Spirit Blog

Personal reflections on a spiritual journey...

The Present Tense

After dropping my son off at school this morning, I was pushing the girls in the double stroller with my dog, Henry, in tow through the park, admiring the spring blossoms but also watching my mind run wild, recollecting the events of yesterday, when I said to myself, "Oh please let me just enjoy this beautiful morning and stay here in the present moment..." 

No sooner did I wish that then a woman with a large Rottweiler pass by. Before I could even anticipate it, her very large and very strong dog lunged for my miniature poodle mix breed and it was a loud, scary few minutes. I was yelling, the woman was yelling, both of us tugging on her linked chain leash trying to get her dog off my dog, Henry barking as he flailed about under the grip of her canine's mouth.

Everyone in panic.

Three people ran to our aid. 

When her dog was removed from our immediate space, Henry, thankfully physically unharmed, was scooped up in the arms of a large man, whom I later learned is named Vince. He and his partner, Susan, comforted me (brought to tears), my daughters, and our terrified, furry family member, Henry. The third person, a female jogger, who had approached the scene, began yelling at the woman with the Rottweiler about how irresponsible it is to have an untrained dog of that size in the park. (A fact of which I clearly agree but had no intention of expressing at that juncture). They got into a huge shouting match, calling out all sorts of names and threatening each other with physical violence. The two women continued their argument later near the street after exiting the park and it was vicious. Meanwhile, Vince turned to me and said that he and Susan were, "Dog lovers and people lovers too..." They walked ahead of me all of the way out of the park, escorting us, looking back to check on our well-being every time another dog walker passed. 

The whole experience really got me thinking. 

When we are faced with imminent danger we are forced to be in the present moment. But when the danger subsides, do we stay present? How we react exemplifies our connection with the here and now, with our highest Self. One woman allowed a situation, of which she was not even part, to get her so worked up that she was seething and shouting for many, many minutes after the whole thing had ended. And I also assume her morning was then jaded in some way by that altercation. Whereas, Vince and Susan chose a compassionate route, were instead concerned about the welfare of those involved, helped calmly, and seemed to leave the park in the same pleasant mood with which they began.

When I am centered, connected with my inner-self, I am always far more equipped at being unaffected by my outer world. I am more like the Vince and Susan of this story. However, when I am stressed, and not taking time for myself, time for inner stillness, I easily revert to the behavior of the angry female jogger. My intention is to cultivate more moments of the former, kissing an overdue good-bye to the latter way of living. The only way to do that is to create more peace in my inner life so when faced with outer turmoil I can choose to react differently.

I want to be a dog lover and a people lover too...

Be present, stay in the here and now.