%archive_title% | Dancing Hearts Cognitive Dog Training

Archive for month: December, 2017

How Gratitude Can Accelerate Your Dog Training Goals

December 30, 2017

 

Gratitude accelerate your goals

In Part 1, I shared 5 tips for using gratitude to create a better relationship with your dog and reach your dreams. Now, in Part 2, I’ll share some advanced gratitude strategies to accelerate your progress!

Gratitude and Goals in Harmony …

While it seems that being grateful for who we are and what we have right now is contradictory to the idea of setting goals for a better life experience … they can indeed coexist. I believe that practicing gratitude is a simple way to accelerate the process of reaching our heartfelt goals and dreams.

Being grateful for what you are and have right now doesn’t mean you don’t want to grow and create change in your life. If you’re like me, you love to create change, learn new things and make life more brilliant for yourself and your loved-ones.

Accomplishing your goals is even more possible when you start with a foundation of gratitude. Instead of feeling frustrated, you’ll feel happy about where you are … while eagerly anticipating your adventure ahead.

Being grateful for all you have now sets the stage for realizing your goals in the future.

When we feel and express gratitude for what we have in our life, we are automatically attracting more of what we love.

Goals give us purpose and keep us focused on what’s truly important to us. Goals bring us to greater clarity about what we want … and they keep us inspired to keep taking those baby steps toward our ‘prize’ every day.

Whether you have a goal for attaining something special with your dog … or for a non-dog something that you feel inspired to bring into your life … a gratitude journal will keep us moving in the right direction.


Goal Acceleration Tips:

When you are working toward a training or trialing/showing goal with your dog, (or any goal really),  you can use your gratitude journaling to speed up your results.

Here’s how:

  1. Include 1 or 2 Goal Gratefuls in your daily practice. When we are working toward a goal that challenges us (as good goals do), we often get caught up in a cycle of ‘it’s not happening yet’ or we question ‘when is it ever going to happen?’ or ‘will it ever happen?’ and we forget to celebrate the little wins.When we can include 1 or 2 of those little baby steps we take that keep moving us toward our goal … the more we focus on the things that went right … the more we are accelerated. This practice is so reinforcing to us, and it keeps us inspired and motivated to carry on through the struggles we will likely encounter along the way.
  2. Include 1 or 2 Future Gratefuls in your daily practice. When you can include feeling grateful for what is about to come … surrounding future events with an air of expectation, like it’s already done … you will be adding that positive energy to the mix, and that will accelerate your journey even more!What you’ll want to do is to use your imagination to pretend that your goal/dream has already happened … that you are living it right now. Paint a full and vibrant picture of living your dream. Allow yourself to experience the feeling you will have living your dream.Now, simply find one or two things that you are grateful for inside of your imagined life. There you have it – goals on steroids!!  🙂

Some Examples of Gratitude Journal Entries:

Goal Grateful:
“Wow! Max actually looked at me for ‘what’s next?’ today! First time in class he offered that! I am so grateful that our partnership is finally getting there!”

Future Gratefuls:
“I am so grateful knowing that next week’s trial will be fun and we get to practice and learn together in a new place.”

“I love that by this time next year, we are going to be an amazing team, really brilliant together! My heart swells with joy and gratitude for all we will experience together.”

 

Comment below and tell me:

What is the #1 Goal/Dream that you would love to accelerate?

Ever grateful,
Kathy xo

 

BONUS TIP:

Join us for the 2019 Creative Alchemy Passion Plan program…you’ll be so happy you did!!

A Simple Formula to Create A Life You Really Love (without making any icky resolutions)

December 29, 2017

2

Ever heard that voice inside that tells you you’re not living the life you really want, or having the success you work so hard for?

Yes? We all do! It’s a natural part of being human … to want to be better … to want to have more.

Well: whatever you do, don’t get sucked into the media hyped, failure-ensuring, confidence-robbing bandwagon of making a New Year Resolution!

What to do instead? I have a Formula for you. It works, it’s simple, and it’s a great way to get in touch with what really matters to you:

It all starts when you Follow Your Heart…

Alchemy Formula graphic

 

My Creative Alchemy Formula

[Dream + Plan + Action + Belief + Connection]

= OMG!! I’m Happy!

 

 

The truth is that without taking ACTION, your dreams and goals are just wishes, hopes and ‘pies in the sky’ that never happen for you …Yet:

It is incredibly hard to stay motivated unless you follow this simple formula that puts your dreams on ‘autopilot’.

1The first part of the formula is a “must do” if you are to have any chance of reaching your dreams and goals… and without it you are destined to fail:

It’s all about Following Your Heart … and it starts with getting in touch authentic, heart-felt dreams to be who you are truly meant to be…

Your best year ever starts with DREAMING BIG … getting in touch with what is really important to you, not just what you think you should set as goals…
And:

You need to know WHY you want this and how getting this will make you feel … it’s not really about the goal … it’s about how you want to feel when you get there…

Your true and deep emotions are the most meaningful roadmap to live from your heart … this authentic YOU, and your real feelings are the strongest, most inspiring motivators possible,
And:

When you follow Your Heart’s True Desires … staying motivated is sooooo easy!

2The next Tip is to do just enough PLANNING so that you know what to do next!

When you are an intentional creator of your life, you’ll naturally want to ask yourself “how might I get from here to there?”
And then…

 

3You take a tiny, baby step today and every day that builds momentum and keeps you moving consistently toward your dreams … taking consistent ACTION is key to living the life you love.
My favorite mantra is:

“Dream Big. Start Small. Keep Going.”

 

4The next step is so vital … you must:

BELIEVE YOU CAN!

That means you need to retrain your brain and recondition your mind to join up with your heart, working in harmony to make your dreams come to life…

We are hard wired to follow patterns and habits…that’s our comfort zone, so unless you:

create NEW habits and patterns that are aligned with your new vision of your life, nothing will change…
It’s easy, once you know how! And that’s what the last tip is about:

5When you STAY CONNECTED to your DREAMS, and to the way you truly want to experience your life …
Magic begins to happen, and your dreams come to life!

A dream or a vision is a curious thing. It starts out so foggy, not real. Then day dreaming sets in…you know: imagining the “what if”. Imagination is a powerful tool for creation. Unbelievably powerful.

Our conscious mind is limited to what it already knows to be true.

Our imagination, on the other hand…wow! There is NO LIMIT. Anything is possible. And that’s where it all starts: playing in the canvas we call imagination. If we spend enough time in the vision phase, the fog begins to lift, and details become more and more clear. In the world of our imagination, we can conjure up so much detail that it feels real.

That’s the process successful athletes use before their competitions. The brain doesn’t recognize the difference between ‘real’ and ‘imagined’ experiences. That means that if we can visualize our ‘perfect run’ with so much detail and depth that we feel the success, we have rehearsed that winning run (or anything else) and our body/mind now has an experience it knows to be true and can effectively execute. Wow, right?

Don’t get me wrong…you still have to do the work. Plan, prepare, train, condition, rehearse. All of it. But…even the best prepared don’t often win. They say that 95% of the winning is achieved by 5% of those attempting. I believe that those top 5% are most likely to use elements that others do not: visioning, a positive attitude, commitment to their dream, and the belief that it’s possible! They can see, feel, smell and taste it. They Believe it.

My favorite Creative Alchemy story.

This story starts quite a ways back. 2007 to be precise.

My wonderful dog Russell had already transformed my life. And young Phoenix brought me challenges that made me a better person. I was dreaming about merging these two amazing dogs, drawn to create a new generation formed from their great genetics. It would be my first border collie breeding. Exciting and a little scary.

I was torn between now or later, thinking of traveling to the spring trials with a litter, and knowing the time was getting close to separate them if I chose not to go ahead with the breeding. I had included this litter in my dream plan for the year, but wasn’t certain of the timing. As it turned out, “now” was the perfect time and in April a beautiful litter was born. OMG!!!

Phoenix was a perfect mom in all ways. And I was in love with each of the 4 puppies that blessed our life.

Luc, at one day old, wormed his way over to my hand, and declared my heart his. I was in love. He was the chosen one.

As the time grew closer to sending the puppies to their new homes, I realized that I could not part with Sue, and she became a permanent part of our family too.

But today’s story is about Luc.

Kathy Kawalec's Luc at 5 weeks.The seed of a dream was planted on that first day Luc squirmed over to my hand. Could he be the one that would follow in his sire’s great footsteps? Would he be the one that I could create an amazing working partnership with? Is is possible that he would make it to the National Finals one day?

He did indeed make it to the National Finals, in 2009, Klamath Falls, Oregon. He and Sue ran in the Nursery Finals, as their dad, Russell, competed in his last Open Finals, at 12.5 years old. It was the most amazing experience. A dream come true. I could barely believe it, and I think I had to pinch myself several times! OMG!!

Then we got to work getting Luc the necessary experience and training to be competitive in the Open. He has matured more and more each year, we worked through a few struggles and communication gaps, and we have become beautiful partners.

