Animals and Spirits: Interview with Life Coach Alison Rowley Klahr

Alison Rowley
Alison "Ali Rowley” Klahr started her career working as an exotic animal trainer and educator who worked with Jack Hanna.

Alison “Ali Rowley” Klahr lives an interesting life. She started her career working as an exotic animal trainer and educator that led her an opportunity to work with Jack Hanna, which resulted in appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Martha Stewart Show.” She also worked on such films as “Furry Vengeance” and “One for the Money.” Later, she became the CEO and Founder of Animals Galore & More where she made a name for herself as an exotic animal trainer and educator.

After years of working in the film and television industry, Ali established an organization called Journey to Heaven On Earth in 2020. This passion project exercises her skills as a Certified Spiritual Life Coach who makes it her mission to help others through healing traumas, improving personal relationships, and guiding people towards discovering who they really are and their purpose in life.

Ali recently discussed her life and work via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in movies and how did you break into the industry and meet Jack Hanna?

Ali Rowley (AR): I started in the animal business getting my certification as an Exotic Animal Trainer at Hollywood Animals in Los Angeles, Ca. We trained large exotic cats, a bear and an elephant for the film industry. Working as an Animal Curator at Nemacolin Woodlands in Pennsylvania (where they used to hold PGA tournaments at Willard Rockwells mansion), an opportunity presented itself to me to work with Jack Hanna on the David Letterman Show with one of our leopards. With that I then eventually was asked to be on the Jack Hanna show with an African crested porcupine as well as several other animals. Another opportunity came my way when a couple of animal trainers came by to look at our animals (at the resort) for a movie (Furry Vengeance). By seeing me in action they were impressed with the way I handled the animals so they asked me to be a part of their team.

MM: What was it like to appear on so many talk shows?

AR: I was there to promote awareness to the public about these wonderful creatures on our planet. It was a fun experience meeting and working with different personalities in the television industry, which was instrumental in solidifying my work in the movie industry.

MM: What are your favorite memories from being on movie sets?

AR: Training the animals to do such things like steering the wheel of a car, or skunks climbing into cars, chipmunk standing still in the middle of a road (which is more challenging than it sounds), ferrets pushing rocks downhill with their nose, raccoons hiding in picnic baskets and peeking out on cue. Such a thrill to see the animals perform and to be a part of working with their intelligence. Training myself to train them was a huge learning experience.

MM: What prompted you to start working with exotic animals and how much training did this take?

AR: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be around and work with animals. My mom said at three years old I was talking about working with animals when I grew up. After college I jumped on an airplane and went to Hawaii with a backpack in hopes of finding a dolphin internship. I ended up working at a facility that trained dolphins to work with underwater computer screens to communicate by touching with their nose. After I moved back to the mainland is when I went to the exotic training school to work with big cats. I was always torn between working with dolphins vs. cats and I am not only blessed to have the opportunity to work with both these amazing species, but so many more that have come into my life. Initially it took volunteering my time in certain facilities which led me to the nine-week exotic animal training course with Hollywood Animals, however, I have worked all over the United States and will always be learning and training when it comes to animals.

MM: What are some of the most unusual species you have worked with?

AR: I have worked with elephants, kangaroos, large rodents, several different primates, hyenas, large and small cats, birds such as parrots, bird of prey, penguins, reptiles such as alligators, crocodiles, large snakes, arachnids, amphibians, foxes, raccoons (North and South American). There are two animals that I dream of working with and have not had the chance as of yet, Koalas and Gorillas.

MM: What made you decide to also become a life coach?

AR: I had a spontaneous spiritual awakening in 2020 which changed my life completely. It made me examine my beliefs of everything I have ever known in my life which sent me into an ego death. I had a spiritual rebirth that was extremely unordinary (supernatural experience) to say the least. Besides my animals, spirituality is the number one most important thing in my life. It is my life’s mission to be of service to humanity as a whole. My outlook on the world has transformed due to my awakening and I see the beauty in everything around us whether it is good or bad.

MM: What do you wish more people knew about and/or did to practice self-care?

