In the middle of August, I made an agreement with Mother Nature and Great Spirit that I would share daily messages I receive from animals and nature to help get the word out about the interconnection of all of life – people, earth, animals, water, spirit. I receive most of the messages while walking and I post the messages on Instagram and Facebook. The messengers share their wisdom, compassion, and love with us.
Today while walking with ash falling from the sky from wild fires I was pondering, “How much more can we take?” There is so much going on in the world today with the natural disasters, the political strife, the talk of nuclear arms (just to name a few). Then, couple this with the full moon and mercury finally out of retrograde and it feels as if we are all in a pressure cooker, that has an extra helping of fear mixed in with everything else, and it is going to explode.
Then I heard Mother Nature extend an invitation to each and every one of us to come out into nature, in which every way feels comfortable to you and feel the earth under your feet. Stop, breathe in, listen, look, drink in nature.
She also invites to set your intentions for the day or the moment to assist you in orienting to the truth within not the external noise. I did this yesterday as my head was swimming from paint fumes, smoke inhalation, Trump’s crazy ways, and influence of the full moon. I felt disoriented and downtrodden. I went down to the beach and walked while praying and talking to Mother Earth and Spirit. When I put my feet in the water and set my intentions speaking them aloud and I also released that which no longer served me and stood in my way. I left feeling invigorated, hopefully, and renewed.
I advise you accept Mother Natures invitation she knows how to attend to her guests. Let her healing qualities reset you. For she wisely counsels:
“When you are out in nature you can get in touch with your own true nature.”
Nineteen years ago today my mantra was, “My body knows how to give birth and this baby knows how to be born.” I surrendered to the wisdom of my body and the innate knowingness of my son and allowed the birthing process to naturally unfold. Eight hours later, he was born in a birthing tub at home surrounded by friends and family. Reflecting back on that incredible experience I realize that my acknowledging my body’s ability and not trying to micromanage what or how it should happen I was able to trust the process. I am not going to lie at times it was excruciatingly painful and yet at the same time, I knew that there would be an end result a beautiful baby would eventually be in my arms.
My labor experience gave me an understanding that our bodies are incredible vessels that have capabilities beyond our wildest imaginings. Communicating telepathically with other beings and using your intuition were capabilities everyone was able to do easily as children – preverbally. As we became verbal, more emphasis was placed on the mental aspect of communicating and telepathy took a step back. But, like any instrument that you may have played before, it just requires picking it back up finding the right chords and practicing to play your favorite song again. Our bodies are highly-tuned, telepathic sending and receiving instruments that are in constant communication with all of life. To strengthen it, all it requires is trusting it, acknowledging, and celebrating your body for receiving the information. After giving birth, I was in awe and wonder with my body and was in constant communication with it celebrating its capability to create, sustain, grow, and birth a child.
My body has cellular memory of the birthing process. I am grateful for this embodied knowing to help navigate the huge bump-up in energy from the eclipse, the invitation to expand, and find the balance between light and dark within as well as externally. I will, like in childbirth, surrender to the wisdom of my body and the innate wisdom it has of knowing what needs to be released in order for me to birth a new way of being. To support myself through this transformation, I will be in awe and wonder with my body and celebrate its capability to create, sustain, grow, and birth a new me. My new mantra is, “My body knows how to give birth to this new way of being and my Spirit knows how to be reborn.” My invitation to you is how can you surrender to the wisdom of your body to allow it do it’s thing and support you through this energetic time. What will your mantra be?
A family of beavers lives in a pond right off the Puget Sound, very close to my home. Recently, a friend and I visited it in hopes of catching a glimpse of these industrious animals. In the dusk of a smokey sky with a red setting sun, my dog eagerly explored a shrub on the bank of the pond to my amazement a beaver sauntered out and glided into the water. We observed this beaver silently glide along the edge of the pond, stopping here and there but always continuing on to complete a full circle of the pond.
He then came over to swim in the middle of the pond and give us a private audience. I introduced myself to him and gave him great thanks for swimming by us and let him know how excited I was to finally see him. For years I have been stopping by the pond in the mornings observing his handiwork from the night before and collecting wood chips from his night snacks for my sacred fires. I know the beaver as grand architects and teachers of how to design and efficiently build our lives.
As he swam in circles in front of us I asked him in relation to the phrase “Busy Beaver, did he have any wisdom to share with the humans on how to be as efficient when we are all as busy as beaver, too?”
His response was like a wise elder speaking to a young person, “Slow down and take the time to survey and relish the silence. ”
Summer is full of vacations and trips that often do not include the animals – which is sometimes great for us but not for them.
To make this easier, the animals have simple requests. Some of them I’ve listed below to help you and your animals have a better time apart:
Enjoy your vacation and connecting with your animals long distance.
Everyone will be happier upon your return!
When my dog is chasing a ball, or I am asking him to do something with a treat in my hand, his focus is like a laser. His focus always brings to mind the concept that energy flows where attention goes. Focusing is one of the key components to animal communication. To be able to give them a clear understanding of what you want is made easier by setting your intention and clarifying thoughts. For example, if I am wanting him to get off the couch and stay off the couch, I will give him the command “off” and yet, I am thinking with a whole lot of frustration, “I know this rascal. As soon as I turn my back, he is going to jump right back on the couch.” Well, guess who will be sitting on the couch all day? Because he was listening to the energy and there was more flow of energy to my thoughts of him jumping on the couch, Prince will be sitting on the couch.
Who can resist those gorgeous brown eyes and black floppy ears? I must. I want him off. my. couch.
So, using focus, how would I communicate to him that the couch is off limits. The first step is by taking some time to gain clarity about why I want him off the couch and where he is welcome to lounge instead.
To go through my thought process: I want him off the couch because it is starting to smell like dog. I want him off the couch because he is dirty and he is making the couch dirty. I want him off the couch so every time I sit down I don’t go into the “Ahh, it smells like dog…I need to clean…I need to give him a bath…” and start to create a whole lot of frustration around this with a whole lot of energy. Basically, I want him off the couch because I want him off the couch. I observe I have a lot of frustration around it and I start beating myself up that I should have never let him on the couch or if I was a better dog trainer he’d never be on the couch, etc. Basically, a lot of stuck energy around this couch and that stuck energy flairs up when I see him on the couch.
Now, where do I want him to lounge instead? There are a variety of places he can lounge, his bed, the floor, the porch, the yard – just not on the couch.
How will I feel when he is lounging other places than the couch? I will feel happy that my couch is no longer a dog bed. I feel comfortable when people come over that my house is clean. I will feel more at ease when people are over that he will not jump up and join them on the couch. I just realized by allowing him to lounge on the couch, the couch is basically his territory and having people sitting on it is invading his space. Allowing him to lounge on it is a disservice to him by expecting him to be welcoming of people in his bed.
Having taken the time to clarify what I do want, I have a new focus with him and the couch – it is for him to learn to stay off the couch. I will focus my attention and intention on letting him know his job is to find new places to lounge and I will back those thoughts of my feeling of happiness in seeing him comfortably sprawled out on the floor. I can now firmly tell him “off” while I am thinking about him comfortably laying on his bed or laying on the floor. Focusing on his new job will make it easy to re-orient his lounging and it is not fueled by the frustration and big energy of “GET OFF THE #*#@ COUCH.” I can now firmly tell him “off” while I am thinking about him comfortably laying on his bed or laying on the floor.
One of my million dollar ideas to accomplish the no-Prince-on-the-couch-rule is to somehow bottle my dogs’ focus and create an elixir. This elixir will increase focus and efficiency with minimum effort mixed in with a whole lot of fun. I will use this magical elixir to create a routine when trying to get him off the couch. I will deliver this new routine with the same focus and attention he has on the ball when we are playing. His intensity to find the ball is coupled with the enthusiasm of the game. Now, can I make staying off the couch just as fun with my focus? The opportunity is to focus and master the feeling he has when playing ball of “come on, come on, throw the ball!” to “come on, come on, on the floor!” and coupling it with the excitement he has quivering through his body when he bounds off to find the ball. I will couple my focus of “on the floor” with the excitement of seeing him lounging on the floor. Once I master this, you are invited over for a nice chat on my clean comfortable couch.
At the Animal Communication Basics class in Durango, Colorado, we discussed the different ways of visualizing changes in animal companion behavior. We explored the many lines of communication that we are constantly receiving from our animals and constantly sending to our animals – though in both cases, we may not be aware of it.
