I posted this, this morning on my Facebook personal profile. My personal ramblings and food for thought for so many of us who spend time online. (don’t worry, I DO love social media, this is one small moment of ranting thinking)

*****

When I die, surely I will amount to more than having tapped a bunch of likes and clicked a whack of thumbs up and tapped hearts that show I like you or your photo, video, song or writing.

I do hope that I won’t be remembered for sitting on my butt, getting fatter by choice with increasingly bad posture, a sore neck, back and wrist from not moving enough due to Tweeting and posting Facebook status updates.

(unless it touches your heart, of course, or makes you think in a new way, or take courageous actions you’ve never done before)

Where and how are you spending your precious time on this planet?

I’m making a shift. You’ll see me here less often. I’d prefer to see you in person.

Now, go out and talk to a stranger just like you do here. Love them and like them as much or more than you say you do here. I dare you.

Better yet, go out and love YOU, as much as you express that you do here, with the “me, me, me, I, I, I” that we’ve become.

Do your posts match your life offline? I’m going on a mission to make sure I connect with people and as Ghandi might have said in modern day times, my offline life, my online social media life and I are one. Let there be no separation or compartmentalization or difference between online and offline, for each time you do, split off you … you’re splitting off a part of you into a little tiny white lie that adds invisible stress to every cell in your body and mind.

Be big and bold or silent and strong, shy and invisible or gregarious and loud, but mostly just be you, because you is who we’re here to embrace and push forward into bigger and better things. You is the only thing that will make this world a better place.

You’re best expressed in flesh, eye to eye and heart to heart, skin to skin and hand in hand. Life isn’t digital, it’s kinesthetic, expressed online.

How and what do you want to be remembered for?

xxoo

Love,
Brenda

Bullying happens to adults too. It’s happened to me. More than  once.

There’s something called “exclusion bullying” where you’re deliberately excluding someone from participating in groups, in the workplace, in causes, in things they believe in and want to be a part of. It’s happened to me, more than once.

It breaks your heart. It’s confusing. The grief is not different than when a relationship ends, or when you suffer the loss of a loved one. Yes, it’s that deep.

Being left out of things on purpose. Hurts. Don’t do it to anyone. Don’t be a part of a group that would do this to anyone. Don’t be a part of anything that excludes one person on purpose.

Something happens in the pain centre of the brain when you’re deliberately excluded. It feels like a physical injury. If you’ve been part of exclusion bullying as part of a group of peers or colleagues, make amends. Apologize. It will help. If you somehow took part in excluding someone, you would have known, because if you’re sensitive you would have felt it. It would have bothered you at some level.

They say that exclusion bullying is as powerful as bullying. As a recipient, I’d have to agree. We’re all in this together here on this planet. My heart is still broken. One day it may heal.

Have courage. End Exclusion. Focus on Inclusion.

Who can you include in your circle today?

— Brenda Johima

>> February 26, 2014 >> PLEASE NOTE << I no longer have Xena, my soul dog. Dogs are FOREVER to me, and after being questioned publicly on Twitter yesterday, I wish to set the record straight. I will be posting a full story, but for now, for the record:

>>I never ever gave up my (foster) dog.<< The breeder breached our contract and removed Xena from our loving home, on March 5, 2013, only months after I welcomed Xena to her permanent home here. Xena was taken after I reported >head tremor

It broke my heart in a zillion pieces and I think of Xena every day. I'm still heartbroken. I would have done anything to have her back and used all the powers we had to request she be returned home, to my home.

I am keeping this story, my creative writing, below, but am warning the public to stay away from purebred breeder "foster" or "guardian" programs.
This is very different from foster programs with rescue associations, which I fully support.) Breeder "foster" programs allow them, in my opinion, to have too many dogs, for profit.)

Why did it take me so long to post this update? Many reasons. Mostly, it's hurt too much. I never got over it.

There are posts on my phoDOGraphy page on Facebook with lots of supportive comments. Please feel free to join the conversation there: http://Facebook.com/phoDOGraphy.ca

Here's my original post and story:

****

Xena the Poodle Puppy and her Stuffed Animal Toy DogOK. I had insomnia, didn’t sleep well most of the night.

