5 Life 'ah ha's...from a puppy
My wife and I have wanted a dog for many years, but when do you find the time to actually go for it? I'm sure you could say the same thing about starting a family - is there really a good time? In April a dear friend who fosters shelter puppies brought Sabine for a visit and something in us just clicked. Adopting her made no logical sense but it made sense in our hearts. On April 23rd we became proud mama's of this 6 lb. puppy the shelter found wandering the streets....
Here's the thing about puppies - they are very cute. They are also fast. They chew things. They pee on...everything. And yet a week after adopting her we left for a short weekend we'd had planned and I cried being away from her. She had found her way into a piece of my heart I didn't know needed it.
When someone asked why we decided to adopt her all I could say was this - we wanted to add more life to our life.
I work from home so I now have a co-worker. Although while I coach and write she prefers to sleep or jump on my head. Yet I can't imagine not having her be part of our life. Getting to watch something that is so present is such a gift. Similar to my experience when I wrote this piece for Tiny Buddha.
Today I want to share 5 Life 'ah ha's from our puppy, Sabine. And I'm sure they are just the start to what she has to teach us.
#1 - Everyone is basically good, so go say 'hello'
Sabine loves everyone. Everyone. Any person who walks by gets a very excited tail wag and if you'll let her a face full of licks. It never gets old either. She thinks people are just swell and good. I have to agree with her. I think, for the most part, people are basically good. We may not always know how to show this but it's in there. She reminds me to look up at a 'stranger' and just say hello. We now know everyone in the neighborhood - you realize quickly that you aren't alone. Not even a little bit.
#2 - Love those who love you
I've heard that your dog will never get tired of seeing you and it's so true. Sabine is ecstatic when we come home, even when we leave the room for a moment and come back. Her tail wags so much that her whole butt goes with it. She can't get to us fast enough to express her total unfiltered love for us. Can you imagine if we greeted those we love with this much love? Only love? I find it's those we love the most that get the brunt of our stuff. Any anger, fear, resentment...it's easy to pour onto the one we love the most. Yes, our partners, best friends, spouses are there to hold space for us so we can go through such heavy emotions and learn, grow, evolve. Just don't forget to love first and love last.
#3 - If you don't know, find out
As Sabine is still a puppy everything is new and therefore fascinating to her. Noises, objects, people, places, smells...they all peak her interest without hesitation. She's quite gutsy so she loves to check it all out. I love her interest in all of life. Imagine if instead of doubting what was possible you explored it? Instead of being afraid of what could be you just let it be? What if the world was only out conspiring for you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams - how would you approach life a little differently?
#4 - Why go it alone if you can go together?
As pack animals it's not in a dog's nature to be solo. We actually had to train her that she will be alone from time to time so it wouldn't cause unnecessary anxiety. Sabine can be totally invested in chewing her toys and I'll leave the room and she's at my side. Just as content. But the thing is - humans are no different. We are hardwired for connection, not independence. We pride ourselves on 'going it alone', 'being independent' and yet it's the moments we come together that mean the most. Why go it alone when you can go together?
#5 - Just be.
It doesn't get much more simple than this. Whatever Sabine is doing she is just being. As the Taoist say, "Grass doesn't intend to grow, it just grows." Now I realize that her brain works a little differently and she doesn't spend time pondering the past or worrying about the future. Yet, we don't have to either. This is mindfulness as it's best. Where can you just be in your life? Take right now for example - are you reading this, checking your phone, listening to music, drinking coffee? Are you engaged with what you intended to engage with or are you stretching your attention across many distractions? Just be. We get so caught up in thinking about doing something that we think that contemplation is action, but it couldn’t be farther from it. You're allowed to just be.
There is no anxiety without anticipation. And you cannot anticipate the present moment; you can only be in it.
Thank you Sabine for helping us to slow down, enjoy the little things, and love lots. And yes, that is her in the photo above. Big ears and all.
In light and love,