I've been quiet for a while, writing instead in my striped bound journal next to my bed. I've been trying to find my center, what makes me happy and whole and feel connected. Feeling pen on paper always adds a bit of connection and I desperately needed some.
When I began writing privately about my dogs, at first I felt like the Crazy Dog Lady. As if I had nothing else to do with my time than gush over my dogs and obnoxious cat. I hadn't gone to the extent that I had cross-stitched pillows with cutesy sayings like "Spoiled dogs live here!" or "I can has HOTDOG?". In the interest of full disclosure, I do feel like I should say that I have made an punchneedle pattern of an orange cat for my husband a few years ago for Christmas.
I realized through my writing that I had been doing what I love for months, working with my dogs and donating my time to friends and family to help them with training issues with their pooches either in person or by email. Not only was I doing what I love, but I find myself feeling a certain closeness to my spiritual nature and being more mindful. When I actually pause and take the time to reflect, I am learning more through these interactions and learning how to apply spiritual teachings in a more integrated way.
When talking about animals and spirituality, I mean it in whatever way works the best for you. My spiritual background is a hodgepodge of religions and belief systems. I typically categorize myself as a Dirt-Worshipping Quasi-Buddhist who doesn't mind reading the Bible now and again. Whatever your background or belief system, please know that when I say 'Energy' or 'Universe' or 'Spirit', I am doing my best to include everyone while being true to my own belief system.
I believe in kindness and being self-aware so as not to hurt anyone intentionally. And I believe we are all here to help and make a difference in each other's lives. It is in this way that I think our animals give us such an insight into how to be more compassionate, to wholly realize ourselves, and to find ways to become more integrated with our sense of spirituality. Together, through sharing our stories and observations, we can walk together and learn from each other.