly light candle had somehow shared it’s light with the other one and now both were burning brightly.

I immediately thought of my life and how at times I’ve felt discouraged, lost and just not “burning bright”. Every time someone has appeared with a bright countenance, encouragement, and just shared their light. By being in their presence, it helped me to become brighter.

As I took this deeper, I wondered if it was really that simple. Had I been making it too hard for so long? Could it be that all I need to do is just humbly and gratefully let my light shine day every day, to everyone no matter what, no matter the situation? Could it be that in times of despair, all I really needed to do was be there? Taking it one step further; why wait for things to be bad, why not BE there ALL the time?

The water dripped onto the floor as these insights flowed through my mind. Who knew lighting a couple of candles could trigger such deep thoughts and emotions. Who knew that such changes in my perspective could occur from such a simple act.

What a feeling of freedom to just BE….and share the light.

Have a beautiful day!

Attention helps us Thrive

This is an excerpt from my new book Climb that Fence, take that Leap which is a compilation of animal stories and the life insights I observed. I wrote it to encourage people to make positive changes and bring more awareness to the animals. Available on Amazon, I hope you enjoy the stories and I’d love to hear yours, so feel free to drop me a line.

Things Come Alive with Attention:
Ever since I took Keiko (my cat) to the park that day and let her out every evening, she was wired. Every morning she was under foot, walking around the kitchen and living room. I’d be upstairs getting dressed and here would come this spindly, almost wobbly cat blasting up the stairs.

At times, it was really annoying to hear the constant meowing, so I’d pick her up. “What is your problem?” I’d ask. I thought she might be in pain. As soon as I picked her up, all I heard was the familiar sound of contentment: purring.

What had changed with her? I had not given her any different medicine, and she had become skinnier by the day. But something was obviously different.

Let’s see, she went from just hanging around the house and receiving whatever “leftover” attention I had to being the first to receive attention. She received my attention first and foremost, and we spent quality time together.

Even if I had other things I “should have” been doing, I took time to make sure she went outside and had fun. The more time I spent with her, the more alive she became.

Just like a plant that requires water regularly, we all need regular, meaningful attention—validation that we are loved, that someone cares, that we make a difference. Without that knowing, we become lethargic and lost, and we lose hope.

When we think that no one cares, it often shows. It is easy to put on a tough exterior and give the appearance that we don’t care, but deep down it can be pretty lonely on our own.

The basic need to be loved is universal among people and animals. Pets fill that need and do it unconditionally. No matter the day, our relationship, or our status, our pets love us anyway. That’s why we enjoy them so much and why they’re often used in therapy. There’s something soothing about petting a happy fur ball.

Stop and think right now: Where can you show some attention that would make a difference? Where have you taken someone/a pet for granted? Write a thank you note, make a phone call, bring home dinner, turn off the TV, etc. Take a few minutes out of your day and give some love.

Just a few minutes is all it takes. You’ll be surprised how alive someone will feel. Guess what, so will you!!!

Letting Love Out

As I held the heart shaped crystal in my hand, all you could see was a tiny sliver. The rest was covered by my fingers. I didn’t think much of it, that’s how I always held it. Then one day, I decided to open my fingers and let the stone rest in my palm. The full colors and beauty shown and could be viewed from all angles.  Wow, it was pretty when it wasn’t covered up.

I bet you think this is a story about opening your heart. Close, but not what you think.  I began to look a little deeper and realized an important lesson. With the stone sitting in my palm, its beauty could radiate in all directions.

Here’s what I realized that made an amazing change in my life.   We’ve all heard about letting love in and opening our heart. Agreed….but for me, letting love OUT was a big key.

Recently I’ve experimented with opening my heart and letting love flow from all directions to everyone. I have my boundaries of course and no way am I being a doormat!!

But, I’ve just allowed love to flow as much as possible without expectations.  Drivers not paying attention, less than motivated co-workers asking the same dumb questions, rude people, etc. Of course don’t forget the big one; myself and my quirks. I’ve made a conscious effort to be kind and either attempt to find the good in all interactions or just let it go.

Guess what has happened in literally days? People go out of their way to be friendly to me, major issues seem have become much easier to resolve and several of my goals, are just falling into place almost effortlessly.  Even my cats sit next to me more instead of hanging outside.  You know if your cats accept you, you’re doing something right!!!

This doesn’t mean everything is just blissful. Life challenges still arise and have to be dealt with, bills need to paid, groceries bought, the cars still need fuel, dinner has to be cooked, laundry done and the house still doesn’t clean itself.  Darn!!

And don’t think I’m perfect now either.  Ha! I still feel fear, pain, anger, and can spout off a tirade of expletives at the drop of a hat. But hey I’m on a journey of learning. I’m not perfect and thank god, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself!

As you wander this road of life, try letting love out and see what happens.  If we all did, there’d be a whole lot more love in the world and that would be a very good thing.