I’m dog-sitting for my friends.
Each morning, after breakfast and our long walk, he cries.
Every minute of whimpering feels like an hour. My internal alarms go off and I anxiously go through my checklist. Are you hungry? Do you have to poop? Do you want to play?
So I do all these things. Still crying.
When I texted my friend to ask what they do, they calmly replied: “I don’t know, ignore it? He’s a big, furry baby, Dillan.”
So after making sure he’s good to go, I just go about my morning.
Eventually, he stops.
This made me think of our minds.
For seemingly no reason at all, our brains are in panic mode telling us something is wrong. We jump to solutions and distractions. Fix fix fix.
Only to prolong the alarms.
The practice of mindfulness doesn’t aim to stop negative thoughts. The goal is to simply be able to recognize negative thoughts as they inevitably appear.
So, “I’m never going to be financially stable” becomes “I’m having a stressful thought about not being able to pay my bills. I feel it in my chest and throat.”
This rarely makes the experience more fun, but it does look at it from an objective space.
I used to connect being tired with my life being shitty.
One night of bad sleep and I would spend my day thinking, I feel like garbage I have no motivation I am garbage the world sucks I suck.
Then one morning during a meditation, I was asked to focus on the physical sensations of being exhausted. I felt my heavy eyes and throbbing forehead. I watched the sentences and images of thoughts float by.
It was as if the clouds had parted.
“I suck” became “Oh, I’m just tired.”
We can just let the dog cry for a bit and see what happens. Eventually, he’ll lay down and rest.