Choose to Live a Conscious Life

Our planet is undergoing a massive shift in consciousness, and as a result, individuals are questioning the old ways of living and making new, more conscious choices about how to live their lives.  But what does conscious living really mean?

The definition of the word conscious is “to be aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts and surroundings”.  It also means “being fully aware or sensitive to something”, “aware of oneself”, and “deliberate and intentional”.  All these terms take us right to the heart of what conscious living means.

Being aware of our thoughts and emotions allows us to make conscious choices about everything from what we feel like wearing today to which career path we want to take.  Thoughts are energy, and each thought has a vibration attached to it that sends a message to the universe to attract things to us that match the vibration of the thought we send out.  We all have the ability to focus our thoughts, and when we deliberately focus them on what we want rather than on what we don’t want, we begin taking charge of consciously creating our lives.  Being aware of our emotions adds power to this process – emotions are our instant guidance as to whether a thought moves us in the direction of what we want or away from it.  When a thought feels good, we’re moving towards our desires.  When it feels bad, we’re moving in the opposite direction. 

Being fully aware is the first step to consciously living our lives.  It is this awareness that allows us to tune in to our inner guidance, and the more we do that, the more we are able to become deliberate and intentional in choosing our thoughts. 

Ultimately, conscious living means making choices that are in alignment with who we really are at our core.  Using our emotions as guidance, we can make choices about everything from the foods we eat to the cosmetics we use to the products we buy for our pets.  The more we make these conscious choices, the more whole our lives will become.  Every choice becomes a conscious expression of our authentic selves in the world.  The more we pay attention to what our inner self really wants and needs, the more congruent our lives become.

Be forewarned – conscious living is addictive.  Once you live your life from that place of authenticity, you will have very little tolerance for anything less.

Some conscious choices people make can be as simple as eating organic foods, purchasing cruelty-free personal care products, using environmentally friendly products, and watching movies and television programs that carry a positive message, or as far-reaching as leaving a job that is not in alignment with their authentic self to start their own conscious business. 

The important thing is to start somewhere, one small choice at a time.  Make that simple choice, and watch your life begin to change.

Happy Mother’s Day

cat-mother-ad

Happy Mother’s Day from the Conscious Cat! 

If you’re fortunate enough to still have your mom in your life, be sure to tell her that you love her today, and every day.  My mother passed away 15 years ago, and I still miss her.  Even after all these years, I still feel a pang when I see Mother’s Day cards appear in stores. 

But I also celebrate Mother’s Day as Amber’s Mom.  Amber was a mommy herself when I first met her, so I thought I’d share her story here with you today.

In the spring of 2000, Amber and her five kittens were brought to the animal hospital I managed by a client who had found the little family in her barn.  Despite being emaciated and scrawny-looking, Amber’s eventual beauty was evident even then.  Her kittens found new homes in fairly rapid succession.  

However, nobody was interested in the beautiful mommy cat.  She spent her days in the big adoption cage in the hospital’s waiting area, but with the constant inflow of homeless kittens that is typical for spring and summer, nobody wanted to adopt an adult cat.  I had recently lost my almost sixteen-year-old soul mate cat Feebee, and the grief over his loss was still very fresh.  I did not think I was ready for another cat, but coming home to an empty house was becoming increasingly difficult.

One weekend in July, I decided to take Amber home, “just for the weekend”.  I wanted to give her a break from the abandoned feral kitten we had placed with her after her own kittens had all found homes.  The kitten was a rambunctious six-week old grey tabby, and Amber was becoming increasingly exasperated with his constant need for attention.  As far as she was concerned, she had done her mommy duty with her own kittens.

After living in a cage for all these months, Amber was initially a little overwhelmed by having access to an entire house, and she spent most of that first weekend near or under my bed.  By Sunday evening, she began to  relax a little and started exploring her new environment.  I liked having her gentle and peaceful energy around the house, and I decided that she could stay a little longer.  Not quite ready to acknowledge that she was home with me to stay, I told everyone that I was “just fostering her”. Somehow, the flyers advertising that she was available for adoption never got distributed, and she only returned to the animal hospital for regular check ups.

