When my daughter was little she had a book titled "Wild Rosie" about a little girl who couldn't settle down. My dog should have been named Rosie.
Talia is my "wild child," and she has the scars to prove it. She used to spend so much time digging and tearing through the fence that we have completely covered our fence with ply-wood and wire fencing. She still got through several times to end up fighting with the neighbor dogs, and has even escaped the house several times to run wild in the neighborhood as I frantically chased her around.
About 7 months ago, I watched a film called "The Secret of Water" on the Gaia network. It completely changed the way I see water, and even life itself. See, water is programmable - it retains the memory of the physical matter it has come into contact with (rocks, plant matter, etc), but it also retains the memory of the energy and intentions we send into it. Water energized with positive, loving intentions such as "love" or "kindness" crystallize into intricate, beautiful, lacy patterns. Whereas water energized with negative intentions - "hate", "fear", "anger", etc - crystallize into asymmetrical, crude forms.
As I contemplated this concept, I began to open up to the idea that we are around 60% water ourselves. We are more water than we are anything else. We are even born of water. And if water can hold on to the energy of the words and intentions we put into it, then words and intentions make a much bigger difference than we realize or are willing to embrace. In fact, "sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will literally reprogram you."
What an incredible idea! I decided to put it to the test in several ways, one of which was to see if I could simply reprogram my wild dog with words and energy. Not training (we tried it, and it worked sometimes, but she is just so innately wild it barely helped at all). I started by simply recognizing and acknowledging that my dog was wild because that is the energy I have programmed into her. She was simply reflecting back to me my own anxiety and chaotic energy. Basically, she is wild, because the energy in our house is "wild". So, I chose the words "calm and gentle". I would pet her and simply repeat "calm and gentle," while also relaxing into and embodying a calm and gentle energy. Of course she loved the extra attention, and I found that she started relaxing herself.
In a few weeks, I noticed she was less reactive and already much calmer. And now, a few months into the "experiment" she is calmer and gentler than I ever thought she could be. Her spirit remains lifted and happy (she still gets excited when people come to visit), but she isn't out of control anymore. She lays down after a minute or two of excitement. I continue the reprogramming (it takes time to get those old energies and ideas out of her system), though I have now shifted to the Sanskrit word "shanti", translated simply "peace."
While this change in her behavior is amazing, I have found the most profound and beneficial part of this practice is how it is reprogramming me. In embodying the energy and words that I want my dog to embody, it has changed me in deep and profound ways. The quality of my consciousness/soul, and therefore the quality of my life, has actually improved by simply embodying calm and gentle energy, Shanti.
And these ripples are finding their way into my family and my home, into my ideas and ideals, into the way I talk with people and do my work, into my dreams and goals in life. It is my deepest hope these ripples continue to spread out into my community, my nation, the world. After all, we are all stuck on this beautiful, living planet together - we must find a way to live kinder, gentler lives, for we are paving the way for our children and grandchildren to grow and expand our consciousness in ways we have never imagined.