Animal communication has so much to offer. Learning to talk with animals can help us understand our pets better. It can help us work more effectively with rescued animals to find out what they need to return to the wild or secure a new forever home. Learning animal communication can also help the communicator feel more alive and intuitive.
But many students of animal communication find that they hit a plateau at some point. For example, you may have had many successful conversations with animals but you just can't seem to go any deeper in your conversations. Or you may find it is easy for you to talk with animals about some topics but not others.
All too often, this points back to a lack in our own self care. To become the kind of animal communicator that can be of the highest service to our animal clients, we must tend to ourselves first.
In this episode of the Let's Talk to Animals podcast, animal intuitive and animal communication teacher Shannon Cutts shares a deeply personal story from her own experience of how blocks came up in her interspecies communications and how self care helped her break through those blocks.
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Welcome to let's Talk to Animals. My name is Shannon Ketz. I'm an animal intuitive and sensitive and a Reiki master practitioner for pets and their people, and also your friendly neighborhood host of the podcast for all species, let's Talk to Animals. We are now in our fourth season. After three wonderful seasons of interviewing amazing intuitives and holistic pet practitioners from around the world, I have taken off my hostess badge, at least for a few episodes. Here in season four I'm sharing personal stories from my own animal communication journey and my professional practice, as well as my experiences as an animal communication teacher, mentor and guide. Today I'm going to talk about something, a topic that is really kind of a personal passion of mine and it's something that, in my opinion, doesn't get talked about nearly enough in animal communication learning circles and I share that because I actually have studied with several teachers and not to take away from the wonderful, wonderful gifts that they've given me. But it's all too easy to assume that this topic because we're all adults here. In most cases when we come to animal communication, we're coming into it by choice as an adult, because we want to learn this universal, intuitive language, and so we kind of all just tend to assume that everybody's taken care of it, and the truth is is that many of us are not, and it's not because we don't want to, it's that we don't realize that it's so important we don't realize we're not already taking care of it and we also don't know how or what to do. And so the topic on the table today is self care and animal communication, and that's one of those cliched phrases that when we hear self care we think of glossy magazine covers and five page spreads with expensive sachets and bath bombs and massages and things like that. And that's kind of where we have left self care. As a mass market society, as a consumer based society, we've kind of said self care means buying stuff, it means taking time to do expensive things, it means taking vacation, and it's so much deeper than that. So I'm going to share a really personal story from my own journey that illustrates how important self care is, how it can crop up and cause you to experience blocks in your conversations with animals, and how to work through it and how to resolve it, and I hope that this is helpful and supportive to you If you're wondering why you just don't feel like you can go deeper in your conversations with animals, or why you feel like you can't hear your pet clearly in when you talk about certain things, or why you just feel really confused, overwhelmed, exhausted or even frustrated when you try to tackle a certain type of conversation with your animals Self care, which I define as self kindness and further define as am I being as kind to myself as I would be to the being that I love the most? Am I giving myself that level of self kindness, self consideration, self generosity and self care as I would if I was caring for someone else who's going through something or who needs something from me? That's my definition of self care. You can come up with your own definition. In fact, it's really important to come up with your own definition of self care, and that's where I'm going to start today, to just kind of give you a little context for what I'm about to share with you and how it can impact your ability to have deep conversations, not just with your pet, not just with others animals, if you're a professional communicator yourself but also with anyone you want to talk with in life, including yourself. Okay, so let's rewind about 40 years ago. I'm in my 50s now. About 40 years ago, I developed anorexia I was 10 and it unfolded in part because of my genetics it's in my family but also because of some environmental situations, things that I went through, some bullying that I experienced from teachers and peers, and it plagued me for 20 years. I had anorexia and then I had bulimia and out of that, as I was trying to heal my poor, depleted body, I developed really severe panic attacks, anxiety and cyclical depression, and so this was all before, as it was about 10 years. I've been in recovery, really strong recovery, from all of that for about a decade now, and so it doesn't surprise me that I came to animal