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Love.πŸ˜πŸ’œΒ πŸΎ

(Anishy & meπŸ’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.

πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜πŸ˜™πŸ˜—

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. ❀

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kim❀

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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

Someone you can be proud of❀

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 KimπŸ’œ

Spring. 🌸🐞🐿

There are signs of spring appearing all around, assuring me that the natural world is re-awakening, despite the fact that it does not yet feel like spring.

There are still piles of snow on the ground and icicles hanging from the roof tops, and the overnight temp last night was a cool 15 degrees!

But in spite of what feels like winter’s final, desperate cling, there are buds sprouting on the trees, hundreds of birds returning to the garden, newborn ducklings, squirrels aplenty, and, perhaps, the most awe-inspiring sign has been the visits of two bald eagles, who have been flying overhead, right over my backyard at dusk each night, perhaps nesting in a special spot nearby!”

This is something I received in an e-mail through a soulfulliving.com subscription, written by Valerie. I was going to share my photo above, on Instagram, and caption it, “Spring is in the air!” Then I realized today actually is the first day of Spring here. I totally did not realize til someone told me lol

It sure doesn’t feel like Spring; it’s freezing cold and we’re having a snow blizzard. I love it! But also love Spring weather & am so happy for the impending Springy weather and everything that comes along with it.

This beautiful piece, I shared above, by Valerie, inspires me and is a beautiful reminder of how inspiring nature is.

I have been struggling a bit with lower back pain. It’s not chronic pain; it’s only temporary (at least I hope so!) but it does tend to get quite severe every now & again. Sometimes I can’t reach for things and it throbs whether I’m sitting, standing, or laying and occasionally I get just very little to no relief. It is difficult because I work with dogs! So it’s kind of hard managing back pain & physical limitations with a bunch of furballs jumping all over me and pulling me. Lol

At some points, I found it difficult to have an interest in anything because the pain consumes me. It’s definitely not the worst pain I ever felt and generally, it’s not unbearable. Pain of any sort or any level isnt fun though! I’m also sick and exhausted. Im laying in bed now half sleeping but still managing to think & write. Lol

For about two months, I have worked seven days a week(I generally work seven days a week and love it but have been working many, many more hours than usual), some days, 24 hours(overnight), morning til night. Some days I was out for work at 6 something in the morning til around 10:00pm. I LOVE the job. This much physical work really takes a toll on the body though. My poor body needs a break. It has been under a tremendous amount of stress. (At least it’s work that I love though)

As Valerie states in her message, it doesn’t feel like Spring. It’s cold, snowy, icy…but there are signs of Spring everywhere, still blooming through the harsh Wintery weather. Spring blooms and life blossoms are around. Snow, ice, cold, Winter, doesn’t hinder it.

I am reminded that we can do the same. We can blossom, keep going, and let our beauty bloom all around straight through the pain, stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, grief…or whatever other struggles we may currently be experiencing.

We can channel that inner-spring and unleash it, sending it out into the uni-verse to lift everyone around us. Look for all the little gems of beauty we can find, all the flowers, acts of kindness, butterflies, animals, smiles, hugs, laughs, pretty colors, inspirational quotes, uplifting social media/blog posts, the love of a pet, a favorite song or food, the feel of soft blankets, the fragrance of flowers, food, coffee, cookies baking….any little bit of beauty…these are the things to focus on, to dwell on, to embrace.

I’m happy to share this soulfulliving message here along with my experience and hope others can be inspired also, to keep going & appreciate all the simple joys of living.

We all have an inner-spring just waiting to be embraced & unleashed!

Much love & light, & hugs!!

Xoxo KimπŸ’πŸ’š

F.E.A.R

My therapist recently told me that we have a choice for how to handle fear. We can Fuck Everything and Run (lol!) or Face Everything and Recover. He said that both are ok but of course facing & recovering is more healthy and in the end will likely bring us the more desired results.

Recently, I encountered a scary situation. And I remembered my F.E.A.R choices. And I chose to……fuck everything and run. Lol!

The scary situation? Having to go into a building with an elevator.

In case you don’t know, I’m deathly afraid of being closed in small places alone, especially elevators – always have been and don’t know why – sometimes I actually feel like I’m going to die when I just think about it; I actually feel like death is around me, squeezing me, suffocating me. You can read more about my struggles & victories in these posts if you want!

