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“Being a mother is an attitude, not always a biological relation.” ~ R. Heinlein
Hello, friends! And Happy Mother’s Day! I hope this finds you and yours well in all ways.
Wow, it’s been a wild ride over the past few months. 2020 has turned out to be more than many of us expected. Regardless of where we are now, and what we have been moving through in this crazy life chapter, we are not alone in any of this. We truly are in this together around the world.
We Are One.
When I say this, it is no trite statement; it is true, friend. This includes the air we breathe, the trees and plants, the skies and seas, and our Mother Earth and her many inhabitants. We are all connected. From the Spring Peepers to the many peoples, we are not separate from one another.
“A hydrogen atom in a cell at the end of my nose was once part of an elephant’s trunk. A carbon atom in my cardiac muscle was once in the tail of a dinosaur.” ― Jostein Gaarder
Incredibly, it’s been over 9 months since we last shared here. Taking a break has been good for many reasons, but since it’s Mother’s Day – and I am unable to be with mine – I Am inspired to share with you today. This will be a relatively short post that includes inspirational images and thoughts related to the many mothers around the world. My hope in you creating time to relax and absorb this will bring you: the gift of new perspective, provide inspiration, and uplift your spirit. Maybe then you will see things in a new light, and pass the love and inspiration onto others. For we all need inspiration and to be uplifted at this time!
“Every thought you have, every move you make, is like a pebble dropped into water; it continues to make ripples. That’s why it is so important your rhythms be true to life’s Spirit. For in that way, your future will always rest in compassion. For such is life’s Spirit. It is the spirit of compassion.” ― Steven James Taylor, The Dog
The Many Unseen Mothers
When most of us think of Mother’s Day, we immediately think of a person. Maybe we think of a grandmother, a biological mother, an adoptive mother, or a mother-in-law. Maybe we are missing a mom who has passed on. Maybe we are appreciating and missing the moms who are still with us. -I know I miss mine. Honoring our mothers (and honoring the mom that you might be) is truly wonderful, but what if we also included the many mothers of the world?
We shared this collage below a few years ago, but the amazing thing about the the Animal Kingdom is that it’s tales are timeless. And maybe more importantly, is an often overlooked aspect: The Animal QUEENdom.👑💗🌍
What if – from this day forward – on Mother’s Day, we also included the many unseen moms behind the scenes? What if we considered the countless species of mothers all around the world? What a wonderful world that would be.
Our world is filled with an amazing animal kingdom full of extraordinary mothers! Just think of all of the many moms who inhabit our Mother Earth! From the frozen tundras to the humid jungles, moms are there. These mothers in the wild are guarantors of diversity. They are the caretakers, the guardians, the protectors, the providers, the leaders, and the teachers. They are the unsung heroes.
The Moms We May Never Meet
The wonderful world of wildlife is one aspect of Motherhood, but there are other unsung moms busy behind the scenes. Not only are the dedicated and devoted pet-moms-of-the-world some of the greatest people on the planet, but if we pan back far enough we discover other moms. These particular moms deserve our deepest gratitude. Yet, we may have never met them, and we may never know who they are. Although these moms may never be known, they have had a profound impact on “pet parents.”
These moms are the mothers of our animal family members.
The ones who walk, trot, swim, soar, and run next to us came into the world through their mothers. Some of these moms might have moved on from this physical life; some might still be with us today. But if it wasn’t for their mother, we would have never had our dearly beloveds by our side.
When you look at your cat, pup, pig, pony, turtle, lizard, fish, ferret or parrot, do you ever wonder who their mama was? Have you ever wondered who brought your beloved animal family member into the world? Whether they hatched or were birthed, they had a mother. These mothers also deserve our adoration and gratitude. They are the ones who brought our furry, scaly, hairy, and feathered soul mates into the world.
I will always be grateful for these mothers.
And if you have had the pleasure of meeting, knowing, or falling in love with the mother of your companion animal, it changes you forever. This week, one of our furry family members had a Big Birthday. Not only were we celebrating a decade of our lil dude being with us, but I was reflecting on how grateful I am for the mom who brought his precious soul into the world. Her name was Mama Cat, and I loved her dearly. (You can see the post about her and who she brought into the world here.)
Beyond Birth and the Bonds
Your connection to your companion animal comes from within. But it all began long before he/she was even a blip on the radar. We cannot even begin to appreciate every alignment, synchronicity, and behind the scenes orchestration that collaborated together to bring the incredible being with whom you share a home now, into the world. Somehow, despite all the odds, and impossible paths, we all aligned with our beloved family members at just the right moment in time. It’s truly amazing.
And each of their mothers were the seed that grew, and through their lives, they allowed the flowers of our lives to bloom.
“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning
Happy Mother’s Day to the countless dedicated moms around the world who love, care, and protect for their furry, feathered, scaly, and hairy “kids” with such incredible devotion. We appreciate that “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” And as Conscious Companions, we honor ALL moms every day! And as the above heart-warming images and these remarkable wildlife tales prove, a mother’s love is unconditional – no matter what species you are.
The Mother of All Life
Last but not least, this post would not be complete without sharing our love and gratitude for the Mother who supports us all; the mother who sustains every species; the mother who is also often overlooked – our Mother Earth.
This Mother’s Day, as we honor our mothers, grandmothers, ancestors, and every mother of the wild ones, may we remember to honor and give our gratitude to Mother Earth. She has seen it all. She has lived through more than we can imagine. Yet she is still here. She is supporting all life, all births, and all of the many mothers around the world.
Thank you, Mother Earth. Thank you for allowing all of the mothers that we love dearly – and the many mothers we may never meet — to be born, to live, and to thrive in your seas, skies, mountains, forests, deserts, and tundras.
All mothers are here because of you.
We thank you, Mother Earth.
Below is some new artwork we created on Earth Day. This pieces serves to be a visual reminder of Mother Earth’s unmatched beauty and resilience, and a reflection of what our Mother can become when she has clean and clear seas and skies. When we heal, she heals, and when she heals, we heal. Every day can be Earth Day and Mother’s Day when each of us chooses to do our part for the greater good of all species who share this precious planet. There is so much we can consider now, to create a better future for all.
We Are One.🤍✨🌎✨
“Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky, and water is a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world, there exists a brotherly feeling that keeps us safe among them … This concept of life and its relations filled us with the joy and mystery of living; it gave us reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.” ― Chief Luther Standing Bear
I hope this finds you and yours well in all ways. As we move through these intense times and energetic upswings, I would like to share something we created last month. It’s a short meditation-y video message that came through after enjoying a nature adventure with Hocus and Mr. Beaux.
“Each soul you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love.” ― Eric Micha’el Leventhal
Wherever you find yourself at this moment in time, know that everyone calls for love as you do; the form may vary greatly, but we are all calling for love. Know also that you are here on purpose, for a purpose. If you are floundering to find out what that role is, know that you do have one. Trust. Flow. Allow. Observe. See what unfolds. Your Soul Knows.
And our soul also knows we are All a thread in a grand tapestry.
The idea that we are a mere thread in a larger grand tapestry may be easy to embrace to some, but what happens when we extend this idea to every being around us. Can we accept that every living being has a role to play? Can we set aside our myopic view and choose to becoming open to seeing the big picture? Can we set aside our judgement and accept every being? Can we see each soul as a single thread weaving through the tapestry of life?
What would change if you knew that every being has a role to play? How would life unfold if you knew that each thread mattered? What if every being was a divine thread weaving their way? Would you see them and yourself in a new Light?
This has been a poignant lesson lately. My hope is to plant the seeds of remembering Who we All are, and that we are not at really separate and at odds with one another; we are all co-creating a beautiful tapestry as One.
“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.” ― Swami Vivekananda
That’s my girl. My sunshine. My Smile. My whole heaping heart.
When I am down, she lifts me. When I am frustrated she waits for me to become clear. When I am sad she feels it. When my boundaries are out of bounds, she reflects this back to me. When I need space, she gives it. When I grieve, she is near. When I need a nudge to get out of my own way, she gently pushes. When I am stuck in the muck of my mind she pulls me out of it.
We walk. We run. We explore. We laugh. We play. We let go.
She is a light in the dark. She is a rock when I need rest. She is unconditional love when I am forgetting to love. She is an angel disguised as a dog.
But most of all, she is my Joy.
I share this with you because we all need someone or something in our life who gives us these gifts. We all need moments of levity, laughter, and love … 24/7.
We need to remember there are beloveds by our side who are always holding space for our well-being. These beloveds – if we let them – can help our mental, emotional, and physical health, especially during these trying times.
The little conversation, well is over very soon And I watch in admiration from my corner of the room And they shine on you with starry eyes and they rain a friendly storm
It’s time we pay closer attention. If health concerns can be ruled out, there could be other conversations at hand. That persistent nudge; the constant chuffing; the incessant meowing; that annoying winning; the gentle tugging; those pleading soulful eyes … are all an invitation.
We often dismiss these behaviors or label them as irritating, annoying or distracting, but what if these behaviors attempting to get your attention are more than what they appear to be? What if sometimes they are an invitation to get up, move about, rethink, readjust, reevaluate, shift our energy, or get out of our own way? What if these behaviors were reflecting back to you, what you need in that very moment?
Sure, it could just be a singular desire or need our animal family members are exhibiting: Maybe he has to pee. Maybe she’s bored. Maybe he’s frustrated. Maybe she’s hungry. Maybe he wants the cake you left on the kitchen counter. Of course, these are all perfectly logical explanations for various behaviors. And if you read this post, then you know that pain is a very common medical issue that can create or exacerbate behavior problems in our animal companions.
But what if sometimes, it’s also you, their guardian?
What if our furry, feathered, and scaly friends and family members are more in tune with us than we can possibly imagine? What if they can read us like an open book? What if our behavior, emotions, and energy are a beacon to them? What if our sh*tty mood is a shout-out? What if they instinctively and intuitively knew what we need in that moment? What if they truly wanted the best for us always?
If you knew this was true, how would you respond? What would you do? Would your choices be influenced? Would your behavior change? Would your emotions change?
It’s worth considering.
And it’s worth questioning everything. –Every thought. Every belief. Every emotion.
My Cherokee heritage teaches (much like some of the eastern philosophies) that nothing outside of us is separate from us. They believe that the world which appears to be outside is merely a mirror, reflecting back to us. It’s taken me years to even consider this as a possibility, but I am starting to see. I am questioning everything, and staying open with a curious mind. I invite you to stay open and stay curious too, especially when it comes to your critters. 😉
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ― Albert Einstein
All philosophy set aside, we have incredible beings by our side who are ready, willing, and able to pull us out of the swamps of sadness. We have loved ones who may annoy the crap out of us sometimes, but there is a method in the madness. The only thing we need to do is open the invitation we’ve been given. Just being willing to look at something from a different perspective can change our worlds. Our furry family members (and Mother Nature) have helped me to better recognize when I need to shift my mood, my mind, my thoughts, and my behavior. Sometimes I have to get pulled hard by them, dragging and screaming, but eventually I see clearly.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Other than the incredible colors of Autumn, like many people, I really dislike the time change. As the days get shorter and the long, dark nights of late fall and winter settle in, many folks find their mood getting darker, too. As someone who dealt with depression for two thirds of my life, I have incredible empathy for souls who get sad. And at this time of year we see more of it.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide
It’s a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
More women are affected by depression than men.
Over 16 million people in the U.S. (6.7 percent of the pop) experience more than one episode of major depression during a year.
A further 5 percent live with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression.
The symptoms of SAD are so similar to those of depression that it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the two. SAD, also known as winter blues, typically affects women. In fact, 4 in 5 people with the condition are women, and the reasons for this predisposition are likely to be genetic. However, while some people are genetically prone to the condition, they resist the environmental factors that might trigger it.
I laughed out loud when I read those symptoms, because who doesn’t feel like that in the winter?!? Hell, I feel like that when the temp drops below 60! 😀 I mean, come on. Who wants to eat a carrot stick or bowl of broccoli when it’s cold and rainy?! And who doesn’t love to hibernate in the winter?!
All creatures want comfort when we are cold. We all want to feel good when we feel bad. And everyone has various methods for curing their ailments. The point is, it’s important to recognize when we are feeling down, and then do something about it. We gotta address the “down”.
Don’t Stay Stuck!
Wildfires, geopolitical insanity, and the fear-mongering the media sells, are all testing our resilience. But so can seasonal changes. Whether or not you’re affected by the weather, many are. So if we become aware of these seasonal challenges we can help others. There are four medical types of treatment for SAD:
Empaths feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our over-intellectualized society. – Dr. Judith Orloff
Even if you, your family member, coworkers, neighbors, or friends are not a HSP or an Empath, we all have emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental challenges. But we also have fabulously effective tools to Get Up and Get Out of our funk! If each person began practicing just one of those tools I listed above we’d feel better.
Here’s a helpful fact … Seasonal depression is caused by insufficient daylight, making the condition more widespread in countries that are farther from the Equator. A new study in Copenhagen, Denmark,has discovered the power of daylight as a natural antidepressant. (You can read the details in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.)
Daylight is effectively a natural antidepressant. Like many drugs currently used against depression, more daylight prevents serotonin from being removed from the brain.
So what does that research quote tell you? To me, it says that one of the most powerful (free) tools/resources we have to feel better, stay healthy, and increase our mental and emotional health is something we have access to every day … the sun. We all need to be outside more. We all need to play more. We all need to soak up the sun’s healing rays.
I wish we all would. Everyone. Every day.
Thankfully, our beloved Hocus Pocus and Mr. Beaux don’t let a single day go by without going outside. -Even when it’s the last thing I want to do But after I do go outside and have an adventure with them (even when it’s cold-as-all-get-out), I am so damn happy that I did. I am so unbelievably grateful they pulled me away from work, or out of my comfort zone to get outside and play. My energy and mood shifts completely.
And because We Are One, so does theirs 😉
Below is a video I was inspired to create after I had been in a heavy funk. Hocus, as always, (and unlike no other) once again, pulled me out of the muck of my mind with her puppy-like persuasive ways and means …
All I needed was the love you gave All I needed for another day And all I ever knew Only you
We all have natural healing tools available around the world. It’s quite true that “Nature Heals”. Our animal friends know this. Our bodies and brains crave daylight; this energy not only allows the body to release the “feel-good hormone”, serotonin, but walking outside during the day (even when it’s cold) will give you vital sun exposure.
