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This won't be for everyone. And it starts with dogs. Moves onto kids. Little bit of relationship.
So this mama listened with complete attention to NPR featuring John Bradshaw who wrote Dog Sense. Among other bits of wisdom he talked about a dog being a mirror into our inner lives, the ones we don't share with most of the world. The one that holds the stuff inside we are always trying to work on.
You present yourself to the world one way, but a dog picks up on the disconnect, the stuff that may really be happening inside of you. Think anxiety, stress, unhappiness, shame, fears, chaos.
I don't blame myself for all the behaviors of the dog we had to find a new home for. I have, however, always seen a connection. His anxiety became unbearable when I became pregnant with Lucas and weaned off of zoloft. He always had his issues, but mine could be seen within him. I made the tough decision to give both of us space from each other. Word is that in his new home, without kids, and a dog who we think is his actual brother, he is thriving.
I know that I set the tone for the day. If I wake up crabby, the kids fight more and they yell in voices that hold an echo of my own. I know that if I walk through my day with purpose, patience and a compassion for being where we are, not looking too far ahead, I am greeted with more calm.
Our home, our relationship, our children - they all become the dog, picking up on the various moods we send out. I used to try really hard to get Lucas to nap because I so desperately needed those two hours to work. I would read, sing, juggle eggs to get him to sleep. And then I just started to work. I took my computer to my bed and started to write. He would say, "I'm not taking a nap." I would give him the same reply each day, no problem, just play.
He plays for about 3 minutes. Then he climbs up and watches the computer screen. He gently nuzzles into me making it almost impossible to type. And he falls asleep as though in a meditation. I roll him off of me and we both continue to relax into our purpose, mine to create and his to revive.
Some days he does not nap because I do not slow down enough for him too. My energy doesn't allow or we lose the flow of our day. If I melt down, he melts down. Which means picking the kids up from school will be met with a chorus of whining and he-said, she-saids.
At some point, which I suggest is now, we all have to own the responsibility we have for being the one who sets the tone. You can fight it, or lean into it and see what really cool stuff lurks inside of that energy shifting.
Could be a nap. A sexy kiss and cuddle with your partner while dinner is being made. A house clearing itself of clutter. Spontaneity. Low blood pressure. Kids eating broccoli.
It's all fair game. Woof.
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