Archive | January, 2007

Don’t Be Afraid Of Dogs That Are Far Away

9 Jan

Every ten years or so, I come across my New Year’s Resolutions from 1981, one of which was Don’t be afraid of dogs that are far away. And I think it’s kinda cool that, even at the age of 5, I was still, SO ME: interested in my own betterment, comforting myself, and giving myself advice – about overcoming fear no less – much like I am still doing 26 years later. Other resolutions included the oh-so-wise Apple juice in the morning, Milk at night (I was very concerned about overnight sugar-induced tooth decay), and Don’t lock little sister in the closet. And in my defense regarding this last point, I was only 5. Plus it was a walk-in closet, with a window.


But anyway. Getting back to those dogs. As I recall from my 80’s version of me, there were some dogs that lived in my neighborhood, and they would bark, and even when I was in the safety of my own home, even when these dogs were very far away, I would be afraid. And I imagined them to be much worse than dogs – coyotes maybe, or lions AND tigers AND bears ALL living in my backyard, and if not mine, then definitely in the backyard of my friend from nursery school who lived down the street, and had a HUGE backyard, which seemed, to my 5-year-old self, to be a forest, or possibly some kind of enchanted woods.


So today, in 2007, I still find myself from time-to-time, afraid of and worrying about “dogs” that are very far away, my anticipation often much worse than the actual events or circumstances. Looking back on 2006, I had two Big Changes, which of course can be scary, and the bigger the change, the scarier (but also, the flip-side of this can be true: the bigger the change, the greater the seed of opportunity). The first one came in the middle of the year, and I saw it coming, and anticipated it with fear. I’d like to think that as a result of my self-help obsession and yoga practice and eternal quest for knowledge and self-betterment, I would have handled this situation with the calm, ease, and grace of the Buddha, or at least that of Deepak Chopra or Marianne Williamson, but the fact is, it totally…sucked. It was incredibly scary and painful, even worse than I had imagined, and I handled it by crying. A lot. But somehow…I got through it.


The second Big Change came months later, and was something that most everybody, including myself, would fear. But then, it happened and…I wasn’t afraid. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had anticipated. I just did the next indicated thing then the next then the next, and focused on staying in the present and it – and I – was totally…fine.


So as the New Year begins, take some time to think about what your scary far-away dogs are, you know, the ones that keep you up at night, or that pop into your head throughout the day and agitate you with their far-away barks. And you know what? If these things ever did happen, sometimes you will be prepared and handle them with calm, ease, and grace, and sometimes, they will just totally suck. But maybe just maybe, by focusing on this moment, and being present to what is, now, you will discover that those Big Bad Dogs are nothing to lose sleep over after all, and perhaps they are just a group of yappy Toy Poodles with a collective attitude problem.


Here’s to being fabulously fearless in 2007!!!


Lots of love!!!

Jen xoxoxox


Copyright © 2007 by Jennifer Garam.  All rights reserved.