There are So Many books and articles about The Power of Positive Thinking. Probably one of the most well known was written by Norman Vincent Peale who wrote the book with that title. Then there is Tony Robbins who is also very well known and wrote Personal Power II. There are so many other good self improvement books. There may be different approaches but I think most have the same thoughts and processes. No, I have not read all of these but I have read others and from having lived a long time, gone to college, worked for many years and attended scores of training classes I have been exposed to most of what has been written. Of course, I have also been on the internet reading more articles.
Right now, to be
truthful, I am wondering if I really want to write about being positive. That, in and of itself, is not very positive
now is it ? I think I am tired. I also
am being drawn outside because it is a nice afternoon so I am going to go
outside and walk around a bit. I will be right back.
Ok, that and a cup of coffee hopefully has helped. At about 4 pm I can almost count on getting in a slight funk. Normal, right ? We all have our moments. I remember writing in a paper for college about having a bad day and fixing it by taking my dog and going for a walk behind our house and how it always made me feel better. All was right in my world again.
The point I am making is that it is not always easy to be positive. We have to make the effort and sometimes it is difficult. It does not take much to throw us off course.
I firmly believe that there are many things we can do to keep ourselves feeling positive about ourselves. We have to be very proactive and we need to find ways/things that sooth us. Seeking out something that comforts us will be different for everyone.
So what can you do
? I once knew someone who would do Yoga
to be able to maintain a positive attitude. Take a nap ? Yes, if you are
tired. Read a book. Listen to music; I
love that one. Right now I really enjoy
listening to Andrea Bocelli and his son, Matteo. There is a truly beautiful video of them
singing “Fall On Me”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChcR2gKt5WM. I smile every single time. What a beautiful
expression of love between father and son.
Find something that
makes you feel happy. I strongly believe that will bring about a positive
attitude more than anything else.
So we have to be
intentional. We need to do it each and
every day. I now have a habit of
searching the internet for quotes. I love them and they help me be more
positive and I use them in my blog posts and share them on Tweeter, Facebook
and on Pinterest.
What are you thankful for ? When you are feeling negative you should think about what you have in your life that you are grateful for. Do you have a good friend, a spouse, a child ? Are you working and have a job you like ? Are you able to think of something you like and get up and actually do it ? It can be virtually anything that makes you feel happy. If you are able to do it you have something to be grateful for.
If you are in a
negative relationship, or have a friend that is negative, I think it is
important to either give up the friendship or actually vocalize to the other
person how you feel and tell them that it makes you feel negative too. Be proactive in that relationship in offering
help to the other person. Maybe they do
not realize the affect they are having.
Maybe you can help; that is being a good friend and it is definitely
something to feel thankful for. If your
efforts are not accepted then it is time to move on; you do not need the
negativity in your life. I lived with an
extremely negative person for years. In some ways in the beginning I thought I
could help them but realized over time that was not a reality. The reality was it damaged me and it has
taken years to move on from that relationship. Kick them out and then be
thankful you were able to do it.
Doing positive things helps boost self confidence which in turn changes your whole attitude and will actually affect your appearance. You will smile more often, stand up straighter, and walk differently with a stronger stride and better posture. You will be more open to other people and become more relaxed in different situations. Make doing those positive things your daily routine; make them your new habits.
An article I read had a wonderful suggestion for starting each day with a positive thought. This would be beneficial for yourself, and as she suggested, it would be a nice gift for a friend or family member. What she did was cut up 365 pieces of paper and wrote little notes, memories, quotes, song lyrics, descriptive words about the person you are gifting, etc. and put them in a jar so that one could be pulled out each day. A positive, feel good, way to start each day. The article was published in Alteristic-the Power of Positivity by Darcie Folsom
As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day !
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique”. Martha Graham
When I was using my treadmill on Sunday I was using that time to think about my blog and what I had posted on Sunday and I was thinking about my family and I thought about life force. That is the term that just popped into my head. It isn’t a term I would normally think of so I decided to look up it’s meaning.
This has led me on a thoughtful journey. I found “Life Force” a difficult term, or idea, to define or comprehend. Perhaps because it would mean so many different things to different people.
