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!
I’ve been an avid reader as far back as I can remember. My parents started reading to me as a very young child, and I surprised them by reading on my own long before it was taught in school (at first, they thaught I was faking it and only repeating the words from memory). Through all the changes I’ve gone through in my life, good and not so good, books have always been there to provide entertainment, counsel, escape, advice and so much more. Reading is as essential as breathing to me.
It should come as no surprise that I particulary enjoy books about animals, and I offer a wide selection of recent favorites on the Reading List on my website. In the animal book category, some recent favorites are “Merle’s Door” by Ted Kerasote and “The Daily Coyote” by Shreve Stockton. Longterm favorites are “The Cat Who Came for Christmas” by Cleveland Armory and “A Snowflake in My Hand” by Samantha Mooney.
For pure entertainment, I enjoy authors like Luanne Rice, Dorothea Benton Frank and Sue Monk Kidd to name just a few. A particular enjoyable genre in the entertainment category for me are animal-themed murder mysteries, favorite authors in that category are Rita Mae Brown, Clea Simon and Blaize Clement.
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):
I don’t usually measure my life by how many years a TV show has been on, but the series finale of ER gave me pause for reflection. I did not miss a single episode in its 15 year run (thanks to VCR’s, then DVR’s), and last night’s final episode, and especially the hour long recap that ran before it, made it impossible not to think back over the last 15 years. While George Clooney, Juliana Margulies, Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie and company fought their weekly battles in the ER, I got divorced, lost my mother, left my corporate job, ran a veterinary hospital, lost my father, and started my own business. These past 15 years were a period of tremendous personal growth for me, leading to this moment in time and a life filled with passion, joy and the promise of more wonderful things to come.
And I also reflected back on the cats that were curled up in my lap watching 15 years of ER episodes with me: Feebee, my soulmate cat who was responsible for leading me to a career in veterinary medicine, and who passed on in 2000. And Buckley, who was only with me for three years and who left much too soon this past November. Her story and the lessons she taught me are the subject of my upcoming book.
And of course Amber, who was watching last night’s episode with me.
I spent yesterday at a spiritual retreat center in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It reminded me of the value of getting away from it all, even if only for a day. The drive towards the mountains in the early morning was beautiful, and the day spent in the company of like-minded people with plenty of opportunity for quiet reflection fed my spirit.
The topic of the retreat was making conscious choices – something that is an integral part of conscious living. How do you live your life? Do you make choices that limit you, or choices that allow you to expand? Make the choice to say “yes” to yourself today.
Do you wish you could get away from your busy life even just for a day? Give yourself the gift of a retreat. Retreats come in many shapes or forms, the main idea is that it gets you away from your usual routine and allows you to do something that nourishes your spirit.
But as much as I enjoyed my day away from it all, I was happy to come home to Amber at the end of the day. Pets nourish our spirit every day.
I decided to name this blog “The Conscious Cat”. I’m on a wonderful journey to consciously create my life in ways that allow me to express my authentic self, and along this journey, some of my greatest teachers have been my cats.
Buckley, who passed away in November, was and continues to be a feline master teacher. You’ll learn more about her in my upcoming book, “Buckley’s Story”. Amber, who has been with me for the past eight and a half years, is an eternally wise soul in a feline body. Together, the two of them taught me to open my heart in ways I never thought possible.
Animals are great teachers. All we need to do is listen with our hearts.
About 2 inches of snow overnight, and it’s still snowing. It looks very pretty out, but I can’t say I’m looking forward to shoveling my driveway later today. Thankfully, I have no appointments until late afternoon.
Amber is having a busy morning watching the birds at the feeder on the deck: