Phase One – Who’s running the Asylum???
It really started the day I locked him in the bathroom so he wouldn’t hurt himself or the house while I was away at work. Alfie, my rescued Anatolian Shepherd, was suffering horribly with separation anxiety. He simply went berserk every time I went to work. New destruction awaited me every time I came home. I wasn’t gone more than 13 or 14 hours a week but that was more than enough time for him to go through knick knacks, library books and the reading glasses sitting atop them, grains and beans, wooden spoons and anything sitting on counters or tables. Anatolians are huge and can reach anything. With an open floor plan and open shelving I didn’t have a prayer of keeping him out of anything. My large crate was to small for him and even if I trained him to it I was afraid he would hurt himself trying to escape once I left the house. One time in desperation I had forced him into the car (he knew something was up) to keep him from tearing apart the house. Thank goodness he didn’t tear apart the car, but he refused to get in the car again. Though still a puppy just a bit over a year old, he weighed about 100 pounds so his refusal was tough for me to override. The bathroom seemed my only remaining hope. One day I cleared everything out of the bathroom and left him there for the 4 hours I was at work. When I got home I could barely force the door open. What could be blocking the door? Kindling. He had reduced the molding around the door and floor to kindling. He’d made some progress on the drywall and one of the built in shower shelves was history.
That’s when I typed, “pet psychic” into google.
Now you might think, hello — it’s time to get rid of that dog. All I can say to you is, have you ever fallen in love with a stranger across a crowded room? I have and he was a little brindle dog around six months old with uncertain parentage and legs that resembled tree trunks. It’s just way bigger than logic.
So my google search resulted in several names and I emailed all of them:
I got your address from Penelope Smith’s website and hope you can help.
My dog Alfie (Anatolian Shepard 13-14 months old, a rescue dog I got at about 6 months) is the sweetest boy in the world but tears my house apart every time I leave…
We need help! I’m a prisoner in my own home and Alfie is a slave to this panic (I think it’s panic).
This was my reply from Marta Williams, the first to respond:
“I have helped people with this problem with their dogs and think it is worth a try. We need to talk by phone…”
I sent the same message to the Anatolian Rescue lady. She replied;
“It sounds like your dog has separation anxiety. Its pretty common for a rescue dog to behave like this. Its something that “can” be fixed but it will take some time and effort on your part…. ”
I had exactly four days in which to fix this problem because no matter what I had to leave the house again in that time. I did correspond with the rescue group, found a lot of wonderful and helpful people there who were ready and willing to help but all in the old paradigm, i.e. time and effort.
So I talked to Marta that evening, a Saturday. She had no guarantees. She would have a chat with him that night and I would call her back in the morning for the results of her consultation. $70.00. OK. Cheaper than the X-Large crates I’d been pricing by far. A drop in the bucket compared to the destruction that had already taken place.
By morning, before I even talked to Marta, I “knew” I wanted to learn to do what she does. I “knew” a lot of stuff. Everything was going to be fine. So we talked. She told me how he felt about his behavior, “I know I’m a mess”. I nearly died at that sentence. He is most defiantly NOT a mess. He just has this one little problem. Anyway she recommended about twenty things I could do to help him. Flower essences, meditation, massage, energy work, talking to him while I’m away, change to a raw food diet and things I’ve probably forgotten by now. I said ok and did it all. I also signed up for her beginning animal communication class.
On Thursday I went to work and came back to a house that looked like a dog had been left alone for awhile rather than like a house where a lunatic had been let loose on a bad day. There were about 2 things on the floor that had been on a table. IT WORKED!!!
Phase Two – Alfie Passes the Baton
So Alfie did his job getting me to the animal communication class. Goldie the feral cat took over from there. It was close to the end of the all day class. I had found that I was fairly good at talking to animals and getting them to talk to me. We ‘read’ each other’s pets through pictures and/or descriptions then got feedback. What is your favorite toy? Where do you sleep at night? We worked with things and ideas that could be verified by the people who knew the animal best. My ‘hits’ that day were about even with my misses and once in awhile I would get a ‘hit’ that would stun me. Just because you ‘believe’ in something doesn’t mean it’s not downright spooky when you get a major hit. Whew! Anyway I get a photo of a cat that is in a crate and looks startled. Her name is Goldie. That was all I was told about her. So I open my heart to her, introduce myself and ask politely if I may ask her a few questions. Not only did I get a ‘NO’ but my heart turned to a cold hard stone. Well. It had been about 30 years since I had worked with anything but the usual sorts of energy, you know, physical energy, and I had totally forgotten the bit about protecting and grounding yourself. Though Marta certainly had brought it up it went right by me. Now here I was with a cold stone in place of a heart. Terribly uncomfortable. Marta showed me some ways to move the energy but I wasn’t able to get at it at all.
As it happens (isn’t there ever an accident?) this class was taking place 250 miles from my home and I was staying with an old friend who just happens to be an old hand at energy work. I’d never had any done but THE TIME HAD COME. After I’d ranted manically and generally come apart at the seams while having a few glasses of wine to ease the pain (it didn’t ease the pain) Judy worked on me. She was successful in moving out that blocked energy. I went to bed and slept soundly. Maybe it would be more accurate to say I passed out for the night.
The next morning I felt fine and offered to work on Judy. It’s true that I hadn’t worked with what I considered anything but the most basic sorts of energy before but I had always had healing hands (as we all do) and had always said I could heal people if they’d let me. I hadn’t really come across anyone who would let me for quite some time and had forgotten about it till Judy said she’d been suffering some pain. I told her I’d give it a go and see if it helped. I put my hands on her to do some simple massage and give her some ‘juice’ and the spigot OPENED! Blowtorch hands! We spent the next hour laughing and healing and healing and laughing and that was truly the beginning of a WHOLE DIFFERENT THING! WHAT other thing? Hadn’t a clue. But I knew I wanted to teach it and I knew I wanted to keep it simple.
Phase Three – You Can’t Just Sit on Blowtorch Hands
When we got back home, Alfie of course had joined me through the whole adventure, I got back to google and typed in ‘energy healing’. I really didn’t think I could just stick out a shingle. What would it say. Thought it might be nice to say SOMETHING someone might be able to recognize/relate to. Probably a certificate for something resembling whatever it is I do would be a good thing. So the search began for the words to be able to say what I do. In the meantime the war with Iraq was starting. I aimed my hands everywhere. The energy just kept flowing and I didn’t know yet how to cope with it so I sent it to all the people starting wars. Couldn’t hurt. ‘Do no harm.’
In my Internet search I came upon the Universal Life Church. Good to be a minister someone had said. OK. So I became an ordained minister for legal reasons but found a church I can get behind. Two tenants. The first is Absolute Freedom of Religion. The second is Only Do What is Good. Their whole premise is that you already ARE — so why not call yourself what you like. In the case of the ministry they make it legal for you. Having just become a spontaneous healer I believed this to be a very sound position. Still do. The ULC web site is also a huge wonderful resource for all things spiritual. It was there I found an Internet Reiki Certification Course. Other than the (no longer) secret symbols it sounded close enough to what I do to be able to suit my needs. The course was really rich in documentation from everywhere and I could use what I liked of it and either leave the rest or go back to it when needed. The attunements were remote but that didn’t worry me as I was already as attuned as I was going to get. It was a three-month course, very interesting and the attunements were lovely with warm loving energy from Jenna, my teacher on the east coast. I got hands on experience by doing free treatments.
Back in the seventies I was into all things weird but had left it off for Buddhism when I went to England to study the violin. It made the weird things a bit easier to take and while some thought it weird to practice Buddhism, at least I had centuries of history on my side of the argument. I came back to the states in 1984, found that the Buddhism I had happily practiced in England for the last 6 years was an entirely different beast here in the states and gradually left it behind along with all things weird. It had been a long, long time since I’d felt at home. Through my newly found and remembered interests I came back to myself.
Phase Four – There is No Violin
My life as a violin teacher with the whole premise being THERE IS NO VIOLIN, had become a life of a different sort where there truly was NO VIOLIN. For years people asked me why I didn’t play the violin any more and I always answered ‘Not only do I not PLAY the violin but I don’t teach it either. It is my vehicle to teach way more important things.’ There are things you learn when you become truly accomplished in any endeavor. Balance, ease, swing, BEING THERE mentally and physically. While I could teach those things through teaching the violin, for years I had longed for NO VIOLIN. And, strangely enough, after leaving a thriving group of students in Utah to move back to California I never really got it off the ground again. Though I had loved teaching and got a great deal of satisfaction from it I was lukewarm about getting started again. My new students just wanted to learn to play the violin and I just wanted no violin, yet I had no other teaching vehicle. It was frustrating. My last student quit the day my first healing client came. Though I didn’t know exactly where this healing business was taking me I knew I was on my way
Back when I was first looking for a ‘pet psychic’ I found Penelope Smith’s web site and her Dolphin Adventure jumped out at me. I ‘knew’ I had to go. I signed up just after taking my first animal communication class. It was the perfect ending to this whole experience. Here is the letter to friends and clients upon my arrival home.
As most of you know I recently went swimming with wild dolphins in the Bahamas to learn whatever it is we learn by doing that. These are a few of my experiences.
I started my great adventure with what God issued me and the clothes I stood up in. Lost Luggage. After months of shopping for just the right stuff (in Eureka it is cold — we don’t swim, wear shorts, sandals, sun hats, sunscreen, or go snorkeling) it was a non issue. But while others wrestled their luggage into the shuttle to the dock I enjoyed the morning light. While others wrestled their luggage onto the boat I watched the sun sparkle on the water. Once others had wrestled their luggage under the bunks in their rooms they started bringing me things. I was presented with the choice of one of two swimsuits which were identical to the two swimsuits I had in my luggage. I took the purple, it was my favorite all along. There were t-shirts, shorts and towels from the boats lost and found and others from my fellow travelers. When I mentioned to my roommate that I was going to miss my Teva’s she gave me hers saying she hadn’t been sure why she had brought them. Same with a dive skin. She had once lost her luggage and was very generous as people had been with her. The crew provided me with snorkeling gear. Within a half hour of being on the boat all my needs had been met. Later in the week when everyone had nothing but wet, rank towels and soggy clothes the crew did my laundry for me since they knew I didn’t have much stuff. Fresh towels! What a gift. I shared with my roommate. At the end of the week I slept like a baby while others packed their soggy stuff into suitcases that seemed too small. And in the morning while others lugged their stuff to the back deck for a customs check I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. When we arrived back at the hotel my luggage was there. Pristine. I had a glorious shower and pampered myself with all my own toiletries and put on my own clean clothes and felt like a million bucks. And when I got home there was no laundry to do. It’s a great way to travel. Beyond that it’s a lesson to me in accepting help, asking for what I need and finding abundance rather than scarcity.
Now when you take a trip with twenty-eight animal communicators you tend to expect a bit of weirdness and just decide to go with the flow. We had our first meeting at the hotel the night before boarding. Penelope Smith, the facilitator for the trip, had green hair and was a bit more peculiar than I had expected. There were a few kids, two hetero couples, one lesbian couple, and a mix of mostly women of all ages. After introductions Hodin, Penelope’s assistant, and Penelope started a chant — he was on drums and she chanting something resembling a Native American chant. I don’t recall the lead in to this except that I had always thought of that stuff as silly and was prepared to just endure it politely. About three beats into it I was bawling my eyes out. Somehow I had found my way home.
Once we were on board we all discovered that we just loved our roommates. When you are with a bunch of people there are always those you hit it off with right away and those who make you grind your teeth. We all ended up with the former. After a couple of days of watching roommates interact I asked Penelope how she had made the room assignments. She printed out all of our applications (most by email — we hadn’t even touched these printouts) and matched them by the energy she got from them. That’s it. Simple.
The first few days we had bad weather so the dolphin encounters were few and far between but I was able to learn to cope with snorkeling. Plenty of time to practice. I went from gulping and sputtering salt water to being fairly proficient at diving. I had some help. Just a few weeks before leaving, my daughter in law Wonder lost her father. Gary was someone I felt close to the moment we met. He was an artist and sculptor. When he found he had kidney problems that would lead to his death he moved to Hawaii for a year to spend time doing luscious things like snorkeling. A few years ago he gave me a small feather he had carved from an antler. I knew he would love this trip so I put his feather on a chain and wore it on this trip. Strangely enough Scott Hanson, a renowned sculptor who makes his home in Hawaii and is a world-class free diver just happened to be on the trip. We hit it off right away. He taught me how to dive.
While we were waiting for the dolphins to find us interesting enough to spend time with we snorkeled here and there. No I didn’t get any mysterious vibes from the road to Bimini but I met a lot of fish I had never seen outside reef tanks and aquariums. The water is warm and very clear and the fish are glorious. God it was good.
There is so much to tell. Like the love that grew throughout our little community as the week went on, the bliss I felt “dancing” with a disabled girl to live Calypso music at the Complete Angler, the perfect moments of being belly to belly with a dolphin, the joy watching dolphins and humans playing together, the wonder of living in a community of healers each of us giving what we had to give and receiving what we needed spontaneously, easily. We became the flow. Now I know exactly what it is that I want to create here at home.
On our last day the dolphins came out to play for about 2 hours straight. Then there was THE MOST SPECTACULAR SUNSET I have ever seen. Then there was lightning periodically lighting up the clear night. The wonders just went on and on that day. It was the perfect end to a perfect adventure.
And somehow a lot of us came back with a streak or two of green in our hair.
The Big Finale!
Once back from my Dolphin Journey I found the quality of my Animal Communications had changed dramatically. While I had been pretty good at it before I now felt fully confident of every connection. It had to do with a subtle but absolute change in focus. I think just being around Penelope and the others on that boat — And the Dolphins! — helped me understand through and through, without talking about it, the subtle shift that must be made to make contact every time. And strangely enough it made it all seem so natural. It went from — this is weird but it seems to work sometimes — to –OF COURSE we can understand everything about another creature. With that understanding I have found a feeling of connectedness that can not be shaken. I am here — I belong — I am exactly as I should be — and so are you.
I am now a Life Coach, Intuitive Communicator, Reiki Master and Ordained Minister offering compassionate consultations with all species.
So there you have it. The whole story. Where it goes from here is — EVERYWHERE!!!!
Alfie and Sunny plotting my next adventure.