Archive for July, 2011

Celebration of Life? Surviving the Day (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of four posts by our amazing, compassionate blog contributor Dr. Penny Lloyd.  Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Celebration of Life?  Surviving the day

Forget the “transforming pain to beauty” part!%*! How can you suffer such incredible pain and simply survive? When your heart is ripped out, and the pain is coming thro in waves so strong it takes your breath away – what do you do? Shouldn’t there be a friggin’ manual on that one?!?? Not sure I have the manual, but this helps me:

Don’t try to do it alone. Say a prayer. Ask for help. Allow the support of friends & family. It is natural to want to hide to lick your wounds, but there is nothing like sharing a meaningful experience openly. It releases tension. It opens your heart. An open heart is the only way to truly feel better – to heal – to enjoy.

When the pain comes, breathe. Try going outside. For me, nature offers relief.
Let yourself feel what you feel. If you let yourself feel, it comes in waves and passes through. It may come again, but it doesn’t get stuck.
Observe your thoughts. Watch how adding to certain streams of thought adds to your pain. Notice that you can choose to stop – and just be – a still oasis. Notice how easy it is to whip up guilt, regret, doubt…tons of extras to dump on top to add to your agony. Notice you can stop – even an avalanche – but it is easiest early on, just as a thought trickles in. Some thoughts will come that actually make you feel a little better. Even at a time like this, you can choose.

Be gentle, true and nice to you. Take the easiest, gentlest path. Chances are you won’t have the energy to control much. Conserve energy. No right way to act. Just show up, moment to moment. Let it unfold. Give yourself room to feel how you feel…whatever surfaces. You may be surprised. And you may want to take this “roomy compassion mother self hug” way of being with you into the future.
Deal with only one moment at a time. Forget past, future, and what ifs. Focus only on the step in front of you. Barebones stripped away, blank slate – just be there to notice. Show up and ride on through, step by step – the way animals live. No preplanning. Take action when necessary. Watch moment to moment. Be open and observe. You can experience more in one hour of presence, than a lifetime of busy. Animals love people who are present.

Let yourself let go. Surrender the last threads of control. Let go of tension by relaxing your grip. A situation like this primes us for surrender. To have no energy to fight, can be the greatest gift. It may be the first time you can receive.
Watch the impulse to “run or hide” to avoid pain. Both are resistance. The resistance is what hurts the most. If you turn and face the pain, let the pain be there, you will come to know the fullness of grief as love. Love is all there is.
Alcohol. When big stuff is going on, I avoid numbing out with alcohol. But I also know alcohol can work as a heart opener. This time, at the close of the day, I experimented consciously. I took a sip and tuned into how I felt. I was surprised when the heavy physical sensation of pain gradually lifted from my heart – and I had a lovely real heart to heart conversation with my sister, before going to sleep.

Celebration of Life? (Part 1)

This is a contribution by Dr. Penny Lloyd:
Dr. Penny recently lost her lifelong companion mare “Bangwyn”. By sharing experience and insight around life and death of loved ones, it is her intent to help all of us open to the unfathomable beauty and ultimate connection that is healing.

Cat's EyeCelebration of Life?

Several years ago a good friend and her 7 year old daughter were killed in a head on car crash. It was the first time I went to a funeral that was called “Celebration of Life”. At the time, I was grief stricken and trying hard to control it. To me the phrase “Celebration of Life” was not something I was up to at a time like that. The last thing I felt like doing was joining in a celebration. I could see how it was a positive way to honor a life well lived, but that was as deep as my understanding went. The phrase seemed like an overly bright smile masking a huge gaping wound. Now, I understand better. When you really go into it and follow it to the root, these are great words to describe a deeper truth.

What I remember most about my first “Celebration of Life” are 3 things:

Permission to be real. It was the first time in my life I experienced a group of people who had room for it all. It was okay to cry or laugh, crack a stupid joke, talk or not. It did not matter. Everyone had room for everything. In a strange way it was a group of people as it should be. Everyone had a larger capacity that day. I didn’t understand the window that death provides. I only knew that it actually felt good. Feeling good at a funeral?!? It was my first glimpse into compassion. It was the potential of the human race in a compassionate state – an evolved state of being – and it was beautiful indeed.

