A Love Not of This World

 Lord I want
To be up
In my heart
Be
Ohh
Just in my heart, oh Lord
– Moby, In My Heart

Conscious COmpanion_Amy MArtin


This blog post is available as an audio. You can listen here:


Hello Bright Light 💛

I hope this finds you and yours well and at peace in all ways.  Today will be a relatively short post because I have a beach date with my fur babe. We are going to get down and dirty in the sand, salt, and sun!  Thanks to Hocus calling me out on my “stuff” a few months ago, I made a promise to spend my energy more wisely and to be fully present with my beloveds.  (Btw, if you are driving, or prefer to listen instead of reading, you can listen to this blog post by clicking on the link below.)

Let’s get to it.

Do you know that song from Moby?  It’s one of my faves.  Click on the link in the above quote; take a listen and see what you feel.  That is how I am feeling today.  But I haven’t been feeling like that lately.  In fact, I have been going through a helluva a challenge for the past few weeks.  It’s kind of sucked honestly.  Thankfully, regardless of where I am walking, stumbling, or running on this life path, our furry family always has a way of pulling me out of my over-thinking, fear-based brain and back into my heart. 

true love

That is why I am sharing with you today.

If you have been flowing with this blog for a while, you know about how we can move from fear to gratitude and  how this shifts us from fearful living to a heart-based life.   You also now know about why it’s important to look at fear.   But did you know that we can also do this by looking to our animal companions and the wonder of nature?  We can look to them and truly listen from our heart, instead of our head … especially when we start to believe, feel, and think things that are not in accordance of what’s really True. We can learn to see how they really see us.  We can view ourselves and our lives through Lenses of Love.  What am I talking about here?

I am talking about Love.

Real Love.  The kind that creeps up on you.  The kind of love you didn’t see coming.  The kind that hits ya upside the head and eventually rattles you to your core.  I am talking about the kind of love that is not of this world.  The kind of love that allows you to open your closed, hurt crumbled heart.  The kind of love that heals.  I am talking about the kind of love that literally heals parts of ourselves that we thought could never heal.  The love that I am talking about is a love that flows through nature, and through our feathered, furry, and scaly earth angels every moment; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

A Constant Love.

It is a love that never leaves. This love is constant, even when the body is ready to be laid aside.  It is a love that is seamless, ceaseless, and everlasting.  It is a love that walks with us, even when we cannot see our companion.  It is a love that is never-ending.  A love that grows.  A love that only knows expansion.  A love that is eternal.  This love never ends.

An Unconditional love.

It is a love that breaks us into pieces when it appears to leave us.  It is a love that only a true angel can offer us.  It is a love that an ascended master has mastered.  It is a love that we humans wish for, long for, and pray for ever since we are born.  It’s a love that cracks our hearts open and allows us to really FEEL.  It’s a love that teaches us how to accept; a love that allows us to receive.  It is a love that shows us we are supported.  It is a love that that moves us into new chapters of life, even when we think we are not ready.

A True Love.

This is a love that dives deep.  A love that reflects back to us; reflections at times, we would rather not see.  It’s a love that challenges us, triggers us, and reveals to us.  It’s a love that swims through our soul and stirs up what we would rather keep hidden in the depths.

A Love without limits.

This is a love that not even a parent is capable of giving to their child at every moment.  This is a love that we, as animal guardians, are often incapable of showing to our loved ones at all times.  It is a love without judgement.  It’s a love that lacks expectations or rules.  This love is incapable of asking for anything.  This is a love without limits; a love without conditions.

A Love not of this world.


This fire that we call loving is too strong for human minds, but just right for souls. ― Aberjhani, Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love

California Mexico Humpback Whale
A humpback whale breaching off the coast of Baja California on my birthday last year

The love that I am talking about seems rare, but it really isn’t.  Every one of the Great Lovesin my life has shown me this kind of love.  They lived/live their lives with this kind of love.  They taught me this love.  They gave me this kind of love.  They ARE this kind of love.

Nature has also given me this love. Whether it was a Humpback whale who came close enough for me to truly feel him and learn his wisdom, or a tree who gave me shelter and insights, this love was real.  It was fully present.  It was without judgement.  It was freely given.

This love is here, around you now.

The Standing Ones_Amy Martin_Ireland_Conscious Companion
Hangin’ in the arms of a Standing One in Ireland

“Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself which you have built against it.” – A Course In Miracles


Recently I was forgetting what’s Real and I momentarily slipped into ego-fear-based thinking.  I had moved out of my heart and into my head.  I was feeling guilty about not doing this, or having said this and that.  I was wishing I had been a better guardian years ago.  I was regretting.  I was wanting to have done things differently over the 18+ years that Mr. Beaux and I have been together.

I wanted to go back and be a better human to him.

I began to cry so hard as I held him.💙  When I found a moment to catch my breath, I looked into his gold eyes and Mr. Beaux very calmly shared, “There is nothing to forgive. I see past it all.  I know who you really are.”
💛
This is a love not of this world.
That is who he is.
That is what he freely gives.

Beaux (2)
Mr. Beaux, my Bodhisattva

“Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.”― Alan Cohen


My beloved, Mr. Beaux, is not unlike your animal companions. The ones who walk with you while they live their new life in spirit, and the ones who walk with you here on the earth plane.  Their love is truly unconditional.  It is without limits; without borders and expectations. They see beyond the illusion. They see who we really are without our fears, stories, guilt, judgement, and mistakes.  They view through the lenses of Love.

The ARE Love.

So they are able to see us who we really are.  We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.

As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. As a man sees in his heart, so he sees. Through unclean windows, lenses, senses, we see things not as they are but as we are. — H. M. Tomlinson.


Every Day Can Be The 14th!

As heartwarming and humbling as that story about Mr. Beaux is, I have to switch gears a bit.  Most of you know that I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day.  Starting 20 years ago, this fateful date took on a whole new horrible meaning for me when I had to suddenly say goodbye to three of my beloveds on Valentine’s weekend (on three separate occasions!). You can’t make this stuff up, folks.  I was single each time, so each of their transitions broke my heart in unimaginable ways.

So, after several life-changing losses and lessons around Valentine’s Day, I started to view February 14th very differently.  Now every day is the 14th.   If you are interested,  you can read why the meaning of Valentine’s Day dramatically changed for me many years ago and why I believe most of us have MANY “Great Loves”. 

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My Beloved File’ (Feelay) passed into another world 10 years ago today.

Beyond Feb 14th

At the risk of sounding negative,  I’ve noticed that Valentine’s Day has become a day for people to celebrate their “special love” and thereby exclude love from others, whether they mean to or not; it’s almost inevitable.  Valentine’s Day, to many,  is a contrived Hallmark holiday, whose Dark Origins are unknown to many folks.  

But does it have to be? 

Maybe we can create something new out of it.  Maybe we can live every day as if it’s the 14th.  I truly believe that every day should be centered around extending love; strangers, family, foes, friends.  Love should be the epicenter of our lives.  Not just one day out of the year, but every moment.  Love is the Light that leads our path, and that lights the path of others. 

Our animal companions walk this path.  They are such incredibly beautiful and powerful examples of love!  They are always reflecting a love not of this world.   They are the bridge to the kind of love we have always been looking for.  We just have to recognize it and accept it.  Let that love in.  And then spread it around.


Love is intended to be a circle. Love is intended to be endless. Infinite. Unconditional. Love is not a one way flow. Love gives, and love receives. Love allows us to be raw and open. Love allows us to be exactly who we are, flaws and all. Love heals the broken. Love heals the heart. Love allows us to grow and heal each other. Love Gives Unconditionally.

USMC Conscious Companion_Martin Amy_Unconditional Love
Hocus Pocus giving some our Marines Love on Christmas

Self Love

Our animal family members teach us what it really means to love others (and ourselves) unconditionally.  They teach us how to love and appreciate ourselves (and others) every day.   Love is right there, waiting for us to see it.  But are we loving ourselves the way they love us?  Many of us are so willing to give love, but we have not allowed ourselves to receive. 

Here’s the secret: Self love is loving!

I used to be the last person on the planet who practiced self love.  I felt selfish if I wasn’t giving all of my time and energy to the species I was caring for at both work and at home.  For over a decade during my zoologist days, I was just plowing through the pain and stress, never creating time for myself, and for self care.  But when I moved out of New Orleans and left Audubon, I began to study Energy Medicine and learned a new way of living in the world.

“Choosing self-love challenges the collective paradigm of guilt and shame that has controlled us for thousands of years. If we go the route of the ego, we’ll never feel worthy of self-love. If we choose to live our Spirit, we’ll be instantly liberated.” — Sonia Choquette, The Answer is Simple…Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit!

Clearing and managing my energy was an integral part of this program.  Not only did meditation become a replacement for medicating myself with Advil, alcohol, food, and sugar, but I learned that self care must be a priority if I wanted to help anyone.

I learned that self care IS self love, and that self love is quite easy to do every day.  I then started to notice that the animals I cared for at home were practicing self love 24 hours a day!  They were teaching me!  One easy way to start a practice of self love is to give yourself the gift of a clearing bath.  You can view this simple recipe here.

Clearing baths_empath tools_spiritual cleanse_how to detox_energy

Our lovability and worth doesn’t come from others. It comes from within!”

I will admit that I have spent most of my life caring for others, yet I never gave this same level of care to myself.   But now I do.  Rather than forgetting to do something loving for myself or justifying why I don’t have time, I now create the time and space to receive. I allow this kind of love.

When we cultivate a daily practice self-care, we are being loving.  We are becoming the embodiment of our animal companions and how they live their lives!  When we love and care for ourselves deeply, we can see the divine within ourselves and all other forms of life. We see that we are all connected; that we are one.

When our body and mind are at peace and relaxed we create a ripple effect to every living being in our lives.  We are better prepared for what life has around the corner.  We can better care for others.  We can come from a more loving space; a place where our animal companions are always.


We seek the comfort of another.
Someone to share the life we choose.
Someone to help us through the never-ending attempt to understand ourselves. And in the end, someone to comfort us along the way.  ~ Marlin Finch Lupus 


What About You?

I am really curious about you, so I want to know:  Have you felt this kind of love?  Do you recognize this kind of love when you see, hear, or feel it?  Are you in your head all the time, or are you up in your heart?  Where are you living?  What are you allowing?  Do your animal companions help you to totally accept this kind of love? Have you experienced this kind of love in nature? What was it like for you?

As we continue to move through the month of February, and we experiences these really uncomfortable energies, know that you are always surrounded by love.  We just have to be willing to see, feel, and notice it in all of the many forms … that are not of this world.

But as you start to notice this love, don’t be fooled into the ego-trap that you are not willing or deserving of a love not of this world.  You are. I am. We all are.  Nature and our animal companions are always here to offer this love to us, to see us beyond our faults, and to love us always in all ways.

Allow this love.


In my last post I shared how and why The Wheels of Light Keep Turning.  If this topic peaked your interest and you desire to dive deeper into the relationship with your canine companion, check out my dear friend and colleague’s online class that starts February 22nd!  It will be an eye and mind opener to how we can grow, heal, and thrive together as One!  But most importantly, you will learn why True Love Dives Deep.

Be well friend, and go in love.  Remember that Love walks with you always.

P.S This blog post is available as an audio. You can listen here:

Conscious Companion_True Love Dives Deep

 Love doesn’t make the world go round.  Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.   -Franklin P. Jones


Recommended Reads:

Wheels of Light Keep Turning!

Wheel in the sky keeps on turning 
-Journey

color-and-sound-holisitc-spiritual-energy-healing

Hello Bright Light!

I hope this finds you well at at peace in all ways.  Wow, we are nearly midway through the first month of the New Year!  Incredible.  So far, 2018 has not disappointed!  The energy has been incredibly expansive and focused, and our animal companions continue to teach me, and challenge me with love and humor 😉  More on that later.

Today I would like to share something really fun and enlightening with you!  Please get comfy.  Grab your coffee or tea.  Open your mind and heart.  And try a little willingness to learn something new for the New Year.

If you were not yet aware, I would like to share a bit about the energy of this New Year, and how you can bring this energy into your home, your shelter, and to those with whom you live, work, and care for.  Then this topic will quickly flow into a bit about animals’ energy centers, how you can learn from them, and grow together!


2018 is a Year of Mastery! 

In numerology (which I am a total novice at), 2018 translates into 11, which is what they refer to as a Master Number.  Master numbers possess great potential for learning and growth and can bring major transformations in our lives.  This is a powerful year for everyone and all beings on Earth.

The Universal Energy for 2018: 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11  

Master Number 11 symbolizes high energy, inspiration, intuition, self-expression and personal power.  Master Number 11 is called ‘the Illuminator’, ‘the Messenger’ or ‘the Teacher’.  Master Number 11 also tells us that by connecting with our higher selves is to know and live our soul’s mission and life purpose.  2018 is also about partnership, connections, balance, equality, and flexibility!

You might be wondering, What the heck does that mean for me on a practical level?

Great question.  It basically means that we’re here to “master” the elements presented to us within the frequency, vibration, and “theme” of 2018.  Our strengths will be supported, but we will also be faced with more significant challenges.  However, if we are coming from an empowered place, these changes and challenges can be greeted not with fear, but with grace and ease.  This includes challenges with our animal companions.  Peace, joy, and expansion can be the epicenter of our lives.

dove_2
Energy Artist Julia – Big Cartel

More Insights Into the Energy of 2018:

The Master number brings with it an intensity that’s undeniable.  It’s generally observed that the Master numbers bring a higher spiritual purpose, no matter how you might define that.  The Master numbers carry a higher frequency and vibratory influence.  Energetically speaking, they’re always pushing you.  So in practical terms, the year 2018 is a year where the energy supporting and guiding all of us is rather intense.  Everyone will be getting the internal call to step it up this year.


