The massage therapist slid her hand under my sacrum, and waited. I wasn’t sure what this was supposed to feel like and apparently nothing was happening.
“What do you feel?” she asked, keeping her hand still. I closed my eyes.
As an "animal and nature communication specialist," Sedona, Arizona-based Maia Kincaid provides intuitive communication services with animals, plants, and the human body. Her other services include transformational coaching and classes in animal and nature communication. She's also the author of five books, including "The Joy of Being Human" and "Dogs Say the Darndest Things."
We chatted with Kincaid to ask her what, exactly, it's really like to be in her line of work:
S&H: Why do people need an animal communicator?
Kincaid: Most of the time people contact me because they have a question about their pet—there’s a behavior the animal has that’s disturbing, or it could be the animal’s health, or they have adopted a pet and they are wondering about the history of the animal. Also, I work quite often with people who have animals who are nearing the transition of death, and the person just wants to be there for whatever the animal wants and to respect their wishes.
I wouldn't exactly call depression a gift, but I’ve come to accept the restless emptiness and nagging sadness as signals from my soul instead of merely the symptoms of an illness to be excised.
If you’ve found your way to this blog, the chances are that you might consider yourself an activist. If that’s the case, chances also are that you or someone you love has had issues with balance. Perhaps you or that special someone has even made a recent New Year’s resolution about the topic? You know what I’m talking about; it’s what others often call ‘"life/work balance," but for us, it doesn’t divide up quite so neatly. Those of us who call ourselves activists often see our work as a vocation, a way of life.
According to Darwin’s theory of evolution and “the survival of the fittest,” the strongest survive to pass on their genes to the next generation. This is why even today our brains give us a rewarding hit of joy when we have sex (babies help a species survive) and devour high-calorie foods—today’s hedonistic delight once meant the difference between life and starvation.
It’s also why we feel good when we help others, says Dr. James Doty, the director of Project Compassion and a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford.
“Kindness is our genetic imperative that has been there for millions of years,” he says. “When you look at humans and animals, science shows that it is the kindest and most cooperative who survive long term. The cruel and ruthless might get a short-term gain, but cruelty and ruthlessness are not good solutions for a species to survive.”
One thing I have learned in my weekly men's group is how fragile we are. Lawyer, felon, editor-in-chief, our lives go up and down. We are healthy and not, wealthy and not. Yet we share an understanding that we are often wise together when each of us alone is not. We go around the circle sharing our stories, working through our stuff, and invariably, each man's work is also someone else's, or everyone's. We come to unburden ourselves, I suppose. But in the end, we're seeking something unusual, even magical. We go into a space beyond the stories, where the energy gets thick and feels like pure joy. I no longer believe that this joy can be accurately located with a brain scan. It's not just in my head. It also exists where I feel it -- in my heart.
Bring these postures into your daily practice to open tightness and introduce motion into your lower back and pelvic floor. Inversions and hip openers are thought to act as resets for the lymph and circulatory systems, revitalizing your energy.
[Compiled and modeled by Sarah Louisignau E-RYT.]
How words can save your life.
I went to take a friend of mine’s class a while ago, on a full moon. She talked about how humans are made mostly of water, and the moon pulls the tides, so therefore it must have an effect on how we feel. She finished her spiel with this line: “But I’m not a scientist. I’m a yoga teacher.”
Not all yoga teachers are known for being very grounded in reality. I know a few who get loopy after a few too many kombuchas, and some who think they are probably aliens. We are not scientists. We are yoga teachers.
Spiritualist healer John of God calls thousands to the Omega Institute each year. How did an illiterate farmer with no medical training become such a beacon?