Posts Tagged ‘co-species healing’

Celebration of Life: Ascend and Include (Part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of four posts by our amazingly awesome contributing blogger Dr. Penny Lloyd!

Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Celebration of Life – Ascend & Include

I am not here to tell anyone what to believe around death. I am simply sharing my experience. That is what I trust most nowadays. This seems to be the general trend for humanity at this stage in our evolution. It used to be that we would accept without question, information handed from authority figures (parents, doctors, government, police, boss, experts in any field). Now it is rare to take someone else’s advice, or even research, as absolute. When we question for ourselves, we discover there are many layers to everything. That makes life fascinating. It is all about finding our own way to truths and what is real – by sifting life through our own filter. That comes through being present to our own experience. That opening is what I wish to share.

Life is different for everyone because everyone’s perspective is different – built by our unique biological makeup and life experience. Each point of creation is unique. So my way is not the one way, the right way, the only way, the highway…it is just my experience at one point in my own evolution … guaranteed to change. So will yours.

Close to a decade ago, when my 21 year old cat best “Buddy” died in my arms, it was the most pain I had ever felt. The only thing that helped was going outside. When the pain was at its worst, I remember hearing a whispered “promise of connection”. It came while I was in the pasture, and was surprised to see a cat. The cat turned and looked at me – giving pause to my raging internal blizzard for a millisecond – long enough for the message to land. At that time, the word “connection” didn’t mean a thing. I quickly dismissed and forgot it. But it has resurfaced, becoming a focal word in my reality.

One of the things “Buddy” was just starting to do before he passed on was curl up at night in the crook of my arm, right next to my heart. I just loved it, couldn’t get enough of it, and wished he would sleep there always. A couple years after his passing, a little black fuzz ball kitten climbed up my leg one day and adopted me. He sleeps there regularly. And I love it more than ever.

Ten months ago, my sister’s dog “Sharky” passed on. Some time later, she adopted a full grown dog “Mystic” from the humane society. Everyone was shocked at how similar they looked. We have all made an effort to call the new dog “Mystic”, but regularly make the mistake of calling him Sharky. Even though they look the same, there are differences in character. Mystic definitely has traits Sharky never had. But in a surreal yet deeply comforting way, somehow all of Sharky surfaces within Mystic. He no longer seems gone. Somehow he is not all of Mystic, but part of him.

With the connection Bangwyn and I shared while she was in physical form, I could feel her presence with me whenever I thought of her. (This is something she helped teach me, which is another story.) We were never really apart. Even when we were a thousand miles away from each other, I could feel her energy right with me. All I had to do was focus and instantly there she was. It was a particular sensation that I knew to be her.

I assumed it would be the same when she passed over. The first time I checked in after her death, I fully expected her to be there as she had always been. Then I had a brief surge of panic that she had disappeared. But her presence was there. It had changed and felt different. The quality of it was lighter and freer – more wispy, less solid. And it was found in a slightly different place. It was no longer a next to me, side by side, walk together, merging sensation. When I scanned for her presence the way I had always done, I found it deeper and more central, integrated – it had become part of my heart space – at the very core of it. That’s where I found her after she passed on.

Celebration of Life? Healing Our Greatest Fear (Part 3)

This is the third in a series of four contributions by our amazing, compassionate blogger Dr. Penny Lloyd.

Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Celebration of Life? Healing our greatest fear

Mention the word death, dying, euthanasia and watch humans pucker up, fidget, sweat, change the subject and scramble for the nearest exit. Death is our greatest fear. The day my mare passed had an expansive peace, warmth, and beauty to it. It was so normal, so natural. How could such a huge day feel normal? How could such a day not have been the most horrible day of my life? How could “euthanasia day” be another series of moments shared… a normal natural extension of life as it had always been together – with rich new discoveries and joy created together? I couldn’t have done it without her. Animals can help humans transform our biggest fear. They do not fear death like we do.

Years ago I remember driving my vet truck and seeing yet another gorgeous black squirrel with tufted ears lifeless in the middle of the road. It was one of those emotional days, where I couldn’t bear it. It tore me up. Tears didn’t help. Neither did saying a blessing prayer. What did help was this thought. “Consider this. Maybe it is a game. Could it be squirrels dart across the road on purpose? Perhaps the thrill of going to the light is the best game of all. From a squirrel’s perspective, an exciting game of dodge dash, followed by a quick painless exit – may be the best of all days. Then “pop” back into another body, to do it again. Like a carnival ride.”

It is hard to wrap your head around how it can all be in one day. How can there be the best of times at the worst of times? How can a day of immense sorrow also be playful, carefree, and adventurous? Is that allowed? How is that even possible? All I know is that my mare was clearly having a party. Her enthusiasm was contagious. If you took her lead, today, every day, was a celebration. Every moment was a party. Not a false front drunken desperate attempt to escape reality party. A fully enter and embrace reality party.

Whatever there was to enjoy, she enjoyed fresh and full – like she had always done. Today was no different, only perhaps more so. For all around there was a higher vibration than usual. This gave each experience even more rich full joy. Who knew that on your last day you could discover the taste of carrots and succulent greens – with salt for the first time? Who knew that humans could be so delightfully present, instead of busy? How could a simple walk feel so carefree incredible? Who knew that a needle could give such freedom?

And so because I was more present, I came to glimpse a truth behind the “Celebration of Life” phrase, not as used in the past remembrance tense, but now. Always in the now, as animals always are, enjoying what is, without judgment, preconceived notion, concepts, or fear of death. Past and future do not even exist, when you fully enter the moment. From this vantage, life is celebration and celebration is life. They are one and the same.

Celebration of Life? (Part 1)

This is a contribution by Dr. Penny Lloyd:
Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Cat's EyeCelebration of Life?

Several years ago a good friend and her 7 year old daughter were killed in a head on car crash. It was the first time I went to a funeral that was called “Celebration of Life”. At the time, I was grief stricken and trying hard to control it. To me the phrase “Celebration of Life” was not something I was up to at a time like that. The last thing I felt like doing was joining in a celebration. I could see how it was a positive way to honor a life well lived, but that was as deep as my understanding went. The phrase seemed like an overly bright smile masking a huge gaping wound. Now, I understand better. When you really go into it and follow it to the root, these are great words to describe a deeper truth.

What I remember most about my first “Celebration of Life” are 3 things:

Permission to be real. It was the first time in my life I experienced a group of people who had room for it all. It was okay to cry or laugh, crack a stupid joke, talk or not. It did not matter. Everyone had room for everything. In a strange way it was a group of people as it should be. Everyone had a larger capacity that day. I didn’t understand the window that death provides. I only knew that it actually felt good. Feeling good at a funeral?!? It was my first glimpse into compassion. It was the potential of the human race in a compassionate state – an evolved state of being – and it was beautiful indeed.

Crying. That was not something I allowed freely at that time in my life. What a powerful release. It is like taking the lid off a pressure cooker to let go of the resistance of trying not to cry. It is the first step to feel better – to stop the fight – to give yourself permission to feel what you feel. To let whatever you feel move through you and not get stuck.
The radiance in her husband/father’s eyes. He had the most captivating eyes that day. I had never noticed his eyes before, but that day you couldn’t help but fall deep into the bottomless blue. Like they weren’t really eyes, but a compelling force. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. At the time I had little understanding. Now I know it was presence shining through a human – stronger than I had ever witnessed before – absolute mesmerizing beauty.

I felt that radiance again the day my mare passed. There was a moment where she was more beautiful than I had ever seen. This was followed quickly by a second of panic where I desperately wanted to run and get my camera, do something, to try to capture…a lifetime. But some wise part of me knew to just let that thought go, be there, sit, breathe, let the panic subside, sink into the moment and enjoy it more. We were just doing something we had done thousands of times. I was biting off pieces of carrot and she was munching away. But the splendor of the moment was profound. There was magnificence in her face – the shape, how her forelock tumbled and rested between those incredible soft, kind eyes – eyes that held so much and understood everything. With zero energy for expectations that day – I witnessed perfection.

Animal Companions offer Psychological Benefits: Of Course!

It is wonderful to see the studies  mounting up  that continue to further document the health benefits of our animal friends.  This recent study documenting that pets offer psychological benefits seems like a no brainer to me! Duh! Of course they do! The benefit of these studies are that each one continues to accumulate further documentation that the happiest, healthiest future includes humans sharing their lives with animals. The great Harvard entomologist, E.O. Wilson proposed that their is an innate need for humans to share their lives with other living beings, which he called “biophilia”.
This is why we share our lives with them. This is why there are more multi-species households in the U.S. than not. This is what I wrote about in my “Kindred Spirits”. They offer us psychological benefits in prisons, schools for the emotionally challenged, senior citizen homes, orphanages, and wherever people are yearning for unconditional love at very deep levels.
I remember a statement by a colleague of mine, Dr. Larry Dossey that I paraphrase frequently “If there was a pill that had all the documentation on the health benefits of animals for people, it would be the best documented and most desired medication on the market”.
Perhaps we can now develop non-harmful, ethical, humane studies documenting the health benefits of living in a multi-species world that is based on loving kindness and compassion for all beings. Now that would be a great study that could lead to profound, happy outcomes! Perhaps, that is what we can create through the kindred spirits project. If you have ideas on how to create such a study and would like to co-create a study like this, let me know and let’s create it. Perhaps the study would be actually creating such worlds, little microcosms of loving compassionate multi-species communities. Perhaps some exist already. Do you know of one?
Let’s have fun creating one!

Study Shows Pet Ownership Has Psychological Benefits: Huffington Post

Kindred Visions: Copernicus Institute Supports New Vision

Listen to internet radio with Copernicus Radio on Blog Talk Radio
Bonding with a Parrot

Bonding with a Parrot at a book store

Copernicus Radio is a cutting edge, paradigm busting internet radio show that has become an integral part of the broader vision of creating a more compassion based, healthier, happier world. I was just interviewed on their radio show by one of their visionary creators, Steve Saenz. Copernicus radio program provides members with access to creative and innovative thought leaders from a wide range of professional disciplines.
The mission of the Copernicus Institute is “to help visionary leaders optimize their personal and professional effectiveness by employing creativity and innovation”. I am honored to have just been invited to become a member of the Copernicus Institute. Their mission statement states” We are committed to building meaning in the lives and businesses of our members so they, in turn, can build meaning in the lives of those they serve. We strive to be results-driven and action-oriented because it does not really matter how much knowledge you have; it is what you do with that knowledge that counts.”
In their vision they states that they like to “challenge the conventional wisdom”. That has been my professional journey since graduating from veterinary school. Building upon the excellent education I received at the world renowned Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, my passion was to continually explore new nontoxic, innovative options to help animals heal that did not respond to conventional medicine or surgery. The Copernicus Institute voices similar passions to the kindred spirits project, stating that “It will be known as an incubator for breakthrough thinking; a place where ideas, relationships and adventure flourish”. This is precisely what I envision for all animal lovers to come together and nourish new concepts and relationships based on a trans-species, loving supportive community.
I resonate so much with the Copernicus Institute vision. I am grateful that their stimulating questions in the interview had me reflect back on different stages of my life’s journey. I invite you to their look at their virtual tour of their website, programs and vision. I love their quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the greatest American philosophers. They state that Emerson used to greet old friends and acquaintances whom he had not seen in a while with the salutation, ‘What’s become clear to you since we last met?’ How perfect a question is that? That opens up a door to a much deeper, more intimate discussion and relationship with others. So, dear kindred spirit, What has become clear to you since you have viewed the kindred spirits project and Copernicus radio? How will that impact on what you choose to create on the next steps of your life journey shared with all your animal friends?

Kindred Whale Joy

Time for another demonstration of co-species healing and shared joy! This heart-wrenching, suspenseful and then inspiring video of whale lovers saving a dying humpback whale entangled in enormous fishnets just before taking its last breaths of life, will put a smile on the face of all animal lovers and immediately fill your hearts with joy and happiness.

One of the great benefits of the internet and Youtube is how they enable us to witness the compassion and caring that we share with other animal lovers. It helps support us in continuing to do what we can do to help animals in need. Sometimes animal lovers can suffer with compassion fatigue, endlessly opening our hearts to save animals and eventually get worn down by the endless suffering that surrounds us. When we see hopeful situations like this, it is literally like a breath of fresh air, acknowledging what one or a few people can do to make a difference in one animals life.

What I also find fascinating is how patient the whale is, as if it knows that these humans are helping him. In addition, how it demonstrates its celebration of freedom afterwards. It clearly demonstrates joy in a whale. It clearly demonstrates an understanding by the whale that it is being helped.
What else does it show you?
Enjoy your weekend! Celebrate the life that you share with your kindred spirits!

Elk Saves Marmot: Celebrating A Compassion Based Holiday: Inter-species Compassion? (VIDEO)

elkhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/taylar/2976932181/in/photostream/

Elk

As we celebrate the Fourth of  July Holiday weekend in the U.S. and Canada Day (July 1) in Canada,  perhaps we can rejoice in the creation of a New Society based on compassion and loving kindness for all beings.  Can the heroic elk in this video saving a drowning marmot, represent an example of trans-species compassion? It is quite impressive that the elk does not stop trying to save the marmot till he successfully does save him.  Is this because the elk was in captivity or would it have exhibited such behavior in the wild.  No one can answer this.  The beauty is that this elk chose consciously to save another drowning being, going beyond any label of species, simply another sentient being in need.  Can we go beyond our own labels of self and other and help save other beings in need?  Can we create a society where compassion and loving kindness like this is the foundation? (more…)

Kindred Spirits, Worry, Distraction or Awakening?


“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our animal companions can bring us such great joy, help relieve and heal the parts of us that experience depression and anxiety. They can help calm our hearts and minds when we get caught up in the concerns about our life challenges, lessons and all that is going on in the world. In my book, “Kindred Spirits”, I review the research up to 2000 on how they can help us heal. There is an abundance of new research that continues to document these beneficial healing effects.
Some of us have a tendency to worry about almost everything in our lives from the smallest decisions to the greatest issues confronting our planet. I am aware that I certainly can have that tendency. Worry can manifest as true concern for an animal or it can just as easily and quickly take a wicked turn into anxiety and fear. As we shared in a recent post, fear can tend to generalize from one experience into many similar experiences both in humans and our animal friends. I find that that also can happen with worry. Worry, concern, anxiety are all just different manifestations of potential expressions along a wave of emotions. In each moment we can chose if we want to be aware of this concern and turn it into a productive, positive resolution to a particular issue or if we lose control of the emotion and it tumbles into worry and anxiety. (more…)

Happy Mother’s Day to All Mother’s of All Species!

motherduckWhere would the world be without Mother’s? As I talk with friends who are mothers, single mom’s, who have lost their mother’s and share my life with mother’s of all species, a deep feeling of gratitude fills my heart for the incredible dedication and unconditional love that mother’s shower on their children. I reflect back on the challenges I offered my mother, not appreciating all she went through to provide a good life for me, till later in my life.  I hear from friend’s who are single mom’s concerning the challenges of raising children by themselves and how they have managed to still offer their children such profound love. I watch as the deer that give birth to their fawns under my deck each year, patiently show their fawns the in’s and out’s of where to find food, where to rest safely, which trails to travail the cliffs and how their fawns patiently watch everything they do.  I watch the eagle’s fly by window, getting food for their newborns in their nest and how all species that we share mother earth with all share the same dedication to their children.  I also am continuously amazed at how different species will adopt babies from other species.

On youtube there are more and more video’s of different species nursing and caring for newborns of other species who lost their mothers such as this monkey who adopts a kitten (video below).  It seems that unconditional love can transcend all species. Nurturing, giving and receiving is between all beings, beyond labels.  I ponder what makes a mother of one species feel maternal instincts for another where a monkey adopts a kitten.  What in a mother has them see all babies as their own, to nurture.  Truly, maternal instincts and unconditional love do indeed transcend labels of species, transcends all labels.  When we see this documented more and more on Youtube, crows adopting and feeding a kitten, etc. I wonder did this happen all the time, or is this a new phenomena.  What do you think is the basis for these behaviors transcending species?

May all mother’s bless their children with the unconditional love that is the foundation of all our hearts, two-legged, four-legged and winged!

 

Inter-species connections: Protecting Mom (VIDEO)

Continuing evidence accumulates for trans-species connections that defy labels.  This short video of a deer protecting a nesting goose is another example of communication that normal conventional animal behavior is challenged to define. Can you feel the opening of the hearts of the news reporters in this video?  Personally, some of the key insights from this video are: 1. how one can see and feel a shift from the mind to the heart in the reporters;  2. how the deer has consciously decided to take on the protector role for this goose; 3. how when one partner of one species, the female goose’s partner disappears, another partner from another species chooses to take on that role and the communication that must be going on at some level between the deer and the goose.  How does that communication occur?  Why does that communication occur? To me, this is further evidence of my theory of “trans-species field theory” which I will be presenting in a paper shortly and on future posts. It is also interesting to note that this is occurring in a cemetery.  That is a whole other story that we will ponder in further posts as well.   I would love to hear from all of you on your perspectives on this co-species connection.  Perhaps the garden of eden is within our sights everyday, all we have to do is to decide to see it.  Enjoy!