My Transformation Story

TruehappinessI’ve had quite a few people ask me recently about my transformation journey in the last several years. I’m happy to tell it, but it’s not a short, quick story. If I go back to the very beginning, I guess I would have to start 7 years ago when I suffered a severe brain injury. I didn’t know at the time, of course, but it was the beginning of discovering who I really was, and who I want to be.

It all started in 2010, when I was playing “football” with some friends. I took a tackle from a friend, and got hit harder than was intended. I suffered a severe head trauma. I was in college at the time, and I was almost finished with my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. I was severely disabled, and struggled to finish to get my degree. I was having trouble with memory, retaining new information, speaking clearly, and motor skills. Even walking long distances (like down a hallway) was difficult and painful. So, mentally working was very difficult. I graduated, sure, but I didn’t retain the knowledge very well. I couldn’t tell you what classes I took my last quarter.

Over the next few years, as my brain healed, I realized I didn’t enjoy programming in the slightest. It wasn’t fun for me anymore, I didn’t get a thrill out of it, and it was impossible for me to think the same way. This brain injury literally changed my life. I was fired from several jobs, I couldn’t develop new lasting friendships, my relationship was strained, and I just felt terrible most of the time. My therapists diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Emotionally, I wasn’t the same. It was like I turned into a totally different person. It took me years to figure out that it did change me. I had continued to try to fit into the box I put myself in. But I didn’t fit in there anymore.

After a few years of struggling, I started working at Petsmart. I hated that I couldn’t perform in my industry, but I needed to make money and do something instead of just sitting at home. So, I found this job. I was happy there. I enjoyed working with the animals, and I enjoyed teaching people about how they could better the lives of their pets. I constantly stayed late. I accidentally would keep working after my shift because I was enjoying it so much. One thing led to another, and I was starting to feel happy again… but this job wasn’t paying the bills.

So I eventually had to quit and get back into the software industry. I found a company where I was happy and enjoying the job, the people, and I could perform there. They were family oriented, and I didn’t work late. As far as software companies went, it was great. It was a good company who cared about their employees. Salary was good, benefits were great, and the people made me happy. It was a good fit. But I didn’t love what I was doing. I still wasn’t “whole”.

Somewhere down the road, my ex-husband and I got a dog. He was a great dog, but we had no idea what we were doing. After a few weeks, he started to pull on the leash, started to get very hyper all the time, and just was uncontrollable. So, I asked for help. I found a trainer who specialized in behavioral solutions. I had no idea the world I was about to discover.

As I started to work with my dog, I realized how much fun I was having. I used the knowledge I was learning to help others. I was giving my friends and neighbors behavioral advice from what I was doing, and wanted to learn more. They saw improvements in their dogs, and I barely knew anything! I was hungry for more information! I started searching online for workshops, webinars, books, online classes, and anything I could get my hands on.. Eventually, I attended workshops as well. I was insatiable when it came to learning about dogs. I wanted to know everything! I loved what I was doing, and looked forward every day to going home and working with my dog.

I started to build a client base after a few months, and I realized this could become a very rewarding hobby! So, I spent more and more time researching, reading, experimenting, and spending time with my dog. My dog and I had learned so much and we were turning into quite the team! I was so happy with how things were going. Every spare second I had was being spent working with my dog, as well as on my newfound hobby. Which meant I wasn’t nurturing my marriage.

In 2014, I went to Cesar Millan’s training center to learn more. Great opportunity and I was so excited! My husband called me while I was at the workshop to yell at me because Napoleon (our dog) had puked on the couch, and he didn’t know how to use the carpet cleaner. We fought. On the phone, a thousand miles from each other, but we were fighting. It was bad, and neither of us was happy. We were so young, and I was preoccupied in building this business.

I got back, and our relationship continued to suffer. We attended counseling, but I had already made up my mind that I was finished, and wanted to move on. We decided on a divorce. Not a pretty decision, but something needed to change. We were both great people, but too young and inexperienced for mature love. We split up. It was painful, it was an end to a chapter in my life I never saw coming.

