Why do we share our lives with animals?
What do they add to our lives that has us so devoted to them?
Humans express their love to their animal companions in so many ways. Getting the best food possible, walking them, playing with them, brushing them, taking them to the vet, snuggling with them, training them, cleaning up after them, making sure they have enough mental stimulation and the list goes on and on. Why do we put so much time, effort, attention and love into these furry beings?
I believe its the unconditional loving presence that they hold for us.
No matter which way you show up they are there to just be with you. You! You just as you are! They meet you where you are at:
They are not asking you to shake it off or change your attitude and yet being around them your energy may shift. Scientifically this is because they are releasing oxytocin the bonding hormone.
Animals are excellent teachers of being present.
They are present in the moment not thinking about the squirrel at the park that outsmarted them, or the hiss the neighbor cat threw their way. They are in the moment. Seeing you, being with you, loving your for being you in whichever way you show up. Gifting you with a great template to love and accept yourself.
Since animals are teachers of being present and embodied. I invite you to take a moment to allow your sweet one to show you how much he/she loves you.
Pause... breathe.... settle into you body... taking a few deep breaths to connect with your heart. Then gently imagine a beautiful river of love flowing from your heart to their heart.
Then ask them how much they love you?
Animal communication happens really quickly so be open and aware of the first feeling, thought, sensation, smell, image or emotion that appears.
Allow that to be the answer without much thought.
Sit with the sensation for a few breathes.
Acknowledge your body for the great job listening and then you can send love back to them.
Enjoy being present and allowing in the expressions of unconditional love.
Learning from the Salmon in a group lead experience this past Sunday the salmon provided many meaningful takeaways for each participant. Witnessing the salmon in the final cycle of their life we gleaned a lot about how to navigate our own lives no matter what phase of life we are in. The creek offers great viewing of the salmon in many stages of the spawning drive to go up the river, in the slow pools resting and acclimating, to flowing 3-inch water where the majority of the fish body is out of the water, to fallen logs that create channels for rushing water and the salmon must jump over to continue the journey.
The day was clear and crisp with many people out to view the salmon as we wound our way along the bank we could hear cheers, like at a football game, for a salmon that had just navigated a treacherous part of the creek. This led to a reflection to celebrate our own steps toward a goal as well as to allow the resting and the acclimation for where you are at after expending that energy. A reorientation and an acknowledgment of the journey.
Also, the vigor and determination with which these salmon move to complete this cycle of life to ensure future generations offered a different reflection then how the majority of humans meet the last years of life.
The bank of the creek is littered with salmon who have completed the mission and now lay decomposing feeding the forest with their nutrients. One particular female salmon had her belly slit open and thousands of eggs lay exposed. This brought tears to my eyes for the unfilled potential for having come so far and not be able to complete her mission. For me, it was a good reflection of how in the past during a project I would just give up mid-project turning away from what I truly wanted because the path seemed too hard. Seeing the eggs exposed and wasted really hit home on the loss of the possibility of creation with each of those eggs representing for me an idea, a connection, a missed opportunity when I gave up and therefore perpetuating my own struggle with life.
The salmon returning home offers insight into the interconnection of life.
Last Thursday was a morning of fog, a good soft day, a fog that settles in for a visit. On my walk, I was enjoying a visual delight: how the thick fog makes a brilliant backdrop for the vibrant greens bursting forth in exuberance, a rich tapestry woven with greens of the leaves announcing the tulips, the lush green grass, the tender green of new growth on the dark evergreens and the rusty greens of the freshly unfurled ferns. All of this, a feast for the eyes. My nervous system quieted down bathed in this sensory delight which sparked a thought of. “Can I easily transmit these sensations of green telepathically?”
One of the exercises we practice in my Animal Communication Basics class is sending colors back and forth to each other. In the exercise I guide students to feel the color. A student asked me “What does that mean to feel a color?” As we explored what that could mean we came to the understanding that to feel a color is using all the senses and transmitting those sensations through our ever present telepathic tools – our bodies.
For example, when sending the color green instead of thinking “Like walking in nature in spring”- imagine the forest focusing on the five senses – touch, sight smell, hearing, taste. Send the sensation of how it feels touching grass or the tulip leaves, see the ferns, the tulips, and the grass; what does it sound like walking in nature – can you hear birds calling, dogs barking or a lawn mower. Can you taste green? A pickle, asparagus. Send feelings like how your nervous system and body feel when walking in all this green – does it feel settled and peaceful?
Taking this a step further, when sending a communication to the animals it is helpful to feel what you are trying to say by employing all of the senses to communicate to the animal; not just words. For example, when walking I want to feel safe. I tell my dog this because he has numerous nemesis in the neighborhood and they like to challenge each other which, in turn, doesn’t make me feel safe. Or when he goes off-leash and he explores the homeless camps in the parks, I do not feel safe. Just saying the word “Safe” was not getting through to him and then I realized I wasn’t utilizing all of the senses.
This began a fun playful game with my body understanding what it feels like to be “safe”. The data I have collected so far from my body about what Safe feels like is: my nervous system and body are at ease; I feel calm; I am aware and alert. Safe for me is seeing nature – trees, the Puget Sound. I hear my regular breathing and birds singing. I taste a delicious cup of chicken soup. I am safe.
So, before starting our walks I pause and conjure up all these feelings, sensations, images of “safe” and allow them to flow from me to him. I verbally say, “Let’s go have a safe adventure.” After this exchange, if we meet a nemesis or if he ventures into the homeless camp, I amplify the feelings of safety — broadcasting them from my body and he settles and walks past the nemesis or returns from scavenging at the homeless camps much quicker, not requiring me to go down there and retrieve him.
As you can see, animal communication is a full body experience. The animals communicate on a variety of lines of communication also using all the five senses. You may get the feeling of thirst, or get the image of your dog drinking water or feel excited for cold refreshing water and then realize the water bowl needs filling, and your dog is eagerly awaiting to drink. Feeling is communicating with the animals by using all of your senses.
Original Posted May 2017
In this year of the Yellow Earth Dog, there has been an opportunity to learn from the Earth Dogs. The other morning I had a magical experience with the Big Dog in my favorite woods. These woods are magic – like most woods – but these woods are in Seattle, surrounded by urban neighborhoods, among the ferns and cedars, next to streams and creeks that welcome the return of the salmon in the winter. These are the woods where my son, at age 1, demanded to be taken out of the backpack so he could hike the familiar trails during nettle season. The nettles were taller than him and magically he did not get stung once though my legs were getting stung as I followed behind him. Thank you, fairies! My son is 19 now and I have walked these woods weekly and delight in the familiarity of them as well as the newness of each returning season. I have had many, many magical encounters with nature.
Part of the loop I do, the trail makes a half circle through a grove of cedar and pine with the ferns creating a ruffly understory. This particular morning, as I came to the middle of the half-circle, I could hear classical music playing and there sitting on a log in a beam of sunlight was a man clutching a very relaxed jacketed chihuahua. He pronounced proudly “Hello! We are waiting for the Big Dog!” the classical music emphasized the proclamation. The reverence and awe with which he shared his news I felt as if he was Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Who could be this Big Dog? Was this Big Dog going to share wisdom about life? Or bring long-awaited presents like Linus hoped for? I paused to drink in the scene. I wanted to behold this Big Dog who has music playing for his entrance and part of the welcoming party.
My dogs had gone on without me and were circling back to check on my whereabouts when we heard branches breaking. Out of the ferns emerged a Big Dog with tongue hanging out and smiling from ear to ear. We all cheered at her arrival – she bounded forth greeting all of us with enthusiasm and interest. And then they all turned and went the other way – was that real – did I meet the Big Dog? Was there wisdom or a gift I had received? Yes, there was. It was a moment of time to cherish a blessing to witness how an animal and their human take delight in each other’s existence. This man and Big Dog showed me how allowing each other the time to explore and run wild as well as being comfortable in waiting kept the connection to each other fluid, opening and loving.
I have been quiet for the month of April, taking a break from posting on social media. I chose to really listen deeply to my own heart and strengthen the muscle of tuning to my vibration and to keep the focus on my dream and how I can contribute to the greater good. It has been an interesting month of lessons through many reflections from my guides. The thing about my guides is they know me well such as I love games, am a big fan of scavenger hunts, and I love to receive messages while out in the natural world.
This morning I set out on my walk with asking my guides for a reflection of where my growing edge was for today.
As I enjoyed my walk through the kaleidoscope of green in the explosion of spring in the forest, I was full of gratitude for this particular bit of earth that I have walked on for over 25 years. Each season brings wonder and delight to me and my senses.
Since I live in Seattle, with a population of roughly around 760,000 these parcels of wilderness are a blessing. The parks department are always trying to find the balance between people, dogs, and respecting nature. Currently, these trails are frequented by many people who walk their dogs off-leash instead of taking them into the corraled official dog park. The City has been doing a great job of replanting a much-eroded hill by many dogs running up and down it chasing balls and each other. Recently, they put up a fence to keep the dogs on the paths for us who choose to still walk the dogs off the leash.
As I crested the rise to where the fence begins, to my dismay, it was partially knocked down and there was a friend inspecting the damage. As he left muttering about rude dog people who don’t respect the great effort of the city, my heart hurt a little. This fence had created a rift in the community that would meet in the mornings in the unofficial dog park where dogs run with wild abandon as we walk together and witness each others’ lives. I did not think it was afternoon dog people who had knocked down the fence – on further inspection the weight of the fence had snapped the last pole and down came the rest. Luckily only one pole had broken and low and behold there was a pole tamper lying under the down fence.
I was at a choice point here. Do I…:
We set to work and as a team of three women, we worked pole by pole – unbinding the fence from the pole then driving the poles deeper into the earth so they were solidly held. Then we stretched the fence to the next downed pole and repeated the process. Lucky for us, there was an extra pole laying around to replace the snapped pole. I asked the tree that the last pole was very close to where the best location for the pole would be to avoid damaging its root and the place we were directed to the pole went in smoothly and held securely – thank you, tree.
We had replaced the fence back to its full glory – setting a healthy boundary for dogs and people and I had a great reflection in response to my request from my guides of where was my growing edge for today.
Healthy boundaries with a strong foundation and asking for help from people.
Each of us has a whole spiritual team and guides who are willing to give us guidance and reflections if you ask – I find it adds a great deal of fun to life. I encourage you to start asking questions and be open to reflections and answers in the most unexpected ways!
For the past 4 months, animals in the wild have been teachers for individuals who join me in Animal Experiences. The intention of these experiences is to be in close proximity to wild animals and learn to be open and receptive to the teaching of the animals. These animal experiences grew out of my deep longing to go to Africa and be amongst the wild animals. I long to be in physical proximity to them – to hear their breath, to stand on the same quadrant of earth they are on, to feel the earth vibration as they thunder, or lumber or sneak by and to be open to their teachings. This longing had me putting my energy outward and there was a feeling of lack and a bit of Eeyore “Ho hum – not in Africa” Then I realized the wild animals all around me in this urban setting of Seattle have plenty to teach. They may not be the big cats or the mighty elephants but they are the NorthWest animals that are sharing this region of the world with me.
In November the spawning salmon taught about resting and allowing the energy to carry you forward. In February the snow geese taught about how the individual supports the group and the group supports the individual, both are necessary to thrive.
The Crow Experience on Sunday was a t North Creek Wetlands at UW Campus in Bothell. We arrived before dusk and wandered the wetlands to be serenaded by frogs and watched geese and ducks land on the pond. With each new arrival, there was a loud discussion of honking and quacking. This gave us the opportunity to play with where in our bodies did we feel the loud goose discussion and to be open to what they were communicating and we did the same thing with the frogs. It was interesting to notice the difference the geese energy was more chest and throat and felt very much like a logistical discussion whereas the frogs we felt in the lower torso and it was more of a serenade to the dusk and farewell to the day.
