While the COVID pandemic still tragically and frustratingly rages in far too many parts of the world there is beginning to feel like there might be an end to it. Recovery begins. And I use that word carefully.

Dora has always appreciated wfh.

There is absolutely no doubt in mind that no matter how distant COVID stayed for you it was traumatic. I don’t mean not shopping and eating out weekly “trauma” of the first world nation type – I mean the grieving, worrying, carrying emotional and physical pain with you type. So, that said – what did you learn in the lockdown?

If you’ve fallen into procrastination – you are not alone. Many of us said, “oh great life has changed – I can’t go out so I can get this thing done”. And then many of us didn’t get all the things we wanted done completed. So, I’ve pulled together a short course ($47) to work through to help you get going on the things you very likely have thought – meh I’ll do that tomorrow, for far too many todays. We’ll look at what and why procrastination is, consider our brain’s role in the matter (because y’all know I love brain stuff!) If you want to join us (there are some amazingly awesome smart students already signed up!) we’d love to have you. You can SIGN UP HERE. As we swing into whatever our new normal is going to be we have a great opportunity to set some new habits and routines in place together.

I learned to be more expressive and explicit than my little introverted heart would like me to be. Losing two very dear friends in this year of COVID hammered that home. Watching American politics, returning to my own learning about social justice, diversity, inclusion and equity and getting braver and more open about sharing not only the information but my journey through it. I tell people they matter to me. I mean I think I did before COVID but I make a real point of it now. I thank people (again, I did before too) with a conscious awareness of how glad I am they went to work, took precautions and stayed healthy enough that I could, for example, buy groceries.

Grateful to all those helping me in ways they probably don’t even know.

I understand the value of the full cycle of Dream, Think, Believe, Plan, Do, Review more fully. Implementing that in little tiny pieces while bigger dreams got put on hold – that will make me better able to use the whole system when new normal truly begins in my corner of the world.

I love watching others in my world embrace the concept that training can be varied and flexible. Teaching a horse to do nosework, working on muzzle training, practicing switching toys all are “real” training that add value to your relationship as surely as doing jump grids, pivots or finding perfect positioning. Letting those lines between play and training blur got a lot easier for many people when they realized that competing was off the table for a while. I hope none of you lose that discovery. Learning to teach online has been a positive experience for many.

Contemplating quite a year.

Being able to access amazing learning like the Alphabet Album, the amazing conferences and workshops that have been offered. Wow. My brain and my folders are FULL of information to review and apply as things come back into alignment. I hope these virtual opportunities stick around a long long time.

Doing our best has been hard through this. I talk daily to people who are distressed about something they didn’t do, or the way they responded to a situation or other person (of whatever species). The pandemic has reinforced that we each need to accept being our best in any given moment. Grace. I have had to dig deep to find grace for myself (and for some social media conversations too) and I have learned so much about the WORK required to internalize this.

Seeing the pandemic in any kind of positive light may feel impossible. There has been too much tragedy, too many lives lost, too many friendships and familial ties shattered. That doesn’t mean you haven’t learned, and won’t continue to learn. Use the pandemic to inform your future – both internally and in the way you navigate the world. Let’s seize this opportunity to make the world a better place. Together. We are stronger.