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    I once heard that when you need a friend to support you during a challenging moment in life, the fingers you have in one hand might be too many.

    Every time I think about such a sentence, I end up looking down and feeling shocked by the number of possibilities, not more than five. Did you ever think about how many friends you can really count in life?

    Forget social media and party attendants. To me, a friend is someone always happy to see you and looking for an opportunity to be with you, no matter what.

    Let me reinforce, no matter what.

    Over time, you will notice that some people you might consider to be close to you, always have a default reply; “I don’t have the time.” Which almost always means, “this is not a priority.” or “you are not a priority to me.” If you stop for a moment and think about your real friends, the story about the fingers in your hand makes more sense.

    Last week, our dearest Barny, went away on a long journey to the valley where happy dogs are even more thrilled. It was unexpected like so many departures. When a friend says goodbye, you are forced to put things into perspective.

    The “Lion King” of Palhacana

    During the last seven years, I believed we walked a few thousand kilometers together. We shared rainy and sunny days. We heard the whisper of the wind in our valley, we felt the earth underneath our feet, and we saw the reflection of a full moon in each other’s eyes.

    “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”

    Barny was my mentor, he taught me that when we care, it’s incredible how much we can get done. For him, time always played in his favor, never against. How is that possible you may ask?

    Well, one way to choose to care is to be clear about your priorities, which means being clear in your mind and in your language (body language included). And so we can say to ourselves, “I’d love to do that, but it’s not a priority.” Which is okay if you are protecting a greater good.

    Fortunately, real friends have non-typical priorities. They do not think outside of the present moment, because being is always enough.

    The day Barny entered our life

    The best way for me to pay tribute to my four-legged friend is to share with you what did I learn with him:

    1 – The capacity to wait, to be patient and to be positive about future possibilities was one of Barny’s strongest skills. When he was expecting food or waiting for me to come out to do our daily walks, It showed me that mastering time get you a long way.

    Try this: Go outside and try to figure out how things grow and develop. Nature is a school of gratitude. Everything accommodates to what life brings. And you might learn to become more patient.

    2 – Barny did not carry grudges or even understand anger as an emotion. He only gave off unconditional love to our family and anybody who visited and was kind to him.

    Try this: Don’t give first impressions, be nice to people and most likely people will be nice to you.

    3 – Barny was always there for me regardless of my flaws. He never asked what is wrong, he just tried to comfort me when he sensed that something was not working. 

    Try this: Look deep into the eyes of your friends when they look at you. See what they are thinking and how they are feeling. True friendship has nothing to hide.

    Today Barneys best four-legged friend, Rocky, showed up at our house to play. He is an impressive Mastiff that loves to jump, run and eat everything he finds in its way. But this morning was different. He laid down at our entrance and stayed there, quietly, all day. Honestly, it ripped our broken heart in even smaller pieces.

    Rocky waiting for Barny

    Dogs don’t talk, they say. But if I could ask Rocky what he was doing there, he would probably answer me that he was waiting for Barny.

    Time will pass and will bring other challenges. That’s how life evolves. If one day you meet while walking in the vineyards of Palhacana and you ask me what am I doing, I will tell you, that I am waiting for a friend.

    That’s what we should do along our journey on Earth. Keep our friends in such a special place that we can always feel that we are just waiting to meet again.

    “True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”
    Don’t wait to spend time with your friends

    If you have a friend you haven’t talked for a long time, maybe you want to call or visit the coming weekend, what do you think? Good idea?

    One of the things I respect the most in the Walking Mentorship groups is the “miracle” of a new friendship. And this is something I often see unfolding in front of my eyes.

    Usually, I don’t talk about it in my blog or communication, but maybe I should, because finding a new true friend is a very likely side effect when you make the time to be.

    Being is always enough.

    If you need a week to practice “being” join me this summer on a walk where the destination is always the best version of yourself.

    Keep walking with me,
    João Perre Viana

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