#26 Everything I've learnt from animals - with Emelie Cajsdotter & Catherine Edwards
Catherine is back with Emelie to explore the power that empathy can have in reconnecting ourselves with nature. They delve into the impact that our loss of connection and harmony can have on all aspects of our lives. Plus, Emelie shares tips on how to improve your relationship with your animals.
Check out the first episode with Emelie (#24), to learn more about empathic communication and why it's so important.
Emelie Cajsdotter founded Friskeröd in 1995, and has since then been responsible for the farm. She lives on the farm with her family and about 160 animals.
Emelie coordinates the work of taking care of all the animals on the farm, with non-profit labor helping her out and hay sponsorship that covers the cost of hay for all the animals. Emelie is a trained homeopath, but is above all a storyteller, with the aim of spreading the message of other species to people through stories.
She has traveled all over the world, and studied and worked in many different places, such as Ireland, Jordan and New Zealand.
For a number of years, it has been possible to take part in various courses at Friskeröd where other species are responsible for the content. So far, hundreds of people have taken part in what other species have to teach us. The waiting list is long, hundreds more are standing in line.
Emelie has written three books, "Zander and the time", "All the king's horses and" "Song of the grass". She has participated in the Swedish television series ”The herd” and has been actively involved in the Mio podcast.
Books: All The Kings Horses
DONATIONS - https://www.friendsofmio.com/en/bidra
- 00:00 - Coming up…
- 01:28 - Why this episode is so important
- 04:21 - Meet my guest
- 07:05 - Are humans disconnected from the Earth?
- 15:24 - Are we the only ones without connection?
- 21:22 - Moving on from blame and shame
- 23:41 - What can we learn from the elderly?
- 33:07 - What actually is empathic interspecies communication?
- 37:53 - How to practise this in your life
- 43:50 - Emelie’s tips on improving your animal relationships
- 50:49 - How to help “Friends of Mio”
- 57:22 - Final thoughts
- Becoming more in tune with our animals can give us a greater appreciation of the world we live IN, not ON.
- Animals can be so forgiving and are willing to work with us to create a better world where humans are more connected with nature.
- Our own reality is not the reality of everything or everyone else.
- We shouldn’t blame and shame ourselves, just try to do better.
- Often, we don’t see the consequence of our actions because we’re wrapped up in our own feelings and not necessarily the reality of the situation.
- Not everything must have an ‘end game’, sometimes it’s good to just ‘be’.
- There’s a difference between ‘reading’ an animal and empathically connecting with them.
- Even if we can’t spend much time with our animals, make sure you are fully present with them and make the most of the time you have.
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Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to keep curious and keep free. The opinions of the guests do not necessarily represent the opinions of the host and vice versa - exploring different opinions is key to growth. The content in this podcast and on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical or veterinary advice because of something you have heard on my podcast or website.
There's so much research and evidence that we're all seeing in our daily lives that in the "developed world", and I use that term very, very lightly, humans are the most unhappy and stressed that we've ever been. And quite honestly, in my opinion, mental health issues are the real pandemic at the moment. So do you feel, Emelie, that humans are at a turning point for themselves and the planet? And if so, how animals can help us on this journey.Emelie Cajsdotter:
We need to turn back towards nature and start rebuilding a relationship with it. Because even if we need all these technical solutions to heal what has been destroyed and to find new solutions, it's unlikely that we can truly make that change unless it means something to us. And it will not really mean something until we connect empathically and feel it inside. It's definitely possible to find a way of inter-being in a less destructive way and come out of this isolation. But we have to do it one by one. It's like we have to choose to do it. It's not something that will just happen by itself. Or it's not something that someone else will do. It's something from inside, in each and every one of us.Catherine Edwards:
So welcome today with me, Catherine Edwards, to my Live Love Learn podcast, the perfect place for all us pilomaths to connect. Anyone who loves learning, this is the place to be. So I help animals and their humans live happier and healthier, using natural solutions, addressing the root cause and connecting back to nature. And my podcast is all about expanding consciousness through curiosity, we exploring a diverse range of topics that can really help ourselves live better lives for us and all creatures great and small. So my guest today is is second time on my channel and she is going to add so much value to us in this discussion. Emelie Casjdotter. And for those of you that haven't seen my first interview with Emelie, please do look at the link below because that's really worth it. But Emelie, I'm just going to introduce you to the audience for people that are seeing you for the first time. So Emelie has been working full time since 1995 with empathic communication with other species, non-hierarchical, riding and handling of horses, alternative treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy and herbal medicine. She's published three books on these subjects and she runs a school with mainly horses and other species for empathic inter-being. And we're going to hear all about that today. The school is a sanctuary for around 170 animals of different species, not to mention the plants and the surrounding nature. Now Emelie helps run the non-profit association Friends of Mio, which was started for the purpose of enabling a place where land, animals, and people can meet in a non-hierarchical way. And throughout this conversation, I really hope you're going to just see how relevant this is to each and every one of you listening. So friends of Mio, sorry if I'm pronouncing the name wrong.Emelie Cajsdotter:
It's right!Catherine Edwards:
So, Scandinavians largely sanctuaries for horses and other animals which would otherwise have been euthanized. And now they have lifelong homes under as natural conditions as possible. But right now, the sanctuary is under threat because one of the biggest land pieces that that it relies on is being sold. So please, please do stay right to the end of this conversation and we're going to see how all of us can help protect this amazing resource that I would put a lot of money on, betting that a lot of the listeners will want to be coming and visiting and learning from over the next few years. So, Emelie, first and foremost, welcome today. And how is everything with you and the animals?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Thank you so much. Well, since a few days back, we can actually get a sense that spring might be coming after all, winter came late and the Swedish winter can be very wintry. Yeah. So. But now the snow starts to melt. And that's always a sort of hopeful feeling, actually.Catherine Edwards:
I love it. Emelie and I were just talking before we start because I've got a very small animal sanctuary. Emelie got a very big one, and we were laughing about how we were running around frantically helping the animals get sorted for their morning routine before we came on. So I really want to dive in today, Emelie, because today I want to start off It's okay with you that looking at how humans are currently in an extreme state of disconnect from ourselves, from other living beings and from the planet. And there's so much research and evidence that we're seeing in our daily lives there in the developed world. And I use that term very, very lightly.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Humans are the most unhappy and stressed that we've ever been. And quite honestly, in my opinion, mental health issues are the real pandemic at the moment. So do you feel, Emelie, that humans are at a turning point for themselves and the planet, And if so, how animals can help us on this journey?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah, I totally agree. And all other species seem to see this because one side of it is that we become so destructive to other spaces because in this isolation... We seem to be the only species that can truly relate to personal gain. If I gain something on the cost of someone else, I don't feel the what the other one is experiencing. I only feel the positive outcome for myself. And that's almost like being constantly on drugs. It's like getting quick fixes all the time without without really understanding the entirety of the outcome of that. So you could say that for each buzz we get from personal gain, the further away we actually also get from the source. And also the source obviously must be within ourselves because we are created after all, and we are part of this creation. So on some level we feel what we're doing and we feel that isolation. But for most of us, most of the time, it's not conscious. And then I guess with all these destructive acts, there is also an underlying sense of guilt or shame even. And and we don't want to go there. So we just continue with with whatever stimuli we need not to feel that. And I guess that's why the pace in society just goes faster and faster. And very few of us can actually adapt in... I'd say that it wouldn't be good for anyone, but some of us are more flexible than others and can handle it to some extent. But from there, to say that it would be the sort of optimal way of life for anyone really. So I guess civilisation is a pandemic, if you want to put it that way. Yeah, in a way. So, so the suffering is huge. And other species see this and they see the part that, you know, we are such a threat to, to most of them and we are a threat to ourselves. And they, and they see it's almost like we've come we are coming to a dead end. We are moving towards that end. And you would perhaps expect that other species would say, well, perhaps it's just better that humans become extinct, because, I mean, that's where we're going with this. But no one says that. Everyone seems to want us to sort of jump on the wagon and come along the ride with everyone else. So they're very willing to help us. And I guess because... They are so related to the nature of life itself. So they don't want us to to be extinct, but it's like, because they are so true to the nature of life... And life wants to be lived. That seems to be that sort of basic nature of life is the ability to experience life itself. So if one species or if there is an imbalance that is actually threatening the ability for life to take place, then it will be in the nature of everyone alive to try to to prevent that from happening. It's like it's in our deep core. We we want to protect life and we seem to have forgotten that. But I still believe it's in us somewhere if we just find it. So it would be a natural instinct for other species to help humans because that is necessary to protect the further life. I mean, we have a mass extinction of of other species, which is really it's a tragedy to an extent that we are actually mostly unaware of it because it's unseen. It's species that are not with us and never in our everyday life. And we don't feel how that would affect us yet. But I believe we feel it on some level. So. So animals, they seem to really believe that either we make a shift as a species and turn back to have a relationship with this planet and all life on it, not just sort of... I think it's funny that in Swedish at least, you say that you live ON earth like on top of it somehow, but we're living IN it in a way. So I guess it's even how we describe it with language, we actually speak about this isolation or barrier that we need to turn back towards nature and start rebuilding a relationship with it. Because even if we need all these technical solutions to heal what what has been destroyed and to find new solutions, it's unlikely that we can truly make that change unless it means something to us. And it will not really mean something until we connect empathically and feel it inside. So it seems that other species say that either humans turn back towards a relationship with the rest of this existence or we don't. And if we don't, chances that we will survive here in a longer time span is small. But chances are also that if we find this way, it's not too late. It's it's definitely possible to find a way of inter-being in a less destructive way and come out of this isolation. But we have to do it one by one. It's like each of us who is human has a human that we are responsible for, meaning ourselves. And we have to do what we can to bring this human back to this basic relationship and which we can. But it has to be we have to choose to do it. It's not something that will just happen by itself. Or it's not something that someone else will do. It's it's it's something from inside, in each and every one of us. And eventually, I guess if enough of us do that, it will be easier for the rest. We need to sort of climb across a particular number probably.Catherine Edwards:
