Tag Archives: airedale terrier

Putting on my Happy Shoes

This week I am mostly learning the art of awareness and stepping back from overworking myself.

It has a busy time for me as we are launching our charitable cause and super exciting venture Friends for Sharks. We had an absolute hoot filming our promo video for this. I couldn’t stop laughing every time I forgot what to say, the sun shone down on us and we got to spend time at the beach talking about oceans, inspiration and following your dreams. What more could I ask for?!

It feels incredible to be following this journey after some difficult times recently. Yes I am a little apprehensive at times, having given up our paid work to do this (eek) but I’m also feeling pretty perky and bold as I put on my happy shoes and have a metaphorical dance around the room each morning. I love my life!

Please take a peek at our promo video.

Enjoy the scenery, the oceans and us having a little chat about our plans.

It is awesome for me to think we are committed full time to raising money for charity for an entire year. Life is too short to focus solely on personal financial gain and already we are enjoying devoting ourselves and our voices to a good cause. I am determined we will raise enough sponsorship and donations to make Friends for Sharks a success and, best of all, we will inspire people around the world to be the change they wish to see. What is not to love about a plan like that?! I am over the moon excited that we already have our first talk booked; at Melbourne aquarium next year.

Do you know anyone that would like to host us as guest speakers?

Please point them in the direction of our tour itinerary.

If you feel inspired to support us with a donation, please check out our happy little GoFundMe campaign and share it with your friends and family. Every penny counts to us and it is all for a fantastic cause.

One of the challenges for me throughout this venture is finding my balance, my happy, and not overworking myself. I am often like an overeager puppy, with bucket loads of enthusiasm and no ability to stop myself until I become exhausted. The challenge for me right now is to rein myself in and make sure I give my body and mind time to rest. I am slowly starting to recognise that actually it is inefficient working all day long anyway. Our minds are capable of being more productive and efficient if we give them a chance to rest, to daydream and be creative.

The biggest thing I can do to help improve my work output is actually to work fewer hours and spend some time watching the world go by in my daydreams. One of my favourite ways to do this is my Daily Walk and I am trying hard to make sure I take time off every day in addition to that. Admittedly it is not always happening but it is a journey that I am committed to.

My other learning curve this week is about being fearless. I am practising pulling on my superhero pants, reminding myself I can do this and being fearless about the future. I waste far too much time on pointless worries and ‘what ifs’ and I don’t want to be that way. I have no idea how the next year will pan out (will I end up homeless with fleas? Possibly, maybe not, I don’t know) but I can choose not to be fearful and to embrace whatever lies ahead with absolute acceptance and a pretty welcome mat.

On this beautiful afternoon I am practising creating that welcome mat in my mind and it looks a little like this.

Be fearless, enjoy today and accept whatever comes your way with a welcome mat

and your favourite pair of happy shoes.

Onwards we go!

Inspire Me

There are so many awesome blog posts inspiring me right now. Here are my favourites that are definitely worth reading.

In the Stillness of WillowHill: Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet

Totally Inspired Mind: Words of wisdom found this week

Leap Like a Frog: Living your life happily ever after

Apartment Wife: Hopeful beginnings

With Love from CA: A look inside the art portfolio

This Italian Family: The world’s largest tree house

Life Paths for Better Endings: The quest

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Just keep walking

Throughout daily life there is one simple habit that has kept me on an even keel; walking.

I have always referred to my daily walk as my Sanity Walk and refuse to miss a single dose of it. It doesn’t matter where I am walking, what has happened in the day and whether it is pouring with rain or bright sunshine. It can be morning, noon or night, I don’t care. It is my moment to stomp, march, skip, meander and wander along paths of every kind and in every country I visit. No matter how grumpy or miserable I may feel beforehand, my Sanity Walk uplifts and inspires me. Some of the greatest decisions I have made in my life have occurred during my walks. Stepping one foot in front of the other has  seen me through devastating times and serious injury when it was all I could do to keep walking whilst tears filled my eyes and threatened to trip me up.
In honour of my humble, yet irresistible, potters I am sharing some of my favourite walking moments from the years gone by, just as I step out of the door to go on my next adventure.
Keep treading those paths and life will continue to unfold.

For the Free-Fall

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How do you love someone? Do you love them with part of your heart, with the part that isn’t afraid to be cast aside and brought to your knees? The part that can tolerate time, is a friend of patience and knows the meaning of unconditional. The part that has no memory of rejection and can only see the light and good in others. Or do you love them with another part of your heart? The part that knows all too well how painful love can be and knows the sorrow that comes from a thousand goodbyes and letting go. Or perhaps the part that wants? Wants more gifts, more acceptance, more attention, more of whatever it can take from the object of its affection?

Or do you close your eyes, take a deep breath and love someone completely, with all of you? With every curve of your heart, every blink and every whisper of your soul. Because to love completely and unconditionally is to be truly alive yet it is the biggest risk and freefall you can imagine.