And on an energetic level, it’s important to recognize that nature exists in a constant state of nonresistance. Mother Nature feels like home to many of us because her vibration is pure. 🌊 Our energy is most aligned to its highest and pure essence when we are immersed in nature. We are most grounded in nature. So are our animal friends.
They know this. They feel it, too.
But have you noticed that we also feel this way when we are in the presence of our animal companions? They are the embodiment of Unconditional Love!
Joy is our true state of being; all else is an illusion we’ve bought into. There’s nothing inherently “wrong” with this illusion, but is it how we really want to feel? Do we want to live life feeling down every day or do we want to be free?
I choose freedom.
I choose to remember that my beloveds want this for me, too. The ones we often take for granted are doing their best to help us. We can wake up from our funk when we start to realize that feeling joy, gratitude, and love, and being playful is our inherent nature. We can choose a new way of being every moment of the day.
We can get up and get outside. Right Now 😉
Be well. Be Kind. And be Good to each other. Stay open to miracles in the mind and remember to laugh and play, friends!
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.” ― Alan Wilson Watts
“Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon;and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”
~Rossiter Worthington Raymond
Hello beloveds, and hello November!
Wow, we are 2 months away from 2018! How can this be?? So much has happened in our individual worlds and around the world in such a short period of time. Speaking of time, let’s get to it!
The Day of the Dead is here.
Before you get all freaked out, please hear me out. This period of time we find ourselves in is a very sacred one to many cultures around the world. But the topic of “death” is not a favorite topic to many. I used to be one of these people. Discussing the details of death was something I dreaded, feared, and hated. The idea of “death” was truly the most dreaded thing to me.
Now I know better.
If you have been following this blog you know that as an Intuitive Empath and a science-geek, I do my best to lived a balanced life. I navigate both the metaphysical and physical worlds. I have to; they are both integral to a healthy, happy, harmonious life and home – for me at least – because this is what I know.
If I could give a gift to anyone who had their world torn apart, or their heartbroken from loosing a beloved, I would shown them what I have seen, felt, and learned over the years. I would give them the gift of knowing that there is no death; there is only an extension of consciousness. I would give them the gift that would let them know that the ones who left “too soon”, the ones whom we had to say goodbye are not gone.
They are not dead.
They are very much alive, but in a new form. A better form. An expanded, healed and complete form. At peace. And assisting us.
My family’s Cherokee teachings touch on this sensitive topic. Below is a traditional Cherokee story that explains:
He held the little seeds in his hand and let them scatter to the wind and he said, “We are Cherokee, but we are also man … and within us is the Spirit. Our bodies may fall to the ground, but nothing real is ever lost. Who can pick up a seed and see the tree or the stalk that is sleeping inside, waiting for the right time to burst forth … and who can look at a man and see the Great Spirit and the Sacred Self that grows within? It is there, waiting for the right time to manifest and grow. You are a seed. What lies within you? What will your Spirit do for The People?”
In the book I will share more on this subject. But for now, let’s look at something happening all around the world that serves to honor this very Truth.
Today is Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)! This is a holiday that began on Tuesday, October 31 and ends on Thursday, November 2. It is a time of celebration for many! It is a time to connect with, and honor loved ones in Spirit. Although most strongly identified with Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Latin America and everywhere with a Latino population, including here in California!
Here’s an easy rundown:
Day of the Dead: a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States.
Ends: November 2
Starts: October 31
Observed by: Mexico, and regions around the globe with large Hispanic populations
Significance: Prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died
Related to: All Saints’ Day
Celebrations: Creation of altars to remember the dead, and offer traditional Day of the Dead’s food and drink
Day of the Dead follows a similar two-day structure (and occupies the same two days of the calendar year, Nov. 1 and 2nd), but the focus is different. On the first day, families remember children who have died, and on the second, the adults. Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.
The central belief these celebrations are based is that the spirits of loved ones join the living on these days and openly commune with them. Families leave toys and calaveras (the iconic skull — made from sugar that inspires the makeup) for children. They leave food, favorite possessions, and other gifts for the adults at elaborate homemade altars called “ofrendas.” You can read more about all of this here.
Dia de los Muertos is a happy holiday filled with bright colors, candles, food, and cheer! It’s a time for families to gather together and remember and honor those who have left this physical earth. Dia de los Muertos honors the innocent children and companion animals, too! The people and pets who have passed on are remembered, cherished, honored, and celebrated with love and joy.
Our Day Of The Dead “Door Knock”
Something happened to me on this very day, back in November of 2014. This something was quite startling; it was a knock at my “door” when I was finally ready to hear it and open the door.
After returning home from our Make A Wish class, I put away all of the Halloween decor outside. I was going to start on the inside decor next but decided to wait. Afterward we were chilling on the couch about to watch a movie/snooze, when out of the blue, I watched our two glass pumpkins on this table turn ON by themselves. First the white one, then the green one. Someone was trying to get my attention.
After a bit of “ethereal investigating” we discovered it was my grandmother. She had reached out to me, to give our family a very powerful, healing message. More on that later 😉 But it was her “knock” on The Day of The Dead that got my attention. When grandmother knocked, and I chose to set fear of the unknown aside, she showed me a new world. I have always been “open”, but grandmother’s knock invited me to stay open.
Our loved ones desperately want to stay connect to us, in this physical world. They are our guardians now. They want us to know this. Our beloveds behind the veil want to connect with us, support us, and offer nothing but unconditional love. These messages continue to come through to this day; both from furry family members, and the human ones! They are always messages of hope, love, peace, joy, and frankly, FUN.
The Veil is Thinning.
The veil between this world and others is thinning, unlike never before. But this is nothing to fear. The “veil” is the ethereal curtain that, unfortunately, sets the scene for the mass belief in illusions such as separateness, limitations, and death. Fortunately, quantum theory, ancient mysticism, and new research into the mysteries of consciousness shows that everything is connected, that We Are One, and that consciousness exists beyond the physical body, and that the potential of the universe and many worlds within it is limitless and just waiting for us to tune into it.
The Veil Is Lifting.
The time to “tap in” is now because our guides behind the veil are tapping on our shoulders. Now. This thinning of the veil allows helpful influences “on the other side” become more available than ever before. With the intense energies “upgrades” we’ve been powering through, our extrasensory abilities are allowing more people to tune into the world beyond our physical one.
Out of Sight, but Not Mind
Our beloveds who have passed on, our spiritual guides who assist in our growth, our spirit animals, and the magical bounty of angels and ascended masters are there. These divine beings are always with us, but now in ways never possible before. Just because they may be out of your sight, does not mean that you are out of their mind.
Their love has not left us. Their love is true. This love lasts forever.
“True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen.”
― François de La Rochefoucauld
Create Time to Connect
This is such a beautiful and powerful time to honor loved ones that have passed on, and to connect with your ancestral guides. The Day of the Dead is not limited to people. It is also a time to celebrate the lives of our fury, scaly, and feathered animal companions who are just beyond this world at some call “the rainbow bridge.” – more on that topic later. 😉
Have you ever been somewhere – maybe a room in your house, a store, a public place, or at an event – and you became aware of something in your presence, but long after you arrived there? You thought you could sense (see, feel, know, touch, or taste) all that was in front of you. You were certain you were sensing everything that there was to sense, but then, either someone, something, or you brought your attention to something.
In an instant you saw, felt, or sensed something that you were unaware of.
You had no idea that person or object was there until it came into your awareness. You were so sure that it was not there before! It could not have been! You were so confident that you were aware of everything around you! But there it is. There it was. Right there beside you all along. It was there, but somehow out of your awareness.
This is where our beloveds are.
The ones that passed away. The ones who left without a trace. The ones who left suddenly, tragically, or peacefully. The ones who “left us behind.” The ones who we loved more than anything. The ones who we will always love. The ones who we miss. The ones to whom we said our last goodbye. The ones who love us unconditionally.
They are here with us, just out of our awareness.
Our beloveds have never really left us. And they certainly didn’t leave us behind. For who they are, and who we are can never really be separated from one another. Who they are is spirit eternal. They are Life in the truest sense of the word. Eternally connected to us in life, and after their body’s death. Eternal Light. Always and forever with us.
Do you know that song from the goddess Jill Scott? It’s really good. I first saw Jill at Jazz Fest in New Orleans nearly a decade ago with a soul sister and she blew my mind; such powerful positive energy! I shared the lyrics to her song “Golden” because that is how someone I love very much lived his life, and it’s also how others have,too. But before we go there, I would like to ask you some questions.
Who came into your life unexpectedly?
Who holds a key to your heart?
Who has made an impact on your life in ways you never expected?
Who has given you gifts that you can never repay?
Who has taught you some of your greatest life lessons?
Who would you do anything for?
For me, one soul that fits all of these is the focus of this post’s discussion. His name is King Albert the Grey.
I wish you knew him. In fact, I wish the world knew him the way I do. He is a king. A badass. A warrior. He is a friend to few, a lover of fewer, and a Great Love of mine.
Please allow me to share why he is the King of our wee kingdom.
Note: Below is an excerpt (and a very abbreviated version) of a chapter from my book about caring for senior cats. This is one of my longer posts, so get comfy with your critters and settle in. Oh, and you might need a tissue, too.
During the spring of 2005 a rather intimidating stray cat the size of a bobcat began sneaking into our house, via the cat window that my zookeeper boyfriend had designed. Our cats Mr. Beaux (a melanistic Siamese, and Samantha, a semi-feral cat) were free-roaming cats at the time; oh how things have changed!
My roommate, the head Sea Lion trainer at work, would come home nearly every evening and find one of the neighborhood strays in our house. As soon as she opened the front door this huge cat would come hauling butt out of our house! We named this brute “Big Fat Grey Cat” (BFGC) because he was big, fat, and grey. Not a clever name, I know. But we didn’t care. We just wanted him gone. This shamelessly bold stray cat had a habit of creeping into our home, eating the cats’ food, playing with their toys, and pooping in their litter boxes! I was livid. And our cats were really starting to freak out. So, one day I decided to put an end to the shenanigans. I was going to catch this creepy cat in the act.
On my next day off I pretended to go take a nap on my bed, right next to the cat window where we assumed he was entering. My plan was to scare the crap out of this cat so he would never come back. As I laid there on my bed, I soon heard the chair below the cat window on the porch move (I knew he had hopped into the chair at this point). I laid as still as a could with one eye open. Within moments a huge grey head peaked through the rubber window flaps. His long grey whiskers and ears were pushed forward fearlessly. His bright yellow eyes were as wide as saucers, scanning the room. I quickly closed mine, pretending to be asleep. At this point, the only way this cat could enter the house was to literally walk over my legs. That’s when I would pounce like a panther, forcing him to retreat and never come back!
I waited for him to step over my legs. My heart was racing. His must have been too. I laid there for what seemed like forever, waiting for him to step between my legs. To my utter shock and surprise this ballsy stray cat carefully began to lay himself down on my bed just inches away from my feet.
“What in the world was happening here?!?!”, I thought to myself.
Both appalled and amazed, I opened my eyes and looked right at him, thinking my direct stare would surely scare him off. As he continued to gingerly settle into the bed, he slowly glanced at me, gave me a slow blink, then turned his head slightly away from me, still maintaining his posture of confidence, but keeping his full awareness on me.
“This cat had some nerve!”, I thought. “Who the hell does he think he is?!?”
He knew who he was. He was a King. And he had just claimed my bed.
And clearly this house.
Something came over me. The plan of executing an angry attack on this creepy cat had changed. I had gone from a human hunter waiting for her prey, to a curious cat lover wanting to understand what was happening in my home. I took the bait.
I looked at him. He looked right at me, but with a gentle energy. His eyes were softer. He truly felt as if he was politely asking permission to just be there, on my bed with me, in our loving home. I could feel and sense that he had no malice or ill intent. He was asking for my permission to stay. So, I took a deep breath, opened my heart to him, and said, “Well hello there.”
For nearly six months after that, Big Fat Grey Cat stayed near our home. It was all still very odd and a bit unsettling to me. He was, as everyone knew, the neighborhood bully. He was a brutal fighter and killer. He literally captured and killed every prey animal he came across and consumed it in plain sight. He fought every dog he saw, and every cat that was careless enough to come close to him.
I vividly remember one examples of his fearless ferocity. One afternoon while cleaning dishes, I looked out the kitchen window to discover BFGC standing in our driveway with a huge snake in his mouth! I hollered at him, pounding on the window, hoping he would drop it (I am a HUGE lover of snakes!). BFGC barely glanced over at me, intent on keeping his prey secure in his mouth. I raced outside to rescue the snake from the jaws of death. Big Fat Grey Cat stood his ground with the snake wrapped around his neck and head …
The rest of that story will be shared at a later date. The point is, being a fearless hunter, an endless explorer, and an unapologetic badass was in Big Fat Grey Cat’s DNA. Do you remember the infamous scene in Pulp Fiction at the end, with “the wallet”? (you only need to watch it until 1:05 to get the point.) If this cat carried a wallet, that’s the kind that King Albert the Grey would have had. It’s who he was. He had no fear. None. Not for the 17 years of life that I knew him. He lived for a thrill. He took risks. He never stopped exploring. He was a badass.
But here’s what really captured my heart: He followed sensitive, scaredy pants Mr. Beaux everywhere (which really freaked Beaux out), but he was always kind to Beaux; he never raised a paw and he let him lead. He gave Samantha the extra space she required, and he knew when to keep his distance from our guests. And he never came back inside through the cat window; he always asked to come in through the front door. He even welcomed me home when my truck pulled into the driveway.
He adopted us as his family.
But I still wanted to know where he came from, and why he chose us, so I did some investigating. It turned out, his owner was an elderly man that had become too weak to care for him and his brother, so BFGC and his sibling were left homeless. He was truly looking for a new home, and he chose us. I also know now that my grandmother In Spirit sent him our way (more on that later). Eventually we embraced him fully into our family but that came much later, during and after Hurricane Katrina, and our evacuation adventures together. I talk all about this much more in the book. All you need to know now is that he was discarded onto the streets and became king of the streets. He was once unwelcome, but we welcomed him. He once intimidated us but we learned to see his softer side.
