An astonishing fact discovered by dog whisperer Cesar Milan, after trawling through decades of films and photos, is that no modern-day US president has ever properly trained their own dog.
You’d think that someone elected to be the most peowerful man in the world would be in control of their own dog. But the evidence says otherwise. Cesar Millan has looked at images of presidential dogs alighting from Air Force One, entering the White House, and being walked by a president on the White House lawn. They all reveal that not one of them knows how to control their dog so that it walks behind them instead of tugging on the leash and surging ahead.
In his book Be The Pack Leader Millan says ‘I got a lot of applause during one seminar when I suggested that everybody write letters to Congress and suggest that before anyone gets sworn in as president, he or she has to learn how to walk a powerful dog. Maybe even a pack of dogs! It would be a test they’d all have to pass. All world leaders of all countries should be able to do it. If that actually happened, then all of our human pack leaders would have to practice calm-assertive energy, because that’s the only energy that dogs naturally follow. I believe we’d have a lot more balanced people running the world if they based their leadership on calm-assertive energy.’
Taking control of your life
Millan also explains in his book, ‘My goal for you is that you use the power of calm-assertive energy to become the pack leader in every area of your life and open up to you a new dimension of living that you never before realized was possible.’ He readily admits that his teachings are more about rehabilitating humans than training their dogs.
I’d like to meet this man someday because I have a similar belief about the effect of taking control of the clutter in your life. When you consciously own the space of your home, it opens up new possibilities you would never have dreamt of before.
The difference in technique is that instead of using calm-assertive energy to train a dog, you use it to centre yourself and order your home. Clutter clearing is the process of taking control and restoring integrity to your life, one item at a time, and then periodically reviewing your home to make sure your personal possessions continue to match and support who you are and who you wish to become.
The analogies don’t stop there, either, because the behaviour of a person’s dog very much reflects what is out of balance in them. ‘Our dogs are our mirrors,’ says Milan. ‘Have you looked in yours lately?’
Similarly, everything in your home is a reflection of yourself. In my book, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, I explain, ‘One of the quickest ways to get a fresh perspective on your life is to take a good long look at everything in your home as if you didn’t know the person who lives there. Better still, take photos of each room and look at the photos instead, which will give you more objectivity. What would you conclude about the person who lives in this home? Are they the kind of person you want to know? Are they the kind of person you want to be like? It then becomes much more obvious what you want to keep and what needs to go.’
When your home is out of control, with clutter and mess everywhere, some aspects of your life are sure to be out of control too. Sort out your home and your life will work better. And training your dog, if you have one, will help a lot too!
Copyright © Karen Kingston 2017, updated 2023
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