The Human Side of Business

We get so caught up in the chase for profit that we often forget why we got into business in the first place.

Hopefully we entered into business as an entrepreneur or employee, because we wanted to help solve a problem for our customer. Yet many have lost track of the customer and instead focus their attention on the bottom line. This is not a win/win situation. It’s win/lose. You win and the customer loses. Or You win and the employee looses, or vice-versa. How long do you expect that model to work? For rich relationships to last, everyone has to be growing or gaining, or … they’re dying.

How Do We Touch the Human Side of Customers and Employees?

Let them know you care about them as a person or thought of them; … sales flyers or promotional ads just don’t pack that emotional deposit. People are creatures of emotion, fueled by pride and vanity. When we feed their emotions, they feel good.

You’ve heard that people won’t necessarily remember what you’ve told them or done for them, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel … Good or bad. Well then, what if you spent 80% of your marketing efforts making people feel good? The human side of your business would grow rich, and so would you!

Touching someone’s emotional side means recognizing them as a person first and a business associate second. We live in an era of instant gratification. Increase your client and employee retention and gain referrals simply by acknowledging and appreciating the human side of your consumers immediately.

What are you doing to follow up and show gratitude to your customers and staff?

It’s been predicted and proven that successful businesses of today need both a “high tech and high touch approach.”  I use a system … its high tech – and high touch.  I’ll share it with you today as a courtesy because YOU matter to me, and the human side of your business does too. Your bottom line will be abundant. Ask me about it. I’m happy to help.

motivational speaker Ontario

p.s.  There are several chapters in my book share information about high tech – high touch customer and employee relationship strategies.

Attract Rich Relationships

I think everyone wants to be more attractive—in other words, to attract more of what we want. Perhaps it’s a partner; maybe it’s the desire to attract more wealth, opportunity, success, love, or respect.

What I know about attraction is that it is vibrational. We attract things similar to the vibrations that we are putting out. So if you want to attract good things, you have to put out good vibes.

Here’s an example: one afternoon, while I was shopping downtown in my beautiful home town, I asked some shop owners how their businesses were doing. The answers that I received were less than positive. There was a sense of doom, gloom, and fear in the shop owners’ responses. Ultimately, this way of thinking will attract more of the same kinds of vibrations. When fear and panic drives our responses, we need to work in the opposite direction of what comes naturally to us.

Check out the great new video on this topic.

Recently, I listened to a conversation at a local coffee meet-up between Mike Campigotto, Ian Kilgour, and other wise community members. The topic was about dealing with negative gossip, and the consensus was to not buy into it. “Keep conversations positive and upbeat,” they agreed, “and for heaven’s sake, don’t be one of those energy vampires that suck the life out of conversations by always complaining about how things aren’t, when there are so many other, greater things to discuss or get involved in.”

Chronic complainers and gossips are often lonely, or they have a few in their circle that like to maintain those same low vibrations. You’ve heard the saying “You become who you have coffee with”. Choose your pack wisely. Rub shoulders with winners, and before long, you’ll be winning too.

Before we can truly speak highly of our business, we need to feel good about it, and that has a lot to do with how we believe we are doing. Sometimes, in order to have good vibrations, we have to believe in what is unseen. A lot of that lies in vision and faith. Faith is being able to go beyond what the eyes can see.

Success starts at the root level of what we believe and how we’re feeling. We emit a vibration of that belief. I refer to this as ‘posture’. People are sensitive to the vibration we put out. If it’s high and positive, they want a piece of it.

Here are some tips to maintain those high vibrations:

Speak positively. Rather than wallowing in self-pity, negative circumstances, cynicism, or judgment, talk about ideas, possibility, and potential. Ask good questions that will lead you to a better understanding of what you can do to improve your business or relationships. Where attention goes, energy finds a match, and the results will come.

You’ll know you’re in a state of high vibration when you feel good. Circumstances beyond your control are going to challenge you, but your job is to feel good (naturally). I don’t mean taking drugs or alcohol, or excessively using any crutch to get you feeling high. I mean really feeling good about who you are, how you are, and where you are. This takes work, but I guarantee that it is the absolute best investment you can make in yourself. People like happy people.

When people ask you how you’re doing, tell them you’re fantastic, happy, or excited for life. Emit an authentic, high-vibrational answer with matching words. Don’t lie. If you can’t honestly say something great about yourself and where you’re at, call me. We’ll get you on track.

If you’re feeling stuck, stagnant, and full of low-vibrational energy, you can always give. Get out there in your community and get involved. Start giving a little more of your beautiful self away. Make a difference. Everyone has the ability to change this world and make it a better place and that, my friends, is very attractive. Not only will you inspire and influence others with your actions of kindness, but you’ll increase your own self-worth and sense of value.

Being attractive has very little to do with how we look and lots to do with our ‘posture’—what we believe, feel, think, and speak.

My purpose and my passion is to foster rich relationships between businesses, employees, and clients so that the world can vibrate at a higher level and be more efficient, harmonious, and abundant. For that to happen, we need to be vibrating at our absolute highest. I’m committed to helping your entire team raise their vibrations and attract rich relationships in business and in life.

Call me, and remember…your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay!

705-358-3396

Rejection is a Great Gift

How can rejection be a great gift? I’m going to tell you but first, a quick example.

In May 2014, my book Give and Be Rich was published and made available for purchase through bookstores, my website, and speaking engagements. One additional avenue for distribution that I have keenly sought ever since is a greeting card and gifting service called SendOutCards. This is a vision I’ve had since long before the book was published; it’s something I’ve asked for hundreds of times in person and in prayer. I have endured the rejection of my requests, yet I’ve kept on asking.

I’ve recently received news that my patience and perseverance have been rewarded!  SendOutCards will make Give and Be Rich available as a gift to be shipped with a card to anywhere in the world—a dream come true for me! Thousands of customers and distributors use this service to send appreciation and build both relationships and business by reaching out in kindness—a philosophy that compliments Give and Be Rich perfectly. My distribution channels have just multiplied by the thousands.

So what does this mean to you?

How many times do you ask for something in business or in life without receiving a favorable response?

Maybe you’re asking for a prospect to take a look at your product or service.
Maybe you’re asking for a client to come on board and trust that you’re capable to help them get what they want.
Maybe you’re working in an office and asking colleagues to trust in you or your potential. Maybe you want a new job or promotion.
Maybe there’s someone or something in your personal life that you want to have or be a certain way. In any case, you may not get the favorable answer you’re looking for the first time you ask—or the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time, but you get my point here: never give up on your dreams! Rejection can be your greatest gift.

If what you’re chasing is worth it for you, and if you really want it that much, push through the rejection! Persist. Don’t give up. Don’t let your fear of being rejected stand in the way of staying true to all that you desire. This may be a challenge, so reach out for help when necessary.

Make what you want more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss. Stay focused on your goal.

Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned from receiving a ‘yes’ after hearing ‘no’ so many times:

When I experience rejection, my emotions act first, telling me that “I’m not good enough, worthy, as talented as others, or capable of being and playing at the top of my field.” This is all just FEAR—False Experiences Appearing Real.

After allowing my emotions to subside, I can revisit and assess the situation more clearly from all angles—especially in areas where I can take responsibility for creating a new circumstance. I can use this as an opportunity to grow, learn, and refine my inner beliefs and the skills required to become better.

When I act based on a clearer understanding of the situation, I am able to dig deeper and find better and more creative solutions than I could the first time around, resulting in a win-win outcome for everyone involved.  What a gift!

Here’s a challenge for you to put past rejection to work in your personal development.

Step 1: Think about a time when you faced rejection that you haven’t yet resolved in a positive way. Reexamine the details of the rejection to form a clearer perspective of all factors of the situation.

