Listening, Connecting, Communication, and Conversation: Listening -
Have you ever noticed that certain sounds, cues, or movements work the same, no matter what language, person or animal you are using it on? Think about it…if you see your child (or your animal) getting into possible harm’s way and you have to stop it immediately, the first thing you do is make a noise or sound. It usually sounds like a few loud grunts that in your mind mean “NO! Don’t do that”. It’s an instinctual “uh, uh, uh, uh” that comes out of your mouth before you can actually think about what words you wanted to say. It’s been my experience that these instinctual sounds of “No” work on children, adults, dogs, cats, horses, etc.
Carolyn had discussed in previous blogs “Nature’s Code of Conduct” that all animals resonate to. I think this natural “Code of Conduct” is where some of our human instincts come from as well. Like the natural sounds we make when we are trying to stop something from happening. If someone raised their index finger and said “uh, uh, uh, uh”, the child, horse, or dog almost always know exactly what that means.
Have you noticed how children are “natural” around animals and seem to magically connect and communicate to them? Just like the “child playing with a foal” video that was posted on May 22nd’s blog. There seems to be a universal rhythm that children connect to that allows them to talk to animals. For most people it seems that this universal rhythm is lost somewhere in adulthood. And I think I was one of those that lost my childhood mojo with animals.
When I started with the Carolyn Resnick Method, it was hard for me to do the first Waterhole Ritual, Sharing Territory. I couldn’t sit still with my horses and just “be” with them. I had forgotten how to “listen to nature”. Sharing Territory with my horses changed them, changed our relationship, and, ultimately, changed me. It was this “listening” while Sharing Territory that lead to a “Connection”.
After a long time practicing Sharing Territory and working the other six Waterhole Rituals, I feel that I have naturally evolved in my journey and have found my authentic self again, the same authentic self that I had when I was a child. The “Listening” and the “Connection” have evolved into a better “Communication” with my horses and all animals.
As proof of this evolution, I have noticed that animals are coming into my life and asking for help. I had a beautiful black kitten jump into my truck and curl up in the passenger seat in the parking lot of a train station at midnight on Halloween evening. A baby bunny, who had been born on my birthday, came into my life last December and needed to be taken care of. I released her on Easter and Ginger (as I named her) still comes out to eat and visit with me when I’m Sharing Territory with my horses.
Just today a baby crow came up to me as I was walking outside. At first I thought it was attacking me, loudly squawking with its wings out and its mouth open. Then I realized it was just walking (ok, hopping really) towards me asking for help, as it was very hungry. The crow’s tail had been chewed and it looked like he had gotten into a scuffle with a cat. He is just a fledgling, so he couldn't fly yet.
The crow stopped right at my feet and cried for food. I looked at him and told him that I was going inside to get some food and would come right back out. I quickly got some food and went back outside, and to my surprise; the crow was still there waiting for me. I sat down and wanted to make sure he felt safe. So I used another sound cue that most all people and animals know..."shhhhh, it's ok". It seemed to calm him down. I think he could tell that my intentions were honest and true.
When I sat down to feed him, he jumped on my foot and let me hand feed him. He just knew that I had no intentions of hurting him, but only wanted to keep him safe and healthy. Some people say it's "a MOM vibe". This “Communication” lead to a personal “Conversation” that is still going on today.
I then put him in a dog crate in order to keep him safe from the neighborhood cats and dogs. I fixed it up for the crow and will rehabilitate and release him once he can fly and keep himself safe. With nowhere to hide from the neighborhood animals, and not being able to fly or feed himself, this is his best hope.
The idea that the crow understood when I told him I was going inside to get him some food and to wait reminded me of a story Carolyn had once told me about how smart horses are. As a child she had told her horse that she needed to go inside to get him a carrot and when she came out, he was still there waiting and she expected him to still be there. It’s all in the “intention”, she says.
I see my evolution, becoming a Certified Instructor in the Carolyn Resnick Method, beginning with “Listening”, rising to “Connecting”, evolving to “Communication”, and becoming a personal “Conversation” with animals. Thank you Carolyn for helping me along my journey back to my authentic self and for helping me get my “animal mojo” back.
(I did talk to the local Animal Control and they said they would either euthanize the crow or release him near their shelter. However, crows are territorial, so if they rehabilitated him and released him in another area the crows in that area may kill him. So after discussing this with Animal Control, they allowed me to rehabilitate him myself, in his own territory.)
I love all animals and it makes me very happy that they trust me and feel comfortable enough to come to me for help.
I am available for Private Lessons or clinics in The Carolyn Resnick Method and the Waterhole Rituals or for Basic Safety with Horses. You can come to me at the Ranch in Escondido or I can come to you to teach you and your horse together. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up lessons or clinics.
Here is a quick YouTube of my rescued crow: