by Maria McGonigal,  Soul Coaching Advanced® Trainer, Advanced Yoga & Meditation Teacher & Acoustic Sound Healing Trainer.

“You have to sniff out joy. Keep your nose to the joy trail.”
~ Buffy Sainte Marie

One fine night, I had a dream about my teacher, Denise Linn.
She came through my front door, arms held high, and said:
“Maria, it is all about joy!” She grabbed my hands and we started dancing around the room.
There was much laughter as we spiraled around filled with joy.

Upon waking, I made a commitment to bring more joy into my life.

Being a long time seeker, I had many tools at my disposal. It wasn’t until my husband found Ziggy, our mini-poodle, that a new world of joy opened up to us.

We had learned to pay attention to our dreams. When Rian repeatedly dreamt about dogs, we decided to get one.
Neither of us ever had a dog, so we made a list of requirements:

~ Fairly young
~ Small to medium-sized
~ Hypoallergenic/Non-shedding
~ House trained (we had no clue how to train a dog)
~ Crate trained (no dogs on the bed)

Ziggy had 5 previous owners. We don’t know why he was passed around so much but we feel he was well trained and loved. The last owners had Ziggy only 3 weeks and had a medical emergency, so he came to us.

But unknown to us, Ziggy demonstrated another quality that should be on every list: a golden heart full of joy.

As we began taking Ziggy for walks, his joy was exhilarating and contagious.
He loved everyone, dogs and humans alike, and greeted them with the same joy, love, and innocence that only a true free spirit can offer.

One day, while going through Air Week in the Soul Coaching® 28 Day Program, we allowed him the freedom that the sacred element Air represents.
Ziggy was enjoying being off the leash and happy to stay close by. Our trust and faith were increasing.
Coming over a hill, we saw a field below and heard people in the far distance.
Suddenly Ziggy took off! He couldn’t be stopped.
We screamed his name but knew it was a futile attempt.

We hopelessly watched him run, fast as ever, down the rocks into the field towards the bench where the people were sitting. I could feel his tremendous joy on his way to greet his new friends.

It took us a while to reach the bench. Nothing could have prepared us for what was waiting.

Five brightly radiant young friends were engulfed in Ziggy’s joyous celebration of life.
I do not have words to express the heart expansion we were experiencing as a group.
They kept saying: WE LOVE ZIGGY!!! WE LOVE ZIGGY!!!
 
I have explored ways to bring joy into my life.
Yoga, breathing, meditation, a Sattvic (pure) diet, walking in nature, waking with the sunrise, watching sunsets, swimming, art, writing, music, chanting, repetition of a mantra, and the cultivation of self-love.
Nevertheless, it is a challenge to remain in a state of joy.

Despite all the challenges that Ziggy went through, including separation anxiety, his joy always shines so brightly.
Ziggy has come to teach us is that no matter what happens, no matter your fears, you can always face life with a heart full of joy.
Ask yourself how you can bring more joy into your life or find your own Ziggy.

Ziggy pried our hearts wide open… unconditionally!
Each day we find ourselves more joyous than ever, following his simple heart, ‘sniffing out joy and keeping our nose on the joy trail.’

I aspire to be like Ziggy!

Maria McGonigal, Soul Coaching® Advanced Trainer

Maria McGonigal is praised for her keen intuition and profound wisdom.She focuses on bringing together different yet integrated systems together creating harmony, balance, and profound transformation. Maria assists you in finding missing pieces, energetic or physical, connecting you with your Soul so you can find your own answers.

She is one of only four Soul Coaching® Advanced Trainers worldwide, an Acoustic Sound Healing Practitioner & Trainer, and an Advanced Yoga & Meditation Teacher. In addition, she is an international speaker and author of three international best selling collaborative books.

Maria lives in mystical Prescott, AZ with her husband and Sound mentor, Rian, and their joyful dog Ziggy.

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