In 2013, I had some big dreams and goals.

Luc shows great style and athleticismOne of my goals was to have a really good run with Luc at Meeker. And we did!!  He was awesome, and handler error kept us from advancing into the finals by 4 points. Even with that, Dream realized, goal achieved. Wow and OMG!!

Another goal, and it was a B-I-G goal, one that I knew would stretch us in many ways, was to make it into the final round at the USBCHA National Sheepdog Finals in Virginia.

The first part was to get there, and we need to earn enough qualifying points during the season. That is a dream and a goal all by itself, and quite challenging cause I don’t get to many trials. I am so happy to say that we had a good trial season, and qualified to compete alongside 150 amazing teams at the Finals. That was another dream come true! OMG!!

The next part of my dream was going to be the hardest thing ever. We had to lay down an amazing run in the preliminaries, and another even better run in the more difficult semi-final round. I think I can summarize our semi-final run by relaying this message that I heard at least a dozen times from established masters that day: “you and Luc had an amazing run, it was nearly perfect and so beautiful to watch. I can’t even imagine how the judges found any points to take off your run, it was that good.”

Kathy Kawalec and her dog Luc wait for their run at the finals.It FELT incredible. It was simply amazing to experience that with my good dog Luc. We made it into the Final round. OMG!!

We drew up first on Sunday. Wow. That was not what I was envisioning. I had hoped to watch a couple of runs. We stood near the gate to the field in the rain as the day dawned dark and dreary, waiting to be called in to the post.

Finally, the sheep were brought out to their spot by the setout crew: a man, his horse and his dog. They were barely visible in the dark and rain. I sent Luc to the right and he cast out perfectly, and disappeared behind the hill on his way to gather the first set of sheep.

After a few minutes, the sheep began to move, then lift down the field, and finally I could see Luc expertly guiding his 10 sheep down the fetch line. He was confident and willing to take my whistles as he brought them through the fetch gates.

Now for the hard part, he had to leave this first set of sheep and turn back for another set that he couldn’t see. Deep breath. I told him to “Loooook”, and he smartly turned back for the second set of sheep hiding in the dark and rain.

Then, just a quickly, he turned right back onto the first set that instantly began running toward the exhaust pen as soon as they felt released. Luc worked hard and persistently all week to ensure the determined sheep did not do such a thing. He was not about to let it happen now!

Another deep breath. And several more, as Luc and I communicated about what needed to happen next. I didn’t want my dream to end here.  Finally, finally, he committed to going out to look for another set of sheep. When he cast out, the crowd cheered and I did a happy dance. OMG!!

My awesome partner brought the second set down, regathered the first set and drove his 20 charges around the course like an expert. The sheep came into the shedding ring with Luc at the rear. I flanked him around to the pressure, and stopped him there. Our eyes met in that moment, as I told him silently how much I loved him and how proud of him I was. It was the most exhilarating experience. OMG!!

Kathy Kawalec and Luc shed at the Finals

I began my work of sorting off 15 uncollared ewes, calmly and quietly. Satisfied. We timed out working the shed, and we both left the field with our feet barely touching the ground. Cloud 9. That’s where we hung out for quite some time. As a matter of fact, just recounting this story puts me right back on that cloud. OMG!!

I could go on and on (believe me!) with all the amazing things that happened…but let me finish with just one more: there is a ‘dream’ card in my Alchemy Box for ‘better partnership’ with my dogs this year, every year.

I Dream of being the best possible partner, teacher, student with and for my dogs. And getting better and better every year.

My “New Year” dreams will include some pretty amazing goals for all of us, I have no doubt.

Would you love me to help you create YOUR best year ever?

For the last 16 years, I’ve been leading my Creative Alchemy “Create Your Best Year Ever” class…sharing the things I’ve learned over the years for creating the life I love. There is a simple formula, but it’s not always easy to execute. Life happens, if you know what I mean.

That’s where the class comes in…we form a great community of folks who love dogs, animals, nature. And who want to make a better life for themselves, and for their dogs and their families. They want to be happy, they have dreams ready to come alive…just like you and me. It’s an awesome group every year, and many have joined our group every year since the beginning!

The class happens online, so you can attend from anywhere…in your jammies!

 

I’ve put together a great program that will support you ALL YEAR, with a really, really special price as my ‘Thank You’ to our community. I want to make it easy for everyone to come. Click here to get the details.