Synonyms for life force are: joie de vivre, life, spirit, vital force, vitality. Found at https:www.thesaurus.com/browsw/life%20force>
Practices such as Yoga or Tai Chi often refer to the Life Force. Looking for references into what theory they each may follow I found an article written by Elizabeth Palermo, Associate Editor of LiveScience, In the article I found reference to Qigong and to Tai Chi. I had not heard of Qigong before. According to Peter Wayne, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the research director at Harvard’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine , Qigong is sometimes translated as “vital energy cultivation” or “mastery of your energy.”
Also according to Mr. Wayne “The chi in the word ‘tai chi’ is a different character and has a different meaning [than the ‘qi’ in qigong]. But the practice of tai chi, in my opinion, is equivalent to a form of qigong. You’re training to have more awareness and control over your ‘life force’ — your physiology or energy,” Wayne told Live Science. “And some forms of qigong are almost indistinguishable from tai chi, he added.”
If you are interested in Yoga, Qigong or Tai Chi I recommend reading this article. It does go into greater detail about the mind body connection within these practices and also explores the internal, external healing benefits and the related field of biofield therapy including Healing Touch, Johrei, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.
All new to me but it is looked at as part of the Life Force. Reading what I have just written you may also be wondering just exactly what is Life Force. To me it is my connection with my family. My mother and father who brought me into this world along with my brothers and sisters. My sons who are an extension of me. Our lives are all connected. My life force was given to me by my parents and I in turn gave my life force to my sons. Now that life force has been given to my grandchildren.
All people are part of the Life Force as are all animals, plants, trees, plants, etc. All of these forms are also connected and in some form sustain each other. This conversation could go on and on and on. How we interact with people and virtually everything else affects our well being. What we do each day is impactful. Just consider Global Warming; what we do each day affects everything and everyone. We each, individually, have an impact on ourselves and each other and indeed the world around us.
What we do, how we interact, will affect our life force. I feel our life force is our physical being and it is also definitely our mental and/or spiritual being. We need to feed, fuel and protect all of these things. We need to be aware of how we feel and more in tune with ourselves. I think it is easy to ignore so many feelings and just push them away.
So how do we do that ? Basically, we need to adopt as many good habits as possible and they are virtually the same habits you should adopt for everything you can think of. First we need to fuel our bodies by eating well, eating all the foods that are good for our bodies. Easy right ? Sometimes, but it is a choice we make every day. Should I eat this or that ? There are so many choices when we go to the grocery store. I have become an avid reader of the ingredients on food packages. Fortunately I like and enjoy the foods that are good for me; my husband, not so much.
The only experience I have that is close to meditation is at the end of yoga class when every one relaxes, closes their eyes and tries to clear our minds for about 5 minutes. You can sit , but normally you would lay down and cover up with a blanket. There is soft music playing like the sound of water. It is very relaxing and it does help to clear the mind. I enjoy it so maybe I will start practicing meditation.
We should all be exercising and I know this can be a struggle but it is so beneficial for our health. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise and to be truthful it is mostly being lazy on my part. There are some really valid reasons for me to exercise, one in particular, my father and his sister both died of Alzheimer’s disease. Exercise has been proven to help so why would I not want to do it ? Even with that I still find it difficult.
Learning. I have read so many articles about expanding your brain, actually making it healthier by learning a new skill. It can be anything, learning a new language, knitting/crochet, sewing, a new sport such as golf. Any new skill that you have to think about and any different ways of using your body will stimulate your brain. It is possible to grow new brain cells. There are several articles which can be found and I have included one here; https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/can-you-grow-new-brain-cells
Also important in maintaining a healthy Life Force are rest and relaxation. A good night’s sleep is crucial and sometimes very hard to come by. We live such busy lives and there is always something to do. Another habit we should strive to develop. going to bed at a set time each night, stopping certain activities, like social media, about an hour before we go to bed. When we lose sleep it is very difficult to truly make up for it and it has a negative affect on our well being, our life force.
You may wonder why I have the image of Esperanza Spalding at the top of this post. When I was researching I came across her name, the image, and a great article (interview) about her, “The Life Force of Esperanza Spalding”. To be truthful I had never heard of her but I had to read the article and I was impressed. She is a multi-Grammy award winner and she teaches at Harvard. She wants to activate your senses through Jazz. She has a new album called “12 Little Spells” which furthers this distinct methodology by exploring the art of bodily healing. Say What ? This is one smart lady and I am definitely going to be listening to 12 Little Spells; I have to check it out. I recommend reading this article because it is very interesting. You can find it here: http://officemagazine.net/life-force-esperanza-spalding
I hope I helped explore and introduce you to some interesting facts about our Life Force. As always, I would appreciate your comments.
