I have spent a great deal of time with my dogs. I’ve raised them from mere pups, paid the vet bills, and given my time to train and try to understand them. I’ve pretty much re-arranged my whole life in order to have them be happy and next to me.
I imagine to most people this may seem obsessive and a tad off the deep end. I might agree with them without the knowledge that my own journey has given me. At first, I really didn’t even understand it myself but then a friend who races Siberians has a moto for her dogs, “Spiritual Enlightenment Through Sled Dogs.”
When I read that slogan, it was an epiphany moment in my life. It was the moment that everything I’ve done came into focus. The “Why?” has been answered and I want to share that if possible.
So, what exactly does “Spiritual Enlightenment” mean?
Well, its not a place on a map you can find with your GPS. It’s reaching various degrees of understanding about who you are, what life is about, and maybe even a reason why you are here on earth. It’s a change within yourself brought on by any number of factors. It’s not mumbo-jumbo, its knowledge and understanding things on a new level.
“When people undergo spiritual enlightenment, they experience a change within themselves. Although everyone has their own unique experiences, there are some common elements that we all share.
Many of our perceptions have been distorted, such as the illusions created by our society, the state, consumerism, etc. Spiritual enlightenment has strong, direct, spiritual implications and is a result to being more aware of one’s spirituality and the ability to see past these illusions or fallacies.” ((http://dreamcatcherreality.com/spiritual-enlightenment/))
Here are a few ways the Siberian People have helped me on our journey together:
- “Revisiting Childhood and Parental Relationships
All people that undergo a huge spiritual transformation revisit their early years of life. Healing our childhood’s traumas is a vital requirement for deep healing.
Since we especially develop in our first years of life, any possible trauma greatly affects our perception of life and other related things.
In order to have a more accurate perspective on life and a better understanding of this reality, we must reexamine the basic notions upon which we have built our world on, in our early years of life.
Moreover, we have to develop healthier and stronger relationships with our families and, especially, with our parents, who have played such a huge role in what we have become today.
Just by attempting to heal old wounds or repair damaged relationships, one exhibits intense growth and maturity, which is a crucial aspect to one’s awakening. This will, inevitably, lead to spiritual enlightenment.” (1)
Siberians being very social pack animals exhibit many family traits similar to our own. To observe them in day to day life you will find some jealousy, hoarding, competition, loneliness, joy, and compassion to name a few. The main difference from us is they do not hate, kill each other, and have a high capacity to forgive. This not just pertain to their own pack. It is offered to all but they will not tolerate being abused by other dogs. This alone is food for thought at having a better outlook on our own lives. A glimpse into living more in harmony with each other.
- “Treading Uncharted Territories
While growing up, we tend to build a life that is equivalent to a bubble. However, it is unhealthy to stay within that bubble, as it severely limits our experience of the world. We all have to take that first step in venturing into the unknown and make a place for ourselves in the world. Once we start to explore the world and stop confining ourselves within our comfort zones, we star growing in previously unimagined ways, and this is one of the necessary steps we must take in order to experience true awakening.” (2)
Siberians have a natural desire to explore and tread uncharted territories. After all, this is what they did for thousands of years. They got me off the sofa and out on the streets. The desire to exercise and see new things never stops. They have gotten me out of several comfort zones. Hooking them to a bike will certainly leave you with eyes wide open!
- “Understanding and Eliminating Dysfunctional Relationships
Many people, despite being aware, stay within their dysfunctional relationships and try to find justification for their decisions.
This habit of deceiving your own self negates growth and perpetuates other dysfunctional habits in your life. Being surrounded by positive influences is extremely important, as we tend to absorb more than we can imagine from our interactions with those around us.
The ability to distinguish unhealthy relationships is a huge part of your awakening and using the newly acquired understanding — by eliminating these unhealthy relationships — helps you in achieving spiritual enlightenment.” (3)
For me most people are detrimental to the soul. They want to control your life in one form or another. And at best they waste your time, and how much time in this life do you have to waste? So many believe that “Their Way” is best and all should follow. The lesson learned from such independent creatures as the Siberian is simple. They know who and what they are. You either accept them or go away. Either one is totally acceptable because they are quite happy being Siberians. No matter how hard you try, you will not change them into something they are not.
- “Being Aware of the Gift that is Health
A vast majority of people don’t understand the blessing of a good health — physical, mental and social. Most of us only understand this important gift when our health starts to deteriorate and, for the first time in our lives, we understand that health is priceless.
Those of us who understood the significance of health and actively make an effort towards maintaining it (by exercising, eating healthy, and so on), are a part of a minority.
This realization is a huge step for those moving towards spiritual enlightenment.” (4)
As mentioned before Siberians demand exercise. That means you will be getting your exercise as well. Siberians for the most part are incredibly healthy dogs. That in itself should be a lesson to us from these natural born athletes.
- “Developing the Ability to Learn Perpetually
There are people, although small in numbers, who are always looking to learn something new from their experiences and interactions.
Such people have a desire to better comprehend the complexities of life and the world around them. Therefore, they seek knowledge and are open to learn new things, simply because it brings them pleasure and a sense of fulfillment.
Learning, in itself, is an evolutionary process – one that complies with the nature of our life. Only those who are willing to learn and possess a burning desire to create their own educated perspectives will head closer towards attaining enlightenment.” (5)
Siberians have given me a burning desire to understand everything I can about them. This has led me to learn many new things. I don’t think anyone can ever know it all about Siberians. I have my work cut out for me.
- “Exuding Positivity
Many people are subject to self-sabotage and they practice self-defeatist practices and beliefs that only impede with their own growth.
One of the most important steps towards becoming spiritually aware is the realization that thoughts and emotions are very powerful.
A person that is completely engulfed in negativity will never be able to experience happiness or joy, no matter how beautiful their lives may be.
Those who can be true to themselves and seek joy in their experiences, can truly attain spiritual enlightenment.” (6)
The Siberians excel at this. They are positive about everything in life that surrounds them. With no fear they tackle any obstacle regardless of the outcome. They try, and if they fail they forget about it and try again.
- “Understanding the Significance of Life
Ask people about their jobs and most will tell you just how much they hate it.
If you value your career so much and you think that your work is what defines you, then why not, at least, choose something that you love doing?
Unfortunately, though, most people choose to work in stressful environments that deprive them of creativity or joy, and their sole motivation to continue is the next paycheck. Pursuing money and choosing a career on those basis, usually leads to everything else but joy.
Instead, you should understand that no matter what you choose to do, as long as you make an honest effort and your work brings you pleasure, money will always come.
Those who have understood what the truly important things are, and actively seek joyous experiences in their work and personal lives, are the ones who have developed enough understanding to move towards spiritual enlightenment.” (7)
The Siberians understand the significance of life better than anyone. With short lives compared to ours, they live each and every day in the “Moment.” They don’t worry about yesterday, or tomorrow. Each minute is lived to its fullest. They find joy in simply being alive.
To run with the Siberians is a spiritual experience. You get first hand knowledge of what’s its like to be a husky. You are part of a team working together to enjoy a few minutes, or hours of pure freedom. A chance to commune with nature and be apart of something greater than yourself.
Long may you run!
Citations: 1-7, Internet, (http://dreamcatcherreality.com/spiritual-enlightenment/)