When you choose to be present
This is a story about Sue and her dog, Foxy. Sue hasn’t long had Foxy and he’s a rescue dog from Cyprus. He was used to living on the streets, and she’s been training him consistently to help him feel more settled in his new way of life.
Sue put the lead on Foxy one morning and set out to the local park. She decided to leave her audiobook and earbuds at home, and to be more present with Foxy and their surroundings as they walked. She noticed a pretty detail on a neighbour’s fence, which she hadn’t spotted before. Sometimes on walks like this, she stops to photograph a small detail here and there. She enjoys capturing frozen moments in time.
Small everyday adventures
They walked past a man in a car, and exchanged warm smiles. A pair of Japanese students walked by and they smiled and nodded. The young woman of the couple commented on Foxy’s beautiful tail! On another day, if Sue hadn’t been fully present and conscious of her environment, she might have missed these things. Instead, she stored each one like a small treasure that enriches the day.
They got to the park, and some workmen were digging a hole in the ground to do essential repairs. The park gates needed to be open to allow them access in their truck, and straight away Sue decided to use what could have been a problem (Foxy escaping out of the park) as a training and bonding session with Foxy. They did whistle recall practice and hunting for nice treats, and Foxy was enjoying himself so much that he didn’t want to wander too far. There was no chance he’d escape, because like Sue he was completely present in this shared activity.
Sue popped Foxy on his lead and they started the walk home. They stopped to talk with a woman and her dog, then continued home. Foxy enjoyed hunting for the treats Sue threw for him as they walked, as well as relishing all the sights and smells which are part of a dog’s rich inner world. He didn’t get distracted from his special person, and it felt like he was absorbed in his little bubble of loving connection with Sue.
And in conclusion
It could have been a mundane walk, perhaps even a bit boring, if Sue and Foxy hadn’t chosen to share conscious presence together. They were fully aware of one another and their environment, and their beautiful connection. They were using all their senses to immerse themselves in the now. So I have an invitation for you. Why not go for a short walk with someone or on your own, and practice this conscious presence? I’d love to hear how you get on!