The article I really enjoyed and feel could be beneficial was written by John Kehoe. “Life Force I” which you can find here: https://www.learnmindpower.com/article/life-force-part-i/ . It is a good read and the nice part is he continues his writing in Part 2. He is the founder of Mind Power and has written several books.
Empathy is “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Definition from the Oxford Dictionary. It does not include the desire to alleviate distress; to take steps to help the person in distress.
So are you
compassionate ? Before writing this if
someone had asked me if I were compassionate I would have said yes. After reading and researching I am not sure I
truly am. I think I have empathy and I
do think I am compassionate but not as much as I could, or should, be. Compassion indicates that you have to have
the desire to alleviate another person’s distress. I may have the desire but what does it take
to really follow through and act on that desire. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I
think most people are similar to me. We
have empathy, but we do not practice
Thankfully I know
there are many truly compassionate people and they are indeed special.
When you watch the nightly news or information on the internet, the feed on face book, what is your reaction ? I quite often cringe at people’s cruelty and the pain that people are going through. I make the right sounds of anguish, say the right things but do I actually do anything. I might make a contribution when I am able but do I actually take what would be considered true action ? No. I think most people would also say no.
I also understand
that to be compassionate it does not have to be a grand gesture or action. Most of us do not have the ability to do
so. We do not have the financial means
or the ability to go to a disaster area to help.
How do we practice
being compassionate ? How can we be compassionate toward others ?
I think we have to
be open minded and try to understand what other people are going through on a
day to day basis. We do not know what
their life is like or what their day has been like. So do not be judgmental or too quick to jump
to a conclusion. The best and easiest
way to be compassionate is to smile. I
love it when someone smiles at me. How
can you not smile back ? So smile often,
at many people, every chance you get.
“Compassion, tenderness, patience, responsibility, kindness, and honesty are actions that elicit similar responses from others.” — Jane
I believe that each
aspect of the above quote are all part of compassion; have patience, show
tenderness and kindness and be honest.
To show, or practice, compassion we need to not only be aware of others but ourselves as well. If we are having a bad day, if we are over tired or stressed, then it will be difficult to be open and aware of other people and their problems. So be kind to yourself first and you will be better equipped to be kind to someone else.
Ironically, we tend
to not always be aware of those we are closest to, in particular our
families. How easy is it to take them
for granted or to be easily critical.
They love us right so they will understand. No, that is just wrong, but
I know I do it. I hope I am wrong but I
think most people do it too.
So become aware of
the interactions with your family and your friends and treat them with
compassion. Be Kind to them and also to
your self and then do the same to everyone else as well.
A smile or kind gesture done each day should be a habit we each maintain. It should be easy right ? It should also be honest and sincere. If you ask someone how they are and if there is anything you can do to help, mean it. Don’t just ask the question and then not follow through. If you know you can’t, or won’t, follow through then don’t offer the help. A kind word and a smile will always be beneficial.
Can you imagine how
much better the world would be if we were all more open minded and aware and
that we all showed compassion toward each other ?
“There is a
nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy and a grace in
I am currently under construction.
Thank you for your patience.
Under Construction, have you ever felt this way ?
Absolutely ! I bet you have and I know that I have. But when you think
about it each of us is under construction; in one stage or another. We may not
realize, or acknowledge it, but I believe it to be true.
Humans are sort of like that onion we have heard about where when you
peel away a layer and sometimes we cry. We do build ourselves in layers, a
little bit at a time. Sometimes the
layers we build may be defective or might not fit.
Life is always in flux. We may
have a perfect, or near perfect, life or we may have any variation of what
would be called a not so perfect life.
Good or bad there will be ups and downs and there are always ways to
improve ourselves and our lives.
If our lives are moving along smoothly with no major problems it is
easy and normal to just accept, enjoy and go with the flow. But I think it is
also in our DNA to strive to be better and to dream about more. The definition
of “more” may be different for each one of us.
