“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I read a lovely, yet bittersweet post over at Tiny Buddha’s Blog today. It was about dogs being our teachers or maybe what I would call doggie Bodhisattvas. I too have lost many pets over the years — each one had their own personality, yet they all had one thing in common — they lived in the moment. Not one of them sat around and worried about their future — ok, maybe a couple wondered when their next meal was being served, because they followed me in the kitchen every time I went in, but maybe they weren’t worried as much as hoping that this would be the time I would put down their food dish, or accidentally drop something delicious on the floor. But wondering is not the same as worrying. Come to think about it — I doubt they wonder about things much either. They just see me walk in the kitchen and at that moment — they decide to wander in after me to see what’s cookin’.
Anyone who is lucky enough to share their life with a pet, knows that they are happy 99.9% of the time, even if they are sick. Several of my pets lived with chronic illnesses over the years and they never complained once — they were always up for a belly rub and a chance to sleep next to me on the couch.
I’m not sure though if the concept of living in the moment — like my pets do, actually sank in — until I got cancer. I was wrapped up in the drama of life — meaning I seemed to always be in the middle of trying to fix a problem that seemed to pop up, either at work or home. I mean, if you think about it — our society seems to feed off drama. Just look at all those so-called reality shows. Back in the day, my grandma was addicted to her soap operas. No wonder Americans have heart burn!
Just like that bumper sticker says:
Many of us are spending way too much time thinking about nonsense and not enough time enjoying life. Now that I am healthy, I work daily to live like my pets — to be happy with what I have and to chill out. My mind is stubborn though –it’s so easy to fall back into old patterns of thinking. I have to begin each day making a conscious decision to be happy and when I regress — I have to learn to forgive myself.
As I write this Hoss, my Chihuahua is napping by my side on the couch and Patch my Beagle mix is sleeping by my feet. They sure know how to spend a lazy afternoon.
How are you spending your day? Are you thinking about this weekend or enjoying the moment — right now?