Friday, April 13, 2012

l is for leash

Forgive me if I digress for a moment but...I've been having some issues with my dog recently.

Famke and me

This has to do with deer in the back yard, her hunting instinct, and the fact that she weighs more than I do. So, a couple of weeks ago I engaged the assistance of an Alpha Dog Obedience Trainer. I felt good about the training but she didn't buy into it right away because for her, it meant that she was not allowed off her LEASH until she got things right. Somehow commands to "sit", "stay", and "come" did not measure up to her drive to explore her surroundings, to sniff at every blade of grass, every fallen acorn, and every stray twig outdoors…and to test every sofa, every bed, and every pillow indoors for softness and warmth.

But  the day I finally let her run off-LEASH for the first time since training started, I could see her spirits soar! The freedom literally “unLEASHed” her “puppiness”…her energy, joy, playfulness, and curiosity...

…which made me wonder what it is that LEASHES the creative spirit in us, when we get the urge to run and jump, to roll in the grass, to spin in circles and wags our tails…when we yearn to write or compose or act, to sing or dance…and instead we trot along obediently because something has us by the neck.

Is it fear of failure, criticism, or ridicule that holds us back? Is it lack of time, the absence of support, or self-doubt that reins us in? There comes a time when we have to look these masters in the eye and say, “Look, it’s time for you to set me free. There’s more to life than mindless obedience and following the same cautious path day after day.”

I took Famke off her LEASH but as writers, it’s up to us to take our own LEASHES off…no one can do it for us. The creative spirit sometimes needs to explore a different path, to wander off for a while, to scratch the places that itch, to chase an elusive dream. And then, at the end of the day to come home to a good meal and a soft, warm bed.

What is it that has you on a LEASH?

“When we put our artist on too tight a LEASH,
 it fights us like a spirited animal.
When we allow it a little freedom,
it often cooperates with us nicely.”
--Finding Water by Julia Cameron--
In my next post, I'll talk about tapping into the MAGIC.


  1. oh, Famke is simply gorgeous :)
    Interesting word leash, I used the word noose this morning to describe what happens when we buy into the myth that hyper-consumption can and will make us happy. Instead it's led many of us to become addicted; it's a bit like being on a leash ... they tug at us when they advertise yet another "must have" fashion accessory, car, phone or whatever, and we tag along dutifully.
    Sue: An A-Z of Climate Matters

  2. I think time constraints keep me on a leash sometimes.

  3. Sue--I totally agree. I just returned from a missions trip to Tanzania where we treated people who get by on next to nothing. I'm still having trouble merging back into our culture of hyper-consummerism. I blog about the experience at