Do you remember the last time you just sat and stared into space, mind and body fully relaxed, with nothing moving except your gentle breathing? Have you ever experienced that amazing feeling of being completely in the moment? I’ve managed it a few times, but usually when I sit down to stare into said space, ten million thoughts come rushing into my head, as if there’s no tomorrow, and everything must be attended to right now.
As humans, we seem to exist on having to do things faster, more efficiently, meetings deadlines that are put into our minds by our own thoughts. I am no less guilty of this than others. I found myself just yesterday having an internal dialogue that went something like this, and started the minute I woke up: “OK, today I must get up (obviously!), have shower and wash my hair – or shall I wash my hair? Hmm, if I don’t, it will give me more time, and if I do I’ll look OK. I need to look OK, because I must get to the supermarket to get some bread before they’re sold out (only my mind knew of this impending bread shortage!), then I must get some diesel (I had half a tank, but who knows when you need to drive to Scotland?). If I can get the diesel at the same time as going to the supermarket I can also nip into a famous chemist named after footwear and buy that face cream that will change my life. Then I have to get back (again, obviously!) and walk the dog again, do the washing, send emails (to who?) and run the hoover around.”
All the time my mind was creating this carousel of frantic thoughts, my lovely dog was just sitting staring out of the patio doors, not a care in the world. She wasn’t sitting there ( I assume) thinking “ I wonder when I’m going out for my walk? What if I see that big Alsatian that growled at me yesterday? I could stare him out, but then he is quite attractive, so I could just turn my back and pretend not to notice him. My claws could do with a trim, that uneven ground in the field plays havoc with my feet. What if I forget to take my ball out with me? I wonder what time my dinner will be served?”
No, she was simply being in the moment, which is what our pets do. They live in the moment, and don’t look back or forward. Of course, if we’re not there they miss us and wait for us to reappear, but that’s still in the moment ( and bearing in mind that each of their moments is supposed to be much longer than our moments, that’s a lot of mindfulness going on!)
The next time you’re feeling frazzled, if you have a pet just sit and observe its behaviour. Is your pet busy ruminating about the past, being anxious about what happened yesterday and imagining the worst case scenario for tomorrow – or is your pet just chilling out and being in the moment?
While you’re busy observing your lovely pet ( if you don’t have one, maybe you can notice what dogs and cats do in general), your own mind is being in the moment. Keep practising that and sooner or later you’ll be sitting next to your pet just staring into space – just because you can! Enjoy!
Lynda Roberts Cert Ed. SQHP (GHR). CNHC.
Lynda is an advanced hypnotherapist and trainer, working from a busy practice in Colchester Essex.
Skype sessions are available for those unable to travel.
Specialisms: Weight Management and Emotional Eating, Anxiety and Panic Disorders.
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