This post was not the one I intended to write. About a week ago I had something different almost ready when Evernote decided somehow, in its mysterious, bloated, technological wisdom, to delete 90% of what I wrote. But I think that was as it should have been. I think this one’s better.

“Do whatever you need to slow down. It is time to explore what you are carrying within.” – Roxana Jones

You might not put the words “still” and “puppy” together. Many of you know I have a new friend at my house, and she demands gobs of time and attention.

A labrador puppy in the grass.
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Note: the header photo is stock – she won’t always pose the way I ask her to 🙄.


She is bouncy, silly, and more than a little sassy – and she forces me to be still. Much of the time, and indeed right at this moment, I’m sitting on the floor watching her. I have to watch her, constantly and consistently, if I’m ever to salvage the rugs in this house. I sit outside and watch her. I sit on the couch and watch her. If I have a desire to get lost in a task, rush around, or ignore her subtle signals, mistakes are made. She is training me well.

And she is often, miraculously, still for me. She sleeps quietly in her crate or at my feet when I meet with clients (and no worries, I ensured there was an iron-clad confidentiality clause in her contract when she came on board). It’s like she has a sense that the conversations require me to be present in a different way, and she can be patient as long as I’m ready to focus on her the moment the Zoom ends.

When I was in Kenya in June (and as I type I’m realizing, holy cow, this has been quite the summer), I made some deep connections between my spiritual path, my physical self, and trees. And synchronistically, tree references have been popping up everywhere for me since. That’s related to what I was initially going to write about – and may yet. For now, suffice it to say, trees are fabulous at being still too.

“Seek out a tree and let it teach you stillness.” – Eckhart Tolle

I was also reminded recently of Jungian-influenced psychologist James Hillman’s “acorn theory,” – which states that we already hold the potential for the unique possibilities inside ourselves, much as an acorn holds the pattern for an oak tree. It’s the task of life to figure out our distinctive pattern and allow it to come to fruition.

Hillman caught some criticism for his pretty much un-provable theory. Yet, I think if nothing else, it’s interesting to consider allowing our true natures, our psychic blueprints, to do what they need to do – in order to be what they need to be. The oak tree doesn’t have to do anything to fulfill its goals of deep roots and solid trunk, other than wait for the right conditions. Acorns don’t stress out or weigh the pros and cons of life as an oak, hanging out in the dark earth as they do.

What do the seemingly opposite energies of puppies and trees have to do with life order?

When you can be physically and internally still – and I mean totally still – you’re not shopping. Or downloading. Or scrolling. If your mind can be still, even for just a millisecond, that’s a wee bit of time when you don’t ruminate. Or second-guess. Or agree to something you shouldn’t. You likely save a lot – time, money, energy, brain space. Parents and kiddos are preparing to head back to school, where “still” is often forced, unfortunately (it takes all the joy out of it). But to be consciously still is pretty radical in our world, and I’ve been uncomfortable with it this week. Until today, when I fully allowed myself to let go. Watch a puppy. Sit under a tree (it’s an elm, but a very quiet one).

And a funny thing happened: I got an idea for a new blog post. Pretty much wrote itself.

What happens when you can be still?