Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bella's Tips for Being Present...

I've found a wonderful new blog that I love, love love!

Here's the link ~

Dani posted this piece the other day, and has kindly given me permission to post it here. Bella is her adorable little dog ~

Bella's Tips for Being Present

Do less every day.
Bella doesn't overwhelm her schedule with To Do lists and appointments and activities. Bella knows how to take it easy. She spends most of her day relaxing and another good chunk of it playing. Now, I know we all would love to play all day long, but since that's not an option for most of us, I think we should all take a tip from Bella and just do less. Make fewer appointments. Schedule fewer activities. And, instead, spend more time living in the moments you're experiencing right now.

Live in the moment.
Never once I have noticed Bella fretting about the past or panicking about the future. Bella lives in the moment. Whatever is happening to her right in that particular moment is what she pays attention to. She lives in the now and she doesn't let the past or the present bog her down. Though it's probably easier for her to live in the now (dogs are pretty much built that way), that doesn't mean we all can't strive to emulate her present-living ways and live in the now. 

Worry less often.
Bella doesn't worry too much. Sure, she gets stressed out when the FedEx delivery person comes to the door and she gets a bit of anxiety when I leave her for too long, but, generally, she's not a worrier. She doesn't worry about things that are out of her control, the way us humans usually do. We could all take a tip from Bella and try our best to worry less.

Experience more joy.
There's no joy quite like that of Bella with a new toy. It doesn't matter what it is, but if you give her something new and call it "new toy," that tail is wagging and she's all over it, pawing it and biting it and flipping it up in the air with excitement. She fully understands what it means to live with joy and I plan to start embracing the joyful moments in my life just like Bella does.

Feel passion for life.
Just like her ability to be joyful, passion for life is something Bella also possesses. Though it might not seem like it when she's lounging on the couch, Bella truly is passionate about life. Everything she can see or smell is interesting to her. Details are important. She really gets into the things she loves (like playing) and we could all learn from her zest for living.

Stop judging.
To me, this is one of the most precious assets of any pup: they don't judge. Bella doesn't judge me when I make a mistake (even if it somehow effects her, like if I oversleep and don't take her out until later in the morning). And, maybe more important, Bella doesn't judge herself. She accepts everything for what it is and goes with it, something I truly aspire to do. 

Avoid complaining.
Life has some pretty big highs and lows sometimes and I know it can be difficult not to complain, but look at how dogs handle most situations...They deal. If they're hot or cold or tired or hungry, they cope with it. Yes, sometimes there's a little bit of whining involved, but generally they wait patiently until things get better. Remember the one thing dogs seem to know well: complaining gets you nowhere.

Don't create drama.
Whether you want to admit it or not, most people create a little bit of drama for themselves. Sometimes it's purposeful and other times its unconscious, but, either way, it's something many people do. Dogs don't do this. They face whatever situations they're given and they deal with them directly. They don't avoid or rationalize or blame -- and we'd be a lot better off if we didn't either!

Form deep connections.
Those of you who have (or have had) a pet probably know this: the bond between a pet and his/her owner is one of the strongest bonds out there. I love Bella pretty much unconditionally and I know she loves me unconditionally. It's rare to find a close connection with anyone, let alone a dog, but it's an important thing to have. Bella has taught me that close connections are one of the best ways to stay present.

Learn to be at peace.
Right now, I'm looking over at Bella, who is in the exact same spot as the picture above and she looks completely at peace with the world. She's lying down, observing the world around her, looking as if she's contemplating life's big mysteries. But she's not. She's just in the now, watching birds in the trees, the cars driving past, people walking to the Metro on the way to work. She's at peace -- and I hope to take what I see in her and experience within myself.

Look for magic.
This is one of the best lessons I've learned from Bella. She's always looking around her, nose in the dirt or carpet, hunting for something special. Yes, she's probably looking for the scent of other animals or a crumb left behind by the vacuum, but she's inadvertently taught me to pay attention to the little things, to the magic in life. Even the most routine things for her are exciting and, when I see that little tail wagging with joy, I can't help but be reminded that in everything, even the most mundane things like taking a walk down the same sidewalk, there is magic.


Cottleston Pie is the Taoist philosophy dealing with our Inner Nature (as explained by Winnie-the-Pooh)
To get the full scoop, read "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff.
The full poem is at the very bottom here...