Jumping from the Height of Luxury

The palace architecture resembled that of King's Chapel in Boston, only magnified 100x!

The palace architecture resembled that of King’s Chapel in Boston, only magnified 100 times!

I had a dream last night that I was in a grand palace. The palace was far too big for my tastes. Grand hallways of polished marble stretched on forever, fine artwork decorated the walls and the furniture was too luxurious and fancy to sit upon. I don’t remember why I was there but I do know Jazzmin was with me and we were both feeling rather lost.

I encountered some former friends while I explored the palace and after talking with them I just wanted out of the place. The friends had moved on with their lives and left me behind but now that they saw me again, they felt the need to brag about how happy they were. How in love they were, how wonderful their lives were, how they had everything they ever wanted. I was wearing jean shorts and a tank top while they were dressed in expensive designer clothes. My yellow mutt and I felt horribly out of place.

I was upset that my former friends were so obviously fulfilled without me in their lives. All I’d ever done was be kind to them and try to give helpful advice and they’d snubbed me for the “love of their life.” They’d tossed me like a dirty rag because I’m the weird girl who spends most of her time writing, walking her dog, listening to birds and watching butterflies. They were much more “fulfilled” spending every conceivable moment with their beloved. I didn’t care how happy they appeared to be because I was certain their words were lies and their whole demeanor just a well-rehearsed performance.

In my efforts to get away from these former friends, Jazz and I became separated. This was horrible for me because Jazz is always stuck to me like my shadow. Somehow one of my ex friends had lured her away from me and I was desperate to find her. I finally found my way out onto a balcony and gulped in the fresh air like a fish gulps in water after being on dry land too long. The luxury and grandeur of the place was suffocating to me and I wanted out!

While standing on the vine-covered balcony, I heard Jazzmin barking above and to the left of me. I looked to find her on a higher nearby balcony poking her head through the marble railing with her tail wagging happily. She was obviously very eager to get to me despite the offer of treats from the person on the balcony with her. As anxious as I was to be reunited with Jazz, I was afraid she was going to try and jump to get to me. No matter how much she loved me, I didn’t think even Jazz could leap that far.

So I shouted at her to wait, that I’d find her. Too late. Jazzmin leapt through the railing across the open expanse and poof! my dream created a balcony between the two of us for her to safely land upon. I was so relieved! She then made the last jump to me and I hugged her and praised her as her tail happily whipped back and forth and she rubbed her head against mine. We both wanted out of that place but had no desire to go back inside.

Looking below me I realized the balcony was now much lower than before so I swung my legs over and jumped down. Jazz squeezed through the railings and hopped down to me and we took off running through the lush, emerald-colored garden overflowing with fountains, flowers and topiaries. I didn’t need those former friends or that grand palace to make me happy. I knew in my dream, as I do in real life, what real love feels like. Genuine kindness, caring and love are luxuries and treasures far greater than all the money in the world.

Excuses are Easy

Excuses are easy. I know this because I use them myself. Excuses are easy but work is hard. It’s so much less strenuous to give ourselves a reason not to do something than to muster our strength and just do what needs to be done! Sometimes when we give someone an excuse we’re trying to get out of doing something for them even though it’s within our power to do it. Sometimes we give excuses because we’re hoping the other person won’t sympathize with us but will in fact motivate us to do the task at hand. Either way, the ultimate choice of what we do is within our hands.

Yesterday morning it was rainy and cold so I didn’t walk my dog Jazzmin as I’d been doing the previous two mornings. I felt guilty about it but I thought I had a viable excuse for not exercising her. It was pouring when I got home from work so my excuse not to walk her remained. I was tired after work and it would’ve been extremely easy to just spend the night sitting and writing. That’s not what I did. After a snack I did the P90x2 arms and shoulders workout. When I was finished with that the rain had stopped so I got Jazz all collared and leashed and we went for a brisk, hilly walk. Was I tired after all that? A little. But I was so proud of myself for doing what I needed to do that my energy returned stronger than before. I know from extensive past experience that doing physical exercise increases my energy so if I just stop feeling sorry for myself, get off my butt and exercise, I’ll discover that untapped energy that’s always inside me.

I’ve been learning a lot more about energy lately. From a close friend with extensive dog knowledge and from the dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, I’m discovering how positive and powerful energy is important for properly training Jazz. She doesn’t know what I’m saying when I tell her “I’m too tired to walk you” she just recognizes my energy as weak. I can’t allow myself to emit that kind of energy. I am the pack leader and she needs to see that at all times. She doesn’t care that I’m tired after work and that it’s pouring rain, she has energy she wants to release, she wants to walk!

I have a very active and creative imagination and I can always think of tons of excuses not to do something. Excuses are a waste of my energy and a waste of my time. I’m tired, I’m afraid, I’m sore, no one understands me, everyone judges me, I have it harder than everybody else…those aren’t just excuses, some of them are outright lies. I do get sad and feel sorry for myself but ALWAYS without fail I come out of it and then reprimand myself for wasting precious time on the negative when the positive is so much stronger!

It’s entirely possible that my friends get tired of me trying so hard to see the positive side of every situation (and sometimes I fail at doing so) but I remain persistent. I’ve survived many challenges, so have we all, but if I’d given in to weakness I wouldn’t be where I am today and there’s no acceptable excuse for that.