Thursday, August 15, 2019

Sharing Reiki with Horses

Equine Reiki Day at Cadence Farm


From the time I was a toddler, I've been horse-crazy. I started riding when I was six and was blessed to have a pony in my backyard when I was nine-years-old. Being around horses, especially sharing Reiki with them, opens my heart and heals my soul.

When animal Reiki pioneer, Kathleen Prasad offered her Equine Reiki Day at Cadence Farm, I knew I wanted to attend. I find sharing Reiki with horses to be nurturing and healing for them and me.

Reiki (pronounced “ray-key") comes from the Japanese words “rei,” meaning spirit and “ki” meaning energy. Reiki is also referred to as the “universal life energy.” Reiki for horses and animals is about learning to meditate with them, which creates a healing space of peace, harmony, and compassion.  

Kathleen Prasad with her horse, Kodiak

Equine Reiki Day was held at Cadence Farm located in the picturesque hills of Sonoma, California, Cadence is home to Kathleen's beautiful Paint horse, Kodiak. He is a Reiki master familiar with the Let Animals Lead® method developed by his human, Kathleen. The Let Animals Lead® method allows the animal to be in charge of how much or how little Reiki the wish to receive.

The highlight of my day came when Kathleen asked the group to share Reiki with any horse that called to us. I decided to head toward the horses who were in the shade, given it was getting hot out. I first stopped outside Beamer's stall, which was well shaded.

As I asked Beamer if he wanted Reiki, I was interrupted by a loud nicker coming from behind me. I immediately turned around and saw it was Kodiak calling to me from his sunny pasture. He whinnied at me again, just to make sure I heard his request to share Reiki. Without hesitation, I left Beamer's shaded stall and accepted Kodi's invitation.

Once we greeted each other, I began focusing inward as I started meditating with Kodiak using the Let Animals Lead® method. At first, Kodi did his best to distract me from focusing inward. He nibbled at me through the gate to his paddock and tried to rub up against me with his head. I sensed he was testing me to stay grounded and focused on my meditation.

Kodiak schooling me on the Let Animals Lead® Method of Reiki
Kodiak clearly communicated that he was in charge. Once I passed his test, Kodiak's lips and jaw began to relax. He closed his eyelids and he lowered his head as he went into deep relaxation.

After spending about ten minutes in a peaceful and harmonious space together, Kodiak decided to show me that his tail was bothering him. He turned around and presented his tail to me. Then he did something I didn't expect; he started leaning against the gate with his full weight like he wanted to sit in my lap! I wanted to oblige Kodiak's request but felt that no good would come from him sitting on my lap.

After discouraging Kodiak from leaning against the gate that separated us, he walked away from me and started to graze. He communicated that he had enough Reiki and he felt complete. I thanked Kodiak for helping me work on my focus and grounding and schooling me in the art of Reiki. I felt honored and humbled he wanted to be my teacher and guide for the Reiki exercise.

When I shared with Kathleen my experience sharing Reiki with Kodi, she confirmed Kodiak knows just how much Reiki he needs and wants. She said that when he's done receiving the Reiki, he clearly lets you know. Kodiak is a wise and gifted teacher.

Feeling Blissful After Sharing Reiki

Sharing Reiki with the magnificent horses at Cadence helped them feel better. However, I believe the real teachers and healers were the horses as I left Equine Reiki Day feeling peaceful, joyous, and balanced! I'm grateful to the horses at Cadence for opening my heart and filling it with compassion and love.

Monday, July 15, 2019

The Importance of Being Grounded Practicing Animal Communication and Reiki

Animals sense when we are ungrounded and feel safest when their humans are fully centered and present with them. 


Bodhi reminds me to stay grounded by tapping his paw on my foot.

Being grounded means you are fully present in the here and now which keeps you connected to your animal family, Mother Earth and the Universal Life Energy Flow. 


We live in times of high levels of stress along with a lot of distractions which disconnects from our spiritual selves and Nature. When we are not fully present, it makes it challenging to connect telepathically and share Reiki with animals and Nature.

On a recent visit to my dog's holistic veterinarian to treat his allergies and overall health, his vet mentioned that Bodhi tends to become ungrounded. Dr. Cheryl Schwartz suggested I tap Bodhi's paws whenever he becomes ungrounded to help him come back to the present moment.

After we left Dr. Schwartz's office, Bodhi and I stopped into the store to buy some groceries. As we waited in the check-out line, I noticed Bodhi looking up at me with a big smile his face. I then realized Bodhi had placed his paw on my foot!

Bodhi then communicated to me telepathically that I needed to be more grounded, too!

I couldn't disagree as my mind was focused on what Dr. Schwartz had shared during Bodhi's treatment.

Bodhi's reminder brought me back into my heart and out of my thoughts. I thanked Bodhi for getting the "memo" from Dr. Schwartz and reminding me to stay present.

Staying grounded is about bringing your focus and awareness to the present moment. When you are fully grounded, you feel more balanced and peaceful in your daily life. You also feel safe and secure as you create a stable foundation.

When practicing Animal Communication and Reiki, it's essential to stay grounded as it brings us back into balance, where the animals can connect with us. Being grounded manages overwhelming and potent feelings that tend to block the flow of Reiki and telepathic communication.

Being ungrounded makes it difficult to function effectively in the real world and can block the flow of Animal Communication and Reiki. 


When you're ungrounded, it's easy to be thrown off balance like a leaf being blown around in the wind.

7 Signs You're Ungrounded:
  1. Trouble finishing projects:
  2. Hard to focus or concentrate;
  3. Feel spacey:
  4. Unsure of yourself;
  5. Up in your mind/head instead of in your heart;
  6. Hard time expressing yourself;
  7. Feel called to spend time outside in Nature.

Trees are excellent teachers on how to stay grounded and connected.
Given it's a process. Bodhi and I continue to work on staying grounded and present.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Magical Dog Tail In the Cycle of Life

Here's a Magical Dog Tail that speaks to the interconnections in the cycle of life.


I recently re-took a couple of Animal Reiki classes with Kathleen Prasad to deepen my Animal Reiki knowledge and learn her Let Animals Lead® Method.  

The workshops were held at Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, which is dedicated to the care and rescue of large senior dogs. It’s a special place located amid the picturesque rolling hills of Sonoma County in California.


Based in Petaluma, this unique Senior Dog Sanctuary was founded by executive director Alice Mayn in memory of Lily, a 14-year-old golden retriever she had fostered for only four months. It's Lily's Legacy's mission to provide safe and loving homes for large breed senior dogs who have been displaced from their homes and/or abandoned for any reason, until they are adopted or to remain at the sanctuary until they pass on.

Throughout the first day of the Animal Reiki 1 workshop, a large male Canadian Goose sat closeby to our group. The longer he sat near us, the more connected I felt with him. I sensed he was there because he enjoyed sharing Reiki with us.

The Canadian Goose made such a big impression on me, I wrote a Haiku about our encounter.



A month later. I returned to Lily’s Legacy to re-take Animal Reiki Level 2. Although the calendar said it was mid-May, the weather had different ideas: it poured cats and dogs throughout the day. Due to the inclement weather, Alice graciously opened her home to the class.

During the workshop, I sat beneath a portrait of Lily that hangs over the living room fireplace. Throughout the day, I felt Lily’s wise, loving, and compassionate Spirit reaching out to me as she shared several telepathic messages with me. 

I clearly understood Lily's first message. Lily expressed her gratitude for the Reiki being shared by our group.

Lily had another message for me that I couldn't figure out the meaning of at the time. It's not unusual that the interpretation of a telepathic message isn't immediately known. My many years as a professional Animal Communicator has taught me to let go of my expectations and allow the message's meaning to unfold organically, even if it takes weeks, months, or longer. Experience has shown me that I will figure out the purpose of her communication in time if it’s meant to be.

Now, this is where my Magical Dog Tail starts to get interesting:

In mid-June, I was talking with my cousin, Rebecca, who lives in Petaluma. I called to let her know that I had partnered up with Lily's Legacy to teach my Animal Communication courses there. I asked Rebecca if she’d heard of Lily's Legacy.

Rebecca enthusiastically responded, “I know Lily's Legacy! That’s where my father, Richard, adopted his last dog from before he passed on.”

Cruz

Sadly, my Uncle Richard died a few short months after adopting Cruz. My three cousins knew they couldn’t give Cruz the life he deserved. With a heavy heart, they returned Cruz to Lily’s Legacy. Rebecca said it was a hard decision, but they knew it was best for Cruz.

Lily’s Legacy was supportive and kind about taking Cruz back, which came as no surprise. Thankfully, Cruz was quickly adopted into his forever home with a loving couple who adored him.

But the story didn’t end there and in many ways gets more intertwined.

When it was time to find Richard's final resting place, my cousins decided the best place to scatter his cremains was among dogs. He was a huge dog lover and happiest when he was with his dog.

Unbeknownst to me, my cousins decided Lily's Legacy was the right place to scatter Richard’s ashes. With permission, they spread his ashes throughout the property: in the pond and in the fields so Richard would rest eternally with the dogs.

As Rebecca relayed Richard’s and Cruz’s story to me, I got goosebumps and chills. I then realized what Lily communicated to me on that cold rainy day in May. Lily wanted me to know my Uncle was with her and "hanging out" at the Sanctuary.

It also became clear that the Canadian Goose was a sign from my Uncle to let me know that he was happy with his Eternal Resting place and was resting peacefully at Lily’s Legacy. 

A few weeks after my conversation with Rebecca, I decided to visit Lily’s Legacy’s Facebook page. To my surprise, there was a picture of Cruz and a post that said he died on Father’s Day.

This is what Lily's Legacy wrote about Cruz;
“Dear Team Lily… Jason and Suzanne adopted CRUZ from Lily’s after this poor dog lost two owners. No one expects the owner to go first. Cruz was the FIRST dog to set paw on Lily's new permanent home. They gave him the most wonderful life a dog could imagine. Sadly, CRUZ lost his battle with pancreatitis. Run free CRUZ.. you will be missed.”

Now Cruz and my Uncle Richard are reunited across the Rainbow Bridge. It's my belief the two of them are hanging out at Lily's Legacy together, helping senior dogs in needs.

My Uncle Richard and Cruz

I look forward to connecting with my Uncle and Cruz along with the incredible senior dogs when I'm at Lily's Legacy in August and September teaching my Animal Communication classes. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Importance of Expressing Gratitude with Animals

Animals, like people, thrive when we practice gratitude.

If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. 
---Jame Herriot


Animals are excellent teachers on how to be grateful. Animals recognize and trust humans when they come from a place of gratitude, which is peaceful, calm, and loving.

Gratitude, which means thankfulness and appreciation, connects us to our spiritual essence, which animals recognize and appreciate. Being grateful opens our hearts and minds to be more compassionate to ourselves and others.

Offering gratitude strengthens your bond and connection with all sentient beings in the web of life, especially your animal family because it brings about peace, harmony, love, and compassion. All of which humans and non-human animals need to live a healthy and balanced life.

Practicing gratitude is linked with increased happiness, along with increased physical, mental, and spiritual health. The more I practice the system of Reiki and offer Reiki to animals, the more I feel tremendous appreciation in my life for my animals, health, family, friends, and clients. And I experience more peace and balance in my life.

Animals show us gratitude in a myriad of ways like smiling, cuddling up to us, loving us unconditionally, or just hanging out sharing space together.

When communicating telepathically and offering Reiki to animals, it's essential to express your gratitude and give thanks for the animal's willingness to connect with you in whatever way they feel comfortable. Thanking animals for their desire to talk with you or share Reiki shows that you honor and respect them. Plus it opens the doors to more in-depth communication and relationships.

One way to show gratitude to animals is to practice Gassho with them. Gassho means "two hands coming together in prayer" and is a universal sign of reverence and respect that resembles praying.

The goal of the Gassho meditation is to bring all opposites together to express gratitude in unity and harmony.


Gassho Meditation

Practice this meditation often and for as long as you want. I suggest you begin with 5 minutes a day and build from there.
  • Begin by sitting or standing, whichever is most comfortable for you.
  • Put your hands together, palm-to-palm, in front of your face. Place your straight fingers in the prayer position approximately one fist's length from the tip of your nose while slightly pressing your two palms together (see above illustration).
  • Position your forearms at a slight angle to the ground. Don't let your elbows touch your body. 
  • Gently breathe in through your nose as you imagine breathing in unconditional love or Reiki (Spiritual Energy). 
  • As you exhale, feel this spiritual energy as it moves throughout your entire being in your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body.
  • While you continue to breathe in the energy of Reiki, see this loving energy nurture your being as you exhale. 
The more you practice the Gassho meditation, the more you will be in a place of reverence, respect, and gratitude, which will open your heart to your true nature as a spiritual being.

As you reconnect with your authentic self, you will become a magnet that is an attractant to animals.


Monday, May 6, 2019

Pet Loss Affects Every Aspect of Your Life

The Death of a Pet Is Life Altering and Heart Shattering


If you have ever loved a pet, then you know their death can affect every aspect of your life. It can be challenging to conceive of life without your best friend by your side. It can feel even more complicated when you were a caregiver for your beloved pet.

It's especially disconcerting when your animal dies when you're not with them, or they die suddenly without any apparent explanation or cause.

For over 20 years, I've communicated with animals who have departed their physical form. I've found that when you communicate telepathically with animals in Spirit, it brings solace during a difficult time. In my experience, hearing your loved one's "voice" from Spirit, helps you feel connected to them and understand that our animal companions don't die but live in our hearts eternally.

Communicating telepathically with your pet can provide answers to your questions especially around the dying process and euthanasia. When you receive validation from your departed pet in "real-time," it creates a sense of peace during an upsetting time.

Grief is an insidious emotion which can cause a host of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual symptoms.  Part of recovering after losing an animal companion is rediscovering who you are without your animal companion by your side. It becomes even more complicated if you were the caregiver to your animal. An animal companion's death may also bring up past grief as you find yourself thinking about others who have died.

Do any of the following symptoms sound familiar?
  • Physical symptoms like:
    • Pain
    • Fatigue 
    • Tension
    • Irritability
    • Exhaustion
    • Sympathy Pains
    • Low Motivation
    • Disrupted Sleep
    • Increased Sensitivity 
  • Emotionally, you may experience:
    • Shock
    • Sadness
    • Emptiness
    • Anger
    • Guilt
    • Regret
    • Resentment
    • Loneliness
    • Mentally, you may feel:
      • Unfocused
      • Disoriented
      • Unmotivated
      • Agitated 
      • Confused
      • Distracted
    • Spiritually,:
      • You may question your faith in God and/or Universe
      • Feel lost
      • Feel a sense of awe and mystery of Spirit as you come to accept your pet's transition.
    So what do you do when your grief is all-consuming?

    Reaching out for support is a big part of the healing process. Therefore, it's essential you find help whether it's with a pet loss/grief counselor, therapist, or pet loss support group.

    Besides giving animals a "voice" as an Animal Muse, I'm a Pet Loss and Grief Counselor. I help bereaved pet parents and animal family members cope and deal with their loss.

    I also offer the online class, Animals and Death: Finding Peace In Your Grief to help you better understand how animals view the dying process and death. 

    Sunday, May 5, 2019

    Animal Reiki using the Let Animals Lead® Method

    Last weekend, I had the honor and pleasure to re-take Animal Reiki Level 1 with Animal Reiki Pioneer, Kathleen Prasad at Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in bucolic Petaluma, California.

    Kathleen Prasad and me at Lily's Legacy


    I first studied with Kathleen in 2007 and became an Animal Reiki Teacher and Practitioner in 2008. It was nice to reconnect with her, learn more about her Let Animals Lead® Method (LALM), and share Reiki with the dogs and humans at Lily's Legacy.

    One of the many things I've learned from my twelve years of practicing Reiki is animals absolutely understand and recognize Reiki, which means Spiritual Energy in Japanese. In my experience, animals welcome receiving Reiki as long as the animal can choose how they participate in the Reiki session.

    LALM empowers animals by allowing the animal to be in charge of how they want their Reiki session to unfold. Practicing this Method creates a powerful healing partnership between the Reiki practitioner and animal. From what animals have communicated with me, LALM is in perfect alignment with how animals wish to be treated by humans.

    I've studied other energy healing methods for animals including Healing Touch for Animals (HTA), TTouch, and acupressure. These energy systems require physical touch including a vast array of hand positions. When I practiced these methods, animals showed me how uncomfortable they were by quickly moving away from my hands and hand positions.

    I admit I felt overwhelmed and confused by the different hand positions as well. Instinctively, something didn't feel right about forcing my touch onto animals.

    A senior Australian Shepherd named Duke was my first teacher in the importance of allowing animals to be in control of their healing space. Duke's person, Barbara asked me if I could help Duke after I became an HTA Level II practitioner.

    When I tried to touch Duke, he responded by snarling and even tried to bite me when I didn't heed his warning growls. Duke made it abundantly clear he wanted nothing to do with my hands, my presence, or my looking at him.

    To help Duke, I let go of my expectations including touching him. To take the pressure off of Duke, I intuitively went to the opposite side of the room and turned my back to him. I began offering Duke distant healing energy. Remarkably, within a few minutes, Duke settled down next to Barbara and fell asleep. He continued to sleep for the next 45 minutes as I meditated with him.

    Barbara was thrilled with Duke's response and requested more sessions. Given Duke's discomfort with my physical presence, we agreed distant HTA sessions were the best approach. I did remote energy sessions with Duke until he departed his body over a year later.

    I practiced HTA for only a few months. I stopped because my animal clients consistently showed me how uncomfortable and overwhelmed they felt when I insisted I touch them. I quickly learned that using human hands with animals doesn't always work well together. I knew there had to be a different way to help animals.

    When I was guided to Kathleen's work doing Reiki for animals, I was intrigued. Her awareness of how animals feel about human hands and being pressured to receive healing energy resonated deeply with me. I decided to become an Animal Reiki Teacher and Practitioner in large part because I appreciated how animal Reiki was practiced and saw how animals responded and recognized Reiki energy.

    I'm in agreement with the Animal Reiki Code of Ethics that Kathleen developed. In working with animals, I adhere to Kathleen's guidelines:
    • I work in partnership with the animal.   
    • I always ask permission of the animal before beginning a Reiki session and respect the animal's decision to accept or refuse any treatment. I listen intuitively and observe the animal’s body language in determining their response. 
    • I allow each animal to choose how to receive their treatment; thus, each treatment can be a combination of hands-on, short distance and/or distant healing, depending on the animal’s preference. 
    • I let go of my expectations about how the treatment should progress and/or how the animal should behave during the treatment, and simply trust Reiki. 
    • I accept the results of the treatment without judgment and with gratitude toward Reiki and the animal’s openness and participation in the process.
    I'm grateful to Kathleen for her keen insight into how to best to offer animals Reiki. Her LALM truly honors animals as wise, compassionate, and loving Spiritual Beings and masterful teachers.

    I'm inspired by LALM because it works in harmony with how animals want and need to be treated when they participate in sharing Reiki and in their relationships with humans. Animals respond positively and organically when we allow them to have a "voice" in their lives and when we work in partnership with them.

    I look forward to sharing more with you about how Animal Reiki works and how it can help the animals in your life during my online class, Introduction to Animal Reiki.

    Thursday, April 25, 2019