By profession, Stefanie Skupin from Tonasket, WA, is a veterinarian. But she doesn’t practice in the United States. Instead, she has created her own field of work – that of a communicator and facilitator. With animals and with people. Something that began way back when she started out in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I have worked as a large animal and small animal veterinarian, and have treated some wildlife there as well. Birds mainly”, Stef reminisces. And tells me how much she longs to go back to what for its diversity has been also called the rainbow nation. “What it taught me was that no matter where we come from culturally, socially and globally – we are part of a global human family. We might think we differ from each other, but we are actually so similar. We share fears, cultural traumas, anxieties, and also all the good stuff. We all want to be safe, happy, respected, have enough food, be healthy, look good. The ways our minds and bodies work are so similar.”
Stefanie ended up in Tonasket because she and her husband had wanted to buy a farm there with friends. Instead, she founded Sipho Animal Communication and The Leaders Work. Now, I thought that Stef was an animal whisperer. But I was so wrong! Here’s her explanation in a nutshell: “Animal whisperers work with animals by utilizing species-specific behavior patterns. Animal communicators talk with animals on what you’d probably call a telepathic level.” The fairly clear exchange of thought, emotion, and some physical sensation is also called interspecies communication, and, apparently, it can be learned. To the point where an animal is able to communicate their needs or even that of a fellow creature. “It doesn’t work as well with humans, and it doesn’t work if the animal is deeply asleep or busy with playing”, warns Stefanie, though. And she explains that 80 percent of the human communication “happens behind and around words – body language, facial expression, inclusion into or exclusion from a group, etc. To hear telepathic messages, you’ll need to be able to focus and listen deeply.”
These days, Stefanie Skupin is working mostly one-on-one “with people who are tired of feeling stressed and want to feel a sense of peace and joy instead, and feel empowered to make all the changes necessary”. Her classes, workshops, and retreats have mostly fallen victim to Covid-19. These days, online support prevails. “In medical terms”, thus Stefanie, “it’s a long-acting anti-stressor and preventative medicine for future stressful situations.”
But how does Stefanie herself escape stress, when she balances two client-dependent companies that both suffer from pandemic limitations and has just written and published her book “Awakening From Fear”? “I have a daily practice of meditation and breathing, and the animal communications help me be disciplined about it”, says Stefanie. “There are very few things that can stress me because I worked to achieve deep understanding and compassion. I feel really grounded and at home with myself.” Apart from that, she has the healthy routine of an outdoors person: walking her dog, rock climbing, paddling, swimming, hiking, and skiing. Besides she loves gardening, painting, writing, reading, hanging out with friends, and going on trips. She even started a volunteer-driven Circus Camp for kids in Tonasket, which, after 4 years, also fell victim to Covid. What would Stefanie do with an extra-hour every day? You may already have guessed her answer: more of the same.
Of course, somebody as busy as Stefanie Skupin has plans ready for the time when Covid-19 is reined in. She would love to hire a second facilitator who helps people relax and evolve at the same time. She wants to work with more people, design and facilitate a retreat, and she would like to go see her parents in Germany. Meanwhile, she helps making these stressful days more bearable by listening deeply, communicating compassionately, and celebrating country-life in a small community close to the Canadian border.