Great Local Press For Kingston Author, Cheryl Hiebert

KINGSTON WOMAN IN THE RUNNING FOR NEXT TOP SPIRITUAL AUTHOR

Posted By Emma Taylor of Kingston This Week on June 24, 2010

http://www.kingstonthisweek.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2638691

There is something powerful and lasting about the bond between a pet and its human. When this bond is broken through the death of that pet, the loss can be just as devastating as losing a human loved one.

Cheryl Hiebert, Master’s of Divinity, is the founder of Sacred Journeys Healing Centre which offers holistic therapies and guidance both in groups and one-on-one to help empower people to find their own healing path.

Hiebert lost her dog Willow to lymphoma, an experience that led her to start work on a book about pet loss and working through the grieving process. The book, Losing Willow — Grieving The Loss of An Animal Companion, deals with celebrating an animal companion, the types of loss/grief, the stages of grief, how and when to let go of a pet, treasuring the memories and a grief journal to record feelings and thoughts.

Hiebert says the book is for anyone who has experienced this kind of powerful relationship or perhaps would like to explore it.

“Our evolution as a human /spiritual being may be this: If we can love that way, if we can love our animal companion so deeply and so unconditionally and learn from the lessons of life and loss, and can we then extend that love to all humans, perhaps that is our challenge and ultimately our success,” she said.

She has entered her book in The Next Top Spiritual Author Competition, developed by James Twyman and Robert Evans, creators of the Messenger Mini-Book Program, who recognized how difficult it was for emerging authors to get their work published. The winner will be offered a publishing contract from the California-based Hampton Roads Publishing Companywhich specializes in new age, spiritual, holistic, healing and alternative material.

Voters read sample chapters online and cast their vote, a process that advanced Hiebert to round two based on her high combined voter and assessment scores. She is now one step closer to becoming the Next Top Spiritual Author.

Writing a book about healing is second nature to Hiebert, who has studied holistic therapies for more than 15 years. She is accredited with many different organizations dealing with wellness and healing including the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, The Canadian Reiki Association, Canadian Association of Specialized Kinesiology, and Touch 4 Health Education (Dr. John Thie). She is also an AngelTherapy® Practitioner certified in spiritual counselling and healing techniques, and after further training with Dr. Doreen Virtue is now a certified medium.

She shares her extensive knowledge in a variety of workshops she teaches at St. Lawrence College, and CKWS TV is also running an ongoing series of TV segments featuring her entitled: “Your Health and Wellness Tips.” She is also launching a series of workshops for women entitled, “Awaken Your Inner Goddess.”

Hiebert believes that all healing is self-healing and everybody has the ability to tap into that ability to both heal and empower themselves. She also believes that you must take responsibility for your own health and wellness; physically, mental, emotionally and spiritually. She uses this philosophy to guide and treat clients with a variety of health issues including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, cancer, depression, weight issues, and chronic pain.

For more information on the Sacred Journeys Healing Centre visit http://www.sacred-journeys.ca. The voting for round two of The Next Top Spiritual Author Competition ends on Monday, June 28. To vote visit the website at www.nexttopauthor.com/round2.cfm [or go to http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=2975].

LOSS OF AN AGING PET INSPIRED FRIEND TO WRITE BOOK

Posted Jun 24, 2010 By Craig Bakay
http://www.emckingston.ca/20100624/Lifestyle/Loss+of+aging+pet+inspired+friend+to+write+book

When Cheryl Hiebert’s beloved Willow was diagnosed with lymphoma and had three months to live, she was devastated.

But then she found Catherine Pokrywa.

Pokrywa runs Sheba’s Haven Rescue, a hospice for dogs in need of palliative care. Hiebert credits Pokrywa with getting her through her lose and she’s prepared to do whatever she can to repay the favour.

That’s a big part of why Hiebert was at Eastern Cowboy near Parham Saturday for the 2nd annual Charity Ride.

