Tag Archives: joy

Chasing Bliss

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option." -Maya Angelou

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
-Maya Angelou

She’d been in the back of the truck outside the bar for hours. He would come out at some point, drunk. It smelled like snow was on the way, and Dahlia was cold. She had always waited in the truck; her job was to guard the truck.

It was not a loving relationship with her master. He loved his truck and beer, not her–she could be any dog.

Dahlia felt uncertain about her future as she stood in the bed of the truck, shivering. She was getting older; the situation was very predictable and never going to get better. She could have felt hopeless and full of despair, but Dahlia’s imagination was her best friend. Suddenly she was gripped by an unexpected urge that excited her so much, she almost couldn’t contain herself. So she didn’t. Dahlia looked around. The path was clear. She jumped out of the truck and ran. Dahlia felt there was a better life waiting for her, somewhere.

When her master had brought her home after picking her from the litter seven years earlier, she felt so special. She got bored when he was at work and began to chew on some things to pass the time. He was angry when he got home and found the dissected TV remote control. Then he saw the barely recognizable cowboy boot in the middle of the living room rug. He yelled at her and kicked her until she yelped in pain, before throwing her outside, forever. He didn’t understand her new teeth hurt and she was bored. Dahlia never saw the inside of the house again. He was always mean to her, even though her chewing days were long gone. He paid no attention to her other than giving her some dry food and water. He considered “play” to be taking her with him to watch the truck while he drank with his buddies. She wasn’t going to wait for him to be happy with her.

Being outside had its benefits. She heard all the dog gossip in the neighborhood. She got to chatting with the other neighborhood dogs while he was at work. Everyone had a story to tell. Walks, road trips, naps on the couch, toys and table scraps—especially the food the kids didn’t like. She discovered she had not lucked out in the lifestyle lottery. She had grown to enjoy the outdoors but would have liked to have a choice to go inside when the weather was bad. She was happy for the others—it gave her hope. She wanted to feel loved and appreciated for who she was too. She had a lot of love to offer in return.

After traveling for hours, she was thirsty, hungry, cold and exhausted. Even a bit afraid. It was getting dark. Dahlia found a nice soft place to sleep under a large bush that barely sheltered her from the chilly wind. Before she closed her eyes, she looked up at the moon. She asked that she be shown the way to a joyful life—one meant just for her.

Dahlia awoke to a light dusting of snow surrounding her. It was beautiful and very cold. Her immediate goals were water and something to eat. She walked until she reached a bay where the calm water had frozen over. She ventured out onto the smooth surface and licked the ice. She surveyed the scene, still full of exhilaration over the adventure that awaited her, but worried about food.

A small black thing bouncing through the ice distracted her. What was that little thing? She watched it bounce up, each time a cracking sound. Then, down it went. It moved rhythmically up and down through the ice again, now several yards away. She wanted to chase it, catch it and perhaps eat it! Chasing it was great fun! She never knew where it would pop up, and she became happily lost in the challenge of it all. She did not remember when she felt so blissful.

At the edge of the bay she was confused as the little black thing sped out to deeper water. She was mesmerized as it rose up, exploding out of the water in a spectacular display of power and grace. A whale! She had been chasing a whale! It crashed down into the choppy water and swam back to where she was pacing excitedly on the frozen bay. A gigantic head poked through the water.
“Hey, that was a lot of fun. I bet you weren’t expecting that! What’s your name?”
“Dahlia. I was having so much fun I lost all track of time chasing you! I even forgot how hungry I was,” she said, a little dismayed he was not food.
The whale blinked his enormous eye at Dahlia.
“Wait here,” he said.

The big head was gone. Ripples of icy water sloshed at her paws as she stood on the edge of the frozen bay. She watched the spot where he’d disappeared, having no idea what she was waiting for. Up he came with a burst, spewing a mountain of wiggling fish onto the ice for her to feast on! And feast she did, until she could hold no more. She burped.

“I’m so sorry; you have been so thoughtful and kind! Thank you for the fish. I don’t even know your name.” Dahlia hung her head in embarrassment.
“Tahi. The pleasure has all been mine. I hope we can play again soon!”

With that, he turned and disappeared under the water. Dahlia smiled as she wandered off with her bulging belly. What a difference a simple act of kindness made, she thought as she felt her spirits buoyed. Now she needed to find better shelter than the bush she’d slept under.
She spotted a grouping of rocks a short distance away and walked with new energy to investigate. As she walked around the huge, grey boulders she saw nothing that could be considered shelter. She spied a small opening near the bottom of one of the rocks. It looked barely big enough to fit her and her full tummy. She squeezed herself under it, burying her claws into the ground to pull herself inside. Dahlia was amazed to see that once inside the rocks, there was a cavern. A perfectly sheltered, hollow area where she could stand up easily and walk around. An ideal new home. She promptly turned three times, laid down and took a long nap.

