In my last blog post, I wrote about my little dog Kinder and how he is helping me learn patience and gentleness. That, I thought, would be the only post on Kinder for a while. But I was wrong, because today something happened that moves me to write about him again.
This morning Kinder and I were upstairs, in my loft, where I do my morning yoga practice. For as long as I've known Kinder, he's refused to walk up or down the stairs to the loft. I've tried many times. I'd go up the stairs and call him and he'd sit at the bottom, looking frightened, refusing to come up. When at the top, he'd not even consider going down. Just in the past two days, I tried to tempt him to climb the stairs to no avail. Yesterday, I went down the stairs and called him and he stayed put at the top, and started shaking. He shakes like this when he is afraid of something. Often when I take him for a ride in the car he shakes, apparently imagining that we're on our way to the Vet or some other horrible place. So I ended up doing as I always do, and picked him up and carried him down the stairs, all 10 pounds of him.
This morning something very unusual happened. As we were sitting in the loft, he suddenly started shaking. I mean, he was really shaking, all over, so much he almost looked blurry!
I've never seen him shake this much before, and didn't know what to make of it. So I tried to comfort him for a while. He stayed right up against me. He was really afraid. After a while, wanting to get on with my practice, I asked him to "stay" on his little towel on the floor, and I got involved with what I was doing. Next thing I knew, he wasn't there. I looked around and he wasn't in the loft. But he wouldn't have gone down the stairs, would he? Yes. He had. I couldn't believe it. I looked over the railing and there he was, seemingly looking for something down there.
I called him and he came to the bottom of the stairs and looked up. I didn't think he'd climb the stairs. When I called him again, to my immense surprise, he ran up the stairs in jumps and leaps. Now this was truly amazing! Going down the stairs is one thing. But coming up is much worse because these stairs are open underneath, and from his 5 inch height, it must look like he could spring into open space if he missed the next higher step. No doubt that's why he jumped from step to step.
So my guess is that he started shaking so violently when upstairs because for some reason he wanted to go downstairs, and knew he'd have to negotiate those terrifying stairs to do so. He faced his fear when he went down the stairs. Then, when I called, he climbed back up the stairs, facing his fears again.
What an accomplishment! He did it! I felt so happy for him.
Now this has got me wondering what terrifying thing I need to do to take the next step in my development!
How about you? What have you done that you were terrified of doing, and what motivated you to face the fear?