It is week 2 of Therapy Dog Classes and so far so good. You’d never believe this – but I’m the one who needs to relax! Haha! I knew even before starting classes that this would be more of a learning experience for me. Ella already knows what she can do and how to do it; I mean really, how hard is it to walk next to someone who is giving you treats or be calm when they leave the room? You know that they (me) love you unconditionally and will always return! Our homework for this coming week is to practice “Loose Leash Walking” which is when the dog walks beside the handler with absolutely zero tension on the leash. While practicing around the room, the instructor came over to me and commented at how good Ella is, but I was the one who needed to relax and get rid of the choke hold I had on the leash. My tension was causing her to pull. Seems simple enough, right?

How many times in your life do YOU directly affect the outcome of a situation? How many times could the outcome be completely different if only you had changed yourself? How many times do you catch you’re self blaming it on someone else? There are not many situations in life which you can change – but you can always change how YOU approach them.

It never ceases to amaze me how much I am learning from this 20 lb. ball of love. She has taught me patience, relaxation, and the importance of not taking myself too seriously. If it weren’t for her, I’d probably be working 24/7 (much to the chagrin of my employers haha).

Back to the idea that your mood, attitude, reactions directly affect any situation you find yourself in. Not only do our thoughts shape our realties, but also how we outwardly express ourselves in any situation can be the difference between a shout and a smile.

Don’t believe me? The next time you come home, instead of saying “hi” to your significant other/housemate/family, don’t say anything at all. And when they ask if you’re ok, scream, “I hate you!” I’m not a behavior psychologist, but I’d bet money that your significant other/housemate/family is going to react very negatively. Now, if you did the complete opposite and acted like a super excited puppy when you came home, they would probably laugh a bit at you, and the situation would be more jovial.

So how do you change what’s on the outside when the inside is just not willing to play along? Fake it until you make it, my friends. Sometimes we have to put on a smile for others when that is not what we feel on the inside, and sometimes, that may in fact trick your brain into helping you in to a better mood.

So the next time you think that you will get your husband to unload the dishwasher each time you say something snarky – think again – and say something nice! Maybe those dishes won’t have to put themselves away ;) 

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