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Author Archive for Joan Courtney

Ph.D. or PH. Doggie

Duff here. As You recall, I am the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Unstuck Living. And as such, I have many duties, mostly keeping Mom company and being a strong Supporter of the Business. Oh, the powerful meetings We have! She talks earnestly about the variety of Projects We are working on, and I agree or Disagree as I see fit. When I am not on the Same Page as She is, I lay down and put My Paws over My Eyes. This action is a sure sign She is off track and We change Course. Easy enough. Living unstuck.

I am so excited. I was recently Awarded an Honorary Degree by a Client: Ph. Doggie. The client remembered when She faced many Challenges, some appearing insurmountable. When She was in Distress, I would gaze at Her and stand up. Then Sigh and go to Her Chair, asking permission to hop up on the Recliner to provide comfort and Support. I was Not trained, but always knew exactly the Right Moment for This. And I did My job well. For that, I am now known as Ph. Doggie. Living unstuck.

How about You? Do You know the Precise Moment to help another? Or are You Unsure? I say: Follow My lead and go Where Your Heart tells You. You’ll never be Wrong. I have found this to be True. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#compassion-for-others

It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving.

—Mother Theresa

Be Authentic

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

—Sophia Bush

Duff here. Isn’t this a Most Wonderful Concept? You can be Yourself at anytime You choose. A magnificent Being in Your own right. Your laughter? Unique to You. Your fingerprint? All Yours. The way You decorate Your Home. Your choice of Vehicle. Your Passions and interests. They are Special to You. That’s living unstuck.

Some People are challenged in This Regard. Thinking They need to be Perfect all the time, the Tiniest Things stress Them out. Am I overweight? Are My clothes stylish? Am I old and frumpy? Is this All there is? Am I likeable? Loveable? These Thoughts are not unstuck at all. And they can be Altered as We grow and Evolve.

Being a Canine, I never had this Issue. I accepted Myself just as I am. I innately knew I was Loveable. Even Likeable. As a puppy, some of my Behaviors were less than Stellar. But My Mom taught Me manners and now I am congruent, walking My walk and talking My talk. Living unstuck.

How about You? Are You already a masterpiece? Or a Work in progress? Or a little of Both? I say: Go for the Dual Path. Such a relief to Be Yourself, no matter What. Matter of fact, I have found this Path to be absolutely Delightful. You will too. Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#be-authentic

Helping Each Other

Duff here. We are still in Recovery Mode from Our last snowstorm. The White stuff was piled very High with Drifts and berms. Around Our place, a kind Soul scattered some ice Melt to help clear Pathways. That product is fine for Humans who wear boots, but Not so for Me. The result? An absolute indignity. Mom gathers Me up and Carries me to an area clear of It. She means well, but I am quite independent. And I am not a Baby. The first few Carries were Fine. But after a while, I skedaddled down the Stairs. Living unstuck as a Fine Male Dog, with dignity intact.

The New Area had its own hazards though, for it was a sea of Ice with patches of snow and Pavement. I am mindful that while I have Four Paws, Mom is hindered in having only Two Legs. So as We cross this Challenge, I move along the Snow and stop when I reach Ice. I look back at Her to warn of that Slick Stuff. Once She is past the danger, We move along. She is clumsy at Times, and doesn’t have My balance of Multiple Appendages. We help each other. Living unstuck.

How about You? Do You get help moving through Travails and Trials? And then return the Favor as You can? I say: Participate in This Endeavor. It is a comfort for You and a great assist to the Other. It makes You feel Good, too. You might even experience a Warm Glow. A lift in Your heart. That’s living unstuck. #unstuck-living#helping-each-other

Winter forms our character and brings out our best.

—Tom Allen

Knee Deep in Snow

If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.