It actually freaking happened

Serendipitous Strength

welcome to rock bottom – the only way is up

My choices? To suck it up and get on the elevator & know I have the courage & strength to handle it (going up I have to get on because the door to stairs is locked but coming back down, I can take the stairs), to take advantage of this opportunity for growth or to take the stairs and avoid that fear and the possibility of getting trapped on one by myself. And yes, I chose the second. :-/

Generally, I’m really good with facing my fear and even staying calm and getting inside the elevators alone. But this is the building where I recently got stuck in one, very briefly but still not pleasant(and I handled it so well, I must say!) and I just felt that I was in no mood for any nonsense that morning. Lol

It’s good for me to get onto elevators alone as much as I can so I can stregthen my courage & inner peace with them. I haven’t suffered any terrible relapse recently. But it’s possible that I can as I have before. Sometimes my heart still races a bit and my hands almost tremble when I get onto elevators alone but sometimes I’m very calm when I do. For a while, my phobic fear was pretty much gone, healed, recoverd. But I suffered a relapse a while ago and began to struggle again. Nowhere near as badly as before but still a bit of a struggle.

The morning I was in that building, I was struggling with the phobic fear and wasn’t up to facing it.

So when the elevator doors opened, I bolted and ran for the stairs.

I won’t make a habit of it. I will still choose to get into elevators alone and know I can handle whatever comes my way. I will remember my strength and progress and accomplishments. But there will also be moments I’ll give into weakness, forget my strength and courage and take the easy way, the way that doesn’t allow as much growth and an opportunity to strengthen my courage & virtue of patience. And that’s ok too!

We don’t always, always have to be strong and brave and inspiring and positive and perfect.

I’m generally very positive and mostly use social media for sharing inspirational and/or happy/positive things. But I also think it’s good to be genuine and share my not so inspiring experiences/choices. Like running away and not facing my fear.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t write a post about how I was brave and strong in the face of my phobic fear and how I handled it like a pro! Lol I was sorry I couldn’t use my own experience to try to inspire others or encourage someone to be brave, feel the fear and do it anyway. I could have written that post but it would be dishonest.

But then I remembered that sharing our weaknesses and less than pleasant aspects and experiences can be just as inspiring and just as encouraging and uplifting to others as sharing our strengths. There are others who run, make mistakes, have setbacks, do things that aren’t the best. And sharing this can help each other see that someone else understands and that it’s actually ok. We have permission to not always be positive and strong and brave. We have permission to falter. To stumble. To fall. We have permission to run once in a while. Just so long as it doesn’t become a habit or way of life, it’s all good! And if it does become an unhealthy habit, that’s ok, we can fix it. Habits can be reversed. Fall and get back up.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Or not.

Whatever you choose, I’m here cheering you on!

Virtual Hugs to you! ❀ (virtual hugs are good for all because even if you don’t like actual hugs, you’re not actually being touched. lol)

Xoxo Kim

My Endless Love❀

“…and your eyes
Your eyes, your eyes
They tell me how much you care
Ooh yes, you will always be
My endless love.”❀

Last year I got to spend Valentine’s Day with this lil baby. His name is Quincy. He got sick and died a few months ago but he’ll always be my endless love. I did not get to see him frequently and I cherished (and still cherish) every moment we shared together. He lived in a nursing home with his daddy and I used to walk him sometimes. He was so sweet & adorable and a lil porker. Sometimes he was mischievous and would run out into the hallway when he wasn’t supposed to. He knew how to get back to his room after we got back inside the building and stepped off the elevator. He knew his way around better than I did. He was never snappy and always sweet. He let me pick him up. I would take him to the park and he had so many friends there. Everyone, everywhere loved him. He got endless compliments.

Last year, on Valentine’s Day, they were having a big Valentine’s Day party for the nursing home residents. All the old people were dressed up and dancing to this song.

Endless Love – Lionel Richie/Diana Ross

How cute!

I miss & love Quincy and am so thankful our lives crossed. His death still knocks the wind out of me. It was so unexpected. He just got sick overnight. My heart completely broke when my boss told us.

But my love is more powerful than the pain of the loss. Quincy was around eleven years old I think. And he lived a very happy life and was surrounded by so much love.

In loving memory of sweet Quincy baby…πŸ’˜β€

Xoxo Kim