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Inner beauty ❀

Recently, my Teacher told us that someone called him (physically) ugly and also said he is old. He responded by telling the person that it’s ok if he’s old and is ugly on the outside because he’s beautiful on the inside & that is what matters. He encouraged us to think that way also. It doesnt matter if we are old and/or ugly. If we are compassionate, joyful, peaceful, look for the goodness in the world & others while wishing them the best, that is true beauty. Theres nothing wrong with celebrating physical beauty but inner beauty is the true gift! And living longer is a blessing! Age isnt a flaw. I love this little gem of wisdom!

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

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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❀

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 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

OpportunityπŸ’œ

Let’s plants seeds of love everywhere we go through acts of kindness, kind intentions, speech, thoughts….and the world will be a much more beautiful place! And if kindness isn’t currently our lifestyle, we can practice til it is! And if it already is, we can strengthen it through even more loving intentions & actions!❀ Let’s start with smiling at everyone we look at today & wishing everyone well! 😊

Much love & light,

Kim

Joy❀

“I saw Sorrow
holding a cup of pain.
I said, hey sorrow,
sorry to see you this way.
What’s troubling you?
What’s with the cup?
Sorrow said,
what else can I do?
All this Joy that you have brought to the world has killed my business completely.”

Some ways to bring joy to the world:

1.) Acts of kindness

2.) Smile

3.) Give thanks for all the good no matter how small/trivial it seems

4.) Breathe deeply

5.) Let things go

6.) Listen to happy songs

7.) Be surrounded in cheerful or calming colors whenever possible

8.) Share uplifting quotes to inspire others

9.) Read inspiring books/blogs/writings

10.) Engage in activities that inspire happiness or calming effects

11.) Hug dogs/cats

12.) Forgive self & others ❀

13.) Be a safe space for others, active listening, without negative judgment, ridicule, selfish expectations, unsolicited suggestions

14.) Watch the sun setting and/or rising

15.) Do something random & fun!πŸ˜†

16.) Buy a gift for self!πŸ’™

17.) Be mindful of right now and go with the flow without judging even if our current experience seems unpleasant

18.) Watch a fun comedy movie/tv show

19.) Go above & beyond to help someone, friend, family, stranger, coworker, neighbor, boss, enemy…

20.) Get fixed up, bring out expensive kitchen utensils and things reserved for special occasions….just because, even when alone. Every moment we’re alive is a special occasion!

I hope you’re having a beautiful day or night wherever in the world you are!β€πŸ’–πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’œπŸ’πŸ’žβ£

Much love & light,

Xoxo Kim