An Unexpected Trade-Off of Hearts
Hi furriends, I hope you’ve had a blessed beginning to your year and that you continue to take puppy steps towards your desired 2018 goals. January has sure been a transformational month for us, forcing Mom and I to take a very necessary break in order to step back, observe and heal.
If you've been following my Instagram stories and blog posts, you already know that 2017 marked a year of external changes and growth for us. Between moving to Los Angeles and then back to
San Francisco, and many other changes in our physical space, our journey has not been easy, but somehow Mom made it fun. It only takes a little bit of effort to adjust the lenses you choose in life so as to see the good that is all around us.
December of last year was the best month for us. We finally achieved a healthy life balance -- Mom and I made very good friends (pups and hoomans), we had a steady routine for my daily walks, and Mom had new clients to coach and inspire.
On top of this, Mom signed up for Latin Ballroom classes to sharpen her dancing skills. This quickly turned into a pawsome experience. Not only was it fun to see Mom dancing again, but we became part of a dancing family that welcomed Mom and me with open hearts and lots of sparkles :-) Life couldn’t have been better!
As we approached the end of the month, it was time to set new intentions for the coming year, and most importantly to release and let go of all negative emotions that somehow get stuck in our subconscious mind and hold us back in certain areas of our lives.
This is how on December 30th, Mom and I ended up taking a long hike with some friends at Lands’ End in our hometown, San Francisco. We ended the hike at the beach, where a Labyrinth made out of rocks faced the stunning Golden Gate bridge. The day was beautiful and the sun was shining bright. The whole scenery looked perfect, however, something started to disturb Mom and suddenly fear shadowed her whole body. She felt an extreme amount of terror, something she never felt before. The feeling was so strong, she had to share with her friends.
As she was trying to understand the source of her fear, we all decided to walk into the Labyrinth, which is designed to be a meditative walking experience where one can set an intention or ask a question and by the end of the walk, if you have faith, you might get your answers. This experience was new for us, but Mom loves to try new things, so she picked me up in her arms and asked for this fear to be revealed and released.
The next morning, on December 31st, per usual, Mom started her day very early with a meditation and gratitude practice. She usually meditates for 20 minutes, but on this particular day her practice took almost an hour. She had the most enlightening, beautiful, loving experience thus far. It turns out, the fear she felt the day before was related to an old childhood fear of losing her dad.
When she meditated that morning, something pawmazing happened. She talked to my grandpa and felt at peace. To date, she remembers clearly his loving words. As the day went on, Mom set an intention to visit grandpa in Peru very soon, with hopes of taking me with her so I could play with Grandpa in his big backyard.
The year 2017 was almost over, and we had the most peaceful and fulfilling day creating new goals, new dreams and new action steps for the new year.
On January 1st, 2018, Mom and I started our day pumped with energy. She went through her morning routines and as we were getting ready to head out for a beach walk to embrace the New Year, she received a call... It was my aunt (her sister). She was crying on the other end of the phone. And then, in a second, Mom’s world shattered into pieces as she learned that my grandpa had passed away that morning.
As you can imagine, in a second our entire life froze. A huge feeling of guilt shadowed Mom’s heart. During the course of the following weeks, she experienced emotions of extreme sadness and a lot of anger, including the desire to leave her human experience in order to join her dad. Everything she ever believed and gave her hope to at one point disappeared. She questioned everything and everyone. She wouldn’t eat, nor sleep, and for the first time, she didn’t care.
It was in these moments, where I needed to step in big time. And luckily, I was able to cheer up my mom and convince her to go outside to walk with me. Little by little, she realized that she had to be strong for me. In many ways, I feel I saved my mom, and allowed her to go through the pain -- without judgements, just surrounding her with puppy love.
And so, through my persistence it was on one of our walks around the neighborhood that she heard the sounding bells coming from Grace Cathedral (a church in our neighborhood). Until then we had never stepped foot inside that church, but something stronger than her asked her to go inside. As we went in, we sat down, and started to pray for grandpa. This was the first time in a week that Mom felt peace, and it was in this peace, that she heard her dad again. It was in that moment that she understood, that if she wanted to connect, she needed to find a way back to love and peace.
After all, Grandpa always wanted for her to be happy and to enjoy her life on her own terms. He loved her so much and she knew in this instance that her dad’s body might have left his human condition, but his soul and energy remained alive and among us. This thought gave Mom a whole new beginning. Since that day, Mom and I started to visit the church regularly and connected with wonderful people who supported Mom during her grieving process.
Friday, January 12th, was the last day grandpa’s name was going to be mentioned in the daily prayers ceremony inside the church. And so, Mom and I rushed after work to make it on time for this special occasion. That afternoon, she felt a lot stronger and was able to carry a conversation with the priest in an uplifting manner. As we finished the prayers and were walking outside the church, she found herself talking with another priest who loved dogs and who started petting me. Suddenly she realized that this priest she had just met was referring to her in the plural. She thought it was weird, but soon enough, noticed that someone was standing right next to us and the priest must have thought we were there together.
When the priest left, she turned around to see who was standing next to her. It was in this instance, when her eyes connected with this stranger’s eyes, that a rush of energy suddenly coursed through her body. I’m sure I saw a smile :-)
Soon enough, this person started petting me, and this is how a whole new soul joined our family.
Very quickly, the grief invaded my mom’s mind and her ego told her “This is too good to be true. Besides, I’m grieving my dad.” As these ego thoughts had her trying to run out of the church and away from this stranger, he too was quick to make sure to get her number.
What happened next? Well, this story can certainly fill an entire book. What I can tell you for now, is that God works in inexplicable ways. According to Mom, Grandpa had to go to Heaven so he could put things in order, as he always did. And he made sure to send the right soul to help me and Mom on our new chapter in life.
More often, we hear the phrase “Life is a trade-off”. But it isn’t until you go through the experience that you really understand this concept. At first this brought a huge amount of sadness and anger, but with the power of my puppy love, I was able to show Mom the gift we are receiving.
As a result, I’ve been given the nickname of “Heart Opener.” I love to be seen this way, because, after all, us dogs are the big heart openers of this world. We have the power to help our hooman companions open their hearts to new opportunities. Because love is all around us and it is truly up to us to let the energy of love fill us up, even when it doesn’t make sense.
As we continue to embrace and enjoy every single second God and The Universe provide us, I’m very grateful for this new soul who helped me bring Mom back to life and show her that her journey is not over. It’s just beginning!
What would you do, if you only had one day to live?
Life is short furriends, embrace it, nourish it, and choose to surround yourself with love in every way you can.
As a gift to you, this is the mantra Mom continuously repeated in her head last month to help her heal: “Every day, in every way, I choose to surround myself with love, and fill with peace my heart, body, mind and soul.”
We forever love you Grandpa!!
Love & Paws,