Five years ago today, Hope entered my life.
I’ll be honest, five years ago life felt really hard. I was burned out in my business and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. My son was struggling with some pretty heavy issues. And I had just lost Maverick, my dog of nearly 13 years.
If ever there was a time I needed Hope, it was then.
So when my husband found a golden retriever puppy online, the last of the litter just waiting for a home, it felt inspired. Especially considering the day before I’d been out running, and visions of a puppy named Hope had come to me. I brushed them off at the time because I wasn’t looking for a puppy. I was intent on finding a male golden retriever to rescue. With everything else going on in my life I wasn’t sure I was up for a puppy.
But when I saw her face on the computer screen, I recognized it was Hope.
Despite the fact it made no sense—she was a puppy and she was female – two things I was NOT looking for—it felt exactly right. We jumped in the car and made the two hour drive to meet her. When we got there, there was no doubt, this little girl was meant to be ours.
It’s amazing how much that one inspired decision has changed my life.
I had no idea when I got her that she’d become a therapy dog, bring so much joy to so many people, and completely change my life. I just thought I was getting a dog to help fill the hole in my heart left by my sweet Maverick. Clearly life had much more in mind.
It’s because of Hope that I got involved in pet therapy.
When she was in obedience class, our trainer suggested it because of her sweet temperament. Following that suggestion was inspired leap of faith. I had never trained a dog to the extent necessary to pass the certified therapy dog test. Hope was young and I had no idea if she’d be able to qualify. I found a connection to a local pet therapy organization through a golden retriever group I belonged to, and after that everything just seemed to fall into place.
At 18 months old, Hope passed the test and we began a new chapter in our lives.
We’ve spent the past 3-1/2 years doing hundreds of pet therapy visits. It has been a bright shining light in my life during some pretty dark times (I don’t think it’s any coincidence Hope’s registered name is Shesa Sweet Ray of Hope). It has given me perspective. It has made me grateful for all that I do have. It has seen me through the struggles with my son who is now 100% recovered and getting ready to move out of state and begin a new chapter in his life—something I never could have anticipated. And, it’s ushered in a whole new way of being for me, in life and in business: truly living and working inspired.
I now trust that Life has my back, even in the tough times.
Life hasn’t been perfect since Hope arrived. I’ve lost two more dogs, and I’ve faced my share of challenges in my life and in my business. However, I’ve also been the recipient of many gifts.
These gifts have enriched my life in ways I never could have planned…
- I’m helping bring pet therapy to more people as a member of the national board of directors for Love on a Leash®—something that lets me use my marketing expertise in a way that’s incredibly rewarding.
- I have a new business in a new field, after spending 30 years in marketing—something I never could have imagined.
- I have many new friends—people I never would have met without Hope.
- I have purpose and meaning in my life—something I never could have gotten from a business alone.
- I’m finally clear what my next book is supposed to be about—after struggling for clarity for two years.
- I’m getting ready to start a new chapter when my husband retires and we move across the country—something neither of us ever expected, but that’s exciting and totally inspiring!
All of this, and so much more, by simply taking one inspired step at a time.
And this type of transformation is available to anyone. Anyone willing to set control aside, open up, and follow the inspired ideas that show up. Anyone willing to make the inspired decisions and take the inspired leaps of faith.
Living inspired simply means paying attention to what shows up and following what feels right. Even if it makes no sense. It means continuing to follow what shows up, one step at a time. You may not know where you’re going to end up, but if the last five years has taught me anything, it’s that when you put your trust in the inspired path, you will end up someplace amazing. And you’ll experience magic and transformation you never could have planned.
Yes, it is a leap of faith.
And yes, it takes continued practice. But it’s not difficult. You can get right back up every time you fall back into old habits. And the cool part is, the more you let go, and trust, and follow, the more you’re rewarded. And the more you’re rewarded, the easier it gets to let go and follow along.
So my question for you is, are you ready and willing to trust in life and follow your inspired path?