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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Furry Mission Accomplished!

baby Timmy Elijah Love

I must say that I am enjoying observing mama and new baby Timmy Elijah from my lofty perch.  It warms my heart to see her genuinely smile again.  My transition was hard for mama and it took her a few weeks to fully grasp the bigger picture of my existence and my exit from her physical realm.

Just like all of you, I am an eternal soul with lessons to teach, lessons to learn and a purpose.  My earthly purpose was chosen before I was ever birthed, and I knew who I would have as my mama.

When I first came into mama’s life she desperately needed a guardian angel to affirm her life and bring her back to herself.  Those times were so difficult for her then, that she required her angel to be tangible (and preferably furry) to make her believe again… in herself and in the benevolence of the Universe.  Little did she know, I fully understood this and I had a mission.

My earthly life seems short to some, but I accomplished more than many souls do in a lengthier stay.  Mama needed inspiration to make some major changes in her life and to get her through some very difficult circumstances.  Atticus to the rescue!

Through my love and encouragement mama started to find herself again.  I helped her find the strength to leave an abusive marriage (note: the abuser actually kicked me a few times and I think this put mama’s world in better perspective for her).  There was no way she would allow someone to hurt me, and we escaped.

Reminding mama of her worth and confidence took a little time, as those qualities had been eroded by an angry, hurtful husband.  It’s hard for many to understand how a woman with great successes under her belt and a bounty of loving friends could find herself in such a marriage.  But these things happen and these types of relationships are slow to reveal the insidiousness of the abuser.

Safely away from harm, the next hurdle was helping mama through the death of her beloved father.  And then assisting her to regain her entrepreneurial spirit and her unique voice.  I certainly had a mission, and I accomplished it on all fronts.

My job was actually complete a year ago and for a full year I found myself in precarious health situations, ready for my departure.  Mama wasn’t ready for me to leave and she valiantly fought to keep me here.  But it was my time.  My mission had been fulfilled and I am needed elsewhere.

Sporting my angel look while on earth

Happily, mama now fully understands that I was on a mission and she is eternally grateful for the years we spent together.  I smile and wag as I watch her pour her love into little Timmy, Wilbur and Bella, knowing fully that I am always with her as well.

Furry mission fulfilled!

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Getting Up From Downward Dog

I’ve been a busy little pupster lately, friends.  I’ve been pondering how grateful I am for all my buddies — peeps and pups — which has me in hyper-social mode requiring more visits to the dog park than usual.  Plus, you know, I’ve been helping mama fight the health insurance company which is time-consuming.

still on hold...

Between playing with friends and listening to awful musak while on hold with insurers, I’ve barely had time for my daily naps.  Or for my own personal writing.

pensive puppy face...

I have to admit that some of my “busyness” has come in the form of (unnecessary) stress and worry about a few things.  It’s hard for me to be open about my short-lived doggie distress because I’m naturally a waggy, not woeful, pup.  But even the sunniest of us have our downward dog moments.

It’s curious how one little worried thought can quickly blossom into a turbulent storm of stress.  The experience is a bit alien actually — like my mind opened a tiny pod of doom and it spreads.

Equally as curious, is the power of positive thought — even just a glimmer of pawsitivity — which is the first offense towards overtaking the alien.  In this dog’s view, one good thought can conquer a mountain of negativity and an army of aliens.

Add to my recipe for overcoming a turbulent moment; a good helping of exercise, a dash of being with friends, a few sprinkles of quiet reflection and a pinch of cuddling.  I believe this recipe works every time.

Humans often get stuck in these stressful moments to the point of being paralyzed, but my doggie recipe works for humans too… it’s just takes a tad longer.

So that’s my recipe for getting out of a downward dog moment.  How do you pick yourself up when you feel worried or stressed?

I'm out of downward dog!

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Random Acts of Generosity

It’s funny… I’m a pup who regularly reflects upon what I am grateful for in my life, but I have a hard time accepting generosity from others.  Don’t get me wrong — of course I’m appreciative and grateful, but for some reason I’m uncomfortable with others randomly gifting me.

