I have been on a quest for a long time to learn to be present and embodied with the ease that the albatross has as he soars. Since yesterday, when I learned the short-tailed Albatross is on the endangered species list for Washington, they have been on my mind.
On my walk this morning I was pondering the ability of the albatross to sleep while flying as well as being able to go for days without flapping its wings. I imagined soaring with wings outstretched, being carried on the air currents and I felt buoyancy, trust, and effortless being-ness. It was a sensation of being supported and resourced at all times.
As I experienced this sensation I remembered the guidance a wise mentor recently gave me. She encouraged me when engaging in a new arena in life I need to allow the physical and spiritual resources to gather until I feel buoyed with the energy to move forward. It is just like the albatross soaring, navigating and sleeping on the air currents. (This same mentor reminded me that these resources are available all of the time, 24/7 and for every area of my life.)
When I shift out of presence or I go to sleep (figuratively) in what I am doing, I feel a contraction in my body. I freeze, thereby shutting off all access to my resources. I am no longer present. To return to the present and get out of contraction, I need to pause and remember my intention and call in my resources. As I wait for them to gather I stay in constant conversation with my body until I feel my nervous system relax. Once this happens, engaging becomes effortless instead of a push.
As I played with the sensation of the albatross navigating on its journey, I felt the slight tilt of the wing or movement of the body when the air currents shifted. The movements were subtle and automatic, no thinking involved, just the sense of deep presence, trusting the body and going with the flow.
I then imagined what would happen if the albatross contracted and pulled in his mighty wings when he felt a shift, instead of going with the flow. He would quickly plummet to earth or into the ocean if he did this.
Playing with the albatross energy of soaring, lightness, and going with the flow, compared to the energy contracting and plummeting, I realized that when I am contracted, it is my intention for where I want to be and my attention on what I need that become my mighty outstretched wings. These wings allow me to be supported and buoyed up in life.
Oh, mighty albatross thank you for such teachings of trust, navigating, and being present. I am honored to have you join my walk and give me wings to soar
Through my 10 years as an animal communicator, I have gained an understanding that our beloved animal companions are the family system therapists. Animals are masters at reading energy and they have a deep understanding of what is going on energetically within the family dynamic much like a herd of horses or a pack of wolves. They spend their lives in our worlds observing and responding to the energy, often taking on jobs within the family to keep the energy flowing: absorbing emotions of their people or acting out to get stuck energy moving, for example. From teachings from the Native Americans, I learned and believe that animals walk in balance on this earth. This belief is strengthened as these wise family system therapists share ways they see that balance can be brought back to the family or to their beloved person and the living environment.
During a conversation, animals have often requested smudging the house (including the yard). This is often requested if there have been a lot of changes in the family, such as a new job, death, divorce, emotional times, remodel or moving into a new space. The animals say they feel like they are literally swimming through discarded energy that is not serving any purpose. Since they don’t have the luxury of leaving every day they are sitting in this energetic build-up, or energetic sticky soup, all day and are eager to get out upon your return.
What Is Smudging?
Smudging is clearing the energy in the house to bring back the energy into balance. There are many techniques for smudging. The traditional technique is burning sage within an abalone shell and allowing the smoke to clear the space. But don’t let this stop you from smudging. There are many ways to get a house, a space yourself smudged without sage.
For example, one client summed it so nicely for her beloved animal companions “The energy in the house is like a toxic soup and we want the house to feel like a beautiful, clear, nourishing, light broth.” The animals wholeheartedly agreed. We did not have sage. So I guided her to set her intention on clearing the energy and bring in light. And we started in the corners of the basement and with waving our arms and repeating “Out with the Toxic Soup, in with the Nourishing Light.” We directed the energy from all the rooms out the windows and the door. As we came back in the dogs were settled and you could see the lightness in their eyes and the way they moved with ease.
Other ways to smudge and clear spaces according to the Spirit beings I work with and the animals:
This next technique in smudging requires in believing in angels and asking them for help. In many of my conversations with animals and clients, on behalf of the animals, I call on the angels who know about clearing spaces of stuck energy and ask them to clear the space. Animals often request that these angels attend to smudging daily. From my understanding of working with angels, we are each born with two guardian angels who are with us throughout our lives. And there are a host of other angels willing to help, but as humans, we have free will and the angels can only help if you request their help. According to Doreen Virtue – Angel Intuitive Therapist, “Your pets are surrounded by angels who bestow miracles upon you and them. In many ways, the animals act as angels for you and your loved ones.”
I invite you to start thinking about how the energy in your house feel and do a smudge to lighten clear the energy and bring in nourishing lightness. Or ask an angel to do it for you. Either way, your animals will thank you!
Check out links below to read more about smudging and why sage is a great way to smudge your space.
