My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Therapist's Thoughts on Thursday

We are going to do 'it'!!   Shannon , Julieanne and I are going to run a 1/2 Marathon in January!   I am super excited.   How delightful after our run yesterday to get to soak our feet for a pedicure while chatting.  Our cute toes will often be covered with boots this time of year, but I still like visualizing that I have cute pink toenails.  Shannon you've got purple, right?

Cricket and I walked up to Dick's Market on our break.  For some reason, everyone (okay, a little exaggeration) wanted to pet her in the store!  She was so distracted.  One lady asked me and when I said no, she is really distracted and needs to work she said but her eyes are so sad.   I smiled.  I know  but I really need her to focus on her job.  We left the store and I had a little chat with Cricket.   We did obedience outside.  We were a little out of synch, and I was feeling a little flustered.   I recalled my message I had just shared with a client of Self-Compassion.    It was a beautiful afternoon with the feel of the sun on us.  We stopped at our little grassy area near my office for probably one of the last times of sitting by the flowers.  I gave her a hug and acknowledged to myself that sometimes this blindness is tough and we felt better.  We took a picture that I know I missed the mark of getting us in the picture.  However, you can see it was a Striped Day.  I started with a black striped shirt and then my work outfit was a navy, cream striped jacket with navy tee and tan pants.    I'm told Stripes are part of the fashion this season. 

As Cricket and I were finishing up, a man came across the  street and asked me about Cricket.  He said he saw me walking fast and confidently with my guide dog each day  and just had to tell me what an incredible dog I had.  I agreed and it was a nice boost after our little frustration at Dick's Market.  Good Girl, Cricket.  I thought yes, we are a good team! 

My Therapist Thought of the Day by Dr. Christopher Germer.

How would you feel if somebody told you that you were "average" -- average looking, average intelligence, average talent?  Most probably it would  hurt your feelings and affect your self-esteem.  In our culture, we're taught we need to be exceptional and we're hard on ourselves when we're not:  'You're so stupid, What a loser!  No one will love you.'  Sound familiar?  We've all done it to some extent.  But what would happen if you were kind to yourself - at least as kind as you are to others -- when you notice the ways you're less-than-perfect?  What if you took a moment to soothe and comfort yourself when life becomes difficult, rather than troubling yourself further.  In other words,  what if you learned the art of mindful self-compassion?  We all want to avoid pain, but letting it in-- and responding compassionately to our own imperfections without judgment or self-blame -- are essential steps toward living happier, more fulfilling lives. 


karen (Mom) said...

What a thoughtful man to share his good observations with you. Sometimes too often it seems we do look at the negative and not the positive. Cricket is such an attention getter and people so often don't get it that a guide dog isn't for petting. I have admired your patience in explaining to them because at times I wanted to just say STOP petting her dog.

Becky said...

Thanks, Mom :> You're the best!

TOBY PUPPY in SA said...

Hey there Becky...
I am just amazed at your enthusiasm and positivity towards life. You have no idea what an inspiration you are! You are an amazing person! You have an amazing dog! You have some amazing friends! You have an incredible family!...and you have a special gift of making me see life quite differently! Thank you!
Well done with the half marathon...

Becky said...

MaxMom - THANK YOU SO MUCH. What sweet words. Indeed, much to be grateful for including my new friend in SA :>

Anonymous said...

Congrats on deciding to run your first half-marathon! I just completed my first earlier this month and had an incredible experience. If you don't already have a training plan in mind, if you google "Hal Higdon's half marathon novice training" it is a fantastic plan that I was very excited I found. It's 12 weeks long and goes at the perfect pace for a beginner (like I was).
Just this morning I saw a couple both wearing striped sweaters and had the thought "hmm, stripes must be in fashion" so it seems you've validated that for me! :)

Pamela and John said...

I completely agree with Toby Puppy in SA. Your enthusiasm is inspiring. When we are at stores, people will just come up and start petting Wynette. I realized after reading your post that I need to be more firm with people and tell them "no". Especially because now Wynette thinks going out is for social fun and not to work. : S It's something that has been the hardest about raising her. I don't like to tell people "no" but I need to get over my fear so they learn not to get in the way of working guides like Cricket.

Becky said...

Beingoodtome: Thank you for that most helpful link! That will be so helpful. I love the name of your blog, by the way :D

Pam: I am with you -- it is so hard for me to say no sometimes even though I know it is my safety and what is best for Cricket. We'll support each other on saying no :>

Ruby's Raiser said...

We will be rooting for you in your half-marathon! Awesome!!!

I understand how uncomfortable it can be for you to have to say "no" when it comes to petting Cricket. As a service puppy raiser, I've had hundreds of people approach me wanting to pet Ruby...but I've never had a problem uttering the word myself. :) The reason? Exactly what you've articulated here. When I'm asked, I say "no" very kindly, and I also explain why. I truly believe that service puppies are in public to educate as well as be educated, and I feel very strongly that her future partner's comfort and security come second to none. People are always going to ask, but I hope to help them understand why interaction is not always appropriate. It is so important for a dog's partner to feel at ease, and determine with whom she can and cannot interact while she is in public.

I can tell you with complete honesty that Ruby is a very happy-go-lucky, friendly, and well-adjusted dog. She loves everyone! But she also understands that there is a time and place to express her enthusiasm, and she feels very relaxed and confident in letting that time/place be determined by her handler. I hope that by opening up the dialogue, the people we meet understand that "no" is not a negative! :D

I apologize for the length of this comment. I just never want you to have to feel uncomfortable. :)

paige said...

Cricket is gorgeous! Love your blog. :)

Lucent Imagery said...

I think it's healthy to allow ourselves those moments of "this is hard". And then pick up and keep going and notice all the positive things. I love that we have our four legged friends beside us to help us through the low moments. And wonderful family too. You are such a beautiful inspirational woman. I thought of you when I came across a very nasty person recently who discriminated against me in the most insensitive way. We share similar outlooks and I knew that the way I reacted to the situation was probably the same way you would have. You were there beside me, cheering for me and you didn't even know it. Thank you x