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The “You Have Cancer” News

Famous words for serious conversations:
“Is now a good time to talk?”
My biopsy Dr. said one late afternoon.

Her words softened,
Her words hung in my head.
And yet, I was strangely detached.
Not really bothered. Not in shock.

I had long known I would get cancer at my age. I didn’t believe it to be a death threat, although that was what my doctor referral notice said. I thought I should be alarmed. But I was not.

A silence grew between us as I processed. The Dr. asked if I was alright. I said flatly, “It doesn’t surprise me”. Silence again. Then I followed up with “What’s next? I want this resolved.” I am not one to bury my head in the sand. Although I knew the lump was growing and passed it off months prior to ripping a tendon or muscle while lifting heavy gates and much more. Actually told a friend I was going to need surgery. However, I didn’t think it would be BREAST CANCER.

I told the Dr. what I had done months earlier and wondered if there was a connection. NO. This was a very slow growing tumor, commencing with estrogen deposits in the duct. I figured it did not become noticeable sooner because my diet is healthy: anti-oxident aka anti-cancer foods. The good news. No cancer was detected in the lymph node next door to my soft, swollen ‘cyst’ that was a tumor of ugly.

There are no coincidences. I wrecked my body after months of heavy lifting, digging and prepping my property to build a house and horse barn. I was severely misaligned and my left side was hurting bad. I went to my primary care and asked for a referral to see a chiropractor. And added I had a lump too. He asked if I wanted a mammogram. I said YES. So if not for my broken body I may not have detected this tumor even though I knew it needed attending.

My first time ever chiropractor visit revealed I had 3 ribbed stretched out of place. Right next to this tumor. I had felt the fluid flow into this area and form a soft ball. And I monitored it as it got hard. I ignored. Why? Because I know my body always healed itself. Yet, my body screamed loud, in spite of my high pain tolerance. The chiropractic visits realigned my body. As the rest of my body reset, the tumor site did not. It had a voice of its own that screamed too! My side was on fire. I hurt from much that was self induced. I grew overly tired and often fell asleep during waking moments. My conscientious had been drifting as if I was in a lucid dream state. I was in this world; yet not feeling a part of it. I had lost bits of time; blank spots. This had been going on for a while. I did not connect it to the mass of dead cells inside me. Until I knew better.

Of course I went through a big head time reassessment. And realized this prognosis was about me changing my consciousness; elevating it to the next level. After all I am a person who seeks to expand my mind. A student of the universe, and a co-creator in hand with the Almighty. So why not me? I seek experiences, not always nice, and as a teacher I am compelled to share for the benefit of others who will walk similar paths.

MY cancer news came on the Monday of the last week of Advent. Timely. Fitting. On Good Friday I did a backyard ceremony. I had held onto PSTD for too long that was related to too much past trauma. I made a list of the people, events, and circumstances I allowed to take up rent in my head. I cut the list in strips of items to purge out of my life permanently.

I took a new white mug, the strips of the list, and a lighter outside. Set up a pseudo alter. Burned each aggravation and set it in the mug to smolder to ashes. I chanted a prayer and blessed my past. Forgave myself- and others for our ignorance of being unaware of our follies. I intentionally used the Easter Triduum to journey the path of Jesus. I repented. Gave thanks. And held gratitude in my heart and soul. And loved and thanked all who I believe trespassed me, including the lump that laid inside my bosom. On Easter Sunday I went to the Pacific coast to soak up Ocean Ions. A non-Catholic since 15, I still firmly believe in many of blessings that Christ gifted to us. I acknowledged and found God’s journey and this timing was quite representative of my own walk and circumstance.

This tumor of growth has set me on a cycle of acceptance. Releasing resistance. And trusting the medical profession during this tumultuous time following Covid, and with our world in chaos. I reach back to the innocence of my youth when the world belonged to my desires. Fearless. Adventurous. Faithful all would work out. And it did.

Consciously I decided to be proactive. Learn about what so many women before me have persevered. Understand their breast cancer, so in turn I can help another. It’s about choices. The little ones and the big ones.

It took me awhile to utter the words “Breast cancer” as if it were contagious. And, I have barely uttered the words to this point that: “I HAVE breast cancer”. I will tell you why. I see myself as whole and in a few weeks on the other side of this and healing up from surgery. I do not want to focus or dwell on it. I see myself then telling many friends for the first time, “I HAD Breast Cancer”.

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Every Day is a Gift: A Lesson for Self Love

“Every Day is a Gift.”
My aging Mother told me one day.
I pondered this often.

Her astute words came after a comment I made.
That I did not want to be on this earth
if I could not do the things I could do now.
I lead a very physical life.
Built Fences. Did Construction.
Hiked Mountains. Rode My Horses. More.

I could not conceive another type of life. But now I am forced to. I bought a property that seriously called me. I told the seller that nothing about buying his property made sense. But, for some reason it was beckoning me to live on this land. The view was irreplaceable restful. More so, I knew it was my predestined spot.

The property needed plenty. Serious clean-up; a questionable 1930s house; a hillside with dying trees that needed logging and de-stumped to make horse pasture. It was not just the horse setup, but a house for me and my cats too. While the task did not daunt me; a timetable was looming. I needed to exit where me and my pets were temporarily housed.

Exactly 3 months after closing day I brought my horses, cats and myself to my property. The house had been demolished. The trees gone. Pasture was de-stumped leaving huge slashed piles to burn. All underground utilities replaced and new. Temporary horse corrals and shelter setup. A small RV for me and my cats to live. I was literally in the trenches doing much of the work and orchestrating the rest. Determination and a vision drove me. My body worked tirelessly in the hottest week of August. I was a machine of accomplishment. Neighbors asked if I had an off switch. They also thanked me for giving the land new life.

Once living on site. More work. Fencing. Burning the slash. More months of cleanup ensued. My horses went to a close by ranch for their safety. As for me, I didn’t stop until I broke my body. I felt a rip through my back left side.  I ignored. I let it go and continued to work, hurting. I reasoned my body would heal as it always had. But, it rebelled. My body burned. I felt a lump growing in my left side by my breast. My sister suggested a chiropractor to realign. I went. First time ever. I had 3 ribs out. After months of hurting I felt good. So good I went out and worked again. I felt my rib pop again. Sh*t. Why can’t I stop?

At this time I had a mammogram scheduled because of said lump. I went. There it was clearly. A mass on my left side by my rib. A lymph node also enlarged. The technicians were concerned. Sent me to ultrasound to measure it all as I watched. Then scheduled a biopsy. Sh*t again.

This is a strong lesson in self love. And to alter my life to self care. To think different. Do different. Ask for help. Accept outcomes. And LOVE myself more, because I AM WORTH IT.

I could slap myself. But believe I just did with a reality I manifested from ill thinking. I feel my mother hovering over me in spirit. A lot. I Love you Mom. And you are so right: EVERYDAY IS A GIFT.

