I never could’ve imagined so much of my world abroad would come home with me.
Two months ago I adopted a puppy. She is a beautiful black lab/pit/shar-pei rescue whom I took into my home at only six weeks old. She, and her nine siblings, were weaned early because their mom was sick and had to endure emergency uterus surgery. At birth, all ten puppies were given names of characters from Dr. Seuss. My little girl was given the name Wocket.
In the Dr. Seuss book, ‘There’s a Wocket in My Pocket,‘ Wocket is a bizarre little creature that lives in a little boy’s back pocket. My Wocket, it turns out, isn’t much different. It didn’t take her long to become attached to my hip. Since she was separated from her mother at such a young age, she viewed me, her new caretaker, as her mother. In those first few weeks, she followed me everywhere, constantly teething at my toes, ankles, achilles, calves, etc. And bizarre, she is. From dragging the dog bed (4x her size) around the kitchen, finding comfort under sofas and coffee tables, and switching between frighteningly-unconscious levels of sleep and hyperactive hopping and rolling around open spaces, she is the epitome of a puppy. Her mouth is open more often than closed, roaming around like a bottom feeder, scooping up anything in her path that’ll fit into her tiny jaw.
However, the moment I picked her up from the foster home, I re-named her Mala. A mala is a necklace made of prayer beads and often used to assist with meditation in yoga and the Hindu religion. Many months after I began my yoga practice, a dear mentor had a mala made for me. The most important part of creating your mala is choosing the beads. My mala was made from Rose Quartz, which symbolize unconditional love and the opening of the heart chakra.
It took a long time for me to decipher the term ‘unconditional love.’ At first, it seemed like a cop out for getting taken advantage of. However, my yoga practice and life experiences helped me to realize it was a sort of detached love that never judges and never patronizes, but always forgives and always supports. It was the same kind of love that my mother has always shown me. So since then, my main intention throughout my yoga practice has been the manifestation of unconditional love: for my family, for myself, for my friends, and for the world that surrounds me.
When I went abroad, I really learned the meaning of unconditional love. I had friends that taught me to forgive, I had a man that fought for me to the end, and I had a world that showed me gratitude.
Mala is simply the next step in my manifestation of unconditional love. She has shown me unconditional love in the past two months; always by my side like prayer beads wrapped between my fingers, like a wocket in my pocket.