Walking the Lessons of Life

A small child in a yellow raincoat walking with two baby ducks by either side

My morning routine includes walking my dogs to the park. It’s great exercise for all of us but more importantly, it’s bonding time. We get to be present – in the moment – together. This morning, I awoke to the sound of thunder. It’s been months since we missed a morning and I didn’t want to start today. I love our morning walks and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like rain take it away. So, I put the walking harnesses on the Lee Littles, grabbed the poop bags, and headed out the door.

The cloud cover made the morning darker than normal, but I was prepared and turned on my flashlight. The rain began in the early morning hours so even though the rain was light, there were puddles we needed to avoid. Fortunately, they glistened under the light of my flashlight and we were able to dodge them. We continued to walk and the rain continued to fall. The pups seemed happy for the opportunity to be outside, taking in the scents and leaving a few of their own. We made it to the park. It was quiet. The normal walkers were not around, they must have decided to wait for the rain to stop. How often do you get a chance to walk in the rain in the desert? We didn’t want to miss this.

As we finished our trip around the park, the rain began to pour down. It was time to leave and continue our wet trip home. Now things were really getting interesting. Lightning began to tear up the dark sky and it was soon followed by booming thunder. I knew Oscar was afraid of thunder, so when the sky lit up, I began to talk encouragingly to him.  At first, he would hesitate when the sky cracked, but then he would look at me and I’d tell him it’s okay and that he’s a good boy. With just a little encouragement he would pick up his trot and relax into our walk.

Once we arrived home, I got a cup of tea and curled up with the pups on the couch. Safe and warm under the comforter, I watched the rain come down. I thought about life, and how much it’s like this morning.

How many times do I let a few inconveniences stop me from my goal? How many times do I make small obstacles into big fears that stop me in my tracks? It would have been easy to put my focus on why we couldn’t walk. It’s raining. We will get wet. The pups will have that “wet dog” aroma. There will be puddles. No one else will be out there getting wet. Why should I?

Instead I chose to ignore those thoughts and focus on why I should walk.  The pups needed to go outside to poddy and they wouldn’t do that unless we walked. Most people would stay home so I’d have the park to myself.  My body needs movement. And most important, if I didn’t walk, I’d miss out on the mindfulness of the morning.

As we walked out the door, I knew we would probably get wet before our walk was through.  And I was right. Not only did we get wet, we got soaked. We heard scary thunder. We even had a couple of cars try to intentionally splash us. But despite all of that, it was a beautiful walk.

In life, we will run into obstacles that try to prevent us from our goals. Things will happen that have to be overcome. There are people that will try to stop us from getting to our goal. But if we prepare for the obstacles, avoid the dream stealers, focus on achieving our goals, see the opportunities in every obstacles, and surround ourselves with encouraging people, we will reach our goals.

Jamie Lee is an Animal Relationship Specialist and Shelter Animal Reiki Association Teacher. She is a professional teacher/speaker and author. She may be contacted at JamieLeeAnimalBonds@gmail.comor at her FB Page, Jamie Lee-Animal Bonds.

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