In my last post, I talked about finding a “Deep River” moment – intentionally pausing and listening instead of pushing ahead and overextending myself. Some of you commented on the power of calm and the unconditional love and blessing such moments make possible. Thank you. Recently, I discovered a Deep River moment unintentionally and in an unexpected way, sparked by our dog, Jubi, while we were walking in a new neighborhood.
“Let’s go!” I said, hoping Jubi would pick up her pace. She and I had radically different ideas about what this walk was about. For me, short and brisk – a break from my organized schedule – even the walk was tightly scheduled. For Jubi, it was all about the smells, however long it took. Each blade of grass, every tree and bush deserved to be sniffed and studied – like a shopper trying out perfumes whose scents evoke imagination.
Around home, there are only so many directions we can go and only so many dogs to leave their different marks. It has got to be pretty predictable for her. Maybe that’s why, on this particular day, when I grabbed my car keys and started out the door to run an errand, Jubi jumped up to join me, hoping for new discoveries.
We drove to the cobbler shop where I picked up my re-soled Birkenstocks, Jubi trotting alongside and greeting the owner, a true craftsman. As we headed back toward the car, the sun shone brightly, and it occurred to me we both might enjoy a short walk in a new locale, a refreshing reprieve after a week of rain. With shoes still in hand, off we strode in an unknown direction.
Lured by promised treasures, within minutes Jubi’s nose was buried in wild clover spilling onto the sidewalk. Half an hour later, we finally reached the end of the block! I figured Jubi wasn’t going to pick up her speed, and I’d had enough of slowpoke. “OK, let’s go home!” I said, expecting to evoke the usual wagging tail. But instead of perking up, Jubi planted her paws firmly on the ground and looked into my eyes as if to plead, “Home? Why now? This is heaven! I don’t recognize one smell. They’re all new. I could spend the day here!”
Jubi’s communicative look often touches my heart. Today was no exception. In fact, her enjoyment made me laugh. She so appreciated what was being offered, that I felt a nudge to let go of my tightly scheduled agenda and let our walk take its natural course – instead of being preoccupied with getting to the future. Often it’s easy to mentally tick off the present task in order to be ready for what needs to be done next. But when something or someone I love – like Jubi – catches my attention and tugs at my heart, I wake up and shift naturally and happily into the present, the joy of now.
I was so touched by Jubi’s sincere pleasure that I began to feel open to what was being offered to me: the warm sun on my back, the fresh breeze hinting at early spring, and the garden patches that told of artistry and care.
Walking slowly in this ‘unscripted’ mental space offered a surprising gift: the opportunity to ponder a personal concern that had been troubling me. I’d felt caught in the middle of a conflict between people I care about and had been trying to figure out how I could help bring resolution and ease the pain.
As Jubi and I wandered along, I realized I had the mental freedom to consider the situation more clearly without any distractions. I dug a little deeper into my own perceptions to see if they aligned with the love I value – divine Love – and to my surprise uncovered resentments I’d been harboring. No wonder I felt pained and in the middle of disagreement – I needed to elevate my thinking to be more reflective of unconditional and nonjudgmental love. With this clarity I felt the ill-will just melt away. My love and reasoning weren’t attached to one person or another anymore – I was squaring my thinking with divine Love.
I didn’t see a complete way forward, but I definitely felt freer and happier than I had been. And right then I realized I could be a healer in this situation, starting within my own consciousness. I no longer felt helpless but inspired, and hopeful that as I continued to listen, more answers would follow.
Jubi and I ambled on for another hour – her keenness for every still-to-be-discovered scent unwavering. For me, letting go of my agenda opened the way to connect with inner wisdom and a greater love. Willingness to let go of my schedule, push the ‘to-do’ list aside and focus on the moments at hand, opened me up to the ‘to-be’ channel of spiritual consciousness — to hear and recognize needed insights.
When we reached the car, I tossed in my shoes – a reminder of where we started and how far we’d come – and headed back across town toward home. I reached over and stroked Jubi’s chin. Her soft dark eyes looked up at me and then closed, as she sighed. I agree, this was a wonderful walk.