“Ten years of shadows, but no longer. Light up the darkness, Majesty.”
― Sarah J. Maas,
Thank you for being here. I am sincerely grateful to each of you who consciously chose to follow this blog. I realize that there are many other ways for you to spend your time other than reading my posts. I am touched and truly appreciate that you care enough to want to be gently challenged and inspired, and that you want to learn from my musings and mistakes.
But if we are going to stay together and grow together, and if I am going to keep sharing with you, I have to be honest. I have to be really honest with myself and with you.
I have been hiding and pretending for a long time. But I am not going to pretend anymore. I have been living a life out there “on the screen” but I have been living another life off screen. I can’t pretend anymore. And I am not going to hide anymore. So I will just say it and get it over with.
I am an Empath. And an Intuitive. Oh, and an Indigo.
Holy Shizznit. I finally freaking said it. My heart is racing as I write this. A flood of emotions are welling up inside of me right now. I feel a bit scared. I am grateful. Relieved. Liberated. Free. But there’s still a lot of fear.
So What the Heck Is An Indigo, and Empath, and an Intuitive??
For those of you who are not totally weirded out by what I admitted (and you’re still reading), I can try to explain what these two words mean. Maybe after reading this you will realize that your friend, a family member, or you, are an Empath or an Intuitive, too!
If you have been following this blog for some time, you already know that I am not a fan of labels – especially when it comes to our animal companions. This also goes for people; putting anyone into a “box” is never helpful for a number of reasons. But today I will use words that are widely accepted in the our wee community.
An Intuitive is someone who experiences the world in a way that is not easy to understand. Their minds filter information in a way that cannot be explained sometimes. Their bodies are also filters of the world. Intuition is their compass. Intuitives also know things without knowing why. They can’t prove how or why, they just know it to be true. They are walking lie detectors. They also receive information in a variety of ways. It can be in their mind, their thoughts, or through their body – utilizing the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch). Or it can be all of these senses at once. – We call these senses “The Clairs.”
The “clair” senses are abilities that correspond with the five senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. Clairvoyance means clear seeing. Clairalience means clear smelling. Clairgustance means clear tasting. Clairsentience means clear feeling. Claircognizance means clear knowing. Clairaudience means clear hearing. Intuitives vary in what Clair is their strongest, and which cliars they use most. My strongest ones are the latter three.
Empaths feel. In fact, they feel profoundly on many levels. Empaths are highly sensitive to their surroundings; everything from what they see and hear, smell and taste. Empaths can experience sensory overload very easily. Empaths are born an empath; it’s passed down through a family’s lineage. My mother is one (but she is unaware of it). My younger brother is also an Empath and an Intuitive; but he is not aware of this yet. Empaths feel everyone else’s emotions. Our body functions like a vibrational instrument. Empaths can easily absorb other people’s thoughts and feelings. It’s common to feel emotionally or physically drained after being in public, or having a conversation with someone in person, or via phone or Skype.
Both my brother and I are Indigo Children. Many Indigos are born in the 70’s or soon after. The terms “Indigo” was given to this generation because it most accurately describes their aura colors and energy patterns; Indigo Children have a lot of indigo blue in our auras. (It’s actually my favorite color.) This is also the color of the “third eye chakra,” which is an energy center inside the head located between the two eyebrows. This chakra regulates clairvoyance.
I will briefly list some Indigo traits: Indigos tend to be trailblazers. Indigos abhor conformity. We are incapable of idly watching any kind of injustice and staying silent. Indigos can sense dishonesty the way a bee can sense subtle scents in flight. Indigos know when they’re being lied to, patronized, or manipulated. We can hear it, feel it, and know it the second we are exposed to it, via reading or hearing it. An Indigos’ inner lie detectors are integral to us a people. Indigos also have a warrior spirit. Indigos are unable to conform to any type of dysfunctional situations at home, work, or school. So we often rebel, or speak out. Sometimes loudly and often unapologetically. Indigos don’t have the ability to dissociate from our feelings and just pretend like everything’s okay; unless we are medicated or sedated. We are completely and utterly incapable of faking or pretending anything. So we avoid people and situations all together at times.
Explaining all of the traits and facets of Empaths and Intuitives and Indigos would require at least three separate posts, so this is a very abbreviated version of each.
For as long as I can remember I have been super sensitive to my surroundings. This sensitivity could be anything from how my dogs were feeling, how a room feels, to how my friends or family members were feeling. I knew people’s intentions and motivations before they spoke. I also knew other things I shouldn’t “just know. – I could just sense it. I just knew!
I could feel how others were feeling, whether they were near me or far away. I could always know if someone was speaking the truth, or if they were lying. I have always known the true essence of an animal, and could see right past their pain and fear. I could knew who they really were. Animals and nature have always been who and where I felt safest. Animals and nature were my refuge from the world.
They still are.
That inner voice, our intuition is always there, always reading the situation, always trying to steer us the right way. But can we hear it? Are we paying attention? Are we living a life that keeps the pathway to our intuition unblocked? Feeding and nurturing our intuition, and living a life in which we can make use of its wisdom, is one key way to thrive, at work and in life.
Energy and Others
When it comes to empaths and intuition, our bodies and minds work in conjunction to “read” the information we receive. For example, my hands know where to go when I am working on an animal or person. I hear messages. I see images. I just know. I can see someone coming from 50 feet away and I know if I should get out of their way. I can feel subtle changes in the energy of animals, people, and places. I know when an animal has disease often before a veterinarian gives an official diagnosis – not always, but I can feel an imbalance in their energy field.
Kids and Critters
Most children are like this. Animals are like this. Every one of your animal companions is just like an Empath and an Intuitive. – That is one of the reasons I do this work! They are like sponges! And almost every child that is being born now is like this, too. They are highly sensitive and finely tuned beings. Many children that I work with in a client’s home, or meet at my workshops are obvious Empaths and full-blown cognitive Intuitives. Most of the children we work with through Make A Wish are Intuitive Empaths.
More than Sensitive
Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths perceive physical and spiritual shifts in their body as they are observing or thinking about a person, place, idea, memory, or future event. Children and young kids who are empaths feel things way more deeply and on a much more intense level than their parents do. Their senses are heightened. They are very sensitive emotionally and physically.
Empaths process other people’s feelings and energy, and in many cases take on the emotions of others. They are very sensitive to their surroundings and changes within their environments. They are literally energetic sponges. Can you imagine the kinds of effects that has on a child? Yeah. It’s intense to say the least. More on that later.
A Virtual Sponge
Empaths feel like you would not believe. That has been the hardest part for me – a gift and a curse you might say. For years I used alcohol and drugs to shield myself from feeling so much. Depression and anxiety were the many cloaks I was enveloped in, and I used substances to numb myself from feeling so much (although I had no idea that’s what I was doing.)
Thankfully Energy Medicine has taught me how to use other methods that are safe and natural to shield and manage my energy. Sometimes I still shield myself before going into public places, or even with some family members, to ensure that I am not overwhelmed by other people’s energy. But overall, life is much easier and healthier with these holistic and alternative healing tools and techniques to manage life as an Empath.
Why This Is Hard to Admit
If you are an empath, and an intuitive healer, or a transformational coach, you may think, This is great! How wonderful that you are embracing your true self! But I don’t see it that way. -At least, not yet. It may come to a surprise to most folks, but the animal behavior and scientific community are not the most accepting group of people when it comes to embracing beliefs or practices that are outside their circle of traditional science or “normal” practices. In fact, concrete, proven science is the only medium with which most of the animal behavior community operates.
There are many behavior consultants in my field that are also intuitive empaths. A few are very close friends, and highly respected members of the science-based community. But none of these colleagues want to admit it yet publicly. Proof, facts, and hard core science are still the safe zones they choose to work in for now. Only one of my colleagues in the dog training community has formally “come out” as an Empath and an Animal Intuitive. She has been an inspiration to me. I hope that others will follow our lead.
I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.
― Albert Einstein
Safer To Be Silent?
I could list a countless examples of why it’s safer to not embrace your true self in the animal behavior and scientific community. But that would take too much of your time. To help you understand why it’s “safer” to be silent, I’ll briefly share just a few of my experiences:
- When you’re at an animal behavior conference and you mention the word sacral chakra, when referring to a dog or cat and people respond to you as if you were coughing up phlegm.
- Telling a client that their parrot, iguana, cat, or dog would greatly benefit from Smudging their home, and balancing their own energy can be your one-way ticket straight to Crazy Town.
- Explaining to your veterinarian that you can feel / see / know where the pain or discomfort is in your cat’s body and they look at you as if you are high.
- Knowing that the negative prognosis that the vet just gave you about your animal was not accurate, because you felt and heard a solid “No” in your body and mind.
- Any discussion about ‘animal communication’ will immediately send one to the time out box, where you are soon to be dismissed and discarded.
So I stayed silent for many years. And I was safe. Really Safe. But being safe is not the way I want to live my life anymore.
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
― C.G. Jung
Willing to Be Vulnerable
This post is not easy to share. I am fully aware of the possible negative results of “coming out” in my scientific community, and with my family and friends. But I trust enough to share my truth. If being open, honest, and vulnerable can help one person and their animal companion to grow closer, to heal, to love more deeply, to laugh more, and to see life from a new and more enlightened perspective, it will all be worth it. If I can inspire one person, any ridicule or rejection will be worth it.
Saying it out loud to you here, and to my friends and family (who will eventually see this) doesn’t make it any more “real” and easy. In fact, it’s still just as scary. And I feel just as vulnerable and exposed. I have witnessed many friends and colleagues come out in other ways, and it was not easy for them. But they are living an authentic life now. I am so proud of all of them. They were no longer willing to hide who they really are. Now I am free of what I was hiding. I am all out there, baby!😀
No more hiding or pretending.
But there is still some fear. So I will take this fear and breathe into it and remember that fear is an illusion. There is really nothing to be afraid of. F. E. A. R. is really only False Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear is a passing emotion that has no real substance, arising when the ego-self is threatened, which makes you cling to the known and familiar. Such fear creates untold worry, apprehension, nervousness, and anxiety. The immediate effect of fear is to shut us down, and—in particular—to shut off the heart.
I do believe that the world will come to accept intuition and senses beyond our limited human perception as reality. We are already starting to see this happening in the world of science. Psychologists say that people use psychological preferences for Sensing and Intuition. Questions they will ask are, “Do you pay more attention to information that comes in through your five senses?” or “Do you pay more attention to the patterns and possibilities that you see in the information you receive? Everyone utilizes Sensing and using Intuition. The levels of each of these spectrum are wide and vast within each person. Science is now starting to recognize these levels.
There is now a field of study known as “Cognitive Science.” It is beginning to demystify the inexplicable presence of unconscious reasoning in our lives. Often dismissed as unscientific because of its connections to the psychic and paranormal, intuition isn’t just a bunch of woo-woo. The U.S. military is even investigating the power of intuition, which has helped our men and women of the military to make quick judgments during combat that ended up saving lives.
There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions.
– Ivy Estabrooke, Office of Naval Research
Beyond Science and “Proof”
Science is amazing. Science is what I have used for nearly 20 years to produce ground breaking results with multiple species of threatened and endangered species. Science is what I use with my clients’ aggressive dog, fearful feline, and traumatized iguana. Science is what I use with our animal companions at home, with everything from anxiety to obesity.
But there IS more to life with our animal companions than scientific facts and “evidence”. There is more we can learn from just the proven stats. There is so much more that science has yet to discover. There is an infinite amount that has not been studied, or even remotely explored in the scientific community. There is more to learn and experience than most people could possibly imagine. I have lived this and learned this fact. And the beauty that I have learned in all of this is simple but profound: Animals and nature can be two of the greatest teachers to facilitate this learning. If we allow them to be.
No civilization, including Plato’s, has ever been destroyed because its citizens learned too much.
What About Science and Animal training?
Of course I will continue to share tips and techniques about training, behavior, and enrichment for pets at home and in shelters because those are part of our reality that enhance lives. Training and enrichment are needed in our homes. Period. (Ahem … like conditioning our canine to wear goofy snow boots, modifying a dog’s aggression toward foxes, teaching our tabby to “go to your place” to keep the peace, changing a fearful feline into a confident cat, conditioning a dog to a new baby, teaching a parrot to give voluntary injections, and preventing fights between species by eliminating anger, fear, and frustration.) That’s where science is needed and where it works. That’s where Force Free techniques reign supreme. Those are tools and techniques that I still love to teach and practice! In fact, I just did a 1.5 hour webinar yesterday on a specialized topic that has never been presented before in the feline community; how exotic cat species in captivity can teach us how to manage and rehabilitate companion cats. It was attended by veterinarians and animal behaviorist from all over the world. And it’s going to be a game changer for the cat community.
So yeah, science is necessary. I use it and I love it. Science, data, and measurable results are crucial when it comes to behavior modification and healing an animal companion’s emotional and behavioral issues. Science, facts, and results continue to be much of what I share here.
But there are many other tools that I use as well. Those techniques are not the only path to healing and modifying behavior. There is much more out there. There are other tools and techniques that are not mainstream. But they are profound. And they work.
