Honor Through Action #26actsofkindness

The tragedy in Newtown is a week behind us, but will be seared in our memories for a lifetime.  There’s been a lot of talk around the reasons and causes of such a horrific act.  Talk is cheap.  Talk is negative, divisive and sometimes downright crazy.  My big ears pick up on all the chatter.

We will never forget these sweet souls

Rather than listening to the cacophony of voices and opinions, this furry angel has decided to align with Ann Curry’s proposal of 26 acts of kindness (#26acts, #26actsofkindness) in remembrance of the Sandy Hook victims.

Happily, herds of humans are joining in and sharing goodness.  Just google 26 acts of kindness or look on twitter (#26acts, #26actsofkindness, @anncurry) — the stories you’ll find are guaranteed to warm your heart.  And may inspire you to pass it on.

Big or small, random acts of kindness restore our faith in humanity.  They open a place in our hearts that may have been closed, stuck or hardened.  To honor the sweet souls of 20 children (babies, really) and 6 of their educators, this pup (and the Big Dog) encourage you to try it.  #26actsofkindess will help heal your heart and help others remember that people are inherently good and kind.

The acts of kindness we’ve read about run the gamut from shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor to bringing cookies to the local firehouse to paying off thousands of dollars worth of layaway gifts.  People are paying heating bills for families who need a little help, they’re leaving cards with money on random windshields, they’re paying for the car behind them on a toll bridge, folks behind them in line at Starbuck’s or at the drive-thru.

My earthbound family has been participating in 26 acts of kindness.  They’re not quite to 26 yet, but working on it.  Mama bought 8 $25 Toys R Us gift cards and put them in beautiful dove covered cards.  Her message was simple:  Dear friend, you are a special soul. Let love and kindness rule your world and pass it on.  In honor of the Newtown children.

She went to Toys R Us and wandered around, randomly handing cards to strangers.  The reactions were a bit comical.  Some were thankful, some confused and a couple of them were even suspicious.  But through these acts, mama felt close to the souls of the innocent and the angels were smiling upon her.

Timmy Elijah dreaming of his next random act of kindness

Two checks were also mailed this week; another donation to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the other to a teacher friend of ours who’s collecting money to pay for an apartment for a homeless student and her single mother.

Will you join us in honoring the victims of the Newtown shootings with a random act of kindness?  Please post what you are doing in the comments section.  Let’s all spread a little kindness and love…

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Relax it Out!

I watch mama from heaven all the time and I believe she’s invented a new catch-phrase.  The other angels and I are digging it and hope this string of words catches on.

A couple of weeks ago mama was on a conference call when Timmy E and Wilbur began misbehaving badly.  Timmy was running and jumping around mama’s office, chasing the cat and, as puppies do, his enthusiastic play just encouraged him to act wilder.  Wilbur tried to calm the mayhem by barking.

Mama hit the mute button on her phone and yelled “relax it out” and they immediately stopped.  Relax it out… I love all the connotations of this phrase!

Timmy E. Relaxing It Out

Relax it out can mean chill out, calm down or play together nicely.  For people, this phrase is a nice reminder to take time out to just be.  To breath and stretch and calm the mind.

Relax it out could be a great phrase for a yoga class.  You’ll stretch more deeply if you’re relaxed, so relax it out!  Relax out the muscle tension and calm your mind.

Relaxed humans are easier to be around.  When you relax your body and mind, you are more open and tolerant of others.  You feel a sense of well-being.  Nothing is urgent or stressful when you’re relaxed, right?

So, during this busy time of year, remind yourself to relax it out.  As you’re traversing the shopping crowds and waiting in long lines, relax it out.  Take a deep breath, put a serene smile on your face and enjoy these minutes of nothingness.  Relaxing it out is like an open-eyed meditation.

When you’re relaxed, there is no expectation of being productive.  No guilt, no pressure…just calm.  If you’re at a family holiday function and guests begin arguing about politics, religion or reality television, just relax it out.  Your mellowness will extend to others — it’s contagious.

This is how Christmas puppies Relax it Out!

Relax it out!

I’d love to hear how others feel about this phrase.  Can you see using the phrase on yourself or others?

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Thanksgiving: Family, Food or Frenzy?

It’s been awhile since I’ve communicated from heaven.  I know, I know… Every blog you follow, at some point, will have a lull in publishing and they begin a new post with “I haven’t blogged in awhile…”  I apologize for my internet absence, but furry angels get busy and sidetracked too.

I actually penned a blog not too long ago addressing the elephant in the room: gun laws.  The post was meant as a call to discussion, but sadly there are gun owners who would like to “use their second amendment rights on the leftist dog” and I was forced to delete the entire post.  Thankfully, the over-the-top comments landed in moderation or spam, as I wouldn’t want my readers to experience negative vibes.  But, alas, I am back!

Holidays are for relaxing with family

Thanksgiving weekend is already a week past and I am still counting my blessings.  Thanksgiving is just a day, but the focus of the holiday should be felt all year long.  I believe the world would be a better place if each and every day love and reverence were felt towards family and loved ones.  365 days of gratitude!

The other angels and I have a difficult time understanding the urge to spend, spend, spend on the days following gratitude day.  It’s disconcerting that bipeds feel the need for more things instead of reveling in their gratitude for what they have.  Friends, family, health, a soft place to lay your head at night, puppies, breath, life… what more could a human need?

More bothersome is the push to spend sooner, cutting into family time and the much beloved post turkey lounge-fest.  Thanksgiving is the only truly communal holiday in the US.  The only holiday with shared traditions that span religions, ethnicity and income levels.