What better time than now to embrace these energies?!?  That is part of why I am finally shedding my current (and past) fears of sharing the more spiritual side of things with the world.  This is part of why I am stepping it up NOW.   So, needless to say, not only is the Master Number Energy in the mix, but today is a very auspicious day indeed: 1/11/2018, which is probably why I am so inspired to share with you today! So let’s get to it!


Dog Shake Art_Energy_year of the dog_earth dog
Art by Iris Scott

The Year of the Earth Dog

The Chinese new year begins in February.  This will be the The Year of the Earth Dog.  Its keyword is ACTION.  Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Earth.  Stable, honest, practical, industrious, prudent, reliable, kind, and loyal are Earth qualities.  The element Earth enriches Dog’s character and adds needed stability.  The Earth Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the 12 astrology animals.  Since 2018’s element is Earth, this year is also about security and feeling grounded and safe.

Which leads me to the main point of this post:  Energy 


Beyond The Borders of Animal Training

As someone who has been an animal professional for nearly 20 years, I understand the need for, and the importance of humane, science-based animal training, species-specific enrichment, and species-appropriate husbandry.  I understand and the importance of animal care givers and companion animal guardians being fluent in specie-specific behaviors.  Knowing how to accurately read and correctly interpret an animal’s body language, and vocalizations is essential.  Knowing how animals learn and retain information is essential.  Understanding how and why force-free methods work is vital; applying these humane methods should be priority.  These science-based tools assist us in bridging the gap between species.

Conscious Companion_force free training_reptile training
Teaching my volunteers and interns at Audubon about science-based, force-free training

After decades of professional and personal experience, I am an expert in these areas.  I have seen the far-reaching effects of these compassionate, science-based methods, which is why I am very passionate about these tools!  I not only teach others how to use these tools, but I use them on a daily basis.  These are all necessary for any species of animal who is living in a captive environment, whether the animal is in our home or a facility.

But there is much more that we can work with and carefully manage that extends far beyond the borders ofanimal training,enrichment, and husbandry.  There are other elements at play that affect our animal family members, and the animals under our care at a shelter or facility.  This can be summed up in one word: Energy.

Energy Healing for Pets_conscious Companion

Energy is everything.

As I have shared with you before, my life is a balance of science and spirituality.  This is how and why we now have a beautiful harmonic home life.  This is why my clients find success for life.  This blending of modalities and holistic approach to medical and behavioral challenges has changed everything for the better … and for the Greater Good.

How we manage energy is an integral part of being a Conscious Companion.  Practicing personal energy management is important to the management and success of managing our animal companions. It is also connected to the health and well being of them as well.  Assisting our animal companions with their energetic challenges is also an important part of being an empowering animal guardian!  Recognizing our energetic challenges is also incredible important and empowering!

Science-based, force-free training is only one part of the “pet puzzle.”  Knowing this and acting on it in an empowered way is vital.  Although it is2018, we are light years away of where we could all be with regards to how we live with and care for animal companions. The world of animal behavior consulting and animal guardianship will eventually shift to a world that combines both science and spirituality; we will finally learn how to work with the metaphysical and the physical. These worlds are not separate. They are One. And if we want to have true success, true lasting bonds and true health and harmony in our homes, we will learn to utilize (and live in) both of these worlds.

The blending of science and spirituality is the work of the future.  That future is now.   Conscious Companion

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Checking and Balancing Chakras

One of the many ways that every animal guardian can come from a more empowered place and recognize potential pitfalls is by checking chakras!  No, that word is not the sound of a cat hacking up a hairball.  It’s totally legit. 😉 Hear me out …

All living beings have these.  Dogs, cats, people, dolphins, parrots, horses, rats, frogs, you name it!  If you’re alive, you have chakras!

animal chakras_pets

Chakras are energy centers/vortexes.  Chakras are conceived as an energy focal point, bodily functions, or psychic node in the subtle body.  Although this concept is found particularly in the tantric traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, countless holistic veterinarians work with pets’ chakras every day.  In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, chakras are often referred to for balance throughout.

The ancient Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk.  It is literally a wheel of LIGHT.  And each chakra has its own color of light!     In humans, there are seven main chakras (currently recognized –but there are many more!). These 7 chakras align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.

Most animals have 8 Major chakras, up to 21 Minor chakras, and 6 smaller energy points known as Bud chakras (paw pads & the bud of skin at the opening of the ears).  Companion animals have an 8th chakra that we humans don’t have: a brachial chakra.  The main Chakras govern responses to surrounding energy.  The 3 chakras found in the lower part of the body (root, sacral & solar plexus) govern basic survival needs. The four chakras in the upper body (heart, throat, third eye & crown) govern mental processes and connection to higher realms.

Chakras expand or contract depending on a variety of circumstances (emotional AND physical health, environment, etc.).  Animals receive and distribute energy through each chakra individually, which makes them sensitive to subtle vibrations & changes within the atmosphere & their environment.  This invisible energy, called Prana, is vital life force, which keeps us vibrant, healthy, and alive.


What-Is-Chakra-1


It’s not Woo-Woo; it’s just new to you! – Conscious Companion


Windows to Wellness

Chakras are a window to wellness.  In both people and pets, the energy body (which involves the chakras) are connected to emotions.  So the energy body is like a blueprint or software which gives instructions to the physical organs.  These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body.  Each of the main chakras contain bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being.

Being aware of both your and your animal companion’s mental and physical health is vital, which is why we perform routine Chakra Checks!  In another post I will teach you how we use a tool called a pendulum to check the status of each one, every day.  For today, what I want to get across is this: When chakras are open and balanced all is well within body and mind.  BUT… when even one chakra is out of balance, it affects the entire system.

Here’s one example/insight into the Heart Chakra of a feline:

An open, balanced, and aligned Heart Chakra allows for loving, harmonious relationships, tolerance, and being deeply connected to their guardian on a heart level.
-A closed or imbalanced heart chakra can adversely affect behavior.
-It could also indicate there is a physical issue in the body.
-Heart chakra governs the heart, lungs, immune system & thymus gland.

Chakra-System-of-Cats


“Going from Ugh to Om”

So what does this mean for devoted animal guardians??  It brings us all to a very empowered place.  It’s an invitation to be more open, more curious, and willing to grow and heal … together.

Now.

