The Tao of Darby

I am convinced the animals in our lives regularly share the secrets of the Universe with us if we would only just pay attention.
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Of late, I find myself in a less than... shall we say... optimal frame of mind. I've been spending an inordinate amount of time waiting for things to happen, wondering why they weren't happening quickly enough and wishing a situation I wasn't happy about would pass faster.

When will that client get that PO issued? Why isn't that new lead returning my call? Can't this election season just end already? I was deep in that frame of mind this morning, and it was, candidly, ruining my day.

And then my dog dropped her stuffed squirrel near me for a game of fetch. Obsessing over Important Things, I ignored her. She picked the squirrel up, walked closer, dropped him at my feet and waited patiently. She knew, with her encouragement, I'd stop my useless obsessing and remember what was really important in life.

I am convinced the animals in our lives regularly share the secrets of the Universe with us if we would only just pay attention.

If you can forgive me the biases of Darby's Momma, I'd like to share the Tao of Darby in the hopes you will find it helpful or it will, at the very least, make you smile.

It's our inner nature that makes us gorgeous!
Darby has short bowlegs, bad hair and too many teeth, yet her personality shines through it all. She makes everyone she comes in contact with smile. She reminds me that it is when we let our authentic selves shine through and let our walls down to truly share our joy we are at our most attractive.

Acceptance is easier than resistance.
Darby has fairly serious skin allergies. The vet prescribed daily baths with prescription shampoo that has to stay on for 15 minutes. She quickly learned it was a lot easier to just stand in the sink and wait than to constantly struggle to get out. And in waiting patiently she just might get a treat.

Too often, I find myself struggling against life's circumstances. The more I fight and wish things were different, the more I try to control the outcome, the worse it gets. When I finally exhaust myself and simply accept that everything will come together in its own time, it invariably does, which Darby figured out a long time ago.

It's when we leave our comfort zones that we grow.
The first time Darby was on a paddle board she was less than thrilled with the idea. She'd been on kayak, but that was totally different. A whole boat was under her. The paddle board put her right on the water. She paced up and down the board, nervous at first. Then she saw a cormorant and a manatee and she was hooked. A whole new world was at her feet. Next time we went she hopped on the board before I could get on reminding me its when we try new things that we get our of our ruts and discover new strengths.

It's the journey, not the destination that brings true joy.
Road trips are her favorite thing to do. As far as she is concerned, riding in the car with her head out the window, ears blowing in the wind is life at its best. When we get to our destination she just wants to get back in the truck for another adventure.

Like most entrepreneurs, I'm a type A on steroids. I get it into my head that I must always be doing something or else I'll be a slacker. Never mind that sometimes the something I am doing isn't particularly useful or productive. Darby's joy in the road trip reminds me we need to enjoy the ride. The point isn't just to get to the end of the road, it's the trip itself.

And lastly, there is always time for gratitude.

On a terrifying visit (for me anyway) to the emergency room due to a life threatening reaction to chemo, Darby gave the technician inserting the catheter a thank you kiss. As I saw the technician melt, I was reminded that no matter how awful we feel or how bad our day is going, we can still be grateful for those around us which in turn just might make someone else's day.

So animal lovers, what lessons do you learn from your pets?