What Max (my dog) Taught Me

What Max (my dog) Taught Me

The simple things in life keep reminding me that it really is about the journey. Of course, I have goals and plans. Yes, I like to check off my to-do list. But I’m also realizing that being a life-long learner encompasses the day-to-day stuff, too.

The little things matter. My sweet dog, Max, just learned how to do this! He figured out how to carry two tennis balls a while ago and he’s been working on three for a while just to see if he could.

I don’t want to get too philosophical about his tennis ball prowess, but when he mastered this last week, it made me realize a couple of things I want to share with you.

Animals are amazing at never giving up. I don’t know if it’s because they don’t understand the passage of time or not.  Maybe it’s because they just don’t care. Most adults would quit long before Max did. And that’s a shame.

This new skill took Max about a year to accomplish. He worked on it over and over, trying one way, and then another. Do animals get frustrated? I think they can, but if Max did it wasn’t enough for him to quit. He just stopped and tried again later.

He certainly didn’t berate himself. He didn’t let the fact that he couldn’t pick up three balls at a time stop him from picking up two. He didn’t get mad at the ball or blame himself or consider himself a failure.

It’s a little thing, sure. But it reminds me that lots of life is about mastering the little things. Do your best each day until the big goal is reached or the new skill is mastered. That’s worth celebrating.

I hope we can celebrate the little things all the time. Did you get your workout in? Yay, you! Take a new class or try a new recipe? Awesome! Go 5 whole days without sugar? Fantastic!

We all have so much potential for growth. Little steps. New skills. Celebrating the journey. Those are all on my updated to-do list.

What are a few things you’d like to try? Anything you want to master? Celebrate the small steps. The journey matters and so do you!

Cheers to you and your journey,


Carolyn S. Barnes, CHC

Carolyn is an integrative health coach, speaker, and the author of Return to Ease: Gently Reconnect with Your Body’s Natural Mobility and Joy.

She writes and speaks from a personal place–her own journey of healing from various health issues (including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and obesity) and opening to her inner wisdom. Her mission at Return to Ease is to help women who want to experience natural weight management and reconnect with their personal power and true essence. This integrative process of reconnection allows her clients to align their hearts, minds, and bodies while creating a more sacred life filled with health, ease, and joy.

Carolyn received her coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She specializes in helping women who struggle with emotional/stress eating lose weight, gain control,  and experience ease with food and their lives. As a result, her clients experience a newfound appreciation of their bodies, no longer obsess over food, and witness an amazing transformation of more ease and joy in their lives.

To learn more about Carolyn, apply to be a coaching client, order a copy of her book, please visit her website.

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