Shining Your Light

10 years ago we adopted a rescue dog. At the time, I thought I was getting my husband a dog.  You see, I had a cat when we got married and Robb is allergic to cats, but understood that the cat was part of the ready made family he was marrying into.  He liked the cat, but he is a ‘dog person’.  When my son was 2, he was bit in the face by a dog and afterwards had fear around animals, but loved this cat.  When we decided to get a dog, it was my son and I who found our dog on  She had me at the photo. Leaping through the air with her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth with a huge smile on her face.  When she came for her home visit before we adopted her, she leaped over my porch wall and out into the yard and made this same face.  My first thought was I hoped she didn’t do that over my couch.
Shortly after our dog came to live with us, Robb had to take a business trip.  While he was away, the dog got the throw ups.  It was clear to me that she was nervous. I could see in her eyes she thought she blew her forever home with the mounds of puke she was projecting.  Just before she hurled again, we ran outside.  My 5 year old asked me how I knew she was going to get sick and I could only respond, “a mom just knows”.  From that night on, this dog has not left my side.  Yep, we bonded over the throw ups. She was MY dog.  (Sorry Robbie!)  I had no idea then the lessons in unconditional love she would teach me over the years.

My girl is now over 12 years old. We have had 10 great years together. I have wonderful memories of her fall time fun where my son raked the leaves just so she would run through the piles, like a kid, throwing leaves everywhere as she landed in the pile.  She loved hearing the kids squeal with delight as she did this. When we moved to Kansas City and she saw snow for the first time. To our surprise she loves rolling in the snow and running and jumping in it.  The days I just needed someone to cry on and her shoulder was always right there soaking up my tears.  My kids tell everyone I love her more than I love them.  Well, I wouldn’t say that is true, but my love for her is as deep in a different way.

Yesterday, I thought we were going to lose Can Can.  I was sad and fearful. For some reason right after the vet called me, I answered my phone. It was a woman I sometimes work for.  I was a crying mess in her ear.  Instead of talking business, she told me that the thing she loves most about me is my heart and my compassion for others. She assured me that whatever happened I would come from that place with my decisions. Isn’t that really what the quote at the top of the article is really saying?  When we have real connections with other beings, it shines a light inside to who we really are. Fear then is not in control, instead love illuminates our being. This story doesn’t end sadly.  Just when I decided my fear of losing her wouldn’t dictate my ability to let go, she got better! For how ever much longer I have my sidekick, I will continue to learn about love from her.

For the month of February, I challenge each of you pay attention to a relationship with another being and see what your deepest inner light reflects.  Then, let that inner light shine brightly outwardly!  If your light is flickering, let your yoga practice, meditation and breath work (your relationship with yourself) help to fan the flame.  Then take that light and shine it brightly on the world. We all need your light-right now!   Show yourself and others the same level of unconditional love and support that my beloved dog has shown me over the years!

PS.  Speaking of rescues….Our Sunday 4:30 pm classes through March are $5 donation classes and all proceeds go to FOPAS, our local animal shelter.  If you can’t adopt a pet from them, come to class and adjust your light while offering some to our buddies down the road!

Isn’t this painting awesome? Robbie commissioned a local high school student to paint my favorite picture of my dog for me for Christmas a few years ago…

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