Here at the house of Ekins’ we decided to up the interesting ante and get a puppy.

This has always been on the periphery, and now with all this ‘free time’ (ha!) it seemed like the ‘ideal’ moment. (You’ll notice there’s a lot of air quoting going on here…we are at best optimistic, at worst utterly deluded!!).

Five weeks ago we welcomed Rabbit into the hood. At 6 months she’s as big as I would hope a full grown pup to be – and if the paws and ears are anything to go by, there’s some growing to be done yet!

However, she’s soft, loves the cat (he’s less enamoured when she bounds at him), speaks perfect Romanian (yep, she’s a Romanian Rescue Dog) although a little spooky with leads, harnesses, roads, and gets wicked travel sick.

The cool thing about rescue puppies is that you come into it respecting that they have a back story you’ll never know and that they’ll require a level of patience, love and commitment beyond what you thought you could give (much like a baby).

You also learn pretty quick about pack dynamics and maintaining boundaries if you want to have any kind of harmony in the household.

We’re loving being a dog house again, and it’s been really interesting to watch the Bear adjusting to sharing attention and taking responsibility, not just for looking after a dog, but for her actions too.

Speaking of taking responsibility for their actions, I’ve been reading ‘The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad You Did)’ by Philippa Perry. 

Whether you have young kids, grown up kids or are just interested in relating to other humans better, it’s a useful read. One of the biggest takeaways for me was around reframing my response to the Bear’s behaviour, especially when it’s inappropriate or downright naughty. 

As in parenting, so in healing, when we make the choice to take responsibility for where we are now, and how we respond to it, that pause between the stimulus and the response is all important. In that gap, we can stop ourselves from falling into the ‘You did this to Me’ trap and can get curious about why that situation or behaviour makes us feel the way it does.

It takes some practice, but I’ve found it a super helpful tool for breaking out of unhelpful patterns. When we realise that a lot of our responses aren’t truly our responses, but actually a throwback to the way we were parented, and the way our parents were parented, and so on back generationally, you realise that the energy connected to the way we behave is old gunky fear that we have the power to release.

Taking back that power lies in our acknowledgement that we can create a pause between the stimulus (the things we are antagonised by) and our response (often learnt rather than organic and of the moment). If you find that at times you look back at your response and think “Crap, I sound just like my *insert parent/caregiver name here*” and that wasn’t the way you’d hope to reply then I highly recommend reading this book and/or seeking advice from a trained counsellor or psychotherapist.

I find that there is magic in that pause, in the few seconds it takes to check in, take a breath and ask yourself how you really feel, you can really start to own your position in any relationship, be that with a child, parent, friend or client.

If you would be interested in learning more about how I, personally view that pause, come join me from Monday 3rd of August to Friday 8th of August at 4:30pm in The Wonder Experiment, my free 5 day course looking at self care and returning to centre in crazy times as creative people. You can join the free course here in my The Wonder Experiment Facebook group