Hats off to Lisa, the big Caat at SpiritCaat, for her excellent questions. The interview is reproduced below, and if you want to check out her excellent board and other services, give her a click!
• How do you describe animal communication to those who are unfamiliar with what it is?
Animals communicate with each other in many ways, including telepathy. That is their native language, and how animals of different species can communicate with each other. Humans can also use telepathy. We are trained to ignore it while quite young, in favor of verbal language. But it is possible to regain our awareness and stop blocking it out. I have spent a lot of time doing this, but it can also happen in an instant, for anyone, without training.
• What tips would you give to students of animal communication who are just starting out?
I am answering these remarks in a way that often assumes you are pros and that you are working, getting paid, etc. I know this is not necessarily the case, but I want you to feel what it is like to approach animal communication professionally. It is good for the animals and for you, to see it this way.
Take a Reiki class. This is the best way I know to increase your sensitivity and awareness to energy. It will help you to recognize telepathy, and give you a healing skill you can use in your communication. Find someone who will teach the three levels separately, with time in-between levels to assimilate your healing skills and to practice with humans and animals. Don’t settle for someone who teaches two or three levels in one or two weekends. That is a disservice to Reiki, to the animals, and to you.
We are not just translators. We can do a lot more with our sensitive, caring insight than just translate. Inter-species counseling skills are very valuable, and two of the best places I know to study are with Penelope Smith (www.animaltalk.net) and Dr. Jeri Ryan (www.assisianimals.org/). Also, not all counseling skills are gained in certification or training. Spiritual counseling is at the center of many communication practices. You will need to explore this in your own life, not just with your teachers and mentors.
Start or increase your meditation practice. Don’t freak out! This is EASY! You can use Google shopping to find a meditation CD which uses “binaural beat” encoding. That means that you will wear headphones, and the sounds delivered to the two ears will be distinct from each other. Binaural beat meditation automatically creates theta brainwaves (deep meditation) by the relation between the two different sounds reaching the two hemispheres of your brain. Some brand names are HemiSync (which holds the original patent) and HoloSync, and many other versions are available; I especially like the ones with nature sounds. We have been culturally trained that meditation is difficult to do and that it’s hard to maintain a schedule of it. Neither is true. Binaural beat meditation is a technology which delivers meditation to us. Once you begin to experience the benefits, it is not so hard to commit to the schedule. Meditation is helpful for fine-tuning your awareness, and for your well-being and ability to deliver communication on demand when necessary. Listen to the CD once a day if possible. It is important not to only listen to it just before you go to sleep. Theta brainwaves are either deep meditation or lighter sleep. If you are too tired, you will sleep instead of meditating. Many people will fall asleep sometime during the CD, but if you are awake at least part of the time, you will get the benefits of the meditation and not just the sleep.
Find a mentor. They may be an animal communicator, a vet, a priest, or that old lady you always meet at the store. It’s up to you to attract the right person for you. This is someone who will help you to achieve depth in your work. Whatever your native skills already are, they will add new facets to your awareness.
As soon as you can, consider charging for your work. It helps clients to take you seriously, and they put more into the session in order to get more out of it. Also things that increase your sense of professionalism are good for you and good for the field. You can start with a lower price, or work by donation if you wish.
And saving the best for last, my number one tip is: work with animals whom you don’t already know! This is surprising for many people, who assume they will do best with animals in their own family. Not true! With our own animal family we have an inherent bias, because we are stakeholders. We want Skippy to eat his dinner in the kitchen and not drag it onto the rug, or Bella to stop hunting birds in the back yard. That is not the place to start. Those are advanced negotiations, because we are family. Would an MD start to do surgery on their own family? No! In my animal family, when things get serious, I call another communicator. If you start by trying to practice with your own animal family, you may never find out how good you really are. It is similar when working with friends’ animals whom you know pretty well. Especially as a beginner, it is much harder to differentiate between your rational mind and your intuitive awareness when it is someone you know ahead of time. So give yourself a break and try communicating with animals you don’t know that well. Where there is an absence of rational knowledge about the situation, the ‘still small voice’ of your intuition can be heard more easily.
• Can you share some verifiable questions to ask the animals for people just starting out?
I believe pursuing verifiable questions, especially at the beginning, is the wrong direction to go. We want to build relaxation, for ourselves, the clients, and especially for the animals. Relaxation creates openness to the information that is already there.
Have you ever asked someone a direct question and they answer about something else entirely? The doctor might ask you, ‘how is your hand’? And you don’t really care about your hand, you’re really worried about this mole on your face — is it a skin cancer? So you start talking about the mole. Imagine that most animals may never have had the opportunity for a real communication. Now that they have your full attention, maybe they don’t want test questions, maybe they want to talk!
I find that verification comes much more easily in the course of an unstructured conversation. For example, I would never have thought to ask a cat, ‘how many water bowls do you have, and where are they’, but during the course of the communication, he reveals that he has three bowls, and with each of them he has to turn his back to foot traffic. He would rather his people moved the bowls away from the wall, so he could have his back to the wall, and not worry that someone is going by his tail while he’s drinking. The client was amazed at the level of verifiable detail, but the quest was not for verification, it was for what the cat needed. This cat was having kidney problems, and making drinking easier for him was very important.
Really, I believe that in all communication the animal is more important than our human effort to improve or verify our skill as communicators. If we just put the animal first, it all goes so much better, for everyone! If you conduct a ‘normal’ conversation (rather than directly pursuing verification), much verifiable information will arise, without the tense struggle to be right, and get a telepathic ‘hit’. [Please click the link to part 2 “More” of this article below the donation button.]
© Denise Schultz 2010
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