Step 2: Figure out what you can do to grow, learn, and refine areas of your life or career so that the rejection ends up being a step up for you. Remind yourself of your desired end result—your goal or dream—by putting it in writing or placing a note on your vision board to see the result manifesting itself before your eyes. Believe that it’s possible.

Step 3: Take action again. Ask again. Attempt to do so from a more creative angle than the last time you tried. Bring your new and improved self to the table. Repeat as necessary.

May you create abundance for yourself over this holiday season and into the new year, may your dreams be more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss and may rejection be turned into a great gift for you.

Happy and safe holidays to all,

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Another useful link about rejection: http://ideas.ted.com

Christmas Is A Time For Receiving

Christmas Is A Time For Receiving… What?  I thought Christmas was a time for giving!  Well, yes, it is – and it is also a time for receiving.

It’s been eight months since my new book, Give and Be Rich, was published.  The topic of giving has run rampant throughout every fibre of my being for the past several years now.  Since working on the project, I’ve learned so much about giving, and its flipside: receiving.  I’ve learned that we have a lot to learn about receiving.

Without receiving, we have nothing to give.  That’s easy to comprehend.  But just how much are we willing to receive?  That’s been my greatest personal contemplation this year:  “How much am I willing to receive?”

Without receiving everything that comes to us—the good and the not-so-good—we obstruct the one channel that provides the inflow and outflow of the energies that we can refer to as the ‘currencies’ of life.

This year I have received such abundance: some beautiful packages, and some that seemed to be wrapped in what I like to call crappy paper: stinky, painful, and emotionally charged.

I’d received some brutally honest feedback from myself—that I had to make some major life changes.  And so I did.  A long-term relationship that wasn’t working was ended.  Easy?  No way.  Essential?  Absolutely.  I’m still feeling the pain.   There are still parts of this process unresolved; people hurt; anger, frustration, and open wounds.  I’m receiving it all.  There’s freedom here for all involved, and I know that the only way to get past something is to go through it. I’m fully receiving it.

I’ve also received new opportunities to serve people all over Canada with our work in Conflict Resolution and Workplace Relationships.

I’ve received rich testimonials about the work that we do.

I’ve received feedback on what’s working and not working in my life.

I’ve received the challenges of my relationships with others.

I’ve received better health.

I’ve received a beautiful new place to live, work, and host my favourite people.

I’ve received many amazing new connections with others.

I’ve received money, wisdom, experiences, peace, joy, love, intimacy, friendships, compliments and trust—that there will always be an abundance to receive.

In my contemplation of the question “How much am I willing to receive?”, I have come to the realization that we sabotage ourselves from receiving based on old patterning.  A scarcity mentality keeps us small, and we wear it like a ball and chain, allowing it to hold us back from really showing up and being our authentic selves.  A scarcity mentality tells us that there should be a limit; that we should only receive a certain amount (of good and not-so-good).  Because of this, we modulate what happens in our lives, instead of just feeling worthy and deserving, opening ourselves up fully to let things unfold, and trusting that they are all gifts in the circle of abundance.

You can read more about giving, receiving, and the scarcity mentality in my new book, Give and Be Rich – Tapping the Circle of Abundance.

As you enter this wonderful holiday season, keep in mind that Christmas is a time for receiving.  Remind yourself of all that you’ve received, and be aware of what you haven’t so that you may clear the one channel that delivers everything we need.  You’ll be a better giver for it.  Remember that the best gifts are often wrapped in crappy paper.  Receive them and be rich!

Holiday blessings to you and all those who matter to you, and best wishes for great abundance.

 

leadership training

 

P.S. If receiving is a challenge for you, it may be related to something you need to start giving yourself.  Call us if you need some help.

Motherly Love in the Workplace

As a tribute to Mother’s Day, I wanted to share what I have learned about how men in positions of power are eager to learn the vocal strategies women have been using for years.

