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The Art of Fine Metalwork and the Art of Empathy and Nonviolent Communication- woven together for you....

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lessons learned from my pets

I have two bunny rabbits and a German Shepherd puppy who is 8 months old. Since they've been in my life I've had the opportunity to learn a lot from them. Like everyone else, they are a mirror of where I am now.

Here are the lessons:

1. Change comes slow, habits take time to integrate: When I wanted to move the rabbits toilet box I noticed that if I move it in one swoop, even if it's 30 centimeters (about a foot's length) away, it just won't work. They'll keep on going to the same spot. But if I move it a fraction of an inch every day, then little by little, they adjust. Same goes for us, little by little...

2. Be patient. This I learned from my bunnies and dog, and relates to the lesson above. If you want to teach a new trick, or understand what's going on, take your time, observe, reflect and then make a move. So be patient, with yourselves and others.

3. Out of that comes: Don't make sudden moves. Rabbits are hunted animals- every time I walk into their "room" and come in suddenly or loudly they freak out and run away. So I've learned to slow down, soften my movements, be more conscious and aware and no one gets scared away, including myself.

4. Sometimes it's best to sit still and let things come to you. When I had only one bunny I learned that I could never approach him, to try and pet him. I had to sit quietly and let him come to me, and then, and only then, could I softly stroke him. Same for the dog- when we're outdoors, if I keep chasing her she will always run away, but if I stand still, or sit down, or retreat, she will come to me. Maybe, in our do do do lives, from time to time, we can sit quietly and let life happen?
Emma aged 8 months
5. Operating from anger is counter productive and weakens you! Nothing can be learned from doing things angrily. In fact. particularly for dogs, whom we tend to speak to as if they're human : " Emma! Why did you chew my art work?" as if she understands, an angry human is a weak leader. And if the leader is weak, the dog understand that he better be in charge, and then you're in trouble. Cesar Milan teaches that we must be calm and assertive. Isn't that true for all of life?

6.  Last for now, but not least: Live in the Moment. Animals can be the greatest gurus of this, for they are living examples of what it means to be present in the moment. Who hasn't had the experience of the joy you're greeted with coming in the door, even if you left a minute ago? Or if you got angry with her,( which you'll inevitably be (-: ) she will never never hold a grudge! That is amazing, in of itself.

Watching my dog sit outside in the grass in the park near our home, I see her delighted in every breeze, every fly that flies by, every moment is vibrant and happy, and when she sleeps, it's deep and recharges her. How I envy that!

So what have you learned from your pets? I'd love to hear

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