I couldn’t believe it got this far, I was depressed, lonely, and wondering how this happened. My best friends were there for me during this time. My best friend’s husband was comforting me, helping me, and becoming my friend. I was looking for validation, love, compassion. He was looking for the same. We both weren’t happy, but we found happiness in each other. We both did an unspeakable thing. Something I never thought I was capable of doing. We had an affair. It lasted 9 months. We both knew it needed to end, but we couldn’t tear ourselves away from each other. We lied, we snuck around, and we made a mistake.

Once my best friend found out, of course she was livid. I betrayed her. I hurt her. I royally fucked up. However, she didn’t find out the whole story. She was told a tiny speck of what actually was happening. But it didn’t matter; it was just enough to shun me out of her life. She sent hateful messages, spread untrue rumors, and turned our friends against me. I didn’t defend myself and I let her attack me. I let the lies spread, and I didn’t retaliate. I didn’t lie, I didn’t cower, and I took all of it. Even though what she thought happened wasn’t the truth. But I didn’t say anything to defend myself because it didn’t matter at this point. Whatever it was, I deserved it, right?

After months and months of abuse from her and her husband, our “friends”, and the online posse she had built, I decided that enough was enough. She even attacked my business! Our businesses had nothing to do with this. This was a personal matter. Yet she brought this into the professional world and it affected clients, fellow dog trainers, and connections. As time went on, more and more negativity poisoned my life. I eventually felt like I was worth nothing. I was a piece of garbage, so I started acting that way. I started making poor decisions, putting myself in dangerous situations, drinking too much, hanging out with the wrong type of people.

After one night of putting myself in a position where I was in danger of my life, I realized I needed to make a change. This was so dangerous, and this could end up killing me.

I committed fully to learning about myself. Accepting I made mistakes, and started to piece myself together again, bit by bit. I spent a lot of time self-reflecting. I wanted to know what had happened. I had been falling apart for a while, and I wanted to know where it started. Why it happened, and how I sank so far. I learned to meditate. I learned to breathe through my pain, and accept that these things happened. I accepted I made a mistake. I learned to forgive others and myself. Only I can control my emotions, my actions, and my mental state. I wanted to be happy. It seemed like a stretch, but I felt like if I self-reflected and learned to forgive, I could learn to be happy.

I went for a walk in nature every day and listened to the sound of the birds, the water, the bugs, the wind in the trees, and I realized that this pain would pass. I spent so much time with my dogs, and alone that I was actually starting to get to know myself better. I meditated, sat with my suffering, and I really felt all the feelings. It hurt, it was sad. I didn’t find solace in other people. I didn’t go to my friends or family, I went to the mountains. I took pack walks with my dogs and hikes regularly. I spent time meditating, thinking, and writing down my thoughts. I spent so much time getting to know myself. I wanted to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually.

I started to train. I started running, lifting weights, and getting stronger. I had started to learn to forgive myself, and I wanted to find peace in my life. So, I started working out, and eating healthier food. I stayed away from sugar, booze, and food that didn’t help my body heal from the onslaught of exercise I was putting it through. Nutrition and fitness became an obsession. I started to learn the “secret” of being happy.

I started to see an energy healer to help me clear out any emotional blocks. I learned so much about chakras, energy flow, the psyche, and how energy can fuel the soul. I started to be able to feel the energy move through my body. I started to become in tune with my own energy and be able to read others’ as well. This helped me with keeping people in my life who had positive energy, and shedding people who had negative energy. I was able to have compassion for people who were suffering. Even those who have hurt me, I could give compassion and send love. This was difficult in the beginning. Learning to love people from a distance, even if they aren’t close to me anymore. My best friend, who I betrayed, comes to mind. I love her deeply, and I send her loving, healing energy often. She may not consider me a friend anymore, but I do. She is still my best friend, and I am happy when I hear that she is at peace, finding success, and above all, finding happiness. I want her to feel peace.

I decided against using social media during this time, as it was not helping me through the pain I was feeling. In fact, Facebook in particular is full of negativity, and it was difficult to see the positive. I did block the people who were sending me hurtful messages, posting hateful comments, and otherwise anything that was evil. Getting back on Facebook, I decided I wanted to reconnect with people who have a passion for spreading positivity, bettering the world, and being the best they can be. Anyone else was un-friended, un-followed, or blocked.

