The Dog Makes a Difference

Yesterday I hung out with my sister's dog, Oliver. We went for a long walk. He never barks. This makes me really quiet when I'm around him. Things in my mind disappear. Stuff that was tugging at me lets go. I felt like a body out walking. Moments of breeze, and new buds coming out of the ground were enough. I thought this is what a tree must feel like.

I was aware that being amped up in my mind about things I'm doing and things needing to be done uses up lots of me. I sometimes mistake the mental activity as some kind of accomplishment. But when I look at the results of what I'm doing, the mental involvement doesn't make my work better. There's less awareness for the task at hand.

The peaceful feeling stayed with me as I drove home. When I got home, I took my cell phone out of my pocket and left it on my couch. I made some lunch. Then I went out again. A few miles later I realized my cell phone was back at my place. I felt a little bit of panic. I thought, "I need my phone. I have to go back." But the panic made me stop and notice. It was a big contrast from the peacefulness I'd been feeling. I thought, "It's not that important. It's okay to not have my phone."

I felt a really deep peace come over me. I needed this break. I spent the rest of the day without my phone. I felt a lot more of me was available with whatever I was doing. Plus it was really nice to not be checking emails. I remembered when I used to have an answering machine and a home phone. I used to call in a lot and check and see if someone called. Then I realized how it was distracting me from my life. That's how checking emails too often was making me feel.