Wednesdays with the Wisdom of Dog: Mindfulness

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My dear friend Marie says that every thing we do, from washing dishes, cooking dinner, working, art, or anything in life really, is to approach it as a blessing.

It’s a way of being mindful and in the moment of each task that you do, instead of jumping ahead in your mind of what needs to be done next.

I can’t help but think how my dogs teach me about mindfulness. When I devote my total attention to them and not worrying about what I might need to do next, it is a blessing indeed with many rewards. I also have come to see it as a meditative practice, too.

Jon Kabat-Zinn was on Super Soul Sunday this past week talking about mindfulness. It struck me how he said that when you are taking a shower, he said, to just take a shower. Don’t think about what is ahead for the day. It won’t make those things get done any faster. Isn’t that the truth?

As I brushed Kylie last night I thought about this. And how just brushing her and not worrying about when dinner would get done or what I was going to do after dinner—it would all work itself out. It always does.

How much time we spend in this “what’s next” and “what if” thinking stage that we miss out on the moment right in front of us. And when in the moment, if we can practice mindfulness, how calm and at peace our minds can truly be.

Dogs do this every single moment of the day. Did you ever notice that? I know it’s why I love being in their presence so much. Even when I’m not practicing being mindful, oftentimes just seeing them reminds me to slow down, savor, and drink slowly from the gift of life.

I think perhaps Gidget isn’t practicing mindful thinking in this photo as it appears to me as if she is saying, “When’s it my turn mom? I want to be next. Please brush me next.” Gotta love dogs.

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Small Town Living is My Heart

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I never get tired of my small town. With spring now here, taking walks through town with Gidget in her stroller, my heart soars as my eyes take in all the quaintness that small town living offers.

We are technically called a village with a population of about 948 and we are populated well over thousands during the summer, being that we are a popular tourist destination. If you are a race fan, Road America race track is known as one of the best in the country.

The railroad track, which runs through the hub of downtown, quiet for many years, is making its return soon with trains that will run through here again.

A few times I’ve heard the whistle of a train going through, as work is being done to restore the tracks, not only here, but in neighboring cities too. I look forward to many more moments of this sweet sound to make me pause, listen and capture another reason why I love this little town I call home. And a town that will forever have my heart.

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It’s the Little Things

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What will I remember at the end of my life?

I think most of the things I worry about won’t matter.

But it’s the little things.

A little thing that turns into a big thing when my heart explodes into a rush of oozing hot liquid love seeing Kylie and Gidget side-by-side watching the world outside the front door bloom into spring.

How does one possibly describe that deeply, intense feeling of pure love?

What seems such a little thing lights up the whole day.

Worries in an instant melt away.

Nothing needs to be done.

All I need is to be.

In their presence.

In this space and time hanging ever so delicately in balance.

Inviting me to take it all in.

Deep down into this space of truth.

This truth that is always there.

To let it fill my heart.

To feel with absolute knowing.

That this… this is what matters.