Today a very dear friend and colleague who is a dog adorer-er 😉  gifted intuitive, Empath, and certified dog trainer is kicking off an incredible online class.   And it perfectly ties into today’s post.  Her class is all about the Wheels of Light, and how we can keep them turning!  In her 7 week class you will:

  • Learn an integrative approach to pet guardianship through the lens of mind, body, and energetic connection
  • Hear how true partnerships, heart-centered connections, and translating beyond your pets’ behaviors can help you and your animal companion heal, expand, and grow spiritually together
  • Discover how working with chakras, numerology, sacred geometry, animal symbolism and crystals can actually help shift your animal companion’s behavior like on-leash reactivity, separation anxiety, guest reactivity, barking, and accidents
  • Explore how your pet’s behaviors can provide clues to bigger energetic patterns in your life
  • Hear about a road map to how pet behaviors can give you specific insight into the healing that is ready to take place, including which limiting beliefs to process and which chakras they affect
  • Learn 3 questions that can help you call in more harmony, balance, and growth for you and your animal companion
om_more_colorful_small
AUM or Om (Sanskrit: ॐ) is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Indian Dharmic religions. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism

In Denise’s groundbreaking class her focus will be mainly on canine companions and how our energy can affect them, but our feathered and feline friends will also be addressed as these topics arise.  It is going to be such a joy and honor to be a part of this important, ground-breaking, and incredibly empowering program!

As Denise clearly and beautifully states:

Energy connects us all.  The most primal way to communicate with our pets is energetically, but somewhere along the way this got discounted as a basic building block of dog obedience training and living a more connected life with your pet.  We are here to change all that, and redefine how we train, connect with, and relate to our animal companions.


I truly believe that you can make an unimaginable difference in the life of your animal companion by becoming an EMPOWERED animal guardian; you can BEcome a Conscious Companion, just as they already are.  You can move out of your comfort zone and be willing to learn new concepts, new ideas, and new insights.  You can empower them by healing and empowering yourself!  You can create an True New Year together!

Healing_empath_tips_pets_grounding_Conscious Companion_Amy Martin
Grounding together at the beach with my beloved Hocus

“We are more alike than different. We Are One.” 
― Efrat Cybulkiewicz

May Your Heart Be Light.

“Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are there cannot be one without the other yet they cannot exist at the same time.” ― Nicholas Sparks

 

Amy Martin_Conscious Companion
Sunset behind our house on Christmas Night

 

Hello again and Happy Holidays!

I wanted to share something poignant with you today, now that we are in full swing of the holidays.  The Winter Solstice has come and gone,  Hanukkah is here, Christmas has passed,  Kwanzaa is starting,  and the New Year is almost here.  This can be a time of great cheer and joy, but for some it can be a time of … well, much less than that.

multiculturalholidaytraditions

That is why I am sharing with you today.

However you are honoring the winter season, whether you are celebrating and making merriment, or choosing to abstain from the festivities, I hope that you are at peace.  I hope that you are creating time for yourself.  I hope you are remembering to be silly and play.  I hope you are staying in gratitude.  I hope you are fully present.

But most importantly, may your heart be light.

As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, may you stay warm from within.  May you feel the love that comes not of this world.  May you know that you are loved unconditionally.   May you know that you are cherished.  Know that you are heard, seen, and felt.  -If not by the world, then by your very presence  with your beloveds.  Just being is an invitation to be loved.  May you feel inspired to lift another.  May you spread cheer all year.  May the season of love and light inspire you to shine brightly and inspire another’s life.

I came across a quote the other night that I hadn’t seen in a while.  It reminded me of how much power we each have.  I am talking about real power; the kind that moves mountains and heals souls, so I wanted to share it with you.

We are all capable of doing Great Things.  But these “great things” that I am speaking of are not what the world often considers important accomplishments or accolades. However, these are very Good Deeds indeed.  They can literally change worlds and lives.

And they can change your life.

This Christmas Season, mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter.
Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy.
Apologize.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind.
Be gentle.
Laugh more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of Mother Earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.

~Howard W. Hunter


May your heart be_light_lightmaking_AmyMartin_ConsciousCompanion
Sunset here at Carlsbad Beach this December

May this season of Love and Light be in your heart every day.♥️

In la kesh: I am you.
A la ken:  You are me.
Shalom:  Peace.

Day of The Dead Celebrating Life!

Dia de los Muertos_Day of the Dead

“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.

And if you have been reading my posts, you know that we recently said goodbye to one of our beloveds of 17 years.  In the past this kind of death would have broken me.  I would have sunk into a deep depression and stayed there.

But now I celebrate him and his new Life.

King Albert the Grey_Conscious Companion_copyright_Amy Martin


Our Beloveds Are … Always.

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.


 

Day of the dead_pets (2)

 

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
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Part of Dia de los Muertos often involves cleaning and decorating the graves of loved ones. Adult graves are marked with orange marigolds, while white orchids are left at children’s graves.

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.

Day Of The Dead Parade Mexico City 2016

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.

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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.

day of the dead_Conscious Companion_cats
A Dia de los Muertos decor that we displayed in honor of our beloved Samantha after she transitioned. We bring it out every year now!

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.

Conscious Companion_Amy Martin _copyright
My beloved grandmother knew how to get my attention that day!

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

True love_ghost quotes_

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. 😉

As we enter into this sacred, special time I encourage you to create quiet time to Just Be, and to allow your mind to become still.  Allow your loved ones just beyond the veil to come to you, surround you with love and support.  Allow yourself to see through the illusion of death, and know that they are life everlasting, at peace, and always by your side when you call on them.

Think of them.

Honor them.

Remember them.

Call on them.

💫✨💫
Blessed Dia de los Muertos.
💫✨💫


Think of me
Think of me fondly
When we’ve said goodbye.

Remember me
Once in a while
Please promise me you’ll try.

When you find
That once again you long
To take your heart back and be free
If you ever find a moment
Spare a thought for me

We never said our love was evergreen
Or as unchanging as the sea
But if you can still remember
Stop and think of me.

Think of all the things we’ve shared and seen
Don’t think about the way things might have been.

Think of me
Think of me waking
Silent and resigned
Imagine me
Trying too hard
To put you from my mind.

Recall those days
Look back on all those times
Think of the things we’ll never do
There will never be a day
When I won’t think of you.

-“Think of Me”,  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera


 

  • You can learn more about our Beloveds Behind the Veil here & here

Disco, Dart Frogs, Cats, and Canines!

Disco_cats_dogs_pet tips_conscious companion

Hello gorgeous!

Considering the current state of affairs around the world, I thought we could all use some levity.  We all need a break from the fear, hate, insanity, and the seemingly never-ending drama.

This post serves to give you just that.

As promised, I will be swaying between science and spiritual stuff U.F.N. 😉  Since my last post swung to the spiritual side, I thought we could dance to a different beat today!

And once again, I am grateful you are here.

I have to mention; the grammar nerd in me got a kick out of playing around with the comma placement in the title of this post.  If you were confused, this post isn’t about disco frogs, disco cats, or disco dogs, but it does involve these species, with a touch of the genre of music I just adore: disco!

disco shoes dancing retro

I appreciate that this genre of music isn’t everyone’s preferred choice.  But since I am a child of the 70’s I have a super positive association with DISCO that stems way back to childhood and well into high school.  From rocking out to The Bee Gees in the backseat, to breakin’ it down until the break of dawn with my girlfriends; Disco was my dope.