Finally got in some ZzzzzZzz’s early this morning, and was just awoken suddenly from a dream … with a litter of beautiful standard poodle puppies (with their Mom of course) and they were almost a chocolate red brown. Yes it’s a color. (ha)

The poodles were in the back yard and I then hear a growl. Look out in the back yard again and there’s a big huge bear (Mom of course) with her cubs … kind of like a grizzly brown bear. Yes it’s a breed. (ha)

Then I’m running around inside the house wondering where my little poodle puppy Xena is, to make sure she doesn’t go outside, and then for some reason I look out the side window of the house and there’s a big cougar out there, walking and slinking through the forest towards the back yard. I go, OMG, where’s Xena my puppy, and go down to the basement to go out into the backyard to get the other big poodles and their Mom indoors away from the bear, but I can’t open the door (only slightly ajar) to get outside because the Momma bear is fast asleep against the door (inside the house) and her cubs (lots of them) are sleeping under a big thick blanket … and OMG where is Xena the poodle puppy?

I wake up and she’s fast sleep on the bed right beside me. (and she doesn’t sleep on the bed, she sleeps in a crate) So I better get back to sleep to see what happens next.

7:20 A.M. ZzzzzzZzz.

— Brenda Johima

>> February 26, 2014 >> PLEASE NOTE << I no longer have Xena, my soul dog. Dogs are FOREVER to me, and after being questioned publicly on Twitter yesterday, I wish to set the record straight. I will be posting a full story, but for now, for the record:

>>I never, never, ever gave up my (foster) dog.<< The breeder breached our contract and removed Xena from our loving home, on March 5, 2013, only months after I welcomed Xena to her permanent home here. Xena was taken after I reported >>head tremor<< we observed, and after I'd taken her to my veterinarian. I haven't seen little Xena since. My question? What is the breeder (possibly) hiding?

It broke my heart in a zillion pieces and I think of Xena every day. I'm still heartbroken. I would have done anything to have her back and used all the powers we had to request she be returned home, to my home.

I am keeping this story, my creative writing, below, but am warning the public to stay away from purebred breeder "foster" or "guardian" programs. (This is very different from foster programs with rescue associations, which I fully support.) Breeder "foster" programs allow them, in my opinion, to have too many dogs, for profit.)

Why did it take me so long to post this update? Many reasons. Mostly, it's hurt too much. I never got over it.

There are posts on my phoDOGraphy page on Facebook with lots of supportive comments. Please feel free to join the conversation there:

http://Facebook.com/phoDOGraphy.ca

Here's my original post and story:

****

Photo of Xena the Purebred Poodle PuppyI’ve got a new poodle puppy. She’s a Black Merle. She’s unique. She’s different. She turns heads. I’ve only had her for a few weeks and Xena the poodle puppy is the BEST dog ever.

I’ve been trying to think of how I can make more of a difference in the world … and with her, together. She’s a natural healer as many dogs are. “Maybe I could work with disabilities or something” … I’d been thinking … and make some use of my past training and expertise in music therapy. “What could I do? What could we do together?” I’m drawn to make a bigger difference on this planet before I leave it.

Anyway, today Xena the poodle puppy made a difference all by herself … and then alongside me, we made a new connection, a new friend of sorts.

During our “puppy socialization walk” this morning Xena took a liking to a homeless man sitting on the ground in the park. He had a shopping cart, of course. A green glass bottle, top lid off, bottle top open.

Not much left to drink of that special concoction in that green glass bottle. I wondered how he’d get the money to refill the bottle.

Yet in an instant I knew that our connection would not be about money.

It would be about something more important, more magical, telepathic, more crucial and lacking in this world. We were simply meant to just be. Me standing. Him sitting. Cross legged on the ground. Happier than most people. He is. It seemed.

He needed a bath. It didn’t matter.

Our connection, unspoken. It was in that quiet place inside. You know, that knowingness where you don’t need or want to say “and what do you do?” … There was no awkward silence. That silence unbearable which is forced to try to build a relationship … Or get to know each other. This quiet, I crave. I’m safe. I feel more at home and comfortable with a homeless man on the ground in a park than in a business meeting or Chamber of Commerce ‘networking’ session.

