Eleanor in the garden

The other day someone was talking about a 3-legged dog that he had recently adopted, and who seemed to be doing really well, but as this man spoke about his dog’s background and the bad situation that she came from, he kept saying, “The poor thing” over and over. I finally said, “Consider for a moment how you would feel if someone was thinking, every time they looked at you, ‘That poor thing. He really isn’t doing well!'” Or even imagine  looking in the mirror and having those thoughts about yourself. Most of us would (energetically) recoil from that kind of thought. It doesn’t feel good to us because it isn’t high-energy thinking. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, really does apply here with the slight change of: “Think about others, as you would like them to think about you.”

Coincidentally (of course I don’t believe in coincidence!) a few days before I ran into this man, Jack and I had seen a woman in Middlebury, VT walking a 3-legged dog. At first I thought the dog was limping, and I am embarrassed to admit that my reflex thought was, “Doesn’t that owner know that her dog is hurt?” but as I watched them I saw that the dog was just trotting along (with a little jump in his/her step) with only 3 legs, and both dog and owner seemed like they were getting along just fine.

If we are looking at someone (animal, person, or situation) as heartbreaking or hopeless, then that is all we tend to see, and we have become (without meaning to) a part of the problem.  Also, we could be missing the Truth or a higher level solution which doesn’t present itself to us because our thinking is too low. Problems are only thoughts and they have an energetic charge just like solutions do. The higher and clearer our minds become, the faster and easier high-level ideas and solutions present themselves.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. Albert Einstein


Over the past year, a number of people have asked me if I’d consider doing shorter phone sessions and so, starting September 1st, I am going to be offering, (in addition to the full one hour regular sessions) shorter, 30 minute appointment times. The fee will be $35 for the 1/2 hr. time (the regular session will stay at $60).

If this is something that interests you, you can go to the “My Work: Private Sessions with Me” tab,  read more about my background and what a session with me is like, and if you’d like to set up a time, email me and we’ll go from there!  The link to this page is:

21 thoughts on “Solutions”

  1. Many years ago, I came across a 3-legged dog at a little farm stand. She was laying on top of a picnic table. Her jumping off the table is when I noticed the missing leg. I started to say, “Awww…..”, and her owner interrupted me, and said with authority “No, dont feel sorry for her. She’s doing fine.” I suspect the owner had said this a million times. I never forgot that. Thanks for reinforcing it, Mary!

  2. I have a deaf Dalmation, when I first got her (Dottie) I did feel sorry for her, and the training did not go well, I had a change of attitude and so did Dottie.
    Today, she knows as many commands as a dog with hearing, was all in the thought process. My son is handicapped, I have a harder time appyling this logic to him, but I know in my heart it is the best way.Thank You Mary for the reminder. All have a great day:)

  3. Dearest Mary,
    I had a beautiful little cat once who had been born with a deformed leg causing him to walk with a decided limp. He was the most energetic, cheerful cat I’ve ever had and never once did we consider him “poor”, even when we had to explain to people that he didn’t need medical attention for his limp, and he wasn’t being abused, and actually was leading the Life of Riley at our house since he was in charge of EVERYTHING!

    The concept of looking at people or animals facing adversity as “poor things” is something you know I am fervently working to reverse right now. Thanks to several counseling sessions with you, I can now catch myself before the “poor thing” idea gets established, and reverse my thinking to a positive mode. As you suggest, once the energy level goes up, solutions appear.

    Thank you again and again Mary,
    Love from Fran

    PS I like the idea of half hour sessions! Thank you for that.


  4. Oh Mary! Once again a most poignant post! I loved what you said about problems…..”problems are just thoughts”. I will be using that as my mantra today. My life is so blessed by your blog and I am continuously amazed at how so many others (including myself) are supported by your timely and intuitive teachings. Thank you for being who you are!

  5. Holy smoke, Mary….two days in a row, you have handed me such needed lessons on a silver platter!

    I realized with today’s post that I have continuously been thinking about my neighbor’s Golden as “Poor Poot.” Poor Poot is upset…poor Poot is lonely…poor Poot is not getting the love he needs. Wow. Obviously, most of that is true, but I do not have to continue to think of him under this pall when he’s with me.

    I am indebted to you for this one, Mary. It will help me make Poot’s visits with me even better for him. Many, many thanks!

    P.S. For all of you here in the flock who replied to me yesterday with your take on the situation, you’ve all helped tremendously and I thank you for that! What a cool cyber-community we have here.

    You are so in tune with the positive.
    I sure hope I get there with your help but mostly from MYSELF. I HAVE to be the one to do it.
    Have a great day.
    Love Denise

  7. I know this well. It was a big struggle for me at the beginning of Frankie’s paralysis and being in a dog wheelchair. I’d often hear people say, “Oh the poor thing. Poor dog.” At first I would just cringe and I’d feel myself being defensive and with an edge to my voice I’d say, “Please don’t feel sorry for Frankie. She is very happy.”
    One day I realized that I shouldn’t be angry when someone said that, but to realize I had an opportunity to educate others that just because Frankie was in a wheelchair didn’t mean she was unhappy. I had an opportunity to help them see how beautifully animals persevere despite their challenges (which I don’t think they even consider challenges- they just get on with it)! It was just another opportunity to open someones mind and heart that should something happen to their pet, they had options to help them. Sadly many animals are still put to sleep when becoming paralyzed or diagnosed with a disease such as Frankie had which was Intervertebral Disc Disease. I realized I was given Frankie from God and I had an amazing opportunity to help people see her situation (and other animals) in a new way– and oh, what we can learn from our four legged friends– oodles of lessons.
    And Frankie’s being a wheelchair ultimately helped me to stand tall in who I am and learn to move through my own challenges with a positive attitude. All that from a 10-inch tall dog on wheels– I’d say that is pretty remarkable– and not “poor dog.” 🙂

  8. Mary – I am amazed that you continually write posts that contain such powerful ideas and food for thought. The Einstein quote is wonderful – that logic can be used in all aspects of my life. I especially needed the reminder this morning to think at a “higher and clearer” level. I’m going to start carrying those last few sentences with me at all times!

