Some Spiritual Wisdom…From My Dog


The other day, I was walking our 155-pound Newfoundland, Po, on the trails behind our house.  As I observed him sniffing…and watching…and just noticing, I could feel the utter joy emanating from him. He was 100% immersed in the here and now, enjoying every aspect of being outside in nature and experiencing the world with his senses. 

I don’t normally have deep conversations with my dogs – our “chats” up until this point had mostly been limited to instructions during training. But something about the way he was behaving that day made me ask him a real question – and to my surprise, I actually got a real answer. (And yes, don’t worry, I thought it was totally weird, too!)

I asked him about the difference between humans and dogs – how we approach the world, and how we experience life.

The answer that I saw in those sweet doggy eyes?

Humans spend most of their time thinking about the past, or planning for the future. Why would anyone, dog or human, want to do that, when there is so much to smell, hear, and see right now, right here in front of us?

And look, I know that everyone and their dog (see what I just did there? lol) is talking about present moment awareness – including me and my dog! But for some reason, this new insight on that morning walk really stuck with me.

There is so much to sense right now.  To feel right now.

Being Present In Your Everyday Life

Now, it sometimes feels like ‘being in the now’ means not getting much done.  Or, at least that’s what my mind tells me. How can you focus on work, or whatever it is you need to accomplish, while still sensing and experiencing the world around you, and being present?

Today, I’m working on being aware of what’s happening around me while still doing and accomplishing.

For example, what do I hear as I write this? The fountain flowing with water beyond my backyard. A truck beeping while backing up. Cicadas chirping, and an occasional bird chiming in.  

Going With Flow vs. Stressing Out

The word that I’ve been working with is “How.”

How do I do things? 

Do I stress to check them off the list, or feel some level of anxiety or uncomfortable urgency, telling myself, “I have to get this done; go, go, go?” 

Is that how my dog approaches life? No!

So instead, I’m going to play with just flowing with whatever comes up next, throughout my day – just like Po. 

Yes, of course, I’ll still be following my schedule, and my calendar, and keeping up with appointments.   

But today I’m also going to check in and ask myself, “How did I do that?” each time I accomplish something from my list or calendar. 

Challenge: Check in with yourself as to how you are doing things in your day-to-day life. Are you approaching them with joy, peace and fun, or with stress, worry, and anxiety?

P.S.  Thank you, Po! I hope I can make you proud.