Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now.
Let it teach you Being.
Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real.
Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.
Take your cue from the creatures
Do you ever look at your dog or cat and wonder what they’re thinking? Surely, they’re not thinking about their day yesterday, or fears about the future. Animals live in the present, and take each moment – from eating food to snuggling with their owners – exactly as they come. This can be a great lesson for us over-thinkers and worriers.
Animals do have a stress response. But their memory is limited but a significantly smaller neocortex. This protects the animal from past or future worry, for example, about predators. Instead, the stress response only protects the animal in the moment they are threatened by a predator. Before and after, they return to a state of homeostasis, according to Dr Joe Dispenza – researcher and author.
Although our brains are wired much differently than our animal friends, simply quieting the mind and spending more time with animals – noting their habits and emotional states – will rub off on us in a positive way. Getting outside to play with your pet will also greatly enhance your ability to live in the present moment.
What’s more, animals can instantly lighten your mood. If you get home from a bad day at work, they’re there – wagging their tail and ready to greet you, instantly lifting your mood and cheering you up. Also, spending more time outdoors because of your pets is a great way to let go of your day and heal your mood and emotions. And because they can’t talk (to us, anyway), animals are a great way to stay in the present – by snuggling with your pet, taking them on walks and more, so you don’t have to discuss your problems with them.
If you don’t have an animal, a hike in the forest that’s filled with critters – from geckos and squirrels to deer – will have a big impact on your outlook. Simply respect their home and they’ll respect you.