There's so much in there that I want to unpack that is just so beautifully explained and I think I really want everyone watching this to understand why it's absolutely crucial that Emelie and her team's facility in Scandinavia survives to help us all on this journey of reconnection back to our cells. Because just what you said about us living on Earth, that's so, so powerful and it's so true, and these things that a subconscious level are all forming pictures. Even the fact that we have to call this... we're going to come on to what we mean by interspecies communication in a minute, that just the fact that we describe that it does does remind me, Emelie, about, you know, all this palaver and political nonsense about Black Lives Matter if we keep segregating and labelling anything, whether it's a different species, different types of humans with different interests into different groups, all of these labels are disconnecting. And what I'm seeing certainly in the people that I'm interacting with, is this huge recognition at some sort of soul level, some sort of deep level that we've lost connection. With all parts of ourselves. You know, I work in natural health, you work in natural health. And that disconnection starts with, you know, our body is not functioning properly, which means that our minds can't function properly, which means that we can't make good choices for those around us. So this connection is such a natural thing. Do you feel Emelie that most other species have still got that. And in which case, how can they help us get back to it?Emelie Cajsdotter:
It seems like other species have that communication as as a sort of natural way of being in this life. But when you also have civilised domesticated animals that live very close to us and are being drawn into our projections. Because they can't lie and deceive themselves in the way that we actually can. And I believe we can because because the nature of our thought, it's like we are all experience different angles of this life and then the human being and then becomes aware of her own thought. And because of that, it doesn't mean that other species are not thinking. But we have this sort of extra interpretation of our own thought, meaning that we tend to believe that what we think is real for everyone. So if I become happy when my horse is jumping a fence, that happiness translated by my brain becomes the absolute truth. That this is fun and it is fun for me, but it doesn't say anything about what the horse is experience is experiencing doing the same thing. So I'm building my world based on what my opinion of it in a way. And I guess that is the nature of this very isolation is that I experience life from observing it. And the reality is experience through my emotional interpretation of of what I study in a way. And I guess a very a very creative side of that would be that we will still have this ability, but without being disconnected, because then we would have the creativity, but we would also have the empathy to match it so it wouldn't be on the expense of everyone else the way it tend to be now. And without this sort of gaping hole of isolation that makes us need all these drugs and and stimuli to survive, then then we wouldn't need so much. We wouldn't use so much resources as a species. But when we bring animals into our reality and they become part of of this of this mirroring and this projections, and they can begin to lose themselves as well. And it's like many, many animals I meet at, too many animals I meet have post-traumatic stress disorder. There are far too many actually, and and all sorts of other stress related issues. And I think anyone working with health care and animals see that the stress related issues are really and diseases related to that. Like all this variety of diseases that gives laminitis in horses, for example, have definitely has an emotional stress involved in the process somewhere, for example. But even having said that, it seems like when you start to treat that it's it's their road back to their past, to go back to connection is straighter and faster in a way. And so also by taking care of animals that have been that have done this whole process of losing themselves and going to disconnection and following the healing with them is a way for us to learn how to heal as well. That doesn't justify what we put them through, but it means that that we could add a sort of deeper sensation of, of meaningfulness in that suffering by actually taking the chance of healing ourselves while that is happening in a way. So so they do lose themselves, but it needs some sort of human interference for that to happen, you could say. And I guess why our road is longer is because of this constant interpretation of reality and that we tend to everything that my brain sucks in becomes real. It's like I truly believe in my own thoughts. For example, you can take an example. If you have a panic attack, you think that you will die. That part of you knows that you will not die. But that cannot change the feeling because the feeling is so powerful. It must be true. And then in a way, we do that in all sorts of aspects that are much less dramatic. But it still makes us live in the interpretation of reality and not really where reality is taking place. If you could translate it like that.Catherine Edwards:
I completely identify with that so much. And the reason I'm laughing is not because this is funny, but because so much of where I'm at that I recognise in what you're saying. So even though I've been, you know, I'm surrounded by animals, surrounded by nature, I understand how damaging this disconnection is. For me personally, it's still a work in progress too, to constantly remind myself that I am not my thoughts, my thoughts and just imagination that they have a purpose. But they shouldn't be overused because coming from such quite a scientific background and, you know, an upbringing where you sort of prove yourself intellectually, even though I'm actually very, very lucky that I've always grown up surrounded by animals and parents that absolutely adore animals, a lot more, quite honestly I don't blame them, than humans, then it's still a work in progress. And it's sort of almost how we as humans can really. Now, you mentioned it at the start, Emelie, about stop that blaming and shaming of ourselves and say, okay, really surrender. How do I actually want to move forward this? Because there can be so much resistance in the process.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah, and it's like you say that it's a work in progress. I think we we should look at it that way throughout this life. I guess this sort of finding a way to to awaken, if you would call it that and and start to feel this life from it, from that aspect. It's like we have to it's a constant repetition. It's not that we find that once and then it's just there. It's like, I mean, I have this as a full time job and, and, and I will definitely lose my centre and trust and everything else so many times every day. I guess it's a, it's an, it's not a coincidence that this old traditions of praying and meditation in different traditions and religions is almost always based on that. You do your practice several times a day because we will forget while we're doing it. Even I mean, even while praying or meditating, I will start thinking about what to eat for dinner or what will I do so I be I can afford to pay whatever bill or it's I think this is the one of the challenges of being a human is that we have to learn how to live with this brain. Yes. And we know very little about it because we are quite a young species. And I was talking to someone who said that, well, actually, if you look at it, we are teenagers. We are in the face of being teenagers. And I believe that's really quite true because we all are very dramatic, self-centred, just as most of us are when we are teenagers.Catherine Edwards:
That's lovely.Emelie Cajsdotter:
And we don't see the full consequences of our actions because we are so wrapped up in our own feelings that we believe that we are really sensitive to to this surrounding world because we feel so many things. But it's our own feelings. It's not the same as feeling what someone else is feeling, and there is a difference.Catherine Edwards:
Do you think... You've hit on something really important there. So I you and I spoke last time in our last discussion about how we've both got such a passion for looking after elderly animals.Emelie Cajsdotter:
For all sorts of reasons. And it makes me quite emotional to think about it with the the wisdom that our elderly animals, not only pass on to us humans very graciously, but also when you see the interaction of how the elderly animals take that leadership, that calming role, that nurturing role with other animals in the group. Now, do you think, Emelie, that part of the society problems that we've got is because a lot of people again, I'm using an inverted commas for those listening to this on the podcast, the Western world. We've we've lost that appreciation for the elders. So every single ancient conjecture, tradition, wisdom tribe has always had a real reverence for when you move into that part of your life and the wisdom that you can bring and the stability that you can bring. But in our societies, we don't see that so much. We tend to see the elderly as a burden and put them in care homes, etc., rather than actually learn from them and have that stability around us. Do you feel that's a contributor?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah, I definitely think so. And I mean, you even see it's we project that on to older animals as well. It's like we keep the animals for as long as they are productive. Yeah, and productive could mean for as long as you can ride them or compete them or for as long as you can do whatever activity that you sort of bought this animal to be able to do. So we also miss out on what we can learn from from, like you say, spending time with someone who has all these experiences. But also we need to practice serving others. In a way, I think we will not be because, like I say, we are unhappy and we are discontent. And I think part of that discontentment is that we are probably in our deep nature meant to serve this life. To to uphold the space of life and that or the space where life can take place, but not to interfere with it so much. It's like we I guess we misunderstood our role as a sort of having dominion over this entire creation, as it's been sort of said to us in the Bible and we practice that everything is here for us, even to some extent in, in spiritual practices. It is pronounced like that, like all these animals are here to serve us. Well, what if it actually is the other way around? Because when we do that, we feel a lot better. That there is a sort of deeper contentment when we are able to help others. So so I guess our role... Not only do we miss out on on learning from the older generations, so we have to make lots of mistakes, but also we miss the opportunity to actually serve them and with that sort of respect that we also need to practice because we are losing... When we are these sort of modern drug addicts. We are losing self-respect. We do. Whether we are aware of it or not. And then it becomes very hard to respect someone else and we look so much to the outcome of things. So I guess this is another important factor that we are doing something in order to get the result of the doing. So with elderly people, the result is that eventually they will die. So what's the point? It's not going to lead anywhere in our productive society. So. So that's why also you can see the politics in Sweden. It's like if you put money into a school, that's that's a cost. But if you build a road, it's an investment. You will see how they sort of phrased it differently because we think that that one thing will lead to further development and that is brilliant. And whatever is more towards care is actually that's a cost because it doesn't really it doesn't produce anything. Even if you would think that a school could do that. But but that's how we look at it. So when we are constantly going somewhere, we have a problem. And I guess this is where we relate to linear time and no other spaces does that. So we are doing things in order to get the sort of reward of the result, which means that we are really not present in what is happening at the time. So we seem to be the only species that can experience that things feel like they are without meaning. So all the time we look for meaning. We look for something outside of the event itself. I can't just take a walk in the forest with my horse because- but I can say that I can do it if I'm training the horse. If it's an exercise that will strengthen the legs or the back or whatever, then I can do it. But to just actually be in the forest because you want to spend that time, you almost need to find an excuse for that. So? So we are and we and we also we then imply all these training methods on our animals where they do things in order to get a reward, like they will sit or run or jump or lie down or make somersaults whatever, to get a sweet. But it's a very actually very strange way of forming a relationship. I mean, another way of forming it would be that we find a common interest and we share the experience of doing that. And it's like I'm having this conversation with you because because it really it gives me a sense of meaningfulness, because I get to challenge my thoughts. And it's it's a beautiful sharing. It's not because I know that I will have a cup of coffee afterwards that would be completely different. So so it's I think it's it's this sort of rat race scenario is also because our idea of that we are here on this planet living in order to do something and to develop and to go from from A to B, and then something must have changed. Other species don't really speak about the meaning of life at all, because the meaning of life to them is the fact that we can be alive at all, which is completely different. And so I think we are really missing out. And it's a way- in a way we do these practices and we call it mindfulness and things. But I think it's it's also even mindfulness. We could say that we practice in order to feel more calm, but to live just for the sake of living. This seems to be where other species really can help us, actually. As to quality of life.Catherine Edwards:
I love that so much. And I've been observing my animals so much recently. So again, I will put my hand up on such a sight. Used to really amaze me when people would sort of say, Oh, I'm going for a rest in the day and doing this. And then I sort of just watch my animals. And the whole point is, is most animals in nature and, a few exceptions, but let's take most of them. They can't store a whole larder full of food to last them. For example, there are some exceptions which have some great adaptions to do that, but most animals can't. So each day they have a routine of food, water, shelter, looking after their young, etc. And we seem to think that, as you say, we've done that. Therefore we can tick that off the list and we tend to keep those sort of mundane habits of living life, I would say, other than just survival is if there were any convenience that get in the way of some of our other dreams. But my cats or my dogs or even when I look at the wildlife around me, the fact that tomorrow they have to go off and hunt again for food, whether they're herbivore, carnivore doesn't stop them resting today. That's such a beautiful cycle when you observe that in terms of appreciating what we need to do right here, right now to keep that natural cycle going. And us humans are such of, you know, we're waiting for our holidays, we're waiting for our appointment, we're waiting for our pay rise. We're waiting for to be responsible enough to have children- don't ever wait, you never will be, trust me!Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah, totally agree on that one.Emelie Cajsdotter:
You know, it's it's this constant, as you say, driven from our mind, which is so taking away the enjoyment of the simple things in life that actually we are evolved to do and. It's such a paradox about how we get back to that, because I think most people watching this will understand that they're not happy. There's an intense level of stress in some areas of most people's lives. You know, how you label it will be different for different individuals. But you know, on that rat wheel of life, of paying your mortgage, of educating your children of of, you know, of looking after relatives, etc.. So let's get back to what is- how would you describe to people what empathic, communicative, interspecies communication is and very importantly, Emelie? How can we start incorporating this? Where do people start? Say someone's watching this before that doesn't feel- I'm just going to use the term animal communicator because a lot of people will resonate with that. If people are thinking, yes, there's some area I'm not in life, where can they start to to get this connection back again?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Now, I think that we need to understand that there is a difference between reading an animal, for example, or a human being or any anything, anyone else that you meet, meaning that there is still a gap between you. So it's still my interpretation of you that is the outcome. And I could be very intelligent or very clear sighted or very experienced in a way that that interpretation might really have have a value and it would, would make a difference and I would learn from it. But that's still not what empathic communication would be. So I think to to try to explain it and in a way is that if we have our selves, the self, the if the self would be a description of the merging between body and soul, and they're also the birth of the unique individual. Then my concept of who I am would be what I can sense and feel and think that lies within my control. I can move my hands so they are mine. And I can to some extent control my thoughts and take them to places. And I can definitely relate to my feelings. And so all of that becomes me. And then everyone outside of my inner control would be someone else. Yeah. So. So that is the experience of separation. Like we are separate individuals and it seems like life enjoys that because it means that we have a variety of personalised angles of experiencing life. So, and that goes sort of back to the source. So the source can only experience itself through the living beings basically. So in that sense, separation is not wrong. We are separate individuals and we need to have a healthy integrity and sense of who we are. Otherwise we can't expand to include someone else because it would be very stressful and confusing and would probably turn only into projections or really losing ourselves. So we need to start from a sense of of being who we are, but then the possibility of empathic communication instead, the self, the consciousness, meaning that I am aware of the self can expand and begin to include others than only me. Which means that if I include the pot plant sitting opposite to me now, that would mean that I would feed the pot plant from inside. It would not be my interpretation of what I deep down think that it's like to sit in a pot. It would actually be the full experience. So it means that I in order for that to happen, I must invite the other one to be part of me, meaning also that I have to step out and be part of life. And in that sense, there is a great vulnerability involved. Because there is a moment there when I will not have control like I have when I am only me inside of my separate self. And so that opening can only happen, I guess, through a deeper sense of trust into the entirety. If what we come from is deep down a full acceptance and love. For... Just because we exist, not because of what we do or what we have achieved. This is the sort of this is the door that opens the empathic communication. If I want something from the other one, it will not happen. Yeah, it will happen. It can happen. Like. Like good things that can help us is, for example, curiosity. But that would just do it because we want to see if it's possible. Is a much better way of practising, I find. Than "I'm so worried that my animal has pain, so I really need an answer". So I think there are some ways of practising that would be quite helpful. One is, is... Was given to me by a horse and we use it in the school. This horse is a peacekeeper in the herd and the peacekeepers are, are aware of the distance between individuals. And by embodying that distance and putting in an awareness, or a consciousness in it, even, it means that it's not a gap anymore. It's a bridge. So say that I want to have contact with my horse and I want it so much that I'm actually pushing it away because my my want is a problem. But if I instead I know I already know that I want to get to the horse. So I put my focus on the distance between us. I actually put my focus on the gap. That means that I'm actually one step closer to the other one, and I'm also one step closer to invite the other one to come to me because this is not something we can order. It's not that if I do all the steps correctly and I've prepared myself and I'm calm and a meditative, there is no promise that it's going it's going to happen. So we need to sort of put ourselves in a situation where we are curious, accepting, and without all this, "what I want for myself". It could be good to work blindfolded. We do that with students too, that they sort of sit outside of of the field, so so they can, you know, relax with their bodies and not feel that they need to be aware of the circumstances and to just... You, you sit blindfolded and you accept to yourself and to the surroundings that that I need to be seen in order for me to see someone else, someone has to see me. And eventually you sit there and you will eventually find that someone is observing you and you just accept that to come in. And we we mainly work with two questions. One is "who are you?" And, um, and that is just because it's a practice in, in wanting to get closer in the relationship, not because I want information, I don't want I don't need to know what colour you have or what you're good at. I want to, to get a glimpse of your essence. I want to feel you. And it helps sometimes to close off some of the sense that that makes us more judgemental. Because the minute I see the horse I will make all sorts of conclusions that I'm not even aware of. But within seconds I will have decided whether this horses is too fat or too thin or look happy or unhappy or should be doing this or that. And then the other one, there is no room for the other one in that conversation. So so I think also to just put yourself in a place where your role is not to be in charge or have responsibility like like in a grove of trees or practice with a neighbours and to force someone that you don't need the result for something and just be sort of curious who, who are you really? And if something happens in that practice, it will normally come as a little bit of a surprise because a lot of the time it's not what we expect because when we create something in our minds, we are part of every step of that process. So we are seldom surprised by our own minds. But if all of a sudden actually feel the pot plant inside me, it can be a sort of almost overwhelming experience of losing direction. And now it's a completely different body. Yeah, and I perhaps I will not be able to explain it, but I will have experienced something that from that point will change my perception of reality because I have shifted this this small room that I have made in my mind and what's possible or not had a little shake. And for every time I do this, it will shake a bit more and eventually there will be room for more things that my mind cannot comprehend because this can be experienced, but it cannot be at the same time. Understood. You have to experience it first. And that's why it's harder for me, for example, who has it as a job, knowing that when I go to see an animal, the owner wants a result out of that. They want to they want to understand the animal and they want to know what to do. And that will always be a strong limitation for me. It's a strong limitation for the entire conversation, actually, and I have to be very aware of that, of course. So when when when you start to practice, start with with situations that are really, you know, without any pressure and preferably closed off at least the visual sense to begin with and be curious because we don't need to be perfectly balanced and good at what we're doing to be able to do this. That would be really quite sad. It all it takes is really a willingness to take a risk of letting the world in, in a way.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Which helps so much even with human to human communication, because how much do we read body language and how much is body language one of our defence mechanisms. So if we blindfolded ourselves with a loved one and then felt the conversation rather than immediately putting off because you've done this and I've determined that that is a defence. So it's just barrier after barrier. So just leading onto this honesty, I could talk to all day, but I know how busy you are. So there's a lot of people watching this, Emelie, that have animals in their care that are part of the family that they feel responsible for because the animals are reliant on them, for their food, for their shelter, for their interaction, for their health care. What are some tips that we could improve that relationship straight away? Because as their caregivers, there's that huge set burden of responsibility for doing the best things for the animals. How can we move forward with that?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah, I think. I mean, I feel that, too. I mean, even if I have it as a job, you know, some days, I'm sure you feel it, too. It's hopeless because you really can't give them all you want to give them. So it's like, well, perhaps it's better I don't have any animals at all because I will never do it good enough. That that is one sort of struggle. I very seldom hear animals say that. It's like if they what they seem to wish for. I guess it's true for all of us. The closer we live to how we are designed to live, the better we feel. So, for example, for a horse, for most horses, there are always exceptions. Yes, but quite a large pasture is is often good. Or to be stuck inside of a stable day in and day out is normally not improving the quality of life because they are designed to constantly move and constantly eat. So if we can give them that, that is a good basis. So. So our first duty to them, I guess, is because we've taken them out of their natural environment and, and is to try to recreate as well as we can a natural environment. And whatever we can do with the resources we have is good. I mean, I know a riding school in the city in this area that really has it's it's quite it's quite I mean, it's in the city. It's almost no fields. They're stuck inside all the time. And these horses used to be very unhappy. And then there was a new stable manager in this riding school and she really saw each individual. And even if she couldn't change the outer circumstances, all these horses began to feel better because they she met them and they started to have a voice. So perhaps we can't move out into the countryside and put them out in the wild. But we can. We can sort of. We can start by respecting them as individuals and and give them what we can from what we have. When we look at the natural behaviour. And then we seem to think that they need to do a lot of things and then we have I mean, we have individuals that do need to run, for example, a certain breed of dogs. Breeds of dogs and, and horses and that they need that ability to move. I mean that is one thing, but the actual doing of being sort of stimulated by doing a lot of things that seems to be more of our need. And I mean, I meet a lot of animals that say that they just want the person to be present with them when they have time. Perhaps we don't have much time at all because it's like you say, it's work, it's children, it's school, it's dinner, it's everything. And we have this 20 minutes with the dog and then we spend that 20 minutes feeling guilty about that we are not really who we wish we were in this relationship, and that is what the dog would find sad. It's like, okay, I can accept that you have 20 minutes. Wouldn't phrase it like that, but they will accept this little span. But but please, at least, you know, let us be together in this time. So. So I guess to feel less guilty about our lack of time, it's totally understandable. But when we then have that time together to be be present and not take so many things for granted, it's like, does my horse really want to go for a ride today or do they want something else? And if I spend 5 minutes just sitting, perhaps I will get an idea that I wouldn't get otherwise. Them. They seem to appreciate our being together with them much more actually than anything else. And no matter what we do with them, if we are not present, doesn't really seem to have that much value.Emelie Cajsdotter:
I love that it's so important. Yeah. I think people, I'd really encourage you to listen to that a couple of times and think about how you would feel if anyone that interacted with you of whatever species was really present with you and how transformational this will be. These tips, I think, you know, some people might think, well, why is animal communication or interspecies communication or interspecies empathic relationships so important? But we have to change the world. We have to change our operating we can't change it from our current level of consciousness. We've gone very off track. I don't think there's anyone that is listening to this that would would disagree with that. So this for me, seems such a key to getting us back on track.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yes. And it's also possible. It's like we don't need to move somewhere else or have lots of money first or be a completely different person. It's animals seem to notice what is valuable to them is is that just that there is a difference at all. And they and they are very forgiving in in our trying and in our process, actually much more forgiving than what we tend to be to ourselves. So I guess that's why it's hard to receive it. Yeah. And also we feel that we need to give them something back because they give us all this love and acceptance and what can I do? And in a way, it's good that we feel that responsibility. But when that switches into starting to actually blame ourselves or, you know, to, yes, this sort of self-blame, a deeper sense of guilt, that is not about the reality. And that is also an excuse for actually not doing these small things. Yeah. So so I mean, we have this entire range of how the ego is working when we think that we we are very respectful and that we almost like if we are too tough to ourselves or too hard on ourselves, that that that would be a sort of reasonable payback. But it's not. It's like actually going out and experiencing and and appreciating this creation that is a reasonable payback. Um, because that's perhaps that's why we're here and perhaps that's the only reason why we're here. And then it would be a real sort of sadness and not having been present while we were here.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Oh, I love it. I think everyone watching this can see why it's so important. Emelie's work and your team's work where you are. So can we just finish off by telling us a bit more about your sanctuary, about your school, and about how people can help? Because we know that you are at a stage now where you need to raise some funds to actually be able to secure the land that you need to keep everything going.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yes. I mean, this this place, like we were saying, you start from where you are. And I started from a very tiny farm that I was renting and later actually buying. I don't believe that you can own land, but still, it's a way of of securing it from being exploited in any other way, you could say. But because the number of animals increased over the years then we had, we were leasing land where we are. They're in many different areas and from many different people for grazing. So the grazing season for us is from sort of April to late November because of these larger areas. And that has been functioning fine until now when the biggest pasture, where also the centre of the school is, is up for sale. And we never thought that would happen because this farm has been owned by the same family since eight or nine generations back and they really love what we do. So, so we never thought that there was going to be a risk of losing that. And it's huge. I mean, the horses, all of the horses can fit there and parts of the year, so all of the 60 ish horses can meet at the same time and which is really beautiful. But then there is a divorce in the family and things happening that means that they can't keep it anymore. So it's up for sale and they hope that we can buy it and we hope that we can buy it. But we need to to really raise funds for that because it's it's it's a lot of money. And the idea is then to if we can release this and secure the sanctuary in that way because we have secured the winter fields, but then we can secure the summer grazing season as well and have a continue like a continuous line in that because it means that the horses that started this can continue with the new individuals that comes. So we don't need to cut this thread because that would be very sad. And then if we are able to purchase this farm, then we will immediately turn it into a foundation.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Because the foundation can only be created around something that exists like a capital or a plac e. So now it's being we are we are collecting the funds through a non-profit organisation. So it becomes correct in the tax, the regulations and things, and then it will be turned into a foundation, meaning that the land will actually own itself. So it's not depending on one person. I mean, no matter how long we live, a lifetime is short and it needs to be able to get past me, actually. So it's it's a way of of securing that. And that also means that we have a stronger foundation for the school. And now when we are reaching out to the world for help and there is an interest, of course, from the world, we also we want to be able to take on students from from abroad, for example, or volunteers from other countries that could stay a bit longer than just for a few days, like when we have Swedish students and volunteers. So they come to school is in weekends and they come for days. But if you come from from abroad, you need to be able to stay a little bit at least.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Yeah. So. So it means that we could really. If you find a like a deeper sustainability in it. So so one part is, well, first, I mean, yes, it is about grass for the animals. They need their space and it needs to be big enough so they can express themselves. That is, of course, if we don't have that, we can't do anything. But we also realise that it's not only about the animals. The humans needs this as much as any other species perhaps even more. And the foundation would make it co-owned by all species. And that gives us a place to practice and to be able to invite people to practice because we need that. I mean, we need to help each other. This is not- you can't make a spiritual career. It's like for as long as long as anyone remains completely disconnected from this life, there is work to do. Basically.Emelie Cajsdotter:
Absolutely. So all the links for how you can donate and there's so many different options. I will tell people there's lots and lots of different options from anyone who's got, you know, £1, $1, whatever your currency is, to donate. To people that want to make bigger investments because there are properties on the land as well and things like that that can be purchased separately, aren't there Emelie. So many opportunities. So I'm going to make sure that all the links are in the description box below from whatever platform you're watching this on. I'm also going to make sure that there are contact details for Emelie should you have any other suggestions so that you can actually, if it's not as simple, you want to press on the donate you've got some other suggestions so that you can do that. I strongly believe from the deepest place of my heart that this is the way forward for re-establishing this connection for all species. And I'm talking about the soil, the plants, the animals, the humans, because this is... And it is by giving, you are also giving yourself a chance for any human that's watching this, it's not an accident that you're watching this. There's a calling somewhere within you to reconnect with yourself, with other people, with other species. And this... Emelie, I haven't come across anyone else yet. That does it as beautifully as what you're doing. So please, please, please, anyone. Anything that you can give is absolutely essential, I think, on a grander, energetic scale, not just for all the animals and humans involved, that we really secure this and keep this going. Any final words from you, Emelie, before we finish this episode?Emelie Cajsdotter:
Well, I guess it's it's important to feel hopeful. I mean, and also to know that if if we I mean, it's we're really trying to come together as much as we can. And I think the coming together in trying to solve this, that has a meaning in itself. And the horses were always describing it like many small good deeds is what will carry this forward. So it means that even if you can just contribute with anything very minor or you think it is small, it never is really. And that is not only in this particular case, it's always like that. So so that's one thing. And and we are we're going to to make also more of the material in English for the teachings. Like an introduction to the work in English. And that would be sort of free of charge just to sort of get a little bit deeper into what it's about and, and a possibility for international courses and the question and answers evenings online and things to to open up for for this for this longing in humans as much as we can because it's we had one horse, I don't know if we said that the last time, but we had one horse dying a couple of years ago from a twisted gut. And it was it was his his day to go. But the last thing he expressed before he went was that he saw lots of people waiting behind in the forest, looking in. And he said, well, you don't say no to people that truly from their heart wishes to to do this journey with themselves. So we're looking for ways to meet that longing. And so this website, the Friends of Mio, and that is also linked to one that has more of the courses in it. And this is being it's so much is happening now, so it's being updated a lot. Yes. Anyone who is interested in in getting to know more about this work there, there will be more and more things to to be able to take part and take part in. So that's good to know.Emelie Cajsdotter:
That's absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for your time. We really, really appreciate this. Honestly, I can't tell you how important I think that the work you're doing and the message you're sharing is at this time, I think is absolutely crucial to... It's, we're at a tipping point. And I'm very, very optimistic about it. And I'm very, very optimistic that the land and the animals will be helping us on this way. Thank you so much, Emelie. And I'm sure we will be back for another conversation. And thank you so much to anyone that's listened to this today. We appreciate each and every one of you.Emelie Cajsdotter: