Live Love Learn

Live to fullest

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Yes, the glass can be full, not only half full.

In the book, “The Secret”, a primary lesson is that you receive what you attract through your thoughts. This concept has been used in many motivational talks. I am in agreement with it, as I have seen it work, and not work, in my own life.

What I will do is add my passion which is how animals can inspire us.

In many talks, I have explained that I believe Daniel’s incredible positive attitude helped him survive the gas chamber. What is even more amazing is his consistency in carrying this 100% positive attitude into every day. He has been part of our family since 2011 and I have observed him diligently. Now I need to follow him! Of course, Daniel is not the only one who has this trait, just don’t tell him!

However, more animals carry this ball than humans. What is also important to note are the ripple effects. Like a stone dropped into the middle of a pond, ripples go out far and wide. Then when it reaches the shore the ripple comes back a little showing this is a reciprocal action. When you give out positive intentions, they come back to you. This is a spiritual gift to the world and should be noticed and appreciated more often.

Please share the animals you know who can add to this needed spiritual value. My thought is to put these stories on the news.

Love at highest levels

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When two people enter into any relationship, each one will look for attention and/or affection from the other especially if they sense they are offering more than they are receiving. Animals inspire us to drop this mindset and to give without expectation of receiving.

This really is love at the highest level, and can open roads to more peace in our life. Isn’t it the expectation that gives us stress? And isn’t it true that in most cases giving without the expectation provides more in return?

The first place we must start is with ourselves. We must give ourselves love and self-care without counting a cost or expectations beyond realistic.

When I look at my Shelby, I see someone who leads the way in this important spiritual quality.

She will always give without expectations and she also takes care of herself. Just check out the time she allows herself on her lounge chair.

Healing a Forgiveness

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In 1812 France, a dog was brought out on a rowboat by his owner to the middle of the lake. The dog was thrown overboard in an attempt to end his life. He kept swimming back to the boat trying to get back in. Each time the man shoved him back into the water until the man eventually lost his balance and fell in. The dog rescued the man and they both got back to the boat safely.

This is truly the most extreme example of forgiveness, and the dog could be deemed a PhD expert.

We can all use a little instruction on this all important, but arguably most difficult, attribute of spirituality.

Most major religions speak of the need for forgiveness, but I am not sure if any of them have determined that the best examples are animals. Yes, the ones treated the worst (overall) are those that can inspire us the most. This should be no surprise since those “leaders” of many religions were also harshly treated and offered encouragement on forgiveness. (Jesus is an example.)

There are two important qualities animals have that make them so good at forgiveness. First is living in the now and second is no ego.

Let’s examine each in our next blog post.

In the meantime, examine your initial thoughts.

Living in the now is a common topic, and it is very important in processing issues where we need forgiveness. However, it is just as important to “do the work” of the past and give some consideration to the future. An animal can inspire us to live in the now and can offer some help in processing the past. But the truth is we, as humans and more complex, must do more work.

Coming to terms with things in the past is important, or your “now” is not as peaceful and the forgiveness journey is harder. For the future, sometime should be split positively looking at a future that contains forgiveness of the past.

Ego is another common topic, and here animals can really lend assistance. Often times we get caught up in “how dare them for doing that to me”. The quicker we can drop this attitude, as animals do, the quicker we can move forward on the forgiveness journey.

Stop for a minute and always consider that it is not personal and often it is more about the other person than it is about you.


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Being creative is one of those “you have it or not” talents, or is it? True, not all of us can paint a picture or get a top grade in art class. However, the deeper sense of being creative lies in how we view all creation. After all the two words start out the same.

As the artist takes pride in painting a picture, we must take the same pride in how we respect all creation. We need to get creative in this endeavor and look for ways to see the pains and points of view of the other individual.

The skill in opening your mind to what they might be going through makes you not only a creative artist but deepens your spiritual perspective.

I am open to say that I am really working on this creative aspect of my spiritual life. However, the times I have had a creative boom, I feel more peaceful myself.

Courage to be

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There is an unfortunate trend that encourages people to ”re-define” themselves. The obvious question is why, and what is wrong with the original you!

We are all born with a purpose and unique gifts, so there is no need to pursue anything else. The ripple effect trap to this trend is to spend too much time comparing ourselves to others.

Enter our heroes!!

Animals never fall into this place regardless of what negative life events take place. After being discarded and placed in a gas chamber, Daniel the Beagle had every reason to start over in his life. How much more worthless can you feel? However, he remained the happy go lucky dog he always was and continues to be.

When Daniel won his category of Hero Dog in 2012, we had the pleasure of meeting Gabe. Gabe was a bomb-sniffing dog who had saved the lives of many people in the military. It would have been easy for Daniel to feel inferior to Gabe, but he didn’t; he interacted with him, proud of who he was, but respecting Gabe for his talents.

As we progress through life there are many situations I call quick sand traps that can slowly pull us down in questioning ourselves. We gain spiritual foundation by appreciating who we are and having the courage to remain that way.

Challenges with Nobility

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When something breaks, our first thought is how to put it back together. How bad is the break, what glue will work to make it strong again?

A new beginning is usually a glue that works. Shelby was broken physically and emotionally after being abused. Thankfully her surgeon fixed the physical part but usually the emotional pain is more difficult.

The glue that Shelby used was to serve others compassionately. Knowing how it felt to be treated so badly during a time when she was very down, her goal was clearly to make sure that others did not have to experience that feeling.

Shelby had another strategy that I believe could easily be extended to other animals including farm animals. Regardless of how badly you might be treated, stay true to yourself and try as best as you can not to lash out at others especially those who are “innocent bystanders”.

Our society celebrates length of life. Many times, we see people being celebrated for living past 100 and even animals are spoken of as living a longer life then what they normally. One way to capture this message is to focus instead on the quality of life, instead of the quantity of life. Some animals and people live only a short time, too short in many situations, however, it is that much more important to treasure each moment and learn from all that they have to offer.