To say I adore my soul companion in rabbit body, Astrid, is an understatement and the depth of that love is far more than snuggly sweetness we share between us (although that definitely is a big part of it). It includes how much I admire and am inspired by her agile spirit, strong heart, and wise instincts. I also love her humor and childlike innocence she so exuberantly and unabashedly displays, while the next moment standing in the unwavering power of her benevolent queen’s essence. She is so in tune with her body and feelings, and together we are like a finely tuned piano of black and white keys working in harmony. But that is something that doesn’t just happen overnight. It comes with committed patience, open-hearted presence, and willingness to be open to seeing each other as equals.
I’ve written quite a bit about animal communication, the importance of communicating everything with them, how we can share harmonious relationships with our animal companions, and in fact how important it is to keep deepening into the vortex of your heart so that possibilities in this realm will become the new norm. One of these shares was about how Astrid and our niece opened the communication channels, which you can read here: Animals Understand
And it’s just such clear communication channels between the two of us that assist during times of change.
I’ve been so very proud of this sweet, strong soul who has been fully back to having 100% free roam during our travel time away. The first week was a trial run of part-time closure within her giant, mobile pen the size of two and a half pens put together only while we were out during the day for a few hours and sleeping at night. This was for potential safety and damage control in foreign new spaces.
But after having a check-in and long conversation with her where she expressed her frustrations to me, I knew it was time to leave the door permanently open and this has continued since – she’s on three weeks of open pen and full free roam at all times.
We agreed on trust guiding things and with the freedom she would know that I honored her word and soul needs, which in turn she would reciprocate. And we’ve both kept our word.
Astrid’s soul is SO big and advanced, to contain her in more than just her physical body alone is spirit crushing – both to her and me. So it’s been back to full freedom always and that makes a happy queen and mom. She still uses her pen for the majority of the day and everything in it as her safe space and personal realm.
She’s shifted from guarding it all quite diligently from cat spies and robbers to relaxing into a new ease, while coming and going as she desires.
It’s been super interesting to watch both her old and new behaviors emerge, which have evolved to suit her temporary home life and reflect her transformation process. So far I’ve witnessed her behaviors change based on triggers from having an enclosed space, the different homes we’ve been in, the layout and space of the home, how she feels in it, the way the cats are behaving, and how she’s embracing being the traveling rabbit for the period of time I’ve told her we’ll be gone.
She’s gone from frustrated to empowered and joyful – from unsure to secure and confident.
She went from also knocking down her cardboard cabin, chewing on her mats and pen (even when it was open), tipping over hay bins and snack bowls, and being afraid someone would steal her treats, to complete peace, her usual tidy ways like back at home, and sense of security even if the cats lurk around.
The more we communicate and the more I demonstrate my trust in her, stand behind my word of never ever leaving her side, and literally holding her hand throughout every new transition of every single moment, the more she relaxes into even greater embodied empowerment.
One of the entertaining (although equally frustrating to me) behaviors she displayed was in the first home of three weeks we were in, where she became much more territorial. This was her way of asserting the need to honor her feelings while she traversed through the changes she was going through and learning how to process the new. This made her charge at or chase any cat that infringed on her realm. She was even temporarily back to charging when you put food in front of her (an old shelter response) until assured with pets and snuggles.
I especially got a giggle out of her stealth attack on our male cat Boojum. She would lay low in her cardboard cabin calmly with her amethyst, and if Boojum tried to pass (he’s known to steal her hay and water) she lunged at him with full speed and grunt, sending him on his way. She would then immediately and quickly retract back inside. This fast stealth strike and equally fast retreat back into oblivion had us calling her a little moray eel. 😉
She would also lay directly across the front of her small hay bin that is the bounty both cats will sneakily try to get, and basically like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings declared, “You shall not pass!”
There was never any violence or fight that ensued. She just asserted her boundaries and I LOVE that about her.
The cats know to back off because Queen Astrid is quite a force to reckon with energetically. You wouldn’t think so looking at her sweet silver butterfly kissed lips and twinkle toes, but she’s learned to be comfortable in her power of both strength and softness. She’s the Rabbit Queen, afterall!
In our first place she had morning moments of binkies and running laps with me in the master bedroom, but mostly processed how to integrate the new with staying in the main living area with us and asking dad for lots of extra snuggle time while he did his stretches on the floor. I loved how she looked to both of us (mom AND dad energies) for encouragement and love, as ingredients to the new she was deciding how to integrate.
And this behavior continued on the first leg of our journey until we got to our second landing spot.