He ruled the streets with a grey iron paw, but wanted a loving home with us. He was a ruthless hunter, but had a heart of gold for his companions. He ruled his world with confidence, bravery, determination, focus, and strength. He was unapologetic in every decision he made. He understood the importance of healthy boundaries. He was respected by all who encountered him. He was both feared and admired, yet he could care less of what others thought of him. He was loved by those who knew him, yet he loved only a few. He was choosy with affection, in charge of his kingdom, and capable of attaining anything we wanted. He truly was a great king.
This beloved King left our home for a new kingdom on the night of March 31, 2017.
There are souls who come into this world to be the catalyst for change, healing, and growth. And even fewer who can be fully understood for what they offer, what they embody, and who they truly Are. King Albert the Grey was all of this and more to me. He was my friend, my muse, my feline companion, my teacher, and my guide.
And he still is.
The death of his body has not caused any of that to change. He is still all of this and more. Those subjects will be shared in much greater detail at a later date. For now, I want to focus on the manner in which he lived his life, instead of how his physical life ended.
My intent today is to focus on how he chose to live before he became the king of our household; back in the distant days when he had the freedom to choose absolutely anything. King Albert’s former feline life played a key role in what occurred in the days, weeks, and months before he left our world for a new one. After 17 years, King Albert The Grey’s feline life came full circle.
My intent is to share why it’s important to recognize the life he once lived. How he lived his life as King of New Orleans’ streets (prior to becoming an indoor house cat) affected how King Albert was invited to live his life before he left this world.
This is what I offered him in his last life chapter.
He didn’t want, or ask for our pity, our worry, or our sadness for his health challenges and complications. He never did in his youth, and he certainly didn’t as he aged. He saw and felt beyond all of that. He wanted to FEEL ALIVE, no matter the age. He wanted to experience all that he could, despite his age. He wanted the kind of life challenges he had in his youth.
Albert lived with vigor and fearlessness in his younger years. Challenging himself and trying new things set his feline soul on fire. King Albert was most alive when he could choose to go, be, and do, anything! But even as his body began to fail him, he never let go of his love for life. Albert embraced this vigor, well into his geriatric years. I was in awe of him every day. Truly in awe. No matter what was going on in his body, he was at peace in his mind and his heart. He didn’t let discomfort bring him down. He was always ready for more. Even on days when he could barely get up, he got up.
He never gave up.
And I never gave up on him. Not for one moment. Albert overlooked the body. He taught me how to do this. I learned to see beyond his aging, struggling body to the young, vibrant soul who was within. I learned to trust him. I let go of trying to control everything. I learned to let him lead me.
Look at your animal companions right now. How would you describe their Love for Life? What makes their heart sing? What makes their soul soar? Who were they in their younger years? Who, what, when, and where did they enjoy most? Do you have images of them from back then? Find them. Look at them with your animal companion and your family. Find and SEE that young spirit that is alive within them now. Ask your beloved what they want. How would they want to spend their last days, weeks, months, or years? What would their Golden Years become if they could choose? What would they want to have, be, see, or do if you would allow it? Who are they at heart?? Can you see their vibrant soul within their aging body??
It’s still there.
This is some of what Albert taught me when his body began to fail. Recognizing his vibrant youth within a geriatric body and constantly seeing beyond his body was one of the greatest gifts I could give him every moment of our days together. Recognizing his innate feline needs, acknowledging his heart’s desires, and how much he LOVED life was what I needed to see, feel, and know. Once I finally recognized these, I was able to give him what he needed.
I gave him a life that was golden.
I knew who King Albert was and what he wanted in his golden years. I knew because I knew him back in his youth. All of those adventures and escapades he had never left him; he still wanted to have those even as he aged. He still wanted to try new things. He wanted to live bravely and fiercely, even at 17+ years of age. Albert wanted to be able to relish everything that life had to offer him. The scents on the breeze; The grass, soil, and sand between his paw pads; The Earth’s healing energy under his body; The warm sun on his face; The wind in his whiskers. These were some of his favorite things. These are what Albert wanted every day of his life.
This is what I gave to him during his last days on Earth.
Below is a short film that I created as a tribute to our King Albert The Grey. I hope it inspires you to give your aging animal companion a life that’s Golden.
My husband and I are both Make A Wish Granters; we have been serving in this role since 2009. This role has been life changing for me. The incredible and unique wishes that are granted to children and their families during their most challenging times change all of their lives forever. What we gave to our King Albert during his life threatening illness is very similar to what families of children with life threatening illnesses are able to experience through The Make A Wish Foundation. When these amazing children are faced with constant medical procedures, daily/hourly medical care, and the stress of illness, they need a release from the emotional and physical discomfort! So Make A Wish gives them their One True Wish. Not only is the child able to participate in their deepest heart’s desire, and receive a reprieve from the medical monotony, but so does their family. The child, parents, and siblings are One throughout the entire process; everyone needs a break, and a chance to celebrate life together!
This is very similar to what people go through with their pets when they are going through a life-threatening illness, or when they are living their last days on Earth. Round the clock medical care at home can be mentally and physically exhausting for everyone in the home. Both people and all the animals need a break from the constant focus of sickness; we need a time of celebration. We need to let them Live Their Life, even in the midst of sickness.
We have the power to grant our beloved their One True Wish.
“ I’ve learned to heed the call of the heart. I’ve learned that the safest path is not always the best path. I’ve learned that the voice of fear is not always to be trusted.” ― Steve Goodier
Think about this. When your dearest friend or family member is leaving for a better opportunity, or the time has come for them to move on because of life circumstances, do you beg, cry, and plead for them to stay? Or do you celebrate the time you had together and the time you still have left, by relishing every moment, every smile, every laugh? Do you celebrate where they are headed?
Celebration and support is what our aging animal companions need from us.
Consider what you could create together when it’s time for your beloved to move on. Rather than putting your energy and emotions into defeat, consider putting your energy into creating a celebration of the last days you have together! What adventures and memories you will have! What a gift you will give them!
Please know that I am not being flippant about death by any means. For goodness sake, I am an Empath; animals are my life and the emotions that come with them are not for the faint of heart. Animals are my best friends and my family. They are my heart. But I have been in the depths of depression too many times to count when I had to suddenly say goodbye to my beloved in the past.
I finally know better.
Now I put all of my energy into loving and celebrating every moment with them. Now I am focused on creating love and joy with them, instead of drowning in sorrow. And I can promise you this: If you saw, felt, and knew where they were headed, you would throw one helluva party every damn day with them. Wherever you are in this process, there is no time to waste while they are still with us.
Celebrate their life while they are still here!
Not only did I give Albert every adventure he asked for near the end, I also gave him my unconditional love, endless support, and patience. This love came in many forms. From Hospice care at home, including force-free medical care multiple times a day (voluntary injections, fluids, and oral medicine). And not once was he forced to participate; we were a team from the get-go. This love also came in the form of finding the best holistic vet, to working in collaboration with the best feline medical hospital and their amazing team who let Albert set the pace. This love came in the form of alternative, holistic medicines and energy healing. This love came in the form of me consciously managing my energy, removing my fears, and learning to let go of control and trust him. This love came in the form of creating a deeper connection and soulful communication with him every day. This love and patience came in the form of allowing him to choose in every circumstance.
