Christmas and our beloved pets

Traditionally Christmas is a time to celebrate and to reflect. A time to gather with family and friends and share stories and memories since the last time you were all together.

We also share Christmas either in the company of or carrying the memories of our beloved pets. Pets in all of their varied types, colors, and sizes who have touched our hearts, some even more so than human members of our family.

The memory of our beloved pets can be so vivid.  There will be beautiful reminders in photos or videos of course and items that we treasure, plus those emotional memories closest to our hearts. To recall those memories, did you know the inseparable bond we develop with our pets is energetically embedded in our DNA, there to be relived at a moments notice?

To recall those precious memories, you can take a moment to do this simple exercise, one that will take you to the source of the emotions and the love you hold. Before you do please place close to you a photo or a physical item belonging to your pet. Sit comfortably either on a chair or on a cushion on the floor. Sit with a straight back and neck, shoulders back and relaxed. Your hands can be resting in your lap.

Take a few long deep breaths exhaling completely through your mouth emptying your lungs. Do this suddenly with an audible sound something like – ahhh. Repeat this three or four times. This technique releases tension in the mind and body. Now close your eyes and breathe only through your nose, your mouth will remain shut. Start very calmly by following the passage of your breath as it quietly flows into your lungs. At the bottom and top of each breath pause for a moment before continuing.

On your next incoming breath imagine that your breath is flowing directly into your heart center. As it does, sense that it is expanding throughout your chest region. As you breathe out imagine that you are exhaling any sadness, pain or grief you are holding for your beloved pet. Now as you breathe in again imagine on your incoming breath, you are drawing into your body your love for and the joy your pet has bought into your life. This exercise can be of great benefit in helping to heal emotional pain. Repeat this cycle of breathing with your imagery for several minutes. Continue with the happy memories being the focus as you breathe, and for that happiness to perpetually radiate throughout your whole body. You may notice a lightness in your being or a sense of expansion or both.

Now pick up the item you chose before we began this exercise, gaze at it for a moment, and on your incoming breath draw in the love and joy that this object brings to you. Allow all of those precious moments: the bonding, the relationship you had over the years, the laughs, the ‘look’ only pets can give us, their favorite toy, their personality, all of the emotions that you hold so dearly, allow them all to be fully present in this moment. These emotions flow across you like a surging wave, each wave a different memory, until, they all merge into one – love. Continue this for as long as you feel the love in this connection.

This visualization exercise is very potent for bringing back the richness of our memories but in these memories there lies a more profound truth. Many believe our pets actually choose us as their guardians. There is an energetic connection, a divine providence between a pet and its owner, an undeniable bond, beyond just a physical choice. A subtle alignment on a much deeper level, one can call it a spiritual pairing. That bonding can be so strong there are accounts of pet owners seeing their beloved pet after they have passed.

Our pets, of course, become our teacher’s in the years they spend with us. They can teach us friendship, patience, joy, self-giving, responsibility, care, how to love unconditionally, spontaneity, loyalty and so much more. And we repay their love also unconditionally. Who can resist the welcoming ‘wag’ of a tail when returning home, or that all so human smile, or that cry or welcoming call?

The grief in losing a pet can in part be healed, especially if you are no longer able to have a pet by trying out some things at this time of year; they can include:

Donating to a charity that supports disadvantaged animals. This kind gesture keeps your loving memory alive while providing for the welfare of others.

Travel to a council park area dedicated to dogs, where you could sit and watch the different breeds playing while talking to their owners, and sharing together fond memories.

Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter.

Planting a tree or garden in honour of your pet.

The manner in which pets touch our hearts is a priceless gift. Each in their unique way has bonded with us, and its because of this bonding that we are better individuals. Whether as long-term partners or through brief encounters our lives are enriched. And at this time of year, we can rejoice and celebrate them as kindred souls and offer gratitude for their loving presence.

As always be kind to yourself xo.