Here’s my weekly “Head Space”. I give you my thoughts in a pretty unrefined manner. I’m not sure who it’s for but writing is my own form of therapy and I truly need it this week. This week has been a roller coaster for me emotionally. My head space has been very full. But as usual my weekly Friday ritual of sunrise yoga on the beach & joining with a group of like minded people supporting an awesome local mental health awareness organization has reenergized me and left me feeling inspired, invigorated and peaceful. I got painful news this week that my four legged best friend and sibling of 14 years was losing his battle with cancer. My mom told me the news that my precious pup Connery was gone and it hit a tender spot in my heart.
Why do we love our pets so much? Why do humans create such an attachment to their animals that they quite literally are part of the family? Luckily, thanks to the universe, I am currently reading The Power of Now. The Power of Now focuses on the difference between our mind and our Being. It stresses the importance of living in the now because that is physically the only “time” we ever have. It is always Now.
We attach ourselves so strongly to our pets and that love is such a wonderful representation of Being. We can’t chat with our dogs, ask them about their day, or argue with them over frivolous things. But we form a bond with them, we love their presence and their companionship. They remind us what it is like to be loved and to love unconditionally. They don’t worry about the past. If you are angry with them for destroying your new shoes or stealing food off the counter, dogs don’t dwell on it. They sulk in sadness because they can feel your anger but a few minutes later they act as if nothing happened and go right back to living in the now. Dogs don’t care what your goals are or if you reached your sales quota for the month. They won’t judge you if you eat ice cream straight out of the tub. They definitely don’t care how expensive your car is or what brand your purse is. Our relationships with our dogs or any pet for that matter, represent all of the best qualities of a loving and pure relationship and a satisfied present life. They depend on you and you depend on them. They can sense when you need love and extra snuggles and they have an uncanny ability to find ways to cheer you up. (Side note:If you are a dog person and you haven’t read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein grab a box of tissues and go buy it immediately. It will change the way you look at dogs forever.)
Through this great sadness of losing my dog I gained great clarity as well. I’m not sure why sadness gives me such perspective on life but I have come to realize that I don’t let pain sit long with me. I immediately need to craft it into something more. I use pain to propel me forward and remind me what matters to me, what I need to let go of and what more I can do to help others through pain. “You can use a challenge to awaken you, or you can allow it to pull you into even deeper sleep.” The pain of losing my dog coupled with the power of reading this book have pushed me back a few steps and allowed me to take a moment to appreciate what is. When you reflect on your relationship with your dog, the bond you share, and the incredibly genuine and raw sadness you feel to lose that life you are immediately reminded of what matters the most in life. Dogs teach us a lot about life, how to love, how to forgive, how to be fiercely loyal to the ones we love and who treat us right and most importantly, how to live in the moment. As for my sweet puppy, I will love you always Connery Bell. You were an amazing companion and the most polite gentleman puppy brother a girl could ask for. My love and our families bond with you will last forever. Dogs aren’t thinking about next week, stressful deadlines, or what their friends are doing, they are thinking about what is right in front of them, whether it is food, a squirrel, a treat, or a ball they are chasing…they put their whole heart and attention into that moment. We could all learn a lot from our dogs.
After hearing about this sad news the love I received from my family and friends from all over the world and all different parts of my life really lifted my spirits this week. I realized that despite the sadness I feel I can not dwell in the sadness. I am responsible for how I let pain be a part of my world and wallowing in the trenches of negative emotions doesn’t help anything or anyone. I love this sentiment from Tolle,
“Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so without: If humans clear inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution.”
As human beings we take up such a large portion of this earth. We can’t control the earth but we can control ourselves and if we have light hearted, centered, positive inner spaces we send that energy out into the universe. The more I read The Power of Now the more I want to write. I want to write simply to engage in the act of creative thought. Writing is such an active form of creativity and inspiration. But once you have a blog and you publish your words, it is easy to focus on the end product and not the act of writing itself. But according to Tolle, “How” is always more important than “what.” See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result you want to achieve through it. Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents.” This is why I love writing. My attention has to be in the moment. The more freely I allow myself to create with no end in mind, the better my writing is. The more I connect to the spirit of myself and my inner voice the stronger that spirit resonates with the readers. I know this because when I go back and read my own words I FEEL them again. To me, that is what separates a good writer from a great one. I don’t want to write about my feelings. I want to FEEL through my writing. I hope you feel it too. But I was absolutely floored by Tolle’s words, “There is nothing personal in this: I am not teaching you. You are consciousness, and you are listening to yourself…In any case, the words in themselves are not important. They are not the Truth; they only point to it…the words that I speak to you now are carriers of the high-energy frequency of presence, quite apart from the meaning they convey as words.” So ultimately, I don’t want to listen to me, I want you to listen to you. I want you to go beyond the words and connect to the energy and the passion behind them. You should feel your presence not mine.
Through The Power of Now I am realizing what all of my passions have in common. Writing, exercising, traveling, children, helping, talking; they all require all of your attention. They force you into the now. I could get lost in my mind FOREVER. I need extremely interactive outlets to channel my Being into being. I connect to moving and pushing my body and my mind. I connect to seeking new landscapes and getting lost in new cities. I connect to trying foods I don’t know the name of and watching the sunrise on the other side of the hemisphere. I connect to connecting to people, who days or hours or moments ago I had no idea existed and now, I am so delighted to have them as a part of my existence. I connect to disappearing into nature to soak in the wonderful world around me. I connect to feeling to breeze from the ocean and listening to the steady, constant lull of the waves crashing into the shore. I connect to helping others help themselves because I must be completely present and available for them to receive any benefit from my presence. I connect to words because words allow me to access just being. I am not worried about anything when I am writing and I am so in tune with the present reality. I am such a big dreamer and I have known for as long as I can remember I was meant for something more. But I am coming full circle with my journey so far and finally realizing in order to access to future of our dreams we must be totally apart of each and every moment of NOW.
“ One day I’ll make it.” Is your goal taking up so much of your attention that you reduce the present moment to a means to an end? Is it taking the joy out of your doing? Are you waiting to start living? If you develop such a mind pattern, no matter what you achieve or get, the present will never be good enough; the future will always seem better. A perfect recipe for permanent dissatisfaction and nonfulfillment, don’t you agree? “
I am so excited for what the future holds for me. But the only way to get to the future is through a million “right now’s”. All we ever have is now. Yoga, the ocean, deep connections through yoga and the ocean and a positive community of people lead me into each and every weekend feeling the power of now. Reflecting on the life of my furry friend reminds me of the power of now. Appreciating the fact that one year ago, a life in Australia with two jobs I love, an incredible partner who I happened to meet at a grimy hostel in Sydney, living a balanced life with the freedom to go for adventures, experience nature, connect to my body through commitment to loving my body, connect to my heart and mind through my own words, connect to others through my words and making people believe in themselves and in the power of NOW to change their life, was simply just a dream. A dream that I manifested into reality. Because I’m not going to wait to have the life of my dreams, I am going to CREATE the life of my dreams RIGHT NOW. Because now is all we ever have. “The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.” Creating a life that you love is a tiring roller coaster ride of grit, resilience, inner strength and determination. But loving the LIFE in you, bringing yourself to life, that all lies in the power of now. Our power is infinite but we must tap into ourselves and listen to our hearts, and remember to enjoy simply being. Adventures are by far my favorite thing, so I choose to make an adventure of now. Because isn’t that what your dog would do?