My definition of “more” has changed as I have moved along my path in life. Childhood into adulthood, single, working, marriage, children, divorce, then work again. Raising children as a single parent and working hard to move ahead at work, going to college while working, getting promotions. Striving to better myself and give my children a good life. Weaving in relationships, the ho-hum, the very bad and then finally the good. A new marriage, moving and moving again. Retirement from working for a company.
Relationships with my children through all this and, yes, they did survive, as did I. Were they affected by everything that happened to me and how I handled it? Yes, they were. When we are in the moment of something, especially the negatives, we do not always think of how it is effecting our family, or our friends or our work. Everything can be affected; we just may not realize it at the time. That is not a good thing.
I am lucky and have wonderful children, now wonderful grandchildren and the joy they bring. I have a Wonderful Family. They sustain me.
What I am attempting to say is that life is a never changing
event. Sometimes there are negatives.
There may be the unexpected events that happen like losing a job or a health
problem. Sometimes there are positives, like getting that promotion or getting
a good pay increase. Sometimes there are those wondrous events like the birth
of your children and grandchildren; loving someone who loves you back.
None of these things are guaranteed and most take a good deal of
effort. So how do we make it all easier
because sometimes it can be overwhelming.
There will be highs and there will be lows and sometimes the highs will
be just as difficult to cope with as the lows.
Life can be an emotional roller coaster and we may not be prepared for
all it gives us.
Hopefully when either a high or a low in our life happens we will have
a supportive family and circle of friends.
Someone who will celebrate the highs and help us keep centered and who
will also listen and be there to help us when there are lows. That unit of
support is so important. If you are
religious then turning to your faith and talking to a member of the
clergy/priest, minister, rabbi, etc. is also a good option.
I am going to reference an article I read that really brought one thing
home to me. For some reason I had forgotten how this felt, finally. The article was written by Anna Hlavsova and
the article name is “Highs and Lows Are Part of Life”. In the first paragraph she writes,
“If you are like the
majority of humans, then your coping strategies are likely to include
avoiding the actual experience. Distracting or rationalizing is a common
way to stop feeling what you are feeling”.
It is so easy to try to avoid the pain of the actual experience. We can look at it any which way, and believe me, you will, but that is the worst thing you can do. It will fester, it will hurt and you are just expanding it’s control over you. Do Not Let That Happen.
In reality, what
hurts you the most may be your own fault and no one wants to accept that. No, no, no, it was because of this or that,
but somewhere along the way you made a decision. That decision probably lead to
another and another that were not going to work out, were not going to help
you, and somewhere inside you knew it, or should have, and but you did them
As fast as you can take a deep breath and start looking at what happened and dissect it. It will not be easy and this is where you need that support group. Sit down and wrap their compassion around you like a blanket and talk and maybe cry and/or scream, but Get It Out. If you do not it will be with you for years; trust me. In some way, large or small, it will affect everything you do. You will may feel incompetent, you definitely will lose some, or all, of the confidence you have worked so hard to achieve. You will question yourself over and over and you will lose a lot of sleep. I cannot tell you how important this is. Seek Help. Your friends and family may not be enough so consider a professional. Wow, I did not start out intending to say, or share, all of that but as you might be able to tell I did go through this and it was not pleasant so it was worth sharing.
I think we all have
a little voice inside that sometimes will whisper to us and we should listen.
That is an opportune time to reflect and question before we totally commit to
what we are doing.
So, we are under
construction. When you build a house we look for a house plan we really like
and then we hire a professional to build it for us. We are putting in a good amount of effort to
gives us the best outcome. We should be
doing the same thing with building the best us.
How do we do that
? Well, we can make a good plan and we
should look for the best information and/or people to help us. Think about what happens at school or work. We read and gain knowledge and we listen to
instructors and take classes. We learn
and we expand our knowledge. There is
structure to all of this and there should be in our life as well.
We should have a plan and we should have a set of goals. They should be your goals, not someone else’s. Set a goal for what you want to do, what you really want in your life. Then break that goal down into steps; those steps are what you will follow to get to that goal. Each goal will require taking different steps. Start with the easiest step and then move on to the next. The nice thing is as you accomplish one step you will gain some confidence and it will be easier to move on to the next step.
Realize that it will
not happen as quickly as you would like.
It will take time and effort just like building a house. In the long run
I believe we are all better off when we give ourselves time. Make a plan, do
the first step and then give your self time to assimilate what you have just
done and how it has positively affected you. Be sure to keep going though and
take the next step.
Going back to your
support group. Talk to someone you value
as a friend and let them know what you are doing and ask them to help you keep
on track. It will make you feel more committed
to your plan. If no one knows it is
really easy to just stop. If you have
someone who you trust and admire at work ask them to be a mentor and to give
Write it all
down. I do this all the time and it
helps to be able to see it, read it and make adjustments if necessary. It will help you stay focused. It is also a way to make you responsible; you
made the plan and you are the only one who can complete it. Own It.
As you are working
toward your goals be aware that there may be some ups and downs. You may reach some obstacles or roadblocks;
something that holds you back. Be
prepared for that and understand that it happens. Be kind to your self and realize that you are
not the only one this happens to. Do
some assessment of your habits and how you might improve those as well to make
Make a schedule that
you can follow and look at it everyday.
Schedule in time for each step of your plan. It is too easy to say I know I have time to
do that tomorrow, then tomorrow comes and you realize you really don’t. Feeling rushed to complete something creates
pressure and that leads to stress. Your
schedule should be realistic and it should always include personal time. Be sure to include time to enjoy yourself.
As you progress you
should also take time to step away and reward your self. Buy something that you may have really wanted
for a long time, go to a concert, go away for the weekend, or just plan a
special day for your family or a friend. Listen to music, read a book. Give
your self quiet time. Congratulate
yourself for Moving forward !
You will find there are common threads in each article but each brings a slightly different perspective. We are all different so reading different articles is always a good idea. You may find something in one or all that is helpful.
It’s a New Day And A New Beginning. Go For It.
important. But the doing is even more so. You can have the perfect plan, but if
you never set it in motion it doesn’t matter how good of a plan you have.
Rather take one step at a time, and you find yourself amazed.” John Pa
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
Edgar Albert Guest (20 August 1881 in Birmingham, England – 5 August 1959 in Detroit, Michigan) was a prolific English-born American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People’s Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life.
How many times have you had an idea, a dream, and not followed through ? We should all listen to the wisdom of the words in this poem and take them to heart. Learn them, remember them and make them part of who we are. It is too easy to think, or believe, that we can’t do something when in reality if we just try we could and by trying we learn and become better, stronger, more confident human beings.
This is a trait we should adopt and share with other people and in particular our children. If we can instill this value in all the children then this would indeed be a better world.
From experiences I have had previously, mostly my work experience, there are things I know you have to do to ease trepidation. The most important is to be prepared. When I had to do presentations, or speak in front of a large group, I would spend hours writing everything down and going over and over what I was going to say. I did a lot of tweaking so it sounded better and then I would visualize and practice. It helped a great deal. The initial stepping out in front of people was always a little frightening but because I was so well prepared once I started talking it was fine. It also helps to smile; it will ease your mind and those around you.
I am going to be taking my first Tai Yoga class this week. I have taken Yoga classes before, although it has been several years, but I am still a little apprehensive about walking into the class for the first time. How many people will be there, will I know anyone, how long have they been taking the class and will there be someone else there who is a newbie? To ease my nervousness I have looked on their website, I have looked at their Facebook page and did a live chat to ask questions. It is important to ask questions before hand so when you arrive you won’t have to take time away from the allotted class time, ie: do you have to sign a waiver, when do you have to have it done? do you have to have a yoga mat of your own? So I have done all that. I know it will be fine and I understand that I really have no reason to be nervous.
If you are not familiar with something then it really helps to do some research and look at examples of how something is done. Prepare before you start. I will use Tai Chi as an example. Go on the internet and use YouTube and look for examples of movements or stances. That way you will have some understanding of what to expect and it will not be totally unfamiliar to you. Perhaps practice a little before you go to your first class.
YouTube is a great source for doing just about anything. When I decided to make two quilts for gifts this past Christmas I turned to YouTube a few times to learn how to properly do techniques like a french binding and it was very beneficial. It is much easier for me to be able to see something being done as opposed to reading instructions.
Something else I
want to do is learn how to use hand held weights. In this case I could join a gym and have a
personal trainer give me instructions and make sure I am doing it correctly.
