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Does Your Dog Multi-Task?

Alexa Linton

Author: Alexa Linton

Article:

Ever feel like your life takes on a certain theme? As if somewhere out there in the great wide universe a course has been planned for you with very specific subject matter? Of course, everything is as we interpret and we perceive it. That being said a theme has indeed surfaced in my days and some nights. In fact, it has become so apparent as to be laughable. Is your curiosity becoming overwhelming as to what this theme might possibly be?

I’ll tell you. The best descriptive word is flailing. I define flailing as expending energy and time without really going anywhere. Some might define this as multi-tasking, being really busy or getting a great deal done in a short amount of time, but these often still fall under the category of the flail. Why? For the most part when we are multi-tasking, our brains are scattered, reaching from one corner of the mind to the other (and if we’re really multi-tasking, to several more as well) all at the same moment. One has to wonder, is it really healthy for our minds? What comes to me is that if done ineffectively it can be an amazing loss of energy and has high potential for exhaustion (speaking from personal experience). This is especially true when what we are doing comes not from a place of grace and relaxation, but from a sense of fear and/or guilt.

As always, I’ll invite in a little animal comparison. Take my dog Kia. Kia is quite a level headed girl until multi-tasking is required. If she needs to protect her house, meet a new dog and a new person, check out a car passing and keep out from under a horse’s hooves, all at the same time, she rightfully becomes a bit of a mess. Dogs much prefer a single task (napping for example), or perhaps two (going for a walk and looking for the perfect stick), as they must know innately that this kind of temperance leads to less stress and therefore a longer life expectancy. Horses are similar, with too much multi-tasking/flailing (equivalent to pressure) often resulting in catastrophes as the instinctual brain takes over in an attempt to save the overburdened system.

What I am beginning to realize is much of the flailing that is happening is not at all necessary (an epiphany that has been both exciting and slightly frustrating). Here’s my understanding of why. First, most flailing is innately panicked, meaning that the reason for the flail is generally fear or guilt or both. Make sense? If I flail by looking in the classified ads for a “normal” job (it’s been known to happen a time or two) this is an action that is motivated by fear. If I multi-task because I have taken on too much, this is fear and guilt motivated (anyone else working with the fear of saying “no”?). Second, when you choose consciously not to flail, things roll smoothly along, with nothing lost and much peace gained. Hmmm…

Recently (yesterday in fact), I found myself renewing my commitment to myself, namely the commitment to honour my self (yep, back to the self-love). Animals seem to make this commitment innately, giving themselves time for long naps in the sun and lots of petting and attention and being quite adamant that they require a walk in nature at least once a day. On the other hand, we as a human race often forget what it means to commit to ourselves. We so often race through our days, missing the beauty and peace inherent in each moment. We spend energy and time on tasks that in the grand scheme of things are nothing but flailing. Can you imagine the resources that would be potentially available to us if we committed to only doing those things that inspired us? If we peel away all the tasks motivated by fear and guilt we might just have space in our lives for those things that we are truly passionate about. And if you need a reminder, just take a moment and watch your nearest animal. They’d be more than happy to show you how it’s done.

Alexa Linton, is a Certified Bodytalk Practitioner, a Kinesiologist, Reiki Practitioner and Equine Sport Therapist.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 at 12:52 am and is filed under PONDERING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Synergy Magazine: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada