This week marks one year since I said “good-bye for now” to my buddy and faithful four-legged friend, Lonzo. Lonzo loved people, and if something disturbed his peace, he let you know very clearly and restored his own peace quickly.
I experience both inner and outer peace when practicing these Lessons from Lonzo:
1) Appreciate this new moment. Whether away for three days or three minutes, each time I entered the room, Lonzo greeted me with first time enthusiasm. Look at the world around you ~ people, places, and things~ in a fresh light. Each moment offers a brand-new opportunity to experience someone or something in a whole new way.
2) Greet people (and critters). Lonzo offered a friendly tail wag to humans and critters alike. Being seen and greeted by Lonzo brought smiles and joy to many. Seeing and greeting builds connection. A simple greeting ~ whether a smile, “hello, dear” or “hello, deer” ~ provides acknowledgement, an important step on the path to creating peace.
4) Remember to Play. Before leaving home, I gathered Lonzo’s toys in a basket, not necessarily out of a desire for tidiness. I sometimes felt curious which ones he might choose to play with that day. Later, a few might be by the front door, another on the rug, and maybe a couple by his bed. Every day, I saw evidence that he played with his toys. I did not have to remind him to play. He naturally took time each day to do so. You get to enjoy life too.
4) Let people help you. Lonzo’s little paws responded differently to the ice- and snow-covered streets during Minnesota’s winter months. He would simply stop, lift a front paw, and I would lift him and carry him. Often times, it meant cleaning a piece of ice or snow from his paw. Eventually, he would wiggle enough to let me know he was ready to walk on his own. Know when you need help, and ask. You may also let folks know when you prefer to go by yourself.
5) Listen to your body and rest. It’s easy to picture Lonzo bouncing through the snow on a frozen lake or sniffing his way through the trails of Carlos State Park, yet he just as often could be found snuggled on the couch, in his bed, or on a random jacket (hey, if it’s on the floor, it’s fair game). Take care of you. Know when to stop and nap.
What have you learned from your four-legged friends?