Coming Out of the Shadows Thanks to Animal Companions

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“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?!

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.). We are walking lie detectors.  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 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.

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Light Language

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 a 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.


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).⚡

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Black Elk and Elk of the Oglala Lakota as grass dancers touring with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, London, England, 1887 (source: The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk’s Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt,

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.

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The Heyoka’s power comes from the Great Winged Ones, called Thunderbirds.

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


Indigos

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 are Indigo Children (both now adults).  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. (It’s actually my favorite color.)  This 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). 

“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.

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:

  • radical authenticity
  • deeply loving
  • 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.

Explaining all of the traits and facets of Empaths and Intuitives and Indigos would require at least three separate posts, so this is a very abbreviated version of each.  If you would like to learn more, this is a great resource from a true Indigo.    This link has an informal quiz to see if your child might be an Indigo.  And here is one for adults.  These are not formal tests by any means, but they can at least help you to start questioning and see things more clearly.  Never stop exploring and questioning!


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Sammy and Sheba, my best friends as a child

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. They 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.

Kids and Critters

Most children are like this.  Animals are like this. Every one of your animal companions is just like an Empath and an Intuitive. – That is one of the reasons I do this work!  They are like sponges!  And almost every child that is being born now is like this, too. They are highly sensitive and finely tuned beings. Many children that I work with in a client’s home, or meet at my workshops are obvious Empaths and full-blown cognitive Intuitives. Most of the children we work with through Make A Wish are Intuitive Empaths.

More than Sensitive

Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions.  Empaths perceive physical and spiritual shifts in their body as they are observing or thinking about a person, place, idea, memory, or future event. Children and young kids who are empaths feel things way more deeply and on a much more intense level than their parents do. Their senses are heightened. They are very sensitive emotionally and physically.

Empaths process other people’s feelings and energy, and in many cases take on the emotions of others.  They are very sensitive to their surroundings and changes within their environments. They are literally energetic sponges.  Can you imagine the kinds of effects that has on a child?  Yeah.  It’s intense to say the least.  More on that later.

A Virtual Sponge

Empaths feel like you would not believe. That has been the hardest part for me – a gift and a curse you might say. For years I used alcohol and drugs to shield myself from feeling so much. Depression and anxiety  were the many cloaks I was enveloped in, and I used substances to numb myself  from feeling so much (although I had no idea that’s what I was doing.)

Thankfully Energy Medicine has taught me how to use other methods that are safe and natural to shield and manage my energy.  Sometimes I still shield myself before going into public places, or even with some family members, to ensure that I am not overwhelmed by other people’s energy.   But overall, life is much easier and healthier with these holistic and alternative healing tools and techniques to manage life as an Empath.

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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.

Hidden Ones

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:

  1. 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.
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Any discussion about ‘animal communication’ will immediately send one to the time out box, where you are soon to be dismissed and discarded.

So I stayed silent for many years. And I was safe. Really Safe. But being safe is not the way I want to live my life anymore.


The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. ― C.G. Jung


Willing to Be Vulnerable

This post is not easy to share. I am fully aware of the possible negative results of “coming out” in my scientific community, and with my family and friends.  But I trust enough to share my truth.  If being open, honest, and vulnerable can help one person and their animal companion to grow closer, to heal, to love more deeply, to laugh more, and to see life from a new and more enlightened perspective, it will all be worth it.  If I can inspire one person, any ridicule or rejection will be worth it.

Saying it out loud to you here, and to my friends and family (who will eventually see this) doesn’t make it any more “real” and easy.   In fact, it’s still just as scary.  And I feel just as vulnerable and exposed.  I have witnessed many friends and colleagues come out in other ways, and it was not easy for them. But they are living an authentic life now. I am so proud of all of them. They were no longer willing to hide who they really are. Now I am free of what I was hiding.  I am all out there, baby! 😀

No more hiding or pretending.

But there is still some fear.  So I will take this fear and breathe into it and remember that fear is an illusion.  There is really nothing to be afraid of.  F. E. A. R. is really only False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear is a passing emotion that has no real substance, arising when the ego-self is threatened, which makes you cling to the known and familiar.  Such fear creates untold worry, apprehension, nervousness, and anxiety.  The immediate effect of fear is to shut us down, and—in particular—to shut off the heart.


