It is not It something new, I grew up with dogs in our family and we had a wonderful Yorkshire Kimi who shared with us our adventures in Prague and Mumbai. She left us 4 years back and the pain was heartbreaking.
Having a dog now is all new story.
First, because she is a BIG dog. Rhodesian Ridgeback, beautiful “lion hunter” from Africa. So I cannot just put her in my handbag and go wherever I want.
Second, my two big babies already left home, so Luna is somehow a true new baby to the family. She is the only other fe
male in the house as I am living with my husband and youngest son Elie, so she create a kind of balance home. She is also a loyal friend of Elie and actually it is his dog. I am just a caretaker.
I love to walk with her and see her behaviour, skills and learning. We had her as a 2 months old puppy, now she is mostly 5 month old and the progress is incredible.
She teach me a lot so I decided to share my learnings with you!
Lot was said about how dog teach us unconditional love, always happy to see us no matter what. Well, watching Luna I realised that as much as this love from dog is the true one, there is a reciprocity in it. Not only we love her back, but we have to take care about her. Which made me reflect on the human relationships and this notion of unconditional love that we are chasing. Do I really give enough of my care and attention to those who I want to love me unconditionally? Or am I using the “unconditional love” as a poor excuse for my lack of care, lack of given time to them, and my poor behaviour? Do I expect the loved ones to accept my tantrums and shortcuts without questioning? I am not talking here about judge myself, about beat me up because I am not perfect. Just about basic honesty and openness to admit when I think I am wrong and hurtful and work on it. To own it. To take responsibility instead of the blaming them “Oh, you know, if you would love me unconditionally…blabla”.
Unconditional Love is not a green light for hurtful behaviour. It is neither the permission to take our loved ones for granted. We have to care for them and give them our time, energy, attention and unconditional love first. And we have the right to ask for the same.
Luna was nearly dying from the intestinal occlusion one month back. She was 2 days in pain and agony, which I did not recognise immediately as I was “busy” with the works in our house . I brought her to the vet nearly too late. But what stroke me was her attitude during the hardship: in deep pain, shaking, then even after the surgery, she did not complain, she did not “kai kai” for one simple moment. She was actually a true yogi, “handling herself”.
Next time I will complain and whine about something (which I do), I will think twice. Actually I went trough a huge emotional pain 3 weeks back, nearly in the same time Luna had her surgery (there is not such a thing as coincidence, right). She was a true inspiration of accepting the pain as a part of the journey and just go trough it. Not in some passive “give up” way, but with dignity and patience. So I did without endless complaining. It is empowering experience.
3. Chasing vs. Allowing
So there is this funny thing about dogs: when you chase them, they run even faster away. When you do your stuff and don’t pay anxious attention to them, they are all around you. Every time I was asking her to come, I was rising my voice, I was trying to seduce her to come back, nothing. At the simple moment I made a step towards her, she jump and start to run away of me. When I “ignore” her, do my yoga, cooking or writing on computer, she is always with me. If I walk in the garden without watching her, she run little bit and come back to me. If I force her to walk near me, she pull and resist.
This is so much true in our life. When we chase somebody, they are just running away from us. When we allow the space for them to come, they feel free to do so. It works as well for our dreams and desires: when we are able to detach from them but do what we have to in serein state of mind, often they come true. When we pull, push and force them, they avoid us.
Every morning and after a big nap Luna just stretch whole body. She never actually jump “out of bed”. She takes her time, watch me first, then stretch for while, then only move. And eventually stretch before her outside run as well. We have a lot to gain if we can get inspired by it: stretching daily, take time to be fully aware before we jump to whatever the day is brining us. It is not without reason that 2 beautiful and challenging poses in yoga are having “dog” in their names..
5. Relaxation in action
This is probably the most valuable lesson Luna gave me at this time.
When she spot the cat/crow/pigeon in the park, she stop. She tende all her senses and tense the muscles for a moment in a high state of alertness and readiness. Absolutely still. Then she charge and run like a thunderbolt. But there is this little imperceptible moment before she charge: she relaxe.
This relaxation before action is actually something I am missing sometimes, in very critical moments. We all probably know the tension, stress and tightness in the shoulders, neck, chest, even legs before we have to go for important meeting, do an big presentation or ask for a new job (not speaking about asking for marriage etc). We tense, but when we tense, there is too much energy consumed by our muscles and organs, we breath shallows, so the brain is in oxygen starvation and while prolongate state of tension, as well in sugar deprivation. I know all this and usually handle myself well. But in “some” situation, that my mind read as VIM (Very Important Moments) I go to autopilot and I become stiff and rigide about the way or outcome.
Now, for few weeks, I am practicing RELAX BEFOR YOU GO FOR IT. It is working marvels!
In this very moment I am working on my “new life as yoga teacher and coach” in France. New country, new home, new life. When there is a exciting part in it, there is as well the “scary one”: who really likes to bring his skin out there to the unknown? I am usually not giving to much into the fear which is coming from my personality and long yoga practice. But I am not free from occasional feeling of apprehension and being un-ease when (again) out of comfort zone. Yes, I am human…
As last 18 months were definitely life changing in my lessons and learnings, now is the moment where all those experiences have to find expression in my work as well.
So I work on new website in French, new materials, simplifying just everything. It means to have clear vision, authenticity and commitment.
So Luna inspire me :
- To work with love and care,
- Be patient with a pain that this creative process in new environment brings inevitable along, ,
- Do what I have to do with detachment , in trust and allowing a space for me and others
- Stretch my body and my mind to stay in good shape and flexible to new way of working
- Stay still and observe before action, then focus and relax in VIM