On a bright, muddy morning in March 2020, I arrived for my animal communication and Reiki rounds at Summit Equestrian Center determined to put aside my anxieties about COVID-19.
But there’s no hiding stuff from a horse.
Opal, a 27-year-old Percheron, met me at the fence and came straight to the point: “Please don’t be afraid. There is love in this world.”
Did she understand the pandemic? Probably not. Had she heard conversations about a sickness going around among the humans? Probably. Did she sense their worries? Absolutely.
Opal knew about uncertainty. She and her buddy Pearl, about 30, were cast aside after years of hard work. That could easily have been the end for them. Instead, through a chain of humans who saw hope where no one else did, they found new purpose as therapy horses.
Before they passed last fall, both of them told me their last couple of years on this plane were better than they ever could have expected.
When it feels like there is anything but love in this world, I remember and treasure this.
While animal Reiki and animal communication make a great pair, they are separate disciplines with unique benefits. The difference is essentially between meditation and conversation.
How they work
A Reiki session is a time of meditation, relaxation, and peace. Because I am certified in the Let Animals Lead® method, the animal is always in charge of whether and how he shares the energy.
During an in-person session, which I offer in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area, a cat or dog might curl up in my lap or settle across the room. A horse may stand on the other side of the pasture, hang out in a stall, or come to meet me at the fence. I’ve even had a donkey sidle up and nudge his head under my arm! Whatever the species or context might require, I go into a meditative state and let the energy do its work.
Distant sessions are much the same, except that the animal and I are not in the same physical space. She’s generally at home relaxing with her person, hanging out with the herd, or doing whatever, while I’m in my home office — again, in a meditative state, letting the energy do its work!
During an in-person or distant Reiki session, I may receive intuitive information — but that is not the objective of the session.
An animal communication session, on the other hand, is an exchange of information. I don’t need to be in the same physical space as the animal or on the phone with the animal’s person for this. I connect with the animal telepathically, focusing my attention on what he has to share. No appointment is necessary for this.
With the animal’s permission, I work to gain insights into behavior. Or I tell her about a change coming up and ask what would help her adjust. Or I ask him how he feels about anything from his food to his person’s new boyfriend. Once I’ve talked with the animal, I email the person a summary of what we discussed. The client is always encouraged to take only what resonates and is helpful, and leave the rest.
Together but distinct
In some settings, such as a farm with multiple animals, I may do Reiki and animal communication in the same visit, but not in the same moment.
How this works might be compared to a chaplain’s rounds. Time with each animal could be spent in conversation to begin. Then we might share Reiki. After the session, we might talk a little more before I thank the animal and move to another. We wouldn’t be meditating and talking at the same time!
There is a time and a purpose to everything (Eccl. 3:1). When we let Reiki and animal communication function on their own, our animal friends get the best each has to offer.
When an animal we love develops behavior or health problems, our stress level rises. Which is natural, but it doesn’t help the animal’s health or emotional state. Even beings who love one another can get stuck in vicious cycles. I’ve been there.
Often, all that is needed to break such a cycle is a time-out. Not the kind of time-out that lands your dog in another room for a few minutes, but a time for both of you to pause, relax, and help each other heal.
Reiki, a Japanese stress relief modality, is perfect for this because it works with both people and animals — and because it works from a distance. (You don’t need Zoom, WiFi, or even a landline.) You don’t have to get in the car, go into an office, or lie on a massage table.
During a distant Reiki session, you and your animal can relax in the comfort of your home or barn — on a bed or sofa, in your yard, or in a stall. Some clients tell me they and/or the animal fell asleep during the session, but you can go for a walk or ride if you wish.
With the Let Animals Lead method I practice, there is no focus on an illness or problem. The aim is not to fix anything, but to set up the circumstances for healing — whatever that might mean for the animal — to happen. When we take time out to relax and regroup, we are better able to recover. We can see solutions that elude us when we are anxious.
When you contact me for a distant Reiki session, we’ll set an appointment. At that time, I will send the energy for about half an hour, then phone you to check in. I’m also an animal communicator. Please be advised that I cannot diagnose; Reiki is always in addition to, never instead of, veterinary care.
Whatever you and your animal friend are facing, you deserve peace.