It’s a shame to see big box retailers luring shoppers away from their families with the promise of once in a lifetime deals.  Is a discount on an imported gadget really more meaningful than an extra piece of grandma’s pumpkin pie?  Than conversation with little seen relatives around the table?  Than cheering on your favorite football team with your siblings?

pups always believe in staying for seconds over frenzied shopping

We participated in Small Business Saturday and Cyber-Monday this year.  We still found deals, discovered locally made treasures and didn’t miss out on a minute of holiday time.  Maybe, communally, we can start a new Thanksgiving tradition:  returning to old traditions — returning to a day of gratitude and savoring family and food.

Did your long Thanksgiving weekend involve family or frenzy?  Please share!

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The Big Dog Values You…Even if Romney Doesn’t

I’ve been a sad angel the past couple of days.  I’m sad for half of the American public who were disrespected by one of our presidential candidates.  And sad that there’s not much this furry angel can do to change things.

I’d like to stress a Universal truth (coming straight from the Big Dog); every soul is valuable.  You are valuable and important in the Big Dog’s eyes.  Don’t listen to those who denigrate and devalue you — even when you see it splashed across the telly and newspapers through the Republican presidential candidate’s words.

In case you missed it, Romney told a group of big dollar supporters that 47% of Americans are “dependent on government” and will never “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Only the hard-hearted and ill-informed could possibly believe that half of Americans don’t take personal responsibility for their lives.  Romney showed disdain for seniors, the disabled, military members and veterans, and low income workers.

He also disrespected his own party since many of the tax exemptions (children, education, mortgage, renters credit, etc…) were included in past Republican tax plans.  And that’s why many low-wage workers don’t owe federal income tax beyond their payroll taxes and contributions to social security and disability.

44% of these freeloaders and victims, per Romney, are senior citizens living on pensions and social security.  The elderly are being mocked because they live on retirement funds that they paid into as they were working their entire adult lives.

Another sector of this 47% that Romney holds contempt for are the disabled and sickly.  I’ve known plenty of folks that have had to tap into disability benefits, by no fault of their own.  Remember, these are federally guaranteed benefits that every worker pays into the system.  Is the cancer patient who’s worked hard for years and is now drawing disability insurance payments a victim and freeloader?  Absolutely not!

And all those low-wage workers — hard working folks just trying to get by.  Are they to be mocked too?  And why are more and more people earning such low wages?  Republican backed policies have kept wages stagnant; refusing to raise minimum wage and union busting are just two of the reasons.

Sure, there will always be people who game the system.  Does that make it ok to mock the majority who don’t and need help?

When we become a society that sees no value in the elderly or disabled, a society that has no concern or empathy for those with less than ourselves, we cease to have humanity.

The irony of Romney’s callous attacks on the less fortunate do not escape this dog.  Romney is angry at people making less than $30k per year for not paying their fair share, yet has no problem with his $77k tax deduction for his dancing horse!  The disconnect between how real people live vs. the extremely wealthy is mind-boggling!

I feel better now that I’ve got this off my furry chest and I will leave you with one question:  do you want a president who cares about the entire population or one that only recognizes and respects top earners and mocks the rest?

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Love, Peace and Tolerance or Hate, Anger and Fear. It’s Your Choice.

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I penned a piece over the weekend about the attack on the embassies and consulates in Egypt and Libya and Romney’s unprecedented and quick-to-fire response.  I didn’t publish it because the reaction from people across the globe may be the bigger story.

We, as soul-beings on this earth, have a choice to make: anger/hate/fear and retaliation or understanding/love/kindness and tolerance for others.  I choose the latter.  Not just because it’s good karma and what the Universe (God — use what’s comfortable for you) wants us to do, but also because I’ve come to believe that hate reduces I.Q. and fries brain cells.

We’ve seen examples of both this week.  From the Libyans who tried to get Ambassador Stevens to the hospital to the young lady that posted a picture of herself on Facebook with a sign that said something like:  Not all Americans hate Muslims.  I love you.

And we’ve seen the fear and hate-filled responses as well.  The instant (and not very well thought out) comments by Romney as the situation was still in motion was reactionary and divisive.  I don’t trust that he understands the intricacies and nuances of foreign relations.  The only purpose for his appearance (before the Secretary of State or President had spoken, which is unprecedented) was to feed the fire.  To spin a story, an unfolding and dangerous story, just to rile up his base was disturbing.

Fear, hate and anger towards “others” , breeds more fear, hate and anger.  Everyone agrees that what happened at the hands of some extremists in the middle east is vile.  Yet we need to remember that, as far as we know, this was not a government, popular or military attack.  Yet we hear the cries for war.  War against who exactly?

I’ll bring this conversation into my own circle now. The day after Ambassador Stevens and 3 others were killed I read a number of posts from our “friends” that frightened me.  And, I must say, all of them were from zealous Christians.  Now mind you, just as I don’t judge all Muslims by the heinous acts of the minority, I don’t judge all Christians by their hateful minority fringe.

I think the most upsetting post to me read, in closing her hate-filled post “when I see those coexist stickers on a car, I just want to run them over”.  Wow!  Intolerance for tolerance — that was a new one to me.  Usually an act of inclusion and oneness, even if it’s just on a bumper sticker, makes people feel better, so this post was highly unusual in my experience.

I have more examples of intolerance and hate, but I choose not to focus on them.  It just makes me sad for these people.  I will continue to focus on oneness and peace, even if some people want to run me off the road for it!

You have the power — each one of us does — to contribute to the world becoming more peaceful and loving, or more hateful and angry.  How will you choose to change your world?

I’ll end with the old standard question, WWJD?  and I think we all know the answer.

Peace & love to all of you

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