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“Happy New Year!”

“Happy New Year to you!”

“Happy Neeewwwwww Yeaaaarrrrr!!!”

Strange, isn’t it?

New Years is, to me, a uniquely odd holiday. It is the only holiday, in America at least, where the only thing we’re actually celebrating is the day itself. Not a first feast that occurred on this day hundreds of years ago, not the death or assassination of a cultural icon, not the birth of a nation, not a religious observance, nope, just a day! And in light of this, I’d prefer, actually, to rename New Years Day what it really, really is – Blank New Calendar Day! Doesn’t that just make you smile?

Ok, ok, I’m getting to the point. New Years, and New Years Resolutions. I myself have never been one to make these things. Whenever I change anything in my life it’s generally because something internal has had to, well, switch first, and rarely is such a feeling triggered by a one-time occurrence, even Blank New Calendar Day.  But that is just me. Some people are heavily motived by Blank New Calendar Day. They view every new calendar year as a chance to start over, to begin anew, and there really is something heartwarming, genuine, and uniquely human about that.

So it is to you folks, in particular, that this post goes out to!

But remember, before I begin, the New Years Resolutions I’ve transcribed below are only suggestions, and like is often said in various twelve step programs, I’d like you “take what you need and leave the rest.” 🙂 Ok, here we go.

1 – Hang around with positive people.
Think about someone you know who, every time you see them, just makes you smile. Feel all warm and fuzzy. But not in a sexual way. In a “goodness and light and I remember how I felt around my grandma when I was 5 years old and she made me chocolate chip cookies and cocoa” way (thanks Eli 😉 ) . Hang around that person a bit more. Ask them what makes them  tick, how they got to be in the place of serenity they seem to be in. Soak up the goodness they have to offer the world, and then spread that goodness around a bit. Will make you breathe easier. Promise. 🙂


2 – Feed Yourself More

Got your attention! But really, I’m not talking about “eating” in the traditional sense. We “feed” our souls in soooo many other ways, every day. And these other ways are called our “Primary Foods.”  They are our Relationships, our Spirituality (not the same thing as religious orientation or religion), and our Physical Activity. By feeding ourselves more of these primary foods, we stay connected to the people and other living things about us, remember that we are most certainly not the center of the universe, and ease our brains and our hearts. Aaaaaaaahhhh. 🙂

3. Listen to your Teammate.
Have you ever had a headache and almost unconsciously reached for an aspirin or other painkiller? Now, I’m not opposed to these more benign meds in and of themselves, but the act of grasping for them without stopping to think what caused them is a real barrier to understanding and loving your body. Your body is CONSTANTLY talking to you. And when you’re in pain, it’s actually SCREAMING at you to pay attention to it. So start small, like I always say. If you do reach for an aspirin or advil the moment you have a headache, force yourself to take a breath first. Think about why you have a headache in the first place. Did you work yourself so hard that you didn’t even think to take a bite to eat, or breathe? Did you drink so much coffee to keep moving because you didn’t get to sleep early enough the night before and in the process riddle your nerves with caffeine? Just think about it, for a moment, the next time it happens. And, most importantly, remember that you and your body are in this together. You (that brain of yours!) and your body are a team, and since this is one team you are always going to be on, at least in this lifetime, you want to be as good to your teammate as possible. I mean, who wants an asshole who ignores you for a teammate? I mean, that would make any body scream. 🙂 So tomorrow, be good to your teammate, and pamper them with a full 8 hours of rest and a few delicious, nutritious meals. 😉

4. Live a Dream (or Do One Fearless Act!)
This one might seem hard, but I’m telling you, it’s never anywhere near as hard as it seems in your head. AND, once you do it once, it’s like 10 times easier the next time, but you still feel just as fantastic as you did the first time! What is one thing, just one thing, that you’ve always wanted to do but thought you couldn’t? That you didn’t have the “guts” to do or, well, “you just didn’t grow up that way.” Those are words of your ego just as much as any bragging rant you could go on. Your ego wants you to be unique in any way, good or bad, to keep you separate from the rest of your fellows. Separate and alone, in your own head, in your own misery. Don’t let your ego win!! If you’ve always wanted to audition for a play, just do it. Always wanted to try skydiving. Just do it. (sorry, Nike) Put “blinders,” take a step in the right direction, and tell the fear to go fuck itself. Your heart and soul (and that little kid in you) will be smiling tomorrow. 🙂

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Seriously????????

Seriously??

Oh no, not here, don’t you worry. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. And well, to make a point about articles with titles like this. Which are really just super long, text-driven advertisements. 😉

You can rest assured you’ll never see a posting, ever, on how to stay “Sexy, Sassy, and Slim!” on this blog. (Excuse me for a moment while I go vomit in my mouth). I hope you consider this blog a respite from our traditional, marketing-oriented culture, whose primary purpose (at least when it comes to “personal improvement products”) is to make you feel bad enough about yourself that you are willing to believe that a certain diet book or a particular brand of lipstick or a well-known male performance enhancement drug is the one and only “cure” to your advertisement-enhanced low self-esteem.

But there are numerous other ways to find relief. And to find freedom in the face of such ads. And the primary antidote I’ve found is… drum roll please… Real, Authentic, Long-Lasting, Gorgeous, Genuine Self-Esteem!

Cause when you get that, and you do happen to run across an advertisement for cellulite-removing ass cream, you can actually smile.


Cause you’ll know that all you’re real looking at is an  overpriced, digitally-enhanced, airbrushed, Photoshopped version of plain old  snake oil. 🙂


“But wait!!!” you may be thinking. “Yeah, I get it. I understand that ads are mostly lies, and those “ideals” are unrealistic, but for the most part, it seems like that’s all that society is offering me in the self-esteem department. Unless you go to church or something. And I’m weird about the God thing. So what’s an average guy (or gal) to do? I mean, how am I supposed to get genuine, authentic self esteem in the face of all that stuff?”

Well there are a LOT of ways, there are. They just aren’t out there, in our face, like those advertising billboards and the commercials that bombard us. But they are there. Like the old adage goes, “The teacher appears when the student is ready.” So are you ready? Let’s take another baby step together.

One HUGE pathway to genuine self esteem, at least for this gal, has been the road to forgiveness. Forgiving others for their own mistakes, their own imperfections, their own trespasses, against us, frees us to forgive ourselves for not being “perfect.”  And such a concept couldn’t be more appropriate than right now, during the Holiday Season! Haha, gotcha! Couldn’t get away from it, even here! 😉

go ahead, push my buttons!

Because less be honest, this is a friggin’ strange time of year.

Think about it. We get together with a bunch of people who have known us so long that not only do they know how to push our buttons, they actually installed them in the first place! And because many have been in our lives since we were rolling around in our own poo, they tend to view us in, well, different ways than we like to view ourselves. So no, it ain’t easy! But, and here’s the big “but…”

These people really love us.

For the most part, and even though they often have an unsavory way of showing it, they also want the best for us.

So, in order to make such interactions with these folks an exercise for the greater good rather than a repeat of The Ref, well, forgiveness really is the key ingredient. It is, if I may, the chocolate to your chocolate chip cookie, the rice to your Chipotle burrito, the peanut butter to your PB&J. When it’s not there? Uh… well you know what happens!

So let’s explore this a bit, and in the process figure out just how we come to forgive those who may have – intentionally or unintentionally – harmed us in some way. As usual, let’s remind ourselves exactly what “forgiveness” really means.

According to the glorious Wikipedia,forgiveness is defined as…
“The process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.”

Woah! Where did that whole resentment thing enter into this picture? That’s just unnecessary. And what do you mean “punishment?” I mean, I’m not punishing anyone… they simply screwed me over, so they deserve whatever it is they get!

A few years ago… ok, let’s be honest, a few months ago, this would be my gut-level response to such a definition if I were to apply it to certain individuals in my life. Maybe it’s yours. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get past it. And why, again, would you want to? Well, aside from the holidays being immeasurably more pleasant, the fact is that YOU would feel better. Yeah, YOU. Forgiving another person may make that individual feel better in some way, but it will definitely make you feel better. And that’s the point, really. Have you ever prayed for someone that you were really pissed at? I mean REALLY pissed at? Ever done it for, say, a month, or even six months? I know, sounds crazy. But a woman I truly admire and whose guidance I often seek once told me to do it, even though it may seem like a really dumb idea. (Which it did).

So, this one time, I tried it. I prayed for the Universe, or God, or the power of good, or the Dalai Lama, or whatever the heck is out there (cause I didn’t have a clue!) to, essentially…

“Please let that f*&%$&^ bitch have everything good that I want and deserve out of life!!!”

Amazingly, I didn’t explode. And I didn’t get more pissed off. I felt, kinda, neutral. But definitely not worse. So the next day, per her odd advice, I did it again. And the next day. And by the end of the week I was no longer referring to her as a f*&%;#^ bitch, just a normal, average bitch. 🙂 And the next week, I think I stopped calling her a bitch at all. And a few days after that, I realized that I didn’t need to pray for her anymore, that I wasn’t mad at her at all. That maybe, I mean, maybe?, I had actually forgiven her.

And my God (no pun intended), I really did feel a whole lot better.

Now, bear with me for a moment. Let’s think about this. When I was spending all that time hating this particular person for whom I prayed, did she know it? I mean, did she actually feel my hate like I wanted her to? I don’t know. I mean, maybe. But she certainly didn’t seem to be feeling it all the time like I was. That I knew for sure.

And by forgiving her, did I free her from something? Did I give her some sort of relief or a free pass for her messed up behavior? I don’t know. I mean, maybe…. But I know I felt more free.

And like I said, I think that’s really the point of forgiveness. It isn’t, like our egos like to tell us, to let other people off the hook for some screwed up thing they did to us. That’s not it at all.

It’s to let ourselves off the hook.

So give it a try. Send a prayer, or good energy, or whatever you want to call it, out towards one person (let’s start with one) whom you really feel has wronged you. Do it for a couple of weeks, and just see what happens, to you. What have you really got to lose? Cause I’m pretty damn sure you’ll be the one gaining something quite valuable in the process. Likely, a little more peace of mind. And another knotch in the belt of gorgeous, genuine, REAL self-esteem.

And isn’t that just the best gift anyone could ask for?

Mom, if you’re reading, that’s what I want next year…. well that and the third Season of Flight of the Concords.

Pretty please. 🙂

In an ironic twist to my recent post about establishing healthy emotional boundaries, some HUGE physical boundaries were established in our city throughout the day yesterday. Every time you see a large block of snow (so, pretty much every time you leave the inside of your home) try to remember why boundaries are so damn important and effect everything we do and see – both the physical and the emotional ones!! 🙂

Now get out there and enjoy the snow, and see how it really does bring out the very best in people. – Kel

the view from my front door

back off!

Let’s talk about boundaries.

No, not physical boundaries, not the hard cement framing of a properly built skyscraper (pretty rare these days!), but personal, emotional, invisible-to-the-naked eye boundaries. Two different things, yes, but with shared similarities that can provide us with a lot of insight into how (and why we would want to) erect our own boundaries. Like many things in life, we can’t really understand what something is until we learn what it is not. And we certainly can’t understand what healthy emotional boundaries are until we know what unhealthy emotional boundaries look like.

First, lets figure out what the hell a boundary is anyway.

According to Dictionary.com, “Boundaries” are defined as…
That which indicates or fixes a limit or extent, or marks a bound, as of a territory; a bounding or separating line; a real or imaginary limit.

An emotional boundary, therefore, would be a limit on what type of conversation topics or the extent to which I engage in both verbal and physical contact within my interpersonal interactions.

But why would one want to put limits on such interactions anyway? Well, I’ve found that the act of putting up boundaries is one that is both self-respectful and promotes positive self-esteem.