It was a natural high for me.  Even to this day, if I am in a funk, I play F U N K!  Disco can get me movin’ and groovin’ unlike no other music!  Play me some Soundgarden or Bob Marley and I am ready to rock-n-roll or love everything around me.  Put on “Super disco, disco breakin” by The Beastie boys, and I am amped!  But when real old school Disco starts to play … watch out world … my sass emerges and I am ready to shake-that-aaaaaa … !!!

Ok, you get it. 😀  The right kind of music can totally shift me out of a funk.  And as someone who has suffered from depression, anxiety, and chronic pain for more than half of my life, music is my medicine.

But I am not unique in this way.

We are all moved by the right kind of tune.  Music shifts our mood.  Chemical reactions occur.  Endorphins are released.  Music promotes positive movement,  and dare I say, healing?

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley

 

Movement Shifts Energy.  When we physically move the body, it supports and facilitates the movement of Life Force Energy.  When the physical body moves, the energy shifts within.  This is not woo; it’s legit.  Science has yet to prove this fact, but Eastern cultures have known this for centuries.  Our western world is just catching onto this fact.  But this fact is not limited to humans.  Because physical movement shifts energy, physical movement supports the chakras of all living beings.  Animals of all shapes, sizes and species benefit from positive movement and motivation.

But are we, as animal guardians, providing this opportunity enough?

The body and mind are not separate, and we cannot treat one without the other.” ~ Dr. Candice Pert

 


Back in another life, during my Audubon Zoo Dayz, I was an Enrichment Coordinator. Providing species-specific enrichment for everything from parrots to poison dart frogs was my passion!  So now, providing this necessary, science-based enrichment for companion animals is second nature to me.  My hope, is that once you learn how, this will come naturally to you, too!  Knowing how to do this is vital if we want to provide a healthy environment for our animal companions to thrive in captivity.

blue poison dart frog enrichment _
blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates) enjoying novel multi-sensory enrichment (hunting for fruit flies out of a seasonal pumpkin)  Seriously. How adorable are they?

 


So what do poison dart frogs have to do with disco, cats, and dogs?  A lot, actually.

We now know that offering a coconut foraging feeder to captive Dendrobates (poison dart frogs) produces new behaviors.  This particular kind of enrichment feeder produces the greatest increase in frog activity in both traditional and new exhibits.  The increase in mobility is most likely due to a coconut feeder’s complicated nature, which randomizes the release of insects into the exhibit.  The complexity of the enrichment increases both mental and physical aspects of the frogs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now think about how we can create something like this at home or in shelters, and why it’s so important.  If something as simple as placing prey (fruit flies) in a coconut feeder for frogs to foraging and hunt from, creates more desirable behaviors and healthy mental stimulation, what can we offer to our companion animals??

The possibilities are endless!

They key is to make things simple and safe, but challenging for the animal.  Create choice, offer control, and add complexity.   The goal is to elicit species-specific behaviors and to stimulate their natural abilities, senses, and enhance cognition.   This is what proper enrichment offers.   Enrichment is as integral to animal care as veterinary and nutrition programs.  The scientific principles in which structured enrichment programs are created are not reserved for lions, tigers, bears, and sea lions in zoos and aquariums.

Enrichment Is For Everyone.

And considering the high number of unhealthy pets in homes, increasing behavioral problems, and animals surrendered to shelters every week, I say we aren’t doing enough enrichment.  But we can change this.  And when we do it will shift everything.  Not only will we shift the energy within the animal, which will result in healthier bodies and minds, but we will create a more empowered way of living for each animal within the home.  We will also shift the energy between guardians and the animals.

We create a total shift for everyone on every level.


“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

― Frank Zappa


 

There is enough craziness and fear unfolding around the globe.  Why don’t we bring some joy and humor into our home?  Why don’t we pull our focus from that insanity and consciously create really fun but safe ways to shift the energy with our animals?  There are amazing souls right under our nose!  Let’s engage with them more!  Let’s focus on the joy and love that’s waiting for us!

That is where we can choose to focus our energy.


Creating fun games that are tailored for the individual animal/group are one way that we can pull away from the drama and fear in the world and create harmony at home.  We can create our own music that moves us all!  Music moves us and gets us groovin, but what can we offer our animal companions to get their bodies and minds movin’ and groovin??

Enrichment.

I have talked about enrichment at great length before. But if you haven’t read those posts, here’s a quick run down on enrichment:

  • promotes naturalistic behaviors
  • stimulates the mind
  • increases physical activity
  • reduces stress
  • promotes overall health
  • increases an animal’s perception of control over their environment
  • empowers the animal with more choices
  • provides constructive ways to occupy their time

animal enrichment_zoos

Enrichment is “the act or process of increasing the intellectual or spiritual resources”.

All of that is so important, but one of my favorite by-products of proper enrichment is the bonds it strengthens. – both between animals of the same species and between different species.  This has been a powerful tool in our home.  One of our favorite ways to shift the energy of our group while building bonds that last is by providing species-specific enrichment every day.

For the 3.0 cats (3 males) and 0.1 dog (female) in our family, this was not only a way to shift stagnant energy in their body, but it was a tool to build a bridge between them. We created conditions to create a fun, harmonious, and happy home.  Hocus Pocus and King Albert once had a very combative relationship, but these kind of enrichment activities (and other tools) have dramatically changed their relationship to one based on trust. Physical challenges in older animals were addressed and healing occurred.  Minds were stimulated and stagnation faded.

Behavioral enrichment is the environmental enhancement of the lives of animals in a managed setting by providing them with mental and physical stimulation to increase natural and healthy behavior.

Now to the disco.

In the short video below, “Wake-and-Hunt” (not to be confused with Wake-and-Bake)  😉 you will see one example of how we do this.


“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Of course the cats and dog aren’t dancing to disco while they do these foraging activities, but you can see how excited they are to participate!  Seeing their energy shift from stagnation to determination, and boredom to curiosity, is similar to shifting our energy via the right kind of music!  We just need to find the right tune and melody, so to speak, for each individual.

Seniors, in particular, really need to be encouraged to behave, explore, and be stimulated in constructive ways that mimic the experiences they had when they were younger. Nose work is one way that we can do that.


casey bdaty (2)
Casey, the critically endangered lowland gorilla enjoying his birthday carrot cake

For 18 years I have been creating I.E.P.s (Individualized Enrichment Programs) for animals of all shapes, sizes, and species, so it’s now second nature to me.  I often forget that this kind of program isn’t in everyone’s go-to-tool box.  But it should be!  I believe that proper, individualized, species-specific enrichment can be more powerful than basic training.

Choice, control and complexity are key.

Providing conditions in a captive animal’s environment (home, shelter, zoo) that parallels a life were they would normally have endless choices is empowering.  It’s life changing!  Science and experience have proven that by providing this for all species of animals living in captivity, we have the power to reduce and eliminate a myriad of medical and behavioral issues.  When we create conditions that enhance cognition, encourage movement, and improve overall well-being through resources that tap into the individual species’ senses, we can change lives!

