Listening deeply is to know the other…
Listening is an art. To listen is informed by a deep wish to understand the other – be that your pets, other humans, trees, the ocean, or the depths of the universe laid out in the starry night-time sky. Sensitivity is required. And this is also a skill, a practice that becomes more refined the more you practice it. Most humans are almost completely numbed to the depth and breadth of their potential when it comes to sensitivity of perception. But the good news is that if you practice sensitivity, your sensitivity will naturally grow, and your ability to listen will expand again and again.
I want to talk about dog training in today’s writing. And how your listening to your dogs will empower you to enter a new paradigm of ‘training’ – in fact, let’s change the name to dog teaching! ‘Teaching’ is a way different place to come from than ‘training’. Everything about how you approach your dogs, and how you interact with them, will shift in a truly profound way if you make this shift in your thinking.
In my experience, listening deeply is at the absolute core of teaching that is kind, empowering, and that respects the will, intelligence, and feelings of the animals who you’re working with. The more you listen to your dogs, the more you understand how they are unique, how they best learn, and what they prefer. You’ll see and feel the smallest shifts in expression, realise what triggers are harmful (so you can avoid them) and which stimuli are helpful so you can seek them.
How can you listen more deeply to your dogs as you teach them in a way that builds trust, respect, and connection? The first step is that you intend to listen. The second step is to get totally present with your dogs. And the third step is to repeat forever more.
Doing this with your dogs will be a doorway into transforming yourself, your relationships and your life. I speak from experience!
Showing up is simple…
Showing up is as simple as deciding that you’ll do everything in your power to what’s needed, as it’s needed, to the best of your ability. And while that’s endlessly simple, it’s not always easy (and that may be a slight understatement). Showing up consistently takes will, and a strong capacity for healthy discomfort. You may notice that I talk about healthy discomfort quite a lot. This concept is at the core of what it’s taken to recover and heal from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme, Addictions, and PTSD following abusive narcissistic marriages.
In pure fact, healthy discomfort is at the heart of showing up for your beautiful self. Eating well, exercising, meditating, having regular dental and medical checkups, and having hard conversations when and as they are needed – all of these things have elements of healthy discomfort. Exercise – lifting weights, is uncomfortable. Giving up sweets can be uncomfortable. Making time for self-care and meditation may mean having to miss out on other things you enjoy (that’s painful too).
What I want to make diamond clear here is that you have to show up for yourself strongly before you have any chance of being consistent and strong in showing up for others – your pets, beloved humans, in your workplace, in your communities, etc.
Your pets are a GREAT place to start with because you can use your immense love for them to motivate you to embrace the healthy discomfort of making positive changes in your life. Changes that will significantly benefit your pets.
Or in other words, the more you listen to your pets, the more you’ll be naturally inspired to show up for yourself, and then for them (but from a full cup, which is so much better for everyone!
How do you listen to your pets, and how good are you at showing up in your life? I’d love to invite you to join the discussion in our Heartbeat community, and let me know.
(If you want to learn how to listen for your pet’s Silent Pain, please register for your free Pet Silent Pain masterclass with me, Dr Edward, The Healing Vet at this link – And if you’d like an intuitive/integrative veterinary appt for your pets, learn more at this link)