Back in December, my friend Elaine posed this question to a number of people:
What were the gifts of 2014 for you?
Look below surface-level blessings to the deeper gifts that have emerged
from the year’s adventures and encounters, triumphs and failures, challenges and moments of grace.
She then integrated the responses she received and created a collaborative “Gifts of 2014” video. Here was my response to her question, and below is the link to her beautiful video…
Probably one of the most significant gifts that emerged for me in 2014 was a deepening trust –
trusting myself, trusting my intuition, which in turn gives me the opportunity to trust others as well as situations that arise. It is a gift of knowing that I do not need to turn away from or turn towards (say no or say yes) in a reactive way. I can pause, ground myself, sense into the energy of the person and/or the situation, and trust that whatever I choose is the right choice in that moment. A wise teacher of mine once said to me that there are no mistakes: you make a choice and then you make another choice… I believe this, trust this, and practice it.
Another really important gift that emerged this past year has been the opportunity to deepen my connection with the animals I have cared for and connected with. One of the ways I have been generating income is to provide pet care services. When people leave town and need someone to stay with their precious dogs and cats, I spend several nights to several weeks in the home, giving love and care to their four-legged family members. It has been a beautiful gift to spend time with these beings. They have taught me many lessons (which I won’t go into detail for this writing – that is for another post, perhaps a book!).
It seems that some of the gifts, or lessons from these four-legged friends are about respect, honor, patience, compassion, deep listening, living in the moment, play, sense of humor, dealing with frustration, rejection, overwhelm, scheduling…..and really – it is all about love. These gifts, these lessons are all integrating into my interactions with the human species as well. These four-legged friends remind me to love unconditionally and not take things so seriously… find joy in the simplest things, and if something is feeling a bit overwhelming, just shake your whole body and let it go!
There is a bond that forms between us…..Some of these animal friends I will see again and some I won’t, so there is also the reminder (which is a gift) of impermanence, non-attachment and being in the present moment. I carry each of them with me in my heart, and they bring me joy even when I don’t ever see them again.
Okay, so I will share one story…..!
Chula (who goes by Chuchi), an old lady Chihuahua who has no teeth and walks a bit sideways, was a bit hesitant about me being in her home. It took a couple of days before she decided that I was okay. Once that transition happened, we had so much fun together. We would run around the house chasing each other (she is very fast for an old lady!). She made me laugh; a lot. She even chose to sleep with me at night. Chuchi would bury herself underneath the pillow next to me, and waking up to her cute little face every morning was a huge gift! There was something about her energy, her spirit that just busted my heart wide open. She is one of those friends I may never see again. And I miss her sweet little energy. Chuchi’s house is on a road that I drive on a regular basis, and every time I drive by her house, I smile and call out her name…..grateful that I had time with her, grateful to call her a friend…. This makes my heart sing!
Making the choice to move to Santa Fe has been a huge transition for me, and one of the hardest things about this move has been the loss of connection with friends. When you don’t run into each other at the grocery store, or you can’t send a text and request a tea time, or plan a gathering, go for a walk by the river…. there is a sadness, a loss, an aching… There is a holding on and a letting go that takes place, as well as a trusting, a healing, an acceptance of what is….now, in this moment. I embrace this, whole-heartedly. I sit with the sadness and the loss, the aching in my heart, allowing these feelings to be present yet not send me spinning and creating all kinds of stories. And if I find myself taking all of this too seriously, I think of Chuchi and smile!
Thank you so much for spending time on my site! Please stay tuned for a special February post on Pausing Turtle.
It is my birthday month and I hope you will celebrate with me!!
With love ~ Katya/Kathy