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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Keeping the Enthusiasm

The little white dog kept her nose in a dirt pile, paying us no mind as we neared her lawn. Biscuit stepped on a branch, snapping it beneath her paw. 

She saw us.  

Her whole body perked up in attention and suddenly, the dirt pile held little importance compared to this stranger and her human. 

Off she bolted, frustratingly confined by the invisible fence her human had installed to keep her from running away. She reached the end of the zone, pivoted and sprinted back to where she had begun, the whole time keeping her eyes fixated on us as we stood still, watching her furiously dart back and forth, back and forth, yapping, yapping, yapping. 

I laughed at the tiny fluffy pup and her silliness, but at the same time, envied her ability to be so explosively excited at the most minute happening. My dog and I offered her nothing but stimulation, yet her tail enthusiastically wagged off in a tizzy, no holds barred. 

In the sheer simplicity of the yappy creature's joy, I realized how much more enjoyable life would be if we all allowed ourselves to feel such extreme happiness at the simple things in life.

I'm not advocating we do back-flips every time a new person passes by- there is a certain level of decorum humans (sometimes sadly) must adhere to. I remember being "spoken to" by a superior after giving a hug, complete with running start and a leap, to my boyfriend at the time, when he came to visit me at work. Apparently, this was not "acceptable" behavior. Hmph. 

Ok, so I understand (but won't always agree) that there is a time and place to express excitement at the highest volumes according to rules, codes of conduct, blah, blah, blah... But, I do think that we could all benefit from adding an extra exclamation point when expressing happiness when it strikes. 

Perhaps this means...

showing more excitement when seeing a loved one at the end of a long day,
not suppressing the sheer feel-good-ness that comes from a great workout,
wearing a full-on smile as opposed to a weak grin when someone takes a moment to pay a compliment.

It truly is the little things in life that have the potential to make the biggest impact. Allowing ourselves to be happy and feel joy on the highest possible level is an important part of taking care of ourselves and our well-being. 

Smiling, laughing, expressing happiness offers levity to the entire body, mind and spirit... it's like giving ourselves a big, cuddly hug, from the inside-out. Why would we ever put a limitation on that?  

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