By Judy Ramsey
I think perhaps the most valuable lesson animals have to teach us is how to open our hearts to access compassion and love. In his book, Truth vs. Falsehood: How to Tell the Difference, David R. Hawkins describes his research on the vibrational frequencies of different states and events. Some of the highest vibrations possible in our world come from a kitten’s purr or a dog wagging its tail. Higher than the Dalai Lama! How do we access that kind of vibration? What does it take? If we could access our animal nature, could we feel that kind of exhilaration? It is my theory that this is why we have pets. They bring us to our true selves through the unconditional acceptance of who we really are at the core.
Animal communication is all about the heart, the spiritual heart. “Successful” communication depends upon the opening of the heart to receive information of any kind -- words, pictures, sensations, emotion; from any being -- from cute, cuddly animals to ones you fear; at any time -- quiet, serene, or stressful situations when focus is challenging; and for any reason --celebrations, death, or trauma that would make anyone turn away.
People come to my animal communication classes out of a love for animals, theirs and others. They are from all walks of life, all stages, with varying life experiences. The journey they take in the three-day class is one of life, in which any barriers they have to opening their hearts come forward to be examined, mostly gently. If one is willing to look at a barrier, and to accept support getting past it, there is a significant shift in perspective. By the second or third day of class, people are like slugs, moving VERY slowly, because this major shift of perception slows all the person’s physical systems in order to integrate it into the entire being of the person. After the workshop, people report that they are happier, more content, and more passionate about communicating with animals.
There are a number of tools and tidbits the animals have shown to me that I pass along to students. Animal communication is not just a diversion or a convenience, it is a path that has led me to a personal journey of heart opening to ever wider, deeper levels.
My oldest mare, Classy, has been my greatest teacher. Horses are all about heart. She frequently attends with me energetically when I go to workshops. Years ago, I was on the table as a ‘client’ in a workshop, and my heart was painful, full of pressure. I tried hard to open it, but could only see a crack with golden light showing through. Classy was next to me and calmly said, “It is the nature of hearts to be open. Just allow it.” So I stepped back, out of my own way, and allowed it to open. I was rewarded with an explosion of golden light and love that permeated every cell in my body! Lesson: if we can get out of our own way, the heart opens. We sometimes make it harder than it has to be.
The first experience I had going deeper with my heart was also one of the most intense. I was in a Tao of Equus workshop with Linda Kohanov. Her book, The Tao of Equus, is a wonderful account of her own perspective’s journey. Over a 5-day period of time, I received the most intense psychotherapy I had ever had from a gray Arabian mare named, of course, Harmony. She taught me how to open my heart without feeling vulnerable. We spent hours in the roundpen together, connected heart to heart, while she supported me through different layers of trauma that a severely abusive childhood had laid there. One of the questions I asked at the time was, “How do you stay in your heart when there are so many daily little things that come at you?” Harmony replied, “There are no flies at the core. When you are in your heart and living from it, there is nothing that can distract you.” Lesson: ground yourself in your heart. When you are connected to the source love that is your spiritual heart, you can stay focused.
It is common for people to feel vulnerable once the heart is open. Our culture and reflexes have conditioned us to ‘protect’ ourselves, mostly by closing off our hearts energetically. The problem is, once we close our hearts, we also cut ourselves off from receiving. The biggest barriers to receiving communication (or love or support from anyone) are self-doubt and fear. Once the mind begins spinning, nothing can get through.
This visualization is from a whale and has helped many people to be open and ‘protected’ at the same time. Imagine your favorite color. Now imagine a cocoon of this color that completely surrounds you. Fill this cocoon with all the love and compassion from your heart that you usually give to others. Breathe that into every cell and just feel it. This cocoon can be generated every time you feel vulnerable.
You can see through it, feel through it, talk through it. However, it is a protective barrier. Although it is permeable, only those energies that are for your highest good can come through it to your heart. Energies not to your highest good will bounce off or be repelled. Lesson: in the process of protecting yourself emotionally and spiritually, don’t imprison yourself.
Finally a lesson from a small ball python, Alfonse, whom I recently met. Be sure your mind is connected to your heart. If you find yourself in panic, go to your heart, not your head. In his book, The Secret Teachings of Plants, Stephen Buhner describes that in the history of humankind, the heart was always the primary brain. Our minds were only supposed to support this. Ironically, it wasn't until the Age of Enlightenment, that this switched. Lesson: live from the heart.