With the right kind of movement and music to match the soul, we shift out of pain and suffering into bliss and joy.  – Conscious Companion

You don’t have to be a professional in this area.  You can learn how to provide safe and species-appropriate enrichment to the animals with whom you care for, in your shelter or home!  It does require some planning and creativity, but the effort pays off in the long run.  I will be creating a free E-Book that discusses this in greater detail, but for now:

You can View one example of how we created an I.E.P for one of our geriatric cats here. 

You can view another IEP for our younger cat here.

You can download an overview of our Guidelines for planning an Individualized Enrichment Program here.

Dog and cat foraging enrichment

You too, can create and provide this kind of fun but carefully created mental and physical stimulation for your animal companions every day.  Heck, even once or twice a week could completely shift so much energy in your home!  But before you do, please remember to ask these questions:

Creating enrichment program for CATS_What's the Goal_Questions to ask_Conscious Companion

 

We need to ask important questions BEFORE providing this kind of food enrichment.
A successful food enrichment program is goal-oriented and considers The Big Picture.

  • Do we have a goal in mind?
  • Is the enrichment for one cat? Multiple cats? A cat and another species?
  • What behaviors of each do we want to encourage?
  • How will these behaviors be encouraged?
  • Will the foraging enrichment be created (or purchased)?
  • Is it safe? (see unsafe/failed enrichment here)
  • How will we implemented it?
  • How will we evaluate the response and the effect?
  • Are there any diet restrictions?
  • Health issues?
  • Is there any oversight that should involve a feline nutritionist or a feline health practitioner?
  • Are we utilizing the 5 categories of enrichment? – If not, why?


“There are two means of refuge from the misery of life — music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer


You might have noticed that I am highlighting cats in this post.  I am because the majority of people believe that cat’s don’t need as much mental and physical stimulation as dogs.  But this is untrue and very harmful.  Another misconception is that senior and geriatric cats don’t need to get moving daily.   Friend, they DO!

Some Cat Stats at a Glance:

• Cats are currently the most commonly kept pet in the United States
• Cats far outnumber dogs in homes (96 million cats vs. 83 million dogs).
• Cats are mislabeled as low-maintenance pets.
• This leads to cats housed in suboptimal environments.

• Cats are the number one animal euthanized at shelters due to “behavioral issues”.
• Cats with medical or behavioral issues were the ones most likely to be re-homed to an animal shelter, (instead of being re-homed with friends or family members.)

When the environment of house cats don’t match the conditions they need in order to thrive, medical and behavioral issues arise.  Medical issues lead to behavioral issues which leads to a stressful household.  It can be a vicious cycle.  All of this can lead to a weakening of the human-animal bond, which often results in the owners surrendering the cat to a shelter, tossing the cat onto the streets, or euthanizing the cat.

Sub-optimal conditions are associated with increases in dozens of health and behavioral issues. Aggression, attention-seeking behaviors, and stress-related behaviors can be results of suboptimal conditions of captivity.  In fact, House-soiling is the most frequently cited behavior problem for cats, followed by aggression toward people. Below are just a few common conditions created by sub-optimal conditions for house cats:

  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Joint problems
  • Chronic lower urinary tract issues
  • Behavioral and mental health problems

 

The Reality is that house cats and their conditions don’t match.

The conditions house cats are kept in are often the least natural to their species. Our feline companions are very similar to their closest ancestor, the African wildcat, in terms of their behavioral needs and instincts.  Therefore, the conditions of house cats should parallel those of their closest wild ancestor, the African wildcat.

Scent is another biggie that’s overlooked in companion cats.  A cat’s sense of smell is 40x stronger than ours.   Scent is crucial when it comes to social situations, locating prey, and  maintaining safety.  Scent is also crucial when it comes to evaluation of food.  If more cat guardians gain a better understanding of the vital role that scent plays in a pussycat’s life, they can use this tool to enhance their feline friend’s life!

“Importantly, a better understanding of cat chemical signals has critical applied implications, as scent (and marking) plays an important role in many species-typical cat behaviors, problem behaviors, and can also serve as enrichment if properly understood and applied.” – Vitale Shreve and Udell

Providing various scents for cats to find is very enriching to cats. We can use everything from catnip to canned food.  Some other great options are  silver vine, honey suckle, local bird feathers, potting soil, beach sand, etc.  Encouraging cats to harness these innate abilities and natural instincts is necessary.

Senior and geriatric cats, in particular, really need to be encouraged to behave, explore, and be stimulated in constructive ways that mimic the experiences they had when they were younger.  Nose work (like you saw in the video above) is one way that we can do that every day.   When we set the scene for a cat to use his/her exquisite senses we are helping our house cats to live a life worthy of their ancestors. We are allowing house cats to THRIVE.

That is why we provide these kind of fun enriching activities every day!

Albert foraging yard

The goals of enrichment are to offer a sense of control by allowing animals to make choices and to stimulate species-appropriate behaviors

Animal guardians can learn about who their pet is as a species. We can learn their individual hunting styles, personal preferences, and dislikes /fears.  Guardians can provide proper species-specific conditions inside their home that parallel the animal’s natural life in the wild.  People can learn how to help their companions to thrive inside!

  • We can change lackluster homes into thriving environments!
  • We can enhance the lives and longevity of our animal family members!
  • We can enhance the bond between animals and their guardians!
  • We can build bonds between every species in the home!
  • We can keep animals in homes.
  • We can Build Bonds That Last!

My challenge to you is to allow yourself to let go of the drama and stress of life by creating a peaceful kingdom at home.  Let laughter and joy become the centerpiece of your home.  Create memories that last, well after your beloved moves on.  Create harmony by enriching their environment … and yours.

There doesn’t need to be any pressure.  There is enough pressure in this crazy world; we need not add any to our life.  The idea is to create therapeutic, enriching, and fun activity time together every day.  We all need more fun!  Funk it up!  Help them get their groove back! And yours! Create the time to add in more playtime, more ways to bond, and to release the stress of life.  Together.

 


You know you ought to slow down

You been working too hard and that’s a fact
Sit back and relax a while
Take some time to laugh and smile

Lay your heavy load down
So we can stop and kick back
It seems we never take the time to do
All the things we want to do

The S.O.S Band (video)


 

I am curious.  What kind of fun mental and physical games do you play with your animal companions?  What has worked well?  What kinds of exciting enrichment opportunities will you create this week together?

My hope is that you will choose to create moments of joy together and memories that last forever.  My hope is that you will create your own musical masterpiece together and dance to your own tune.  My hope is that you will turn to your beloveds when the world is too much with you.  My hope is that you can find peace within your animal kingdom at home.

Be well.

Be at peace.

Let your heart be light.

Let your animals be your greatest teachers.

Let go and remember to laugh with the ones you love!

Abstract background blue,yellow and orange


 

Recommended Videos and Links:

 

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” ― Arthur O’Shaughnessy

 

A Fear-Free 4th?

“Fear is a stranger to the ways of love.

 – A Course In Miracles

Sunset_california_Fourth of July_pets_fear-free
A Peaceful Sunset Near Our Home

Happy July!

Wow.  How are we already past the midway point of 2017!?

Hello Summer! And hello to you!

It’s been 3 months since I shared here.  So much has happened since the last post .  After our beloved King Albert transitioned into Spirit, life has been a roller coaster of sorts.  Saying goodbye to him was a heartbreaking and familiar path, but this time the path was paved with life-changing insights and experiences.  So much love, learning, healing, and growth has happened in the process.

But that’s not what I am sharing with you today.

As I discussed in an earlier post, my life and work is now a blend of science, metaphysics, and spirituality.  My last post was a bit of both, and rather lengthy.  Today’s post is science-based and short-n-sweet to save us all time. 😉

Let’s get to it!

The fourth of July (and Canada Day) are almost here.  If you have been following this blog since the get-go ,  you know that I write about this dreaded day at great length.  The 4th of July is a favorite day of celebration for many people, but let’s be honest:  It’s a day of terror for many animals.  The Fourth of July might as well be renamed “4th of July Fright Night”.

If your cat is cool with the cacophony of clangs, I commend him.  If your dog digs having strangers over with a symphony of explosions, and scary sights and scents, I bow down to her.  If your parrot, ferret, pig, or horse is unphased by the big bad booms around their dojo, they are the minority.

Most animal companions are not cool with the Fourth of July.

If you have worked with or lived with an animal, you know that most are frightened of loud or startling noises.  Even the ones who enjoy being around new people can be pushed to their limit.  Strangers in your home during the holiday can stress out even the most subdued souls.

Even if your animal companion has not displayed fear around these family events before, the sights, scents, and sounds on The Fourth of July could easily bring out their most intense fears.  And these fears don’t pass after the festivities are over; they can manifest as physical issues well after the event.

It can be a living nightmare for many.

💥 So, what’s a devoted animal guardian to do?!?
–> BE AWARE.
–> PLAN.
–> PREPARE.
💥


Here’s the Good News: Family festivities on the 4th of July don’t have to become Fright Night to our animal companions!  There are many things that you can do to help your animal family members successfully cope with the Big Bad Booms and Bangs!💥

Let’s Get to Sharing!

Below are resources that I have been sharing like wildfire for weeks on our Instagram Twitter, and Facebook pages. Check em out!  And if you have friends, family, or colleagues that would benefit from this information, by all means, share it!

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― Francis of Assisi

Last weekend,  a gifted colleague and I gathered forces to create a live call-in event for families.  The intent was to empower people and their pets by sharing tools, tips, and techniques, and also to dispel myths.  This event was created to help animal guardians across the country to prepare for the Night of Assault on the Senses.

It was a huge success.

Countless people had NO CLUE that it’s really OK to comfort the animal when they are afraid; how and why food can and should be used as a tool to modify fear;  why medication is often very helpful;  holistic tools that actually work; how to identify and create safe hide outs; why play is powerful.

All of these topics were new to many.

People were so relieved to learn that they do have the power to help their pets!  People learned how and why these tools are vital to having a night that’s fear-free on the 4th of July.  During the live event we discussed:

  • Sight, Scent, Sound, and Tactile senses 101
  • How & Why we should desensitize them to loud noises NOW
  • Signs of Stress in parrots, cats, and dogs
  • How to properly use FOOD to modify fear 🥓
  • Why cats behave certain ways when they feel threatened
  • What you can provide to help them feel safe and secure
  • Why “bolt holes” are critical for dogs and cats
  • Holistic Tools to use
  • Why you might want to consider contacting your vet now
  • How your energy affects your animal companions
  • Why Acepromazine should NOT be used
  • Why we SHOULD comfort the animal when they are afraid
  • How enrichment activities calm the mind
  • Why we want to Dial UP the Dopamine
  • How to prepare your home for safety & security
  • Why we need to create an “Energy Hangover” environment  after the 4th to prevent trigger stacking

 

Pets_cats_Senior cats-4th of july_pets fireworks_fear free_Conscious Companion
Identifying AND providing “safe places” and “bolt holes” is essential!

If you missed the live event, you can listen to the replay:

✳  via Dropbox
✳ via Free Conference call

 

 

After the call,  I complied a list of Positive Resources for Animal Guardians.  The intent was to provide free resources to help families across the country to have a Fear-Free 4th. If you are interested, you are welcome to  download the PDF and share it with others.

Conscious_Companion_Giving quotes_parrot Training_parrot behavior_Giving tuesday


So that’s some of what’s been on my mind the past couple of weeks, which is why I was motivated to share with you today.   I hope this is helpful.   And I hope you know that it is possible to have a Fear-Free Fourth of July.

You can do this!

If you have questions or concerns, shoot me an email, or comment below. 🙂

Good Vibes Only_Conscious Companion


For those of you who are new to this blog, welcome! I am so grateful you are here! For those of you who have been here since the beginning, and for those who are interested, here are some other exciting projects in the works:

  • I am closer to completing my first children’s book (gah!)
  • A video series on how to positively leash train cats of all ages & stages via force-free techniques (with an emphasis on senior and geriatric cats!)
  • Kids-In-Cali Animal Communication workshops
  • Dog and Kid Safety workshops for our Marines at Camp Pendelton
  • A video series on assisting aging cats with force-free medical care at home
  • Connecting with Animals on the Other Side – a complimentary program for pet parents who are struggling with death, loss, and grief
  • Empaths with Pets: how highly sensitive people can learn from their animal companions

As I am guided I will be sharing more about each of these with you here in the future.  In the meantime, check out these free resources so you and your beloveds can have a Fear-Free 4th of July together! 🎉

With infinite Love and Gratitude,

Amy and the animal menagerie🐾


Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating.  Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. -Kofi Annan

ocean waves
Carlsbad Beach

Their World of Gratitude

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There is always Light behind the darkness.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

 

Hello.  I hope this finds you and yours doing very well and at peace.  I hope wherever you are in the world you are enjoying the holidays and the changing seasons of life.

You may have noticed that I have been absent in sharing with you for many weeks.  Things on our end have been nonstop and challenging, to say the least.  I haven’t had time to share here, continue writing my books, or working with clients.  I have made a few videos, but in general, all professional work has been on hold.

Since I last shared with you we have had many successes and a few scares.  We’ve had three birthdays in the house (woot!), four surgeries, one near-death experience (on a birthday), one reactive rover who trusts again (hallelujah!), funerals for fallen Marines, family and friends visiting, awards ceremonies, best friends battling cancer, and a multitude of other experiences.

But today I am allowing myself to take a break. Today I am choosing to channel my energy into this post in hopes that it will inspire and uplift you. Today I am focusing on something we often forget to focus on: gratitude.


Ever since we moved to California there has been one challenge after another. One struggle after the next. One illness after another. Pain. Heartache. Frustration. Exhaustion.

But that’s not the full story. That’s only part of the picture. There has been much more at play. There is another side to all the stress and strife.  The other side of the struggles are at the heart of this post.

