“The heart says yes, but the mind says no.” ~Albert Einstein
We’ve been asking the wrong questions. My dog, Sophie, told me this. We always ask ourselves things like, “What is my purpose in life?” or “What should I be doing?” or “What should I wear?” All of these shoulds. Dogs don’t think about shoulds. They do what they want. Instead of all those other questions, we can ask ourselves, “What do I want?” and “What do I want to do?”
A dog in the woods shows us that simply being a dog is enough. They don’t worry about what they should be doing. They simply do what makes them happy. They sniff. They bound. They run. They do the things that fill their hearts with dog joy. Don’t go about sniffing butts, unless you’re a dog. Do and be what you are. You are a unique individual. No one thinks quite like you. No one sees a sunset quite the way in which you do. No one has the same passions or dreams that you do. Being who we are is enough. When we are striving to make our life into what we think it should be we are limiting ourselves with societal pressures.
If we think about what we want and not what we should do, we can focus entirely on the end result (our desire) and the universe will fill us in on what steps we need to take to get there. By trying to figure out how we are going to accomplish something,especially worrying about it, we limit the possibilities. We may see a direction and take action on that course because we think that’s what we should do when it may be the worst direction we could take. The universe (our true self) knows every direction, not just the one or two available to us through our limited mind knowledge. If we focus on what we know, (limited) instead of letting the universe (unlimited) point us in the right direction, we may be going down the wrong road. Let the universe show you the short cut. There is a quicker and more fulfilling route than the ones our simple brains can figure out.
Dogs find their greatest joy in being dogs. You can find your greatest joy in being you. Do what you love. Do what makes you happy. The universe will just send you more of the same. Just as a dog must be let out of the house in order to be himself, you must let yourself out of your rut in order to be yourself. You can’t be yourself stuck in a rut. A dog will spend most of its life sleeping if she is made to be stuck indoors all the time. You will fall asleep if you make yourself do the same things over and over. You must let yourself out in order to find your true joy. Let go of preconceived notions of what you are. Unfortunately we are all susceptible to external influences. Even dogs can have their instincts bred out of them and we, in this consumer driven, media heavy world have our instincts and intuition driven out of us at times.
Who are you really? What do you really love to do? What brings you joy? It’s not always easy to answer those questions. I have posited the idea before of looking back at your childhood and remembering what it was that brought you the most joy.
In my hometown we have a bandstand and every Sunday evening the town band would play. People would bring their beach chairs, relax and listen to the music. There was one little girl who always got all the other kids to line up behind her and march around the bandstand. She found joy in leading. Some kids like to make up new games and adventures. They may like to work in research and development or engineering. Some kids like physical activity more than anything and would not do well at a desk job. At different times in my childhood I enjoyed being in the woods most of the time. This has continued. I enjoyed drawing and painting. I sold my art work as an adult. I enjoyed writing. I enjoyed reading encyclopedias. I still want to know everything I can about everything. I still express my creative side. We are all born with certain tendencies. Try to remember what yours were before you were inundated with external influences. I thought about God a lot as a child. I wondered a lot about Jesus and even wanted to be a Nun for a while. My pursuit of spiritual truth has continued. So, look back on yourself when you were just a puppy and remember what brought you happiness.
Experience dog joy in your own life just by doing what you love. Start in your personal life and it will expand into your work life and spiritual life. Remember the more you experience happiness, the more happiness comes to you. The next time you see a dog experiencing dog joy, know that you can experience the same kind of joy just by being yourself. Listen to your heart.
- I do what I love and I love what I do.
- I am living a joyful life.
- I am acting on my desires.
- I remember who I am.
- I am an amazing, wonderful, joyful being.
- I allow joy to be a major part of my life.
- Joy is being me.
Relax, close your eyes, meet a dog in a field and ask them “What is the meaning of joy.”