“The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn’t been fully recognized. They keep millions of people sane.” -Eckhart Tolle
“The vital function that pets fulfill in this world hasn’t been fully recognized. They keep millions of people sane.” -Eckhart Tolle
I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
― Nathaniel Hawthorne
That’s my girl. My sunshine. My Smile. My whole heaping heart.
When I am down, she lifts me. When I am frustrated she waits for me to become clear. When I am sad she feels it. When my boundaries are out of bounds, she reflects this back to me. When I need space, she gives it. When I grieve, she is near. When I need a nudge to get out of my own way, she gently pushes. When I am stuck in the muck of my mind she pulls me out of it.
We walk. We run. We explore. We laugh. We play. We let go.
She is a light in the dark. She is a rock when I need rest. She is unconditional love when I am forgetting to love. She is an angel disguised as a dog.
But most of all, she is my Joy.
I share this with you because we all need someone or something in our life who gives us these gifts. We all need moments of levity, laughter, and love … 24/7.
We need to remember there are beloveds by our side who are always holding space for our well-being. These beloveds – if we let them – can help our mental, emotional, and physical health, especially during these trying times.
The little conversation, well is over very soon
And I watch in admiration from my corner of the room
And they shine on you with starry eyes and they rain a friendly storm
It’s time we pay closer attention. If health concerns can be ruled out, there could be other conversations at hand. That persistent nudge; the constant chuffing; the incessant meowing; that annoying winning; the gentle tugging; those pleading soulful eyes … are all an invitation.
We often dismiss these behaviors or label them as irritating, annoying or distracting, but what if these behaviors attempting to get your attention are more than what they appear to be? What if sometimes they are an invitation to get up, move about, rethink, readjust, reevaluate, shift our energy, or get out of our own way? What if these behaviors were reflecting back to you, what you need in that very moment?
Sure, it could just be a singular desire or need our animal family members are exhibiting: Maybe he has to pee. Maybe she’s bored. Maybe he’s frustrated. Maybe she’s hungry. Maybe he wants the cake you left on the kitchen counter. Of course, these are all perfectly logical explanations for various behaviors. And if you read this post, then you know that pain is a very common medical issue that can create or exacerbate behavior problems in our animal companions.
But what if sometimes, it’s also you, their guardian?
What if our furry, feathered, and scaly friends and family members are more in tune with us than we can possibly imagine? What if they can read us like an open book? What if our behavior, emotions, and energy are a beacon to them? What if our sh*tty mood is a shout-out? What if they instinctively and intuitively knew what we need in that moment? What if they truly wanted the best for us always?
If you knew this was true, how would you respond? What would you do? Would your choices be influenced? Would your behavior change? Would your emotions change?
It’s worth considering.
And it’s worth questioning everything. –Every thought. Every belief. Every emotion.
My Cherokee heritage teaches (much like some of the eastern philosophies) that nothing outside of us is separate from us. They believe that the world which appears to be outside is merely a mirror, reflecting back to us. It’s taken me years to even consider this as a possibility, but I am starting to see. I am questioning everything, and staying open with a curious mind. I invite you to stay open and stay curious too, especially when it comes to your critters. 😉
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
― Albert Einstein
All philosophy set aside, we have incredible beings by our side who are ready, willing, and able to pull us out of the swamps of sadness. We have loved ones who may annoy the crap out of us sometimes, but there is a method in the madness. The only thing we need to do is open the invitation we’ve been given. Just being willing to look at something from a different perspective can change our worlds. Our furry family members (and Mother Nature) have helped me to better recognize when I need to shift my mood, my mind, my thoughts, and my behavior. Sometimes I have to get pulled hard by them, dragging and screaming, but eventually I see clearly.
Other than the incredible colors of Autumn, like many people, I really dislike the time change. As the days get shorter and the long, dark nights of late fall and winter settle in, many folks find their mood getting darker, too. As someone who dealt with depression for two thirds of my life, I have incredible empathy for souls who get sad. And at this time of year we see more of it.
Did you know ….?
The symptoms of SAD are so similar to those of depression that it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the two. SAD, also known as winter blues, typically affects women. In fact, 4 in 5 people with the condition are women, and the reasons for this predisposition are likely to be genetic. However, while some people are genetically prone to the condition, they resist the environmental factors that might trigger it.
SAD is defined as a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter. Symptoms of the “Winter Pattern” of SAD include:
I laughed out loud when I read those symptoms, because who doesn’t feel like that in the winter?!? Hell, I feel like that when the temp drops below 60! 😀 I mean, come on. Who wants to eat a carrot stick or bowl of broccoli when it’s cold and rainy?! And who doesn’t love to hibernate in the winter?!
All creatures want comfort when we are cold. We all want to feel good when we feel bad. And everyone has various methods for curing their ailments. The point is, it’s important to recognize when we are feeling down, and then do something about it. We gotta address the “down”.
Wildfires, geopolitical insanity, and the fear-mongering the media sells, are all testing our resilience. But so can seasonal changes. Whether or not you’re affected by the weather, many are. So if we become aware of these seasonal challenges we can help others. There are four medical types of treatment for SAD:
Those are the medical treatments, but there are other tools, too! I used to take meds (which helped), but I weaned myself off of it many years ago. Instead of the meds, I replaced big pharma by meditating twice a day, began to question my thoughts, went to Energy Medicine school, got into acupuncture, discovered tools for Empaths, began taking Clearing Baths, practiced more self care, discovered why alcohol made my depression worse, increased my exercise, played more, created art, laughed more, became kinder to myself, and made sure my “tribe” was tight.
