Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Diamond In The Rough September 29, 2013

Garbage stinks.

Today the garbage in my forever home smells like a combination of pizza crusts, discarded stale bread, and onions. And I love it. I often gaze at it longingly, just dying to attack. To knock it over and feast on all the fabulously delicious samples inside. Sometimes I even get close enough to make my (albeit naughty) feasting fantasy come true. But I’ve never actually gone through with my malicious plan. Partially because I will admit I do eat a pretty well-balanced diet of dog food, treats, rawhides and people-approved people food throughout the day. Mostly because I don’t want to get scolded.

Recylce ThisSo you can imagine my confusion when my mom returns from a store called Goodwill every now and then with a variety of second-hand items. I can’t say she ever needs any of it (just as I don’t need more food), but I get the impression there’s a sense of fulfillment in finding treasures in someone else’s trash. And I can’t fault her for that.

I didn’t get into the garbage today. I don’t plan to do so any time soon either. But all this gets me to thinking about something pretty powerful. Finding treasures in someone else’s trash. Recycling it. Giving it new life. I am fortunate enough to say this has actually happened to me firsthand when my forever people found me at the Oshkosh Humane Society.

I was a diamond in the rough. The staff at the shelter were very protective of me since I had already been adopted and returned once before. I was deemed a “problem puppy.” I heard tell more than one person to “look past the cute and see the commitment” it would take to bring me home. Yet my people found me, believed in me, and the rest is history.

I don’t mean to glamorize garbage. Because let’s face it – it does stink. But (in one way or another) we all have it. Junk. Garbage that we might deem to stinky to properly address. Probably not in the form of pizza crusts and onions, but perhaps in our closets. Or maybe even in our hearts. Both literally and figuratively, we have the ability not just to find treasures in someone else’s trash, but in our own.

Just as I was recycled, I continue to recycle myself on a daily basis. It’s a choice I make in seeing the good in all people, places and things around me regardless of the junk I encountered in my past. It’s not always easy. It might even stink from time to time. But at its very core it’s joy from the ground up.


Tag, You’re It! June 19, 2013

So this is the world and there are 7 billion people in it. Among the various countries and cultures that serve as home to this incredible population are hundreds (perhaps even thousands) different breeds of dogs. While the census allows some sense of accuracy with the global population, research reveals no such thing about the population of dogs. Us four-leggers are everywhere in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. Some breeds even look slightly different in one country versus another.

There is a pretty big world out there. It is absolutely overwhelming to think about. Not to mention completely intimidating. How (on Earth) are we supposed to make a name for ourselves among all the other personalities out there? Truth is I have no idea if there even is a right answer for that question. But there is one thing I do know for sure: who we are is synonymous with our unique set of values and beliefs that contribute to our personality.

I’ve never been much of a digger in the literal sense (as I know some of my canine brothers are), but my archeological adventure to personal authenticity has led me to do another kind of digging. I dig deep on a daily basis by seeking to find good in all people, places and things with which I come into contact. My daily blogging journey has served as somewhat of a shovel digging toward personal discovery of my authentic self. It’s a dig like no other, and I can’t say I’d change much about what I’ve found.Surfing the world wide web

“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within,” American author and activist Helen Keller encouraged. “It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us that makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves.”

It makes me happy to believe in the power of the present in the “present” that is each day I wake. I find joy in the oddest of places, and experience the sincerest form of joy when I share it with others. When I share it with you. Every day I wish I could somehow reach farther, touch more, make a bigger difference all-the-while giving thanks for the people (and pets) all over the world who have helped me along my path to self awareness. It’s safe to say I’ve caught the joy bug and I want to share it with the world. That’s right. I’ve caught the joy bug and I want to share it with all 7 billion people and their however many breeds of four-legged best friends. My tagline is to share joy: from the ground up. What’s yours?


Thoughts on Change: Let’s Go Places February 4, 2013

I’m not necessarily a fan of Toyota as a brand of vehicles, but a commercial of theirs caught my attention recently.

“Let’s go places,” the voice says, “Not just the ones you can find on a map, but the ones you can find in your heart. Let’s go beyond everything we know and embrace everything we don’t. And once we reach our destination let’s keep going.”

I’ve heard a lot of different people perspectives on change. My ability to see only portions of the world’s color spectrum does not impact what I have observed. In general, change is a grey area. Words like scary and intimidating face off against words like invigorating and exciting.

When it comes to making major life changes, I haven’t always had as big a say as I would have liked. I wouldn’t have chosen to be separated from my mom when I was still a puppy, for example. But I did what I had to do to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.

“If you don’t like something, change it,” said mover and shaker Maya Angelou. “If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

I'm Going Places - Want to Come?

Ultimately that is exactly what I’ve done. I embrace change wholeheartedly because experience has taught me change is like a light without a dimmer switch. It’s all or nothing. It’s a state of mind, and (if you let it happen) it will bring some light into your day. Without it, we can get lazy. It gets a lot easier to life in default mode rather than living to our destiny.

So I share these humble thoughts on change with the world, hoping that my perspective can bring some light to somebody who is facing a crossroads. Somebody who needs to decide whether to live life to their destiny rather than their default. Somebody who fears change.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world,” cultural anthropologist and writer Margaret Mead said. “For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

Good, bad, and ugly, I believe there is something to be said for change.

“Because inspiration doesn’t favor those who sit still,” says the man in the Toyota commercial. “It dances with the daring. It rewards the courageous with ideas that excite, challenge and inspire. Ideas that take you places you never imageined. Ideas big enough and powerful enough to make your heart skip a beat and in some cases maybe two. Let’s go places.”

What are others saying about change?