One of the lines of communication is through Emotion. You and your beloved animal companion are sending and receiving each other’s feelings and emotions. You may sense their dismay when you sit down to watch TV instead of going for a walk with them. You may be sending emotions unconsciously which could mean that behavioral challenges might be arising. Take for example you want to walk on the bike path but you are afraid of your dog chasing the bikes (which he has in the past and it did not go well). Over time, you have a created a considerable amount of fear tied up with this exercise. Now, when you walk on the path you are emanating fear and it is tied to the picture of a bike. Your dog receives this message and understands that you are afraid of bikes and they become the enemy. He sees a bike and chases it to try to chase away the fear that you hold and you become even more fearful. Now, it is a catch twenty-two.
Since you have been stuck in a fear cycle around the bike, there needs to be a big energetic shift within you. It starts by beginning to send them a picture of what you do want when a bike goes by. Thoughts get switched into pictures so don’t worry about sketching out what you want, instead imagine watching the scenario you want to play out like a film. For example, you are both walking on the path with the leash loosely held and a bike is approaching. The two of you notice the bike, while the leash is still loose, your body is calm, and he is calm. As the bike approaches, you both are still calmly walking, stopping to smell the bushes or take a pee, etc. Then, the bike passes you as you two are still walking, disinterested in the presence of the bike and biker, with the leash loose between you. When the bike passes, you praise him and let you know how you like walking on the path with him when all is calm. He will feel your calm presence and enjoy walking.
Often during my class or animal communication sessions when I can sense that there is a behavioral challenge, I will invite you to reflect upon what emotion you may be sending out that may trigger this response and then start imagining what you do want instead. Sending images of how you want the situation to go is far more effective and allows you to start rewriting the movie.
In my many years of working with clients and their animals, I have heard numerous times from animal companions an encouragement, if you will, for their humans to tend to themselves (or treat themselves) like a beloved pet.
I have been exploring this idea: what does it mean to treat ourselves as well as we treat our animals? The animals hold compassionate, unconditional love for us and it is reciprocated by dedicated human companions spending countless hours a week exercising, feeding, playing with and loving up their animals. We take the time to really get to know and understand our beloved animals and what makes them happy.
Can we accept the invitation they have given us and learn to have compassionate, unconditional love for ourselves? Can we meet ourselves and patiently explore what makes us happy? Can we accept ourselves, as we do our pets, when they are doing something we don’t like? How easily we shake our heads and think, “Ah, he is so Charlie.”
In the past, when I was doing something I didn’t like, such as eating just one more piece of chocolate, fully knowing it will start the sugar crash and loss of focus, the inner critic would come out in full force and I would lambast myself about my chocolate consumption. A typical inner critic tirade would be “What is wrong with me? Don’t I have any willpower? Certainly,, I do not want to succeed?” Usually, I would end up feeling worse and agree with that inner critic and turn towards more chocolate – commiserating it is hopeless anyway – and might as well enjoy something like chocolate when amongst all this misery. In this scenario, there is no shaking my head and thinking, “Ah, I am so Neave.”
To replay that scenario from a compassionate unconditional love place for myself. In those moments of the chocolate oblivion, there is the opportunity to curiously ask , “Can I tenderly question myself about what am I feeling, truly feeling in those moments of mindlessly reaching for one more handful of chocolate that is the tipping point? Do I have the willingness to explore why the chocolate holds such allure for me? Can I admit in those moments I am struggling and that it hard and I just want to zone out and chocolate is the fast trapdoor out?” With each answer, can I still stay present with myself and accept the answers…Not analyzing, criticizing, ridiculing but actually be present with self and my experience and love myself through it. My dog helps me practice this every day, especially when he watches me struggling with self-doubt/guilt. He provides support, non-judgment, and ease – shaking off whatever negativity surrounds me.
Getting to this compassionate space was highlighted for me during a conversation I had with a dachshund and his person. I heard his voice quite clearly and he had a thick accent. The love he had for his person was incredible – it was different than other love I have witnessed between animals and their humans. This was a romantic, adoring love. As we finished up the conversation I asked him if he could teach me on how to allow such deep love to flow from my heart. He agreed and asked me to show him the love I had for my husband. I let it flow and then he said “Your poor husband.” After much laughter – he asked me to show him the love I had for my children which I did – “Ah, lucky kids.” Then he asked me to show him the love I had for myself. Upon witnessing my self-love he replied like a wise, old elder, “This is the place of your personal inner work. Can you learn to love yourself and be compassionate with yourself? For then the love will flow easily to others.”