This love led us together into our best last days together. This love allowed him to live his golden years with grace and ease. We gave it our all with love. We never gave up on each other. Love led us to each other, and Love helped us all to lead him Home.
This love lead him Home to The Light.
Although it has been just over a week since he left his kingdom here for his new Kingdom in the heavens, the grieving process is still occurring. I am remembering to be gentle with myself, to be conscious of managing my energy, who I interact with, what I allow into my awareness, and the manner in which I continue to fully accept this hand of fate. Although I have not written here in a few months, I felt it was important to share this with you now, especially while I am still processing his passing and honoring his incredible, full life and the lessons he taught me.
These lessons are now being shared with you.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with an aging animal companion, take heart. Do not forget for one moment that you and your beloved are connected in heart and mind. When we are faced with the certain (or uncertain) fate of our beloved animal companion we have two choices. Listen well, and remember this. We can choose to fall into fear, or we can choose to lift ourselves and our beloveds in Love.
In every moment, we have a choice.
No one else can make this choice for us. It is ours and ours alone. We can cry over the circumstances or we can embrace them fearlessly. We can choose to stay angry and resentful about what’s in front of us or we can choose to celebrate their last days on Earth with them. We can find creative solutions, or we can give up. We can choose to accept defeat, or we can choose to proceed ahead together with an open heart of acceptance. We can sink into the swamps of sadness that steal our joy, or we can stand tall, walk with our beloved joyfully, and celebrate every breath together. We can choose to stare into the face of their declining mental and physical health and become burdened with despair, or we can keep searching for solutions. We can choose to see sickness and death, or we can choose to see beyond their body; we can see, feel, sense, and know their vibrant soul within. We can give up or we can give them a life that’s Golden.
We get to choose.
When we choose to let go of fear (anger, sadness, control, etc.) we let them (and fearless Love) lead. When we find peace, we give them permission to live their last days in peace. When we see beyond their body we are giving them the greatest gift; we are recognizing and remembering who they really are. When we learn to listen to their needs, their requests, and their wishes, we are honoring them and respecting them. When we honor and love ourselves through these challenges we are also honoring them, for We Are One.
Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn
(Cherokee for “All my relations in creation”)
One of the promises I made to King Albert the Grey before and during his transition was to live my life the way he did: To be brave and fearless, to set clear and firm boundaries, to love unconditionally, to embrace each day, to never waste a moment in sadness, to remember our True Home, to love and appreciate family, to never put things off for later; to seize the day, and to relish every moment, to be focused and determined, to collect memories not things, and to celebrate the gift of life. One of his clearest messages is to never put off what I can give to myself and others today and to have amazing adventures every damn day!!! This is what I have been doing every day since he left this world.
It has already begun to change my life.
The all-too-familiar soul crushing sadness has not been my constant companion, like it has been countless times in the past. Depression, stagnation, and sadness have been replaced with gratitude, celebration, and joy! I feel unconditional love when I see him in The Light. I feel gratitude when I celebrate his new Home in his new Kingdom. I find joy when I remember where he is and what he gave to our family. I feel overwhelmed with humble appreciation when I recognize that he is now myconstant guardian. And I feel alive, as Albert did, when I get up every morning and seize the day.
“We must be able to look forward in old age to the next day and to look forward to the great adventure that is ahead.” -Dr. Carl Jung
I love you, King Albert. You ruled our kingdom with strength, grace, and dignity through your very last breath here on Earth. I know you are doing this now, in your new world. When your fierce and brave Spirit was released from your body you were in my arms at home. It was an honor, but it broke my heart. The grief was almost to much to bear again. But then my heart began to heal when I remembered: Who you are cannot die.
You are now in a state of grace forever. You are now a warrior of Light. And every moment that I honor you and the Truth of who you Are, all of our hearts and minds are healed.
Be well, brother. May you never stop expanding, and may your adventures never end!
There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. -J. Nehru
This post is only one aspect of our journey together before he transitioned. I will share more about these pieces in the future. These topics include:
• Cat Harness Training – safe walks without fear and frustration for everyone
• Getting Real Consent (force-free medicine, medical procedures, and end of life choices)
• Hospice for Animal Companions
• Natural Death – Assisting with Their Transition at Home
• Utilizing Soul Speak for Life’s Challenges
• Death – The Great Divide or Daring Adventure?
All of these topics will be included in detail in the book, but I will do my best to share them here as time allows.
The picture gallery below is a beautiful reminder that we have the power to create miracles and magic during trying times. We CAN give our animal companions a Golden Life, no matter where they are on their journey. An aging body and life-threatening illness doesn’t have to be the end of their days. These circumstances can be the beginning!
We can grant their One True Wish (and a hundred more)!
The animals pictured in this gallery have passed on (some very recently), but but the grief of their passing is surpassed by the love and adventures their people gave them during their last days on Earth. The gifts these souls were given will remain in their hearts and minds for all time. Their people knew what they needed, wanted, and wished for; they gave it to their beloved animal companion. During their last days on Earth they all lived a Golden Life.
Marley loved the beach as a young pup, so her people invited her to experience nature near the waterfront just before she passed. She was so at peace. Marley spent her last days abroad in France with her beloved family; what she valued most. As she took her last breath she was at home surrounded by their love.
Bailey loved being with family. He spent his last earthly days invited on short walks, beach strolls, and being with the people he loved.
Guinness loved being with his people and going for adventurous swims in his pond. He was able to do this one last time just before he passed.
April loved being with her people and enjoying the scents on the breeze on her lake in her backyard. April spent her last day just sitting in the yard with me enjoying the outdoors.
Oakley LOVED to check the yard perimeter! Up until his last days he was able to be his people’s First Line of Defense at the fence 😉 He also enjoyed caramel popcorn as his reward for being so brave.
Maggie spent her last days adventuring with friends at Mardi Gras and being the quiet, faithful shadow to her most favorite person. She enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the levee on her last night with her person.
Bailey came to his family as a severely neglected dog who was found on their property. He spent his last days enjoying ample cuddles and eating delicious soft foods with the people he loved most.
Since Henri went blind in his last days AND he never lost his appetite, he was constantly either in my arms or sitting right next to me with all his favorites: bully sticks, peanut butter, and porterhouse steak dinners!
Chicory was blind at the time of her passing, but that didn’t stop her from running, chasing, and exploring nature! She spent her last days in such JOY!
Annie’s Oakley was named after his canine mother, Annie. And his human mom loved her Annie Oakley BB gun as a child, so it made sense that Oakley was always up for a wild adventure! Car rides weren’t a horse, but they sure made him happy in his last days!
File` (Feelay) enjoyed the last of her days getting to see parades and get biscuits from people.
Big April loved swimming in the lake and being outside-also barking a lot 😉 Always the protector. She was Penny’s big sister! Even though she was younger. Pretty Penny always liked being in charge and making sure no one messed with her mama! Penny had mini strokes but just kept on going and being fiesty! Go Penny!
Click on the images to read how these superstar souls spent their last days on Earth.
If you would like to share how you gave your beloved a Golden Life before they passed on, you are welcome to contact me. I will be adding more pictures as the stories of love and celebration come in, so feel free to share their story.
