by Sharon Callahan
I often counsel people who are grieving the loss of beloved animal companions. Without exception, they all tell me how much they learned from their animal friends and how deeply their souls were touched by the animal's depth of love and devotion.
In my own experience, being touched by animals on a deep soul level is a daily occurrence. I work at home in the company of my cat Lily. Lily has been my companion for eight years now and I am still discovering her many wonderful attributes. Just to see her fur glistening in the soft morning light brings joy to my heart. With her brown and black stripes, she almost disappears into the pattern of the oriental rug. She keeps me company all day, coming to check on me between her outings in the yard. When she feels that I have spent an unhealthy length of time writing at my computer, she sits right on top of it, leans over and licks my forehead to remind me that there is more to life than words could
Some time ago, during a year long illness, Lily was the only living soul who freely chose to stay with me. She kept a vigil near my bed and kissed away my tears with her warm pink tongue. Late into the night she purred sweet healing songs into my pillow. Often she had to wait for days for her favorite food, but her devotion never wavered. She would lie on my body where the discomfort was the most intense and pour so much loving energy into me that soon the pain was gone. I have known few human beings of such devotion.
All through my life animals have been my wise friends and spiritual companions. Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, mice, birds and more recently a fox and a coyote. They each had a sacred gift to share with me. Sometimes just looking in an animal's eyes I have been transported beyond space and time to a place as close to God as I can get and still be in a body. I feel at peace around animals.....safe, warm, companioned, honored, seen and close to heaven. People report having these same feelings around Saints and Sages.
It is popular these days to be searching for angels, spirit guides, gurus, twin flames, teachers, therapists, ascended masters, and totem (dead) animals. When not searching for these we attempt to better ourselves by attending workshops, seminars, intensives, vision quests, retreats, recovery groups and Om circles. I fully understand this longing for spiritual guidance, but perhaps we look too far a-field, or possibly our sights are too lofty. Maybe we should try looking down for a change...toward the earth!
Who is that little furred and bewhiskered friend at our feet? The one who runs to greet us with an open heart no matter how late we come home; who keeps us company when we are sick and feeling ugly; the one who offers unconditional love and who consoles us when all the therapies have failed, our boy friend has left and our check book is empty. Who is that in the little fuzzy jacket anyway? Perhaps we should take a closer look...a look through the eyes of the heart.
In my own life, animals have been some of my greatest teachers and my life has been profoundly enriched by their presence. From them I have learned about joy, spontaneity, humor, acceptance, surrender, devotion, fidelity, death and resurrection. Although there have been times when I have envied friends who traveled to far off places to visit gurus and spiritual teachers, looking back, I can see that I have been surrounded by gurus and teachers all along . . . little furry ones!
And when it comes to angels . . . I have begun to realize that many angels have whiskers and wet noses . . . and even those winged ones sometimes have beaks! This morning when I looked at Lily sitting in the morning light, I thought I saw the faint glimmer of wings and a tiny golden halo set rakishly over one ear.
© Copyright 2003 Sharon Callahan.
All Rights Reserved.
This article originally appeared in the January 1996 issue of Natural Pet Magazine and later
in Directions Magazine and the Wellspring Journal.
Sharon Callahan is a writer, photographer, internationally recognized animal communication specialist and leading pioneer in the use of flower essences for the treatment of animals.
Although Sharon's ability to communicate with animals has been with her from childhood, a near-death experience in 1987 enhanced her ability to communicate with animals telepathically, giving her a deep understanding of the role of animals in the spiritual lives of human beings. This experience
led to the creation of the Anaflora flower essences for animals, the first flower essences made exclusively for the animal kingdom. Since that time Sharon has pioneered the use of flower essences in the treatment of animals. Her books on the topic are the first in their field. The Anaflora flower essences and essence formulas are now widely accepted and used by animal health care professionals throughout the world and are endorsed by veterinarians.
In her work, Sharon combines her telepathic communication skills with an uncanny ability to select the appropriate healing essences for each animal. Connecting with the soul of the animal, she offers diagnostic insight, inspiration, and guidance. She draws on a repertoire of hundreds of flower essences which she makes herself in Mt. Shasta, California where she has lived for the past twenty-two years.
Sharon brings to her practice a background in the human medical setting, including psychiatric clinics, the treatment of children with disabilities, grief therapy and suicide counseling. Today, her expertise in the fields of animal communication and flower essence therapy has gained the respect of individuals, animal welfare organizations, shelters, sanctuaries, flower essence professionals and veterinarians throughout the world. Her clients come to her largely by way of veterinary referral.
Sharon is on staff with Bob Goldstein, V.M.D. as his staff animal communicator and has worked with him for the past three years in the clinical application of flower essences in his veterinary practice. Her work has been featured on both local and national radio and television.
Sharon is available for consultations and telepathic communication sessions by phone, or in person to assist anyone puzzled by an animal's behavior, living with a seriously ill animal, deciding about euthanasia, grieving the loss of a beloved animal, or simply wanting to expand their understanding of the animals who share their life. She particularly enjoys working with elderly animals and assisting an animal in an illumined transition from this life. Sharon travels occasionally for workshops and conferences and enjoys sharing her story with others.