How to Stay Positive during Animal Reiki Sessions: Animal energy work and seeing past what’s “wrong.”
Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to stay calm and positive while an animal is in distress?
It is very possible to stay positive during Animal Reiki sessions with animals who are suffering or in distress.
When working with an animal who is sick, injured, traumatized, or dying, even someone like me—with 25 years of experience being Reiki with all sorts of animals—has to remind myself to see past that animal’s suffering to be able to offer them a calm, healing space to step into during an Animal Reiki session.
We’re human, after all, and we’re also animal lovers, so, when we see or feel animals in distress we can’t help but feel for them and share their discomfort.
But I’m here to tell you that there is another way and it is possible to learn how to see past all the things that are “wrong” with an animal and look straight into the heart of their existence—the perfect light that shines within every sentient being on this planet.
This may also sound like a lot of woo woo magic (if you’re not familiar with the Let Animals Lead® method of being Reiki with animals), but after teaching thousands of people how to let go of their empathetic feelings for an animal in distress in order to offer that animal a safe space of healing from a place of pure compassion, I’ve seen this woo woo magic work on animals thousands of times now.
And you can learn to do it, too. I won’t pretend it’s easy—it’s one of the most difficult aspects of our Animal Reiki practice (and working with animals and energy in general), but it is possible to learn to focus on an animal’s perfection in any given moment and it will radically change the way you are able to connect with, and offer healing to, animals.
Staying positive while offering Animal Reiki starts with one of the 6 Pillars of the Let Animals Lead® Method.
Pillar 3 of Let Animals Lead® Method of Animal Reiki teaches us to always see the inner perfection of animals
The third pillar is about changing our state of mind. Instead of seeing what’s “wrong” with the animal, we learn to focus on the animal’s perfection.
And that is very different from other Animal Reiki approaches, as well.
Often in other Animal Reiki approaches, practitioners focus on first finding out the diagnosis, figuring out the issues, and then focusing on those areas and “sending” or “beaming” energy to those parts of the animal. In other words, they focus on what’s wrong.
Because of my unique experience with how focusing on what’s wrong felt really negative when I was suffering, I said, “Hell no! We’re not doing that with animals.”
Instead, I made up my mind that I was always going to focus on what is right with the animal—that inner light that shines in all of us, no matter what we have going on! And when I started doing this, I could see and feel animals responding to it more than they ever did when I focused on sending or beaming anything at them.
And so that’s what I started teaching my students, too.
I call it seeing with your Reiki eyes (seeing to the heart of the animal’s essence—their light).
And like I said, it’s not easy (at first) to stay positive during Animal Reiki sessions when animals are hurting and uncomfortable or anxious or scared. That’s why we have to practice.
The awareness of our state of mind and our focus is essential when working with animals because, again, they sense our thoughts and they feel our energy, just as we sometimes feel theirs.
In another post I did about expanding your state of mind to help your animal, I explained that sometimes, when we are offering Reiki to our animals or doing other kinds of energy work with animals, we can sense certain emotions or thoughts/intuitive information from them. In Japanese Reiki, these impressions are called hibiki—which means resonance or echo. Thus, when we sense something from our animal, it is not a true experience, but rather our impression of the animal’s true experience. But even so, these impressions can derail our focus and easily lead us to a place of judgement about what’s happened to the animal or what’s wrong with them. This is a natural occurrence when we share Reiki, because Reiki cultivates heart-to-heart connections. In this connected space, we often sense many things, but we must remember our impressions are always filtered through our own perceptions.
Animals are going to become uncomfortable and resistant to connecting with us if they sense our thoughts focusing on what’s wrong with them. So, the best way to help our animals is to let go of these impressions and open our minds to simply offering a calm, open-hearted space of healing possibility.
Because think about it, our vibration totally changes when we start going, “Oh my God! This animal has this horrible skin condition.” But if we look at them and we see their ailment or injury or anxiety and we instead think, I see all that you are and you’re perfect and beautiful, they will feel it.
They will feel the positive, calm, healing energy coming from us as we look into the heart of their being. We’re not denying that they have a skin condition, we’re saying that it doesn’t define them—we see more. We see that beautiful essence of them.
