What I Learned in Charm School

leashWe recently acquired our rambunctious, new puppy, Brady this winter. And because it’s important to us that we have a well-trained dog, we’ve (well, read me) have been taking Brady to dog training classes. Liz Langham, of Tree Frog Farm is a very talented and gifted dog trainer and behavioral specialist, and I’ve really been enjoying her classes. Brady has graduated from “Puppy Class” and is currently in “Charm School”.

I must admit, I’m very interested in how much dog training material applies to humans as well!

Here’s the nugget I learned today.

Liz, the gifted and talented dog trainer from Tree Frog Farm, was giving us a demonstration on leash walking. She was demonstrating the example of how many people grip very hard on the leash, because they believe that they will be in more control of the situation, rather than having a more relaxed hold.

“Try relaxing your grip and give a little more leash”, she advised us.

She also shared a tight grip on the leash, not only makes your hand and arm cramped and tired but the dog can also feel the energy of your grip through the leash.


A light bulb went off for me!

I thought to myself, hmmm, where else (besides my dog’s leash) am I gripping too tightly, holding on, trying to control the situation, and ultimately the outcome?

I realized that there were many. And that my “tight grip” in every instance, had no reflection on whether it was a successful outcome or not, in fact, in all cases, it had zero impact of a successful outcome, and in at least one of the examples (my children’s behavior) it often had just the opposite effect.

Where are you “gripping” in your life or business? Trying to control an outcome, behavior or situation?

“Try relaxing your grip and giving a little more leash.” And watch what happens.

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4 thoughts on “What I Learned in Charm School

  1. Mandy, this article hit me where I live! I notice that I have a death grip on EVERYTHING — the steering wheel (even though the traffic is light, and I’m not nervous), the dentist’s chair (like that’s going to make the pain go away), my opinions (the ex-husband labeled me stubborn, and he was right — of course it takes one to know one!), the actions I am or am not willing to take to get my desired outcomes. Well, you get the idea. The list is endless.

    And you make an excellent point. My death grip way of navigating life is a sure sign of my desire to control. It’s also frequently an indication that I have lost my trust and faith in a Universe that I know in my heart of hearts is on my side and wants me to succeed.

    I’m not a dog owner, but I’m a former horseback rider. So, I’m going to remind myself to relax my death grip on the reins of control and give the horse its head — especially since this is the Year of the Horse in Chinese astrology and is predicted to be one heck of a positive, uplifting, and exciting year. Seems like the perfect time to get the heck out of the way of the energy!

    • Thanks for the comments, Carol. Loved your examples and I can relate to the feeling of wanting to be in control and getting in the way of the energy!

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