pensive Papillon dog
Image by Julita from Pixabay

Discovering true mental health is a journey we all face in our lives. Luckily, we have three kinds of wisdom teachers who help guide us along the way. These teachers always arrive in the same order, and they never appear until the student is ready. First comes Pain, which points us toward Silence, which nudges us toward Love, which in turn teaches us how to find that sweet nectar of abundance that is our birthright.

Our dogs, furry gurus as they are, have much to teach us about compassion and joy. In our materialistic culture, mainstream society often puts profit ahead of love. The result of this programming is that our unconscious minds internalize false beliefs about how we ought to live our lives. We are taught that buying things makes us happy; yet, once we acquire any of our desires, our happiness is fleeting.

On the journey of becoming a Peaceful Alpha, we commit to continuously entering the stream of the present moment so that we can connect with our dog and communicate with them in real time. As this process unfolds, you will naturally overcome all kinds of bad habits or distractions you once relied on to soothe your intense feelings.

These habits once served us well. They helped us soothe anxieties or chronic pain we could not understand. Escapism impedes our ability to connect to the present moment, causing us to miss all kinds of opportunities to communicate with our dog. It also keeps us in a state of low consciousness, which in a roundabout way, births all kinds of undesirable behaviors in your furry guru.

The journey of becoming a Peaceful Alpha, and the real-life teachings you receive from your furry guru, shine a light on all of our unconscious behaviors and programming. Slowly, layers of conditioning will start peeling back in your psyche. Wisdom and compassion arrive of their own accord, and the grip of the ego relaxes. The Law of Attraction continues to do its thing. You become happier, healthier, wealthier and wiser. This process happens naturally; you don’t even have to think about it.

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What True Mental Health Feels Like

Imagine it is cold outside and you and your dog just returned from a Sunday walk through the forest. Inside your home, a crackling fire warms up the den. You feel like taking a rest, so you nestle into your favorite reading chair in front of the fireplace. You look down on the rug and notice a cute collection of your dog’s favorite treasures—old chew sticks, a squeaky rubber chicken, a used tennis ball, and one of your gym socks—which start to fill you with joy.

You hone your Peaceful Alpha focus by savoring this sensation for around 20 seconds, long enough for the law of attraction to create a momentum of happiness for the rest of the day. This focusing technique short-cuts you into abundance and well-being, and we will revisit it later in this chapter.

Soon you and your dog drift off into a pleasant Sunday afternoon snooze. As you’re falling asleep, your consciousness shifts out of the talking mind into pure awareness, the optimal state of mental health. There are no thoughts right now. Your muscles are at ease, and your breathing is rhythmic. Your body feels comfortable, and your mind and emotions are tranquil. The concept of optimal mental health is rarely discussed, yet in the moments before we drift off to sleep, we can experience its perfection ever so briefly.

As you learn to maintain this presence for longer periods, through your meditation and Peaceful Alpha work, you will discover that this feeling of well-being starts snowballing. You won’t have to work as hard to find it; it just arrives naturally. This powerful phenomenon is quite useful. It heightens your presence and attunes you much more deeply to your dog, allowing you to be in a position to always command with respect and love. This was certainly the case for my student, Anthony, who you will soon meet.

Heal Ourselves, Heal Our Dogs

Our minds and bodies are inseparable. When we pollute our bodies with sugar, cigarettes, alcohol, or any poor choice for that matter, we can’t help but feel the effects in our minds. Poison in the body affects our focus, clarity, and emotions. It leads to lethargy and empowers the unconscious cycle of negative thinking. Similarly, when the quality of our thoughts is negative, judgmental, or toxic in any way, it generates unpleasant emotions that present themselves in the body. Our mind affects our body, and our body affects our mind. As a Peaceful Alpha, we must pay attention to everything we ingest (food, beverages, medicines, and so on), observe our underlying motivation, and how it makes us feel later.

“The apple never falls far from the tree,” as the saying goes, also applies to our dogs: the state of our physical and mental health affects their well-being. This happens whether we’re thinking about it or not, as was the case with my client Anthony. Chewy, his three-year-old yellow lab, suffered from obesity, chronic stomach problems, loss of hair, itchy skin, and weak hips. Instead of pooping once or twice a day, excreting a perfectly torpedo-shaped plop, Chewy would sometimes go three times per walk and squirt out something that resembled the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.

As a result, Chewy was a very whiny and anxious dog.

Anthony himself was overweight, ate fast food multiple times a week, never exercised, and had a nervous stomach from poor diet and chronic anxiety. He had never considered that digestion could be used as a barometer for health, not until pain showed up and motivated him to make a serious change.

Change of Pace, Change of Life

One day, Anthony spontaneously had a panic attack while he was driving the local transit bus along a busy street. He watched himself temporarily lose control of the vehicle. The intense fright of the experience immediately cleared his consciousness. It sobered him to the fact that he’d been making very poor choices for himself. Per my recommendation, Anthony started meditating every morning before he walked his dog. I casually suggested the role that food plays on our emotions, both ours and our dog’s, and it really resonated with Anthony.

He became inspired to begin eating consciously. His intention was to nourish his body as optimally as possible. Simply by tuning in to how he felt after eating, and by doing some basic research online, Anthony started tinkering with his diet. He started paying attention to the clarity he’d notice when he ate clean foods. He discovered that meat-heavy meals made him feel sluggish for hours after eating, and that fasting helped him clean out his organs and revitalize his energy levels. He also noticed that eating unprocessed, nutrient-dense, plant-based superfoods left him the most energized, clear-headed, with a zest for life. Pain and Silence had inspired Anthony to begin making Loving choices.

Noticing the profound health benefits in his life, Anthony stopped feeding Chewy low-quality processed snacks. He also realized that purchasing low-cost, non-perishable, value-sized bags of kibble were money-saving decisions and were not motivated from the heart. Soon, he cut out all the guilty treats.

Per my recommendation, he started feeding Chewy raw meat, bones, and organs, because these are superfoods for dogs. In only one month, Chewy’s digestion issues completely vanished, the hair on his coat grew back, his itching stopped, and his digestion became impeccable.

Dogs are smart. They know who’s feeding them, and they know how the food makes them feel. When they see their life improve as a result of the choices we make on their behalf, their love and respect for us only grows, as does your Peaceful Alpha power.

Copyright ©2021. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press, an imprint of inner Traditions Intl.

Article Source:

BOOK: Enlightened Dog Training

Enlightened Dog Training: Become the Peaceful Alpha Your Dog Needs and Respects
by Jesse Sternberg.

book cover of: Enlightened Dog Training: by Jesse Sternberg.A complete guide to raising and relating to your pet in a mindful way that leads to calm, intuitively-obedient dogs. Helping you cultivate empathy, awareness, and confidence to become the peaceful alpha your dog craves, this guide shows how to strengthen your human-animal bond, communicate with actions, and command with respect and love.

• Reveals the principles of the secret language of the animal kingdom to help you communicate with your pet and read their signals

• Offers cutting-edge, unique solutions to everyday canine problems by looking at behavioral issues through the lens of your pet’s emotions

• Shares training exercises and powerful meditative practices to do with your pet as well as on your own to help soothe anxiety, overcome aggression issues, and transform tension into harmony

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

photo of: Jesse Sternberg.About the Author

Jesse Sternberg is a mindfulness teacher, meditation instructor, and master dog trainer. The founder of the Peaceful Alpha Project, he has been working with animals for more than 30 years.

For more information on his work, visit the Author's Website at: