It's the Year of the Dog. What is dog saying to you?

Today is the Chinese New Year, and, as we exit the Year of the Rooster, we enter the Year of the Dog.

Rooster was about crowing and strutting your stuff. Did you take advantage of that energy this past year? You can still take that energy with you as we enter the Year of the Dog, especially in these early days of the new year.

Let yourself be seen and heard, particularly as it applies to dog energies, which we’ll discuss next.

Dog is about loyalty, finding your unique place in the pack, standing your ground, and play. 

Loyalty is normally quiet, but if someone claims you are being disloyal, you can crow about your loyalty. Point out the ways in which you are indeed loyal to them or to your cause. 

Even more importantly, how are you being loyal to yourself—your own values, your own self-care? Are you standing up for yourself? Are you fighting for yourself? Both rooster and dog can help you do that. Rooster will crow at you to remind you to do those things. Rooster does not back down.

Dog’s loyalty is impeccable. If you have a dog as a companion, then you know what I mean. No matter what you say or do, dog is always there for you—unconditionally.

Are you always there for yourself? Or do you tend to beat yourself? Even if you do beat yourself up, come back to yourself and reclaim that loyalty. Reclaim your place in the pack.

What pack? Do you have a  supportive pack, one that loves you unconditionally?

You may think you don’t, but you probably do. It can be a pack of two—you and one other.

When my husband and I recently separated, I felt as if I were pack-less. So I reached out to see if I had a pack. Sure enough, I did. I do.

Find yours. Then find your unique place within the pack. Are you the leader of the pack? Are you a supporter in the pack? Sometimes you may be called upon to lead. You may the leader of a sub-pack while a supporter in a different or a larger pack. You may have a pack at work, a pack of friends, and a different pack with your family. Play with that. Dog teaches you how to play. 

Dog is a good fighter, but only when it needs to protect what it loves. Love yourself and fight for yourself. But first, stand up for yourself. Stand your ground, and fight only when you must.

Then play! Play first. Play in the middle. And play last. You know how much your dog loves to play. They’d play all day with you if you’d let them.

If you don’t have a dog (I don’t), you’ve seen other people’s dogs. Take what you notice about them and apply that to yourself when you need to. When you’ve got a problem this year, ask yourself, “What would dog do?”

Sometimes dog would stand its ground. Sometimes dog would jump into the fight. Sometimes dog would roll over and let the leader take over. And sometimes dog would run and play.

Find what you need in the situation. Find your unique answer.

This feels like shit. How would you rather feel?

It's okay to make a few "bad" choices during a transition