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Follow the PAWS—Let Animals Lead® Philosophy Summed Up.

Updated: Jan 12

By simply remembering our Let Animals Lead® Philosophy to “Follow the PAWS,” Let Animals Lead® method Animal Reiki practitioners can easily stay mindful of the most ethical practices that nurture a safe, trusting bond between ourselves and our Animal Reiki partners.

PAWS is an acronym for Perfection. Agency. Wisdom. Space.

Let’s “Follow the PAWS”: A Quick Guide to the Let Animals Lead® Method Philosophy for Animal Reiki

PAWS is used here in the context of summarizing the underlying philosophy of our connections with animals. It also underlines the very unique spirit that sets the Let Animals Lead® method apart from other Animal Reiki schools that often teach techniques that run counter to all four of the following teachings.

1) Perfection

Our animals always see us for who we are, not what is wrong with us! I learned this firsthand after my breast cancer diagnosis several years ago. My dog and horse still saw me as whole and didn’t change the way they treated me. The least we can do is return the favor and remember that wholeness is possible in every moment, even when our animals are sick! Let Animals Lead® practitioners practice seeing the animal as perfect in this moment, not focusing on what is wrong. I also call this seeing with your “Reiki eyes,” or with your heart, deeper than the problem, to the animal’s spiritual essence. We strive not to define our animals by their illnesses and limitations. When we transcend this narrow-mindedness, we can expand our mind to see more than just what is wrong. Energetically, we can become a mirror to reflect back their beautiful inner strength and light. They can sense our positivity and remember that their spirit can never be dimmed, no matter what they face.

It’s important for us to strive to open our minds and see to that our animal is whole in every moment, even the most difficult ones, because this will keep our vibration high and positive. Animals sense this and are drawn to us for strength and comfort in difficult moments, when they need us most.

2) Agency

A traditional definition of agency is the capacity of individuals to have the power and resources to fulfill their potential, and this is usually used in the context of human beings.

The ability of animals to express agency is often limited by the space and opportunities humans give them. In the Let Animals Lead® method of Animal Reiki, one of the MOST important goals we have is to empower animals in the session as much as possible by encouraging them to choose to trust us. Let Animals Lead® practitioners strive to create a space that empowers animals to fulfill their healing potential on their own terms and trust is a huge part of that. We see animals as capable of deciding whether or not to connect with our energy in the session, and whether to come forward with trust and connect to the compassionate space created by the practitioner, which supports their own self-healing process, each in their own way.

Let Animals Lead® practitioners also work very hard to let go of the ego, which often judges animals for the way they accept an offering of support, or the speed and efficacy of their healing process. The healing journey is up to the animal, and we work very hard to give them room to find their own way, trusting in their sensitivity to the peaceful, healing energy, and in their inherent “knowing” of exactly what they need in that particular moment.

There is no “right way” or “right time” for healing, (according to our human expectations), rather there is a deep trust of the capacity of animals to fulfill their healing potential uniquely for them. When supported with peace and the calming, grounded energy of the practitioner, animals know they are not alone and benefit greatly from the healing this compassion brings.

3) Wisdom:

As Let Animals Lead® practitioners, we recognize animals as our spiritual teachers.

Our life with animals makes us better people, helps us to become more present in this moment, teaches us selflessness, and encourages us to develop positive qualities such as patience and kindness. Also, in caring for them, we learn to be more compassionate, and compassion is the key to saving our world. In helping animals to heal from past traumas or illnesses through Animal Reiki energy connections, we can witness amazing examples of resiliency, trust, and release of past experiences. We can witness animals willingly move forward into a new future.

And seeing this behaviour in animals—learning from the wisdom of their abilities to let go of the past and move through hardship—can inspire us to look inside and do better for our own healing as well.

In addition, regarding the subtle language of energy, which we as humans must practice and strive to sense, we recognize that animals are much more sensitive and aware of the shifts that happen in an Animal Reiki session. They often sense and feel the emotional and mental shifts that we cannot. This is another reason we trust them to lead the way in all Animal Reiki sessions and look to them for healing shifts.

4) Space:

Let Animals Lead® practitioners respect the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual space of animals.

We strive to never impose our expectations and will on animals as they choose their own healing path. We not only see our role as simply being present with an open heart (i.e. holding space) and allowing animals to choose whether or not to connect energetically, but also we never force physical contact. We allow animals to come closer for touch if they wish, but otherwise we maintain the physical space that gives the animal most comfort.

We do not “push” our mental agenda by focusing on an animal’s diagnosis or ailments or beaming energy to this and that issue. We also work hard on clearing our emotions, as we recognize this can add to the difficulties animals may be experiencing. This is especially hard with our own animals, whom we love so much, so we also greatly value our Animal Reiki community to hold us in a positive space of love and light when it feels difficult to do so ourselves.

The purpose of a Let Animals Lead® Animal Reiki session is to hold space through meditation to facilitate an animal’s innate ability to heal, rather than “do” healing to fix this or that issue.

So, the next time you’re ready to Let Animals Lead® an Animal Reiki session, just remember to “Follow the PAWS,” and you’ll be sure to create a safe, comfortable and ethical space to support your animal friends!

Join us for discussions about Animal Reiki and the Let Animals Lead® Method every first Tuesday of the month at 6 PM on our podcast, Animal Reiki Talk

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