As dusk darkened the sky was filled with a cacophony of crow calls as crows started coming from all directions. Crows are teachers of developing your willpower and speaking your truth. This was clearly taught in how they flew in all different directions and talked loudly with each other. They are not like a synchronized murmuration of starlings that undulates and flows. This was more of a very individual interactive dance.
They are also teachers of intention and this was illustrated as one person exclaimed: “I always get shit on by birds.” And sure enough right on cue …….after she declared this her right shoulder received a big splattering gift. Reinforcing that literally, energy flows were intention and attention goes.
It has been three days since I witness this mysterious and magical dance and I can still hear the calls and feel the strength of the individual within the flock. The connection to self-has been strengthened by 16,000 crows coming into roost.
On my walk this morning I asked the animal world for a message about how humans can navigate 2018 in a beautiful way and what we can do to support the balance of the animal world.
I felt the spirit world all around and was open to any messages. As I approached the point in my walk with an expansive view from the Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains the messenger was waiting in the form of a mature eagle perched on a tree jutting out from the cliff.
After some chit-chat and introductions, the eagle dove into his message
He started out emphasizing
“Everything is Energy. People need to awaken to where they are putting their energy and how it affects their lives, their community, the world.
Awaken to your place on the web of life.
Accept who you are, acknowledge your gifts and start showing up in your fullness.
Feed the web of life.”
Humans spend a lot of energy being something they are not by trying to fit into places and spaces and ways of being that shut down access to their own true nature.
Access to your own true nature is always available it simply takes listening to your heart, listening to your intuition, listening to your body. Your body is receiving information all the time and much is missed because humans are too mind oriented.
Allow your true nature, your deep listening to guide you into acceptance of who you truly are. Accepting who you truly are will help move stuck energy because when there is resistance or suppression energy gets stuck and flow does not happen. Changes may have to be made to stay in the flow, to stay engaged in life, to awaken to you. Be courageous – release what needs to be released.
The web of life will be fed with a whole new source of energy from people who are awake and aware of their place in the world. Listen with your heart and your whole body and make changes that will allow your gifts to easily to unfold. As these gifts unfold you can start to show up more fully, which will bring balance back to your individual life, and that balance will ripple out to bring balance back to the whole web of life.
And as he prepared to fly off his last message was:
‘To fly, one has to step off the branch and trust you will soar.”
Those stashes of stocking chocolate waiting to be delivered on Christmas Eve can be deadly for your dog if they find it early. Chocolate poisoning is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning. Chocolate’s deadliness to pooches, however, depends on the size of the dog, how much chocolate was munched, the quality of that chocolate and whether it was milk, white or dark chocolate.
Older dogs, puppies, and dogs with other health issues are also more vulnerable. The symptoms of a toxic dose of chocolate begin within the first few hours after consumption — vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and more theobromine is absorbed, your dog’s heart rate will increase, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and/or excessive panting. The third phase is muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.
Read this article for full details of how dangerous is chocolate for dogs.
My dog last year binged on four stockings full of chocolate and he is still here, thankfully. So, for this holiday season, I wanted to share with you the most recent experience I had with Prince, my lab, his chocolate-binging, and how I handled it.
My dog is a Labrador retriever who is dedicated to finding any forgotten treat, food or snacks in bags, coat pockets, or on the counter. He could work in airport security he is so thorough. He opens bags and finds food that has long been forgotten. His technique for opening the bag usually does not damage the bag, somehow he has figured how to work the zipper. If he goes for a treat in a pocket, he makes a tiny hole on the inside of the jacket pocket. I am usually in the dark when it comes to his shenanigans until I put my hand in my pocket.
Luckily for me, he does not devour the packaging if he has had a binge-fest which is how I found out about his latest misadventure with chocolate last week. Turns out he had treated himself to 3/4 of a bar of 85% cacao, which he had extracted from a friend’s backpack. I have been down this road before with him (and his eating of dark chocolate) so I know how quickly it affects him as well as how dangerous it is and the price tag for the vet. I knew I needed to act quickly to rid the toxic cacao from his system. You have a window of about 4-6 hours after ingestion to act with positive results.
