Wagasana, greeting the day with gratefulness and curiosity!

Have you had a doga moment today!


Amazement   Awareness    Authentic   Authority   Balance   Barriers   Beauty   Boundaries   Bills   Breathing   Business   

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.

Meditations A: Inhaling, with a deep nose-to-navel belly breath to the count of 4-8, hold for 4, slowly exhaling for 4-8 breaths, releasing … ah-ha.  

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” instead of looking at the dog across the street. Adapting to what cannot change, for whatever reasons, modifying, reinventing and creating a new normal that works for us and our dogs is kindness.

Authentic: Are you authentic or pretending? Either way, and cognitively, there is something to be said for pretending. To develop confidence, we need skill, but 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. We are all students and teachers. The response I get from my dog (or others) may be a direct reflection on how I am communicating or teaching. I respect authority as long as authority respects me. Dogs respect other dogs when they have the ability (body language, vocalizations). Explore “Body Language, Calming Signals, all at www.dogtalk.com.”  

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-days, weeks, months or years form now if my dog chewed my shoes? Where were the shoes when my dog chewed them? If I am exhausted, stressed, angry or sad, my dog won't get mad if I take time to relax. Conversely, if I am angry, stressed, holding on to old rules when I begin training my dog, it will matter. Watching them shows us when it is time to stop, breathe, try something different or challenge ourselves for a longer sit/stay.

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 create barriers preventing us from moving on. Dissolving them opens our minds to new possibilities and ways of communicating with our dogs and others.

Beauty is everywhere: Natural beauty glows from every being, dog and us. We have to snap ourselves awake and out of the abyss. Bald dogs with misaligned teeth are beautiful. Cute is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes we have to peel away the layers, but underneath is a shining coat. Dogs, nature, waking up to them stretching into a play bow - thrills me. I can find relaxation, enjoyment and healing in simple things like listening to my dog breathe. When I look at nature with awe, gentleness and compassion, I find it easier to look with love at myself and my dog.  

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. If they don’t listen, get louder or switch to another. 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, and others, in harmony.

Bills: Whatever we have now is what we have chosen to buy. Often we buy to make ourselves feel good. I have learned to pay close attention to how long the "high" lasts after buying, and what is going on with me in the "now" when I buy. Do I need another pair of jeans? Do my dogs need another toy? Do the dogs need fancy equipment? 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.

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 or not 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. What stopping and breathing does is change the habitual state from being out of the body and trapped in the mind, 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).

Dogs breathe easily: observe them when they take a big long breath or while sleeping. We can learn from this. Panic breathing is shallow, fast and often results in feeling fright and fainting. The body needs us to inhale fresh oxygen slowly and thoroughly into our abdomen. Oxygen nourishes every joint, muscle and fiber of our being. Slowing inhaling, holding and exhaling gives us a moment of peace and relaxation. When we focus on our breath, such as short (or long) meditations, we see, hear and feel with more clarity, and make informed decisions. Listen to your dogs breathe. When they wake they take big deep breaths. When they are excited or see something in the woods, or fearful, they freeze, holding their breath, then release when they get excited. Panting helps them regulate their body temperature and relieve stress. It does for us too. Try it - slowly inhaling to a count of 4-8, holding for 4-8 (without judgment) and releasing (toxins and stress) from 4-8 seconds.

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 individual, unique 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, Shanty, Ananda, Om ... Chipmunk on a Shish-ka-Bob  ...