In our Voices series, this month, in honor of Take Your Dog To Work Day (June 26th), we have a special blog submission from author and leader, Katy McQuaid. She brings us tips on practicing presence with an assist from your best friend, your dog.
How would your world change if you allowed yourself to be fully present in each moment? Dogs are naturally present as they experience the world around them, and they can be great teachers for us humans!
Grace the fluffy dog shares five tips parents and kids can use to practice presence
- When you eat, really enjoy your food. (And know it’s okay if you don’t want to share.)
- When you walk outside, lift your head, and breathe through your nose. That’s the best way to smell all the sniffs in the air. REALLY breathe it in, all the way into your belly.
- Notice EVERYTHING. Be present where you are, and take in everything there is to see.
- When you’re free to dig, dig deep and wide. Enjoy the dirt on your paws!
- When a person you love speaks, perk up your ears, and smile!
Practicing presence is one of the best gifts a parent can give their child. Through being present a child knows they’re seen, and that they’re being heard. Grace reminds parents to take an extra minute or two to be with your child, so they will feel that you care, that somebody is listening, and somebody notices. Grace recommends just looking kids in their eyes, and of course, looking straight down into their heart. That is the gift of presence.
Want more from Katy and Grace the Dog? Check out Fun Indoor Activities To Do With Children And Their Pets.
Author and leadership consultant Katy McQuaid spent more than three decades in the CIA, including 12 years living abroad. Her work in communities all over the world and the endearing, unconditional love of her four-legged muse, Grace, inspired her to write the “Everybody Loves Grace” series of illustrated books. Parents, kids of all ages, executives, and organizational leaders hail the series as a beacon of hope and inspiration for anyone navigating change or challenging circumstances. Learn more at www.EverybodyLovesGrace.com.