I’m thinking of “Sport” – a lovely blond German Shepherd mix who brought flowers of joy into every day of our end-of-year holiday in Mexico last week. She wears her joy like a golden robe, embracing what shows up in her life. She befriends those she meets, whether people or other dogs. Her creativity overflows and she improvises with zest, content playing with a ball, a Frisbee, a stick, or even an empty water bottle. She is playful with life, grabbing the moment and completely filling it with passion. She puts everything into whatever she is doing, her heart and soul into the possibility of now. She is tender and kind. She is nimble and strong. 

  • How does my joy shine in the world?
  • What are others left with  having been in my presence?
  • What do my actions create for myself, and others?
  • Which of my qualities stand out when I engage with the world?
  • How would others describe the ‘essence’ of me? 


Just seeing her each day – and even now in my mind’s eye – made me smile all over. Her joy is contagious and mine bubbles forth having been touched by her. She is so vibrantly alive and such a source of light. She has an impact with every soft little thought she has and move she makes.

  • What does it look like when I am vibrantly alive?
  • What characterizes my light?
  • What energy do I bring into each moment?
  • Is how I influence the world around me what I want it to be?
  • How can I be fully alive in the now?


Sport’s Favorite Quotes (or at least what Vicki imagines they would be…)

  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day. ~Alexendre Woolcott
  • There are only 2 ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as if everything is. ~Albert Einstein
  • I’m always doing things I can’t do – that’s how I get to do them. ~Pablo Picasso
  • The golden opportunity you are seeing is in yourself. ~Mary Englebrett
  • Happiness is a how, not a what; a talent, not an object. ~Hermann Hesse
  • The secret to health for both body and mind is to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. ~Buddha
  • Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find how far one can go. ~TS Elliott
  • Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~John Wooden



Thank you, Sport, for all the seeds you planted and the amazing flowers you left at my feet warm in the sand. May your blossoms of joy inspire me until I return to the vast field of your flowers next year.

P.S. I think dogs are people, too.  🙂

Because with Sport the joy and fun seem never ending…



Click on the link below to access the January calendar featuring highlights from this post.

Try This! Essence_Jan2014 Calendar

Photos by Vicki L. Flaherty, San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico with Sport and Jim Hogan

© Copyright Vicki Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2014

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

13 thoughts on “Essence”

  1. Dogs cannot be duplicated or replicated or replaced. I believe there is a spot in our souls that allows us to love dogs fully, as if it were a training mod for interacting with bipedal beings!
    Thank you for the reminder, Vicki.

  2. @ diana and sheila, thanks for stopping by and sharing your love of dogs. There is something very special and soul-connecting about them, isn’t there? Such wonderful role models for living life! Happy New Year to you!

  3. I love dogs. As I admire my little one, I think of how consistently faithful and honest he remains over time. Even though he gets into trouble every now and then, he still acknowledges his shortcomings and gives me the puppy eyes from his guilt.

    1. Jennifer, I am so glad you have a four-legged companion along with your two-legged one! I love the qualities you acknowledge in your little one – faithful, honest, sweet. Definitely qualities for us all to live into as well. Thanks for coming by, my friend. I look forward to connecting by phone soon.

      1. Loved reading about Sport, Vicki! What a nice encounter on your holiday. Similarly our recent summer holiday was punctuated with some dog minding including a 6 month labradoodle . So much fun wth a puppy and watching her negotiate new dogggie friendships at the nearby park. The rules seems to be jump over the dog if you can, drop if they are much bigger than you and sniff everything!

  4. There is nothing like joy expressed and shared ~ what a special treat for you. I imagine that Sport’s memory will stay with you and warm your heart many times over! Now to translate that to our own lives! I believe it’s possible, don’t you? ♥

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