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Why It Took Me 4+ Years to Sell My Home!

A celebration
is in order.
My house is
now SOLD.
You may be
How come it
took 4+ years?
Well, here’s
my selling story.

My First Attempt to Sell: Summer 2017

I found a cottage tucked in the woods 3 hours away. The access was a bridge over a creek. It was charming. The bonus was riding trails and a lake close by. I put an offer on it, contingent on my home sale. Within that week every last real estate contract concerning the cottage and my home were canceled!

I had the Realtor who was handling the cottage buy, also list my home. Thought it easier to have one point of contact who could coordinate all parts. Wrong. She forged MY signature on a second MLS listing for my southern Oregon home! And lied to another local Realtor she coerced into signing the PSA!

How does this happen? No good answer. She was an experienced Realtor. With a very BIG problem. Her Principal Broker fired her.

Yeah. She was reported to the Oregon Realty Board by her former Broker. I wrote the Realty Board a 12 page grievance outlining her performance. They sent me a note saying they were not going to investigate. UNTIL I wrote a strong email back. And copied in every lawyer I knew. They opened the case for investigation. Where is the accountability for agents? Dunno!

That was my first attempt at selling my home. Realty friends, family et al were mystified at this deception. Wondered why I was not upset. My comment: The universe must surely have something better in the works for me.

Second Try: Fall 2017

That fall I listed my house with a local Realtor. She was argumentative, but I gave her my listing. Figured with her debate style, she would negotiate a decent sale. Showings began and were fairly constant.

During this time, one morning I found my horse JD down in his paddock. When the vet came out, JD was back on his feet. JD had never been off. He was 26, in great shape. Vet did a thorough exam. Found nothing. Had blood tests. Nothing conclusive. We administered antibiotics and other shots to boost him. JD recovered, but my intuition knew.

Interesting. From that point forward absolutely no one came to view my home. I shut down. Did not want to move, or stress JD, or myself. I didn’t pull the listing. But the Realtor thought it odd all showings just stopped. Her answer was to drop my price 50K. Didn’t do it. I let her listing run out. The next spring, 2018, my JD crossed over his rainbow bridge.

Third Time: Fall 2018

2018 summer this valley was filled with fire smoke for months on end. Not a time to sell. That fall I decided to do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) and listed for 6 months on the MLS. It rained almost the entire 6 months. Had some good showings; one ridiculous low offer.

Fourth Go Round: Spring 2019

This is hardly a mention. Because I never listed with this dude who solicited and befriended me. I was ambivalent. I caved. His listing agreement had a commission higher than was promised. Bait and switch. I confronted him. And canceled the listing he goaded me into. Over the next day he chastised me for questioning his integrity. Two emails later our relationship ended. Particularly after he said he would honor his baited commission IF I agreed to keep it hidden from his realty partner, which happened to be his wife!

The Fifth Revolution: Summer 2019

Intentionally, I interviewed top agents. Picked a 2 man team. Nice guys. Said and did all the right things. Promised to allow ONLY pre-qualified buyer showings.

Turned out, they had selective hearing. My house became a freeway home to an onslaught of lookers. I stepped next door and spied, as showings were short. Agents and their clients were sloppy. Left horse gates open. Let my cats outside even with a large note to leave them in. Kids went crazy while parents were inside doing god knows what. Oh, and a buyers agent lost my house key. Which forced me to call the regional MLS to get involved because my agents did not care until I forced the issue. Then the last straw? An unannounced agent came to show my house.

I asked my Realtor if he wanted my listing anymore. He yelled at me! No concern for my welfare. For *#%$ sake- I was his employer! The one who held his paycheck. It had been 6 months of babysitting stupid stuff they promised. I was beyond done. The only good that came from the last years were my Real Estate Ethics Lesson Plans.
BTW, Thank YOU ALL for contributing to Patty Ann’s Pet Project!

The ironic moment > The very day I retired these Realtors, and decided it was easier to do a DIY FSBO, a letter came from the Oregon Realty Board. They concluded the gal who blatantly forged my signature–two and a half years prior–was free to carry on—as she had been anyway. They only put a letter in her file. No wonder agents run a muck. That same afternoon? I sold the first of my Real Estate Ethics Lessons. Serendipity?

The Final Frontier: July 2020

Done with realtors I was back on the market as a DIY FSBO. And, back in control. Covid-19 actually helped me out. Buyers and agents had to email provide written proof of funds first. After I approved, they could view my home…wearing masks, gloves, shoes off, no kids, adult buyers only. That worked to save my sanity of lookers. Some agents were not allowed entry due to lying, arguing and more rude agendas. They wore me out.

Out of this craziness came a difficult sale. The buyer was determined in spite of her sabotaging agent who was clueless to rural properties. The buyer caught on told her agent to ‘stand down’. I forged ahead orchestrating the closure. Amid the vast fires my home sold on Sept. 30. Oct 1. I escaped and never looked back. See. When you know the worth of your home and believe in it. And you have clarity about what you want and stick to it, the universe delivers.

There were advantages of taking 3+ years to sell. Truthfully, it took time to let go. Also, as I explored towns, my mind changed where to live many times. As well, I evolved. And so did my expectations. Instead of thinking of a forever home, my ideas became fluid, more flexible. It didn’t stop me from being discerning. My desires had been well placed out in the cosmos. I trusted it to deliver. And IT did. My next property came with all my dreams attached. It was worth waiting for!

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Send Only Positive Messages to Grieving Animals

Animals become
sad, depressed,
and grieve just as
much as humans.

When you tune
into an animals
grief you may feel
quite overwhelmed
with their heartbreak.

Animals become distraught for a variety of reasons. For instance, a goat losing its only pasture mate may bleat-cry for days. A routinely confined horse shows nothing, but is numb from depression. A companion animal develops anxiety when their owner dies. Or, when a family dog is abandoned at the humane society, or worse, she/he is confused and distressed. Animals feel loss as much as we do.

When you see an upset animal, you can help!
** Quiet and center yourself.
** Use your breath to relax.
** Focus on the animal.
** Open and soften your heart.
** Send sincere positive heartfelt emotion transmitted by your soul energy.

And send a message to….

1.♥ Acknowledge his/her state with compassion and empathy.
2.♥ Tell them you appreciate them- and their feelings.
3.♥ Thank them for sharing their emotions.
4.♥ Send gratitude for their honesty and beauty.
5.♥ Tell them they have value and are beautiful as they are.

NOTE >> DO NOT send a grieving animal sympathy, feel sorry for- or feel bad for them, as you might a human friend. Animals do not benefit from this type of human communication. While you may believe you are showing compassion, you are actually keeping a troubled animal in their uneasy spot.

Instead, acknowledge them, and their situation. Let them know you understand. Then move on. And send positive vibes of gratitude and worthiness. This will help an upset or anxious animal immensely. Your empathetic state of well being will lift another, even if temporary.

