Can you see me now?
I work from home and when I’ve been staring at the computer for a few hours not even blinking, Cooper will make his way to my desk and then pop his head up from under the desk and climb on my chair or he will give me the stare down if I’m on the couch with my laptop. In the past, I would push him back down with a firm “not now I’m busy.” Last week I was walking the trail and kept thinking of Cooper and his “do you see me now moments.” I had an insight. Cooper, was once again teaching me a valuable lesson on being present with our loved ones and giving them our full attention.
How often do you see couples at dinner staring at their phones or the TV behind their date’s head instead of paying attention to each other? I’m guilty. It has become acceptable behavior, the norm. Then dinner is served and the focus is on eating. The check is paid and dinner is over. How much of that dinner was spent with the full focus on each other or even tasting the food?
Following Cooper’s example, we need to single to each other to “see me now.” We turn off our phones or put them on vibrate during movies. It is the rule after all. Let’s continue that practice when we are spending time with each other. Put the phone in airplane mode, no beeps, rings or dings to pull your attention away. Can we not spare an hour from our device to give each other our undivided attention?
When I got back from my walk I decided the brown-eyed stare down was an opportunity to take a stretch break and to get a glass of water. Now, I grab my water, give Cooper a scratch, open the back door so he can do a quick run in the yard. Toss the ball for a few minutes and enjoy the view. Then I head back to my task. It’s done wonders for helping me keep my water goal each day, and a quick stretch break helps me take a deep breath and has a calming effect when I get back at it. And Cooper either entertains himself with a toy he found in the yard or gets fascinated by a squirrel and is happy and content. He didn’t need hours of my time, just a moment or two to feel like he mattered and to know that I remembered he was an important part of my life. Isn’t that worth a few moments?
Only in quiet waters, things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world. -Hans Margolius
Others believing in you is nice but worthless if not matched by your own thought. – Scott Moore
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I was drawn to the book from following Brigid’s blog and couldn’t wait to read it. I entered her contest for a free copy and downloaded the kindle as well. I was a few chapters in when I found out I was the lucky winner. I was surprised at how much our lives parallel and felt like winning the book was a sign. I learned so much from Brigid’s enthusiasm, energy, and fearlessness and will cherish my signed copy.
I had been weighing a decision to travel to Ireland with friends February 2018, and when I got the signed book, I had my answer. The postmark was from Ireland! I knew I was on my way to a new adventure in Ireland. I called my husband and told him the book was confirmation we needed to go. He laughed and agreed.
I wish I had her bravery for solo travel and her adventurous spirit. Her adventures, the friendships gained, and lessons learned along the way were inspiring. Health issues caused a few shifts in her path but didn’t put a dent in her zest for life. She continues to live life to the fullest albeit at a slower pace. Her top ten tips for self-healing are spot on.
I highly recommend this book. It is an enjoyable read with great lessons on healing, being your authentic self, trusting your instincts and living life to the fullest.
How to make stress your friend. I know the holidays can be stressful. I thought you might benefit from Kelly McGonical’s Ted Talk.
Communication is not just about talking or waiting for a silent break so you can jump in and give your two cents. Being a good listener doesn’t always require a response. A knowing nod, or simple comment is often all that is needed. Often times people tend to follow with a similar story of what happened to them. Sometimes people just need to be heard, and coming back with a story of your own may feel like you are relating to them, but it can also feel like you are saying, “you think that is bad, check this out” and in the process dismissing or diminishing what they just shared.
My pups Max and Cooper are always listening. I swear I can be downstairs with the kitchen door closed and they can be upstairs, and they can hear me open the refrigerator or crack open a chip bag. I knew dogs have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but I didn’t think it was on the level of the Six Million Dollar Man or the Bionic Woman.
Unlike Max and Cooper, I don’t have the greatest hearing and more times than not, I find myself asking someone to repeat themselves. A sense of hearing is my problem child. I have always known that there is more to hearing than taking in the sounds that pass through your ears. The second prong is being a good listener. Over the years I’ve heard people say things such as “lean in” so they know you are interested, “nod” so they know you are on the same page with them, or they ask you to make eye contact. There seemed to be a lot of facets to listening. I put most of those nuggets into practice, and I thought I was a good listener.
I swallowed hard one day when I heard someone make a comment that people listen with the intent of replying and not learning. If ever I was guilty of something, it was listening with the intent of answering. It wasn’t that I felt my response would be earth-shattering or enlightening; it was more that I wanted to mentally prepare my position on what was said so I wouldn’t look like a deer in the headlights if asked. I had an added habit of interrupting because I was afraid of losing my thought if we got too far into the conversation.
Daily Prompt Age
In a recent post, I pondered the age-old question “Why are we here,” I added a quote my teacher had placed on a chalkboard by Richard Bach. “Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.”
I continue to make an effort to live my life to the fullest. To say yes to new experiences and not talk myself out of opportunities because of whatever lame excuse pops into my head. I work from home and find that I go days without leaving my house. Not the best step to living my life to the fullest.
I’m back in school working on my masters. Class started last week and I recognized my weekends would be filled with homework. Between working from home and doing homework, I was in danger of becoming a hermit. 🙂 Continue reading