UNLEASHED (at work & home) with Colleen Pelar
Trusting Yourself - Laura Gendron, CPDT-KA

Trusting Yourself - Laura Gendron, CPDT-KA

December 3, 2020
Have you ever had a piggy bank? Do you remember putting coins into it and listening to them rattle around?
Did yours have a plug in the bottom that you could open to remove money or did you have to break it open? Wasn't it amazing that the money that took so long to accumulate could disappear so quickly?

A piggy bank (or a marble jar) is a great metaphor for trust. Trust is built slowly over time. And, if you aren't careful, can be lost in a moment.

It's likely that you are extremely trustworthy in your commitments to others, but you may be prone to letting yourself down. And that's a betrayal of the worst kind.

Learning to keep your commitments to yourself is a foundational key to creating a life you love (so much so that we spent a full month getting better at honoring personal commitments in UNLEASHED Resilience in October).

Laura Gendron, CPDT-KA, and I had a wide-ranging discussion in which we looked a trust from a variety of angles. Since reliability is such a key factor in trust, we explored ways of setting yourself up for success, including internal and external forms of motivation and reinforcement.

As I often joke, everything in life relates to dog training, and we certainly proved that true with this conversation. 😄  https://colleenpelar.com/87

Check out Susan Friedman's episode on UNLEASHED (at work & home) about being a bold learner. She often uses the piggy bank analogy as well.

If you're eager to learn more, check out Atomic Habits, James Clear's excellent book about building habits by making behaviors obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying, and Brene Brown's work, including The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring GreatlyBraving the WildernessRising Strong, and Dare to Lead

What, me worry?

What, me worry?

November 19, 2020

What should you do when you're worried?

Worry is one of the most common human emotions. You come from a long line of worriers because worriers are survivors. 

But most of the problems we face in modern society don't threaten your survival, so your brain's worry mode can actually work against you.

In this episode, we'll explore why we worry and the skills you can develop to worry less and focus on problem solving. https://colleenpelar.com/86

Loving Kindness: A Simple Meditation with Powerful Benefits

Loving Kindness: A Simple Meditation with Powerful Benefits

November 5, 2020

Loving kindness meditations (also commonly known as LKM or metta) are the act of sending kindness, warmth, and goodwill toward others.

The concept is simple, but the benefits are profound. Loving kindness is a great way get started with meditation without having to sit still or be calm.


Pain- Jen Shryock

Pain- Jen Shryock

October 22, 2020

Pain is a powerful teacher.

No one enjoys pain. Physical pain. Emotional pain. By its very definition, it hurts.

And yet, pain can also bring unexpected gifts. It can narrow and focus your attention to point out what you truly value.

Pain offers you the opportunity to look at situations from a new perspective, to make different choices, and to be more grateful for all that you have.

In this episode, Jennifer Shryock, CDBC, and I discuss some of the insights she's had while awaiting spinal surgery. (This episode was recorded several weeks ago. Jen is now recovering well!) https://colleenpelar.com/84

Aggression - Michael Shikashio

Aggression - Michael Shikashio

September 25, 2020

Behavior deteriorates under stress.

That simple statement has been in most of my presentations, regardless of whether I’m talking about dogs or people. It’s a key idea that we need to keep in mind for reducing behavior we don’t like and creating better responses.

Michael Shikashio is well known for his work with aggressive dogs. To shake things up a bit, I invited him to join me in a conversation about aggressive behavior … in people.

The human brain is more sophisticated than the canine brain. People often point to our bigger brains as evidence that we are more evolved, more rational, and more thoughtful about our behavior.

It’s a nice story, but the vast majority of our behavior springs from the limbic system, the center of our emotions. Aggression is closely tied to emotion. And it can be a powerful tool for getting what we want—in the short term, it works!

But the risks of aggression outweigh the rewards. Aggressive behavior breaks down trust and communication. It destroys rapport. We’re a social species; we need good relationships with others before we can truly thrive.


Transformation - Ann Waterbury, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB, CNWI, CDBC

Transformation - Ann Waterbury, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB, CNWI, CDBC

September 10, 2020


That's such a powerful question. None of us can be guaranteed an easy life or one without risk--no matter how much we may wish for safety and certainty.

