Going to the Well … finding your biggest energy …
Maybe you’re still a kid. But even if not, I’ll bet you can remember when you were, and how much you wanted to get to do the most amazing thing in the world… DRIVE!
I can sure tell you, as a dog, that I envy you guys like CRAZY – that you’ve invented, and are able to work, a machine that comfortably carries people, dogs, and other cargo at incredible speeds, far faster than even I can run.
And I know that, reading this, you either share my envy or had it once before.
Maybe you were three years old and wished you could drive to the ice cream store. Or maybe you were twelve and just wanted to speed like crazy, with the windows down and your favorite song blasting all your neighbors awake. Or maybe you were fifteen and just wanted to be able to escape your family and get to your friends who understood you better (or maybe, just who you understood better!). And maybe you’re older than that, and for whatever reason, you still haven’t had the ability to learn to drive, or don’t have access to a car. And so you’re still jealous of every driver out there.
Well join the club.
Now the one thing I do get to do is to ride in the back seat and look out the window (Handsome won’t let me stick my head all the way out, which I so want to do, as he says it’s too dangerous – something could strike my eye, or a bad driver could even drive too close to us and… YIKES, OKAY, I’M GOOD STAYING INSIDE!).
And do you know what I see as I watch the other drivers? I’ll bet you do – almost everyone is MISERABLE! They’re frustrated at not being able to drive faster, or angry that they’re running late, or hating all the other drivers for just being there, or mad at something they’re hearing on the radio, or jealous that someone else has a better car in some way.
Now, yes, some drivers are happier than those. They’re singing along with something fun, or having a funny chat, or… well there’s at least one guy who likes nothing more than to reach into the back seat and scratch my ears and get a lick on his hand and tell me how much he loves his knucklehead…
But do you see where I’m going with this? No one is actually happy about the fact that they’re DRIVING! They’ve waited years, maybe decades, to be able to do this, and once they can, all the fun of it is GONE!
How ridiculous is that!
And I see this same quality in you amazing humans all the time! You try so hard to get a job, and then complain about having to go to work. You dream of finding a mate, and then get bored and bothered by that person you’re “stuck” with. You achieve the greatest circle-of-life goal by creating a baby, and then spend eighteen years griping about how all the good days of your life ended when you got saddled with those stinking kids!
Now I know, my brain’s a lot smaller than yours. So my ability to be overjoyed about something happening that has happened every day for years (like getting food, or my human coming home) might seem silly to you.
But if we’re both living our lives pursuing happiness, and I’m happier than you… who’s the silly one?
And now that I’ve got you there, here’s my real question – wouldn’t you like a way to be able to tap into that same energy I have all the time?
There’s a way.
Each of you is different. Each of you seven billion people living right now is unique. You have most things in common, sure, but one quality that makes you the special you you are is what I’ll call your Big Energy.
Big Energy is the something that makes you feel centered, makes you feel great, makes you reconnect to your best self. Whatever it is, when you have it, you feel new again. You appreciate what’s around you more, you connect to your own feelings more, maybe you understand something you’ve been struggling with for a long time.
And there’s only one way for you humans to get it. But it’s different for different people. I call it Going to the Well.
When you Go to the Well that I’m describing, and drink from it, you don’t just quench your thirst. You become your best self, and feel a new, fresh, energy, that’s big and free and wonderful.
In other words… you get to feel like me.
Some people find it in worship. Maybe going to your church or temple or mosque or some other ceremony, or praying, or meditating, works for you. That’s great.
For many others, it involves nature – it could be working in your yard, or hiking on a mountain, or spending a week camping in the wilderness where there’s no cell reception to be found (Bad News: I can pretty much promise you you’ll never connect to your Big Energy by listening to or looking at your phone – though maybe you’re reading this there right now, which is helping you figure out where to find it!).
Maybe creativity works for you – painting or playing music or singing, or even listening to a song or piece that transforms your spirit. For my human Handsome, writing is just about the best. But not writing letters or work notes or posting on social media; it’s writing creatively, letting his imagination flow. Whether or not he comes up with a result he likes, just the act of doing it brings him that giant breeze, and refreshes his mind.
Exercise is fantastic. While you might roll your eyes at my saying this (“Are you kidding, Shirelle?! I hate situps!”), it’s incredible what a natural high a person can get playing a sport, or running, or swimming, or just about anything that gets your heart beating fast and is fun (your idea of fun, not mine. That’s what matters).
For me, there’s nothing better than running. It might be playing hard with other dogs, or chasing balls that Handsome throws, or trying to catch squirrels or cats or birds.
Birds? Yes, I said birds. I know, it’s kind of hard for a land-runner like me to catch someone who flies hundreds of feet into the air – but it’s not catching the bird that makes me feel so good; it’s the chase that gets my blood flowing and my spirit soaring!
Now I know that most of you spend most of your time doing really good stuff. Maybe you work at a job that helps people, or you go to school and study to better yourselves. Maybe you’re good to your family and friends, maybe you even go out of your way to do kindnesses to strangers. All that is great, and I don’t want to stop you from it, but that’s not necessarily going to give you your Big Energy. That Well has its own qualities, regardless of what’s good for others.
And here’s the biggest point about this:
The only one who can tell what your Well is is you, because you’re the only one who feels it.
One person does their daily prayers and feels rejuvenated each time. Another, of equal faith, says the same prayers and only feels they’ve done their responsibility. Neither is better or worse than the other, but the second one needs to find their Well in some other way.
A physical education class runs around a track. Three of those students fly to a magical place inside, feeling great, loving life, seeing everything around them in brighter colors. The others all either just have a good workout and feel accomplished, or hate every second of it. Again, no one’s wrong, but only those three found their Well.
So let me tell you a story about myself with this. A few years back, Handsome had an operation for a hernia. He came home from the hospital, and spent the next week in bed. During this time, I snapped into a deep instinct from my ancestors, and, as I recognize Handsome as my pack leader, spent twenty-two hours a day lying next to him, and, whenever I could, resting my back against his surgery wound. My goal was to put as much healing energy as I could into those stitches. I’ll say, with no false modesty, that I was amazing – even though I was a young, hyperactive, pup, I gave him everything I had.
Well, almost everything. As I said, I lay by him for twenty-two hours a day. For the other two, I went outside and ran like crazy, the whole time. All my nutty puppy self got to reconnect, and I recharged my soul’s batteries in my own way. In my own Well.
Now I didn’t have to think about this; just like my lying against Handsome’s hernia, that running kicked in out of pure instinct. But that’s where we species are different. You do have to figure out what works for you. But you have the tools for it. You have that giant brain, and you have the ability to choose from so many more activities.
Now maybe, if you’d been in my situation, you would have felt the charge I’m talking about by doing all that healing work on Handsome. But while I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else, or doing anything else, that didn’t give me that charge; the running did.
Also, just like actual water, this Well didn’t give me some permanent Big Energy that I got to have from then on. This kind of Well doesn’t work like that. You need to go back, over and over.
And you might find that what works for you for a while (say, bike riding) eventually doesn’t give you that connection anymore. And then you might want to try, say, gardening, or playing an instrument, or helping out at a charity.
But whatever works for you, I’ll guarantee you this: If you can find your Well, and learn how to get your Big Energy, everything in your life can get better. It’ll be like…
Well, it’ll be like getting that license to drive! Suddenly you’ll have more abilities, more energy, and feel a new freedom.
And with that freedom, maybe you can pursue some other activities, that give you yet more Big Energy. Like kissing someone you really like. Or daring something you’ve feared.
Or scratching a dog’s tummy. That should ALWAYS make you feel your best! (At least it sure feels good to us!)