I had studied and applied what I learned in fitness, energy work, nutrition, and meditation. I had started to become more connected spiritually, and learned how to be more mindful. I had started to treat my body the way it deserved to be treated all this time. Mistakes are just that: mistakes. They are there for us to learn and become a better person. Those who have “sinned” have great potential to learn and grow. When one is in a desperate place, we do not think about the repercussions of our actions. That mistake did not make me a bad person. It makes me human. It makes me real. I made a mistake that severely hurt my best friend. I love her deeply even now, even after everything. I have learned from that and become a strong, mindful person. I have learned to be less judgmental of those who make mistakes. I have learned to forgive. The most important lesson I have learned is to be vulnerable with my feelings, and allow myself to love fully.

I have decided I will not hold onto feelings of hate or anger. I do not carry around negative feelings, and I work hard to not pass judgment on others. We all have done things that have hurt others. We have made mistakes, and those mistakes make us who we are today. I wish I could have learned the lesson another way, but this is what the universe had planned for me. So, I do not regret making the choices I did, as I have repented, and I am set free of the past now. I don’t live in the past, I don’t hold those feelings close, and I have learned to live with my feelings, and realize that it’s ok. I will not be self critical of my past; instead I will embrace it. It has turned me into the person I am today.

I see the world as a beautiful place, and we should take care of each other. We need to invest in our health in mind, body, and soul. At the end of the day, this is all we have. So, I focus all my energy into surrounding myself with love. Love for the possessions I keep, the people I surround myself with, and the actions I perform. I want a life where I live free of ties, burdens, and unnecessary commitments. I only carry with me what I love. If you are one who I have chosen to spend my time with, know that I love you. Know that you are special to me, and I don’t just give my time to anyone. You are a beautiful soul and you deserve to be loved. You are cherished.

Love yourself openly. Be vulnerable. Be open to your feelings, and don’t be afraid to dream. Dream big and don’t be overwhelmed with the amount of work or time it takes to get there. Wouldn’t you rather spend the time working towards a big dream rather than wasting it just drifting?

Now, every day, I focus on being better than the person I was yesterday. I try to listen fully, instead of speaking and forming quick opinions. I try to pay attention and be mindful. I am trying not to jump to conclusions, judge, or pass negative energy to anyone or anything. Everyone has a reason for doing the things they do. What I can do is hold myself to a higher standard and try to be the best I can be. I won’t waiver, self destruct, or passively aggressively try to manipulate or control. We all do it from time to time, but the goal is to recognize it and try to understand that person is at a different point in their journey.

Acts of self-destruction, recklessness, inappropriate decisions, or poor judgment typically come from immaturity or lack of experience or knowledge. They haven’t found themselves yet, or know how their actions are affecting their lives and the people around them. The people closest to you in your lives are the ones you’ll see clearly. Those are the people where you have to let them figure it out themselves instead of trying to ‘teach’ them. They will accept the lessons freely when they are ready.

Live healthy, live free, live passionately. Be quick to forgive. Think before you speak. Send as much love out into the universe as you can. The world is lacking in true unconditional love. Take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Make healthy choices, for at the end of the day, you only have your health. Investing in yourself is the best choice you can make to achieve true happiness.

Programming

As my energy healer calls it, I’ve been running the same “program” for many years, resulting in the same story presenting itself over and over again in different areas of my life. We changed a program. I feel myself wanting to go back to that program sometimes.

The one I’m taking about is the ability to solve problems or find solutions. Sometimes, I’ve made up my own problems so that I could make up a solution for it. I’ve done this for years, and I was always told it was a symptom of anxiety. To keep the mind busy means happiness. When left alone, you feel unprepared when something does happen. Well, I’m no longer running this program. Which means less stress overall, and I don’t have to make up problems. Which also means I don’t have to constantly think about solutions all the time. Big projects and dreams don’t overwhelm me anymore, and I’m no longer looking at the end result. I’m looking at the now, and enjoying the journey.

goodlifeGoal-driven projects and dreams set us up to fail, increase stress, and always make us seem like we don’t have enough. So, I’ve stopped running this program. I take life as I go, and enjoy the every day moments a little more. I stop reading into every word said (or not said), and the little things that would normally drive me into a frenzy because I couldn’t figure out what the underlying meaning was.

“It’s not a big deal” used to irritate me when people said that to me. TO ME, everything was a big deal. I was all or nothing, and every day, I reminded myself of the big dreams, big goals, and BIG life I live. I guess it was an overwhelming weight on my shoulders. I take it as it comes now. It’s a way lighter feeling to not have to worry about how much I’m moving towards my goals. I’m exactly where I need to be. I have dreams, sure. And I’m motivated, but I’m done letting it affect my state of mind all the time and bring me down.

I work hard to be positive and to enjoy the moment. I don’t miss the little things that make life LIFE anymore. I go through phases where I see everything that’s beautiful and appreciate even the things a lot of people can’t see the beauty in. I go out of my way to see the good in people. Then, other phases, where I want to complain, bitch, and pick out all the negative things…especially in myself. When my self esteem is low, I look for things that are wrong with me. Why I can’t be happy, or make anyone else happy. My job is not to make anyone else happy. It’s to be happy.

So, I’ve been enjoying every single little thing I can think of, and filling up my thoughts with positive, happy vibes. No matter what’s going on around me, I’m in control of my state of mind, and how I see the world. So, I choose to see the beauty…again. I lose touch every once in a while, and I think that’s part of the learning curve.

I’ll get it. I want to be a positive, shining example for people who struggle with positivity. I want to share these happy feelings with the dogs I work with, my clients, and every person I come in contact with.

My success is based off of what I value about myself. Not what others gauge to be important to them. What does success mean to you? Personal value? Money? Family? Land? Material possessions? To me, it means emotional prosperity. I want to fill fulfilled as a person, and feel like I have achieved happiness. There are many ways to get there. What do I need to feel that way? A positive state of mind where I can appreciate all the good around me. What does it mean to you?

beautySo, world peace, love, and harmony to every one who reads this. We are all beautiful people. Don’t let anyone tell you different. You don’t need someone to tell you that you’re beautiful. Remind yourself instead. You are in charge of your own happiness. It’s hard sometimes, but you’re purpose is your own. You can lift yourself up, you can also bring yourself down. You are in charge of you. Make this so. In the end, the only person you have is you.

“Enjoy the journey” they said…

strength“Enjoy the journey” they said… “It’ll be fun” they said. Well, I say “Are we there yet?!” It’s like I’ve taken a cross country trip across Uganda… with a brand new pair of roller skates because that’s my style. This journey I’m on doesn’t just have speed bumps, I’m off roading with my roller skates. And I’ve fallen and gotten bloodied up, but I always seem to get back up quickly and keep going. I’ll never fall on that same bump again, though.

I can’t give up. I can’t stop. But I am trying to let go of the things I can’t control. Things have a way of working out when they need to, and as much as I can’t wait for all this to be over, I feel like I’m supposed to be going through this. To teach me something. And boy, have I learned.

I’ve learned about myself and what I want in my life. Who I want to be, how I want to treat others, and what is important in my life. I’ve learned to live lightly and enjoy the living, not the stuff or the money. I’ve learned to appreciate people and their hardships a lot more. I’ve learned to listen, not wait to react to what they are saying. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve also learned how unbalanced I am. I mean my energies and some emotional things I haven’t quite gotten over. There’s some unfinished business I need to address to be able to fully move on and be truly happy with myself. I’m not sure where it happened or where I picked it up, but I need to address it so I can be balanced and happy again. It feels like I can’t really work on this until I have a ‘home’. So I’m sitting on it until I can work through it. I need to learn to set down some of this baggage and walk away. It’s starting to get awfully heavy.

Something else I’m starting to learn is what ‘taking the time…every time’ means. Not only in dog training, but in life. I’m trying to not miss the little moments. However, I’m also learning when I need time for me to decompress and NOT take the time for that ‘opportunity’, but to take the time for me. It’s not about vacations or time off, it’s about the little moments every day where you take time for yourself and appreciate who you are. I’m proud of myself and for who I am. I have made mistakes, and I have learned so much from them. I’m happy. Even though my life has been chaotic for the last several years, it seems… I’m still happy. I’m happy because of who I am and where I’m going.

upsidedownWhen I talk to people who have gone through similar journeys, it shows in their eyes. You feel the energy change to a deep, loving, understanding vibe. And they listen to you. There isn’t much they can do to help you with this internal battle, but they get it. And you have their support. That feeling makes me feel like I’m not doing this alone. This is my fight, but having that support gives me the strength to keep fighting and becoming a stronger person. I feel like he’ll let me do my thing, and if I fall, he’ll catch me and then tell me to get back up and do it again until I succeed. I need that. I need him. (There, I said it.. in a blog.. that counts, right?)

 

Ready Or Not

Life is funny sometimes. The last few years have been major ups and downs, an emotional roller coaster, and full of very hard life changing events. I kept saying “Something good has to be coming” or “I need something good to happen for a while so I can offset the bad”. I had no idea what I was even asking for. I would have missed it because I wasn’t ready to see. I wouldn’t have recognized it if it was staring me right in the face.

So here we are. I’ve put in my dues, I’ve struggled through some hard times, and I have figured out exactly what I want. And as soon as I realized that, it seems that it’s been waiting for me this whole time. Waiting for me to be ready. Waiting for me to see. I have worked for years with my therapist to be able to see the world this way. What was I missing? I needed to hit ‘rock bottom’, as it were. I needed to follow through. I couldn’t truly move onto the next phase of my life until the previous one was closed.

goodthingsThe last 6 months I have been on a self-discovery journey. I have learned what I wanted in my life, where I want to go, and the type of person I want to be. I have been focusing on how to live my life the way I want to, without letting other people influence me one way or another. I’m totally happy to be me and love myself for who I am. But, I would also be ok to share my successes, failures, feelings, and experiences with someone who truly supports me and helps me become a better person. Someone who will realize I’m going to do my thing and who can welcome all I have to offer. I won’t change who I am for anyone. I’ve done it before, and I was lost. I didn’t do it on purpose, but I gave away pieces of my soul until there was literally nothing left and I didn’t know who I was anymore. Let’s be honest, I didn’t think this person existed. So, it’s not like I gave up, but I was skeptical that this was something that I could find. If that person came along, great. If not, great. I can’t love anyone else truly until I love myself that way.

Seems I stumbled upon that person a few months ago.. At a party in a PUB on New Years, it just so happens. A few drinks, and one ballsy move on my part led me down this new rabbit hole. Something happened to me that night. I had a realization that I was waiting for something in my life. I didn’t realize what it was at the time, and I was confused. I had to let go for a bit to figure out what I needed. I needed to close a previous chapter, I couldn’t truly move on until that was finished. There was no way I would have been able to say with full certainty this is what I wanted and commit if I didn’t take that time. Every day, he exceeds my expectations. Something incredible is starting, and it’s just the beginning. He is in a very similar place in his life, and he really understands everything I’m going through. He never feels like I’m too much or not enough. He sees me for just me. He WANTS me to be just me. I realized I’ve never had this, and now I’m never going back. How was I not ready for this before? I guess I had to go through some shit first. I’m terrified of finding someone who is as intense in everything as me, but I’m also so excited to see where this adventure goes. I’m all about doing things that scare me, and this is a big one. If you don’t, what’s it all for?

My housing situation has been in the gutter since I decided to sell. My temporary place was only supposed to be for a few days to a few weeks. Turns out, it’s was more like a few months. Finding the right place seemed impossible. It seemed like I would find it, but it would be under contract even before we set up a showing, or I wouldn’t like it, but it was perfect for the business, or the business wouldn’t work there, but I loved it. It was always something. Starting to get discouraged, and looking at dozens of houses not finding anything, I started to have thoughts of giving up my dream. It had been one loss after another, but I kept going. Even though I didn’t have the energy, I kept going and looking because I don’t know how to quit. I don’t know how to actually stop trying and throw in the towel until there is literally nothing left to save. My patience and mental fortitude paid off. I’m under contract. It could still fall through, but now it would have to be because of something on the inspection. I’m allowing myself to get excited, but not get ahead of myself until the inspection is complete (which will be next week). Things are falling into place, and I’m ready!

