Turn Up Your Senses & Shut Down Autopilot: Inspiration From My Dog

September 12, 2011

I am a busy lady.  True story.  I’ve got a color-coded calendar system to help me out (no VA yet!) and generally I am on top of what I need to do by when.  Sometimes my social life suffers, but thus is the life of a business-building-world-takin’-over-MEployed-sexylady.

This Saturday morning, I found myself without anything to do until 2pm.  Shock me.  My sister (my go to BF and gym buddy) was off celebrating a friends wedding, and I was at loose ends.

This is generally what’s called ‘Free Time’, or ‘Lazy Saturday’.

I wigged out.

I am used to working from home, which means my computer and living room are the backdrops to blog posts and coaching calls,  not a lot of relaxing.   I started getting really negative on myself  “You don’t know how to relax! Are you a workaholic?” It was no bueno.   I decided to run away from home (and the laundry) to the dog park.  Watching Huxley, my 17lb Puggle (that’s a pug and beagle mix, but don’t worry, he’s adopted from a shelter) run and smell and generally revel in the grass, I realized how much I seriously had to learn from him.  Cliche.but.true.

Take a Walk
Always a slam dunk winner of a choice with a dog.  They love it, new smells, sounds, leg stretching, discovery.  LEAVE YOUR COMPUTER.  Always a solid number one when at loose ends or you just need a screen break.

Get Friendly
Dogs spend loads of time smelling each other, in a super personal way.  The people tend to stand around while this happens.  Often, there’s not even human eye-contact involved.  Say hello!  Don’t be a deadbeat! Be polite and friendly with this fellow dog-owner, maybe even get personal.  You never know where they might fit into your life.

My dog loves nothing more than going to a new park.  Pretty much anywhere he’s never been before is the coolest thing he’s ever seen.  His senses are on high alert.   People talk about experiencing this with travel.  Break out of your routine.  Go to a new coffeehouse/park/neighborhood.  Explore the world you live in.  Turn up your senses and turn off autopilot.

When Huxley doesn’t know what’s going on, he snuggles down.  Generally he arranges himself around/on me so that we’re touching in some way, and he conks out.  He’s cool to chillax until the next adventure.  It’s inspiring to see what his aggressively snuggly nature brings out in other people.  Let your affections show!  Maybe don’t aggressively snuggle strangers (Or do! Use your best judgment) but love the ones you love.  Practice touch.  We all need it, not just snugly dogs.

Do what you want
Yes, Huxley is trained (mostly) but he also totally does what he wants.  He wants to run, he bolts.  He wants to play in my clothes pile, I come home and they’re on the floor.  He’s got zero hang ups about what it all means.  He’s just following what seems fun.

I wanted to write today.  Who cares if it’s Saturday, and I “should be” relaxing.  I’m the only one making the rules, and the only one holding myself back from what I want to do.  Let’s stop that, shall we?

What are you holding yourself back from? What lessons have you learned from your dog or pet?


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20 thoughts on “Turn Up Your Senses & Shut Down Autopilot: Inspiration From My Dog

  1. I can relate to this a lot. As most entrepreneurs can I’m sure. I actually feel guilty for not checking in to my various social networks for more than a couple of hours.
    Can I start a new years resolution now? 🙂 I will think of Huxley when I am tugged between work and play. Well, plus I have a 6 year old that plays in the park much the same way. 🙂

    • You can TOTALLY start a New Years Resolution now – resolve from Sept 12- Sept 12. Jan 1 seems kinda arbitrary! Good luck with the media diet and playing with your 6 year old!

  2. Fantastic! I love posts about pets and the lessons we learn from them. My, I have two dogs. One is near-sighted, the other far. When we play catch at the park, the near sighted one follows the flow of my arm and then immediately takes off in the general direction, hopping around until he hears the ball land…this causes a swift, and laser-focused redirect. The other dog, stands next to me watching the ball fly through the air. When it starts to come down from the sky, she takes off and runs straight towards the expected landing point. They often arrive at the same time, nearly colliding with each other. The lesson I learn from them: There are many ways to reach your goal; choose the path that is right for you.

    • LOVE the dual perspectives of your dogs! So wonderful. Thanks for sharing that lesson,
      ‘choose the path that is right for you.’ – I’m letting that be my inspiration contemplation for today. Thanks Stormy 🙂

    • Thank you! This totally made my day!. “alchemizing my insights”…..super love it. I literally just put your comment on a post-it on my desk. Thanks Kendra!

  3. Splendid! Such a refreshing read…I can soooo relate to the “not knowing how to relax part” my husband tells me that all the time! AND the “living room being backdrops to blog posts, coaching calls, big strategy sessions…LOL for sure not conducive to a relaxing mode. I don’t have any pets, so no lessons from them. Great post, put a smile on my face. 🙂

  4. Thanks for a great and playful post! Yes, pets are such great teachers when we open ourselves up and pay attention! This story definitely gives us some great lessons in taking it all in, chillaxing, and just being ourselves.

    Thanks again for sharing a day in the life….
    xo, Tina

  5. Ellen
    Great post! My husband said to me just yesterday (Sunday, as I fidgeted on the couch trying to decide what to do with my “free” time) YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO RELAX! I married the king of chill. Total opposite to me. I was always a cat person growing up and acted more cat-like. But now we have Goldie, our three year old Golden/Shepherd mix and I adore her. She is so bouncy and happy on our walks, exploring everything and that makes me feel bouncy and happy too. She encourages me to stop, mid-step and glance up into the trees, is that a squirrel? Or to sniff the long, dewy grass by the side of the road. Greens anyone? Our morning walk is my meditation time, my connect with nature time. Except, of course, when I am talking on the phone or checking email from my iPhone!

  6. Love the tips, and as a fellow ‘work from home, therefore why not continue working’ person, I can forget to get away from the computer. In fact, I think you may have inspired me to take a walk right now. 🙂 Also, I agree that touch is so important and yet I know as a human I second guess what ‘message’ I may be sending when I am affectionate, but really we all need a good hug. It just plain feels good.

  7. Love your observations! My little Shih tzu/lazo mix,Petrs, always makes time to visit!
    I’m rushing her out the high-rise lobby to get the walk in, but she stops and wanders over to the concierge to say hello first! Kids around? Forgetaboutit – she is all over them, wanting to engage and play. But she is a very polite dog, not a in your face , jumping all over you type. And, if for some reason. she doesn’t like you, she lets you know. I am always very wary of anyone Petra doesn’t care for. Great article !

  8. I dont have a pet and as a sole-preneur I totally “get it”. Sometimes you just need to get away, do something different, or familiar and just get out if the office and away from the work. It’s easy to always be working. There is always something that needs to get done. If there wasn’t, you wouldn’t have a business, right? But it’s great to learn from our pets or, for me from my niece and nephew, who are so little and they just do what feels natural to them. Whether it’s a walk or run or hanging out with friend’s – anything to get away and re-energize. It’s good for you and good for business. Thank you.

  9. I’ve always been a dog guy so I totally get this. My favorite part about them is how they can forget everything and just be unconditionally happy and loving.
    I think I have done a much better job of unplugging over the past few year. When I was managing money it was impossible to relax. I found myself needing to know what was happening every second of the day and then checking the overseas markets at night. It was sucking all the joy out of my business and what I loved most, working with people.

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