Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stress vs Animal Intuitive Energy Work

Tomorrow Tesla goes to our veterinarian to get spayed. She is 14 months old and after going through one heat cycle and doing a lot of research, I've made the decision to proceed with the procedure. I am not a dog breeder so I know it is the responsible dog owner thing to do. Yet, I feel terrible about removing important parts that aren't broken. As we get closer to her surgery time, I feel my stress increasing and that dog owner mom in me worries when she is out of my sight and I must entrust her care in someone else's hands even though I have total trust and respect for our vet.

When my animals are sick or needing care, it becomes harder to do my intuitive energy work on them. Stress and intuitive work are counter to each other. Despite years of working intuitively with animals, helping many, many animals with various issues, I find helping my own is so much harder than helping other people's animals. I have that close heart connection to them since they are my kids. My worry and other life issues interfere with me being able to focus and do energy work on them. My animals pick up my worry and often try helping ME instead of ME helping THEM! That makes me feel worse of course! Having someone else that has intuitive abilities or asking for others to help send energy to my animals is important because there are times when even the expert needs help. However, I work hard to park my issues aside during the critical periods when my animals need my skills as an intuitive energy worker. It means me having to do a lot of deep breaths to clear my own stress and issues aside so I can focus sending energy to them. Forcing myself to stay focused is the hardest thing I do at these times because a big part of me just wants to freak. Yet if this gift that has been given to me and that I have spent years honing can't be used when my animals need it, then I'd feel pretty cruddy about that too. So I remind myself to breath, picture that white light going to my animal in need and stay focused. There is time after the energy is no longer needed that I can have a good cry and meltdown.

As I coach people learning to communicate and do energy work with their animals, there are times when it is quite ok and terrific to have an expert you can call upon and have them help you during those moments when it is just too hard to separate yourself from your emotions and the needs of your animals. Our love for them is so deep and so connected that it is really hard to do. You would think connecting to our own animals is easier, yet I tell people all the time, go practice with other animals because it is truly easier to learn on other animals besides our own. I often offer my alpacas to new learners because they are easy to tap into and work with intuitively. Our animals listen to our subconscious chatter all the time so they tune us out for their own sanity. So finding other animals and supporting other people's animals is a really great way to learn and build your confidence.

So tomorrow morning, if you feel like sending Tesla a little healing energy to aid her in breezing through her spay procedure, she and I would appreciate the extra light and energy given her.

Tesla now 14 months old going into be spayed

Friday, July 24, 2015

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say: Animal Training Thoughts

Thirteen Month Old Tesla
I have a 13-month old Golden Retriever, Tesla. I am having a blast training her. One method I use to help me get her solid in a new behavior is to reinforce that behavior right before she gets her meal. That is the biggest reward and for her to associate these new or old behaviors with her meal, gets her to do them more successful at other times.  That Pavlovian response works well!  If I ask her to sit, down, or spin left or right, she associates it with her tasty breakfast or dinner. 

This morning, I was working with Tesla to do her "backup" and "sit/stay" behavior.  She did those very quickly and as I entered her pen that I feed her in, I placed the bowl down. I was going to have her wait outside the pen as I stepped out of the pen leaving her bowl all by itself until I gave her the release command and then she could go get her meal. But before I did that, I asked her to do her best trick which is to "show me your best side." She swings her head to the right when I ask her that. It is so cute! She does that trick without me asking inside the pen when she is waiting for me to give her permission to eat.  She goes through her entire repertoire hoping one of them will be the magic word to tell her it is ok to dine! Today, I was adding more complexity and changing the location of where I was asking her to do this trick. She looked at me confused because she doesn't do that trick outside the pen! I waited a moment to see if Tesla would do the trick but she still sat there confused. I asked again with the same result and I said, "Come on, you know how to show me your best side."  When I said that, she popped up and came towards the pen.  I stopped her because I hadn't released her and made her go back. I asked again and she did her head swing to the side and I then released her quickly and rewarded her with her meal.

As I walked away from the pen, I recalled the words I had said when Tesla popped up out of her sit/stay and realized, I DID release her.  I said "Come!" She didn't understand the entire sentence but she did hear and respond correctly to the word "Come." That was such a great lesson for me. Choosing our words carefully when we train is so important. It is also important when we do intuitive energy work as well as all aspects of our lives. Learning to listen to our own words and how we use them is as important as listening to others. If our animals are not behaving or learning the appropriate behavior we are trying to teach them, are we looking at our own words, our body language, our emotions? Our animals are listening to us. They listen to us way better than we do to them. Today was a great reminder to do the check-in on myself and realized, I was the one responsible for Tesla not doing what I meant her to do. She did exactly what I said. What a good girl and thanks for teaching me something I already knew but needed the reminder!!!

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Long Cria Watch

Waiting for crias (baby alpacas) to be born is quite the process.  The normal gestation is about Eleven and a half months so it is a long time to wait.  I had three pregnant animals and the first ten and a half months whizzed by like a blink of an eye.  Then the last couple weeks before the first due date and time went into slow motion.  In the beginning, I was pretty relaxed and it took a little to get used to being on cria watch. 

My days are spent close to the farm during cria birthing season.  I do my best not to schedule too much that I would have a hard time committing to.  But I do figure after a couple weeks after their due dates, I can start booking a few appointments.  Well, my girls this year did not read the manual because two decided to cook their babies a very long time.  One went about 365 days before finally birthing a cute baby girl and the other one is STILL cooking!  We are at about 12 and a half months into her gestation.  I've had the veterinarian out to examine her about two weeks ago and he thought she'd deliver in a couple days!  He expressed milk out even.  So yes, she is pregnant!  

I get asked a lot if I'm worried and I say, not too much.  Dove's behavior is normal.  She eats, goes potty, naps and all systems appear normal.  Her eyes are bright and she is very active.  I'd be worried if she was off feed and seemed to have a low energy field.  I intuitively tap in occasionally and ask if I should be concerned and I get "no."  I trust that intuitive voice.  Plus, with the other normal behavior Dove exhibits, all indications seem to say not to worry.  

I have to fight myself from being impatient.  I have much I want and should be doing instead of still stuck watching for a baby to show up someday.  But, I don't want an unhealthy baby so I tell myself to suck it up Buttercup and trust your girl to know when it is right to have this baby.  A few rescheduled appointments are not that important compared to having a healthy baby.  I try hard to choose my words carefully in asking for this baby to show up.  I say over and over, that this baby can come any time as long as it is healthy and an easy birth for momma.   

Being human though, the hard part of sitting and watching is how helpless the watcher is.  We humans like to get in there and fix things.  Doing nothing is so very hard for most of us.  That is one of the many reasons I love being able to do intuitive energy work.  I can at least offer gentle energy to my very pregnant, overdue alpaca moms-to-be.  Today, as I brushed my teeth it hit me that perhaps Dove has some trapped emotions from previous births that are holding up the process.  I tapped into her and asked and got a "yes!"  So I removed those trapped emotions and offered her gentle balancing energy that supported her body as it prepares to give birth.  Will it make things happen sooner?  I doubt it.  Mother Nature trumps all!  And, truly, I want this baby to come when it is the right time for it to be born healthy and strong.  But if it could happen today, I won't complain!

Waiting For Dove's Cria Birth


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Eyes Are The Windows To Your Soul

     William Shakespeare wrote, "The eyes are the windows to your soul."  He must have been looking into alpaca eyes when he wrote that.  There is nothing more soulful than those big eyes when they look right into your own eyes.  When we take the time and calm our own hearts and soften our eyes, the response of an alpaca is seen in their eyes.  They communicate so much with them. 
     I have heard and learned many times over that when we want to gain the trust of an alpaca, we should lower our eyes and not look right into their eyes.  I used to turn my back and would hold my hand behind me with goodies to gain their trust in accepting treats. I have bent my head down low so they could sniff the top of my head and not show them my eyes.  However, I have since learned that they really do want to see our eyes.  If you want to gain your alpacas trust more quickly, keep your body posture in such a way, that they can always see your eyes.  Not only can we read much of what is going on with our alpaca, but they can read us as well through our eyes.  If we avert our eyes, they can't see what we are thinking or doing.  Our eyes convey much, stress, worry, where we may want to step next.  They can also convey calm, relaxed, gentleness and happiness. What we do not want to do is look at them square on with our shoulders directly facing them.  That is more a challenge.  I reserve that look for when they are very naughty and have spat at me and I need to be the "parent."  That is the only time I look at them in such a direct fashion.  However, when I work with them, catching them, or building trust with the various other energetic techniques I do, I make sure they can see my eyes.
     Alpacas, like horses have nearly 360 degrees of vision.  They don't see as well right in front of their face and right behind their rear end.  If you are walking behind an alpaca, you can tell exactly where they can't see you because they will shift their body slightly to put you into their field of vision.  They can see not only you but your eyes in that position.  It is a sign of respect to let them see your eyes.  So next time you go out to visit your alpacas, take a moment or two and let your alpaca look into your eyes and look into theirs.  It is often a very moving experience.

Zenyatta has such soulful eyes