How is this year going by so fast? No matter how fast the days go or what each day brings with it, there is one thing that serves as a constant example for me of how to live life to it’s fullest. How to be happy with what you have. That thing…is Tippy.
Tippy is my dog. She’s my work-day-home-office break time with walks in the park and midday naps. She is my adventure partner for any mountaintop my heart desires. She is the perfect road trip companion.
Nothing on this earth is happier than Tippy. Because Tippy was born with the kind of heart I wish I had.
Tippy’s heart was destined to find joy in every moment. She does what many of us cannot – she embraces the unknown. She will trust me to take her anywhere. Even when I see total fear in her eyes, she will follow me and trust me to keep her safe. Better yet, she will do so with excitement and unending enthusiasm. Total abandonment of self, embracing whatever lies ahead. What a way to live, eh?
This is Tippy’s story. And these are the lessons that she has to teach all of us. They’re important. Listen carefully.
Push past your fears with people you trust.
We are working on a fear of Tippy’s. She stands trembling in front of water. Wanting so badly to be in on the adventure but so scared to put her paws in and swim. Her breath becomes rapid and she heads to shore asap. I’ve worked with her over the years. She’s getting so much better and each trip I see her relax a little bit more in water. She wades a little deeper. She paddles around for a little longer before going back to shore. I am a proud mama.
Find people who can lure you out into the unknown, past your fear boundary, all while helping you to feel secure and safe enough to take the leap. And choose people who will celebrate your small steps as much as your big ones. Who will understand if you want to return back to your safe space. Who will encourage you to always try again, pushing past that fear boundary a little bit more each time.
Find something that ALWAYS gets you excited.
On land, Tippy is unstoppable. She is up for any adventure. As soon as I pull out my hiking boots, running shoes or a Nalgene bottle, she gets so excited, she can hardly get me out of the door fast enough. It’s amusing.
Find something that signals adventure or happiness for you. Find that space in your heart that cannot control it’s excitement when it knows that adventure is around the corner. Find that symbol of joy that stimulates a memory of pure bliss so that you cannot help but feel that anticipation grow in your belly for what the day will hold.
Show the people you love that you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Let’s talk about coming home. They say that no one is more excited to see you than your dog. Oh how true that statement is. Her reaction to me walking in the door (or anyone else she knows well) is the same ear piercing excitement as the spotting of a Nalgene. This phenomena happens whether I’ve been gone eight hours or two minutes to take the trash out. And I love coming home to something so excited over our friendship.
Don’t forget to show the people that you love how much you enjoy their presence. Prove to them that you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else by caring that they come and go. By respecting them enough to miss them when they’re gone and be joyful that they’ve returned. Remember that they are choosing you just as much as you are choosing them. Participate in your relationships. Enjoy the small reminders that they are back. Just for you.
Look deeply into the eyes of the people you care about and listen (really listen) to them.
Tippy will never get tired of belly rubs. She will never get tired of sitting in someone’s lap and gazing into their eyes, drinking in a bit of their story, their essence, their being. She is never too tired or too stressed or too anything to sit down and listen for a while. She has taught me that love without judgement, without fear and without requirement yields more love all around in the end.
Take time each day to sit down for a while, put your stories aside and listen (really actively listen) to the dreams, stories and fears of the people you care about. This is a stress reliever in itself. It excuses you of the responsibility of your concerns for a while. And it connects you with the people you most love. Ask questions. Make time. Listen to what they’re saying and not saying. Be present.
Don’t dwell on where you are, but look forward to what you want to lie ahead.
Tippy comprehends and understands emotion. She has seen me excited and literally jumping up and down with joy. And she has seen me curled up in a ball of tears on the floor. I’ve always been put off by her lack of affection when I am upset. But one day it occurred to me that this is not an emotion she can understand.
This becomes a reminder that our pain is temporary. Our struggles are finite. And our devotion to happiness and finding love in what we do and who we are around is our only true mission. Look forward to another day that is better than the pain you are going through, better than the discomfort of the unknown you may be experiencing and better than who you are today. Because you will forge ahead, enjoy the moment and actively participate in the great mystery of what comes next.
I’d love to hear what you think about Tippy’s life lessons! Pop over to the Facebook page to say hi, comment on the newsletter and receive a daily dose of coaching from Katie!
Peace, love and momentum,
MOMENTUM CHALLENGE: Be quiet. For 10 minutes at least once a week, just be quiet. Sit in a park and watch people. Meditate. Take a bath. Oh, and sleep and tv do not count. Silence is essential to our spirits.