Sneaky Ego and Spiritual Playgrounds
Life with Livvy and LottaDog
Ah ego is a stealthy beast. I showed up at week two of dog agility league feeling, if I’m honest, a little bit cocky. Livvy has been rocking our competitions and we had practiced this particular league course a few days earlier and had several beautiful clean runs.
I sort of took it for granted and didn’t do our usual pre-competition routine or really focus in on my course plan. Unlike actual trials, the league runs take place at my home club arena and I’ve repeatedly found it difficult to be well-focused there because I enjoy all my agility friends and their dogs and the whole sense of community. That said, I like winning, or at least running to the best of our ability. I’m fortunate enough to have super talented Livvy and a solid and growing partnership with her and I love it when all of that comes together.
This time it was clear from the very beginning that Olive was picking up on my lack of focus and she almost broke out of starting position to go say “hi!” to the judge, who, in this home-turf situation, was our main trainer and someone Olive really likes (as do I).
In league, unlike actual trials, each team gets two attempts at a scoring run. We blew both. I was surprised and surprisingly disappointed. Now, trust me, I do realize that agility doesn’t come close to making it onto the “What’s Actually Important” list. Nonetheless, I am an agility-holic and have just fallen in love with this fun canine sport. I found myself thinking about our messy performance all evening and even as I was falling asleep.
Not too surprisingly, I wasn’t thinking about any of the many good things we did; I was fixated on the mistakes. “Ah, right there, I should have done that. Oh, I should have been more focused. Ah, I shouldn’t have tried to speed her up in the weave poles.” Blah, blah, blah. Yep, I was “shoulding on” myself, which as I noted in a recent talk, is a sure sign of self-attack.
Once I reclaimed my mind, I had to laugh. Life gives us so many playgrounds to practice booting ego out of the driver’s seat. A Course in Miracles notes that every situation is a relationship because it is shaped by the thoughts we attach to it.
Here’s to applying a little spiritual agility to every situation in this amazing adventure called life.
This is a vid of our clean run on the league course. FYI, I did not recently become miraculously pregnant – that’s Livvy’s holey roller under my sweatshirt.
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