Archive | April 2018

Love.๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’œย ๐Ÿพ

(Anishy & me๐Ÿ’œ)

My job is working with mostly furry little kritters, mostly dogs and a good amount of cats. Every once in a while, I have a rabbit or guinea pig. I don’t really get to interact much with our human clients, mostly just their furry children. Occasionally, I do get to see people when they are home.

There is a dog I have developed a special friendship with. I knew her for over one year and we’re very close and have the sweetest friendship. (I feel so guilty that I get paid to be her friend lol But I would love her and take care of her even if I wasn’t getting paid!!) I stay with her for hours more than I have to. I love this little girl!! My little baby. She is so hilarious and adorable. I have so many belly laughs when we’re together. She is the most expressive doggy! Very vocal and has the funniest and cutest facial expressions. She isnt the kind of dog who loves everyone. She prefers to keep her circle small. Lol She doesn’t like anyone invading our space and thinks everyone should just back off. She has a protective spirit.

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜—

I visit her to walk her and play with her while her two mommies are at work and sometimes we have fun sleepovers together when her mommies go away overnight on vacations/business trips.

They’re two of the only human clients I get to see somewhat frequently. They are two of the kindest, warmest, most loving people I know!

Very sweet, friendly, happy, welcoming, loving, generous, and every other positive trait we can think of! They love their furbaby!! She is a spolied little princess! The love they express for her is more than I usually see people express for their dogs. The little girl couldn’t have found a more loving furever home. She has the best mommies!!

Anish & her mommies have bought me gifts for holidays and just for no reason. I meet lots & lots of kind, compassionate, beautiful people but once in a while I meet those who are beyond that, like them.

Recently, they did something incredibly sweet & kind for me just out of the blue. Totally unexpected!

Much of my job takes place outside in all kinds of weather. I walk dogs in snow blizzards, thunderstorms & lightening, 100 degree weather, 0 degree weather, and perfect weather, rain or shine, sleet, ice, I’m out in it (and love it!!).

One thing that I dont care much for is being soaked and not being able to get changed quickly. If im soaked and have more visits, I cant go home and if I bring dry clothes to change into, I get soaked again anyway. Wet clothes clinging to my body, can you say YUCK?! Lol

I never use umbrellas. They arent my cup of tea and anyway, when it’s windy or too stormy, they blow inside out & break. Umbrellas just really arent my thing.

Theres so many days I visited Anish, completely drenched and her mommies were home and felt sorry for me. Lol

They gave me towels and tried giving me umbrellas and expressed empathy/compassion for my discomfort.

Recently, when I got to their house to take care of their furbaby, they had the sweetest gift for me! A raincoat, rainpants, and a sweet note! But not just that! They bought a bunch of raincoats, various colors and styles, and let me choose the one I like best, and then the others would go back. And said if I liked none, they would take them all back and buy a few more to see if I liked any of those ones!

Isn’t that the sweetest?! No one has ever done anything like this for me! It never occurred to me to buy myself a raincoat and I dont have any money anyway! Lol

The one I chose is so pretty and sometimes looks light purple and sometimes gray, and has pockets with zippers & snaps, which is good for my phone!

I wear it in the snow/rainstorm and stay completely dry!

I kept telling them thank you, both in person as well as in writing, but not sure exactly how to express the depth of my gratitude! Not just for the practical help but for such a loving act!

They chose to go above & beyond for me and I’m very thankful for them bringing sunshine into my rainy days!

We never know just how deep an act of kindness can touch someone. Let’s keep those acts of kindness going no matter how “big” or “small” or how well we know someone. โค

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kimโค

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Today

(A pretty picture I took today – April 14th, 2018 but when I publish it, it will probably say April 15th because it’s nearly 10:00pm now)

“By effort and heedfulness, discipline, and self-mastery, let the wise one make for oneself an island which no flood can overwhelm.”

Today, I got onto an elevator for work. I could have taken the stairs but chose the elevator. I was on the 4th floor of the apartment building. Going back down, I felt that the doors were taking longer than they’re supposed to to open and guess what?! I felt not one ounce of fear!! Not one little flash of fear, anxiety, panic, nothing!! And did not even feel a sense of panic coming on or anticipate it like I often do. This is incredible progress! This has to be my greatest accomplishment in this life, ever!

In case anyone reading this is confused or it seems like no big deal, here is some background info. about my experience with phobic fear:

F.E.A.R

It actually freaking happened

Welcome to rock bottom-the only way now is up

Serendipitous Strength

Phobia.

It’s a big, big thing! I suffered another terrible relapse recently and now I healed it again and can get on elevators myself with no fear! I have been working hard to heal this phobia. It doesn’t always take long to heal a relapse. Phobias are weak, even though they feel extremely powerful, and they lose their power very easily when properly faced again & again.

“Unlike many other mental health problems, phobias can be brought under manageable control or even totally destroyed, sometimes within hours. This is a far cry from some of the medium- to long-term work which is required for other mental health issues. So the good news is that phobias are relatively easy to deal with, providing you have the correct knowledge, support and treatment plan, along with a determined and proactive attitude. In life there are many REAL problems, which we all have to contend with, so my view is that we should conserve our energy to tackle those by ridding ourselves of the UNREAL threats, which are the hallmarks of a phobia.” ~Patricia Furness-Smith

The way I am recovering mostly, is exposure in combination with Buddhist philosophy (that can apply to anyone at all, not just Buddhist people – see Dhamma quote above). Even without the meditation part (which is also great!), I find Buddhist philosophy so very helpful in healing my fear (and in general!).

The reason that this is such a big accomplishment is not the amount of work it takes or the duration of treatment but the amount of courage & strength it takes to face it. It is hard!!

I am working on not just recovering but building my mindset in a way to see elevators as a safe place, a place of comfort, a space where I experience a feeling of being embraced in warmth & safety, security (i know security is an illusion but dont mind feeling secure in a place I once felt seemingly unbearable terror and panic). I don’t just want to tolerate them and don’t want them to just be a mundane thing or task I have to perform. I aspire to come to seeing them as an opportunity for a few moments of simple joy or pleasure.

I may not be recovered just yet or my recovery may be shaky and at risk for relapse again. It’s new and not quite ingrained yet. But it will be and then evolve into something more. I feel that Im already inclined to view elevators as a warm, cozy, safe place. Why not? They are safe for the most part. In there, alone, I am protected against the dangers of the world. I can feel that to some degree but not in great depth yet. Im working on it!

This is my goal!

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

Phobia.

Roll With It – Steve Winwood

“When life is too much, roll with it, baby
Don’t stop and lose your touch, oh no, baby
Hard times knocking on your door
I’ll tell them you ain’t there no more
Get on through it, roll with it, baby
Luck’ll come and then slip away
You’ve gotta move, bring it back to stay
You just roll with it, baby
Come on and just roll with it, baby
You and me, roll with it, baby”

Recently, I chose to do something incredibly brave, to aid in my recovery. Every part of my body was telling me to run. There were all kinds of physical sensations all over my body, unpleasant ones, including light-headedness, fear, dry mouth, trembling sensations in my hands & legs, heart pounding…but some intuition deep inside was telling me to stay. The physical urge to run was much more easy to listen to and I was tempted. But I made up my mind. The intuition deep within is the wise voice, softer, gentler, just a whisper to “stay” next to that loud screaming “RUN” but definitely wiser. And I wont let the voice of fear drown the voice of wisdom.

So I chose to STAY.

I was standing before an elevator, alone, on the 2nd floor of a building. Right next to the elevator is a door to the stairs. I could have easily walked through the doorway to the stairs and walked down in less than a minute, which is what my intense fear was urging me to do.

But I chose to listen to that quiet but strong intuition telling me to empower myself, not my fear. For me to continuously avoid my fear (of small, closed in places, especially alone in elevators), at all costs, is to feed that fear. To give it power.

For me to face my fear, no matter how immense, no matter how suffocating, traumatic, terrible it is, is to loosen its grip on me, release me of its bondage and empower myself.

This is a fear so incredibly powerful, it knocks the wind out of me and weakens my body. I become lightheaded & disoriented and feel as if I may actually die. I have to face it & embrace it to conquer it. A cruel, twisted kind of irony to have to subject myself to the very thing that scares me most, but it is what it is.

I would have taken the stairs in this building anyway as it was only the 2nd floor but I saw this as an opportunity to evolve and I took it.

So I bravely stepped into that elevator and pushed the “1” button with my near trembling finger and watched in dismay as the doors closed on me, completely expunging my sense of control and actual control. The second the doors close, I am no longer in a position to choose. I cannot choose to run, to change my mind and take the stairs as I cant open an elevator on my own.

As the doors close, I instantly wonder if I have made a bad mistake. Maybe I should have run, taking the safe route, the easy way, the stairs. Sometimes, in buildings, we don’t have access to the stairs and I have no choice. But on this occasion, I had a choice and chose to lock myself in a big, mechanical box, alone.

But instead of completely breaking down, I stood strong and focused on my breath, each inhalation & exhalation and I became one with that breath. I felt the fear every few seconds, trying to get the best of me, that impending sense of panic threatening to overtake me, and acknowledged that fear then let it go. I felt it dissipate with each in breath & out breath. And before I knew it, there were the elevator doors wide open, inviting me to walk out into the rest of my day. Simple as that.

See, it’s really not so bad, is it?

But what if….

What if…the doors wouldn’t have opened?

What if…i would have been stuck in there all by myself?!

What if…the elevator malfunctioned and no one knew until way later or ever???

What if…one occasion it just doesn’t open and im stuck in there alone forever?!?!?!

What if….those incessant what ifs…relentless & plaguing…

After the doors close and sometimes even when Im not on an elevator but recently got out of one or will soon have to get inside one or sometimes just thinking about it, these are the thoughts that ensue. These what if’s…

But “what if…” doesn’t matter. What IS, is what does matter. And whatever is just is and that is that. I will breathe and focus and roll with it and endure until it’s over. And it will be over eventually, whatever “it” is.

After stepping off of the elevator, I planned to go right to another elevator and step inside, just to face my fear again.

