I have a confession to make: I want to be more like my dog. She is very comfortable with expressing how she feels and what she wants. I am sure there are many people who think that the idea that dogs can communicate their truth is crazy. But I have four pairs of chewed shoes (from a one week period when we were busy and unable to exercise her enough) to prove them wrong.
Whimpering and standing by the back door means “let out or let me in.” Growling tells us to back off and give her space. Rolling over and showing her soft belly allows her to tell us she is totally happy and ready to be taken care of by the heads of her pack. For dogs, expressing their satya, or truth, comes naturally without thought.
Our culture has weird feelings about telling the truth. We pressure our kids to do it and punish them if they do not, yet as adults we cage much of our own honesty in mirrors, illusions and false masks. We tell people we are happy when we are not and fail to share what is really going on for fear that we will be isolated or others will stay away from us. On our yogi mats we pretend we are ok in our bodies or that certain things do not hurt. We tell our teachers we do not care if we cannot do crow pose or breathe in a basic asana for fear of looking “less than.” We give off the illusion that we are not jealous of the people next to us. We lie to our teachers, our friends, our family and most importantly to ourselves.
It is such a shame that honesty, a trait we encourage so strongly to our “puppies” eludes us when we become grown up dogs.
My birthday is in one week. I am working on my vision board and aspirations for the coming year and it is filled with grand plans and new adventures. It also includes a pledge to speak my truth, always. I am pledging to be more like my dog Dakota and I am starting right now. Here are some of my truths:
I am nursing a perpetual shoulder injury but still practice handstand and arm balances.
I do not practice yoga nearly enough myself.
I get uncomfortable almost instantly when meditating and I have to focus on NOT focusing on these sensations.
I wish I did not have wrinkles or gray hair.
I love Duran Duran and Justin Timberlake and hate modern country music with a passion.
I think Julia Roberts is beyond overrated and Guy Pearce is under represented on film.
I have a passion for hot things like showers, beverages and hot sauce that is probably unbalanced and not good for me.
I have a crazy obsession with snow and cold weather that drives others nuts.
I am such a bitch in the summer because I hate the heat so much.
I say bitch, shit and fuck more than I should because I love those words and get angrier than I should at the elves because I cannot say those words around them.
I raise my voice more than I want to.
I drink more wine than I should some times.
I have a hard time taking yoga classes as a student and shutting off my teacher’s mind.
I am still sometimes jealous and angry and ugly and mean in my mind and yoga has not “removed” those feelings.
I am not always honest.
I am a yogi.
I am a writer.
I am a wife.
I am a mom.
Some days I am good at all of those things and some days I am good at none.
Today my dog Dakota was lying in the sun belly up, arms all akimbo and smiling. She was telling her truth, living her satya and loving every moment of it. I looked at her with admiration and love: I too want to live every moment in my satya. I want to feel comfortable rolling back and exposing my soft underbelly with abandon. I want to be like her with freedom and ease.
It is much easier for dogs to be honest with what they want because often it is what they also need. For us as humans and yogis the challenges are greater. For my birthday I need nothing on my Amazon wish list, no wealth or gold, no gifts or goodies. All I ask is that you join me in digging deep and finding a place where you can live where you speak your truth. That you live where you can be honest with your flaws and open with your successes. Let joy come from the goodness and sadness come freely from the things that are not great. Let your inner dog rule and roll over and show the world the soft tender places that make you, YOU.
Let your inner dog go. Let your inner dog speak. Let your inner dog play. Let your inner dog live and love.
I want the whole world to speak their truth and for those that aren’t doing it to ask: who let the dogs out?
Care to join me? Let me know what truths you want to share..what is YOUR SATYA?