Since that conversation, I have been on a journey of learning to love myself. It has been a journey of getting to know myself and letting go of many old beliefs, limitations and thought forms that defined me a certain way. Shattering the old patterns that suppressed my creative self-expression. The inner judge and inner critic do not have the reins to my life anymore as I turn towards myself and lovingly accept who I am. It is meeting myself as witness and observer asking tender questions for greater understand. It has been a journey on a road filled with potholes and detours to old ways of being that tries to keep me sidetracked and the only way back to myself is through loving self-compassion.
Holding a space for myself, like the animals hold from me, full of goodwill as I turn towards myself searching for a greater understanding and willingness to listen and take care of what is needed to bring me peace…And sometimes that means taking a nap in the sunshine.
One thing I like about having conversations with animals is witnessing the way animals so lovingly present their human’s with observations about particular habits. The observations are full of compassion and love. They are delivered without judgment and often are full of curiosity. Inviting their people into a safe space for exploration and awareness.
I once asked a horse, Dante, “Can you give me a reflection of what I am doing with my inner authority?” It was a beautiful spring day and he was out in the paddock grazing on all the fresh new green grass that had just been pushing its way through. I leaned back against a tree just 5 feet from him watching him graze when another horse came over and took a dump basically right in front of Dante. The other horse wandered off and Dante stopped grazing and walked over to the steaming manure and starting sniffing each manure ball. He was so focused on sniffing and going over each manure ball with each nostril for what seemed like five minutes when I finally I asked Dante, “What is going on?” He lifted his head and looked me in the eye and I heard “You spend a lot of looking at the shit instead of looking at the beauty around you.” He then went back to grazing. I was doubled over laughing – another reason I love talking with the animals they make me laugh. What he said was true. As I quieted, I allowed the truth of his words to ripple into my consciousness into my being into my knowing.
Then I instantly asked him “Can I offer you some Reiki?” He went straight over to the manure again and started sniffing. I heard him say “More shit. Why do you think you have that to do something in return? Just allow yourself to receive.” This time it was not laughter but tears that had me doubled over. Again, I quieted and allowed the truth of his words ripple into my consciousness, into my being, into my knowing. I spent time with him in the paddock listening to his steady breathing, the chomping of his grazing, the switching of his tail. Just being by his steady presence, my inner authority went through a big transformation that day, all thanks to Dante and a manure pile. Sometimes when I am in the middle of something or feeling stuck I hear his words or see him, or smell manure and I self-correct and start looking at the beauty around me and start receiving.
Posted on June 16, 2017by neaveanimalsMany of you have known me and my practice as Neave Animals. My practice is now called HeartSong Communication. This name change came about in April 2016 when things had shifted greatly in my life. My marriage of 23 years was dissolving. I felt as if I was free falling and yet at the same time there was a quiet strength…for I had listened and honored my heart and it was leading with solid confidence.
Just a few days after we announced our separation to our kids and my husband had moved out of the house, I was walking with a wise friend who was holding space for me and my processing. I was talking about my hopes and dreams for my animal communication practice and how the name Neave Animals did not resonate anymore since it was not just me and animals, instead it is a whole host of spiritual beings and guides as well as the natural world that collaborates with me during each session between a client and their animal companions. I was lamenting about how Neave Animals was not the right name and wanting something more expansive, more descriptive, and yet I had been drawing a blank on what the new name was going to be. My friend casually asked me, “Well have you asked your practice what its name is?” That stopped me. Why hadn’t I thought of that? I talk to everything animals, trees, flowers. I understand everything has its own resonant energy and this knowledge is strengthened every time I locate a lost item within my house by just calling out to the item and listening for its response–maybe I am a part bat and using echolocation ;). So, of course, my practice would know what its name is.
Dropping into my center and putting my attention on being receptive and listening, I telepathically connected with my practice. I gave great thanks for all the assistance and collaboration over the years we had together under the name NeaveAnimals – I felt a flow of reciprocation in gratitude. I then simply asked, “What is the new name of my practice? If we are not NeaveAnimals anymore who or what are we?”
I heard “HeartSong Communication” true and clear. I was honored. There was no questioning, no hesitation, no doubting — just pure acceptance of this name. It defines the beautiful language of the heart where the animals communicate from and hold the space for us to meet them.
Since that walk, I have been questioning and gaining clarity about HeartSong Communication and how it can be of service to the world. I am excited to share with you what HeartSong is all about.
