I have a stone in the shape of a heart on Marzie’s grave that reads, “It takes a long time to grow an old friend.” And she is that still! She continues to come on walks with me, snuggle by my side at times when she knows a good dog’s heart is just what I need. And daily she reminds me to eat healthy and really enjoy my food. Her tasty home cooked food and liver treats were one of those most precious realities of Earth that she relished.
What I find comforting on our walks is that her spirit’s behaviour is quite consistent with who she was. That is, she didn’t want to be squished into any one, small label about who she was. Some days she was a healer and coach and other days, she was a hunter and runner. Other days, especially on windy, rainy days, she could become a very indoor dog, who preferred the comforts of her bed. And in these moments of who she was, she comforted me, she loved me and so she CHALLENGED ME!
Marzie has this coyote spirit about her—the trickster. When I was stuck in my behaviours of heart brokenness, she would inevitably run ahead on a walk, then run back, whirl this way and that way, dodge and bounce, so that my mind could no longer follow its own path. She had successfully interrupted my thinking pattern enough that she could invite me into new behaviour which she thought would bring true relief and restore trust.
And that’s all it took. Interruption of my thinking and engaging in a different, more positive behaviour!
My spiritual mentor recently told me that spirituality is never truly authentic unless it fundamentally increases and strengthens one’s love and trust. Marzie challenged me daily to increase my love and trust with myself, with Goddess/Holy Spirit/The Beloved Universe and with the true heart of humanity.
She was keenly aware of energy that was negative, chaotic, toxic and angry. She didn’t want to stay in these environments and would respectfully signal that it was time to go. I believe Marzie knew that her time on Earth was relatively brief. In her wisdom, she made certain we remained in a flow of life where she could stay focused in the behaviours that supported her inner joy and brought healing to those she touched.
Sometimes controlling our thinking seems incredibly difficult and we can end up with inertia of a most depressing kind. We become paralyzed from action or defer to the most habitual habit, even if destructive and boring. Marzie disliked boring walks. Walks were meant to be an adventure. Rarely did we go the same way twice in one day. Rarely, did we even have the same purpose for going on a walk if I was really aware of her presence, connecting with beloved partnership.
Marzie liked adventure and knew the behaviours that created adventure on a walk. She was intentional and trusting that Goddess loved her. When I got on a thought pattern that reflected unhelpful sadness or distrust, she would mirror my behaviour derived from my unenthusiastic thinking until I noticed what she was doing. ‘See’, she would say, ‘this is what you look like to me, you mood spoiler. I’m bored of it. Can we find something to do to change our heart’s way to love and trust.’
Marzie would say that thoughts are like cars on a highway, so many, so different, some the same, but are of different colours, some big, some small, some loud and some very quiet. Yet they all are intended to transport us safely and proficiently from point A to B and for Marzie, to an enjoyable place. She disliked car rides that had no ecological value to them and would clearly let me know when we had been in the car too long or too often. Such slothful use of our car was contrary to our mission in life and she clearly let me know.
Typically, all these thoughts drive through our mind with amazing speed. What she liked, however, is when I rolled down the windows so she could sniff and we took the interesting roads. Of course she noted the many other cars on the highway. However, we weren’t driving those cars. We had my corolla which had her blanket, her seat in the back, treats on the floor, music we enjoyed together and windows that regularly had nose prints on them.
The car we had and the way we rode the car came about because of the behaviours and attitudes to which we both were committed to enhance the quality of our lives. In other words, as much as our thinking influenced our lives, what became more evident for me through Marzie, is that it is our behaviour and attitudes that mattered most. When I behaved kind and loving; when I behaved in trusting and peaceful ways, when I behaved focused and habitually positive ways, then my mind changed and life seemed a blessing.
I discovered that she liked when I communicated with her through wonderful and joyful pictures best. And I realized that pictures are more than thoughts and those wonderful pictures we have, inspire us, just as they did with her. She understood pictures and she could engage in conversation with me about the meaning of them. She had her knowing about how to bring them into living reality which was equally valid and masterful as my own knowing. And so our hearts would work toward harmony of creating meaningful reality from these pictures together. I have come to realize that is what I need to feed my subconscious as well– meaningful, amazing, life-giving pictures and great movies.
Such pictures too invite me into new behaviours and attitudes that change my mind. I still talk with Marzie, and my father, about my pictures and movies. They lovingly and wisely (and with wistful coyote medicine) keep changing my perspectives through calling me into daily, focused action toward my mission and purpose. Nothing grandeur. Nothing falsely magical. Just focused and daily behaviour that reflect the perspectives of the mission and purpose I hold in my heart.
©Shirley Lynn Martin
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