Tahi and Dahlia grew very close over the months; they were inseparable. Tahi would take Dahlia for exciting rides on his back and bring her bounty from the sea. Dahlia would lick his salty face with loving kisses of gratitude. She’d run in circles on the beach, barking while he frolicked in the waves, putting on a show for her.

One night, nestled in her cavern, she was struck with how easily things started to go right, months ago. It was only when she decided she deserved better that she found better. When she followed her happiness, it grew into something unimaginable. Her happiness was her guide; it pointed where she needed to go next. All of her needs that she had worried over had been fulfilled in the most remarkable ways. She’d put forth effort, but it was enjoyable. She couldn’t explain it. She laid her head down to sleep as Tahi wished her a soulful good night off in the distance.

Respond to every call that excites your spirit.

-Rumi

Advertisements

A Burden, A Gift, A Purpose

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” -Golda Meir

Daisy stretched and turned to the skin she’d just left behind. As she let out a little cough, a tiny spark escaped, much to her surprise. She watched as her exuvia shriveled and burned, fell off the stem and onto the surface of the murky swamp.
What an interesting thing to be able to do, Daisy thought. She wondered if all the dragonflies could spark. She quickly discovered they could not, and she wondered why she could. I enjoy it, but of what good is it? I don’t see that the other dragonflies can spark; I don’t like to be different. They might not like me if they knew, she lamented to herself. Daisy decided things were not off to a good start. Best to keep it to herself so she would fit in. It wasn’t long before she discovered she actually loved to spark! She started to make excuses to go off alone so she could singe small things.

One day Daisy was on the swamp practicing burning little leaves, giggling with delight. She heard someone say, “My, what a gift!” She detected a smile in the voice. She looked around and saw nobody.
“Where are you? Who are you?” Daisy asked, looking up into the trees and scanning the swamp. “And why is this a gift?” she added.
A giant scaly and bumpy head arose from the swamp.
“I’m Adora.”
Adora was a most captivating, white crocodile.
“It’s a gift because I see it gives you so much joy. Everyone has a gift, but some go through their entire lives never knowing what it is.”
“What am I supposed to do with it?” Daisy asked.
“Like any gift, you share it to give others joy as well.”
Daisy thought about it.
“But I’m afraid to show the other dragonflies. I won’t fit in anymore.”
“I’m sorry, but you don’t have a choice if you want to have a happy life. Have gratitude for your unique gift. It is part of the puzzle that will help lead you to what your life purpose is.”
Adora smiled sympathetically.
“But who cares about a spark? I mean, it’s pretty cool and everything…” Daisy trailed off, confused.
Adora rolled her eyes and said, “You nurture it. You see what makes it flourish and thrive. You may combine it with other talents, desires or life experiences, and when you’re ready, you share it with the world! No need to be afraid—everyone has a gift. Be grateful for yours. Some will appreciate your gift and some won’t. It doesn’t matter as long as it makes you happy and gives you great joy. Now, go practice and don’t worry about how it will work out. If you get all caught up figuring out the details, you won’t do anything, which you will deeply regret.”

Adora’s big smiling head was gone, sinking under the soupy, green water.
Inspired, Daisy went off to a private area of the swamp to practice. She ate a variety of swamp delicacies to see if they made any difference, but no, still just a little spark. She found when she was tired or frustrated she just couldn’t spark at all.
After much trial and error, she’d hit upon the magic formula.

First, she needed to be really excited about what she was going to burn. She found if she vibrated her wings to create heat, the spark became a torch! She discovered a talent for architecture. She gathered small twigs and built elaborate floating castles which she then sent into a spectacular blaze of glory.
“Now, this is a wonderful gift!” she said.

She went off to find Adora and show her.
“Bravo!” cheered Adora, as she gave Daisy a big, toothy grin. “Now how will you be of service to others with your special gift?”
Daisy was proud of how hard she’d worked and persevered…but also a little dismayed that she wasn’t quite there yet.
“What if I fill the castle with something? I assume I’ll have a group watching. What if I have everyone write down something they want out of their lives on a scrap of paper? Maybe they put down relationships, situations or just something that pisses them off. Whatever they think no longer serves a purpose in their life. Then they drop it into the castle, and I torch it! How cathartic that would be! But how do I share it with the world?”
Daisy’s mind was racing.

Adora had many contacts in the entertainment industry from before her retirement to the swamp. She winked at Daisy, “Baby bug, you’re ready for Vegas!”