Amber is a gentle, loving cat with a wise old soul.  For the past nine years, her peaceful and solid presence, not to mention her almost constant purr, have been bringing love and affection into my life every day.  She enjoys sleeping in our sunny living room, curling up with me when I sit down to read or to watch television, and watching the birds at the feeder on our deck. 

She is a teacher to the core of her being, and she is my writing muse.  There are days when I sit down in front of the computer and stare at the blank screen with no idea of what I’m going to be writing about, but as soon as she comes into the room and curls up on the window perch next to my desk for a long nap, I feel inspired, and the words start flowing.

Animals come into our lives for many reasons.  Some very special animals touch our souls and change us forever.  Amber is one of these special animals.

Amber

Amber

 

Abnormal Love of Cats?

white cat

Those of us who love our cats sometimes wonder whether “normal” people might consider us a bit, shall we say, eccentric?  The following are some definite signs that you’re a cat lover:

  • You cut your after-work activities short just so you can get home to see your cat.
  • You dare not move a muscle when you cat falls asleep at your feet, even if you need to get up to go use the bathroom.
  • You sleep in the oddest positions, just so you can accommodate your cat, even if she chooses to plonk herself in the middle of your bed.
  • You take your cat’s name as your online name. 
  • When you’re telling a friend about having to take the cat to the V-E-T, you whisper and your eyes dart furtively around the room to make sure your cat isn’t within earshot.
  • You feel naked if your clothes aren’t covered in cat hair.
  • If you own more than one cat, you can tell which cat threw up just by looking at the pile.

Of course, none of us cat lovers consider any of these things abnormal!

Photo: morguefile.com

Bloodwork for your pet: what it means and why your pet needs it

Regular and routine blood testing is an important part of your pet’s preventive healthcare.  It used to be that veterinarians only recommended blood work for older pets, but it’s equally important for younger healthy pets.  It’s the best way to detect potential health problems before they become evident through symptoms.  It’s also critically important before your pet undergoes any kind of anesthetic procedure, even a routine dental cleaning.

Typically, your vet will run a blood chemistry panel and a complete bloodcount. The College of Veterinary Medicine of Washington State University has an excellent explanation of what these lab tests mean.

Amber, who is probably 11 years old (best guess – she was a stray when I got her as a young adult), gets complete veterinary exams and blood work (CBC, chemistry and thyroid) twice a year.

Be Kind to Animals Week May 3-9

bekind_main

Be Kind to Animals Week” is sponsored by the American Humane Organization.  It celebrates the role animals play in our lives and promotes ways to treat them humanely.

We celebrate the bond we have with our own pets each and every day by loving them, caring for them, and basking in the uncondtional love they give us in return.   “Be Kind to Animals Week” may be an opportunity for us to remember animals who are not as fortunate as our pets.  Some suggestions on how pet parents can participate in “Be Kind to Animals Week” are:

– Donate cash, pet food, or cat litter to your local shelter.

– Volunteer as a fost parent with a local rescue group.

– Volunteer with your local shelter.

– Make a donation to your favorite shelter.

– Appreciate wildlife.

– Report animal abuse.

Rainy Sunday Reading

Another rainy Sunday here.  Amber has given up on searching for the sunny spot and is taking her morning nap.  I think I’ll settle in for a lazy day of catching up on my reading.  If you’re looking for something good to read, I’ve added some new suggestions to the Reading List on my website.

