Animals Pure and Simple

Life is complex. We humans make it complicated. With our constructs, expectations, ruminations and flagellations, we manage to take the joy right out of existence.

Thank goodness for our animal friends. They are blissfully uncomplicated. Simple. Basic. Pure. Their intentions are clear and their actions are sure—based on survival, feeding, mating, and in the case of domestic animals, pleasing their people. This uncomplicated, basic purity is the foundation for a joyful existence.

The animals around us, in our lives every day, remind us constantly with their general natures and specific behaviors to seek simplicity and realize joy. But we must pay attention to the subtle messages the animals deliver. It’s so easy to get caught up in the time-driven, daily complications of human doing—and if we’re not careful, we’ll miss what we need to hear.

Some examples of what I needed to hear from the animals this week:

-While tending to a friend’s sick dog, I realized a need to heal my own personal capacity for being a loyal companion.

-While sitting on a mountaintop watching three vultures circle an unseen ended life, I was reminded of how necessary it is for me to “clean up” my physical and mental space before beginning a new project.

-When, in honor of the Chinese Year of the Horse, my teacher invoked horse energy for her students at the beginning of an online class, I was struck by how much I value freedom and how important it will be for me to integrate that core value into my new endeavors this year and beyond.

Receiving these messages brought me peace. Acting on them will help me create a more joyful existence. What messages have the animals shared with you lately?

About lanetherrell

Lane Therrell is a freelance writer, family nurse practitioner and holistic health coach dedicated to helping others achieve whole-person wellness. She has a background in agriculture and a passion for the great outdoors.
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9 Responses to Animals Pure and Simple

  1. Jenny says:

    Lane, this is so beautiful, and so clearly expressed. I love the specifics of each animal’s message, and the gentle reminder to pay attention when they show up. I’m housesitting two dogs at the moment, and one of them reminds me excitedly every afternoon that it’s time to play. How can I resist?

    • lanetherrell says:

      Jenny, thank you so much for the kind words. The canine reminder is such a gift, and it is one that can keep on giving even after the house-sitting is done. I had the privilege of house-sitting last spring with an energetic young labrador retriever who clearly communicated his daily need for play. Ever since then, whenever I feel sluggish and start to talk myself out of physical activity, I remember the joyfully expectant look in Jethro’s eyes, and I take myself out to play. Our animal friends are such a blessing.

  2. Veronica Lee says:

    Soooo much love to YOU, Lane, for speaking on this gift… the unseen/unspoken offerings of animals can be easily missed. Not only do we miss out on what we can learn in our own lives, by really paying attention to their value – individually and collectively – we restore heart communications that need to be restored in our world.

    • lanetherrell says:

      Veronica, I agree with you whole-heartedly (pun intended) that heart-centered communication needs to become the norm. Shifting our society’s communication style from a “what’s in it for me” mentality to a “what is for the greater good” focus can only occur one conscious conversation at a time. Thank you for being willing to have those conscious conversations.

  3. Lorraine says:

    One of the greatest joys in my life has been the addition of shy cats to our family. They so want love and connection, but have varying degrees of trust in allowing human touch. Every day is filled new lessons from these beautiful teachers. Yesterday I was witness to another level of courage and self-confidence as Parker continued to lay on the floor as I moved about him. Earlier this week Richelle began jumping on the couch to sleep on the cushion next to me. Each step – some huge, some barely noticeable – is celebrated as they become more of their true selves, and acts as a reminder we are not defined by labels or past behaviors. We can change, and will change – especially in a supportive space without expectations.

    • lanetherrell says:

      Ah, yes. Supportive space without expectations. It occurs to me that this is what we all need, to some extent. I will visualize shy cats from now on when I perceive the need to hold a supportive space without expectations for my clients (or myself). Thank you for sharing this image.

  4. Roberta says:

    Lane, I loved your writing! These little creatures truly are our teachers! Thank you! ❤

  5. Joy says:

    I love this message – thank you! This line speaks to me: *if we’re not careful, we’ll miss what we need to hear.* I was at breakfast with a friend today and he was showing me this gorgeous photo of a sphinx moth that was on his door. He said it came by a few times, and landed right there. I asked what does sphinx moth mean? And the realization that there was a message came over his face.

    When I am home, I keep the door open while I work and I can hear the birds chirping. Their song speaks straight to my heart – reminds me of the importance of *voice* and the joy of singing.

    I notice with animals, we tend to ask a question, then wait for the answer. For example, what would you like? Then we wait and while we wait, we attune to body language and carefully assess external and put it all together to formulate our next action. May we be as kind and gentle and *open* with ourselves and with others as we are with the animals in our life.

    • lanetherrell says:

      Joy, thank you for sharing your beautiful blessing for humanity: That we be as kind, gentle and open with ourselves and others as with our animals. I am so grateful for my animal teachers.

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