I can move things with my mind, there is a trick involved that I didn’t comprehend when watching the movies (Star Wars) at a young age. It’s subtle, easy to miss because we humans are so literal.
It came to me this morning. I was thinking about how far my dog (and I) have come with our training. Hogan had a range of issues stemming from a troubled past. By the time I got him he was so used to being in trouble that he wouldn’t make eye contact with me.
When a dog won’t look at you it’s a problem. Any animal, including humans, read a great deal of information from body language. Hogan wasn’t listening or reading my body language so it has been difficult.
Things creep up on you – like how old you’re growing, how much you’ve changed, day by day the change is small and incremental but over time, huge shifts are possible.
This morning as Hoges rolled his big golden brown eyes up to mine and we “smiled” at each other (the joke was over a small chocolate Labrador that we met who was jumping and giving her owner terrible trouble) I suddenly felt so very deeply grateful to this dog. He has taught me a lot.
Hogan used to come out of his pen full pelt every morning and attack me excitedly. He would throw his body, his sharp claws, his urine (when excited he leaks) everything he had at me – all the while barking madly and grabbing at my hands and arms with his mouth. He sometimes drew blood, I was always covered with dirt and in the beginning there was a lot of shouting and frustration.
I used everything from a water pistol, to treats and finally a damn stick to get him away from me. After a rush around he was okay and then we would clip in and walk.
I didn’t know what I was doing training wise but I couldn’t stand the sight of him in his pen all the time (because he would also clear the back fence and be gone chasing roos, if let out, wouldn’t come back and once ended up in the pound). Hogan was allowed out on supervised walks only, meaning on a lead.
I used to dread opening that pen door knowing the hurricane I was giving freedom to. But I persisted because I love dogs and despite his crazy frenzies I love him. I knew why he did what he did but I couldn’t get him to stop. Turns out love and understanding are the first step, persistence and patience are the next and then you just go along like that for ages, or that’s what we did.
After the riotous beginnings every morning, then came a 2 hour walk out into the surrounding countryside that we both loved.
Hogan would calm down and begin to sniff and by the time we arrived home, the leash is a soft relaxed loop and we are chilled, it is lovely. It is also a massive time commitment that I cannot give up. If I’m awake drinking coffee, Hogan is sitting in his pen watching me. Letting him down isn’t an option. So we go, every day. When it rains I’m in gum boots and an umbrella and actually I have found I rather like walking in the rain
Persistence, patience, routine – all things I struggled with in the past – are now mine to use with other projects and souls. Like Hogan, I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’m a lot better.
It’s taken two years to be able to open the pen door to a happy dog who doesn’t jump all over me. It’s taken two years to speak softly and watch him spin back, his eyes searching for mine. It’s taken two years to have him look at me and trust I won’t hit him or bring the thunder, he trusts me as his leader. It’s taken two years and I am a different person. I am a more confident leader, not just of my dogs but also myself.
Hogan has improved my mental and physical health and given me more adventures then he has taken away (having dogs means travel isn’t always spontaneous or even possible) If I hadn’t been walking him for 20km a day, I wouldn’t have taken up hiking or done the six day Carnarvon Great Walk this year, which in itself has been life changing.
Hogan is literally the force that came into my life and was so difficult – but at a soul level – so compelling, that he changed me. That is what dogs do, they come into our lives with a purpose but it is up to us to accept the challenge. I would propose that Yoda himself was in fact a very old dog.
Sorry, I got waaaaaaaay off track and you’re just wondering about how the force works.
Here is the trick to moving things with your mind, for those of you that, like me, spent ages staring at spoons trying to bend them with the “force” when you were younger.
It’s a metaphor. And a great one. The mind is the force. Or rather attention is. Once trained, we can move mountains with it. Everything begins in the mind, but then we must use it wisely, channel it with discipline and eventually whatever we want to do – can be done.
The mind can be used for good or evil. We can use it to the utmost limits of its capability and amazing, miraculous things will happen. Or we can do nothing with it, ignore the force, and it will be about as useful as any other unopened tool.
This is just the sort of thing that you read and it seems absurdly simplistic, or it can be quite profound. There are layers in every lesson, each time I fall a little deeper in.
Whether it moves your or not, may the force be with you ❤️
Here are 40 Yoda quotes to add to your day – since we are on the topic.
PS My Dad would have been 90 today (17th November, which it is as I write) it was from him that I inherited my great love and appreciation for dogs (and reading and many other things). To Dad, dogs were all personalities that he loved to tell stories about. His kelpies loved him dearly and he was the first to introduce sheep dogs onto Pitherty our ancestral sheep station out west. Happy birthday Dad, love and miss you heaps.