About 5 months ago we adopted our first rescue dog. A black lab we named Pepper. We seriously won the rescue jackpot with her. She is a super sweetheart, easy going, fit right into our family (with 2 cats), and loves everyone she meets.
We don’t know how we scored so big! Her only flaw is that she has developed some separation anxiety. Who can blame her? Like most rescues her story is a sad one, being abandoned in a house with her sibling lab brother when her human family moved out. (Seriously, what is wrong with some people?!)
As part of our strategy to help remove her separation anxiety we’ve done a bit of everything: changing everything about our routines, leaving on tv, leaving on music, leaving on a loop of my recorded meditations, recording us having a conversation and leaving that on loop, using a thunder shirt, moving her crate to a new location, we even turned off all the panel sound on our alarm system so we could arm it without her even knowing!
That’s right - the panel makes no sound now. So not only can we set the system without her knowing it, but when we come home it doesn’t even beep when the system is tripped. The only sound it makes is the siren when the alarm goes off. And we’ve been hearing that a lot lately!
How is it possible that we keep setting this thing off almost on a daily basis when we’ve been using an alarm system for 13 years?!
This is what I woke up thinking about this morning as my husband set the alarm off for the first time today. (I then set it off after returning from our walk!)
Its the first thing we do every time we walk in the door. Shouldn’t this be an automatic habit by now?
But without the beep letting us know its been tripped we keep forgetting to turn it off.
Why do we keep forgetting when this has been part of our daily routine for so long?
The answer is that without the audible reminder of the beep we just simply forget that we need to do it - even after 13 years. That blows my mind!
This got me thinking about reminders in general. I know I have to add every task or event to my calendar or it will get forgotten.
And I started thinking about when I wanted to create a meditation practice on my own and how I had to schedule it to be part of my day or it wouldn’t happen.
Anytime you want to do something that is out of your usual routine (or maybe even if it’s part of your usual routine - like the alarm!) it is helpful to take the time to create a reminder for yourself.
[This same concept could be used to remove a habit you no longer want too - just remove the trigger.]
For now, I’m adding a note to remind us to turn off the alarm!
Oh, and Pepper is doing much better with her separation anxiety. We don’t have her 100% yet, but our last time out she actually slept. Hopefully that means, we can turn the alarm sound back on soon.
If you’d like reminders (and a whole supportive program) to create your daily meditation practice - join us for Motivate To Meditate!
Jenn White, Yoga Educator, Meditation Teacher, and Owner of Embodied Bliss, began her journey of yoga and meditation in 2004 while recovering from a back injury. Feeling lost, restless and seeking something more from life, she found her path through meditation.
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