The Need To End Well

Rachel Royer Designs made the best Christmas gifts ever!

Ahhh, we made it to the last Monday of 2020. I don’t know about you, but I am very reflective this time of year. It is especially true as we finish a difficult year. I had to hit PAWS as I reflect on finishing this year well.

Despite the amount of time and work I’ve invested in training Louie, he has one consistently bad behavior. Once someone enters my home (beware!) and is settled at the table or on the couch, he will charge after them if they make a move to stand, much less walk. Obviously, this is unacceptable behavior! No one believes Louie does this until they see it happen.

Louie and I have discussed this problem: we have asked neighbors to practice with us; I have been extremely firm with him when he goes after guests; and finally, I’ve removed him from the situation. Yet this behavior persists.

I know he is territorial, which I attribute to the fact he has it so good in my home he doesn’t want to share. But at this point, if Louie were my employee, I would fire him!

That seems harsh, doesn’t it? Yet, we do that in relationships all the time. If he were my friend who had a different perspective, would I “unfriend” him, disengage with him, or talk about him behind his back? The worst year ever is coming to an end. Will I crawl into bed on December 31, pull the covers over my head, and hope we’ll magically move into a better year?

Not many of us care about ending this year well—we just want it to end. We may recognize that an ending is imminent, but instead of doing the hard work to end things well, we lapse into fear, insecurity, and pride, which leads to reactionary responses. Often, we want to eliminate the “poison” as quickly as possible and find an easy solution. I am reminded of the saying, “All’s well that ends well.” Endings are necessary, and a “good” ending is essential. Even if things have not gone well, ending a chapter in our lives in a positive and growth-promoting way can be the best soul-care we can provide for ourselves and others.

What does it look like to end well?

  • Do your best to be kind for starters. We could all use a bit of kindness right now. I love the verse in the Bible that says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:18. Good advice which is challenging to follow.
  • Oswald Chambers said it best in his devotional, My Utmost for His Highest: “There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”
  • Before judging others, take time to look within ourselves and see what can be changed.
  • Don’t burn bridges and try to avoid bitterness and regret when relationships evolve.
  • Think of who you can be kind to this week.

As for Louie, of course, I will not unfriend him and will continue to work with him, quirks and all. What is impressive is how Louie behaves when he visits with children and shares the message of kindness. And he certainly has missed being around school children. As we end this year well, Louie and I look forward to visiting schools once again very soon! In the meantime, Zoom calls and brief outside visits will have to do. Happy New Year, everyone, and end this year well!

 

Oh, The Anticipation!

Don’t you love this time of year? Yes, even with a major pandemic happening, many of us are still very excited for the holidays. It will be different this year—we will forego the large gatherings for smaller, less glitzy, and simpler events.

But oh, the anticipation is exciting and promising, no matter what. I think all of us love to hope for things to come. Why? Because we all hope for more than what we can see on the horizon.

Louie anticipates this every time we walk. At one point in our walk, we come to a fork in the road: to the right is the creek with its smells and adventurous twists and turns, and perhaps some creature I need protection from, and he is such a protector. But to the left, well . . . a parking lot and the streets to the rest of our complex. Now, he sees many more friends when we turn to the left, but he misses the adventure of going down the hill to the creek.

When we walk to the neighborhood across from our complex, we always come to a crossroads. I watch Louie’s walk quicken, and his ears flick back as he leans toward the left to cross a street, head across lawns, past the thick bushes to his favorite place—a path with two ponds. He loves that path. It’s an adventure to ward off the geese, smell the critters that have gathered there in the cool of the morning, and watch the turtles pop their little heads up and down as they scope out his scary nose on the surface of the water.

But it is the building of anticipation that I love to watch as we walk. Louie hopes against hope that if he just leans a bit to one side, picks up the pace, and walks confidently across the street, I will keep following him and go to his favorite place. And when I take that first step in the direction he wants to go—oh, the joy he exudes. It’s simple, it’s meaningful, and it matters to Louie.

How many times do we miss the sheer joy of the anticipation, and when met—oh, the delight! Watch and listen this season for what others might be anticipating. Can you bring them joy by merely leaning in the direction they want to go? My prayer is that we all watch for what others anticipate and lean into their dreams. Yes! Be aware of the magic! And as always, be kind!

COVID Changed Everything–Some for the good!

Well, it has been a while since we’ve been on WordPress. And everything has changed. But some things changed for the good.

For instance, we all slowed down a bit, reconnected with loved ones that lived in the same house, and we appreciated life a bit more.

For us, well, we worked on this little book called Louie’s Little Legs and released it on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. So far, the feedback has been amazing. Thank you!

We thought we would share some of the PR that’s come out about the book.

Check out an article that Weaving Influence wrote about us: ARTICLE LINK

And a Podcast with Becky Robinson about our crowdfunding project:

How to be successful with crowdfunding with Danise DiStasi
The Book Marketing Action Podcast

And lastly, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned thanks to a little pup named Louie:

• Be a loving person by being kind, patient, etc.
• Do not see others as objects
• Understand there’s always something unknown in other people’s lives

While Louie’s Little Legs offers a fun and magical story, there is a lesson. We offer children a concrete way to shift their minds from quickly judging someone (or in this case, Louie judging a cat he doesn’t like) to taking a moment to understand there may be something going on that we don’t know about. Before jumping to conclusions, be kind!

