Going to the Dogs: Accessing your Inner Canine to Fight Stress


You have stress. Who doesn’t? But there are parts of you that deal with stress much better than “you” do. Why not access them to learn to relax and balance in the middle of the hurricane of your life? Here’s one humorous example that hopefully will inspire you to find creative solutions within yourself.

Every time you interview a source of stress in your life, an anger, disappointment, sadness, or fear, or a character from a dream or nightmare using the simple IDL interviewing protocol, you will expand your sense of self to include those pressures that before seemed beyond your control. That’s what Ted has done; his job now is to trust his St. Bernard and follow his advice. Find your own inner canine (or whatever) and do the same!

What are fundamental life issue that you are dealing with now in your life?

I am very stressed; we are opening a club with a monthly overhead of 60,000.00 Euros.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

A mixed group of colors…

Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

A very active, hyper chihuahua!

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Chihuahua, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I am running all around! I am naturally hyper!

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

The stress of me running around everywhere more bothers the humans I live with – not me!

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

Sometimes I would like to be bigger to get up stairs and so no one would step on me.  If I could be a bigger dog sometimes, that would be better!

Chihuahua, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

If I could be a St. Bernard that would be good!

St. Bernard, Ted created you, right? What aspect of Ted do you represent or most closely personify?

The chilled, laid back Ted, with a good overview…

St. Bernard, what’s it like to be you?

It’s cool to be real big and have long hair. No one steps on me, everyone sees me. It’s fun seeing life from this perspective! I have a good overview. I lay back and look at everything. I feel like I have control!

Switch back to being a Chihuahua…

I prefer being a St. Bernard!

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

St. Bernard, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities:  confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence: 10 I’m doing good! I feel smart, big, strong, relaxed. I always have food on my table. My humans like me a lot…

Compassion:   8 I have compassion but I also like being by myself. I like support but I don’t give up everything I want to help others. In the end my Schnuki ball is most important!

Wisdom: 10 I already have seen a lot. I’m a pretty wise dog.

Acceptance: 10 I accept myself! The way I am is perfect!

Inner Peace: 10 I feel good! There’s nothing I would want to change.

Witnessing:   8 If the drama was about my food I couldn’t stand back and watch!!!

St. Bernard, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

I wouldn’t change much…

How would Ted’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

He would be more chilled and have inner peace even with stress during a busy day. But I don’t have the stresses that he does!

If you could live Ted’s life for him, how would you live it differently?

I wouldn’t change too much. Even if he is stressed out he can take out some time and play around with a Schnucki Ball…!!!

If you could live Ted’s waking life for him today, would you handle Ted’s life issues differently?  If so, how?

1.  Regarding the club, I think he should do it. He might regret the rest of his life if he didn’t do it. I can’t say it’s 100% right decision. There are risks.

2. Sleeping alone: I would try to sleep more alone to practice. But he doesn’t sleep well and is fucked up the next day when he does…

3. Regarding flying, I wouldn’t be scared! Why be scared??

St. Bernard, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Ted’s life?

Having a balance between work and home.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Ted to imagine that he is you and act as you would?

Too stressed out or tries to sleep alone.

Character, do you do drama?  If not, why not?

No. It’s too stressful!

What is your secret for staying out of drama?

Life has too much meaning to waste in drama!

Ted, what have you heard yourself say?

The St. Bernard told me that it would be good to become him. It will support me in staying out of stress and pressure. He is a good support!

St. Bernard, You are imaginary! Why should Ted listen to an imaginary St. Bernard?

For one thing, it scores higher than he does in core qualities of waking up.

If he does, he’ll grow. He’ll be more awake, alive, balanced, detached, free, and clear. That’s because he’ll be more confident, compassionate, wise, accepting, at peace, and objective. Not bad.



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