How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Earth Day was designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our planet.  Living our lives in ways that honor and cherish Planet Earth is a key part of conscious living.   What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?  Share your stories!

Happy Earth Day!  I hope you enjoy this video, created by the producers of The Secret, featuring our beautiful planet:

Flower power

Flowers make us happy.  It’s impossible to look at flowers and not feel good, or at least better. 

Feeling good is a choice.  We can choose what we focus on.  One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to make a conscious choice that no matter what we do each day, we’re going to look for things that make us feel good.  Once we make that commitment to be in charge of our own well-being, our energy shifts, we feel happier and lighter, and our lives flow better. 

There are a lot of tools to help us feel better, flowers are just one of them.  Others are spending time with our pets, being out in nature, or listening to a favorite piece of music.
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On this rainy Monday, I decided to bring nature inside and treated myself to a bouquet of beautiful tulips.  They make me feel lighter every time I look at them.  And beyond the window, I can see the Dogwood tree in my yard just waiting for the sun to come out before bursting into full bloom.   Life is good.

Brighten your life or someone else’s with some flowers today!

Allergy Relief from a Neti pot

Spring brings flowers and trees and newly growing grass.  Unfortunately, for many people, these joyful harbingers of warmer weather and longer days also mean the beginning of allergy season.  Allergy medications relieve symptoms, but often come with unpleasant side effects.  A natural alternative that has been helpful for many allergy sufferers is the regular practice of a nasal wash by using a Neti pot.

The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that is one of our body’s first lines of defense against disease.  A nasal wash keeps this layer of mucus moist, clean and healthy.  And compared to other nasal wash techniques, using a Neti pot is easy.  A nasal wash can be as routine as brushing your teeth.

Rinsing with saline solution is a time-honored practice in the Orient.  Here in the West, the nasal wash has been used for decades as a means of treating sinus problems, colds, allergies, and post-nasal drip and to counteract the effect of environmental pollution.

Breathing through the nose filters and conditions the incoming air. The nasal passages are lined with a thin layer of mucus that traps dirt, dust, and pollen and moves steadily to the rear of the nasal cavity and settles in the throat, where it is swallowed.  Saline nasal rinses carry some of these impurities out of the body before they reach your stomach.

They also keep this protective layer of mucus functioning properly.  If the mucus becomes too thick and dry or too thin and runny, it is easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate the nasal lining and cause the swelling and excess discharge of mucus we call a “cold.”  That’s why gargling or sniffing a little salt water at the first sign of a cold is a staple of folk medicine.  The Neti pot continues these time-tested traditions of hygiene.

For some people, the nasal wash is as routine as brushing their teeth. Others use it for specific purposes. Suggested uses:

  • Do the nasal wash to wake up, clear your nostrils, and start the day breathing freely.
  • Use it to remove excess mucus when you are experiencing nasal congestion.
  • Do it several times a day during the allergy season to rid the nostrils of pollen and other allergens.
  • Use the nasal wash when you’ve been exposed to soot, dust, smoke, or other airborne contaminants.
  • Use it to dissolve mucus build-up in dry climates or in air-conditioned or heated rooms, or after air travel.

I’ve been using a Neti pot regularly for several years, and I rarely get a cold, nor do I have allergy problems.

A nasal wash is not a substitute for medical treatment. Anyone with chronic inflammation of the nasal passages or other ear, nose, or throat disorders should seek medical attention.

Neti Pot can be purchased online or at Whole Foods grocery stores and other health food stores.

Your pets can contribute to your pollen allergy.  If your pets go outside, they’ll inevitably end up attracting pollen to their fur.  Wipe them down with a damp towel when they come inside – that way, when you cuddle with them, you won’t breathe in a concentrated dose of pollen!

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Amber prefers to enjoy spring from inside.

Never give up on your dream

I have always been a dreamer. As far back as I can remember, I’ve created an alternate life in my dreams. As a kid, I was going to be a big Hollywood star. As a teenager, I dreamed of dating Paul Stanley and living in the United States (I was born and grew up in Germany). A lifelong dream has been to write and publish a book.

The Hollywood star thing hasn’t happened (yet?), and Paul Stanley married someone else. I moved to the US twenty-five years ago. My book is about to go to the editor, so that dream has been partially realized already and will come to full fruition in a few months’ time. Two out of three ain’t bad – especially considering that the Hollywood/Paul Stanley dream kind of died when I hit my 20’s anyway.

My book tells the story of a little cat who had a dream and who made it come true. In “Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher”, Buckley shows us how to hang on to a dream even when it looks like it may never come true.

One example of what can happen if you never give up on your dream is Susan Boyle, the woman who recently sang on “Britain’s Got Talent”. If you’re not already one of the more than 20 million who’ve watched her performance on YouTube, take a few minutes to watch the video – you won’t regret it. What a testament to never giving up on your dream!

Click on the link below to view the video (embedding has been disabled):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY&feature=related

Taxes and gratitude

Over the last few days leading up to Tax Day, I’ve been hearing a lot of people complain about having to write a check to the IRS, about how much they have to pay in taxes, and about how everything just keeps getting more and more expensive.  This seems to be the prevailing “story” and it makes for good conversation around the water cooler and in social situations, because it’s something everybody can agree on, right?

Well, maybe you should rethink how you think and talk about taxes and money in general.  Thoughts and words carry energy and send a vibration into the world.  The vibration you send out guides what you attract into your life, so by thinking and talking about money from a place of lack and scarcity, you will only attract more of the same into your life.

Why not change your story and think about money from a place of gratitude?  If you didn’t have to pay taxes, it would mean you’re not making any money.  Write that check to the IRS from a place of appreciation!  I know – it’s a leap in consciousness, but shifting how you view money really works.

The following is an excerpt from an Abraham Hicks workshop set to beautiful music and lovely images from nature.  It’s a wonderful explanation of how your money situation can’t change unless you change your vibration.  The music and images enhance the message by reinforcing Abraham’s core teachings of allowing things into your life by being in a state of appreciation.

Eating gluten free

I recently read an excellent book on the topic of eating gluten free:

glutenfreeIn Eating Gluten Free, Shreve Stockton, author of “The Daily Coyote” and a professional photographer, presents a unique blend of information and recipes, including helpful cooking and preparation hints.   Stockton was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2003 and has devoted herself to sharing all that she has learned about living well, and eating well, with this prevalent condition.

 

From the book:

“The wheat-free/gluten-free diet is one of the fastest growing nutritional trends in this country. …  Gluten intolerance causes an auto-immune reaction in the body, which means that the body basically attacks itself.  … The resulting damage can be physical or neurological, and symptoms can range from gastrointestinal distress to depression, anxiety and fatigue.  …  In its most severe form, celiac disease, damage shows up in the small intestine.  When even the smallest amount of gluten is ingested, it triggers the body to attack itself, a process that inflames the lining of the small intestine, which makes it impossible to absorb nutrients.  … Gluten intolerance is frequently misdiagnosed and symptoms are often ascribed to numerous other conditions.”

“Many people who are not gluten intolerant are nevertheless discovering the health benefits of a wheat-free/gluten free diet.  …  Grains containing gluten are difficult to digest, they compromise the body’s ability to maintain maximum health, and they can even have an adverse effect on brain chemistry.”

While I’m not gluten intolerant, I found the book inspirational in general as far as healthy eating and making changes to one’s eating habits is concerned.  I’m intrigued with the health benefits a diet lower in or free of wheat and other harmful grains and plan to investigate further.  The book may even get me to start cooking, since the author makes getting started sound fairly manageable.  As a confirmed non-cook (my stove currently serves as an extra desk ….), that’s saying something! 

Many of the recipes sound absolutely delicious, from the hot cakes made with sorghum flour and applesauce to the buckwheat banana bread to the creamy cauliflower soup to the hippie bars (part cookie, part cake).  A wide variety of smoothie recipes is already getting me out of my protein powder/banana smoothie rut.

Humans are not the only species who can have problems with digesting grains.  Our pets also do better on grain-free diets.  See my previous posts “Amber is on a diet”  and “How to choose healthy foods for your pet” for more information about healthy and grain-free diets for your pets.

Grape and raisin toxicity in dogs

The Conscious Cat cares about all animals, not just those of her own species, so this is a post about a dog health issue that keeps popping up in e-mails forwarded by concerned pet owners with considerable frequency.  Some pet owners think it’s true, others disregard it as yet another internet hoax.  Are grapes and raisins really toxic for dogs?

Miami veterinarian Patty Khuly, VMD, is the author of a veterinary blog titled “Dolittler” which contains a wealth of pet health information you can trust.  Dr. Khuly also writes a weekly pet health column for The Miami Herald and serves as regular contributor to Veterinary Economics, The Bark and Veterinary Product News in addition to her role as reporter for the Veterinary News Network.