communication intuitive animal communication later in life, because I had a lot of healing to do. I had a lot of work to do to get to the point where I was strong enough and brave enough and healthy enough on all levels of me physical, mentally, emotional and at the sole level to hold space for others that were going through these kinds of challenges. Self-care has always been a passion of mine. It's something that I've worked really hard on in my life and it's something that I care very deeply about, and it's something that I really emphasize a lot when I teach animal communication, because I have seen how powerful it becomes and we really are taking good care of ourselves, how much better able it makes us to hold space and provide the necessary care for others that come to us from mentoring or coaching or a listening ear or guidance and help of some kind. So what happened was, even though I had recovered, and really had been in strong recovery from eating disorders, anxiety and depression, before I started learning animal communication. So when I first started learning, I found that it was relatively easy for me to have deep conversations with animals about a whole host of other things Soul contracts not a problem. Last wish is not a problem. Reincarnation of pets. I am living with the reincarnation of my soul. Bird pearl Didn't have an issue with it. Super comfortable having these conversations. Activities, favorite toys, daily routine, pet siblings, human pet relationships not a problem. Eager to have these conversations. But when it came to talking with pets about their food, how they felt about their food, whether they liked their food, whether they were getting enough food or perhaps sometimes too much food or the wrong kind of food, I felt really blocked. What was happening and it took me a while to sort it out is that I didn't realize that I still had some lingering blocks within myself around my own relationship with food, how I related to food. There were some areas where I felt really uncomfortable about food, or I just didn't understand how I was feeling about food and I hadn't taken any time to check in with myself in my own healing journey to ask myself how are you feeling about your own portion sizes? How are you feeling about the foods you're choosing for yourself? How are you feeling about changing your diet? All of these different questions that I would ask of an animal were questions that I really wasn't comfortable asking myself, and I have found in my journey as a teacher that if you are asking anyone else another human or an animal a question that you don't feel comfortable answering yourself or that brings up something we call it triggering in recovery circles, but it triggers something in you, like maybe pushing on a mental or an emotional bruise, something that just makes you feel uncomfortable. Well, that's something to stop and pay attention to, because it's something within you that needs your kindness and self-care. That's something within you that needs your attention first before you can proceed further with the conversation with someone else. And so what I had to do is go back and take a look at my own relationship with food and why I was downplaying it so much. I mean, the truth is is I am wired a little differently. There's all kinds of scientific studies now that prove that people that have my type of disease, my anorexic and bulimic genes, we don't get as excited about food. We typically don't experience as much pleasure, like the pleasure centers in our brain don't light up as much as people that don't have these genes. And so, yeah, there's something within me that actually doesn't understand why food would be so important, but that doesn't have to hold me back as long as I'm okay with it. I'm like, okay, that's just who I am, it's not a big deal. And just recognizing that me being that way doesn't mean that everyone else is that way. Like I can really separate my own personal experience from being able to empathize with an animal who is so excited about their food and it's like the highlight of their day. Like I live with an animal like that our Docs and Flash Gordon like he literally lives to eat. I honestly think the only reason he wakes up in the morning is because there's breakfast and then after that there will be snack and then after that will be more snacks and after that will be dinner. Yay, so I'm literally living with an animal who is wired as my 180 degree opposite, and believe me when I say it's brought up some stuff for me, not just personally, but in my animal communication work, in my practice, in my profession this is actually a good thing. It can be really uncomfortable when you notice something like this in yourself. For some people it might be talking about what happens when you die, or reincarnation issues. There may be a block in terms of beliefs or prior conditioning or shaming or blaming that happened to you, maybe in your family of origin or in a religious setting or in school or politics or something. It doesn't matter what it is. We all have them. It's not something to judge or shame yourself for or to say to yourself well, I'll just never be able to do it, because this is how I feel. It's an area inside of you that's asking for kindness, for more kindness, for more empathy, for more understanding and for honest and open conversation. Because, after all, that's what we're all about in animal communication is having open and honest conversations. And here again we