Archive for October, 2014

Gratitude: Five for Friday

Happy Halloween! Thank you for sharing my blog’s first week with me. As this week winds down, here are a few things I’m feeling gratitude for today. …

1. Businesses helping animals: Friends, did you see this? TOMS Shoes recently launched an adorable line of shoes to help endangered gorillas in Africa. I really like the white ones! (Too bad I didn’t discover these until summer had already ended.)

2. The bird bath my daughter Indigo and I add water to each day in our back yard. We love to watch the robins and blue jays fluffing out their feathers so sweet in the water.

Sanctuary spotlight: Best Friends Animal Society

In 2010, Best Friends Animal Society invited me to teach Reiki to a team of their volunteers. I couldn’t wait to share Reiki with the animals. So Charlotte Jensen (my sister), Leah D’Ambrosio (my SARA co-founder) and I piled into a car and made the long desert drive from Vegas to beautiful Utah. We had so much fun! (You can read more about it here.)

Following are some fun facts about Best Friends, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary this past weekend at its national conference in Las Vegas. Congrats on three decades of dedication to the no-kill movement!

CLAIM TO fame: Best Friends is the largest sanctuary for homeless animals in the U.S.

BASED IN: Kanab, Utah

WHERE THE money goes: 78.7% of every dollar directly supports sanctuary programs. (See a full breakdown here.)

NUMBER OF animals at the sanctuary: About 1,700

OPEN HEARTS, open minds: Best Friends welcomes all healing modalities when caring for the animals (including Reiki!).

SWEET SUCCESS story: China, the loving and gentle dog we “borrowed” for our overnight—who lost her owners in Hurricane Katrina—found her forever home last year.

CRAZY FACT: According to Best Friends, Cat World goes through 255,500 pounds of cat litter per year (that’s 700 pounds per day).

STAR POWER: Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Alyssa Milano, Bill Maher and dozens more lend their support as “celebrity ambassadors.” But Best Friends points out that contributions from individual supporters like us actually fund the majority of the work they do.

TRAVEL TIP: If you choose to stay in one of their cozy cottages like we did, be on the lookout for the “cute” spiders (on the ceiling…in the blankets…on the walls…). Maybe they wanted Reiki, too?

DON’T MISS: Find your peace at Angel’s Landing, a majestic natural amphitheater (and ancient healing ground of the Anasazi) surrounded by trees and carved into a towering rock wall.

{Photos © Charlotte Jensen}

The surprising story behind my dragon tattoo

I never, ever thought I’d get a tattoo. Not that I had anything against tattoos, but in my world, having a tattoo never even crossed my mind. Maybe because I was kind of a nerd in school. My best friend was a dog. I played on the badminton team in high school (go Saints!). I got straight As and went to a top-tier university. I worked and got married and had a kid.

But then.

In 2011, I received the shocking diagnosis that I had breast cancer. Everything started happening so fast. The pills, the doctor visits, the bloodwork, the tests, the surgery. The scars.