Lighten Your Load

What weighs you down?

Other people’s expectations of what you should be doing, how you should be acting, how you spend your time and energy?

Maybe even how your dog should be behaving.

A good friend of mine explained it this way.

Each of your worries are bricks. The weight of one is easy to handle, but when you combine all of your worries and doubts into a pile, the weight of each brick is amplified together.

Not only do the bricks exist and are in a nice neat pile, but everyday, you fill up your backpack with these bricks and carry them around with you all day, everyday.

When you fill your backpack with these worries and your dog starts practicing behaviors you would rather live life without like

Barking out of boredom.

Escaping from your yard.

Stealing socks, underwear or even your kids toys.

Your dog becomes another brick to add to the pile.

Your dog didn’t choose to live with you, but you brought your dog into your home and wanted to share a life with him.

When you allow judgements and expectations to consume you, you have no more room in your life to create a loving bond with your dog. Your dog becomes another thing to worry about too.

Inertia creeps in.

Fear takes over.

Believing that the tighter you hold on to your worries will give you a sense of control, but all it does is limits what you can accomplish.

Now, what if you make a choice of prioritizing the bricks you carry with you?

That’s right, you have choice of where you give a piece of your mental real estate.

You can leave the pile outside and take the ones you want and switch them out.

Which ones do you value the most?

These are the bricks to prioritize.

Reconnect with your “why”.

Why did you adopt your dog?

For companionship?

Provide a better life for your friend?

Shifting your perspective from what your dog can do for you, to what you can do for your dog will open your world.

When your dog flourishes, you flourish too.

Meeting your dog’s needs for bonding, trust and love, your dog will not be finding ways to meet this need on his own which may be a source of your stress.

When you can allocate time to play, teach and celebrate what your dog is already doing that you want more of, the worries about your dog’s behavior will not make it into your backpack.

You’ve made room for other things in your life, you’ve alleviated one of headaches and replaced it with joy, harmony and kindness.

Make a change to how you spend your life with your dog.

You’ll achieve greater self satisfaction, connection and most of all you will receive the greatest gift of all, unconditional love from your best friend, your dog.

Want to learn how to change old pattern of behaviors?

Set up your Discovery Call with me

Leaning into Discomfort

It’s hard to see the forest through the trees.

When we are so caught up in the everyday to do list and checking off boxes and the minuet, we loose sight of ourselves and fail to see solutions.

Our routines chug along. Routine saves energy, but also keeps us from expanding ourselves.

You’ve been giving your time and energy to all the things, but you’ve been neglecting your own feelings about where you’re life is going, but you don’t have the awareness yet to see where you begin.

Until one day, you had it. You’re walking your dog and your dog explodes at the same dog at the same house at the same time, but today is different.

You explode too. The frustration bubbles over and the discomfort of this experience drives you to make a choice to seek help.

You’re ready to change.

You want your life to look and feel different.

This motivation is crucial to you moving forward.

Taking the first step in contacting a do no harm dog trainer and coach, is the first step towards reaching your goal.

What sometimes we forget or maybe don’t realize is how change isn’t all at once, especially as you teach your dog life skills.

Also, it isn’t just about your dog learning the life skills either.

Change leads you to your own personal growth.

Growth pushes up against your comfort zone again and again.

Leaving you feeling discomfort.

Experiencing discomfort is normal when you’re in a season of growth. Feel it. Experience it. Don’t cause other people or your companion animals pain or hurt because you’re feeling pain.

The only way to get to the otherside is through experiencing your own discomfort.

Discomfort comes from switching up your routine with your dog, getting clear on what matters to you which is helping your dog learn to change his or her emotional responses to all the things, but discomfort also comes from your growth too.

As Glennon Doyle says, “you can do hard things”, you can show up for yourself in a new way, open to explore a new version of yourself and allow yourself to experience the uncomfortable feelings surrounding how you’re changing your life with your dog.

Becoming more aware change leads to growth and discomfort happens in the space between. By being more aware, you can put things into place where you take care of yourself too.

  1. Acknowledge your discomfort rather than hiding from it. This may be recognizing I can’t do this by myself. This is a powerful step towards personal transformation. When you can feel you need support, you’re already empowering yourself in taking action when you choose a professional who shares your values.
  2. When you’re ready to take the next step in seeking help, make sure to connect with your values when choosing a professional. You love your dog and when you know in your gut love shouldn’t hurt, you’ll choose a pet professional wisely.
  3. Sometimes you’re dealing with heavy behavior concerns and your worries get you spiraling. Make sure to take time to rest. Every moment of every day focused on teaching your dog what you want will take its toll. Carve out time to take a break away for other things you can enjoy, so you can also reconnect with yourself. This will be rejuvenating to you and your dog will notice how relaxed you are too.
  4. Celebrate your wins. We sometimes suffer from “success amnesia”. This is where we are so hyper focused on getting to an end point, we forget to celebrate the small wins that occur along the way. The wins are necessary all the success in what our dogs are accomplishing, but the wins are also what you learn from the setbacks, challenges and how you adapt in those moments. Choosing to see the “failures” as your growth edge, you achieve so much more.

Getting clear on your goals spills over into how you can have a more joyous life with your dog.

Trust Yourself Always

Many years ago, I traveled to Utah from Washington DC to go on a hiking and camping adventure with a good friend of mine.

We went backcountry camping and had all the accoutrements needed for a successful trip.

We set up camp, found some water (that was another story and it derailed the rest of the trip for my friend) and discussed the next day’s hike.

We shared dreams about our futures and what we wanted to bring more into our lives. We envisioned big and we were unwavering about our future. Pure excitement and joy.

The next day, ready to experience the wonders of the mountains, we followed our map to our designated hike through a canyon.

We winded our way through the narrow slots, sucked in our breath to squeeze through tight fitting rock walls and took in the beauty of nature that created this place.

We were feeling the awe of all that nature offers.

After one last turn through the desert floor, the canyon dumped us out into an open valley and the trail was no more. Only a Jeep trail existed.

Either our map was wrong or we missed a turn somewhere along the way. Whatever the case, we already hiked several miles, the afternoon light was waning and we were like huh?!

Now, the choice of where to go next rested in us.

For others, this would be a frightening experience. In the middle of a huge valley, having no idea of where the trailhead is to get us back to our base camp and no one else around.

My friend was doubtful and expressed her fear about being lost in the middle of a giant national park.

Me, on the other hand, I had faith. I wholeheartedly believed and said out loud to my friend, someone is going to drive down this path, we just have to get going.

I trusted my intuition that we will be ok and someone will come along and I fully surrendered.

This deep knowing drowned out any overwhelming sense of fear my friend was experiencing, but I didn’t take on.

Some time later, an electric blue Jeep pulled up and the driver asked us if we needed a lift.

We climbed into the back seat behind the guy’s mother and his wife while my friend and I shared the story about what happened.

He dropped us off at the trailhead and told us we had about another 5 miles to hike to get back to our camp. We jetted off and landed back at our tent before nightfall.

This moment seared into my brain how important it is to let go of the chatter that clouds your inner wisdom and let go of resisting of what is happening right here and now.

When other’s doubt or question you, you don’t have to take on other’s limiting beliefs.

When you do take on other people’s fear, you will be led down the path where you lose your way.

Allow your ideas to unfold regardless of what others say. This will lead you in the right direction.

The slot canyon we hiked through
Our campsite in Canyonlands National Park
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