Resilience vs Breaking Down

So much of how we think and what we think we know is based upon our culture, how we fit in and perceive the world immediately surrounding us.   

EACH OF US IS DNA but we are also programmed from the time we are born, by well-meaning but sometimes misguided family members, parents who perhaps think they are protecting us or we are learning and programming ourselves simply by watching what they do.

SLOWLY ENDING – Breakdown and age do in fact happen, but the process is significantly slower than I believe most people think.  For example, how long does your typical well made car last?  And I mean both mechanically and aesthetically.  How long should paint last on a vehicle in Texas, for example?  The car above is a 1995 Turbo MR2.  I bought it new and the photo is recent.  The paint is original and the interior looks perhaps a few months old.   We are like this car.  80% of our health comes from our diet.  Take another 20% and label that the environmental factors such as smog, smoking, stressful conditions, polluted water.

MOST OF US ARE MADE WELL – what we need to do is capitalize on as many ways to help our bodies detox, de-stress and heal, as we can and on a daily and weekly basis.  This should include fresh made green drinks, limiting sugars and processed foods and eating as much organic raw food as possible rather than cooking everything to death.  The cooking process destroys the naturally occurring enzymes that help your body process the food.  Living fast doesn’t help our body last.  Slow things down and listen to what you need. You are the director and take full ownership of your overall health. Nobody else is going to do it for you and, nobody else can do it better, really, if you are in tune with yourself.

LIVING THE LIFE! – The best way to live a resilient energetic life is to put some work into that.  Take up yoga, even one day a week.  What I discovered through yoga for myself is all the little ways I am imbalanced.  For example, my left-hand holds the pot and my right washes.  How do you take your pants on and off, what fingers are involved?  Which is your stronger and weaker side?  When you learn these things, bring your awareness to them, that is when healing and transformation can begin.  To help with that, I have put together some tools with links for you, along with a bit of information about them.

DO YOGA –  First I recommend going to a class if you can because instructors can adjust you and you get the energy from the room.  You also meet like-minded people, it’s all fabulousness!  But you will want to also do some yoga work at home too.  For this, I adore this set Yoga For Beginners and Beyond.  Not only can you customize a workout, but you can choose some very healing slow yoga and target areas you need to strengthen and stretch. Other than poses and postures, the first and most important tool is your mat.  I am a big girl, and there is a lot of weight pressing down on my feet and hands during various poses so  I highly recommend the Manduka Pro Yoga Mat.  And it comes with the eQua Yoga Towel.   Even if you are the weight of a feather, this mat will last you a lifetime and provide the joint cushioning required to do the fancy stuff like flying into plank. IF you go to a class, which I also highly recommend, you will want a bag to keep your mat in.  I am not a polyester fan (petroleum industry and not natural fiber) so I recommend the Joyne Large Yoga Bag  that is cotton canvas or the Bean Products Yoga Bag which is hemp.  Both are roomy nice bags that will hold other personal items along with your mat.  I personally have a manduka bag, but it was back when they were cotton canvas.  These two bags are as nice and come in some groovy colours too.

FEET FIRST – I want to talk about Yamuna Foot Wakers and YogaToes.  And, I’ll be honest, I love things, props, that I can use while just cold chilling in front of the TV or reading perhaps.  It takes you from trying to be patient through the process of using the tool for x many minutes to really enjoying an extended session with the tool as you occupy your mind.  So the foot wakers come in spiky and rounded.  I have the gold spiky ones.  As we age, our feet, which take a beating for us every day, can have issues with shortened tendons. Sometimes we lose the spaces between our toes and the ability to stretch our toes out. Yoga toes help with aligning our toes so there is space created between them, as well as a gentle therapeutic stretch. Always, of course, wear comfortable shoes!  You want to protect the health of your feet because if they aren’t happy, neither are you.

Foam Rolling for physical therapy!   This is two rollers in one, a great value.  Smooth to just relax and stretch and the textured roller provides deep tissue massage.  If, like me, you sit all dern day long at a computer, then you probably have shoulder and neck work and lower back work…how did I do?  Am I right?  🙂  If you are a lumberjack, that’s ok, (for the Python fans) you and everybody else in all lines of work, can benefit from this.  Use it daily.  I typically do it prior to bed.  Nothing screams old more than aches, pains and not being able to move around quickly with ease.  You will see results.

