Conversations with Smart Women: Debra Hamilton - Attorney, Author, and MAP Creator

This week on Nurturing Big Ideas Today, our Smart Conversation is with a women who has “smart” nailed down to a T.

Debra Hamilton is an attorney, a mediator, an author and so many other things, she creates awe wherever she goes.

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I especially wanted to share her with you because she focuses on helping people feel heard. Her approach is not to dictate or be didactic. It’s to listen and allow you to vent or rant or whatever you want to do. And, when you are done, or when you take a breath, she will calmly and assertively says, “I hear. You are feeling this or that…” and she will lead you to a better answer than the one you might be harboring in your angry heart.

The Conversation Around Pets

Pets are a big focus of Debra’s. If you have never had an incident or a worry about your pet, and how your neighbors view your pet, you’re lucky.

Pets can cause all manner of discourse among otherwise intelligent people. And, still, as we learn from Debra, it’s not the pet. It’s the pet behavior. And behavior - our own and our pets’ - is what she can help us with. Turning it into a learning experience, one where shouting is not necessary.

Understand that she is not a pet therapist or a pet trainer. She’s a people mediator. She works with people, because in the end, it’s all about us and how we interact, isn’t it?

MAP it Out

Talk about great ideas! Debra’s MAP program is a must!

MAP it out helps folks embrace the unexpected. As it relates to pets.

You Make a Plan. You Address the needs. You publish.

How easy is that?

Not easy at all. Most of us with pets will assuredly say, “Oh my daughter will take Emily if anything happens to me and I can’t care for her.” Anything not just being death, folks. How about major injury?

I threw my back out this week. It was so sudden and so painful, I could think of nothing else for a few minutes but as Tom (husband) came rushing to my side, I thanked the heavens above he was here.

Three days before this, I had bunion surgery, so I was on bed rest anyway, for a few more days. Yes, I hobbled about in a “boot” - before the back issue. But, together, the surgery and the back problem made an invalid of me - I honestly could not get around on my own - and what, I suddenly thought, would I have done if I hadn’t had Tom here? Not only for myself, but for Emily, our precious dog.

I would have been lost. I would have been desperate. I would have panicked.

Debra helps us understand and plan for that. She reminds us that we can assume nothing. Maybe that relative will take your dog or cat, but maybe they won’t. Maybe they are willing to take your pet for a day or two, but not a month or two.

Without a MAP, you risk further anguish as you scramble to make arrangements, in whatever circumstance befalls you. And, in that case, making a plan creates a hurried, often poor, result. One you may regret later.

Certainly, it would not be the plan you’d make now, when you are not rushed, or harried, or frightened, or confused.

Pets are Not People

A key point being made here is that pet parents, pet lovers, pet people, whatever you want to call yourself, cannot and should not ignore this. We are in charge of these creatures who delight us every day, and whose pictures we post on Instagram every day, and whose very existence depends on us..

And, as precious as they are, they are not, however, people.

No matter how much you want to say your pets are people, “My dog is my child.” Or, “Pets are family.” when push comes to shove, no one will consider them so. In the end, during or after a disaster, however major or minor, (mine is minor, foot surgery and back problems in the same week…well, this too shall pass and I will be all better soon), if you have not made a plan for your pets’ care, the universe will do it for you and I, personally, do not trust the Universe.

Actually, I think the Universe is speaking right now. It’s telling you to watch Debra’s conversation with me, and heed her advice.

Enjoy today’s Smart Conversation with Smart Women - and get in touch with Debra for more information. Visit her YouTube Channel. Visit her site. Check out her Facebook page. Do it today. (did I mention that she also speaks at events? Learn more about that here.)

Be Smart! Subscribe to our Big Ideas Newsletter here. Share with friends! And, leave Debra a comment below.