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Smooth Sailing and Eddies

As I go on my morning walk, I pass a ditch. Small trees and shrubs line its path. Weeds and flowers are abundant. Sometimes it is filled with water to the brim, hustling along to a large culvert at the end of the road. It burbles and bubbles as it travels, paying no mind to anything but its journey. One time water flooded a nearby field, refreshing the grasses but causing havoc for the owner.

Then there are times when it is dry. I can see the bottom of the trench. It is cracked from exposure to the sun, not seeming to be useful to anyone. But once the water begins to move, this drainage area is ready to serve its function. The water flows once more.

Right now, there is movement in the ditch. Water is smooth as it glides along, rippling occasionally as rocks on the sides or the bottom interrupt its journey. Peaceful. Serene. Tranquil as it goes. But there are times when the water is blocked. Debris may pile up or the flow may narrow so much that there is no other place for it to go. Eddies are created as the water backs up, but are soon dispersed when the pressure increases and the flow continues once more. Drifting along to its final destination.

The flow in this ditch is much like your life. Sometimes, your world is filled with excitement and adventure. Just as the ditch when it is almost brimming over with water, you too have a busy life and are intent on your journey. Others may be involved or it could be a solitary trek. But the flow is rapid and quick, causing you to make snap decisions and move quickly to keep up with the flow.

Then there are times when there seems to be nothing going on in your life. To your way of thinking, your life is dull and boring. When this occurs, you might reach for a distraction: a food indulgence, binge watching a favorite series, picking a fight with someone nearby. Not necessary, but it can happen.

Your life can also move smoothly, with few ripples and waves to distract you from your goal. Everything falls into place, almost as if it was orchestrated. You feel calm inside. At peace. Content. Smooth sailing. But no challenges, so no growth.

Then there are the eddies. There are times when you have prepared and are ready for an event or occasion. Then life appears to stand still as you wait and wait. Almost going in circles as you watch life go by. But this is time for growth. It’s the opportunity to develop patience with yourself and go within, discovering the myriad of facets that are a part of you. What you find may surprise and delight you. Or again, you may move into being distracted and slow your learning. But much as the water in the ditch, the pressure of life’s energy increases. Your life picks up again and you are moving along, going with the flow.

I’m curious. What choices do you make? How do you react when your life is so busy you can hardly breathe? When it slows to a seeming crawl? When it’s smooth sailing and you’re going with the flow? When you come to an eddy? Take a moment before each movement and check your inner landscape. You can change it to what you would prefer and create another pathway in your mind. You can even have fun with your life, moving along with what happens. It’s all up to you. That’s living unstuck.

Paving Another Way

If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.

—Dolly Parton

Duff here. I played a fast One on Mom today. We were on the Move to meet a Good Friend at a local Eatery. During Summer when the Weather is Warm, Mom has a Choice. She lets Me do My Number. If it’s Cool enough, Off I go with Her. But if She deems it Too Hot for Me to stay in the Car, She gathers Me up and takes Me back inside where It’s temperature controlled. To Her, that’s living unstuck.

But I was having none of That today. I hopped downstairs and stood in My Appointed Area for My Business. Walked around. Sniffed a bit. And kept checking over My shoulder to see if Mom had opened the Car Door yet. She kept waiting on Me until it was almost Too Late to be on Time for the Get Together. She decided The Temperature was Acceptable and Opened the Door. Into the Car I went. I waited her out. Squeeze play! Now, that’s living unstuck.

How about You? Have You had a Negative situation that, to Your Dismay, happens Time and Time again? And You’re ready for Different?? I say: Use this as an Opportunity to figure Out another way. Employ Your Creativity. Apply some Determination. And change what’s Happening. Works every time. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#

My Nemesis: The Smoke Alarm

Duff here. A while ago, Mom and I were having a peaceful morning. The Sun was shining. Birds were singing. A gentle Breeze was wafting in the trees. When suddenly: the Smoke Alarm erupted with that Abysmal Sound. You know: the Dratted Chirp, Chirp. And those high Pitched Tones? Hurt My delicate ears. Not unstuck at all.

I slid off the Sofa and Sidled over To Mom, asking Her to make It stop. Please. (She’s good at doing That.) The dilemma? Mom was on her way out the door to Walk with a Friend. What to do? She thought for a Moment, Then gathered Me up. Down the Stairs We went, proceeding over to the Car. She Popped me inside, then Closed the door. At first, I barked once. Then Twice. But quickly realized the problem was Gone. (And Yes, she fixed it before I came back Into Our abode.) Living unstuck.

How about You? Have You had a problem Intrude on Your peaceful Day? Then had It easily resolved? I say: Cultivate solving problems in Multiple Ways. You never know when One will work. Or not. But with a Variety to choose from? Freedom! At least, that’s been my experience. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#smoke-alarms

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow.”

—Mary Anne Radmacher

Dead Ends

Duff here. Dead ends are discouraging. I was walking along in My Winter Wonderland, minding My Own Business. Playing with My Shadow. Running Circles around Mom. (Such fun To Do.) But then, It was Time to head back Inside. My Paws were cold. I could Warm up and be Ready for the Next Adventure. That’s living unstuck.

