I have been practicing my intuitive animal communication and human counseling skills since I was 3 years-old—decades before USM. I started my professional practice in 1972. In 2001, however, the area of my life where I had continuing life challenges was my hearing impairment. I became deaf at age 40, which ended my 20-year career as a professional musician. I also was volunteering as a Crisis Intervention Counselor with NOVA’S national response team with my Hearing Service dog, Whisper. It was my involvement in crisis response that brought USM to my attention. USM grad Rama Fox interviewed me in summer 2001 on her Los Angeles radio show focusing on my Animal Communication practice and mentioned USM’s Spiritual Psychology Program. That autumn, two more graduates became clients, bringing their animals to me, both of whom also pointedly recommended USM. Heeding this clear triple message from Spirit, I applied.
Previously, I had gone back to school to study computer animation and graphics while continuing with my animal communication and healing work. I had a difficult time at school and was challenged to get the support I needed from the school’s administration to work with my hearing impairment, so I entered USM with quite a defensive attitude.
My very first weekend, Whisper and I arrived early to get a front seat to lip-read and prepare for being with a full class of 200 people. When one of my hearing-aid batteries died, it dawned on me I had forgotten to pack extras; exhausted, I began to weep. One of the USM volunteers noticed my distress and asked, “How can I help you?” When I explained, she said, “Don’t worry. I will go out and get them for you now—what size do you need?” My whole body stiffened in confusion. Someone at this school actually cared about me and my needs? Experiencing this support and caring felt like nowhere I had ever been before.
USM gracefully accommodated my need to do the experiential trio processes in the hallway without the classroom background noise so I could lip-read. During one of these processes, I had worked with my deafness, which was the hardest internal aspect for me to accept. I hated that part of me and had no clue why I would want to befriend it.
After much resistance, I asked the deaf aspect what her job was, and she said it was to protect me while I walked through my hearing loss. I thanked her and asked if she wanted a new job. Her response was, “No, I want to be set free.” When I was finally able to tell her I loved her and let her go, she blossomed upward, released me, and took off flying—and as she flew, all my anger and grief over my hearing and loss of my musical career went with her.
I had no idea that challenges could clear that quickly. From that point on, my entire attitude transformed. Doors that had been closed for so many years opened up, and I became more relaxed about lip-reading and communicating in general, as I softened into Acceptance and Compassionate Self-Forgiveness.
In my animal communication and counseling practice, I have learned to listen to all the animals and their humans at a much deeper level. I knew if I could overcome a huge block like my deafness, then I could certainly find ways to communicate more clearly! The question became, ‘How can I get my clients to hear how much their animals have to share with them?’
One of the simplest yet most powerful of these skills, ironically, has been Silence. Silence provides a space to respect and honor my clients while allowing time for more information to come through from their animal, which deepens the connection and communication. My experience participating in the USM trios also enhances the ability to be fully present with all of my clients at a much deeper level than before, especially with those who are distraught about a sick, dying, or transitioned animal companion.
Using the USM Soul-Centered Basic Skill of Seeing the Loving Essence gave me more patience with those clients who were demonstrating impatience with their animals’ behavior. Heart-Centered Listening is at the core of the intuitive communication technique that I teach, HarmoniousListeningTM. I had learned early on that I needed to go into my heart to listen intuitively to the animals—but through USM, that process deepened as well. Compassionate Self-Forgiveness has been an extremely important skill as well, both for myself and my clients, as I often guide them through these processes.
With my USM education, my animal communication practice has grown exponentially and my understanding of the relationship most people have with their animals has expanded significantly. I am fully able to support myself and my clients in giving and receiving love and compassion at a deeper level.
In April 2002, Whisper and I went to New York City and the 9/11 Ground Zero site as part of a Crisis Intervention Canine unit. My purpose there was to engage with and listen to the responders onsite, who were working virtually around the clock to recover any bodies amid the rubble. It was physically demanding and emotionally traumatizing work, and many of the men were not open to talking about anything, let alone opening up about what they were experiencing. Along with the intervention training and experience I received as part of the unit, it was my USM education that gave me the confidence to have those most private conversations. I found myself instinctively using USM’s foundational skills and facilitation strategies at the deepest levels.
Although I have been doing this work for a long time, I am aware that I can now hear so much more than I did before, whether I am listening to animals, people, or even to my Inner Self, as I now listen more profoundly through the Ears of my Heart. It is my purpose and great joy to share with people how much their animals know them, and I feel blessed in assisting people in hearing incredible wisdom and loving from their animals. I am grateful for my USM education in allowing me to deepen in the work of my heart.
Miranda Alcott will present her beginning and advanced Animal Communication Workshops at the University of Santa Monica campus this spring and fall.
Free Intro Evening | Friday, June 3, 7–9 p.m.
Level 1 | June 4–5 and October 8–9, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Level 2 | November 5–6, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
All events are open to the public.
Please visit her Web site for more information: www.animalstalk2me.com.