It's been a while since I've walked my dog in the morning. It used to be our ritual when I first got him 3 years ago. Me with my cup of tea, breathing for 5 counts on each step, remembering my favorite priest Father Tom Weston's invitation to do a walking meditation.
These days, I am training him to walk without a leash. I'm doing it the Sophia Yin way, which is to pause every couple of steps and offer a treat. The dog learns to keep close to you, if he wants a treat.
IF is the critical factor here because Buzz is Buzz; which is the most paradoxical name for him. My daughter christened him when he first came home and ran around the house in a feverish tizzy. It turns out, in the three subsequent years we've had him, we can count the number of times he is that hyper on our right hand. Buzz is so mellow, so non-codependent, so not-needy that it took a year for me to embrace this as something good for me, instead of the neurotic, needy, yorkshire terrier that was my husband and I's first born. Buzz is affectionate, but respectful. He wakes up and before he greets you, yawns first, stretches for a couple of minutes, surveys your energy and decides to come near. All the while being loving, playful and joyful at the same time.
He is my Zen dog and I take him to work everyday. He sits in the corner asleep while I see my clients.
But this morning, as I hold my cup of hot tea with one hand and finger a treat with the other, I notice how mindful awareness connects us both. This morning, after a weekend of GESTALT awareness, I walk without NEEDING him to follow. I don't look behind anxiously and tap impatiently. I don't yell at him for not coming, or chastise him into walking faster. I simply walk and trust that he will follow.
I feel the space between us and notice my anxiety as the space between us widens.
I notice the surprise when I realize that he is closer than I thought. I notice my decision to stop and wait for him, and trust that he will catch up.
I imagine Buzz being my spirit catching up to me my body, and how I typically charge ahead, hurrying everyone else,
children, hubby, dogs to follow me.
Today, I embraced the waiting and give myself and Buzz permission to catch up.
I resist the urge to turn and look for him.
I notice his presence next to me, in time. I realize he has done better following this morning than all the other mornings,
when I insist, cajole, feel insulted,
that he doesn't come on my terms. It was an immensely theraputic walk. For both of us as I watched my heart slow down.
As I embraced his timing
As I trusted in the connection between us. I synced into his pace instead of being irritated that he isn't at mine.
It wasn't the treats, it was the energy that connected us this morning.
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