Be well, friends. Love each other. Appreciate and celebrate every moment with your beloveds. Don’t waste a moment. Create adventures and memories now. These will be part of the love they bring with them into their next life! The time for celebration is NOW!
“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.”
― Andy Goldsworthy
I hope this finds you and yours well and at peace. It’s been over 2 months since I last shared with you. Life here has been, well, eye opening. So much has happened in just two months! I have so much that I want to share with you concerning aging animals, behavior, healing, animal companions, energy, and conscious communication!
But not today.
Considering the current state of affairs around the world I was inspired to share something that I believe we all need right now: Nature
How’s your nature-intake-level? Are you practicing the self care habit of unplugging from nightmarish news, and enjoying a hiatus of sensational social media? I am. And it feels frigging GREAT.
Today we are less connected to Nature than ever before in human history. Our busy lifestyles and hectic schedules don’t allow us the freedom to find rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation in nature.
Yet that is exactly what we need.
My Cherokee ancestors knew that being in tune with our Mother Earth is one of the most powerful tools we have. Being in nature allows us to develop a more fulfilling, peaceful, and enlightened life. Being In Tune with Nature allows for a deeper connection with all Life – including our animal companions and our fellow earth travelers.
If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.
So why aren’t we out there on a daily basis? Are we making excuses for why we can’t be outside? Are we disconnected from the purest source of nourishment? What takes our focus and time? Have we forgotten what nature has to offer us all?
We have never truly “lost” our connection to nature; we have forgotten how to engage it. When we fail to have reverence for nature and connect with the energies of all that nature encompasses we lose something valuable – our intimate connection with each other, with wildlife, with the Earth, and with All That Is.
Nature is a refuge. She is solace. A teacher. A healer. When we connect with nature we are connected to All Life. We are open to receiving. We are able to giving. We find balance. We are open to discovery, learning, healing, and enlightenment.
The reason is quite simple: We are part of nature; we are not separate from it.
But we often feel so disconnected.
When I appear to lose my connection, I appear to be separate from All that Is.
But when I am in nature I Am tuned in, tapped in, and turned on!
I become consciously awake.
Then I remember.
I laugh at my forgetfulness.
I give thanks.
Thanks for remembering the Truth.
I Am not *Part* of Nature.
I Am nature.
She is me.
The roaring winds
The turbulent seas
The peaceful sunset
The strong trees
They are me.
What I do to nature,
I am doing to me.
You are nature.
Nature is you.
All that you see is you.
How we treat nature
How we view nature
How we give to nature
How we take from nature
It’s all a reflection of ourselves.
We do not exist independently
We are not separate from everything else.
There is no “else”.
We are not separate from anyONE.
That belief, my fellow earth travelers, is the illusion.
A trick of the ego.
Harmful in every way.
We have forgotten the Truth.
But we can remember.
GO into nature.
Listen. Feel. Know.
Sit in silence.
Let Nature heal you.
Let Nature inspire you.
Let Nature show you.
Be open to the miracles and magic.
Do not accept this little, fenced-off aspect as yourself. The sun and ocean are as nothing beside what you are. The sun beam sparkles only in the sunlight, and the ripple dances as it rests upon the ocean. Yet in neither sun nor ocean is the power that rests in you.
“Ten years of shadows, but no longer. Light up the darkness, Majesty.”― Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows
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 am not going to hide anymore. So I will just say it and get it over with.
I am an Empath, an Intuitive, an Indigo, and also a BlueRay Starseed.
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 Are Those?!
Ha! 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 three words mean. Maybe after reading this you will realize that your friend, a family member, or you, are an Empath, an Indigo, or an Intuitive, too! (The Starseed will be addressed at another time😸)
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 any specie’s behavior, choices, or preferences into a “box” is not helpful for a number of reasons. But for the purposes of today I will use words and loose categorizes that are widely accepted in the the energy and holistic healing community.
An Intuitive is someone who experiences the world in a way that is not easy to understand or explain in words. Our minds filter information in a way that cannot be explained in a logical-minded way. Our bodies are filters of the world. Intuition is our compass.
Intuitives also know things without knowing why. We can’t prove how or why, we just know it to be true. This is Claircognizance. Both my husband and I are claircogs. We receive information in a variety of ways. It can via the mind, thoughts, sounds, or through the body – utilizing the five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste and touch). We can receive information through all of the 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. Clairalience means clear smelling. Clairgustance means clear tasting. Clairsentience means clear feeling. Clairvoyance means clear seeing. 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 four, with Claircognazance being the strongest and Clairaudience coming in at a close second.
After many years of doing a lot of deep inner healing and energetic clearing these heightened senses became my primary senses. And in the depths of one of my most challenging physical struggles, it was these senses that allowed me to connect deeply to animals and The Standing Ones. Life changed forever after that. I learned Soul Speak and now I teach this to others who are open to learning.
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. Derived from the Greek “em” (in) and “pathos” (feeling), the term empathic means I am able to “feel into” others’ feelings.
Empaths are born an empath. You don’t become one. My empathic traits have been passed down through my family’s lineage; this is very common. My Cherokee/Irish mother is also an Empath, but she does not know this yet. She is starting to learn from what I share with her.
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. These common circumstances can be too much for an Empath if one does not have the tools to navigate the world safely and without sensory overload.
Being an Empath is way more than just being “sensitive.” We can feel physical sensitivities, spiritual urges, and can easily discern the motivations and intentions of others. Empaths often experience chronic fatigue or unexplained aches and pains that come and go. We “share” emotions of others. We have the ability to read another’s body language as if it was our own, and we can truly, deeply understand what someone else is going through.
We FEEL unlike no other.
Being an empath does have its advantages, but it also has some downsides, too. It can be physically and emotionally draining and exhausting. That is why self love and self care is of the utmost importance! We talk about how important this is on our Empath community group.
here are a number of types of Empaths. Only 10 are currently recognized:
1. Physically Receptive Empath
2. Emotionally Receptive Empath
3. Claircognizant Empath
4. Geomantic Empaths
5. Fauna Empath
6. Medium Empath
7. Flora Empath
8. Psychometric Empath
9. Telepathic Empath
10. Precognitive Empath
An Empath can be all of these or just one of these; it does not matter the number. They all serve an important purpose. I Am actually many of these types of empaths. Some of these categories are stronger than others for me, but it does not matter. They are merely part of who I am. What we do need to recognize is that they will ebb and flow as we grow spiritually. And we need to recognize and honor these sensitivities in others as well.
The Heyoka Empath
There is another type of empath, that few discuss. They are called “Heyokas”. The heyoka (heyókȟa, also spelled “haokah,” or “heyokha”) is a kind of “sacred clown” in the culture of the Lakota people of the Great Plains of North America. The heyoka is a contrarian, jester, and satirist, who speaks, moves and reacts in an opposite fashion to the people around them. The Lakota medicine man, Black Elk, described himself as a Heyoka, saying he had been visited as a child by the thunder beings (Thunderbirds).⚡
I find it interesting that as a Cherokee child, I am one of these. We are considered “mirrors” for others. Our Cherokee heritages that We Are One; one appearing as many. So the mirroring is actually a very helpful tool.
Principally, the Heyókȟa functions both as a mirror and a teacher, using extreme behaviors to mirror others, and forcing them to examine their own doubts, fears, hatreds, and weaknesses. Heyókȟa have the power to heal emotional pain; such power comes from the experience of shame. They provoke laughter in distressing situations of despair, and provoke fear and chaos when people feel complacent and overly secure, to keep them from taking themselves too seriously or believing they are more powerful than they are.
Heyokas’ advice and behavior is not always welcomed. But it should be known that our intentions are always for good. We only mean to help those around us. If you feel irritated or annoyed after leaving the presence of a Heyoka, it very well could be because we shined a light on that particular part of you; you were triggered. On the other hand, if you are filled with a sense of joy, peace, love, and acceptance after being with a Heyoka, we mirrored or reflected that part of you back to you, while also reminding you of the importance of loving and accepting yourself for who you are. The mirroring that Heyokas practice is intended to teach you to open your mind to aspects of yourself that you were not aware existed.
The Heyókȟa symbolizes and portrays many aspects of the sacred beings, the Wakȟáŋ. His satire presents important questions by fooling around. They ask difficult questions, and say things others are too afraid to say. Their behavior poses questions as do Zen koans. By reading between the lines, the audience is able to think about things not usually thought about, or to look at things in a different way.
They are the only ones who can ask “Why?” about sensitive topics; they use satire to question the specialists and carriers of sacred knowledge or those in positions of power and authority.
In Native American ceremonies, the Heyoka would be the one to disrupt the ceremony. The purpose was to help his people to either see things differently or to shift the energy. Heyokas today, will say or do something off hand or “out of left field” to shift the energy. I do this ALL the time when things are tense. Some see this “interruption” as rude or insensitive, but my goal is always to shift the energy. This energy disruption comes from love; the goal is to act as a catalyst for growth and healing.
The Heyoka’s gift to others is bringing balance, by reflecting the opposite. Heyoka’s carry the medicine of chaos; what my ancestors used as spiritual medicine. It ha the power to change lives. This medicine reveals / reflects the shadow side that is unseen; we show the mirror of truth, that few are willing to look into. When you meet a Heyoka, challenge yourself to have the courage to let love reflect back to you, the unseen within.
Most Heyoka teach us that there is no such thing as an enlightened master. We’re all spiritually dumb. The closest we can ever get to being “enlightened” is simply to understand that we are naïve to it, and then to laugh about it together as a community. Sacred clowns have the ability to plant this seed of sacred humor. They are constantly in the throes of metanoia, disturbing the undisturbed, comforting the uncomfortable and freeing the unfree. They remind us, as Rumi did, that “the ego is merely a veil between humans and God.” – McGee
There are (currently) 5 Major aura colors that correspond to the spiritual types: blues, violets, Indigos Crystals, and Rainbows. Every single person (and being) is an extension of Creator/Source. Thus every single aura color in existence is a spiritual expression. When we have an Intention prior to incarnating, we are coming into a physical body, vibrating at a certain rate. Once here, the photons are now bouncing off of the energy frequency in a person’s energy field (aura). It will “bounce back” and be perceived as a particular color (blues, green, violet, indigo, etc.).
Both my brother and I were Indigo Children. Many Indigos are born in the mid to late 70’s or soon after. The term “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.
This dark blue is actually my favorite color! And it’s not a coincidence to later discover that this Indigo blue happens to be the color of my Higher Self (the ascended aspect of little ego me)! This color of blue is also in the color spectrum of the third eye chakra, which is an energy center located between the eyebrows. This chakra regulates clairvoyance (clear sight). There are some Indigos who now have Violet in their aura. I am one of these. You can see if you are too, by reading the article at the end of this post.
“When we talk about the spiritual aura colors, what that means is, the beings who came to earth with these particular frequencies, had the intention to put other people into connection with their own nonphysical essence.” – Teal
Each of the spiritual colors have their own attributes. Indigos are known as the warriors. We are pathfinders; paving the way for the other colors. We are also walking lie detectors.
Ah, but it’s not all as great as it sounds. For an Indigo, it’s very common for us to find resistance – whether within ourselves or within the system we want to see change within. Indigos would do well to learn how to align with what we want to see with our grander vision w/out resisting what we don’t want to see.
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. An Indigo’s inner lie detector is 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; indigos often rebel or speak out. -Sometimes loudly and often unapologetically.
Indigos are, in general, old souls, or at least souls with great spiritual depth with a strong sense of life purpose. Indigos have wisdom and depth that most people have yet to understand (or want) to understand. They have great potential in their souls from birth, which, as time goes by, they tap into this wisdom and fully bring to fruition, during their current incarnation.
Indigos don’t have the ability to dissociate from our feelings and just pretend like everything’s okay; unless medicated or sedated. We are completely and utterly incapable of faking or pretending anything; we avoid people and situations all together at times. We become frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented, outdated and don’t require creative thought. We easily see more effective ways of doing things – at home, work, and in school. We are very nonconforming to old systems. We may appear antisocial at times, unless we are with those who are like us. If there are no others of similar-consciousness around us we turn inward. We are not shy in letting others know what we need. Many Indigos are often diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning challenges.
Here are some other (generalized) traits of Indigo children and adults:
intense at times
empathic, curious, creative
strong-willed with a sense of having an important “mission”
often perceived by friends and family as being strange or the black sheep
possess a clear sense of self-definition and purpose
show a strong innate subconscious spirituality from early childhood
have a strong feeling of entitlement, or deserving to be here
have a high intelligence quotient
have an inherent intuitive ability
resistant to rigid, control-based paradigms of authority
Indigos began entering Earth around 45 years ago. They are born into every race and social structure in existence. They hold an innate energy vibrational frequency of Love. Indigos come into our world through the Third Eye Chakra which is the center of intuition, spiritual will, connecting ideas and developing a ‘picture’ of the world. They tend to be very strong willed, ultra sensitive, and quite “rebellious.” They also have a tremendous desire to be of service. Therefore, one of their biggest challenges is to honor and love themselves, to have boundaries and to learn to say, “no.”
According to Tober and Carroll, indigo children may function poorly in conventional schools due to their rejection of rigid authority, their being more spiritually mature than their teachers, and their lack of response to guilt-, fear- or manipulation-based discipline. Indigos are rarely willing to settle being talked down to or being made part of a conforming “machine.” An Indigo’s most common question is “why?”. (My favorite question!) We are always questioning the status quo.
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 past their pain and fear. I knew who they really were, beyond the body. 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. We are a perfect compass. For example, my hands know where to go when I am working on an animal or person. Someone could be 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. I hear messages. I see clearly in situations. I just know. Many Empaths are like this!
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.)
But all that has changed.
Thankfully Energy Medicine, True Forgiveness, Mindfulness, and Self Awareness has become incredibly empowering. I have learned other methods that are safe and natural to lovingly shield and manage my energy. Overall, life is much easier as an empath, and far more 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 religious family and must-have-proof-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. I have even created an entirely new section on my website that celebrates and honors these gifts, to help others to grow and heal together.
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 or Starseed 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. My hope is that you will see your sensitivity as a super power!
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:
“People need us. And we need them.
We don’t have to deny who we are.”
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