I have a guilty pleasure confession to make – I’m a bit of a DVD nut. Lately I’ve been blitzing through the third season of a favorite National Geographic channel show, called the ‘Dog Whisperer’. Have you seen or heard of it? It follows the ins and outs of ‘dog psychology expert’ Cesar Millan.
Now, I’m not a huge dog fan (although everyone in my family has one and I grew up with them). I like dogs and all, but its not like I go out of my way to usually watch dog stuff. But a few years ago via Oprah I heard about Cesar’s talents and since Season One I’ve been totally hooked.
Cesar’s energy reading abilities are incredible and surprisingly there are several strong parallels between righting wayward dogs (and their owners) and helping people define and create their desired futures (personal visions).
It’s an Energy Thing: The cool thing with dogs is that you can’t fool them. You know the old adage that ‘animals smell fear’ — well, according to Cesar, dogs are no exception. They sense your energy. And, its not just fear, they basically know how you feel about them and more importantly, how you feel about YOURSELF. Whether you are in charge, confident and comfortable in your own skin (and around them) or you aren’t.
Funny thing is, your Personal Vision is pretty much the same. It’s all about energy. Your Vision can tell how you feel about it and how you feel about yourself. Whether you are comfortable and secure, or whether you are afraid and hesitant. Visions, just like dogs, like stable and reliable energy (Cesar calls it taking a ‘calm and assertive stance’). Dogs need leaders that they can feel safe and aligned with. Otherwise they will walk all over you, or worse, turn nasty.
A Strong Pack Leader Mentality is Key: Dogs are pack animals. And as such they instantly gauge who’s in control – who is the real boss. They need to know where the lines are and what is expected of them. If you don’t assume the Pack Leader role, then they will take it for themselves. Pretty soon you have a dog running you (as opposed to you running the dog). That is the problem with the majority of the Cesar Millan’s episodes — including Oprah. The dog has taken over the owners, and lots of neurotic behavior (on both sides) ensues.
Millan spends a lot of his time coaching the owners to assume the stance of a calm and assertive Pack Leader. Getting them to stand straight, walk powerfully and throw their shoulders back – holding the leash with confidence and verve. He also teaches them how to nip resistance in the butt, as soon as it shows, instead of waiting for dramatic escalation — pretty darn similar to what I do with my coaching clients in relation to the new Vision they have just created for themselves.
Consistent Application Over Time: One episode after another Millan gets fabulous results by demonstrating to pet owners how to be and act with their animals. The key is consistent application over time. They’ve got to retrain themselves and their pets to create new habits that get them the desired results – not the same old, same old. And, the kicker is, the pets actually like the discipline and lines of command that are given – they relax and go with the new flow (and things right themselves amazingly fast).
The same goes for the Vision side of things. If you have a hard time creating or getting something in some area of your life, then you need to do things differently — you need to retrain yourself and create new habits. The retraining needs to occur in your mindset and energy (being) and then in your behavior (doing). The key is to keep up with the new way of being and doing until it becomes a habit (becomes your new norm … becomes your ‘vibration’). Just like with the wayward dog situation, you can begin to see results almost immediately — but you need to keep it going in order to sustain the change.
Healthy Confidence and ‘Dominance’: Some of Millan’s clients are uncomfortable assuming the dominant stance that Millan coaches. He often has to define the word ‘dominant’ or ‘authority’ for his clients. That dominance in the way he is using the terms doesn’t mean being cruel, harsh or militaristic (or abusive or dysfunctional). It means being strong and in command in a relaxed and confident manner — a healthy and good leader.
I too often have to coach my clients that it is ok to take a strong and assertive stance in your life — in fact, its imperative to manifesting what you want. That it is necessary to get comfortable in receiving and allowing more – in whatever areas of life that you are wanting to expand.
If your stance and energy are wishy washy, so will your results be. In order to manifest what you want you need to send out a direct and confident message about who you are becoming and what your world will be like — and what the ‘universe’ (or whatever you want to call it) will produce for you.
We Aren’t Dogs, And: Now in closing, let me reassure you that I’m not equating people with dogs or drawing the metaphor too strongly here. People are people and dogs are dogs. However I think Cesar Millan’s fascinating approach has some very helpful hints in how we people can manage our own affairs.
So, if your interest has been piqued, I invite you to check out Millan’s DVDs the next time you are at the video store. And view it through the lens of what it tells us about how our personal energy is picked up by the larger world around us and how by making some changes in our inner world we can exact changes in our outer world. Give some thought about stepping up and assuming the calm and assertive Pack Leader role your life — and watch the SHIFTs happen!
© 2008 Christina L. Merkley
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Christina Merkley, “The SHIFT-IT Coach” and creator of the SHIFT-IT Method® is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Graphic Facilitation and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and groups in defining and getting what they really, really want. For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com
[tags]Christina Merkley, The SHIFT-IT Coach, SHIFT-IT, Cesar Millan, vision, visioning[/tags]