If ever you want a lesson in how to be present, you should spend five minutes with my dog Wooster. The minute he hears the jangle of his lead, he’s practically doing somersaults and is so alert, the rustle of a squirrel high in a nearby tree is enough to send him into a frenzy.
Wooster loves us I am sure, but he is the No. 1 in his life. He doesn’t care if we eat, sleep or exercise, all he cares about is what is happening to him right now. I should follow his lead.
I’m reading Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsh at the moment. I first came across this book about a decade ago and although I enjoyed it, it didn’t resonate as much as it does now.
The book is supposedly God answering a series of questions posed by the author. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not ‘God’ was really dictating the words because there is wisdom in these passages. The bit that struck me today is that the most important relationship you have, is with yourself. The author, or God, goes on to explain that the people who do best in relationships, are those who are self-centred because if you can’t love yourself, you cannot love another.
This brings me back to Wooster. He is as self-centred as any creature can possibly be, but when it comes to love, he’s got oodles of it to give. Nobody is ever as pleased to see me as Wooster, plus he is the only living thing who will accompany me on my morning run.
I can make a start on this relationship with myself by shutting-up my inner critic – I don’t need to keep telling myself that I am rubbish. I can honour myself by saying ‘no’ when that is what I mean and cherish myself using any means that brings me joy – hot baths, ballet classes, long walks, silence, cake etc. Hooray for me!