About Living a Better Life

Catherine Nelson, Ph.D.
November – December 2022 • Vol 4, No 1

I believe that every animal species has something to teach us if we would pay closer attention to them and understand some of their core qualities. For example, let us look at dogs. I frequently take a walk in a nearby dog park early in the morning and watch the dogs. I enjoy the beauty of the dog park and the views of the distant mountains, but most of all, I enjoy watching the dogs and their boundless energy when they are off leash. They are always excited to be able to move about freely. Some walk, some run and some even leap in the air. Some dogs stay close to their persons and some run off and then work their way back. Their joy of movement is infectious.

Many of us have busy lives with numerous responsibilities to our families, our jobs, our community and so much more. We work hard to be responsible and caring. Sometimes we lose our sense of joy and in particular, our sense of joy of physical movement. Some of us even feel guilty if we take time to be outdoors engaging in a physical activity that gives us pleasure. And yet, it is precious time to do something outdoors to refresh and energize both emotionally and physically. We can inhale the freshness of the outdoor air; we will see the sky, the trees, the mountains and meadows and know we are part of all that is on planet earth. The movement of our physical body will release naturally some of our daily tensions and worries.

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