With him, there are no good nor bad days, there are just “right now” days. Whatever that “right now” is, he’s fully in it. One can view him as simplistic, but life is quite simple, it’s us humans who complicate things. For instance, he is not overly optimistic, nor daft, he just has no clue he is incapable of flying. Evidence of this, each and every single time he spies an evil squirrel up a tree, he will try and fly up that tree. Dogs don’t climb trees. He’s such a toad. He’s being silly right? Except that time he defied gravity, pulled a Keanu move straight from the Matrix, and by goddess, flew up that impossible, no lower branched tree. The tail less squirrel, as we now refer to it, is still a bit peeved bite into more joy. Pun absolutely intended.
Well there missus, we are not dogs so what does this have to do with the price of panicky potatoes? Panic attacks make me believe I cannot fly. They slow me down, they make me stop trying, they never ever live in the present moment. They are running days, weeks, months ahead and focussing on every possible negative scenario from the past. Even positive, wonderful moments from my memory will be portrayed as awful dramas unworthy of even the worst soap opera award.
My dog doesn’t identify with painful memories, nor lack of wings, nor does he worry one whit what tomorrow will bring. He sees things quite clearly. I am here, I am in the now, I am love. Ta da!
In fact he doesn’t identify with egoic thoughts such as: “What if that squirrel comes back next week? What if we run out of treats? You know, I really ought to stop jumping like that, I might break a toe, I remember that time I hurt my paw, I had to spend days in the crate and visited the Poke and Stick doctor…” Nope, none of that. With him, It’s 1-2-3 FLING in the air. 1-2-3 FLING even higher. Fail? Try again. Fun! Ouch! Get back up. Yay! Unbridled enthusiasm lesson 101.
Short of mastering the Art of Zen Whippetry, I practice taming the present moment, for it is, in fact, all I have. Past is gone, future doesn’t exist, it’s been said a million times, but we don’t adhere to it or else we could easily chuck the panic suit no problem. And, an ugly sweaty orange lycra spandex suit, no less. Identifying with a panic filled thought, making it mine, and adding its repertoire to my inner being, is, quite frankly, fraudulent. It doesn’t belong there, it is not who I am. It lies.
It is not who you are. Repeat it after me. Panic is not who I am.
Yes, I truly admire my dog. He knows who he is, where he is and what he wants. He has wings, he can fly, never a bad hair day and he never ever wears a suit. A cape, perhaps, but never a suit.
Kate is a guest blogger and proud whippet mom.