Soul Love: How a Dog Taught Me to Breathe Again

Teresa Bitner’s first book is a home run. She is a friend of mine and someone I’ve worked with closely. Teresa bares her soul after the death of her first husband. She goes deep and is not afraid to get vulnerable. She discusses her anger and pain and devastation at his death. She delves into the issues of single parenthood and coping with difficulties that she never imagined dealing with alone at 43.

Her book is one of hope and triumph over adversity. I love how she discusses going back to school and falling in love again. However, the central character in Soul Love is not Teresa. It’s not her sons or even her deceased spouse. It’s Hans, a playful and amazing Doberman who teaches Teresa to love again.

Hans appears in the book as himself. He talks throughout, sharing his insights into what’s going on with his people and how he wants desperately to help them all through this difficult time. Hans is a good dog even if he likes to tear things apart and get rowdy with the boys from time to time.
Teresa’s rescue of Hans from a puppy mill is breathtaking. Poor Hans struggled before he came to be loved dearly in the Klein household. He loved nothing better than to sit on the couch, curled up with Teresa and cuddle. He was the ultimate emotional support dog at a time when she needed him the most.

Dogs sense our pain and they help heal us. Soul Love shows just how the relationship between dog and human can be. It’s beautiful, poignant and loving. When Hans breathes his final breath, we feel Teresa’s pain but also her willingness to let him go. She’s in a much better place in her life and is better for having had Hans with her if only for a short time.

The only thing permanent about life is impermanence. Change is inevitable. We all must go through changes even if we don’t want to. Teresa did NOT want to lose her husband in a motorcycle accident. She was angry, sad and devastated. She allowed herself to feel these things even when they weren’t comfortable.

She brings them onto the page for her reader and opens up her heart and soul to us. Soul Love is a labor of love written by a strong and independent woman who doesn’t need our love and support but deserves it. Teresa is a brilliant coach, speaker, author and friend. I highly recommend Soul Love to anyone who needs a good read – or a good cry. It’s a testimony book that is high in vulnerability and rooted in the power of love and resilience.

To purchase a copy for yourself, visit:

Heavyweight Yoga – A Really Enjoyable Experience

AbbyLentz_YogaPose_300dpiAbby Lentz is a powerhouse. She’s 70 and a true pioneer. She got into yoga before it was fashionable and has seen it transform. She has helped transform the concept of yoga herself. She’s made it more accessible to people of size, which I will always be.

What is Heavyweight Yoga?

Her program, Heavyweight Yoga, takes basic hatha yoga poses and modifies them for the plus-sized person. It makes it easier for us to do yoga. Yoga is fantastic. It has so many health benefits. It’s like a meditation in action. I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did.

But I did.

Abby Lentz

I met Abby for coffee on Thursday, June 28th. She was fun, funny and very sweet. She honestly shared her vision for Heavyweight Yoga. She has YouTube videos and DVDs on her website so those of you who don’t live in Austin like I do can benefit from her wisdom.

Her lust for life makes her seem so much younger than her 70 years and I bet that teaching yoga is part of that for her. She came to yoga at a time of transformation in her life and rebuilt herself and her career. She’s just an amazing woman.

Heartfelt Yoga Studio

When I went to her house, yes her studio is in her home, I was blown away by how cozy everything was. The first lesson is free, which is amazing. I can’t believe I went so quickly, but I just felt I had to do it. I wanted to come and see what it was about so I braved rush-hour traffic in Austin, which is considerable, to get to her studio by 5:45 pm for her Thursday class.

I was greeted like an old friend and brought into her studio. It was lit up with the late afternoon sunshine and white curtains that brought the room to life. I notice cute little tchotchkes throughout the session. My classmates were wonderful and welcoming. I was nervous. I had only taken aqua yoga before and afraid I couldn’t keep up. Everyone reassured me that it would be fine, no one more so than Abby herself.

The Class Itself

When class began, I was drawn in immediately. I could do this. I actually did better than I thought I would. Abby complimented me after class as we met in her kitchen to drink tea and have snacks. Everything about the class was just warm and welcoming. I felt so good afterwards that I signed up for four more classes. It was relaxing, fun and challenging at the same time. Amazing!

What is a life coach

A life coach is someone who looks at your present and helps you move into the future. Life coaches are special professionals. We walk with you and focus on you. A life coaching session is basically a conversation between two people who are focused on one person, you, the client. Life coaching is client-centered. We are not solution finder. We are not mentors, therapists, or consultants.

Life coaches help people get out of their own way. We require that you be motivated, at least a little bit, to help yourself. We don’t offer solutions. They come from you. As a life coach, I believe you have everything you need to succeed in life no matter what your challenges. I want to help you build a better life.

If you do get stuck in the past. We will briefly look at it, process it, mobilize and move on. If you need more work on the past, I will refer you to a therapist who can help you deal with your past traumas so that they don’t impact your present and future. It can be done.

That doesn’t mean we never talk about emotions. A life coaching session can get very emotional. It’s okay. I am here to normalize your emotions and let you know that it’s okay to feel them. You are okay as you are. You can do things to make your life better and improve as an individual. We all can. You just need someone on your side to help you make those changes.

That’s where a life coach comes in. We are there to help and offer to hold space for you so you can figure out your next steps.

I hope that helps you determine if life coaching is something you’re interested in. If so, I’d love to hear from you.