The Accidental Puppy Pack - Remembering Not To Panic

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Accidental Puppy Pack - Remembering Not To Panic

Just 7 days ago I thought I had everything under control. We'd cleared out our stuff, bought a motorhome we were happy with, settled into San Jose for winter and everything was looking good. I felt like I had all the time in the world. The only real objective I had ticking away at the back of my mind was possibly writing a book about our first 3 years on the road. Something uplifting perhaps, telling the story of how an achievement focused, overly competitive, career minded thirty something who hated talking about feelings and kept a lot of secrets (i.e 'me') had changed and grown into a go with the flow, contemplative, more open and more feeling individual thanks to the challenges life had sent my way. A combination of both the inward and outward journey you could say. Until, that is, I woke up this morning on the verge of a panic attack!

There is a wonderful Zen master quote I saw once which said, "If you think you're so enlightened, try spending a week living with your parents". Well I reckon you could add "....or adopt a pregnant dog with no puppy experience while living in rented accommodation in a foreign country and the prospect of transporting 7 defecating dogs in a campervan hanging over you". Not quite as snappy I admit, but it's how I felt when I woke up this morning.

Don't get me wrong, I love Leela and don't regret the decision we made not to have a risky, late stage termination. I feel deeply we are doing the right thing and that solutions will present themselves to the practical challenges ahead. But still, I am only human and emotions can be powerful things. One look at the seemingly ever expanding dog that came wagging towards me as I staggered, bleary eyed, to the loo this morning and I felt overwhelmed. Honestly, it's like every time I look at Leela she's grown another inch around.

Then to put the cherry on my overwhelmed cake Esther returned home from her early morning walk with Leela to share yet another 'puppy birthing horror story' that had just been shared with her. What with the internet and interested friends we've been gathering quite a collection of nasty tales about what might happen in the next two weeks. I know I shouldn't complain, it's good to be prepared.....I just couldn't take another one this morning.

What I needed, was to get out and get some air. An hour of jogging along the cliffs to the east of San Jose certainly calmed me down and helped me remember why we had made the commitment to help this little dog in need and that we are incredibly fortunate to be in a position to help at all. It was almost a tangible change in my body, from "why, oh, why, oh, why!" as I ran eastwards towards Los Escullos compared to "yes, oh, yes, oh, yes" as I turned back towards San Jose.

Also, more than that, it reminded me that whatever is going to arise (or appear) in the weeks ahead there are opportunities and lessons all the time. The opportunity to be more patient, more compassionate, to see things from a different perspective for example. Meditating and taking time to journal and contemplate is one thing, but it's daily life and the ordinary, unexpected challenges that arise that provide the real opportunities to grow.

Leela certainly doesn't seem overwhelmed, phased or panicked anyway. So, my aim for today is to be more like Leela, loving whatever arises and remembering to try and wait until challenges arise before worrying about them.

"Worry is paying interest on  money you haven't even borrowed yet". 


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