There is so much more to explore together: Energy medicine, animal communication, removing negative emotions that contribute to health and behavioral issues, releasing stagnant blocked energy in our pets, how to connect on a deeper, more meaningful level with your animal companions and how they can be mirrors for our issues. We will talk about what it really means to live “Life with Your Animal Companion Improved.”
Come from the heart, the true heart, not the head. When in doubt, choose the heart. This does not mean to deny your own experiences and that which you have empirically learned through the years. It means to trust your self to integrate intuition and experience. There is a balance, a harmony to be nurtured, between the head and the heart. When the intuition rings clear and true, loving impulses are favored.
― Brian L. Weiss, Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love
Why I Am Sharing This Now
I wrote this over 6 months ago, but was too afraid to share it. Alanis Morrissette’s song “Excuses” perfectly parallels this kind of fear. She is also and Empath and “came out” a few years ago. She. Is. Amazing.
Now I am coming out in my own way and being completely authentic because I have moved into a space where I am now a hundred percent authentically honest with everyone – clients, friends, family, and even strangers. But the person I am most honest with now is myself; I have to be for my health and sanity. I also have to be for the health and peace of mind of my animal companions.
This blog was created to discuss all-things-animal-and-nature. Since 2012, I have stayed within the “safe” spaces by discussing safe topics such as animal behavior, animal training, animal enrichment, and the latest science in all-things-pets. Every so often I would venture out of my safe space and talk about death and dying, spiritual experiences, and bits about energy, but there is so much more that I want to share and discuss with you here! I have decided to shift this blog to better reflect how I have shifted, and how nature and the animals in my life have facilitated this shift.
Now this blog will parallel how I live my life. This blog will begin to better reflect what it means to be an intuitive and empath, living and working with animals, and how we can all learn from nature and our animal companions. This blog will be a more honest reflection of what the animals and trees have taught me, and how you and your animal companions can benefit, heal, and grow as well.
We so often think of ourselves, as the “dog owner” the “cat guardian”, the “parrot trainer”, or the “horse leader”. We see ourselves as the teacher, and we are! But what if our animal companions have things to teach us? What if we were willing to be the student? What if we are willing to look at them and say, “Teach me. I am willing to learn from you.” …. What might happen?
October is a month of balance. I discussed this before, yet I didn’t realize how much I was out of balance. This week it hit me; it’s time to balance everything, including what I share with you. I hope you will be willing to grow with me.
Hope and Love for Others
My hope is that if I can openly share my truth and experiences, others may realize that they can share theirs as well. I hope that those who are also an Intuitive, or an Empath can learn to feel safe and supported. I hope this will help others to understand their abilities and how they can dramatically improve their life with animals. And on the other hand, if one is not an Empath, they will be open to learning what we can see, feel, know. Maybe people will be willing to learn how to tap into their senses so we can learn about each other, energy, animals, nature. Maybe others will be willing to learn the endless lessons that animals and nature have to teach all of us. My hope is that you have the courage to be open to seeing things from another perspective. My hope is to learn, grow, and share together here.
The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is the set.
~H.H.The Dalai Lama
Thank you for listening. Thank you for being here. And thank you to every soul who has ever braved the safety and comfort of what they were living, to finally be who they truly are. Thank you for daring to live fearlessly. Thank you to every brave soul who dared to speak out. Thank you to those who would not be silent. Thank you to everyone who came out despite the results. Thank you to every man, woman, and child who came out by sharing their truth with the world; no matter what that truth was. Thank you for holding space to allow everyone on this planet to be authentically who they are. Thank you to the animal companions who held a mirror up for me to see who I am. Thank you to the animals and trees who have been my greatest teachers. Thank you for inspiring me to “come out” today. Thank you to all of the brave souls who have come out in other ways, and who are sharing their stories today. I love you all.
And thanks for remembering to laugh and to not take ourselves too seriously.
Life is supposed to be fun and free.
Be you. Be fun. Be Free.
And if my words haven’t inspired you to be brave, free, and become your authentic self, check out a snippet of what my soul sister shared with me today when I told her that I didn’t think I could publicly share this post:
So If you need some motivation to come out with whatever you’ve been hiding, Diana can help.😉
I can’t let them down
They’ll not understand me
They’ll hate me …
These excuses how they served me so well
They’ve kept me safe
They’ve kept me small
They’ve kept me locked inside my cell
Bringing this into the light
Shakes their foundation
And it clears my side
Now my imagination
Is the only thing that limits
The bar that is raised to the heights