In February 2016 I was honored to participate in the Indonesia Practitioner Development Project with Loesje Jacob and the Linking Awareness Team.
Phase I: The BodyTalk Access + Fundamentals for Animals and Humans
The BodyTalk Access for Animals and Humans class at Institut Pertanian in Bogor, Indonesia had 54 participants, including Veterinarians, Professors of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Students, Animal Handlers from the Indonesian National Police Animal Division in Jakarta, International participants from 9 different countries, BodyTalk Practitioners and students, as well as one Architect. They were welcomed and assisted by dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, rats, snakes, lizards, insects, and a variety of stuffed animals.
This part grew my confidence greatly in working with and running sessions for animals. Proper handling and mindset was emphasized and Loesje’s years of experience shone through as she demonstrated the techniques and ran some beyond profound sessions. (ref)
Phase II: Practitioner Development Project
The Linking Awareness Team was in Malang, Java, Indonesia for the 2016 Practitioner Development Project, February 20 through March 1st.
Loesje taught BodyTalk Fundamentals and Integration and during this experience, participants had the privilege if visiting a local orphanage and hospital to do sessions on the staff and patients as well as to share BodyTalk and put it all into practice.
This was a unique opportunity for participants to practice and hone their skills in a high paced setting.
The BodyTalk matrix in Indonesia is growing, particularly on the “animal” side, with a very strong response from Veterinarians, Veterinary students, the Indonesian National Police Animal Division, and animal handlers and Veterinarians from Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta.
International participants are able to immerse themselves in an intensive but supportive setting during the outreach portions of this project.
Yes, yes, yes! I always tell my clients how important it is to find a BodyTalk practitioner that resonates with them. The beautiful thing about BodyTalk is that every practitioner brings something different to the table. Some have massage backgrounds, cranial sacral, essential oils, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, Reiki, doula training – you get the point!
What this means is that your body’s innate wisdom is going to leverage your practitioner’s expertise in order to get the most of that session in that moment. BodyTalk sessions are like snowflakes – not two is alike. And this is the same for practitioners. I could work with a fellow BodyTalker on the same client and our sessions would be entirely different. And this is beautiful.
My advice to you is to trust that you will be connected with the perfect practitioner at the perfect time and never be afraid to ask your practitioner for a referral. You can view the entire database of certified BodyTalk practitioners around the world here.
Toby came into my life on February 12, 2015. I had been wanting to adopt a dog for a couple months and was waiting semi-patiently for one to come into my life.
Not surprisingly my Mom found his listing online from a rescue organization and we drove up that same day to meet him.
Toby was in rough condition.
When the lady carried him out of her van, he clung to her out of fear. He looked dirty, smelled and seemed sick or drugged. Mom started to cry at the sight of him and that’s when I knew I couldn’t send him back with his present caretaker.
The lady from the rescue organization (I use that term loosely) told us the part of the story she knew – he was found in a field in December where he was taken to a kill shelter and his days were numbered there. She rescued him and he lived with her for a month, along with her 5 other dogs, until she realized she could no longer keep him. She really seemed to love him and wished he could stay but she said said she had to give him up.
He had never been walked and she believed he was too far gone to ever be able to be a ‘normal’ dog warning me to never let him outside or walk him.
When she drove away I gently set him down on the ground and he truly did not know what to do. He panicked, looking for somewhere to hide and curled up on the ground. It was heartbreaking.
We drove Toby home and at this time we was still going by the name the shelter gave him, Baxter. Both Mom and I agreed he needed a new name.
So we listed off name after name until Mom said, “Toby!” and Toby gave us the confirmation we were looking for. He jerked his head and stared straight at my Mom. That was the first time he acknowledged us.
The next couple weeks were really rough.
That first night we were able to pick him up and bathe him – he had fleas and his legs were stained brown, including his mouth.
After that he would run away from us and cower in the corner if we came close. We just gave him space. He also didn’t go to the bathroom, eat or drink for three days.
He was petrified to be outside. I would walk him a couple steps, turn around and go back – repeating that for 10 minutes or so until I could tell he was at his limit. every day I’d try to go a bit further with him. He would just sleep in his bed all day and not want to be touched. He would jump at the littlest noise and was terrified of other people, especially children and men.
I began to work with a dog trainer and she was pivotal in helping me understand Toby and how to work with him. But I still knew that there had to be more I could do for him.
Then one day a good friend, Sarah shared that she was coordinating a class called, Linking Awareness.
It was in Monterey, CA over a weekend. I didn’t quite understand what it was about but I learned Loesje, the creator of it and a BodyTalk practitioner could communicate with animals so I was totally in. My Mom, cousin Claire and I all made a weekend trip out of it.
I am intuitive and have worked with various energy healing modalities for quite a few years before this but I had a block around the idea that I could work and communicate with animals.
I figured that if I brought Toby to this class he’d most likely share something with Loesje and then she could pass along the message to me. I was determined to find out his story and to learn from him I how could better help!
Not only did it help me understand how to non-verbally communicate with Toby and other animals, but it started me on the path I am on now.
Right after the three day course I signed up to learn BodyTalk, went on a Linking Awareness adventure to South Africa 5 months after that and then spent one month in Indonesia exploring BodyTalk and learning BodyTalk for animal. This all happened within a year of Toby entering my life.
To say that Toby was my catalyst is an under statement.
Toby did tell us his story in class. He was the very last animal on the very last day to share. Just like humans, animals enjoy their privacy too and Toby does not wish this particular story to be written. But I can say that after he was able to share with us what happened to him, express his concerns and open up about his fears – he was a changed dog.
He didn’t need me to “do” anything. He just needed me to observe. No judgement, emotion or trying to fix anything. Just listening with an open-heart was what he desired.
This is my approach to working with people and animals. I do not “fix” anything. I am not a “healer”. I am simply an observer, bearing witness to energy that wishes to be expressed, therefore transformed.
Toby and I communicate on a regular basis…
“where are you?” when I am gone a little too long for his liking
or a “your Dad could really use a BodyTalk session”
and the occasional “more chicken please”
The world opens up for us when we begin to understand and connect with the animal kingdom. Their intelligence, wisdom and pure love is a gift to all humanity and I can’t wait until everyone walking this Earth honors and understands that.
We all have the ability to communicate with our animal friends and surely if I can do it you can too! And please, don’t buy animals when there are so many patiently waiting for homes in our shelters and foster homes.
Oh, and Toby is doing amazing. He is confident, assertive and loves his work of keeping the Adams’ on their toes and walking their paths.
They say the left eye is the window to the soul. Have you ever gazed so deeply into someone’s eyes that they transform right in front of you? Their image becoming blurry but their heart becoming clearer?
When we connect with other sentient beings we are able to dissolve the barriers we have put up around ourselves.
Gazing into the eyes of one of the most powerful animals in the animal kingdom puts this all into a whole new perspective. And when that powerful, wise beauty is behind bars in a cage too small for her presence, both physically and energetically, that gaze is even more profound.
Enter Leony. One of two sister Sumatran tigers rescued by the Animal Sanctuary Trust Indonesia in Bogor, Indonesia and one of the main reasons a group of us made the pilgrimage to visit.
I was nervous to see the sister tigers. Not because of the danger they may pose, but because I was afraid of what I would feel when I saw them.
All I could think when I stepped in front of her was, “I am the reason you are in that cage.”
Animals in cages have always triggered me. From a young age I wouldn’t want to visit the zoo or go to the circus. I would be heartbroken by the concrete floors, the putrid smells and the degrading acts we would put the animals through.
As I stood in the penetrating gaze of Leony, she imparted her wisdom to me. Much I am sure I still don’t consciously understand, but here’s what I did.
“The cage I am in reflects back to you the cage you have put yourself in. All of humanity has shackled and caged itself with fear.”
She shared that she may be caged but she was free. And left me with the question, “Was I?”
The two sister Sumatran tigers were the gatekeepers for that sanctuary while also anchoring in the Divine Feminine and bringing balance to the world; that location was where they needed to be to do their work. The fact that they were sisters struck me as so special. Oddly enough I had the honor of meeting two brother Sumatran tigers later in the trip.
I always ask myself the same thing when I meet these amazing animals – and Leony was no exception – “Where do I stop and they begin?”
Our body is always seeking balance so this means that our true state is one of perfect health.
Wow. Perfect health. I can’t remember a time where I felt that my health was “perfect”, can you?
In BodyTalk we call the intelligence our body has around our perfect health and how to heal itself, “innate wisdom“.
Here is an example of this…
Our body undergoes BILLIONS of chemical reactions in a day, maybe even a minute! I can’t count that high… 😉
Every time a blood cell in the lungs takes on an oxygen molecule, that’s a chemical reaction.
Every time a cell in the pancreas produces an insulin molecule, that is many chemical reactions.
Every time a nerve cell in your eye or brain fires, this is a cascade of ions traveling through the nerve cell, which is essentially thousands of chemical reactions, which cascades out to thousands of other nerve cells.
Our body is COMPLEX. And it knows how to take care of itself. Just like when you cut yourself, your body kicks in to heal it. Just like your heart doesn’t stop beating when you fall asleep and you don’t have to consciously tell yourself to breathe.
But sometimes our body gets stuck in a loop. Our lives these days are complicated. Things like environmental toxins, unresolved emotions, stress, food intolerances, energetic disturbances, stress (did I mention stress? ;)) all affect our body in a profound way.
The effects these have can create dis-ease in the body. In the west when we start exhibiting symptoms we start checking off the items on the list in order to find a diagnosis.
Extra tired – yes
Coughing – yes
Runny nose – yes
Must be a common cold!
In our striving for a diagnosis or an “answer” to our issue we overlook the thousands of other reasons we could be experiencing these symptoms.
Let’s look at an example.
Say an environmental toxin, like the Tide detergent you use to wash your clothes in is causing an intolerance in your body. This intolerance doesn’t appear as a rash (like we would assume it would) but instead it is exploiting the weakened immune system your body is experiencing because you are overworked, under-rested and stressed out.
Basically the very clothes you wear are weakening your immune system. But you just think it’s a common cold – one you have been fighting for 4 months because you looked at the symptoms and diagnosed based on them.
You take extra vitamin C, maybe some over the counter drugs but still feel crappy.
Do you see how you aren’t getting to the root cause?
Your body needs helps balancing this environmental toxin and is communicating to you there is disharmony but you aren’t listening.
So, what symptoms are you experiencing right now? What do you think your body is trying to tell you?