Cognitive Science

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.

Light Language _energy healing_Intuitive Art_conscious Companion
Light Language

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.  If you are looking for more inspiration, tips, and guidance, I invite you to join me on my Intuitive Instagram page and on our Empath Facebook community page.

Light Language for Pets
Light Language

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.

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 

Alanis Morissette-Excuses

intuition

 

Learn more at my website!

The Never Ending (Moving) Story

“When efforts that are wisely executed, the situation and condition don’t affect the performance.” ― A.Patel

road-trip with pets
The long road less traveled on our Big Move with the Animal Menagerie

We have arrived in California!  Finally.  1.1 humans, 3.0 felines, 0.1 canine, 0.0.8 plants, and 0.0.2 vehicles  made it safely from the east coast to the west coast!  It only took us a MONTH to move out of our home in VA, drive across the country, and move into our home here in Cali, but we are here. And everyone is doing very well.

We must have had Falkor with us in spirit on our move out here because we had a lot of luck, magic, and miracles along the road less traveled.  We also had a lot of patience, gratitude, and very successful animal menagerie management tools and techniques at play.

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This is going to be a quick post, because we have been going nonstop since we got here, and we still have much more to do.  But I wanted to at least update my readers because you are dear to me.  Plus with all that is going down in the world, I wanted to share some Love Light.


I Proved Myself Wrong – In the Best Way Possible

I don’t like to prove others (or myself) wrong, but here goes.  Do you remember how scared I was about the move?  Did you read the post about how I was allowing ALL my fears to take over all of my perceptions of what would happen?  Well, that was a huge waste of energy. None of that happened.

But some other major mishaps did happen.

Here’s the abbreviated Bad News from our laborious move out West:

  • The moving company packed up our household goods (everything) out of our home, then moved it all into storage (unbeknownst to us for several weeks).
  • I lost my voice on Day One of The Drive. Then that evening I had full blown flu-like symptoms.
  • Knox Zydeco decided that riding in a car was no longer an option for him anymore. In fact, it was one of the most terrifying experiences of his life (We discovered this within minutes of leaving our temporary hotel in VA and setting out on the road.)
  • Albert managed to escape from a 4 inch gap in my car window and walk around my family’s cemetery while I was paying respects.
  • One of our cars broke down at 10:30 at night while driving through the Texas desert.
  • We lived out of 8 different hotels across the country for 24 days.
  • Once we arrived in Cali the movers took another 8 days to get here so we stayed in another hotel for a week.

Good times.

But that’s not where the seemingly never-ending moving story ends. There’s more. If you have been following this blog, then you know that I always focus on the positive in life and especially with our animal companions.  

So… Here’s the abbreviated GOOD News from our Big Move:

  • Our feline veterinarian was absolutely incredible at immediately responding to and diagnosing Knox’s Full-On-Freak-Out while we were in transit.
  • We now know how incredibly helpful (and safe) the right medications can be for fearful cats. And we learned that these are the same meds that people are prescribed for panic attacks and anxiety! (more to come on this important topic ).
  • I learned why one should never have a deep healing acupuncture session prior to moving across country (hence the flu-like symptoms).
  • Hocus Pocus had zero aggression, frustration or fear reactivity issues. I am so proud of her!
  • Our senior kitty boys were total rock stars; Beaux and Albert both did exceptionally well on the long 11 hour drives each day. And King Albert’s health challenges did not cause him any noticeable duress.
  • I was able to  visit my Cherokee ancestors’ royalty resting grounds (while Albert was busy escaping and roaming around the cemetery).
  • The animals were incredibly tolerant, patient, and calm in the many hotels, long road days, and with me being unwell the entire time.
  • There were no spats or fights (between the people or pets)! Not even a single swat or hiss.
  • There was only one (appropriate) growl from Hocus the ENTIRE time. (I will talk about close-quarter management techniques in another post.)
  • None of the animals became injured, lost, sick, or any other horrible scenario I had imagined. (Although, Albert was a close call).
  • My animal communication skills were put to the test and I passed with flying colors.
  • We all grew closer together during this trial.
  • Everyone did exceptionally well, considering how hard it was on all of us for such a long time.
  • They have all settled into our new home and are far exceeding what I thought they were capable of.
  • Everyone is thriving!

anything is possible_nothing is impossible

 

It’s All Been Worth the Time and Effort!

