Second Collar Training - Persona
Every pup is different, and to realise your own individual pup self we need to borrow an idea from the ancient Romans. They believed every person has a "Genius" - no, not what it means now in our modern world, rather the original definition. To the ancient Romans your Genius was a personal guardian spirit who watches out for your fate and helps shape your distinctive individuality. Referring back to FCT Persona, it is time to see that pup you visualised as your own guardian spirit, your Genius. And he wants you to be your own unique pup self!
This act of making a unique pup self is a creative task, and the benefit of being a creative pup is that it helps you as a human as well; your Genius leads your whole self to feeling fulfilled, accomplished, and having meaning to your life. So following your Genius pup spirit is very important! At this point it's vital for you to recognise that a Genius spirit is an imaginative construct of yours. Perhaps it has a spiritual dimension for you, but that is not necessary for puphood and is your own personal choice. The creative visualisation is the paramount action, the main thing for you to focus on.
Engaging with your Genius pup begins with by being creative and manifesting your own unique spirit. These activities and exercises that follow need to be all done, simultaneously No, not literally all together at once. Instead of doing one of the SCT Persona exercises, completing it, then moving on to another, you need to do some of one exercise, work on another, and engage with all the activities before completing any of them. There is a good reason for this - your brain works better being creative this way, since your internal talk in your head (those pesky human thoughts) will be serving as cross talk and actually be helpful. You can take ideas from one activity and see how they can work with another. Its what makes you smarter than a turtle and you should utilise this rather than avoid it. Also, it is important to do these exercises and activities alone. Don't go to anyone but your trainer for help. Your Genius is the guide who will help you, not someone else's spirit.
There are four activities to do for Second Collar Persona Training, not in any order, but to be done simultaneously.
Draw a picture of your pup self. It can be an ideal of what you imagine your pup self to be. It shouldn't be photorealism in style of you in your pup gear. It should be a vision of what you look like ideally, if you could magically make it happen. If you aren't an artist, then find a furry (anthropomorphic) picture that you really like and identify with. Recolour it, reshape it using Photoshop or another graphic editing program, till you feel it looks at least somewhat like your ideal self.
Make yourself comfortable and sit down with a notepad or pad. Compose, that is write, a poem about your pup self. If poetry is not your thing, then write a song. Everyone can write a song - we did it as children. If you find you aren't so lyrical, then find a song or poem you feel connected to as your pup self. Rewrite it, changing words to make that poem or song an expression of your own unique pup self.
Once again sit down and get comfortable, grabbing that notepad or keyboard. Write a short story as, or about, your pup self. You can do it as a series of diary or journal entries, talking about your fictional day as a your pup self. Or you can write it like a novel story, with a narrative. Here is a premise to help you do just that:
Imagine that your pup self decides to take off on a road adventure. Picture your preparations, what does he take, how does he travel, whether he has company along on the adventure, and any other details that will make the scene come alive in your mind. Then answer some questions to move the story along.
1: What is your pup leaving behind? A partner? A boring job? A stressful life? A family? A crime?
2: What is the primary emotion your pup experiences as he takes of on his adventure? Excitement? Fear? Anger? Relief? Indifference?
3: Your pup spots a hitch-hiker who doesn't look threatening. Do you.... Rush past and pass the hitch-hiker Slow down but decide against stopping? Stop, take a closer look, and then decide? Pick up the hitch-hiker and engage pleasantly with him? Pick up the hitch-hiker and engage warily with him?
4:Your pup then comes to a country town and is invited to drink with a group of the rough local boys, among them the town cop. Do you... Say no nervously and get out of there as quickly as possible? Say no reluctantly? Act non-committal so as to get away? Say yes reluctantly? Say yes enthusiastically?
5: At a rest stop, you strike up a conversation with another pup who, it turns out, is also on a road adventure. Do you... Slip away without saying goodbye? End the conversation warily and then go your own way? End the conversation reluctantly and then go your own way? Invite yourself on the other pups adventure? Invite the other pup to join you?
6: How does your road adventure end? You return home richer and wiser? You return home defeated and deflated? You arrive somewhere and start a new life? You arrive somewhere and repeat your old ways? You arrive somewhere, but only to pause before your next adventure?
Choose a project for the pack that results in something concrete being made, something that is useful to the pack. Can you craft leather? Can you design badges? Can you write code for a website? Can you work metal? Look to your skills and craft abilities and see what you can contribute.