5 Things My Dog Taught Me About Being Present

If I knew that the few minutes I spent with my 12-year-old dog, Kahula, would be the last I'd ever spend with her before she passed away, I would've been more present. I would have petted her, sat with her, loved her and been more present in the moment. But I was too consumed with my to-do list, and everyday stresses to focus.

This happens so often in life. Our to-do lists, jobs, and chores pile up and we forget to take a breath and be present. My beautiful dog who shared her love and light for nearly twelve years has taught me so much about living my life authentically. And her passing on is a gentle reminder that life is so incredible short.

Death can remind us that we are here for a short time, but it is up to us to make the most out of it. And our family dog passing on is a reminder about what is really important in life. It is not the work we do, the places we live, or the stuff we collect. Life is about the moments we experience and memories that we have with one another. Here are some more lessons I learned from our family dog.

1. Feel Your Feelings – Dogs always let you know how they feel. When we avoid our feelings we end up making things worse. This is when we enter into depression and fear. But if you work through your emotions you'll heal faster.

2. Forgive – No matter what happened or what someone did, it's vital to let go and forgive. I learned this from my dogs. They are always in a state of forgiveness. No matter how mad you get at them, dogs always seem to forgive and forget.

3. Be in the Moment – Dogs are amazing because they live their life in the moment. We can learn to be in a state of flow and let stress fall away just like our furry companions do so well!

4. Listen – Dogs are phenomonoal best friends because they are such great listeners. Sometimes we don't need to say a word, we just need to listen.

5. Be Compassionate – Dogs are the most friendly pets because of their constant compassion for everything around them. Whenever I have a difficult day, my dog is right there to help me feel better. Just being there for others and letting them be who they are suppose to be without judging is one of the best things we can do for someone.

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Shannon Kaiser

Author, Speaker
Shannon Kaiser is a best-selling author, international speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Her much-anticipated new book, The Self-Love Experiment, will be released in August 2017. She’s been named on of the Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness by mindbodygreen and "One of the freshest voices in mental health and wellness" by Chicken Soup for the Soul. Shannon's the founder of PlayWithTheWorld.com, named one of the Top 75 Personal Development Websites, and Top 100 Self-Help Blogs by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Her work has been recognized in media outlets across the globe such as HuffPost Live, Health Magazine, Australian Vogue, Women’s Health, Spirituality & Health, and Entrepreneur magazine. Everything Shannon does is to empower you to believe in and trust yourself, so you can live your ideal life. Grab a free "Manifest Your Ideal Life" meditation at PlayWithTheWorld.com. Connect on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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