The Gift of Being in the Presence

This very season is the one time period that brings on more complexity and heightened awareness to our nervous system than any other time of year. Add this with the 2012 hype/hope and we have a stress brew on high just waiting to boil over that no sommelier, Priest, bartender, French chef, therapist, hair dresser, barista or witch could downgrade to a simmer.

It is a time that we offer gifts to people that we could have helped all year long and reach out to family members that we could have connected with in April, in June – anytime. It is a time that we express more emotion, we feel even more sentimental, more heightened, more…everything.

In past stories I would tell you how much this is affecting your animals. I would cite everything from recent findings that even humans can detect fear pheromones or that our animals can track your mind and see visually the stress that the fruit cake is causing you that you bought for that long lost Aunt Mabel who is now in a home and therefore, the dog has spared you any undue humiliation by finding it in the cupboard and demolishing it while you went to get the mail.

We can talk until the cows come home about the pictures, words and feelings that your animals pick up on as a result of our unawareness. I know with this readership, I am speaking to the choir. Or I can be that gentle reminder to be careful about what you think about the rest of the year. And yet, this time I want to talk about something else. And by the way, when do the cows come home? And where will we put them?

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Many of my readers are ‘seekers’ and others are people that adore their animal. Either way – you have met your Spiritual Teacher whether you like it or not. It is usually 4 legged, lives in your home or in your barn…if it has two legs it has feathers and is loud. And they have a presence.

Up until now, who were your greatest teachers and why? Was it PE? Was it art school? Was it some journalist that had to follow the truth? Was it an ethics professor in Law School? Was it shop class when they lifted that engine out? My ‘guess’ is he/she is sitting on your couch right now, or perhaps has taken over your entire bed late at night so that you wake up in an L shape so as not to disturb your beloved(s). Or it is in a barn, with a blanket on this chilly night, nibbling the hay delivered at night check?

Sometimes the lessons are hard to take. We try everything to fix this one or we want a different outcome. Sometimes our beloved appears to be trying to tell us something we don’t seem to get. Sometimes the biggest teachers come with the most extreme situations.

So let’s take the next few weeks, use a dog training method of: ‘leave it’ and drop all thoughts/feelings we’ve had and just be present. Let’s ‘leave it’ with all those crazy ideas about who, what, when, where and how the situation began…let’s ‘leave it’ when we think about all the things we have done to try to remedy the situation…let’s ‘leave it’ when we think about what their past must have been like…let’s ‘leave it’ when we think of the unending possibilities that could also fix the situation…let’s ‘leave it’ when we have regrets. Let’s take this time and really look in our teachers’ eyes:

  • Even when that teacher ‘appears’ to be a relentless Cujo in the neighborhood, threatening and God forbid attacking other unsuspecting neighbor dogs;
  • Even when that teacher ‘appears’ to hate all humans with hats;
  • Even when that teacher has peed everywhere but the litter box;
  • Even when that teacher is super bitchy when we put the saddle on and we have X-Rayed the back, brought out the saddle fitter, the chiro and the equine massage therapist;
  • Even when the teacher is so shy that they have to hide – oh wait, first pee a little and then hide;
  • Even when that teacher is lying on the floor in their final stages, all of our friends have been annoyed with us because we “should” or “could” let the animal go and yet there is a compelling love and presence in their eyes that still is engaged;
  • Even when that teacher struggles longer than it takes than a commute to the city to get up in the pasture with older hooves, creaky bones and slippery frost on the ground and yet, they are present when they finally stand;
  • Even when they won’t put the wheels on that you spent a fortune for and an even bigger cash outlay went to throw rugs for your floors that DO NOT go with the furnishings;

Even then and always, they have brought you the gift of presence. They have brought you the gift of being present. My holiday wish for you is to recognize your gifts and the wonderful teachers around you at all times. Take a moment and breathe in what your teacher is offering and say thank you!

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