Empaths feel things first, then think, which is the opposite of how most people function in our over-intellectualized society. – Dr. Judith Orloff
Even if you, your family member, coworkers, neighbors, or friends are not a HSP or an Empath, we all have emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental challenges. But we also have fabulously effective tools to Get Up and Get Out of our funk! If each person began practicing just one of those tools I listed above we’d feel better.
Here’s a helpful fact … Seasonal depression is caused by insufficient daylight, making the condition more widespread in countries that are farther from the Equator. A new study in Copenhagen, Denmark,has discovered the power of daylight as a natural antidepressant. (You can read the details in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology.)
Daylight is effectively a natural antidepressant. Like many drugs currently used against depression, more daylight prevents serotonin from being removed from the brain.
So what does that research quote tell you? To me, it says that one of the most powerful (free) tools/resources we have to feel better, stay healthy, and increase our mental and emotional health is something we have access to every day … the sun. We all need to be outside more. We all need to play more. We all need to soak up the sun’s healing rays.
I wish we all would. Everyone. Every day.
Thankfully, our beloved Hocus Pocus and Mr. Beaux don’t let a single day go by without going outside. -Even when it’s the last thing I want to do But after I do go outside and have an adventure with them (even when it’s cold-as-all-get-out), I am so damn happy that I did. I am so unbelievably grateful they pulled me away from work, or out of my comfort zone to get outside and play. My energy and mood shifts completely.
And because We Are One, so does theirs 😉
Below is a video I was inspired to create after I had been in a heavy funk. Hocus, as always, (and unlike no other) once again, pulled me out of the muck of my mind with her puppy-like persuasive ways and means …
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
We all have natural healing tools available around the world. It’s quite true that “Nature Heals”. Our animal friends know this. Our bodies and brains crave daylight; this energy not only allows the body to release the “feel-good hormone”, serotonin, but walking outside during the day (even when it’s cold) will give you vital sun exposure.
And on an energetic level, it’s important to recognize that nature exists in a constant state of nonresistance. Mother Nature feels like home to many of us because her vibration is pure. 🌊 Our energy is most aligned to its highest and pure essence when we are immersed in nature. We are most grounded in nature. So are our animal friends.
They know this. They feel it, too.
But have you noticed that we also feel this way when we are in the presence of our animal companions? They are the embodiment of Unconditional Love!
Joy is our true state of being; all else is an illusion we’ve bought into. There’s nothing inherently “wrong” with this illusion, but is it how we really want to feel? Do we want to live life feeling down every day or do we want to be free?
I choose freedom.
I choose to remember that my beloveds want this for me, too. The ones we often take for granted are doing their best to help us. We can wake up from our funk when we start to realize that feeling joy, gratitude, and love, and being playful is our inherent nature. We can choose a new way of being every moment of the day.
We can get up and get outside. Right Now 😉
Be well. Be Kind. And be Good to each other. Stay open to miracles in the mind and remember to laugh and play, friends!
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
“The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.” ― Alan Wilson Watts
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And in the infamous words of George Michael …
Kindness in giving creates love. ― Lao Tzu
Hello Bright Light!
I hope this finds you well in all ways. This will be a short post, as I have much to do today. This topic is important, which is why I am creating time to share the message with you now. Let’s get to it!
Most of us are acutely aware of our own struggles; we are preoccupied with our own problems. On our best days we sometimes sympathize with ourselves because we see our own difficulties so clearly. But Philo of Alexandria, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in the Roman province of Egypt in the fist half of the first century BCE, compassionately reminded his community, “Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.”
I find it interesting this statement is still true today.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
— Philo of Alexandria
When we feel into this sentiment and accept its truth we allow ourselves to open our heart, to see through the lens of compassion, empathy, and love. When we accept this statement we allow our self to set aside judgement of one’s behavior; we become the compassionate observer. We recognize we couldn’t possibly know the path one is on and how arduous it might be at the moment. We admit one could never know all of what’s happening behind the scenes.
Everyone is struggling on some level; physically, mentally or spiritually. This includes strangers, coworkers, Mother Earth, friends, family, plants, wildlife, lovers, and animal companions. Everyone.
Not only are we in a world that’s not our True Home, but we all have internal and external troubles; some evident, some hidden. Regardless of the form or lack of, we are all in need of kindness. Always. In this regard we are all the same; we are not separate. We all share the need for kindness. This is just one of our commonalities.
“Kindness Created me kind.” — A Course In Miracles
I love the photo of the Lighthouse in the image above. It reminds me that when all the world around us is in a fog, darkness, or mists of confusion, we can be the Light for others. We can extend love and light just by being kind.
But here’s the catch: To exclude one being from our inherent kindness is to exclude All.
🔱 Am I being kind to myself?
🔱Can we be kind when others are being unkind?
🔱Can we extend kindness to ourselves?
🔱Can we be kind to ourselves when we notice we are being unkind?
🔱 Kindness IS contagious.🔱
We cannot fathom the unimaginable consequences of being kind to our self in every moment. Then extending that kindness out; the ripple effects could be life-changing for countless souls.
Be Kind. We’re all in this together. 🌊🌟✌🏼
P.S. If you’re into cool ancient civilization history, check out the 3D Animation of The Grandeur Of Ancient Alexandria, From Its Library To Lighthouse
Wheel in the sky keeps on turning …
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
It’s not Woo-Woo; it’s just new to you! – Conscious Companion
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.
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.
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:
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!
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!
“We are more alike than different. We Are One.”
― Efrat Cybulkiewicz