Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

New Friends

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Relaxing at the end of the cruise. My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, it will definitely not be our last! We enjoyed everything about it, the beautiful islands we visited, the incredible ship we sailed on, the terrific entertainment on the ship and of course the food which seemed to be in abundant supply and around every corner. But if I had to say what we enjoyed most it would be the people we met.

When John made the reservations for this trip, we didn’t know what to expect. We knew there was a dining room with a set seating plan and that we would have the opportunity to enjoy our dinners in this lovely room every evening if we chose to do so. After chatting with others who are much more experienced travelers, we selected the option of dining with several other couples as opposed to only one other couple. The rationale was that if we didn’t really get on with one or two of the folks, we could easily swap seats to have a pleasant time with people we got along with a bit better. Well, that sure didn’t happen.

We were seated at a table for ten. Now I like and get along easily with most people, but I could not have expected that I would come to really like all of these people. But, I did, how cool is that?

There was a real mix, people from all walks of life. Teachers, a farmer, an engineer, a salesman, home-makers, an accountant, fire-fighter and of course me, your friendly life coach and Reiki master/teacher. Quite the blend. Most were retired, some had gone back to work part-time. John and I were the only people there who claimed to still work full time. All were world travelers except again for us; they shared their wonderful experiences with true generosity and great humor.

It didn’t take long for us to really begin to look forward to dinner time, and not just for the food. Ms. Virginia quickly began the habit of asking everyone to go around the table and share what they did during the day. It was such fun; the stories were colorful and entertaining, to say the least. Since our table was so large it wasn’t unusual for smaller conversations to take place as well. We moved our seats around most evenings so that we all had the opportunity to really get to know our new friends. Our friends gave us great tips about visiting the islands, sharing stories of what they had done in the past and what they had learned in their travels.

We found that we had an awful lot in common. How is that possible? William and Virginia hail from New Brunswick, Canada and have traveled extensively due to his position as an engineer. They told wonderful stories about countries I have only heard of in the past. George and Mary now live in Arizona, they too have great stories and they share jokes that made me laugh so hard I cried. Peg and Roger split their time between their farm in Ohio and their lovely home in Tennessee. I don’t remember the last time I saw a couple so clearly devoted to one another and still able to tease and laugh so easily. Each day we heard about the tour they took and somehow they always got a tour that offered rum punch – I really should have spent more time with them! Les and Cathy live in California and from the stories I’ve heard Les has world-class gardens, he refers to them as his hobby. Somehow, even though all came from different walks of life we found that we had an awful lot to talk about and share each evening. John and I were always delighted when we would meet some of our new found friends during an excursion or while walking around town. Each meeting just got better and better.

My normally shy and very quiet husband talked to these people as though he had known them for years. I’ve known John for 30 years and I can tell you, that never happens! These newfound friends put John so at ease that he laughed and joked, told stories and never once felt self-conscious about any of it, just one more reason why I’m grateful to have met these folks.

It’s pretty interesting to me when I look back at this experience. While I do like meeting new people and making acquaintance it’s unusual to meet people that I consider friends this quickly. Some of them already feel like old friends and I’ve known them for less than 2 weeks. Color me grateful.

Is there a life coaching or Reiki lesson here? Probably, but I’m pretty relaxed and not really looking for lessons at the moment. I’m simply happy and grateful and looking forward to meeting these wonderful friends again soon.

My wish for you this week is that you meet someone new who quickly becomes an old friend. It’s pretty unusual but very special.

Namaste,

Sandy

Thanks Indy!

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Indy in deep thought.

Indy in deep thought.

If you’ve ever read my blog before, or have taken a walk through my website, you probably know quite a bit about me. You know that I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, beautiful but brrrrrrrr cold today. You know that I’m a holistic life coach, that I believe it’s impossible to compartmentalize our lives all that much. And you probably know that I live with a dog. Not just a dog, but a DOG. Indiana, who was named for the movie character Indiana Jones, is a very good representative of the boxer breed. He’s a very pretty boy, with a wonderful smooshy face that actually smiles when he’s happy. Energetic, friendly, playful and loving, he’s also lazy, sweet, cuddly and communicates his happiness or disappointment very clearly. It turns out that Indy also teaches me, on an almost daily basis.

Recently a friend of mine visited. Along with her came her wonderful vizslas. Her boy is named Tugger and her sweet little girl is Max. Now Tugger and Max had never been to my home before, so while they were enthusiastic to go somewhere new they were also a bit shy about meeting a new friend in a new home. Indy was just beside himself. He’s usually very exuberant about meeting new dogs and while generally polite, has been known to offer a few boxer punches to get the play going. Apparently this time, Indy was able to understand the caution of his guests. What followed was very interesting and once again reminded me of some very clear lessons.

All of the dogs went into the backyard. Max and Tugger began exploring but ignoring Indy. Meanwhile Indy went into serious play mode. In the doggy world, it’s polite to ask another dog to play and then to wait for a response. This is what an exuberant Indiana did. He ran all around Tugger and Max, he offered play bows and then waited at a polite distance for a response. Indy tossed his toys their way and did everything he could to entice a game of chase or wrestling. Meanwhile, Max and Tugger became more comfortable with the yard and house. They got closer to Indy but didn’t engage in play. Eventually, all three dogs came into the house and settled into naps in the same room.

Why did I tell you all of this? Besides telling you that I’m very pleased about my Indiana showing good doggy manners, I also think that the dogs were demonstrating very clear lessons. Indy was offering friendship and playtime, he even offered his toys. Max and Tugger were a bit shy but still friendly and very polite. They did not snarl or growl, they simply told Indy that they weren’t quite ready for that kind of closeness. None of them took it personally! For me, that was the lesson. It sounds simple enough, but it can be quite hard to learn and even harder to actually practice.

Here we go, life coach lesson time. Don’t take anything personally. When Indy made the offer to play it was not accepted by Max or Tugger. That didn’t have anything to do with Indiana personally; it had to do with their not being familiar with the house, yard or Indy. Indy didn’t take it as a personal rebuff; he simply understood that they had their own stuff to work through. Wow! It sounds simple enough, but it’s really huge. Did you ever say hello to someone who didn’t respond? Or who didn’t respond in a friendly manner? It’s tough sometimes to remember that we have no idea what’s going on in that person’s life at the moment. Maybe they have a problem that they can’t shake, maybe they simply didn’t hear. We don’t know. At the same time, if we take it personally, we might have our feelings hurt and we could become angry or sad. Why? It had nothing to do with us personally. When we are able to realize that what others say and do has nothing to do with us, that it really is all about them, going through day to day interactions becomes much easier.

So, next time you are in the grocery store and someone is rude or unfriendly, try not to take it personally or to respond in kind. Keep in mind that that person may have something heavy on their mind and let it go. You’ll feel better and you will not have done anything to make the other person’s day worse, you may well have helped them to feel slightly better in your neutral or kind manner.

That’s it. Once again Indy and his new pals reminded me of a very simple yet very powerful lesson. Don’t take anything personally. Thanks, Indy, Tugger and Max, I really appreciate it.

Wishing you a fabulous day filled with simple, sweet reminders of this lesson.

Namaste,
Sandy

Lessons from My Dogs

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

misc 002Did you know that some life coaches have four furry feet?

Some of the most amazing life coaches I have ever known have been the boxers who have come to live with us. As I watch Indy, it occurs to me that dogs know how to live a positive, stress free life and inspire others to do the same.

Indy is the third boxer that has been a part of our lives. These amazing dogs have taught me so much. I watched Rocky put up with unbelievable silliness of three very little boys. While he romped and played with them, he also watched over them with love and devotion. He was an unbelievably friendly dog, but he always stood between any of my little boys and someone they might not know. One of my favorite memories was of Rocky sharing an ice cream with my eldest son. Not terribly hygienic I know, but it’s amazing to remember my son taking a lick from the cone and then Rock would lick. They shared an entire cone in this manner. Now that’s love and patience.

Rascal was the next boxer to become part of our lives. He taught our boys and their friends that it was okay to be a bit goofy even when they were growing into teenagers. He would romp and play and follow them around just waiting for a game to start or someone to stop and rub his ears. The boys would forget they were supposed to be ‘big, tough boys’ and would talk in sweet sing-song voice to Rascal, enticing him to play. When they would ‘camp out’ on the family room floor, he taught them the value of sharing as he would curl up on someones blanket. None of those boys, my own sons or any of their friends, ever asked Rascal to move. They simply shared. And they were rewarded for their kindness with boxer slobber and snorts. High praise indeed!

Rocky and Rascal have passed and now Indy lives with us. My sweet boy is always eager for a game of tug or a walk and each time I walk in the door he’s as excited to see me as if I had been gone for weeks.

Each of these dogs has reminded me of the most simple yet profound lessons. Expect wonderful things from the day, and you’ll always find something that makes you happy. Greet everyone as though they are loved and you will be treated with love in return. Share your most precious gifts (slimy toys in their case) and others will share with you.

I could go on and on, but anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to know and love a dog, knows just what I’m talking about. So for today, I’d like to thank my wonderful dogs for the lessons they have shared and that Indy continues to teach and share. They are indeed wonderful life coaches.

For today, look around and find an unexpected life coach. Someone or something that is teaching you perseverance, love, patience. I bet you’ll find something or someone who is teaching you how to live your best life, right at this very moment.

Wishing you a fabulous day,

With warmth,
Sandy