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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Movement"
Volume 3 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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What Animals Teach Us About Movement
by Jean Hofve, DVM

Movement is a fundamental principle of life. Everything moves at its most basic atomic level; everything is imbued with life.

Animals know how to move! In their natural state, animals are almost constantly moving around. Horses and other grazers move slowly through an area, taking their time but rarely stopping. Wild canids, such as foxes, coyotes, and wolves, cover mile after mile at a relaxed trot. Wild cats glide silently through the night searching for prey. Birds spend their days foraging or hunting, always on the alert and ready to fly off the instant they sense danger.

Grace is an attribute of animal movement. Animals take their time. Think about how your cat or dog stretches luxuriously upon arising. Rarely is there need for hurry. Our movements can be as relaxed and peaceful as a contented cat's when we remember to ground ourselves and connect to Source. Then we understand the perfection of life, and we can flow gracefully with it instead of futilely fighting against it.

Purpose is another attribute of animal movement. Animals don't just wander aimlessly from room to room, or restlessly tap their paws, or toss and turn in bed. A dog who is seemingly wandering erratically through the park is keenly following various scent trails; he's essentially "reading the newspaper." There is a goal or purpose behind every movement an animal makes.

Animals communicate through movement. Without language, animals have developed amazingly complex methods of communicating with their bodies. Consider the strutting and colourful mating dances of the grouse and peacock; the bee's precise flight pattern which tells other workers where the best nectar can be found; and the thirty tiny muscles which position a cat's ears not only to hear better, but to indicate its mood. Many mammals have even developed malleable facial expressions. Some dogs have even learned to smile! People, too, display body language, but usually without conscious intent, and not always successfully. Animals teach us to pay attention, and move with intention; nowhere is this more important than in the messages we send and receive through the movement of our faces, hands, and bodies.

We can make our movements as effortless and lovely as the animals by remembering we, too, are animals, and this way of interacting with the world is our birthright as well as theirs. Let us concentrate on making our movements graceful, purposeful, and natural by listening to the instincts we may have forgotten, but have never really left us.

Dr. Jean Hofve has been a holistic veterinarian for more than 9 years. She founded SpiritEssence in 1995, which remains the only line of essence formulas for animals created by a veterinarian. Dr. Hofve does health, nutrition, and behavior consultations through www.littlebigcat.com.

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