Be inspired to live a happier and “label-free life”
I must confess something! I am very envious of Pax’s life, and the lives of other dogs in general. You might think it's because I envy their comfortable responsibility-free lives, but that's not exactly why.
I suspect that some of you will argue with me about this, and I am fine with that, but there is a difference between thinking and simply responding to circumstances as they arise.
Dogs are smart, calculating, caring, worried, happy, joyous, playful, and empathetic but I dare to say they do not obsess over things like the past, the future, or their looks.
As a person who loves photography, I regularly have to contend with the obstacle of photo-shy and rather vain humans. I can’t count the number of times people have commented negatively about their appearance in photos. They see wrinkles, a big nose, zits, or whatever else they are unhappy about, while everyone else is more likely to see their beauty, kind eyes, and the purity of their soul.
Now seriously, have you ever seen a dog upset about its big ears, coat colour, or few extra pounds of weight? I haven't!
I wish I could be a dog for one day to be 100% certain that their minds don't chatter away as ours do, but after spending 30-plus years around dogs, I am 99% positive they don't!
The human brain is nature’s greatest evolutionary achievement, but it is also a double-edged sword. It can be the source of a colossal waste of time and energy by generating useless and unnecessary thoughts.
I wonder how much energy and food could be saved if we all would just think a little bit less? You know what happens when you have too many apps running on your phone! The battery drains in no time at all, and the same happens to us. Perhaps this is the real definition of the term "brain drain"?
Most of us have a mind that never stops, and research suggests that even meditation masters can only stop thinking for up to two minutes max!
Perhaps a good start is to stop, listen, and notice what the chatter is about. Maybe it sounds something like this:
“Look at her, she is so beautiful, how can I ever compare?”
“She would never want me, I am not good-looking enough.”
“I can’t believe how much weight he gained.”
“Am I losing hair? I am sure I am!”
“Look at my wrinkles!”
“Is my skin sagging?”
“Do they like me? Do they hate me?”
"If I buy this, I will feel better."
"I am sick and tired of eating the same food all the time."
"Why is he not calling? Is he with someone else?"
"Why did she look at that guy?"
The list could go on for miles, but dogs are different. They are happy as long as they can sniff other dogs' bums and say hi the proper doggy way. By the way, do you ever wonder why people get embarrassed when their dog tries to hump another dog? My theory is that it's our own discomfort with natural behaviour. I dare say that this is how humans would behave if they could...
Did I just write that? LOL 🤣
But I am certain that no dog compares themselves to another dog, or ruminates over their looks or achievements.
Anyhow, I still think they do better than us. However, my goal here is not to make you stop thinking, after all, thinking is what makes us human. Ideally, we should learn to use our brains as a tool for solving problems instead of wasting our time ruminating about things we cannot influence or change.
Easier said than done, I know!
For now, the solution to this waste of energy might be to try to observe our world without having any opinion, judgment, or point of view.
Maybe start by looking at a bird, without even naming it or acknowledging it is a bird. Just observe it without any opinion.
Look at your dog sleeping, and just enjoy the sight without describing what you feel.
Just watch and observe the world around you without labelling everything or attaching thought bubbles to objects, and when you get better, do the same with your thoughts. Observe them but do not judge them.
Lately, I have heard many people saying how tired they are, and I also feel that way from time to time, which makes me wonder; could it be the result of constant thinking?