Off the Wall and Loving it

Yesterday afternoon at a training class with Carlie, I became aware of the freedom of being able to work with Carlie off tether.

Novice dog on tetherWhen she was still a puppy, learning in a big room with other dogs, Carlie first remained tethered to a wall while training. This afforded each of us a safe space to work, teach and train on our own goals without other dogs or people coming into our space and causing a sort of potential conflict. When dogs are first learning skills and behaviours in the method I’ve been learning and teaching, the dogs choose to learn the behaviours through positive reinforcement. What they learn as a result of this process is emotional self control as well as an awareness that they participate in manifesting what they want and need in partnership with their person.

Carlie and Shirley in trainingAs Carlie developed maturity, reliability and a sense of responsibility, we progressed in learning and practising more advanced skills and behaviours. We also set our sights on ‘getting off the wall’, or working un-tethered.

Carlie is three now (already, I know!) and we work, not only off tether – we work off leash. I trust her to stay with me and ‘work’, to not go visiting and bothering other partners who are also training. Yesterday in class, she modelled for a young six month old puppy how to start a class in a down-stay off tether, but with leash on. For Carlie, that is old stuff. But for this novice dog, it was a big deal. Carlie already knows that if she goes ‘wandering’, and doesn’t respect other people’s and dog’s space, she will get tethered – if she acts like an adolescent, she will get treated like one. Not favouring this loss of freedom (responsibility), she quickly returns to respecting the boundaries of our own work space. Rarely, do I need to reinforce this line between freedom and responsibility. We are able to work at quite a distance from each other and complete rather complex sequences of behaviours. It’s a joy we both share.

On our drive home from class I was reflecting upon my personal vision for 2015. I realized that there are some limiting patterns and dynamics that I need to be free of, so I can move forward more effectively and smoothly toward my dreams and goals. I found myself saying that I need to be un-tethered!

To be tethered is not a bad thing starting out. Sometimes it may even help us to stay focused and centred on the tasks and skills we need to learn – basic life skills or emotional self control, for example. Without these foundational life skills and without any sense of self control, being given all the freedom in the world in all likelihood will set us up for failure and inability to cope with life now.

Carlie and Shirley at TreibballHowever, those youthful tethers have served their purpose and we need to release them as adults. We need to trust we have the skills and the emotional self control to be responsible with our freedom to learn, grow and be successful. We may still need a guide to show us all that we can be and do in our freedom. We may still need to be reminded that if we forgo self control of an adult and throw a temper tantrum or whine or play victim to life, we may just find ourselves back ‘on the wall’.

With freedom comes responsibility. To benefit best by freedom, we need to have a vision of who we want to become, how we want to show up in relationships, what we want to enjoy, how we want to express our passion and compassion, and how we want to contribute toward a meaningful life.

As you bring closure to 2014, what dynamics or patterns need to be un-tethered so you can move ‘off the wall’ and more freely expand, grow and realize a greater potential in you?

Freedom to be and grow into your most Natural Self, talent and purpose is an amazing and simple expression of the heart. Yet, it requires a great responsibility to listen, to respect one’s own space and that of others, to honour the partnerships with which you have committed yourself and to keep learning and growing into your potential … your best self!

I invite you to get un-tethered and start visioning for 2015! Prepare yourself to live your life ‘off the wall’. Need help? Call or email me to set up a time to move beyond the limitations of long ago. I’d love to partner with you and go the distance!

Now is a great time to get started. Take advantage of my First Year Anniversary Promotion. Meet with me before the end of December 2014 and receive a 15% discount on your next appointment in January 2015.

Don’t let winter woes keep you tethered. Ask about long-distance energy therapy and phone sessions as alternatives to in-office visits. Live your life ‘off the wall’!


Shirley Lynn