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Recently, Deb spent some time relaxing in her Massachusetts backyard with her three dogs, Papo, Pinto, and Sully, replenishing her vitamin D and re-reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. While reading, she was interrupted and experienced the most joyous moment with her dog Papo.

As Deb recounts of that moment, “my dogs don’t normally see me just sitting and reading. Many times I’m working in my gardens, watering my flowers or playing with them, mostly with Papo — he loves to play fetch”.

Half an hour into her reading, Deb explains, Papo, a sheltie, looked at her and began to bark. While Deb wanted to continue her reading, Papo wouldn’t take no for an answer, and started to tell her a story with a series of different-pitched barks, undaunted. Deb says that “It was if he was telling me a story and in between his series of barks, he would smile his sheltie smile. He pulled me into this moment and I began to laugh and as I laughed the story got bigger and bigger”.

Deb, enchanted by Papo’s display, began laughing uncontrollably. She knew what he was trying to do: bring her joy at that very moment, and she was so happy that he knew that was what she needed.

Why did Papo want to bring Deb joy? She lives in what seems like paradise: a quaint farmhouse with a welcoming bright red door, surrounded by flower and herb gardens and mighty oaks, swaying birch and a sprinkling of maple trees and a huge backyard where the pups can run. But last summer, Deb’s husband passed on, and her world changed forever.

Deb explains that she and her husband, Jose, are still soulmates, even though he is gone in his physical form. His passing had a profound effect on her, in a way that she did not expect. As she explains, “As I navigated this loss, something changed in me and it started me on the path to a more fulfilling existence. It was if his death slowed down the speed of the world for me and I began to see differently”. She remembers underlining a line from Eckhart’s book the day following Jose’s passing, which spoke to her:

All that is to be required to be free of the ego is to be aware of it since awareness and ego are incompatible. Awareness is the power that is concealed within the present moment. This is why we may also call it Presence. The ultimate purpose of human existence, which is to say your purpose, is to bring that power into this world.

Since that day, Deb has retired early from her job, and has begun seeking out new priorities in her life. She tells amazing stories about her art, and her commitment to her spiritual practice and nutrition. She practices watercolour painting, working with organic materials such as pressed flowers and handmade paper. Best of all, Deb has discovered time for stillness in her life. “I am realizing I no longer race through life, I make decisions with assurance, I am becoming more present, being a watcher of my thoughts and I have learned to be the duck who flaps her wings and floats on peacefully.”

Supporting her ability to turn to presence are Papo, Pinto, and Sully and their gift for pulling Deb into the moment. When Papo wouldn’t give up until she played, he taught Deb how to cherish an awareness of the now. Her advice is this: “True bliss was in that present moment and I would have missed it if I did not pay attention. So many special moments pass us by, by not being aware, by not being present.”

Shared from Eckhart Tolle News

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