As I placed each biscuit on his nose, I couldn't help but think about how there must be a life coaching message in this. I am always looking for the poetry, I guess. He stayed really still, he listened carefully to the command, he stayed focused on my voice. I feel pretty sure that Hobbes was not concerned by any thoughts of 'what if I can't do what she wants?' or 'I have to do this perfectly' or 'I have to pee'. He balanced 3 biscuits for about 60 seconds and we called it a success. I even took his picture!
Good boy! Hobbes was able to balance the biscuits on his nose simply by concentrating on the task with laser focus on the treats . How many of us can make this same claim to fame and balance 3 things on our nose in exchange for treats? Actually, we balance way more than 3 things, not on our nose, but on any given day in the pursuit of something we want. Some of us, though, balance things more elegantly, or more simply, then others. So lets think about this. He was focused or at least he didn't seem to be effected by the silly antics of my other dog. His mind appeared clear of clutter (because animals don't hold on to thoughts and emotions the way we do). He wasn't concerned about a score, or reaching perfection nor did he attach to any particular result that I know of except to get to the biscuits. He didn't appear to be struggling with any limiting beliefs about his ability and in the end he appeared happy with the outcome as I assumed he would be since he's practiced this before.
So Hobbes has reminded me of some of the steps that people take when trying to achieve success and balance. The most elegantly balanced among us, know about the pause and that pausing for balance is critical to take in order to prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically for reaching success. We need to learn how to turn our attention inwards and clear our minds of distraction through breath, quiet and acceptance (as opposed to struggling against the anguish of possible defeat which hasn't even happened yet). We need to believe that we are capable without holding ourselves to impossible standards. And sometimes it isn't always about the prize at the end of the process, although, I am pretty sure that Hobbes had his eye on those treats. For people, it might actually be more about the satisfaction gained through the process that can only be found in the present moment. From his still and quiet pose, I seriously doubt that the dog was dealing with any mind chatter or mental struggle. He was only listening to my voice, doing what I told him to do and catching the biscuit when I gave him the okay. All of this, including his doggy nature, anchored him to the present moment as we are anchored to the moment when we take that pause, that breath, that moment without thought.
Life is more complicated for us, I know and I don't mean to say that everything about our journey is as simple as a dog's. But I think Hobbes has outlined a pretty easy, albeit difficult in the western world, process that can be learned from. And as with any new behavior that you want to add to your repertoire to enhance or improve your life, consistency is key. My plan is to take a moment, every now and then to not think, I will clear my mind of all the noise, focus on my intentions and what I want. I will aim for results without holding myself to impossible standards or specific outcomes and stay anchored to the present moment by being aware that with each new in-breath, I am here.
If you are interested in learning more about 'finding the
Have a great weekend!