February 23, 2014

The Animal Connection. ~ Tammy T. Stone


I’m not usually one to post photos or videos about cute stuff animals do, but this one’s a real beauty.

Irish journalist Charlie Bird found himself among a large group of seals on a trip to Antartica. Still with camera in hand, he lies down among them. The amazement on his face, as he surrenders into communion with these large, flip-floppy creatures, is palpable.

Watching this, I couldn’t help but think about how much intelligence abounds in this scene: in how he has put himself into this situation, in how he has opened himself up to being amazed by an animal cuddling up to him.

In how obvious it is that cuddling and smiling and connecting is healing for body, mind and soul.

I couldn’t help imagining how rewarding it would be if remembered, at least once day, to do the following:

1) Stop.

Stop moving around, thinking, wondering what you have to do next, worrying about deadlines, figuring out the battle plan. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, just take a moment to be still.

2) Breathe.

When was the last time we took stock of how we were breathing? Our breath is there, waiting for inspection, every time we do. That’s a promise. It may be short, shallow, uneven. Or it may be lovely, long and relaxed, and how great that would be! But take the time to find out, and you will feel that time and space around you are exponentially magnified.

3) Look around.

Check in with your environment. Are you happy there, or maybe sombre or indifferent? What needs to be attended to, both without and within? What’s out there, as you receive the world with your senses? What colors, sounds and smells? What’s it like beneath your feet? How do these things make you feel, as you notice how alive the world is?

4) Wait.

Hang in there; it’s worth it. What’s coming, exactly? Those secret, magical, delicious things forever in your midst, poised to arrest you with their awesomeness as soon as you’re heart-ready, and willing.

For Charlie Bird, it was a magnetic and transformative encounter, involving hugs and some very uninhibited seals. What will it be for you?

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Editorial Assistant: Bronwyn Petry/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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