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How many of you out there are dog lovers? I’m a recent convert to the canine crowd. I always simply tolerated my friends’ dogs - and held my breath whenever the furry little things tried to kiss me with their stinky breath. However, adding an Italian greyhound named Eden totally transformed my life - and my heart.

Who could have guessed when I pet his cute little head for the first time that the universe was about to give me a MAJOR lesson in compassion? What is amazing about Eden is that in addition to teaching me how to love him, he is always showing me how to be more tender and compassionate with myself. I was totally clueless when I first got Eden. He would look up at me with his optimistic, trusting eyes and wag his tail as though his world revolved around me.

I felt overwhelmed by all of the vet visits Eden needed to stay healthy. I remember desperately asking my nutritionist for tips on making dog food at home and how to heal some of Eden’s illnesses using essential oils. It seemed like every conversation my husband and I had revolved around Eden – who slowly became the center of our world and who opened my heart to brand new levels of love I never knew were possible.

Eden is truly a sweetheart and a mommy's boy. As I shared with you in my last newsletter, I recently made a life-changing trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. With my heart aching from missing Eden, dogs quickly became a topic of conversation between me and my travel companions. One particular friend was discussing the process of adopting her own dog. It wasn't until I reached up to touch my cheek that I realized I was crying during the conversation. What had happened to me? When had I become such a softie who couldn't even control myself? It was the Eden effect.

My love for Eden has expanded to all animals, big and small. It can be easy to have compassion for small, helpless animals, can’t it? My next step is to extend my new found compassion to the friends and family in my life. I have to ask myself if I am tying people to short leashes in my own way by judging them harshly, abusing them, cheating them, or manipulating them in “little” ways. Love for Eden is teaching me to have compassion for the human race, even when people are difficult. It doesn't end there. I started to realize we need to have compassion for OURSELVES. We must accept our bodies, embrace our curves, and never talk to ourselves harshly. Do this and watch fears and insecurities slowly fade away.

Being compassionate with others AND ourselves lifts our energy vibration to make us more beautiful and the world more peaceful. Are you holding back from expressing compassion wholly in your life? I know I was for a very long time without even realizing it. I’m inviting you to embrace the healing and transformative power of compassion in your life starting now.

Ada14 

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