Often people ask what led me into the field of Animal communication. I used my accounting degree for sixteen years in business consulting, investment research and entrepreneurial ventures. So what caused my transformation from such a left-brained line of work to this mostly right-brained type of business I call Build Intention?
In 2015, five years after my grandmother passed, I noticed I was beginning to feel a void. Something was missing. I was not facing any significant challenges at the moment, nothing I could verify as the cause for this feeling. I became very critical of myself and started scrutinizing my every thought, action, and experience.
One lazy summer afternoon, I laid down on a recliner outside to take a nap. As I attempted to fall asleep, the void I was feeling spread, invading my chest even further. I felt nothing. Not happy, not sad, not grateful, not angry, just blank. I knew this was not a healthy experience for anybody, ever. But I could not begin to imagine why I was feeling this way. I knew I was incredibly blessed with my family, home, and work life. “So, what was wrong with me?” I thought to myself.
I stared up into the trees, feeling completely at a loss for words on how to even describe how I was feeling. So, I just said “God, can you please help me?”. My eyelids became very heavy, and I quickly fell asleep. I awoke to feel rejuvenated and decided not to ponder this “dilemma” any further for the day. After all, it was time to spend time with my family by the pool and enjoy one of the last weekends of summer.
During the next couple of weeks, I began to feel a transformation. I started trying new activities and meeting new friends. I joined the local gym and began attending Yoga and fitness classes with a new level of enthusiasm. I also began taking the time to create. I have always enjoyed editing home videos and turning them into fun short films to watch for entertainment. I even started a private YouTube channel to share the videos with close friends and family. It was a fun, creative outlet. I felt I was moving slowly, but steadily away from the vacant space in my chest.
A few months later, it was the dead of winter. January can feel so bleak sometimes when you haven’t seen the sun for several days in a row. I felt the void try to creep back in a little bit, but this time I was prepared to battle the feeling.
I began setting new goals for myself, my family and my work. I started journaling and reading new subjects. I have always loved gardening, so I dove headfirst into preparing for my Spring garden. Finally, winter gave way to spring, and I spent every free moment out in my garden.
One Saturday afternoon I came inside for a quick nap before heading back outside for more yard work. I easily fell asleep. A few moments later I realized I was in a dream. I was still in my bedroom, lying on my stomach with my head buried in my pillow, precisely the way I had fallen asleep, but I knew I was dreaming. I was awake in my dream. Then I became aware that somebody was gently hugging me around my shoulders. I rolled over to see who was there. Standing next to my bed was my Grandma. She didn’t speak. She just stared at me and smiled an intentional, knowing smile. She looked me in the eyes, and I knew she was there to deliver a message. A message just appeared in my mind.
“Get to work.”
Grandma nodded silently, acknowledging she knew I received her message and then I woke up.
I had received messages in my dreams before. So, I didn’t hesitate to listen. However, it took until the next afternoon to realize the subject to which Grandma was referring.
From the moment I awoke from my nap that afternoon, I was consumed with decoding Grandma’s message. I thought about it the rest of the day, evening and woke up thinking about it the next morning.
Around lunchtime that Sunday, I headed out to work in my garden again and the memory of Grandma’s and my many discussions about animals resurfaced in my mind.
I knew if I kept thinking about it, I would probably find more clues.
I thought of how Grandma started telling me over and over from a very young age that I had “A way with Animals.” I remember I would always shrug and think “Doesn’t everybody?”.
She would listen to me tell story after story about my cats, my horses, my dogs and any other animal I came across, with details about how they felt, responded and even requested things from me. She followed my horse showing career with great interest and often shared her own stories about her animals and animal interactions.
We would spend hours talking about what spiritual creatures animals are and how important they are in our lives. She is the one who first pointed out to me what the word “dog” is spelled backwards. We discussed how we believe animals are superior to humans in many ways, especially in their spiritual connection. We also discussed the importance of spirituality in our own lives quite often, and how being around animals always made it easy to feel closer to God. Ease many people spend all their lives seeking, yet not finding.
A half hour later I was planting a tomato plant. I was kneeling on the ground, digging into the earth when the thought came to my mind…”What if it has to do with all the deep conversations we shared over the years about Animals?”
On a ninety-two degree, humid afternoon in Texas the BIGGEST chills raked from the crown of my head, to my back, and through my legs to the tips of my toes as though somebody had unexpectedly brushed their fingers down my back. I would not describe them as goosebumps, because they were so sudden and so shocking it was almost uncomfortable. Immediately followed by a comforting tingling all over my body. I felt a mental light switch flip on. Grandma was telling me “Get to work….with animals!”I acknowledged this physical experience as confirmation I was on the right track.
Inspiration sprang in my chest. It felt amazing. My enthusiasm was bursting through my skin.
Over the next year, I continually thought of working with Animals in the future. At first, I kept thinking, “How will I work with Animals?”I brainstormed ideas, daydreamed, researched careers with animals…
In fifth grade, my teacher asked our class to write a letter to ourselves saying where we wanted to go to college and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I said I wanted to go to Texas A&M University, (and I did) and that I wanted to be a professional horseback rider AND Veterinarian. TWO Animal careers at once! Ha! Over the next several years I had plenty of opportunities to shadow veterinarians in their offices and watch them work.
I remember as if it were yesterday, a very poignant conversation I had with my dad one afternoon when I was about fifteen. We were out at our farm spending time with my horse, Honey, watching her graze on the grass around our feet. (She always loved the green I was explicitly standing on and would nudge me over gently as she moved from patch to patch.) My dad would take every opportunity to discuss my career plans with me, and it was getting close to college application time, and I needed to be thinking about my major.
He asked, “So are you still wanting to be a veterinarian? It’s many years of hard school work and can be difficult to make a decent living in the early years of your career.” Dad is a C.P.A., so always practical about financial security. I wasn’t afraid of the work, or lack of a decent salary, but I admitted to him that I hated the way it felt in veterinary hospitals. I told him, “The animals can be so scared or upset. I can’t stand knowing it’s because of something I’m doing, even if though it’s intended to help. But I want to do something that helps animals. Like maybe open up an animal shelter.” Dad said, “well then you would need to know how to run a business. If you get a business degree, you can open any business you desire.” His point made perfect sense to me, so I applied to business school and graduated with my accounting degree.
Fifteen years after graduation I was still doing accounting work, not working with animals. With two young daughters and many other financial responsibilities, I was not in a place to open a shelter. So how could I help animals right now?
One day, while journaling, the answer came to me. Animals create space for people to connect spiritually. Especially for the people who have turned their back on spirituality due to previous painful experiences. A person who would shun the idea of spiritual connection with God might be able to connect again with animals. This was the point of Grandma’s message. By work, she meant to take on the job of helping people connect with their animals spiritually. I knew I needed to share with people the profound ways I connected with animals. And how I connect with intention. I knew I could do this with animal communication.