Pets as Role Models

Most of us would do anything for our pets. After all, we think of them as members of our family.  We walk them, feed them, play with them, and most of all love them. Our relationship with our pets is special. This is truly a relationship without judgment or resentment.

Our pets don’t hold on to bad things and they are always grateful for our attention. They love us unconditionally. While most of us don't need reminding that our pets make us feel good, you may not have considered how your pet can serve as example of what it means to live in the moment.

Mindfulness Practices from the Animal Kingdom

1)    Living in the here and now. They don’t sit around reliving every bad situation. Nor do they lose sleep worrying and thinking about the future. Instead, their focus is on what is happening right now.

2)    Focus on happiness and self-care. Did you ever notice your pet can sleep almost anywhere?  If they are tired, they sleep.  They stretch after a nap. If they feel like playing, they play.  They find joy in the simplest things, like chasing a ball or just following you around.

3)    Forgiveness. Pets do not hold grudges. OK, sometimes they might act out when you leave them alone or don’t play with them as much as they would like, but the minute they see you, all is forgiven. They don’t hold onto feelings of resentment, anger or sadness.

4)    Relationships are the center of their world. They have no trouble showing how much they care.  You have their undivided attention. They do not multitask. They know how to make you feel like you are their hero. You can do no wrong.

5)    Empathy and compassion. They have an uncanny way of knowing exactly how we feel.  When we are happy, they build on our happiness. When we are sad, they know just what to do to make us feel better.

6)    Gratitude.  No person will ever show you more gratitude on a consistent basis than your pet. They never forget to show their appreciation.

Just maybe our best role models for living a more fulfilling life greets us at the door every time we come home!

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