Using the Dharma Wheel – Sukhamat Yoga Wheel – This little gem is an intense stretch and comes with a booklet of great poses you can use this tool with to help you go deeper into the pose and body healing and stretching.

For the ladies, Intimate Rose, Kegel Exercisers.  Yoga class also teaches bandhas (Check out The Master Key for men and women) that help tighten up muscles down there, but this is a great tool for after pregnancy, labor recovery, bladder control and the overall tone of the pelvic floor.  When my mother reached her 70’s, she could not make it from the bedroom to the bathroom, one room away, without going all over the place.  This is important.

LOVE YOU! –  The most important thing you can do to live the longest most resilient life is to love who you are.  There is nobody exactly like you on the planet.  Whatever work you do, you bring you to it, which is a quality that cannot be exactly duplicated.  I had to unlearn a lot of bad programming.  I was always told there were people better at x than me.  While this may be true, none of us should ever toss in the towel on our ability to learn and grow and bring ourselves to the task at hand.  What if Prince said Michael Jackson is the best so why bother?  Who do you think is better?  Both men were exceptional musicians and artists who brought their own personal stamp into everything they created.  So whether it is Project Management behind a desk most of the day or on center stage, what always matters is you and how you can do it.  Embrace this life because what comes next is a mystery!

Filled Up, Fed Up!

Part of what attracted me to Mid-Century Modern design (See my other blog is the simplicity and openness of the architecture, the wedding of outdoor and indoor spaces, thus creating a delightful blur between us and the rest of nature with window walls and sliding glass doors that invite us to explore beyond the four walls.  While you can still fill it all up, this type of architecture begs for simplicity and looks its’ very best sparse. Sparing in both landscape and furnishings works to showcase the design and create expansiveness. Most MCM homes were not large sprawls but under 2500 sq feet. Mine is 2105 and I had to significantly pare down and squeeze into it.  2 years in, I have given up a leather lounge set and other furnishings too substantial, too heavy and large to fit comfortably.  Our home looks fairly spacious and I am continuing to reduce things.

A few years ago, my husband and I agreed to let go of anything we either didn’t really love or didn’t use at least annually.  Being fully mindful of what is used and what continues to sit year after year is eye opening.  Sure, the thing may be nice or be a lovely gift but if you are not actively using it or it is not a delight to the eye, such as a piece of art, then let it go to a new home where it can live out the life intended for it and thereby create space for something you truly want or need in its place.

I have a neighbor who collects stuff.  He wants it all for free.  He will admit it weighs him down, he has boxes and boxes of stuff and has even built a new garage and rented a storage unit to contain it all.  Things don’t always store well.  Fabric, rubber,  materials get dry rot. Hoses, seals and belts dry out, wiring can get ruined as well.   I had an opportunity to buy someone’s 1 year used high-end washer dryer set but they had been in storage for a few years.  I just pictured the potential hot mess I was buying and said no.  Things are made to be used and few things remain pristine and perfect for long periods unused.  Buy and hold onto what you need and let the rest go.

We tend to think in terms of great deals and opportunities that come only once, sales and getting stocked up.  The truth is that the universe is infinite.  When we act with right action, with good intentions, the universe conspires to provide us what we need and want in our lives.  There is no need for jealousy or clawing at what we want, it will happen when it’s time, when we are ready, as we plan in faith.

I will share just two.  Story 1) I spent 3 years searching for a Mid-Century Modern house, they are suddenly all the rage and I completely get why, however, it made finding mine a bit of a living hell.  I had notebooks filled with zip codes, prices, addresses and comments. It was a second job for me, finding out Middy.  I looked so long and hard that the same houses came back on the market.  You know you’ve been looking a while when that happens.  As it turns out, a home I lost the first time around, came back 1.5 years later when the couple that bought it realised they would never ever move back to Dallas and sold it to me.  I lucked into a pocket listing where this house had not yet gone officially back on the market, back on MLS, but the current owner called my realtor who said ‘I have your buyer’.  Planning, patience, preparedness and a little kismet!  Sometimes I wanted to give up, perhaps it was not meant to be.  A year into the search, some friends asked me how long I was going to pursue it but my realtor said looking this length of time was not unheard of and to stay the course.  So I did.