Clearly, I need to shift my thinking.  I love to give to others; giving my resources, time, consult, licks and gifts.  This comes naturally to me and I assume others will take my offerings with grace and appreciation.  And, it feels good to me to give freely of myself.

So why is it shocking and uncomfortable to me when I receive random acts of giving?  Clearly, this is writing prompt (in true Judy Stone-Goldman, Reflective Writer, form).

Over the past weeks, I have been surprised by numerous gifts via snail-mail.  As I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago, after my surgery some FOA’s spontaneously and generously sent checks to aid with my medical bills.  I was floored by the giving nature of my friends and special bark-outs need to go out to Trish, Grandma, Bill and Karin, among others.

This week mama & I received two boxes from Amazon, and we hadn’t ordered anything.   Again, FOA’s (and FOM’s) understood our deepest desires and acted with their giving spirits.

unexpected gifts from friends thru Amazon -- I'm filled with gratitude!

One day this week, we received the DVD of the show Sons of Anarchy, season 3.  You see, mama & I started watching this program through our Netflix streaming service (which we since cut), had seen the first two seasons.  We had been on a long waiting list to receive the discs for season 3 (again, since we cancelled our service last week, our queue is now moot).

Weeks and weeks ago mama and her old high school chum, Jeff, had been discussing this series as Jeff is a diehard fan too.  He insisted we Must see season 3 as soon as possible — well, we already knew that!  When we last saw the show baby Abel had been kidnapped and Gemma was on the run — we have been on pins and needles for months!

And then the 4 disc series magically appeared in our mailbox with a gift note from Jeff.   Blimey — we didn’t expect a gift of this series!  Sure, we had passionately discussed our (mama’s!) love for Jax with Jeff, but never expected Jax and his gang to show up on our doorstep via Amazon!

Then today our mail carrier (whom I love to bark at — it’s stereotypical but I am a dog!) left another Amazon box on our doorstep.  This time it held the book “The Ultra Mind Solution”, a nutrition book that mama’s bestie, Brigid, has been evangelizing for months.    We saw Brig just two weeks ago and didn’t even discuss the book, yet there it was on the porch.

Receiving support and love through Amazon is seriously underrated!  And, I must admit, that I’m a bit mystified about how to react to such caring and love from mama’s decades-old friends.

For me (& mama), it’s easier and more comfortable to give than to receive — why is that?  I seriously need to work on this…

I suppose a surprise gift — you know, that unexpected “something” — is even more appreciated by those on the receiving end than a gift for a birthday or holiday — the “expected” gift.  Let’s all commit to practicing random acts of giving and immense gratitude when we are receiving these heart-felt, unanticipated acts of generosity.

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I’m on a News Fast

I’m not watching or reading much news this week… the headlines alone are filled with such negative words.  Crash.  Riots.  Outrage.  Decline.  More outrage.  Famine.  Recession.  Depression.  And more outrage.  It’s all Chicken Little and the sky falling down and it’s just not good.

I’m a pup who likes to stay current and involved, but sometimes a break is needed.  I’ve mentioned “news fasting” in the past and this week I am fasting.  Sure my brain is grumbling for it’s fill of fodder, but after a couple of days without, I feel satiated reading food blogs, tuning into cooking shows, re-reading the final Harry Potter and re-watching Arrested Development.  (Why was that show not a big hit???  It was brilliant, I tell you, brilliant!)

But I digress…

I may be on a news fast but I still want dinner!

These are my forms of distraction at the moment.  As a politically-minded and worldly pooch I’m always ready for the next issue, the next election.  But right now I feel tentative about the upcoming year… I see the headlines getting harsher and I don’t know that my stomach can handle that (now that I’m getting used to the fast).

When I’m needed, I know I’ll be ready for action.  But for now, I comfort myself with my friends, family and revisiting old favorites.  And I think this is a fine manner for taking a break.

Mama is busy with new creative and business ideas while I’m taking a breather.  Even a dog needs a little down time to be oblivious to the world and chillax once in awhile.

Do you need a break from the newest news sometimes?  When the world’s too much too handle, how do you regroup?

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