I recently learned a valuable lesson from my brother’s dog. Yes, from a dog.

Phil and I took our new, 6 month old Delilah for a walk with my brother, Joe, and his dog Simon. Simon, a Shih tzu, is about 4 years old.

Simon loves the game of chase! He loves to zoom around evading the other dog while making impossible turns and spins. It’s just adorable to watch. Simon loved to play this game with our old Molly. Molly loved it, too and nearly caught him a couple of times. Though mostly Simon left Molly in the dust. Literally . . . lots of dust in the dry season.

Simon’s experience with Delilah (Lilah) held a different experience for him. Lilah is fast and young, so she bowled Simon over a couple of times. Though we tried to restrict Lilah, she was too fast for us to react.

So, here’s the lesson I learned from little Simon . . . you ready for this?

He just stopped.

He stopped running. He stopped allowing Lilah to chase him. Without any movement from Simon, Lilah also slowed down. Then, Simon darted after Lilah! Lilah jumped into a full run and the sport was off again this time with Simon chasing Lilah! They ran through the tall grass and jumped over branches. When Lilah got ahead and doubled back on Simon, Simon stopped again. Once Lilah was again out in front, Simon took off and more running ensued.

Simon didn’t like being bowled over and we were unable to protect him. He didn’t run away. He didn’t bark or growl, he just stood still.

So what did I learn from Simon?

To just stop.

If people aren’t treating me with respect or they are getting a bit pushy, just stop. Don’t talk, don’t engage. Just stop and wait. Once things are respectful again, go have fun! Full enthusiasm!

If life is full of struggle and I feel like I’m being bowled over by life, just stop. Stand still. Wait.

That’s so hard to do! I want to fix it. Change it. Make things the way I want them to be. I think I want control. But control is an illusion. What I really want is cooperation, respect, joy and living life full out!

Things will shift. Things will change. That’s the Law of Impermanence. Everything changes. Instead of Simon being chased, he changed the game so he was the one doing

the chasing. He changed. He still had fun! Lilah and he had a great time. Simon stopped. Simon changed. The game changed. And with a subtle shift, the game was on and fun was had by all!

Maybe it’s time to stop for a bit. See where there might be someone stepping on toes. Pray for insights to change the dynamic. Pray for insights to change the direction. Try something new.

Thank you, little Simon, for such a BIG lesson!