Story 2) I was laid off at work and had several deaths in the family.  Coming out of a time famine where I worked exceedingly long hours most of the time at no additional compensation, which had left me losing out on a lot of personal time with family, I created a wishlist of what I wanted next.  My focus was on what I wanted not what I did not want.  I believe you have to think in terms of positives, of affirmations and make it so.  My wishlist was 1) Not to work so hard to earn.  I wanted to apply myself, but not to the point of health affecting overwork. So my goal was hourly employment if possible or a contract that limited my exposure. 2) I wanted to work from home because I get a tax write off with my office and have been working from home for 20 years.  I wanted to maintain this environment if possible. 3) I wanted to better or at least maintain my current salary.
I meditated on my wishlist but was also open to the possibility that I would not get everything I wanted as I was re-inventing my work self.  In the end and amazingly, an ex-coworker set me up in an amazing opportunity that provided me exactly everything on my wishlist.  I was laid off a full year.  During this time, I did not actively pursue employment.  Instead, I focused on myself, my health and wholeness.  I spent the entire year studying with Hippocrates Health Institute, which has nothing to do with Project Management or Telecommunications, but everything to do with my life and creating balance and longevity, both key to both my happiness and my future employer.  I worked at being a leaf upon the wind, letting my inner voice guide me to the right decisions as I ended up with several offers.
When we stop, breath, listen to what brings us closer to peace or farther away from it, we get clear on what makes us happiest.  Life is not meant to be a drudge but overall, a joy.  Work should be, while at times we all get a bad day, something that brings you fulfilment.  Someone job searching posted on LinkedIn all her struggles to locate work.  She was making a full-time job of it and for months on end.  I could hear the stress in the spaces between her words.  My comment back was a suggestion she perhaps just stop.  Just stop.  Just relax.  What brings you peace?  Would you like to learn a new language or take a psychology course or go on a working trip abroad or any such something you normally would not do in a typical time famine between work and home requirements?  Go, do those things and let the answers and the opportunities come to you.  When we are not bruising our shins on too much dross in our lives, even grand, luxurious, nice dross, we find the space we need to co-create change in our lives.  Stuff weighs down our mind.  Everything we own is catalogued there, something to track and care for.  Too much stuff can be overstimulating to the eye and nervous system.  Less to dust is not a bad thing.  Find your own comfort level with stuff, with space and here’s to co-creating your best life!

A book to help you get there: It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh

PurePet Dental Treats and Products That Work

Brushing your pets teeth is important, but how many folks actually bother on a regular basis?  With some pets the job is easier and others completely impossible.  Firstly, just like us, we need to be mindful of the food we feed them, avoiding sugars that harm teeth.

Raw meaty bones help clean the teeth and give your pet something to occupy their time with too.  Raw because cooked bones are brittle.  Yes, you can feed your dog or kitty a raw organic meaty chicken bone, just never any cooked!  Just as you should for yourself, buying clean, fresh organic meat from a reputable place assures you don’t have to worry about bad pathogens.  And remember, your dog or cat is a carnivore, with a system built to eat meat.  We do not possess that system.  When we ingest meat, we are not eating as our maker intended.  Therefore, we are more susceptible to illness from partaking.

Avoid bad mojo ingredients – There are a plethora of products out there and it still amazes me how Propylene Glycol (antifreeze) is in so much stuff, from cosmetics to pet products. Proof we are insane.  Read your labels and shun anything with chemicals, sugars, by products.

Rhett turned 7 this April.  He has never had a formal tooth cleaning at the vet and one is not needed.  I attribute this primarily to Ark Naturals Breath-Less Chewable Brushless Toothpaste and Ark Naturals Plaque Zapper, which is a powder treatment you add to the drinking water.  Cats and dogs typically don’t mind, it is flavorless.  This is exceedingly important for picky kitties!  The product contains naturally available enzymes which are activated by mouth saliva. As your pets drink from their water bowl, Ark’s PlaqueZapper zaps harmful mouth bacteria and the enzymes stop plaque from sticking to teeth.  The vet said Rhett’s teeth and gums looked fabulous and was shocked when I told him we had never had them cleaned.