When you cannot fix a situation, just sending an acknowledgment is HUGE.

Learn to communicate with your pets and other animals on a deeper level of resonance! It is a language of reciprocal respect that comes from your heart–and quite easy to learn!

Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Fixing Bipolar: By Meds? Or By Mind Over Matter?

Read my Bipolar Friend Series
and you will find
I make no secret
about the bipolar family
I was born into.

My Father was Bipolar Type I.
My Maternal Grandmother as well.
Us six siblings inherited a double
dose of DNA from both sides.

Two of my brothers took their lives, 28 years apart. As of this writing there are 4 of us siblings left…although one sister is literally, lost, and at large. Wandering the earth until we hear further. All of us siblings have been on prescription medication at one time or another. Have the meds helped? Yes and No.

Medication Helps
Lithium, for my family, has been effective. Lithium evened out the wild roller coaster ride by calming the manic highs, and edging out the slumping lows of depression. Lithium (and other medications) are helpful to interrupt the cycles of our brain’s malfunction. Meds allow the body-mind to rest, recuperate and heal. However, meds are not the total answer to healing from ‘dis-ease’.

Acknowledge the Situation
There are many factors that play into being, becoming, and coping with the “Bipolar” label. Being a consummate observer, seeker of knowledge, a bipolar participant, and now completely healed, I have definitive beliefs on this subject. My onset came after the birth of my second child. I had grown up immersed in the behaviors, the symptoms. I witnessed-absorbed the struggles in my Father. It affected our family deeply. I decided: Bipolar was NOT allowed to rule me, or govern my life.

Educate Yourself
I read books. Took genetic classes. Talked to my Psychiatrists. Yes, they were required to obtain my prescription meds. I was primed. Had all the classic textbook conditions: The DNA. Hormonal imbalances. Environmental stresses. All compounded at the same time, produced-triggered my brain-body to react. I took the meds to take my edge off. Was told I had a chemical imbalance that would require me to be on pills the rest of my life. The prevailing belief then–and now–for most illnesses is that pills are the lifelong answer to diseases. A be all-end all. I refuse to believe this.

Believe You Can Heal
From the get go I truly believed our bodies heal naturally given the right circumstances and environment. I told my initial, favorite Doctor that I did not believe I would be on pills the rest of my life. That one day I would heal away from using them. Dr. S was open minded, and believed the possibility of my claim, as he was a holistic healer. I am forever grateful for this man’s support at this pivotal point.

Change Your Environment
Fast forward 30 years. Divorced. Estranged. Ostracized. And, into a world I re-created far removed from my former life. Alone, but not lonely, as my family of animals stood beside me. I unwrapped years of dysfunction in my psyche. One by one, I dissected my entrenched beliefs. Dismantled every learned behavior. Examined recycling thought patterns. Wallowed in my emotional states. Purged and released much. Finally, I honored and embraced that my feelings, sadness, disillusionment, and grief were valid. And owned my participation in all that I allowed to break me.

Healing is a Choice
The day I bought my own home I asked it–made a pact with it: Do NOT let me leave until I am HEALED. PLEASE! At that time I took 10 pills a day just to cope aka remain sane. My body was racked with trauma, anxiety, and bipolar thought patterns. I knew I had work to do. Just did not know exactly how or what path to take. Yet in this space of solitude, I found my way back to health. Nine years later my house graduated me. It sold. I walked away more whole than ever in this life.

I no longer take any prescription pills. My clarity, intentions, thoughts are unwavering and solid strong. My beliefs more than ever have the conviction that every one of us can heal fully. We have the ability to decide. To do a self-examination. It’s a choice to evolve, or not. No excuses permitted.

Bipolar is a State of Mind
Bipolar thoughts can severely misalign our mind-body-spirit. This imbalance occurs because our mental and physical state of being is impaired on many levels.  Pills should be used as a temporary relief. An interrupter in a cycle that needs deconstruction to rebuild. Medication should not be a lifetime crutch, nor a lifelong sentence. Largely because prescription drugs have other serious side effects and health repercussions.

Belief is Powerful
I am not super human. I am ordinary. No different than you. A lifetime of heartaches summoned me to shift my mental health consciousness. If you are reading this you are seeking answers. Open the door: Believe in yourself. Know you are worthy. Take the journey. Transcend your non-serving beliefs. And trust the many blessings on your path.

Books that offer perspective, guidance and support. (Covers are linked.)

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Trust Your Inner Guide

This letter was written to a friend offering perspective.

My Friend, It sounds like you’ve got yourself in a corner? Or think you made a mistake? Allow me to offer some ideas…

Trust, This Too Shall Pass.
At this point in my earth sojourn, I realize so much is temporary and to make the best conscious decisions possible in every moment. Everything in each turn is a choice. My wisdom has been hard won. Too many years resisting what was actually easy to change. With mindful healthy habits my life is at ease now. I don’t let people or situations knock me off my center much anymore.

Don’t Let FEAR Take Up Rent in Your Head.
First, immediately kick the word FEAR and SCARED out of your vocabulary and thoughts. That is the biggest roadblock to being in the flow. And don’t beat yourself up either. Whatever your situation is… your higher soul self brought this lesson to you to learn from. Be grateful. Anything you manifested can be UN-manifested. And, please, do not worry. As fretting creates another speed-bump.

Pay Attention to Your Thoughts
No longer is it about trying harder to make things work out. This antiquated belief puts you paddling backwards upstream. Now, it is about the clarity of thought energy, and intention -not the physical effort. Primarily, it is deciding where you put your thoughts ALL the time. The intent by which you project outward comes back fast now. Live in the awareness- and with recognition for where you are mentally and emotionally in every moment. This is simple to do, but does take practice. The perceived good or bad …. appreciate that as a perspective, then release it. Carry nothing forward.

Take a Deep Breath. Relax. Refocus.
Whenever those rampant gut wrenching thoughts consume you – hit restart. Focus on your breathing to ground yourself immediately. And let unsettling thoughts float on by. Our brains are receptors and will pick up- and hold thought forms we identify with. Do not attach to taxing thoughts because they will get a foothold. Instead, use your thoughts to change your thoughts. Center and balance yourself with your heart energy. And breathe!

Accept the Challenge to Change.
All souls are being called to conquer our outdated paradigms. Primarily this process is purging thought patterns and habits that no longer serve us. Challenges are opportunities to re-examine and resolve conflicts within our psyche. Thus, we need to look at our resistant spots. Know there is a lesson-gift embedded, and open yourself. Let go of the notion of right vs. wrong. Instead expand your awareness. Stretch, then advance with confidence.

Live Intentionally. And with Clarity.
You will get your flow back. Just FEEL your way back to it. Situations ask us to evaluate- ascend from- and be present to consider new ideas for a healthy mindset. Just be cognizant and mindful where you put your thoughts. Take full responsibility for all your actions. Use intentions purposefully. Intention is very powerful right now. Particularly used in conjunction with clarity of thought.