“Catherine helped me take care of Willow and was with me the day he died,” she said. “I love her and try to fundraise for her as much as I can.

“She gives a voice to the voiceless.”

The experience also led Hiebert to examine the grieving process involved with losing a pet. Through her work with her Sacred Journeys Healing Arts Centre in Kingston, Hiebert is well versed in such things but after helping others deal with such things for so long, she was somewhat unprepared for what she’d begun to experience herself.

“I began to journal about the process,” she said. “I knew our time was coming to an end and I wanted to love him in detail.

“I began to go through the process of grieving and felt people didn’t understand it.

“I felt alone.”

Then a strange twist of fate happened.

Hiebert learned of a writing contest on the internet and the next thing she knew, she was writing Losing Willow: Grieving the Loss of an Animal Companion.

And, after the first round of 2,500 entrants, her book was chosen to advance to the next round of 250. The eventual winner gets a book publishing contract.

“It’s not really about the contest,” she said. “It’s about the human-animal relationship bond. What do you do when it’s ending, how will you know when it’s time to end it?

“I wanted to help people feel empowered in their healing process.”

When she realized there didn’t seem to be a resource for this process, she decided to write her own.

If you’d like to help Hiebert in her quest to get her book published, or to read sample chapters, visit www.NextTopAuthor.com/?aid=2975 or follow the link from www.sacred-journeys.ca to vote for Losing Willow.

Vote Today For Cheryl Hiebert In The Next Top Spiritual Author Competition and Read Another Chapter Excerpt!

Cheryl Hiebert with Dr. Wallace Sife, Founder of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement and his baby Phoebe

A Note From Cheryl Hiebert:

Dear friends and animal lovers!

I would be honoured to have your vote in Round 2 of The Next Top Spiritual Author Competition which starts today and ends June 28th.

http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=2975

I was inspired to write this book when I found out that my dog Willow was diagnosed with lymphoma and I was told he had 3 months to live.

If you have experienced the loss of your beloved animal companion and the subsequent bereavement that comes with their passing, this book will provide you with comfort and support in your period of grief. This book is also a celebration of the beautiful relationship we’ve all had and the gifts they bring to us.

With much gratitude,
Cheryl

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Chapter excerpt:

Loss as a Gift Chapter – remembering and memories – at some point we begin to see the silver lining, the beautiful lessons; the joy. We begin to recall what we loved about then, how we loved and can reminisce again. Perhaps we have a sacred ceremony similar to a human funeral – to honour their place in our lives, to allow ourselves and offer others the opportunity in a loving blessed way.

Sadly, I feel that I realized the depth of my relationship with Willow when I found out that our time together was limited. To hear that I had six weeks to three months left it was a complete shock to me. It was as though all of the familiar landmarks had suddenly been obliterated and all paths overgrown – where do I go? Where do I turn? How could this be happening? Was it even true?

I had assumed that he would be with me and live until at least fifteen

Willow

years of age. After all, I had been taking, what I thought was, exceptionally good care of him. I had done every single thing I could think of to treat him as holistically in every way possible. We had ten years of research together. Bach Flower Remedies, homeopathy, herbal formulas, Reiki energy healing, fabulous food, pure water, and activities that stimulated his natural instincts. I had vaccinated him as little as possible. I did the initial puppy shots and rabies after gentle loving threats from my vet that he would be quarantined if anything happened when he did not have his rabies shots. I gave in. After all, we did walk in places where there were skunks and raccoons.

With all this…how could he leave me? My life’s work is all about being of service in helping people and animals heal in a healthy way. Isn’t this why I am here…how could he be dying? What had I done wrong? When I had people come in and take care of him while I was away studying, I guided them quite sternly to only walk him in conservation areas, no areas where they might come in contact with lawn pesticides. I have always watched in horror while people put poison on the lawn and don’t believe that it just might harm their pets. I have an awful mental picture of a neighbor that had his lawn sprayed and not ten minutes later the Golden Retriever came sauntering out and laid down right beside the skull and crossbones sign placed on the lawn. What? Really??