I always have at least two or three books going at the same time.  Today, I’ll finish a re-read of “The Feline Mystique” by Clea Simon.  I might also dip into “Conscious Entrepreneurs“, a collection of inspiring stories about the spiritual journey of entrepreneurship.  I especially like to re-read Chapter 22, which was written by one of my mentors.  I’m also indulging in a guilty pleasure, Nora Roberts’ “Tribute” – this is Roberts at her best, a combination of love story, suspense, and likeable characters.  And I’ll be catching up on my magazine reading – unread issues of Cat Fancy, Ali Magazine and Brigitte are stacking up!

What will you be reading on this rainy Sunday?  Share your favorites!

Amber, on a rainy Sunday

Amber, on a rainy Sunday

Afraid of the swine flu? Don’t be.

You can’t turn on the computer, look at a newspaper, let alone watch television without being bombarded with news about the swine flu.  Words like epidemic and pandemic are becoming part of everyone’s vocabulary.  It’s hard not to be afraid in the face of this barrage of fear-inducing rhetoric.

This is a good time to use your head, and to harness the power of your thoughts.  To begin with, don’t let yourself get caught up in irrational fears.  Think this through.   Statistically, more people die in car accidents than in an epidemic, and yet, we all get into our cars each and every day without giving it much thought.  Today, we have the best medical care, the best public health system, and the best world-wide communication methods in the history of the planet.  This is not 1918.  This is the flu – not the black plague.

Make smart decisions that support your well-being.   Make small choices each day that add up to make a difference in how you feel.  Eat healthier, get more exercise, cut back on sugar.  All of these choices contribute to boosting your immune system.  Find things that bring you relaxation – get a Reiki treatment or a massage, take a hot bath scented with relaxing aromatherapy oils, read a good book, watch a funny movie.  And of course, spend time with your pets!  That’s the best way to relax that I know of. 

And above all else, stop worrying.  Worry creates stress, and stress weakens your immune system.  One of the Reiki precepts is “Just for today, I will not worry”.  If that’s too tall an order, try it for an hour.  Another way to get a handle on worry is to allocate a specific time each day for worrying – during that time, let yourself go nuts.  Worry all you want.   Take it to the ultimate worst case scenario.  You’ll quickly realize how crazy most of your worries actually are.  In fact, take a clue from your pets – they never worry.  They live in the moment.  When you live in the moment, there’s no place for worry.

And those of you who’ve followed me for a while already know what I’m going to say next:  don’t watch the news!  Don’t fill your energy with all that negativity.  You have the power to choose where you direct your attention and what you let into your energy field.  You don’t have to stick your head in the sand, but make the choice to not let what’s going on in the world affect your mental and physical health.

Natural flea and tick control

As a follow-up to my recent post about the EPA’s increased scrutiny of spot-on flea and tick control products for pets, I tried to find natural alternatives that are equally as effective as the chemical-based products.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything that I’m comfortable recommending without reservations, but I thought I’d share my findings with you so you can make your own informed decisions.

Many natural products contain essential oils such as Pennyroyal, Tea Tree or Citrus oils. Essential oils are generally not safe to use around cats. This has become a hotly debated topic in holistic circles. Even though some practitioners or suppliers of essential oils will claim that their products or techniques are completely safe for cats, the fact remains that cats have a unique physiology and process these oils differently from other species. Some oils can even be deadly to cats. I do not recommend the use of any essential oils around cats.

It seems that the only safe natural flea control methods are as follows:

  • A good flea comb with tightly spaced teeth.  Comb your pet daily during flea season and drop any fleas you find into a bowl of soapy water to kill them.
  • Bathe your pet with a gentle shampoo such as oatmeal.  Don’t use  harsh flea shampoos, most of them have chemicals in them.
  • Vacuum vacuum vacuum.  I came across one suggestion to cut up a conventional flea collar and put it inside the vacuum cleaner’s bag – it reportedly will kill any live fleas, eggs and pupae you vacuum up.  I don’t know for sure that this will work, but it made sense in a strange kind of way.
  • Adding Brewer’s yeast to your pet’s food may help deter fleas from attaching to your pet.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in your yard to cut down on the flea population.  Diatomaceous earth also makes a great natural pantry bug killer, it works for all insects.  It’s reported to be safe around pets, but don’t sprinkle it directly on your pet!

