Human Empowerment Lessons from the Dog Whisperer

Even if you don’t live with a dog, you may be familiar with the National Geographic Channel’s program “Dog Whisperer” starring Cesar Millan. Each episode features Cesar working with families, individuals and their dogs.

In virtually every episode the dog whisperer gets troubled dogs on the road to rehabilitation and people better trained as owners. Cesar offers a set of core truths learned by working with dogs and watching and interacting with dogs just about his whole life.

Believe it or not, we think that the lessons taught by this dog whisperer can help you live a happier, more empowered life. Of course, we humans are different than our canine friends. There can be pack mentalities in our family, friend and work environments though we don’t advise you to always try to be the pack leader.

Much can be learned when you follow another person’s leadership as well. At the same time, who wouldn’t want to experience the sheer joy that is apparent in a dog’s “smile” with his or her tail wagging? Look at a happy dog-whether he or she is running after a ball, leaping into a pond, or quietly lounging on the floor. Wouldn’t it be great to feel that contentment and spark for life more of the time?

Be in the moment.
We’ve all heard this suggestion before but how many of us really follow it? With the humans he works with, Cesar Millan often points out how in the moment dogs are. They don’t tend to react from the past unless their humans have taught them to. According to Millan, it is not a dog’s way to hold a grudge, anticipate a negative event, or live in the past. That, unfortunately, is a human tendency. And it’s one we can unlearn!

When you find yourself thinking ahead to your to-do list, last night’s argument with your spouse, an upcoming parent- teacher conference, the end of the month bill paying, or even a longed for vacation– STOP! It is such a common occurrence to spend your present worrying about the future or rehashing the past. So when do you get to live?

Take time to look around and feel within yourself. What is going well for you right here and now? It could be something as “small” as the crystal clear cloudless blue sky that graces your day. How do you feel at this very moment? Now is the time for appreciating your life and now is the moment for celebrating what you have and what you want.

Let your feelings flow.
As Lily walks her pet dog Goldie, she notices the ease with which Goldie seems to move through life. Even though she was scolded for sticking her nose in the trash can, Goldie doesn’t let that ruin her day. In fact, it seems to Lily that Goldie experienced the momentary “oops, I’m in trouble” and then moved on. Lily wonders to herself why it seems so difficult for her to do the same. Sound familiar?

From time to time dogs can also become stuck in challenging emotions. This is sometimes what brings Cesar to a family. Whether it’s a dog too afraid to walk on linoleum floors or one who is terrified of loud noises, Cesar works with the dog to help him or her move through those fearful feelings. It is a process that takes time, patience and perseverance, but in the end the dog is happier and more at ease with life.

We all know that when we’re stuck in particular feelings, it seems like everything else going on in our lives fades to the background. It might be anger, panic, grief or some other emotion that became lodged in our consciousness after a traumatic event or even something more subtle. In the midst of the stuck feelings, it might even seem like we’ll never be truly happy again. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

No matter what the apparent cause of emotions that appear to dominate our lives, we can move through those difficult feelings and let them go. There are many ways to release when you are stuck.

For some people creating a ritual around letting go is helpful. You might burn old letters in a fireplace. Others find working with a coach or participating in a therapy such as breathwork freeing. Making time for quiet reflection and meditation is almost always useful. Try to stay focused on your emotions and not on the events around the emotions.

You may realize that some of the beliefs you have about yourself, your life and the initial event are a large part of what’s keeping you feeling stuck. Know that at anytime you can change your beliefs.

Take a good look at the dog in your life or just one walking down the street. If it’s a happy-looking dog, soak in the example and allow yourself to feel the joy that’s available to you. Now wag your tail and smile!

Dealing With Change In A Positive Way…

Some of you reading this article may be old enough to remember the Elton John song with the line that says, “The change is going to do you good.”

So here’s an interesting question–If change is so good for us, why do most of us fear change so much?

There’s an incredible new book we’ve been reading called Dragon Spirit and in it the authors talk about change. They say that change is inevitable, things will change and nothing is fixed in place or time.

Now while this is not news to most of us, many of us still cringe inwardly when changes occur in our lives, especially when we perceive the changes to be negative.

The truth is that change is happening in every moment whether you are consciously creating the change or not and we can use that change to create a better life.

When change happens, we have two choices. We can either embrace the change and move forward into a new life or situation or we can stay stuck in the past. Keeping things as they are or staying in the past is always okay if it’s a conscious choice.