When I found out that our time was ending I was reflecting on all this and looking for clues to my mistakes. This is when I began to love Willow in detail. Love him in detail. I decided that, while he was alive, I would write everything down I could think of: his habits, the words he knew, the first time he peed lifting one leg, his first swim. I memorized the smells, sounds – every nuance of him. The little velvety spot on the edge of his nose; I had always told him that it was plastic. I wrote it all down while he was beside me on his doggie bed. I wanted him to write it with me. Loving in detail is not easy, it is painful, but when I look back at all of the documents and poems and songs I wrote I wouldn’t change a tear.

What I learned….

When we really get what love is, the key is to anchor that love within us – firmly…loving ourselves deeply first. And from that strong place we can then love outwardly, easily extending love. When our well is full we have much to offer. And in return we can also fully take the love back in that comes our way. Taking it in differently now…with a new trust and surrender.

I feel that it is through our animal companions that we can truly experience the purity and love of our Higher Power. It’s like a covert operation when we bring home our new companion – and they know why they are here with us. They are here to patiently teach us many lessons. What we thought we knew, the things we heard, or had been told about the love of God, are all just words until we have that relationship with an animal – then we have the opportunity to really get it. This may be the only really authentic loving relationship some of us may ever have in our lifetime.

Journal Entry: March 4, 2009 –“I still wake up at night and listen for your breathing and I can still hear you bump the closet door as you shift around. I can hear the big sigh as you settle back in and I can feel you…right here, in my heart and all around me.

I did a session with your good friend Kevin today…wow, I could really feel your paws in my hands…the strongest so far. We talked about how you used to be at the window and would stand up on the bench barking and then run to greet him at the door. Whether he was late or early – you always knew when he was coming. The last time you saw one another you stood right in front of him doing a bit of crying and talking to him – looking him right in the eyes. He said he knew what you were telling him and almost felt awkward.

I feel so blessed to really know love now Willow – it makes more and more sense as the days move forward. I get it on new levels it seems. I feel you so strongly and know I can get through this – with us together. And I guess it’s not even getting through it as much as moving through it…gently moving through the grief and by being deeply in it and feeling every nuance. Discovering all of the gifts that are there. By rushing the process I would miss so much. I want to reach in and know and feel and grieve and love and get all the bits. I want to taste feel touch smell and think…using every sense to go to the depths…to retrieve what has been lost…thank you for helping me find me, the real me. I want to move into and through life and love with this new level of awareness. I think of it like covering myself head to toe in mud, rolling in it, filling in all the spaces. To let love in fully. Your divine presence is astounding to me…I am forever changed by this. Please help me remember all of this every moment…every day for the rest of my life! Thank you my divine teacher and beloved friend.”

Chapter Excerpt From “Losing Willow: Grieving The Loss Of An Animal Companion” by Cheryl Hiebert

Please allow author Cheryl Hiebert to share a chapter excerpt from her upcoming book, Losing Willow: Grieving The Loss Of An Animal Companion. Here, Cheryl illustrates the journey the book will take you on…

Chapter excerpt:

As I sit on my patio and contemplate what to write and where to start I realize that everything looks the same…the lawn is mowed, the trees are beginning to display tiny bits of green, the pots of pansies are in their usual spots blinking back at me. But the key piece is not here…as is evidenced/punctuated by what Willow and I called “bunny buttons” strewn in the garden and on the lawn. Normally the little bunny droppings would be his first agenda item in the morning. We shared the pansies and other garden edibles with them…and in turn, they left behind tasty little nibbles.

