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Animals are good for our HEART and SOUL!

Hello and thank you for tuning in to our BLOG! It's been a while but we have been VERY busy with our visits, getting new teams registered, becoming animal-assisted crisis teams, expanding our MANY programs...oh, and yes, working our other (paying) jobs too!

If you are reading this you are definitely an animal lover. We KNOW that animals are good for our SOUL. Thus, you understand our mission, enriching lives by promoting the unconditional love and healing of the Human-Animal Bond while advocating for Animal Therapy Standards of Excellence.

What has happened since we first started this journey in 2018? Well, actually, we go back to the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. (Go back and read my 1st Blog). Since then, there is no doubt...the SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program is proud to be Barrington and Chicago surrounding area's most experienced & comprehensive all-volunteer Animal Therapy Program (IRS nonprofit 501(c)3)! We have over 80 current volunteers, 45 registered handlers and a total of almost 100 registered therapy teams! Smiles, Joy, Love, Laughter & Healing happen when our specially trained Therapy Animals visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, veterans, & more.

I have shared my journey of of nurse coaching as we have reflected through questions that lead to a greater understanding, personal awareness, and insight around

change and lifestyle behaviors, awareness, and choice(s).

We have covered H (Healing), E (Energy) and A (Awareness), reviewed below.

Listening with HEART Reflective Questions:


What are you hoping for?What would a healing outcome be?

What do you believe is the meaning of this challenge?

What do you imagine success will feel like?


What are your feelings about moving forward with

this challenge?

What has given you the energy or will to succeed at

other times?

What would be a step in the right direction for now?

What do you need to take that step?


What do you understand about the challenge you are


What support do you have or need in following

through with choices you have made?

How have you taken care of yourself in the past?

Where do you feel most comfortable or comforted?

MOVING ON TO R (Resiliency) and T (Transformation)!

R (Resiliency)

When you google the word "Resiliency," you see that is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life balances, being able to RECOVER quickly from difficulties. Being resilient does not mean a person doesn't experience stress, emotional upheaval and suffering. Resilience involves the ability to work through emotional pain and suffering through RELEASE and RELAXATION.

To understand further, ask yourself these questions to understand your ability to be resilient:

What has worked for you in other challenging times?

What do you trust the most about yourself?

What are some success in dealing with this challenge?

What have you learned from that success?

After you delve deeper and take an honest look at yourself, you may realize that you are more resilient than you thought!


Have you made a dramatic change in your life that has transformed you?

Changes and alterations such as making an effort to be more kind, more mindful, more present in the moment, be a better listener, share joy such as we do with our therapy animals, develop an attitude of gratitude, and see how your SOUL SHINES on can't help but be transformed when you focus on the positive in life!

To understand further, ask yourself these questions to understand your ability to be resilient:

In facing challenges, what brings you experiences of joy?

What brings out your creativity when you are facing challenges?

In facing these challenges, what has brought you deep feelings of love?

When, during this challenging time, have you felt a deep sense of peacefulness?

I hope that using the acronym H.E.A.R.T. will help you understand the steps needed to greater Healing, Energy, Awareness, Resiliency, and Transformation.

Think of these topics in a Mindful Mini Meditation. Let's review: Close your eyes, bring in slowly, hold it for 3 seconds, followed by a long exhale. Continue this exercise as you ponder the above questions, and feel that state of relaxation and contentment. Make sure you experience this peace and harmony on a daily basis, even if for a few minutes, to reset your mindset. Let AWARENESS of what it feels like to be in this moment of Bliss permeate your SOUL.

Here at SOUL Harbour Ranch, guess what our favorite acronym is?

Sharing of Unconditional's what our therapy animals do best!

We hope you take time read through our website to check out our photos of our volunteers, our therapy animals (including registered mini therapy horses, a registered therapy cat and registered therapy mini horses. AND the mini pigs, mini donkeys and rabbit that are in training,

Do you want to volunteer with us? Contact us after you check out the Volunteer Requirements.

Do you have a pet that you would love to become a therapy animal with us?

Let us mentor you! (and read through the Volunteer Requirements and the Therapy Animal Initiative.

Is there a crisis at your school?

Call us and we will send out our Pet Partners Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams (pending availability )

Please also check out the MANY programs catering to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, libraries, veterans, scouts, anti-bullying, as well as those needing the "Healing with HEART and SOUL" program!

With all of my HEART & SOUL,


Source: Excerpted from Dossey. B. The Theory of Integrative Nurse Coaching. In

Nurse Coaching: Integrative Approaches for Health and Wellbeing (2015) by B. M.

Dossey, S. Luck, & B. G. Schaub, p. 42. Reprinted with permission. Copyright ©2015

The International Nurse Coach Association.

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