Lessons from Leroy

As a kid, my parents had a strict no-dogs rule. My sister and I never understood the reasoning behind this as both of our parents had dogs growing up yet Amy and I were stuck with these little aquababy fish and two parakeets that we eventually had to give up. And so, little 10 year old me continued to daydream about having a fluffy pomeranian to cuddle and follow me around. 

In that sense, I guess you can say I manifested Leroy- the 5 pound fluffball that my sister and her then-boyfriend-now-husband introduced to the family over 6 years ago. And while I may have manifested the cutie, what I didn't manifest was the incessant barking and the puppy puddles on my yoga mat (ALL THE TIME). 

While Leroy is far from perfect, Amy and I agree that he has taught us a huge lesson in unconditional love and patience. Despite my sneaking suspicion that he gets some sort of sick satisfaction from leaving messes on my yoga mat, it's hard to stay mad at the little guy. After all, he makes mistakes but he is still worthy of love. 

Let that sink in.

He makes mistakes but he is still worthy of love. 

When are we ever this forgiving of our own mistakes? How often do we beat ourselves up over the should've, would've, could've- but didn't scenarios? There is a line I often say in classes and it's this- "Remember that when you fall out of a balancing posture, you do not lose your own respect." Who does it serve when we beat ourselves up? Trick question- the answer is no one. Not the people we may have hurt, the situation we may have missed out on, and especially not ourselves. 

Another great lesson the wise Leroy has imparted on me is to let that shit go. Whenever anyone goes to leave, Leroy becomes anxious and upset and starts barking- loudly. You'd think he could breath fire with the way he goes about it. He's pissed, no doubt about it. However, upon return, he is always cheerful, happy, and excited. He holds no grudges. While he may start to get nervous when people go to put their shoes on; when he is away from any triggers he doesn't spend an ounce of time worrying about or thinking about the next time someone will leave. It just doesn't occupy brain space. 

And isn't that how it should be? Feel the feels and then let them go. The trouble for us non-four-legged creatures is that we allow our feelings to get anchored by thought in our memories. As such, they become calcified emotions that not only invade our minds but, as many budding yoga students soon realize, live in our bodies as well. These hardened emotions keep us hamster-wheeling and stuck in the past instead of relating to the present. We start to see patterns that aren't really there and close ourselves up to situations that have even an inkling of similarity to those of the past. 

The more we swirl these emotions around, the stronger and stormier they get and the more we colour our perception of the present. 

Feel the feels, then let them go. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to cuddle the sage that was the inspiration behind this post. 

Note: Photos from amyteixeiraphotography.com