Shining From The Inside Out

Today the weather is cool and grey. Spring is pressing a heavy white sky down with imminent rain that just keeps waiting. I wish it would fall. My mood always perks up when the spring showers start. Maybe I’m like a plant that way. When the rain starts I shall take my dog for a walk. Let us both feel the rain in our hair.

Today my heart is brimming with hope. The weather outside is cool and grey and I am filled with ideas. And hope. This is a great day to work from home with design and writing, and to take a wee sidetrack seeking out other positive thinkers. I am finding them everywhere I look! Wonderfully amazing websites and blogs filled with inspirational ideas and beautiful images. I want to fill my site with links to these wonderful people sharing their hearts and their souls. This is a great year. I can feel it. Things are improving everywhere I look.

I know I am an optimist. I do see the glass half full. I know the sun is always shining, even when I cannot see it behind the clouds.

I choose to live this way because without hope, without looking for the bright and the good, well I’d hardly be able to get out of bed. And while I still have tough times, my morning gratitude ritual has helped immensely. Even if I can hardly say more, I can always say: Thank you God, for this day. As Dr. Wayne Dyer writes of, I do not want to merely cope. I want to thrive. I choose to shine!


Life is a wondrous miraculous gift,

Remembering this gives my spirits a lift;

Raising me out of my worldly mind,

Helping me feel peaceful and kind;

I let go of what is cruel and untrue,

So my inner beauty may now shine through;

Claiming my birthright to be truly free,

Ignites within me a divine energy;

I now receive all the gifts that are mine,

The reason I’m here is to let myself shine!

As I let my love for life be unfurled,

I’m taking action towards healing the world.

Gina and Professions for PEACE © 2000-2012

Spring Showers

Municipal waterworks departments can become quickly inundated after heavy rains when water rushes off yards into gutters and drains. Then their systems can become so pressured that a portion of overflow water is released into rivers without proper treatment.

Even a small garden of tidy perennials positioned between house and street can help slow that potential runoff. My own garden is rather ‘natural’ which is a nice way of admitting that it’s rather wild, and that’s the way I like it. Filled with tough plants that resist rabbit grazing, can handle the wild weather we get here, and generally thrive on neglect. They’re my favorites, my carefully selected zone-hardy drought-tolerant rabbit-resistant plants. They make me feel like a better gardener because they just grow and grow and grow. Bless their happy little leaves!


There is something special about spring showers,

When the rain goes on and on for hours,

Releasing with it Earth’s growing powers,

Soon to be shown in abundant flowers!

When, with joy, I feel rain on my face,

And, if hatless, through my hair it will trace,

Refreshing my spirit so I pick up my pace,

And remember with gratitude my love for this place!
© Professions for Peace

Animals, Trust and Respect

I woke just now from a fitful sleep like so often lately, but this time it was a nice dream. I was riding a massive brown horse, walking slowly as I patted his neck and watched the ears. Taking my time to know this gentle giant, and he was granting me respect.

In my dream, riding this horse, all my worries vanished. My senses were filled with the steady squeak of saddle leathers, rhythm of hoof-beats, flicker of ears, wave of mane and smell of horse. I love the smell of horses, and I woke up from this short but vivid dream with that light aroma still in my senses. I felt happy. How incredibly therapeutic, even if only enjoyed while sleeping.

I have been lucky throughout my life to be gifted with animals, something that comes easily due to my inherent respect for them. It’s as if animals notice this about me and are relieved to interact with a human who values their intelligence.

One of the many aspects of horse-care I’ve always adored is grooming. I believe in its value as a training aid, even if only for building trust. I find that horses enjoy human hands along their necks, chests and saddle-areas as much as we enjoy offering the attention. I choose to stroke with my hands and use brushes that are comfortable to horses. No unforgiving metal brushes for me. Regular grooming teaches horses to be at ease with hands all over them. Building a memory of safety allows a horse to remain calm around those frequently alarming things like flapping bags, bicycles, honking horns and banging sounds. A quality riding horse is one that feels secure and trustful. It trusts its environment and its humans. These invaluable horses are unflappable and unafraid of surprises.

I interact with all animals this way, and my cat of a dozen years is calm, friendly and playful. One summer day a few years ago I was chatting casually with my neighbours over the fence as I hose-watered my garden. Suddenly the wife voiced how she was astounded that my cat was just laying in the sun as I watered around it. Myself, I was not surprised. My cat has no fear since she has never been abused. I wouldn’t dream of sprinkling water on my cat.

When a person decides to use force or cruel behavior with an animal, they lose its trust and respect. Unfortunately, most abused animals learn to mistrust all humans. Anyone who has met and worked with a head-shy horse knows how entrenched those old hurts are. Anyone who has adopted an abused rescue dog knows how some of those emotional scars never heal.

My beloved rescue dog has been my constant companion for years, but her first years of life in an abusive environment permanently affected her. In her past she learned that humans are unpredictable and dangerous. Her life with me is the opposite of that tragic past but the damage is done. She does lavish me with the loyalty of her constantly loving presence, but during those moments in our family life with loud boisterous laughter or unexpected movements, she still lowers her head and looks worried. Trust is fragile and once damaged is often lost forever.

Respect and trust are too precious to risk damaging with poor behavior. Just as in our personal relationships, once these hard-earned qualities of trust and respect are betrayed they are practically impossible to regain.

© March 2009 ~ Gina’s Professions

Just A Smile

Simple kindness is something I genuinely enjoy offering to others, and welcome it warmly. It is more magical and healing than we often admit. Even just a smile or kind word cause ripples out into the world, helping more than we know.

I will always remember a moment that happened one morning about 12 years ago as I faced another day at a horrible job. I trudged along, head down, my smile gone. As a financially strapped single mom, all I could do was pray every morning for the strength to endure and send out resumes every evening, like messages in a bottle thrown into the sea.

Nature is always my solace, so in the concrete jungle I look for trees and birds as I walk. The sidewalk was sloping down as it headed under the railway and I looked up to see if pigeons might be roosting and quietly cooing to each other in the rafters. As I wearily raised my head I saw a woman looking at me with a smile of pure sweetness. Bright teeth flashing at me in that dark depressing morning. Instinctively a smile slowly grew on my face to return the favor but she was already gone. Passed swiftly by me, leaving a lingering moment of kindness like a ray of sunshine piercing the gray. I felt touched, noticed by another person amongst all the pedestrian traffic, trudging along. She was like an angel, to know how much I needed that smile, but didn’t even know it myself. My spirits immediately lifted and I remembered the Truth: this hardship was temporary and I would get a better job.

The generous kindness of a stranger, giving me one of her smiles when mine were all gone, changed my world that day and will be remembered forever.