Based on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, Sparkles and Dirt is a blog by Louise Brunet. Her posts explore the beauty and the struggles we all encounter and how we can, just maybe, show up for all of it with compassion and grace.

Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Did you know that if you’re feeling anxious or stressed and you find your animal companion exhibiting stress and anxiety he could be acting as a mirror to you? To show you what you’re doing/how you’re feeling? He could perceive it as his job to do this. He could also be caught up in your energy and feeling anxious by association.


If you can ease your stress level your animal will often feel less stressed as well.

Easy to say but how do we pull it off, right?

This is where reiki comes in.

You and your animal can get stuck in a loop of feelings and behaviours. When I’m feeling stressed, rushed or anxious and I take my dog Nala for a walk, SHE misbehaves BIG TIME. She pulls on the leash, she’s more reactive with other dogs, she ignores me, she gives me attitude every step. And this only cranks me up more because “I don’t have time for this!!” and “what is WRONG WITH YOU?!”

And then at some point we lock eyes and I just say “WHAT??” and then it hits me “–Ohhhh. it’s not you it’s me!”

I’m not grounded, I’m disconnected from everything and from you, I’m impatient, rushed and stressed and so you’re doing me the favour of showing me this. Um. Thank you.

If in that moment I relax, take a few minutes to get grounded, squat down and hug her, tell her I love her and thank her for helping me, everything changes. It all shifts and we continue on to have a lovely, friendly walk.

Sometimes this works very well and other days it’s just harder for me to feel grounded, but either way, SHE is teaching ME.

Be in this moment. Be here with me now. See this flower? Smell the wind?  Hear the birds? Oh look mud! Let’s run through the mud!

This is mindfulness and presence at it’s fullest.


For the times that I’m not able to ground myself all that well or for weeks when the stress is just getting started, we could both benefit from a little help. That’s where reiki comes in.

Animals love reiki. I’ve seen it and felt it over and over. I’ve seen earthworms respond and elephants respond. I’ve had a goat ask me for more reiki, an octopus spread out along the glass aquarium to soak up as much reiki energy as she could, I’ve worked with many doges and cats who all exhibit calmer behavior sometimes after just one session. (and excellent results with 3-4 sessions over a couple of weeks).

Offering reiki to your animal companion can have a ripple effect to you as well. It can help shift and ground the energy around you, (and between you and your animal partner) creating a much broader space for healing – which is pretty freaky cool when you think about it!

People question reiki – what is it anyway? Does it work? Can you prove it? How does it work? Why? What about in this case? What about in that case? and on and on, meanwhile the animals are saying “yes please!” and soaking it up, receiving the healing benefits and carrying on happily.

We can learn a lot from our animal friends if we listen. They are constantly aware of the state of our energy and wellbeing. A great way to thank them for that is to offer them some reiki sessions to recharge and ground their energy.

You will both feel better!

You want me to what?

You want me to what?

Meeting Suki, Matriarch Elephant

Meeting Suki, Matriarch Elephant