The Louisiana flood of 2016—the most catastrophic natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy—displaced thousands of people from their homes. But people weren’t the only ones affected—animals were, too: More than 3,300 were rescued from the rising waters.
Thankfully, we have countless heroes risking their lives to save the animals stranded by the flood waters—such as shelter workers and volunteers, volunteer pilots (who fly animal victims out of the area), and these two men in a boat who rescued this frightened pit bull in need:
There’s nothing like the power of joy that animals bring to our lives. And when we strive to live a sacred and mindful life, it’s often the animals that serve as powerful reminders of how to live a life filled with compassion, gratitude, kindness, joy, patience and connectedness. Whenever I start to feel disconnected and distracted, the following quotes help me to get back on track. They remind me never to lose sight of the endless grace and wisdom of animals:
“Lots of people talk to animals. … Not very many listen, though. … That’s the problem.”
—Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
Have you noticed the recent animal selfie trend? People worldwide are going out of their way to pose with animals—sometimes endangered, sometimes even dangerous predators—and post the resulting photos to Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #animalselfie.
Just check out these amazing shots taken by adventurer Allan Dixon, who seems able to convince any wild animal to pose for a selfie with him. But, as he cautions in an interview with Bored Panda, people must be “very careful not to upset or provoke the animal when they’re trying to take the picture.”
One of the best things about Reiki is how deeply it relaxes animals, even those that are incredibly anxious, depressed or sick. Witnessing firsthand so many happy, calm and blissed-out animals following my Reiki sessions keeps me motivated every single day.
Below are a few of my favorite photos and videos of animals loving Reiki. Most of these were taken at BrightHaven, a holistic hospice for animals in Santa Rosa, California, where I’ve had the honor to teach monthly Reiki courses for more than 12 years: