ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

What my dog can teach you about patience and self compassion

By Marcus Santer

I don’t know about you…

But I can be a bit hard on myself.

I’ll talk to myself and treat myself in ways I would never treat another human being.

And when it comes to changing my own actions, behaviour and thoughts I can be very intolerant and lacking in self compassion.

But maybe that’s just me?

Anyway… On with the show.

I was cooking some of the finest grass-fed, Ruby Red beef steak last night.

As usual Louis came to sit at the kitchen door.

Living in a house of vegetarians he’s my trusty partner in meaty crime.

And as usual, after a quick 2 minutes a side with 2 minutes to sit, I shared my steak with him.

I’d share the curly kale with him too, but experience tells me he doesn’t like it.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever fed a dog.

Especially fed it some of the finest steak, cooked to perfection in a cast iron frying pan?

If you have, you’ll know it’s a bit like giving a pig a raspberry.

It barely touches the sides before it’s gone.

And it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend recently about how dogs seem hard wired to gulp food, to get it in them as quickly as possible.

Pack mentality I guess – If you don’t get it inside you quick, someone else will.

And this instinct is still very strong in Louis.

I mean, after 7 years of never having to share his food or having had his food taken off him,

He still wolfs it down without savouring it.

Even finest grass-fed beef.

And as I watched him do it again last night and remembered this conversation with my friend, I felt such a wave of compassion for myself.

I mean I’ve got some pretty unhelpful instincts:

Things like:

  1. Believing I’m always in the wrong
  2. Thinking I’m not a good person
  3. People pleasing

And so on.

And I’ve been ingraining and hard wiring them for 30, 40 years.

So I need to give myself more patience, more self compassion as I seek to change them.

How come?

Because even under the most favourable of circumstances old behaviours, habits and instincts can be hard to change.

Just look at Louis.

So if you’re making some changes in your life right now, be patient and compassionate with yourself.

And I’ll do the same.



Oh, and if you want help knowing what changes you can make to stack the odds of a longer, healthier and more active life in your favour…

You need a copy of this.

Bye for now


P.S. Hey… Are you going to be joining me in Norway this October?

Full details here:

PERFECT Qigong Norway

I look forward to meeting you.

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