I’ve been unable to find any information on natural tick repellants.

Ultimately, it comes down to weighing the risks of conventional flea and tick products against the risks of the health problems caused by fleas and ticks.  Many pets have been using chemically based flea and tick products safely and without any problems for many years.   Flea contact dermatitis and anemia are unpleasant health problems that definitely compromise a pet’s quality of life.  Lyme disease can be crippling, and, in its worst form (Lyme nephritis), it can kill.

Can my cat or dog get the swine flu?

There is plenty of information in the media about how to protect yourself and your family against the swine flu, but very little has been said about whether it can affect our pets.  While there is no absolute answer, I found this article by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM helpful and wanted to pass it on.

On a slightly different note but on the same topic – I highly suggest that you turn off the news.   The media has a never ending propensity to report bad news and to try and put its audience into a fearful state of mind about the swine flu, or anything else for that matter.  Fear and bad news sell advertising – it’s as simple as that.    Worry is a waste of energy and a sure fire way to attract what you don’t want into your life.    For more on why not watching the news is good for you, refer to “Go on a news diet“, posted in March.

EPA increases scrutiny of flea and tick products for pets

It’s flea and tick season in much of the country, and pet owners are beginning to use products such as Frontline or Advantage to combat these pests on their pets.  While these products are effective, please be aware that they are also loaded with chemicals.

Last week, the EPA issued a cautionary statement about these products and their safety, and began investigating the recent increase in reports of adverse reactions. 

For a more indepth look of what this means, Dr. Patty Khuly, a small animal veterinarian in Miami, FL and founder of the veterinary blog Dolittler, posted an excellent article on her blog.

I’ve been researching natural alternatives to chemical flea and tick products for the past few weeks.  I’m trying to find products to recommend to you that are both effective and safe.  Not everything that’s natural is safe for your pets, and until I’m sure that the products I’m looking at meet both requirements, I won’t recommend them to you.   I’ll share what I find with you as soon as I can.

Animal communication

I came across this utterly cute video of two cats communicating with each other:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHD0halWkFU

I can’t say that I’ve ever seen cats communicate out loud with this level of intensity, but cats do communicate in many different ways – from “verbal” communication ranging from purring to hissing to telepathic communication.   This made me think about animal communication in general. 

How do pets communicate?  Amber is the “purringest” cat ever (and yes, I created this word just for her, there’s just no better way to describe  her!).  She purrs if you so much as look at her.  She is one of the most content beings I have ever come in contact with.   She can, however, be quite vocal when she wants a treat – especially lately, since she’s been on her diet.  Like all cats, she also communicates with her tail – from straight up in the air to indicate happy and friendly to bushy and puffed up to indicate either excited or scared.  

In addition to these behavioral ways of communication, many of  Amber’s, and all animals’, communications are done telepathically.  Research has long suggested evidence of telepathic communication.  If we accept that animals are thinking, feeling, sentient beings, it’s not much of a leap to accept the concept of interspecies communication.  Communicating with species other than human is not a new idea.  It is interwoven into many of the worlds’ tribal communities.  Individuals such as St. Francis of Assisi and Jane Goodall have demonstrated it in various ways.   We all have this telepathic ability, especially as children.  It is often expressed through imaginary friends or by reporting what the family pet “said.”  Sadly, as we grow up and are told by our parents and society that these abilities are not normal, we tend to block out this natural way of being.   Professional animal communicators have never lost this natural ability, or have trained themselves into recovering it.  They connect with the animals’ unique energy and they may receive information in pictures, or simply as a sense of intuitive knowing.  They can then “translate” what they receive into words the pet’s parent can understand.

What are your views on animal communication?

1 281 282 283 284 285 287