It has just been over a year since I started watching the TV series, 'Dog Whisperer' and I must confess I am hooked. Dog Whisperer was a NAT GEO series and I'm pretty sure a lot of you would have already watched the show. If you have not, you should! (IMDB Rating) The show is about a person called Cesar Millan, who understands dog psychology. In his own words, he rehabilitates dogs and trains people. The show ran for 10 years and went on to become one of the biggest hits in the history of American Television.
Let me tell you why I love the show.
First of all, it's amazing to watch Cesar handle difficult and dangerous dogs with ease and confidence. Every week, Cesar visits one or more dog owners to help them manage their dogs. The show is definitely a great entertainer. But it also teaches us a lot, things that we can use in our daily lives, even if you are not a dog owner or are a dog-hater (I wonder how anyone can hate dogs, but I know some people who do)!
The most important learning from the series is about managing our energy. Cesar Millan asks us to be wary of the energy we project, mainly because dogs can sense our energy. A calm assertive energy will help you get your way with dogs, especially when they are aggressive or difficult to handle. In every episode, Cesar visits dog owners to help them manage their dogs better. Some of these dogs I tell you, are terrifyingly difficult, but Cesar is as cool as a cucumber. Why? Because dogs believe in surviving as packs. So when Cesar projects calm assertive energy, he is behaving like a pack leader not a follower. Dogs respond differently to leaders and followers. Difficult dogs usually think they are the leaders of their packs, while the owners who project submissive energy are treated as mere followers. The pack leaders deserve respect and if the owners do not behave in the way the leaders expect them to, the dogs wreck havoc! In their attempt to keep their followers in check, they end up doing everything they can to dominate the humans. But if the humans start behaving like pack leaders, the dogs will slowly relinquish the power and start acting like a follower. This sounds easy, but it is one of the most difficult things to practice.
One of the main lessons that Cesar teaches the dog owners is about their body language and the way they need to exude a calm assertive air about them. Most of us are ignorant of the energies we project outwards at every given point in time. The 'pranic healers' call it the aura of a person. When you are depressed or low, the aura around your body is quite thin, but when you are confident and charged up, your aura will be stronger.
People with the right skills can actually feel every other person's aura (normal people like us cannot). That's why it is very important to have the right awareness. The animals around you, especially the dogs, have an uncanny ability to spot your aura/energy. If you are projecting the wrong energy, you are effectively sending them wrong signals and they might start treating your lower energy levels as a submissive energy, and that's when they start dominating the hell out of you.
I keep reading a lot of self-help books on Yoga, meditation and I talk to some of my friends who practice 'pranic healing' (healing through transfer of energies). Let me tell you, this is not black magic or woo-doo, if it will make you convinced, there are also research papers that talk about the power of the human mind.
Managing a higher energy level through out the day is quite a difficult feat, but these are some of the things we can try to manage a positive flow of energy and a stronger aura:
1. Meditation - Meditation is one of the best techniques to ensure a positive energy in your body. There are studies that suggest that meditation can makes changes in human energetic structures. So make it a habit to meditate for at least 20 minutes in the morning. You can start with breath exercises and then slowly move to the more focussed ones.
2. Confident posture - Like they say, fake it till you make it. Even if you do not feel confident inward, just project self-confidence through posture so that you automatically become confident. Try power poses (Amy Cuddy's TED talk on body language) and let it sink in before you get into a presentation. It will definitely boost your confidence levels.
3. Project your voice - Start talking a little loud if you are usually shy. Get used to your voice. The more you project your voice, the better you get at managing your confidence.It is a technique employed to command respect and attention, as when a teacher talks to a class, or simply to be heard clearly, as used by an actor in a theatre reference: wikipedia.
The second thing that I want to highlight from the show 'Dog Whisperer' is the importance of patience. Cesar is relentless, but patient. He waits till the dog gets it; he doesn't try to force his rules on the dog. Patience definitely pays off in the end - When he finally reunites the calm dog with its owners the ecstasy is palpable.
While you are doing all this, remember to be calm and composed. Consistency is the key to self-improvement. In the initial stages, I am sure you might feel demotivated. So start with a smaller, but easily achievable goal, like I will meditate for 20 minutes every day for a week. Keep a journal just to note down your conscious behavioral changes in the office and outside. The idea is to increase the frequency of these interventions so that your brain feels natural about this new behavior - it would cease to be a forced behavior and become a natural one. If you need a little bit more of motivation, try Josh Kauffman's TED talk, where he talks about how to manage your first 20 hours when you start learning a new skill.
In summary, ensure that you manage your energy well and be patient till you achieve your goal. Accept that your journey towards personal excellence is going to be slow but steady. Last but not the least, don't forget to watch The Dog Whisperer if you have not already!
1.Cesar Millan's website - https://www.cesarsway.com/
2. Understanding Human Aura - http://www.heartscenter.org/TeachingsBlogs/FoundationalTeachings/UnderstandingtheHumanAura/tabid/368/Default.aspx#.Vi9L62zotPY
3. More about Human aura - http://www.edgemagazine.net/2015/03/aura-and-springtime-rebirth/
4. Josh Kaufman's book on the first 20 hours of learning any skill - http://first20hours.com/