The wisdom of enthusiasm permeates every moment of your life.
Do you wake up excited to start the day? Do you bounce around waking your family eager to play and enjoy another glorious day of interesting sniffs and delicious treats?
If not, you’re probably a human.
Your dog, especially if it’s a young dog, is way more enthusiastic about starting the day than you. Possibly this is why you got a dog in the first place! It is definitely why you needed a dog.
Sandy is always eager to start the day because breakfast.
If it’s a rainy day, there are toys to play with.
If the weather is good, then it’s time for walk. Preferably a long walk to interesting places with friendly people.
This is how Sandy practices her ikigai.
The word comes to us from the Greek enthousiasmos meaning ‘be inspired or possessed by a god.’ Being possessed by a god sounds a little creepy, so I prefer to think of it as inspiration.
Inspiration is the desire to get up and create something, or help someone. To make the world a better place even if we can only influence one little corner of the world.
Enthusiasm is that zest for life that comes from purpose.
We are enthusiastic when we wake because we have a reason to get out of bed. We have a reason to go into the world and we believe in our power to do good.
For Sandy enthusiasm is her ultimate spiritual wisdom.
She embraces life for all it is worth in the each moment.
She is both a spreader and a seeker of joy.
Sandy revels in the happiness of the little things – an extra treat, a really good stick to chew on, an exceptionally smelly smell.
She loves ear scritches from a neighbor, hugs from the kids when she tries to join their games. She has no idea what the game is, but she is overflowing with enthusiasm. It earns her attention and hugs and then she is on her way again.
I try to follow her example.
I pause during our morning walk (she’s busy sniffing something anyway) to appreciate the sunrise.
I rub her tummy and appreciate the way she wriggles with joy.
We tussle over the squeaky toy or I hide treats for her to find.
Watching her brings me joy.
That is why I needed a dog.
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