Dogs don’t demand much of us. They ask to be loved, fed, taken on walks, and for you to show up exactly as you are. It’s that last one that can feel tricky for many of us. Too often, we bury our unique character underneath the weight of what other people around us expect. Other people’s judgements about what is “good” and “bad” dictate our behavior and feelings of self-worth or shame. Being just who you are can feel like a herculean effort.
Empathy is a skill we as humans don’t use often enough. While it’s true we don’t use empathy enough with our fellow humans, it’s also true when it comes to our four-legged friends. What would change if you shifted your perception and saw your world through your dog’s eyes?
Gratitude may be one of the most powerful emotional forces we have. It pulls you from worrying about past, fretting about the future, and centers you in the here and now. It’s the antidote to fear, anxiety and anger. Taking a few minutes each day to feel grateful can shift your entire life towards more joy and abundance.
Passion is a tricky thing. It gives you fire, motivation, and a burning desire to contribute. On the flip side, it can make you feel vulnerable and afraid to share your light with the world. It’s safer to keep your passion to yourself where it’s comfortable rather than live it out loud. Truly living in your passion can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done and simultaneously one of the most terrifying things you’ve ever done. Luckily, our dogs give us a great model for moving forward in this fragile but incredibly rewarding space.
Do you think dogs get disappointed? I don’t mean little disappointments, like when you pick up the leash without taking them on a walk, but big disappointments when things don’t go their way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dog pout for hours or days when reality doesn’t match their expectations.
Dogs seem to go with the flow so well. Always looking for the next opportunity, the next chance to enjoy themselves, or just the next moment itself, whatever it brings. They do it so naturally, so easily.
It’s a new year! I think we can all agree that 2020 was… well, it was hard. Although hopefully you can look back on 2020 and find things you were grateful for, it was a challenging year for so many people. As we all move into a new year with new possibilities, it’s a great time to set your intentions for the year, your life, and your relationships (canine included!).
Your cell phone is dinging with Facebook notifications, the e-mail in your inbox keeps piling up and that laundry you need to do is just sitting in the corner, silently judging you. There are a million and one things competing for your time and attention, and they’re all screaming that they are the most important. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin.
Then your dog comes in with a tennis ball and puts his head in your lap....