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Animals Curb Our Internal Chatter




Hello friends of animals, and welcome back to Let's have a chat.

Having a chat can take on so many shapes and forms.


Today I want to focus on how our animals help us curb our internal chatter. 

There are all kinds of chats. Chats can be external; I am chatting with you right here. I chat with my animals. 


And chats also happen internally. In my last episode, I talked about the chats we have inside our minds, which occupy our minds and take us away from being in the present moment because we're thinking about something that has already happened or something that we anticipate will occur in the future. 

And I also talked about how our animals are always ready to bring us into the now so we can quiet our minds. 

Today, I want to start with a story that showcases how quieting the mind can allow intuition to have a say in conversations. 

A few days ago, I sat down on the sofa. It was late afternoon, and I felt exhausted. Shoveling snow, hauling hay, and walking up and down our hillside wiped me out. I turned on the TV to watch a cooking show to rest for a moment. While sitting there half paying attention, I wondered why I was so tight. I could feel every muscle in my body pulling in one direction or another. When I walked, my Achilles felt tight; when I sat, my hip flexors felt tight; when I turned my head, my neck felt tight. Was this what it meant to get old? 

Then I felt Scout's wet nose touching my hand. Scout, our dog, had been lying on the other end of the sofa but had now crept along to engage me in some petting. I reached up to his neck and started to massage it. He licked my arm in response. Then I got sidetracked watching the show, and moments later, Scout nudged me, reminding me that I needed to be more focused. I took a deep breath, grounded myself, became aware of the tension in my body again, and wondered and wandered off in my mind again, thinking I needed to take a muscle relaxer or do some stretches.

As my mind took off again, Scout nudged me again. This time, I closed my eyes, took three deep breaths, and also paid closer attention to what my hand was doing. Feeling some warm areas around Scout's neck, I breathed into those spots and generally stayed connected to the experience of us connecting. I could feel my mind getting quiet, tuning out the rest of the world. 

Reaching around Scout's neck to the withers, I suddenly became aware of a word … Vitamins.

Vitamins? And then, clear as a sunny day, I suddenly knew that my muscle tightness was due to a lack of vitamins. 

I have a variety of vitamins in the fridge, and I had also stopped taking them probably six months prior due to who knows what. 

I turned to Scout and said, "Thank you so much. I think you just helped me figure something out." Then I went to the fridge and looked at the Vitamins I had ignored for many months. The first one that popped out was Vitamin D. I looked up Vitamin D deficiency, and wouldn't you know … 

  • Muscle pain.

  • Bone pain.

  • Increased sensitivity to pain.

  • A tingly, "pins-and-needles" sensation in the hands or feet.

  • Muscle weakness in body parts near the trunk, such as the upper arms or thighs.

  • Waddling while walking due to muscle weakness in the hips or legs.

I guess I wouldn't have described myself as waddling, but getting up and going sometimes made me feel like an older person. 

I took the first round of Vitamins that afternoon, and by 9 pm, I told my partner David that I could already feel a difference in my body. There was a lengthening happening. When before I had felt that the muscles in my extremities were being pulled toward my core, they now seemed to reach the other way, stretching outward. 

Three days later, back on the Vitamin and supplement plan I had once abandoned, my body felt anew. Amazing. 

If Scout hadn't pulled me into the present moment persistently, I would not have quieted my mind enough to give my body and intuition a chance to speak up. Have a chat with me. 

See now how internal chatter can stop us from tuning in to the more meaningful chats?


It is remarkable how much random thought chatter can take up residence in our minds.

And that chatter is not helpful, let me explain.


If you listened to the last episode, #92, you heard me say that I had recently left a part-time job, working at an art gallery. As I transitioned out and a new employee transitioned into that position, we encountered a few hiccups that required me to stay involved for a little longer than anticipated. The job and the gallery were dear to my heart, and I wanted to leave everything in great shape, so I went to staff meetings, wrote revised job descriptions, and updated the policies and procedures.   

This process took about six weeks, and when it came to submitting my hours to get paid for my work, I was shocked that I had only 10 payable hours to submit. I felt I had given 50 hours to the cause. What the heck? How could I only get paid for 10 hours?

I had spent so much time thinking and worrying about the gallery that I was shocked to realize how much space I allowed it to take up in my mind. Once again, there is so much chatter in the mind. 

Running around in our own heads without supervision can be exhausting and distort reality. No wonder I felt like I had no time to do anything else when I spent 50 hours hemming and hawing over the gallery and its future. Now I wonder what good messages, like the one about Vitamins, did I miss while I was occupying my mind with mindless thoughts? 


And speaking of time, again and again, I notice myself making time my enemy when my thoughts are my enemy. 

And I don't think I am the only one who is in a constant struggle with time. See if you can raise your awareness and listen to yourself how you refer to time. 

While waiting for the microwave to go off, you feel the time is so slow; the same while waiting at a red light or while waiting on the phone for your doctor, bank, or computer geeks to pick up. Then there is not enough time while you are at the barn, want to take a walk or feel like chatting with a friend. Time is so elusive. 

Truly, start noticing how often you talk about time. 

"I don't have time."

"Can you give me a little more time?"

"I need more time."

"There is just not enough time." 

 

And then see if your animal reminds you to step out of that mental cycle to find peace in the moment. I bet money on it that one of your animals is sticking their nose into your business, trying to help you get a grip on your wandering mind. 


I can count on one of the cats wanting to curl up on my lap so I can't type or Scout putting his wet nose under my hand to encourage another pet fest. 

I am sure your animals are doing the same for you. 


Before I sign off, I must tell you one more quick story about Scout. As you know, I always say animals like us want to be seen and heard. One thing that fascinates me about Scout is his pride in his work. When he and David bring in firewood, Scout usually parades into the living room, showing me that he has a piece in his mouth. I praise him, and then he drops it near the wood stove. He wants me to see what he is doing.


Something similar happens when he is out on the deck overseeing the property and the horses. Sooner or later, he will bark. Sometimes, he is conversing with a neighboring dog whose bark echoes through the hillsides or he might be barking at a deer or fox moving through the pasture.

I don't always pay attention to the barking, but I have noticed that whenever the barking stops, I am drawn to look outside to the deck. And wouldn't you know that Scout is looking at me through the glass of the deck door drawing my attention to him… waiting for a response from me.

So I call out through the closed door, "Nice job taking care of us." or "What a good watchdog you are." 

And guess what, as soon as I say it, Scout turns around, walks to the edge of the deck, lies down, and goes back to surveying the land.  

Acknowledgment goes a long way with him. 

Acknowledgment goes a long way with all of us.   

And giving our mind a rest so we can acknowledge our intuition and body wisdom takes us toward health and well-being.  

My body was much happier once I listened to it telling me, "I need vitamins!"


What messages are you missing out on? 

Which furry or feathery face is telling you to tune in?


Let's end with three deep breaths. This time, inhale through the mouth and imagine you are expanding the space in your lower body—the first and second chakras. 

Here we go. Inhale and expand … exhale through the mouth. Inhale and expand. Exhale through the mouth. Inhale and expand, exhale through the mouth. 

Stay open, stay curious, and let your animals help you come into the now.

Auf Wiedersehen. 


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