But first, there was a Big Road Block. I hit a Dead End. Seems that Someone had backed up Their truck, and what I thought was a Path was the Rut they Left behind. Drat! I stood there for a Moment, figuring out What My Next Move would be. Would I jump Across? Would I turn around? Would I wait for Mom to Pick Me up? (She does that Sometimes.) The Decision Drama ramped up. I quickly Backed Out and went on My Merry way. Living unstuck.

What about You? What do You do when You come to a Dead end? How do You figure out Your Choices? And How do You know which One is right For You? I say: It’s a Gut Feeling. Evaluate Your options. Then feel what’s Right. You’ll never go Wrong. I guarantee. For I don’t. Live unstuck. #unstuck-living#bypss-dead-ends

Dead-end roads don’t mean you’ve come to your end; just means you need to take a different detour.

—Anthony Liccione

Life is Like . . .

Life is like a series of commas, not periods.

—Unknown

Duff photoDuff here. Have you felt so that Life is totally confusing? Circumstances overwhelming? Can’t see Your way out? I have done that a Time or Two. And it’s not Fun. Everywhere I looked, it was Dreary. At times, I thought it Was Forever. I thought it was a Period . . . when actually it was a Comma. I forgot to Live Unstuck.

But I Shake Bad Times like that off Quickly and Easily. Of course, They happen to all of us. (Sometimes, I Shake my Entire Body from my Nose to my Tail as I move Beyond them.) I’ll admit: these Wretched Times are not easy to move through. But I live Unstuck. I acknowledge Them, figure out their Learnings and Teachings, and keep on Going. Too many Delightful Adventures to explore to get Bogged Down in the past. I am one Persistent Puppy, bound for Higher Ground and the Cheerful Experiences Life has to offer.

Are You like Me? Do you Calculate your losses and let go to Move Ahead? Or do you get Mired in the Muck of What Could have Been? I recommend: Let go and live Unstuck. To do so is far more enjoyable, for life is short. Or so They say. #unstuckliving#lettinggo

The Important Things in Life

Forget to remember and remember to forget what isn’t important to you.

—Kathy Walter

Duff photoDuff here. Sometimes, I get wound up in one Important Way of Doing Something. Like: this is the only way to go on this path in the forest. Or this is the only way to get an extra treat. Perhaps this is the only way to let Mom know I need to go Outside. (Now, that’s critical.) And yet, I ponder: what is Really Important? Is Everything of Equal Value? In the Larger Scheme of things, does it really matter how I get an Extra Morsel? If I’m cemented in one Habit, will it matter 100 years from now? As long as I achieve my goal, I can live unstuck.

This concept really hit home the other day as Mom and I were walking through the forest. I took us on a Path that made sense to me: clear, smooth and direct. We got to our Destination and turned back to head to the car. Even though (because of my Innate Sense of Smell), I have the Superior Ability to track us home, Mom decided to Change Things Up. (Remind me to tell you about the time when Mom got lost, and I led her back to the Car. But that’s a story for a Different Time.) We went a different route, even though I kept attempting to move her back to the original Path. Eventually, I gave up and dejectedly followed her. Imagine my amazement when we arrived at the original Starting Post? I was ecstatic. I lived unstuck.

Are you like Me? Get Stuck in a Rut and think that’s the only Way to do Things? A Famous Family therapist once said there were 147 different ways to wash the dishes. And they all met the Objective: to clean the dinnerware. I found that Concept boggling. Talk about living unstuck. I recommend: Try something new. A new way to work. A new food. (Yum.) The Important Things in life demand a variety of experiences. Release the rest of it. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#importanceofthingsinlife

Cell Phones: My Opinion

I find that checking my phone (in the morning) tramples over my positive vibes, because we all know that checking messages is like rattling a wasp nest.”

—Stephanie lee

Duff here. My life changed dramatically once my mom started using a cell phone. When she first began, she couldn’t even answer if someone called. The doggone thing would ring and ring. Then someone would leave a message. Mom would then pick up the message (she could at least do that) and return the call. How cumbersome! She was stuck.

She then got a phone the salesman said was for “old folks.” She was mildly amused (and a bit incensed for being considered on the older side) but wanted to be able to answer the phone. That’s when my world turned upside down. She poked and prodded the poor thing. She laughed at it. She got animated at times, especially if there were sports games on. Totally absorbed in the fool contraption. She was living unstuck. But I was left behind.

But my mom is a sensitive lady. She realized the error of her ways. She now spends time only with me again. We walk together. We play my version of fetch. She pats me often. And talks to me as she did before, ironing out the affairs of the world. We are connected once more. We are living unstuck.

I’m asking: How about you? Are you glued to your phone? Tablet? Computer? Have you abandoned real people and puppies for an inanimate object? Duff Wisdom: There’s a time and place for everything. A time to conduct business. A time to be on the computer or cell phone. Most importantly, a time to play, and talk, and laugh, and love your Dog. Or Cat, if you will. Connecting directly with friends and family to give them a hug and a chat makes a connection that can’t be matched. The warmth touches your heart. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving