TTEAM Connections, Volume 4, Issue 1, Jan-March 2002
ANIMAL COMMUNICATION: A JOURNEY
By Barbara Janelle M.A., B.Sc.
My journey into Animal Communication began with TTEAM. In my first week-long training in 1984, I learned from Linda Tellington-Jones how important the images we hold and the words we use are with animals. When we think and speak, we create images with our minds and animals get those pictures.
IMAGES GIVE INFORMATION
In TTEAM and TTACT, we take care to develop and hold an image of a happy, responsive, balanced and healthy animal. The animal gets this information. For example, the name we give an animal is important. When we use it, we send pictures that we believe on a sub-conscious level, and we encourage the animal to be what the name implies. This was dramatically demonstrated in that first clinic with a mare named “Sly.” When we changed her name to “Lisa,” she became much sweeter and we trusted her more. Animals will try to live up to their names and humans not only believe names, but also will treat animals according to them.
COMMUNICATION IS TWO-WAY
For a short while I thought that communication was primarily a human-to-animal process. Then I found horses were directing my work by positioning their bodies and even pointing to places that needed attention. They would guide the location and rhythm of my work with body language – eye and ear movement, facial expression, stepping away and stepping toward me, changes in breathing and body tension, etc.
One day a friend asked me to see her horse at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph where it was undergoing tests for a puzzling illness. When we walked into the stall, I was flooded with an overwhelming sense of depression. I knew that it was not mine nor was it the owner’s emotion. I was astounded: it had to be the horse! With that experience, I became more of animals’ feelings, and often sensed them within myself. Then I reached a point where I was seeing pictures in my mind and hearing words as I worked.
Within four months of my first TTEAM training, I had joined a meditation group, was taking Feldenkrais classes, and had begun my training in Therapeutic Touch. All of this contributed to my developing awareness and inner quiet and trust in my own experiences.
Receiving information from horses was a bit of a challenge though and for a while, I thought I was going crazy! Then one day, I saw a video of Penelope Smith giving a talk on Animal Communication and learned that what I was experiencing was not unusual. I read Penelope’s Animal Talk, invited her to come to Ontario to give a workshop, and then went to California to train with her. I read J. Allen Boone’s Kinship With All Life, Machaelle Small Wright’s work, the Findhorn material, Henry Beston’s writings and those of Michael Roads’, etc. I met and corresponded with June Hughes-Sananda, watched Dawn Haymen go through her very early development of communication skills, trained with Carol Gurney, met Betty Lewis and Jeri Ryan, and heard Kate Solisti speak. My Therapeutic Touch mentor, Merlin Homer, taught me that trees are very wise and effective healers. My most important teachers, however, were animals, trees and even my car. They taught me the greatest truths: everything is conscious and communicating, and existence is a cooperative effort.
SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES
The following are some basic understandings about Interspecies Communication that have come from my experience.
a) We receive information continuously. The challenge in telepathic communication is to be aware that this is happening. Meditation and awareness training are two avenues to conscious telepathic communication. Being in a state of peace reduces the impediments of distracted thought and judgment, while awareness develops focus and attention.
b) We communicate through our hearts. Love, trust, and respect, the positive emotions of the Heart Chakra – the integrative center of consciousness, must be present if a human being is to receive accurate information from other forms of existence.
c) There is a felt-sense to truth. An early and ongoing part of communication training is learning to distinguish between “your own stuff” and actual information coming from the other being. A simple exercise to demonstrate that truth has a felt-sense is to say to yourself, “My name is (your actual name)” and notice how this feels. Then say to yourself, “My name is (some other name)” and notice how that feels. Are they different? Truth feels right throughout your entire body.
Another piece is to be able to put your own fears, beliefs, reactions on hold for the period of conscious communication so that you can take in what the other being is saying. Meditative skills are crucial because they quiet the mind and the emotions so you can truly hear.
d) Information comes in many ways. Much communication comes as feeling. For example, notice how you feel when you walk into a forest, or how your feeling changes when an animal enters your immediate space.
Most communication that occurs in formal sessions comes in an instant as a myriad of images, feelings, and understandings. A simple exercise to demonstrate how varied and fast information can come in is to think of someone that you know for a moment. As the person comes to mind what kinds of information are called up – images, emotions, colours, locations, smells, experiences, etc.? How fast did all of this information come to you? Words are very laborious and slow and it is interpreting and putting into words the wealth of information received in an instant that takes time in a professional consultation.
Sometimes information comes piece by piece. When this happens, each part must be heard and acknowledged before the next piece is presented. This process of making way for each piece to come in results in a steady flow that may only make sense when all of the pieces are examined together.
e) Telepathic communication is a partnership. A person may enter a conversation with an animal with a particular focus, e.g., a desire to know how the animal is feeling physically. However, the animal will present the material that it wishes to be known. The animal cannot be forced to give information. Usually, the material that the animal provides leads to understanding that goes beyond the limited intention of the consultation. It is important to trust the animal, as well as the order in which information comes. If the communicator refuses to work with the animal in this way, the communication will very likely stop.
f) Effectiveness is the measure of truth. This principle from Hawaiian Huna Philosophy applies to Interspecies Communication. What follows from the communication? What is its impact? True communication usually leads to new and often surprising understandings. Behavioral changes (both in the animal and in the human!) frequently occur. Insights on solving problems come. Most of all, the relationship between humans and animals deepen in respect and love.
As I learned to trust the information that came, and followed the prompting of images and words, my Tellington TTouch work became more effective. I grew to recognize that TTEAM/TTACT truly is a partnership with the animal. This shift from doing something to the animal to working with the animal is the greatest impact that Interspecies Communication has on my work.
Now when someone brings an animal to me for a TTEAM or TTACT session, I start by saying, “HI” from my heart and “listen” to the animal in return. While I am listening to the owner, I am asking the animal what it would like from me. And I know that we, the owner, the animal and I, are cooperating and bringing greater harmony to this existence.
And in my life now, I walk in an expanded world where the Earth is music, trees and grass and flowers speak great wisdom, rocks hold information, the wind connects, oceans heal and renew life, and animals bring insight and humor.