So…here’s the thing. I believe in you. I believe that you CAN unleash your dreams … that you can have your best year ever…just like the hundreds of women who have joined us over the years.

Let’s do this, together!

Happy dreaming!
Kathy


P.S. Play the Unleash Your Dreams Game: Comment below and share:

What is Your Top “Dream” for 2019?

 

How to Use Gratitude to Accelerate Your Goals and Have a Better Relationship with Your Dog

December 17, 2017

 

1

This time of year gets me reflecting on how grateful I am for the many blessings in my life, especially the amazing people in my life, including you.

I’ve been busy thinking up ideas for expressing my gratitude to you…and the first thing that comes to mind is to share with you the power of intentional gratitude.

It’s a practice that I’ve used for about 20 years, and it’s how I start every single day!

People who are grateful tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.

Being grateful can help people cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate. 

From ancient scriptures to the latest science, gratitude is known to be good for us and those around us. Yet it isn’t always our automatic response and we often take the good things in our lives for granted. So we have to consciously learn to get into the habit of being grateful.

Science is showing that gratitude is important for how good we feel psychologically and socially.  And contrary to what we may think, it also appears that it could increase our ability to achieve our goals.

Why does it work? We have a natural focus on what goes wrong in our daily lives often going over and over these things in our head.

We are quick to notice even the smallest of problems, yet we rarely spend any time at all dwelling on the good things. Things that brought us a quick smile or felt good are all to often forgotten or perhaps not even noticed in the first place.

Arianna Huffington writes in her book Thrive, about how gratitude exercises can have tangible benefits. She writes, “According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day — and why the events made them happy — lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.”

Arianna also writes, “Gratitude works its magic by serving as an antidote to negative emotions. It’s like white blood cells for the soul, protecting us from cynicism, entitlement, anger, and resignation.”

Taking the time to notice and record our gratitude is simple but incredibly powerful.

Of course, this will have a positive effect on our entire life, but when we add this to our life with dogs including our dog training, showing and trialing … amazing shifts will begin to happen, and our results are accelerated!

More Great things about Gratitude…

It feels amazing when we take the time to ‘count our blessings’ and get in touch with all we have to be grateful for in our lives. That feeling easily trumps all those others like worry, stress, anger and frustration…pushes them right out of the way!

When we feel and express gratitude for what we have in our life, we are automatically attracting more of what we love. We don’t have to ‘do’ anything. Just remember to get in touch with a genuine, heartfelt feeling of gratitude every day. Then be ready to receive!!

We are paying it forward. When we feel gratitude we are emitting the vibe of love and gratitude automatically. Everyone we connect with, in person or heart-to-heart at any distance, is getting the benefit of our feeling. I like to say that we are “infecting others with our love and gratitude”. And that includes our dogs!

Here’s how to get started with your Gratitude Practice:

  1. Choose a regular time.  It’s so helpful to create a habit … to make this a real and regular practice in your life. It starts with choosing a time that works for you.
    For example, you might like to reflect each day before you go to bed, or perhaps once per week, on Sunday evenings. The important thing is that you make it a ROUTINE.
    Personally, I do this every morning while I am walking my dogs.
  2. Find the Joy in your life. Think back over your day or your week and remember 3 to 5 good things in your life – things that went well, that you enjoyed or were grateful for. These can be small (like you smiling at your dog rolling in the grass) or of bigger importance for you (like you remembered to use ‘inviting’ body language and to smile when you called your dog to you). Dig for new things each time!!
  3. Write your gratitude  in your journal this is important. Taking the time to capture your gratitude can really move the needle for your mindset and positivity…which in turn will accelerate your progress toward living your dreams. You may want to get a small notebook or journal…or even an app if you prefer electronic journaling.
  4. Contemplate why. For each thing you’re grateful for, write down why you feel good about it. Take your time with this part, really feel the feeling of gratitude for these small pleasures in your life. Feeling the feeling … and allowing that feeling to flood your body creates sort of an imprint that will make it easier and easier to get back into this feeling so that you can truly enjoy every day life … even with it’s challenges.
  5. Look back and remember. After a week or a month … or whenever you need a ‘boost’ after a rough day or a tough time, have a look back on what you’ve written. Your gratitude has no expiration date! You can look back months or years later, and as you read, you heart will swell once again with positive feelings and appreciation.

gratitude-piglet-quote

 
Comment below and tell me one reason you are grateful for your life with dogs. 

Ever grateful,
Kathy xo

BONUS TIP:

Join us for the 2018 Creative Alchemy Passion Plan program…you’ll be so happy you did!!