Video showing the result of Pillar 3 & staying positive during Animal Reiki Sessions in a shelter environment.
Check out this beautiful video that shows the power that staying positive has over animals in shelter situations
Seeing deeper than the surface: Positivity
I believe that all of us consist of a beautiful inner essence of light.
This light remains perfect and timeless, beyond this lifetime, when it exists for a short time in this physical body. When we are with animals who need our Reiki support or energy work, it is helpful to let go of our eyes, and look deeper—seeing the animals with our hearts, as the beautiful bright lights that are their inner essences.
Just like us, this is who they really are—not their mortal shells, not their physical, emotional struggles. It’s so easy to forget this, to instead begin to identify them as their problems on the surface. Remember that underneath the surface, they shine with a bright inner light that is the essence of their being—and this being is already perfect and balanced.
If we can see this perfect light within them, hold that vision in our minds and hearts as we offer Reiki, this can help give them the support they need to remember their inner strength and heal themselves. Remember that animals are energy beings—they are much more tuned into energy than people—and they “see” much more than we do about any given situation.
Being able to remember to see animals, people, and situations with our hearts rather than our eyes will help us to create that positive state of mind that will be felt by everyone involved in the Reiki treatment, including the animal’s people. This positivity is key not only to attaining an animal’s trust and openness, but also to supporting strength and courage in the animal’s people as they walk hand in paw with their animal through the healing journey.
A real-life story about staying positive during Animal Reiki sessions:
Several years ago, I was offering Reiki to a dog who was dying of cancer. As I sat with the dog and his person, I could not only feel the pain and grief of the person, but also see the amazing acceptance, strength and courage of the dog.
I could also see that he was so much more than simply this disease. I closed my eyes and saw him as a beautiful light who had healed and touched so many people over the years.
As I had this vision, immediately the dog came and sat right in front of me, staring intently at my face. I placed my hands on his shoulders and affirmed, “Yes, you are perfect and beautiful.” He lay down by my side and fell into the most relaxed sleep, his little legs even running in his dreams.
His person was quite amazed at how relaxed and comfortable the dog became during the treatment, saying to me, “I felt just terrible before you arrived, but I feel so strong right now. I don’t know how, but I do. Thank you so much.” The dog passed away peacefully soon after the session.
I know that his light still shines so brightly in spirit. And I remind myself that just because we die doesn’t mean we didn’t heal; there are so many layers to healing. We just have to remember to look deeper than the surface.
How to stay positive and mindful when our animals are sick
Staying mindful of that inner light when our animals are sick can really help them (and us) navigate a difficult time.
Here are my go tos for staying mindful when my animals are sick or distressed:
Take the time to just “be”
Set aside time each day to just sit with your animal. This isn’t time to caretake, give medication or focus on what’s wrong—this is just time to be together. Focus on things you love about your animal using your senses. For example, notice how your animal looks, sounds and feels to the touch. This will help to bring you into the present moment, without an agenda and without having to fix things.
Be mindful of thoughts and feelings—let them come and go
You may feel happy and full of love for your animal. Or, if your animal is unwell, you may feel sad or worried about his or her health. Allow your thoughts to float by like clouds in the sky. All of these thoughts are natural; just try to hold them lightly so that you can let them go, one by one.
Notice your anxiety—and be stable like a mountain
You might think, “I wish he wasn’t sick (or old or what have you—fill in the blank).” Or, “If only I could change this situation!” Anxiety takes our focus out of this present moment to the past that we can’t change, or to the future which we can’t know. Imagine you are a stable mountain of strength for your animal, able to weather whatever might come. Letting go of anxiety will help you to be fully present in this beautiful moment of connection with your animal—this moment is a gift that we might otherwise miss.
Experience the heart of the matter—and see the light
Choose to look deeper—with your Reiki eyes (your heart). When we look into the heart of things, we can find peace, beauty and perfection in this present moment. Underneath what is wrong, your animal’s heart and spirit shine through! Choosing to go straight to the core or heart of things unveils our inner light that is always perfect, even when we are ill. Seeing the heart of the situation will help our focus to hone in on what is true at this present moment, rather than being distressed by the surface of things.
