Most everyone has those “AHA” moments where the light bulb goes on and one gains a new shift in awareness. Lately, I have been having “well, DUH, moments.”  The kind of moments where you already know something, but do not necessarily practice what you preach.  The DUH, healer heal thyself moments.  The kind where you literally slap yourself in the noggin and say” DUH, really, how did I miss that?” moments.

I have been taking an animal communication course with Ashara Morris of Harmony Hearts Coaching. PLUG- her independent study course Best Life EVER with Your Pet has nearly caused me a concussion from the DUH slaps on my noggin! Her perspective was she did not know what she could teach ME.  My perspective was that I wanted to have a two way conversation with animals.  I knew I had blocks and I often rely on other communicators for help.  Especially when trying to communicate with those of my own fur friends (emotional attachment).  Candy, our most recent last chance rescue horse, is my catalyst.  Her forerunners were however household pets who have annoying habits.  Reaching Candy was a challenge.  She was a puzzle, and it was heartbreaking to know her intense pain was caused by human force. The annoyances are Lula the cat who treats me with absolute disdain and is nearly anorexic in her finicky-ness, and a pound hound with separation anxiety and several gross habits.  I have become so disgusted with Mariah’s problems that her positive attributes became diminished.  Both Lula and Mariah were consigned to my husband as HIS, because I couldn’t deal with them.  They were causing me anxiety.  Tom has a knack of loving them anyway, faults included.  Tom has been Lula’s chosen one all along.  I am her slave.  I am only fit to clean her litter box.

So far I have been through a third of the course, but Holy Guacamole! I have taken the tips and put them into practice.

Conversation with Lula the cat- “Lula, you are aging and in your teens. The longer you go without eating the more damage you do to your aging kidneys.  If you don’t eat, we are going to have to visit the Vet.  Are you sick, do you need to go to the Vet?  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t go through everything I do to get you to eat. I am so frustrated because I have tried everything and nothing works.”  Lula’s response (her perspective), “No Vet.”  A shift did occur though. As long as I make her small meals at least 5 times a day and stand there with her, she eats.  I also tell her what a good kitty she is.  She has become extremely affectionate, purrs and follows me around and lies on my lap.  I can actually pet her! My energy had been telling her that I was frustrated so she avoided me at all costs. It came out as frustration, but underneath I really do care.  It is concern for her well-being.  I was finally able to shift frustration, help her understand my concern and care and create a connection. She now understands I care.  My husband claims “she now loves you more than me.”  She has improved so much that the trip to the Vet is postponed.  DUH!

I have really had to step out of what I had hoped for (my agenda) and the vision I held and deal with what is. All of my fur friends are rescues with special needs.  My greatest passion is offering healing.  My greatest pain is not being able to see that accomplished to the fullest extent (my perspective, not theirs).

My conversation with Mariah was humbling. She firmly said NO to several of my requests, even though she was aware with how disgusted I am with some of her anxious habits.  We have been able to reach some compromises however.  What became clear to me is that she may take a lifetime to heal the damages from her past.  Do I not also continue to work on my annoying habits and deal with past trauma on a daily basis?  Am I not loved anyway?  DUH!  The path of love is so much more open between us now.  Mariah actually walked into her crate on her own for the first time.  She has to be crated due to separation anxiety.  She creates horrible messes in the house when we are not here.  When I explained why she is crated, for her safety and security not for punishment, she seems more accepting.  She doesn’t like it.  We have compromised so that she can stay in a secure yard when the weather is nice. We have tried numerous things to make life better for Mariah, including adopting a companion dog to keep her company and visits to the Vet.  We are considering anxiety meds and stomach meds to see if that alleviates anxious habits.  Most of the time she seems happy.

My coaching partner and I have been doing self- care retreats and a support group for Care-Givers. The messages about self- care are according to horses, so it is somewhat humorous.  Of course it is the horses in the ECG Method that are truly the expert coaches!  These retreats and groups have been so powerful.  I am so deeply touched and rocked to my core by the sacrifices and services of Care-Givers.  I am blown away by how deeply meaningful this information being presented so simply really is.  Practicing self- care is an enormous task when ones time, energy and effort are depleted.  Healers do not have time to heal themselves.  It is rare they put themselves first.

It took last chance Candy (latest rescue horse) and doing all we could do to ease her physical, mental, emotional and yes, spiritual suffering to finally drive this home to me. Yes- I knew it, but did I practice self-care for me?  Nope.  Her life has completely turned around in six months.  We have done what we could do to ease her suffering.  We invested a great deal of finances.  So much that I kept postponing my medical care and other expenses.  That is how much she moved me. Her quality of life has improved so much.  She is comfortable and happy, no longer defensive, trying to bite and kick, her eyes wild with suffering.  People insist she is not the same horse.  She has become my teacher and my confidant.  She looked at me straight in the face one day and I heard her say- it’s your turn now Mom.  Your suffering can be eased.  Your quality of life can improve.  “See- look at me”.  We have been negotiating priorities for months to meet the special needs of our rescues and clients served.  I am tempted to start a GO FUND ME page on Facebook.  Some days I am overwhelmed, but I believe all will work out in the end.

Just as I slapped myself in the forehead again, DUH, that I could prioritize and negotiate my own medical care, and began to take action we were hit with more news. One horse needed a cancerous growth surgically removed. Then even more serious news.  Our cute little paint mare Eclipse has had problems for the year that we have had her. She has very messy, abnormal, prolonged heat cycles. In the conversation with her, from her perspective, she just loves Spirit and wants to have his baby.  I explained he is a gelding and can’t make babies.  Her response was she wants his baby anyway. She actually hid her left ovary from the Vet during the ultrasound! The ultrasound showed an ovarian tumor, as suspected, once the Vet finally located it.  The surgery for removal will cost thousands.  Friends and professionals are rallying around us.  We will postpone home improvements planned for this year. I doubt the surgery will dampen her desire to have Spirit’s baby.  That is her horsey agenda. We have to deal with the reality of what is.  Much like her what I hope and envision (my agenda) is not quite possible.  There is always compromise, changing perspective and a higher outcome.  Her health will improve, and either way, unfortunately she can’t have Spirit’s baby.  In time love will take the place of what can happen, not the disappointment of what can’t happen.

Guess what, even in all this- I found a way to practice self- care. I took action. My medical care has begun.  It is being prioritized and negotiated- just as I do for everyone else.  It is a great relief to improve my quality of life, even though I am facing possible painful surgery in the future. Calm has settled over me that it will all work out. I am also encouraged by several clients who are taking action in practicing self-care for themselves. Another one of those “Well, DUH, Moments!”