And while it’s very helpful and wise and necessary to face our phobic fear again and again and again, there is such a thing as “too much, too soon” and “overdoing.” I know the value of breaks and rest and moderation and balance. Preserving energy and choosing wisely is a good thing. Generally, we have to keep facing this fear and not running. But a break when needed is also necessary. I felt that running directly to another elevator would have been more draining and detrimental than good. This may not always be the case but this moment, it was. Deep inside, I knew a rest is what I needed then, not more trauma.

Remember to keep going but also remember to rest when needed. Running, falling, once in a while is ok. Just keep getting back up!

Im not recovered. Not even halfway to recovery. And I may still have relapses and probably will before & even after full recovery. Who knows? But I discovered a place in me with a strong foundation that isn’t easy to be demolished and can be rebuilt even if it is.

Im not sorry to have encountered this struggle. I dont wish it never happened to me and dont necessarily wish it would just go away. Of course, I want this fear to heal and thats why im doing all this work. But i dont mind it. It’s a gift to have this opportunity to get better and have deeper empathy for others in similar situations. I see so much beauty in it.

Just last month, I think, my fear was so frequent, so intense, so debilitating, I became depressed and suicidal. I could hardly hold a toothbrush. I wanted to die just knowing that it’s possible to be trapped in an elevator alone. Just knowing it’s possible. Not even because it may happen. Just because it’s possible. My depression became an entity of its own and was not even just about the fear anymore.

Now here I am. Strong and still standing.

I want to share it because i believe we all have that strength to endure any battle and be even better for it. We all have the strength to see beauty in any struggle and to reach out to others in any way we can, to inspire and uplift, or just listen and understand.

The way to recover is to seize opportunities to practice no matter how difficult it is. It is very, very difficult but worth the struggle, the trauma, the pain, the terror.

Im not posting this to brag. Lol Im posting this because one night I was laying in my bed desperately longing to meet someone. A strong woman with some sort of severe phobia, preferably one similar to my own but any would do. I pined for a woman who faces her worst fear and lives to tell about it. A woman who conquered or conquers that fear. One who chose to rise above and lift others along the way.

I laid in my bed and fantasized and hoped so much to meet this strong, confident woman, either in person, in a book, or online and dreamed of being cloaked in her strength, enveloped in her compassion, lifted by her motivation, and empowered by her story. Inspired by her light.

I wanted to find blogs, books, stories… that chronicle her experiences.

I wanted to find this woman somewhere, anywhere, but couldn’t find her.

Then it hit me….

I can be this woman.

I am this woman.

I’m her.

So here I am, sharing my great fear and hoping to inspire, lift, help empower, and console someone who is struggling.

If you are someone who is struggling with a phobia/anxiety of any sort, maybe a social phobia/anxiety, or fear involving being on an airplane when you have to get on one(I have to get on elevators for work and feel your pain!), insects, or maybe a less common fear like fear of swallowing or fear of dolls, maybe a fear of dogs or noises… or any difficult situation, I embrace you in my love & am cheering you on. We all have different triggers but it’s that terrible, breathtaking panic & fear, outright terror, that we can all relate to.

Keep going. You got this!

Xoxo Kimโค

Two new best furiends ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ป

(The adorable paw here belongs to one of my best furiends, Anish!๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜)

I have two new bestfriends!! What an honor! And Im just sharing the great news here! They have fur & four legs and tails!! Im a petsitter and this job brings with it such deep pain (knowing & loving so many, many animals means experiencing many devastating losses through the years) but also such deep love & joy. And here, Im sharing a bit of that love & joy.

We have a new family as clients now and they have two adorable & sweet dogs, Lenny & Louie. I will be their primary petsitter three days a week! I just met them a few nights ago and their mom told them that im going to be their new best friend! They already love me! (And of course I love them!!) Louie gives me a bunch of kisses! Lenny is super sweet as well; he’s just not much of a kisser, at least not with me yet.

They are so adorable! We dont have permission to take photos of them. Some people reject permission like in this case. So I cant share any photos of them but just know, they are cuties! Lol ๐Ÿ˜Š

It’s so good to celebrate & share the goodness!

What good things do you have to celebrate today? Nothing is too trivial to celebrate & give thanks for! You can share here in the comments or just savor it in your own mind. โค

Much love (& hugs!!),

Xoxo Kim

Someone you can be proud ofโค

Recently, I saw this outside of a school for young children and LOVE it! What great values/characteristics to possess/display and teach children about. There’s nothing here about being physically good looking, being popular, religious (it’s a religious school, catholic, I think), financially rich, or even being intelligent, hardworking, or motivated. Not that those aren’t good things but they are not the most important or what really matters for being a good person. Someone chose great adjectives to encourage children to be, ones of substance and that will positively affect others. So beautiful!

I felt so proud upon seeing this sign but not sure what im proud of. Lol I have no kids and dont know any who attend this school. I dont know any of the staff/faculty there, that I know of, and have nothing to do with the school or people associated with it. I just see it when im walking dogs. But I am so pleased with the message! It’s an inspiring message for adults as well! Even adults can use a reminder every now & again!

Much love,

Xoxo Kim๐Ÿ’œ