And, knowing that, we're faced with choices that require introspection: What would you like to have happen? And are you brave enough to go for it?

Ann Waterbury, CPDT-KA, UW-AAB, CNWI, CDBC, talked with me about the transformation and living life without regrets.

Tell us, what do you feel called to do?


Change - Jenny Blake

Change - Jenny Blake

August 27, 2020

Jenny Blake is the author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One. I invited her to come on UNLEASHED (at work & home) because we're all in state of flux these days. Every pet professional is being asked to change standard ways of doing business, and it's stressful. But it can also be exciting.

Jenny likes to think of this as "radical reimagining." What possibilities do you see when you lean into your intuition and judgment?

Gavin de Becker's book, The Gift of Fear, does a great job of explaining how your senses are always communicating with you to keep you safe--when you don't override them with logic or a need to be perceived as nice or polite. 

You know the power of these gifts. You need to rely them daily in your work with animals. But do you trust them to guide you in your interactions with other people? With yourself?

Sometimes you'll get caught in a frustrating loop, wondering "What is wrong with me? Shouldn't I be happy?" You may even get sucked into a spiral of guilt or feel powerless to make changes.

You don't need to feel guilty. And you aren't powerless. 

During this time of tremendous change, take this opportunity to explore what you want for your life ... and what's getting in the way.

Jenny and I discussed the power of Byron Katie's books, including Loving What Is and A Mind at Home with Itself. Byron Katie is most known for her four pivotal questions that can help you shift your mindset and discover new options:

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  • How do you react when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without the thought?

Becoming more aware of your thoughts (whew, so many thoughts!!!!) and learning to broaden your perspective are two of the most valuable life skills anyone can develop. If you'd like some support with this, let's talk!

Isolation - Marci Kirk, DVM

Isolation - Marci Kirk, DVM

July 30, 2020

You are not alone; it just feels that way.


Have you ever received a complaint that undermined your confidence? Ever gotten a bad review that made you doubt your skill? It's a terrible experience, isn't it? 


Complaints are a common occurrence these days. And in most cases, the complaint says more about the complainer than the complainee. But when you're the focus on the compliant, it's scary, unsettling, and, often, lonely. 


In this episode, Marci Kirk, DVM, shares her experience with a Board licensure complaint and how developing the courage to share her experience made the whole situation better.


Community is a big piece of resilience. Finding your people--the ones who will cheer your wins and remind you of your strength when you struggle--is key. There's incredible power in working together. Great groups make it easier for each person to make changes and grow. 


If you are a pet pro looking for a safe, supportive community that will help you grow into your best self, check out the Positive Changes small-group coaching program. You are not alone. Together we are stronger. https://colleenpelar.com/positive-changes

Relationships - Laurie Williams, CPDT-KA, CPT CDTI

Relationships - Laurie Williams, CPDT-KA, CPT CDTI

July 16, 2020

"You love dogs. I love dogs. Let's talk about that."

There's incredible power in finding common ground and using that to build a foundation for growth.

Laurie Williams, owner of Pup N' Iron Canine Enrichment Center, joined me to talk about the power of relationships for improving results. She shared her ideas of how pet professionals can improve their communication with clients--and also with other pet professionals.

What would the world look like if we put the same care and attention toward our fellow humans as we give to animals?

It requires effort and intention, but the benefits are profound.You'll get new ideas, fresh perspectives, and a healthy dose of reality when you spend time truly connecting with others. ​

You win. They win. We all win. Together.

Spirituality - Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA, PMCT, and Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CPDT-KA, CDBC,

Spirituality - Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA, PMCT, and Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CPDT-KA, CDBC,

June 11, 2020

THERE'S NO LIMIT ON COMPASSION ... This is the recording of a live interview recorded on May 21, 2020. It predates George Floyd's death and the dramatic events that have followed. And yet the theme and discussion are timely and resonate deeply in this moment.

Laura Dorfman, CPDT-KA, PMCT, and Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CPDT-KA, CDBC, are both meditation leaders and I invited them to discuss the broad concept of spirituality from a non-religious perspective.

They shared thoughts about how having a sense of connection to others, to the world at large, to nature, to movement, to life allows you to bear witness, be present, and help ease the pain of others while simultaneously allowing you to experience greater peace and joy. https://colleenpelar.com/78

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