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Expanding Our Definition of Reality





The One Consciousness, also known as Prime Source, God, and as many other terms and names as there are articulate minds, births possibility first.

The Field of Light


opening the door


You picked up a book with the word “wonder” in the title, so hopefully my inclusion so far of phrases and concepts that may feel more mystical than instructional are not making you scratch your head wondering what I’m up to. What follows will include more of that. What you read may or may not be outside your scope of experience or present beliefs. None of us has a handle on any particular reality. We are multi-dimensional beings and we create multi-layered dimensions of reality within which to live and to grow.


I’ll lead you through several guided visualizations, help you put the inner judge who guards your boundaries of the possible to sleep, share some experiences of my own spiritual opening, and in the next section of animals’ stories, recount tales of healing in between the worlds.


I can only teach what I know, and when I stepped over the threshold of animal communication I’d already been learning on the paths of metaphysics and spiritual development for 35 years. So what I offer here are the steps I, myself, took because that’s the path I know.


The power of Springer’s and Allie’s words and the unmistakable pain I heard in their voices had stunned me. Clearly, continuing to open to animals solely or even primarily for my own personal growth and delight would not be acceptable, even though I might find nourishment through the flow between us. These conversations would take place in sacred space, I now understood, and so I would need to proceed with the highest integrity, placing myself in service to the animals.


In the first year of my practice as an animal communicator, I sought guidance from the inner sources I had learned to trust through years of experience in meditation and prayer, or “sending up,” as I call it, to my own expanded consciousness, which feels like a Field of Light. This is something I urge each person to do: no matter what you learn, or the teacher from whom you learn it, refer all your questions to your own Self, whether you recognize that Self as your body’s awareness, your gut feeling, or the inner guide, or guides, you have learned to trust. Your own points of reference will be essential in translating new learnings into your authentic mode.


The first four steps toward communicating with animals guide you through the concepts necessary to opening the door:

1. Understand and accept that animals are sentient beings. They have souls. They love and remember, have dreams and disappointments.


2. Animals want to be of service to the people, and sometimes to the other non-human beings with whom they are in relationship.


3. Animals need to feel that they are doing their job. This is different than being of service, though they may offer and deliver service through the job they have.


4. Engage in conversation with all beings, no matter the species, with respect, an open mind, as open a heart as you can manage, and patience.


This last point brings to mind a conversation I once heard between a friend of mine, Laura, and her sensitive five-year old son, Finn. Finn was talking about a teacher at school, who, he said, was “too nice.”


“What do you mean, too nice?” his mom asked.


“Well,” Finn answered, “he says ‘Hi’,” drawing the long “i” sound out in the sing-song vocal pattern that I find so annoying when I hear unskilled storytellers use it : “and ‘How are YOOOOUUU today?’” He waggled his little blonde head back and forth and raised his little blond eyebrows, mimicking this poor schlep of a teacher who obviously didn’t know that children are more savvy than he realized.


It’s the same with animals. Use your real voice, even though you may not be speaking out loud. Animals read everything about us: our intentions, our body language, our vocal tones, and most of all, our energy.


As Piper, a dog, told me, " We (animals) live in love, which means that we live completely open to the flow of authentic emotion, which is the way we feel the world around us, and which can be called ‘love.’ We are not able, constitutionally, to oppose the authentic flow of energy and emotion, and so we are always true to our nature, and our nature, the nature of all creation, is love. We cannot dissimulate; pretending is impossible for us.”


They need authenticity, and when they sense that someone is not in balance, whether that imbalance is a product of the person’s fear, excitement, grief, or other emotion that interferes with authentic coherence, they experience that imbalance as dangerous.


The list of steps you’ll take to open the door to animal communication continues with those you will use in communicating after you have rid yourself of any misconception that animals are dumb, senseless, here only to do our bidding (that’s different and not the same as being of service), incapable of complex understanding, or otherwise inferior to us.


I have to laugh as I wrote that last phrase. Once you start listening to animals, I have no doubt that you will, as I have been, be in awe of the wisdom that flows through their minds and the fluidity with which they articulate it.


A new client once asked me to talk with his ram, Junior. Five minutes into a 30 minute session, I wanted to sit at Junior’s feet and listen for hours. My client said that even without having the skill of hearing his ram’s words, he often did just that. When I needed advice for this book, I consulted the ram, whose name, he told me, was Hefernan. This is what he told me:


My dear, all you have to do is to extend compassion and the will to do no harm to all of life. That alone opens the pathways through which energy flows easily between and among all the parts of life, and communication will naturally follow.


what’s real?


And now we’ll finally get to the focus of this chapter on reality. The next six steps, which slide right into the experience of having a meaningful conversation with an animal, depend on being able to experience something we imagine as real. In order to take what an animal communicates to you seriously, you must accord it its own truth, its reality.


In my life, two events changed my relationship with what I called “real.”