Do your beloved animal companions a favor today and spend some time today setting your family’s intention and do some energetic house cleaning around the new intentions. When I am speaking about the family I am including all humans and animals that cohabit together. The animals we share our lives with play an important part within the family unit, they are the family system analysts and therapists. They are masters at reading and feeling energy, understanding energy flows, where attention and intention go.
Setting a family intention is a guiding light for the family – something to re-direct focus back to if things start to get out of alignment. And the energetic housecleaning means to literally go through the house and state the new intention while smudging – clearing out old energy and tuning the house to the new intention. Our animal companions spend a majority of time in the house Imagine what it feels like for them sitting in old energy that is just filling up the floor space. Clearing the energy is a gift for them.
As I have journeyed through a separation and a divorce, the family unit plunged into chaos and everyone was out of sorts. Our dog was completely confused, grieving the pack as the kids went back and forth between houses. I shared very similar feelings and to find solid ground I began setting daily intentions for my family- (at times the family only consisted of my dog and myself then it would expand to include the kids when they spent the week with us). At the beginning just trying to finding ground was difficult so the intention I chose was “Balance”. As I focused setting my intention on “Balance”, certain opportunities arose that invited me to make choices to either fall back into the chaos or move forward toward “Balance”. As I made choices that promoted the balance within myself, in my life, and the house, my dog started to settle – he was not as anxious and confused. Finding balance for him meant walking with other dogs which I resisting, at first, as my walks are a sacred alone time where I am able to work out a lot of emotion. Yet, honoring the intention of balance and his strong need for being with other dogs actually helped bring more balance to my life because I realized it met my need for social interaction as well.
Take a moment to enjoy setting the intention for the family and smudging your space knowing that your animals are grateful for the clarity both in body and home.
I have been pondering gratitude and the expression of it on my long walks that Prince, my dog, invites me on. When we are in the woods and he is running with other dogs and chasing balls I can feel the gratitude radiating off him with his big smile on his face and his responsiveness. As well as in the evening after he and I have had a session of tug of war or wrestling he settles down with a happy sigh. Then as the evening progresses he will check in on what I am doing throughout the evening with more of a “Hey, now what’s going on?” attitude compared to an exasperated “When are we going to play?” sighing attitude.
His attitude of gratitude invokes more engagement with me. Curiously I wanted to explore the feeling of gratitude which leads me to a blog post about “What is Gratitude?” which explained
Gratitude is both a feeling and an attitude, thankfulness is the demonstrative expression of it, whether extended to ourselves or others. We can express thanks in words—spoken or written—or in deeds, by extending time, resources, or gifts to support people in unexpected ways or to help those in need. Appreciation is the recognition of that which makes us feel grateful, and can also be expressed internally or externally. Gratitude often ignites acts of generosity; we are moved to offer ourselves to others without expecting anything in return. Buddhists refer to generous acts that are freely given as “royal generosity.” These are just a few of the qualities related to gratitude. The expression of gratitude creates an opening that invites many other positive states and experiences into our lives.
Prince’s clear expression of gratitude does create an opening that is inviting more bonding moments even if it is just an ear rub and a kiss. His embodiment of gratitude is teaching me to be present in the moment of the expression of energy I am radiating out. Am I clearly communicating energetically and verbally my gratitude in the moment? And what does that feel like? Each situation may be different and I am starting to track the moments I feel most alive and full of gratitude. The times that are the easiest for me to track this feeling is during a conversation with the animals, healings, teaching or leading ceremonies and I am grateful in those moments because I am so present.
Now can I cross train myself to feel the gratitude and the aliveness when chopping vegetables for dinner? Or when I am in conversation with a person who has opposing views? Can I be present and not get lost in distraction and thoughts?
According to ANGELES ARRIEN From her book Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life
When people in great numbers choose to practice, integrate, and embody gratitude, the cumulative force that is generated can help create the kind of world we all hope for and desire, for ourselves and for future generations.
I am thankful that I share my life with Prince, who can teach me about being present and embodying gratitude and exuding it with great clarity in the moment. I can then help create the world based on gratitude, kindness, compassion, and equality.
So this brings me to my gratitude for my clients, students and teachers and their animal companions and for the opportunity to be part of such deep and heartfelt conversations, healings, teachings, and ceremonies. Each conversation heightens my awareness of the depth of compassion and love that our animals have for us. Since the animals live in the present and are so attuned with the flow of energy they are skilled guides of balance and guiding us to the road back home to the heart, self, being here now and expressing ourselves in the moment. I often think of their role in the family as the family system therapist knowing when to demand attention to get their people off the computer, knowing who needs a snuggle or a long, long walk to help their person reconnect with nature and themselves.
To echo the animals in the advice I have heard repeatedly throughout the year
“Tend to yourself as well as you tend to your animals!”
Take yourself out on a walk, lay down and snuggle when you are tired, close the computer and look at the beauty that surrounds you may it be a ball at your feet with an eager dog to catch it or a demanding cat on your desk. Be present with the moments of life.
Originally posted Nov. 23,2016