My dog is a Stoic

Every morning, after pouring myself a cup of hot, black coffee, I open the backdoor to let my chow Lexi do her business. She’s 8 now, with a tuft of gray fur on her chin and certainly no stranger to our morning routine.

She dawdles around the yard, pretending to search for the “perfect” spot before settling on the same 4x4 grid in the back-left corner of the lawn she uses every time. So adorable.

But then, she makes her way back to the porch where she does something totally unique — she plops her ass down and just…sits. Especially now in the chilly fall mornings (summer and her don’t get along), she just sits there, staring stoically off into the distance.

She’ll do this for sometimes 20, maybe 30 minutes. Just sitting there doing nothing but enjoying the fall breeze. Maybe watching for squirrels. Or whatever else dogs do when they’re being mindful.

Here are a couple more photos from last week on different days:

It’s like the mornings are her time to just “be”, and I think it’s awesome. I like to believe she’s a little Stoic, even if she’s really just out there praying for a squirrel to misstep and tumble into the yard belly-up ready to be eaten.

For those who have never dabbled in the field of stoicism, it’s worth a weekday afternoon trip down the rabbit hole. It’s a philosophy I’ve come to love and appreciate, and though I’m far from a full-fledged Stoic, I still reap a slew of benefits from my light-hearted practicing.

A few of the benefits I’ve personally gained from practicing (some) Stoicism:

  • Less anxious
  • More grateful
  • Less distracted
  • Higher overall happiness
  • Caring less what other people think
  • Living more deliberately aka “on purpose”
  • Knowing what’s in/out of my control (and acting accordingly)

A huge proponent of Stoicism is learning what’s in your control, taking action on that, and putting the rest aside. Obviously, it’s easier said than done but it has been huge for me over the years as I’ve learned how to manage my anxiety.

At any rate, Stoicism is worth checking out and there are some great resources out there these days for those interested.

  1. Ryan Holiday is perhaps the biggest name in Stoicism right now. He runs a website called The Daily Stoic which is a great foray for novice and more seasoned folks.
  2. Pretty much any of Ryan Holiday’s books are also super good
  3. The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzegeber
  4. And then Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a timeless classic that most people have at least heard of.

If you want to dip your toes in the water without any upfront investment, The Daily Stoic is your best bet. I think you’ll find as you start diving deeper into the practice that there’s a lot to be learned from just sitting, watching, and being, like my dog Lexi does every morning.