Wagasana, greeting the day
with gratefulness and curiosity!
Have you had a doga moment today!
See you dog’s amazing abilities to catch that ball, chase that chipmunk ...
Try this: If only ______________(name of dog, person) would _____________(what would you like), then
I could feel _______________(how).
A gentle dose of reality: Forget the top part and repeat, “I could feel ______________(how).
Whatever happens to or around us, does not define us for a lifetime. Only we have the power to do that. Liha-L-Ligo.
Amazement: Become amazed at the infinite possibilities of living and learning with dogs. Choose to learn something new every day. Teach your dogs something new at least once a week and without judgment. Amazing can be simple, extravagant or both. Amazing is different for everyone and every species. Watch a dog roll in the grass or a cat chase an empty thread bobbin.
Awareness is the first step to creating positive change in my life and in the relationship with my dogs. Awareness | Prevention | Exchange (APE): To change any behavior I must first be aware of it. Undesirable behaviors awaken us to the reality that something needs to change. Preventing it from happening repeatedly will avoid fuelling it to a blazing fire. Exchanging the behaviors we do not like in ourselves or our dogs for ones that we do will relieve stress. It can create a sense of euphoria when we are struggling to realize that the solution may be as simple as changing one little behavior like “Watch-ME” & “SIT” instead of looking at the dog across the street.
Authentic: Are you authentic or pretending? To develop confidence, we need skill. Mindset and practice is what brings our skills to fruition. I am ablaze with gratitude when someone says, “You are authentic.” To me that means, what you see is what you get (WSYWYG). Dogs are authentic whether we like it or not. What we teach, and what we get from them in return, almost always is authenticity!
Authority: I am the author of my life and teach my dogs with respect and understanding. I give myself permission to accept myself and my dog as individual beings. Before training, I get in touch with my inner wisdom, setting an intention for what I hope to achieve. I strive to be a respectable pack leader, not a bully. It doesn’t always work that way, but each time I become more aware of the effect it has on my dogs, others and me. The response I get from my dog (or others) may be a direct reflection on how I am communicating or teaching.
Meditations B: Nose to navel breath of awareness … Inhaling into your nose, feeling your navel rise, exhaling through your nose or mouth ... Imagining “so calm”. Or, create your own soothing mantra.
Balance is a lifelong challenge and opportunity. Balancing energy for me and my dogs means less stress and confusion. I am the author of my life, so I can write a second, third or fourth edition, changing chapters as I learn new ways of balancing work with play. I cannot predict what each day will hold, so flexibility is a new friend. Planning, prioritizing and knowing that what I cannot get done today will be there tomorrow relieves stress. Creating a system of A.B.C.'s that works for me will organize my life. Will it make a difference 10 minutes, 10-hours, 10-days, weeks, months or years from now if my dog chewed my shoes? Where were the shoes when my dog chewed them?
Barriers can become possibilities. Listen and observe. The gateways to wisdom and learning are always open. If I am in a room without a door, I will find a window. If there is no window, then I will create one. Blocks, obstacles and problems are personal teachers giving me the opportunity to consider a new way of being, teaching and this includes our dogs. Dogs live in the present. They are wonderful catalysts that teach us how to break down barriers of communication. Dogs are translators, reflecting our behaviors back at us like a house of mirrors. Holding onto old patterns creates barriers preventing us from moving on. Dissolving them opens our minds to new possibilities and ways of communicating with our dogs and others.
Boundaries are shields / guidelines that I create for myself. Boundaries help me enjoy healthy relationships. Knowing when to say "no" without feeling guilty is personal growth. Expectations of others do not always have to be mine or my dogs. Boundaries can identify what I want and don't want. When others cross my personal boundaries, it is okay to calmly speak up; Let them know what we prefer. We don’t have to give anyone our energy unless we choose. Teaching my dogs about boundaries like when to jump, bark, dig and what to chew gives them guidance on how to be in a human pack – and live with me in harmony.
Bills & Balls: Whatever we have now is what we have chosen to buy. Often we buy to make ourselves feel good. Let’s pay attention to how long the "high" lasts after buying, and what is going on in the "now" when I buy. Do I need another pair of jeans? Do my dogs need another ball? Does it really matter if someone drives a Tahoe Hybrid and I drive a paid for Toyota? Living beneath our means but within our needs gives us freedom. Trusting yourself and taking a deep breath the next time you impulsively plan on buying will help you decide if this is a "really love, want it and can afford it" purchase. Dogs find as much pleasure in a stick or chuck ball as they do in an expensive puzzle toy. In fact, our dogs figure the puzzle toys out in 5 minutes.
Breathing is essential to living. Where are we without it? Feel every hair in your nose when you breathe. We are made of energy, cells and matter. 70% of our body is water and salt. Stay hydrated. Breathing affects how we feel and how we pause before reacting in the moment. Dogs are extremely sensitive to changes in energy. Breathing changes how energy is processed. Dogs sense thunderstorms before us. They sense our emotional reactions and watch our body language. When there are lifestyle changes, it affects them too. When we pause and breathe before reacting, we become pro-active. We become healthier, reducing sensory overload.
Conscious breathing does not take a lot of time, and the benefits are powerful. Breathing is meditation, and can be on the spot for 12 seconds, or planned for hours. Spotting a behavior and Stopping a behavior, then breathing, changes our habitual out-of-body state to being in the body and present in the moment. You feel lighter, decisions come with clarity, and your dogs sense your calmness and sensibility. If they do not, it may be because we haven’t been calm long enough for them to know how to be calm (self control).
Business is a lifelong experience that flows from success to success. Whether working in corporate, writing a book, or managing a small business, I trust my skills and the universe to provide guidance. If I need skills then I will learn them. I keep my mind open to opportunities, channelling my energy into working with intention. I trust in my choices to influence my business, which is doing something I am passionate about. Jobs, large or small, connect to a much bigger picture that identifies us as unique, individual beings. Our dogs have a business too. They are here for us! As with any business, daily living and learning with dogs (Awareness Centered Training - ACT) requires OPIUM (organizing, planning, implementing the plan, understanding, and making changes [flexibility]).
Meditations A - B
Om, beefy bone, not kibble ... Om Chipmunk on a Shih-ka-bob