Expanding Your Horizons with Tellington TTouch
by Cathy Wells
When I first began working as an animal communicator in 2002 I was thrilled just to be able to engage animals and their humans in a verbal dialogue. For all Beings, open and honest communication is essential for healthy and long lasting relationships and with telepathic communication you can be a world traveler and reach out to clients anywhere without leaving your chair! After a couple of years of mostly long distance practice, however, my heart said there was a piece missing. I longed to incorporate more hands-on contact with my clients. And, that is when Tellington TTouch came to my attention.
Taking it One Step Further
I first met Linda Tellington-Jones at a six day training workshop in Massachusetts for TTEAM, the equine equivalent of the TTouch Training program for Companion Animals. I had no horse at the time but wanted to see Linda in action, and learn about the program “straight from the horse's mouth,” if you will.
Linda is one of those special people who graces this planet just being who she truly is. While my friend and I were getting oriented and looking around at the large group of people gathering, a lovely woman, beautifully dressed with a flower in her hair came up to us. She reached out her hand and in a quiet voice said, “ Hello, my name is Linda. How nice to have you here!”
The first day we spent the morning introducing ourselves and getting to know the horses and their owners who had come to participate in the workshop. Each of the owners was asked to tell the group about their horse and why they were there, but before they told us what issues were causing trouble in the relationship they were to say one thing that they truly loved about their horse. For some of those owners it took a few moments to come up with something – they had been so focused on talking about what needed fixing. From that first morning the energy of the group started shifting from what was wrong with the horse and how to fix it to one of honoring both horse and owner in a nonjudgmental way and supporting them on whatever physical, emotional and mental level they were on at the time.
A Unique Approach
Linda defines Tellington TTouch Training as a “gentle, respectful way of honoring the body, mind and spirit of animals and their people”.
There are four components in TTouch:
- body work,
- ground exercises,
- equipment, and
- envisioning how we want our animals to be.
Envisioning, in other words, is what our intention is for what we want in our relationship. This last component is what I consider to be the most unique and important part of the TTouch programs.
Linda told us that she empties herself like a gourd and begins by just being with the animal, allowing them to be open to remembering their potential for perfection, however that may be, without feeling judged, threatened or pressured by expectations. By approaching the animal in this way, the opportunity for a dialogue of trust and understanding begins to unfold, initiating a mutually respectful relationship of give and take. The result is the animal begins to relax and moves from a reactive, instinctual response into a more grounded, balanced and thinking state.
As the week went by I could see a shift in the relationship between the horses, their owners and the entire class. A new dialogue of understanding was developing. An equal exchange of communication flowed between humans and animals, one free of expectation and sharing information, successes and new awareness.
At the end of the week we met for one last time as a group and shared our experiences. One of the owners who had been so bitter about what was wrong with her horse broke down in tears. She said, “I’ve been so angry about what I think he has done wrong. I completely forgot that our relationship goes two ways and that I’ve been the one who has the emotional baggage that prevents us from having the kind of relationship I want for us. From now on we’re working together as a team and learning from each other. I’ll never stop listening to him again.”
Shortly after that workshop I enrolled in the Tellington TTouch program for Companion Animals and got my certification in 2009. I find it has been an invaluable addition to my work as an animal communicator, not only expanding my connection to the animals on multiple levels but most importantly allowing me to include my human clients on a level of connection and participation I had not known how to before.
Most recently I assisted for a six day training for companion animals in Albany, NY. We couldn’t have timed it better – Hurricane Irene hit the area hard our second day of class. In spite of driving rain, falling trees and downed power lines, all 12 participants and their dogs made it to class each day.
Irene brought in a new component of Mother Earth energy to the dynamic of the class. It was amazing to see how, in spite of the energy whipping around outside and no power, the degree of positive shift that happened between the five very reactive dogs who had come, both between themselves and their owners.
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