My shweet pitbull, Vito, just turned one year old…
When he was about 4 months old his trainer asked me — regarding my pooch’s daily walk — “would you be going on the daily walks if it weren’t for your dog?”
My answer was no.
He then added; “…so, since you are taking the walks for your dog…make sure he has a great time!”
Hmmm….I hadn’t thought of it like that before.
I could see that the walks were indeed becoming “all business.” And, I could also envision that continuing on this track could easily build a heavy sense of obligation, stress, or even frustration when I felt rushed. And, no doubt, my pup would in turn feel cheated.
So, I tried it. It was tricky at first, because I can be all about time management, efficiency, and truth be told — at times — “what’s in it for me?”
But, I quickly found that even if he wanted to investigate the smells of the same bush for 5 minutes (which I don’t get at ALL)…there was still plenty of time for him to do his business and get a bit of exercise.
The second thing, I noticed that when I stopped pulling him away from everything he was interested and deferred to what made him happy…I was happier too.
I enjoyed myself more, I was more relaxed, and of course since our pups take their cues from us, he became more relaxed, too.
Of course, there is a time for discipline, especially when they are young and imprinting; but I really needed to make a decision to enjoy the process!
This got me thinking about my time with my 10 year old…what if I practiced being “all in” with him, too? Meaning, if I decided to do an activity with him – the trampoline park, for example – what if I let him call the shots? I did this, and, needless to say, it involved me jumping ‘til my calves cramped! But you know what?...I had the best time EVER! So much better than had I been sitting on the sidelines watching, or worse…texting!
This got me thinking about other areas of my life; family, friend and work commitments. What if I went “all in” for these, too? What if, I set aside any essence I had of obligation, and decided that if I decided to make a plan...the time would be about them?
I’m not talking about making ourselves a people-pleasing doormat, I’m suggesting that you will likely find more joy in the things you give yourself over to completely.
Whether it’s for another, or, for yourself;
Get involved. Get silly. Stay open…and, see what happens. You might surprise yourself!
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