A true story about SH*# with an interesting twist. Specifically, this story is about other peoples dogs poo bags. This morning I was walking by the golf course and the Mamquam River and noticed a big bag of dog poo sitting at the side of the trail. I thought to myself; is it my responsibility to pick up that bag of poop and take it to the garbage can? I don't even own a dog, and what will people think as I walked back carrying someone else's bag of poo. Gotta love the constant dialogue of the inner critic. I must say that in other parts of Squamish, the bags of poo are hanging from trees like Christmas ornaments.
When I see myself reacting with anger or opposition to any person or circumstance, I will realize that I am only struggling with myself. Putting up resistance is a response created by old hurts. When I relinquish this anger, I will be healing myself and cooperating with the flow of the universe." From: The Ultimate Happiness Prescription by Deepak Chopra
It was only a week ago that I was walking the trail at Nexxen beach and noticed I was having a reaction to all the bags of poo. As I often do (at some point) I look in the mirror and ask myself; "Why am I having a reaction to this situation"? My process last week must have worked because this week I was not reacting I was simply noticing. I seldom see bags of poo in this area. So I thought about all the possibilities of why this bag of poo would be sitting there. Perhaps a mom with a stroller with all the best intentions to pick it up, accidentally left it behind. Or maybe the golf course staff have an agreement where they pick up the bags of poo on their rounds. Then it happened, just as I was about to let this line of thought go there was another bag of poo on the side of the trail, except this time it was in a bright pink bag. I laughed out loud.
The bag of poo is a metaphor for so much. As I walked I thought about accountability and responsibility and how on a world scale it is hard for me to take responsibility for what is happening. Yet I know that what I notice in my outer world is merely a reflection of my inner world. I was reminded that ultimately I am 100% responsible for my actions and my reactions. I was also reminded that as I take responsibility for the latter, I have space to notice and see other peoples stuff. I imagine there was a time when I was so absorbed in my own inner drama that I simply wouldn't have noticed the poo. As I walked along I decided that on my walk back to the car I would pick up this pink bag of poo and place it in the garbage. I secretly hoped that when I walked back it would be gone. No such luck, it was still there and of course there were people walking towards me. My inner critic started in creating stories about the judgement for carrying a pink bag of poo. I decided to proudly own the bag and told my inner critic to shut up.
So here is the twist. As I walk further along there is a guy walking his two large dogs. After I pass him he sees me holding the pink bag. He calls ahead and says; "Excuse me, do you have a dog"? My response was no, and I can see that he is wondering why I am carry this pink bag of SH*# if I don't own a dog. I said that I had picked it up because it had been left on the trail. We then had a conversation about this problem. Then he revealed to me that he was surprised because he uses pink bags so that he can see them. He always leaves them at the side of the trail and picks them up on his way back. After talking for a few moments he insisted that he take the bag for me and that he would throw it away. Then he added the bag to the others he was carrying back. I walked away feeling good that I had made the effort and about the dialogue I had with this man. I walked away with a sense of joy in the exchange that had taken place. I had never imagined that someone else would end up taking that bag to the garbage. A reminder of how it's always important to stay open to the possibilities and to take responsibility for what we can change in the world.