Post contributed by Jennifer Halldorson, MSW, RSW, Reiki Master
This past spring, I came upon an animal Reiki course with Angie Webster and it was, for me, an incredible gift. As a Reiki practitioner, I really loved the way I was able to integrate the practice of Reiki with the sharing of Angie’s wisdom, but most of all I loved the way it brought me back to reflect upon a gentle giant that came into my life eighteen years ago.
Eighteen years ago, I was 24 years old; I had just graduated from university and gotten my first job, which brought me out of the city to the countryside to begin a career. I found myself in an unfamiliar community and, looking back, I can say that I had no idea what was in store for me! I had no idea that a journey of self-discovery was also awaiting me. I don’t think I really knew then that I was on a healing journey home to my heart of hearts. I do know that the moment I met Tovin was the moment that left an imprint so vivid I hope to never forget because that was the moment I woke up to the remembrance of the “feeling” of my inner being.
Tovin fell into my world like a gentle feather floating on the breeze. When I met him, his large brown eyes were filled with something my heart felt and knew on a level I could not explain. At the time, I had no idea that what I was feeling and attributing solely to him, was also within me… It was a beautiful opening; I had no idea I was coming home to my heart…this seat of my soul, this place of presence where I dwelled with such ease as a child.
I had lived in an urban area for many years while attending university and, being in the country now, I was excited about the opportunity of having a dog in my life. I began to ask around and let people know that I was looking for a dog to care for. It was not long before I received word that there was a dog in the community that needed a home, however, I was also informed that I should not get my hopes up. He was, and had been, quite wild and mistreated for many years.
I learned that Tovin was flown out of the community by an educator who did not have the heart to leave him behind. The educator and his family had taken a shine to him even though he was not very social. It was difficult for them to witness his suffering; they left food and water for him as often as they could. Tovin had, as far as anyone could tell, lived on his own for about 6 years and endured his fair share of suffering. I remember being astounded at his capacity for survival, 6 years is a long time to be without a feeling of “home.” After flying Tovin out of the community, the family did their best to re-socialize Tovin. However, it was not working out and came to what I imagine was a very difficult decision–they were going to have to let him go.
I went to meet Tovin, and as I approached him I saw and felt his beauty, his life, his heart, his love. He glowed….the light that surrounded him was incredible, beautiful, and so familiar….I asked him in my heart if he would like to come home with me, he rolled over and showed me his belly. I said, “Thank you. I love you,” and we began our friendship that lasted 9 beautiful years.
It has been an incredible gift to reflect on the relationship we had, and I am filled with so much gratitude for our meeting, as I know it was the beginning of realigning with the beauty of presence that also dwells within me. Indeed, Tovin and I had come together, and I greeted him from a place within that, for whatever reason, I had not been since I was a child. The astounded thought and feeling I had had at his capacity that he had not felt at home for six years, began to melt and expand as I realized I had not dwelt within my “home” for even longer.
It is not easy to explain that becoming a Reiki Master and completing the animal reiki course has given me such a precious gift. I know now that when I met Tovin, I came home, diving deep within. There began an 18-year journey to uncover, learn, evolve, and grow many of the paths that this art of presence can bestow for myself and the world…the gift of Reiki and the reflective journey within the Animal Reiki Course being a beautiful one.
In love and life and deep thanks,
Jennifer and Tovin
Jennifer currently works as a spiritual health specialist in the Canadian Health Care System, she is an avid student of life and spends as much time as possible cultivating artful presence in daily living. One of her greatest joys has been studying and practicing as a Reiki Master and loves to share its infinite gifts for the highest good of all willing hearts; human, animal, and nature alike. More recently Jennifer’s own healing path unfolded a love and passion of writing, and in particular; writing poetry; she loves to align with her inner being enter the flow of loving life consciousness through her heart of hearts and breathe the vibration of the poetic works free. Jennifer awoke to her healing journey eighteen years ago and has learned to incorporate different spiritual practices throughout the day to maintain balance while in service to others. Jennifer has found her true purpose in consciously choosing to be a light of loving awareness unto herself for the expansion and highest expression of love for all as this is the greatest gift she can give to herself and in turn offer the world.