I recently flew into Salt Lake City, Utah exhausted from travel and drove to my hotel in the darkness of the night. I was focused on transversing the unknown highways instead of taking in the sights. The next morning as I ventured from the hotel; I saw a picturesque view of snow-capped mountains in the distance. They were beautiful but so far away. I had forgotten Utah had mountains, so it was a nice surprise but not an earth moving moment.
The mountains seemed so far away and unattainable. My heart was saddened as I knew I would not have time to explore them as I had done during a trip to Colorado a few years ago. I am happy and content when I am one with nature.
So I got in the car and drove parallel to the mountains toward my destination,Â K9 LifeLineÂ in Draper, UtahÂ (where it’s founder Heather Beck gave an awesome Dog DayCare Seminar). As I made a right hand turn away from the distant mountains, I was literally stunned; my eyes opened wide, I stopped breathing, my jaw dropped and I uttered, â€œOh my Gosh!!! Right in front of me had to be one of the most beautiful mountains I had seen. It wasnâ€™t distant – I was at the base of the mountain experiencing all of its grandeur!
Obviously, this close mountain had been there all the time. I couldâ€™ve seen it right from my hotel. The only thing that had changed was my orientation. If I had simply turned around upon exiting the hotel to take in a 360-degree view, it wouldâ€™ve been there for me to see.
This breath taking realization flooded my mind with several thought-provoking ideas. A moment prior, I felt saddened seeing the distant mountains as I told myself a â€œlacking storyâ€ of not having time to explore but now I was overjoyed realizing I was at the base of a splendor mountain.
Stories get us into trouble. Landmark Education teaches there is â€œwhat isâ€ (the facts) and then there is the â€œstoryâ€. If we focus on the story, we feel sorrow and pain painting ourselves as a victim who isnâ€™t in control of their outcome and opportunities. Instead, if I had focused on the â€œwhat isâ€, I wouldâ€™ve felt satisfaction in seeing beautiful mountains in the distance as an outline to the wonderful opportunity to attend the K9 Lifeline seminar.
To view the close mountain, the only things that changed were light, being open and my orientation. The night prior it was dark and I wasnâ€™t open to seeing the environment as I was exhausted and focused on traveling the unknown highways. The next morning I still didnâ€™t see the mountain until I turned toward it while driving and was faced with what was right in front of me. Many times we donâ€™t see or understand things that are right in front of us let alone around us without being open to new thoughts, ideas and experiences.
With inspiring fulfillment, I took in â€œMy Mountainâ€ for it was my mountain, not out of ownership as one does not own nature but out of oneness and connectedness. And, I could hear Lisa Mininni, Best-Selling Author and President of Excellerate Associates speaking to me as I gazed upon my mountain: â€œWhat you focus on you find; what you focus on grows and increases; what you focus on seems real; what you focus on you ultimately become.â€ I had found my mountain by changing my orientation and focusing on what was in front of me.
As commonly happens, my thoughts turned toward dogs and dog training and how that related to my mountain transformation. Many times we donâ€™t understand what the dog is telling us because we obviously donâ€™t speak their language. As one learns a foreign language by immersion, deep practice and hiring a teacher who is fluent in the desired language; we too should learn what their body mannerisms and vocalizations really mean. They are communicating with us all the time. We just need to be present in the moment with our dogs. If we are focused elsewhere, we will not be open to understanding them.
It is important to be clear on what your end goal is for your dog; whether that is to become a calm and happy pet dog or a dog who excels in sports such as obedience, agility, or nose work so that â€œwhat you focus on, you findâ€. Even more importantly, is relishing in the experience of the journey. Otherwise, we will miss out on wonderful opportunities to be in communion with our dogs.
- See your dog’s behavior for what it is and not the stories you tell yourself
- Feel the pain your dog’s behavior causes you (your dog pulls hard on the leash, your dog destroys your home furnishings, your dog jumps on your house guests causing them to limit their visits, your dog shows fearful and/or aggressive behavior, etc.) and use it as an activator to train your dog
- Be open to what your dog presents around you as well as right in front of you
- Learn what your dog’s body language and vocalizations mean
- Focus on what you want your dog’s end goal to be and
- Relish in the new awesome journeys you’ll experience together.
Start your dog’s transformation today by contactingÂ Michigan Dog Training at 734-634-4152.