We have a new furry friend in our family. Little Lola. Lola is a pug and she is just divine. A gentle soul who follows me around like a duckling follows her mum, we just adore this special girl. Lola is special for more reasons than her beautiful nature. Not only is Lola a rescue who has had a very traumatic eight years of life, but as a result of a lifetime of neglect and abuse, Lola is now permanently blind. She needs three different medicated drops in her eyes, multiple times daily, as well as ‘fake tears’ as often as I can put them in. Her eyes no longer produce tears on their own to keep them moist – so I need to do this for her.
But despite her awful beginnings, this special little girl is just such a joy to be around. She follows our other pug x through the park and is guided to the best places to sniff. She uses big steps, which is adorable for such mini paws, to feel it is safe to move. Lola is one tough girl and it is heartbreaking when I think about the lack of love she has received but deserved and craved.
As I watched her potter around this morning, my mind went to the teachings of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s. A universally studied text that is understood to guide yogis to the path of enlightenment.
Within the text, Patanjali speaks of Yamas, which include five ethical rules that can be thought of as moral imperatives. Of the five rules, the first is Ahimsa, which means nonviolence and non-harming of other living beings.
Whilst the interpretation of Ahimsa can be vast, some obvious examples of nonviolence are showing kindness to ones family, ones animals, being vegetarian or vegan. Not wearing furs or products that are tested on animals. Not being the one to test products on animals… I think you see my point. And I wonder how many people really do truly practice Ahimsa, and how many studios cultivate this philosophy into their community.
So whilst I was watching this precious little soul enjoying her life despite the hell she has had to endure (we can learn so much from animals if we stop and observe), I felt so saddened by the number of people out there who fail so badly to show kindness to those who are vulnerable. I’ve never understood how someone can be so unkind as to allow an animal, any animal, to suffer.
It is not hard to be nice. It takes much more energy to be an angry, uncaring person than it does a kind and loving one. For me, the practice of Ahimsa is natural – it always has been. This has left me vulnerable at times for ridicule from those who lack kindness and struggle to feel love or be loved. To be clear, their behavior, their righteousness and need to be cruel says a lot about the person they are and absolutely nothing about me. I have no issue with being judged about being kind. I would much rather be the kind one than not. Those who are violent are nothing more than weak, insecure bullies. People who fail to care for those who are more vulnerable are not cool. They’re not tough or ‘the boss’. Instead, they are the weakest of them all, and I pity them as this is a very sad, lonely path they are following.
As you all know at Jessica Dewar Yoga our mission is to build a kinder world through the practice of yoga. I believe yoga has the power to help even the most troubled of us all by unlocking and revealing the shadow parts of self that keep them, us, small. I know it is through this vulnerability people can experience happier lives. And when we feel happier in ourselves, I am hopeful this will extend to sharing kindness and love to all that surround, including our furry family members.
To little Lola – thank you for choosing us as your forever home. We have already learned so much about what it means to see the positive side of life no matter how dire the circumstances have been. You’re spirit has not been broken and that is a testament to just how strong you are. We promise to show you unconditional love and kindness for as long as we are together.
NB: To support the rescue and safety of other pugs like Lola, head to Pug Rescue and Adoption Victoria to donate. Your contributions will be so greatly appreciated.