I just got back from a vacation in the Midwest visiting a dear friend named Diana. In the weeks leading up to my trip, I worked nonstop. I had a bunch of projects going at the same time and ended up working straight through weekends, every day without a day off. I sacrificed sleep and my favorite daily activity (well, besides sleep)—walking in Central Park and communing with the trees. The result? My body got out of whack, and my stress levels soared.
I hadn’t even realized my schedule was getting out of hand—but guess who did? The animals in my life. During those weeks of workaholism, my cat would come into my home office late in the day and meow like crazy. The message was clearly, “get away from your desk already.” Then she’d make it known I needed to pet her or brush her or watch her get down with some catnip.
Even though at Diana’s I wanted to leave work behind, I did a little bit each day during breakfast. One morning, Diana’s dog Yogi was lying next to my chair at the table. Then he suddenly jumped up, barked at me, and hopped the front of his body toward the back door, keeping his eyes on me. It was very clear he wanted me to go outside with him. Know what I did? I kept working. Diana’s husband let him out into the back yard where Yogi proceeded to roll around in pure joy—without me.
The next night, Diana, her husband, and I were talking while Yogi relaxed next to me on the couch, panting happily. Diana’s husband (who works from home) told me that sometimes he gets impatient when Yogi wants to go outside during the day—just to roll around in the grass for a while instead of quickly doing his doggie business and coming back inside. When I said, “Maybe Yogi’s showing you that you need to take a longer break from work and have fun,” Yogi stopped panting, turned his head to look at me, and became totally still. It was like a mind-meld confirmation that I nailed the message…and needed to apply it to myself.
Like I always say, our animals want the best for us. And as I learn more and more each day, they know what’s best for us. Even if we’re loving all the work we’re doing, if we cut out time for play, the magic can go away. Luckily, we have our animals to bring us back down to earth—and literally roll on it.
It’s all about the magic.🙌