Dog Meets Snow. Or how to be intentional when life gets hectic.

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The past couple of weeks have been exhilarating (bridal shower, new dog), exhausting (20+ hour drive from Florida to Boston), and jam-packed with CHANGE.

Also, it snowed a lot.

So on the one hand, Greg and I are now dog-parents. Which is so amazing, and we couldn’t be happier to have adopted Rocky the min-labradoodle (#rockylabradoodle).

And also, we are a little bit nervous wrecks about him! Our pup is still adjusting – you might feel the same way if you were suddenly brought to live in a brand-new home. He’d never seen snow before. He has new bowls, new toys, a new sweater. He’s not yet grown tired of our company and is bummed when we leave the house.

The toughest part is that it’s really hard to explain to him what’s going on. Lots of snuggles and plenty of “good boy” have to suffice.

Then there’s the snow.

Yes, I’ve lived up north for over a decade now. No, I am still not used to it. Also, this is my first year living in a house, meaning I’ve now given up the luxury of being able to stroll out my front door and down the sidewalk because it’s been shoveled by somebody else. You’re watching the weather, you’re waiting. When the snow comes, you shovel it. You clear your car, you lay down salt. You’re not sure about work, or school, or whether the plow is going to come along and push a big pile of snow right back into your driveway (grr). You’re really not sure why people choose to live in a place where they have to spend so much time dealing with frozen water.

This is all to say that I’ve spent a lot of time recently responding to the circumstances of my life. I’ve been waiting to see what happens: with my dog, with the weather, and setting my course of action from there.

It’s not that responding is bad. Responding is part of life. Because there are a great many (many, many) things not in our control. We may learn that lesson from the wilds of Mother Nature. Or we may learn it from a highly domesticated pet.

But. What this last week clarified for me is reason 6 bajillion that I love my practice of living, the integration of yoga into my daily existence. The reason is that my practice of living offers me intentionality, which I desperately need to feel grounded. Intentionality, the feeling of putting myself back in the driver’s seat, of choosing how I move, breathe, and even think. Every moment of a yoga practice offers us the opportunity to set intentions that are not responses, but conscious choices to set our own course of action.

Intentionality is found all over of course, not just on our yoga mats. It’s in the way we tackle a to-do list, prepare our meals, and interact with the people we love. Intentionality brings us to the present moment, and subsequently brings us home to ourselves.

So next time your world has been given a gentle shake, or even an intense one, try this. Take 5 minutes, literally 5, to intentionally do something good for yourself. Not the thing you think you should do, not the thing you haven’t gotten around to yet, but something you want to do for the pure pleasure of the activity. Close your eyes and meditate. Find a few sun salutations. Watch your favorite YouTube clip. Rub some lotion into your hands. Make a snowman.

Find a person (or animal) you love. Ask for a hug.

xxoo,

Kristen