Finding myself has been one of the most important things I have ever done. At the end of the day, at the end of your life, how will you feel about your imprint on history? What do you want from your life? I want to feel like I’ve helped people. That I’ve made a difference and people will remember me for what I’ve done. I want to share this with someone who is as intensely passionate about their own work as me. Finally…”The good is coming”.fear

Here’s To You

 

Moab Utah

Bowtie Arch, Moab, Utah
3/12/2016

Sometimes, it feels like the stars align in just the perfect way where you can’t believe things happened so perfectly. Careful though, this is not to be confused with a fairytale. Those don’t exist, and usually seem great until they come crashing down at some point. As I have said before, I’m choosing the way I want to live my life. I want to see amazing things, I want to put forth the very best I can, and I want to be happy. I want the hard parts too, because challenges and obstacles are what make us into who we are. Where I am now, I don’t need much to be happy. Which also makes me happy knowing that. I’ve worked so hard to develop the tools I have now to feel the way I do. I came from dark emotional alleys and dangerous gullies flooded with toxic thoughts. It’s taken so much time, effort, and a shit ton of sacrifice to pull myself out. But once I did, I’ve realized what is important, and what are distractions.

Every single day is a new opportunity to do better, be stronger, learn more, and grow. I feel I have done so much growing in the last several years, and it’s turned me into the person I am today. However, to grow much, you need to lose much. I have lost, I have hurt, I have been broken, and I have made mistakes that were costly. Yet, I have lived. I have so much more I want to do, and have so many dreams I want to fulfill. Failures are how we grow. I’ll keep making mistakes, and I’ll fail sometimes, and I’ll be ok with it. I’ll recover and move on. It makes me stronger, and I learn from them.

The situation and the experiences I have gone through in the last few years have been all over the map on the emotional scale. I lost myself. I learned to find it quickly, because I didn’t have a choice. I move fast, I don’t look back, and I heal fast. There isn’t another way. Life is too short and too precious to waste time on things that aren’t going to help us grow. The challenging part is figuring out what those things are.

I believe the soul is a muscle. We all have broken spirits in different ways from different things, and unless we truly want to devote the time and energy into strengthening and healing them, we can’t progress or feel true happiness. The journey of self discovery and self awareness started years ago. I didn’t realize it, but every choice I made brought me here. I look back and see what I’ve done, what I’ve been through, and where I’m going, and I am proud. I am humbled by the mistakes I have made, but I don’t regret anything because it has gotten me to where I am today. I love my life, and I love where I’m going. I have learned to pick myself up no matter what happens, and continue on. I am my own keeper, and I control my life.

There are parts that are uncertain or stagnant, but that’s ok. There are parts that are kind of shitty, and that’s ok too. And there are parts that are fucking incredible, which I like to think are the rewards. I have faith, love, and happiness in my life, and I will never stop giving 100% to everything I do. The reward of this is too great to do anything less.

So, here’s to you, Life. Thanks for all you do, and giving me the opportunities I have. To the mistakes I’ve made, to the rewards, to the learning, and to the failing. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon, nor do I plan on slowing down. Give me all you got, I want it all.

And just because I want to put some beautiful pictures I took of Moab in my post. Enjoy 😉

Moab, UT

Slickrock Canyon, Moab, UT
3/12/2016

Healthy Painful Decisions

sunshining
Decisions that are healthy for us are usually the hardest ones to make. The small decisions like to have or not to have ice cream after dinner, grilled chicken vs McDonalds are even sometimes difficult. When it comes to the big ones, it’s downright heartbreaking in a lot of cases. And even though the decision makes sense, it doesn’t make it easy.

When everything in your head is telling… no, SCREAMING the same thing over and over, it is usually a telling sign you know what the right answer is. But you also want to avoid impulsive decisions if it hasn’t been something screaming at you for long. Fighting things like that are what I do best. I wanted to see the good and to see the end game. I was ignoring what was right in front of me, and not seeing it for what it was. In my case, the end game isn’t reality. It’s a dream. A dream from a fairytale. Fairy tales don’t exist, and the dream I wanted isn’t real. I wanted to believe that work could be done to save it. But, at the end of every day, I wasn’t happy.

fightWhen the decision is made and executed, you know it was right or you know it was wrong. When it feels right, it doesn’t mean you feel good about it. And it doesn’t mean the recovery will be peaceful or painless. In fact, in my experience, you are rushed with many emotions that cycle throughout you for the next few days. Your body needs time to adjust to the shock, the adrenaline, the fear, excitement.. whatever else kind of emotions there are when you make your decision. Mine was a deep sense of loss, relief, and a want to run far away to get away from everything for a few days and process these overwhelming emotions.

worthAs I stated in my previous blog post a few days ago, accepting the pain and knowing you are doing it for something that makes you better is how you should handle these things. Breathe through it, just breathe. This is incredibly painful, but I knew it would be. This is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I’m letting myself feel the pain, breathing through it and I’m letting go. I’m finally letting this go. I know I have done everything I could and more, and I know I can’t say I could have done any better.

I feel as if I not only did everything right, but I put all the tools I learned into play, and I feel like I am making the best decision for me. I also feel I am making the best decision for him. It’s not my place to say what he’s going through, but this is what I felt I needed to do for both of us. Because I love him, I have to leave him. I have to let him go. For me and my own personal reasons, but also because he can’t thrive with me right now. He can’t do this with me, and as much as it hurts when mistakes were made, it hurts more that we can’t face these challenges together.

letgoSo, I made the decision, and I’m accepting the pain. I’m also looking at the bigger picture and realizing this is what we both needed. It was too soon to reconcile. And I’m accepting that too. I feel disappointed and very sad, but I also have the closure and peace of mind knowing I did everything. I literally gave it all the energy I had. I sacrificed time and energy I normally would have used on myself, or on my business, and focused on the relationship. At the end of the day, I was exhausted from working on the relationship so much, I never had anything left for me. I’m at peace, and I will be ok. I’m not regretting anything, and I’m handling the emotions by just letting myself feel them, knowing I did my very best to do everything I could on my end. Shit happens. Let it go and carry on.

What Is Love?

soulbeautyI love everyone. Every single person I come in contact with is loved by me in some way. I choose to see the good in people. I choose to see beauty, and I see that everywhere I go. I see that in the mountains outside my house, the stars in the sky at night, in the personality of my dogs, and in the mechanics of my car. I choose to see beauty in absolutely everything. In people, I see their physical looks of course, but more importantly, I feel I can see the beauty of their soul. I start talking to people, and in just a few seconds of meeting them, I see them radiate their own special aura of beauty. I see their personality shine through when they speak, smile, work with their dog or interact with their family. And to me, every person is incredible and beautiful in their own unique way.

In the people closest to me; my friends and family and my clients, I have a very special opportunity to get to know them a little better. And in doing so, I get to know what makes them tick a little closer. I get to know their strengths, their weaknesses, and their fears. In working with my clients’ dogs, I build a sort of very personal relationship, and I do see habits and personalities that some of their closest friends don’t even notice. And I love this part of my job. I can help people with those weaknesses and build confidence, which is empowering to them. I see it and it brings me joy when the concepts click and they are proud of themselves. That is one of my very favorite parts about my job. That’s one of things that makes me tick.

With some of my clients, I become friends with them. I start to care about their families and what they are doing on a daily basis with their dogs. More so than just on a professional level. I try very hard to make sure boundaries don’t get crossed. Just like a therapist and their patient, it’s important to not encroach on their patients’ personal lives. I have met some of my very best friends through my career, but it’s always friend or dog trainer in those moments. I go into a zone on either one. This has taken some practice on how to “turn off” either side.

I am a transparent person. I never lie (I’m not very good at it anyway), and I expect the same from my clients and the people in my life. When I am lied to, it deeply damages my soul, and my ability to see the beauty in people. I have been lied to, betrayed, hurt, and broken in the darkest of ways. Repeatedly. So, my soul isn’t as beautiful as it used to be. It has pockmarks and scars throughout. Once again, I feel as if my soul is dark and twisty and broken.

I’m looking past the scars and sometimes gaping wounds of my clients when they come to me for help with their dogs, so I’m trying to look past my own. I won’t hide, I won’t retreat. I’ll just keep going and give the wounds time to heal. The wounds that other people keep inflicting on me. I protect myself, but eventually I get tired, and let my guard down. Then I get clubbed with ugliness and evil. I always get up, but I take on these new battle scars each time.

Regardless of my battle scars, I will never stop loving deeply, or seeing the beauty in every person I meet. No one can take this from me. I will always get up eventually. And no one else is in charge of my feelings but me. I choose to be happy, I choose to be in control of my emotions and my state of mind.

