How to Live Mindfully: Lessons from My Dogs

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How to Live Mindfully: Lessons from My Dogs

Does the phrase “be in the moment” seem a little too far out there? exercise with dogIt is a little abstract, so I prefer to think of being in the moment as not overthinking things…or living dogfully. (Yep, you read that right.) If I’m too short on time for a yoga class, I turn to my four-legged babies, Luna and Chewie, to remind me how to live mindfully. I’m not ashamed to admit that my dogs are smarter than me when it comes to knowing how to live in the moment. It’s their default mode…heck…it’s the only mode they have. Dogs are experts at living life to its fullest and still managing to live an uncomplicated existence. Below are some nuggets of wisdom from my four-legged babies.


  • Never stop challenging yourself. Chewie is a bundle of energy, but like us all, he can get bored with the same old activity, so he mixes it up to keep it interesting. If we’re outside, after a few rounds of catch, he decides it’s time for a team sport. He knows that working out with a buddy is more fun, so after I throw the ball, he’ll wait until I chase it with him. If he’s stuck inside, he still wants to practice his skills. He gets creative and works on his jump, or goes for a tougher object to catch.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Chewie doesn’t get discouraged when he misses the ball or runs full speed into a tree. Be like Chewie — play hard, and don’t get beat yourself up when you don’t get things right. Keep going, and celebrate like crazy when you finally do nail it…and if you never quite get it, that’s okay too. The joy is in the journey.
  • If you need help, speak up. On the rare occasion that I hear an “I need to pee” howl in the middle of the night, I may be annoyed for a few seconds, but I’m more than happy to help him make an exit to the backyard. A real friend is happy to help you out of a bind, and doesn’t want to see you suffer. Chewie isn’t afraid to ask for assistance.


  • Enjoy time outdoors each day. Whether going for long hike in the woods, a short walk around the block, or watching a squirrel in a tree, nature is a reason to celebrate. Run, skip, people-watch, stop and breathe in the air…Figure out what makes you happy about being outside at that moment, and relish in in. It will keep you coming back for more every day.
  • Embrace sleep. Luna reminds me each day that downtime is good. When you’re worn out, take a nap or go to bed early. There’s no need for guilt about taking good care of yourself. Sleep is your friend. It allows you to rejuvenate and build up the energy you need to be your best.
  • Love the ones you’re with! Whether it’s through a fanatic tail wag, a great big smile, snuggles or kisses, let your family, friends and pets feel the love. Take it from the pups, the more you give, the more you get.


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13 thoughts on “How to Live Mindfully: Lessons from My Dogs

  1. My Willy keep me moving. I called my dog “coach” 🙂
    my heart is improving because of my daily walk !!!

  2. I really enjoyed reading about Luna and Chewie. My dog seems to know when I need to move..especially when I get home from work. She will not leave me along until I get and play with her for 30 minutes. Odd she seems to know when 30 minutes is up. But I always feel much better and I get in more steps for the day.

    1. Emunda, sounds like you’ve got a great personal trainer at home! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for the blog entries about pets. We LOVE hiking with our dogs. Watching my pets and the outside critters in my yard reminds me of when God looked over His creation and proclaimed it very good. Search for our pups on Facebook at NCParkDogs.

  4. My Angel keeps me living the simple life. She leaves toys in my sewing for me to fix. She thinks I can fix all things. when it’s fixed she is very happy she reminds me of this quote ” doing the little things brings much happiness to others”.

    1. I just wish I could be 1/2 the person my dogs thinks I am . So 1/2 perfect will be just fine!

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