Every little thing reminds me of the most amazing 10 years of my life. I rejoice in every single memory. For the past 14 months I thought things were going to get easier for me and now putting all of this into words is opening up the wound again. They say we heal in layers, so here I go. I bravely delve into the deepest parts of me, dragging up bits of pain, multitudes of memories and an ache that never quite dissipates. This rawness and these words spill from my heart. The words are for others to read; to help them heal, and to acknowledge that losing an animal companion in one’s life is as tragic as any human loss…and perhaps more so. The words come through me, for us all.

Our first bond other than with a parent is often with a pet…a dog, a cat, a bunny, a turtle, a fish, a horse. They come into our lives and we have the opportunity to care for another. We get to love something that we claim as ours. Our hearts begin to open in a new way. This new relationship is one that gets us outside of ourselves and our daily concerns. We learn to feed and provide fresh water, brush and groom, clean a cage, and go for walks, maybe some obedience or riding classes. It changes us and helps mould us. The bond that is created is one where we get to call the shots…no one is telling us how to be or act. We can laugh, cry, run, be silly and laugh. There is no judgment and hey, if we make a mistake we are still loved! They create the space for us to take off the mask.

We start to learn about unconditional love – little by little – we build trust and we are shown that this trust is consistent and unwavering. Their needs come first and we learn to be unselfish. Our schedules begin to mesh and the oneness that is learned is a valuable lesson that can perhaps take us to deeper places in our human bonds.

This relationship transforms us. It is truly a spiritual experience. If we begin to let our hearts open in this way, we change. We can’t not change. It has been said that the animals we bond with have often even been with us before – what a concept. How do we wrap our minds around this? Well, we can’t, it is heart-based and we may simply know. The lives and hearts of so-called hardened criminals in prison open – the success rate of having the human/animal bond cannot be understated. Dogs brought into seniors’ centres cause so much joy. They bring down our heart rates, they draw our attention away from our aches and pains – they help us heal mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

My journey with Willow transformed me in ways that are indescribable.

Willow


(I sit back and think about what I have written so far and a sideways glance at the word count at the bottom of the screen says 444…a number that corresponds with the realm of the angels. No surprise there…Willow was one furry little angel in my life AND the lives of many others.)

One little note: I find it difficult to use the word pet as I believe it does not fully honour the beings that they are. They are angels in furry bodies – I am convinced of this! I prefer animal companion and other more respectful terms – but for clarity I will use the universal recognizable word: pet.

In my experience I have found that many do not fully understand the depth to which our human animal bonds extend. Listen to anyone talk about their puppy, dog, cat, bunny – it doesn’t matter the animal really. Watch them as they soften, their voices change, they share cute stories – their whole demeanor shifts! I want people to get this – love is love as my good friend Wendy said to me one day. No matter what the being is that we share time with; love is love. I thought about that and I agree wholeheartedly. This bond deserves to be honoured and respected the same way any human to human bond is. When we lose that being then we can also say: grief is grief, loss is loss. Why could or would anyone say that the animal human bond is less than a human bond. But it happens and it did to me: “oh, he’s just a dog, aren’t you over it yet, it’s time to move on, just get another one”…and on and on.

When we embrace them and allow our hearts to open, we transform.

My life’s work includes a healing practice where I help people one-on one and I teach a variety of workshops designed to assist people in finding their path and anything that helps to get them there. Willow was an integral part of all this – he inspired me to do this work. If I had not had him as my teacher, my path would have been very different. I credit him, for me being here, in this place. In my own healing journey there were times when I did not want to be on the planet anymore. At the low points when it felt life was too much to handle…I would look into his golden eyes and see his belly rising and falling with each breath and know that I had to be here for him. In truth, he was really here for me.

