Awhile back Richard Silverwood, a freelance writer, asked for an interview about my work with Animal Communication, specifically in relation to teaching others. He is using parts of it for magazine articles but It’s interesting to me that someone asking specific questions brings about explanations I would have never thought of on my own. I would like to present the interview here in full as it is different by far from what I usually present when speaking of my work.
1. How did you first realize that you were able to communicate with animals?
Those of us who are drawn to animals do have a natural sort of communication going on but it usually takes something to push us to pursue conscious communication. I had never even heard of consciously communicating with animals until Sonya Fitzpatrick did the TV show Pet Psychic. That was fascinating but nothing that would push me to try to learn such a thing for myself.
I had always been a bit psychic. I could see through people and situations by just looking and I knew what was happening next often enough that it did spook people from time to time. I said then, and still believe now, that it’s just a matter of observation. Anything becomes clearer through keen observation combined with trust in intuitive insights. Nothing extrasensory about it. I said then and I say now, everybody does it all the time. Unfortunately for us all, most people override that natural understanding with a bunch of crap somebody taught them about what is “real” and what is not real. “Face reality” means you have to go along with whatever predominant ideas of “reality” your culture has decided works best to keep people in their place, that place being a productive cog in the machine for the “greater good”. All other reality is crushed under that heel.
I never thrived under that heel and didn’t pay it any more attention than what I had to, to make some sort of meager living. I think that stance made it fairly easy for me to take on unorthodox ideas when it seemed interesting or expedient to do so.
The events that tipped the balance for me between finding the Pet Psychic fascinating to actually pursuing animal communication for myself are written here, Best Friend Best Teacher.
2. What inspired you to teach your skills to other people?
If I am born to do anything, I am a born teacher. It doesn’t matter what I go into, as soon as I understand something I’m eager to pass it on. I can’t help it. I would just as soon quit breathing as keep my last “ah ha” to myself. Most of my life I was a violinist. I wouldn’t teach for most of that time because I didn’t have any understanding about how to pass it on. My own playing wasn’t anywhere near what I would have liked and I didn’t want to pass on crap. Then I discovered Kato Havas through her books I felt an instant affinity to her and her teaching, went to England to study with her, gained a very thorough understanding of violin playing in the 6 years I studied with her and came back to the US and started teaching. Teaching is just what I do with skill. I enjoy it more than doing. I think my motivation is that it is more valuable to pass on real understanding, no matter the field, to many than to play to the few. It makes my life bigger to expand my understanding. In my book, those who can, do. Those who understand, teach. Of course I took that same inborn attitude to animal communication.
3. Can you say a bit about your e-book ‘An Introduction to Animal Communication’?
Once I made the leap from, “this is weird but it seems to work sometimes” — to –“OF COURSE we can understand everything about another creature”, it was time to teach. My means of doing that was through my second home, cyberspace. I already had a web site teaching violin basics FlyingFiddles, so I just started an offshoot of that site to write pages about animal communication. I’m sure you have experienced hipper productive states in which the words just put themselves together and the pages fly together and magically create a whole. I was in that space when I was putting together that new site. Then of course I had to create an online course. This was in 2003. Facebook was not with us yet. There were forums in which like minded people could hang out but I never saw any that even mentioned animal communication. I decided I could present my teaching materials on my web site and include a forum for students to interact, get practice reading other students animals and ask questions and get answers 24/7. It was a hit right from day one. People were so happy that they were not the only weirdos on the planet they really took to this way of learning together. We all learned together by bouncing off each others insights. It was AMAZING! I still keep track of some of those early students and several of them are professional communicators today.
After a couple of years the course was still selling but the forum had petered out. The forum got hacked a few times which disrupted the happy place for all of us. I think many new students found other social venues that met their needs. The course was still selling but many people paid $100 then I never heard from them again. The course materials on their own were just not worth that much. It was the open access to others and practice – the classroom experience that added the value. I felt guilty charging that much when few took advantage of the full experience so I took all the course materials and put them into the E-Book An Introduction to Animal and Nature Communication – a Journey Toward Wholeness and gave it a little web site where people could opt for ongoing learning. They can pay for one on one time with me, they can work with students on other forums and so forth. So, they can get in with very little expense then branch out if the spirit moves them.
4. Why did you choose to publish it as an e-book rather than in print?
It would never have occurred to me to jump through all the hoops required to put it in print. Besides that I find print so “written in stone”. An e-book can be changed, it can link to other material, it can be put up and taken down in a day. AND, there isn’t a whole lot to communicating with animals. It’s mostly a matter of jetosning a lot of preconceived ideas about “reality”. You need to let people know it is OK to do that and help them do that with a few exercises in opening to the whole. If the book is more than 50 pages long, the writer is EITHER writing for the publisher (a LOT of fill) rather than for the prospective animal communicator, OR doesn’t understand well enough themselves to pass it on succinctly. I think it was Einstein who said, “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it well enough.” So in print my book wouldn’t be all that “bookish”. It’s just not that BIG.
5. Can you say a bit about the personalized learning sessions and practice assignments that you offer?
If someone wants a one on one with me we just get on the phone and see where there are questions or concerns. Sometimes I have them read one of my animals first so I can get a sense of where they are with communication. It is very individual. I offer practice with my own animals and also lead people to practice forums where many students from all over give feedback on readings of their animals. Once you open to the process practice is essential. Communicating with animals is so far out of the realm of possibility in our culture driven understanding that it takes a lot of proof to convince ourselves that this is really possible. Even though we come up with 10 correct things about an animal we have never met that we could not have known via normal understanding, we will still convince ourselves it was a coincidence. There is a tipping point though, where we can’t deny the successful communication any more. It takes practice to get there. Practice is essential but to get it most people really need to be in a safe environment where they know they won’t be up for ridicule. Your next door neighbor may look at you askance if you ask to do a psychic reading for their cat.
6. How does the animal communication process work?
The subtitle of my book is “A Journey Toward Wholeness”. Wholeness is the key. “We Are One” is not just your father’s bumper sticker. If we are one, of course we can/do know each other. There is no aspect of “other” that is not known to all. So all that is needed to communicate is to tune into that part of yourself that is operating as another self, a dog for-instance or a tree. To do that you go inward to oneness. Your heart and your gut know the way. It can be accessed through opening to the whole within.
7. Are there any animals that are particularly difficult to communicate with?
Humans can be nearly impossible. It’s true about Adam and Eve. Once you have eaten from the tree of knowledge, you’re a goner. But, contrary to popular belief, lost innocence CAN be regained. Our domesticated animal friends are here to help us with that.
8. Which animals do you most enjoy communicating with?
I most like communicating with those that get a kick out of communicating with me! The species doesn’t matter, it’s all the same ONE remember, it’s the willingness. Animals are like people in that some are outgoing and some not so much. Some are traumatized and some look at the bright side of life. I once met up with a pair of Alpacas, Meet the Alpacas, who did a great Laural and Hardy or Guru and the Fool routine. It CAN be very entertaining. Sometimes just the being-ness of a creature can be astounding. Trees are really the best for that though.
9. What advise would you give to somebody who was considering learning animal communication?
Buy my book! That was too easy.
10. Finally what direction do you see your animal communication going in throughout the years to come?
It has already led me to doing more work with people through Life Coaching & Energy Healing. I am taking on as my work what pets have taken on all along – helping people find the essential joy in their lives and to re-find their innocence. This is the mission of most domesticated animals that live with us and it has become my mission. If we are unable as a species to finally come to a sense of oneness with each other, animals, nature, our planet, we will perish. It’s that simple. Feeling as I do that life is life is life whether you have a body or not, I’m not really bothered that humans may perish. I just do what I am able to do to help people discover the wealth in which they live today. Joy arising from all that is, is a wonderful thing. Your pets and I are here to let you know that through and through.