Too thin. I had just enough time to do everything that needed to be done, but only what needed to be done. No time for meals with friends. No time for vegging on the couch with a movie. No time for hiking. No time for reading anything beyond my 300hr Teacher Training texts.
At one point I began to make a shift starting with my yoga teaching. I opted to teach fewer classes at my favorite studio that is farther from home, and teach closer to home base. I talked with my dear friend, mentor, teacher and she offered to help me get clear on what I needed and wanted. So then another shift, teach less. I went from seven classes a week to five but I was still finding it hard to get everything done and have time for me.
The shift wasn’t big enough and my frustration and irritation were beginning to show. My heart wasn’t light. I wasn’t happy. I was on auto-pilot. However, the thought of cutting back felt like admitting failure. I was in a space of denial. The idea that if I just pushed through a few more weeks, a few more months, of this insane hectic schedule, I would find what I was looking for.
Then everything changed. I was in bed at 8:45 on a Saturday night. Absolutely exhausted and my dad sent me a text message with a picture of tiny dog. A baby Chihuahua. I jokingly replied, “Is that for me?” he responded “If you want.” I was at his home in ten minutes. His neighbor had a Chihuahua puppy that needed a home and I fell in love.
Yet, I wasn’t sure I was ready. My Pomeranian, Murphy, died less than two years ago, during my teacher training, and it was the most heartbreaking thing I have experienced. However, when I held the little Chihuahua pup, now named Frankie Ruth, I realized I was ready to go through it all again, that the pain was a small price to pay for the joy a dog brings to your life.
The next morning I woke up and she was still there and something in me had changed. I realized I had been living a life based on quantity not quality. More classes, more clients, more more more, busy busy busy. Within the 12 hours I had her in my life, many of which included sleep, clarity snuck in and took a hold of me.
Since then I was able to make big changes (and it’s only been a week and a half).
>>I decided to decline a few opportunities to bid on projects in my freelance work, because they weren’t the right fit. They needed someone else, not me.
>>When the studio owners at the local studio began to question whether or not I was a right fit there, I was able to say “no” and recognize that their amazing yoga community would benefit from another teacher, not me.
>>I have begun to stop assuming responsibilities that aren’t mind and overextending myself with the need to be helpful.
>>I am starting to practice what I teach. Be deliberate. It’s all about quality. If something is going to take me away from Frankie, it better be worth it.
>>Oddly, my meditation and yoga practice have ramped up since I got my little girl. We make the time to hang out, to breathe, and to move just to move.
>>I am getting outside more, a long time passion of mine that went wayside when my life got so busy. With that comes many deep belly laughs from watching a dog the size of a squirrel run and play.
>>I have reached out to friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I see a lot of my friends who are in the yoga community often; it’s easy when you’re in training together. However, these people that are outside of the community are just as awesome. They help me remember there is a bigger world out there.
I am sure I sound a bit obnoxious, like suddenly life is just perfect now that I have a dog. It’s not. There is a lot that needs to evolve and develop but I have something I was missing: contentment.
I realize that I am now back on a path that allows me to love who I am and surround myself with people I love. Frankie has forced me to quickly gain site of what matters: love. Love for myself love for her. Love for my friends and family. Love for how I spend my days.
That’s how a two-pound Chihuahua changed my life.