Sometimes, in helping another person through some of their problems, I heal a little bit of me. Sometimes, being broken in company is the best kind of remedy. I helped someone release a little bit of emotion today. And it made me see how absolutely beautiful they were. A little later in the same day, she was there for me when I needed to be healed. I’m hoping it did the same to her, as it did to me.

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Today, I faced one of my biggest fears. I haven’t been inside of a church willingly in over 10 years. Walking up to the doors of the church took me 2 tries. I stalled and answered a phone call first, and then took some deep breaths, accepted it was going to hurt… and then let it go and moved on. And I walked in. I got a little nervous again walking down a long, narrow hallway with closed doors on either side. I felt very claustrophobic, but I kept walking. I just focused on my breathing, and how this is for a good cause. I needed to do this. I got to the end of the hallway and reached my destination. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for just a few seconds. And then I realized where I was.

I was attending a client’s funeral. I was invited to attend this intimate event and robinjablonmourn the loss of this client with her family and friends. She was an incredibly beautiful person, and the way I remember her, she was always smiling and had a warm, inviting presence. She was there for me in my own time of loss, and was incredibly supportive. Nothing but loving energy from her, telling me everything will be ok, and that I’ll become stronger from my trials. She said she would pray for me, and that I deserve all the happiness in the world. I truly believe she meant that when she told me that, and I felt a sense of peace.

I helped her with her dog for about a year previously, but as she started to get sicker and sicker, her dog sensed that and became more and more possessive. I didn’t put together the dots on this until later, so we did more sessions, and I helped her with confidence and leadership building, but we weren’t making much progress. It was shortly after our last session that she was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was around midnight in early December that she messages me on my business page. She said she had a brain tumor and was losing her vision, and was so scared of death. She didn’t know what to do, but she felt like she wanted to reach out to me, that we had a connection and she wanted to tell me. I felt deep sadness for her, and I wish I could have teleported to where she was to hold her and give her the type of energy she gave me in my time of need.

I wanted to remember this client as the beautiful soul she was, so I didn’t want to see her in the open casket. I could still see her face, and the top of her head. And even though I didn’t go up to see her closely, she was radiant. She was beautiful, even while sleeping eternally. And she was loved deeply. Everyone had such wonderful things to say about her, and it made me think about her husband and her family a lot. They had such touching words to share about him as well. “Her boys were her greatest accomplishments”, “Her family was the best gift she could ever receive in this life”, “She loved her family with all her heart”… And then the things they were saying about her husband. “He gave her the life she always wanted, and she lived it to her fullest”, “He was the perfect husband”, “Not once did I ever hear her complain about him, or say you two had an argument”, “You were her best friend and treated her with such kindness”, “Billy, you were her guardian angel. She always did like the thrill rides and did scary things at 59 like white water rapids”, “Billy, she’s waiting for you in Heaven”. I’m not religious, but these words got me more than anything else said. I am very spiritual, and when I die, I hope someone is saying those things to my partner. Life is too short and precious. I want my life to be filled with beauty and love. This was a bittersweet reminder of what I have been missing.

It also got me thinking to what I would do if I suddenly died. What’s most important to me, and who? Who deserves to make decisions for me in death? What type of service do I want? Let’s be clear. I don’t want to be buried in an expensive box. I want to go back to the Earth. Let me decompose and be born again into a tree. I want to be part of the beauty that is this world. I want my friends and family to bring their dogs to my service. I don’t want sad music or churches. I want to have a gathering of everyone I love (which, as I said…is everyone) come and talk about silly, funny, happy stories about my life. Tears are fine, but I want people to be more happy than mourning. I want my dogs to be taken care of by people who love them as deeply as I do. I want my business to be sold to someone who has a passion for training and teaching, or be shut down and have the money go towards my friends and family who have helped me get to where I am (“am” meaning at my time of death).

So, to conclude this very long blog post, I am choosing to be happy. I am in charge of my life and how I feel. I choose to see beauty in everyone. I hope that this blog post finds everyone healthy and happy, and if not, choose to see the beauty in the world. It won’t show itself to you unless you are receptive enough to pay attention. Be mindful of the world and its’ energies and make it a better place. CHOOSE to be happy. CHOOSE to see beauty. Only you can make this happen for yourself.  Be the change you wish to see in the world. Those words were never as clear to me as they are now. It’s like I’m hearing them for the first time.

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