I highly recommend using both the chews twice a day, after breakfast and dinner, and in the morning, add your water treatment because the zapper powder lasts up to 8 hours once mixed with water.

Feel free to comment, I love reading what folks have to say and kindly share out my blog to help others.


Petfood Rant

As a few of you know, Rhett, our resident Doberman, has battled Kidney Failure since 2011, since he was just a year old. This is due to Nestle-Purina Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky treats, which were Rhett’s favorite.  That and duck.  Rhett is a German Dobie with a few 16 year olds in his line.  His great-grand-dad, Buddy, passed away last year at 12 1/2.  Nobody in his line has kidney issues.  I will never get un angry over this injustice, this unkindness, this inhumanity over money, this refusal to remove crap from the shelves of stores that is killing our pets.  I remember when I finally found the culprit, after feeding these treats to my boy, not realizing it was slowly killing off his kidneys.  I took 2 bags of this shite back to PetSmart where I bought them.  I used to spend $300-$500/mo at PetSmart between toys and treats for Rhett and my kitties.  But that day I took the misbegotten bags of Canyon Creek Ranch treats back, with their American Flag emblazoned on the packaging, I asked to see the manager.  I explained the situation and it became clear he knew already.  The answer I wanted to hear did not come, that they had already removed or would remove the products from this company off the shelves immediately.  No, instead I was told they were going to ‘Phase them out over a 2 year period.’  That was in 2014 and I have not spent one dime in that store since.

Logic No?
If I owned a corporation, sure I would want to save as much money as possible, but NOT to the detriment of my client.  No, I want to please them, make the highest level of quality product for them, retain them and hope their health holds up so that they can buy more from me!
Since exactly when did killing off the client base make sense to anybody?  I see it in both human and pet foods but am completely mystified as to why.  It makes no sense.  Even if there is a wee bit of savings initially, you are killing your customer.  Who’s to say you are not sued?  Who’s to say, your secret will not go public and make your products and your company an embarrassing outcast? Many of these corporations also make human food so if you are poisoning our pets, are you poisoning us too?  So many questions arise with questionable ethics displayed.

Several Shades of JADED – I read labels, I was educated on pet foods and biologically appropriate foods etc.  I just had no idea that the high dollar treats I was feeding my boy would be tainted with anything other than pure goodness like the bags promised.  After this happened I went totally off the rails of typical pet foods and went alternative.

Here is a great info book, Buyer Beware, about the pet food industry crimes.

Here is a great link and you can sign up for recall notices too.

I encourage you to read labels and vote with your wallet.

PurePet – Pet Food Review

This is Rhett (Full name Hieronymous Rhett Thomas O’Brien Puppy).  He is almost 8 years old here in this photo.  See my separate Pet Food Rant.  I am passionate about creating a tipping point in the food industry where we hold companies accountable, with our awareness and wallets, to producing good quality foods for us and our pets.  I spent a year studying with Hippocrates Health Institute, then studying Canine Nutrition and want to share what I know to help anyone who wants to listen.  🙂

Kibble is easy, and as a Canine Massage Therapist, I work with a few rescue groups who feed kibble.  It’s cheap and easy.  The problems with it though are many.  Firstly, it dehydrates your dog (or cat).  Sure the animal will most likely drink more water but in many cases, they will not get enough to compensate for the lack of moisture.  Next, most kibble utilizes a high heat extruded process that essentially wipes out all nutrition and all natural enzymes vital for proper bioavailability/digestion.  This is why the label will say proudly ‘Added Vitamins and minerals’ or some such.  It’s because they HAVE to!  There’s no nutrition left in the over processed product. Finally, what goes into these kibbles runs the gammut in quality, from animal parts unknown and awful such as chicken feathers and feet to rendered carcinogenic cows. On the higher end of the spectrum (you doing your research and asking questions and feeling decent about serving a particular kibble) you may get something holistic, organic, human grade etc.  Orijen for example does not use the high heat extruded process on their kibble.  I realize folks have budgets.  We can only do our best right?  If you have one dog, it’s easier to spoil them than it is if you have five.  We do what we can.

