Dogs, Discipline, and Decisions

Sometimes I can get so focused on a task that I lose all track of time. Luckily, I have my dog, Anna, to remind me of the essentials.

Grounded firmly in the present, Anna always knows what time it is. "It's time to get up." "It's time to take a walk." "It's time to eat." "It's time to go to bed."

I can count on Anna to tell me what time it is. If whining doesn't work, there's always the pull on the arm (with claws) and the persistent, very loud bark. My reprimands are responded to with a low growl of disapproval, as if to say, "You know what time it is. Get up!"

What Anna does instinctively requires a lot of self-discipline from a human being. I wonder what would happen if I could tune in to my own natural rhythms, listening intently to the needs of my body and spirit in each moment of the day? How would my life be different? I suspect my decision-making would be easier and full of integrity.

When I choose to do what is good for my body and spirit, I never regret it; in fact, I feel really good about myself. When I give in to laziness, or others' expectations, or instant gratification, I immediately suffer the consequences, punishing myself with guilt or resentment or anxiety, not to mention poor health. I create my own misery.

So what does it take to make good choices? I think maybe it just takes time. Time to take an extra breath, long enough to ask the question: "Will I feel good about myself having made this decision?" or "Does this decision serve the Higher Good?"

Oops! Gotta run... Anna's talking to me.

"...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve..." Joshua 24:15