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What If My Dog Had An Inner Critic?

I was tossing sticks for my dog to fetch when I realized I want to be like him.  Not furry and not 4 legged, but his attitude. I tossed branches after a wind storm, he chased and chewed.

I tossed sticks that were so much larger than he could drag back.  Not a problem for him, he just found a smaller part and started chewing away.  He really likes to chew, hence his name, Chewie.  After a while the huge sticks became medium sized sticks, like the one in the photo.  That one he could drag to his favorite place in the yard.  I don’t think he has an inner critic.  If he did, he would act very differently.

When I tossed the huge tree branch if he had an inner critic saying, “That is too big for you to get.  You can’t do that, ” he never would have chased it and never broken it down to more manageable sticks.

When I throw 2 sticks at once if he had an inner critic saying, “Be sure to pick the perfect one, you don’t want to make a mistake,” he would just look at both sticks and never pick any up.

When I throw a stick and he can’t find it if he had an inner critic saying, “See, you can’t do it.  You blew it. You took your eyes off the stick and now it is gone forever,” he would not want to play next time.

What if I saw a project or idea as just a big branch and started on any accessible part?  What if I made a mistake and moved on?  What if I was just present in the moment?  Sometimes, I just need to chew on the damn stick.

{ 15 comments… add one }

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  • Cowgirl Red January 8, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Carolyn, Chewie is so cute. Dogs really are in the moment. And they just want to be with you. xoxo Terah

  • FranT January 8, 2012, 11:45 pm

    wonderful post! I needed to read this:) Thank you!

  • Valerie-Jael January 9, 2012, 12:22 am

    Good post! We can learn a lot from out 4-footed friends like Chewie! Valerie

  • Rita McGregor January 9, 2012, 12:58 am

    So true!! Chewie doesn’t have an inner critic. Most animals don’t unless we teach them to feel guilty. and even then they only usually feel guilty when caught by the human–ROFL! I loved this post!! 🙂

  • AJ January 9, 2012, 1:30 am

    Excellent post Carolyn, I’m sure you are right about animals living in the moment and Chewie is very smart and cute.
    Big love

  • Mitzi Zohar January 9, 2012, 8:47 am

    What if? I love it and I am not going to listen to my inner critic telling me I comment on your wonderful posts too much…

  • Terrie -Creative Explorer January 9, 2012, 3:23 pm

    What an extraordinary connection you’ve made. The analogy is very apt and I love the mental image of Chewie’s inner critic talking to him! Okay – mine is put away. For today anyway……

  • Ginny January 9, 2012, 3:45 pm

    Carolyn, this was a wonderful post that I needed to read at just this exact moment. I am part of a wonderful organization of people who think too much. They were trying to decide whether to send out an email (this should be simple but it wasn’t). Twenty emails later it was decided I would write the letter. After a little trepidation, I wrote it, reread the letter more than several times and finally hit the send button. What was a simple thing to do became a monstrous task because of too much worrying. We all need to be like Chewie. Have a great day.

  • C. Rae Nelson January 9, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Chewie is a handsome one! I have learned quite a bit from my dog. Such as it really doesn’t take much for someone to make you feel loved and comfortable. Just a rub, a kiss, acknowledgement and praise and a treat every now and then.
    You told a great, thought-provoking story. I am so happy my Cysco doesn’t have an inner critic. It would be amazing to approach the sticks that life throws at us as opportunities for adventure and creativity, for self discovery and recognize the benefit other than the disadvantage. Sometimes it’s hard to look at the pile and know that with some good teeth, chewing and patience……that eventually it will be something, a lot of small somethings that we can carry with us. peace, xoxoxo

  • Lori - What Remains Now January 9, 2012, 10:48 pm

    I so often think about the lessons I have learned and the lessons I constantly need to be reminded of by my pups. That’s one of the many reasons I love them so…they are my teachers.

  • Deborah Santoro January 10, 2012, 6:10 pm

    This is a great post! Sometimes I too need to just chew the damn stick. There’s a lot we can learn from our dogs if only we’d pay attention. I don’t pay attention nearly enough. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Christine January 10, 2012, 10:58 pm

    good thoughts, Carolyn. Happy New Year!

  • Trisha Trixie January 11, 2012, 10:06 am

    Ok, so funny. I JUST got done reading the part in RBBP about Inner Critic and decided to create a mask today as my symbol. To me a mask is my inner critic. All of a sudden I have my mask on and it’s telling me ” You don’t have that thing others have.” “You are not as good as your competition” “There is no reason to keep trying, give up already.”

    Without knowing it my mask just pops on my face and I am walking around with it on. I all of a sudden realize it which I hear is the first step to nearly anything (Drugs, alcohol, co depency) and so then what. Once I see it do I allow myself to wear it or do I take it off? Do I peak over it or do I rip it off and say, “Hey how did that get there?”

    I jsut wrote myself a note that said “Remember you have hands, you are the real person, you have the decision, you can take the mask off any time…it is up to you and only you.”

    Great minds think alike : Thanks for Grokking

  • Corrine January 13, 2012, 3:43 pm

    What a great, great post. We should all approach the world more like our dog(s).
    They never worry about what anyone things, they just go for it. Thanks for the visit.
    Love your snow white above as well. xox Corrine

  • Janice January 17, 2012, 7:49 am

    Hello Carolyn, this is my first visit. Thanks for visiting mine and for your lovely comment.

    You and Chewie are so right! It has taken me many years to even come close to Chewie’s philosophy on this issue! My dod Lucy is also a powerful teacher, but her talent is for Happiness rather than Manageable Chunks!