Deliciousness! Yes, that is what this pup Moose is expressing in this photo. It is deliciousness that we seek in food and in life, isn’t it? Well maybe we forgot one or both of these pursuits along the way.
Consuming delicious food, selected by our taste buds in our weight-shaming thin-obsessed society is sometimes associated with gluttony and guilt. Delicious food is labeled as “cheating” or “bad.” But our furry friends don’t have such ideologies. They only go to what is pleasurable, what is delicious, what they love.
I believe in looking to the beloved hounds in our lives to help evaluate own attitudes and behaviors and see if they are well-serving. It has been a privilege to meet my clients’ animal companions during home visits and office yoga and nutrition sessions. I am always amazed at how much insight they bring to sessions.
During yoga, the dogs are so present and attuned that we can see where our own energy is stirred and stilled just by watching their behavior. They do downward dog when we do downward dog, they come and lie next to us when we are opening our hips, and they are ever present front and center at the end of class helping us seal in our practice and genuflecting with us to the heart.
During nutrition sessions, they provide comfort, especially when discussions about food raise anxiety. I find that my own as well as my client’s mood lightens and thinking becomes more flexible in the face of their wagging tails. We simply become more open and more centered when the pets are around.
Why do we feel more relaxed around them? Why does compassion and empathy pour out of us in their presence? How do they make us more human when they are not? These are questions that I believe can be answered by the very fact that they are exactly who they are without any agenda or thought of anything else other than the loving present moment. They actually ground us to that very thing. We then are reminded to take one loving breath at a time and to choose to be our very selves one breath at a time. We can then naturally seek what is joyful and what will serve that joy in our lives.
When we are grounded, living in the moment, and being true to ourselves, seeking deliciousness in food and life can then look different. No longer is there judgment and guilt, but there is pure joy. Just look at Moose. His deliciousness is infectious! His deliciousness is so sweet and tender. His deliciousness can be our deliciousness, too! Thank you, Moose, and all the other dogs that have come into my practice and shared their deliciousness of heart!
“Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being. Let it teach you integrity-which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.”…The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Katie Grubiak, RD is Director of Nutrition Services at Eating Disorder Therapy LA. She is a registered dietitan with a focus on blending Western and Eastern philosophies regarding nutritional healing. She provides nutritional counseling and movement/yoga therapy. Read more about Katie.
Dog photos used with permission.