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.