As always, I hope this letter finds you happy, healthy, ...and choosing LOVE!
Happy Summer everybody!! I hope you all are doing well, staying cool, enjoying your vacations, and getting to spend time with your family and friends. I feel like it's been ages since I sat down to write and I feel excited to catch up with you (although it sort of feels a bit one sided!). A lot has transpired since the last newsletter that went out in May and I guess it's time to talk about it. It's been quite an emotional roller coaster and a tremendous period of learning for me. I've cried a lot. I've prayed and meditated a lot. I've given up. I've found hope. I've operated from a place of fear and worry. I've forgotten who I was and where I came from. And I have found myself again...and remembered that I am love and that's the only thing that matters.
And all of this took place because I met a dog named Yogi.
Well, actually there were two dogs. So maybe I need to start from the beginning....
As many of you know, we lost our beloved Shiloh back in March. We were devastated. But we grieved (well, I grieved....Paul kept busy). By May, I felt ready to fill our home again with new pups and I convinced Paul that he was ready, too (poor Paul). I wanted to rescue. Paul reminded me that we both have very busy careers and that we didn't have the time to dedicate to a dog that would likely come to us with problems that might require a lot of extra attention. So we checked out the website of our previous dogs' breeder and saw that she had adult puppies. That seemed like a perfect fit! Potty trained and able to sleep through the night? Sign me up! And these were dogs that weren't likely to be purchased because they no longer looked remotely like puppies. I convinced myself that this was like rescuing...but we would have well adjusted grown pups. After all, we got two sweet, beautiful dogs from her 12 years ago so it just seemed to be right.
Except it wasn't.
On Memorial Day weekend, I drove 8 hours to pick up a 5 month old girl and an 8 month old boy. We decided to name them Halo and Yogi. It was supposed to be an exciting and joyful new beginning and yet I felt sick to my stomach and sadness washed over me in waves. I wrote it off to residual grief from Shiloh's passing. This was the first red flag that I ignored. When I first met the pups, they both seemed rather timid and shy. Excited enough to run up and see who I was, but quickly retreating when I moved towards them. Red flag #2. I chalked it up to excitement and they were loaded up into the car. Once home, it became clear that these two had had very little socialization. And Yogi had never been indoors. He was terrified. Of EVERYTHING. The ceiling fan, the doorway, the TV, ...every indoor sound you can think of. And Halo had typical puppy issues - not potty trained, separation anxiety, cried all night long. The first week was a total nightmare with the two of them. After the second week of no sleep, arguments, pure chaos and frustration, and it all getting worse....Paul was done. They had to go. In my head, I knew he was right. But my heart was broken. I cried rivers of grief every day. We found a loving home for Halo straight away but giving her up was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
With Halo gone, we were able to concentrate on Yogi and, after several offers from people who didn't fully understand Yogi's special needs, we decided it would be best if he stayed with us. We worked day and night with him to overcome his fears. But his fears turned into my fears. Would we ever get him leash trained? Would we ever be able to get him in the car again? To the vet?? He barked ferociously at anyone who came anywhere near him (other than us). I was in a constant state of stress. My adrenal glands were screaming at me 24 hours a day. I wasn't sleeping much. To say I was operating from a place of fear and worry is a colossal understatement. But I began making progress with him. Slowly but surely we were able to walk the neighborhood without incident and graduated to walking the trails. It no longer took hours to get him back inside. And the TV wasn't a source of terror any longer. But no sooner did we begin to see progress, the biting started. He didn't bite me. But he bit Paul because he thought Paul got too close to his empty food dish. Twice. Unprovoked. After the second time, Paul said Yogi needed to go back to the breeder. We couldn't keep a dog that bites. What if he bit someone else?
My heart was broken....again.
Fearful of the consequences of keeping Yogi, we made plans to take him back to where he came from. We knew that he would likely be euthanized by her if we did but we didn't see any other option. He would be further traumatized in a shelter. And who would adopt a 130 lb dog with fear aggression issues? Either we take him back or we make the decision to send him home to be with the angels ourselves. I literally had to consider what would be the best way to send this dog to heaven. What an f'd up choice to have to make; and one I never dreamed I would ever be making in this lifetime. I walk spiders outside for God's sake!!! More oceans of tears...
But as we were making plans to get him back to TN, nothing came together. Paul couldn't get off work to go with me and he didn't want me to make this horrific journey on my own. The breeder had scheduling issues and wasn't returning emails or calls. Each person I asked to drive with me was unable to make the trip. This all went on for a few days.
And during those days, Paul and Yogi had another chance to bond. Paul's fear of being bit subsided and he decided Yogi could stay. But he would be on probation. If he bit Paul again, we would be scheduling an appointment with Lap of Love.
