Today at work, I noticed a beautiful chocolate lab trotting along outside my window. What caught my attention the most was that this particular doggo only had three legs, yet she (I am unsure of the sex but for the sake of argument let’s call this dog a she) seemed happy as a clam. Side-note: are clams really that happy…and why? Some food for thought. So, as I saw this dog I initially began feeling sorry for her. Although she was also incredibly cute the way she walked.
Later on this evening, while I lay in my bed attempting to meditate my thoughts circled back to the chocolate lab. She had three legs, not four. Yet she seemed completely oblivious that she was in any way hindered by this. It wasn’t an obstacle to her, it was just life. It didn’t stop her from going out on her walk with her owner and braving the streets where other dogs may see her. Unlike humans, she could care less about comparing her experience to that of other dogs. She wasn’t worried she would be judged at the dog park, nor was she worried if she could keep up with the other dogs. She was just walking along, the way she knew best, in her own time, own rhythm. Maybe she had once experienced part of her life with four legs, but now this was how her life was. Right now. This doggo doesn’t spend her days pinning about her dog days of yonder when she had all four paws. She’d already blissfully forgotten that was even a thing worth longing for. She has what she has and she does her best with that.
We human folk tend to live in an exhausting state of near-constant comparison. It surrounds us and swallows us whole. Social Media has amplified this tenfold. What cars do our friends drive, where did they vacation to this year? Why does their upper lip look cuter than ours when they smile? Maybe your acquaintances have more “followers” than you. Maybe your best friend has gorgeous hair. Maybe some person you met once has more stuffed animals than you. Whatever your fancy, someone out there has better and more of it than you. I promise you that. But the point is – it seriously doesn’t fucking matter. Because I also promise you that someone out there has far less of it than you. We are all just here, floating somewhere in the middle. Even if you’re a multi-billionaire, maybe you don’t have love in your life, maybe you’ve never been able to show compassion or empathy. Those qualities are worth gold. Can we learn to be ok with being ourselves, somewhere in the middle, with the things we have that bring us joy? Can we cherish what we DO have and allow ourselves to actually drop down into gratitude a little more?
Animals have so much to teach us. If I learnt anything from this confident doggy it is this: Don’t let what could easily get you down stop you from going out for a walk. We ALL have so much to be grateful for. Find the other dogs that will run with you and believe you have four strong legs (if you’re a dog that is – humans you only get two if you’re lucky) If you haven’t found them yet, then be your own pack. Others will be drawn to your confident stride. Woof!
I know so many people, myself included, who are struggling with the intensity of our time. This seems to be magnified during the holiday season for so many of us empaths. The mainstream madness would have us working all the hours we possibly can and then spending all that extra money shopping until we are dropping. Gotta love Christmas (because if you don’t you are labelled a grinch?)!
So now that it’s all said and done we are left with an after holiday-bonanza depression. Coming down from the rush of it all and our credit card statements leaves us with the shocking reality of what the hell do we do now? Except now its the new year, and society is telling us to set goals, make new resolutions and immediately get off to a running start working on them. Well, I for one, am feeling like the thinly spread peanut butter that’s been scraped from the bottom of the jar and is so dry that it is barely malleable enough to spread on toast.
Instead of trying to mask that dry peanut butter feeling with more jam, is there a way we can do it differently? I have mostly good news for you – YES there is a better way! We don’t have to take on the collective patriarchal “hustle” that has been thrown up all over us. However, it is almost impossible to avoid the intense energy of the season because it is all around us. To avoid sounding too grinch-like, I would just like to note that I actually do enjoy Christmas and I also do get excited about seeing family, delicious food and gift giving/receiving. I think that the problem is that we go way too far with this stuff. We are lacking the time we need to go inward and reflect, feel, and process the emotions of the season. Winter in nature is a time of hibernation and so it feels unnatural to go against this with all this outward overstimulation.
So let’s start where we are, because where else can we be? Its the first week of January and I’d like to challenge myself to allow myself time to dream. To be home, to be quiet, to feel rested, to slow down. To awaken to the winter and use my senses to greet this beautiful season of wonder. Allow your resolutions to come to you over the next month, but give them the space to do so. May your dreams and desires for this year come to you through a more heart-centered and soul-fed place. If you are not feeling in touch with your heart and soul, what is one simple thing you can do to begin shifting that? Breathe. Just breathe. Take it in. Allow your dreams to find you. Become findable. Do one thing for yourself to show yourself how much you matter. Just one small thing. Because these little acts of self love have the power to shift our perspective, to shift our emotions, to shift us into gratitude.
It’s no secret that baths are a healthy way to unwind after a busy day. I personally love taking baths, and my love affair began when I was a child. The water was always a magical place for me. I was mesmerized by the way it moved with my body – and still am. These childhood wonders are so very important to treasure and keep with us as our lives become more complex and our responsibilities become greater.
So – back to bathing. Anyone can do it, and in my opinion everyone should do it. There’s something about soaking your limbs in warm water that gives you a sense of peace. Why does it feel so soothing? The bath is like a womb, a safe container just big enough to cocoon your body in warm water. Our bodies are also largely made up of water and we need it to survive. Water keeps us alive.
When I lay in the bath it simultaneously calms my senses while birthing new ideas for me to play with. Time slows down for a few minutes and I can hear my breath as I exhale whatever I was holding onto and no longer needed. The water reminds me of where I came from. My body is at ease and I gently notice the beauty in it’s interwoven simplicity and complexity. I remember myself as a small child, a baby even. The bath was a good place – a place where I was fresh and clean. I was safe here. I am safe here – my Mother’s womb, cloaking me in comfort. The elements are appreciated. Time is understood. Creativity is nourished. Wisdom is unleashed. Love is welcomed into my heart.
TAKE A BATH – RESTORE YOUR SENSES AND UNLOCK YOUR WISDOM.