AR: My wish is for everyone to learn to live in the present moment because that is the only reality. The past is in the past, the present is a gift, and the future doesn’t exist. People need to realize that they are the most important person in their life. You can only love someone as much as you love yourself. If you have nothing to give to yourself then you cannot properly give to others. The most selfish act is not taking care of yourself first. We are all on this planet to learn. Humans are so afraid of making mistakes, but they are only mistakes if you haven’t learned the lesson so you will keep repeating the problem or situation until you get it. Life is a flow, when we try to force our lives to go in a certain direction that is when our problems arise. The Universe knows what you want and wants to give you everything you desire if your heart is in the right place and it is for your highest good. You might not get what you are desiring at the moment because there is always a plan working behind the scenes to give you something even better. Whether it’s a job you want or a certain individual in a relationship, there might just be a better job or person that will come when you are ready for it/them. If you have patience and trust the process of your journey, the Universe will guide you to your wildest dreams. There are several things you can do to practice self-care. Grounding is a big one most people don’t know is essential to live a life with as much peace as possible. We are energetic beings and we pick up energies all over this planet from people, places, and things. There are several things you can do for example, put your bare feet into the ground (dirt, grass, etc.), walks in nature is extremely healing, sun gazing recharges our batteries, being around animals is very calming, taking salt baths clears out the old, stagnant energies of the day to give you a great night sleep. And guess what? IT’S ALL FREE! Learn breathing exercises, yoga, meditation. These practices reduce or even dissolve your anxiety for good.

MM: You openly discuss your past struggles with addition. How did those start, how did you overcome them, and why is discussing them so helpful to you and your clients?

AR: My addiction to alcohol started at the age of thirteen years old. To be honest, I can’t recall why I started drinking. Most likely to fit in to a world that feels confusing, body is changing at that age so it could be traumatic, finding acceptance in a friend group? Most children at the age of thirteen have Social Anxiety Disorder. We don’t understand why we feel the way we do. The education system is no help whatsoever. We are stuck in a class for eight hours a day being told what to study (which doesn’t even matter), when to speak, and when to even use the restroom. Then we have to go home to escape it just to do homework. Humans weren’t meant to be behind four walls, especially children. We should be learning about nature, how our bodies work, and how to be kind to one another. Being different should be celebrated, not punished by the adults as well as your peers. I overcame my 35-year-old alcohol addiction when I had my spiritual awakening. I spent almost two years in solitude re-learning everything that I was ever taught and started educating myself on things that mattered like how to heal my past traumas, which in turn healed my addiction. It’s not the substance that is being used I wish people realized. It is why it is being used. If people can go within and really sit with themselves and be completely vulnerable and honest with themselves, they can start healing their past traumas. When you heal inside yourself, your exterior starts healing on its own as well. It is important for my clients to learn that they are not their addiction. They are a human trying to navigate a world that lives in fear. It is a coping mechanism and can be released once their trauma is healed.

Ali RowleyMM: What’s the best fan feedback you’ve gotten about your life coaching thus far?

AR: My best feedback is when my clients take the tools that I give them and they tell me it has transformed their life for the better. Another is how they feel renewed and have a greater sense of self to navigate through the Universe.  However, my favorite is when I had a client tell me that “I am the real deal.” Not only did that make my heart sing, but it also sure made me “blush”.

MM: How do you hope your career—and company—evolves over the next five years?

AR: I hope my life coaching business will help heal the world. If people want to help save the planet all they have to do is heal themselves. That is their only job. I am here to guide them through the process when they are ready to do the work. It is no easy task but it can be done 100%. Every single human on this planet is special. There is not one person greater than the other. We all have a role to play to save humanity and it can and will be done.

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

AR: My goal is to be a motivational speaker to the world as a whole and I can guarantee the planet will be a place we were always meant to live on, which is “Heaven on Earth.” It’s time for everyone to start enjoying the journey instead of fighting against it. If anyone takes away anything I have said I would like it to be this: There are only two emotions in the world, fear and love, and fear is the greatest illusion of all time.