I woke early on Sunday morning and started the day as I would on any other Sunday, taking my little white puppy for a walk, marveling at how everything excites her, every bush, smell and leaf blowing in the wind.
How refreshing to see the world in such simple but overwhelmingly happy terms - so in the moment and a wonderful example of what true mindfulness is and how animals immerse themselves each and every moment, in the moment.
So how can we, as humans, learn from our pets the true meaning of being present and extracting absolutely all you can from the experience, event, situation and eventually, your life.
My late father was an expert and had mastered the art of being mindful (he would today be known as the leader and teacher of the Masterclass of Mindfulness). He was born in the Netherlands in 1931 so was not quite part of the 'spiritual' movement that has taken a lot of us by storm to find the meaning of life...no, he was old school, hard working, selfless, born to just get on with it and uncomplicated.
I loved my daddy so much...he made me feel safe, contained and content. His mantra every day was 'be happy with yourself' and my father embodied that theory each and every day.
Dad made the ordinary, extraordinary.
He looked at everyday tasks and experiences in a way that gave him complete satisfaction, so he did not have the time to complain, be upset, get angry or be unhappy. Dad was a humble man that wanted for nothing and felt he had everything.
I remember when I was going through some challenging times emotionally, dad would navigate this highly emotive time with few words but with enormous support. He would do little things to nurture me, such as freshly squeezing orange juice, gently support my journey by giving me the space and time to recalibrate and get back on track. He never tried to fix things or make negative comments, he was just there unconditionally.
Dad would use time wisely. His love for animals was unwavering. I have never seen anyone that could engage with pets, particularly dogs like my dad. My own puppy Lulu would be so excited when visiting dad that you would think this was the greatest homecoming ever known!
When dad was engaged with Lulu, he was absolutely in the moment. He focused on her joy of food, laughed at her routine of hanging out in front of the fridge and just loved seeing the joy this little doggy was experiencing. Dad had the same sense of satisfaction.
He loved watching the ducks swimming off his jetty. Nothing more than just watching the ducks swim graciously on the smooth surface of the water and being completely in the moment and deriving joy at the simple and uncomplicated beauty of nature.
My dad was my hero.
This weekend, I reflected on all my daddy meant to me and took the time to really channel his essence by being completely present.
And you know what...I was able to spend a whole day, embracing each and every moment with complete focus and attention, without distraction (phone was switched off!!!) and can honestly say, I had the most fulfilling and rewarding Sunday.
So when you buy your next coffee, take the time to really be in the moment, be present and mindful - hold that warm cup in your hand, smell the aroma and savor that very first sip...do not be distracted with reading your phone or thinking what you need to do later on - find peace in the simplicity of what is such a rewarding 'consumption' and that is enjoying your coffee!