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Bad Thought: I don’t have access to a guru.


We often hear that the ability to be in the present moment is essential to inner well-being. Presence means being in complete awareness of what is, without being lost to one's own thoughts, emotions, or personal agenda. Presence allows for an inner life that is spacious and undisturbed. Many of us attend meditation class, seek therapy, or hire coaches in order to get good at it--which is great, but I'm here to tell you that you likely already have your own in-house promoter of presence: your pet.

As Eckhart Tolle reminds us in Guardians of Being, animals are naturally talented at paying attention to the here and now. Far more often than humans, animals are in a state of “relaxed alertness” (Tolle’s succinct definition of presence). Your pet then is all the guru you need.

The other day, our cat, Red, was on the edge of the bed in that half-sitting position (back legs down, front legs up), staring at me as I left the room to go upstairs. I came back about 20 minutes later, and Red was in the same spot in the same half-sitting/half-standing position, looking at me in the same way. I imagine he looked at other things while I was away, but he had apparently remained locked in his upright gazing pose the entire time.

If you want to learn how to be present, sit quietly with a pet and just be.

You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, speaker, author, and creator of the All Day Hypnosis© series, available at www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com

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