come back to if you can't have an open and honest conversation with yourself about that subject, about that topic and any aspect, then you're not gonna be able to achieve the same with anyone else that you talk with about that topic either. I truly, truly have come to believe that that is why we argue so much about politics and religion because we have blocks, we have inner fears or judgments or shame or blame or guilt, and we haven't healed those things within ourselves and so we're not able to hear others and we're not able to try on different points of view for size. We can't let ourselves go there because we're too afraid. This is what we willingly walk into and accept. When we start the animal communication journey, we are saying yes to healing everything within ourselves that could potentially create a resistance or a block to having an open and honest conversation with an animal about that topic in any of its facets. That can be pretty daunting, but that is what self-care really means. When I say self-care and animal communication, that is what I am talking about Self-kindness at such an epic level. It goes so far beyond bath bombs and massages and it's something that, I'll be honest, some of my students have also struggled with it and they've come to me and they've said I just wanna have deeper conversations and they've come to me for mentoring, and what we've ended up talking about and working towards is that student actually reconnecting with themselves in the area where they feel blocked. So I want to conclude today's episode by sharing some of the tools that I use that have been not just the most helpful but literally game changers for me in helping to work through these issues. The number one thing is awareness, and actually the first three things that I'm gonna share with you also form the foundation of the way I teach animal communication, because awareness typically tends to be about 90% of the battle. It's about 90% of the work because it's the hardest to come by. There's something in our fight, flight, freeze, tender, befriend system that says if you're not aware of it, it can't potentially hurt you, and so there's a really big incentive within us from that level the survival system level to stay ignorant, to not notice, just stay stuck in our fears, stay stuck in our anger, stay stuck in our resistance, or stay stuck in the anxiety or the depression or the eating issue or whatever behavior or habit that serves to keep us distracted from what's really going on. And so awareness is huge If you find yourself, even as you're listening to this episode, becoming aware of something that needs some self-kindness from you on your own behalf. If you're becoming aware of, maybe, a block that you're having in conversation with someone, it doesn't have to be an animal, it might be with your partner or your boss or your friend or your neighbor. But if you're becoming aware, give yourself a huge hug, just an accept, a virtual hug for me, because awareness is huge, it's key. So we really want to give ourselves permission to be aware, very, very, very important, and I can't stress it enough. So first is awareness, and I call that noticing. Let's just notice. Let's not give it so, so, terribly much important. Let's not make it into a bigger deal than it is, but let's just give ourselves permission to notice. Oh wow, I noticed that I have a really big problem trusting myself when I have conversations with pets about their food, and for me, the way that that manifested for a while is I just didn't have them. And then I found a mentor and I told her. I said I don't want to talk about that food stuff, that's not important. And she said well then you've lost sight of what your clients want and need, and she was right. So sometimes, if we can't foster awareness within ourselves because we are too blocked and when I say blocked, typically what that means to me is I'm too afraid or I'm too angry about something to see it for what it is Then sometimes what we really need is a mentor or a coach, a teacher, a guide, a counselor or a therapist, somebody who has developed a degree of objectivity that will allow them to help us become aware of something that's holding us back. Because that's really all this is. I want to be the kind of communicator where there's no topic that's off the table. I want the animals that I speak with to know they can say anything to me, and in order for me to evolve into that kind of communicator, I need to become the type of human animal that you can say anything to. So it's a huge high calling. You can see, it's a life's work. In my experience, we all have the ability to communicate with animals. This is a universal language. It's pre-installed in every human animals operating system, just like it's pre-installed in every non-human animals operating system. But we are not all called to learn or should I say to relearn how to do this. So it's important to recognize that. If you are interested, if you're listening to this podcast, if you are actively involved in learning communication, perhaps if you're working even as a professional volunteer or professionally in the field, that you're brave, you're really really brave and you do have the ability, you do have the opportunity to be the kind of communicator that an animal could say anything to. But it's going to require considering your own self-care practice, your self-kindness practice, and moving it to the head of the line, making it a huge priority and really tackling perhaps some difficult stuff that's built up over the months or the years or, in my case, the decades in your life that may still need a little bit more TLC, a little bit more awareness, a little bit more noticing, a little bit more kindness, and so when I start, it's always with noticing, because if we don't know, we can't do anything about it, right? So let's go back to this food example. I've noticed that I was really having a block, or I always, when I would ask an animal what they ate or what their favorite treat was, I would get it wrong. I would receive information that the pet parent was like yeah, I don't know what you're talking about, we never give him that, or whatever, and so that was my wake-up call, I became aware I've got some blocks around having these conversations about food, and so my next step is always to get curious, because so much of our resistance to tackling these blocks, or to even noticing that they're there, is that we don't know what to do next. It's like, okay, I'm aware of that, I don't really like talking about food, I'm not really interested in that topic, but I don't know what to do about that. Just hate it for the rest of my life. Just become a communicator. That's like, yeah, I don't talk to animals about their food, even though that's like one of the most important topics of conversation to have with a companion animal, especially because it's something that typically they don't have much, if any, control over. So they really, really want to be heard. If they want more of something or less of something, or they need a different kind of food, or they want to share what their favorite treat is, like that's a really important conversation to have. So it's like I wasn't willing to settle for I'm just not going to talk about an animal's food. I don't want to be that communicator. But then I have to figure out okay, well, what do I need to do about it, and so that requires me doing some meditation to get curious, to notice. You are just the sweetest little bird. She's just singing and singing and singing so cute. So then I have to get curious. This is exactly the process that we follow in animal communication as well. When I teach it. We first, we notice, we get curious, we start to ask questions, to wonder, hmm, what's going on here, what's up? And so for me, what that looked like is I had to start asking myself why does this bother you so much? Or why do you feel so insecure having conversations about this topic, or why do you not think it's important? And what this brought up in me is that I realized that when the conversation turned to food, my level of empathy suddenly dropped drastically. I talk a lot about the empathy channel when I'm teaching animal communication because it's kind of the inner intuitive equivalent of our smartphone. Like, if we want to have a conversation with another human who maybe lives down the street or in another state or across the world, we pick up our phone and we call or we text. Well, the inner intuitive equivalent of that is what I call the empathy channel. We use our empathy, and I didn't have any empathy for myself in those areas. I wasn't being kind to myself. I wasn't recognizing that I needed my own attention First before I could have conversations about food with others, that I had some unhealed things within me, that I was being really harsh with myself Like we'll just get with the program. That's something that you need to do as an animal communicator. It wasn't being gentle with myself. It wasn't recognizing that. It bothered me. It brought up memories for me, fears that I had about choosing foods, about deciding on portions, all the things that you go through when you recover from disordered eating behaviors on any end of the spectrum. And so of course I wasn't wanting to have conversations about those topics with others of any species. It's just not something that I was comfortable with. And so I had to stop and tune into my own empathy for myself and give myself the time and attention to be heard, to talk through those issues with myself and to extend myself kindness and compassion. And once I went through that process, I was then able to come back to the animal and keep my empathy channel open for them as well, to really hear them when they said I'm not getting enough to eat or I'm not getting enough of the right food to eat, or I don't like my food, or I wish I would get this treat more often because it just makes my day, or whatever it is. Until I was able to be empathic and kind towards myself in this area, I wasn't able to be kind and empathetic with others in this area. So I really want you to hear me when I share that these blocks or these resistances or any kind of strong emotion, especially the so-called negative emotions like sadness or anxiety or anger or fear it's coming up to be healed in you. And the payoff, the carrot, the reward that you get is not just and I don't even want to use the word just not even you feel more love and kindness towards yourself and being you and your own skin as a kinder, safer, sweeter place to live, but then it frees you to be of so much greater service to anyone else who needs you as well, because you have done the really, really heavy lifting. I don't know why it's so difficult for us human animals to be kind to ourselves, but that is really heavy lifting, and especially in those really deep wounded places, to go into your own being and say what do you need from me right now? Do you just need somebody to listen? Do you need a hug? Do you need empathy? Do you need somebody to brainstorm with, to troubleshoot? Do we need to come up with something new to try, just the same way you would for your pet to do for yourself? That's something that most of our species yours and mine is not very good at, and it's also what separates the perpetual student animal communicator from the true professional who understands the depth of commitment and responsibility that we take on when we do this work. So I hope that that gives you some courage that encourages you to continue. If you're listening to this because you're dealing with some blocks, I also want to share some more tools that I use. I always start with noticing the awareness that we talked about and then getting curious and wondering, asking questions, starting to dialogue with myself. Do you not understand this issue? Are you not getting something that you need? Do you not even know where to start? Could you use some help and support? So that's where I might incorporate it into my meditation practice. Ask my light team. We talk a lot about light teams and support from the subtle realms when we are intuitively communicating with animals and we can use that same light team to intuitively communicate with ourselves. So here again, there's another carrot. We get to strengthen our intuitive communication skills when we dialogue with ourselves and also strengthen our relationship with our light team, with our spirit animals, with our guardian angel, with our companion angels, with our spirit guides, with our ancestors, with beings of light that are there to support us, with our Reiki guides. If we're Reiki attuned, the next step after that would be to consider whether you need to invite some more support into your own life, so you might look for, maybe a coach or a mentor or a teacher or a therapist or a counselor or an energy healer or a light worker of some kind to come alongside and support you, maybe help you have these conversations with yourselves. We all need support, we all have something to give and we also have something that we need to receive. There have been periods in my life where I've found that intentional journaling has been very useful. Automatic writing can be very useful and, if you're not familiar, that's where you ask your spirit a question and then you just let your hand write, and this is another tool I love. I use Reiki a ton In fact. I open a channel every morning and every night for everyone in our family to benefit from, and you don't have to know what you need. You can simply ask. One of my very favorite prayers is help, help me, and you just hold an intention for your highest good and trust that your light team will make up the difference. Another tool that I love is reading books or finding podcasts that I resonate with and soaking up wisdom from people that I deeply, deeply respect. Just because somebody is mentoring you doesn't mean that they have to know it and it doesn't mean you have to know them personally. I have mentors that I've never met in person and never will. The Dalai Lama I mean I'd love to meet him, but I've never met him, and he's one of my foremost mentors. When he said, be kind whenever possible, it is always possible. That has become my guiding light. It took me longer to realize that that also applied to my relationship with me. I've really taken that to heart. So find inspiring mentors anywhere in life. They can be people that have passed. They can be non-human animals my bird petal, my tortoise malty and my box turtle IO and Flash Gordon they're all mentors to me. You get to pick your mentors, and the thing with society is is if you don't pick consciously and intentionally pick your mentors, they will be picked for you and it will come from the screaming news headlines and the nonstop ads and the social feeds. So this is something that I have found very impactful for me is to pick a small core group of mentors and I follow them pretty exclusively and I kind of shut everything else out, like if I've picked a teacher, I'm going to follow them. I'm going to follow them for probably a few years at minimum and pretty exclusively, and I'm going to read their books and then I will reread them and I will listen to their podcasts and I will follow them on social media and I will make sure that I have a steady diet of their wisdom and their uplifting words flowing into my life and I kind of block out all the rest. And it has reshaped my character from the inside out over the years to do this, because I'm literally gathering my inner circle, what Brene Brown calls those who are willing to step into the arena with you. She talks about that a lot in her book Daring Greatly. She's one of my mentors as well, even though I've never met her. So gather these mentors around you and when you need help when you need inspiration, when you need to feel braver. These are the beings that you turn to If you have wild animals that you look up to. The loneliest whale is one of my non-human animal mentors, a black German shepherd named Chief, who is one of my clients. Dogs in Spirit is one of my mentors. You gather your group of mentors and in fact, I encourage you to journal this out After. This episode is actually bright down for yourself, and you don't have to know them all, and you can add new mentors at any time. But try to keep the list limited to the point where you have time to have an impactful connection with these mentors, if not on a daily basis, then at least regularly, at least maybe once a week or something, some kind of touchstone, whether it's social media or a book that you just leave out to remind yourself of them, or maybe you print something out and you put it on your bathroom mirror, where you put it on your vision board, some place that you see regularly, or on your car dashboards. You can remember these mentors and feel inspired all over again by the light that they share in this world, and the more you resonate with their light, the more you focus on and remember their inspiring example, the more you will reshape your character to be like them, to resonate on that same frequency. This is something huge that has been absolutely key in every aspect of my evolution, my continuing evolution in my life. The other thing that has really been incredibly impactful that gets downplayed so much because it's such a no-brainer that we just kind of have stopped thinking about it probably a long time ago, especially as adults are the simple basics Stay hydrated. Hydrated cells are happy cells. If your cells are dehydrated, they are not going to do a good job of communicating inside your body and you are not going to do a good job communicating with yourself or with anyone else, human or non-human. Get enough sleep. If you are sleep deprived, all of your other habits are going to be skewed. Everything else you do in the day is going to be some type of coping mechanism to overcome the effects of not enough sleep. If you do not sleep enough and do not have good enough quality of sleep every night, then your brain and your body cannot repair itself, and when you need repairs, you're not going to be as effective helping others who need repairs in their lives as well, regardless of species. Another thing that's super important is take a look at your own diet. What are you eating? What are you feeding those hungry cells of yours? How often are you eating? Are you keeping your blood sugar regular? Are you tending to your nutrient needs? You know there's nothing wrong with enjoying food, even though I'm not particularly wired to do so. I love a good chocolate chip cookie or glass of wine as much as the next person. But I'm also judicious and recognize. For me, my mantra is food is medicine. Food is the best medicine. Am I giving myself good daily medicine, recognizing that everything I do to upkeep my physical, emotional, mental and soul selves is going to flow outward in the service I'm able to provide to others? And finally, are you breathing and moving your body enough? Animal communication is an intuitive and sensory language. It doesn't make use of the left brain, analytical, logical mind, until a certain key point in the process, and I talk about this a lot more in the classes I teach. And so if you're not in your body, this was another big one for me. That would probably take a whole another podcast episode. But being dissociated from my body after all those years of not feeding myself the right medicine, not feeding myself enough medicine, not feeling competent care for my own body, my own physical home. It meant that I wasn't tuned in enough to my own body to receive really clear messages from the animals, especially about certain issues, certain topics, and so we've got to be in our body. If you like yoga, do yoga. I can't recommend that enough. If you like to walk, go walking. If you'd like to swim, go swimming. If you like to do interval training, do that. Do something, but make sure that you're breathing deeply. Oxygenated cells are intuitive cells. At the very least, take five deep breaths in and out, to the point where you can feel your body move. Before you start a conversation with anyone, especially a really important conversation, get those cells the oxygen they need so they can support you in the conversation that you want to have. And finally, continue asking yourself, especially when you're feeling strong emotions or you're feeling like any kind of resistance or any kind of block am I being as kind to myself as someone who really, really loves me would be to me, or as I would be to somebody I really really love, an animal or a human animal? If the answer is no, of course, correct as needed, ask yourself how can I improve, what can I do better on or what is needed that I'm not offering myself and if you don't know or you don't know how, that's where the mentoring and the journaling and the automatic writing and prayer, and sometimes just taking a nice shower or taking a good long walk or doing whatever kind of movement you enjoy, that can really really help you move through that block. But ultimately, at the end of the day, how well you care for yourself, how deeply and thoroughly and consciously and kindly care for yourself, will be the number one driver of the depth and quality of the conversations that you can have with the animals. So I hope these stories from my own journey have helped maybe shut a little light on areas where you might be feeling a little stuck or blocked or afraid. If you have questions or you have other topics you'd like me to cover, please do send me an email, shannon, at animallovelanguagescom, or drop a note in the comments. I'd love to hear from you and stay tuned. We're doing these episodes every two weeks for season four to give me a little more time to plan and prepare and edit and do all those good things. So would love to see you back here in a couple weeks for a fresh new episode of let's Talk to Animals. Okay, all my love Bye.