Enlightened By Dogs: Living with Cooperation, Not Obedience
Enlightened By Dogs: Living with Cooperation, Not Obedience
Kathy Kawalec
Welcome to our podcast where we dog moms discuss modern, enlightened dog parenting! Each week, we’ll take a dive deep into the human-dog connection and explore strategies that will inspire you to create connection and cooperation with your dog...no obedience training needed! We meet up at the intersection where training and behavior meet Heart and Soul...and where we leave behind the 'power over' obedience training paradigm we inherited and lead the way to an enlightened 'power with' approach. Join us for an inspirational and educational journey as we explore what living in cooperative partnership with our beautiful dogs looks like in real life. Brilliant Partners are kind, loving, calm, clear, confident, and cooperative ... and when WE learn how to be a Brilliant Partner, our dogs do too. Kathy Kawalec is an author, writer, the founder of Dancing Hearts Dog Academy and creator of the Brilliant Partners Academy, The Foundation Formula, Herding Partners Academy, and Creative Alchemy Passion Plan.
EBD 240 Healing Our Reactivity Loop with Marika Bertram (Part 1)
Stress can influence our experiences and success, and as a dog mom, it can also, in turn, affect our dogs and their behavior.    This episode of Enlightened by Dogs is the first part of the 2-part episode with Marika Bertram, who is an amazing dog trainer, one of my certified partnership coaches, and who loves to help dog moms in our community.    Marika shares her knowledge about stress, how to get stressed, and even how to deal with them. She also talks about the vagus nerve, some simple techniques that we could use to promote releasing that stress, and other important details on healing our reactivity loop.    In addition, Marika also discusses the importance of dealing with the feeling in our body, not just the thoughts that we have so that it doesn’t keep getting stored as trapped energy in the body and keep reappearing each time we're triggered.    Read more about Marika in her bio below.   Marika Bertram offers unique behavior and relationship consulting for dog families with a focus on holistic heart-centered coaching that will teach you the art of dog listening so that you can communicate with your dog on a deeper level and enjoy a well-behaved dog without obedience training!   Website links: www.revyk9.com, Facebook and Instagram is ‘The Dog Listener.’ I offer in-person and virtual programs that vary from 2 kickstart sessions to 6-month programs for the full foundation and support through your journey of transformation with your dog.   In this episode:    Marika's background  A better understanding of how stress influences experience and success   Releasing stress from the body   Quotes:   “It’s important to understand not only our own behavior but also our dog's behavior and why we get triggered or why they also get triggered.  And it seems like they literally can't hear us.”   “A lot of people don't know why they get stressed. Even though maybe their lives aren't that stressful, they're still experiencing stress.”   “Our brain has to make sense of the feeling in our body. So it triggers thoughts in our brain and then we react to these thoughts.”   “If we only deal with the thoughts that we're having, and not the feeling in our body, it just keeps getting stored as trapped energy in the body and will keep reappearing each time we're triggered.”   “If we allow the body to release this trapped energy, we can then begin to heal, and our bodies will be less triggered…. And then it leads us to become more resilient and feel safe, calm, and happy.”   “When you're in survival mode, you don't need to be social, you don't need to be polite to those around you. Clearly, you're thinking about survival and safety. So you're going to do whatever needs to be done at that moment for your body to survive.’   “We can't force ourselves or our dogs back to the green zone when it's in the red zone.”   “So it's only once our nervous system feels safe that we can actually return to that green calm state, and go from survival to being more social, where we actually start to feel safer… Make better decisions and act more consciously and mindfully.” LOVE TO LEARN MORE?  Become a calm and confident Dog Mom with a cooperative, happy dog ... without obedience training, or relying on treats or arousing games, or corrections of any type.   Here are some next steps:   SUBSCRIBE to Kathy’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/DancingHeartsDogAcademy/videos   LISTEN or READ Kathy’s Podcast and Blog on her Website: https://dancingheartsdogacademy.com/   GET STARTED work with Kathy: https://dancinghearts.link/foundation   LET’S CONNECT on the socials for more partnership tips and advice: -Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dancinghearts/ -Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathykawalec/   LISTEN TO PODCASTS:Subscribe to the Enlightened By Dogs podcast in your favorite app! Don’t forget to leave us a rating and review – it would make Kathy very happy!   Subscribe on  Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify Connect on Facebook: facebook.com/dancinghearts/ 
Dec 19, 2022
29 min
EBD 239 How Gratitude Enhances Bonding, Trust, and Connection with Our Dogs
If you are a dog parent, you may be familiar with various ways to strengthen the bond between you and your dog and to establish a strong connection over time.    In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy dives into the value of gratitude and appreciation and shares different research studies that show evidence of the immense benefits of connecting heart-to-heart with your dogs.     Kathy talks about the important details of a study by the HeartMath Institute research team, a practice of the simple heart focus technique, and other relevant studies and shows their importance for you and your amazing four-legged furry friends.    In this episode:  The value of gratitude and appreciation The interconnection of all life forms through a rich tapestry of intersecting magnetic fields The immense benefits of connecting heart-to-heart with dogs   Quotes:   “Gratitude is such a powerful amplifier of heart, energy, and love. And it's one of the quickest ways to offset stress, and to lift our mood.”   “Gratitude most definitely opens our mind in ways that are just simply life-changing.”   “Gratitude and appreciation are powerful emotions that activate the brain's reward pathways, feel-good hormones, and endorphins, all of which are known to greatly improve our outlook on life, among other things.”    “Dogs are uniquely attuned to our emotional states, and they have been shown to display a notable capacity for empathy.”    “A caring relationship between humans and their dogs is a prescription for wellness for all involved.”    “We put so much focus on heart connections. And on us, the dog moms, learning how to become more brilliant by the day so that we can be the brilliant partner that our dogs need to thrive while we simultaneously get the immediate benefit of feeling good.” LOVE TO LEARN MORE?  Become a calm and confident Dog Mom with a cooperative, happy dog ... without obedience training, or relying on treats or arousing games, or corrections of any type.   Here are some next steps:   SUBSCRIBE to Kathy’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/DancingHeartsDogAcademy/videos   LISTEN or READ Kathy’s Podcast and Blog on her Website: https://dancingheartsdogacademy.com/   GET STARTED work with Kathy: https://dancinghearts.link/foundation   LET’S CONNECT on the socials for more partnership tips and advice: -Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dancinghearts/ -Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathykawalec/   LISTEN TO PODCASTS:Subscribe to the Enlightened By Dogs podcast in your favorite app! Don’t forget to leave us a rating and review – it would make Kathy very happy!   Subscribe on  Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify Connect on Facebook: facebook.com/dancinghearts/
Dec 12, 2022
16 min
EBD238 Art as Connection with Marianne Magin [part 2]
Kathy has formed connections with many dogs in a variety of ways.   But, in this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, she invites a special guest to explore a way of building bridges with our four-legged friends that you may have overlooked.  This is part 2 of Kathy’s interview with the wonderful Marianne Magin, an artist, dog mom and Dancing Hearts partnership coach.  In this part, she discusses how she helps people through their dog grief using her art, how she emotionally reacts to creating wonderful artwork for herself and others, and discusses her incredible card deck and children’s book!  Read more in her bio below.  Bio:  Marianne Magin is a dog mom, a human mom and an artist. She is inspired by dogs! And loves animals and nature and has always drawn and painted since she was a young girl. She is also a certified Dancing Hearts Partnership coach. She loves to connect with animals, especially dogs through her custom watercolor portrait work, as well as working in other media. She has written and illustrated the award-winning children’s picture book, The Legend of Santa’s Sleighbells (written from a dog’s perspective). Plus, she has also created an oracle card deck of partnership inspiration cards.  Links:  Art - Artful Paw Designs and Pawprints of the Heart  Partnership Inspiration Card Deck  Book:  The Legend of Santa’s Sleighbells  In this episode:  Dealing with dog grief through art  How Marianne responds to her art  Explaining her children’s book and card deck  Quotes:  “Grief feels like a loss of connection. But when we’re grieving, we’re really still connected.”  “It’s a sacred time when I’m painting. And I’m doing it in a way which is going to help possibly heal somebody.”  “Everybody should believe that they are an artist in whatever way they can connect to their art. If you do amazing paintings, that's amazing. If you just like to dance with your dog in your living room, that's great.”  Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Dec 5, 2022
33 min
EBD237 Art as Connection with Marianne Magin [part 1]
There are many ways to build strong connections with our dogs. Changing our behaviors, trying new experiences together and learning from our interactions with our dogs all help greatly.  But art is another incredible way to build a bridge between us and our dogs. And it can be a beautiful process!  This episode of Enlightened by Dogs is Part 1 of a 2-part episode with Marianne Magin, a wonderful artist, dog mom and certified Dancing Hearts Partnership coach who is hugely inspired by dogs and animals in her work.  She details how her art helps her and her clients build stronger connections between themselves and their beautiful four-legged friends.  Bio:  Marianne Magin is a dog mom, a human mom and an artist. She is inspired by dogs! And loves animals and nature and has always drawn and painted since she was a young girl. She is also a certified Dancing Hearts Partnership coach. She loves to connect with animals, especially dogs through her custom watercolor portrait work, as well as working in other media. She has written and illustrated the award-winning children’s picture book, “The Legend of Santa’s Sleighbells” (written from a dog’s perspective). Plus, she has also created an oracle card deck of partnership inspiration cards.  Art - Artful Paw Designs and Pawprints of the Heart  Partnership Inspiration Card Deck  Book:  “The Legend of Santa’s Sleighbells”  In this episode:  Using art to connect with dogs  Marianne’s career  How creativity can be key to building strong relationships with dogs  Quotes:  “Art can be a bridge that could see you start to accept your dog.”  “Sometimes I'll have somebody say to me: ‘My dog doesn't usually smile, but I've got these photos of him smiling in the photos with his mouth open and happy.’ They feel like there’s a connection.”  “When you paint or when you draw or you do any art, you're bypassing your brain. I think you're using your brain in a way, but you're really tapping into your heart.”  Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Nov 28, 2022
30 min
EBD 236 Giving Dogs Room to Bloom with Beth Williams
Kathy has preached the power of brilliant partnership for many years and practiced it with her dogs. In that time, she’s learned how important it is to give dogs room to bloom.  In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Beth Williams, licensed physical therapist and certified Dancing Hearts Partnership Coach, joins to discuss why giving dogs room to bloom is crucial to being a great dog mom.  Kathy and Beth dive into the culture and expectations around giving dogs space, keeping them safe and the incredible international Yellow Dog Project.  She recommends checking your own emotions and judgement, acknowledging dogs that need extra space and respecting all dogs’ boundaries!  Here is Marianne’s poem, ‘All Dogs Look Good In Yellow’, featured in this episode:  All dogs look good in yellow.   All dogs want that grace.   All dogs appreciate us asking  Can we share your space?   Big dogs can want to cuddle.   But big dogs want space too.   Little dogs are just like big dogs  And medium dogs have the same view.   Fluffy dogs look cute and cuddly.   Short-haired dogs are soft and smooth.   Hairless dogs are very tempting   But they've all got the same groove.   They all want us to ask them.   They'd like a chance to say ‘yes’.   Saying ‘no’ is another perfect answer.   We just don't want to make it a guess.   Because all dogs look good in yellow.  All dogs give us back so much.   So let's all respect and love them   and always ask before we touch.  In this episode:  Beth’s career and work  The Yellow Dog Project  Beth’s three tips for being a Brilliant Partner  Quotes:  “No dog should have to tolerate being approached and petted by strangers without being asked and without giving their consent.”  “I use the tools in my toolbox so that me and my dog are starting from a place every day of feeling safe, calm, happy and confident.”  “My goal in coaching is to help create those happy, harmonious dog houses to help people connect with their dogs, and to enjoy life together.”  Contact Beth Williams:  beth@k9wellnesscenter.com Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Nov 21, 2022
46 min
EBD235 Connection First
A life with dogs isn’t always plain sailing. Kathy knows that first-hand. They can challenge your patience with their behaviors time and time again.  But, instead of working to outright fix those behaviors, it’s time to connect first.  In this Enlightened by Dogs episode, Kathy explains why connecting with your dogs, before anything else, makes magic happen.   She explores the benefits of digging beneath the surface to truly understand your dogs and why it’s OK to regret how you’ve dealt with their challenging behaviors in the past.  In this episode:  Making ‘connect first’ your mantra  Listening to your dog with compassion and curiosity  Why to stop focusing on correcting behaviors  Quotes:  “When we can dig under the surface for what's really going on with our dog. Well, that's when our life starts to change.”  “If we continue to look at our dogs as a series of behaviors to shape, we miss getting to know our dogs fully and we certainly miss connecting to our dogs fully.”  “Listening with compassion and curiosity is key to unlocking solutions for change.”  Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Nov 14, 2022
14 min
EBD234 Dogs Are Not Just A Collection of Behaviors, And Neither Are You
Dogs behave “badly” all the time…Kathy definitely knows this first-hand.   However, that “badness” doesn’t define our dogs. We live in a society where dogs are considered a set of behaviors rather than complex, sentient beings with emotions and social intelligence.   In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy explores the idea of “badness”. She explains how a brilliant partner mindset can help us reframe the way we consider our dog’s behaviors and create a life of compassion, connection and cooperation with our beloved companions.  In this episode:  Why all dogs are good dogs, regardless of their behavior  Interrupting and reframing our thoughts around “bad” behavior  Becoming a brilliant partner through compassion and curiosity  “When we embrace behaviorism as a dog mom, we end up seeing our dogs as a simple collection of behaviors, needing to be shaped, manipulated to suit our desires. This is instead of us considering our dog as a socially intelligent, emotionally rich sentient being who is in need of full expression, experience and development.”  “There is an under-the-surface assumption of badness when we are in that type of thinking. That our dog is willingly choosing to make life hard for us. Then, there’s a more partnership approach.”  “Underneath their sometimes-bad behavior, they're just good dogs. We are good, perfectly brilliant dog moms underneath our sometimes-bad behavior. That idea is revolutionary. It leads us to have a completely different framework to create a life of compassion, connection, and cooperation with our dogs.”  Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Nov 7, 2022
15 min
EBD233 Dog Moms Share Their Stories of How They Turned Things Around with Their Difficult Dog
Kathy has heard so many amazing stories about dog moms’ journeys with their dogs. But with any dog comes challenges. Kathy’s guests have been no strangers to those!  Whether it’s barking at other dogs, going wild around food, pulling on the leash or being incredibly fearful, everyone has experienced setbacks – some common and some not so much.  In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy takes a look back at previous guest episodes and highlights how they’ve overcome challenges with their dogs.   No matter what your situation with your dog, it’s important to have hope!  In this episode:  Dealing with difficult situations with dogs  How to cope when you feel like giving up on your dog  Explaining The Premack Principle  Quotes:  “When I saw Dancing Hearts, I thought it sounds right up my alley. So I signed up for the free workshop and never looked back.”  “I thought about my dog: ‘Are we meant to be together?’. There were signs we were meant to be together. Now, she’s taught me so much about myself and I can’t believe how far the two of us have come.”  “I was using the Premack Principle. For anyone who doesn’t know about it, in the training world, your dog gets to have a reward that he wants, if he does something for you first.” Want More of Kathy?  Brilliant Partners Academy   Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website  Facebook Community  
Oct 31, 2022
37 min
EBD232 The What, Why and How of Connection and Cooperation with Your Dog
Kathy has connected and cooperated with so many dogs over the years. It’s something that dog parents long for. We all want our dogs to feel safe, calm and happy. We want them to know that we have their backs. But how do you build that true connection and natural cooperation with your dogs? In this Enlightened by Dogs episode, Kathy explores the what, why and how of cooperation and connection. She explains how to nurture relationships through invitation and how it can enhance your relationships with your dogs. In this episode: Building a heart connection with your dog How to open the pathway to connection Giving your dog agency to accept or reject invitation Quotes: “Extending an invitation to our dog fulfils that deep social need to belong and to bond and to be a part of a family group.” “When we extend an invitation to another, the intention is that it’s an act of sharing love.” “Our dogs see us as loving leaders that will keep them safe, calm and happy and will have their backs.” Want More of Kathy? Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community
Oct 24, 2022
16 min
EBD231 Your Dream Life with Your Dog Won't Happen Without THIS
Kathy has spent so many years with so many dogs. They’ve all been wonderful. But they’ve all brought their own challenges. It’s so easy to look to the future, to a time when these challenges are solved, and everything is OK. But the only way to become a true, brilliant partner for your dog is to cultivate calm, confidence and happiness today. A dream life with your dog starts with you thinking like, feeling like and making the decisions of a brilliant partner. As Kathy says in this Enlightened by Dogs episode, a great relationship with a dog stems from their dog parent adopting a growth mindset. As soon as you stop blaming external factors for things that go wrong or look to the future in hope they’ll be solved, you can begin to become a compassionate, empathetic role model for your dog. In this episode: Building a dream life with your dog Dangers of a ‘cause-and-effect’ mindset for yourself and your dog How to stop blaming external factors when bad things happen Quotes: “Raising dogs in a way that nurtures their independent thinking, as we guide them toward understanding how we do things and supporting them to be responsible for doing their part, is more like enlightened parenting.” “I need to feel love without condition for my dog so I'm like a love magnet so that my dog freely chooses to stay near me.” “The more we feel like the future brilliant partner we want to become right now, the closer that future is to now.” Want More of Kathy? Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community
Oct 17, 2022
15 min
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