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  • Writer's pictureTonya Ward Tysse

How My Story Started

Stories…we read stories, watch movies, and see documentaries for pleasure, but often we get more out of them than simply entertainment. Occasionally something will resonate and reveal a deeper truth to us.


My story does not start from the moment of birth, but instead starts 10 years ago when I found myself at the crossroads of taking responsibility for my own happiness. For years after leaving the cruise line industry (which was my dream job) I found myself jumping from job to job, trying to find "that thing" that fulfilled me the same way working on ships did.

And while I certainly learned many things in those various jobs, they just weren't feeding my soul.

I had fallen into a depression, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It has been my experience that when we are on our knees, not knowing which direction to turn, it forces us to surrender to a higher power.

One day my dear friend Susannah asked me out for dinner. We chatted about life in general, what we wanted, our fears…you know, all of the things we deep-thinking women talk about. My husband calls it the "Sex in the City" conversations. It was during that dinner that Susannah would say something that would set me on a course of clarity.

She said, “Tonya, think back to when you were a child…what made you smile?”

At first, I didn’t have an answer for this question. But days later when I was walking through the park and happened to see a car pass with a dog's head hanging out the window, I found myself smiling genuinely from my heart for the first time in a while. And I realized my heart did have the answer.

My body just told me that this was the path to my joy.

Over the next few weeks, I pondered my next career choice. Dogs had always been a passion of mine. In fact, when I left the cruise line industry, I told people my next career goal was to work with animals.

Why hadn’t I pursued this? Was it that other things had gotten in the way or was it me getting in my own way to my joy…..perhaps….ok, yes! It was me getting in my own way. There, I said it!

In the following weeks I explored the animal industry, asking myself what would I want to do with animals? I soon realized that I had been grooming my Bella (maltese/shih tzu) without any professional training for the last couple of years. They were not good haircuts, but it got the job done. I thought, maybe I could find a place where I could get professional training to do this. But the last time I had inquired about training years before, I was told that the closest school was in Columbia, SC. And well, that wouldn’t work.

Are you ready for this??? Here is the synchronistic moment that changed everything and put me on my path to my next heart-based career.

Literally the day after I had this idea, I was walking my Bella through PetSmart when I ran into Bella’s first groomer. I hadn’t seen Michelle in a long time. In fact, this was the gal I had the conversation about dog groomer training all those years before.

My jaw dropped when I saw her. I said to Michelle, “You won’t believe this, but I was just thinking about you yesterday and a conversation we had years ago about training as a dog groomer.” She remembered the conversation, and I proceeded to ask her if she knew anywhere local where I might be able to learn dog grooming. She said “Actually, yes I do know a place”. Michelle proceeded to give me the information to a local groomer who provided ‘hands on’ training in her local shop.

I reached out to this person and was on my way to working with animals 11 years after I set the intention of doing so.

And so my path to "that thing" which filled my soul was in motion. Join me in the continuation of this story and the lessons I learned in the next Sunday edition of Palmetto Animal Reiki’s stories.

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3 comentarios

14 feb 2023

Loving this Tonya your soul sings and your writing let’s us all feel it and share it

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13 feb 2023

Good article! I find that too often people, in general, try to find their path, purpose or destiny without surrendering to God, a higher power or the universe. I tend to overthink! When you let go and observe, it will happen. I have a very similar story that I will share with you at another time. Keep on your path! Denita

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12 feb 2023

I just started grooming our Penny, wow, I am not good, but she loves the attention.

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