Trust Your Inner Guide.
Go easy on yourself. Re-balance often with your breath. You got this. I know you do! I am just the reminder. That’s what friends are for! I wrote another article LIVE YOUR TRUTH awhile back that may also help.

Release and trust your inner wise warrior who is your guide. There awaits many magic moments ahead on our journey! Many blessings to YOU!

Below are books that offer related perspective, guidance and support. (Covers are linked.)

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Baby Boomer Buyers

Baby Boomers are a
different breed of buyer:
One of Discernment.

Truth be told.
I can thoroughly relate.
Because I AM a ‘Boomer’!

So shared here is
MY straight scoop.

Here are the top reasons to move after polling many same bracket buyers. Interesting enough, what I found was my thinking was on par with these other boomer buyers.

A change of environment. Weather is a BIG factor in moving. Thus, boomers seek warmer climates. However, many also want a renewal that comes from the excitement of new places to explore. It’s not that the familiar farmer’s markets, wineries, and festivals mean less. It is just energizing, perhaps even enchanting to discover the novelty of elsewhere. It’s enticing to live in a new culture, and become part of that community.

Closer to family. As time progresses, family ties become more important. Particularly when there are children and grandchildren living elsewhere. And they are entrenched in their jobs, established in schools, and not likely to move. This is my situation.

I moved to southern Oregon seeking the sun region. Yet, I did not think living in a next door state was akin to moving to another continent. And this became apparent within short order. The driving distance to visit family and friends is a day each way. Not an easy trek for a weekend visit.

Outrageous real estate taxes are driving seniors from their homes. The home I bought years ago started out at $200/year in King County, WA. Paying real estate taxes were never a concern. That same property today is taxed at $7500 per year! This is not uncommon in many areas nowadays. Boomers have worked their butts off to live a well deserved retirement. We don’t want to worry about keeping our homes. Thus, many look to other states with more reasonable taxation rates.

Not that the reasons above are unusual for any age to move. However, these are dominant reasons that drive boomers to relocate. Now what is not atypical is the attitudes and habits of Boomer Buyers.

Boomers: We do not have to move. We want to.

Boomers are typically comfortable where they currently live. They need to be highly motivated to move. Because of this fact, boomer buyers take their time to buy elsewhere. As well, age and experience makes one get pickier. Therefore, boomers are discerning, discriminating -and intentional in their purchasing decisions.

Lifestyle preference predominate. As a lifelong horse lover I relate to special buying needs. Horse properties, are not like buying a tract home. I searched over a year to find my now home on 5 acres. And then the horse property construction commenced. It was an emotional investment. However, after 9 years the reasons above compel me to sell. I have been scrutinizing northern properties for over 3 years now. Have a few preferences noted. It’s been a slow process sifting through ideal locations.

My close friends looked for over 6 years to find their dream spot. Their special need: to find suitable land for their 20+ llamas. They were on the brink of giving up. Said they decided to remodel their home instead. Then their dream materialized; a true storybook farm tucked way by a creek in a serene spot. And, gorgeous it is!

Often, boomers reveal they want to move as long as it’s not too overwhelming to do so. It’s easier to stay in place knowing the familiar. In other words, the resistance to moving must be less than the perils of staying in the status quo.

I have my home for sale now. It’s been off and on the market for 3 years. (Another blog will cover this adventure.) I have compared moving notes with out of state boomer buyers. Interesting to note, we have parallel stories. We’ve looked for a few years. We’ve finally targeted an area. Now it’s either make the change, or forget about it. And it is unanimous that moving farm animals presents triple concerns for their welfare.

Out of state buying is challenging enough. Add boomer buyers who do not have to move—with discerning preferences and this equals a tougher sale for agents and sellers. As for myself, I will wait for my house to sell first. Then figure it out from there. I trust the universe has a wonderful place picked out for me when that time comes.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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Tribute to MY River Dog

The first time I ever laid eyes on Toby
he was bouncing around the play yard at
the Humane Society. At 3 months old he was fearless, happy, and had way too much energy.

I absolutely knew that I’d fall totally in love
with him. And, a day would come too soon,
when my heart would break.

I actually weighed and pondered this thought right then. And made a decision: It was worth
the risk. There was some-thing unique—
and special about this overtly friendly pup.

What is a Dog’s Life Worth?

An abandoned river dog, Toby was found by a good Samaritan at the river when he was just 3 weeks old. Too young to make it on his own, Toby most likely was the only survivor of his litter. As a result Toby was filled with anxiety. Truth be told, at that time I had the same issue. We bonded quickly. Over time we healed from our anxieties together. And yet, because Toby was my shadow, and rarely let me out of his sight, I always worried. That his heart that might refill with abandonment anxieties during my rare overnight absences. Even when he was left in good hands. Eventually, Toby was given 2 brother cats which quelled his solo angst immensely.

Eight applications were on file already at the Humane Society asking to adopt this wide eyed puppy doll. Several had been interviewed and home checked. Scrutinizing me, the interviewer told me to take Toby home right then and there. I had not brought a carrier, and had no leash. Nothing because I knew there was a 2 week waiting period. She waved their customary home check, simply eyed me and said, “He needs to go home with YOU. Today.” It was apparent she saw their special puppy now had met his perfect match in me.

Toby (12) Toby (4) Toby (11)

From 6 months of age Toby was socialized through obedience training with the intention to become a therapy dog. True to Toby, he passed his therapy dog certification with high accolades. Toby loved our weekly therapy dog visits at the VA hospital. He was the only one to wrestle on the floor with the veterans. If we missed a week the guys all asked where “Toby” had been. They never learned my name.

Toby loved to run. And jump. Particularly my four foot fences. I raised my fences higher. I hot-wired them. Toby was revealing he needed to focus his energy. We started agility training. The river dog took to it like water. True agility dogs are born, or rather, are destined for this sport. Toby excelled. His love for jumping and running, plus four years of agility training, found him to be an instant rising star. This newcomer turned heads. This year: 2017 was to be TOBY’s agility year. With mounting qualifying scores and his weave poles mastered, Toby was ripe to title numerous times.

gifE gifC gifA

River dog Toby was often openly invited to hike the trails with the numerous hiking clubs ‘we’ belonged to. He wore his own backpack proudly, packing his own essentials. He was loved and adored by all his hiking peers for his enthusiasm, temperament, and amazing trail behaviors. He was our guardian. The Border Collie in him was always watching. Always making sure, waiting- and accounting for every last hiker, on every hike. Every Rogue Valley trail has seen Toby’s paw- and my foot-print side by side.

Toby was well traveled. He went everywhere with me. Everywhere that didn’t require air transport. He helped my family heal during my mother’s passing. He was a welcomed and an honored guest wherever we went. Upon arrivals, first comments were typically: “Where’s Toby?”