But it took some time for me to get to this place. About six and a half years ago, if someone had said to me that I needed to put up a boundary between say, myself and a guy that was interested in me that kinda creeped me out, I would have thought you had asked me to start sharing cooking recipes in Swahili. Naturally I’d nod my head, scrunch my brow, make every effort to have you to believe that I thoroughly understood what exactly you wanted me to do. Because, in reality, I didn’t like myself very much, and I needed you to like me. In that process, I removed any and all boundaries about myself in an effort to attempt to meet this need. But never fear, this doesn’t have to be your journey. Though a lack of  self-esteem isn’t the best way to begin ones journey toward establishing healthy boundaries, it doesn’t need to be an obstacle. You have to smart small.

Let’s start with an example.

I myself just recently had a VERY emotionally charged situation occur in my life, part of the reason that I hadn’t posted for so long. And without giving you a plethora of specific details , shit got hard.

My invisible bubble (one giant boundary I had surrounding me at all times), the one I walked around with for the past 5 years – made up of my beliefs about myself, my place within my group of friends and family and intimate relationships, my dignity (my most prized possession), and my space in the universe – got popped. In an instant.

And it just about knocked me totally off my feet.

just about.

So how did I manage to stay standing? I just did the next right thing. Threw myself into helping others, got really honest,  and, perhaps most importantly, I put up some boundaries.

Since I didn’t feel really able/ready to converse in the most healthy way with some of the individuals that made up the majority of my “bubble,” I told them that, at least for now, I need to curtail nearly all communication. This is a big one, so take note. Many of us aren’t able to carry on healthy conversation and put up a clear boundary in the midst of an emotionally charged situation. And that’s ok. When that happens, our only good option is to remove ourself from the situation entirely.

Sometimes, as well, the very best boundary you can declare is one that requires honest clarification of the situation at hand. I, for one, feel most comfortable when I know (as well as I can), the state of a situation or a relationship within my life. Once I have defined it to my satisfaction I can then take action accordingly. As long as I’m not a dick about it, asking for such clarification in a kind, non-judgemental way, can do eons of good.

Ok, so enough talking.

Take a deep breath.

Look, I know it seems tough. But the truth is that all you need to do is take the first step. Start erecting baby boundaries (like baby gates!). You can start by saying “no,” when you are asked to do something you know in your heart you really don’t want to do. Once you begin, you will find that it takes a huge weight off your shoulders, and frees you to take control of an often uncontrollable situation. You can’t help but take a sigh of glorious relief and self-satisfaction after doing so.

So grab that (metaphorical) hammer and nail and begin! And if you’re not sure how, just ask for some help and guidance from someone who seems to be able to build their own boundaries in a healthy way, and they’ll help you to begin seeing things in a whole new light.

You’ll feel much better afterwards. I promise. And your heart and mind will thank you for it. 🙂

Let’s talk about poo.

Seriously, seriously, stay with me for a sec. I promise this won’t be nearly as gross as you think, and it may actually be helpful. Or your money back. Oh wait, you didn’t pay… ok… well, I mean, you’re already halfway through the first paragraph now, so you might as well keep on reading.  🙂


“What is your poo telling you?”
is a book title you may have smiled at while perusing your local Urban Outfitters, but otherwise not given much thought to. The truth is, this particular, uh, substance, and the rest of your digestion process, can tell you a whole lot about the state of your body. It’s something that we Americans don’t like to talk about, but in many cultures, discussion of such bodily functions (serious discussions, ahem), is quite common and encouraged. Take for instance, India, where Ayurveda was born. This Hindu system of health and medicine affirms first and foremost that “death begins in the colon,” and parents who have grown up in this region of the world will often ask their children just what their bowel movements have been like lately. Chinese herbal medicines, in a similar vain, work to strengthen the body parts, like our liver and our kidneys, that keep our digestive system functioning at optimum levels. And even in America, though little is said about it, most detox diets on the market focus on first removing excess toxins from your bowels.

