Healing Emotional Upsets
and Behavior Issues at the Source
by Leslie Morán
As a puppy, Indigo rode in the back
seat of the car very well. She either laid down and napped or calmly
gazed out the window. As she grew, it became time for her to be spayed.
The trip to and from the veterinary office was uneventful. However,
after that day Indigo never felt safe in the car again.
Now after climbing into the car she
panted noisily, whining and whimpering, while in constant motion - pacing
back and forth. Something had occurred that transformed the experience
of riding in the car from one of feeling safe and content to one which
evoked fear and anxiety. But what was it?
Behaviors change for a reason. Noticing
a variation in your companion animal's behavior or the onset of an inappropriate
behavior means that something has happened to cause this. An animal
does not refashion his behavior by random chance. Something has happened
to create this change.
The Source Incident
Each individual animal carries memories
from both joyful and stressful events. At the core of every aggressive
dog who starts a fight or cat who doesn't use the litter box is a source
incident. This is an event that an animal experienced and has formed
very specific beliefs about what happened, and why it happened.
Every encounter an animal has teaches
him about what to expect from people, places, situations, and things.
As an animal learns through these experiences beliefs form. These beliefs
become filters that he then begins using to interpret both familiar
and new experiences. Animals have the ability to formulate logical and
justifiable reasons for their behaviors just like people do.
If an animal was abandoned he may become
extremely fearful when riding in a car; if a dog had a bad experience
with a delivery person - then all delivery trucks and drivers become
bad people in the dog's eyes. If a cat was severely injured from a dog
attack, then all dogs are seen as the attacker. These are examples of
possible source incident experiences.
A source incident does not always have
to be traumatic. Sometimes if an animal receives the wrong message from
what a person has said a misunderstanding can occur. Inappropriate behaviors
can also develop from this type of miscommunication.
A source incident carries more than
memories and decisions that have been made. It also carries emotions,
often very potent ones, reinforced by powerful convictions.
It has been proven that the human mind-body
connection responds to the memory of a past event and the thoughts of
a future event with the same level of emotional intensity and physiological
responses that would accompany an event actually occurring. In my work
with the animals, I have observed a similar process taking place. An
animal's mind-body connection also cannot differentiate between a memory,
a thought about something going to happen, and the occurrence of the
When the flood of memories and linked
emotions from a source incident has been triggered an animal stops being
in the present moment. Well, if the animal is not in the present moment,
then where - or when - is he?
When a source incident has been triggered
the animal is in the past reliving the experience as if it were actually
going on. If the source incident was a traumatic event the animal is
faced with the emotional terror and the unshakable belief that he is
in a life and death situation. In many cases he may even believe that
he is fighting for his very life.
What Triggers a Source
The underlying cause behind what actually
brings the memories and emotions of a source incident rising to the
surface will be different for each animal.
Animals are sensory beings - just as
we are. Any sensory stimulus, linked to the source incident, can begin
the process of bringing the memory and all the associated beliefs and
emotions into the present. The trigger stimulus could be a sound, a
smell, a taste, a sensation, the way something feels, or a disagreement
between two people. Something visual can also trigger a source incident:
a person wearing a hat, a truck, a certain color, or a hand motion.
The possibilities are virtually endless and are unique to each animal.
When animals are being asked to face
past issues they respond in as many different ways as people can. Some
recognize the opportunity being given them and eagerly move forward.
Others, become emotionally paralyzed by the thought of facing - what
for them is - their deepest darkest fear that foundational support work
must be done first.
Strengthening an Animal's Emotional Resolve
Over the years, I have developed specific
processes for restoring an animal's inner strength from the inside out:
emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Initially, I thought
these were only visualizations for building and nurturing an animal's
self confidence and self esteem. However, it was soon recognized that
these processes touched an animal, and influenced behavior, on a much
more profound level than could attributed to building confidence and
self worth. Now they are recognized as sacred initiations, for the animals,
that truly facilitate them to heal from the inside out.