Toby had tons of dog friends. Somehow Toby’s energy transformed the broken and the meanest of canines. Toby didn’t care about their human issues, he cared about them as dogs- and as playmates. His joyousness was infectious. To Toby, absolutely everything was about fun. He was always happy.

Toby (6) Toby (45) Toby (23)

Toby never missed horse feeding time at the barn. Mornings, he would accompany JD and Lily out to pasture, and secure their safety before returning to me. Trail rides were Toby’s highlight. He would follow in Lily and JD’s horse tracks right underneath their tails. The horses were confident with Toby as their scout. And, they followed him into any questionable- or hidden trail.

Toby loved going to Denman Park. A place where he could run and swim the river to his hearts content. Although, his first river crossing was met with desperate howls and a refusal to follow us across. So my riding buddies returned back to Toby’s riverbank, then searched down stream for a shallow spot to build his confidence. Thereafter, Toby became a true river dog. Swimming endless times back and forth, in lieu of our one horse crossing.

The river dog loved water so much I built him a pond in my backyard. It was only Toby chest deep, but he spent hours circling its circumference, tail wagging wildly, and looking endlessly into its depths. One time he actually surprised himself when he caught a fish. Wiggling in his mouth it was quickly released back to his pond.

Toby (14)a Toby (29)a Toby (30)

There was not a day that Toby did not run my property for the pure joy of it. Or accompany me to the store just for the car ride. Dare I walk our road- or visit neighbors without him. His howls could be heard from down the road.

Ocean trips, the sand, and running in the surf were his thrills. Toby loved his cats and they attached to him like glue. They even took on Toby’s behaviors- and acted just like him!

It is true. Toby was spoiled. Whenever a visitor came to the house he believed they were there just for him. Claiming the center of attention Toby would disembowel his stuffed toys. Often he would toss them about- then fling his toys straight at guests. Impressively, always just missing their heads!

Every night he’d cuddle up next to me on the couch, often with one or both of his kitties curled inside his grooves. Head in my lap, often I would read or watch Netflix. If animal shows were on, Toby would pounce off the sofa and down the hall to find them. Or, he would peer around the backside of the TV to figure out where they went.

Toby adored all creatures, no matter their size or genre. He was a gentle soul, without a malicious intent. When challenged or provoked, Toby’s response was to smile and wag his tag. Although dare another harm his friends. Once, in a group training a large poodle blatantly ran down Toby’s best friend, a much smaller Cavalier, in an attempt to devour him. From across the arena, Toby saw this and broke free. With agility speed Toby intervened in a nick of time. That was Toby’s way: Loyal to his friends.

Toby (8) Toby (2) Toby (16)

Every person and every animal was enhanced and impacted by Toby’s exuberance for life. He left no stone unturned. Nothing unexplored. Nothing undone.

Toby was the love of my life. HE WAS MY LIFE. I was- and am honored to have had that much Unconditional Love and Loyalty at a time when I needed it most. Virtues that I never believed could be possible, much less experienced from another being, in my lifetime.

Except for memories, our chapter is now closed. There will be no more agility trials. No more trail rides. No more of US hiking the Rogue Valley. No more nightly couch cuddles. No more good morning wake up licks. No more bed hogging. No more therapy dog sessions for me- or for others. And, no more river crossings.

So how do I measure Toby’s worth? In terms of his endless blessings? Immeasurable. In terms of an endearing friendship? Infinite. In terms of family? He was my child. How does one put a price on family? Toby’s worth is Incalculable. His fifth year of life is now finalized. Irreversible and definitive.

Toby’s worth is- and will always be irreplaceable, eternal.

Toby (44) Toby (18)a Toby (42)

And, it was to the credit of my River Dog Toby, who inspired my mission of passion: Patty Ann’s Pet Project.

For 4 years Toby cuddled against me on our couch, or curled up at my feet, as I wrote every single book listed on this site. Many of my books reflect Toby’s lessons and silly antics. He even has a few books starring himself~! Toby’s photos, and his examples for living are chronicled, and often interwoven inside some of my toughest life journeys.

All sale proceeds from go to Patty Ann’s Pet Project which donates to rescue groups that save the unfortunate. Most are abandoned animals with physical, spiritual and mental scars. Because of Toby, donations now go to some amazing folks who save throw away river dogs much like him. My intention is that other animals will get their forever home and experience the life much like Toby had.

Toby (38) Toby (33) Toby (36)

As typical of Toby’s example for living life, he continued to teach others, profoundly, through his death. Words don’t teach. Consequences do. Our choices are a testament to this fact.

On a typical Sunday morning Toby and I returned from barn duty. As typical Toby wanted back out to his well fenced backyard. Also, as typical I went to check my morning emails.

His fate was preordained at hands of others to which unfolded fast. Despite strict warnings to my RV tenants to NOT let Toby beyond my gates; absent of thought, once again, they let Toby out front. Over the past year our neighborhood had held much animosity towards speeders disregarding community safety. Not only was my gate left open, but one of these speeders hit Toby dead, and ran off.

I asked the universe the day I brought my Toby home: “Please do not let him suffer when his day comes.” My wish was granted. It was so swift I didn’t even hear him yelp from inside my house. But I knew. You always know when a part of your soul dies.

As serendipity would have her way, a string of events unfolded. Immediately I summoned law enforcement. Within the hour they came. Even before we buried Toby. So the Deputy got to view the heart of my soul, forever asleep. My neighbors surveillance camera identified the hit and run car that came from our dead end road. The Deputy took photos from the surveillance camera, and the matching tire tracks leading to the road scuff where Toby died…not a foot off my property. The Deputy said a hit and run equals a year in jail. He set the expectation of a speedy apprehension.

As of this writing the driver is still at large, and most likely will remain so. Numerous, anonymous –and exacting leads were directed to this Deputy in charge. And yet, Toby’s case has been severely disregarded; dismissed just like the rest of our neighbor law enforcement pleas. It is sadly apparent, The Worth of a Dog’s Life is of no consequence according to the Medford Sheriff. Many letters were written-not just by me. I had hoped that Toby’s life–and particularly his senseless death–would give pause to other’s consciousness to make amends. I would have appreciated giving a ending of reposed closure to my dog’s life well lived.

Toby (47) Toby (46)

My property now sits quiet. A severed friendship violated by lack of respect and trust, now finds my RV spot empty. My land is void of robust energy. Only a mound in my garden remains. Toby’s toys, his neon orange winter coat, his hiking pack, assorted hanky neck ties and his agility ribbons and prizes remain. Now all boxed and put away. Toby’s only legacy, besides these words of homage, are those who are left remembering… with his paw imprinted upon their hearts.