    P.S. Your garden looks lovely and peaceful. I hope you’re getting lots of visitors to your bird bath.

  9. Have you ever received note cards in the mail featuring beautiful watercolors painted by someone with no hands? Who learned to hold a paintbrush between their toes to express the beauty they feel inside? Talk about ABILITY with a capital A! Sometimes what we label as a ‘dis’ ability fuels the creative mind to find another way. Likewise, the term invalid has always bothered me – not valid? That is what we are saying when we use that word. And all sorts of other labels, – my new grandson is nine and was diagnosed with ADHD about four years ago. (Mind you, since 1995, 500 new ‘disorders’ have been added to the American Pathology Records, – even “SAD” for shy people, social anxiety disorder?) – But again, it is how you choose to look at things – I see many times a very happy exuberant little boy, – hyper just did not enter our vocabulary years ago – I so want to share your last paragraph, Mary, with my son, who is stepping into fatherhood with a nine year old. If you look at a child as ADHD, is that all you see? Once a label is slapped on anyone, like duct tape, it’s harder to look beneath the surface and marvel at this unique child of God – perfect in his own way, just the way he was meant to be. I’d rather work with the premise and tweak the other issues IF and when they present a problem.

    1. Beautifully said, Susan. Your new grandson has the good fortune to now have you in his life.

      1. Susan, if I’m reading this correctly, your son is taking on a step-son, is he? My son in his early 40’s stepped into a marriage with a younger woman who had two sons, then 11 & 12. They’ve since had a daughter and my son has surprised me. I always felt he would make a good father but the challenges of step-children and divorced parents has not been an easy transition for him but I’ve admired the way in which he’s handled himself. I’m sure your son will do well with this nine year old and it sounds like he’s going to have a super ‘granny’ to boot.

      2. SandyP, thank you, thank you! (and yes, you’re right, he’s taking on a step-son who’s never had a father in his life, though blessed by his Mom’s parents in his life from birth) I feel so lucky to have both my sons in town, and to be ‘on call’ – the prefix of my telephone number is 991, – and the boys joke that instead of calling 911, they call 991! Not only does Jacob have a Daddy now, but an extended family to shower him with love and watch him grow. Blessings abound with the challenges.

  10. Hi Mary and all in the flock. Years ago, when I still lived in Fla. one of our indoor/outdoor cats was hit by a car. We took him to a local vet who recommended amputation and said that three-legged cats could lead fairly normal lives. My husband was not going for that solution. Ray said “we’ll take him home and see what happens”. The cat hid in a safe place in the house and only came out briefly for food, dragging his hurt limb; eventually he came out limping, and then walking. Cartelage grew to support his leg. He lived a four legged life for many more years.

    p.s. I like your phone therapy idea; but, I really miss the Common Ground Cafe. When it re-opens, please join me for a cup of coffee and friendly chat.

  11. Mary, your posts are a balm to my soul, food for my mind. thank you, What a wonderful way to begin my day. I miss the posts on the week-end but it makes the weekdays more special.

    My AnnieBelle got stung or ate a bee this morning early so we’ve been to the vet for a steroid shot, thankfully on the mend now. We do love our animals.
    SandyP in Canada

    1. Ouch! A big hug and many kisses for your AnnieBelle! I know when she hurts, you hurt. T’was ever thus with us and our four-leggeds.

    2. SandyP – just wrote to you but then saw this – my son’s Lab has gotten bites so many times that make his eyes puff up – it’s so helpful to have plain old Benadryl on hand for dogs – the shot may have been faster – but the visit, etc. a lot more costly – here is a link to dosage and dog’s weight. Of course, I’m not a vet!, but this is something my veterinarian recommended to keep on hand:

      1. Susan, Benadryl is on my list tomorrow and thank you for the link. Poor Annie. It happened early this morning around 4 a.m. I think and we’ve been up together since. My Aussies are my life. From rescuing our first, I’ve fallen in love with the breed at an older age. You’re right…$56 dollars for the visit and shot and I’d just paid off my Visa feeling a sigh of relief and here it goes again. I’ll mark your site and again, thanks.

  12. Thank you, Mary. Reading your messages every day has really helped me have a better outlook. My mom, and best friend, is bravely battling terminal cancer, and the last thing she wants is for people to look at her any differently or with any pity. We are learning to live each day fully and be happy and laugh as much as possible:)

    1. Hi Kelli, People like your mom are my heroes. I know how hard this time is for both of you, even though there are great opportunities within it.

      My prayers go out to your mom and you, and whatever family is affected.
      Blessings to you all,

  13. Mary -Could I trouble you to resend to me your blog about the 3 legged dog?  I somehow deleted this and I want to read it again myself and send to my brother and sister who are going through a hard time.  Thanks in advance.Judy HaiglerJudy Haigler, President/Independent AgentCardPay413.268.9242 direct413.517.0542 faxjudy.haigler@cardpay.usCardPay is a part of Card Payment Solutions, LLCCONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION NOTICE. The information contained in this email message is confidential and proprietary and is intended solely for the use of the addressee. Any unauthorized dissemination, distribution or copying of this email is expressly prohibited. If you have received this email message in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete this message and any attachments.

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