I don’t understand why humans have such a hard time with what they call “living in the moment.” To us cats, it’s just living. Where else would you be, if not in this present moment? That’s where all the good stuff happens: it’s where the sunbeams are, it’s where the birds outside the window are, it’s where breakfast and dinner are. Why would you ever want to worry about what’s going to come next, or think about what already happened?
When we want to play, we play. When we want to nap, we nap. When we want to cuddle, we cuddle. I know humans have what they call “responsibilities,” the most important one, of course, being that they make sure we never run out of cat food, and I’ll concede that that requires some planning, but I thought I’d give you some pointers on how you can be more like a cat and enjoy the moment.
Have you ever had that “stuck” feeling? Like you’re just not quite sure how to move forward and you’re a little afraid to move at all, for fear you’ll make the “wrong” choice? I know there have been times when I’ve found myself in that position and, honestly, at those times I felt paralyzed. Sometimes I moved ahead and sometimes — again, because of fear — I did not and I occasionally wonder what would have happened if I’d just taken a chance.
Part of the reason I felt paralyzed is because I didn’t feel like I had the resources to advance in my preferred direction. And by resources, I mean money, time, connections, equipment…all types of resources. What I’ve found is that the resources I picture in my head aren’t necessarily the resources I really have to have to move forward.
Hi everyone, it’s Allegra! It’s been a while since I got to write something here. I’ve been too busy keeping my sister Ruby in line, and making sure Mom takes breaks from work. Let me tell you, between the two of them – it can get exhausting.
If you’re wondering what’s harder – keeping an eye on Ruby, or making sure that Mom relaxes enough – well, I’d have to say it’s getting Mom to relax. I will never understand why humans have such a hard time with this concept of just hanging out, just being. I can sit for hours, either staring into space, or sleeping, and let me tell you, it feels really really wonderful!
Sometimes, I even resort to sitting in Mom’s lap to get her to relax. It seems to be the most effective wayContinue Reading
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize
there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu
When I think about what contentment looks like, I think of a purring cat. If there’s anything that illustrates happiness better, I don’t know what that would be. And it doesn’t take much for cats to be content: a sunny spot on the floor, a full tummy, a lap to curl up on – those are the ingredients for contentment when you’re a cat.
Why is it so hard for humans to reach that same state of contentment? Why do so many of us always look for the next best thing? For some people, the mindset for happiness is a never-ending cycle of always wanting more. Perhaps we’d do well to learn from our cats when it comes to mastering contentment.
Achieving a state of contentment is a mindset change and has nothing to do with making external changes to your life. Try the following:Continue Reading
Our cats do have the best lives, don’t they? I often say that in my next life, I’m going to come back as one of my cats. If I did, here’s what a typical day would look like:
I wake up when I’m good and ready. I stretch, and then I slowly get up. When I walk into the kitchen, breakfast is being prepared for me, and served on my favorite blue dish. After breakfast, I make the rounds of the house, and take a look out the windows to make sure nothing has changed while I was sleeping. After all that activity, it’s time for a nice long nap. The biggest decision: where to take that nap? It may be a bit of a toss up between a sunny spot on the rug, and the lap of the human I love most in this world. Most days, the lap will win.
After my nap, I wake up to find that the human is in the kitchen. Excellent! This must mean more food. Treats are immediately forthcoming. Then I get a nice massage, and my fur is being brushed until it shines. Now it’s decision time again: birdwatching? Playing? Another nap? Continue Reading
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few decades you’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of yoga. Our overall health and well being can thrive with a regular yoga practice, but did you ever stop and ponder how your feline friends can reap the rewards as well? Just the mere possibility is enough to make one roll out the yoga mat and start practicing some serious downward facing cat poses!
Cats are the ultimate yogis and they certainly don’t need us to mentor them in the art of relaxation, meditation, or how to stretch their bodies. They do, however, need us to create the ideal home environment so we can support them in being the little yogis they were meant to be.
Yoga is the purr-fect practice for investing in you while also benefitting Kitty at the same time. Continue Reading
Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take
between two deep breaths. – Etty Hillesum
We all have busy lives, and there are days when it feels like we’ll never get everything done. For most people, the first thing to fall by the wayside during busy times is time for yourself. I’ve never met a cat who says”I’m too busy to take a moment to stretch in the sun.” Why can’t we be more cat like when it comes to taking care of ourselves?
The following ten tips can help you carve out some time for yourself even when the world is screaming for your attentionime. I offer this thought to you: you can’t afford not to take the time. Your sanity, and your health, may depend on it.
Say no to anything that’s not important. I’ve always liked Steven Covey’s system of sorting items on your to do list into urgent, important, not urgent, and not important categories. Surprisingly, it’s the items in the “important but not urgent” quadrant, not the things that are “urgent and important,” that should receive your greatest attention. For example, daily playtime with your cats is important but not urgent. Feeding your cats, however, is important and urgent! For a more detailed (and less cat-centric) explanation of Covey’s important/urgent matrix, visit Practice This or go straight to the source and read Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I guess I believe in intentions that can change in any moment. I don’t need to wait until New Year’s Eve to decide what’s important to me and set goals for myself. But since many people use the new year as a kickoff point, I thought I’d once again look to my wise felines for cues as to what I’d like to intend for myself in the new year.
Be present with one thing at a time
I know I’m a good multi-tasker, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a great attribute. Sometimes when I’m busy with one activity, I’m thinking about something else. Cats are laser-focused on whatever they currently have their paws on, and when they’re finished, they move on to the next thing. Presence is something for which I constantly strive. Keeping one browser tab open at a time on the computer is a start. It’s way too easy to pop over to Facebook and waste some major time when I have an article deadline. I can find myself easily distracted — and that does nothing for my time management or presence. Cats don’t care about multi-tasking, tabs or time management — they just live in the flow, which is an excellent example for all of us.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu
The new year is only five days old today. How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up?
I’m all about reinventing yourself, and finding your bliss, and the clean slate of a new year seems to be as good a time for it as any. And therein probably lies one of the reasons why so many New Year’s resolution fail. Why only pick January 1 to change your life? You can change your life on any given day – it’s YOUR choice, YOUR time.
I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a few years ago. Since I still like the idea of a “fresh start” a new year offers, I set New Year’s intentions instead. I think New Year’s resolutions are destined to fail, because there’s an inherent flaw in the term “resolution.”Continue Reading