DAY 17: The one where I learned from a dog.

OK. Sooo ONCE AGAIN I apologize. I certainly have not been perfect on my every day duties during this 21 day meditation challenge. Not that vacation at Disney World is an excuse, but I did have one hell of a relaxing time with my family and all responsibility flew right out the window. (Though I did meditate twice poolside and write one blog while I was on vacay so not a COMPLETE failure.) But if at first you don’t succeed.. try, try again!

So here I am back in good old Los Angeles really struggling to get back into the routine of reality. And today’s meditation tells me that every moment is here for me to learn and to teach. Sometimes these teachers are obvious to us, like spiritual gurus Deepak and Oprah. And sometimes they are less obvious, like that stupid guy who cut me off on the freeway. (Yeah, yeah. I know I’m supposed to learn patience and not to sweat the small stuff, but did he REALLY have to cut me off and then go 20 mph????)

So today I’m trying to look for teachers everywhere. And I found one in a very unexpected place. One of my friends has a dog (who very coincidentally is named Oprah) that has gone into congestive heart failure. She asked a group of friends to come hang out for support and love. And even though I was dead tired from traveling I felt pulled to attend. Which got me thinking about two things:

#1- Animals are some of our greatest teachers on love. They love us no matter what (even if I have to yell at my cat for trying to scratch something, he doesn’t take it personally, just comes over and rubs up to me for some pets.) We also effortlessly love THEM no matter what. If my cat accidentally claws at my favorite top or scratches me while playing I don’t assume he did it on purpose to hurt me and hold a grudge for the next 3 or 4 months. I let it go because that little bugger is too freaking cute. IMG_3625

(See. I told you.)

With animals it’s easy. We just love them for exactly who they are, flaws and all. So why is it so hard to do that with our human counterparts?

#2- The second thing I realized is that almost all of us understand the loss of a pet, and therefore, we support each other in a way that we may not in other circumstances. They bring us together because animals are one of the only true examples of unconditional love.

And as we all came together in love for our friend and her beautiful dog, something else happened. I connected to some pretty cool people and opened opportunities without even trying. A friend of a friend is a directing major at UCLA and asked me to be involved with his thesis in writing, casting, and production aspects. Great for him as he self proclaimed writing not to be his strong point (I would like to believe it’s one of mine but you tell me 😜) and great for me because I want to learn more about the production process as I hope to shoot my own pilot. So there I was with some great people, some great wine, and a lot of love. And even though I only stayed a short time due to jet lag and overall Disneyworld exhaustion, I learned that saying yes to life and friendship is always rewarding.

And even though Oprah is struggling right now (the dog not the guru) she wasn’t grumpy, mean, or defeated. She didn’t take any aggression out on us or whine endlessly about how life isn’t fair. She was just happy to love and be loved in return. And isn’t that what we all should be learning?

So keep your eyes open this week. There are life lessons everywhere. Opportunities to learn and to teach in return. Thank your friends and family for being awesome (thank you!) Or, at the very least, just pet a furry friend.

And so it is.



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