Is the Dog Doing the Whispering Here?
The Benefits of Deep Listening and Calm Presence
Last winter, while we were living our lives in Indonesia for three months, our dog stayed with the family. Our dog is an old male Labrador-Berner-Sennen cross named Baily. Wise beyond his 12 years and a bit tired.
Being around busy, wild children is a bit of a change for him. He knows the children well, but living with them is another cup of tea. We expected him to be lying on his cushion often, distancing himself from the energetic busybodies.
But the pictures and videos we receive are not telling this story. The children are playing wildly and he is not walking away. It seems like he’s hard at work emitting calm energy. Taking his role in the pack and just being.
Wow, wow, and wow! Baily, we’re amazed! I did hear about horse whisperers and dog whisperers. But it looks like the dog is doing the whispering here…
The film ‘The Horse Whisperer’ has made the term ‘whispering’ popular. And nowadays you have all kinds of ‘whisperers’. What they really do is communicate with the animals by using their energy, their presence, and deep listening skills. Everything is connected, so it’s not an insane idea that we can connect to animals (or each other) in this way.
Anna Breytenbach is my favorite ‘whisperer’. I just love the documentary “The Animal Communicator”. Anna has such a calm, loving presence. And the animals respond to her magically.
It was an eye-opener for me that this way of animal communication is trained by indigenous people in a very practical way. By tracking them. At the end of this film, one of my teachers at Schumacher College, Jon Young, makes an appearance as the animal tracker. He trained Anna and he trained me on how to connect to nature in a very easy, matter-of-fact way.
His method for connecting to nature is called 8 shields. The method contributes solutions to the fact that children are not spending enough time playing outdoors nowadays. It has been life-changing for many.
“To be alive is such a gift. To share the world with these beautiful beings is such a gift. It never ceases to amaze me.”
Well, back to Baily. He’s communicating with the children alright. Adding his wise, calm presence to the room they are playing in. And it’s doing them a lot of good.
Think about it for a minute. What if what Baily does would be enough? What if we all did a little more whispering during the day? Just being calmly present without offering opinions or doing stuff?
I experiment with just being all the time.
What do I do? Well, here are some clues:
Whenever I feel agitated during the day, I take a few deep breaths. Stop what I'm doing. Breathe deeply into my belly. Exhale completely. Not forcing anything, I feel the relaxation wash over me. And then I continue my normal activities .
I try to listen with the intent of being able to reproduce the exact words of the other person. Just listening without having my reply ready. And then, when it's my turn, I add some snippets of my own experience to the story. Not saying that I agree or don't agree. Just adding.
I try to feel my body from the inside out. It felt weird to me at first. I’ve been living in my head instead of my whole body for ages. But now I get better at it. For me, it is synonymous with being super-relaxed in my body . And I especialy practice before I go to sleep.
Meditation. Yeah, I can’t get around it. Meditation works for me. It helped me get rid of lots of unconscious mind-sh*t and now that I’m a bit further on my path, it helps me to find inspiration and purpose. For me, the free Inner Journey of Awakening by Tree Sisters has done a lot. But I’ve experimented with many other meditation styles as well
Takeaways for You
When people ask me how they can find their path of personal development and intuition, I often reply that you can just start somewhere, anywhere.
Choose something you feel attracted to. Keep feeling if this is right for you at this moment. You will know when this part of learning has come to an end and it’s time for a change. And then you feel attracted to something else and learn new things… Be your own guru… It’s YOUR life…
The important bit is to really implement what you learn. Give it space in your life. Make a habit out of it. And change the habit when it doesn’t serve you anymore. Make a new habit…
So what are your whispering experiences in your family? I really would like to hear about them in the comments.
Tribute to Baily
Publishing this story on Vocal+ is a tribute to Baily who died this year at the age of 12. Thank you, Baily, for whispering to the children and giving me inspiration to lead an intuitive, nature-connected, and adventurous life.
And if you want to connect, you can find me via Linktree or somewhere in nature, hands in the soil and gazing at the stars.