But, and many of you may relate to this, it would cost money to do that and I
cannot afford it. So I have been looking
at free videos on line. Great examples
can be found. I recommend Shape.com and Health.com but there are many others.
Pinterest is a great source as well. I
have a Fitness board and it is a great place to store examples of exercises you
are interested in doing.
One perception I think quite a number of us have is thinking that people are watching and judging us. For the most part this is just not true. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “spotlight effect,” our tendency to believe that all eyes are on us when, in reality, no one’s paying attention.
This article was written about being a single woman and doing things alone. In my case I am questioning what it may be like if my husband were to die before me. We are both in our 70’s and retired and we do most everything together 24/7. So there are times I wonder about dining alone or going to the movies/theater, etc. and so many other things I might want to do.
I consider myself to be pretty independent so I think I would be ok with it but I would be nervous and uneasy, especially the first time. My viewpoint is also complicated by the fact my husband is a retired law enforcement officer and he always gives me instructions on how to be safe when I do on occasion go somewhere without him. I find it irritating and I do not want him to instill fear. He means well and I do pay attention to my surroundings which I think is important for everyone to do but I do not want to be scared about it either.
Our situation is also complicated by the fact that we adopted a dog who has extreme separation anxiety. When we go grocery shopping I go into the store and my husband and the dog wait in the car. Depending on what store we are going to my husband may be the one to do the shopping and I wait with the dog. So if I end up being by myself what would I do with the dog; hire a dog sitter or take him to doggy day care ? I will have to figure out a way to comfort him and also be independent myself.
I may be 70+ but I hope to live many more years and accomplish so much. It is my hope all of the things I am beginning to do now will guarantee I do live a longer, healthy and active live, mentally and physically.
“4 Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Doing things Alone During the Holidays” written by Rosemond Perdue Cranner, a blogger who writes about divorce, dating, life and love over 40 at RoundandRound Rosie
The advice given
applies to any time of the year, not just the holidays. The research she refers to in her blog was
done by Dr. Rebecca Ratner, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert
H. Smith School of Business.
The four points she
We Underestimate How Much We’d Enjoy a Solo Activity and Overestimate Our Discomfort.
Calm Down. People Aren’t Judging You.
View Your Outing as Educational.
Just Do It.
Don’t Put Your Life on Hold Until You Have People To Do Things With.
What I found in my research about doing things alone are quite similar and can, for the most part, apply to anyone of any age, male or female. Since starting my blog and my quest for Moving Forward in my life I have been doing a great deal of thinking about my life, my relationships and what is important to me. I am searching for ways to make my life easier and to be more focused in everything I do. It is so easy to procrastinate. I do it all the time and I know that is one of my biggest road blocks. When I have a deadline I accomplish so much more.
Just home from my First Tai-Yoga Class. It was awesome and I feel so good. What a great thing to do on the first day of spring. So here is a fitting quote from B.K.S. Iyengar, the founder of the style of modern yoga known as “Iyengar Yoga“:
“Change is not something we should fear. Rather it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
Happy Spring Everyone and Thank You For Reading My Blog !
Ever since I was a very small child I have been surrounded by
animals. There was always a dog or cat.
When I was very little I remember my brother having mice and there were these
tiny little babies. I remember watching them and holding them and looking back
I am amazed that they were allowed to be “pets”. Were they pets ? Or
did my brother hid their existence ? I
was young and I don’t remember how long they were even there. I just remember
how tiny they were and they were fascinating to me.
There were also a long row of rabbits cages outside. I know we ate a fair share of them and we
sold them as well. There were chickens
and my mother took care of them; she was scared of the rooster because he was
mean and would chase her. We also had a
So we had a combination of animals who were pets and farm animals who
provided us with food. Sometimes, as
with most young children, the lines blurred between which were which. It was a great experience for me and my
My oldest brother won a dog for a shooting contest he had entered. I don’t remember much about the details; I
just remember the dog and having puppies later.
I think we sold the puppies but I do remember the warm fuzzy feeling of
playing with them in the yard.
My Dad had a fondest for dogs and I remember two dogs in particular
that were special to him and helped create a stronger bond between us. The dogs were both mixed breeds and both had
great personalities. I do not remember
where we got the first dog but based on how we got the second dog, I am sure my
Dad found him somewhere and just brought him home.
