Calm and Assertive

I know what you have been thinking.

“Hey Tannie, why did you tell us about your New Years Goals and then never explain them like you promised?”

I am sorry, I did make you wait. However the first one, Post At Least Once a Week, was self explanatory. The second one needed a little background and my last post provided that background. Do you need a reminder what my second New Years Goal is?

2. Learn how to remain calm, even in stressful situations.

Why did this goal come about? Why did I need to post about getting a dog before I addressed this goal? Is two plus two four?

Yes, my sweet little Kona, that I love, required me to learn a little something about myself. I am in fact, not so calm as I thought I was. Part of the deal of getting a dog, beside the top two rules I mentioned (and threw out) in the last post, was said dog must be well trained. Lucky for us, Kona came that way. I wanted to make sure she stayed that way. I noticed that while she started out very easy going and a good listener, she was slowly starting to get a little naughty. I asked my vet if he could recommend a good trainer and he surprisingly said no. He recommended that I just watch this guy.

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Photo from here

Yep, that’s right, the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan. I am an Obedient sort of person, so naturally I ordered every DVD on Netflix and got to work.  If you have watched even one episode then you know that Cesar Millan puts strong emphasis on the type of energy you give off. When owning a dog you should be Calm and Assertive. There is also a lot of other great stuff on there that I don’t want to go in to, but we are implementing them.

I started noticing a difference right away in the way Kona acted…with Dan.

She became more obedient…with Dan.

She did well on the leash…with Dan.

She was submissive…to Dan.

See the pattern here? I was doing everything the same as he was, but for some reason I was not getting the same results. Don’t get me wrong, Kona wasn’t behaving badly, she just was starting some bad habits of not listening, that I wanted to nip in the bud. I noticed this energy thing that Cesar talks about over and over and I asked Dan if he does that. Does he imagine himself as the king of all that is around? Does he focus on being calm and assertive. I asked him who he imagined he was to help him feel that way. I wanted to get into Dan’s brain. (Good luck with that one.) Here is his response in typical Dan fashion.

“I don’t imagine anything. I am me. I already am that way. So why would I possibly imagine someone else?”

oh.

That is when I realized I needed to Tune in to Tannie a little more.

I was doing everything that Dan was, except for the whole confident, calm assertive energy thing. I THOUGHT I was a calm sort of person. It turns out…not so much.

I took some time to truly look at myself and analyze the way I was feeling. The majority of the time I am pretty hyper. Or frustrated. Or exhausted. Or stressed. Or Stressed. OR STRESSED. I discovered that I spend A LOT of time feeling stressed. When did I get to be that way? It seemed like it was just a habit at this point. Like a secret favorite feeling that I started wrapping myself in. So it was time to let go.

So I did. I started focusing on being calm around Kona and it is working (work in progress). She responds to me so much better now. Enough so that Dan fears that I am taking over his dog. (Kona is really starting to worship me ;-))

At first I did it just so I could become the pack leader to my dog. However, my focusing on being calm with the dog soon became my noticing all the other areas I needed to practice being calm. I had never noticed how much I needed it in the rest of my life. You can’t try to improve in one area, without it effecting other areas.

So it was time to make it a Goal.

Now I not only practice being Calm and Assertive around Kona. But now my kids, Dan, situations, people, cooking, cleaning, and anything else you can think of that perhaps I did not previously act in the most calm and genteel way. But it is more than an act I have to practice. I am sure I will have people tell me, “Oh Tannie, you are always calm and level headed.”

Well it is true. I am pretty good at being that way on the OUTSIDE. The inside is another story. And only a Dog was able to point that out. You can’t fool a dog as to what is going on on the inside. Kona knew I was stressed and less confident inside. So she was not having any of it. No matter how confidently I walked, or spoke to her, she knew the truth.

And now I do too.

So here is to a 2013 Tannie that is Calm, Cool and Collected on the outside AND the inside.

Thanks Cesar Millan, turns out you might be a people whisperer too.

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7 thoughts on “Calm and Assertive

  1. You are just tee rifical!:-) Secretly..now not so secretly as I am telling you.I feelinside that .I can beat anybody up…so people mind me and I control them with my eyes. Jk!.

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  2. A great goal! My dog is the same, she picks up on every little emotion and responds accordingly. It got really frustrating when it seemed like she preferred my boyfriend to me – she completely adores him. But then I had a revelation, much the same as you describe, and am trying to adjust how I am around her accordingly. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I get a lot more out of her if I ask her to do things in a calm voice. I don’t ‘bark’ out orders at her like I used to, thinking that I was being assertive, but instead ask her calmly to sit, lie down, to come, and she is like a new dog behaviour wise. A big learning curve! :)

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