Monday, 13 June 2011

Eyes on the kelp


My border collies love going to the beach to play. Besides all the other dogs that are usually around, they find anything to play with, from kelp to balls to pieces of wood. The idea is that I throw it and they bring it back to me for another round. They also love the water and the sea. Should I tell one of them to go into the water it’s no problem, but should I tell them to swim to behind the breakers they are very hesitant and won’t usually do it on the first instruction. This is all understandable, because the water keeps getting deeper and it’s not long before their feet don’t touch the sand anymore. Also, there are waves coming all the time. The smallest of waves are already overhead for them.
When I take a piece of kelp and throw it as hard as I can to behind the breakers, the focus suddenly shifts from the waves (the fear, or obstacles) to the kelp (the goal, objective). Now all of a sudden, I don’t have to say a word, no instructions. They charge back into the sea. Jumping, more like flying over the first wave. Some careful negotiation over the waves as the water keeps getting deeper and the waves bigger. At this point there might already be some beach walkers, onlookers or bystanders stopping to see whether these border collies will drown or actually bring back the kelp. This is where Zeke is usually the one that will swim the furthest back, get the kelp and swim back, sometimes riding the waves out to the beach. They will then bring it out of the water together. A piece of kelp is hollow on the inside and when it’s open on one or both of the sides, it sinks. I’ve seen both Zeke and Skillie diving into the water after these, fully submerged to retrieve it from the bottom. Hopefully for them the kelp is still intact and floating.

For us as human beings we often face many obstacles. As in the first case the border collies were focussing on the waves and when we focus on our fears or obstacles, those fears tend to come true. This is because we point our energy towards the negative. But when we focus on the goals or objectives, like the kelp, we tend to achieve those goals and handle the obstacles better. This is where you don’t even think about certain perceived obstacles, like how deep the water is, because there is really nothing you can do about it anyway.
So stop wasting energy on the negative and deal with the obstacles as they come along, focus on your goals and bring back the kelp.