Toby’s love for this life was his ultimate sacrifice to get others to LISTEN. He is granting others the biggest opportunity of their lives to learn, grow, benefit and mostly heal. I do hope all involved embraces and integrates Toby’s teachings. Am I angry with the violators? Temporarily. However, in keeping with Toby’s selfless lessons, any transgression only punishes me. We humans struggle with much. Mostly with our learned behaviors that do not serve us. Leave it to our furry friends to help us out. Consequentially, I do desire that Toby’s co-conspirators find peace and resolve. Death calls us all. But, worse than death is not heeding our lessons; not taking responsibility for our actions; and not ascending ourselves.

And last, there are no coincidences. After several months in the making, just one day prior I had finally uploaded Beyond the Rainbow Bridge on YouTube. It is a tribute to Sox who passed six months earlier, and Toby is central to this video along with Lunar, who is the only one now left of this trio. Lunar is adjusting to life without Toby, as am I.

Toby (41)Picture Taken 3 Months Prior
Toby (43) End of Our Trail.
There Are NO Returns.

My river dog now swims free and runs wild under the wing of the wind.
RIP Toby Until Our Paths Meet Again. October 1, 2011 ~ January 15, 2017

What is a Dog’s Life Worth?
Perhaps the question is: What is any animal’s life worth to you?

Written March 15, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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For the Love of One Horse

Have you ever had
That one special horse
Who knew your
Heart & Soul?
Who spent their life
Journey alongside yours?

This was mine.

Owed 2 Ab ~ 33 & Forever Free

I bid my best friend a final farewell today.
As a firstborn child remembered, He won’t go away.

Our memories not forgotten, as I hold them near,
Just like our first encounter when we met in yesteryear.

I was the only one to enter His stall corridor that day.
He was the only one to peer out and down the aisle my way.

In those first eternal moments I bought Him sight unseen.
It was fate merging our paths with a cause and a mean.

My Dream Horse shone like a new copper penny,
Trimmed in a golden mane and tail He stood out among many.

Gentle, forgiving, curious, yet strong,
He challenged me to new heights and brought me along.

Like my own spirit there were times He bucked hard,
Yet He returned to me always, where He stood over guard.

My seat learned secure with a sense of balance, held firm,
And although grounded often, my respect for Him He did earn.

His rocking-horse canter floated upon air,
Extending and releasing like elastic, without a care.

As always, I held His soft mouth tender as we rode.
He wore His rubber-egg butt proudly, as we had last strode.

At 15 point 1 His package was small.
Yet He felt so very big—so absolutely tall.

Who knew He flew with the birds, and had their wings of flight?
As He could run with the wind blowing at the speed of light.

And we ran and we jumped, as one does just for joy,
As a gazelle might and would, over life’s hurdles, oh boy!

Others came and went, but He stayed, sharing more than half my life.
He laughed with me, cried with me, and consoled me in my times of strife.

He raised me up into the person I’ve become,
As I bore and raised my own children, and then some.

Known to all as ‘Good ole Ab,’ He fostered novice riders along,
Making them confident in character—they too grew strong.

He taught me, my friends, children et al,
That just being is beauty, and honesty stands tall.

Among His herd He roamed independent and free.
Like me, Abba belonged to no one, only to thee.

His life made full, brought mine complete.
Our journey saw too soon where our trail end would meet.

The best I could do was offer Him His lifetime home,
But His real reward lay across heaven’s gate alone.

He taught me to listen, then told me when.
It was His time to go, but He would see me again.

This morning, I saw a shiny new copper penny.
It fell out of my pocket and onto the floor like many.

But this one stood alone, both shiny and bright,
As a symbol of his freedom that lived long in this light.

With the breeze at our backs, Ab took one final buck,
In the world He so loved; I wished upon Him a final good luck.

As my friend laid my friend ever so gently to earth,
The breeze carried His spirit into the land of new birth.

I don’t pray to the Lord for His soul to keep,
Because He rests inside me eternally, for mine to reap.

Thank you Abdaar Fadan for the gifts that you gave,
No longer must you play a part here, as you rest in your grave.

Single handed you raised JD into your mirror of a special horse.
And in His turn, and by your guidance, He has taught Lily your course.

Together your herd stands solemn over your final resting spot,
Knowing you go before them, leading the way—and you found your way out.

Freedom rides high and rewards those who deserve it,
And you, my dear friend, won yours, as heaven assures it.

Each morning I will hear your soft nickering voice.
Each night you will trail in; I will miss seeing you, but respect your choice.

And when my time comes, I know you’ll be there standing at my gate,
Peering out once again down our aisle, impatiently, wondering if I’m late.

To toss at me, push at me, burrowing your head deep,
To make sure I am listening, looking up ahead, and am not asleep.

No farewells to you, My Dear Sweet Old Friend,
As your heart and soul live on inside me, to my final of no end.

Registered as “Abdaar Fadan” aka “Ab,” “Abba,” and “Good ole Ab.”
Born May 12, 1976—As remembered this 28th Day of January 2010

Original Poem in my book Abba. Life. Love. Letting Go.
Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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7 Tips to Tell if Your Buyer is Serious

How do you evaluate

As a Realtor or an Owner-Seller
(of which I’ve been both)
Here are my TOP TiPs
for discerning between
REAL Buyers and Tire-kickers.

This article is also written for BUYERS! Educate yourself to real estate practices with these step actions, and you will expedite your property purchase!

(1) First, ALL buyers should be prequalified. As a Realtor, or FSBO Seller, it is HIGHLY recommended to get buyers prequalified, prior to showing appointments.

What does “Prequalified” mean? Simply put, it’s written proof to show the buyer can afford to purchase realty property up to a set amount. A lender will write a pre-approval letter for a buyer, stating they are able to get a loan, or has the funds, to purchase.

The bottom line for getting prequalified, is to show a buyer is ready, able, and serious to purchase a property. It also gives a seller confidence, knowing their sale will most likely succeed. If a buyer is not viable, much precious time can be wasted. Realty Agents need to know a buyer’s spending limits. They can screen out prospective buyers from lookers. Also, savvy sellers may not allow showings without proof of funds.

(2) Serious buyers know what they want and are proactive. They scour the MLS listings and pick their favorites. Often these buyers direct their agent to set up a showing. Many fall in love with their future property on the internet right off.

(3) Serious buyers should not bring children, friends or pets to a showing. Children will distract parents. That’s just what kids do. Particularly when it’s important. Trust me on this. I have grown-up children. Been there, tried that, doesn’t work. Realtors and sellers have every right to request that children are not to attend showings.

Friends of the buyer(s) should not attend showings. Well meaning buddies are a big distraction. Namely, because they influence. Their opinions often sway and undermine the buyer’s own decision making and processing.

A heads up! Generally, pets should not be left in the car unattended on a seller’s property. This is a courtesy to property owners that have their own pets… and who may investigate who else is in the car! Therefore, it’s suggested to leave Fido home.

(4) ALL buyers should attend showings. When a buying partner does not attend a showing, this can be a caveat that one may not be on board. Of course there are exceptions, such as for out of state buyers. Serious buyers make the time to consider available properties > TOGETHER.

