Expectations. They are absolutely everywhere and can be crippling. Not just the expectations we have of ourselves but the ones we hold on to for others or others hold on to for us. This being said many expectations come from our own wants, needs or beliefs and have absolutely nothing to do with another. We assume someone knows what we are thinking or feeling and if they don't just "get us" we feel hurt or rejected, maybe even angry and begin to hold resentment to the individual for not knowing or doing what we want or need in any given moment. We "expect" them to just know. Not everyone is a mind reader (some of my friends actually are) so without open communication of what you NEED to be seen, heard or just acknowledged majority of the time your needs will not be met and you will be left feeling horrible about the interaction you just had.
This also goes for expectations of self. We often think we should BE more than we are. A better spouse, a better parent, a better friend, that we can make sure everyone around us is taken care of and everything on our TO DO lists are completed in a timely fashion. That we can somehow be super woman or man and be able to do it ALL. Well if that is your expectation of yourself then may I suggest you take a moment to realize your expectations are rather harsh. We can not do it all or be it all without boundaries, self care, support and/or we risk complete burnout. (I know, I've been there)
Instead may I suggest you create an open line of dialog on what you need with trusted people you know you can count on and if you don't know who that may be know that I SEE YOU. Allow yourself to surrender to the knowing you are not the "be all or do all" and that's okay. To have compassion for yourself and others in their expectations as we all have or have had them and need to re access our ideas of them moving forward. That as we know better we do better and as we do better we create the space for others to do the same.
Here are a few things you can do to create positive expectations for yourself and others.
Expectations of self are not all bad. When they come from a positive driving force looking to become more aware and expand ourselves they can be magical. It's in the knowing of the difference between negative and positive expectations that creates the balance for your life.
With Love and Intention Always - Kelly
Upon meeting people I often hear how lucky I am to have the gift of animal communication and yes I do truly see it as a gift. But as I look around I see the amazing gifts that should not be overlooked but often are in the light of others.
I have friends with numerous children that are absolute bossbabes multitasking their home and business lives without breaking a sweat, business coaches and marketing machines that lead others to six figures with their gifts of organization, knowing their numbers, and having systems in place to do it all. I know chefs, including my husband, that have the gift to create foods that take you to that place of feeding your soul, remind you of grandma's kitchen or even a resort on an exotic island. I even know mediums that will help you stay connected to loved ones and tarot readers that will help guide your path with their gift of insight. Unlike me I even have those friends that have an eye for color, decor and more.
Every single person has a gift to share and no gift is better than another. Shine your light and share your gift without comparing it to others. Whether you are a gifted leader, speaker, writer, artist, entertainer, organizer, planner, multitasker, yogi, empath, psychic, entrepreneur, listener, hugger, or awakened being; your gift matters.
So the next time you think I'm lucky to have my gift? Think of everything you have to gift to this world and with gratitude realize that someone out there is probably looking at you and your gift as "lucky" too.
This morning as I completed my reiki meditation outside at the base of my favorite tree I opened my eyes to witness one of my beloved black vultures preening his flight feathers nearby. As I watched him a billowy white feather released and slowly drifted down to Mother Earth. In this moment I was fully connected to the oneness of us all and it was a beautiful confirmation that my spirit guides were with me supporting and acknowledging my inner thoughts and feelings as white feathers are nods from the angels that they are near, watching and protecting me.
It is a beautiful reminder that messages are everywhere if you are open to seeing and receiving them. They may come to you as an animal such as my vulture did representing new beginnings as well as my connection to the mother goddess or it could be a person put in your path needed in that exact moment to assist you in some way. They come from the written word or a song lyric that resonates for you just as you read or hear it reassuring you that you are on the right path. It may be a lost loved one coming to visit through a bright red cardinal landing near you as they enter your mind. Many people even find solace in heart shaped objects such as rocks or leaves found in nature that are whispers of love from people closest to us that have passed over.
When we become aware of the energies around us, understanding that energy never dies it just changes form the ability to find comfort and healing become much greater. Knowing though you mourn the loss of a physical presence their essence, their being is still very present to support you throughout your life.
