How can our pets help us be in the present moment?
“The Universe has…surrounded us with the perfect teachers…Animals are in the present all the time, and their secret power is to pull us in with them.”
-Author Unknown (You’re a Badass Daily Affirmations)
Buzzword = Present
Be in the now. Be present. Enjoy the present moment. It seems like I’ve been hearing these mantras a lot these past few years. I thought initially because it was me and where I was at in my life; and what I was working on with myself at that time. But now it seems it’s everywhere and everyone is filling their Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets with daily affirmations of “being in the present”. So how do we in our busy lives, stop and enjoy this moment right here? Well, your best furry friend is a great example to follow.
Animals Sense of Time
It has been said that animals don’t have a true sense of time…not like us anyway. Our lives revolve around the clock. Get up, be at work on time, pick up kids at 3pm, Jr. to practice by 4pm, gym at 5pm, dinner on the table at 7pm, bedtime 10pm, rinse and repeat. But animals each day awake and live their day in each and every moment. Yes, I believe they have an internal time clock; knowing what time they will be fed, what time you might be home, when it’s time to go to bed, etc. But they are not living each moment worrying about what comes next and what happened last week. Think about the moment you get home and your dog is there to greet you. It doesn’t matter if you went to the mailbox for 5 minutes or were gone all day, your BFF (Best Furry Friend) is beyond ecstatic you are there…right there and right now.
My sweet guy, Gus Gus, (@gusgusjohnson) is the perfect example. We have a pretty normal routine of getting kids up for school, breakfast, lunches made and out the door with my high school son first. I return after his drop off to pick up my daughter to go to middle school. Every single morning, without fail, Gus Gus waits by the door as I leave with Eli. My daughter says he doesn’t leave his front door guard post while I’m gone, which is about 15-20 minutes. But once I return, entering through that door, Gus Gus runs and grabs his favorite toy and circles around me doing his best Chewbaca impression. With a full body wag, tail smacking everything, whining baby…like I have been gone for 5 years and not 15 minutes. He’s not thinking about how he didn’t get scrambled eggs that morning or what’s on the agenda for later that day, he is there in that moment. He continues his prancing charade and shows me how much he missed me and how much he loves that I’m there with him at that present moment. Nothing else matters but me and him.
Let Them Show Us the Way
So let them guide us and remind us that each and every moment is precious. What would it be like if you greeted your partner, kids, friends as your dog greets you? Ok…maybe a little weird if you grabbed your favorite possession and wiggled all over, licking and whining. But seriously…putting down your phone, looking up from your computer, stopping whatever you’re doing and greeting with hug and eye contact. Letting the people you love know that in that moment, right there and right now, they are the most important person; and you want to enjoy that present moment with them. How would that change your life? Yes, of course we can’t change the fact we have responsibilities of time but when you are in a moment, stop and reflect on where you are and how that moment feels. Just this small reflection might change your daily life significantly. We all know the saying, “Stop and smell the roses”…so stop…smell those roses, slow your roll and quiet that mind.
Here are some easy things to do to help be in the present with your pet and like your pet:
- Sit and pet your dog/cat – enjoying that time with them. They won’t always be there and you will miss this simple pleasure.
- Take a quick walk around the block with your BFF (Best Furry Friend)
- Don’t eat lunch at your desk – take 15 minutes – get up, walk outside, breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin (like your cat does while napping in the sun)
- When you come home in evening and your dog is all over you – take that moment to say hello back!
- Greet your family and friends as there is no time frame and that moment may be the last moment you see them
- Stressed out? Stand up and stretch (like your cat/dog) Take 3 deep breathes. Have gratitude for that moment and then reset.
Let our pets be our guide. They are here to enrich our lives in so many ways and when they are gone it’s these simple things we miss most.
Until next time…
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