(5) Listen to a buyer. And encourage them to talk freely. For you will learn where they are at in the buying process. They may be pre-qualified, but still not mentally ready to commit. Perhaps, the buyers are still evaluating all their options. For instance, what type of home style; where to buy; or school districts to live in. A good agent can help educate and influence, but often cannot get the uncommitted to sign.

A ready buyer often takes the lead. Has done their homework and has pointed questions. Their language turns positive and their tone of voice energetic. Particularly when they visit a property that checks their boxes. They tell their agent or the seller right then, “Let’s make this happen!”

(6) When buyers present low offers and a house is on par with sold comps, this can indicate several things. 1) The buyer cannot afford the listed price. Thus the reason pre-qualified exists. 2) The buyer wants a super deal. This is how flippers operate. It means more profit in their pocket. 3) Many buyers (and agents) think FSBO Sellers should slash their price because they are not paying a commission. But the fact is, FSBO Sellers must execute a closing the exact same as a Realtor. A seller’s time is worth no less. Oddly, this stigma still lives on in many minds. So a note to sellers: If you want your listed price, verbalize it upfront to the buyer and/or their agent. It will save everyone time.

7) Serious buyers are motivated. Is there a job relocation involved? If so, an immediate need to purchase a house may be at the forefront. Life changes are typical times for upgrading or downgrading real estate properties. New marriages with combined families often need a larger home. Empty-nesters typically want to down size.

Lifestyles motivate property purchases. As a forever horse owner I’ve seen one such scenario repeat often. People buy one horse. And board it out. They become captivated by the lifestyle. They buy another horse- or two. Thus more money spent on boarding. These horsey home owners start adding it up; their 3 horses boarded, plus their own mortgage. Purchasing acreage starts to make sense. That is the path of serious equestrians. The point here is: lifestyles not only motivate, but dictate how, when, and where a person purchases property.

In my opinion and experience, a serious buyer offers full price, or close to it, when they see value. They know intrinsically what’s in in for them, emotionally, mentally and otherwise. Serious buyers make the sale happen.

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

Real Estate Education for Buyers, Sellers & Realtors

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17 Tips to Cope with Conflict AND Succeed!

Conflict is part of life.
Yet few of us are comfortable
in the midst of confrontation.

Often we react, rather
than proactively assess the
situation before responding.

Here are 17 tips to help you
in moments of crisis and chaos.

First and Foremost!

  1. Take 10 seconds before reacting—or responding. Often when we are broadsided with deep contrast we have knee jerk reactions…much of which comes from a defensive position.
  2. Learn to breathe deeply for at least 3 deep breathes before saying any word at all.
  3. Gather yourself and compose your thoughts about what you just heard, saw or experienced.
  4. Remember and Realize….

    * How you respond sets the tone for an ugly or nicer interaction.
    * Reactions arise from learned behaviors –which can be changed.
    * People would act better if they knew how to – so help show them!
    * Acknowledge that everyone has different ways to cope with stress.
    * And every interaction is a new opportunity for YOU to learn from another.

3 Ways to Respond to Conflict

  1. When you are provoked, you are being asked to respond. However, you do not have to! If you know the current situation is unhealthy, tell your combatant: “I can see you are upset. Now is not the time to discuss this situation. Let’s chat when we are both able to listen to each other.”
  2. Tell someone who continues to argue: “This discussion is off limits. We will resolve this later.” Then change the subject and move forward.
  3. If the interactions escalate, do not respond. Do not get the last word in. Walk away. Let your body language talk. Leave the scene and stop further distress.

During a Conflict > Create Cooperation!

  1. Agree to disagree. Use the misunderstanding to find common ground.
  2. Use empathy to understand another person’s viewpoint and expand your awareness.
  3. Make “I” statements. State how someone’s behavior affects you. Do not blame. Offer resolutions instead. And ask for input. This helps build reciprocal empowerment.
  4. Humor rarely helps in conflict situations. It often aggravates and inflames. Use empathy to connect with another who is upset.
  5. Seek to understand. Paraphrase another person’s words. This shows you acknowledge their concerns.
  6. Be proactive and positive in selecting your words and when using your body language.
  7. Learn passive aggressive behavior ques, so you will know how to navigate challenging conversations. Passive aggression is a common communication maneuver to gain control.

Use Conflict to Learn & Grow!

Remember conflicts are not about who is right or wrong. Conflicts arise because of our perception gives rise to judging another person or situation. Often when we know all the facts, or gather more information we learn our viewpoint may stand to be corrected.

Use the contrast of conflict to seek how another person thinks, perceives and reacts. Use these moments as a springboard to understand more about interpersonal communication behavior. In doing so, conflicts will teach you how to respond, react and resolve conflict successfully!

Related Communication Guidebooks that Help!

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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Confessions of a Clairvoyant

My mortal eyes hardly discerned
the first portholes,
to scan the grid
of warped and waffled panes.

Each an intrusive facet.
A peekaboo glance.
My naked fingertips barely
slipped over the window sill.

And yet, intrinsically I already knew.
Those were glints of my destiny.
Overwhelmed, I retreated.
Afraid. Confused. Throwing the curtains shut.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I KNOW, what I should not?

Yet I returned to the grid of panes.
The obscure glass thick, yet discernible.
As a tree grows to branch out, so did I.
My branches reached out to crack the glass ceiling.
And, shattered each into a shard of prisms.
I shunted the panorama.
Closed the damn curtain.
Yet the lit peepholes ignited…
To beg, tease, and beckon my return.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I SEE

The holes in my broken heart ahead.
Would they ever mend me whole again?
How would I survive the knowing?
Each window pane was lifeless. A mirror reflecting.
Each a puzzle piece; a channeled link.
Every breeze of recognition ripped the drapes open.

Curious. Why me?
Why should I HEAR

The whispers of silent sentences,
To which I defied and ignored.
But, IT happened anyway.

Was there NO choice in a preordained life?
Was MY Muse paving the path?
My fate sealed?
And my body and brain marionetted?
Puppeteered by ONE master maker?

The strings tugged, taunted.
Go here. Over there. Not now. Do IT.
My oak trunk thick, steady, and strong.
My branches sky-bound to shred the cloak.
Thirsty for the illumination;
Dauntless to the phantom of darkness.
My roots entrenched in the void of the sublime.
By osmosis my veins absorb the food of freedom.

Curious why me?
Why should I be…

The one with stealth insights,
To possess an umbilical cord to the divine,
And, be conscious of creation beyond dreams?

I am no one special.
Every one is extra-ordinary.

Curious. Why me?
Why am I fluent with the cosmos?

Just because I am curious?

Related books you may enjoy…

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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11 Essential Listening Skills that Make Every Relationship Work

Communicating with others is vital to
our human experience.

The primary ingredient for relating
successfully with others

Here are top listening skills, that are
easy to implement into your life,
and will enhance your relationships.

