Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Luck We Make January 17, 2014

I don’t mean to be rude. Quite the opposite in fact. I make it a business of mine to speak the truth in love. Even if it hurts. And even though I can’t speak. (At least not on command).

JoyTruth. From the ground up, I have some to share today. It occurred to me as I watched more snow diamonds fall from heaven. Snow is a pretty common occurrence in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, but it never ceases to amaze me with its understated beauty. In today’s peaceful stillness of the snowfall I found myself counting the flakes, each one a reminder of the blessings I have in life.

Family. Love. Loyalty. So many things money can’t buy, all at my paws at a moment’s notice. But I wouldn’t say this makes me lucky. The truth is, I wouldn’t call myself lucky. Friends and family call me this all the time and I tend to disagree. But not for reasons one might think.

I’m not bitter. I have no reason to be negative. But I believe in a lot of things, and luck isn’t one of them. Luck implies happenstance. Chance. Random good fortune. I’ve had too much good in my life happen to believe in such things.

Instead I count my blessings. Each one is unique and brings me a different kind of joy. Like today when baby Carter grabbed my paw in his sleep. My heart surged in that moment and I instantly forgave him for all the screaming he’s been doing morning, noon and night.

No snowflake is alike, and no true and lasting moment of joy is either. Each is a blessing of its own, entirely separate from this think called luck. Truth. From the ground up, I mean no disrespect to anyone who believes in luck. Instead I tend to side with World War II general Douglas MacArthur, who once suggested “the best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.” And my luck isn’t luck at all. It’s joy. From the ground up, this is the truth I speak in love.

 

The Love Tree October 13, 2013

Normally I don’t care much for those things they call Smartphones. They draw attention away from where it belongs (i.e. the company we keep, namely me). They distract people on car rides. And I don’t think they are really all that smart.

But today I witnessed firsthand what I suppose would be the one silver lining within these things called Smartphones. Randomness. This may come as a surprise given my open belief that everything happens for a reason, but it is a concept I can appreciate (and even find some humor in) within the right context. Today, for example, the context made for a pretty special moment of randomness even I could appreciate.Who do you love?

“I love you.” That was it. That’s all the text message contained. And (to be honest) that’s all it needed to say. Mom received that message from her little sister Morgan this afternoon and I’m pretty sure it made her day. Which made my day. Which got me to thinking (of course) about this people theory of randomness.

As I basked in the warmth of another unusually warm fall day, I took note of the tree (my favorite in my backyard paradise) above me. I looked up at the branches, each reaching out to the next. Connecting.

It reminded me of the random bit of love mom received from Morgan. Morgan shared love with mom, who shared it with me, and now I’m sharing it with you. Random? I’m not so sure. But love needs no explanation. And each bit of random love is like a branch, reaching to the next. Connecting.

“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit,” Lebanese thinker Khalil Gibran suggested. Well then (I thought to myself as I drifted away into the fabulous dreamland of my second afternoon nap) we must do all we can to share random moments of love with those around us. Heaven forbid anyone experience a life without love.

Morgan shared it with mom, mom shared it with me, and now I share it with you. Please consider reaching out to someone sometime soon. Connecting. Whether in person, on the phone or (gasp) even in a text on one of those Smartphones. Tell them they are loved. Because as ancient Greek theologian Saint Basil proposed, “a tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”

 

It Only Takes a Seed February 11, 2013

It has been almost two months since I started to actively water the seed of joy in my heart. I know it has always been there, waiting patiently for a little tender loving care. And like any seed, I find it needs the right balance of water, sunshine and love to blossom into what I always knew it could be.

This blog is my source of sunshine, as my daily decision to see the good in people and things has illumined new sources of joy in my life. And as my little seed of joy continues to grow, so does my desire to share it. At first I thought writing a blog every day would be a challenge, but that daily attention to my seed of joy has made all the difference in the world. But water and sunshine don’t complete the photosynthesis process. Rather, as the roots of joy grow deeper in my heart, it is the love and support I receive from readers that brings the process full circle.

French novelist Marcel Proust once said of friendship “let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Today, I am grateful to the gardeners of the seed of joy in my heart. You know who you are. To everyone that has read, liked, followed and shared my blog: thank you.