All of the techniques, tools, and behavior modification methods I have learned over the years of being an animal trainer, pet parent, and animal behavior consultant came into play during this long transition.  The methods I share with you and use with my clients were all put to the test.  Including some I had never tried before!  They were such a huge success.

All of my efforts have paid off.  What I thought was impossible was possible.  I didn’t believe the cats or canine were capable of coping.  I had anticipated the worst, but each of them found their way to SHINE during a very difficult and long process.  Each of them adjusted, adapted, and   They proved all of us wrong.  They were total champs.  At times they even seemed to understand that we were all in this together.

I am still in awe of them.  Conscious Companion 2016 Road trip

But that’s all I am going to write about for now.  In the near future I will be sharing with you how I was able to create and maintain safety, peace, and harmony during the Long Haul with each of the animals. I will also share how we have been able to help each of them to settle into our new dojo with flying colors (and with no flying fur!).  I can’t wait to tell you all about everything that’s working, and the new tools I have discovered. These tips and techniques will make such a huge difference for you and your companion animals.


Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.-Robert Collier


In Other News

I hope those of you in the U.S. and Canada enjoyed (and survived) the recent independence holidays. We are still experiencing bomb-like-fireworks nightly here, so we are continuing to help the animals cope with that.  If you need some suggestions to help your pets with post-Independence day celebrations, check out this post and this one as well.

If you were affected by the tragic events in Orlando (my hometown), my heart goes out to you.  Our friends and family still live there, so this really hit home for us. My mother was able to send her team of therapy dogs to help the first responders from that event. You can read about that here.   Now they are visiting with the Orlando community as their team is able, helping so many to heal.

Also, if you or anyone you know are either a HSP or an Empath, this Instagram page might be helpful.  As we move forward in the world, and as I continue to share here, I will spread as much love and light as I can.  With all of the drama, anger, and sadness we are witnessing unfolding in the world right now, we need more love.  We must uplift and love one another. When the world appears dark, we need to be The Light.  Remember that our animal companions are such perfect teachers for this.  They are pure unconditional love.

“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.” ― Bram Stoker, Dracula


OH! Before I go, I wanted to share one more inspiring thing with you.  Here’s the view from our new backyard.  Gah! Can you smell the salt air and feel the sand between your toes??

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Well, I am off the watch tonight’s sunset. So Much love to you and yours!


“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Thank you.

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” –Dalai Lama

thank you

This is a shout-out to you.  A huge, sincere thank you to you.

Today is all about you.

It’s National Pet Parent Day!  Yep.  I have to admit that I laughed when I realized this and thought, “Every day is pet parent day in our home! I don’t take a day off.”

There seems to be a worldwide or national day for everything these days, but today is a good day to celebrate.  Today is a worthwhile day to recognize because it’s all about honoring everything that we do as devoted animal guardians.   Whether you are a pet parent at home, an animal care taker at a shelter, zoo, or aquarium, or whether you are a trainer, behaviorist, veterinarian, or energy healer, you deserve thanks.  No matter what our exact role is, we all need to hear thanks.  No matter how we serve them, we all need to feel appreciated for all that we do for them.


How This Day Was Created

National Pet Parents Day was created to “honor all dedicated pet parents across the nation with a special day of their own.”  This date was founded by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in 2007. And although National Pet Parents Day is an unofficial holiday, it was created out of the inspiration of realizing that the majority of their insurance policyholders consider their pets to be part of their true family.     If you are following this blog, then you (like our family) see your “pets” as animal family members.  They may not be related to us by blood, but they are f a m i l y.



“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” -Cicero


We Aren’t Always Living On Easy Street.

If you are a professional animal caretaker, or a professional pet consultant, people may see you and think you have the coolest job in the world.  If you have beautiful pets people may envy you.  They may assume your life is perfect with them.   If their rescue story melts their hearts they may want to rescue one, too.  And they assume that your animal companion’s rescue story ended when you invited them into your home.