The question of whether or not it's a true message meant for you can vary depending on the person or the circumstance. For me the cardinal is a message that someone is in need of my love and compassion yet for others as said before it's a symbol of a loved one coming to say "Hi." As you learn to become more aware of your surroundings and notice what you are thinking and feeling when a message arrives is the key to learning how or if a message is meant for you.
You can learn by sitting with the messages for a moment, whether it's an unusual animal that crosses your path or a written word that makes you pause. Breathe into and connect with them to see how they are relevant to your life in this moment whether personally or professionally. Is there a theme to the messages? Maybe you are receiving messages aimed at self-care, or co-dependence, maybe even protection or a new career? I have found that when I do this my path becomes much clearer as to which direction to take. If you aren’t sure how they are relevant jot them down in your journal and as you go on with your day(s) more and more messages will come along to confirm the first. You will start to see a pattern that can be pieced together like a puzzle leading you to unexpected answers that could very well make for a drastic change in how you live your life on a day to day basis as your awareness deepens. You will find over time you will actually be asking and seeking answers from the divine and when asked, you will receive them as well as become proficient in the knowing of what each message means for you.
What I have learned most about messages is they are nudging guides to which path to take and will continue to show up until you receive them both in negative and positive ways so take the time to be more present in your day. Notice what is surrounding you and watch with amazement all you can learn from the subtle messages available to you everywhere.
Often times my clients feel embarrassed and offer apologies for shedding tears when their animals are suffering or have passed. They make excuses for their grief and say things like, “I know it was just a dog but,” or try to justify why they wanted to max out their credit cards to save their beloved fur baby. I’m here to tell you you NEVER have to apologize for the deep connection and unconditional love you have for your animal.
That connection is a mirror of our own light. Our truest form before the world begins to condition us to see and feel things differently about ourselves and each other. They are pure love with compassion and non judgement. They see our souls and love us just as we are faults and all. No matter what you are going through, no matter how much you are beating yourself up, no matter how down you feel, they are there as your biggest supporter reminding you that you are enough just as you are. I can’t speak for any human that loves the way an animal does. How can we? The human mind is complex, we over think, we rationalize, we are opinionated, we love with conditions, we make mistakes and continue to make the same ones. Heck, we can try to be the best person in the world with the most beautiful intentions yet still judge one another. We are human.
Some of us are fortunate enough to naturally have that connection to an animal. We have allowed our walls to come crashing down and let that animal in to help heal us on levels we aren’t able to comprehend at times with our human minds. They are our teachers in understanding the deep emotions of compassion, empathy and unconditional love not only for them but for ourselves. When we spend quiet time connecting with our animals we begin to let go. We let go of stress, anger, fear, self judgement and even pain. We find stillness and in stillness we can find peace.
Animals are earth angels placed here to help each and everyone of us on our journeys whatever they may be. They are natural born healers placed here as reminders of the pure love we all are here to share for anyone that chooses to open their hearts and make a connection. So remember no apology nor justification is ever necessary for loving your animal the way you do. My hope is for everyone in their lifetime to experience that special connection to an animal, even just once, as they are love and show us what true love really is.
By – Kelly L McCarthy
Let’s be honest, unless you go deep within the woods where no human life exists, there will be noise and lots of it. Our world is bustling and busy and very rarely do we experience a moment of quiet so how can one possibly learn to find quiet within among all the chaos?
Many people struggle with the word meditation, as did I. We see it as it is portrayed in the movies or television where one is sitting cross legged with a straight back, arms outstretched resting gently on your knees with a finger lightly touching the thumb to represent a specific symbol and chanting the word “om”.
Finding that “place”, the one depicted in movies where the guru tells you to “just be still and know that you are.” was extremely difficult for me to grasp. I would try to sit in a quiet room desperately attempting to shut out all the noise around me and all the thoughts racing in my brain while feeling the heat of frustration creep over my body with the realization that the self induced stress of failure was creating more harm than good. It was from this place of surrender and non judgement that I realized the quiet meditation that I longed for was actually already in my every day moments. I was simply unaware of it.
