He Said, She Said: Problems Are a State of Mind
Do you have a problem in your life? Angus thought he had a real problem when our rescue pup Niko would not let us sit on the couch without jumping on us and biting us. He wasn’t aggressive. He was just trying to play. But his play was rough, and he wouldn’t stop. His teeth would leave bruises and even draw blood. Our attempts to discipline him were futile. When we tried to stop him, he thought we were playing, and this excited him and gave him more energy to keep going. He also had not been crated trained so freaked out when we put him in the crate. Eventually, he wore himself out and fell asleep so we were able to catch some rest before dealing with this all over again.
Angus saw all of this as a real problem and was ready to give Niko back. I wasn’t willing to talk him out of this because I lived for seven years with Angus complaining about our previous dog and blaming me for getting her. Angus went so far as telling our daughters he was giving the dog back. Our eldest gave him a strong dressing down which gave Angus pause for thought, but it wasn’t until after doing some coaching sessions that he saw he was doing what his clients were doing — projecting out into the future negative future fantasies and feeling terrible as a result.
When Angus saw this, he naturally stopped doing it and dropped into the present moment. He was then able to listen to his common sense. We set up a time to speak with a dog trainer, Lisa Pincus. After a fifteen-minute conversation with her, we saw the error of our ways. She helped us to understand how to communicate with Niko and show him that we are the leaders. This calmed him right down. He transformed before our eyes. Instead of being an out of control beast, he showed how sensitive he is and how eager to please.
This was such a great example for both Angus and me about how when we see something as a problem it is more a reflection of our state of mind than what we think the problem is. From a low mood, problems look real, difficult, and even impossible to solve. From clear thinking, problems transform into learning opportunities and wisdom guides us how to navigate them. Sometimes it is as simple as reaching out for help. Other times more is required, but what helps is being able to recognize when we are caught up in our negative thinking and not trying to solve the problem from that state of mind. For Angus, from his low mood, the only solution was getting rid of the dog. From a clearer state of mind, he was able to be open to the possibility of there being a solution, and to our surprise, it was much easier than we thought, and we feel very blessed to be on this journey with Niko.
Join Angus and Rohini for their upcoming workshop in Topanga April 28-29. Click here for more information. They are both coaches. They work with individuals, leaders, and organizations to increase performance and success. They also love working with couples and helping them reduce conflict and discord so they can experience more love and harmony in their relationships. They co-facilitate individualized three-day couples intensives that support the deepening of connection and understanding. They work with couples who are struggling and couples who would like to deepen the love and intimacy they already have. Rohini is the author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1) You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com.