Tag Archives: Success

Armor for Life

I was talking to my brother and his wife recently and mentioned that I have certain clothes that I wear when I anticipate I may need emotional comfort. I don’t know if this is something other people do or not, but it has always been helpful for me. It is usually clothing that was a gift from someone I know, who will always have my back. Often times it is something that my brother has given me, such as the purple sweatshirt I’m wearing above. It might also be something from my daughter or from my dear friend Becky. (See post about the ring Becky gave me posthumously Dear Friends Make Life¬†Worthwhile.)

In the instance of the sweatshirt, I know my brother will always be there for me to help in any way he can. He also believes that I am a strong, intelligent, capable person who can handle most things. Somedays, when I wear this shirt, it is like putting on armor that protects me from negativity and gives me additional energy to face the day. Other days, it is just a shirt.

Now, I know that the shirt has no actual special power. But the fact that it reminds me of a loved one, makes me feel better. What the shirt really is, is something that channels my thoughts toward positivity. It gives me focus when I need it. And having something that brings us focus, does indeed make our minds work better.

When I was in college, I made sure I always wore my opal ring on exam days. The ring was a gift from my mother. We were shopping at the mall one day shortly before my high school graduation when I saw this beautiful opal ring at the jewelry store. It had a lovely opal in the center with smaller opals on each side in a gold setting. I remember staring at its loveliness for a long time. My mom told me that as a graduation gift, she would buy me a set of luggage or the ring. I immediately chose the ring. As I wore this ring on exam days, I imagined it had magical powers and that by focusing my mind on it, it would draw through the light of the universe and show me the answers to particularly tough exam questions. I know what the ring actually did was calm me and give me focus on the matter at hand. Isn’t that part of what good test taking skill are? Remaining calm and drawing on your knowledge? Worked for me.

Silly? Yes, definitely. Who cares? These potential talismans have assisted me with passing classes, graduating college, to survive tough times, and pursue goals that I made for myself. In actuality, I did these things for myself, sometimes with the help of others. The power of the mind is an amazing thing. We just need to harness our individual ways to use it.

Everyone must draw on the resources they have to make it through life in whatever way works for them. This is what works for me. I hope you have found something that works for you. And as we make our way through life, let’s all do our bit to leave the world a better place than we found it. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote, a copy of which hangs on my wall.

I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do…or any kindness that I can show-let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again.

Methods to Success

I have learned over the years that each of my Therapy Dogs has had a different way of working. Each has excelled in his or her own special way.

Jewel was my first certified Therapy Dog. She was one of the moms from a puppy mill case that took in 97 dogs but ended up with 105 after puppies were born. Jewel was a color headed white, full sized collie. I named her Jewel because her beautiful sable spots looked like jewels on her white coat. She was a sweetheart. Her method of providing comfort was to stand quietly while she was petted. Sometimes she would lay down with a person who wasn’t ambulatory. You could feel the gentleness emanate from her.

The photo above is my Trevor. He was an abandonment case that I took in. He came to me as an adult, but weighing only about 20 lbs. At his full weight he was 32 lbs. Trevor was a natural born Therapy Dog. He could do the job without me. He would go to people I didn’t even see, because he sensed that they needed him. He could work a room like I’ve never seen. What a gentle soul he was.

Duncan, above, trained and was certified as a Therapy Dog the same year as Trevor. I was Duncan’s third home by the time he was 4 months old. He was quite the handful and continued to be for many years. Duncan was a good Therapy Dog and brought joy to many. Duncan was different though in that he did the work because I asked him to and it made me happy. Whatever made me happy, made Duncan happy.

That brings us to my currently certified Therapy Dog, Shelby. She is a rescue dog whose original owners purchased her from a flea market. When she was 18 months old, they decided that she was too rambunctious. Hello, is that not the definition of a teenage puppy? Shelby is a tireless worker and has a work ethic that doesn’t quit. She can greet and visit with people for hours. Shelby is a good Therapy Dog because she enjoys working, and working with mom is even better. She is a joyful worker.

There are many ways that a dog can approach therapy work. And more than one way to be a success at it. As long as the method leads to happiness, the goal is achieved!