 

Over the past 30 years, women have been struggling to establish themselves with undervalued skills in workplaces that have been mostly male dominated.  The power of their voices had been less adequate for upper management than that found commonly in male energy.

 

The habits of men over workplace history has been to be loud, refuse interruption, general eye contact or look down on their subjects, non-interactive and maintaining attention and control by force.  This was considered effective, and taught was a way to control employees, but it doesn’t serve human relationships today, as it did years ago.

 

Women used their female energy and natural habits of reassurance, listening, supporting, sharing emotional experiences, and bringing out the best in others.  These were irreplaceable skills in the lower levels of a company in the past, but today are being sought in the balance of good human communication and emotional intelligence.

 

For example, women in business have the ability to surrender, give way, and allow things to unfold, rather than feeling the need to control every outcome.   They are influential with others by inviting them to contribute and express themselves, rather than lecture.

 

A balance between male and female energy is a place of absolute strength and absolute vulnerability.  This is the middle way. What this means is to have power when appropriate, yet vulnerability when necessary.  It’s like having a velvet glove, over an iron fist.

 

Today men in positions of power are eager to learn the vocal strategies women have been using for years.  There is definitely a place for motherly love in the workplace.

 

Happy Mother’s Day,

 

leadership training

 

 

 

 

 

“To recognise fear in yourself and have compassion for it in others.  To have CHOICE, to have STRENGTH, to have GRACE” ~ Patsy Rodenburg, director of voice at the National Theatre.

For an in-depth look into her work, read her book, Well-Tuned Women

A Pat on the Back Pays Huge Dividends

Recognition is the most powerful human motivator in the workplace.  It costs nothing, and pays back huge dividends.

Many people think that money and perks are the best motivator, but money often gets applied to bills, and perks quickly forgotten.  The power in verbal recognition is that is strikes an emotional cord within people, and they never forget how they felt.

 

 “A pat on the back is just a few vertebrae up from a kick in the pants but is miles ahead in results.” —Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

People won’t always remember what you told them or taught them, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel—whether it’s good or bad. There’s humongous power in giving others affirmation. Praise, recognition, and acknowledgment help others feel self-value.

 

“If you want to knock the chip off someone’s shoulder, give them a pat on the back” – Church sign

Whose Role Is It Anyway?

In the workplace, people think praise should come from the top; in other words, praise is the role of management. I disagree. It’s everyone’s responsibility to contribute toward creating the corporate culture in which they want to work. For a positive culture, you’ve got to first be positive. Part of being positive is sharing gratitude for all that’s in your life or workplace. We often overlook what is and instead think and talk about what isn’t.

The next time you walk into your place of employment, count 100 things you are thankful for, and then verbalize some of your gratitude toward the people who created these things. “I am thankful for this security system that I must pass through because it keeps me safe. I am thankful for clean hallways and lights to guide me in.” Those are two. Can you think of ninety-eight more? Everyone on your team can praise one another as well—for example, “The hallways smell fresh and clean today, Joe.”

Catch People Doing Things Right!

Be the one who notices your fellow employees, friends, or family members doing things right, and speak to them about it. You’ll contribute to a very positive corporate or family culture—one in which you’ll want to work and thrive.

 

“Your team members are the co-creators of your dreams and aspirations.” —Napoleon Hill

 

Earn huge dividends this month by paying forward some sincere and well deserved recognition to those in your work family.

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Read more recognition tips here from the Recognition Professionals International website.

Business card sending made easy and affordable.  Try out this service https://www.sendoutcards.com/ptremblay/

Penny’s March Blog Post: Letting People Know Who They Are has a Significant Ripple Effect

Love is a Verb (Team Development)

You’ve heard me talk or read my work about love in the workplace, and how relationships are key to success in business.  When we treat customers, colleagues and managers with love—respect, appreciation, quality service, etc.—relationships flourish, as do productivity, sales, co-operation and more .

