Category Archives: roles

Meeting profound change together at the very core of relating ~ Communing With Animals

Testimonial ~ Communing With Animals ~  

I first met Janice when I was out on a walk with my dog. I took Dennis out into a snowy field to avoid an unpleasant interaction because my dog used to pull and lunge toward other dogs when he was on the leash and Janice was walking down the road with her dog Blue.
Although I was way out in the field, Dennis who weighs 90 pounds still pulled me down into the snow, as I was trying to stop him from lunging toward Blue. Janice and I were able to talk a bit over the commotion and she told me she works helping people and dogs communicate better.

Dennis with his ball cropped

Dennis with his ball ~ photo Cindy Brown

Dennis and I have met with Janice several times over the past months. We have walked together and practiced working with Dennis when he is approached by other dogs. To my amazement, the very core of my relationship with Dennis has been impacted in a profound way through our work with Janice.
She has given me practical techniques for working with Dennis in high stress situations, including using the leash in a different way and getting his attention to me when he is distracted by another dog, person or squirrel. As a result, the whole nature of my walks with Dennis has changed. Rather than pulling me, Dennis now walks beside me and is even able to walk calmly off the leash quite often. When we pass by another dog, I know how to give Dennis a gentle, but firm physical touch to remind him to pay attention to my directions.
Just as important as the physical techniques, Janice has introduced me to new ways of thinking about my relationship with Dennis and how we communicate and make agreements on working together. For instance, I no longer see Dennis as “misbehaving.” I see that he is acting out of some deep desire to protect me and himself when we are approached by another dog. I feel I am more able to see the situation from his perspective as animal, dog, Belgian Malinois, and Dennis. I find that there is a stronger and more loving connection between us now.
Of course, there are set backs, but now when something goes wrong, I know that I will be able to address it in a positive way, using the knowledge I’ve gained from working with Janice. It has truly been a life-changing experience for me. I worry so much less about the trouble that Dennis might cause. He seems very aware of my state of my mind and also more relaxed as a result. 
Cindy Brown
In response to Cindy’s wonderful testimonial: First off, I’d like to say to Cindy, your commitment to expanding in a sustainable way beyond current limited habits and beliefs is highly commendable. You are a true pleasure to work with. Thank you.
How the opportunity came up to work with Cindy and Dennis was a beautiful example of right timing. I’ve recognized over the years of working with individuals in their personal growth and expansion process that the potency of the work has a lot to do with right timing, as well as having sufficient resources to meet the needs or challenges that those individuals may face at that time. Cindy’s story of how we met that snowy day, Cindy and Dennis in the field and Blue and I on our road taking our morning walk together, reveals how the right timing was indeed at hand. The right timing was not only for Cindy and Dennis but for the four of us, to meet for the first time in that way, initiating our collaboration.
Our work together, over a series of three sessions, gave us opportunities to draw on a range of different resources, both inner and outer. Cindy engaged our sessions fully and willingly. Her receptivity to guidance and seeing new ways of relating with herself and Dennis were key resources that I could also draw on as a facilitator. Cindy also drew on internal resources that she embodies, such as her mindfulness background and practices.
A resource that I draw on frequently is the power of perceiving the felt sense present in the relating between human and animal, as well as animal and their environment. Listening to the intelligence available in that felt sense (using all the senses), I am able to feel into the energetic connection the person shares with their companion animal. (We all do this, often unconsciously more than consciously.) I also draw on the transparency innate in animals to communicate their experiences directly through signals portrayed in their body language.
Another resource that I drew on with Cindy and Dennis was years of experience in spontaneously accessing and implementing practical ways to either trouble-shoot or enhance the situation at hand, as we encountered those situations. As an example, Cindy mentioned the different ways of working with the leash; there are so many more possibilities with leashes than how we tend to use them!
Clearly, the emphasis is not just on me as facilitator of the sessions to bring the necessary resources. These sessions are truly collaborative! When a client can find within themselves ways to be self-revealing, even when it feels risky, the capacity of the working relationship expands exponentially. Cindy modeled that beautifully, such that she stepped into a place for herself and Dennis to mutually benefit from this work, on multiple levels for each. The more shared resources made available, the more transformative this work has the possibility of becoming.
Some particular gems that came up in our sessions were about attention, both fixed attention (something that Dennis was getting waylaid by and Cindy caught up in, sometimes literally) as well as how to shift to more receptive or fluid attention. Again and again, I have been shown by all sorts of animals that I have had the opportunity to commune with, what fluid attention and receptive awareness can look and feel like. I often credit my Permaculture training (I was certified in 1995) as the beginning of cracking open my own capacity for a different kind of attention, one without so many fixed notions or ideas of what is “better” or “worse” and one that ultimately can restore us to our innate receptivity, vitality, and capacity to be at ease in our bodies, our lives, and our relationships.
In one of her examples, Cindy mentioned something I can expand on about Dennis and seeing from his perspective “as animal, dog, Belgian Malinois, and Dennis.” A change in perception, such as in this example, brings the possibility of immediate expansion into a wider lived reality. The inspirational perception I drew on in this particular session with Cindy & Dennis is that our companion animals are much more than just the one we mean when calling them by name or relating to them through their personality. We love our animal companions and their personalities, yet what often gets overlooked in this predominantly affection-based relating (literally repeating a dog’s name is a stimulation, sometimes affectionate, sometimes confusing or even punishing) is the rich array of internal resources our companion animals actually bring to our shared relationship.
Our canine companions experience interrelated realities of their breed along with their simple dog-ness. There is also a very essential aspect of their reality, the more primal experiencing of mammal or animal (one which we share in through our limbic brains). We can choose to relate with our companion animals including all four of these aspects: 1) their primal animalness, 2) their species of animal (i.e. their dog-ness), 3) their breed/genetics they carry (wow, what differences!), and finally 4) their unique personality. We know that our animals so easily mirror things about ourselves back to us, but the exploration and depth of new ways to relate really opens up when we begin to tap into the resources found at all four of these levels of being and perceiving.
Thank you again, Cindy, for this opportunity to share the benefits of our sessions together with a much wider audience. The cool thing is that each person and animal that steps together into a fresh or newly vitalized way of relating and communing can become The Model for what is possible in this awesomely expanding, shared consciousness field of inter-species relating. Namaste, I bow to this awesomeness in you! 
~ Janice Sandeen
If you, the reader, have questions about or interest in further elaboration on any aspect of what was shared here, please write your question in the comments below. I will answer or elaborate further. I will be creating new blog posts dedicated to some of the themes mentioned only lightly here. You are welcome to suggest topics or themes, as well. Thank you for reading this blog post!
To learn more about Communing With Animals or to talk with me about enhancing and expanding your inter-species relationships through an interactive consultation (can also be with wild animals or any life forms that you encounter somewhere in your life), please visit my CWA pages on my blog or on Facebook. A link to my Contact page is here.
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Introducing ~ Communing With Animals page on Facebook by Janice Sandeen

Through Communing With Animals, I offer interactive consultations, which naturally neutralize opposites that often bring unnecessary polarization (aka stressors) between you and your companion animals or any other relating or environmental situation you share with animals. Any seemingly minor stressor can be the perfect opportunity to open to a more expanded level of awareness between you and your companion animal. These sessions have been life-changing for my clients, as well as opportunities to bring in new levels of relaxation, thus well-being into body, mind, and one’s life in general!

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Working w/Joya, Coby, & Marcia (behind camera) in a Communing With Animals session ~ Forest Knolls, CA

Although I more commonly offer in-person sessions, my work also extends to interactions via phone, Skype, and even email dialogue. I also have created a new page on Facebook called ‘Communing With Animals’, which I cordially invite you to check out, as it has many great in situ photos with insightful and inspirational shares about each of these photos, among many other communing opportunities to consider:

https://www.facebook.com/JaniceSandeenCommuningWithAnimals/

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Blue, my canine companion and Blue Heeler, travels with me and provides non-confrontational socializing for many of the animals & people we meet, commune with, and provide consults for.

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Ketzel in action, playing ~ Woodacre, CA ~ visit my Testimonial page to read the inspiring story of Ketzel shedding his fears.

Recipe for Reclamation

This recipe is as old as the ages are old
More ancient than the most ancient of beings, trees, creatures, or even fossils that still reside on this earth plane we take our physical nourishment from
Only, it is a new recipe now for what we are now, every evolutionary iteration that we have in our midst, at this time
We each might need to scour the threads, some very bare, some still shining sovereign, to discern those ancient traces
• 
That return each and every one of us to the most pristine truth of what we are
One recipe stirs within my dreamtime, a sacred housing of the rich multiplicity reaching b e y o n d  whatever amnesias once wracked my living essence down to the bone
I woke to this hunger, letting it crack me open, showing me the journey way to the most hidden of truths
• 
And yet something was needed to nourish me along this way
What recipe to draw from hard ground, the driest of remnants, grit and obscurity; what song?
The very least of these came in order to speak a new language, familiar, yet otherworldly from the deepest chasms that, somehow, I chose to look away from out of fear of not ever finding myself (out of fear of not ever finding  m y s e l f  )

 

9 – 25 November 2016 ~ Arroyo Seco, NM

THE LETTERS

There are letters I must write

letters like this one

to the pattern of

the inner reaches

 

Shift is a multitude

spectral lines, layers be-

coming distinct, distinguished

with and by capacity

 

I write the letters

that must be sent

that must first be

written by this soul

 

If you receive a letter

don’t take offense

rather rise to the occasion

find the match within

 

Something old can be

burned away in the heat

of what comes forward

what lays dormant within

 

And can now be revealed

as fully revealed as you

are willing to rise to it

–the occasion of Heat

 

Or leave it

leave it if you must

leave it if you are

too afraid to know

 

We can look together

we can fully reveal

what has been here

all along –inviolate

 

What holds you back

what has such power

over you that when

it is clear, you are not?

 

Try this… remove

whatever garments

you have tended to

favor instead of me

 

Clinging close to what?

What a rare moment

to make your way with

aplomb and be Queen

 

This letter is your way

to release, release from

and release to all that

ever called to your soul

 

And if a letter does not

arrive –fiercely call it out

Endeavor to make haste

that haste will bear you true

 

 

27 December 2015

San Cristobal, NM

|T͟His| |kəˈlīdəˌskōp| |mīnd|

kaleidoscope – ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from Greek kalos ‘beautiful’ + eidos ‘form’ + skopein ‘look at.’

 

Liken to say, this mind is none other than a kaleidoscope perfection

Yet we are smitten as we hold it in our hands, forgotten the play,

The game of it and perhaps become lost in the grip, such that hardly

Can we imagine it as apparatus and instead have taken it –mistaken its

Images, patterns, colors, forms, fragments –appearing oh so beautiful–

 

As ourselves. Yes, we are Beauty, we are Awareness. We appear as form,

Yes. These fragments are ever changing, the mirrors and advantage of

Perception affords great visage; what is it that holds on often desperately

Within some fleetingly grasped image and makes that a home, a dwelling

Of such import? It is more of a cataclysmic order than actually discerned.

 

We have our reminders, however quickly we cast them aside, not even

Momentarily pausing within the recognition of this vast and luminous

Undisturbed emptiness –the very emanation of Beauty we are. Beauty,

Formless as breath, sure as spirit, belongs to no one thing, and seems

To hover in the midst of these objects that we think, we spin into existence

 

Borrowing the least palpable matter for that split second alighting upon.

What is it that compels the grab, hovering as mistake, again and again?

What is it that seems so lacking that we persistently gather at its feet as if

It actually exists separate from us? Are we not twisting something out of

Existence that we have made up, an impostor of the grandest order?

 

What is it that you are playing at? Just in this moment, see it plainly.

You, author, conductor, composer, director, is it feast, famine, crusade,

Epic, adventure? What aspects of life have the spotlight? Is it thought itself?

Is it death? Is it physical suffering or perhaps, elation? Is it powerlessness,

Betrayal of everything you/we are? Does creative spirit take the bow here?

 

And as quickly as the kaleidoscope turns, so do the images, appearances,

Along with the notions of who and what we are somehow separate from

Everything else in existence. Pause, take the apparatus in hand, look and

See that which is looking, holding the focus –not to denigrate or disparage.

Celebrate the kaleidoscopic perfection and rest, rest easy, rest as Awareness.

 

Absolutely all and everything is on your calling card, any order, any dance

Partner is available and already dancing with you. How magnificent the

10,000 things! Any one thing is all of these combined without any fixed

Combinations, nothing locked into place. Simply fathom this myriad! Play.

And breathe beyond recognition, simply experiencing What Is. Carry on.

 

San Cristobal, NM

28 February 2015

Overt Folly Gentle Song

In the leaving always a return
As sure as spring follows winter
And yet long are some winters
Uncharacteristically long ~ forgetting yet
What rests within ~ a supreme patience
And a recognition that pales any other

In this realm Timelessness reigns
and there is no departing that scars

Such is the wisdom of Life, life beholden
That voice rising along the purest of paths
Untainted from what seem too many diversions
Beacons all from the same source
The oil of that lamp eternal font
Cascade in all measures, as well as none

We come together here, this confluence
the large and the small, high and low
Traveling farther than reaches seen
sooner than expected and later too

This perfection is the last thing to wear that name
Its warmth need never be restored
As what appears to falter is not That
Even what appears to never falter is not That

And as another winter approaches
Its spring calls simultaneously
All bound together in the same music
Note by note  warmth and pale, bright and cool.

We Are This

There is no methodology
There is just life

There is no education
Simply intelligence awakening

There are no helpers
We are what we are all

Nothing is alone here
What is distance and time?

We have short stopping overs
A pause for this and that

What is the solo journey
If not a full expansion
Of All That Is at one time
Unfolding of this one facet

We cannot comprehend the
Magnitude of what we are

And yet it is so, simply so
Orders upon orders of facets

Of shimmering nothingness
Alive with the mystery of Being

The spectrum of which is infinite
May we simply know this

May we simply know this
In our touching in ~ communion

Anything we think we need
Is inessential and yet we pause

There again and again and again
As if to mark the unmeasurable

To quench that which thirsts for
The exquisiteness beyond form

We bully the forces from which
We emanate, play at placating

We cajole and make light of
That which is the stuff of stars

Not realizing, error upon error,
We cannot eviscerate this Life

For it courses through all that
We Are and think that we are not

Folly of great follies, may we
Continue to play at these mounds

Giving the pitch, burying death,
Crowning all Glory with Herself

This is who and what We Are
We cannot comprehend how

So leave the how and why
The where is simply here now

September 2, 2014