With four weeks and already three of the seven road trips under her wings, she came to a steady and more anchored place of softened confidence, encouraged by her parents. And it is in this last week where even more of her exuberant and explorative inner child also made many more appearances again. She’s had a blast exploring the entire home from the get-go and not one night did she spend contained in her pen. It was only put up to create the feeling of her having her very own, safe realm within the new space, but it was left wide open all day and night long.
It’s a very nice space where she has a beautiful winter scape view.
She’s actually evolved into being the happiest I’ve seen her, the most social ever with everyone – not just me, the most self-assured and content, and super communicative, responsive, and interactive. She literally fills the space of the room, but in a sweet way that evokes a smile and invites you to play.
She doesn’t feel the need to own the room, but shares it with everyone and really has taken her spot as a bridge for the whole family.
There’s times we’ll come downstairs to find her sitting tall on the center round ottoman like the benevolent queen who is excited for the fun to begin and to let down her hair.
And in the evenings when we watch movies, she’ll move between laying like a bunny loaf in front of us on that ottoman, joining dad in his stretching exercises, and then jumping on and in between us on the couch, laying there awaiting pets and enjoying snuggle time.
There’ll of course be a few hops, zoomies, and teases, as she invites everyone to add play to our peaceful evenings.
You can tell by the last several photos where her favorite spot is right in the middle of all of the action and smack center of the energy in the room. It’s so endearing to see her in her essence and element and even Dave has remarked how she’s really blossomed in this new space and surprised him with how not only well she’s doing, but how she’s let out her personality even more.
It has been so fun to watch her surrender into her childlike self as she runs, jumps, binkies, and leaps with joy. The more guarded, old parts of her have relaxed again back to how she is at home, but also in a newly empowered way.
She’s jumped on every surface possible – couches, ottomans, wide adobe window sills – and had no problem running up and down the wooden stairs to the second floor so that she could explore there and also come thump by my side of the bed to tell me she’s ready for morning and morning snacks to begin!
She would run upstairs in the evenings while I’m working and tug on the comforter or the velcro attachment of my computer cord to let me know it’s dinner time.
She’s even followed me around at my feet, excitedly been coming when ever we call her name, and has been craving dad’s attention too, enjoying her teasing games with him for snuggles and carrots.
And during the day she securely rested in her cardboard cabin or sprawled out on the mat in her pen, awaiting us to return home.
She’s been finding her balance and like the collective, is mirroring how to revisit the old patterned, painful memories of her past, but realize that the now is nothing like that. So while she’s had trigger reminders of being locked up, abandoned, and badly handled come up through the experience of major change on her traveling adventure, she’s been able to revisit it safely and quickly with our loving and nurturing help, so that she can move through and beyond those old behaviors at even greater depths of clearing.
She’s realizing, through our communications and demonstrations of honor and trust for who she is – being seen and fully supported – that the old doesn’t have to define her anymore. She’s learning that it’s okay to demonstrate vulnerable frustration and have feelings come up, but she’s also realizing that they are in fact only based on what “used to be” and what “is” is something entirely different.
She understands our trust in her and she trusts that we will always be here for her.
She’s being supported into her authentic self and loved every step of the way. We don’t judge her for her actions while she processes the feelings and needs she has to draw lines. We honor her need for alone time and give her plenty of nurturing when she needs encouragement.
And she’s understanding that boundaries are healthy, but can also be bridges of understanding rather than violent separations.
In the latest new home she hasn’t had to be territorial in the same stealth way. She’s softened into a more direct line of communication because of being more at home with her feelings. She simply stands her ground with solid and sweet confidence and I’ve now found her sitting not far apart from both of the cats at any given time. In fact, they’ll all be huddled in a triangle of sorts, leaving you wondering what’s being plotted amongst them.
She’s coming into a new sense of how it is to be both soft and strong when in embodied empowerment.
There’s a whole new programming she’s undergoing within this experience, much like me and how I’m reprogramming my relationship to the old fears surrounding height edges and skiing that has more profound effects on a wide range of things beyond what meets the eye.
Never are our experiences isolated to self alone.
We’re both learning how to move through and transmute these primal patterns so that a new experience can be possible.
And this in fact also reflects what I feel the collective is moving through and rebooting as well – something I’ll likely share a little more reflections about in an upcoming post.
Astrid wanted me to remind you that her Ask Astrid Fridays are also open to any of you who might have questions for her.
Do you have something you’d like to ask Astrid?
If so, please send them along either in the comments below, or through the contact form and we’ll try to get some of them up in future posts.