Today I took Bo, my mum’s poodle, for a walk. Well I tried to.
We set off up the track to get to the fields where I can usually trust her. She has a good run around but then comes back to me for a treat quite reliably.
But today was different.
The second I let her off she disappeared. I eventually found her staring at the rabbit cage in my friend”s garden. She was transfixed, there was nothing else coming into her awareness at all. Definitely not me!
I was really annoyed by the situation. I was really cross with Bo. I wasted so long waiting for her and looking for her that we then didn’t have time to go for a walk.
As I reflected on it as we walked home things started to become clear. I knew there was no point telling her off. It was instinct that was drawing her to the rabbit, just what dogs do.
As soon as I started to think of it in that way my frustration subsided and I started to forgive her.
It strikes me that this sort of thinking helps hugely with people too. When someone makes you cross just taking some time to calm down and to think about why they did what they did or said what they said can take the frustration out of the situation – whatever it is.
Mindfulness really helps with this sort of cognitive exercise because it allows us to stop and to be aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions. The more we do it the better we get.