freedom, purpose, dreams, courage, passion, authentic
Goldie’s leash is real, but Henry’s is imaginary.

joy, passion, authentic, free, dog

Henry just realized he is UNLEASHED!

Hey FTG friends! In recent author talks for my book, Finding the Gift: Daily Meditations for Mindfulness, I’ve been having fun sharing about the December 29 entry, Life Lessons From the Dog. Dog lovers are everywhere so they can relate! During my talk, I also briefly discuss the daily meditation from November about the imaginary leash many of us choose to live with. Today, I remembered I had these great pictures to further illustrate this concept and wanted to share them with you.

The dog in both of these photos, affectionately named Henry, is actually the subject of his own daily meditation on November 24. Henry showed up one evening and called us “family” for a few days. The dog on a leash is Goldie, our dog for seven years who has upgraded herself to a home with no cats. Yes, it was hard to let her go, but we knew she would be better off. We get pictures of her at the beach all the time!

Anyway, I’m excited to share the photos and the lesson about the invisible leash.

From the November 18 entry in Finding the Gift: Daily Meditations for Mindfulness:

Goldie and I went on a walk this gorgeous autumn afternoon. The brilliant neon orange trees were glowing in the late afternoon sunlight and the sky was bright blue, with white, fluffy clouds. All the cares of the day just disappeared from my mind and I was free again. We have a street in our neighborhood that still has only a few houses, although recently they completed two more. Usually on this street, I let Goldie off the leash so she can run wild through the undeveloped land alongside the road. We all need to run free now and then. I haven’t been doing it as much lately though, because one of the new neighbors has a dog they let roam free. Today we circled the cul-de-sac, and once we passed the last house, I let Goldie off the leash. She trotted along as if nothing happened. She had no idea she was free and just kept her pace beside me on the street. I had to run away from her into the grass to show her she was off the leash.

How many of us voluntarily buy into the boxes and chains we trap ourselves with? We are the only ones keeping us stuck. We buy into the should’s, the what if’s, ought to’s, and have to’s so much that we forget what free feels like. Worse than that, some of us don’t even realize anything is wrong—that we are not actually free. We move along doing what we’re supposed to do, never challenging the beliefs we have tied ourselves down with.

Are you living the life of your dreams? Do you dream of living a different life? Do your dreams even surface anymore? Today can be a new beginning because awareness is the first step. Maybe you just need a little more life in your life, rather than a drastic change? Join a bowling league. Buy an arts and craft kit. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Pack an overnight bag and drive until it looks like an interesting place to stop. Just do something different. Maybe it’s time to really assess the path you’re on, or examine the detour you accidentally took so long ago. What can you do about that? When you think about what you really want, instead of saying, I can’t, ask yourself, How can I? Look around. The leash has been imaginary all along. You are free!

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