The Cost of Chasing Responsibility

The theme of responsibility is showing up constantly for me and the people I serve.

What does responsibility even mean to you?

Some of the commonalities of what others shared with me are things like:

“Doing all the things at once, so I can get to the next item on my to do list.”

“Sacrificing myself for others (kids, spouses, dogs, friends and family).”

“Doing what I was told or taught to do because it’s what everyone else expects me to do.”

Sacrifice looks like giving up on a dream.

It may also look like choosing a different job because the decision was made with the focus on money versus what would bring someone more joy, contentment, ease and freedom (I’m speaking from my previous personal experience here lol).

Or staying in a job for the money while it leaves you feeling burdened, frustrated, limited because you’re looking for safety and security (I’ve been here too lol).

Walking your dog because it is what everyone else is doing, but your dog doesn’t enjoy this and this leads you to becoming angry and resentful of your dog over and over again.

What all of this leaves you is experiencing pain in your body and heart.

You may experience digestion issues, shoulder pain, constant headaches, the feeling as though the energy is sucked right out of you.

You feel constant dread or resistance doing the things because you’re chasing after something that doesn’t feel right to you.

The paycheck is never enough, the dog isn’t behaving perfectly, there is no end to your workload or no relief in sight and your supervisor piles more on top of you. You missed attending a function because you have zero personal bandwidth to even make it there.

Then you’re led you into being flooded with guilt and shame.

Feelings of guilt and shame bring you right back to what you’re doing. Repeating the same things over again trying to prove how responsible you are to yourself, friends, family or the larger society.

My next question, how can you even achieve something when the goal posts always move, the goal isn’t tangible or it never leaves room for growth to happen?

What my clients get to receive from working with me is how they can choose to live more authentically.

One client described the contrast to responsibility is being brave.

For her, being brave looked and felt like:

Taking things slower.

Learning how to do something differently when something doesn’t work out perfectly.

Creating more ease and comfort for herself, her dogs, her kids by giving space for everyone to have more freedom to do things they want to be doing.

This looks like setting up doggie dens and play areas when she’s unable to actively supervise or when either the dogs or kids are becoming more rambunctious.

They can express themselves in a way that gives the other space to do the same.

This also gets to look like working in shorter and calmer interactions between her resident dogs when everyone is present and actively supervising them.

Presence is about observing body language, asking questions about how the interaction is going, what to look out for and to listening to their own body.

Being connected to oneself is listening to what their bodies are telling them and taking action when they feel the situation is no longer bringing them ease, comfort and peace.

My client’s family member did this beautifully. When she felt she and her dog received enough of what the interaction was designed to give them, she walked with her dog calmly into his doggie den and spent time with him foraging. She listened to herself and took action to bring her more of what she desires for herself and for what she wants her dog to receive too which is feeling relaxed.

If you’re curious about how BodyMind connection can serve you in how you show up for you, your dogs, your family or how it can transform your life, let’s chat!

There are other ways we can work together, check out the Community Connections Membership Group-we start on 14 January. Join Us!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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