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Life to the Max? Monday August 31, 2015

[Audio version:]

I've got a little friend called, "Max." Max is my neighbour's dog. He looks like "Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy" if you've ever seen the Lynley Dodd books (or care to Google the image).

Max is an enthusiast. Nothing is held back. I have known him try to draw me through the garden fence by the power of his nose suction alone. This little black, wet nozzle of a snozzle finds a tiny gap under the fence and inhales as if his life depends upon it... His wagging tail causes a small tremor that can be felt through the ground... he is truly inspirational!

I think it would be fair to create a verb in Max's honour: to be Maxed. To be Maxed means to be enthusiastically 'assaulted' by an energetic bundle of hairy love!

I'm pretty sure Max's love is unconditional, or perhaps indiscriminate. It still feels nice - if you're not wearing your posh togs.

Walking to the shop the other day, I saw Max in the distance, and thought to myself, "Today, I do not wish to be 'Maxed'!" I wondered how I could politely avoid being pounced upon without offending him or his owner.

My concerns were unnecessary. Max was 'elsewhere'. He had found some fascinating scent along the bottom of another fence and was busy pursuing this trail. Nose down, he was blissfully unaware of anything else.

Max had found joy and freedom through single-minded focus. One thought, one purpose, one pursuit. I don't think he has many worries, but if he did, he wouldn't have been troubled at this time. His mind was absorbed.

Could you find joy and freedom in single-minded focus today? Could you make a promise to your brain that you'll come back to the other stuff it's fretting about later but in the meantime just focus enthusiastically on something lovely and absorbing?

Live life to the Max.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Hopeful One Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 7:53am

Hi Lex- a powerful post reminding us of the power of the Now something Max (in my case Fudge the neighbours black Labrador) do with ease. It is not so straight forward for us humans as we are constantly distracted by our thought stream pulling us away from the Now to either the Past or the Future. But Max is what we must teach ourselves to do as often as Max.

the room above the garage Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 9:16am

Hello HO, lovely to see you.
Hi Lex, I adore this today. Hairy Maclary has a special sentimental place in my heart, you share my love of children's books! "...blissfully unaware of anything else.." What a powerful line and possibly the essence of good mental health - to be able to compartmentalise our low, our high, our happy, our lonely, our sad. It is meditation of a kind. You have fuelled me and I thank you! Xx

Nicole Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 9:17am

Hi Lex,

what a lovely post, you certainly managed to max me this morning... :-) thank you so much!


jenny Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 9:42am

Hi, A well timed blog for me. I have been going around as a Max with my family and friends , but less hairy. I have been just underneath the level of a high for longer than normal, and enjoying it. However, although I have been enjoying being in a beautiful comfort zone, I have been mindful of wanting / needing to move out of this to start a business to help me, and my son, out of financial problems. I'm just wondering if this will be my single minded focus that will give me joy or will it send me into a stress cycle? Not expecting anyone to answer - but it comes to mind that one is likely to regret the things one doesn't do more than the things you do.

Jen Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 9:49am

Hi Lex, I am slightly freaked out that Hairy Maclary was the very book I read to my son last night, precisely because we love them but hadnt read in ages. In fact we read 5 such stories as it was a combined edition(bought for the tiny sum of 50p from a charity shop years ago but what oodles of joy they've brought!). thanku to the Max for these ideas x

Claire Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 10:06am

Hi Lex, my kids love hairy mcclary even my 12 year old who is approaching the terrible teenage zone, he adores him, and my kids have been an inspiration to me since they were born, because like our furry friends they are free spirits and don't get bogged down by over-thinking, nothing is held back, unconditional love, their nicknames are Fudge & Spud aka Fiona and Jamie , they live life to the Max and I'm getting there!, thanks for a lovely start to my day! X

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 10:08am

Ah, Lex, what a post! Maxed by a Lex and Tobyfied by a Toby with the waggiest tail..of the helicopter variety...and oh, those eyes....'take me out, a Mum, take me out, come on, Mum...lets goooo!'

We are off out on an is one of the days I let him choose which way we go and I follow: I'm probably more barking than him, but it's fun to let his nose choose where we go for a change!

susan Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 10:59am

What a fun bit of writing, Lex. Made me chuckle groggily. Hey, i get to iron today! Absorbing but not particularly lovely. Believe it or not, it usually focuses me in a Max way, away from the diffuse thinking that takes in too much at once and causes problems. Rainy day ironing is good. Thanks again. xx

Lex Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 11:01am

Hi Hopeful One, The Room Above The Garage, Nicole, Jenny, Jen, Claire, and, of course, Bearofliddlebrain... thank you for your loving words of encouragement. I'm so glad some of Max's obvious joy has been shared with you and has been multiplied in your stories back to me and other readers. How wonderful to write a book like "Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy" and, in so doing, touch the hearts of generations.
Have a happy focused day!
Jenny, if I can support I will. Caroline knows it's OK to share my contact details.

Lex Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 11:35am

Hi Susan, let's rewrite The Carpenters' hit: "Rainy Days and Ironing Always Gets me Through!" And I really do understand how ironing can help. I ask people where they are and what they are doing when they have their best ideas. Ironing often comes up.
May your mind have happy thoughts as you're going flat out.

Bearofliddlebrain Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 11:52am

Hi Susan, I thought 'Perfect Day' when I read your reply....a rainy day is just perfect to get the ironing mountain out of the way...and apart from a soggy doggy walk...what else is there to do this morning??!! But then Max out this afternoon with a fab film and cosy up on the settee with family, pet or just a nice blankie and a cuppa and've earned it!

Claire Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 4:56pm

Heehee, you lot are hilariously talented with words, putting a smile on my face and in my heart...the sun also is smiling up here in North Northumberland....I find ironing therapeutic too....happy Mondays!!!!

Claire Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 4:56pm

Heehee, you lot are hilariously talented with words, putting a smile on my face and in my heart...the sun also is smiling up here in North Northumberland....I find ironing therapeutic too....happy Mondays!!!!

susan Mon, Aug 31st 2015 @ 5:28pm

Hi KarenBear. As Lex said, i hope you had happy thoughts "while going flat out" (funny man). Hi Claire, perhaps the sun coaxed you out of the house and the ironing had to wait....:)

Claire Mon, Sep 7th 2015 @ 2:12pm

Hi Susan, the sun is out again and my kids are going to school with very creased uniform!!!! But everyone's happy so what the hell ??

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