Just how do you ‘love’ the people that you spend your days with—especially when you may not have chosen them to be on your team in the first place?  Is it just a feeling you either have or don’t?  Do you buy it, or earn it with service or quality work?

A way to ensure that love lands in your day, every day, is to consider ‘love’ a verb.

Love  is something you do.  It’s the small and big things: the random acts of kindness, surprises, extra support, smiles, conversations, pats on the back, compliments, patience, kind thoughts, compassion, and many other acts of doing something for someone else.

Love is the glue that bonds teams together, and clients to businesses. Love is also priceless—it does not have to cost a cent.  The currency of love is our heart energy.  We all have it, and can tap into it if we open up.

The most amazing thing about love is that the more you give out by doing for others, the more you have left for yourself.  Love is infinite. It has no limits. You never run out; love just keeps growing when you take action on it and give it away to other people.

As we near Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to shower your workplace with acts of love.  Here are some examples of bringing love into the workplace:

1.    Show a customer some special attention by telling them how important they are to your business or organization.

2.    Be open to a change in the workplace that you’ve been resisting, and tell the person who is spearheading the change that you will buy in and play full-out.

3.    Give your assistance to someone who needs help, and tell them that, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you are offering some special support.

4.    Verbally praise, recognize, or acknowledge someone for a specific thing they do or have done that is valuable to you or the organization.

5.    Wish three people in your office a Happy Valentine’s Day, and tell them why they are so special to you.

6.    Go with the consensus of your team, even if you don’t agree with the direction.  Consensus means that everyone’s on board.  Tell the team that you’re doing it out of love or honour for the team’s goals.

7.    Hold positive thoughts about someone in the office who you know needs some T.L.C. (Tender, Loving Care) at this time.

8.    Forgive someone in your workplace who has done you wrong previously, or ask someone for forgiveness if you have been the wrong-doer, to free you both from the grudges of the past.

9.    Hold that difficult conversation that you’ve been putting off with someone, and approach it with deep listening to understand their side of the situation first.

10.    Have a group hug!

Love in the workplace is just as sweet as candy, has no calories or refined sugar, and leaves a great taste in the mouths of both the giver and the receiver long after its transference.  (Of course, chocolate is a welcomed offering as well, and can be made extra-sweet when presented with a verbal recognition or appreciation of someone.)

Please remember, every day of the year, that love is a verb.  It is something that you do, and it builds and maintains loyal relationships upon which strong business can be leveraged.

To love and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides.  Best wishes for an amazing Valentine’s Day week!

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“When you love people, you have no time to judge them.” ~ Mother Theresa

Be Grateful and Be Rich

It’s been a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving and I’m elated to look out over hundreds of miles of red, orange and yellow forests.  The trees inspire me as their leaves remind me of the cycle of life; their strong trunks remind me of the potential for growth when we’re grounded with deep roots; and the sheer number of them inspire me to notice the abundance that surrounds me when I really open my eyes to the fullness of nature.

We have a bounty to harvest, no matter where we live or what the season, but how much time do we spend feeling grateful versus focusing on what we don’t have?

Rather than being in the habit of feeling gratitude and joy, we walk around with our hand out wanting more.  We habitually want more money, more time for ourselves, more business, more profit… the list goes on.

Not only do we ask for more by wanting, but we look for things to be packaged in a certain way: more money packaged as a salary increase; more time packaged as a vacation; more business packaged as a lineup of customers; more influence in the workplace packaged as a promotion; or more love in our life packaged as one specific person.  But in being so specific as to what we want to get, we are actually being resistant to receiving — wanting with one hand open, but pushing away with the other.  This creates a block in the flow of energy.

