All too often, when I share my professional opinion with a client about their anxious dog or cat, I get a response that goes a little something like this – ‘You know, I thought so’. Over the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are quite attuned to their animals’ needs, but just don’t trust their own instincts.
You know so much more than you think you know. Trusting your intuition can be tricky, I know. So many of us have moments when we just know or get a feeling about something, and then dismiss it. The good news is that there’s a trick to trusting your gut: meditation.
Now I know what you’re thinking and no, this doesn’t mean you have to sit in one position for five hours. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for that. Here’s what I suggest instead: start small. Take five minutes in the morning just for you. Throw on some relaxing music, maybe sit and have a cup of tea. Breathe. Pause. Try focusing on the taste of the tea and how smooth the cup feels in your hand.
If you have kids that get up at the crack of dawn and don’t have that luxury, try taking deep breaths at red lights on your drive to work. Stare at your hands on the wheel for a minute after you’ve parked and just be there. One minutes is better than none and five minutes can change your life. The idea is that you pause and get really present with yourself and your surroundings. Soon you’ll feel the difference between an intuitive thought and that annoying voice in your head that just won’t stop chatting.
So how does all this help your animal? As you make room to pause and connect with yourself, you start to build self-trust. The more you trust yourself, and the more space you make for a moment or two of inner quiet, the more likely you are to trust your random gut feelings that don’t seem to make linear, logical sense. The next time you have an intuitive feeling or thought about what might be going on for your four-legged friend, you might be more inclined to explore it. And you know what? It could be the very thing that changes everything.