Change creates challenges when we don’t look at our lives as they really are and don’t embrace the change to consciously create our lives from an empowering place.

In our relationship and our lives, we have learned a great deal about change from each other. Susie has always viewed change with varying degrees of apprehension. She’s lived in the same house for 30 years and changed jobs infrequently. Otto, on the other hand, has lived in well over 20 or 25 houses in his lifetime and has had even more jobs so change has been a big part of his experience.

What Susie has learned from Otto about change is to expect it and that change is not a “bad” thing. Otto has learned from Susie that if you’re going to make a change in your life, make sure that you are conscious about the reasons for making those changes.

If change is an “issue” in your life, here are some questions to ask yourself to help you to move forward.

1. Are you recognizing and embracing the changes going on around you in every moment?

2. Do you keep doing the same things over and over in the face of change that keep you stuck in the past?

3. What can you consistently do to create your life the way you want it?

If change is certain, on-going and inevitable, an important truth to recognize is that it’s what we do in the face of those changes that determines the outcome of our lives and our happiness.

So, we encourage you to look at the change in your life with a sense of wonder and possibility. The author Pema Chodron encourages us to “relax into the truth of change.” Welcome it as if it were a long-lost friend and not an enemy. If you do, you’ll see glorious “changes” in your life.

“Change is the elixir of life. Stating a simple truth, happiness is ours when we respond and adapt with enthusiasm to changes when they appear.”

Is Exercise Safe for Asthmatics?

An asthma patient generally has sensitive air passages, or airways, resulting in difficult breathing for the patient when these air passages are irritated from an atmospheric change.

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to note that some sports will have a higher probability of inducing attacks in an asthmatic. However this does not mean that an asthmatic cannot exercise safely.

If an asthmatic is looking for a safe sport, researchers point to swimming as the best possible sport for asthmatics – as the breathing required rarely if ever causes chest tightness among swimmers. Although, participating in another form of exercise that would require exactly the same about of oxygen to circulate might not cause the same reaction in the participant.

Of course, some asthmatics will experience acute attacks when they enter the swimming pool. Researchers needed to find an explanation, and it did not prove difficult to explain the reason. Some asthmatics are very sensitive to chlorine, as an irritant. Thus, it is not possible to state that swimmers who are asthmatic do not have attacks. Complete guide to asthma and asthma treatment.

Running of any type is often a terrible idea for asthmatic patients as it will, in some people, trigger an almost immediate attack. However, recent treatment advances have enabled some athletes who were previously unable to run for more than a few seconds to adapt their exercise routines to include running.

If an asthma patient is in a situation where they are breathing heavily, it may trigger the start of an asthma attack. Common instances of heavy breathing include not only exercising, but also the breathing tests required for the diagnosis of asthma.

Yes, if you are an asthmatic you should exercise. There remain many choices for type of exercises and sports. Asthma-afflicted athletes should get an appointment with a sports medicine specialist who will be able to address athletic medical issues with the patient. The specialist may also be able to provide useful tips and innovative treatment methods to the asthmatic that other physicians might not have considered trying.

Sports which involve short bursts of activity interspersed with short periods of rest make great activities for the asthmatic. Some examples include; swimming, team sports like football or softball, volleyball and yoga or Pilates. Generally, the time required for exercise induced acute attacks to occur is six minutes of constant heavy breathing.

As inspiration to continue exercising and participating in sports, it is key to notice that many past Olympians have also been asthma sufferers who managed their condition carefully, with the input and treatment plan of their physician.

These steps, if followed in combination with a personalized asthma treatment plan, will help the patient to have a successful and healthy exercise routine:

*Warm up properly, and do not forget to cool down.
*Avoid exercising in dry, cold air. If it cannot be avoided, be sure to cover both mouth and nose.
*Stay in good physical shape – Staying healthy will increase an athlete’s ability to successfully avoid asthma attacks during exercise periods.

Many patients will require not just a preventative or reactive medication, but a tailored combination of both types of medications in order to provide them with maximum relief from their illness. Most physicians agree that the desired outcome it to get the maximum relief from the minimum amount of medication.

Fitness Trainer: Boredom Busters

One of the biggest obstacles to staying on track for fitness is losing motivation. People are just starting an exercise program can find themselves quickly tired of the same routine. Keeping exercise appealing and maintaining a good fitness perspective is key to long-term success.

If you have to watch the exact same episode of your favorite television show every day for the rest of your life, you would probably be banging your head against the wall by the end of the week. You would change the channel, pick up a book, or do anything you could to avoid something you once enjoyed.

Yet, many people starting on a fitness program feel compelled to follow the same routine, day after day after day, and consequently fall off the exercise wagon due to sheer boredom.

That is why, most people would want the services of a fitness trainer in order to provide them the different portions of the fitness program in a more livelier style.

Fitness trainers are actually those who are expert in analyzing and creating a fitness program that is right for you. They are the ones who will calculate your appropriateness to a certain program with regards to your “fitness level,” create the program according to your specific needs, and keep you stimulated and inspired by giving you activities that will not bore you.

But then again, as with other entities included in the fitness world, not all fitness trainers are created equal. They may vary from the different trainings that they have, the health education they have acquired, and the skills that they have learned.

Hence, it is important to consider some factors that will determine if a certain fitness trainer is right for you. Here is how:

1. Certification

Like any item or product, the quality is sometimes measured and determined through the certification that goes with it. Hence, before you choose your fitness trainer, it is important to verify if the trainer is duly certified by a highly regarded fitness association.

It is also best to choose a trainer that has a CPR certification or first aid qualifications.

2. Education/Trainings

Be sure to choose a fitness trainer who had acquired an adequate training and education as far as health and physical fitness is concerned.

Even though it is not necessary, trainers who have acquired education connected with health or any other related field will definitely have an edge over the others.

3. Knows how to give the right attention

A good fitness trainer should know how to provide his or her client an undivided attention whenever their session is going on. In this way, the trainer will be able to focus more on the details that needs attention and immediate considerations.

4. Knows how to track development

It is best to choose a fitness trainer that knows how to track his or her client’s progress as far as fitness is concerned.

In this way, the trainer will be able to generate new activities and trainings designated for a particular result of the client.

5. Good Personality

Since you will be dealing most with your fitness trainer, it is best if you will look for somebody with a pleasing personality, somebody whom you can be comfortable. It is best to hire the services of somebody whom you can easily get along with.

Boiled down, the services of a fitness center and the contributions it can give you while working out on those belly fats, are, indeed, one of the best help that you can get from a professional person who knows what he is doing.

Hence, it is best to choose the best person who can give you the best services that you need so that you will never get bored again.

Plugging Up The Holes in Your Relationships…

Are there any “holes” in your relationship?

If you’re like us–the answer is yes.

In fact, in many relationships there are usually quite a few “holes.”

“Holes” are those things in your relationships and life that you may know are there but it’s always a surprise when you fall into one. Things can be going along just fine and before you know it, you’ve fallen into one of those darn holes again.

The house we live in is over 130 years old and just like a lot of relationships, there are many “holes” in the nooks and crannies in the exterior of the house. At its core, we have a great home in a beautiful setting. But the fact is that we really haven’t paid a lot of attention to maintaining the house in the last several years and now the neglect is beginning to show. The home that was once beautiful is now in need of major repair.

Is this how your relationship is? We hope not.

The truth is that whether you’re talking about a house or a relationship, if there are any “holes” in them, they didn’t just show up overnight. They are there because you didn’t notice them and then fix them right away before they grew bigger.

Now, we could move to another house but it wouldn’t be long before problems would start showing up in our new house if we didn’t do a better job of maintaining it. Same way with your relationships.

What does it mean to plug up the “holes” in a relationship?

It means doing the things every day and even moment-to- moment that lead to a great relationship. One of those things is giving the relationship your attention. Many people get into a relationship and then put it on auto-pilot. Then months or years later, they wonder what happened.

If you haven’t planned a date together in a while, take some time right now and plan some type of get-away even if it’s just or an hour at your favorite restaurant or a walk in a park alone together. Make some time for the two of you to be together and to enjoy each other. Make a plan to talk every day about what really matters to the two of you. This can simply mean telling each other what you appreciate about the other person.

Another thing that we find helpful is what we call “killing the monsters in our relationships while they’re little.”

This means whenever something comes up between you and your partner, don’t let it linger and become an even bigger issue. In other words, tackle the monsters in the relationship when they’re small and they won’t grow up to be large enough to eat the city (or destroy your relationship.)

Fixing a relationship with holes may not be an overnight process but it can be done if both partners in the relationship are committed to making the relationship better and stronger.

Start plugging those holes today and you’ll see how your relationships will begin to change and grow.