His name was Lucky and he was with us for several years. He learned to chase cars when some
neighborhood boys would ride up and down in front of our house with noise
makers in the spokes of their bicycles.
That’s when it started and he moved on to cars. He would not go into the street but would run
on the sidewalk in front of our house. That was fine until our next door
neighbor backed out of his driveway and hit Lucky. I saw it happen and I ran
for my father. Lucky was alive but he
couldn’t get up.
I learned a lot that day about
my father when he tenderly picked up Lucky and carried him to the car and took
him to the vets. Lucky did not come home
with my Dad. His spine had been very
badly injured and so my Dad made the decision to have him euthanized. I was old enough at that time to realize how
much it affected my Dad and the sadness he was experiencing. I will never
forget the look on his face as he was carrying him.
My Dad was a realtor and a year
or two later he came home talking about some puppies he had seen at a house he
was selling. You could tell he was
really wanting one of those puppies. One
Sunday when we came home from church my Dad looked at me and asked if I wanted
to see those puppies. My Mom who had
just said she wanted to take a nap looked at my Dad and told him do NOT bring
home any puppies. Well we did.
His name was Dandy and he was a little Beagle mix. He was a great little dog and he was my Dad’s
companion. My Dad like to hunt and he
would go out after rabbits and pheasants.
Dandy always went with him until one day when Dandy was older he had run
off after a rabbit and my Dad could not find him. He came home distraught and then went back
out searching. This time he found
him. Dandy was getting a little old and
sometimes my Dad would have to carry him out of the hunting fields so he
couldn’t go with him any longer. Then
Dandy starting having episodes where he would shake and fall down or stumble
around and then he was starting to have accidents in the house and my Mom was
not happy. Shortly after that my Dad
took him to the vets and had him put down.
It was the only time I ever heard my Dad sobbing at night after everyone
else had gone to bed.
I know many people can relate to this.
When you have a pet you develop caring relationships with them. Some people will not relate at all. Over the years I have had many deep, caring
relationships with animals. They can
have a great impact on us and can help us in many ways. In my case they helped me understand my
father who was stern and not overly involved with his children. It was a
different time then and raising us was pretty much left up to my Mom.
Today I can see the rewards of owning a pet for my husband. We are older and his health has not been
good. We have always had pets in our
time together but I was always the driving force for having them. About a year and a half ago we got a new
dog. We had been looking for one for
awhile and this time it was my husband who decided on this dog. This dog is my husband’s best friend and he
unabashedly will tell you he loves him.
He makes my husband happy and better able to cope with his illness. I truly believe my husband will live longer
because of this dog. He relaxes him,
comforts him and makes him laugh.
There have been many, many studies done and many articles written about
the positive impact animals have with humans.
An article written by Steven Feldman, Executive Director, The Human
Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) called the interaction between us and a
pet that helps us to relieve stress caused by our everyday activities the PET
EFFECT. I totally agree. You can read it
Pets can help lower blood pressure and ease anxiety. Because we have to
provide care for any pet we will enjoy the benefit of more physical activity
and fresh air and even the potential for more human interaction depending on
where we live. Although I complain
sometimes when the weather is nasty about going outside to walk the dog it is
overall one of my most enjoyable activities. If I take him to the park then we
also get to interact with other people and their pets so it is enjoyable and
beneficial for both of us.
Personally I think that having a pet is a stress reliever. If I am feeling irritated or stressed in any
way I quite often will “talk” to my pets or pick them up and carry
them around. I can actually feel the
difference. It calms me down and I am
then able to go on with my day and feel better about myself. It also helps me to “talk” to
myself about whatever it was I might have been feeling at the time.
I like No. 7 – Keeps Us Present. I had not looked at it in this way before. Animals simply live in the here and now. How wonderful is that ? They do not look backward and worry about something that happened in the past. Just think about how much time you have wasted in your life time thinking about something you said or did. A prior relationship, something that happened at work, and how you said something you wish you had not. Our pets help us stay in the moment too and we need to focus on that so much more than we do. Ever watch a dog with his head hanging out the window with its ears flapping and its tongue hanging out. What joy !
I think the best part of having a pet is the feeling of well being they
bring with them. They make us better