cairn terrier dog wearing red dog coat

January 11, 2021

Snow Dog Lessons

Each morning I “walk” Ginger my cairn terrier twice around our 5 acre yard in a quasi figure eight. She is a happy girl who’s life revolves around bright orange tennis type balls. cairn terrier dog wearing red dog coatWe had a significant snow a little over a week ago. The snow changes over time influenced by temperature, light and wind. In the fresh powder Ginger leaped launching herself up out of the snow that was deeper than she was tall. We didn’t stay out long nor cover much ground. Game as she was it was exhausting work. After a few days the snow had packed down enough that Ginger could run across the top. A day later it warmed up and the snow softened. Now she could almost run across the top, but, the surface gave way every few paces. Still through it all she seems to revel simple being out in the morning. New smells to check out and of course The Ball.

This excursion is part of my morning. Every day. Rain, shine, hot, cold, windy, snowing we trek around the yard. Watching Ginger in her single mindedness zest for the outdoors I am reminded how simple happiness can be. I think how bent out of shape we get when our path changes. How personal it can feel when our plans get waylaid. We get in a groove. Our business and life moves forward. We are sailing. Then we get up one morning and the world has dumped a pile of proverbial snow. Now to accomplish the same thing, gain the same ground, we have to work twice as hard. Dig ourselves out. Foul we cry. Foul. Foul. Foul.

After some adjustment we are going again. Either we have figured out how to gain traction or the universe has shifted again this time in our favor. We get to run across the top of the snow. A day later we are stumbling, breaking through every few steps. Our progress slows. “I’m a loser”; we wail suddenly aware of those skinny, beautiful people walking on air. You know, the ones who NEVER failed or had to struggle. This awkward footing is the world telling us we are not worthy. It can feel that way.

windbreak of trees with frost

Life, like the snow, brings something new on a regular basis. Falling from the sky until it melts completely into the ground snow morphs. There is no intent. There is nothing sentient about snow. It simply is another element that adds diversity to Ginger’s world. To my world. I don’t think of snow as anything more. It is. So I navigate the yard wearing insulated mucks with good tread. I focus on nature, sunrises and improving my throw. I try to pick up my dog’s happy vibe through osmosis.

What if I could translate that to my business? If I could accept what is present without taking it personal?

When life stacks up with additional obligations or emotionally draining events we could understand that it’s deep snow. It will take great effort to make short advances. That’s what happens in deep snow. It’s a win if you went out and made an effort. Yay you! How much more happiness and delight could we generate not being resentful of the snow? How much more creative energy would be available to us?

Most often we are in motion walking across the top of the snow. We take actions daily doing the tasks of business and life. Every few steps we stumble dropping through for a moment. If we could take those missteps in stride we might maintain a healthier emotional balance. How many times do we stop and berate the snow for giving way? How much energy do we exhaust looking for blame? We “should” on ourselves. We rebuking others for failing to warn us or support us properly. Snow is benign. If it causes us to falter that is the nature of snow. The ups and downs are part of living and working. Keep moving you’ll get to where you are going. It might help if you have an orange ball to toss.

For Your Best Possible Self
Coach Christine Clark

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