  1. Listen Proactively and Attentively. Show you are interested in what others have to say. Engage in what they are saying. Respond with feedback. Ask for clarification.

  2. Listen to Learn. From understanding another person’s viewpoint to getting guidance on how to travel to another city, listening helps you learn. 

  3. Listen Objectively. Gather all information with an open mind. If what is being said is emotionally charged, take in the words without judgment. Remember you may not have all the facts. And, it is just one person’s opinion. Keep your mind open. And do not be quick to judge.

  4. Listen to Provide Feedback. Articulating what was said helps your mind organize and respond appropriately. Feedback helps further understanding and adds value to cooperative conversations.

  5. Listen to Clarify. Short or long, every message is a story told. Not everyone can tell an event in 3 sentences. As a listener, you can clarify by asking questions or paraphrasing, which helps you get the whole picture.

How to Listen to HEAR Another

  1. Stop your mind chatter so you can attend the conversation. If you are thinking about your response while another person talks, you are not really hearing –or listening to them.

  2. Hear words as just information. Remember everyone has their own version, perception and experiences. Words are pieces of information. The relational aspect is left to the interpretation of the listener.

  3. Do not interrupt the talker. Respect others and listen to them until they are done. Often you will learn more as they talk.

  4. Paraphrase in your own words back to the messenger what you think they said. This will clear up misunderstandings. And promote mutual awareness.

  5. If you do not understand the terminology- or you are getting an information overload > Ask the speaker to explain in simpler words, or slow down. Tell them you want to be able to understand, because you value their message.

  6. If you are preoccupied with your own issues it is difficult to hear another person. Tell your friend you need to talk another time when you are able to fully listen.

Listening is a powerful connector towards maintaining long lasting relationships. Listening attentively tells another you care, value and respect them. In most cases, listening is far more important than talking!

Check out these popular communication guides below.
Click HERE for ALL Communication Books!

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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Writer Burn Out? Get Your Mojo Back!

As a writer-author,
how do you know
when you are
on complete
burn out mode?

Here are 10 signs
that tell you
it’s time
for a break!

  • Apathy lurks along with zero focus.
  • Inspiration lacks — no ‘ah-ha’ ideas are flowing freely.
  • Your mind wanders away to far off places seeking refuge.
  • Once purposeful writing, now becomes a laborious chore.
  • Your blank brain stares without seeing (the computer screen).
  • That passion to harness words is replaced with messy edits.
  • Disenchanted, and wishing words to fly out of the keyboard.
  • A stuck imagination; affectionately known as ‘writer’s block’.
  • Not wanting to jump out of bed to capture a brilliant phrase.
  • Procrastination.

I am sure all you writers have some fabulous burn outs to add to this list!

How to Get Your Mojo Back
First and foremost, do not ignore the signs of burn out. You cannot barge ahead and expect to write with inspiration and exuberance. That in itself is a time waster. Your time is precious and it should be spent enjoying whatever you do! While you may perform amazingly under pressure and with deadlines for the short term, for the long term it’s a recipe for sabotaging your creative mind…and possibly your mental health.

Here are simple ideas for rejuvenating your mind, body and soul.

Take a break. Get off and away from your computer. Stay away from the Internet, and all social media. Just plain unplug.

Schedule time off. Limit how many hours per day you are immersed in writing. Take one day a week off and stay away from the computer- and put your cell phone on airplane mode. Schedule time off and stick to it. Refreshing time away will rebuild your brain power.

Do something different. Get outside and go for a walk. Play with your pet. Plant veggies in your garden. Do something pleasurable away from your work space. Revisit an enjoyment that is almost lost to the forgotten past. Put on rock n’ roll and dance out all your anxiety. Or become adventuresome. Experience something you have never done before.

Change your environment. Refresh yourself by escaping to a new surrounding. That’s what is so great about a vacation. The newness is stimulating and awakens our senses. However, you do not need to travel elsewhere to find inspiration. Instead, discover or try a specialty that is unique. For instance, you may not pamper yourself enough, or at all. So go get a massage, a pedicure or manicure. By the way, you do not need to spend money to change your environment. You can take a hike to uncover a new trail. Even explore a park or a waterfall you have never visited. And while you are at it, take along paints with some brushes, and a canvas to see if this incentive motivates you!

It is easy to get caught up in what we think is important business. Yet, taking extended breaks will allow perspectives to emerge. Airing out helps us to re-balance our priorities. Step back and allow some freedom to elevate your consciousness.

If all else fails, pull weeds. That is what I do. No kidding!

Doing something mundane, lets my to-busy brain rest, all while being a bit productive.
And the funny thing is, as I extract weeds, inspirational ideas begin to pour into my mind. So, now I begin my days by pulling weeds. It must be the dirt. It grounds my soul to nature. And ignites my magic mojo once more.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
3 Guidebooks that Offer Writing Prompts…

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Permission ONLY Reprints from Patty

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No Victims. Only Players.

While there are many ideations attached to the word VICTIM this article is an examination of our identify to roles played out inside interpersonal communications. This also includes the behaviors thereto.

The word VICTIM is not in my dictionary. Anymore. When life experiences pounded on my door to change my viewpoint, the very idea of participating in the role of victim no longer fit. Or, was welcome.

When a person plays the victim, they seek to blame others. They make excuses. Play helpless. Say it’s out of their control. Is playing a character role on stage a choice? Yes. And so is choosing your role.

People are unaware they are victims.
We are typically guided by our own learned behaviors. Often victim roles were taught in families of origin.

While you can be a totally responsible person, you can also play the victim. Trust me. I played that role extremely well.

It was not until I grew weary of the same scenarios that I took a hard look in the mirror. My problem was being too responsible. Ironically my choice made me a victim to my own irresponsibility to myself. And, this enabling was a huge disservice to my others. In effect, I allowed others to pile their ‘stuff’ on me. I was misguided and actually believed my good intentions would be recognized, even appreciated. Thus, I became the perfect enabler. My illogic told me others would see my overburden, and would step up to do their part. But they didn’t. They never do. We always pair with another to recycle learned behaviors, until we learn.

It takes 2 to tango.
After awareness, I saw the steps leading into a familiar dance. Yet, just didn’t know how to modify my behaviors. Then it dawned on me with such sweet simplicity. And clarity. I had found it difficult to say NO—when I was taught from my crib to say YES. Then a revelation came when I claimed No- and No More. It was empowering! With MY boundaries defined, my relationships knew where their boundaries were set. My communication became definitive, clear, and absolute. No longer were opportunists sharing my life. Sure some left. No loss. Attrition happens when you grow up.

Victim-hood does not exist in responsible relationships.
Self responsibility is self love. And, belongs to YOU alone. Daily attendance to your thoughts and habits are required while integrating new patterns to become routine. It is easy to change a thought; but it takes discipline to change a habit. Catching old character traits in action and rerouting your behaviors is completely self-directed. Once you bridge to healthier relationships you will wonder whatever took you so long.

Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.