You don’t have a choice who you love. When your heart finds its kindred spirit you may as well give up logic and reason because your heart will only beat louder the more you protest. But you do have a choice in HOW you love that someone. What you choose to do to change that person’s life, to enrich their days and bring laughter into their soul and your own. And that is where I am at today. Pondering love and how to go about it more graciously.

I promised myself a year ago that I would learn to love more unconditionally, that I would strive to see the good in everyone and be less judgmental and more compassionate. This is not an easy task at times. I can be judgmental and about as subtle as a brick with my opinions of others. I am compassionate but that can fade away when I got bored of hearing others moan about their lives. I have little time for pessimists and negativity despite knowing I should be more understanding of their pain. As for loving unconditionally, I am working on it but it confuses me. I can’t decide who it is I need to love more unconditionally – myself, others or both? So far I have taken it upon myself to find reasons to be truly thankful for the people that have entered my life and hurt my deeply. I figured that if I can find a way to love them, I can let them go. And it worked. It wasn’t easy but I can honestly say I am thankful for those people because they gave me the opportunity to become more compassionate, to grow in strength and forgiveness. To find a way to heal and see the good in whom they are. They were doing their best. And thanks to them I can rightly assume the title Queen of Bouncing Back – which is an ace title, I like it. I am sure you all have people in your life that have given you as much. They are strange gifts, in ugly paper, but they are gifts none the less.

I really don’t want to be a spoilt person; someone that expects everyone else to solve my problems, to shower gifts upon me and generally adore me. I suspect I have had my moments of being that way in the past. I probably still have my moments now. Do we all? I don’t know. What I wish for is to be kind to others, to recognise their greatness, to support and encourage them regardless of what their opinion of me is and to do this especially for the people that, quite frankly, really annoy me at times. If I can find the good in everyone I think it will make me a better person. If I can learn to love truly and unconditionally then I have found the gold at the end of my rainbow. But that is my tricky area…unconditional love.

How exactly do you do it? What defines unconditional love and how do you know when you are doing it right? As far as I am aware, there is no qualification in this and no guide book to show you the way. No exam I can study for and know I will pass. Though I do like the sound of ‘The Lonely Planet Guide to Unconditional Love: Find Your Paradise Within’. Do you love someone that physically hurts you and tells you to ‘go hug yourself’ when you come to them in tears? Is that unconditional love, as you are sticking by them no matter what they do to you and you love them regardless of their flaws? Or perhaps the unconditional love in that situation is to walk away because you love yourself unconditionally and they are clearly a moron. I would like to think most relationships don’t involve such extremes but they are stories I have heard from many. And at what point do you withdraw your love because someone doesn’t love you back? Perhaps unconditional love would tell you to just keep on loving them anyway and not to expect anything in return. It is unconditional after all. But then that could mean a lifetime of pining after someone like a dog that knows it has left a bone ‘just there’ and won’t move until said bone magically reappears from the depths of underneath the sofa cushion.

I still don’t know the answer, as you can tell, and I am going to keep on practising and keep on finding out what unconditional love means to me. To date my favourite quotes on love have come from two dear male friends of mine and from one of my favourite films The Horse Whisperer. They go like this:

‘I didn’t love her because it was right. I just loved her’

‘She gives me true, unconditional, uncomplicated love’

‘I just love her and expect nothing in return’

Simple but beautifully put. And the reason I have been pondering this today? Because of a story my friend told me and when I thought of her this morning that story came to my mind. She has a friend that fell in love with a woman, fell utterly in love with her knowing that she had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer before they had even met. He didn’t turn away from her because of her illness. He just spent time with her and loved her. He saw her beauty, adored and nursed her and from what my friend tells me they were utter soul mates. They only had a few short years together before she passed away but in that time they brought light and love into the world and they celebrated their love by getting married. That they both had the courage and strength of heart to walk that path of love knowing that it would only last a short time leaves me utterly speechless. That to me is unconditional love. I look around at family and friends and I see many similar stories, perhaps less heartbreaking but just as real. Examples of where two people have chosen to love regardless of what may come from it, regardless of the free-fall and with ALL of their heart. You truly inspire me.

And in case you are wondering why I have put a picture of an Airedale terrier on this post, let me explain. For those of you that have not met him, this is Mr Paddington Bear. He was my beloved Bear, my angel and one of my two Airedale babies. I have never known such a loving, enthusiastic, happy soul as his. He liked to howl every day and would swish his tail slowly in bliss with every ahwooooo. He would wag his tail for no reason whatsoever and would sit on my lap at every opportunity, no mean feat for a 33Kg dog, simply because he loved to be held. No matter how tired or grumpy I was he just loved me. He loved life and for that he deserves to be here as a reminder of what this unconditional love thing is all about. And the best bit….whilst I miss him and his sister Hester more than I can possibly describe in words, I know that they are where they belong and living the life they truly deserve. They are giving just as much unconditional love to their new family and they are truly adored in return. With Paddington’s howl, Hester’s black gum drop nose and eight big bear paws they are very much driving the unconditional love train happily into the future. And the photograph, it was taken when I was ill once and lying in bed. He lay on me all day until I was better, poking me with his wet nose occasionally when I fell asleep.