Practice gratitude—and shift into positivity
Seeing things from the heart brings with it clarity, and with clarity we can more easily remember things we are thankful for. As you sit with your animal, list three things you are grateful for in this present moment. This can help to shift your mind, thoughts and energy into a more positive and optimistic space, which your animals will feel and appreciate. When we are mindful, our energy is balanced and calm, and we are in the best state to truly help our animals heal, whatever that healing looks like—even if they transition.
Creating Affirmations for animals
Affirmations are a great way to keep your energy high and even though they aren’t going to work for everybody in all situations, they can be really effective when trying to stay upbeat while offering Animal Reiki.
Our minds are very suggestible and they believe whatever we tell them with our inner voice. So the moment you feel yourself slipping into the negative or focusing on what’s wrong with the animal, choose something positive and start repeating it.
Even one word, like peace or wholeness can be enough to snap us back to the moment, get out of our heads and sink back into our hearts, and help us see and feel that perfect light again.
If you’re never tried affirmations, it can also feel a bit weird at first—like we’re making it up. But over time and with practice, affirmations begin to feel true and they begin to feel powerful. They raise your vibe back up to a positive resonance and animals really sense it, too.
In my life, I have seen affirmations really open doors.
When I am stuck, I just start with affirmations and it may take some time but change will come.
First, I try to visualize and see in my mind what the affirmations are saying to me; as soon as I can visualize and see a potential for something, then I can go deeper with it and start to feel it emotionally. Then it becomes easier to make it happen!
We know that everything that’s ever happened physically in this world has always started in somebody’s mind and in somebody’s thought process. Nobody ever accomplished anything good and amazing without first seeing it in the mind. So affirmations are a way to train our minds to that potential of goodness, of happiness, of joy and of all good things coming to us. When our minds begin to see the good, then we open the doors to helping positivity manifest in the physical world. And even better, lots of animals will want to be around us to watch it all unfold!
Here’s a really fantastic story and video to show how positive affirmations work in real-life Animal Reiki situations!
I volunteer at our local shelter and years ago, when I was visiting, a particular cat caught my eye.
Good Samaritans had brought her in, and it was determined later that she was nursing and that the kittens were still out there, lost. She was desperate to get out of the shelter and find her kittens again. She was meowing loudly and constantly, hitting her head against the door, frantically trying to escape.
As you can imagine, other volunteers and the visiting public were very concerned. They also felt bad for her, but nothing would calm her.
I stood just outside the door to the little kennel room, about 3 feet from her cage, and slowly began my Reiki breathing practice. After a few minutes, I peeked into the room. At first she wouldn’t look at me, but as soon as she caught my eye, I blinked slowly to her.
She stopped meowing and looked more closely at me, and I blinked again. She blinked back at me and then just watched me for a moment. I closed my eyes and turned my focus inward.
I imagined my heart was a beautiful light, and so was her heart—and our hearts could connect in peace, love and compassion. In that space, all was well.
“All is well” was my heart’s message. Within a minute or two, I opened my eyes again, and she had moved to the back of the cage, curled up in her bed and closed her eyes. What a beautiful moment—to feel such peace between us.
I also shared Reiki love and light with her babies. Although not every situation will be solved in the way I might wish, I knew that in this moment, Reiki could help me to bring peace and love.
This video shows me offering Reiki to a shelter cat
Other ways to cultivate positivity when sharing energy with animals
We have created so much information about developing a positive mindset around our animals, here are some recent posts that will help you dig even deeper into finding a way to focus on that beautiful and perfect inner light.
7 Tips to Develop a Positive Animal Reiki Mindset in Reiki Sessions
How to Create Affirmations to Help Animals
How Let Animals Lead® is Different from other Animal Reiki Methods
Try the 5-3-1 Happiness Challenge
Guided Meditation on the Hara and Precepts that really helps when sharing energy with animals
Interested in learning how to stay positive during Animal Reiki sessions or animal energy work with me and the Let Animals Lead® community? We have online Animal Reiki classes available and also in-person Immersion Meditation Days for current students and graduates of any level of Let Animals Lead®.
25% of all courses are donated to Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary in Pealuma, CA