Animals are always teaching me something. Dogs, cats, birds and this time a tortoise.
As many of you already know my family and I are doing some traveling and this week finds us house and pet sitting for a friend of ours who has two dogs, a beta fish and a giant desert tortoise. In my work as an animal intuitive I am quite accustomed to communicating with dogs and fishes, however, the tortoise is a newer experience for me. I am learning, though, that there is not much of a difference. They communicate mostly through feeling just as other animal companions do. Let me explain by sharing one of my experiences with you.
Our friend's home is being renovated at the moment so there are no screen doors dividing the inside of the house from the outside. Rommel, the tortoise, is very active and curious and when we leave the french doors open to the yard he has a tendency to come into the house and meander around here and there. He has done this a number of times and, finding his delightful curiosity and sweet demeanor quite endearing, I feel good natured towards him and find I am easily able to guide him back to the door by putting my hands on his shell and gently motioning him in the direction that I want him to go while visualizing in my mind's eye him going out the french doors back into the yard. Visualization is one of the best ways to communicate with our animals especially when we are attempting to modify a behavior. Picturing our companion animal doing the preferred behavior, holding that positive picture in our mind's eye then sending this image with an open heart to our animal generally gets the results that we are looking for. It has certainly worked with Rommel. He always acknowledges me by keeping his neck at a full extension, which indicates comfort in a tortoise and demonstrates that he knows exactly what I'm asking him to do by happily complying. Until this morning.
I awoke, opened the french doors to let in the fresh morning air and then went to my computer to finish up some work that I had left undone from the night before. I was working with a feverish intensity when I could see Rommel approaching in my peripheral vision. I wasn't much interested in being disturbed as I tried to complete my project. He attempted to get under my desk at which point I felt myself becoming annoyed. With an air of impatience I put my hands on his shell and made the motion towards the door, however, to my surprise he pulled his head almost completely inside his shell, then flattened his body to the ground becoming such a dead weight that I could not point him in any direction no matter how hard I tried. He became a completely resistant tortoise blob. I stopped, wondering what was going on. Then I realized that he was responding, quite appropriately I might add, to a big shift in my energy. I wasn't as light, happy, amused and open hearted as I normally was when he needs to be escorted out, rather, I was annoyed and impatient. He was accurately sensing my emotional state! And there was nothing about this new state that he wanted to cooperate with. In fact, he was responding with resistance and a defensive posture.
I eventually took a couple of deep breaths and came back to a calmer, quieter centre. He responded by stretching his neck and bringing his head out far enough that he could look me in the eyes. I smiled at him and as I did so I could feel my heart open. He brought his head out of his shell completely, kept looking at me directly in the eyes and then blinked. I put my hands back on his shell and gently motioned him towards the french doors and he easily began walking in their direction. And not only did he go back outside, he did not come back into the house, even though the doors remained open, for the rest of the day, as if he understood that I was busy and needed space to do my work.
So there you have it - my lesson today from a desert tortoise. He reminded me that we communicate and connect with everyone and everything around us and that our energy speaks more clearly and honestly than any words ever could. He also reminded me that an open heart takes us so much farther than acting out of force or impatience.
I wonder what Rommel will teach me tomorrow? ;)
Hey, I'm Clare.
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