On a spiritual level these initiations
introduce, affirm, and connect each animal to universal divine aspects
present within, and existing in, all living beings. Once this truth
is remembered a path formerly unrecognized, or even forgotten, begins
to glow. This delicate illumination is at the foundation of restoring
an animal to health and emotional wellness. As each individual embraces
and grows in alignment with the universal truth of his source
his healing journey is empowered by having this connection reawakened
When an animal feels comfortable with
himself there is no need to to try and impress others or demonstrate
that he is big and tough through bullying others or acting aggressively.
It is simply not an issue. As in people, only an insecure individual
has the need to display intimidating behaviors. An insecure animal puts
a lot of effort into trying to hide this lack of self confidence by
trying to convince others he is stronger and more confident than he
Fear and Aggression are
Fear-based and aggressive types of behaviors stem from a central issue.
It can be described as a lack of self esteem. However, self
esteem does not even begin to touch the depth of what the animal is
experiencing. A more accurate description is, a lack of awareness
or knowledge of having a connection to something greater than himself
. When experiencing this state an animal believes that he is completely
alone. This belief is not related to how much he is loved by his family.
It has to do with feeling completely isolated. It is an entirely separate
issue from being loved and cared for. However, these feelings of emotional
isolation can prevent an animal from being able to feel that he is loved.
For many animals this belief of being
alone leaves them feeling very fragile and vulnerable. In situations
like this, before the source issue can even be mentioned, work must
be done to reestablish a connection with the truth of who he is. The
healing initiations described above for strengthening an animal's emotional
resolve also produce powerful results in creating a firm foundation
for beginning the healing process for fear-based or aggressive behaviors.
The need for remembering, and beginning
to embrace, the experience of being one with the universal life force
energy lays a stable and nurturing foundation for emotional healing.
The seed for this connection must be planted, nurtured, and allowed
to grow before we can even begin to address the source incident.
Results ... When?
Clients often ask how soon can they
expect results? As with any transformational process, each animal can
only progress at a pace which best suits his ability to embrace change.
Each animal's progress is directly linked
to three distinct yet related areas. First he must be able to reveal
the source incident. In preparation for this sometimes healing work
must be done to help restore his inner strength from the inside out.
After the source incident has been identified,
the second area influencing the results we can achieve is linked to
the pace each animal needs for his personal healing process. Sometimes,
layers need to be delicately removed as if peeling off the layers of
an onion - one at a time. The pace needed by your critter kid for healing
his emotional scars and transforming the related unfulfilling beliefs
must be respected and supported.
The third area influencing the results
we can achieve is your ability to do as many of the suggestions that
we discuss during the conclusion portion of the appointment. You will
be introduced to a revolutionary way of speaking to and working with
your animal companions. The methods you will be taught are powerful
healing tools that can heal emotional wounds, improve behaviors, and
enrich the lives of you and your critter kids.
The role you play in helping your critter
kids heal through the emotional traumas of the past is an active one.
Additionally, your critter kid's healing process will be strengthened
by natural health care methods that will be suggested for your personal
situation. When healing inappropriate behaviors supportive measures
could include diet, nutritional supplements, herbs, flower essences,
massage, color therapy or aromatherapy.
Any behavior, unlike feeling safe and
calm, loved and cared for are behaviors that can be approached for healing.
Once the source incident has been revealed,
the emotional healing process begins. Awareness and knowledge hold healing
virtues and contribute vital aspects towards healing behavior issues
at the source.
Returning to Indigo's Story
What was the experience that this young
dog had that caused her to become so fearful when riding in the car?
It took several healing and communication attempts before Indigo had
enough distance from theactual experience and had begun feeling safe
enough to share what had happened.
While at the vet, Indigo had observed
a cat being sedated for surgery. However, at her young age she was certain
that the cat had been killed right before her eyes. Watching a cat struggling
to resist the sedation process could appear as if he had died after
falling asleep from the sedative. After this information came forward
Indigo's healing process began. As she integrated the healing work from
this key session she began recovering from her experience. Indigo's
feelings of being safe and comfortable while riding in the car had been
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