If you are an animal behavior consultant, an animal trainer, an animal communicator, or an animal healer, people might assume you have “perfect pets.”  They assume that these pets are never sick, never wild and crazy, they never backslide, and they are all perfectly trained, and never misbehave.  You must be the envy of the world if you are one of these people with one of these pets!

Ah, but we know the truth.

We all know that life is not always easy-going with the animals we care for and share our homes with.  We know that some days there seem to be constant challenges.  We know what it feels like to want to cry or scream when we are at our wit’s end.  We know all too well how hard it can be to juggle a busy work and a family life with a pet-family lifestyle.

We know what it means to have our own physical challenges while living and working with animals who have their own challenges.  We know what it’s like to be a new parent struggling with a new baby while trying to manage your pet “kids” as well.  We know what it means to have a crawling toddler and a conflicted canine.  We know that a rescued animal’s rescue story really only begins the moment that we bring them into our human environment.  We know that there is never a “cure” for every behavioral issue.  We know the real meaning of patience.  We understand what it means to rearrange our lifestyle to ensure that our animal companions feel safe and secure.  We know the meaning of selflessness and sacrifice.  We know and understand that there are a myriad of challenges that we encounter with every animal that we care for.  We know that we have invited these animals into our lives and we are bound to them for the rest of their life.  We know that life with animal companions can be a blessing beyond words, but it can also be wrought with unexpected trials and circumstances.

But we also know that we never give up. Ever.

We are dedicated to them all.  We believe in what can happen when we are armed with knowledge.  We know how far we can go together with love and compassion.  We know that healing is possible.  We know that there are solutions that can be found.  We know that together we can create miracles.  We know that we will find a way to succeed with them. We know that they might never know all that we have done and will continue to do for them. But we do it all anyway. We do it with love and devotion.

And our lives will never be the same.

We know this truth.

We live it every day.


A Thousand Thanks

I have taken a break from writing blog posts to continue my focus on writing a few books in the works, and to prepare for an upcoming move to the west coast.  But when I felt into what today represented, I was inspired and really wanted to take a moment to write to you.

Thank YOU for being a true and loyal Conscious Companion. I know it’s not always easy.

★Thank you for never giving up on them.
★Thank you for allowing them teach you.
★Thank you for being open to new ideas.

★Thank you for being willing to implement something new every day.

★Thank you for learning how to speak their language.
★Thank you for learning how to listen to them.
★Thank you for accepting challenges as they arise.
★Thank you for helping them to become well-adjusted to your human world.
★Thank you for helping them to age with grace and ease.
★Thank you for knowing when it’s time to let them go.
★Thank you for loving them with all of your heart.

Thank you ALL for being dedicated, determined, and downright amazing!

I am graciously sending you and yours my love and gratitude.


pet parents_pet day_ et love_unconditional love_conscious Companion 2016.png

“Bᴇɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴘᴇᴛ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛ ᴄᴀɴ ʙᴇ ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴄʜᴀʟʟᴇɴɢɪɴɢ ʀᴏʟᴇs ᴡᴇ ᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴄʜᴏᴏsᴇ, ʙᴜᴛ ɪɴ ᴇxᴄʜᴀɴɢᴇ ᴡᴇ ʟᴇᴀʀɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴍᴇᴀɴɪnɴɢ ᴏғ sᴇʟғʟᴇssɴᴇss, ᴀᴄᴄᴇᴘᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴜɴᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴᴀʟ ʟᴏᴠᴇ.” – Amy Martin

The Passion of a Little Girl

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The year is 1979.  The town is Wichita, Kansas.  I am three years old.  Playing outside is one of my favorite things, but playing with friends outside is even better.

Samson and Sheba are my favorite friends. They are beautiful. Samson’s hair is light blonde like mine. It’s wavy, but gets really curly when wet.  Sheba’s hair is short, sleek, shiny, and black.

They are my very best friends in the whole wide world.  We do everything together.  We play.  We laugh.  We explore.  We run.  We nap.  Sammy even lets me have piggybacks on him and Sheba offers me an endless supply of kisses.  I love them.  And I love my life.


