Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

Holding the Space For Them

As you may have seen on social media, we have a new baby boy here in CA. Ferdinand was so scared and sad when he first arrived, but with time, patience, and lots of love he is coming around to the joy that has been waiting for him here. He is finally starting to explore and play. Each morning after breakfast he plays with the wheel burrow and knocks it over. Then he walks around the yard collecting sticks that he carries in his mouth and chews. Then after a nice long nap, Ferdinand plays ball with the volunteers and jumps, bucks, and spins around chasing his new toy. He is beginning to play with us by head bonking gently like cows play. The other day he snatched a paper from my hand and ran around the yard with it in his mouth, jumping and running for joy like a giant puppy dog.

It was a long and involved process to bring Ferdinand from sorrow and fear to joy and trust. My daughter Cheyanne and I slept with him for the first week, never leaving his side for a solid seven days. We stayed until he was less defensive and scared, and we could pet him. Then we had volunteers stationed with him, taking four-hour shifts throughout the day and night, so he was never alone. Every morning I would mediate with Ferdinand. I would sit quietly and still, breathing in and out deeply. As soon as I would begin, Ferdinand would stop what he was doing, lie down, close his eyes, and join me. I would paint the picture of what his life would look like, in my mind. I would visualize the fresh food and clean water he would have every day. I would picture the friends that would play with him and the people who would bring affection and attention. I would imagine his body leaping in the air, running and playing with joy. I always ended by inviting Ferdinand to step into this life whenever he was ready.

Sometimes those in recovery forget who they are, or often they are in so much pain that they cannot see the peace in front of them. To move them forward out of where they are and into the life we have designed for them, we must hold the space for them to step into when they are ready. We do this process for every single turkey who eventually becomes a cuddle turkey, for every cow who in time learns to gives out hugs, every chicken who ultimately becomes a lap chicken, and every feral animal who finally learns to trust. If we see it, they can be it.

Latest Posts

Upcoming Events

Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

MyChelle formulates clean, advanced skincare products with peptides, plant stem cells, antioxidants and retinoids that enhance skin's natural appearance. MyChelle is proudly co-sponsoring The Gentle Barn 20th Anniversary Celebration along with CRYSTAL™

Martin Floreani - CEO and President of MyChelle Dermaceuticals and Crystal Deodorant “Our company was started based on the concept that we could develop better-for-you products. Products that help people make better choices for themselves, for their families, and society. There’s a contagious feeling of happiness when you are involved with an organization like the Gentle Barn who constantly does so much good. We are proud to be sponsors and supporters of this incredible organization.”

Spotlight Sponsor of the Month

CRYSTAL™ is the world’s original natural and number one selling mineral salt deodorant. Crystal aspires to provide a natural and safer alternative than traditional chemical-laden deodorants. Crystal is proudly co-sponsoring The Gentle Barn 20th Anniversary Celebration along with MyChelle.

Catie Wiggy - Vice President of Marketing & Product Innovation “Animal testing is still such a problem in the beauty industry and personal care products. We feel that it is our corporate mission to lead a different way, and that is something we are proud to have done for more than 35 years. Being a sponsor for The Gentle 12 Program is meaningful for us in so many ways. The Gentle Barn's missions align with our companies core values to go beyond cruelty-free, inspiring everyone to live happier, healthier lives.