So let’s stop snickering and be honest. Most of us have digestiion issues.  And it’s not surprising, as much of the food we Americans consume works directly against our bodies’ natural cleansing process. But there is hope. If the food we consume provides fuel for that cleansing, we can get back on the right track with less effort than you might think. First, though, we have to figure out how our digestive system really works. Let’s start by using a fun, real-life example, a party!   Because everyone – big, small, young old, male, female – has an actual party going on in their belly, all the time.

Unfortunately, for most of us, the party in our bellies isn’t very much fun, and there’s a bunch of guests we can’t recall inviting.

Let’s take a closer look.


At the front line of your digestion process (after, of course, your mouth!) is the door man, your stomach. We’ll call him Stu.

Stu is an interesting guy, tough on the outside and gooey on the inside. And he’s a bit sensitive. But he’s smart, and he knows just what is needed to keep the party healthy and fun, provided he doesn’t work alone. But in the belly of your average person, Stu is very tired. The unfriendly guests just keep coming, and trying to keep them in check has taken it’s toll, making him a bit cranky.

But when Stu’s favorite pals come visit, he then finds himself better able to keep the bad guys from crashing the whole party. The more nice pals, the better and more congenial the party, and the more smoothly your digestion process goes.

Let’s meet some of these friendly visitors:

Cauliflower. She often arrives first, with other crispy veggies by her side. With her strong mix of Folate, Vitamin C, and the brain-friendly Vitamin B6, she packs a hefty nutritional punch with a tough yet smooth bite. Yet it is her fiber that really keeps things moving. Fiber, in short, is a natural bowel cleanser. The undigestible part of plants, it absorbs water to ease the movement of the bowels and naturally cleanse your digestive track of those unfriendly bacteria that you can’t remember inviting.


If you tend toward the constipation end of things, you want to make sure you have enough of this, especially in the form on soluble fiber. The best source of this, in my opinion, is psyllium (but don’t by that Metamucil stuff, it has lots of other not-so-friendly-to-your-belly ingredients in it). This is the brand I use.
Or the always pernicious Spinach – who always arrives with a new, interesting group of folks. Delicious raw and cooked, he is a nutritional panacea. Naturally full of the vegetable staples Vitamins A, Folate, and C , he also provides copious quantities of Iron, Magnesium and Calcium (yup!), and the little-known but essential Vitamin K, which, amongst other abilities, works to help your body better absorb the calcium that he is happily providing for your body. It is the Magnesium, that not only placates our overactive brains, but also works to bring the proper amount of water into digestive tract,

thus ensuring proper “elimination” (funny word). Be careful though, too much magnesium can cause diarrhea.

Then arrives the smoothest, tartest, most energetic gal of the day – the ever-so-sassy Yogurt. Brimming over with lots of enzymes, protein, calcium, riboflavin and the brain-friendly (see my earlier post!) Vitamins B6 and B12, she always brings along her invigorating probiotic pals Acidophilus and Bifidus, the good guys in the world of bacteria who easy knock down unsightly intruders like the yeasty Candida Albicans, strepticoccus lactis, salminilla, and a whole lot of others. But Stu doesn’t see these kind folks as much as he’d like to.

Let’s meet some of Stu’s not-so-friendly visitors:

Sugar. He barges into the party with an unparalleled (but somewhat erratic) furor. He then proceeds to get everyone else super excited, only to pass out on the couch an hour later. Or the super obnoxious Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. (Also known as Trans Fat). She always dresses up to look as sassy as the healthier oil gals – Olive, Coconut and Flax – but she is simply too unstable (and superficial) to keep the rest of the body insulated or provide any energy. So she too ends up throwing off the natural sense of balance of the belly 🙂 (Editors Note: if it says “partially hydrogenated” anything on a label, it has trans fat in it, despite with the label may say).

Or (and this is my personal vice!) those annoying Nicotine brothers. Jittery and hyper, they throw off the natural ebb and flow of the party. Beyond that, they just don’t stop coming, as every couple of hours a new one must come by or the others get irritable.  And in the end, all the ever really do is make the party smell bad and drink all the water.