Without telling him a thing, I put him on the leash and handed my friend the bottle of hydrogen peroxide. We went outside and I told her to pour in some hydrogen peroxide when I get his mouth open. Vets encourage to give a few teaspoons at a time to induce vomiting, but I know from past experience that if I don’t get enough down him the first time, he is not coming back for more. Hydrogen peroxide works quickly and it is amazing to watch my black dog literally turn a dark green and start vomiting. After emptying his stomach of all the chocolate he looked at me deflated and betrayed. But, he was still alive and we were going to get a good nights’ sleep. The next treat was activated charcoal – it is suggested you make a nice slurry but I knew there was not a chance I could pry his mouth open again. So a capsule hidden in peanut butter went down the hatch. The charcoal binds to many types of poisons and thus prevents their absorption into the bloodstream.
He settled down for the night – giving me a wide berth for the rest of the evening. We slept through the night with him eagerly showing up for breakfast the next morning.
As the holiday season is starting to get into full throttle with parties, events, and school breaks, often the dog or the cat is forgotten in the sense of being told what is going on. Having held space for hundreds of conversations for people, I know that the family pet is essentially the Family System Therapist. 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. They know when something shifts energetically and disrupts their routine, especially holidays and big events. If they are not told the details around why their routine will be disrupted, they often absorb the stress, overwhelm, and start acting out.
I have spoken with several animals this week who have specifically asked for more information about what is going on. They asked for us to update them on plans as soon as they are made to help them understand this energetic shift. They actually want to be told what is happening day to day – even it is the same old routine of a walk, work, home, walk, play, and sleep. And they are requesting you to spice it up with information with details such as, “I have a big meeting today and I am tired and unprepared.”
Just you speaking about what is going on for you out loud helps them understand what they are energetically feeling. By speaking it, you own it, and they don’t have to worry about trying to absorb your stress.
Regarding the holidays, again, they want specifics such as; who is coming to dinner, the timing of it, what their job is during the dinner and to hear any other details more information the better. They will be more relaxed and you have one less thing to worry about.
This might be a new for you to tell your animal beloved companion everything and it may feel strange, ridiculous, or silly. Don’t worry, you can do this because all of our thoughts automatically get turned into images which the animals can understand.
I encourage you to try it consistently throughout the holidays and observe if there is a difference in their behavior as well as your stress level after telling them. They are amazing therapists!
For more tips about planning for the holidays that includes traveling read this post Approaching the Holidays with your Animal.
If you’re interested in learning more about what Animal Communication is, go here.
If you’re stressing about the holidays and your companion animal,
book an Animal Communication session with me.
In November I lead my first Animal Experiences. It was two separate Salmon Experiences with spawning salmon at Piper Creek in Carkeek Park. I guided participants how to tune into their own innate intuitive abilities and listen for guidance from the salmon around a certain question or their intention. On both days all of the participants were able to receive wisdom from the salmon even when the amount of salmon present and the height of the creek was wildly different.
One day the creek was running clear and slow teeming with salmon and the other running high, fast and very murky with a few struggling salmon navigating their way upstream past many dead salmon.
The salmon’s teachings and wisdom as well as how the messages were heard/received either as a thought, a feeling, a knowingness, an image or hearing words, was different for each person because we all receive messages in our own unique way.
Upcoming Animal Experiences
I have mapped out more experiences with wild animals for the next couple of months. I invite you to join me to play outside and learn from the animals. Nature is the gym to strengthen your intuitive muscle and learn how to be open and receptive to receiving messages. And besides, it’s good clean fun. I have tentative dates and meeting locations which may change based on migration patterns and where the animals are showing up.
Eagles experience – Rescheduled to January 13 – Skagit River or Nooksack River
Eagles offer wonderful insights in trusting in spirit and learning to see the big picture and the interconnection in your life, and much more.