Crying. That was not something I allowed freely at that time in my life. What a powerful release. It is like taking the lid off a pressure cooker to let go of the resistance of trying not to cry. It is the first step to feel better – to stop the fight – to give yourself permission to feel what you feel. To let whatever you feel move through you and not get stuck.
The radiance in her husband/father’s eyes. He had the most captivating eyes that day. I had never noticed his eyes before, but that day you couldn’t help but fall deep into the bottomless blue. Like they weren’t really eyes, but a compelling force. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. At the time I had little understanding. Now I know it was presence shining through a human – stronger than I had ever witnessed before – absolute mesmerizing beauty.

I felt that radiance again the day my mare passed. There was a moment where she was more beautiful than I had ever seen. This was followed quickly by a second of panic where I desperately wanted to run and get my camera, do something, to try to capture…a lifetime. But some wise part of me knew to just let that thought go, be there, sit, breathe, let the panic subside, sink into the moment and enjoy it more. We were just doing something we had done thousands of times. I was biting off pieces of carrot and she was munching away. But the splendor of the moment was profound. There was magnificence in her face – the shape, how her forelock tumbled and rested between those incredible soft, kind eyes – eyes that held so much and understood everything. With zero energy for expectations that day – I witnessed perfection.

Animal Companions offer Psychological Benefits: Of Course!

It is wonderful to see the studies  mounting up  that continue to further document the health benefits of our animal friends.  This recent study documenting that pets offer psychological benefits seems like a no brainer to me! Duh! Of course they do! The benefit of these studies are that each one continues to accumulate further documentation that the happiest, healthiest future includes humans sharing their lives with animals. The great Harvard entomologist, E.O. Wilson proposed that their is an innate need for humans to share their lives with other living beings, which he called “biophilia”.
This is why we share our lives with them. This is why there are more multi-species households in the U.S. than not. This is what I wrote about in my “Kindred Spirits”. They offer us psychological benefits in prisons, schools for the emotionally challenged, senior citizen homes, orphanages, and wherever people are yearning for unconditional love at very deep levels.
I remember a statement by a colleague of mine, Dr. Larry Dossey that I paraphrase frequently “If there was a pill that had all the documentation on the health benefits of animals for people, it would be the best documented and most desired medication on the market”.
Perhaps we can now develop non-harmful, ethical, humane studies documenting the health benefits of living in a multi-species world that is based on loving kindness and compassion for all beings. Now that would be a great study that could lead to profound, happy outcomes! Perhaps, that is what we can create through the kindred spirits project. If you have ideas on how to create such a study and would like to co-create a study like this, let me know and let’s create it. Perhaps the study would be actually creating such worlds, little microcosms of loving compassionate multi-species communities. Perhaps some exist already. Do you know of one?
Let’s have fun creating one!

Study Shows Pet Ownership Has Psychological Benefits: Huffington Post

Amazing Grace: Kindred Spirits Sharing Music

Bettine Clemen is a true kindred spirit with all animal lovers. She travels worldwide sharing her message of the interconnectedness, magic and love of animals and how so many species respond to the universal language of music. Like many of us, we feel the pain and suffering of all beings as we traverse these challenging times. In the spirit of the kindred spirits project, Bettine chooses to bath weary souls in the beauty and amazing grace of music, animals and love. Join her in these magical moments that she shares with us.
We are so grateful to have Bettine as part of our community and our kindred spirits project.
Bettine has just completed a workshop in Europe on animal communication and documenting it’s results. She is now integrating animal communication at deeper levels with her music. It will be fascinating to see how this evolves. Stay tuned as Bettine will be contributing regularly to the kindred spirits project.
If you enjoy her connection with music and animals, you can view more of her creations at www.joyofmusic.com .
Amazing GraceAmazing Grace

Mayan Elders Share Their View on 2012: Kindred Futures


Mayan Elder Explains 2012
Many clients, friends  and  blog readers often ask me  what my thoughts and insights are about 2012 and all the varied predictions in regards to my mission statement and vision of the Kindred Spirits Project.    You can read so many interesting and bizarre views on the internet on the subject proposing everything from predictions that it is the end of the world, cataclysm, armageddon, solar flare destruction, the blossoming of a new age,  multi-dimensional shifts, consciousness shifts etc. etc.  Often these refer back to the Mayan calendar as the starting point.  Being a free range thinker so to speak, I pondered the question, explored the different perspectives, looked for scientific evidence for any of the theories and danced between skepticism and open minded inquisitive listening.  My tentative view at this moment in time is  ”I don’t know”.  ”I don’t know”, by the way,   is  one of my favorite quotes from one of my old teachers, Ram Dass, former Harvard Psychology Professor and spiritual teacher, who used to find great freedom and rejoice in saying that.

Recently though, I just came across this personal letter and address by one of the key elders, Wandering Wolf,  in the Mayan Culture.  I found this letter and the information included in it to be more honest than anything else I have seen or heard. There is a new film being created based on the interviews with Wandering Wolf called “Shift of the Ages”. You can watch trailers for it on Youtube. I found this one video offering a brief explanation of the Mayan Elder Explains 2012 quite informative. (more…)

Kindred Visions: Copernicus Institute Supports New Vision

Listen to internet radio with Copernicus Radio on Blog Talk Radio
Bonding with a Parrot

Bonding with a Parrot at a book store

Copernicus Radio is a cutting edge, paradigm busting internet radio show that has become an integral part of the broader vision of creating a more compassion based, healthier, happier world. I was just interviewed on their radio show by one of their visionary creators, Steve Saenz. Copernicus radio program provides members with access to creative and innovative thought leaders from a wide range of professional disciplines.
The mission of the Copernicus Institute is “to help visionary leaders optimize their personal and professional effectiveness by employing creativity and innovation”. I am honored to have just been invited to become a member of the Copernicus Institute. Their mission statement states” We are committed to building meaning in the lives and businesses of our members so they, in turn, can build meaning in the lives of those they serve. We strive to be results-driven and action-oriented because it does not really matter how much knowledge you have; it is what you do with that knowledge that counts.”
In their vision they states that they like to “challenge the conventional wisdom”. That has been my professional journey since graduating from veterinary school. Building upon the excellent education I received at the world renowned Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, my passion was to continually explore new nontoxic, innovative options to help animals heal that did not respond to conventional medicine or surgery. The Copernicus Institute voices similar passions to the kindred spirits project, stating that “It will be known as an incubator for breakthrough thinking; a place where ideas, relationships and adventure flourish”. This is precisely what I envision for all animal lovers to come together and nourish new concepts and relationships based on a trans-species, loving supportive community.
I resonate so much with the Copernicus Institute vision. I am grateful that their stimulating questions in the interview had me reflect back on different stages of my life’s journey. I invite you to their look at their virtual tour of their website, programs and vision. I love their quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the greatest American philosophers. They state that Emerson used to greet old friends and acquaintances whom he had not seen in a while with the salutation, ‘What’s become clear to you since we last met?’ How perfect a question is that? That opens up a door to a much deeper, more intimate discussion and relationship with others. So, dear kindred spirit, What has become clear to you since you have viewed the kindred spirits project and Copernicus radio? How will that impact on what you choose to create on the next steps of your life journey shared with all your animal friends?

Retreat Time

“It is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating them like machines. You would then let fresh air into your mind. Wouldn’t you? This place must be of great beauty with trees, birds, and quietness, for beauty is truth and truth is goodness and love.” …..Krishnamurti

Ahhhhh….. The word retreat arouses calming thoughts and feelings of silence, peacefulness, serene quiet time in nature, inner joy. We all need some quiet retreat time in our lives. Sometimes it is simply a day off, an hour off, one evening off from the seemingly endless to do list of modern life. Sometimes it is taking a Sabbath day and just being. Sometimes it is even just a moment of awareness. Other times we may choose to create a longer period to reflect, contemplate, ponder, or simply let go and quiet the mind completely. During summer months many take weekend retreats at a stunning array of retreat centers available throughout the world nestled in the natural beauty of nature, whether by an ocean, in the mountains, the desert or a combination thereof. It seems that just being quiet in nature surrounded by wildlife is a salve to the soul.

Some beings even choose to take longer retreats, one week or one month long meditation retreats such as in vippassana silent retreats. Other take Christian based, Jewish based, Sufi based, Hindu or Buddhist quiet meditative, contemplative retreats. The commonality is that they are usually in beautiful, quiet natural settings with wildlife, simple natural meals, and either guided or self-guided quiet time. It is wonderful to not have to think about where or what you will do for each meal or where you will stay each night as that is all taken care of. It is amazing how quieting it is to the mind to just decrease those simple number of decisions one has to make each day. (more…)

TV Interview with Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Schoen

Dr. Karen Becker, author of “Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” and one of my absolute outstanding students interviewed me in a two part heartfelt, candid TV interview for her radio show. I thought you might be interested in watching this interview. The second part of this TV Discussion about the Kindred Spirits Project goes into the background and deeper questions that I pose on the kindred spirits project. I share with Dr. Becker, my personal spiritual journey that I based the creation of the kindred spirits project.
Dr. Becker is an excellent interviewer and brought out my deeper vision of what we are co-creating as part of the kindred spirits project. It is a joy to see younger veterinarians enthusiastically embracing the concepts of holistic integrative veterinary medicine and spreading the word to an ever widening audience. It is even more heartening to see how a new generation of veterinarians is acknowledging my theories of animal field theory, trans-species field theory and the healing power of the human animal bond.
I hope you enjoy these two TV interviews! Till next time…..May all you kindred spirits be blessed with inner peace, joy, health and love!

Cosmic Consciousness within all Kindred Spirits


Holographic universe Dr Erwin Laszlo
“We are drops in the ocean, and also the ocean in each drop”…. Rumi

In this mind stimulating video, Erwin Lazlo and Deepak Chopra discuss the underlying consciousness of the entire universe, including us and all animals and plants etc. Dr. Laszlo explains that the universe is a finely tuned field of coherent resonance. He offers the computer analogy that the physical universe is the printout and the software is this vast information field. He proposes that there is a base foundation to the universe that he calls the information field. Einstein and other physicists and scientists as well as the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) all discuss this field. In ancient Hindu traditions it has been called the Akashic Field.
This theory also describes the world as a holographic universe as is described in Rumi’s quote “”We are drops in the ocean, and also the ocean in each drop”.
Deepak Chopra also explains that this field is a conscious field of potentiality and thereby a self-evolving field. In other words, each one of us with our thoughts, intentions, and emotions are part of the ever evolving universe. Hence, we actually can have an impact on how this world manifests in the future.
How does this relate to you and your animals and the future of this planet? It is very exciting to realize that our own thoughts, heart feelings, and intentions can help create a more loving compassionate universe. Yes, every thought, intention, emotion and action can help create a more beautiful, happier, healthier world. This is quite empowering. (more…)

Kindred Whale Joy

Time for another demonstration of co-species healing and shared joy! This heart-wrenching, suspenseful and then inspiring video of whale lovers saving a dying humpback whale entangled in enormous fishnets just before taking its last breaths of life, will put a smile on the face of all animal lovers and immediately fill your hearts with joy and happiness.

One of the great benefits of the internet and Youtube is how they enable us to witness the compassion and caring that we share with other animal lovers. It helps support us in continuing to do what we can do to help animals in need. Sometimes animal lovers can suffer with compassion fatigue, endlessly opening our hearts to save animals and eventually get worn down by the endless suffering that surrounds us. When we see hopeful situations like this, it is literally like a breath of fresh air, acknowledging what one or a few people can do to make a difference in one animals life.

What I also find fascinating is how patient the whale is, as if it knows that these humans are helping him. In addition, how it demonstrates its celebration of freedom afterwards. It clearly demonstrates joy in a whale. It clearly demonstrates an understanding by the whale that it is being helped.
What else does it show you?
Enjoy your weekend! Celebrate the life that you share with your kindred spirits!