Learning opportunities are all around you. That is, when you approach the day with curiosity instead of crabbiness.
Yesterday I spent almost my entire work day driving from here to there. So much left undone, I knew today would be dedicated to catching up.
This morning my mind was all a buzz about the list of things I needed to do. Busy Busy Busy, Work Work Work. That’s all I could think about.
I started my coffee and grabbed breakfast as though these activities were slowing me down somehow. They were preventing me from starting my Work Work Work. How inconvenient.
As I waited for my coffee to be ready I glanced into the family room. There was Penny. Our little Corgy mixed puppy. She was bouncing around, her eye fixed on a fly she was trying to catch. She was focused and she was present.
We rescued Penny not long ago from a local shelter. She was discovered as a stray on the streets of Chicago. Her left eye was so infected it had to be surgically removed.
Earlier this week, Penny broke two bones in her left foot. She now has a cast on her leg and a cone around her neck so she can’t chew it off.
How is Penny handling all of this? At first she fought it. Today, she seems like Penny again. After tiring of fly hunting, she decided she wanted to go outside. I wrapped her cast in plastic to prevent it from getting wet. Then I took her outside and set her in the grass.
I thought it would be a quick potty break, then back inside so I could work work work. Penny had other plans. She simply wanted to be outside.
I sat on the back stoop wondering how long we would be. Then the chirping of the birds caught my attention. I had practiced meditation outside often enough, that the sound of the birds reminded me to be mindful of my breath.
It turned out, my breathing was high in my chest and shallow. I’d gotten myself all worked up about work. So I took a few deep breaths and let them fall into my abdomen.
Ahhhh, that’s better. I felt my mind slow down as my breath fell. After a few moments I said to myself, “Brian, take a break. The work isn’t going anywhere.” I sat, and I listened, and I breathed.
Penny just laid there, sunning herself, enjoying the day. Something I forgot to do. Thanks to my resilient and practical puppy, I remembered. Thanks Penny.
Thanks for being you.
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