A special thank you to Viva Violet for being the first to nominate me for a blogger award. Translated from its native German, “liebster” means sweetheart, darling, beloved, liked very much…you get the idea. So thank you Viva, nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award. To complete my nomination, I need to follow a couple of rules, to which I am more than happy to oblige:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Viva has challenged me to answer the following questions:

1. What’s your zodiac sign? Do you think it describes you accurately? I was certain this could not possibly make sense for me in the canine world, but a little research I did on the topic surprised me. A Taurus is described as a dependable, persistent, loyal, patient and generous personality with weaknesses like possessiveness and laziness. A Taurus will generally follow the leader and can be stubborn, but makes an excellent friend. Loved ones are incredibly valued and protected in my world, which (admittedly does) also involve a great deal of napping.

2. If you could buy anything in the world, what would it be? I would buy a home for all the homeless pets in the world. And if that’s dreaming too big, I would donate money to local humane societies and lesser known foundations like the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.

3. Would you want a squirrel for a pet? Why or why not? Is this a trick question? I am a terrier after all. I think it’s best if I stick to stuffed squirrels.

4. Are politics an appropriate tea time discussion topic? It depends on the company. Some things are better left unsaid.

5. Have you ever lost a friend? What happened? I lost the best and most influential friends I ever had when I was separated from my mom and brothers. I remember them fondly, and I hope somewhere out there they are as happy as I am.

6. What’s an extreme sport you want to try? It’s a toss up. Twiggy (the waterskiing squirrel) and Tillman (the skateboarding bulldog) are two of my heroes. It would be a riot to learn either of those skills.

7. Have you ever been to a concert? What was it like? Music is my muse. I love the poetic rhythms and beautiful lyrics weaving together in inspirational goodness. So I can’t help but wonder if they will ever let dogs into the kinds of concerts I want to go to. Phillip Phillips was in town this past weekend and I thought about writing a petition that (as one of his biggest fans), I should definitely be allowed to attend. Would anyone be willing to sign it such a petition?

8. What was your favorite thing about being a teenager? According to most dog-to-people year conversions, I was a teenager when my mom and dad brought me into my forever home. It doesn’t get much better than that.

9. Do you have a phobia? If so, which one? I have a few, mostly dark ones related to my past. I am deathly afraid of vacuum cleaners, brooms, power tools and leather belts. I’d rather not get into why.

10. Are you a pets person? I’m going to flip this question around to ask if I’m a people dog. And I think the answer to that is a resounding YES.

11. Do you like odd numbers? I like the underdog, so I will say yes.

11 Random Facts About the Wonderful World of Wiley

(Some are linked back to older blog entries)

I sleep smiling (most of the time)

I rub myself all over clean towels because I don’t like that they don’t smell like my people anymore

I make audible grunting sounds when I’m completely content

My favorite toy is Mrs. Prickles (with Flea in a very close second)

I dream about changing the world with my perspective on joy: from the ground up

I’m a huge Green Bay Packer fan

My favorite music of the moment is the new album by Phillip Phillips

Some call me needy. I prefer affectionate.

I love finding new ways to make people smile

I don’t bark unless there is a dog, elephant, talking pig, talking cow or any other animal (real or animated) on the television

I love my mom and dad. A lot.

All of this would be in vain if not for the opportunity to paw it forward, so alas I’m going to nominate 11 bloggers who are inspiring and have been especially supportive of Wiley’s Wisdom. Even if they have more than 200 followers, please pay them a visit.

http://momentsbymissy.wordpress.com/

http://scrapydo.wordpress.com/

http://theseeker57.wordpress.com/

http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/

http://barkshire.wordpress.com/

http://rachelmankowitz.wordpress.com/

http://misifusa.wordpress.com/

http://melaniejeanjuneau.wordpress.com/

http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/

http://lplk.wordpress.com/

http://theloneshewolf.wordpress.com/

Finally, 11 questions for my nominees:

1) If money weren’t involved, what would you choose as a forever career?

2) What causes do you support, why, and how can we get involved?

3) What is the first item on your bucket list?

4) What is your personal life philosophy?

5) If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

6) What is the most important life lesson you have for your child/children? If you don’t have children, what is the most important life lesson you’ve learned and who did you learn it from?

7) What is your favorite quote?

8) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

9) If you could bring anyone back from the dead, who would you choose? Why?

10) Tell me about your favorite pet.

11) In what do you find the simplest of joys?

Thank you again Viva Violet for this honor, and thank you again readers for being gardeners of my joy.