Flower essences for the pets in our lives:
Many of us are fortunate to have living with us any number of wonderful animals. Be it a cherished feline friend, a frisky foal, a school of colorful fish (- maybe even all of the above!), our pets bring us many gifts. Our world is enriched by their presence, and the love, fun and joy they can bring to our daily lives. How many of us for example have fond recollections of a dog who was our loving, faithful companion throughout childhood, watching over us protectively, sharing our adventures and ever ready with an affectionate (if at times, wet!) greeting.
It is also often to our faithful pets we turn for comfort and love, especially during difficult times. Who amongst us has not been soothed by the purring of a contented cat or had the antics of one’s affectionate dog bring a smile to ones face. It is pets also who can offer us one of the greatest gifts one can receive- to be loved just for whom we are, unconditionally.
Such love and devotion is but one gift offered to us by our pet friends. Others include protection, fun, even social rewards (- have you ever when walking a dog engaged in a lovely conversation with a perfect stranger?) Pets also often teach us responsibility ( - picture a child learning how to feed a new kitten) They can even provide us with a means to achieve better health – any number of people have been “urged” by a dog, lead in mouth, to head outdoors rather than watch TV
Our pets often look up to us as their leader (“master”). This is especially true of dogs who, due to their “pack mentality” way of thinking, generally view, and are happy to view their caretakers as the “head of the pack”. Horses too, due to their innate herd instincts, also often look to their caretaker as the leader, the “alpha” figure in their life.
As their “leader”, their guardian, we are entrusted with much of their wellbeing. It is up to us to try and meet the needs of our animal friends on different levels: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Physically, we can try and ensure their dietary and exercise needs etc are met. We can provide stimulation and positive interaction etc to help them maintain good mental health and emotionally we can try and provide the love, understanding, compassion, etc our animal companions desire and deserve.
Whilst most people understand the physical needs of animals, unfortunately the mental and emotion needs are often not as well understood. Fortunately however today, more and more people are becoming aware of this side of animal care. They realize animals are capable of recognizing, understanding, absorbing much of what goes around them. They also understand animals have feelings and emotions and if their needs in these areas are not met, they can suffer accordingly.
As do humans, animals have an, often rich, emotional life – kittens playing can experience much joy; a dog having inspected his “turf” during a walk can feel satisfied and stimulated; a horse separated from his life long friend can mourn the loss of his dear companion. As caretakers of our animals, it is important for us to “tune into where our pets are at” emotionally. This way we can establish what is “going on with them” and if any assistance or support is needed to improve their emotional wellbeing
For example, a dog may chew at his front paws when another, more dominant, dog sneaks onto his sleeping bed. His feeling unsettled and displaced may manifest in this behavior as an outlet for his stress. The caretaker, having established this, can then try and pay greater attention to the “bed situation” and when inappropriate occupancy occurs, gently return the bed to its rightful (and grateful) owner!
Simple, practical solutions are one way to assist our pets to experience a happier emotional life. Sometimes, deeper, more involved approaches are best adopted, or adopted as well as practical solutions. Within the field of natural and holistic healing there exists a wide variety of therapies and approaches one can adopt to promote or heal a pet’s emotional life. Reiki and homeopathy are some such therapies. Another that is gaining in popularity is flower essence therapy.
For those new to flower essences, these are natural remedies made from flowers, with their healing properties derived from the life force, vibration, of the flowers. Flower essences (remedies) address emotional and spiritual imbalances (sometimes also physical imbalances). In alleviating and healing such imbalances, one’s overall health and wellbeing is improved, enhanced.
The application of flower essences in pet’s lives is broad and varied. Essences can be used to treat a great number of emotional imbalances (problems) that our pets experience. Emotions such as fear, despair, grief, anxiety, anger, insecurity can all be addressed by flower remedies. They can also help with a great many behavioral problems, such as barking, biting, rearing, hissing, roaming, digging etc etc.
Before embarking on flower essence therapy for a pet, it’s important first to try and identify just what is “going on” with one’s pet. Observe the body language, signs and behavior he/she is displaying - he may be barking a lot; she may be cowering whenever visitors arrive, etc. Often an animal’s behavior is a symptom of a negative emotion or emotional pattern i.e. the behavior is a symptom, with the emotion being the cause. For example, a dog may whine and dig (behavior) when left alone because he feels loneliness, anxiety and insecurity (emotions). When using essences with animals, it’s important to try and identify the cause and treat it (as well as the symptoms if desired) In the above example therefore, one could use essences for the emotions of loneliness, anxiety and insecurity, not just essences to calm the dog to try and stop him whining. Fortunately also, in treating the emotional cause, often the symptoms ease or disappear as a result!
A further word briefly regarding animal/pet behavior and signs they are displaying - our pets, being so linked to us, and often wishing to “serve” us, often become energetically “connected” with us. Put another way, energy, vibes, flow between us and our pets (picture loving energy flowing, for example) Because of this link, our pets can start to absorb and reflect our own patterns and behavior. For example, a dog who on greeting his very stressed caretaker becomes stressed and agitated himself. Sometimes our pets can absorb our unhealthy (negative) energy (e.g. fear, anger, pain) even to the point they some animals take on the same illness we may have!
In any such situation of “reflection”, it follows therefore that to help one’s animal one in fact needs to help oneself! Often we come to the realization also, that in “mirroring” ourselves, our pets are actually offering us another gift – they are pointing out to us, if we are willing to see it!, aspects of ourselves, which if addressed and healed, will improve our health and happiness.
Hence, when determining what signs an animal is exhibiting, it is important to consider that perhaps such “reflection” is occurring. This can take some honesty on our behalf- it might be hard, for example, to admit a dog’s aggression is but a reflection of our own lingering anger at not having been promoted the previous month. That said, the animals behavior may simply be due, or in part due, to his/her own patterns and personality etc. e.g. the dog may be been attacked by another dog whilst the caretaker was out that day and is feeling angry, upset.
Additionally, in any circumstances when we realise a pet has absorbed our own energy, we can further help them by comforting them (even if in our present state we’re actually craving comfort for ourselves!) Hence, if we notice a cat behaving distant because of our “strange vibes”, a big hug for them can at times go a long way to reassuring her/him (- one also often benefits too from such a gesture!) Other practical measures can also be taken – for example, when angry, a jog to release some of the build up tension can ensure one returns calmer from having “pounded the pavement”!
If the caretaker has identified the pet’s behavior to be originating from the pet’s own self, they can then select the appropriate essence to administer. Choosing which essence to use can be done a variety of ways, with different people having different preferences. One can read an essence description and see if it applies to the pet in question. E.g. Arnica essence is for shock so could be beneficial for a shy dog who has had their tailed sharply pulled by a child. Other selection methods include kinesiology (muscle testing), dowsing and intuition.
How long one uses essences with one’s pets depends on the animal and his/her circumstances. Each animal is unique, with their own personality, history, environment etc. All these factors can influence how quickly essences shift “stuff”. For example, a dog who has been treated badly by a previous caretaker would probably take longer to respond to a “healing the hurt” remedy than say a dog whose previous caretaker was just a bit absent minded and did not pay him much attention- his issues being easier, and quicker, to release than ones of abuse.
Essences for all their wonderful, often profound, healing qualities are not generally however an “instant cure all”….unfortuantely!! Whilst the effects can however often be felt instantly (- calming remedies are a good example of this), with many issues, it can take a while for results, or significant results, to be seen. This is especially true with regards to deeper and more painful issues. Hence a little patience and perseverance can be needed at times! True, deep healing needs to be done gradually, much as one would not, for example, encourage and expect a deeply traumatized teenager to discuss and heal all his issues in the first few counseling sessions. As our pet’s guardians, we owe it to them to give them the time and space to do their healing too.
For pets undergoing a course of essences, it’s helpful to always reassess the situation before preparing each new bottle as the needs of the pet could have changed and a different essence/s would therefore be desirable. If in doubt, it’s wise to contact a flower essence therapist for guidance/suggestions- a number of qualified natural animal therapists and wholistic vets also use flower essences in their work and could assist here.
Whilst an animal is using essences, it’s important to monitor them and assess how they are going. Generally, essences are assimilated with ease, the animals daily life is not interrupted by their having been administered essences and one soon recognizes signs of improvement in the animals emotional state and / or behaviour. Sometimes though, in working on an emotion or pattern, essences can cause the emotion/pattern to become more apparent for a period. This indicates the essence is working, however it can at times be unsettling or uncomfortable for a pet (much as talking about pain to a counselor can be.) When the discomfort is marked and symptoms are pronounced, this is called a “healing crisis”. If one observes one’s pet to be reacting in this way to the remedy, cease the remedy. If the remedy has been made by a therapist, contact the therapist and discuss possibly continuing the remedy in a while on a different dose. If you made the remedy and feel it’s OK to recommence it after a period, do so, and again monitor your pet to see if he is assimilating the remedy OK (Alternatively, you might wish to give a different, perhaps less stimulating, remedy and leave the original remedy for a later time when the animal has healed a little already)...And always/continue to exercise common sense and sensibility when using essences – e.g. aggressive dogs should still be handled carefully etc, if they pose a threat to others, flighty horses might still best not be ridden bare-back, etc
When an animal is carrying a lot of emotional “stuff”, it’s generally best to start with gentle/gentler remedies. e.g. a horse that has been abandoned when just a baby could benefit from essences to calm and cheer her first, with essences dealing with the painful issue of abandonment to follow later when she is more stable, ready. Again, if one is a little unclear as to how to proceed with these, it’s wise to consult an expert to ensure your pet receives the most appropriate remedies.
Furthermore, especially with essences dealing with deeper or more painful emotions, it’s generally wise to give essences at evenings/bedtimes. This way the pet can assimilate the essences in their sleep or when resting, rather than when engaged with other animals or with people during the day. This is especially true regarding animals that could pose a risk to themselves or others if agitated, “worked up”. e.g. horses that are ridden
Because animals generally are “open” to nature and it’s “ways”, they generally respond wonderfully, if at times gradually, to essences and are often afforded much healing and relief from the effects of the remedies given. Flower essences can also be used with other healing modalities to heal old unhealthy patterns and emotions and in doing so enable the animal to lead rich and fulfilling emotional and spiritual lives.
It’s incredible just how much our pets can “pick up” and understand. Furthermore it is so wonderful and rewarding to see how our pets respond when we “work with them” and engage with them emotionally and spiritually- the heart is warmed to see a dogs “beam” when we tell them they did a great job watching the kids; a smile creeps across the face when we see a cat strut after he has been told he is most certainly a “handsome devil”!
Our pets are here to “share” our journey, our life. They offer love and support in many, at times, subtle, ways. They often also have much wisdom to impart to us – by wanting to engage more deeply with them, we realize all of this more fully. Such “tuning in” can at times require a determined, conscientious effort on our behalf as life is often so busy and demanding. However, with the right intent and a true willingness to engage in regular quality, if not quantity time, with our animal friends, our relationships can be, often dramatically, strengthened, transformed. This deeper bond not only enhances both our and our pet’s lives, it helps our pets feel more truly like kings within the animal king-dom - and they deserve no less!
Copyright Tranquil Path P/L 2011
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Please note, further, and important, general information about using flower essences, can be found here at Tranqil Path's FAQ page.
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Please note: Flower essences should not replace important
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"Can I hold you tonight?" (snippet of song / vocal only demo) - copyright Tranquil Path Pty. Ltd. 2012
Tranquil Path Pty. Ltd. 2012
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