Ok, ok, so let’s break it down a bit. Here are some of the foods/supplements/herbs that you can take that help Stu to keep the party in your belly pleasant and comfortable, and assist your digestive system as a whole. But keep in mind, you can never eat “perfectly,” and you’re not bad if you consume some of the not-so-good guys once in a while, I know I do!  The important thing is to realize that food is one of several sources of nourishment. Per the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I’m paraphrasing, your primary foods are things, actions, people, etc, that keep you emotionally and spiritually (no, this doesn’t mean “religiously,” this means feeding your soul with the things that keep you feeling satisfied and serene), nourished. If you aren’t keeping your primary foods present in your life it doesn’t matter how well you eat, your body will not be functioning at its optimum level.

THE REALLY GOOD GUYS FOR YOUR BELLY:
Raw Veggies
Raw Milk (especially Goat’s Milk)
Yogurt/Kefir
Sauerkraut/Kimchee (and other pickled/fermented foods)
Parsley
Garlic
Fennel (reduces bloating, improves digestion)
Milk Thistle (see my earlier post!)
Green Tea
Apple Cider Vinegar (with the “mother” is best)
Psyllium Husks/Powder

Let’s leave it at that. No “bad guy” list right now. I am starting very much to believe in the school of thought that says the best way to remove unhealthy foods from your diet is to crowd them out with healthy foods!  And I also recommend, for your emotional and spiritual health (and assuming you are not on a special diet detailed by your nutritionist or doctor), to cut yourself some slack on Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Simply add some of the good stuff listed above, and spend those holiday hours giving thanks and feeling grateful.

Your tummy will thank you for it.

(*Also applies to recovering and active addicts, current or former processed food consumers and current or past consumers of nicotine and similar substances. Or people who just really want to give an extra bit of love to their parts – not that way ;))

If you are think you fit into any of the above categories, and you’ve never taken the time to learn about this gorgeous little miracle herb, it would be my pleasure to introduce you to my herbal BFF (cross my heart!). It is the mac to my roni, the peanut butter to my jelly, the salt to my peppa, the one and only…

Milk Thistle!

—————————–>

To the unbenownst, this magical herb has been used for centuries for its various medicinal properties, and, most importantly, it’s ability to heal and protect one of our most important internal organs – our liver!

(Not sure why your liver rocks? Well, if it suddently isn’t there, you die. And if it gets sick and can’t do its job, well then you’d get really sick too. And if it’s tired, well a whole host of other random ailments that are a result of toxins remaining in your system (your liver is the one that gets rid of them for you), will likely befall you. Your liver (along with your very essential kidneys, brain and heart) is one body part you you really wanna keep in shape.

Back to the Thistle… my nistle. 😉  The most beneficial part of this plant is actually the extract that we take from its seeds, a goofily named substance referred to as “Silymarin.” But its abilities certainly aren’t silly, as Milk Thistle and the silymarin in it are typically used to treat chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver (that is often the end-game of a lifetime of alcoholic drinking and/or drugging), and even gallbladder disorders.  Beyond these more serious ailments, and as I alluded to above, many annoying, non-fatal ailments such as chronic fatigue and poor digestion that are often caused by poor liver function can be remedied by taking milk thistle. In short, milk thisle cleanses you by helping your liver to cleanse itself, and thus keeps your body functioning at optimum speed and efficiency.

I’ve personally had great success with milk thistle to improve my overall digestion and (with some delicious fennel, which we’ll cover in another post!), to reduce bloating. Thankfully, most docs these days know of milk thistle and its benefits, so I recommend talking to your doctor about it, especially if you are on any other medications or undergoing any kind of treatment, before you start making milk thistle part of your supplement regemin.

So be nice to your liver tonight, especially if you’ve been neglecting it all these years! Change all that today! Treat your liver the way it deserves to be treated!

Ok, I understand an example may be helpful, here goes.

(pointing to your upper right abdomen below the breast bone)..

“Hey there you luscious, crimson beauty!  I could just eat you up! I mean… not really… ahem. … hehe. hmph. 🙂 Listen, I just wanted to say I’m sorry. Sorry for ignoring you all these years and taking you for granted. I know you take care of me every day, and I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate all you’ve done for me.Thank you so much  for keeping me alive all these years – specially with all the booze and high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils I’ve been tossing on you. I haven’t been very good to you. But baby, those days are

over! I know now that I couldn’t survive without you, you are my rock! And I want to give you all the help you need to feel happy, healthy and whole in this relationship from here on out …. that being said, we’re gonna have ourselves a special evening tonight! I’m gonna treat you to a delicious, nutritious meal of greens, some cleansing garlic (just enough that the smell doesn’t start seeping out of my skin, you know how people are), and some cleansing pomegranate juice. And afterwards? Mmmmm, mmmmm, mmm. I’m gonna treat you to a sooooothing bath in some organically grown, high quality, decicious milk thistle! Ooooh my sweet little liver – It’s gonna be one “sily” night! 😉


Dog is my Co-Pilot

Dogs can teach us A LOT "the dog whisperer" comes to dcabout
How to Listen to (and stop worrying about the look of) our Bodies

Yes, that is what you think it is you crazy Animal Planet lovers you – Cesar Milan’s signature!!  Ok, for you semi-Animal Planet loving folks out there…. The Dog Whisperer’s signature!!!!!

This past week, kind of below-the-radar, the tv star and dog trainer (I mean, I’m sorry “dog behaviorist” 🙂 ) made a quick lunch-time appearance at our very own National Geographic headquarters on 17th and M Streets NW, doing a mini presentation (I was asleep in my cozy bed during that part, but I sure did book it downtown) and signing copies of his new book How to Raise the Perfect Dog.  It was a semi-surreal experience (partly because I was still half asleep), but I did manage to blurt out, during the very quick moment I got to stand in front of him as he signed my book, “I work at a shelter and you’re super helpful for us!” (leave me alone on the grammar, I was nervous!!) and I got to see him do a dog impression in front of me and smile.  That was all I needed to keep me giddy for the next couple of hours. 🙂

Yes, I am a fan. More of an addict of the TV show he stars in, I guess (Though don’t they kind of breed addiction with those back-to-back mini-marathons? Before they go to commercial you’re hook ed on the next episode!).

But that’s beside the point. Actually he’s right b eside the point, holding it on a leash. His name is Fido.

And, believe it or not, Fido can teach us all a whole lot about how to really start listening to and loving our bodies.

Let’s learn how!

1 – Living in the moment

I work in a shelter, not always the cheeriest of homes for pups. But do they seem to harbor resentments towards the staff?  Not at all.  Even a sad puppy is only sad in that moment. Take them outside, run them around, play with them, and they’re happy and content, with no memory of the feelings they had before.


2 – Accepting other people (and dogs) as they are

One of the many reasons dogs are so great is the whole Unconditional Love aspect. They don’t start hating you because you didn’t do exactly what they wanted you to do. Beyond that, and with their own species, they don’t harbor secret fantasies about destroying the lives of the dogs they hate. The bark at (or snarl and growl at) them if they’re forced to interact with them, and then they just let it go and find a canine pal that speaks their language.


3. Accepting themselves as they are

So trust me, I know it’s natural to feel sorry for a dog (or really any non-human animal!) with three legs, or a dog with a messed up (or no) eye, or whatever, I admit that I do it too. But, trust me, the dog HAS NO IDEA THERE IS ANYTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT THEM. Seriously.  They keep moving (or jumping 😉 ok, ok, cut me some slack, it was right in front of me!) with ZERO thought to their own appearance or anything of that nature. We could learn A LOT about finding peace and truly loving our bodies from this simple lesson.


There are so many more ways, but I think these are the most important. To learn more, just watch your pup the next time you yell at him. Is he pissed at you the next day? No, he’s over it, like that! Or talk to one of those people with the “Dog is My Co-Pilot” bumperstickers, cause they know what they’re talking about. 🙂

No licking your own poo though, ok.

🙂