I was about 40. I was depressed in general. Everything in my life seemed to be some shade of mud. Nothing shone. I thought, “I can’t imagine what feeling better feels like. This is real.” And BAM. The light went on: I thought, “If you can’t imagine anything being different, if what you’re in is the be-all and end-all, that’s real.” If it – whatever it is – affects how you feel, it’s real. If it can produce a result, it’s real.


On my 55th birthday I attended a class at a conference of the International Women Writers Guild in which the teacher, Paula Scardamalia, announced we would take a shamanic journey, a new experience for me. As Paula picked up her round frame drum, I automatically began to enter the process I had developed over the previous 20 years, which was to “send up” to the field of Light where I always found guidance. I was just about there, when I heard the first drumbeats.


Immediately, I felt my awareness plummeting earthward and I came to rest in a rich darkness. What a surprise! Instead of what I had learned to expect from my meditative journeys - a light tingling in my head, accompanied by a torrent of words pouring through my crown chakra to be written down - I felt and saw myself sitting on a blanket on the ground in deep. subterranean darkness. In this inner scene, several young copper-skinned women wearing fringed leather dresses and trousers approached the blanket and began dancing slowly around it. Their feet and swaying bodies formed a woven circlet of human movement, creating momentum and protection.


Across from me, also sitting on the blanket, a shape materialized: a female presence, wrapped in a cloak of small, speckled brown and grey feathers, sitting on a wolf pelt. Her presence was strong, direct, and authoritative. I felt a commanding flow of strength from her solar plexus, heart and mind. I noticed a familiar sweet, pungent scent of black loam. I leaned forward, looked up slightly to see her face more closely and was amazed to notice that she had no flesh, but a broad, gleaming white forehead. Skeleton Woman, I thought.


Somewhere I knew that I had heard, or known, of her being, but I had never seen her. She sat facing me, expressionless, unmoving. I leaned in farther to look at her with intent. I was fascinated by the broad, clean, white expanse of her forehead. I looked through her eye sockets and saw the midnight sky awash with stars. I knew it was not a picture I was seeing, or a representation, but the real cosmological expanse. I wanted to fly through those dark portholes into the vastness.


"Don't look at me," she ordered me. "Look at your life." I felt the voice in my head rather than hearing in any clear sense. I quickly sat up straight, truly at attention. I looked down around me at the blanket, where myriad stones and tiny mirrors lay in patterns I assumed were related somehow to the life I should be looking at.

I had never been comfortable imagining the dark, downward spiral into the bosom of Mother Earth. I loved the ascension into Light. But there I was in the darkness, facing a Dark Mother I knew and trusted, whose commanding presence brooked no denial.


This sudden meeting with the Dark Mother was unlike any inner-dimensional experience I had ever had. This was not a dream with no consequence, from which I awoke and went on about my business blithe as the robin’s song in Spring. This was a catapult that, with no warning I could identify, threw me over the mine fields I had been navigating and into the rabbit hole. My life changed dramatically after that encounter.


Skeleton Woman’s commanding directive, “Look at your life,” was the pull of the vacuum of all that lay below the surface of my life as the hidden trap door opened beneath me, a kinetic announcement of an upcoming agenda. In what I came to call my “3D” life, I was no longer able to tolerate my life as it had been. The life I found in the rabbit hole forced me to re-examine and reinterpret both my practiced and unconscious assumptions. I felt that I had at last landed on the solid, dependable (if not comfortable) granite ground of my being.


My experience in Paula’s classroom, suddenly face to face with the severe -voiced Great Mother, she who prunes so the tree will thrive, was real.


You may – or may not – have experienced such a dramatic awakening, but you may perhaps have awakened, as I have, from a dream still feeling the emotion of your dream, crying, maybe even sobbing, angry, or elated. In some way, the dream was real. It made a difference in your emotional, conceptual, and probably even physical state. Your heart may have been beating fast. You may have felt tears on your cheeks. Your experience was real.


We assure children that “it’s just your imagination” to help them get past a bad dream. We tell ourselves the same thing so we can stop driving ourselves crazy with ideas we have about what this or that person may have meant by something they said, or to stop bouncing off the crazy-house walls of the “what-ifs.”. We take comfort in being able to pack away notions unprovable in the physical world as something we can safely ignore. We do the best we can to shake off any lingering discomfort that we cannot trace to an event perceptible by one of our five physical senses. But we know there’s something there. Thank goodness, we assure ourselves, I don’t have to know what it is. But.


That “but” lives in the liminal space in which animal communication takes place. If you’re not practiced in intuitive exploration, the idea of venturing into the unmapped territory of your imagination may seem scary. But you’re up to the task.


The more you use your natural intuition, the more easily you will be able to access points of view and consider new possibilities that you had not noticed or been able to value before. Intuitive inquiry is a skill anyone can learn. It unlocks what has been hidden, opens the door to the dimensions in which interspecies communication happens, and it navigates the pathways of that communication.


Once you can comfortably consider that reality is neither limited to your experiences in the scope of the five physical senses nor by the opinion of others, you will more likely be able to engage in conscious, well-defined, multidimensional, interspecies communication.

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