This was my very first Bird of Prey, which eventually became a variety of species and a team of 11.
I picked up Chloe (European Eagle Owl,) at 5 weeks old, a ball of fluff and hand-reared which I continued to do until fully-fledged.
Being imprinted meant I could now have a better behaved, user-friendly bird for my talks and displays. She proved herself to be the case. Responding and flying well and handled by so many under my control, including, autistic and dementia patients, students and wedding guests and hotel guests alike. She is very intuned with people and what energy they give off.
A pleasure to work with. And always gentle.
However, she would at times just not fly to certain people. She didn't like the energy they gave off.
The child in the group may be a little hyper or a parent a little arrogant. This I noticed with the more talks I did and later proved over time by using other members of the family guests first to prove it wasn't my bird being stubborn. And then by getting the original person to change their energy too.
Usually by a few deep breathes and a hand on their shoulder.
We will come back to the power of touch.
A connection one can understand is when working around animals.
We have over time got lazy in our abilities and perceptions.
This photo above was taken 3 days before all of them left for new horizons in Greece after forced to sell due to incredibly high French Taxes and with the lack of income here in France unlike it was in the UK, the 'dream' was about to collapse.
I had spent 3 months constructing big aviaries for them on the land we bought with the house also gave us ample flying space, and now I am saying goodbye, not only to something that I had a real trust bond with each bird but something that had over the 15 years been my salvation and alternative therapy from Fire Service life and a real passion.
A complete contrast to stress and trauma.
Compare the bird's eyes to this photo. Here she is sat quietly on a photoshoot, in the warm sun and relaxed. My energy is calm and at that time I had no issues to deal with. I had retired from the Service and earning from what I loved doing.
Still in the UK and all good.
Trust me, they really do pick up on our energy.
Maybe many of us have got lazy in reading and sensing it.
I have always had a non-threatening approach to everything.
Think I am whacky? Here's an example. Who hasn't walked into a room and felt it coming off the people in there when someone has had an argument? It's an energy that we protract way beyond our skin boundary.
I would be holding my bird on the glove doing a talk and 1 person would walk towards them and they would bait (try to get away.) Other times others would walk up no problem.
Birds and animals are very in tune.
We've just got distracted by everything going on around us. Senses overload?
Birds of Prey rely on their instincts.
Hunt, kill, eat, sleep and breed, and ultimately survive. Very present and in the now.
Let's take a vehicle crash, for example, if I was to walk up to a car where someone is trapped and look horrified, this facial expression and energy will come across and that could just be the tipping point of them hanging on or not. It really is that simple.
We turn up and we have to hide any emotions or thoughts. This goes for the Hospital staff, nurses and doctors, carers, Ambulance and Police workers too.
We are there putting on a brave face and doing our job. Suppressing emotions and compounding our own levels of trauma. Think of it as a rock of emotion you are putting into your rucksack you are already burdened with.
How many more can you carry before you become exhausted and collapse?
So when faced with any casualty, I always made a point of making physical contact. A caring hand on a shoulder or arm or a handhold. Telling them always what we would be doing and if we had to make physical contact by lifting. I also did the rescuing Birds of Prey or other animals during my career.
Reassurance and hope are felt not just spoken.
But the most important thing is to make eye contact.
A bird of prey will hide signs of ill-health or injury, for it knows that if ill or injured it can easily become the prey, not the hunter. So it was never a case of just throwing in food, it was a case of waiting to see how they really are. Allowing them to let their guard down if hiding something. Tightened feathers or squinty-eyed as in pain. Body language is vital.
Relate back to the casualty in the car. We hit pain thresholds and can accept it for what it is, but after time and it not easing, we give in and cannot help but show the discomfort we are in.
Someone will board (go stiff,) if shielding an injury.
We find the most comfortable position in our discomfort.
So always look into someone's eyes, not in an intrusive way, just to see the real person.
Stare into a dog's eyes and see the response you will get, be compassionate and non-threatening.
We are all dealing with everyday stuff and trying to do so much more.
Human connection and helping each other right now is so important.
This takes skill and effort and courage to look at a person beyond what they are showing.
I'm trying to show the world I am happy to have found a great guy and owner. And I have luckily. Deep down I am crushed. As I was when my mother passed.
Start with looking at yourself in a mirror. When on duty after a bad incident, I'd go and wash my hands and face, look up into the mirror and be shocked at the person before me. Aged, haggard and exhausted. Down, old and not well. But no time for that, keep going right?
Who was I looking at?
But allow yourself to be true.
On retiring I had to leave as soon as I could as I was at saturation point. No more room for any more rocks and they seemed to be getting bigger each time.
I smile from my heart, but if I smile and the eyes are not on the same energy line of hope and positivity, then it's a fake smile. I have masked it from you and just doing my job.
Getting on with life.
I try to smile as it takes only 2 facial muscles and has a huge effect on others.
Smiling is infectious.
Remember, 'reassurance and hope are felt not just spoken.'
The power of touch is incredibly strong. Energy is felt without a physical touch too.
"You don't need to be a genius to know what she is thinking here!"
Cheesed off and it's raining.
I know that when I reach out to pick her up she will bite me for putting her out in the rain.
If any of this resonates with you and we can acknowledge just a little of how we affect others and ourselves, then we are truly on the road to recovery. Reach out if needed and stay connected.
Your eyes show the strength of your soul.
Let your eyes smile from the heart.