Instructor: Andrea Harrison
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time.
Enrollment limits: Gold: open to only 10 students with clear personal goals for this course.
Silver: -0- Bronze: -0-
Adore your dog? Find dog sports fill a gap in your life but you know you can get more out of them? Want to keep improving your mental game? Building your mental toolbox? Delving into planning and goal-setting in more detail? Looking at specific classes in your library and want to move into action? Want to work out a plan to maximize your success at a major event? Struggle with difficult people? If so, Infinite Possibilities is the course for you.
Finding motivation, dealing with ring nerves, coping with stress and changing plans, working with the animal you have not the one you wanted are all examples of the kinds of possibilities you may want to work on, but the list is truly endless. Perhaps you want to challenge your ability to remember courses, learn more about the workings of the brain, or process grief for a lost companion. It really is your choice how you use your thread and this class.
Students will have a safe, small, private, and supportive place to break down issues and work on their mental game. A significant part of the process will be building up, and using, individuals’ mental “ toolboxes” through discussions and personalized homework. You may use material and issues from other courses or start completely fresh. If an issue outside of dog sports is causing you angst and affecting your training or competing you are welcome to bring it to this class. We've worked on retirement plans, chronic pain, finding a new job and much more in this class.
This course is gold level only and kept small deliberately in order to keep it private and personal. What happens in IP stays in IP!
There will be material posted weekly dealing with both Mindfulness and Emotional well-being, which will provide prompts for students who want a more directed thread with formal general homework but students are welcome to do what they want/need in the course.
The course Infinite Possibilities will weave principles of mindfulness through information about many emotions, as well as revisiting some of the topics introduced in Andrea’s other courses. This course will be adapted to student needs and interests every time it runs.
The list of emotional types of words is long and complex and includes
- Positive thoughts
- Positive and lively
- Quiet positive
- Negative thoughts
- Negative and passive
- Negative and forceful
- Negative and out of control
- Identifying areas of concern
- What is Mindfulness
- Emotions: Agitation and Caring
- Where do these issues come from for you?
- Why mindfulness helps
- Emotions: Sorrow, grief, triumph and joy
- Planning for success
- Practising Mindfulness in animal training, competing and life
- Emotions: Fear and Hope
- Identifying the hard parts of mindfulness for each individual
- Emotions: Anger and Gratitude
- When Things Go Wrong – Staying the Course
- Emotions: Frustration, disappointment and satisfaction
- Shame, guilt, jealousy, pride and self-confidence
- Moving Forward
- Emotions: Alarm, anxiety, interest and curiosity
As this is a somewhat self-directed learning experience with individual personal challenges, as well as weekly topics to help inspire your thinking, it is often helpful if students signing up have taken (at any level) a prior course with Andrea.
Getting to the root of whatever.
I’m going to say this right up front – figuring out where issues come from is neither useful nor productive in all circumstances. If the past is not a healthy place to dwell you are never going to find me insisting you go there. The Ostrich Manoeuvre (sticking your head in the sand) has its merit. It is a survival strategy that allows us to move forward.
That said, reflection can be critical to growth and change.
There are (shocking you all not at all) a few different models for reflective practise but the one that I have used clinically is similar to this one and it can be very effective, and telling, to work though.
Gibbs' reflective cycle
Gibb's reflective cycle is a process involving six steps:
- Description - What happened?
- Feelings - What did you think and feel about it?
- Evaluation - What were the positives and negatives?
- Analysis - What sense can you make of it?
- Conclusion - What else could you have done?
- Action Plan - What will you do next time?
For those of you in the June 2015 AIYH course you will know I modelled challenging oneself and using your toolbox by taking Mr. Neurotic (aka Harri) the horse, to a show. Let me model how this reflective practice would work for that event.
Description: The show was nice and quiet by the time we arrived. Harri loaded and travelled well. He was a little “up” when he heard other horses at first but he stayed calm (relatively speaking), He was easy to tack up and while not as perfect to mount as at home was ok there too. Warmup had a few moments of tension but he was able to work through them. The two tests went well, better than I could have hoped honestly. No errors, no unexpected bobbles.
Feelings: I enjoyed the experience (somewhat to my shock) . I wasn’t particularly nervous but was prepared to scratch from the classes at any time. I knew I had to be prepared to adapt from plan A to plan B and in fact ended up doing a plan C for one test. My overarching feeling was one of adventure.
Evaluation: For what it was, a test of a moment in time and a challenge, it was a great day. Would I have been happier with better scores and if I have been able to stick to plan A? Probably, but I was pleased with so much. Mr N’s first show with me, my first time trailering alone in my life. Compliments from spectators, Dealing with a "coven" comment with a laugh not defensiveness. I need a new jacket before I show again – or to try to repair mine.
Analysis: Mr N is ready to slowly add some stress back into his program to learn to cope. I can expect more from him and offer him more concrete support. He can deal with challenges now and the trust we share is quite palpable.
Conclusion: Positive experience for us both. What a long way he has come.
Action Plan: get off property when I can and repeat the show experience at the end of August. (Lots more detail obviously needed – but somehow I suspect planning with be an ongoing topic!)
Being reflective gives us a way to move forward. If there is something you are struggling to let go, or make sense of try some reflection around it. (I can help – just ask!) Reflection can be done on paper all at once or just niggled away at. Both are effective. The goal of reflection is not to cause yourself stress so if all you can think of is “I BLEW IT” don’t get too reflective yet. Start identifying the positive and then allow a little reflection to begin.
The Connection to Mindfulness
Reflective practice is a corner stone of mindfulness. It can calm your mind to lead you to meditation. It is an action of awareness that is central to mindful practice. It can be used in the place of meditation if meditation is not possible for you at a given moment in time.
These questions are about career but you are all smart enough to adapt them to what you need. (http://mindfuluniverse.com/profiles/blogs/10-questions-for-inner-reflection-to-move-with-ease-in-your-caree in case you want to cut and paste)
No shock here - if you want homework assigned - take something from the past (yes yesterday counts) and apply reflective practice in whatever format you would like to it. Do you practice positive reflection now? Should you? Is it a skill you need to build? Add to your toolbox? Why or why not?
FE295 - INFINITE POSSIBILITIES
A sampling of what prior students have said about this course ....
Another great class with Andrea! The best money I've spent on myself in a very long time! Can't wait for the start of her next class. Wendy G.
Love the fact this course was run as a silver only. Think this platform for more theory based courses works well and given the nature of what is being covered having a known group helps to create a greater support network in the course and people willing to actually open up honestly which is needed if this type of topic is going to be beneficial. Whilst my focus was possibly different to others Andrea has been amazing.
Although it was a self-directed class, the lectures were very thought-provoking. They generated considerable forum activity.
This course was fascinating, and it didn't exactly give me what I was thinking I would get - it gave me more! I learned things I didn't realise I needed to know, I was reminded of things that I had forgotten, and it really helped me to find ways to understand the emotions that can drive my behaviours and my choices, so that I can then make even better choices, both for me and my dog. Thanks Andrea! Amazing! Liz
Andrea is a very intelligent and caring person. And this class came along at just the right time to help me go through personal changes. And gave me lots of ideas to continue on. Love you!! Janet & Breeze
Thanks Andrea! I enjoyed your inspiration, encouragement and flexible thinking.
This class was by far the best Fenzi Academy class I've taken (and that's saying a lot as I have loved many!) Andrea's ability to tailor advice, suggestions, and support to individual teams is unparalleled and I learned so much about myself, ways to think about dog training (and life), and about others from this class. The small, closed nature of the class made for a fantastic safe and supportive atmosphere to share intimate details and personal struggles that would have been much harder (or impossible) to share in a typical course. Thank you Andrea for a wonderful course and FDSA for offering such a nontraditional training course! -Abby S.
This class is different than any of the other FDSA classes I've taken. Due to the self-directed learning format, it lends itself to all kinds of struggles - dog-related ones as well as non-dog-related ones. Andrea created a safe space where everyone was able and willing to share their thoughts, fears, and feelings. It was okay to be vulnerable, proud, or scared - Andrea always had an open ear for us, shared helpful strategies for our particular struggles, asked just the right questions, and deeply cared about every single one of her students. Chrissi S.
I love Andrea, and will continue to take classes with her. She got me through a really rough summer, and you can tell she truly cares about her students. I loved this class and the "choose your own adventure" format, everyone was able to get what they needed out of it and take advantage of Andrea's knowledge and compassion to improve themselves in their dog relationships and beyond!