“Empathy fuels connection. Sympathy drives disconnection.” One of the many positive effects of practicing mindfulness …
My life was updated with a major feature: A part-time dog. Every now and then, sometimes even once a week, I have a part-time dog. In my case it is the dog of a friend whom I get sometimes to take care of. This was for me personally, and also for my friends, a real surprise, because up until now, I had always been a pure cat’s person.
With Mila, the 10-year-old dog with a huge heart, this should change. Mila is a blond Rhodesian Ridgeback, a very nice South African dog race which exactly knows what it wants. Since I have started to walk Mila and spend time with her, I finally understand why dog people always have hearts in theirs eyes when they speak about their four-legged friends. These animals simply make you happy doxycycline tablets 100mg. When I think of the way Mila greets me with so much joy and excitement, each time she sees me, I get a warm feeling in my heart instantly.
I currently learn a lot about dogs. I know now that if the dog sometimes does not want to walk anymore and simply stubbornly stops, which I hear is quite common with Rhodesians, then one must simply go on and trust in the fact that they will follow you. And as a matter of fact, it is true. It really works. At the beginning I have always moved and torn the rope and pled to Mila to please continue walking, instead of staying in her shutdown-frozen-dog pose for several minutes. Now I know that this brings nothing. The only thing that does is letting go and trusting in our connection and that she will follow me and not want to lose me either. And so it is. Once she does not see me anymore and I just moved around the corner without her – Ha! There she comes and is right back at my side again. Its lovely.
It is a bond of trust, a sort of partnership and friendship which we enter with a dog. And it is an extremely social experience too, because we get to know many other dog owners – which is nice. For me a walk at the romantic and quiet Lietzensee lake park in Berlin-Charlottenburg, with its weeping willows and swans, has always been a true joy, hence, I have been living here for over 4 years. But I have to admit, since I connect my park walk with my new friend Mila, it has got so much more joyful. It connects the feeling to experience something nice with somebody with meditative moments in which I just watch her or we walk slowly. A walk with a dog can really be a great mindfulness practice as you can train mindful walking and meditation. Because sometimes we just sit in the park in silence.
Also there are times when I have to work – of course. But Mila is supportive here too and I just take out my laptop and write. If more people went out for a dog walk during lunch hours every now and then, I am sure it would help many people becoming less stressed and more motivated when they return in the office afterwards. And many companies, places and co-working spaces actually even permit it to bring your four-legged friend to work. Personally, I recently had my first ever meeting with my part-time dog at my side. It was nice!
Mila enchanted everyone with happiness, everybody smiled instantly when we arrived. She was an attraction.
During the meeting she behaved perfectly well and sat down quietly and satisfied in the conference room, as if she belongs there. I was so proud.
Here is a shot of my first meeting with my part-time dog
I can only but recommend to include animals into your life. My part-time dog has given me many joyful moments and has become an other one of my little daily life teachers. Mila teaches me the arts of letting go and trusting. She also taught me a lot already about loyalty and companionship.
All of that of course does not change the fact that I still love my mentors at home: my cats. My purring meditation gurus are the best Zen masters I know. But why do have to be cat or dog person, anyway?! Im chosing both! This way I always have a four four-legged friend by my side that make me smile – on-the-go and at home. Animals just spread happiness! And I like happiness.
Now please watch this video. And do not tell me it does not make you smile! :)