Add SuperFoods – There are superfoods that you can augment any meal of choice with.  In the book below, I note a recipe and as a Canine bodyworker, I also sell one too;  human food grade bone and joint supplements.  Superfoods add micronutrition to the food.  In this day and age with soil erosion, pesticides, man-made chemicals in nearly everything, bad air and water, we (all of us) need all the help with minernals, nutrition and detox that we can get.

Go Organic, wild crafted, holistic, Non-GMO – This is the very best way to avoid Genetically Mutated/Modified Organisms, pesticides,  questionable meats and other ingredients that will otherwise be present in the pet food you buy.  The label should tell you it is certified organic and many times will also tell you it is GMO free.  The best of both worlds is seeing both statements on the label.

What is Holistic? – Holistic simply means taking a whole or entire body approach to resolving concerns.  Western Medicine looks at symptoms and then how to treat that symptom.  Many times this works great.  I have a headache, I take an aspirin, headache remedied.  But when we delve into headaches holistically, the worker wants to know the underlying cause of my headaches and treat that and not just the sympton.  When we discuss food, rather than the cheapest ingredients and proceses out there, a more health forward approach has been taken, ostensibly.

GOOD Homemade Food – You can make foods at home, and it is really easy once you get the hang of it.  I use Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats.  It is a great resource to look up  health questions, natural remedies,  as well as some great recipes.   I make up my Healthy Powder and am ready for home made yumminess on the week-ends.  Rhett is used to eating a varied diet, much like how we eat, so I like to change up his flavor profile so he doesn’t get bored.
Another terrific reference book is Martin Goldstein’s he Nature Of Animal Healing. There are some great natural ways to mitigate heartworm (Black Walnut) amongst other remedies. This is one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to look up a problem and how to resolve it.

Freeze Dried etc -There’s some really good raw, freeze dried and dehydrated options on the market today! I mentioned kibble is dehydrating. When you prepare home made meals either from scratch or by using something you can rehydrate in the kitchen, you are amping things up to a whole other level for your pet.   I like things easy but healthy.   Dr. Harveys Canine Health (and the entire line) is just fantastic!  I am also a big fan of Honest Kitchen which has recently created a complete serve it dry like kibble offering called ‘clusters’ that we have our new puppy on. First you have freeze dried dog food that comes complete, you just add hot water to re-hydrate. If you are wanting to provide the protein source, they have great bases or mix-ins, like veg-to-Bowl, Oracle or Raw Vibrance and, Canine Health which has grains.  Mix-ins are great to add in your protein of choice and particularly good for situations where you have to limit or add additional protein.    What is great about it is that it’s organic, human grade,healthy wholesome ingredients created by folks that truly care about your pet.

I have used Dr. Harveys since Rhett was a puppy but a couple of years ago, after my holistic alternative vet retired, I was left floundering with how to continue to treat Rhett’s kidney issues.  The vet we use for his regular blood work, just tossed a bag of Science Diet KD at me and that, I already knew, was the wrong path.  Their eyes glazed right over as I ranted about GMOs, corn in the KD, pesticides if the food is not organic etc.  My chart at the vet just says I am ‘refusing standard treatment due to lifestyle choices’ which sounded vaguely judge-y. But also, I find the stance very interesting because they are IN the health care business!

Your Vet is not trained on pet nutrition in veterinary school.  Your vet should be primarily concerned with making your pet live the longest, highest quality life possible.  When it comes to life saving emergency work and needed surgeries, Western medicine is where you need to go but sadly, unless you are seeing a well rounded holistic veterinarian, big pharma has already trained them on how to use (and sell) their pesticides and other medicines.  Just as with us humans and WM docs,  they seem mostly to understand how to prescribe more shots and prescriptions that make the pharmaceutical companies rich.  And provide sub par foods that kill your companion far faster. The insideous business of this is that, as a vet, we trust them.  We must take up the mantle of doing our own research here because there are so many great and wonderful things veterinary school teaches and a seasoned vet knows.  Nutrition, unless they have taken it upon themselves to become certified in animal nutrition later, is not one of them.

A client recently told me to stop talking about food choices for her dog with recent diabetes. She was certain her vet would know more.  I knew what would happen, I just had to back away and let it play out.  She was prescribed Science Diet for her diabetic dog.  But as she is my client, very bright and we talk quite a lot, she became concerned about all the corn (GMOs and Pesticides as it is NOT organic corn) in her dogs prescription diet,    This is the best part….she went back to her vet, brilliant at medicating the diabetes…and voices her concern about the kibble.  Her young vet sighs and calmly explains ‘These companies have been around for decades making and researching pet food.  I am not going to recreate the wheel.’  In case you feel I am picking on the WM vet, I am not.  You will find the same issues at most doctors offices.  They will tell you veganism will kill you, that dairy is good for you and other misnomers.  They just don’t have that training.

Seek Out Specialists – None of us can ‘do it all’.  If you need guidance on food, go to a pet nutritionist who has certified in animal nutrition.  If you need animal chiropractic, Massage or Acupuncture, go to a specialist certified in these modalities.  Again, none of these things are taught in veterinary school.  A vet may add these certifications to their training but keep in mind, none of us can do it all marvelously, so specializing works out best for your fur kid.

Our alternative vet retired. Due to China tainted meat in a big brands dog treats, Rhett ended up with Kidney failure or in TCM we like to say Kidney Deficiency which sounds so much better.  I knew enough to be dangerous so I kept him going, however, I really wanted some guidance. In my website there is a page dedicated to recommended holistic wellness practitioners.  Please see that if you are in the DFW area.  The vet we used for Rhett’s bloodwork suggested Dr. Pam who was the only other alternative vet I knew of in the area.  I spent 2 full years trying to get Rhett in to see her.  She was always going to call me back and finally the 2nd year, stated through her admin that she was just too busy.   I am sure she knows her stuff…but waiting 2 years and still no time means she is not in my recommended list.  I have nothing to judge her off of as my pet could not get an appointment.  Frustrated, I wrote to Dr. Harvey one day when ordering a sample of the new Paradigm food.  Lo and behold, Dr. Harvey called me back.  He continued checking up on Rhett, offering help which is very appreciated.   This is very appreciated as my WM vet I was seeing had Rhett, a 100lb Doberman, on 8oz of protein every 3 days, meaning I would make up a batch of his food adding only 8 oz of protein for a 3 day span and when his BUN was still elevated to reflect early stage renal, she suggested dropping his protein lower.  The boy lost 10lbs of muscle in 3 weeks and continued to get skeletal. He got some gray hair, noooooo.  I spoke with another vet who stated older dogs actually require more protein as they don’t metabolize it as well as they did when young.  The trick was getting enough protein without too much to send his kidneys over the edge.  Feed him as much protein as you can without seeing issues was the new plan.  Rhett went from 86lbs back to 100 where he looked awesome.  His original fighting weight was 115.  100 looked good on him.  His hair came back rust and tan again.  He looked good.  Rhett remained in ‘Early stage’ renal from just over a year old until his death at 9.5 years old.  We assume a massive heart attack but it wasn’t, in the end, the kidneys that took him out.  I attribute this longevity of damaged kidneys to all the great holistic food and superfoods and detox herbals etc that he was on.  He was not subjected to annual shots, his water was purified and he ate so well.

Sickness and death happen to us all.  None of us gets out of here alive.  That stated, we can all let food be thy medicine and do our best to support companies that truly care, do our research and make the better choices that improve our quality of life.  The first thing people always said (up to the day he died, 9.25.19 while on a play date, whenever they saw Rhett, was  ‘What a handsome and healthy dog!’  Rhett looked like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Dobermans.  I believe he had good genetics and next it was the food that helped him reach his maximum potential.

TOXINS – RAW VS COOKED – When you cook anything, particularly at high temps, you ruin the natural enzymes and you create toxins that the body has to rid itself of in the digestion of the product.  Raw or low cooked foods are best, for us and for them.  I go for fresh organic meats for our new puppy so that her growing body doesn’t have to work so hard at digesting it.   Then I add in greens, like wheatgrass, Chinese Chlorella, Klammath Lake blue-green algae,  along with walks and massage.

Some other sites I go to frequently are:,, and

Hope that this information helps you and I’d love to hear about it!