I’m delighted to host today a wonderful writer friend and talented lady, who is as true and genuine as they come. She’s releasing her new book, Wisdom Found in the Pause. You may know Barbara from Joyful Paws blog. Barbara was nice enough to stop by today and answer some questions and tell us more about her book.

The book is about dogs, and self-discovery. Through love and loss, and joy and grief, a little
dachshund named Joie helps Barbara better understand herself. And
ultimately, she discovers when we truly devote ourselves to another, we
learn that those we love will always be a part of us.

In Wisdom Found in the
Pause, Barbara Techel explores both the real-time beauty and long-term
benefits of life’s transitional periods. Her first book, Through Frankie’s
Eyes: One Woman’s Journey to Her Authentic Self, and the Dog on Wheels
Who Led the Way
, told the story of how a paralyzed dachshund named
Frankie led Barbara to groundbreaking work with children, persons with
disabilities, and the elderly. After Frankie’s death, Barbara often felt
called to embark on another direction, yet she was reluctant to let go
of the purpose and identity she had so closely tied herself to.

Found in the Pause is the story of Joie, another paralyzed dachshund,
who would serve as Barbara’s teacher, friend, and ultimately angel.
Joie’s unexpected death would remind Barbara that the only way to really
change our lives is from within. Along the way she received spiritual
signposts – some subtle, some profound – that convinced her she was on
the right path. Through this journey she realized the most valuable gift
we can give ourselves is the time to slow down, hear and heed our inner
thoughts, for this is how we will welcome that sweet stillness of
being, that wisdom found in the pause.

The Writer’s Dog: What inspired you to write Wisdom Found in the Pause?

BT:  I really had no idea I
was going to write another book after my first memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I’d ever write anything again after my dear Joie passed
away in late summer 2013.  All I knew was
that I was feeling empty, sad, and without a sense of direction, and for a
while all I wanted to do was wallow in it. This felt incredibly odd after
having been riding high on a purpose that had been so integral to my life for
many years.

What transpired during a
sabbatical I hesitantly took was a deeper wisdom that I gained about what
purpose really is. I think many spend a great amount of time throughout their
lives wondering what their calling or purpose is (and I did too!), but the
truth of it was revealed to me during a time of transition – that we are here
to be happy – that this is the
purpose – and that it’s really not attached to some achievement or material
Animals have served as
some pretty amazing teachers for me. But little did I know I’d be profoundly
affected like I was after the death of Joie. 
I learned the value of slowing down and by allowing my inner voice, and
what I call heart whispers, to feel safe my thoughts I’d been struggling with
were able to rise to the surface. And by doing so, I was granted a deeper level
of peace and nuggets of wisdom I don’t know if I’d have found otherwise.
I was inspired to write Wisdom Found in the Pause because one,
it was a way in which I could honor the gift Joie gave me, and two, I continue
to enjoy encouraging others to search for what it is that matters to them, and
to hone in on their own inner voice, so that they too can walk the path that is
right for them, and not necessarily what society deems as so.
The Writer’s Dog: What is the greatest thing you learned from Joie?
BT: Because Joie was only
five years old when she passed away, and I only had her for ten months, I
didn’t understand at the time why I wasn’t allowed to have her longer in my
life – I felt very cheated. This sent me into a time of transition, which
ultimately lasted three years. It was a time when I wasn’t sure what it was I
was supposed to be doing next in my
life and questioning if we have more than one purpose.
What I came to realize
is that slowing down, sitting in contemplation, listening to the silence, and
opening to the whispers in one’s heart that answers will come if we just get
out of our own way and allow them to.
While I fought being in
transition with everything I had at the beginning of it, I came to realize the
many gifts it has to offer. If Joie had not left her physical body when she
did, I don’t know as if I’d have understood what transition could teach me– or
perhaps it may have just come to me later in life.
Joie’s gift to me helped
me to understand that I am worthy no matter what I may do and that I didn’t
need to prove myself anymore. I came to understand that I could enjoy life at a
more deliberate, slower pace that is in alignment with who I authentically am
at this time while still setting intentions that are important to me in living
a fulfilled and meaningful life.

The Writer’s Dog: You had another dachshund with IVDD before Joie. What is the greatest thing you learned from Frankie?

BT:  Oh yes, Frankie! She was
the dog that started it all for me in the many blessings of living with, and
caring for, a special needs pet. I credit her for helping me to begin giving
voice to my truth. She helped me to stand tall in being who I am and accept
myself. For many years I had struggled with shame around certain issues, and
also almost constantly worried about what others thought about my choices for
my life.
Frankie taught me to see
that when we are faced with challenges, if we look hard enough, there is always
a blessing in a challenge. We learn and grow from our challenges if we are
willing to be open to the lessons.

The Writer’s Dog: What advice do you have for pet parents whose pet is diagnosed with IVDD?

BT:  There is hope.
Don’t give up.
Seek out help from
others that have gone through this with their own pet. Reach out to a wonderful
organization with a wealth of article and information on IVDD,
There are many blessings
that come from having a pet with IVDD, or any special needs for that matter.
They are no different than any other animal in that they just want to be loved.
And what you give in love to them, you will get back ten-fold!

     The Writer’s Dog: Why do you think we learn so much from our pets?

BT: I think in part because
they live in the moment, if you take the time to just sit and be with your pet, you will automatically
be filled with a sense of peace.
I also think because
they are so accepting and nonjudgmental we can’t help but want to strive for
the same thing just by having them in our lives.
And lastly, I truly
believe that our pets act as mirrors to us and our emotions. The key is being
open to what they are trying to convey to us, even when it’s hard to look at
those parts of ourselves. But to remember that our animal friends truly want
what is best for us and are only trying to help and guide us.

The Writer’s Dog: What do you want people to take away from reading Wisdom Found in the Pause?

       BT:  While I love spreading a
positive message about IVDD and that there is hope (which I always will!) there
are a few other things I hope people will take away.
One, while it is always
difficult to say goodbye to our animal friends, I hope that just like we are
doing more and more in our human world, we can find beauty in death, too. To
know that just because an animal leaves their physical body does not mean you
can’t connect with them at any time you want. It’s just in a new way in which
you do so and one in which causes you to sit and be still and feel into that
connection.  That in itself is a gift all
its own in many ways.
In our busy world,
always striving toward something, Joie truly helped me appreciate that no
matter what else I may do, I am
worthy just as I am.  I will admit that this one I continue to
still practice, and likely always will, but learning to be more in a state of being I’ve found a new peace within, and
it’s been so rewarding – so much so, I know I will continue to make a conscious
effort to do so.
And lastly, I really
came to understand that one animal friend moves on, our hearts can expand again
– which I did experience with the loss of Frankie, too. But I believe what I gained
differently in perspective this time on a deeper level is that each animal
comes into our life at just the right time – and leaves when their work is
done. And when they do, they then open the door for another to enter our life
when the time is right again. They truly are our guides and teachers if we stay open to
what they bring to this  world and our
Thank you Barbara for sharing these thoughts with us today!

* You can get Wisdom Found in the Pause on Amazon starting in mid October. Also, Barbara is accepting pre-orders for a special edition with a free gift through September 23rd!

To connect with Barbara visit her website, joyfulpaws.com.
Find her active on these social media avenues:

*Full Disclosure:  I was provided with a free electronic advanced copy of this book for my review, but this in no way influenced my opinions. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own.