"Tell me... what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Pulitzer Poet, Mary Oliver, 1935-2019
I woke up excited today. I sat up remembering that I’m sending an email to folks I’ve been lucky to work with, alongside or admired for my entire career. I’m sharing that my coaching practice is back in action and doing what I absolutely love.
I looked over to see this little guy (pictured) come out from under the covers, sitting up, perked with enthusiasm.
This is it, right? This is the moment we wake up and tackle another day, right? We’re going to play and eat and nap and keep each other company, right?
WEE TAIL WAGGING. EYES LOCKING. LET’S DO THIS.
He shared my enthusiasm.
I recently watched a show on National Geographic (sorry Bravo, needed a break) where they put a dog into an MRI scanner to track her emotions. Trying not to get stuck on the question of how on earth the dog was staying still, I listened intently to the findings.
There is indeed confirmation that dogs sense our energy and are empathetic. A dog can sense when something is wrong or if you are sad and may place her head on your lap. A form of cuddling - saying, it’s going be okay. I hear you. I’m here for you. All right, no surprise there.
Going a bit deeper into the science though, I learned that there are “striking similarities between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus.”
The cada-what-the what? Let’s just call it your CN.
Breaking it down for you…. apparently, this is a common structure in brains which have the richest density of dopamine receptors. Beyond this being the “pleasure” center, your CN is “active when an individual is in a state of anticipation—something happens and they have to decide what to do with that information.”
Today I woke up with a sense of anticipation and a stirring energy in my belly. In that split second I had a decision to make. Would this be excitement or fear?
I chose excitement. Not because I think it will be perfect or everyone will come rushing in response to my email with screams of delight. In fact, some people may even “unsubscribe.”
Every moment of anticipation is a choice for us – as leaders, parents, friends, owners of dogs – what energy do we want others to catch?
So Ms. Mary Oliver, today I choose excitement. Today I am sharing with those that I love that my plan is to continue with coaching, holding the power of belief in others until they have the strength to do it for themselves. And spend every day after living up to that promise.