We need to be habitual in noticing that which we are receiving and how it feels, and let the experience really move us and have meaning.  We must accept the inflow of what is, rather than just thinking that we need more.  We can focus on appreciating the beautiful tree colours of autumn, rather than dwell on the end of the warm summer weather.  Can you see the difference between wanting something to happen and noticing what is already happening?

Where is your focus?

Are you focused on what you are already receiving, or what you are lacking?

Can a person find joy, happiness and fulfillment in

  • noticing how much money they already have?
  • fully experiencing the time that exists between when they arise and when they sleep?
  • appreciating the customers that already entrust them?
  • feeling valued for their circle of influence?
  • becoming aware of the love that is waiting to be embraced in the relationships around them?

This is not about THINKING positive.  It’s about FEELING gratitude for the abundance that we are already blessed with.  Of course, we can balance that out by recognizing what needs to be worked on, and set goals to achieve and accomplish more, but we can’t allow ‘needing something’ to stand in the way of our feeling of happiness and fulfillment every day.  In feeling gratitude, you will be rich in all the ways that really matter.

Make feeling gratitude for the bounty you receive a daily habit.

Penny

P.S. Take my 30-day gratitude challenge and send gratitude to a different person every day.  It’s a great way to celebrate people and share gratitude around the world.

If you liked this topic, you’ll love my new book, Give and Be Rich – Tapping the Circle of Abundance, coming soon.  Pre-order now.

Members of my website can read more about this topic. Become a member or Login for this exclusive preview of Be Grateful and Be Rich, taken from my newest book. Check your confirmation email after registering for your special gift.

Grow Tall with Deep Roots in Giving

I’d like to share a story about intention and desire that grew tall with deep roots in giving.

“It’s been great to sit back and think about all of the wonderful experiences where I have given and received in life.” This was the first comment Laurie made in our interview about my concept of “Give and Become Rich”. She went on to tell me a story about something someone gave her that still has an impact on her life.

One day while working in a 911 call dispatch job, she casually said to her co-worker, Lenore, “I want an oak tree. I love oak trees, and I have many other types of trees around me, but no oak trees.”

The following Monday, Lenore came into the office smiling. “I was hiking with my husband on the weekend,” she told Laurie, “and I brought you back your oak tree.” She held out a closed fist and said, “Here’s your oak tree,” and she dropped an acorn into Laurie’s hand.

Laurie and her friend laughed together. “In a 911 dispatch center, you have to lighten the mood often, so we were accustomed to silliness and fun in the workplace,” Laurie says.

Laurie, however, took the little oak seed seriously. She brought it home, planted it in soil, and tended to it, fully expecting it to manifest into her much wanted big and bold tree.

Eventually the tree sprouted. When the tree was about four inches tall, Laurie planted her in the yard of a home where she was staying temporarily. When she moved into her next home within a year, she dug up the small tree and planted it again in what is now the tree’s permanent residence. Laurie named the tree Lenore, after her colleague, who saw potential in the seed and her desire.

“My workplace colleague passed away a few years later,” Laurie says, “but her legacy lives on in my front yard. Lenore listened to what I had to say in a random conversation about wanting an oak tree. She proved her thoughtfulness by taking action and gave of herself to connect me and my tree. Her giving had nothing to do with money, but everything to do with taking action on something special for someone else.”

Lenore now has a thirty-foot-tall legacy growing in her honor. Her memory will live on for the next hundred years or more.

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” —Albert Einstein

 

The Law of Giving

In every acorn is the promise of a thousand forests, provided that it is planted in fertile ground. Seeds are not meant to be hoarded. They must be sown, and so it is with our gifts that we have to give to others. They too must be sown.

Our bodies, our minds, and the universe all operate through a constant dynamic exchange of energy, which is comprised of giving and receiving. To stop this circulation of energy would be like stopping the flow of blood in our bodies. We would stagnate, rot, and die. We must consistently give and receive to maintain the flow of wealth and affluence in our lives.

As Spring sets upon us, let’s take action on giving what we can to others, whether they are gifts of service or thoughts of good intention.  Also, let’s plant what we receive from others in fertile ground – it may be a compliment or a piece of constructive advice that we need to hear, internalize, and water with positive intention and desire to grow tall into our personal best.

Fresh blessings for a beautiful Spring,

Penny

p.s.  If you liked this story, you will love my new book, Give and Be Rich.  The second publisher I sent it to loved it as well, and I have a contract.  I guess the seed of intention to produce a book that will change millions of lives, and raise millions for charity has just sprouted.  I will be watering it with love and attention this spring, and you will be able to receive it by late summer 2012.  Your readership and following is a large part of why I have been selected as an author with great potential, and I am grateful for your continued support.  You can pre-order your copies, and explore more of our website, to learn more about creating a circle of abundance.

Marley & Me

You may have read the book or watched the famous movie about the love and loss of a dog named Marley. I, too, had a Marley. A beautiful fourteen year old golden retriever who was given to me as a birthday present by my fiancé, and named by our daughter who wanted a sister named Marley; long before the book or the movie was popular.

The inspiration for my article is bitter sweet. Today, Valentine’s Day, we had to say good bye to Marley.

Marley taught me eight life lessons that I would like to share with you.

Marley was pure. A pure bred dog, but that’s not what I mean. She was authentic, real and true to herself as well as all people. If she was upset, (usually because she was being left behind) she would let us see her true emotion. Not viciously or with anger, but in body language and personality, you could tell the happy and sad feelings that she had. She never put on a front, or tried to be something she wasn’t. She was just confident being her true self.

Marley was patient. She would wait in the car, wait for us to return home, wait for her dinner, wait for her walks. She always waited patiently, but gently nudged us to do what she wanted.

Marley was trusting. I could do anything to her, and she trusted that it was ok. She used to ride on the front of my kayak, and trust that we would not tip. No matter how scared she was in any circumstance, Marley trusted the people around her for safety and survival.

Marley was obedient. She always did what she was asked to do, the first time she was asked to do it.

Marley made a significant contribution to people. Along with the generous supply of love that she gave out daily, she also brought mom’s slippers to the door when I came home from work, fetched Dad’s newspaper which was tossed into our yard in a blue plastic bag, and brought random shoes or mitts to visitors to welcome them to our home. Those were her ways to give, and she took every opportunity to serve others in these ways with a wagging tail.

Marley was a talented receiver, as well as a talented retriever. She allowed people to give her attention, to play with her and to pet her long golden fur. I guess instinctively she knew that in order to be a great giver of love to others, she also had to receive love back. Family, friends, office staff and neighbours loved this amazing dog.

Marley was loyal. She was trained to stay in the yard, she knew who her family was, and she never strayed.

And most amazing of all lessons, Marley loved unconditionally. She didn’t need circumstances to be a certain way before she would love people. She just did. With a joyful heart, a smile and a wagging tail, she loved us no matter what. Whether we were not attentive to her or she was hungry, or restless or lonely, she gave us her best. I feel so blessed to have experienced these lessons, and to have had a teacher that never even had to speak a word. She led by example, day in and day out, for fourteen years.

What if we could live our days as authentic people, real and true to ourselves and our loved ones?

How would our lives be different if we could be patient and trust that everything is exactly as it should be?

How much more efficient would our lives be if we were obedient to the rules that have been established for the safety of ourselves and others?

What kind of family or work environment could we create if we gave one hundred percent of ourselves in service, and received from others what they have to offer us?

How can we be more loyal to the hand that feeds us?

What kind of love could we experience if we placed no conditions on people?

Valentine’s Day is a day to remember those who touch our hearts, and those who help shape us to be who we are.

Marley you made my world a better place. I love you and I miss you already. I bless the time we shared and the lessons you taught me – just by being YOU.

Today and everyday – may we all live with the unconditional love and lessons that Marley gave.Penny