Tag Archives: insights

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.

oscillation of sight

 

 

this is what I ponder

considering what it is

what I co-author*

sometimes without even

realizing the very footing

I take as my own

 
image

I look and I look out

looking out, might I

bar that very pristine

ground of being,

which I emanate as,

simply unknowingly?

 
image

when I look

and in the looking

I dissolves

that I mistaken

once as anything

other than pristine

 
image

and existence reveals

itself again and again

oscillating almost

imperceptibly between

and in that between

there I am

 

not necessary to

catch it (!) no

as it is casually &

(seemingly) furtively

carrying on carrying on carrying on

birthing / rebirthing

 

gently, as if

I am gazing

upon a newborn fawn

breathing in the delicacy

and knowing it

as myself

 

the pristine I am

the pristine we are

emerges as visible

spectrum out of

hum and spin

oscillation of sight

 

 

* to choose either the co-authoring of misery & unworthiness or co-authoring of joy and worthiness ~ I have Mario Martinez and his seminal book, The MINDBODY Code (Sounds True, 2014) to thank for these profound insights and deep experiential touching into this “healing field”

 

inter

-weaving
as we go
unseen character
infuses lesser known
gods of titration
and arbitration
snow crystal
monument
just under foot


Interweaving ground:sky

Hoarfrost

IMG_20150108_103724507

 

It arrived as seeming magic yesterday morning

like a new reality being seen for the first time

and remains today sharing its glow still.

 

This touch comes via its recognition –cold but not

A distinct warmth arrives unbidden. The eye

is relieved of its usual work on these mornings

 

Dispensing with its familiar taint formed of other

kinds of vapor, which we gather throughout our

day to day interactions with this stuff of reality.

 

Hoarfrost permeates much the same in its blanketing

of every surface nook and cranny, defying gravity, comes

only when called out by the elements, its conspirators.

 

Colors shift and change, the light dances new dances

–a communion of deep appreciation of living things

that have their own mastery and workings reaches me.

 

This day to day eye softens its course, lays down its tools,

puts aside whatever ways it’s become accustomed to

seeing the world and takes an in breath, yes, breathes in.

 

San Cristobal, NM

10 January 2015

iNotice

Incoming

I notice there are things
that
people
tend to notice

There is what I notice
almost
too subtle
to take note

Is there something we notice
possibly
other than
what seems to be

Departure

Walking
everything stays in one place
eyes toes nose
back hand

Notice(?)

How you don’t leave
anything
behind
everything comes with

When orientation is fixed
things return to
the same
the same

Again and again

How often do I agree
even in writing
gross holds
over subtle

Otherwise

Flame light of fire
Musical tonality
Aspiration
Synergy

 

 

Vunerability Within

29 September ~

My writing calls me, calls me here to place words outwardly that otherwise are fluid within. Vulnerabilities within anchor me, without hand holds, to the vastness of space within my heart and beingness. Sometimes this spaciousness is so vast, I can feel lost even when there is no where to go.

My contemplative fire within burns as an ember, low, gently warm, waiting to be rekindled in this autumn moon. It feels both awkward and tender, to write now. Coaxing something of that which is waiting to revive. I read the words of others, tenderness arising as the recognition of spirit in the life lived.

30 September ~ the following morning ~ The sun is softened, softened by somewhat heavy skies. The morning has a timeless quality, still under covers. I wake later than usual and my body/mind has a harder time sleeping late. It’s as if there is some deep confusion between waking and sleeping. The body aches, which gives a feeling to stay in bed. Staying in bed brings a different kind of weight, which impacts the whole. The house is quiet. I’m not the only one sleeping later today.

I long to write about the simple, everyday things on the material plane. I often write from the more subtle regions of the consciousness, the awareness of all that is. Then the object of awareness becomes the expression and the way of expression through language. This object is not so satisfying to the actual, physical life, the beingness in the body and of the body. And yet, these two are inextricably joined.

Instead, I take up a book with words written in the way that soothes and nourishes my soul and being. I can enjoy these writings. Maybe I don’t have to be the one who writes in that way. I live that way, so it’s there; that day to day touching in, with tenderness, to the material plane. I feel the elementals there with me. I love to acknowledge that connection. I don’t always acknowledge them, but when I do, I really love it and there is communion instantly!

[The song In Everything (Momosona) by Chris Rosser comes up on Pandora: https://www.pandora.com/#!/music/song/chris+rosser/in+everything+momosona ~ check it out, if you like.]

Many Companions

I just have to write today. The days, months and weeks have gone by since visiting here, since inhabiting this space of page, words, laying down the companion words as they come, many companions. The times have been challenging for me, quite, over the last two months, possibly longer too, but especially the last two months. And now I am here.

After turning and turning in the night and dreaming layers of thoughts and images in between, I’ve woken to a new day, a bright day. What I may have looked to and anticipated once doesn’t always seem enjoyable another time; what once felt comforting and companionable, now has spines that I hadn’t noticed earlier. Or so it seems.

The world as it seems is so incredibly receptive to all that is present in the day, circumstances, and timings. I’ve had so, so many insights in the process of this challenging journey of late. Many, many sweet insights, dear insights that I do feel the rightness of this particular way, this particular experience for me in my life at this time. That feeling alone is quite an arrival in itself. Each insight is like a new companion along the way, as they have a presence,  a communication, and a connection within.