I’ve heard the secret to living your destiny is to stop asking other people for directions. Everyone has an answer when helping another find the ‘right’ path in life.
Maggie was a wanderer. She loved to go hiking, and venture off the marked paths. Her tail would wag with delight, while her legs moved swiftly to keep up with a scent she was following. During these detours from the path, I often found the best landscapes to photograph. Maggie never hesitated to walk the unknown, and she always enjoyed the journey.
Our world seems to be filled with people that follow a traditional path, or those that want to pave their own way. From my experiences, people following the untraditional path get asked a lot more questions. Maybe our world can also be divided by people who fear the unknown, and people who crave the excitement of the unknown. The times in my life when I didn’t know my destination, resulted in the most memorable experiences & life changing opportunities.
Everyone is unique. Follow your own path. It just may lead to your destiny.
The dictionary defines a thinker as an intellectually creative person. Therefore, a true thinker, thinks their own thoughts- right?
Maggie was constantly praised for her great thinking skills. She seemed to know the daily schedule, had the ability to solve her own problems (like getting a very large bone thru her doggie door), and coerce visitors to give her treats. Maggie solved those expensive doggie games- guaranteed to keep your pet entertained for hours- within minutes. She was a first rate thinker!
In today’s world, we often ridicule people for not thinking the same way. Don’t we need an eclectic group of thinkers to create a world of diversity? If our world was not filled with diversity, how would we prosper by sharing the same thoughts? Maybe we should worry less about what people are thinking, and worry more about how we treat each other when our thoughts disagree.
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”― A.A. Milne
All too often we try to make everyone else around us happy, and our own happiness takes second place. We play a tug of war in our mind- should I stay or should I leave.
One of the things I admired most about Maggie was her ability to make a decision and stick with it. Once, she waited a solid fifteen minutes until a toad finally came out from hiding behind the steps. She was staying until she got that toad- it made her happy. Other times, she would get bored with the other neighborhood dogs and just walk back to her yard. She didn’t care if the other dogs started to bark, she just kept walking back to her blanket & chewy toy.
During our lifetime, we will meet an eclectic group of people. All of the people we meet, whether we realize it or not, serve a purpose. Some people will provide the words of wisdom or physical materials we need to get us to the next step. Others will stay a little longer; helping us stand tall, and provide constant reminders that we are going in the right direction. At times, it will seem like we will never be able to survive without their presence. Eventually though, only a few will consistently remain in our lives for our time on Earth.
How do we know when it’s time to say goodbye, or feel okay when someone says goodbye to us? I’m not sure what the correct answer is, but I do know Maggie had the right response when the decision was made- don’t look back.
There are many quotes about finding your destiny. I can quickly recall the quote about when a door is closed, God opens a window. I’d like to think sometimes finding your destiny involves a little door kicking.
Maggie was always sniffing. She especially liked to sniff around things that she couldn’t get into. For example, the basement door in our home was always closed. I would constantly find her sniffing the crack between the door and the floor- with tail wagging of course. Other times, she would be outside sniffing along the fence that enclosed our yard. If she found something of interest, she would continue to pester me until I investigated the area with her. She would not give up until her curiosity was answered.
Some people believe your destiny is written before you are born. I think life would be very mundane if that was true. No matter what you did in life, the end result would never be your decision. I believe we have many paths to choose from in life. Your results depend on how willing you are to take chances, follow your heart, trust your instincts, and, sometimes, be willing to kick in a few doors.
‘Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.’ William Jennings Bryan
In the movie, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, Clarence reminds George that ‘no man is a failure who has friends’. Is it possible to have a friend who isn’t good for you?
Maggie enjoyed visiting with the other dogs in the neighborhood. There was one dog that she loved to playfully fight with, and roll around on the lawn of this dog’s property. They would dig in the lawn together and tear at the toys. However, Maggie would never allow this dog into her yard, or play with her toys.
I was always told to choose my friends wisely, as they are a reflection of who you are or what you will become. What about that one friend who is always the daredevil -constantly pushing the boundaries, and difficult to eliminate from your life? What if your spouse provides more of a toxic relationship than a healthy one, but the good times are so much fun? Do we need to have every person we love also in our life?
Maybe Maggie knew it was okay to show her love to that rambunctious dog, as long as it was outside of her own little world; her back yard. Maybe setting boundaries for friends & loved ones shows our love is strong enough to keep them in our hearts, even if we can’t keep them in our lives.
Growing old can definitely guarantee two things: you will encounter the responsibility to make difficult decisions, and you will learn to trust your heart more when making those decisions.
Maggie, as a dog, didn’t have the responsibility of making many decisions. Her choices typically comprised of choosing a toy to squeak & chew, finding a cool spot in the house to take a nap, or deciding which squirrel to bark at in the tree. One thing, however, was very noticeable about her decision-making process. Once she made a choice, she was content.
Adults, when making decisions, like to have all the information regarding the pros & cons. We ask ourselves what may happen with a different choice, or how other people may respond- or think of us. As we grow older, life experiences help us to reflect on past choices & their outcomes. Often, we reach out to friends, family, or mentors for guidance and support.
When a difficult decision is made, it is our heart that gives us a feeling of relief & inner confidence that the best choice was made. Our heart reminds us of unconditional love, pure joy and feeling alive in the moment.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Body language tells a lot about a person. Is it safe to assume your body language can predict your outcome in a situation?
Maggie always walked looking straight ahead. Her legs appeared strong, and her stride was as consistent as a pendulum on a grandfather clock. When she sat on her hind, her front legs were parallel to each other, and her chest was pumped forward. When she looked at you, her brown eyes gave the feeling that she could read your mind, and no one else in the room mattered. If a stranger approached, her back became arched and teeth were visibly clenched. A visit from family or friends gave the okay to show her tummy, and let the tail wag!
Our body language tends to adapt to the situation. At job interviews, we sit up straight with our hands folded. A night with friends may mean feet up on the coffee table, and uncontrollable belly laughs. Walking alone in a parking garage may have us alert and focused; while a stroll along the beach may find one deep in their thoughts- unaware of the people around them.
Whether we are aware at the time or not, someone else is usually observant of our body language. It provides others a ‘gut instinct’ if you are confident, approachable, or having a difficult day. One can often change their mood, and the opinions of others watching you, by changing their body language. Ever notice how politicians give speeches while standing straight, chest pumped, making eye contact with the audience, and using hand gestures to emphasize their focus points?
Maggie never spoke a word, but I always understood how she was feeling. Maybe people should talk less about how they feel, and listen more to the language of their body.