People get stuck on certain words in life because they have a lot of baggage. Mindfulness is one of those words. It sounds so scary and intimidating if you don’t know! But what I’m here to tell you and what my message is to every Pet Parent, is that mindfulness can save lives. It did for my dog and me.

What Is Mindfulness?

Let’s define Mindfulness in the context of being a Pet Parent: It simply means, to practice being aware. That’s it! Mindful Pet Parents are in a state of awareness that lets them be open to their options, be aware of their dog’s subtle changes in physical and emotional states, and be aware of their own personal feelings. As I said before, it is a way of being that is cultivated.

How Mindfulness Saved My Dog’s Life

So, let’s get back to how mindfulness saved my dog’s life. Over a short period of time, I was able to cultivate an awareness of subtle changes in my world. And since my dog is a huge part of my world like so many of us reading this, I was able to pick up on his bodily cues quickly.

 And in those moments of bodily and mood changes with him, I was able to detect and save my dog from cancer at a very early stage. And I credit his survival to this day for those moments when I was present with my situation, understood my own feelings of paralyzing fear, and took my next right action.

 I want to touch on that last part as well. Being mindful doesn’t mean much, if right action is not taken. Once you notice your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, then you can pause to take appropriate action.

 

How To Remember To Be Mindful

Here’s a little acronym I came up with to help cultivate your own mindfulness when those everyday annoyances come up. I think you’ll remember this one. It’s F-U-R.

 
F-F is for feel. Feel the sensation of your unwanted feelings rise. Become aware that your feelings are not you, they are only happening inside of you.
U-U is for Understand. Acknowledge and allow through your breathing, that the situation is as it is. You do not need to be happy about what is happening, you only have to understand and accept it exists.
R-R is for Respond with Clarity. When you are ready, choose how you will respond. Speak your truth with compassion for yourself and others. It is incredibly difficult to be human and canine, so keep this in mind when finding your voice and dealing with others.

 

Cultivating and inviting mindfulness into your life is important to strengthen your own personal superpowers, so that you’re in tip-top shape when your family needs you.