Her blog post “Beware the Wrath of Grapes” provides accurate information on something every dog owner should be aware of.

Amber thinks dogs should know better than to want to eat grapes.

Keep your pets safe at Easter

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Keep your pets safe and happy during the Easter holiday celebrations.

1.  Pass on poisonous plants. Some popular plants-including Easter lilies-are highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if ingested.

2.  Resist giving animals as Easter presents.  Bunnies, chicks, ducks and other animals are adorable, but people often forget that these cute little animals grow up into adult animals who require a commitment to provide daily care for the rest of their lives.

3.  Get rid of dangerous decorations.  Easter basket decorations-including plastic grass-are dangerous to animals if ingested. The grass can become twisted within a pet’s intestines and can be fatal if not caught quickly enough. Candy wrappers, plastic eggs and small toy parts can also pose a danger to pets.  Use tissue paper instead of plastic grass and do a thorough clean-up after Easter celebrations.

4.  Give your pet some peace.  Loud noises, erratic movements from children and crowds of people can be very stressful for animals. If your pet isn’t up for the chaos of an Easter egg hunt or family dinner, put her in a quiet area of the house when guests are visiting.

5.  Keep your pet out of the Easter baskets and away from candy, including chocolate. Candy can be harmful to pets, and chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs.

Amber and I would like to wish you and your furry family members a very Happy Easter filled with joy, happiness and treats!

 

Where to find reliable pet health information on the internet

The Internet has opened up a world of cheap, fast, and easily accessible data.  With little more than a point and click, pet parents can access vast amounts of information about anything and everything related to pet health.  The sheer amount of information can be overwhelming, and it’s often hard to separate the hype from the truth.  For every site that touts a new cure, there’s a site that talks about the dangers of said cure. 

I’ve found the following sites provide reliable and well-researched information about pet health topics:

VeterinaryPartner.com  VeterinaryPartner.com provides up-to-date animal health information from the veterinarians and experts of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), the world’s first and largest online veterinary database and community.

HealthyPet.com  The American Animal Hospital Association, an organization of more than 29,000 veterinary care providers committed to giving you excellence in small animal care, has created this site for pet owners.  AAHA knows that your pet is an important member of your family and is dedicated to help you make the most of the relationship between you and your pet.  Among other items, the site contains an extensive pet care library, including articles on behavior issues.

The Cornell Feline Health Center  of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is a specialty center devoted to improving the health and well-being of cats.  The site has a wealth of information on feline health topics, including a series of educational videos.

While the above sites provide reliable and accurate information, your veterinarian is always your best source of information regarding your pet’s health and should be your first contact whenever you have any questions about your pet’s health.

Lessons from Party Cat – courtesy of Abraham

Abraham is a collective consciousness speaking through Esther Hicks.  To Wayne Dyer, they are “the great Masters of the Universe”, Louise Hay has called them “some of the best teachers on the planet today”.  A veritable who’s who of speakers, teachers and authors continue to publicly acknowledge and praise the immense value of the wisdom that is pouring forth through Esther.  They’ve been a major influence in my life over the past two or three years.

One of my favorite pieces is this video on the lessons the animals (or “beasts”, as Abraham lovingly calls them) teach us, as demonstrated by “Party Cat”:

The power of laughter, and kitty mayhem

Yesterday I talked about how smiling can shift your vibration.   Today, I thought I’d talk about laughter.  Statistics show that the average kindergarten student laughs 300 times a day, yet the average adult only laughs 17 times a day.   The benefits of laughter have been proven in multiple research studies conducted at major universities.  Laughter reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, provides pain relief (the endorphins released while laughing are more potent than equivalent amounts of morphine!), and helps integrate both hemispheres of the brain.  It’s even equivalent to a small amount of exercise as laughing massages all the organs of the body.

A sense of humor provides the balance we all need to navigate the inevitable turbulence of life.  Everyone loves a person who can make them laugh.  Why not try a dose of laugh therapy today?  Exchange jokes with friends or co-workers, watch a funny movie, send someone a funny greeting card. 

To get you started, I’ll share this recent entry from a friend’s blog with you.  She lives with seven cats, and Morning Mayhem describes a recent morning when all the kitties went a little nuts.  It’s one of the funniest pieces of cat writing I’ve seen in a while.  I’m sure parents of multiple cats can relate!

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