I know so many super strict dog owners who always make their dogs walk right by their sides - never walk in front - never stop to sniff (unless released to do so) and only allowed to potty on command. As I walk my little monster I watch him roam with inquisitiveness .... I know he isn't the most behaved little bully ever, but his excitement and joy, in the moment, every single walk, always amazes me and got me to thinking. If only we could be more like dogs?!? Of course there is the good old thought that if we could love like dogs, or be loyal like dogs, but what if we could also be excited about little things like dogs or appreciate the awesomeness we are surrounded by? Dogs aren't in a rush for the next best thing. Dogs take special joy in stopping to smell the roses... And the bushes... The rocks... The tree... The fence... The bark... And the weeds. Dogs don't judge - it's all fun, exciting, beautiful or intriguing to them- ALL of it. Sometimes I think as humans we get so caught up in life, it's almost as if we let life get in our way ... of living. We forget to stop and smell the roses- we forget to appreciate the small things-and we often neglect the nurture our relationships - the most important thing we have Earth.
I'm reading this book, A Purpose Driven Life, and it talks about our ability to love being the single most important task we have on Earth. It suggests the number one way to love and value our relationships is by giving our time .... It says "If you want to know a person's priorities, just look at how they use their time." (pg 128 I book version) How true is this? .. And somewhat scary and sad at the same time. It's funny how far too often I realize I can let a bunch of small, truly unimportant busy work type of tasks fill my time. I think of how many times I don't make time for walking my dog, although that simple act of spending merely 10-15 minutes with him not only makes his day- but always leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired through sharing his joy and excitement. It is a daily reminder to me to remember to truly see the beauty I am surrounded by and appreciate all the wonderful things and people in my life. Yet it often gets put on the back burner for other meaningless tasks. And somehow this same habit transfers into so many other facets of my life like putting off that phone call to mom or dad until next weekend, or pushing back plans with a good friend just 1 more week, taking that well deserved vacation next year, writing that letter never, forgetting to remind a loved one how much I care, and oh so much more. Before you know it life has passed before your eyes, and what was it all for?
The time is now... Not next week- next year- or "when the time is right"... Because the only right time is right now. Walking Mowgli helps me show him that he is special and worth my time, it brings life, joy, sunshine and the smell of roses into his his world, but it is so much more then that. It helps me realign my purpose, it creates space for my daily prayer and communication with God. It reminds me how good we really have it in this world, and allows me to focus on the beauty I am blessed with: the sun- the crisp air-the breeze-the sound of the wind in trees- the clouds-the flowers- a happy puppy - and sooo much more. And most of all it is one step toward remembering to live in the moment, honor my relationships, and appreciate life now - as it is- not later for what it will be.