Check us out at unleash-love.com. And be kind 🙂 

Time To Say Goodbye

The Pandemic Changed Everything

Louie and I usually take a break for the summer, but we’ve had enough of a break thanks to COVID19. We’re actually ramping up for something new and exciting. We will no longer be publishing our leadership blog and will share more about our new direction by mid-summer,

Louie continues to provide lessons I could never imagine and material that will continue to fill books and children’s dreams.

And if you have a child-like heart, be sure to stay tuned for more news. 💕🐾😉

Thank you for following us over the years. Have a safe and healthy summer and many blessings to you all!

Danise and Louie

When The World Was Silent

We’ve Still Have Much to Learn!

We’ve slowed down a bit, we’ve adjusted, and we’re now trying to ramp back up. But what have we learned during this time? Louie longingly remembers a few good things about the pandemic and has some advice to share going forward.

To Read Louie’s Advice CLICK HERE

Thanks, and stay healthy!

The Louie Crew

Back To Normal? No, Thank You!

Living through Covid-19 and all the talk about getting back to normal reminded me of a time not so long ago. In December of 2016, I experienced a terrible fall on ice, which resulted in a fractured hip and femur. Louie was as traumatized as I was, through the journey of falling and consequent surgery. He had to adjust to my being gone for two weeks; friends coming and going, walking and feeding him, playing with him; all while he constantly watched the door with the hope I would walk through it any minute.

Once I was home, he learned to trust my erratic movements with a cane and settled back into some interesting habits: growling at people who come to my door (even his dog walkers) and jumping on the couch to sit directly across from me (better to watch me, he said).

One evening, a friend came by to take Louie for a walk. After they finished and she came in to sit with me for a while, he ran through the house, checked on me, and then ran upstairs, where he ran the length of the hallway several times. Then, I heard a big commotion, and from where I was sitting, I could tell what that little rascal was doing. He was getting into my clothes basket in my bathroom and taking all the clothes out of it, having no consideration whatsoever for the amount of time it took me to get the clothes into that basket.

But this was not surprising. When it took all my energy to walk from the living room to the kitchen, disciplining a dog was not high on my list, especially since we’ve been through this before. The pressure was off of Louie to behave well—and when the pressure is off, he reverts back to his old habits.

That is so like us. When the pressure is off, we revert to our old behaviors. I reflected on what this meant after that fall and getting “back to normal.” When I was able to drive, I finally had a sense of life getting back to normal. Getting off medication, walking better, and looking forward to some normalcy were great goals for recovery. But did I really want normalcy to be my goal? After my fall, I was clear I did not want to go backward. And coming out of this pandemic, I challenge each of us to do life differently.

Let’s be intentional (keeping the pressure on) about breaking past the norm to live a well-meaning life by doing the following:

  1. If we’ve learned nothing else since COVID-19 came on the scene, we all know now—relationships matter! Take a look at your activities, objects, and where you spend time. See what can be pruned and devote precious time to those who matter.
  2. Be kind in thought, word, and deed, whether people deserve it or not. I don’t mean just merely being nice (and sometimes superficial and phony) but be authentic and loving—speak truth in love and show those who differ from us, or have differing viewpoints, compassion that only comes from being a loving person.
  3. Take time to listen in order to learn from others and value them—people matter!
  4. Be still and have plenty of margin in our lives.
  5. Laugh more. Love intently.

Be intentional about breaking past the norm. Life is too short and too easily interrupted for us to stay stuck in the status quo. And you are never too old to take that first step to crash through the “same ol’, same ol’.”

As for Louie, we will always have work to do. I suppose being intentionally kind will be continual with little Louie DiStasi!

 

danise@di-advisors.com

 

Rules of Engagement

A friend of mine came to visit over the holidays. Before the visit, I gave her a long list of rules prior to engaging with Louie, my rescue dog. For the six years since I’ve adopted Louie, his behavior at the door when guests enter my home has been less than stellar, making it a bit tough to entertain. I’ve tried everything to work through this behavior.

Did the list work? CLICK HERE to read more…

Join our Louie’s Little Legs Tribe and make a difference in a child’s life! Click here!

It’s Here! Our BIG News!

Happy Valentine’s Day

So what’s the BIG news?

You spoke, and because we love you, we listened. You asked us to write a version of Love Like Louie for younger children. And we did!

Introducing Louie’s Little Legs; The Magic of Kindness, a story about love and kindness, based on Louie, whose little legs take him to fun places. While frolicking in the meadow, Louie runs into a cat he despises. His pal Stitchy helps Louie understand how to treat others with kindness and not to ignore them or run away. And Louie learns the magical secret to being kind.

CLICK HERE for a fun preview of the beautifully designed cover, details about the story, and a chance to preorder the book through our Kickstarter Campaign, Help fund the professional illustration of Louie’s Little Legs and the many ways you can help our children’s book become a reality.

Louie is excited to partner with you and help children learn how to love others

 

How Are Your Resolutions Working?

Have you given up on your resolutions yet? Many of us have. And why is that? Well, Louie and I learned the hard way and we may have the answer you’re looking for.

Read More…

 

 

Contact us to have us speak at your event. Louie is available to attend as well.

Holiday Relationship Help!

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We love the holidays with all the celebrations between Thanksgiving and New Years! But have you noticed that one little relationship that just gets on your nerves? Why? Could it be…well, I won’t ruin the fun. I’ll let Louie share a little tip on how to improve relationships!
READ MORE…
We hope you have a very blessed Hanukkah and a Merry Christmas!