Between the physical and emotional struggles there have been miracles and wonder.  There’s been growth, expansion, hope, strength, endurance, and bonding.  There have been life lessons learned, friendships forged, soul contracts at play, inspiration gained, and new horizons seen.  There have been unimaginable success, hard-fought healings, and life-changing growth on every level possible.

And through it all, somehow we have remained in gratitude. We come back to gratitude. And we remain there. Looking above it all, I am in awe.


Each one of the struggles and successes deserve a post in itself.  In fact, there will be several chapters dedicated to each of them in the books I am writing.  But for now, I will summarize a few of them because not only is there too much to cover in one post, but some stories are not ready to be shared with the world just yet. But they will be one day. I look forward to sharing that with you when the time is right.

Today I want to keep it simple.  I want to uplift and inspire.  My goal is to redirect our focus. And to see life from a new perspective. Even if it’s merely a glimpse.

Today I will be sharing something from the animal’s perspective.

I took the liberty to share not only what they have shared with me over the years, and what I have learned from them lately, but also what I perceive their truths to be.  All of this is centered on their idea of “Gratitude.”


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


 

Thanks and Giving Beyond November

I have discussed the idea of making room for gratitude before.  I have discussed why it’s so powerful, why we need it now, and why you deserve thanks.   But this post takes a new spin on a familiar topic.  And it curtails the many thanks and giving that some have been enjoying lately.

Here in the United States we just wrapped up Thanksgiving.  It’s a lovely time of year if you create the time to slow down and enjoy it.  I love seeing people smiling, sharing, and caring more this time of year.  I love seeing and hearing the words, “grateful”, “gratitude” and “thankful” tossed around like autumn leaves on the breeze.  An attitude of gratitude seems to permeate people.  It’s really quite beautiful.

But then it leaves.

Just as the vibrantly colored leaves float to the ground, briefly rest on the Earth and quickly dance off into the horizon, so too goes our gratitude.

leaves-in-the-wind

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Gratitude can be an attitude that we embody during the most challenging times. Gratitude can be a cloak in which we cover a tired body.  Gratitude can be the breeze we choose to ride.  It can be the wind we set our sails to while riding the rocky seas.  Gratitude can sooth the most exhausted mind.  It can heal a broken heart.  It can change your world.  And it can radically change the world of our animal family members.

But we have to choose it.

Gratitude is not a gift. It is not reserved for the elite, the special, or the few.  It is who we are.  It is who you are without all of the other thoughts, beliefs and judgments.  Gratitude, like Love is always only a thought away.

I am reminded of this during every struggle.  In fact, I am reminded of Gratitude when I look at how the animals move through their lives.  I am reminded of the power of gratitude when I see them shine; when their light is brightest even when there is a dark cloud above them.  I am reminded of gratitude when they outshine me.

It’s as if all the world could be falling apart, but they somehow remain grateful in their heart.  They rise above it.  They see beyond temporary, fleeting circumstances. They know that this too, shall pass.  They know more than we realize and gratitude is their guide.


“Just an observation: it is impossible to be both grateful and depressed. Those with a grateful mindset tend to see the message in the mess. And even though life may knock them down, the grateful find reasons, if even small ones, to get up.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


Gratitude as a Gift

I started thinking about how gratitude has pulled me out of my darkest depressions and my most intense anxieties over the years.  Gratitude has transformed boredom, frustration, fear, and anger into hope, trust, and joy.  I thought about how much there is to be grateful for, even during the darkest hour.  I thought about how gratitude has been a driving force pushing me through the past few months.

Then I thought about our animal family members.  I wondered what they might be grateful for this year.  I wondered how gratitude played into their perspective.  I wanted to really look into what they were thankful for, without stepping into the quicksand of anthropomorphism.  I wondered what they would say “Thank you” for every day.

What I discovered wasn’t a surprise; these aspects are all part of their journey and the story of their lives.  If the animals were to say “thanks” for the circumstances and gifts in their lives, their lists might include these:

  • Unconditional Love
  • The ability to let go
  • Hide and seek games
  • Seeing the world through innocence
  • Fireside snuggles
  • Seeing our people become stronger and fearless
  • Meals tailored to our individual needs
  • Foraging and hunting opportunities
  • Being unattached
  • Sharing our people’s bed
  • Play time
  • Knowing this world is temporary; a place away from our real Home.
  • Being unapologetic
  • Energy healing sessions
  • Holistic care
  • Animal communication
  • Living a force-free way of life
  • Being silly and goofy
  • Food used as a tool
  • Soul contracts being honored
  • Unexpected car rides in the Adventure Box
  • The ability to choose
  • Meeting nice people out and about
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Seeing my people happy and healthy
  • Getting permission to roll in smelly goodness
  • Overcoming illness
  • Watching our person learning to let go
  • Warm beds
  • Communicating on a new level
  • Smelling the scents on the breeze
  • Our person learning how hidden emotions affect us
  • Excellent boxes
  • Teaching our people new life lessons
  • Meditation moments
  • Knowing that our people are doing the best they can
  • Watching each other grow
  • Feeling the sun on our fur and face
  • Aging with dignity and grace
  • Soul mates
  • Unlikely friendships forged through trust
  • Just Being
  • Force-free medical care at home
  • Bonds that never break
  • Being seen as an individual
  • Polite play dates
  • Being listened to and heard
  • A loving home
  • Being near the one you love
  • Adventures
  • Being loved for who I Am

 

…Those were just a few of their “thanks” that came to mind.  These are a merely a snippet of what I have been honored to learn from them.  I am grateful.  I am humbled. I am honored.  And I am grateful for each of them.

Teachers. Gifts. Angels. Lights in the dark.  That is what they are to me.  This is some of what I am grateful for each day.  This is what I will focus on as we move through this life together. This is what I will remember when things get hard. When life is rough. I will remember these things and I will share their gratitude.

Our gratitude won’t end now that Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Our gratitude will last.  It will be within us 365 days a year.  And as we grow gratitude, we will pass it on to others. If you’re interested I made a quick video about this. You can view it here.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/193259849″>An Attitude of Gratitude 365</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user31689127″>Conscious Companion</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>



 

What do you believe your animal companions are grateful for? What are the gifts in their lives? What supports their attitude of gratitude? What would be on their “thankful for” list?



Before I go, I would also like to share that I am grateful for you.  Thank you for being here. Thank you being a part of this community.  Thank you for reading, staying inspired, and for being willing to stay in an attitude of gratitude every moment of the day.

From our family to yours,

Much love and light


“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
― Meister Eckhart

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Sunset at our home

YouTube

 

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


OCT 2016

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.

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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 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).⚡

Black_Elk_and_Elk_of_the_Oglala_Lakota_-1887
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.

thunder_being -Empath _Heyoka
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 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:

  • 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.  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.

intuition_emapth_depression


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 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.


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. My hope is that you will see your sensitivity as a super power! 

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

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