I began to take notice and found them while reading a book, writing, drawing, listening to music, taking my dog for a walk, hiking with my husband, enjoying a cup of hot tea by the fire while daydreaming or even listening to a podcast. These were the moments that I could feel myself calm and aligned even when things were bustling around me. I was in “my zone” so to speak and when I focused on how I felt in these moments I realized these are all forms of meditation for me. I learned to relax and instead of shutting the noise out I accepted it as part of the moment. To listen to it, learn from it, feel it’s triggers and then breathe through them. The noise became part of my guiding meditation as to what I needed in my life.
Now, years later, meditation has become an essential part of my chosen profession as an animal reiki practitioner, communicator and educator. It is important for me to stay aligned on a daily basis to be the best channel I can be for my clients and students. As much as I would love to spend most of my time in the realm of my inner light and where it takes me chanting my way to a place of zen it’s simply not possible in this one dimensional world. We are spiritual beings living a human life which means we have schedules to keep and lives to live. There are days that I simply find the quiet in moments instead of sitting for unlimited amounts of time to channel and chant. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it when I do, it’s simply to say that my schedule does not always allow for it so have found a way to connect just as deeply in other ways.
Most importantly through it all I had to focus on compassion for myself in the process of this revelation. It wasn’t always easy but over time meditation became a daily habit because my expectations were that of following my feelings not the teachings of others. To allow the noise to speak to me gently, sharing their messages and wisdom as to what I was feeling within the noise to help guide me. To understand that what may work for one may not be the answer for others. How each one of us connects to our divine being is a personal journey that comes with practice, patience and self awareness through non judgement, self love and compassion. But that my friends is a story for another day.
Upon meeting people for the first time and finding out what I do the response is usually, “Can you tell me what my animal is thinking” Or they begin to talk about their animals behavior while whipping out their phone to show me pictures wanting me to tell them what is wrong with said animal or why their animal is acting the way they are. Unless of course the animal is present, then it’s whats he/she thinking/ what’s wrong right NOW?!!?
Yes it is true I am able to connect with animals. I can do it in person or through a picture. Sometimes I can do it with just a name. It’s also true that at times I can hear animals as I pass them on the walking paths, in the streets, in the woods, parked cars or while they are sitting near me but what most people don’t want to hear is this. “I’d be happy to give you my card where you can call me to set up an appointment. ” Sometimes they take my card and sometimes they don’t but here are the reasons why I prefer NOT to do it right here, right now, on the spot.
1.) The messages I receive don’t always come through super clear – they are a mixture of words and pictures and feelings that I must put together like a puzzle. Sometimes this takes time to do and having the pressure of someone waiting can interfere with that.
2.) I want to hold sacred space where I can ask the animals permission and have a quiet conversation with trust and empathy. I want to share in the beautiful energy that we create together and learn while listening. I want the animal to feel safe and loved. These things can not happen “on the spot”.
My third reason and probably the one I had the hardest time setting boundaries for is this. Just as a doctor, nurse, teacher, stockbroker, chiropractor, hairdresser, medium or any other profession, yes I said profession, I do not like to just hand out my “services”.
This is my time, my energy, my passion and my life. I have trained for this, continue to train and put hours in daily to stay grounded and connected to better serve the animal kingdom. My time and my gifts are worthy of compensation. I need to receive as well as give or I will not stay balanced. Honor me, my boundaries and my gifts and in return I will do the same for you.
Now if I OFFER – then that’s a completely different scenario. And many times I do as animals nudge me to connect with their loved ones either living or passed to share their messages whatever they may be. In that regard I am honored they chose me and happy to help.
I recently was able to share animal reiki with 3 baby squirrels that fell from their nest in my yard. I am so blessed they were in my beloved tree and I was there to scoop them up and take them in while helping to release any trauma they may have faced from the loss of mamma, their fall and their cozy home. They are all doing extremely well and in the hands of a licensed rehab that will help them on their journey to grow strong and healthy so they can be released back to the wild. And so it is.
Kelly McCarthy is a passionate animal reiki teacher, intuitive practitioner and insightful speaker located in Litchfield County, CT. Though not a published author yet, once in awhile she feels called to write about something that speaks to her.