My dog sits on his round fluffy cushion all day.
I can tell the mood he is in by the way he sits there. When he is really tired and cold he curls himself into a tight ball and he looks like a chocolate donut. He lies there lazily observing all the activities going on around him, hoping to score a scrap of food. After such a conquest, right back to the cushion he goes.
When he reluctantly leaves his cushion for a walk, he eventually gives it his all. His strength and positive energy are admirable, so much so that other hikers often refer to him as “The King.” However, as soon as he returns to the house it’s back to the cushion. Within minutes he is comfortable again, back in his sanctuary, sleepy and complacent.
This past week we decided to take him with us on our spring break ski trip. With all of our luggage and equipment, there was no room for his beloved cushion.
At first he was stressed. With his sanctuary removed, he was uneasy, pacing around, and wouldn’t leave our side. But as time went on, I noticed that he began to relax. The longer he went without the cushion, the more fun he started to have. Fun for him was “skiing”, going on his back and pushing himself down the mountain. We took him hiking for hours everyday and he never seemed to tire. The longer he was out there, the more he seemed to enjoy himself. It was so nice to see him getting off his cushion and doing something new. It didn’t take long for him to realize that this something new was something he enjoyed.
Upon our return home, the 1st thing he did was run to his cushion. Having returned to his sanctuary he slept deeply and easily fell back into his usual place of familiarity.
I know I have my own cushion, my sanctuary, we all do. This is the place where I can relax and let the world race by. This is a needed place.
But I ask myself how often do I retreat to this sanctuary out of habit without opening my eyes to new possibilities? How often do I accept things just because it’s easier? Maybe I need to get off my cushion a little more. Maybe I need to push myself to experience something new. Maybe I’ll even like it. I’ll never know if I don’t at least try. Anyways, if I don’t like it, I can always go back to my cushion.