An example of how our bond extended to us doing healing together: a healing story from my journal:

Journal entry: I had one client who came in and was highly agitated that a dog was in the room…as long as he stayed away from her and sat on his bed, she was fine. He would attempt to come over, she would get tensed up and I would send him back to his bed. He sat bolt upright and kept staring at her until she asked me why. I had always called his stare the Vulcan stare. I told her he was trying to win her over. She vehemently said “I don’t like dogs,” over and over again. Of course I was laughing inside knowing that he would probably win her over. Anyway, she came a few times and during one session she was sitting on the futon he came over and before I could stop him, he gave her a quick lick on one of her feet and walked back to his bed and laid down. As it turned out she had huge issues around her feet being touched, so this was the ultimate for her. The next time she came in she was softer with him and when he approached her she said, “fine you can lick my foot, just hurry up and get it over with”…so he did and walked back to his bed. I knew he was breaking her down. As time went by she became more and more attentive to him, actually giving him a little pat and a treat. She got used to the lick on her foot every time she came – it became part of their bonding. Over time she began telling me she was having dreams about him, about other dogs and then began researching what kind of dog she might get in the future. She had taken a Reiki class from me and at one point her neighbour with a black lab called her in distress, and she went over and did some Reiki healing work on the dog!! How the tables had turned. Willow had helped her heal and now she was giving back to another dog. Willow was a dog with an agenda and a button pusher when he needed to be.

Coming soon: another chapter excerpt from Cheryl’s Love as a Gift chapter!

I don’t know about you, but tears came to my eyes when I read this. Cheryl’s book is going to touch so many people in a most profound way. Of this I could not be more sure. I truly hope that as of May 24th you will take the time to go to this link – http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=2975 – and vote for Cheryl in The Next Top Spiritual Author Competition so that she can win a publishing contract for her book. She needs your support and is very grateful for it!

Losing Willow: Grieving The Loss Of An Animal Companion by Cheryl Hiebert

Cheryl and Willow

My good friend Linda Drew inadvertently “introduced” me to Cheryl Hiebert today via email when she wrote me to tell me about a contest that Cheryl is participating in at The Next Top Spiritual Author with the hope that it will land her a book publishing deal for her invaluable and moving new book, Losing Willow: Grieving The Loss Of An Animal Companion. As someone who lost her beloved canine companion when he was two months shy of 16-years-old in December 2006, I am all too familiar with the grief one suffers when losing a treasured pet. So that is why I’m going to tell everyone who will listen about the contest Cheryl is in so that you can vote for her book.

VOTE
BY MAY 2, 2010

attention animal lovers
for anyone who has ever lost their animal companion,
please vote for Cheryl’s new book:

LOSING WILLOW: GRIEVING THE LOSS OF AN ANIMAL COMPANION

My inspiration for this book:

I was inspired to write this book when I found out my dog Willow was diagnosed with lymphoma and had 3 months to live. I began to journal about our life together and a book began to evolve. After his passing, I realized that a resource like this was not available to anyone grieving the loss of their faithful animal companion. It is now my mission to bring this book to the world. Help me to do this by placing your vote before May 2, 2010. Your vote will provide me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to win a publishing contract and make this book a reality!

This book is for anyone who has had the wonderful profound relationship with an animal companion. It will help those who are grieving the loss of their animal companion, and they will learn that they are not alone in their deep feelings of loss and sadness. This book celebrates the life and relationships we have with our pets, it talks about the grieving process and how to handle that loss, as well as offering insights and stories from others.

How you can help:

Please go to this link and place your vote: www.nexttopauthor.com and enter: Hiebert or ID# 2975. You will have the opportunity to read more information about this book, as well as the ability to view Cheryl’s video.

Thank you so much for helping get this important message out to the world. Please pass on the word and ask your friends and family to vote.

Cheryl D. Hiebert M. Div.
Sacred Journeys Healing Arts Centre
Kingston, Ontario
T: 613-634-8220
www.sacred-journeys.ca

Note: “In the second week of June annually, pet owners and advocates from around the world collaborate to remember the furry, feathered and scaly; to remember the ways our pets made us laugh, the way they helped to dry our tears and the way they worked their ways into our hearts for the rest of our lives.”

Join WORLD PET MEMORIAL DAY on Facebook now.