Achieving Balance and Harmony

THE SCOOP

My Dogs Taught Me to Slow Down

by Cesar Millan

Sometimes it feels like my life is going in fast-motion. I am sure you can all relate. I know it is hard to slow down at times with everything else in our world moving so fast around us, but if there is one thing I have learned over the course of my career, it is that taking the time to enjoy all that comes your way is both important and necessary.

We all tend to celebrate the end results of things—a promotion, the birth of a child, a graduation. But we sometimes forget to celebrate the process too. Each moment leading up to success or the end result should be enjoyed. Dogs are able to do this. I watch Junior and Coco live in the moment and focus on the daily activities, not just the final ones. They appreciate the entire life process; never anticipating what the next day will bring.

Like them, we need to remember to see both the small and big picture. If life is getting a little too busy, you need to try and step back to take a moment. You can even have this moment with your dog. Make your daily walks that special moment where you slow down and take in everything around you. Focus on spending that time with your dog and nothing else. Let it be a time where you turn off from the world around you.

If the walk is more stressful than relaxing for you, maybe this is the perfect time to slow down and really focus on mastering The Walk once and for all. Set aside that time in your day to go on a consistent 30 minute to an hour-long walk. Slow down the pace of your walk so she understands that this is not just something to get through and go home. This is a moment to bond with your dog and fulfill her.

Having visited Spain for an extended period of time allowed me that opportunity to slow down a bit. While I was still working, I had noticed that the way of life there had made me aware of how I choose to spend my time. The Spanish people enjoy their lives. Once, I met a gentleman who, in the very moment I met him, projected pure love and joy. His positive energy really affected me and I spent the rest of the day thinking about it. And any time I entered a store or restaurant, people took the time to congratulate me and welcome me into their community.

Life is much slower in Spain compared to the U.S., and Spaniards consider their finest luxury their families-not things. Even eating out there is a slower process. The portions may be smaller, but the event takes much longer. Junior and Coco joined me in the trip, and I can tell that they also slowed down a bit. They were enjoying their new surroundings and exploring the new lifestyle along with me, one day at a time.

While it is important to experience as many wonderful things as you can in this lifetime, you must also remember to enjoy the process. Slow down. Look around. Let it all sink in.

What is your favorite way to slow down? Share it with us in the comments below.

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