Life seemed so simple at that age.  Playing outside for hours on end and getting dirty with friends was it for me.  I loved my best friends more than anything.  And they loved me. They were mine. They were loyal.

They were dogs.

Sammy (that’s Samson’s nickname) was a golden retriever and shepherd mix.  Sheba was a black lab.  Sheba was calm, reserved, and regal.  Sammy was goofy, happy, and always smiling.  They both exuded love, and of course, slobber and kisses.

My mother rescued them when they were only a few weeks old.  You could fit each one in the palm of your hand.  They were part of our family, but strictly “outside” dogs – a concept that seems so strange and foreign to me now.

Sammy and Sheba ruled the back yard.  I remember the path along the fence line of our yard that Sammy had created from casing the perimeter of the yard multiple times a day, wearing down the grass to what eventually looked like trails.  Sammy was our protector.  Sheba was our soulful girl.

Playing with my best friends in our backyard was heaven.  We would play for hours.  They were always one step in front of or behind me, always watching out for me.  I would crawl into their simple but sturdy wooden dog houses that my father had built.  Once I had squeezed my way into their house they would come in after me, excitedly licking my face then squishing me with their massive, warm, furry bodies.  We would sit there until I was too hot or had enough and was ready to get out.  Then we would run and chase, play and hug, and get dirty some more.

They were my family.

We communicated with each other as if they were my real brothers and sisters.  I knew how they felt. I understood what they wanted, and they did the same for me.  There was true peace and happiness being in the presence of those two animals.

That was bliss to me.  Still today, when I am running, playing, or find myself covered in soil, hair, feathers, scales, or slobber I am happy and at peace.  Being with animals is one of the greatest enjoyments on Earth for me.  And yet, somehow, even at three years of age, I knew that I wanted to experience that happiness and connection with animals  for the rest of my life.

Nearly 37 years later this is still true.  Even looking at the picture of my two best furry friends from childhood brings me to tears. That was joy.


Animals of all shapes and sizes have been one of the greatest joys in my life from the moment I came into this world.  As early as I can remember when I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  My answer was emphatically, “A veterinarian!”  To me, a veterinarian was someone who helps and heals animals. I just knew that I wanted to be like that.

Well, three decades later I am still someone who helps and heals animals.  Whether it’s an insect, a dog, or frog, animals have always been on the receiving end of my assistance. All species of life are near and dear to me; I have never seen them as lesser than me; they have always been my equal.  But I have noticed that the roles have changed a bit nearly forty years later.

They are all helping and healing me.

The passion I had at three years of age has taken many forms throughout my life, from exploring vet school, completing a degree in Wildlife Management, working in nature centers, a highly accredited zoo, and beyond. I accomplished that little girl’s dream, but I still have many more dreams to fulfill with animals and nature.

I think back to being a little girl.   I had no fears.   I was filled with a sense of adventure, exploration, and complete adoration of the animals of the land, sea and sky.   That fire was ignited as a child and it will always be in me.

I am still on that mission.


I have created this blog to explore the many adventures, mishaps, and lessons that I have learned from my animal companions (and nature) and to share them with others.  By doing so, I hope to help others better understand their animal companions and improve their relationships with them.  I also hope to help other Empaths better understand the delicate balance that we need, and how animals and nature can in fact, help us heal and grow in ways we never expected.

There is always more to learn and explore and many adventures to be had.

But for now, I think I’ll go outside and get dirty with my dog.

Summer of 1979 with Samson and Sheba ~ my two best friends

 

Dogs are our link to paradise. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace. ― Milan Kundera

 

 



 

Safety Note:  Riding on dogs and smothering them with hugs is not in a child’s (or dog’s) best interest.  Fortunately, Sammy and Sheba were very patient, accommodating, and inviting with the way I showed them affection.  As you can see, Sheba’s moth is open – a behavior indicating she is at ease with me leaning on her.

But most dogs are not this tolerant.

Today I teach workshops on how to safely and respectfully show our canine companions affection without compromising their stress levels or a child’s safety.

If you are interested in learning more about canine body language, please visit these links:  here and  here  and here .  And I invite you to learn about dog and child safety here.


 

“Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole”– Roger Caras