The Relational Conversation :: Mutually empowering humans and animals

These insights have come through my own direct experiencing [i.e. interacting with animals myself and with animals and their humans] and via others’ insights, guidance, and pointers that have provided invaluable deepening of my own awareness and understanding. Thank you to both those animals and humans alike!

If you have not yet had the opportunity to work with me, by way of introduction I’d like to share that my work with animals and their humans is a calling. Every calling I have experienced over the past couple decades has had a common thread: awareness as it relates to energy and embodiment of energy.

Awareness and energy share something in common, they are both orientations which lend themselves to experiencing directly. They are both readily available to each and every one of us. Thus I don’t have “the” expert advantage, I have my own perspective that I have gained via consistent attention to my own direct experience.

Although energy and awareness are integral to our lives in how we perceive, see, and experience, we can easily be unconscious of their role, impact, and constancy in different facets of our existence. 

So what does this have to do with our companion animals? Any kind of stress or difficulty in a relationship with our animals or ourselves can be directly mediated through awareness of perceptions and a conscious shift in our own energy.

Would you like to explore more about the Relational Conversation with me?

• • •

PART ONE :: The Setting for a Mutually Empowering Relational Conversation

Part One of this exploration shares what (I’ve come to recognize) is necessary to create a foundation for mutually empowered relating between humans and animals. What differs in this approach from a systematized ‘training’ focusing only on an animal’s behavior is that in a mutually empowering relationship or ‘conversation’ between an animal and a human, mutuality (respect), reciprocity (listening), and trust (openness and consistency) jointly become the commonly shared language of harmony between energy beings (both human and animal) and the environments they share in life or in the moment.
There is no real right or wrong way to enter into a mutually empowering relational conversation between yourself and your animal companion ~ it is a matter of being with each other in present time by:
  • being willing to drop concepts of right and wrong regarding both yourself and your animal
  • noticing the nature of your relating from moment to moment, situation to situation
  • being willing to witness ‘what is’ in the moment like either a scientist or a child might
  • recognizing the myriad ways of relating and that you have numerous choices along that continuum
I invite you to come to this experiment with curiosity, openness, and willingness to relax your patterned thoughts and judgments, both about yourself and your animal, as well as the environments you share and co-habit, including public areas/spaces, cars, doorways, whatever ones are relevant to your animal.
Some suggestions are:
  • start looking at distinct situations and engage with one situation at a time
  • be curious about what kind of descriptions/interpretations of that situation you are currently using
  • begin to notice what the body language of your animal looks like and also notice your own body
Animals are primally receptive, most even more than we can understand from being in a human body and brain. Primal receptivity comes without the myriad of filters (such as inhibition) we have functioning in our human neo-cortex.
  • The non-human animal brain meets life instinctually, as living fluid responsiveness in the now.
  • The human brain tracks mostly via linear time, organizing reality into something we call past, present, future.
  • Animals will join us in the energy of what we are perceiving to be The Reality of that moment.

In other words, due to the nature of their brains, animals relate to you directly as energy and instinctual awareness. Instinctual awareness works in the now, it changes within millisecond to millisecond. Therefore, one of the foundations of shifting how our animals are relating is by changing our own present energy state.

Ways that we can do that are:

  • be attentive to your breathing, notice holding in the body, notice where you can relax more fully
  • find a new way to be in your body: open the chest, feel your feet on the ground, open your gaze
  • stop organizing yourself around thoughts of the situation and engage in directly seeing what is
  • convey or hold the kind of feeling you would like to have in that situation for you and your animal
Once we recognize that the primary tool in the relational conversation is our own energy, then we can start to offer our authentic form of leadership in whatever unique situation we are in with our animal.
  • Consistency and leadership go hand in hand ~ both are essential for establishing new patterns.
  • If you are not yet ready to be consistent (guidance + follow through), stay with the above steps/suggestions.
  • Consistent energy, whatever kind of energy it is, will offer its own kind of leadership.

When our energy is in some way erratic or unstable, the animal brain will resort to primal ways of relating (flight, fight, avoidance, or submission) or to the patterns that it has become conditioned by and to (fear/anxiety, excitability, fixation, aggression).

  • Begin noticing how your animal reacts to situations when your energy is inconsistent or unstable.
  • When your animal’s energy does shift, notice what else may have shifted along with that.

• • •

See Part II for more on the Mutually Empowering Relational Conversation

3 thoughts on “The Relational Conversation :: Mutually empowering humans and animals

    1. janicesandeen Post author

      You are so welcome, Pamela. Thank you for your wonderful comments! Glad you found your way to this post. 🙂

      An insightful description of nature intelligence (and how it is different than human intelligence) came my way today, too, so I thought I’d share that link here and with you. It offers a deepening into what I have explored here in The Relational Conversation:


  1. Lisa McCool

    Hi Janice, Its Lisa and Mishka from dancing and the library. Rachael Levy is a friend. Nice to have met you and it looks like you are doing some good work!

    Lisa and Mishka




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