Patience - A Resource We're All Running a Little Short on These Days
News outlets are firing off horrifying stories, photos, videos, seemingly every second. Our social media feeds are full of uncertainty, gut wrenching stories, polarizing politics, and not nearly enough grounding content to steady our jittery minds as we carry on with our too-long work days. Our patience with the world wears thin, and our compassion for ourselves dwindles. Two years into a pandemic, we're all dealing with the realities of going from one worldwide heartache to the next.
Despite these traumatizing events, our personal worlds aren't slowing down. Many of us are going or have already gone back into the workplace, wondering "When will I get a chance to catch my breath?" and are trying to figure out how to take our next vacation that doesn't leave us feeling more tired than before.
Let's shift gears a little bit. If you were half curious about that other tool (skill) I mentioned in the last blog post, keep reading.
If you've gone through a program with me, there's a good chance you remember your first lesson, and the surprise that comes with it. If you haven't, I'll let you in on the joke- honestly, we don't cover a lot. We really don't even teach your dog very much. But we DO teach you marker words and controlling/utilizing leash pressure.
"So what? That sounds easy". You may be thinking.
And it is- once you get the hang of it.
The first lesson is always the hardest. It doesn't sound like much, but you are literally learning how to communicate effectively with a different species. To make it even more difficult, it's not like learning a new language. You are truly learning a whole new skillset. And when was the last time you had to learn a completely, 100%, totally new skillset? I imagine it's been a few years.
I am constantly reminding clients and dog owners to be patient with themselves. For the most part, when I see patience mentioned in dog training, it is in regards to our furry companions, and totally skips over the two legged half of the team. Patience is like a muscle, it only gets stronger and easier to work the more we use it and the harder we work at it. We cannot begin to be patient with our dogs if we cannot first be patient and compassionate with ourselves. We cannot begin to have patience and be grounded in the chaos of the world around us, if we cannot first be patient and loving with our inner worlds- ourselves, our dogs, our partners, our kids. It's all one big web, and we are smack in the center it.
If you made it this far, this message is for you. You are doing your best. Your dog is doing their best. This world is absolutely chaotic right now. Reflect on areas of frustration and impatience in your life, and what you can do to take a breath and give yourself a mental break. You're not going to learn a new skillset in a day. You aren't going to immediately adjust to being back in the workplace. Your dog isn't going to suddenly understand what you want from them just because you've had a few lessons. People aren't going to stop cutting you off in traffic, probably ever. At least, not where we live. Everything takes time, be generous with your self love and self compassion. Only good things can come of it, and your dog will thank you for it.