HeartSong’s vision is to support embodiment and listening to the song of the heart the intuition. Celebrating the web of life and the interconnectedness of all by bringing awareness to the human body is a telepathic transmitting and receiving station communicating with all of life and beings including our beloved animal companions, plants, nature, spiritual and divine guidance.
HeartSong’s mission is to deepen the animal and human relationship through interspecies dialogue, healing, classes, and ceremony.
HeartSong’s purpose is open sacred space for interspecies dialogue wit the intention of clarity, alignment, healing, balance, and harmony.
HeartSong’s purpose is to be a voice for the animals by listening deeply and communicating their truth, observations, suggestions, desires, questions, concerns and……
HeartSong’s purpose is to be the human representative and voice for the spiritual resources and support available for each being in the conversation and bring awareness to all that is available for each person.
HeartSong’s purpose is support people in strengthening their innate intuitive abilities so they can communicate with their beloved animal companions.
I am full of gratitude for each and every opportunity I have to open sacred space and be part of the conversation with people and their animals. Each animal is as different as each person and the wisdom and teachings they have to share with their humans blow my mind. The common factor in each conversation is the strong foundation of love and deep heart connection that flows freely and strong between animal and human. I am honored to be able to listen to the shared songs of the heart.
The past few weeks I have witnessed and marveled at a pair of Juncos, a ground nesting bird, who built a nest a foot away from my house in an overgrown strawberry bed. I was impressed at the bravery of these birds to build in such a busy yard with kids, dogs and the constant coming and goings so close to them. I only became aware of the nest when I was determined to weed out the bed and when I began two birds flew out and sat above me berating me and twittering with great irritation. I ceased what I was doing and sat back to observe. Reluctantly after an age of waiting, they darted in among the strawberries to nestle down. The next morning when they were off feeding I was able to get a look at the nest a beautifully woven nest of grass. In an effort to protect them I put up a wire fence to keep the dog from foraging for strawberries, for it is truly his strawberry bed. The spigot was directly over the nest and when I had to turn on the water I would approach slowly, announcing myself gently and sharing my intentions. The bird would fly up and observe me – chirping away at me. Watering became a chance to see the development of the three little chicks that hatched. These three never peeped – often their mouths would be open bright red chicks with a bright yellow rim around the beak it looked like a target of where to deposit the food.
For me when juncos appear in my garden it is a marker of late Autumn for that is when they return to the urban yards from their summers in the woods and forests. So I was curious why they had decided to nest in my yard? Leaning back into being open and receptive to the teaching of these birds I understood that they were given me a beautiful template of how to tend to sacred space for myself amid chaos. This was valuable for me since I am navigating many milestones in my life right now as my parenting role is shifting with my son graduating from high school and my daughter is entering her teen years as well as my recent divorce and I am converting my basement to an Air BnB space.
The nest was the sacred space they had created within a busy yard right outside of a ground level window where all the construction was taking place. Yet, they tended that sacred space and those three chicks diligently. Delivering food, snuggling down on them when it was cool and hiding in the strawberries when it was too hot to be on the nest. I understood that through all this upheaval I could tend to self and my needs as beautifully as these juncos were tending to their chicks. That when I felt overwhelmed by so much at once I could take a few moments to regroup, seek refuge and give myself a little distance like the juncos did in by being near the nest but not on the nest. Even though their ground nest was vulnerable this pair had chosen a great yard to create a nest since my dog makes sure cats dare not enter. Another lesson of choosing when I and where I wanted to share my vulnerabilities and making sure I am that I am tending and protecting my heart. Also, when the crows were sitting on the wires watching the yard the juncos did not go to their nest and their chicks did not make a peep all to protect the whereabouts of the nest. Another lesson for me about honoring the sacred space – holding it with reverence and care for the place for me where I can feel safe, loved and free to be myself.
In my ongoing quest to understand animals as teachers, I turned to the internet to see what others have learned about Junco as a totem animal. According to Shamanic Journey Juncos as totems:
The Junco will bring with it increased activity and opportunity, creating movement and change in one or more aspects of your life. You will be pushed into new avenues, with your strengths enhanced, as well as your shortcomings – it will be revealed how to blend everything together in a balanced harmonious style.
This was a good reminder for me that when I create that sacred space for myself and tenderly and compassionately nurture what is vulnerable at some point it will grow and take on a life of its own and blend harmoniously into my life.
Photo credit: BriarCraft via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC