I had the coolest experience today. I went hiking for the first time at the trails out at the University of West Florida with my friend and her two huge chocolate labs. For many years, I’ve heard about these trails from lots of people that have mountain biked, run, and walked them, and I didn’t even know exactly where they were. Sure enough, right there at the edge of campus, there’s a ton of wooded land with a river on one side.
There are trails throughout, miles of them, so we picked one and started walking. We were talking, and then all of a sudden the younger dog was gone. He’s eighteen months old, and she’d expressed that he might do this. We called out for him and looked around, and he was nowhere to be found. Totally gone. We kept walking with the older dog for a while, then we turned around and headed back in hopes of finding him. And we learned in the meantime that the trails are not very well marked, so we actually got slightly lost at one point. It wasn’t to the level of the Blair Witch Project or anything, but it did make things a bit more interesting.
So we were walking back, and then we veered off onto a different trail that went over by the water. She said that the dog had bolted off that way the last time they’d been out there, and it’s also a really beautiful spot, so off we went. We got the the spot on the water, and there was no dog. Hmm… With no other options, and having walked several miles already, we started walking back towards the parking lot.
The dog had a tag on his collar, so we were hoping he’d either find his way back to the car, we’d find him, or someone would find him and call my friend. I had a feeling that it would turn out okay, and I’d even asked the universe when he first got lost to blow our minds if it wanted to. It just didn’t feel like losing a dog for good was going to happen on this day. Also my friend and I like to talk about the deep stuff when we hang out, and she’s involved in teaching and sharing it like I am. So it seemed like something cool was going to happen. I didn’t say any of this to her, though, because it might sound like I was minimizing it since it wasn’t my dog! And she would’ve been absolutely right. She later said she’d begun to have some waves of worry as the hike wore on, and how could she not. I’m sure I would have… And she barely said a word about it.
So here’s where it gets cool. After we started walking back, we crossed paths with two guys that were out running the trails. All of a sudden, there they were out of nowhere, face to face with us. We asked if they’d seen a chocolate lab and one of them said yes, with sort of an interesting look in his eye. But still, we’re thinking that there’s little chance that we’ll be able to find him. If the guy said, “He’s that way,” then off we’d go, and good luck finding this dog that’s running all over the place in miles and miles of forest. So the few seconds after he said “yes” felt like this really interesting space. And then he said, “He’s at my house.” Wham!
Isn’t that so cool? It felt really awesome. What’s more, his wife was home and they lived maybe two miles away. Really? They’d called the number on the tag, but my friend had left her phone in the car. So he must’ve called his wife and asked her if she’d come and get the dog until the owner had been found. They texted us her name and number, and in no time flat we had the dog. Wow. So it all worked out well, and super smooth, and yes, the universe blew our minds. Thanks, universe. So cool!
So that’s the story of the hike, the dog, and the universe. I hope you enjoyed it. I wrote about Michael Singer’s awesome and fun book The Surrender Experiment almost two years ago, but I was nowhere close to living that way. Not even remotely close! That’s when you know that whatever happens is for your highest good and highest potential, 100% of the time. Period. So when things happen that you don’t like, you realize it’s melting that little ego dude or dudette in there that’s saying, “No! This is wrong! This shouldn’t be happening! I’m right and the universe is wrong!!” Yes, folks, I’ve done that… a lot… All I can say is that for most of us, it takes a while to start to live in YES more and more. Listening to a ton of Matt Kahn recently, like the retreat I wrote about not too long ago, is what has really gotten my attention. And life gets smoother after a while because your “stuff” gets cleared out more and more, and you say “yes” to what’s happening and thus learn your lessons faster. You see the intelligence that’s orchestrating all things, and you see it more often in real time. And the ego melts faster.
And now let’s deepen it, and I’ll be writing more and more about this. But we’ve been doing all this self-love on steroids lately (first here and then more here), and that has a huge effect. Because since we’re loving ourselves more, the universe doesn’t have to give us reminders by constantly letting us down. Think about that for a moment… Yes it can be pretty brutal, but it really does seem like that’s the setup. For now, anyway, in these crazy shifting times. So if the universe is so intelligent that it can turn a tiny acorn into a massive freaking oak tree, then maybe everything that happens really is for my highest good. And maybe it’s all just reminders to love myself more deeply. And maybe when I do that, the universe seems to get nicer. I don’t know for sure, but it really does feel that way to me lately. And it’s certainly worth a shot, because what could go wrong? You might even get your dog back.
I’m also going to send this post to the awesome people that went out of their way to secure this tired, wet, hot, slobbering, furry dog. They might think I’m absolutely crazy! But it could also lead to changing someone’s life. You never know when something in these words, something else on the blog, or something that’s recommended like a book or a teacher affects someone. And it could be a friend of a friend of a friend – that’s the universal intelligence again, and it knows each of us intimately, and it knows who needs what and when, as well as knowing exactly how to deliver it to them. And if they think I’m crazy then that’s fine, too. At least it’ll make for a funny story. So peace out! And happy hiking 🙂