Second Collar Training - Mind
Every day, from moment to moment, your human mind is building an image of who it thinks it is. Just being a human being in society requires judging constantly, creating a self, a personality, a facade to use to interact and engage with other humans. We filter everything we do through a lens of the "I", the self we are trying to be. This "I", this "me" is reinforced every moment by us as we like and dislike things, anything and everything. We convince ourselves that in fact this facade, this self we create is actually who we are, it's the real me. But it is simply a construct from your choices, your judgements. By the time you have finished reading these words you have judged them, processed them as to how they apply to you, reinforced who this "you" is. Before you become a pup, you have to know recognise this is what a human is. And to think, to have a mind that creates a self, is to be human. Let's try and make a human pup.
Being a pup means letting go of your human self, who you imagine yourself to be, letting go of judging and thinking and attempting to control the world and be someone. A pup is just a pup, a raw natural animal, naked and exposed to the world and ready to explore and experience with his senses. Being a pup means not knowing, being open to experience without having to judge, to categorise. A pup doesn't take things personally, since he is not a person. He feels, he reacts, and he stays in the moment. It is play, it is simple experience without feeling judged or social pressure to conform or be a human being.
Letting go and becoming a pup means not dwelling on something, not fixating on your human issues and experiences, and being able to pass by what comes into your brain from your human mind. It is more like witnessing, observing, passing through experiences as a pup and going with the flow - instead of being a human who should be acting or doing something.
Your human mind at this point may already be offering rational counter arguments and concerns to what you have just read. That's what a human mind does. It's healthy to do. Know that the pup training and protocols, your handler and trainer are there to protect you as a pup when you are in the pup mindset. That is in fact their major purpose. Mind Training is about creating the Pupspace we talked about in FCT Mind.
Your 'mind', whether pup or human, is nothing more than the space your thoughts occur in. Thoughts arise, then they leave, all in the same location or place - your mind. As a human you are accustomed to clamping down on each thought as it occurs, and mulling over them. You are constantly tricking yourself into believing that what you are thinking is you, the real self of you; that the current contents of what you are thinking are relevant to whom you are, and related to your self. This can be quite nice when its romantic or esteem building, being able to feel proud of an accomplishment or receive affection. But it is destructive and hurtful when we are afraid, or anxious. We can think about what could be scary, and then experience fear. It is how humans work. Great for building a complex society and reaching the moon, not so good for relaxing and being at ease.
For a pup, the pup mind is called the pupzone, and it is that very same mind you have as a human, just that you have cleared some area in the mind to make pupspace. This pupzone is a clean slate where you experience things anew, where you don't try to think constantly, where you don't focus and create complexity. A pup keeps it simple, and just does what a pup does. That comes from being in the pupzone, having an open and relaxed and unstructured pup space in your head. You can do that by letting go of all the thinking like "is this stupid?", or "what will people think of me?" just as obvious examples. As a pup you seek to experience the world in a natural, unforced, non-judgemental way.
Creating and developing your pupzone requires work. It happens over time, not immediately. As you keep at developing it, your pupspace gets bigger, stronger, and more relaxing to inhabit. In your First Collar you learnt to begin creating a pupspace when alone. Now it is time to be in pupspace in the presence of your Owner and Trainer, using the same technique of acknowledging thoughts and then dismissing them.
Each time you acknowledge a thought in your mind space, just noting that is what you are thinking - such as "there's being scared", or "there's craving attention" - it weakens the human focusing on the thoughts, and helps clear some space in your mind for your pupzone to inhabit. It is important to acknowledge, just note the thoughts as they happen, not suppress or fight them. If you try and push them down, or away, you are simply going to end up being affected by them later in ways you may not like. It is best to simply recognise and acknowledge the thoughts and feelings and then act as if they have no importance. "That's me worrying" you think, followed by a calm moment as you acknowledge it, then continue to follow your trainers instructions, or simply just play and explore.
Often as people...I must interrupt to be completely honest here...almost all the time as people we don't even recognise how deeply we have identified with our mood or state of mind because we are seeing the whole world from inside it. I think sad thoughts, I am sad, why don't you understand my sadness, why am I so alone...etc. Do not make the rookie mistake of thinking the pupzone is just a horny happy place. That is human thinking, not puppy thinking. A Sirius pup is more than just a guy with a hood on. It is incredibly positive to be in the pupzone. But you can't create a proper and effective pupspace from simply fixating some emotions on it.
Being a pup means letting go of your human thoughts, simply relaxing into the moment as a pup, and going with the flow of the handler and pack. The end goal is to have a pupspace in your mind that is not your human identity, and does not respond as your human self.
If you have any concern about your mental processes regarding pup play consider these two salient points. One, you are the one in control of your thoughts and mind at all times. Two, no matter how hard you try you are not going to overcome human thinking and dismiss it entirely - you're a human pup. The mind training is to help create a pupspace alongside your human mental space, that is all.