—Steve Jobs

Duff here. Playing in the Snow is a fun Occupation for Me. It pulls me. As you remember, I romp and Play. Skip and Jump. Frolic about. And sometimes, I include Mom in this Activity. Today I noticed the Snow had receded enough I could get a clear view Of My Surroundings. It was Heavenly Layer, for I have been confined to a View of the Road because of The Berm left by Plows. The surface was strong enough for Me to walk on, and I had a Marvelous time. But not durable enough to support Mom. I was living unstuck. Mom? Not so much.

The latest in This Adventure came when we were out for My last Constitutional of the Day. Enjoying the warmer Air. The gentle Breezes. After a considerable time, I decided the perfect Spot was about 20 feet into the Forest. I merrily went on My Way, with Mom following. I trotted along on the Crust of the Snow. But Mom was breaking through the Top, trudging through a foot or two of the White Stuff. Crunch. Lift one foot. Crunch. Lift the other foot. As I looked back, I noticed a lot of Activity and a Not-So-Happy Mom. I was The Encourager, running around Her in Circles. Once the job was complete? Off We went. Living unstuck.

How about You? Have You been in a Situation You found compelling? But Those around You did not? I say: Enjoy the Journey, for It may not happen Again. I know for a fact Mom will keep Me on a Close Leash, rather than letting Me choose My Path. But You know Me. I still follow My Passions and go where Life leads Me . . . Living unstuck. #unstuck-living#snow

Breaststroking Through the Snow

Duff here, We had significant Snowfall last week. How much? I would go outside, and once again that White Stuff was coming down. After a time, It seemed that The Flakes would never end. Kind of discouraging, If You understand My drift. But on the Flip side, My Winter Wonderland returned. I romp and Play. Make sharp turns and skid. Dive into Snow Piles and come out on the other side. Living unstuck.

This time was a Real Challenge, though. As I survey My world, I am 8” off the ground. The Mass of snow seemed Insurmountable. I would look over Plowed Edges and only saw more Snow. But I am Intrepid. I smelled a Scent I couldn’t resist. And Breaststroked through the Snow to check it out. I’m not even sure My Paws touched the Ground. But I made progress and reached the Designated Spot. Even Stretched to reach My Goal. Living unstuck.

How about You? Are You an Insurmountable Force? Or have You reached That Immoveable Object? I say: Never give up. What’s the fun in that? Be open to the Impulse of Exploration. I have found It brightens My life considerably. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#impulse-of-exploration

You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.

—William Faulkner

Wish for the New Year

As for the new year being happy, let it be swathed in mystery. That’s my wish for the new year.


Duff here. The New Year, 2020, has arrived. And it’s time For New Adventures and Excitement. Of course, there are some Tried and True Traditions We will keep. The Dropping of the Crystal Ball on New Year ’s Eve. Birthdays and other Celebrations. Mom would be bereft without College Football and the NFL Super Bowl, for This is Her Time of year. The stories of how Teams play together have Always intrigued Her. Once I got used to the Idea She wasn’t yelling at Me, but calling plays shown on TV We lived unstuck.

Approaching My Life with Curiosity opens so many Doors to Unexpected undertakings. Buddies to play with. Paths to explore. I’ll be able to refine My Skills. Greeting people in different Ways. Exotic foods to taste. Or sniff at and Pass. Whatever happens, it’s a time to Explore and Discover. Truly living unstuck.

How about You? What’s behind Door #2 this Year? Or are You content with the Way Things have always been? I say: Focus on the Mystery of the Future. Be curious. Watch and See what happens. I guarantee You’ll be amazed at What unfolds. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#wish-for-the-new-year

Happy New Year

Duff here. Mom and I wish You the Most Unstuck new Year imaginable. Here are a Few suggestions to make This possible:

  • Delight in simple things
  • Explore everything
  • Enjoy the view
  • Do what makes You happy
  • Greet everyone with enthusiasm
  • Luxuriate in naps
  • Savor the good things
  • Be loyal
  • Live in the moment
  • Love life
  • Live unstuck

These Concepts work for Me. And They will for You, too. Happy New Year! Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#happy-new-year