What’s happening to me? I’m thinking right now as I write.

Nothing new. I simply know that ‘real’ is never forced and always is effortless. It’s always a relief. Because it’s become rare. Nobody selling or marketing or tooting their horn about the great things they do online. Online doesn’t matter. We’re offline. He’s probably not even online. What for? Fresh air, sunshine, nice people with dogs walk by to say hello and to just be

So.

Xena cuddled and snuggled with him … licked his face (a behavior I’m trying to train out of her) but how could I not let her lick a homeless person who is likely so starved for affection because nobody touches him? I could not. Her puppy snuggles and licks. Put a smile on his face.

He put his bearded face up to the sky to look up towards the morning sun and away to avoid her licks yet at the same time grab a hug and snuggle from one little furry being … And Me .. Who stopped to care and cared. We stopped. Others likely walk by? Not even to say Hi.

All of this happened within a matter of seconds … And the.

Slow. Time. Stopping. Minutes.

Xena the poodle puppy …made his morning … And so did I. I didn’t keep walking past. I stopped. Knowing we could make somebody’s day better. Even my own.

And bonus … Xena then climbed up right into his cross legged lap and lay down … as if to stay awhile. She settled in for a moment as if he owned her. She gave him that feeling I’m sure. I let her. I let him pretend and to have that feeling for a fleeting moment that he owned a puppy. Beautiful it was. The two were meant to meet.

I wonder if we’ll see him again … and see the two of them together again, if only for a moment. We all raised our energy up … Up … Up. The vibrational field around us shifted. That small shift, you know the one … of calm combined with spirit filled uplifting energy … if each of is had it each and every day … it would change our world forever.

If only. We could. Simply. Just. Be.

Xena is a healer.

Brenda Johima is Blessed and Proud.

P.S.

This man shared with me his love of dogs. His last dog lived to 17 years old. He knows that although … “I’d love to have a dog again but it wouldn’t be fair to the dog … “because I have nowhere to live” and “where I live there are bears around” … Now that’s a responsible dog lover. Even better? He grew up with poodles. His parents raised poodles when he was a young boy

So I don’t need to figure out how to make a difference with Xena … We already do it everywhere we go ;)

Happy morning to you!
Brenda

P.S. Read all about Poodle Colors here. (Hyperlink removed on February 26, 2014, as I personally do not condone the breeding practices and “foster” program of this one specific breeder)

***>> February 26, 2014 >> PLEASE NOTE << I no longer have Xena, my soul dog. Dogs are FOREVER to me, and after being questioned publicly on Twitter yesterday, I wish to set the record straight. I will be posting a full story, but for now, for the record:

>>I never ever gave up my (foster) dog.<< The breeder breeched our contract and removed Xena from our loving home, on March 5, 2013, only months after I welcomed Xena to her permanent home here. Xena was taken after I reported >head tremor

As a result, I personally do not support or condone or recommend this breeder in any form whatsoever, for any reason.

*P.S.P.S. (Added October 15th, 2012) *If you have specific questions about Xena as a black merle and her unique colors, or wish to purchase a purebred poodle, or foster a poodle, then please direct them to the breeder where Xena comes from. (breeder name removed February 26, 2014) Thanks! She is one amazing puppy. Very calm and quiet in the house. Really the best dog I have ever had in every way possible :) I’m not here to sell any dogs at all, I get nothing for saying this at all. She simply is an amazingly smart, affectionate, healthy, active and quiet pup. A doll of a personality. Really.

>>Hyperlink to the breeders website was removed on February 26, 2014, as I personally do not condone the breeding practices and foster program of this one specific breeder<< Do not “foster” a poodle for a breeder unless you want the possibility of having your heart broken, and being out of pocket hundreds of dollars, only for the breeder to benefit.

I don’t fit in, or belong, most of the time, and in most ways. It took me almost 51 years to see this as a good thing, as an asset. Not fitting in means you stand out. Not fitting in means you’ve resisted or embraced weird and strange and even odd. Different is where it’s at. Unique you are. That, is where the YOU lives. Not much you can do about it. Just is. Be.

– Brenda Johima