We hired a canine behaviorist to help us with training, but I worried myself sick about Yogi. I had mini panic attacks daily...worried that Paul would make a sudden movement or fail to recognize Yogi's warning signals. I was afraid to leave them alone together. I was terrified that a jogger might run too close to us when we were walking. I was worried that we would never have a 'normal' dog and that we'd never be able to have guests in our home....or that we'd never be able to leave him with anyone else. The inner turmoil was killing me. And my emotional state was definitely heightened....which means I was unable to communicate with Yogi like I am able to communicate with other people's pets. I was operating from a place of fear just about every minute of every day. It's all I could talk about. It's all I thought about. The only time that I could keep it together was when I was working. Spirit got me through my appointments. But the rest of the time, I was a hot mess. I felt completely under water with no sight of a lifeboat.
Until one day it finally clicked.
I was listening to my music and the song "Stand In Your Love" came on. One of the lines of the chorus is "my fear doesn't stand a chance when I stand in your love" ....and in that moment, I remembered. I remembered that I am the co-creator of my life. I have the ability to turn this around when I put myself in the driver's seat and I operate from a place of love. My thoughts are co-creating my reality and all of the worrying I was doing to control the outcome was actually creating what I was worried about! I decided in that moment to operate from a place of love.....and to surrender. I began to express gratitude each day for the small victories. I began to envision Yogi's health and balanced state instead of the nervous and fearful guy that we brought home. I began to release the need to control every movement my husband made and just allow them to work out their relationship on their own. I surrendered the need to know how things were going to pan out and just wake up every day with hope and love in my heart for Yogi...and of course for Paul and I. Once I did these things, I was finally able to calm my mind long enough to sit with Spirit and ask for guidance and for a peaceful resolution....regardless of what that looked like.
THEN, soon after I waved my white flag, I was researching eye goo in dogs (I was constantly removing gunk from Yogi's eyes) and stumbled upon a traditional chinese medicine article about liver qi stagnation. Turns out that dogs with this energy issue tend to have the following symptoms - eye discharge, extreme itching/allergies, digestive issues, and......fear aggression. Yogi had every symptom.
We are now about 4 weeks into Yogi's TCM herbs and he's doing great. We are 6 weeks bite free and Yogi has improved in ways I couldn't possibly imagine. We are not out of the woods yet. We have a lot of training to do. Yogi is still triggered from time to time...scary noises, scary people, scary situations. But his recovery time is shorter and his confidence is improving. And this gives us hope.
I have no idea where we'll end up or if we are meant to have Yogi with us for a short time or for years to come. I just know that it's my job to manage my fears and continue to operate from a place of love....and trust that if he's meant to stay with me, everything will work out exactly the way it's supposed to. In the meantime, I will continue to choose love above all else....I will choose to love Paul, to love Yogi, and to even love the breeder. And in doing so, I also choose to love myself.
Thank you, Yogi Bear, for showing up to remind me who I am and what we are capable of when we choose love.
Love you, buddy.
Sending love out to all those who need/want it and prayers to those who may be hurting today. May you find peace in your heart and a smile on your face no matter what is happening in your world. And if you need a place to go to lift your spirits, I hope you'll stop by sometime :)
Here's what's happening at Light Works this month...
Have you been thinking about learning Reiki? We've got Usui Ryoho Reiki Level I Certification class coming up on August 10th/17th . Whether you're interested in learning how to give Reiki to yourself, wish to share Reiki with friends & family, or want to begin a Reiki practice....this is the perfect opportunity to jump right in! Looking for a class that offers CE credit hours that you can apply towards your massage therapy license requirements? Receive 10 CE hours when you take this class!
This month's special is all about your furry, feathered, scaly, and fishy friends. Did you know that Animal Communication and Animal Reiki can be done remotely? In fact, often times it is easier for the pet to receive energetic healing, or to communicate with me, from a distance. Without all of the distractions of having a visitor or being in a strange place, animals are sometimes better able to focus on the energetic/psychic connection this way. If you have a pet that you would like to treat to an Animal Communication and Reiki session, take advantage of this month's special - Animal Communication & Animal Reiki Session Combo for $100 ($50 savings!) . For more information and instructions, see below.
Next, I'll be teaching Meditation with Intention...to Connect with Spirit! on August 18th. Want to learn how to connect with Spirit? In this class, you'll learn my method of connecting with the angels, spirit guides, and loved ones...and, yes, anyone can do it :)
And finally, we'll be getting together on August 30th to "Meditate & Create" - Mini Vision Boards! Vision boards are a great tool for setting goals and intentions for ourselves by bringing our thoughts and dreams to life in the form of photos, words, and art. Come join us for a fun afternoon of creativity, affirmations, and manifesting!
So, these are just a few of the things happening this month at Light Works.
As always, new things are popping up on the Light Works Meetup page . Be sure to join the group to receive announcements. Stay tuned, stay connected, and stay in touch!
Sending lots of healing energy and LOVE to you all...hope to see you soon!
In love & light,
Certified Reiki Master Teacher, Psychic Medium, & Animal Communicator