Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 10, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8

JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 10, 2018 
8JUST FOR BEST FRIENDS Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 10, 2018 

During a walk with “Tatertotts“, my bloodhound (mayshe rest in peace) one evening, we were enjoying theserene ambience of dusk, with stars slowly beginning toreflect the sun’s light in the sky and not another soul insight, when Tater suddenly engaged in a series of intensebays, taking me very much by surprise.

Tater rarely ever bayed during our walks. She wastypically too involved with sniffing out subtle scents,
keeping her nose trained to the trail in hopes oftracking a furry critter, or dream-of-all-dreams, findinga discarded bag of fast-food left-over’s thoughtlesslytossed by a previous passerby.

We were hiking along the trail that begins whereSycamore Street ends in Sierra Madre, between the ballparks and the city yards. That’s where the pavementturns to a dirt path surrounded by overgrown grass,
floral fauna and shade trees. It was a great evening fora walk; the moon was full above the eastern hills, and 
everything seemed calm and quiet.

We were both relishing the solitude when all ofa sudden Tater stopped sniffing the ground, threwher head back, pointed her nose upward with thoseenormous ears flopping wildly, and let out the loudestbaritone bay I’d ever before heard from her, shatteringthe silence and shocking me out of my moment ofpeaceful bliss.

The first howl was followed by several more, beforethey slowly faded to a whimper as she became calm againand resumed her trail-tracking endeavor. Naturally, Ilooked up to see what had excited her and I saw a flockof geese flying low overhead, coming in for a landingon the water in one of the settling basins about 50 yardsaway. They were Canada Geese and I counted about 12in the flock. 

As they landed, one by one on the surface of thewater, they made a big splash and I thought how happythey must be to have found a place where they canrest and refresh before continuing their long journey. Ialso thought how lucky I was to have been in the rightplace at the right time to see them fly in and land sogracefully and so close to where Tater and I happenedto be. That experience inspired me to learn more aboutthe migratory habits of Canada Geese, so I did a littleresearch and here is what I learned: 

Native to North America, Canada Geese are best 
known for their distinctive honking and the “v”
formation they assume while migrating over thecontinent. The “v” is by no means random. It is theirinstinctual way of utilizing the power of wind and airfoil by following behind and slightly to the side of oneanother to make the most of their stored energy as theytravel. Geese are much larger and heavier than othertypes of migrating birds, so it takes a lot more energyfor them to fly. By using the “v” technique, they reserveenergy and increase their endurance.

Happy Tails 
by Chris Leclerc 

mile flight that will take them to the Gulf of Mexico,
their seasonal destination. There they spend the wintermonths avoiding the frost of the Arctic north. The flightsouth can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months,
depending on their point of origin and the route theyfollow. 

Male and female geese maintain a monogamousrelationship with the same partner throughout theirlives and raise their family as an integral unit, caring fortheir young until they are adults. Research has shownthat familial geese will fly closely together during themigration process, and communicate among themselvesusing honking calls that are unique to their own family,
to keep from being separated along the way. Fascinating,

We have all heard the term “bird brain” used to refer 
to someone who acted stupidly or used poor judgment. Iremember hearing it as a kid, and I assumed that meant 
birds must be pretty stupid. Later in life I learned thetrue facts about birds and I realized that couldn’t be 
further from the truth. 

Looking into the life of the migrating CanadaGoose, I was able to draw a few parallels between theirsensational migration and my own personal migrationor navigation through life on this earth. Let’s face it, lifepresents some pretty tough challenges at times, but if wetake a lesson from the goose by “flying” in a way that willallow those following us to keep up and stay strong, andif we stick together and communicate clearly with ourfellow family members, and if we remember to take thetime to rest and refresh when we need it, I imagine wehumans could handle life’s challenges with much moreease than we sometimes do. Like the Canada Geese 
during their semi-annual 2500-mile migratory flight, wetoo can “fly” in unity, determination and strength.

Observing animal behavior brings me to a higher levelof understanding what life is really all about. Some folksmay think the most important things in life are to makemoney and collect a lot of toys. I, myself feel that thereis much more to this life than financial gains or materialgoods. Indeed, I believe the material aspect of life oftengets in the way of our receiving the unspeakable spiritualgifts that come to us when we seek them.

I don’t claim to know much about life, or about 
anything for that matter, but I can honestly say I’mlearning to have faith in my Creator and I believe Heuses all of His creations to teach me important lifelessons. With that in mind, I hope to be in the right placeat the right time for many more close encounters withnature, and I hope to remain teachable in order to learnfrom them. Such rare moments can be easily missedif we are distracted by gadgets and noise. Those geesehelped teach me how to live life more fully, and I thinkthat is truly sensational! 

In the summer months, most Canada Geese reside 
in the Canadian region of the Arctic Circle, wherethey nest and raise their new-born goslings in thesafety and solitude of the wilderness. Fresh, snow-
fed waterways and reservoirs provide them withplenty of water and food resources for the season,
as they foster the bonds within their growing familyand prepare for the impending multi-mile migrationsouth. 
By the time Fall comes around, the temperaturesin the Arctic will have dropped dramatically, andthe geese have prepared themselves for the 2500Looking 
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Yogic Wisdom for 
From the ancient 

wisdom of Patanjali’s

Yoga Sutras comes

the Eight Limbs ofYoga. The Eight Limbs bring forth a sacred path forliving and serve as vitally important guidelines for livingas a yogi. Some could say you are not doing yoga if youaren’t practicing the eight limbs.

As the first two limbs, the Yamas and the Niyamasinclude the moral and ethical observances and personalpractices for spiritual liberation. For today, I choose tolook at just one principle found in the Niyamas, knownas Santosha or contentment. 

Santosha is acceptance and contentment. Yogi ornon-yogi, everyone needs santosha in their life. Itis the gateway to true joy and happiness. Santoshaacknowledges that all is well when we are just BEING.
There is nothing needed or wanted; we are free of thefeeling that “the grass is greener on the other side.” It isgratitude for all we do have, where we have been, andwhere we are now. The state of santosha is an ideal 
goal to continually return to a place of experiencing 

Life is life and in times of distress or discomfort, 
there’s a choice. We ADJUST our behavior/expectations 


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Real Life Tips from LIfe's Instruction Manual 

If you read this column regularly, then you know 
how I feel about the power of a question. Asking 
the right questions can keep your life moving in a 
positive direction. 

Sometimes when we dream of doing something 
new, it can seem big and daunting. We are tempted 
to ask, “who am I to attempt this dream?” When 
you feel that temptation, know that you are on the 
right path, you are thinking about doing something 
that will cause you to grow. It helps when we can 
take the focus off of ourselves. Instead, consider 
this query: Is there some good in it for others? You 
may have a dream inside you that makes you come 
alive, but when you reach for your vision, most 
likely others will benefit as well. Think of all of the 
artists, creators, performers, and activists that have 
made your life better because of their aspirations. 

When we turn on our television, computer or 
open a book or newspaper, we are benefiting from 
someone pursuing their dream. 

or we ACCEPT what’s happening. This choice is anopportunity for growth and serenity. There is no needto let the mind and emotions stay disturbed for long.
Quieting the disturbance-- no matter the cause-- willbring clarity and peace. The road back to contentmentis always available where we’re not wishing for anythingto be different. If different is needed, then action can be 
taken to adjust. The power is yours!

Santosha is one of those universal threads of 
spiritual wisdom that weaves through all cultures andcommunities. Yoga reminds us we do have the POWERto change and to create the life we’ve been dreamingabout. 

Take a moment today to appreciate the very breathof life and this beautiful community we live in. Feel noneed achieve or to become someone different. If there 
is a change needed, have confidence that you will adjustwhen called to do so. 

Keep practicing and living yoga. Please contactme to learn more about yoga and meditation, keely@ 

Keely Totten, E-RYT 500,
Yoga & Meditation Teacher 

March is the month that 
we honor women that have 
made a difference. I want to 
encourage you to look around Lori A. Harris 
and notice the women in 
your life that went for their dream and made our 
community better because of it. Start here and 
start now. The paper you are reading is celebrating 
its tenth year of publication, started by Susan 
Henderson, a woman with a dream. Now, look in 
the mirror, your life is good because of a woman 
with ideas. Most likely a woman was your primary 
teacher and taught you to read; a woman was your 
first librarian and your first school nurse. 

What good are you withholding from the world 
because of your fears? Take a step; we need your 
special gift. 

Lori A. Harris is a lawyer and coach. You can learn 
more about her at her website 

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