My course graduation certificate – I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life than this!

Did I ever think I would type those three words? Not a chance.

Me, an animal communicator? Perhaps in my dreams (although in my actual dreams my pets are usually in peril and it is all my fault).

But recently I enrolled in a course taught by animal communicator Marta Williams called “Discover How Your Animal Is Your Healer and Teacher.”

The course announcement arrived in my inbox at a time when I was feeling stretched to the limit emotionally regarding my beloved rescued box turtle, Bruce.

Bruce, buried down in his leaf litter.

Bruce had been hiding for weeks under his leaf litter, buried down as if he was in deep winter hibernation. I would have to dig him out to feed and hydrate him. Although other box turtle keepers said their charges were exhibiting similar behaviors, this wasn’t comforting to me.

I was sure Bruce was unhappy with me, and I was equally sure it was because I sucked at being a box turtle mama.

So I signed up for Marta’s course. 

The first lesson was called “Introduction.” It was fun and easy. Emboldened by such immediate success, I moved along to the second lesson…which wasn’t quite so easy.

But I persevered. The “not easy” part, I discovered, was ME. My mind would step in at the precise wrong moment, like just before I was about to tackle the latest lesson’s homework, and say something like, “Ha. Good luck with that one. You know you’re just making it all up anyway.”

But the thing is, I couldn’t make some of this stuff up!

There were eight lessons total, and the homework was fairly evenly balanced between actual practice sessions where the goal was to have a communication session with one of my animals and a writing or contemplation assignment where I would look at my connection with one or more of my animals from a different perspective.

The animal communication sessions were – wild. My animals had a lot to say. They had some amazing stories to tell.

Bruce in particular was quite keen to let me know that he understands the constraints of his unique situation (you can read more about that unique situation and my angst over it in this blog post) and is okay with it. He reiterated that he would like to stay with me…with our flock. And he let me know that he doesn’t like being handled but he does like my company.

Here is the best part of all.

So I completed the course and a week or so passed.

Then all of a sudden I noticed Bruce was out and about again. At first he was just out and hiding under his foliage. Then he was out and visible. Then one day just recently he was out for real, charismatically balanced on a branch and just looking so intently at me – really gazing and staring and making direct eye contact.

After an entire summer of having to dig in the dirt just to verify he was still breathing, this was a noticeable shift in his behavior.

My Bruce, out and about and seeming so much more “himself” again. Yay!

He was out and about. He was eating like a horse, swimming in his pool daily, being “him” again. He seemed….well….happier. Or content. Or at peace. Or something.

Or maybe I was the one who was happier, content and at peace, and, as Marta often reiterated throughout the course, Bruce was simply mentoring me by reflecting my own inner state back to me, as nature and animals so often seem to do.

Either way, I’ll take it.

Today’s Takeaway: Have you ever wondered if you could literally talk to the animals….or the plants and trees….or the butterflies and fish and frogs and turtles that live all around us? Marta says we can, and she has had many more conversations with my own flock of three than I have myself! Thanks to her course, I am starting to think maybe I can too.