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Spend the weekend doing what you want!

Have you ever spent a weekend, doing something completely different learning something new and been amazed about what you achieved by the end of that time? Well we have and after spending 20 hours working on our drawing abilities, everyone on the course has been knocked out about what we all achieved. Some of us, Stuart especially, always had the talent, but through so many knock backs and general comments from less than helpful family members, hadn’t really done much drawing until recently. Others, like myself, had not a clue what we were doing and totally astounded with our progress.

Thanks to a fantastic teacher Joe from Drawing Fastlane we all made progress, but we all found the best thing was the chance to focus on something new to learn, and have permission not do anything else instead. Storm Damien was blowing badly yesterday, but we all just gone on with our portraits and 7 hours later they were done. Maybe not ready for Sky portrait artist of the year yet, but we all had a lovely time and loved the fact that we couldn’t/didn’t want to do anything else. Great fun, learning something new or maybe remembering when we were kids and didn’t care what others thought of what we drew.

This is what I learnt from last weekend – our inner critic is nastier than anyone else around. But and it is a big but, if we spend all our time worrying what others think, you will never, ever succeed in doing something that makes you proud. These nasty little comments eat away at you and you will never do anything. People are horrid, sometimes aren’t they? And the second thing that I learnt is that we all need time and patience to learn something new. Peace and quiet and to give us permission to take that time out.

All the participants that attended the course, there were 11 of us, led busy lives and you could see on Friday afternoon, the guilt of having stopped working and not doing something (more) important. I was one of them but did leave my phone in my bag. But others were checking their phones and answering emails for quite a time. Gradually as we became more engrossed in the challenges set, time just flew by and everyone stopped worrying about what was going on outside. By lunchtime on Sunday, our tutor had to make us take a break and get some lunch, as we all just wanted to get on with our portraits.There was not one person on the course who didn’t improve, I had a lot to learn and improve on as the first effort should never be seen. But what I heard was that everyone enjoyed the fact that they only heard encouragement and support and through that learnt so much more.

Don’t you think that should be the way with everything we do? Even teaching dogs, you need to offer support and encouragement. During the storm this weekend, and because we were away from the house most of the day, our dogs spent a lot of time alone, listening to Radio 2! But what they didn’t get from us, was our being there, doing things with them. Therefore, this morning, we went out and spent a good hour working with them. Teaching them and playing with them. I knew that just giving them a walk today wasn’t going to be enough. They needed interaction from us, and some brain games was just the answer. Of course, we had done things with them when we returned each day, but at 7 and 9 all they were really interested in was their dinner. Did make them work for it though – snuffle mats and hide and seek got them working but we were also tired, so both Stuart and I knew that to do too much when not feeling it ourselves wasn’t going to work. That’s the whole point, you need to be enjoying what you do with your dog too, otherwise, it will be useless.

If you need inspiration and want to teach something new, why not have a go at some Scentwork? It is a great exercise to teach your dog, you work as a team and they always win, as you have their rewards and the art of sniffing is their specialist subject. It has been proven that it is the sniffing that helps the dogs relax and not the finding – so a win, win. Your dog relaxes and you get peace and quiet. And after yesterdays storm, you can do it indoors and not feel guilty that your dog isn’t being neglected. Our next workshop is on Saturday 29th February at Hambledon, near Godalming and starts at 12.30 – for 3 hours. Come and learn all about the art of Scentwork and Detection - teach your dog on 29th February or learn how to teach others on 4th April. Get in touch soon to book


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