The other day as I groomed my dog, I thought about how easy it was. We were both relaxed just enjoying each other’s company. It was so different from when I first tried to groom him and he was scared of scissors. Back then, I used to get frustrated and gave off that energy to him making him even more nervous about the scissors. Later I went back and began to pet him with scissors. Just a few pets and he learned not to be scared of them anymore. I thought about how sometimes he wasn’t giving me the paw I needed or the ear I needed. As I groom him he thinks he is being pet and he leans into it and then I am not able to see properly to do my job. In the past I would have been frustrated and given off that energy to him which would also make him frustrated. Instead this time I kept myself calmed and thought what can I do about this to make it better? Instead of moving him around, positioning him the way I would like which would frustrate him, I asked him to sit and then rewarded him for that behavior by petting him and proceeded to cut the areas I needed to cut. This continued on as I gently had to ask him to sit as he would get too comfortable and made it harder for me to do my job. I realized how much I had grown. Relaxed me. Relaxed dog.
This calmness took a long time to be able to obtain. It isn’t me. I used to allow myself to become stressed or frustrated. I did that by the thoughts I allowed myself to have. But I knew that stress was not healthy. I also knew that I wasn’t helping the situation and it wasn’t the type of person I wanted to be. So I decided that each time something frustrating would happen instead of reacting I would just think, okay this isn’t the outcome I wanted but what can I do about this? If I need to do or say something I do it. If it is something I cannot control I just say, “It is what it is,” and I let it go. Having a dog has allowed me to practice this skill often as they need a calm and assertive leader.
This skill made my job in the classroom easier. I never took the kids or the parents behavior personally. I also never allowed myself to simply react. I’d stop for a moment and then walk over to the child calmly. If it was an emotional issue, I would state that. I would tell the child, “I see you are angry” and whatever else pertained to that moment. My calm energy usually allowed the kids to be more calm as well. You see calm energy is catching. Stressful and frustrated energy is catching too. That is why that approach never seemed to have a good outcome. I am not saying everything always completely works out the way it should, but more often than not it does and even if it doesn’t work out there is no point in belaboring about things that we cannot control.
July 17 2016