What is a Dog’s Purpose?


Dogs are unconditional  love. Anyone who has experienced a strong relationship with dogs recognizes that truth. They are unconditional love.

On January 27, 2017, the beloved novel, A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron will hit the big screens. But a controversy has marred the event and an online petition calls for the filmmakers to donate proceeds to animal welfare organizations.

What does all of that mean for dog lovers who can’t wait to see the movie?

Dennis Quaid, the two-legged star of the movie, said that he “never saw any abuse of any animal. If there had been, I would have walked.”

Watch Quaid’s interview with ET.  Or watch Ellen Degeneres interview Quaid and then make a passionate plea for people to support the movie.

Please don’t believe everything you see in your Facebook feed. Decide for yourself if the controversy is enough for you to not watch a great family movie that tells the truth about dogs.

Dogs are unconditional love. Perhaps more people should model themselves after dogs. kiss-meIt’s just another step in the Heart Dance <3.

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Learning to Forgive


Forgiveness is one of those words that has been hijacked by well-meaning parents, teachers and even religions. It is really a simple concept, but we may have forgotten that.

To forgive means that you would have said something differently, taken another course of action or allowed the other person’s view to be the guide.

Please join me as I talk about forgiveness, dogs and how to step into your abundance.

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It’s just another step in the Heart Dance <3.

Follow Your Dog’s Lead


I went to visit a friend whose sister had just had a baby less than one year before. My friend and I had not seen each other and we were busy catching up, when her sister walked in the room with the baby. She was sound asleep and her small round face was framed by her peaceful features, completely relaxed.

 

The three of us talked quietly as the baby slept. When the baby began to move and stretch we-all-start-out-as-loveas she was coming awake, her mother did something I have never seen before.

She picked up her daughter and cradled her with one arm, so the baby was facing her. As the baby opened her eyes, her mother raised her up so they were almost at eye-level. And they both smiled in recognition of each other.

It was a tender moment of connection. It was mutual acknowledgment and love. It was a perfect example of being seen.

Humans have a deep seated need to be seen.

Not for their aspirations, accomplishments or achievements. But to be seen for their naked, unadorned self. Without judgment, criticism or ridicule.

When you were an infant, new to this human experience, you never doubted that you were seen. In fact, you were more comfortable in the other world where you came from, than you were in this new world of physical sensations, restricted energy and embodiment.

Just like my friend’s baby, there was no doubt that she was seen and loved. You were that way when you took your first breath, when you felt that blanket wrapped around you, holding you close.

What stops you from being seen? Your stories.

Stories are the interpretation you place on the stream of life that flows through your awareness. When your story is negative, judgmental or makes you “less than,” you have stopped the flow and anchored the energy inside of you. As the moments continue to flow through your awareness, your story adds a filter that allows only that information that supports the story.

At the most fundamental level, you see your life through the lens of your stories, instead of what is really there. You make decisions or withhold your authentic self because of your distorted view. As you interact with other people, their stories come into play and you begin reacting to their story, filtered through your story.

No wonder you might feel misunderstood, alone and unworthy!

There is a better way and it is probably lying at your feet right now. Your dog knows how to let go of the past and stay fully aware in the present moment.Drop the Leash3

   Dogs are unconditional love walking around on four legs.

Why are they so good at it? Because they can’t create stories around the moments that pass in front of them. They see clearly and remain connected to their essence.

It really isn’t that complicated or difficult. Just be unconditional love in every moment. To learn more from a very special dog named Avatar, please click on Drop the Leash.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance <3.

Why Forgiveness?


When you think about forgiveness, it may be in the context of your religious upbringing, culture or history. In fact, you may see forgiveness as a way to show how magnanimous you are. Or how superior or advanced.

In the end, that type of forgiveness is all about you and really not about the other person.

I like to call that “fake forgiveness.” You are never released from your hurt; you just have covered it up with “forgiveness” and you expect the other person to act a certain way. When they don’t, it starts the process all over again.

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To discover what real forgiveness is and how it can release you from the cycle of pain, hurt and anger, I wrote a book called Drop the Leash: Let Go of your Past and Love in the Present. Learn more by visiting KathrynEriksen.com.

It’s just another step in the Heart Dance <3.

 

The Touch Point of Your Breath


Have you ever noticed that nature, when observed carefully, can teach you about how to live?

The rhythm of life pulses through nature unabated and Breatheuncurbed, flowing from Source into the physical and back to Source. Effortlessly moving from the infinite through the finite then back again. It is a cycle of energy that repeats itself effortlessly and continuously. You could even call it the cycle of renewal.

A colorful butterfly emerges from the cocoon, transformed from a slimy caterpillar. Trees are clothed in leaves of gold, red and brown when it is time to slow down for winter’s cold. Water evaporates from the ocean to form clouds that will eventually return the water back to the ocean.

What does anything of this have to do with you?

You are part of this never-ending cycle of life. You are the conduit for the same energy that moves the wind, creates elephants and touches the sky at night with color.

The only difference between you and nature is that you have a choice about how you express this life-force.

When you stay stuck in your emotions, the life-force is expressed differently than if you were at peace. When you choose to carry your anger or hurt into the next moment and the next, you react instead of respond to life.

Reactions spring from emotions. Response carries a deeper mindfulness and authenticity.

Emotions are really just energy in motion. They are a signal to you that your peace has been disturbed. E-motions are a tool, not a definition of who you are. Just like with any tool, you use it then set it aside.

What is a simple way to remember to release emotions? Just breathe.

Mark Nepo, a poet and philosopher, in The Book of Awakening, described the human condition this way:

Again, and again, we, more than any other life form, have this majestic and burdensome power

to harbor or release the impact of our experience.

Think of the breath as the bridge between the formless energy and yourself. Breathe in as you experience your life, breath out as you release.

Try it out now. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it, releasing it slowly through your mouth. Repeat two more times.

Don’t you feel calmer and more grounded? Your breath is the touch point for your peace. When you feel emotions that disturb your peace, return to your breath. It works every time.

The cycle of life can be found in the simplest of things. Welcome to another step in the Heart Dance.

Are Your Stories Empowered?


“How do I begin?” my friend, Anne, asked me over lunch one day.

“You begin with your stories – that collection from your past that you still tell yourself, and you alchemize them.”

The look on her face was funny and sad at the same time. But I have to hand it to her, she was game to continue. “Explain, please.”

“Alchemy is a funny word but it really just means transformation. When you ‘alchemize’ your stories, it means that you used the Story Alchemy™ process to reframe your story.” I paused to see if she understood. She nodded and I continued. “Part of the process is to release your old story, forgive yourself and others, and then replace it with an empowering story.”

We were enjoying lunch outside a small sandwich shop when the conversation veered in the direction of my passion – Story Alchemy. At first, Anne was politely curious, but she became more invested after I shared how much my life had changed after I began telling myself empowering stories.

“It sounds too good to be true,” skepticism ringing behind every syllable.

“Your stories act like filters on your awareness.” I paused as I looked around for an example that would bring the point home. “Do you see those two women at that other table? When you look at them, what are the thoughts that run through your mind?”

She glanced over and mused out loud. “They could be a mother and daughter having lunch.”

“What are some other possibilities?”

“A teacher and a student. Maybe the older woman is her aunt.”

I smiled…and did not say a word. Anne glanced back over to the other table and noticed that the younger woman was getting agitated and upset. She was moving uncomfortably in her chair and was intently focused on the older woman, her body tense with emotion.

“Definitely mother and daughter,” Anne declared with triumph.

“You don’t really know if any of those things are true, do you?” I asked gently. “You just observed an event and made up your own stories about it.”

Her confused look was comical, but I held her gaze while she puzzled it out. When the realization dawned in her eyes, I knew she had turned a corner.

“I get it! I decided they were mother and daughter because I remembered a similar scene with my own mother.”

“You recognized a similar pattern and immediately came to the conclusion that they are mother and daughter.”

“I guess so,” hesitation in her voice.

“Let me explain it this way. Your brain is designed to remember and recognize patterns – it helps you make instant decisions about whether something or someone is friendly or dangerous. That ability was helpful when survival depended on whether you knew if that large animal coming toward you was a saber tooth tiger, but it can really mess up relationships when you jump to a wrong conclusion, based on your own stories.” I took a sip of iced tea and waited a few moments for that information to sink in.

“When you saw those two women start to get into an argument, it reminded you of an argument you had with your mother, didn’t it? You felt the same emotions from the past when you observed that incident just now, didn’t you?”

Anne’s eyes widened in surprise. “How did you know that?”

“There is a deeper story of pain, isn’t there?”

She took a deep breath and nodded slowly. “When I was about that girl’s age, I had a terrible argument with my mother about where I was going to college. I finally gave in to her choice of schools, but I still resent her for forcing that on me.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered that scene from many years ago. “It caused a rift in our relationship that is still there today,” she quietly admitted.

I reached across the table and gently squeezed her hand in support and friendship. We sat for a moment while she composed herself. She finally looked up and asked the question I had been waiting for.

“Can Story Alchemy help me reframe that story about my mother? I’m so tired of carrying it around.”

I stood up and hugged her, my heart singing with joy. I said a silent “thank you” and knew that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, helping my friend find peace with a slice of her past that still impacted her present moments.

To learn more about the Story Alchemy process, please visit KathrynEriksen.com and join the Story Alchemy email list. As you transform your stories from lead to gold, your heart will dance with life.

Your Shadows Cannot Survive in the Light of the Sun


ShadowsLightShadows are created by something blocking the light. When you hold onto a painful story or refuse to acknowledge it, a shadow is created. Light cannot reach through the shadow, because your choice to “be right” or “be the victim” blocks it.

You were meant to live in the light. To be happy. To be joyful. To be like a child and know that you are loved beyond measure. To forgive yourself and others, because you want to live in the light more than you want to be right. To be love and give love, freely and without any doubt of its existence or your worthiness.

Dance in the light and the shadows disappear.

How do you dance in the light? Please visit HeartDancingNow.com or check out my latest book, Heart Dancing: A Story Alchemy Adventure. 

Please join me in the Heart Dance. Live from the music in your heart,

not the messages from your mind.