The arrival of spring means cleaning windows, putting away bulky coats & snow shovels, and preparing our yards for barbecues & picnics. I find spring is also a good time for reflecting & evaluating the direction of your life journey.
Maggie always appeared to be thinking. She would sit on the lawn or in her bed and have a look of deep contemplation. Her ears would perk up for a passing hawk or rabbit, but then she resumed her pose. I’ll never know what she was thinking, but I admired her ability to just sit, observe and think.
As adults, our life is consumed with distractions. Maybe it would be nice to have a holiday declared just for thinking and reflecting all day. I created that day for myself when spring arrives. I take one day to think about my accomplishments for the year, things I could have done better, and the direction I want to move for the coming year. This activity seems to make sense with a season that begins the start of plants blossoming, animals coming out of hibernation, and humans making summer plans with family & friends.
Maggie was a happy dog. I like to think it had something to do with her wisdom to know the importance of everyone taking the time to sit and reflect on becoming their best self… I think the world would be a little kinder too.
Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration and Reflection
We all have those times when our life is flooded with interruptions. The secret to surviving these interruptions is reminding ourselves that nothing effects our destiny.
Maggie liked to live on a schedule. She knew when her morning walk would be, breakfast was served, and how long her afternoon nap would be before it was time to go outside and terrorize the squirrels. Sometimes, her schedule changed and we would have company, or an appointment that kept us on the road a bit longer than expected. Maggie would often give little nudges to me when she wanted to express it was time to go home. However, she knew no matter the wait, I would always bring her home and our daily schedule would be back in place.
The world tends to get a bit more complicated from childhood to our years as young adults and middle aged tax payers. As we enter the senior years of our life, we began to realize life is about interruptions and learning how to continue to live & grow during these interruptions. Our destiny is not determined by the interruptions in our life, but how we control these interruptions to keep our mind & spirit focused on our destiny.
Maggie never let life’s interruptions make her forget what her daily life should include for her. As humans, we should not expect anything less either.
‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.’ Thoreau
Paws & Reflect purchase on Amazon
‘Never Regret Something That Once Made You Smile’. The thought is so simple, but often very hard to do.
Maggie was always happy. She smiled while on our daily walks, sitting in the yard watching squirrels, and even when she was sleeping- I do think there was a smile on her face. Maggie had her fair share of disappointments, like when her favorite dog buddy passed away. Although, whenever I mentioned her friend’s name, she would look at me and smile while wagging her tail.
As humans, when something hurtful happens in our life, we tend to analyze why it happened or how we could have avoided the hurtful moment. The need to hate or blame something or someone often comes to the forefront. However, that hurtful moment may have arisen after some joyful and precious moments too.
Maggie missed her dog buddy, but she wagged her tail in joy remembering the good times with her friend. There will always be difficult times, but it won’t last long if you remember the happy moments, and wag your tail with no regrets.
The New Year allows people a time to reflect on the events of the past year. Although many may find heartache in a difficult year, or not being where ‘you thought you’d be at this stage in your life’, the secret to living is responding.
Maggie was always alert to her surroundings. I would hear her snoring in her bed, but the UPS truck would arrive, and before the doorbell rang, she would be at the door barking & claiming her territory. Whenever I mowed the lawn, Maggie would bark at me while she was sequestered on the deck. However, after realizing I wasn’t going to stop mowing the lawn, she would go in the house to avoid the noise & heat.
Most people are more than willing to reflect on their actions. The difficulty arises when one is asked to respond to those actions to help improve them self, or help other’s in their life. It is difficult to admit when your actions are not supportive to your mental health. Even more so when loved ones or colleagues are impeding you to reach your fullest potential in life.
Maggie’s reflection on an event always triggered a response. As humans, we need to focus more on the response to our reflections- it is our response that defines our character & the worth others will see in us.
Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration & Reflection
As the world changes and new inventions come along to make our lives easier, one thing will always remain unchanged- the desire for people to say what they do. Honesty…is this too much to ask?
Maggie was a faithful buddy, and obedient most of the time. On occasion, she would get into a little mischief. The temptation to chase the lawn mower, or chew on my sneakers, was hard to resist. However, whenever Maggie was confronted, her head would bow down and she knew she had done something wrong. She didn’t run away, or try to give licks & kisses, she was honest with her actions.
It is human nature to make mistakes. The best way to learn from a mistake is to admit the mistake. This process requires honesty, and honesty seems to be in short supply these days. It appears many people would rather keep spreading lies or denying their actions, instead of just saying what they have done.
The quality most people state they look for in others is honesty. I wonder why it is so difficult for people to say what they do, when it is a quality they desire from others?
There are times in your life when all is well and you feel truly inspired. Other times, life is difficult, and you need to take time to reflect on past events & future choices. Is there ever a time when you can experience both emotions at the same time?
Maggie was a very smart dog. She knew when someone needed her head on their knee to make them smile. Other times, it was a squeaky toy in your ear to convince you to get off the couch and play. Her quickness to learn new things always inspired me to teach her more, and often had me reflect on how she could be so smart without ever saying a word.
Maggie is an author. Her book, ‘Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration & Reflection’, was released in mid-October. The book contains fifty thoughts from Maggie, with the opposing page offering a space for the reader to write their daily reflections for the week. The book inspired me to continue writing Maggie’s monthly blogs, because every month I receive emails from readers telling me how much they love Maggie. The book also provided me with a time of reflection. The publishing process involved the mixed emotions of feeling elated to see Maggie in print, but also sad because I lost my little buddy when she was only five years old.
Can a person feel inspired & reflective at the same time? I say yes….Maggie’s book will inspire you with her wisdom, and encourage you to reflect on your life choices- past & future.
Barnes & Noble
The month of October has arrived, and in New England that means leaf piles everywhere. If you are a dog owner, this also means extra long stops at those pile of leaves for sniffing & scratching.
Maggie loved the fall. She enjoyed chasing the leaves as they fell from the trees, or having me throw a handful of leaves on top of her. Our morning walks heard the crunch of leaves from her paws and my sneakers. Maggie never walked around the leaf piles, she always walked thru them. She seemed to have a smile on her face while doing it, and a look of satisfaction when making it thru the very tall piles.
As a child, I would jump in leaf piles and lay flat on my back looking at the sky. As an adult, I see leaf piles and think about the task of raking, preparing the yard for winter, and dreading the shorter days of sunshine. However, when I walked with Maggie thru the leaf piles, the walks seemed a bit more fun and had me kicking the leaves along with her. It made me reflect on those childhood memories of the fall season.
Maybe we can experience the same childhood pleasures as an adult, but with a different purpose. As a child, walking thru a pile of leaves is just fun; maybe as an adult, walking thru a pile of leaves reminds us of the importance of acting like a child sometimes.